By JIM WEBER
Dispatch crackles over the cruiser’s radio: brushfire on Ranch Road 580.
Frank lights a cigarette, takes a deep pull. His shift over, he listens, unobligated, as Latimer asks dispatch to confirm the fire’s location.
He stares through the windshield at his house, a squat brick ranch. Scuffed exterior and summer-fried lawn identical to the others on the block. The front window drapes are pulled back, giving the house a grin, like an old friend commiserating: Seven years left on your note, Frank. Three years short of retirement. Tough math.
I’ll sell the place when I retire, Frank thinks, not for the first time. Move to Kerrville, or Boerne, or Bandera. Find a part-time security job to help make ends meet. Latimer talks up New Mexico. Strikes Frank as too far from central Texas, too far from the remains of the life he and Lizzie shared before she passed.
Drapes back means his daughter Caitlyn is up and getting ready for work. Two weeks before she’s off to college in Austin. Who knows if she comes back? Live your entire life in a place, can come to hate it.