|A deer, seen through a window.|
With his parents gone for the month as of yesterday, he heads after work for the train station, where a train will bear him to a suburban town fifteen miles from the city.
The train, packed, arrives to its destination on time. The Loser disembarks. The first thing he notices while walking the half mile to the house is the drop in temperature. It's at least five degrees colder, and he considers putting on his gloves. Second, he looks at the sky and sees a field of stars. Light pollution has made American cities frosted-glass terrariums, where inhabitants are unaware of any space beyond that defined by its tallest buildings with occasional interruptions from helicopters and jets.
He enters the house, silencing the burglar alarm's warning beep. There are notes from his parents; nothing he doesn't know. He downs a beer quickly, makes a sandwich, and drinks another while eating it. Tipsy, sated, he turns to something he doesn't have in the city, the great teat of the American public: Cable TV.