On this day, we remember the victory of the Maccabean forces in Judea and celebrate the miracle of the oil, which lasted longer than it should have, just like our marriage.
It should have been a terse and temporary shining of light upon our lives, a brilliant flame snuffed out by circumstance to cast us once more into darkness. But miraculously, the oil continued to burn and our marriage continues though I despise you and your family.
Fire is not only a symbol of life. It is deadly. Rather than a beautiful menorah, nine prongs penetrating the heavy air, our marriage is a dumpster fire, the boots burning for years beyond their countenance, with nothing at all being penetrated. The rats nibble on the burning boxes and are in turn set aflame, spreading diseased fire beyond the scope of the trash pile.
You are the rats and the boot and the boxes. Our marriage is the fire. The dumpster, I think, might be Chanukah.
The overbearing oppression you and this marriage have foisted upon me is much like that of the Seleucids upon Judea. We are exiled (the Jews to the North, I to a basement “workshop,” where I can read and masturbate in peace). My love for you once burned as bright as that of the Maccabees for their oppressed homeland. Now it languors in hell, a vitriol like that of current day college students for this very same land. Have they ever been there? What do they know of internal affairs or history, with their coddling professors and youth? What I mean to say is we’ve grown apart.
The oil lasted longer than expected, and our marriage is also encumbered by false expectations. For example, my parents thought we’d be divorced in a week. Perhaps they had consulted the Zohar and learned of the conflict in what is and what must be. When studying Kabbalah, I found myself drawing from my innermost soul on the pages containing the Tree of Life. These meditations on the Zohar reveal mystic prophecies, and as you will see, I have drawn a stick figure of you with an underlined caption reading “jerk.”
Your parents, meanwhile, expected children. Your Dad asks when we are going to have kids, which I think is his way of propagating the Jewish bloodlines for ethnocentric reasons. Though I would proudly help to extend the line, I can’t allow your taint to tarnish it. Just as the Tree of Life must be pruned of dead and diseased branches, so must the gene pool of the Jews. Don’t get me wrong; your family is just a little more Schwartz than Cohen, if you know what I mean.
The miracle of our lives is that instead of burning out quickly, our marriage decayed for eight years, serving only to inflame our passion (in the way that rashes are inflamed). It is likely that, in this moment, you feel how Antiochus did: threatened, betrayed by the unexpected revolt of your subject. I’ve been Hellenized, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.
And just like the Hellenizers, you’ve forced your culture upon me. My daily life, my habits, everything I knew, has been altered to fit your worldview. My menorah is no longer made of wolf bone, because that was “cruel.” All I wanted to do yesterday was play computer games, but you made me go to Shul. Also I’m sleeping with our neighbor Helen.
And so you see why Chanukah is thematically apposite for this discussion. Also I’m a little drunk because I drank all the Manischewitz, which was the only way to get the taste of your mother’s too-greasy latkes out of my mouth. In a sense, I’ve used this holy wine to wash away not only the latkes, but the corrupting influence of our cold marriage. As a side note, Helen somehow managed to make dreidels erotic.
Oh, here is your present. I have decided to only give you presents for four out of the eight days in order to express how you have halved my expectations for the possibility of happiness in this life. Happiest of happy Chanukahs to you, and I pray to Hashem that your dreidel lands primarily on Gimel and never on Nun so that you may grow rich in chocolate coins. Just don’t deposit them in our joint bank account, which I will be closing tomorrow.