He was French, the Astrologer who came to Israel that winter. Only for a short visit, and was one of ‘the best in the world’. I was so assured by my best friend Rona who was into those things. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity, she said, no matter the cost. She was very persuasive my friend Rona. What you’d call a ‘Natural Beauty’. No make-up needed, no accessories. Just long flowing blond hair, retouched by the salon, inquisitive big eyes and well defined full lips. She had a style of her own; being a bit plump around the waist she hid it well behind long velvety Bedouin dresses, mostly in black. And she was always full of life and that something we call sex-appeal. Rona always got what she wanted. Whether from her divorced and guilt-ridden psychologist father, or from her handsome and intellectual boyfriend, or from the professors in the film school we attended together. Somehow they always advised her on scripts and extended her deadlines.
The man who answered the door was short, skinny and blond, with a heavy French accent which I adored immediately. “Francois.” He introduced himself in English. “Come in please”.
It was in just another apartment building on a rare stormy day in Tel-Aviv. Just another door, just another study, just another desk. No decorations, no charts, no bullshit manufactured to impress. I liked that.
He had his notes in front of him. I already gave his assistant my time, place and date of birth a few days before.
“Did you bring a tape recorder?” He asked.
“I… I didn’t think… What for?”
He opened a drawer and took out a few pages and a pen. He pushed them towards me. “You might want to write some things down.” He said.
I was 26, having a wonderful time in my 2nd year of film school, single and looking for love. That was my main reason for being there.
On the other hand I was the only child of Holocaust survivors, which meant, among many other things, that I didn’t have any immediate family. It was a close knit family unit until my father died when I was 17.
My mother, who after my father’s sudden and unexpected death, developed a severe case of hypochondria, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Nothing like a hypochondriac that was proven right. Now every ache, every worry has to be taken seriously. She underwent radical mastectomy and refused Chimo-therapy.
But we all have our crosses to bear, don’t we?