Friday, June 12, 2009

A Moroccan Dream

I almost converted to Islam. I had to to make a choice between sex or baseball. I chose baseball. Let me explain. It all started at a Super Bowl party. I was introduced to Latifa. She was from Morocco. I was from Brooklyn. She was 35. I was 42. She had three kids. I had three kids. She was recently divorced. She had decided to leave her husband after he took a fourth wife. She was okay with three; the fourth was too much. I was recently divorced; my reasons were more complicated.

She had come to America to find a husband. She was staying with her cousin in Philadelphia. Her cousin and I had a mutual friend who had invited all of us to the Super Bowl party. She was very pretty. We immediately hit it off. There were a few obstacles. She spoke no English. She spoke French and Arabic. I spoke a little French, no Arabic. After the party her cousin gave me her number and told me to call Latifa to set a date to come to her house where we could get to know each other better.

I called and went to visit Latifa at her cousin's' house. We saw each other nearly every day for the next three weeks. Her cousin chaperoned our time together and served as translator. We got two French-English dictionaries and used them to communicate in simple terms. As we got to know each other our relationship deepened. We slept together for a few of the nights without any sex. It was very romantic.

Finally, she told me that she had to go home and get back to her kids. Our last night together we ended up making out very heavily. Before too long we were nude. We were both a little out of control. At least I was. She started saying some stuff that I couldn't understand. I just nodded my head.

I drove her to the airport. We agreed to keep in touch by phone. During the next six months I spoke to her at least once per week. My French was improving and we were able to communicate. During this time we agreed that I would come to Morocco for a few weeks to meet her family. If they accepted me, we would become engaged for two years. During this time I would live in Morocco for six months each year and she would live with me in America for six months. If after two years we decided we wanted to spend our lives together we would get married. It made sense to me.

As the time approached for me to go to Morocco I decided to call my parents and tell them about my plans. My mother answered. I told her that I had met a women and was considering getting engaged. I also said there were a few problems. She asked me what they were.

"She lives in Morocco."

"We'll, she'll have to move here."

"She doesn't speak English."

"As long as you're happy together that's all I care about."

"She's Muslim."

"Maury, get on the phone and speak to your son."

After calming them down, promising I would not do anything rash I continued with my plans. As the day of departure for Morocco approached my fantasies were escalating. I could not think of anything but making love to this beautiful Moroccan princess. She had managed to communicate to me in our phone conversations that Islamic women were the most highly sexed women in the world and had perfected the art of lovemaking to bring men to ecstatic heights. At least that's what I thought she had said.

I arrived in Casablanca. Latifa picked me up at the airport with her son. We drove two and a half hours to her home in Rabat. I was in a dream world. Her home was about eight rooms and was incredibly furnished. She introduced me to her three person house staff. I walked into her bedroom with my suitcase and laid it down.

She said, "Before I agree to let you sleep in my bedroom we need to talk."


She reminded me that I had agreed to become a Muslim during our last night together in Philadelphia. I didn't remember this, although I knew that I had agreed to something during the heat of our passion. She then told me that on her recent pilgrimage to Mecca she had renewed her connection with Islam. She would not sleep with me unless I again agreed to convert to Islam.

I asked her, "What exactly is required to become a Muslim?"

"You must do five things. First you must read the Koran."

"OK, that's no problem, I enjoy books about religion. What else?"

"You must agree to fast during Ramadan."

I had actually just completed a lemonade fast. I said, "Fine, next."

"You must agree to contribute 10% of your income to the mosque."

I didn't think money would be a problem for us. I said, "Yes."

I don't remember the fourth requirement. I agreed to it though. I do remember the fifth requirement. I needed to accept Allah as the one true god with all my mind and all my heart and I could not fake it.

Now, I would have agreed to anything to sleep with Latifa that night. But when this fifth requirement was stated I began to realize that this was a serious matter. For some reason what came into my head was the movie "Field of Dreams". I don't understand why but this movie reminded me what I loved about America. I could not go through with this conversion. I told Latifa that I couldn't do it. She was very calm about it. She said I would have to leave tomorrow. I could sleep on the sofa that night.

The next day I left her house and spent the next two weeks travelling through Morocco by myself. It was an experience which helped me heal from the pain of my divorce. I have never had any regrets.

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