A little more than a quarter mile past the intersection stood a mobile home park. Billly turned in and stopped at a mobile home with the number 3 plastered on the front. Beside the mobile home an old lady in a flowered housecoat sat in a lawn chair scowling at Billy as he approached.
“Are you Mrs. Smith,” Billy said.
She stared at him without a reply.
He handed her the strawberries. She did not reach for them, glared suspiciously from the strawberries to Billy.
“I heard you like strawberries,” Billy said.
“Who told you that?” she scowled.
“Your son, Billy,” Billy said.
“I don’t have a son named Billy,” she said.
“What about Wilson Gentry?” Billy said.
“Are you him?” she said
“Yes,” Billy said.
“Good,” she said. “I was afraid you was the police.”
“Can I sit the strawberries on the steps,” Billy said, “and may I sit down?”
“Whatever pleases you,” she said.
Billy sat the strawberries on the weatherworn wooden deck and sat on the steps.
“What is it you want?” she said.
“I want to know what happened,” Billy said. “What happened back in Los Angles? Well that‘s not quite right. I want to know about me. For the last few months I‘ve been crisscrossing the country looking for who I am. I don‘t know. I thought if anyone could help me it would be you.”
“You mean you don’t know what happened in Los Angeles?” she said.
“No,” Billy said.
“How did you find me?” she said.
“A lady named Ruth who lived across the street from us,” Billy said. “She and her husband have kept tabs on you all these years.”
“Did you tell them anything,” she said.
“How could I?” Billy said. “I know nothing.”
“Good boy, Billy,” she said, “I could always depend on you to keep secrets.”
“What happened in Los Angeles?” Billy said.
“If you don’t know I ain’t tellin’ ya,” she said.
“Than tell me about you,” Billy said, “I want to know about you and who you are.”
“I’m a lady of the evening in my evening years,” she said, “how’s that?”
Billy forced a sympathetic smile. “Life must have been tough for us.”
“Do you have any idea who I was?” she said. “I was on my way to the top, Marcel Simon. I was in some movies. They said I had it, but the roles didn’t come. They said I had to wait my turn.”
“What movies were you in?” Billy said.
“Low budget stuff,” she said.
“I’d like to know so I could watch them,” Billy said.
“What kind of world do you live in?” she said.
“I don’t understand,” Billy said.
“You really don’t know do you?” she said.
“You could fill me in,” Billy said.
“We left LA in a hurry,” she said. “A terrible accident happened. My husband was messing around with that two bit 14 year old hussy across the street. They were in the garage, that’s where he took her and there was a gasoline explosion. They were burned alive; pervert man and slutty girl.”
“We took off for Sacramento,” she said. “You couldn’t get it out of your head. I told you just to wipe it from your mind, over and over again. It’s mind over reality. You can wish away reality.”
Billy looked of in the distance. He wondered if she had conditioned him to overcome the pain of reality with simply putting it out of his mind.