Morocco, Interrupted

To the Security Guard at the Front Gate

Dear Security Guard at the Front Gate,

I’m sorry I’ve forgotten your name, and I don’t mean any disrespect by this. What I remember about you is how happy I was when we met. This was not only because you had a bright smile and loved speaking English to me, it was also because I was going on an adventure I’d never taken before. Do you recall standing there with me for thirty minutes waiting for my car to pick me up and rush me to the airport? I got the chance to ask about your day, learn about your life, and even teach you what the word “cute” means. It was a highlight of my weekend. I never mentioned this to you, but I was on my way to Paris, on Valentine’s day, all by myself, and for half an hour I got to hang out with you, the person that made me the happiest.

At that time, I truly was the happiest I could ever be. I made my way to Paris by myself where a month before I’d never even traveled out of the United States. I saw all the landmarks and even put a lock on the Love Lock Bridge. The weekend was something out of a movie. I couldn’t stop my cheeks from cramping after excessively smiling for hours.

Even though that weekend was beautiful, it doesn’t compensate for the unhappiness I feel now. Life has changed so drastically I can barely comprehend it. I am back in the United States and am trapped in my room. I guess that is a little dramatic because I can go on walks and drive my car around, but the fact that I’m even back home is insane. Craziness has been haunting me for two weeks. I feel like I’ve been in a nightmare, and my efforts to wake up are for naught. I can’t even get close to the happiness I felt that Paris weekend. I have no motivation to even try and all I can do is hope that this weird new life we are all living gets better.

Right now, I wish to be back at the gate to campus waiting with you for that car to pick me up so I could just relive happy moments again. I want to be able to speak to people with confidence like I did and feel happy in my own skin. But now, all I can do is sit in this room and brood. Life in Tangier seems like something out of a fairytale. The worst part is that it wasn’t out of a fairytale; it was all real and I don’t know if I will ever get that back again.

I hope your life is going well. I hope that everything is just as wonderful as the conversation we had. And I wish one day I will visit Tangier again, with a smile on my face, and we can catch up. Don’t worry, this time around I will remember your name.


Alyssa Ehrenfried is an Athletic Training major at the University of New England.

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