millennium sandwiches' - the layers of different material that had built up over a period of decades and centuries. Andy would give his stones and his rock-sculptures away from time to time in order to make room for new ones. He gave me the greatest number, I think - counting the nike air max 90 vt stones that looked like matched cufflinks, I had five. There was one of the mica sculptures I told you about, carefully crafted to look like a man throwing a javelin, and two of the sedimentary conglomerates, all the levels showing in smoothly polished cross-section. I've still got them, and I take them down every so often and think about what a man can do, if he has time enough and the will to use it, a drop at a time. So, on the outside, at least, things were about the same. If Norton had wanted to break Andy as badly as he had said, he would have had to look below the surface to see the change. But if he had seen how different Andy had become, I think Norton would have been well-satisfied with the four years following his clash with Andy. He had told Andy that Andy walked around the exercise yard as if he were at a cocktail party. That isn't the way I would have put it, but I know what he meant. It goes back to what I said about Andy wearing his freedom like an invisible coat, about how he never really developed a prison mentality. His eyes never got that dull look. He never developed the walk that men get when the day is over and they are going back to their cells for another endless night - that flat-footed, hump-shouldered walk. Andy walked with his shoulders squared and his step was always cheap nike air max 90 light, as if he was heading home to a good home-cooked meal and a good woman instead of to a tasteless mess of soggy vegetables, lumpy mashed potato, and a slice or two of that fatty, gristly stuff most of the cons called mystery meat ... that, and a picture of Raquel Welch on the wall. But for those four years, although he never became exactly like the others, he did become silent, introspective, and brooding. Who could blame him? So maybe it was Warden Norton who was pleased ... at least, for a while. His dark mood broke around the time of the 1967 World Series. That was the dream year, the year the Red Sox won the pennant instead of placing ninth, as the Las Vegas bookies had predicted. When it happened - when they won the American League pennant - a kind of ebullience engulfed the whole prison. There was a goofy sort of feeling that if the Dead Sox could come to life, then maybe anybody could do it. I can't explain that feeling now, any more than an ex-Beatlemaniac could explain that madness, I suppose. But it was real. Every radio in the place was tuned to the games as the Red Sox pounded down the stretch. There was gloom when the Sox dropped a pair in Cleveland near the end, and a nearly riotous joy when Rico Petrocelli put away the pop fly that clinched it. And then there was the gloom that came when Lonborg was beaten in the seventh game of the Series to end the dream just short of complete fruition. It probably pleased Norton to no end, the son of a bitch. He liked his prison wearing sackcloth and ashes. But for Andy, there was no tumble back down into gloom. He wasn't much of a baseball fan anyway, and maybe that was why. Nevertheless, he seemed to have caught the current of good feeling, and for him it didn't peter out again after the last game of the Series. He had taken that invisible coat out of the closet and put it on again. I remember one bright-gold fall day in very late October, a couple of weeks after the World Series had ended. It must have been a Sunday, because the exercise yard was full of men 'walking off the week' - tossing a Frisbee or two, passing around a football, bartering what they had to barter. Others would be at the long table in the Visitors' Hall, under the watchful eyes of the screws, talking with their relatives, smoking cigarettes, telling sincere lies, receiving their picked-over care packages. Andy was squatting Indian-fashion against the wall, chunking two small rocks together in his hands, his face turned up into the sunlight. It was surprisingly warm, that sun, for a day so late in the year. 'Hello, Red,' he called. 'Come on and sit a spell.' I did. 'You want this?' he asked, and handed me one of the two carefully polished 'millennium air max 90 sandwiches' I just told you about. 'I sure do,' I said. 'It's very pretty. Thank you.' He shrugged and changed the subject 'Big anniversary coming up for you next year.' I nodded. Next year would make me a thirty-year man. Sixty per cent of my life spent in Shawshank Prison. 'Think you'll ever get out?' 'Sure. When I have a long white beard and just about three marbles left rolling around upstairs.' He smiled a little and then turned his face up into the sun again, his eyes closed. 'Feels good.' 'I think it always does when you know the damn winter's almost right on top of you.' He nodded, and we were silent for a while. 'When I get out of here,' Andy said finally, 'I'm going where it's warm all the time.' He spoke with such calm assurance you would have thought he had only a month or so left to serve. 'You know where I'm goin', Red? 'Nope.' 'Zihuatanejo,' he said, rolling the word softly from his tongue like music. 'Down in Mexico. It's a little place maybe twenty miles from Playa Azul and Mexico Highway 37. It's a hundred miles north-west of Acapulco on the Pacific Ocean. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?' I told him I didn't. They say it has no memory. And that's where I want to finish out my life, Red. In a warm place that has no memory.' He had picked up a handful of pebbles as he spoke; now he tossed them, one by one, and watched them bounce and roll across the baseball diamond's dirt infield, which would be under a foot of snow before long. 'Zihuatanejo. I'm going to have a little hotel down there. Six cabanas along the beach, and six more set further back, for the highway trade. I'll have a guy who'll take my guests out charter fishing. There'll be a trophy for the guy who catches the biggest marlin of the season, and I'll put his picture up in the lobby. It won't be a family place. It'll be a place for people on their honeymoons ... first or second varieties.' 'And where are you going to get the money to buy this fabulous place?' I asked. 'Your stock account?' He looked at me and smiled. 'That's not so far wrong,' he said. 'Sometimes you startle me, Red.' 'What are you talking about?' 'There are really only two types of men in the world when it comes to bad trouble,' Andy said, cupping a match between his hands and lighting a cigarette. 'Suppose there was a house full of rare paintings and sculptures and fine old antiques, Red? And suppose the guy who owned the house heard that there was a monster of a hurricane headed right at it. One of those two kinds of men just hopes for the best. The hurricane will change course, he says to himself. No right-thinking hurricane would ever dare wipe out all these Rembrandts, my two Degas horses, my Jackson Pollocks and my Paul Klees. Furthermore, God wouldn't allow it. And if worst comes to worst, they're air max 1 insured. That's one sort of man. The other sort just assumes that hurricane is going to tear right through the middle of his house. If the weather bureau says the hurricane just changed course, this guy assumes it'll change back in order to put his house on ground zero again. This second type of guy knows there's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst.' I lit a cigarette of my own. 'Are you saying you prepared for the eventuality?' 'Yes. I prepared for the hurricane. I knew how bad it looked. I didn't have much time, but in the time I had, I operated. I had a friend - just about the only person who stood by me - who worked for an investment company in Portland. He died about six years ago.' 'Sorry.' 'Yeah.' Andy tossed his butt away. 'Linda and I had about fourteen thousand dollars. Not a big bundle, but hell, we were young. We had our whole lives ahead of us.' He grimaced a little, then laughed. 'When the shit hit the fan, I started lugging my Rembrandts out of the path of the hurricane. I sold my stocks and paid the capital gains tax just like a good little boy. Declared everything. Didn't cut any corners.' 'Didn't they freeze your estate?' 'I was charged with murder, Red, not dead! You can't freeze the assets of an innocent man - thank God. And it was a while before they even got brave enough to charge me with the crime. Jim - my friend - and I, we had some time. I got hit pretty good, just dumping everything like that. Got my nose skinned. But at the time I had worse things to worry about than a small skinning on the stock market.' 'Yeah, I'd say you did.' 'But when I came to Shawshank it was all safe. It's still safe. Outside these walls
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