I knew we needed some fresh air when my dad repeated the word "coitus" over and over and over. It was because there is a mystery room that we can look into from my room, not a hotel room, but some sort of meeting room, we can't quite figure it out. We were eating dinner, chicken sandwiches, when my dad began to narrate that the way the man touched the woman's leg in the room across the way suggested something post-coital, so I told him never to say that word again. Coitus coitus coitus coitus, he said, just kept saying it, both of us punchy with counting down the days while also counting up, day +14 from my bone marrow transplant but no set date to leave yet, coitus coitus coitus coitus, from a family that coined its own word "geegee", hard g, meaning anything that can happen when you don't keep both feet on the floor, i.e. shut up shut up shut up shut up. Also? This country puts waaay too much mayonnaise on their sandwiches, and we were grouchy, silly, homesick.
So today we escaped in the form of a cab down to the beach, me with my mask, sunglasses, latex gloves and a sense of freedom. The sand here is spun sugar, the constant helicopters a little disconcerting as they look nothing like Coast Guard, but still, I could breathe salt air and was happy.
We ate lunch at a little restaurant on the beach, and it was everything I thought the food would be in Israel: falafel, hummus, tahini, pita and fresh mint tea. This is the way I love to eat.
Of course when I told Nadir later he called me stupid girl, the "stu" part tight as if you're cramming it down into a straw. Stupid, stupid girl. Either you don't listen or you're too stupid. I said no hummus! It is full of bacteria. And then he asked to see my tits, which is his way of saying he wants to see if the rash on my torso is getting better. Part when in Rome, part I just don't fucking care, but it doesn't bother me. I showed him my tits and my rash is getting better.
No real way to get from there to here, but here, here is a photo of my dad, his girlfriend Deirdre and me on the beach, the Mediterranean behind us. It never fails to amaze me to imagine the globe, a map, and this tiny little dot way off in the middle of somewhere I never thought I'd be. But here we are; here I am.
And here is where we are going: tomorrow I don't have to go into the clinic. I get a day off, so we are going to venture to the old city of Jaffa, an ancient port associated with Solomon, Jonah and Saint Peter. Which means tonight I need to read up on exactly who Solomon, Jonah and Saint Peter were, but whatevs. Because then the day after tomorrow this stupid, stupid girl might actually get her picc line out, and we all know what that means. Or we don't, but I like to think it means I am that much closer to going home.