November 11, 2009

He could think of nothing worse than the overflowing white plastic garbage bag tossed carelessly across his doormat, his name written in black Sharpie on the back of an ATM receipt and taped to the top, the only part of the situation that seemed decent. He was crouched down and still, afraid to do what had to be done; meanwhile, the garbage bag was steadily and comfortably rubbing salt deep into his wounds. He could see the arm of his favorite plaid shirt, the one he had stolen from his father in college and she, in turn, had stolen from him. She would wear it when they slept together, claiming it kept her warmer than his body. You’re always so cold, she used to say. Too cold for me.

He reached for the handwritten note, pulled it from the bag. He ran his fingers over the Sharpie and suddenly had the urge to cry, knowing she had purposefully and irrevocably written his name on the receipt with the full intent of taping it to a bag filled with his things, anything she possessed that reminded her of him, and dropping it off at his home without so much as a phone call, an E-mail, a text message, the final goodbye.