Winter 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 1 Fiction |

The Bends

Ringing the doorbell at my own house is taking me a while to get used to. That Larson, my former bartender, comes to the door doesn't help. His looking more disoriented than me is small consolation. Still, I make the best. "Eugene," I say. "How's the family?" "Oh, Christ, Jim," he says. "Would you stop with the Eugene?" "Right," I tell him. But we both know I probably won't. Maggie married him eleven months after she divorced me. The split I had coming, since I spent more waking hours at Larson's Tap Room than I did with her in recent years. The pairing, though, is not to my liking. But it's not a real big town and, given all I can't remember, I probably don't deserve much consideration. "Hi, Dad. 'Bye Gene." Wiley steps out into the snow and keeps moving past me toward my pickup. She moves with a lot of intent for fifteen. It's admirable and a little disturbing. If I possessed half her drive, I probably wouldn't be living in a furnished apartment on the other sid

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Ringing the doorbell at my own house is taking me a while to get used to. That Larson, my former bartender, comes to the door doesn't help. His looking more […]

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