Harlem is Hell, but when you're young, newly married and broke, you don't have options. Marcy was pregnant; I had migraines, but we loved each other.
She tended tables at a diner over on Lenix. After closing, I cleaned their johns as well as others on the strip. It was a hi-bye relationship, but we survived.
It was two weeks ago, but I remember it well. At 2am, I walked home to save fare. I resisted Louey's, again trying to save for the nursery.
Hot and sticky humid. Cops cruised - the city on edge.
Arriving home, I climbed the stairs to our third floor apartment. I quickly undressed and climbed in bed beside my bride. Too hot to sleep, I tiptoed to the window for any relief I could find. I sat on the ledge dripping in sweat. Black sky, grey city, police sirens - Hell.
But as I looked to my left, I saw change. She stood there in seductive red under the only street light still working. And she had admirers. Beauty, seldom on these streets, enticed these lost souls. Four bums stood with her until a cop drove by. Evidently, he paid the right price and she provided. He drove away smiling.
I looked at Marcy, I looked at her. I got dressed. I avoided the steps that squeaked. I walked in the shadows. I hoped I had enough cash with me. The closer I got, the stronger her attraction. Any thoughts of saving for the nursery - gone. From the shadows, I dashed to her side. My anticipation went wild. I gave her what she demanded. As will I, Marcy will love this cold can of Coke.
3 December 2016