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Harlem and other stories by Alex Antiuk

Harlem is beautiful at night. There are no stars. Only colors. The flashing lights outside the police station, the african hair salons open at 1:30 in the morning. In Harlem you see a Georgia license plate next to a Pennsylvania one. You only see people across the street. The man with the big coat, the two young men walking, not saying a word. I’m not scared of Harlem at night, I think its one of the only times you can find peace. In a neighborhood filled with constant motion to walk outside for a cigarette and be able to observe the beauty found only when the city stops moving is almost surreal. You feel like your in a movie. Waiting for someone new to appear, they never do, or something new to occur, it never does. This creates a longing for that moment to never end. For the cigarette to never burn down to the filter, and even when it does you take another drag because you don’t want to move no matter how cold it may be or how beautiful the street is. A street that is never truly dark, lights are always on. Sometimes they witness the unfortunate acts of Harlem. The one’s my Jewish mother warns me about when I say, “I’m going to dad’s” but sometimes they witness pure naked beauty, a Harlem street with a Deli still open and not a soul in sight, just the sounds of the city and an off duty bus passing by under the street light.


25 Dollars And A Gap In Her Teeth

I’m writing on the preferred side of the page in my notebook, thinking about the girl at the bookstore, with her beautiful 1950’s boy haircut, her perfectly hairy upper lip and her strikingly beautiful profile, complete with gaps in her teeth and a knit sweater covering what are probably perfects breasts. And the way she sits sideways, leaving room for the register, I would have married here right there on the spot. We could spend all night reading Jane Austen and Mark Twain, reciting poetic verse and fucking until the sun comes up under the luminous low light of my carpeted room. However all of this is just a dream. When she got of the phone she asked me how to spell my name, before struggling to rip off a recipe and handing me the 25 dollars I was owed. I said thank you and before I could take another glance she moved on to sharing a laugh with the next customer in line, leaving me to walk outside, light up a cigarette and go back to pondering the travesties of my day, only this time I was 25 dollars richer and happy, if only for a brief moment because I had just saw the perfect girl, with boy’s hair, a beautiful face and gaps in her teeth.


About the author:

I’m 22 and live in Upstate New York.

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1 Comment on Harlem and other stories by Alex Antiuk

  1. cool

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