The fog over Tangiers is swept away in the hours before 5 am. The clear sky is reading for the first call to morning prayer. The City, buttressed up against the rock of Gibraltar and the westward expanse of the Atlantic, was the final port of the Phoenicians and the Romans as their ships coveted the last landfall before the infinite darkness to nowhere, the end of Africa and the Mediterranean.
Vera is sleeping lightly in her room at the El Minzah hotel, waiting for the moment with the Iman will call out the chant to Allah and the City will begin to stir with a frantic rhythm until the evening.
The mornings are so precious. I want them to last forever, says Vera. The night coaxes me to sleep only at the last moment and then its time.
Turkish coffee will arrive outside her door with a small knock from the concierge and she will drink it on the small balcony overlooking the Islamic fountain in the hotel's courtyard.