She left in her wake, countless streamers. Clear plastic with small red trim, the razor thin cellophane from cigarette boxes. They were strewn about the car and apartment and no amount of regular cleaning could get rid of them. She had also burned each cigarette down to the filter, which she left in ash trays and wine bottles. Empty boxes were tossed into trashcans, but the empty pill bottles stayed on the kitchen counter waiting for ... I don't know, a pharmacy that delivered? Or a Librium fairy.

People visiting our place were not the most fastidious, so we had few complaints at parties. It was only after she left for good that the evidence was so striking, so obvious. I had never noticed how much refuse her personal habits had generated.

I was surprised, I suppose, because I had thought someone who was so internally combustible wouldn't leave so much of herself behind.

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