He paced the living room of his apartment restlessly and with an ache in his empty heart. The creases in his forehead remained from last night’s sleep. He longed for nothing save, perhaps, to long for something.

He had slept restlessly the night before, awoken repeatedly by a familiar dream. She enters uninvited. He approaches her with weeping eyes and outstretched arms. She turns to the ash that steals his breath and chokes him.

He stopped pacing and sat down on his couch. He closed his eyes and thought of her. He felt nothing. It was not for her that he longed.

He walked sleepily to his desk and did the busywork that, like a skeleton, kept him from caving in on himself. He listened to the sound of his fingers striking the keys of his computer, to the syncopated rhythms of city life entering through his windows like a symphony of collisions. His felt the pangs of hunger in his belly and walked into his kitchen.

The refrigerator was nearly empty but there was just enough to make lunch. He poured half of a bag of salad mix into a bowl and scrambled four eggs. He laid the scrambled eggs atop the bed of salad and ate his lunch quietly. He began to daydream.

He stood in a forest, the smell of pine cones and damp earth filling his nostrils. Lost and shivering he wanted to surrender himself, to remain a part of this quiet lonely place. He pressed. his forehead against a tree trunk and closed his eyes. He prayed. The bark bit into his skin but he refused to move until his prayer was over. He opened his eyes only to face the empty bowl that needed washing. He carried it to the sink and washed it.

Heading back toward the couch he did not know if he was tired from lack of sleep or from always reaching; from trying so desperately to escape the dull ache in his heart. He lay down upon the couch and crossed his arms across his chest.

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