Such a person sometimes behaves inadequately; he cannot establish himself in reality, cannot understand his own self and so resorts to living in a fantasy world. By the way, schizoid is a very prevalent disorder today among American youth. I read an article recently where there is convincing evidence that in the last quarter century all psychiatric diseases in America “got younger”: schizophrenia and manic depression are more often found among the youth. I am not even talking about drug addiction and suicide, but that is understood.”

Jenn rose and, taking off her coat, went to the coat-hanger to hang it up on the hook.

Tap-tap-tap, little thuds from heels on the floor behind my back. Returning, she straightened out her dress and then her hair. Lately she felt very comfortable in my presence.

“When my children studied in school, their friends came over to our house sometimes. They asked to live with us for a while because their parents badgered them when they learned that their kids were not like everyone else, whether homosexual, or pot smokers, or mutilated themselves with tattoos and piercings. You cannot believe how many of these teenagers were schizoids, just like this Francis—Oy Vey!”she finished on a Yiddish note.


Chapter 8

The next morning, a Saturday, I parked my car in Williamsburg, in a predominately Jewish part of the neighborhood.

The wind carried screams of crows to the salon through a slightly ajar window. They were circling the tall sycamore trees and above the synagogue roof not far away. The synagogue doors opened at times; men and women of different ages exited, many with children. Jenn was still there, inside the building. She was alone, all by her very lonesome. A half hour ago I saw how she entered, saying hello to some young couple.

What is she praying for there, in the temple where the drearily-drawn out cries of a rabbi can be heard? Does she go to the synagogue due to actual belief? Or tradition? So the neighbors don’t point an accusing finger at her for not being holy enough? In order to meet with the teachers of the Jewish school where her children studied? Not to lose needed connections? To be in a crowd?