Seabolt Martin and Rita.
“I told you it was like riding a bike. It only took you three days practice to pass the road test. You are now a licensed driver,” his sister Lucy said.
“Too bad the picture is worse than the mug shot,” John lamented.
“If you would let me give you a real haircut you would look better,” she said. “You looked better when you were a real convict. They made you get a haircut then.”
“Lucy, you have no idea what it’s like having somebody else decide what you should look like. Looking homeless without being homeless is my revenge on the system,” John tried to explain.
“Okay, but couldn’t you find a better way to do it?” she asked.
“I’ll think about it,” he said.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to take you to the group meeting at the church?” Lucy asked changing the subject with ease.
“No maybe I’ll go when I get my wheels,” John replied.
“So what are you going to buy. You know, I could co-sign for a loan until your settlement check come,” Lucy volunteered yet again.
“The first social security payment hit the bank the beginning of the week. According to them I’m disabled due to injuries received inside. Hell everybody gets injured in the Joint.” he said.
“John you have had most of your skeleton broken at one time or another. How come they call it isolation, when you get tossed of the third story walkway,” Lucy asked.
“I slipped,” John said.
“Right you slipped over the handrail,” she replied.
“Freak accident,” I explained.
“You broke your collar bone twice,” she said.
“No, It was each of them once,” He replied. “It wasn’t so bad. It got me into the prison library. They have better books in there than those which come around on the book cart.”
“So what kind of car are you going to buy?” she asked.
“To be honest I have no idea. I’ll figure it out before the money comes I’m sure,” he admitted. “First I have to decide where I’m going to live.”
“You don’t like living in the old army barracks?” Lucy asked with a laugh.
“To be honest, it has been a good transition place for me. It’s just too much like prison. There are certain significant differences, but some similarities as well. I think I’m ready for a more real world place to live,” John suggested.
“Do you remember Dad’s old camping trailer?” Lucy asked.
“Yeah, but it’s not what I want. It’s not much larger than my cell was,” he replied.
“It’s at least twice as large and you could own it. You could even park it in our back yard,” Lucy suggested.
“No way, I love you dearly sis, but I don’t want to live with you and the kids. It’s just to weird to imagine,” he suggested.
“You can have it free. You didn’t get anything from their estate,” she reminded him.
“Honey at the time they died, I was a convicted murderer. I came to grips with the pain that I caused you guys. That includes mom and dad. That is why I never held a grudge,” he explained. “Hell half the time I was convinced I was guilty. More to the point I convinced myself that I got what I deserved.”
“I have no idea how you can be so well adjusted,” Lucy said.
“It’s all an act,” John admitted. He knew when he was telling the truth, and he was at that moment. he had learned inside to be a pretty good actor.
“Well I am not going to give up. I need to do something for you besides drive you around,” she said.
“Driving me around has been a big deal to me,” John said.