Saturday, October 27, 2012
When Ramadan finishes I can only say what happens here, in this house. I know L goes from friend to friend and visits, I know he drinks hot, mint tea that has too many sugars. But me? I am waiting it out in my PJs watching patters fill with home-made cookies stuffed with crushed nuts. I am watching my nieces emerge one by one from the hammam downstairs. Their dark hair braided back will fan open in waves tomorrow when they dress in white and slide through over the shiny floors in their new, black heels.
Girl Running When she runs up steps, it's the flash-SQUEAK, flash-SQUEAK of her light-up flip-flops and the bread is wrapped in paper and she squeezes it in her hand. She's running up into the Casbah, She's running and the diesel engines are idling in traffic winding down the mountain city, winding all to the seaport below.
Park: Oran, Algeria The grass is only just there, bald and muddy in patches but families have spread out across it and kids climb up the empty fountain's blue height and tag each other with lazars through the dark. Night in Ramadan and until dawn the time is theirs to eat and drink. At dawn, the time is Allah's and they will long for the darkness to come again.
Saint-George Hotel (El-Djazair)- Ramadan The history is this: built by the Turkish during the Ottoman Empire, re-done and gardens orchestra-ed by the French, and now the St. George is a tapestry of the county. The roots of the figs seek deep for the water below Algiers and the fruit and leaves perfume the sunset as the city sits down to break it's fast and begin again.
Night in Algiers The spiny orange cat licks her dusty fur and waits. Soon the empty tables will fill and air will fill with the burning fat of meats: liver and heart, thin mergez sausages six to a stick, steak and lamb chops. This lioness of the Casbah will get the bones, the leftover bites the men cannot finish.