I decided to cut him loose. I woke alone with a little dread, put my jeans on, my boots; poured some coffee into a metal thermos. I bit my nails to the tender bed and nodded to myself when I considered a long chain of solitary nights. Sounded about right. I drove to work.
Sometimes when I drive with the window down my hat flies off of my head to the backseat and I experience a quick sliver of panic. I respect my hat.
I'm mean these days; I try to hide it. Occasionally I can't help but spit it out, battery acid which has welled up in the caverns between my cheek and gums. I don't like mean people and I don't want to be one, so I quarantine myself, but I'll be damned if there isn't somebody or other who insists upon finding me every time. I used to be the sort of woman that doesn't get mad. She died somewhere along the ride, gone lifeless in the trunk. I'm what's left. And--
I've got no patience. It's like every day is a frame hung crooked on my wall, and it's gnawing at me, this incessant itch to get it straight. "Nothin' doin'."
I have a golden coin in my pocket. Eighteen months sober thanks to God and Alcoholics Anonymous. He held it in his hands once. We were sitting on my bed. But I don't remember a prevailing warmth. Just the way that, in the dark, he checked his mobile phone and lit himself a cigarette and I thought, well this ain't it.
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