Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wednesday Dec 17

[no entry today]


We arrive at the room, Thomas finally speaks and he he warns us the door opens on its own sometimes, we must lock it to keep it closed. Inside now H. sits on the bed she leans back on her elbows and I think for some reason I want to sit at the desk, there is a stack of paper on the desk and a pen and I think I might write to my sisters on Rivington Street, or to my brother in Sniatyn that he might read my letter out loud to my mother. How it would puzzle them, a letter from a hotel in my own city, a letter written from a room with a private bathroom. In the corner is a "cabinet" radio of the newer type, built of wood and cloth and shaped like a spire. There will be an opera tonight I tell H. and I switch the radio on, it is so unlike my own radio, its dials are large, raised numbers on the cabinet mark the stations. The controls are stiff and I wonder if I am the first to use it.

Can the ghost hear the radio, does it confuse her because she lived at a time before such inventions? Do the voices and music from this strange pointed box seem to her phantom emanations, sudden and soft from a source unknown? I would certainly relieve her of this fear if I could, if I could I would end the frustration of her eternal wait, stop the terrible drama she performs at night, the repetition of her life's most frightening most disappointing most regrettable moment. Why does she remain in this moment, remain where she no longer belongs, does the very instant of her death, her terrible death, does she prefer it to what unknown future awaits her soul?

Thomas is again at the door, H. lets him in and he enters he bears pitcher and glasses on a tray. Refreshments he calls them and H. claps her hands and says now we can have a party and I am briefly relieved, I am thirsty and then I remember H. and her secret meeting with the clerk. My suspicion proves correct the pitcher conceals not water but instead some kind of clear hooch I have heard hotels do this but I never have seen it myself.

Thomas leaves a moment later the door swings open just as he said it would, I lock it to conceal the little secret the secret H. and I share. H. takes a drink and she pours some more and she holds out a glass to me. I tell her if she drinks much more she won't see the ghost, that's the idea Harry she says. Her face looks strange, shadows across her cheeks and eyes, I did not think it possible but I prefer not to look at her.

Just a few blocks away I might find Blitz at headquarters and we might discuss the ball and I might ask him to assist in the preparation of my speech. I know now what the speech will be, a treatise on patience on hard work I will urge all to remember how long we have wandered how close we are now how some of us, at least some of us may live to see all of Israel come home at last. Like a letter to my beloved father it will be and I would like to sit at the desk and begin but H. of course stands there and she holds a glass out to me.

I take a tiny sip so as not to disappoint her, it is sharp with a poisonous taste and I mention the ghost again, aren't we here to see the ghost I ask surely we will see her if we watch carefully. "Oh Harry what's the difference" she says, and glass still in hand puts her arms on my shoulders, drapes them around my neck. It is what I have wanted yet so unlike what I want, all the same the music on the radio is a sweet sweet song and she smiles, a small smile but full of intention she moves only the corners of her mouth and her eyes darken and she melts against me. Dance with me Harry she says and we sway, I drift with her in a tiny waltz I waltz in miniature with small steps and she notices the steps and follows and then giggles and she smiles the smile again and tilts her head to the side like she has a question, a question for which there is but one answer and I kiss her now I kiss her at last.

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