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אןריadhdead's Blog

"its not easy having yourself a good time"
21 years old
United States
Last Login: 1616398761000
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All Blogs (8/10)

no good deed-- pt 2

We told him some other people slept in the park near by and offered to walk him there while he smoked. In the meantime I would call some shelters and see if any of them were open 24 hours and took emergency cases. If not, we promised to call again and come back in the morning if they did, to give him a ride. We live in a small rural town, and a lot of people experiencing homelessness get stuck here, because they can't afford a bus ticket anywhere else. His pants are much too big for him, dragging on the ground, so he asks us for a belt. I head back to the house to get one. He's a good deal taller than us, so I give him the only one that I know will fit: my favorite black belt, my heart sinking a little. He puts it on wordlessly. After smoking, he curled up on a bench with his blanket, about to fall asleep. We said goodbye and started to part ways.

And that's when he asked me if he could sleep in my car.

I looked at my partner, a silent question in my eyes. I'm half-hoping he will say no. He shrugs and mouths, "It's up to you." He doesn't own the damn car.

I say sure. I lead him to the car. Leave it unlocked, but take the keys with me. Give him a pillow to go with the blanket.

So I'm writing this at 1am, and there's a stranger sleeping in my car, and I feel nervous and sad. My partner and I already knew that we couldn't visit family for Thanksgiving or any of the winter holidays this year, because none of them will get COVID tested and they all live in large counties with high case numbers, but we had planned to have three of our closest friends over, after the whole group has been tested and isolating. I was COVID tested two days ago in preparation, my partner yesterday. We haven't seen anyone else in weeks. I knew I had to text my friend and tell her what I'd done. I promised to get re-tested, to clean the house, assured her that he wasn't sleeping inside, but I knew the truth: I'd exposed myself and my partner to help this man, and they needed to know before deciding to see us in a week.

I want to love my neighbor as myself. But right now, I wish I had been selfish. I don't want to ruin any semblance of family that myself and my partner would've gotten to have for the first time in months to help someone who wasn't even that nice to us. I and really don't want to get sick.

My grandmother likes to say, "No good deed goes unpunished." I'm not writing this to say, that I helped someone and I regretted it and now you should, too. I'm writing this to say that I felt tested tonight, in a Biblical, witchy sense, and I feel like I failed, but I don't exactly know why.

Until a year and a half ago, I never really thought about being Jewish in terms of responsibility. To me, I knew I was part-Jewish the way I knew I was part-Filipino, or Puerto Rican, or Irish. I knew I was Jewish because my mother was Jewish, and she was Jewish because her mother was Jewish, and she is only Jewish because her mother was Jewish. In my family, Judaism was a cultural trait, not a religious one. We celebrated Christmas (albeit with chocolate gelt and dreidels) and occasionally Passover. About once a year, on an unnamed day in winter, my grandmother would make me and my sister hamenstachen, which she told us were called "Hamen's hats" and we would eat them while watching a VHS of the Veggie Tales version of the Book of Esther. Sometimes, during dinner, she would tell us stories from the "Old Testament"-- usually the spookiest or most exciting ones, like Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt, or the mysterious writing on the wall in Belshazzar's feast-- and that the people in those stories were our great-great-x1000 grandparents. For the most part, being part-Jewish meant simply that my grandmother made a lot of noodle and potato casseroles (the occasional latke if we were lucky), and that we were supposed to like celebrities a little extra if they were Jewish, too.

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