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Some Thoughts on (Gentile) Atonement

Bathed in Marlow’s non-Kosher light

“Science? Magic? God? That power flows from within. From inside. What comes out when that pressure is heaviest? That’s the real magic. That’s what defines being a man. That’s what defines being a hero.”-Luke Cage

Someone should really make a documentary about me called The Bad Jew. Last year for Yom Kippur I ate lobster rolls. That’s like double traif. This year I’m at Marlow and Sons–perched, no less, on the edge of Jewish Williamsburg–and I’m wolfing non-Kosher chicken salad with non-Kosher wine. Blame the shiksa in me. Gypsy blood! my grandmother would shriek when she was feeling especially resentful my father had married a six foot tall blonde gentile from an abutting mill town. Whatever the cause, ever since I formally hung up my anorexic spurs I’ve had a hard time fasting for any stretch of time. This year I made it to 1pm.

To some degree, I feel bad about my lapses. And more seriously, I feel bad about a lot of ways I’ve been hurtful. About biting things I’ve said and promises I’ve not kept and people with whom I’ve not stayed in touch.  For the first two categories of sins, I tend to apologize immediately. But I’ve yet to apologize for my unplugging. I believe the kids call it ghosting. Continue Reading →

Charmless, I’m Sure

Here in NYC, yesterday was bright and sunny and hot. Some seemed to find it glorious but I found the 85-degree mugginess a bit much, especially because I’ve absolutely had it with my summer wardrobe and am just enough of a slave to social convention to wear clothes even when it’s very hot. I was shvitzing like a crazy lady by the time I met up with B, and I’d already been pretty wild-eyed.

We were at the Williamsburg Cinemas for Crazy Rich Asians, thus far the only halfway-satisfying rom-com of 2018. When I saw it last month, I’d liked it enough to agree to rewatch it with B, who’d just finished all the books. The problem was I was playing for the other team then.* This month I’m on far shakier ground in the love department, and the film grated hard. Venus is still only shadowed by its upcoming retrograde, but I’m already turning into a Cathy comic on lithium. That’s because this retrograde begins at the exact degree of Libra where my moon is located. In laylady’s terms, this witch is getting hit by a Mac truck in all areas of love and aesthetics.

Which is practically my whole life. Continue Reading →

More Advice for the Green-hearted

T. called last Thursday.

She and I don’t talk that regularly but we have each other’s backs no matter how the chips fall. I believe in her work and she believes in mine, and we have known each other since our indignant adolescence, when she was newly arrived from South Africa and I was too mad to rise from any ashes just yet.

That day she’d seen my bellyaching on social media and picked up the phone. She called just as I was sobbing on my bed with the particular hopelessness of someone who doesn’t expect to be comforted.

“What’s going on?” she said with her customary lack of introduction, a trait I find endearing. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy