Man, this whole week I never got around to writing! I seemed to be stuck on this one scene, too–when I would write, I’d write a little bit more of the scene, but never enough to finish it. So, yesterday, I decided to just sit down and WRITE. And it was good!
But…you see, I have a whole bunch of Arab friends. And, if you understand at least a little bit about Arab culture, you know that the way they see friendships is a little bit different than here in America. Specifically, with demands on your time. Last week, one of my good Arab friends thought that something was going wrong in our friendship because it had been five days since I saw him. That’s actually a little unusual, I hear–in Arab countries, they’ll think something’s wrong if they don’t see you every DAY.
Not that I really mind it all that much. I’ve been hanging out with my Arab friends just about every day for the past week, and it’s been fun. It’s also been fairly good for my Arabic. It’s just that writing isn’t something you can really do while hanging out with friends.
In fact, writing is pretty solitary. You can get together with a bunch of people in the same room, but if you’re really writing, you’re probably not going to be talking very much with those friends. Really, writing is something that requires you to shut yourself up in an imaginary world. Not a very social activity.
So, yesterday, I had just gotten back from an awesome jujitsu practice, and I was ready to take a shower and finally WRITE, when my roommate gives me a call and asks me to give him a ride from this party on 700 North up to Glenwood where Malik and Huthifa live. And then I started to wonder…am I going to actually get a chance to write tonight?
It didn’t really annoy me that much to break away and give him a ride, but it was a little annoying that he expected me to do it. But I guess that’s the difference between our culture and theirs. He probably couldn’t understand why I’d want to spend a Friday night by myself. Also, yesterday was the last day of Ramadan (which makes today Eid! Eid Sayeed! Kul 3m wintum bakheer!), so he was in a party mood. In fact, if I don’t hang out with my Arab friends at some point today, they’ll probably think that something is wrong with me.
Well, I gave him and Basseem a ride, and visited with Malik for about ten minutes or so, but then they started to watch a movie, and I excused myself. I guess you could say I had a date with my novel. Three hours later, I was 1500 words into my story, past the scene that had been hanging me up the whole week, and very very happy. But…I’d told my friends that I’d come back in an hour. I called my roommate, and he said that they were going over to Denny’s. I contemplated coming, but it was 3am, so I ended up calling him back and apologizing that I couldn’t come. You see, I wanted to actually be alive on Saturday (when I left the apartment at 11am, my roommate was still asleep).
So, now, I don’t only have to juggle schoolwork, but I have to juggle all my Arab friends. Not that I don’t mind hanging out with them. It’s just that sometimes I want some time to write. How to balance all this out and not offend my new friends? I don’t know. I’ll tell them that I’m writing a novel, and hopefully they’ll understand.