Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

her blessing. At the same time, she had a good excuse: the Sudeten crisis made it difficult to travel. In palmier times, she still would not have made the trip. In palmier times, Kurt would not have married me. Twenty years later, in the flowered courtyard of a church in Princeton, I would cry at the wedding of a radiant stranger. Not because I was jealous of her puffy white dress, her prosperous and self-congratulatory family, or her friends wrapped in lavender satin—I cried over the hope that I had harbored at my own wedding. Like this unknown bride, I had followed the tradition of “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” I was in fact carrying something new under my blue vest—a little of him, a little of me. He was unaware of it as he signed the register. He was also unaware that I would not accompany him to the United States. This hope of mine, how could I give it short shrift? How could I get on a train, and then a boat, and risk losing the child when, at the age of thirty-nine, it was probably my last chance? Old Lady Gödel would likely consider a miscarriage the unfortunate but justly deserved punishment due to the divorcée who put the grapple on her son. But Kurt had always avoided the subject. Fatherhood was not part of his program. “Take care of the details,” he had said.

I let him run around and send telegrams in every direction trying to raise funds for a second ticket. His egotism and


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