Remind me never to listen to a cab driver again. Telling me I'm better of walking. Huh! I mean, I'm sure he meant well, but I'm freezing. This may be my favorite coat, but it's not very warm. Everywhere seems so much further in heels. I hope I won't be too tall in them. Why do all the men in the street have to be Arab? Aren’t there any Jews in Jerusalem? And why do they think I'll understand what they are saying to me in Arabic? I hope I'm not being stupid, walking here alone. Was that a whistle?
Oh good the guard is waving me through. He's not making me open my bag. Lucky, I don't know how I'd get it closed again, if he did. It's not easy fitting a science book into an evening purse. I suppose I don't look very suspicious. Maybe he recognizes me from the last time I was here. It was only a week ago, after all. I'm a regular, you could say.
Please, please, that can't be him. No. God, listen to this prayer at least, don't let that be him. The trick is to avoid eye contact. That's the main thing. Let him be for someone else. It can't be him, right? Surely they would have told us about the beard? I'm going to ignore him. Circle round and make a quick dash to the bathrooms.
Is that what I look like? What a mess. Don't know why books romanticize the windswept look. It's not a success on me. Now where's my lipgloss? Umbrella, book, Mp3, cellphone, ID tag, keys, tissues, disk on key. Disk on key? There's top secret information on that. It's not supposed to leave the office. What’s it doing here? Oh well, hope I'm not abducted. Ah, there's the tube. Nothing like a dab of Clinique.
Whoa. She's tall. I feel so short all of a sudden. Is that blonde natural? Nice jacket. Didn't know non religious women still wore suits. At least not in Israel. Hey. One second. Belle Du Jour, last night. Only hookers wear designer suits, it said on the blog. Hmm, is she one? Oh it's a tweed jcket. Probably not then. Maybe a guest from abroad. Come to think of it I'm wearing a suit too. Wonder what they'd make of me abroad, wandering around hotels dressed up and unescorted. I wish the Amazon goddess hadn't come in. I felt much prettier before.
Nine on the dot. I'd better venture back into the ring.
Phew. Beard man is gone.
Now this one looks cute. Perfect, in fact. But why isn't he smiling? And now he's walking away.Sigh. Guess it's not him.
Another scan of the territory. I see a black suit. Black hat. Walking next to a woman in a Shaitel. Right.
Who's that guy? He looks chilled. Is that a white Kippah? Weird. Who wear's white Kippahs nowadays? Oh it's knitted. White knitted, with a thin blue border. Makes more sense. But he can't be for me. Yeah there's a girl in a long skirt. That fits. Is that a sweatshirt? How does she get off so easy?
Where can he be? Does he think this is fun for me?
Stop. Think positive. Music. Classical music. Coming from the piano over there. It sounds pretty. Tonight this scene reminds me of a ballet. Yeah that's it. Not a primitive mating ritual. A ballet. Men in suits, women in dresses. Grouped on either side of the stage. A flurry as they meet each other in the centre. Pairs pull back to the sides. Perfect symmetry as they align, to fill rows of parallel sofas. Man opposite woman. He removes his hat. She lays down her purse. He speaks. She nods. Waiters glide over, then withdraw. Now she speaks. He answers. He looks down, twiddles his fingers, clears his throat. She looks down, plays with her necklace. Pattern repeated in every set of seats. Matching outfits, matching body language, identical conversations too, probably. Great choreography.
Where is he?
Hmm, good opportunity to check out the menu. I've always wanted to do that. Coffee is the same price as a soft drink? OK. That's it. I'm ordering a coffee tonight. Correct, coffee is more intimate. Soft drinks are for dates one and two, hot drinks are only done on the third date onwards. But tough. Too bad. I've drunk enough coca colas to last me a life time.
Still not here? Should I call home, and have them call the rabbi, and the rabbi call him? What a performance. I'll give it another few minutes.
Wait. I see a white and yellow blur through the glass. A taxi has drawn up outside. Is that a black suited figure? The door is swiveling round. Someone is stepping out. Tall and broad shouldered. I'll stand up. His back is to me. Now he's turning. Oops. He must be sixty if he's a day. Better sit down again.
Do I dare go into H.Stern? Don't want to have him thinking I'm too into diamonds. Catching me gazing starry eyed into a display cabinet is not the way to get off on the right foot. I guess I'll risk it. There's nothing else to do here.
Stop. On the right. Yeshiva guy. Approaching me. Saying my name.
I knew I shouldn't have worn heels.
4 days ago