Illustrations
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I’m tired. I think it would be fair to take a long vacation. I won’t forgive myself if I send out inferior columns, and I would really like to keep my promise that I would never treat writing only as a job to be done. I’m so tired, and I can’t find time to read enough, to think enough, and to express myself well enough. I won’t forgive myself if I start to disappoint my readers. If only you knew how many doctors read my columns. How can I disappoint doctors?

I remember that evening when I sped to the hospital in the executive car with my wife.

The nurse who greeted us in the women’s emergency room pushed a button that, within seconds, brought three or four doctors running to the examination room. They immediately went into action − transfusion, blood tests, monitor, sonogram, preparation for surgery in case the situation continued. I stood there almost frozen, although I know how to function well under pressure.

It was so scary. The doctors took my wife’s details, and they kept addressing her as Mrs. Kashua. “Massive bleeding,” said one of the doctors; “Fully dilated,” said the doctor who checked the screen; “There’s a pulse, there’s a pulse.” “Mrs. Kashua, do you know your blood type?”
And I stood there, helpless. I couldn’t do a thing except hold my wife’s hand, try to calm her down and convey that I myself was totally confident, whispering to her authoritatively: “Everything will be all right, everything will be all right,” although deep inside I really began to fear that nobody among this large team of doctors recognized my last name.
The emergency situation continued the next day as well, and I was already thinking about transferring my wife to a better, more serious hospital that employed doctors who read Haaretz and never miss my columns. It’s a shame, a shame and a disgrace, I thought to myself, and immediately I supported the position of the Finance Ministry when it comes to improving the doctors’ employment conditions.
We spent two exhausting days in the hospital. I almost fell apart − my self-confidence had never reached such a nadir. Until finally, one of the doctors opened his mouth and, instead of dealing with nonsense like giving instructions for the continued treatment of my wife, he complimented me on my columns. He must have been a senior doctor, I’m quite sure, because from the moment he came out of the closet, the other doctors followed suit. Only then was I reassured. “You see?” I said to my wife, “I told you everything would be all right.”
Thank God, that nightmare of hospitalization ended well. Absolutely no spots of blood remained on the leather seats of my executive car. It’s a good job I shouted at my wife when she got into the car, because sometimes she really doesn’t pay attention and focuses on herself. So she went upstairs, brought a towel, spread it on the car seat, and then we drove to the hospital. I really flew: I made sharp turns like a king and smiled to myself, pleased with my performance. The most important thing in such situations is to make your wife feel she can depend on you.
But how long can I go on this way, being supportive, tolerant, caressing? It’s not easy; it’s even quite difficult. “All right!” I already shouted this morning, when she asked me to drive to the grocery store and buy milk. “I know they said bed rest, but do I have to go shopping every day? Can’t you make a list for the week?”
I shouted only to let off steam. I didn’t really mean for her to get insulted, and to take advantage of the fact that I went into the shower in order to take her car keys and buy milk in the grocery store by herself. But she didn’t manage to do even that. After two minutes she returned empty-handed. “My car won’t start.” Of course it won’t, nobody has touched it for three weeks and the battery went dead.
I ordered a tow truck, and since this morning I’ve been waiting in the hope that it will actually arrive. I’ll never let her drive my car, because the doctors said the incident is liable to happen again, heaven forbid. Last time we were saved by a miracle, and I’m not sure she’ll manage to keep the upholstery clean a second time.
I’m so tired and, because of my wife’s lack of consideration, I’m liable to disappoint my readers. Doctors, I’m telling you, doctors. And here I, instead of reading some book, am driving children to school, giving showers, cooking, cleaning and now I’m also sitting and waiting for the tow truck that promised to come about an hour and a half ago.
I can’t go on this way, and I think it would be fair to take a vacation. Please understand, my integrity doesn’t allow me to continue writing. And at a time like this, when everything is burning all around. At a time like this, when I feel that I have to carry out my mission fearlessly. Look at me, waiting for a tow truck instead of carefully following events in the Middle East; vacuuming instead of shouting “Careful, everything is about to collapse”; peeling potatoes instead of pleading to my readers to open their eyes and sense the approaching tsunami that will wash over all of us; cleaning toilets while the government is deceiving the incited herd. Instead of exercising my influence on the doctors, I’m washing dishes.
Oy vey, what’s about to happen here, I don’t even want to think about it. I’ll have to take a vacation, otherwise how will I, in the very near future, be able to answer the question: What did you do when you noticed that everything was about to disintegrate? What will I answer? I waited for the tow truck? I couldn’t do anything because I had to function as a housewife?
The best thing is to take a vacation, to close my eyes, to wait patiently, to absolve myself from responsibility, and to hope that I’m mistaken after all and no mass slaughter is on the horizon. I’ll take a vacation until September, afterward we’ll see what happens.