We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
From the corner of where I am living, is a kiosk called Zigmund. An outside stand with stools on two sides, flanked by Gaza Road and Metudelah. On its back wall are photos of... Zigmund. Three. The one with the cigar resting comfortably on his fingers, another, strolling,and a third a bit Andy-Wharholish with various LSD hues. In the nighttime, Zigmund is duplicated on the southern glass windows, so he forms an "L", bracketing the gourmands. No way to avoid eyeing him if you are eating there, unless you keep your brow in your soup. In the back, below the cigar, is a single hot-plate with an ever-simmering open pot of soup, ladle within. Beneath Zigmunds reflection on the South is a semi-ancient cash register: you pay the analyst before you leave. In the center is a column surrounded an eye level and above by "charifim," literally, "spicy hot stuff," but in fact the word for hard liquor. Beneath the western counter is where crepes are made and various glops of your choosing are ladled on. Also, sandwiches here. (The Hebrew word for sandwich, karich, sounds much like the word for book cover, kricha. Food and learning seem imbricated in the Jewish tongue.)
It is now chilly in Jerusalem. Rain and greys much of the morning; sudden sun after noon, then the chill returns to the hills. I have regained my yellow Land's End jacket. Even with this, I sip my espresso quickly, express so to speak, before getting my laundry around the corner from Zigmund's. The yound ladies next to me ladle their soup with a thick crust of bread and smoke. There is a kerosene outdoor torch above us, which warms if you stand just beneath it at the corner. Traffic is the background noise, as Gaza is a major thorougfare, or major for and ancient city: it still noodles around, leaves little room for shoulders.
My espresso is a break from writing. Perhaps Ziggy will refresh my thinking.
I would tip my hat to Zigmund if I were wearing one. Since boyhood, Ihave abjured hats. Instead, I nod and am off.