It’s nice there. The river, quietness, space, and the view. There are no Latinos, no Poles, no Blacks, no Whites. There is a peculiar delight in being alone.

The Harlem stars are shining. The Harlem folks are sleeping. I’m going to sleep as well.


“Well, did you like it?” Martin asked with trepidation, zipping up his backpack, in which lay bags of chips, pens, few magazines, a pouch of tobacco, and the pages he had just read from his last chapter.

He looked over his shoulder at David, who was sitting on the huge boulders of the breakwater. It seemed that David hadn’t even been listening to the question. Maybe he hadn’t even listened to him read the chapter?

Meanwhile, shirtless David looked straight ahead toward the children, who were building castles in the wet sand by the water. A girl and a boy of about five. Anthony came up to the castle builders. He was as skinny as a stick. He carried a bucket of water, which half-emptied along the path, and dug in the sand with a serious expression.

“Deya-vid, why don’t you answer?” asked Martin again. He was dressed in the same denim suit, boots, and baseball cap. In such hot weather!

“When are you going to give up the old damn habit of carrying all your stuff with you, huh? You’re not a street bum anymore, you’ve got your own room, even if it’s just the attic, but it’s yours, and you pay for it. Why don’t you leave your backpack and jacket there, at least? And why don’t you buy a laptop instead of writing on paper?! This is New York in the 21st century, not a damn poor village in Poland!” David said. Definitely, he was irritated by something.

“You’re right,” agreed Martin but somehow sadly.

“And your chapter’s very good. Perfecto!” David praised him all of a sudden. “It’s the best thing you’ve written so far. You’re growing.”

Martin looked over at David with skepticism—is he joking or what? No, he is serious. But Martin himself knows that the chapter about his vagrancy in Harlem turned out well.