Hunger Strike, Day 27: General Hummel’s Pants

Posted: December 22, 2013 by StopTheSiege in Uncategorized
General Hummel...and his pants.

General Hummel…and his pants.

Today the weather was a little warmer than usual, so I decided to wash my pants. I know this sounds like a mundane event, but its actually quite complicated.

We don’t have heating at home. Because of the siege we haven’t had electricity or gas in over a year. So, I had to wait for warm weather to wash my pants. I’ve only got this one pair, so while I wash it, I wear my pajamas but pajamas alone aren’t much protection against the cold.

When I turned on the tap and ran my fingers through the freezing water, I changed my mind. It’s been a couple of weeks since I washed them last and they’re caked with dirt and mud. But with the water that cold, I just couldn’t imagine having to do any hand washing of clothes, or anything else for that matter.

I’ve been through a lot with these pants. I’ve been wearing them for many months now. Every other pair of pants I owned have been destroyed in bombings or stolen.

It’s no coincidence that these are my last pair of pants. I’m wearing them somewhat reluctantly, as they belong to my eldest brother, who’s fled the country now, and I didn’t want to ruin them for him.

My brother used to be thinner than me and his pants would have never fit me before. Now that I’ve lost so much weight, they fit just about right.

I sewed these pants about four times times and stitched up tiny tears dozens of times. Mom taught me how to sew a long time ago. With so many kids in the house, we all had to pitch in to help her. I learned to cook, wash dishes, and sew.

These pants have quite a history, even long before they became my one and only pair. “The Rock” is one of my brother and I’s favorite movies ever. We have watched it about 200 times and my brother became completely obsessed with getting a pair of pants just like General Hummel’s (General Hummel is played by the actor Ed Harris in the movie.) So, he searched far and wide until finally, in Lebanon, he found a fabric that seemed just right. He brought it home and had a seamstress make him a pair of pants just like General Hummel’s.

I don’t know how many more stitch jobs my General Hummel pants can take, or how I will manage if anything happens to them. I know that I’m better off than some of the Syrian refugees that fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Or those who fled in the summer and must survive the harsh winter with only their flimsy summer clothes.

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