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I Saw You: Skin Deep

In Music

You were a mountain of a man, shaved head, blue eyes, and tatted from head to toe. I was in line ahead of you, a petite Shebrew, wondering if there was cause for concern. I sneaked a peek at your neck for a swas or SS symbol over the carotid artery (seen them there twice). And what did I see? “Emet!” I blurted, reading the large Hebrew lettering spelling out the word for “truth.” You looked at me strangely, then smiled. “Yeah, I forget other people can read it, too.” You blushed a little, “My grandma reminded me of the irony before she passed.” “The irony” referred to Leviticus’s commandment forbidding Jews to have tattoos. “You completely flew under my Jewdar!” I said. (Conversely, I look like an age-progression of Anne Frank and sometimes have born-again Christians tell me how much they love the Jewish people.) You laughed, “I get that a lot. I grew up in north Idaho, so I had to push that part of me down.” I nodded, “Couer d’Alene was skinhead country.” “Yeah, but I returned it again through Kabbalah. You know, embracing the light.” We both chuckled. A bit more chit-chat as I paid for my stuff, then we wished each other well. You gave me a great gift that day: a little hope that we don’t have to be divided simply by virtue of our appearances. And that’s the emet.

I Saw You is an anonymous “man on the street” column. Email your rants and raves about co-workers or any badly behaving citizens to [email protected], or send to 380 S. First St, San Jose, 95113. Submissions should stick to about 100 words.

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