plane, kashua
Photo by Amos Biderman
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So I'm in Berlin. I just arrived. I have a nice spacious room in Charlottenburg. From the window I can see a few red roof tiles, and half a cathedral with a green dome. Soon I'll take the shirt and the pair of pants I brought with me out of my bag and hang them in the closet, but first I have to write for the newspaper, it says in my diary that I have to write for the paper. So I'm writing that I'm in Berlin.

I don't really know how I got here. I mean, it said in my diary that I have a flight to Berlin, so I took a taxi to the airport, boarded a plane and now I'm in Berlin. An early morning flight, the kind that doesn't let you sleep. Because the evening before I had a reading in Be'er Sheva, my diary must have said that I have a reading in Be'er Sheva, so I drove to Be'er Sheva and did a reading. Then I drove home, packed a suitcase and now I'm in Berlin.

Tonight I have some lecture and tomorrow I'm already going back home. I mean, it says in my diary that tomorrow I have a flight back, I'll land in the afternoon, and in the evening I have a reading in Ramat Hasharon. I don't know if I'll have time to drive home to Jerusalem at all, or maybe I'll drive straight to the reading in Ramat Hasharon. I won't decide yet, I'll land and then I'll decide whether I'm driving straight to Ramat Hasharon or I'm driving to Jerusalem to see my wife and children.

Oy, my wife and children. How did I even dare to travel to Berlin and to leave my wife and children behind? It's true that she pleaded with me not to cancel the flight again this time, but I shouldn't have listened to her, I should have stayed. It's true that I'll only be away for 24 hours, but still, I don't know how I'll function this evening or how I'll be able to concentrate on writing a column. I should have stayed. What if God forbid, tfu, tfu, tfu - nothing will happen, everything's all right, she's strong and she'll be fine.

In any case, I'm not leaving them alone, I made sure that in my absence there will always be someone to help and do the tasks that I've been doing in recent weeks. I'll call her very soon, I'll ask how she is, I'll check how she's managing with the children and whether the person who was supposed to pick them up from school did so, and whether the maid came and whether our friends brought food. But I don't want to call, I'll wait for her to call, that's what we agreed, that she'll call, because maybe she's sleeping, I don't want to wake her, and maybe she's resting in bed and the phone isn't next to her. I wouldn't want to make her get out of bed. Even though the doctors said that she doesn't have to be in an aquarium. True, she has to rest all the time, she's not allowed to exert herself, she's not allowed to wash the floor, to do dishes, to climb stairs, to go to work and many other various and sundry prohibitions.

I hope that she listened to the doctors' orders, I hope she won't do anything foolish and will do exactly what I told her to do in my absence. But I know her, she can be a little stubborn, and why hasn't she called yet? We agreed that she would call and she knows how I worry, and especially now. Oh God, the days we went through a few weeks ago were so frightening. But now everything is all right, I'm sure, otherwise they wouldn't have released her, otherwise they wouldn't have said that she doesn't have to be in an aquarium 24 hours a day.

Soon she'll call, I'm sure. She's probably resting like the doctors ordered. Soon she'll call, say that everything is all right, and then I'll unpack the bag and hang up the shirt and pants I brought for the event this evening in Berlin.

Maybe I should iron them. Now I already know how to iron the clothes. Now I know what the children like to take to school, what kind of fruit and what kind of vegetable, I know what my daughter is learning in class every day and I know which books she had to take. Now I know how my son reacts in the morning when he enters his kindergarten, how he feels when he gets picked up. It took me time and I managed to get things under control. I get up in time to make sandwiches, wake up the children so they'll be ready for school in time. Everything is in my diary, I plan things in advance, I write everything down. I don't leave housework for the next day, I do laundry every day, sometimes two machines. I change the bedding once a week, I know how to sort white, colored and delicate laundry, I know how to set the right temperature and the number of revolutions per minute required for each fabric.

Somehow these weeks, which I didn't know how I would get through, have made me far more efficient. At first, when the thing happened, I thought I had to postpone work I had committed myself to, postpone filming days and cancel a few jobs. Otherwise how is it possible? After all, I used to work until evening and couldn't meet the schedules and now, when I'll have to return in the middle of the day to pick up the children and to be with them until they fall asleep?

Somehow it's working, somehow I manage to run the house and my work. Maybe I shouldn't have flown to Berlin. Yes, I definitely could have canceled this flight. I shouldn't have listened to her and gone, even though it's short. But I'm already here and my diary says that I have a reading in the evening. I'll wear black pants and a blue shirt, that I may have to iron. I'll answer the moderator's questions, then the audience's questions, and tomorrow morning I'll already board the plane back. I'll have to go home before the reading in Ramat Hasharon, I have to see my wife and children, of course. But why doesn't she call? She promised to call.