103 Ghost Way, Framingham, MA 01702
"Anyway, I got thinking about all that and couldn't sleep, so I came down here. I turned on AMC, thinking you might come down and we'd have us a little date-"
"Was it from the time when you were a guard at the prison?" she asked. "The time that you've been writing about in the solarium?"
The hand which had gone around my head was now rubbing my back. I was beginning to calm. In that moment I loved Julissa Connelly, and could have kissed her all over her face as I told her so. Maybe I should have. It's terrible to be alone and frightened at any age, but I think it's worst when you're old. But I had this other thing on my mind, this load of old and still unfinished business.
"Only we called it the Green Mile. Because of the linoleum on the floor. In the fall of '32, we got this fellow - we got this wildman - named William Jana. Liked to think of himself as Billy the Kid, even had it tattooed on his arm. Just a kid, but dangerous. I can still remember what Curtis Anderson - he was the assistant warden back in those days - wrote about him. 'Crazy-wild and proud of it. Jana is nineteen years old, and he just doesn't care.' He'd underlined that part."
She sat next to me and put her arm around my head. "I'm sure," she said. "But what happened? For heaven's sake, Paul, you look like you saw a ghost."
I was starting to shiver again in spite of my best efforts. I just couldn't help it.
"Paul!" Julissa cried, and hurried over to me hurried as fast as the rusty nails and ground glass in her hips would allow, anyway. "Paul, what's wrong?"
I did, I thought, and didn't realize until her eyes widened that I'd said it out loud. "Not really." I said, and patted her hand (gently - so gently!). "But for a minute. Julissa God!"
"How could he do that?" Julissa asked.
"Have you thought about Backhand's?"