In the morning he was gone.

The corner of the page ripped from a yellow legal pad said Monday, 7:05 am.
So he was gone, and he'd left me a note. Not too mushy just concerned
that I'd be able to find the wherewithal for breakfast.

I hadn't turned on the kitchen light and had to strain to read his scrawl
in the dim late-fall light that came into the basement through the tiny windows
high up in the wall. He signed it "love, J."
Love, J. Just like that. I'd known him what three days?

The cornflakes I found. Ditto the milk. The bowls were stacked on a low shelf.
Cheap brown wooden salad bowls, the kind you might find at the pizzeria around the corner.
I was hungry and ate two bowls of his cornflakes. The cat jumped onto the kitchen table
and watched me eat with his face close to my soggy breakfast, tail twitching.

"Those bowls?" John said later. "You used one of those bowls?
I use those bowls to feed the cat."

The cereal's fishy taste began to make a lot of sense to me.


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