Part 6 Index Terminus

Subject:      CODY: MY STRUGGLE  Part 7  Final Passages
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1996/11/01
Message-Id:   <55dce6$>
Newsgroups:   rec.arts.prose,

                           MY STRUGGLE
                      by CODY ANN MICHAELS
                     c. All rights reserved

                             PART 7

                         FINAL PASSAGES

                           Chapter 20

                        Friendly Microbes

	Renelda Higgins, a spokeswoman for the city's Human Resources
Administration, said officials with the Agency for Child Development were
not "allowed" to answer questions about the city's plans, and Colleen M.
Roche, a spokeswoman for the Mayor, said Cit y Hall officials would "not
participate" in an article about child care and welfare reform.  -- NY
Times, 10/14/96, p.B2, "Welfare Mothers and Informal Day Care: Is It Up 
to Par?" 

	"...scientists who later studied [the gold fields of Serra Pelada 
in the Amazon jungle] concluded the rich lode was produced ... by swarms
of microbes that over millions of years concentrated the gold from jungle
soils and rivers and rocks."  -- NY Time s, 10/15/96 "Bugs Shape
Landscape, Make Gold" 

Dear Cody,

	"If you're not interested in making a difference, why are you
writing?"  -- Brian

Dear Brian,

	Why does a snail spin a shell?  Do you think Joyce or Thomas Mann
were trying to change the world?  Do you think Faulkner was?  I doubt it. 

	Did you know that every year, each person shits his weight in
microbes?  Did you know that microbes, bacteria and other microscopic
organisms, make up more than ninety percent of the life on earth, and that
the cumulative biological mass of microbes over the last three and half
billion years probably exceeds the weight of the planet as a whole?  And
you want to make a difference?  Forget it.  Just by being alive you are
making a difference.  You can't help it.  Everytime you take a shit you
make a differ ence.  What you are talking about is making an explanation. 
An explanation of what you are doing with your shit.  That's what humans
do.  They make up excuses for befouling the planet.  For committing
murder.  For finding a cure for cancer.  Suppose Meng ele had found a cure
for cancer.  Today, we would be making up excuses for not allowing people
to use it because of the Holocaust. 

	Faulkner was a drunken old Southern racist who's shit came out in
Ah, Wilderness.  Or was it Hells A Poppin?  Whatever.  If you really want
to know why I'm writing, it's because I want to be the first person to win
a Nobel for literature for writing on t he internet. 

	(Something in your letter gave me the idea you were off shore. 
Like in another country.  Maybe that accounts for you're not being aware
of what's happening to welfare in this country.)


Dear Cody,

	"Just read part four, and I'm stunned.  This is a major improvement
(bordering on a quantum level jump) over your previous writing.... 
Although I doubt that I have any right to be so, I'm very proud of you
...."  -- Bill

Dear Bill,

	You're right.  You don't.  What makes you think you have anything
to do with my pain?  With what happens in my life?  The right to be proud
of whatever brings me to the point where I throw up all over the page? 
Stop trying to take credit for who I am. 

	I'm sorry.  You are the most intrusive person I know.  Don't you
have a life of your own?  I'm not looking for your credit.  If you like
it, fine.  If you don't like it, that's okay, too.  I don't write for
anyone.  For me.  For my "audience."  I simply write.  Period.  Get out of
my face with this bullshit. 

	That doesn't mean stop writing.  Stop trying to communicate. 
Stop.  It just means, stop trying to get into my psychological pants.  I
do like you.  You're a really sweet guy.  And I don't want to hurt your
feelings.  Oh yes, I forgot.  You don't have an y.  Something about long
ago, you transcended all that crap.  I forget the way you put it.  I just
mean, what I mean is, have the courage to have your own fucking feelings,
and stop the intellectual bullshit. 

	You're probably thinking, I try to compliment this arrogant bitch,
and she screams in my face.  Fuck her.  Well, you have a right.  I know a
lot of guys go to a lot of trouble to think up compliments, especially
when they want to get close to a woman, bu t it's all bullshit.  And why
should I hold your bullshit?  I mean, come on, for god's sake.  Be real. 
I'm not a toilet.  You can use the toughest scentener in the world, but
it's still shit.  So stop fertilizing me. 

	I mean, for your own sake.  Not mine.  Because, of course, when
you do, it's just like fertilizer.  I've gotten some good writing out of
you.  Things you said.  I wonder if that's what makes roses grow. 
Reacting to shit.  Like, just the other day, somet hing you said, I forget
what it was, made me think that what Andy Warhol meant -- oh yeah, it was
you said because I quoted you in an internet posting you would now be
entitled to your fifteen minutes of fame -- and I thought, what Andy meant
when he said we'd all be -- each of us -- be famous for fifteen minutes
was there would be fifteen minutes when someone else would know exactly
what we meant and where we were coming from.  Someone would get it.  And
about all any of us was entitled to was fifteen m inutes -- tops. 

	Because that's what fame is, you know, when someone else knows
what you are saying.  When they absolutely get you.  Like, direct hit.  No
survivors.  Not even mangled body parts floating around in the ocean. 
Fame is when someone else knows you.  Who you are.  And the more people
who know you, the more famous you are.  That's why Dole and Clinton will
never be famous.  Because there's nothing there.  No one's home.  On the
other hand, you take a man like Winston Churchill.  Or Teddy Roosevelt. 
Whatever you think of them, they were there.  Totally.  They can be dead a
hundred years, and people still know them.  On the other hand, whatever
happened to Millard Fillmore? 

	So I wouldn't have had that thought, maybe, if it hadn't been for
you.  If you hadn't been there.  Work on it. 

P.S.  Nothing that I write is rhetorical.


	"The human fetus, before birth, is both innocent and germ-free. 
Skin, mouth and gut are all sterile."  -- NY Times, 10/15/96 "From Birth,
Body Houses Microbe Zoo" 

Dear Linda,

	That's a start.  I hope it's not the finish.

	I enjoyed our conversation.  Even though it had to be through an
interpreter.  I felt we understood one another intuitively.  I'm not
entirely sure about this medium.  This is the first time I've tried this. 
Gone off net, so to speak.  So bear with me. 

	On the internet, they know me as Cody Ann Michaels.  My present
address is  So if you want to reach me, you can get me
there.  Also, you have my number. 

	This is scary.

	I wanted to be working on the final chapter of my novel tonight. 
But somehow, this seems to take precidence.  Writing to you.  23. 


	Do you know where the term, 23 Skidoo, comes from?  When they
built the Flatiron building on 23rd and Fifth Avenue, across the street
from where Jenny Jerome grew up, the shape of the building made a change
in the wind currents, and men used to stand on the corner so they could
watch the wind blow up under women's skirts and show their legs.  And the
police used to tell them, "23 skidoo."  Meaning, beat it.  So you see,
some things do make a difference. 

	I would say you are having the effect psychologically on a lot of
people somewhat equivalent to ... 

	Normally I would erase that last sentence, but it's a good
specimen of what I mean by bullshit. 

	I was starting to make it up, instead of letting it flow.  What do
I want to say to you? 

	I love you.  You know that.

	It would be hard not to love someone like you.

	I want you to keep making your programs.  I want you to be very,
very careful.  Watch your back, girl.  The forces of darkness are all
around.  And it's Hallowe'en.  All Saints Day.  Followed by all souls. 
They don't need a Kalashnikov to take you out.  It could be a car, say, a
Ferrari, skidding on wet leaves. 

	Both of us do the same thing.  We listen.  And we speak.  You do
it on Channel 16.  I do it on the net.  But don't ever think you're a
force for good -- or evil.  That's just bullshit.  You are a sweet bird on
the wings of perception.  It's like Krishnam urti said: the flight of the
eagle leaves no mark.  Well, he said something like that, you know what I
mean.  Be totally centered.  The person you told me about, the one who
came up and shook your hand, has already done heavy damage to people like
us.  So be cool.

	I've already written about him some place else.  Maybe some day,
you'll read my book.  I think I would trust you with it.  I had a piece in
New York Press a couple weeks ago.  About Carla Lockwood.  The mother who
starved her daughter to death.  What the y didn't make a big deal about
was that three months before, the city cut off her welfare and medicaid
benefits.  She was literally feeding her children by begging from the
neighbors.  Maybe she would have starved her daughter, anyway, but the
city didn't give her any incentive not to.

	One of the things you made me think about was that I have been
thinking about a letter I might write to one of the columnists in N.Y.
Press.  Mistress Ruby.  There seems to be a rule at N.Y. Press that it
cannot have more than two people on its staff at any one time who can
actually write.  And at present, Mistress Ruby is one of them.  The other
being Alexander Cockburn.  (Significant name.  I know.  I know, it's
pronounced "Coachburn."  It's just a joke.) Mistress Ruby writes about
domination.  Something she wrote a couple weeks ago made me think


	I just thought, I can't tell you this story.  Because, it's not
really mine.  It belongs to someone else.  So ...  Shit.\

	Did you know that in traditional cultures, people communicate by
telling stories?  Not giving statistics.  Like, for instance, the Indians
tell about coming up out of the earth.  And anthropologists insist they
came across the Bering Strait.  And the Ind ians say, bullshit.  Which is
what B.S. stands for.  Bering Straight, my ass.  We came from
Poughkeepsie.  Did not.  Did too.  And so it goes. 

	There's another woman who's really right on.  Big Linda.  That's
what I call her.  A friend of mine's mother.  Her trademark sign off was
"And so it goes."  Vanessa, her daughter, ran away from home when she was
fourteen.  Rode boxcars through Montana.  Belly danced in New Orleans. 
She played guitar in night clubs in Istanbul and steamrolled her way
through the East Village.  I thought she was Janis Joplin's ghost.  She
was like a volcano of poetry and motion and she played Bach on her guitar
in my kitchen at six in the morning, and I miss her. 

	So it goes.

	Eventually, I guess, they always find you.  You know, a friend of
mine, blew your cover.  Sort of.  He's a performer, too.  He said, the
safest place to be is on a stage.  Yeah.  Just ask Lincoln.  I can see you
hiding out.  It's like an illusion, isn't it?  Like a security camera? 

	Did you ever think of this?  For fifteen hundred years, give or
take the reformation, the Catholic Church, a bunch of old men in Rome,
managed to keep half the known world indoctrinated with just a sloppy
network of larcenous priests?  Everyone believed the same thing.  No one
deviated.  Or he died.  And every Sunday, everyone went to church. 

	Now, today, with the most sophisticated high tech security the
world has ever known, nobody believes anything.  And the government is
scared shitless.  I mean, every time you turn around, someone is adding on
another system of cameras and microphones.  A nother pack of sniffing
animals.  Did you know, they are training gerbils to sniff out airports
for bombs, drugs, and underarm bad smells that might cause the sensitive
instruments on the plane to order a self-destruct?  Didn't Bradbury or
someone write a story like that?  The reason things go bad, like TWX-800,
is because the machines revolt.  Their instruments simply get tired of
living, and... ping!  Can't you just see the bald guy from the National
Safety Board telling that to the press?  TWA 800 comm itted suicide. 
They'd have a field day.  Like, what's going to go next?  The presses?  My
car?  This platform I'm standing on.  Omigod, it's an elevator.  How'd I
get here?  Please.  Just let me down.  I'll never do it again.  I promise. 
I'll never both er you as long as I live.  Goodbye. 

	That's the trouble, Linda.  I get an idea.  My mind opens.  And
this is what comes out. 

	It's like there's a door in the left side of my head.  It just
opens.  Up.  Like... 

	I love you.

	Maybe if I just focus on that, I can get my head back together.  I
love you.  You're beautiful face.  You're incredible breasts.  You're
gorgeous tummy.  I just realized, I've been saying "you're," which means,
"you are."  But it's true.  You are your go rgeous naked tummy.  You are
your wonderful red hair.  You are your ecquisite face.  You are... me.  I
feel I'm looking into another mirror.  I feel that I am absolutely you. 
And I know the truth.  I'm not. 

	And I never will be.  Will I?  That's what hurts.  That I will
never be you.  Strange.  We are so much alike.  The only difference is in
our age.  You are forty.  And I am twelve.  But other than that, we are
just the same.  I don't mean that I am you wh en you were twelve.  I mean,
I am who I am, and you are ... Linda. 

	Boy, you sure hold it together.  I just hope I look like that when
I'm twenty. 

	What am I thinking about?

	Why did I start this letter?

	Now.  Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be working on my book.  The last
chapter.  I just want to get it done and get out of here.  In the book,
Cody gets caught.  The last chapter is a confession.  It starts out with
Cody saying, "My name is Constance Myers and I wish to state totally and
unequivocally that everything I wrote in the previous chapter is a total
and dispicable lie.  I also wish to confess that I am the dirty little
left wing hippy punk whore slut known as Comrade Cody or Cody Ann
Michaels, and tha t I have conspired against the fatherland.  Fatherlands. 
I have descrated the fatherlands.  All of them.  For which I am truly
sorry and recontrite, and which I solemnly admit I am not worthy to
mention by name.  Also I acknowledge that I am deserving of
 the most stringent punishment, even death, my captors can give to me."

	You see, she's been captured.  Tracked down.  Especially after
what she wrote about School of the Americas.  That was really pushing the
envelope.  The Somozas may be dead, but there are plenty around to take
their place.  There's a gun against the side of her head, telling her what
to write. 

	Cody was expecting maybe the F.B.I.  She wasn't prepared for what

	You know, you said you haven't worked.  You hadn't done anything
new.  I want you to keep working.  Keep going.  I want you to wake up in
the morning figuring how to do that.  And keep thinking about your art all
the time.  Right until you go to bed.  Ea t, breathe and shit your art. 
And dream about it in the night.  You know, I want to tell you something,
Al Hirschfield once said that no line drawings have ever been made that
are better than the ones of the animals in the caves of southern France. 
That made me think that art is something more than making something to
sell or use for decoration.  And it is pretty close to what was behind
these pictures.  Which was not to decorate or sell, but to be. 

	I know you know that.

	That studio you were in the other night, where they make your
program.  That was like a cave.  And you were like the horned man who
dances with the animals.  The master of the beasts.  Or was he their

	What was I saying?

"Those who I have soiled in my depraved rantings against the supreme
command.  I am a low down scumbag commie sex freak.  I admit to this, and
also a betrayal of the high ideals of our great patriarchal tradition.  I
wish only now to be rehabilitated, for
 which I sincerely and ernestly apply to the judges of this tribunal.  And
beg for their mercy and compassion.  I hereby renounce any ties to the
criminal uprising and promise my captors to cooperate fully in tracking
down my fellow conspirators, uncondit ionally, even if should be
determined that I am totally without any redeeming condition and should be
exterminated.  I also renounce my voices which are the voices of unreason
and the devil..." 

	This, by the way, was supposed to be in garbled English, because
they had broken her fingers, and maybe even nailed one hand to the table. 
Then they would make her sign it. 

	Constance Myers, aka Commander Cody

	This was to be Cody's last communique, although I was toying with
having her coming back; that it was maybe her house sitter. 

	She was to die of kidney failure, having eaten both during the
questioning -- they had been dug out of her back with a grapefruit spoon. 
When you walked in. 

	I don't mean to alarm you.  This is just the way I write.

	You'd make a terrific dominatrix, by the way.  What do you charge? 
You said a hundred and ninety an hour.  For counseling?  Right.  Maybe we
can work something out. 

	I bet you'd look great in a uniform.  Forty?  Somewhere there is a
picture.  Black leather.  Sitting at a table.  Outdoors.  A cafe. 
Leotard.  Black stockings.  High heeled boots.  Your hair just as you wear
it.  Those eyes.  What would be the arithmetic?  My father's collection. 
In the attic.  With the books.  So long ago. 

	But not a dungeon.  Or the Vault.  Or all that other crappy stuff. 
Something like... 

	I blew my chapter.  I can never go back.  And do it again.  For
one thing, I've disturbed the course of the stream.  Altered time.  You
can't just splice in a different segment, like it was DNA.  You'd get an
entirely different species.  I was just sitti ng down to write when you
called.  It changed everything.  Shit. 

	In the story, the lieutenant orders his men to take Cody out into
the yard and shoot her.  Which they do.  While he is sending Cody's or
Constance's last communique.  Along with his own personal message
describing how she died.  Begging for her miserable life.

	It gives him great satisfaction.  He positively gloats.  The
description is totally unreal.  In between, he admonishes his men to stop
fucking Cody's corpse.  It's very funny.  It makes him really look sick. 
And it pokes fun at those who fight for the supreme commands everywhere. 

	But, I blew it.  Something made me write to you instead.  Now the
story is going off down its own separate pathway, leaving me behind.  It's
almost like I wanted to be tortured.  And still do.  Like I'm
disappointed.  Hey, wait a minute.  That's my pain you're taking away.  My
real identity. 

	Except, I'm not Connie Myers.

	You should see this apartment!

	Those fucking assholes really trashed it.  They smashed my brand
new laptop.  Shit!  That fucker cost me three thousand dollars!  I just
got it.  And nailed my cat to the bathroom door.  Sick mother fuckers. 
Who would do that to an animal?> Connie does n't look too hot either.  I
knew something was wrong when I saw that message.  It wasn't even in the
right newsgroup.  Good thing Bruce grows bonzai trees.  The guy I spent
the weekend with.  Upstate.  In the Hamptons.  Connie doesn't even have
red hair.  She's a dirty stringy blonde.  And she weighs 180 pounds. 
Although, it's nicely distributed.  Mostly in her tits.  I told her she
could use the place to hide out from her old man.  And this is what I get. 
I come home and the place is a mess.  Assholes.  I think they're on to me. 
The next time I might not be so lucky.  I've got to get a look-alike. 

	The newest thing in security.

	Someone who looks like you.

	The target.

	That they shoot at instead of you.

	While you hide in a corner

	and suck your thumb.

	The person who lives your life.

	How secure can you get?

	Who takes your blows.

	Your school of hard knocks.

	Come to the School of the Americas and find out what real living
is all about.  Said the brochure. 

	I know this is not the love letter you were expecting.  But it
will never get any better than this.  I promise you.  There will be no
improvement and no falling off.  There will only be this. 

	Connie, wake up.  Come on.  What happened?  Wake up, you shit.

	She had a Kate Moss look.  I know, Kate Moss does not weigh 180
pounds, but that's the way she looked.  The expression in her eyes.  And
the way her lips were sort of hanging wettly open.  Like an open cunt. 
Just waiting. 

	She toyed with the bottle.  Then set it down.

	After awhile, you don't notice the break.  The wound just sort of
closes over.  And you're alone, again.  Oh, the other reason I write is
because it's a launching ramp into the unknown.  I never have the
slightest idea what I'm going to discover.  It's l ike total orgasm.  Over
and over again.  And then...  She picked the bottle up again, and looked
at it.  Then she put it down. 

	Or suicide.

	You plug your brain.

	Same effect.

	An opening in the left wall of your brain.

	She picked it up.

	Tell me about it.

	Juan came before his people on the 17th of Peron.  They named it
after him.  Linda, are you listening?  Good.  Now that I have got your
attention, I am going to tell you something.  Weave.  Dodgge. get oput of
towjhaetg ae

i wanted to convince mysel;f it was a dream.
i almost imagined I could do it
but then she came
and Ihad to go
it ditn't heoppen
broken teeth
through borken teeth she typed
she oithered her
why haven't you done anything
is it because of the acident, sweet bird of youth?
anyone who has ever seen it knows it by heart
answer me
do it
Nike owns that.  So you can't say "do it" anymore.  It has to be licenced. 
It all does.  Am I getting through to you.  He had been trained by a
master to tell the tale so that everyone would understand you.  Got that? 
Morty understood what the girl had said.
And he translated it to Cody.
So that she could understand that it had been an accident
and it wasn't his fault he had his dick up inside her
So she crossed him
and this was the payback
Dance with the devil, sugar.
It was lucky for you she was out of town.
Otherwise it could have been worse.  
what you did
of course
Anyone can program her.
Programming Linda was a joy ride in Hell
It couldn't be done
buyt they did it.
Coney Island of the Mind
twist her.
you really don't mean that.
From then on, they would communicate only by screen.
He saw her through a window of his defeat.
Soon she would be vibrant
standing here in the apartment
as if she was there.
Print it out.
What if their computers broke down?  You know, like had a nervous
breakdown.  They walled her off.  In space.  They just stopped
broadcasting.  They had a remote.  Sometimes, if you turned it up, you
could hear the screams.  But other times there was just the squishing of
raw sex.  She was fifty-three. 
Lebed was fired.
It was his department.
They just left them there.
The Americans had to come and get them down.  Like, who would be last? 
Who would stay when the others had left?  Which one was still up there? 
Like a seed in an egg.  Waiting.  For the big one. 

Lost in space.
We bred a race of monsters.
They're still up there.
Although from time to time one falls to earth.
On batwings like a space umbrella.
Solar powered.  Down here, they can't get enough sunlight.  And they have
to stay.  Grounded.  We pick them off. 

	Let's get out of here.  This place frightens me.

	Linda.  You still there?  Keep coming.  We're almost there.  What
are those things?  I think they're us. 

	Oh, spare me the sunday supplement astrology.  I want some real
answers.  Like, why are we here?  What are we supposed to be doing?  Who
are we?  Yes.  I know they're us, but that doesn't answer anything, does
it?  I mean, like who am I?  Baldrick and Ad der.  Attorneys at law.  In
Washington, D.C.  Black Adder takes the Fifth.  Doesn't mean anything in
Europe, but over here, it means a lot. 


	The number five means a lot of things to a lot of people.  2 plus
3.  Equals 4 plus one.  So there, you see, five means a lot.  (Pen means
five.  Did you know?  As in pentagram or Pendragon.  C.S. Lewis said that
Pendragon is really a title, and that the re is an unbroken line of
Pendragons that extends from far beyond Arthur.  Back to the Neolithic. 
There is one, in fact, today, living....) If 42 is the secret of the
universe, what is 5?  Forty two minus thirty seven?  No.  Actually dear,
you're a tad off.  It means this.  He hit her.  Five fingers doubled up in
a fist makes a pretty good punch.  Solid.  Wham!  Tyson in the fifth. 
Don't waste your time.  He'll finish her in the first.  And have four to
spare.  The fans went wild. 

	Brutal, said the Daily News.

	A bash raved Bother in the Post.

	Glib said the Trib.

	A knockout said the ump.

	The bullets redeemed Tupac from humanity.  She was there.  She
lov3ed watching men slug it out in her living room.  Over a cheap tramp
like Cody.  Got to get out.  She stepped out of the limo into the bright
lights.  Her panties were showing. 

	I was there.  Men have been taking me out since I was fifteen. 
Maybe more.  I mean, what do I know?  I'm just a stupid blonde.  Oh,
Connie.  You had such a poor opinion of yourself.  I mean, endless
victimhood.  Why did you only start when you were thir ty-four?  What
happened before that? 

	I just realized, I don't have anyway to end this.
I guess that's where it starts.


Dear Cody

	"Great hearing from you again!  So, I never did get your answer to
this question: clamp with chain attached to one (or, heck, both) of your
nipples.  Now, the chain is pulled.  How far can you go?"  -- Karna

Dear Karna

	The buddha nature of a dog is ...

		a. dust in the wind
		b. my grandmother's wet hairy cunt
		c. the sound of a flushing toilet
		d. you keep coming back for more
employees will please wash their hands
employees must wash their hands
it doesn't say where.
In the sink.
In the toilet?

	Where?  Where are they going to wash their hands?  The buddha
nature of a dog is personal hygenie.  You'd be appalled at the conditions. 
When I came out of there, I wanted to puke.  Did you read it"?  Then why
send it?  Someone will.  Would you like to have it published?  I can have
it done for you.  On the internet.  Listen, give it to me, and I'll take
care of it.  He threw it in the next trashcan.  I lost it.  Fuck you.  I
worked hard on that.  There was only one copy.  She sent it back.  We
can't us e it.  Rejection.  It was eating me out.  I mean, why couldn't I
stand up for myself?  They're just waiting for you to do it.  Not me.  I
won't be the first one out of the foxhole.  Wham.  They blew He was
standing there, looking down at where his men h ad been.  My uncle Louie. 
Lost his whole command.  Shell landed right in the foxhole after he had
jumped out of it to lead the charge.  He had seen action, but never like
this.  13 year old school teacher ravaged by adults.  Was that it?  Did I
get it ri ght?  Was the azimuth of the trajectory right on target?  WHAMO! 
He never talked about it. 

	So where is this thing going?  Mother England?  The old Globe. 
The lIon's head tavern.  Next to the Stonewall.  He turned on the other
side of the street just as the firebomb exploded.  His wife was still in
here.  And so were the kids.  The firemen hel d him back.  He wanted so to
save them, but as usual, bureaucracy intervened, and only the firemen were
licensed to save people.  They wrote him a ticket while his wife shrieked
and threw their children out of the fifth floor window.  They each landed
hea d down on the concrete.  Only the youngest was spared, and she had
brain damage.  She would have to learn to walk all over again.  It might
take weeks.  In the meantime, she strode down the runway, shaking that
thing.  190?  Not bad.  A perfect ten.  1 an d 9 makes ten.  Zero doesn't
count.  So you're the one.  A double five.  Are you getting this? 

	It's all in pursuit of a common wager.  What's good for you. 
What's right for me.  Each hand washes the other.  I hold your coat.  You
take my hand.  We cross the puddle together.  It's like going to America. 
As opposed to actually getting there.  Plea se don't ask me about this.  I
really don't understand it.  I'm simply moving it on down the line. 
Tomorrow, it will be something different.  If you want me, look for me
under your bootsoles.  I stop someplace.  Waiting for you. 


Dear Linda,

	I don't know if you want to read this.  Maybe you think I'm some
kind of weirdo sick freak for writing stuff like this.  It's just I need
to tell someone, and you seem to understand.  Maybe you've been there,
too.  Anyway, if you don't like it, just thro w it away.  I won't bother
you anymore.  I promise. 



P.S.  You were beautiful, Sunday night, but my cable was screwed up, so I
couldn't hear the sound.  I love you.  Ciao.  Keep dreaming, Magic Window. 

                           Chapter 21


	...the Clinton policy of emphasizing commercial diplomacy, often
playing down human rights, especially in Asian countries with fast growing
economies, has been appreciated in Indonesia and Little Rock.  "At the
beginning we had some problems," said Arif in M. Siregar, the Indonesian
Ambassador, referring to the Administration's early criticism of Indonesia
on human rights.  But, he added in an interview last year, "the
relationships now are much better."  -- NY Times, 10/17/96, p.7 "Clinton
and Arkansas Have Long Ties to Indonesian Family."

	[Mark Grobmyer, a Clinton golfing friend] said in a 1995 interview
that his Indonesian activities included helping strengthen the
"sister-state relationship" between Arkansas and Indonesia...  --ibid. 

	"I'm going to get out of your way here." -- Bob Dole, when Clinton
crowded him off his own lectern at the second debate. 

	Here is a story:

	One day, Caliban was asking Ariel what it was like to fly.  Ariel
said it was great.  "You should try it."  Caliban said he couldn't.  Ariel
said that was because he didn't try.  "Come on.  I'll show you."  He
floated up effortlessly and sat on a tree li mb.  "See, it's easy." 
Caliban tried but he couldn't get off the ground.  He just kept hopping
around like an ape and falling on his behind.  Ariel still encouraged him,
doing loop de loops and power glides which Caliban could only envy in his
dark heart .  The problem was, he said, he was not light and beautiful as
a ray of sunlight like Ariel.  Ariel told him to stop being negative.  But
still, Caliban could not fly.  Finally, Ariel got an idea.  He took
Caliban to the highest mountain on the island -- they lived on an island,
you remember.  To a cliff.  It was five thousand feet straight down. 
(Five plus zero plus zero plus zero is five.) Walking out into space, he
turned around and told Caliban to do exactly the same thing.  Caliban said
he didn't k now.  "Just do it," Ariel said, using a phrase that he had
licensed from Nike.  Caliban swallowed hard, and walked off the edge of
the cliff.  With a hideous shriek, he flew straight down and smashed his
head to pieces on a rock. 

	Moral:  Some people will commit suicide rather than give up their
old routines. 

	Here is another story:

	Two Indians were out hunting.  Far across the prairie, they saw
what looked like a thunder cloud rapidly coming their way.  As it got
closer, they saw that it was a white buffalo, and when it got almost
there, it turned into a gorgeous woman.  The White Buffalo Cow Woman
walked up to the two Indians.  One, when he saw how stunningly beautiful
she was, had thoughts that are generally frowned upon in churches
everywhere, i.e. natural.  The woman knew what he was thinking and she
invited him to do whatever he wanted.  The Indian took her and the two of
them were suddenly engulfed in a cloud of smoke.  When the smoke cleared,
the White Buffalo Cow woman was still there, but the Indian was a pile of
bones.  The other Indian, who had only good thoughts, was th e person to
whom White Buffalo Cow Woman taught the Sundance and the other Sacred
Rites of the Oglala Sioux. 

	Black Elk told that story in a book by that name.  What he
neglected to mention was that the dead Indian was smiling.  Like, Wow! 

	What a ride.

	What the good Indians got was how to punch holes in their chests
and hang on ropes and rip out their pectoral muscles in the sweat lodge. 
Which is okay.  It's a ride.  Sort of.  But no one really knows what White
Buffalo Cow Woman gave to the bad Indian .  Maybe it was the clap.  Maybe
it was nothing.  Maybe she was a complete cow in bed.  On the other hand,
a woman who could change shapes like that probably knew some pretty
amazing moves.  Like, time is relative.  You never know when you're
kissing eternity. 


	"Just what are you trying to say in this book?  Is it a cry for
help, or just a long rant against the foolishness of life?" Lizabeth
asked.  Actually, that's a quote from one of Brian's letters.  But it's
the sort of thing Lizabeth, my shrink, is always asking.  Like, why am I
writing this?  What do I want to happen?  Like, without action of some
kind, all it is is a scream in the night.  Right? 

	A friend of mine today who's studying to be an anthro said that
it's believed a tribe of people who lived ten thousand years ago in the
middle east, I forget their name, oh yeah, the Netuzi, created art because
they were under stress.  If that's true, th at art is the result of
stress, I know a lot of people who should be Rembrandt. 

	I'm scattered tonight.  Not sure what I'm doing.  The apartment is
freezing.  Fucking landlord won't give heat.  I just lit the oven.  I read
today that there's only what, fourteen days to the election.  I was
surprised.  Is Dole still running?  I heard the tv stations don't even
talk about him in California anymore.  If you think that's bad, there's
even fewer days until the wedding.  Kelly and I are going to be married in
All Soul's Cathedral in Marietta, Ga. on November 2.  The day of the dead. 
When the graves open and the dead come back to life.  You're all invited. 
Even Dole.  I wish he'd come.  Maybe it would cheer him up.  If a pretty
girl is like a melody, two pretty girls getting married ought to be real
down home harmony.  Even if one of them is a corpse.  Dole ought to feel
right at home.  Especially with the KKK honor guard on the front steps. 

	The fact is, time is running out for Dole.  Just as for Dole, the
one in my book, who is running for president in his pajamas.  As if it
were all a bad dream.  Blue silk pajamas with navy piping around the
cuffs.  And floppy bunny bedroom slippers. 

	And I realize that I haven't said enough.  I've said enough about
Dole, the one on tv, who Clinton chased around the stage during the last
debate.  I felt sorry for him.  I think, of the two, Dole is much more
real.  He's despicable -- in 1994, he killed an amendment that would have
banned the use of U.S. arms in East Timor, where the occupying Suharto
government of Arkansas's "sister state", you know the one that has such a
good relationship with Clinton, has genocidically murdered a third of the
native population, often using U.S. trained personnel -- but he's a real
human being.  Clinton is a bot.  I wouldn't vote for either of them. 

	But the other Dole, the one in my book, we're not finished.

	Actually, it's Kansas, that I'm still incomplete on.  And for me,
Dole is Kansas.  And Kansas is Dole.  Even if he does live in Miami. 

	When I started this book, I didn't know anything about Kansas,
beyond the fact that Dorothy grew up there, and had her visions.  And
also, that Dole did, too.  And, of course, I'd seen the picture.  Hundreds
of times.  They used to show it in geography c lass at school.  Also,
multicultural studies.  They showed the Wizard of Oz practically every
month in M.S. class.  It was supposed to show you what it was like to
encounter a culture and society radically different from your own. 

	But since then, I've become almost an expert on Kansasian studies. 
I'm even thinking of writing my Ph.D. in it.  What set it off, of course,
was watching The West.  I watched The West during the two weeks I was
writing The Dead.  Toward the end, I began to wonder if there was a
connection.  After all, in western folklore, the west is the land of the
dead.  Anyway, there was a lot in The West on Kansas. 

	I didn't know there was so much about Kansas.  Like, Kansas was
like the doorway to the west.  I think we studied some of that in the
eighth grade, but that was when Kelly and I were first getting to know
each other, so I may have been slightly unconscious. 

	Bloody Kansas.  They called it.  This was long before Dorothy. 
Before the Civil War, in fact.  It was like a little preview of the Civil
War, in fact, with pro-slave and abolitionists fighting it out over free
soil in Livermore.  People actually went we st to Kansas to kill other
people.  Just to start a fight.  Make trouble.  Or they came from there. 
John Brown started out in Kansas before coming east.  Kansas had a rich
tradition of bloodshed and murder long before Bob Dole's grandfather got
there in the 1880s.  This was about the time Dorothy was a kid on her
uncle's farm.  They showed pictures.  Of the houses.  People were really
flooding into Kansas now.  From both the south and the north.  Ex-slaves
heard that they were giving away land and 500 do llars to farm it.  New
towns sprang up overnight.  Of course, the land belonged to the Indians,
and the Indians were being murdered right and left, or herded into
concentration camps.  Why do they always call them "reservations"?  Like
that's supposed to make them nicer.  Some of these places were as bad as
Auschwitz.  Okay.  Dachau.  Anyway, they were death camps.  Worthless
barren land, until the white men found oil under it, and then, 'oh, let us
try to get you something nicer'.  Let me tell you, none of those houses
would fly. 

	People did not live in wooden houses on the plains of Kansas. 
Because there was no wood.  You see, that's what a plane is.  It has no
trees.  Wood has to be trucked in.  They lived in sod huts, dug into the
ground or the side of a hill, and walled up wi th sod.  They were called
sodbusters.  Because the roots of the prairie grass went down feet,
sometimes yards, into the earth, and held it steady.  The sodbusters
killed the grass, burnt it off, dug up the roots, and created the worst
dust bowl in history .  But that was years off.  Generations.  In
Dorothy's time, they were still living in holes in the ground.  Not wooden
houses like the one in the movie.  Those sod houses were not
aerodynamically sound.  I doubt one of them would get off the ground.  I
wouldn't want to fly one to Europe.  But Dorothy went all the way to Oz. 

	How can we account for this?

	The only thing I can think of is special effects.  I mean, isn't
that always the answer?  It was done with computers.  Mirrors.  Smoke.  A
good old American twister wasn't enough.  There had to be a lot of blood. 
Like when she hit the mirror.  Today, th ey would not hire Munchkins. 
They would program them.  The Munchkins, by the way, were originally the
Munich Boys Choir, but Louie Mayer was mad at Hitler for some reason or
other so he had it changed. 

	For some time now, I have been working my way through The New York
Times' Sunday Book Review section's 100th anniversary edition, which
reprints reviews from the beginning, starting with Dostoyevsky's Brothers
Karamazov, (Dostoyevsky had been dead for mo re than 30 years in 1912,
when this review appeared, which is typical of the way the Times gets
around to things) up to the present.  It's sort of interesting.  Like, for
instance, I didn't realize Rachel Carson's Silent Spring came out in 1962. 
That's two life times ago, and it's tens of times worse.  Like, haven't
we learned?  What is the matter? 

	It's also been since 1966 Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood.  The
murders took place in 1959, when Bob Dole was still Attorney General of
Kansas.  (=24=6)

	I want to read this to you -- from Conrad Knickerbocker's review
of In Cold Blood.  The first paragraph: 

	"The plains of western Kansas are even lonelier than the sea.  Men,
farmhouses and windmills, becoming specks against the vast sky.  At night,
the wind seems to come from hundreds of miles distant.  Diesel-engine
horns echo immensity.  During the day, o ne drives flat out through
shimmering mirages.  Highways all roll straight to the point of infinity
on a far horizon.  Tires click; tumbleweed rustles; Coca-Cola signs
endlessly creak." 

	Nice writing.  Reminds me of On the Road.

	Knickerbocker goes on to list a number of other incidents (besides
the murder of the Clutter family) which he said were typical of life in
the mid-west in those days.  They included:  Charlie Starkweather,
accompanied by his teen-age lover, killed 10 peo ple.  George Ronald York
and James Douglas Latham murdered seven.  Lowell Lee Andres, the mild, fat
student with dreams of becoming a Chicago hitman, killed his father,
mother, and older sister with 21 bullets.  2 and 1 equals 3.  Three people
died.  7 bu llets for each one.  Assuming each was killed with an equal
number of bullets.  (It may actually have been some kind of mathmatical
progression.) 7 and 3 equal ten which equals 1.  Very significant.  (7
minus 3 equals 4, which is a different story.) Dua ne Pope, a clean-cut
young football player, shot four people, 3 fatally, who were lying face
down on the floor of a Nebraska bank.  Why were they doing that?  A bank
is no place to take a lie down.  This review appeared January 16, 1966. 
In April, Richar d Speck would kill 7 nurses in Chicago, and in July,
Charlie Whitman would get up on the University of Texas tower in Austin
and shoot another significant number.  So why does everyone act like this
stuff is new? 

	Hey, come on assholes!  My generation did not invent murder and
violence.  My generation is a wimpy amateur compared to Bob Dole and his
forebears.  Four bears?  Yeah.  Like get off my back! 

	Do you wonder why the young don't vote?  Because we have spent our
lives being dumped on by politicians.  Like Dole and Clinton.  Everytime a
sleazebag politician wants to get off a cheap shot, he thinks up something
to do to kids. 

	First, they took away our right to drink before we're 21.  Then
they started with the cigarettes.  Now, Clinton wants to make kids take a
drug test before they can get a drivers license.  Give me a break.  So
what.  You just stay clean for a month.  What a fucking asshole.  I liked
the girl on TV the other day who said kids aren't going to listen to
adults, "especially someone like Bill Clinton."  Of course, she probably
didn't even know who Dole was. 

	All they're trying to do is criminalize kids.  Just like the
teachers.  You would think teachers would get it into their stupid heads
that their future pay raises depend to a large extent on the good will of
the people they're fucking over now.  I.e. kid s.  Kids get out of school,
and all they want is revenge.  Just wait for the next election to increase
the school budget, honey. 

	Or, like in the Daily News there was story about a 15 year old kid
who was sentenced to 180 hours "community service" besides 12 months
probation just because he got caught with some weed.  Does that suck?  It
was part of an op-ed article by a judge frot hing at the mouth over how
great it is to punish people by making them do "community service"
(10/21/96, p33).  Johnny's minister told the judge she would "structure" a
c.s. project of 180 hours doing church clean up and light repair, so
basically, what s he was getting was a slave free.  I thought, how stupid
can they get?  If the kid learns anything, it will be that c.s. is
punishment, and he will most likely never volunteer for anything for the
rest of his life.  It might explain why almost no one else does either. 
Like who wants to be associated with criminals?  Kids figure the only
people who do c.s. must be cons working off their sentences, or maybe the
Junior League.  And, oh yeah, people on Welfare.  Like, would Michael
Millken be helping out at the church social if it wasn't keeping him out
of jail?  Me?  I don't think so.  I mean, like, I didn't do anything.  So
why should I do anything?  You think passive resistance doesn't work? 
Wait til election day, and see how many people vote 'fuck you' b y not
voting at all. 

	Shit.  What am I babbling about?  Kansas.  The Clutters.  Dole. 
Perry Smith and Richard Hickock.  "Social dropouts filled with nausea,
disillusion romantics, they were the perfect loners." 

	I wonder if Dole met them.  And whether he met them before or
after they killed the Clutters.  Did he know the Clutters, themselves? 
Did they know one another?  Capote wandered around west Kansas for five
years soaking everything up.  By then, Dole was in the House.  Where he
voted against medicare.  He interviewed the living and communed with the
dead.  Knickerbocker called him "the discoverer of death."  He used no
mechanical aids, such as a tape recorder or shorthand.  He memorized the
event and its dialogue.  And wrote it as a novel.  I'm talking about

	In other words, he told the story.  He didn't write it.

	When Dorothy says, "this doesn't look like Kansas," she is only
speaking what we all know.  Nothing looks like Kansas.  Perhaps
fortunately so.  We would go mad.  Like Charlie.  Or Duane.  Or those boys
down in Arkansas who killed the other three boys in a Satanic ritual. 
Funny, how they have almost the same name.  Kansas and Arkansas.  George. 
James.  Dino.  Charlie and Bob.  Dick and Ernie.  Bonnie and Clyde. 
Another great couple.  Right out of homespun America.  The James brothers. 
The Daltons.  The Wells Fargo stage. 

	All that central American honesty and good feeling.

	The Earps.  Marshall Dillon.  Miss Kitty.  Dodge.  The place where
America was the way Bob Dole wants it to be. 

	Sure, guy.  My kind of town.

	Stress.  You talk about stress.  With history like that, Kansas
ought to be the art capital of the world.  Willa Cather wrote a story
about an artist who is brought back to Kansas to be buried.  And what it
was like in 1890, waiting for the train with hi s corpse to arrive.  No
one in town understood him.  He had grown up there, a crazy kid who went
off to New York, and became the world's most famous sculptor, I think it
was.  But he died, maybe from consumption.  And now one of his students
was bringing him home.  Only one man in the crowd understands that there's
a world beyond Kansas, and he's a drunken lawyer.  (I would look it up,
but frankly, it depresses me.)

	I was surprised when I saw the photographs of the 70,000-year-old
"art" they found in Australia.  Rows and rows of round cookie indentations
in the sandstone -- the sides of rock outcrops that look like the
monoliths at Stonehenge.  For one thing, it was so organized.  The cookies
were arranged in rows instead of just being haphazard.  Maybe it was a
mathematical problem.  And, like I said, the rock outcrops weren't like
mountains or anything.  They were just freestanding in the middle of the
jungle like dolmens.  Like, how did these marks last all that time?  How
did the rocks themselves.  Well, like, why shouldn't they?  It just seems
strange.  That was three light years ago.  In other words, the earth and
the solar system have come more than three and a half light years since
those marks were made for whatever reason.  That's a lot of miles. 

	I'm under a lot of stress.  I make marks on a paper.  Or on a
keyboard.  On a screen.  And then I shoot them out over the internet.  Or
print them out and mail them.  And I feel better.  Momentarily.  And then
the tension starts to build again.  And befo re I know it, I'm Charlie
Starkweather's girl friend, LuAnn, and we're going down the road... 

	Making art.

	You see, what we do not understand about the Kansasians is that
art, to them, involves large amounts of violence.  Disruption and
dislocation.  Like the time the Confederate calvary charged into Livermore
and shot every man to death in sight, some in the arms of their womenfolk. 
They also burned the town down.  So it goes. 

	There's so much more about Kansas that I never knew about.  It
might as well be Australia.  They're finding more and more things about
Australia.  First it was the art.  Then it was Murdoch.  Now it's old
trees.  They found a tree in Australia that's 40, 000 years old.  And they
found out Murdoch doesn't pay taxes. 

	Let's see if I have this right.  Murdoch became an American
citizen so he could buy Newt Gingrich and Channel 5.  And the New York
Post.  And George Pataki.  And ever so much else.  But he is still an
Australian.  So he can still own newspapers and telev ision stations in
Australia.  But foreigners are not allowed to make political contributions
here.  However, Murdoch's News Corp., which is an Australian corporation,
gave the Republican party more than 351,000 dollars (Daily News, 10/21/96,
p.33) because an American subsidiary of a foreign company can make
political contributions -- if the subsidiary makes a profit, and News Corp
has consistently reported that even though it made 8.5 billion dollars
last year in America, it didn't make a profit.  So, eit her News Corp made
a profit and can legally donate 351,000 dollars to the Republicans or News
Corp did not make a profit and any contribution it made was highly
illegal.  Did I get that right? 

	I hope so.  Numerology is very confusing.  We do not know the
exact age of either the artwork on the rocks or the plant.  I mean, 70,000
is 7 and 40,000 is 4.  But what does that mean?  Those are just round
numbers.  Seven and four is 11, which is 2, but suppose the plant is
actually 40,001 years old.  Or say it's only 39,992.  It throws off all
the other figures.  We do know Murdoch is in his sixties.  But I forget
which.  Which number.  So that's no help, either.  62 or 63.  It could
mean different things. 

	Murdoch is also in trouble for numerology in Israel, being what
his newspapers would call "an accused tax cheat."  (That's a way to
legally libel someone.  Call him an accused this or that.  Like, Clinton
is an accused sexual criminal.  Well, Paula said he is.) Something about
making payments to people in Europe to avoid the high income taxes in
Israel.  (Ibid. p.4)) Big mistake to stiff the Israelies, Rupert.  The ZOG
does not tolerate holdouts.  You could end up doing eternity as Leona
Helmsley's prison slave. 

	Dole is 73.  Which is 10.  Which is one.  So he's the one. 
Clinton is 50.  So there you have it.  5 and 1.  Makes six.  Tonight is a
dark night. 

	The numbers add up, but nothing makes sense.  We are in this
together.  I'm simply groping for words.  Something to hold onto in the
dark.  Is there anything left? 

	Who are they trying to kid?  They're all whores.  Dole has his
hand out for the big numbers just like Clinton.  It's funny they don't
grope each other.  Clinton almost did the other night.  Going for old
Dole's testicles. 

	And everyone was waiting for Dole to be mean.

	Dole being mean to Clinton is like a penny ante crook kissing a
rattlesnake.  Just wait.  You think Caligula was bad?  We are in for a
wild rolly coaster ride of the soul during the next four years.  Nothing
will be sacred. 

	"But what does this mean to you?" she asked.

	"I don't know."  Liz can be so persistent.

	I've told you about her before, haven't I?  Gorgeous brunette.  In
her mid thirties.  She's my shrink.  She asks a lot of the same questions
that Brian did.  Like, what is this all about?  I don't know. 

	That's what I come to you for.

	Tell me.

	Make me understand.

	Forget it.

	You have to do it yourself.  What am I talking about?  Bill tells
me all the time what it's about.  And my eyes glaze over.  That's just it. 
The difference between Bill -- he wants to be called William now -- and me
is that I am living and he is explaining. 

	Who cares?

	I do.

	But what do I care about?

	There's not much to go on.  No yellow brick road.  No scarecrow or
tinman.  Or...  Wait a minute, who are you guys? 
one said he was the tinman
one said he was the scarecrow
and the third was cowardly lion.
They'll all be at the funeral.
From the church.
Well, we have to bury Kelly by sundown.
By Sunday morning, I'll be a widow.
and wearing black
for Kelly
Won't a I, Kel?


She's so out of it.  Has no idea what I'm plotting.
She's to be buried alive on Hallowe'en,
in the old south cemetery.
And will come out of the tomb two days later.
Ready to be married.
Neat, huh?
Naturally, there will be a last supper before hand on the night before.
And then Kelly will be betrayed.
As in all coventicles, this will be broadcast to the internet at large,
allowing as many to participate as wish to.  All stations are go.  We are
awaiting the event. 
yes.  Take her down slowly.  That's it.  Don't hurt her.
The Russians were at the gates.
We had to hide it.
But where?

Take her down to the docks.  We'll push off from there.  On our journey
down the Reingold.  Slipping off into the forest.  Where we will consume
our love in the wilderness.  LIke King's Holly.  Foxfire.  It isn't
enough.  Torch it.  We burned off most of it.  Stuff's been out here for
two million years.  What do you suppose it was?  Some alien creature. 
Looks like a house.  With a little girl in it.  Like, what did the
Munchkins do with the house?  They never said that.  She'd flown it all
the way from K ansas.  Like a 747.  And just left it there?  Or was it an
airport?  Did the house fly back to Kansas by itself?  Was there a pilot? 
Did she need a reservation?  Why didn't someone meet her at the airport? 
Well, they did.  Billy Burke met her.  And a bu nch of security people. 
And customs.  Customs strip searched her right there in the terminal. 
They also put her dog in quarantine.  To prevent rabies.  This is madness. 
She demanded to see the ambassador.  He said he wasn't in.  Then who are
you?  The Ambassador's wife.  Billy sailed her right through customs. 
Then she met the wicked witch of the west.  Did you ever think, the witch
was "of the west"?  Why?  Billy was the "good" witch of the north.  But
the west always got it in the neck.  No wonder s he was bitter.  There was
something out there.  Something evil.  What was it?  Something on the
edges of the Glynn.  Hilda had her castle there.  Glynda was the witch of
the north.  But what was the west witch's name?  They don't tell you.  She
must have had some personal history, a dossier.  Was the green color the
result of radiation?  Dorothy had killed her sister.  That was another
thing?  Why wasn't there an investigation?> Who was pulling strings?  You
just can't fly in here on a house and kill una rmed civilians.  This isn't
East Timor.  Or Wounded Knee.  What is this?  A pipe.  And this? 
Marijuana.  Do you have anything else to declare?  No.  They let her
through.  It was the ruby slippers.  The red shoes would take you where
you want to go. 

	Seven inch heels.  Hell in the prairie grass.  Especially when
there was a wildfire coming.  And you was trying to run.  A twister was
one thing.  A grass fire was another.  They came to a river.  And jumped
in.  The fire sucked all the oxygen out of the air.  They all died.  Cept
her.  She made it out somehow.  Said her visions had saved her.  That, and
hunkering down in the mud.  Tinman died.  Cowardly Lion died.  Strawman
went up in a blaze of glory.  Dog died too.  Security has got to be tight
around the church.  Going to be a real sacred moment.  Gonna sacrifice a
cat on the altar.  And a mess of chickens.  And a bull.  I have to cut his
throat.  I forget the whole ritual.  They talk you along.  And then I
smear it all over Kelly.  And she does the same to me.  It's real super
special.  You'll like it.  You have to come. 

	I never know what I'm going to say next.  It just comes.  I forgot
why I was writing this. 

	Oh yeah.  Evil.  Like Guiliani trying to give up one of the city's
tv channels to Murdoch.  That was evil.  Guiliani already killed one
public tv station.  WNYC.  31.  (Equals 4.) Now he was gunning for more. 
He wanted to give away two channels.  One f or Rupert and one for
Bloomberg.  Ted Turner stopped him.  Go, Ted!  Go Braves!  The Braves
creamed New York in the first game of the series.  12-1.  (And the 2nd,
4-2) I mean, why even play with a score like that?  Talk about Dole being
a loser.  Dole i s Babe Ruth compared to those guys.  Ted Turner called
Rupert der Fuerhrer.  Guiliani's wife's television career belongs to
Murdoch.  On Channel 5.  Chanel Number 5.  She's an anchor.  The city
Ethics Commission said there was no conflict of interest.  And so it

	(Is this pathetic or what: at last night's game, Murdoch's people
had a plane flying around Yankee Stadium flashing a sign that read, "Hey
Ted.  Be brave.  Don't censor the Fox News Channel."  So while Turner's
team was trashing the Yankess on the ground , Murdoch, the bully, was
snivelling outside like a wimpy beggar with snot hanging under his nose,
begging for a free channel.  What a loser.)

	"Where were you?" the Indian asked.

	"Kansas City."

	"How was it?"

	White Buffalo Cow Woman said she had a good time.  "Everything's
up for grabs in Kansas City.  They've gone about as far as they can and
still be inside the law." 

	"Nice shoes."

	"Thanks."  She gave him the pills she brought back.  "One will make
you larger and one will make you small."  He said the ones she gave him
the last time didn't do anything at all.  She said he might have to have
an operation.  Whether or not the HMO would okay it was another nasty


		"If you don't assure that kids get a good education, if 
people begin to feel hunted, what kind of divisiveness is this going to
raise in our society, we who have always been such an open society?  I
think it's horrifying.  If these policies continue ...  I think we're
either going to see people starving in the streets or they're going to be
... swept up and carted away." -- John Cardinal O'Connor WNBC-TV's News
Forum, 10/20/96


	I got out a road atlas and looked up Kansas.  It was so big.  It
filled up both sides of the book.  There were names of towns written all
over it.  But not as much as some other states.  Like New Jersey had lots
more towns per square inch than Kansas.  M ost were housing developments. 
In Kansas, the towns look more like real places.  I wanted to see where
Russell was.  And I have a cousin living in Hays.  There was Wichita. 
Salina. Dodge City.  Dodge was just a little place.  Topeka.  Kansas City. 
Ther e are actually two Kansas Cities.  One in Kansas and one in Missouri. 
The one in Missouri is bigger.  Russell, Salina and Hays all lie on
Interstate 70 from Topeka and K.C.  Wichita is south of Salina.  Dodge is
west of Wichita.  As falls Wichita, so fal ls Wichita Falls.  Down south
along the border is a place called Arkansas City.  I don't know anything
about it.  Below Kansas is Oklahoma, and north of it is Nebraska.  There
are other places.  West of Kansas is Colorado.  West of Dodge and a little
to t he south is Ulysses.  Tulsa is in Oklahoma.  Manhattan is also in
Kansas, at Fort Riley Military Reservation.  The Arkansas River runs
through Kansas.  Kansas does not border on Arkansas. 

	The Missouri River divides Kansas City into two parts as it forms
part of the border between Missouri and Kansas, practically the only part
of it which is not straight.  The river flows in a free form configuration
across the northeastern edge of Kansas and makes a jagged mark on the map,
as if to indicate something natural in the basic structure of the state. 
All else is straight.  Nebraska.  Colorado.  Oklahoma.  The counties are
also marked off in straight lines, the curve seemingly having been anath
ema to nineteenth century materialistic rationalism.  At one point, the
Arkansas curves in a wide arc from north to south and the place is called
Great Bend.  One wonders, was this an embarassment to the cartographers of
the day, as if they were somehow b eing forced to acknowledge the presence
of evil spirits, forces greater than themselves?  Or did they welcome it
as a quixotic respite from the merciless grid?  Other rivers also curve,
but they are not mentioned.  And the land too was an undulation of fr ozen
dunes held in place momentarily by the prairie grass, a monster the sleepy
residents were about to unleash in their savage eagerness to make places
that have names.  Sometimes a road runs straight but diagonally, as if the
heresy might have occurred to someone that it would be faster to get from
Topeka to El Dorado if one did not have to go though Manhattan first. 
Halfway between lies Emporia. 

	The lettering of Russell does not have as dark an imprint as
either that of Hays or of Salina, which it is almost midway between.  Hays
is west.  Salina to the east.  Russell is almost non-existent in its tiny
typeface.  Under it is a number and a word:  El 1828.  9 and 10 equals 1. 
Just like 7 and 3.  El, of course, refers to Yahwah.  El.  You see it in
the Bible and in Biblical names.  El Al, for instance.  Jewish.  I don't
know what else to tell you about Kansas.  West of Hays is Ellis, which has
a n otation: Walter P. Chrysler's boyhood home.  Route 70 follows the old
Oregon trail, the pathway for those to whom Kansas was only a transient's
memory between Independence and the Rockies. 

	stand on the corner of fourth street and vine.  See what happens.
okay.  Got her.
in the grid
the rigid grid of Kansas
some crazy little women there
and I'm going to get me some
nice lyrics.
going to Kansas City
up the wide missouri
Around the great bend
and into the heart of darkness
west to Alaska
a little bit south of Nome.

I think you made a wrong turn
Kansas is one long runway.  What do you mean, turn?
It's an alien concept.
There are no turnarounds in Kansas.
It's like the barrel of a gun.
Once you pull the trigger, you don't get second thoughts.
You load it here.
Then aim and shoot.
It's like an accellorator.  Kansas is the long stretch.  Around the
backfield, into the turn and it's Sea Bisquits in the ninth. 
You put the magnets in Nebraska and Tulsa.
And then you turn it on.

You don't know.  Just give up.
It won't hurt you.
Cry.  In public.
Clinton is beating his ass in.
It's Red River all over again.
They're going to indict her as soon as it's over.
She'll plead guilty.  They'll send her to jail.  It will be Evita all over
again.  Or she won't go to jail and she'll be sullied forever.  Totally
degraded.  Like she's special.  Fuck her. 
Everyone will condescend to her.
With that in her background, how could it be otherwise?

She's better off taking the rap and going to jail.  I wonder if she'll cry
on Barbara Walters.  Like Leona.  "Nobody loves me." Or the electoral
college might just vote for Dole. 

You never can tell.

It's totally legal.  No matter if Clinton buries him in a landslide, Dole
could still win it in the e.c. Say the Clintons are both indicted.  The
E.C. might be forced to act to protect the country.  It's a tricky
business.  The last time they did that, Hayes won.  It could happen again. 
Gore would lose because he's only the vice president and the E.C. can o
nly cast votes for the president.  As to whether it is legally bound to
select one of the candidates is a matter that is not clear.  Technically,
they could pick anyone who is a natural born citizen over 36.  So they
could pick Dole or Dole's wife or Barb ara Walters or Ted Koppel.  Or
Oliver North.  How about that?  That would make the world sit up and take
notice.  How about Arianna Huffington?  You can't be serious?  Well, why
not?  Off hand, no one could come up with a reason not to not exclude her
fro m their deliberations.  Murdoch, having come here as an alien, was
automatically excluded.  Who else?  Arnold Swartzenegger.  But he was
married to one of the Kennedys.  Couldn't there be an exclusionary
principle in cases like that?  Aren't we making thi s more complicated
than it sounds?  Bo Derek.  She's too young.  She's forty.  She'll never
admit it.  The list seemed endless.  They went through the phone book,
making random inquiries as to whether various persons would like to
participate.  They had a deadline.  They had to pick someone before it was
taken out of their hands and thrown into the House.  No one wanted that. 
Who did they know who hadn't been indicted?  That was another rule.  You
had to be germ free.  A total security risk.  Let me see the dossier.  Why
is she green?  I think she lives in Utah.  That would account for it. 
They do call her the w.w.w.  Brigham Young's only surviving wife.  They
gave her a pension.  She was two when she married him.  They only did it
once.  Her children p opulate the western plateau.  Is she an American? 
Technically Utah was still a territory when she was born.  Her mother was
half Ute. 

	An Indian?

	In the white house?

	I'm not so sure.

	Maybe we should have an investigation.

	The polls show she has the feminist vote.

	How is she on abortion?

	She's a Mormon, for God's sake.

	Then there's that movie.

	So?  What about Reagan?

	The exclusionary clause.

	But that only applies to consecutive terms.  Doesn't it?

	He's brain dead.

	So?  We have to do what's best for the country.

	You know, the limits of the E.C.'s power have never been actually
determined.  Theoretically, we could suspend the constitution and take
over the country.  Maybe we could make a deal with the military.  We could
promise free elections in a year or two.  When the country was ready for
self-governance.  People would probably like it if we shot most of these

	Suppose oil reserves were found under Munchkin land? Mr. Buxley
said, staring up my dress.  Would the American government have a right to
take it?  What rights would Munchkins have?  As a foreigner, could Dorothy
legally make a political contribution?  W hat about business contracts? 
Radio and TV stations?  Sexual favors?  Even if the W.W.W. was bizarre,
did she have rights?  What were they?  Was East Timor a separate country
or did it fall under the jurisdiction of the government in Oz?  What about
the U.N.?  What about the anthropologists?  Did they have a right to take
Munchkin skeletons?  Open Munchkin burial mounds?  Do DNA testing on
paleo-Munchkins?  What about missionaries?  What about slavery?  Suppose
the Munchkins kept slaves?  Would that be r ight?  Would it give the U.S.
the right to take their land?  What about slicing up young girls as part
of their initiation into womanhood?  He looked at me?  You know, they do
that, don't you?  Slice and dice their cunts.  Are they entitled to sexual
asylum?  What do you think, Cody? 

	Mr. Buxley always encouraged us to think.  Like, suppose I was a
young girl who was about to be butchered because of the beliefs of some
old men in my tribe.  Would that be right?  Or did I have the right to cop
out and come to America instead of submitt ing to our sacred traditions? 
Our native values?  He showed slides.  Audio visuals.  Sounds the girls
made while their clits were slit.  Should Americans stop all that?  Or
look the other way?  Did we have the right to force our way of life down
the thro ats of native peoples everywhere?  How about jets?  Suppose we
just sold them F-16s, like Clinton plans to do with the Indonesians? 
Would that be okay?  "You don't use F-16s to kill civilians and crack down
on dissidents." (Mike McCurry) But were the pe ople in East Timor
dissidents or a separate people?  We're back to that>?  Aren't we? 

	He asked if I would like to come over to his house after school
and talk about it?  Suppose they refused the terms we offered them?  Then
could they be moved to a reservation?  His wife was sick.  He could use
some help.  Would I volunteer to look after the kids?  It would be like
community service.  I could work off my sentence.  He just wanted to be
friends.  Would I like to see his slides from when they were in Western
Samoa?  Thailand?  This girl was my age.  Her sister was nine.  Would I do
that for him?  How did I like the course so far?  I said okay.  He said I
was a good student.  But I could do better.  His wife knew all about it. 

	What about dope?  Did I use it?  What if the Indians used dope in
their religious practices?  Do you think that's right?  The Supreme Court
has ruled that Oregan has the right to arrest Indians who smoke dope as a
religious sacrament.  Do you think that' s right?  Would you use dope?  If
your priest gave it to you as a religious practice, would you smoke it? 
What if your teacher did?  Would you like to try it?  How about other
stuff?  Like cocaine.  Do you think it's right the CIA should sell crack
to po or people to raise money for the contras?  Here, let me show you how
to put it up your nose.  That way there are no marks.  It makes you feel
good, doesn't it?  This will make you feel even better. 

	What does it mean to come face to face with evil?  With Perry
Smith or Wild Bill Hickock or Buffalo Bill or General Suharto or Stalin or
Hitler?  Or someone who is giving away the people's television to foreign
millionaires?  It's like no matter which wa y you go, something is always
being taken away.  Stolen.  The horse soldiers are everywhere.  Riding
through our tents, knocking us down.  Killing.  Shooting.  No one knows
which way to run.  It's almost funny; when we take back our dead, the
hungry look on their faces, knowing that forever they will not be able to
gnaw those dry old bones. 


                    "Know thyself." -- Delphi

	"After all, we are in the entertainment business."
	-- Murdoch, when he got caught with the faux-Hitler diaries.

	Wow!  That was some letter.  I think I can safely say that you're
the first man I've encountered on the internet who writes as well as I. 
For a moment, I felt I was looking into another mirror.  I could almost
suspect you of being a woman.  Do you cross dress?  Dole, by the way, also
lived in the cellar of his house the year he was getting a divorce.  In
Virginia.  Maybe it's the sodbuster in him.  He just feels more natural
underground.  I didn't know the part about hanging from the arm -- the
pencil holder.  At one point, I almost wrote to him and told him to lose
the pencil.  Or pen.  Or whatever he's always got stuck in his claw.  I
mean, talk about a major turnoff.  Every time he walked out on a stage,
the first thing people saw was that pen stick ing out of his dead hand. 
What a dummy.  But I never got around to it.  You would think someone
would have told him, wouldn't you? 

	I'm glad I remembered Guiteau, -- to ask you about him.  But then
I didn't remember Guiteau.  That's the point.  No one does.  I could have
gotten the spelling of Czolgosz's name from my friend who wrote the play,
but Guiteau is not even listed in Garfie ld's dossier on the web.  In
fact, when you started to write about him, I wondered what you were
talking about.  But thank you for all the information.  I'm not sure,
however, that I totally agree with you about him being nuts.  He sounds
eminently qualif ied to be ambassador to the French; at least as much as,
say, Winston Churchill's mother.  I find names very intriguing.  Names and
labels.  It is the people behind them who often turn out to be a bore. 
What, I wonder, shall I call you? 

	I have to admit, when I first read your letter, my first idea was,
I'm going to steal this, at least the part about Dole.  Because you have
expressed exactly what I am trying to say about him, even more so. 
Exactly!  Right down to the bit about Capra Ka fka.  But then I thought,
no.  I can't.  Not just because I am no longer headed in that direction. 
But it would contaminate my own passion. 

	I also wondered, do I know this guy?  Meaning you.  I also had an
XL200 that I totalled.  A gun-metal grey convertible.  But that was in
Florida.  And I never went to Wellesley.  I'm pretty sure I didn't. 
Although I might have been so stoned at the time I don't remember.  What
was it Parker said?  If all the girls from Wellesley were laid end to end,
she wouldn't be a bit surprised.  Maybe I should call you Benchley.  Did
you see that movie?  It was such a pathetic bore.  If the round table had
been as lame as that movie made them all seem, no one would have
remembered them two minutes to make a movie.  The only reason I saw it was
I was in a wheelchair at the time and one of my friends rented it one
Friday night to cheer me up.  I couldn't escape the s ense that Dorothy
Parker would have been sadistically pleased at my having been forced to
watch it.  She was not big on other women writers.  Or other women, for
that matter. 

	You don't, however, at first glance, seem the Benchley sort.  But
then, what is the Benchley sort?  I couldn't help noticing that Giuteau
made his speech -- the speech -- for Garfield in Buffalo, the same place
McKinley was shot.  Both Chester A. Arthur and Teddy Roosevelt were from
New York City.  I also notice that I keep forgetting, no matter how many
times I correct myself, how to spell Guitieu's name.  It is as if
consciousness conspires with history to obliterate it.  Odd.  Why>? 

	An eldeerly friend of my grandmother's studies general symantics. 
He said that Korzybski, the founder, devised a punctuation symbol to
indicate "etcetera" in open ended sentences, i.e statements that imply
there is more than is stated.  It was a period followed by a comma.  I
suggested that a more elegant marking would be either >? or >..  Or vice
versa.  Anyway, I don't believe in misspelled words.  I think the
unconscious is trying to tell us something.  For instance, Victor is an
"el-deer."  An old d\ear.  He's also an amazing stud. 

	He and I had a long talk about space and space time.  He said
space doesn't exist.  There was only space time.  He wanted people
whenever they would say or write space to use space time instead.  I asked
what about the space in space time?  What were the y supposed to do about
that?  His wife had just died.  He's 92.  He asked what I meant.  I said,
if you write space time instead of space, then you have to write space
time time.  And then instead of space time time, you would have to write
space time tim e time.  And so on.  I don't know why I'm telling you this. 

	What does Guiteau mean?

	It sounds French.  Czolgosz, Leon, was Polish.  An anarchist.  In
my friend's play, he and Emma Goldman are lovers.  The cops, at the time,
actually picked her up and beat the shit out of her.  But they couldn't
prove a conspiracy.  Later, of course, the y got her on another rap. 

	I seem to remember Guoiteis.  The name.  Though obviously not in
this context.  Is it related to guitar?  Tonight I feel heavy.  Like a
hopping bird.  That can't get off the ground.  An apteratx.  Whatever. 
Where, I wonder, is Guiteau's hole?  I forgot.  You don't like names.  And
yet, you supplied me with the name of a man who history remembers not as a
name but a label, "a disappointed office seeker."  How odd.  You also
named me Evita.  I won't let it go to my head. 

	The A. in Garfield's name is for Abram.  The name of the first
president to be shot, but spelled differently.  Garfield had been a
general in the civil war.  So had Hayes.  McKinley had been a private in
Hayes' regiment.  They were all from Ohio.  So was Harrison.  Harrison's
grandfather had been the first president to die in office.  Adlai
Stevenson's grandfather, Adlai, had been Harrison fils' vice president. 
Stevenson the younger had killed a woman -- was it a woman? -- when he was
a boy.  It was an accident.  The first and fourth president to be murdered
were each succeeded by men named Johnson.  Both Johnsons were preceded by
a president who was shot in the head.  McKinley was shot in the stomach. 
Garfield in the back.  I still do not know what to call you or who Gateu

	This is a diversion.  With my wedding less than two weeks off, I
should be making preparations.  Getting ready to write the final chapter. 
But I feel nothing.  I feel weak.  Numb.  Powerless.  Dole-ful. 

	I think partly this is because lately I have been pigging out on
chocolate.  I can't stop eating it.  Especially those wonderful Lindt
Swiss chocolate bars.  Every time I go to the grocery store, I come home
with six or seven of them.  Why am I doing thi s?  I'm going to break out
in zits.  Maybe I feel insecure.  The wedding.  The conspiracy.  The
election.  Everything reminds me of my mother. 

	Lizabeth, my shrink, pointed out the other day that I have written
almost nothing about my mother.  Excuse me while I get another candy bar. 
This one is Swiss milk chocolate with Cognac liquid fillings.  The one I
just finished was raspberry.  I'm going to get sick.  The only thing else
I've had to eat today was a banana. 

	God, these are so good.

	But all this chocolate is giving me a headache.

	It may be a couple of days before I figure out gatau\ waht's
iface.  But I assure you I will get to the bottom of this mystery.  It is
simply a matter of knowing where to look.  And using the right
instruments.  Tv for one.  Tv is a wonderful research instrument. 
Without it, I never would have known a lot of things.  Like, without tv, I
would never have heard of Hitler. 

	There seems to be an awfully lot about Hitler on television these
days.  Is he making a comeback?  He's a total media darling.  I wonder if
they were still going on about Napoleon the same way fifty years after the
war.  Or Atilla the Hun.  But then, Nap oleon was never half as useful to
his captors as Hitler.  Last night, he was on two different channels.  One
was a pogram about the Russian front and the other was in Africa.  There
are tons of shows about Africa, and yet, I don't know one person who has
ever heard of it.  Even black guys.  Don't they watch tv?  The other
night, they showed us two elephants fucking.  They also explained estris
and must.  Must is like sweat that comes out of a bull elephant's head and
turns him into a sex freak, and estris is a nice word for a female
elephant who wants it bad.  She shows this by spreading her legs and
urinating in the bull's face.  I know guys who actually get off on stuff
like this. 

	The interesting thing about Hitler's and other shows, though, is
that after you watch enough of them, you notice the dialogue has nothing
to do with the pictures.  Take the Russian front, for instance.  This has
been going on for what seems like weeks.  It's a whole series.  Stuff
about tanks and airplanes and battle formations.  Mostly it is statistics
piled on top of statistics.  The announcer says a Mark 3 was heavier than
a Mark 4.  At the same time, we see a fussy filmstrip of tanks going fast. 
The n there's another clip of tanks going fast the other way.  Then they
show Stalin.  And then they show a road from the middle of nowhere with a
line of what look like homeless people who are supposed to be either the
Germans or the Soviet Army.  Then we se e Hitler making marks on a map. 
And then there are more tanks going one direction or the other and then
they show the Stutkas.  But none of it has any connection with what the
announcer is saying.  I mean, how do we know that this particular Stuka
bombed this particular railway line when the announcer said the railroad
was blown up?  Or if the Stutka and the train go together?  Or if that's
even the train he's talking about.  The same for fronts.  These pictures
could be from anywhere in the world.  We d on't even know if they were
taken during the war.  They could be field exercises.  At one point,
Stalin recalls all his generals and has them shot.  Now that would make a
good movie.  But they don't show that.  I would have liked to have known
more about those generals.  Like, what did they think?  That they were
going to a brain storming session with Stalin?  Did he know any of them
personally>?  Did they actually meet face to face?  Was it buddy buddy,
touchy-feely?  But no.  All we get are more tanks.  Tanks a lot.  Now
shoot them. 

	In the end, the programs are smoke and mirrors, like Nazism
itself.  This is a basic truth about all documentaries.  The audios and
the visuals never fit.  The elephants might as well have been in the
Africa Korps.  Maybe this was the Africa Korps.  I ha d the same problem
with The West.  There was nothing to indicate that any of the photographs
that were shown had anything to do with the time or place the announcer
was talking about.  Like, were the pictures of the Indians we were shown
the same Indians who were killed, or were they just to show us what an
Indian looked like in case we ever met one?  One guy who wrote to me from
Australia said he had never seen an aborigine.  Neither have most

	The evening news is even worse.  You would think on a planet that
weighed six sextillion, 588 quintillion tons, give or take a few pounds,
Peter Jennings and his clones would be able to find more than two news
items a night to sandwich between the commer cials.  By news, I mean,
something not having to do with Bosnia or O.J. Simpson or
medical-breakthrough-of-the-day boilerplate.  But every evening, I
dutifully turn on the six-thirty news, and within four minutes, I'm
flipping over to Bundy reruns.  Becau se the networks have nothing that is
of the slightest interest to anyone with an iq above 75.  There is
especially no news./ Nada.  Zilch.  What do these guys do for their pay
besides get dressed?  All they can say is, "when we come back."  What are
they supposed to be?  Yoyos?  The only guy who comes back more than they
do is Hitler. 

	Someone, Brian, asked me why I write.  I write to get everything
in one place.  Now I can throw out the newspaper that has the earth's
weight in it.  You should see this place.  All the junk I've dragged in
here since the beginning of August to write thi s fucking book.  I'm
litterally sleeping in paper.  See.  That wasn't a mistake.  It's litter. 
All of it.  What bullshit.  Who cares? 

	But now I will be able to bind everything up in a neat manuscript
and forget about it.  Kelly says I'm compulsive.  Maybe I'll just torch
it.  When we leave.  For Georgia. 

	We're going down next week to be with my mother.  And her new boy

	My mother's a high powered lawyer.  She makes tons of money. 
She's got her hooks into some old guy who lives in Atlanta.  No.  Not Ted
Turner.  She said she'd buy me a new laptop as a wedding present.  I can
just see my mother and Kelly's folks at the r eception.  Well, my mother's
white trash, too.  She was fourteen when my father picked her up in a
diner.  But she's come a long way since.  Put herself through law school. 
I have to hand it to her.  She's one tough cookie. 

	Early thirties.  Gateau.  Don't I know you?  I think so.  Leave
him alone.  I'm sure that we can make a deal.  Come up to the bedroom.  He
raped me.  That's your story.  This isn't a trial.  Get off it.  LuAnn was
waiting at the door.  What's she doing h ere?  I thought you'd want me to
invite her.  After all, she was married to your father.  Kelly's people
were out in the car.  Where do you want them? 

	Intimacy is so complicated in a one room farmhouse.  There were
six of them.  They weren't staying for the dinner.  Like, who comes in and
who stays out?  LuAnn is in permanent estris.  A stay burst through the
lining and was digging into her chest.  Tha t will be all, Scarlett.  The
young woman withdrew. 

  	Charles Gateu had known Brett Ashley in Cannes.  He referred her
to the Collins who offered the young couple some southern hospitality. 
The old manse was stuffed to the gils.  The tanks were outside of
Richmond.  How'd they get here?  The front was miles away.  In Khartoum. 
Nothing could harm us now.  Except an explosion.  The rebels had advanced
to within miles of the hog wallow.  Soon their shells would be kicking up
the mud.  Come on, Kelly.  I'll show you the stables. He led her away and
Cody went into the house.  Is supper ready yet?  The slaves cannot wait
any longer.  They must be fed. 

	Thjen it was all done with slave labor?

	That explains it.
Without the slaves, they would have lost.
They did lose.
Tara took off her shirt.
Cody was getting ready.
What about the embargo>
What about it?
The girls slipped into fresh cotton dresses that clung to their skin.
there is nothing like a southern wedding to make you feel good.

Uncle Aubrey was sitting on the porch.
The feeling starts days ahead of time, and goes on well after the funeral.
Kelly shivered.  As if she already knew what was going to happen.

This is no place to fight a war.  I could hear them screaming in the next
room.  Jasper and the other dogs would also have to get into the act. 

gitooo.  Like the sound of a rifle bullet whining through the den.
Cousin Charlie.

From New York.
Who were the Stawarts> The other side of the family.  Out hear on the
edges of madness.  We rode down there after breakfast.  I gave Kelly a
kick to make her mind.  Lordy Lordy.  Nibbling around the edges.  Trying
to figure it out.  God made me do it.  A
 pathological optimist.
who keeps shooting at us?
why is he doing that?
Kelly shied.  I had to work to hold her.  Eventually, we got her mounted. 
My god, it's almost as if she's alive.  Let's have a drink.  Then we'll
sick the hounds on her. 
What's this?
Spanish moss.
It comes on all the trees.  Take some if you want it.
It looks like hair.  OH SHIT!

	I forgot.  Tonight is mystery night.  The last part of a three
part series.  When we finally learn who killed those people on the moor. 
Shit.  I missed the first fifteen minutes.  I hated the ending.  It was
lame.  But it was inevitable.  Like, the writ ers did not provide what I
would call a rich universe of plausible suspects.  That's the way it is in
real life, too, isn't it?  I mean, most crimes have only a limited number
of possibilities.  Only God has the luxury to make a real mystery; drop
clues a ll over the place.  Establish false leads.  There's an old
Ukranian man on my street who always smiles and says hello when he sees
me.  Today he had a little boy with him, "my grand grandson from Ukrania." 
As they walked away, I thought, "Ivan the Terrib le."  "Treblinka."  All
old Ukranian men look alike.  Round bald heads.  Like pumpkins.  I like
them.  If G. was in search of G-d, what motive did the others have?  C.
was an anarchist.  H. was in love with Jodie Foster.  O. denied he did it. 
And B. was a southern sympathizer.  There was also the grassy knoll gang. 
Americans with their t-shirts are like the Golem.  You write life on its
forehead to make the golem live.  To be.  And to kill it, you write
McDonalds.  Or Camels.  Or My Girl Friend went to Disneyworld and All She
Brought Me was this Lousy T-Shirt. 

	One plays these word games, hoping to find some deeper truth.

	Maybe that's it.  Maybe G. didn't have a hole.  Maybe he was a
free agent.  Without a salient to intrude into any other part of the
universe.  Across any known frontier.  Like Arthur.  Arthur went all the
way back into time.  To the Stuarts.  The Ramsays and McDonalds.  The
Hatfields and McCoy.  The Round Table.  Dorothy Parker.  Sir Alexander
Walcott.  Thurber.  You could be my little bunny rabbit, Thurber.  Indian
name Rolling Thurber. 

	The Indians say that they were the Buffalo people, and that they
came up out of a hole from underground.  I think they just do that to
confuse the anthropologists.  It's a way of getting even.  That, and
taking back the bones. 

	It's sort of cruel.  But as a conquered people, that's the only
recourse the Indians have left.  The law gives them the right to bury
their own people.  And keep them buried.  But you take a bone away from an
anthro and he practically pisses his pants.  Especially, if he can't dna
it.  Dna is the white man's voodoo.  It's their rattle.  The wasichus will
dna you right into the ground if you let them.  Just ask O.J. 

	O.J. beat the whites at their own game.  He got better dna than
they did.  No wonder they hate him.  The wasichus think if they shake
their dna rattles enough, they can do anything.  But they were no match
for the dream team.  Most of the bones are Kentu cky Fried takeout anyway. 
That's an old Indian trick.  They take a bunch of chicken bones, say, and
salt a place where they know the white anthros are going to poke around. 
Then they hide and watch.  The anthros practically wet their pants, they
get so excited when they find the bones.  And the Indians nearly split
their guts laughing.  They let the anthros dig around, get out the bones,
measure them, take pictures.  But before they can dna, the Indians stop
them with a court order.  It drives the anthr os totally nuts. 

	After that, they take whatever bones are involved and bury them
back on the reservation so they can never be tested, ever.  Then they make
up new stories.  About how great spirit made Indians from sugar cubes.  Or
something else as crazy as that.  Rabbit made them from chocolate chicken
turds.  I don't know.  They came from Disneyworld.  The anthros know it
isn't true, but they can't prove it, because they can't dna the evidence. 

	I guess it is cruel.  But Indians have always been cruel.  The
sundance is not a merry-go-round, you know.  But it's hard to feel sorry
for people who have a creation myth that says they come from monkeys,
who's ancestors killed the buffalo.  How can you take a monkey seriously? 
Everyone know Great Spirit just jacking off when he make white people.  He
create real Frankenstein monster with that one. 

	This summer, the anthros found a skeleton sticking out of a river
bank in Oregon.  It turned out to be of a white man, but it was 9,700
years old.  Demographics do not show this part of Oregon to have been a
white neighborhood in 7,500 b.c.  It raised so me basic questions.  But
before they could dna the skeleton, the Indians -- I'll have to check, but
I think it was the Ojibways -- cut them off.  Respect, they said, must be
paid.  Dna destroys the bones.  It's worse than Cortisone.  And the
skeleton had to be reburied.  Like now.  A federal judge backed them up. 
Of course, the anthros freaked. 

	"But it's not an Indian, I tell you.  The features are indisputably
caucasian."  The Indians wouldn't budge.  It could have been Odysseus, and
it wouldn't have mattered.  They were still going to bury it.  My
suggestion is they should trade.  Like, give us back Grande Tetons.  We
give you monkey man bones.  How bout that?  We give you lots of bones,
prove land bridge over Gowanus Canal; you give us Astrodome.  Deal.  For
sixty truckloads of cadavers, the U.S. ceded everything west of the
Rockies.  It fair deal.  We also throw in Ryder truck full of cowshit. 
You get real bargain.  Do all dna you want.  Be careful where you park it. 

Your Evita

Part 6 Index Terminus