Friday, June 23, 2006

Nightmare on Elm Street Atlas

This will probably go down in Cat in Rabat history as my lamest blog ever and will only serve to confirm the gravity of and long term & far-reaching effects of my recent head injury.

I was woken up this morning at 4:38. Now, I seldom sleep through the night: my catnaps are routinely interrupted by the clumsy sounds of coupling neighbours, as well as barking dogs, rutting cats, the odd persistent mosquito and/or the muezzin's call to prayer (which I have, on occasion, mistaken for the drone of a mosquito). But this morning it was different. In fact, I woke up with a start, thinking that I had had a nightmare. But I hadn't. It was a sound. A very different sound. I laid in bed for what seemed like eons, hovering in a suspended animation of angst-ridden trepidation, trying to identify the source. I eliminated everything from the above list in about 10 seconds.

It sounded human. In an undead kind of way.

To the best of my ability, it sounded like a man's voice saying the word "kerchief". It was a deep and sonorous voice and it repeated "kerchief" over and over again, carefully ennunciating the word but drawing out the last syllable so it almost sounded like a hiss.

It scared the piss out of me.

As I lay there, I began to invent possible rational explanations for this ephemeral voice but the best I could come up with was a malfunctioning call to prayer tape. But the call to prayer had long since passed. I contemplated hauling my cowardly ass out of bed and taking a shufti out the window but I was actually fearful of what I might see; in fact (and I'm embarassed to admit this), the only sound to compete with this otherworldly intonation was the thumping of my heart, pounding in my chest. The voice was unnerving me beyond belief, but I finally padded into the living room (rather than having to roll up my bedroom shutters ~ I may have been frightened, but slothfulness always takes precedence) to put a face to my tormentor.

I approached the window and took a deep breath, steeling myself against - against what? I was fully prepared to see the Grim Reaper standing in the middle of the deserted street, chanting his sibilant (I know that the "f" in kerchief is not a sibilant but my phantom made it such) mantra and pointing ominously at my window. Surely, the Ghost of Ramadan Yet to Come was waiting for me. Instead, I looked below upon an eerily empty street enshrouded in an early morning mist. But, I could still hear the voice; oddly, it was softer here than in my bedroom where the shutters were drawn.

I returned to bed and willed every cursed sound that normally interrupts my sleep to shake off the night and drown out this abberant droning. Kerchief, kerchief, kerchief!

Eventually, I gave away to sleep. Can't wait to go to bed tonight.

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