Sometimes I travel to discover a new place. Sometimes I travel to just change up the routine. Sometimes I travel to take crazy pictures, make new memories, and meet different people. But a lot of the time, I travel when I need to be away so I’ll miss home and want to come back. Going to Dubai, although only for a very short weekend, did the trick.
Beirut is love, Dubai is a fling. Beirut is your forever, Dubai is temporary. Beirut is malaria in that it will invade your core and infect your existence on a cellular level – molecular even – and you will always carry it with you in your bloodstream. And it will break you to see it suffer. To watch it crumble while you wonder if you can do anything, if your attempts will make a difference – it will break you over and over. Broken until you are hollow and wondering if your sensory receptors have lost all their functionality, if you have become numb out of repeated exposure or choice.
Beirut, I love you because you are raw and alive. I may not have the luxury of warm showers, electricity at all hours of the day, or a metro so I can read on my daily commute, but that’s okay. I am in a constant state of worry for your well being, for your health, and for your tendency to adapt rather than evolve. I love you because you’re a hot mess – you’re human, you have personality, you’re not bits and pieces of everyone else. You’re you.
When people complain to me about you, it is usually accompanied with “I know I’m talking to the wrong person.” It seems I will defend you with every ounce of blood in my veins, no matter how challenging you make it for me. No matter how many times you let me down, there is something ingrained in me that will not allow what they say to be true. It’s visceral. I am your original cheerleader armed with a keyboard and an internet connection. No one would ever believe me if I said I was leaving you, if I said I’ve had it, if I said there was nothing left inside.
And I love you. I love you because I know you, you are a part of my bones. When you are in pain, I feel it in my heart and my tears want to nourish the land that will feed my children. I want to hold onto you, wrap you up in my arms so tight, and tell you that you are more than you even know – when you think you are a failure, I will remind you of who I know you to be. Not who you can become but who you have always been to me. Maybe if I squeeze tight enough and if I whisper it soft enough, you won’t notice that the voice in your head is mine. You don’t have to worry about your pride, I won’t tell anyone it was me.
I want my life to be with you, I just need you to want it too. I love you Beirut, even if you don’t feel the same, even if you don’t love me back. And so, just when I thought I’d had enough, I am back here again. I just hope that this time you can see that and you won’t let me walk away.