Post Road Magazine #15

Three Short Stories

by Michael Hearst

Brooklyn Diner

When I first moved to Brooklyn, I had breakfast one morning at a Greek diner in Park Slope. Handwritten on a paper plate, taped to a wall, was the following item:

SKITAS $3.50

I asked the waitress, “What’s a skita?”

She looked confused, so I pointed at the paper plate taped to the wall. The waitress then said, “Lemme check,” and disappeared into the kitchen. A different waitress came to my table and took my order.

Two weeks later I went back to the same diner. The paper plate had been removed from the wall.


Question

While shopping at the Park Slope Food Coop, a young man with thick glasses and long, curly side locks approached me and asked if I was Jewish. I could tell he was on the verge of handing me a printed piece of paper—most likely propaganda for a nearby synagogue.

I asked, “Why do you want to know if I’m Jewish?”

He said, “Ah, now I know you’re Jewish. You just answered a question with a question.”

He dropped the flyer into my shopping cart and walked away.


Saturday Mornings

On Wednesday evenings I would call each house on my list and take orders. Six onion, two pumpernickel, two raisin, and three plain—a typical order—a baker’s dozen. On Saturday mornings at 8 am my mother would drive me to Mr. Hanwitz’s bagel shop on Virginia Beach Boulevard, where I would pick up the orders and stack them in the back of our Chevy Citation. My mother would then drive me from house to house and wait in the car while I ran up and delivered the brown paper bags full of steaming bagels. My friends all had regular jobs—mowing neighbors’ yards, cleaning gutters, and delivering newspapers. I had a bagel route.


Michael Hearst has written a novel, lots and lots of short stories, and about two-hundred pages of a narrative memoir, but most of his writing has never been published. He is, however, a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, which has released seven CDs. Most recently, he released a solo album called “Songs for Ice Cream Trucks.”

 

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