Something Beautiful by Susie Gharib

In the wake of numerous regional and civil wars, disease, curfews and devastating earthquakes, which have all led to an impoverished state, I decide to fill each deprivation-bred day with a portion of something beautiful that defies the Furies, the godly elite and the scribes of destination that have proliferated and thrived in recent years. A diary, which keeps a record of the events or the eventlessness of my existence, is handy in such a case, for it will yoke me to my resolve should I be distracted by the quicksand that marks the topography of each passing day.

How do I begin each morning? With my adopted white dog, who is habitually distracted by the litter of dirty streets, and whose beautiful fur seduces blood-sucking insects every time she tries to execute her natural needs. The last time I winked, she consumed a tiny bit of rat poisoning that an intelligent shopkeeper hid in a pile of niceties, in a corner adjacent to his shop, where all pets are bound to sniff. Sometimes our walk is marred by a rude rogue or a snigger at the possession of a Lolo Fox by someone my age.

My breakfast, which has become deficient in minerals and vitamins, lacks cornflakes, Scottish milk and every aesthetic taste that is likely to conjure up happy, gustatory memories. Scones and pancakes will always be absent from my meals until the end of days.

At work, tension is the name of the game, so I have to look elsewhere for a slice of beauty.

Spiritual elevation is ruled out since dogs are not allowed in places of worship, and I do not desire to inflict on my dog any further amount of unnecessary agony if I can help it. While I’m at work, I’m certain that my absence makes her grieve. If she could express how she felt, she would weep.

No magic stones placed beneath pillows or positive thoughts at the end of the day could impact my dreams since worsening weather conditions and mosquitoes, which are hybrids, will always obstruct elysian sleep. So no beauty-slicing from the nocturnal sphere.

From my window, I view the enticing sea. It is pathetic that, close as it is, I cannot afford to swim—inflation has made access to the beach reserved exclusively for the wealthy.

I do not wish to inhabit the pages of George Orwell’s fiction; I have grown exasperated with this surplus of ugliness, and the inevitable sense of futility. I download the novels of the Brontës and Virginia Woolf for re-readings. I dedicate one hour to collecting literary gems, which has nothing to do with dutiful teaching. I build a bridge to beautiful, imperishable minds and obtain a nourishing slice of beauty from critical thinking.

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