Schimmler – By Richard Grossman
Micro Fiction / April 19, 2009

It’s been ten days. No desperate craving, no headaches, no obvious depression. Carole asked me earlier why I’d quit smoking. General health considerations, or is there something wrong? I knew I’d have to stop some day. Why not now? That was very nice, what you did for that couple just now. Breaking the rules to change their flight. Without nicotine you’ve become more charitable? I wanted to see their faces light up. Did you notice when I said, about the fee, we’re going to waive that? It was as if the room became brighter. You see yourself as Edison? Or Dr. Phil? I remembered a friend’s story. How his parents were able to escape Nazi Germany because a Gestapo officer gave them forged papers. Really broke the rules. In my imagination, the official calls himself Schimmler, a compound of schlemiel and Himmler. In your imagination, how would he know any Yiddish? From remarks of people he had saved? Referring to him as a schlemiel? That’s the point. He has a Jewish grandmother. She’s Italian so they don’t recognize the name. If it comes out, he’s in the concentration camp. The Gestapo doesn’t recognize Italian Jewish names? They’ve asked the Fascist…