Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Auschwitz Effect

On January 27, 1945, Russian troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In honor of that date, here's an excerpt from Josh Alan Friedman's new book When Sex Was Dirty:

Fred had recently turned 30 and was set to marry a brunette anthropologist whose parents had survived Auschwitz. "I see a long, parched desert before me," Fred would moan, envisioning the rest of his sex life. "Judy and I are so familiar after living together five years. I love her, but sex with her is like having sex with a family member. I'm a starving man."

Indeed, Fred's most indignant complaint about the folly of mankind was his inability to resist temptation. His-swaggering harlotry, a cleavage thrust in his direction, even the slight overt female wiggle - these sights sent him careening off to relieve himself into a Kleenex in Times Square... But when particularly aroused by some sexy temp in the office, wantonly gyrating her hips while listening to a Sony Walkman, he would sneak off to the streetwalkers that night, cursing under his breath about the power women hold over men's libidos. "It's not fair," he said, pounding a fist on the table, unable to relax until he boffed a whore. And God forbid Judy should find out; it would crush her beyond repair. "Not that she'd react violently, but those doe-like eyes would swell with tears, she'd stare at me with disbelief... It's the camps," said Fred, referring to her parents incarceration, which loomed over their relationship like a poltergeist. "You can't cheat on the daughter of concentration camp victims."

"Surely," I ventured, "you could explain your cravings for a meaningless one-nighter." I suggested she may become bored too, and someday, after gentle prodding, might allow a girlfriend to slip under the covers with both of them.

"Are you crazy?" screamed Fred, whose maddest desire was for several of Judy's associate anthropologists.

"Why not try?" I asked.

"The camps, the camps."