It was not my first time.
I was listening his words with stillness. He had five minutes. But when the gong gave its warning he was only half way through. The room was filled with excitement and tension. We all forgot the rules and just continued to slap our hands louder and louder making an unavoidable sign that he must tell us it all.
“I went back to the hotel and saw all my clothes packed neatly in my wardrobe. Then I was thinking: I packed all my shirts, trousers, underwears and shoes so nicely to the luggage in Israel. Then I unpacked all these so nicely here, and now I should pack it all back to the luggage only to unpack there again?! – It was too much hassle for me.
But I slept there sometimes, though. When they went to high-level meetings or trainings, where I couldn’t go with them. But I was too lazy to move there. But laziness can be rewarding. I wasn’t there on that night.
This was my first time when the wind of death touched my life.”
Teddy was a weight-lifter, who earned the second place at Israel’s qualification competition for the Munich Olympics in 1972. His dream was taken away from him but he traveled to Munich to support his friends and get to the experience as close as possible. His friends welcomed him with warmth and invited him to live with them in the village and live the life of the Olympians.
But just as much he would have loved to live in the village, Teddy also loved order. He loved to pack his shoes in newspapers before placing them in his luggage. He didn’t have papers anymore. The hotel cleaners throw them away while he was away. He felt lazy to move again. He felt his dream was already given back a little. He did sleep in the village when the others were out on duties. But he was too lazy to move there.
On the 5th September 1972 his friends were massacred in a terror attack.
My laziness saved my life.
We clapped. But it’s save to assume that we all wanted to hug him instead. His body moved back towards the chairs in the last rows. I didn’t see him anymore. I just stood still with my little hairs lifting up on my sunburned forearm. And before the event ended, he sneaked out. He only came to share his first time…he didn’t want more.
But it wasn’t my first time.
Walking back to the garage via King George street with a spring-like evening made my heart beat faster. I was still thinking of Teddy and how not getting what we want can give us a much bigger prize: our life. The passing people, the barking dogs and needy cats; the chilly but somewhat warm breeze; the no-matter-what-we-eat-outside noise of forks and knifes; the dim lights and tree-lined pavements; the knock of my high-heels and the strength of my tiny body – all echoed on the cracky asphalt. I felt so alive.
Fifteen minutes later a scream and an inestimably short moment later a bummm.
Not a bummm of an accidentally dropped plate. Not a bummm of an accidentally slipped woman’ body. Not even a bummm of an accidentally crashed car.
It was a different bummm.
It was a bummm that marched into my head and stayed there ever since. A bummm of two heavy, massive, steel doors, which lost control over their own life purpose. They collapsed with such weight and power as your heart collapses after he tells you ‘it’s over‘. I stood there still and paralysed.
The room was empty but echoed from car engines from afar. I was alone.
‘You almost died, do you know that?‘ – heard the whispering little voice in my head.
But a second later I was anxious about him. I turned around and saw the door. He was left on the other side. The other side of the heavy-weight steel door. I pushed the calling button. And in the next 20 seconds million questions presented itself. Did the elevator fall down with him? Was it a black-hole that dragged him to other planets? Did he see the doors falling on me?
The doors that predestinate your soul to choose between life and death opened once again. Opened with gentle care as if they would wave you in their arms again.
He was nowhere.
And then bummm….the guillotine doors slapped again. And I started to shake. Now I saw what I only heard before. I saw the unstoppable power of the two steel doors. I saw their desire to smash my tiny body, and make a soul leave. But I also saw my body mirroring in the death-sentencing giant doors.
I was alive.
My phone rang. It was him.
He jumped out of the elevator a floor upper. He told me to stay where I was.
It wasn’t my first time.
But every re-birth screams only louder and with one message: you still have things to do here…
I guess I do.
But at that moment the only thing I could think of was a giant creepy pancake…and so I ate myself to intoxication…to celebrate the night I was reborn.
And that God damn door just crashed again…But then he hugged me…and ordered my giant pancakes…