A Friday night out with Rufina. I like her a lot, and there were few silences, but I can’t deny it’s easier when there are more of us. Do you like picnics, Simon? Do you know Fortnum and Mason? We met at Wineberg, where I have been going for years. I was sorry to learn it’s closing on Sunday, forever.
We went for a pizza on Diezengoff at a place with a full-sized Mini Cooper for decoration. I don’t really appreciate the cult of pizza, don’t understand why peoples’ faces light up at the word, but this one was edible. We showed each other pictures of our family, she of her mother, who arrives here tomorrow, me of my father, when he was young, when he was in the army here, during the War of Independence.
Since the month I arrived I have been in a miserable sex slump. There has been a drought and I’m not happy about it. I really want to stand in a downpour, get drenched, in a mansoon. Nathan tells me the places I should go, the places he goes: the little park north of the Hilton, and somewhere around the old bus station. He also tells me that he is often the youngest at both these sites, by ten or fifteen years. Nathan is fifty-five. Anyway, random outdoor encounters aren’t really my style. So he tells me about Sexy Shop, on Diezengoff. It sells sex toys and flavoured gels and so on in the front, but, through a heavy door, there is a sort of club. It costs 30nis to enter. I decide it’s worth it.
We kissed goodbye and I pretended to walk in the direction of home. I made a u-turn and crossed the street and made sure Rufina was out of site. Sex doesn’t always turn us into secret agents, but sometimes, it seems, it does.
I began walking north on Diezengoff when I was high-fived by the Dutch boys, Joel and Yaron, from class, walking, in a group, in the other direction, in search of pizza. We chatted for a minute, I told them where I’d eaten that evening, and they went to find it.
I reached the shop, down a short alley, and knocked on the door. I knocked again. Jesus, it was closed for Shabbat. Thwarted by religion! I turned again and walked to the Olive Korner for a last glass, frustrated.
my name, called . It was Saarit. She was with a black, American lesbian and a skinny Israeli gay, looking for a club to dance at. Saarit moaned about something in the ulpan – Rufina had already told me this story and it ended differently in her version. I liked the other woman, who’d made aliya ten years ago. We talked about a club called Dance Your Ass Off in San Francisco, but it may have been an invention of Armistead Maupin. I don’t suppose it matters.
Tel Aviv is small, but, even so, amazing, really, that I should meet so many people from the class in one night.
Today’s word: pitoo-i – temptation – פיתוי