In a dark song that would not have been out of place on Nebraska, our protagonist is finding life difficult in his post-prison years. Bruce tells the story in a series of vignettes — the factory, the crooked uncle, the not quite trusting wife — all of these thing adding to the subtle pressure growing inside. This is some harsh stuff:
Kitchen floor in the evening, tossin’ my little babies high
Mary’s smilin’, but she watches me out of the corner of her eye
Seems you can’t get any more than half free
The sad reality of the prison system is that lives that are already broken in some way tend to be pushed further in that direction. There really is no rehabilitation going on. Or not much. It’s a complex situation not easily remedied, even if we had the will.
The temptation to slip over the line into that former life is a strong one, and Charlie saws off that shotgun and takes that step.
Up next: Highway 29