I had a feeling that C would leave that day, because it was the eve of Pentecost (Shavuot) holiday, June 8, and C believed the ancient Jewish calendar was in sync with cosmic events, like the rare event seen once in a lifetime, that for watch it from the closest place possible at space, he was about to leave, and he talked about it for more than three Months. I still could not figure out what this event was exactly.
I went to say goodbye to him, I walked in the direction of the small house where he lived at the time in the Nachlaot neighborhood. He was standing outside, not at all surprised that I had arrived. "Soon the sunset will come" he told me and it was a bit strange because the sunset time was still quite far away, and I thought to myself that he does not mean sunset in the literal sense, he means another sunset. "And I want to leave before sunset, today."
The event in space was supposed to be in 40 days from takeoff, and C invited me to join him already when he told me about it for the first time, still in the winter. "You can come with us, instead of continuing to dig inside yourself until dead. My invitation still exists" he repeated his invitation. I was surprised he said 'with us' because I did not know anyone else was about to travel, until "the stolen" Stoli suddenly appeared from the street corner and I realized that he was also traveling. Although it was clear to me that I was not traveling, I had 'of-Earth' commitments, the conflict in me was still burning ("What commitment could be more important than documenting this historic cosmic event on your blog, what other opportunity will you have", the words of "the stolen" Stoli). Again I promised at least to accompany them. C said he still needs to organize things, prepare what he has at home. His tenancy ends at the end of the month, when he returns he will find another house. Shefa will come in the next few days to take things to his house for now, he has a key. I offered my help, but C said he do not need, Stoli would help him with the few things that needed help. He suggested that in the meantime I will go and wait for them in a certain public garden that they would pass through, on the 'safe route'. Up to that point, no part of the track is safe, C is always careful in his tracks. "Until we get there you will practice walking fast, more than you are used to, because we will go very fast and you may lose us." "We'll be heading for entry into 'travel gear' walking mode and we can not wait for you, if you delay walking," C. explained. "You remember what I told you about the situations where the charge is the fuel."
I did not exactly understand immediately the connection between the walk they had to do and the travel, I thought about it all the way to where I stopped to wait for them, but as I understood that, I also knew where they were headed. I also thought of the amazing event that C is so eager to see, a man who has already traveled beyond the earth and studied in the galactic school of higher reason, met the Blue Ruler of the galaxy and experienced the 'Darkness of space' and other things he told us about. What else can impress him? In the meantime I was already in the garden, doing some SMS all this way I wanted to do, and because of this SMS or because of the 'need to do it' I was also tense near C's house, he and "the stolen" Stoli felt it. I also tried to do exercises that would suit the ‘fast walking’. Something in my head was not available to recreate any of the exercises C had taught us over the years.
When they appeared at the northern end of the garden it was already close to the beginning of the holiday. They passed me quickly, Stoli made me a sign to join and we were already at the southern exit. C was 58 years old, and walked as fast as I and the friends used to when we were boys, he opened a gap and I tried very hard to stay attached to them, and I was still thinking about that fucking SMS, and the question when I will get an answer. "Are we at the right speed?" Stoli asked C "Don't worry, we'll get to the evasion zone as quickly as we need to". Now I had no doubt where they were headed, even though C made all sorts of weird twists and turns and we actually walked in one direction to get back later through the other side of the road. And meanwhile I noticed what C had on his back. I was willing to swear it was the same reddish sack backpack with which we saw C for the first time, in which he brought the few things he had from space. Over the years, when I was asked for 'proof' that C did indeed come from space and from there he brought all the things he knew, I thought I could show them this thing, but we had not seen this 'sack-backpack' since that day, and I did not know where C had hidden it, and I was no longer sure there was no hallucination. Now it appeared in front of my eyes again, or it just seemed to me that it was the same sack-backpack. I felt something like vibration in my cell phone. The stolen Stoli said "calm down, you won't get an answer anyway (in hebrew: "Mimeila")" and maybe said 'from her' (in hebrew: "Mimena"), in both cases, he was right. And then he, too, who at first seemed to adjust himself to my speed, began to open a gap. I always thought of myself as the one who walks fast.
Near the crosswalk with the traffic lights an acquaintance was standing, we shook hands and he told me that the last time we met, not far away, he was later detained by policemen who searched for drugs on him . That evening, too, I was engrossed in the same SMS correspondence. It reminded me of the device again.
After that they were no longer visible, but because the sun had not yet set, I thought I could still find them. C said, a long time ago, that the "old land" is steeped in "evasion" areas, from where it is possible to reach places from which to take off. And the direction we were going to was the direction of the "old land", where it all began. I seemed to know exactly where C and Stoli were going, I kept going fast, like in a kind of levitation that is a realistic dream, like in a limbo between worlds. But for one moment I was not sure I was not sure if I was indeed going to the right place because we had more than one place there, in the old land.
The sky was a clear summer sky, the sun had already set. I already knew there was no point in continuing to look for them. I was in these moments the only person in all those streets that were once the center of the universe and now were nothing but complete emptiness. I felt more lonely than ever.