I've never had such a month of November in my life. I learn to love my new country in golden leaves and morning mists. A kestrel suspended in the air appeared to me as something erotical, suggestive, with the rapid flapping of its wings. A symbol, perhaps, of this misplaced hunting instinct circulating in my veins.
Misplaced? I do perceive myself in the skin of this invincible womanhood that only deserts and cities of men may convey. I feel free with some sort of truth that came upon me like a blessing, like a sort of anagnorisis without tragedy.
I've been strolling through the city on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, watching the men. Like a potential buyer not ready yet with her choice, but wishing to see around. The city would look empty without its Arabs, they make the charm of it. As I walked behind a Polish couple in the street, I overheard a comment the girl was sharing with her companion in a voice sounding like a screech: ...but Poland did not agree, neither did Hungary... Clearly, those people don't deserve Europe, are not on the height of it, not even to come here as tourists.
As for Arabs, my glance encountered, in a corner of a street, a young Saudi with a silky beard requiring urgent trimming by at least 60%; he stopped on the pavement, turning back with a spark of fire in his eye to wait for his female companion. I suspended my pace, expectant to see some formidable desert flower revolving among abundant draperies with whom this young brother of mine might be so visibly in love. But the person who emerged around the corner was a radiant Dutch girl, her hair full of light and wind, laughing out her wits.
A few hundred meters farther, in the garden surrounding the Rijks Museum, a quiet place even when the throng of tourists is at its densest, I surprised, on the contrary, just a perfect example of the Dutch upper class; he rewarded my glance with such an unforgettable smile. Of course, this distinguished elderly man was too old for my purpose; yet he was contradicting the Andalusian poet: he must have reached his perfection long ago, nonetheless he wasn't declining. He was appreciable as a part of the city, just like the smell of hashish; with no consistent temptation of consuming, one simply appreciates the thing to be in the air. Later on, the thought came to me that it would be reasonable to diversify my portfolio. I need not only a husband or a lover, but also friends and suitable acquaintances in this city where I don't know anyone.
And so is the flight of a kestrel on a sunny November afternoon, in the City of Men.