Monday, September 21, 2015

Sharing the Orthodox Jewish Boy

West Hollywood, December 1989

Shortly after I got back from my semester in Turkey, I decided to make up for lost time with all of the ethnic groups that were rare in the Middle East: Black, Hispanic, and Asian.  First on my list was Black, so I went to a bar called the Zone.

Lane had just broken up with a long-term partner, and wanted to meet a black guy.

It didn't work out that way.  I went back to his apartment in West Hollywood, and never left.

Lane was about five years older than me, short, husky, a L.A. native, a big science fiction fan, and Jewish.












I never dated anyone Jewish before, although I was close friends with Aaron, the rabbi's son who didn't know he was gay, back in high school.

Lane had never dated anyone Christian before, and many of his friends were opposed to the idea, telling him that:

1. Christians were all anti-Semitic.  Every Sunday morning they gathered in churches to hear about how evil Jews were.  I might be polite now, but the moment we had an argument, the anti-Semitism would pop out.
2. The main goal of every Christian was to convert Jews to their religion, so Lane would be under constant pressure from me and all my relatives.
3. Christians didn't eat kosher, and they weren't circumcized.  Disgusting!

David (not his real name), a gay Orthodox Cute Young Thing, was particularly rude. He never spoke to me directly, he said insulting things in Yiddish, and he brought "nice Jewish boys" to the house when I wasn't around to lure Lane away.

It was time to teach him a lesson.  So just after my birthday, in December 1989, we invited him over for dinner.

I wasn't living with Lane yet, but I brought over a few pieces of home decor.


David arrived on Saturday night, and walked into a living room loaded down with Judaica, science fiction novels -- and a miniature Christmas tree.

"Um...er...nice Hannukah bush," he said.

Instead of a map of Tolkien's Middle Earth, there was the famous Salman painting of Jesus.

"Is that...um...er...."  David stammered.

"Boomer gave it to me," Lane said.  "Isn't it campy?  Jesus is so feminine -- who knew he was gay?"

Whitening, David excused himself and ran to the bathroom, where he no doubt stumbled upon some books that my ex-boyfriend Fred lent me: Jesus Through the Centuries, A History of Christian Thought, and A Handbook of Christian Theology.

When he returned, it was time to sit down for dinner.  Lane was making his famous Avocado Burgers with potatoes au gratin.  "Do you want bacon and cheese on your burger?"  he asked.

"That's...that's...not kosher," David said weakly.

"Why...no, I guess it isn't," he said, feigning ignorance.  "It's been so long, I forgot."

David ate his plain burger, staring at Lane as if he had just sprouted horns.

After dinner, we returned to the living room for dessert and coffee.  "By the way, did you want to go out to the Zone, or stay here?"  I asked.

Stay here meant "go into the bedroom."


In West Hollywood in the 1980s, dinner parties usually ended with everyone going out to the bars or else pairing off and going into the bedroom.

David stared at me.  "Um...well...."

"Have you ever seen one that's uncircumcized before?" Lane asked.

"No!"

"Well, no time like the present."   I dropped my pants.

His eyes widened.

"So, the Zone, or stay here?"  I repeated.

"Um...um...well...."  He looked at the Christmas tree, then back at me, and sighed deeply, in utter resignation.  "Stay here."

See also: Our Date with the Teenage Beach Boy.; Gershom and the Gentile; and Lane and his Trophy Boy

1 comment:

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