Saturday, January 25, 2014

Among Us Was a Tall and Old Man in Slippers Who Suggested that We Sit Where We Stood and that We Wait for the Arrival of the Good Driver

The weekend post, barring some flavor of kaboom. Lawrence English is my greatest obsession since the last until the next, as is Rachel Shihor, whose Stalin Is Dead I'm now on my third trip through, below are three of her aphorisms/flash stories/poems, whatever you want to call them. Translated from the Hebrew, it's full of beautiful typograms in Hebrew script, I don't have access to a scanner as I type this, I will scan a page for you Monday. There are 49 of the aphorisms/flash stories/poems, none of them longer than a page and a half, all of them uncanny, some more uncanny than the next.


Perhaps the tiniest animal in the world that cannot be put to death because it is so tiny, is God.


An old lady leaves the concert hall and so as not to fall holds onto another - herself not so young - who holds onto the banister lest she fall, but the full weight of the first lady, falling, descends on her and smashes her shoulder; from here on: emergency room, x-rays, admission to hospital and, following due consultations, surgery, lengthy recovery in a rehabilitation ward and physiotherapy sessions.

While in rehabilitation, the touch of the hand of a black caregiver, who was in the past an immigrant from Sudan, enchants her. A new meaning to life sneaks in and vanquishes her. Where she fully recovers, she will abandon her wretched husband and leave him the one-storey house, she will stop being at the beck and call of her children, she will observe Islamic law. Her beloved is honey-eyed. Glistening teeth. He is a prince.

Alas, she never recovered.


It so happened that once a bus passed us by and did not stop. We shouted and waved our hands about: Stop! We did this to the second bus and to the third bus too, till the day was over. Money, we had none. As evening approached, an omnibus went by and its driver - still driving - threw us a cloth pouch. Inside were coins. We opened the pouch, and saw the pennies; these were of the kind that were common here many years ago and long went out of circulation. The thing is we were survivors, but we were unwanted. And among us was a tall and old man in slippers who suggested that we sit where we stood and that we wait for the arrival of the good driver. Probability theory confirms that this would eventually happen, he said. The good driver must show up. We sat where we stood and we established the first refugee camp. Later on, the land was full of them.

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