I smoked a lot of cigarettes. On the road I drank a pint of some no-name vodka this girl gave me in
Flagstaff, pausing a bit by pulling off next to the Four Corners to puke. About an hour later I pulled into Durango. I stashed my rust bucket in some city parking lot and kept telling myself, “When I was 18; I met a girl, somewhere in Indiana, maybe Illinois. I convinced her that I was a traveling Englishman. This will be no sweat at all.” I knew where I had to be.

I walked until a couple of scrubbed teenage girls caught my attention by laughing, just a little too loud, just a little too much for someone else’s benefit. I realized I had been repeating my little mantra out loud. “Fuck You,” I managed to spit out. Sounding just like some dirty wanderer you’d see at a rest stop on I-40. I’m not that guy though. “I have an Ivy league education,” I might tell myself. But as my old Sergeant used to say, if it looks like a duck and walks like one, it probably is. Fuck that guy. He was an asshole anyway.

D. Norcross writes: I wrote this for a dear friend of mine who came back from the war with a few more problems than he should have. D. Norcross has been a soldier, a sailor, a barista (what the fuck is that about?) and most recently a cop. He’s a family man above it all.