Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

At

Seven in the morning there came

Six men to load innumerable boxes

Five laborers and a painter who asked for

Four cups of tea and carried

Three major appliances, filling the truck with

Two tons of weight resulting in

One cracked driveway

(wah wah wah)

I have a good excuse for not updating my blog on time. And the excuse in itself may even pass for a blog entry. Here I go. I could not update my blog because…my dog ate it. Whoops. Wrong excuse. Let me try again.

I could not update my blog because…my house was in a state of bedlam. Well, more specifically because of the way in which the furniture here in bedlam was moved to make way for boxes- the computer was unplugged. Now that the relatives have gone home, the house has been put back together, the floors have been mopped of giant, muddy manfootprints, and the layer of dust we disturbed has settled, I can blog properly again.

As I was blasting…errr..breezing down Jinnah road today I saw a hijabi standing in the median a few dozen meters away. I looked at her. She looked at me. Then she stepped directly out in front of my car. Tires squealed, the car swerved, and by the Grace of God she was spared from turning into an asphalt waffle.

Later today there was this man with the red sweater who made eye contact with me and then stepped jauntily off of the curb, nearly embedding himself in the front grill of my car. And then there was that cute kid near my house who stood patiently by the side of the road as I approached, and then just as I began to pass him, threw his ball in front of my tires and then ran after it.

The number of pedestrians I could’ve knocked the legs out from under staggers me each day. I’m shocked every time someone looks directly at my car and then steps out in front of it. I can’t explain it. It’s hard for me to accept that a large number of pedestrians have severe vision impairments. It’s even harder for me to assume that they’re all suicidal. I’ve tried to believe that they’re all suffering from delusions of immortality, but it just doesn’t work. The sanest, most logical explanation I can come up with is that there’s something wrong with my car. It must be invisible.

At first I didn’t think it was possible, since as far as I know, Suzuki doesn’t make a Mehran Stealth, but I have no choice but to believe it. The theory fits too, and very nicely explains why other cars, mostly gargantuan SUV’s, are always trying to merge into my lane even before I’m done using it. I know my car is small, but it’s not microscopic. It would show quite clearly in the SUV’s rear-view mirror. It would, that is, if it weren’t invisible.

And you know, the problem with owning an invisible car is that sometimes I can’t find where I’ve parked it. I come out of a shop and wander around the parking lot, trying to find a car that can’t be found. I check and double-check the place that I was sure of, and can’t find it. I peer uncertainly into other silver Mehrans, since there are always at least a dozen wherever I go, and head dejectedly back towards the shop once I’ve confirmed that none of them are mine. (Sometimes I peer into BMW’s too. You can’t stop a body from hoping…) Then, when I get back to the shop, Lo and Behold, there’s my car, and it’s visible again, right where I left it.

The other day I was standing in a line waiting for my turn at the supermarket counter when a man stepped in front of me and plunked his purchases down. After everything had been rung up and he was being handed his receipt, he turned around and said , “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there!” This leads me to wonder if the car’s invisibility isn’t contagious. Aniraz seems to be catching it too. Today we were standing in a bakery when a woman began walking straight for the bakery counter, the one that Aniraz was standing in front of. Luckily, Aniraz leapt out of the way, otherwise there might have been a head-on collision. The woman’s young son followed, and brushed past Aniraz so closely that he passed under one of her arms and came out by way of the other.

But this invisibility thing could be useful. Next time I’m in the bakery, I’m going to sneak behind the counter and help myself to some cookies.

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