Thomas Wictor

A forensic investigation into my Jew-hate

A forensic investigation into my Jew-hate

Many years ago a ghost told me that I hated Jews. It was a nonsensical accusation that came completely out of left field. I had to do a forensic investigation to discover the origin of this lie. When I found the answer, it stunned me. A humorous story branded me forever as a Jew hater.

But before I talk about that…

Recently on Facebook, a woman “friended” me for the express purpose of berating me for expressing grief over the fact that my parents refused to cooperate in their cancer treatments and therefore died in terror. I’m long past the stage in which I put up with assaults, especially from strangers, so I told her that we weren’t going to talk about that. She didn’t want to discuss it anyway; she wanted to excoriate me, because she’s a fanatical, monomanical advocate of the right to die, so she was deeply offended at me expressing sorrow at being forced to witness my parents’ uninformed, panicked, contradictory choices.

CeeCee_Ed_Wictor

I told my new “friend” that when someone demands that I defend my actions, I always refuse. You have to take me or leave me as I am. If you find my thoughts objectionable, go find a nice echo chamber somewhere and monologue to yourself.

She said, “Well, I don’t see that it would be productive to continue this relationship. I don’t understand the need people have to put their lives out in public anyway. I’ll let you have the last word.”

So I didn’t respond.

One of my favorite painters is Otto Dix.

 Otto_Dix

 He was a machine gunner in World War One; he also created some of the most disgusting images ever foisted on the general public.

 Otto_Dix_soldiers

When asked by a nauseated critic why he produced such horrors, he said that painting is an act of banishment.

I write to banish and entertain. If you’re not entertained, go somewhere else. I’m not going to justify my viewpoints, nor am I going to respond to angry readers or people who tell me that I don’t know my own life.

Get this straight: When I write about me, I’m writing about me. I’m not writing about you. When I say that certain things aren’t possible for me, you have to accept that. I’m not going to waste any more time arguing with people who are threatened by what I say about myself. My own limitations don’t apply to you. I shouldn’t have to say that, but we’ve degraded to the point that now I do.

Don’t send me any more rebuttals to the conclusions I’ve made about my own existence. It’s disrespectful. You’re overstepping. This blog is an art project; that doesn’t give you license to bombard me with strenuous objections to what I’m saying about my own truncation. If what I say about me upsets you, it’s a sign that you need psychiatric help.

Are we clear?

Discovering that I hate Jews

A few weeks after I met the Cardinal Ghost “Carmen,” I wrote this in my journal.

The second I saw her, I fell instantly in love. Kaboom. I saw her, and I said to myself, “Oh. There you are. I’ve been looking all over for you. Where the hell have you been?” It was as though we’d known each other many, many times before and had been waiting to reconnect again in this life. There was an instant recognition; I even recognized her scent, which was all her own because I knew she never wore perfume. As soon as I saw her, I remembered what her body felt like. She had the most amazing flared-out hips, and as I looked her over in her faded jeans, I knew exactly what it was like to sit on the edge of a chair as she stood in front of me, leaning into me, her arms around my shoulders, my arms around her pelvis and my cheek resting against the warmth of her stomach. This was a memory, not a fantasy. As I was being introduced to her, the nerves in my face and forearms began tingling as they recalled what it felt like to touch her. It was as if I were waking up.

Nothing like that ever happened before or since.

Cardinal_Ghost

The relationship didn’t work out, despite my best efforts. After we broke up, we kept in contact until she let me know that she was about to get married.

“I have to tell you something that you won’t like,” she wrote. “I’ve converted to Judaism, and I know that’ll upset you because you hate Jews.”

She may as well have said I hated her. I had no clue where she got that idea.

“What are you talking about when you say I hate Jews?” I wrote her back.

“That beach story. But I don’t want to get into it again. It’s too ugly.”

I didn’t contact her again for almost two years. But during that time, I wracked my brains until I finally found the answer.

When I was a senior at Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon, I hung out with a bunch of guys who drank gallons of beer and smoked bushels of pot. One of them was named Brian. One day we decided to go to Cannon Beach and have a burger barbecue next to Haystack Rock.

Haystack_Rock

Five of us piled into the station wagon and drove the 79 miles (127 km) from Portland to Cannon Beach. We stopped at a supermarket for the hamburger meat, cheese, buns, lettuce, tomatoes, potato chips, ketchup, mustard, beer, and charcoal. After we bought everything, Brian made an announcement.

“We have to buy a new grill rack. I can’t eat burgers cooked on the one we brought with us.”

grill_rack

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because cheeseburgers have been cooked on it.”

I didn’t know what he meant.

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“I’m Jewish. I can’t eat anything that’s been cooked on something that was used to cook meat and dairy products together.”

Brian had no brakes. I’d never seen him sober. It seemed totally out of character that he’d be worried about a grill rack that’d been used to cook cheeseburgers. But we went to a hardware store and bought him a new grill rack.

We got to the beach at sunset. It was beautiful, my favorite place at my favorite time of day.

Beach_sunset

As we dug a fire pit in the sand and collected rocks to prop up the grill rack, Brian made another announcement.

“I have to cook my burgers first. If any smoke from your cheeseburgers gets on my food, I can’t eat it.”

If it happened today, I’d tell him to go cook his burgers downwind—preferably in Mexico—but what we did instead was sit there and watch as he slowly, methodically made and cooked his burgers. When they were ready, he gave us his final announcement.

“I have to eat before you cook your food. If any smoke from your cheeseburgers gets on my food, I can’t eat it.”

So he ate his two burgers, and then we were allowed to cook and eat our own food. For me the outing was ruined. I thought it was simply a power play. And that’s what I told Carmen three years later, in a conversation we had in bed about unreasonable people. Telling her that story made her conclude that I hated Jews, even though she never said any such thing until her letter after her conversion.

She was interviewed by a local Jewish paper a decade ago, and she told them that she’d once lived with a Jew-hater, so she understood what it was like to be confronted with prejudice on a daily basis. After all our time together, and despite what I thought I meant to her, she didn’t know me at all.

I wonder how she’d feel if she knew that an Israeli rabbi sent me this?

May you be blessed and protected for all that you do for us. We can’t express our gratitude that we have such a friend in you.

Actually, my Pallywood posts have been a great privilege. I’ve finally done something meaningful in my life.

So thank you.

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה

 Rosh_hashanah


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