Tommy Shanks couldn’t hold his piss, and he was lazy to boot. You’d hear worse if you asked around, but if it wasn’t for those two things, my life would’ve been a whole lot simpler. We were doing yard work that summer – landscaping, if you want to sound fancy – and it was the first time anyone had ever heard of Tommy having a steady job. I took him on as a favor. He wanted to get his life in order, but nobody would hire him.
Tommy’s truck was parked in the yard when I went by to pick him up at seven. The sun was still low in the sky. I wanted to start work before it climbed above the trees and punished us.
I knocked and waited. Nothing. An air conditioner hummed around back, outside the bedroom window. I beat on the door with the side of my fist. It was sheet metal and made a hollow, ringing sound. The trailer wasn’t set right on its blocks. The windows rattled with every blow.
“Tommy! Come on now! Get up and get out here!”