الثلاثاء - 19 كانون الثاني 2021
بيروت 12 °


An Early Friday Evening

هنادي الديري
هنادي الديري https://twitter.com/Hanadieldiri
An Early Friday Evening
An Early Friday Evening
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The evening hasn't begun yet.

It still has a good hour and so until it takes its final shape.

I have written my bucket list for the upcoming year, earlier today, and I must start moving if I am to accomplish all that I have come up with on that seemingly long list.

Small things.

Others slightly bigger.

They will add color to my days.

I will have memories.

Moments to think of later...when all will become quiet.

Things are bound to become quiet somewhere along the way.

I sat for a long time in front of that blank paper. My pen on the side. My cup of espresso resting within reach.

There are so many things I need to fill this year with.

I need to compensate.

For all those long years I have spent in and out of love relationships.

All this time, life was happening.

And I was falling in and out of love.

It is a hot, humid, summer day.

In a little over an hour it will be early evening.

My niece, gorgeous out – of – this- world niece, Yara, doesn't know why I have asked her to accompany me on that Friday.

However, she accepted my invitation without blinking.

She finds me strange.

Not your usual Auntie.

So she accepted.

She hasn't heard yet of my Bucket – list.

She doesn't know that she is helping me create a memorable year.

For this early evening, she will be my companion as we stroll – for no apparent reason – in the MarMikhael district which has turned into a cool place filled with pubs and Avant – garde restaurants and stylish cafes.

Somewhere along my endless list of things I wish to do this upcoming year, is a stroll midst those beautiful streets where old and new seem intertwined in the most elegant and yet modern of ways.

Old, historical buildings and hip hang – out spaces.

I like that.

It is the basis of a story.

Or perhaps, a chapter from a story.

Every morning, on my way to the newspaper, I pass through these streets, and my eyes linger on those trendy places which take me – for a short while – away from my everyday life.

To somewhere there.

I sometimes pray for the traffic light to turn red so I can soak inside the main streets' off – beat rhythm.

I never find the time or seemingly the desire to actually visit MarMikhael district and choose a place to comfortably belong to for a while.

A place where I would enjoy an icy glass of wine.

And hold my cigarette in a posh manner.

And take a couple of pictures.

And talk nonsense.

I simply watch other people's lives on my way to work.

Sometimes, I choose the same path on my way back home.

In the afternoon, people hang out in those lined – up spaces and unwind after a day's work.

I go back home, only to start another day's shift.

A new day Filled with the smell of detergents and sights of trash bags.

You see I have OCD.

And I clean for a hobby.

Today, as the early evening gets ready to put on the week- end's attire, things are different.

Yara and I park the car the furthest possible from the main street and we walk towards the cool "IN" places as slowly as we possibly can.

We also stop every few steps and I take pictures.

Of everything around me.

Yara smiles.

She finds me strange.

"You're Funky and different", she suddenly says laughing out loud.

It feels, well strange, to be finally walking midst those scenes I have witnessed hundreds of times on my way to and from work.

It is too real.

Yara and I laugh a lot.

I can't remember what we talk about.

But I do tell her about my bucket list.

Her smile widens.

"I have a strange auntie", the smile seems to whisper.

We laugh a lot.

I take tens of pictures.

Later I will download them on Facebook.

I even film a video of the early Friday evening.

And here he is.

That lovely Labrador retriever who lies lazily by the small supermarket all the time.

I always smile whenever I see him lying there without a care in this world by the store.

He reminds me of our late beloved dog, Pluffy.

Yara laughs when she sees him.

Yara owns a dog, Milka, and three cats, Tink, Lily, and Lucky.

In addition to twenty stray cats she religiously feeds on the cul – de – sac behind her house.

And here is a cunning golden cat trying to get his attention.

He ignores her.

I am guessing He is a male.

I call out on him.

He does not lift his head, but his eyes dart towards me.


I caught his attention.

Scenes seem to naturally unfold as we spend the early evening passing tens of places.

Tens of people.

Some spaces have put their tables on the sidewalks so people could experience the street moments whilst enjoying their meals.

That chef has chosen to cook on the sidewalk facing the restaurant he works in.

He smiles at my lens.

I tell Yara as we pass what seems like an interesting restaurant, "Now we can really pretend that we are tourists in our own country, seeing that we are broke!"

And just as I say that fateful phrase unintentionally loudly, I turn back suddenly and there is a young handsome man laughing whilst looking at us.


"Don't worry", he calls out as Yara and I hurry away, "We are all broke!"

Yara cannot stop laughing.

"You're different", she repeats.

I hope that's a compliment.

Small treasures translated into charming places are everywhere for us to discover.

From afar on that early Friday evening.

Yara suddenly exclaims that she will start her own bucket list for the upcoming year.

But she has a frightened expression on her face when I tell that one of my wishes includes a helicopter ride – with HER as my flight companion.

She doesn't say anything.

She simply smiles.

I know what her small, rather – shocked, smile means.

"My auntie is rather strange".

I pretend I didn't notice anything, and we spend another half an hour or so just frolicking about and talking and laughing.

I don't really remember what we talk about.

But somehow I'm sure we're okay.

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