My neighbour looks hard at me over the rim of his glass.

– Don’t tell me you’re fine.  What’s up?

I point at the bottle.

– Help yourself.

– Talk to me, he says.  Spit it out.

I say

– She’s screwing someone.

He doesn’t blink, but he lifts his glass and studies the liquid.

– Does she love him?

– I don’t know.  They looked at houses together.  She’s taking the kids.

He throws back his shot, pours another, and one for me.

– Sometimes you go out at night, drive past a person’s house.  If the light’s on, you’re glad they’re awake.  If it’s off, you’re glad they’re safe.  That’s it.


Then he stands up, puts his arms around me, holds me.  He never did that before.  We’re not very close.

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