I arrive at 1:05 pm. there is a dirt pile and a dead grape vine as the garden. The apartment is a bedroom which houses two grown men, and the bathroom is a toilet which hasn’t been cleaned in years as well as an under the sink cabinet that has been broken for years but is just there for decoration. Apartments in this neighborhood were built in the 60’s and then were left to decay.

I assume we will be eating outside as the lunch list consisted of 22 people.

After 40 mins of literally random / possible homeless people filtering in, we set the table.

The tablecloth is an old curtain that has several burns in it.

I wish I was making this up.

For lunch there is homemade challah made of whole wheat flour and water (no sugar), pita, tasteless homemade hummus, and a huge plate of rice and beans. Some sweet potatoes were also cut up and cooked.

Every guest brings wine.

I try and make small talk with the guests. The boys are legit all weird. One tells me he has a crush on my friend who invited me here, but he says he is not religious enough for her. Then he gets up and starts playing air guitar.

It is now 2 pm and I haven’t eaten anything yet. On Shabbat you must say a blessing and drink some wine and then eat challah. Someone thankfully already said the blessing for wine, which I did not drink as wine breakfast isn’t really my thing, so I said the blessing on the challah and start eating.

Lunch starts at 2:30. People are still wandering in. By now we are close to 25 people.

At 4 pm the divrei Torah start. The first one is nice, the second speech is a girl learning in seminary here and said she believes that the end times are coming soon. So that’s nice. THEN, the third is a guy who I am convinced is either in a cult or will be in one shortly, he rambles on for 10 minutes about literally nonsense. “It’s so amazing like we are all here and The One is here and look at the birds…..tweet tweet…its so amazing.”

What the fuck.

Dessert is out on the kitchen counter inside, which I assumed was a dirty bowl left to soak. Instead it is banana ice cream.

I do not try it.

I walk home and eat cereal and a yogurt for Shabbat lunch.

WTF is this life. At least it made a good story!

English teacher by trade, story writer for fun