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This report is taken from PN Review 164, Volume 31 Number 6, July - August 2005.

The Pigeon Wars of Damascus (II) Marius Kociejowski


Abed had acquired a most unphilosophical girth. I was shocked by the transformation. Abed who had been so lean, so spry once, waddled towards me. I noticed, too, a slackening in his face, the atrophy that comes not of age but lassitude. We greeted each other with a clumsy embrace, and then fumbled for words that just wouldn't come. As was usually the case, when meeting him after an interval, I'd need to take a machete to the bramble that had grown over the clear ground that was our scene of play once. And the deeper I hacked for a root cause, the more likely it was a woman's name would leap frog-like to the surface. The last one was a Monique or a Claire, and, after a whirlwind marriage lasting only a month, silly girl, she fled back to France. Apparently she had caught a bad dose of Orientalism. She came, just in time, to her senses. Abed, silly boy, was going to pursue her, either to woo her or to kill her, he wasn't sure which. I recommended he stay home. So flattened he was, so drained of pride, it required the skills of a forklift operator to get him back onto his feet. I did manage to prop him up for a while, and then, after leaving him leaning heavily against a beam of hope, I heard no more. The bramble seemed thicker now than ever before. Mind you, it was almost five ...

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