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Breaking the Rule

Updated: May 24, 2021

My search for shortcuts had begun at a very young age. You may think it absurd, but I think it began already when I was a baby sucking on my mother’s nipple. Being thirsty and the milk not coming out as much as I wanted. I did as instructed by my agile mind, I bit into the hard nob between my teeth. The disastrous result ensued, still thirsty I was rudely pushed away, dripping blood, like Dracula.

Since then I have tackled every obstacle in the same, inefficient, violent way in search of the elusive shortcut. The sign of a fool is his inability to change tactics. He goes on making the same mistake over and over again.

This happened the other day, after Shaul and I had discussed the world situation, while sitting at a grey limestone picnic table in the shade of a copse of pine trees, in the Tzofim Valley. Tea was over and we’d nourished our feeble bodies with Gouda cheese on whole wheat bread. I fell into error once again by pondering the possibility of finding a shortcut home and at the same time obviating the undue expenditure energy.

Looking up from our picnic place I caught sight of a steep, but short sandy path, leading to an apartment block. This meant roads and buses. That would be my short cut.

Suddenly Etti’s words echoed in my head, “don’t use the buses''. What was I to do? I persuaded myself that my wife would make an exception this time, taking into account how tired I was and the urgency for me to reach home and do the cleaning chores she had given me.

I didn’t save time; the climb out of the valley to the bus stop was more strenuous than I’d anticipated. One hour and fifteen minutes passed before I reached home.

Not only was my shortcut long, I now had a terrible secret to hide from my wife and I was nearly plastered over the floor of the bus.

Being absorbed in studying timetables on my smartphone, while waiting for the bus, I didn’t hear the approach of the long dark green shape, until it’s doors banged open in my face. I flew in, like a canary returning to its nest. The monster growled, pulled off with a jerk, and I found myself careening like a fireball, down the passage between the seats.

Thank God a yellow pole, providentially situated, broke my progress.

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