Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Island.

When I was seventeen my best friend beat me up outside of my house late at night and I cried because I thought I deserved it. He was a man, and a twin. He was a year older, wore a denim jacket and had a greasy ponytail that he was proud of. Him and his twin brother lived in a subsidized house just like the one my family lived in before my parents bought their little apartment, with their father who was a taxi driver and an alcoholic. Their dad used to be very wealthy and live in a mansion on top of the mountain (literally) but then his wife had divorced him  and he was left with nothing. So he drove a cab at night. One morning my friend woke up and his dad was in the living room holding a gun to his head. Everyone owns a gun in the Middle East. When dad was in a good mood he'd bring us dinner and we'd hear him sing in the kitchen. When he wouldn't come home for days I would go over and bring my friend a sandwich and help him do his laundry. He didn't know how to. It was a strange relationship because I came from a relatively stable home and didn't always know what to do, but we were close and those details didn't matter.

My friend, maybe because of his father or by nature, had a misogynist streak. He hated women. He hated beautiful women but not smart women. He thought himself smart and found all women inferior to him in that department. But he was short, shorter than me, and even though he was attractive and had a string of interesting, beautiful girlfriends, he hated himself. He would only talk about his girlfriends in physical terms. "Her butt is like two apples squished together in her panties" "too bad she's so dumb and needy" - shit like that. I thought it was a normal way to think. Most Israeli men are pigs. At least the ones I grew up with were.

Our friendship ended quickly one night when I slept with the girl he used to date, a girl he met through me. She was my friend and neighbour. She was young and somewhat inexperienced so he regularly manipulated her and then bragged to me about it. He tortured her. The girl and I didn't do it to spite him, it was just something that happened and afterward we laughed about it and thought it was innocent and funny. They were broken up at the time. It didn't have any significant meaning to either of us and we continued with our friendship just like before, until he found out. When he found out he went straight to our parents to inform them of what transpired and then waited for me late at night outside of my house to beat me up. He grabbed me by the throat against the wall and punched me hard in the stomach a few times. He used to work out every day. He was wearing his favourite shirt, the one I washed a million times, and all I could think about was his terrible breath. He figured I was scared enough so he let me go and I flicked my cigarette at him because my hands were too shaky to do anything else. I thought I deserved it. Later in the week he brought over a portrait he painted of me, in which a horned shadow figure (the devil)  drags souls into a deep dark hole in the ground. He said that was the epitome of me and signed it with a cheesy R.E.M. lyric: "This One Goes Out To The One I love". She was no longer allowed to see me after that. They got back together and he "protected" her from me on her way to school, at social events and in our neighbourhood. After a while I stopped trying. 

I used to fight hard for friendships even when they were obviously toxic. I don't feel that way anymore. Your friends aren't supposed to make you feel guilty, awful or inferior. And if they do then fuck em. When someone is so insecure that the only way for them to feel good about themselves is put you down you should leave them behind. You aren't meant to be friends. 

A week before my family moved to Canada he graced me with his presence and delivered another painting. On the back it said "I forgave you two". I'm pretty sure I threw it out. The girl and I are alright, by the way. 

This is what I stayed up thinking about until 5am last night.

On that happy note, here's a nice song for you! Bye!






1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love what you say.
This entry is poignant to my own life at the moment.