That Wicked Guy on Rainbow St.
In any given city, you’d find your average foreigners jogging around in their matching trainers, reading some kind of a novel in a shady-mistaken as shabby cafe, carrying language books, and topping safari hats. But Michael Corleone isn’t your everyday average foreigner, in fact he’s not your average anything really, and rather the type you’d only see on the streets of Europe, the type who engages in a conversation with a tree that seems to know more about World War II than parent-hood! Michael could easily be the white guy in a 90’s sitcom, swaging the basket ball fields in ‘Fresh Prince of Bell Air’! But unfortunately to TV, Amman got the show, Amman never quits it’s quirks at all costs, and Amman is ready for the weird! At the moment, it’s all about everything unusual, weird perhaps! From that fashionista Vivian Westwood look-alike cat lady who stands by her boutique off Jabal Amman, to that smoke-addict hijabi skinny old women that never leaves the front stairs of her house in Balad, to Napoleon, who recently passed away and never got to deliver revolution to the country. And now, it’s al about Michael, a guy who never missed a daily routine of his, always planted on Rainbow St. (or Lemon Cafe’ in City Mall) and on the benches in front of Falafel el Quds, either punching a tree, or doing his usual push ups or simply, drawing (and rumors has it that he replies to his emails in hand-writing!). Michael isn’t your cup of tea, a bundle of controversy, but defiantly a vision! He and his rolled up i-shirts, a la Moss short shorts up to his neck (which is also a choice of his to wear to an open court), and those big speaker phones that decorates his head, My.Kali sits with one of Jabal Amman’s essential monumental! Photographs by Rafic
What’s your story, what are you doing here?
Objection, this is a private question, so, all I’m going to say is that i’m here on an assignment!
Where are you from?
America, North Carolina.
We noticed that you always walk on the street itself and never on the side-walk, why’s that?
This is inaccurate! I usually walk on the side walk, but if there’s indecent, reckless men who wants to harass me, I take the street side, and then when I get away from them I go back to the side walk.
Why do you think these people harass you for?
We could say what they say, ‘you can die in fury, God knows what you conceal’. Their rage is intensified because the ladies give me more attention than them, and that’s the primary reason.
Do you feel that you provoke others?
No, I’m not an aggressor nor a provoker.
Do you dress the way you do, because it’s summer and hot, you know less is more and definitely more breezier?
No, I dress dandy! That’s my style, ‘the dandy look’!
Are you into fashion?
Mmm, I usually make my own fashion. I go to certain places to shop, City Mall, Mecca Mall… and some other places in the city center, but usually I sow my own clothes, most of them at least.
You have your giant headphone speakers on all the time, what kind of music to listen to?
I usually listen to American pop music, I sometimes like to listen to soft, classical music-like… I also like Michael Jackson, George Michael… and some other American female singers, that’s it!
What’s the most outrageous thing you ever heard from people on the street?
Well, I’m just used to the usual indecent remarks, now it really doesn’t bother me! I know who I am! it doesn’t mean anything what people really say, I know who I am.
Have you ever dealt with religious people? If you ever faced such situations, how do you deal with them?
Well, with religious people it’s all about answers, I usually study there books, then I ask them a question, and if they fail to answer my question, from their own book, how are they going to defeat me in my religion? I know how to defeat my opponent with my profession intuition.
How do you deal with the attention, are you used to attention?
In America, movie stars are used to attention everywhere they go! Once when I was called up in court, I was dressed up pretty much like this (like the way he dresses up in the pictures seen!) and the human rights agent lady and asked the police “who the hell is that?”, then she wanted to take a picture of me, so I covered my face like princess Diana with a clip board. I was like, ‘no you can’t take a photo of me’ I usually don’t like to have people take photos of me, I usually tell them, ‘why don’t you go find a nice lady to take a photo of her’!
What inspire you to be different?
I like to dress the way I do, because my future wife Dr. Natalie loves it too! I can show you her picture (he later pulls out a piece of paper that has an email, hand written, on it a glued picture of a blonde babe, “Natalie” which also explains the necklace he’s wearing that has the name’s first initial, N).
We understand your dandy style, and we understand the different types of styles in America. But in our society, people might think you’re just gay because of the way you dressed. What do you say to that?
I tell you, I don’t care what people say or think, I know who I am and I know why I dress the way I do. I’m very dandy. In one marriage website, 1300 letters of women wishing for me to reply to their emails. One lady told me ‘I dream about you replying to my email’, I usually write comments of what they say, not in all the letters, cause they are long. So in the society that you claim, there are clothes that are also indecent, and according to the Prophet or Islam said, there are women in the streets who walk half naked half covered, what do you think of that? I know the answer to the question! The ladies here are not adherent to their religion and they are in the country, so why do they come up to me and ask me why I’m dressed like that? (He then takes a hand written email of Dr. Natalie, the blonde babe and tells us how she proposed marriage to him). If i’m gay, I wouldn’t have a picture of a women on me. This is a small poem I wrote for her that I would like to read it to you:
The Sea of Life
I’m a small fish
I can’t live far away from you than seconds
I’m ascending to the sky and write your name on each star baby
to demolish my true to you
I don’t have anything against gay people. I don’t want some gay guy to come up to me and shoot me in Rainbow St. thinking i’m a homophobe, but i’m really not gay!
Once, me and my friend we were walking in Rainbow St., and we saw you surrounded by a lot of guys harassing you, we were provoked, so we went to the tourist police across the street and told us, that ‘this guy come everyday and we tell him to hang around our booth and no one will bother you, but he never listens. So when he falls in trouble he’ll ask’. Have you ever fell in trouble with authority before?
Yes I did, and before I answer the question, I want to tell you what I told one of the generals here, that I am a professional, I told asked him, how many people walk in the streets? Hundreds and maybe thousands, do you want all the people to go over to that booth so you can protect them? That’s unrealistic! In America, if you call the police and ask for help, the police car comes within 2 minutes and it doesn’t matter where you are. And this unprofessional negligent officers, all have to do is walk from their booth over there (he points to it) to the bench, which won’t take him more than 30 seconds, but because he’s lazy and he doesn’t want to do his job, he’d rather stay over there! I asked him, what if a lady was raped, would you tell her come sit beside me in the booth? That’s unrealistic, and that’s why he couldn’t keep up with the argument! I don’t fall in trouble with the police or the government, usually my speeches are very digitorial, it becomes up like a bullet in their heads, they can’t understand what I say, because I speak the truth and the truth only!
So it’s summer, and this is how you dress up now, and we’ve seen it! But what we would like to know is how would you dress up in winter?
Once, when I was in America, I was in front of a supermarket, and the police stopped their car and said “oh Michael, what are you dressing? It’s so cold in the winter, and you’re wearing shorts!”, I tell them my body produce excessive heat, so I don’t have to dress a lot of clothes in the winter.
So you’ll dress up the same thing for winter as you do for summer?
Well, sometimes, and sometimes not, it depends on the weather! I might wear a long sleeved sweater, but still wear shorts!