The Survivor

In the last six months of 1996, I lived with a Holocaust survivor who had about 25 cats in the apartment. In exchange for looking after the cats, I only had to pay $200 a month rent. I thought he was crazy. He knew I was a writer and he wanted me to write a movie based on his story. He said it was more incredible than Schindler’s List. I had no interest. I preferred to write about porn stars.

I kept berating myself. I was a convert to Judaism. I was fascinated in all things Jewish but somehow I spent my spare time around comely shiksas when I had a great Jewish story in my very own apartment.

In late 1996, the survivor accidentally started a fire in our kitchen that threatened the whole complex and he got kicked out and we went our separate ways. The roommate service I went to automatically assumed I was gay and only sent me out to gay roommates. One was a philosophy professor at UCLA who specialized in ethics, a great interest of mine. We had a great talk over the phone but he doubted my ability to pay the rent on time. So I moved in with another gay guy. He ran a nude cleaning service that was featured on Jerry Springer.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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