Here it comes again, a whole month of lying to everyone around me, pretending to be hungry, pretending to have my period, pretending to be sick in order to eat, pretending to fast, pretending to believe that I should fast. Call me a hypocrite, a liar, a doubled-faced coward who can’t even stand up for her own beliefs and disbeliefs.
I shouldn’t have to stand up though, I shouldn’t have to be a political misfit just because I want to eat. I shouldn’t have to explain what I believe or don’t believe in. I shouldn’t have to be thinking about taking to the streets and protesting. I shouldn’t have to be afraid. I just want to eat.
But I am. I am afraid. Afraid that my parents will disown me. Afraid that I will end up on the news. I don’t want to be the martyr of a non-religious generation, penalized in order to whistle-blow the absurdity of our laws. I’d respect whoever does it, but it doesn’t have to be me. Cowardly? Most certainly. But listen, I never asked for this. I never asked to be born into a country that doesn’t allow me to be whatever it turned me into. Or whatever I was born as. I don’t wanna think about it this much—I shouldn’t have to.
So meanwhile, awaiting another Bouazizi to die or be harmed in the midst of some sort of a fight for the choice to eat or not to eat, I lie and I hide. I wake up at dawn, sleep until noon and get excited at sunset. I watch TV during Iftar, smoke while everyone is praying, and nap awaiting dinner. I extend my period by five days and use any excuse to be alone in order to consume the food I snuck in through various corners of the house. Last year, I took up an internship in a relaxed office environment where I could eat, drink, and smoke with no troubles. Maybe I should do that again this year.
All the bars and liquor stores will be closed again, all the dealers will take a month off. This year, however, I prepared for this drought: I buried seven red wine bottles in my secret corner on the rooftop and asked my dealer for an inordinate amount of hash. He seemed suspicious and asked me if it’s for Ramadan. Even he was surprised to find out that I have no intention to stay sober for a whole month. What right does he have? His whole existence is a defiance. But even he, my damn dealer, couldn’t dare to think one would deny such a deep-rooted ridiculous excuse of a cultural tradition—religious to be more accurate but to this man and many more, it really is just a matter of culture seen as in no religion he is seen as an obedient.
One of my friend’s parents knows she doesn’t fast and they’re cool with it. One of my other friend’s parents don’t fast themselves. A vast majority of my acquaintances don’t fast. So I don’t get how, in this day and age, it’s still a taboo subject. Millions of years of evolution for us to hardheadedly pick tradition over rationality.
Maybe there is a God. Maybe he understands how ridiculous I find his approach. Maybe he didn’t ask for any of this. Most likely, there isn’t and I don’t intend on starving just to keep a safety plan. If he is there, I’m sure he has bigger fish to fry than a twenty-something disobeying him. I’m sure maybe he’s thinking about working on his appeal for twenty-somethings—even Cher is more popular than he is with my peers.