TITLE: This Eden Called Warsaw
GENRE: Adult Literary
Thirty-one days after his father’s death, Motl Rajsman set out for a barber in the Muranów. For a moment he wavered. His eyes watered, and he wiped them with the scratchy sleeve of his coat. He was split between two worlds: the life he had known with his Hasidic father and what was to come without Hersh’s strict oversight of the family. His father had always been confident that there was only one proper way of life.
The air was frigid as he marched up Nalewki Street, but he paused when he caught his reflection in the illuminated windows of an indoor marketplace. Overall, he was pleased with the potential he saw. At almost two meters, Motl was many centimeters taller than his friends from his religious school and even his classmates from the state-mandated primary school he had finished four years ago. Black curled sidelocks tickled his large ears. His face sprouted a scraggly black beard. He wore a square black velvet hat, a long black jacket, a stiff collared white shirt, black trousers, and scuffed black slip-on shoes. Last month, he had torn his jacket over his heart to demonstrate his grief according to custom, but his clothes bordered on shabby anyway; the lining peeked out of his coat along the frayed hem. He smiled, and the reflection showed him two rows of straight teeth. Ready for change, he turned right into a courtyard, and entered the barbershop.
He was almost overcome by the bracing smell of cologne.