July 3, 2013

Gloria Garfunkel

Great Expectations

Jacob grew up to be the Jewish doctor his parents always wanted. They were so proud when he was accepted to medical school. Not like his brother Ari who became a cop.

"Who ever heard of a Jewish cop?" they would say to him at every opportunity. "Irish. The Irish are cops. And the Aryans. Look at you. You look like a Nazi."

They were, after all, concentration camp survivors. They were allowed to say things like that to their son.

"Thanks to Hashem for our Jacob. Such a good boy. No guns for him. He will save lives."

But things didn't quite turn out as they expected. Jacob, too, had an interest in crime, after the Nazi crimes perpetrated against his family and recounted time after time. Forensics. He became a medical examiner. He felt so at peace alone with the corpses. It felt so familiar somehow.

"Oy, he broke our hearts, that Jacob. After all we went through, we expected him to save lives. And what does he do? He cuts to pieces the corpses. Autopsies. Forbidden by Jewish law. We should survive the camps for this? Two angels of death, with their guns and their knives?"


Gloria Garfunkel is a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She has published short stories, flash and micro fiction and memoir in Eclectica, Rose and Thorn, Connotation Press, and other fine places.


susan tepper said...

So simply and succinctly told with a feeling of backwashed emotion. Very good story.

marta said...

Sharp, concise, and sad.