It’s terrifying when you have a background of being lovelorn and feckless. I was homeless for a year so finding a new apartment at the end of a rental contract should be a bit tense navigating Tel-Avivian Real estate yet fun.
Laying on my rabbit-piss stained plum colored sheets I felt as if I couldn’t move through my shame of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for facing all these odd looks from my family-oriented and religious neighbor’s. Scrolling through the Facebook marketplace for flat’s to rent, I saw a bed with a small eating tray on hit. This is hilarious! Yuval always makes fun of me, even during our film shoot’s, that I have the body of an old woman. I can’t help it if my work is cerebral and desk oriented. I scrolled through the other images and there was this tacky mosaic tile covering the stairwell and bathroom, it’s a bit nautical maybe I can afford to get rid of it?
It’s a bit of a sketchy area by the Tachana Merkazit, the realtor says, “ did you see where it is on the map? Is it okay with you? It’s Elutherian People. Hesitating I remembered when my parent’s told me to not be to over-eager in wanting the place so I’m more of a hard sell, “ I mean it’s a nice place don’t get me wrong, I just it’s not a good area I don’t feel safe”. It felt so liberating biking there after having freed my bike that’s been locked for months by the record shop in Florentine. Biking is like having wings. I arrive by a small black door as I call the realtor, “I’m here”, I tried to put a bit of strain in my voice to emphasize that I don’t have time. I mean I do have time, I can create my happy ending 😛 I just try and schedule things ahead of time so that I can keep a schedule and make them Benjamin’s. Looking eagerly at my phone, “Okay so, I can’t make it so my friend Shalom is going to show you the place, he doesn’t speak that much English so if you need to translate just call me “. Patience is a virtue, I swear though I don’t want to wait on any man. A guy pulls up on his electric scooter with a heavy white sculptor’s mask on his face, as swoops off the bike, Shalom flops off these beach flip-flops that are barely hanging on his feet and tosses them in a trash bin that’s wheeled in just then as if coordinated by an invisible hand. Okay then, well I guess he is a chill dude to just find whatever he needs at the moment as if a tree organically reaching it’s limb down to curl up plastic refuse and absorb it back into nature. I’m beginning to trust this situation. He goes to lock his bike. The realtor is blabbing in my ear on the phone, “ the place comes fully furnished no wait … it doesn’t come furnished .” I can’t move whilst fending off his energy while also locking my bike, I feel delayed, perhaps this is a metaphor for my life. Men repeating limitations and adhering me to the spot while they mansplain.
We walk up the private entrance as was listed on Facebook, which I wouldn’t even know existed if it wasn’t listed on Facebook. Just like this essay I read on Emily Dickinson that she was a recluse and spent days in her room writing and perhaps if she heard of the word ‘mindfulness’ it would have shifted everything for her. Subtle perspective switches are everything, they flood light into rooms, in between eyes like shaktipat, creates whole fields of vision to run through in the mind’s eye. Stop drop and run through the grassy fields that could just be a neighborhood park. I walked up the private stairwell and my eyes became affixed to the parts of the wall under construction, the whole house is becoming a skeleton in a black void of a giant canine and can carry me away in its bone stomach. We keep ascending and the tile of the stairwell is opulent, I feel as if I am in a beautiful man’s home.
He show’s me the bedroom behind the closet and It’s as if voyeuristically peering into someone’s private space that will always be open. He sits on the bed, “ you can sit on the bed as well”. I just stand by the window, thinking it interrupts my chi flow though I joke and say, “It‘s not good for my ass” as I grab my ass with both hands and turn to look pausing for a laugh. He carries on with whatever spiel will help him sell so I give him the benefit of the doubt “ These windows have a black tint on them so that you can see out though they can’t see you”. Clever though I want to be seen, especially nude. I miss reclining in my windowsill before the garden like a feline, resplendent letting the sun make gem’s on my skin and impregnate me with visions. I pretended to get off on the exhibitionism to help with the potential wary eyes and cast thought that I’m crazy. Trying to unfasten the rotating windowsill with caked purple paint on it too see if the sun could reach me here .Must have looked like a crazy Cat Clawing at curtains and wanting to jump from the windowsill. I had to explain, “ I like the sun, I want the full light on my face”, I made a pantomime as if splashing water from the sink on my face and an invisible spotlight flooded my face and made it impossible to make out my features.
He continued,” ah, okay so at night they can see you through so you need to turn the lights off or draw the curtains,” I stopped him from drawing the thick black curtains and I kept trying to discern when the sun would specifically set my body aglow in this room,” I must have looked daft or wishful or frightened. Okay now’s my time to press for a deal maybe I have the upper hand since this isn’t the most ideal neighborhood,” Okay so I’d like to rent this space for about 2,300 nis since it isn’t a nice area” . Shalom look’s at me and says, “you know, I feel like I can trust these people more than Israeli’s .” I’m waiting for more of a story or a profound statement, “ how about this, I will give you the key for one night and you can sleep here and try it out, take a shower, see what it’s like to wake up in another apartment.”. Did I just hear him right? I do a silent inward double take, I feel like I’m dreaming . He continues, come back tonight in three hour’s and I’ll let you in”. I pause just doing the methodical, I’m trying to not control things yet this is how we do things in the 21st, “ okay, what’s your WhatsApp?’’ Shalom pull’s out his phone and on the inside flap of the case is his number written in sharpie on a white sliver of paper and taped on there. Maybe this is his new phone and he just finds what he needs at the moment, like a trial-hiker or Perhaps he is so chill he just doesn’t find the need to remember his number and fills his mind with beautiful things. I hurriedly gathered my things, “ I’m late to deliver this painter’s easel to an art professor, I’ll see you later”. He goes to get something and I’m sure my feathers invisibly riffle,” would you like coffee before you go?” I’m a bit irritated though tea is the ultimate placeholder between here and there “ tea,” I say flatly. Handing me a coffee cup I go to pour cold water in it from the bottle. He calmly says,” wait!”, and pulls the tea bag out of my cup and into his. Either he’s a penny pincher, an eco-conservationist or he is incredibly peculiar and wants the tea that touched my lips, my saliva to enter his cup, and show that he has no fear of me, of my d.n.a of virus that only exists with resistance.
Trying to bike quickly out of this area and to meet this Art Professor in Florentine, I try and bike and it’s as if there’s this invisible force guiding me back to my home and I am resisting trying to chug ahead and then wind up back at my apartment snacking on soaked engorged almonds. I write these lyrics down inspired by Shalom and his level’s of chill and seeing myself as a legendary chill person:
You’re so cool
I imagine you don’t smoke cigarettes
Like a sea breeze
And you wind up on my couch
like a breath of fresh air
Gods graces must have fallen on your head
Cuz she’s cool,
Doesn’t pretend that she rules
She walks like rivers in the air
Their subtle light around her, and she doesn’t care
For the fighting
Too much talking (procrastinating life)
Touched from above
It’s made all your anger dissipate
Put your toys down
Don’t feel irate
Don’t mean to disappoint you
You may not see me
If you think im the one you hate
And you cant relate
She’s loveeeeeeeeeeee ah uhmmmmm
Commeeeeeeeeee uhm to my land land land land of pleasure’’’
So rest your head down your like a feather
Spiral down, it’s a sign of the heaven’s
A million thoughts flooding my mind on which direction to take. I should see these other apartment’s, I should convince Yuval too try and shoot short films with me in this flat and treat it like an odd shooting set seeing an intercity in full-frame view where they can’t see us and the camera can see them and chalk it off to a funny experience, I should go to see this Art professor, I should get something to eat. My thoughts kept pulling me, pulling me, and then my intuition like an invisible wave of energy or like a hand going within me as if I’m a puppet pulled me on my bike towards the flat. Perhaps I can convince him to hand me the key and still make it to the Art Professor. I’m here. I look up and he’s without his mask and looks rather Italian and the nude-in-the-face look of being clean-shaven, “ you have to come up I’m showing”. I’m assuming he means he is showing the flat to other people which in that case it’s fine. I frustratingly lock my bike and walk up the stairwell. Shalom is showering not showing, “ Okay so I talked to the realtor and … do you want anything to eat or drink? ” Should I go closer to the curtains? “ It’s okay come in you can sit on the toilet.” I pull back the shower curtain’s that make up the door that read ‘my heart skips a beat’ and he is sitting at the top of the bathtub with his dick tucked between his legs, with the showerhead in one hand splashing himself with warm water and acting totally blasé’. This is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life, what is he doing?. This is too funny to pass up so I peer in again,” see the water is warm, you don’t have to pay for heating because it’s a solar heater .. and the realtor has a deal ..” He walks with me to the bedroom as he pulls on Canary yellow underwear. The color yellow always represents to me the solar plexus and eating food. I look out the window again still trying to gauge if the sun will reach me, “ so you said something about food?’’ I know he doesn’t have anything in the fridge it is miraculously supposed to pop up out of thin air …I know that some people can manifest thing’s out of thin air like Atlantean’s and according to Choas magick if I believe something hard enough it can come true. He walked towards the night-table,” would you like pizza?” I look excited then explained, “ Ani Tivoni”.Shalom pulls a tablet out of the dresser and now he suddenly looks like my Butler-assistant! He show’s me the Pizza on the tablet as if I don’t believe him, or he’s speaking a visual language to me. We go out to the pizza-shop with the red checkered NY deli pattern as we wait in line as he points to the illustrated menu, “ so there’s nothing you want on this menu?” I have to think quickly I’m so hungry, “ I’ll take the salad”. We wait for a few minutes as he turns to leave,” they don’t have salmon.” I panic though think it’s funny he’s trying to bolster my self-esteem with thoughts of salmon rather than canned tuna, “ okay, okay I’ll take it”. He follows’ naturally with, “ he will deliver it to our door and we’ll just go down and take it”. Cool!
Standing by the window and drinking more tea, I feel as though I have shadow’s behind me of my fears, and I’m distracting them by looking onward, “ just watch the window he should be out in five minutes and deliver it”. I don’t see anything, “ look there he is biking past us and if you don’t run out and take it he will miss us”. Crossing my arms seeming Jaded and touting myself as an established woman I say, “ no, you go and get it”. He brings up the Salad as I put it on the eating tray that drew me to this place and he says, “ you’re a Queen”, turns on youtube on the T.V and plays John Lennon’s imagine. John Lennon is by the Piano with Yoko Ono in this beautiful sparse painted white house as someone draw’s the curtains as he sings, “imagine no possessions”. I swear I’m crying on the inside at the idea of a 70’s revival and living free-spirited like this. Yoko Ono is looking intensely at him perhaps she hates that he’s a soft boy, then he finishes a sweep of his hands on the piano and she looks up as if breaking out of a trance and goes in to kiss him. He says sonorously “ that’s Yoko Ono,” as if I could be as feline and a muse, “ she’s dead,” I hurriedly fork in more mouthful’s of salad, I don’t want to die. He pulls up another music video of Whitney Houston, “ she’s also dead”, I shovel in more salad until my cheeks are full. He pulls up, staying alive by the Bee’s Gee’s and I pop up and start dancing around the bedroom, you can’t dance to this song. It was so funny seeing these three men on a back alley staircase with their backs against a pole swaying like cats and to see the Lead with his flashing glare of white chomper’s.
I rest my leg under the eating tray and sway my feet I turn to look at Shalom, “ you know you don’t have to finish it you can wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge”. I get up, “ Okay I need to deliver this easel .” He looks hurriedly,” Okay, okay here are the keys you can rent the place for 100 nis per night” he leaves the key on the counter as I quickly scoop it up as night approaches. I think he expects me to stay here yet I follow after him wanting to deliver the easel and he says “if there’s anything you need I’m your friend.” What who is this person and how is this even possible? I decided to try and push my luck, “ um, yes I’d like a guitar.” He follows with,” all of the stores are closed though I can look online for you”. He gives me one of those wrapping your arm around me completely, squeezing paternal hugs holding all of this passion in it, kissing my neck and cheek, as if he goes on any further hell be wrapped up in passion and go for a full-on make out. I don’t mind I enjoy intimacy and care up to a certain point. I have the keys in my hand do I have the upper hand?