Magazine article Tablet Magazine

An Ode to Tel Aviv, Long Lost Lover

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

An Ode to Tel Aviv, Long Lost Lover

Article excerpt

I was 23 when we broke up. I was young, but that was hardly an excuse. She was my first love, older and sweaty and rich with mysteries. I could look at her for hours, and when I tired of looking I would close my eyes and take in her scent, that sweet heady mixture of jasmine and ficus and days spent trying to outsmart the sun. When I moved in with her, my fingers were still stained with the grease I used each morning to shine my army boots, but she didn't seem to mind. I wasn't her first, but she made me feel like I was the only one who ever mattered, and she made me want to be a better man even when I had no idea how to become one or even what a better man might be. For a while there, I thought she liked her guys tough, so I took stabs at smoking and prayed that the dead-eyed stare I put on with each drag came off as pensive and cool rather than a symptom of how sick each cigarette made me feel. …

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