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Beirut 2020 (Chapter two)

02 — The Khomeini Building https://medium.com/@mazenzahreddine/beirut-2020-chapter-one-cffa947d6b53

he young man went out of the shop and the silence was like glass. And the wait for something horrible was like two tons of bricks in your belly. I looked ahead, and I saw the Bank Audi sign. This should be Shaykha Dorgham bld. I looked up at the fourth floor where our heroin-friendly sniper is supposed to be.

Okay, now.

A conspiring silence. Scarlet curtains flappitting with the wind.

Go, you motherfucker!

Tap tap tap tap tap tap, woosh woosh,walla, the young man was running as fast as he could. The buildings were fleeting 9s by then, and they were all screaming “we can see you, we can see youuuuuu”, and the colors were out of breath, a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii in my ears. My bag was flappity-floppiting behind me and I think it went: Leave me be, for I am promised for greater things! but the young man, who was dressed really nicely by the way, a black suit he stole from his older brother, and who was also me, clenched his fingers tightly and the bag said: “Eugh!” and then upon further contemplation added “Generations of handbags will frown upon your memory, sweet master, for you are a destroyer of dreams.”

Yeah.

Now if the young man were a car, and he weren’t, he would have made an Iiiiiiiii and skidmarks, so he didn’t. He hid behind a wall ridden with bullet holes. Kess emm el Shi3a was scribbled on it. That did not bode well considering the fact that Ashrafieh had been a Shiite neighborhood for the better part of the last two years. Such graffiti could only mean that Christian pockets of so-called resistance were still fighting for it.

His footsteps were resonating still.

Tap… tap… tap…

Too loud, too loud, bemoaned the young man, as the sound made 8s all across the neighborhood.

It was safe from here on. The many people walking around gave me enough confidence to walk about without ducking.

Our young man eventually reached the fuckin’ apartment, and I’m only saying fuckin’ because fuckin’ hell, it took almost an hour to find it. Firstly, because Ashrafieh is like a goddamn Gruyere cheese. It’s a wonder the Shiites were able to take over eventually. It did take a while though, something around four weeks and if it weren’t for the easiness of genocide it would have taken much longer. The Shiites did quite a number on the Christians here. We now have a Chatilla burden of our own. We upgraded our CV from political assassinations to genocide as any self-respecting religious denomination should in Lebanon. No wonder no one was taking us seriously before. Assassination and genocide both come from the same mind if you think about it. The only difference is where you are in the social pyramid. And those who were assassinating when they were downstairs will eventually genocide when they reach the top.

And no genocide is ever complete. So you still have a few Christians here and there.

So yeah.

Sunnis also, there’s a bunch of those left. All of them, hidden in basements making explosive Kajo. Ha!

No, I’m kidding. Just making regular explosives.

Ha! What a hoot I’m causing today. Of course, I am but jesting. But, seriously now, some factions did resort to blowing shit up.

There’s also a Druze old man waiting to die in a cell. I hear they will exhibit him at the Natural Museum once he croaks. Should be fun to see a Druze dude. I remember they dressed funny. With special pants to accommodate those massive gigantic fuckin’ balls. (There is no other explanation for the sherwal but massive gigantic dangly fuckin’ goddamn balls. One has to wonder how on earth did the Druze lose the war when having the advantage of such aberrations of nature at their disposal? I guess it impeded their movement? Come to think of it, nothing could be easier than killing a Druze. You can come close and shoot them like fuckin’ Dodos as they try crawling away while dragging behind their gigantic balls. With such ridiculously huge balls, the extinction of the Druze is actually a Darwinian inevitability.)

So yeah, and secondly (yeah, secondly, because there was a firstly somewhere up there if you look hard enough), I reached the fuckin’ apartment and it took me an hour because the paper that had the directions went “El bineye ma3el poster Khomeini kbir.” Simple enough, you might venture to say as you clearly shouldn’t because you obviously don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about because the whole place was filled with Khomeini posters. Khomeini is the big cheese in these parts. He’s the ultimate Shiite poster boy. And when I would ask around, they would only repeat that “it’s the one with the huge Khomeini poster” or something to that effect, to which I would respond with an “oh come now, look around you, shopkeep, or 7ajje, or whoever I happen to be asking, there’s Khomeini posters everywhere!”, at which point, they would almost all unanimously answer with an “oh you’ll see” accompanied by the knowing nod of someone who knows something that I don’t.

Eventually I got there. And yes, it was technically behind a Khomeini poster. And yes, I should’ve known. Because what a motherfucking poster that one was. Hiding the whole damn building (all 13 floors) from top to bottom. He was frowning (did he ever smile?) and pointing at something in the distance with terrifying intent. I wouldn’t want to be that guy he’s pointing at that’s for sure. I was worried at first but I quickly figured that living in that building will ensure it’s not me. I’m behind him now. I can even make faces behind his back. But I won’t of course.

I rang the interphone and waited. An electronic crackle, then fuckin’ feedback for two or three seconds. Then I heard a squeaky voice so squeaky that it could chafe your genitals if it spoke directly into them. The man must surely cut his butter every morning by whispering into it.

“Meen?”

“El mesta2jer. 7kina 3al telephone.”

The man clicked something from his end and the gate opened. I pushed the gate and went up the stairs.

When I reached the second floor, there was a young woman leaning on the wall and smoking a cigarette. She looked down at me as I was coming up, and looked straight into my soul when I was close enough. She had dirty light brown hair, a blond by Arab standards, and the mascara on her eyes was either applied terribly or she was crying just a moment ago. I looked at her looking at me and she did not flinch so I lowered my eyes because I’m a pussy and kept going up the stairs without looking at her. And I could feel her eyes setting my back on fire as I walked past her. I turned my back for just a moment to steal one more glance, because she was wearing a low cut blouse, and with altitude on my side I could probably see more of her breasts. And I did. They were small and well formed with almost half a hand of space between them, enough space to accommodate a cross I did not see when I was next to her. But her eyes arched into a frown and she hid her chest with her hand. I quickened my pace, embarrassed, and she vanished from my view. The behavior was not commendable but it’s not every day you see a Christian.

Oh my, what’s gonna happen next? Click here for motherfuckin’ chapter three: https://medium.com/@mazenzahreddine/beirut-2020-chapter-three-dedb0d30575a