True Stories

Random memories mesh together to create a character. This one happens to be real; a 26-year-old Israeli boy studying film in NYC. (As with anything, it's best to start at the beginning. Go to the archives...) Copyright 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

A true story lifted from the pages of a thick hardcover faded yellow notebook (excerpts from the lost year)

I wanted to do something extreme so I asked Hadas Karni to pick me up on her way to Yoni’s. “Why’d you sound so surprised when I said I’d pick you up?” Hadas asked. She was barefoot and beautiful, and her car’s crappy cassette-player distorted some already-distorted heavy metal guitar riffs as I told her about the sickness of my days and she understood more than anyone else could, because sometimes she ran away but other times she cut away to make way for the healing. She knew some things about life that I was yet to discover, I hadn’t thought much of her and I’d been wrong, and I realized exactly that when she spoke to me and occasionally turned her face towards mine as she drove us towards Yoni’s house. I was wrong and I wanted to do her right.

Hadas Karni, who fascinated every man around her by dancing and spitting words, who was eaten alive during every silent moment of her life, who plowed the country north and south up and down haunted by her own thoughts, she had the perfect amount of flesh on her and that alone made everything all right. “You all do such great things, you write and play and record and make movies and draw and paint and I do nothing.” She complained.
“You’re a muse.” Yoni smiled to her.
I was sitting on Yoni’s cramped jail-cell balcony with her and with Gil and with one other girl I’d never seen before who’d shown up with seven kilos of marijuana stuffed in her purse and with one other kid with glasses who had randomly slept beside me during basic training almost three years ago and was now a pothead officer who smoked obscenely when away from the base, and I couldn’t even remember whether I’d smoked or not or done something more or done something less but I must have done something because the words rolled on effortlessly and the commas made my friends laugh. I walked alongside Gil on our way to a pizzeria and he told me his stories and I said “I think I’m going to write. I think I’m going to be a writer, I think it’s a crazy way of life.” and Gil said “That’s great, that’s great, being a writer is great.” His voice was very supportive, so supportive that I felt I was already crouched in some back seat of a car with a notebook slamming against my knees and I thought out loud “I’m going to need a backpack.”

We were sitting on the wet grass of a green hill at night overlooking a main road with its swooping bright lights and Yoni said “I’ll make you a backpack.” He added “Nothing we’re going to do is going to be anything like nothing we’ve done.” and we spent some time wrapping our minds around that one but were never surprised when a glance at our watches revealed that the time was twenty seven o’clock at night or thirty eight o’clock in the morning and that morning had arrived without demanding we push any buttons.

Every day brought us closer to strange times; we all had so little faith and so much hunger, we suffered from prison desperation but were also terrifyingly housebroken, sworn lazy people who only knew how to be alone. People disappeared one by one like soap bubbles and my soldier begged of me “Stop it. You’re depressing me.” Cars swished by underneath my guard tower and proved to me that time was not standing still. I talked to Oren and he said “I don’t know… it sounds strange. It sounds strange to me.” I argued, “No, it’s not strange, it’s right.” I called Gil and asked him “What are you doing?” and he laughed and said “Come on… what are we doing…come on…” Then an older friend told us with red solemnity “It doesn’t matter what you plan and how you plan it, reality turns out completely different.”

So we raised potential problems and discussed them and dismissed them, agreeing that everything would be alright. I’d learned to envision sex in a daydream more clearly than ever before, it could happen again for me at any time. So many things were meant to be behind me. Finally the hate was dissipating.

I told Gil “I don’t think this situation will ever change.” He said “I think this situation will change.” I was driving and I pressed the pedal harder and I brought the music up to us with physical presence like a scratchy rug and he said “You’re angry, huh?” I was fighting tears. I wanted to bring Hadas Karni into them but couldn’t, she gently said “Can’t you be a little more specific?” but understood that I couldn’t and said “Okay” and said no more about it. It was very perceptive of her.

I thought ‘the many words chosen to describe the few will only mislead’. With time I could lose sight of me just as poorly. I wanted to say journey or even change, I came up with barely a glance. Tal was in India and missed us all so much. At first it was hard to find my way into his homesickness because all I wanted to do was leave until I realized that it was exactly the reason I craved out. The secret was to be alone amongst others. I imagined myself happy and lost the need for any more pages in the thick old yellow notebook that I had no recollection of buying. Had I lied when I planned it all out? I couldn’t remember the planning either or the lying or whether or not there had been any lies. I’d seen a chance and the pages had rationed out just right.

It lasted for about two days.



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