Berlin Beirut Basta.
Beirut, 2010.

Oh how far my golden youth seems to me! My baron's billhooked face has faded, pore after pore, year after year ...

I loved him, he adored me. I was content to be beautiful like a modern day Aphrodite. He took care of me, took me out every Sunday like a fucking roaring twenties. In the evening, I accompanied him to the chicest restaurants in West Berlin. I was his favorite. Maybe because I was one of a kind, as he said, I was an eccentric, what we commonly called a "manual". And that's why my baron worshiped me.

It was so long ago now. Life separated us without warning. I have always kept this tenuous regret deep in my heart. That of having been betrayed for someone other than me. More beautiful, younger. More blonde. Me the brunette that everyone took for an Iberian with my natural jet black attire. Necessarily. He was so fond of talking to his friends about me by calling me by my first name.

I often look at this life like in a rearview mirror. But today, I'm ugly, crumpled. My joints are creaking all over the place. The nationalist tattoos on the top of my butt, me the proud German, have become quite ridiculous over time. This does not seem to bother Farid, however. He's the one who takes care of me ever since I had to flee Germany one fine day in 1973 on a liner that was nothing like Queen Elizabeth II. Since then, no more creams and caresses with mild soap. My wrinkles widened. Farid can't afford to talk to me like Baron Dietmar Von Benz did. I don't blame him, I can see that he does everything he can to ensure that nothing is lacking. It will soon be 40 years that he cherished me with his unhappy heart, with this feeling that I am too beautiful for him. I also know that he will feel indebted forever for that day in June when, under the fire of the grapeshot, it was I who took a bullet in his place. I keep the scar there on my left hip. To heal this wound and all the other scratches in life, he then accompanied me to a doctor who looked more like a butcher than anything else, with his black hands rummaging in my bowels to root out the lead.

This noon, I don't know what happened. We wandered quietly down a busy street. Him, caressing my forms always generous despite the general sagging of my carcass, me, letting myself do it without thinking too much about it. And then suddenly I stopped. I no longer wanted to be there, I no longer wanted this city that stinks of grease and dust, these streets that I have in my sights all day. I preferred to say stop, without knowing at all what life would hold for me. Farid didn't understand at the time, of course. He tried to talk to me, tenderly, as he does whenever sadness catches up with me and causes me to sink a connecting rod. But at my silence, he got angry like he had never done before, yelled at me in front of everyone in the street. I was ashamed. For him, for me. And then he hit me. First one hit, then three more. With the flat of his large palm on my skin, as if scaled by old age. I remained silent. Under these blows, I had a last jolt, as if my heart full of electricity wanted to send a final discharge in my body to revive it. But it was too late. I died there, at 12 o'clock, 10 minutes and 33 seconds, on the edge of a sidewalk in Basta. Farid understood. My old Beirut began to cry, kissing my elongated and still warm chest.

- Oh my dear, what am I going to do without you now? He said between two sobs. Oh no, my sweet ... why?

Farid knelt down and pulled his most precious treasure from an inside pocket of his jacket. A sepia photo of me, taken in the courtyard of the castle of my baron of Germania. Me, at the time of my splendor.

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News published in Beirut on listening / Wiretapping Beirut (Amers Editions, 2011)

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