i am on the tv set of tipool nimratz (the israeli ER show). There are two beige poodles running around, 3 dancers dressed like las vegas showgirls, a drag queen in red, black and white, a guy with a digeradoo, another with an african drum. The scene i have been in so far is a ‘behind the scenes’ with everyone practicing their instrument or dancing, a make up corner..and me? my job was to go around and offer people water. There’s a juggler, a flirty guy in tight denim shorts, a blonde girl with a cold and we all sit now in studio 4 holding our bladders.
the alarm was set on the cell phone and although it was on tsafi’s side of the bed, it pierced through my earplugs. ‘4:40am already?’ i thought. tsafi and i had gone to sleep at 1:30am after watching most of ‘the horse whisperer’ film. I dressed quietly in jeans, tshirt and sneakers. The casting agent said no black or white clothes and that i had to wear sneakers. I brush my teeth and put eyeliner on and sneak out of the apartment so as not to awaken the question-asking safta. I turn the key slowly and in one swift movement i was almost free. Down the stairs in the dark, no electricity in the hallways. And as i walked toward ha’atsumut square it was so quiet that the only sounds were my footsteps and the buzz of the electric poles. The stars were out on a clear pre-dawn morning. I passed battling screeching alleycats and street cleaners and as i entered the taxi the song playing was about having a happy day.
last night tsafi and i sat at opposite ends of the bed playing ‘mad libs’ and trying to de-stress. He had gone with his mother to minchat ein vered, the wedding garden that we had our hearts set on. She said no because a cat was there, because she didn’t like the chairs and there were cracks in the tile in the bathroom. When tsafi got home, his knuckles were red from gripping the steering wheel in anger and he paced around the room. That’s when we decided to take this, OUR, wedding into our own hands, a weight potentially lifted. We decided that since this ‘gift’ of a wedding from his parents would not be out of love, good wishes, or honor we just cannot accept it. We will pay for it ourselves and chose a place and invitations that WE like. He says his mother is ‘being difficult’….no doubt. The woman hates me. she’ll be as much trouble as we let her.
After deciding to pay for the wedding ourselves, we slept better. So when, an hour ago, his father showed up during our lunch wanting to ‘talk about the wedding’ i finished my meal in one swallow and removed myself. I lay here on my stomach in a locked room amid loud voices and just hope that tsafi is defending me. wherever his father is, a heated escalating debate is sure to follow.
My favorite part of the day lately has been waking up snuggling into tsafi. One of us is usually more deeper into sleep than the other, so the other burrows into the other’s back, knees aligned and bent and kissing any exposed parts. This morning before dawn was one such perfect snug-fest and it makes me so happy. We joke about having the ‘snug olympics’ and sometimes comment during the day about that morning’s snugglin. ‘oooh. THAT was the best snugglin EVER!’ until the next day when we say the same thing. We entertain ourselves through this stressful time with computer games from the 80’s like centipede, pac-man, and super breakout. We talk and go on a walk together and cook together. In this world is all i need. I put all my love into him, far advanced in issues of trust and future… i can’t wait to marry him!
at the sea with books. Having walked far away from netanya collecting seashells i smile to myself. No safta. No itzik. No passing days staring at walls or sleeping. For now, i smile. I have a bag full of seashells that we will use for table decorations in new jersey for the wedding dinner. I fell into a slow walking meditation as i scanned oncoming waves for exotic shells. Mostly i found small orange-patterned shells but i’m sure we can do something fun with them. tsafi gave me great ideas as we took our nightly walk around town last night. We’ll use a candle bowl with floating candles instead of floral centerpieces. Online we picked out linen colors for the tables and wedding cake. My head is in a whirl with all this! I made a whole day out of collecting shells…
yesterday i got a call from mark, who hired me a month ago saying i can start on Sunday. I was very excited as i had been waiting all this time for the start date. ‘It was a definite’, he said. ‘call off your job search’, he said. so i sat here waiting for a MONTH for him to call. So he called yesterday. “start on Sunday” then he called a few hours later and said real casual “the big boss decided to move the company to holland. Sorry.” And i felt my heart sink and a big black hole of “I HATE ISRAEL!!! and all their inefficient backwards annoying soulless people!” crept up. I got off the phone and said ‘fuck’ a few times and started up the computer searching for places to send resumes to, starting all over, starting again in this impossible place. Who does business like this?? I woke up into a horrible depression. How can we get OUT of here!? how?! I hate it! I want to go home…. a year and a half already! ENOUGH! When will life WORK again? I’m rattling in my cage. I throw myself between bedsheets with just my eyes and my pen sticking out and i want something to save me.
tsafi takes a break from studying and open the door “are you writing in red?” he asked… he knows that i look for a red pen when i’m having a bad day (i don’t usually find one!). he asks what the 666 number on the Israeli scoreboard means. “the sign of all things evil.” I tell him.
“what should i do, tsafi?” i whisper desperate to him.
“i..don’t know” he says, looking scared too. I tell him i want to go home.
“how can we leave?” and i see he also is at a loss for words so i change the subject to keep from crying. “how is studying going?” he says that it’s like being on the other side of the wave breaker when he’s in the room next to me unable to see me….
yesterday i’d gone to the sea to take photos of him surfing. The current was so strong that he got carried away behind a line of rocks. I saw him disappear and then i saw successions of waves slamming into the rocks unsure of where he was. The whole time that he was getting swept away with the current he was thinking of me. in a few minutes he popped up on the other side of the wave breaker as i was halfway running to the life guard station. And now he’s on the other side of the wall with friends studying and we’re still totally focused on each other. I am limp, withdrawn, defeated…i hate this country…get me out of here!
tsafi likes frank sinatra and has mel gibson’s eyes.
this is a house where you can never find a pen and when you do, the array of hilton hotel white pens either don’t work or explode. Safta goes once a year to the hilton in tiberius. I can see her swiping all the pens. She’s a very strange woman. I’m getting a first hand look at what it is like to be old. next to her bed she has boxes lined up with all different medicine, an emergency button (which i think only got used once when her husband died) a cane is hung on the doorknob. She puts her teeth in a small white bowl in the kitchen sometimes and talks at me holding a butcher knife. I use her chinese oil on my temples when i have a headache and all her stomach ailments are contagious. She’s psychically rubbing off on me and i hate it. I feel it when i shuffle my feet instead of walking normal or when i complain about body things for attention. I am grateful to her for so many things but i honestly can’t wait to live off on our own.
i spent the day watching the sunrise come up over new york city on CNN imagining the families of the victims opening their eyes into a day they had been fearing. I watched the tributes, the songs, in nyc, in england. I over-medicated my eye, hoping the pink eye subsides by tomorrow when i have to travel to tel aviv to be an ‘extra’ on a tv show called ‘shemesh’.
walking slowly eating an ice cream cone just after sunset. Silver waves brush over my sandals and i get absorbed in the music of this mortal coil. I write a letter to my sister in my head about how proud i am of her but it escapes me when my eyes see paper. I am wearing my I love NY tshirt and feel that sadness like how i felt last year watching those towers fall. CNN and all the news channels run specials on the first anniversary of 9/11. A jogger stops in front of me and lights a cigarette and it is getting too dark to write. The page glows like the moon. It’s the only time all day i’ve been outside except to go to the doctor. I have pink eye and light is hurtful.
early morning beach. Listening to solas, sucking on the last of my orange tic tacs that i brought from america. Waves come in sizable sets. Clouds weaken the sun intermittently. Last night we went out for sushi and i tried new things. Salmon, tuna, over rice, rolls of indistinguishable fish. I used chopsticks effortlessly. It was at a place in herzeliya called ‘running sushi’ where japanese music plays even in the bathrooms and the decor is extremely minimalistic. I surprised myself by really liking sushi! My body felt energized afterwards; not heavy. I missed diana alot last night and was happy when i got home and signed onto the computer and she was on. We made each other laugh, remembering stories like the one where i put her favorite doll in the freezer with knifes. I am so glad i went home for months. I miss home. I’m so incredibly bored here. I sit for hours staring at the sky…
this morning i take up space in the shadow of a cliff, determined to shake out my dusty feeling. I watch small soft avalanches when i move my feet. The sand so readily adapts tot he contours of my heels. I listen to a chanting meditation made at the kripalu institute, staring soft at the sea, a cool breeze all around. tomorrow is the jewish new year. I woke up many times last night and just as i was teetering on the edge of awake and asleep, tsafi would snuggle me or rub my back and instantly i was sucked back down to the pillow. I finished my book about beethoven yesterday. Today i begin thomas moore’s soulmates. I read some of yesterday’s journal entry to tsafi and his reaction was so cute and modest… “ah, this morning’s compliment.”