the boy and the whore   trans libano

 

ya allah! lish m3atra ana hal'ad? ya allah! khedne min had-denye ta traye7ne!

"Oh, God! Why am I so miserable?" my mom used to scream whenever I come back home beaten by the street kids. "Oh, God! Take me out of this world to relieve me!"

Back then, I did not view them as kids... they were the men who ruled my neighborhood. After 17 years in Corsica, I still remember those young, terrible boys... I still remember the messy hair of my mom... and I still remember the streets of Beirut...

Beirut...
I recall the acute sound of your bombs passing over our house...
The darkness of the underground shelters of reinforced concrete...
I recall the arousing sweat of the taxicab driver...
The black eyes and hairy chest of the militiaman on the sidewalk...

ya raytak ma khle'et bil marra! ya raytak btekhtefe min 7ayetna lal 'abad! ya allah! khedo 3ala jhannam el-7amra!

"I wish you were never born! I wish you disappear from our lives forever," my dad says, the palm of his hands almost touch the chandelier of the living room and his eyes point to the window from which one can see anything but the sky. "Oh, God! Take him to the bloody hell!" he yells while dragging me on the long, burgundy, Persian corridor carpet that he got from his mother's house. Then he locks me in my room for the whole afternoon and night -- or until my mom convinces him to allow me to have dinner.

I spend hours crying in my room, my face on the colorless mohair blanket and my knees in pain on the floor. When I open my eyes, I raise them to the wall to check if the man of the crucifix and the woman with the baby are watching me. I see the man on the cross with his eyes closed as usual. He never opened his eyes for me as he did for the pious woman of the neighborhood, according to the story she tells every time she visits my mom. He may prefer to pretend he is dead in front of young boys. How can that muscular body be dead? I was sure he was alive because I saved him...

1950 years ago, I climbed on the cross, took the nails out of his hands and feet, carried his body down, and took him to my house. I cleaned his wounds with my dress and washed his body with my long hair, then I put him to rest while watching him breathing. When he woke up, I gave him water to drink. It was neither vinegar in a sponge like the Roman soldier gave him nor the best wine that only he could miraculously prepare. It was just plain water that granted him eternal life. He spent long weeks recovering at my place. Meanwhile, I was watching that skinny, yet muscular body gaining strength. One day, he opened his lips and said: "You offered me the life that my Father denied me on the cross." I replied: "You are the Father and you are the Son, and my womanly body will give you a new spirit." After few minutes, we were making love like no whore and virgin man can make. The next day, he told me: "I never knew what I was missing when I rejected Maria Magdalena who washed my feet with her tongue and lips, begging me to accept her sinful body. But she is not better than you; is she?" "You said it, " I replied. "No one is better than me!"

I took the icon of Mary and the baby with me to Corsica when I left Lebanon in 1983 on a commercial boat -- and I never went back. My sister insisted on keeping the crucifix with her in Beirut to protect our house. It was badly damaged in the 1990 Liberation War that ended in more occupation of Lebanese territories -- but my family survived.

Mary watches me with a dull look every day in my house on a hill in the town of Vico. I bet she envies my freedom (I admit that I envy the freshness of her skin). She got stuck forever in her virgin role; however, I escaped those Lebanese eyes that used to kill me as an effeminate boy. The Corsican eyes are not more tolerant for the freaky whore now. But being an adult hated by Corsicans is much more acceptable than being a boy spit upon by his fellow Lebanese or a cause of shame for his parents. Nevertheless, I get my revenge from those "neither French nor Italian" women when their men come to me every other night for a quick fuck or a blowjob. They do not have the same eyes of my favorite militiaman or the muscles of the guy on the cross, but they do have certain scents... sometimes alcohol, sometimes the sweat of an old, fat man... it is as close as it can get to that unforgettable odor of the Lebanese cab driver of my childhood... well, after almost two decades since I saw him, he may have become stinky, fat man too!


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