Before I Left

Fiction

It was all I had. My life pushed up against the corner, it could fit in the back of any car; not that I had one, but I guess that’s beside point. It was hard, standing in the middle of that empty room and realizing it had been empty all along. Everything within it was simply displaced. My life was displaced. There wasn’t much left to do, I had to vacuum the nappy carpet in the living area, which combined with the “bedroom,” wouldn’t be any larger than a pizza box. And I had to clean out the fridge, that wouldn’t be as easy. There was meat that had been rotting in there for weeks, maybe months. Curdled, sour milk in bloated jugs lined the shelves carved out the inside of the door. And the icebox had stopped working, whatever that was behind that door was a mystery. It would remain so.

I walked downstairs, the concierge called a cab for me and I gathered my belongings by the door. While I waited, I pulled the bottom-half of a cigarette from behind my ear – there was no more after that. I’d been trying to make them last, however, I reckoned my last moment here deserved a homage. I was patting myself down in search of a lighter, when the yellow cab arrived. I got in it, and left everything behind.

 

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