Sticky heat, heavy with the smells of frangipani tree flowers, jasmin, gardenia, diesel and something very akin to sulphur.
Hustle and Bustle of a city that knows no rest, of people dancing to political and pop songs with equal mirth, laughing and drinking in a hidden garden, sharing slivers of their lives between two mouthfuls of mezza.
Families living on their cramped balconies, arguing about politics, disagreeing with the TV commentator, with the neighbours, with each other, their voices covering the noises of the streets below, the cries of their children, the laughters of the women.
Crazy suicidal drivers, oblivious of any other car or human being for that matter, wriggling their way to nowhere in particular, making their engines roar just for the sake of it, risking their lives because it’s theirs to play.
Whispers of love and lust, hidden in between the sheets or behind shuttered windows, eternal words murmured one ephemeral night in a beloved one’s ears, lost in the vapours of liquor and sensuality and want, intertwined fingers leading to fleeting moments of happiness.
Twinkling candles of fishermen ashore melting in the myriad of sparkling fireworks, billboards, lights of the city, bringing the stars on their knees before the greatness of a town that never resigns.
Blocks of concrete pushing away remnants of beautiful old houses, Potemkin village masquerading as a City Center, cluster of luxury and high street shops hiding behind the overused term of Souk in a fit of Orientalism, scars of a war that is all but forgotten, divisions of a city that can’t realise that it’s gloriously One for all eternity.
Faded faces of dead leaders, fading faces of still alive ones plastering every inch of every corner of every street, almost looking like the Campbell’s Soup of politics, graffitis amisdt the chaos,
Stating the obvious
That Beirut Never Dies.
To my Ever Perfect in Her Imperfection Beirut.