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When Saad and I finished our second joint in Gaberoun a year before the war started – I hate cannabis jokes – he delivered, as usual, the same incoherent statements that inspire nothing but anticlimactic vulgarity. Naturally, the scorching sun added fuel to the fire. From “It’s fascinating what heat can do: it turns corn into popcorn”, to “I have transcended history; time and space is no longer an issue to me. That’s why I make fun of the last words people say before they die. But then I’m torn between duty and desire; should I utter humorous last words or remain silent?” I wasn’t there when he died; No one spoke of any last words.
In the desert he knew the reason why most Libyans confuse "Berbers" with "Amazighs", even among Berbers. I didn’t pay attention to the tour guide who told him, but Saad was ultimately obsessed with having sex with a Tuareg woman. He used to say that there would never be a Berber-Arab conflict in North Africa because we’ve already fucked with each other, both figuratively and literally. He said it in those words – In English – to a group of tourists accompanied by the tour guide, who was sweet enough to rebuff Saad’s successive badmouthing with silence.
But he wasn’t a good swimmer. His first experience with death was when he was nine. He almost drowned. He was saved by his mother’s cousin who is now a Salafi fighting against the military junta. Saad told me he (His cousin) had never fucked with anyone, not figuratively.