Rafter
Sex, Death, Cassette
Asthmatic Kitty
***

My girlfriend cheated on me. She told me this morning before breakfast. We were planning on having waffles. I’d been in Portland for a few days and she did it while I was away. For some reason I had a dull ache in my chest the entire time I was gone. I’d hate to think I somehow anticipated this, but what can you say, right?

While we drove around, I lay down in the backseat and gazed up at a sliver of sky through the car window. It was unseasonably warm for November and the leaves had started to fall in earnest, blowing down the streets in explosions of red and orange. People would rake them into big piles and then burn them at dusk and the whole city smelled that way. Overhead the telephone wires crisscrossed and bare branches raked the sky like gnarled hands. There was a single white balloon floating high above and for a few minutes it was the only thing I could see. It was so high up I almost didn’t see it, but it was so pretty I wanted to keep watching it. I craned my neck as the car turned and the balloon floated out of sight. Then it was gone. Life is like that. You get to see beautiful things sometimes and you want those times to last, but they don’t and you’re left with an empty rectangle of sky and the song on the radio is so sad it’s all you can do keep from falling apart.—Andreas Trolf