Sunday night, a subway busker on my car played a beautiful Spanish melody on guitar. I gave him a dollar and asked for both his name and the name of the song. “Le canto a mi primer amor,” said Luis, an Ecuadorian who didn’t speak any English; nor did he have any CDs on him. Supposing I might one day play this song in pursuit of a Jewish female, I jotted my cell phone number on the back of my business card for Luis, who said he’d call me about getting his music to me. Later on the phone, we arranged to meet in Times Square during my lunch break on Tuesday.
When we met again, I tendered $12 for as many tracks while Luis handed me a CD and attempted to make small talk with me. While my Spanish has worn with rust, I sensed something was off when the conversation abruptly veered from “What country are you from?” to something about preparing for the sky falling down. Not sure how to respond, I cut the conversation short with a handshake and stuttered as I tried to recall how to wish him well in Spanish. “Buena suerte.”
As we parted ways, I looked at the back of my CD, performed by Luis and his Ecuadorian missionary group. Every single track, including the titular melody heard on the subway, was about Luis’s “Primer Amor” — Jesus.
Luis- Buena suerte.
Jewish hapless romantics—better luck next year
Editor’s note: thanks for reading HyperSemitic. I’ve been posting less frequently in part because of my day job over at the JTA Archive Blog. I hope you’ll be as entertained by the archive’s Jewish history odds and ends as the viral videos you’ve seen here. Shanah Tovah!