The pounding sounded like a thunderclap. The third one pulled them out of their sleep. Yvonne groaned, got up, slipped on her bathrobe, and shuffled out to see who was at the door. Charlie rolled over and pulled a pillow over his head. Five minutes later, she was back.

“Who in hell was that?” he mumbled, his head still under the pillow.

“My ex,” she said. “He wanted his vinyl Dead albums back.”

“At this hour on a Sunday morning?”

“Monday, love. We lost yesterday, remember?”

Charlie pulled off the pillow and looked at the clock, then at the empty beer bottles on the nightstand and scattered around the floor.

“Jesus H.,” he grumbled, rolling onto his back.

“Since I’m already up,” she said, “I might as well make coffee.”

“Might as well,” Charlie said, as the door closed behind her.

He propped himself up, grabbed a bottle that wasn’t quite empty, and polished off the last stale dreg. He thought about the durability of relationships, then looked around the bedroom at his “Charlie droppings,” as Yvonne called them. Books, underwear, a tennis racket. What will he have to retrieve, he wondered, when she wakes up with some other man?

Jim Woessner works as a visual artist and writer living on the water in Sausalito, California. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. His publishing credits include The Daily DrunkFlash Fiction MagazineClose to the BoneAdelaide MagazinePotato Soup JournalThe Sea Letter, and others. 

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