Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Big Fat Jewish Day, Part II

So I wrote yesterday about my Big Fat Jewish Morning on my way to work. Well, today was ... quite the same. What's the deal? Am I just more conscious or what? I feel like there's something I'm supposed to get from all of this. I can't figure it out. ARGH! The universe is so WEIRD!

+ I injured my leg over the past two days, with it coming fully to a head last night where I overextended it and basically jacked up my knee. I woke up this morning, unable to walk. Thus, I got on the horn and called the orthopedic clinic and they set me up to come down in the early afternoon. I got there, and my doctor, was Dr. Cohen. Now, aside from this being a coincidence (there are a million doctors named Cohen), the guy was sort of nuts. He started talking about chances are a cyst behind my knee popped, causing pain in my leg, and could result in a blood clot which could cause me to DIE. I was freaked out. Thinking, "I just wanted to get my leg checked out, come on." So he sent me away to this other place where they do ultrasounds and things, to get my leg on the ultrasound to make sure I had no clots.

+ I stop at Subway to grab some lunch (it was that or McDonald's) in the half-hour I have to burn between appointments. I grab my food and sit down, look at the table across from me to find an African-American gal with a magen David necklace. She looks, I look, we smile, both on our phones. Then, this guy who was at the Young Adult function three weeks ago walks by, looks in as if recognizing me, and then keeps on walking. I can't remember his name.

+ I head to the building for the ultrasound, where I sit in another waiting room. A man and his wife come in and he is wearing cowboy boots and a nice rural getup. He picks up a copy of the New York Times. His wife asks him what he's reading about. He then says the following:
I'm reading about Germany. (pause, then he says louder) They're building another memorial, you know? Because of the Nazis. (pause) Do you see any other countries doing that? No. (pause, he looks at the cover of the paper and then looks at his wife, laughs) New York Times. (pause) Not going to agree with much in here.
I couldn't help it. I felt like he was talking to me.

+ I leave the appointment, get on the bus, and head north to the Walgreens where I get my prescriptions filled. I get off at Belmont to the sound of chanting, flags waving, people in traditional Palestinian scarves. Israel flags, a few, are waving in the blustery, cold wind. A little man approaches me with a flier and I look up at the crowd and back at him and say "Fuck that." I walk away a bit and turn around to watch as the cops pile on the crowd in front of the theater. The little man waddles up. "I'm with YOU!" he says and points at the Jewish star around my neck, glistening like some badge of honor or something. He hands me a flier, goes back to his little group and brings another and says "Join us on Saturdays!" He explains to me that they're protesting the Israeli film festival -- a one-night event. I slowly gather that there are three groups of people here: 1) Palestinians and their supporters, calling for a free Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel and its power in the world; 2) Jews from "Not in My Name," a group of Jews who sympathize with the Palestinians and call for an end to the atrocities; 3) Jews who believe the "Not in My Name" folks are a hindrance to the Jewish cause and are sporting the Israel flag with pride -- they are the smallest group there.

Had it not been for the fact that my knee and leg were killing me, that I needed to get my prescription, and that I was lacking a scarf, gloves and a hat, I would have stuck around. The cops were really coming in and the chants were getting more heated. "Zionism is Racism" and "Zionism = World War 3" and "Down with Israel." Now, I've posted plenty about the issues of Palestinian/Israelis, but I looked at this particular protest as moronic. It's a freaking film festival. Yes, freedom of speech, amen and all that. But come on. Protest something else, like call for political action. Don't protest a freaking film festival. Sigh.


But that was the big Jewish day. It was all in a period of about 5 or 6 hours. I mean, it was strange. Or maybe it wasn't. Either way, peculiar and makes me wonder about myself. I feel like I'm in a really weird place emotionally, physically, professionally, religiously, and in general. So here we are. I had a lot I wanted to talk about Jewishly, but we'll leave this at this right now.

Shalom, friends.