40 pages • 1 hour readDave Pelzer
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
During his sophomore year of high school, David starts working more than forty hours a week at various part-time jobs. Since he is seventeen, he only has one more year in foster care before he will have to provide for himself. He also starts trying to connect with his father, who is in San Francisco. When he hears that his father no longer works at his fire station, David tells Alice that he believes his father is in trouble and needs his help. He rides his motorcycle to San Francisco and goes to his father’s old station, where he meets his father’s friend and colleague, Uncle Lee. Uncle Lee tells him that his father has been drinking more than ever and was asked to retire early. A few weeks later, David goes back to San Francisco and finds his father in a rundown bar. They spend the afternoon together, and his father shows him the fireman’s badge that was awarded to him when he retired. He tells David that firefighting was the only thing in his life that he “didn’t screw up too badly” (297). David realizes that his father is dying from alcoholism and that he may never get another chance to spend time with his father.
By Dave Pelzer