Cigarette Break



Neighborhood: Manhattan, Tribeca

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Cigarette Break
Photo by Marc Dalio

She has just stepped out of her Tribeca branded content office and is leaning against the wall, wondering if she should buy some cigarettes, when she sees a man eating from the trash. His clothes are neat. T-shirt tucked into belted jeans. He must do this often, because he’s wearing nylon gardening gloves, and, when he finishes, he picks out a napkin, wipes his face, and gets a comb from his pocket to wipe the grease and crumbs from his beard.

Once he leaves, she goes to the garbage can to see what he could have eaten. At the top, there’s an almost empty take-out container. Maybe Greek food. The remains of a Starbucks frappe. More things further down that one could dig for, a half-full yogurt container, which, if one had to, could be licked clean.

Haley Markbreiter’s work has been published in The Kenyon Review. You can read more of her stories here: . Haley is from New York, which is where she now lives.

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