Fear and loathing on the Gaza Strip

We’re driving along the Gaza strip. At night. He’s sick; down with sunstroke from showing off all day. She’s pissed off. I was along for the ride, the day out. Now I’m driving someone else’s C Class Mercedes, shifting gears with my right hand and driving on the wrong side of the road. Pitch black on either side. Halos of car lights the only warning of the approach of kamikaze Israelis who seem hell bent on driving me off the road. And all I can think is “Don’t break down, don’t break down. That’s the fucking Gaza strip, Dolce. Mines, snipers and barbed wire, oh my”.

I don’t know why this moment sticks in my head. A 15 year old memory, but still visceral with light and dark and movement and emotion. I think I keep it to remind myself that I’m capable. That when there is no choice, I hike up my skirts and do what needs to be done. Because if I can drive a strange car in a strange land alongside the goddamn Gaza strip, in the dark, then really, a little daily domestic fear is nothing.

On the upside. The sunrise at Masada was worth it.

Masada image from here.

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7 thoughts on “Fear and loathing on the Gaza Strip

  1. I think it is good to have memories like this to fall back on. “If I can do this, I can handle anything” is a good place to approach minor difficulties. Sometimes the mundane and everyday can become overwhelming.

    I have a client who told me something yesterday. One of their church members had their house burn down a week ago, and the wife was feeling overwhelmed by the cleanup job facing them. My friend told her to approach it like she approaches a horrible weeding job. Focus on what is right in front of you. Don’t look at the whole thing because it will just make you feel hopeless. Just look at the plot right in front of you, work on that. Once in a while look at your plot and see what you have done, sometimes look back to see how far you have come, but don’t look ahead. Stay focused.

    That is what you were doing on the Gaza Strip, staying focused on the job at hand.

  2. daisyfae says:

    i am a queen of selective memory – burying that which is dark and delivers lingering pain. but moments when i surprised myself by doing things i didn’t think possible? i put those on the center, lighted shelf of my memory bank to remind myself that i’m not always a fuck up…

    i KNEW i would want you on my zombie apocalypse team! you drive. i’ll shoot.

  3. nursemyra says:

    …. and I’ll be in the back seat. with a pistol, chocolate and binoculars.

  4. robinaltman says:

    That’s truly a cool memory. You did it. Here’s a 15 year old congratulations.

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