been feeling a lot of anxiety about my return trip home in four days. i stepped off the train last night and tsafi was there. i dropped myself into the car and cried. I’m scared to go home… i miss gabe and loki. So much has happened to me in such a short time. We went straight to the beach. The wind was cold so we laid wrapped in an oversized towel on the sand. We talked about things… he made me feel calm and loved. sunset was coming with all the colors of endings. Two families were setting up tents by the cliff. The women were making a bonfire while a father and his naked toddler splashed in shallow waves. tsafi and i whipped each other into a brattish frenzy, usually reserved for full moons. We locked hands and spun each other around. He told me to let my legs go and spun my body around by centrifugal force.
He picked me up and marched me to the sea while i writhed and protested losing my breath in panicked laughter. We ran around chasing each other until the sun went down. i asked him in a rare moment of calm if the sun is bigger here than in NYC he started to react to that question in one of my unanswerable “why are jellyfish blue?” tirades but i reminded him how he told me how huge the sun looks in africa. When it got dark we drove to the souq and bought fresh fruits and veggies. We bought a ton of tomatoes, cucumbers, a mango, a box of cactus fruit (called sabras), peaches, nectarines, garlic and onions for 20 shekels (around US$5). the souq has the best food! but it’s very dangerous to go as it is always crowded and enclosed, prime terrorist target. We went home all sandy and made a dinner of salad and rice and pressed play on a new sheva CD I bought at a new age shop in Tel Aviv We set up dinner outside in the garden and seemed to talk forever while drinking wine and listening to beautiful music. love like this heals all doubt, answers all questions, feeds all frenzies….
yesterday a cloud covered the sky… tsafi had just returned from surfing while i finished up a photo shoot with his sister. He looked at the sky and said “the summer is behind us.”
tsafi and i have been going surfing almost every day lately until sunset. The warm green water… i lay on the board between waves and it feels like a body. Sometimes i close my eyes and try to feel like the surfboard is my friend but then i open my eyes and see the cuts on my legs from the fins and the black and blues on my arms and i remind myself to take up body boarding instead. body boards are pixie size!! but there’s such a thrill when a wave is pushing you. It’s like a motor. The wave and you work together in the beginning. You adjust to its force and your reward is that it carries you. All the fancy stuff I’m not quite up to although I’ve stood on the board a few times already. standing up seems to happen when your knees are in agreement with the board and the wave. When you’re on the board and you… just ‘get it’ and it’s carrying you, it’s an amazing feeling. There is no time. a few big waves came and tsafi wanted to take them so i stood where smaller waves were breaking and watched his silouette in front of the approaching sunset. a huge one would sometimes come and want to break on my head so i would dive down under it and hear it crash all around me underwater, popping up to be surrounded by the carbonated foam swelling still around me. And then the foam would clear and i would see clear to the bottom and all the seaweed soup churning around my bruised legs.
last night we went to a party in a penthouse apartment overlooking Tel Aviv The observatory towers looked like the twin towers in manhattan. i ate pink candy bamba and drank merlot. i wore jeans for the first time in ten years. The party was a surprise party for gil’s birthday. tsafi looked hot in black pants with a black shirt. i liked to put my hand in his back pocket while we leaned over the balcony seven stories high trying not to lean into a potted cactus just below our waists.
writing by candle light outside our house. candles blazing, wine in my glass, dead can dance’s ‘spiritualized’ on the CD player. a salad i made two days ago still fresh in a closed pot. tsafi is cooking the onions that i chopped with the mushrooms in the tomato sauce, pasta boiling. We’d just gotten back from the beach where i watched sunset from the shore searching for sea shells while tsafi surfed the waves. All the seashells looked like tiger eye crystals. This easy life i could not have had in NYC i am glad that i am here and yet tsafi and i had that conversation today on the way to the beach. “what’s the plan if we have to leave Israel in an emergency?” i had contacted the embassy in Tel Aviv asking the same question. i feel completely unsafe here. In the car we talked about the 18 dead today by a palestinean suicide bomber in a pizzeria in Jerusalem He said that the number of dead is expected to climb overnight as the seriously wounded die too. People…just eating pizza. Last week a suicide bomber was stopped from getting on a bus. The bus driver kicked him off. There were soldiers on the bus that arrested him. a bus…just like the one i take to work every day…
i wait at the taxi stand across from my job until a taxi becomes available. a few minutes later, a cab comes and i open the door to a tan older man with a silver wig of hair and wrap-around black sunglasses. “l’ahn mommy?” (to where?) “l’harekevet b’herzliya” (the train station in herzliya) i answer. He smokes with the window closed. i protest. He opens the window and drives like a madman.
yesterday some of the leaders of hamas were killed by Israeli forces. The whole world seems to condemn Israel for this but, from what i understand, these two hamas leaders were and are responsible for lots of suicide bombings; a lot of them in netanya. And from what they know, they planned on carrying out a lot more suicide bombings and terrorism. killing those leaders of hamas, a terrorist organization, saved hundreds of people. It’s a bit scary. i would like to move out of netanya soon…
living in Israel is like belonging to a sports team. Israeli flags adorn houses, strung on antennas of cars. town squares are decorated with banners and flags. When bad things happen to members of ‘our team’, we all feel the loss. All the teenagers are required to fight for ‘their team’. At 17, they wear army green, boots and adorn their shoulders with their team’s flag or their position. blue and white stripes, metal pins… in exchange for their services they receive a pride, an internal disciple, a banging out of the innocence, both of themselves and for their team.
Israel is a football game. The Palestinians have lost much of their equipment. They honor their team by blood, by targeting children, by playing dirty. In this ancient game, no one seems to win…