New Year’s Eve. Wife Betty and I consume crisp champagne, year before us nascent and shapely. It’s the year of taming bills and wounding student loans. The year of Betty indulging in some small luxury. An HBO subscription, a bottle of wine. Time enough to make love. She speaks possibilities like a prayer.

We toast to joy, sliding constraint off.

A week later: We toast. This time because bills are expanding, toilet’s burst. We need to fix the fucking drywall. We can’t justify HBO or sex right now. We deserve this small moment.

Unhappy New Year.

There’s always next time.