Chapter 10 Index Chapters 12+13

Subject:      CODY: THE STAND-IN Chapter 11
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1997/08/12
Message-Id:   <5soual$f0l$>

                          THE STAND-IN

                      By Cody Ann Michaels
                     c. All rights reserved

                           Chapter 11

	"[He was] very ugly, ungracious, impolite, sick -- I forgive him. 
They called him loco." -- Jeanne Calment, remembering Vincent van Gogh. 

	Borges wrote that a time eventually came when the eyes of the last
person to have seen the face of Christ closed forever.  When Jeanne Louise
Calment died Monday at 122, she took with her the last living memory of
van Gogh's hands, hands that may have painted at least a few of the
marvelous paintings that today have his name on them.  This, of course, is
assuming that it actually was van Gogh who came into her father's
apothecary in Arles when she was 12 or 13, and not some other unwashed
derelict who she later decided had been him for the benefit of a good
story.  In any case, I am willing to go along with the old woman, if for
no other reason than she obviously had a wonderful sense of humor.  Five
years ago, when some reporter said goodbye with the wo rds, "Until next
year, perhaps," she replied, "I don't see why not.  You don't look so bad
to me."  Besides, since the provenance of almost any van Gogh seems to be
that it is a fake, why should the authenticity of Madame Calment's memory
be held to a higher accountability? 

	It is odd to think, however, that a time will also come when the
last person to have seen Elvis will also die.  Then he, too, will be
erased from memory.  Of course, there will still be the movies and the
photographs, but a photo never shows a person as he or she is, and neither
does a video.  A photo shows the way a piece of paper looks with some
black or colored inkstains on it arranged into an image that different
people agree or disagree looks like whoever was standing in front of the
camera when the picture was taken.  Almost no one I know looks like a flat
piece of paper with smudges on it.  The same is true of videos and
mirrors.  What we see in a mirror is not ourselves.  It is a collection of
light and shadow which again someone else has told us looks like us until
we identify with it.  But the fact is the way we see from within ourselves
is just as much ourselves, probably more, as what we see in the mirror. Of
course, our eyes tell us nothing either.  They aren't meant to.  Eyes are
for the s torage of memories, not vision.  Once, when I went to visit
Gran, I hadn't even dropped my backpack before she had me looking at
snapshots from her latest colonoscopy.  Possibly she had said hello first. 
I can't remember.  The pictures were in color and looked like the Lincoln
Tunnel without cars.  There were shadings of pinks and whites with a black
circle in the distance where the her innertube extended to her upper
reaches.  All that was needed was an inscription: "Souvenir of the
Beautiful Caverns of LaRae."  Looking at them, however, I reflected that
these pictures were as much of Gran as if they had shown her face.  But
they were not her.  The same may be said of Elvis. 

	I never saw Elvis.  He was dead before I was born.  This summer it
will be 20 years.  So all I know about him is what I learned at my
father's knee, knowledge clouded by the fact that neither he nor anyone
else in the family had seen Elvis either, by whi ch I mean, up close and
personal.  The closest anybody got was my father had been some place once,
I forget where, and a motorcade went by and someone said Elvis was in the
limo.  But all he saw was the car. 

	Gran had seen Hitler.  And not just to wave to, either.  She
practically lived at Berschtesgartin.  Once he offered her a cigarette. 
She said his hand shook slightly as he extended the gold cigarette case.
Perhaps from intense emotion.  Gran can be eva sive about this part of her
story, so exactly how intight she actually was with der Fuehrer will
probably always be a matter of speculation.  Hitler is about the most
famous person anyone in our family ever saw, unless you count all the
times my dad met N ixon when he was a young Republican, Dad, not Nixon. 
She saw them all: Goring, Himmler.  The whole crew.  Jodl.  She has a bug
about Jodl.  For the benefit of those with an American education, Jodl was
not the little guy with the big ears in Star Wars.  He was a German
general.  Very high up.  I think he was tried as a war criminal and hung. 
Sometimes I almost suspect they had something going on.  I wouldn't even
be surprised if Jodl was my father's real father.  It's possible.  Which
would make me the granddaughter of a war criminal, wouldn't it?  God,
Smalhausen would have been livid with envy.  I don't know too much about
my real grandfather, that is, the man she married.  They had a house on
Long Island.  Other than that, he's simply a shadow, as is her first
husband, the one who got killed in the war.  They had a daughter, but Gran
doesn't know what happened to her.  By now, I guess she'd be in her early

	To be truthful, I don't know that much about Jodl, either.  You
can't really tell from the way Gran talks.  It might not even have been
the same Jodl.  It could have been someone else with the same name, that
Gran got confused in her mind.  A stand-in, s o to speak.  It might have
been the mailman.  You know the way women can be about uniforms.  She may
have just got the general and the mailman mixed up.  After all, she lost
everything in the war.  Her husband.  Daughter.  Jodl.  I don't think it
bothered her that much.  She hardly ever talks about her husbands.  They
seem interchangeable.  Even though they were on different sides during the
war.  The Long Island husband seems indistinquishable from the one in
Dusseldorf.  Except for the fact that they we re sequential, they might
have been split from the same photon.  Like Smalhausen's prick.  Right
down the center.  A little on the bias.  But virtually the same.  If you
split a photon, and each photon twin goes off in a different direction,
does that mea n there could be photons made out half photons wandering
around out there in the cosmos?  So essentially, these two soldiers could
be coming at each other from different directions, and one offed the
other, and took his wife.  Naturally, that didn't happe n, but
statistically, it was possible, nicht wahr?  So if theoretically half
photons can combine to form whole photons, the reality is that it could be
happening all the time. 

	My grandfather had studied mathematics at Heidelberg before the
war.  But which grandfather? 

	He was also a Jew.

	I could see Smalhausen look at me sort of funny when he found out
I was Jewish.  Like, you could see the word "verbotten" light up on his
forehead.  God.  He had so many hangups.  He had been born in America. 
His father was a carpet salesman.  Willie Lo man.  A drummer.  Going from
town to town.  Selling rugs.  But when I told him I was Jodl's
granddaughter, he nearly shit.  He had never known anyone who carried
collective guilt before.  When I said, don't be silly.  I didn't have
anything to do with it, he said I was in denial.  What an asshole.

	I mean, come on.  He's the one who runs around the trailer park as
a lesbian Nazi prison guard.  Who did he think he was blaming?> Besides,
it's not like I was one of the big guys.  Goring, for instance.  Or
Ribbentrop.  Or Hess.  Now Hess.  That might be fun.  To be Hess's
granddaughter.  And be whacky as he was.  No.  I was just an ordinary
general, doing my duty, and taking the blame for it.  I'm not sure what
Jodl did to get himself hung.  Maybe it was just because he was so good. 
If he had been in charge instead of that horse's ass, Rommel...  He must
have thought at the end.  Today he would be leading the parade of heroes
through Trafalgar Square with Churchill's head on a pike.  Funny how
things work out.  Tears filled his eyes.  How unfair.  Fo r this to
happen.  To me?  What'd I do?  I was too kind.  That was it.  To get
booted upstairs to the high command just as the bottom fell out.  Those

	They could see this coming.  They got out.  He was left holding
the sticky end of the revolver when they walked in and caught him.  I
didn't do it.  Sure.  They took him downtown.  Why are you arresting me? 
I'm innocent.  I tell you.  I didn't have anything to do with it. 

	Field Marshall Jodl.  This must be worth a sprig and a couple of
grape leaves on the old sun visor.  He was fighting World War II all over
again.  On the beaches.  Let's just say it's somewhere between Lauderdale
and Jupiter Inlet.  Yeah.  And let it go at that.  This is not a good
place to come ashore, especially if you're Americans.  Frau Helga is
defending the beaches.  Like you wouldn't believe.  Just be careful if you
go for a moonlight swim.  Don't step on a mine.  He's got a whole row of
concrete pillboxes lined up down there. 


	Over the weekend, I turned on the tv, C-Span, one night, and there
was what looked like a church service going on.  People were standing in a
circle in groups that looked like choirs, and they were singing hymns.  A
couple groups of children stood out in white sweatshirts.  The place
looked like a temple or church.  Just as I was about to push the clicker,
a sign came on and it said this was the enrollment ceremony of the budget
bill.  I am not making this up.  Enrollment is what Congress does with a
bill they've finally agreed on before they send it to the President. 

	I thought, what the fuck?  What are they?  Weirdos?  Then the
singing stopped and men started coming out of a back room.  Men in suits. 
Among which I recognized the pumpkin head of our ethically excentric
speaker.  More signs identified each suit.  The one in the lead was Trent
Lott, cousin Newt's opposite number in the upper house.  As each man
emerged, it was like the second coming.  Like Elvis had walked in and said
"Hey, I'm back."  No.  Like Michael Jackson had walked in and said, "Dad!" 
Well, you get the point.  Madonna like applause burst out for each of
these applicators of the public trust.  The first being, Tott, crossed
sideways across a row of kids standing on the stage like Mouseketeers
without their ears, but white shirts that said GOP Ta x Reform or
something self-congradulatory like that.  You could tell the kids were
wetting their pants just to be there.  And when Tott started to talk and
say how this budget bill was for them, there was one little angel right in
back of him who I though t was going to die of mass ecstacy.  She was as
voluptuously pretty as only an innocent twelve year old could be, and she
looked like she was about to beg him to take her on the floor right then. 
And I thought, Cookie you would be safer in a room filled with Jaws and
Ted Bundy right now.  I just wanted to take her and bash her smiley face
into one of those stone columns and yell, "Wake up!  These assholes are
ripping off your future.  These are the real criminals." 

	But then I thought, no.  Wait up, Cody.  What that girl is is a
pre-Buddha.  You know the story of the Buddha, don't you?  Prince Guttama
is raised in luxury, away from the outside world, the world of ghettos and
violence, sex and rock and roll, drugs an d speed and sex and wild cars,
and low necklines and high heels.  The various distractions from a world
of ease and relatively high security.  At least ten feet high and wired. 
Anyone trying to get in will be fried.  But the same can be said for
anyone w ho tries to leave.  She had been at the Japanese embassy when it
was taken.  Suddenly, the scales fell from her eyes.  How could she be so
mistaken?  The world was an ugly place.  Politicians lied.  They had used
her.  Right there on national television.  The desire for revenge replaced
purity.  She was no longer a Republican.  She was a terrorist.  Head of
Cell Block No. 2.  Give it a couple years, Trent, I said.  She'll be
coming for you with an unbanned handgun.  It all fits.  They can do Air
Force 2. Or should that be Newtie?  Newtie as Harrison Ford.  Shooting it
out with the reds.  Incoming.  Taking the hit.  Air Force 3 and a Half. 
Buddhas to the right of me, Buddhas to the left.  Into the Buddha of Death
rode the six hundred. 

	I thought, lighten up.  Why am I so judgmental?  A religious
ceremony for a budget bill?  Anthems and halleluyahs.  Why not?  With all
these farmers standing around.  All you need is a hay field.  The corn is
as high as an elephant's eye which is as high as his hole at the other
end, too, and it looks like it's getting a mightly load of fertilizer. 
Eventually, I couldn't help it, I turned it off. 

	I have to have faith in the future.  That they can't all be as
stupid as they look.  Those kids.  It was like looking at an army of
Roswellitos.  They had come from the sky on a mission to be dumb.  Stupid. 
Programmed.  But were they?  How many smoked?  Would smoke?  How many shot
up?  Keep going, kid.  How many of these girls were pregnant?  I
recognized a few from Salley Jessie.  Then I saw the kid who liked to
sleep with his mom.  I had met him on, where was it?  Jenny?  Jerry.  Then
I began to see a ll these moms and other women on the other side of the
room.  Where the choir was.  And I realized, oh my God.  Trailer trash. 
They recruited trailer trash to come in and do this.  Trailer Trash is the
name of the agency I work for.  Who puts me on these shows.  I get ten
dollars and they get a hundred.  Is that right?  I ask you.  In fact, the
girl who was behind Trent, she already has two kids.  One's at my
daughter's day care center.  That's where we met.  You should see her

	I recognized several of the men, too, as my father who had abused
me.  Get a lot of call for those.  I've had three deadbeat dads on Geraldo
alone.  I wondered if they were getting scale. 


	One of my correspondents, George, chided me for not taking more
time to develop my themes.  I realized that was true.  When I write a
chapter, I often suddenly see a whole plot, and I write it in, thinking
about going back and working it later on.  For i nstance, the other day, I
had the idea of a title writer.  Someone who only wrote titles.  Gone With
the Wind.  The Flat Earth Doctor.  Things like that.  That was all he
could write.  No sentences.  Nothing.  Literature and movies were alien to
him.  He could only name them.  Marco Polo.  Wendy Whopper's Biggest Hits. 
Suddenly I see in there and all the possibilities, and then I withdraw,
it's that simple.  His strategy was to relax.  Like Jimmy Stewart.  We're
winning, you know.  He held her up against him.  Sigmund Was Right.  The
difference between a title and a sentence was that the words were all
capitalized.  Redeemed.  Another possibility.  Don't Make Me Use This.  A
Matter of Speech.  These qualified as titles.  But not sentences.  A
sentence had to have a verb and a noun.  How noun broun again Let's figure
it out by putting it through here.  No.  Don't.  I'll tell you. 
A paper shredder.  A dress.  Caught in the machinery.  She screamed as it
swept her off the catwalk
her limp body fell toward the molten lava

When a hand reached out and grabbed her.  Frau Helga was down around the
shoreline with the ackytyac.  Where the action was.  Incoming.  She's G.I.
Joe.  Defending the homeland.  Germany.  Ya wohl.  mein heiserin inde
cannonade to the left of him
artillery to the right
Into a molten stream of fire
rode the six hundred
Jan Luc also fulfilled his mission.
he was French by intuition'
and not deceit.  Maybe I just don't have anything to say anymore.
BBino biullll tell us
That was Burrough's enrollment ceremony as a choir of angenels from the
homeland lifted him up to execution
The apotheosis of Burroughs when America finally discovers what is hanging
on the end of the fork.
Trent stepped out onto the platform and tears was just streaming down his
eyes.  He was masterful.  He calmed the turbulent waters and protected the
president.  Take him out.  Don't be silly.  You're speaking against the
Senate Majority leader.  Waste him .  God, this was a tough neighborhood. 
He's a man.  Cody's man.
She invested him.  The Acension of Burroughs was a touching sight.  Then
what happened?  I don't know.  I turned it off. 

-silence of up to ten seconds in the newsroom--
You what?
Turned off the tv.  I couldn't take anymore.  I was stoned.  So you
don't know what happened?  Why should I?  I'm a fashion editor.  Versace
was shot.  I'm telling you, my world fell apart right there.  Gianni?  I
was back to square one. 

	What's the matter?
	I let go.

What?  for a moment, I thought you said something.  What was it?  I did
it.  I killed...  I changed the name to Guzman.  I saw it was Guzman
standing there, reading the manifesto, about our martyred brothers dying
in escrow.  /did that ring a bell?  I wondered.  All leaders were the same
leader.  Trent was Guzman.  He was still going.  Followi ng the shining
path.  Then Guzman got up to speak and said the future of his children
were in our hands, would we like to pay?  And he held a knife against one
of Newt's chins.  Change that to Canute.  The Wanderer.  Everyone will
know who you're talking about.  Trent becomes Guzman.  Canute becomes a
folk hero.  An evil spirit to scare babies with at night.  A wraith that
feeds on small children.  Something no one believes in but all fear.  It
should be noted, however, that all creatures mentioned herein are of a
fictious nature and only part of a young girl's fantasy life.  Are you
saying I was imagining this?  Yes.  That's exactly what I've been telling
you.  You got to knock up against different taboos, see what happens. 
Then you write your doctorate .  I'll title it.  Gone With The Wind.  Or
how about Hells a'Poppin.  With who and who.  Incredible Slapstick.  Lum
and Abner.  No.  Martin and Lewis.  No.  Ferrante and Tischer.  Come on. 
God.  It's right there.  Like flashes of lightning across my brai n. 
Olson and Johnson.  Right!  I remembered.  I can remember everything. 
Like when you put your finger up my you know what when I was six weeks
old.  Boy, aren't you glad you don't have kids.  They can remember the
weirdest things.  And then keep them a way from the child abuse set.  It's
like matches and kerosene.  Billy, come in here.  I told you not to play
with him.  Didn't I?  Yes ma.  She slapped his face.  One day he would get
back at her.  Just you weight? baby.  Of course, he killed her.  What d id
you expect?  That he was acting?  In her housedress.  Frau Helga went to
the promised land.  All those jews waiting for her.  War criminal.  Camp
Guard.  You had to make a living.  Gran still took some customers.  Old
friends.  Special.  As a favor.  S he was cutting down.  Scratching names
out of her book.  So many died.  Especially when she was working on them. 
She made a good living as a masseuse.  Boy you could hardly walk when you
walked out of there.  You fell right down the steps.  What's matter with
you.  Get up and move around.  Want to dance.  Honey?  Oh God, to have
Smalhausen in love with me.  George.  That's his name.  Wanting to lift up
my belly and fuck me.  She let out a laugh that was like a cannon.  I
thought the windows would fall ou t.  Grab someone.  First rule in a
storm.  Grab someone.  A hurricane.  Or a tornado.  That was another idea
I had.  A guy who follows the tornados around in a pickup truck.  It's
some kind of sport.  Riding tornados.  Sort of like polo.  Cal follows
them in his old Chevy.  Pickup.  He's got some kind of satellite link that
shows him where the best rides are.  Want to try? 

	Now that could be developed.  Harrison Ford in the pickup. 
Squinty eyes.  From following the horizon.  Looking for a gusher.  A big
drill.  A main rig.  There's one, Partner.  Partner's his dog.  Gopher's
his truck.  He turns off the road and rides towa rds it.  Straight into
the heart of darkness.  Can you visualize the graphics, and he comes up
with something as if by magic and the girl dies.  What'd I say?  Olson and
Johnson.  Oh I love those guys.  They were such pros.  If you can see
through the act ing to the acting, you'll know what I mean.  Air Force One
is caught in a tornado.  Like that one over Texas, that bored a hole in
the earth twenty miles wide.  Bigger.  200 feet.  Easy.  I'm telling you,
let it alone.  He was talking to the dog.  That's what he grabbed.  Then
he grabbed me.  And we went sailing away like Pecos Bill and Jimmidy Jane. 
Hold tight Cricket. 

	Before the ball was over, they'd been carried all the way north to
Kansas.  There it dropped them.  They crawled out.  Cody said, "This looks
like Kansas." 

	You mean we're back?  Back from Oz.  I want to go back.  Oh dem
Ruby Slippers.  I was wearing high heels.  Fucking yellow brick road
wrecked my back.  But the field of poppies was worse.  It was my feet kept
singing into the soft clay.  I want to go back .  This is Hell, Lion.  Oh
yeah?  Is that what it is?  Elvis in Hell.  Think of that.  Where's he
going?> Not to heaven, that's for damned sure.  So where else is there to
go?  Of course.  Elvis is in Hell.  You have to pay to get in.  What do
you want? The usual price is your soul.  She sold her soul to be with
Elvis.  Now she would always remember him.  Know what he looked like. 
Exactly.  From within.  Where it mattered.  Elvis was channeling Cody. 
She would be his guide in the underworld.  Cody, th e Souless.  Trailing
along after the King of Rock n' Roll.  Elvis on the other hand had not
sold his soul.  It was the draw.  Everyone came to be with Elvis's soul,
to keep it company, to help him.  To lift him up into the kingdom of
heaven while we peris hed.  Rock n' Roll is the Devil's Workshop. 
Everyone knows that.  You can't be different.  She was.  She was different
in every way.  She was not one of them.  She wasn't.  Suddenly there was a
bolt of lightning and a crack of thunder at the same time. 
She suddenly had the feeling she was no longer alone.
Are you serious?  You'd really sell your soul to be with that creep?  Are
you nuts? 
Who are you?
I'm the devil.
Well, I'm sort of an acting devil.  I'm not the ceo if you know what I
mean.  I'm just his emmisary.  Actually, I'm just doing a little side work
to get by.  You really want to sell your soul?  I can get you fifty bucks
on the black market.  She said she wanted Elvis.  He looked at her as if
he thought she'd gone mad.  Forget it.  Then no deal.  I can get you an
autographed photograph in his own writing.  That's as far as it goes.  I
want to have his baby.  He already has one.  All right.  let me have one
hour alone with him.  Is that too much to ask.  Yes.  Be satisfied with
five minutes.  He's not the pope, you know? 

	So I gave him my jewelbox.  It was on a zip disk.  I went in and
sat down in a waiting room.  There were several others ahead of me.  I
crossed my legs.  I touched myself.  I was in the anteroom of Elvis.  I
could barely contain myself.  I wondered if th e other girls felt the same
way.  Most looked pretty cool.  I wasn't sure about the one with the
beret, though.  The one with twenty pounds of nitro strapped around her
body.  She looked nervous.  Eventually, I was called.  I went in.  I had
to walk up th is long windy hallway and then turn and go through a door
with flaps on it.  I followed the others.  Inside was a conveyor belt.  A
man with a rod stood over it.  He bent down and touched my head.  Then I
saw Elvis. 

	Boy, was that wild stuff.  Suddenly, I was back on the street. 
What is this?  Where am I?  Dayton.  Illinois.  Winslow Arizona.  How'd I
get here?  In a pickup truck.  Riding tornados is fun.  Better than bungee
balloooon jumping.  Hard comedown though.  Just sets you.  Not like a
hurricane, blows you out in the swamp.  You come down in twenty feet of
mud.  And gators.  Gators to the right of you, Cougars to the right. 
There's going to be a payload in the pickup tonight. 

	Cody asked him why he did all this.  To keep busy.  Keep in touch. 
Don't touch.  Don't play.  Just sit.  He sat.  In the parlor while the two
old ladies drank tea.  He was bored. He wished she'd go.  He wanted to
play.  Not like that, Smal.  You'll hurt somebody.  Now sit still.  I'm
not going to hurt you.  She sat in his lap.  He touched her.  So that's
what he remembered, wondering if she did.  There is no statute of
limitations on something like this.  Once done, twice guilty.  Now swing. 
She swang out from the wall, shaking blood out of her eyes.  They were
still shooting.  I got to get up.  They came in lower and dragged her on
the dirt road.  Down Kinshasa's Avenue of the Heroes.  A conquerored
madchen.  Rub it in, Shatzi.  A British spy.  They c aptured her.  So, you
are working for the Allies.  Commander Cody.  We have been watching you,
UberFlioghtMadchen Michaels.  Now Michael's kid was going to pay.  Her
collective debt.  What was owed.  Swiss bank accounts.  Spend it before
they get it.  Your bill, Countess.  She examined the check. 

	Several items should not be here.  The pony in the sauna, for
instance.  My company pays for that on their account.  The golf course,
too.  That is not my expense.  Also, we did not have important French
chablis.  That was beer.  And it goes on the Mille r account. 

	She was stalling for time.  They both knew that.  T-Time.  D-Day. 
Rolls.  Thank you.  No.  You may have one.  He took it.  Biding for time. 
Binding it.  Getting out of the shower.  Lying on the bed.  Hoping he
won't notice it.  That I got him by the cu rls.  Everyone would know now,
wouldn't they?  That I slept with the fuehrer, but it wasn't.  It was his
stand-in.  Jodl?  Yes.  It was his night off.  And Jodl's on duty.  They
took turns.  Up and down the command.  I drew Jodl.  Exactly as I had seen
hi m.  That night.  Dressed up as Hitler.  It was so bizarre.  You should
have seen him.  Trying to impress me.  I knew right away it wasn't him.  I
didn't know it was Jodl at the time.  This is how we met.  Him doing
Hitler routines and I would be his moll.  So we teamed up.  It wasn't such
a bad match.  Two photons make a whole, even though they aren't from the
same batch.  Light meeting light across a small distance.  Two people who
don't know what the other half is doing.  And colliding head on in Trafal
gar Circus Olson and Johnson, I tell you, what pros.  Mom and Dad. 
Working the circuit.  Of Elks clubs and other places.  Around Long Island
and up and down the coast.  We was a pair.  Lum and Abner.  Burns and
Allen.  We were better than those.  We were outrageous.  It was a swell
life.  Until I broke my hip.  And he left me.  Ran off with a tightrope
walker.  In a silver dress.  A tightrope walker's silver dress.  Heard
they had a kid.  What happened to it?  She told me everything.  She
juggled knives.  Not big ones.  With big handles.  She juggled little
bitty ones.  Like stars.  And then she nailed you to a tree.  Never heard. 
She went after the girl in the silver dress.  Sliced her.  She was faster
than Tigris.  Watch.  I'll show you.  Gran, not wi th the silverware.  She
has no control anymore.  She can cut you real bad.  And not even be
anywhere near you.  Action at a distance, as it were.  The way she
manipulates the cutlery.  Even around corners.  You can be in the bedroom,
and all of a sudden, whish.  That's Gran reliving the old days.  In the
circus.  You don't mess with Frieda Michaelson.  Later, she anglocized it. 
Whip.  Whip.  Whip.  Take cover.  Stay down.  Eventually, you learn to
defend yourself.  Either that or die.  Cody whipped round , guns blazing. 
I told you to stop.  Gran cowered on the floor.  No shoot.  no shoot. 
Americanski.  She was in the Russian zone.  They caught her.  Ten years on
the Gulag.  War criminal.  Pass over that.  Don't remember too much about
that time we were building our house.  On long island.  And the other half
was starving in the tundra.  Toughski luckski Brunhilda.  In life, we
sometimes make raw deals.  You've got the sticky end of the stick.  Pig. 
She rooted for her living.  Truffles.  She was a Truff le Pig.  You know
what that is, don't you Commander?  She stared at him.  We put a collar
around the pig's neck and it roots for the truffle.  And when it finds it,
we kick it in the belly and take the truffle away from it.  Got that? 
Work on the visuals .  Only here, we have no pigs.  Fraulein Freida.  We
have only you.  Get busy. 

	Of course, there was a link.  You know, where one does, the other
does, too.  Even though you aren't out in the Siberian Rainforest.  You
are digging around in your garden with your nose and your bare behind in
the air.  What happened to your significant other, Cody asked.  Gran
shruggled.  She's still out there.  We move as a binary.  Over a long
space.  That nothing in Quantum Physics can explain.  Is that why you are
swinging the ax?  Because your other self is chopping wood?  God, the old
lady was fa st.  I just had time to get under the bed before the tornado

The medicine she takes for her eyes drives her crazy.  It's like putting
acid into them.  Then she can see Cody and she goes for her.  Wham wham
wham the readings are off.  She could be blind.  She turned out of the
driveway and the van hit her.  The doub le bounced around the forest,
making strange noises.  Like a bird.  It was a mating ritual.  Suddenly,
she heard a loud screeching sound.  Jodl had bedded her.  It was over in
an instant.  Then he flew away.  And left her to raise the kid.  Michael
grew u p strong and handsome, as did Tom, her son by Seigfried.  But
Jodl's boy was best.  She really loved him.  I wondered what it must be
like to be Gran and to love someone.  It sort of made me edgy.  Maybe she
did.  Then it slipped past me.  Books could now be free.  One no longer
needed publishers.  One could download anything from the net.  Just take a
bundle of stuff, print it out and you had a book.  It didn't have to
match.  You could be your own publisher.  Everything had an inner
relationship, even t hough each was completely independent.  You cannot
have a hearing.  And that was that.  Each mind would find its way into the
material and make sense of it.  Even the budget bill had meaning.  Then
they began to interpret it.  Lots of luck.  Here it is.  Have fun.  It's
off my desk.  What?  You mean it's not working.  Why not?  I said it could
and it will.  Stand thou still, see.  She shifted her weight.  He stuck
her.  Stand still.  She was a fit maiden.  A girl who has clothes pinned
on her.  To see how they looked.  Everyone used her.  Because she had a
perfect figure.  Versache loved her.  Todd Oldham.  Tommy Hilfiger.  There
was a big fight over who would get her next.  Darling, I'll go out of
business if I don't have your body soon.  I need to do so me work.  I need
preamps.  And a guitar.  Booster her up.  650 pounds.  Of Elvis.  She's
got to let it go.  Tell her that.  Tell her her double is losing weight. 
She will, too.  The double was anorexic.  A starvling.  With big tits. 
She dragged them up the ramp to the slaughterhouse.  Soon she would be


	* The information about Jeanne Calment is from an obituary in the
NY Times, 8/5/97.  The same edition carries an article in the Science
section about a woman with autism who designs slaughterhouses.  She said
she sees things the way cows do, which is wha t make her creations so
successful.  Funny world, nicht wahr? 

Chapter 10 Index Chapters 12+13