Chapter 2

As I scanned the crowd I barely noticed the sights that I had become so accustomed to; I was an old hand here and the scenery was melted into my mind, so much so that I often looked without truly seeing. I knew every inch of this side of the market; the quickest ways through the crowded alleys of the souks, the safest places to hide, which traders would turn a blind eye to a street urchin crouching in the back of their shop when paid enough (though that was a last resort, money was sparse at the best of times). If I had stopped to look, to look through the eyes of a western tourist then I would have noticed the beauty of my home in the souks. Nestled behind the open expanse of the market, a labyrinth of stalls selling exquisite and ethnic pleasures, clogs, leather bags, belts, carpets, cushions, spices, and pottery, anything you could possibly think of to decorate a bare, white, minimalist New York apartment. But me, a street urchin would never, could never have seen my world like that. Why would they notice the harshness of the land, the hard mud underfoot tempered like steel by the constant pressure of the masses, with small plumes of dust erupting from each new footprint creating a thin but continuous haze. They would never see the apparently innocent yet strategically placed wooden ladders and barrels for a quick escape over the rooftops for us thieves. Why would they? This wasn’t their home, they didn’t have to face the daily struggle of life going on here; for them this is just a holiday, a break from their “busy and stressful” lives. For this I loathed them, their life was easy as a result of one simple resource, the one thing that would rise me like a phoenix from the ashes of my “going nowhere” society. Money. I despised them, which in turn made it so much easier to take from them what they would never truly appreciate, a few dirhams here, a few more there, they wouldn’t even notice. Money had a much greater value through my eyes; it was the cost of life or death, or a life of crime. Ah well so be it.

The End

2 comments about this story Feed