| Fiction |

Out of Sorts

Tamar’s life felt all wrong. Did the Sorting Sheitel make a mistake?

 

“Sometimes I think we sort too soon.”

—Albus Dumbledore

I always avoid checking my watch in front of my students. A YIN isn’t supposed to have a Versace watch, even as a gift from her chassan. Instead, I glance over my eighth-graders’ heads to the clock on the white wall behind them and clap a cubic zirconia–adorned hand to my mouth.

“My goodness, I didn’t realize how late it was. The Sorting is starting in ten minutes!”

The girls have been avidly focused on my dissection of a Rashi-Ramban machlokes, but at the word “sorting” they all jump up. The annual Sorting is the major social event of the city, and all of the girls’ educational institutions, elementary and high school, gather for it. (The boys have their own separate Sorting ceremony.)

This year, it’s Shaarei Bnos Chochmah’s turn to host, and we’ve been getting ready for it for weeks. As I lead my class through the hall, I note the fresh wall hangings — pictures of rabbanim, deep philosophical quotations, essays by the younger students, and research papers by the older ones. Our intellectual prowess is on full exhibition for our less academically inclined guests. Secretly, I think it’s a bit too in-your-face, but I suppose we have to show off somehow. We certainly aren’t going to win any bragging contests for our buffet table.

I avert my eyes and give a little sigh as we pass the humble display. Disposable white plates filled with rugelach and chips next to bottles of off-brand soda are what Shaarei Bnos Chochmah is offering in the way of hospitality. I tried arguing against this in the staff planning meeting. “The girls from schools like Tiferes V’Yofi are used to elegant food and elaborate buffet arrangements. Shouldn’t we make them comfortable by providing them the service they’re used to?”

But I was outvoted. “Tamar, you might be right from the standpoint of hachnassas orchim,” Mrs. Sternheim, the principal, said kindly. “But we have a strong hashkafah about materialism, and we can’t compromise our values even for guests.”

Mashy Lipman, sitting next to me, muttered audibly, “Frankly, it would do those Tiferes girls good to see that life isn’t all about the latest exotic food trend.”

I knew a lost cause when I saw one, and quickly nodded my assent. No point in risking their suspicion that I actually enjoyed elaborate buffet arrangements myself.

The auditorium is a cacophony of noise. Most of the chairs have been removed, to utilize as much floor space as possible for the influx of people. Only one section, on the far right of the stage, is set up with folding chairs, for the parents of the girls being Sorted.

“We’re supposed to sit on the floor?” I hear a shrill voice from behind me. “But my skirt is dry-clean-only!”

Even before turning around, I know that the voice belongs to a PICY. Sure enough, I see a girl with a gleaming blonde ponytail, Gucci glasses, and a Tiferes uniform shirt eyeing the auditorium with disdain.

My own students roll their eyes at each other. “Too cool for a washing machine?” one of them smirks.

I don’t know if the remark was intended to be heard by the PICY, but she turns and says, “Well, of course, you YINs couldn’t care less about the way you look. You probably never do anything so gashmiyusdig as brush your hair.”

My girls’ eyes are narrowing, and I hastily direct them to our corner of the floor, far from the PICYs.

I scan the large hall. Most of the girls in the room are wearing uniforms, but their group identifications are starkly clear even without them. The high school students sitting in a tight circle next to us, with their flowing hair and floor-length skirts, are clearly MOSHes. And those buttoned-up, braided girls swaying to an impromptu kumzitz in the middle of the room — they have to be FLOFFs.

There are more, but the number of categories has expanded so much over the years that I find it hard to keep track. I pull out the cheat sheet I snagged from the office this morning — they printed them out for the first-time parents here today — and look down at the long list of acronyms.

YIN — Yeshivish Intellectual Nonmaterialistic

Well, that one I know, obviously. I’ve been a YIN ever since my own Sorting, seven years ago (in those days, they Sorted after eighth grade).

PICY — Pragmatic Image-Conscious Yeshivish

My eyes stray once again to the loud group of girls across the room. Sometimes we YINs refer to them among ourselves as SICY for Shallow, and that’s not an unfair assessment. There are enough designer shoes and bags among them to fill a Fifth Avenue boutique. I stare at the chattering group, at the way they hold their heads, swing their hair, finger their necklaces — at once self-assured and supremely self-conscious… I blink, shake my head and look back down at the sheet.

MOSH — Modern Orthodox Shtark

FLOFF — Floaty Farfrumt

ONJ — Open Non-Judgmental

That’s right, I forgot about that group. The name’s recently been changed; it used to be ONJOOT. But the group objected to the nomenclature on judgmental grounds — who said you had to live out-of-town to be open? So the OOT was dropped, but it was a victory in name only; ONJes are still automatically sent to out-of-town schools.

Someone taps me on the arm. Looking up, I see Mrs. Sternheim shifting anxiously.

“We need you immediately,” the principal says. She starts striding out of the auditorium, and I dodge girls to keep up. “An unexpected glitch has arisen,” she says over her shoulder, once we’ve left the crowd and noise. “Our star of the show is acting — uh — temperamental. We think you can solve this.”

Well, now that you’ve explained yourself so clearly… But Mrs. Sternheim doesn’t seem to be in a state for follow-up questions. Mystified, I follow her to her office. The door is closed, but she gives a sharp knock, sticks her head in, and says, “I have Tamar Becker with me. It’s okay.” And then she ushers me inside.

My eyes pop open.

“Wow,” I breathe softly. “I haven’t been this close to it since my own Sorting.”

Sitting on her desk, propped on a somewhat dusty Styrofoam wig head, is the legendary Sorting Sheitel.

And it’s screaming like mad.

“No! No! No!” The Styrofoam mouth is opened wide. “I refuse to go out looking like this! No way, no how, nothing doing!”

There are three teachers gathered around the desk, and they shoot Mrs. Sternheim helpless looks.

“She’s been like this the entire time,” one of them says.

Mrs. Sternheim sighs. “We should never have let her look in the mirror.”

“But she was so insistent,” says the teacher.

I swallow. “What’s the problem?”

Mrs. Sternheim wipes her forehead. “It seems that the Sorting Sheitel is not satisfied with the state of her wig.”

“You should’ve seen how beautifully those Tiferes ladies set me last year!” the Sheitel shrieks. “Soft curls and sequined pins! And you want me to go out looking like a wrung-out mop!”

I’m beginning to wonder why they called me here when Mrs. Sternheim turns to me. “Fix her up, Tamar,” she pleads.

I take a step backward as my palms start to sweat. How did they discover my secret? I decide to play dumb.  “You want me to do a sheitel? But I don’t— I’ve never—”

Mrs. Sternheim looks worried that she offended me. “Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to do one of those glamourous updos like the PICY sheitelmachers.” Her face twists into a faint sneer. “I know you have better things to do with your time. But I’ve noticed that you seem to have somewhat of an eye for these sorts of things…”

Her voice trails off as her sharp brown eyes sweeps over me — from my sheitel, just a shade more flouncy than the typical staid YIN headpiece, to my colorful silk scarf (It’s a knockoff! I want to defend myself) to my shirtsleeve, hiding the Versace. Does she have X-ray vision?

For a moment I stand frozen, feeling trapped. Am I about to give myself away? But I have no choice; they’re all counting on me. Slowly, I open my purse and pull out a sheitel brush. I can feel four pairs of eyes staring at me suspiciously: She carries a sheitel brush in her purse??

My hand trembles as I reach out to touch the Sorting Sheitel, but as soon as I run my brush through its tresses, I feel the Sheitel give a shudder and a sigh.

“Ahh, that’s more like it.”

Mrs. Sternheim wipes her brow and lets her shoulders relax. The teachers smile. As for me, I’ve entered my zone; I just have to be careful not to give away how much I’m enjoying this. After a few minutes, the Sorting Sheitel is satisfied; the ceremony can now proceed.

There’s a loud burst of applause as the Sorting Sheitel is carried onto the stage. Off to the side stands a line of children, ready to be Sorted. They don’t look nearly as frightened as I felt, back in my day. Then again, they’re preschoolers, for Heaven’s sake. They don’t even understand this.

I suddenly feel old and world-weary as I shake my head, hearing an echo of my grandmother’s voice before my own Sorting. “In my day, we were Sorted before shidduchim. That was the original Sorting plan, and I don’t know why it needed to change. Sorting eighth-graders? What for? You’re still undeveloped children!”

I’d tried to explain to Bubby why it made sense to Sort before high school. This way, each kid got the education best suited to them. By the time they come to shidduchim, setting them up is a piece of cake — you match YIN to YIN, PICY to PICY, and everyone’s happy.

At least, that’s what I thought until I got married myself. But then again, that was probably all my fault.

By now, seven years later, communal wisdom has decided that Sorting should happen even earlier — before elementary school. Why waste a child’s time in figuring out who she is, when she can already be snuggly inside her proper box, when she’s barely out of diapers. No confusion, no exposure to conflicting messages — everything’s clean and clear.

The music teacher has tapped her tuning fork. A hush settles over the crowd as the Sorting Sheitel opens its Styrofoam mouth and gives an answering pitch. Mmmmm. And then it begins to sing.

My story begins with Crises galore

Shidduch, Financial, OTD, and more

The frum world was sinking fast into a funk

So folks did some thinking and here’s what they thunk

Peer pressure, mismatched chinuch, shidduch rejection

All result from a too-wide field of selection

When you neighbor, your friend, marches to a different drummer

You may desire a life not for you — what a bummer

So the wise ones pondered this matter of great import

Till at last they cried, “We’ve got it! From now on we’ll Sort!

No more the agony of ‘Who am I?’ ‘What should I do?’

With our pinpoint precision-typing, those wracking decisions are through.”

Then they called in the computer geeks who made algorithms so big

Until at last they created Me! Your loveable singing wig!

Here there’s an interruption of applause and even some whistles. Then the Sorting Sheitel continues:

Along with my brother, the Sorting Kippah, we do our job like a star

We look inside your hearts and see exactly who you are

And once you know, well then, that’s it; your path in life is clear

Your values, your job, your spouse — all taken care of, my dear

 It ain’t an easy job, oh, no, to analyze all your predilections

But my bro and I, we work all year to get this down to perfection

So now that I’ve gotten all prettied up, every hair in place on my kup

My song is done, let the Sorting begin! Will the first child please step up?

Everyone claps, but the applause quickly dies down as the first little girl makes her way up onstage. My gosh, I think, they get smaller every year. The girl looks terrified, and Mrs. Sternheim stands onstage to help her put the Sheitel on. After a moment, there’s a shout of “YIN!” and the girl jumps, startled. She tears off the Sheitel and goes running to her mother.

Our group cheers, of course. But I’m looking at the girl. She has thick auburn hair and a button nose, like me. She’s a YIN now. If she lives locally, this means she’ll be starting in our school next year. She’ll go through eight years, learning intensively alongside other girls who get stimulated by intellectual pursuits. Her birthday parties will be simple home affairs; no need to worry about that one girl in the class who’ll rent out the local indoor kids’ gym and make everyone else jealous. Her friends will all wear shoes from Target; the girl will never have to be embarrassed by her own footwear, or wonder helplessly how everyone else seems to know what’s in style… styles and fashion trends simply won’t be an issue.

As long as she keeps getting good grades, and keeps enjoying her learning, she’ll glide right into high school — Binas Hachochmah, the high school I went to after I was Sorted. There, her education will be deepened, she’ll stay up late at night discussing profound hashkafic concepts with her friends, and she’ll be preparing for her future career — maybe teaching, maybe writing, maybe research, maybe psychology.

When the time is right, she’ll meet with a shadchan who will look through her list of YIN boys and set her up. It might take a few tries, but not too long; after all, if they’re YINs, that means they have similar values and hashkafos, similar personalities, and similar life experiences going through similar school systems. Before long, she’ll be married to her YIN husband, reveling in their simple, idealistic life, sharing divrei Torah, preparing to build a home according to their shared values.

My stomach is feeling tight as I contemplate this little girl’s entire future, which has just been decided for her. I barely even notice the next girl, whose mother has to carry her on to the stage. I’m thinking instead about dinner last night.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but that’s exactly why I’m thinking about it now. I’d been dying to try a new recipe for meat-stuffed portabella mushrooms that I’d found in a kosher cooking magazine. Those magazines, of course, are made for PICYs; no self-respecting YIN family would ever buy something so superficial. I had to drive 45 minutes until I found a frum grocery store in a neighborhood where no one knew me. And when Baruch saw it, he immediately quarantined it in the bathroom.

We’ve been married five months now, and he’s slowly getting used to my oddities. When we were first engaged, and I confided in him that I really, really wanted a piece of fine kallah jewelry, he looked so dumbfounded that I was scared he’d break off the engagement. After all, we YINs are proud of the fact that we have strict wedding takanos and actually stick to them. And according to the takanos, the kallah gets a cubic zirconia ring, and either a bracelet or a necklace, up to $300.

But I’m different that way. I’ve always had a weakness for high-quality, pretty things. And I knew that if I didn’t tell my chassan now, at the very beginning, then he’d be upset later on when he discovered me buying them.

I didn’t sleep for a few nights after my revelation, expecting the phone to ring any moment announcing that it was all off. But instead, the next time we met, he presented me with my Versace watch. I was completely speechless — first, because he cared enough to go out and buy it, and second, because it was so gorgeously perfect that he must’ve spent a long time researching. I never found out where he got the money; it wasn’t from his parents, because they didn’t know about it.

Still, designer watch notwithstanding, Baruch still gets bemused by my food adventures — and worse than bemused when I blow our budget for them. I try very hard not to, but sometimes I can’t resist.

Last night was not a budget-blowing meal. It was just an “I slaved over this for three hours this afternoon and I hope you appreciate it” one. But of course, Baruch didn’t appreciate it. I knew he wouldn’t; I knew that, intellectually. But my problem — the problem — is that, at heart, I’m not really an intellectual.

So last night, Baruch looked up from his sefer for a moment to stare at the perfectly stuffed mushroom, took a bite, said, “Mmm,” and then went back to his learning. When I sat down, he immediately started reading aloud a fascinating thought on the parshah. He didn’t even seem to notice when he put another forkful into his mouth.

I felt utterly rejected. So rejected that I almost marched into the bathroom and threw the magazine in the garbage. But I stopped myself from doing something so rash; after all I went through to buy the thing, I would’ve been an idiot to chuck it in a temper tantrum.

The row of preschool girls has reached its end. The last girl is up onstage; as soon as she puts the Sheitel on, she starts to preen, asking her mother if she looks pretty. No one’s surprised when the Sheitel calls out, “PICY!”

Now the ceremony is over. I glance over at the parents’ corner. Most of them look satisfied; after so many years of Sorting, the system has become self-perpetuating. When Like marries Like, they tend to raise Like children. There were one or two surprises today. Those parents will be required to attend special classes about their daughter’s new group to learn how to parent her appropriately.

I’m feeling emotionally drained, though I didn’t do a thing. Like a creaky old lady, I start to rise, when Mrs. Sternheim appears once more.

“Tamar, please bring the Sorting Sheitel into the storage room. She’s insisting on you. Brush her up, or something, to make her happy. I’ll take over your class until you’re finished.”

My students are wide-eyed as the principal hands me the key to the storage room. I try to appear cool as I nonchalantly stroll up to the stage, though I feel the eyes of our city’s entire female student population on me as I lift up the Sheitel head and carry it away. Both my hands are shaking, and by the time I reach the storage room, next to the janitor’s closet in the basement, the Styrofoam head is covered with sweaty moisture.

I close the door behind me nervously. It feels strange, being along in a room with an object so powerful. Sure, I know it’s just a highly advanced computer chip embedded in a sheitel cap, but to me — to every single little girl, and her older siblings, and parents and grandparents — it represents so much more. It’s almost the mouthpiece of G-d, declaring our soul’s purpose. Sometimes, when I imagine what the prophets of old used to look like, I see a Sorting Sheitel head attached to a body.

I pull my brush out of my purse and begin to comb out the tresses. With all the little girls pulling the sheitel on and off their heads today, the locks are in disarray once more. I’ve never learned sheitel styling, of course, but it comes naturally to me. In my deepest, darkest fantasies, I’m a sheitelmacher.

The Sorting Sheitel is now silent; maybe she can only talk once a year, during the Sorting? Her silence is calming, and as I brush, my mind wanders back to my own Sorting.

In those days, we had mixed elementary schools, for girls of all types. Girls from wealthy homes and from poor homes, girls who said Tehillim during recess and those who discussed — far from the teachers’ ears — the latest movies they’d watched. The effortless A students, the sweating-over-the-textbooks A students, the C students who wished they were A’s, and those who couldn’t care less.

I try to remember what it felt like being with such a variety of classmates. Was it confusing, the way everyone says? Was it frightening being exposed to so many different ideas and values? To so many choices? I do remember not being sure of who I was. Some girls, it was patently obvious how they would be Sorted. Me, I was nervous. Who was I?

All I knew was that Tzirel, my best friend since first grade, was going to become a YIN. Everyone knew that. She was the best student in the class. She didn’t care about clothing, or makeup, or other superficial things. She was genuinely frum. If she wasn’t a YIN, no one was.

And that left me… where? Being her friend, I’d managed to keep up all those years. I was also a good student. I learned from her to look down on the girls who were only interested in how they did their hair. Even if, secretly, I tried to imitate their hairstyles.

And then the Sorting happened. Tzirel, as expected, was Sorted into the YINs. I was terrified to put the Sheitel on. What if Tzirel and I were to separate? And, my real fear: What if the Sorting Sheitel looked deep inside my heart and declared me to be a shallow PICY? What would Tzirel think of me? My teachers? My YIN family?

So, as I put the Sheitel on, I davened urgently: Please, YIN! Please, please YIN! And, after a few moments (did the Sorting Sheitel always take so long to deliberate?) I heard the blessed verdict.

I’ve felt like a square peg in a round hole ever since.

I give a fierce tug on a knot and the Sorting Sheitel winces. “Sorry,” I mutter. Really, I can’t blame the Sorting Sheitel, when I was the one who dug my own hole.

School finishes early the day of the Sorting. I walk the few blocks home, relishing the midday sunlight that tells me I still have a whole afternoon to myself. What should I do?

I pass the grocery and my feet start to turn. There’s a creme brulee in my Kosher Kreations magazine that I’d love to try. Then I remember Baruch’s disinterest and walk on.

I’m still contemplating my free time when I walk into my apartment, head to the kitchen for a drink — and stop short.

There’s a man under my sink. A man in a red T-shirt and sweats who looks suspiciously like—

“Baruch?”

He bangs his head on the pipe. Rubbing his scalp, he hastily pulls himself out from the cabinetry.

“What are you doing home?” We both say it at the same time.

“Early school day. Today was the Sorting.” I raise an eyebrow. “Why are you home from yeshivah?”

Honestly, there could’ve been any number of perfectly fine excuses. But it’s the way he looks, like a boy caught with his hand inside a creme brulee, that grabs my attention.

Baruch shifts in place. “Our sink was leaking.”

I stare at him. “Of course. I said the other day that I was going to call a plumber.”

“I, uh, wanted to have a go at it first. I think I can fix it.”

He’s avoiding eye contact. This is getting weirder by the minute. “Oookay. Didn’t know you were into plumbing, but… why in the middle of seder?”

Now he’s talking to the garbage can. “You wouldn’t understand,” he mumbles.

I’m silent for a moment. Then I pull back my sleeve, exposing the Versace. “Try me.”

His eyes widen slightly and, taking a breath, he says, “I’ve always loved to take things apart, figure out how they work, and put them back together. Especially pipes. It sounds odd, but plumbing fascinates me.” His face is red, but he keeps going.

“I couldn’t concentrate in yeshivah today, because I kept thinking about how I was going to fix our sink. Until, finally, I decided to just come home and do it. Didn’t think you’d be here.” He bites his lip.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this. “You couldn’t concentrate on your learning because of our leaky sink?”

He’s looking at the garbage can again. “Sounds crazy, right? But, the truth is… it’s hard for me to focus on learning sometimes. Okay, often. And I even wonder…” But he doesn’t finish the sentence.

I don’t know what to say. For a YIN boy, the trajectory is even more straightforward than for a girl. High school, beis medrash, kollel. There’s no such thing as a YIN boy not learning — they are precisely the ones the kollel system was made for.

Help! How am I supposed to react? I clear my throat. “Well, um, it’ll be nice to save money on the plumber. And if you’re quick, you can still make it back to yeshivah for most of afternoon seder.”

Baruch’s face, which had flickered hopefully, seems to close with my last sentence. I contemplate this as I walk out of the kitchen and head toward the bathroom to peek at my magazine. Only then does the thought occur: Does he feel the same way I did last night when he ignored my culinary creation?

My feet feel heavy as I walk to school. It’s early; the streets are still awash in the low-hanging morning sun, but I can’t sleep, so I decide to head out. Storeowners are unlocking their shops, and I watch them as I pass. Each one is entering his chosen box, but some have the bone-weary look of the man facing the inevitable while others wear their pride of ownership on their faces.

Boxes. Was Bubby right? Was eighth grade too soon to Sort? Maybe it’s not that I mislead the Sorting Sheitel into making a mistake, but that I’ve changed since then? That Baruch has changed?

I think of him, of what he told me last night. How at the beginning he really was happy in the super-intellectual YIN yeshivah high school, but then, slowly, he found himself looking over his shoulder, at the FLOFF yeshivos where they had Thursday night kumzitzes and hisbodedus in the forests. Where using your hands to learn about the mechanics of this world was encouraged.

I’m a block away from school, but there’s still an hour before the morning bell, and I decide to continue my walk. So wouldn’t it be better, I muse, if we went back to the old system from Bubby’s days, where we Sorted before shidduchim? That would give everyone enough time to figure out who they really were. And then, Baruch and I — what? Would we have been Sorted as a PICY and a FLOFF, and never have been set up in the first place? Or would the Sorting Sheitel and Kippah have seen us for what we really were: YIN pretenders. Two square pegs.

I look up at the sky. Maybe, then, the Sorting Sheitel knew what it was doing after all?

I’m wandering around an unfamiliar neighborhood, and suddenly, a brown bushy body leaps on top of me. My brain shrieks dog! and I back away in panic until I realize it’s actually a little girl.

“Yaeli!” An exasperated mother appears on the scene. “Running out of the house? What’s gotten into you?” And then she sees me and says, “Oh!” at the same time that I gasp.

Because I’ve just recognized the little girl as the auburn button-nose who was Sorted as a YIN yesterday. And the mother, apparently, has recognized me.

“You’re a teacher at that school, right?” She’s looking at me appraisingly, and I stare back. She’s wearing a sheitel and makeup at seven in the morning. PICY is written all over her.

“It’s a good school,” I say, because it’s obvious she’s never gone there herself.

She nods, and unconsciously draws her daughter close. “I’m sure it is,” she says. “Just… ever since yesterday, Yaeli’s been out of control. She wants to go where her sisters are. And I’m trying to explain to her that the Sorting Sheitel knows best. But…” Her voice turns uncertain. “A YIN? I never would’ve expected it. She’ll be so different from the rest of us.”

Yesterday I mentally mapped out this girl’s future for her, but now, with this little person in front of me, I’m coloring it in: A whole family of PICYs and only she’s labeled differently. Will she feel excluded from her family? What will that do to her?

And now, for the first time, I’m seeing my future baby, imagining how Baruch and I would feel if she was Sorted into a different group from ours. How it would feel to be forced to attend special parenting classes, to be told exactly what our child’s future will be, because… because the Sorting Sheitel knows best.

And suddenly, I’m boiling mad. Rashly, I push back my sleeve, so this PICY mother can see…

Sure enough, her eyes alight on my watch. “Is that a real Versace? I didn’t realize a YIN was allowed — would even want…”

I take a step toward her. “A YIN can make choices just like anyone else.”

I see her shock, but also her dawning expression of hope, and I reach out to pat little Yaeli’s hair before swiveling around. Now I’m walking fast toward the school, and my rage propels me forward, up the steps, into the silent building, down to the basement. The key from yesterday is still in my purse.

So are a pair of nail scissors.

It would be so easy.

I open the door to the storage room, and there it is: the Sorting Sheitel, sitting on its perch. Why should this piece of lifeless technology decide everyone’s future? Why should we all be forced into increasingly constricted boxes, and be told, “This is who you are, and this is what you must do?”

Why?

I fumble in my purse. Now the scissors are in my hand. I walk slowly up to the Sheitel. So ridiculously easy. Just a few snips, and this thing would be gone from our lives.

My heart is racing, but my hand stops in midair. Don’t be crazy, Tamar. You can’t just destroy our community’s prized possession. My arm slowly lowers.

I can’t. Of course, I can’t. Think about the repercussions.

Think about the chaos that would result if, overnight, we’d stop being Sorted.

I drop the scissors back into my purse, feeling both ashamed and disappointed in myself. Am I a coward or a fool?

I contemplate the Sorting Sheitel, sitting there so peacefully. And then I have a crazy idea: What if I put it on? What if I could listen one more time, hear once and for all who I really am?

Once more, my hand reaches out, trembling, to the Sheitel.

And then, I ball my hand into a fist and pull it back. No. I don’t need the Sorting Sheitel to tell me who I am. I can figure that out for myself.

Decisively, I turn around and lock the room behind me. Then I smile.

I may not have slashed the wig. But, for me, it’s now destroyed.

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 656)

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