My first rehearsal of High Holiday music was with the cantor's brother, a keyboardist. Although he'd been joining us once a year for quite a long time, he didn't look much older than 30. I had never seen him before; I always attended services at one of the locations where he didn't play. So it took me a moment to realize that the extraordinarily good looking guy who approached me that evening in the empty sanctuary, who resembled Jude Law but with longer, straighter hair and higher cheekbones, was in fact he. I think I gasped, but quickly regained my composure. I had no problem at all spending two hours singing to a very handsome younger man.
He shook my hand and smiled, as sweet and shy as the cantor and not at all intimidating, and I calmed down. He sat at the keyboard and began to play--exactly like his brother, the same nuances and phrases. It was eerie. We started on the first page and kept going with barely a break. And it was great. I remembered every note of every prayer I had been singing for months to my cats, standing a little too close to the front door and unwittingly providing my neighbors with a lesson in High Holiday liturgy. (I didn't know this until the woman down the hall stopped me in the elevator one day and commented on the unusual noises coming from my apartment). In a few places he suggested I go faster or slower, but there were really no problems. Standing there, singing into a microphone with a cute guy playing along, I felt like I was living out a truly excellent fantasy. No matter that it was Yom Kippur music for an audience of one. It was still a blast, and certainly the closest I would come, in this lifetime, to being a rock star.