There was no orbit, nothing to distinguish one thing from another. Nothing was familiar, not the people or the stores, not the parks or the schools. No Booker’s Arcade, no Winston’s Five and Dime, no Odeon Theater, nothing. He would have to find new places, meet new people, listen to new stories, discover the bullies, befriend the curious, eat in a strange cafeteria. He would become someone else, and the old David, the one he clung to all his life, would fade away. He didn’t know who he would become. Would he lose his Southern drawl, learn to speak in the flat northern tongue of a native New Yorker? Would he turn into a pool hustler, a Harley mechanic, someone who took his beer on the stoop to watch the world swirl by? Who would teach him these things, or would he have to learn them on his own? And if his mother and father got sick, or had to leave, or worse, what would there be and who would he become? A stranger in Wishing, New York, where there was no kindness, only a dull apathy, or even antipathy, because no one would know him, no one would care. An orphan at ten, yes, he could see it, see it clearly, because it all began when he father came home that day six months ago and told him they were moving. Just like that. A frightening journey, sure, but exciting. A fresh page, full of adventure!

But c’mon, Dad, Upstate New York?


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