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LAST NIGHT HAD A PINT WITH RICARDO DA FORCE — STRAIGHT UP LEGENDARY:

The morning sky is 9/11 blue and the Burj Al-Arab reflects in the stillness of the Persian Gulf. By the time the call to prayer is over and the sun is fully up, is still not quite hot. And this is funny to be amazed by the idea of being outside when it is not hot. But here we are, shivering against the breeze coming in and wrapping up in a towel. The day goes on – in the office a Philippine lady is leaving, her name was Grace, and if we knew that before now, we could not be sure, but she was always smiles and everyone seemed to love her. The Iranians came in full force. Children, soul mates, women in the niqba, French boys in bad jeans – they were all there with the conference room spilling over in the excess of the KFC family meal plans we gorged the spicy chicken breast and piles of chips and began to understand the complexities of the schism in the Shi’ites between the twelvers and the sixers (it is about the true decendancy of the prophet, peace be upon him). Outside the window there is the kick off of the first day of the airline industry conference. The patrol from France is putting on a good show as we eat our biscuits, a tight formation of eight planes jet across the sky leaving trails of the French flag. The French boy burns with pride, and so do we, why not. The F-16 is superior, but these escapades are commendable. And with greased hands we pose for picture and Grace, the Philippine is gone. Back to her backwater village ten hours from Manila. She is going to have a child and hopefully never come back, she is going to eat fish and coconut gravy and take boats along the sea; anything else she does we do not know. Lunch is over and in our office waits a woman from Mauritius. She has ideas that may or may not be true about Ghanaian gold and let them ride; there is no harm in her believing them. It is clear that she is a freak. And the meeting ends with her invitation to come see a hotel and coffee roasting business outside of Addis in Ethiopia. It is harder to end and she sees herself as a salesman, but finally it is over. And the French fighter jets have given room for the Airbus A380. This beast floats so gently against those deep blues of this desert sky, banking and rolling 90 degrees, climbing almost complete vertical, and we choose to be reminded of Hakeem (Ewing never really had that grace) as a giant dancing in the sky. And now we call the French boy and tell him that this is something to be really proud of, and when he says the Germans helped on the engine we tell him to forget this plane – VIVE LE FRANCE. The Airbus loops some more and even the Iranians are impressed. Into the sunset we speed under the encore of the French jets. Over a negroni we watch the polo match where a man is thrown from his horse and the horse collapse on him and the Porsche truck rush on the pitch and him immobilized in a stretcher put into the back. The night is hazy driving back with the tallest building in the world as the only landmark in getting home.

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Big Lights Will Expire You —

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