Wade ponders the pivotal moments in his life, the decisions he’s made and how his experience would be different had he chosen another option. He writes about what might have happened had he not come to the end of the alley that night at the theatre, what might have happened to him had he not followed the green-eyed girl into the city wild with dawn. The papers are filthy and black from his hands and clothes and he sits with his back to the warm noontime brick writing that he’d probably still be on the streets or in jail, running and hiding until starved, faceless and nameless. Maybe he’d get sick or overdose or a crazed junkie would open him up with a blade, spilling his cells into the gutter. Maybe the cops would kill him, gun him down on purpose or beat him a little too much by mistake. And if they didn’t kill him they’d release him cold and broke to some other place where he’d try to establish himself, get a job and some clean clothes, trying desperately to evade everyone with their stares and whispers but above all the cops, living in a cell in his mind, only to be arrested for trespass or some misdemeanor and thrown into another (physical) cell.
He thinks about the moments that brought him to this place, writing them in reverse order with his cheap ballpoint, the ink black as his cuticles. He has not written about what might have happened had he remained in his childhood home because quite simply he hasn’t thought about it. Staying there wasn’t an option; some of his earliest memories are of formulating escape plans. Wade’s psychological state is such that to revisit that terror from long ago is to unleash its wrath in full upon the entire emotional apparatus.