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Articles tagged "Drugs"

A Relentless War

There is an atmosphere of intense concentration around the solid wood table. General Makhloufi, Commander in Chief of the Royal Gendarmerie, Tangier Province, stands in front of a giant map of the region outlining the tireless battle that the police—under his leadership—are waging against the growing and trafficking of cannabis in the Rif. He pinpoints each operation on the map. Facing him, three senior officials from the US Drug Enforcement Agency in staid suits are propped up...

A Blackened Land

So many miracles have happened to me in the last few months. I left behind my beloved homeland where I was born and raised and made my way through hell, just under the nose of the grim reaper. Today, I enter through the gates of heaven. The Republic of Korea! This is heaven. When the gates of this paradise open wide—a heaven once glimpsed only in fairy tales—that beautiful world I so ardently longed for will spread out before me. I will no longer be forced to struggle against...

Death Count

In the small hours of March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese ended her shift at the bar as usual, took her car, and parked a few  yards from the apartment complex where she lived, in Kew Gardens, Queens. As she started to walk toward her home she noticed a shadow behind her. Terrified, Genovese ran to Austin Street, closely followed by a man. Before she was able to take refuge in a building, the attacker stabbed her twice in the back. She screamed for help. Of the dozens of apartments in the...

Velocity

I met her on the day that I divorced the sow. She came up to me and asked if I wanted a hug. She was wearing a black T-shirt with the words “International Hug Day” emblazoned on it. Behind her trailed a flock of smiling huggers. On any other day I would have yelled at them to go get a real job, since I knew they were the type who turn the celebration of “international days”—days like “No-Smoking Day,” “Family Day,” “Accident-Free...

from “Thirty Nights in Amsterdam”

[The narrator, Zan (Susan), is the daughter of MaOlivier de Melker, a prominent citizen of Graaff Reinet, a small conservative South African town. Also living with them is Henkie, the young son of Zan’s farmer brother. Zan is prone to epileptic fits; she is also, as a form of resistance to the conformity around her, publicly promiscuous.] “A bicycle, a bike,” I nag at MaOlivier, and she has to phone around, first my old Snoozebrother on the farm, then the husband of...

from “Proud Beggars”

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Albert Cossery and Golo slouch through a seedy Cairo

Albert Cossery's 1955 masterpiece, Proud Beggars, takes place in the squalid slums of Cairo. While some residents struggle with oppression, poverty, and corruption, others renounce the hypocrisy of society and embrace their freedom from the material world. Characters include the former university professor Gohar, who has thrown over his previous life to work as a bookkeeper at the brothel; his drug dealer and fellow "proud beggar," Yeghen; the melodramatic revolutionary El Kordi; his...

Capoeira With Heckler & Koch

My bag in the back of the truck, the Antarctica bottles open, and we're off. David at the wheel of the red pickup, Felix in an open shirt and panama hat, me with the twenty-four-hour flight in my bones. We blast through a red light. Between the entrance ramps and concrete pillars the greenery grows rampant, and above everything an airplane thunders in for a landing. Felix reaches for the glove compartment and tears the door off, Holy Mother of God, there's nothing there, did you...

Run

To Tonino, for the bracelet. Every time I cross this street, I always choose the same spot: I walk sort of kitty-corner from the traffic island, or straight as an arrow along the crosswalk, as if the cars had stopped to let me pass. Or else, stepping down from the trolley, without an umbrella, I run to take shelter under the awning outside the pharmacy. But I always cross Via Marina at this same spot, I don't do it on purpose—that is, I do it on purpose, but without wanting...

Bats

My cousin and I entered a dense cornfield that was taller than either of us. It was a large tract behind Aunt Tasia's house. We were only thirteen. We blended in, so we were invisible. Like being in the jungle. We forged a path among the rows, pushing aside the tall stalks, and they just kept snapping back in our faces. We'd laugh out of sheer delight. It was afternoon, and everyone was asleep. We were oblivious to everyone. We reached the chicken coop. All was quiet. Afterward...

Sebastiano

I'm fifty-nine years old. I live in the country, in a locality pretty far removed from the places where the destinies of people living in this era are decided. I work as a writer in a peripheral language. (Spoken by around sixty million people, or about one person out of a hundred in the entire world. I have a garden with a few fruit trees and a lot of rose bushes. I have two dogs, a cat, and a porcupine. I was married and now I'm not anymore, but my solitude is crowded with...

from “Comfort”

A two-star colleague had helped me import a rye from a small French village with the rather apt name of Pont-Saint-Esprit. Because opium had been banned under the Opium Act in 1928 and no other hard drugs were available from the wholesalers, enthusiasts are forced to find devious ways of getting hold of their stimulants. In previous centuries practically everybody got a regular and considerable dose of mind expansion because practically everybody ate rye bread. Sometimes, rye hosts a...

The Guilty

The scissors lay on the table. They were unusually large. My father used to use them to cut up chickens. Ever since he died, Jorge takes them with him everywhere. Maybe it's normal for a psychopath to keep his gun under the pillow. My brother's not a psychopath. Nor is he normal. I found him bent over in the bedroom, struggling to get his T-shirt off. It was a hundred and seven degrees. Jorge's T-shirt was thick and coarsely woven, the kind of material that sticks to you...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

Under the beam of light that fell from the one window of the room, darkening the rest of this particular place, Abla Saniya, the seamstress, starts up her machine aware of making use of the last thread of daylight before darkness takes over the room. Abla Saniya turns on the electric light whose cord comes through the same window, for which she pays five pounds every month and which she takes great care in collecting, since her income melts into the smiles of her youngsters and the...

from The White Fly

The White Fly (2000) is the first Arabic detective novel translated into English. Set in contemporary Tangier, Morocco, the narrative follows Detective Laafrit as he investigates the case of four dead bodies that have washed up on the city's beaches. While the victims initially appear to be harraga-or illegal immigrants-who regularly drown in the Straits of Gibraltar trying to reach Spain in small fishing boats, Laafrit quickly discovers that one of them has been brutally shot dead....

from Snow White and Russian Red

Magda comes in, but without Eric. She looks like something's happened, like she's been shattered into little pieces, her hair this way, her handbag that way, her dress to the left, her earrings to the right. Her panty hose all muddy on the left. Her face on the right, black tears flowing from her eyes. Like she'd been fighting in the Polish-Russki war, like the whole Polish-Russki army had trampled her, running through the park. All my feelings come back to life within me. The...

from The Asylum Seeker

One evening, after weeks of something like forty jars of vitamins and dozens of liters of strawberry juice, the Bird asks: "Would you mind if I got married?" In that marrying, Beck sees his enemy's final victory. They were man and wife already, without having to get married. "Why?" he asks. "Why get married? It's been fine, it will keep being fine for years." "Not to you," she says, "to someone else." Someone else, two words that pretty much sum up their relationship. It...

from Songs of Friendship and Love

Snoopy Goes to Kasimov I used to torture myself over the question, I was baffled by it: to what could I attribute the incontrovertible fact of my total lack of literary talent? A fluke of nature? Blind chance? Genetic aberration? And this in a family tree, mind you, that's produced five writers minimum, two of which, in the opinion of their contemporaries, made a sizable contribution to the treasurehouse of Russian belles-lettres. My grandfather, who during his lifetime was honored...
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