I went to the desk drawer that I hid all my secret stuff in, way in the back, and dug out a pocket knife. I'd stolen it from a box in mom's house. I think it had belonged to her grandfather, a man who'd fought those same Nazis that now dominated the definition of my Jewishness.

I pulled out the knife, grabbed the teddy bear, and sat down on the floor. I gave it a poke. A little stab. It felt ... good. Then I went nuts.

All my frustration about the Bar Mitzvah, my dad, and things I couldn't even verbalize back then came rushing out in wild, primal stabbing motions. The teddy bear seemed to be goading me into it. Go on, prove that you're a man.

Nazis bad, kill that fucking teddy bear.