This has not been a banner year for ck. To say the least. So far, I’ve had my beloved Canon 30D SLR and a zoom lense stolen from me while leading our last Taglit-birthright israel trip. That’s close to $2000 hard earned dollars – gone. Just like that. Yesterday, while driving down from Palo Alto to Long Beach, I got into a scuffle in front of a convenience store with some fellows who were bothering a young woman. One of them got clocked hard by ck’s fist-o-fury (see scuffed bloodied fist above) but another assailant came up behind me and whacked me with some kind of blunt, heavy object. He got me in the rib that I cracked riding my bike in Jerusalem. Then someone punched me in the stomach and winded me. As I fell to the ground, they kicked me numerous times. As far as I can tell there were 5 of them. They all ran off when they saw a uniformed individual approach. They must have thought he was a security guard. He wasn’t – he worked at one of the myriad fast food joints nearby. Probably on a break buying some smokes. Probably saved my life. After the fact, the attendant at the convenience store brought me some napkins and water to clean off the blood and asked if I wanted to call the police. “Lotta good that’ll do me now” I thought and so I begged off and moved on. The new $400 dummy camera I bought in New York the week before got messed up and is now mostly useless. My ribs hurt again and thus breathing, laughing, sitting still and moving hurts. But whatever – it could have been worse. Pretty bad huh?
Allow me to add for the sake of brevity and discretion that this is really just the tip of the iceberg as far as bad things that happen to ck go. As we speak in fact… but never mind that. The title of the post can easily be answered – of course God doesn’t hate me. God has far more important things to do than bother with the likes of me. In the grand scheme of things, I am an inconsequential blip. But still – when bad things continuously happen to ck people, one can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of cosmic alignment whose sole purpose it is to rain brimstone and redistributive justice upon me. I’m no great rasha (evil person) but I am far from being a tzadik (righteous person). I always have my head covered, but I rarely wear a kippah. I always bring my tallit and tefillin with me whenever I travel but I don’t often actually wear them. I observe the sabbath but my celebration could do with a little more spirituality and a lot less endless sleep. I’ve given away a retarded amount of money to charity but I am often distant and indifferent to those closest to me. On Friday I helped a blind old lady get to her bus stop but on Saturday I just couldn’t back the fuck off.
So all this bad shit that is happening to me is probably just serendipitous and not the result of divine wrath or some bad voodoo mojo karma crap. Nonetheless, one can’t help but think when faced with such a series of unfortunate events. Maybe it won’t stop the bad stuff from happening, but surely being truer to your ideals and being even kinder to others is its own reward? With that in mind, I got into Long Beach at 7 am and despite feeling like I had been run over by a Mack Truck, and despite craving sleep more than life itself, I unpacked my teffilin and went to the synagogue to pray and read the morning megillah for the first time in I don’t know how long (see photo above). I’ll also try to be a better person, really I will! And on the off chance that this is God fucking with me – let me just say… I’m not amused.
Enjoy “Blasphemous Rumours” below as you rightfully laugh at my misfortune. The song is an 80s classic by Depeche Mode off the Some Great Reward album, originally released in 1984 and remastered in 2006. Happy Purim – Mishenichnas Adar… indeed.[audio:blasphemous_rumours.mp3]