The Big Mystery

October 1, 2008

So, last night I am sitting in my apartment. The lights turned low. Thunder rumbling outside and rain splattering on the window. Ginger ale in a high-ball glass. I’m sitting and reading The Road, a tale of a world after the nuclear apocalypse that Rhoda got me for my birthday. (For the record, it’s by the guy who wrote No Country for Old Men and is going to be a movie in November. It’s good, except it’s kind of obsessed with the idea of cannibalism and scary gory creepiness that would freak out no one over the age of 14.)

Anyway, the phone rings. Yes, I ask? SALAAM ALIEKUM. I check the number. It’s a local number, not the same as yesterady. Wa-aliekum-salaam? I say. MERHABA. He says. This stops me dead, because it means “welcome”, as in “welcome back.” Whaaaaat? I say. He asks me if I am some long arabic name I don’t remember. No, I say, this is Haroon. Haroon Rachid. “Sorry” he says in english and then hangs up, just like the guy the night before.

I woke up this morning, and there’s a text message waiting for me. It’s just a bunch of boxes, no letters. It occured to me today that’s what it would look like if I didn’t have arabic script font installed and someone texted me in Arabic.

Ahem. What the hell?