In this chapter, certain themes begin to emerge even while our protagonists have rather divergent experiences – and desires – in New York City…
Let’s discuss The Golem and the Djinni. Spoilers below!
This chapter snared me pretty hard, because I’ve had that first-time visit to New York City, and while I remember it pretty clearly (no offense, NYC, you’re marvellous), I also don’t remember it entirely fondly. It’s an amazing place, for sure, and the sights were incredible – but it’s not a place I’d recommend to someone who’s prone to anxiety. New York City moves very fast and if you don’t also move very fast … yeah, it can be a bit overwhelming.
So I related pretty deeply to how the Golem felt, trying to find her way around the place. At least when I visited, I had friends with me who knew their way around. I honestly dread the thought of ever having to try to navigate it on my own. Thank goodness, then, for Rabbi Meyer, who seems to be a better man than Rotfeld apparently was. And you’d better believe I want to learn more about him because how does he know how to recognise a golem on sight?!
Also, the guy with the knish should totally learn how to share. Feed a starving child, you asshole.
P.S. I looked up what a knish is and now I want one. Thanks a lot, book.
Anyway. Onward to the Djinni, who appears considerably less anxious than the Golem, but also considerably more restless and – dare I say it – a little bit ungrateful for the effort Arbeely is making? I mean, if it’s not safe for a Golem to wander around New York alone, I doubt it’s much safer for a more arrogant djinni to do it. Evidently people in this city believe in magic, dude. Arbeely’s right; he needs to be careful. On the other hand … Oh boy, do I understand restlessness too, though. I love to go exploring, despite my anxiety. Then again, I suspect that this undeniable curiosity the djinni has is likely what got him into whatever trouble he got into.
Mate, it’s nice to bring a little flash of wonder into a human girl’s day but maybe don’t push it any further than that. He’s going to push it further than that, isn’t he. I feel like he is.
So both of our characters are in a safe enough place that they can take a breath and think, and both seem to be wondering what this world can have in store for them. What makes that interesting is the different ways that concern registers with each of them. The djinni is eager to explore despite the dangers; the Golem seems more relieved to have a protector, someone she can take guidance or even possibly instruction from. And Rabbi Meyer and Arbeely both seem like decent people, but this is an extraordinary situation for them both and there’s no telling how it will go. And we already know that the Rabbi at least knows how to destroy a golem if need be. Again with my need to know more about him…
So. My list of questions grows. Onward, to find the answers!