Five years later I find myself sitting on a parapet in a different city, bludgeoned numb by a different man, stunned by the inanity of a different crowd, smoking a stolen cigarette.

The only thing that’s different is that as I gaze down at the inky waves crashing onto the rocks, I am not contemplating death. I am too cynical for even death. I am too old to think I can do it. Instead I smirk at the thought and wave it away. I am too cynical to think getting another man is going to solve anything. Cynical again.

And like a weird omen, a brown cocker spaniel comes bounding down the pier – lost, frantic, looking for its owner. Tragically, it bounds from person to person, smells my hand, rejects me and runs off. It takes me back ten years to the only thing I loved enough to throw a tantrum for. I always did say my soul was bound to a spaniel.

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