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 The Day You Gave Me Your Bracelet

by Yehia Anas Sabaa (@yehia_anas)

This piece was inspired by one of the last conversations I had with my girlfriend before eventually leaving Alexandria and coming to study in Montreal. It is also inspired by a piece titled The City by C. P. Cavafy: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51295/the-city-56d22eef2f768.

 

The Day You Gave Me Your Bracelet

 

I can only remember one thing about that day. I have no idea what I was doing before. I
definitely have no clue what I was planning on doing after. If I try hard enough, I can even forget
where we were. Somehow, those details don’t seem important. Somehow, all I have left from this
day, is a moment. Its significance lies beneath the shadow of its apparent insignificance. The
moment you decided to stop talking, take off your bracelet, and give it to me. You didn’t hesitate.
Like it was my divine right. Like somehow this bracelet, which I had never seen before, always
belonged to me. You were just keeping it safe for me. Guarding it for me until it was time to pass
it on. At this moment, we were the only thing that mattered. The sea dried up. The waves froze.
The fishermen went home early. They new ... they new, that the city was barely vast enough to
hold us.

***

Look at us now. Seas and oceans are standing between us. I left the city, without knowing
what I am looking for. I am trying to make it all worth it, but everything seems so bland and
artificial. You were everything that is real, and authentic about me. Without you, I am merely
letting life pass through me, like an empty seashell laying on the sand of an Alexandrian beach,
too tired from strangers picking it up, confusing its misery for beauty, and its loneliness for
mystery then throwing it back, for the next hopeless romantic that comes by. Oh, if you can see
me now. I doubt you’ll even recognize me. I am translating my thoughts to a language that is
foreign to me. Trying to impress strangers with my adequate grammar, and with my appropriate
vocabulary. I use words like “zeitgeist” regularly, and I took Latin as an elective. But it’s okay, I
can still go back to the day you gave me your bracelet. I still have that moment. That moment is
all I have.

The Day You Gave Me Your Bracelet

 

I can only remember one thing about that day. I have no idea what I was doing before. I
definitely have no clue what I was planning on doing after. If I try hard enough, I can even forget
where we were. Somehow, those details don’t seem important. Somehow, all I have left from this
day, is a moment. Its significance lies beneath the shadow of its apparent insignificance. The
moment you decided to stop talking, take off your bracelet, and give it to me. You didn’t hesitate.
Like it was my divine right. Like somehow this bracelet, which I had never seen before, always
belonged to me. You were just keeping it safe for me. Guarding it for me until it was time to pass
it on. At this moment, we were the only thing that mattered. The sea dried up. The waves froze.
The fishermen went home early. They new ... they new, that the city was barely vast enough to
hold us.

***

Look at us now. Seas and oceans are standing between us. I left the city, without knowing
what I am looking for. I am trying to make it all worth it, but everything seems so bland and
artificial. You were everything that is real, and authentic about me. Without you, I am merely
letting life pass through me, like an empty seashell laying on the sand of an Alexandrian beach,
too tired from strangers picking it up, confusing its misery for beauty, and its loneliness for
mystery then throwing it back, for the next hopeless romantic that comes by. Oh, if you can see
me now. I doubt you’ll even recognize me. I am translating my thoughts to a language that is
foreign to me. Trying to impress strangers with my adequate grammar, and with my appropriate
vocabulary. I use words like “zeitgeist” regularly, and I took Latin as an elective. But it’s okay, I
can still go back to the day you gave me your bracelet. I still have that moment. That moment is
all I have.