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He felt dead. It wasn’t the depressed lethargic sort of dead. It was a hot and baked, fly-covered, sort of dead of a corpse left on a battlefield.

It was mid-afternoon and Ed was face up and awake on the front lawn of a suburban house. By the license plate on the neighbor’s car he realized he was in Arizona, maybe Phoenix.

A sprinkler system activated, showering Ed with broad but shallow planes of water. He was momentarily grateful that he had somehow lost the fleece he had been wearing, but he was now aware that he was sunburned as he winced from drops of water hitting his chest. Ed then became aware that he had also lost one leg of the black jeans he had been wearing, his favorite pair.

Ed had no idea how he ended up in this place. The last thing he remembered, before the intermediary haze of dreams marking his lapse from consciousness, was of standing in front of a urinal at a truck stop in Montana, thankful that the Greyhound bus had finally stopped as the on-board facilities were long past usable.

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