I had a bad week. My air condition didn’t work and this was no wonder, because I had forgotten to switch it on. Then I had a short circuit, all electricity was down and I stood there quite helpless back in the Stone Age.
My savior arrived, our nice electrician named Elias. After checking switches and buttons he said:
“It’s your electric stove, it could be humidity, did you spill something on it?”
“I am not sure! I always spill things!”
“OK, so don’t touch it for a day or two, I’ll check it again soon, maybe already to-morrow!”
“And how am I supposed to cook?” I asked him.
“Go to the restaurant! That’s what it is here for!”
Strangely enough I had gotten up in the morning in a particular cooking mood. While still in bed, I thought of the ingredients I have to buy and the great results I will achieve just because I am in that kind of mood. But now I had no stove.
I remembered the years long past when my mother cooked on some kind of kerosene stove, it took ages to bring the milk to a boil. And when in a particular hurry, she cooked on a primus; (I wonder if this word means something to the people who read this now.) These were the years of war and deprivation and I remember times when the kerosene stove and the primus stood there completely out of action – there was simply nothing to cook on them.
But, on the other hand, they didn’t cause a short circuit either.
So, what does one do with a cooking mood which is of no use? I decided to go have a haircut, although I did not get up with that particular haircut mood, but I can’t just sit around and do nothing. One must know how to improvise.
I arrive at my hairdresser, sweet Mike, without an appointment, so I have to sit around and wait. I recognize one of the waiting ladies, we sat here waiting together a couple of weeks ago, she was a blazing redhead, an outrageous color for her age, and now she sits with another color applied on her head, it’s just a paste now and I am curious to know what it will turn out to be. I play a guessing game with myself, will she be a blonde this time, a brunette, or maybe a redhead again? Mike doles out his bits of gossip to the left and to the right:
“Does anyone of you remember Lea who used to come here regularly every Wednesday? Well, she had this married daughter in London and I heard that this daughter suddenly left her husband and eloped, can you imagine a married woman eloping, with her art teacher? Lea was here the other day and told me the whole story, she is worried that the art teacher hasn’t got much money and how will he support her daughter after the divorce of course? All you ladies who have your children safely well and married should be so grateful!”
A girl soldier sits there looking deeply unhappy:
“It’s just that my mother wants me to cut my hair and my boyfriend won’t let me! What’s the opinion of you all?”
Opinions offered by the ladies around her differ, and the young woman is just as smart as before…
“Your mother knows best,” says one, “First of all, says the other, you should please your boyfriend!”
It’s my turn to sit on the coveted chair and deliver my head into Mike’s capable hands.
“Mike,” I say to him, “can you do something with my hair which would make me look a bit taller? The top of my head looks kind of flat!”
“I’ll try my best,” he says, “maybe I can work toward an illusion of a millimeter or so, but I can’t perform miracles!”
I love Mike’s place! It’s filled with scents of perfume and hair spray and ladies’ laughter and chatter and Mike, as the only male around, rules like a king.
So I didn’t cook but I returned to the Towers after leaving Mike, and people I met immediately noticed that additional millimeter or so, well not exactly but here and there someone exclaimed:
“Beautiful haircut! That man you go to is really talented!”
“Come and have a swim with me!” says Ilana, but I can’t do this, not with my freshly treated hair!
And then I check my mood and yes, I do want to go swimming! Life is too short to deprive ourselves of sudden whims and impulses.
“Wait Ilana, I am getting my bathing suit!”