Yo. calling all cars 7 3 10 bullseye pat em on a po po
proceed with caution tough titty wrecks rex Rx i d yoo
hoo hoo yoo.
	This is an intercept says Scott. It's from the
	Whose side is he on Nixie asks.
	Nobody knows says Ova. What's it mean.
	God knows says Rex.
	It's all a lot of shid to me Jojo says. I just pass

it on I do my best.
	How about asking the Comissioner says Rex.
	If you can find him Scott says.
	Toro says nothing.
	All right says Ova. Seven plus three is ten. This is
where it begins.  Everybody set his watch ahead that way we
have nine minutes leeway all the time. The countdown starts
with nine.
	Okay let's go Rex says. The alarm rings at zero.

	Are you President Nixon asks Scott.
	You're not allowed to ask that kind of question says
Nixie. President Nixon is just long for Nixie.
	Oh. I thought it was the other way around.
	Rex and Ova go out the door together. A light is out
on the landing. Rex touches Ova's arm and signals wait. Back
against wall he makes his way down the stairs step by step.
His hand tightens around the roll of nickels in his pocket.
No one there. He waves her on. They pick their way

through the garbage on the sidewalk.
	Are the meets bugged she asks.
	Yes. But we don't say anything that's true. That way it
doesn't matter.
	We better hurry.
	When does the countdown start.
	I'm not sure. We still have nine minute's leeway.
	Rex hails a cab. The cabbie rolls down his window.
	Which way you headin he asks.

	He rolls up his window and drives off. They pick their
way through the garbage to the Avenue. Crowds of disconsolate
children wander aimlessly down the side streets. Across the
Avenue a cab stops for a light. Rex signals it. The cabbie
rolls down the window.
	Which way you headin buddy.
	He rolls up his window and tries to lock the back door

but Rex beats him to it. They get in.
	Drive around the block says Rex. I'm in a hurry.
	Sometimes says Ova.
	Sometimes what.
	What you were wondering. In your head.
	You worry about it asks Rex.
	Sometimes. Getting hurt. Going to jail. Getting killed.
	I don't.

	No never. No point. It's all chance. Not me. Never.
Rather be surprised says Rex.
	Why worry about it asks Rex.
	Hereyar says the cabbie. Rex looks for his wallet. My
wallet's lost says Rex. Ova pays. Rex opens the door. They
stroll along the garbage strewn sidewalk. Rex looks around.
His hand tightens on the roll of nickels in his pocket.
	You ready he asks.

	They race up the stoop into the dimlit hall up the dark
staircase bulb out at landing and stop out of breath at an
apartment door. Rex gropes through his pockets.
	The key.
	What asks Ova.
	The key the key. I can't find it.
	Oh jesus christ says Ova hurry up.
	I can't find it I can't find it.
	Hurry up I think someone's coming.

	I can't find it it's lost. Yours.
	I hear footsteps. What.
	Yours yours use yours.
	Oh my god. Here quick they're getting closer.
	Open slip through slam lock the door. The footsteps
pause continue up the staircase.
	Who do you think that is asks Ova.
	I don't know says Rex. I never worry about it. Jail.
Death. Shadows. I don't think about it. What for.

	Well we're here.
	No but go ahead you have one.
	Never mind I don't drink alone. It's bad luck. What's
your name.
	Ova. That's silly go ahead.
	He shrugs and rummages through the liquor shelf. I
can't find it I know it's here.
 	Are you a loser says Ova.

	Maybe I used it up he slumps back next to her on the
	We better hurry she says.
	You depressed she asks.
	You are.
	You ask stupid questions. Ova huh. You could think
of something better than that.

	It's hard after a while. Like with hurricanes.
	So you know what I'm thinking.
	Sometimes. You get so tuned in to everybody. A
question of affinity. You've never come across it.
	I can't remember.
	How much time do we have.
	You're always asking me that. You know I don't think
about it. What for. You know I hate that.

	Don't give me that sorry shit. You talk too much. You're
full of shit.
	Calm down.
	Don't give me that calm down shit. I hate that. You know
I hate that. I oughta bust you in the fucking teeth.
	Look . . .
	Don't give that look shit he screams. I oughta bust you
in the fucking teeth.
	He gets up and draws his fist back. She sits still hands

in lap and looks into his eyes. He hesitates then with a roar
slams his fist hard against the wall. Mace hand attack.
	I'll kill you he yells. Stupid cunt. You're stupid. Did
you know that. And ugly. You have an ugly face. You're fat. I
oughta walk right out and leave you here. You'd never get out
alone you know that. They'd kill you.
	I know it.
	Sure you know it. You're probably working for them. What
the hell you've got my mind bugged what more do

they want. Was the cabbie in on it. Are you transmitting to
the cabbie. Just tell me when they're going to do it that's
all. Give me a hint. Knife subway accident push me off a
rooftop what's it to you. You going to stick a poison
suppository up my ass while I'm fucking you come on what's
the story.
	Fucking me.
	Lemme alone.
	What do you mean fucking me.

	Lemme alone.
	Me leave you alone hah-hah.
	Fuck you look I'm sorry. You sort of fly off the handle
you know you can't help it it happens to me now and then
look I don't want to unload my shit on you. Tears start
running out of his eyes he covers his face with his hands
slumps over.
	I'm not afraid of you. I don't think you're crazy. You're
not a failure.

	He looks up. I wish there was some whisky.
	What's that stuff about fucking me Ova asks.
	There's no time.
	We still have nine minutes leeway.
	I like you says Rex.
	What do you like about me.
	I like the way you're thin and have big tits.
	Is that all?
	No I mean I really like that kind of thing.

	What kind of thing.
	That kind of big tit thing. I just like it.
	She sighs. Would you like to feel one.
	Which one.
	Either one you like. She does a shallow breast stroke and
leaves her arms in the followthrough position on the back of
the couch. He takes one of her breasts and holds it. She closes
her eyes.
	I love you says Rex.

	How come.
	Because you're quiet. I like quiet girls.
	That's not a good reason.
	You're pretty.
	That's not a good reason.
	I love the way you understand me. You really understand
me. You can practically read my mind.
	I can read your mind.
	Oh yeah I forgot. I feel we're very close.
	So do I.
	Sometimes I feel like we're brother and sister. I felt
that way before I think.
	I don't remember. Maybe when I was a kid. Maybe I had
a sister. Sometimes I feel like we're twins. Is that a good
	Why not.

	Too familial. Would you like to hold the other one.
	No thanks. One's enough right now. I love you because
you're so direct.
	You know why I'm so direct. Because I love you.
	That's a good reason says Rex. He kisses her.
	We better hurry she says he takes her clothes off.
	Yours too she says.
	Why. I could fuck you with my clothes on. That could
 be nice.

	No. The only way you can trust anybody is if they don't
have any clothes on. They might be carrying something.
	Even my sox. What could I be carrying in my sox.
	I could be carrying something anyway. I could be carrying
something in my bridgework. Or up my ass. I could be carrying
something in my head.
	Could we just lie here first says Ova.
	Okay but I can't stand it.

	Oh. Oh god listen I love you. Oh jesus she says the
petals part the flower opens blind blunt bumble bump blunder
blunder he barges in her flesh turns to honey sticky glistening
throbbing he slides to a stop.
	This is the start of a journey he says. I don't know how
long it will be or where it takes you no one ever does. All
you can do is keep track. You keep track with your head. Your
head tells you where your body goes. The important thing is
never stop talking. If you forget the words make

sounds make new words. Make words that grunt scream laugh hum
sob. The voice is the connection between the body and the head.
Silence means you're lost. Or that you're there. Or both. Or
both. Or both. Uh. Or both. Uh.
	Are you the Commissioner she asks.
	I have. Uh. Commission. Oo. Address. Ah.
	Wait she says. Please. I love you. Wait for me.
	Ooo he says. Oh. Ah. Ah.
	Please. Wait.

	He sounds a sudden short gutteral like a man kicked in
the belly. She a scream.
	You hurt me she says.
	It was like a gunshot.
	You were just checking. To see if I'm carrying something
there. Well there's nothing there are you happy. Do you want
to check my anus.

	Are you an agent. They got a friend of mine that way.
First degree sodomy. They used a seventeen year old girl.
Bugged her asshole. As soon as he stuck it in it set off an
alarm. Town upstate.
	You're just checking me out admit it.
	I love you. Even if you are an agent. I thought you
could read my mind.
	Not any more I can't. Not any more. Get dressed. We
better hurry.

	Don't worry I have his address.
	Who is he.
	All I have is his address. What's the hurry says Rex.
 	I said I'm sorry says Rex.
	Can't you believe that says Rex.
	I love you says Rex.
	I really do says Rex.
	What can I say says Rex.
	Answer me you know what happens if you stop talking

says Rex.
	You strangle. That's why they cut your tongue out. It's
better than castration says Rex.
	Ready says Rex.
	He turns on the radio all the lights latches the windows
locks the window grates sets up the bar for the police lock
out the door lock the police lock lock the regular lock Ova
breathes in. This is a stickup says a guy knife point pricking
her larynx don't move or she gets hurt.

	Okay okay says Rex. Take it easy don't get nervous.
	I'm not nervous I'm not nervous. Shud up. Gimme your
	Ova digs in her bag hands him her wallet. He looks
through it takes out the bills. That it he asks.
	Yes. I want my wallet back says Ova.
	Sure says the guy here thanks.
	You're welcome says Ova.
	What about you says the guy.

	I don't have any cash says Rex. Will you take a check.
	I don't know says the guy. You got any i.d.
	Yeah I guess so.
	Ah the hell with it. Well have a nice evening he says
backing away knife arm extended. And don't move till I get
downstairs. Sorry for bothering you.
	Not at all says Rex. Come back again.
	Ova rubs a tiny red mark on her throat. You all right
says Rex. Could've been a lot worse.

	We better hurry says Ova. She holds his arm as they
go down the stairs. He feels her hand shaking. His fist
tightens around the roll of nickels in his pocket. On the
ground floor a man lounges in the vestibule between the inner
and outer doors.
	Let's go out through the courtyard says Rex. I don't like
the looks of that guy. They go down the back stairs through
the courtyard past the garbage cans in the dimdamp tunnel
alongside the basement toward the sidewalk Ova breathes

in. This is a stickup says a guy knife point at her throat
don't move or she gets hurt.
	Look you just hit us says Rex.
	Oh shid sorry. You can't see a fuckin thing down here.
Shid you oughta stay outa these dark courtyards they're
	Yeah thanks for the tip. They come up the stairs to
 the sidewalk.
	My name's Jose says the guy.

	Hi says Rex. I'm Carl. This is Velma.
	I'm a junkie says Jose.
	I thought so says Carl.
	Everybody calls me Jojo you know why because I'm
always clowning around. Like the other day this guy says to
me what are you wise an I let em have it right in the face.
Right in his fuckin face says Jojo. Was he surprise man.
	Yeah I got a habit says Jojo. That's why I rob you before.
	That's what I thought says Carl.

	We better hurry says Velma.
	They start walking down the street. Jojo gives Velma a
proprietary pat on the ass hey man watch the dogshid he
says. Velma sidesteps a fresh dog turd.
	Shid that musta been a St. Bernard shooting Ex Lax.
You gotta watch it with them shoes you got. She your girl-
friend asks Jojo.
	We better hurry says Velma. They walk faster zigzagging
through the garbage faster dodging dogturds faster past the

glass storefronts the tenement entrances now they're almost
running Jojo effortless keeps pace neck pumping like a
galloping giraffe as if it drives his whole body. Something
about the alignment of his neck and back terrifies Carl.
The way they form an absolutely straight line.
	I'm a junkie says Jojo that's why I steal.
	That's what I thought says Carl. Faster.
	Shid it's harder than you think man. I mean the risks
I gotta take man. I mean all I get outa you is thirteen lousy

bucks man. Like how do I know what you carryin you
could be carryin a gun man. Like I could get kill man.
Like that's a lot a shid man. The faster Carl walks the
faster Jojo talks. Jojo takes some bills out.
	Look why don't you take some a this back lady. Shid I
don't need your money man. Shid thirteen's my unlucky
number man. Shid I don't need your shid man. Like they
steal your body and then you gotta pay them rent that's
what it is man. I gotta pay them rent on my body. Shid

thiroof. Carl catches him with a right roundhouse kick to
the gut a left knife hand to the bridge of the nose as he
doubles over and finishes him with an upper target punch
to the larynx fist gripped on roll of nickels.
	Keep walking says Carl Jojo still falling. They turn
down a side street lined with fire escapes. Men squat on the
sidewalks the stoops look like the bleachers at the Yankee-
Dodger Series 1947. Kids drift back and forth across the
street in shifting crowds.

	The address says Velma.
	The what.
 	The Commissioner's address. We better hurry.
	Carl takes a little leather bound red book out of his
pocket and looks through it carefully.
	I've lost it he says.
	What do we do now.
	The zoo.
	What zoo.

	I have a meet at the zoo. Just in case. The tiger cage. 
	Who with.
	I forget.
	Everything starts moving twice as fast. The squatting
men get up change places squat down twice as fast. The
women on the stoops talk twice as fast. Baby carriages careen
down the sidewalks twice as fast. The kids drift across the
street and back twice as fast and there are twice as many of
them. The cars coming down the street come twice as fast

behind them come three police cruisers sirens blasting.
Everything starts moving three times as fast. There are
three times as many as everything and it's all whizzing along
the sidewalks the curbs the gutters the middle of the street
and it's going both ways. People bump into one another a
baby carriage overturns there's a collision down at the
corner between a pushcart and a bus. A kid runs into
Velma and almost knocks her over. Everybody's running
one way down the middle of the street toward something

away from something Carl can't tell. Faster he says.
	I can't says Velma. Please. Wait for me. Carl catches up
to a man running with a transistor radio at his ear. What's
going on Carl asks.
	There's been another escalation says the man.
	Another one.
	There's gonna be a demonstration you wanna go.
	Another one.
	This one's gonna be different.

	I don't know.
	Galloping trotting finally walking the people emptying
from the street lose themselves in the flux of a crowd filling
an open square. Waves of words from the P.A. system wash
back and forth through the air. We we we free free free we
we we dom dom dom dom free free free now now now dom
dom dom dom want want we we we we.
	Where's Velma says the transistor guy.

	Velma Carl says.
	Velma Carl yells.
	Carl cups his hands around his mouth. Velma he yells.
Velma. Velma.
	A wedge of shiny blue helmets appears at one side of the
square goggles rubber trunks moves slowly out into the
crowd which parts recedes moves back toward the helmets
 with the surge of people from behind. A rock flies through
the air a bottle smashes.

	We better get out of here says Carl.
	Who's Velma.
	I don't know. Why. Have you seen her says Carl.
	Everyone is yelling. It sounds like someone's just hit a
homer. Nightsticks flash up and down. One or two bottles
smash. Several bricks fly into the air. Stones tin cans
garbage. Two black teenagers holding up signs advance toward
the wedge the lid of a trash can sails toward the
helmets. An explosion resonates through the square

another. Five or six more. The man running in front of Carl
stumbles over a girl lying on the pavement falls as Carl
swivels sidesteps the pileup bulling full speed past anyone
in his way. Gas rises in slow creamy clouds jagged cumuli
tumuli spreading along the ground. Carl rips around the
corner sprints down the street slows to a walk. He has a sore
throat. Sirens are coming from everywhere. At the next
corner he stops to buy a paper. The headline says CROWD
GASSED IN SQUARE FLEES. He sits down in a crosstown

bus and opens his paper. Behind him another man
gets on sits opens his paper. The headline says GASSED
CROWD RETURNS TO SQUARE. Carl leaves his paper
on the seat and gets off to wait for an uptown. The man gets
off waits at the same busstop. Now he's reading Carl's
paper. Carl gets on the bus the man gets on the bus. Carl
sits down the man sits down right behind him. Carl feels
he's being followed he absorbs himself in the sights out the
window buildings cars people walking on the sidewalk. At

the zoo the man gets off. Carl also gets off at the zoo. The
man walks into the park Carl walks into the park. The man
seems to be following the zoo signs. Now Carl follows the
man. Yet when Carl arrives at the zoo the man isn't there.
How do you explain that. Coincidence?
	The tiger. The tiger is upset. She runs back and forth in
her cage switching her tail and making faces with her teeth
the lines on her muzzle fine as ticking whiskers a white
holocaust. If she roars the world ends. Carl is at a fence two

feet away from the bars of the cage. He wants to leave. If
he doesn't leave something terrible is going to happen to
him but his body won't move. His body likes that other
bigger body behind the bars likes its bigness likes its
gravity it's a more serious body than his own it draws him
he wants to merge with it embrace it be consumed
destroyed he doesn't he begins to shake and sweat. A man
steps over the fence old khaki shirt old khaki pants a face
like a thousand other faces. Don't says Carl.

	It's a little oily says the man.
	For what says Carl. The man speaks in an old time
 Brooklyn accent Carl recognizes it. You don't hear them much any more.
	She don't get this way so oily says the man. Sometin's
eatiner. What's eatin yiz Princess. Comere hey.
	Don't says Carl.
	Yuh gotta talk to em dey like dat. I don care what animal
you gotta make friends widem. Yuh gotta talk to em den

yuh gotta touch em. Come on hey what's wrong witchez
Princess. Come on hey. Come on pussy. Comere hey. Atta
goil atta goil.
	The tiger pads back and forth closer and closer to the
bars. The man in khaki sticks his arm into the cage through
the bars to the shoulder.
	Don't says Carl.
	The tiger heads teeth bared toward the outthrust arm then
veers toward the other end of the cage. Her fangs are

thick as the man's wrist.
	Comere baby comere pussy what's wrong witchez atta
goil atta goil dats right dats right.
	I'll scream says Carl.
	The tiger pads snarling toward the motionless hand then
veers so it just touches her shoulder. She turns passes again
this time letting it run along her neck down her side. The
man draws his hand back to the bars and the tiger passes
along the bars allowing the hand to run down the length of

her body. Again and again she rubs along the bars the
man's hand caresses her body his fingers leave long furrows
in the fur.
	Dere just like housecats. Bigger dat's all.
	Now he's petting her nape her spine her passes are
slower. She rubs her ear along the bars he presses his head
against her head kisses her on the cheek just behind the
open mouth. Carl feels faint.
	Dat's all Princess now go lie down. She does two turns

around the cage then pads into a corner lies down. She
follows him with her head as he climbs back over the fence.
	How do you do that asks Carl.
	Keep talkin says the man in khaki. Make friends witcha
	How do you mean.
	I gotta go says the man.
	When ya gotta go ya gotta go. He goes.

	Just then the tiger roars. The world ends. Then it begins
again. When Carl looks the man in khaki is gone another
man is there instead.
	You forgot your paper says the man.
	What paper.
	On the bus. Here.
	Oh thanks says Carl. This man is blond and wears a
 business suit. Carl is dark collar open leather vest.
	My name is Carl says the blond man. What's yours.

	Donald says Carl.
	Hi there Donald. Carl extends his hand and Donald
shakes it. Hello Carl says Donald.
	Say look at this says Carl. He snaps open his attache case
Donald has time to see a note taped to the inside cover
before he snaps it closed. The note says I'm looking for the
	Well I gotta go says Carl.
	Hey wait.

	Carl is already three steps away moving fast. Hey wait
says Donald.
	I gotta go says Carl. Donald doesn't catch up with him
until Carl enters the men's room.
	When you gotta go you gotta go says Carl heading for the
urinal. Hey look at this. He unzips his fly pulls out a thick
red tube with a string at the end.
	That's dynamite says Donald.
	Yeah got a light.

	Is it real.
	Light it and see says Carl.
	I have one too says Donald.
	You're Jewish aren't you.
	You're swarthy and smart. Why don't you come home
with me I'd like you to meet my wife.
	They go outside for a cab. At the corner of the avenue
Earl raises his index finger gazes sternly into space exposes

his cuspids and gives a shrill whistle. Two cabs practically
collide as they scream to a stop Carl ushers Donald into
one of them while the cabbies argue about whose fare they
are. Donald thinks about the cabs on the way to Carl's.
Why can't he whistle between his teeth that way broods
Donald. Is it because he's Jewish is he really swarthy
and smart. Or is he dark and brooding the way he likes to think
of himself. They get out upstairs a blond girl in a tennis
outfit answers the door. This is Ova says Carl.

	You're not Ova says Donald Ova has auburn hair and I
think freckles.
	I'm a different Ova she says. Do you believe in the myth
of vaginal orgasm.
	I haven't thought about it.
	You and I are going to have a discussion says Ova. Let
me put on something more appropriate.
	Wait a minute says Carl. Make the soup.
	Now. Oh gee. Why now.

	We have to give Donald his soup that's what he's here
for right.
 	If you say so says Donald. What kind of soup.
	What kind of soup. Very cool. You're very cool do you
know that Donald. Open the can what are we calling you
Ova. They go into the kitchenette and watch Ova as she
opens a can of alphabet soup empties it into a sauce pan
warms it on the stove takes down three bowls.
	Now says Carl. She divides the soup among the three

bowls. Carl picks a letter out of his bowl with a spoon
places it on his napkin. Then another then another then
another picking placing rearranging. When he has a line
of letters arranged to his satisfaction he shows it to them.
It says abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.

	O wow says Ova. She does the same thing with her soup.
So does Donald.
	Now says Carl. He takes out a pair of dice shakes them
rolls. A seven and a three.

	Now says Carl. Seven and three is ten. He nods to Ova.
Pick the first seven letters out of your bowl. Ova picks
t h e c o m m.
	Now I pick the next three from mine. Carl plcks i s s.
	Now Donald ten. Donald picks i o n e r d i i n g.
	That's fantastic says Donald.
	What's it mean says Ova.
	Dying says Carl. It's misspelled.
	By who asks Ova.

	He's dying says Carl.
	I can't believe it says Donald. Before I talk to him.
	Easy says Carl.
	But he can't just leave us like that. Forever.
	Don't grieve says Carl. Organize. That's the way he
would want it.
	God god god. Donald slumps over the table.
	Besides says Ova putting her hand on Donald's shoulder
maybe there's still time.

	That's right. What letters are left in your bowl says Carl.
	I have an i says Donald.
	I have an o says Carl.
	I have nothing says Ova what does that mean.
	Nothing means nothing.
	What does i mean.
	It means you win. I trumps o. I is more than o. I is one
o is zero. One destroys nothing and recreates it. It means
i o you.

	Owe me what.
	Ten. One and zero is ten. Ten is Io the cow. Ova is Io.
I is sterile o is empty. One into zero is nothing.
	Ova gets up. I have to put on something more appropriate
she says she goes out.
	What's her real name.
 	Nadia says Carl. O needs i i needs o. I o is yo. This is
a message from the Commissioner. Yo is his code signature.
Now we have to eat the message.

	To destroy it?
	To understand it. Words come out of the body into the
air. Then they have to come out of the air back into the
body. He puts the letters back into the three bowls. Nadia
comes in wearing a micromini and a transparent blouse.
Carl and Donald stare at her her lips open in surprise her
blue eyes are empty o's of innocence her straight blond
hair frames her oval face they eat their soup.
	I have something to confess to you says Carl he takes out

a bottle of whisky. Drink. No thanks says Donald Carl
pours himself a drink. Donald feels Nadia's thigh against
his knee under the table.
	I have something to confess to you Carl isn't my real
name. That's because I'm not real. I'm only trying to be
real. Like a character in a novel. He pours himself a drink.
But you're real that's why I like you. Nadia's thigh starts
moving up and down against Donald's knee. You're real
but you have no personality. It's all personality that's why

you're a flop. You change all the time nobody knows where
you're at not even you. I may be a character but at least I'm
not a flop. He pours a drink Donald can feel the meat of
Nadia's thigh flopping against his knee.
	Nadia isn't a flop either says Carl. She's not even a
character she's an empty hole.
	Oh Carl says Nadia.
	She may not be a flop but she likes to flop he he he I'm
getting drunk. That's because she's a cow. Cowflop is good

luck. If she doesn't flop she flips. Flip flop. I'm just a
character trying to be a person the strain is terrific. I think
I'll leave you two alone now good luck he staggers into another
	So you're part of the gang says Nadia.
	What gang.
	The bang gang. That's what I like to call it. Because of
the dynamite where's yours. In your pants. She reaches over
and feels his pants. Here it is. She giggles. I've found it.

	Give it to me.
	That's not it says Donald.
	It is. She gets down on her knees. If you don't give it
to me I'm going to bite it she bites it not too hard harder.
	Watch it it's going to explode. She gets up turns around
look under my skirt she says. He lifts her skirt finds two
bare cheeks smooth round. That's my i.d. she says. Study it
carefully so you'll recognize it again. My code name is the
White Ass. Carl's the same thing but with a p for an s. P

for penis. I showed you mine you show me yours. She unzips
his fly sits down on

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