Parts, laboured.

In the dealership, where ignorance meets suspicion, frustration churns and bites. Nobody wins the arguments when there's nothing to win but pride. The walls, abused for years, brittle layers of despair, anger glued to helplessness, a bruise-grey veneer, listening, ignoring. This modern battle, once settled with outbursts of steel and weeping, now seethes silently. They stand, countered and unweaponed, squeezing ancient hilts like phantom limbs, a dark turbulence behind their eyes. There's no war here. There's no win to be scored. Just get out with your senses undulled, leave only ounces of flesh on the countertop. Escalation, escalation, the peak always a pit.