Jul 20, 2005

Shall I or not?

Would you rather hear the story of the girl who grew up in Beni Mellal, and at 4 continually dug up the earth around her house looking for the dead and, not finding any, concluded that the dead disappeared, but then only to wake up one morning next to her dead grandmother?
Or about how Mohammed V took money under the carpet. Literally. This, when the royal family was destitute between the wars...
Or about how one of the professors was detained for several hours by police last Thursday after customs officials in Meknes found in a box sent from France an old cartoon, from the late 1980s, depicting Hassan II in an unflattering way?
Or about the woman from Indiana and her sexual appetite for 10 men from Sicily, one right after another, one evening 30 years ago? Or about her record collection of songs with titles like "incurrably romantic," "Romantically Helpless", and "Cold, cold heart."
Or about how children are taught to fear sex from an early age and more than that, how little girls are taught to believe, not by design of course, that you will never be happy with the man you marry.
Or about how when we walk in the forest, the dog and I, she becomes like a child when the barbary apes appear.... I tell her that could be you.
Or about how the other Friday I caught her outside the faculty club eating cous cous out of a torn plastic bag. 'What do you expect," she said, "It's a holy day." I killed her on the spot.
Or about how yesterday afternoon, on the road out of Meknes, the wind picked up and blew crazy and the sky to the east turned storm color, the color of my father's eyes just before he died. That color and yellow sand blowing in great torrents.
Or about the Hopper moment, with the psychologist sitting at her table with a drink, alone in the afternoon, with the windows wide open so anybody could see her, say hello, start something up, because she's got the lonlies, bad.
Or about how the university has issued, at the last moment, so it's too late to find another job, 11-month contracts for the coming year, to save a month?
Or about how my mother believed I was trying to poison her, to keep her here, out of love, courtly love she told someone, but of course obsessive love... how she thought I was going to kill the dog first, then her?
Or about how the Royal family, according to rumor, is in the drug trade, takes money from wealthy farmers in the Rif and launders it abroad? It's no lie, the blanchissment. The new boulangerie in Azrou is, I'm told on good authority, drug money.
Or about what the dog says as it's running by the car at 20 miles and hour?
Or about how woman no. 3 was freed by the notion, given her by a ghost of my motherm, that you must stay with your nature, that your inclinations, no matter how bizzare, no matter how fickle or silly, will save you? I had to laugh at that. It was a splendid justification of self-deception. The best I ever heard.
Or about how the police in Ceuta terrify the old women crossing the border, Spanish and Moroccan police alike, searching these women loaded down with contraband, which is good for both sides - the Spanish get more tax money; the Moroccans get 'product' to keep the blackmarket alive. Because a lot of other markets are dead. But what is a policeman to do? If he can't search someone, arrest someone, intimidate and examine, what good is he? Will his wife even believe he goes to his job every day? If he doesn't have stories of policing what can he tell his son?
Or about the paths we take through the forest every morning. Every day we try to get more lost, but the more we try the more we end up where we started. We're going blindfolded tomorrow.

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