Profoundly Banned: A Story

Their love was banned. He was secular and she was religious.

Mais l’amour était profond comme un puit dans le desert, un puit avec tous les permutations de l’eau qui coule. . .

Lui et elle/l’amour/les gens qui voyagent/qui traversent tous les frontieres.

He had been a card carrying communist on the streets of Cairo/Kabylia (you choose the generic place, though each of these places is of course important and profoundly significant) but he had drifted from the party line and that world to wander into the professional world (engineering) yet still met his cronies in cafés, on rooftops, guerilla fighters emerging from the hills and mountains, brandishing Kalashnikovs.

She was religious, but not orthodox, and was quite a rebel. Bespectacled, and called shrewd by some, she had a poet’s soul and heart and strode through life intensely and profoundly.

(They had met by chance at a rally near a bookstore she had wandered into and kept meeting intermittently at various cultural affairs and on the streets of their city.)

They were lovers over a saga of years and had ridden horseback on the beaches of their youth. Their fights were furious and histrionic and their love burned deeply. They had wandered across borders and countries and had fled in flamefilled currents to Bedouin villages and to the heart of a romance both passionate and stormy.

Kos e mok, he yelled at her once and she vowed never to speak to him again, but after a month they met in a square and resumed talks and declarations.

Their lovemaking was at first awkward and uneasy due to her guilt and shame, but then was transformed into passionate moments in hotels, across cities and continents and later became quite fervent. She had thrown off the figurative veil of her youth to journey in the waves of political maelstrom and secular chaos and remained forceful and volatile and too had a wicked sense of humour.

They journeyed together and fought together and merged their separate worlds into one.

They haven’t lived happily ever after and have fought and separated and fought again but still continue to travel symbolically and concretely in each other’s hearts and lives.

Sylvia Goldfarb is a writer and activist based in Montreal.