Sunday, January 17, 2016

Garbage and I, a Lebanese love story

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Garbage and I have been living together for the past six months. Six months of a dysfunctional poisonous relationship. A relationship I don’t seem able to end.

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Lebanese Citizen. Some people claim I moan a lot. I say I have good reasons to. But they also claim I’m very good at finding excuses.

Despite my boyish bravados, I’m a bit of a coward. Not when it comes to defend my home against invaders. When this happens, just give me a marching tune and see me go, all heroic and everything. But when it comes to domestic issues, I’m strangely gutless.

Maybe I’m scared of change. Any change. Maybe I’m just set in my ways. Or just irrationally obedient.

For some reason, I can’t do a thing unless I’m told to do it. Even if I see myself as a rebel. I listen to revolutionary songs, raise my fist and sing along. But I never follow through. I’d rather enjoy a shisha. Or go shopping. Or have few drinks and brag to my friends about things I’ve never done.

When garbage moved in, I didn’t really like it. But I said nothing. Actually, I was secretly glad. Finally an obvious reason to moan and grown. And sing revolutionary songs in front of my mirror.

But things got out of hand. Slowly but surely, Garbage took over. My precious home I love so much and write poems about all year long was crawling with insects and rodents. I had to do something.

I got myself a flag, a marching tune, an angry banner and took to the streets.

I thought by doing this a couple of times, everything will change, garbage will go away, corruption will disappear, wars will end, world hunger will vanish, and all seasons will merge into a never-ending spring, with perfumed breeze and raining rose petals.

I’m bit delusional that way.

So I got bored and returned home to Garbage. I called it “being positive and having a constructive attitude”. I love empty slogans. The emptier the better. They sound good and mean nothing.

When I got home, Garbage was waiting for me. All stinky and familiar. It felt awkwardly comfortable. I’m a creature of habits after all. And what’s a couple of diseases going to do? I’m Lebanese, I can survive anything.

Now we’re thinking of getting married, Garbage and I. Maybe have a kid or two. And live happily ever after as one big rotten family.

© Claude El Khal, 2016

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