In the first person singular now, our Cairo collective is a treasure now lodged somewhere between my heart and my gut, like a love letter still not sent. In New York, I had stepped into an enchanted intersection, so that through a fortuitous concatenation of coincidences and contingencies, whirling through time and space, we found ourselves sitting and drinking with Meedoo in his Cairo apartment late at night. Meedoo led us to Mohammed. Mohammed led us through a maze of backstreets, packed with humans teeming, streaming in both directions, to enter his Sufi drum and dance center, on the 5th floor of an old apartment building in the belly of town. When we get there, it is midnight. The center has many rooms, and a balcony with tables full of young people. Mohammed introduces us to another friend he calls a great drummer. Mohammed, Meedoo and the friend begin an offhand drum session in a room empty but for a few cushions. The room has a window, which is open, high above the crowded street below. Directly across, there is another apartment with an open window looking into a kitchen, where a few people are gathered around a table. The drumming from our window is good. A woman gets up from the kitchen table and begins to dance. She dances in the window until the drumming stops.
For many nights after that we danced at Mohammed’s apartment. We celebrated our convergence and the consummation of our joint effort. When we left Cairo, I was flying. For months I nurtured my devotion, preparing a manifestation that had not yet taken shape when Covid ‑19 cast its sudden shadow over the world, and we were forced into indefinite retreat.