Forever in the Seagull’s Debt

Port El Jebeha, El Jebha, Morocco

Time stopped. My heartbeat started racing and I gasped for air. I felt like I was buried under debris.

It was as if I had just come across another layer of the human soul, which revealed itself wider than the sky and deeper than the sea standing in front of me. I never thought I would deliberately seek to face my worst nightmare!

The Seagull Shore is a beautiful beach on the Mediterranean coast which has yet to be discovered by outsiders. Only a few boats chug out to sea from the docks that can be found nearby. The women of the courageous sailors stay ashore, waiting anxiously for their safe return home. The shore is also frequented by youngsters, who go there to get high and stare at the horizon.

That beach is, in my eyes, the country’s crowning glory. It brings me hope for the future. From there, one can discern Europe’s coastline on a clear day. Europe, that promised land whose siren song has led so many to drown in sea. I have always wondered why the ground to the North of the Mediterranean is so much more covetable than the one to the South.

My gaze had fallen on a seagull and it suddenly seemed as if there was nothing else that mattered in the entire world but the feeling of belonging to the present time and the space surrounding me that the seagull gave me. Its eyes were glued to me. I thought it resembled a child wanting but not daring to ask an embarrassing question. I went towards it. It was perched on top of a four-meter-tall concrete wall rising not far from where I was standing. With my fear of heights, it seemed like it was going to be a breeze climbing the narrow wall and walking on it to get closer to my feathered friend! Ceasing to bother with it definitely seemed like the better idea, but I couldn’t help wanting to discern its fixed, piercing and steely gaze, which had me completely riveted to the spot. The rest of the gulls seemed like drooling idiots in comparison. Hence, I took the stairs that led to the top of the wall and started inching towards it. I had to meticulously measure my every move to avoid scaring it away. Suddenly, my head started pounding and I started feeling dizzy. I had gotten as close as humanly possible. I felt relieved, like I had overcome my fears. Reality seemed to have acquired a new dimension thanks to that seagull’s impenetrable eyes and inscrutable countenance.


Written by Ibn Allal Sidi Khaled.