“You need a name. I can’t keep calling you ‘boy’.” Lenny looks at him with a raised eyebrow.
“I suppose.” He thinks about it. A name flashes in his mind. He tests it out. “George.”
Lenny laughs. “So you’re the smart one and I have the intelligence of a child.”
He frowns. Puzzled.
“Of Mice and Men. A great book by John Steinbeck. I take it you haven't read it, if you don't get the reference."
"Not that I remember." Said with a tight smile. "But that's a given. Hell, I don't even know if I've had any schooling."
"I'd say you have. You're too erudite sounding not to at least some education beyond the basics." Lenny goes to a shelf. Finds a book. Hands it to him. "Here. See if this rings any bells. It might be that you chose that name because of mine or it could just be coincidence."
He chuckles. "You're hoping this,"—he takes the book—"might push some button and make me remember something."
"You never know. Stranger things have happened. It's been a week and nothing else has triggered anything."
Nodding he asks, "Do you want me out of your hair, now that I'm back to normal? Well mostly normal. I guess the accident wasn't as bad as we thought, as fast as I've healed."
Lenny frowns in thought for a second. Smiles then. Shakes his head. "Not unless you want to. I sorta enjoy having company. It's been a while."
"Loner by choice or necessity? You've never said."
"A bit of both I guess. What with my bad reaction to the sun, and a general tendency not to like people all that much anyway, I prefer to be by myself most of the time."
"Speaking of which, I take it you have some sort of job to support yourself. But if you really meant it when you said I could stay, I should look for one too."
Lenny eyes him carefully. "Doing what?"
"Hell, I don't know. I don't even know what kind of area this is. But there has to be something. Maybe at a fast food..." His voice fades. He frowns sharply.
"Did that trigger something?" Lenny sits down. Watches him.
"For a second it did, but it's gone. Damn I hate this. I know things but not...specifics. I know about fast food joints and motorcycles and I realized immediately that it was strange that you didn't have a TV, but there's nothing in here," he taps his forehead, "that connects me to them. Even about bikes. I obviously rode one, since I crashed it, but I don't remember that, or where I was headed, or what happened that I ended up in the ditch where you found me. There's a whole world out there that I know about as if I'd read about it but never experienced it for myself. Why? Why?"
"If I had to guess," Lenny said, "I'd say you're running away from something and the crash is giving you the perfect reason to forget what that is. You did bang your head badly and your mind is using that as a defense against remembering, like it or not."
"That makes me feel just wonderful. If it's that, and not just crash-related amnesia, then it must have been something pretty damned bad." He rests his head in his hands. "Any reports of especially gruesome murders or some other criminal activity on the...oh, you wouldn't know without a TV or radio."
"No, but I do get into town. And since you showed up, I've actually been checking the papers for that—just in case. Harboring a serial killer isn't on the top of my list of things I particularly want to do."
He nods. Glances up as something hits him. "You've lost that Southern sort of backwoods way of speaking that you had when I first got here."
"Yes. Well that's because I don't need to pretend with you any more, the way I have to around the people I generally deal with. I don't want to stand out as different, and in this neck of the woods, unless I'm in Alexandria proper, speaking the King's English, and with a Northern accent, might draw unwanted attention to me. Does actually, as I found out when I first came to this area."