Steve got off the bus in Indianapolis. It was near midnight. He walked out to the street and looked around. “You can’t tell anything by the night,” he thought. He walked back into the bus station and fell asleep on a bench.
The morning brought a light drizzle. He found a coffee shop and had breakfast. He walked aimlessly for blocks. There was nothing familiar about Indianapolis.
As Steve walked something came to his mind. When he looked at the newspaper from the man in Des Moines he quickly calculated 37 years. What happened 37 years ago?
Steve found the public library and started looking at papers 37 years ago. No headline or picture jogged his memory as he slowly ran reels of microfilmed newspaper through a projector.
It was night and he was asked to leave. He was hungry and mentally exhausted.
He bought a sandwich at a convenience store and a can of Coke. He sat on a bench in front of the store and ate. He finished and walked through an old neighborhood with large houses.
“Old money,” he said.
He found low hanging shrubs and crawled under them. He curled up with his duffle bag as a pillow and quickly fell asleep.
He woke the next morning to the sound of garbage trucks and after breakfast at a café walked back to the library. This time he poured through old yearbooks that were at least 37 years old. He was hoping for a name, a memory, a face – something. There was nothing.
As he walked from the library and down the street he was certain that Indianapolis had a place in his memory. He hoped it held a clue. On the other hand he was tortured by thinking that perhaps he may have only known someone from Indianapolis who talked about it at length and it suddenly instinctively came to mind while overhearing a barroom conversation.
A thought came to his mind, from where he did not know. “The harder you try to remember something, something in the subconscious tries to push it further away. But how can I not try hard, I’m obsessed with knowing who I am.”
“It sounds like the talk of a psychologists,” he thought. “Perhaps I was under the care of one or maybe confined to an institution.”
For the next hour he spent his time in a phone booth calling mental health facilities and institutions and inquiring if they had someone missing. All were present and accounted for.
“I was here,” he said to himself leaving the phone booth. “I know I was here. What are the odds of coming across something that might jog my memory? It is too small to calculate; I have a better chance of being stuck by lightening twice in the same day.”
Another hour of aimless walking produced nothing but tired and sore feet. “At present I have no place else to go. I guess I’m stuck here. I’ll stay until compelled to leave.”