The museum of me

I moved into my flat today. I’m living in my apartment in Tel Aviv with my things around me. Most of it remains packed, as if by Christo. It is chaos.

My new home is half the size of where I lived in London, where I had twice as much stuff as that flat could comfortably hold. Everything was double-wrapped and it is taking an age to open boxes and unwrap everything. It was like the movers hadn’t packed me, they’d archived me. It is like a box warehouse in a wrapping recycling plant. It is a museum of me.

The only things broken in the move, as far as I can tell, and other than my bank account, is five plates that I balanced stupidly, turned my back, and crash. I’m taking the losses philosophically. I’m sad to see them go, but think of them as casualties of war. It was inevitable, really, and inevitable that it was friendly fire that did for them. A generation of dishes have served bravely, they will be remembered.

Every surface is covered with stuff. Stuff I want and even more of the stuff I don’t. If only there had been a way to magically bring only the things I’m pleased to see again, which is around 15% of what is actually here. I suppose that magic was me going through everything in London and chucking the 85%, but I didn’t do that.

Why one man needs three pestles and mortars shall remain a mystery. When I had room for them I used each for a different job. But I don’t have a kitchen, I have a tiny kitchen area. I have four burners, a sink, and no fridge or oven. I can easily make do with just one.

I opened the first, of many, boxes of cookbooks. It made me feel that bit closer to having a home again. But now, my brain and body have gone on strike. I need to find someone to take all this rubbish away so I can work on the rest of it. I need to register at City Hall and change the local tax to my name. I need to get hold of a key for the post box.

I watched Lawrence of Arabia on my computer. It’s almost four hours long, and that, with a bottle of very smooth Israeli Shiraz, was the evening gone. It was good to drink from my own glass. Holding his palm over a candle flame, Lawrence says it’s not that he doesn’t feel pain, but the trick is not to mind it. I must think about that the next time I go to a bank here.

The film finished and I lay in the only layable space in the apartment: my bed. I’d put it together, constructed it, over two sweaty hours this afternoon. Oh, it was heaven lying on it again, for the first time in two months. The rest of the flat looks like a war zone. It will take weeks for me to make it enjoyable to live here.

Tomorrow, if I can make myself, I’ll clear a path to where I think my sofa is, and unarchive that. Then I’ll have a second place where I can avoid doing the things I need to do.

The weather has rebelled, the sky was dark today. There has been lightening and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, it makes the window frames rattle, and the rain has been torrential. The cemetery outside my bedroom has been full of small waterfalls as the rain falls off the marble slabs. I watched the headstones light up. It is very theatrical, like a Jewish Addams Family. The storm stops as suddenly as it began

My mind is saturated. I’ve been thinking about myself too much. I have spent every minute of the last month worrying. I need to let the bad parts seep away for a while, into the ground, into the past, until it’s dry again.

Today’s word: rah-um – thunder – רעם

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