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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.

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