Fate has never been kind to old ghosts like me. I was content not to haunt all of the old places where everything happened. I was content to live out my life in the city, a place bereft of memory or personal significance. I would even go so far as to say I was happy here. I had friends, a lover, and even if I didn't like them much they were my friends, my lover. We got along, exactly like humans do. We lived our little lives with our own little insignificant dramas. I was allowed to be fond of it without ever caring about any of it. That's all that I wanted.

I got a phone call late at night, at the sort of hour that people who don't think about time zones think is appropriate to call east coasters. Maybe if I had looked at the caller ID I'd have been allowed to stay, but probably not. I said, "Hello?" She said, "Hi," and it was exactly like I remembered, exactly like she'd always said it back when we talked. For a minute I forgot where I was and I just asked, "How are you?"

She said that she was pretty okay, and I smiled. She said, "Hey, didn't you end up in New York?"

"Last I checked."

"What are you doing tonight?"

I didn't have any plans and I always wanted to see her one last time, even after all the other last times. We met for dinner in this upscale pizza place in Brooklyn. I couldn't tell if she was happy to see me, but she smiled and I did too, and it wasn't awkward at all embracing her. She said something about moving here in a week, she was just finalizing the deals, she was glad I was still here, sorry we hadn't kept in touch more.

As dinner arrived and we ate and drank, I was mostly just trying not to remember all the reasons we hadn't kept in touch, the reasons I ended up here in the first place, and smiling and laughing at her jokes, and wondering when she'd ever been so talkative and so cheerful, and then we shared a taxi back to her hotel and suddenly she was kissing me and we almost missed her stop and we got out and hurried into her hotel room, celebrities fleeing the paparazzi.

I stopped her and said, "Are you drunk?" and she said, "No," and I knew she wasn't, and she grabbed me by the lapels and now it was too late to run. She was here and I was--

I'm on the next flight to Nashville. I didn't sleep well in the hotel I was staying at in Brooklyn. I look like a ghost, all pale skin and dark circles around my eyes, with my suit and hat mostly so nobody can see that you can see right through me. I don't know what I was doing in Brooklyn. I feel a little bad leaving the girl in my hotel room there, but I'd have felt worse waking her, and I had a plane to catch. Nashville calls. I can see bright things in my future.

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