Monday, January 15, 2007

Wednesday Jan 16

Living in board it is really
so hard to get an appointment to
make my entries, just when I
feel like doing it, I am somehow

Received invitation to
attend a party at the
Kessler Zion Club Saturday.


The next time I want to complain about not having enough time to myself, I'll have to remember to say something classy like "it is really so hard to get an appointment to watch my Netflix."

Papa's complaint is far less petty, of course. His living situation is more comfortable than when he first arrived in America and slept head-by-toe with his two sisters in a cousin's bed, but he's still boarding in a tenement apartment where privacy is precious. What prevents his "appointments" with his diary, other than tubercular neighbors wandering in for help? How many hours does he lose in line for the hallway bathroom, how many times must he hastily hide his diary when his hosts suddenly arrive home, how often do the lights fail? When he says he listens to his radio and reads by himself, is he really by himself, or does he just stick on his headphones and tune out the noise and activity around him?

I wonder, too if Papa is apologizing to future readers for the day's short, furtive entry, as if he feels a responsibility to, say, his unborn grandchildren to keep a complete journal. (I feel a little guilty when I don't get to spend as much time on this blog as a like. A family trait?) Then again, I'm doing this project in part because I wish I'd known him longer, spent more time in his presence, shared more words with him. Maybe I want to think he's apologizing to me for his short entry because I just want him to talk to me in any way.

Hmmm. This post is, ironically, turning into a bigger subject than I have time to write about now. I'll make an "appointment" to revisit it.



I guess some bigger questions about my grandfather are: Who did he feel most responsible to when he wrote this? His parents? His sisters? Zionism? Posterity, as I initially thought? What underlies his need to explain why he can't write in his diary to his satisfaction? What standards has he set for himself? I know his father was a hero to him. Is that who he's talking to, whose standards he wants to meet?

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