libyan

October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I met one of the owners of the Middle Eastern grocery I typically visit to buy lamb shanks after volunteering on Saturdays. He was leaning against the cash register. His left eye, a clouded white marble, looked off slightly to the right. His right eye stared levelly at me. We exchanged a greeting, and he guessed correctly that I was Chinese by greeting me respectfully in that language. Then he said:

“I just came back from Benghazi. You know the situation in Libya?”

Yes, I said. I asked, “What were you there for?”

“To help,” he said mysteriously.

Then he drew me a diagram, crosshatching the areas which had been taken over by the rebels (“freedom fighters,” he corrected me), and pointing to the place where “that maniac Kadhafi” was hiding. I wanted to ask him all sorts of questions! What did he think about NATO’s role in the operation? What was his personal opinion on France and England’s involvement? And helping — what did that mean? But then another couple came to pay for their groceries and he had to help them.

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