Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem

Outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem


Outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem It’s crowded and people walk fast and push into each other, and there’s no shade or place to stop and the light train waits for no one.

There’s this elderly gentleman out
front. He wears a grey suit and he sits on the ground under a makeshift cardboard overhang. He holds an old Aroma Espresso Bar coffee cup in front of him for spare change. Size small. Probably because he doesn’t expect much.

He looks like my grandfather.

Yesterday I saw a woman in a red dress and high heels with her hair all shiny and blown out and her makeup perfect and whatnot carrying a large plastic bag. She walked up to him and smiled, and reached out her hand toward him, and he shook it.

She sat down next to him on the hot sidewalk in the middle of Jerusalem where it smells like felafel and cinnamon and cat pee.

She opened the bag and took out two shawarmas.

She handed him one.

She unwrapped hers.

He unwrapped his.

He leaned toward her and said something.

She nodded and handed him a bottle of Coke and a bottle of water.

He drank deeply and then offered her a sip.

She hesitated, but took one.

And they sat there side by side and ate together.

Anyway, I thought it was nice, and I thought you should know.



About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.