Her glass was filled with Sangria; hips were filled with disco. She tells me her name is Sheila, but wishes it were Flannery. I assume she’s a writer. “No, I sell shit on eBay for people,” she says.

A few drinks later, she tells me that back at her place, she has a Cheeto that looks like Marlon Brando.

“Streetcar Brando or Godfather Brando?” I ask.

“More like Superman: The Movie Brando,” she says.

“Let’s go.”

We leave together hoping that two people together are half as lonely as one.


Sheila takes me home in a Hummer she’s selling for some tweaker who’s facing serious jail time. The night is dark and the streets are empty. We pull into her garage, and I hear this awful metallic scraping sound.

“This thing’s a bitch to park,” she says.

I want to ask if she’s ever been in love, but I ask if her insurance is paid up instead.


In her living room, Cheeto Brando glows orange under a small glass dome. She’s asking eight hundred dollars for it.

“People really collect Cheetos?” I ask.

“Oh yeah, it’s a whole thing,” she says. “A better investment than NFTs.”

Her entire house is an eclectic menagerie of stuff she sells for people on eBay. Basquiat paintings with sketchy provenance, a copy (original?) of Kurt Cobain’s death certificate. A first edition of The Bell Jar. She hands it to me. There’s an inscription inside: For Hilda + Vicky with lots of love from Sylvia January 1, 1961. I trace my finger lightly over the handwriting and lose sense of where I’m at.


Sheila kisses me. Starts to unbutton her sweater.
“Do you mind if I take this off? I’m shipping it to a woman in Schenectady tomorrow.”

She leads me to her bedroom. There’s a set of drums she’s selling for a neighbor and a mattress on the floor. That’s it. There’s no room for anything else, except for the moonlight and for two thin lengths of loneliness.

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