The story takes a southern turn, as Yuval heads into the desert for a possible rendezvous with an elusive star, and has disturbing thoughts on the way.
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And so I was left with no choice. I had to travel to a freezing desert plateau, where I would chase Mira Awad and try to make her change her mind.
The way to Sde Boker by public transportation begins with a 70-minute train ride to Be’er Sheva. At Tel Aviv’s Hahagana station I bumped into another traveler headed for the same poetry festival. It was quirky Israeli electro-pop musician Yael Birenbaum, the bespectacled leader of the uber hipstery band Jack in the Box. I described my mission to her.
“So you’re going to make a move on Mira Awad?” she giggled.
“I guess you could say so, but I also brought some olives, and good Turkish cheese and a bottle of whiskey.”
“Why?” she snickered, “so you can seduce Mira Awad?”
“No, stupid! So you and I and the other poetry people can sit around late at night and shoot the shit.”
I have been attending the festival religiously for years. Yael is always there and I have learned to take her humor with a grain of desert sand. Still, while watching the rainy suburbs thin away through the train window, I couldn’t help but muse over a concept I have hitherto kept out of my thoughts, for obvious reasons. It was the concept of eroticizing.
The awkward situation at the Willy Brandt center played out much like a failed date. It was enough to make one wonder: what was the role of Eros in this story? Was I eroticizing Lorde? Now, there was a disturbing thought. She was so young! I supposed she was a fantasy, though less my own than of my frequently-infatuated high-school self. Glorifying her was a sort of emotional and intellectual time travel.
What concerned me more was the idea that I was eroticizing Palestine. To me, the power structure in the country reads a lot like a severely abusive relationship. Both spouses are violent, but Israel is the physically superior, controlling one — the one with the key to the basement. This is traditionally a masculine role. I did not identify with...Read More