A True Story
Had it not been for the war, would I have got married in Stolin? There is such a town; it’s on the Goryn River, amid forests, far from a railway. I happened to be there by accident.
I was offered work in the forestry office at Stolin. It was wartime, 1940.1 was a refugee and had nowhere to go. Stolin sounded all right to me. The Germans were in Warsaw, here we had the Soviets. It was not clear how it would all end. Meantime I got married.
My husband was a big, husky man. A nice fellow. He began nagging me: Let’s get married under a canopy according to the Law, otherwise my mother will be scandalized. Stolin is a pious town. But I was stubborn: under no circumstances would I go under the canopy. I am not religious. A civil marriage would do. But he tricked me: “Come to my mother’s for tea,” Benya said. I came, and everything was in readiness there, a rabbi in a broad hat, all the relatives, children with bouquets. “You silly little goose, don’t be bashful. It will only take a minute!” They locked the doors. Under the canopy I burst into tears—out of spite, but all around me they laughed. Through my tears I said to my husband, “Never, never will I forgive you for this!”
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