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The Iraqi Part 2

May 1, 2015

That evening I invited the Iraqi to go walk around downtown and look at crafts and hear music. We looked inside the many tents and booths and when I expressed interest in something, he offered to buy it for me. He talked about Iraqi’s love of pure gold and how he had a relative who could get me some gold earrings if I wanted. I told him those things weren’t important to me. He held my hand and bought me beer and we stood at one of stages and watched a band from Honduras play African music.

Liz checked in, wanting to meet up so we headed to Pamplona and managed to grab a stool in the festival crowd. We sat together and talked and looked at each other. He held my hand, bringing it up to his mouth to kiss occasionally. It was nice being there with him. It was nice being with someone. Someone who wanted me and showed it. Liz joined us for a while. I was on my second glass of wine and pledged to have no more. “You gotta watch out for her,” Liz told the Iraqi, “she’s a bitchy drunk.” I feigned innocence at such a suggestion while the Iraqi said, “I’d like to see that.” Nice come back, I thought.

We made it back to one of the stages in time to catch the last minute of one of the Festival’s highlights, a Ukrainian band with big black hats and white dresses. The music ended and we stood in the dispersing crowd, kissing. I haven’t been to Festival with someone in……well, never really. My ex and I used to go but he was awful to be with at events like that. One of the biggest fights we ever had was at Festival International. I think about it every time I pass by the steps of the old Hardware Store on Vermilion. It felt like I was taking it back a little. Enjoying Festival with someone who wanted nothing more than to be at my side, holding my hand, offering to buy me things and wanting to make me happy. It was a nice change.

The next day he walked with me in the park.

I arrived to find him waiting. He wore baggy shorts, bright shoes and a hat with his curly hair pulled back in a ponytail. He carried his keys in hands the whole time, which I found odd. I noticed a tattoo on his bicep. He showed it to me. It was a crudely drawn wolf with tribal like accents.

“Why a wolf,” I asked. “I don’t know,” he said, “It’s a strong animal, I guess.”

I tried to pry out stories of his childhood and work as an interpreter in Iraq. He talked about the Gulf wars in odd terms. Something about Saddam Hussein kicking Kuwait’s ass because they insulted Iraqis. I wasn’t quite following what he was saying. I switched to Islam and he explained the difference between Sunnis and Shias to me in a way that made sense, that I could remember. But in terms that were…..more blindly definitive than thoughtfully expounded. I was starting to wonder if we had the same values. I was searching for the fulfillment of my initial intrigue. I wanted to learn new and interesting things. I wanted to be fascinated. I wanted to be prompted into a million questions with surprising answers. His discourse left me wanting.

As I walked with him, I wondered, If this guy had been from Carencro, would I have given him a second thought?

He wanted to stay with me, but I needed a free day. Time to myself. I spend the rest of the day cleaning my apartment and wondering what Mr. Moon was doing.

to be continued…


From → Rantings

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