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First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

Dreamscapes: First Forbidden Kisses

Stranger in Sweden
Sidi Benzahra

When I was a teenager I had so many friends. I befriended almost everybody in my neighborhood-- Bad guys, good guys, animals, but not girls. I couldn’t have a girlfriend. Romance in Morocco was forbidden at that time, it still is.

Or maybe it was there, but it was done under the table, so to speak. I had never seen a couple kissing each other in the street or even holding hands. I had never seen my dad and my mom romancing each other, or touching each other, even though they have nine children. That alone shows you how sex was secretly done in Morocco. You can’t hold hands with a girl in the streets, you can’t kiss a girl, and you can’t even look at a girl for a long time. If you did look at her and somebody saw you, you would be in a big trouble. People would think you are up to something bad. On the contrary, if somehow you broke the barrier and had sex with a girl and your friends knew about it, everything would change. You would become a big shot. And if the news propagated to other neighborhoods, everybody would admire you and look up to you and try to be your friend.

In fact, you can’t do anything with a girl. You can only look at her and smile to her and that’s about it. If you want to have sex with a girl, you need to have it in your dreams or in your imagination. It was impossible for me to dream having sex because I never had sex in reality and my body wouldn’t know what to do in a dream. Sometimes I would dream of a girl trying to have sex with me and as soon as she would take off her clothes and come closer to me I would wake up. I get so mad. I would try to go back to sleep right away so I can have sex in my dream, but when I go back to sleep I would dream of something else that has nothing to do with sex. I would dream of donkeys or maybe my mom washing dishes or something stupid like that. I think I couldn’t have sex in my dreams because I hadn’t experienced it in real life. I could only have sex in my imagination.

The Moroccan girls at that time were also shy. They were probably in the same situation I was in. They wouldn’t do anything with you. If they liked you they would only look at you through the window and smile at you. If they didn’t like you they would shut the window and go somewhere else in the house. I had this girl that looked at me all the time, but I couldn’t talk to her because she would look at me only through a high window. When she gets out of her house she would either walk with her sister to the grocery store, or ride with her dad on his motorbike to school.

One day a sexy girl came up to our house to visit my sister. She was tall and strong and had these humongous breasts, even though she was only a teenager. I had this small room in our house and I invited her to come to that room and when she came I gave her a lousy kiss. The kiss was the lousiest you ever saw. My teeth hit her teeth and I leaned on her and she leaned back scared and confused. She was feeling uncomfortable and I was trying to kiss her in spite of that feeling. That was the lousiest kiss in the whole world. I am not proud of that kiss. It was very sad because after that kiss I left the country, not because of the kiss, but because I was bored of life in Morocco.

I had a friend whose brother lived in Stockholm, Sweden. My friend, Mufti, and I bought our train tickets to use from Spain to Sweden and we took the bus from Rabat to Ceuta, a city in Morocco that belongs to Spain. I have no idea why Spain owns that city even though it is a part of Morocco. The same way I have no idea why Britain owns Gibraltar even though it is a part of Spain. I guess that was our stupid history. We, humans, have a very stupid history. Insects have better history than we do, I guess. Humanity shouldn’t be proud of its history because all of us did so many stupid things in the past. We, the Arabs, for example, invaded all of North Africa. My ancestors had no rights coming in here from the Red sea and invading Morocco.

Anyway, not to get out of the subject, that was the first time I saw the north of Morocco even though I was born right there, somewhere nearby. We got to the border of the Spanish territory and one of the Spanish border-officer said to me in Spanish, "proko prokito" something like that. I had no idea what he was talking about. He thought I had drugs or something. I didn’t understand the officer; I kept on looking at him like a deer in the headlights, or in my case, like a camel in the candle lights. The Spanish officer pointed to my pants and said again in a tense Spanish, "prokito preky proko pepe" something like that, I have no idea. I still didn’t understand what he was talking about. After a few prokos and prekes and pepes I finally understood that he wanted me to take off my pants. I took off my pants and he crouched down and looked up at my sexy equipment and saw that I had no drugs down there between my legs. "Praka preke prok prok" he told me and I quickly pulled my pants up. That’s how Spanish sounded to me at that time when I was a teenager. That was my first encounter with the Spanish people. To me they were like Moroccans. They talked loud and have bad teeth and they talk through people. Somebody would be standing between two Spanish people and these people would be talking to each other through that person like if he was made of air.

Finally my friend and I took the boat to mainland Spain and I threw up on the deck because the sea was rough and that was my first time riding a boat. At that time when I was a teenager, everything I did was something I had never done before. Everything was new to me. We crossed Spain and I didn’t like it because it was like Morocco. Very sunny, and people talk very loud, like I said before. I liked the Spanish girls, though. The Spanish girls were sexy. Some of them had olive skin and dark eyes and had beautiful hair. To me they were much beautiful than the Moroccan girls. I could be wrong because I am a Moroccan and the Spanish girls were somewhat exotic to me. I knew there were some Moroccan girls that were very beautiful, but I didn’t think there many around.

Finally we got to France. France was dark and gloomy, and the sky was gray on that day. It reminded me of a movie I saw about World War II. I walked down some empty streets and pictured the German soldiers walking down stiffly, with their boots and helmets and pink faces. I said to myself what am I doing here in this country? I worried a little but then I said to myself, "What the heck!"

The French people looked different from the Spanish. They had dark hair like the Spanish, but had very white skin. Their skin was lighter compared to the Spanish. The French girls were ugly in detail and yet perversely beautiful. The French men were small and mean. Many French men were smaller than I was, even though I grew up in a third world country, eating only vegetables, bread, and drinking mint tea. When we got deep into France, we got hungry and my friend and I went to a bakery to buy bread. As we started touching it, to see if it was fresh, the woman at the shop ordered us to buy it. She was mean and old and had plenty of make up on. We had to buy all the bread we had touched and we had touched plenty of bread. We ended up buying all that bread. As we walked for a while down the streets of Paris a police car stopped and two officers came out. They came to us and asked us for our passports. They didn’t even say Bonjour or anything like that. We didn’t do anything; we just looked poor foreigners and they wanted to stop us. One of the police officers went to his car with our poor green passports and pushed some buttons on the dashboard of his fancy police car and came back to us and gave us our passport and off we went. Since that day, I never liked France. I will never go to France again even though I am older now and I have plenty of money. I tried to get out of France right away. My friend, Mufti, and I climbed up the train and moved up north to Germany. Germany looked clean and more industrious compared to France. The German people looked totally different from the French and the Spanish. They were bigger and they hardly talked to each other. They were stiff. There were many factories along the train tracks and the German people in the train were sitting like toys would sit on your shelf; they hardly moved. We didn’t know anybody to visit in Germany and we weren’t going to change the train because our train was supposed to go all the way up to Sweden. The train was just passing through Germany dropping and picking up people. I decided to touch the German ground, so when the train stopped for a while at a station, I jumped from the train onto the ground and kept on jumping like a crazed kid.

Finally we got to Denmark. Denmark was like Germany. I couldn’t tell the difference. You should remember that I was a teenager and my attention to detail was almost non existent. So don’t get mad at me for saying that there was no difference between Denmark and Germany. Of course, there has got to be some difference.

Crossing from Denmark to Sweden, our train got detached, car by car, and was chained to the rails of the floor of the ship. And the boat took us and our train to Sweden. As we got there, the train got re-attached again and took us to the land of the Scandinavian people. Sweden was beautiful. It felt like walking into a postcard. People were friendly and beautiful, almost all of them. I couldn’t find an ugly Swedish person around even though each society has its share of ugly people. The Swedish people were also nice. If they see me walking they say, Hey, and I would say Hey back to them and smile, pretending to be a nice guy. After I stayed in Stockholm for one day or two and said many heys, I decided to visit a friend in Sandviken, a small town up north of Sweden. I was somewhat stupid because when I got to Sandviken I found out that my friend had moved to another small town called, Gavle, which was many miles north east of Sandviken. Since Gavle wasn’t that far, I thought, I decided to walk to it instead of taking the train. I found myself a big staff nearby in the woods and walked like Moses to Gavle.

After I walked a couple of miles north I found myself alone, walking in a strange country. A car stopped by and a guy inside asked me if I needed a ride. I said no, thank you, and the guy drove away, wondering who I was and why I was walking alone with that staff in my hand. The ground beneath me was covered with coarse grass torn everywhere by the upheavals of fallen birch trees. In facts, the land looked like that of Minnesota where I now live. There were a few lakes along the highway and many dark forests out beyond the clearings. After an hour or so, I saw a deer sign by the highway and I got scared. I had never seen a deer sign in Morocco. I was so scared because I thought a herd of deer or caribou might charge out from the woods into my direction and plough me through in a stampede. I started to walk fast, almost running, looking around me like if I was chased by a ghost. I was sweating now but from something else besides the sun. I was also afraid that some bears might come out of the woods and gore me with their crisped claws. I could probably manage black bears, but grizzly bears, you have to be a zoo scientist to know how to survive their attack.

The staff started to hurt my hand and it became so heavy for me to carry, so I threw the sucker in a ditch and pressed on forward towards Gavle. I was wet with sweat and tired deep into my bones. The sun started to move away from the clearing of the sky and the light of day began to dim. I thought, what happened if Gavle didn’t exist and my friends in Stockholm were just lying to me so that I can get lost in the dark woods and get eaten by grizzly bears or a flock of hawks. I said to myself I didn’t want to die in Sweden. I wanted to die closer to home, in sunny poor Morocco. I wanted to die on the ground where I was born. I became even more scared when I looked ahead of me and all I saw were the woods and the rolling hills and the snaky lonesome highway. I didn’t want to walk back to Sandviken because I felt that I had walked more than half the distance to Gavle. Even though I was scared and tired, I pressed on and kept on walking along the highway into the approaching darkness. After a mile or two I saw some houses and that’s when I began to feel safe. I said if something came up, or I was attacked by a bear or a flock of hawks, I would just run to these houses and seek help. Luckily, after a mile or two, I made a turn with the highway and I began to see the reflected glare of the lights of Gavle. I was happy, tired, and scared all at the same time.

When I got to Gavle, I looked for my friend’s house in the lights of the street until I found it. I knocked on the door but nobody answered the door. I kept on knocking until a Swedish neighbor opened up his door and looked at me like if I was from another planet. I was all worn out and had dirty clothes and scummy, curly hair, and yellow teeth, probably.
"Do you know if Mustapha lives here?" I asked in broken English.
"He lives here, ya, but he is out of town."
"What?" I asked. "Where did he go?"
"I don’t know," the neighbor said. "All I know is he’s out of town."
I walked down and out of the building and began to think about a place to sleep. I had a little money. I couldn’t even afford staying one night in a hotel. I walked to the back of the building and searched for my friend’s window. I was lucky because the window was cracked open. My friend lived on the second floor and it was easy to monkey up to the window and crawl in. I went straight to the refrigerator and opened the door. The fridge was packed with Swedish food; food to last me for two weeks at least.

I ate plenty of food and took a bath and brushed my teeth and went to sleep like a baby. My friend didn’t show up at all. I was glad he left his window open, otherwise I would have become a homeless, at least for a while, until I found my way back to Morocco. The next day I spent the whole day thinking about what to do in that town. It looked like people didn’t live in that town. Whenever I looked through the window I saw nobody walking in the street. There were no kids playing in the street. I thought maybe Swedish people didn’t procreate. Occasionally you hear a car drove by. When the night came I put on some of my friend’s fancy clothes and got out the door. I guessed I would look sexy for Swedish girls. I was old enough to have lost the prominent tummy of childhood and not old enough to have the muscles of a grown up man. I followed the density of street lights until I got to downtown. And there I found many young people walking. Swedish girls were beautiful. They all looked the same and they all looked beautiful. They had nice outfits and they had long blond hair and they were so clean. Their teeth were white and their eyes were so blue and their skin was so pink and they smiled when they looked at you. They looked like Barbie dolls, almost all of them. Occasionally you would see a fat girl, and even that fat girl has a beautiful face and looked sexy.

I walked by a Disco and said why not get in there and check it out. I had never drank alcohol and the bartender deposited a Swedish beer on the counter in front of me. I tasted it and it tasted like pee, even though I had never tasted pee before. Two blond girls at a corner were looking at me. In facts everybody at the bar had blond hair, I was the only one who had curly black hair. I looked like an alien and I was an alien, for sure. I felt so happy when I knew those two girls looking at me. I said to myself what should I do. I looked at them and smiled. They smiled back to me sending me plenty of signals to come and talk to them, but my radars were so jammed and I was too shy to make any move. I just kept on looking at them and smiling to them like a psycho kid. Finally they realized that I would never go and talk to them and they came up to me instead.

They started talking to me in nice sounding English and I could see their red lips move with the words they spoke, could see their clean straight teeth and their sparkling blue eyes full of energy and desire for exploration. Their eyes were studying me like the eyes of some tiger whose intension was to devour me alive. They were of the same height and they were both sexy and they wear very nice, clean clothes. They were way different from Moroccan girls even though I had never experienced myself with one. The two girls talked to each other in Swedish and then they turned their head to look at me at the same time and they asked me to go outside with them. I said sure why not and the three of us walked outside to the darkness of the night. It started to rain but slightly. It was strange for me because it hardly rained during the summer in Morocco. One of the girls opened up an umbrella and the three of us walked around the block side by side, me in the middle, our bodies almost touching, like if we had been friends for thousands of years. We got to a dark alley next to some stairs that went down into some deep dark space. One girl told the other in Swedish something like, "Voom Va goolum voom" and the other said good bye to me and left. We were now just two of us, a Moroccan virgin who had never touched a girl in his entire life and a Swedish girl who had probably slept with ten boys in high school. I was so nervous; I didn’t know what to do or what to say. The girl looked at me like if she had been in love with me for thousands of years, and I looked at her like is she was the Swedish goddess of love and romance. We both kissed. I was a very bad kisser. I had no experience or whatsoever in kissing. I started kissing her on the places where there is no pleasure. I was kissing her on the forehead and the chin and she was shooting for my mouth. Her tongue was wiggling in my mouth like a warm, wet snake. She was in control and I was just following her orders like a baby duck would follow his mom. She knew exactly what to do and she did everything accordingly. After she finished sucking my face, she held my hand with her delicate hand and took me down the stairs into the deep, dark space.
© Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra
December 3, 2003
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Sidi Benzahra

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