Jake listens to the fading echo. His head swivels looking for the source of the original sound. There is a little voice in the back of his head screaming “Run!” He jumps.
A man is standing next to the container with a chest full of air. “Get out of my alley! No one is throwing me out of my home! No more Camilla’s. No more losing of Betty. Three years. What does she look like now?” The stream runs into a scream as volume beats elocution in the battle for the remaining air. It ends in tears.
Jakes mind takes him away from the misery, leading him from the deduction that Camilla was a lost partner, to imaginations of Doreen waiting for him. Her face is smiling as he approaches. He takes her into his arms, his right hand drifts down to slip in under her dress. The complexity of imagining himself imagining the underwear she has selected for him is only one of reasons the spell is broken.
The stranger has crawled away. Jake walks on.