The Friendship Artist

Self is halfway through The Art of Leaving. She has been through the most gut-wrenching pages, and has learned from goodreads reviews that the author settles down, marries, has kids, becomes middle-class, content, blah blah blah. Therefore, self thinks it is *safe* enough for her to continue reading.

After the good Israeli boy who she dumped three times, (the last time in Miami, hope he doesn’t read this book), Tsabari has further affairs, one with a beautiful Italian woman, and another with a Canadian tourist she meets while backpacking around India. They travel together for two months, write, and she follows him to Vancouver. They get married (she needs a visa to stay in Canada). Alas, the marriage is short-lived, but Tsabari lands on her feet, like so:

  • I was wandering the streets of Vancouver searching for a reason to stay. I had just turned twenty-nine. Anand and I had broken up over a year earlier, and for the first few months, despite being broke and homeless, sleeping on friends’ couches, and living off damaged vegetables and expired dairy products, I was the happiest I’d been in years . . . I met Lydia at a belly dancing class in the community center.

This is what self finds so impressive about Tsabari: She never runs out of friends. In any country and in any city — whether it is Tel Aviv, Goa, New Delhi, New York, Los Angeles or Vancouver — there is always a friend ready to lend Tsabari her couch. And Tsabari spends a lot of time on different couches around the world. If it’s not a couch, it’s a rundown motel, where she makes love with her partner of the moment while cockroaches (sometimes rats) skitter across the ceiling. Sometimes, instead of cockroaches or rats, there are monkeys.

What a woman! Charging ahead, all systems go!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Ayelet Tsabari’s Super-Eventful Life

Ayelet Tsabari fights with everybody (It’s her specialty) but gives in to her best friend’s dad, then turns right around and breaks her “good” boyfriend’s heart by cheating on him, then decides to leave Israel for New York. In New York, where she manages to live despite being jobless, she reflects:

  • Before I left Israel, a friend made me a mixed tape full of songs about home, about leaving and returning: “Homeward Bound” by Simong & Garfunkel, “She’s Leaving Home” by the Beatles. I walk through the city listening to it on my Walkman, and I think of the life I had just a few months ago, the little house on the kibbutz, the boyfriend, the dog. I replay how I messed it all up, contemplate the many instances when I could have saved it if I’d tried. And some days it hurts so fucking much I think it might be possible to die of a broken heart after all.

Really? The self-pity after she cheated on her bf, he took her back, she cheated again with the same guy, then broke up with her bf and ran to that guy, and that guy disappeared. But she gets to do a lot of intense writing, which became a book! So good for her!

Of course she has to bring up how much she misses her father. Of course.

Later the old boyfriend shows up in New York, he’s bought an old Buick for seven hundred dollars, he’s going cross-country, he’s going ahead with a trip they’d originally planned — before she broke up with him — to take together. She spends the whole night crying in his arms; he lets her cry and doesn’t speak. He takes her to see his aunt in BROOKLYN OH. MY. GOD. Tsabari congratulates herself for being so well-behaved in front of the aunt. It is truly, truly all about herself.

The old boyfriend allows her to hitch a ride with him to Canada. They’re fully platonic (the guy is very respectful), but in Toronto he goes on a date with a Canadian girl, leaving her “to watch TV alone in our grim motel room.”

Self wants to sympathize, she really does.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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