Maybe So

Photo prompt: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“I wish I could show you the Menorah, Papa!”

“I wish so, too, Leah!”

“Shall I describe it?”

“Oh please do!” he covered the mouthpiece and pressed his ear to receiver. It’ll be months before he’d save enough to hear her sweet voice again.

“We have white candles and the Shamash is melting fastest,” the child stared at her father’s photo, sent from far away. “I’ll use my new crayons and mail you a drawing! Maybe one day people will have special phones that will let them see each other!”

The fantasies of children. He smiled. “Maybe so, maybe so.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

48 thoughts on “Maybe So

  1. Lovely story, Na’ama. The love of father and daughter is drawn with great sympathy and subtlety. TBH I don’t think you need the twist at the end – the conversation is enough on its own.

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    • Thank you, Penny! πŸ™‚ Also for the feedback and critic about the last bit. I see how you mean.
      Interestingly, I didn’t think of it as twist, as much as a sliver of memory that connected to the long-distance call reality. I remembered how when I was small and we would only call “long distance” on important occasions, briefly, and (for some reason) loudly … πŸ˜‰ I was – and still am – an avid Jules Verne fan, and I remember thinking how fabulous it would be to be for everyone to be able to SEE the person they are talking to (when I once mused aloud about it, I was told this was ridiculous, and would never catch on because no one would want to be ‘caught’ talking to someone who just woke up or worse, was naked in the bath … ;)).
      I am sure I wasn’t the only child who wondered about it (and I would not be surprised if the idea itself came from some futuristic TV show, as several in the 60s and 70s were – from the “Six Million Dollar Man” to the “Time Tunnel” to “Lost in Space” and I’m sure many others …). πŸ™‚

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    • One day … I’m still waiting for the ‘experiential hologram’ – where one can forgo the actual long-distance traveling and yet ‘be’ with others, in 3D hologram complete with sensory experiences (well, selected ones … ;)) without the need to leave the couch or ‘rearrange’ their atoms in a ‘beam me up Scotty’ machine … πŸ˜‰

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  2. Na’ama Y’karah,

    This put me in mind of my friend Sylvia of blessed memory. Her father sent her and her mother to America from Poland in 1927 when she was a girl. It would be a few years before he earned enough to join them. I can imagine young Sylvia having this conversation with her Papa.
    It’s amazing isn’t it? I’m living the sci-fi and comic strips of my childhood. I think of Dick Tracey and his two-way wrist TV. Or Star Trek and onscreen communications. Were Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke prophets? Time travelers?
    At any rate, I loved your story from cover to cover.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • I’m so glad you loved my story ‘cover to cover’ (in 100 words, that’s a feat … πŸ˜€ ). And … yes, we’re living a reality that was either prophesied or imagined or otherwise thought impossible not that long ago. Oh, and I’m thinking that Jules Verne (and a few others) are proof of time-travel …. πŸ™‚

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      • πŸ™‚ It is fun, isn’t it? To get stuff in the mail that isn’t bills or junk mail … I don’t think the excitement is less these days than it was when we were young, though perhaps it is more unusual to ‘have to’ wait for a response to arrive. We’re so used to having things be transmitted instantly and for the blow-by-blow of events to be described without delay, that getting a letter with things that by the time you’d gotten them, are a bit of history … is interesting! πŸ™‚

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      • So totally “there”! I love circle letters, too… letters where it starts with one person writing a paragraph, then it’s mailed to the next on the list and they add a paragraph, and so forth until it returns to the original letter writer. I used to be in a letter circle with some Amish friends many years ago. Oh, what a joy that was!

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    • Yeah, that would be fantastically creepy in a way that is hard to imagine but is probably no less difficult to imagine as sit was for some before us to consider the possibility of putting a piece of paper in one machine and having an identical one be spat out of a machine thousands of miles away, over the phone line, no less … πŸ˜‰

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    • I wish so, too! I think of the longing of times not-so-long-ago, where long distance calls cost a fortune and were complicated to arrange and reserved for very special circumstances. That today I can be speaking to one of my sisters, thousands of miles apart, while they are in a vehicle moving in one direction and I’m walking in park on another continent, and have it cost us absolutely nothing over wi-fi is … well … magic to me still. … And I don’t take it for granted, because I still remember the awe and tension of long-distance calls that were super expensive, needed to be kept short, and were in that sense somewhat orchestrated and not for actual heart-to-hearts.

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    • I guess that would be a possibility, though I was thinking more about the realities of long-distance calls in times not that long ago, when some parents had to work (or be deployed) overseas or far away from their loved ones, often for months or years on end, and when phone calls were expensive, let alone long-distance ones. There are still many who are in situations where they cannot travel, and are separated from loved ones for all manner of realities and circumstances, and cannot see their children for months or years at a time. At least today one can hopefully use video-chats and internet-connections to make contact for relatively little money or no money at all.

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