London. After all my furniture, my books and pictures, my winter clothes, everything, had been packed and put in a van, then onto a ship to Haifa, I moved onto Richard’s sofa bed. He was ok, but both of us are used to living by ourselves; neither of us are sharers. I pretended to myself it was all part of the adventure.
The next evening was my leaving party, at Moro, my favourite restaurant in London, also the site of my fiftieth. Our waitress said she’d lived in Tel Aviv for five years, in the early 90s, working on boats in Jaffa, until Saddam Hussein started firing scud missiles at her. Everyone who knows the city is excited about my move, everyone who doesn’t, isn’t.
My guests were an almost completely different group from the people who came to my fiftieth, eight years earlier. You could ask what’s wrong with me that I don’t stay in touch with people, but I’m going to choose to use it as evidence of how good I am at making friends, and ignore what it says about how bad I am at keeping them.
There were ten or eleven of us and I was glad to see each of them, and I’m sorry none will be moving with me. They didn’t know each other well, if at all. I loved watching them get on. I, of course, resembled something between a fountain and a waterfall. Rivers of tears every time someone said something nice to me. I ran to the bathroom more times than a teenage bulimic. I’m not used to all this emotion.
My father was almost always optimistic and happy, but when he was older he would cry easily, brought to tears if he spoke about his early life, his later life, his family, his friends, acts of kindness, and acts of cruelty. I’m more like him than I knew when he was alive, and that I didn’t realise this until after he died saddens me.
The meal was spectacular, the evening one of the best of my life, and I still didn’t know when I was going to fly.
Today’s word: d’mah-ott – tears – דמעות
See also: A write-off