When I woke up that morning it was still pretty early. Summer had just begun and from where I lay in my sleeping bag I could see out the window. There were hardly any clouds and the sky was clear and blue. I looked at the Polaroid I had taped to the wall next to where I slept. It shows my aunt and me sitting by a river; she has on a swimsuit. She’s my dad’s sister and she looks like him, with black hair and blue eyes and she’s really thin. In the photo she’s holding a can of soda and smiling as I sit next to her. She has her arm around me. My hair’s wet and I’m smiling. That was when we all lived in Wyoming. But it had been four years since I’d seen her, and I didn’t even know where she lived anymore.
My dad and I had just moved to Portland, Oregon, and we’d been there for a week. We didn’t know anybody. Two days before my school year was done we packed the truck and moved out from Spokane. “We brought our kitchen table and four chairs, dishes and pots and pans, our clothes and TV, and my dad’s bed. We left all the rest.