Sunday, November 26, 2006

The ringing in my ears

turned out to be Saturday night calling to say hi. A trunk call from a bar somewhere.

I was headed down toward the Semiramis for a triple-espresso and a criossant, head splitting down the mold-line. Panadols about as effective as an Egyptian traffic cop.

Cattle trucks parked in rows as usual by the Mugama, wall-eyed faces peering down through the grills at the passers-by. The basha-officers sitting at a broken table in the shade behind, on the blocked off sidewalk. Legs stretched out. Talking on their mobiles and making noises at the foreign girls.

Back in August, when it was hot as hell, you could smell those trucks—smell the sweat and unlaundered uniforms ten feet off. Now at least, with the cooler weather, you can get past them without having to breathe through your collar.

This is what defeat looks like—soldiers of a broken army paid by the winners to stay home and make sure the civvies stay in line. A rent-a-cop army parked in the shade, a “domestic use only” sticker on its forehead.

Or maybe that’s just Saturday night talking.