|“||My grandmother swore that she had seen an ifrit, or perhaps a marid, late one evening, on the edge of the desert. We told her that it was just a sandstorm, a little wind, but she said no, she saw its face, and its eyes, like yours, were burning flames.||”|
Salim is a young Muslim man from Oman who moved to New York City a week prior.
Significance in series Edit
Salim is a young Muslim man selling trinkets and souvenirs for his brother-in-law. He sits all day long at a company called Panglobal, waiting to meet with Mr. Blanding who never shows. He asks if he can make an appointment for tomorrow and the assistant tells him he has to phone for appointments. He walks out into the night rain and hails a cab, giving directions to his hotel. The taxi driver speaks Arabic and they discuss Oman, where Salim is from, chatting about the Lost City of Towers, which vanished thousands of years prior. The taxi driver apologizes as he has been driving for 30 hours straight and Salim tells him about how he just arrived in America a week ago and is selling worthless trinkets to people who won't see him.
They get stuck in traffic and the taxi driver falls asleep. Salim reaches over the seat and gently rests his hand on his shoulder to wake him. The taxi driver awakens and Salim catches a glimpse of fiery eyes in the rear-view mirror. Salim recognizes him as an ifrit, a person of the fire that his grandmother once told him about. The Jinn tells him that he does not grant wishes and his life has been reduced to this terrible job as a taxi driver. Salim reaches over to once again touch his shoulder in comfort. The Jinn caresses his hand in return.
They arrive at Salim's hotel and Salim invites the Jinn up to his room. Salim undresses as the Jinn comes out of the shower, his eyes aflame. Salim tells him that he does grant wishes and they make love. When Salim awakens the next morning, the Jinn is gone and all that remains behind are the Jinn's belongings. Salim dresses in the Jinn's clothes and heads to the taxi, getting into the driver's seat. He looks in the rear-view mirror and says, "I do not grant wishes."
Laura's car is missing so she and Mad Sweeney head out to the parking lot to steal one. Sweeney selects a taxi cab because the alarm is easy to disable. He is doing this because he wants to help Laura find someone to raise her fully from the dead so she doesn't need his gold coin anymore to keep her alive. She needs his help because her body is in the process of decaying and she'll turn to soup otherwise. She asks him what he is and he tells her he is a leprechaun. A gun cocks and Salim asks them to stop stealing his cab. He also wants to know if Mad Sweeney ever met a Jinn. Sweeney replies that if Salim takes them to Kentucky, he will tell Salim where he can find his Jinn along with "a murder of gods."
Laura sits in the front seat of the taxi as Salim talks about how much New York scared him but now he is no longer scared. Sweeney pipes up from the back seat that he's scared Salim won't ever be quiet. He mocks Salim's taxi license because he is not Ibrahim bin Irem. Laura asks if Salim killed Ibrahim and Salim says that he hopes Ibrahim was given a new life just like he was given. He was Salim but now he has a new life and doesn't plan on seeing anyone from his old life. Laura ponders about never seeing her mother again but plans on thanking Christ for that when he raises her from the dead. Sweeney tells her to shut up about Jesus and begins insulting her. Laura grabs Sweeney by the lips and slams his head against the divider, warning him to not use that language around her ever again. She asks Salim if she can smoke because the car smells like a toilet anyway. He tells her to roll down her window and asks her if she is dead because she smells like it. She tells him it is her afterlife. When she was little, she used to pray for her family to disappear and now her prayers have been answered. Salim replies that he prays in thanks, not to ask for things. He prays to find the Jinn because the Jinn is his afterlife and he wants to know more. Sweeney laughs at him as he pulls his cap over his eyes to sleep. Laura reaches over and turns the steering wheel toward Indiana instead of Kentucky.
Sweeney wakes up in the backseat to find that they are not in Kentucky but have arrived at Jack's Crocodile Bar. They go into the bar and order drinks before taking a seat at a booth. Sweeney continues insulting Laura's looks and smell and she tells him to stop trying to shame her because it doesn't work. Sweeney warns her about bringing attention to herself and asks why she came back to Indiana. He tells her her old life is done and Shadow is not obligated to take her back because she's dead and he knows it. The kiss that made her heart beat made Shadow taste the death on her. Shadow has a new life with Wednesday and Salim got a new life with the Jinn and Laura needs to get a new life without Shadow.
Salim lays out his prayer rug on the side of the road for his morning prayer. Sweeney stays with the taxi as Laura sits nearby in a ditch, smoking. Salim finishes his prayer with "Allāhu Akbar. God is great." Laura replies that, "life is great," and he agrees.
Salim stops his taxi at Derek Arnold Jr.'s ranch where there is a massive white buffalo statue for tourists to come visit. A Tatanka Ska had been born there but it died a year after it was born from a lightning strike so the visitors stopped coming. Sweeney tells Laura it's because they put the god in a "zoo." Salim brings out his prayer mat and Laura sits on the base of the buffalo statue to watch him pray. Sweeney goes out to a hedge and begins to relieve himself when a raven caws at him. He gets in an argument with the raven about how he is holding up his end of the bargain. Laura interrupts them and tells Sweeney they should let Salim go. Sweeney argues with her, accidentally revealing that all the gods are meeting up at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. Laura lets Salim know that he can find his Jinn at the House on the Rock and Salim takes off in his taxi.
Physical appearance Edit
Significance in mythology Edit
The Jinn is an ifrit, a supernatural creature in Middle Eastern mythology.
The Lost City of Ubar, also known as The Lost City of Towers.
Notes and trivia Edit
- An ifrit is a person of the fire.
- According to Arab mythology, there are angels (whom Allah made from light), there are humans (whom Allah made from mud), and then there are jinn, the people of fire.