Robert Cormack

3 weeks ago · 9 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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Merry Sieg Heil Christmas.

She came bearing gifts, mostly stolen, but so what? She's an orphan—we both are.

 

A summary of Jewish holidays: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” Alan King

I’ll tell you what set me off — besides the sieg heil business — which no Jew appreciates. It was her stealing my shirts and wrapping them up, not to mention my coat, which I knew was my mine because I could smell the nicotine. As one supposed Jew to another, I had to ask “What’s wrong with you, Mona?” Then I had to ask, “Is that a pear tree?”

Neither of us grew up in households allowing Christmas ornamentation. Not because our adoptive parents were Jewish. They just though it would offend us. Adopting supposedly Jewish kids was quite the thing after the war, especially for Americans. There was a certain amount of angst, obviously, blowing Dresden to bits the way they did.

It might explain Mona’s bad case of kleptomania, and possibly why my wardrobe is wrapped under a pear tree next to a menorah.

I wouldn’t know, of course. I haven’t been back to Germany since I was a small child. I’m an orphan — Mona’s an orphan. We were very young when our parents were incinerated. I should add that it caused a certain amount of angst on our part, too. For instance, we have serious doubts about our Jewishness.

This might explain Mona’s bad case of kleptomania, and possibly why my wardrobe is wrapped under a pear tree next to a menorah.

Mona’s always been a kleptomaniac, even before they found us in the rubble of Dresden, our ears still ringing from the 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices dropped on our laps.

Frankly, I think ten tons would’ve done it.

Anyway, we were processed, and shipped to America, two supposed Jewish kids being adopted into non-Jewish households. They respected our choice of religion — even if we didn’t — and thus, no Christmas presents.

I think not having Christmas made Mona a bit coo coo, although she was pretty coo coo even before Dresden. Anyway, Mona’s adoptive family found her thefts understandable, considering we were discovered in that rubble chewing on an array of things thanks to Mona’s thievery.

I was actually preparing a bath when Mona came crashing in with two gentlemen carrying a potted pear tree.

I shouldn’t call it thievery. Mona feels she’s entitled to all kinds of things — including my shirts, which are now in wrapping paper. What can I say? She’s sentimental and, frankly, I’m not. I’m happy to let the holidays go by unrecognized. I was actually preparing a bath when Mona came crashing in with two gentlemen carrying a potted pear tree.

Seems when you leave Christmas shopping till the last minute, you end up with whatever they’ve got. Of course, in Mona’s brain, that’s not so bad. It leaves room for decorating, which she did by cutting up green garbage bags and stringing the bits together. The two gentlemen backed out slowly, believing Mona was seriously afflicted with something.

In any event, it disturbed my bath night entirely. I came out in my dressing gown, loaded for bear, as they say, and there was Mona, dressed in a red sweater and long skirt, with a Santa toque, and something pointy over her shoes.

“Sieg heil,” she saluted, wearing gloves with little Christmas trees.

Imagine seeing a pear tree surrounded by a stack of presents, all in colourful wrap. Neither one of us had much experience wrapping things.

That would explain Mona’s overuse of Scotch tape.

She also produced two quarter chickens from Frank’s Chicken House and enough gravy and cranberry sauce to sink a ship. All that remained was to see some fat guy squeezing his way down the chimney — which I don’t have, living in an apartment in an area some call distinctly Jewish.

“I stole a fruit cake,” she said, gnawing on some chicken gristle.

“We’re being very bad Jews,” I told Mona. “Any other surprises?”

“I stole a fruit cake,” she said, gnawing on some chicken gristle.

“And the pear tree?”

“I sent the boy to check for evergreens out back.”

“At which time, you walked out with a pear tree.”

“Dragged it out. Weighs a ton.”

“And quickly engaged two men to help you carry it?”

“They were curious.”

“Men always are around you, Mona.”

“And what have you been doing all day?” she asked. “Still writing about your mild flirtation last summer?”

“Isaac, nothing turns a reader off like sex in abstract terms.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, except it wasn’t consummated, was it?”

“Not exactly.”

“Isaac, nothing turns a reader off like sex in abstract terms.”

“I’m working on it.”

“Not from what I can see,” she said, looking around. No panties on the light shades, no empty bottles of Dom. Essentially not a single indication I’m getting anything other than writer’s cramp.

“You need to get laid,” Mona said. “For your writing, if nothing else.”

“Probably.”

“Good thing I stopped by.”

With that, she wiped her fingers, removed the red sweater, and bounced up and down on the couch in her black bra. I admit she can be truly erotic sometimes, especially when bounces up and down on the couch jiggling. Mona’s stacked and her mass of brown hair does an excellent frame job, especially when she’s jumping around my apartment (Christmas or no Christmas).

Tonight, however, she confined herself to a brief bunny hop over to the presents under the pear tree.

I opened it and found my L.L.Bean plaid flannel, still with a stain on the collar where she threw wine at me one night.

“Open this one first,” she said, bringing a present to the table.

I opened it and found my L.L.Bean plaid flannel, still with a stain on the collar where she threw wine at me one night.

“I’m afraid I don’t have anything for you,” I said.

“Let me hear the first chapters of your book,” she replied.

“Hardly festive.”

“Consider it foreplay.”

“Should I open the other presents, too?”

“They’re for tomorrow morning,” she said.

Taking the dishes to the kitchen, she returned with fruit cake cut up into bit-sized pieces. She then went to my liquor cabinet, took out bottle of port, and poured it over the fruit cake.

We forked some into our mouths, then spit them out, agreeing port should stick to being port, and fruit cake should stick to being fruit cake.

“Come on, read,” she said, gathering up her long skirt and sitting cross-legged on the couch. I went to my den, returning with a small pile of pages. I’m a slow writer, usually because I choose subjects requiring no intimacy whatsoever. Everyone’s divorced, in other words.

When I returned, I found Mona sipping port, her bra on the rug, waiting as she often does for some form of literary respite. In real life — outside of thievery — Mona’s an editor for a small communist publication. She claims it’s just socialism with less bathing.

“Should I start at the beginning?” I asked.

“They found love that night,” I read, “hot, syrupy love, the kind you reflect upon as the sweat dries, and you’re half deaf from saliva she left in your ear.”

“Go nuts,” she said, so I started with the chance meeting between myself and a woman I met at an art exposition. I’ve called her Patricia in the book. No real reason. I often grab names I find intriguing and sexual. Tonight, I’m hoping Mona finds that to be the case, too. Otherwise, Patricia is just Patricia.

“They found love that night,” I started reading, “hot, syrupy love, the kind you reflect upon as the sweat dries, and you’re half deaf from saliva she left in your ear.”

You wouldn’t think one paragraph would do it but, without a word of warning, Mona’s skirt quickly comes off, as she darts across the couch, and tries to get her tongue down my throat.

Meanwhile, snow flies around outside like each snowflake wants a closer look at Mona’s boobies.

“We’re practically crucifying Christmas,” I said, as she dragged me down the hall to the bedroom. We’ve been doing this on and off for years. Afterwards, we smoked one cigarette after another, Mona debating my book’s imagery before it’s even — let’s be honest — a book.

“She should be the one to leave,” Mona said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because women who don’t leave are weak.”

“What if she’s in love?”

“I loved you in Dresden.”

“We were gnawing on the same shoe leather.”

“Which I shared without even knowing your name.”

“I thought I gave you my name.”

“You gave the Americans your name.”

“No I didn’t.”

“You said your name was Isaac.”

“I was speaking German.”

“Where did Isaac come from?”

“I have to idea.”

“Why didn’t you correct them?”

“They seemed happy I was Isaac.”

“They seemed happy I was Mona.”

“I guess we could’ve said we weren’t Jewish.”

“They kept shoving chocolate bars in our mouths,” Mona said. “I didn’t see any Germans being stuffed with chocolate bars. Did you?”

“Good point.”

With that, we laid back and slept, woke up, used the washroom, then slept again. In the morning, I found Mona cutting her toenails, humming something. Mona’s practically tone deaf, so it could’ve been a Christmas carol.

“Hungry?” she asked.

“Starved.”

“Let’s see what I can throw together.”

After we ate, we moved to the living room, me opening presents, Mona peeling oranges she stole from the local grocer.

Breakfast turned out to be an odd assortment of leftover chicken, gravy, and two broken eggs. After we ate, we moved to the living room, me opening presents, Mona peeling oranges she stole from the local grocer. The pockets on her coat are enormous. She looks pregnant six months of the year.

“I have some ideas for your next chapters,” she’s telling me now. “The woman leaves a note saying she buggered you during the night.”

“Why in heaven’s name do I have to be buggered?” I reply. “Honestly, Mona, write your own buggery. You’re perfectly justified. All Dresden victims are.”

“I don’t think you take me seriously at all.”

“Look, you’re a kleptomaniac with a strange buggery bent. I’m surprised you haven’t committed anything to paper so far. People would definitely read you. I would, I know that. Ever considered it?”

“I’m writing as we speak. We’re in our star-crossed hammock of love, swinging the night away, as Christmas comes and goes.”

“I know you’re joking, but you should take a crack at it.”

“I have,” she says, getting up, pulling the wrapping off the remaining shirts and my coat. “I write about you, I write about me.”

“Why just us?”

“Because it is just us, Isaac. Ever wondered why I love Christmas, and you don’t? Because, I don’t feel Jewish, while you do. Reviewers have even called you a Jewish writer. God, we’re the worst kind of frauds. You don’t even know your real name, do you? It’s probably Gunther.”

“And for your information, I don’t have a thing for buggery. I just thought it would be an interesting twist, that’s all.”

“Why Gunther?”

“I have no idea. Eat your eggs. Merry sieg heil Christmas.”

“Merry sieg heil Christmas.”

“And for your information, I don’t have a thing for buggery. I just thought it would be an interesting twist, that’s all.”

“So would Hitler rising out of a birthday cake.”

“Hitler’s still alive?”

“Maybe a flashback.”

“Well, bugger the lot of them.”

Mona starts clearing the table. I retrieve my chapters now half-wedged between two cushions.

“I’ll tell you something else,” Mona says, holding a soup ladle for some reason. “I could’ve told them I wasn’t Jewish. Know why I didn’t? Because it justified anything I did. Kleptomania being one of them.”

“So you’re saying this lie — our lie — gets you a free pass to steal stuff?”

“Exactly.”

“Why can’t I steal stuff?”

“Because, Isaac, you chose writing instead. A Jew from Dresden, telling the world about Jewish suffering. Do you honestly think you could make it now as a kike? All those grants and fellowships?”

She goes over and straightens some of the garbage bag strips. “Should I write about you, Isaac?” she asks. “No buggery, the real story?”

“Never thought of it that way.”

“You’re stealing more than me, Isaac.”

“I don’t leave pear trees in people’s apartments.”

She goes over and straightens some of the garbage bag strips. “Should I write about you, Isaac?” she asks. “No buggery, the real story?”

“Rather pathetic, don’t you think?”

“It doesn’t have to be. What if we renounce our Jewish heritage, confess our sins, say it was all shell shock and starvation? By the time we found clarity, we were already university graduates.”

“Then what?”

“We marry and get regularly horny like everybody else,” she shrugs. “In fact, we’ll be hornier because we’ve suppressed things for so long.”

“What about the fellowships and grants?”

“We’ll be getting book deals, Isaac,” she says, sitting down cross-legged in her panties and bra on the couch. “You know, krauts hiding as Jews. We’ll come clean, true identities, that sort of thing.”

“It’ll devastate our parents.”

“Oh, for godsake, Isaac, don’t you think they’re tired of tiptoeing around our Jewishness all these years? They’ll be thrilled.”

“I’ll steal a wedding dress and a ring — then I’m done.”

“And your kleptomania? It could drive a wedge in our marriage.”

“I’ll steal a wedding dress and a ring — then I’m done.”

“Why didn’t we think of this before?”

“Maybe I bottomed out with the pear tree.”

“Do you think that thing’ll live?” I ask, looking at the pear tree branches drooping under the garlands of garbage bag strips.

“I have no idea,” Mona says. “Let’s have another romp in the bedroom.”

“Is that what gentiles do Christmas day?”

“Again, no idea.”

She’s already standing, pulling at her panties, then running down the hall jiggling. I leave my shirts in nests of wrapping paper. “Mona,” I say, “I think we’ve made the right decision. I feel every inch a gentile now.”

 

“Good for you, Isaac,” she says. “Where are you going?”

“Just let me use the washroom. I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t dawdle, I’m horny.”

Well, being German — and a gentile — frankly, I’m horny, too. Not that I’m any more comfortable with this “sieg heil” business, but we all need our victories, whatever they are. At least we’re horny. It’s better than what some people do Christmas Day. Again, I’m not sure. I’m still getting over being a Jew.

Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist, and former advertising copywriter. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores.

Check out Robert’s other articles and stories (absolutely free) at robertcormack.net

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Comments

Robert Cormack

2 weeks ago #4

WOW, COOL BUZZ

Robert Cormack

3 weeks ago #2

I think they pretty much blew their load on Christmas, Ken. It might be a quiet Eve.

Ken Boddie

3 weeks ago #1

Oy vey! Pear trees with garbage bag strips, port pickled fruit cake, jiggling boobies, tales of buggery and hot syrupy sex. Sounds like a perfectly normal Christmas to me. What’s the shpiel for New Year’s Eve?

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