Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4001)

Sitting Thirteen

Karin ran out of ladylike ways to handle the situation. She wanted to seem intelligent, in control or even demure. But the sight of a young boy walking toward a hand grenade which was capable of tearing his body to shreds, not to mention casting lethal shrapnel in her direction, stirred up all of her jungle instincts.

She ran and tackled Iz and threw him to the ground as the soldier made his way up the embankment to the grenade.

Even though Iz struggled—apparently possessed by some sort of demon of self-destruction—Karin climbed on his back and held him down, as the two lay panting, staring at the stumbling soldier like two chums on their bellies in front of a movie screen.

When Minioz came within two meters of the grenade, he paused, chin rubbing, head scratching, hands on hips, with loud cursing. He then gently tiptoed a centimeter at a time, closer and closer. Then, in one lightning-fast motion, he picked it up and held it in his hand.

Karin braced herself, ready for the impact of explosion.

Nothing.

The absence of nothing.

A perturbing, chilling silence.

Minioz looked around at the desert like a man discovering treasure, wondering if others passing by had seen. He was grateful.

Then he fell to his knees and started digging a hole. The sand was loose and light, and in no time at all, a two-meter chasm was unearthed. He dropped the dud inside and used his arms to quickly spread the sand over the top.

In the meantime, Karin had gradually climbed off Iz as the boy calmed, gaining sensibility. She flipped him over on his back, pinned his arms and shouted into his face, “Iz, what in the hell were you thinking?”

He stared at her—no, beyond her—and replied, “It just seemed like the time for us to die.”

Before Karin could respond, the sergeant, having completed his burial detail, suddenly stood and ran down the hill toward his jeep. Karin quickly pulled Iz to his feet. “Listen, I need to catch a ride with him. I will be back. Do you understand me? I am coming back. You must promise me…”

She stopped. What did she want to say? What was he supposed to promise? The young fellow was obviously damaged and needed some help. His friend was on a lark and didn’t realize the serious nature of his buddy’s situation. So what promise could Iz keep?

In the midst of her deliberation, Iz pointed and said, “Lady, look.”

Karin quickly glanced down the hill as the soldier leaped into his jeep, frantically started the engine, put it in gear, whirled it around and took off.

Karin just shook her head and said, “Wow.”

“I guess you’re stuck here with us,” Iz said.

Karin collapsed back onto the sand, half in exhaustion and half exasperation. She said, “My mother told me never to date soldiers. She said everything they have is a weapon, and unfortunately, they’re still in training.”

Pal walked up and looked down at the defeated reporter. “I guess we don’t have a grenade anymore,” he said.

Iz shook his head and intoned, “That’s not good.”

Karin looked at the two boys, who had obviously separated the little bit of sense they once had from the reality they now knew.

They didn’t understand.

No one understood.

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3959)

Sitting Seven

Karin Koulyea was a reporter at the local newspaper. She was American educated, a tad Bohemian for the surrounding elders, very independent and unwilling to cast her lot with either Arab or Jew.

She dubbed herself “the Bedouin Babe.” After many confrontations and disagreements, the title had deteriorated among her male counterparts at the water cooler, into “the Bedouin Beast.”

She was over-qualified for her job and certainly not on the fast track for promotion in a Middle Eastern culture that viewed women with a similar worth as a stinky herd of goats.

She refused to wear the traditional veil and covering, even for special occasions when her editor felt it would benefit the image of the paper. She wasn’t tempestuous. Perhaps in any other situation in any other city of the world, she might be viewed as a rather dowdy wallflower, but in this war-torn, religiously burdened town, she was Margaret Sanger with a little bit of Bonnie Parker thrown in.

It was ten o’clock in the morning and Karin was bored. She didn’t like coffee, although she drank it. She was on her third cup of the unlikable fluid when a slender boy walked in carrying a note. He placed it on her desk and turned to leave. She attempted to communicate with him verbally, but every hackneyed dialect she knew seemed to perplex him more. She finally let him go and decided to read the note.

To Paper Lady: There are two boys living in the desert, one a Jew and one an Arab. They will not go home. They are dangerous.

There was no signature.

She read it over twice. Two boys. Desert. Arab and Jew. Dangerous? It seemed like a practical joke. Or perhaps worse—a trap.

There was this one photographer always taking pictures of her, minus the necessary veil and covering. He giggled and wagged his finger at her, taunting, “I’ve got you now!”

It was bizarre and disconcerting. Maybe this was just another chance for a “photo op” by Raoul the Ghoul.

She threw the note away, paused, and then chased it to the waste basket, where it was stuck to a half-eaten Danish. She needed a story. Nothing else had come in. She popped up, strolled out of the room, stopped off at her editor’s office and said, “I’ll be back this afternoon.”

“Here’s an idea,” stated the gruff voice from the other room. “How about you bring back a story?”

Karin laughed. “What? And make you go over to a second page of print?” She quickly scurried down the stairs and out the door.

Of course, the first question was, where in the desert? “Desert” by its very nature opened up too many possibilities. She decided to go back inside and grab the keys to the old jeep the paper used for transportation, and start riding around asking people if they had heard or seen anything.

It took half-a-dozen or more confused passers-by, but eventually a bus driver told her that he had seen two boys—just yesterday. Karin put together some rudimentary directions from his memory and headed off toward the location.

She shook her head. How could two boys in the desert be dangerous? Should she take some sort of weapon? But why? Was she going to kill them? She thought not. She could read the headline: “Newspaper Woman Slaughters Two Boys in the Desert Because Not Wearing a Veil.”

She picked up a little petrol and supplies and was on her way, feeling a bit foolish, but intrigued, all in the same thought.

Hot day. She stopped for more water and bread. Who knows? Maybe this was her big story.


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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3053)

Dear Man Dear Woman

(He takes the television remote, punches pause, sighs and leans back in his chair)

Dear Man: What’s wrong? I thought you wanted to watch a movie.

 

Dear Woman: I did.
Dear Man: So what’s going on? Why the pause?

 

Dear Woman: I just get tired of these flicks portraying men and women at odds, always fussing with each other–acting like “pretend fighting” is funny, and even flirtatious.

 

Dear Man: Oh, I just don’t take it seriously. It’s just entertainment.

 

Dear Woman: But isn’t entertainment supposed to entertain you instead of annoy you? And by the way, without being mean-spirited here, it does affect you.

 

Dear Man: In what way?

 

Dear Woman: Sometimes–I’m not saying all the time–both you and I play the little game we see in the movies of poking at each other, thinking it’s funny.

 

Dear Man: Oh, you’re thinking too much.

 

Dear Woman: That’s probably the first time you’ve ever said that to me. But truthfully, what comes through our eyes and ears does penetrate us. Aren’t movies supposed to do that?

 

Dear Man: I never thought of it that way. So what is it that troubles you the most?

 

Dear Woman: It’s the bickering. The “pretend fighting.” The ongoing idea that men and women can’t peacefully co-exist until they decide to get along by having make-up sex.

 

Dear Man: Wow. Is it that serious?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. I think it’s worse than that. I think there is a sensation that if men and women don’t fume, romance can’t bloom.

 

Dear Man: So how do you think it should be? Are there conflicts?

 

Dear Woman: Let’s look at it this way. Both of us eat. Both of us sleep. Both of us pee. Both of us crap. Both of us think. Both of us laugh. Both of us cry. I could go on and on. The similarities we possess are enormous, but we decide to focus on a tiny list of differences.

 

Dear Man: Such as…?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I can’t have a baby. And you probably can’t lift a hundred and fifty pounds. I can’t nurse my child. Yet you don’t have the seed to make an offspring. Those should be enhancements.

 

Dear Man: I still believe you’re over-thinking it.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But I have to tell you, the white people in America came out to minstrel shows and laughed their heads off over actors in black face who were fussing, arguing, doing dumb things and generating what was considered comedic pratfalls. As long as the black race was the butt of a joke, there was no chance for equality.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t humor a release?

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But it’s also a weapon, to keep real feelings at bay so we can insert prejudices.

 

Dear Man: So what do you suggest?

 

Dear Woman: A really simple solution. If it’s important enough to feel, it’s important enough to say, instead of hiding behind some frustration by using a lame joke.

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