The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we’re about to watch could be our journey.
Street scene: Summer. The present. Man on a sidewalk named Lew Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: Pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer, a rather minor component to a hot July; a nondescript, commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks. In just a moment, Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival, because as of three o'clock this hot July afternoon he'll be stalked by Mr. Death.
Portrait of a town drunk named Al Denton. This is a man who has begun his dying early; a long agonizing route through a maze of bottles. Al Denton, who would probably give an arm or a leg or a part of his soul to have another chance, to be able to rise up and shake the dirt from his body and the bad dreams that infest his consciousness. In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler, a rather fanciful-looking little man in a black frock coat. And this is the third principal character of our story. Its function? Perhaps to give Mister Al Denton his second chance.