The Parched

Existence is compatible with chaos. The chaos’ time is never to be lost whilst being an unconscious step towards more steps. It fits extremely with tiredness, while a wild fantasy drives body and spirit across the unknown brighten jungles, a coercion without handgrip.

He was glamorously spelling a name. That was his name: ‘Jamal’. He slackly turned his face, then the entire stretched carcass towards the source of that soft voice. There was a heavy yellow light coming out from the open dusty window. He was insinuatingly looking at her, while she was positioning before the window. He could not define: who was she? Only a perfect female bulk like a standing fish, she was dancing a cool Salsa style, moving her hips left and right, and the song’s lyric was only ‘J-m-a-l-I-l-o-v-e-y-u-o’. He kept blinking, fighting with his eyes in the tough process of opening them and then she came closer, she gently gave him a deep blind kiss and caressed him. He could undergo her heavy pumping. He fluctuated thinking that he was pushing toward her attractive body; he was actually pulled by a cursed hidden power of human sensation. He was feeling that much unfamiliar joy within the lazy blistering veins. As he was weltering on the pallet for many times, spicing up the scene, he shocked his facade head with the iron skeleton of the bed. Still under the blanket, he was seeping and his consciousness was getting back like the blooming gloom of reality of typical poor’s mornings. He was bolting his sweaty body, trying to find out what happened. He got the above side of his head out of the warm blanket, the window showed a foggy sky, he wandered: ‘is it morning?’ He gazed at the clock on the wall, it was suspended, and then he indolently covered his face, trying to recover his thoughts. He was consecutively coughing, he remembered: the days before, he had passed a tough headache, “Ugh! I’ve an exam today”, he looked at the others’ beds in the shared room, none was still asleep, ‘has they gone?’ He disgustedly jumped throwing the blanket on the left side. He put his feet on the cold floor and walked towards the light. From the corridor, he saw people walking on the campus’ yard. He called someone:

– “Excuse me friend: What time is it?”

– “It is 10 and 25 minutes.”

– “Is it morning?!” fleeing from fool people, that person did not answer and walked away.



Again, that was a cursed Thursday. Jamal walked on different directions in the room with the same hysterical rhythm of a being who realized that he is not a complete being. He was unbelievably responding to the walls, the same words that he used to shout every morning since he had come there; he cursed the new day which suddenly came after a short sleep. He remembered the time and befell in more nervousness. He found out that he betrayed the planned program as well as the will betrayed him. It was 10:40 am, he was in the way towards the faculty and his breath was outrunning, squealing: “Damn the dream… Damn the dream!”

Jamal had to be at the classroom and set for an exam that seemed to be a matter of life or death. It was “the last chance exam”. Alternatively, a whole year would be lost. Through the sportive complex of the campus, he climbed the wall, which separates the faculty from the campus. He found that the easy point to jump to the other side was blocked by cement… ‘What a bad luck!’ He looked for an easy place swearing by Heaven to never getting out of the gate and taking the familiar long way. All the places were hard to get through. He chose a place near eucalyptus trees and many wild plants. With difficulty, he passed the three meters’ wall ripping off the splinters of broken glass that were attached to the above point of the wall. Finally, Jamal was in the faculty filled up with dust and the appearance of a refugee who had fortunately fled from war.

An hour was left. The boy entered the class without permission. He speechlessly headed towards a vacant seat, while everybody was staring at his awkward steps. Their eyes were raising thousands of questions. They were oddly looking at him and at the footsteps which he left behind. They forgot that they had an exam. The old lady in white stood like a statue, she was telling him many times: “You are belated… you are forbidden… you don’t have the right to pass the exam…” but, he did not notice her. On the seat, he took a long gaze at the way amid the tables which he had just passed by: there were many bloodstains on the floor. Astonishing red points were painting there. Accordingly, he understood the others’ eyes, and he realized that he wounded his big toe. He didn’t bend over to check the depth of the injury; inn sufferance was telling everything. He guessed that there was no need to waste more time since the questions sheet was still virgin. As time was no longer indulging, Jamal started recklessly rapping the whiteness of the sheet.

His eyes were still hazy because he did not wash his face with water and soap as usual. He wrongly read the question, which was written on the blackboard with a pallid chalk, it was too dubious: ‘It was about – Dead penalty -. But, he foolishly read it -dead plenty-!’ Under the influence of pain and the tempo tones of the hungry belly, he started filling in the sheet’s exam wrongly, talking about the wide-spreading of death in his country that time around. He recalled all the dead people and begged them to tell him about the factors behind their death, he kept avoiding talking about natural death; nature doesn’t kill.

Time caught Jamal up and killed some of the banalities. It was twelve o’clock. Everybody left the classroom except four: Jamal and his misery versus the lady in white and her angriness. She was asking for the paper and the boy was needed more minutes to finish. Lastly, the second part won the round. She left heedlessly the classroom as everybody had done. Was anyone aware of that? The pale boy had a queer nightmare… he had not slept enough last night… he had no breakfast… he had climbed a high wall, and there he hit the big toe. Alas! The big head did not know anything about people with bad-luck.

Was the boy innocent?

Lonely in a big room, he sprawled on the seat. He looked at his right feet, there was much curdled blood on the big toe, and he didn’t give much attention to the ugly scene whilst the empty tables did so; deafness was a solution. He stared into the space in front of him for long time thinking of the morning girl and of all that happened after that. He gave a deep clumsy laugh and creepily left the place from the back door, exactly where none had gone before.

M’hamed Kanour

Picture on top: “The Mediterranean coast” by Henri-Edmond Cross


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