Lying still on my back,
                        on something soft and wet under me,
        with a misty layer hovering in front of my half-opened eyes,
                and phantoms revolving all around me,
    I think I can hear someone crying
                                              in some nuke,
                                   in some hideaway,
                       in some dark and semi-private corner,
              near me.
                    Someone who must think the world of me
                                 that she sheds her very tears
                                                                         for me,
                                                                             so willingly,
                                                                                  so, seemingly,
                      Someone who, undoubtedly, loves me,
                                 and who must be sinking
                                                      deeper and deeper
                                                                  in love with me,
                                      as she watches me,
                                                 all dazed, motionless
                                                                       and fragile,
                                                           all for the world to see,
                                                                     to stick things into me,
                                                                                            into my arms,
                                                                                                  into my chest,
                                                                                                      invading me,
                                                                                                        desecrating me -
                                                      a Ka’abah, a Ka’abah

   For I must be a Ka’abah,
                   some sort of a holy thing,
                       to attract all these people
                                                         to me,
                               to make them so willing to circumambulate me,
                                                                     to declare their love
                                                                                               for me,
                                                                        to endear themselves
                                                                                                   to me,
                                                                                to worship me,
                                                                                   to worship me,
                                                                                        to cry: “labbayk, labbayk!”
   Oh, labbayk! Labbayk!
   They cry: “labbayk! Labbayk!”                                     
                        as I slide into a different world,
                                                        inspite of me,
                               a world all too different from the one I had in mind.

   - For I have been trying to free my soul from the clutches of their temptations. -
   - I have been seeking entry into the only safe haven,
                                                  the only resting place,
                                                         that could ever exist, 
                                                                  for someone like me. -
   But now,
      now I find myself sliding
                             into the very reality I have been
                                                                                  to forsake,
                                                                                                        inspite of me,
               I find myself deafened
                                           by their prayers,
                        by the glow
                                         of rebellious hope and solemnity in their eyes,
                 I find myself
                    losing myself,
                        inspite of me,
                            inspite of me,
                               to the fulfillment
                                         of their wishes,
                                              of their dreams,
                                                   of their very expectations
                                                                                    of me,
                   as I bounce back from my final relapse,
                       well on my way towards making a full recovery,
                              and having another go at the disappointments,
                                                                                the heartaches,
                                                                                       and the misery,
                                                                                              ah the misery,
                                                                                                            the misery
                                                                                                                      of life.

May 1998


* The Ka’abah is a cubical temple found in the city of Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia, to which a practicing Muslim has to make pilgrimage at least once in his/her lifetime, provided the task is affordable

* Labbayk: This is a call that the Muslim pilgrim has to make as he/she is making the rounds around the Ka’abah during the pilgrimage. Roughly translated, it means: “by your command.”