3:52. A message from my dad tells me mum is still asleep. She has been asleep for 13 hours now.

I asked myself if that was a bad sign, yet the more rationale side of a daughter said “people sleep when they have a headache, let alone being actually sick”.

A sigh of relief.

Shortly after I kept wondering why I could not sleep. I could hear so many birds outside, but their echoing sounds only greeted my ears with hope. Hope that I can get out of bed without a worry. The sand in my eyes was still thick, pulling my eyelids down with the force of years of habits stacking upon habits, binding with stereotypes, molding with bodily needs. I could not sleep, even though it was merely 4 in the morning.

It is 5:06 now, a perfectly acceptable time to be up. A perfect time to have a halloumi cheese sandwich with some olive tapenade, gently spread from a small teaspoon from a small jar from gentle hands because it’s too quiet. A perfect time to add a teaspoon of sugar in my tea even though I harshly monitor those teaspoons.

It is 5:08 now and it took me two minutes to write what seems to be two lines and my heart skips a beat with the sadness of how short two minutes can 5:09 be. Relax, I thought. Have a sip of tea. I took a bite from my deliciously crunchy sandwich which I prepared with so much self-love, and as I looked outside, hearing the sound of my body taking in what it needs, I wondered what was more fragile: our bodies or our souls. Do you believe in heaven? What about hell? Will your soul live on forever to drink from the 7 rivers of forever honey? And how can a soul drink if a fragile little body sits in the ground to finally become one with it? They believed not in reincarnation, but I would rather spare myself of the labels right now, for my sandwich is getting colder and harder, another fragility I smirk.

5:13 and I am happy only a couple of minutes had passed. Five and half lines of thoughts and my stomach is still calling for more. Fragile. That’s a name of a song I love. Lukewarm, the cheese is still soft and chewy. I am pleased with time in this moment, this 5:15 of symmetry. This 10 seconds longer than one of my favorite songs 505 that talks about a girl in a hotel room. Still 5:15 and I’ll go back to my thought train, this fluid train amusing me so very much this morning.

When I lay in bed earlier, body too warm and dehydrated, thoughts too busy and agitated, all I could think of is ‘when will I fade back into the sleep world?’ But I kept asking myself the question, wondering if Ray is awake and what she is doing right now. Her energy called to mine and her practices told me to write. I knew I needed it, it is my therapy at the moment, and perhaps at every moment.

5:19, oh what a joy. Only 13 minutes in and I’m looking at a screen full of words, feeling my muscles curl up in a pressure, a beautiful pressure called a smile. Did I do the math correctly? Enough with worrying if people will think you’re smart enough. 3 bites to go and my plate still sits by my side on the sofa we were supposed to sell, the sofa I love so much already, and I’m happy. The birds have not ceased singing and daylight is now shining brighter. I am more in tune with the morning and was happy to not need any electric support. Do you ever put the light on when you wake up early, Ray? I did not want to.

Fragile. Let’s go back to that. Which is more fragile, our bodies or our souls? I say souls like I would say mind like I would say existence like I would say consciousness. But a man once said we need to feed our banalities first to be able to attend to other matters. And perhaps all my fragile insomniac body needed was some food. I had skipped dinner last night. Does that explain it? And now with more food in my stomach and a sweet tea to quench this Southern Lebanese side of me, I can finally focus on the fragile soul of mine. Was it fragile at all?

5:26 I look outside and the answer is no. I am super fulfilled with these words, talking to myself was ethereal. The leaves on the tree outside were wrapping themselves around its truck, in a beautiful hug and I thought ‘how lucky am I to have many hugs a day in this lockdown’. See, my fragile unity of soul and body yearned for hugs, an embrace that lights up the particles on my skin, sending shocks of awe all the way inside, lighting up my existence with chemicals that molded my energy to this body. I am one with myself, but I am also not. This body loves the taste of cheese, or is it not my mind that does? Do you believe you will still love the same flavors when your soul resides somewhere outside your earthly existence?

5:30 and it’s time to write about something else.

One day I asked myself “What are you going to leave behind?” and everything changed.