Concern for Children Bound Wistfully to the Hip

Posted: January 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

A half-empty pack of Lucky Strikes lay pristine, if not slightly ajar with its contents spilling onto the frosted glass patio table. Cigarette number eight, or ten, or eleven, she’d lost count, sat firmly pressed between Heather’s lips, as she leaned on the cool wrought-iron guardrail on the balcony, chilly but not freezing in the late March evening air. The tobacco smoke, whitish-grey and heavy shot from the space between her teeth, not quite clenched, thrust forward with a light sigh: a sound and gesture indicating nothing like a real affliction, no great malady or problem facing her, just twenty-something malaise. Hard working hours, small pay, living with other people and owing them nothing but finding them grating. A relationship that had quickly grown boring if not convenient. Bills. With her thumb on the filter, she rolled the cigarette in a wide circle, letting the ash mar the concrete beneath her as she glanced up at a blinking red light she assumed was an airplane full of people heading somewhere pleasant, she imagined.

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