Monday, November 3, 2008

A is

A is for art

A pile of cobblestones on the floor of a museum, each imprinted with the words: "weapon of the proletariat".

B is for birds

A huge flock of geese forms the contour of a clipper ship in the evening sky above Jerusalem's Mouristan square. The fountain is working once more, kids kick a football against an old stone wall.

C is for cancer

My friend G. stands by his macchinetta, making both of us ridiculously strong coffee that is to keep me awake for much of the night. "Mann tracht on gott lacht," he says in Yiddish. "man plans and god laughs."

He has a long scar along his throat from the removal of his thyroid gland. At first I don't know how to relate to his experience, then I remember that I have gone through a divorce. "Not really comparable, but I guess we're both going through the things that make up life."

"Yeah, grown up stuff," he says.

D is for Downtown Lover

Back in my life? maybe yes, maybe no. The other day she was in a taxi, about to get off. The driver saw a guy hailing a cab by the corner and asked if she would mind him picking that guy up. She didn't mind, nor look to see who it was.

E is for eventide

"The night, it has a thousend eyes / the day has only one," quoth the poet. The sexy time of day is not a time of day, and it is crawling into the streets outside my window as I write.

F is for freedom

Walking up Ben-Yehuda St. after two days of hard work, bumping into an aquiantance and pulling him into the Mersend for a cuppa. The afternoon is vast. Roni rolls in on roller blades, posting posters for a poetry event. Kamer pops in, wearing one of his grandpa swaters. I want to interview him on radio Tuesday night, when I'll be studio commentator on the U.S. elections (late late on Galatz Radio). Omer appears with a copy of Haaretz and an easy smile. Obama this, Obama that, Then we all fly away to other places.

G is for gusts of wind

More of those are soon to come.

H is for Mitch Hedberg

"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."

I is for the Indigo Girls

Dorky though it is, I've had "Mystery", "Ghost" and "Galileo" playing in my head for a month now.

J is for Jewification of Jaffa

A major issue I have with the current mayor's policies (at least with his crew's), and especially now before the municipal elections. In Israel the term Jewification is considered legitimate. The idea: populating areas that have Arab majorities with as many Jews as possible, in order to "claim" them.

When looking for apartments in Jaffa you will often hear the agent saying: "currently there are many Arabs here, but we're working hard to Jewify the neighborhood and there have already been positive developements aplenty."

K is for kites

The Kite vendor at Charles Clore Park is tying a few samples of his merchendise to a metal railing. There's something both gloomy and hip about watching an elderly, disheveld man flying numerous jolly dragons at once.

L is for love

M is for McCain

Not a bad chap, it seems, but not the sharpest POW in the pencilbox either.

N is for new book project

Still confidential.

O is for Obama

I was there when it started: Democratic national convention, Boston 2004. The Illinois delegation, right by my booth, was going crazy. Obama gave the famous "thin boy with a funny name" speech. Only clinton spoke better.

P is for Park Slope

Where my Friend Erika is sitting and chatting with me right now, making me miss the world once again.

Q is for queers

For a while I knew no one in Tel Aviv who was gay. This is changing, to my delight. There's a sense of humor and an approach to the world that only gay people have. Lose sight of the their society and you lose more then one color in the day to day existance.

R is for Lou Reed

Who is in the city tonight, performing before luckier people that I.

S is for scarves

Girls in autumn look so lovely.

T is for Togo

I'm showing a group of Togolese visitors around the country these days. Took them to the "Jerusalem Hotel" in Sheikh Jarah, had coffee and a cigarette, listened to their chat, realized the Togolese are the cutest people in the world.

U is for Unicum

This liquor I brought from Hungary has to be the nastiest tasting thing on earth, yet I'm finishing the bottle at high speed. Things that taste like medicine are highly marketable early in the flu season.

V is for Vicky Cristina Barcelona

I've been told it's fantastic. If anyone wants to join me for it, let me know.

W is for bad memories

Such bad memories.

X is for xi

I miss scrabble. This Downtown Lover thing had better work out.

Y is for Yad Vashem

Walking out of the long corridor of the Jerusalem Holocaust Museum, I have to wait by the railing of a balcony, overlooking a cluster of forested hills, for a member of our party still inside. Consequently, I spend ten minutes looking at the faces of the people coming out. Each one of them has learned something new and it shows in their eyes. I can't help but admire the corridor and those responsible for filling it with life and with death.

They even kept the whole "everything's fine now that we have our own country" bit in the end distinctly subdued and minimal. It's there, but not so badly. I hate when the Holocaust is presented as nothing more than a sad prologue to the heroic Zionist story. Yad Vashem remains dignified.

Z is for ZZZZZZ

Gotta take a nap now. There's so much life going on, it's tiring, and the Unicum doesn't help perk me up (turns out it's no medicine). See y'all in morning light.


lazy_n said...

what time exactly oh galatz?

Yuval said...

From about 5:00 PM your time, 3:00 AM our time. The results should start streaming in an hour later.

Anonymous said...

If you still haven't seen vicky etc etc i'll be out and about in tel aviv for most of december and a bit of january. Grown up stuff just threw me 10 years back thru time machine, so I'm hoping on some serious catching up. -G.