It's the third time I've returned from the stairwell with my family in the last hour. Overall, we've been air-struck five times since the morning hours, four of those attacks being preceded by alarms.
The radio is turned on and up in several strategical spots in the house, and my thoughts were interfered dozens of times by special broadcasts, so forgive me for my regular cynicism being a bit lame today.
Following the recent conflict, my job-time was reduced to only two or three hours a day, the upshot being a lot of extra time for me to do what I actually like and excel at - writing.
I won't exhaust you with phrases like blood-curdling explosions, howling sky and other over-dramatic horror-movie cliches, because as you already know - I tend to focus on the bright side of life. So, as I did before, I will show you the joyful aspects of a crazy era.
First of all, I'll start by telling you that I live in an apartment building with no strongroom. Therefore, the routine is to go to the stairwell when the alarm sounds.
0200 hours - "Get up", shouts Mom and manages to wake one of us. The other one (a.k.a Myself) throws my brother out of his bed and drags him to the stairwell. He wakes up and starts walking by himself just a second before being dragged down the stairs. Two hits are heard in a distance, and another woman comes out of her apartment. A few minutes go by, and we go back to our flats.
0300-0400 hours - Mom says there were a few additional strikes, some of them preceded by the alarm and the rest just happening without warning signs, booming through the air as a "surprise" call at a birthday party. She stands guard, until finally being caught by exhaustion. We wake up in the morning to find out nothing hit our neighborhood.
0700 hours - "Get up", Mom shouts once again, and we race towards the stairwell to the sounds of the alarm and the alarm-clock combined. A handful of neighbors join us, a few still wearing their pajamas and others who have been awake for a while looking more organized and fresh.
During the morning another strike starts, and we try to get used to the idea of another rough day. Everyone gets ready for being refugees - we put everything we might need in the worst case within reach; We walk 'round the house with our shoes on, so we don't get caught in the cold if we have to run; Everyone's phones are in their pockets, and sweaters are waiting just next to the door.
Noon approaches. Between strikes we tidy our house. I joke and say that's for a case of a hit - so that the house looks pretty on CNN. My brother answers me with the oh-so-obvious "If the house gets hit it will go all messy anyway" claim.
Noon is already there. Another strike begins. The routine's as always: go down the stairs and stick to the wall. The neighbors show up, and a few words are said.
Back home, listening to the radio and watching TV at the same time. Every now and then the radio stops its chatter for a second or two. Usually after the pause comes the word "alarm". This time the pause is followed by a commercial break, or just a few refreshing breaths for radio-guy. He's human too, you know.
An hour passes by, and the radio pauses again. "We just heard of an alarm..." the anchor starts, and we all get ready to run for the door and break the lock on our way out, but the sentence goes on "in Ashdod". It's not us this time. Back to whatever we were doing.
The radio pauses again, and this time we don't need the anchor to say anything - the alarm outside is playing loud and clear. Mom was just trying to get some rest, but we have to help her get up and get the hell out of there. The stairwell, again. more neighbors this time.
Another strike hits. A long lasting siren, after which four explosions are counted. This time every single person in the building joins us, and people talk about their experiences of the day. We have to get ready for the possibility of a night in the shelter, say a few neighbors, and next thing start discussions about the house-committee and who's behind payments.
On the next strike we will probably bring coffee and cookies, and if there's another one after that, I guess we will start baking together in the shelter. War or not - at least we get along pretty well.
The neighbors joke with each other and assign the different tasks: That family brings the coffee and cookies, the other one brings chairs, and we are responsible for an oven. We just forgot to assign someone with spreading a red carpet on the stairs, but never mind - we'll go over that one on the next strike.
And just so you know - This guy lives in the Israeli city of Be'er-Sheva. Almost one million Israeli citizens are now in the bombing range of Hamas. Go figure why we blame Israel for everything...
(Original blog-post by Elad, translated by Yair Mohr)