Trafika Europe 6 - Arabesque

györgy spiró

with his father started to go downhill. He had always been the precious boy, the only whole person Joseph had managed to sire. He was the favorite. His father had been proud that his son knew how to read and write before other boys his age; he had boasted about him and had also started instructing him in the logic of business, as if he were already an adult. His father repeated the experiment half a year later. Uri confessed then that he could not see how many fingers his father was holding up. “Because you don’t want to see!” Joseph had shouted angrily. That sentence had haunted Uri ever since.

From that point on, his father had avoided him. He did not want to see that his son could not see. Doctors claimed that dried gum from the balsam tree had a beneficial effect on cataracts and shortsightedness, and as Joseph had once traded in, among other things, balsam and dates, and was at that moment still receiving them in shipments from Judaea, he instructed Uri to place over his eyes every evening a poultice soaked in a watery solution of powdered balsam gum. Uri diligently applied the compresses and was nauseated by the smell of the balsam, but his eyesight did not improve. Another six months, and Uri still could not see how many fingers his father was showing. Joseph hinted that he should stop with the poultices, since


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