BIKE LOCK

The girl leans into the bar and asks quietly, “Can I get a Jack and Coke?”

The Bartender reaches for a bottle.

“Can you make that a Jameson and Ginger?”

He starts again.

“I’m sorry. Can you make that a Bulleit and Ginger? With a lime?” The Bartender stops and looks at her. She has tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry. That’s it. I swear.”

The girl twirls a straw around her finger. She stares at an empty spot on the floor. She exchanges money for her drink and then moves down the row of revelers to an empty seat.


“Hey,” the man says.

The girl says, “Hey.”

And then silence – the din of the bar surrounds them. “What about all your stuff?”he asks.

She can't think of anything that matters. Nothing material anyway. “I’ll get it sometime,” she says, knowing that time will never come, that bit by bit she will lose everything she ever owned - clothing, books, letters and the lovers who wrote them.


Later, outside the bar, the girl unlocks her bicycle. Behind her, the man walks up and reaches out to take her hand. At the same time, the bike lock swings open and the girl, never seeing him reach for her, hops on her bicycle and pedals away.