Tel Aviv Diary November 26-31, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary November 26-31, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

these are the erased files. i'm sneaking them in against my better judgement:

November 27, 2018

There I was, up at 6 a.m. and ready for a morning of work. but my computer was broken. literally. the laptop screen separated from the keyboard. the same one that was fixed six months ago. no time to take it in to fix - too many deadlines. so tomorrow it's back to the workshop where they tell me that i obviously dropped it many times when i know i never did..

time to try to get the backup on to some other computer.

November 28, 2018

Most everything has been backed up, the computer is in the shop and i may be able to reconstruct my email, but the return to the computer shop was traumatc. The computer is under warranty and had the same trouble of the hinges separating the screen and the keyboard before. then they fixed the device but recommended i not drop it again. i didn't drop it. it just came apart. this time was worse. really worse. it looked like i threw it against the wall. i didn't, i swear. but the receptionist disappeared with it for a long time and then returned with eyes downturned and muttered that they would let me know.

I may be arrested for computer abuse at any moment.

My email is still very limited but occasional and i'm worn out with trying to fuse the files in my various backups. but i'm learning so much about my past. it is really interesting - albeit solipsistic.

and now to the news.

are you sick and tired of the stupidity of Israeli politics? are you feeling like an American Jew? Do something. Support a change in government.

November 30, 2018

i don't know how these past days disappear,ped from my website. but never mind. they were too many kvetches and not enough news.

i wanted to write about "Tout les oiseux' but that will be a little later today .

And why couldn't i do it right away? because we had to go to grandparents day at school. the last one we went to was all performances of classes, lots of noise, and cameras shooting in a crowded room. This one was a group of round tables with a few children and their grandparents sitting around each table and it turned out we were going to be researching our family histories for the Diaspora museum. it is a project for the entire year and although i doubt we can go into great depth, i am sure it will be very fruitful. the kids are all 10-11 year olds and have been chosen as part of an experiment. i am pretty sure it will work well. the kids will do all the computing and the grandparents will do all the reminiscing. what could go wrong?

Now, before we have to go to a memorial service, let me tell you about this play we saw last night. You can actually see the trailer here . Wadji Mouawad wrote the script, performed by La Colline - théâtre national and it is in English, German, Hebrew and Arabic, and concerns the limitations of race. It is three and a half hours long, not including the intermission. so we sat for 4 hours, The audience gave it a standing ovation, but I didn't stand. How can you believe in the impossibility of interracial marriages and the imperatives of genes in today's age. maybe i was insulted that there was an accent in every one of the four languages, or maybe I don't like being preached to in long heartfelt monologues, or maybe i was just tired. because it is a great feat for a Lebanese playright to try to explain Jewish identity. Anyway I didn't want to be a spoilsport so we ran away before the reception.

an old poem but one that suits the chapter of the week:


How could I have known even his

brothers found him an insufferable prig

when I saw him in the doorway

his boyish torso framed by the light?

How could I have known it was a game

he played with everyone: 'more innocent

than thou.' I see a kid

striking poses in the field whenever I look

out the window and say, 'Hey I know guys your age

are hungry and shy, and I've seen the way

you look at my thighs.' And he says, 'Oh, lady

I'm in charge of your husband's house

but it wouldn't be nice to take his wife. We men

have an agreement about sharing chattel.'

You're right, I should have known enough

to stop there - if I'm the boss's wife

my body's not mine to screw. But who

would have thought a slave could refuse

the offer of an equal?

So I got left holding the robe

that reeked of his refusal

feeling like a fool and wishing I'd had sense

to dress up as an anonymous whore

and get my reward

like Tamar did

only a few pages before

December 1, 2018

Sitting in the hospital with my friend was the quietest part of my weekend. no one comes in to her room for hours to check on her on a saturday. thank goodness we organized watches.

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