Monday, April 29, 2013

The Spirit of a Jewish Mother

                Eli's mother hovered forebodingly beside his bed, hands on her hips, her head shaking slowly back and forth. She always had a way of making Eli sense her disappointment from body language alone. He spent half his childhood feeling like a scolded puppy. 
                This time, she had caught him in a rather compromising position.
                "For God's sake, again?"
                 He quickly covered up and chucked the latest edition of Maxim magazine across the room.
                "MOM! Oh my God!" He hoped an exclamation of utter shock would distract her from present circumstances. It didn't.
                "Don't mom me young man. So this is what you're doing with your life now? You just lie there all day and do...this?"
                "God mom, not all day. Just because you're a ghost doesn't mean you don't have to knock."
                That was stupid. He couldn't control himself.
                "Excuse me? Oh yeah, sure! Lock your dead mother's ghost out of your room! Real nice. This is my soul, you know."
                 Eli's mother was dead, and still she knew how to make him feel guilty.  She even looked the same while doing it apart from the pale, partially transparent skin. She wore the same old dilapidated nightgown he saw her adorn every single night of his childhood. He somehow found a brief moment to contemplate ghost clothing. How can an outfit pass into the afterlife? And is that outfit what the spirit is stuck in for the rest of eternity?
                The exchange continued.
                "It's not that I'm trying to lock you out. It's just...embarrassing."
                "Embarrassing for you? What about me? Having a son who treats his body like it's an amusement park! Do you want to give me a heart attack?"
                "...A heart attack mom?"
                She turned her ghost body and started looking around Eli's bedroom - "What else can I yell at him about while I'm at it?"        
                "And what is going on in here? Did you forget how to clean?"
                There it is.
                "I was going to clean up tomorr..."
                "How can you live like this? It's disgusting."
                "Sorry. You're sorry. I'm sorry. Sorry that I raised such a slob.
                "Ok m..."
                "Why can't you find a girl so you don't have to lie here and waste your life away? Is it so hard? You are a handsome, smart boy. I'd even be ok with you dating a Goy if she distracted you from this nonsense.
                "OK mo..."
                "If you're going to continually abuse yourself, you could at least do it to some nice Jewish girls. Not this Maxim garbage. You could at least get the right image into your head!"
                She hovered quietly for a moment, hands still on hips, head still shaking. It couldn't be over yet.
                "And just how long has it been since you've visited my grave?"
                There it is.
                "Mom, how many times do we have to go over this? You're a ghost. You can visit me whenever you want."
                "Oh yeah, sure, but I better 'knock' first, or I might find my son treating his body like it's the state fair!"
                "Can we please, please stop talking about this now?"
                At that, the ghost of Eli's Jewish mother gave one last sigh, floated up into the ceiling, and disappeared. On the way, she used her lifeless, gray index finger to take a quick swipe of his bookshelf.
                "Would it kill you to dust every once in awhile?" 

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