I spent the taxi drive, however, stressing that this didn’t mean under any circumstances that I was going to sleep with him and repeating my demands for a toothbrush and that he set the alarm for me for 9 a.m. the next morning, although it must have already been about 5 a.m. when we reached his apartment in north Tel Aviv.
We talked for a bit more about those stupid things that take on disproportionately profound meaning after a certain hour of night – the fact that we were both Taurus for example – and as my eyes grew heavy and I started to sink back into the cushions I nodded at the piano that held centre stage in his lounge and made some cocky remark about proving to me he was a singer. He sat down and started to play.
“Bloody hell, he can really sing,” was my last thought as I drifted off to sleep.
I woke with a start at 9 a.m. and pressed the button to silence the alarm on his phone that he had placed on the lounge table. Sa’ar was still asleep. I got up from the couch and went into the bathroom where a brand new toothbrush still in its package was lying on the sink waiting for me.
As I brushed my teeth, hoping he wouldn’t wake up, I started to think about what to do. I’ll just leave, I thought. I’ll just slip out of the door and never see him again. Then in a few weeks I’ll be on a plane to England and starting a new life. After all, what was I thinking? I had only split up with Boaz a week ago! And already I’m spending the night in a strange man’s house? What does it look like? What kind of person does that? I’ll just walk out the door and it will be like it never happened, like we never met. Yes I’ll just go, I thought.
I rinsed out my mouth and looked at myself in the mirror above the sink and with an inexplicable impulse that came almost from an alien hand; I squeezed some toothpaste from the tube onto my finger and started to write my telephone number in the white paste on the mirror.
What on earth are you doing? I asked myself even as my finger carried on writing out my number. What are you doing? You are leaving the country! You do not want to see this man again! You do not want to start something now! You are writing your number on his mirror – in toothpaste for God’s sake! What has happened to you? Rub it off!
But there it was in smeared white blobs in the middle of his mirror, and there it stayed as I pulled on my boots and silently let myself out of the door and headed out into the fresh November morning.