Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ramadan Karim feature - DRAFT

Sinking. Sinking slow and low into the Egyptian night, Cairo spread out below like a crazy coal-bed of sodium, like some kind of slow burning hell. And the fucking plane goes eerie silent for a moment.

We had, I realized, flown into holy air. It was the first day of Ramadan and the exhalations of the pious millions below were enveloping this invading alouj-ship, quieting its foul and vexatious fartings. How could I have forgotten?

I reached out then and touched my duty free liters, imagining myself in that moment to be Richard crossing into Turkey, fingering a silver cross hung about his neck. Doomed, to be sure. Then, mind slithering sideways like a gut shot anaconda, I saw that I had been doomed by my own talisman: no silver cross on this crusade, but a quarter kilo of half dried mushrooms, trophy of a frenzied Amsterdam lay-over, rolled up in little baggies and jammed into my suitcase between a half-read Penthouse and some dirty socks, were what hung about my neck. I began to cry. I could smell them. My head jammed against the coolth of the window, I could smell their dreadful telltale reekings wafting up from the hold below my seat. They were stinking like a well-hung albatross. I couldn't believe that there hadn't already been an uproar. Tears of repentance were streaming down my face as I started to pray to a god unknown in the land below.

The fact that I’m free to write this now, clinging to this desklamp in room 311 of the Amoun Hotel in darkest Mohandiseen, is due only to an extraordinary coincidence of fate. A gift from a god of unknown size. Leaning here on my elbows, fighting off sleep, a fifth of malodorous scotch and the effects of a ball of hashish the size of my left testicle, I can hardly believe that I have once again escaped.

Ok. Will file full draft tomorrow-ish. Can someone cut this back to a 30 word lede? Make it something – fuck. I don't know. Clean? Thanks. HR.