The windmill never worked. We, meanwhile, soak up sun when we can and doze through fieldtrip tours, failing bi-weekly vocab quizzes and claiming that our English is getting worse, suffering for our immersion.
Ripe figs rupture on the limb, swarmed by insects. A man with an empty eye socket sells red threads. A cocktail waitress walks down the street to a kiosk for another bottle of rum. She wears a tight, shiny-lettered shirt that says “I hate my outfit,” and we keep asking for her name, we Americans, we summer students, and she keeps refusing to tell us. “Call me what you want. What can it matter?”
On Thursdays, students head home for the weekend, and the professor offers to drive me out to an Arab village for the best humus in the world, served warm, coated in oil and fava beans. As we leave, crossing the parking lot, the professor bends to pick something off the ground. “Consider this tiny thing,” he says, bouncing a screw in the palm of his hand. “The American soldiers, our Israeli soldiers, they carry how many pounds of equipment, weaponry, armor, sophisticated gadgets? Then there is this, on the other side.”
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Malcolm X: w/ Alex Haley