The Big Sea by Langston Hughes

The Big Sea by Langston Hughes

Author:Langston Hughes
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781466883499
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: 2017-12-14T05:00:00+00:00


In April I moved to 15, rue Nollet near the Place Clichy in a room with slanting roofs up under the eaves, overlooking the chimney pots of Paris. It was a tall, old house, with very old furniture in the room, and a big bed with a feather tick. I don’t believe the hotel had a name, simply HOTEL. (In France every rooming house is a hotel, but not all have names.)

The elderly French couple who ran the place were good people, and the rent was cheap. It was a quiet, working folks’ hotel, with a little restaurant across the street, and a grocery store on the corner, and a cream and cheese shop next to the grocery.

That room was right out of a book, and I began to say to myself that I guess dreams do come true, and sometimes life makes its own books, because here I am living in a Paris garret, writing poems and having champagne for breakfast (because champagne is what we had with our breakfast at the Grand Duc from the half-empty bottles left by unsuspecting guests, in their ice buckets—thanks to their fleet removal by the waiters).

For a while I occupied my attic room alone. Then one night on my way to work I ran across Bob, the boy whose job I had taken at the cabaret. It was a cold, rainy night, depressingly wet and unpleasant, as so many early spring nights in Paris are. Bob was sitting at a café table, with his head in his arms, staring through the windowpane. He said he hadn’t been able to find another job and he had no place to sleep and no money. So I gave him the key to my room and told him he could stay there. He moved in with me.

Then I found out why Bob couldn’t keep a job. Although I seldom saw him, because he slept at night and I slept in the day, sometimes I would wake up in the late afternoon to find him there, sitting in a chair with his head in his hands staring into space.

I’d say: “Hey, Bob, what’s the matter?”

And he would look up, glassy-eyed, and it would take him a long time to say anything. Gradually, it dawned on me that Bob used dope. And there was nothing you could do about it. He couldn’t stop, he said.

So I was glad when Bob found work as a valet for an Englishman, and went away. Unfortunately, he didn’t stay long.

One day, Rayford Logan, who was crippled and had helped me get the job at the Grand Duc, asked me to do him a favor and carry a note to a young lady living in the Latin Quarter. I took the note, got on a bus, and went over to the Boulevard St. Michel. The young lady lived just in front of the Luxembourg Gardens. She was an English-African girl named Mary. Her roommate was a Jamaican girl named Rosalie. They offered me tea and little cakes.


Copyright Disclaimer:
This site does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to content provided by other sites. Please contact the content providers to delete copyright contents if any and email us, we'll remove relevant links or contents immediately.