Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Honking Beirut

I should have posted this yesterday. Then the wave of enthusiasm would still be appropriate. Today, new actions that will inevitably lead to new consequences have sprung into action, probably making this post obsolete.

Yesterday, I went to Beirut for the first time in 20 days. I have never been away for so long and I was eager to greet the city, like a long lost lover. I got into my car, turned off the radio, and rolled down the windows, anxious to listen to the sounds of the city. Since the beginning of the invasion, I had been cooped up in my safe haven, in a little village in the mountains, where the noise and the action of Beirut seem far away. I never meant to stay away that long, but fuel shortages have a way of getting to the most adventurous among us.

So yesterday, I started my descent to Antelias, then Dora, then Downtown, finally arriving at Hamra, and I can honestly say that I have never welcomed this assault on my senses with more happiness!

I rolled down the window and let all the sounds sink in. Yes, Beirut is ok, we will survive! People are resilient, honking their horns, changing lanes without warning, and rushing about their day.

HONK!
honk!
HONK!

No sound ever sounded sweeter. I went to my office. I visited some friends. For a while, it seemed we had gotten through, we were positive, we were figthing back.

I went to bed with this feeling, letting it envelop me, giving in to the sense of security.
Then I woke up this morning to the News, and I pine for yesterday.

Let's not forget who we are, what makes us unique. We are cursed with survival. It's so hard to watch everything you've worked for being destroyed and know that you are left with the pieces and a future. A future you have to build and rebuild and re-rebuild.

I revert to yesterday's enthusiasm. I don't want to give up or give in.
I want to HONK!

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