The calendar did right by Caesar until near the end of his fifth year in Lorton, when he began to feel that its juice was drying up. He had killed two men, and the world, especially the bad part of it, sensed that and left him alone. He returned to staring at the wall across from him. She had gone through much of her childhood hoping that she would grow up to marry him. That cousin, Nora Maywell, was the manager of a nearby bank, at Twelfth and F Streets, and she first saw Caesar as he bused tables at Chowing Down, where she had gone with colleagues for lunch. The world was going about its business, and it came to him, as it might to a man who had been momentarily knocked senseless after a punch to the face, that he was of that world.
Call even if you are on the other side of the world.
The whole world was silent except the mice in the walls. They were the first children he had been around in more than ten years. The remainder of the time, he went to movies until the shows closed and then sat in Franklin Park, at Fourteenth and K, in good weather and bad. They caught him after he had killed the second man. Pancho was the father of five children, and each time he swung he did so with the memory of all five and what he had done to them over those three addicted years. Caesar looked at the image of his father—a man on the verge of becoming old. He went carefully down the steps in front of the building and stood on the sidewalk.