I Lived

Close up of cigarette butts.It was the summer of Shakira songs. We danced in clubs all over downtown Jerusalem until 4 a.m. and studied biblical Hebrew for six hours in the daytime. I liked that he could conjugate all the hard verbs. He was in a class ahead of me. He smoked Marlboro Reds, so I did too. It was six weeks. I don’t know how I survived. Suicide bombings, falafel stands, two bodies squeezed onto a twin bed. I almost got the Hebrew word for “life” tattooed on my hip when I returned home. But I didn’t. It was enough that I had lived.

 

Emily O. Gravett is a professor at James Madison University. She enjoys cycling, eating ice cream and BBQ, and writing in her “spare” time.

Photo Credit: Franco Dal Molin

 

 

 

 

 

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