I dreamt I was with a young girl near a fence.
I saw a dying deer, she was sick and clearly dying. I could see it in her eyes. I could see her pain.
I had a bow and arrows; I was about to shoot the deer to put her out of her misery.
Suddenly I saw two men, middle aged, by the fence. I realized they were Arabs,and one of them had a knife.
I asked them to kill the deer, since it was not certain whether my arrow would kill it, and may make it suffer more, requiring several shots to kill the deer.
He agreed and killed the deer, saying a prayer to Allah while slitting its throat.
I was happy.
i went back to israel for a few days. i went to stay at A's for a day but then quickly moved to my friend Jody's when things got messed up. i don't remember how they got messed up...
Sweltering, bodies packed into the car without air conditioning. What air conditioning, when a large proportion of the city's inhabitants lived in shacks, a cruel reminder of the economic meltdown that shook the country so recently.
There was uncertainty in their eyes, more than in the eyes of European metro riders. Suspicion. The collective memory, perhaps, of the brutal regime that plagued their parents.
But in her eyes rested the cool certainty of glaciers that melt over a thousand years. She had seen them in the south of this country years ago on vacation, and remembered just how wonderful the cold felt. It was hard to believe she had been born in the heat of the desert.
She gazed at her reflection in the window of the train. A stunning woman with sharp brows, blond hair sticking to her finely toned arms, tiny drops of sweat gathering above her unpainted lips. Her light blue shirt was just tight enough and low enough to accentuate her breasts, and her jeans rested comfortably low on her hips.
The last time she could see her reflection clearly had been in a pool of water many miles and years away. Since then, it was like looking at herself through an invisible haze; like looking with scientific curiosity at a beautiful alien.
Yael could see her brunette partner, Maya, in the reflection as well. The girl was new and thus did not realize that she was standing much too close -- two beautiful girls walking in the same direction could draw a bit too much attention. As the train stopped she let Maya exit first, then lagged in the crowd behind a pair of tall men, probably German origin. She thought, suddenly, about all the Germans of this country and about how some of them were the children of Nazis. In her dreams, when she was younger, she used to hunt their parents like foxes in the wild places of this country.
I had a dream I was suckling a baby. I guess it really is my prime time biologically to start a family...and yet I am nowhere close to being ready personally and financially. Its tough. Amit probably won't be ready for a while, even if I do come to Israel. I still have my career to work out. And yet I am becoming more and more obsessed with children. They are sooo cute to me lately! It's just tough...
I don't know what will happen in terms of my career, my father, aliyah, my boyfriend...all this uncertainty is creating a huge amount of anxiety. All I can do is wait and hope things work out for the best. Hashem has a plan!
She blinked, letting the blade of her scimitar gently pierce the delicate skin of his neck. She remembered just how that area used to taste when she kissed it. A trail of blood began to flow down his bare shoulder.
"They said you have something for me. What?" she snapped.
"Cool it squirrel, how about hello...how are you...you alright there? Don't lose that temper,"
She snarled. "I am a queen, you will speak to me as such!"
"Alright, but to me you are still my squirrel. Hair bushy as ever." He laughed, reaching across to her scimitar and pushing it away. To her surprise, she allowed him to do so. The men eyed her carefully. Bad, she thought to herself, I look weak.
She lowered her blade and gazed into his sky blue eyes with her own dark ones. "Alright, hello, how are you. What is it that you have to return to me, before we execute you?"
His crooked smile did not budge. "What...or rather who, do you think?"
She closed her eyes and sighed. Could it be?
"Where is she?" she whispered softly, trying not to scream. "She's alive?"
"Yes, she is, and she's got bushy hair just like you. Blonde, though. Guess she got that from me."
She slashed him across the face with her blade. He cried out in sudden pain, as blood began to pour across his eyes and into his mouth. A gaping wound appeared, chin to forehead across his face, as his eyes stared out in horror.
"Why are you doing this?" he asked in disbelief, unable to wipe the blood away.
"Do you really expect me to answer that question?" she asked. "Where is she?"
"She's safe. In my tent. Cared for by...my wife." He stared straight into her dark eyes, and stopped smiling. "I'm sorry."
Now she was the one who smirked. "You're sorry." She sighed, putting her face in her hand. "For the wife, you mean?"
"Well, that too...I mean, for everything. I...I just got jealous. I'm sorry." He blinked the blood away from his eyes.
"Alright," she said quietly. "Where is she, for the last time?"
"Spare my life, and I will give her to you. I will send a message back to camp, to have her brought to your men. They will know it is from me. But...I must have your word that you will spare my life."
She laughed. "What is my word to you? How can you trust me, after what you've done to me?"
"Well squirrel, you've never given me any reason to doubt you," he said.
She stared at him. "I guess that's true. Very well, send your message. When she is here, I will return you to the Arabs."
"Look, I...I just want you to know, I regret what I did to you," he said softly.
She closed her eyes and turned to leave.
"I don't," she answered quietly, the dangerous fires of hope dancing in her heart. No, she must not believe him, not yet, not until she was sure that it could be true. And yet, she added, "not anymore."
She paced the room. It was late at night, and the unforgiving heat of day had been replaced by bitter cold. There was no comfortable air in the desert -- either too hot, too cold, and always too dry. Always the thirst, that spurned her and her people to wander, seeking water, seeking peace, and never finding much of either.
A knock on the doors of her chamber. Hard, almost desperate.
A youngster, no older than her oldest son, entered and knelt by her side.
"My queen, we have captured one of their greatest warriors."
She nodded. "Alright, and why did you not kill him?" she asked, folding her arms around her breast.
"Uhm...err...I was told to inform you, my queen, that...forgive me, but it was necessary that you know..."
"Go on, stop stammering. Know what?" she asked, eyeing him carefully.
"He asked to see you." he blurted.
She laughed her bright, golden laugh, so light compared to her thoughts. "Asked to see me? So what? Why should I see him, before his head is detached from his body?"
"My Queen, he says he knows you. He says he...has something he wants to return to you. Something he borrowed...Forgive me! He convinced the others...they sent me..."
She sighed, running her hand through her long red hair. "Alright. I will go see him. Why not. I will remove his head myself, since all my men are fools." She walked to her bed, and pulled her scimitar from its sheath on the wall. "Come boy, lead me to him."
The dimly lit stone room was quiet as she entered, her men saluting her with swords to their foreheads. And then she saw him. He was in chains and looked half-starved, but his lopsided smile was no different from the one that hung on his face on the day he met her, and on the day he picked a cactus fruit apart with his dagger for her, and right after their first kiss, their first argument, and their first morning waking up together.
She deftly raised her scimitar to his neck. "What are you doing here?" she said slowly, without a trace of emotion.
"I missed ya, squirrel."
I thought I was stronger than the mountains standing before me
and that my heart was the best compass,
That the only provision I would need was hungry desire,
And the only companion, fair weather.
I thought I could tame the concrete jungles and the hungry maggots
Save the bitter-hearted, the blind, and the beggar
And force the sun to awaken each night
Yet I could do none of these things;
And I fell into the pit that swallowed many a dreamer.
And yet, I know that He will raise me from this pit, as he rescued another before me,
My beautiful light, are you but a flicker of gold,
Or can you protect me from the cold in the winter?
Are you but a glowing jewel,
Or can you light the darkness of my night?
Will you be lit in the morning, giving quiet warmth,
Or will you blaze in the night, only leaving me with smoke?
There are those who are like the sheep - obedient, they follow their shepherd, even to the slaughterhouse. They know no greater pleasure than thoughtlessly eating grass.
There are those who are like the dog - those who serve the shepherd and gather the sheep, and ensure not one strays from certain, eventual doom. They are fed by his hand when he is pleased and kicked by his heal when he is displeased. They are loyal, and know no greater pleasure than pleasing their master.
There are those who are like the wolf - the enemy of the shepherd, usually living in a large family, they hunt the straggling sheep for themselves. They are weaker than the shepherd for they have no weapons, but know the truth of life and death in their sinews in a way he never will. Their familial bond allows them to kill stronger opponents. They know no greater pleasure than the hunt. Once, the dogs, too, were wolves, until they grew too lazy to hunt and were enslaved by the shepherd.
There are those who are like the mountain lion. These are always alone, and rarely choose to come down to the lands of the shepherd, usually only when they are starving. They hate the shepherd, the sheep, the dogs, but most of all the wolves, for disturbing the laws of their kingdom -- that is, eat only the weak and dying and let the healthy live to strengthen the whole forest. They know no greater pleasure than to purify.
There are those who are like bears, who sleep through the winter and venture to the streams in the spring to eat. They hate no one, but will become enraged and dangerous should their young be threatened. They know no greater pleasure than to watch their young grow.
There are those who are like the eagle, watching the great drama of life and death from above, untouched, unmoved, but not uninterested. They know no greater pleasure than to observe.
There are those who are like the rat, hated by the shepherd as a nuisance, ignored by the rest as weaklings. Despite this, they are the deadliest of them all due to the gift he carries in his fur. They know no greater pleasure than to survive.
And of course, there are those who are like the shepherd, carving out and changing the world to suit his liking. Because he has learned how to rule over sheep and dogs, he believes he also rules over the wolves, the bears, the eagles, the mountain lions, and the rats. But he does not, and that gives him great discomfort in his dreams. He spends his days pondering how to turn the rest of the wolves into dogs, and how to kill the mountain lions. He spends his nights having restless nightmares about a forest he will never conquer. He hates the rats with an unconscious wisdom. He knows no greater pleasure than to rule.