The high holy days. As a teenager, it used to mean getting stoned outside the synagogue behind the playground named for kids who died. Why did I become irreverent instead of reverent. Why did I hate everything and everyone? Today in temple, I watched an older man rub his wife’s shoulders, then knead her neck, then run his hands up and down her back. The first knuckle on his index finger was crooked and rigid with arthritis; soon his whole hand would be gnarled like tree roots. I prayed he would stop when I noticed another man rubbing his wife’s back a few rows up. What the fuck is this, I wondered, an epidemic? Then I said kaddish for my father and for my sister, and then for some reason Lucy Grealy, who came into my thoughts unbidden. Then I went to a break the fast party and a woman came up to me and said, “You wrote that book. The fat book. You’re not that fat.”
I hope that all of us who keep writing are written again this year into the book of Life. Are you hanging in?
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