new meetings


roy orbison’s syrian doppleganger was on the royal jordanian flight from new york. his wife was complaining of the delays; he tried calming her down enough so that he could step forward and rip into the sap behind the desk. on the airplane i heard a few guys gawking together as roy found his seat on the airplane. they thought he looked like elvis. the dark shades and the black toupee helmet, to me, were all orbison.

joseph is my new landlord. a teacher, he has a large grey moustache that would fit into gilbert and sullivan. he is charming, i don’t understand nearly everything he has told me about the new apartment, though i believe i retained the most important bits so far. the water shuts off for a few hours a day. “the whole city is using the same water,” he told me, so no surprise that it cuts out for some time each day. best of all he told me that the water from the sink in the kitchen, which is in the basement, is good to drink. the water for the shower, the hammam, which comes from a tank by the front door, however, is not. one of the bedrooms in the new place, which is on a quiet corner in the christian quarter, is covered is old movie posters that seem half-plastered to the wall and ceiling. one is of “scanners,” though not the image of the guy melting into nothing. david cronenberg’s 80s vision, on a wall in the old city of damascus.

after i got my keys and practiced closing and locking the door, joseph told me of the church nearby that he goes to, and he mimicked a cross across his chest. a few minutes later, joseph leaned in close as we pushed down another narrow alley that was not as quiet as the last one.

“syrian girls, so beautiful.” he motioned to two women walking steps ahead of us. “they are so beautiful, no?”

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