My lover of six years left me. He left me with “I love you, but I love her more.” Could there be anything more horrific in its romantic implications than that? I would have preferred to hear, “Get away from me, you psycho bitch.” Instead, he told me he loved me and then he left. And I was left alone to contemplate how he wasn’t such a bad guy, to think about the times he’s nursed me back to health and the times we had laughed together, to dwell on the fact that he loved me. He just loved her more.
“Adonai,” I cried.
And then my pet rabbit looked up at me and said, “Here I am.”
So I went to the kitchen and returned with a carrot and I stroked his ears as he nibbled on his treat.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe who gives us bunny rabbits.
My boss went insane. Technically, I suppose that’s not right. It implies that at some earlier point, he had been sane. In all the years I knew him, he had never been that. Then one day he walked into the office and met with the other senior partner to tell him that he was closing down the firm and then left for the day. It was December 30th, so when we saw all the junior partners crowd into the office of the only sane senior partner and close the door, we thought they were talking about our raises or, maybe, considering giving us New Year’s Eve off. Then came the memo announcing that we were all fired. I wanted to call my lover and find support but I remembered that he wasn’t my lover anymore. He was hers. And she probably hadn’t gotten fired today. Instead, I went home and threw myself onto my bed.
“Adonai,” I yelled.
And then I felt my cat rubbing up against me and she purred, “Here I am.”
So I wiped my eyes and got her mouse-on-a-string and played with her until we were both tired and we fell asleep, curled up together.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe who gives us kitty cats.
I spent the day feeling sorry for myself. Alone in
with no lover and no job. Far from my
family, with only the winter winds which come off the lake just to stab
me. I missed the Southern Januarys of
youth and the hills where I spent them.
I was as flat and freezing as this place I lived. Chicago
“Adonai,” I bellowed.
And then the phone rang and from the other end of the line, my younger sister said, “Here I am.”
So we talked about her life and mine. We talked about school and love and happiness. And we promised to see each other soon. No amount of distance should keep family apart.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe who gives us baby sisters.
It was Friday, so I set out candles and bread and wine. And I said prayers and performed rituals 6000 years old. In the morning, I went to synagogue. There, members of the congregation greeted me with understanding in their eyes and voices. They clapped me on the back and spoke kind words. After the rabbi had brought around the Torah and I had kissed it, I went back to my seat.
“Adonai,” I whispered.
And then there was silence.