Home

|

Site Map


Curiosity Trip

 

By Tomer Livne

 

 

 

 

Opening scene

 

Copenhagen airport, at a counter of one of the bars sits a young man in his late twenties; a large beer glass sits in front of him, half empty. A close-up on him indicates that it is not his first one.

 

Intercom call:

This is the last call for all the passengers of flight number a66f to Sydney Australia leaving from gate a12.

 

As the announcement is heard he takes another long sip from the glass and stands up. Looking around he assures himself of the way and starts walking toward the gate. Now we can tell by his walk that he is not drank. There are only a few people at the gate. He puts his handbag down for inspection, and hands over the ticket.

 

 

Second scene

 

Tomer enters the almost-full plane and finds his seat, It is an aisle seat, and after putting his luggage in the cabin he sits down. Leaning back, he closes his eyes, and waits without moving. The Ďfasten your seat-beltsí sign lights up and he opens his eyes and does so. He adjusts himself in order to find a more comfortable position in his chair. He starts to look around, looking left he notices his neighbors, two elderly women talking among themselves They smile at him and he smiles back, he nods his head and turns his eyes forward. A stewardess walks along the aisle checking the passengers sit belts, she gives him a smile and walk on. The usual explanation lecture is given, emergency exits, movies, music, no electronic devices and so on. He takes the headphones out of the chair pocket in front of him, plugging it in he finds a station that satisfy him, he closes his eyes again and feels the plane starting to move.

After about fifteen minutes the drinks cart arrives.

 

Ann (the stewardess):

Would you like something to drink?

 

It is the same girl that he noticed before.

 

Tomer:

Scotch and orange juice please.

With a smile he adds:

Not mixed of course.

 

Ann (while getting his drinks):

Are you Tomer Livne, the author?

 

Tomer (with a look of absolute amazement on his face):

Yes, how did you know that?

 

Ann:

I read a story by you, ĎThe Skyí, it was beautiful, and I saw your name on the special meals list, so I took a guess.

 

Tomer:

Thanks, glad you liked it, and even gladder that you told me.

 

Ann:

Well, I have to go on, but if youíd like to we can continue this conversation later.

 

Tomer:

Yes, that would be great.

She leaves and he opens the bottle, pours its contents into a glass and starts drinking.

 

Suzy (the old lady in the seat next to Tomer):

Excuse me, I couldnít help over hearing, are you a famous writer, I didnít catch your name.

 

Tomer:

Thatís because we havenít been introduced, Iím Tomer, but Iíll be very surprised if you have ever read something Iíve written.

Suzy:

And why is that?

 

Tomer:

Because Iíve published only two short stories so far, and they didnít get a lot of attention.

He smiles, and takes another sip of his glass.

 

Suzy:

Well, Iím Suzy, and this is Carol.

Tomer:

Itís nice to meet both of you.

 

Intercom announcement:

Ladies and gentlemen, in a few minutes we will start screening the movie ĎWhat Women Wantí. You can listen to it on channel 7 with your headphonesĒ

Smiling to his neighbors, Tomer puts his headphones back on and looks toward the screen. He is actually listening to music and pays no attention to the film.

 

Ann, the stewardess, approaches him, having noticed what has happened, and leans toward him, saying in a low voice:

There are empty chairs in the back; itís a bit quieter.

 

Tomer:

Thanks.

 

Ann:

Come with me.

 

He stands up and leaves his luggage where it was, then smiles again to his ex-neighbors and follows her. He sits down in an empty row.

 

Tomer:

Ann, right?

 

Ann:

Yes, thatís my name.

 

Tomer:

Thanks. So youíve read my story, and liked it. This is something that doesnít happen every day.

 

Ann:

Iím terribly sorry, but I have to go back to work now, but Iíve got a break coming on shortly. If youíd like, I can come and weíll have a talk, I know Iíd like to.

 

Tomer:

Iíll be glad if you did that, and thanks again.

 

She walks away and he takes out a new pair of headphones and plugs it in, he reclines his chair and closes his eyes.

A refreshment cart passes by, but he is indifferent, not wanting anything to eat. He takes the last sip of his whiskey glass, which he brought with him from his old seat.

 

Half an hour later, Ann returns.

 

Ann:

May I join you?

 

Tomer:

Sure.

 

Ann:

You canít imagine how much Iíve wanted to meet you, since I read ĎThe Skyí, and here you are.

 

Tomer:

Yes, here I am.

A somewhat bitter expression appears on his face, but quickly he adds:

So tell me something about yourself, so weíll be equal. You know Iím someone who is pretending to be a writer, and you might have read my short biography, that was in the book as well, what about you?

 

Ann:

I donít know what to tell. I come from Sydney, Iíve been working at this job for six months now, saving up money for the university. Iím planning on studying law, thatís it actually.

 

Tomer:

Iím sure thereís more to you than that.

 

Ann:

Yes, but thatís enough, I havenít got any adventures so far worth mentioning.

 

Tomer:

(Perhaps trying to be polite). Is it a good job, then?

 

Ann:

Itís not an easy job, but it pays well, and now Iíve even got to meet you, I obviously canít complain, so tell me what brings you to Australia? Pleasure, or maybe business, research for your next book?

 

Tomer:

Neither, itís a curiosity trip.

 

Ann:

What exactly is a curiosity trip, if I may ask?

 

Tomer:

Thatís a long story, and I wouldnít like to bore you with it.

 

Ann:

Try me, you know Iím a fan.

 

Tomer:

I wish I could just decline by saying that Iím not talented in telling stories, but since Iím trying to make a living out of it, and since you liked my story, Iíll start. But if you get bored with it just say so, or even if you have to go back to work, I wonít be offended.

 

Ann:

Go on, Iíd really like to know what a curiosity trip is, and if itís a long story start at the beginning.

 

Tomer:

Are you sure? Ok then, sit back andÖwell, I wanted to say enjoy, but many people get angry as they hear about the following events, so judge for yourself.

Three years ago I went on a trip in my summer break from university. The plan was to spend all three months getting to know Scandinavia, but after six weeks I needed a change, so I headed off to see the rest of Europe. Finally, I took a ferry to England, intending to continue straight to Ireland. However, the ferry got delayed and I missed the bus, but I didnít want to stay in England, so I took the bus to Edinburgh.

Since I had had enough of buses by that time, I couldnít sleep at all, and you must believe me, I was exhausted, I havenít had more than ten hours sleep in more then a week altogether.

I knew there were many hostels in Edinburgh, but a few people Iíd met along the way recommended one particular place, ĎHigh Street Hostelí, and thatís where Iíd decided to go

Now, you must understand, Iíd been on the road for more than forty eight hours without a stop, some of it on a ferry. It had started to show, yes I wasnít very clean, my eyes were dead red, but still, I was determined to go to the most remote hostel from the station.

 

Fade out.

 

 

Third scene

 

We see Tomer walking in a faint rain, with an enormous backpack on. He looks in his guidebook constantly and makes mistakes repeatedly, which forces him to back track.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

As always, I couldnít find my way through the city, so I just wandered until I found the place.

 

Ann (laughing):

Iím sorry, but I canít help myself.

 

Tomer:

Thatís fine, thatís the right spirit to deal with this situation, but all I had in mind then was a hot shower.

 

Ann:

AndÖ

 

Tomer:

Finally I got there, my head was numb and I could hardly communicate.

 

Fade out.

 

We see the entrance of the hostel, and Tomer walking in

 

Girl in reception:

Hi, can I help you?

 

Tomer (shaking his head to get his mind straight):

Oh yeah, Iíd like a bed please.

 

Girl in reception:

No problem, but check-in time is ten oíclock

 

Tomer:

Fine, by the way what is the time now?

 

Girl in reception:

Ten to eight. You can leave your things here till then and register in the meantime. How many nights are you planning to stay with us?

 

Tomer:

No idea, Iím taking one night at a time.

 

Girl in reception:

Here, just fill in the details in the book.

 

Tomer fills in the details with some difficulty, due to his tiredness. He finds out that he has to fill in his passport number and so he puts down his bags, pulls out his money belt and starts looking for the passport without success. With a puzzled look, he reaches inside his backpack and finds it.

 

Tomer:

Ok, I filled it all.

 

Girl in reception:

Great, thatís your card, show it when you come in, now you can go and rest in the lounge until ten.

 

Tomer:

Thanks. Is there a possibility of taking a shower or something? I really need one.

 

Girl in reception:

Sure, thereís a shower on every floor.

 

Tomer:

Thanks again.

 

He goes and finds the room filled with people and luggage. Putting down his packs in a corner, he starts looking for clean clothes and shower equipment. Then, he goes to have a shower. He returns to the lounge clean and shaved, but his eyes show how tired he really is.

 

A guy in a kilt:

Are you coming with us? The bus is leaving in five minutes.

 

Tomer:

Where to? Ah no, I donít think so.

 

A guy in a kilt:

Fine, go and get some rest man, you look almost dead.

 

Virtually everyone in the room grabs their things and leaves with the guy. Tomer finds a sofa and drops onto it, his eyes shutting almost instantly. But, after a short while he gets up and goes to the reception

 

Tomer:

Would it be ok if Iíll leave my stuff here and take a walk till check in?

 

Reception girl:

No problem, see you.

 

Tomer (sort of smiling):

Bye.

 

Now, we see Tomer walking through the streets of Edinburgh.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

I walked aimlessly until I got to the tourist information center, and went in to use an internet stand to check my mail, it was a smart idea first of all because I had lots of letters waiting for me and also because it took me almost an hour to read it and send some answers.

Then, I had something for breakfast, and decided to go back to the hostel.

Once again I passed by the old cathedral with all the tour advertisements in front of it. Feeling more refreshed this time, I decided to have a closer look. The Horror Tour, The Black Knight Tour, and The Witchcraft TourÖand then I knew, I knew what it was that Iíd felt since Iíd arrived here. This was ĎThe Ravení Ė my favorite poem, my favorite film. I could feel it all around me. The light came back to my eyes; and I no longer felt tired.

Itís not like I had a premonition of some sort. It was just like suddenly waking up and finding yourself inside a wonderful dream that you used to have as a kid.

 

Back in the plane:

 

Tomer:

Well what do you say Ann? Is my story, so far, worth spending your break on?

 

Ann:

Actually, Iíve got no idea where youíre going with it but do keep going. If I get bored, Iíll let you know, donít worry.

 

Back inside the hostel, down in the pool/TV/dining room. Tomer is siting on one of the sofas reading a book, On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Slowly, the room starts to fill up with people. Some are going toward the kitchen, while others sit down on the sofas and chairs. All around people are talking. Tomer closes his book and looks around. He sees a girl looking at him. She speaks.

 

Diane:

Hi, just arrived?

 

Tomer:

Yes, earlier today.

 

Diane:

A long termer, or just passing by?

 

Tomer:

Just passing by, I guess, but you can never knowÖ

 

Diane:

Where from?

 

Tomer:

Originally Israel, but Iíve been travelling through Europe for the last couple of months.

Have you been here for a long time?

 

Diane:

Yes, this has been home for me for the last four months.

I came here for a few days break from my job in London, fell in love with the place, and decided to stay.

 

Dave:

Hi Diane, weíve got new help?

 

Diane:

No, he is a real traveler, one who doesnít stay long anywhere.

 

Dave:

Is that right, youíd better run before you get caught up in Edinburghís magic. Hi, Iím Dave.

 

Tomer:

Tomer, hi. So for how long have you been imprisoned here?

 

Dave:

Seven month, mate. I canít leave this town for more than three days, believe me, Iíve tried.

 

Diane:

Tell me Tomer, where have you been before?

 

Tomer:

I came here straight from the Netherlands, on a bus, so if I look washed out thatís the reason.

 

Dave:

The Netherlands you sayÖgot some candy with you?

 

Tomer:

Funny you mention this, I was just wondering where a guy can chill out without any disturbances.

I assume that I canít just roll one here, can I?

 

Diane:

The easiest thing to do is to go behind the hostel. There is a staircase you can sit on, or if youíre in the mood for a more special environment, you can go down to the old churchyard. Itís close and youíve got benches there to sit on. No one will disturb you there.

 

Tomer:

Thanks, Iíll check it out later. And, if youíre here, youíre welcome to join me. Iíve got enough with me.

 

Dave:

Thanks, it has been a while since we had some really good shit here.

 

Diane:

At least, of the smoking kind.

 

Tomer:

Itís not brilliant, but itís kind of good.

 

Diane:

What are you reading there?

 

Tomer hands the book over to her.

 

Diane:

Is it any good? Some of the others have read it and recommended it, but I never got to reading it.

 

Tomer:

Yes, itís a bit like talking to an insane person, but itís quite good.

 

Now we see Tomer in the dorm, alone, he opens his bag and takes out a small plastic bag. He opens it and takes out a tooth paste container. He opens it at the back and pulls out a carefully rolled pack covered with toothpaste all over it. After cleaning the package, he unrolls it and takes out a bag full of weed. Taking papers and a filter, he rolls a joint on a CD case.

 

Behind the building, Tomer sits on the staircase and lights up his joint. After a few seconds, he makes a distorted face and starts smelling his joint. A moment later, he shrugs and continues smoking.

 

Back inside the poolroom the music is playing loudly and everyone is talking. Tomer walks in and sits on a chair near one of the tables. He nods his head to the people he had already met.

 

Dave:

Hey man, do you play?

 

Tomer:

Whatís the game?

 

Jane:

Its called ass-hole, know it?

 

Tomer:

No, but I can learn.

 

Jane:

Join in. I was just about to explain it to the others.

 

Tomer goes and sits down on a sofa and listens while Jane introduces everybody and explains the game rules. The game begins, Tomer is doing quite well at first, then he says...

 

Tomer:

I think Iíve actually played this game before. Someone taught it to me with slightly different rules and a completely different name.

 

Dave:

Yes, it makes sense. It was too good to be beginners luck.

 

The game goes on, the conversation in the room starts to get louder. Someone reactivates the juke box. Radiohead is playing ĎParanoid Androidí. Zooming in on Tomer, we see that he begins to lose the game. The conversation dies down slowly and people start to leave. Tomer lights up a cigarette and lays his head back. Someone is sitting next to him, he turns his head and smiles at her.

 

Amanda:

Hi.

 

Tomer:

Hi.

 

Amanda:

Youíre new here right, Iím Amanda.

 

Tomer:

Hi Amanda, Iím Tomer. You sound like a long termer, how long have you been here, if I may ask?

 

Amanda:

On and off, itís been eleven months since I first came here, but now itís over. In four days time, Iím going back home.

 

Tomer:

And, whereís home?

 

Amanda:

Sydney.

 

Tomer:

Like in, Sydney, Australia?

 

Amanda:

Yes exactly like that, and where do you come from?

 

Tomer:

Israel.

 

Amanda:

I think Iíve heard of it. So what are you doing here, summer vacation or something?

 

Tomer:

Yes, a short break from my real life.

 

Amanda:

Is it so intense that you need a break from it?

 

Tomer:

No, not really, but I needed a change. At least for a short while.

So whatís waiting for you back home, in Sydney Australia?

 

Amanda:

I guess itís time I started my own real life, which is why Iím going back.

Probably university or something like that.

 

Tomer:

Got any chosen path you want to take? Something you really want to study?

 

Amanda:

Yes, Iíd like to do my masters degree in human resources, Iíve been studying education, and Iíve specialized in work with children that had experienced some trauma.

 

Tomer:

Nice. Want to make the world a better place, do you?

 

Amanda:

Actually I do.

 

Tomer:

Donít get offended, I meant it in a good sense, I really did.

 

Amanda:

What about you, what is real life for you?

 

Tomer:

Iím studying, Iíve just finished my first year, been studying literature.

 

Amanda:

Wow, a novelist to be, have you written something I might have read?

 

Tomer:

No, unless you have looked trough my drawers, which are empty as a matter of fact.

 

Diana hands over a plastic bag filled with pills:

Children of the night, some yellow candies? Tomer you must try one, itís natural and its free.

 

Tomer takes one pill and passes the bag over to Amanda:

If I must then I will, thanks.

 

Amanda (facing tomer):

What about a game of pool?

 

Tomer:

Letís go, but Iím not very good, unless I get lucky.

 

Amanda:

Get lucky?

 

Tomer:

Yes, sometimes the balls just get inside the pockets from the most absurd shots.

Do you play well?

 

Amanda:

Not bad if I may say so.

 

Tomer:

Go ahead. Break the table.

 

The game begins. When it comes to Tomerís turn, he holds the cue in a strange way. When he hits the white ball, it gets stranger as the appropriate balls fly into the pockets.

 

Dave:

Holy shit, Amanda I think youíve been hustled.

 

Amanda:

Yeah, me too.

 

Tomer:

No, itís just luck, you can see Iím not really aiming.

 

The game ends when Amanda accidentally pockets the black ball.

 

Amanda:

Unfucking believable, itís the first time in more than two months that I lost a game.

 

Tomer:

Sorry, shall we try another one? Maybe my luck has run out.

 

Dave:

Letís play doubles. Jane, will you do me the honour?

 

Jane:

Sure, lets get our asses kicked.

 

Tomer:

Amanda, are you with me?

 

Amanda:

Itís better than being against you.

 

Jane:

Tomer, youíll break, I have to see that.

 

Tomer:

Stop, youíre making me blush.

 

The game begins, trick shots are all over the table,

 

Tomer lights a cigarette, and when it is his turn again he says:

I think Iím a bit over my head, I canít compete with that.

 

Dave:

Shut up and play, we canít be fooled twice.

 

The game goes on and almost every face in the room is focused on the table. After every shot people cry and cheer, eventually the game ends.

 

Tomer (to his game partners):

Someone for some imported candies?

 

Dave:

Amsterdam style?

 

Tomer:

Rotterdam as a matter of fact, but itís close enough and there is a little twist to it.

 

Amanda:

What kind of twist?

 

Tomer:

Youíll see. Diana, will you join us?

 

Diana:

What for?

 

Jane:

Come, youíll enjoy it.

 

Diana:

Amsterdam shit, oh yeah, Iím in.

 

It is a chilly night, and the small group is sitting in the churchyard.

 

Tomer:

Now, there has been some kind of accident, which I find refreshing, but you might find it strange. Anyway, the efficiency hasnít been damaged.

 

He lights one joint, and hands Amanda another one, and then he hands his over to the group.

 

Amanda:

Refreshing indeed, thatís mint flavor, what the fuck?

 

Diana:

Mint or not, thatís weed! We havenít had that in a long time.

 

Jane:

Tomer, care to explain?

 

Tomer:

Tooth paste, I had to pass through some borders, and I didnít really care to be caught in a customs check. I thought Iíd wrapped it enough, but I guess not.

 

Dave:

Never mind it gets the job done.

 

Fade out.

 

Back in the plane.

 

Tomer:

I spent three beautiful days in Edinburgh. During the daytime, I explored the city alone, and later, I hung around with my new friends.

Mostly, we stayed in the hostel, talking, drinking beer, smoking, listening to music and that sort of thing.

Me and Amanda got closer and closer, we started spending more and more time alone just the two of us.

We talked about every thing, the past, the present moment, and future.

There was only one subject we could not agree on, she said that she wanted children, at least three, I told her that I intended to never have kids, that Iíd never felt the need and that I couldnít see it change. I tried to make her at least see the logic of my point of view: that if we have been presented with the beautiful gift of life, why should we go and make children and spend our time raising them instead of living and enjoying it ourselves. I couldnít see any reason to spend effort on the continuity of the human race, instead of living the moment to my self.

We never passed the line of friendship, not even a kiss. I donít really know why, it just didnít happen.

It was the day before she was about to go home, so she wasnít working any more. We spent the whole day together. We both knew it was goodbye and that we would probably never meet again.

 

 

Fourth scene

 

The next scene is back in Edinburgh. Tomer and Amanda are sitting on a bench overlooking Edinburgh castle.

 

Tomer:

So, youíre really leaving, no point trying to convince you to stay here and spend some more time with me, right?

 

Amanda:

No, I havenít been home for twelve months, and any way I have lots of arrangements to make before going back to school.

Where is the next stop for you? Thereís no chance youíll decide to spend the rest of your vacation in Australia, is there?

 

Tomer:

Tomorrow, Iíll head for Inverness, to visit Nessy. Then Iíll come back here, I want to be here on Friday, to take the Witchcraft Tour. And, any way, I have to pass through here on my way back from Inverness, thereís no other way. Though I must say that I canít imagine how this place will feel without you.

 

Amanda:

Letís go and have a drink somewhere, what do you say?

 

Tomer:

Sure, how about the ĎVaultsí.

 

Amanda:

Letís go.

 

Inside the ĎVaultsí we see Tomer and Amanda sitting in a remote booth. It is dark except for a low candlelight. The bartender shouts last call, the music stops and tomer and Amanda are leaving the place.

 

Tomer:

Should we go for a last visit to the churchyard?

 

Amanda:

How else can we say goodbye properly.

 

Voice over Tomer:

Love, I read all about it, experienced it few times, but this was different, how exactly, I canít tell even today, but sitting there in this beautiful night, all quiet around, I leaned forward and kissed her, ever so gently, and yet also ever so passionately.

 

Amanda:

Thank you, I couldnít have done it myself, I was afraid to ruin the fantasy in my mind, but it was better then every thing I could have imagined.

 

Voice over Ė Tomer:

We stayed there all night, talking and looking at each other, nothing more. Day came and we went back to our hostel, we had to get our things and start heading to the station. On account of it being a bit early in the morning, there were only a few people around. We said goodbye to all of them and went to catch our buses.

When we got to the station passengers were already getting on her bus. Amanda put her luggage in its place and faced me.

 

Amanda:

So my love, this is goodbye. I canít say that Iím sorry, although it hurts so badly. Never before have I met someone like you, you will always be my crazy sunshine.

 

Tomer:

Tears are rolling on my cheeks, and the skies are dry. They know nothing should interfere with this moment. My heart is not broken. My heart has grown and now itís glowing with the sun that you have brought into my life and taught me to see.

I love you Amanda, I will tell you goodbye with my mouth, but not with my heart.

 

Voice over:

We kissed goodbye while the skies opened up and rain started falling on us.

 

 

Fifth scene

 

Inverness bus station.

 

Voice over:

As usual, I knew nothing about the place at which Iíd arrived. All I knew was that somewhere there was a hostel of the same chain as The High Street Hostel in Edinburgh.

There was no map of the city in my guidebook nor in the station, so I just started walking. I soon found a map on a bulletin board, but it was of no help. So I continued walking. I found the tourist information office, and stepped in. I walked around, but found no map that could help me find my way. Since I didnít feel like talking to anyone, I went out and continued wandering around. As it turned out, the hostel was only two streets away and I found it quickly. It started raining again.

The hostel was a nice place, and as soon as night came I found out that it was run by, and donít get me wrong, I mean this in the most positive way, a gang of crazy people.

I wanted to check my e-mail and to send a message to Amanda, but the only internet stand in town, which was in the hostel, was out of order.

I went out to tour the townís pubs. The first place I entered was packed with people from the group that had just checked into the hostel. Although there were some really nice looking girls in there sitting together who asked me to join them, I decided to continue bar hopping, my favorite sport.

When I finally returned to the hostel, I was a bit toasted, and I found out that so were the staff.

We sat and talked. After a while, the tones became louder since Jim, who had just finished a cheap scotch bottle all by himself, got offended by my life philosophy.

 

Jim:

What the fuck do you mean you care nothing for me? Surely, if someone came in here threatening to kill either me or this fly up on the ceiling you would have chosen the fly to die.

 

Tomer:

No, I wouldnít have. Well, theoretically, I wouldnít have, since I donít believe itís for me to decide who is to live or who is to die, and I donít know you enough to care about you.

 

Jim (shouting):

Either youíre inhuman, or youíre crazy enough to say such a thing as a joke.

 

Tomer:

Donít take it personally, but although thatís what I really believe in, I guess that in a critical moment, given my short life education and conditioning as a member of the human race, Iíd keep you alive.

 

Sharon:

Jim, come on man, I told you ten times already youíre waking everybody up.

 

Jim:

Well, Iím sorry, but Tomer here keeps saying that Iím worth no more than a fly to him, I canít keep quiet.

 

Sharon:

Please try.

 

Voice over:

It went on for a couple of hours, people joined us from time to time for a short while, but seeing Jimís wild look they left, he was willing to kill me. Then Sharon closed the reception and joined us; she succeeded in returning the sanity to our conversation.

 

Sharon:

Tomer, Jim I can understand, he finished this bottle all alone, but what is your excuse, how much did you have to drink while you were out?

 

Tomer:

Not much, but I guess it was enough. But without raising hell again I just want to assure you that I really believe in most of the things Iíve said.

 

Voice over:

We kept on talking, about ourselves, books, movies, music, all those late night subjects.

Finally, Jim went to his bedroom and came back with a small bag.

 

Tomer:

Are we going to smoke the peace pipe?

 

Jim:

Yes, Iíve decided that you are too crazy to consider seriously.

 

Tomer:

I that case, let me offer some of my special treat, Iím sure youíve never tried anything like it before.

 

Sharon:

What is it?

 

Tomer:

Itís basically very nice ordinary ĎWhite Widowí weed, but with a twist.

 

Jim:

Lets go.

 

Tomer is rolling a fat joint. It is taking him a while.

 

Tomer:

Sorry, itís a bit late and my head, as you can tell, is not really clear.

 

Jim:

Take your time man.

 

Chris:

What are you going to do while youíre here?

 

Tomer:

Iím planning on visiting Nessy; do you know I can get there? I want to have a short swim in the lake.

 

Chris:

You can take a bus or a boat tour, but you can also walk there. It takes no more then fifteen minutes to the closest shore. Just follow the river.

 

Voice over:

I canít really explain what exactly happened the next day.

After having a short breakfast I went into the town. I entered a liquor store and bought a fine bottle of scotch, stepped outside, and started walking.

I chose a CD and played it, I walked and walked alongside the river and out of town. I saw a shore, but I had a picture of a castle in my mind. I remembered that in the tourist information center I had read that the Loch Ness bus ride was a twenty-five minute ride, and for some reason it looked to me that I could do it in an hour or so by foot. After two hours of walking on the road along the lakeís shore in a relentless downpour of rain, navigating the puddles of mud, I got tired. But, there was no bus stop anywhere, and I didnít felt like explaining what was I doing there to someone who might take me in their car, so I just kept on walking. I must have been walking for five hours, maybe more, when I finally came to the town before the castle, which I had learned about from the signs pointing the way to the castle. Looking at a timetable on the wall of one of the bus stations I learned that the last bus from the castle had left ten minutes before Iíd arrived there. So, I decided to call it a night and caught the next bus back to town and to try again tomorrow in an organized tour. Now, what was the bottle for you might ask. Well, I had a theory that unfortunately I never got to put to the test. I told myself that I would find a remote hidden shore in which Iíd swim and then sitting on the water line Iíd open the bottle drink, half of it and pour the other half into the water for Nessy. The way I saw it was that if Nessy really existed and was a real Scot it would not say no to some fine whisky. So, when I realized that this time I wasnít going to try my little experiment, I cracked open the bottle near the bus stop, lit a cigarette and waited.

That night I went to sleep earlier than usual. I was exhausted and, after telling the others what I had gone through that day, they excused me.

The following day, I took the boat ride to the castle. Nessy was nowhere to be seen, but it was a nice tour.

That night I invited the others to join me to finish the bottle, and we had a nice evening. I learned during the conversation that it was Thursday (after having lost all sense of clock-time), so I decided to leave the next morning back to Edinburgh in order to catch the Witchcraft Tour.

Morning came and after all Iíd consumed, drinking and smoking, the night before, I was surprised that I was able to walk at all. But, for some reason, aside from a slight feeling of dizziness, I was fine. I said goodbye to everyone who was awake and left. There was this arrangement that if you stay in any of the chainís hostels for a week you get one night for free, so Sharon made arrangements that a bed would be waiting for me in Edinburgh. I went straight from the station to my old hostel.

 

 

Sixth scene

 

High Street Hostel.

 

Dave (sitting at the reception):

Hi man, you came back. Youíre stuck here for life like me.

 

Tomer:

No man, itís just a one-night stand and then Iím gone.

 

Dave:

If you say so. Will you come to the party tonight? Itís outside Edinburgh, but weíve got a bus taking us there and then back.

 

Tomer:

Thanks, but no, Iíve got other plans.

 

Dave:

Tell me, have you got some more of that mint flavored stuff?

 

Tomer:

Sure, when do you finish your shift here?

 

Dave:

Let me see, ah, in an hour or so.

 

Tomer:

Great, Iíll put my bag in the room, then Iím going to get some things done in town and in an hour Iíll probably be back.

 

Voice over:

I went first to the old cathedral to see what time I should be there for the tour, and then I went inside an internet cafe to finally send some letters.

I had several new messages, but the first one I checked was from Amanda, all it said was: I love you. That was all, I felt tears struggling to come out of my eyes, I didnít fight them. I answered her message and all the other letters from the other people I loved.

Night came, and slowly everyone started to prepare for the party. Whoever owned a kilt, or something close to it, wore it. Pills were practically rolling on the floor. Someone handed a few over to me and I took it. My old acquaintances tried to persuade me to come along, I thanked them, but I was determined to take the tour.

It was time for me to get going and I wished them a blast. When I got to the meeting place, there were a few people there already, two girls as a matter of fact. I sat on a bench and waited. Suddenly something made me turn my head, and there she was, I couldnít believe it, Amanda was walking toward me, I jumped to my feet and ran toward her.

 

Tomer and Amanda hold one another, Amanda with a smile on her face and Tomer with astonishment on his.

 

Tomer:

What, how, never mind. Itís wonderful, Iím so happy to see you.

 

Amanda:

Love, the crazy things it makes you do!

 

At this moment two figures are approaching, a tall man with a cape and a high hat, and a short woman with a witchís dress.

 

Amanda:

Letís go. The tour is about to begin.

 

Tomer:

We donít have to do it if you donít want to.

 

Amanda:

I want to because you want to, letís go.

 

James the witch:

Are you two here for the witchcraft tour?

 

Amanda:

Yes.

 

James:

Fine, letís wait few minutes to see if someone else comes.

 

Amanda:

On the bus to London, I realized that Iíd made a mistake. As we pulled into the station, I decided to come back to see if you were back. I wanted to surprise you. It looks like it worked.

 

Tomer:

I canít tell you how much. I love you, thatís it, I just love you.

 

Amanda:

Are those tears in your eyes?

 

Tomer:

I donít know. I canít feel anything except my love for you.

 

James:

Come closer, the witchcraft tour is about to begin.

 

Tomer:

Love, are you sure you want to do it?

 

Amanda:

Oh shut up.

 

James:

Hi, I am James and this is Evelyn, we are witches and we shall be your guides through this night tour of the witchcraft history of Edinburgh.

We shall visit some of the places in which significant events concerning witches have happened and we shall conclude the tour in a genuine witches temple. This is our covenís own temple, we belong to ĎThe Source Coven of The Blue Dragoní.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

It could have been really romantic; old Edinburgh by night is unbelievableÖ

 

Ann:

But?

 

Tomer:

But, we got to the hall of horror, genuine torture artifacts.

After leaving the horror hall we went to the temple, it looked as if it came right out of one of Buffy the vampire slayerís episodes, but still it was nice.

We continued wondering around the old town all night by ourselves, talking and holding hands, I donít know exactly how we got there, but by sunrise we stood right in front the most beautiful cliff I have ever seen. Iíve been to fjords and mountains all over Scandinavia and most of Europe, but this one was something else. I asked Amanda where we were, and she told me that it was Arthurís Seat. So we climbed it, the wind was blowing furiously, threatening to blow us down, but we held each other and kept on climbing. When we reached the top, the wind suddenly stopped, so we could sit down and watch the sun come up.

 

Amanda:

Have you heard about Scotlandís mushrooms?

 

Tomer:

Yes, the ones that are supposed to grow in ancient battlefields?

 

Amanda (opening her bag):

Not supposed to, they really do. Will you take some and join me in a dream?

 

Tomer:

Of course.

 

Amanda hands Tomer some mushrooms and takes some herself. They lie down on the ground for a few minutes, looking at the predawn light on the horizon, holding hands.

 

Tomer:

Letís dance.

 

Tomer stands up, helping Amanda to her feet. They start to dance an ancient forgotten dance, praising life and love. After a while they drop to the ground embracing each other with all their might. On the ground they undress one another and make love by the light of the rising sun.

 

 

Seventh scene

 

Tomer and Amanda are riding on a bus. The scenery out of the window keeps changing, green valleys, brown mountains, and small towns. We see them walking in almost every site in Scotland and Ireland.

 

Voice over - Tomer:

We started traveling like crazies not stopping long in any place, rarely speaking to a soul, except one another, and we had almost no need for words. We were in love, like in a fairy tale. We never talked about the future, not even the near future. We knew that soon vacation time would be over for both of us.

Seven weeks passed in this way and then we decided to go to Amsterdam. Still not speaking about it, we knew that this would be our last stop. What would come next, we didnít know, but we did know that our dream was about to come to an end. There was another reason for going to Amsterdam, my flight was leaving in ten daysí time from Copenhagen, so I had to get going in that direction. Whose idea was it? I donít remember, and any way itís not important.††

Deep inside I started thinking. I think I was ready to go to Australia with Amanda, but I said nothing, and neither did she. After we left the ferry and started the bus ride to Amsterdam, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I saw her looking at me. There was something in her look Iíd never seen before.

 

Tomer:

Whatís going on?

 

Amanda:

You know I canít lie to you, so please let me have one day with this thought by myself. Youíre not angry with me for that, are you?

 

Tomer:

No, of course not. You know Iím here for you when ever you want me. Take your time.

 

Tomer kisses Amanda to show her nothing is wrong and she smiles and gives him another kiss, a passionate one and they go to sleep hugging each other.

 

 

Eighth scene

 

Amanda:

Letís go and have a boat ride on the canals. I havenít done that before.

 

On the small boat Amanda faces Tomer.

 

Amanda:

Thanks for not trying to make me tell you what was the matter, but now itís time for us to talk about it.

 

Tomer smiling:

What is it? Now Iím a feeling a little bit scared rather than the curiosity that I felt before.

 

Amanda:

Iím pregnant.

 

There is a short silence. Tomer opens his mouth, but then he closes it.

 

Amanda:

Well, itís like a bad movie, say something.

 

Tomer:

Ahh, I, Iím thinking, you start, I donít know what to say.

 

Amanda:

You can tell me what you feel, I know what you think about having a baby, but now that it has happened what do you say?

 

Tomer:

What do you have to say, how do you feel about it, happy, confused, afraid, what?

 

Amanda:

Iím happy, more than happy, I want this baby.

 

Tomer:

Ok, thatís good, regardless of what I feel itís good that you feel this way, but it will take me some time to decide about my own feelings. Do you mind if we get back and return this boat, and sit somewhere stable now?

 

Amanda:

Sure, I already turned the boat.

 

Tomer (rubbing his head):

Thanks, Iím sorry, but I must have some time to think about it.

 

Amanda:

Do you want me to leave you alone for a while?

 

Tomer:

No, why would I want that. I love you; there is no one else I would like to be with now.

My feelings about you canít change, but I need to think about the, erm, situationÖbaby? How shall I refer to it?

 

Amanda:

I prefer baby, but what ever youíd like is fine.

 

Tomer:

Baby, ok I donít mind.

 

They return the boat and go into a small quiet coffee shop. Amanda finds a place to sit as Tomer buys something at the counter. He then orders two cups of coffee, and goes to sit with Amanda.

 

Tomer:

Well, you wanted to know how I feel about this baby, I donít know, I really donít.

Do you intend to keep it? I know this question must sound terrible, but I just want to know what you would like to do, what is the scenario that you were imagining yesterday on the bus?

 

Amanda:

I intend to have this baby, I feel that this is right for me.

I know what you are thinking about having your own child and I donít ask you to take a part in raising the baby, but I wish you would.

 

Tomer:

I will be happy for you if you decide to have it, I really would be, but I donít want to take a part in it.

 

Amanda:

What do you mean you donít want to take a part in it, you are a part. You are the father in case you had a doubt.

 

Tomer:

I never doubted it, but I donít want children, as you know.

I still love you, but Iím not going to start a family. I was ready to go to Australia with you if you wanted Ė I think you know that, but not with a child, but now even if you decided to have an abortion I wouldnít go with you, because I know you want this baby and I donít want you to do something you donít wish to do.

 

Amanda:

I still donít know what you wish to happen next.

 

Tomer:

I think that concerning our relationship this is a no win situation, at least in the long run.

 

Amanda:

I donít understand, you think we can spend another week together and then just say goodbye, and then Iíll go and raise our child and you will ignore him or her. Tomer tell me you are afraid, tell me you donít want the baby, but still your heart is breaking from the inside, tell me something because right now Iím starting to feel that Iím sitting here with a monster, and I canít believe I fell in love with a monster, I donít think I can survive such a revaluation.

 

Tomer:

Iím sorry, but thatís the way I feel, I donít mind you raising the child and telling him or her that Iím the father, but I canít feel anything for the baby. For me, itís just my sperm that got mixed with an ovule, nothing more. I ask you to spend this week with me, but we should spend it only as friends, not as lovers, and to judge for yourself whether Iím a monster or not. Itís not for me, although it will be difficult for me to live with the knowledge that the woman I love thinks I am a monster I will survive, but itís for you because I know it will be terrible for you to raise a child thinking that his or her father is a monster. Itís up to you.

 

Amanda:

Ok, Iíll do it, even if it doesnít change my mind about you, at least I hope that it will teach me something about myself.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

So we spent a week together. Actually it was a nice week, although there was a tension in the air all the time.

It was difficult for me to explain to her my point of view. I didnít want things to get worse, so I had to choose my words carefully.

 

Amanda:

I donít get it, if people stopped having babies, the human race would have become extinct.

 

Tomer:

So what, I canít see the point in doing something for the continuity of the race, it makes sense only if you believe in a grand scam, and really only half sense. Even if there is a purpose for the existence of the human race, it doesnít mean that I must obey. I choose to be free, to decide for myself, and live for myself. The fact that my sperm has participated in the creation of a person doesnít mean I have to love him or her. I find no reason to feel this way.

 

Amanda:

There are things that belong to the soul. You can only feel them, not understand them. Things like love.

 

Tomer:

Of course, but when I fell in love with you it was after I knew you.

 

Amanda:

But, it is a part of you, your own flesh and blood.

 

Voice over

 

Tomer:

I could have given an answer in the same spirit as when I make reference to my bodily excretions, but I knew that she would never forgive such an analogy, and I did love her, so I had to think of something else to say. I found a new, not much better analogy to use. I hoped sheíd find it acceptable.

 

Tomer:

Your fingernails are also a part of you, and still I saw you cutting them and throwing them away.

 

Amanda:

Tomer, listen to yourself, Iím talking about creating life and you are talking about cutting your fingernails. What is wrong with you?

 

Tomer:

Birth is a miracle, I donít doubt it for a moment, but how do you get from this to the obligation to love the infant.

 

Voice over

 

Tomer:

We didnít spend all our time together like this, we also had fun, but from time to time we had fruitless conversations like that.

I never asked her again what she was going to do, have the baby or not. Time to say goodbye arrived, I had to head back to Denmark to catch my flight home, and it was time for her to return to Australia, to begin working on her masters degreeÖI hoped.

 

 

Ninth scene

 

Amsterdam International Bus Station, evening.

 

Amanda:

Iím going to have the baby you know.

 

Tomer:

I kind of thought so.

What can I say, good luck will sound cruel, but I wish you all the happiness I can.

I really hope we can keep in touch, itís your callÖ

 

Amanda:

Iíll keep you informed, as a good friend youíll probably be interested in me and maybe in my baby, as a friend not as the father.

 

They kiss and hug for a moment and then Tomer boards the bus. He smiles at Amanda, and the bus starts moving.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

That was it, I got back home. I had three days to decide whether to keep all this as my secret or tell the story to my family and friends. I decided that I wasnít really ashamed of anything that Iíd done, so there was no reason to keep it a secret.

I had some disagreements with my parents concerning my chosen lifeís paths during the years, but nothing prepared me for what happened the day I told them about the baby.

 

Mother (crying):

You are going to have a baby and you just ignore it. Whatís wrong with you? What have we done wrong? You are not human! Iím sorry, but I canít understand it, how did I raise an inhuman boy?

You are going to call this girl and at least offer her help raising this kid. We will give you the money, but youíre not going to ignore it.

 

Tomer:

Calm down, first of all, calm down. Now, Iím not taking any part in raising this child, Amanda knows it. If she decides to have that baby, sheís doing it without me. If she got into some trouble and needed my help, she would ask for it, but as a friend Ė as all my friends know they can ask Ė not as a father.

 

Father:

If you wonít do it, we will. Give us her phone number and we shall talk to her.

 

Mother:

Think hard about what you are doing. I donít know how we can even talk to you after such a thing.

 

Voice over:

 

Tomer:

I should have shown her the irony in what she was saying. It was exactly my point: if you could stop loving your own child, after raising him for twenty five years, because of something he has done then the love for your own child is far from being unconditional. And, if it is so, then there is no love that is somewhere inside our soul, it is just something we choose or learn to do. I gave them Amandaís phone number and they talked to her, apologizing for me. She told them that she respected my decision and that she wouldnít take anything unless it came from me, and in any case, she needed nothing. She also told them that she was certain that if she needed something I would turn the world around to help her. Then she told them that she loved me and asked them to go easy on me. She said that I knew what I was doing and that it was not done out of fear or confusion. My parents havenít forgiven me completely even today, but thereís nothing to do, itís their call not mine.

Time passed and I kept thinking about all of this. I had no doubt that this was the right thing for me to do, but a new thought came into my mind, maybe Iím insane. The thought just hit meÖmaybe not insane, but emotionally challenged or a sociopath or something like that. Somewhere in the middle of the year I was asked to read the book Ďlíetrangerí, ĎThe Strangerí, by Albert Camus. I found out that there was at least one man that understood my way of thinking, but thatís not what was important, what was important was the reaction of the other students to the novel. They couldnít believe that such a man could exist and live within a society, any society. And here I was, not at all shaken by the book. Then I decided to check my thoughts about insanity thoroughly. I applied to psychology studies as a second major, and in the second semester, I started them.

Now, Iíve got one semester to graduate, and Iím at peace with my decision more then ever, Iím certain that there is nothing wrong with me.

I may not be all that suitable for life in a society, but Iím in perfect peace with myself.

 

Ann:

And yet, you are on a plane to AustraliaÖ

 

Tomer:

Yes, but as I said, it is a curiosity trip. Iíd like to see Amanda again and also to look at her boy. I donít know, I just felt like doing it. I donít know what will come out of it, because I donít feel anything toward him, but curiosity, but still here I am.

I will not ask you what you think of me now, after hearing my story, to prevent discomfort for either of us.

 

Ann:

Even if you asked me I wouldnít know what to say.

 

A stewardess approaches Ann:

Ann, Iím sorry to interrupt, but itís time for lunch.

 

Ann:

Thatís ok, duty calls.

 

Tomer:

Saved by the bell.

Well itís been nice. Sorry if I bored you with my story, but if I did, you could have stopped me.

 

Ann:

It was at least strange, definitely not boring. Thanks for sharing it with me. Donít worry, it will not change my opinion of your writing skills.

 

Tomer:

Bye.

 

 

Closing scene

 

Sydney airport, Tomer walks through the sliding doors of the exit and gets into a cab. It starts to go.

 

 

END