I’m sleepless in Beirut.
There must be a name for it, teetering on a thin line between adaptability and self-deceit. I’d like to think that I’m keeping my balance, but in the back of my mind I know that balance is a religion of minute proportions. At any moment, if I’m caught off guard, I could slip.
I feel like I shouldn’t put it into words, I feel like what we have is sacred and only ours, but I never, never ever, want to forget that day.
It all happened rather suddenly. I had e-mailed him after spending a few late night hours going through old photos.
“I want this end to end.”
Little by little, over the course of a few days, I grew more adamant. I was anxious and scared, but I wanted to see him, I had missed him. Yet the old paranoia of being too unabashed, borderline invasive, kept me from taking drastic measures. I messaged him once more, I called him, but there was no clear sign that he felt anything more than a shadow of kindness towards a fond memory.
Then one morning came an e-mail. It wasn’t personal per se, but enough of a glimmer for me to call him up just one more time.
Botticelli picked up, “Coucou. Long time!”
“Finally, finally, I got through to you!”, I laughed.
“Do you want to have lunch? I’ll be operational in an hour,” he said closing the conversation.
I threw my hangover out the window, jumped into the shower, changed three times, and flew through the streets, singing, “Ain’t no sunshine” at the top of my lungs.
What was meant to be lunch, turned out to be a glorious feast, followed by a walk, the pinching of cheeks, incessant talking, remembering, sharing, brainstorming, sketching, working, hugging and holding, holding, holding unto the dearest.
People have come and people will go, but the ones with who time stands frozen are the people one must shelter from one’s vanities and selfish whims. People that will care about you will be few; they will be few when you are twenty and they will be few when you are eighty.
I have betrayed my responsibility towards them. I thought that if I had been dispensable to others, others should become dispensable to me. People can make it almost impossible with their parade of foolishness, but they must not be taken lightly. Ultimately, you should dispense of those that you cannot care for, those that you cannot give anything back to, those that are beyond your reach. Dispense of empty relationships, but own up to those that try despite your own foolish circus.
I had betrayed him. I am sure of it because I sensed a shift in responsibility. I had always thought that he owed me something for being distant, for keeping me at bay, but he was right to do so. And now, sitting there with him, listening to his actions, he didn’t have to say a word for me to realize that he had given me something worth guarding. I am in debt for his honesty and I have to make it up in weight.
It was past midnight and I didn’t want to leave, I was fearful that my harebrained pack of wolves would have me running with them to sniff out buried bones the moment I stepped beyond the threshold of his home. Fifty-nine moons had risen and fallen, to howl yet again seemed almost primitive, to promise anything was just as wise, but I felt it this time, I felt it against my ribcage, that I should never, never ever let him go again.