letter from israel

Gas-mask-kitlargeRebecca Sacks at The Millions:

The cockroaches in Tel Aviv are nuclear-apocalypse huge. How adorable, how terribly petite the roaches of New York seem to me now. In a million years, the spacemen who descend to this place will find only styrofoam cups and the hard-shelled family living under my sink. I am a coward. Afraid to get close, I kill them with a chemical spray. They fall from the wall or garbage bin, thud. They heave madly in tortured circles, stopped by convulsions that come at smaller and smaller increments, cramming themselves into the ground as if to disappear. Their stomachs bulge and seep out. After they die — or as they are dying — their feelers twitch, twitch, twitch.

This was the month for gas masks in Israel. Fearing that Assad might use his sarin-bearing rockets on Israel next, those who did not yet have gas masks picked one up at the post office. Every outlet reported it, and every lede was the same: “Long lines and high tensions in Israel today as civilians obtain gas masks from local distribution centers…” I don’t have a gas mask. I’m not a citizen, and therefore not eligible for a free gas mask from the post office. I can buy one for — 400 sheckels — a bit over $100 from a war profiteer.

more here.