10 OCT 2012
Sefrou, Morocco – Again
I never intended to live in a garbage strewn Moroccan town.
What the hell am I doing here?
In fact, I never intended to live anywhere that I couldn’t jump into the water in the morning for a swim or lay down in the grass somewhere and read a book underneath a tree. And yet, every day I’m here, I ask myself what am I doing here?
The answer is right in front of me. It’s my wife. This is her town. I’m here because her family is here and because my country and the rest of the world make it so freaking difficult for her to go anywhere else. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want my daughter to be here. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a garbage strewn town with no grass fields and no clean rivers and no beach and where women are treated as second c lass citizens who are considered to be prostitutes if they are out alone after dark. Prostitutes or fair game.
I’m trying to orchestrate a visa so we can go somewhere we can swim and lay in the grass under trees, but I’m in a place with an unreliable post office and the bureaucracy here is baffling to my wife. The bureaucracy to get her a visa for my country is baffling me.
I find myself losing my shit here. As Moroccan towns go, it’s okay. As a place for me to live, I’d prefer just about anywhere else.
Losing one’s shit. It can be taken so many ways. I remember when I was a little hippie kid and for some reason my parents thought it was okay for me to watch Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke – which, come to think of it, was one of their better parenting decisions. I’ll never forget Tommy Chong telling Cheech that they were smoking some good shit – Doberman. But, I don’t smoke dope any more and I don’t have a dog so I’ve neither lost my weed nor my weed laced dog shit.
The shit I’m losing is mental. I’m trapped in a cage that I can’t figure out a way to escape from. If I could chew off my arm I’d do it but I’m not willing to steal my daughter from her mother or to leave her behind where she can’t become who she wants to be. I’m not willing to leave my wife behind either though I find myself blaming my wife for my being stuck here. I’m pretty sure that’s not fair. And besides, I love my wife – I want her to have a better future too. It’s not her fault that the world makes it hard for Moroccan’s to emigrate or that Moroccans make it hard to get the papers she needs.
All this paperwork. I didn’t go to college until I was in my mid-30’s because I hated the idea of all the paperwork. Since I made the plan to marry a Morrocan, I’ve been buried in paperwork, stamps, and translations. Forms and duplicates. It’s turned my brain to mush. Add to that setting up a business in the US while still in Morocco, running a business online, and then dealing with those student loans and the repayment of them. I’m buried in black and white paper and the streets outside are littered with colorful plastic wrappers and broken Chinese plastic junk.
If it weren’t for those papers – life wouldn’t be half bad. I think it might well have been paperwork that made me into an anarchist in the first place. Filling out forms, stamping papers, duplicate, triplicate. My desk is littered and the printer I bought here in Morocco sits idly in the corner because no one seems to sell the printer cartridges for it.
And yet, here it is. Paperwork and being trapped in a garbage dump is twisting me into nightmares. But – it could be worse. I think. I have to tell myself that until later.
At least the people here are nice. I think. Whenever I go outside and see them, they seem to be. Man, I can’t wait to leave again. I wish I could leave and never come back.
My advice to all those out there looking to find wonder. Find someone you don’t have to marry to prove your love and who already lives where you both want to be. It makes things a hell of a lot easier.