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Boobala is finally on the cruise that she has wanted to take her whole life, but so far, it hasn’t gone that well. She’s been humiliated by the Captain, and aggravated by other guests. In part 2, though, her cruise takes a surprising turn.
As Boobala gorges on her food, a tall slim gentleman by the name of Irving Levy enters the dining room. He is assisted by his quad cane. Irving, a retired sixty year old wealthy stock broker, is known by the Captain because of the numerous trips he takes aboard the Empress Carinthia, but since his total hip replacement surgery and extensive physical therapy, he had not been able to travel as much recently, until now. Grateful that the worst has passed, he still uses his quad cane for support for the time being. Dressed in a loud multi-striped shirt with a bow tie, plaid pants and ridiculous suspenders, he sees Boobala sitting by herself. He shuffles over to her table.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken?” he asks in a well-mannered voice.
Boobala gets annoyed as she really didn’t want him or anyone at her table. She responds sarcastically, “Do you see a reserve sign?”
“Why no,” stutters Irving, taken aback by her response.
Boobala looks Irving over, amused at his outfit, though she has to admit he is kind of cute. He is meticulously groomed. His grey hair looks refreshingly healthy. He is clean-shaven face with a thin mustache. She likes the sound of his voice and the scent of his cologne.
“Not bad, Not bad for an old guy,” she thinks.
“So vat are you waiting for, go ahead and park your Tuchis.”
Irving pulls out the chair and sits at the table with Boobala. “Thank you, Thank you,” says Irving.
Boobala snaps at him, “Alright already, stop with the thanks. You’re giving me a headache.”
Irving turns to Boobala and introduces himself, “My name is Irving Levy. May I inquire, what is yours?”
“Boobala Finkenberg Darling.”
“Darling,That’s not a Jewish name, is it? Irving asks.
Boobala gets pissed by his many questions. She snaps at him with an edge in her voice “Vat, are you writing a book? You ask about my private life. I don’t know you? My husband was English and he was a lazy bum. He beat me up and made my life very unhappy. It was a loveless marriage of seventeen years. Because he couldn’t hold down a job, we ended up living with his Uncle Jake throughout our marriage. We lived through bad times where even a penny was considered money. I worked, and he stole my paychecks to gamble. Harry died from a heart attack at age 36 because he owed money to a loan shark who was going to slice him up. I should have listened to my mother, she did not like him, but I was so young and so in love, I eloped with him. My parents were very wealthy, they owned a top of the line clothing business in Brooklyn, but they disinherited me when I eloped with Harry. Guess what, I didn’t even pay for this trip, I won it. There you go, my whole life in a nutshell!” Boobala quickly puts her hand to her mouth, shocked by what she just said to a total stranger. It slid out like oil over water. She felt embarrassed, wanting the ground to open up and swallow her. She hoped the ladies at the other table hadn’t heard. What was there about this man, that made her feel so instantly comfortable that she blurted out her whole life to him?
Irving looked at Boobala with compassion and adoring eyes, “The world is beautiful Boobala, but it’s the people who make it ugly.” He was mesmerized by this feisty woman. For the first time in many years, he believed that he was in love. His hazel eyes glowed as he continued to talk to Boobala.
‘What a charming smile,’ she thought, as she looked at his face. ‘Nice dental work. At least his breath doesn’t smell, and there are no hairs popping out of his ears and nose.’
“I see you are a nice Jewish woman. Do you speak Yiddish?” Irving asked.
“How could you tell I’m Jewish?
Irving points to her chest, “You’re wearing a button that says: “Kiss me I’m Jewish”, plus it’s written all over you.” Boobala looks down at her chest, smiling as she remembers Myrtle pinning the button on her. She could still hear Myrtle laughing and saying: “Here Boobala, an attention grabber. It will be a great conversation piece to help you meet someone. Mazel Tov!” she had said as she hugged her beloved friend good-bye.
Irving continued to speak, “Besides, you remind me of my ‘Libe Mameleh’.” (Yiddish term: beloved mother). He takes a large handkerchief out and wipes away tears and blows his nose, putting the handkerchief back into his pocket.
After clearing his throat he asks, “So tell me, did you remarry?
Boobala answers curtly as usual. “Would I be here alone, if I was married?”
“Sorry, I was not thinking. Just trying to make small conversation.” he responded.
Boobala, now irritated, continues to indulge in her meal. She suddenly pauses for a moment to let out a belch, and says to Irving “Pass me a roll and the salt shaker please, and wipe your chin, you’re dribbling. “
After she finishes, she gets up abruptly and leaves the dining room area to go back to her cabin, stopping to purchase a ticket for the land cruise. Irving, on the other hand, is so smitten by Cupid’s arrow that he follows her like a lost puppy dog. Boobala stops at the photographer’s section to admire the pictures taken when the passengers boarded the Empress Carinthia. She remembers her rough ordeal and exclaims, “They didn’t even take my picture. I don’t see it here.”
She turns around and sees Irving behind her. ‘No way on earth he can be my prince charming. Those outfits and the quad cane have to go.’ She is starting to get annoyed and avoids him constantly to the point of rudeness. No matter how much he is insulted, he always shuffles his way back to her.
Every day they would meet in the dining room. Boobala started to relax her guard and warm up to him as they got to know each other better. She was starting to expect him to show up. She really began to like him. Actually, Irving had a terrific sense of humor, which Boobala instantly adored. He became enraptured with her smile. He was a man in love, and she was the woman he wanted to marry. He would wait for Captain’s night to propose to her.
My, my, what will happen next. Will Boobala accept Irving as her Prince Charming? Has Boobala found true love? Will Boobala finally get a fairy tale ending in her troubled life. You can only find out by reading part 3.
write by Acacia