Cover

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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-2

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DANGEROUS MEN

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pp. 3-16

Calvin, a drummer from Long Island who lived down the hall from us, wore jeans and tight, white T-shirts, smoked Lucky Strikes, and had eyes that nervously avoided contact. He was nineteen and skinny, but in a muscular way that reminded me of a greyhound. It...

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DARLING NIKKI

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pp. 17-30

I'm soft and always have been. Nikki's the tough one, the one who always got into fights, who couldn't wear a pair of pants two days without ripping the knees out climbing something. Which was kind of a gyp, because when I got old enough to want them, there was nothing for me tog....

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THE HANDSTAND MAN

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pp. 31-44

Jimi-John Houser, bare chested and ripped jeaned, one sneaker laceless, toted sand up the steps to his fifth-floor walk-up. He was on his third sack, and the sweat formed rivers down his back, pooled in the band of his underwear. He'd stolen the sacks from a...

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BIG GREY

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pp. 45-54

It was Tony is idea to go after Big Grey. We hanging out back at the place, me reading some old comic books I got laying around and Tony practicing his guitar. It is an electric one, Tony is guitar, all black and silver. He got it from a junkie in Canarsie who carved the names of all the notes...

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MAGISTER LUDI

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pp. 55-72

Duney is on the phone with her best friend, Beth Ann, running down a list of all the boys in their senior class at Dover High, deciding which ones are or are not virgins. She sits at her kitchen table, wrapping the phoned long white cord around and...

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EL DIABLO DE LA CIENEGA

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pp. 73-88

The black sports car that pulled up in a puff of dust along- side the La Cienega Community Center looked like a big hand, placed palm down in the red dirt. Ignoring it, Victor kept his feet in front of the chalked line on the cracked concrete. The door clicked open and a very tanned man...

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TAXES

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pp. 89-104

Pretzel and Ronnie stand on the corner in front of the deserted Shabazz Steak and Take, huddled back a little to take advantage of a slight overhang of the roof and stay out of the rain. Ronnie, lean and muscular, his hair cut into a flattop, hunkers down, cups...

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ERIN AND MALCOLM

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pp. 105-116

Erin was in her stage clothes. Her black hair hung Chinese-style in a sharp curtain around her jaw, two inches shorter on the left. The haircut was new, but Malcolm hadn't said anything. The rest of her outfit was what she always wore: tight leather skirt,...

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DOWN AT THE STUDIO

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pp. 117-128

The answering machine is on the blink, but I've got the door to the booth open, so I hear the phone. I figure it is probably Dave, stuck someplace, needing a ride home. Since he dried out, he has occasional moments when he seizes up, like an engine with no oil. The last time was...

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DADDY D. AND SHORT TIME

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pp. 129-144

Christine came back to the truck to tell Ray a dwarf had moved into number two-nineteen. Well, maybe not a dwarf exactly—but a very little man with a fat belly normal-sized head, and nearly useless legs. He had a big black guy helping him out....

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BLUESTOWN

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pp. 145-162

When I was fifteen, my father showed up at our high school and stood outside the door of Mr. Margin's history class wearing his leather jacket, waving a pink piece of paper. It was a September afternoon,...

Other Works in the Series, Back Cover

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pp. 163-BC