The Voice of the City (Henry)

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The Voice of the City
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Microsummary: A man searched for the voice of the city, asking various people for their opinions, but ultimately found the answer in the silent connection he shared with a woman he loved.

A man was on a quest to find the voice of the city, believing that every city had a voice and something to say to those who could hear it. He first asked Aurelia, a woman he knew, what the city said to her.

Aurelia — young woman; wise, patient, and charming.

She replied that all cities say the same thing, and there was an echo from Philadelphia. Unsatisfied with her answer, the man decided to seek the voice elsewhere.

He went to a bar and asked the bartender, Billy, what the city said to him. Billy was momentarily distracted by his wife and child, and when he returned, he could only offer information about a roof-garden that had recently opened. The man then approached a police officer, who also failed to provide a satisfactory answer, instead sharing a personal anecdote about his wife.

The man continued his search, asking a poet he knew for help. The poet, however, was more interested in discussing a woman he was seeing than offering any insight into the voice of the city. The man even tried asking a newsboy, but the boy was preoccupied with earning money to buy a birthday present for his sister.

Feeling defeated, the man returned to the park where he had first spoken to Aurelia. As he sat in the moonlight, the answer suddenly came to him.

That is the Voice of the City.

He rushed back to Aurelia, and as they sat together on the stoop, their hands touched and their fingers intertwined. After a while, Aurelia pointed out that the man hadn't spoken since he returned. He replied that their silent connection was the voice of the city.