My 23rd birthday was, how ju say, unreal!
I was writing a paper on Islam for our teacher whose name is Musallam, which is close to Muslim . . . anyway, till late into the night so I got a jumpstart on the day.
I was sung happy birthday to nine times. The best was the first by my family on the phone, then in every class and at every meal! It's my new favorite song.
During our weekly announcement meeting a birthday miracle occurred. Musallam was sick and he gave us a two day extension on the due date! Auooo! Talk about being saved by the bell.
Since we had the rest of the day off we cruised down to the Old City: got some schwarma, visited Shabban's shop, got some birthday pastries, met a man named Emad, and then caught a taxi back to the Center because it started raining.
Back at the Center I was met by a small pink note with the number 7 on it, and below the word "glam". It was number 7 of 23 reasons why I was loved at the JC by Lani Elizabeth Livingstone--an all day gift that ended at midnight. Number 23 was a pop-up gift card in Hebrew that opened up from the left, expressing the words "mazaltaff on your Bar Mitzva!". . . "Thanks Lani, I couldn't have said it better myself, you rock."
At dinner, there was a toast given by Jenny Christensen in my behalf, and I quote, "In the words of the Band Blink 182, 'No one likes you when you're 23.' " After another round of "Happy Birthday" the people chanted, "Speech, speech, speech!" I pretended to be unprepared, but in my old age I had foreseen this moment and in fact, was prepared. I pulled napkin from my sleeve, upon which I had scribbled a light poem. February 1st was not my day alone. I shared it with a girl named Faith, whom I honored through my poetry. Throughout the recitation there were laughs, and in the end--tears.
I'll never forget this rainy February day in Jerusalem. . . .