Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heart-shaped Blues



There are bats. On my street. I have to duck when I walk. I do anyway because the boys playing soccer never stop for me and actually start kicking the ball harder when I walk by. Sometimes I envision deflating their ball with a knife and it making a sad wooshing noise as the air seeps out along with all of their hopes and dreams.

I have two houses in Tangier. As of yesterday neither of them has hot water. I sleep in the one that has an oven, it feels more "open to possibility" in general. Possibility of pumpkin cakes, toasted bread, happiness etc. The important things in life are still possible at the other house, only performed publicly, and now that the possibility of cleanliness has also shifted over into the public sphere (at least I can be thankful I have the option of the public bath) I think I am finally ready to get a move-on. I have spent about 33% of the past year in transition, I am used to it but I still make faces at it.



I ventured out to the city beach this morning, in the hopes of capturing the morning light on film. Fat film for a fat morning. All full of things. The dawn breaks like a pinwheel, each hazardously sharp edge taking turns rising above the silhouette of the little mountains. I adore those little light beams.

The city beach was empty except for a few homeless men emerging from the fog every ten minutes or so, with bags for collecting things. I think they got all the good stuff because I found nothing awesome except a bag of something buried too deep to get at 'er. Everything was calm and wooshing until the chaos of the birds announced the arrival of the teenage hoodlums with their soccer balls and overdramatically performed masculinity. Four of them surrounded me as I walked down the beach, occasionally grabbing, and eventually kicking their soccer ball at my ass from afar. I squealed and wished I hadn't. It was a cute sort of squeal. Occasionally it occurs to me that I should learn how to swear in Moroccan but I feel like it will have the same effect as when french people say "shits." Just laughter. Pity, depending on the tone.
It took me a few minutes, but I managed my way through the sand slowly, off the beach onto the boulevard, with no damage done or cameras missing, only angry like a tiger.

I wandered the streets for some parts of an hour, since Delta Fitness does not open until the decent hour of 7:30 and doesnt allow bellydancing of any kind before the decent hour of 3pm (I still dont understand who bellydances in the middle of a work day?). O Morocco!

Some very hip moroccan girls walking arm in arm, skinny jeans and all, stopped me with an "o binti!" as i approached the all-new, unnaturally placed public garden (it just looks like a big interupption). I turned to look and paused my noise-canceling-Jens Lekman (but he's so quiet and quivery how could he!). One of the girls pointed to her bum with a gesticulation signifying both effacement and purification. As it turned out, the kiss of the force of the object of hostility and harassment had left a heart shaped mud stain on my bum. I tried to remove it and only made it less love-ly. I did not feel defeated, but I did decide to go home. And despite the lack of hot water, it felt like a home and not just a house devoid of warmth in the face of the events that had unfolded that morning.

1 comment:

Elena said...

"Occasionally it occurs to me that I should learn how to swear in Moroccan but I feel like it will have the same effect as when french people say "shits." Just laughter. Pity, depending on the tone."
It is so true... I love reading your blog Shifa, it take me right back to Tangier. Hope you're doing well. Say hi to Safia and Yto for me!