The beginning of a new short-short I've started, about crying over spilt milk—
That summer, after Joey left her for the Roman archaeobiologist, Virginia found herself getting weepy over the slightest things. Joey things, of course—finding the cord from his navy sweat pants in the back of the closet; the smell of Redken for Men; an Italian stamp, for €0,60, showing the 11th-century Abbey of Santissima Trinita. But so many other things besides, which snuck up on her unawares. A certain tone of light, a time of day, a color. Passing a dance studio (all those graceful, talented, and self-assured young girls). Seeing an old white-nosed Golden Retriever lay its head trustingly on its owner’s knee. A mild reproach from an older colleague at work. An unexpected hole in one heel of her favorite pair of knee socks, given her two Christmases ago by her mother. A valiant little vapor trail petering out to nothing in the evening sky. Even a tin of bay leaves at Safeway—exactly like the one she’d bought to make jambalaya with sausages and red peppers and chicken thighs for Joey’s 40th birthday.