From Shenkin to Dizengoff to Ben Yehuda, from the glitz to the greasy mist of refried falafel balls, I inhale the morning, pay the driver and start walking. I am dressed down so much that I look like an Israeli and that is why an Arab security guard heads me off before I reach the front door.
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“Mah atah ‘sarikh?” he asks me in Hebrew: What do you need? I am cool, composed and dreaming of my lunch date. He is annoyed. I am a cold WASP from Vermont. With a mime motion I display my security badge, the one of pastel yellow and a diagonal blue stripe.
“Shoowadah?” he switches to Arabic: What’s this thing? He acts like a sheik, I feel like million bucks and hold the security card right up to his face, just in case of a culturally selective myopia. He has figured out the badge, in English wishes me a nice day and offers me subservient apologies.
I put in four hours of studying passports, of looking up faraway databases on an old computer, and, finally, greet the lunch break.
The elevator to heaven. I am in front of a boring steel door festooned with heavy-duty industrial bolts. There, at the entrance to the sacred Top Hat, a new marine guard, a pair of non-descript khaki pants plus a golf shirt, and a desk greet me with a pleasant naysay: you, bearing your badge of pastel colors, do not belong here.
“Don’t worry. I am going to the roof.”
The Communications Security Khakis shuts up, smiles but escorts me. I make my way to the pair of eagle-eyed, taxpayer-bought binoculars on a sun-baked swiveling mount.
“And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m on my lunch,” I send away the Communications Security.
The magnification is great: the dehumanizing mass of the futuristic hotels, the Old Jaffa, the obscenely phallic minaret, and my section of the beach. I am a poet: empty is the spot next to the chartreuse umbrella.
I have time. I am admiring the beachfront, the swaying of hips, the blinding silver of the Mediterranean. Whoever at the State Department it was - what a genius to have built the embassy - a dumb cinderblock amid the Picasso jewels – at front seat to the Tel Aviv beach!
The time is right. I scan back to the chartreuse umbrella, and, as expected, I feel my systolic, diastolic and erectile blood pressures: she is even more beautiful dressed then not, she wears a robe-like summer dress of a religious simplicity, a generously open collar exposes her delectably girlish neck, her hair is combed as if by her mother’s loving hands, her breasts – thank you the US taxpayer, the optics are just wonderful – proud, unsupported, and trembling as she moves. Her hips are similarly unbound, and with each carelessly voluptuous stride, a length of perfect leg peeks flirting through the slit of the dress.
A mouthwatering Jewess: she lets her beach bag fall, she unwraps her exotic body, she moves regardless of the men that have appeared on the bench nearby, she lays on her side, she looks easily classical, she offers her face to the sun, she crosses her knees, she becomes Goya’s Maja, - no, more beckoning – naked and fully clothed. She stands up, she sits down, she wraps herself in a beach towel, she combs her hair in long brown waves down her bare statuesque back, her skin radiates the intimate glow of a recently undressed woman -
Suddenly I think of the minaret and I feel my third blood pressure throb. The range finder says three hundred meters. I think I have time.