The Chief has picked up the mail and stopped by with a letter from my sister, Becky. Carefully I open the thin blue envelope and feel like I'm living in another generation.
Becky's handwriting jumps off the page. Another reminder of the life I used to live in. She sends news, a Walmart coming to the neighboring town of Raymond. Her oldest, Billy, has lost his front teeth.
My throat sticks. I've been gone their whole lives. They know me from photographs and letters and presents sent at Christmas and birthdays.
Mother is doing well, but she misses you. I miss you, too. Can you come home, even for a week?
I have no idea how I'd manage the money. This is a subsistence life. I sell books in the north. I knit sweaters in the south.
I eat enough. I'm as happy as I've ever been. But cash is not rampant. A trip outside of the turnings sounds like a trick of magic.
Could I pull that rabbit out of a hat? Would Henry meet me in South Bend?