september, xii.

Crispiest and bluest September morning you could imagine. My soul is happy. I am taking it all in. It won’t last too long now. I wide-open the windows and let fresh air and new energy flow in. Sun salutes.

I keep thinking of N. How if we hadn’t met at just the right time, I wouldn’t be the way I am right now. As I pass by his neighborhood, I message him with words of gratitude. He responds almost immediately. I describe the morning to him. We would have gone for breakfast if he was still in the city.

Back at السفير writing a Prague pro/con list. Before had time to finish it, the dilemma cleared itself and instead of a list, I now have a specific date set in the future. I find myself at the Y, Jericho, Pohoda, and Bukowski’s. I meet six of my estranged colleagues; apparently, we all drink at the same places. M’s face is flushed with fever. I can’t convince him to leave so I buy him a beer instead. But it’s his fourth so I threaten to order an Uber for him. That works and we are left alone.

Later, he reads Wild Geese by Mary Oliver to me. It was a poem I needed. A poem I still need. As she wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Then the five of them. All from Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities, which I incorrectly consider to be neighborhoods of the city. We talk about my favorite places: Carmel Market, Jaffa, and Frishman Beach. I impress them by being able to read Hebrew and say a couple of basic things. They weren’t pleased with my political perspective though again I realize that it’s not all black and white. It never was, it never will be.

Another hour goes by. Another group; three from Russia. Similar conversations although I have no favorite places in Moscow. Yet. Later, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it was a coincidence but I don’t think it was. I read too much to be that naive.

Missing v grieving. Refuge v refuse. The problem with the definition is perception.