The cops dropped Wolf at his shack at the edge of town and the man walked inside without saying good-bye. He wasn’t an overly friendly man, to begin with, let alone with the police. Controlling his form change for ten years had been rough on him and there was no way he was going back there.
Wolf entered the house and tossed his wallet and keys on a small shelf by the door and went to the fridge. It was empty, other than a warm six-pack, which he yanked a can out of and went to sit down.
The shack was just that; a living room, small kitchen area, a bathroom, and one bedroom. The living room had one ragged chair, sunk down in the seat, and worn at the arms, and there was a side table next to it. There was no electricity, as it hadn’t been turned on yet, though he had paid the deposit for that and for cable tv.
So, Wolf sat in the dark, drinking his warm beer, looking out onto the street where his shack resided at the end of a cul-de-sac but back from the road a bit. The other houses were in better condition than his, but the main house on this property had burned down and the owner of the property had just tossed up a cheap clap house in its place, so he could rent it.
Wolf had a job as a dump worker, hopefully, to work up to garbage collector after his ninety days probation, which required him to show up every day for work, no sick days, and on time. One slip up and he was out of there. The boss had made it clear, as he wasn’t too happy to have an ex-con working for him, but it had been arranged through the early-release program; an agency designed to help get ex-cons re-established in society.
The agency had paid three months’ rent, utilities, cable, phone, and food stamps and had given him one hundred dollars for incidentals until he received his first paycheck; though he could apply for permanent food stamps if he met the income requirements. His phone line was already turned on, though he didn’t have an actual phone yet. He planned on getting some stuff the next day at the department store. He had only been out for three days and it was a Saturday. So other than his interview and being read the riot act on how he was to behave at work and off by his parole officer and new boss, he hadn’t actually started his new job.
The bedroom had an old mattress on the floor with no box spring and a battery backup alarm clock so that he wouldn’t be late for work. Luckily, he was told the battery would last a week because there was still no electricity to plug it into, as that wasn’t getting turned on until Monday at some point. So, at the moment there was no light or hot water in the place.
Wolf sat in the dark and made a mental list of what he would need for incidentals and for his boy. He’d need to find out about adjusting his food stamps to accommodate another mouth to feed and he had to make sure the place was up to par for social services coming the following weekend. They gave him one week to get the place set up to where it was appropriate for raising a child. Of course, the standards in this backwater town were a lot lower than other places. When Hank had said to his wife that there were poor people in this town, he hadn’t been exaggerating.
Wolf sat staring out onto the street late into the night, having only drunk one other beer, but finally, he got up and went to lay down in the bedroom, as he had a busy day awaiting him on Sunday.