Adonis Diaries

Introspection: Houston (continue 26)

Posted on: January 15, 2009

Houston, Texas


I was called from Houston, Texas, to aid in the organization of a party.  I purchased a beat up car just to move to Houston.  It was a long drive of 20 hours at night and my first alone; that was courage or desperation which ever you decide.  I slept in temporary comrades’ places, because I had no money to rent.  Many knew me very well though I had no recollection (read my section on faulty memory).

Within three months of search and applications I worked with a crane production industry.  I got the job after I attended an evening meeting and barbecue with the association of the University of Oklahoma graduates in Houston; a rich corporate member recommended me to this company.   

I was dismissed within 3 months because I felt out of place and not given any encouragement within my field.  Actually, this position was supposed to be a temporary job before being sent to Iran with the mother company Schlumberger, specialized in equipments for oil production.

During my three months job my old car broke down several times and I spent the last dollar saved on shabby repairs and felt frustrated and disoriented.  After being fired I worked in small jobs like waiter in rush lunch hours in Downtown Houston and then in fast food restaurants and then in a Lebanese restaurant.

I got involved in Lebanese party politics in Houston and supposedly was the main coordinator among the “leftist alliance”, an amalgam of parties.  There was this group of three members that insisted of an equal authority with no responsibility for participating in activities and demonstration; the supposed leader of this group ended up disseminating horrible calumnies on me; I suspect that a terribly jealous member of our party coordinated the calumnies with him. Then I was lured by someone within my party (the same infamous “comrade”) to forge a US passport because he said it worked without any problems with others through US acquaintances. I fell into the trap of this bad intentioned comrade and was caught because the forged application as a born US citizen, supposedly emanating from a nearby town, was obviously not professional and the copy of birth certificate was not up-to-date by any long shot.  I was convicted by a grand jury and spent a week in jail. I experienced this kind of life confinement that was not terrible since I managed to borrow books and I am not picky with food; I had some money which allowed me to purchase cigarette and share them with my cellmates; I recall that I was allocated the upper bunk and my mates respected a reading guy and didn’t bother me.  The worst part is the humiliation afterward.

I was released after the intervention of our ambassador in Washington DC.  I was supposed to owe $300 for a lawyer.  The party had to sort of “excommunicate” me and strip me of my responsibilities.  I spent a month with a lovable older comrade from Venezuela, of Lebanese origin, who was in Houston for complete health check up (many thanks to this Samaritan).

My brother-in-law, an officer in the Lebanese army sent me a new Lebanese passport because the previous one was confiscated. I went to the immigration office to give notice of my departure and they had “misplaced” my file; a judge had to verbally “record” my testimony; most probably my case was one of thousands that indicted many prominent personalities and my file was to be lost.  I spent a few days in Chicago with Nicholas and toured his university; I experienced snowy Chicago and the biting winds on the water front of the lake.  I returned to Lebanon in Christmas of 1979.

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January 2009

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