The Wild Gypsy of Arbor Hill
Hozefa Haveliwala, Apr 11, 2019 - Fiction - 250 pages
The story's narrator, Charlie, is a student at Trinity College in Connecticut. His family hails from New Hampshire, and he describes them as "Protestants and as white as they come." At the outset, he reveals that the family lives on inherited wealth and that they probably won't need jobs for the remainder of their lives. Charlie's college life is far from carefree, however. He had no girlfriend during his first two years there, but after hitting his junior year and becoming "a bit taller, [and] less of nerd," young women have started to notice him, he says. He's also a self-described alcoholic, though, who has bad grades--which he describes as "academic concerns." Charlie falls for Sophia, a sorority sister who initially treats him with disdain; however, they eventually embark on a casual romantic relationship. After Sophia gets pregnant and decides to get an abortion, Charlie gives up studying, and his life spins out of control. After he drops out of college, his parents tell him that he must be financially self-sufficient. He soon finds himself living in squalor in Albany, New York, where he works at a junkyard. His co-worker Cash takes pity on him, and he pays Gypsy, a sex worker, to visit Charlie while posing as a cleaner. Charlie becomes infatuated with Gypsy, who's intent on fleecing him to fuel her crack addiction. Their relationship leads him into a criminal underworld, the likes of which he's never encountered before.