Adonis Diaries

“Why am I how I am?”

Posted on: October 25, 2008

“Why am I how I am?” (March 8, 2006)


I will attempt a candid self or auto psychoanalysis.

The evaluation of the results of my social status, so far, is pretty straightforward.

I am fifty-seven years old, have no steady job, and no longer marketable for a decent job.

My only monetary asset is an old car 

That I will be hard pressed to repair if it breaks down.

I have never been married, no illegitimate kids, and got no girlfriend;

I wouldn’t be able to entertain a girl even if a miracle love swoops across my way.

I live with my old folks.


Now, I earned my PhD in Human Factors in engineering the hard way,

Through sheer stupid stubbornness for my inability to hold any jobs.

My cognitive capabilities are not commensurate to the requirements of higher education.

My emotional development is still in its infancy.

My physical conditioning is below average and decreasing horribly.

My musical abilities, in hearing, singing, or playing instrument are nil.

My artistic skills for acting, painting, sculpting, or drawing never were tested.

My verbal conversational, story telling, and oratorical skills are mediocre.

My interpersonal relationships, rhetorical, and communication training are poor.


That said, what may be the reasons for such a drastic failure in my social life?

A better question would be how I managed to live and survive so far?


Reason #1: At five years of age I was transferred from Africa to Lebanon.

I am the first born child of parents striving, from next to nothing, to survive.

As most Lebanese immigrants in Africa they went into the mercantile business.

They suffered immensely from the hardship of an under developed country, 

Lacking all kinds of amenities, and were robed completely several times

Before their commerce took off.

I was born in Bamako, the Capital of the now Republic of the Mali.

My primary language was French 

Since the so-called French Sudan was a French colony then.

After I suffered from Typhoid, barely survived the infection, 

And was confined in a cold chamber under close supervision for three months; 

I had to relearn walking and speaking. 

Once in Lebanon, a new climate, new people, new language, 

And incarcerated in a boarding school with no relatives to visit on weekends or holydays:

My folks had to return to Africa for business for a two-year stretch before visiting us.

Every two years we had, my brother and sister, to learn to recognize 

And forced acknowledge these strange folks through gifts 

And staying at home under duress 

Even after many attempts at running away back to the boarding school.

I will try to be objective as best I can; 

But I feel that my wings have been clipped at an early stage of life.


Reason #2: At twelve, my parents decided to come back to Lebanon for good;

Under the rationale that they missed us and wanted to raise us as a family.

They in fact ran away after the independence of the Republic of Mali

And the squeeze of the new laws on money transfer by Lebanese merchants.

Another cycle of relocation: new school, new location to Beirut instead of the mountain,

New emphasis on the French language that I had totally forgotten,

An incarceration in an apartment under closer supervision,

 And forced feeding in order to recover our health.

I remember the first week that I vomited my breakfast.

I remember that it took my aunt four hours of repetitions 

To make me memorize two sentences in French.

I remember waking up at three o’clock and walking to school

In order to revise my studies, going back and forth in the playground.


Reason #3:  Until I was over 25 I was short on liquid money.

My parents had an implicit philosophy 

That money in the pockets of kids is the ruin of the soul.

They were very well off but the only money I received 

Were gifts on special occasions, Christmas, and Easter holydays.

I could never bring myself to ask for extra money under any conditions.

I used to save these few pounds for the duration of the year.

I never built any taste for fashion, luxury, or any modern gizmos.

I could not indulge on paying visits to schoolmates, or going to movies with them,

Or eating out, or sharing with them the latest records.

My parents were relatively rich at the time; our apartment was paid off, 

Well furnished, and my cousins envied us but personally I was very poor.

I never was initiated to value money, generate money, 

Or participate in any financial transactions or decision.

I used to send letters to my nieces and nephews urging them

To insist and persist for weekly allowances.

I received a lot of crap from my meddling.

I am striving for objectivity but I do feel strongly

That to aim at riches or succeed in accomplishing a high standard of living is

Necessarily a learning process. 


Reason #4: Not only that I didn’t look fit for sport activities, or handsome,

Or capable of any physical threat, but I wore ugly eyeglasses too.

To avoid breaking my expensive eyeglasses I shun any group sport activities.

I spent my spare time in middle school reading books, mostly French.

I didn’t try learning swimming until I was 26 years of age.

I didn’t venture snow skiing until I was over thirty 

And bought all the necessary equipments.

My eyeglasses never balanced well on my nose and they kept increasing in thickness.

Once, I was over 40, I damaged my glasses and kept maintaining them for four years

Because I could not afford to replace them.

If these facts are not objective enough for my asocial behavior,

Please enlighten me!


Reason #5: I failed the general and public examination in my last high school year.

I had to submit to it again at the end of autumn.

I barely made it the second time around.

But this summer was a period of humiliation and much more.

Many of my acquaintances, for my aloofness, thought that I was smart and bookish.

That perception crumbled to smithereens.

In that critical summer, when my successful friends were enjoying their best summer,

I was plugging in, reluctantly, through books that I already vomited their contents.

That critical summer prevented me from joining the universities of my choices,

And whatever engineering discipline that I might have selected.

That critical summer obstructed any dreams or potential plans that I might have devised.

May be a happy summer might have allowed me to befriend other people, 

Or offered opportunities for guidance to different fields of studies

That suited me better in cognitive abilities, temperament and acquired skills.

My near future was closed and I opted instead for physics at the Lebanese University.


Reason #6: The next year I joined a political party.  

With next to nothing in political awareness 

I was approached by close friends who already joined the party.

I attended secret lectures on the principles and doctrine of the party.

I read many of its literature and the writings of its leader.

I agreed on many terms of its principles and moral standings

And would not have joined if not for urgent nudging.

Even after joining I was not satisfied until I read the literature

Of the alternative political parties to compare and strengthen my belief.

I did not care for the positions of the right wing political parties

And concentrated my education on those claiming to be leftists.

I read all the volumes of Karl Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse Tong.

I even read Kim Il Sung, go figure!

I slaved for that party:  I spent my scares financial resources which I did not earn,

Invested much time and efforts in organizing, marching in demonstrations,

Participating in ceremonies, attending the required meetings, and basically

Wasted the better of my university years in chimera, 

Instead of focusing on my academic studies, striving for excellent grades,

And looking forward for a brighter personal future.

Joining wholeheartedly a political party or any civic association is

An excellent decision that could open varied opportunities for youth;

To develop their personal potentials and connecting with proper referrals.

Not this particular party and not for me.

My political party was a pariah to the Lebanese system of governance.

Theoretically, your application for joining the party is kept a secret;

Absolutely not true, but what youth knows?

Many political parties offer ways for advancement and jobs.

All public services and administrative position in the State were closed to me;

Even teaching in the public schools and most private schools were prohibited for me.

Political parties need leaders, directors, and managers, 

Usually selected from the outspoken and the well connected.

My fate was to slave in the dark, spend my money and be an extra number.

Time is of the essence; and most critical at this juncture of my life, 

Which I wasted amply and infruictuously in the wrong direction and purpose. 

These university years were the best in cultural development;

I spent countless hours seeing movies, watching theater plays and attending conferences.

Alone, always alone. 


Reason #7: I started smoking at 26 just to fit in a bar exhibiting girls dancing nude.

I could not stand the taste or smell of cigarettes but managed to finish a box.

Slowly but surely I got hooked to smoking even though I still cannot enjoy it fully. 

I never even tried a single puff before then

Or was tempted by anyone to try.

This addiction to smoking precipitated my downfall:

I have been noticing substantial declines in my cognitive abilities, 

Lack of concentration on any subject or event for more than fifteen minutes,

Memory deterioration,

Shortness in breathing, continuous coughing, and vocal degradation.

Smoking is nefarious for social relationships, especially among women.

Smoking is categorically not appreciated in a working environment.

I quit smoking for ten days 

Because a beautiful girl made me promise just for that duration.

I fasted for 40 days because I wanted to share the fast of a Muslim friend of mine

But excluded smoking from the constraints.


Reason #8: I am basically very naïve in social machinations.

This may not be a reason but a by-product of the previous reasons.

I keep my word even when I realize that the given promises were deceptive.

I once promised a manager to stay for a year as his assistant at a certain monthly pay.

The pay turned out to include the cost of many perks but I resigned after a year.

I keep my part of any contract even when I discover that I have been abused.

I worked for four years at a job that was not within my domain

Because I was promised a higher position after the work is finished.

I suffered stomach aches for six months: the physical diagnoses didn’t show any cause.

It was a purely nervous work stress or a psychological factor

But I fulfilled my contract for no return.

I worked for five years in Real Estates, listing and selling private properties.

After two years of literal hunger I managed to earn a decent return on my persistence.

I spent lavishly on advertisement from my own pocket.

I had to convince the Internal Revenue Services 

That my profit was not as much as my earnings showed by a long shot.

I consistently lowered my share on percentages which I thought were outrageous.

My position raised the angst of my associates:

They activated a campaign to curtail my business and even kick me out of the syndicate.


Reason #9:  Lack of financial support and proper connections.

This reason might also be categorized as a byproduct,

Or a supporting factor as opposed to the previous more basic and fundamental reasons.

My parents could not initiate another successful business after they returned to Lebanon.

While in the USA for higher education the civil war in Lebanon was raging.

My folks had no money coming in and even lost the remaining of their financial Resources by the devaluation of the Lebanese pound and were reduced to nothing. 

I had to fend for myself though the original plan was to visit every summer.

Now, many overseas Lebanese students were purchasing the latest car models

While I was pedaling a two-speed bicycle; the only transportation available to me,

A backpack slung over my shoulders for provisions and whatever errands.

As a matter of facts all the cars that I bought were old and cheap;

They ruined me and ended up giving them away to charity organizations 

Because I could not afford to repair them,

I had no family or relative connections whatsoever to providing any recourse or news.

Many students could get married for the purpose of obtaining the American citizenship.

I lived for over 20 years in the USA and did not secure even a Green Card;

An essential mean and requirement to be hired by any established company,

Lest you are strongly connected or backed by powerful referrals.

Many worthwhile jobs were denied me on the basis of not having this Green Card;

Which also disqualified me from a few important university projects

Directly or indirectly financed by the all pervasive Defense Ministry.

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October 2008

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