It's currently 3°F outside, and the house seems to be making noises I've never heard before.

I am reminded by the sounds of how cold wood can truly become.

I try to console it, "I understand," I say.

In some primal way, we all understand, don't we?

I'm considering building a fire.

I look at the fireplace and think about doing a lot of things.

But instead, I just sit and drink my tepid, black coffee, so strong it can strip paint, from under a blanket on the couch.

Building a fire takes doing, and doing often takes saying, and saying means talking.

Talking means trust, and I'm hesitant to speak because I don't trust my words.

Something I don't mean to say might slip out of my mouth.

I sit, sipping coffee, consoling the creaking house as the day takes its toll.