Everyday I went to the pawnshop to make sure the guitar was still there. The owner looked like a vaguely degenerate antique dealer in a movie. He wore a vest.
Every morning I got up at five and made the half-hour walk to the temp service, a trailer set up in a gravel lot. The place looked like a used car dealership without any cars and the owner was a big thick guy named Purcell who was quick to let you know he was retired Navy. The whole set up was pretty shady. Pay was always in cash and you had to get there before dawn to get a job. Except for me the crowd was all Mexican, illegals I鈥檓 pretty sure. They stayed to themselves, so I鈥檇 stand alone while we waited for Purcell to show up and smoke and drink coffee and think about how I was going to smash the guitar over a low brick wall once I got it back. My father gave it to me when I was eighteen. One afternoon, 1979, when my high school let out he was in the parking lot sitting on the hood of an old Lincoln he鈥檇 parked sideways across five spaces. You couldn鈥檛 miss him any way you looked. He was dressed in the same outfit Hank Williams was buried in. I hadn鈥檛 heard from him for seven years.
I told my friends I was supposed t