Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 203

certain. She almost felt proud, a burgeoning male ego swelling in a tiny girlish body. He didn’t offer her anything, and Elie knew there was nothing to offer other than tap water, which in Tel Aviv tasted like rancid rainwater. She watched him dig in a drawer, search underneath underwear and faded t-shirts. He pulled out a baggie with something brownish clumped in the corner, then held it up to her as if they were in an operating room and he was showing her an organ that had just been removed. He smiled. They sat on the narrow bed side by side and smoked everything there was to smoke, just a small joint mixed with some tobacco.

As soon as they finished the skinny cigarette, he stuck the roach into an ashtray and then kissed her, peeled off his t-shirt. He lay on his back and that was when Elie saw one of his scars. She gently traced the white-ridged raised worm with her fingertip; so long it was, almost five inches she guessed. He turned around onto his stomach and she saw the other one that crawled up beside his narrow ribcage, all the way to his armpit almost.

‘Hey, how’d you get all these scars?’

The sound of speech broke through the blurry thickness of the afternoon and seemed to almost echo in the tiny apartment. ‘Oh, I got into a fight in Jaffa. There was this girl, see, and some guys were harassing her, so I had to help her. You know, it got a little ugly.’

‘Mmmmhmmm.’

Elie didn’t quite believe him, but it was a halfway decent story, she’d give him credit for that. She didn’t care about the veracity of such a tale, or of anything he said, really. There was nothing she wanted