I said goodbye to my U.N. scientist friend and Kelly and I turned toward Brighton Beach. After several years in California the old hometown seemed drab, dreary. In the scheme of things Brighton wasn’t old, it was America old. Nothing like what we saw in England or France or Italy or Spain, but old enough. My aunt and her husband and her daughter still occupied the old building. The building seemed smaller and the hallways thinner than I remembered. We looked around for a day or two but then Kelly was off, he was itching to get back to California with his new guitar. One night in Madrid drunk on anisette at a party in a park Kelly was upset with guitar playing and smashed it against a concrete bench and took a step and passed out on his feet dead drunk and fell straight down to the ground, his head missing the concrete bench by inches. His morning was full of regrets – he regretted drinking so much and having the hangover he had and he missed his guitar. My cousin took his to a guitar shop so that he could buy a new Martin D 18. He was right, he couldn’t play that mutha the way it deserved to be played. With the new guitar in hand my uncle dropped him at the airport.
I saw a couple more of Jewish Aunts and their families and my Grandfather and his newest wife. I saw my Greek Grandmother and my Uncles, Aunts and Cousins. I am glad I saw them yet somehow didn’t reflect this might be the last time I saw them. Grandma used to call me boy and spoke in her broken English learned from watching soap operas. My Aunts and Uncles spoke to me in English and my Cousins didn’t say Christ Killer once. I had been itching to go home and after a week a Greek uncle, Nick, took me to the airport.