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“I’m doing the GLUMAP-free diet,” she said.

“It’d also be really good if you could do it with me, seeing as though it’d remove all temptations! [laughs]”

Mark said he’d just pulled his headphones out walking up the steps to his first skid-row apartment on the edge of the Old City District when he received the news.

“So what does that mean?” he asked.

His partner-of-a-year-or-so, Debbie Motrosh, smiled at him and shut the fridge.

“Basically,” she prefaced.

“It’s no alcohol, grains, dairy, sugar, ketamine, red meat, white meat or seafood caught in a net,” she said.

“So for dinner tonight, I’ve made a bean stew with grapefruit bread as a side. There’s lemon water in the fridge if you’re thirsty and need something a bit sweet and malty to tell your brain it’s knockoff time!”

Moments earlier, Mark toyed with the idea of picking up a roast chook, one on-special baguette that’s already stiffer than a star picket, a pot of name-brand coleslaw and a stick of full-fat salted butter for dinner but remembered he had some mild taco mince, half a bottle of cleanskin gin and two blue-hued Peter Stuyvesants on the dresser – so he held off.

“Is that just when I’m here? Like at home?” he asked.

Debbie opened the fridge and put the pot of red stuff down on the counter.

She looked as disappointed as Mark felt inside.

“But that wouldn’t be fair,” she said.

“We’re in this together now. We’re a team.”

He wanted to say something – but didn’t.

“Ok,” he said.

“We’re in this together.”

Smiling, he left the room and dropped his messenger bag by the end of the couch before slumping down on the couch.

“Oh well.”

More to come.


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