Thursday, February 11, 2016


At some point, I found myself on the sidewalk with a glass of vodka, not able to remember whether I had intentionally left the bar with the glass in hand, or whether I had not noticed that it was in my hand.

But oh well, there it was, so I went ahead and took a drInk. It was mine, all right. Vodka and Seven. There was still ice clinking in the glass, but that was not an indication of anything in particular, since it was cold outside and there was a thin, drifting fog, rather like the vapor you see when you open a freezer door, so the ice could have been there three minutes or three hours.

It was not quite clear whether I had intended to walk to my car or walk to another bar, so I merely walked, thinking, 'Whatever comes first.' There was something wrong, but I couldn't think what, so I walked, and eventually came upon another bar, which, as I realized upon entering, was the same bar I had left some indistinct amount of time earlier.

I put the glass on the bar, began to sit down in a chair that turned out to be nonexistent, and the bartender said "No."

I was just returning the glass, of course, and maybe ordering another, but the bartender said, "You're done, Sir."

"Oh, I'm not drunk," I said. "Maybe just tired."

"Would you like a glass of water?" he said.

"Well, no. Why would I come to a bar for a glass of water?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "Good night, then."

That seemed to be it, according to him, anyway; but I suddenly felt really not done at all. In fact, I had hardly begun.

Back on the walkway, beneath the dripping lamp posts, I wished I had brought my glass with me again. Perhaps this was why I had brought it with me in the first place. Who could say? And now I felt cold. Without the glass, I felt cold.

I shoved my hands in my pockets, turned up my coat collar, and walked. A police car passed slowly, red tail lights bleary on the pavement in the rain. And I realized it was raining and thought about my car. Where was it? Where was I?

I passed a man standing under the awning over a doorway, all dark inside. There was no reason to be there. He asked for a cigarette. We lit up together, two dots glowing for a moment in the night.

"What have you lost?" he said.


I looked at the man. He nodded. He looked at me, no expression on his face. We looked at one another. It was almost too dark to see.

"I don't know," I said. "I haven't found it yet."

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