Saturday, April 30, 2005


Lying on a bed, trembling. Noon time in South Tel Aviv. Images fly through my head: a face of a girl, with fake blond curly hair; 'permanent' hairstyle, they call it here. Her smile is the shape of a perfect crescent, too perfect. Is she human or is she a doll? I can't tell. But I can see she has no eyes, just mouth and ears. The centre of her face is blank. Her image appears in flushes. And now I see a graffiti in the shape of a girl's head, on a stone well in Jerusalem. Short haired, tomboy looking. I think I know her: it might be Esther.
A buzz in the background, coming and going. Like school bell, like an alarm clock, like heavy metalic breathing. Almond trees blossoming, shaken by wind and rain. But it's spring now, it's spring, I think: it doesn't make sense, the rain is gone. I see the blossom, pink and white, I feel the drops, tiny and beautiful, I shudder. I remember now: almond trees blossom in winter, as early as January. Somehow, I find this reassuring.

Late at night, S. calls me. 'can you talk?' 'I'm at my parents, call me in an hour at Arbel's' I say. Was there something urgent about her voice? I wasn't sure. I had this premonition a few days ago, and I was wrong.
An hour later I'm at Arbel's. She calls again.
'How was at your parents?' She asks.
'I feel a flake, I wanted to tell them about the demo yesterday and I couldn't. I kept imagining how they would react - I know they wouldn't take it well - and I just couldn't be bothered. Oh well. What's happening in London?
She hesitates for a couple of seconds.
'We got papers' she says 'sorry babes.'
Somehow I'm not surprised. But after three years of squatting, you can't be surprised.
'When's the court date?'
'9th of May. Pete's been to ASS and they said we have a good chance, because the papers are patched together quite badly. The ownership of the house is not clear, between Mr. Balahi and his son, and the mortgage company. So we might be lucky.'
I've been in this situation too many times to build hopes. I know it depends on the judge. 'Where is it?'
'Lambeth County Court.'
Memories of judge cox come to mind; it was two years ago.
'But hey - I decided not to think about it until May 9th, and you shouldn't either. No one here is stressing out. We can't leave now - we have to wait until the broad beans in the garden are ready. They're getting bigger everyday'.


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