“What, no husband?” they would have asked her back home. “No children?” they would have shaken their heads in reproach, adding, “And who will take care of you when you’re old?”
“Well, I’ll just never grow old then,” her smiling reply would have met their scolding looks; as adults do at a child’s idiocy.
And when the high holidays would come around, she’d be the spare wheel, the address for the sorrow of others. “And no,” they would have firmly clarified, “we will simply not allow it; no one should sit at home all alone on Rosh Hashanah!” The mere thought would have been equal to blasphemy, she would have known and kept her lips sealed, sat quietly at the table, and wished herself out of there and as far away as possible. Over the mountains, beyond the seas, filling the air with her hurry. Away, away, she would have urged her wings to stir harder.
She reminds myself: She had left long ago. Back home is far aback now.
Holidays spent in the freedom of aloneness, she longs to sit among them all; listening to random fragments of small talk, admiring the traditional delicacies, tipsy on table wine. Spare wheel and all.