Right of Return

Was this a trial of some sort, and had he failed?  Was it part of the Zionist epic?  Who knew?  Not Sam.  He knew so very little.  He had foreboding and predictions, to be sure, and these often found, with an adjustment for spiritual inflation, factual confirmation in the future.  He knew what was going to happen with Arielle, for example, and he knew he would eventually tell Talia, and what would happen then.  He knew that the landlord would add $150 to his rent in the fall without fixing the drip that was ruining his bedroom floor, and he knew that eventually one of the companies or schools for which he now performed part -time work would offer him a permanent place, and that eventually he would accept.  And he knew as well that he was a child compared to these various forces, and would not have the tenacity to reckon with them—not because he lacked courage, really, but because he hadn’t the certainty of his right.  He didn’t know Hebrew and he didn’t, really, love Israel, eretz y’Israel, and though he loved the Jews, and he loved Arielle and Talia, perhaps there were people more qualified to love them?  And better informed?  He just wasn’t quite sure, Sam was never quite sure, that he was doing as he ought.

All the Sad Young Literary Men
Keith Gessen


To recap thus far:

  • Current girlfriend: Where did you put the red umbrella?
  • Ex-girlfriend: Who are you now?  Whoever you are, are you happy?

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