A NIGHT IN NEW YORK - Part 2
The subway was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was now customary to carry out a cleaning during the night, disinfecting the benches, walls and floors of the wagons.
Renzo passed a homeless girl nervously arranging her smallest belongings, nestled on the sidewalk at the entrance to the subway: blonde, blue eyes, very thin and shivering a little, the girl must have been about 25, her face ravaged by nights sleepless, but which still retained a vestige of the beauty of yesteryear. She hugged her slight body, repeatedly checked her things, covered herself and uncovered herself with an old blanket.
As he passed, Renzo walked a few steps and decided to go back.
He stopped very close to the girl, knelt down, smiled and took a fifty-dollar bill from his wallet; he folded the money, put his hands behind his back, hid the bill in his right hand and offered both closed hands to the girl, so that she could guess where the bill was hidden.
Faced with the brief indecision, he waved his right hand, indicating the location of the money. The girl touched Renzo's hand; he opened it and handed her the 50 bill, with an expression of amused surprise.
Then the girl looked at him with tears in her eyes, paused and thanked him in a thin voice, her emotion on the edge of her skin.
Renzo's eyes watered too, as he often did.
They stayed there for a while, talking in the cold dawn.
Then Renzo stroked her hair, said a few more words of encouragement, got up and continued walking.
Now was the time to look for drug dealers on street corners and chase them away. That situation had been repeated since the mayor had given the order for the police to relax their approach in the city. If the Law wouldn't do its job, someone else would have to. After all, this was Renzo's territory, and it wouldn't be infested with vagrants freely spreading their devastation. Not if he could help it.
RENZO: I've always felt, since I was a kid, that there's nothing I can't do.
INTERVIEWER: But aren't you afraid?
RENZO: (genuinely surprised) And why would I?
(to be continued)