We went to the Training Center today – I was giving a class in Advanced Word features and Elie decided to sit in. We drove home early – hearing reports that there was a huge fire on the western side of Jerusalem. Elie’s beeper announced an explosion in the area and there’s a danger of injuries, but quickly a medic came on and said he’s in the area and everyone is okay.
Elie was explaining about how people camp out or do a barbecue and leave the expended gas containers around. The newer ones can be resealed; the danger of an explosion results from what remains. And then, Elie’s beeper rang. It is, after all, a phone.
Elie answered the call – his friend in the fire department was rushing to the fire and wanted Elie to go with him. Why? I thought to myself. I don’t want you to go! My brain was talking, but Elie wasn’t listening. They were evacuating some homes and Yad VaShem, the national Holocaust Museum that houses vast records of what was done to the Jewish people.
Elie’s friend was coming up on the street where we were turning – they’d meet in a few minutes. Elie would arrive at the rendezvous point before his friend. I don’t want you to go, my heart screamed louder, but again, Elie’s mind was on the meet-up.
Elie stopped at a light, looked carefully in the mirror and told me I could get out to switch places. I got out, crossed behind the car as Elie grabbed his medic vest. I’ve been home an hour and I’m watching the news. I have no idea if Elie was able to make it into the area. I have no idea where he is.
He’s a medic, not a firefighter. He won’t go into the forest – there’s nothing for him to do there. How bad is the smoke? Could something collapse or explode there? I don’t know. I don’t want him to go. I hate the damn roller coaster. I thought it had pulled into the station. I thought it was smooth sailing.
I’m sure he’s fine, my head is saying to my heart. Stop being stupid.
It isn’t stupid, my heart answers back. Don’t you know me yet? After all these years – if I’m afraid, he’ll be safe.
That is so dumb, my head says.
I know, responds my heart. But it is the best I can come up with. I didn’t expect to be on the roller coaster.
Dumb, mumbles my head. Of course, you never expect it to be a roller coaster – if you did, it wouldn’t seem like a roller coaster!
Authorities are afraid for a nearby fuel depot; some cars have burned – the source of the reported explosions, probably. And I don’t know where Elie is…I guess some things never change.