Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memory Writing for The Last Garin Girl (WIP - Memoir)

The Last Garin Girl - memory writing for memoir, WIP (very rough)

If you're looking by the way for a good intro on how to get started with memoir writing, here's a great article by Zinsser.

I ended up staying in Danielle's room that night. Something I never thought I would find myself doing. You see, Danielle was one of those stout, annoying little twit guys in our garin (a group of young people serving in the Israeli army together for an extended period of time and serving on settlements and on kibbutzim – plural for kibbutz) who would speak Hebrew in the most annoying way, but I never said anything directly. The girls made fun of him especially when he said, "basar" and he trilled on the "r" for meat.

Or he would say, "ein ba'ayah," for no problem and elongate the 'a' syllable that was so expressive and comical. Each time he would elicit from us an uproarious barrel of laughter.

Truthfully, I don't know what made me want to poke fun at poor Danielle's accent when mine was terribly American as if I was chewing on my own cud.

Now that I think about it, he had the most lyrical and calmest accent.

He would walk bowl legged everywhere and the two Uzis or M-16's he slung across his shoulder from either side dwarfed him even further into the Gaza strip sand, but he was strong and sturdy.

When he told us that he had a [health profile] "profil tishim vsheva - 97" - I knew he would be one of those soldiers who wouldn't complain.

The kind of tenderness I tried to find in Danielle – was like finding a needle in a haystake. He was good friends with the two Gustavos – one who left the army and one who stayed – also bowl legged. The other nineteen year old Gustavo was Danielle's best friend – they both spoke a mile a minute in Spanish…

Danielle loved picking on and teasing the Russian girls. They got into water fights and he was good at pushing them into the pool when they least expected it. I can hear Eina now screaming, "Danielle, azov oti – leave me alone!" in her high pitched screech.

But yet, he never seemed to do any of these things to me. In fact, none of the guys in our garin did. I didn't come across as a tease. I was the classy New Yorker. At least I tried to be. A New Yorker with whom he had eyed forever and I could never see myself being intimate with...let alone with any of the others...

Jake from Canada who thought he was in Vietnam every time he had a gun in his hands. "I'm gonna kill those mother fuckin' Arabs!"

Or Robin from England who was constantly sneezing in everyone's faces

Or Andy who served in England's navy

Or David from the USA who always spoke to me in Hebrew

Or Doug also from the USA who was hardly to be found

Or Akiva from the former Soviet Union who complained all the time

Or Igal, his secretary who smoked all the time

Or Luis, from Spain who had an expansive imagination and predicted I would have seven children.

Or Raul from South Africa who married Geraldine, from France.

Or Darren, from England who wanted to throw all the girls from our garin including me.

Or the two Gustavos….sweet guys from Argentina

Or Larry, who lived with Indian tribes in Arizona for years, the soft-spoken one.

But Danielle.. why get intimate with Danielle? He was a hard worker – both at the base and at the kibbutz.

His forehead always lit brilliantly in the hot sun – shone until the sun burnt it one day to a pulp. I thought hey, this much be what it is to fry an egg on this guy's poor head.

When he told me he came from Uruguay and I immediately envisioned, runaway tunnels, and paradise of coves and islands. Don't know why....

But when he wasn't a soldier or working on the kibbutz, he was a flirt. And when he wasn't a flirt, he was trying to be helpful. Helpful in bed that is. It annoyed me so to see how he would stick his tongue out and rub it all around his teeth when he was around the other girls. Some sick joke. He was crass. He always walked with his boots pointed outwards – he looked like Bozo the clown with his bowl legged walk and his shirts never fully tucked in. I couldn't stand him and kept my distance. He would always miss at least one belt strap – the opposite of Andy from England who served as a fashion stylist for the guys. As once a former captain in the English navy he had always said that it was important to dress "clean" and "proper."

He thought he was sexy especially on Friday nights when we went to the disco; I thought he was putrid. Everything about him repulsed me....but once day I found myself following him to his room on a dimly lit path. That night would change me forever.