21 Mar

This morning her hair was kinky curly, Jewish. She tried to run her fingers through it to no avail. It was big. Much bigger and longer than it had been yesterday, full of tiny loops. The kind of hair she’d always wanted, thought even, that she deserved, seeing that she was, in fact, Jewish, even though no one thought she looked it.

Yesterday her hair was quite a bit shorter, with a little more length in the front. She wore her bangs swept to the side and though her hair wasn’t kinky, she still called it a Jewfro, because it was wavy, thick, unruly. Usually, she oiled and flat ironed it.

At first she though maybe someone had put a wig on her head while she slept. She went to the mirror and studied it. She wove her fingers into the sides of her scalp and tried to pull up, thinking it might come off. But as she did this, she could feel where the tiny curls emerged from beneath the skin of her head, and this made her smile. Things do change over night, she thought.

It wasn’t that she had been praying for this kind of Howard Stern-ish hair, or even thinking about it lately. But it was in the back of her mind to try and grow her hair out, see what it did, maybe even curl it when it got long. Alas, no need. Here it was. She ran her hands along the sides of her new hair and gave it a flick. She decided she wanted to feel the wind in it.

The sun was shining and her bicycle sat beside the house ready and willing to take a spin. She got on her bike and started pedaling. For the next few hours she rode around, feeling the air coil around the spirals in her hair. The feeling made her laugh. Someone shouted at her, Shabbat shalom! Then someone else, Good shabbos! She didn’t even live in a particularly Jewish neighborhood. When she got home, her friends had made matzo ball soup and a quiche for Shabbat dinner. They were just about to light the candles. This was the first time she had come home to Shabbat dinner.


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