House Call: My yearly visit to one of my homebound patients.
Patient: Are you taking a vacation this summer?
Patient: Where are you going?
Me: To Lebanon
Patient: Is that where you are from?
Me: My wife is from there, I am Syrian.
Home attendant: Where is that?
Me: In the Middle East (in my head: Aakh! If I had a penny for every time I heard that question I would be a millionaire!)
Patient: I would love to go there, but they hate Americans don’t they?
Me: No they don’t…So how is your back pain?
Driving back to the hospital I listen to Lina Chamamyan Ala moj el bahr. I am transported for a moment by her beautiful voice until ugly Youtube images from Lattakia, Banyas, Bayda and elsewhere rudely intrude into my daydream. My throat tightens, I reach down for the off button then hesitate. Screw them, the bastards will not spoil my daydream.