I was always completely aware that the trip to Israel was going to be much worse than the trip in Israel. A redeye from LA followed by an 11 hour flight to the promised land on an airline that promised to interrogate me. All of those dreams did come true.
In my ever logical and valiant efforts to arrive in Israel relatively bright eyed I resolved to stay awake all of Saturday night and sleep through the long haul flight. In this pursuit I decided that eight new books might be adequate to keep me occupied and awake. Little did I know I wouldn’t need any of them. By fate, or possibly a fatal combination of obliviousness and tenacity, I kept the poor man sitting next to me up for 5 hours; and he kept me up.
First, there was the mandatory tail feather flaunting of what schools we went to and what enviable jobs we have had. And then we had to prove how clever and smart we were. But then hours passed in a haze punctuated by in depth literary analysis, rather intimate commentary on our lives thus far and candid musings on our purpose and very selves. The flight crew, who were already striving for new levels of on board cheek, gave us a bottle of wine, and we drank it- at three in the morning. This, of course, both mellowed and intensified an already heady conversation, though wine did feel more appropriate than breakfast.
He decided he knew me well enough to flick me when I was being cute, and I decided he might be allowed to finish his own sentences instead of amusing myself with my own endings.
As any heroine would, I wrote my name in the back of his novel, and left him enigmatically at the gate. All before I ever left the country.