beirut to baalbek

they said there was traffic from beirut to baalbek just to see her sing.
i would’ve waited in that traffic,
pomegranate molasses mixed with vinegar
making my mouth water,
my father still eats bread with pepsi, because it reminds him of the old days,
middle of hot stinking beirut when gedo (grandfather) used to beat him with a stick,

gedo owned a car park in the middle of beirut-

… he basically plonked a white plastic chair onto a block of land and started charging everyone for parking there
he would make my dad park the cars,
dad was about 8 and probably couldn’t see over the steering wheel and hit almost every car he parked.
for lunch they ate bread with pepsi just to sustain themselves for the day.

gedo is probably the reason why i pay for parking now,

this gedo dyed his moustache black but left his hair grey, stood on a slant and walked around with a branch he painted white so that he could fool the government that he couldn’t see….
“maybe they will give me more money!”

the same gedo that would raise his arms in a fit of rage, his argileh flying into mid air whilst every single one of us gasped and dodged the hot coal, but it was the carpet it would burn through. all because wwf wrestling was real.

i sat there and watched mum iron dads socks fiercely, complaining about him buying too much shit when they had no money,
how he never let’s her see her friends,
how he pisses everywhere in the bathroom,
how he can’t even put his own socks on anymore..

saving face, she was, cutting his undies up and turning them into mops: “they’re also great for cleaning windows”
all i could think now was that dad’s undies are now being smeared all over the house in the sweetest domestic revenge.

if i have to feel your shame you owe me some shit….

i’m still waiting to see her, from beirut to baalbeck i would sit in that taxi, watch my grandmother’s neighbors go up in flames, hear a mother whaling for her son,

just to see her.


Image Credit: Burning Landscapes by Karin Mamma Andersson.

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