“Well, did you like this chapter?” Martin asked cautiously, disrupting the protracted silence.

“Yeah, it was not bad. But her character isn’t sketched very clearly in your writing; it’s somehow fuzzy.”

Because of Martin’s offensively jointed eyebrows, the deep wrinkle appeared on his nose bridge; his lips twisted. Martin put the written pages in his backpack.

They both sat in the sushi bar and ate sushi.

“The scene, when you poured the vodka on the sand, I liked it,” continued David. He started feeling sorry for Martin. “But I’m not sure that all the readers will be able to appreciate the value of it.”


“One has to know what an alcoholic in severe withdrawal goes through. He’d do anything for a shot of vodka or whiskey. Picture this: a woman whose hands are shaking, who has the chills and is burning up at the same time, and who came to Martin in the morning asking for vodka in order to fix herself. And our Martin has a full bottle, but instead of giving vodka to the poor lady, he pours vodka on the sand in front of her. And what’s more, he does it with a roguish smile. And he gets great enjoyment out of this revenge because the night before, the woman fucked not Martin, but another bum.”

“Deya-vid, you’re quite the literature critic. And in addition, you’re a sharp psychologist…  I’m very lucky to have met you. I’d be lost without you.”

“Really?” replied flattered David. “You lived all those years without me. You spent five years crawling around the depths of New York and you survived. You know what I was thinking? How about I publish your story in my magazine, ah? Let’s call it ‘Bum and Beauty’.”

“In the magazine? My story? Is the story really good enough for the magazine? You just said that the character isn’t sketched clearly, it’s all fuzzy.”

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine as a debut. We just have to translate it from Polish into English. We can do it without a professional translator. You know my parents spoke Polish, and even though I speak Polish badly, I understand it well enough. Let’s get together next Tuesday evening and work on it. I hope we can do it fast. And you’ll get some money for it.”