A Figure Left the Building

by Ann Bogle

The weather permits.  I sat on the lawn chair on my front step to smoke an organic cigarette. The basil bloomed at my feet, the rosemary.  I heard a door slam across the street.  A figure left the building.  A woman came to the front door and called gently into the night, "Mark?"  The man at the curb said, "Shit," but the other words he said were inaudible to me.  Then he started and revved his engine.  He pulled away from the curb on a small motorcycle, turned, and rode by in the breeze of his motion.  The woman turned out the front light.

The editor and his lawyer said that to describe an event using a first name might be defamatory and that to permit it as writing requires the attention of a clerk to check facts.