MTV Arabia and black coffee

January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I see my concierge, Driss, whenever I leave or enter Résidence Sofia, but I have never seen him laugh. In an unexplainable way, his solemn face, forever framed between a gray cap and crossed arms, corresponds with the mood in my empty apartment. Sometimes the lighting is just right, that hazy buzz of gray and blue, to make me sit still for more than a few moments. I’ve never lived alone, and I doubt the experience will grow on me. Nevertheless, I am determined to make Driss grin just as I am determined to make my apartment more than just a place to feel lonely. The day before yesterday, after a failed attempt to make Driss smile, I carved out a new route to the train station and headed to Rabat. I stayed the night at Lisa’s for old times sake and to go to an Arabic course the next morning. It’s been about one month since I studied classical Arabic, and rejoining Lisa and Louis’ study group was like fighting the wind, blown off the back of a pack, by yourself in a crit race. Without anyone to draft on or help take pulls, it’s almost impossible to catch back on. Next time I’ll be more prepared. After two hours of role-playing dialogues of hotel check-ins and directions to the museum, I was already worn out.  Lisa and I took the northern-bound train together for a ways. She was heading to Fes to pick up her parents, and I got off at Kenitra. “Listen, we’ve been together for a while now, and I think it’s time you met my parents,” she joked. Next week perhaps.

When I got back to Kenitra I did my best not to feel lonely. Looking over my photos from my family’s visit was no panacea, but it worked as a temporary fix. Homework and research, another treatment, might also be used. There are five books I need to read for my gender studies class, and interviewing to be arranged for my research project. But today Kenitra has dressed itself in a shawl of Humboldt-worthy fog that changes speed and motivation from normal to reluctant.  I’m heading back to bustling Rabat to visit my friend Robert at his new apartment in Salé. And assuming I unscrambled the French slang in her text correctly (I think ajd means aujourd’hui and bjr means bonjour) I will be meeting up with my friend Meryem tomorrow.



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