Friday, June 23, 2006

Nightmare on Elm Street Atlas

This will probably go down in Cat in Rabat history as my lamest blog ever and will only serve to confirm the gravity of and long term & far-reaching effects of my recent head injury.

I was woken up this morning at 4:38. Now, I seldom sleep through the night: my catnaps are routinely interrupted by the clumsy sounds of coupling neighbours, as well as barking dogs, rutting cats, the odd persistent mosquito and/or the muezzin's call to prayer (which I have, on occasion, mistaken for the drone of a mosquito). But this morning it was different. In fact, I woke up with a start, thinking that I had had a nightmare. But I hadn't. It was a sound. A very different sound. I laid in bed for what seemed like eons, hovering in a suspended animation of angst-ridden trepidation, trying to identify the source. I eliminated everything from the above list in about 10 seconds.

It sounded human. In an undead kind of way.

To the best of my ability, it sounded like a man's voice saying the word "kerchief". It was a deep and sonorous voice and it repeated "kerchief" over and over again, carefully ennunciating the word but drawing out the last syllable so it almost sounded like a hiss.

It scared the piss out of me.

As I lay there, I began to invent possible rational explanations for this ephemeral voice but the best I could come up with was a malfunctioning call to prayer tape. But the call to prayer had long since passed. I contemplated hauling my cowardly ass out of bed and taking a shufti out the window but I was actually fearful of what I might see; in fact (and I'm embarassed to admit this), the only sound to compete with this otherworldly intonation was the thumping of my heart, pounding in my chest. The voice was unnerving me beyond belief, but I finally padded into the living room (rather than having to roll up my bedroom shutters ~ I may have been frightened, but slothfulness always takes precedence) to put a face to my tormentor.

I approached the window and took a deep breath, steeling myself against - against what? I was fully prepared to see the Grim Reaper standing in the middle of the deserted street, chanting his sibilant (I know that the "f" in kerchief is not a sibilant but my phantom made it such) mantra and pointing ominously at my window. Surely, the Ghost of Ramadan Yet to Come was waiting for me. Instead, I looked below upon an eerily empty street enshrouded in an early morning mist. But, I could still hear the voice; oddly, it was softer here than in my bedroom where the shutters were drawn.

I returned to bed and willed every cursed sound that normally interrupts my sleep to shake off the night and drown out this abberant droning. Kerchief, kerchief, kerchief!

Eventually, I gave away to sleep. Can't wait to go to bed tonight.


Blogger knarf said...

I believe they were aliens. They're probably checking you out for genetic experiments.


5:04 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Is that why my anal cavity is tender this morning?

5:22 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

No, that was last night's couscous.

5:29 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Today is Friday - aka couscous Friday. Think I had cereal for dinner last night.

5:47 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

May one only eat couscous on Fridays? I mean, I'd heard about Couscous Fridays (from you), but I didn't realize that one could only eat couscous on Fridays. I thought that one ~had~ to eat it on Fridays, but that it was optional on other days. Kind of like the way Catholics were with fish and Fridays.

6:01 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

I expected at the very least the ghost of a door to door linen salesman.
You do realise that you can't leave it like this - you're going to have to sit up all night with a camera in case it happens again!

6:59 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

You're right Knarf: couscous may be eate any day of the week. Sorry to have implied otherwise.
Byron - I have my camera ready

8:44 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

Many thanks for clearing up my misconception. Hopefully, others will be educated by my confusion, and your subsequent clarification.

9:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have these two ALWAYS been like this?


9:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was probably a Glaswegian summoning the 'guardian de voiture': "Cer chief! Cer chief."


9:12 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...




9:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Liosliath said...

That's totally hilarious that you just went back to bed. Though, going outside in Agdal at 4am would probably be more daunting, I admit.

Is there any word in Arabic that sounds like "kerchief?" You should refer back to my post on how to deter ghosts. Or is it possible that the tenant above or below you, in some kind of drug induced stupor, had fallen down with his head close to a heating/ventilation duct? I used to scare the crap out of my brothers by whispering scary stuff into the ducts just after they had fallen asleep.

Anyway, I had my own ghost experience in the Gorge, but that ghost was after my dog. More on that later.

10:28 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Hmmm no, this wasn't lame. You made me smile with the tale-telling but I was horrified by the sound ... and thought you were very brave.

10:05 a.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Liosliath: what a mean little sister you were!!!!
Thanks WW: I still feel silly about th e whole thing. It was probably a bird!

2:33 p.m.  
Blogger Amanda said...

I asked Hicham about this word -- he thinks it is either the arabic word for "celery" or "ara choof" which is like "give a look (what you did)..." The latter seems more likely, though who knows? I have seen weirder things than midnight celery-sellers. :)

6:35 p.m.  
Blogger gazza27 said...

You were'nt taking drugs were you?

11:17 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

No drugs. Sadly.

10:11 a.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

So, did you hear it again on Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

Inquiry minds want to know...

1:45 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Ummmm Cat ... did you hear it again?

It's one of those posts you have to write a sequel to, or else hand out your phone number or email for those concerned to phone in.

It's a mother thing .. I can't help it, ask my daughter, she will treat you to a long and damagingly sarcastic account of it all. :)

5:56 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Rest easy - I have not (yet) been carried away by the Spirit of Ramadan yet to come. Thanks for your concern. And I haven't heard it again. But it's out there as surely as God made little green apples (one of my father's expressions). It's biding its time. Waiting for me.

7:47 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

I'm telling you, it was aliens.

They'll be back. I have an unused SCHWA credit card if you need it...

8:00 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Procured @ the Black Market?

9:48 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Okay good ... I was sure you were fine but there was the thing with not posting and in-process immigrant types have this habit of passing by regularly.

9:53 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

I don't know. Where did you buy it for me? It was a Christmas present, IIRC. I've had it for about a decade, but I still have it, just in case.

(don't tell me where you got it, BTW - it would go against the gift-giving code of honour, as you know)

9:58 p.m.  

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