Dedication for this write goes to SOFREP Sister Ms. Joy B

Read part one

Fate found me feckless and fez-less in Fez. Certainly, that must be against some city ordinance there, no doubt punishable by a night in the pokey. I fancied my skull crowned by my Taqiyah that I had purchased rather than the fez I had originally stolen cities ago. Some rat bastard had taken it from me while I was distracted—the nerve of the unbridled brigand!!

I jumped from the taxi that I had hailed once I “broke out” of the Medina. I felt a goon as I had just stiffed a nine-year-old kid of a few Dirham for guiding me out of that labyrinth of a lair, the Medina for Christ’s sake! I consoled myself with the whimsical prospect of: “What if that kid had turned and kicked my ass; wouldn’t I feel so much worse right now??”

The walled city Medina, its fortress walls readily seen in the fore and backgrounds

And wouldn’t you know it, Goddamnit, in my zeal to get out of the cab I had him drop me off far short of my dorm for the night. I was livid, that’s right livid, with a capital L and that rhymes with… Christ, it doesn’t rhyme with Jack $hite does it…

When lost in Fez, grab a kid to show you the way. I was about to look for a kid when a kid was already upon me. This bloke was more so about 13-ish and a sukoshi more worldly than the lad from the Medina:

Delta’s ongoing Selection; the Fuzz in Fez

Read Next: Delta’s ongoing Selection; the Fuzz in Fez

“Hey Mister, I show you around Fez; the best shops around; finest leather good in world!”

“Yeah, junior… just take me to the Souk Babou-Jaluud.”

Typical Souk, or market district in the city

And we were off on a trot to the Souk, the kid’s mouth taching out in the red the whole time such that I mused he might blow a gasket and his brains would start squirting out of his head. It was hot. I mean, it was the desert after all. I had taken to a grand bout of perspiring as we moved.

Finally at the doorstep of my dorm, where a woman was without apparent reason sitting and gawking at the boy guide and I. It was the moment of removing myself from my boy-guide’s presence. I didn’t plan on giving him one red Dirham since we didn’t barter any kind of deal. I was disenchanted with the entire country and just wanted him gone.

“Hey Mister, you give me five Dirham.”

“No!

“Hey you know Mister, this is a nice shirt; where I can get a nice shirt like this?” The tot teased as he felt the sleeve of my bad-boy T-shirt with: “Runs with Scissors” inked onto the front of it.

“You like this shirt? You want a shirt like this?? I’ll tell you what…” and I stripped the T-shirt off over my head. The woman sitting on the porch looked, then looked away as if she was suddenly seeing an unannounced porno video… then she looked again.
I winked at her in an unconcerned way as I handed the boy my sweaty wadded up shirt.

He looked at it with surprise and disgust. I shoved it into his chest and placed his right hand on the top of it inviting him to embrace the shirt to his bosom. I brushed past the porn monger woman and slammed the front door behind me. Yea, though I stood in the lobby blinking at the clerk, I harbored no shame for my nudity.

Delta’s ongoing selection; Part 13, praise Allah

Read Next: Delta’s ongoing selection; Part 13, praise Allah

Above: notes from time in Fez, just prior to arrival in Casablanca
Above: notes from time in Fez, just prior to arrival in Casablanca

“Bon jour,” greeted the presumptuous clerk.

“Aselamu alekum,” I begrudgingly returned.

I sat in my room with absolutely nothing to do; I just didn’t want to be out of my room for awhile. I fanned myself the best I could with a motel pamphlet. There came a knock at the door, which turned out to be the main desk clerk. Ok, so I accepted that:

“Je m’excuse, monsieur… mais il y a quelqu’un a la port pour vous (excuse me, Sir, but there is someone at the door for you).

There now!! This is new; something big is about to go down, I was sure of it. I crept to the door and met… an old gentleman who shook my hand wildly and welcomed me to Fez. For the love of Allah, he was a long-since retired school teacher of English who just wanted to practice his English.

Did I mention I was in a foul mood? I humored the gent nonetheless. He handed me paper and a stubby pencil that he must have stolen from a psycho ward somewhere. I mean, that’s where I stole all my stubby pencils… just sayin’.

He was hell-bent on me copying down sentences that he spoke to me about a squirrel that ran along the grass and climbed up into a tree and circled round and round and ran back down the tree… there was a slow countdown from ten inside my head that portended when I was about to detonate and annihilate every living being in the Souk.

“Ok look, man,” I finally rebuffed, “I’m getting tired of this, and besides the pencil lead is going flat—I hate that!”

I shoved the paper and psycho pencil back at him and stormed off to my room again. Now I was mad all over again and couldn’t sit still in my room. A second knock came to the door. Again the clerk indicated there was someone at the door.

“Oh $hit, could you just please tell me who it is??”

“Le vieux, (the old man),” was the response and there was lift off. “Mother Effen son of a bitch!!” I announced as I plowed through the front door, passed le vieux seated on the porch, who reached his hand up to me and let out a pathetic groan as I fleeted past. I imbued a solemn vow upon myself to clock any kid that approached me offering himself up as a tour guide.

I made my scheduled contact at the Gate of the Winds and saluted the usual nothing and nobody with marked fervor. “Groundhog Day,” I muttered, “Why would today be any different.” I sulked my way to a cluster of taxis and grabbed one. I had already spent my breakfast and lunch Dirham on taxi rides, to the extent that my stomach announced my very being as an assholic jerk.

“To the Medina!” I announced rebelliously to the driver. Yes, I would visit the Medina on my own terms. It would be a gesture of victory on my part. I de-cabbed and entered the Medina afoot. I wandered up and down stone steps aimlessly parrying all the arms that reached out from a gantlet to clutch me into their leather shops to push their purses and pelts.

“I show you best shop in Median; best leather!” promised a sudden voice from my flank. “Wow, the best leather in alllll the Media? Fagettabowdit—you’re on!” I was led up and up and up some stone stairs to a lofty and airy shop that presumed in its aspect to be the highest shop in the Median. “This alone has got to be status,” I figured.

The owner was a nicely-kempt perfumed George Pickett of a man, who put me in mind squarely of the rug shop owner I met my first night in town. He lead me around his shop, gesturing to the many leather goods that adorned the stone walls, and finally to a large rectangular opening in the far wall of his store. I looked out and down and was stunned by the ineffable vision that I witnessed there.

The famous leather goods dye vats of Fez

Mesmerized fairly fully describes my affect at that moment, looking out over the dozens of stone vats of richly colored liquids. If I had a million dollars I would have spent a million and one dollars in that man’s shop. As it were I had zero Dirham to even eat a single meal that day. I contemplated that I would have to dip into my “reserve” soon.

There would be no meal today unless I stole something. I had inexplicably become for the first time in my life a measure of superstitious, an affliction that I wore on my sleeve. I was convinced that if I stole another thing I would meet with unspeakable peril.

I would refrain from the vice, though my scientific mind rebuked me at every turn. I was a fool, yes, but I was a Catholic fool, and if you stole you went straight to HELL!

Hell was at hand; Heaven could wait. There would be no involuntary relent of goods and quick sprint into an amorphous throng of a crowd. The Earth could belch forth a cavernous crevasse and swallow me later. Saint geo was in charge now; saintly and hungry.

By God and with honor,

geo sends

All photos courtesy of Wikipedia and the author