- "Carpe Diem, quam
minimum credula a postero." Horace
It all began in the
land of the ancient nightingale amidst the background of homemade
pita bread, olive oil and freshly made yogurt. Then, days were as
soft as the rays of golden sunlight and even more promising; and
nights, made of black velvet, smelled like musk, incense and
It was here that a
people called the Goys tended the land they loved for thousands of
years. Every tree they planted was as precious as a small child
and watered tenderly by loving hands. These Goyans were noble,
gentle and peace loving.
Together the men
ventured and retold their adventures around antique coffee shops
against the background of blue skies, orange groves, to the sound
of the hummingbird and the buzz of honeybees searching for rich
dashed in and out of summer sprinklers that irrigated row upon row
of orange and lemon trees whose famous fruits were shipped off to
faraway lands. Life was indeed good and the Goy people lived in
bliss and harmony. Even migrating birds, tired of their long
overseas journey would flutter down on Goyan shores until they had
gained enough strength to resume their flight. Seagulls beat their
wings against azure Goyan skies.
Then one day, a people
known as the Mamzers invaded the land of the Goys, scorching the
fertile earth, uprooting the trees that the Goyans had lovingly
tended and killing unarmed men, women and children who had until
this time, only known peace and tranquility in their garden of
These Mamzers, who
were meshugenes, schlemiels and downright nogoodniks, convinced
the world that all along, the Goyan’s land had been theirs. And
the world, hasty to be rid of the Mamzers, armed them, defended
them and helped spread their lies. Mamzerian atrocities and
attempts to liquidate and drive away the surviving Goyans from
their land was portrayed as merely attempts to safeguard the
survival of the invaders while the Goyans were portrayed as
violent rebellious souls who somehow were unable to appreciate the
fact that they were being slaughtered.
Thousands of Goyans
fled to neighboring countries. Others huddled in newly established
camps within the remnants of their own land, thinking that soon
they would be able to return home. Some even kept the keys to
their houses in their pockets or treasure chests hoping that when
tomorrow came, they would see their orange and lemon groves once
But this was not to
be. Soon the Mamzers declared their statehood and made leaders out
of those who had killed the most Goyans. With the aid of Kosher
deceptions, Hollywood theatrics, Clintonian acting and ludicrous
lies, the new state was recognized and with time, the gentle
Goyans came to be stereotyped as uncivilized, uneducated and
undeserving of their own land.
The Mamzer campaign of
lies succeeded and so the invaders began to build an army state
bent on the extermination of the Goyans. Unable to bear the
oppression of Manzerian leaders whose flag bore a Swastika-like
emblem, infant Goyans rose up to fight for the freedom of their
people only to be ruthlessly cut down. More and more Mamzers
flooded onto the shores of the ancient Goyans razing more Goyan
homes, constructing new settlements and hiding many Goyan
skeletons in their dank closets.
And out of the chaos
and destruction came new sages and pseudo-prophets declaring they
had visions of the carnage and destruction they had perpetrated
revisiting their own ranks. One such visionary painted colorful
pictures on archaic walls declaiming what his fellow Mamzers had
done. With his gnarled hands, gaunt face, and bent figure, he
succeeded in convincing many Goyans that he was sincere, for he
was well-versed in story telling, drew beautiful pictures on
scraps of parchment and sang songs of love and peace.
Thus, some Goyans
exalted him and made him one of their own. But one day, a friendly
Goyan artist, interested in learning the trade from the kindly
gnarled visionary, decided to visit the acclaimed hero who he had
conversed with on various occasions. Gently, he tap tapped on the
Visionary’s door. From within, he heard a voice, at first deep
and harsh sounding, growl a "come in."
The Goyan artist at
first hesitated, not wanting to encroach on the privacy of others.
He was startled when the door flung open and the disheveled figure
of the Visionary appeared before him. "Oh, it’s you. Come
The artist entered. A
dark odor seemed to linger about the house and he thought he could
hear moans and groans of tortured souls somewhere in the distance.
No sunlight permeated the drawing room. The curtains were stained
and yellowed, the carpet worn and tired. Some incense burned in a
tin container sending off puffs that curled upwards towards a
moldy ceiling. It seemed to the Goyan artist that no windows had
been opened for ever so long and he could think of no better
description of the lingering odor than that of death. Though it
was winter, beads of sweat formed on the artist’s forehead and a
shudder that began at the top of his head worked its way down to
the bottom of his feet.
down." Said the Visionary. "Make yourself at home. I am
honored by your visit."
The artist stuttered.
Then he cleared his throat. Finally he summoned up the courage and
said, "I have come to learn art from you Mensch. Everyone I
know is praising your courage to paint against our
A spark flashed in
Mensch’s eyes. The corners of his cragged lips turned up
slightly revealing brown stained teeth. Then he spoke, the
gruffness softening to a mellow whine, "Why yes of course. I
will teach you how to paint beautiful pictures. Naturally, we will
begin at the beginning."
The Goyan artist
learned new techniques and abandoned his crude style of
expression. Now he could command new splashes of vivid colors and
now maybe his fellow Goyans would acknowledge his talents. On a
day that looked like summer, the artist paid his last visit to
Mensch the visionary. As he hopped up the Mamzer’s steps, he
felt the rays of the winter sun warm his back. Later, he told
himself. Later when he was finished with his final lesson, he
could enjoy the last of the day’s sun while walking back home.
During his many visits
to Mensch’s home, he had almost forgotten the dismal cluttered
appearance of the shoddy house and tried to imagine the smell of
lemon and orange blossoms instead of the sickly odor that clung to
the worn chairs and the threadbare carpet. After all, he reassured
himself, he was in the home of his dear friend, a talented
visionary who had taught him the finer art of painting. One last
time he was met at the door by the gaunt gnarled figure of Mensch.
Once more he was invited inside and asked to sit himself down.
After the Goy’s last
efforts at perfecting his newly learned art, his mentor said,
"Come here my good man. We are now the best of friends and I
have taught you all I know. I have something special to show you
today. Something that will both shock and inspire you. Something
that you will never forget as long as you live."
Little did he suspect
that the length of his life was coming to an end. The artist
followed the withered figure of his cherished friend. Down dark
stairs the two went. The steps creaked and groaned with each
downward movement. His heart beat excitedly. He was on the verge
of discovering art in its most perfect form, he thought. He would
be the first Goyan to view the greatest of all the Visionary’s
creations. He would go back and reconfirm what many of his fellow
Goyans had now believed as well. That this Mamzer was the not only
the greatest artist, but truly a Goyan at heart. The Goyan artist
decided then and there that upon returning home, he would paint
his own masterpiece and dedicate it to his visionary friend.
Perhaps in this way, he could share some of Mensch’s glory.
over here. Step this way but be careful you don’t fall. I would
hate to see you hurt."
The Visionary slowly
opened a heavy metal door. "Please, it is here inside. Come
have a look."
The Goyan artist moved
ahead of Mensch and stepped carefully inside a vault-like
structure. A very fitting place for a treasure he thought as he
nodded his head in silent approval. It was too dark to see well.
Suddenly, the heavy door slammed shut. He heard the key lock. He
pounded on the metal door, there must be some mistake. He yelled
at Mensch the Visionary. "Hey, the door locked. Let me
All he heard was a
shrill cackle and sluggish footsteps leading away…far away. He
tried to feel his way around, to grope for a light, a candle, a
match, anything. His foot hit what felt like a dead body. A
sickening stench overcame him and he almost fainted. His hand
landed on something that felt like human bones. He screamed and
cried and beat at the door. No one came to open it.
It took days to die an
agonizing death. He finally stopped yelling and screaming for he
knew it was no use. He knew no one would come to search for him
for a Goyan would not be missed by the outside world and his own
fellow Goyans had already forgotten him and his meager talents. He
became just another skeleton in the apocryphal visionary’s