Ellis O’Neill, a young drifter withdrawn from the world, is subsisting at the base of the Pyramid of Needs. He wakes up on a lawn in southern Illinois with just enough recollection of the night before to get him to a bus station, Cincinnati, and Danny, his last friend and makeshift brother, waiting with a sedan pointed two thousand, two hundred miles west.
Officially, they’re checking on Danny’s sister, Angie, missing in action for months, her whereabouts finally verified by a vague letter postmarked California. The two have cause to be worried about her safety sans chaperone, but the knights-in-armor motive is a front. For Danny, the trip is an excuse to get his friend back, to pull Ellis back into the world. Ellis isn't sure about the world, but he's sure about Angie, his only proven solution to a life shaped by alienation and neglect.