|Jordan Duff shambled along in the mist, smiling, hands stuffed into his jeans pockets and fingers extending down through the holes. He kicked leaves with worn running shoes that were not wearing out as fast as they used to, back when he was actually running. He was making a list in his head:
1. Put log on fire.
2. Nuke pizza.
3. Put on Jets jersey, turn on game.
Jordan felt a jolt of anticipation run up his legs. The Jets had finally squeaked into the playoffs.
He stopped suddenly, in front of the house. He peered through the dank night air, at the front window. Two candles used to glow there during the holidays. Now, showing faintly through the swirling atmosphere, there was just one.
He turned to continue up the street, then froze. Out of the fog came a ghostly figure. She was dressed in elegant black, the cocktail dress, a halo of blonde hair glowing about her sublime face, a strand around her neck, one perfect pearl after another. She held a leash -- on the other end, the small, yapping white poodle. High heels clicked on the sidewalk, then stopped in front of Jordan.
“Looks like you’re going somewhere,” he said.
“Yes,” she replied. “After walking Pixel.”
“Have fun,” Jordan said, then moved around her and continued down the sidewalk without looking back.
At his place, Jordan stared at himself in the mirror. He showered, shaved, slipped a Modern Jazz Quartet disk into the CD player, fixed himself a salad, dug a sheet of paper and a fountain pen from his desk, sat down at his kitchen table, and made a new list:
1. Buy new running shoes.
2. Get back to running.
3. Move farther away than down the block from your ex-wife.
(Word count: 298)