For a while, Saturdays returned to normal. Shredded wheat in the morning. Meandering neighborhoods. Walking and watching his breath.
Usually he’d hear Joan strumming through her pop song project. Easy to eavesdrop. She never closed her windows. Joan didn’t like closed windows.
Eventually, neither did he. Closed windows are for cowards.
Then one day, the relapse was over. A snap of the fingers. A crack in the woods. It was on and then it was off.
Eggs for breakfast and let’s stay in. Home was safe. His room, a castle. He wore only robes. He covered his windows—first in cardboard, then in foil.
But he left clues. He left Joan a message. This is what it said:
Dear Joan, I’m sorry. I need more velvet in my life.