Alexander Hammil is walking home, his spine bent like a hoop, when the station wagon pulls up next to him on the long curve away from the drive-in. The driver leans over and shoves the door open. “Get in,” he says.
“What?” says Alexander Hammil. “Who are you?”
“Just a guy.” He’s balding, with a red beard that fades to brown as it touches his chest. “You want a ride or not?”
“I, uh, sure.” What the hell. He wedges the backpack down in the footwell and begins the long process of straightening out. “Thanks, I guess?” The driver just grunts, doesn’t make eye contact. There’s another man, asleep in the back seat. Old and round and bald, like an egg with an unruly moustache. “Who’s that?”
“Just a guy.”
“Hey, so, I live just up–”
“I know where you live, don’t worry about it.”
He plays the old game, projecting himself out onto the shoulder, bounding from ditch to ditch, running as fast as the car. The long driveway down to the house is long, long: they drive down it for hours in silence.