Friday, July 22, 2005


My roommate Nick tried to lure me out as an anti-Semite the first day I got to college, I think because I told him I admired Ronald Reagan and that, from my reading of Gibbon, the concept of empire was not an inherently bad thing. He said some disparaging things about Jews1 and then asked me what I thought. I told him that one of my best friends in high school was a Jew, and that from my reading of history, the Jews were an admirable people. When I started talking about the Warsaw ghetto he took a different tack. He never gave up on trying to get at me, though, and some months later when I was listening to a Joni Mitchell LP, the one that shows her nude, from the rear, in an arty shot at the ocean, he made a point of saying, repeatedly, in a dirty voice, as if he were talking about my sister, that Joni had a "real nice ass." He hoped I'd get mad, but I was just confused. I couldn't go there for a couple of reasons. First, Joni was all about art and words and meaning and soul to me, but I wasn't hot for her body like I was for Nadia Comaniche.

But, more importantly, while I loved Joni's mind, she was obviously a woman over thirty, so I thought it bizarre and slightly sick that Nick would feign an interest just to try to annoy me.

Left grip is 35 pounds (32, 34, 35), right grip is 82 pounds (82, 78, 77), left leg balance is 10.45 seconds, and inhale volume is 4450 mL.

Nick was a Jew.
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