And the world is going insane and the media is blowing me away and the smell of coffee isn’t getting me out of bed as I continue to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock waking me up from my life as the car horns are blaring outside/I hate when bombs land near by…no one ever shuts off their car alarms…and I’m feeling just fine…rockets are falling outside of my window, a kilometer from Gaza city and the sky is flashing a crimson red and I’m fresh from a night with a thousand bad dates consisting of men who ask me if I find them attractive as I stare at them dead/looking them in the eye and saying “No…no I don’t…” so we can then divert our gaze to our drinks and ask for the check which turns into tears – not belonging to me – that form the noise creating a cacophony of a rural bohemian storm echoing the same thoughts of “how dare he be honest with me!”

Bloodshoot eyes looking into the mirror in my one room dwelling and I’m twenty four years old looking at me when I’m thirty…and I’m no where near where I want to be/worlds away…but I’m also no longer miles away from where I’m going either and thousands of steps away from where I started as grassy hills are disturbed by Qassams that raise the dirt, nails and metal shit spreading over avocados…but better than over houses as everyone weighs in about what each side is or isn’t doing wrong and right and none of my neighbors seem to mind the air raid sirens that are going off over the sky “Tseva Adom, Tseva Adom, Tseva Adom/Red Alert, Red Alert, Red Alert” when fifteen seconds later my ground shakes and throws me off balance a bit…I don’t nick myself shaving and it doesn’t even get me fully awake…as I grogilly accept the fact that I’m actually standing/attempting to wake up.

Throwing on a shirt with three of the ten or so buttons actually in holes, loose pants and sandals so I can walk to the beach later/surrounded by beautiful muscular men who work the land, young and old, and here I am: just a three year visitor and soldier who’s currently calling this conglomoration of personality disorders home…there’s a reason they place Kibbutznicks like us far away from the road…don’t feed the animals, we’re known to charge at random/love with reckless abandon and pass out drunk in bushes…but it’s okay because they’re the couches in our fenced in living room where cows roam as freely as the dogs…the beautiful stubble and alcohol and cigarette lined smiles of men who can quote Derrida while hacking down Bananas and can recite all the best (and worst) prose while milking cows…in this land of milky sweet smiles and tanned skin the color of honey.

The muddled thoughts of my brain as I wake up in this surreal world where I’m just years:weeks:days:hours:minutes away from fitting in…as bombs are dropping we’re dancing like the world is some foreign place/glad someone brought a radio because the band is taking five as we celebrate our usual gamut of holidays: they tried to kill us, we’re still here, let’s eat because Haman couldn’t defeat us, the Romans are no more, Nazi Germany was a bust and the story is so played out it’s cliché…so why cancel a celebration of life on the account of rain storms of schrapnel and dust scheduled for later in the week? Right now the night and my future is looking clear and wonderful and filled with the stars that glimmer in the eyes of men smiling coyly over their vodka tonics…winking and twinkling as the lines around their eyes show that they’ve been smiling non stop for a few million heart beats…and I can feel the drums of summer beginning to stir within me/my body the work in progress, like me, like my journey…almost there but not quite…yet.

And this existence of existing, with and without struggle to the point that Fredrick Douglas spins in his grave with confusion…because there’s progress with laughter and hope and the giggles of children on swings who know that with just one more push they’re about to jump over the moon and soar…and hundreds of coffee breaks later as I continue to search, desperately, for some coffee beans…and someone to love with reckless passion, heat, emotion and the intensity you can only find from men who laugh as the world around them explodes from outside and from within…just after my first cup of coffee…

Good morning Kibbutz Zikim.