A Secret Grave 115: Outrage

 

“Why’d you do that?” Alicia asked Emil when they were back out on the street.

“Do what?” said Emil with mock innocence.

“Give that creep your autograph. It’s not like you.”

“I wanted to punch him in the face. All that anti-Semitic innuendo. It was my way of sticking it to him.”

“Yeah? Well, I feel like we stick out here enough as it is. Better to keep a low profile.”

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Bar Mitzvah

Emil at his Bar Mitzvah

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Of course Alicia and Emil did look different – city as opposed to country, Alicia with her exotic beauty, stylish handbag and hot designer shoes, Emil with his craggy intellectual face and the inquisitive nature that defined every glance and movement. People did turn to stare, not necessarily in an unfriendly manner, but more as if the two of them were alien creatures, visitors from the East or West Coast who spoke a different language and had different and opposing values.

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oil portraits austin

Emil, Psychotherapist (Nicole Jeffords, Oil on Canvas, 2016)

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oil portraits austin

Alicia, Bounty Hunter (Nicole Jeffords, Oil on Canvas, 2016)

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To Alicia who always felt at home wherever she was, this was a disconcerting and even slightly shocking feeling. Given current conservative politics, it brought out her fighting spirit which, unbeknownst to her, was huge – almost as powerful a sensation as love, but love wasn’t what this emotion was; It was outrage, pure and simple. An outrage which from that moment forward, in the sunny and seemingly happy town of Harrison, Arkansas, was to drive her every thought and action.

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racist billboard

A billboard in Harrison, Arkansas

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She wove her arm through Emil’s and said, “You know, in a weird way I’m enjoying this.”

“What? Being the only Jew in a town of small minded racists?”

She smiled at him. “Something like that. It makes me want to get out there and fight.”

He tightened his arm in hers, drawing her close. “Hang onto that feeling, honey. You’re gonna need it when we venture through the hallowed doors of Walmart in a few minutes.”

 

To be continued…

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