Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Rumor of Arabia, Part II

Now you see here is the perfect example--Yesterday (Tuesday) Mamdouh returned to the house at about 10 a.m. from wherever he had been all night, promptly went to bed, and slept throughout the day and the following evening. My wife and I went to bed at perhaps midnight, and then somewhere during the witching hours, Mamdouh arose and slipped quietly away into the night once again.

Does this seem a bit mysterious? It seems so to me. Where could he be going? What might he be doing?

We know that he has friends, fellow countrymen, who live downtown and also go to the University--but do they all stay up through the night and sleep out the day? The question does not change with added characters. One merely wonders now what all of them are doing.

It may seem odd, given the multitude of more reasonable suspicions that might have entered my mind, but my first thought was that he might be a vampire. In fact, I still haven't ruled it out. After all, is this pattern not typical, even classic, for characters such as these? By day they take to their coffins, to sleep away the hours of light (or maybe they read books or do knitting--something, in any case, quiet and bloodless and only dimly lit). Then comes the night, where violent secrets come to life, wherein the chains of light are severed and the creatures roam free, ravenous, stalking the coed and the bag lady alike, for the taste is for blood, not for beauty (no matter what comes out of Hollywood).

I think, anyway. Although I'm not an expert on vampires. It strains the imagination, such that in the light of day even I cannot fend off disbelief.

And yet . . . did I imagine it, was it the wind, or the neighbor playing his TV too loudly, was it the freight train down by the slough . . . or was it a howl that I heard, a wolf-like gasp of thirst trailing from the open window of Mamdouh's ghostly coach (a 2003 Camry) . . . Maaaaam-doooooo-oooooooo-ooooooouh . . . .

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