Aqaba, Jordan glitters in the Dead Sea. The water looks like oil bubbling in a frying pan. A faint row of silver lights hovers in the mountains above the city, like an alien space ship too afraid to land.
Hebrew words are being spoke in a sing-songy intonation. Someone is having a playful fight. Light family drama, from what I can tell. A comedy of (no) manners.
The electric hum of a passing golf cart interrupts the conversation. Resort patrons must be taken to their rooms in the utmost of comfort. A cat darts from corner to corner, rubbing herself against anything she can find, as if modeling. A woman coughs.
My hands stings from chlorine. I'm reminded of all of the pools in which I've lounged today, trying to not think about what I'm leaving and what's going to happen next. If my thoughts listened to the scent, they would take an anti-depressant. This is the scent of waterslides, of manufactured aquatic entertainment, of leisure industries.
There's a thought about work, delete it. Press the space bar and get to the next sentence. Drink some water, feel how cold it is in your warm body. Dab a finger in the rich chocolate spread you bought instead of Nutella -- which had the import tax. Maybe read Haaretz. No, don't read Haaretz.
Pretend the sights around you are actually teaching you something. Egyptian border is a mile away, that's inherently interesting. How many cars go through every day? What kind of security is there? Isn't it strange to even think about Egypt?
Today, a camel came into your life. That was weird, huh? Just waltzed in with her cartoonishly large eyelashes and let you sit on her like it was nbd. She was cool with being your slow-moving car for 10 minutes. She had to scratch herself because the flies LOVE camel skin, so it kind of felt like driving a car during an earthquake, but still. Range Rovers can't scale mountains the way a camel can.
Then you sat in a bedouin tent and drank a Coke. Dabbed a warm floppy pita in a bowl of zatar and olive oil. Tried to make small talk with a man wearing a turban, but he was busy playing with his iPhone 5. The waiter was shy, maybe gay? You stared at the oriental rugs on the walls, trying to not be distracted by the sounds of traffic. The store was half-indoors, half roof-less. Just you, a couch, a road, some pita and a coke.
The headache is back. The heartburn will come. The coughing has started. The allergies will strike. But right now it's peaceful anyway. Jordan's still shimmering. The vast expanse of Saudi Arabia is barely out of your field of vision. Warm air from the Sinai is here. If you know what's good for you, you'll breathe it.