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Chain Smoking Prius Driver

Annie flipped her steak on the outdoor grill wearing a shirt from PETA. It was not ironic, at least not to her. The beef she was eating was locally sourced, from a small farm, but her PETA shirt had nothing to do with her choice of beef. The shirt had belonged to an ex of hers.

Maybe not an ex, but certainly a friend. A friend with which there had been some benefits. She was never really clear on the line that stood between friends with benefits and someone you were dating. In a world of fluid gender and post modern understandings coupling with a proliferation of group dates, it was often hard to know what was experiment, experience and entreating.

Anyway, she had the shirt, left over from time spent with this person, which, in all fairness she had tried to return. She was outside though, in April, craving a good, grilled steak. She knew it really wasn’t yet grilling season, but she was willing to thwart convention.

In that, at least, lie her consistency. She was always willing to thwart convention, even if sometimes it happened by mistake.


Her steak grilled, Annie walked back into the kitchen of her rented duplex. She loved the idea of sharing a common wall with her neighbor, though she did not always love sharing a backyard with their small children. She wasn’t yet, she told her friends, of the age where toddlers were cute to her. They hadn’t yet called  triggered her as yet uncalled-forward maternal instincts. She didn’t like the noises they squealed when they played, she didn’t enjoy having to navigate the toys they left strewn around the yard.

And yet she could hardly complain about that, could she.  After all, they were just kids. Friendly kids who were always excited to see her, kids who called her Miss Annie, kids who invited her to make mud pies with them.

Frankly she preferred mud pie cookies to playing in the dirt, and she was getting concerned that her worry about them being outside with her hot grill was bordering on the parental.


She sat at her table, steak, potato and beer in that order of quantity and considered herself for a moment.

Is this what a normal young woman eats for dinner by herself? Shouldn’t she be barely picking at a salad with dressing on the side, even in the privacy of her own home? What was normal anyway?


After dinner, and putting her dishes in the dishwasher, she hopped into her car, off to meet friends at a local coffee shop.  Along the way, she chained smoked 5 cigarettes in her Prius. A Prius that has a prominent window sticker in the back window that says F*ck Cancer.


This she knew passed for normal. At least, that is, for her.

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