Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Bum

This weekend, driving back to Tel Aviv with the doctor, he asks about my family:

- Why do they hate you?
- They hate the idea of me.
- What idea?
- I don't collect money, things, fame, or even people around me.
- Why do they care?
- They care.
- It's fun to have a bum in the family. That's how they should look at it.
- They can't. Their lives are too insecure to play with fundamental things.
- What fundamental things?
- Family. Work. When you and me talk we don't get anywhere. You don't have time, or rather, don't want to concentrate. You want to relax. Work and family are managed on practical principles. What they are in themselves, good or bad, is not in question.
- Should they be?
- Yes. Not to be dismissed, to move forward, improve.
- Very idealistic of you.
- My family doesn't feel secure.
- Why not?
- They can't rely on rituals. We're strangers, but I'd guess, judging from your formality, for you every sight of your colleagues is a reflection of your practicality, your wife and children a reminder of your love. That can get a little tiring. A conversation with someone different can be fun. But if your business is insecure, if members of family are under constant threat of expulsion, there's little time or place for playing with fundamental things.
- But people love to play.
- They love to escape, distract themselves from their worries.
- And you say I am distracting myself from boredom. Is that right?
- That's right.
- You are really a rather interesting guest.
- I'm fun.