Dorit and I would go to adult education/open university lectures in the early evening. She always carried a thick notebook, and after the lecture ended, she wrote copious notes about the main points as well as things she “needed to think about.” Everyone had left the lecture room-as I waited patiently until Dorit finished her detailed notes. If you ask me why she took notes in an adult education class, then you don’t know Dorit. She was as studious and diligent as they come.
Dorit was a very smart lady, actually probably the smartest person I ever knew. She had a larger than average forehead, and I used to ask her if she stored all her brilliance in her forehead. She had no sense of humour, but she loved mine.
True, she was only truly interested in clinical psychology-but whatever issue she addressed, she did so with depth and brilliance. I used to love just listening to her analyse people and situations. I could listen to her talk for hours…and I am not a patient person.
Yet she was so serious all the time. At least that is what I thought.
One night, she suggested that we go to Florentine and (one of us) can get drunk. She was the “one”. Three tequilas, and that was both the source of her new nickname as well as the beginning of our romance.
Every Thursday night, we would take either my car or hers, depending on who was driving, and go to an Indian restaurant cum bar in Florentine. Once in a while, Tequila would ask her friend, an artist, to join us. On the way to Florentine, she was Dorit, and after the first drink-she was Tequila.
We were in Paphos, Cyprus, Tequila and I, on an evening cruise and we saw a couple who must have been in their eighties. They were holding hands and drinking wine. Tequila asked me where I think they were from and I told her that I had heard them speaking Hebrew. Her observation was that they were so “serene and at peace with themselves.” One week after we returned from Paphos, we read in the paper that the couple we had seen on board had committed suicide, as they were both terminally ill. Their trip to Paphos was a farewell cruise.
Dorit had lost her only brother in one of Israel’s wars.
One day, Dorit asked me to help her mother move out of her home and into an old age home. When everything was in the truck and ready to go, Dorit and her mother asked me to take her brother’s military cap to the moving van. The cap he had worn during service was neatly folded in a sealed plastic bag. My knees shook and my hands trembled as I took Dany’s cap and brought it down into the moving van. Dorit almost never talked about her brother. But she let me carry his cap.
Things eventually turned sour between Tequila and I and we parted.
I had been invited to the university to critique a certain cirruculum in order to provide an “external’s view” of what should be taught. In the hallway, after the meeting, a professor who apparently knew who I was approached me and asked “aren’t you the late Dorit L’s ex boyfriend.”
That is how I learnt that Tequila was dead. I was devastated. It had been 9 years after her death.
I can hear what she is saying to me now, “we had a great time in Florentine, didn’t we my Shevaty”. (שבטי שלי)
The artist and I are still friends, and we often remember the boundless wisdom of Tequila.
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