4



	Hi. Everything up to here has been a novel. My feeling
about it so far is it's serious. But it's going to get even more 
serious that's also my feeling about myself. What a coincidence. 
Anyway that's my feeling about it on this page in any






case it's my attempt to sort out my feelings about certain
things that have been happening to me lately like Pixie
for example I can't get her off my mind. Is she really in a
soft cell with Empty Fox I should have asked him. Also






what's the meaning of the 7-3-10 numerological scheme that
runs through the book and of the code message near the
beginning what about the plot is it all part of a plot. If I
knew that I'd probably know what's going to happen next






which I don't either in my novel or in my life. Except
sometimes maybe like Ali Buba's warning about head
wounds I wrote that six months before the garage door
came down on my head while I was sitting in a California






patio over the sea writing this book. But this is a subject
I don't like thinking about too eerie. All I know is I'm
getting messages I don't know where they come from or
who else gets them it's a mystery to me I just pass it on






and hope it comes together this is a message. Part of the
message is get a road map all these places are real even the
more unlikely ones I've traveled among them slept in their
campsites their motels form is when you look back and see






your footprints in the sand. Meaning disintegrates con-
nection proliferates what does that mean. Red Desert for
example that's where Roland Sycamore is staying now
Roland Sycamore you don't know this yet peeled off from






the Sukenick character after the karate fight and the latter
is no longer a character at all but the real me if that's
possible I'm getting out of this novel. When you fly too
far you don't come back. Red Desert is in South Central






Wyoming just a fraction of a mile to the north of the
Continental Divide. To the north of the Continental
Divide that's right because Red Desert is at the inner
edge of a huge absence in the middle of the country surrounded






by peaks eight to ten thousand feet high which drains
neither east nor west but into itself known as the Great
Divide Basin and do you know what's inside this prodigy
absolutely nothing desert except for a drainhole in the


 



middle emptying into the void. So here we are at the
source. Omphalos. Roland alone with his body in his room
at The New Vacancy Motel thinking about the dream he
just had the dream is about Pixie he doesn't know that yet.






	The dream is about getting mugged the message says.
	The dream is about getting mugged I write.
	On the Lower East Side late at night it says.
	On the Lower East Side late at night I write.


 



	Somebody comes up behind Roland and puts a knife to
his throat maybe it's Jojo.
	Somebody comes up behind Roland and puts a knife to
his throat I think it is Jojo.






	Hand over your wallet or you're dead says Jojo this is on
a dark sidestreet hand over your wallet or you're dead says
Jojo this is on a dark sidestreet about two AM noone
around Roland tries an elbow in Jojo's ribs the blade edge






saws across his adam's apple okay okay anything says
Roland I should kill you for that says Jojo no wallet in
pocket says Roland he can feel blood running down the
front of his neck get it out quick and don't do nothing






sudden Roland fishes out his wallet remembers a story
about a girl held up at gunpoint handing over her money
then getting shot anyway Jojo grabs the wallet at that
moment Roland smashes his fist up against the wrist of


 



Jojo's knife hand whirls slams Jojo's temple with his elbow
kicks him in the balls picks up the wallet and knife helps
Jojo to his feet for some dreadful reason Roland has to
help Jojo to the Avenue he puts Jojo's arm around his neck






half drags half walks him down the street Jojo all the
while muttering I'm gonna getchew man gonna cutchew
up gimme back my knife you cocksuckuh gonna get my
friends gimme it now maybe I letchew alone gonna kill






you cocksuckuh maybe this week maybe next week I
getchew you fuckin cocksuckuh when they reach the
Avenue Jojo won't let Roland go Roland heads for his
building you gonna take me up to your place you motha-






fuck I'm gonna kill you cocksuckinmothafuckuh two men
are talking in the vestibule Roland knows one of them help
he won't let go says Roland use that knife says the man it
says. Use that knife says the man. This dream completely






changes Roland's life.
	This dream completely changes Roland's life.
	It has seven meanings it says it has seven meanings three
are important of those two are that knife=wife that's why


 



it's about Pixie secret bride of the White Asp the other
isn't about Pixie the one that changes Roland's life isn't
any of them it's the one about the can factory the feeling
of the dream is like the can factory Roland thinks to himself






it says. It shows how I can. The can factory. The can
factory is in Brooklyn on the waterfront it makes tin cans
Roland needs a job. Badly he looks for three weeks finally
at the can company he lies he begs he flatters he promises






he lies he lies he lies his way into a job he's a tire. A tire
stands at the end of one of the production lines and ties.
He ties the cans as they come off the line in stacks of ten
with wire knotted tightly so it cuts into the flesh of your






fingers Roland rubs the growths on his fingers middle and
index of each hand and that was twenty years ago. Roland
starts slow he can't keep up with the line the cans pile up
then he can keep up then the line can't keep up with him






in a week he's the fastest tire on the floor fastest tire ever
the other guys start coming over at coffee break the crooked
shop steward hints at letting him in on the bonus from
the crooked speedup system there's even talk of the fore






man making him a flanger if there's an opening. A flanger
flanges the bottoms onto the bodies of the cans the bottoms
are thin coated steel disks with sharp serrated edges that
often fly off the crooked unsafe flanging machines whirling






at enormous speeds slicing through whatever flesh happens
to get in their way most often the fingers of the flangers
on the other hand they get paid a lot and it's more prestige.
There are very few people on the floor with ten fingers






the person with the fewest has five between both
hands he can't flange anymore. But as long as you have six
fingers you can always make a quick buck flanging and
everybody on the floor was always trying to get enough






together for some personal project quitting taking a trip
to Vegas moving to a trailer colony in Daytona Beach opening
a bar but they always blew it. So one day at coffee
break the foreman pats Roland on the shoulder you got a






future here kid keep it up and next time one of the guys
gets a finger sliced off who knows meantime whirling can
lids are flying all over the place and Roland starts getting
a little bored with the five quick motions needed to tie a






bunch of cans repeated say sixty times a minute one day
he bends down a whirling can lid whizzes over where his
head just was that's exciting at least. One day one of the
guys comes over she's a woman in fact but she's thought


 



of as one of the guys named Rosie Rosie shows him her tits
it's her way of being flirtatious to be precise she doesn't
show all of them but only three or four she has eight or
ten in rows from ribs to armpits he's never counted the






guys on the line used to kid her show us your tits Rosie
and she would say how many and show them she was a
good sport well that was fun too but it got on Roland's
nerves. Meantime Roland is getting extremely bored with






tying and he doesn't think he wants to get into flanging
but he can't quit because he won't get unemployment. So
then Roland's efficiency graph starts going down even
faster than it went up he canšt keep up any more the cans






pile up on his table the pile gets higher it gets up over his
head then it topples over cans rolling all around the floor
Roland chasing them people tripping cursing the crooked
bonus for the crooked speedup shrinks to almost nothing






on line number three the crooked shop steward hints about
putting some muscle on Roland but he's beyond that
cackling as the cans tumble around him he gets fired
laughing while the man who hired him looks hurt I give






you a chance we never have to fire a tire before. So that
teaches Roland something he doesn't know what but something.
Now he knows that's the first time he tuned in now
he's tuning in again he can feel it happening he feels






empty. And expectant 987654321. 0. Omphalos. Roland
casts the I Ching it says.
	Roland takes out his copy of The Book of Changes.
What should I do now he asks he casts the coins. Roland






casts the hexagram Shih Ho Biting Through. He turns to
Biting Through a thunderstorm is coming it says. Look
out for a traitor and tale bearer. It's dangerous to stay still
to avoid permanent injury move at once decisive action is






needed. Force is necessary but avoid violence stop evading
your responsibilities you may get off easy this time but
only if you mend your ways. Be aware of the dog. Your
way requires clarity and excitement.






	Shih Ho changes to P'i Standstill Roland looks up
Standstill. You are living in a period of decay learn to deal
with confusion and disorder it says. The best lack all
conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.






Though outwardly hard weak and inferior men are in
control. Don't work on what's been spoiled nor be drawn
into public life this will only expose you to danger. A
withdrawal to inner understanding is required before you


 



will be able to bite through. You will succeed and make
money if you avoid success and financial gain. Be frugal.
You may be forced into exile for a time. Movement bites
through stagnation and disunity. A streaming together.






	A knock on the door who is it says Roland the door
opens.
	That's okay I use my key I'm the proprietor of the
establishment a heavy balding man fat fingers glittering






with massive rings so. What are you.
	Get out.
	Your name is he takes out a pad thumbs through Roland
Sycamore. Right.






	Get out. Who are you.
	Name's Tommy I turn up. You want your message or
not.
	What message.






	From Toro from our friends you want it or not.
	Are you a member of our friends.
	Would I know about it if I wasn't a member you want it
or not.






	From Toro.
 	Yeah.
	Toro's dead.
	It's his dying message.






What is it Tommy pulls out a scrap of paper it says
				sale
				not
				seize






what's that supposed to mean says Roland.
	You're supposed to know now you have to give me an
answer wešre having a meet Roland turns the scrap of
paper over writes hands it back to Tommy.






	i 1 it says. What's that supposed to mean.
	Figure it out says Roland he pulls his knife it has a
matchstick under the blade for fast opening Roland holds
the blade arm extended six inches from Tommy's heart






don't make me kill you he says I'd like to so much don't
make me.
	Okay says Tommy he backs out the door cracks his
knuckles be seeing you he says he leaves that's not Tommy






the Tourist thinks Roland to himself that's Ruby
Geranium he's from another story I can tell by the way
he cracks his knuckles Roland walks out of his room crosses
the road takes his chances with the night. He heads away


 



from the Red Desert Country just outside of town he
crosses the Continental Divide now he's in the West. The
moon is full he can see he's moving into hilly rangeland
grass sage chaparral his forty-two dollar Tony Lama cowboy






boots feel right at home somewhere just over the
horizon high mountains this is fun. He walks for hours
plays tag with tumbleweed watches falling stars high on the
smell of sage plenty of moonlight no fatigue. The moon






goes down before dawn he takes shelter next to a rock as
he nods asleep he hears cattle lowing in the distance he
awakes in the early sun stiff cold surrounded by beautiful
grazing horned animals tan whiterumped white chestpatterns






darker head markings when he gets up they freeze
for an instant run off with amazing speed disappearing up
a hill like antelope in a cave painting. He walks south-
southeast according to his map there should be a dirt road






somewhere in that direction he walks for many hours this
time he's tired he's hot he's thirsty he's lost he hears the
sound of the Brooklyn Dodgers playing in Ebbets Field
before a sellout crowd a hallucination of course it goes






away it comes back this time it sounds like Dixie Walker
is up with the bases loaded 1942 some kind of audial mirage
it goes away as he climbs the crest of a hill it gradually
comes back fades comes back the Pacific Ocean he hasn't






walked that far at the crest of the hill he looks down into
a huge crowd gathering encampment what way way down
in a natural bowl in the hills tents campfires thousands of
parked cars it disappears as he descends into a gully reap-






pears as he crosses a last crest the smell of grass coming up
from the bowl is enough to turn him on as he comes down
into the fringes of the crowd people turn and stare mostly
kids children adolescents in fantastic gypsy costume many






nude to the waist including girls he sees a girl nudge a
boy and point as he goes by is it him someone asks the
crowd noise seems to develop gratuitous crescendos then
subsides a section starts clapping and shouting for no






particular reason nothing is happening is it him someone asks
again say what are you all doing here Roland asks a boy.
	We're not sure yet we're waiting says the boy. Someone's
put acid in the drinking water far out says another kids






are freaking out all over the place screaming tearing their
clothes off being sick tackling one another a nude adolescent
wanders by holding his erection hey you're neat he
screams I dig it he leaps on a teenage girl pawing at her






clothes wow fuckinfarout says another girls watching this
is loony Roland thinks to himself hey is that him says a
kid the crowd seems to make way for Roland as he walks
toward the center he's looking for the men's room maybe






something to eat seems to be some kind of comfort station
in the middle of the crowd a tent long banners huge colorful
intergalactic flags hey it's him someone says someone
repeats word runs through the crowd it's him it's him






silence strikes the festbowl as he reaches the comfort station
where's the men's room he asks a tall bearded Viking the
Viking waves toward the hills at the edges of the crowd
this is the freakout tent he says is that you.





	No says Roland.
	You better tell them he hands Roland a mike it's not me
Roland's voice booms through the bowl I mean I'm not
him. He hears a gigantic clattering above a helicopter






appears low over the hills stops hovers about a hundred
feet above the crowd this is an order to disperse it says its
voice is metallic this is an order to disperse anyone who
does not immediately disperse will be considered subject






to arrest. There are gunshots a line of mounted cowboys
charges over the crest of.a hill firing their guns into the
air yip yip yip the kids watch them galloping down the hill
cheers and applause come up from the crowd they think

 




they're watching a western the cowboys barrel down the
hill beating the flanks of their horses they think they're in
a western they hit the edge of the crowd whipping people
with their ropes left and right plunge in full speed with






their horses the kids over there are getting trampled
stampeded the crowd starts milling they're trapped in the
canyon Roland thinks to himself the only chance is to get
them over behind the cars so they can walk or even drive






out of the bowl otherwise Roland speaks into the mike
everybody start moving toward the parking lot don't panic
don't run get over behind the cars so you can walk or even
drive out of the bowl nothing happens. Nobody listen the






crowd starts churning in on itself people running from the
horses trample on people ahead of them the cowboys
shooting lower over the heads of the crowd shout as if
they're herding cattle girls are screaming Roland's voice






booms out through the festbowl listen I'm him I'm him
the people around him stop and turn do you hear me
booms Roland it's me I'm him. People stop and look his
way it's him it's him who is he. This is me talking says






Roland listen to me listen to me don't panic everybody
start walking toward the parking lot do not run everybody
get behind the cars it's your only chance everybody move
toward the parking lot the direction of the crowd starts to





shift a drift starts toward the cars a flow Roland hears
motors starting up cars are pulling out the cowboys still
working their way through the crowd whipping trampling
yip-yipping tents sag and go down horses ride right through






them get that guy something grabs Roland around the
chest and arms pulls him over he's bouncing along the
ground the rope slips almost catches around his neck
doesn't Roland blacks out somebody gives him a hand pulls






him up he's shoved along by the crowd now and then
everybody starts running Roland runs with them in the
parking lot it begins to thin out they reach the dirt road
there are more cowboys charging at them up the road the






crowd wavers flows back into itself hits the pressure coming
from behind rushes forward like surf spewing rocks bottles
sound of shots a boy next to Roland falls the back of his
head missing it's spattered on the face of the girl behind






him Roland is being shoved off the road uphill sound of
shots a flash an explosion no thunder again rolling through
the canyon the sky is black clouds burst it comes down in
huge drops Roland still running already soaked the ground

 




turning into slippery mud as he gets over the top of the
hill people are falling getting up falling again as they race
downhill sheets of rain turn the hillside into sheets of shoe-
sucking mud people scatter slow to a walk drift into small






groups plod through the rain the rain stops groups and
stragglers are walking over the hills in every direction I
have to rest says a boy in Roland's group. Keep going we
better put some distance between ourselves and those guns






says Roland. They trudge over sludgy hills after a while
the sun comes out after a while a girl comes up to Roland
we're tired how about resting for a while. The other groups
have disappeared nothing but rangeland quiet. Guess it






looks okay now over there says Roland they flop down near
a rock on the crest of a hill Roland can see twenty or thirty
miles either way nothing.
	What do we do now a boy says.





Why ask me says Roland he feels grouchy he's getting a
cold sore throat constipated can't think. The boy shrugs
my name's Lowell he says good says Roland.
	My name's Jack says another.
	





 	Good says Roland.
	Mine's Bruce.
	Good.
	I'm Emoretta.






	Good.
	I'm Jim.
	Good Jim.
	My name's Avron.






	Avron.
	I'm Karen.
	Karen good.
	Richard.






	Good.
	Anne.
	Anne very nice.
	David.






	Good.
	Sherry.
	Good they all have names they all give him their names
after a while he loses track stops listening just keeps






nodding good good. I'm hungry says one after they finish
giving their names. Hungry I'm thirsty says another me
too says Richard me too says Lowell or somebody else
Bruce starts passing around a joint. Or somebody else. Jack

 




is holding hands with Sherry Emoretta starts making out
with Jim or somebody somebody says I think we're lost
somebody says yeah complaints we better get moving says
Roland.






	Are we lost.
	No says Roland.
	Then what's lost something's lost I have that feeling.
	We're here. It's lost.






	Which way should we walk.
	This way follow me Roland has no idea which way but
wants to avoid complaints they walk for quite a while we're
tired someone says.






	Keep walking.
	We need water.
	Keep walking pretty soon they hit a trail worn into the
hills they follow it for a while far out someone says they all






top. The trail leads into a draw at the bottom there's a
pipe sticking up with a drinking fountain on top of it they
go down and drink.
	How'd you find it says Richard or someone.






 	Luck says Roland.
	Are you a finder.
	Get off my back.
	After resting they continue on the trail after a while a






Dalmatian trots up to them Roland likes Dalmatians he
makes friends with it the Dalmatian wants them to go off
in another direction at an angle from the path he dances
off that way back to Roland off again calling in his doggy





barreltone what's up Spots what's over there Spots barks
greying pink muzzled looking wise Roland cuts off the
trail follows Spots Spots pokes his nose into Roland's palm
leads them into a gully there's a shelter set up inside boxes






of canned goods fruit juices crackers everything Roland
opens some dog food for Spots they eat rest after a while
Spots starts barking he wants them to come down the gully
load up says Roland they take supplies Roland walks after






the dog the gully opens out onto high tableland high
mountains on three horizons Spots is sniffing at something
up ahead of them funny webby footprints embedded in
the rock very big these are dinosaur tracks says Roland






Spots is already up ahead wagging barking sniffing at
another set they follow the dog from one set of tracks to
another this goes on for a few miles Roland looks behind
him he has the vague impression that there are fewer in

 




the group hey where are David and Sherry here and here
they say they continue down the dinosaur trail next time
he looks around there seem to be even fewer where's Jim
Jack and Emoretta here here and here they say they






continue in the track of the dinosaur after a while Roland
whirls Anne and Richard he yells no answer where's Anne
and Richard everybody looks around and shrugs Jim Jack
and whoever no answer David and whoever no answer






There are very few of them left in fact five or six maybe
more like four or five they look around in a bewildered
way sort of sheepish at having lost so many of themselves
without noticing but still eager for whatever comes next.






Here the dinosaur trail branches into alternatives Spots
touches Roland's hand with his nose awaits directions one
trail leads down into a broad arid valley another up into a
high isolated butte. Which way should we go they ask.






	I can't tell you which way to go.
	I thought you were a finder.
	Listen stop bothering me. You been following me
around now for a whole day it makes me nervous. Don't






crowd me leave me alone. I don't know anything more than
you do.
	Why you holding out on us.
	Come on why don't you beat it says Roland.






	Which way you going.
	Up there he points to the butte.
	Man you kidding we're not going up there. You crazy.
Why you going up there.






	More interesting. Looks like you can see for a hundred
miles from up there.
	You'll never get anywhere that way they say Roland
leaves them standing on a set of dinosaur tracks and






follows Spots up the trail when he gets to the top it's near
sundown but it looks like he can see for a hundred miles
mountains on four horizons some with snow he can see the
path he just climbed the places where he almost fell he can






see the whole valley the other trail led into he can't see
the rest of the group anywhere. No trace of them. Anywhere.
He feels lonely. Spots he calls. Spots. Spots he yells
Spah-ots. He whistles here boy Spah-ots. Nothing. A little






wind sweeping across the top of the butte. Over below the
far side of the butte he spots a highway with an easy path
leading down to it. He heads that way gets a ride into
Dinosaur another through Utah with a man who tells him





 
that one pair of houseflies if their offspring survived could
within six months cover the earth forty-seven feet deep
with houseflies he gets off in Panguitch. Checks in at a
place on the edge of town The Oshose Inn--A New






Vacancy Motel takes his key starts for his room wait a
minute who's he.
	He just checked in Mr. Derrekker Mr. Derrekker is a
tall smooth man in leather pants and leather shirt this






motel is for my people get him out.
	Yes Mr. Derrekker.
	I don't suppose you found the watch yet. No that would
be too much to expect. That watch is very precious to me






I can't work without that watch. It's my lucky watch.
We've already lost two days damn it do something.
	We've looked everywhere Mr. Derrekker we're still
looking.






	Your watch is in the fishbowl in the lobby says Roland
	What do you know about it get him out of here says
Derrekker.
	Roland shrugs starts to leave wait a minute says Derrekker. 






	Is there a fishbowl in the lobby.
	Yes Mr. Derrekker.
	Go look the clerk comes back with Derrekker's dripping
watch Derrekker glares suspiciously at Roland how did you






find it.
	I'm a finder Roland starts to leave wait a minute says
Derrekker. Let me think. Derrekker closes his eyes presses
his fist against his brow stays that way for thirty seconds.






Ah he looks up smiles. I can use you. We don't have a
finder. We need one. That s just what we need. A finder.
Are you from Huge.
	I don't follow.






	This is a Howard Huge production. We're on location.
We're shooting a movie called "Panguitch."
	Is that why you're on location in Panguitch.
	No that's just an accident. It's an epic-mythic-cosmic






spectacular about two aboriginal South American gods
named Popocatepetl and Titicaca. Popocatepetl is a legended
revolutionary in modern Mexico talked of by the peons
as a reincarnation of the old god in such cases you






get the Precolumbian elements side by side with a kind
of peasant populism the archaic god informed by popular
culture an attempt to sustain the primitive against the
trauma of the present or maybe the present against the




 

trauma of the primitive cargo cults for instance I don't
understand any of this. But that doesn't matter. What
matters is the visual image the old peon as the movie
opens telling a story about Popocatepetl as he tells it cut






to Popocatepetl actually living through the story get it we
see him in a room with his girl the police break in the girl
is immediately raped and shot Popo is thrown naked into
a prison cell fade to bull ring Popo still naked is pushed






into the arena they release a black fighting bull Popo face
in hands sinks to his haunches crying and shaking drooling
a sound starts in his belly his face turns up to the sky an
ow-ow-ow a howling louder and louder longer and longer






the bull stops shuffles around the howl changes to a roar
shaking with rage Popo charges mace hand to nostrils knife
hand chop snaps off a horn double two finger gouge to
eyes knife hand snaps other horn round house kick to head






Popo finishes him with a spear hand to the neck cut back
to old peon. This is the story they tell. And then in his
sadness Popocatepetl was heard to say out of defeat comes
triumph. Out of defeat comes triumph. Out of defeat






comes nada. Palabra palabra. Men are beasts. Cut back to
arena they give him both ears the tail the horns four
hooves the cock and finally the whole bull. And he says give
cock and bull to the poor. As always. How's that for an






opener. Dynamite.
	What happens next.
	Next Popo gets a message from his wife Titicaca it goes
like this






			1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = I	
			o o o o o o o o o o = O
From this Popo knows Titicaca has been gangbanged. By
ten men. That she liked it. That she comes from Iowa.






That she's turning into a cow. That she wants more. That
that's a lot of bull. That she's full of shit. That she owes
him a fuck. That he's won. That he's won nothing. How
many times can one go into nothing. Do you follow.






	Perfectly.
	Well maybe you can explain it to me. In the next scene
a bovine Iowan gazes out the window of a tourist cafe
below the snowy cone of a Mexican volcano pan to volcano.






Cut back to cafe where the woman from Iowa orders a bottle
of pop and reads about the Pope. Outside the cacabirds are
calling shittit shittit shittit. The woman is reflective
passive placid as a lake. I know this day is a special






unfolding inevitable and full of secret meaning one senses
the completion of an eschatology a solar countdown the
horizon shapes the final zero draws tight tight says Orlando
sitting next to her. O she says she speaks with a heavy






Spanish accent from a hanging plant a cat leaps to the floor
a petal falls a deep rumbling shakes the air. She runs into
the street arms outstretched. Orlando is furious. He
screams kicks spits shits. Many years later he meets a






buxom waitress named Titi. Cut to many years later. I
won says Orlando. O naughts answers Titi she speaks with
a heavy Spanish accent. Cockatu responds Orlando the
exchange seems to be in some kind of code. This takes






place in Panguitch Utah. And that's where we are now if
you think you can cope with all that you're hired. I need
a finder I need someone who can find out what the hell
is going on in this movie. I mean I like it as a work of art






of course but it needs a lot of revision if it's going to get
any box.
	Sorry Mr. Derrekker I don't make revisions says Roland.
	That's DerREKKer. Look this is a Huge Production.





It's big. Very big. It's got everything. Panguitch is in it.
You're in it. I'm in it. We're being filmed right now the
cameras are rolling all the time we have them set up all
over the world what chaos. Look please help me I don't



 


know what to do next I don't understand all this. I don't
know what Huge is up to this time I think he's in over his
head if you ask me.
	Didn't he ever give you a hint.






	Well I only saw him once to tell you the truth. When
he hired me. I did most of the talking I was giving him my
conception of his conception the trouble was I didn't know
anything at all about his conception. He just stood there






playing with his yoyo the man is a wizard Derrekker flushes
with admiration. I've never seen anybody do things like
that with a yoyo. A wizard. Beyond belief.
	What did he look like.






	I can't remember he was big maybe he had a beard. I
remember how he would nod every now and then and say
seven and three is ten and you know I've thought about it.
He was right. Only I still don t know what the hell he was






talking about. I think he's Jewish.
	How come.
	Because of this telegram he sent the Greek director
Kakaboulie who was Director of this property before I






was hired it says Yo. all hands get your shit together you're
id Rx i.d. soft tit camera action why oh why oh I o i oi.
 	What else.
	The only other thing I have is a crank letter from the






weekly paper written by a local bullshit artist under a
pseudonym. Some say it's by Kakaboulie himself it says
Dear Huge received yours of Sunday it's all Greek to us
polloi here but we try to dope it out I just pass it on I do






my best man of multimillion masks my admiral I ask for
wisdom you give me shit what kind of crap is that I try
and tune in but all I get is static crack snaggle plop very
cacaphonic do I wrong you or write you who am I signed





Anonymous Bosh. I sympathize with that how do you like
the script.
	Hard words nice music.
	You like it.






	I think this movie is what's happening.
	You do.
	I think Panguitch is where it's at.
	Then you take the job.






	No.
	If it's money there's a lot of money in this. Name a
price the sky's the limit. I'll give you carte blanche I want
a creative film something original something a little



 


different who's your agent. Work up a treatment take your
time submit it in two weeks you can use your own ideas
anything you want.
	You're too late I don't have any ideas. About anything.






Anymore. He walks out of the room out of the motel past
the bellowing guard dogs out of the dream onto the highway
walks south no moon no carlights no starlight stumbling
along the shoulder lonesome as the last goodbye






nothing noone nowhere ouch who's that.
	Ouch who's that.
	Roland.
	Arnold.






	Arnold which Arnold.
	From New York.
	From New York do you know a guy named Carl.
	Carl from the Bang Gang.






	Yeah Bang Gang Carl.
	Sure I know all them guys.
	No kidding you know Carl how do you like that what a
coincidence my god I can t believe it. How is Carl.






	He's dead.
	Carl dead.
 	Had an accident with a stick of dynamite. They identfied
him by his bridgework.






	Oh. How about Scott.
	Scott was shot. In a police station. Resisting arrest.
	How about Ova.
	Hanged herself in a jail cell.






	Rex.
	Disappeared in a swamp near Memphis.
	Nixie.
	She went mad.






	Velma.
	She's a junkie.
	Harrold.
	Brain damaged from a beating. He's a vegetable.






	Nick.
	Serving one to ninety-nine.
	What about Nadia.
	Killed by a rapist.






	What about Alma.
	She married an executive.
	Alma too how about Trixie.
	Turned state's evidence.



 


	Donald.
	He's got cancer.
	Any other news.
	Not that I can think of.






	Well gee it's been awful nice bumping into you Arnold
I was feeling kind of lonely.
	Me too you can call me Arnie let's hitch up okay the only
ride they can get is into Bryce Canyon National Park next






morning they take a trail into the canyon past Thor's
Hammer The Cathedral The Wall of Windows The Two
Sisters The Seven Dwarfs The Angels' Landing The Twins
The Devil's Outhouse The Three Sisters Satan's Belly-






button Old Nick's Torture Garden Hell's House of Horrors
Lucifer's Leap the signs say it is dangerous and unlawful
to go off the trail they go off the trail on a shortcut
through The Devil's Sphincter get stuck on a steep gravelly






ledge too loose and steep to climb back up sliding slowly
on the treacherous incline toward a high overhang above
a jagged dropping gulch Roland heads for a rocky promontory
finding foothold on a tiny ledge that crumbles






under his foot as he leaps catches a jutting rock pulls him
self up climbs down to the gulch. Arnie is sliding slowly
toward the overhang it must be a fifty foot drop he sits
down lies down spreads his limbs he can't stop himself






jump says Roland comes to the edge in a sitting position
draws his feet back from the emptiness jump says Roland
I'm going to die he thinks to himself broken legs seem like
unelievable good luck his feet are sliding over his ass






jump yells Roland at the last second he pushes off aiming
for a clear spot gives in to the fall lands on his feet with a
numb shock rolls down the gulch bouncing off boulders
hits Roland's shoulder knocks him over both sprawl roll






bounce slide to a stop my ankle says Arnie.
	That's all.
	Yeah.
	That's nothing.






	It hurts how do I get out of here they look around at
the steep sliding treacherous debris of the canyon wait a
minute says Roland. He unlaces Arnie's boot around the
swelling works it off his foot Arnie squirming and sweating






rolls down the sock feels the ankle could be broken wait
a minute. Roland squats takes the ankle in both hands and
concentrates what are you doing for Christ sake taking a
shit says Arnie.



 


	Shut up feel any better says Roland.
	Roland works into the ankle with his fingers squeezing
massaging relax he says breathe deep in out in out he
holds the ankle between his hands feel any better.






	No. Yes. Hey it feels better what are you doing to me.
	Breathe Roland concentrates he can feel the swelling
subside the skin goes from purple to lavender to black
and blue to green to normal it feels much better says Arnie.






	Get up and try it Arnie tries it it feels all better what
are you kidding me what's going on shut up says Roland
they climb out of the gulch walk out of the Canyon catch
a ride into Vegas Roland goes into a store buys Arnie a






stetson gee thanks how come says Arnie they go into a
casino Roland looks around at the slot machines picks
one puts a dollar in hold your hat under there he says he
pulls the handle the dollars pour into the hat holy shit






says Arnie. A thin old lady with impossible red hair limps
over sputtering that's my machine I just went for change
her face is purple.
	Give her the money says Roland.






	Are you kidding.
	Give it to her Arnie dumps the dollars on the floor
Roland picks another machine hold the hat under it he
says he pulls the handle the dollars pour into the hat holy






shit says Arnie do it again Roland does it twice more
dodges through the crowd around them walks to a car
rental garage they head out Route 16 through Arden Jean
into California both of them high on their own momentum






the speed of the car through open space catching up
caught up arrival we're hear it's here this is where it's at
Roland turns on the radio flash A-bomb blast at the
testing grounds has leaked an atom cloud into the atmos-






phere Vegas on evacuation alert oil spills on the coast
earthquakes reported near Los Angeles avalanches in the
Sierra Nevada flooding mudslides in the hills in the south
brush fires burn out of control the seals facing extinction






from DDT pelicans seabirds whales dying out fish poisoned
bodies of young girls washed up on beaches cult murder
victim gutted eaten mass murder victims found in home
bombing arson rape suicides double for fifteen year olds






and people in their twenties something is moving much
faster than we are Roland and Arnie think to themselves
something we'll never catch up with so that when we
finally get there it's always somewhere else or maybe it's



 


something that's catching up with us.
	Well if you can't catch up catch on says Roland the
smog starts out in the deserts blankets the orange groves
thickens over the cities hides the mountains above Santa






Anita they get there just in time for the daily double
what are you going out to says Arnie the track he has it
all figured out the favorite in the first race You Haul is a
sure thing forget it and Ear Muff looks good in the second






at five to one they put down ten dollars each on the double
You Haul finishes out of the money and Ear Muff runs
twelfth oh well you can't win them all says Arnie yes you
can says Roland.






	In the third race Arnie likes Escalation at three to one
or Crazy Wasp a long shot who comes from behind. Escalation
has finished second in his last two races fading in
the last furlong but at a longer one and a sixteenth and






the jockey's hot Crazy Wasp has only had two races both
out of the money but looks good in recent workouts Arnie
bets Escalation and Roland Crazy Wasp Crazy Wasp finishes
fast but out of the money Escalation fades in the






stretch and comes in second. They drop fifty dollars on
You Stink in the fourth I guess he's only good on turf
says Arnie.
	We have to split up says Roland. Don't cry Arnie starts






crying.
	What am I going to do now says Arnie. Roland gives
him the money keeps two dollars picks a horse in the fifth
without thinking about it Out to Lunch Out to Lunch






comes in at eight to one.
	He puts sixteen dollars on Yoyo in the sixth still not
thinking Yoyo comes in at five to two.
	He puts all his money on I Owe You in the seventh






For no reason and hits eleven to two.
	His mind a blank he picks On the Wing in the eighth
who comes in at thirty to one.
	Concentrating very hard on nothing he picks Yoo Hoo






and O Zone one and two in the ninth race Exacta and
wins so much money they have to give him a certified
check after he fills out the special income tax forms. He
feels a little sick he wonders what to do next he goes






through his pockets pulls out an old shopping list it says
			sea salt
			Iodine
			manhattan clam chowder.



 


Reading down Roland immediately understands he's to
have his eyes examined. Reading across suggests he find
an eye doctor close to the ocean he heads for Santa Monica
sees the Pacific for the first time it's very different from the






Atlantic he doesn't expect that Roland makes a wish he
wishes he were bigger stronger calmer then he finds an
optometrist I. Askew he goes in the doctor is a thin
suntanned old fellow leathery neck eyes that seem to focus






around rather than on Roland's face the words come into
Roland's mind he sees into the invisible where do they
come from you have an aura says I. Askew.
	Of what.






	Of nothing first a few questions what sign are you.
	Capricorn.
	You're lying.
	Of course but I don't call it lying.






	What do you call it.
	Getting it together.
	Good do you feel you have a secret.
	Yes.






	What is it.
	I don't know.
 	Good did you ever have a very high fever as a child.
	Yes.






	Delirious.
	Yes.
	Hallucinations.
	Yes.






	Have you ever seen flying saucers astral bodies anything
like that.
	Yes.
	Ever seen anyone with a halo anything of that sort.






	Yes.
	Very interesting now cover your right eye and read this
chart top line.
	s s






	Middle line.
	a i l
	Bottom line.
	n a z i s






	Good now cover the left eye top line.
	s a l e
	Middle.
	n o t



 


	Bottom.		
	s e i z e		
	Good now cover both eyes top.
	s a i l






	Middle
	k n o t
	Bottom
	s e a s






	Very good extraordinary he feels around Roland's brows
sits down behind his desk stares intensely at an area above
and possibly just behind Roland's head taps his desk taps
his desk taps his desk this is my diagnosis you're developing






what is sometimes called second sight don't get nervous.
It happens much more often than you might think usually
to people rich in experience who are approaching some
kind of maturity as with the poltergeist phenomenon and






adolescence it is associated with a certain time of life but
usually is censored by the mind even as it is perceived
since most people lack the capacity indeed the inclination
to contain such powers let alone use them. One sometimes






hears of this experience in such terms as the third eye
clairvoyance etcetera I prefer to avoid the spectacular
it simply means that you can see more than other people.
Actually it might most simply be put under the category






of heightened sensation in general for some indeed it
comes through hearing as in the third ear experience
others generate enormously heightened tactile perception
and develop a facility with the socalled laying on of hands






procedure others a sense of smell keen enough to substitute
for sight even taste I've even heard of one man whose
palate grew so refined he could taste the quality of
another's thought. Actually the extension of any of the senses






is usually accompanied by a heightening of all the others
to some degree so that if you are to become let's say a
seeing eye man for the rest of us you might expect to have
certain other talents in tow also. However a warning. You






are entering a transitional phase the metaphor is teething.
Or better replacing your baby teeth or better getting your
wisdom teeth you'll have to put up with a lot of pain oh
you'll have your satisfactions too more and more but I





mean you may not want or be able to tolerate it I don't
know your capacities it's up to you. Actually one hears
about more and more of these cases almost in such numbers
as to make one conjecture about large scale chromosome



 


changes and viable mutations time will tell. I'm
going to put you in touch with the Los Angeles area group
it will probably help they meet down along the coast south
of here he takes out a prescription pad what did you say






your name is.
	R.
	How do you spell that.
	A r r.






	First initial.
	R.
	Good here you are Mr. Arr Askew tears off the sheet
gives it to R it says I. Askew Optometrist Rx R. Arr 73710






S. Coast Blvd. 10 PM Sundays admits one that's in Laguna
Beach let's synchronize watches says Askew.
	What are we in four.
	Right we have four minutes leeway going on three
987654321






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