Great Expectations V

Opening my eyes to cool off, I heard the sound of stones moving. Was it a snake? My mouth went dry. Had one of the camels gone astray? I sensed approaching steps and turned my head. In the light of the full moon, I discerned One Ruffian's white robe and the polished barrel of his carbine.

Why didn't One Ruffian let us fuck in peace? I heard him cock the gun. Pushing the barrel of his gun against my temple, in the tired voice of his endless quarrels with Man, One Ruffian said:

Make Your Peace With God!

Before I could utter a word, Man yanked the barrel from my head onto his face and shouted, "Holy Oath! Kill ourselves!"

"What's wrong with you, brother? They are a pervert!"

"The son of your mother are one pervert too! First, kill ourselves! Holy Oath!"

"Your word was…"

"Holy Oath! They haven't yet come!

"How long do they take?"

"They aren't one dog, Holy Oath! Now go, Brother, and let them fuck us!"

One Ruffian turned and went away. I pulled out and kneeled next to Man who said, still angry, "They have gone, now fuck us! Holy Oath!

"I'm no more in the mood."

"In a war, Excellency wouldn't fuck?"

I wanted to tell Man, 'I love you', but in his language it meant 'I want you', so I said, "You have ensnared my heart."

Man opened his fist, blew my words from his palm into my face, and recited:

"Excellency will know,
When our blood the stones will lave,
The heart of the slave."

"I want you!"

"Quickly, fuck us!" Man said, but already shots were ringing above our heads, and not One Ruffian's, of several guns. Man threw me on the earth and whispered, "Excellency will not worry! It's just the mother-pimping, sister-fucking BSF."

It was the 'mother-pimping, sister-fucking' Border Security Force. Three jeeploads of them. They rounded up the camel drivers. We heard shots and shouts, as the 'mother-pimping, sister-fucking' BSF went about their nightly business of intimidation, extortion, torture, and murder.

"Excellency will not fear! Your whitish skin will cloak you with safety. When daylight appears, walk into their camp!"

I was a white man: Nothing untoward would happen to me. If caught, Man and One Ruffian would end up as two of the mutilated bodies the 'mother-pimping, sister-fucking' BSF needed to prove the ever-present menace of a 'foreign hand'.

"With Excellency's gracious consent, we will vanish now."

Desperate, I grabbed Man's hand. "We must meet again, wherever! I want you more than my own life!" I was about to cry. I said, "My address is…" but I had no card, no pen, nor had Man, who pulled my right hand to his lips, kissed my fingers with a heat which felt like love, and said, "God willing, near Khwaja Sharif's wish-fulfilling Holy Tomb, Excellency will find Excellency's own."

Getting up, Man continued:

"Till God will reckon us
Of love, the token is
The heart of the slave."

When dawn removed my cover, I got up and walked calmly into the camp and let the hell bound BSF officer 'save my life'. He offered me breakfast while his men tortured and killed the camel drivers who had saved my life.

In the capital, an embassy undersecretary warned me not to visit the area of Khwaja Sharif's Holy Tomb, "Extortion, robbery, kidnapping, murder, terrorists: AYOR!" What did I care! Buses were going there; it was a traditional pilgrimage center – of the wrong religion. Fifty years of fanatic tolerance hadn't scratched the perfumed shrine of a saint who died 627 A.H. (1236 A.D.). The most beloved son of another holy city licked the fascist government of a nuclear power.

But for prickly heat on my balls from eight hours on a plastic seat, the journey's only danger was to go insane from watching the cream of local male movie stardom strut in white pants on green lawns while their female counterparts draped themselves around palm tree trunks – it was a Video Coach.

What did I hope for sitting from cleaning to closing in a shady corner of the Holy Tomb's courtyard? The singing was entrancing, the clouds of incense intoxicating, the young men ravishing, and I felt horny as hell… but Man didn't show up.


Every few minutes a young man, adolescent, or boy approached me and tried his English. Charming dark eyes, flashing smiles, and slim hands brought me free porridge, wanted to show me the Holy Tomb, the town, to be my friend…


Having lost Man poisoned my blood with grief. To die along with Man would have been better than to go on living without him! Maybe my being white would have saved his life! How could the message…

I want you.
Please call me collect [phone number]!
[Name and address]

… I had entrusted to the Holy Tomb's Sir Guardian ever reach Man?

"Good afternoon, Sir! I'm Wasim; what's your name?"

Wasim, another student eager to exercise his high school English, ignored my gloom, took my hand, dragged me around the Holy Tomb, and insisting, "The faithful believe that a wish made here is fulfilled by God Almighty, and prayers offered here do not go unanswered," forced me to touch the wish-fulfilling chain of the first gate before I left the Holy Tomb. What did Wasim know of my wishes and prayers!

And desires, because while Wasim's eyes and front fit the fervent believer, his nose and lips were sensual, and his carefully combed black hair, smart 1/8" moustache, tight light blue shirt and WYSIWYG black polyester sharkskin jeans made me expect his question, "Are you staying alone?"

"My friend will come soon."

When Wasim's hand touched mine, my balls pumped testosterone into my brain, and my cock felt ready for action, but whom I wanted was Man:

"Till God will reckon us
Of love, the token is
The heart of the slave."

In case I would change my mind, Wasim wrote his name and address in clean, careful capitals on half a torn-out notebook page, and his e-mail address: