©2018 by Julie Gray. | Proudly created with Wix.com | hello@juliegray.info

I don't remember exactly when I started referring to Gidon as my LLB, or Loving Life Buddy, but the term stuck and my Loving Life Buddy and I have had many adventures together. This is but a few. 

Went camping in what we found in the out very early hours of the morning was an off limits demilitarized zone. 

Heard the jackals chattering very near to our campsite in the off limits demilitarized zone.

Damaged the oil pan in the car and had to get towed out of the demilitarized zone. 

Almost got separated from each other on the 42nd Street subway in New York.

Fell through the same cattle grate at the same time. At night. In the Golan Heights. 

Went to a demonstration against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

Went to a peace rally on Independence/Naqba Day. 

Hid in our bomb shelter.

Stayed in bed and decided not to hide in the bomb shelter.

Got busted having a cookout where you’re not supposed to have cookouts.

Went swimming in the Mediterranean and treated jellyfish stings. 

Sat in a hospital waiting room for nine hours. 

Traveled to: California, New York and Prague. 

Ran red lights.

Gotten very many parking tickets.

Binge watched several Netflix series.

Wrote a book together. 

The Adventures of My Loving Life Buddy as told on Facebook

That time my Loving Life Buddy complained (rightly) that I make a big mess out of the refrigerator, so he spent a bunch of time organizing it and I, thinking this quite hilarious, secretly planted a spoon, an empty plastic cup and a bunch of rubber bands in there and my LLB simply sighed and removed the random items. 

*********


So LLB is like what did you do today because I did the laundry, made order in the fridge and vacuumed. Oh yeah and then later I spoke on the phone to the grandson of Golda Meir. WAIT WHAT? How did you even - oh I just called the kibbutz where she lived in like 1928 and then was like oh okay so what's her grandson's name and they go oh here's his name but his number is private so LLB just calls information, gets the number and phones up and he's all like I think that book about your grandmother was pretty great, and the grandson is like yes, she was really unique and they talk for another 10 minutes about politics and stuff and I'm like WAIT WHAT?  

*********


I made curry last night and LLB, who is an avowed Bland Foodist not only liked it, he had seconds. We have a lot of leftovers and tonight when I suggested the curry or something else, LLB said he wants the curry and of course I had to be a jerk and say WHAT, SAY THAT AGAIN and LLB sticks out his tongue and mimics me "mmeee mee mee mee mee?" omg he cracks me up.

*********


I come home from my office today and LLB says: I have something to tell you. I freeze - yes? Is it heart pain? OMG what is it? I watched the Tour de France today on television and FRANCE IS SO BEAUTIFUL. Relief. Yes, I say, it is (though I have never ventured beyond Paris). I smile, phew, yes, France is beautiful. I go to my salon and put my things away. I hear my LLB say softly to himself Tour de France. Tourdefrance. Tour. De. France.

*********


Today my LLB and I got busted listening to each other's hearts with the vet's stethoscope when she stepped out of the office for a second. We FREAKED OUT like we were in big trouble, but apparently this is not an unusual occurrence.

*********

 

My LLB drops me off at the bank today so I can take care of some super boring, laborious bank business and he goes about his own errands. I'm stymied at every turn, waiting in lines, taking a number - another number - sitting - and about 20 minutes into this, my LLB strides - well, no he really shuffles, to be honest, he's 84! - into the bank. He was just checking to see how it was going for me. Upon discovering it was not going well, he shuffled up to one of the bankers and gave her h-e-double-toothpicks in Hebrew and voila - I got the help that I needed. And then, like a true knight in shining armor (er, turquoise tee-shirt, shorts and Crocs - it's summer!) he shuffled back off to do his own errands because that's how my LLB rolls. #truelove

*********

 

 My LLB and I were at gas station in a small, rural Northern California town getting coffee, and LLB's Israeli card wouldn't work. So I explained where we live and the guy said (very merrily, I will add) "Don't you all pay with gold and diamonds there?" I was floored.

*********

 

Weirdly Specific Couple Argument - Me: I'm just asking you to clarify where you were stationed in the Six Day War! LLB: You can look it up! I've told you a thousand times, Golan! Me: You realize this is a weird argument, right??! LLB: Well, I've told you many times! Me: This is for your book, you realize that, right?! LLB: Don't play that card!! Etc.

*********


I am standing in the middle of the mattress in my pj's, hair a wild mess. My Loving Life Buddy™ is nearby, in his underpants. He looks like Albert Einstein, with his white hair tussled. We look at the ceiling, silently, grimly. LLB holds a fly swatter. Somewhere, there is a mosquito. The one that gorged on us last night. THERE! No. THERE! Missed it. THERE! No. Minutes creep by and our quarry is nowhere in sight. Finally, I decide that this California girl needs a cup of coffee. I head to the kitchen, leaving my Loving Life Buddy alone, in his skivvies with the fly swatter, looking ridiculous in his underpants. He is implacable. SMACK. Got him! Everyone should be so lucky to have a Loving LIfe Buddy. #love #soulmates#deadmosquito

*********


Loving Life Buddy and I spent the day in Jerusalem, visiting our respective dear friends. He picks me up, we head back home and only a couple of blocks from our house, we pass yet another pro-Bibi billboard and LLB says "I'm going there at midnight and writing something on it." On the billboard? I say. "Yes." Ha ha that's hilarious, I say. "Where can I get spray paint," LLB continues. You can't be serious, I say. "Do you think I should use red or black?" he says. Well - what are you planning to write? "Bibi go home." Do you realize that if you get caught, you'll get in big trouble? "Yes." 

*********


As you know, last evening my very heart, my Loving Life Buddy, who is 84 scared us all. Ambulance ride to the ER with chest pains. Loads of tests, hours of waiting, buckets of tears and wonder at all the suffering around us. They wanted to admit him but he refused. The Dr. beseeched me to persuade him to check in but my LLB looked at me with something like panic in his eyes. "Let me go home." And so we left. Who am I to tell someone I love they can't sleep, recover or maybe even die in his own bed? Today my Loving Life Buddy is told he is ok but that he has a condition called "elderly " and that he should carry on as he wishes. 💖 Thank you for your love and support. Today he has already delivered flowers, fixed a frying pan handle, gone to the doctor and shopped for food. This is my LLB "laying low"

*********

 

So my Loving Life Buddy, who turns 84 in March, delivers flowers for three brothers who own three different flower shops in our neighborhood. The three brothers, Yitzhak, Yankele and Avram, who honestly appear to be triplets, do not speak to each other. LLB does not need the money, strictly speaking, and the work is intermittent. But he loves the theater of it. The average volume of a conversation between LLB and any of the brothers, as flowers are shoved in his car window and money thrust in after it, is at least 11. I know, because I sometimes go with my LLB to help. In Hebrew, these passionate, hurried, double-parked arguments happen at every hand-off. WHERE? THAT'S TOO FAR! THAT'S NOT ENOUGH PAY! YES IT IS! NO IT'S NOT! YOU GAVE THE WRONG ADDRESS LAST TIME! NO I DID NOT! YES YOU DID! YOU OWE ME TEN MORE SHEKELS!! And off we go, with a carload of bouquets and plants rustling in the backseat. LLB drives serenely and pretty expertly, through the maze-like streets of Bnei Brak, which is where he usually delivers. The shouting is part of the ritual. He loves this job.

*********

 

Gidon is discovering, with my help, how to use the voice recognition on Google, so he can look stuff up for the book. I hear him, in the other room say "okay." (pause) "okay." (pause) "who wrote the book" (pause) "okay." I go to see what he's doing and he's on the right track but just needed to say "author of Robinson Crusoe." (the book, so tellingly, that inspired him as a child; he read it in Czech!) So he does it correctly, and Google displays the answer (Defoe) and Loving Life Buddy pushes the microphone again and says "thank you." and I don't know why but this made me feel like weeping.