Sanctions I walk my dog four times a day. There is nothing special about such a routine, but if I tell you I feed my Loulou Spitz at the expense of my nutritional intake, would you call me insane? This is my outfit for these daily strolls, a woolen jumper to match her fluffy coat, a baggy jeans due to heavy weight loss, and hair in a knot for absence of gloss. We wait for justice to ascend its throne, for sanctions to be lifted for a sun-born dawn, for wreckage to be sifted to salvage unburied bones, for the return of electricity to current-less bulbs, for the advent of bread to hungry households without the discord that long queues invoke, for our dignity to be restored. If I fly, I will first class For eleven years, we have played our portion of the Hunger Games, and having survived these plights, who says I am ready to depart from my own homeland for a better world? I might, but not before I am equipped with a beautiful, stone house and a well-fed bank account, a life to return to should you humiliate me as you did in past times, for we will always be refugees in your own misapprehending eyes. If I fly, I will first class, but I am done with flights. They evoke a poor student’s unhappy times. Instead, I shall travel in a luxury car and have as many stops as there are stars in our night sky, accompanied by my un-quarantined little dog, even if it takes years to reach the designated house, which should be totally devoid of other inmates and accessories that remind me of a poisoned past. You will probably respond by stating that I am in position to dictate what I like I say: “Suit yourselves, for having blasted our lives, you cannot make things any worse”. Bonne Chance ! Reminiscence [In memory of my father] A few words would sum up my childhood: strawberries, chocolate, toys, and a rowing boat, a chimney whose logs roaring glowed, the huge mirror before which I danced in our hall and rivers across which we tried to build bridges of stone. My dad had Da Vinci up the wall. He played his golden trumpet and silver saxophone. He prepared our breakfasts, our evening popcorn and set up a banquet for us before he dined outside our home. He never grew tired of wearing blue, enchanting us with his aftershave and Brut, and I could not help wearing his expensive perfume despite his gentle pleas to stop depleting his fragrant store. His few business trips abroad brought us accounts of travel that enthralled, the Château of The Count of Monte Cristo and the glamorous yachts of Monaco. He looked like Rock Hudson in his teens. Some opt for resemblance to James Dean. I say regardless of his handsome mien, he was the most generous dad that ever breathed. Finales Finales vary in their various tints: the tragic, the comic, and the open-end. Very few can boast an apocalyptic bend or a happy content. Those that are weaved on misfortune’s wheel appeal to the lachrymose, the morose, the realist, who attribute their plights to a vengeful god like the afflicted Mayor of Casterbridge. Those that are blessed with a humorous twist lend each mishap a sardonic concept, breeding a troop of permanent grins on contorted lips. The open-end titillates each wit, some wishful thinking to compete with a naturalistic trend, leaving the interpreter caught up in net of inner conflicts.