Jewish Christmas in San Diego

I sat in between Brian and Jason. Jason is an engineer and Brian’s cousin by marriage. Brian was a lawyer but quit and started a bar trivia company in Southern California. I met Brian at a hostel in Colombia. He was Jewish, an ex-wrestler and from San Diego. We bonded quickly, and the fact that I kept him safe as an angry drug dealer looked for him after he tried translating a botched deal for a crazy Australian made us pretty close.
    We were celebrating Christmas Jewish style. I worked all day in a near empty building and went for a quick and also near empty meditation session run by a BuJu Jeff Zlotnik.
  I left meditation early and arrived at Jimmy Wong’s Golden Dragon restaurant expecting a packed Hilcrest with anti-christian gays and Chinese food. Instead, I found out that gays are a lot more Christian than I expected and that Mr. Wong’s was packed with Jews but it was Thai and not Chinese.
   Three sake bombs later, we were relaxed and hitting on the waitresses. I say waitresses because all four girls ran to service us anytime we were low on drinks or low on food. For that I blame Brian’s sculpted by Volleyball triceps, showing clearly through the shirt. The girls could barely speak English and every time we flirted they laughed, nodded and ran off, knocking into the swinging doors and dropping the white porcelain dishes onto the floor and sending shards of porcelain into the kitchen.

   Jason converts cars from gas to electric when he isn’t chasing corporate accounts at the public utility company. He is also getting married to a very non-Jewish and very pretty girl from Tennessee. Brian can’t wait to sell his business and travel around Latin America where he can pick girls like girls pick flowers.

   As we chugged another Sake bomb, Jason tells Brian how Brian should sell his business in a way that only a Jew can, with conviction of knowing everything about something that one can’t possibly know anything about. Another sake bomb and we discuss Christmas. Jason has mixed feelings about Christmas because of the whole presents thing and the capitalism that drives us to buy.
To me, it’s not a big deal. All that buying ensures I have a job and getting gifts doesn’t seem like a bad thing anyway, people spending money on each other and showing that they care through a physical manifestation.

    We head out and I walk past an ex who is sitting across from someone who could certainly be her sugar daddy. I get a thought to text her to invite her to my place, but I’m only three beers in so I don’t. Instead we walk around empty Hilcrest past Jewish girls who are also looking for something to do and no open bars to do it at.

     Having found nothing but no desire to call it a night yet, we caravan it Swingers style to North Park, the closest densest bar area. Everything is quiet there, mice were stirring but all the cats sat at home near warm fireplaces. The only place that was open was a wood paneled and Jew owned Beer Bar, Toronado. Behind the bar was a lumberjack looking hipster with a long red beard and a giant pacific islander whose man tits seem to grow every time I see him. His glasses are propped up by his cheeks rather than his nose and wisps of facial hair curled off his lip and chin. He walked  with his entire body rotating and pivoting on each giant leg. He somehow managed to be giant without a gut. His massive frame seemed to be solely located in his head, shoulders and chest.
He’s a happy guy and Brian working his magic scored beer taste after beer taste.
We soon found out that an awkward woman near us is half Jewish, the awkward part must be Jewish and that Nate, the giant Pacific Islander bar tender was adopted by Jewish parents.
“I went to Hebrew school until fourth grade.”
“You’re way more Jewish than us man.” Brian said.
We cheered to our most famous Jew and shot the shit as our beers slowly disappeared.
“This is what it’s been like for the past year and a half.” I tell Brian. “Talking to random people and finding out that they are Jewish.”
It has been difficult to explain to friends what I do, they really have to see it to understand it.
Jason wanted to smoke and Brian had been texting his ex all night and I saw a cute blond down the bar all by herself. We slapped hands and did the one arm hug as Brian and Jason left me to my devices.
I walked over by the girl and ordered another beer.
“It’s on the house, you’re one of the tribe.” Nate said.
My first Christmas present I thought.
“You want anything?” Nate asked the girl.
“No I’m just waiting for my boyfriend.”
“You could have played off being Jewish and scored a beer.” I said as Nate walked off.
“I’m blond, I can’t be Jewish.” She said briefly looking away from her phone.
“I’ve met blond Jews.”
“I was Joking, I went to a High School that was almost all Jewish.” My ears perked up.
“New York.”
“That makes sense, so you know more about Jews than I.”
“Yeah, we had all the days off for Jewish holidays.”  
    I imagine she felt like a Jew feels in San Diego with all the Christian holidays off and glee while not actually caring.
“Lots of bar-mitzvas too?”
“Not really, that was middle school. After middle school Christians went to Catholic private schools and the poor and the Jews went to public.”
    Her hipster boyfriend showed up with his greased up mustache waxed to a curly point and they took off with a good-bye.
    I still had half a beer left and I chugged half of that, shook hands with the giant Samoan Jew and awkward half-Jewish Carol and went home to have a quiet, Jewish Christmas.

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