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Amused when she asks, is your wife Jewish? and,
because it's easier, because I don't
want to think, I answer yes. It's the first time.
Later, a pushy man wants to know my
son's birthday. Confused, I make him younger
and the shift of dates feels so natural
I let it stand. Then it's happening with family
names, with where I work, how long, with
whom--minor changes in my vita, small alterations,
other lives, one variant for this person,
another for that, as though I were picking out
ballpoint pens or books, rummaging for
keep-sakes to give ...