In the Belly of the Beast

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I have hazy memories of what you are about to read next. Like a midnight summer dream. Full of contradictions. Half truths and invisible monsters.

Few years ago, in what initially seemed to be an unmemorable night, and while I was about to get into my car, I was approached by a fortune teller.

A mysterious middle-aged Syrian woman. She came strolling out of the night like a ghost reaper. Like a spirit has lost its way to hell. Wearing a dark abaya. A shade darker than black. She looked like death, except that life was beaming out of her skin.

She carried herself in a way that I couldn’t quite possibly comprehend; as if she was a high born. A woman of importance, but was later betrayed by civil war and misfortune.

There we were. Two strangers, who somehow stumbled into that place in that particular moment in time.

Both descending into rock bottom.

She first asked for money. That was a given. Even magicians and spirit mediums have to ask for money. For reasons beyond my ability to understand.

I gave her from what little I had back then. Then she said that she knows I am going through a rough patch, and that she knows the reason. The reason according to her was a person. A woman. A woman with a malice so dark it is destroying everything around me.

She asked me for more money so she can tell me the name of that woman. The author of my pain.

I looked at her to see if she was for real. I was broke, jobeless, lost. My heart was heavy, filled with regret and sorrow.

But such is the nature of this universe, it throws a shit test at you, when you are at your worst.

I took the bait and gave her whatever money left in my pocket. I couldn’t wait to know who was the reason behind all of my failed attempts. The person who’s been sabotaging my life for all these years.

But as I was handing her the cash, something didn’t feel quite right. Deep inside me I knew who that person was.

I told her I pass on the name. I told her it really didn’t matter in the end.

I got into the car and started driving aimlessly in the streets of the city that witnessed my victories and defeats – mostly defeats.

I knew that person was me.

I was the one holding myself back. I was the reason behind all my failed attempts. I was the enemy.

Every day I wake up and battle with my self doubt – that damned little voice inside me that keeps telling me that I am not good enough. That I am not worthy of love and magic and happiness.

That fortune teller has been on my mind all night. Whatever happened to her, I wish she found her path in the darkness, the same way I found mine.

Everything happened between that night and tonight is me winning that war.

1% everyday.


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