Meanwhile Martin sat on the bench, lit up again, and began to mutter: “I have to go to the dentist, but I don’t have money. My boss stiffed me for 20 bucks, said he’d give it to me next week, kur-rva…”

David, who was born in the US, but whose parents were Jews from Poland, did not fully understand this weird Polish-English dialect; sometimes he just guessed what Martin meant.

A black guy and his girlfriend, holding hands, walked past them. The girl wore a red t-shirt and very short denim shorts, which tightened her large butt. The man wore a loose black shirt decorated with white skulls, hid baggy pants hung low at the waist.

“Have you ever slept with a homeless girl?” David suddenly interrupted.

“I had one love from the streets. Her name was Christina.”

“She was a Pole, wasn’t she?”

“Yes,” Martin didn’t start reminiscing as was his usual habit. Instead he became quiet and sad.


David is 46 years old. He has a pretty rugged build, and is slightly overweight. He is a little taller than medium height and his movements are sharp, rigid, which reflects an active nature, but an expansive and nervous one at the same time. Grey, insightful eyes hide behind the glasses that rest on his large Semitic nose. His short curly hair is still fine both in back and on the sides, but is already a little thin in front.

He doesn’t really like his job. But should he, with a Master’s degree in Literature, a Columbia University graduate, intelligentsia to his very bones, the author of two books—go to work as a driver or a doorman?! His place is at a writer’s desk, behind a computer in an editor’s office

It was difficult to say what brought these two seemingly different people together.

David first met Martin when he was writing an article about a shelter for homeless people run by some Protestant church. Martin was then living there. He confessed to David right away: he is a Pole and a Catholic and he would not attend service in the Protestant church, even if the shelter had such a rule.