The episode this morning when Israeli missiles hit residential areas in Ras Beirut, threw many people into a panic. No one expects to die at noon; that's a breach of the patterns and rules to date. They just crept up on us from the coast and boom, Boom, BOOM. I was downstairs in this Internet cafe when I heard the first blast. I ran upstair and out onto the street. Two more explosions followed, one seemingly closer than the next. To my alarmist ears they always sound close, but this time people gathered on the street corner and pointed beyond my sight range to the road leading up to the Saudi Embassy. A cab drove by with a young girl and her mother riding in the back, both holding their heads in their hands.
Forget Dr. Atkins, diet pills, and Weight Watchers; bombing is the appetite supressant par excellence. When they bomb in close proximity,like they did today for the first time in weeks, you can't eat; the general sensation of weakness brought on by an empty stomach is indistinguishable from the near paralysis of fear and helplessness. Food would bog me down, hamper my reflexes; instead of jumping out of my skin, I mighy reflexively vomit. The latter does nobody any good, and scares little children. On an empty stomach, you wretch without losing your food and nobody notices.
Eating also requires patience that I don't have when the glass panes shake, when cars are tearing through the streets, people running aimlessly for shelter, having no sense of where the next one will hit. If they keep it up for a few days, everyone gets that hot gaunt look to them. No blush needed to emphasize your cheekbones.
Now there's a solution for those lamenting the harm inflicted by this war on the tourist industry: come to Lebanon for your terror diet. If you're severely obese, we can roll you down south where fear combined with shortages will forcibly slim you down. Guaranteed, or your money back.
For the persons who fled the bombardment in the south now forced to take shelter for weeks in Sanayeh park, the bombing in Beirut is unbearable. My friend K. who visits the park every day, says some of the women from villages in the south vomited when the missiles hit Ras Beirut this morning, and were crying unconsolably. So I was right about the vomit reflex. I assume that's why the Israelis aren't letting the relief convoys bring food to the south, right? It's a waste to feed people under bombardment if they just vomit it right up.
I am ashamed that I feel like vomiting over a missile that hit the tip of an abandoned lighthouse in my everyday vicinity, when I hear stories of a lone survivor from nearby Chiyah courageously burying 19 family members, less than 48 hours after their demise. Some people survived because they stepped outside to buy bread or a pack of cigarettes, and returned to find their entire family buried under the rubble of their homes.