I hire someone to install wordpress for me on a website I’m running that’s registered and hosted at domain.com.
Five hours later, wordpress is still not installed because the server keeps cutting out.
In a rage, I switch the domains to my host namecheap.
I drive off to the Cinema City Film Festival.
Yelp. Gruff. Rrrr. I forgot about the dog in the back I’m babysitting.
It yelps all the way to Beverly Hills where I park near the luxury home I lived in the back off for 14 months (1994-95) until my roommate stopped paying the rent.
I’m late to the red carpet.
I hate being late.
On the way home with a griping dog in the back, I stop by Ralphs.
As I stand in line, I look over and there’s my former Torah teacher Rabbi Yitzhak Etshalom.
Oy ve! We’ve only spoken once in the past six years. It was unavoidable. I was coming out of shul where he’d just given a lecture. He had to shake my hand.
"How are you?" he asked.
"I’m fine, thank you," I said. I didn’t say "Baruch HaShem" because I remember him making fun of that response when you’re asked how you’re doing.
So I want to say hi but he looks like he’s got a lot on his mind. What if he doesn’t want to talk to me? What if I betrayed him? What if I look over at him and he sees me and then his features give away his true feelings?
This is the life I chose — alienation from most of those I want to be close to in exchange for near total freedom with my blogging. But when I run into my former Torah teachers, I feel terrible. I can’t look them in the face. If they catch my eye, my features start to crumble. If I over-recompense and try to be stern and still, then my face twists up in the most horrifying sneer.
There’s Levi, sneering at Torah and the sages once again!
I look away and push off.
Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas would not be proud of me. That face to face, heart to heart communication thing is excruciating to me.