An “Out”-standing Chanukah
I stand frozen in hesitation, staring at the door of Uncle Jay’s office. It is a standard six-panel door, painted white, with an old-fashioned doorknob free of electronics, the kind you turn by hand. I raise my arm to knock, then lower it again.
What am I doing here? I am fooling myself. Clearly, this much indecision is a sign that I’m not ready. Maybe I should wait another year. I’d be in college by then, and—
No. I’m not going off to college without letting my family know the truth. It’s not fair, and besides, I don’t think I could hide it much longer.
I glance at a small white rectangular box mounted on the side of the doorway. It’s called a mezuzah. These are legal again to sell in stores, along with Christian crosses. I don’t know what a mezuzah is, exactly, or what it’s supposed to do, but the sight of it makes me feel better. I take a deep breath and knock on the door before I lose my nerve.
“Uncle Jay? Do you have a minute?”
“Sure, come on in.”
I open the door and poke my head inside. The room intimidates the heck out of me, even after all those years. It’s like some kind of museum, only I know the people in the photos so it’s… I can’t even explain it. Like something I have to live up to, but can’t.
Uncle Jay turns away from the photo collage above the bookcase, smiles and waves for me to enter.
“Hi, Eddie. Great to see you. What’s going on?”