She could hear the rain coming down before he could see it in the street or car headlights. She put the mug down with a bitter face. It’s hard to tell where exactly the sirens in the distance are coming from because sound can bounce so easily off the height of the city buildings, the narrowness of city streets. The concrete porch steps are so cold even through the comfortable insulation of sweat pants. He thought of his grandfather’s face at his great uncles funeral. Boxes of board games, played intensely for a week, line the bottom of the hallway closet. The box tops pimpled where water drops landed and became one with the festively colored cardboard. One light bulb in the kitchen is burnt out and the other won’t stop flickering, and it’s enough to make any sane person sick. The heater in the car works to well, taking over the atmosphere inside, the way the smell of sulfur can become the major attraction at a national park. Solitude turns into a relative term, just like perfection or gratitude or luck. From time to time, the cat will try to get inside the cage, giving the birds something to talk about. She knows it’s the wind that’s blowing the smoke in her face, but she holds him accountable anyway, not that he’s completely guilt free. There’s laundry to be done, of course, but that day isn’t until next week. Over the bus station and parking lot, the street lights look like lazy, low hanging constellations. He tries his hardest to tell a joke. She locks the door behind them.