When the judge sentenced me, I laughed. Life in prison, for a retiree?
Hard time changes even an old man. I fell in the shower too often, so the warden put me in solitary — “protective confinement”.
After ten years behind those steel bars, I learned to cry. I mourned the numerous victims of my messed-up life. I read Scripture. I prayed forgiveness.
Maybe I prayed to the wrong god. The talisman Bokor Gris gave me worked!
Here was that grungy welding shop from my childhood. My own blessed mother, a true Rosie the Riveter, unaware inside, welding steel to make ends meet.
That pinup calendar on the wall. January 1946!
I ran as fast as a septuagenarian can, up the road toward the brown wood-framed house. Inside, my gin-soaked stepfather’s torment of a certain little boy was just beginning.
The parole board said if I ever got out of prison, I’d kill again.
They were right.