In the centre’s big garden, Katie, a girl working in the centre and I, once had a picnic party. We took some wine with mozzarella cheese and some bread.
We started a fire, and spread a brown wool blanket among some trees.
“Why did you leave your country?” Katie asked me, so I told her a story.
“It was the afternoon, I was playing dominoes with my deaf-mute father. He got up suddenly and took two beers out of the fridge and signaled to me to follow him. We went and sat by the railway track near our house. I pointed to the ground with my right index finger, then moved my outstretched hand right then left to ask him, “What are we doing here?” My father raised his left index finger and pressed it under his left eye, meaning “You’ll see.” He smiled and clinked his bottle with mine to say “Cheers!”
When we heard the whistle of an approaching train, my father reached into his pocket and pull out a dirham coin. He placed it on his left palm and began to turn it over for me to see. He pointed to the two sides of the coin, the picture and the inscription, the head and the tail. My father laid the dirham on the rail, and returned whistling, like someone expecting a surprise. We were drinking our beers when the train sped by in front of us. I watched as my father searched for the dirham between the track. When he found it, he placed it in his left palm and poured some beer over it then closed his fist. Then he stretched out his clenched hand towards me, opened it and blew a raspberry.
The dirham had been transformed into a smooth piece of metal with neither head nor tail. He sipped his beer as I inspected the dirham. Then with his right index finger he prodded me hard on the chest, and pointed to the flattened dirham and to the ground. I understood what he was telling me: “If you stay in this country you’ll end up like this dirham.” He tossed the piece of metal high into the air and broke into loud laughter.”
“I love this story,” said Katie moving slightly away from the fire. We were eating mozzarella and bread, and drinking wine, lying on the woolen blanket we had spread out near a fire that had gotten warmer.
I whispered in her ear, asking if she wanted me to take off her tight jeans. She looked into my eyes and nodded, smiling.
Her panties were white and had a big picture of an old-style aeroplane on the front. As I put my head between her white thighs I noticed the plane looked exactly like the one that pursued Cary Grant in the Hitchcock movie North by Northwest. I kissed the aeroplane and felt for a moment that it was flying.