(Fiction based on real facts)
The Sunday afternoon was as clear as a civilian fighting occupation. The sun, with the elegance of a feudal lord, made winter disappear. And the old café by the sea, devastated- few days ago- by rainy storms, has reclaimed his charm. So we sat down, and awaited our friends to arrive for a nice relaxing gathering in preparation for a busy working week to come.
He came with a friend. It was the first time we all meet him. He had a square-like face, and a very confident attitude. He spent the first hour eating and didn’t pay attention to the conversations on the table. But once he finished his food, he started to penetrate the conversation and quickly affirmed himself as a pillar among all the voices that were intersecting and carefully knitting the social moment. The theme of the talks didn’t matter to him as much as his role in them.
He started speaking about his work at the U.N., about Israel, about the importance of dialogue as the non-violent mean to bring peace in this Middle-to nowhere-East, about the essential & needed existence of the U.N. to the entire world and its role in bringing Law & Order. He talked above all of us, as if his mental structures were higher in horizontal perspectives. He ridiculed the violent struggle of people, as if it was bad poetry written in a book left on the shelf of a small library being read by dust and cockroaches. He talked about globalization, about technologies of communication, about the fact that it was all grey and that black & white were obsolete colors.
-But what about 1948; the biggest land theft operation in the entire history of the world? How do you solve the loss of land & the Diaspora of its people if the other antagonist side is refusing their recognition and the logics of a just solution? My friend said with honesty & anger.
He didn’t answer directly this question; rather he used a lot of sentences and historical facts from other nations and other examples to dilute the meanings of justice & right of return. In other words, Historical pain happens all the time, and it is time to accept rather than change it: you take panadol, you don’t go into surgery. He mentioned the Armenians, Kurds, and Native Americans as examples of compromising Peoples.
-The negotiation should be based on 1967 with the flexibility to give & take as well in accordance to the International political context, and world key players. Wake up guys, this is the real world. Falasteen is not a young Alice in wonderlands, but a tired woman in her sixties sick of fighting, of correcting wrongs, of facing situations she is not choosing, and ready to compromise. And drop your violent instruments; they will not lead you to nowhere. He answered and changed the topic to talk about the real estate in Beirut.
Three hours passed by on that table. The sun got tired; too many people were consuming his energy. The Café got louder. And I decided to return home. So I said goodbye, and as I was walking away, I noticed the beautiful jacket of the stranger with the square-like face on our table. It was a petroleum-blue color, straight-cut, Bohemian-Bourgeois type of jacket, similar to the one I lost few years ago. In fact, I thought it was mine at that instance where I pushed him firmly and quickly wore it. It felt it was the right thing to do. Is it a coincidence that it fits me perfectly?
He didn’t understand what was happening, as he saw me, calmly, walking outside. He ran towards me and started yelling. Then he grabbed me, and tried to undress me like a crazy maniac with such a conviction in his violent act as if he has the right to do so.
He started pushing. His color became red-blue. And as I was resisting, he completed lost it, and turned into a wild beast. Twenty minutes later, he was lying down on the floor in his own blood and heavily breathing. So I looked him up and said:
-Since I am wearing the jacket, logically, it is mine now. As for the wallet and the car keys, well we can talk about that. Unfortunately, next week I am out of Beirut. How about we meet on Wednesday in 10 days from now at 8am in my office? My friends on the table can give you the address. Salamu Alaikum my friend. Your violence will not lead you to nowhere, let’s negotiate. It is all grey…