It was evening. There were only occasional car clicks on the street. The number officer sat at the table and read a newspaper. His wife lifted the tea maker off the burning alcohol. The room then heard a loud laugh and the sound of whistling.
“The boy,” she said.
The boys rented a room from the apartment.
“Unheard,” she said, “they leave home every night.” They come home at dawn every day.
They listened. The man began to read again. She spoke.
– I’m trying to keep them home. I’ll invite them for tea.
“Good,” he replied.
The woman sent the maid with the message. The answer soon came:
“The young gentlemen are very sorry they have business.” I have to go.
The maid went out.-64-
– The naughty. That they are lying, she said. – They have business… at ten o’clock in the night…
The man shrugged indifferently. She snuggled up.
“How ugly this life is,” he said flatteringly, “how much better ours is.” Have you ever lived that way? You wouldn’t trade now, would you?
“No, no,” he muttered.
The door slammed into the room as the boys left, their noises rang, and the man began to worry.
He didn’t even know how he was feeling. During his ten years of marriage, he never had a desire for a life other than this sleepy, quiet, peaceful life. He never longed to return to his messy, noisy, noisy, revelry youth. Now, along with the noise that sounded from the outside, the foal-mood of youth also slammed into his heart. What a life it is. Never a murmur, but not even a loud word is uttered from his lips, never a little embers, not a little intoxication. Pull the yoke and you can’t even look at a woman other than this one. Hajh, the girls came to mind.-65-At one point, great uneasiness tingled in his blood. Debts, the misery of a confused and messy life fell out of his mind, he felt nothing but a longing for the raging intoxication. The wine… The girls.
He put down the newspaper and looked around uneasily. He found the apartment a stranger: it was cramped; pressed and choked in the air. He got up and walked.
They drank the tea. The woman sent out the dishes while they talked. But the man looked away and anxious.
The minutes passed in silence. Just at least one cry, one loud word, one groan would have beaten up this stunning, desperate silence. They went to bed. The woman soon fell asleep with an honest, deep sleep. But the man stared into the darkness with open eyes. His heart was pounding with excitement, his forehead was pounding and throbbing with blood, and his lips were buried with a desire that had been asleep for ten years. Miraculously, this desire inexplicably escaped his soul. Why right now? Why never before? Why was the voice of young people so fiery, so alarming, so young today? He did not know. But he felt that he would have to die if he remained motionless here in peace, in silence, in excruciatingly clean order. He heard the feverish rumble of youth in the night, in his heart a young revolution, a spring storm -66-and he chased him whipped. Where? Just get out of here; from here: out of order and purity.
He jumped up. She dressed carefully, quietly, but quickly. He had a fever and shivered, afraid, but he had to run out.
He went out of the room on tiptoe. He got out the gate. He was standing on the street. It was cold, but the frosty air of the night was sucked into her breasts with the joy of deliverance. He was no longer pressed by the cramped room. It’s a free, fresh, wild night here.
Has started. He was still staggering and discouraged, but it was believed by lighted rides. The flame of intoxication crept through him and opened the door, panting, fading, rushing.
Wine… He poured the drink thirsty and the second glass covered the already lightning mist on his mind. Gypsy… He pulled away the old songs and slammed his glass against the ground in the second. Girl… Immersed in the intoxicated, foal-like, blind and wild rampage.
The hours have passed. Variety was only brought in the noise, but the reveler man forgot more and more about it: where it came from, what was behind it, what was in front of it. He was a cheering wild young child with no worries about the mult and no worries about the future, who only cares about the noisy, songy, winey, sweet, dirty present.-67-
He began to become sensitive at dawn.
“Gyuszi,” she cries at the gypsy, “you don’t look at me as a lord.”
He picked up banks and the gypsy bowingly proved that he did. He fell on the table. She was surrounded by a love song and she wept desperately for some fallen star, some withered flower, some beautiful lover.
It slowly cleared outside. The light of dawn stole itself into the room and the grief of the merry man turned to great anger. The deceiver scolded the female heart, the heartless people, and the slavery of the office with equal bitterness. Never felt angry tempers arose in his soul. The slave became a bitter rebel, the timid clerk a teasing outlaw. He measured the wandering early guests with an angry look and roared, resolutely promising that he would end up with all the Jews.
It was morning. He didn’t even drink wine anymore. Champagne bottles lined up beside him, but he poured the drink into large puddles. He stared sadly into the light and was stifled by confused, great, great bitterness. He was sure that this world was disgracefully furnished and he knew he had to do something about it.
The gypsies are gone. He looked around bitterly in anger. Then he paid. All your money-68-he left. There is still a debtor left. He went out into the street. He had to do something big, he was certain of that.
Has started. He looked at his watch. Half past eight. He headed for the office. He was hesitantly moving forward, but his journey was a sure and imposed journey. He slowly became aware of what he needed to do.
He passed his office room. He crossed the long corridor and opened it to the mayor. He sat at his desk and looked at him in amazement.
The determined man walked over to the desk, leaned on the table with one hand and lifted the other in a warning way:
“You old leech,” he said firmly, “you bald bald sucker.”
The mayor jumped up angrily. The determined man resolutely continued:
– Find out who you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with a lord. Ragged tailor-offspring, you’re dealing with a master.
The mayor leaned towards him suspiciously, then said in disdain:
– You’re drunk.
He went out and called in a servant.
“Put him in a car and take him home,” he told the servant.
The servant took the drunken man in his arm who -69-he looked at the desk in confusion. They sat in a car. The cold air hit them. The car scooted. The drunk man felt some indefinite concern.
They got home. She ran in front of him screaming. The servant is gone. The woman cries. The great order and cleanliness of the apartment surrounded the man again. Now he felt at once, leaving some sticky nonsense. His remorse struck. She was scared. The flame and fever of youth stood before him as something rut and hateful. He felt tricked and violently snatched from his quiet house into the silly, young noise to which he was weak and old. She shook her hand in trembling and sobbed drunkenly in bitter remorse.