Page 44 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

Basic HTML Version

flutters slightly while he steps warily into the dark room and
finds my jacket on the bed.
“Father?” He halts calling softly. “Father. . .”
He senses me for sure but doesn’t dare come closer he
stops I’m ready now. Murder me. I am that I am. Let her
rip. I’ve done all I could. Suddenly I dart from my place I
spin around and race to the kitchen and back door. Out in
the open again. I have plenty of time my ticket my passport
my money. Plenty of it. And half the house mine again. The
taxi is waiting. I hurry down the path by cars unloading pa­
tients more depressed than ever after a day with their fami­
lies. In female garb I slip past them an unaccustomed draft
around my ankles suddenly a flood of lunar light. The dogs
are still barking faintly but the howling has stopped. ‘Ratio
must have been freed he’s galloping toward me I musn’t
miss the hole in the fence.
I head straight for it the outline of my plump woman’s
shadow trailing after me. A cool wind. Scudding clouds. All
symbols. I know and smile to myself. And supposing that
the pleasure that it gives me does destroy my very self?
All at once I see him before me the giant mute colossus of
a man just standing there moving in slow motion as though
remote-controlled he faces me on the little path blocking
my way staring at me hard. They call him by some Arab
name Musa I think that must be it but I ’m sure that he’s a
Jew. Well what’s on your mind? Have I disappointed you
too? “Naomi. . .” he mutters. “Naomi. . Meaning you or
trying to warn her? Can he really have confused us? He
mutters some more or rather groans it’s all too much for
him I ’d better calm him down he’s humorless that’s your
original your unilateral your unadulterated form of mad­
ness. I take off the shawl and toss it on the ground I
unbutton the dress but it just puts him into a Neanderthal
rage. He’s actually growling now. The main thing’s not to
panic not to touch them they’re like dogs fear only makes it
worse. Perhaps he needs to be scolded. A fateful man. Bet­
ter to humor him. But now he’s waving his arms he doesn’t
even know he’s got a pitchfork in them. What a predica­
ment. Suddenly you’re in a dreadful mess.
Although the novel ends with this last sentence, the reader