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Living the Dream
by Haim Kadman

I was watching the herd with my young brother and several more hands near the main tent, when the master came out raised his arm and summoned me in. I left the herd to my brother and hurried to the main tent.

‘Sit down,’ he said as I stooped at the low entrance and hastened to reach him. ‘I want you to go to Haran tomorrow at dawn, meet my relatives and choose a match for my eldest.’

I couldn’t object of course, but that’s going to be some journey. He realized how I felt right away, it was written all over my face. But I knew it wouldn’t make any difference.

‘It’s time he should raise his own family and repalce me, when I’ll join my ancestors.’

The next morning I set out for Haran riding my donkey with enough provisions and water, after having taken leave of my wives and the rest of my household, and having prayed to my household idols.

It must have been a long journey, I can’t remember how long it took, but I found myself next to the well in Haran just before dusk, tired and thirsty, watching young women filling their jars with water. I was exhausted it seems, I didn’t move I didn’t think – till I made up my mind what to do next, they were gone the lot of them. I’ve lost my chance I thought desperate almost; but there came another one all alone, and she was beautiful, like the full moon at midnight – Ishtar the goddess of feritility in human disguise.

I went over to the well at ease, taking care not to frighten her. As soon as she filled her jar I asked her to let me drink a few drops of water, and right afterwards I asked her name.

‘Rebecca’ she said.

‘What’s your father name Becky?’ I asked her.

She blushed snatched her jar and ran away, vanished...

I forgot my master’s instructions, I wanted her all to myself. ‘Becky!’ I cried out and ran after her, lost my way and woke up perplexed. I was alone in the wide bed and the sun had risen long ago. I went to the kitchen and there she was, not Becky.

‘Coffee,’ she asked.

‘Yes please,’ I replied and sat next to the table, clearing loudly my throat.

‘Who’s Becky?’

‘Oh you mean bechie (weeping in Hebrew), I’d a dreadful dream.’ I hastened to explain. ‘I’m late.’ I added.
‘If it just a dream no harm done. It’s Friday you won’t be late for work, and no boss would get on your nerves. Shall I pour you a second cup?’

‘Sure and make it stonger please. What time is it?’

‘Nine thirty.’

‘I’m going to see my barber.’

What for? You’ve just trimmed your beard last week.’

‘I want to shave it, it’s hot you know.’

‘Do as you please,’ she replied indifferently.

I couldn’t tell her that I wish to look a bit younger for Becky, I thought as I sat opposite the wide looking glass watching my face, under the auspices of my barber.

‘I didn’t expect to see you so soon.’ He remarked a bit worried. ‘Is there anything wrong with…?’

‘Oh no. not at all, I just want you to shave my beard.’

‘But why?’ He asked utterly surprised.

‘I wanna look a bit younger.’

‘And who’s the cause? What’s her name?’

I wasn’t going to betray Becky, not even to my barber. ‘There’s no one, I need a change that’s all.’

‘I’ve ruined my master piece,’ he said as soon as he finished shaving my face.

‘You may frame it for all I care.’ I said and we both had a good laugh.

I watched my new face in the mirror and I haven’t seen much improvement; but anyhow it would surely impress Becky’s fater. I bet he hasn’t seen a shaved face all his life.

‘Yeah, have a good look at your face,’ said my barber. See what a job I did, you look swell and it’s my doing. The moment you’ll leave my joint, you’ll cause a traffice jam.

‘Really,’ I almost laughed in his face. I went out made a few steps, and by God and the idol of my tent, there was a traffic jam in both directions…

Well, but at that hour in my crowded town there’re always traffic jams. I woke up a second time in the same morning. Well that’s life with its ups and downs… I thought amused and headed back home.

Haim Kadman 2007 All rights reserved.