It would seem that my full time job is to mark time. I remind people what it was like before and after certain phases of their lives had played themselves out like an album, the kind that you play from beginning to end and you don't skip around. Married people cross themselves and count themselves lucky that they are not single in today's market and when weakness strikes, secretly wish they were single again, when things comparatively, were easier.

It isn't easy to truck a basket of laundry down the rickety stairs of my efficiency down to my car and tote it either to a coin laundry or to my married friend's house; the basket is cheap plastic and was pilfered from a pile of discarded belongings that a next door ex-tenant left behind. It is not easy to go through someone else's garbage for your furniture, but I've done that too. Being single sometimes means having no pride, and in New Orleans, few people would deny that valuable goods are too quickly laid to waste when they should have been recycled. But since single people have no in-laws to hand down their beat up sofas when they choose to upgrade, we tend to go through other people's trash.

I keep my color safe bleach at Sandi's, where I do most of my laundry. Often, she feeds me in ways I am not used to being fed. Mind you, I am not so single that I cannot cook for myself, but as I grew tenacious with my singularity, my inbred domestic side soon lost a place in common sense. We all know what eating alone for years on end can do to your ethical connection to food, so I won't waste your time. Tonight, we had homemade hamburgers and fries that were dropped into a Fry Daddy then set in a microwave. I used to have both appliances and made good use of them, but no more. Sandi has a husband, a five year old, and cable. She has a back yard and hopes to one day own her own house and have a second child. Despite all this, we are best friends and have a lot in common, but it is these big differences that draw me to her. I am an air sign, a Libra, and she is the fire sign, Aries. I feed her fire. She takes my breath away.

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