Ever since this lovers quarrel in the building next door went sour (here and here) , I have been waiting for a follow-up. But none has come. I look at his balcony now and then, but no changes. The towels he hung out on the drying rack the day before - so he’d have a dry towel after his shower the next morning - are still flapping in the wind. Waiting.
You see, this gentleman, the occupant of the apartment, has an interesting story to tell. I assume he must have loved the lady he was about to lose, otherwise I doubt you’d shoot the competition. He could have said,”You want her? Good riddance. Take her!”, but no, he took a stand and lobbed some RPG’s behind the argument for good measure. How did he see his future with her? Did he hope she was going to be the mother of his children?
He was well equipped to make a stand. I know most Beirutis have some sort of handgun at home, often relics from the civil war, but none that I know have an entire arsenal hidden under the bed. Some say he was recently released from jail, but I cannot verify that. If that was the case however, why would you stock up on arms? Why would anyone stock up on arms?
And what about the girl? The old aunt in my house, who knows everything and everybody, says she was a pretty sight to see. She’s better be, worth 8 hours of gun-battle. However, this is a town that is vehemently conservative in many ways. People in general do not ‘move in’ with each other until marriage. So how come she pulled that one off? Where are her parents? And did she move into with her new lover. Oh, no, she couldn’t have; he got shot. So where is she now?
And who paid for all this? The apartment is not in the best of buildings, but it is in Ras Beirut, where rental prices these days are pretty exorbitant. He had a roof top with some sea view, which accounts for something. I doubt he paid less than a $800 a month. So who was his employer?
When I look at his balcony, everything is left the way it was that day. A bit messy, but that happened after the raid, when half an army came trampling through his place. The washing machine (brand new) still stand there with the drying rack with the lilac and white towels. Nobody has come to claim a perfectly good washing machine, not the towels. I haven’t seen anybody walking around and look for personal things. No parents that came to look at ‘the last moments’ of their son. Do they even know he is dead?
This town has so many untold stories. Sometimes I wish I were Joseph Mitchell.