Page 44 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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32
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
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