Monday, April 25, 2011

Glazed Ham, Zombie Jesus and Natural Disasters

In my former life as a Bostonian, I got tipsy at cocktail bar in Cambridge and had a vision.  I saw everyone I knew in pastel, feasting on Easter ham.  It didn't matter that practically everyone I knew was Jewish, that asking your friends to color coordinate is kind of silly and that I had never in my life made ham.  A part of me needed to play the role of my grandmother and tend to meat in the oven for hours for a room full of people I loved.  And that first easter, despite my friends' lack of Easter celebrating experience, everyone I asked complied. 

The tradition continued when I moved to LA and I collected a new assortment of transplant friends.  The first LA Easter was punctuated by an earth quake.  My friends were on the top level of an apartment building, eating matzo ball soup (everyone I know is still Jewish) when the earth moved unpredictably.  We  did nothing mainly out of lack of knowing what the hell you’re supposed to do.  We just sort of sat there, clutching bunny clad napkins hoping that we’d all be ok. 

The irony is that I had ruined the prized Easter lamb cake the night before.  Ironic because I had ruined the structural integrity of the lamb by transferring the cake to a plate.  And the next day the earth was shaking and all of the food stayed perfectly in place.  But my friend performed her own kind of Jesus miracle.  She had stayed up long after I had gone to bed to work on my unnatural disaster.  (The key is frosting and strategically placed coconut flakes).  And on Easter I opened the door of her apartment to the sight of resurrected lamb.  She had a special gift for putting the pieces of her friends and cakes back together. 

This Easter I woke up to an earth quake.  Although, I’m really not sure how real the earth quake was.  I had gone to sleep hoping to experience one and probably imagined it. I wanted an earth quake because it would mean it was a tradition.  That certain things in life can be counted on every year.  So I woke at 4am feeling the earth moving beneath me and it made me ok. It made me wonder about why after years of living my life independently I began to grab people and seat them around my non religious Easter table.  And how much comfort it brings me to know that people will ring your door in pastel when you ask them to.  And that earth quakes, lamb cakes wrecks and loneliness can be survived.    

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