Part 2 Index Part 4

Subject:      CODY: MY STRUGGLE, Part 3, Common Betrayals
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1996/11/01
Message-Id:   <55dc2r$>
Newsgroups:   rec.arts.prose,

                           MY STRUGGLE

                      by CODY ANN MICHAELS
                     c. All Rights Reserved

                             PART 3

                         COMMON BETRAYALS

                           Chapter 8

                          17 Syllables

        "Home is where you go, and they have to take you in."
            -- Robert Frost

	I don't want to write about politics no more.  Oh my god, I hurt
so much.  They beat me up so bad.  WHAM.  SLAM.  Kelly was furious.  What
are you writing this shit for?  Don't you know you can get in trouble? 
Aaaaggggh.  You stinking shit.  Gary punche d me in the stomach.  Dirty
little cock sucker.  Who do you think you are?  I sure learned my lesson. 
They tore up my manuscript and threw it at me.  She kicked me all over the
room.  You're getting too big for yourself, cunt.  You're just a whore. 
Reme mber that.  I said I'd never do it again.  Putting garbage like that
on the internet.  You want the feds to come in here and bust your ass? 
Dole's an important man.  Who do you think you are to make fun of him?  I
said I wasn't.  I said I would never mak e fun of Dole.  Or anyone else. 
I was just trying to find my voice.  To say something about what's
happening in the world?  Like what?  Well, welfare mothers.  Kelly
laughed.  What do you know about welfare mothers?  Okay, the economy.  I
could write about the economy. 

	The only economy you know about is how to sell your stupid ass. 
Now get ready. 

	Maybe she's right.  Maybe I'm not supposed to know things.  I'm
sorry I wrote about Dole.  Even if it wasn't the same Dole everyone else
is talking about.  I tried to explain that to Kelly, but she wasn't
interested.  She said if I ever did that again, s he'd break my fingers so
I couldn't write. 

	Wear your guns tonight.  I knew what that meant.  And chaps. 
You're going to play an outlaw.  And he's the sheriff.  You're going to
have a gun fight. 

	Oh no, God.  please No.

	Stop whining.  He wants you to put up a real fight.  If you don't,
I'll use the cattle prod. 

	Tears streamed down my face as I dressed.  What did I do?  You
slept with his girl friend. 

	Is that all?

	Okay.  You robbed the stage coach.  You're one of the Clantons. 

	That's always a popular theme.  The Clantons must have been
history's favorite losers.  Them and the Nazis.  And lately, child
molesters.  I get a lot of requests to do child molesting.  So they can
punish me. 

	The Clanton sisters.  Dakota and Cody.

	Adorable redheads.  Twins.

	Dakota was already in jail.

	We'll come back to that later.

	This is the scenario.  Cody is leaning against the bar in some
drunken saloon.  And the bounty hunter comes in. 

	I've done this scene so many times in so many different ways.  I
go for my gun.  He's too quick.  He grabs my wrist, bending it back
sharply.  I drop the gun.  He back hands me across the face. 

	There are variations.

	I go down.  I go against the bar.  He knees my groin.  I cry out. 
He hits me again.  He pistol whips me with his revolver. 

	WHAM  WHAM   Wham

	The golden redhead slumps to the floor, clutching her face.

	He pulls her up by the hair, throws her against the bar, drives
his knee into her crotch. 

	Cody is totally ineffectual in defending herself.

	He takes a cattle prod out of his pack and puts the head between
her legs. 

	Now she fights.  Hurls herself at him.  Tries to hit his face.  He
backs off and trips her.  She sprawls.  Gets kicked in the face.  Bleeds. 
Crawls.  The prod touches her ass.  She yells.  Tries to get up.  He
rabbit punches her.  The coed goes down.  T his time he kicks her in the
belly, flipping her over.  He rests the prod on her twat and pulls the

	Twenty thousand volts keep the little dance hall hostess hopping. 
His fists are like hammers.  They cut her open. 

	Wear your guns.  He likes to beat up cowgirls.

	Kelly, no.  Please.

	Stop whining.  Here, you're only wearing panties and a shirt.  And
gloves and a bandana and hat.  But no skirt.  You're supposed to meet him
in Steam Heat.  Take the subway. 

	I also had high heeled boots, black chaps, and sheer nylon
stockings with seams. 

	I was acutely conscious of people staring at me in the subway.

	When I walked into the bar, I was thoroughly shamed.

	I leaned against it, nursing a drink, trying to get my confidence
back.  All around me I was conscious all eyes were on me.  As if I was
some sort of outlaw.  I felt supremely out of place. 

	Then, just as I was getting accustomed to the joint, I felt the
presence of someone behind me. 

	I turned, sharply, only to have a big hand grab my tit.

	What have we here?

	I tried to push him away, but that got me nowhere.  He was too
big.  And too fast.  He held me tight and pulled my head back, planting a
big wet kiss on my mouth.  I felt sick. 

	I struggled.  Honest, I did.  Trying to kick him.  Or knee him in
the balls.  That made him mad.  And he hit me.  That's when I went for my
gun.  He caught my hand in a vice and twisted my wrist back.  The gun went
off, but missed.  I dropped it.  He smi led and used his other hand to
back hand me across the face.  Blood trickled in my mouth. 

	The pretty young cowgirl was dragged out of the bar and thrown
into the muddy street.  They were going to have the trial right there. 
The cowboys hooked her to a horse and they dragged her up and down the
street.  Took some of the fight out of her. 

	He wants your hair back.  With several long curls around your
face.  Try to look sophisticated.  Like Emma Peel. 

	Lynch the bitch.

	But first they were going to make me suffer.

	Take her in the other room now and give it to her.

	She was primed.

	She was ready.

	Susan came home.

	Where were you?

	A Repubican fund raiser.

	I saw you on tv.

	We surf on the cutting edge of the clicker.

	What's happening?

	Cody's getting her ass beat.

	What else is new?

	Our appetite to punish is insatiable.  The Clantons, the Nazis,
child abusers.  All are fair game.  Cody Ann Clanton made an adorable Nazi
child molester.  She wasn't much more than a child herself.  The Earps
moved in. 

	It was necessary, of course, to be guilty.  There was no use
punishing someone if she was innocent.  That would just make her a martyr. 
Kelly supplied them with evidence, photos of Cody with young boys.  At
Nazi youth rallies.  Fucking the Fuerhrer.  No one seemed to mind that the
Fuerhrer was supposed to have died before her father was born.  This was
virtual.  All you had to prove was intent. 

	The object was to track her down.  Kelly explained.  You're on the
run.  They're after you.  They catch you.  You escape.  What are you
talking about?  Kelly showed her the evidence.  Cody was horrified.  I
didn't do this. 

	Kelly shrugged.

	They think you did.  You'd better get going.  Good luck.


	Except, clickers don't click.  They make no sound at all.  The
picture just changes.  From Dole to Astaire to strip mining in Australia
to some great Japanese animation to the death of Merlin to Uzo doing a
rant about money to... 

	Oh stop!

	She had shown them pictures of the girl Cody had set up with Kyle. 
So in that respect, Cody had been guilty.  And another girl, Megan, who
was in a porn flick with Cody.  She had been maybe twelve.  There was
plenty more.  Then there was Cody in her S.S . uniform.  And high heeled
boots.  And riding crop.  The trouble was, she was supposed to be a
cowgirl.  You couldn't wear a stetson with an s.s. uniform.  It looked
stupid.  Or chaps.  It had to be one or the other. 

	Cody sighed.  Maybe I could just wear an armband.

	Okay.  How about a monocle?

	She tried.  It kept falling off.

	Eventually, she settled for black shirt and white panties.  She
was stunning. 


	"I hope that you and your colleagues will produce nothing more than
a haiku here," one of the [Democratic convention] stage mangers told a
journalist before it started.  "Just 17 beautiful syllables, surrounded by
acres of beautiful white space.  Substan ce is not what we want to be
dealing in here."  -- N.Y. Times, 9/27/96

	da da da da da
	da da da da da da da
	da da da da da

	train no substance choo
	con vent at ten shun all life
	dead men tell no tales

	I don't know how to do it.

	Maybe it makes sense if you've taken health benefits away from
millions of kids to have a millionaire actor who broke his neck falling
off his horse be your convention feel-good speaker, but I can't get it
into seventeen syllables.  At least Colin Powell made it to the Republican
convention on his own. 

	Let's see.

	Superman daaaaaa.  Da da Krytonite.

	Doesn't fit.

	Take out das.

	Superman.  Krytonite.

	That was the name of the horse.

	Okay.  Get off it.  That's not the issue.  The issue is child
abuse.  Starving children is child abuse.  Taking away their right to
education, is, it would seem to me, child abuse.  Killing their medical
benefits is abuse.  So why aren't these guys in jail? 

	How come I'm the one who they're always kicking around?

	When New Jersey started stiffing unwed mothers by cutting off
benefits for their children, how come the whole state wasn't hauled into
the world court?  I don't get it?  I look at Bill Clinton and I see total

	I found a perfect place to hide.  The family emergency shelter
office in the Bronx.  No one will find me here.  People have been sleeping
on chairs and tables here for months, whole families, and no one pays
attention to them.  Especially, the city.  The only people from the city
who come here are workfare round up coordinators in suits.  Women come in
here; their boy friend or husband beat them up, they have a couple of
screaming children, they have nowhere to go, and Guiliani's goons hand
them a broom and tell them to sweep the park.  No work.  No help.  And
sometimes, not even shelter.  There's a whole bunch of women across the
street who they kicked out.  One woman has six kids.  Tell me about child

	I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, but politics
sucks.  Guiliani sucks.  Clinton sucks.  And Dole sucks. 

	Clinton can act like the Republicans did what he did, but he did
it.  And if he's elected, he's going to do more.  Clinton is a baby-faced
killer Peckinpah would have died for.  Like Gig Young in Bring Me the Head
of Alfredo Garcia.  Just wait.  Old peop le are next. 

	That's a lot to get into one little poem.

	What is the sound of one clicker clapping?

	There must be some kind of noise.

	Like, every time I see Billy-bot's face on tv, I change the
channel.  I do the same for commercials.  And most sports.  And The
Simpsons.  I can't stand The Simpsons.  I watch the Bundys.  The
difference between the Simpsons and the Bundys is this, the S impsons
always wind up doing the right thing.  aaaaaaaaaaggggh. 

	It makes you gag.  Modern little morality tales, jammed down your
throat.  But you always know that Al Bundy will find a way to do something
underhanded and dirty.  You almost wonder why he's not in politics.  He'd
make a great president. 

	When Clinton signed the welfare bill, the un-welfare bill, I
wanted to scream, "THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING."  But I knew it wasn't.  I
knew it didn't give a shit.  I knew that Chicago was going to be the most
sickening ...  Oh, forget it.  I hope he los es.  I hope all the fucking
women who think he's the only thing standing between them and a pro-life
amendment get royally fucked.  Where were they for the last four years? 
When there was still time to find somebody?  Anyone.  How come nobody
screams whe n he brags about signing the "fifty reasons to kill your
fellow man" law?  Or when he fired Dr. Elders?  Or his terrorist law that
lets them round up people and kick them out of country without a trial or
even knowing who is accusing them? 

	Fucking Democrats deserve to lose.  They are such shit.  They
betray us at every bend of the road. 

	We're all going to end up in concentration camps.  Me.  Kelly. 
Maybe not Kelly.  Kelly will probably be a commandante.  She makes a great
one.  She looks so cute in a uniform.  Talk about a real Nazi. 

	Want to see my button?  No.  My campaign button.  It says, "Let
Paula have him." 

	I've got another.  "INDICT HILLARY."

	This my Dole button.  It's completely blank.

	I wear them on my armband.

	For the last three days, I've been sleeping under a table here at
the shelter.  I don't have to describe it.  Everyone knows how welfare
mothers live.  The giant screen tvs.  The jaccuzzis.  The hot tubs.  The
day care people who look after the children while their mothers are having
their hair done.  It's a real spa.  And, of course, the food is great. 
Tremendous.  I think I gained five pounds.  I never knew there were so
many appetizing recipes you could make with nachos.  No one knows who I
am.  Most of the women are black.  But there are several light skinned
hispanics.  I'm the only white woman here.  The only ex-Nazi, too. 

	Although some are wildly devoted to Franco.

	And there are a lot of sadistic killers in the Bronx who would
make the Gestapo cringe. 

	During the day, they kick me out, because technically, I have
someplace else to live.  I could go back to Kelly.  And her boy friends. 
So I'm not eligible for shelter.  But after the counselors go home at
five, I sneak back in.  I wouldn't want to be out on the street at after

	My case is typical of a lot of these women.  If they find out you
have a relative or friend, they kick you out and tell you to go there. 
Even if you've already been kicked out there and told not to come back. 
Real nice.  One woman and her kids were kic ked out of her grandmother's
because the city social worker said the old woman had too many people
living there, and when she got to the shelter, the city said they weren't
eligible for shelter because they could go to her grandmother's.  Sadists
like tha t always makes me feel like I've spent my best years around
hopeless amateurs.  She's across the street. 

	We huddle under the table, trying to get some sleep before they
come to kick us out in the morning.  I'm trying to think of a seventeen
syllable poem.  Something with lots of white space.  Bill, oh Bill.  What
hast thou done to me? 

	The trouble with a weak president is he will never stand up for
anything.  All of that bull about Bill being an activist during the war. 
I'm convinced that was only an excuse to keep from getting his ass shot
off.  You don't have to be a weatherman to k now which way the wind blows. 
But it helps.  And Clinton was one of the best.  Oh?  You didn't know
that?  Check it out. 

	He was at the heart of the conspiracy.  Remember that house that
blew up next door to Dustin Hoffman's in the village.  There was one
mystery guest they never identified.  The two girls who jumped out the
window, naked.  The ones who were in the basement .  But the guy in the
raincoat.  Who was he?  You wonder, don't you? 

	They're all terrorists.

	And they hate amateurs.  That's why they kick the Arabs around. 
Hopeless.  Can't even blow up a plane right.  And the Olympics?  Pathetic. 

	I kept wishing.  Oh, blow it up.  Blow it up.  Set off the
freaking bomb now.  Missile incoming.  But all we got was that pathetic
little pipe bomb.  Naturally, that was all they needed.  For the next five
days, it was socially embarassing to turn up the sound on the TV.  You
would have thought Atlanta was reviving itself from General Sherman.  All
they needed was Scarlett to shriek, "I'll never be hungry again," as she
clawed the artificial turf in Olympic stadium. 

	The pathos.  The artificial pathos.  But at least she had been
genuinely hungry.  It wasn't made up.  Like the kids in the shelter.  You
just know they're faking when they start crying in the middle of the
night, pretending they can't sleep because a han dful of Fridos and
whatever other good stuff shelter people eat isn't enough.  God, I hate

	I'm having a lot of trouble with this poem.

	For one thing, when I start to write "Clinton", I get sick.

	That stops me right there.

	Then, convention.  We watch it on tv.  The shelter has one of
those wall-size tv screens like they have at the convention -- with the
square panels.  I mean, it shows every wrinkle in Hillary Clinton's face. 
I wonder if that guy Starr is related to Blaz e.  Maybe he's her kid. 
Maybe he's Earl Long's son.  Or Jack Kennedy.  I sure hope he indicts that
bitch.  I wonder if you can get in trouble for saying that.  A lot of
people like her.  But I think she's worse than he is.  A lot of people
think she's another fucking Eva Peron.  What an insult. 

	Eva was a saint.  Eva knew what it was like to be poor.  She had
been one of them.  She came off the streets and gave people hope.  Of
course, she had to marry a pig to do it, but hey!  You make choices. 
Peron was no worse than most guys.  He kept her in a glass coffin after
she died.  Like Stalin.  I wonder if Clinton would do that. 

	I keep thinking about the seventeen syllables of death.  Maybe I'm
going about it all wrong.  Maybe there's a different way of doing it. 

	Like today, I wrote in my diary:  "We're becoming a dominatrix
society.  That's the only way I can read it.  Guiliani behaves like a
dominatrix, whipping the poor.  Making them clean his streets and crawl
for food and shelter.  All that's missing is the leather."  And the sex. 

	Guiliani as a dominatrix.  Scary.

	I used to call him Il Duce Two-chi.  But now I call him Mayor
Death.  Or Mayor Hitler.  But Guiliani. at least, is not masquerading
behind a pious mask of benevolence.  You just look at him and know what he
is.  Pirranha.  Stay out of the water.  If you can.  Or these mean
streets.  Run.  Get away.  Change the channel. 

	I get squeamish.  All that white space.

	All those black faces.

	All that blood.

	All that bullshit.

	Write me a poem.  Tell me a story.  Make it short.  Now get out. 

	you don't have to take drugs to be a junkie whore
Clinton's speech
we're still writing it.  This is the last time he gets to tell her what he
wants so she'd better be listening
when he says it
how do I get her attention?

Hillary.  Come in here.

it roused the delegates
in their seats
and the whirlwind took over
this would be a good place to set it
under the bandstand
get him to stand on the bandstand
now pull the trigger
the train left Cemetery Ridge on the way to Utah.

Wher are we going now?

Church Rock.

the funeral train bore westward towards Springfield, bringing him home to
where he was buried. 

Hey, wait a moment. I'm not Lincoln.

Not anymore toots.
On deadman's curve they hit a washout
and the train slid sideways into the gulf
it was like a giant penis tumbling down the mountain side of her lovely
breashts they picked up entourage as they went along.  Get on board.  The
21st Century Limited. 
Why'd they call them Limited?

Because they were on work relief.

You don't say.  Now what do they do?

They starve.

You don't say.

We ought to do something like that.

They ran the railroad right into the convention center so he wouldn't have
to get off.  He could do it right there in the station.  We'll all come to
see you, when he comes.  See if you can do it better. 

Clinton wasn't sure what to make of it.  He asked his wife if she knew
anything about it and she said no.  So that finished it.  Until one night
he found out she had, and that... 

	What the American people want to know is how much he knew and when
he knew it. 

	You just chop it up into seventeen syllables and send it like
that.  It's called packet service.  At the other end, a code fits them
back together.  Hopefully. 

	So everything was broken down into seventeen syllable bites and
sent via the internet into thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of
computers all over the world.  There was always a lag while the programs
sorted through the different packets and wired the m back together.  Some
of the computers were in America, but most were off shore, in places like
Bangkok, Moscow, San Bernadino.  If you make this timely trip, be sure to
use the skyway that's the best.  Get your kicks on Chicago Green.  This
time, maybe he'll inhale. 

	The whole convention center was wired.  You could see it in their
eyes, as they waited for their god to arrive.  It was almost pentacostal,
the way they believed in that... 

	image.  That's all he was.  An image.  A totem.  An empty suit.  A
weathervane blowing in the wind. 

	Okay.  Let her down.


	Sometimes at night the women sit in the shelter office, around the
communal tv, the light flickering on their dark faces, sipping their
drinks and talking about the new fall fashions or how hard it is to get a
sitter, and I think, these women are not made for the golden technological
age.  Their's is a greater history.  It's not that they cannot be
domesticated to do the same mindless task over and over again for minimum
wage, but they have hearts and souls so vast that people like the Clintons
will never comprehend what is being lost. 

	Clinton said the difference between him and Jimmy Carter is like
daylight and darkness.  Yeah.  Yeah.  He's right.  But not the way he
means.  TV said Clinton's people kept Carter away from the convention,
like they're ashamed of him.  So Carter went fishing with Jane Fonda in
Montana.  Where would you rather be? 

	Sun cut by black rock;            5
	White water's no terror.          7
	Mad rabbit's in Chi.              5

                            Chapter 9

                         Tricking Dickie

	So I was wrong.  The whole world WAS watching.

	Right away, everyone wanted to know, was Bill getting any?

	I can't tell you.  It wouldn't be ethical.  After all, this is a
highly confidential profession.  It would be completely unethical for me
to devulge the nature of anything that might have gone on between me and
one of my clients.  Unless you pay me. 

	I mean, I get $200 an hour.  What are you offering?

	I may as well tell you, Inside Edition has already offered to pay
my way to any college of my choice all the way through my post-doctoral
studies.  I'm thinking about Harvard.  They said they'd even throw in a

	Would you like to see my video?

	This is just a sampler I sent around to the different media
people.  Like, you can't really see anything.  All the faces have been
pixeled out so you can't tell if it's Pookie or not.  That's what
Genevieve Flowers called him.  Dickie calls him the Monst er.  But you can
see everything else.  Of course, if this appears on tv, it will probably
be the other way around.  I mean, the pixels will be in another place. 
And they'll show undoubtedly show the face.  Did you see Dickie's?  Oh
wow.  Middle-aged men look so stupid when they're fucking. 

	The fact is, I really didn't intend to get into all this political
stuff.  It's a big diversion from my Dole book.  Dole isn't about
politics.  It's about a man named Dole who is running for president.  But
politics has nothing to do with it.  On the oth er hand, there was a lot
of stuff I had to get off my chest.  Which is why I wrote 17 Syllables,
about Bill on the train and homeless mothers.  And then this business
about Dickie got in the papers.  Which is another big diversion.  What can
I say?  He wa s great in bed?  Well, look at the video.  What do you

	On the other hand, you can't blame the media for treating this
like it's the start of World War 3.  After all, they've just spent weeks
covering two of the biggest non-events since the Olympics.  Both the
Republicans and what's left of the Democrats went out of their way to make
sure there were no surprises at their conventions.  So surprise!  The
press were like starving pirranha.  What would you expect?  I thought
Peter Jennings was going to rupture himself trying not to smirk. 

	Of course, it's important to remember that it wasn't Bill who got
in trouble.  It was Dickie.  But Dickie was very important to Bill.  The
Times said it was Dickie's idea that Bill should act "as a moral guide for
the nation, especially its teenagers."  We laughed a lot about that at the
time.  That and family values.  That was another one of Dickie's ideas,
that Bill should be "family friendly."  I wondered though.  Somehow Dickie
seemed to have it wrapped up in his mind that family values meant taking
food away from little poor kids.  Well, he worked for Jesse Helms before
he teamed up with Bill.  He also had the idea to have the train.  That was
a real inspiration.  Hillary would be in Chicago with the kid, and Bill
was on the train with Dickie and hi s friends.  For four days.  Did you
see that picture on the Times front page of Hillary and Chelsea welcoming
Bill to Chicago?  Like he had just done the most marvellous thing
imaginable.  I nearly vomited.  One paper said Dickie was Clinton's
Svengali, whatever that is.  Another called him a guru. 

	The truth is, Dickie's a nerd.  You just have to look at his high
school photos.  They practically scream NERD.  Just because you're not
Bill Gates doesn't mean you're not a nerd.  And nerds love to show women
how powerful they are.  Do you think Bill Gates doesn't get the president
on the phone just to impress whoever he's sleeping with? 

	"Hi Bill.  This is Bill."

	"Hi Bill."

	"See.  I own him."

	Speaking of owning Bill, didn't you love how ABC showed all those
politicians selling themselves during the conventions?  And they call me a
whore.  Well, I admit it.  I am.  I get paid to put out.  But so do they. 
I'm a whore, and Dickie is a whore and Bill's a whore.  The only
difference is how much you get paid and who pays you.  Bill's the biggest
whore of them all.  It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.  The
other difference is, I don't hurt anyone.  Dickie would probably disagree
with that right about now.  I think he's hurting.  He sounded very huffy
in that resignation letter he wrote.  "Sadistic vitriol," he called it. 
That's rich.  At least nobody starves after I give somebody a blowjob. 
After Clinton killed welfare, the Democrats tri ed to pretend the
Republicans made him do it.  Now they're saying it was Dickie, which shows
how powerful he was.  They're saying he made Clinton act like a
Republican.  The way his people treat him, you'd think Bill doesn't have a
mind of his own.  Or a backbone. 

	I don't think Dick is going to hurt Clinton, though.  The fact is,
people love this kind of thing.  They eat it up.  It will just make him
more popular.  Why do you think there are so many books about Kennedy? 
The other night on tv, I heard that Kennedy was a 12-minute man.  And Peg
makes fun of Al Bundy.  They also said Kennedy was so sex crazed because
of all the drugs he was taking.  He was constantly doped up.  He was
flying.  The only reason they needed Air Force One was they had to haul
around Jac kie and the press.  And his pusher.  There was a doctor who
went with him everywhere, to get him drugs.  Well, you wouldn't want the
president of the United States getting busted trying to score on the
Nederdorf. would you?  Years later, this guy, Doctor Feel Good. whatever
his name was, got disbarred, something to do with not being able to
account for several gallons of amphetamines, but by that time Kennedy was
dead.  Anyway, it was all on tv. 

	There was also a poll that said that if people could vote for any
president they wanted, meaning if they were all alive -- which sort of
leaves out Dole -- Kennedy would win hands down.  I mean, that's after
Lincoln and Jefferson and Millard Fillmore.  I t's not that people give a
damn about a person like Clinton's private life.  They just want to know
all about it.  Just like Hugh Grant.  Clinton is Brad Pitt as president. 
He's an actor, just like Reagan.  He just never made any movies.  Why
bother?  Wh ich is why I think Dole is much more interesting.  Dole is
more the John Wayne type.  Hard, craggy.  Dead.  Like you can just see
that hand clawing its way out of the grave. 

	Frankly, I think Dickie was a genius.  He did the only thing he
could to make Clinton seem interesting for his big speech, and by so
doing, sacrificed himself.  Only a nerd would do something so stupid.  I
don't think it's going to work though.  In the e nd, Clinton is still
going to be a face on an empty shell making noises that sound like words. 
As for Dickie, he'll make out.  Look at Ed Rollins.  I'll bet his agent is
already taking bids on his book.  You wouldn't believe the advance I got
on mine.  N ot the Dole book.  For some reason, I'm having trouble
pitching that.  No one seems interested.  It's the other one.  About
Dickie and the president.  All those phone calls.  And my diary.  I
already have a working title:  The Men in Room 205.  It should be in the
stores by October. 

                           Chapter 10

	August 31: I'm starving.  I've been living on twinkies and Chinese
takeout for a week; ever since Kelly got the idea for the manhunt and
threw me out of the apartment.  I'm supposed to be a Nazi cowgirl on the
lam for child molesting, and any guys who wa nt to be buy in can be bounty
hunters and blow me away if they catch me.  To be truthful, I think
there's a lot of people on my tail who didn't bother to pay Kelly the ten
dollar license fee.  Knowing Kelly, she'll probably blame me for giving it

	It's not that I can't afford to eat.  But I feel I should express
solidarity if I'm going to be a revolutionary with the weak and
downtrodden who are going hungry.  I wish I had a laptop, though.  Lugging
an old 286 CPU, a 14-inch terminal, and a Boca po cket modem through the
sewers is a real pain.  And the 2400 baud rate means you always have to
have a ton of quarters when you hook it to a pay phone. 

	Anyway, I'm not going to talk anymore about politics.  Politics is
boring.  I've said everything I have to about Clinton. and I just want to
get on with my novel.  Although I'm beginning to have my doubts about
Dole.  I don't mean the one I'm writing abo ut.  It's the other one.  I
want to tell him, look Bob, get a clue.  I used to go with a guy who was
three times older than me.  He was in his thirties.  And every second
sentence started with, "When I was young..." or "When I was your age..."
or "In the old days..."  How many women want to listen to that for the
next four years?  I mean, get off it.  No one gives a damn about the past. 
Most people don't even know which Roosevelt was president during the Civil
War.  (Most people won't even know I just ma de a joke.) I don't think
they care about the future, either.  It's what's happening now that's

	Like I heard that Sherry Rowlands wants to be a standup comedian. 
I know.  I said I was done.  But watching Dickie and his wife on TV made
me think.  You look at his wife and then you look at Dickie and then you
look at me, and then you factor Bill-bot into the equation, and this guy
was telling the president of the United States what to do?  This is a guy
who lives in a place in Connecticut that is so big you need a bus to get
from the house to the road, and he was Jack-the-Ripper to welfare?  This
is what I mean by now.  It's sad. 

	Part of the problem is, I don't know where to go from here.

	With Dole.

	I'm tired of making lame jokes about the candidates.  It doesn't
mean anything.  I need to figure something out.  Get back to the real
Dole.  I mean, the one I'm writing about.  But the truth is, I don't much
like trying to think like Dole.  Like a 73 ye ar old man.  Who lives a
life like Dole does.  I don't know how to describe it.  Of course, I know
that's what I'm supposed to be doing, but I don't want to. 

	I decided to call my grandmother and see if I could get some ideas
from her.  There are a lot of similarities between her and Dole.  For one
thing, she's old.  I thought maybe I could adapt some of her behavior. 
Also, I was worried about her.  There are three hurricanes coming, and I
wanted to know what she was going to do.  She said nothing. 

	I said, Gran, you have to do something.

	She said she would sit in the closet.

	I have to tell you, my grandmother's strategy for surviving a
hurricane is to sit in her clothespress and eat Beanie Weenies.  And fill
the bathtub with water. 

	But what she wanted to tell me about was her clock.  The pendulum
clock Crawford, my dad, got her twenty or thirty years ago, stopped
running, and she can't get it down to get it fixed.  So she went out and
bought a little electric pendulum clock.  And n ow she couldn't decide
where to put it.  She has a two-bedroom condo.  She finally put it on a
table in the bedroom, even though my dad's clock was in the living room. 
She said she couldn't put it there because there wasn't any place to put
it.  I though t maybe I could have Dole trying to figure out where to put
a clock.  Wandering around the house.  Putting it on bookcases and
different tables.  It's the sort of thing old people do. 

	They just get totally involved in one thing, and forget everything
else.  Like there are three hurricanes about to smash you flat. 

	My grandmother said it would cost sixty dollars to get Crawford's
clock fixed. 

	I screamed, Gran, Fran is coming.

	That got her attention.

	Fran was her younger sister.  The two women hated each other.

	Fran is also the name of the middle hurricane.  She's sandwiched
in between Edouard and Gustavo.  Which my Grandmother said sounded just
like Fran.  She was a slut. 

	I imagine that talking to my grandmother is much like trying to
talk to Dole.  You say one thing and he says another.  Something totally
unrelated.  Like, cigarettes kill and he says you can get addicted to
milk.  Or drug use is going up, and he says it' s Clinton's fault.  My
grandmother said Fran was a slut. 

	The two haven't seen each other since their mother died.  In fact,
Gran doesn't even know if Fran's still alive.  According to Gran, Fran got
everything.  Also, Fran married rich.  And Gran didn't.  That was always a
bone of contention between them, too.  Fran lived up on the hill, and Gran
lived in a nice split level house; nothing wrong with it.  Her husband
worked for a living.  He just didn't make as much as Fran's did. 

	She couldn't put the clock on a shelf in the bookcase because
Crawford's things were all there.  My dad's been dead nearly two years
now.  That's why there's no one to look after her.  Gran loathes my
stepmother, Luanne.  Anyway, she's got all this stuff of my father's that
he left there when he went to college, and she's still waiting for him to
come and get it.  I said to throw it out.  He's dead.  But she doesn't
want to hear it. 

	My grandmother thinks nobody likes her.  She's not a bad person,
but she has an inferiority complex.  And she never listens.  Partly, she's
half deaf.  But she also doesn't want to hear anything.  She's also half
blind, and she worries a lot she won't ge t her license removed when it
comes up next year.  She'll be 93.  Twenty years older than Dole.  She's
going to vote for Clinton.  She hates Dole.  And Newt Gingrich.  My
grandmother is a life long Republican, so far right she makes the KKK look
pink.  Cl inton was only the second time in her life she voted for a
Democrat.  Which says something, doesn't it?  The only other time was when
she was so mad at Gerald Ford for taking Richard Nixon's job, she voted
for Jimmy Carter. 

	Actually, the fact is, my grandmother didn't just tell me about
the clock and where she put it.  She told me everything that led up to it,
including the demise of the dead clock, what she had had for breakfast,
who she had talked to, what they had said, what the man in the store said,
the fact that she hadn't gotten a receipt and would have to go back and
get one, and so on.  I'm sparing you all this detail, just as I am sparing
you from the meticulously infinite reasoning that went into every nuance
and phrase of Dole's acceptance speech.  And Clinton's.  Actually, I know
more about Clinton's than Dole's, because Dickie wouldn't stop talking
about it.  It was like an aphrodisiac.  He practically wrote it in my
bedroom.  Actually, I think Dickie thought he was president.  That it was
him making the speech.  Clinton was just sort of decoration, like wall
paper.  You know, like when Oliver North was president during the Reagan
years?  One time, when we were fucking, he told me that once when they
were work ing late he actually sat in Clinton's chair at Clinton's desk in
the Oval Office while Clinton was in the john.  I could picture Dickie
looking through the desk trying to find the button to start World War III
when he heard the toilet flush.  Dickie thoug ht Bill was a hollow man, an
empty shell.  Which is why he respected him.  In Dickie's eyes, a
politician who couldn't be manipulated was a loser.  Without him, Clinton
would be nothing.  At least, I think that's what he was trying to imply
when he resign ed.  "Buried in a landslide," is how he put it.  Organized
criminals can do anything. 

	After all, look at Jesse Helms and Trent Lott.  Two more of
Dickie's customers.  If I was Dole, I would be outside Dickie's door in
Connecticut, begging him to take over my campaign.  For God's sake, he
doesn't have anything to lose, does he? 

	Dickie, make me what I am!

	Well, Dickie can make a jackass's behind look presidential.  I
think he's already demonstrated that.  So think what he could do with
Dole.  And if you think Dickie wouldn't take the job, you really are
living in another time zone.  This is the nineties.  Not like when Dole
was starting out from Kansas.  A different code of honor now prevails. 
And those who can grasp that fact are the ones who are going to ... 
Actually, I don't know what they will do. 

	It's too early to say.

	Who knows, maybe someone in Dole's camp has already made the call. 
Sure, Bill.  I'd love to.  Think what kind of money he would command if
Dole actually won.  He'd be the most powerful man in America.  People
would think he could do anything.  He could write his ticket.  In the
future, presidencies will be known not by their incumbents, but by the men
who made them.  Dole would be Dickie's first full presidency.  Dickie
would be a made man.  I wonder what he would do to me. 

	It's bad enough being a nazi and a cowgirl, two of the most
popular kind of victims.  And a child molester.  People really love to
burn child molesters.  It brings out their most sadistic vitriol.  I love
that word.  But having someone like Dickie on my tail would be even worse. 
I don't even want to think of it. 

	After what he did to Bill Clinton?  Forget it.  Clinton is 21
points ahead right now.  Two points higher than when they went into the
conventions.  You could see that melt faster than the good witch of the
north.  I know.  They changed it in the book.  B ut it was actually Glinda
who got it.  After someone put a contract on her.  Dorothy was the hit
man.  She never told who she was working for. 

	But she never forgot what it looked like, when she threw the acid
in the pretty blonde's face.  Or the screaming and hollaring.  They toned
that down in the movie, too.  Alien would be more like it.  Alien II. 
With Siquoury Weaver.  I don't know how to spell her name.  Of course,
Sigoury didn't get it.  But Billy Burke sure did.  I mean, that's
essentially what Dorothy was, wasn't she?  A capo.  A soldier.  She was on
assignment.  She was supposed to bring back the broom, which she did.  But
in the process, she offed an old woman. 

	Glinda still had her looks, though.  And so did I.  So far.  I
crouched in the sewer underneath the emergency shelter office.  What was I
doing here.  I was tapped into the phone company lines and was talking to
my grandmother. 

	I'd forgotten all about Edouard and Fran and Gustavo.  Now they
were closing in.  Bring me the head of Cody Ann Mask, was all he said. 
Which was not the same as how Kelly had set it up.  Once again, reality
had split.  Opening her legs like a two dollar whore.  Saying put it
there, baby.  Fuck my pussy pussy.  Gran, I screamed, listen to me!!!!!! 

	I pictured someone screaming like that at Dole.  But who?  Who
would want to scream what at Dole?  Like, that would make a difference? 
Would mean something if Dole listened?  That Dole could do something about
it or ought to know it?  Why would you scre am at Dole?  To get out of the
way of the bus?  That sitting in the closet was not a good way to avoid
hurricanes?  If you ever saw my grandmother's closet, you would know that. 
You would know it wasn't a good shelter to hide from anything?  In the
first place, it's full of clothes.  My grandfather when he was alive had
his clothes in there, too.  But now it's filled with stuff she bought from
the church rummage sale for two or three dollars each.  My grandmother is
a packrat.  There was a time I thought she had a sacred mission to funnel
every consumer good in the state of Florida through her apartment.  But
now she only buys at the rummage sale.  She's a total clothes freak.  She
must change clothes seven times a day.  I heard Jack Kennedy did.  But I
don't think Dole does.  I told you he only wears pajamas.  My grandmother
thinks he's weird. 

	A cellar would be better.  But in Florida, there are no cellars. 
Everything's right on the ground.  The cellar's where Dorothy's folks went
to hide from the tornadoes.  And I supposed Dole's did, too.  Big twister
coming at you.  You got out of the way.  Went underground.  Sometimes,
never came up.  Dole had been a spy during the war.  But he had forgotten
which war.  And what he was looking for.  Dickie straightened him out. 
Gave him new issues.  War with Canada.  Free the hostages.  Willie Horton. 
S tatehood for Hawaii.  Clinton was left with teenage smoking and deadbeat
dads.  The electorate reconsidered.  Did they really want to have to be
constantly bailing their kids out of jail for smoking cigarettes?  Did
they even like being told they shouldn' t smoke?  Or laugh at the antics
of Joe Camel?  And did men really want to have their licences taken away
if they couldn't keep subsidizing their old old ladies to the level at
which they weren't accustomed? 

	Bumper stickers appeared:  


	I suppose by this time, Shelly has her own newsgroup on usenet.  I
have to look.  Maybe Dickie does, too.  If so, I'll post this there.  Not
that I'm getting much response.  I mean, is anyone out there reading this? 
Am I coming through?  I was watching Bill Cosby last night giving a speech
at Howard University; he rambled on and on, but the ghist of what he was
saying seemed to be that black folk today have got to know their place,
and it's on the barricades.  I think that's what he said.  And the trick
is to know what was the barricades and what isn't. 

	Like being in the sewers and in the streets is no longer the
barricades.  It isn't even fashionable.  What are the barricades today are
the offices and courthouses of America.  And it's time to kick the doors
down.  At least, I think that's what he meant.

	Everyone clapped.

	It was on C-Span at 3 in the morning.  We watched it on the
wall-size TV here in the shelter.  You know, some of us who were up late,
guarding the doors.  With heavy armor.  It's right now.  Not ten years in
the future.  We're now.  And here.  And any mo ther fucker who tries to
get through that door before nine in the morning is going to have their
head blown off. 

	Then we have to go outside.  And the city goons come in and hand
everybody brooms.  So they can feel equal to the rest of America. 

	During the day, I play games with Gustavo and Edouard and Fran. 
Three of the people in the hunt.  Inside the shelter is sanctuary.  Part
of the game rules.  But outside, I'm fair game.  A moving target.  It's
open season on Cody. 

	And all the rules apply.  Which apply to child molesters and Nazis
and cowgirls. 

	All I've got are my computer and my Harley.

	And a pair of six guns.

	But they've got radar tracking devices and lazer cannon.

	And all that other cool stuff you can send for off the back of a
Kellogg's box. 

	The goal is to trap Cody, or at least keep her from getting back
to the shelter before dark, when the women are locked in. 

	A lot of this is about shelter and how to get it.  Gran's closet. 
Dorothy's cellar.  Forgive me for stating the obvious.  I just noticed it. 
It's also about staying alive.  Gran says she wants to die, but she
doesn't stop taking her pills or going to t he HMO every other day.  She
practically lives there.  They give her everything.  Her prescriptions. 
Her eyeglasses.  Her hearing aides.  But she doesn't wear them half the
time.  Says they make noises in her ears.  Of course they do.  I told her
those w ere words.  She was supposed to listen to them.  She thought I was
crazy.  Gran, I tried to explain, words are what people do when they try
to talk to each other.  You know, say something?  What do you want me to

	Oh, forget it.

	Dickie could make my grandmother president if he wanted to.  I was
getting close to truth.  I could feel it.  But I had forgotten what it
was.  Out there on the prairie, with nowhere to hide from the twister, it
made a man think.  How do you deal with so mething like this?  The same
with a hurricane.  How do you deal with it?  Gran bought the Beenie
Weenies two or three years ago.  She's never eaten them.  They are for
when a hurricane strikes and the electricity goes off for days, like at
Homestead.  I t hink they're little hotdogs in beans.  But I'm not sure. 
Hurricane Andrew missed her by about fifty miles.  Otherwise, I might
know.  Because she would have been eating them in her closet, under two
tons of wet clothes.  If she was still alive.  After ri ding around
Homestead, I have my doubts. 

	Gran was still focused on Fran and what she had done to her.  Fran
was the baby of the family.  Ten years younger than Gran.  And the beauty. 
The other two girls had big noses.  But Fran was a vavacious brunette who
looked sort of like Jane Russell.  Boy, did she pay. 

	My grandmother ought to do phone sex when she gets on the issue of
Fran.  Fran was a total submissive, and Mildred and Mary, that was the
oldest sister, treated her like Cinderella.  My grandmother hated her
older sister worse than she did Fran, she's de ad, but that didn't stop
them from teaming up to make the younger girl's life totally hell. 

	Except, the way Gran tells it, it was the other way around.  It
was she who was always getting it.  Those sluts had done everything to
her.  I'll spare you the details of what everything means.  It's worse
than the clock.  I tried to explain that Fran wa s a hurricane, not a
tramp.  But she wasn't listening.  Edouard was ahead of Fran, though. 
Who's he?  Of course, I knew she knew what a hurricane was.  She's been
down there for sixty years.  She does this to annoy people.  She asked me
how my father was .  I said he's dead.  I'm not going to play that game,
either.  I mean, my god, she's been told enough times.  She just won't
accept it.  Just like she wouldn't accept that Richard Nixon was guilty. 
Another thing she has in common with Dole. 

	Dole is a bleek old man.  Maybe that's why I don't like to think
like he does.  Essentially, I'm an optimist.  It's not that I think we'll
win.  But we'll die hard.  It's going to be a fucking capital shootout. 
In the south bronx.  A real rumble.  Their
 guys against me.  Copme on boaby alets da dfwdfkagagbnaegaeg
oh eddie
is she alive?

take her back to the house
they dragged the little teenage nymphlet back to the house and started
working on her again. 

this time she told
who got to her?
bring him in
now what is it?
i want my witness
no problem
get her
he hung up
you didn't see him put down the reciver
you only saw the guy's face
come on cody
make me real
she hung up
you saw her face
Which was she?
They picked her out of a lineup
she's the one
now touch her
the bronx went off
Guiliani moved in police reinforcements
occupying the neighborhood 
between the park and the fence
she was crowded into it
and the lid was closed
she fought them a ll the way
she had claustrophobia in the worst way possible
to be locked in a box in Transmagordna.
Right.  Got it.
You never saw their faces.
They moved like figures in the night
closing in on the hapless schoolgirl
as she got on the bus
and took a seat 
with her legs showing
That night she was whipped.
They tried to get her
but the opportunities did not exist
and she fell through the cracks
into the cauldron
Oz was invincible as he stood there on the rock overlooking the sea and
pointed to the shores of the Emerald Isle.  That's it.  Take it. 

Cody had stopped begging.  She knew she wasn't going to get away.  They
had her surrounded.  Dole's campaign had been cut off, but Dickie was like
Lee.  He had fought at Antiedam.  And Bella Ridge.  Every campaign was
like chess to him.  You just had to k now your opponent.  But this time
around, he wasn't sure who was handling Bill.  He couldn't tell.  He
needed time to think.  And then he made a phone call. 

	This would be a good place to stop.  Wondering what's going to
happen next.  Who will pick up the call?  He dabbled.  Like a musician
fingering a keyboard.  Wondering what melodies to elicit next.  Linda was
calling.  That was another thing.  His wife ma de her do it.  It was all
her idea.  She made the phone call.  At first I didn't want to.  But then
she made me see that if I didn't, I would die.  So I did. 

	How do you think the news crew got access to the apartment?  That
wasn't my doing.  They just showed up and asked me where I wanted the
camera.  So I set it on the table.  So Dickie could see it.  And he knew
it was running.  Who do you think made Fran d o it?  It was Dickie.  He
controlled all of us.  Me.  Dole.  Working both sides of the aisle. 
Keeping his hands close to his chest.  Like Daley.  And the Kennedys.  Now
there was a war.  The Kennedys own the biggest building in Chicago.  And
the Daleys o wn the rest.  So you can see why the two families want to
kill each other.  Dickie used to love to look at videos of his different
campaigns.  While he was planning what to do now.  Dickie didn't think
very far ahead.  Because he knew the camera was going .  He just didn't
make the connection between that and the Star. 

	Dickie practically invented supermarket journalism.  He knows what
it does to people.  A year from now no one will remember welfare.  Or what
it was.  And who did it.  They could be standing on the spot where
Stonewall Jackson got shot, and all they woul d see was a mall.  And
Stonewall would be one of Michael's brothers. 

	Who are always getting in trouble.  And ...  Do you have any idea
what the Jackson brothers' life must be like?  Jerking him around.  If you
want to see child abuse and what it does to people, look at that little
monkey.  His face was on every tabloid co ver.  The Star actually ran the
Dickie piece inside.  No one would have noticed it until they got home and
started to read.  And then they would get an entirely different story. 
And Dole would be forgotten.  Which is just what you wanted him to.  He
laid out Dole's strategy as he fucked me.  Keep him the hell out of sight
until after Halloween.  And then let them have it.  One of Lee's favorite
tactics.  Who?  Robert E. Lee.  He lost the Civil War.  I thought it was
Roosevelt.  No.  That was San Juan Hil l.  Here.  Let me show you.  You
could hear me screaming out to the Beltway.  You want to know what life
inside the beltway is like?  I'll tell you.  No you don't.  Because you
would cream with envy.  Beltway is totally nuclear.  All those cars
whizzing a round and around the city.  The capital.  Like inside a nuclear
accelorator.  Like CERN.  Like ready to blow.  Life is like that.  Dole
knew how to control that.  But did Bill? 

	Bill was still a rank outsider.  A country cousin.  He'll be gone
in four years.  Ignore him.  And they did.  And Bill is outside screaming
let me in.  Fuck Hillary.  Let me in.  And we're back to shelter.  The
locked cellar door.  The mildewed closet.  The beenie weenies and who eats
them.  Dole laid low.  Went on vacation.  Shut up.  The fight now was
between Dickie and who was managing Bill now that they had stiffed him. 
Things were tense. 

	Mother fucking liberals.  It was like an old gunfighter come back
to town after being away, but now he doesn't belong; he's an outsider. 
Suddenly it's just me and them.  Jeb Stuart worked around to their left
flank and came in through the cherry orchard .  It was like right in your
own country.  Doing it here.  Down the hill from the barn.  And WHAMMO. 
The coal cellar.  Another good place to hide.  But not anymore.  It was
like a twister hit the house.  Actually, it was the Pennisula Campaign. 
Who won that one?  Truman.  I thought he was at Twin Oaks.  He was.  But
that was a different charge.  Again, he demonstrated. 

	I hate the civil war.  Almost as much as I hate being a Nazi.  Or
one of the Clantons.  Can't we refocus? 

	Appomatix.  What?> Appomatix is the key.  He was raving.  If you
think I'm lying, you could aways check the phone logs in the white house
to see if they match the entries in my diary.  I'm sure the Clinton people
would fully cooperate with any investiga tion you want to make.  I fought
what I was going to say.  I knew it would get me a beating.  But I did
anyhow.  Em beat me senseless.  Her father was in the war.  I forgot to
tell you, he lived with us.  An old civil war general.  What's Appomatix? 
It's the technique of always playing away from where you are.  Like in
chess.  I thought that was tenuki.  No.  Tenuki is the art of playing
elsewhere.  What's the differnce?  I'll show you. 

	You can split atoms with the beltway.  I know that Dickie split
me.  I was two persons when I started.  Now I'm somone else.  She was
married to both of them.  Dickie could turn anything around and make it
look like a madcap triumph.  They swore him in.  Who?  Who cares?  Grant
knew he was defeated. 

	Lincoln was executed five days later.  I know what the story is. 
This is what happened.  Dickie explained that there are holes in history
just like everything else.  And what connects them are names.  So when
Johnson became president, he made a hole he could escape through and
that's why Nixon lost.  Huh? 

	I know the story.  This is what happened.

	But you said Hillary was indicted.


	What about teenage babies?


	He kept soing me to death.

	Then he reached out and touched. me.  He was sitting on the other
side of the room.  See? 


Dear Bill,

	I am Cody, you bastard.  Stop trying to rob me of my identity.

	I don't know what you mean by not being able to teach what I don't
know.  You constantly seem to have this male thing that women, and
especially young women, can't possibly have any experience.  How much
experience did Mother Teresea have when she was my age?  By the time Joan
of Arc was as old as me, she was dead. 

	Also, I never stuck a catheter up Dole's dick.  That was a lover I
had called Ponce.  At least, that's what he called himself.  I never saw
his face.  He always wore a ski mask. 

	Even when we were on a date.  We'd be in Maxim's, and Ponce would
be trying to eat soup through the mask.  Totally gross.  Well, it was
better than Raul.  Who always insisted on wearing a stocking.  Trying to
eat a hamburger through a stocking, no matter how sheer it is, can be
positively revolting. 

	Revolutionaries are so paranoid.  I wonder if Lenin was like that. 
Or Stalin.  I can't picture Stalin with a woman's stocking pulled over his
head.  Maybe Trotsky. 

	I'm trying to make up for lost time.  Reading Trotsky's sonnets. 
Stalin's correspondence with Edna St. Vincent Millet.  Bakkunin's 39
Theses on the Protocols of Public Hygene and How to Blow Them Up. 

	So you can see, I'm no dummy.

	Bakkunin should be around today.  He loved to blow things up.  

	But I'm being facile.  The fact is, I've gone low.  Said
everything I have to say for now.  I can't make things up.  I have to feel
it first.  If it's not real, I can't write.  Right now, there is nothing

	I guess in that sense, I'm not an intellectual.  Something has to
really hit me before it's real.  Like a fist.  Or a story. 

	That's why myths and legends are important.  They lift us up and
carry us like a wave until we finally wash up on the shore or shatter on
jagged rocks.  The Clantons.  Dorothy.  Jaws.  Dole.  All legends in the
American grain.  The Nazis were possessed b y the ancient gods.  To us,
the civil war was our Mahabarata.  All you have to do is lie back on it
and off you go.  To Gran, Fran is a hole in time.  An empty space 700
miles across.  Coming down on her like a buzzsaw.  There's nothing more 
vicious than a submissive who suddenly turns on her dom. 

	Maybe it was divine retribution that my grandmother should die in
a hurricane that had the same name as her sister.  But probably it was
more like a coincidence.  Not even that.  They said the eye of the
hurricane went right through... 

	Facile, again.  Cheap jokes.  Even the fact that Dickie called
Hillary "Twister," isn't worth commenting on.  That was his codename.  For
her.  They all had code names.  Bill was The Monster.  Panetta was Peter. 
Get it?  Peter Pan.  Dickie's was The Stu d.  It drove people crazy trying
to keep them straight.  And they were constantly being changed.  People
could go through three or four code names in one day. 

	Saturday Night Live stuff.  Why am I so empty?

	I feel like I'm whipping a dead horse.

	Kelly was in the bathroom when I got back to the apartment.  She
whirled around, staring. 

	"Hello, Kel."

	"Cody.  I didn't expect you home."

	"Yeah.  Well, I've been thinking."

	"Oh yeah?  What about?"

	"Bout us."



	She was getting ready to go out.  She had on a yellow dress.  Her
long red hair was loose.  And she had black heels and stockings.  It
wasn't hard tying her hands behind her back. 

	"Cody," she said, "what are you doing?"

	I made her get on a stool.

	There's a rope hanging from the middle of the ceiling, with a
noose hooked to it.  I put it around her neck.  Fixing her hair, so it
wasn't caught in the rope.  She looked real pretty.  I tied her ankles,
too, and adjusted the rope, so that she could jus t maintain herself on
the balls of her feet. 

	Then I took out the stool.  The rope tightened around her neck and
she started to suffocate.  Then I put the stool back under her.  She got
her breath back and started to babble.  Then I took it away again.  I did
this several times. 

	Kelly was wetting her pants.

	I took the stool out and put my hand in between her legs, so it
was the only thing holding her up.  After a few moments, she started to
ride it.  Like she was making love to my hand.  Because it was the only
thing that was giving her air. 

	I let the rope down so her feet just touched the floor.  She began
to hump herself on my hand as my finger probed up inside her and then
brushed the lips as it slit the knife up inside her.  Ride, pig.  Ride

	It went on for hours.  Kelly transferred all her life into her
cunt.  You would have liked her.  She told me everything. 

	But in the end, I felt nothing.  I couldn't get it through my head
that this was wrong, what I was doing to my Kelly.  My Kelly was so young
and pretty.  I wanted to do anything to please her.  But was this it?  I
felt empty.  Dead.  Kelly was dead.  But so was I.  I felt nothing.

	I saw a program today that said that Lear, when he was out in the
woods, realized he was a man.  Before, he had been a king.  But now he
knew how to feel.  But then he was out in the woods.  What could he do? 
His power was gone.  All that was left was a crazy old man.  The biggest
lie was that Kelly died for my sins.  That's just not true.  Jesus died
for our sins.  At least that was the story.  They had to make something up
fast, so they said that.  And things went on from there.  Snowballed, you
might say.  One big story leading to another.  See how it's done?  It's
all a conspiracy.  It just depends where you are on the rim.  I was
running out of ammunition. 

	Everything is encoded.  Don't try to figure it out.

	Just send.

	There will always be rebels in Guatamala.  That's what Guatamala
is for.  Yes, San Clemente is safe.  No one will find you there. 

	Buckets of slime.  I'm just trying to get my head above the slime. 
Fuck you, Kelly.  I cut her down. 

	"Take your things and get out.  The show's over."  She just looked
at me and left. 

	So maybe this is it.  I thought about writing another chapter to
round out the book.  But nothing comes.  It's over.  Clinton will be
re-elected.  And the Republicans will have won. 



Part 2 Index Part 4