I was dizzy when I saw the old man walking down the street with a flashlight and a cocker spaniel.
I live on the New York coast. My first neighbour was this old mysterious man who lived in this big mansion. No one knew his name and no one had ever seen him. However, every weekend he threw big and rich parties. Over a one thousand rich men and women of New York were there every weekend. One morning I woke up and I saw the old man looking through his window and I asked myself whether that was the old man that no one had ever met. My doorbell rang. It was a postman who delivered an invitation. The old man wrote to me:


Dear Mr. Carter,
I invite you this weekend to my party.
Yours sincerely,
Mr. K.

I felt weird because he had never sent an invitation to me, a local, provincial type, people would call just ordinary. So I went to the party and, dear Lord, did I feel extraordinary, just to be surrounded by such gorgeous women, so many rich people in such a big, spacious and posh house. I don’t like alcohol, but that night I really drank a lot and I was really drunk.
Surprisingly, I woke up in a street in Brooklyn and I was pretty dizzy when I saw the old man walking towards me with a flashlight and a cocker spaniel. He helped me to get up, and told me, “Well, young man, you must have had a crazy night.” But his face was so familiar, he was in dirty old clothes, but his set of teeth, his teeth were just like diamonds. I petted his dog and asked him, “What do you need the flashlight for?” and he answered, “Young man, let me show you something.” He pointed the flashlight to the window and blinked five times. The door opened and we went up the stairs to the fifth floor. There was the little apartment, with a lot of pictures of a young couple. And then he sat down and told me a story.
“Young man, fifty years ago I met this beautiful girl named Jean. But she came from a rich family and I was a working class boy. Her parents never allowed us to get married. You see, young man, I became very rich and I throw lavish parties every week hoping that somehow she might come one day.” At that moment I realized that that woman the old man was talking about had to be my grandmother. She died last year but I did not have courage to tell him. I asked him why he lived in such an apartment when he owned such a mansion and he told me that he lived there because in that apartment they spent their first night together and that after fifty years everything still scented with her.
We agreed to have breakfast together the next day in his mansion. I went back home by taxi but I did not sleep that night at all. I was afraid to tell him that the love of his life was dead. The morning came and I went to his house. To my astonishment, the servants who worked there told me that Mr. K passed away that night. I was shocked.
With sadness and sorrow in my heart I decided to go straight to the graveyard where my granny had been buried the year before. I told her everything that happened. That following night I had a dream of Mr. K walking towards me holding hands with my Nanna. They were both smiling, and after the cocker spaniel barked, the old man turned off his flashlight and told me, “Thank you. Now I can move in some better place with the love of my life.”

Written by Mr. Carter, 1955.



Important teacher’s remark:

Lots of people think that the word servant (слуга, послуга) is not politically correct. Instead of using the word servant one may use:
a) hired help
b) words that refer to individual jobs such as a cook, a gardener, a nanny/a baby-sitter, etc.
c) helper, assistant…but always be careful about the tone of your voice. Body language and the tone of one’s voice are even more important.

However, a civil servant(државни службеник/службеница) is still in use.  There arealso: thecivil service (државна служба), a civil war (грађански рат), etc.