I lately spent too much time at home which made me forget why I took the decision in the first place to lock myself in. In short, since I stopped going out I started enjoying every moment of my days and nights and then I had this sudden outburst of "loving life" and a rush to go out and meet the sun. So off I went to meet the sun and then...regret. Let me explain what going out in Beirut means these days: a reminder that the main problem of Lebanon is not "sectarianism" as I always thought (which does not bother me anymore by the way... because habit makes normal), no, surprisingly, the root cause, and note this in the introduction of a conflict analysis strategy about Lebanon if you are planning to draft one, is STUPIDITY. It is stupidity magnificently manifested in the view of the Hamra street from the sky, if you ever had the chance, during Christmas and New Year holidays. You will see a stupid woman (me loving life again) in the car, or more precisely, only the lower part of my body in the car and the rest hysterically protruding from the window with rage in my hair defying the laws of gravity, gazing madly at that stupid boy on his motorcycle trying to squeeze himself and his vespa between my car and a truck larger than the street itself confidently blocking the way while three stupid women are happily crossing the street right in front of my car with stacks of huge shopping bags inhaling the black dust coming out of the truck and so indifferent to the deafening noise of the street only to find themselves stuck with their shopping bags in the middle of that apocalyptic scene. I go back home, and as I was in front of the door of my house, I pledge not to be on this side of the door unless necessary. Then a beautiful thought crossed my mind: I will spend New Year's eve at home.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
New Year's is an illusionary beginning. Every morning is an illusionary beginning and New Year's is the king of them all. It is also an illusionary ending. There are beginnings because there are endings... and how can there be happy endings if the greatest ending is commonly known as Death? Beginnings always bring with them hopes, wishfulness, and fortune telling. They are survival musts, the hopeless longing after the ultimate illusion: happiness. A wise man's wish on New Year's eve would be for a few glimpses of it.
I don't remember ever believing in Santa Clause and I am not sure I like that. I was never brought up to believe in magic or fairy tales. No one tucked me in with a bed story. And among animated characters, I liked Pink Panther because he never talked. I never believed in talking animals, or fairies who could transform a king into a frog or a carriage into a pumpkin, not even as early as 3 or 4 years old, at least I never remember I did. Three geese attacked me early in my childhood and that was enough to scare the hell out of me of anything moving on four for the rest of my life. And yes, if you ask me, I will tell you that geese, ducks, chickens, and birds have four legs. Throwing a horrified cat at me few years later didn't help much either. I had another bitter experience with a cow who suddenly somehow entered my grandma's kitchen and four men tried to push it back through the narrow door. I crawled under a table at the corner of the kitchen screaming madly, and peed in my pants, I am not sure if it was out of hysterical laughing or of a panic attack. To see animated Disney characters talk and live in houses didn't trigger much imagination or any fondness in magic. I preferred the real stories that my father used to recount about his childhood: the scarecrows that scared them more than the birds, the ugly doll he made out of mere sticks and threads, and gave to his younger sister, my aunt, as a present, and the chewing-gum they hid from each other and no one dared ever chew. The first thing I remember about Santa is that there is no Santa. I never thought much about it anyway but I remember wondering once about the stupid idea of making Santa come from the chimney. We never had a chimney, not one that can fit someone as fat and not when it is lit anyway. I was amazed this Christmas when I saw a group of kids anxiously waiting for Santa on Christmas eve, and when he arrived, one of them screamed: this is not the real Santa! Another three year old, hid under his mother's skirt and only showed up again when Santa was taking off. He waved good bye to him with a huge smile and in his heart, he hoped, he will never show up ever again.