It started out as a lovely Shabbat walk. Who could have anticipated the unexpected ambush?
But as my girlfriend and I rounded the bend I spotted a gentleman I know - albeit vaguely. I had met him and his wife soon after I arrived in Israel around a year ago and liked them both. I probably only saw him since then one or two more times.
So it was only natural that I introduce him not only to my friend, but also to my dog, who had joined us on the walk. “This is Trevor Pickus,” I said.
“That’s pathetic,” he spat. Then he repeated it. “That is so pathetic!” I can only assume that people who give their dogs their surnames are pathetic because it suggests we think they are fully human. Which Trevor is.
"It's just this anger, all the time, even during yoga," I said, evasively, which is another way of saying I was speaking in code.
Seated across from me taking copious notes was the young and adorable Israeli practitioner fresh out of herb and healing school who had been recommended by a girlfriend. She had gone to him for sciatica pain, and even though he had done shiatsu on her, since she knew how much I love witch's brew, she told me that his card also said he dealt in Chinese herbs.
“I don’t like how you’ve got your bed pressed against the wall,” said a friend who came over for Shabbat lunch and checked out my new-ish apartment.
At first I thought she was referring to my decorating skills, or sad to say, lack thereof. Or maybe she was something of a feng shui aficionado and pressing the bed against the wall meant bad chi or something.
But no, she was referring to my love life.
“It just means you’ve given up. That you’ve resigned yourself to being single.”
It took me a second but then I got it. The way the bed is set up now, only one person has a “side.” You know how in the movies there is always a “his” and “her” side of the bed? With two little tables resting against each side?
So if my life were a movie then there could only be one side table, which would mean that only one sad and lonely person and her funny little dog could sleep there. Because where would the “his” put his stuff? And how would he get into bed, with a wall blocking his way?
‘Douglas is out of town again,” I tell my mother with a sigh. “I am so proud of him, really, winning the MacArthur ‘genius’ grant and then spending the free time he doesn’t have in Haiti, but still ... even geniuses need to spend some time with their girlfriends!”
“I wish I could meet this Douglas, I have heard so much about him,” is my mother’s reply.