Monday, June 9, 2014

The Ranting Woman


To me, she looks like a quintessential someone from New York. I would say she is in her fifties. Every time I see her she is purposeful but not at all hurried. She is well-preserved and attractive, and there are elements of her style that make me think of the 1960's. She wears a scarf and hides her eyes behind black retro sunglasses. She has a pale, noble profile which I study as discreetly as possible because she also perpetually carries a scowl on her face. And sooner or later, I have learned, she will break into a rant. The rants don't seem to be directed at anyone in particular and you never know what's going to set her off. I've never witnessed anyone taunting her into her verbal outbursts which surprises me because she puts on quite a performance once she really gets going. But something gets her going every time so I try not to draw her attention. And because I don't know where she is looking with those large, black sunglasses on, I take care to study her from a distance. But I can't resist keeping her in my peripheral vision as she passes in front of me.

Today I saw her twice. The first time was in the late afternoon as I sat in a cafe enjoying a visit with a friend. I pointed her out to my friend and made a comment on her likeness to a New Yorker. My friend laughed as the woman passed on by. I didn't mention the rants.

About an hour later I was on my own and headed home when the ranting woman emerged from a doorway and stepped right in front of me. I was so close to her and she had her back to me so I could really study her. I hung back for a little while, curiousity mixed with caution and a healthy respect for the energy of anger she exudes. As soon as I decided to make my move to pass her, she started to talk to herself. Or was she addressing me? I murmured a peaceful greeting as I overtook her and she returned the greeting, barely breaking stride as her monologue continued to get underway. I passed on by without incident.

I can't understand a word she says but I understand the admonitory tone and I feel the anger behind it all. I secretly applaud her as she speaks up and presumably speaks her mind. The ranting woman could be mistaken for any number of nationalities (for me it's a woman of Italian descent living in the Bronx) but she happens to be Moroccan. That's why I admire her public expressions of her anger at something -- made up or real, it doesn't change my opinion. I like her free and consistent expression of her anger and indignation. It's rather rare here in the old medina of Fes.    
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