Night Swimming

I am beginning to feel like this cold is never going to go, that I will permanently be a snivelling, red nosed mess. Everything has been aching for so long that I have forgetten how my body feels when healthy and normal (what is normal?). I hate feeling this way, especially when in every other respect I am feeling good. Life goes on and I refuse to allow myself to wallow in self pity… except when I am at work with nothing to do.

I have a renewed determination to enjoy as much of my life as I can. In England my happiness revolved around how well work was going, but here in Israel my job is not my vocation, I am working to sustain that standard of living that I moved to Israel for. While in England I would work long hours and have little time or energy leftover to spend with friends, to enjoy life, to do the spontaneous, however, in Israel I work standard, although very dull, hours and leave myself with long evenings to do whatever I want to do. For a long time this has primarily consisted of hanging out with Nooman and my ‘Lust good friend’ among others, watching TV, chilling out and essentially doing nothing. But nothing breads nothing and in the end you are left with nothing to show for doing nothing. So I decided that enough was enough, my life consists of more than the latest episode of Lost (although it has to be one of the best things on TV at the moment). I went out and joined the gym (not opening until March 8th); I started walking again, and most importantly writing again.

Sunday was a bad day at work. I had nothing in my in tray and was essentially trying to find work to do. My edginess gave way to me calling my friend who works in Herzlia as I do and ordering her that we need to enjoy more girly evenings! My friend otherwise known as my drinking buddy no.1 happily obliged and we and two others spent the evening drinking vodka red bulls at my apartment followed by dinner, more drinks, and an arrangement to go power walking the next day. When I first moved to Israel I would go power walking almost every night, but as I said, living with someone who you can quite happily spend every evening chilling out with has led to the power walking being put to one side in favour of doing nothing.

So after a long and satisfying day at work (a rarity) on Monday I made my way home and mentally prepared to do some serious working out! I was already tired, the cold shows no signs of leaving and I am feeling weak, but mind over matter I force myself to change into my running gear, put on the new wrist weights I bought myself and head to meet with my walking buddy. We walked the length of Tel Aviv beach, before heading back home. On the way we walk by Mikes Place and decide to stop in for a well deserved cocktail. One drink leads to another and pretty soon a lonely business man who wanted nothing more than our company (well… maybe a lunch date with my friend) bought us more drinks and pretty soon I was realising that as I had not eaten since lunch, my stomach was pretty much full of alcohol and nothing else. It was time to say our goodbyes, as we had promised ourselves bed by 11pm, and we started walking home along the beach. Two girls walking drunk by the sea is a dangerous thing… we had already promised ourselves that we would not succumb to the usual drunken antics of texting the “lust good friend” (although I had arranged to meet him after my walk which was supposed to end at 8pm) so we instead wobbled across the sand.

At 10.30pm, while we are laughing and joking, my father calls me to tell me that he and ma have just landed back in Israel and to check on how I was. Answering the phone to my father in a drunken state was possibly not the best of ideas, but I do and by the time I get off the phone my friend has decided that the water is beautiful and we should take advantage of living on the Mediterranean and just jump in. My initial refusal went on drunken ears and ‘no’ was not an option. I was about to remove my trouser and reveal a g-stringed bare bottom, when a group of Charedim walked past (possibly on a shidduch), I did for a moment think this was a sign… but was too drunk and my brain is too cloudy to think too much about signs. We jump in the sea, I fall and swallow water, which only heightens the drunken sensation I am feeling. The cool sea water and the sand is everywhere and I am thinking that although night swimming is great for your skin, the cold water might not be doing any favours to my recovery over my cold. Oh well, only time would tell, I would deal with it in the morning.

For now I had to deal with getting home and getting into a shower. I call Nooman to ask him to put the hot water on for me… he sighs and agrees that he will… possibly thinking what kind of alcoholic has he shacked himself up with this time! I leave my friend by the beach and begin my walk home, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other without falling over the last step. I see my bedraggled reflection in the window of a shop and laugh at what people must think of this girl in gym clothes walking down the street, her clothes getting wetter and wetter as she makes her way. My blue top is soaking in places so it looks like I am having nipple leakage, but I am too loaded to care what people think.

I keep seeing strangers ahead who look familiar. Maybe it is him, maybe he’ll say “sorry babes, been so busy, but haven’t stopped thinking about you”, but the odds are that it isn’t him and if he saw me, the walking wet, he would certainly not stop to tell me he was thinking about me, but walk straight past as if he doesn’t know me.

I get home and Nooman is up watching Lost with a friend. I try to sober up enough to get in the shower without breaking my neck, but give up as I am too tired to stay up for another two hours, however I leave the door to the bathroom unlocked, just in case I do require Nooman to run in (closed eyed) and save my life.

I get into bed and sleep is mine. I drift away and dream sweet and vivid dreams. The “lust good friend” is stroking my face as I lay resting, and just as I wake he kisses me and swears that he’ll be always there. I awake and he is gone, but the cold… the cold will never go!

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About channahboo

I was once a Yorkshire lass, I guess I still am, but after moving to London and then on to Tel Aviv, New York and then back to Tel Aviv again, I wonder how much of the Yorkshire lass is left. The adventure continues and although many see my life as an extended episode of Seinfeld (you are free to laugh), I can also empathise with the Buddhist thought of life as our punishment. I guess the important part is the love that you carry with you through life’s journey and my back often feels the joyous strain of the weight of the love I carry.
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