...And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and He departed
And when the cloud was removed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow...
...And the LORD said unto Moses: 'If her father had but spit in her face, should she not hide in shame seven days? let her be shut up without the camp seven days, and after that she shall be brought in again.'
And Miriam was shut up without the camp seven days...
The Book of Numbers 10:12-14
Voices rebound off the stone walls in the hallway outside my room. Even if I understood Arabic I'd have no way to decipher the conversation. Words colliding, ricocheting, echoing. It's an argument. It has a music.
The words themselves are unimportant.
I understand Mariame's voice. She is outside my door.
It is 12.30 AM.
I am not well. Though I went into the bathroom because it was the only safe source of light that I could hide under, a devil has crawled inside me. I don't know if I'll leave this room tonight. Neither is sleep assured.
This is a cruel symmetry.
There is a knock at my door. There is no way that I can, or will answer it. I think that's what they're arguing about. She must have glided in on the wind, past their always open door, for, I'm sure they've told her that she is not welcome anymore, unless she is going to pay.
"Hhalas!" Enough! One of the landlords of this haunted house thunders. That word I understand.
I hear a shuffle of feet. Then the jingle of keys. The room nextdoor is being opened.
I am being sick in the toilet.
Mariame, I hope your Richard arrives soon.