Changing Tracks: Tony spent his gap year invincible and naive

“In 1991, after school, I went to Israel for what is now called a gap year. We lived in Jerusalem, with a bunch of other people from around the world.

Imagine 100 people, studying together during the day, partying at night in our dorms, travelling the country on the weekend. I had a girlfriend from England. But I was also very close with, and attached to, another young woman from Argentina.

My young love with my girlfriend from England was remarkable. She is whip smart and I was loyal. I was living in bliss. I’d wake up everyday and I couldn’t believe I was in bed with this woman, I considered to be a goddess. I was obsessed with her. And I stayed with her. It was an up and down relationship, but god we were in love.  I have a photo of her sitting at a bus stop, in front of some flowers. My god she was gorgeous. We had a wild time together, learning what young love meant.

But this Argentinian girl.. sheesh.. we just clicked.. we laughed endlessly together.. and of course everyone noticed. And my English girlfriend knew how close I was to this Argentinian. Lord knows why my girlfriend put up with me.

The strongest memory of this Argentinian girl is just before she left Israel. She was sitting on a bed opposite me, laughing. She’d just showered, and I can still smell the conditioner in her hair. It is one of my strongest memories of teenage lust and passion. I leaned over and gave her one lingering kiss. At least that is what I remember. And then I stopped. Or we stopped. Or something.”

Listen to this personal tale set in Israel –  On Drive with Rafael Epstein.