Blind Dogs Kiss The Hand That Will Not Sever
Chapt. 1. Bilious Penguins
I got out of my car in the bright streaming and relentless sunshine of the desert. It was around midday and no-one spoke as I walked into the Shahja hotel on the further outskirts of Abu Dhabi. The air was thick – laying itself on me like hot hands.
In the air conditioned hotel I met Ralph Greed, he was shuffling around – feeling the heat from constant media interviews. He was uncomfortable in a suit and his shoes were giving him blisters that made him walk like a cowboy who’s pissed his pants.
I looked around the huge hall filled with people setting up their precious whatevers.
‘No bar here,’ I thought, ‘ daquiris will have to stay on ice.’
There’s a crowd here who come every year, I looked over to a coffee bar and saw another clique of people wandering around and failing to stray away from each other as though they have an ambilical cord running through their core – they looked like a tight pack of penguins trying to stay warm in the midst of an arctic freeze.
I hustled off to get my act together for the spectacle that was the Middle East camel competition. Today was the day before the big event… the calm before the breeze.
I looked back at the Grand Hall to see what is around today and imagined what would be happening tomorrow.
This was the first time I’d been in the camel competition.
I said to myself, ‘The whole thing will be jammed with people’ ‘just as long as I don’t step on some beasts stomach or start a fight.’
I imagined the whole place crawling with bodies, stumbling – getting angrier and angrier, guzzling caffeine and vomiting on each other – pissing their pants and dropping fists of cash as they drag their bodies around the Shahj Hotel.
The interbreeding penguins silently shuffled into the conference room like ox being led into the chapel, the momentary silence broke as we introduced ourselves – they were the panel of international judges from Australia or America or wherever… ‘fuck Australia, fuck America’ I thought, this is the middle of the fucking desert – this is the Middle East, those expat savages and locals all think what you do as nonsense – bilious shit. I figured these Judges wont ever go native… they’ll be on the next plane out if they could.
It was Friday morning – the beginning of the competition and I’m still in the same bad shirt as yesterday. I was nursing myself through a technique of breathing and generally being awake – hanging my head over a solid Frisbee-of-an omlette that you could probably sell in joke shops as fake sick.
I was in some restaurant over looking the dazzling sea with Castinango – a guy who’s fresh off the plane from London.
He liked the restaurant, because they made French toast chopped out with a biscuit cutter to resemble pieces of toast.
The cripple waiter limped up to us and slid his plate onto the table to make Castinango’s hanging face prick up like a sex starved dog around the arsehole of a fragrant bitch.
Beyond the drink and out of lack of sleep – our only problem at this point was our access into the Sharhj – because last night Castinango and I had lost our passes and my apartment keys in some bar of a high class prostitute ridden hotel.
We slid into a cab and arrived at the Sharhj around midday. The desert sun poured over our retinas and eyelids like hot syrupy bile until we shoved our sunglasses on and decided to steal two passes… this was the last coherent decision we made…..
2. Filthy Beasts
Castinango took a bottle of tequila from his bag – “smuggled it through the Airport” he said. we uncapped it and guzzled it down as though it were closing time in an London boozer.
We needed a clever story – a smart line to convince the girl on the desk. I slogged back another hit until I felt a rising burn from the deep well of my stomach.
I decided the only chance for credentials was to go straight up to this woman and confront her with no warning – demanding two passes now – instead of trying to control some inner frenzy.
She was about thirty and she looked dumb, she looked at us with contempt – I hadn’t even started being a filthy beast yet.
“Listen, get us two passes quick – for Wade and Castinango – authourised by the London office. Be quick about it, this man is sick and we gotta set up before these swines come down here and tear the place to shreds” I developed a strange crooked flinch and ranted so fast that my words were bearly understood, I sounded like a mental patient on the phone to himself.
She was half squinting – half scowling and said, “Tear the place up? What are you talking about?”
“Well – maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this” I turned to Castinango and shrugged, “but shit – every other lowlife in this place knows.” I leant forward on the desk and stared into her black – piggy-eyes, “The police and the municipality are heading down here – they’ve been getting ready for six weeks – they’ve told the press to wear flack jackets and they’re expecting a shooting. There’s gonna be a fucking riot.”
“No way!” she threw her hands in the air and slammed her hand on the desk- “I can’t believe it – why?”
“Dunno”, I said – “we don’t get that much information but there’s gonna be a bus load of militant crazies coming down here like a can of lit fireworks. Only, they’ll be dressed like everyone else… you wont be able to recognize them until the trouble starts – now what about those passes… quick”.
She was one of those moon faced, squinty, do good, jobs worth’s – too scared to step out of line. She picked up the phone to authourise it with Ralph Greed And, in one swift motion Castinango pressed the button on her phone to hang it up, he leant over the desk into her ear “whats your name honey?”
He leaned in closer – “well Mandy, I’m from Universal Pictures, I’m shooting Pigs in Space. How would you like a job?”
She leaned back as though he was suffocating her with his words, “what? What kinda job?”
“Nevermind,” he said “you just fucked it.”
“Khalas!” she screamed “back off and Khalas! You jokers! I’m calling security!”
I flipped around and quickly walked towards the entrance trying to look casual – whilst practicing high-speed-drunk-walking with Castinango stumbling behind.
The security from the grand entrance came running towards us. I shouted with more bearly translatable words aided by a now distressingly exaggerated flinch, “some scoundrels are by the desk and harassing the staff!” The security nodded and dashed straight past us.
‘We are in’ I thought, well ‘til we get caught or start a fight, or steal 500aed from those fat slugs spilling cash like its going out of fashion.
We slipped inside and ducked into the crowds…
3. Grand Hall Colonies
The Grand Hall was festering with moneyed dogs – fidgeting around and crawling over each other like a colony of worker bees hustling around their queen.
We hacked our way through the crowds to get behind the stage – I heard a shrill voice and snorting laughter – it was mo’ Kharglah – a sharp dresser, womanizer and city trader ‘Wade!’ hey Wade!
I turned to face him and his wife, she had nice legs and a tight skirt that showed off a fine rump and she knew it. She stared straight through Castinango and I as though the colagen in her face had frozen her forever – expressionless, like cold stone.
Mo’ was grinning ear to ear- wade! – its been a long time where have you been? They not have phone reception in Middle East police cells yet?
‘Ive been around mo- just nowhere you go’, listen mo – fuck this joint – get us up to the philadelphia lounge wouldya? – before I start spitting fire ‘round here.
‘Sure sure’, he said.
The philadelphia lounge was a place for the privileged – laws don’t apply to these people and especially morals – I turned to Castinango ‘just pretend its visiting hours at bedlam.’ If the inmates start to rise – knock them down or spit tequila in their eyes.
We got a couple of Chicago fizz’s and bourbons on the side. This bar was a special kind of scene – waiters with silver trays and circling the room whilst aggravated strippers writhed around in one corner whom no-one paid attention to. These were all self absorbed hedonists who assumed hedonism only meant getting out of it – I wondered if they even understood what the pursuit of happiness was or even meant…. TBC