There is a black dust that is filling the air. We are breathing it in … constantly. It has settled on my clothes, in my kitchen — it is everywhere. We are guessing it is from the Jiye power station that was bombed. It is still on fire. It is the power station from which the oil spill originated from.
Today I had my first experience at queuing for gas. The shortages have arrived. So many gas stations have shut down. The few that are left have long queues. I waited for 40 minutes, and when my turn came, I was give $10 worth only.
I only have a few minutes left before the electricity gets cut. we are running on generator now and they usually turn it off at midnight.
Everyone is talking about the depleted uranium in the bombs. It is everywhere now. In the air we breathe. In the land. It will soon be in our crops, in our water. Wow. Every time I think that things can’t get worse, they do.
I am already envisioning myself with cancer. I can feel it all around me. I don’t know if I could be as strong as Maya has been.
Maya, by the way, is doing ok. She is now on about five different pain killers … they make her funny. Whenever I call she answers, “Hello. Maya’s house of pain. Can I help you?” He he. It’s funnier when you hear it on the phone.
The sky is so dark tonight. There is no moon. Beirut is quiet. Death is all around me.
Zena el-Khalil is an installation artist, painter, curator, and cultural activist. She is the co-founder of the art collective, xanadu*, that is based in NYC and Beirut. Her blog, documenting her writing from Beirut, is located at http://beirutupdate.blogspot.com/.