New Year's Eve

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NY
Washington, D.C. 20500
USA
President Barack H Obama

01/01/2011

Gilad,

2010 is over and 2011 has already begun, but you... You are still not around here.

I hope that before the end of 2011 you will be here with us.

Sometimes, when I think of you, I think about The Count of Monte Cristo. I do not know whether you have read this novel (written by Alexandre Dumas, père), or seen the movie, based on it, but the story is about Edmond Dantès, who'd one day adopt for himself the name of the Count of Monte Cristo, having been falsely accused of treason and conspiracy, and imprisoned at Château d'If. There, where as they say God does not live, Edmond Dantès spends many long years.

Eventually he is saved by a fellow prisoner, who accidentally gets into Monte Cristo's cell, while digging a tunnel to escape out of the prison.

I guess it is much easier for them to spend days in prison, because they have each other. In the beginning Monte Cristo tells his new neighbor that to survive a hard time of the imprisonment he counts the bricks encompassing his cell. If I am not mistaken, he also tells the old man that he actually gives a name to each one of the bricks.

The old man educates Monte Cristo on many subjects, including reading and writing, martial arts and languages.

Together they tunnel their way to freedom, but at a certain moment the tunnel caves in and the old man dies. Monte Cristo uses the opportunity to escape, slipping into the bag, brought by guards for wrapping the old man's body, and by this manages to make his way out of the prison.

And sometimes I think about the Prison Break TV series, and the manner in which Scofield manages to get into Fox River, after having been deliberately convicted of a bank robbery, staged by him prior to that, and then rescues his older brother Burrows, imprisoned there for a false accusation of murdering.

I also think about different movies/TV dramas, where impossible things happen, like Mission Impossible or James Bond, or 24. And I really wish something like that happened to you too, that some surprising rescue mission, originating in the newest intelligence, brought to your liberation, and then all of a sudden, in the middle of the day, they announced in the news flash, “Gilad has been rescued from his imprisonment!” How wonderful will it be.

When I think of you, I contemplate of course on the conditions they hold you in. Are you in darkness or daylight? Do they treat you humanly? Do they provide your physical needs? Do they give you food and drink? Are you cold in winter? Are you hot in summer? Do they give you a blanket to cover yourself? Do they change your sheets? Do they allow a doctor to examine you when you are sick? Do they talk to you? Do you have something to read? To listen to? Do you watch TV? How do you spend time? How do you keep a track of time? How do you retain your sanity? What gives you the power to keep going? Do you still have faith? Do you have hope? What does it mean to be in captivity? I do not know. I can only speculate about all that.

Perhaps due to letters that everyone sends you, you will get an opportunity for a visit and we will be given some answers?

I hope and I believe that you will come back.

Be strong Gilad.

I wish that in the beginning of the next year, my letter to you bore your home address in Israel.

From Chen.