Part 4 Index Part 6

Subject:      CODY: MY STRUGGLE  Part 5 The Dead
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1996/11/01
Message-Id:   <55dc8t$>
Newsgroups:   rec.arts.prose,

                          MY STRUGGLE

                      by CODY ANN MICHAELS
                     c. All Rights Reserved

                             PART 5

                            THE DEAD

                           Chapter 14

                From Beyond: A Provisional Report

            "Delusion, if delusion be admitted, has no
             certain limitations." -- Samuel Johnson

	I'm not superstitious or anything, but it's hard to watch sessions
of Congress on c-span and not believe it's possible to commune with the
dead.  Well, maybe we can't actually talk to the dead.  But, at least we
know the dead can commune with us. 

	Senator Robert Bird, for one instance, a totally stoneage old
fossil doddering on about same-sex marriages.  How long has he been
planted, I wondered, watching the papers shake in his hand as he tried to
explain that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.  Like I
thought marriage was a religious thing, and we were supposed to have
separation of powers between church and state in this country.  So where
does he get off telling me who I can marry?  I'll marry a pig if I want
to.  What a bore.  You can see why less than a third of the electorate
vote for their congressman.  Who wants to be associated with something as
macabre as this pack of corpses? 

	Another one, Senator Biden, was giving a speech about street
drugs.  He wanted to get the congress to reschedule roofies and Special K. 
As if that wasn't boring enough.  But he actually went back and read
quotations from his speeches from when he got th em to reschedule
quaaludes ten years ago.  Like that made a difference?  Biden wanted to
believe it had.  He quoted statistics.  Another downer.  I noticed the
place was totally empty.  Like no one was listening.  Not even the dead. 
What made it funny is that Biden is from a state who's main business has
been poisoning the world since 1792, whatever, and he's going on about
kids popping drugs?  Come on.  Give me a break! 

	And these are just the Democrats!  

	Not that I think being a Democrat means anything.  I think you
know that.  Banning same-sex marriages was a bi-partisan massacre.  The
Democrats' hands were as bloody as the Republicans.  The same for welfare. 
The same for the death penalty.  The same f or mass murder.  Let me tell
you, if Congress were a murder mystery, the liberal would be the one who
did it. 

	But while it is possible for Congress to commune with us, it
usually doesn't work the other way around.  There have been reported
instances of messages getting through, but few have actually witnessed it. 
This is for good reason.  Congressmen don't like to be seen listening to
their constituents.  I don't mean us, stupid.  I mean, their real
constituents.  These are the persons who are so powerful they can actually
talk to the dead.  Usually high priests and bishops.  And it is frequently
if not always done with a special apparatus called huge sums of money. 
HSM is like a sacred mantra used for invoking the dead.  And congressmen
respond to it like weeds of the sea trailing after the current.  The rest
of us are like those who huddle each Sunday in St.  Patrick's cathedral
and expect God to help us, even though we're totally broke.  Hah! fat
chance, asshole.  And on welfare.  Forget it. 

	Another way of summoning the dead... uh, congress, is through sex. 
I have raised more than one congressman since my twelfth birthday, not to
mention several sheriffs, a governor and three municipal judges, two
women.  So I know the susceptibility of the se gentle souls.  To a woman's
caress.  They'll sell out their own mothers if the right woman asks them
to.  Which is why I know how much trouble social security's in.  Believe
me, it's dead.  You can bribe a senator with money, but you can take him
down with sex.  Just ask censored censored. 

	The dead also talk to the dead.  Only last week, Bob Dole reached
back from the grave and killed a chemical weapons treaty. 

	Dole probably owes his life to the Nazis' humanity, that they
didn't use gas on American troops.  But he asked Trent Lott, his successor
as Senate Majority leader -- a spinoff of Dickie Morris's eternal quest
for the perfect prostitute -- to stop it.  Be tter not.  We might need it
someday.  And Lott killed it.  No vote.  No treaty. 

	I thought Dole resigned.  I mean, that's what it means, doesn't
it, when you say, I quit?  I'm out of here.  I have things to do. 
Promises to keep.  A campaign to run.  A row to hoe.  But not, hold the

	That's what he gave up when he quit.  The U.S. does not have 101
senators.  At least, the last time I counted.  It's just 100.  Two from
each state.  Alaska.  Canada.  Hawaii.  Which don't belong?  So what's he
doing here? 

	Dole came back.

	He walked in and took his place at the lectern.  Now then.  A few

	When it was over, they all had their walking papers.  Everything
was specific.  Who would do what> and what would they do?  He also told
them to shelve the immigration bill until he got a chance to look at it. 
It might be sometime in the next term.  He wants a clause that would keep
immigrant children out of public schools.  He also didn't want Clinton
getting credit for it.  It was like Himmler and Eichmann fighting over who
thought of Auschwitz first.  Brownie points.  With the American people. 
Who c ould screw who the hardest.  The campaign was getting mean. 

	So what then?

	I'll check my notes.

 ... block the treaty on the ground that not every country had agreed to
sign it.  The U.S. might be in a position some day, forced face an enemy
more explicit than Saddam Hussein, say the Republic of Togo, who might use
gas in a last ditch effort to main tain military superiority.  Look at
Chechnya.  For fifty years, America has been spending a trillion dollars a
year on an army to protect it from one that hasn't been able to lick a
country the size of Rhode Island.  So if the U.S. can't beat the Russians
, what would it do if it ever has to face a country that can take care of

	Dole is like the geek who thinks the carnival can't run without
him.  He hangs around.  Talking to people.  The walls.  Congressmen.  Who
does he think he is?> Legba?  In Voodoo, Legba is the god of doorways,
particularly The Big Doorway.  He opens and closes it.  Step right in,
Lady and Gentleman.  If you would be so kind as to allow me to open the
door for you.  He is always exceedingly polite.  Step right in.  Let me
take your hat.  Check your life at the door.  Legba can go both ways.  But
no one el se.  Only the gods.  Those who are gods like Legba.  Legba also
opens the door for them, letting them into the world.  He is like the
sergeant at arms in the senate.  And the Gods are like Congressmen.  They
can go two ways.  It depends on who they are ta lking to.  Or whether they
are listening.  Then you really have to watch out.  When the dead are
listening, there is big trouble ahead.  I'm telling you.  Because the dead
don't listen for nothing.  They don't listen for any petty fruitcake like
that.  Th ey want real nourishment.  You have to feed the gods right. 
Then they listen.  But who can appease such a big appetite?  Big mining. 
Big lumber.  Big tobacco.  They know how to make the gods sit up and take

	In primitive societies there are rituals for getting rid of the
dead.  The idea is you want them to go away and not hang around, causing
trouble.  So you give them some food.  Tell them they are dead.  And to
get lost.  In America, we send them to Congress. 

	And that's when the trouble starts.  Because the dead can't let
well enough alone, and they begin to make up reasons why they are there,
and what they should do.  And pretty soon, they start to make laws. 
That's where laws come from.  The dead.  The zom bies in Congress.  And
they must be obeyed.  No matter how much it hurts.  Or who it kills.  When
I hear a new edict of the dead, I quail.  I think, oh my god, what next? 
It's like being in the eye of a hurricane.  Everything is calm.  But you
know like the shit is going to hit the fan.  Any minute now.  And then,

	The enforcers come and make you do what the dead said.  Or else go
to jail.  You have a choice.  Do it.  Or go to state prison for the next
ten years.  Or don't do it, and do it.  Anything.  Sell drugs.  Sell
yourself.  Bribe your congressman.  Congress is an institution dedicated
to discovering how to get around its own laws. 

	Okay.  I'm not going to write any more social satire.  I told you. 
I hate it.  It has no power to last.  Five minutes from now, no one will
know what I mean.  But Dole reaching back from the underworld gave me an

	Do you vote?  I do.  I've been voting since I was twelve.  I can't
remember which came first.  Voting or sex. 

	I love to vote.  I suppose you wonder how I'm going to vote in
November.  You probably think I'll vote for Dole.  After all the nasty
things I said about Clinton.  Well, he deserved it.  What a schmuck.  But
that's not a foregone conclusion.  After all, Clinton has a lot of
supporters.  For instance, on tv, I saw him at a party in Hollywood where
they were giving him millions.  It was at a big house, I don't know who's,
maybe Barbara Streisand, with hundreds of movie people.  Streisand gave
him $140,000, which was a pittance compared to some of the others. 
Federal law says that individual campaign contributions to a candidate may
not exceed one thousand dollars, so Streisand made the check out to the
Clintons' private company, the Democratic Party.  So did the others. 
Hollywood owns Clinton. 

	But so what, you say, the tobacco drug lords own Dole.  Why
shouldn't the movies get their share? 

	And I say, why not?  Are not the movies as good as the dead?  At
least, they are not of the living.  Movies.  And record companies.  And
entertainment.  And theme parks.  Dole wonders about this as he wanders
through a theme park.  Congressland.  Once he had worn the ears and nose
of a rodent.  Now he is on the outside, looking in.  Beyond the beltway. 
In parking lot Goofy.  Looking for his car.  Which he left in Minnie
Mouse.  Or was it Donald Duck?  Or Ohio?  He looks at the ticket, but
can't read the numbers.  A de Chirico landscape ensues.  Dole still has
the ear of Congress.  van Gogh gave his to a prostitute.  He takes it out
of his pocket and speaks into it.  The reception is not so good anymore. 
The battery's going bad.  He hears voices.  An at tendant asks him how he
got there.  Dole shows him his ticket.  The man laughs. 

	You must be joking?

	Dole looks confused.

	Is this a dream?  Is this hell?  Is this Kansas?

	He had left Kansas years before to get away from it.  Now, it
seemed to be pulling him inexorbinately backward.  Like an imploding nova. 
Soon he would be inside the Schwartzchild probability horizon out of which
no light could escape.  And hence, no rad io waves.  The signals to the
dead would be cut off.  His voice would fail.  This is a ticket for
Lenin's Tomb.  You're in the wrong line. 

	The guide said.

	Dole was standing in the wrong line.  In his p.jays.

	How had he gotten in?

	Where was he?

	His campaign aide told him this was Hell.  A small town in central
Pennsylvania.  He said it was nice to be there. 

	Okay.  That's it.  Forget it.

	Strike the set.

	The campaign's over.

	Dole found himself wandering around a backlot, peeking in windows. 
Inside, somewhere, a party was in full progress.  He could hear the music. 
Barbara Streisand was singing something, but the lyrics had been changed
to something mean and nasty.  Dole wa s an outsider.  A peon.  To these
people who were beautiful and rich beyond his wildest dreams he was a nose
to the glass.  Who could see nothing. 

	It was as if nothing was there.  Nothing real.  Just sounds and
images.  Like the Wizard.  The Wizard had been a phantom, too.  A
delusion.  Sort of like Saddam.  Or the carrot you hung on the mule, in
front of his head, to make him go.  He kept going fr om one set to the
next, but the party was never there.  It had deserted him.  Sorry, Bob,
have to look out for number 1.  Hasta la vista, baby.  Ciao, bimbo.  Bimbo
meant tough guy.  A gypsy word.  It had nothing to do with being feminine. 
Later, it mean t a tough chick.  Then it meant a dumb one.  Dole needed
help.  He called on all the powers of darkness to aid him.  But even
Congress had forgotten him. 

	All he could manage were a few nasty little gestures like
protecting chemical weapons and stiffing school kids.  Certainly the work
of a lesser mage.  A Wizard of Earthsea he was not. 

	Ged me da speaker on de pone.  He had a cold.

	Once he could have made a call.  But now he had to write a letter. 
He was losing his grip on reality.  Trent owed him a lot.  Jesse did, too. 
Can you imagine spending your life with guys like those?  I'd rather mud
wrestle a pig in shit. 

	No one returned his calls.

	Bastards.  They set me up.  Now he knew the fix was in.  Well,
he'd show them. 

	He should have seen it coming.  A sucker punch.

	I gave up my seat for them.

	He was frozen in Hell.  The guide had warned him not to sit down. 
Now it depended on the dead whether or not he could escape.  The dead
shuffled around him, their faces blank, each wearing a walkman.  But the
dead could not vote.  (If you think that, yo u've never been in Chicago at
election time.  Then the graves open and the dead rise in massive numbers
to cast their ballots for the American way.) Dole, too, could summon the
dead.  Yeah.  But would they come? 

	I began to think about who Dole might meet in Hell.  Also, was
this Hell, or just the underworld, Hades, the place of the dead?  There
was a difference.  Maybe his old army buddies.  He'd seen them get it at
Chancellorsville and Belle Chateau.  Some hadn 't changed a bit.  They
were still missing arms and legs.  Heads.  Pieces of heads.  The wounds of
the dead do not heal. 

	Who else?  Maybe the ghost of his Army pal, Robert E. Lee.  Dole
could talk to Lee about strategy.  Lee was a master tactician.  He was the
Dickie Morris of his time.  If anyone could drag out the death throes of
Dole's campaign, Lee could.  Then again, would the dead Dole met be the
dead who had been there for a long time, like Plato and Buddha, or would
they more likely be new arrivals?  Like say TWX-800.  Is this Paris?  It
looks like Williamsport. 

	Or Tupac Shakur.  Tupac had just o-d'd on a Colt 45.  I knew he
and Dole would have a lot to rap about. 

	But how much do the dead remember?> Like would Robert E. Lee
remember the part why we remember Robert E. Lee?  Is it still a big deal
with him?  Or has he been wiped clean as a baby's bottom of all but a few
wispy residual memories?  Like, how do you ra p with a famous general who
no longer knows he was a famous general?  After all, persons who get
remembered are generally those who've spent their lives surrounding
themselves with a gasbag that either hardens into stone when they croak,
or else dries up, cracks and blows away.  The evil men do lives after
them.  The good goes with the bones.  So what dies?  And what is life? 
And do the dead have anything to tell us?  Tupac would have had a lot to
tell Dole about being black and getting a good doctor.  B ut then
gradually, he might forget.  And soon it wouldn't matter.  I wondered if
it mattered to Renoir.  Or Picasso.  Dying.  I had been watching a video
on TV of paintings in the Hermitage.  It was almost painful to think
people like Renoir and Degas had to stop living.  They had been so totally
crazy about women.  Would someone who had painted a woman like that go to
hell?  And would they remember her, how it had been?  Or only the picture? 
What was left after she put her clothes on and got old?  Maybe they were
still at it.  Maybe that was their punishment, to have to go on making
paintings of gorgeous luminious chicks for the rest of time. 

	Except, of course, there are no women in hell.  (Why do you think
it's called that?) Women have no souls, so when they die, there is nothing
left to punish.  So the only women there have to be brought in live,
dragged down shrieking into hellfire from t he bars and whore houses where
they corrupt the souls of innocent men.  They usually don't last long. 
The torments of hell eat like acid into their soft, naked flesh.  At
least, that's what Pastor Grimes used to say as he ground me underneath
him in one of the old pews in the church basement back home; it had been
fixed up as sort of a club house for Christian youth fellowship Bible
studies.  Pastor Grimes also used it to counsel young girls.  Women had to
pay in this lifetime for their filthy befouling of God's glorious creation
with their disgusting sins.  I asked him if women didn't have souls, how
was it possible for us to sin?  That got me a good smack across the mouth. 
Women were also not allowed to discuss theology. 

	Grimes knew how vulnerable I was, so he took my hand and offered
to show me the room if I wanted and I said yes, and he was besotted/
scrwany bitch.
I had used my foul body to tempt him.

He was a fanatic about women, especially whores like me.  We were a soil
upon the earth.  I had to be punished for it.  This is how we punish evil
little sex girls like you.  They locked me in a closet.  It was downstairs
under the church.  Teenage recrea tion, they called it.  They said it was
good for the soul.  Not mine.  His. 

	I wondered if the soul of old man Grimes was in hell.  He and Dole
could discuss teen pregnancies.  Grimesy knew a lot about those.  In fact,
I've never been able to tell whether my first daughter was his or my
dad's.  Down there, you don't ask your fami ly minister to take a blood

	My dad's another person Dole should definitely meet and talk to. 
In fact, they were both politicians.  My dad had been in the state senate. 
I might have mentioned that.  So they were both senators, too, in a way. 
But not the same kind of senators.  St ill, I'm sure they would have a lot
in common.  In fact, maybe Dole was fated to only draw the wraiths of
persons like himself to him.  Beings who spent their lives entombed in the
various houses of death.  William Jennings Bryan.  Or Warren Harding.  Or
Jesse Helms. 

	Dole had once been a congressman.  It's not important to the
story.  But it might give some idea what real hell is like.  Congress
being a lesser form of it.  An outer ring inhabited by those to whom
offerings are made in order to influence events.  It's mostly superstition
but, like all religions, it affords some people a sense of peace and
security, and even power.  Like telling a senator which way to vote can be
a real rush.  And if you can tell a whole bunch of them, well, it sort of
restores your confidence in the power of prayer. 

	You feel redeemed.  Saved.  It's like meeting Jesus face to face
and knowing you own him.  Which is the way Streisand was acting with
Clinton.  She wanted to put it in his underwear.  While Hillary watched. 
The press was barred.  The only thing they got on camera was a secret
service man dancing in the street. 

	Videos were banned.  One of the ground rules.  No pictures.

	The media decides what people see and what they don't.

	Dole's was a bridge too far.

	Dole rises, and his chair comes with him.  The guide had warned
him not to sit down.  It's plastic and sticks to his ass through his
pajamas.  He can't shake it off. 

	Now he goes on, but there is no horizon.  He meets no one.  He is
beyond Kansas.  Beyond the U.S. Senate.  Out past Uranus.  In a new time
warp.  Light takes a long time to reach you out there.  And the mail is
even slower.  The question no longer was wo uld he lose, but how badly>? 
How many good men would he take down with him in this final act of
madness?  We have allied ourselves to a corpse, Wilhelm II's defense
minister was supposed to have said about the Austrian army.  Dole was an
albatros.  Still flopping around.  Cut it loose.  No one wanted to share
the platform with him.  It was like Gary Cooper in High Noon.  Sorry,
previous engagements.  Much regrets, Effendi.  Knock 'em dead. 

	Was this what he had fought for?

	The end of the trail?  The box canyon?  The ambush at Harpers
Bazaar?  A few stragglers hung on to the bitter end.  Until the popcorn
ran out.  And the rain started.  Then they too ran for their cars. 

	Dole stood, listening to the public address system gutter out in
the rain.  The water ran down his face and soaked his pale pajamas so they
stuck to his skin.  What would Ike have done?  He'd pretend he won the
war.  Nobody told the truth.  It wasn't ov er over there.  It was just
beginning.  He squinted.  Seeing the figure in the sun. 

	Cody walked down the aisle, taking tickets for the next show.  And
believe me, this one's going to be different, so you might as well stick
around and enjoy the show.  Come in, won't you, and sit down and have a
nice cup of tea.  That's the way it is in Russell.  As in, russel me up
some grup, ma, and don't be stingy.  I'm raring to go, just as soon as
I've had my vitals.  Have a sandwich.  Fresh made.  This is Kansas.  My
home state.  It's nice being back here with the dead.  What you been
doing?  Runni ng for president.  Don't say?  Come in, please, Hays.  Got a
connection for you.  But it has to come through Prague.  Just be ready
when it gets there.  You know what you're looking for?  Sure, Johnny.  I
won't screw up.  But she did.  And had to be punished for it. 

	She punched out the attractive redhead while they stuck hundred
dollar bills in her g-striong the currency russled as she moved cross the

Now get back in line.
Cody was only a chorus girl.
she sang loudest when...
it was like a little diving board off of which she stepped into

the ack yack bullets tore her apart.

she regrouped and came on.
Dole's forces fell back.
Then she made a misstep.
Dole's men advanced.
suddenly she was a hot item
the g-men took her down
M1 countered with an advance
Murray sucker punched the young lesbian
The Georgia police were trying to protect her
but the mob took her out
Now America slid toward the brink

Saddam was never more powerful than when he commanded the Yankee president
to kneel in front of him and pledge fealty
as a conquered nation state
Saddam had become the new messiah.
Cruel. Vendicative.  A bully.
It was a game to see who would get to the millenium first.
We're going to hold it right on the point.
I know the story.  This is what's going to happen.

Kelly and I are going to hold our wedding right on the exact moment of the
The real one.
The one of Saddam's coming.
into the world.
The messiah of his people.
The demi-urge.  We've got it all calculated down to the micro-second.
In that moment, Dole will know.
And Clinton will be defeated.

Could there be any other way?

I'm asking.

                           Chapter 15


		"A man is only a man."  -- song
		"Stand by your man." -- song
		"A man is a thing." -- song

	I was getting ready to go out; I had just put on my bra and
panties, when Kelly laid down a new edict.  Now that we were engaged, she
said, she didn't want me running around with other people, especially men. 

	Kelly has always been possessive, but this seemed excessive.  How,
I asked, did she expect me to pay my share of the rent? 

	Why don't you try working, she suggested.  You know, like get a
job.  I just think that if two people love and are committed to one
another, there has to be some trust in the relationship.  All I'm asking
is you stop acting like a whore. 

	But I am a whore, I said.  And besides, what about you and Eddie? 

	That's different.  I'm taking the male role.  It was your idea,
remember?  And men are allowed to play around. 

	I wasn't sure I heard her right.  Are you saying you can be with
anyone you want, but I can't? 

	You got it.

	What about Kenneth?

	What about him?

	He's picking me up at eight.

	So you can't go, Kelly said, crossing her arms matter-of-factly. 
Her small, serious face was perfectly straight. 

	I don't want to hurt his feelings.

	Then I'll tell him, she shrugged.

	So when Kenneth got there, she told him.  And he beat her to a
pulp.  I've never seen Kenneth so mad.  In fact, I never thought he could
hit a woman. 

	Poor Kelly.  He stomped her curvy, teenage body into jelly.

	Real dirty stuff, too.  I thought he was going to rip out her
guts.  Kelly didn't have any way of defending herself.  For a strong,
confident bitch, she wasn't much of a man.  Kenneth's knee drove her jaw
straight up into her face. 

	When it was over, Kelly was lying on the floor, holding her guts,
crying.  Then Kenneth was kicking her again.  He was totally demented. 

	Ken, I said, maybe you ought to let up on her.

	Kel goggled.

	He just hammered at my precious Kelly's face, trying to make her
look ugly.  What are you doing?  Stop it!  Come on, Kelly, fight.  Do it. 
I watched him get in under her shallow defenses and break one rib after
another.  Slooooowwllly.  If you know what I mean.  I mean, it was like
putting a blasting cap down on a xylophone and blowing off one key at a
time.  Kenneth found a lot to make pain in Kel. 

	I didn't know what to tell him.  I could tell how hurt he was. 
But I didn't want to go against Kelly's orders.  If you love someone, you
have to be willing to keep your agreements.  Right?  To Kelly, I was a
born again virgin.  How could I go back on th at now?  Kenneth screamed
that he would break her in half.  And I really think he meant it.  But I
still said I couldn't go.  Now, please leave.  He dumped her on the floor
and left. 

	Kelly had been wearing black panties and a shirt front, like she
would at the wedding.  But no coat.  Bare shoulders.  And short black
gloves.  Her shiny panties bulged with a two-foot, three inch wide dildo
she had halfway up inside her.  By manipulatin g her stomach muscles, she
could make it work just like a real prick.  After seeing her get beat up I
was so horny, I wanted her to take me right there.  I lay down on top of
her, and snatched aside her panty thong.  The dildo sprang from her hairy
crotch , and I slipped it into mine.  Going down on it.  Panting.  I was
already soaked.  Oh, baby, fuck me.  Do it to me, Kel.  Be a man.  Do it

	Kelly groaned.  Through the dildo, I could feel how much she hurt
inside.  I wanted to feel more. 

	I slapped her face.  Do it, you pig.  Fuck me good.  Make me know
your freaking pain.  It was like doing it in a mirror.  Kelly's batthered
face was splotched with blood.  I clamped my cunt around the thick golden
stem and jammed it hard into her.  She c ried out and arched her slim
back.  Thrusting her gigantic swollen tits into my own.  Our nipples
rubbed together like they was whales kissing.  I drove her down hard, then
rode her back up.  The little meat wagon was delirious with pain.  I
knuckled agai nst the upper wall of her chamber
and twisted
she went up 
I went down
It was like fucking myself
kellies face was white
like she was dead
kelly was dead
I realized the implications.
What if they found her?
I wrapped a blanket around her and tied it with an extension cord.  It was
inelegant but effective. Kelly howled
in the land of the dead

I had to get her back
But you can't get the dead back
without going there 
and bringing them
so if you want Kelly back
you have to come down here and get her
she climbed down the fire escape into a new world
what is this?
where am I?
there was a fire
yuou didn't get out
you talk funny.  Is that a southern accent?

I'll have another helping of that good pepper corn
you'll like it like that
the dead are 
Cody traveled back in time in order to find her friend and bring her home. 
Kelly was wandering around someplace, maybe dead, or in another world. 
Are you Tupac?  Dole's fireside chats are effective.  We ate good down
there.  The dead do not feast.  It's like that.  But the food was
wonderful.  Non filling.  Starvation wages.  A child to feed.  My
daughter.  Kelly is my daughter.  I named her after Kelly.  She's six. 
This is no place for a child.  She's with her father.  In heaven.  And now
I'm in hell for what they did to her.  I'm the one who has to suffer. 
It's not Kelly's fault.  It's mine.  If you have to whip someone, whip me. 
Mother, for God's sakes, go home!  I'm queen of the underworld, now.  What
I say, goes.  And you're out of here.  Persep hone.  Don't call me that. 
Down here, I'm Princess Esme, the court slut. 

	Cody pondered.  How could you save the Child from Hell if she
doesn't want to go?  Cody made a deal with the Prinz of the Netherlands to
have Kelly half the year, and he could have her the other six months. 
Kelly demurred, but she didn't have any say in the arrangement.  So Cody
dragged her home and beat the shit out of her.  She couldn't wear make up. 
And she had to stay in school and get good grades.  Otherwise, her
benefits would be cut off. 

	The other half belonged to Dole.  It was time to act.  The
interface was going bad.  The signals were cut off.  Then re-established
on a lower frequency.  Like once every two weeks.  Was about the most she
could handle.  The girl faltered.  The ribbon wire cut her in half. 
There are different ways we can divide her, have you thought of that?  Of
course, eyeing the fair young maiden.  How do you get her to look so
virginal?  She's a tramp. 

	Cody kicked the block from under Kelly's feet and the once
powerful dominatrix came down hard on the spike. It split her in half. 
Another particle smashed into her brain.  Kelly was gaga

She didn't know what hit her.  It was like a freight train.  As a matter
of fact, it was a freight train.  She was running down the tracks in a
wedding dress.  It just barreled right on through and left the attractive
redhead skin and bones on the rails. 

	The dead have no secrets, nor do they know what hit them.  Kelly
didn't.  I could see Kelly dead and Kelly before the train hit her, and
believe me, there wasn't much of a match.  I held her face up to see. 
It was like a glove

I put my fingers through the eyeholes and made a sort of creature out of
it.  I mean, you know why they're so lifelike.  Don't you?  Kelly is
explaining the letter AH.  Or something like agggggggh though it's sort of
hard to make gutterals with a mask. 
then she revolved on her turret 
and came round again
for another punch and he had her in the third round, Kelly was on the
ropes.  She was getting pounded like hell, and he was such an animal, I
couldn't believe it., It made me so horny.  I just wanted her to take me. 
WHAM WHAM WHAM Don't fuck with me in Hell, Kelly.  I'm warning you.  Just
don't do it. 

Like, I've still got your corpse, whore, and you know what I can do with
it.  Never throw out a corpse.  Especially if it's someone you love. 
Especailly as much as I love Kelly.  I'm going to show you.  She'll be so
handsome at the wedding.  In a laceup corset and black stockings and an
evening coat.  She just drives me nuts.  She's even better now that she's
dead.  Look at that pecker.  We made it out of her cunt. the stuff in her
you know, what she brought to the table.
And what we put in afterwards
A WHOLE NEW TURNTTABLE to keep her moving to the sounds of Tupac
now that he's in hell
he'll need someone to rap with
Kelly hates rap.
It drives her nuts
I can't wait to see what Tupac does to her now that he's dead too

I waited.
watching the body
as it started to decay
pretty slut
nice and gooey the way I like them
so that they sort of slip up inside you like goo
and then you flush her out
it started to go gaga and climb the walls
I didn't know there were so many handholds for a corpse to find.  Kelly
was glued to the ceiling. 
I had to scrape her down.
Kelly reassembled herself.  Is that it?

You only wish.

	I made her fuck me again.
I didn't care if she hurt or not.
I wanted her to fuck me
Kelly staggered to her feet.
For the first time, she looked unsure of herself.
Like she was about to fall
and it was a long way down to the street
where they drew a chalk circle around her
Kelly had gotten a fifteen story makeover
and she was still standing.
what was left of her.
It looked like the inside of a foxhole when he looked back into it just
before it went off in his face
Bill was just looking out when it went off
and the comely coed came unglued
all over the floor
it was like having golden slime all over your body
Kelly was like epoxy.  She stuck to everything she touched
it was like she was all over me in an instant,
clubbing and hitting and knocking me down on the school ground in front of
the other kids I'm boss from now on.  Got it, shitface? 

I'm listening.  This was an experiment in death.,  Which was it?  And who's?

Kelly glided down the inclined plane of death
toward her final resting place
but I'm not dead.
yes you are.

Come on, Kelly.  It's time to go.  I can't.  Why not?  I'm doing this. 
Oh.  Well, what does that matter?  Come on.  I'm death.  And you can't
keep death waiting. 
I can.
You're not going to try that phony old chessboard routine, are you?

Of course not.

We've been waiting for you.

The dead were at the party.
When Bill and Hill walked in.

They came towards them with open arms.  Barbara hugged him.  He felt that
skeletal Jewish body against his own, and smelled her perfume.  The place
was a mausoleum.  The secret service waited outside. 

	So this is where the dead go?

	I always wondered.

	What a swell party this is.

	They lay you down about six feet
and what they say to you depends on whether or not the dead hang around. I
can do it.  I think I can.  Bill, are you sure we should be doing this? 
They wandered through the factotums to the mummy cases.  In which the dead
lie.  An endless funeral.  I har dly knew him.  What a guy.  He's dead. 
So is she.  Ancient treasures of the movies.  They trotted them out. 
Belle Woods.  Saw your last flick.  In '37.  Brad Shaw.  "I Married A
Corpse."  All that violence.  And the violence is real.  The wounds of the
dead do not heal.  This is not special effects.  He put the check in her
g-string.  Oh God, all those people.  These/Those People.  it all depends. 
On whether you're dead or not.  We left Chelsea home.  This was a little
too old for her.  Too grown up.  We didn't think it would be good for her
to see it.  Yeah.  Put it there.  Oh yeah.  I'm in ecstacy.  It's just
like phone sex.  Only cheaper.  What are we protecting?  I just don't get
it.  What the hell is going on?  And then he realized where they were . 
These were the Pendragon Manuscripts.  If you just did this, then you got
that.  Take her around again, Sam. 

The girl crawled over to him and mounted his big huge dick, creaming it
with her body fluids, going up inside of him like a catheter attached to
her mind, she squirted up into his hole and watched him squirm.  She was
like a man with big ugly stinking tit s, I grabbed them and beat against
them, watching the soft flesh change color under my onslaught.  What kind
of man has tits like these, I screamed.  I held one up to her face in my
fist and made her start to eat it.  That's it, cunt, devour yourself from
the inside out.  Kelly's sharp teeth tore away great gobs of her enormous
knocker.  Then I lifted her and slammed her head against the sideboard. 
Now Harlot, dreamer of my dreams, I curse you and hurl you out. 

	She sort of seemed to come to, and then she expired.

                           Chapter 16

                    SPEAKING WELL OF THE DEAD

	"The Brooklyn Dodgers had a no-hitter last night, and I'm going to
follow what Nomo did. And we are going to wipe them out, between now and
November 5."  -- Dole, L.A. speech, 1996

        "I'm just starting to get a feel for it.  I'm going to look a
little longer before I pass judgment." -- Dole, Maricopa County, Arizona
concentration camp. 

        "Spiro Agnew earned the support of millions of his countrymen
because he was never afraid to speak out and stand up for America," --

        "A civil court found in 1981 that Agnew solicited $147,500 in
bribes during 10 years as Baltimore County executive and governor,
accepting the final $17,500 in discreet envelopes even as he served as
vice president."  -- N.Y. Times obituary

	Like, I can't make it up fast enough.  No sooner do I write about
Dole wandering around in the desert, than the other Dole shows up at a
concentration camp in the Arizona desert as part of his law and order
campaign.  Or like I write that Dole is in the land of the dead, and the
next thing I know, Dole is hanging out in his great great grandfather's
graveyard and telling people the words he wants carved on his tombstone. 
Is this a mensch?  It's like I have this vision of Dole, the one in my
book, that t he other one keeps imitating. 

	Some people might think I'm psychic, or that I'm involved in some
terrible conspiracy, but I'm not.  These things just sort of come to me. 
Other times, I'm a complete blank.  Like, I had no idea Dole was going to
mosh off that stage.  Otherwise, I would have told him.  I have no
animosity towards him or Clinton.  I just think they're both shitheads. 
But that has nothing to do with my book. 

	Honestly, I don't know why I keep writing this garbage.  Maybe I'm
just compulsive.  I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in presidential
politics.  As soon as either of them come on the tv, I hit the clicker
faster than Quicksdraw McGraw.  Zap.  You 're out of here.  Especially the
guy with the funny ears.  Is he insane?  Why haven't I written anything
about him?  I wonder?  Maybe because he reminds me of my dad?  They had
the same kind of ears.  Mine, I hasten to add, are okay, and even rather
cute.   But my father was a real Jughead.

	He was about Jughead's age, too.  The real Jughead.  He was about
the age Jughead would be when he died.  He had lymphatic cancer.  Wiped
him out.  Sometimes it's hard being a writer.  Trying to think up new
ideas.  Writing the chapter on the dead was re ally hard.  I felt bogged
down.  Like I was slogging through mud.  All I could think of was Tupac
and Robert E. Lee.  God knows why I thought of Lee as someone Dole should
talk to.  Tupac though was a natural.  Dole had once vilified him for
glorifying ha tred and violence.  I wondered what Tupac would have to say
to that. 

	Oh, yeah, Clinton signed the anti-gay marriage bill this morning. 
He did it in the dead of the night, with no reporters around and no
cameras.  And no pens to hand out.  I know a couple of congressmen he
could give them to.  Guys who are on their third or fourth marriage. 
Fucking assholes.  Just wait. 

	Some other guys I thought Dole could talk to were David Koresh and
Ricky Rae Rector.  These were souls Clinton himself had sent to Hell, or
wherever.  Ricky Rae was the brain dead inmate on Arkansas Death Row who
Clinton burned to show how tough he was o n crime.  Ricky Rae was so brain
damaged, he said he was going to vote for Clinton in November.  But he
died just in time for the Vermont primary.  He was notch four on Clinton's

	After that, the killing just got easier.

	A year later, on April 19, a small farm compound in Waco, Texas,
was burned to the ground by Clinton's feds, taking the lives of at least
86 people, a third of them children.  The farm was part of a religious
community headed by a self-proclaimed prophet named David Koresh.  Koresh
was writing a new explication of The Seven Seals.  I don't know if that's
the right word: a set of commentaries, somewhat like new revelations
regarding the opening of each seal.  One of these survives intact. 

	Rumors persist about the other commentaries.  But then, they also
persist about the Protocols of Zion.  I don't know one person who has ever
seen it, but still, everyone says it's the worst book ever written, after
Mein Kampf.  Boy, is that boring.  That has to be about the most boring
novel I've ever read.  Maybe it's the translation.  It's a good title,
though.  That's why I decided to use it for my book.  My Struggle.  In
German.  I figured that might get people to read it. 

	Anyway, so now Clinton only needed ten more to have a corpse for
each of his first 100 days.  To show how macho he was.  Or something.  I
don't understand men.  Saddam gave him an excuse.  And that put him over
100.  More, if you throw in military personnel. 

	So you can see there are a lot of people in the land of the dead
who have Bill Clinton to thank for it.  Then there was the Murrah
building.  Two years to the day after Mount Carmel, a large federal office
building in downtown Oklahoma City suddenly coll apsed as the result of
explosive forces set off when a load of shit parked out front blew up. 
Many people noticed the concurrence of the dates and drew the obvious
conclusion that one had had something to do with the other.  This has
still not been prove d.  Still, those dead, too, wander the dark regions
beyond the dark portal through which the dead go but only the gods return. 

	Eventually, I expected to get Dole back.  I didn't intend for him
to become obsessed with it.  The dead, I mean.  Obsessed with the dead. 
But he couldn't seem to tear himself away.  We had to drag him out of
there.  Get back on the trail.  A-winding.  I nto the land of my dreams. 
Dole rides alone.  Through the dark forest.  Far off, a mountain lion

	That sheriff that runs the concentration camp Dole liked so much
wants to be known as the toughest sheriff in the west.  My kind of guy.  I
heard he even puts women on chain gangs.  Even Alabama said no to that.  I
get wet just thinking about it.  I pict ured Susan McDougal in a chain
gang.  Boy, would they whip her white ass.  She'd come into court begging
to screw Hillary.  Please don't let them fuck me anymore.  The sheriff
said he doesn't allow coffee or cigarettes, or pornography, or hot
lunches.  Bu t he didn't say anything about sex.  They can have all the
sex they want.  Daytime temperatures hit 120.  But at night, the
temperture dropped to near freezing.  Most of the prisoners only had thin
blankets.  Or nothing at all.  Kelly was the property of two older girls. 
No one could touch her unless they said so.  Girls like Kelly were the
camp's main currency.  They could be loaned, given away, bought and sold. 
There were forty-five tents, and each tent had its supply of "wives."  The
men cooperated because each discovered that he could get something out of
the system.  It was like a monastic community.  In the desert.  Just like
near where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I had never read those,

	Jesus, I forgot what I was writing about.  I never go back.  It
just gets too confusing.  I mean, what is this?  What is it all supposed
to mean?  Why can't I marry the woman I love?  I'm not the Queen of
England.  And even if I were, I'd give up my thro ne for my Kelly.  She's
so pretty. 

	After Kenneth, things began to change for Kel.  Our relationship
was constantly shifting.  Before, she had been my pimp.  She had loved to
watch me getting fucked or beat up by one or another of the guys she set
me up with.  The men liked it, too.  It wa s a real turn on, having a
woman as beautiful as Kelly, sitting there, smiling approval, as they
tortured a woman who looked just like her.  Now, however, she was more
like my male protector.  She was still, of course, exceptionally
beautiful, with an ecq uisite showgirl face and long red hair.  But she
had to act like a man.  My boy friend.  That meant, if some bruiser came
onto me, Kelly, who weighs about 120 pounds, was the one who had to get
between us and tell him to keep his hands off or she'd fix his face.  You
can imagine the results. 

	To tell you the truth, it was embarrassing.  Kelly didn't know the
first thing about fighting.  She knew a lot about being a punching bag,
but it wasn't the same thing.  I hated to have to watch it.  I hated even
worse being raped while Kelly huddled at the bar, afraid to do anything. 
Watching.  I knew what it must be doing to her male pride, knowing how
ineffectual she was. 

	I knew she knew I expected more from a man.  But the real eye
opener came the night the Outlaws walked in.  Kelly and I were standing at
the bar, arguing.  I was talking about the way she looked.  Like, I don't
expect her to wear pants, but did she have scratch her crotch and burp? 
Also, did she have to look so ravishingly lovely?  The tight something
with blue sequins was cut totally low, and her hair was a tangle of
luscious curls that dangled beguiling around her adorable face.  She was
standing ther e in thigh high high heeled boots and black stockings.  I
was perched on a stool.  She had her hand on my thigh and was running it
up under my dress.  Our eyes met.  Stop talking, she said.  I want to make
love to you.  Our lips met.  She had never seemed more beautiful.  But she
was a disgrace as a man.  Kelly looked more like a woman than some of the
drag queens in the place. 

	The Outlaws noticed us French kissing and came over.

	Buy you ladies a drink?

	Kelly said it was a private party, and turned her back on us.

	Not very friendly, I said.

	The redheaded dom ignored us.

	The other girl looked a little nervous.

	The boys took up positions on either side of them.

	And began a conversation.

	With Kelly and Cody in the middle.

	Heard you two was getting married, Sam said.

	Yeah.  So what?  Kelly said.

	That's illegal, one of the other guys said.

	Which of you's fixing to be the husband? Sam said.

	Kelly said it was none of his business.

	Cody smiled at him over her shoulder.

	I bet you're the wife, Sam said.

	Cody sort of nodded.

	And she's the husband.

	Kelly shrugged.  Cody did, too, sort of.

	Sam looked at her.  Don't look much like a man to me.

	Kelly, exasperated, tried to explain that in our relationship, she
was merely taking the masculine role. 

	Masculine?  You call hair like that masculine?  What are you? 
Some kind of hippie?  The guys all laughed.  Sam reached over and grabbed
a handful of it and yanked.  Kelly yelled and tried to knee him in the
crotch.  He sidestepped her and picked up one of her tits.  Squeezing the
underside of the gigantic chest mellon, he taunted the little stripper. 
Did you ever see a man with tits like this before? 

	Please, I begged.  Let her alone.

	Maybe this is one of his nuts.  Maybe this is where he wears his
balls.  On your stinking chest.  He let go and Kelly pulled back,
immobilized.  One of her tits, the one Sam had been holding, hung down out
of her dress.  She was trying not to cry. 

	Because men aren't supposed to.  Only pansys cry.  And girls.  But
she was shaking.  And I knew she was afraid.  Kel, I said.  Let's go. 

	"What's your hurry, Sugar?" Sam said.  "Stay awhile."  I knew he
was spoiling for a fight.  "When's the wedding?"  I said in six weeks. 
Where?  Marietta, Georgia.  Who was the minister?  I told them we didn't
have one yet.  He asked what church.  I said First Baptist Episcopal. 
Kelly and I were Southern Episcopalians.  Actually, I was born a Baptist,
but converted.  I thought it was important for both of us to share the
same faith.  Sam asked if I knew what the penalty for gay marriage was in
Georgia.  I had to plead ignorance.  He said it was a varition on a
traditional practice they had for dealing with ex-slaves who got out of
line.  The other guys nodded, and one laughed, sort of. 

	Be a shame to get killed for being married to someone like this. 
Kelly glared at him.  Then she told him to fuck himself.  Then he
backhanded her.  She did nothing. 

	Just stood there, and slowly turned her head back.  And reached up
and wiped the blood off her mouth with the back of her glove. 

	Want a demonstration? Sam asked.  I shook my head.  No. Please. 
Don't hurt her. 

	You protect him more than he does you.

	I could feel the guys closing in around us.  I was glad Kelly was
there to protect me.  Look, I said, we just want to be alone.  Okay? 

	Sure.  He said to Kelly, why don't you be alone over on the other
side of the room, and we'll keep your friend company.  Kelly scooted out
of there faster than a jack rabbit.  Sam told her to take a walk.  Then he
put his hand up under my dress. 

	Kelly was waiting outside when I came out.  We walked home, not
saying anything.  How was it? she asked. 


	We went inside, and she fucked me so bad, I knew I was one of the

	She made me relive everything I had just gone through in the bar. 
I was totally degraded.  Ten minutes later, it was all over. 

	What's the matter?  

	Nothing.  Why?

	You just started.

	So, I'm done.  I don't feel like it.  What do you want, for
Christ's sake? 

	I want to feel loved.  Is that too much to ask?

	Before, we had fucked for hours, giving each other one climax
after another.  By the time we stopped, we were delirious.  We didn't know
who we were?  Now she was done in ten minutes.  What's the matter?  I just
don't feel like it.  Give me a break. 

	I thought she was sick.  And then I realized the truth.

	Oh no.

	After that, she got abusive.

	Kelly had been abused as a child.  I know I make her sound like
the strong one, but she is intensely vulnerable.  From the very beginning,
she had had to defend herself.  The streets made her tough and ruthless. 
She can't help herself.  The three years she spent in state prison for
selling drugs didn't help either.  She used to tell me stories about being
strip searched by the guards. 

	They knew how to hurt a girl.  The lezes were worse than the men. 
Another time, her owners had slit her clitoris down the center with a pen
knife.  It was an old Indian practice. Fastening clamps on either side,
they pulled it apart even further.  Kelly's shrieking could be heard in
Phoenix.  Then they had fastened a credit card in between the two folds of
her split clit to keep them from growing back together. 

	When she found out I had a lover, I thought she was going to kill
me.  I met Courtney while Kelly was in jail.  A luscious blonde, she was a
year younger than me.  With a wide, baby face.  And homungous boobs.  I'll
tell you about that some other time. 

	Kelly didn't even wait until we were engaged to tell Courtney to
buzz off.  She didn't even want her hanging around the neighborhood after
school.  I explained we were working on a term paper together.  About the
elections.  Dole.  You know.  Writing a b ook.  Courtney was my assistant. 
I think she believed me.  But at night, after she went to work -- she had
a job as a bouncer at some club -- things got steamy.  I would end up
fucking Courtney on the kitchen table. 

	We had a big double dildo like the one Kelly had in her pants. 
With a set of rubber balls halfway in between.  The balls were very
lifelike and slapped against our asscheeks while we humped.  Kelly had a
pair, too. 

	Kelly would come home from the club and fall in bed.  Groaning. 
It seemed a lot of guys who had been totally humiliated by big fat hairy
black bouncers had discovered the bar where Kelly worked.  And were taking
their male rage out on her.  She was going to need some serious
reconstructive surgery before the wedding.  I suggested she might want to
consider a career change, like, say, something in computers. 

	Oh, Kel, you look awful.

	I hurt.

	She had her arms wrapped around herself.  She was so skinny except
for the two mammoth beachballs cradled in her arms.  They had taken a lot
of hits.  Courtney watched curiously from the door.  Blood was caked under
Kelly's nose and around her mouth and chin.  Both eyes were black. 
Swollen.  Like she was wearing a mask.  You could see what kind of an
evening it must have been to look like that.  Who are you?  I'm death. 
Are you now, David?  Or are you not? 

there's a glitch here
wipe her out
she looked just like them
she shot and he doubled up
now she was facing a murder rap0
got it?
get it.
Do it now.
Don't put it off
sale ends tomorrow on black eye patches.  She started to wear one.  Icwe r
i over the empty socket
now piss
Get up, Cody.  I'm going to do it again.
I'm not Cody
you're not?
then who are you?
the fist got her in the windpipe
just as the bul;let creased her hip
sh3e turned and he held her
so that her face just missed the bar
and hit the stool instead
she boeke her nose
that's okay.  I'll pull her out.
'the two systems are attacking one another
over the webwork
putting out suckers
into the lands of the dead
it's a process.
let it go for awhile
thenb I'll get back to you.
Yeah.  I'll call you.
We got a deal.
The two commissions found diametrically opposite viewpoints from which to
launch a star
hi lili
hi lilihilili hi lo
a song of love is a sad song,
for I have loved and it shows
I waited a little to watch the rain
hi liliihjipl;kl;gagasdg
aNow nurse her back to health.  The wedding is only six weeks off!
Gringos can have her.
She soiled the earth.
I don't like this.  Storm clouds moving in from the west.  Can't mean good
things are going to happen. 
if you rough her up there, you won't have to do it at the fair.
Npow give her a thrust
And put her down on your pillow
thanks a lot
I caressed her wounded body
watching her jump
Kelly's ribs were like a broken cathedral.  Narrow shards stuck up from
her chest, like Stonehenge or Matamora. 

	There, the gangsters turned her around and sent her back east,
carrying a message in her vagina.  Flight 800.  The gang lords in Montauk
got the message.  The seal had been broken.  After that, there was a

Clinton campaigned in Iowa.  It was an American gothic.  Elections are
such fun.  A party.  Who wins.  Who loses.  Means nothing.  You got to
keep your ears up like a jackrabbit in order to survive my pappy used to
say to me.  And I would say, pshaw.  Whi ch means, I'll never tell.  Get
her to say that, and you're safe.  She was an unwilling victim of his
deceitful nature, Kelly told her psychiatrist, who reported him to the
proper authorities.  Who took no action -- my pa would be just about
Clinton's age -- because it was during an election.  It didn't mean
anything.  She made it up.  Only I knew the truth.  But Kelly forbade me
to speak.  Because she didn't want it to queer a deal she had made with
Courtney never to see me again.  Now go down slowly. 

	Dole's grandfather had gone to Kansas in the 1880s.  During the
civil war, Kansas had been a battleground.  But now all that were left
were memories.  Of how things were.  The incessant boredom.  Of wanting it
to be different.  They wandered the streets of downtown Nicodemus,
whispering about it, like it was some dark secret they wanted to forget.,
She was totally into it.  All those old horror stories about what the
Confederates had done to them.  Young Dole imbibed these dark memories,
and passed them on to his son.  It was like living with the dead.  Cross
pieces were then put in.  And these old people were told they were the
resources of the republic.  And there was nothing left.  You're sucking us
dry, for christ's sake.  Let up, already.  And the dead shuffled away,
into the dark regions beyond the houses.  Those who had been there. 
Kelly's cunt bled like Kansas.  It had been ripped apart by the two bandit
showgirls.  They made her into a double whore.  You could fuck her cunt or
fuck her clit.  Or both.  Kelly was a special ride.  But after she got the
dildo, it was different.  Because then the insides of her clit wrapped
themselves around the blunt instrument and held on tight.  Like epoxy.  It
does wonders.  You can pick her up by that and it won't come out.  Her
insides might, but they'll still be stuck to the dick.  After that, she
could only be taken up the rear.  Kelly's ass twat got a lot of action. 
Miracules.  You should have seen the way her eyes popped out.  And dangled
down her face as he bull fucked her.  Kelly's tulip mouth was stretched
wide in a scream that wouldn't come out.  It was buzzsawing around Kelly's
insides like a Kansas twister.  Dole pounded her into the dirt.  The one
in my book.  Not the other.  It didn't matter who was doing it.  Kelly was
divided by an inside scream like ribbon wire slicing through warm dough. 
She lay on the floor, connected only by her insides.  The bones were
divided.  Roll again.  Now Kelly, show me what it was like.  I climbed on
top of her, and she responded. 

	Like a horse under dressage.  More like a whippit.  Kelly was a
lean Queen of South Chowderport Rex.  Isn't he darling?  Can he do tricks? 
I made Kelly sit up.  And beg. 

	She was ready to kill for a quarterpounder.  I held out.  What's
it worth?  Show your sweet mama.  Speed Queen Magazine.  Cover of the
week.  Everyone knew her.  Say, aren't you?  Slap./ I saw slap.  Slap. 
She was pathetic.  Come on, Kel, sit up and be g.  Show your mama how much
you want it.  That you're not some old shoe salesman named Al Bundy.  You
really are a man.  Aren't you?  Answer me?  Tell me you're a man.  So I
can hit you. 

	The Dole campaign train moved out across Texas.  Those low lands
of the inland sea.  It washed over them like a great current of old
mobsters taking a rest.  Thinking they were safe.  The feds were watching. 
Got the campaign slogan.  They're out of mone y.  Face it, he's through. 
He even bet the house.  Now there was no place to go back to.  An old
samurai.  Looking for work.  Great robe, dude.  He wore a black silk robe
over his pajamas.  A scarlett dragon emblazoned across the back.  And a
great sword .  Dangling under it.  John Brown had broken into a house and
hacked several people to death with his great sword.  Dole dangled it
under her.  No, Dole!  Hilt first.  Dole's campagin train began to pick up
speed.  Dole did a Yelsin.  And came back strong .  It was a half yelsin
and did not produce a pin.  But it produced a tie.  And that's what
mattered.  Because now the election would be thrown into the House to
decide.  And Dole had a lot of friends.  Oh yeah?  The train headed north
towards Nebraska.  Another border state.  In the big standoff.  Between n
and s. 

This is a confederate army officer, Madame.  I have come to kill your
husband.  She's in the bedroom.  I heard her screaming.  Oh Kelly.  I
didn't want to. 

	But I was afraid.  Of what he would make me do.  So I betrayed
you.  It wasn't you.  It was me.  Please don't hate me.  I clung to her. 
It was only to save your life. 

	Save it.

	I didn't want to.

	Shut the fuck up.  Just let me think.  Got to get my head on
straight.  Stupid bitch.  She started to abuse me.  What is it that Heiner
Muller said about the state?  That one can move in it in a certain way>? 
After awhile, it's not satire anymo0re.  It' s real.  It's got to devise a
new way of reasoning or go mad.  What do you mean?  I'll try to clarify. 
If I am you and you are me, who is it they hung in the garden under the
mimosa tree?  Nicht wahr, schatzi?  Tell them you're German.  It doesn't
matter .  You think like one. 

	Lily moved off down the bar, and I thought she had understood what
I said.  Our eyes had met instantanously.  She was so open.  What was
this?  Was she luring me on?  Come on, mix me a drink.  See what I get. 
She didn't have the slightest clue what she was putting in the cocktails,
but unlike Vanessa, she was too smart to ask.  Vanessa had asked the
manager how to make a Bloody Mary, shouting across the room.  Well, you
can imagine what the guests must have thought.  Now, gringo, take her
down.  Under t he spreading mimosa tree the vintage Kelly hangs.  The dogs
jump up and tear off her flesh.  What is this?  Hell?  No.  Peoria. 

	He was tired, but he would go on.  Forging a swath through the
wheat fields of inner America.  Like it was Kelly trying to scream. 
Clinton looked silly staring down at his belongings hanging around his
ankles.  This paragraph is censored.  Okay? 

	Dole fucked his way into the bedrooms of America like it was hot
butter.  Using the new technology, he was able to accomplish one big gang
bang on the night before the election, and in the morning, they were too
weak to pull the trigger.  Dole won by a f inger and things settled back
into normal in the weeks that followed, until it was time for another go
round.  And then we woke up and started shooting.  Bleeding Kansas.  It
happened every four years.  Along the Missouri border.  Laramie.  Dodge. 
Rattle bone Hollow.  Gunsmoke hung in the air.  This was the America that
I grew up in.  The one that's holding you up.  You fucking misfit.  Cody
groveled on the floor as Kelly screamed at her.  Telling her she was
nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  You are nothing.  She sat there and took it. 
Maybe it was true.  Maybe she was just a figment of someone's twisted
imagination.  Something she couldn't help.  She was just her.  Who she
was.  Take it or leave it.  Nothing. 

	Inside, she still hurt.  She still wanted to be loved.  I couldn't
do it.  I couldn't love her.  Why?  What was wrong?  I couldn't tell. 
Maybe it was me.  I did it.  I hurt her.  I'm a pig.  I wanted to crawl. 
Let me alone.  I was afraid she'd leave me .  Maybe she would.  I would be
alone.  Was anyone watching?  She shit herself again.  And cleaned it up. 
She hurried to clean it up.  Because it hurts too much to love.  I started
to cry.  I couldn't help it.  I felt so weak.  So alone.  Why?  What was
there I couldn't face.  Maybe it was nothing.  Maybe nothing was there. 
No insides.  No guts.  Only a mask.  Over a vacuum.  I could live with
that.  But the other.  The other was a loss.  But what?>

	God damnit.  Tell me.  Who is there?  Or what?

	Give me some truth.

	But who speaks?

	I do.

	Oh shit.  Not someone else.  Some new fucking liar.  Dole and
Kelly are bad enough.  Get out of my face.  You said you wanted the truth. 

	I said I want to know why I can't love.

	Spare me your moldy philosophy

	There is something behind the mask.  But what?  Maybe there is
not.  Ever think of that?  Maybe there's only the mask.  Then what? 

	That's too deep for me.  Lily moved off down the bar.  Talking to
the other customers.  What was she?  A face?  A voice?  She'll be gone
soon.  Why bother?  Back off.  Come down hard.  Get it over with. 
Tomorrow's one less shopping day to Christmas.  Wh at are we going to get
the kids?  Biff wants a radar screen.  Kelly wants a dolly. 

	You lay there in the dark and you wonder, what's it all about,
Charlie?  Why do some men stay cool and others lose their charm almost
overnight.  It's not the drugs that were killing him.  It was the chicks. 
They reamed him out.  They drained him dry.  A walking cadaver.  Why does
Biff want a radar?  What kind of radar?  Is he making bombs again?  He set
one off in a TWA the other day.  He's got to stop.  How does he do it from
a jail cell?  I thought state prison was supposed to stop that kind of
thing .  Then I knew who Dole was waiting for.  Willie Loman.  After he
died, he became a shoe salesman.  The witness protection program changed
his name to Al Bundy.  They set him up in Chicago with his fat wife and
two special agents to play his kids.  It was going along fine until
someone noticed his wife and he had nearly identical social security
numbers.  What's the chance of that happening?  Just a coincidence.  One
in a million.  Gazillion, I'd say.  They needed them for the insurance
forms.  Sign here.  They bought a house and settled into domestic
ineptitude.  Just sign it.  See what happens.  What can they do to you
they haven't already?  Would he screw me?  I didn't know.  Was it worth a
chance?  I need the money.  The slaves are killing me.  I wish I didn't
have them.  Then they came up with a new one.  Slavery had to be abolished
because it was child abuse.  I knew they'd find a way to hang that on us. 
It was only a matter of time.  No matter what the cause, if you can work
child abuse in on your side, you gain a distinct advangage.  Today it's
slavery.  One day it will be smoking.  Mark me.  He heard her voice
reciting the baseball scores.  Kelly tried to listen.  Like it was inside
her.  How do you listen?  With what?  Go with her.  Go with her .  Keep
going.  Into the land of the dead if you have to.  Let her down.  Slowly. 
Into that vat of acid.  Called death.  When you open the Seventh Seal,
you'll find out what happens. 

	Again the girl's voice spoke; who was out in the seventh?  No one

	But the whole wheel held him up.  Dole bicycled towards the finish
line.  Taking him down.  Okay.  Let go. 

	The knight leads.


	I could upset the board.

	It would be too chinzy.

	But it afforded a distraction so that the young couple could
escape unoticed from death's board.  The two girls hid in the shadows as
the grim reaper led their companions in a dance up the side of the hill. 
Who else?  Death leads.  David Ackermann.  He was their defense minister. 
Dole killed him.  Akamoto.  His head rolled under the bridge.  Miyamoto
Musachi.  Hi studs.  Hey babe.  The magnifent seven rode into Laramie on
the last day of the big shootout.  Now it was down to him and them in the
empty s treets of the final set./ By this time, Dole was totally
licensious.  He had taken on every street hooker in Dallas.  Now he was
headed for the big empty. 

	Kelly lay in the street, where she had been since the first day. 
Beyond her smoking cunt was the Schwartzchild Probability Factor, the
nada.  The hot box of hell.  We seem to be getting further and further
away from the door.  You came as a joke.  Now y ou're caught.  She was on
the outside, looking in.  Funny, how it always gets back to that.  Where
do I belong?  Is this real?  Is this Kansas?  Are we there yet?  I don't
really want to be president.  Do I? 

	He had forgotten all about that.  What if he won?  He hadn't
thought about that.  The English do it much simpler.  The queen picks one
out.  And he's it.  prime minister.  What a joke.  Does any of this make
sense?  Where am I?  Who am I?  What do I stan d for?  Does any of this
make sense?> Hello? 

                      Epilogue 2 (the Dead)

	"'ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind the mask you 
use." -- "I'm Still Standing," Elton John, used as Dole campaign song --

Dear Brian,

	I now have three letters from you which I will try to answer.

	Thank you for your generous offer to edit my manuscript for what
you consider to be its grammatical and spelling errors, and, of course,
content, but I think for now I would prefer to keep it in its pristine, if
savage, state.  I am not adverse, however, to your posting it on your
website, as long as it is understood no rights are conferred (and no
changes are made).  As far as an introduction telling prospective readers
who I "really" am, that is why I wrote the book.  I don't make this stuff
up, you know, although sometimes it is prudent to pretend that I do. 

	I was not offended by your first letter, especially at someone
who's taken the trouble to read my writing and comment on it, but it did
seem typical.  Kelly has been beating me up for years, ever since we were
in the eighth grade, or renting me out to gu ys who want to do it, and
nobody says anything.  But the minute someone bloodies her nose or punches
her face off, it's like it's the worst thing that's ever happened.  I also
can't help noticing it comes just when Kelly decides to assume the male
role in our partnership -- it's not just a cliche that men, or in this
instance, male surrogates, stick together.  Well, she always was the
dominant one, but before, it was more like we were just two women who were
lovers; now, it's more overt.  I mean, the spor ts jackets, the white
dress shirts, the cigars.  The way she wears her hair back.  The wide
brimmed fedora.  She is more mannish.  Although, at the same time, her
skirts are still just as short, and her black boots have seven inch heels,
and she still wea rs makeup.  Frankly, I think she's having an identity

	As for the part about being "well-read," I don't know if that's
true.  It might be better to say I'm "well-TVed."  I think almost
everything I know I got off tv or from newspapers.  Like I try to read the
New York Times every day, mostly for the satire.  For real information,
though, nothing beats TV.  For instance, you mentioned mythology.  I
learned most of that stuff on TV.  There's a program called "Hercules, the
Legendary Journeys" that has tons and tons of stuff about ancient myths. 
The people wh o write it must do an incredible amount of research.  I also
like to watch "Xena, Warrior Princess."  She's this incredibly beautiful
woman who the gods are always falling in love with and trying to fuck. 
Especially, Apollo.  She's sort of like my role m odel.  Although, to be
honest, Kelly's more like the one who ends up riding the horse at the end
of the program while I'm in the position of Xena's cute cupcake girl
friend trotting along behind, stepping in shit. 

	I guess you're right, though.  Everything I write is garbage.  I
can't help it.  What I wanted to write was something timeless, like maybe
Dostoievski or Beckett, filled with incredible angst and turmoil, but
everything I turn out keeps becoming infected with the present.  So it's
doomed.  You can't write Waiting for Godole, and expect it to last past
election day.  So you might say, I'm writing against a deadline.  Trying
to get it all out before it vanishes.  Everything goes into the stew.  As
Tom Lehr er once said, "Life is like a sewer.  What you get out of it,
depends on what you put into it." 

	Right now, I'm not sure how to go on.  I've been gathering
material for a final chapter to Mein Kampf.  That's the German title to my
book.  Sometimes it helps if I think in German.  Or what I think German
sounds like.  It was supposed to round out the s ection on the dead. 
Sometimes I almost think I might have been German in another life time. 
Did I tell you my theory that only women reincarnate?  The men go to the
place of the dead.  By the way, the something in between is Middle Earth. 
You said your webpage had three sections.  Heaven, Hell and something in
between.  Well, Middle Earth is what they called it in the middle ages. 
I'm also not exactly flattered that you want to put my novel in Hell. 
Don't you think that's a bit rude? 

	I can imagine how it would be received if you were one of my
slaves and made a remark like that.  Speaking of slaves, you asked how
many times "poor Kelly" is going to be beaten up.  Kelly is beaten up as
often as she deserves it.  This was not my idea.  But is more of her
concept of what a man is supposed to be.  Or act.  She no sooner starts to
act like a man, than she wants to be humiliated.  And treated like dirt. 
I hadn't counted on that.  When she was a woman, Kelly used to walk all
over me.  Litt erally.  (See the way I spelled that?  That's not a
mistake.  She used me for kitty litter, a sewer.) Now that she was cross
dressing, she wanted to be treated like a male.  It was her right, she
said.  This is what in s & m circles is called "topping fr om the bottom." 
Which led to the beatings and punishments and golden showers and the
bondage.  The bondage was the worst, because it takes forever to tie
someone up right.  And I'm not good with knots.  Especially slip ones.  I
couldn't tie a slip knot t o save my life.  The other night, for instance,
Kelly wanted me to tie her up in the kitchen.  On one of the spindlebacked
chairs.  I put a noose around her neck and bent it backward across the top
of the chairback, and tied the rope to one of the rungs s o she was
staring at the ceiling.  Her wrists were tied behind the chair, and her
legs were wide open.  I lit the oven and pushed her in front of it.  She
also had a dildo shoved far up inside her.  This was a special one I had
had made by a guy I know ou t on Long Island who's into robotics.  You can
use a remote control to make it do anything.  Its even got a tiny tv
camera that let's you see up inside whoever's wearing it's insides, and
tell how she's reacting.  Of course, you can see how she's reacting from
the outside, but did it ever occur to you that how a person looks inside
is just as valid as her exterior features?  I could practically turn Kelly
inside out, and the information could be fed into a computer, and it could
generate other random opti ons.  Like, for instance, running a catheter up
inside her fallopian tubes.  You think partial birth is painful?  You
ought to see Kelly when I do that.  Anyway, she wanted to be a man, so I
let her.  But I have to tell you, I thought she was being pretty
disgusting.  The final thing I did was run a fishhook through her tongue
and attach it to a small winch hanging from the ceiling.  That's not
really as bad as it sounds because she already has a stud through her
tongue, not to mention all sorts of other body piercings.  I think I told
you, she is a stripper.  Or was.  With the winch, I pulled her tongue all
the way out straight, so that she absolutely couldn't move.  And left her
like that.  A couple of days later, I noticed she had stopped breathing. 

	At first, I thought it was all part of the act.  But when I untied
her, she really was dead.  I tried to bring her around, but nothing
worked.  Naturally, you can see my predicament.  Here I was.  Less than
five weeks to the wedding, and my fiancee is a corpse.  I tried to think
what to do.  It was going to be hard enough getting a marriage license in
Georgia to marry a woman, but I knew some redneck county clerk was going
to raise an extra stink about Kelly not being alive.  That was another
thing.  The smell.  Kelly was starting to give off a really foul odor.  I
sprayed her with Pinesol but it didn't do any good.  I wondered if she was
going to be like that in the church.  I was also worried about the blood
tests.  I supposed we would have to have the m.  I wondered, is there was
anything in a person's blood that tells if she is alive or not? 

	Then there was the problem of making her stand up during the
ceremony.  I called Lenny -- that's the guy who made the dildo -- and
asked him if there was anything he could do.  Like maybe put little motors
in each of Kelly's joints.  He said he could, bu t it would cost.  "Like
how much?"  Forty dollars a joint.  "That's outrageous."  Take it or leave
it.  I didn't have any choice.  But I said to only do the legs and hips. 
We could tie her hands behind her.  "You want the toes, too?"  I said I
couldn't a fford it.  "How about the back?"  I said to not do the back.  I
would put Kelly in a tight corset and attach it to an iron lamp stand we
use for straightening a slave's back.  A wide collar would keep her neck
erect.  "Make her look nice.  And could you pick her up right away? 
She's really starting to get to me." 

	Well, Brian, that's where things are now.  To be honest, I'm not
much into writing right now; my heart's not in it.  Maybe you can tell.  I
think I've expended my white female rage.  I didn't start out to write
about Kelly and me.  Like I said at the beginning, I've already done tons
of stories like that.  What I wanted was to write something that wasn't
pornographic, that had relevance.  At some point, though, no matter how
hard you scream, you realize you are no longer making any noise.  But
what's the use of writing anything more about Dole or Clinton?  Especially
poor Dole.  It's like kicking a dead horse.  I mean, what can you say
about a guy who has had the best health insurance policy in the world
since 1960, which he hasn't had to pay for, going and asking people to
vote for him because he made sure they would not have any health insurance
at all?  I read that in the Times.  I said it was a funny paper. 

Yours truly,

Cody Ann Michaels

Part 4 Index Part 6