wine_bottles_230_zkhShe looked into the recycling bin and counted.

I’m not al alcoholic, she thought. Alcoholics pass out. They lose their jobs. They forget things. Besides, wine is good for you. She’d heard that once, something like that.

Two bottles in the fridge. Tonight she would make the chicken dish that used a half-cup of white wine. If he asked, she could say, “There wasn’t much in the bottle. I drank the rest.” In the morning she would have a headache, but a headache isn’t a hangover.

Before he got home, she moved half of the bottles into the trash.


ghost alleyI saw a ghost today. I was walking up High Street, towards the Blue Moon Café and Wine Shop, when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone hoist himself out of a dumpster in the alley between 15th and 16th Streets. When he hit the pavement, I saw that he had scored several bagels, which he stuffed into the pockets of his gray hoody. I didn’t recognize him at first, but something about the way he swung his legs over the side of the dumpster, the way he landed – something arrested my attention. I stopped and watched, holding my breath. After concealing his prize, he turned and began to walk towards me. He had a limp, I noticed. He was a good ten yards away from me, and it was getting dark, but I suddenly knew who it was.

He looked right at me. Narrow face, red-rimmed eyes, wild, dirty hair and a week’s growth of beard. Our gazes met and we stared at one another for a moment. Then he turned and limped away.

I hadn’t said a word to him. When someone has been dead for over ten years, there isn’t much to say.

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