A few days ago I called a taxi. The driver appeared to be a sixty-plus-year-old, driving confidently and was looking for a chat. As he ran his mouth off, I nodded and smiled with my eyes while calculating my time of arrival. Since I have terrible time management skills and zero time-distance perception, I'm chronically late to most things. Although in this case, to my surprise, I was running ahead of schedule. I took a deep breath under my mask. I don't get to relax much in taxis.
"The drivers in this country are crazy," the driver snapped into an intense commentary, "Everyone thinks they own the road. Hitting the horn non-stop, as if it was a toy. No indication - oh here, you see - where's the indicator? Fool. And if you say anything, they yell at you and wave their hands like they're gonna kill you and your mother—scary stuff. On the road you don't sleep, ma'am, the road is for driving! Look at this intersection, how do they cut in like this? What a mess."
As I listened half-heartedly to the Israeli driver's constructive criticism of the Israeli driver, I received a message about a confirmed Covid case, someone I knew in my parents' neighbourhood. My head went elsewhere. But the driver continued with his critique until interrupted by a wayward vehicle.
He braked in surprise, hit the horn, hooted and honked the most pleasant melody. Before I got to enjoy the powerful piece, he leaned half his body out the window, his left hand waving angrily at the Mazda in the next lane, "Look where you're turning, you parasite!"
Trying not to laugh, I recalled a similar incident that took place this year. It happened at the beginning of it, when things were open, and life happened, more or less, on a daily basis. I was sitting in a cafe smoking a cigarette when some guy passed by my table, glanced at me and made an approach. My arrogance and I thought he was coming to hit on us, and I was already establishing whether today I would be lesbian, married or both. To my disappointment, he leaned over and whispered assuredly, "You know, cigarettes are bad for the environment."
How kind. I thanked him from the bottom of my cold heart for stealing a moment of his time and providing me with his eternal wisdom. Satisfied with himself, he walked away, pressed a button on his car key and a bulky 4X4 Mercedes standing in the driveway began to flicker in smug flashes for the sake of being seen. My cigarette trembled at the sight of it and dropped into the ashtray, playing dead.
For the New Year, I wish you not to pay attention to others' mistakes. Everyone makes them, but most of us won't notice when it's our own. Mistakes are such a wonderful thing that it would be a shame to overlook them when they happen.
I wish you a wonderful year in which you'll make huge, dangerous and outrageous mistakes, and that they'll be entirely yours. The best mistakes are born when one goes out and lives, not locked away in a house against one's will and prevented from aspiring and creating. So when all this nonsense of lockdowns and mutations is behind us, go out again, make big mistakes, learn from them and take them with you into next year. I wish for you to appreciate them for what they are - a sign that you're doing new things, and in general, a sign that you're doing something—happy New Year, at last.
I know it's late, I've already said I'm chronically late—stop yelling at me.