Thursday, 21 April 2011

Rebel with a cause


We met Abdul one night in an illegal drinking den in Essaouria.

An unnamed bar, an unnamed street: a haven that the locals kept to themselves.

Away from tourists.
Away from police.

It was the kind of spot where stray dogs and alley cats met to drink gallons of cheap beer and smoke hash joints and weed pipes.

Abdul was a prince among beggars, another son of the shadows. He talked all through the night. He said God gave us two ears but one mouth - so we could speak only a little and listen to a lot. He hadn't slept in two days. He was taking the weekend off from his job as a mechanic in the north. He spent forty-eight hours spread evenly between bars, brothels and fishing.

'Hoder!' He cussed. He had been a sailor and picked up slang words in every port. He slammed his fist on the table. The hands were titanic and rough like all wise men's. 'You go to Taroudant? Why? You read this in book, no? Fuck that. I tell you, you must live in your own time. You are what you feel, what you see. I am not a philosopher of politics, but I know this. You are your eyes. Believe only as you see.'

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