Cindy liked dope almost as much as me. Liked to put out when high.

Goodbye, Virginity.

Brother had a fat stash, no qualms sharing and their parents were never home. Nashville Skyline dropped in April and I remember taking Cindy on her twin bed with “Lay, Lady, Lay” playing low on her nightstand turntable. “Time of the Season” blaring through the wall, her stabs of breath and Dylan’s jangling croons made it every bit the big brass bed it wasn’t. That hadn’t been our first time but it might as well’ve been for all the good I’s at it then.

For the all the good I’m at it now.

Saw her the other day. Picking out peaches with what must’ve been her grandkids. Great-grandkids, maybe. Had this light in her face, looking down at the fuzzy fruits in the tiny, upheld hands. Kids all shining eyes, open mouths, snotty noses. Red, red cheeks. Cindy smiling like they do in those greeting-card commercials but hers real.

I didn’t go talk to her. Don’t know why. I went on by, not hurrying, just my normal grocery store stroll. Got the butter, bread and beer and made it home in time for kickoff.

A.S. Coomer
The Girl Next Door
Jack Ketchum