The scariest moment in my life came about one minute after the event that changed it.
February 13, 2017, 3:55 p.m.
It’s a regular Monday afternoon. I am on my way to pick up my older kid, Emma, from school. She is nine years old.
The Monday a week earlier I lost my temper with one of her teachers. She was always keeping the kids in class — 15, sometimes 20 minutes after the final bell. Parents would wait outside impatiently, wasting time on their smartphones. Some, like me, had probably made arrangements to leave work early so they could pick up their kids on time.
It was disrespectful. So I gave her an earful.
This Monday I am ready for a fight if she does it again… Well, I don’t know what, but I am ready. This is about time. My time. My minutes. My seconds.
It didn’t matter, though. Emma is already waiting outside in the hallway. A bit early, actually. Before 4 p.m. I breathe a sigh of relief.
“How was school, perach (flower)?”
She gets her laconism from her father, obviously.
“Yalla, let’s go home,” I say. She gets into the back, right seat of the car and we head off.
* * *
“Tell me more about those moments. The moments before,” my shrink asks me.
“They’re just moments. They’re regular. A dad picks his daughter up from school. Routine and normal. Naive.”
“Because I’m totally unaware of the evil that will occur. I have no control over what will happen.”
“You think this happened because of evil? Evil people?”
“Yes. Evil and greedy people.”
“And you have no control?”
“Of course not. Look at what happened.”
* * *
We drive south from the northern edge of Bat Yam on the border of Jaffa, down the boardwalk to the newer neighborhoods of the city. There’s construction all over the place, some of it menacingly blocks the sea view.
As I pass by the skeleton of a new hotel that seems to add a new floor each week, I listen to the daily rant of radio talk show host Anat Davidov. It’s an economics program on 103FM, and today she’s talking about the impending strike of crane operators in Israel — they are demanding more money and better safety protocols at building sites. Nothing will come...Read More