10 September 2009 Typing and Cigarettes
My flatmate is a forty-plus year-old Moroccan ex-professional futboler for Forza Kawkab in Marrakech named Saiid. “No coffee; no food; no seegarette; no nusing, man,” he says of his Ramadan fast, “until seven tirty. At seven tirty, no problem.”
At 7:30 he feasts on the fine Moroccan cooking he’s slowly coaxed toward sublimity throughout the long, hungry day.
“Don say nusing to me before coffee,” he laughs. “After Ramadan, I drink coffee twice: morning an’ after-noon.”
Saiid prayed today in Arabic and read from the Holy Qu’ran, muttering to himself and God beside me as I typed away at a blog post I’ll likely not publish anytime soon.
I am allowed to smoke indoors here, but I feel bad doing it, since Saiid doesn’t. But that doesn’t stop me. Typing and smoking is a past time I’ve missed since my Estate Lurkenlund days in the U.S.V.I.
Displayed prominently on the coffee table straddling a neat stack of remote controls for the television and VHS player are pictures of Said with John Kerry. On the entertainment center are his pictures with Washington, D.C.’s mayor. “He come into my work. He call me brotha. I say ohhh, Fenty my brotha,” he tells me, smiling.
I sublet the mattress in his living room on Capitol Hill area for an affordable $440 per month.