So I recently met with the cool Harry Darkins, journalist and producer at RFI, and chatted with him about gay life in Beirut, as part of the “Life In Beirut” series. Check out the interview below or on the RFI website:
Spoiler alert: I say Lebanese Penal Code 543 instead of 534. Sorry, Helem. “543” just sounded better.
Words I never thought I’d say: “I’m over you”.
Now I’m smiling as you dance with three guys who are all over you.
Remember when I begged you to dump your boyfriend for me?
Now I’m cheering you on while you’re high on Molly.
Your name: four letters.
Four years to get over you.
One year for each letter.
I wasted so much time being bitter.
I put some E in it. Now I’m much better.
Finally quit the game.
Finally quit the player.
You: the hardest thing I ever had to get over.
My addiction was on another level. Amphetamine.
I never thought we would come to this. Ever.
Guess it gets tiring. Saying “I want you”, then picking your heart up from the gutter.
I never thought it would come to this. Ever.
Seeing you dance with somebody else and call them a lover.
Watching you kiss someone else and not fight a motherfucker.
I got over you.
Don’t ask me how.
Don’t ask me why.
If I said I was upset, it’d be a lie.
Laser lights hit our pretty faces.
I can’t believe we’re here. Out of all the places…
“Do I love you?”, I ask myself as I touch your face.
Now I realize I lost love in a hook-up place.
When there’s a gay guy, there’s drama.
But when there’s a lesbian, just duck, cause it’s a fucking RIOT!
I’ve witnessed two big fights in the past 9 months. Both at gay hangouts, both loud, and both produced by lesbians.
Let’s break it down…
Fight #1: It’s an “ex versus an ex” situation. Lesbian #1 pushes (or touches the face of) lesbian #2. Lesbian dating lesbian #1 (or lesbian #2, I’m not sure, this is total gossip and hearsay at this point) comes to the rescue, and the shit hits the fan. One of the lesbians in the lesbian #1 entourage or lesbian #2 entourage gets so turnt up and takes out a fucking razor blade and goes ape shit crazy. Usually, I see this scene on TV. But I’m seeing this shit happen right in front of me. So I’m like “Yaaaasssss bitch…CUT!” and stand on a bench to get a clearer view, while my scared friend tries to drag me inside the club. Two minutes later… the fight now involves like 12 lesbos and homos, all screaming. “Sharmoutaaaaaaaa”. “Kess emmikkkkk!”. “Ya loutehhhhhhh”. Yes, now it’s more than a lesbian fight; the gays were dragged into this mess too. Even a big muscular tall guy had his shirt ripped in half by one of those nasty lil hoes. Thankfully, the bar manager steps in and the fight gets dissipated. Bass ba3d shu?! Ya di3an…
Fight #2: Picture this. You arrive at a lesbian bar in Beirut. You don’t enter cause “shefna el jaw ouw sara7a there are no cute guys”. So you stay outside, sit on a table, and wait for your lesbian to finish doing her thing. Suddenly, a seemingly straight couple gets out of the club and starts fighting: “Ana eltellik badna nfell ya3ne badna nfell!!!! Eddemeh tashuffff!!!”. Then the club door opens and we see like 15 lesbians screaming at this guy like they’re auditioning for 300. They were smelling blood and almost chopped the guy’s dick off. Even the bouncer’s like “What the fuck do I do”? Fast forward to 10 minutes later and the party’s isn’t just over, there’s a threat of the police coming and doing some late night arrests. Basically, we had to leave our chill spot. Pffff… Total buzzkill.
I guess that’s the difference between us gays and lesbians. With gays, if you really want to hurt someone, you just call them ugly, “tante”, fat, small-dick. You know, the typically offensive clichés. I’ve been called all four. They all hurt like hell. Plus with gays, muscles are for showing off, not for actually putting them to the test.
I don’t know what’s the deal with lesbians taking it to the next level.
However, if I do want to fight a bitch, I know who I’m calling.
Here’s something that I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Hope it saves you some heartache.
People change their mind.
And their heart will follow.
I see us in a cheap restaurant bathroom at 5 am. You say: “Go inside and pee while you look at the floor.” I say: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re drunk”. You jump around like a kid: “I’m serious. Do it. It’s very trippy”. You were totally right.
I see you at grandpa’s funeral. It was the first time I see you cry. I see me wanting to steal that pain from you. I see me failing.
I see me lying alone in your bed. Young, free, late for work. I hear some weird noise getting louder and louder, getting closer and closer towards the bedroom door. You enter holding a cake singing Happy Birthday.
I see you in your swimsuit, throwing up in the bathroom. I see me patting you on the back while drinking my 10th cup of tap water. I had never felt so alive.
I see us in bed. I see you telling me “I love you”. I see me smiling, not knowing what to say.
I see us hungover, sitting on a bench at Ain Mreisseh watching the sunrise. Knowing everything. And knowing nothing at all.
I see you telling me: “I wanted to drive the car through a wall so that we both die. I would rather do that than have a son who’s gay”. I see me believing you.
I see you in drag, changing your outfit every 5 minutes. I had never seen you more free.
I see me having a smoke on your balcony. You say: “I don’t believe in God, either”. On the outside, I gently nod. On the inside, I am ecstatic.
I see me having a bad trip in the bedroom, whirling around like a Sufi dervish. “If this is death, I beg you, I don’t want to die”, I screamed inside my head.
I see you outside Bardo. Kissing someone. You looked very happy.
I see a lettuce and a cabbage lying next to each other in a sad grocery store, and I burst out laughing. No people would think it’s hilarious but you and I. I see me almost texting you. Almost.
I see you naked. Eyes closed. Flesh rotting. I see me trying to look for you. I see me thinking to myself: “I don’t understand. Where is he?”. I lean over, kiss your cold skin, and never see you again.
I see me walking under the Eiffel Tower at midnight, nine hours before my flight back home. I see people screaming. I look up at the Tower and see the sparkling lights. I see myself thinking: “You might not know shit, but you’re on the right track, kid”.