1. Leave the lights on
2. I held my breath
3. Emotions began unraveling


My ex is my ex for a lot of reasons. Most of his flaws weren’t all that big, but they were aggravating as hell. The only reason I didn’t leave him years ago was some obscure thought that I could train him, you know, teach him some manners and maybe even instill in him a bit of common sense. I should’ve known better.

I met Dan about 12 years ago, I guess, I was in one of my funky go-get-it-girl moods. I let him pick me up at that bar on 14th St. near the Fiddleford Hotel. He was pretty good-looking in those days, not tall, not short, just kind of comfortably in-between, with curly hair and glasses that kept slipping off his nose. When he smiled at me, though, I felt a kind of tingly warmth that reached from my shoulder blades right down to my toes, like a warm blanket on a cold night. I sent a smile right back out to him and hoped he’d make the next move. When he did, I was ready for it. I held my breath and planned the perfect answer for whatever line he’d come up with.

Dan walked over to where I was sitting and said, “Excuse me, but you shouldn’t be sitting here all alone.”

I fluttered my eyelashes at him although it was so dark in there he probably couldn’t see it anyway.

“Oh,” I said, “do you have a better idea?”

His glasses reflected the light from the back of the bar but I could see his dark eyes blink.

“Well,” he said, “maybe you have a friend you could call or something.” He nodded as if he found that solution completely satisfying and turned to go back to the table he’d left. The idiot!

I grabbed at his sleeve.

“Wait a minute. You seem to be alone, too. Why don’t you join me, then I won’t be alone. Nobody would give me any trouble then, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

He shuffled around a bit, and somehow I ended up sitting at his little table. Okay, so I guess you could say I really picked him up instead of the other way around, but from what I could see, he looked nice enough. I thought, not for the first time, that it would help a girl know what she was getting into if these places would just leave the lights on instead of depending on neon and candles.

Well, that’s


This is my first try at putting something in WordPress using Dragon Naturally Speaking. If you find a bunch of errors in this piece, blame the software (even though the fault is mostly in my careless editing!)