What did I do today? What didn’t I do today! I ran over to my dear neighbor Judy’s for a big squasher-squeezer hug, because I hadn’t seen her since I returned to Jerusalem. We had a whirlwind catch-up chat, and then it was time for me to go somewhere else–I forget where. The day continued on that note (in the meantime doing laundry at my friend Rafael’s, who lives half a block away) until my landlord FINALLY showed up to fix a bunch of things that needed fixing. I wanted him to tell me how to keep the giant cockroaches, the size of a Volkswagon, out of my kitchen and bathroom at night (they are cowards: they won’t show an antenna in the light). He just shuddered and shrugged his shoulders. Big help.
Spent the whole rest of the day editing my book proposal. Finally got tired and decided to go out for gleeda. That’s ice cream in Hebrew. I started out walking toward the shuk, which is incredibly crowded in the evenings these days because of Ramadan; but before I could get there I encountered an elderly blind woman who had got seriously turned around and was doing battle with her white cane against an enormous garbage bin. I asked her if she needed help and she clamped onto my elbow like a vise-grip wrench.
She told me where she wanted to go, and exactly how to get there. The streets were packed. Cars parked on the sidewalks. The obstacle course was challenging enough to me, but she really didn’t seem to mind it at all, now that she had me to hang onto. I often doubted the wisdom of this, given that I had forgotten the Hebrew words for “curb” and “pothole.” No matter. She dragged me straight into the surging sea of traffic and out the other side, where I got confused about some ambiguous street signs and had to be helped by the blind lady to figure out where I was. At least someone on this team had the ball. Somehow we managed to end up at her apartment building. And guess what! It was right across the street from the gleeda shop! How’s that for instant reward?
And now for the plug: don’t touch that dial, folks, stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition of Breaking the Silence of Stigma. My planned guest had to cancel due to a family emergency, so I took the opportunity to write a story I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. Hope to see y’all in the comments!