Welcome to the newest slot on my blog, the Saturday and Sunday evening feature ‘Novel Nights In’ where I bring you guests’ novels in their entirety over a maximum of ten weeks. Tonight’s is the third novel in this series and features the conclusion of a romance / travel novel by Tad Wojnicki.
Nobody in Poland hurts badly compared to a girl who’s “missed her train” on Christmas Eve – certainly not a Jew, like Teddy, hardened in his loneliness. But he feels for her and, anyway, helping a stranger may be helping an angel.
Fueled by each other’s passionate letters, two displaced Poles are desperate to share their lives. They stake their future on a plan to meet in Mexico and jump the border in Tijuana into the United States. United at last, they are shocked to realize each has fallen in love with a fantasy.
Lie Under the Fig Trees (conclusion)
“Hungry?” I ask.
“Are you loco, or what?” Rosie snaps back. “In this noon heat?” These are her first words in miles. She peels her hair off of her moist neck, gasping for air.
“Take a swig of the Vittel, the bottle is in the bag.”
“Do you want me to burn my throat? The Vittel has boiled over twelve times by now.”
“Bite on a banana, here, in the newspaper,”
“I want something different.”
“Suck on an orange.”
“You’re a sucker for tropical fruit, aren’t you?”
“Papaya? Kiwi? Watermelon? Mango? Guava?” I say. “Mango and guava juices are big thirst quenchers. Should I pull over? Maybe I can get something. Whaddya think? Wouldya suck one up?”
“I wouldn’t, I know that.”
The fruits are cheap but that’s not what la mujer insatisfecha wants. Before too long I may have to go around, begging, “¡Socorro!¡Socorro!”
“You want beer.”
“Shove it up your three-letters, my dear.”
“So what do you want?”
“I know what you want.”
“A smack on your three-letters.”
Rosie bursts out laughing. “That too,” she says. “But a bottle of Coca-Cola would do.”
“Should we have a Coca-Cola, you think?”
“Yes, yes, yes.”
“If yes, why not?”
We hit the country road and watch burros, pigs, roosters, dogs, and girls carrying loads and babies.