On that night, when I ate more Frakeh than my stomach could hold, I slept troubledly, and small, fast-passing dreams tampered with me. But suddenly, I found a man standing in front of me, erect, wearing a white fur coat, and patting his shining hair like one who straightens and smooths his locks.
And he was laughing an explosive laugh that was enough to wake me up, but I did not seem to wake up and contented myself with opening my eyes with some laziness and said to him: “Why are you laughing for no reason, this one?” I did not know him at first and he, despite trying to hide his dissatisfaction with what he thought was intentional disregard, greeted me in eloquent Arabic, saying: “Peace be upon you, and the mercy and blessings of God be upon you.” I was surprised by his greeting. As I stared at his face, I noticed that it was the Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. I asked him with wide eyes: “Where did you learn Arabic, Mr. Kim?” He replied that he spoke most of the languages of the earth, fake his face from me as if my question aroused anger that is difficult to conceal. But Kim soon added, as if he would forgive me for my mistake and at the same time reinforce my surprise with him, that he is very fluent in our literary heritage, with his poetry and prose, but also knows our songs and sings them with the name Fairouz and Fahd Ballan. After a graceful wink in one of his eyes, he tried to get close to me, he informed me that what he loves most about this heritage is the speeches of Hajjaj bin Yusuf Al-Thaqafi, offering to deliver one of those speeches to me. And this, in fact, gave me comfort as it spared me from communicating with him in Korean, which I am not good at. But, though I was relieved, I begged him not to recite a pilgrimage to me that would keep me from sleeping for a long time, and would awaken many neighbors in our building.
Quietly and sweetly Kim sat on an abandoned chair in my bedroom, a friendly smile that spread across his face as if illuminating him from cheek to cheek. When I asked him why he honored me with this visit, he said, “Guess,” and when I didn’t, he adjusted his seat a little and told me that he was going to tell me the truth: “I will drop an atomic bomb tomorrow morning.” So he literally said and burst into such a strong laugh that I winked and shook deeply. Under the weight of the surprise and the high cost between us, as evidenced by my knowledge of his great secret, I felt that I could address him by his first name: “No, Kim, do not do it, do not do it, do not…” … But Kim strayed from me as if he did not hear me, and I started His eyes stare in amazement at a little ball that my grandson forgot in the corner of the room. Suddenly he stretched his body towards it until he caught it with both hands, as if it was a bird that might escape and fly away if he did not catch it. Kim was delighted, who threw the ball against the wall, and every time it bounced towards him, he threw it again. And he was doing this with an enthusiasm that cannot be described in words, an enthusiasm that was accompanied by the hum of the song “Let’s Ride Your Edge, Motor” by Fahd Ballan.
As my patience began to betray me while I was watching his amazing singing and flirting with the ball, I told him angrily: “Stop this, Kim. This ball is not for you. It is for a seven-year-old child playing with it, and I am waiting for you to finish your silly play with it until we return to the issue of the atomic bomb, and where you will strike it and at what hour, and why did you choose me to inform me of this dangerous matter?”
And if Kim clenched his right fist on the ball, which he brought near his chest, as if he wanted to take possession of it, I shouted at him, gathering all my strength to scream: “Leave it to my grandson, Kim. This is not yours. Leave it or else…”…
But at that moment, abruptly, he stopped singing and started crying, making strange noises accompanied by Korean words that I did not understand, as he started hitting his feet on the ground in protest, and with his hand brushing his neat tufts of hair as if he was lamenting his condition, then after a short moment he extended his forefinger towards me and said: towards me “I will hit you with the atomic bomb. You will be personally injured. You can’t get away from me.”
It seems, as I remember, that I was frightened and began to calm him down, saying to him: “It does not require all this. I’m sorry for what I told you, and I’m ready to buy you another ball when I wake up. But please, don’t hit me with an atomic bomb.”
In an attempt to appease him, as well as wanting to break the silence that spread in the room, I asked him: “You come from a far place, from Korea, aren’t you hungry, Kim, don’t you want to eat something?”
“ate? Yes, I am hungry. I want the dumplings described by your poet Ibn al-Rumi.
“pancake? This is now impossible at this late time. I can bring you…”… Kim interrupted me, recalling the anger that I thought had left him: “Then I’ll hit you with the bomb as long as you don’t serve me a plate of dumplings.” I thought for a while to ask his father to stop him, then I remembered that his father had died, so I gathered my strength again and told him: “You intend to bomb imperialism, and I am not an imperialist, Kim. I am a simple citizen who does not pose a threat to anyone, especially to our Korean loved ones.” Then he giggled another chuckle, then stood up and let his lips, separated from one another, reveal a gigantic mass of white residing in his teeth. He extended his hand towards me and we shook hands and started pulling on my hand with such force that it almost broke her bones, or that this is what I thought, then added: “You liked your answer, and I will give you an atomic bomb…” And he searched in the pockets of his coat.
“But what do I do with it, Kim?”
“You hit her. Hit it on a country you don’t like. On people you don’t like. On someone you don’t like. Your neighbors upstairs, don’t they bother you with their feet? Hit them with it… I have a lot of them, and I can, if you like, give you another bomb to give to your grandson whom I intend to give as a small gift, especially since I played with his ball.”
“My grandson, who is seven years old, will you give him an atomic bomb, Kim?”
Here he looked at me with amazement mixed with anger:
“You are raising your children very badly. You want them to come out like Shadi, who was kidnapped by imperialism and they have not found a trace of him yet.”
“But who is Shady, Kim?”
“Don’t you know him? To this extent you forget your heroes! All the Korean people sing today, your singer Fayrouz, about Shadi, who was kidnapped by imperialism, and we are determined to bring him back.” In a sad, teary-eyed voice, he hummed:
“And one of the days the world became engulfed – people against people stuck to me – and the fighting became close to the hills and the world was low.”
I couldn’t help myself, so I said to him with a lot of tension:
“This is a farce, Kim. It is a ridiculous song that has nothing to do with imperialism, and Shadi is an imaginary boy for whom atomic bombs cannot be struck.”
Here, as if I had demolished a palace of dreams residing in his head, he would shout: “I will definitely hit you with the atomic bomb. These are your last hours on earth. Imperialism will not be able to save you, you will not be able to…”…I, in turn, grew angry and my ability to restrain it diminished: “Stand up to my opinion, Kim. prove an opinion. One hour you want to hit me with the bomb and one hour you want to give me one. Stand firm, Kim…”… and I repeated that last sentence out loud as my wife awoke with a fright, too. She saw Hassan Nasrallah’s face printed on the roof of the room staring at her and threatening her with strangulation, and she did not know a clear reason for his anger.