Tel Aviv Diary August 15, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - August 15, 2008 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 15, 2008

In case I have not properly updated these pages as to my personal life, I will now state that Ezi is in remission. There should be another Petscan to confirm this, but that is being postponed while he is undergoing some extra intrethecal and antibody treatment, It's summer, and at the best of times i have to bring my crowbar to elicit official information. So even as I say it, I wonder how certain I can make my statement.

Lately I've been looking around at the men in my age group and older - the men who built this country. The guy who raised the Israeli flag on the British ship as it came into Haifa in 1948 and greased the pole on his way down, the guy who fired on the Atelena, the men who made the history of this country. They are all old, vital, and totally unlike the generation that is now taking over.

Not that I don't appreciate the present generation - i love even the fact that they question the entire existence of the State. These things should always be questioned. Some kid even quoted Brecht to me yesterday.

General, your tank
is a powerful vehicle
it smashes down forests
& crushes a hundred men.
but it has one defect:
it needs a driver.

General, your bomber is powerful
it flies faster than a storm
& carries more than an elephant.
but it has one defect:
it needs a mechanic.

General, man is very useful.
He can fly & he can kill.
but he has one defect:
He can think.

It's not just the young Jews, it's also Mohammed Darwish, Sayid Kashua, etc. Maybe all together they can put this place together properly.

August 16, 2008

Certainly the old people (my generation) don't have answers. Some of my friends who are "in" in Kadima party say our next PM will be Shaul Mofaz. "Is he any good?" I ask. "Good enough," answers a friend. As Dryden said, "Thank God an old age is out, and time to begin a new."

All you who prayed for Amos - the memorial is tomorrow - can now pray for the speedy recovery of my kids' grandmother, who (at the age of 93) was injured yesterday in an automobile accident. I think she'll be okay, but jeepers - at 93 - that shouldn't happen.

With a recovering patient at home, part of my job now is to join in convalescent entertainment. (poor me) So we are spending a lot of time in cafes and places of entertainment - parties, weddings, fun, artsy films. This is very easy to do in Tel Aviv.

It makes me forget the complications of our lives in the fall. Like Obama. What shall I do? This site deals with suspicions I've always had, but how significant are they?

August 17, 2008

On the way back from the memorial service we stopped at Cafe Wilheim to get some cakes for the mourners and found the poem by Amichai on the wall. The one about sitting in Cafe Wilheim and seeing the death notice of a man whose last name is a foreign city and who died in Ramataim. Of course they cut the saddest parts of the poem out, about death in general, and left the praise in for the baker who knows that the inside of the cake and the outside are them same, like death and life. I started gushing about the poem and the connection to Amos Milano but the bakers didn't react to anything but my choice of cheesecake and strudel. I think Amos would have liked that entire scene better than the poem alone.

This is the time to declare copyright on the idea Amos and I were working on just before his fatal operation last year, that left him totally paralyzed. He wanted to do a poem in kaleidocycles. I thought it was brilliant but beyond my solitary capability.

August 18, 2008

I was lying on the table in the alternative health clinic, stuck with needles in my sciatic nerve, and suddenly i heard a noise like the rush of a plane engine. Before I realized that there must be some kind of treadmill in the other room, I had a vision of an Irani missile hitting the city. The big problem was how could I get up with all these needles in my back, so i had to do some quick rationalizing and warn myself that i was just remembering all those rockets in the Gulf war that took me by surprise in the shower or the middle of doing my nails or all that. Still I think I screwed up the treatment with that moment of fear because usually i feel good afterward but this time my sciatica hurts worse.

Where is Iran getting all this hi-tech knowledge anyway? North Korea? Russia? There is so much going on in the world we don't know about. And I hope we never have to find out.

Just like I hope that those Palestinian prisoners we're releasing today with 'blood on their hands' never are heard of again in the news.

August 19, 2008

As we were leaving for the hospital for intrathecal chemo, someone called us to cancel. So we made straight for IKEA thinking it would be not much of a difference. There was a line to go in, kids everywhere, and the usual mess. But we came home with furniture. or at least the makings of furniture.

Fiddling around with google, i thought i found one of my lost aunts on the:american Holocaust Museum list of refugees from Tashkent, but i just read the form wrong. I just can't seem to find out about my mother's sisters and brothers.

Listen, ever since Iran offered to help its neighbors with long-range missile and satellite capability, I've been thinking we should ask them if they'd help us too. We can even make a special gesture and elect our local Iranian politician, Shaul Mofaz, as prime minister so we can share a language and a culture as well. Think they might agree?

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