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Not Nice Guys - The Texts

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Ianus Pessaim - 1 - Inspiration

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

His mother would fret.

"The boy is so scatterbrained, he will never get a wife like this."

"Or a husband."

His father would return, too serious to be serious.

An Orthodox Hozer Be'tshuva ↓1, showing his roots.

The rest would change, but this…

He would hear every day.

Iany, while thankful for dads levity, worry that maybe it was true.


Ateh, the best older sister he did not deserve.

"Just the usual, I can't focus enough to string two sentences together, not to mention actually writing this."

His face in his palms. Elbows getting pencil dust. She rubbed his shoulder, leaning behind his chair.

"You always make up the best stories when you pace…"

He raised his head, turning toward her.

"I don't think a fanfic about something that is basically a barely tolerated blasphemy is going to help. Even if it is a 'Choll Study'." 2↓

She sat on his bed.

"We are named after Greek gods. That ship has sailed before… Well before."

Her brow raised, reminding him of the basic truth. Their parents, two very devout Jews, for some reason, named their children Ares, Atena (Hebrew for Athena, who right now sits in his room), Ianus (himself, after the god of doorways), And Gaia (The Baby, and the only one who's name actually makes contemporary sense).

His eyes closed…

Momentarily defeated.

"So what, walk around for inspiration and hope it remains until I actually sit?"

She raised a shoulder.

"Or dictate, you have a phone. Aaaand, I know for a fact you, like everyone in our school, have to present your homework on that school site."

Her mouth twitched.

"Why do you write? By pencil, anyway?"

Because he's actually proud of his penmanship.

"It's proper."

They were quiet, not much to say.

"Do you think they will ever send us to a proper school."

She tilted her head hearing this.

"Beit Hevron is a great school, with fantastic Bagruiot 3↓ Grades."

He turned back to the page.

His next words were quiet.

"I always wanted to know what it was like. A proper Havruta 4↓ with a teacher who isn't my grandfather. Having more than the Shabbat to devote to Torah, Gmara, Mishna…" 5↓

He sighed. Eyes closed.

He opened his eyes when he felt her touching his knee.

"You have had debates with several Illuim. 6↓ How did you fare?"

He smiled. He did great.

"That's right, you got grandfather Oz several paying students."

She didn't mention that Ares got married to Elisheva, who is the daughter of a renowned Rabe. And their parents were not expected to completely foot the bill for the wedding.


Get up and… Think about it and walk?"

He turned the conversation back to her suggestion from before.

"Worked when you did that creative piece."

He really does love her.

So, he pulled back from the table. Took his phone, turned on a dictation app. Began to walk.

"Louie the 14th was…" As he passed the doorway, inspiration hit. He ran back to the table.

Ateh… Walked away without saying anything. Afraid to spoil his role.

His grade was the best in the class.


1↑ Hozer Be'tshuva - A Jew who is formerly secular, who has returned to faith

2↑ Choll Study - Mundane matters, not related to religious worship

3↑ Bagruiot - The Israeli equivalent of the US SATs.

4↑ Havruta (Chavrusa) - A study Partner for religious study

5↑ Gmara, Mishna - Forms of the Oral Torah, I.E. The collected official interpretation of the written Torah.

6↑ Illuim - Prodigies in Religious study.


Original image by James Wheeler from Pixabay

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