Why is it so difficult to find people who share the same passion and vibrancy for life? Maybe half of being in a relationship with someone, half of loving someone, really is creating an idea of someone. Even if you say you truly love them for who they are. For their imperfections and their faults. It’s strange. Perhaps I expected to much of the person I loved. But how can you say you’re not worth it? How can you say you sometimes don’t even feel human? I thought you were different. Am I to fault thinking you were different partly because you’re Lebanese? You had a different outlook on the world. And I loved that about you. You saw yourself as different from the rest of your society, you saw its problems. We spoke at length about them. You felt you never really fit in to how others around you acted and behaved. You were different. And you said so yourself. But now I see you’re not different at all. You’re the same as all of them. Am I at fault for believing to strongly? Am I at fault for still loving you? Am I at fault for expecting more of you? You were so amazing. You really were. I hope you know that someday. Why is it so hard for you to believe in yourself? To see the strength inside of you? You’re beautiful. And I saw that in you. I know I have some measure of intelligence. I can write. I probably know a lot more about Lebanon’s politics and history even than you, born and raised in it. Am I at fault for still believing in you? Thinking that you’re more than this? Don’t you know how proud I was of you when I saw you march in Lebanon’s Independence Day Parade? How many times you told me the story of the founders of the Lebanese state who were imprisoned by the French for their independence activities, and while in that prison cell they all signed Lebanon’s first flag. You were glowing with pride when you told me the story. I loved it. Why do you set such little faith in story for humanity? Was it an idea of you – did I make an idea out of your beautiful smile? Was there really nothing behind it. Every time you lit up when you saw me. Thomas Edison probably didn’t have a bigger smile than you when he turned on the first light bulb. Ha. When you were at your best you lived and you breathed in life and exhaled it. You were passionate. You conducted to the symphony as we sat in a crowded Church in Monot to hear them play. You loved Fantasia. And the Salvador Dali/Disney project Destino. I saw your passion. I saw your love. It wasn’t an idea. I didn’t invent it. I didn’t invent you. I witnessed it. And I am so glad I did. Why are you not grateful for what we had? Your revision of history is like something out of 1984. Doublespeak. You replace the word ‘love’ with the word ‘friends.’ You say you were not looking for love when you met me? I hate to break it to you but it is the thing all humans search for. Companionship. It is at the soul of our being. You have a soul. I know you do. You shared it with me. And it was a beautiful thing. I admit I made mistakes. We all do. But I hate to watch what you’re doing to yourself. You really are better than this. Humanity really is wonderful. Aren’t you happy to be alive and feeling? We can do anything in this world if we set our mind to it.
Tell me if I’m at fault. I don’t think I am. As Ian Fleming said in the James Bond novels, in the very first one, Casino Royale, which I left with you: People are easier to believe in and fight for than principles. It’s true. I fight for the Lebanese people. You know I do. You know I always will. Even if you don’t believe in your country anymore. You’re all better than this. Better than your squabbling politicians. Beirut should be a gleaming capital on the sea teeming with sailboat races and a new coat of paint to that Ferris wheel. I know you believe. Somewhere in your heart. You’re not crazy. Everyone is crazy. Every human being. So how can you be if everyone is?
I want to call you egotistical. You think I stayed for you. Ha. You think I was afraid of the politics. Ha. You think I never went to Arabic class. Ha. You think I wanted to return to America. Ha. You think I hated the internet connection. Ha. Aren’t you afraid? You have more at stake to lose than I do. What happened to the project you wanted to do this past summer about how Lebanon’s environment is slowly being eroded by pollution? I know you have a passion for that. I’m sorry I never helped you start it. I hope we can do it someday. I can come back to America anytime I want. I love my country. You know that. I always have. I have an obligation to my Founders to uphold the principles of my Republic. But I choose to come back to Lebanon. Because I love it. Because you deserve the same opportunities that I have had. You all do. Every Lebanese. Every Arab. Every Muslim. Every Christian. Every Druze. Every single person on this earth.
I realize now that I will always love you. I do not need to revise history in order to fit my current circumstances. To tailor it to my current existence. You’re not crazy. Because I am. Yet somehow I’ve embarked on this journey of self-discovery as a result of what you have done. For the first time I feel like I’m seeing truth. It hurts. Love has torn me apart. But I feel at peace somehow. The things I believed in before I met you are still there. My faith has not been shaken. People are awesome. Humanity is awesome. Living is awesome. And being witness to the power of the forces shaping this universe is awesome. Even if we witness only a minute fraction of it during our time on Earth. Why not enjoy it? Why not live on the bright side of life? Why not live in the glow of a thousand candles?
Someday you’ll wake up. I know you’re a smart guy. I believe in your humanity.