Time had slowed to a dead crawl. Julian’s whole body ached. He could now see the steward who was checking people in through a window in a small grey washed booth. He could barely hear what they were saying. He tried to run through the instructions his father-in-law had given him about what they would be asking them. “NAME” is Nowalski, Juljan, “AGE”…..suddenly they had reached the booth. Maryanna was shorter than he was and she tried to wiggle between him and the window. However, baby Bernard made such a move impossible. He was screaming from hunger. His wife needed somewhere to nurse him. Julian answered all of the questions and produced all of the signed, stamped, and paid for pieces of paper that would get them to New York or was it Ellis Island? It didn’t matter, he just wanted to stake out some space in the family section of third class so Bernard would stop wailing and his wife would stop shoving him. Looking around him there were hundreds of travelers. The air was rife with the sounds of many languages and odors he did not recognize but knew his wife would soon be complaining about.
They were fortunate to find a spot with one larger mattress that lay on the bare floor. It was stained and moist. Maryanna grumbled under her breath as she lay out the make shift carrier that held the baby. His facewas bright red and sweaty. He continues to cry and throws his legs out in front of himself. Free to move for the first time in six hours. He was wet and soiled. Maryanna screamed at Julian.
“Don’t just stand there…find some water ! I can’t do everything Juljan !”
So off he went to find water and hopefully something to carry it in. He looked back to be sure of where they were and that no one was bothering his little family. There sat Maryanna, with Bernard locked to her breast which she had covered with her colorful babushka. “GO! GO!” she waved at him.
Julian sat alone at the bar. He had been there all day trying to drink all his memories away. Suddenly the door opened and his old friend Stosh came through the door and sat down next to him.
“Well my friend, it is over….again.” Stosh said chuckling. “Julius, you told the truth at the first time in court. Mary killed your marriage with cruelty years ago. You already had your divorce. Why for God’s sake are you letting her do this to you?”
Julian asked for another drink.
“Stosh, if you ever call me “Julius” again I will break that big Pollack nose of yours. And as for my reasons for what I do, is none of your business.”
Stosh got off the wooden stool. He could see his friend was about to descend into the pit that woman could send him to with one cold stare and frankly he didn’t care to watch.
“You come stay at my house tonight Juli…”he stopped himself,…“Juljan.” I will be back at dinner time to get you…..”
His voice trailed off as the door slammed shut.
“Hey, you….” Juljan Nowalski said to the bartender while banging his glass. Juljan didn’t care if he was sitting alone in the tavern. He had spent a lot of time alone, even in a crowded room.
Author’s Copyright 2012
I had to quickly put together this post so that I could begin to reveal Great-Grandpa’s side of the story. You see this is no tribute to my Great Grandmother AT ALL.
Again all comments and suggestions are most welcome.