Feb 1, 2005

The Colonel

Originally uploaded by macnamband.

Did I tell you about meeting the colonel? We met him in the souk in Casablanca. At the Debrghaleff. Down a dark little rabbit run, that ends up in electronics. Here, everyone knows the colonel. He's now a policeman. He invited us to his house. We looked at each other and agreed to go.

He lead us to his car, told us to watch for pickpockets. The car was a shiny blacked-out, black Benz. Inside, you could see it had known better days. The transmission shuddered. Doors didn't open. We drove away.

The colonel stopped by to get pastries. We arrived at his house, an old villa in the California district, which is home to retired military.  In the front yard, a Firebird up on chalks. Next to that a rotting garden. The porch, a mess.

We sat down and looked at pictures of the colonel in better days. At Ft. Benning and Ft. Hood. In the same class in war college as Schwartzkoff and the secretary of state. "Oh, I love America," said the colonel. "My first wife was from San Diego." He showed us her picture. She looked like somebody from San Diego: Blonde, dark glasses, a smile. Definitely West Coast.

These days the colonel is in charge of all detectives in Casablanca. Or so he claimed. He loves movies about espionage and international terrorism.

His wife appeared. She brought more pastries. His children appeared. Beautiful children. We talked and talked and finally it was time to go. We went out to the Benz but the tire had gone flat. We walked across the causeway. He walked with us, waited with us, hailed a cab, got us in and away. We promised we would call him, but we haven't yet.

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