The bridge to nowhere


They all hate it.

It is ruining business; and it’s hard to walk on.

But what can you do?  they say.

Later, the bus driver shows me his shoe.

I cannot afford to buy a new pair, he says, in Arabic.

I ask him, how much do you earn a month?

2000 LE, he replies.  Which is just over 100 US dollars.

And then there’s the children, he says, and the wife.

They all have that cross to bear, here, in the capital of the Copts.

When are you going back to America? they ask, after they are finished with their stories of woe.

There, things are much better, they say.

There you can make money, and there is freedom.

I say, no, it is the same as here.  A few people have the money, and the rest… well.

The waiters and the bus drivers talk about being stuck. You are lucky, they say.  You have lived many years in Europe and America. But where is it that you belong?

I listen. I commiserate.  But that is it.

For I can leave any time I want.

They cannot.

Meanwhile, the swinging idiot girl titties at Club Duport today had loads of fun on their stationary bicycles, earlier.

All for a good cause, they said.

Where life is as it should be.

Welcome to the bridge that goes nowhere.

Just like those bikes.

Just like those swinging titties.

Just like the ones on the bus who smile at you for no reason.

Does the word revenge have any meaning any more?


leaving america



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