Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

What do you do for a living? she asked.
Not the most common of greetings.
She sipped gin.

I write.
Your lipstick is one octave too red, he thought.
He hesitated.

And what is it, you write of?
Memories, observations.
Bits and pieces of my life.

She coaxed him along.
Does the writer have a name?
A nearby kitchen belched food prep noises.

Khyber. Spelled the same as the pass.
He remembered Rick Nelson at a garden party.
Took a swig of cold beer.

She brought him back.
What pass would that be?
Music and laughter sidled by.

My father was a mountaineer.
Khyber Pass slices through mountains in Pakistan.
One of the most dangerous places on earth.

Her lips went flat, scooped up a rivulet of alcohol.
Have you written anything I might have read?
Bits and pieces of your life perhaps?

I've not been published, he admitted.
It's a slow process.
He handed his empty bottle to a passing waiter.

The waiter paused. Care for another?
Indeed, Khyber said.
Indeed, she mimicked, handing over her glass.

Is it so difficult to be published? she asked.
She shifted her eyes downward, as if calculating.
Her eyelashes cast long shadows.

For me it seems to be.
It helps if you're famous. I'm not. Obscure actually.
He drank, filling his mouth with cold beer.

She rested her fingertips on his bare wrist.
Are you connected to the bride or the groom?
Her neckline drew his gaze. Tantalized.

He smiled, revealing a boyish grin.
The bride is my step-sister.
Dad died in an avalanche. Mom remarried.

Her eyes challenged him.
She was my college roommate. A long time ago.
My name is Ann. Spell it anyway you like, Khyber.
Photo by cottonbro on

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