Saturday, November 7, 2015


     We are fine. We work, talk, eat (a lot), drive (a little, since the cars give us particular trouble this time) and laugh.
The trip for a Halloween party to
a local tea-house. 
     Sonny still has his job. Amazingly, most of the days he gets up on time to go there. He feels, he was taken advantage of by the Macy's (where he works) HR. His shift starts at 6:30 in the morning, and he doesn't have guts to change that. I am also taking advantage of his situation. He'd have to walk in the dark and the cold to take the bus and the BART (Bay Area's Subway system), if I don't let him use the car. And he can only use the car if he pays, what Mr. P. calls, "the
sweat equity": meaning, does different chores around the house. Then and only then he is able to drive our unreliable vehicles. Sometimes, like today, I have to give him a ride in order to have the car for my own needs.
     Taka's car is losing ground. We changed radiator on it, but almost immediately it began to smoke again. I could swear: the owner of the auto repair shop told me after installing the radiator that, there wasn't any significant leakage of the fluids from anywhere else, but now he says, he warned me of the leaking "head gasket". I was so happy before I even knew, what that was! Now we have to pay $800 to take care of the problem, and the mechanics said, there is a chance they'll find something else wrong, once they'll take half of the motor apart in order to get to the blasted "head gasket"! I think, it's a ploy to charge us for unending repairs. What can we do?! Perhaps, the lack of guts is a family affliction, because I can't see myself arguing with the mechanics!
     So, one of our Hondas is in the shop, getting "operated on", and Taka uses the other one for his commute to work. Which also means, I have to drive Sonny to his job early in the mornings, before his dad goes to work.
     Recently I went to see my acquaintances. I talked about them in a post named "To eat (meat) or not to eat?" This time the husband, Rafi, made us some pasta with sea kelp and a side of stewed cabbage. I won't go into the specifics of the meal, but as I walked into their living room afterwards, I forgot about a small step they have there. As the result, I landed rather heavily on one of my long suffering feet and at once felt strong, tearing pain in the sole of the arch. More than two weeks later, and I still can't walk freely without a cane or stand for more than 3 minutes without starting to feel the sharp ache. I am not letting myself get depressed about it, but that severely limited my activities.
     Do I get any help from the family? Sometimes, and, most of the time, only with a lot of prodding, pouting and screaming. Why it has to be so, I don't know. I guess, I am a bad mother and a stupid wife, who couldn't inspire more loyalty and compassion in my family.
     That's all.


     A lot of Jews were killed in a terrible Kaunas (the second largest city in Lithuania) ghetto. Just on October 28, 1941 around ten thousand people were shot. One day, the nazis and the Lithuanian police killed all the children. They were lured out of the houses with music. Those, whom their mothers didn't let go, were killed on the spot, right in front of the mothers.
     For a while the killing stopped, but in 1943 the ghetto came under the jurisdiction of the SS. The killing began anew.
     A young, 30 year old, Jew stood naked on the edge of the ditch. He was one of the first to be wounded and fall under the fire. Other bodies fell on top of him. Terrified, he tried to climb out of the ditch. He grabbed the edge of it with his hands. Laughing, a policeman stuck his hands with a bayonette. He fell back.
     He lay in the ditch until the night. Under him the pile of the bodies moved and moaned. At night he crawled out and walked toward the distant lights. He found a distant stead and somehow climbed over the fence; used a sheet hanging in the yard to cover himself. 
 With his wounded hands knocked on the door.
     A young woman opened it. He slumped against the doorpost and whispered: "Help me!".
     She pursed her lips. "Get out of here," - she said - "If they find you , they'll kill me and my children. Get out! Go back, where you came from!"
     He begged: "Don't drive me away, please!" He stood there, half naked, with injured hands and bloody head. She just kept repeating: Get away!"
     All of a sudden, from behind the curtain ran out a little blond girl. She hugged her mother's legs, raised her head and said: "Mommy, don't push him away: he is our Lord, Jesus Christ!"
     The family hid and cared for the man until he joined the forest guerillas. He fought in most daring operations. His comrades were surprised by his total lack of fear. He was killed at the very end of the war.
     I met and talked to the girl in 1988. She was 50 - younger, than I am now. I listened to her with the with the goose bumps running up and down my body.
At the end I said: "Well, yes, of course, you saw an exhausted man in a white robe with bloody hands and head, You were little, you made a mistake."

    She calmly looked in my eyes and carefully shook her head: "You don't understand, It really was Jesus."

Eugene Royzman