You know, I dreamt of you last night. You had your crocodile smile. Your hair was different and you spoke English. Your jaw twitched as you gave a lopsided smile and raised your eyebrows at me. Your eyes were so blue and they cut right through me. We stood facing each other at opposite ends of a desk—I could have touched you if I wanted to, if I had only lifted my fingers. You reached your hand out. And I woke up.
You told me once that when the bomb hit, you were sitting on your balcony, a glorious morning dawning over the city. A sudden whining sound and in the blink of an eye your chair was overturned and there you were, lying on your back with your legs in the air and your mug of coffee nowhere to be found, and nothing but a great, gaping hole where your kitchen used to be. Such a strange, tragi-comic moment as you told it, grinning from ear to ear and shrugging your shoulders in resignation. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. When the cedars of Lebanon were burning, when the bodies were rotting in the streets and the bullets flew like rain across the green line, where was I? As I grasped my wine glass, the only concrete thing I could hold onto as we spoke, I wondered what was behind those blue, unreadable eyes.
Maybe I am too hard on myself. Perhaps it was me who was unreadable, not you. I understand all too well how the Lebanese bullets that pierced your Martyr’s Square, in some way, pierced you too. You see, I come from a country where, like the landscape, we are made of granite and ice. We are proud and fair and can be cold to touch. But sometimes even the sturdiest of stones can crack.
Once, I too cracked in Finland. A great hammer came down and smashed me into smithereens. An explosion of powdered ice. I too know what it is to seem alive and yet not live. Long ago, with that one forceful impact, my heart turned from flesh and blood into blasted, dry snow. I fell forever into blackness, as if pushed through the glass, an eternal drop, surrounded by glinting shards reflecting the unseen light, into an abyss, a slow-motion explosion, a bloom of icy glass stretching ever outwards. A long time ago somebody made me choke on silence, sort of like you did, the words all mixed up inside of me.
So last night I dreamt of you. Your eyes were so blue and they cut right through me. We stood facing each other at opposite ends of a desk. I could have touched you if I wanted to, if I only lifted my fingers. You reached your hand out and I took it and we smiled at each other with our eyes.