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I’m sending you this letter because you are one of the 300 Facebook friends of XXXX. I’m trying to contact XXXX for 18 months now, I even went to England to try to locate her, in vain. As a last resort, I’m writing to you, as to her other friends. Maybe it’s best to tell you who I am, before you think I’m a nut.
Well, XXXX migrated to Israel in 1997. Before that she was in Brussels, and I was her boyfriend. When XXXX decided to leave Belgium to Jerusalem, I tried to convince her to stay, but it didn’t succeed, and after she departed, I took my backpack and went to Israel myself, to try to convince her to come back. I arrived in the barracks for immigrants of Jerusalem, and got reminded coldly of what I was. I keep from this experience the feeling of having been a Jew in Nazi Germany. I don’t know what experience you have of religious and political conversions. What started XXXX’s to die-hard Zionism was partly that she was in love with me. I’m not Jewish, and it was a problem. XXXX never managed to see that she was conflicted about being in love with a gentile. She started to see anti-Semitism everywhere, especially in me, and decided to go to Israel to be safe from anti-Semites. In September 1997, Jerusalem was a war zone, with bombs exploding everywhere. It made no sense to go there to be safe, except if the problem was not anti-Semitism, but assimilation. And her parents preferred to see her there, in harm’s way, than with me. You know, besides being a goy, as XXXX would say, everything was fine with me. We had spent two years together. I remember that some night we made love for the first time, and the next week she decided that she would do her Aliya eight months later. I hope you understand. XXXX loved me. Maybe, if we hadn’t met, she would still be in Brussels by now. I didn’t understand all that at the time, I was too young, but now I can see it.
Afterwards, I made a huge depression, and then went to Paris, and later on to New York, partly to forget XXXX. It didn’t work, she would always be a some place in my mind. I always hoped that I would see her again. And six years later I met her again, in Brussels, and we spent two weeks together. I got the two faces of XXXX again. The first week I heard her telling me how she had loved me, and still loved me, how she regretted to have met me when she was too young, how we would have married if we had met later, how she had missed me. For me it was springtime after a long winter, I hold her hands, and hoped again. But the next week she told me that the others were right, that we were racially incompatible, that I was an Aryan, and that she was a Jew, that she was spiritually nomadic, that I was spiritually sedentary, that love was an illusion anyway, chemical compounds in the brain, that love was not to be based on complicity, or attraction, but on shared values. In one word, I was still not Jewish. I was an evil temptation put on her path, to stop her to accomplish her higher calling to marry a Jew. She would never accept to see me again, because I would jeopardize her decisions. And then she disappeared again. And once again I went back to my life without her.
And years passed, until the day I found her on the Internet. XXXX was on Facebook, and she was married. I quit my job for a while and got into a new depression, and after one year I decided to contact her. That was eighteen months ago. I started to write, and since I got no answer, I found one of her old friends who convinced her to write back to me. I got five lines, telling that she didn’t remember me, nor anything from that period. I was not satisfied, so I kept writing, and eventually went to Cambridge to see her. I wrote to her, fixed a rendezvous, and waited on a terrass on Magdalene Street on a Saturday afternoon. She didn’t come, so I travelled back home, and saw that she had put a filter on her profile. You know, that’s one thing to not answer mails, that’s another thing to let a guy travel 900 kilometres back and forth because it’s too hard to answer. So I paid a visit to her father, who’s in Brussels, to get an explanation. He told me: “Well, XXXX, I find this situation normal. She loved you but nothing was possible, since you’re not a Jew, so she disappeared! What else could she have done? It’s better to not think about the past. She has been miserable in Jerusalem the first years, but now she has found someone I like. Stop thinking about all this.” I was so disgusted that I started to cross the red lines. I wrote to XXXX’s husband, to tell him that I was writing to his wife, because I wanted to know if she loved him, and why she didn’t want to answer my letters. He answered that I would never get any answer to my questions.
It’s sad, isn’t it? I’m a romantic kind of guy, I still believe in sister souls. XXXX was mine, but decided to leave because of her parents and peer-pressure. That’s how I remember it. Since I’m a boy, I’m told stories about standing my ground in front of authority, to know what I want and go for it. I don’t say that it’s easy, or that I always do it, but it the true meaning of life, so I didn’t understand the decisions XXXX made. I’ve spent years thinking about it. I studied Judaism, Zionism, the History of Israel, theology, religious psychology, propaganda, brainwashing, cult dynamics, because of the powerlessness I felt when I saw XXXX leaving, enthusiastic and unhappy at the same time, saying weird things about the Chosen People and the Promised Land, the Holocaust, and how the Nazis would win if we stayed together, as if I could undo what had been done. Even today, sometimes I wake up and I’m surprised, because XXXX is gone, and I don’t really understand why. We could have been so happy, we would have studied together, we would be married, her parents would have got used to it. Instead, twelve years later, I’m still writing to her, I take the train to try to find her, and she doesn’t answer.
You know, later, I met another woman, someone extraordinary, but somewhere in my mind, there was something not solved, something from my past, that stopped me from being happy with her. So I made her life miserable, because she loved me and didn’t understand why we could not be happy together. I lost her. See, twelve years, all that love, all that life force, all that energy, wasted, because of something that happened when we were eighteen. I’ve wasted enough time. I want this to stop. I want closure. Maybe I’m crazy to have loved XXXX so much, but who’s crazy? Me who doesn’t give up, or XXXX who ran away and keeps silent? I don’t know. Have you ever watched the Good Shepard, with Matt Damon? I’m the deaf girl.
I want to talk to XXXX. A letter will not do it after all that time. Tell her that you’ve received this mail. If you’re close to her, please tell her to call me. She has my phone number.
P.S. By the way, nice blog!