I'm sleepless in Beirut.
I like it on the floor. That's where I dropped it. I went into my room to pick up the pieces of morning. His negative was printed in the pillow. His smell cast a positive spell. Something to be taken in.
It's something to respond to a confession without Machiavellian intentions. Makes one wonder. What is it about integrity that makes it hard to believe in?
Was it hard to believe that two hours of tête–à–tête were enough to result in Lumière coming to pick me up from the airport? No. I would have done the same. To walk out into the sterile light of the airport and be greeted by someone you barely know, makes all the electric wires in Beirut turn into Christmas lights. A gesture so beautiful in its simplicity that it could rival a Dali. Because standing in front of a Dali made my eyes well up with tears. Even though tears are an unusual parallel to big wide smiles, the trigger was the same. The witnessing of a reverie.
Lumière reckons I've quite a bit of a dreamer in me. I suppose he is right and I suspect I should be grateful that life has spoiled me. It has yet to choose to prove me wrong. It could happen tomorrow; there's a very thin line between dreams and nightmares. Regardless, we have to sleep nonetheless.
And I was tired, on the verge of collapse really. Yet somehow, I made it through the day. Bless innate coping mechanisms!
"I'll be free in 2 hours"
"You'd end up tucking me in. Which would be nice."
"Yes it would be nice"
"Well, if you're willing to be a little girl's pillow and nightmare warrior... -the innocent tone intended! But only if you're on the brink of exhaustion and just as unwilling as I for this to turn into another predictable post!"
"Did you ever think that maybe I need a warm pillow more than u do?"
"Are you saying I'm self-absorbed? You wouldn't be wrong. A bientôt, alors."
"We all are in a way..."
"Would you please bring with you a bottle of either orange or grapefruit juice?"
"Sure, gotta go home first...U sure u can wait?"
"Don't worry about it"
It was past midnight when the doorbell rang. Cinderella was in her PJs. PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke were on when I opened the door.
There was peach, apple, mango and pineapple.
"Lik shoo lebanese inta!"
"They didn't have grapefruit or orange juice. Tsk. Come on."
In the kitchen, there was no need for words now.
We sat in silence.
He looked me,
in the eye directly.
I met him,
I think it was Wednesday,
The mess we're in.
Sleep evaded us. I thought about the awkwardness that was to come. Twenty-four hours later and we were back on the balcony, sleepless in Beirut, surrounded by silence and the neighbours' kitchen lights. This time round, he had my name.
"Nice to meet you."
We held out till 02:45. We laid in the darkness, arms barely touching. And we spoke, because the "barely" kept our eyes wide open. Silence would slip in at intervals. I could hear his shoulder against mine. Made me think of the white noise of crisp plastic bags in elevator silence.
I asked for his arm, put it around me and we fell asleep.
He was already awake, tight against the wall, when the construction works woke me up.
"Did you sleep well?", I asked.
"I woke up as soon as there was light. You were snoring."