On the summer of 1969, Young Man is a high school dropout who is spending his days prowling the East River Park in NYC. He has never actually spoken with any of the other park patrons, but he knows them: the man with the Chihuahua, the woman with the Dalmatian, and that old man who is always looking at him. Young Man doesn’t understand himself or his feelings, at times he is attracted by the woman, at times by the men, I think that whoever of them would approach him, Young Man would be fine, since basically he needs a leading hand. And Mr Chervy alias Miss Crystal, a retired teacher who cross-dresses only in the intimacy of his home, will be the one to take in hand, literally, Young Man. Young Man and Miss Crystal’s relationship is very much that of teacher and pupil, and while Young Man likes Miss Crystal, he doesn’t like the authoritarian persona he represents and he, liked dropped out of school, arrives to a confrontation with Miss Crystal that leads him away. Out again in the street, he meet the Librarian, almost a replica of Miss Crystal, another kind and lonely man who wouldn’t like better than finding a companion, someone who is never to leave him. Young Man will be the bridge between Miss Crystal and the Librarian, and maybe for the time being he will be with them, but I think that his task is accomplished, Miss Crystal and the Librarian will never be alone again, they now have each other, and if they wish to help other young men, why not, but the most important thing is that, while these young me will come and go, they will always have each other.
I know that probably this is not the most literary novella by Mykola Dementiuk, he wrote much important works, but to my romantic heart, this is my favourite; I really like Miss Crystal and the Librarian, they are compassionate men who need love, and I’m so glad that in the end they met each other. Young Man is probably a desperate case, he could probably improve, but I have the feeling that he will be always like that, a bad boy with a bad mouth. But that doesn’t matter, since he has not a bad heart, on the contrary, he is confused and needing love as much as Miss Crystal and the Librarian need. And for a little time, or maybe forever, they have found that love and each other.