Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yesterday morning, I stopped by Ali's for a cup of coffee and to wish him a happy technical Monday. Found him somewhat slumped over his counter looking listlessly out the door.

"It's not that bad, is it? Even for the beginning of the week?"

He sighed. "Thirteen days to go."
(Thirteen days? Oh! Right!)

"Ohhh. Well, sundown is coming early now. Why don't you have a cup of tea?"

"Can't drink tea. Can't drink water."

"Gosh, Ali - that's awfully rough. You must be going nuts at night." Told him about my girlfriend who got passed around from household to household in Casablanca one Ramadan and about how she gained five pounds from the experience.

He smiled a bit ruefully. "The trouble is is that your stomach shrinks during this period and, though you see all this food you look at it, you think -I need, I need, I just can't eat it. Your stomach won't let you"

I nodded in sympathy.

"Tell you what, Ali, I'll pray for strength for you these next couple weeks if you promise to do the same for me during Lent."

Since he was too weak/tired to do anything else, he just smiled and nodded back. "It's a deal."

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