The old man scratched his privates as he made his way across beshitted carpet to his trash-strewn kitchen, the charnel reek of feral urine and rotting meat, the dozens of nameless cats crying and howling and winding about his legs. He picked among the heap of cans piled atop the grease-crusted counter seeking those yet unopened.
He was amazed by the knocking at the front door. The old man had had no visitor since his son had left five years hence, roared his truck out of the long driveway with such speed that his curses hung in the air with the dust kicked aloft by the bald tires. He parted the curtain and peered through the window, tilting his face to better see through the film of grime and bird droppings. A cat jumped on the counter, purring as it ran its back beneath the old man’s bony arm.
She stood on the porch, well dressed and clean. A pretty woman, which is why he came to the door and why he stopped to tuck his stained undershirt into the frayed waistband of his filthy pajamas, why he ran fingers through his touse of thick white hair. As he turned the deadbolt he remembered he had not put his teeth in, but it was too late for that.
The cats continued their shrill complaining as he swung open the door on the young, serious face.