8/22/2006

Losing Sleep

For some reason clearly not rooted in human intuition, the brooms and mops are completely mixed together with the shoe polish at the supermarket I’m learning to love. Some woman was standing there, staring at the shoe polish, trying to figure something out. She asked me if I knew where the red shoe polish was. I explained that I didn’t work there, and then helped her locate a store employee, who was no more helpful. But I overheard her tell the fellow that she needs red shoe polish for her son who is in the army.

I figured, red isn’t red, but cordovan. I found that color, which from the outside looked nothing like red, opened it and spread a tiny bit on my fingers to show her that the color was reddish. She looked at it and said that it’s the exact color of her son’s boots. I asked if he’s a paratrooper, who are known for their reddish boots. She didn’t know. Only knew that he’s in a combat unit.

With the area cleared, I could find the sponja heads and dustpans. Before taking leave, however, the woman thanked me for taking the time to help her. I replied that it’s the least that I could do for the mother of a chayal.

So here I sit, at 1 am, still a bit jet-lagging and with kids who didn’t go to sleep till after 11pm because they are, too. Over the next few days, we’ll become fully adjusted to the clocks, and we’ll get good nights of sleep.

But that woman, every night that her boy is on active duty, will not have a good night’s sleep. She’ll worry herself sick. And so you’re damn straight that I’m going to help her find the cordovan shoe polish.
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