Hurrying along feeling last night’s beer seeping from my pores, I resisted the urge to have a cigarette but soon collapsed in on myself and stopped in the shade of a doorway to roll a sly one. Fumbling around with sweat dripping into my eyes, it was a prolonged effort, and yet despite being half-blind, I got it done with the impressive accuracy that comes from having smoked for half of my life. Meeko only allowed me to smoke in her presence. She said it was her way of making sure I didn’t do it too much. I believed her, and was appreciative of her concern, and yet I broke my promise at least once a day. The cigarettes always seemed to taste better that way. She was just as bad, though. While I slept, she would walk around the block indulging in her own broken promises. Sometimes she’d smoke her funny cigarettes. I knew this because when I’d wake in the morning, I’d find she’d eaten the rest of what little food we’d had left in the apartment. She’d claim it was hunger pangs from it being her time of the month, but when I’d remind her that her time of the month was becoming a weekly occurrence, more often than not she’d go about trying to pinch me into silence. Sucking down the dirty smoke, my guts turned over, and I knew I had a good beer shit on the way, I only hoped Meeko wasn’t still using the bathroom. Hobbling along, I cursed myself for abusing my body while still indulging in my cigarette. I was beginning to get a headache. We had painkillers somewhere, or at least we had done. When I got to the building we lived in, the window was open, but there was no sign of Meeko. There was music, though, and the sweet sound of her voice. It carried in the air like early morning birdsong, and despite the hum of traffic, it filled the street and coloured what was grey into the purest shade of green.