From Amerika or The Man Who Disappeared, Franz Kafka
Translated by Jeff Nowak
So now he knew where everyone slept and hurried to the balcony. It was an entirely different world that he now quickly lifted the curtain on. In the fresh night air, he walked back and forth on the balcony in the full light of the moon. He looked to the street, it was completely still, music still clanged out of the inn, but muffled, in front of the door a man swept the sidewalk, in the street, where in the chaotic noise of the evening the screams of the candidate couldn’t be distinguished from a thousand different voices, you could now distinctly hear the scratching of the broom on the pavement.
The moving of a table on the neighboring balcony made Karl notice that someone was sitting there and studying. It was a young man with a small pointed beard, which he twisted constantly as he read and quickly moved his lips. He sat, his face turned to Karl, at a small book-covered table, he had taken the lamp from the wall, wedged it between two large books and was now entirely illuminated by the glaring light.
“Good evening,” said Karl, since he thought he noticed the young man staring over at him.