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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.

Being a traveler’s account of the spin that brought the world together rather more quickly than might have been hoped for in the case of at least one species on its surface; his wanderings in time and place; his explorations of media, images, and the border ‘twixt fact and fabrication; his musings on prescriptions and prescriptions and the spectrum they unite; and his lettered thought on matters aesthetic, political, and personal, illustrated in the flash of a keystroke and recounted as overheard in a vinyl-seat-filled cafe on the edge of a continent, weeks, hours, or years before it was widely recognized that such still life made for end times.