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




I'm sleepless in Beirut.

We woke up to the sound of twittering birds and the hammering of something to be renovated. The sky was finally back in the court of the Ministry of Tourism, but the air still fresh and loyal to the chilly season.

We stayed in bed for a long stretch. My head was still bobbing in a sea of amaretto sours; getting up and starting the day felt like a mission fit for Columbus. I wanted to stagnate, sink into the creases of ruffled bedsheets, unmove forever. That is the nature of mornings - like the discomfort of holding your pee, but opposite, unhysterical, not urgent, but potent and wanting. A case of pillow for a toilet bowl.

Later, finally out of bed and dressed in double layers, first mine that his, I looked out the window and realised that leaving Beirut will not be so easy.

"Never buy a one-way ticket - it's bad luck.", I was once advised.

I'm not susceptible to superstitions, but I do know that life has a funny way of shifting our petty plans for the benefit of a greater scheme, so whether I have a one-way or two-way, is not going to matter.

Looking out unto the building across, sunlight the perfect hue, I ran the scenario of NO-RETURN and caught it just before I could toss it into the nonsense bin. It played to a dramatic soundtrack, percussion exaggerated, mood intense. 

"What if?", I had to ask.

Suddenly, Paris became the newborn baby that took mommy away. It shrieked in foreign, face wrinkled like a crumpled tissue, its folds, milky, sticky, sex-shop-signboard red faced, rejecting mother's nipple, crying cold cold rain, diapers stuffed with metro soot.

I had to ask because ever until this moment I was too busy thinking about going, but never about leaving. Never about leaving because I...




I don't reconsider things I'm sure of. Paris was it. Paris is it. It's what I've always wanted. But always is not a word fir for our lifetime and always is somewhere after the end of change and change is  the only thing I ever really needed, thus Paris is not it. Nothing will ever be it. Everything lies in transition. The moment when you were half stuck between your mother's legs, somewhere between conception and birth. That is what I'm after: the in-betweens.

But in spite of its static geodisposition, Beirut somehow succeeded in being a time frame rather than a destination. In part because I always felt I'd leave, eventually, or it would collapse under me, or I'd fall in love and replace it. Yet also because the air here is heavy with imminence. We know not when, but we know it could be, might be, should be, anytime, whenever, somehow, sometimes, soon. Beirut never sleeps. She never stops to think and in that lies both her beauty and her own destruction.

Careless scarred stripped wild child running into walls
Crackling wires on her head, sparks and power cuts for bows, ties,
Ribbons of urine trickle in her bed, no river could wash away
Stains. Bullet holes. P.As of love, telephone numbers off bathroom walls.
Misunderstood misguided mad wild thing stumbling through the door
Tight in stockings and market things, sharing her one thing in exchange for
Shimmers and glitters and sky high stilettos. And uh-ohs
Resound in the backs of her minds. And oh-nos escape the nostalgic mouths.
Yes, uh-ohs and oh-ohs as she's fucked day and night.
Loud sweaty smiling wild kinky puss, looking to the ceiling laying on the floor

1 comment: