Jan 23, 2005

The Specialist

In those days the Colonel had other "responsibilities." One was to keep the opposition in line and if you were on his list, he would send his men out to find you. If you were in say, Khouribga, he would send the "specialist". The "specialist" was an anonymous looking little man with unsusually smooth skin. He would arrive at your house at any hour. You were always asleep. Or, you were naked and compromised in your bed. His men would steal into your house and escort him up the stairs right to your room. They would open the door and suddenly here is the "specialist" standing over you. If you didn't wake up by then, he might look at you for a long time and maybe even draw up a chair and sit down next to you and blow smoke at your face until you woke up. "Good evening," he would say in French or Arabic. If he spoke in French he would adopt that culture and he might humililate you verbally for a moment. He might say, "Who is this woman you are sleeping with? Is this your wife or your mistress?" You see and if it was your wife, then she would think you had a mistress. If it was your mistress then you would be on notice. He always knew. He was like a good lawyer, he always knew the answer to his question. Or, he might speak to you in Arabic and he would speak in a low voice and tell you that you were barely goat shit and enough was enough. He was, he said with his left eye fluttering sometimes, finished with your doubts and your fears and whatever reservations you had about the government. He might occasionally also speak in English, if you knew he could not speak it, or Spanish, as a way to test you and he might say, "I'm going to fuck your wife right now in front of you and all my men after me." And if you didn't react that would tell him something and he would go further to find out if you were either ignorant or clever. He would track you down, bring you to ground. Isn't that the expression? and then suddenly he might stand up and leave. He would go down to the car while you got dressed. Or else, if you were naked, he might sit there and watch you get dressed and comment on your body, on your fat or your muscles or lack of them and of course inevitably "your thing" as he called it. How is "your thing" doing these days. And he might even talk to it, and have the guards bring you close so that he could speak directly and at close range, as though it were another person. "I'll bet you know something; and I'll bet you'll talk won't you. You'll tell me what's been going on here. You never lie and I trust you. So don't worry, you'll be taken care of; you don't have to worry. But it's important that you get him to understand."

And then he might look at you. And depending on his mood he might have one his men lean down take you in his mouth. Anything was possible. He might pull out a pair of scissors and snap them open and shut. There were other specialists in those times, and they all used different methods. But the head of specialists, the most feared and the one the colonel handpicked, and some say, trained, for the job, was this one. I have never heard him called by name, only the "specialist." When I asked the colonel, he merely smiled and shook his head. "I never asked," the colonel said to me.

When he was finnished with you, in one way or another, he would go down to the car and wait for his men to bring you down and you would all drive back to Casa. Followed by a second car. He always went in two cars. If you were important he would have you sit in the front seat and he would never stop playing with your mind. He might show you a piece of piano wire he carried in his pocket. He would talk about the g string, and if you were sophistcated, he might make a joke about the double meaning of the G string. Or even the G spot. "I love the G spot," he would say. "I always find it. Women know I will." He would try to get you to relax and then he might slip the G string around you neck and let you ride with it like that for several hours. He could tighten it or not. And so you were always living in the moment. This was his plan, to get you to live in the moment, but of course always a moment of fear. And then at some point he would offer you Moroccan tea. With honey. That was his signature, the honey. That was sign to you; you were now in the hands of an icon, a myth. If you had questions until this moment, then you could relax if only because the truth was out. You are in the hands of the Specialist. And so he would take you to Casa to the colonel's home in the Laya quartier where your experience would begin in earnest....

No comments: