Virgil Bliss is a man obsessed with living a normal life, finding a good job, marrying a decent woman, and building a family of his own. But as a recently paroled career thief with a hair-trigger temper and the social skills of a child, he faces distinct challenges. At the halfway house where he gets his first taste of freedom in over a decade, Virgil meets Manny Alvarez, a fiery miscreant who takes the emotionally naive Virgil under his wing and initiates him in the ways of the world. It's Manny who introduces Virgil to Ruby, an opportunistic junkie with whom Virgil falls instantly in love. As Virgil and Ruby learn to trust each other, they share their concerns: Ruby plans to win back custody of her four-year-old son and Virgil confesses the horrible and senseless crime that landed him in prison. After his release from the halfway house, Virgil finds work as a janitor and moves in with Ruby. But their attempts to adjust as a family come undone with the arrival of the psychotic Manny.