Dry vapor

There was an old bottle of Vodka in the freezer. I tried to remember the last time I was here, and my memory came up dry. Three years? I was with Audrey then, and she liked the cheap stuff, the Smirnoff; it came in a plastic bottle, easy to carry around in her purse. We argued about something stupid, both drunk, and she left, slammed the door of her Volkswagen, and I passed out in the wicker porch chair, the middle of April and the nights were still cold. I woke up with my face pressed against the trellis, raw Morning Glory vines rubbing my face like twitching, bony fingers.

The vodka lasted longer than she did. And here it was, three years later, more than half full, and covered with freezer frost. I wasn’t expecting it. She never left a bottle with anything more than a dry vapor around the twist cap. I wanted to open it, if only to smell the nostalgia, but that would be a mistake. The bottle would be empty in a few minutes, or a couple of generous swallows. But I knew how I worked. And I knew how fucking easy it would be for me to be lost again.

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