Walking on the far edge of a sidewalk, not to disturb anyone, I put my hoodie on and my head down – can’t be seen if I can’t see.
I look up for orientation, a mother with her angel of a child pass near me, the child smiles at me, I smile back, the mother protectively puts her hand over her child. Arab is the new Boogey man.
Arriving at a traffic light, a man sidesteps away from me, I wish I wore a sign that said “Caution! Highly Contagious”, just for cause’s sake.
Pass by a poet’s home, scattered groups with tour guides, restaurants all around, prying judgmental eyes, maybe the chocolate bar in my backpack will explode.
At the train station, everything is suspicious. A colored shirt (the sleeping chameleon), pocket-reaching (the unknown), looking left and right (the buildup), using a phone (the signal), chivalry (the backstabbing).
After a while, you adopt your role to not feel bad about yourself. The world is a playground, take center-stage, face the audience, emphasized gestures – satire satirically satire-d.
Fear, racism, prejudice, European mind games with Arabic lead actors … and the directors smile.