Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nassif

I Liked Nous


I need nous, of yester years

Together, an extended family.


I liked nous, children and growing up,

Way before we became professionals,

Married with children,

Sparsed in the five corners of the world.


I am cozy within my new nous,.

A very restricted family,

Of a new generation who abhors extended families..

A new generation who gets busy when visited,

Some hide in the attic finishing a much delayed project,

Some locked in the computer room riveted to a stupid monitor.


I am reading the title and the first “stanza” in my dream;

“I like nous of yester years

Together, an extended family”.

I woke up at four in the morning, read a book for an hour,

And I went back to bed.


I remember in the dream the four of us cousins sitting around a table,

Jihad, Hassib, Nassif, and I.

It was morning in a well lit room, pretty untidy.

Jihad was reading a newspaper, sipping his cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Hassib was at the other side of the rectangular white table, a pipe helping his readings.

He was restless, acting unperturbed, aloof, and an English.


Nassif was cheerful, carefree, not self-centered, an uncharacteristic Nassif.

Nassif was reading, on a white napkin, a piece of poem to himself,

A napkin like the one used in Pizza Huts.

He might have guessed the poem was meant to Hassib by me.

Nassif handed Hassib the poem who faked to be unconcerned.


Then, while I was chatting with Nassif, the “Englishman” reads the poem and laid it aside.

Nassif is flipping through pages of computer papers,

Papers printouts we used at the time;

Computer statements were inputted on punch cards.

Nassif says “This is beautiful” and let me read a few scribbled lines on the greenish printout.

I said “This is my handwriting. I don’t remember having written these lines”.


I was reading the title and the first stanza.

I woke up from my dream.

I like dreams;

They are funny is their extremes

Of colors, sounds, intensity, and emotions.

A sweet dream, sweet nous, of now grown ups.

Introspection: Marijuana (continue 23)

I recall the first time I smoked a joint. I was in a convertible Alfa Romeo with two Lebanese university students. We were heading toward the lake in a mid summer night. My friends were having a great time, speeding and listening to “Leila”, a guitar tune played by Eric Clapton. Later, we had a bite and coffee at a diner.

My friends laughed a lot at my expense: I had a hell of problems keeping the lids of my red eyes open.

I twice experienced smoking a joint in groups, never alone, in my stubborn attempts to “train” myself for a better fit among smokers. Once, my friends had to leave me home to see a movie and dance.

When they returned 4 hours later, I was still lying on the sofa, my eyes closed shut, listening to music, trying in my ignorance of music to differentiate the timbers among the different musical instruments.

The third instance was in a park during a summer festival, close by my apartment. I was enjoying an afternoon open concert in a beautiful summer day. I woke up and the park was empty and dark already. I walked my bike home.

The University of Columbia, Columbus

My friend Boubeker (from Algeria and studying Operations Research) and I drove up north in 1976 during the spring vacation.  It was my first long trip by roads and we visited the University of Columbia in Ohio because my cousin Nassif had asked me to relay to him my impressions about this university: Nassif, living in Paris, was to teach mathematics at this university next year.  

We had a quick tour of the bars around the university and walked the university park.I have a picture of the main lawn of the university and Boubker and I sprawled on the grass and wearing our OU caps.

Boubeker often reminded me that I never kept my head straight when walking; he claimed that my head and eyes were roving, constantly on the lookout for beautiful girls, those southern blonde student beauties.

In 1977, I flew to visit Nassif during Christmas vacation and I learned that my young cousin Mireille (Nassif’s married sister) had died a year ago. Nobody informed me in order not to disturb my state of mind because I was very fond of Mireille who was a year younger than me and we spent lots of time together. It looked pretty odd to me as I stepped into Nassif apartment to see Mireille’s framed photo in the living room, and I got suspicious, and Nassif didn’t wait for me to comment.

I met two of Nassif’s girl friends; one was the head secretary of the math department and a married lady that Nassif visited her during lunch breaks at her home.  Well, the city was covered in snow and I splashed in the dirty streets.




June 2023

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