And even then it's a good few moments before he turns around, as if the sound isn't enough: he has to see it to make it real and he's shaking his head even before he sees it, maybe to get some jump on the timeline of worry.
And it's like in the computer store, surrounded by new white machines, when the saleswoman says you should never ever touch your fingers to the screen as if this is the only piece of advice he'll ever need and as soon as she's gone he presses his middle finger to the middle of the screen, once, hard.
And there are crazy-quilt creases on his letter because he can't quite fold properly to fit in the envelope and he thinks this is perhaps why no one writes letters any more at least not anyone that he knows.
And he catches himself in an unexpected reflection in a shop mirror and he's changed angles since he's last seen himself in full-length—a torso-shift back, a neck-shift forward—and he wonders if the ageing process can be eliminated by constant personal attention.
And he experiences one of those wonderful moments of small happiness returning home, because the sun is out, and the promise of a good day has not yet been wasted.