Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Richard Lange is the author of the short-story collection Dead Boys (Back Bay Books) and the novel This Wicked World (Little, Brown and Company). He has walked from the Mexican border to Palm Springs, California, and hopes to make it all the way to Canada someday. He lives in Los Angeles.
The sun has never felt as good as it does when I finally step out of that jailhouse and into a beautiful Friday morning, the air smelling a little like jasmine, a little like the ocean; happy weekend smiles on all the faces in the windows of a passing bus; and the mountains sitting right there, like they sometimes do, looking close enough to touch.
I’m not supposed to come within five hundred yards of her house, but rumor has it she’s hired a gang of Vietnamese hard cases to get rid of me; so, order of protection or no order of protection, I’m going in. The back door is unlocked, and her mom and dad are just sitting down to dinner. They look like a couple of ghosts; I could put my fists right through them.