Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Lifetakes: A Girl Called Kaila

Esther Malka Goldschmidt

Strange to hear this woman recounting a piece of my past. How many times had I wandered up and down that road with my friends?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

mishpacha image

 

I t wasn’t my dream job, but I was young and optimistic and I still believed that anything could happen.

(The fact that I’d taken this entry-level dead-end job was perhaps the greatest proof.) Maybe anything could happen, but day bled into day as I sat bored stiff in my swivel chair, and all that happened were papers and faxes and please-hold-for-my-boss. Not the most glamorous start to life as an independent adult in the real world.

But one day “something” did happen, and bored as I was by the monotony and the tedium, I almost missed it. There was the usual low hum of dull voices as people passed in and out of the office, the strident ring of the phone, the slow pace of the day when you look at the clock and think, wow, it’s only ten o’clock? Seven whole hours left… There were all those things, and there was also the couple waiting to speak to the manager.

This couple was unremarkable — a typical middle-class African-American husband and wife. They looked like every other couple who floated through this office every day, and to them I probably looked like every other robotic receptionist. They certainly spared no special interest for the bored summer intern as they waited for their appointment. 

But this was almost 15 years ago, in the pre-smartphone days, and when her husband became engrossed in conversation with another person present, his wife had nothing to occupy herself with. So she struck up a conversation with me.

“Do you live here?” she asked. I nodded, uncertain how to react to her interest.

“I used to live around here,” she shared nostalgically. “On Vine Street. Do you know it? There’s a Jewish girls’ high school there.”

“Oh, of course!” I said, surprised. I had attended that girls’ high school — Bais Kaila of Lakewood.

“It was such a nice neighborhood,” she reminisced. “I used to sit outside on my front steps in the nice weather. I remember how the girls from the school used to take walks during their breaks when it was nice out. Pairs of girls, walking up and down the street to the dead end and back.”

Strange to hear this woman recounting a piece of my past. How many times had I wandered up and down that road with my friends? (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 540)

Related Stories

Windows: A Very Zippy Birthday

Peshie Needleman

I don’t allow myself to dwell on what I decide to do. The more I think about it, the more I’m likely...

Time-Out

Rikki Ehrlich

Time-Out Zone, she’d called it, for singles needing a break from shidduchim. A quantum-mechanically ...

Freefall: Chapter 51

Miriam Zakon

Moe and Abe are reunited on the front line. Reb Leibush finds Yeruchum crying and praying in front o...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
When Tragedy Strikes
Shoshana Friedman What are we giving and what are we getting?
One Nation, Divisible
Yonoson Rosenblum Israel isn’t yet suffocated by political correctness
What Am I, Chopped Liver?
Eytan Kobre Far more disturbing is the title’s unspoken implication
Not Just Politics
Yisroel Besser We’re fighting over something that means the world to us
Are We There Yet?
Alexandra Fleksher Seeing other models of avodas Hashem enriches our own
Top 5 Yeshivish Business Ventures
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Different answers to “So, what is it you do?”
Work/Life Solutions with Mois Navon
Moe Mernick “When you set a goal, it’s going to take lots of effort”
Were They Orthodox Jews?
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman This is why I asked, “What difference does it make?”
You Get What You Pay For
Jacob L. Freedman “Get me a real doctor from Harvard who speaks Persian!”
Tunes That Take Me Back, with Levy Falkowitz
Riki Goldstein “It’s amazing how strong music memories are”
All Rivers Wind Up in the Sea
Riki Goldstein Your heartbeat will slow down listening to the new album
Nameless
Faigy Peritzman A name symbolizes the essence inherent within
Trapped
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Inject positivity into your marriage to counter burnout
The Game of Life
Rebbetzin Suri Gibber Use your competitive spirit to score high in life
The Musician Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s an integrative therapy approach. Not boot camp”