“I moved here from Colombia,” began my young Catholic boss-for-ten-weeks, “and got a job right away here in Manhattan.”
It was an abysmal, rainy Thursday with few patients. The end of the week was close enough that everyone had begun to slack off, but still far enough off to engender an aura of expectant listlessness. Perfect for story time.
“At first I lived with some cousins in the Bronx, but I couldn’t stay there. I was looking for an apartment in the yeshiva area…”
“Yeshiva area?” I interrupted. You never know which yeshiva people are talking about sometimes.
“You know, yeshiva university.”
I hadn’t. “Oh, okay.”
“Apartments are really scarce there,” she continued, “So the way to do it is make friends with the doormen, who tell you when someone moves out so you can grab the apartment. So one day I went thrifting here in the city, and I bought some nice decorating pieces. One of which is a multi-candle holder. I just thought it looked nice. And I’m carrying my thrifting finds in my bag, and I decide to walk down my favorite block and ask the doormen if any new apartments were available. Sure enough, I’m super-lucky and somebody had just moved out the day before. The doorman let me look at the apartment, and I put my deposit down right then and there. As I’m finalizing everything, the doorman says, ‘The neighbors will be so happy to hear that a Latina Jewish woman moved in here. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Columbian Jewish woman.’
‘I’m not Jewish,’ I told him,
‘Then why are you carrying a Menorah in your bag?’ And he points to my candle-holder that I picked up thrifting that day! I had no idea! The candle holder (what do you call it again- a Yora?) got me my dream apartment!”