Come, let us pity those who are better off than we are.
Come, my friend, and remember
        that the rich have butlers and no friends,
And we have friends and no butlers.
Come, let us pity the married and the unmarried.

Ezra Pound, The Garret

I'm gone, out of my head, wishing I had more. I don't. Cigarettes, sure, but the inhalation is too familiar, and the filter crunches between my teeth like a jawbreaker liberated from an ancient grocery store candy dispenser. The TV murmurs, background noise in deference to friendship, at peace until the content becomes too brash to ignore.

Brash and cloying. Loverlike, really.

It could be an instant meditation or a surrealist episode, but sometimes I think the girl across the alley who smokes on her fire escape, staring at a point directly above my windows, is looking for a way out of one life and into another.

Or maybe I'm anthropomorphizing a ghost.

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