It was in a cafe near where i was staying in Tel Aviv that i heard a familiar voice…Eliot Gould, i finally fished out of my memory but no, the man who looked and sounded a lot like Eliot Gould had said, i get that all the time ..it must be my south African accent..he said he had taught anthropology and sociology at Tel Aviv university , he had said that with great pride , and added that he does work for the refugees who come to israel from Africa .
I mentioned my sister in law who works in a school that yes, he works with too, and yes, i would not mention her name, and yes, he said, he did not want to know her name if i was to say something unpleasant which as it turned out, i did..
I described to the man who sounded like Eliot Gould but was not, how my sister in law, who now holds a managerial position at the school that caters to non-Jewish children of refugees from Africa , had once complained that the pupils, non-Jewish children of refugees from Africa, had drawn a crucifix upon the stickers of memorial day for the dead IDF soldiers.
“Then, she is stupid!” the man concluded and turned to his wife saying rudely, excuse me, as if i had a choice in the matter..his wife stayed behind looking sort of lost as if a great ocean wave had flattened her, he had given her instructions i could not help overhearing, about banking and finanical matters, she was obviously his soldier, and he was the commanding chief.
“You look a lot like Patti Smith”, i said to the woman who had displayed white hair proudly with a small flower stuck in an untidy hairstyle , she smiled a bitter but clearly sweet smile and had thanked me by saying quietly “i wish!”
The woman who confessed to being an artist had left me a small piece of paper with her phone number, we both knew her husband would never approve of me, and i would never be invited to the ritualistic Friday night gathering couples only hosted for couples only and rare exemplery single people who had life time achievements that would allow them to break the rules and invite them, and i would definitely not be counted amongst them..
Time would pass and i would never see Eliot Gould look alike nor Patti Smith look alike, this was very clear but sometimes we go through those social rituals, the Eliot Gould look alike might one day tell his students, because this is how we are hamstered , going through those wheels that lead nowhere, simply because of some programming, some brain program tells us to do this , and we do, knowing that loneliness awaits us after we get off the wheel and walk in straight lines that lead towards an isolated lonely life.
Others might feel lonely too but they surround themselves with distractions; bank statements taken too seriously, social gatherings where people consume pretzels and dip them in Humous and feel very ethnic and fortunate to be able to delegate to someone else, what they find too tedious to do and can get away with not doing..