He looked like his grandfather, only strangely older. He wasn’t of course. That would be impossible. Chronologically.

But in other ways, many ways, Frank acted and seemed as old as the Appalachians. Maybe his mother’s side of the family had cursed him with bad genes but it seems just as likely that Frank’s mindset and belief were the cause of his premature aging. At forty-two, he looked seventy-two, on a good day. He was constantly complaining, about the weather, about politics, about bullies and the rise of terrorism and the new strains of killer biological weapons. When he wasn’t complaining, he was listening to other people complain on the Weather Channel or NPR or some reality TV show or other.

His grandfather? Wayne? He never watched TV, hadn’t owned one since the eighties. He biked five miles a day, traveled to local and not-so-local parks. He had a hopeful outlook. He wasted no time worrying about the future, the world, his health, and so, in Wayne’s little corner of the world, there was nothing about which to worry.