A single dropped sequin twirled silvery between my parted soles and into the open drain. Memory chased it down the pipes, bubbling awake Charlie in 11B, and spilling beneath the emptiness of the tenth floor. It caught in a spun blonde clog at 9B and fluttered in place, just a wall apart from my abandoned gown.
I had escaped your dreaming vulnerability, a newly cut key imprinting you on my palm. You slept alone again. An early flight would bring you to a distant home, while I cared after our leavings. Hot needle spray numbed my skin, the surface of me seeking cleansing warmth.
The faucet turn made sudden quiet. I stepped into a still-damp towel and recalled something that never was. Draping my unwrung curls, I found myself beside the chair where I’d earlier tossed my borrowed coat. The key lay on the rug, a distorted blur under still life table glass. I left it all untouched, resolved to drown in downy pillow bliss.