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life shortener A short story Ilan Segal

Where did we get the audacity to do such a dangerous thing without batting an eyelid?

Doug Robertson returned the navigation device to its place and at that moment was thrown to the other end of the boat due to a strong impact. The year is 1972 and seventeen years before Robertson I too took a heavy hit. As you know, there is no single hit like her friend. As a stream of water began to fill the boat, Robertson realized that the blow was delivered by a non-child leviathan. The boat was a thirteen-meter-long pleasure boat that sailed to cross the Pacific Ocean with the Robertsons, their three children and a young man accompanying as a hitchhiker on the trip.

In the few minutes until the ship was filled with water, they managed to fill their small lifeboat with equipment and food that they managed to save and thus found themselves living in this boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 320 kilometers away from the nearest land. The batting giant took his head out of the water, smiled and decided, luckily for them, that he had had enough fun and disappeared.

The survival journey lasted thirty-eight days. A huge challenge and a journey that most likely will not end as hoped. The amount of food ran out quickly, some rainwater and turtle blood was used for drinking. With simple means they managed to hunt animals from the sea. They suffered from extreme heat, extreme cold and violent storms that rocked their small boat.

One morning Robertson saw a ship on the horizon heading in their direction. The thought that it was a mirage disappeared when sailors on the ship recognized them and started waving their hands. After medical treatment and rehabilitation they returned to their course and their story is considered one of the greatest survival stories in history.

I received a "life shortener" as a gift in the form of a single, old, rusty and completely unusable skate. I cleaned, cared for, caressed, greased and with the help of a special key I adjusted it to my right foot shoe. Galloping on one skit requires massive development of the muscles of the pushing leg which gives the acceleration and balance of the gliding leg. In the city of Haifa where we live, there are two options. Either you climb a terrible uphill and explode from the effort, or you slide down a life-shortening steep descent. It goes without saying that you must have good control over both options.

After developing skill and massive muscles, a group of kids decided to go hiking in the Carmel mountains. Every Saturday goes further and improves the skill. Good acceleration is an important thing, but without perfect knowledge of braking, you can hang the scooter in the warehouse (for those who have had one). On one of the trips we directed the return route through Hapoel Street, which is one of the longest and steepest descents in the city, maybe in the world, hahaha.... At the beginning of the descent I accelerate because the speed is not visible who knows what. Within seconds the speed increases. I passed the complex of the "Hapoel" pool at the speed of a jet plane taking off.

It is clear to me that I must immediately start braking, because a small stone could bounce me into the waters of Haifa Bay, or send me to the hospital for a long time, or maybe worse than that. My brake was not a hydraulic oil brake, but placing the free shoe on the road with great force until the sole wore out and before causing irreparable damage to the socks.

In emergency braking, all means are kosher. I started to brake while attaching the brake foot to the road and the back wheel of the scooter. Near the "Tamar" cinema I met her, the little stone. I flew in the air and after several rolls on the asphalt I stopped. I opened my eyes and I see my friends surrounding me, watching. One has already started muttering Kaddish.

- Remains of the Tamar cinema. A forest grows in its space, where a series about the Amazons is filmed (photo: Ilan Segal)

Not only did I stay alive, with superpowers I got up and chased after the skunk that was released from my legs and continued to fly downhill in the direction of Gaola St. We walked the way home. I limped a bit and quite a number of bruises and scratches decorated my body. How can I hide the results of the trip from my hawk-eyed mother? In retrospect, there was no possibility of braking at the speed I was flying. Even a bad option is still an option.

What is more dangerous? The possibility of rocking a small boat in the middle of the ocean or flying at the speed of almost tomorrow without any stops. In the first case the danger of death is slow and may reach an apathetic body and in my case death is immediate and fatal unless you are a skilled professional faller... and very lucky. When I read the story I will sit back in my comfortable chair and the air conditioner cools the hot air (they didn't know what an air conditioner was) it seems better to avoid both cases, and that's what I will do in the future. A sweeping decision was made from the chair regarding the future and it is final. Don't try to convince me to cancel the evil of the decree because it is a vow decision while burning the hair of the red cat's tail which means "no regrets". This is the language of the decision:

"I will not take part in the trip to Haifa on a scooter and crossing the ocean in a thirteen-meter-long boat, and that is final." If my story discusses a Haifa childhood accompanied by 'life-shortening' accessories, I want to share a different childhood. A family from Seoul Korea that lives in France and the father is a musician is raising two children, the little Nora and the eldest Isaac. They are not interested in skating or jumping into the mouth of an active volcano, they like music. Nora sings calmly, very cleanly and innocently, her brother is accompanied by singing, trumpet and drumming and above them on the guitar is the happy Father Port.


Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Ilan Segal
Ilan Segal
Ilan Segal was born and raised in the Hadar HaCarmel neighborhood in Haifa, tells about his childhood.

Articles related to this topic

3 תגובות

  1. Unfortunately, the dangerous "shorteners of life" in most of the country today are the missiles of our enemies around and the wild drivers.

  2. In the summer of 49, my late father's uncle, who was a young man at the time, worked there as a laborer. I'm already tired of writing "a shame" about all these lost buildings... at least the information will be preserved. Thank you.

  3. The cinema building on Hapoel Phil Street is white and dangerous in a crowded area, standing on thin and old pillars.
    Fenced off the place as if it could prevent it from collapsing.
    When will the municipality take care of either demolishing the building or renovating it?

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