Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thursday Dec 18

[no entry today - Papa accidentally wrote his December 20th entry on this page]


"Oh no Harry I think I'm going to upchuck" H. says and she is right, thank goodness for the private bath. Our dance ends she runs and kneels and she is like a sick child and it worries me so until she is finished, with a washcloth I clean the front of her dress her chin and nose and I help her to the bed. I lay a wet cloth on her head and I watch her and she falls asleep, safe. I don't know if I should return the liquor to Thomas but I decide instead to pour it down the drain, I rinse the pitcher and glasses in the sink. I check on H. again, she is still. I hear the radio now, it is too loud and so H. should sleep better I decide to turn it off, then I see the ghost is there, the ghost is there by the radio.

Like a dancer a poor dancer she moves, not in time to the radio music, slowly not like the people in New York she must have lived in a slower time like the old barons in the old country, they moved with such ease such stillness while all around we hurried in the streets. I watch her she reminds me of the dress patterns in the factory, a picture of something to come but not yet there, a shape of a woman. I see her face but I see the radio behind her still, like a trick photograph come to life. I see only her torso, it rises from the floor as if she stands on a floor below, and now I remember what Thomas told me, after the fire the builders remade the hotel remade it with larger rooms, higher rooms and it must be true she must stand where the old floor once was.

I want to be sure H. does not see this does not become frightened, yet I cannot turn to check on her for I feel I must watch the apparition, I must watch her every moment. She holds her arms out, her hands down near her waist, she has a tender smile perhaps she strokes the head of a child and then in a moment just as Thomas described she looks up, she is afraid, her mouth opens she holds one arm above her forehead, she appears to sing a silent aria. Now something Thomas did not tell me, she turns, turns her face to me, for a moment our eyes meet and then she is gone and then I know the room is burning burned by the man who took her life.

I switch off the radio, I take the chair from the desk and sit and watch H., I watch her sleep for a time and she is silent and pale and I think of the forest, in the forest around the little town where I was born it must be snowing, and every snowflake tumbles and every snowflake whispers and I am so far from them, so far I will never see them gather, never see the wet ground after they melt.

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