Friday, August 30, 2013

Jake Furie Lapin:Fiery Passion: Almost Burned to Death

When I was 5 years old, my family moved out of Jersey City, to an adjacent blue-collar town, called Kearny.  At the time, most of the population was either Scottish, or Irish, or Irish/Italian, or just Italian. Then there was me: this darker-skinned, exotic breed.  As kids, my siblings and I didn't know or see any difference between our family and other families. In fact, I was always known as the smart, eccentric kid, and based on my surname, most parents assumed that my family heritage was English or something similar.  When I played with friends my own age, life was normal.  However, on the occasions when I was invited over to a friend’s home, the situation changed dramatically.  Racism was strong in Kearny, and the racist parents of my friends knew right away that I was different. I would often see their reactions immediately in the long, disapproving looks on their faces whenever I entered the home.  After they found out more about my different family background, the racism escalated to the point where I wasn't even allowed over.  It soon became clear that the entire town was divided along racial and economic lines.  On the poor side of town, which ran adjacent to Jersey City and Newark, I never had an issue with racism; I was always treated as family by my friends’ parents.  However, once we moved to a house on the better, more affluent side of the tracks, my experiences were far more hurtful, and lonely.

The racism I experienced in those years came to a head one day, when I was 11 or 12.  I was walking with one of my friends, one of the few who didn't mind associating with me.  We were both outcasts, excluded from the popular, rich circle of young teens in our school.  As we were walking, we were spotted by a group of the older, rich kids.  They started shouting insults at us, and then suddenly, they decided to chase us. It was obvious that their intention was to beat us up, just for being "different".

We ran for a while, but they were older, and faster. My friend got away, but they eventually caught me in a small wooded area behind a local bank that was used as a cut-through path.  This wasn't the first time this had happened, so I was prepared for my usual kicking and beating. I struggled and tried to escape, but this time was different.  They held on tight, and then decided to blindfold and tie me to a tree. After I was tied to the tree, the kids laid old branches and leaves around my feet. I could hardly believe what was happening, but it slowly dawned on me that they intended to burn me to death.   Using a lighter, they successfully created the fire in the wood and leaves around me, and at that moment, I truly felt that my life was about to be over.  As the flames rose and heated the air that was entering my lungs, the thugs finally ran away from the scene. I struggled as hard as I could and fortunately, their inexperience with rope tying enabled me to free myself.  I limped home and told my parents what had happened. They reported the incident to the police, but this proved to be fruitless. The police were just as racist as everyone else, and they simply wrote it off as childish bullying, without making any arrests.  The  bullies were never caught or punished, but after that I learned to stay out of their way and to be cautious and careful.

I drive by the tree every once in a while to remind myself how short life is, and how cruel humanity can be.

In my older life now, as I release the ties from my lover, I will always kiss the tear from her fiery eye, and embrace the passion she gives me when I hold her in my arms unbound.

Have you ever been rejected personally or at work because of your race, religion, color, etc?


AUTHOR NAME  Jake Furie Lapin -- My Blogs

Jake's Goodreads Blog Link


Friday, August 23, 2013

Jake Furie Lapin:Soul Connection: The Eyes of a Dying Man

I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Although I only lived there for about 5 to 6 years of my life, I have several vivid memories that date back to when I was a young child.  One of these memories is very vivid, and affected my life in a powerful way.

I lived in a multistory apartment building; my guess would be that it was about 5 stories high, containing maybe about 30 units. My family lived on the 4th floor. The apartments lined the rectangular perimeter of the building, and the staircase leading to each floor revolved around the center, forming a central stairwell.  It was grueling work,  lugging up groceries up to the rectangular staircase to the 4th floor.  One day, I was watching cartoons on a late midweek night.  Both my parents worked very late to make ends meet, so I was being watched by an elderly neighbor sitter, who always just snoozed in the living room rocking chair  while keeping me company.

I was in the middle of a Loony Tunes episode when I heard police sirens nearby, which was common in my part of Jersey City.  They sounded extremely close. I peered out the window to see three police cars parking quickly and sloppily in front of the building.  Then 4 or 5 officers rushed out of the cars and ran into the building.  Being my usual curious self, I walked out of the apartment, and looked down the staircase, watching the officers run up each level like military troopers.  My heart raced, because  they were approaching my level, but then they stopped climbing on the level below mine, and ran to the apartment directly underneath.  I tiptoed down the staircase, just far enough to peer through the banisters and watch them try to break into the apartment.  They broke into the apartment and all of the officers quickly ran into the unit.

All I can remember at that point is one of the officers yelling "STOP", "HANDS UP!!!".  In the next few moments, events seemed to unfold for me in slow motion, as a black man ran out of the apartment towards the staircase.  I heard several shots ring out of the apartment, apparently hitting him.  In slow motion, I watched the man crumple and fall onto his face. It only took a few a seconds, but it seemed like minutes.  As he fell forward, he looked up, and he saw me. His eyes were terrified, and he stared at me, piercing my body and soul. I watched him and our eyes held all the way as he slammed onto the concrete floor. In that instant of connection, I felt his soul touch and enter mine.  In the next moments, all of the officers ran out of the apartment, and one of them peered up towards me, and yelled "Get the F** out of here".  I ran back up into my home, trembling, and deeply changed.

I found out later that the ex-wife of the black man had kidnapped his son, and tied him in a closet in her apartment.  She knew he would come to his rescue, and called the police to report a burglary and frame him, as she hid in a friend's unit across the hall to watch him enter. An innocent man had died that day, and I watched the whole thing.

I never forgot that moment of connection with another soul.

In my older life now, when I hold and kiss my lover, I make sure my lip bites leave a taste of my soul, and my eyes pierce her eyes when I first plunge slowly deep inside her.  Even though those moments may only take seconds, I make sure it feels like an eternity.

Have you ever watched or witness someone dying unexpectedly?


AUTHOR NAME  Jake Furie Lapin -- My Blogs

Jake's Goodreads Blog Link