I am doing ok. Better than before. It’s been two weeks. So the following are words I wrote last week, late at night, again. I called one of my great-uncles a few days after the explosion of Beirut. He seemed sad for the entire country. But for himself, I imagined him shrugging. And then I wrote these.
I am thinking of my great uncle.
He tells me he’s all right.
Just all right.
Everyone is all right.
But he must have broken glass. He must have quelques dégats.
He must have.
But I am mostly wondering, how will he do?
To go visit his sister-in-law down below? On the other floor.
He does it everyday.
He puts on his clothes.
Then he stands up tall.
He takes his keys and his phone.
He opens the door. He rings for the elevator.
He closes his door.
And he goes down. One floor.
He rings the bell.
What will he do? The elevator does not work.
What does he do?
I imagine him doing everything and then —– holding on to the railing.
First foot, repeat.
On each step.
Like my French grandmother once told me proudly, “Tu vois, je fais comme toi!”
(“You see, just like you!”)
“Tu me montres l’exemple.”
(“You set the example for me.”)
and happily she went.
Will he do that? My great-uncle?
To visit his sister-in-law? One floor below?
Maybe. Probably so. Perhaps.