He didn’t go back into the shed for a long time. His hatchet was in there, and his axe. He didn’t want to face them. His papers, he decided, could wait in the top drawer for a while before being looked at again. The pain medication made him loopy. He couldn’t think as well as he was used to, which wasn’t well to begin with. Even saying his thoughts out loud, it was as though they were on the TV in the next room. Someone was cheering. They had just won a car.

His mother came in with lunch on a tray. It was hot tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. “What have you been doing all day” she asked “you haven’t just been staring at the wall have you?” He had been staring at the wall most of the day. The wall without the window on it, with the woodgrain wallpaper. “No” he said. “What have you been doing then” she asked setting the tray down on his lap. He sat up and almost upset it, but she caught it before it spilled anything. “Composing in my head” he lied. “A novel of my experience.”

Do you really think anyone will want to read about you” she asked and walked out of the room.