PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria
He was born in a tiny room that faced the canal. He grew up with the smell of the rancid water as a normal part of his life. No one ever went swimming in the canal, or dipped a cup into the oil-scummed surface to take a drink. It was for transport, nothing else. Everything got dumped into the canal–sewage, food garbage, dead pets, and the occasional human body.
He was helping on a canal boat by the time he was three. It was his whole life. His wife and children would do the same.