Updated: Jan 27, 2019
He closed his eyes and felt it: the warm, no, the stifling breeze of the desert, carrying on its wings imperceptible grains of sand, the heat that melted your brain and drowned you in a pleasant unconsciousness, the hum of the Nile flowing in whirlpools, smashing against the banks of luxurious vegetation. He just let his imagination fly and the past rewinded slowly. It was like a virtual game which he could play whenever he wanted; like a runaway or, why not, an elopement, for Egypt has been his love ever since he had heard of it and his foot had stepped on the ground of pharaohs.
Ramsey opened his eyes and smiled. Taking the picture of the Sphinx in his hands, he began to examine it closely like he was seeing it for the first time. The photo’s margins wore the marks of a fire and the photo itself was scratched by the wind which had blown at that time in the Valley of the Kings. An old man with disheveled hair, wearing short pants and an undone white shirt was standing in front of the colossal Sphinx. He looked like an archaeologist only that he seemed to be on holiday, visiting an old place which he had explored many times before. If the photographer had concentrated more upon the man than upon the huge monument, Ramsey could have seen the sorrow in his father’s eyes. It was not the frown nor the wrinkles on his forehead that showed his distress but his bright brown eyes. It was as if he knew that it would be the last time he would see Egypt.
The Sphinx was an enormous construction looking like a fierce lion with the head of a man; its grandeur was no less than a sign of the power of the pharaohs that had ruled back then. Looking closer, he could see the inscriptions at the base of the monument, like an incomprehensible language which hid many secrets, almost like the silence that spoke too much yet nothing could be understood. The giant paws and the body itself sitting on the cold, paved socle gave Ramsey the feeling of home; the whisper of the Nile, the perfume of the ancient world brought back through the memory of his father, made him feel as if he was standing on the steps of the monument. In his madness, Ramsey wanted to hold out his hand, expecting to touch the statue.
Suddenly, rain began to pour down, making Ramsey feel like he had been dragged back from a faraway land. He was astonished, even puzzled. Thinking he was traveling to the past, he didn’t see that his insanity was in fact inertia, as he wasstanding near the Sphinx. He became aware of his reality: the sounds of the Eerie, the smell of the Ancient, his dizzy mood and the unconsciousness of his mind, and, in front of him, the memory of his father, foggy and levitating, like a ghost.
Ramsey kneeled on the wet sand and covered his face with his hands: the despair of being lost in time had made him cry when he had realized that he could noy escape the past, no matter how hard he tried for it was embodied in his everlasting present.