The letter was stashed between a repair manual for the 1968-1976 Dodge Duster and another for the 1986-1987 Ford Taurus leaning against one another on a shelf over his workbench. Harrison knew it was there as he walked out the side door of this house towards the garage. He had known it was there while he sat at the table eating grapefruit with his wife earlier that morning. He had known it was there the night before when he lay next to his wife in bed. He knew it was there since he put it there yesterday.
The letter came in the mail on Saturday. Harrison was working in his garage, sitting on a stool, trying to fix the fast idle cam on a carburetor when the mailman passed. He was glad to quit struggling with the thing and get the mail. He was in his late forties but already his hands felt blunted and shaky and looked perpetually swollen, calloused and dirty. Too much of his life had been spent underneath hoods trying to loosen rusted bolts that hid out of sight and nearly out of reach. His hands and back paid the price for that labor.
The telephone bill, the utility bill, two credit card applications, a new JC Whitney catalog and the letter. He recognized the handwriting immediately. Thirty years hadn’t changed it much since he’d first seen it, the words to “Rebel Rebel” written on the cover of a spiral notebook. But he hadn’t heard from Randy in probably a year, and certainly had never heard from him by mail. They had probably only talked a couple of times in the last few years. It wasn’t the author of the letter, though, that made him hide it. It was the source. The return address was of a state prison.