Thursday, January 19, 2012

yimakh shemo

i can't remember his name. i can't remember. i watched as they carted his body away and i couldn't remember his name. the man who lived across the street, the husband who worked as a lawyer. he had a name. i knew it. now i don't.

she said he was trying to hurt her. hurt their daughter. that's why she stabbed him nine times. i heard her yelling at the police, telling them they couldn't take her away from her daughter. but when they asked what her daughter's name was, she couldn't tell them. she couldn't even remember her husband's name.

i can't remember. i wrote it down in a notebook, i remember that. i wrote it down, but now it's just a smudge. a smudge for a name. a name of nothing.

when my mother was out, my grandmother babysat me. she used to tell me that my father was "shmutz" and every time she said his name, she said "yimakh shemo." one day i asked her what it meant. "shmutz means dirt," she told me. "that's what your aba was." and the other, i asked her, what did the other thing mean.

"yimahk shemo," she said, "means 'may his name be obliterated.' harshest curse we have."

i can't remember his name. it's just a black smudge.

yimahk shemo. may his name be obliterated.

i have to go.

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