Another man would have devoured her, torn her clothes off and surged through her flesh, but not Mr. Nadi. On a Thursday night, he takes her out to buy the newspaper. Before they leave, he spends a minute to check if his hair and mustache look good, they don’t, they are crimes against humanity, think the matte black hair and moustache of a plastic doll, he doesn’t notice though, he likes them. Nadi works for a data entry department in one of the Egyptian government’s many administrations. He makes sure names, numbers, and signatures are entered correctly five hours everyday for three thousand pounds a month, enough for ordinary clothes and food with a nice meal every now and then. His hopes and fantasies are relegated to the afterlife.
Mrs. Nadi put a shawl over her shoulders and covered her hair, yet her curves screamed underneath the black satin gown. She is told, now that she is forty-two, that her sex drive is gone, but there is this tickling between her legs, the French would bring wine to this place. He’s asking if they have enough eggs for breakfast and she’s thinking about her next bath, her time alone, “yes, we do,” she answers anyway. This was his idea of a conversation to kill time and be a good husband, do we have enough eggs? Did you see the tiger attack at the zoo yesterday? What are you cooking today? She played the part. They arrive at the newsstand and he decides to crack a joke, “should we get New Meal Everyday? I bet we would need ingredients from a sorceress to prepare one of their dishes, ha ha ha.” She smiles, attempts to laugh, but stops at showing her teeth, he doesn’t mind, he takes whatever response he can get, deep underneath the barrier of communicating with language they both acknowledged and were at peace with the roles they have decided to play, or rather parody, until they no longer have to. On the way back they stop at the supermarket and he buys eggs anyway, she doesn’t break her silence, she’s thinking about her bath, she still waxes her blood rose clean.
Why hadn’t her father mutilated her sexuality? Why bring a living girl, genitally unmutilated, to a dead world? She often thought. She saw women her age dressed in weird, horrible costumes devoid of any taste content with watching Turkish mind-killing dramas where women have complete intact sexualities and men with erect swords venture forward, and she wondered, why does life have to be behind a screen? She wondered and wondered, until the bathroom door closed and she was finally naked, she then wondered no more.