Monday, April 25, 2005

There are two guys I see on a regular basis whom I assume are street dwellers but I can’t be sure. For a long time I thought they were the same person. Both are in their mid-thirties, I think, bearded, blue-eyed and always dressed similarly, with a sort of nerdy tidiness, only shabby and sad. They don’t smell bad, neither of lack of washing nor of drink. It crossed my mind recently that both are very good looking, but I doubt very much if women would find them attractive.

The reason I mix them up, I think, is because of something they transmit, or don’t transmit, something about the way they interact with the world. You can never catch their eye. They walk on the inner side of the sidewalk. They look down. I get the feeling that they don’t want people to notice them, that they are trying to be invisible.

On Seder Night, after the meal was over, I went round taking orders for coffee and tea. For some reason, everyone found it amusing that I wrote it all, like a waiter (okay, okay, I do know I’m not supposed to be writing on hag), so I wouldn’t forget who wanted what. Later when I brought Our Sis her tea before everyone else she said I shouldn’t bring hers first – FHB (Family Hold Back). But everyone in the room was family, close family, all nineteen of us (We were only nineteen in the end because our soldier had to stay on the base and our chef had to work – he is employed by one of the major Tel Aviv hotels).

And now I’m wondering where the two bearded men with the blue eyes spent Seder Night, and if they were surrounded by family, and if anyone asked them how many sugars they would like in their lemon tea.

Maybe this is why there is a tradition to invite a stranger to share the Seder. There is so much warmth and family feeling, not to mention food, it is only right to share it all with those who don’t have any of their own.

(Cross posted on Israelity)