www.rondavid.net (© Ron David)
ARABSONG: Celebrations of Life
A journal of truth, humor and occasional beauty dedicated to the principle that every
human life --black, white, arab, jew, american, non-american-- is equally valuable.
"The Autobiography of Muriel Sharon"
--a novel by Ron David--
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MURIEL SHARON
-- a novel
'The Eyebrows of My Enemy's Wife'
("Isolde & the Duke" is the last half of Chapter 2)
'My Father's Hands'
'Life with the Smallest Possible 'L'
'Someone to Sing to Me'
'Where Are the Birds?'
'...Surely They Can't Be Jews'
'Not Exactly John Wayne'
'Whores and Dead Chickens'
'The Body Count'
'Lebanese Book of the Dead'
am not certain of the exact day that General Sharon first asked me to
help him with his autobiography, but it was in Paris, I’m sure of it.
I remember walking along the Seine in throbbing rain.
(I don’t remember how I got there.)
I remember that the water was brown and fast and that two boys
were on the river’s steps throwing stones into the fast brown water.
I remember wondering if those were the exact steps that Charles
Laughton walked calmly down to his suicide in the old movie and I
remember wondering what I would do if one of the boys fell into the
river and what I should do about Uncle Joe and Aunt Jamila and Samir.
I remember feeling my father's hand on my shoulder, the hand with
my mother's graduation ring on its baby finger, the hand that had
smoothed back my hair and carved cars from clay and beaten me halfway
across Detroit. I remember thinking, Dad,
what in the hell am I going to do?
I remember sitting in
a park after the rain had stopped.
I remember sitting on
wet grass, looking at the hideous photographs again and again, watching
my breath as I stood to walk.
I remember wondering
if I was the only coward left on earth?
Am I the only person left in this world who loves life so much
that I will do anything to stay alive for one more day, hour, minute?
Dad, I am afr—I'm
scared shitless. What
should I do?
I saw a taxi and
waved it down. "DeGaulle Airport, please."
the airplane ride home I tried to sleep but couldn't. On the lids of my closed eyes I saw fireworks and nervous
colors and people who didn’t like me.
(And I saw General Sharon, watching me, watching me.)
I opened Lewis's book
but I couldn't concentrate with Sharon watching me so I tried to watch
the movie. Chevy Chase hit
a golfball into a tree trunk, the golfball bounced off a dozen things,
then went into the hole—it was so stupid I laughed—and suddenly
Sharon is gone and my father and I are on our knees, kneeling over a
circle scribbled in the dirt shooting marbles while he tells me again
and again some strange stuff about how he wants me to stand inside a
four thousand year-old temple in Lebanon that he
says belongs to me. And
how he wants me to feel connected to something far beyond him..?
Gimme a break, Dad, you know I don't believe in that crap—
... he gives me a look but he doesn't speak so I launch into a rousing speech about how the poet Rilke says that we are people without pasts and Sartre believes that we create our own pasts but before I can finish my amazing speech my father stands up, walks around the dirt circle, and begins taping my mouth shut. But, Dad, I mumble as he puts on strip after strip of masking tape, You haven't even heard the best part yet.
ignores me and keeps taping. When he is certain that my mouth is taped
completely shut, when he is sure that I cannot say another word, he
swoops me into his arms and, although I am forty-three years old and
built like a brick shithouse, he
holds me like I am a baby and sings to me until I fall asleep ...
was still in Detroit and Lewis had gone somewhere (he left a note, but
my mind was elsewhere). Good—I
wasn’t ready to see anybody. I
had to figure out what I was going to do.
I put the photographs on the wall but I couldn't look at them, so
I closed my eyes. Every
time I closed my eyes Sharon laughed.
made a cup of tea and sat facing my wall which by now had grown into a
morass of photos and clippings of my family, both dead and alive, and of
Sharon and Menachem Dickhead Begin and Ben-Gurion and my grandfather who
had a Three Stooges hairdo exactly like Ben-Gurion and my Aunt Judy who
looked like Virginia Woolfe's mirror-image and who now looks very much
like a mirror-image of a dead woman in a wheelchair with an Israeli bomb
in her lap, and I looked at a photograph of Palestinians in Ein
Hilweih, a refugee camp on the outskirts of Sidon...when mice in
laboratories sense that they have no control over what's happening to
them, no matter how healthy they are, they begin to die from the
inside...there's nothing subtle about the look, look at the photographs
of the people in Ein Hilweih
or of people in Auschwitz and you'll see...to the right of the
photograph of Ein
Hilweih is a New York Times quote by a senior Israeli officer: "The
frustration for a superpower like the United States and a regional
superpower like Israel," he said, "is that you have muscles
and fists, but nothing to hit."
Beneath that is a statement by Ariel Sharon that Israel has the
third-strongest army in the world and into my mind pops the strange
memory that my mother told me that Ein
Hilweih means “Beautiful Eyes”...
Beautiful Eyes: Israel has the third-strongest army in the
world; the Palestinians would be lucky to win a war against one of New
York's street gangs. Militarily,
the Palestinians are as overmatched against the Israelis as the Jews
were against Hitler.
Eyes: In the last 40 years, Palestinians have killed about 300
Beautiful Eyes: In the last 40 years, Israel has killed
about 75,000 Palestinians.
Beautiful Eyes: In the last 40 years, Zionists have forced
Palestinians out of their homes.
Beautiful Eyes: In the last 40 years—or the last four
thousand years—Palestinians have forced no Jews out of their
homes, not in Prague or Paris or Budapest or the Bronx.
Palestinians have never forced Jews out of their homes.
Fifty years ago the Palestinians lived where their ancestors had
lived for thousands of years—now they live in filthy refugee camps,
unwelcome visitors in other people's country—except for the one
million of them who have never left their homes and who are now
unwelcome visitors in their own country.
Yet, every day in every way, Israel blames the
Palestinians. I can almost bear the Darwinian brutality with which Israel
has crushed everything Palestinian, but when Israel blames the
Palestinians...when Israel calls the Palestinians "terrorists"
with exactly as much authenticity as Hitler called the Jews
"criminals," the hideous Nazi obscenity of it...when I get to
this place in my mind, I can't think, I can’t think...I cannot think.
took a leak, returned to my ugly wall, looked through but didn’t read The
New York Times. I was
exhausted but every time I closed my eyes someone screamed so I went to
the living room, near the photograph of my father.
He looked sad so I gave him a kiss.
the matter, Danny, my father said, you
confused, Dad. I have to do
something but I'm not sure what it is.
(General Sharon laughed. I
ignored the fat sonofabitch.) According
to The Times, Sharon would
speak at a synagogue in Queens at two this afternoon.
Ariel Sharon is not a stupid man.
He has a law degree and he is the greatest general in Israel's
history so he is clearly a man of intelligence.
If I could meet him face to face and talk with him, I would be
honest, I would reason with him, he would see that I was not a self-serving
bullshitter...and he would understand.
(And if you believe that, bozo, there a nice piece of swampland
in Israel I'd like to sell you.)
took the picture of my father from the mantle.
Inside the framed photo, between the photograph and the cardboard
backing, was the key to the locker in Port Authority. I put the key in
my pocket, kissed my father goodbye and hurried to catch the next bus.
bus driver had a gentle smile, the sky was ravishingly blue and every
woman on the bus had something you could kiss or whisper into or admire.
Beauty and life were everywhere but they weren't enough.
I believe with every singing cell of me that human life is the
most precious thing on earth but if I have learned anything from the
Holocaust it is that love of life can be twisted into cowardice and that
gentleness can be molded into passivity and, once that happens, pacifism
is murder—worse than murder—because you watch
the death of everything you love without lifting a hand.
had to be done.
had to take responsibility and do it.
I was certain that no one was looking, I opened the Port Authority
locker and slipped the pistol into my knapsack.
Feeling like all the people I hated, I headed for the subway to
Queens to kill Ariel Sharon.