Thursday, December 16, 2010



“Wanna burger?” a young man with long hair and a thick beard asked him. His small glasses were buried in the declivity of his nose. The burger man looked at him as if he was as insensible as the dead meat on the grill.

“Wake up! You want a burger and some of this lobster?”

“A burger, yes,” he answered. He had returned to the people, hoping they would use his first name. But to his frustration, no one called him by name. He looked at the man flipping burgers. His dismissal of him appeared to imply friendship.

“Do you know where my wallet is?” he asked.

“How am I supposed to know?” the burger man smirked. “Remember last semester, you took a swim in your pants, and forgot to take your wallet out of your pockets? Some dude found it wedged in a piece of drift wood a month later. Your IDs were so bleached out your picture looked like someone took an erasure to them.”

“No, I don’t remember that,” he answered.

“Really,” the burger guy raised an eyebrow. “How couldn’t you? You were in a tizzy about it for days. You hate going to the DMV, getting on the phone to cancel a credit card. In fact, you hate pumping your own gas, speaking up for yourself, talking to a woman, even if she is interested in you. Shall I go on?”

“No, that’s enough.”

“Look,” the burger man nudged him. “Here comes Laura with her aluminum foil and kosher food.”

“Laura, just have some lobster. Eat it, for Christ’s sake. What does God care what you eat.”

“Oh, don’t hassle me, Gary. Don’t you do it,” Laura kept protesting, but it appeared insincere. She had some burgers in aluminum foil, and waved them in front of Gary like a Temple offering.

“But I’m Jewish too,” Gary beseeched. “Just try a piece of lobster. Then it will be over and done with and you can move on to eating other things.”

She punched him hard, but then took a piece of lobster. He held it by a long folk, and dipped it lustily into a tub of warm butter. He fed it into her well-shaped mouth, passed her full lips and beneath her strong nose. She closed her eyes, as if this transgression now heading down her gullet had to be hidden from God, and like a child, thought that if she could not see what was happening, than neither could God. Then she opened her eyes and smiled.

“See, no thunder bolts from the sky,” Gary chuckled. “You’re still here and the world still exists. And you’re still a Jew. Just a lobster eating Jew. Now was that so hard?”

But it was; he felt it was a difficult thing to watch, and he wandered away from the barbeque and the tight knot of young people and found a dim corner to sit down.

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