Paul had nowhere else to turn to, but to his words. The ones which could be seen on his computer screen - the ones which would be tapped out, deleted, tapped out, deleted.

Though he was trying not to delete, this time. Not too much, this time, please, he asked of himself. Though he knew it was a fight he would most probably lose. Lose it in the third, a glancing blow just after he had began to feel comfortable, and in the rhythm - his chin nestling gratefully into the canvas.

Outside the night would pass by the same as had the day. Not quickly, not slowly, not bringing with it ghastly things - not bringing with it anything. The only difference was the numbers, the ones on his desk calendar, the ones on the clock on his computer screen, the ones on the news channel on the television. Only the numbers changed, for Paul. Nothing else.

There were no people to bring change, have themselves change, have him change. There were doormen (well, a doorman, singular), taxi drivers, shop assistants, but how could these people budge in, how could they alter?

So he began to write. It was a story about a dog, there was no pre-thought-out plan of attack in his mind, no arc of plot development, nor any progressions of personality. No plans to turn the tide of a middle-aged football player's luck - one who has begun to drink too much in the winter of his career, his wife is leaving him, his brother no longer gets in touch as much as he used to.

The dog Paul named Arnold, laying back into his writing chair, cigarette of course sprinting quickly between mouth, dancing fingers, ashtray. Beer in his stomach.

Arnold had been left alone in the house of his owners by mistake when they went away on holiday. They went to Greece, no real part of the country given just yet, Paul found it both boring and unnecessary to go into that too much. Maybe he would expand later, but for now all he cared about was Arnold.

Paul enjoyed this part, where the canvas was all but blank, the fresh strokes beginning a picture which could be anything. At the moment it could be anything. It was later, when definition began - when the picture could be seen as being something - that it got difficult, where the delete button started being used with regularity. And, usually, with finality, by tied doubt-sodden fingertips.

Yes, this part was enjoyable, it was nostalgia, it was freedom. Paul could write without thinking. His wide eyes loved every second of Arnold's lonely agony.