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Occasionally he awakes in terror that he’s back in prison, where guards allowed other inmates into his cell to beat him while he slept.
They are a reminder of the evil inside him, a violence that’s always waiting to be loosed. He stares into his eyes, which are inviting, almost kind. It’s far from any school playground, any park, any restaurant that might serve chicken fingers or ice cream. Across the road sits a trailer occupied by a dozen immigrants, he doesn’t know from where.
What you can expect is a quirky, well-crafted movie about the ordinary lives of superheros.
He gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom, where he washes his face and looks in the mirror.
He’d even found a decent job, as a mechanic-in-training at Mack Trucks.
He was hung-over from the night before and hadn’t wanted to go.
With them was Brenda’s son, a sensitive boy named Luke.* At the pool, the group cracked open beers and cranked up the radio, and soon there were nine or ten of them, laughing and telling old stories.
They’d been a wild bunch back in high school, drinking, partying, doing drugs, fighting, sleeping with one another—and Greg’s past with Brenda, in particular, a mess of arguments and casual hookups, was no secret to anyone.
Greg didn’t ask for mercy, and he didn’t expect it.
Another time, in the cafeteria, a guy sneaked up and choked him from behind.
Down the way, there’s another trailer, one that may or may not be a meth lab; Greg is certain the people who live there are speed freaks. He stops and listens to the bleating of his neighbor’s goats. He climbs into his truck and sets out for Midlothian, about 25 miles west, to do work for a friend who installs wood flooring. His ears still burn when he thinks about it—and he thinks about it all the time. Greg sucks in his breath, tightens his grip on the wheel.
Greg can’t find a regular job, because who in his right mind would hire him? His whole life, he has fought people—hurt them deeply, been unbelievably reckless.
He grabbed a couple, began eating one, and wandered over to the bathroom, where John was already helping Luke wipe himself. Wide-eyed, the boy stared at his grandmother in the courtroom when asked about the hot dog, looking at her for comfort. A sex offender, more than a killer even, deserved a special place in hell—for robbing children of their innocence, for leaving scars that never healed. Greg, the middle child—with an older sister, Shannon, and a younger brother, Kevin—was a fast, athletic kid. They hung a punching bag from a tree so he could practice and made him slug it out with neighborhood kids. “You don’t need to cry.” Greg swallowed his tears, got good at the fighting. He was sweet and knew his manners, opening doors, carrying books, picking a flower for a date while stopped at a red light.