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Smoke and Mirrors

I found Norma Khoury to be a fascinating character.Т  I’ve tried to understand what motivated her to behave as she did.Т  The following piece, which I read in class,Т came to me as I grappled with her personna.Т  I’m posting it as a reference for students as they create their own writing in response to “Forbidden Lie$.”

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Smoke and Mirrors

I am a writer, a poet, a world traveler, a story teller.Т  My stories reach across cultures and time, rivers and deserts, languages and barriers to touch the heart.Т  Do you believe me?Т  What if I told you everything you wanted to know about me?Т  Thirty-years old.Т  No husband.Т  No children.Т  Running for my life.Т  Scared and broken-hearted.Т  Seeking refuge in a land not my own.

And what if I told you everything you wanted to know about me?Т  Thirty-years old.Т  Married ten years.Т  Mother of two children.Т  Running from my lies.Т  Greedy, double-minded.Т  Getting cash however I can.

And what if I told you everything you wanted to know about me?Т  Thirty-years old.Т  Victim of my father.Т  Victim of my husband.Т  Victim of a system that none of us can trust.

Do you know me now?Т  Do you want to?Т  Can you look in my eyes and see whoт€™s there?Т  Can you look in my eyes and see yourself?

There is a reflection, a cigarette burningт€Іimages, faces, affixed to a wall.Т  A stairway to nowhere.Т  A skit re-enacted.Т  A singer repeating Iт€™m not even here.

If I told you I cared т€“ about a struggle, about women, about mothers and daughters fighting for life.Т  If I told you I dared to take brazen chances, to ignore peril to get at the truth.Т  If I sat down before you, straightway told you I lie for good reasonт€Іwould you believe me?

Do you believe I know who I am?Т  Can you guess why I do the things I do?Т Т  I tell you this т€“ and you can believe.Т  I just want someone to listen.

Т Chiquita Mullins Lee 11/1/10

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