A few days after Valentines Day, I told my my mother I was going to Israel in less than two weeks. She said, let me get a pill and sit down.
You ever have one of those weeks?
One. Of. Those. Weeks.
It went better than expected, though. She didn't scream at me, or cry.
She did tell me I was out of my mind, and at one moment she asked me why I was insisting on going to Hell. Why?
Needless to say my mother doesn't think my free trip to Israel is a good thing.
"I have avoided Jews for 99% of my life," she said at somepoint,"why are you doing this?"
Later that evening, when I knew she and my sister were together having coffee, I wrote a text message to my sister, who has known about my plan all along.
"Tell Mom it's gonna be ok."
Less than one minute later I received:
"Mom says, 'F U'."
Like I say, it could have been worse.
I was texting them in the car, which no one should do by the way, on my way to a potluck for which I cooked far too much Cous Cous. But, before I shared my rushed cooking with an army of Jewish theater makers, I had to make a quick stop at the Manhattan Church of Christ. I had to see a man about some songs.
Mr. Rainbow lives above the bar where I work. Mr. Rainbow is a balladeer who wears a derby and the very beginnings of Alzheimer's. He is a fashionable old man who still "has it." He remembers me when he comes to find me at work, but other than that, it's a crap shoot.
I got to his church and said hello to him before he went on. It took a while for him to remember who I was, but once he did, he got up and made an announcement that I was in the house, that I promised, and that I made it.
The first song he sang was My Funny Valentine by Rodgers and Hart.
Thanks, Mr. Rainbow, I needed that.
If you can ever catch Mr. Rainbow, I would, he plays out quite a bit.
And, if you can convince my mom I'm not gonna die in Israel, I would really appreciate it.