Friday, June 1, 2018

The Drive of Hungry People

Last night I saw "Dan Cody's Yacht" at MTC and one of the themes is about that ineffable thing that drives ppl: hunger for more. The appetite almost seems to be bigger than the person. Some ppl have it and some ppl don't. I went to the play with Ghazi Albuliwi, who is a Palestinian stand-up comedian and playwright. Afterward, we went to a bar to watch the NBA Finals and talk about the work.

 I was fascinated with that idea of psychological hunger. Ghazi said that his family came from Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Millions of people without any legal rights to move or relocate. Millions of people just stuck in this limbo for generations. The prospects in these camps are so bleak that most ppl resort to stealing, hustling, finding different ways to rip off others. The chances of getting out of one of these camps is very very small. On a strange hunch/hunger, his father got into the merchant marines and was able to get some rare US visa 20 years ago. And his father brought him over to the United States. They arrived here by the grace of bureaucracy and the sheer hunger of a father not wanting to die in bleakness.

Ghazi said that every day in NYC he realizes there's another version of him who is still back in that refugee camp: fat, balding, with six kids, maybe working as an auto mechanic or blackmarket trader, drinking, and miserable. Every day he wakes up in NYC and he is aware that he escaped through the eye of a needle. That awareness is what keeps him hungry and awake.

It got me thinking about my own hunger and how fortunate we are to be still on the path toward something unknown, and bigger than us. And we saw that play and sat in a bar in midtown because we were able to tap into those unknown and invisible forces that surpass what our minds can conceive for ourselves.

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