A few years ago, this girl had said to him late one drunken night, “What does ‘chaste’ mean?”
Now she was hosting friends south of Cadillac in 90035 with her fiance. They were shomer-shabbat.
As he headed south into a darker portion of town, he turned a corner and ran into the rabbi’s kids operating a lemonade stand.
They took him for a dollar.
South of 18th Street, he saw two cop cars, and then two more. Firecrackers went off all around him. He felt like he was Private Ryan landing on Omaha Beach in 1944.
South of Cadillac, he hustled into the apartment, his speech already prepared. He pictured 30 people there and he’d ask the host to quieten everyone down so that he could make his dramatic announcement – “I haven’t masturbated in 21 days!”
With only four people present, however, the line did not have the effect he sought. Perhaps it was the delivery?
“Levi used to be chill?” said the rarely chaste woman.
“He’s off his meds,” said Sandi* the Therapist.
“For more than three years!” he boasted.
He downed three cups of water. He hadn’t seen these friends in years.
When things got quiet, Sandi said to him, “Did I ever tell you that I got kicked out of the RCC because of you?”
When he thought about it, he realized he’d do it all over again, just like he did during that year of living dangerously.
He would publish and she would perish.