The men who knocked on our front door may or may not have had the hulking frames that persist in my memory. I was only 8-years-old and accustomed mostly to the slight builds of my Filipino fathers and uncles, so it's entirely possible that these other men—all white men—weren't even six feet tall.
One of them was named Frank, and he often arrived neat in his firefighter blues. Off-duty, his jacket of choice was the classic Derby. Another appeared in worn work pants and work boots, but always with a clean, plaid shirt. Also of note: his left ear did not exist. It had been sheared off, quite neatly, for reasons unknown, and it took all the concentration I could muster not to stare at what was, essentially, a rather large hole on the side of the man's head. The other visitors existed on a continuum between these two, and though time has transformed them into a single generic man, I'm sure I knew all their names at the time.
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Years ago I often drove the long stretches of empty highway between San
Francisco and Santa Barbara with only a Diet Coke and Dave Matthews Band
for company. Sometimes another car materialized out of nowhere, pulled
up close, and settled in just behind me, slightly off to the right. If I
sped up or slowed down, it did the same. This was perfect fodder for my
tendency towards paranoia: Was I being chased? Would I be kidnapped or
run off the road? Left in a ditch? WHAT WAS EVEN HAPPENING?