“The Hunger” by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Here’s the thing: not every hunger can be satisfied. That given, the room is an oasis of cool. The temp’s hit the century mark but inside the air is set on frosty. The manager swears the bed is a top of the line something or other, the sheets 600 thread count. He winks. I wish he’d leave. My thermostat’s on Horny, time’s awastin’ and boy, those sheets will feel sweet on my ass. There’s an ancient Felix the Cat clock on the wall; the tail goes swish-swish. By the time we finish it’s 9pm.It’s late; we’re hungry till we see the severed camel’s head resting on the curb, eyes gazing up toward God, blood gushing out into the gutter like a ruptured water line. Fresh-fucked tourists on the prowl for a delicious meal and what do we get? Fresh camel. It’s poor here, meat is expensive & one thing I’ve learned about Ethiopia, is that you eat what’s offered or go hungry. I begged him to let me return to France, to eat pate de canard & pomme frites, not this still warm camel kidney from a dirty-handed stranger. Each of us has our limitations; I have reached mine now. I would rather go hungry, my ravenous grief a gaping hole. The sun is high in the sky, the hyenas howl as if to say if you don’t eat the damned thing, we will. Scarcity hardship, all distinguish Ethiopia, which is the poorest of countries. The original Jews are from there, one of the lost tribes. Maybe they ate their camels and that’s where it all went wrong. Like the one on the Joe Camel cigarettes, ours had a stupid look on his face. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made me and all the Ethiopians smoke camels & ride on camels & eat their warm crunchy kidneys & then maybe I could fit in better, have more orgasms & be a better person, too. Le chameau a deux bosse, le dromedaire a seulement une. & here’s the dif: More water storage. As if it were a blessing. Eat up, mes amis! all you want is here.