Hazel crashed at Winoo's, the pizza and fresh juice place around the corner we’ve gone to since we got here. She took a couple bites and then laid her head in my lap and never came up for air. I ate my last slice over her head, brushed a stubborn crumb from her tranquil forehead. Paul picked her up, she put her head on his shoulder and we walked slowly home through the beautiful light and the wind, the crazy traffic, dodged the usual dog crap on the sidewalk, bought plums from the guy across the way, slipped off her orange shoes just inside the door, and Paul set her down in bed—seamless transition.
Coming down the alley I saw a kid on a rooftop high above the single-story row of doorways that give right onto the ruts and dust of the little lane. He was waving a huge flag of Morocco, single green star sailing on the red field, pulling its standard back and forth through the air—the red and green flying against piling clouds and late sun. What was he doing up there and why? I wished aloud that I had the camera.
Two days ago I took a couple friends to visit Abderrahman—we went up together to the terrace above the little shop to take in the view. For some reason—I can’t remember what questions I asked—Abderrahmn said that his dad took him out of school when he was fourteen to help in his shop. The teacher came to the house to ask the dad to keep his son in school; the father refused—he is the only one I have to help me. He must leave school. And so it was. I wanted to be maybe a doctor or a teacher, Abderrahman said to me as we stood in the bright sun, the sea of medina rooftops, satellite dishes, rugs drying in the sun, minarets all around us.
The school days have not eased at all, the days grow hotter, Hazel and I are right back into the space we were before we left in early April. But it’s an odd time. Tickets are bought (I did that in Ohio). We leave on our tenth wedding anniversary. June 17 we’ll wake up in Marrakech and fall asleep a couple miles from the North Sea.
We three sat on the rug after Paul got home from school—we told her we’re moving to Massachusetts when we get back to the States (then she and I read Go, Dog. Go!). I am feeling settled now, more so than before, now that she knows, in her way, too.