John Steinbeck leaving Ain El-Remmaneh

“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

I have lost touch with reality and I had to keep moving in order to maintain this necessary evil. I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found. Being tied up in Ain El-Remmaneh (Beirut) made life unbearable, the circumstances made me rush out of my place one morning as if there was a force of nature pushing me out.

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. I fear the disease is incurable. I fear that if I stay here, I would dissolve into concrete in this shit-storm of a country. I could hear the mothers screaming from the balconies while I ran out the street; it was as if the mothers of nature were begging me to leave. The sun was up and the guns were chirping like mourning doves on a hot summer day. I could still remember the look on your face as you took off your dress and threw it on the floor. Different memories bombarded my head as I ran out the street, my life was behind me and my future in this God forsaken world was not certain. I found out that after years of struggle, we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. So I ran till I saw my friend Charlie trying to turn on his car engine, he had some travel bags in the backseat, and I hopped in the car without saying anything to him. He looked at me with a slight tear in his eye and said “Let’s go”.

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