Working

“Why are you smoking so fast? Enjoy it,” Katerina said. She took the hand-rolled cigarette from me and took a drag. The tip glowed briefly as she inhaled. I watched the orange flecks of light circulate between the tufts of tobacco. She lifted her chin, closed her eyes, and gracefully exhaled a slender train of smoke. She smiled and handed the cigarette back to me.

“See?”

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Bookended

I was standing on the balcony of my grandmother’s seventh-floor flat in Athens breathing in the air that felt like the armpit of the hottest part of the day: 2 p.m. The white tile and gray grout flooring reflected a flat pang of harsh sunlight into my eyes. The bright ground made my feet look dark and dirty. The tan lines from my sandals led from one chapped little blister to the next down the sides of my feet. People walked here so much; I should have brought different shoes.

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