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I wake up to the shocking news of an ex-colleague passing away

By Rewa Zeinati
From  her non-fiction book Nietzsche’s Camel Must Die,  An Invitation to Say ‘No’

Note # 21

Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.

I wake up to the shocking news of an ex-colleague passing away. We weren’t friends. Well, not in the real sense I mean. Perhaps, yes, in today’s notion of friendship, we were.

We were colleagues, we spoke on a few occasions, shared an understanding, had a couple of laughs. I liked him. Rare kind of genuine. Wore his heart on his sleeve.

It really felt like a slap in the face. How temporary we all are. One minute we’re here. The next…expired. No warnings, no second chances.

Charles Bukowski said it: “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

But is it just me or is it really odd how we now express our condolences?

I felt the urge to visit his FB page (we’re friends in that sense), for the first time mind you, and saw tons of condolences on his page.

Who reads these kind words, these sad words? His family, I suppose. The tools of technology have no boundaries. We’ve allowed them to enter and invade even our deepest, most private ways of communication. They’ve dared to become a source for expressing a mourning heart to someone who is no longer there.

Perhaps this is how we are. We hang on to every strand available; we can’t help it, no matter how absurd or unseemly (it’s a FB page!). We turn the impersonal; the detached, into the personal we hang on to it, just to communicate. To say what we need to say to a loved one, even if the whole world can see it. Even those irrelevant.

The whole accessible world except the one person concerned.


Rewa book cover
Nietzsche’s Camel Must Die can be found in bookstores in Dubai and Beirut as well as online


Nietzsche’s Camel Must Die can be found at the Sharjah book fair taking place now, at the Rimal Publications stand. Book World in Dubai Mall. Book Much on Wasl road, Dubai. In Beirut it’s available at Librarie Antoine as well as Virgin Megastore and AntoineOnline.
Photo credit: 27147 / / CC BY-NC-ND


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