A tall, decaf, skinny cup of mud to go please
I hadn’t planned to stay for five years. In fact I was only going to stay for three months. It was spring 1992. I was young, foolish and gay. As in homosexual. Not as in happy. Which I wasn’t. My journey had begun in Edinburgh a few months earlier when I realised I had had enough. I was tired of my job, tired of the murky grey, breath-freezing winters and rainy summers. I had had my fill of the snobby aloofness of Edinburgh, and of the feeling that life was happening elsewhere. I wanted to become a Jew and that was not going to happen in Edinburgh. After a long application process I had been accepted as a police officer with Sussex Police and an exciting new life in Brighton beckoned. I packed up my belongings into cardboard boxes and gave away the rest. March turned to April and the time came for me to head off to a kibbutz in Israel, where I planned to fulfil a teenage ambition before joining the police. Life felt good. After two years in a rut I was on the move.
It was dark when I arrived at Heathrow’s Terminal One. I joined the long queue of Israelis for enhanced security, clutching my passport, ticket and a ‘welcome pack’ from the kibbutz. When my turn came a young security man interviewed me and asked me if I was carrying any bombs. When I replied that I was not, he began telling me lurid stories about all the beautiful women I would meet on the kibbutz. I smiled politely in the dignified but aloof manner of a gay man listening to a straight man engaging in heterosexual banter. Little did he realise I was more interested in what he had to offer rather than what he had to say. I wanted to run my hands through his thick, dark hair. We would kiss passionately, our love for one another growing stronger by the second, our lives entwined and …….
“Oh man, Israeli girls are so hot” he continued, leaning over my luggage.
“Mmmm. Yeah. Whatever” I replied politely.