By Noah Timothy Walsh (‘23)
Sighing along the cobblestone bricks, the streetlamps bow humbly. Her plaid skirt and slick peacoat appear somber from a distance — a testament to an uneventful evening. I unlock the car, check the cleanliness of the bench, and take my last deep breath of the shift — almost forgetting to stuff the cigarettes I had rolled into my pocket.
The unhappy drop of her body onto the leather is not an unfamiliar sound.
Drive. Keep your eyes on the road. Do not ask questions. These are the conditions of our partnership. I follow rules well.
“There is still enough time to stop on the way for a film tonight, isn’t there?” her only words rolled across the floor.
“Yes,” I respond shuffling my feet beside the pedals.
I do not flinch when her rings sting the back of my neck.
I have always disliked questions that already have specific answers.
Sometimes I can leave the property. As long as she is busy, I can read the paper and smoke. I do not get out much as I am not paid often, if ever. I guess that she is an okay boss — I have had worse.
“I just thought that love would be different…sorry to weigh you down, William…I appreciate your listening…Goodnight.” I hung up the phone. The absinthe sleeps beside her at the foot of the lamp.