His ex-wife called at 3am. 3am Eastern Standard Time.

John had crawled over me to answer the phone.
He said how are you in a funny voice, but friendly.
Then switched on the reading light.
The book I'd left spine-up on the nightstand fell to the floor.

Ezra, the black and white cat, had been sleeping against me, his head on my pillow.
Now he rose and jumped onto the high shelf below the window that looked out at ground level.
His tail twitched back and forth.

John's ex-wife was doing most of the talking.
He lit a Merit Ultra Light and nodded in silent agreement with her.

No. No, he said finally.

I wondered if she was asking him if he was seeing anybody.
She wouldn't care; she was a hot-shot English professor
someplace else. NYU or Princeton, perhaps.

His last girlfriend snapped the antenna off of his blue Mustang when she saw us together.
Even though the car didn't run and its radio was broken, she snapped that antenna right off.

The cat jumped down from the shelf, and pencil-footed over both of us
as John continued to listen to the voice on the phone.
In no time, I could hear Ezra rooting through the paper garbage bag in the kitchen,
looking for chicken bones from our dinner.


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