“ONCE”

When they arrived north to Nahariya beach, she let him out of the car and told him to go find himself. He thought that she was pretty, very pretty. He might have preferred to continue this ride – but Roei’s story went on, in the planned pace, towards a group of fishermen and from there to a men who appeared from the road and started talking to him. A one on one conversation, sunglasses excluded. Only on Hof Achziv, when they sat to have a drink, he realized that the man that was sent to show him things – was blind.

 

The note

At 07:00 Roei & his brother boarded the train from Tel-Aviv to Nahariya. A few minutes after boarding, his brother disappeared; leaving him with a note that said that from this moment on Roei is an agent and sent him to look from further instructions in the northern cabin. On the door he found another note – with a riddle, a gmail address and access instructions via his cellular. When he got back to his sit, he found a newspaper and a pair of earphones. Roei solved the riddle. Whoever wrote it – knew well that he was trained for such tasks. The answer was the first camera he ever got.

 

The jackal

He accessed the mail and put on the earphones. He got the opening scene of “Carlos the Jackal”, Olivier Assayas’s production on an international terrorist, a cruel soldier of fortune and a heart breaker, an idealist and an opportunist. Charming and frightening. The train rode ahead. A soldier that was following his steps, shove a one-time camera to his hand. “Shoot the time” he told him and disappeared. He got an SMS. He should disembark in Motzkin. There, at the station exit, a Harley Davidson motorcyclist was waiting for him. Roei climbed right away. The SMS specifically told him to look for Mr. Harley. They did not exchange one word. They just rode to Kibutz Lohmei Hagetaot.

 

The movie

The silent rider pointed towards an apartment. Roei approached, the door was open and a movie was running on a plasma screen. Carlos’s odyssey went on. The man has intimidated the world on the 70th and 80th, born in Venezuela and moved to Europe. The critics did not like the movie. They said that the dialogues were shallow, that it was a misrepresentation of a fascinating character, but the person that directed this day knew that Roei loved the movie, just as he knew that Roei was eager to meet himself.

 

The abduction

This is what these people do. Upon receiving the work order, months before the actual event, they investigate the people close to the celebrating party. They explore how he likes his coffee, at what temperature and with how much sugar, what he fears and what he misses. What he’d like for himself but is too shy to ask for. What he’d like to know about himself but is hesitant. In the background – the year 1975.Carlos the Jackal, 26 years old, abducts the OPEC ministers. In Lohmei Hagetaot 2010 Roei has just turned 30. He does not touch the sandwiches left for him. He’s also seen the movie too many times before. Roei, with a background in security organizations, searches the apartment, looking for clues. A few hours he will realize that the book “Alice in Wonderland” was not left there by mistake.

 

The girl

And then came the phone call. An English speaking girl told him to come outside. She was waiting for him in a car. The music was streaming non-stop, she was beautiful and did not speak. His adrenalin was running sky-high. As demanded by her, he continues to look for himself along the beach, towards a fascinating encounter with a man who lives six months here and six months abroad, an actor and a therapist, and after they have climbed together rocks and exchanged words that dig deep inside – the man took out his guidance stick and handed him out to Alice. They went to eat lunch. She prepared something in the wilderness. At the gas station, a quarrel developed. The tour guide and the girl were shouting at each other. Something about a queue, that was also planned. Roei proceeds with the man towards a viewpoint on the border. On their way they picked up a couple of hitchhikers, two young people that engaged them in a conversation about intelligence, borders, war and peace. They were all part of a planned scene. Roei is Michael Duglass in the movie “The Game” and they are the bystanders, pushing his buttons, intriguing, triggering, stimulating, stirring.

 

The Clairvoyant

After that he went into the woods. I don’t remember who sent him and what was the exact order of things, but there were arrows and still shots from his first days as a news photographer that led him to a clairvoyant who told him what was to come. After that she took him to a vacation cabin that had his clothes and his toiletries. Another woman massaged his body and after he had washed himself, Alice came and handed him a train ticket from Nahariya to Tel Aviv. In the Kriot station his brother joined, along with their mother and father, and they all took him out to dinner.

This is the story of my day, says Roei. I told you everything – and yet I told you nothing. It’s hard to explain such days, because it all happens inside, in the person’s soul.

 

The brain behind it

ONCE is the name of the company (formerly: The Sixth Sense) established by Doron Lavi and active for over 3.5 years. Haim Perstein told me about it, after he had taken part in one of their days, for a women in her 50th. He told me that he saw tears in her eyes, as she was dancing in his arms. She told him that her day has started with a car cutting her lane. When she came out of the car to exchange details – she found her elementary school sweetheart. 

Coincidental encounters – that’s the platform on which the ONCE team operates, diagnostics, actors, therapists and instructors that generate and direct a set of well timed “coincidental” scenes. A set of unforgettable events that trigger the playground of the person’s deepest layers. 

They are usually hired for birthdays or anniversaries. The activity can take a few hours or a few days. It all depends on the order. And how much does it cost – I ask Michal Naor who manages the company. “In any case, it’s not a low price gift” she says, but the price totally depends on the type of activity, its length and the quantity of people that take part in its implementation.



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