In the third grade I fell in love with the aforementioned Mora Mirium. She wasn’t my teacher at the time and I remember working so hard for her to notice me the way I noticed her. If you kicked a home run at Hillel Academy, the ball would go into the parking lot of a church so, although there was glory in the trot, you then had to bend the fence back and crawl underneath to get to the neighboring lot. I kicked so many home runs to show off for Mora Mirium that I started to get to know two of the boys that went to the school at the church.
One of them, named Jose Rios, asked me if I made bread crackers out of blood, and how I felt about hell and Jesus.
Mora Mirium would always see me over there, walk toward the fence and yell my Hebrew name, “Yahashua, Yahashua come back here now.” The
boys would ask me something in Spanish and laugh, pointing at her. “She is your girlfriend?” they’d ask. We’d all face her. Wavy brunette hair, those dark pantyhose, a slit in her jet black skirt.
Yes. In my head she was indeed my girlfriend. Before I left Hillel I attempted to get this yeshiva goddess’s attention by saying “amen” faster than other students after prayers and by securing my tan velvet yarmulke on the right side of my head the way Barry Meyerson did with his. And when Rabbi Tworsky let me lead the minyan in morning prayers I told the other teachers to tell her, to make sure she knows who led the thing. It was me. Yahashua. Let her know.
Joshua Braff’s second novel, Peep Show, is now available.
Joshua Braff is the author of three novels: The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, Peep Show, and his new novel, The Daddy Diaries. His work can also be found in The Huffington Post and in multiple anthologies. Braff holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College and lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.