A Reason to Live — By Thomas Kearnes



Greg suggests we pool our money for a bottle of Mad Dog. He’s smiling, the left corner of his mouth out of sync. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for lopsided smiles. I look through my cache of old photos, there’s only one theme: the lopsided smile.

I visit him once a week, after the typing class at the junior college. I’m just a few months older than Greg but still trying to pull my life together. My mother gives me fifty dollars a week, which is just enough for cigarettes. I have a few bucks left for the rest of the week. Greg’s parents left him a little cash as well, at their last visit. I have no idea what they think he’s going to do with it. He’s trapped in this room with its antiseptic lace curtains and this funny smell.

Greg’s parents are no fools. They…

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