Mohammad the dancer

He’s sitting next to me right now. He’s eating a late breakfast because he slept through the first call. But so did I.

His English is pretty good. He must speak Spanish well too. He’s lived in Madrid for 15 years. He looks like he’s maybe five years older than me, so 15 years is Madrid is quite a significant portion of his life.

“I am Egyptian,” he said, “but I am live in Spain. I am a dancer in Spain.”

He looks like a dancer. He’s thin and about two inches shorter than me. Even though he isn’t going bald, he probably shaves his head most of the time – he’s sporting about three days worth of stubble now. He has a birthmark around his left eye, like a Mike Tyson tattoo but only above his eye and out from the corner of it, not down the rest of his cheek.

I collect all these details by stealing glances at him while he chews his bread.

Last night, he slept on the top bunk. We’re sharing a berth in this sleeper train, and he requested the top.

“Top, no problem,” he said.

“Sure, sounds good,” I said.

He left and hung out with his friends down the way, and I ended up talking with my two friends across the way too. After all the pyramids, my friends and I felt pretty tired pretty early, so I got to sleep before my berth mate returned.

I woke up before him too, and ate breakfast. Then he woke up, and we turned the beds back up into seats.

He’s sitting next to me right now.

Mohammad the dancer, he’s the first one I’ve met. I hope I don’t forget him.