The emptiness of the apartment was crushing. Silence and solitude pressed down upon him. Old memories crept along his spine, plucking the vertebrae like harp strings. His phone rang sometimes, but he never answered it. He knew it wouldn't be her. He didn't want to talk to anyone.
He played albums he didn't hear. He watched movies he didn't see. He swam in half-memory and coerced confusion. Somewhere, he knew, people were smiling. Children played on slides and sent cries of happiness into the liquid sky. He did not belong anymore. He was no longer playing the game.