If you really want honesty, fuck someone on the spectrum.
Tel Aviv,Tel Aviv.
A city of heart openings and bodily functions. Of neon synagogues and The Call To Prayer. With her mafia of cats and urine seeped streets, Tel Aviv is the base chakra of the Middle East. A toughened mass of humanity, ghettoised into karmic lessons of wholesale love, Tel Aviv performs Sodom and Gomorrah, behind a defiant human interface of survival.
Her sullen maidens and P.T.S.D heirs, flaunt their millennial consciousness with neurotic, Judaic flair, apparent in the O.C.D. over- supply of vegans. Toothless grandmothers shop at markets, bargaining with ration day intent. Trafficked African immigrants share the streets with tantric life-coaches, Muslims sell merchandise to Jews. The Bedouin and Druze appear, like occasional pop-ups, contributing their cuisine and head-dress as offerings to the complexity of life.
This is a city of Russians, Somalians, Eritreans and Bukharians. Of curious Germans and Sephardic Princesses. Of more Sudanese and Ethiopian beauty than one’s eyes can bear witness to. Of the under-cover machine gun and occasional krocodil addict, writhing in the throes of withdrawal.
It is a city of abused Bauhausian architecture hugging handicapped air-conditioning, of corruption so systemic, that slums have sprung up, like Brazilian favelas, within the sightline of the French. Streets are cleaned, if the Mayor is in the mood, and in some of these parts, there is no guarantee of a bomb shelter you can get to fast enough.
The graffiti is almost idolatrous, mocking the meek religiosity of the town in parts, outdoing Banksy in its pretence in others. There is a perfumed sexiness that electrocutes the air with promiscuity, drink and fun. The streets are “on”, even when deserted, and her cruising speed is appetite-suppressant calm. For a people unaccustomed to joy, you have to give them points for the party.On any given night, and EVERY given night someone, somewhere will be dancing. Someone, somewhere will be flirting, and something, somewhere will make you remember God.
For there is a hinted recovery, in her home-spun denizens, not yet integrated, but felt and on her way and, unlike Jerusalem, the cranky older sibling, Tel Aviv’s God is a gentle reminder that you are being invisibly watched and watched over.
She may be the Bible on pause or Warsaw with a water supply. She may simply be the relief that at least you are not in Jerusalem, but Tel Aviv takes herself seriously and she is refusing to be left behind.