A man wakes up in small brown house. It is his house, in so much as a house can really belong to a person. He is a man of his word. He was often quiet, but then again nobody is listening. But on this morning, it is different. He thinks about how it is different as he shaves the hairs on his face, one by one cutting them with his razor. And he talks, he says things but they come out all wrong. “No” he says, but that too comes out wrong. “No” he says again but quieter this time. The nobody who is listening, is listening extra close today.

The man is afraid. He tells himself he is not, but he is. He thinks about how today could have been left for tomorrow, or filed away in cabinets labeled someday. But he is a man of his word. They are only footsteps, he reminds himself. Just simple movements forward.

He laces his boots, one by one, lace over lace. He pulls back the front door, its hinges creaking with the weight of it. He pushes on the small plastic handle of the screen door beyond. He pushes, he walks. He is a man of his word. One foot after the other.