time is it. The thudding continues he doesn't breathe. Then
it stops. He looks at his watch it's seven A. M. He waits
fifteen minutes gets out of bed puts on his pants looks
through the peephole opens the door a crack a telegram
falls to the floor. He slams the door tears open the
envelope it says get rid of the cat. And get out of town
regards President Roosevelt. The cat the neighborhood is

full of cats all hungry most diseased torn and twisted. This
one comes mewing pathetically through the window from
the fire escape a kitten unbelievably thin walking sort of
sideways to focus with its one good eye the other is swollen
four times as big and looks like a round piece of charcoal
with the outline of a pupil on its black crust. Every now
and then the thing paws its eye falls down and writhes

around for a while. He gives it a plate of milk then he goes
and vomits. The next day it comes back in then it comes
twice a day three times then he starts counting the number
of times it goes out he wonders when it's going to die soon
he hopes. It keeps getting thinner if that's possible the eye
bulges farther and farther out of its head. He can't look at
the thing without wanting to vomit. Sometimes he feels

like vomiting then he looks at it. He vaguely hopes something
will happen to it next time the apartment is robbed a
junkie might stab it or steal it for ransom or some fucking
thing. The apartment is robbed about once a month
which isn't bad for the neighborhood. He still has a bed
refrigerator and kitchen table when they run through
those items he can just leave. He's tired of the place and

he's tired of the cat. He's tired of vomiting. Now the cat
is beginning to vomit he's tired of that too. President
Roosevelt is right. Get rid of the cat. And leave town why
doesn't he think of these things himself.
	He gets a heavy shopping bag and lays it on its side the
kitten is having one of its seizures a thin fluid from its
mouth puddles on the floor he pushes the thing into the

bag with his foot ties the top closed with a cord. He can
feel it bumping around scratching feebly against the bag
Unlock the door look through peephole light out on landing
go out slam door lock police lock regular lock edge to
stairs dash down two at a time through corridor into street
he hears a long thin yowl again again he bangs the bag
against the building it starts trying to claw its way out of

the bag he goes across to his car opens the trunk throws
the bag in slams the lid. He gets in the car starts up the
Avenue steering around doubleparked abandoned cars
stripped windowsmashed gets on the drive through the
tunnel stops at Joe the Barber's for a drink leaves the car
at East Third and I walks up the Avenue throwing snowballs
at passing cars to East Seventh seven and three is ten

into the alley along the Frankenstein house with its ghostly
turrets sinister bays the old man is in the yard hosing the
statutes the statues are made of ice they're not statues
they're jagged stalagmites mounds rounded caverns weird
greywhite greyblack bluegray taller than the old man each
time he runs the hose over them they melt freeze change
he builds up an ice spire joins it with a second spire makes

a bridge a cave get out of here sonny he says dreamy every
now and then at night the kids come and break the statues.
	What you doin says Nick.
	Makin says the skinny old man his goat beard wobbles
when he talks.
	Makin what.
	Just makin.

	How can I do it.
	You can't sonny you're too young. You have to grow up.
Then you have to get old like me.
	Can't I do it now.
	No you have to wait. Get out of here sonny don't bother
	What do I have to do besides get old.


	You have to sleep a lot. People should sleep more sonny
get out of here.
	What else do I have to do.
	You have to be foolish. Foolish and cranky that's
important. And stubborn that's the main thing foolish
cranky and stubborn. And mean to kids he sweeps the hose
around in my direction now stop bothering me. You kids are

enough bother coming around at night breaking my things
not that I care he-he-he he chuckles to himself. First you
have to grow up very few people get that far damn few.
And then you have to be lucky like me.
	How do you get to be lucky.
	Well you have to try hard. And you have to be lucky.
	What should I do says Nick.

	First thing you should do is stop bothering me. Look
in your pockets Nick looks through his pockets.
	What do you have there says the old man.
	A two dollar bill says Nick a two dollar bill says the
old man see that's lucky here let me have that that's for me
what else.
	A note.

	What's it say.
	It says expedite trail plan tonight. Upstate on the double.
	Well what are you waiting for sonny. No need to come
bothering me for anything. Now get out of here and leave
me alone he starts hosing in my direction I back out of the
yard. And get rid of that cat he yells after me. Or you'll

never grow up here are the keys he heaves a set of car keys
at me what keys he's already turned back to the statues.
	What keys there's a camper bus where the car was the
keys fit he starts it up catches the expressway back through
the tunnel around the city over the bridge out of town at
the beginning of the parkway he stops for two hitchhikers
a boy and a girl the girl looks the way he likes them to

look. Big eyes tits ass thin face waist belly long hair legs
the boy seems a nice kid. Where you heading says Nick.
	Upstate says the boy Nick pulls the camper off the road
put the duffel in the back he says the girl gets in then the
boy Nick pulls out I'm Nick he says.
	Hi says the boy I'm Scott. This is Ova she smiles Nick
stiffens Ova wears a short skirt and semitransparent white

shirt through an opening between buttons Nick can see
the bottom of a tit jogging up and down with the motion
of the camper.
	She's my wife says the boy Nick shifts gears his hand
grazes her bare thigh I don't wear a ring says Ova he
doesn't own me.
	We just got married says the boy how do you like it says

	It's great it turns you on says Ova I can see that says
Nick in the half dark of the cabin Scott and Ova are out
lined by a glow not exactly a glow but a discontinuity of
light between their bodies and the air Ova's thigh gleams
beneath his hand on the gearshift her nipples dimple the
white cloth of her shirt we fuck all the time she says. I

hate to wear clothes I keep wanting to take them off you
don't wear many says Nick as few as possible she says.
Ova wants to make it between rides everything says the
boy it's too much it's great. We were just making it behind
those trees before you picked us up everytime Nick shifts
he grazes Ova's thigh everytime he touches her she smiles
he shifts as much as possible he's afraid to look down at his

pants it seems to Nick the cabin is filled with a pulsing
blue glow.
	It's too much the way Ova turns people on says the boy.
Men women she can send out emanations I can see them
they make people sweat and quiver sometimes they light
up women pink men sort of cobalt blue wow sounds like
some kind of wild pinball machine don't it. The boy puts

his arm around Ova and begins massaging her nipple I've
even seen her turning on animals. Ova rubs her thighs
together Nick shifts gears his nostrils fill with the odor of
raw cabbage would you like to drive for a while says Nick
his hands are shaking sure thing says the boy Nick pulls
	I'm tired he says.

	So am I says Ova.
 	Maybe I'll go take a rest on the bed in back while Scott
	Hey you got a bed in back crazy says Ova.
	Ova's tired says the boy.
	Do you think she'd like to come back and rest with me I
guess she probably would says the boy.

	Ova gives Nick a push come on she says I haven't been
laid out on a real bed for days maybe hours they get out
climb into the back and lay down Scott starts the car Nick
pulls her panties off puts them in his pocket now he says
the rest of her clothes just sort of fall off of her he sticks
his index finger deep into her asshole his thumb in her
cunt she cries out he fills his mouth with her tit and tries

to swallow it she grunts moans yells he substitutes his cock
for his thumb they both come right away her yells over the
roar of the camper fall apart with a moan.
	After a while she feels for his face one thing about
making it in a camper you can make all the noise you want she
says she runs her mouth down his body and closes it over
his cock they stay that way for a while then he slides into

her again this time they stay still and let the bump and
sway of the camper fuck for them it takes a long time.
	Time for me to drive says Nick Ova pokes her head
through the curtain to the cabin we're done she tells the
boy. Nick gets into the driver's seat Ova between them the
boy puts his arm around her gives her a long kiss his hand
under her shirt pulls her onto his lap her panties are still

in Nick's pocket he hears her groan softly she starts panting
and wriggling around on the boy's lap Nick keeps his eyes
on the speedometer he's going too fast he slows down in
three and seven tenths miles by the odometer he hears her
moan three times and gasp the boy gives a muffled dying
shout. The mileage indicator reads 10737.3. She slides off
his lap touches Nick lightly on his thigh and rests her head

against the boy's shoulder. Nick drives. The two kids fall
asleep smiling.
	Nick pulls the camper off the road stops gets out. He walks 
down the highway along the shoulder in the dark when he
sees headlights he sticks his thumb out. When there are no
headlights it's completely dark no stars he can't see the
road a yard ahead of him. It's heavy moist perfectly quiet

when a car or especially a truck is coming he can hear it
way off in the distance. He feels the presence of grass and
trees he feels it on his skin also animals. He wonders where
he's going he's a little afraid not too much just enough he
slips off his watch and heaves it into the dark. As he walks
he whistles Jor-du by Max Roach and the late Clifford
Brown he's happy it can't last. A car drives by slows pulls

onto the shoulder ahead backs up a head leans out the
right hand window where you heading says Nick.
	Where it's at.
	Okay he gets in they go. Fast guy accelerates to eighty
in about ten seconds keeps it there. So. What are you.
	Travelling says Nick the speedometer moves to eighty-five
guy's tapping on the wheel with his ring he's way into

some rhythm.
	So what are you you live around here.
	No says Nick the speedometer moves to ninety.
	So what are you you up at the college I can drop you at
the college.
	Okay says Nick.
	So what are you hitchhiking.

	Looks like says Nick.
	So what are you you can't afford a bus ticket.
	Don't like busses says Nick.
	You guys. He keeps it right at ninety for five minutes.
tapping the wheel then starts letting it down eighty-five
seventy-five seventy-four seventy-three he turns to Nick.
	So what are you he says.

	What do you mean says Nick.
	So you're Carl says the guy.
	What makes you think I'm Carl.
	I got a thing with names I never get em wrong.
	That's remarkable.
	Yeah ainit. Well glad to know you Carl my name's Nick
a terrifying yowl tears out of the back of the car my god

what's that says Carl.
	Nothing I got a cat in the trunk says Nick he touches
a switch a soul thudding rock number buzzes Carl's eardrums
ah heard it through the grape vine ah heard it through
the grape vine.
	Open the glove compartment Nick yells Carl opens it
you wanna take out that baggie in there Carl takes it out

unroll it Nick yells Carl unrolls it it's filled with skinny
little cigarettes you wanna hand me one of those joints
yells Nick Carl hands it to him.
	Thanks yells Nick open the glove compartment you see
that wallet in there yells Nick you wanna take it out Carl
takes it out. Open it up yells Nick Carl opens it up you
see that badge in there yells Nick yeah yells Carl you're

under arrest yells Nick I'm a narcotics agent you just gave
me a marijuana cigarette he turns off the music I'll bet
you're surprised.
	Open the glove compartment.
	What now.
	You see those handcuffs in there.

	I see a gun.
	Not the gun the handcuffs.
	Hey is this a real gun Carl takes it out of the glove
	Not the gun dummy the handcuffs says Nick.
	Is it real.
	No Carl opens the window and pulls the trigger the

gun jumps in his hand there's a loud bang.
	It's got blanks says Nick Carl closes the window and
pulls the trigger there's a deafening noise the window
turns into a spiderweb with a hole in the middle.
	I know who you are says Carl. You're Tommy the
	You just make that up.

	Carl pokes the gun into Tommy's ribs you're not safe
you know that.
	Why not.
	Travelling around trapping guys like that you're getting
less safe every minute.
	Guys like you stop the car. People are getting sore.

	You're not going to kill me are you.
	No stop the car Tommy stops the car I'm not Tommy
he says.
	Get out they get out and walk into a field you're not
going to kill me are you says Tommy no keep walking they
reach some bushes.
	Lie down says Carl. On your belly Tommy lies down.

	I'm going to kill you says Carl.
	Oh no.
	You said you wouldn't.
	I was lying.
	I'm not Tommy.
	I don't care who you are Tommy I'm going to kill you.

You're a liar. I'm going to kill you for lying.
	All right I'm Tommy.
	Tommy the Tourist.
	Tommy the Tourist. Don't kill me.
	Say please.
	Please what.

	Please don't kill me.
	Why not.
	I told you the truth.
	I was just trying to find out if you're Tommy. If you
weren't Tommy I wouldn't kill you but now that I know
you're Tommy I'm going to kill you. Ready.
	I'm not Tommy.

	There you go again. Ready.
	Please don't.
	Shut up how would you like it a bullet in the head
or would you rather I crush your skull with the gun butt.
	Carl slams the gun butt down as hard as he can on
Tommy's head then goes back to the car. He throws the

gun into some bushes pukes two or three times starts the
car lights a joint pulls out accelerating fast. The cat yowls.
He turns on the music taps fingers on steering wheel in
rhythm music off still tapping slightly high comes to a
town up a hill bricked roads elms close in over head small
groups going up and down couples three and four boys
trees thicken leaves yellowing towers turrets arches groups

carrying school books straggling along walks stone gate
long rolling lawn brick slate greenery crowds of disconsolate
children adolescents clump disperse circulate now and then
one starts to shake his body a spasm of some kind a dance
the beginning of a violent act then stops. He pulls up in
front of a monstrosity in late Neogoth walks into the great
hall goes over to a table marked Information

say where can I score a nickel of something he says.
	We don't do that here try the Rathskellar downstairs
she says like very cool.
	Thanks hey when ya get offa work.
	Don't be funny. He goes downstairs the Rathskellar is
crowded beer jukebox he looks around sits down next to some
kids talking politics writes out a note it says let's

trash the nuclear reactor he passes it to one of the kids.
Weird says the kid.
	Didn't we do that once already today so what's the joke
says another.
	No like I just got into town I'm looking to crash.
	Try the Howard Johnson.
	Cool where can 1 find some soft pussy.

	Did you try the information table.
	Yeah but she says hers ain't soft hey would like to score
some good grass.
	How much.
	A nickel an ounce it's a sale.
	How come.
	I'm relocating.

	Canada it's too drafty this side of Niagara.
	What did you burn your 2S.
	I graduated I'm a little older.
	Worst fucking mistake you ever made what are you
about twenty-two.
	Way off twenty-four.

	There were some people who wanted to buy a few hours
ago they're over at a crash pad.
	7310 College Avenue.
	How did you know.
	The grapevine.
	You Tommy.

	They were looking for you.
	Well they've almost found me Tommy goes back to the
car heads for College Avenue knocks at 7310.
	Who a kid's voice.
	Come Tommy walks in.
	Did you come says the kid.

	Don't I look it.
	Are you Tommy says the kid.
	Why not hi says Tommy to a very nice looking chick.
	Can I have my panties back now she says.
	Not yet I hear you can sell me some grass says Tommy.
	I hear you're selling you kidding says the kid.
	I'm kidding a nickel an ounce says Tommy.

	How come so cheap.
	Volume try a joint he rolls one they pass it around a few
times okay says the kid here's the bread. Tommy hands him
the bag I'm Donald says the kid I guess you know Trixie.
	No I just happen to be carrying her panties around in
my pocket how about another joint.
	Sure the kid rolls a joint passes it to Tommy Tommy

takes out his wallet shows his badge I'm a narcotics agent
you're under arrest. The both of yiz. Here's your panties.
	What for you kidding.
	For giving me a marijuana cigarette.
	I mean you're not serious.
	Don't I look serious come on we're going down to the
station is that serious.

	Well like okay far out I mean look like jesus I mean oh
wow like off the wall baby.
 	Let's go.
	Like wait a minute you know I mean let's cool it I mean
can't we work something out.
	Yeah I guess we could work something out.
	Like what man I mean anything.

	Like let me fuck your girlfriend. For a couple of days.
	I can't.
	Why not.
	She's not my girlfriend.
	Well who is your girlfriend.
	She'll be here in a few minutes.
	Is she nice.

	Well I like her.
	In a few minutes Velma walks in this is Tommy he's a
narcotics agent he's going to arrest us unless you fuck him
says Donald.
	Are you being funny says Velma.
	It's for real baby says Donald Tommy rattles his

	Are you being funny says Velma Tommy reaches for her
ass she sidesteps don't get funny with me says Velma.
	Come on Velma says Donald he takes her hand and tries
to give it to Tommy she pulls away I don't think this is
very funny she says is everyone getting funny.
	All right let's go says Tommy he moves to the door wait
a minute she thinks we're being funny says Donald look

says Donald this is serious he's going to take us to jail right
now. If you don't fuck him.
	How many times says Velma.
	For a couple of days.
	For a couple of days that's too long I haven't got time for 
that there's been another tongue job.
	Another tongue job how do you know.

	I work for Information.
	President's house. They're sitting in they've got it
locked up.
	Who told you.
	President. Nick's on the ledge.
 	How'd he get through.

	He's in drag. Harrold's with him they've got dynamite.
	Christ let's get over there before it explodes they run
outside up College Avenue to the campus they hear a barrage
of gunshots already they can smell teargas when they get
there it's still going they push into the crowd behind the
barricades police firing handguns rifles they're blanks
somebody says a kid stumbles out the front door holding his

stomach he falls down the steps the shooting stops. They
come out one by one stripped to their underpants hands
over head coughing bleeding tears pouring down their
faces those who can walk helping those who can't one kid
sneezes as he comes out the door a shot he falls headfirst
on the stairs the crowd instantly silent silence between
breaking waves why'd you do that comes a voice.

	He flinched I thought it was blanks jesus I killed a kid
the wave breaks someone screams a girl runs over to the
kid on the steps the wooden barricades go over Toro comes
out of the building onto the steps beret and fatigues
holding his hands up for quiet.
	The pigs are murdering us he says. They're cutting our
tongues out one by one. You're next. Get a gun he's surrounded

by police billy clubs flashing up and down blood
puddling between swinging boots drools down steps they
don't stop it goes on and on come on says Donald.
	Where says Trixie.
	The Professor.
	Who's the Professor says Tommy.
	He's an inside agitator they drive into an elm laned

suburb stop in a nouveau Tudor development the Professor
opens the door.
	I saw it on television he says.
	What can we do.
	The Professor strokes his beard I know how badly you
want to do something but he strokes there's nothing you
can do nothing nothing no salvation I've thought about it.

	What then.
 	What then is mazol.
	What's mazol.
	Mazol is as mazol does. When you find something that's
mazol not the thing but the finding. And sometimes it's
losing but not often it's often hard to say. If you don't
know I can't tell you if you do I don't need to he turns on the

television they're still beating Toro the clubs the boots you
can't see him blood sheets down the steps he turns it off.
	The Professor shakes his head there's nothing you can
do. Not till you get it together.
	How do we do that.
	Start over he begins to sing in a high creaky voice.
		Girls love a man with mazol

		Everyone's his fan
		But does the man make the mazol
		Or does the mazol make the man.
	He repeats doing a little jig. I don't get it says Velma.
	Take risks don't hold your tongue for example speak before
you think says the Professor. He reaches into the air
plucks a firecracker from nothingness it disappears which

hand he says.
	Left says Trixie the Professor smiles the firecracker
emerges red between his thick lips fuse burning he throws
it into the air it explodes he pulls it out of his ear holds
it up dynamite says the Professor.
	You're a very strange cat says Tommy.
	Everybody's getting funny says Velma.

	I'm sorry I can't help you. You have to get it together
says the Professor they leave he shuts the door opens it calls
down the lawn.
	See Frank Stein.
	Who's he.
	He gets it together the Professor shuts the door they go
back to campus Toro is lying on the steps half conscious

bloody they can hear him trying to breathe it sounds like
e-e-e-E-E-E e-e-E-E-E e-E-E-E-E they didn't even arrest him
Velma takes his head on her lap he's dying she says his eyes
flutter open his mouth gapes blood comes out he gestures
finger pointing to mouth they bend close. It sounds like
waiter . . . suck . . . meet or maybe traitor . . . luck . . .  bleed
or maybe sailor . . . duck . . . sneeze. His eyes jell his mouth

sags his head falls to one side. It's not Toro says Velma. It's
	Someone comes out of the building it's the President
Nick's on the stairs in drag Harrold comes from behind a
hedge it's a meet. Everyone takes out his stick of dynamite.
Are you Nixon asks Tommy Nick takes off his long blond
wig steps out of his dress you're not supposed to ask that

says Nick I'm in drag so am I says the President he
unloosens his flowing hair takes off his suit jacket undoes his
tie unbuttons his shirt down between his bobbing breasts
you're Nixie says Carl. Where's Toro says Velma I'm Toro
says Tommy my cover is bull Rex drives up in the car with
Ova steps out puts his arm around her we're going to take
you home he says say goodbye to your friends the motor

still running the cat yowls Rex takes out his long trunk key
don't open that he puts it in jiggles it it doesn't work it
works the cat yowls the bag is alive he lets it out the eye a
puff of charcoal with an eye traced on it alive alive
unbelievable starved it's not so bad I pick it up stroke its
fur it shivers in my arms lick its eye it feels rough almost
vomit put back in bag tie top put bag in front of car tire get in 

start car roll slowly in first over bag stop Rex holds up the
bloody bag this is yours the final find throws it through
window onto front seat a siren starts rises falls rises rises.

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