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  • The shop door clangs open.

    This one is lanky and tall...
    skin, dark as a moonless night.
    He is lovely, but
    I can read from his gait that he is shy
    and...different.
    He is not of this crazy world...nope.

    He wears a yalmuke on his keppe
    and the fringe of his prayer shawl sticks out from under his shirt.
    He is socially awkward and bares his all.

    Before he’s even begun to browse, he announces
    he is a Haitian Jew and had been bullied because
    he was the only circumcised boy in the playground.

    I offer a compassionate nod,
    but laugh to myself and
    ponder the public service announcement.

    I show him where we keep the ties.

    He grew ecstatic
    when I pronounced his name “zhaun”
    as I read it from his credit card.
    I mean beaming...bright...
    hands-clapped-together-like-entering-his-own-surprise-party-bright.

    Then admit he prefers “Rodney”.

    He tells me,
    In his very thick accent
    “I am never really sure I am a jew
    until I meets this beautiful woman!
    You touch my soul! You are tall! You are a Jew!
    (I mentioned.)
    You are TALL! This is rare!
    You make me KNOW I am a Jew!
    Because I meet you I KNOW I am a Jew!
    I FEEL it!”

    He says he feels a deep connection.

    I've known him ten minutes and I have barely said ten words.

    I laugh in his face and tell him he’s crazy,
    only I call it “very passionate”.

    No need to offend, huh?

    I tell him I don’t keep kosher and pray to chocolate Easter bunnies.

    He visits every day since then...

    Last Friday, twenty minutes before sundown, rushing like a Haitian-Chassidic madman,
    he brought a bottle of wine and rushed out, pointing to the heavens.

    "Sabbath!....Sundown!....I can't stay!"

    His yalmuke was replaced with a much wider brimmed hat.

    He ran out the door and left me standing there with the bottle of semi-sweet.

    I looked to the heavens with my laughing, lonely heart.

    "Dear Lord, You have a really good sense of humor, Ya know that?"

    I wonder who He's going to send through the shop door next...

    to be continued...God (laughs) willingly.
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