Here, chronicled, is the very original diary of my escapades into a second identity, my little trips into a life as a shiksa.
* * *
I heard about it from word of mouth. It's not really, ahem, in compliance with the law. But it seemed that with the right contacts you know where to go.
The other day, I summoned the courage and made my way there, to a corner in the City. There they all were, just as told. Lots of people mingling and interacting and doing their 'business'. People from different walks of life were gathering there. I was hesitant, wasn't aggressive enough. I leaned onto my baby carriage, and watched other people converse uncertain who I'm here for. After an hour or so, I found myself going back home empty handed.
A number of these trips followed. I came but went without advancing. I couldn't stop myself from doing this, but I couldn't stop myself from stopping myself either.
Finally, on Monday, things took a turn. There were just a few initial greetings between 'us'. That was all. We looked at each other for a bit, said a few words, and then I turned my stride homeward. Someone followed me this time. It was happening.
My boots dug into the melting snow with every step, in sync with a pair of light thuds coming from behind, along with the music of crackling of bags hanging at the sides of my follower. I continued to look straight ahead, never looking back. It was a nice day, a combination of a glaring spring sun at 11:00AM and layers of semi-white snow covering the sides. I left my baby girl with my mother, and my husband was off to work. I knew I had the place to myself.
We both walked into my apartment, but I offered no formal greetings. It was like following an old habit, where words were no longer required. It was only after the door was shut that I wondered where to begin.
"The pants." I said to myself. "Get the pants."
I locked my bedroom door.
Inside, alone, I shuffled through the bags belonging to my new friend, Maria. Indeed, there were a pair of hot-pink leggings, real pants, the ones I yearned for when I was little. I pulled them out. They smelled of shiksa, of thick, sweet strawberry perfume. Ahhh.
I slipped them on, and stared at my reflection. I felt my pulse racing. I didn't quite fill them out the way the real urelta did, the one that I just brought home from the corner on Division. There was something about her curvilinear figure that I couldn't quite imitate. The leggings sagged to the floor. I felt my hopes to break free crush with them.
I wasn't gonna give up there. All my life I've envied the shiksa with all her choices. All my life I felt oppressed and restricted. Here, now, I was finally gonna be one too, even if my useless rearing has crippled me unfit for its 'perfect mold'
I looked around, and the solution struck me. I put suspenders onto the legging's waist-band and I looked semi-shiksa-perfect. I fetched a short white frizzy wig out of its hiding and pulled a short-sleeved purple t-shirt out of the shopping bag --- and over my head. Pink lipstick I remembered, and penciled eyebrows like rainbows o'er the forehead. I looked like a dream. I was finally a shiksa --- a goyta!
"I am finally a goyta!"
I gulped. This was real.
In the full length mirror, I saw the door across the room vibrate. She was knocking. My cleaning lady wanted to know what to do next, it seemed, by the mix of demands she cursed through the keyhole. I had the urge to ignore her as I was too busy stealing her identity. I was conquering my dream. But a girl's gotta have a strategy, so I yelled at her to go clean the bathroom or pray, whatever she felt like.
The following step, of course, was breaking the law. As a teenager, I never got to break the law. No pot, no alcohol, no nifty little crimes. I was denied basic youth privileges. Now I was proudly an Illegal Polish (or Uzbekistani or Russia or African, if you can tell a difference) immigrant. @#$^% Amirica! Its laws meny-meny stoopid!
Of course, that wasn't enough. To get me on a high, I had to steal too. I hear that's what goytes do. So I grabbed all my Jewelry and I packed it into the cleaning lady's bag. The rush of adrenaline! Oh God!
Then came the peak of adventure... All my life I've been cleaning like a slave, especially Pesach season. A Jewish woman gets no career, just a broom 'n a mop. My labor is unrewarded. Now, I proudly walked over to rub my stove for $10.00 an hour. Here, I was getting paid, I was getting an agent, and I was getting a career!
Look at me!!
Maria Antsvigonaria'! I'm a somebody!
I sprayed easy off, and let the sprits whirl in the name of my mother, my father, and my awful education. "I went off the derech, eh?" I rubbed. I rubbed harder. And yet harder. "Zey go tell me what do? No Missis! I happy now! I become not-Jew!"
I took a break. I pulled Maria's bag out again, and scanned it. Finally, I'll eat real food, with real ingredients, not the hechsher stuff. I bit into the brownly banana with a clunck, full of relish. I was enjoying it. You know, it tasted good, it tasted real. Not like our Ungarishe same-ol' fushit.
My time, outside the realms of my society was coming to an end. I had to rush back to the role-play of my yiddene identity, before my boys come home from cheddar. I shuffled back into the floral punjello, the turban and took to cooking the same-ol' fushit.
For a moment, I lingered in front of the purple size xx2 top, reluctant to give it up. My fingers ran over the dinosaur design. Oh, what great things secular people take for granted. They don't know to appreciate basic things that when denied, become of such importance. I stared at the flip-flips before I returned them to its real owner. I had no choice but to go back to my double life. Spritz, Spritz, Spritz em all! For denying me a world that is neither as forbidden nor as sweet as you made me think it was!
I stuck the phone under the turban, as par, and was immediately transformed back into veibele mode.