K.J. grew up in the desert, near Ninth Avenue in a little town called Hesperia, which was known in those days as the only town in the area without curbs on its main drag.
K.J. was a shy kid with secret longings, among them a girl in his high school class, a beautiful Asian cheerleader named Miyoko Fujimori who lived a few blocks away. But in a town the size of Hesperia it seemed everybody lived a few blocks away. In any case, after he had fallen secretly in love, K.J. would hurry home and back his father’s 15-year-old Ford truck out of the carport, down in front near the street, and then jack it up, as if he were changing a tire. As if the pickup were his.
In a perfect world, the wheel was lifting off the ground at the moment Miyoko Fujimori appeared around the corner. He had a story ready against the possibility that she might actually stop and ask him about his truck. Some days he jacked the truck up and down half a dozen times, so that he would be sweating when she came by. Not wanting to look like an idiot.