Fiction by Ethar Hamid (USA)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 44
Depression and Self-Esteem
Tea enthusiast to write poetry about tea. (Will hang poems on wall).
Must be willing to taste tea samples.
This is what a tea room job advertisement said. No joke.
I of course applied faster than you can say coconut oolong with ginger and lemongrass, but I got trumped by some (stupid) hipster dude (who apparently, at his wedding, had tea fountains and tea leaves sprinkled down the aisle—rare, nonconforming tea, at that).
That was a kick to the rooibos.
But at any rate, I don’t have the right kind of personality for the job…Brushing all inability to function aside, for a moment, I don’t have the passion that the tea-room is looking for. A certain feeling of “this job is the most awesome thing in the world” is a basic feeling I should have (but I don’t). But I guess being unable to comb my hair or take a shower, smile, or even picture any kind of future for myself obstructs any joy for the work. If I just had the spirit needed to succeed, I could probably rise above the obstacle of getting out of bed every morning--and even the obstacle of being tailed by hopelessness, everywhere I go.
Since I didn’t get the job, I think I will go and buy a tea thermometer, as a comfort-gift for myself. (You can’t just toss a tea-bag into hot water, and expect magic to happen. You need to brew a cuppa to perfection.)
I will go to the tea shop and buy my tea tool. I will take it home and brew myself a nice pomegranate green tea. I might finish a poem, as I wait for it to cool.
Ethar Hamid cares exponentially about mental wellness (and its related issues, like mental wellness among minorities and suicide prevention). With her sights on being a writer and mental health activist, Ethar has written several creative pieces with mental health themes (for such publications as Art Saves Lives International magazine, Doll Hospital journal, Beautiful Minds magazine, and Better Mental Health magazine). (https://etharhamid.contently.com/). As a sufferer of major depression, herself, Ethar wants to reach others with a message of empathy and understanding.
Ethar also blogs about Islamic issues (the ones that really stand out to her, as a Muslim), and has as a life ambition to make it plain to others what Islam really is (as she believes many people don’t know the answer to that question…). You can check out her blog, here: https://jannahandme.wordpress.com/
Ethar is currently a junior at George Mason University, working towards a B.F.A. in creative writing.
Image: "It's tea time" by Markus Grossalber.