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her eyes as black and wet as asphalt after a long night of rain

She had no one. She grew up playing cards and boardgames with imaginary friends. She buried a parent in the abandoned drive-in theater. And cried all the way home. She buried another parent in the deepest crater on the Moon. And cried all the way home. She grew old working in a department store. She would have kept cats to alleviate her loneliness. But the cats would never go near her house. She called out to God. But God did not believe in her. She bought a bus ticket for a ride to the coast. She jumped from a high bridge and into the sea. But the sea spat her out. She finished her days living alone in her tiny house. She wore homely dresses she imagined to be pretty. And sat on the porch and watched the sun set below the rooftops. She thought she might try to drink herself to death. She ginned her way through the days and into the nights, falling asleep the way a sky diver plummets to earth when his chute fails to open. But she did not drink herself to death. Instead, she choked to death on a small chicken bone from a tv dinner late one afternoon. She fell over onto the dusty linoleum floor, her head resting in that evenings final square of sunlight the window dragged across the floor. If she could have seen herself, she would have thought that--for the first time in a long time--she looked beautiful. Though she would have been wrong. She did not look beautiful. And she certainly did not look beautiful when her body was finally discovered, two weeks later.

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