you are afraid to die in your sleep because you think you will forget how to breathe. it’s okay if you do; this mortal, dying body isn’t something familiar to you.
neither is the air you breathe, or the soil beneath your feet, or all what this body craves and all what it needs — but it’s okay, see, you’re not lost. not yet, anyway. you simply don’t know where you want to be.
you aren’t even sure if you do want to be.
but here you are.
here you stand, in all your glory, void of any connection to this planet and its people, and your ears ring. you listen. you don’t care, but you listen and you hear voices, coming from beneath your feet, and they’re calling out to you — they’re calling out your name, telling you where you need to be —
and it’s right here.
damascus. she’s a city built on seven and she has many names — the ones you call her are the ones your heart claims. jasmine blooms at night but thrives under the sun; shameless and proud, aggressive and loud. and you love it more than you’ve ever loved.
it’s damascus, and it’s a holysite come nightfall, at midnight. you follow your heart and wander around, and you forget not to breathe so you end up drowning in the jasmines — the yasmeen, and that’s when you realise it —
you are more alive than you have ever been, standing right there, in all your glory, with the yasmeen framing the old streets and glowing in the moonbeam. you are more alive than you have ever been.
you try not to breathe, but it’s too late, and your fear of dying in your sleep is replaced.
a newfound fear of living forever swims in your head, haunting your thoughts like a shark with its eyes on a prey. you’re afraid of living forever. it’s okay if you do; you know that the world will someday turn gray, you know that it will all fade away, but you won’t be alone.
the voices calling out to you — your ancestors, kings and queens, artists and their muses, the ones who wrote history and the victims of the margins, the saints and the sinners and the ones who got away with their sins — their voices will always be there, echoing in the air you breathe, calling out your name from the soil beneath your feet.
they will always be there, and so will this city — damascus, the city with an infinite faces and endless names. the city, the beloved of fate, the sister of destiny.
and if she were not fate’s beloved, how do you explain her immortality? and if she were not the sister of destiny, how do you explain the fact that you ended up here, with all your mortal, dying glory?