Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday Mar 14

Visited sisters and friend
Mike Weinreich there
spending all evening

Am greatly worried,
For 2 weeks I haven't
received word from my


Matt's Notes

Papa was probably used to going a week or two without word from his parents in faraway Sniatyn, but his father had suffered a dangerous fall three weeks earlier. At last report he was still ill, perhaps even bedridden.

No matter how busy Papa kept himself, the intervening weeks must have been increasingly difficult (I speculated yesterday on whether his spirits were starting to brighten, but hidden anxiety would have undercut even his best days). I wonder if Papa's heart jumped when he found a note slipped under his door, or if his pace was quick and urgent as he walked to his sisters' apartments. What if Clara opened the door in tears, or Nettie, clutching a letter from the other side, was unable even to speak? He must have composed himself before he knocked on their doors -- brushed off his coat, straightened his hat -- knowing he needed to be steady for their sakes.

Did his friend, Mike Weinreich, detect his growing anxiety? Did Papa lose himself in reveries all evening, seem uncharacteristically quiet? Or did the solemn, intense gaze he inherited his father, the air of serenity and composure, prevent anyone from knowing how he felt?

And after he got home, after he wrote in his diary, how long did he stare at the one photo he had of his parents? Did he wonder what they looked like now?

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