'Twas the night after Tisha B'Av and all through the house...
After Tisha B'Av ended, Avraham invited me home to break the fast with Becca and Ashira, as we found ourselves both at the Abuhav shul for evening services. Together with Guy and Tiferet, who were visiting from Jerusalem for the "holiday", we dined upon Becca's delicious delicacies, including her amazing-as-usual challah. A fun time was had by all, and I got the opportunity to be impressed with Rebecca's and Avraham's newfound obsession with the Kotel camera, continual live video and audio straight from the Wall, running full-screen on two monitors. There was still quite a crowd leftover, apparently lingering even after the completion of services.
After we began to wrap up the meal with the introductory Psalm of the after-meal grace, we were surprised by some guests who were lured in by our singing. These were apparently some friends of Avraham's parents in Chicago who were touring Israel. I gathered that they had contacted Avraham earlier and were showing up for a promised tour of the gallery. The delightful part for me was that these were the four most obviously gay men I had met in a long, long time. The first two, Ronnie and Greg, were the really obvious ones. I may kvetch about the pitiful weakness of my gaydar, but they set it off with clear bells. The other pair, Barry and Richard, were the more subdued type. I thought at first that Ronnie and Greg were a couple, but I turned out to be wrong as Greg later mentioned his partner back home in the States (and how he didn't want Greg to be coming home with his arms full of gaudy and ostentatious Judaica).
After the guests were settled, we quickly finished bentching and chatted a while before migrating upstairs to the gallery. I found it amusing to be in a rare moment in my life where the queers in the room outnumbered the straight folk. It was a fun feeling for me, being part of a belonging kind for once. So when the gallery tour was about to begin, I inserted myself into the group. After all, I never had actually fully participated in one of Avraham's famous gallery presentations, despite how long I've known him. The tour was as enthusiastic and exciting as rumors had promised.
After we left the gallery, I offered to show the our intrepid tourists to their next destination as it was in the same direction as my house. After diffusing the customary protests against going out of my way, I became a bit of an impromptu tour guide myself, explaining what little I knew about the various sights around town that we passed, and just generally chatting and schmoozing. Too bad the gang left the morning after for Jerusalem, as I wouldn't have minded hanging out a bit more.