N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 2
TANYA EL KASHEF
Cairo Jazz Club
in a place near downtown where live bands sometimes play he wears eyeliner,
i cannot see.
black t-shirt and black hair
white face and a smirk to match - but not the eyeliner.
borrowed beer in hand and lanky movement
he laughs with friends but doesn’t smile
a tequila shot offers a moment's joy, lights up;
not a moment for cheers,
through dimmed walls of red and brown and coral looking stones lit up in blue
and yellow and green,
from the high table in the back to the place upfront where The Actors belong and
a band plays beatles' songs
the night gets later
i need somebody.
further into the darkness i go towards the girl's bathroom and its snappy swinging
door of wood and copper swirl. a step down and into the smallest enclosure with
a single stall; the peach tiles reminiscent of rented beach houses and the wooden
accents of bad 80s movies. the sink on the right was always awkward, so is
the snappy swinging door – with bristles for a seal that scratch as you squeeze
through. usually brimming with overheated girls,
as i step outside, so is our table.
whizz past the emptying bar through dark bodies closer to the stage, the band
bustles in the corner. take a left, angle past moving body, avoid sweaty clash,
look down carefully and tip toe over another, tease a stumble, take a deep breath
and from the shadows his
familiar outstretched hand. uncomfortable comfort and musky fields,
i barely hold on to let go.
escape into the phosphoric streets of 2am Cairo, sounds of beeping and
cacophonic driving almost unnoticed. my friends aren't there. the man at the door
on his bar stool - yellow t shirt with a single white stripe that implies gym teacher
- tells me they've gone. his expression laughs at me.
my phone rings,
boop boop... boop boop...
it's one of the ones who've left me behind.
turning away from the man at the door, leaning on a wide square column at the
top of the stairs, i watch cars go by. its cool marble gives me comfort, its
hardness surprisingly soft. it's not long till a friend's navy blue jeep pulls up and i
get in. music plays, cigarettes smoke, the car accelerates with a loud vrooom,
looking at me she asks,
are you okay?
I never saw his eyes