Monday, March 8, 2010
Day 98 Lora and Eddie
Lora (see Day 10 Lora and Lina) first heard about Eddie from Yoni (see Day 12 Yoni and Mere) and she was dubious. Yoni was an Israeli friend of Lora’s who was always pushing her to get more connected to Jewish culture, especially to klezmer music, which she hates, so she was suspicious of his politics and his friends. The first time Lora saw Eddie, she noticed his beard,
Lora: there were all these very anti-religious secular Arabs and Jews around, and they all had the same damn beard as though they were religious. This was very funny for me.
During their first conversation, at one of the artsy parties they frequented, Eddie remembers looking down Lora’s shirt, and Lora remembers that he told her he was a political writer and she was like, “ew, political writer”. Lora is a political writer.
They got talking about Gaza. It was January 2009, a month after what the Israeli government were calling Operation Cast Lead. Eddie asked Lora to go for a drink with him, and Lora declined. Instead, she said “let’s make a pact to get to Gaza in the next 6 months” and he said “okay”. A week later, out of the blue, Lora was invited to join a humanitarian delegation to Gaza, and she called up Eddie to let him know of the opportunity. Eddie had an ohshitmoment,
Eddie: like oh shit I can actually send myself to Gaza, oh shit I might be in Gaza really soon, oh shit GAZA, oh shit homeland, oh shit hot girl+gaza = joy+pain wow wow wow.
Eddie kept changing his mind about going, and didn’t buy his plane ticket till three days before they were due to fly out from Chicago to Cairo.
In Egypt, they waited for five days at the Egypt/Gaza border, camping out, before they were let in. After the delegation’s work in Gaza was done, Lora decided to stay in Gaza for an extra month to do translation work for a human rights organisation. And Eddie decided to stay in Gaza for an extra month to work on what has now become a film project. Their friendship deepened, but Eddie was seeing someone else back home.
Back home, in Chicago, some few months later, Eddie found himself single and things between Lora and Eddie blossomed. Lora had always felt very natural around him. They opened up to each other pretty quickly. Eddie started spending hours working with Lora on her book, making very detailed edit suggestions. He owned land in Taybeh, a village in the West Bank north of Jerusalem, which was very sexy to Lora. Very quickly, within a couple of weeks, Lora knew in her gut that this was for real.
Being with Eddie has taught Lora not to be so neurotic. She calls it “happiness by obligation”.
Lora: If you care about the person you’re with, you soon realize that if you’re sad, it will affect them, and your relationship, and everything. So you have to figure out how to deal with your emotions in a healthier way. I’ve really put emotional stability as a priority because of Eddie.
Eddie has learnt what it feels like to REALLY be listened to for once and it feels great, “I didn’t realise that a relationship could be so easy, but when you really listen to the other person you can really understand them”.
A month after they got together, Lora was accepted to teach English in Paris and after much discussion, Eddie accepted to follow her across the globe a second time. Lora knew she had found someone special and it seemed dumb to drop it for logistical reasons like geography.
And now it’s Lora’s turn to do the following across the globe so she’s following Eddie to the West Bank this April where he wants to make art. For the next two years, they will be between Paris and Palestine. For their anniversary, Lora got Eddie bulbs for flower bushes for him to plant on his land.
Posted by Lina at 4:10 PM