He had been home for a week. The early afternoon drinks and cigarettes while watching the sun slowly set had made a profound impact. He had not even unpacked his suitcase yet. The contents still held the sweet, floral, spicy, and a touch fishy scent of Marseille.
Watching the sun reflect off the shiny buildings on Lake . . .
Extra innings meant that he was on edge. She had been asleep since the stretch. He usually loved West Coast away games but September baseball carries a different weight when you are only a few games ahead. The announcers yammered on about great plays from the start of the season and how players had either blossomed or shriveled . . .
He poured the last sip of wine for her and waltzed over to the small bar cart to see about a nightcap. Neither of them needed one, but the fireworks would be starting soon. They had been an unexpected surprise throughout the summer. An amenity he enjoyed far more than the gym he assumed was on the third or fourth floor.
. . .
As the front door to his apartment clicked shut he opened his eyes. A good stretch ticked the exercise box on his mental list of things to do that day. Today's paper was on the counter by a short note apologizing for eating the last yogurt. It was signed with a small heart.
Slipping on a worn pair of jeans and a . . .
He wasn't one for putting a bartender to a test but he rarely came to bars in the "cool" part of town anymore. It was a pricey cab ride back to the neighborhood he had grown out of a few years ago. He would have made the daiquiri himself but he was out of limes.
He sat and listened to the room. Bar talk used . . .
As his eyes opened and the sunlight cut through his retinas he felt around to make sure he was alone. It had to have been the second bottle of Champagne. It always was.
He shuffled to the kitchen one naked foot and one socked foot in front of the other. His counter needed a chalk outline around the General Tso's he . . .
He had vowed long ago never to ask a bartender to "surprise" him. He had also vowed never to smoke again. The sweet drifting scent of cured Virginia tobacco that followed him into the bar proved he had a problem keeping his vows.
Being a simple drinker he liked to keep things easy: gin when the sun was up and . . .