Back on the porch.
The music was on, his dog playing in the yard, running in wild circles, as if it were the first time there. He had stayed inside too long for either of their own good.
It was just too cold.
He always said there was a difference between being lonely and alone, but the former was overtaking the latter. So he hibernated, sharing a jail cell with his thoughts.
He pulled away from everything but work, and even that had become a struggle. He had given in to the blinking lights, unable to tell which voice was his—which thoughts were healthy.
Which thoughts were true.
But his fractured brain, two hands holding tightly to that which it could not change, squeezing as hard as they could, were finally starting to loosen their grip.
Fortunately, it was just before he lost his.
Another season in every sense of the word.
But it was still cold.
And he was still alone.