Jack goes to a Santa Cruz concert and is blown into a different reality.
ChapterThree-Seeing the Dragon
I had a long string a dat bad luck. And I pray it's gone at last. Gone at last.Gone at last. I sang to myself though I knew I was pushing it driving all the way to Santa Cruz before I even had a chance to road test the junkyard carburetor that I put on the day before. In fact, going to the concert in Santa Cruz was the very last thing I wanted to do right in the middle of our Christmas vacation. For at least two weeks, I had tried to talk Stoke out of it; saying that we couldn't afford it after all the expense of the holidays, that we could wait until the group came to Oakland later in January, that the car wasn't running right, that I was right in the middle of my cab driving novel.
"Donny's dad took us to the Coliseum. Eddie's dad already took us twice. You never take us any place," Stoke argued.
To make matters worse, Anne wouldn't think of going. I couldn't talk Alex into it. Just me and the kids, I told myself thinking I'd have a really great time.
The second we hit that first long up grade south of San Jose, I knew I was right. The engine began to cough and sputter. I made my way to the inside lane and geared down. The hill got steeper. Creeping along at twenty miles an hour and holding up a long line of Sunday afternoon traffic, I was telling myself, I knew it.I knew it; we're not even going to make it to Santa Cruz.
Why do I always give in to them? I wondered as I glanced across to where Stoke sat long legs stretched out in front of him. There he was just as tall as me, a little less than six feet, at a hundred and sixty pounds a bit heavier. Like yesterday, I remember teaching him to play catch.Even back then, I always let him have his own way. When will I ever learn? When will I learn? I was asking myself.
When we cleared the last up grade, the engine seemed to run a little better, but I knew we'd never make it home. I pictured us on the way back some time after midnight, breaking down on the Nimitez, fighting the wind and cold and dark. I thought how embarrassing it would be if I had to call Donny's father to come pick us up, how we wouldn't get home 'til three or four A.M., how I'd lose another day's writing.
In Santa Cruz, there was a long line at the only open gas station, an off brand where I couldn't use my credit card. I counted the change from my last twenty and tried to figure out just how much the whole thing was costing me. Twelve fifty a ticket, and Anne insists that I buy one for Stoke's tenth grade pal, Donny. "It will make a nice Christmas gift," she told me. A tank of gas. They'll wanna eat after. And, Christ, if I have to get a tow.?I told myself and wondered if we shouldn't start home while it was still daylight.
Yet, even back then, in seventy-nine, there was a little part of me that took the whole thing as a small adventure, a part of me that identified with Henry Miller and Castaneda and wanted to experience the concert as a writer might.
To my surprise, there were parking spaces just a couple blocks from the civic center. As we walked by the empty government buildings, Donny was telling me about the time Ed's dad took them to a Kiss concert in Oakland. "He had these little bottles, you know, the kind they serve on the airlines. Driving over he was just sipping. But, when we got on the Nimitz, he started chugging 'em. I guess he didn't want to get caught with no alcohol going into the Coliseum. He was chugging and throwing the empties out the window."
"Right on the freeway? " I asked and told myself, God damm. Santa Cruz in the winter time! My eyes opened wide as I got into the feel of that early December evening. A damp chilled breeze blowing off the Pacific. Streets lights blinking on. Stone civic buildings standing sentinel behind trimmed evergreen hedges. Strangers and Blue Oyster Cult fans funneling in the same direction. A touch of excitement sparking off the sidewalk and bringing to mind the old Trivia Coffee House days.
How long has it been? I wondered as an image from the winter of fifty-nine flashed through my mind. It's after closing, around two A. M. I'm sitting at the big brown table by the front window listening to a long drawn out story from Sol Weinstein, the comic who writes for the Trenton Times. My good friend and co-owner of the Triv., Vance, sits next to me. Across the table, the black capped little poet, Mark, laughing at all the right places his green teeth showing; John, descendent of African Kings, eyeing up the new kid, and hoping to walk his white ass home to the room he rents away from home; Black Barb, leaning back, eyes closed and legs wide open; White Barb, leaning forward, with eyes wide open and legs tightly closed. As I listen, I remember the guy from Philly, Cal, with the same last name as Sol, and how he told the six Fort Dix soldiers that Jack and Vance were his friends, that he'd kick their asses if they didn't return the coffee cups, that they could fight him like men one at a time or he'd take on all six of them. They shake his hand and return and buy more coffee toasting his courage.Other faces from the Triv.;
the Village poets, Dick Woods, and Jonathan North; Big Leo, Bearded Gregory Demetrius, the bongo player, Concho, the copy boy from the Tribune, Frank. And out in an alley somewhere waiting to kick my ass because I banned them from the Triv. for coming in all high on grass and Four Roses and busting up the place were Jack Gore and Tommy Booze.
Where are they all right now? I asked myself. What would Vance say if he were here on this Santa Cruz night?
At the civic center, the line was a little over a block long. We fell into place across from the driveway to a small parking lot. Stepping in behind, and lounging in front of us were just the kind of people you would expect; college kids in Levi's and sweat shirts, high school kids wearing their Day on the Green shirts behind open jackets, guys with long hair and beards, girls with big breasts, and nice asses, a scattered parent. As we squared away in line, I thought of Vance's comment at a break in Sol's monologue. "Yea, you know what Lenny Bruce says, If Christ were alive today, in twentieth century America, he'd be electrocuted. Do you realize, instead of a cross, you'd be wearing an electric chair around your neck!"
Christ began to look more and more Beat in those coffee house nights and days didn't he? I asked myself as I felt a pair of eyes stare into my back. I turned and saw a college age Chinese kid.
"Got a match, bro.?" he asked.
"No, I ain't got one," I replied as I eyed the neatly rolled joint in his hand.
"I got a pack," Donny said reaching into his fur lined jacket pocket, and handing the pack to the kid.
A string of firecrackers went off near the back of the parking lot.
"Hey look,"Stoke said turning his attention to the action.
"Keep 'em," Donny told the kid, and moved a couple steps toward Stoke.
The kid lit up, sucked in deeply and passed the number to his girl who took a hurried puff and returned it. Looking toward Donny, and seeing a slender longhaired high school boy, he shook his head no, and pointed the number at me. Even if they do see me, it's no worse an example than chugging booze, I told myself as I reached for his hand. A big smile lit up the kid's face.
Probably home grown, I thought after a quick hit. The number went from the kid, to his girl, back to the kid, and then to me. I took another quick hit just to be polite thinking that Anne would kill me if she saw this.
"Put away half a bottle a'Jack Daniel's before we left the pad. You know, man, you got to have your head really fucked up to get into the music," the Kid said.
The line grew longer. "Lucky thing we got here early like I said," Stoke told me as we stretched our necks to see the end of it. Donny stepped off the sidewalk for a better look. I followed while Stoke held our places. People crowded behind us for at least three blocks. Bumper to bumper cars circled the block. Kids hung out of windows greeting friends in the line. An occasional car came to a complete stop until horns and shouts from behind got it moving again. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about the up coming New Year's Eve at Alex's. How we'd toast in the 80's. How I'd have to tell him about my latest dream of the coyote.
"That's from their last album," Stoke hollered nodding to a full blast car stereo.
"Who, Blue Oyster Cult?" I yelled back.
"How'd you like living there?" Donny asked pointing to a three-story apartment house adjacent to the parking lot.
"Be great if you're into rock music," I answered noticing that the lights were out and the windows empty.
"Got a match, bro.?" the Chinese Kid asked of Stoke.
"Donny already gave you his," Stoke told him. As the Kid searched through his Levi jacket, Stoke and I exchanged places. Scratching his head, the Kid thought for a second, reached into his back pants' pocket, lit up, took a long hit, and offered the J to his girl. She shook her head no. When he pointed the number at me, I nodded to the boys, with an expression, which said, "Sorry." The Kid winked that he understood and took another hit.
As I looked towards the front of the line, another memory from the Trivia days flashed through my mind. It's a week or two after we opened. The Snowman walks in just before closing. I'm in the back office blowing some Z's. Vance, Mark, and some other regulars are at the front table waiting for Sol to finish his shift.
"You got any Tea, Man?" the Snowman, a tall black man in his mid twenties, asks in a hoarse whisper when Vance steps behind the counter.
"Tea? Why hell yes, man. We got orange blossom, mint, jasmine, red rose, chrysanthemum, mulberry, herb bancha-green, American."
"No, man... I mean Tea. You got any Tea?" the man asks through sparkling white teeth.
"We got every tea a man could want. We got.... Vance says running through the list again.
"Dig, man.This is a favor. Couple sticks," the Snowman tells Vance as he opens his magazine to reveal the merchandise. Closing it, he passes the magazine across the counter. "Catch you later, man. Dig?" he says and takes his leave.
Vance wakes me up around five A.M. after Sol and the others are gone, and explains what happened. High school dope fiend movies still in our minds, I tell Vance, "Too late to try it now. I have to leave for work by one."
Vance comes back with, "We don't want to smoke none 'round the place, anyhow. Look what it done to Gore and Booze.?
We decide to stash it under the back seat of my Buick and wait until Thursday, my day off from the airport job. "Yea, you can pick me up early. We can head down to the river," Vance tells me. Two days later, when we look for the stuff it's gone. We tore apart the whole back seat trying to find the two J's. One of the regulars must have heard the story and gotten into the car. Vance and Cal shared a joint on one of their jaunts through Philly together. But he and I never did share one.I told myself as a couple of long legged coeds walked toward me searching the faces. I caught the eye of the closest girl and we exchanged smiles. As she continued down the block, I told myself that Alex would have invited her to cut in line.
Sure.Sure.I answered remembering the kids, that I'm wearing a shabby sweater, that my Pinto probably won't even make it home tonight.
"What time you got?" Donny asked as he and Stoke returned from the curb. I pointed to my empty wrist. The Kid's girl told us it was just passed seven. More and more people kept coming. The dress got freakier; a girl in a long green velvet gown, a guy with top hat, tails, and cane, a couple dudes in full leather. The line behind us got longer, and so did the line in front of us with concertgoers spilling over into the street. I blinked my eyes trying to take it all in while I half listened to Stoke and Donny argue about the merits of the back up group's new lead singer.
The Kid took a fresh number from his jacket pocket. It slipped from his fingers. He stooped to retrieve it, leaned too far, and went over in slow motion his shoulder banging into the sidewalk. The girl, Donny, and I rushed to help.
"I'm all right! I'm all right!" the Kid shouted staggering to his feet. He checked his thumb and index finger, smiled, and shook his head.
"You don't need any more," the girl laughed and gave him a big hug. He returned her hug with his left arm.
"You got to have your head really fucked up to get into their music," the Kid told his girl as he lit a match and puffed into the flame.
A burst of excitement ran through the crowd. The line jerked forward, stopped, and then started up again. We crossed the driveway, and I turned to look for the Kid. He was rooted to his spot. The girl tugged on his arm with all her might, but he wouldn't budge. As the concertgoers stepped around, she dropped to her knees, and embraced the legs of the froze up Kid. Her teardrops washed his stonework body. He got his mind fucked up all right, but his feet won't work,I told myself as I patted my shirt pocket to make sure the tickets were safe.
"Where you want to sit?" Stoke asked when we stood on the wooden floor inside the five thousand capacity auditorium. I stared wide-eyed as the unlined crowd broke for favorite spots. "Me and Donny want to get as close as we can," he said with a sense of urgency in his voice. I turned in a circle and watched the seats filling up.
"You probably don't want to sit too close," Donny told me.
"Yea, over there," I said pointing to a section of seats to the right of a small platform that was filled with lighting equipment. "I'll meet you by the stage here when it's finished." The boys nodded their good-byes and took off in a rush.
Several rows up, I found an empty section of cushioned chairs and eased myself into the first one. Patrons were filling up the rows around me. Stoke and Donny, standing some ten people back from the right hand side of the stage, turned to check where I was, and then refocused their attention up front where a crowd of some five hundred hard core rockers were gathering. I could just make out a half dozen or so grips who were setting up in the dark. Recorded rock blasted from mountains of gray and black speakers. On the edge of my seat, a rush of excitement pounding my heart, an intense pull at my umbilical region, I had the notion that I should remember something.
Relax.Focus on the crowd. Try to find a proper tonal, I told myself. As my eyes swept the auditorium slowly up one side and down the other, face after face struck my senses. I squinted an eye and tried not to rest on a single aspect. Arms and legs and bodies merged one upon the other and battered against my thought stream. The lighting stage caught my attention. Two bearded kids worked with easy confidence on a jungle of wiring. On both sides of the stage latecomers rushed to remaining spaces. Mixed with the odor of cigarette smoke was the sweet smell of grass. I swallowed at the dryness of my throat, and listened to a faint moaning from the seats behind me. Muted conversations bombarded my ears, while electric charged rock blasted my eyeballs.
As I continued to search the crowd for a proper tonal,faces merged into memory. My mind drifted back to a Philadelphia stage that would soon hold Theodore Bikel. Vance is seated next to me wearing a small goatee, shades, a boat neck shirt, and three dollar white sneakers. "My old man." he's saying, "All he lives for is that God dammed house of his. You wouldn't believe the projects he's got lined up for me over Easter vacation. I mean, there's got to be more to life than jacking up the value of your property."
An image of my last visit with Vance, at his Vegas home, in seventy-five, floats up from my unconscious and mixes with the sounds of Fiddler on the Roof. He's showing me his latest project, an enormous brick barbecue. He takes a sip of his fifth Martini. "I've been wanting to tell you this all weekend, Daley. I mean, I never thought you'd let California change you like that. I always thought you were your own man. It hurts me to say this, but if the chance came up, I couldn't hire you to teach in my school. I mean, there are certain values. Society is based on certain values. Values that go beyond that long haired hippy bullshit. The kids pick up on it right away. You let a teacher on your staff with shoulder length hair...."
"Mr. D. Mr. D. Is that you?" broke into my reverie as footsteps stopped at my row. I turned and saw a kid with sunglasses, a small mustache, and dark tanned skin. "What you doing at a rock concert?"
"Hey, how's it going?" I returned. "Yea, my son talked me into bringing him."
"You remember me, don't you Mr. D.?"
"Yea, sure, you won't believe this, but I had a dream about you a couple weeks ago." I answered and focused on a gorgeous high school girl who peeked around from behind him.
"Mr. Daley! Oh, hi!" the girl said.
"Mari.Hey how you doing?" I asked and gazed at a stunning face with violet eyes and wavy black hair. "Doggone, you must be what a senior, now?"
"Naw, we graduated last year.I was in your dream?"
"Yea, we were walking though my old neighborhood in Philadelphia. You looked just like you did in sixth grade."
"You mind if we sit here with you and your son?" Pete asked. I explained that Stoke and his friend were standing at the stage, and invited them to sit.
"So, you guys still hanging together after all this time?" I asked.
Mari explained that they had lost touch with each other for awhile. That Pete was home from college. That they ran into each other and he invited her to the concert.
"So where you going to school?" I asked of Pete.
"U.C.L.A. My dad wanted me to go to Berkeley, but I wanted to get a little further away," Pete explained.
"You remember science camp, Mr. Daley? " Mari asked.
"Yea, didn't we go in October? It rained all week. The trails were all wet and muddy.?
"Yea, we had to wear those long army rain coats. That was so fun."
"You still go, Mr. D?"
"No, they cut outdoor ed. last year 'cause of Prop. 13." I answered. We continued to talk about the dream, science camp, and other sixth grade things for several minutes. Then, as the two drifted into talk between themselves, I got back into watching the crowd.
A young man in green pants and a matching sweater caught my eye. He ran down the stairs, reached floor level and spun around. Coming back up the stairs three and four steps at a time, his long red hair bounced up and down with each footfall. His feet were way too big for his body, like he was wearing a pair of over sized clown shoes. With the green outfit, he looked like some kind of giant leprechaun. I turned my head to watch as he stopped several rows above, slid into the middle of the seated patrons, and scanned the upper rows. Slipping back to the aisle, he took off in a run toward the top.
"We're going down for a coke. You want us to bring you something back?" Pete asked as he and Mari got up from their seats.
"No, thanks," I answered, and shot a quick glance at Mari's soft round flesh as she squeezed by. "God, has it been seven years since they were in sixth grade?" I asked myself.
Just as the kids cleared the stairs, the Leprechaun came bouncing by. He kangaroo hopped around the lighting stage, and started up the aisle directly across from me. At the very top row, he worked his way in some ten seats or so, shook hands with the boy in front of him, and pulled the boy's girl right out of her seat. Slipping into her place, he pulled her into his lap, and stared into her face. I stretched my neck and blinked my eyes. In one swift movement, the Leprechaun lifted the girl from his lap, leapt to his feet, and did a sideways strut back to the main aisle. There, he stopped, placed both hands over his eyes and peered down the rows. His gaze bounced over the lighting stage and met mine. Leaping into the air, he shuffled his feet, and danced down the stairs.
An explosion of cheers pulled my attention from the Leprechaun. The volume of the recorded music went full max. Cheers and Yeas from the stage front rockers joined with the music of Montrose's hit single. House lights dimmed and flickered. I could just make out the backs of Stoke and Donny through the throbbing crowd. The movement back and forth across the floor grew more frantic. The Leprechaun was seated on the seventh row among a group of girls with one kneeling in front of him. He moved his head from one to the other stopping just long enough to bless each with a kiss.
How does he get away with it? I asked myself as I scanned the crowd to see if anyone else was watching.
Pete and Mari returned holding large plastic cups and giggling. "Like a sip," Mari asked as she slid into the seat next to mine.
"Yea, thanks," I answered tasting the dryness in my mouth and throat. I returned the coke and felt Mari's knee come to rest against my leg.
"What do you think of Montrose?" she asked leaning her face close to mine.
"I don't know. Stoke was saying they just changed lead singers. He told me the new guy is super good.?
"The one that quit them is Sammy Hagar," Pete interjected as he leaned our way. "He is really bad, man, really bad. Too bad for the rest of the group, too much.He's putting together his own group. A new group, man."
"You go to a lot of concerts?" Mari asked.
"No, not really. The last one I was at was in Fresno. Tony, this friend of mine, is event's manager there. I didn't really get into the music. Tony was showing me all the behind the scenes stuff. Like for security he had a Fresno police sergeant, used un-uniformed college kids for crowd control. Lot of first aid for O. D.'s"
"Who'd you see, Mr. D.?"
"I'm not sure.I think the headliner was Black Sabbath.No, it was Rare Earth."
"You seen Blue Oyster Cult?"
"No, I listened to a couple of their albums, though. Stoke has their albums."
"This is my fifth time. I really get off on them. They are really bad, man." Pete told me and explained how some groups cut really bad albums, but bum out when you see them live. Blue Oyster Cult, he explained is even badder live. "Wait 'll you see their light show. It will blow you away if you never seen it before!"
The house lights dimmed, flickered a couple times, and then went out. Spots and lasers sparkled the audience. I followed a single spot that bounced off the Leprechaun who was now at the bottom row. He pulled a long legged girl from her seat and led her down to the floor. Taking her in his arms, he danced her round and round as the spot faded out.
What is he part of the show or something? I asked myself as Mari's leg pressed into mine.
All of a sudden, the music stopped. Pitch blackness except for scattered cigarette lighters. Then, a hundred spots circling the stage. Blinding lasers reflecting off cold chrome. One by one the band fell into light as they strummed out a dumbing rendition of their hit single. The kids up front went crazy, screaming at the top of their lungs. Cheers and Yeas echoed across the floor. As the spots came to rest on the lead singer, the group toned down their darkened instruments while he went into a long spillage of words to welcome his Santa Cruz fans.
Live music began in earnest. I turned my attention to words and separate instruments, but I couldn't get the group into focus. Their playing was too loud, too electric, too shattering. There were too many distractions; the rhythmic movement of the stage crowd, the back and forth hustle of outer stage people, screams of approval from the seated audience, the warm flow between Mari's leg and mine. Reflections from the lights, which worked the musicians and the audience, mixed with illusions from behind my eyeballs; music keeping time with the lights, lights keeping time with the music. Flashes so loud and sharp that they blew away the thinking process of my mind, words falling out and breaking on the concrete floor. Visions of pure color; purple, red, and orange melting into violet and painting the empty space inside my head. Heart pounding wildly, I gasped for breath, and in a flash saw five thousand bodies each keeping their own separate time. In another flash, I saw my own vacant body beneath me.
Back inside, my legs snapped tightly closed as I wrapped both arms around my chest and sat bolt up right. I felt an intense pressure from my abdominal region. My mind flashed on Castaneda's seeing from a different center. But, instead of going with it, I shot a quick glance at Mari and Pete. With relief, I saw that their eyes were glued to the entertainment.
The back up group finished their second curtain call, and the house lights came on. I centered on the nervous rocking movement of some two thousand bodies on the floor. "Settle down. Settle down," I told myself as an athletic looking kid in a red football jersey caught my eye. I remembered seeing him before the group started. He had been dancing on the outer edge of the stage crowd. Strumming an imaginary guitar, he would dance forward twenty feet or so, do a backward step for maybe thirty feet, and then regain his forward motion. He must have made five or six passes, varying his step and cadence with each pass, but always in time to the music.
Now, he was walking slowly from stage right, just the opposite direction from that which he took earlier. Instead of dancing, he was bent near in half searching for something on the floor. He made a circle and disappeared into the stage front crowd. In a minute or so, he reappeared on the other side. Sliding through a group of college kids, he bent to the floor to pick something up. Holding the object close to his face, he shook it two or three times, and carefully placed it in his left hand. A ten-dollar bill? I asked myself, as I watched the Kid dance a gleeful twenty steps forward. He pushed through a dozen loosely packed fans; bent to the floor again, picked something up, placed it next to the first, and jumped in the air with joy. Tickets?
No, stubs.Ticket stubs.
The kid danced around the lighting stage, scooted to the floor, and picked up another stub. He slid it into place beside three others. Not stubs. Playing cards.He's picking up a hand of cards. The Kid held the cards at arm's length, made a change in the order, switched to his right hand, and shook them up and down in front of his ear. As he spread the cards close up to his eyes, a gigantic smile lit up his face. What's he holding four of a kind? I asked myself, and wondered if he could be some kind of diablero or something. I searched the crowd for a partner that he might be playing with. No one paid him the least attention. As he danced out of sight, I scanned the audience for some sign of the Leprechaun, but found no trace of him. Could he be a diablero too?
Naw, the two of them must be part of the show, hired by Bill Graham to keep the excitement flowing.
Mari tapped me on the arm and pointed to a girl just in front of the lighting stage. She was wearing an old fashion green cloth gown and matching bonnet. Completely identified with the recorded Blue Oyster Cult music, she danced away as if nothing else mattered. Mari and I shook our heads and laughed. I leaned closer to tell her about the Athletic Kid. She shook her head up and down, but I knew she couldn't hear me. As my eyes returned to the Dancing Girl, a thought struck me. Maybe they ain't diableros, the Athletic Kid and the Leprechaun. Maybe they don't work for Bill Graham either. Maybe they're just totally into that moment out there. Not thinking of tomorrow, not conditioned by the past. Totally into the now.
Weren't there days and nights at the Triv. when you lived as if nothing else mattered? I asked myself.
"I hope you don't mind, Mr. D.?" Pete asked. I turned and saw the number.
"No, go ahead," I told him. A big smile lit up his face.
The house lights flickered bringing a rush back to seats, a press of bodies toward the stage. I found Stoke and Donney through the crush and settled in my seat. The lights went out. The music blasted beyond full max. Above the hiss of indrawn breath, live Blue Oyster Cult exploded from the stage. Their fans went crazy; Shouting!!!! Screaming!!!! Whistling!!!! A burst of lasers pulled my eyes toward the stage. Spots light up strummed guitars in a punk rock pose, bad bad bad, super bad drummer, lead singer in a Mick Jagger mimic, lasers rebounding off steel string, and strutting behind my eyeballs into the blackness, electric vibes resounding from sea to shining sea, static sparks spattering off French fried brain pans as we, "Kick Out the Jams!!!"
The introductory piece ended with a fanatic burst of appreciation from the floor. Then, sparkling through high-tension wires came shadows of soaring serpents. On the stage, five men in a pool hall stance screamed at the top of their lungs, " HISTORY SHOWS AGAIN AND AGAIN HOW NATURE CONVERTS THE FOLLY OF MEN!!!! HISTORY SHOWS AGAIN AND AGAIN!!! AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!! GO GO. GOT TO GO. GO GO GODZILLA. GO GO GODZILLA. GO GO GODZILLA!!!!"
My hand slipped off the armrest into Mari's lap. I felt the softness of warm flesh beneath tight Levi's, the steady motion of thighs in time to the music. Flash after flash of lasers pulled my attention to the bass guitar. The fiery eyes of Godzilla stared into mine. A flood of flame leapt from her nostrils. Towering above the city, the black fire-breathing dragon retched a steady spew of red vomit. Ant like inhabitants scurried in every direction. Bodies drowned in vile excretion flowed into over spilling gutters. Godzilla bent to suck in the flow. She grew beyond the skyscrapers. Mixing her fire with that of the sun, her eyes became two luminous orbs. Mari's legs opened slightly. My hand slipped between them. She always had a schoolgirl crush on me, I thought as the music stopped with a deadly silence.
From the silence, a thundering voice cried out,"YEAAAAAAAaaaaaaa!!!!"
I turned to my left and saw Pete standing on his seat. He was pumping both arms over his head and screaming for all he was worth. As I watched, Mari climbed atop her seat to join him. My empty hands folded over my umbilical region. In your dreams, you dirty old man, a voice told me. You're no better than a god-dammed pervert, another voice said as I wondered what Anne would think.?
Focusing on my hands, I realized a pressure from my gut that was pulling me out of my chair. Sucking in, I held myself down with all my might, as a vision of myself, at the age of four or five, walking home pass the three story red brick row houses flashes into my mind. Several kids are playing on one of the stoops. I feel a strong urge to stop and join them, but something hurries me along. As I get closer to Berks, I tell myself, Mommy! I want my mommy! My mother is sitting in a wooden kitchen chair. She's pulling me home by my umbilical cord.
Catch the rope! Jump up and catch the rope! a fourth voice whispers....
( I couldn't get the last four pages on, but you get the idea. It you really want to see how the story ends, you can go to my web site, and scroll down.)