A couple of weeks ago Spesh called me from Israel. The purpose was to see if he could use my address for a job application. He's been in Israel for the last two years on a post-doc. He grew up on a Kibbutz in Israel, but moved to Canada when he was 18.
I can't tell you how happy I was when he called. Spesh! Apparently I miss him more than I realized. He said, "I'm downstairs, can you come and let me in?"
"What? You're here? Really?" I was confused. It's not totally unprecedented for Spesh to do something like this, but it would be surprising.
"Can't you tell?"
"No, really, where are you?"
"I'm in my apartment in Tel Aviv."
He was torn about coming back to North America. He feels he should stay for the "cause." I said, "Do you want someone to tell you what to do? I will. Come back. You can stay with me."
"I have other people telling me to stay."
"Don't listen to them."
I asked what kind of job he was looking for and he told me, "One with no moral compromises, interesting and pays a lot of money. Somehow, I can't find those descriptions in the listings."
"There is no such thing as a job without moral compromises."
"At least not one where you can make any money."
We talked about money. He likes that I make a good salary and he tells other people I'm rich. "You need to start thinking about retirement." He said.
"Maybe you're right. What I need is some kind of stipend so I can do what I really want to."
"As long as that means going back to the university."
"Why would you want me to do something that I don't like and that I'm not good at?"
"Because there are smart people there and intellectual freedom." He said.
"You don't know what my alternate career is and it has some of those things."
"What is it?" Spesh asked.
"Can you guess?"
"You would do something else? Rowing? You can't make much money at that."
"No! Not rowing. I haven't done that for years." I rowed for 2 1/2 years in grad school, before I met Spesh. I don't know where he gets this stuff.
"Salsa dancing?" We discussed the very limited money making potential of softball and salsa dancing, both of which I enjoy, but neither of which I'm expert at. Finally, he said, "Oh. Writing. You would write."
"Yes. But not fiction. Features writing. That's what I want to do." That was the third time I've told this to someone. It's a little more real when I say it. It will be more real when I do it.
Spesh said, "You could do that, but there's no money."
"That's why I need a stipend. Then I could do it."
Spesh offered to put me in contact with a friend of his who is a writer (freelance journalist type). I reminded him that my sister-in-law (married to my eldest brother, B1) is a features editor at a big-deal magazine and that B1 works in publishing.
We spoke again a week later and he told me he was coming to visit and still trying to decide about work. He'll be here next week. I better vacuum before he gets here!
I probably need to tell him about the blog. I'm hesitant to do so. I 'm afraid he'll find it frivolous. He doesn't like to listen to my dating stories…though the last time we talked (just a week ago) I was moaning to him about all the crazy guys out there and he was uncharacteristically sympathetic. He'll find out one way or another so it's probably better if he hears it from me.
Speaking of which, it's come to my attention that I have some new readers in Iowa. Welcome!
Grateful for: new readers and good friends and good friends who are new readers.