Sunday, April 1, 2007

No point asking

how yesterday afternoon flushed itself down time’s toilet, let alone where the last two months have gone. The notes I took, the record of my trials and my tribulations, have disappeared. Mascara and toilet paper may not have been a wise choice of media, but they were all I had in that hell hole. So now we have no idea where the Aishas may be, or what the fate of "Al" was. The whereabouts of the Caddy are equally a mystery. My last memory of her was tilted into a ditch somewhere past Benha with half a dozen blood-eyed gallebeyas jumping on the roof howling, beating their chests and attempting to pull the chrome from the grill. But I don't even trust this memory. The wracking pain of forced detox has seared much of what was once written across my synapses into oblivion. I feel a new man in many ways. Able to start afresh. A little healed, a little holier now than I was.

Nige rolled in around 11 and here I was by the window, watching the happy flow of the Nile. The slow roll I should say. You know, I’ve been in this country a few years now, long enough to remember other rulers, sunnier days. Long enough to remember Krakov the one-eyed chimpanzee at the Giza zoo, and how he came to be eaten. Long enough even to remember Naguib in the days when you could talk to him without leaning over and shouting in his ear. Back when he was still shaving and writing his own stuff. Long enough to have watched a few miles of water flow under that bridge, and a few dumb asses jump off it too. You know what I mean. What could I say? Nige was all about facts and responsibility and waving a scrap of a summons in front of me (what kind of charge is "transporting chickens across a state line" anyway?).

Like the man said, Nige: "In the early morning rain, with a dollar in my hand, with an aching in my heart and my old pockets full of sand…"

So we tucked into a bottle of Aida he happened to have there under his arm and I gave our partners at 19330 a call and soon enough the office was humming to the old tunes.

The morning rain don't pour, and the sun always shines here in Cairo.