Let me know if you're reading by joining the Sleepless in Beirut page



I’m sleepless in Beirut.
I messaged Botticelli today, “Quelqu’un pense a toi”. To my surprise, he called me the next minute.
He asked how I was, and I told him I was well, but tired, really tired. He went straight to the point, “Les hommes sont fatiguants”. I took the bait. They are, I confirmed, ”As soon as you decide you’re through with them, they come running after you instead.”
“But this one is special”, I said, “c’est comme toi et moi, mais d’une facon plus proche.”
He was laughing a slow, knowing snigger. That meant that I had said something hurtful. That was not my intention.
I want Botticelli to know that I want him in my life, but what we had before, well, that was now a closed chapter, at least on my part. I had finally freed myself, and I wasn’t capable to play dress-up with my feelings any more. Back then they were so raw and passionate, but they hit a wall, they fell to the ground, they stood up, they hit the wall again…
…and again…
I used to feel discarded, and discouraged. At some point, you learn that you can never run through a wall unless a door is drawn for you. And with Botticelli, frankly, all I had was a window.
With time, the passion dwindled to a glowing ember. I still admire him very much and I love being next to him. I love listening to him talk and I love insisting that he listen to me too. I will always remember and think of him with a warm smile, I learnt a lot from our relationship. I learned to recognize what was unnecessary and what was beautiful.
So of course, I still think about him and care very much for him, but I am not as ready to throw myself at his feet. I didn’t always define it as self-sacrifice, in fact, I didn’t define it at all, it just came naturally to me.
I told him I missed him, but, but that I was too…
“Busy. You don’t have time for me. Fuck you.”
The “fuck you” was the bitter, the softly, but firmly uttered kind.
“Ne me le dis pas, j'aime...”
“Tu es ingrat. Quand t’as besoin de moi, tu viens, mais quand moi j’ai besoin de toi….ahhhh….”
At that moment, I wanted to be right there in front of him and to shake him really hard. Hadn’t he yet realized that I had fallen in love with him? Through these years, I needed much more from him than I ever got, but I had remained quiet. I knew that pursuit would make him run away from me, so I played the game. Better something, than nothing at all, I had told myself.
I always wish I could see more of him, but I know that if I were to come over, for him it would be an invitation to resume where we had left off. All I want now, is his company. I want to share with him. I want to live moments with him, but moments of sincerity. Before, I would be holding myself back, watching my every move, trying to make him feel comfortable and unthreatened. He was my little fragile something that I cherished and that I wanted to protect. Funny how someone as delicate and fragile as me felt inclined to safeguard a man who to the outside world was the embodiment of imperturbable.
When I first met him, he was fresh out of a serious relationship. His heart had been cooked, and it was cooling down into something black and cynical. He had told me that he never wanted another relationship. All around him were wedding vows a-crashing and friends confessing affairs. He was questioning the entire idea and meaning of love, marriage and fidelity. And then I came along, naively ready for his brutal honesty, for his sworn fidelity, for his silent answers and for our open-ended strings that brushed and flirted with one another, but could never dance into a weave.