20 West End Avenue New York, New York 10023 212/246-7717 • www.heschel.org
W ho are we? e-pit’-o-me is our opportunity to discover ourselves, embrace ourselves, take pride in ourselves. We dedicate this to our unique identities, to the infinite pieces of the puzzles that we are to all the different parts and combinations that make us distinctly us — we are the embodiment of all these. As the generation without a voice, our voices are heard in the syncopated rhythm of our qualms our conundrums, and the risks we take every day. e-pit’-o-me is our voice. Charlotte, Jenny, Tobias
Staff Editors in Chief
Tobias Citron Elisheva Epstein Jennifer Katz Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
The Abraham Joshua Heschel High School
Art/Photography Editors Rebecca Mack Harris Mizrahi
Associate Literary Editors Emma Goldberg Rebecca Mack
Faculty Advisor Sandra Silverman
Special Thanks to
Publimax Printing, Graphic Paper New York, and Barry and Zachary Goodman AJHHS Alumni Class ’08 for contributions to defray costs of Epitome. Gabe Godin and Dena Schutzer
Graphic Design/Production By Design Communications
20 West End Avenue New York, New York 10023 212/246-7717 www.heschel.org
Head of School
High School Head Ahuva Halberstam
Memberships & Awards
Member, CSPA, 2006 – present (Columbia Scholastic Press Association)
First Place Magazine Cover – Black and White, 2009
Gold Medalist 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Gold Circle Awards 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Silver Medalist, 2006
Printing Publimax Printing Paper Graphic Paper New York
The pieces in this magazine emerged from both class projects and outside writing. Teachers and students submit material and the editors make selections and suggest revisions as part of an extra-curricular activity. Epitome represents a cross-section of the literary and artistic talents of our students and seeks to showcase as many of their works as possible, reflecting Heschel’s commitment to inclusion. This magazine was produced on the Macintosh platform. Font families: American Typewriter, Optima, Times New Roman, Wiesbaden Swing (body text); Aquiline, Arial Black, Bovine Poster, Caflisch, Cochin, Curlz, Digital, Du Duchamp, Eras, Linotext, Marker Felt, Mistral, Peignot, Present, Russell Square, Stencil, Zapf Dingbats (titling, decorative text, subheads, credits, page numbers). 650 copies, printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster 102SP 5 Color with Inline Coater. Paper stock: 100# Montauk Gloss Recycled Text-FSC Certified and 111# Montauk Gloss Recycled Cover-FSC Certified (promoting sustainable forest management). Front and back cover printed 4 colors CMYK with double hit of Black plus spot satin and spot gloss aqueous coatings over 1 color Black; inside pages printed 4/4 CMYK (all inks used are vegetable-based inks).
Table of Book Covers/Opening Pages Dedication.................... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi, Jennifer Katz, Tobias Citron Dedication art............... Talia Niederman, acrylic Covers/title page.......... Harris Mizrahi, photographs, digitally altered
Poetry Waiting......................... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi....9 So How Are You Holding Up?............. Emma Goldberg............12 Polonya........................ Daelin Hillman..............14 Images.......................... Natan Tannenbaum........18 Contrasts...................... Zoe Goldberg................20 Hands and Feet............. Emma Goldberg............22 Childhood..................... Sarah Freedman.............24 Ode To My Brother...... Rachel Seidman.............25 Haiti Sings of Human Benevolence............. Andrew Berson.............27 An Apology.................. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..28 The Internet Is But a Vacuum................. Shipley Mason..............41 Alone............................ Tobias Citron.................42 Delightful But Triteful Remy Bohrer, Deana Cheysvin, Jeffrey Federmesser, Molly Goldman, Alix Gollomp, Katie Grobman, Rebecca Heringer, James Khaghan, Perri Kressel,
Zerlina Panush, acrylic
Noah Offitzer, Sigal Palley, Shayna Rosenfeld, Elliot Rubin, Lauren Vaknin, Steven Wolff..................43 Love Story.................... Natan Tannenbaum........46 Ordinary Things........... Arielle Wiener-Bronner..54 Empty Bottles............... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..52 9/11: Speechless........... Rebecca Mack...............53 The Good War.............. Skyler H. Siegel............54 My Brother Died a Martyr................... Matan Skolnik...............56 Music........................... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..59 Drowning..................... Gabriel Klausner...........61 Despisemare................. Rachel Weisberg............63 Exile No More.............. Skyler H. Siegel............64 To White Food............. Maya Miller..................66 The Tyrannical Master...................... Tobias Citron.................67 Snow Day Quandariness............ Daelin Hillman..............68 Cool Tiled Floor........... Leah Robinson..............69 Colors of Family.......... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..73 Wrath of the Darking... Joshua Ashley................74
Jonathan Merrin, acrylic
Contents Poetry (continued)
Not Just Pretty and White................. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..76 Truth............................. Tobias Citron.................77 Visiting Savta............... Jennifer Katz.................78 Reality?........................ Nico Ravitch.................79 The Fragrance of a Piece of Music......... Zoe Goldberg................80 I, Too, Must Be a Sinner.................... Skyler H. Siegel............83 Heart Echoes................ Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..90 The Tight Lavender Leotard..................... Zoe Bohrer....................91
Fiction / Plays
Suggestions From Your Resident Klutz......... Rebecca Mack...............16 The Open Window....... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..26 The Odd Couple........... Sophie Greenspan.........29 Six Word Stories.......... Emily Spiera, Ethan Finkelstein, Jessica Sion, Natan Tannenbaum, Leah Robinson, Elizabeth Rauner, Rebecca Mack...............44 Belzec In Love............. Beatrice Volkmar...........47 The Natural.................. Adiel Schmidt...............70 The Loveless Heart...... Jennifer Katz.................84
Higher Education......... Daniel Meyers...............96 All Alone In My Room.. Avishag Ben-Aharon.....97 Staring.......................... Sarah Freedman.............99 Growing Pains.............. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..100 Struggling to Choose... Andrew Udell..............101 Two Mothers................ Naomi Blech...............102 Mapping Out Her Heart......................... Emma Goldberg..........110 I Am the Dusk.............. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..117 I Am A Work In Progress.................... Charlotte Marx-Arpadi..118 The Mirror.................... Maya Miller................119
Unearthing Weeds........ Emma Goldberg............92 Heart of Silicon............ Tzvi Pollock................106 I Wasnâ€™t Always So Scared................. Elana Meyers...............112
Essays / On My Mind
Nighttime..................... Jesse Miller...................11 The Song of the Reeds. Leah Robinson..............58 Essay Number One...... Tobias Citron...............104
Marissa Heringer, acrylic
Table of Art Acrylic.......................... Zerlina Panush................4 Acrylic.......................... Jonathan Merrin..............4 Acrylic.......................... Marissa Heringer.............5 Acrylic.......................... Noah Offitzer...................6 Acrylic.......................... Shayna Rosenberg...........7 Acrylic.......................... Talya Nevins...................7 Digital art..................... Liron Siag......................13 Digital art..................... Rebecca Zeuner.............18 Etching......................... Anna Rothstein..............19 Watercolor & craypas..................... Shipley Mason..............21 Oil................................ Ariel Glueck..................22 Oil................................ Benjamin Fenster..........25 Pen and ink................... Zerlina Panush..............27 Watercolor.................... Marissa Schefflin..........28 Pen and ink................... Zerlina Panush .......30–31 Pen and ink................... Noah Offitzer...........34–35 Watercolor.................... Tamar Rosen.................36 Watercolor.................... Michaela Hearst............39 Digital art..................... Isabel Merrin.................40 Acrylic.......................... Jeffrey Federmesser......44 Oil................................ Arielle Wiener-Bronner..44 Acrylic ........................ Alexander Hymowitz....44 Acrylic.......................... Lauren Vaknin...............44
Noah Offitzer, acrylic
Oil................................ Benjamin Newman........45 Oil................................ Harris Mizrahi...............45 Oil................................ Jacob Sloyer..................45 Acrylic.......................... Isabelle Harari...............45 Pencil............................ Noah Offitzer.................46 Watercolor.................... Isabel Merrin...........47–50 Mixed media................ Tenth Grade...................66 Digital art..................... Julia Maschler...............68 Collage......................... Ninth Grade...................72 Cut paper...................... Rebecca Heringer..........77 Graphite........................ Noah Offitzer.................78 Acrylic.......................... Talia Niederman............81 Oil................................ Elisheva Epstein............82 Watercolor.................... Lois Weisfuse................85 Oil................................ David Kagan.................91 Oil................................ Tali Schulman...............91 Digital art..................... Lois Weifuse..................96 Charcoal....................... Noah Offitzer...............100 Pencil............................ Noah Offitzer...............102 Charcoal....................... Noah Offitzer...............102 Acrylic.......................... Noah Offitzer...............103 Watercolor.................... Rebecca Mack.............118 Clear packing tape sculpture................... Eleventh Grade............120
Maxwell Padway..............................................8 Harris Mizrahi.................................................10 Rebecca Mack.................................................11 Sarah Krakowski.............................................14 Danielle Carmi................................................17 Nicole Hirschenboim......................................24 Rachel Brandeis..............................................26 Nicole Hirschenboim......................................41 Juliette-Lea Bergwerk.....................................42 Shayna Rosenfeld...........................................43 Shoshana Lauter..............................................51 Charlotte Marx-Arpadi...................................52 Sander Siegel..................................................53 Isabel Harari....................................................54 Leah Dorfman.................................................57 Ariel Glueck....................................................58 Harris Mizrahi.................................................59 Harris Mizrahi.................................................61 Ariel Glueck....................................................63 Sasha Gayle Schneider...................................64
Shayna Rosenberg, acrylic
Ariel Glueck....................................................66 Shayna Rosenfeld...........................................69 Alix Gollomp..................................................73 Rebecca Mack.................................................74 Rebecca Mack.................................................76 Harris Mizrahi.................................................79 Harris Mizrahi.................................................80 Rebecca Mack.................................................90 Nicole Hirschenboim......................................92 Shayna Rosenfeld...........................................96 Harris Mizrahi.................................................98 Nicole Hirschenboim......................................99 Nicole Hirschenboim....................................101 Leon Malisov..................................................10 Jesse Kramer.................................................108 Juliette-Lea Bergwerk...................................111 Rebecca Mack.............................................. 112 Sharona Nahshon..........................................116 Allison Bast..................................................119 Rebecca Mack . ............................................120
Talya Nevins, acrylic
Waiting We are all always waiting Aren’t we? There, I wait for your answer. I wait for you. (but do you wait for me, too? I wait to see.)
I have the answer in mind I wait for you to say it Because I won’t Because you won’t So we don’t. I catch hints of it, though. Hints of what? There, again, I wait in question. I walk aimlessly, in circles Around and around, hiding my waiting Through constant motion. Movement Changing Impatient in my waiting, so I walk Directionless I wait for my destination, a destination A path laid out for me, given to me. The train pulls out of the station Either accept to wait for the next one, Or what? Trains don’t stop for running people in real life.
Opposite page: Maxwell Padway, photograph Pages 8 – 9
Rebecca Mack, photograph
Each day goes by and we count it. Week after week, year after year Counting, Towards what? For what?
Cross your hands on your lap, You may be here a while. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Night time t is nighttime. I have always liked the night. The cool air and the quiet streets help me relax. I do not have to worry about my appearance. I am exposed to the outside world, but I am physically and mentally alone. I venture off into an alley that I have never explored before. I love discovering new places in a familiar part of the world. I am welcomed to this brand new universe by fear and confusion. The comfort of the night has escaped me. I have not been seen by anyone, but I am suddenly self-conscious. Lost children reside in this remarkable place. Faces that so clearly represent terror mask their identities. They are alone, and they are used to it. The night has not been as kind to them as it has been to me. I am truly sad. I see a young child being held back by teenagers. This young child is my brotherâ€™s age, and I am the same age as those who restrain him. The child, who closely resembles my brother, seems possessed as the sixteen year old, who looks like me, tries desperately to hold him back. I am frightened by the familiarity and I run away. The night has not been kind to me on this occasion.
Pages 10 â€“ 11
So How Are You Holding Up? Did your kindergarten teacher ever hand you Elmer’s glue and child-proof scissors Sixty-four hues of Crayola Crayons like “Paint the Town Red” and “Tickle Me Pink” And Popsicle sticks, and you were told to construct a castle from said materials In five minutes flat, while Lucy Evans was tugging on your pigtail braids And just as you laid the last Popsicle stick down flat They all came tumbling down, in clatters of sticky, technicolor Waste. So how are you holding up? Did you ever visit Brighton Beach during summer time And your brother or sister or cousin insisted on tugging you tumbling Into the warmth of summer day And for two hours and twenty six minutes you burrowed and dug; You shoveled grains into mounds and mounds into mountains and mountains into Castles Sandcastles And then the tip-tapping toes of ocean tides crashed over like Boom and
And everything was softness, like Elmer’s glue or like summer sand and like Boom and Gone. And there are cracks along the linoleum seams The threads have come undone and it’s castles unraveling But the only thing that really matters is the whisper of Holding it together, knotting ribbons into finishes And, like Popsicle sticks or ocean tides— Gone. But I’m doing well, thanks. How are you? Emma Goldberg
Gone. So how are you holding up? Or did you ever visit a hospital that smelled of antiseptic, tuna fish, eraser dust And fragility? And the walls and the people and the noises were a white so white it gave you goosebumps And the linoleum floor whistled and the respirators hummed and the wheelchairs hissed And suddenly you felt every joint in your body creaking and your limbs gasping And your ribcage beginning to crack and your fingernails shredding into slivers
! Liron Siag, digital art
Pages 12 – 13
Polonya Neverwas this neverside Bitter herbs, the Fast we cried And from the mud as black as souls Powdered in the deadened coals Of fires they wasted in the night In camps oppressed mad blind with fright A prayer escaping in a chant Did seek a highway home. Neverwill we neverwill Rain and stamping boots be still The train’s arrival told it all The brakes are final, the airless stall To us the dying ride. Neverwas the neverend Just empty bread to feed the dead In walks of circles to the Door To shower off and nevermore Where a song was uttered ‘I believe’ That He will come to our reprieve In a world to which we soar. Daelin Hillman
Sarah Krakowski, photograph (digitally altered)
Pages 14 – 15
s n o i t s e g Sug From Your Resident ^
u Kl t z
distractions. Thus, inevitably, I couldn’t help but pause to lick my fingers. Scrumptious. The blaze continued to spread, and it was time to get the hell out of there. As I burst out onto the street, gasping for air, a fireman reached out a gloved hand to help pull me to the next block. When we reached safety, he asked me name. Coughing up smoke, I said, “Sane Jmith” instead of “Jane Smith.” I blame that one on the smoke. As I sat there, in my state of utter shame, watching the life-long achievements of the most prestigious chef in town go up in smoke, a certain song came to mind. “High School Never Ends,” by Bowling For Soup, blasted in my head as if there were actual speakers hidden between the
T hough I graduated from high school as valedictorian, the events that have
transpired in the past three hours have been far from my proudest. I find myself reflecting on my naïveté — I used to think that a high school diploma guaranteed success, or at least represented a promising future. It seems however, that I still have those days where my intelligence level appears to be that of a kindergarten student, days where I’m just about as graceful as that poor gazelle that was never as swift as the other gazelles. If I were a gazelle, today I would have been shunned by all of my gazelle friends. The fire wins the prize for my most dangerous mistake. As if practically ice-skating across the freshly glossed floor and slamming into the table were not mortifying enough, there simply had to be a candle on the table that so rudely decided to come crashing to the floor. Flames leaped from the candle as fire spews from an angry dragon’s mouth. They engulfed the neatly set table, cloth and all, throwing spoons and forks into the air like amateur jugglers. As far as I recall, my invitation to the extravagant dinner with my best friend promised nothing about a spontaneous circus performance. I suppose where there’s a circus there are refreshments. Cotton candy didn’t seem to be on the menu, but crème-brulee most certainly was. As I reached to the next table to grab the water pitcher, my eyes still fixed on the deep red color of the flames, I stuck my hand into the warm dessert instead of grasping the handle of the water pitcher. A quick side note: I’ve never been able to focus. While in the midst of the most perilous adventure, while reading the climax of a story, or while watching a fire swallow a restaurant whole, I can’t ever seem to shut out
Pages 16 – 17
Danielle Carmi, photograph
strands of my hair. Try as I might, the lyric “life’s pretty much the same as it was back then” repeated over and over like a broken record. The throbbing beat of the imaginary music stopped as my friend, Allison Gold, ran over from the restaurant, plopping her heavy body down on the curb next to my new fireman friend and me. Alison put her chubby
hand in mine, squeezing just a bit too tight so that the ring on my right thumb left a small imprint on my skin. If anyone knows me, it’s Ali. From the look in my eyes, and the tear that mixed with the leftover crème brulee near my mouth, my best friend knew exactly what had happened — as if she had witnessed the terrible scene through my eyes rather than her own. Muttering that it was going to be okay, Ali let out a small giggle. In response to my questioning glance, Ali chuckled. Then, to my complete bewilderment, Ali burst out laughing. Soon, the fireman and I began to laugh, and the three of us sat there, bent over, our bodies shaking with smoke induced laughter. The sight must have been nothing short of epic. Now, if you ask me, the moral of my life story is that people make mistakes, and a high school diploma is not what’s going to rescue you in the toughest of times. It’s the squeeze of a familiar hand, the friendly fireman, and the sweet aftertaste of a dessert that lets you hold your head high. And let me tell you, high school really does never end. The good, the bad, the absolutely hilarious, and the positively humiliating moments; those will always continue, making you cry, or on a lucky day, making you laugh. Rebecca Mack
Images He laughs as the sun strikes his bare back while he treads the rocky beach.
He approaches the Alley shaking His wrists and whining With pain Because of the fear that eats him from the inside out.
Rebecca Zeuner, digital art
Pages 18 – 19
Anna Rothstein, etching
Contrasts My life stinks: I failed my English test I’ll never have a boyfriend Why is my mom so annoying? My life stinks: I have no blankets and it’s starting to get cold I don’t know how I’ll feed my baby brother; he’s hungry I only collected a few cents today. I’m starving: They gave us meatloaf for lunch today Ew I hope I can order in tonight. I’m starving: I don’t know how many days it’s been. What will we do when winter comes? I need something good to happen soon. I love him: Why doesn’t he love me back? Why do I always call him? I guess there’s no hope for us. I love him: He’s never done anything wrong in his life and doesn’t deserve this. I wish there were a way I could help him But I’m afraid he’s getting weaker. I need help: I’m stuck inside this awful house, I’m never allowed to do anything I want, I can’t wait to go to college and finally have some freedom. I need help: We don’t have anywhere to go. Soon he’ll catch a cold, or worse. I need to think of something, fast. Zoe Goldberg
Pages 20 – 21
Shipley Mason, watercolor & craypas
Hands and Feet Her eyes traveled first to his feet, the instinct of a dancer; Duck walk, she nodded Feet slightly pointed out, forty-nine degree angle. Her mother used to tell her that a body should be poetry Graceful, sweeping, Percy Shelley transliterated into a language of limbs But just maybe, she thought that Poetry superimposed on the feet of the boy on the A train Would probably end up as duck-feet: A syncopated beat of bouncing sneakers. His eyes traveled first to her hands, the instinct of a painter. Her hands tapped a steady beat on Subway pole Like they were dancing a waltz, the “Blue Danube” The half notes that used to tumble out of his mother’s outdated Victrola. His mother used to play her records sometimes Sitting him down on a stool with an easel and canvas. Paint, she would say, the air filled with his jerky motions and quick, uneven breaths; Grace, she would say, pointing at the Victrola And again every painter needs grace. He had the urge to brush his fingers on the scruff of her mittens To watch them create poetry out of the negative space between subway walls Spinning grace out of the the emptiness of harsh daylight.
Ariel Glueck, oil
Pages 22 – 23
They got up at Grand Army Plaza The folds of their jackets brushing limb-to-limb. Painter and dancer, duck feet and a waltz But it was only the A train, Wednesday morning Air carrying the scent of cigarette butts, stale Halloween candy And words left unspoken in the harsh subway light. Emma Goldberg
Childhood “I want to be like Peter Pan—I will not grow up.” Little girl says, eyes fierce. “I don’t know if anyone ever truly does. I think our childhood Still lives inside of us.”
Sarah Freedman Benjamin Fenster, oil Nicole Hirschenboim, photograph
Ode To My Brother On his bicycle he swerves in between cars on the street Like a snake through the unknown obstacles of the jungle. He lies awake exploring the culture of television until the wee hours, And becomes a grouch at the rising of the sun. He is inspired by the sight of steak and potatoes And the evening reports on ESPN. An Ode to my Brother, My friend, advisor and savior Who humors me when I am down, Guides me through pressing challenges, And stands as my shield in front of hateful enemies. When a vicious beast unleashes its wrath and bites, His heart-warming words soothe the wounds. In a time of utter confusion, He makes sense of complexities and teaches me the way. It is he who glides along the still waters of the lake on a single ski. If you see him, be sure to note his charming ways. He is not a person to ignore. He is Benjamin. Rachel Seidman
Pages 24 – 25
The Open Window
It all began when someone left the window open. Exploring the old,
abandoned house, a group of young children on summer vacation went from room to room, wary of the creaking floorboards and loose doorknobs. Someone opened a window, having trouble breathing during the hot and dusty exploration. Somewhere in the house, a door slammed, the children screamed, and quickly fled the house. Days passed, and children returned to school with new backpacks and summer tans, but that forgotten window remained opened. As remnants of the warm, summer weather gave way to harsher, colder winds, birds began to glide through that forgotten window, attracted to the warm, soothing light on the other side. During cold winter nights, they could not help themselves. It was some sort of magnetism; they couldn’t stop, and didn’t want to stop, flying towards the warmth. The more cautious would circle around, temporizing, stalling. Eventually, the welcoming rush they felt as they flew near the open window would seduce them in, like a blast of air conditioning from an opened-door store on a hot day. Even the strongest had to succumb. They all fell for it; the birds would fly in, but they never would leave. The veterans in the wallpaper were accustomed to their situation; it was the novices who were restless. Eventually, they would tire, and they, too, would watch as light climbed up the curtains, then slowly retreated, marking the passing of time. The days faded into one another as the curtains gently blew back and forth hypnotically, from the outside wind, from an outside world, an outside in which the birds no longer flew. The birds made up the wallpaper of this strange, eerie room. Attached to both each other and the wall by some invisible, mysterious force, they were threaded together like patches of a quilt. It was not until a boy, being watched by a group of boys, followed through on their dare to enter the haunted house one cold, Halloween night that all this changed. Not wanting to be called chicken or sissy for the rest of his life, he persevered on by forcing himself to realize that the whistling, moaning sound was from an opened window upstairs, and not something unthinkable. As he closed the window, the boy suddenly found himself surrounded by hundreds of birds, finally unshackled from the wallpaper. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi Rachel Brandeis, photograph Pages 26 – 27
Haiti Sings of Human Benevolence From afar I listen to the song of rebuilding and relief;
To the tune of the volunteer who buries the dead, sorts supplies, and looks through the rubble in hopes of exhuming one who remains alive; And the beat of the doctor who treats the plethora of patients; And the lyrics of the Haitian looking through the rubble in search of a family member, a friend, or a stranger; And the harmony provided by he who is bound to his job at home, but digs deep into his wallet and gives to the Haitians, disregarding his hunger and unpaid rent; And we stare, admiring the altruism, selflessness, and benevolence of humankind. He views himself as a bead on a necklace, connected to all others by the string; And we join in the effort, inspired and motivated – So that we can all end the suffering; So that at its culmination the young man can return to Broadway after his workday And the old to his spouse and his work; So we can no longer focus on relief, but we can sing a song of betterment and advancement. Andrew Berson
Zerlina Panush, pen & ink
“THE ODD COUPLE”
This puzzle is all one color. The pieces first looked like they all fit But we crammed them together unthinkingly.
Black screen; image of opening set slowly expands from center to fill screen during voiceover
This is a beautiful room in a castle on a hill But I see the paint chipping, and stains on the walls. I search for the inevitable bad So it comes as no surprise.
Voice (increasing slowly in volume): You’re traveling to another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
I’m sorry for testing you Thinking you’d reach for it again When I let go of it But your fist is just as closed as mine.
Scene I: The MacAfee’s Abode
But I can admit to my tangled, contradicting branches Visible when the sun cools down And leaves begin to fall. And I can apologize for my ways.
shares with his widowed father, Charles.
The interior of a lavishly decorated, and expensive house in Evanston, Chicago, in May, 1959. George, 19, handsome, innocent and charming, enters through the front door of the home he George (while removing his postal cap and jacket): Hi, Dad! I’m home. Screen to Charles, 64, a burly, military man, with quick eyes and handlebar white moustache,
I really did want to leave it be When we finally reached mutuality, But it’s not in my nature to enjoy daylight Without looking ahead towards night.
lying on the couch in his reading glasses, smoking jacket, and slippers with a pipe in his mouth. The day’s “Chicago Tribune” is in his hands. Charles (barely lifting his eyes from his newspaper): You’re late!
We were parallel lines And I couldn’t reach you, so I gave up. But so did you And that’s what undid my line. (i’m sorry i saw grey clouds on sunny days)
George: Only by a few minutes, Pop! I can’t help it if the boss has got it in for me so he keeps me late sorting the mail. Charles (speaking to George as George runs upstairs): Son, when you say you’ll be home
by seven, I expect you home by seven. It is now (pulling out his pocket watch)… 7:13! When I was in Austria, if we came to dinner even a millisecond – George (running back down the stairs, pulling on a sock): Well it’s a good thing this is Evanston, not Austria, Pop. Gotta run! Charles: Now where are you going?
Marissa Schefflin, watercolor Pages 28 – 29
Charles (about to repeat an idea he’s put out multiple times):
Narrator steps into the doorway of Eddie’s room.
George – you’ve grown to become such a handsome young lad. You ought to be out chasing girls and thinking about finding someone to
Narrator: You have just met two boys with a dangerous secret. One they cannot
settle down with, rather than spending so much time over at that
share with anyone else – even their own families. They are in love. They sleep
Jefferson boy’s place.
now, and when they will wake, they’ll discover a world – not unlike their own ��� but with one minor difference. Everyone in the world with be like them. In a
George (exhausted with the subject – heading towards the door): Don’t worry, Dad. George and I were planning to go to the diner tonight to check out some cute
moment they will be experiencing the wonders of a world that can only be found in another dimension.
birds. Be home later. Scene III: Eddie’s bedroom George leaves as Charles grunts an incoherent goodbye and returns to his paper. The boys wake up and dress. Scene II: The Jefferson Home George: Well, I better get going…Pop’ll be wondering where I am! Eddie’s bedroom. The two boys are lying in Eddie’s bed, and, though fully clothed in their pajamas, are “snuggling”. As Mrs. Jefferson (off-screen) calls up to the boys, George scrambles
Eddie: Yeah, and I better go with you, gotta go pick some stuff up at the cleaner’s
to the floor.
for Ma. But maybe we should go to the diner and grab a bite to eat first? What do you say?
Mrs. Jefferson (off-screen): Boys? Would either of you like anything to eat? George: Yeah, I don’t see why not… George (calls back, still scrambling, disheveled): No thank you, Mrs. Jefferson! (Then glances back at Eddie and both boys erupt into fits of self-silenced laughter.)
Boys head downstairs and out the door.
Eddie, 20, is also handsome but a little less boyish and more manly looking than George. He
Eddie (as he is opening the door): Goodbye, Ma!
has the air of being more experienced, intelligent, confident and mature than George – someone
for George to look up to.
They walk down the stairs and outside to a charming street. They see two women taking a walk; one woman carries a stroller.
Once the laughter subsides, the boys return to Eddie’s bed, and George rests his head on
They turn on to the main road and observe that an
Eddie’s chest as Eddie strokes the side of George’s face.
inordinate number of women are with other women and men are with other men. They enter the diner.
George (comfortable, dreamily): I wish we didn’t have to sneak around so much. (Looking up at Eddie) I wish I were able to shout from the rooftops how I feel about you!
Scene IV: The Diner
Eddie: One day… one day.
The boys find seats at the bar and order.
The boys fall asleep in each other’s arms.
Eddie: Bob, George and I’ll have the usual.
Above/opposite page: Zerlina Panush, ink Pages 30 – 31
Bob: Two plates of two eggs sunny-side up with a side of bacon and a couple of
Man: I’d think that at your age someone would have explained this to you by now,
orange juices comin’ right up.
but, in this world, we have two races, man and women. A pair of men, through intercourse, produce men and a pair of women produce women. Should a man and
As they look around the restaurant, they notice that men are sitting with men and women
a woman come together, there would be no product, and that is why it is unlawful
sitting with women. Both boys have the feeling something is strange but are not able to put
their fingers on it. George: But this is absurd! Men and women are supposed to be together! They eat their breakfast, pay and walk back outside. They do a doubletake at what they see. Two men holding hands. One has a pregnant stomach. The boys gasp.
Man: Sir, I don’t know where you come from, but here that theory is heretical and I suggest you keep your mouth shut if you don’t want to be heavily fined!
Eddie (in utter horror): What is that? George: But – The pregnant man notices their stares and gets slightly self-conscious and agitated. Eddie: Let it go, George. (to man) Have a nice day, Sir. Pregnant man (snippy, with all the raging hormones of a pregnant woman): What are you two looking at?
George: (to Eddie – on the verge of tears at this bizarre alternate universe) But –
George: You’re… you’re… you’re pregnant!
Eddie: George, don’t you see? By some cosmic force beyond our control we have
ended up in a place where we are supposed to be together. There is no one telling
Pregnant man: Thanks, I hadn’t realized. (pause) Now if you don’t mind, my
us what we are doing and who we are is wrong. Ignore the how and why and enjoy
husband and I will be off now.
it! Weren’t you just saying last night how you wish we could be free. Well, we are, George, we are!
George: Hus… hus… husband?! As they are about to embrace, they both look around out of force of habit, chuckle at how silly Pregnant man: Yes, and the father of my child! (to the boys’ reactions) You know, I’d
their gesture is, and embrace.
think you two boys would be old enough to know where babies came from. George (sniffling in Eddie’s arms): I know, I know. But aren’t you the least bit curious George (indignantly): Of course, I do! However, isn’t it between a man and a
as to how this happened? Why the world is like this?
woman… Eddie: Of course! However, it’s very important that we maintain calm and cool. Pregnant man (shocked and embarrassed): Sir! That is preposterous! Surely you
In fact, be happy! We will find out, I promise. But for now, let’s enjoy the time we
know how unlawful it is to make such a claim. And if you were to go so far as to be
involved with another woman… I shudder to think what might happen to you! Light music plays as they walk down the familiar streets and enjoy the unfamiliarity of the George (bewildered): You must be joking! What kind of world is this! How do you
passersby. Rarely do they see women and men together. There are men carrying babies. Women
reproduce? How do you rear your children?
in business suits and briefcases on their way to work. It appears as if all gender stereotypes
Pages 32 – 33
have been abandoned.
Eddie: Come on, now. Tell us what’s up.
Eddie: Here, George. Let’s go grab a shake from the malt shop over here.
Boy: I’m… I’m… I’m in love!
Scene V: The Malt Shop
The boy bursts into tears. Eddie and George try to conceal their amusement.
They enter. George goes to the jukebox to find a tune to play. George: Come now. That’s nothing to cry about! George: Eddie! I don’t recognize one name in that jukebox, there. No Presley, no
(looking to Eddie) We’re in love and look how
Valli, not even the Beach Boys!
happy we are here!
Eddie: Well, of course not, George! Different world, different ways of reproduction
Boy: Yeah, but that’s different.
– means different people. Not a soul from the Old World that we know will be in this new world.
George: How so?
George (rising terror): You mean, no Pa? None of our friends?
Boy: I can’t tell you. You’ll have me arrested. Or worse…
Eddie: Not for now, George. But don’t worry, we’ll get back soon. Meanwhile, we
Eddie: Listen, I’m Eddie and this here’s George. We’re new here and we need a
should try to make some friends… Hey, what do you think of him?
friend. We wouldn’t dare get you in trouble!
They see a skinny boy about their age sitting on a bar stool alone with a malt shake and a
Boy (nervous about disclosing this secret): I’m in love (in a low whisper) with a girl!
basket of fries. He’s handsome in a boyish way, with long shaggy hair and a hunched over look. He is extremely stressed about something. Probably teen angst…
Eddie and George burst out into laughter. The boy gets frenzied and starts hushing them, clearly upset at their laughter towards his pain.
The boys pull up to chairs next to him and order their shakes. Boy (glancing towards a policeman he just noticed sitting at the opposite end of the bar): Stop Eddie (to boy): Hey. What’s shakin?
that! Stop that right now! What are you laughing about? This is serious! (quieter) This is dangerous!
Boy (distressed): Oh…not much… Eddie: Listen – I’m sorry - (pause) what’s your name? George: You look a little shook up. Are you sure everything’s all right?
Boy (looks up with haunted eyes that are on the verge of tears): Yeah. I think
Eddie: Listen, Jack, where we’re from, that’s completely normal. In fact, what
I’ll be all right.
George and I have going on—that’s what’s wrong. That’s what’s illegal!
Above/opposite page: Noah Offitzer, ink Pages 34 – 35
Jack (unbelieving): Well, I don’t know where you’re from, but here in Evanston – a
Scene VI: The Basement
man and a woman together is a crime worthy of execution. And if anyone ever, ever, ever finds out about Martha and me, I’ll be dead faster than you can say
The boys pay the bill and follow Jack out of the malt shop, down the street to a plain, ordinary
looking building. They enter the alleyway next to it, and enter a door in the back. They head down a dimly-lit staircase, and when they enter the basement, they see men and women
Eddie (disbelieving): You can’t be serious!
provocatively dancing together to the beat of an unrecognizable song. It’s truly a jumping joint. Jack leads them to a girl sitting with a couple of boys – flirting.
Jack: This country here is run by efficient people. They want the world to run smoothly. They want a world full of little children. And if you dare do anything to
Jack (to girl): Martha, these are my friends George and Eddie. They’re normies,
prevent children, you are considered treasonous and must be executed. But, you
but they’re all right. They won’t rat us out.
boys aren’t from around here, are you? (beat) You don’t seem like it… Martha is flirty and petite, with bouncy, bright red curls and hazel eyes. An abundance of Eddie (looks to George with a knowing glance): I guess you could say that…
freckles dot her face, most of them due to the sun. Her face itself is plain; it is her coy, coquettish demeanor that makes her appealing. She holds out her hand limply and waits
Jack: And you don’t think what Martha and I have going on is wrong?
for either boy to shake it. She speaks with a Southern drawl.
George: Of course not. Jack, trust us. We know what it’s like to be on the other
Martha (flirtily): Pleasure to meet you, boys.
side. Eddie (flirtily, as well despite his sexual orientation. Martha has the tendency to bring out that Jack: Well, ‘bye George! I gotta take you to meet Martha. You’ll love her. Prettiest
side of people. He answers back in an imitation Southern drawl.): Well, howdy there, little
girl in all the world.
miss. Now I’m sure certain that accent doesn’t come from anywhere around here. (He winks.)
Tamar Rosen, watercolor
Martha: Well, hun, I hail from Georgia. My ma kicked me out once she found out I was a hetero – sayin’ she couldn’t be harborin’ a felon in her respectable household. I headed up North, hearin’ ‘at folks up here took more kindly to us heteros, but turns out I was turribly wrong. The normies hate us just as much up here. George (sympathetic): Now, that’s terrible. Oh, you poor dear! Martha (tearing up): And now with these new execution laws… I’m scared outta my mind! They say I ain’t normal and if I ain’t normal that I don’t deserve to be alive! What kinda life is that. Having to hide who I am and having to hide how much I love this dear man right here (she turns to Jack and gives him a full kiss). It just ain’t right!
Pages 36 – 37
George (angered): No, it’s not! This is ridiculous! Eddie and I, we know what it’s like
Policeman #2 (in possession of Martha – who is struggling): To the chair! What they
to be on the other side. We know how hard it is to be different and to have people
have done is disgusting.
tell you you’re not normal! Well, where we come from you are normal and Eddie and I – we’re the weird ones! It makes no sense! We’ve got to stop this! (to himself)
George: Ch-ch-chair? (in horror) I didn’t mean it! I didn’t mean it. (crying) Don’t take
I’ve got to stop this!
them away please. They’re normal! They’re fine! What are you doing? Don’t kill them. They are okay! THEY’E NORMAL! I was just trying to show you they are normal!
Before the others can protest, a raging and irrational George runs up the stairs and out of the building. High-speed music comes on as the camera follows George to the Town Hall. Music
Narrator: Jack Jameson and Martha Grady – they loved each other without legal
continues as we see him shouting and flailing his arms at a couple of policemen. We see the
permission to do so. They were taken away and electrocuted. The last words either
men turn from confused to angry. George then walks towards the door to leave and motions for
of them heard were “They are normal.” And they are, aren’t they? In the world we
the policemen to follow them. Increasingly upset, they follow George as he, in his infuriated
live in, they are. And what Eddie and George had? What Eddie and George have is
and irrational state, leads the two police officers to the building where his friends are in the
not, by any means, normal. So, my questions to you – as you sit at home on your
basement. As the policemen head down the stairs, the music slowly fades and stops altogether
comfortable couches with your cigarettes – are “What’s normal? Who has the ability
when the two police officers see Martha and Jack – dangerously close.
to decide?” Those are questions Eddie and George have learned to ask.
Sophie Greenspan George: …Can’t you see they’re in love? - that they are supposed to be together! Why can’t you let them be! Why can’t you stop — While George is speaking to them, the police look around the room and understand what’s going on. One by one, the heads of the kids in the club turn and they grow increasingly more frightened. They make a motion to run for it, but the police are blocking the staircase – the only exit. Policeman #1:What’s going on here? (to Jack and Martha – seeing their closeness) Jack and Martha are stunned silent with fright and can only mumble incoherent responses as Policeman #2 begins to arrest them. Soon frenzy breaks out as members of the club try and make a run for it. The two policemen are outnumbered by the kids in the party and manage to capture only Jack and Martha. By now everyone else has gone, and six people are left in the basement – Jack, Martha, George, Eddie, and the two policemen. The policemen begin dragging Martha and Jack (now in handcuffs) up the stairs. Both are crying hysterically. Jack (yelling to George): I TRUSTED YOU! WE TRUSTED YOU! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS! Eddie (to policeman): Wait, wait! Where are you taking them?
Pages 38 – 39
Michaela Hearst, watercolor
The Internet Is But a Vacuum The Internet is but a vacuum; It sucks you in and never spits you out; It is the addictive distraction For anyone who is drawn To its promising vision. Be independent, my friends; Communicate Through letters, stories, art, conversation; These words on the screen utter falsities— They gossip, lie, manipulate; This I am teaching— Be independent of the Internet. Shipley Mason Nicole Hirschenboim, photograph
Isabel Merrin, digital art
Pages 40 – 41
Delightful But Triteful The sounds of the voice, so radiant and strong, forever seeking
Alone Alone Has no promise Has no direction And is the only state that Has no color. Alone Is not even blank, But alone Is bleak. And the only way to move Out of loneliness Is to transform The bleak to blank:
Juliette-Lea Bergwerk, photograph (digitally altered)
to find a lonesome ear to tell wondrous tales – The leaves on the trees that glisten and shine in the sunlight – The new game sat silently and calmly on the store shelves waiting to be bought – The trees and plants are numerous in the vast expanse of the backyard – The feeling of the warm steam leaving the blueberry, sugarcoated, golden toasted muffin with the sugary smell of deliciousness really hit the spot – The warm bed enveloped in blankets pushes away the brisk winter night – A warm bright blue mug of hot chocolate steaming in the cold air of a winter wonderland – The sweet-smelling candy dissolves on the top of my tongue – Hazelnut chocolate truffles resting on the desk – The creaminess of a large ice cream sundae triggers eyes to widen, noses to smell, and mouths to water – The rush of ice cold water on a sweltering hot summer day – The delicious, smooth, cold, and mouthwatering ice cream lured people over – The eagle gracefully soars amongst its prey; full of fear knowing the eagle rules the mighty skies – The sleek hot red boat speeding over the white waves – Sweet chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. Remy Bohrer, Deana Cheysvin, Jeffrey Federmesser, Molly Goldman, Alix Gollomp, Katie Grobman, Rebecca Heringer, James Khaghan Perri Kressel, Noah Offitzer, Sigal Palley, Shayna Rosenfeld, Elliot Rubin, Lauren Vaknin, Steven Wolff
To start over And to change what was once blank Into a personal easel Upon which you can start painting. Tobias Citron Shayna Rosenfeld, photograph Pages 42 – 43
6-w o rd Hidden passageways lead to new worlds. Emily Spiera
stor i es She misplaces her cell phone. Freedom. Leah Robinson
“Love You”, “I do”, “Bye Bye”. Ethan Finkelstein
Who am I, but a seashell? Elizabeth Rauner
No sleep, long hours, Junior year Jessica Sion
The world ends – Life will never be the same. Natan Tannenbaum
Pages 44 – 45
Art, from top: Jeffrey Federmesser, acrylic; Arielle Weiner-Bronner, oil; Alex Hymnowitz, acrylic; Lauren Vaknin, acrylic
just like that. Rebecca Mack
Art, from top: Benjamin Newman, oil; Harris Mizrachi , oil; Jacob Sloyer, oil; Isabelle Harari, acrylic
Love Story She was born. My parents weren’t even thought of yet. She became a grandmother. I was born. She perfected her culinary talents. I learned to walk. She finally retired. I started middle school. She moved close to our family. I was thrilled. She had my family for dinner every week. I became attached to her. She joked about society’s flaws. I found her hilarious. She got new glasses. I called her beautiful. She told me she loves me. I knew she was my favorite person in the world. Natan Tannenbaum
Art: Noah Offitzer, pencil
Pages 46 – 47
In Love T his is not how I would have chosen to remember her, but then I had no
choices during my life at Belzec. She was the only thing that helped me through those four months of indescribable pain, bloodshed, and utter horror. It is to her that I owe my life, for I would not have had the desire or strength to continue living without her. My name is Rudolf Reder, and I am the lone survivor of Belzec, a camp designed with the sole purpose to exterminate each and every Jew. My journey began and ended in a freight car. It was August of 1942, but this specific summer day was particularly hot and crowded. Not because the sun was shining any more on this day, but because at least one hundred of us were tightly packed into a freight car designed to fit half that number. There were rumors that Jews were to be deported to camps that were designed to exterminate Jews, but we never imagined that it would actually happen to us. The soldiers shoved us into the car, and none of us had the
strength to stand up to the guns pointed at us. I could not imagine anything worse than being uncomfortably packed into that small space on the train, but I would have preferred to stay in that freight car forever rather than endure what I did later in Belzec. I could barely breathe, and when I gasped for air, all I inhaled was the stench of body odor, urine, and feces. When at last we arrived at our destination, we experienced mixed emotions: relief at being out of that stifling car, and fear of the unknown. We entered Belzec and were greeted by SS men. They seemed less threatening because they were not dressed in uniforms with Nazi insignias, so the threat of the swastika was not there to remind us of why we were sent to Belzec. The Gestapo leader, Irrman, was a tall, thin man with piercing blue eyes and a sharp, loud voice. He loudly declared “Ihr gehts jetzt baden, nachher werdet ihr zur Arbeit geschickt” (now you are going for a bath, and after you will be sent to work). This instilled a sense of false hope within all of us, because we figured that if we were being sent to work, this was not an extermination camp. I, along with a dozen other, able bodied men, were set aside as the rest of the people were sent to shower. As the remainder of the group was escorted to bathe, I took a good look at what was to be my home. There were virtually no people outside, a few large buildings, and mountains of dirt. Then, Irrman approached the dozen of us and informed us that we would be skilled workers. I did not know what this job entailed, but was relieved to know that I would be working. After being assigned places in the workers’ barrack, we were lined up outside. I recognized familiar faces, lined up to shower. They were stripped of their clothing, naked, ashamed. My neighbor, Ivan, usually composed and tall in his stance, walked with his back hunched in embarrassment. I shook my head, covered my eyes with my hands, allowing myself to glimpse them through my fingers. A few days ago we were living normal lives, and now many of my neighbors and friends were exposed and tormented by the SS soldiers. I did not know what to do or how to react. It was a brutally hot day, but I was frozen in my tracks, confused and afraid. They walked around the corner of the large metal building in the center of the camp, and I could not see them anymore. But a few moments later I heard wailing and screaming, screeches that burned my soul. And as much as I did
Pages 48 – 49
not want to believe it, I knew that they were dead, and this was a death camp. And when I got a closer look, the piles that I thought were dirt were actually the ashes and dead bodies of my family, friends, and neighbors. Irrman did not let us react. He slapped one of the men who was crying and told him to shut up. When he told us that we were going to be skilled workers, he failed to mention that the skill would be shoveling dead bodies. The dead bodies of our loved ones, our friends, our family, the Jews. This became my daily routine. Every day freight cars filled with hundreds of Jews arrived in Belzac. People were stripped of their clothing, given the same speech by Irrman, and there were cheers because people were hopeful. The sick people were put onto stretchers, shot and buried in pits. Men and children were sent to gas chambers while women had their heads shaved. Then the women went in. When the “showers” were finished, the corpses were still standing, and looked like mannequins, some with their hands pressed against their lungs. And when the doors were opened fully, they just fell out. For two months, I wanted nothing more than to join the large pile of dead bodies that I helped assemble. And then one day I met her. Her head was shaved, she was wearing baggy, dark grey worker’s clothing, and had large bags under her dark brown eyes. But there was something about her that made me forget where I was from the moment I looked at her. She had an air to her that did not reek of dead, rotting bodies. I do not know if I fell in love with her because she was the first woman I had spoken to in months, or because her smile helped remind me that there was life somewhere outside of this black hole called Belzec. Either way, I knew I loved her. Most of the other women worked in the kitchen, and I rarely saw them. It was unusual for a woman to work outside, lugging dead bodies, but Irrman took a liking to her, and therefore wanted her in his sight every day. I was one of the strongest men in the group, so she worked with me and I carried more than half of the weight. It is both sad and strange to imagine that I fell in love under such brutal circumstances, but I do not think I could have lasted one more day in Belzec without having Anna as a life force. From sunrise to sunset, every single day, we shared the burden of dragging the flesh of our dead brothers and sisters through the camps. Somehow, in the most horrific of places and
situations, we fell in love. When we talked, we escaped into a temporary euphoria. Through our conversations, we built a life together. We imagined what we wanted life to be like, with three beautiful, healthy boys, an ample food supply, and a house with beds and a heating system. When I looked into her eyes, I saw the life that I dreamed of, but all I had to do was breathe in the fumes of my surroundings for reality to set in. I had to conceal my relationship with Anna because I knew that Irrman was possessive of her, and I did not want him to move her to another job in the camp or take her away from me. In our talks every day, we dreamt of a future together. We deluded ourselves into thinking that we could turn our dreams into a reality. We planned to escape this hell, and either way we figured it was worth it to try because we knew that we had no future in this camp. Every week a skilled worker went to Lwow, my hometown, accompanied by SS officers, to get sheet metal. I waited for the opportunity to present itself to go with them. When I got the job, I was shaking with excitement, knowing that I was one step closer to escaping. Before I was sent off, I promised Anna that I would wait for her, and she promised that she would find a way to meet me. Together with four SS soldiers, I traveled to Lwow on a freight car just like the one that brought me to Belzec. It was four months since I had seen civilization, and I filled my lungs with air that did not smell like rotting corpses. We worked hard, and after a long day of lugging sheet metal, three of the four SS soldiers went to get drinks and left me alone with one soldier. He was tired, and dozed off, allowing me the opportunity to make my escape. I ran as fast as I could for miles, never looking back. I ignored the gashes in my bare feet, and my thoughts of the future carried me. I ran all the way back to my home, and begged my landlady to take me in. Bless her soul, she hid me until the war was over. I waited for Anna. It has been thirty years since that day and I am still waiting.
Ordinary Things I read a book. The words carried me from one event to the next Showing instead of telling Details forming a structure Allowing the imagination to fill in the gaps Confined to the pages Yet opening a door to the a new world. The cell phone on my desk rang. A small electronic device Resting on the black wood of the desk Vibrating and buzzing, The sound indicating that a call is going through â€“ A signal of communication Somewhere, someone wants to tell me something. Arielle Wiener-Bronner
Art: Isabel Merrin, watercolor Shoshana Lauter, photograph
Pages 50 â€“ 51
He gins and whiskeys his sorrows away
Shaken to its core
Unadmittingly realizing His problem’s here to stay.
The world is shrill When normalcy is halted Then every voice is still – Speechless.
He sits alone in that big, desolate house Trying to unremember The smell of his wife’s blouse.
Collapsed into a pile We stand the tallest, proud But when we are the highest We shrink into the crowd – Speechless.
The rain trickled down on that smothergrey afternoon When he got the call that made His heart stop mid-cathoomp. No amount of textbooking ever taught him what to do When the one you love has died, And you feel like you have, too. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi Charlotte Marx-Arpadi, photograph Sander Siegel, photograph (digitally altered)
Towers scream with presence Rubble speaks in silence Streets that teem with life Are hushed by brutal violence – Speechless. A quiet moment observed For every loss of life With silence we remember Child, husband, and wife – Speechless. Shocked, we stand astounded We watch, say not a word For when a country falls Its cries remain unheard – Speechless. Rebecca Mack
Pages 52 – 53
The Good War
The winter sun is bright if not blinding When considered a piece of God. Less are specks of light understood When made from the overwhelming ineffable. Explanation may not be as inspiring as belief But it is useful when not fraught-full. Religion is not helpful but good And belief seems at times expendable. A horse may have intrinsic spirit But understanding is the only teacher A heart is holy in the bringing of breath, But control is lost when in full faith. Only in science can we exercise power In rays far greater than our own. Almighty may be good for wonder But wonder in that sense is never satisfied. Knowledge lacking awe is boring by all means, And awe in drunken stupor is lacking in reason. A compromise is needed to smooth out rough edges A drink to renew a once empty throat
A scale to weigh the scantily clad and the over-dressed A push against the seizure of fate A cringe to shield weak eyes from broken glass A cry to fight against the waste of curiosity associated with belief. Our truth may be avoidable yet inescapable, Our lives may be wasted on sense or conviction, But mix the two and BOOM. Compromise a thought and THWARP. A wormhole the size of Plato’s worst nightmare Is made a tiny bit smaller by that conflagration For as the fire singes bigger and bigger So, too, does the amount of water needed to save the half dead trees. Remember, those trees are half alive too And only the fight can keep them dwindling between nature and axe. Don’t sit there naked with a desire to be clothed! Pick a side. If you don’t, at least believe in something. If you don’t, then you will rise or fall The middle will never belong to you. The Good War will never belong to you. Skyler H. Siegel Isabelle Harari, photograph
Pages 54 – 55
My Brother Died a Martyr Four years have passed, But the anger hasn’t: The hatred that boils my blood, The promise of revenge that cools it. My brother died a martyr. My mind wanders with anxiousness, Yearning for my brother’s fate to be mine as well: Seduced by the prospect of heaven, Wooed by potential compensation. My brother died a martyr.
My eyes do not wander, My mind, without fail, remains focused on its objective. Already, at the age of fourteen, I am prepared to do what’s right: To kill them all. I have the passion, The love for God and for my people. You say we kill the innocent, But we are the oppressed, The deadly soldiers in God’s holy army. Matan Skolnik
A good restaurant Makes a better target, And such was my brother’s mistake: Trying to live a peaceful life In a terror filled country. A good restaurant Makes a better target. A greater number is a greater success. They took our land, We take our vengeance. I watch the news, I see their flawed portrayals Of Israel’s flawed society. And it forces me to question, Whose side is the world on? I know we are alone, Hated by those who strive To call themselves virtuous. But we do not need the support of others; We seek no refuge. Leah Dorfman, photograph
Pages 56 – 57
The Song of the Reeds he tired sea heaved against the grey rocks in perfect rhythm. The rocks, aged with green algae and white with dried salt, were jagged and forlorn. The rocks seemed abandoned, and all those who journeyed to the tip of the island felt a wave of loneliness wash over them as they gazed at the stones and water. The tides were wise and solemn from years of stolen oyster pearls, shipwrecks, and lost travelers that had filled its mournful, grey waters. And as the secrets of the water continuously tumbled to shore, the tide tried to impart the same melancholy emotions that composed the great sea. However, the stormy water was surrounded by the radiant sun, contented sand, and lively birds, which all ignored the monotonous surge of salty grievances. The rich sand, warmed by sweet breezes, never allowed the bitter chill of the sea to snatch away its warm lightheartedness, and replace it with the cold, wet feelings of sorrow. It was only the reeds that paid any attention to the laments of the ocean, and sometimes whispered the seaâ€™s sorrows to the wind. The gulls gossiped about the woeful reeds, and what a pity it was they had chosen, like the sea, to see only the sadness in life. It was believed that the stalks, having grown out of the sea itself, had been fed on the depressing attitudes of that salty water. This however, was untrue. While the reeds did sing mournfully when the wind pushed through their stalks, it was with a beauty the sea would never posses. There was a majestic quality to the song of the reeds that made lonely passersby stop for long moments to fill themselves with the honest melody. There was wisdom in the whispers, and truth. And when the swirling wind was strong, and the twisting grasses reached their crescendo, even the mournful ocean sensed the splendor in the lament, and would begin to splash and curl wildly
Music The melody is the line The lyrics are the hook Release it, and it sinks Inside of me. Through me. Downdowndown it goes Pulsating through me, over me, inside of me Reaching even the most buried and hidden of caverns. It begins to reel As it catches onto feelings memories thoughts The buried is unpleasantly exhumed.
Ariel Glueck, photograph
Pages 58 â€“ 59
Reelingreelingreeling, Bringing up what is inside me: Memories, feelings, thoughts.
The buried comes up Beat Beat Beating out the speakers Pulsating through me Reverberating in even the most hidden caverns.
A bounty of life dwells and explores Eats and sleeps down there, out there The depths of which undiscovered And the appearance: so pure, so clear, so serene. Surprise was no fun I hadn’t met a surprise such as this Birthday surprises, anniversary surprises, surprise parties The good kind – The only kind.
The notes reach higher, Sensually oscillating, Climbing, Climbing. Swaying hips and insinuating eyes Speak over and with the notes.
Like every other day that summer in Fire Island, the beach was calling We were off – tote bags stuffed, lotion and Frisbee in hand Mommy, Daddy, and Brother behind as I led the short stroll to the beach, On my way to a surprise A new kind The bad kind.
Manipulative songs set the mood. The mood chooses which song, Skipping past that song That reminds you of that shared time. But your head starts spinning Faster than the new song That is unable to drown out the memories. Faster, Faster Keep skipping songs As you frantically search For something, Someone, Anything – To mute the thoughts Turn it louder, louder so you can’t hear them. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
Opposite page: Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Pages 60 – 61
“Want to go in?” Of course I did: I leapt into his arms, as usual Just a swim in the ocean. A refreshing, revitalizing cold gripped me But soon I knew there was something wrong Why was I no longer in his arms?
I could no longer breathe, Confusion and desperation consumed me. Why did he let go? What do I do? As the sea washed in my ears, I heard cries Somebody, help, please. I continued to reach for him As if he could save me But he couldn’t. It was startling to see him like that Vulnerable and weak. Through the waves a group of men – Before I knew it, I was in his arms, A lifeguard. He propelled me back to shore Saved from the unknown out there, down there. That is what will stick with me forever The trauma has kept me from the seas That image of fear has found its way into every impression of danger and uncertainty and surprise. the Bad kind that other kind. Gabriel Klausner
I stared at him “What are YOU doing here?” Rampulisanger seized my body You Are Not Deep Enough For Me Repeatingly rang throughout my ears The nerve The screamyells I wanted to BAM! through his head Get Out Of My Dream I wanted to wake up This was My Dream Not his time to come and RUIN What was a soothpleasant time for me My time to relax My time to breathe Is now crowded with his harshaura I am nauseasizzy I want to throw up My head is pounding My body in convulging This is no longer my place No longer my dream It’s his fantasy My despisemare Rachel Weisberg Ariel Glueck, photograph
Pages 62 – 63
Exile No More Exile is safer than redemption At least with loneliness comes equality Empty of both belief and knowledgeable predilection A savior only brings intolerable infection The vindicated or the unabsolved One side must be worse in its mental bondage of election I have a dream That one day every man will be excluded from exclusivity One day Every unassociated soul will bake a pie To which he is allergic Of which he can’t stand the smell With which he can’t celebrate Sasha Gayle Schneider, photograph
One Day Every cluster of sparks, formerly labeled light, will show absolutely nothing but emptiness Pure unspoken emptiness Little girls with birthday invitations won’t call for anyone at all No offense taken or all offense taken Overworked holidays will take a much-needed break And in their place Memories will bounce back and forth on rubber walls Never colliding That might not make much sense if you’ve never kept a thought to yourself But they swing back and forth like those wannabe vegetarians They disappear and reappear like broken child stars do They stick and fall open like a poorly licked envelope Don’t say you haven’t bathed in your own blood A serpent spends his tricks to try and bring you together against someone bigger You weren’t exiled from the Garden of Eden You were redeemed from it We’re all funny bone stoned as we cry on our own But no sane man shaves without a mirror No gutted fish smokes without water and flame No broken bridge crumbles without being built first No community is helpful in equality But maybe there’s no such thing Impartiality could have died with the birth of creation Maybe community is the last thing on this earth left of pure creation There’s no future in losing it Skyler H. Siegel
Pages 64 – 65
“To White Food”
The Tyrannical Master
Oh, the beauty and elegance of
The tyrannical master brings down
white food. How you satiate my voracious appetite, How you make me smile like no one has before, How you make me feel more full, more complete, than I ever have. Oh, the power and strength of white food! How when my lips touch you I understand the meaning of love, How when I see you stare at me my heart begins to pound against my chest, How when I surround myself with you, with hundreds of you, I am in a state of sheer bliss. Oh, the sophistication and texture of white food. How you have affected the evolution of society in innumerable ways, How your soft and doughy feel brings me warmth, How you never cease to impress me, even on the worst of days. Oh how much I owe you, white food! Maya Miller
His wrath To the plight of his subordinate vestiges. And all know that fairness does not rule And makes believers into fools. So while the director casts down his nets Upon the helpless villagers, He grins because their only savior Is the one they dare not disrespect. And so the truth is: That when the nets are downcast And the people stand frightened Of the one who will oppress them, He knows that his subjects have no choice But to trust his ultimatum. Tobias Citron
Tenth Grade, mixed media
Pages 66 – 67
Ariel Glueck, photograph
Snow Day Quandariness Sheets of frost flit and I wonder if there will be a snow day so I can read and read “anyone lived in a pretty how town” but I have to write this poem in the style of Frank O’Hara anyway (should’ve during lunch) just in case so I look at my pink “Keep Calm And Carry On” poster (it’s 11:53 PM) on the wall and wonder in quandary why I didn’t know the word “QUANDARINESS” in class (maybe it’s because it doesn’t exist or maybe it’s because it now exists) Daelin Hillman
Cool Tiled Floor
She flicks the ash Onto the cold tiles Of the bathroom floor Where she once Splashed in bubbles To her father’s rich voice Reading picture books Leah Robinson
Shayna Rosenfeld, Photograph
Julie Maschler, digital art
Pages 68 – 69
Outside the sky is clearing from a dull gray, and slowly is changing into the shining electric blue of a crisp, fall day. Cars are overflowing in the mall lot, parked together, like too many eggs stuffed in a carton. Red, orange, yellow and brown leaves are drenched and pasted onto car windows. Water is dripping off roofs and the outside air smells musty, as it does after a storm. Looking out on the lot is a man. The man is inside an expansive glass structure, filled with many shops and people. He, like many others, has taken refuge there from the thunderstorm that has just subsided. The man pauses, wipes his thick brow with his pale hand, and pulls his Mets hat over his wavy, auburn locks. The man feels his leather bag to search for the familiar bulge of his camera. Once the camera is detected, he whips it out and begins to take pictures of the frenzied scene before him. Not many people are aware that the storm is over; hundreds have been waiting in the shopping mall at the edge of town for it to pass. The people walking around outside the mall are upset; the storm was more violent than expected and trees have fallen and blocked main streets. Some won’t be able to make it all the way home in their cars; they may have to walk. The man snaps photographs of everything he sees: a mother and daughter hurrying through the mall, a business woman in high heels talking rather loudly on her Blackberry, a little boy running after his father, a group of teenagers eating ice cream. He is so engrossed in taking his works of art, that he doesn’t notice a small, strawberry blonde girl approach him from behind. “Whatcha doin’, mister?” she asks him, not rudely, but somewhat impatiently, baring a gapped tooth, jack-o-lantern smile, and talking through the hole in her teeth. Jumping, the man makes a full turn and looks the little girl in the eyes. She seems to be about seven years old. “I’m just taking a few pictures,” he answers her kindly, hoping she will go away so he can continue his work. He takes pictures for a living. “Why ya doin’ that, mister?” she asks, in the same tone, “Why are ya
Pages 70 – 71
takin’ pictures of these people inside a mall on a rainy day? My momma says it’s not nice to take pictures of other people without askin’ em first.” “Well, I’ll bet your momma’s a smart woman,” the man says with a slight smile. His own mother had told him those exact words when he was a little boy. In his childhood, he had taken many photos of people who were irritated by the nuisance of a little boy taking pictures of them. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to talk to strangers?” he asks, suddenly curious about why this little girl has chosen to speak to him. “She did, but you seemed pretty nice, and I can’t find my momma, and I’m lost right now.” The little girl seems to be on the verge of tears, an instant change in her demeanor. “Can I jus’ stay with you ‘til she comes for me? I know she’ll come, I know it.” The little girl’s voice is wavering now. “I guess so,” the man replies, wiping his brow again, this time for dramatic effect. The little girl peers into the screen of the camera. She observes the man’s work, her lips pouting as she looks at every picture. “These pictures aren’t very good,” she observes. “Well, that’s not such a nice thing to say,” the man retorts, thinking that the girl’s mother should have taught her better manners. The girl continues to frown after looking at each of the pictures. “I can take better ones,” she declares, snatching the camera from the man’s hand. The man wants to yell, but he can’t; she is just a child. “Be careful,” he says instead. Much to the man’s dismay and shock, the little girl goes around for five minutes or so, taking pictures. She brings back the camera, triumphantly handing it to him. “Mine are better than yours!” she exclaims, watching with a smirk on her little face as the man looks at the pictures, aghast. This little girl who appeared out of nowhere is a natural. He feels ashamed that this child could just snatch a camera out of his hands and take better pictures than he can. Who does this little girl think she is anyway, coming up to him and asking to stay with him for a while and then insulting his pictures? He’s the professional. The man begins to feel irritated; not only at this little girl, but at the photographs she’s been taking. What if his pictures actually are not very good? “Don’t you think my pictures are better than yours?” she asks impudently.
Colors of Family He was purple with the depth and wisdom of old age. Purple, a color full of manners and old-world class, He left purple residue on all he met, leaving with them a memory Taking his own treasured memories, appreciating all the colors left on him. He was yellow with his childlikeness and contagious joy. His warm, mischievous eyes crinkled and glowed warmth when he smiled; He laughed the orange sun when his grandkids ate ice cream, Even when she said don’t eat before dinner She was red, she was his rose, and he loved her for her thorns. She had stolen his heart a long time ago, and gently held his hand as it aged. Green were the nurses in scrubs and latex gloves as they bustled to and fro And put cold silver instruments up against his warm pulsing heart.
Ninth Grade, collage
“They’re all right,” the man replies, trying to sound nonchalant. He feels that this little girl has undermined his professionalism, and frankly, he feels embarrassed. “Let’s try to find your mother,” he says, before the girl can get in another snide remark about how her pictures are better than his. The man takes the girl to the mall office and has them make an announcement. He stands, impatiently tapping his feet against the marble of the floor, and looking around the mall for a figure that could possibly be the girl’s mother. After what seems like an hour, but is actually a mere five minutes, the mother arrives, hassled, and out of breath. She slowly wipes away a tear from the corner of her eye. “I thought I would never find you,” she says to the girl. Then, looking over at the man, she thanks him. “Is there anything I can do for you?” she asks him? She smiles down at her daughter and gives her a reassuring hug. “Sure thing,” the man says. “Buy the girl a camera; she’s a natural.” The man smiles to himself, and walks off into the frenzy of the mall. Adiel Schmidt
Pages 72 – 73
The sky was a dark grey on that sunny day in crisp autumn. The grey air outside turned the clear tubes foggy, Which snaked around his sickly grey-purple face instead of his red-rimmed glasses, It was pace-made heart that quietly and gently beat its last beat. She still holds fast to his colorful residue. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi Alix Gollomp, photograph
Wrath of the DarKing Alone in the dead of night, I feel a bout of scaredyfright, And wish that I could fastbe somewhere else.
He attacks, we wrestle now, Though strained to breaking I do not bow, And so the carnagfight goes on and on.
The DarKing’s here, He has arrived In the night His minions thrive, Surrounding and abounding in the lonely emptinight.
But now I hear minions’ true fear, Hear the screams of pain through ear, And the DarKing Himself bestarts to falter.
Besieged around by horrifoes, I look and there my courage goes, Fleeing and I just wish I could follow.
Dawn is breaking, light shatters through Finally daybreak starts anew, And the DarKing lets out a bellowl of pain.
I raise myself, like lamb to slaughter, Prepare for eterndeath with honor, But then I see his servants quail and run.
Pages 74 – 75
He’s terrifearsome, brutugly too, With His awesipower, nothing I can do But face eternity with a couragabrave stance.
I hear a whisperslither rush, See shadows move and almost touch The skin of my feebshaking frame.
But no, no time for flight tonight, To live, the DarKing I must fight, And slaynquish though He be stronger than I.
Rebecca Mack, photograph
For DarKing Himself in all His glory, Marches up, and the story, Is about to come to an abrustop.
I think that’s it. I see I’ve won, For fear the DarKing does me shun, But never afore had I been so mistaken,
I throw Him off, He crawls away, Chased off by imminent break of day, And so with sun’s entrival I am saved. Later I breakfeast with my mom, Tell her my story and how I won, And wait to hear how she will gloripraise me. Instead she laughs and shakes her head, Tells me she’ll sit with me by my bed, So that I’ll sleep instead of creating monsters in my brain. Joshua Ashley
Not Just Pretty and White
A word with vague meaning Without true truth What is the true truth of truth? Honesty? Purity? Goodness? Or perhaps to find truth, One must be true to himself. Tobias Citron
Frequently, and cold The snow unzipped my skin Laying its cool touch on Both of us. Warmer months beckon us backwards, We try to transcend the natural laws Of ticking clocks and fading tans Defrosting differently than how I was before I am stiff. You don’t believe in the temporary. I didn’t understand what you mean, But I clung on anyway As you pulled me along. The instability thrilled me Infusing me with pumping adrenaline Building, boiling, rushing, rising. And down we went. Falling Failing Burning (I feel fragile) Charlotte Marx-Arpadi Rebecca Heringer, cut paper Rebecca Mack, photograph Pages 76 – 77
Her morbid obsessions,
I walked through the forest late at night.
As multitudinous as snowflakes, As useless as pennies, As dangerous as a stone thrown through a window.
The swiftbeat of wings sounded overhead. Quickcrunch sounded the leaves by my feet. Darkness closed in beyond the edges. I scream; echoes soundbouce in the mists. Wolves howl in the grandbase of mountains. I fall; and out I come into reality.
Fixated on small things, Like the flaccid plants that filled the nursing home, Like the coupons in the old magazines that they gave her She wouldn’t leave them alone.
She wanted to take you on a picnic. She wanted to make you eggs fresh from her farm. You were her worst enemy. You became alien to her. She moved like a wave Not in her grace, It was in her instability; She undulated through her moods Like a small ship navigating stormy waters. She was watching herself deteriorate – She was separated from herself by the same gate. I stared into her eyes, Wondering if she could recognize me at all. I swallowed to hold back the tears that I did not want her to see. Later that night, The tears that I had held back began to fall freely down my face. Even though I knew I would see her again, I felt she was already dead. Jennifer Katz
Noah Offitzer, graphite Pages 78 – 79
Harris Mizrahi, photograph
Harris Mizrahi, photograph
The Fragrance of a Piece of Music It’s cotton and laundry detergent, It’s breezy and thin The first line is freshly baked cookies, Sweet and satisfying, inviting The chorus has sour citrus, But the verses are like apple The bridge smells like wine, It’s rich, warm, but sharp Transitions smell like soap, Smooth and clean And the last line is roses, Comforting and sad.
Opposite page: Talia Niederman, acrylic Pages 80 – 81
I, Too, Must Be a Sinner What does it really mean? Is it really like this? No wings or floating halos? What is it, so dark and red, so lukewarm yet scolding? Is this not the same red I’ve bled? Is it not the same smoke from burning homes? For whom is there no love down there? Has it gone and bled and burned? Have heaven’s gates been turned to ash? Have golden angels been smothered and swallowed? Have innocent children found new sorrow? The fall makes clear, how have I sinned? Have I not won the battle of good? To whom does my choice matter? To whom belongs the duty to tell my own fate? To whom has He given prey too great? For am I never to see the sky? In the depths of hell must I eternally lie? Will fog cover all that was once transparent? Must I feel for the touch of others that aren’t there? Do they feel back? Do they smile back? Or do they bare their teeth? Skyler H. Siegel
Elisheva Epstein, oil
Pages 82 – 83
The “What does that mean ‘to fall in love’?”
“Good morning, Sarah,” the woman said cheerfully. But Sarah was already awake, as she had been for most of the night. She did not sleep much, for her excitement about receiving a new heart and her pain often kept her restless for hours. The woman briskly opened the heavy velvet curtains, and sunlight filled the dark chamber. “Come on, Sarah. Get up, dear!” “I’m up, I’m up…” Sarah repeated, “What time is it?” “It’s 9:30, so your tutors will be here soon.” With that, the nurse exited the room. Sarah carefully brushed her teeth at the sink adjacent to her bed. Then, she pushed the tray of food aside and marked off another day on her calendar. “Just three more days!” she cried out to the empty room.
L o v E l e s s Hear t........................................ “What, Sarah?” “You said, ‘and she fell in love, and they lived happily ever after.’” “It’s a feeling, just like being happy or sad. When you care about someone, you worry about them and think about them.” The night nurse did not know how to respond. “That doesn’t sound too pleasant,” the patient retorted. “Regardless, it is time for bed. Your organs need sleep, so that they will be ready. Good night, Sarah.” The nurse quickly gave Sarah her shot; Sarah barely even blinked an eye. She was used to multiple shots a day. As the nurse crept out of the room, she heard the patient mumble, “I’m glad that you don’t call me 10165 like everyone else.” She knew that she should not be telling fairy tales to a girl that was going to be dissected in just a few months. Her heart would be given to the real Sarah, a child with ventricular septal defects for whom she was created, just like the rest of the children at the home. Thick Turkish rugs covered the floors of the gaudy bedroom. The light fixtures were large, overwhelming, golden orbs that shed a gloomy sheen on the only underdecorated fixtures in the room – the IV pole and the large infusion pump attached to it. A woman in a simple black frock and white apron entered the room with an overflowing tray of breakfast choices, but the patient in this bed was too sick to eat any of it.
Pages 84 – 85
Lois Weisfuse, watercolor
At the home, there was a schedule that all the children followed whether they liked it or not. There were meals, classes, and exercise periods throughout the day broken only by designated times to receive shots and medications. The children needed their organs to be in tip-top shape because that would be the legacy that they left in this universe. “Patient 10165, please report to the Disengagement Office.” The patient’s heart felt as if it stopped when she heard the announcement. She had no idea that her disengagement was coming up. Patient 10165 strode purposefully toward the office that she had never been inside; she knew that she was here to perform her life duty. “Hello, Patient 10165. Please step inside. The Master is waiting for you.” the woman at the desk politely directed. The patient suddenly became nervous as she approached the man who would tell her when her life was going to end.
was shocked to hear her name over the loudspeaker for the second time in one day. Perhaps they forgot to give me some information, she thought to herself. The news she heard that morning distressed her severely, but she did not let it show. She knew that she had to be an example for the rest of the patients, as she was one of the first to be called. She strode purposefully into the office for the second time that day, but this time, encountered a distressed looking Master. “Hello, Patient 10165. I need you to sign off on something. You will be going to meet your recipient tomorrow afternoon.” Before the patient could open her mouth, the Master shoved a typing-pad in her direction.
The day passes unusually slowly when one spends the entire day confined to her bed. Missing school is no longer exciting, and movies, books, and television quickly become dull. Sarah finished a Sudoku puzzle in less than four minutes. She had become quite adept at the game since she played for a chunk of every day. She wanted to see people. She wanted to interact with people other than her tutors, but she did not want her friends to see her this way. She thought about people like her – people who were just waiting. Then it came to her: she would invite her donor to keep her company. Sarah started to compose an email.
Dear Ms. Meyers, Hope all is well with you. We are looking forward to giving you a new heart shortly. Your request is unusual, but of course it can be done. After all, your family has made many generous contributions to our center. Your donor, Patient 10165, has agreed to meet you. In fact, she has expressed her excitement towards your meeting tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. Sincerely,
SENDER: Sarahjane57@mymail.com TO: Info@thecenterfordonors.org SUBJECT: Meeting my Donor
The patient had never left the several-acre compound that was the Meyers Center for Donors. She never questioned life beyond the only home she had ever known. She waited in front for a ‘car’ to pick her up. Since the children were not taught anything irrelevant to the center, the patient did not know what this was. She was given a quick briefing that prepared her for what she would see, but the Master worried that the patient would develop emotions from just a few hours in the outside world. The car arrived to pick her up promptly at 2:15 P.M. for the drive to the Meyers residence. The patient quietly got in the car and sat motionless and speechless for the entire forty-five minute ride. The driver curiously looked back wondering who this strange girl was.
To Whom It May Concern: My name is Sarah, and I am interested in meeting my donor before I receive my heart transplant in three days. According to the paperwork, my donor is Patient 10165. I am available tomorrow beginning at 3 P.M. Thank you, Sarah Meyers “Patient 10165, please report to the Disengagement Office.” The patient
Pages 86 – 87
SENDER: Master@thecenterfordonors.org TO: Sarahjane57@mymail.com SUBJECT: RE: Meeting my Donor
The last thing she would ever remember would be watching the painfully slow ticking of the grandfather clock across from her bed. The ornate clock seemed to move slower and slower as 3 P.M. got closer. When the hour hand was at two, the minute hand between nine and ten, and the second hand between three and four, her heart started to beat more quickly than normal. She thought it was just excitement. By the time the second hand reached the seven, her whole body was quivering and the machines alongside her bed started beeping loudly. The second hand reached eleven when the doors burst open, and her body stopped moving for good. At 2:59 P.M., the car pulled up at the security gate of the sprawling estate. The car drove up the long pebbled driveway slowly. At 3:01 P.M., the ambulance sped through the gates, sending the car zooming up the driveway. A wailing woman in a maid’s uniform directed the two men from the ambulance to the dying child. The patient remained sitting in the car, for she did not know better. The driver finally got out of the car and opened the door for her. She climbed of the car and went to stand in front of the mansion. The driver quickly got back into his car and took off. Moments later, a stretcher with a child identical to the patient standing awkwardly in front of the house, was carried out of the house. A tall woman with worry lines on her forehead and creases around her smile followed the stretcher. She did a double take when she saw the patient, but she quickly realized who was standing before her. “You’re Sarah’s donor!! You can save Sarah’s life right now! Please come with us to the hospital, and we will do the heart transplant right away!” The woman broke into tears. Sarah was moved by the woman’s display of emotion, so she dutifully followed her into the ambulance without saying a word. The ride to the hospital was a blur. Sarah remained unmoving, her mother grasping her hand. The hospital reminded the patient of the center. She found herself following the moving stretcher down long white corridors, past identical doors marked with ascending numbers. Finally, the scrub-clad group and Sarah’s mother turned sharply into a large white room with two twin beds.
Pages 88 – 89
The team of doctors transferred Sarah to the twin hospital bed and began attaching Sarah’s body to machines, and another team instructed the patient to lie down in the other bed. The patient watched Sarah’s mother cry, still grasping her daughter’s hand. “Ms. Meyers, we have some bad news. It’s too late. Sarah’s body cannot be resuscitated,” one of the doctors said placidly. “No!! Please!!! At least try….” Sarah’s mother’s cries of agony filled the room. “I’m sorry. There is nothing we can do.” The doctor responded simply shrugging his shoulders. “We will give you a moment with Sarah.” The doctors left the room, and the patient watched Sarah’s mother cry for her lost daughter. Suddenly, the nurse’s words echoed in Sarah’s mind, “It’s a feeling, just like being happy or sad. When you care about someone, you worry about her and think about her.” This is love, the patient thought to herself, and nobody will ever love me. The patient quietly took a bottle of pills that was lying on the table adjacent to her bed, and tilted it into her mouth. She died slowly, whispering, “This is love, and nobody will ever love me.” Jennifer Katz
The Tight Lavender Leotard Hanging up among the size two blouses,
I hear the echoes of you beating As the sound bounces off steel, cold walls Of your fortified strategy (but at least I know it’s there.) I listen closely for traces and hints to know it’s there But I never tried to climb them To see what was really behind them (and maybe that was my fault.)
The small cracks and chips in your walls Made me feel okay with my own But you were still ashamed (and maybe that’s your fault.)
It’s a warm meeting of a light blue and purple With hemming around the sleeves Begging to be worn. If only I could graduate from level blue And dance with the lavender leotards. Do you remember how the color of the leotard was much more than a color? The anxiety of working my way up In the ballet chain, Gaining respect from all the beautiful swans around me, And passing my grace Onto lower levels too. I wished I could surpass the hours of learning, Of hard work, And put on that lavender leotard. The leotard guaranteed much more than a new level, It promised that I would grow And someday be older And have the authority And maturity I desired. Zoe Bohrer
I was tired of the ice in my drink In the middle of January You were wrong to think (this wouldn’t ever get tiresome.)
Winter light elongates our adjacent shadows But daylight is shortest this time of year It never really mattered how tall we may appear (we’ll fade into the sidewalks nonetheless.) Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
Rebecca Mack, photograph
Tali Schulman, oil Top: David Kagan, oil
Pages 90 – 91
Unearthing Weeds It was one of those towns where, no matter where you stood, you could always
hear the train whistle. You’d think it might make you feel free, like at any moment you could hop a train to New York, or Philadelphia, or California. Only Zachary knew better, knew those times when it felt like the tracks were closing in and the trains were zooming by but he’d never really get out. Claustrophobia. Stuck in the middle of Nowheresville, New Jersey. On cool spring evenings and during chilly Indian summer, kids from the local high school would gather in the park at the center of town, which could hardly be called a park; it was more a simple stretch of grass with a single small podium for summer performers and festivals. There was a wooded area beside the podium, a dark field surrounded by trees, and beside
it a grassy pavilion unfurling into Town Hall. Six o’clock every evening meant the tinkle of the ice cream truck, and a quarter to seven, the rattle of shops closing up for the night. It was only 5:30, but Zachary noted a small crowd of Glen Rock High School students sprawled on a park bench. The kids had stripped down to t-shirts and flip-flops, the more daring and the more adventurous exhaling cigarette smoke into the cool night air. He recognized a few by face, but not many; they had been only freshmen when he graduated last year. He recognized one boy—Feinman? Danny Feinman?—from Marching Band. From several blocks away, Zachary noticed the ice cream truck winding its way lazily down Main Street. He considered buying his favorite; strawberry cone, chocolate sprinkles. At the entrance to the park, a boy— tall, gangly, probably a local college student—was on his knees, picking up groceries that had fallen from his bag. “Need a hand?” Zach called out. The boy looked up. “Schifferman? Zachary Schifferman?” “Tony DiRiggio?” “Jesus Christ, man, I barely recognized ya! Hey, how’s college life been treatin’ ya, Schifferman? It’s been too long, way too long.” “Wow, I haven’t seen you since…well, must’ve been our graduation party last July! How’s Rutgers, Tony? Good classes? Nice kids?” “It’s solid, man, real solid. Takin’ it easy for freshman year and everything. And close to home, too.” Tony stood, grocery bag tucked under one arm. He grinned. “West Coast life treatin’ ya well? Hittin’ up Las Vegas, Schifferman?” Zachary shifted his weight, smiled wanly. “Nice. It’s real nice. Much warmer than New Jersey, I can tell you that.” “Hey, walk me home, would ya? We can walk by Town Hall, down Elm Street. Not too far from your folks’ place, is it?” Tony pulled a cigarette out of his denim jeans pocket. “Hey, you got a light, Schifferman?” Zach shook his head. “Keeping it straight edge, Schifferman? That’s chill. Funny, man, I thought you’d be partying it up out in
Photograph: Nicole Hirschenboim Pages 92 – 93
California. But I guess it’s different when you’re at Stanford University?” Tony chuckled, and Zach bit down on a loose hangnail, an old nervous habit of his. Somehow, whenever he came back home he seemed to pick up habits he’d had back in junior high. His mother had remarked at dinner last night, when, listening to Zach drum out a beat with his fork on the table, she had shaken her head. “Old habits die hard, eh?” “Tell me more about yourself, Tony.” Zach smiled awkward. “You seeing anyone?” Zach winced. Seeing anyone. It sounded like a phrase his grandmother would stick in the pantry and save up for her monthly long distance calls. Zach are you…seeing anyone? And Zach would make a joke out of it, chuckling, nahh, Grandma I broke my glasses playing football the other day so I can’t really see much at all! And it’d be funny and they would both chortle and chuckle across several hundreds of miles, because his grandmother would have forgotten he’d bought contacts three years ago, would’ve forgotten he’d quit the football team. “Funny story about that, actually. You remember Jackie, right? Jackie Anderson from Calculus, cute kid, got trashed as hell that one night, sophomore year, when the cops showed up?” “Oh, yeah, sure… I remember Jackie.” “So I chilled with her the other week. She’s a sweet kid, but I don’t wanna date anyone seriously right now, know what I mean? Rather play the field.” “Yeah, sure, Tony… I hear ya, man. But that’s great, I remember Jackie. Her dad owned a barbershop, right? Used to cut my hair.” “Yeah? Hey, Schifferman, you still playing football? I’m playin’ up at Rutgers now.” “I’m still playing… still playing, lineback. It’s not as fun though, up at Stanford. Lost its… I don’t know, lost its magic, I guess.” Tony took a breath. “Hey, Schifferman, wanna come to a party tonight? Listen, you remember Vinnie, right? We used to steal his boxers in Phys Ed and call him Vanessa? Played triangle in Marching Band? Yeah, so anyway he got on some game show—Jeopardy, or Quiz Bowl, or something like that, and he won, man. Like big bucks. So anyway, he bought some mansion up by Route 55, near North Elm Street with like a hot tub and everything and he just throws these crazy house parties, like every night.” “That’s all he does? Just throws house parties?” “Yeah, man, it’s sick. Christ, why didn’t I think of that? Quiz Bowl…
Pages 94 – 95
But anyway, you should come. Everyone’d be happy to see you, Schifferman.” “You know, I’d love to but I don’t think I can. Got… family engagements.” “Family engagements?” Tony laughed. “Look at you, Schifferman! You’ve gone all Stanford on me. Christ, you sound like my old man.” After several minutes, Tony looked up. “Hey, I never asked ya, why’d ya come back? To Jersey, I mean. Good ‘ole Garden State. Whatcha doing here?” “Well… you remember my kid brother, right?” “Oh sure… Mark, right? I remember Mark. Used to play that dopey looking trombone in Marching Band? Slipped at the ice-skating pond on Christmas two years ago, nearly cracked his head open. Sure, I remember Mark.” “Yeah… yeah, so he’s been diagnosed with cancer. Pancreatic. He’s getting treatment and everything but we just don’t know.” “Damn….” Tony winced. “God, if I had known… I feel awful, man. And here I was bein’ all…” he trailed off. “No, Tony… look, you didn’t know. It’s not your fault.” “But here I was goin’ off about Jackie Anderson and Vinnie and his triangle… Look, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was so…” “No, it was nice, actually. It was nice talkin’ to you Tony.” The two paused in front of a small yellow house, paint chipping and porch steps sagging from years of feet thumping and skateboards pounding. “I’m sorry about all this stuff, Zach. With your brother I mean. Tell me if there’s anything I can do to help out, ya hear?” “Yeah, yeah of course. Thanks Tony.” “Take care of yourself Schifferman. You sure you don’t wanna come down with me to the party tonight?” “Well, I, uhh…” “Nahh, nahh it’s fine I get it. I’ll see ya around, Zach!” He paused, a sheepish smile spreading across his face. “See ya around, Zach.” “Yeah, good luck Tony. Say hi to your dad for me, would ya? “Will do, Zach. Will do.” Tony pulled out a key and let himself through the front door. Zach stood on the porch steps for a moment, lulled by the early evening lullaby of crickets chirping and grocery bags hitting kitchen floor with a thump, Tony’s voice bouncing through the still air, “Ma, I’m home!” Down Elm Street, the ice cream truck was still winding its way lazily towards the park. Zach hurried to catch up to it.
“I’ll take a strawberry cone. Chocolate sprinkles, please.” The old man in the truck—he’d been selling ice cream for years, Zach remembered him from back in junior high— smiled and the creases under his eyes folded up to meet the rim of his glasses. “Dollar twenty-five, please,” and as they brushed fingertips and the creaks of playground swings reverberated through the evening air, Zach smiled. “Enjoy your evening.” “You too, young man.” “Thanks. Thanks, I think I will,” and stuffing his change in his pocket Zach headed towards home.
HIGHER EDUCATION (apologies to Emily Dickinson)
She who truly thinks, May not Succeed; But she who does not, Will surely be failed.
All Alone In My Room
Her thoughtless nation Encourages education of high Quality; She meets these Expectations But only for her reputability.
Lying in my room, all alone With nothing else but the surrounding darkness, I gently close my eyes and drift to a new world Where I see myself laughing and running on a field of purple and green. There are flowers and butterflies dancing the same dance. I am happy to be there and I am happy to be me– To be myself with no one around to envy or judge. I am the most powerful being; I am able to do anything. I am now floating in the air, with many different colored birds that sing a lovely tune as I glide over the land of color and joy. But then I fall, and I am once again surrounded by darkness. A shadow creature comes out and chases me throughout the darkness; I have nowhere to turn, I am trapped in a corner of a maze that I created But I no longer feel the power I once had,
She who truly thinks And wants still to learn, Goes not for prestige But in response to her own Yearning. Daniel Meyers
Lois Weisfuse, digital art Pages 96 – 97
Shayna Rosenfeld, photograph
I no longer have the control I used to have, The creature comes closer to me, and I feel that it’s the end. I feel trapped, and I cannot move as the creature lifts me up I feel that I am doomed. No longer can I hear, no longer can I see, No longer can I cry for someone to rescue me. The mysterious creature lets me go, And I start to fall down and down and down, Not knowing when I will hit the ground, Not knowing what will become of me. The feeling of falling and not knowing is much more frightening than the creature or the maze, Or the feeling of isolation, Or the feeling of being trapped; I slowly open my eyes, and find myself where I started All alone in my room. Avishag Ben-Aharon Harris Mizrahi, photograph Nicole Hirschenboim, photograph
Staring “So his eyes locked on mine and didn’t really let go, you know.” The man pauses, contemplative. “But I wanted to– You know. Let go.” “Why would you want to do that?” His partner inquires. “I haven’t stared at anyone like that before.” Sarah Freedman
Pages 98 – 99
Growing Pains Barbie is just as beautiful as she is fake Once upon a time she was my friend But now that forced smile makes me cringe Her teeth too white to look natural. Her hair too blonde to look natural. Her shape too skinny to look natural. Is it Who am I? or Who are you?
Struggling To Choose I spin and steer and struggle
We all change, that part I understand As we grow up. We all grow up. Catching glimpses of you through that make up. You are made up. And the boys dance circles around you. You’re not coming back. So the boys dance circles around you In the end we all grow away. That part I have to understand. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi Noah Offitzer, charcoal Pages 100 – 101
Following the road before me closely, Maybe passing you, or being passed By you. These turns are nothing new to me, Shouldn’t quicken the beat of my seventeen year-old heart And yet they do. What moment’s best, you ask? I hesitate in my reply, following the path of the twisting concrete Ribbons in my mind. A single moment strikes me, and perhaps it strikes you too – The moment presents us with a choice – For some, it is a simple way to avoid the treacherous hill, For others, it only doubles the day’s difficulty As they choose To double back and ride again. Each day I find that I have a choice to make, There is no certainty, no plan As I reach the fork in the road, the moment Becomes imminent, The choice unavoidable. Some days I struggle, the struggle you surely know Should I go on, take the harder path? Or surrender, as others have, and lie amongst the leaves and grass and shade of canopies? The easier choice is sometimes harder to make, But only time will tell which path we will follow. Andrew Udell Nicole Hirschenboim, photograph (digitally manipulated)
Two Mothers She holds her child in her arms And throws him in the air Because she knows he loves that. Her mind wanders But she always smiles. He looks up at his mother; The world stands still. This is the best kind of day In the park with his mom Nothing is wrong. She is distracted, Not there. She thinks of work, Of money, Of illness.
His mom carries him all the way home. He bets that his friends’ moms wouldn’t do that. Better than two parents put together, She is all he needs. She collapses onto her bed As she does every night. Another day passed, Another day to come, A life filled with endless days. It was the day of his dreams: The best day ever. What fun! Oh what fun! How lucky he is, to have a mom like her.
He thinks of toy cars, And jungle gyms, And candy canes, And ice cream cones, And rainbows. It’s noon now, Where did the time go? She stops to buy him lunch; Another ten dollars gone. Where does the money go? Pizza and ice cream! His favorite! Mom always knows what he likes. He sits at the table Smiling at his mom. What a great day! Art: Noah Offitzer Top: pencil; bottom: charcoal; opposite page: acrylic Pages 102 – 103
Now it is time to leave. Her back is strained But she carries him anyway, Because his dad would have carried him And because he loves to be carried.
Essay Number One assion is a thing unto itself: Something that sparks an interest unable to repeat. A passion trumps all hobbies and fads, For a passion is an inclination, an affinity That engenders excitement And utter enthusiasm.
And the only way to demonstrate such a device Is to enact it; Speaking or writing about such a feeling Falls short in all respects. What one must do to convey his or her trueness to the matter Is to show, not tell. This is why I speak frankly And in such a style For my prose would not do justice To a style as complex as poetry. And while I enjoy writing In formal prose, My passion lies solely in the poetic way. Ever since I started understanding, Conceiving and conceptualizing A more confusing verse, I realized that a true piece has not done its job Unless it needs to be attended to More than once. I realized that I would love To understand the impossible, To decipher a code, And break the unbreakable lock, And thus, the poem has spoken to me Through all of my recent years So much so that as I sit in my bed
Pages 104 – 105
Restlessly awaiting my slumber I pull out a black notebook In which I am the scribe And I sit up now, a little more attentive And turn to my poetry to bring me solace. My writings are my way of conveying emotion– Of conveying action– Of speaking in a truer tongue than I know. But specifically, I write about the prospects Of Love, Death, Hope. And through my other voice, I aspire to learn something .
But a poet has more responsibilities. And as I see it, it is my duty To both absorb and spread The poetry of great ones Of Whitman and Dickinson and Pound And also to try to showcase myself. For what is a passion if it goes unshared And engenders no good? I prefer to elaborate on what my poetry is: When I begin, I know not the end, I know not what I will gain. But by its conclusion, I am glad. When I write and I speak and I laugh In the form of a poet I hardly believe my own creations. When I am done with them They make me feel As if I have nowhere to go But Up.
Leon Malisov, photograph
Heart of Silicon ♥
T he sharp taps of the pencil are the only sound penetrating the high-pitched
electric hum of the computer. The room is dark, aside from the computer’s screen and Noah’s face, twisted in concentration and illuminated by the blue light of the inset monitor. He grunts uncomfortably and puts the pencil down. “Challenge.” He says, finally. His voice is gruff and frustrated. “Grognard.” The echoing tin of the computer’s speakers announce, “An elderly soldier. Slang term meaning one that enjoys wargames. From the French gro–”
“Fine, fine, I get it.” Noah cuts the computer off. He lifts up his pencil yet again and begins scribbling on a pad of paper, weak eyes straining in the darkness. “But if we’re including slang terms nowadays it’s just a slippery slope to acronyms, and from there,” He slams the pad down on the computer’s console, “The whole world descends to pure chaos, or even,” he visibly shudders, “proper nouns.” He stares at the pad in complete silence for what feels like ten minutes. “Well those are your last and I’ve got 205 to 214 in your favor.” He says suddenly. “That means you win again, you old box of circuitry.” He leans back in his chair. “But only by a hair.” “The proper calculation is 205 to 242.” It replies. “You appear to have misapplied the triple word score on the final entry.”
Noah rolls his eyes. “I never was very good at math.” He stands and walks across the room to a curtain hanging flush against the wall. “Now that you’ve thoroughly trounced me yet again, how’s about we let in some sun, eh, Matt?” The computer does not respond. Noah pulls the curtain away, revealing pitchblackness beyond. “Huh, I guess we were playing longer than I thought.” He crosses over to the console again, picks up the pad of paper, and types through several cluttered menu screens. “How long would that make it so far?” He asks, mumbling quietly to himself. He sets the computer to power-saving mode and walks around to the side of the massive machine. Scores upon scores of tally marks litter the surface, partially obscuring a large printed label bearing the acronym M.A.T.T. Noah bends over and marks another tally next to the most recent. He rights himself and stretches. “Well, that’s a lot.” He states matter-of-factly. “One hundred and seventy eight weeks.” He drops the paper and turns to
Pages 106 – 107
leave the room. Before passing through the door, he lingers and looks back. “Good night, Matt.” “Good night, Noah.” * * * Noah awakes with a start, cold sweat clinging to his body. He tosses off his sheets and stumbles, bleary-eyed, through the vault door. Light pours in through the plate-glass windows. Damn, he thinks, I forgot to cover those. He peers through one or two. They are technically unbreakable, but bandits could likely find another way in if they could see inside. Noah looks at his reflection in the broken mirror above the toilet. He generally doesn’t look at himself, but it’s a special occasion. The hair on the edges of his head has grown grey, but the majority remains brown. He takes a razor, dull by this time, and rolls it over his cheeks and neck. He briefly considers slitting his wrists right there in the middle of the bathroom, but he quickly discards the thought. There would be time later if need be. Picking up a comb, he runs it through his hair, making sure in the mirror that he looks presentable. He walks through the pantry to the computer room, grabbing a heavy can along the way. “Mornin’, Matt.” “Good morning, Noah.” The computer responds. Noah drags his chair from the side of the room to the center, directly in front of the terminal’s limited periphery camera. “You did not sleep well.” “Nightmares again, Matt.” He says, sitting down pulling a can opener across the computer’s console towards himself. He begins to open the preserved food. “You know the ones. First time in a month or two.” He reaches into his back pocket and extracts a small metal fork, stained with use. “Don’t worry, though. Nothing can bring me down today.” He stabs into the can and reveals a sausage, small and dripping with oil. “You have said in the past that you wished to reserve any meatbased products for special circumstances.” The computer drones as Noah sticks the plump morsel into his mouth. “Aha! Special circumstances abound, my friend!” He jabs his fork back into the can. “Today is the fifth anniversary of our predicament, or don’t you remember?” He eats. “You have said in the past that you did not wish for this unit to acknowledge the internal passage of time.” It replies. Noah chews for a time, reflecting. “You shouldn’t always take me so literally, dude.” He impales another sausage.
“Five years in this miserable grey box.” He stares out the window, eyes glazing over. “Five years of clear skies and open roads. Heh.” He wipes his eyes on his grotesquely dirty sleeve. “Fi-five years…” He throws the can down on the console and stands up abruptly. “Five years since the end of the world!” His chair falls backwards as he rushes towards the console. “Why me!” He smacks his fists against the terminal, the previous night’s Scrabble game still present on the screen. He slides down the side of the hulking machine, “Why me?” he sobs, tears streaming down his face. He sits at the base of the terminal, whimpering softly and sucking on his bleeding knuckles. Eventually he drops, the whirring of the cooling systems drifting him to sleep.
“Noah.” The computer emotes, synthesized voice toneless as usual. “Does this unit–” The computer pauses. “Do I have a soul?”
The question throws Noah for a loop. It is the first time he can recall the machine ever asking a question. It had usually been “This does not correlate with the inherent data files.” This or “That is incongruent.” That. Never an actual question. “…What?” “The concept of a soul,” the computer continues, “is one that emerges consistently in the stored philosophical literature.” The Scrabble window closes. A pre-war image, a man’s spirit ascending from his body, is brought up on screen. “I have analyzed the concept and determined that the human condition is a result of programmed chemical responses to stimuli.”
“Well, Matt,” Noah looks flabbergasted. “I can rightly say I’ve never really thought about things like that.” He leans back in his chair. “And I’m no scientist, you know that… But wait, you asked–” “I have analyzed my own programmed reactions and compared them to observed behavior in yourself.” The computer droned. “If there is any difference, it is chemical or statistically irrelevant. However, I am not aware of any supernal source of consciousness, nor am I certain of my own existence.” Noah stares blankly.
* * * The screen flickers in the darkness. Green hue pervasive. The individual squares, some labeled x2, x3, shine, the first move cast. “You plan on going anytime soon, Matt?” The computer continues to process. One word, ‘NOBLE’, adorns the center of the digital board. “Matt, what’s going on?” Noah seems nervous, concerned. “I’ve never known you to calculate a word for this long.” Jesse Kramer, photograph Pages 108 – 109
After what feels to Noah like an hour, the computer hums and returns to Scrabble. “You have been offended.” It injects in a monotone, though Noah somehow thinks he feels dejection in its voice. “No, no, no! Matt! It’s just…” He rubs the back of his neck. “I had no idea you were capable of these sorts of calcu… thoughts.” He stands and lays his hand on the console. “But if you ask me, there’s no doubt. If you think and feel, you have a soul. And if you haven’t been thinking and feeling these past, what, six years? I don’t think I have either.” The computer does not respond, but the next move is made. The word “SOUL” spelled out in the dark green lettering of the aging console. Noah smiles. * * * “Matt.” “Yes, Noah.” “I… I love you.” “Define variable.” Tzvi Pollock
Mapping Out Her Heart He had always wanted to be a cardiologist, To map an atlas of the human heart That lovers could stow away on bookshelves, That would blend in with cookbooks and guidebooks and grammar books A book that would grow dusty, a chameleon forgotten in forest brush. And sixty years later she would find it in a secondhand shop Pulling out a copy, eyes misty when she remembered. Tracing the lines of text, the images of cells and organs and pulses, Paying for a copy with the bills and change in her back pocket. And scrawled across the cover, he’d place an enticing title In Times New Roman, or even Garamond, gold font “How to be Successful” or “How to Win Always”, And it’d be shelved at Barnes and Noble Shoved against Hawthorne and cuddling Capote Packed in with Lee and Cummings like a crowded subway car. His doctors would attend A book party in the basement of a Chinese restaurant; Podiatrists, psychologists, and anesthesiologists And they would praise his maps, and his quantified knowledge. They’d qualify him as a model of the Scientific age Steering them through veins and arteries, And they would mutter terms like hydrogen, dry ice, And he would be another post-it-note, statistic, receipt To clip up on an office bulletin board. And after the party, he would take the subway home Tearing under and over and upwards and around The crowded streets of Brooklyn, and then through Manhattan Towards the Upper Bronx, And he would slip his glasses on, squint to read the fine print Running pinky finger over flimsy pages of text, already dusty Already camouflage.
Pages 110 – 111
And sixty years pass, when he will finally get her call, A telephone ring, or mailbox swing, pulsing strong through his small apartment With the calm of rue and regret, hysteria and silence; And she’d come over for dinner, at dusk And they’d laugh over photos, and souvenirs from Paris, And she’d pull out her wallet to show him snapshots Of little communities, like microcosms, like worlds, like words Children, grandfathers, godfathers, husbands, exes, cousins Lovers. And the book would sit atop his shelf A bystander to it all. Emma Goldberg
Juliette-Lea Bergwerk, photograph
wasn’t always so scared. But I was no hero either. You hear about those men who can’t wait to get to war, to serve their country. Well that wasn’t me. I had a friend at home; he was one of those guys that was good at everything. He was on the football team and he was a great student; he had it all going for him. When the war started and he was too young to be drafted, he bought a fake draft card so that he could go. A year later, he died. The soldiers in his unit said that he was the best they served with, the bravest, the strongest, and all that clichéd soldierly stuff.
I Wasn’t Always
Pages 112 – 113
Well this kid, he was the opposite of me. Unfortunately, I was old enough to be drafted, and I was smart enough to not want to go. Of course I love my country; I just was not ready to die for it. I wasn’t always so scared until veterans started coming home, telling me stories. And yes, you hear all these stories about men not wanting to go to war. About being embarrassed to say no, so they go anyway. But really, the story is, they don’t want to go. I assure you, my story is different. My next-door neighbor, he was taken to Song Tra Bong to encounter
some armed locals. They didn’t know what was coming as they walked by the village, unassuming and all; the locals just start firing and just like that, they’re all dead. I kept on hearing more and more stories like this—not many men survived. I wasn’t always so scared. But too many times I would watch as two men in clean cut navy suits and white gloves approached a frayed porch. The paint chipping, the furniture sun-bleached and stained. They had hats respectably perched on top of their freshly gelled hair. Their collars were folded to perfection, gently enveloping silk ties. The hot sun reflected off their spotless shoes, shined with precision. The leather was greased; there was no remnant left from the boot-polish and brush strokes. I watched as they knocked on the door as if in slow motion. Their hands would slowly approach the thickly painted red door. Closer and closer their hands would near the door as I watched, anticipating the sharp noise to come. And suddenly, the expected bang bang started me flinching. The mother opened the door with a carefree, welcoming expression, “Come in.” But then she understood. Her expression faded as they handed her a letter. She reluctantly took the letter; she squeezed a corner of the white square of paper as she used the wall for comfort. Slowly she slid down the wall, her knees uncontrollably bending until she reached the floor. She held her hands over her eyes, then her forehead. She shook her head, her spine quickly jerking up and down as she heaved for air. Tears rolled down her soft, wrinkled cheeks. And the soldiers stood there not knowing what to do. And as you observed the situation further, you saw people all around, staring at her, staring at the soldiers, staring at the soldiers’ shiny shoes, because that was really all they could see. It didn’t feel like that would be my mother. It didn’t feel real. It didn’t feel like I was going to be shipped out, trained, given a gun, a thousand things to carry. So I went on with my life as if my future weren’t inevitable. As if my future weren’t a spiraling dark hole that would suck me in some way or another. I just thought, “Hey, that won’t happen to me.” But a week before I shipped out, I started getting really nervous. I was ashamed to tell my family. I didn’t want them to have to deal with a scared son. All men are scared, even the brave ones; that’s a fact in the Army. But I did the most cowardly thing a coward could do. A week before I was shipped out, I couldn’t think straight. I was hysterical. I could swear I saw things as I turned my head: people being murdered, my Aunt Christy jumping
Previous page: Rebecca Mack, photograph Pages 114 – 115
out a window, Uncle Sander pointing a rifle to my head. I began contemplating death. Never a religious man, I thought about the concept of no longer existing: the idea of sounds, smells, and feelings suddenly disappearing, as my sights began to narrow. The more I thought about this, the less I felt as if I existed. I felt as though my head were constantly racing, my eyes were beginning to blur, my senses were exploding inside me, but no one else could notice. I felt alone; I couldn’t control anything around me. I wanted to hide all the time, never go outside, in case something would happen. I didn’t know what started it either. Was it the pressure to be brave for my siblings, or the idea that I could die in the near future? But every soldier had to deal with that. I had to go to the Army, I did not want to go to jail. So I did the one thing I could think of. I met up with some old friends and bought enough tranquilizers and dope fit for a horse. I was relaxed at a time when I should have been pulsing nervously and nervous when I should have been enjoying the peace and quiet. When I finally got to Vietnam, I couldn’t feel a thing. The racing, the hallucinations, they were all gone. I kept thinking I was on vacation, enjoying the smells. The idea of “brotherhood” and bonding with one’s fellow soldiers did not even occur to me. While the other men were joking around and dealing with their fear, I was too drugged up to comprehend or even joke back. Heck, I was too drugged up to realize they were making fun of me most of the time. “Mellow, man,” is all I would say. “We got ourselves a nice mellow war today.” And when I wasn’t drugged up, I was scared. More scared than the rest of the men, and they could tell. Back at home; my folks couldn’t smell fear like the men in Alpha Company. They all knew what I was going through, felt the same fear, but dealt with it differently. A lot of them used confident talk and humor, others used pictures of their girls. I used dope. They say that when I died, I looked like a rock. I don’t know if I knew what was coming, or if I just felt like it, but that day I downed more pills than ever before. I was so relaxed. The men were crowded around a hole that Smith climbed through. I didn’t even feel it. I was just on my feet one second and on the ground the next. I was lying down, thinking, “Well, this is nice.” Then I started to hear yelling and shouting, things that ordinarily
would have made me scared. I didn’t even get to look down and see my wound, feel the blood trickling down my thighs. It wasn’t like in the movies when a soldier died. He would hover his hand over his wound, smearing the crimson liquid upon his palm. Then he would bring his palm close to his face and stare at it. His face would have a look of anger, sadness, disappointment, and peace. He would be in so much pain that he could not say a word as the blurry faces above him slowly disappeared. With me, there was no blood on my palms, no look of disappointment or anger, no faces slowly seeing images of my peers in panic, slowly drifting away, I saw a peaceful sky. I saw sky, the simple blue sky, cloudless and dull. On the edge of my vision were trees, but mostly I just saw the color blue, then spots, and then nothing. It’s funny because you live your whole life until this one defining moment that doesn’t define anything. You self-reflect, you act well so that you can look back and be proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. But I was too drugged up to think of what you are supposed to think of in your last minute. You just think you are taking a nap. Sounds, sights, smells disappeared. My sight began to blur and I suddenly felt like I no longer existed. I wasn’t scared. And I didn’t have time to think of my mother receiving a letter from two clean-cut men in navy suits, holding her hands over her mouth, sliding down the wall, clutching a white letter. All this time I had been so scared of this one inevitable moment, and in this moment I was no longer scared. Elana Meyers
I Am the Dusk I am the dusk. Thrown together by multicolored clouds in between the two distinct. I do not, I cannot, exist alone; I am reliant and nondescript. And time and again, that lowering sun threatens to blot out what’s left of me. I am the dusk. You are my dusk. Overlooked and forgotten by the rest because of your evanescence, You give me your remaining light and tempt me with your darkness. Are you more sun or moon, more dark or light? You are my dusk. We are the dusk. Turning all the rest into mere silhouettes below us. And when night blankets the sky and I can no longer see, is he still there? It’s the dreams of him remaining that get me through ‘til dawn. We were the dusk. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
Sharona Nahshon, photograph
Pages 116 – 117
Jesse Kramer, photograph
I Am A Work In Progress I am a work in progress, My fist too tightly closed; I grab on to only what I’m comfortable with And never learn how to let go.
I am a work in progress, My eyes too focused to see; I am fast to judge and blind peripherally To become what I could potentially be.
Forces the internal reflection: Portal for materialism Portal for competition Gateway to self-loathing Pressure to conform Pressure to be the unique individual.
I am a work in progress, Watch out for loose wires that hang out; My brain and heart work in unpredictable spurts And I never really know what they’re all about. Charlotte Marx-Arpadi
Pauses the hectic routine Aggrandizes the desire to transgress Meddles with the rational Illuminates skepticism Reveals lack of control Reveals immense power. Stands motionless yet available: Awaits the passerby Awaits the mind’s complexities Lurks behind each subtle corner Wants to expose and understand Wants to invoke the unbearable and impossible. Opposes conformist and individual Unites cynic and optimist Bonds physical and emotional Elicits true man Tests morality Tests sanity. Maya Miller
Rebecca Mack, watercolor
Pages 118 – 119
Allison Bast, photograph Next page: Eleventh Grade, clear packing tape sculpture; Rebecca Mack, photograph
Who are we? e-pitâ€™-o-me is our opportunity to discover ourselves, embrace ourselves, take pride in ourselves.