My wife channels through the television and the screen turns on and off.
My wife suddenly turns from a twenty four year old skinny beautiful brunette with piercing eyes and a Mona Lisa smile to an old saggy, moonfaced old woman.
My spirit suddenly falls and my body shrinks into powerless layers of fat and meat. Athletic legs are weighed down; buff, gun-carrying hands limp their way away from my body desperately.
Almost everyone I know has died and almost everyone I know now is a kid: a son, a daughter; a niece, a nephew.
“Keep it keep it. Don’t change.” I tell my wife when I see the news on one of the channels.
The anchorman’s monotonous voice echoes through the living room. My wife, my saggy old wife sighs.
“Lebanese president…unity government…inability to agree…no side is willing to compromise…”
My son comes for a quick second and goes again, and every time I see him I see Judas.
“The biggest financial crisis to hit Lebanon in years…Hezbollah…Lebanese Forces…” Monotony lulls me to sleep.
Bombs blast and sound multiple times.
Flash. Flash. Flash.
Debris and blood. My friend cries to me from the entrance of the bomb shelter. “HURRY!!” he screams. My athletic legs and buff arms come back to me. I run with my Kalashnikov to my chest and the grenades safely belted onto my waist. I reach the bomb shelter.
“That was close,” I pant. My friend laughs at me and I laugh too. We laugh at death. I look around the shelter. My skinny wife, my wife with piercing brown eyes is shivering at the far end of the shelter. The person next to her is covered in blood. I go to her, my legs wanting to run to her, but the fear in my heart impeding me. She looks at me as I come closer. She cries but does not move. My heart won’t allow me to move any faster.
I finally get to her, I look at the frozen pale body next to her, I see Judas, I hear a bang. A bomb explodes on the door of the bomb shelter.
A cedar is crying and Palestine drips a line of blood around it. We need each other to give ourselves purpose.
It’s my thirty second birthday, August 1989, and my wife, my still almost sexy wife wants to give me some pleasure. Iraq punishes Syria by arming Michel Aoun to fight Syrian-backed Lebanese parties, mostly Muslims, if not all. Christians against Muslims, but this time it’s a crusade powered by the east. And my wife wants to give me pleasure. She goes in the room, the light bulbs shake with every bomb blast and the whole building feels on the brink of collapsing. Pleasure does not seem so life fulfilling anymore, but we do it anyway. An explosion sounds closer its predecessors. The lamp above us blasts into pieces.
My wife gives birth to Judas. He’s all bloody. The electricity is cut. The electric motor of the hospital sends more power than needed to the light bulb and it shatters into pieces.
War is like magical realism in Lebanon.
“Prime-minister vows to take…constitutional talks…parliament president…high levels of corruption…”
My old wife swallows her pills. She sits like a man. Her hand shakes. A young man comes in the room and looks at me. He doesn’t come nearer, but stays still like suffering from Asphyxia.
“Are you alright?” I ask the young man.
He opens his mouth.
“I, Judas, stand in front of God, my father, and utter my words intently. My happiness is not the same as your happiness, and I kill the son of God with my words.”
My son leaves my covenant.