this may or may not be about someone you've never met

black book

my brother is taking an LSAT practice test

July 8, 2016


I am back from Israel now and, just as Avivoush promised, if having done the trip right, i am left with more questions and more, and more confused and the only thing I understand is that it’s complicated.

One day back in New York and I’m reminded why I’m ashamed to be an American. I see the lazy dragging un-blistered feet, stuffing another McDonalds "meal", dragging new things. Last night (when I got out of the shower,) right before family dinner, my brother threw the TV remote and he and my dad screamed at each other and then my brother marched into his room and slammed the door. We started dinner without him, he’s always the last to the table anyway. Of course families fight all over the world, in every room of every home; and I know the fights must be the same: you took too long in the bathroom, dinner was shit, you were late to the movies, you forgot the kids, you’re embarrassing, you don’t love me anymore. But somehow, for the first time after coming home to NYC after being out of the country, do I really truly see the bogus small-eties of everyone’s complaints. I knew it before, I knew it was dull, and it made me panic with rage at the stupidity of those around me because I feared i was that stupid too. I learned to laugh at them, appreciate the small moments: a little old lady pushing a grocery cart taller than she, storming though crowds and blocks, a curtain blowing out of a window and shadows swirling beyond it, a pizza man stretching dough, looking out at the same changing block for the past 40 years, an old couple, a first love kinda young couple, a street band, people moving, and the trash of memories/life left behind. Here, our things are so important, to let go of our things is this huge monumental moment that wins Pulitzer prizes and proud Facebook statuses. “Yay! I got rid of half my closet! I feel so good!” and the status gets the most likes on any post you ever post, etc. etc. In Israel, sharing is most important. The history, the culture, the age old fusion language, the Torah and the great writers since.

I'm high on the couch, writing, and I keep forgetting that my brother is taking a lsat practice test in my kitchen. His movements twitch in the corner of my eye and I jolt when I see him there working, prepping for his future.

Micaela Silberstein