The People of Forever are bored

Me in cat form

Only the third day of the third Israeli lockdown, but it feels like forever. Like the movie “Groundhog Day” but with mornings which yawn like toothless mouths and newsfeeds recycling threats: terrorist groups counting and recounting their missiles, predictions of earthquakes, nearby countries still competing for first place in The Hate Awards.

Meanwhile on Tel Aviv’s streets, feral cats move among grey-glassed bankrupted storefronts and other stores illegally-open but camouflaging their civil disobedience with chairs blocking their doorways or outdoor tables heaped with bread (which can still legally be sold, grocery stores are allowed to stay open). People walking by know the truth. Are the occupants of police cars fooled? Fun fact: the roof-lights of Israeli police cars are always flashing…the physical manifestation of reassured angst.

Reality is that lockdowns are boring… and being bored puts problems on steroids. We have several to choose from: unemployment, loneliness, hunger… And for those more into the natural world, there’re attacks from wild boars, hyenas, scorpions, rodents, cockroaches, flies, gnats, bacteria and viruses. Okay so it’s possible that the flies and gnats aren’t actually planning out their attacks, but it feels like they are and they’re super annoying. And don’t get me started on COVID.

I mostly just miss sunlight. My studio gets zero sun.

Every dusk, throughout Israel, there’re protests. For three years, thousands of Israelis have been demanding change, calling for less corruption and more equality. People have been yelling, blowing horns, playing music, waving flags. Some believe the current lockdown has only been implemented to shut the demonstrations down. If so, that plan isn’t working. The demonstrations continue: now socially distanced and mostly on the streets.

I used to meditate, but now I pray… for healing for everyone everywhere. And to not-dissolve into the boredom or despair or hate.

About the Author
Sari Friedman's short stories appear in the Beloit Fiction Journal, Blue Lake Review, So It Goes, Satirist, Daily Freier, Ilanot Review, Huffpo Canada etc. The first chapter of her (not yet published) novel appears in the November 2020 "Woven Tale Press."
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