Saturday, August 29, 2009


The people of the town have a right to know

I am a local person.

I have no right to combining,
neither apparent combining nor real combining
neither apparent nor real combinations of salutations
and I salute you, members of the community.

At least three DVD vendors in Tangier think they are eventually going to marry me and it's not my fault. Each time I go back I get to learn new things about what I've been up to while I was gone. Sometimes the references make sense, or if the stories had titles they could apply to something I might do.

One of them gives me gifts. He leaves them at the cinema and then sits outside the hanout with the Marlboro men until I get there. I think he has been forced to make friends with a lot of the guys in the Socco because of this habit, and also smokes less because he can't smoke in the more public of the public, and by default this makes me a good person.

It had been a while since I'd got a gift but then, it had also been a while since I'd been in Tangier. He asked his messenger what I thought when I got it, and the messenger told him that I laughed. He held on to his fury.
"No. She was laughing on the outside but crying on the inside."

We're all in this together, the men on the corner and the crazy people and
I am also in on this. In December we agreed to disagree and I reverted to the comfort of being mute.
Wouldn't say something like, my mother looks just like Fairouz before the nose job. I can't even imagine saying that. But I know I said it like five or six times not that long ago.

The turnover rate is increasing but so is the rate of return,
and I can quietly go back
to being a local person
contained in one small pocket of the city.

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