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Monday, July 20, 2009

A Sunday From Hell

I had been dreading this day for a while. Sunday, July 19, 2009. Bidding farewell to loved ones, saying goodbye to friends. All on one day seemed like torture. And it turned out to be even worse.

This just in: friend and fellow blogger wondering: "Is it true that Lebanon is now nothing more than a pit stop?" This is a question to ask indeed...
I live here, I grew up here, and even for me this is just a pitstop.
For everyone who woke up one day and decided they wanted more from their lives than this place had to offer; For everyone who is contemplating the thought of leaving; nothing more than a pitstop. That Sunday, I said my goodbyes to my aunt in the evening, and to one of my best friends from childhood later that night... Very eloquently, this sucks.

Flashback to Sunday, late afternoon:

It was a long drive to Ballouneh, where my auntie N. lives. LiveD. Mixed emotions flying in the air. There was a distinct feeling, or taste, to that trip. Everytime we went on that noisy drive singing silly music and hopeless songs, there were great times. Barbecues, nargileh, and that sweet feeling of a family reunion every few weeks. Not this time though. This time round, this warm familiar feeling was overshadowed by foreseen grief and heartache. N. is going to Canada. She's taking her incommensurately adorable kids -this from a hardened official kid hater, remember?- and she's going to start a life somewhere else.

Somewhere where she won't have to worry about making ends meet every month, somewhere where people are actually people, somewhere... Don't worry, I'm not gonna start another tirade about our dearly cherished country, if one can call it that. No, I've done that before (read). What matters now is where she's going, and who she's leaving behind. This is the second time that this country has done this to my family. And what's worse is that it's about to do it again. I'm going to have to leave, again, for my residency. And that Sunday, this was always on my mind and I felt like I was suffocating.
My grandmother worse for wear, my grandfather's voice choked out of him as he desperately tried to hold back his tears, my uncles and other aunts in no better shape, and my tears clouding my last sights of N. and her kids, we left Ballouneh for a silent trip back to an insipid Beirut.

Goodbye N. We love you so much. We miss you already.


Anonymous said...

Et puis ceux qui restent se demandent: pourquoi? Jusqu'à quand? A quoi bon? Je suis une de ceux qui sont restés et qui savaient pourquoi. Plus maintenant.

Le colleague said...

Translation of anonymous comment:
"And then those who stay wonder: why? until when? what for? I am one of those who stayed and knew why. Not anymore."


Anonymous said...

i didn"t know you were so unhappy that day, i guess i was overwhelmed by what was happenning. it was a very nice surprise to see you write the way you do, it makes me proud!!! keep on going, i love your blog, you got yourself a new fan!

Le colleague said...

N.?? This IS you isn't it?
Cannot tell you how happy I was to read this comment. Cannot tell you how happy I am that you are reading.

I miss you so much!!

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