Friday, October 13, 2006

Chapters from an Immigrant's life, Part V. To be or not to be..

When I graduated in 1997 with a Bsc in chemical engineering, I was happy. I gathered my friends, all the booze I could get, got some meat, and started barbequing and drinking all night. It was a fun night. We all were happy. I was really a smart nerdy boy at school, but a different kind of nerd. The kind of nerd that doesn’t wear glasses or pocket protectors, instead, would chase girls in school. My graduation project was on top of my class, and it impressed a company that they decided to hire me as a research assistant while I am pursuing my master’s degree. Instead of making $5.50 for arabs, I am now making $17/hr researching. We’ll talk about that later, but for now, the party is up all night.

At 4 am, I had to give one of my friends a ride home. I was so drunk that I said “sure why not”. His house was about 3 miles away from mine. We were both drunk. I was also carrying my gun with me. I bought this gun after an incident that happened to me, but bear with me a little. So the gun was under the seat, and I was drunk, and drove him to his house. On the way back, I was stopped by a cop. Oh my God, I am screwed now. The day I see my dream fulfilled, is the day I’ll go to jail? How did I end up like this. Suddenly, my mind is not drunk anymore. It was screaming at me “you idiot..look what you have done to yourself”. I knew that this was my end. The cop approached me. He had his flash light looking at me. I tried as much as possible to act normal. I didn’t want him to see my eyes. He would’ve found out quickly if I was drunk by a simple look at my eyes.

“Do you know why I stopped you?” he asked me. I quickly said “I’m sorry officer, I seem to have crossed a passing line without a signal, but I did make sure that there were no other cars, and I really needed to go home for I’m sleepy after studying all night for my test at school tomorrow”. “What class r u taking and what school r u going to” he asked my while looking at my registration and drivers license. I answered him. He then handed me back my papers and said “I see that your almost home now, drive carefully son”. I was so shocked that I cried while driving home.

I went home and started thinking….maybe it’s time for me to wake up. I picked up the phone, and called my brother in law asking about my parent’s home number. I haven’t spoken to them in almost 4 years. He informed me that they always ask about me from friends, but they never knew my phone number. I knew that because I warned my friends never to give my number to my parents. I took the number and called. Mom answered…I hung up. I called again..she answered..and I hung up again. I was so scared to say anything. I paused for few minutes, then called again. She answered again, and I said “yummaa….”(which means mom in English. I could hear her cries over the phone. I again said “yumma…..I’m coming home yumma..I’ll see you soon”. She asked me if I needed money for the tickets or anything, and I said “no mom…I’m coming home as soon as possible”.

I started evaluating my life. Maybe it’s time for a new beginning. How did I have the heart to not speak to my family for 4 years? I now have sisters whom I left as 8 and 10 years old girls, and now they are 16 and 18 years old. Or my brother who was 4 years old and now he is 12. How did I do that? I know they were asking about me, but I never asked. And what about drinking? And not believing in God. I started thinking that God does exist and he just saved my life and career. I must be doing something wrong, because my life is not normal at all. Now is my chance to snap out of it.

I asked myself who am I? A question that I have been failing to answer. But I have to answer now, this is my chance. I am, me..a smart boy growing up in the UAE, with dreams and ambitions. I am me, a graduate with an engineering degree, ready to start contributing to society. I am me, the lover of all lovers, who wouldn’t say no to any woman that needed some action in her life, married or no married. I am me, a walking bottle of alcohol, wake and sleep on alcohol. Wait a minute….that doesn’t make any sense. Those were two opposite sides that just don’t make any sense. It’s time to give up one of them. Only this time, I gave up the correct choice. I can not be who I want to be, while doing wrong.

I swore on the day of 24th of june, of the year 1997 that I shall never drink alcohol again. I succeeded till today, with few weak points in the beginning, but still managed to be finally alcohol free. I knew I had to do that. I felt bad for degrading the family name in such filth. I didn’t need that. I gave up women on the same day. I swore never to touch any woman except my wife, once I find her. I was firm in that. I never felt weaknesses at all, and burned my phone book so fast, before I could change my mind.

I quit my gas station job, bought a ticket, and flew home. That in itself was a very painful, and joyful moment in my life. From the time I walked through the security gates in cleveland airport…..I better stop now.

To be continued.


Summer said...

NICE!! you did it again..and you stopped at a cliff hanger!! i hope there is more to come soon.
I am glad you quit drinking and women...thats my boy!! and i am glad you talked to your that you are a father yourself, you know how much they suffered...shame on you, but who am i to blame or judge you, you had your reasons..but your parents?? still not too many people could do such thing...
i see a good start for a nice life coming ahead..yalla...i will be waiting for your next post. have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Amjad...ur story is great...I really feel u could write a book out of it...seriously..

I live in the UK now and can relate a lot to ur story but on a much less extreme level...

One thing tho..I feel there's a gap between the previous post and that one...I feel u rushed a bit in ur story..thats a totally personal choice..just a thought :)

Hareega said...

man you didn't say why you haven't called your family in 4 years?? is it something too personal to discuss?

Bo3Bo3 said...


actually..I finished 9 larts of the story, but taking my time posting it. For those interested, I can send the microsoft document that has the full 9 parts..but there are more parts for the story

True..I did..but I am trying to make the story as a time sequence..for I will go back and forth from the past to the near present and so on.

Abu narah
It was about pride my friend. I felt that I was so close to awakening, yet, it was disrupted.

Summer said...

This is completely out of subject but you did not say much about your name Bo3bo3..i wish i can call you by a normal name!!
anyway, i would like the MS doc. but i guess it is nicer to read online and post a reply to it..don’t you think so? if you sed me the whole document i think i would send you a huge analysis of your life, events and your writing style, heck, i might even edit it for you and pursue to publish it too!! I will become your agent too! But you really do not want that!! Anyway, you can email it to me on:
summers57AT Gmail dot com
i know you did not talk to your parents for pride reasons, but it would be nice if you can list details..i am still highlighting the parts where you say you will go back to another time....details ,details and more details my friend , this what make a story good!! But so far, your story is good and it is like many other stories but i feel that it has a lot of honesty in it. Enough for now, let me go read the part you just posted...

eyad said...

thanks for your courage to say the truth,