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I’m sleepless in Beirut.

And bam, I miss my mom. It’s like the number of times you need to drive down a road to realize that there is a new building and it’s been under construction for months.

What is she up to? What is her life? Would she answer your tiresome child’s questions with the same answer? Would she distract you with a toy? Would she comfort you with a soothing nod? Would she tell you to wait until you’ve grown up?

For a large part of my youth, my mom was stability. My mom was the smell that would never change, the smile that would never wane, the cook that would never fail, the strength that I would never question. She was the point of reference for what was right and what was wrong or for what I could get away with. She was the threshold of behaviour I would expect from others.

“Not even my mom…!”

My mom, unbeknownst to me, unacknowledged by the rebel, was my idol. If I had ever mentally criticized her demeanor, or verbalized it at a later age, it is the demeanor I am now criticized for. If she had a vice, I have their double. If she had qualities, and they were and are plenty, I hope to acquire them.

If my education was heavily paid for, it should have gone straight to my mom who taught me more with her calm tone and gestures than did ever a pot-bellied teacher with his sheet of attendance tucked in between his wallet and belt.

If I succeed to fail enough to get anywhere, the spotlight should shine on my mom who never claimed to know better or rob me of my lessons, but was always there to remind me of what was most important and that was to clean up my own mess.

I owe it to her, the underdog, the silent mountain, the umbilical book, to ask her the questions she asks when she sees me looking blankly into the distance and to grant her every wish even if the only thing she has ever explicitly asked for was for me to vacuum every grain of happiness that lay before me.




I’m sleepless in my room.

“You’ve got a little ego throw-up on the corners of your mouth”, I tell myself.

Green in colour, liquid, with little substance.

We gather round to watch it sway and stumble, golden wings flailing desperately for a final moment of glory, and run around headless bumping into walls and furniture.

Rationale starts counting its last minutes.

Tick-o, tick-o,

Tact. Tact. Tact.

Tactile, slippery.

Tactic, mirrored

Butchered, butchered

Flapping, clapping

Up and roar

Rooting, hooting

Bridal shooting

Dip and lick and sip

This shit

Ego, echo, echo, echo,

Ergo ego go to bimbo


Spin and throw your heavy turban

Fall and drown

And leave me nimble

Sharp alert one eye wide open

Thumb on hole

Lucid whole

Thinker tanker

Bombed your home

No more bunker

Tea hay tchee

Ee and ee

Lynched and hanging from a poplar tree.




I’m sleepless in my mind.

There are people that I used to know. There are people that I could’ve known, better. There are people that I can still know, because I didn’t cut them out.

As simple as these words are, the act of cutting someone out is not something I find difficult.

Social flux is in overdrive and has been since I first boarded an airplane. We move so fast and so far, it’s necessary to cut emotional ties, severe attachments, drop sandbags and spread wings. But over time, it becomes almost mechanical, as intuitive as flight or fight.


Fight for what?

Fight for reunion. Fight for those that accept to harbor you when there is no place to land.

I had lunch with Freud and dinner with Leon. You know it’s been a long time since you’ve seen someone when each remembers something the other has forgotten: a song, broken glasses, the first encounter, an old salad recipe, the old apartment. Flashbackdance.

Freud! If only! All his wit and intelligence and spur-of-the-moment enthousiasm is condensed in one little imperfection that seems to lie somewhere between his incisor and dimple. I don’t even know if it’s something I perceive rather than see, but there’s a hook in that smile that pulls me back to the first glance I threw him in that dark low-ceiling club.

We had lunch in the waiting room, while flipping through our updates. After a ten minute interruption from a wayward appointment, he walked back in just as my soft tummy wanted to take on its instinctive role as mother pillow and he read my mind.

As the doorbell made itself clear that it was time for me to go, I thought that it wasn’t fair to have one meal per year when there is a necessity of three per day.

I rang the doorbell as I left for the sake of  that extra effort.

Hours later, I walked into the restaurant to see Leon sitting on the green couch, as tanned and crisp as ever. A taco on guacamole leather!

I would have rather stayed with my girl friend for the rest of the night, but it had been over three years since I had last seen him that a proper sit down after countless cancellations would hurt less than a hovering obligation.

But instead of being quick and awkward, the evening soon lost itself in a clock-free jungle. If there had ever been a slightly longer than necessary pause, the adjacent table of pubescent tantet-to-be provided enough entertainment. What nerve must an LV certified sixteen year old have to talk down to a guy who works ten hour shifts a day to afford commuting to work on a mobilette?! If you drive a HUMMER, the least you can be is HUMBLE.

Seriously now, where is the tantet training camp so I can kick some humility into it? In France, you’d be forced into hiding! But here…the red carpet matches the sole of your heels and licks them clean just in case they failed to recognize the price tag the first time you stood in line with one shoe on its tip so as to better bare the flaming baboon ass.

I have no problem with well-earned cheques, hell, I have a secret weakness for Maseratis, but please, if you’re barely legal, stop screaming like a seagull. We recognize, don’t worry. Your lack of humility is humiliating, nothing else.


I walked out filled with more love than I had felt in days and even though it had nowhere to go, it glued the cut-up paper strips that were impossible to stitch back but were worth holding together.

Do I have it in me to fight for Departed? I have a feeling I shut him out only to save energy and not to reset. But then again there is a part of me that hopes to be infected by a different virus, one that spreads uncontrollably, that never wavers, that consumes, that overwrites, that never stops because it always manages to reinvent itself, that never crashes because its capabilities are infinite, that grows into infinity, that…


One command at a time woman, one bit won’t take as big a byte out of your greedy heart.


the in-between: la rue X

Oblique shaves of light illuminate the soft fine down a brilliant orange as it rises to its ends with the thrill of turning a corner. A narrow street, half ablaze, half in shadow offers itself yet again to a stranger a millionth time over. Eyes wide with dreams caress the smooth stones quarried from below, brought to light and cut some hundreds of years ago. The windows reflect the particular sky, a sky which a darker tone later will disappear as the light bulbs switch on one by one, illuminating the homes of the lucky few that call this street their own. With a furtive lick, the crumb of pistache crispy almond dough is brought down from in between the sweetened lip and gum to melt on the mattress of a tongue seduced. The air is still and warm, the only quiver is that of a heart skipping over the disbelief that it is finally here.

“…au cinquante six, sept, huit, peut importe…”

With each step, he counts me in.

“…de la rue X…”

And I see the door.

A silky ambiguity descends from the imperceptible and it’s as though all the scattered pieces I had left deliberately for me to pick up upon return condensed to complete this one single moment before they exploded back to different corners of the globe.

An unprecedented wholeness meant only for pious pilgrims came into being and then vanished as if to announce its existence and instill within me a craving to find it again.

I waited to see if it would brush past me a second time, but all that remained was summer air and l’eau a la bouche.

I looked up at the heavily curtained window in recognition and continued to the end of the street and around the corner into a blazing prism of light.




I’m sleepless in my bed.

The cat purrs at my feet drawing a sound barrier between me and the rest of the house. Sitting at the head of the bed, beneath an orgy of plaster-white cherubs, I slide my feet beneath the covers and the warmth-radiating feline. In turn, she gets up and slithers her way beneath the duvet only to curl up in the arch of my bent legs as though in a voluntary sacrifice of canine generosity. I really don’t know how she does it throughout the night sandwiched in between my hips and the heavy bed linens, in pitch-black darkness without a fresh supply of air. But every night, she returns. And I only need to lift the duvet a little bit for her to dive right in.

I thought I’d do the same once Departed came back, but he is nowhere to be seen on the landing strip. It’s a problem, but it might be a good one.

You see, I met Departed a few weeks before he travelled. It was a “Have you met Ted?” encounter at a gathering, which turned into last-man-standing party, characteristic of those people who talk and talk and talk and with each word the magnets are rotating a little faster, until they are spinning like gyroscopes, standing their hairs on end, creating an ethereal glow within the other and self, so bright it fizzes and whizzes and both feel the tension and the charges building up and both know that the only thing that will deliver relief is a simple –

But you know you want the tension building up, because the higher the tower, the more fantastic the fall. I’d take out a piece by sliding to his side. He’d remove a piece by placing his heavy arm around me. I’d pull out the middle part by placing my inner arm on top of his smooth hard knee. He’d strike out a tricky one by laughing hard and leaning into the core of my body. Little by little, the precarious tower began to lean until –

I wasn’t looking for anyone, but we were getting along like two buttered toasts. As the guests started to disappear one by one, it was clear that we were staying for each other. We left with the last of our friends who had stayed for us as well and who made serious effort to make conversation when Departed loomed over me, blocking out the annoyingly bright street lamp, and –

But we were under influence, exhausted, smelly and even though the tension was broken, I was too numb to feel that surge of ecstasy, so I pushed him away saying this was not the right time. So he immediately created an excuse to have drinks the following day.

What followed were beautiful developments. Departed was unlike anyone I have ever had as my Cupid’s target. He’s a big boy, buff as polished marble, with a myriad of facial expressions that change his name, his age, his sexuality. He can be sharp, he can be rounded, he can be rough and he can be cozy. Our tastes were polar opposites, but when we fell asleep the fit was perfect, every limb like plasticine sculpted over and under and around and every difference melted into the sleepy sea of creases, folds and rolling hills.

But my man is gone now. It is a problem. One, he is not mine. Two, it’s been too long. Three, I like my dish served hot. And this one has been left out in the open past its expiry date. So I surrender to impatience, I surrender to the possibility of this whole thing being a fluke, I surrender until his Arrival.

It will just have to start all over again. Or not at all.