Study Guide

The Orange Houses Chapter 4

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Chapter 4


  • In a Bronx halfway house, twenty-four days before the hanging, Jimmi recounts his life story for us.
  • His dad split when he was young, so it was just his mom and him growing up. He enlisted in the military when he was seventeen, and left for training before finding out his girl was knocked up.
  • By the time he found out, he was overseas, but he planned to come back to America and marry her when he got the chance.
  • One day, a five-year-old ran past Jimmi at the city market. She had an IED strapped to her and it malfunctioned and killed her—Jimmi talked to the girl as she died.
  • He woke up a couple weeks later in the vet hospital recovery wing. He'd been hit by rubble and was pretty shaken up by what he'd seen.
  • Jimmi went back home and looked for his girl, but it was too late by the time he got there, and she'd lost the baby and killed herself.
  • Eighth months later, Jimmi works at the hospital as a sweeper, and does drugs to keep his mind off things.
  • He's not sure if life is worth living, but he writes little poems to keep him going. 

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