- Posted November 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Israel-Gaza conflict: Your stories
Oh, Tel Aviv
Life was getting back to normal after days of sirens sounding and people running for cover. Too bad the previous sentence is in the past tense. Really. As I stare at the cursor waiting for me to continue my thoughts, I really just want to begin crying, screaming, or hysterically laughing. I don’t know what to do with myself in both the mental and physical sense. I need so badly to remove my mind from the situation unraveling before my eyes but when I try to distract myself I feel guilty, my stomach in knots.
It was today during a break between classes that I heard the horrifying news. 27 injured in a bus bombing in central Tel Aviv. I was practicing my Hebrew with Ravit. Someone announced the news. I looked up to see Debbie’s eyes well up with tears. I went to console her by wrapping my body around hers. Words are no longer useful. Our program coordinator ran down the hallway toward us, counting us, sighing a breath of relief. As we sat through the next two classes no one seemed to be paying attention. Running out of class to answer phone calls, text messages, and e-mails that flooded our inboxes. I heard what the professor was saying but I was not listening. I couldn’t believe my thoughts. Normalcy seemed to be in sight and then the news of the bomb, another talk about how we need to just continue on as best we can. The anger I harbor inside is insufferable. Perhaps it’s hurt. I can’t seem to indentify the exact feeling.
As I sat through class I found myself thinking about the clothing I wear to sleep just in case of a siren in the middle of the night, the emergency meds I keep in every bag I own just in case my apartment gets blown to pieces by a rocket, my window that is now left open at all times in case a siren sounds just to be sure I hear it. I have been watching people flinch at the sound of a car motor backfiring or anything that is remotely high pitched. Today, slowly but surely, that feeling seemed to be subsiding. Our hearts were pounding at the rate that seemed normal and now each muscle in our bodies tense once again.
Laura said this morning that she was waiting for the sirens but now that they have stopped she feels worse, as though she were waiting for something. She was right and I knew what she meant but I wished her wrong. Tamar, a friend, drove us home. As we drove through the heart of Tel Aviv I sat in the back seat looking out the window. The cafés are quiet, buses empty. Where has the city gone? Tonight we are all waiting, quietly and as patiently as possible to see if we are greeted with peace in the morning. The news is hardly keeping up with the air raid siren updates. We are all hoping for a cease-fire to commence tonight. I feel as if I am the peak of a rollercoaster waiting to scream down the vertical.
Crossing our fingers,