in montclair, nj at danny and sarah’s house. biting cold, surrounded by sarah’s art. wow! the girl is talented! she makes toys! tonight dad, adrienne, alexis and diana are coming home from mexico!!!
went to see grandma mully and aunt dolly, freddy and his girlfriend were over there. it was so great to see them! her apartment never changes. she’ll be 80 years old in april and has lived most of her life in that apartment. i showed them photos of israel and talked a bit with them. it was nice~ yesterday i went to the world trade center ruins. i couldn’t see much more than a crane and some rubble on nearby buildings and the dome of the hilton but it was very sad. i took black and white photos. this morning kt and i woke up with a hangover and drank liver salts from ireland to calm our stomachs. we’d been drunk from 2:30pm until midnight the day before.
sitting on shaunte’s kitchen counter indian style, feet in sink, surrounded by alice in wonderland figurines, a pee-wee herman ashtray thta says ‘i know you are but what am i’, a poster of dave navarro that says ‘trust no one’ with misleading flowers around it.
it feels as if i never left! shaunte met me at timothy’s coffee at port authority yesterday. she was running towards me in a blue muppet coat. we hugged and i showed her my ring and we were all excited. we went to ruby’s for a blue cheese veggie burger and then went back to her place in kew gardens. she lives in an orthodox jewish neighborhood with surburban houses. she lives in the basement in a shoebox but she decorated it just like my old place in rego park. purple, green and blue paint with gold. next door lives bob, a 52-year-old man that lives with a 35-year-old russian girl that we later scared. we jumped around her apartment and trashed it in under an hour. two bottles of alcohol later we went to bob’s to see moulin rouge. we had been bouncing a crazy ball that makes cell phone noises on contact. we jumped and danced around and then we watched a bit of the video i made for her. at 5am i woke up, went the bathroom and brattishly laid on her but then decided to behave. shortly thereafter she spoke…she was faking sleeping but decided to ‘wake up’ once i behaved…we walked in the dark on xmas morning to 7-11 and ate microwaved eggplant parmesan and then went xmas caroling screaming ‘noel! noel!’ in a jew neighborhood.
walking in early morning sun. a boot-legged cd of bob marley in my ears. ‘three little birds’ comes on and i smile to myself thinking about listening to that song ten years ago when i first moved out of my childhood house and how the three little birds represented my three little sisters. and then the part in ‘no woman no cry’ comes on…’everything’s gonna be alright. everything’s gonna be alright…’ and i don’t know what happened. i just started crying… catching my reflection in store windows, saying to myself how i just want to go home, to wake up to my dad’s pancakes. sometimes i just want someone to assure me that i’m doing the right thing and that everything will really be alright…sometimes i’m not so sure….
last night was the fourth night of hannukah. i walked home wandering thru different streets home from the train station and found myself in the middle of a candle lighting ceremony. there was a huge menorah in the center of the main square. someone was holding a tall torch and handed the microphone over to someone who said a blessing. i mouthed the words, surprised that i remembered it…. lehadlik nair shel hannukah…. and all the children turned their faces up, candle light bouncing in their eyes, as they lit four candles and then the main one. i really liked to see that…
let’s talk about israeli bus etiquette. there’s always one guy who holds up the line counting out change and then he has to test out a few aisle seats in the front of the bus before he finds his place. even if you’re sitting right next to the bus doors at the gate, that doesn’t matter. when the bus pulls up to the gate, it’s every person for him/herself. there’s a whole bunch of cutting and pushing. sometimes i just fall back and watch the comedy and other times i push back. the trick is to get your hand on the door and then swiftly cut someone off without glancing. the same policy applies for trains. when a train makes a stop and its doors open, everyone rushes in; it’s unbeleivable. all the people exit like salmon. sometimes when i happen to be right at the doors when they open and i want to board, i very dramatically step aside hoping some will follow this very basic understanding that was taught to me daily by NYC subway announcers that if you let the people OFF the train first, you will get on quicker and the whole process will feel alot nicer. sometimes people do follow this example and other times i get shoved into the train car from rude jerks behind me…ah…israel….
we’ve moved into tsafi’s grandmother’s apartment after two floods in the luv shack caused a bad ending with our landlord. it feels wonderful here. we have a big room and can see the sea. we are one block from it. we help safta with things and take care of her as much as she will allow. she is the nicest lady i have ever met! pure and real and 100% kind. i love our room… tsafi and i had a great weekend. yesterday we went to the swamps. we walked around in nature talking about our future. we sat in the car with the doors open and made secret pacts and promises… we tried to figure out how we can buy a house. today tsafi was at work and i had a ‘me’ day. i am very comfortable here and with safta. our language barrier is getting thinner. she told tsafi last night that she loves me as one of her own. i cleaned up as much as she let me. i fought off her trying to feed me and i headed out to the gym for three hours. hardly anyone was there. i pounded away at the ski machine. i did the entire weight circuit and relaxed in the sauna room alone. took a shower and ate clementines in the sun as i window-shopped on herzl street. came back here to have lunch with safta. we ate soup and this tomato pepper and rice dish i love. i struggled through some conversation but she seemed to understand everything i said. i shut the windows in the bedroom and it was dark as night and i rolled the covers over me, heavy as lead and fell into a purrfect nap awaking to find dinner for me and tsafi all laid out with the covers on the pots and tsafi’s sweet voice on the phone saying he’d be home in an hour. i went shopping unsuccessfully for sweaters, watched bunnies in cages and listened to an old mix of songs. i feel as cared for as a baby~
yesterday sucked… everything felt wrong. floods in our house from the rain, bombs, the politics of family. i keep telling myself we are taking a step back to go 2 steps forward. and again, i know i can’t leave. i asked for this challenge and even though everything seems at a low point, i’m going to stay. this morning before i left the house on cnn they said that a suicide bomber blew himself up in jerusalem near a luxory hotel. he was the only one to die because he detonated himself too early. stupid ass~ at least now the world sees arafat for what he is…the leader of a terrorist organization. i’m glad the usa is involved now… (secretly, i just want to..go hom… i’m scared….)
14 more bus rides to work..including this one. everyone sits silent looking every which way, looking into each other’s faces for signs of arab. last night ariel sharon declared war on the palestineans. that’s nothing new; israel’s been at war with them for 50 years but now i find myself in a very unsafe time and in an unsafe place. why am i here? why israel? why do i feel like i can’t leave now? i just can’t leave… last night alone in my house i watched cnn. they were showing bombs going off 10km from where we live. i put the tv volume down and heard the jets above me…i joke with friends back home that i am a pixie war correspondent.