The End of Love
by Martin Green



Lehman walked the ten blocks from the restaurant to his apartment building.    His mind was empty.    Once he bumped into someone walking the other way.    He said, “Excuse me.”    The other person muttered something.    At his building, Lehman automatically checked his mailbox    He took the few things in it and reminded himself that he had to write a letter to his mother.


Lehman entered his apartment, a studio.    He saw that his cat Mickey was on the one comfortable chair.    The apartment as usual was in a mess.     He gathered up the newspapers strewn about and put them in a neat pile.    He rinsed off the dishes in the sink and put them in the cupboard.    He put the jacket hung over a chair in the closet.    He’d do a real housecleaning tomorrow, he told himself.


He moved Mickey over and sat down in the armchair.    “It’s over, Mickey.    She said it’s over.”    He sat there for a long time, absently stroking the cat.    “Well,” he said, “I might as well go to bed.”    He opened up the sofa-bed.    He went into the bathroom, which also looked messy.    He’d have to clean it up tomorrow.    He brushed his teeth.    He went back in the other room and undressed.    He got into bed.    He lay there for a while, then he began sobbing, huge racking sobs that seemed to come from the core of his body.    “I’m sorry, Mickey,” he said.    “I can’t help it.”    The sobbing eventually subsided.    He’d have a busy day tomorrow, he thought.    After a while he went to sleep.



a line


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