Walk Down Misery Street

“Well, it’s all . . . drug addicts, alcoholics . . .” she grimaced.

“Aren’t they troubled souls in need of help?” I responded, not understanding why the assistant director would say such a thing and with such a look of squeamishness.

“I see, I see.” She looked at me both pensively and sympathetically.

I felt that she saw me as a hopeless romantic and philosopher who had no idea what he was getting himself into.




I was accepted to the school. It was a good step, but how to make ends meet and how to pay for this education?

Already having a prior unsuccessful attempt to get a job as a grocery stock boy, I started thinking where I would be hired. What if I tried for a security guard?

This time I hit the bulls` eye. It turned out that it was very easy to land the job of a security guard. All you needed was a high school diploma or a GED, plus a few lectures for a hundred dollars. Also, you needed to have a clean record, not dirtied by criminal affairs.

I had all this. In a few days, having listened to the lectures and paying a hundred bucks, I received the certificate of a security guard and was ready to stand guard in the capital of the world, adding to the army of thousands of security guards, with whom New York is teeming like cockroaches.

I quickly put together a resume, where I wrote that until recently I had worked as a policeman in Russia.

The next day in the tabloid’s “help wanted” section I chose the first “security guard wanted” listing with “no experience or references required.” I called there and was invited for an interview right away at a large company which supplies contract guards in various city locations.