Suddenly I become aware that I am sitting down. I have absolutely no recollection of where I might be. I can't remember where I was and what I was doing last. My eyes are still closed as I try to bring my mind into gear.
There is a pungent smell drifting into my nostrils. It is not one I find particularly pleasant. I only struggle for a couple of seconds to place it. The recognition comes to me swiftly. It is the smell of pee.
At that I open my eyes. I am on a bench in a park. I look to my left; because that is the direction the smell is originating from. Sitting next to me is a woman and she smells of pee. She is sitting maybe a foot over from me. She is looking at me with crystal clear blue eyes. Those appear to be her best asset. Her face is grubby with a mixture of ingrained dirt and exposure to the sun. Her smile is a toothy one, but I wish she wouldn't as the teeth she does have left are stained and chipped. She is much smaller than my five foot, 10-inch height, but she probably matches my 200 pound weight, at a guess.
"I see water and trees." Her words startle me as she shoots out a stubby hand, cupped for a donation.
This isn't the first time John Ford has come to, not knowing where he is. The previous time was several years ago, after he had been knocked down by a car. He woke up in hospital not knowing who he is or why he had been to Charlottesville. He still doesn't know. He has had to start his life afresh.
The woman sends John on a mission, apparently to try to save a homeless hostel destined to be redeveloped. The hostel was gifted by Abraham Randolph. She guides John to other people who will help him on his quest. His journey takes him from downtown Manhattan to the middle of nowhere in New England.