The scream

The scream

A Story by Haim Kadman

You can imagine how excited one is when he happens to meets a great painter.


It was a hot day when I paid a visit to the Jerusalem market. I roamed hesitantly between the many loaded counters; I've found it hard to decide what to buy, such attractive goods were displayed on every counter I've laid my eyes on.

While I was still pondering to what counter should I turn. Loud shouts were heard; these shouts were not the usual shouts of the vendors, but angry loud shouts.

'Another good for nothing came to roam about with no intention to buy a thing; as if he visits a bloody museum…' The vendor of the counter to which I've turned, cried out raising his arms, as if to push someone away.

I turned around and saw an old timer leaning on a walking stick trudging along the aisle between the counters, moving hesitantly among the crowd.

'He must be blind,' I said turning to the angry vendor. 'What do they want of him?'

'If he's blind he should stay at home!' The angry vendor kept on grumbling.

I did not stay at his counter to listen to all he had to say, but went over to the blind man and stepped at his side to help him; and thus I have guided him all along the aisle between the counters and through the crowd.

My surprising move stopped the shouts and the abuses, a sudden silence reigned in that part of the market, and the nearby crowd watched us amazed till we were out of their sight.

The blind man must have been shocked and did not utter a single syllable, but went on tapping the pavement with his white stick, as if I was not beside him and didn't do my best to guide him very gently.

'Haven't you a guiding dog?' I asked him glancing at his furrowed features.

'What did you say?' He asked in French.

I scanned my memory and mustered my entire limited vocabulary in that language: 'A dog to guide you when you're outside.'

'A dog you say what for? I've had enough with dogs, art critics that annoyed me, colleagues that envied my success…'

Let it be, I told myself, you won't convince a man at his age to adapt to real circumstances, and if he would listen and consent to your advice, it might take him quite a while.

'Oh what are talking about sir, I didn't get down to what you wished to say?' I asked him politely and rather cautiously. He was attired in a fine suit, and a woolen scarf covered his neck, at the height of our summer.

His behavior, the foreign language, is he really blind? I wondered if I haven't  fallen on some eccentric or worse someone that escaped from… Do I've to add from where?

He didn't answer just stopped and looked at me amused, as if he was saying: don't you know who I'm?

'Where are you bound for sir? I asked politely in French, putting an end to the short embarrassing moment of silence.

'I'm on my way to… Oh let me remember…' He mumbled nodding his head, as if he was scanning his brain.

No wonder he ended up in the Jerusalem market haphazardly,   I thought.

'Excuse me sir, aren't you on your way to the French Embassy?'

'The French Embassy and where is it? But no, I've come to have a look at the landscape. I've trouble lately to work on my ballet paintings, my eyes sight has deteriorated. I wanted to check landscapes for there's no need in particular accuracy in painting landscapes.'

'Well I thought that you're blind, that's why you use that white stick, isn't it?'

'No I'm not blind but after several hours of concentration my eyes get tired, and apart from it I'm short sighted, always was. Is it clear enough to you young man?'

'So that's the reason why you lost your way, here in Jerusalem…'

'I'm In Jerusalem! Mon Dieu. I must see the church of the holy sepulchre, where our Lord is buried! Such an opportunity, show me the way young man to the city of Zion, show me…' He added excitedly, in his agitation he slipped off the curb, and fell hitting the hot road with his face.

In a friction of a second while I was paralyzed so shocked I was, a car passed rapidly and and run him over…

My mouth opened up I wanted to shout to call for help but  I couldn't utter a single syllable. I must have looked like Eduard Monk's famous painting "The scream", even much better I suppose though I'm not worth one hundred and eighty million dollars; but the moment I saw in my mind's eye that bad painting, I woke up.

On the small night dresser at the left side of my bed I must have left a paintings' catalogue of Edgar Degas pastel paintings, before falling asleep.

© Haim Kadman June 2012 " all rights reserved.

© 2012 Haim Kadman

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Added on November 26, 2012
Last Updated on November 27, 2012
Tags: Jerusalem, market, church, assistance, dialogue, tragedy


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

Profile: A few words about myself: being a native of a small country whose waist is seventeen kilometers wide in a certain area; and in seven to eight hours drive one can cross its length, I was amaze.. more..

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