He slings off the back-pack, sits down on the edge of his bed. Stillness invades his body. Then he bends forward, fingers twisting into the black knots. Like a chemist mindful of danger, he slowly unlaces his boots. Loosened and shaken off, they lie like dormant insults. That he takes hold of the mouths and flings them across the room surprised him only revealed the depth of his bottled-up emotions, a turbid mixture of rage and self-accusation. Something shattered. His eyes remain fixed on the unshifting image in his mind: H. and B., skin slick with the sweat of their midnight run, blissfully ignorant of his presence, a witness to the communion, wary of entering the shower where the company of two were already in the throes of preparation, as if stepping in would be a confession, a risk for which he is yet prepared.