Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good hair or safe ride... that is the question

I was peacefully sipping my coffee, smoking my ciggy, and struggling to remember the old days as good ones, when on the road in front of me I see a bike passing, no, there was nothing unusual, or unlebanese about the bike. It was one of those expensive mopeds that you see everyday in Lebanon. The driver was a Lebanese dude on the verge of the hairloss journey, with gel coagulating his hair in a way that clearly shows the head skin craving to shine brighter in a few years. And of course, I could see all these details because he was not wearing a helmet, which makes him one of those Lebanese men that you see everyday in Lebanon.

Behind him was a typical Lebanese beauty, with the stylish black shirt, matching her simple black pants, which doubles as a fat-rumour oppressor (if you don't know what I'm talking about, it's a very Lebanese wisdom that every Lebanese woman learns long before she learns how to cope with her period: Always buy pants slightly tighter than your actual size. It is guaranteed to make you look skinnier and make your flesh look tighter. And if these pants press on your vagina so badly it hurts and causes hygiene issues, if you feel unable to bend properly, if you can no longer eat without unbuttoning your pants, if it makes any flexibility a memory... deal with it, الغوى بدو قوى). The beauty was also helmetless, BUT what was interesting is that, even though the dude was speeding enough to make her whole face scrape off if she falls, she was not holding on to anything, instead she was holding her hair in place with both hands. Her beautiful black straight hair.

Seeing this made me a bit worried about the girl falling off the bike and a bit amused by the awkward scene. The bike and its ecosystem quickly disappeared from my eyesight but my mind was still buzzing with possible angles, like how ironic it is for a girl to care more about her hairdo than about her own safety. How stupid it is of the dude to drive so fast when the girl behind him has no helmet and is holding on to her hair. How stupid it is of this girl to ride the bike in the first place, isn't walking more dignifying? How cliché this whole scene was, how Lebanese, how lame, how wreckless.

Then I felt sad, I felt sad because I remembered myself, when I was sixteen I rode a motorbike (one of those dangerous racing motorcycles). It was one of the few times in which I rode anything motorized and on two wheels. It was also the first time I was invited to dinner with friends. I was worried about my hair, my cheap make-up. I was too shy to hold the dude properly, he kept telling me to hold on tighter. He didn't go fast. I arrived safely, my hair was fine, my make-up was too much of a nothing to start with. He went back to speeding.

Last year, the dude who offered me a ride died... of a bike accident, the same bike. He was riding fast, he had a girl behind him, on one turn he lost control over the bike, he flew and landed head first, died in hospital shortly after. A lot happened around this story, the rumors, the gossip, the blame, the facebook group... I never attended his funeral, I was too busy, too angry, too bitter, and above all I don't know how to handle loss, I am much better at seeing the lost ones in my dreams.

In all this another tragedy unfolded, the girl that was behind him was severely injured, her basin was broken, she heard her best friend die, rumors spread about her, cruel heartless rumors, with his sister entering her hospital room to shout at her that she killed her brother (she didn't even know he was dead, even though in retrospect she says she should have known), people said she lost her mind, or that she lost her hymen, or both, they said she slept around. I did get to see her and speak to her after the accident, we shared sad drunken moments of tears and bitter laughter with a bunch of broken lives. We were all a wreck, young, futureless, and meaningless people.

Yes of course, you can call us survivors, each one in that soirée has survived something, from bike accidents, to incestuous rape, to regular rape, to abusive parents, to drunken fathers, to car accidents, hell some of us even survived realizing that they are retarded ... But no matter how positively you describe us, we were still a wreck and as depressed as fuck. How do you survive fatalities such a social class? Even Jesus chose crucifixion over the gruesome life of poverty. But we are no Jesuses, we are no saints and no rich mother fuckers, we are just poor, when we get wasted it's over cheap vodka and 7up in plastic cups (why 7up? I have no clue, it served the purpose and my brother always knew how to make mine, more vodka less 7up).

You see this is how the circle is completed. I am thinking of all this, while sitting in a bourgeois House, drinking nescafe because we are too cool to drink turkish coffee, speaking to people in English, because that's how cool people speak. But I am still the same me, the same fucked up wreck, who gets drunk on cheap vodka and cries life away. I may hang out with the better crowd but I will always be depressive and poor.

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