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33. After Nassers Death

In the confusion following Nassers death, Izzy was sprung, and all tours of the Giza funerary complex were put on hold. Lila Kodzi led Izzy on horseback, with Sarvaduhka, Johnny Abilene and one of the Haymakers, just arrived from the other Memphis via Lufthansa. Nobody stopped them. I saw them from above and from below. I felt hooves echo against the roofs of underground chambers; I saw them, tiny, remote, from millions of miles above the sky. And from inside their skins, I felt them also, not chaotically as when Shaman had pierced me, but clearly, from a standpoint: Abu al-Hawls.

Izzy waved a little navy-blue book. "I got it! I got it, Melly baby. I got you a passport. Were gonna haul ass out of the Sahara." They cantered into the enclosure. "His Polaroid did it; the sun spoiled my Fujis. Sarvaduhkas a hero. And you, youre great too, boy. You got Johnny Abilene here, and hes our main man." Izzy dismounted and held the passport photo up for the Sphinx to see.

Lila jumped down beside him and twined herself around his arm. "You lovely one-brow, you are a crazy man everywhere, just like in bed. How will you get the Great Sphinx through customs?"

My father clapped a husky arm around Sarvaduhka. Sarvaduhka was cadaverous and grim on the outside. Inside, he was set to explode. "He gets everything,"?I could hear him thinking? "female action included, and my squareback thrown in, free mileage, everything. And what do I get? Saddle sore."

"It so happens," Izzy crowed, "that if we can take him through during the hour just after sunset, the customs official lets it right by. He just thinks maybe somethings kind of funny, but he cant put his finger on it, see what I mean?"

"Why do you have to move him at all," said Sarvaduhka, and he thought, " you stupid, back-stabbing fornicator?"

"Ill ignore the last part, Marmaduke, but the fact is, I gotta take him into the shop. I cant finish fixing him against Shaman out here in the Sahara. My skins too pale, okay?"

"I will not bother to ask how you expect to move a sixty-five-foot-high limestone statue across the desert, through customs, and up the gangplank onto an airplane, and convince everyone that he is simply a mid-level executive at Coca-Cola. Two hundred forty feet long, Izzy!"

"Good work," said Izzy, "youve been listening to the Son et Lumiere. I get his peanuts and that on the airplane, dont forget. I called it at the Cairo Khan Suites."

They were gathering under my chin, where my plaited stone beard used to hang, the Pharaonic sign that shaded Tuthmosis when he dug me out of the sand. My father, Johnny Abilene, passed around his canteen; it was a scrotal second-hander from Death Valley. "Ive been waiting for this moment for a long time, Your Majesty," he said to Izzy.

"Dont call me that," Izzy hissed, "not in front of him."

32. Earther, You Don t Understand History | Izzy and the Father of Terror | 34. Peripherizing the Sphinx