The speech of the honorable chief was being relayed live everywhere and his impassioned lecturing was even more unbearable than the honking cars outside. Through the TV screen, he asked, “Who are you?”, an existential question that kept everyone in the crowded café on their toes while waiting to catch the names of those being referred to; and all that collective excitement had to be handled without any sort of air conditioning, which had stopped working after the price of electricity had skyrocketed.
According to Mr. Star—the proud owner of the kiosk around the corner—the only way of reaching Rafiq’s place without being seen was taking the dark side alley. He also told me he hadn’t seen him leave his apartment in weeks. After giving me the papers I had asked for, he whispered, “Godspeed, míster!” Hence, I scooted off, the chief’s question, still echoing in my ears, and the patronizing smirk on his face, engraved in my mind.
Close to the mausoleum that was built a few years back for some politician, I turned ...Read more