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The Sheeny Man

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Sheeny man

In the 1950s, one could still see horse-drawn carts on the city streets. Some were the bread men, some were the ice men, some were the milk men, and some were the sheeny men. My sheeny man was Mr. Mintz, and his old horse was Annie.

I say he was my sheeny man because he was the only one I ever met or spoke with. Not too much speaking, of course, because I speak English and he spoke Yiddish. I worked on the weigh scale at a large scrap yard. Mr. Mintz came with Annie and the cart full of scrap about once a week.

It was not good scrap, in fact we’d really rather not have it. It usually consisted of old rusty bedsprings and tin oil cans. It cost more to have two men take it off the cart and throw it onto the scrap heap than it was worth. However, Mr. Mintz was a quiet, poor, religious man, so we accepted his scrap, doubled the weight and paid double the value.

One Friday afternoon, Mr. Mintz clopped through the scrap yard gate and positioned Annie so the wagon was on the scale. I weighed the wagon with the load and Mr. Mintz guided Annie to where two of the yard workers could drag the bedsprings, tin cans and rusty pieces of metal off of the cart and onto the scrap heap.

It was the end of my day at the yard. I weighed Mr. Mintz’s empty cart and subtracted the light weight from the loaded weight and paid for the difference. As usual, we cheated in Mr. Mintz’s favour and gave him double the value of his load. I realized that Mr. Mintz would be eager to get home before sundown, in time for the evening Sabbath prayers.

I left the office in time to see Annie and Mr. Mintz clopping along Carmody Street. I had always wondered what Mr. Mintz’s life might be like. Where does he keep his cart? Where does he keep Annie? On impulse, I decided to track Mr. Mintz to his lair. It was a mild evening, I was only 18, and Annie was slow. I could follow him on foot for as far as he was going.

I was surprised that it was barely six blocks to Mr. Mintz’s destination. At first, I was surprised that he went to Bellaire Boulevard, a wide residential street with large, elegant mansions on both sides. These mansions had long since ceased to be single family dwellings with servants. They are rooming houses, divided into small flats, but still, the boulevard is elegant, with old, large maple trees overhanging the street, casting cool shadows.

Annie crossed Bellaire and clopped past the street of mansions until she turned right into a back lane that ran behind the walled, mansion properties. Most of them had old sheds, garages, or parking areas accessible through the lane.

The horse stopped at a row of sheds, taller than the others around it. Mr. Mintz climbed down from the wagon and led Annie a bit farther on before he went to an overhead door in one of the sheds and had the horse back the wagon into the shed. With the wagon in the shed, and the horse outside, Mr. Mintz took the tack off of Annie and opened a swinging garage door to lead the horse into a spacious stall.

Mr. Mintz had seen me following him all along. He looked down the lane at me and waved me over. I stood near him as he saw to Annie’s bedding, grain and hay. She had an open window that looked out on the yard of the mansion beyond it. Mr. Mintz asked if I would like to see inside. Obviously, he perceived my fascination, and I jumped at the chance. He closed Annie’s shed and led me to a pedestrian doorway in the third shed.

One large room was neatly laid out and maintained. A small bathroom contained a toilet and old-fashioned bath tub on claw legs. A small kitchen area with a 4 element stove and small refrigerator covered a wall. A Formica counter carried a sink and dish drying rack, with a large window that looks out at the garden behind the mansion.

There was a full bookcase, but there was no television. An easy chair beside a reading lamp completed the room’s furnishings. I asked where he slept. He opened a door in the wall that faced Annie’s shed. There was a bed between Mr. Mintz’s shed and Annie’s shed. He said he liked to sleep close to her. Her body heat gave him comfort, and his presence gave Annie peace.

I walked back to my car, contemplating the life of Mr. Mintz, the Sheeny man. He was as happy and satisfied as anyone I ever met.

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The Victim Is Not The Sinner

October 6, 2017 Leave a comment

David was grumbling aloud. David is an uptight guy. He needs any reason or no reason, but he’s always nervous. Apparently his mother was severely depressed, and it was a burden on David while he was growing up.

David had just given $20 to an old man at the door. The man claimed to be a rabbi without a congregation, and was hoping to create a synagogue. Now David was grumbling. He was thinking, what if the guy wasn’t a real rabbi? What if he just takes the $20 and buys a small bottle of gin and a cheap hooker.

I just wanted to give David some relief, if I could. I pointed out that he’d done nothing wrong. In fact, he’d done a gracious act of generosity, which is a good thing and it was the right thing to do. If the man is a liar, he has sinned. David, however, is honorable, and has not sinned. The victim is not the sinner.

If someone disappoints you, and does something against you, don’t blame yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are the victim and your antagonist is the sinner.

This is not Bigotry

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

I am going to avoid forming friendships with two groups in the future. One group is the Jewish cult of Hassidic people. The other group is black people. I know how it can look like bigotry, but I am not against any kind of people in general. Let me explain.

I have had friendly relationships with three black people; two women and a man. All three disappointed me. They took advantage of my sincerity, my ability, and in general, they each, in separate friendships, disappointed me. Of course I will meet with and talk with other black people, but I will shy away from forming any kind of friendship or relationship. I have befriended three different black people in three different environments. They did not know each other. Each one, in ways similar to the others, betrayed my affection.

Similarly, I am never going to form a friendship with a Hassidic person. I have done business, and formed friendships with three Hassidic families. We enjoyed many conversations, teaching each other things from our separate societies. Each was a separate relationship, in business and in friendship. Of course, they knew each other, because they are all connected within their division of the cult.

In spite of very comfortable relationships, each of the Hassidic businesses cheated me. They refused to pay bills, even bills that I had to pay to my suppliers. They would pretend the colour was wrong, or the type was wrong, and used that to justify their thievery.

I did some research into how orthodox people can be crooked. What I learned is this; they have a connection with god, and their allegiance is to god. That’s why they pray 4 or 5 times a day. Their connection with society, however, is unimportant. It doesn’t count, as long as they’re in god’s good books. If one is not a practicing orthodox Jew, one does not qualify for honesty.

All religions, in one way or another, are built with the same self-importance.

Lured Into A Secretive Squad (continued 26)

May 7, 2015 Leave a comment

In the afternoon my cellphone buzzed. It was Aileen Schachter, sounding cold and indifferent. I was relieved at that. She said that I was to attend a meeting of N3 at a synagogue banquet room. I wanted to ask her if Naomi Cheslow was to come along, but I refrained for fear it might touch off a jealous tirade. I needn’t have done it, because Naomi’s phone buzzed before I’d rung off. She was also called to the meeting which was called for eight that evening, so Naomi and I had supper together before we proceeded to it.

The restaurant was called ‘Little Sicily’. We chose a table in a little alcove not visible from the entrance. I ordered fettuccini Alfredo and Naomi ordered Veal Marsala.

“I’m sorry I caused stress between you and Aileen,” Naomi said.

“It’s not your fault. Aileen feels she has a right to me, whether I agree or not,” I said.

We ate in silence. The food was wonderful. I love Italian food, and ‘Little Sicily’ knows how to make it properly.

We left the restaurant feeling satisfied. We arrived at the N3 meeting just before Aileen called it to order. There was a large, rough-hewn hardwood crate at the front of the room. On a sign from Aileen, two of the guys opened the top of the crate and began to unload firearms of various kinds.

“The time has come, friends, to establish our position in this society,” said Aileen. “We have been asked by the Jewish Defense League to ‘ride shotgun’, so to speak, for a peaceful protest. A group of orthodox and Hassidic Jewish people will assemble at nine o’clock Sunday morning.”

“Where?” said Naomi. Aileen glared at her.

“At the north end of Riva Goldstone Park near Eisenhower Avenue. The Aryans have sworn to crack every skull in the group, so all of us will be armed and ready to shoot on command if a desperate situation arrives. Please make your way to David and Sheldon to get your armaments.”

“I don’t like this,” I said to Naomi. “I don’t want to shoot anybody.”

“Nobody wants to shoot anybody, Sweetheart,” said Naomi. “I’m sure the show of force will dissuade the bikers from attacking.”

“I have a bad feeling about this,” I said.

There was nearly five hundred people gathered in the park when I got there with Naomi. More than half of them were Hassidic people, the men in long, black coats, white shirts and black vests with the tassels (tzitzis) hanging out. Their women wore heavy dresses and skirts to their ankles, with kerchiefs over their wigs. The other people were just ordinary people that you’d not notice were Jews. Except for orthodox people, where the men all wore yarmulkes on their heads, and some wore fedoras.

The mob had just begun to spread from the park onto Barnard Avenue and began the slow walk to city hall to bring recognition to the suffering of the Jewish citizens at the hands of the Aryans. The earth began to tremble as the Aryans on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles rumbled up the Avenue. They stopped half a block away and parked their bikes together, right across the road so no one could get by.

Little Aileen was carrying an Uzi as she strode out ahead of the marchers and saw Clark McCracken standing proudly in the line of ruffians.

“McCracken!” said Aileen, “are you crazy? Do you know what I’m going to do to you now?”

“You ain’t gonna do nuthin’ you piece of Jew shit!” said McCracken. He ran at Aileen brandishing a machete. Naomi raised her nine millimetre Luger and dropped Clark in his tracks. Suddenly, Aileen turned and shot Naomi. I was shocked and automatically raised my AK47. Before I could squeeze off a shot, Aileen nailed me with a burst from her Uzi. One went through my left eye and knocked a chunk of brain matter out through the large hole it made behind my ear. Another went through my heart and left lung and one in the groin an inch above the willy. I was dead before I hit the floor, and I have no idea how the protest went, what happened to Aileen, if anything. You know what? I don’t care. I realize that nothing really matters much, and my frustrations, my burdens and my concerns are all gone. This is heaven.

Nascence Of Freedom At Last

October 12, 2014 Leave a comment

The fire crackled cheerfully, casting a warm, golden light and dancing shadows over the two naked bodies. David’s large, muscular frame engulfed Shaynah’s petite body.  Her smooth, alabaster skin stood out boldly against his tanned body.  Shaynah’s mind was also engulfed.  The waves of ecstasy that rolled over her set fire to her spirit.  The thought that such feelings were available to secular women made her feel stupid and ignorant.  She berated herself for suffering this self denial for decades, and almost felt hatred for the teachers and parents who forced such ignorance on innocent children.

A rippling convulsion shook Shaynah, laying unashamed against David’s cool body. A trickle of fluid ran out of her vagina.  She was moved to reach behind herself and feel David’s penis.  It lay dormant against her behind.  Her fingers explored it, and it soon responded, swelling and stiffening. Excitement took over Shaynah, and she held the organ until it was hard. David shifted his position and gently pushed himself into Shaynah. The lubricating fluids facilitated the penetration.  Both Shaynah and David were transfixed by the feeling.  Shaynah had little sex in her life, and what there was was pedestrian to say the least. The rush of passion that she felt after a life of emotional denial was almost overwhelming.  David was also moved by the thrill of Shaynah’s body.  The feelings that exploded from the penetration shot through his body to his extremities like never before in his life.

Shaynah cried out with a massive orgasm and began to weep quietly. David withdrew and cuddled Shaynah as she wept.

“Why do you cry?” he said.

“I thought this was not to ever be in my life,” she said and turned to lay face to face with him. She put one arm around him and spoke into his throat. “What do you think of a woman of fifty who never before had an orgasm that she didn’t give herself?”

“I think she must be pretty clean,” he joked.

“I’m serious!” she demanded.

“I think she’s very attractive, has a beautiful, mature body and gorgeous, smooth skin,” he said. “And by the way, a terrific lover.”

“I don’t actually believe you,” Shaynah said.  “I had sometimes imagined that sex could be done from the back like that, but I couldn’t imagine how wonderful it would feel.  I didn’t know there were such feelings.

They got up from the blanket on the bear skin and went to the kitchen. Shaynah put on a robe while David remained wrapped in the blanket. He directed her to a first aid kit in the closet.  While he sat on a kitchen chair, she treated the laceration with antiseptic and a bandage. When she was done, she poured coffee for them and sat in a chair beside him. The experienced businesswoman in her had an offer to make.

“I hope you will agree with what I’m about to suggest,” Shaynah said.  “The facts are as follows: you love this island and you’d like to live here, but not alone because you just spent two years alone here writing your book. Right?”

“Right,” David said, taking aspirin with his coffee.

“I would like to buy this island and live here most of the year, right?”

“I’m not sure about that one,” David said.

“I propose that I buy the island, giving you a lot of cash to do with what you wish,” she said, “and you continue to live in the cabin, independent and free, and your rent will be that you will help me manage the place.  You know, grounds keeping, maintenance, boating, things that you are familiar with and that I am not capable of doing.”

“And on a personal level?” he said.  “You sound so impersonal for a person speaking to a person with whom I just made love.”  Shaynah softened her attitude.

“I’m sorry, David,” she said.  “I’m so accustomed to every negotiation being tough, from my business experience.”

“And are we lovers?” David said.

“Oh, God, yes!” Shaynah laughed heartily. “I propose that we go to each others beds when the feeling is upon us.”

“Do we accept it with good feelings if the occupier of the bed does not feel up to sex at that moment?” David said.

“Of course.  It must all be light hearted and loving,” Shaynah said, “and honest.  And we will refer to it as ‘making love’, not ‘fucking’ or ‘having sex’.

“Sounds good to me,” David said, and took Shaynah in his arms where she felt at peace and safe.

An Introduction To Intimacy

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Looking down at David, half conscious on the sofa, Shaynah had to act.  The sight of him in his tattered t-shirt and sodden pants and shoes was more than she could handle.  She forced herself to remove his wet clothes so she could dry him and wrap him in a warm blanket. She removed his soggy shoes and socks. She grasped the cuffs of his jeans and tugged them off as he helped by wriggling a bit. Faced with the jockey shorts and the prominent bulge at the crotch, Shaynah was fearful, embarrassed and excited at the same time.  She clenched her teeth, grasped the shorts by their waist band and pulled them down.  She tried to not look directly at his bare penis but could not resist.  She was curious, wanted to touch it but was afraid.  She berated herself: how ridiculous for a woman of fifty to be excited by and afraid of a penis.

David began to shudder and shiver.  Shaynah hurried to her room and stripped off the duvet and hurried to put it over David’s naked body.  Shaynah didn’t have any way to know if his body was average or worse or better, and her conclusion was that it must be better.  It made her almost dizzy with excitement and she let her eyes drink him in as she was tucking the cover around him.  He continued to shiver, so Shaynah helped him to get closer to the fire, stretched out on the fur carpet, wrapped in the duvet.

Shaynah became alarmed as David continued to convulse and shiver.  On impulse, she stripped down to nudity, peeled back a flap of the duvet and slid in next to David’s shuddering body.  She pressed herself to his back, her breasts spread warmth on him while her stomach rested on the roundness of his behind.  She lay still, almost afraid to move as she let her mind absorb the cascade of feelings that coursed through her.  She focused on his male fragrance, the texture of his skin on her breasts and stomach. David stopped shuddering, and Shaynah cuddled to him desperately, adrenaline making her feel light headed as she experienced an ever-heightening level of arousal.  There were feelings that she’d never before felt in her severely restricted cult life.

David began to stir.  Shaynah was about to roll away from him when he reached back and took her hand.  She was surprised by it, and involuntarily jerked away, but he held fast to her wrist.  Slowly, he moved her hand around his waist and placed it on his soft penis. Again Shaynah recoiled, and David again placed her hand on his penis.  Shaynah was almost dizzy with the new experiences.

Slowly, David rotated around to face Shaynah. He put a bit of space between their naked bodies, and allowed Shaynah to explore him.  He knew enough about the orthodox cult to know that since she was born, she had been walled off from any sensual experience of any kind.  It includes books, magazines, television, anything stimulating.  At fifty she was experiencing things she should have experienced before she was twenty.

David’s penis began to pulse in Shaynah’s hand, and gradually it began to stiffen.  Shaynah would like to have watched it, but she was too afraid.  She rolled away from David so the duvet fell open and spread out.  Her back was now to David.  He pressed himself to Shaynah’s back.  She felt a wave of Ecstasy at the warmth of David’s body pressed to her.  His penis began to poke between her thighs and Shaynah felt faint with excitement and fear.

An Unexpected Crisis

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Shaynah was desperate to get David safely out of the water.  Looking around frantically on the moonlit shore, she saw a winch on a trailer for hauling boats out of the water. She dragged it up the beach and tied it to a tree close to the cabin. She figured out how to release the ratchet and loosened the cable on the winch.  She pulled the cable down to the place where David lay. There was another length of rope coiled on a rock.  She looped it over his chest and under his arms and knotted it behind his head.  She pulled a canvass tarpaulin off of a small rowboat that was sitting on the sand a few feet from the water.

She spread the tarp on the beach and tried to tuck the leading edge under David’s shoulders. She went up to the winch and began to crank David out of the water.  Although the tarp tended to gather under David’s limp body, it stayed in place sufficiently for Shaynah to drag him onto it. She took the rope from around his chest and attached it to the tarpaulin.  Back at the winch, she was able to turn the crank until David was close to the cabin porch.  He began to regain consciousness, and Shaynah helped him to sit up.

Bit by bit, David was able to get weakly to his feet with Shaynah’s help.  He was not totally aware of his situation when she put his arm across her shoulders and he half walked, half was dragged into the cabin.  Shaynah lay him on the sofa in front of the fireplace.  It was prepared to be lit, with logs and kindling in place.  She took a match from the box of Redbird wooden matches that sat on the mantelpiece and lit the kindling.  While the fire grew and took hold, Shaynah set about removing David’s soaked clothing. He seemed to have passed out again. She ignored the blood that stained her clothes and the sofa.

The adrenalin that had powered Shaynah to do what needed to be done was beginning to lessen.  She stood looking down at the handsome young man.  When she had her arm around him, his arm across her shoulders, it was the first time in her life that she’d had physical closeness with a man.  It was all the more stimulating because he was a young man and very good looking. Although he lived a secular life, he was a Jew.  Tentatively, and with shaking hands, Shaynah undid his belt and unbuttoned his pants.  She was afraid to remove them.  Even with her husband, Jewish law forbade intimacy, especially for pleasure, and sex took place with a sheet between them, only a space for insertion was open.

Shaynah delayed removal of David’s pants by deciding to remove the T-shirt first.  She couldn’t do it in one piece.  She found a scissors in a kitchen drawer and cut the shirt to pieces.  She cut it up the middle of his chest but still couldn’t get it over his arms. She looked down at his chest and gasped at the sight of the muscles and tanned torso.  She fought against her inhibitions and gently passed her hand over his chest, the curly light hair caressed her palm.

Flushed and stimulated as she had never been in her half-century of life in the cult, Shaynah determined to remove all David’s clothes and wrap him warmly as the fire lept and crackled, warming the bearskin rug that lay before the hearth.