“I thought so.” he nodded again as if proud of his Jew-dar. He asked me, “Is she Jewish too?” He meant the woman sitting next to me, a woman I had never met before.
She told him she wasn’t and he said, “Oh well, I was right fifty percent. Fifty fifty odds.” He was smiling as we both got off the train.
I don’t know what to make of this conversation or this man. I don’t understand. I didn’t do anything that should have singled me out. Maybe I look Jewish. I don’t know. My Jewish education taught me to fear Antisemitism to a debilitating extreme. My great-aunt reminds me to be afraid but also proud of my heritage but also conceal that I’m Jewish because it’s dangerous. I don’t want her to be right. I live with enough repressed fear walking around as a woman with the audacity to travel alone. Living under rape culture is enough to be afraid of.
I didn’t feel threatened on the train, though maybe I should have. I don’t understand what happened. If anyone has any insight or advice, please let me know. I appreciate it.