Bus stop, January 5th

Marlena Chertock

He said “Happy New Year,” even though it was January 5th. Sat at the New Hampshire bus stop. Opened his black jacket. He lifted a large bottle of amber-colored whiskey. Took two swigs. Put the bottle back between his elbow and stomach, where two more were tucked away. He talked to his friend Larry. He used to take long walks with him, discuss rising gas prices and the new girls that moved in down the street. He coughed and vomited loudly into the trash can, sat back down, said “Fuck ‘em, fuck you,” to the man beside him, then closed his eyes. He wasn’t waiting for the Z2 or F6. He shifted his shoulder, patted his side, made sure his bottles were there.

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