Music: Frank Zappa - Willie the Pimp
Sam and I had decided to dive deep and introspect ourselves more on Friday. We are famous for doing introspective talks together.
It was a fine Friday. We had picked up some sandwiches from the Whole Foods in Westwood and a bottle of Duvel, the golden standard for Belgian ale.
We walked over to a “Five Guys” burger joint and sat outside to eat and drink.
Two Jews Are Walking Down The Street
Sounds like a joke opener…
In the middle of our not-so-orthodox dining, 2 Jews walked by. I noticed their traditional dress, and I wished them “Shabbat Shalom.” One of them asked if I was Jewish, and I said yes.
"Want to wear Teffilin and pray?"
"Sure!" I responded.
I stood up (partially buzzed from the Duvel) and he began strapping my left arm and head with Teffilin.
We recited the Shema prayer together at first. Since high school I have recited the Shema every morning upon waking, at night upon bedtime, and before I leave my home and when I return to home.
With his smart phone, he guided me through the traditional Teffilin prayer. My Hebrew was rusty.
A Conversation With A Jew
Normally it is 2 Jews resulting in 3 opinions. This time? 2 Jews, 1 opinion.
I had told him a little about myself. I told him I went to UCLA and on I was job hunting. He said something that struck a chord within me:
"Talk to G-d, ask him, pray, and He will give you a job. Exactly where you need to be."
He continued on later “…it is so easy to be distracted by the uhh…secular world.” Keep your focus.
Jews have this uncanny ability (Myself included) to SAY something but it says something different.
I grew soft. Just his facial expressions and voice tremor, there was something inspirational. I knew exactly what he meant. Sure, he meant that if I pray and ask and seek, it will be given to me.
But what he also meant is faith. That is not something you teach or force or can speak about verbally.
It is something you feel. Something you just believe it. It is an invisible presence that you trust and love no matter what.
This man was faithful. I look at him and quietly said “You know, I know exactly what you mean. I have prayed and asked, and I know things will work out. Sometimes the seemingly “right” thing in this world is not what G-d want’s me to do.”
It is up to Him.
My soul was humbled and refreshed, as passersby looked on in curiosity upon this scene.
A Conversation with Sam Yang
Early on during this INFP-ish lunch, I was upset about something related to my bike. I was not too crazy with the idea of drinking beer in public because I was in a bad mood (Otherwise, I would be all about breaking rules and saying “fuck it!” to situations like that).
He says something so very Sam Yang / UCLA tuba-ish:
"You know, an old research boss told me if you’re going to break the rules or mess around, make it look like you’re supposed to be doing it. Just own it."
So, we ate Sandwiches from Whole Foods at a random “Five Guys” burger joint patio, and we drank beer in public like nobodies’ business.
I came to Westwood for a Thursday music rehearsal for a Brazilian girl named Mariana at UCLA. She is premiering a piece called “Sustos” in Brazil soon, and wanted to rehearse it here first. Gorgeous piece. I got in touch with my spiritual music side through tuba again.
Patrick threw a goodbye / graduation / moving out / last hoorah party at his apartment on Friday. It got pretty sloppy.