I’d been home for a week before my first contact came in from Oak Knoll, but it wasn’t from the medical side. It was from Johannson, the Marine Corps liaison officer both Mary and I’d dealt with when I was in the ward with the other prisoners. The call came in at seven a.m. which was unusual. Nobody called at seven a.m.

Thompson might show up, which he’d done before seven on three occasions, more to see Mary than I, or so I thought. His excuse was always the same; he needed to open early for one reason or another, and he’d gotten used to my pumping the gas for his patrons. My other job was answering the phone, although I never really got to talk to anybody because everyone calling in wanted to talk only to Mickey. I’d drag the phone, on its super-long extension cord, out to the garage and hand it over. When he yelled, I’d go get the thing and clean it because Mickey didn’t believe in using gloves to work on cars. I tried not to look at my GTO because it was such a mess. He’d even taken the doors off, and then fully apart. What could doors have to do with drag racing? I just shook my head and kept my mouth shut.