Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They only come out at night

The bats come out at dusk. They flutter around abandoned buildings like butterflies on speed, dashing between antennas and satellite dishes, under wires, through windows that have long since seen their glass removed by bombs or bullets or simple neglect. A feast of mosquitoes and gnats floats there in the darkening sky.

[You’ve done nothing until you’ve gotten a giant insect out of your room by throwing a wine cork at it and swatting it with a pair of jeans. It looked like the world’s biggest mosquito; I couldn’t take the risk of letting it stay.]

But back to the bats – they’re one of my favorite things about Beirut. They’re stuck between the darkness and the light; they feed on the bad to make things good. They fly above the city unnoticed by everyone but me.

I’m like a bat, fluttering above the nonsense, stuck between the darkness and the light. Like the waves of the Mediterranean that crash upon the shores of this artificial country, I waver in my own thoughts and feelings about the place. Certainly I love living in Hamra, with its plethora of caf├ęs and dive bars and bookstores and students, but I wonder if this country will ever stop teetering on the brink of conflict and insanity. I’m beginning to think that the bats turn to vampires at night and that the politicians are just zombies with fancy makeup. Can vampires and zombies be in the same movie?

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