I'm standing at an office party, minding my own business as I chat with a colleague when I see you.
You sit poised on a platter, nuzzling up next to some delicious looking brie, your beautifully tanned color and glistening texture immediately piquing my curiosity to a point where the room freezes and our gazes meet.
My God, do you look good tonight. My heart begins to pound as I discretely put my hand on you: perfect and effortless, seductively solid, flaunting your alien scent that allures me so thoroughly. I am dizzy. I watch you flirt with everyone else, but I know it's me you're looking for.
I look around the room, trying to seem inconspicuous. No, this can't happen here, I think out loud. Everyone here knows I am the token Jew, hitting me with the usual kugel/bagel/frizzy hair/lawyer jokes and sideways glances when I slip out the door early on Fridays -- and that's a reputation I intend to uphold.
But then again, no one is watching us right now, are they? What would happen if I finally gave in to you tonight? Just for one night? One unadulterated, mouthwateringly delicious night?
If any observant Jew says they've never wondered what you taste like, they are either lying, or they don't kiss and tell.
Kosher, I explain to colleagues not‐so‐knowledgeable in the area, consists of the big three: no shellfish, no milk and meat, and none of you.
And while the Torah says explicitly that you are forbidden, my lust for you does not dwindle. Growing up in Jewish communities you knew you couldn't reach me because I was surrounded by your kosher colleagues, but now, as your aroma encompasses me, I am afraid I might not be able to resist your savory advances.
Will a lightning bolt come down and strike me if I gave you a try? Surely not: half of the Upper West Side would be dead if that were the case, and last time I checked, they are a rather lively bunch.
What if we got it on just to be done with it once and for all? And honestly, could you blame me? There really are no other options at this party so I am merely fending for myself, trying not to starve.
There's so much at stake here, but the thought of my secret tryst with you brings a sly grin to my face. I scan the crowd around me. The laughter and chatter is accompanied by the mechanical shoveling of food into mouths and looks of satisfaction. No one is looking.
And yet I know I can't. Our unceasing 23‐year attraction must live on. It can't happen tonight. The fantasizing that you and I have going on: that's as far as it can go.
I'm just not daring enough. Or maybe I know the guilt with which I'll likely be racked will certainly outmatch my expected rosy after‐glow. Or maybe, as tempting as you are, the separation I create, the very standards by which I choose to live my life provide a taste of satisfaction I know I won't get from you.
You continue to call my name as I step back: you beckon me to lick my lips, to endure in a nibble. But -- no is no. Something inside me resonates and I feel a wave of relief: my longing for you is still there, but I walk away taller, stronger.
I've won this time, and I know you'll be back. You never fail to follow me on my life journeys, and I know you'll continue to wink at me as I pass you on these New York City streets, hanging in windows in all your smoky glory.
And while I sometimes hope you will just go away, I know you won't. But I'm ready to continue to fight: if this most basic craving has been dwarfed by something I can't see or describe, it must be larger than life, and certainly larger than you. So until next time, my sweet little bacon, I'll see you around.
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