To relax into the solace of trusted ritual

5:54am, Koreitem, Beirut

I’ve just gotten up, have wandered into the living room and happen to be looking out my balcony doors when the neighbor across the street enters the screen right of his picture window. He’s wearing only boxers, like me, but his light is on, throwing his room into high relief against a sky that has shifted to dark at this hour in recent weeks. It’s only a second or two after I glance his way that the TV, oblique to the window, but so large as to fill it, blazes to life with a soccer match. Seconds later it goes dark, returns with basketball.

This appears to satisfy, for it’s still on in that screen within a screen 10 minutes later, as I write, wondering if this is entrenched Saturday routine or coping strategy for what ails all of us.

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