Confusion, Comfort and Coffee

School started yesterday. I have already dropped two courses and replaced them with two others. I have walked over fifteen miles in the past two days and I have spent close to seven hundred dollars on books. I am tired and anticipatory and confused.

I have read over fifty pages of material the past few days. I have sat in four hours worth of lectures.

I am so tired.

I am sitting in a coffee shop right now and trying to read and a religious Jewish girl is crying like her heart is breaking. She is in the corner and sobbing.

Everyone, especially the other religious Jews here, ignores her.

I bring her some napkins to use as tissues. Soon I will go home and go to sleep because I have class all day tomorrow and a show tomorrow night.

She dries her eyes, the religious girl, and takes a copy of the Book of Psalms out of her purse and starts to read. They obviously don’t bring her the comfort she needs because she starts to sob again. Her body is wracked over and over again with soul wrenching sobs and everyone seems oblivious to her and to her pain, except me. I murmur words of comfort the best I can, but I feel extremely awkward.

In our culture, strangers aren’t supposed to comfort each other in public. Strange men shouldn’t comfort strange women in a public place. Secular Jewish men shouldn’t comfort religious women in a public place.

I do my best to comfort her anyhow, and she describes an abusive man in her life. She describes being in love with an abusive man. She tells me that she will abide by what her Rabbi says to do. I want to scream at her to run away. I tell her that I think the man is abusive.

She loves him.

She leaves to go meet with a friend. I am left alone with my computer and my homework.

Now I am crying.

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