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This Last State Didn't Work Either

I returned to the old neighborhood because someone asked me to set matters straight with Davy (who I hit with a baseball bat), and recalled a few other crimes that needed addressing as well, like the theft of steel tubing. Since Ricky died and was the only Native I knew back then, I would have to settle things with Jimmy, who was like our Capone. It wouldn't do to rat them out, even if only watched it take place; I was desperate for a decent ride.

I suffered a few other bad influences during my stay in the neighborhood, but the guy who helped me get straight was hit by a car. I helped him to regain the ability to catch a ball again after that incident, but it made me wonder if really is any justice in the world after all. The First Nation inspired me at an early age and by the time I was 10, I realized that we weren't perfect; that even adults could be wrong. Rather than the sight of crucifixion, which horrified me as a child and represented the failure of my father to me, I turned to sun dancing, which seemed to me to be a very good alternative to the reality of death and the blood cult because it didn't result in death, which was illegal to practice until the 1970s.

Some of the stories my step-dad told, who was also named Jim, like rubbing the sheets with his feet on cold nights to stay warm with his brother Vince, were confusing. And my mother described the 'facts of life' as semen crawling over the sheets from a man to a woman, so I really didn't have a clue about what was required, or useful to study at all.

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