i have never been so happy to brush my teeth in all my life. i’ve begun my journey early yesterday and still have a 7-hour flight ahead of me. i love this airline though. they give you kewl stuff in a bag and have trip hop on the overhead radio and…well, they just have a kewl name and even have eye candy on the video screens.
what a language whiplash it is to go from sloppy hebrew to the queen’s english…i find myself only understanding the last few words of each sentence. but at least it’s english… it’s good to be around diverse people. all different religions, nothing rude or ugly so far… and i feel safe. no paranoia, just good times, good times…thank you merlot! now that my teeth aren’t fuzzy anymore, i realize i’m hungry…strange cause-and-effect realization but important nonetheless.
i love planes! and airports and getting my passport stamped. i push my trolley down and incline and let my legs dangle as i accelerate down corridors. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
i head out of gatwick ready to country hop but then i remember that i’m not on my 1999 summer european tour. i find the coach ticket window empty and buy a US$28 ticket to heathrow airport. i have two suitcases of purple glitter, a bag of music, and a plastic bag of dead sea mud. i race down the trolley pathway 3 flights to the coach station and catch the bus just in time “what terminal?” he asks. “i dunno…virgin airlines” and i catch myself saying that like i wouldn’t care if they dropped me off in timbuktu. my money and passports are carelessly thrown in with the dead sea mud when once i would’ve strapped them to my waist paranoid.
i pass a field of sheep and lush green pastures. i may have travelled a bit and am no rookie but i still get a kick out of driving on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road. it’s cloudy today, as expected in london, and it’s almost a physical pain to be so close to glastonbury, my favorite place in the world, and not be able to go there.
after spilling orange juice on the crisp tablecloth and putting pepper in my already-overly-peppered soup instead of salt, i took safta by her cheeks and told her ‘ani ohevet otah’ (i love you) and at mehveena, cen? (you understand, ya?) and i thanked her and she cried and tsafi and i left. he dropped me at the bus station and now i’m on my way to work…as if it’s any normal day.
strange emotions… we awake sad and then we float through the morning and then throughout the day i have moments of doubt, of panic, and mostly of sadness of leaving him. i am slowly beginning to turn around and face another room…home. slowly beginning to let the reality sink in that soon i’ll see diana and dad and kt and danny and jen and be in my own house and walk down nyc streets, soon i won’t have to open my bag everywhere i go and be wearing striped tights boldly swiggin cosmo drinks heading to a packed dancefloor.
i haven’t been eating…an apple and a small sandwich yesterday. today i put on my pants and felt like a weight watchers commercial standing in front of the mirror pulling out my old waistline realizing my pants are slipping off me. i wore a stretchy shirt to keep them up. everything else is packed.
my travel clothing of choice? an ‘I LOVE NY’ tshirt. the other option was an ‘I LOVE NYC MORE THAN EVER’ shirt but it was too tight and i wouldn’t be able to get away with not wearing a bra and i hate wearing bras on planes.
i can’t stop listening to kt’s mix. i flip side after side… i’m going to pretend she’s next to me through this whole upheavel. she understands my journey… my emotional sponsor 🙂 diana wrote me a nice email. tsafi has been amazing with this. he’s been helpful and understanding and loving but most importantly he’s been awake. we know the mission… now just the beginning will be hard…we’ll be ok.
danny writes me words of encouragement and strength full of brother pep talks. jen is the wind at my back loosening the right screws and keeping others tighter. kt is the smooth character with a leopard print handgun pushing me on the plane with her butt while she surveys up down and around to make sure i’m safe in every way and then slams the plane door shut and orders us a drink. and when i get on my way and i threaten to whimper she sticks some candy in my mouth to pacify me (this time in the form of 80s music) while i do what’s best for me whether i realize it or not. and then when i’m almost at my destination and start to get happy she lets me take the credit…meanwhile it was the well of intuition and strength of hers that propelled me.
“today i don’t need a replacement
i tell them what the smile on my face meant
my heart going boomboomboom
i said you can keep my things
they’ve come to take me home….” -gabriel
today at work i got all my loose corporate things taken care of. i put things away and threw my green tea into my open bag. left a paper trail for whoever will replace me and made a few goodbye phone calls…dana, tsafi’s sister, told me she loves me… i called gil,anat, eleni and shoshe.
i called grandma mully in brooklyn to wish her a happy 80th birthday and the rumor had spread fast that i was coming home despite me only telling two people.
i will build my own cocoon. i will do it all myself, all the analysis and fixing and i will emerge with symmetric wings blazing….
for now, give me the strength to say goodbye…. i leave with suitcases in the morning…
“make the best of the task and don’t ask why” – green day (off a cassette mix by kt)
last night i walked with a heavy heart from the bus stop at pardesia junction to eyal’s house on a moshav (a farm) called zur moshe where tsafi and pini were hanging out. it was so quiet and the stars so bright and a cat greeted me in my step. i walked in the street and i felt better just being in quiet. i get to eyal’s and everyone had just finished studying. they were playing playstation. i sit down and play with kelly, the dog; feeling her soft ears between my fingers and they ask if i want to play shoot-em-up things and i don’t…. eyal brings out chocolate cake in tupperware and i devour the chocolate icing tops of the sliced peices.
we watched a movie. during it, tsafi and i clung desparate to each other. soothing touches, sorrowful glances. we walk up the driveway to the street hugging each other at the hip and when we get home we lay on top of the covers with the light on talking in soft voices about how things are and i am grateful that we are on the same page. we talk and align all night…
and this morning i gather my stuff as eyal and pini are in the kitchen making coffee and i come in to say goodbye as i head off to work and my heart is smooth and cool at the edges, bleeding into my whole body and when i leave the house i press play on my walkman, on the mix kt made me and fed ex’ed overnight to me yesterday and i feel kt and i start to get excited to go home…
why am i doing this again? someone remind me….
ok i think it’s safe to say it….crawling out from under my leaves…. i’m going home… in 4 days… i told tsafi this morning. told diana and of course dad… i’m….scared. i’m really not feeling like i exist anywhere right now. i see a huge tree of purple leaves and i say to myself ‘yes, i’m in israel’ and i study the skinny sad cats and people pushing into each other on lines without apology and i say to myself ‘yes, i’m in israel’. i look out at the space between two empty hotels where the wind whips off the sea into perfect clouds and the succession of waves framed by palm trees and i try to smile but ryan adams is singing in my headphones telling me how i still love new york and after that, enya tells me i’m on my way home…and i sit at the bus stop and images of cafes on st. marks and my father’s backyard slip behind my closed eyes. i’ll be home for two months… at least… i need a break….
the travel agent presents options…one way…round trip… she calls back to tell me of closer dates… 25 april…a week away… i have to tell her by 2pm…instincts say take it. heart flailing. not sure how to do this… but i need to…i want to go home…
need to breathe…need to breathe… i’ve heard back from my high councils…and despite my flailing, we are all convinced it’s not going to get better anytime soon. i am half the person i used to be.