Thursday, February 22, 2007

"The Sound It Made When It Broke"

The sound it made when it broke was kvetch...clomp! No, that's the sound that mayn Tanta (my Aunt) Beth makes coming down the stairs. She complains, then her prosthetic leg thumps the stairs.

Complaint, thump, crappy weather, thump, told you not to date her, thump.

I swear she takes the thirty-odd stairs we have and drags her descent out like she's coming down the Empire State Building.

You asked for it, thump, you're shiksa-outta-luck, thump. I wasn't alone when I thought Kiki was the one. All of my friends felt the same way, complete strangers thought we were a perfect couple and all of my family (save one) thought she would be an ideal wife. It's not like we go to temple but twice-a-year outside of the Holy Days, but my mom was so enamored of Kiki, that she was even willing to look past the fact that she was a gentile.

Yes, everyone thought she was perfect for me, save for my Aunt Beth. My parents and sister believe that Aunt Beth is either in the early stages of Alzheimer's or that she's going senile, but I know that she forgets the minutiae to in order to remember the important things. I also know that her intuition is sharper than a dozen butcher's knives and I was hoping that she would be wrong for a change.

I mean, I gave up school for Kiki and in my family, education is life. Yet, after I put aside the most important aspect of my life for our so-called "love," she runs off with a guy named "Horst." What the f*ck kind of name is that, anyway? Horst! Is that rancid chicken soup taking the "up" express elevator out of your stomach? Or is that a contraction of "horse" and "sh*t?"

So the sound my heart made when it broke, sounds just like mayn Tanta Beth when she comes down the stairs and I can still feel it sink, with each echoing step.

Are you okay, Boytchik?

Yes, I'll be fine.

Good, it's over, it's done. You've got it out of your system. Now, are you going back to school?

No, Tanta Beth, I still need to give school a rest. I thought it over and I would like to take up painting again...maybe a little sculpting too, and pick up my writing where I left off. Maybe even play the piano, again. You know...I want to be a Renaissance man.

What, "Renaissance?" Butter women up with poetry, then keep them locked up all day? Eat undercooked meat and wear tights? Your cousin Herschel already does all that.

Note: I'm a goy, but the desire of higher education for each generation is equally stressed on one side of my family and the child that doesn't follow that path, winds up a disappointment to the family, no matter what. The last line of the story was the only redeemable bit of dialogue from my first stillborn screenplay.

JJ had the starter sentence, "the sound it made when it broke."


Madam Z said...

I love this! You had me fooled, though. I thought you were a genuine Yid. Your Tanta reminded me of my Tanta (but I was put off a little by the name "Beth," because that's pretty darn goyish.

Some of my favorite lines are:
"asked for it, thump, you're shiksa-outta-luck, thump."

"she forgets the minutiae to in order to remember the important things. I also know that her intuition is sharper than a dozen butcher's knives"

OK,I'm off to read your other stories.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Madam Z,

There are rumors that the blood of the Twelve Tribes flows through my family, but half the fun of being a writer, is going outside the scope of your own world, and discovering another.