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The first word, on the tip of the tongue, precariously dangling, the empty page awaits, but the path is blocked, foiled by the sound of a dog barking from the apartment above. High-pitched, raggedly aggravating, it goes on, incessantly, like a false fire alarm.
The word is gone, extinguished, destroyed by the wretched noise. The solitary man takes a deep breath, exhales loudly, hoping the dog can hear it, and maybe, just maybe, will get the message, stop barking, and grant him peace. But no, the dog continues barking, louder than before.
He slams his laptop shut, not bothering to save his work, for there is no work to be saved. He looks around, desperately hoping to find a solution to the barking, but there is no solution to be found anywhere in his small, bare box of an apartment.
He stands up and kicks his rickety chair aside, his frustration mounting, bubbling, boiling to a point that makes his head throb. He paces around his apartment, striking the floor with his bare feet until his soles ache. He throws himself onto his shabby sofa, turns on the television, rapidly flips through the channels, constantly increasing the volume, but is still unable to drown out the sound of the dog barking.