Judaism never troubled Ben Shirazi the way it troubled some,

nor was it the subject of an abiding, metaphysical discomfort

with himself and the world. It did not even harbor

the mystical, unspoken promise of redemptive brotherhood. And perhaps this

was why he wasn’t ill at ease with being Jewish

and didn’t have to constantly have to pick at it,

the way children pick at scabs they wish would go

away. He was okay with being Jewish. He was okay

with himself, the way he was okay with his body,

with his looks, with his choice of books, film, friends.

Paraphrases from the novel Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman.