I should have gone home, but I dreaded returning to my dreary apartment (I happened to be renting a room from an 80-year old grandma who seemed afraid of me).
I phoned my friend -I'll call him Yossi - who was back from the army. He lived with his parents, and they always had good food in their fridge. Our friendship required no energy. We would watch movies, eat snacks, and banter about nothing.
He would often say stuff that was so dumb or obvious, it was like hanging out with a child. But every twentieth observation blew me away with its savant-like wisdom.
We smoked a bit of pot on his balcony and watched an action movie and dipped pretzels in hummus. When the movie ended, he told me that he had started an affair with our mutual friend Daphna, who had recently been preoccupied with her virginity. I was not surprised. Something about Yossi's trustworthy, wonder-filled child schtick proved irresistible to certain women.
Daphna was a bit of a headcase, but maybe she was making Yossi feel better. He was miserable in the army – he had been forced into a job as the guard in the solitary confinement wing of a West Bank prison. The prisoners had started protesting against him, shouting "We don't want Yossi" as he walked into work. I know what you're thinking, but it sucks to be hated, not matter what the situation.
His dad came and sat down heavily on the sofa and made some cynical observations to no one in particular. He had had an important job that he'd left for convictions and adventure. But his risk didn't pan out, and he got stuck working for a wealthy woman's not-for-profit that rescued stray cats. He was allergic to cats.
Yossi didn't want to lend me his umbrella, because he said I was bad at returning things, but he would walk me to the corner. The bus stop overlooked the Old City. "This is a good view, you know," Yossi pontificated, adding "Too bad we can't see it. (pause) Cuz it's night time." Classic Yossi.