Sunday, January 27, 2013


I keep mistaking strangers for my few remaining friends in Tangier and it keeps me feeling safe on the street. I realized that the reason I can never get a realistic perspective on modern-day Tangier is because I have only only befriended crazy people. People off their meds or damaged by years of drug use, or just senile. 

I complained to my favorite pizza man about still being single. He just got married five months ago and told me I "missed my chance." He reminded me that he asked me years ago and I denied remembering.

In my broken derija/fus'ha: "It must have been a long time ago, when I still had my beauty. Now, there is no man in the world that wants to marry me. Poor girl."

Another boy chimed in: "Any man would want to marry you. Anyone. Ask anyone."

It was inappropriate and heartwarming. I took my pizza and fled to the sanctuary that is Cafe Paris. Where no one bothers me and the waiters seem genuinely relieved that I am still alive. I successfully got all of them to call me Hajja Shifa. I announce it to anyone who remembers me because it's the best thing I've ever done, and like to follow it up with "I have a new heart!" in desperation.

I suspect this may have been the driving force behind "Tangier: Case Closed." To claim that I have a new heart and I don't need the old one, wherever she is, lying in a gutter somewhere. Probably in Beni Mekada.

Incidentally, I also learned a new way to spell my name.

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