The Journal of Provincial Thought
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diamond 1luminancediamond 2 Pigasus 20- Double Take
jpt installment #3

Double Take

A novel of the post-'60s

Owen Scott, III

Includes the author's original music! Click hyperlinks in the text or at end of this page. A jpt rock-while-read treat
Author's Note Table of Contents

 9.  We gotta get out of this place.

            Everyone likes this concept.  And Takashi has a concrete suggestion: “Hey, I checked out a cool bistro in town where we could go have a few drinks.  It’s called SF2,” he says tracing the lines of ‘S F 2' in the air with a finger.

            “SF2?” Esther repeats.   “What does that mean, San Francisco Squared?”

            “That’s not a gay bar is it?” Wally queries Takashi.

            Takashi laughs.  “You’ll see. Better bring a dress along just in case.”

            We walk out to our cars.  Go-Go and I get in my vintage Mustang, Esther and Wally climb into a black Land Rover, and the other three pile into a battered Toyota van painted in psychedelic colors with Takashi driving.  We turn left going out the front gate of Morpheus Institute.  Neither Go-Go nor I have anything to say at the moment, so I turn on the radio to fill the vacuum.

            “Hey, boys and girls!  This is Kommander Kronos and you are listening to KRNS,  the FM voice of the Morpheus Student Radio Underground. Morphy Us Are You!”

            “Kommander Kronos, my a**!” I shout, “That’s Leuchtenpfad!” 

            “Coming up next we have a little thing by your favorite never-heard-of-them, going-nowhere-fast garage band.   I refer of course, to those unknown soldiers of rock and roll, Dawgs on Mojo.  Check this one out, hippies!”

            Dawgs on Mojo...

            A searing guitar line grabs my attention as rolling guitar chords and a driving rhythm section fall in, generating the synergy of my favorite Rolling Stones and John Mellencamp songs; but, it’s not anything I know.   Just as in Real Life, I am helpless before good music.   The song stops me in my mental tracks and I can only drive along listening and moving involuntarily to the rhythm as the singer’s inexplicably turbo-charged yet all-too-familiar voice comes in with jolting, hard-edged sarcasm.

            You can talk all you want to, [Play song]
            Until your head turns blue
            Nobody’s listening
            They’re all just like you!
            Summon your stateliest prayers
            Put on any one of your airs… this time it’s true
            You and your lover are through!
            I tried to warn you
            That your plans were insane
            But you went into shock
            When they went down the drain
            You prayed to him at night
            And now he wants you out of his sight!
            This time it’s true-
            You and your lover are through!
            You know, I know, everyone thinks about it
            Go ahead and say you’ll be different some day:

            That’s a lie!

            With that, the lead guitarist takes off on a blazing solo, sending up notes like tracer rounds burning through the night sky.  I am in shock.  Dawgs on Mojo is my obscure, going nowhere garage band and that’s me singing; except, the song is unknown and the performance is much stronger in every way than anything that we ever generated.  What the hell is going on here?  And who the hell is that on guitar? 

            The elegant love life
            That you wanted him for
            Wasn’t what you imagined
            It was a bore!
            But you dragged it on and on
            ’Till finally it was gone…this time it’s true
            You and you lover are through!

            “Go-Go!”  I cry out as the song collapses like the spent lovers.  “Dawgs on Mojo, that’s my band and that was me singing... but I’ve never heard that song and I can’t sing like the guy... like I just did...”

            “I don’t know, Will.  I could tell it was you; and, you sounded so angry and bitter.”

            “Jag has me down cold, Go-Go,” I admit.  “I felt a lot of anger and frustration in Real Life.  That’s the kind of song I wanted to write, somewhere between Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, and that’s how I wished I could have sung.  And that guitarist was incredible!”

            Go-Go looks the most worried I have seen her.  “Will, I don’t like the way this is going.  I felt you were telling us that... that we don’t really have anything...  That we are the lovers you’re talking to.”

            “It sounded like a warning, all right.  But, Gabriella,”’s the first time I’ve called her by her given name, and flowing through my lips the word feels heavenly... so lovely that I have to say it again, savoring it slowly, “Gabriella Gayle Grace, listen.  The singer could have been me talking to myself; but, I could never feel that way toward you.  This may be a dream world, but what we have here is real.  I know that we felt the same connection in Real Life.”

            “I know, too, Will,” Go-Go says softly.  She is close to tears.  “That’s why it scares me so much.”

            “We can’t give in to our fears, baby,” I state firmly, my masculine instincts mysteriously emerging as if from some dark hiding place.  “We will keep going until we find a way to wake up and then we will be together.  In Real Life.” 

            I hope.

            Gabriella Gayle Grace, Go-Go of the Thousand Smiles, looks at me with the utmost seriousness.  “This is going to sound trite, Will, but I have to say it.  I need you, Will.  I will not make it without you.”

            The moment is to die for.  For the first time in my life, I am me.  I am my eyes, my body, my heart, my thoughts.  I am all of me, all of me right now, all of me right here in the midst of this insanity; and, for one instant, for her sake, I actually believe in myself.

             “Don’t worry, baby,” I reassure her, smiling with genuine bravado.  “Everything will turn out all right.”

            “Promise you will never give up on me.” 

            I am a bit disconcerted by this request. I cannot quite take the idea seriously nor can I fathom what she might be thinking about.  “I will not, I will never give up on us,” I say.

            “No matter what happens?” she presses me.

            “No matter what happens.  You’ll discover, Ms. Grace, that I’m a very difficult man to get rid of.”

            “That’s a promise?”

            “Yes, that’s a promise.”

            Through the radio, Kommander M. L. Kronos chimes in, “How sweet! How terminally sweet! Oh yes, the next one has to go out to those doomed lovers, Will and Go-Go!”  A familiar bass line walks us into Eric Burdon’s terse vocal

            We gotta get out of this place
            If it’s the last thing we ever do
            We gotta get out of this place
            Girl there’s a better life
            For me and you.

            We ride on speechlessly, resonating to the Animals’ lamentation of powerlessness and desire.  Finally, as the last chord fades out, the voice of Kommander Kronos returns. 

            “Perfect, no?  All right then, we have time for one more before I have to run,” he prattles on brightly.  “Places to go, things to do.”

            Go-Go and I are approaching a sign that says

City Limits

as the last song on Kommander Kronos’ watch commences.

            I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead.
            I just need a place where I can lay my head

            Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?
            He just grinned and shook my hand...
            And “No,” was all he said...

10.  Let me take you down.

            By now Go-Go and I have penetrated the outskirts of Nazareth and are cruising down the main drag.  I am, indeed well past the point where restorative sleep is in order.  A fog has settled in and we pass closed storefronts, gas stations, and a few bars with shadowy figures standing around outside.  At one such place we behold the appearance from the darkness of a great, white neon cross.  As I watch, a series of huge red letters appears in sequence down the vertical axis:




As we close on the sign, we see three smaller words light up red in a horizontal sequence underneath the cross:









Kitten  Korner





 Kitten  Korner Klub

            Finally, fluorescent red-orange flames spring up atop the cross.  Fully illuminated at last, the entire sign flashes three times, then goes dark.

            The Kitten Korner Klub is a bar or, more accurately, a dive.  In the parking lot, next to a row of chrome-plated Harley Davidson choppers, I spot Michael Leuchtenpfad chatting with an exquisitely ratty group of bikers.  In his element, says the loud voice in my head.  I glance over at Go-Go, who continues to look worried.  The Satyr doesn’t look our way and we continue on, past the House of the Burning Cross. 

            “Did you see the tall woman in the cat suit standing near them?” Go-Go asks me. 

            “Afraid I missed her,” I reply wryly.  “Think it was Julie Newmar?”

            Go-Go doesn’t respond.  A few blocks further the designated bistro, SF2, emerges out of the fog; and, I pull into the parking lot near our friends’ cars.   Go-Go and I walk up to the pink stucco building with dark green shutters and enter under a neon strawberry surrounding the red letters


above the door.  I smile as I cast my eyes about and perceive beaucoups Beatles decor c. ‘64 through ‘70.  A worldly-looking maid who can barely be 21 is tending bar and a few laid back patrons are distributed among twenty or so tables.  Around one, our colleagues are seated to one side of an elevated stage for the band. 

            Though the stage lights are dimmed, I can make out four large posters with the benevolent visages of John, Paul, George and Ringo, famously interpreted by Peter Max, across the back wall.  My attention, however, moves directly to the musical instruments set out neatly across the stage: three electric guitars― including a cherry red Gibson Flying V with three gold-plated Humbucking pickups, a royal blue Fender Stratocaster, and a huge Fender Jazz bass with sunburst finish―on guitar stands in front of small Vox amplifiers; an electric piano or synthesizer also with amp; and a sparse drum set with a single bass drum. It's modest hardware by contemporary heavy metal standards.   Next to the piano is a soundboard controlling the PA system.  Four vocal mikes on chrome-plated stands mark the places that singers will occupy, and the bass drum also has a mike in front of it on a low stand.

            The gleaming, nick-free bodies of the guitars confide to me that they have been treated with proper TLC.  Behind this tasteful arrangement of instruments, four bright red amp lights shine in the darkness like enchanted rubies.  The entire stage forms a classical still life from the universe of rock and roll, framed at either end by black PA speaker boxes mounted on metal poles lifting them to about ear level.  The Fab Four look on with approval.   I observe that Takashi too has been standing by the stage ogling the guitars, sizing them up like so many beautiful women sitting at a bar waiting for his pickup line.  He glances at me and cocks an eyebrow. 

            Finally I get around to noticing our table.  The gang is engaged in lively conversation and a pitcher of beer is already one-third empty.  Two clean mugs hold adjoining places reserved for myself and Go-Go, who must have sat down while I was checking out the stage. Now, I head un-self-consciously over to the colorful vintage Rockola jukebox while she pours us both a mug of beer.

            “Oh, God,” I cry out to whom it may concern as I flip through the pages of the play list.  “Listen to this. Selection A-1 Strawberry Fields Forever.  A-2 Strawberry Fields Forever.  A-3... Every single record is Strawberrry Fields Forever!” 

            “It’s a great song,” Takashi comments cheerfully.

            A shiny quarter is sitting on the jukebox next to a taped-on note card reading Drop the coin right into the slot. I oblige and a counter lights up the number ‘1.’ My quarter falls straight through into the coin return box.  I laugh and drop the quarter through several more times.  Each time, the next higher number lights up and the coin winds up in the return box.  I randomly push several different combinations of letter and number keys and sit down at the table as the music begins.

            Let me take you down
Cause I’m going to
            Strawberry Fields
            Nothing is real
            And nothing to get hung about
            Strawberry Fields Forever...

            “I love John Lennon,” Takashi gushes.

            “Me, too,” I say.  “His songs are so evocative.”

            “So sad how he was shot by that poor schizophrenic kid,” Valerie joins in the conversation.

            “A lot of people hated John and Yoko,” I observe, ready as always to start in.

            “Let’s not hear any more crackpot theories about CIA involvement, Will,” Wally cautions me.  “Unless you feel it’s absolutely necessary,” he adds, chuckling.

            I laugh, too.  “That would be a bit speculative,” I admit.

            “Don’t look now,” Esther says, causing everyone to turn and look toward the door, “but here comes Michael Leuchtenpfad.”

            “That’s lovely,” I exclaim. “What does he want now?”

            “Hello, classmates,” Michael greets us brightly.  “How did the team fare with Myrtle?”

            “I thought you were joining us,” Go-Go says with obvious suspicion.

            “Forgot I had to do a show at KRNS,” he grins.  “Sorry about that.  Kommander Kronos couldn’t desert his post.  So what are we up to?”

            “Just relaxing,” Esther replies.  “How about you?  I see you have friends in low places.”

            “Oh, those guys back at the Kitten Korner Klub,” Michael replies as he pulls up a chair next to Go-Go and sits down.  “Very interesting subculture, bikers.  I’ve been doing some research on their roles and rituals.  Perhaps you would like to hear about it?”

            “Another time.  We’re too tired for anything else substantive,” I assert, making an effort to contain my antipathy.  “We’re knocking down a few beers and unwinding.”

            “Hey, I’ve got an idea,” Takashi calls out.  “We used to play a cool game back in Real Life.  It’s called Double Take.  I’ll show everyone how to play, OK?”

            “Are you sure?” I ask, in no mood for sporting with the enemy.

            “Come on, you’ll love it!” Takashi enthuses.

            “I’m game,” Wally votes.  “How does it go?” 

            “It’s very simple.  Everyone takes two pieces of paper and writes down the names of the two people he or she would most like to trade places with for one hour.  While you are in their body, you could do, in theory, anything you wish within their power and abilities.  The only restriction is you have to select one person of your own sex and one of the opposite sex, and both have to be real people, someone who is either alive or has lived in the past.   When you’ve written down your two people, we pull the names out of a hat and everyone has to guess who picked what people.  Got it?”

            “That sounds really interesting,” Valerie opines.  “Let’s do it.”

            “What happens to the people you trade with during the hour you are them?”  Jagrati inquires, with no outward signs of irony.  “Do they have to be you for that hour?”

            With anyone else I would have seen this as an opening for a smart remark; but not her.  Takashi looks thoughtful.  “Gee, Jag,” he finally says.  “That’s a great question.  It never occurred to me to think about that.”

            “And when you come back to being you, do remember being the other person?” Jagrati continues.  “I need to know the answers before I can play your game.”

            “Naturally, they have to take over being you for the hour,” I assert. 

            “And when the hour is up, both of you remember everything,” adds Valerie.

            “It would have to be that way,” Esther says flatly.  “Otherwise it wouldn’t work.”

            “And if the person is dead, you trade an hour between where you are now and when they were alive,” Wally says.  “Even though the hour being them is in the past, you make the same choices and feel the same things they did as if it had never happened before.”

            “OK,” says Jagrati.  “But one more thing: each of you, that is the person you trade with and yourself, may never divulge to anyone else what happened.  It must remain a secret between you.  If that is the case, then I agree to play.”

            “So let it be written,” I say.

            “So let it be done,”  adds Takashi, closing the deal.  That settled, everyone, Leuchtenpfad included, very quickly drops two folded squares of paper into a napkin basket provided by the barmaid. 

            “Now, who draws the names?” Esther asks.

            “Doesn’t matter,” Takashi replies.  “You just play dumb if you draw one of yours.”

            “You draw, Takashi,” Jagrati suggests.  “The game was your idea.”

            Takashi pulls out a square, unfolds it and reads aloud, “‘Princess Diana.’  OK, who wants to be a princess?”

            “Not Esther,” Wally says.  “She would pick someone with more power and less neurosis.”

            “Right you are, Wally,” Esther says.  “That’s not how I’d use my one chance to switch.  But who?  You, Go-Go?”

            “No way,” Go-Go laughs.  I am happy to see her smiling again.  “I wasn’t interested in being Princess Di even when I was a little girl.  Anyway, I was my Granddaddy’s princess.  What about the guys?  It could be one of them.”

            “Hey, that’s right,” says Valerie.  “But not Will or Wally.”

            “And, I can’t see Michael as Princess Di,” I observe.  All eyes turn to Takashi.  “Hey, man, do you have an inner drag queen you haven’t told us about?” 

            “A most intriguing hour, I’m sure,” Takashi states in a mock upper crust British accent, “but no, being Princess Di would not be my cup of tea.”  He holds an imaginary teacup to his lips with cocked pinkie and we all laugh.

            “Hmm.  OK, I’ve got it, then,” I say.  “It’s you, Jag, isn’t it?”

            Jagrati smiles shyly.  “Yes, I chose Princess Diana.  How did you guess?  By elimination?”

            “Takashi’s reference to tea triggered a connection—The British East India Company.  Diana married into the same British royal family who ruled and exploited your country for over 100 years.  But she rebelled against all the royal bullsh*t and tried to make her position more human and accessible.  She refused to be a fake and she cared about regular people.  Eventually, it cost the Princess her life.  Despite being fragile, Di was quite brave.”

            “Very good, Will,” Jagrati affirms.  “You would make an excellent psychologist.”

            “My God!” I exclaim.  “A psychologist!”

            “That’s not so hard to imagine,” Go-Go agrees.

            “No, you don’t understand,” I continue.  “I just got something else— I was studying to be a psychologist in Real Life.

            “You become a shrink so you can figure out what’s wrong with yourself,” the Satyr cracks wise at me immediately.

            “Wow,” I say, ignoring the barb.  “A psychologist.  It just came to me when Jag made that comment.  OK, let’s continue,” I say with new enthusiasm.  Go-Go and my friends are smiling at me affectionately.

            Takashi draws another square.  “Keith Richards.”  This turns out to be Takashi’s male choice. 

            “The Iron Man of Rock and Roll,” I observe.

            “I want to know what it’s like to subject your body to that much abuse and still be able to make great music,” he laughs.

            We play on and discover that Wally would trade with John Paul Vann, an Army advisor to the government of South Vietnam who was very critical of the way the war was operated, and Joan of Arc. Takashi would spend a hour as Pat Benatar for his feminine experience, and Jagrati would like to know what it is to be Mohandas K. Ghandi.  Of course, I like Steve Morse, the incredible rock guitarist, as my male doppelganger, and pick Anais Nin, erotic writer, psychotherapist, and adventuress, for my hour as a woman.   Go-Go surprises everyone by choosing Madonna (“to feel her sheer feminine power”) and Pablo Neruda (“he combined idealism, courage and creative genius both in his life and in his art”).  Esther picks her Biblical namesake Queen Esther, to no one’s great surprise, but shocks us with her male: Adolph Hitler.  “I would like to know what the hell was going on inside his warped little mind so I could come back and explain to everyone why he did it,” she says with undeniable logic.  Mick Jagger is easily attributed to Michael L.  Valerie picks two obscure persons almost no one else knows about.  The man, Adolphus Clement Good, was the first white missionary to go inland from the West African coast and make contact with the Bulu of Cameroun.  He died at age 34 of tropical disease, already having spent twelve productive years in Africa.  Her female is one Cassandra J. Nyx.

            “OK, Valerie,” Esther wants to know.  “Who is this Cassandra Nyx?” 

            “She is a living person whom we all could meet without waking up.”

            “Are you practicing to join the Morpheus Institute faculty, Val?” I kid her.  “We’ve had enough of riddles for one day.”

            “It’s no riddle,” Leuchtenpfad speaks up.  “Ms. Nyx is a preacher right here in Nazareth.  I drove past her church and saw her name on the marquee.”

            “That’s right, Michael,” Valerie confirms.  “I attended her church service instead of going to the orientation party.  Prophetess Nyx is an awesome woman with great spiritual gifts.  She gave me some very important information,” Valerie adds, looking at Michael fiercely.  Involuntarily, he looks away as if this makes him uncomfortable. 

            Spiritual gifts.  The Satyr has a weakness.  For once I do not mind the intrusive loudness of the commentator.

            We are down to one square.  By elimination it has to be Michael’s female choice.  “This should be interesting,” I say, gazing at the Satyr to see if he’s sweating.  But Michael seems strangely unconcerned about the secret being revealed.  Takashi unfolds the square, looks at it, and frowns.

            “It’s blank,” he says.  “You didn’t write down the name.”

            “Come on, Michael.  You wimped out on us,” Wally says, going after his pride.

            “Playing by the rules was never my strong suit,” he says defensively.  “Besides, I would never under any circumstance exchange places with any woman, living or dead.”

            “Oh yeah, why not?”  I press him, determined to keep the Satyr on the defensive.  “Not interested in knowing what it’s like for someone to stick it to you instead of the other way around?”

            Three women give me dirty looks.  Leuchtenpfad, however, takes the bait.  “OK, Will.  I’ll tell you what woman I would exchange places with for an hour.  I’ll take Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus the Christ.  That b*tch had no right to call himself a man and I would like to know how a big fairy could go around talking hippie bullsh*t and after she gets what’s coming, her loser hangers-on could then dupe so many hapless suckers for the next two millennia!  What the hell IS truth?  Jesus is history’s ultimate scam!  Never could comprehend any of it.  Being Jesus for an hour would suck but I could handle it.”

            Michael’s unexpected outburst of ranting self-disclosure causes my brain to go into tilt mode and I am unable to put thoughts together.  An image of the Japanese commander as the Buddha flashes in front of me. Valerie, however, is instantly out of her seat and point-blank in Michael’s face with Wally right behind her.  “You slime bucket,” Valerie shouts with surprising venom.  “Get Thee behind me, Satan!  Remove yourself from our sight this instant.” 

            “You heard her, Leuchtenpfad,” Wally says.  “Move it.”

            The Satyr rises from his chair and gazes at Valerie dispassionately.  “Satan, is it? Very well, as you wish, Sister Brown,” he says; and, with no further comment, he turns and walks out the front door of Strawberry Fields Forever.  I regain my ability to think as he shows us his back. 

11.  Look out kid you’re gonna get hit.

            Now I am seized with an inspiration.  “Hey, screw him; everyone listen to this.  You know how I had the sudden realization that I was studying to be a psychologist in Real Life when Jag made that comment about me?   Let’s see if anyone else can recall a significant fact.  What about it, Takashi?”

            “I played lead guitar in a rock group,” he says without hesitating.

            “I was sent to America for an arranged marriage with a man I had never met,” says Jagrati without self-pity.  Nonetheless, I cringe.

            “I studied to be a professional dancer but decided to give it up,” Go-Go reflects with a trace of sadness.

            “I’m in the military, Army Special Operations Force,” Wally states.  “I’m a career officer and West Point graduate.”

            “Big shock there!” I can’t help myself from quipping.  “Seriously, though, that’s impressive.”  I am surprised that I can be generous in my praise of a right-wing lunatic.

            “My parents hated me marrying a Gentile.  They kept pointing out that Martin Luther was an anti-Semite.  But they eventually realized that Wally’s a great guy,” says Esther.

            Valerie is silent.  “What’s the matter, Val?” Go-Go inquires with concern.

            “This is hard,” says Valerie.  “OK, my real name is not Valerie.  It’s Hilda.”

            “Hilda!” Takashi blurts out.  I am trying to suppress laughter.

            “Yes, I am embarrassed to say it but I was ashamed of that name and I changed it to something more...”

            “Sexy,” Jagrati finishes her sentence for her.

            “Sexy.  Yes, that’s right.  I was harassed mercilessly by the kids at my school, black and white, for having the name Hilda.  Whenever the teacher called the roll, it was always, ‘Adams, Virginia; Blakeman, Angela; Brown, Hilda.’  I don’t know how it started but everyone snickered when my name was called; and, later, they would call me ‘Brown Hilda’ and ‘Broom Hilda’ and ‘Brunhilde’ and I don’t know what else.”

            “I’m sure you read Lord of the Flies in high school, Val.  Kids are evil,” I tell her.  “They do terrible things to each other.”

            “They don’t realize the harm they are doing,” Jagrati corrects me.

            “So I became Valerie Brown.”

            “Hey, I know how it feels,” Wally sympathizes.  “I hate the name Wally.”  He pauses for a second.  “It’s short for Wallace. As in “Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled.  Wallace is too formal and Wally sounds so stupid.”

            “Let’s see, Wally starts reciting Robert Burns,” I moan.  “My God, what next?”

            “Next I find some duct tape for Will’s mouth,” Esther chides me.

            “Leuchtenpfad keeps some in the back of his white van with the tinted windows,” I come back at her.   “Look under the handcuffs.  Sorry, Wally.”

            Esther resumes speaking.  “But that’s a last name, it’s not your actual first name.”

            “Wolf isn’t my last name either,” Wally continues.  “It’s part of my first name, Wolfgang.”

            “So your name is Wolfgang Wallace?  That’s worse than Brown, Hilda!” Valerie laughs.

            “Maybe his last name is Cleaver and one of us is actually the Beaver,” I propose, once more displaying that endless need to be cleverly absurd.

            “In which case Michael Leuchtenpfad must be Eddie Haskell,” Go-Go theorizes with a straight face, triggering another round of laughter.

            “God, I hope I don’t turn out to be Lumpy,” moans Takashi.

            Now something else hits me.  “OK, I’ve got a name confession, too.”

            “Please, Will, don’t change your name, too,” Takashi pleads.

            “No, that’s not it.  Well, not exactly.  Here’s the thing.  My real name is William N. Siegfried.  The name is an Anglicized version of a German ancestor, Wilhelm Siegfried, except for the N.  That stands for Nixon.  As in Richard M.”

            “Ugh, Nixon!” says Esther.  “Who would do that to you?”

            “Hey, Nixon was one of the greatest modern presidents!” Wally protests.

            “My father,” I reply to Esther, ignoring Wally.  “I never forgave him for it, either.  He really admired Tricky Dicky and felt that Nixon had gotten screwed over when he was forced to resign.  The confession is that I dropped the middle initial and refused to admit that Nixon was part of my name.  Nixon was the Darth Vader of the 60s and I could not stand having his name.  But don’t worry, I always went by Will Siegfried and I always will.”

            “What did you do for a middle initial?” the ever-curious Jagrati asks.

            “Do you work for the National Inquirer?” I ask her. 

            “No, are you practicing to be on Jeopardy?”

            “Touché.  I randomly picked the next letter in the alphabet, O, and whenever someone questioned it, I said it stands for zero.”

            “Clever,” says Esther.

            “Except at school I told teachers the N had gotten into my record as Nixon because no one could pronounce Nietzsche properly.”

            Just now, the barmaid walks past on her way to the stage.  She steps up onto the elevated terrace and goes over to one side to turn on the stage lights.  Two young men, look-a-likes with long straight hair, dressed in t-shirts, blue jeans and sandals, and a shorthaired platinum blonde in a smoking jacket and black slacks show up on the stage.  The girl turns on the electric piano and hits a few chords, adjusting the volume up and down.  One of the guys sits behind the drum set and strikes each drum and cymbal once or twice, making sure everything is just where he likes it.  The other guy picks up the Fender bass and thumps the heavy strings with two bare fingers.  He turns on a mike and says, “Testing, testing, one two, one two, testing, testing.  Hey, Will, Takashi,” he addresses us.  “How’s the volume on my mike?”

            Takashi and I exchange looks with the bass player and one another.  As one, we rise from our chairs, pantomime mirror images of throwing pills into our mouths, and shout, “It’s Showtime!” then turn and step boldly up onto the stage.  Takashi goes for the Flying V, orienting it upside down and pointed right à la Jimi, as I strap on my trusty blue Strat in the conventional right-handed manner. It’s plugged in with a curly phone cord and the amp is on standby.  I switch it over to On and try a few chords and then some riffs.  My fingers feel at ease on the fret board and the sound is clear and powerful.  Takashi’s amp emits several ferocious bursts of soprano notes and I recognize the style of the Dawgs on Mojo guitarist from Kommander Kronos’s show during the drive into town. 

            “Are you guys ready to rock?”  the barmaid asks.

            “Good to go!”  “Right on!” “Let’s do it!” we shout.

            “Ladies and gentlemen.  All the way from Real Life,” the barmaid announces over the mike, “for your dancing pleasure, I present to you the one, the only: DAWGS ON MOJO!”

            I vaguely hear one or two people in the club clapping politely.  Without consulting anyone else, the drummer hits his sticks together three times to set the beat and on the “and” before four, we all launch into a 1958 Larry Williams B-side rocker more famously covered by the Beatles.  The patrons leap up as if we’d pushed a button, instantly transforming the bar into a free-form aerobic dance class.

            Come on pretty baby won’t you walk with me?
            Come on pretty baby won’t you talk with me?
            Come on pretty baby give me one more chance
            Try saving our romance
            Slow down!           

            We’re sounding good.  The vocal is not particularly challenging until I get to the falsetto whoop that punctuates the chorus of ‘gimme little lovin’.”  To my self-satisfied amazement, a wild shriek emanates from my mouth as if I’m suddenly possessed by the banshee of rock & roll (aka Little Richard)! 

            Rhonda, our pianist, takes the first solo.  A glance at my friends on the dance floor tells me they are already having the time of their lives.  Go-Go’s passion and artistry are giving new dimensions of meaning to the phrase body language.  I wink at her to convey that her performance rates a score of ten-oh and she responds with a panther snarl that threatens to cause me further public embarrassment.  

           The song speeds to a close in what would have been two minutes flat in Real Life.

            “Thank you, everyone, thank you.  I’ve been asked to advise you that staying on the dance floor is not recommended for persons with heart conditions or those prone to sudden loss of moral inhibition when intoxicated.”

            Now, Takashi strums a jangling cluster of clashing chords.  We all fall in with a flowing set of changes reminiscent of Arlo Guthrie’s Woodstock classic “Coming into Los Angeles.”  I don’t know this song any more than I knew the one on the radio, but I am playing it anyway and I realize when my vocal cue arrives.

            Every day you just can’t keep still, [Play song]
            Seeming like you’re in a railroad station.
            But in vain I’m looking for your train,
            Wondering where you got your information.

            Scanning the audience, I see the faces of my dancing friends register engagement with our performance.  Other people gathered further back in the club likewise are giving us rapt attention.

            Through a haze of cigarettes you gaze
            Mortaring your sisters and your brothers
            Through your pain what do you think you’ll gain
            Torturing yourself more than the others?           

            The song moves into a bridge section, softer and more sensitive than the harsh tone of the first two verses.

            But all of my life I have wondered
            Just who people think they are?
            And how they make these estimations.
            I say it’s crazy!
            Where do you think you’re going,
            Running backwards to the destination?

            It’s Takashi’s turn now, and as the chords resume their previous intensity, he steps forward, ready right in front of my eyes to show what he can do.  First, his Flying V sings short phrases that punctuate the biting message of the lyrics with well-formed wails of accusatory anguish and articulate rage.  I hear the restrained tension and sense the latent reservoir of energy in his hands. But, as the chords wind toward the end of the verse, Takashi’s fingers, like the legs of the championship skater launching the graceful flight of her body over the remorseless ice, unleash their full force in a furious yet clearly-articulated crescendo of screaming notes, carrying the solo to its inevitable rendezvous with the vocal.

            Though I can see you don’t believe in silence
            You never even listen to yourself…

            The opening lines are reprised; and the song, running in reverse, returns at last to the same jangling chords whence it began, ends with a staccato blast, one dying note, and dead silence.  Applause and enthusiastic cheering flood the stage a second time.  “Way to go, Dawgs!”  “You the man Takashi!”  “All right!”  “Dawgs on Mojo!”  Still sitting back at the table is Jagrati, holding up a circled thumb and pointer finger and nodding her head. I feel great; after all, this is my long-held fantasy of rock & roll brilliance coming to fruition.  Sort of.  As long as I forget that I am dreaming. 

            “Thank you, thank you, my friends, thank you all.  Takashi Nakamura on lead guitar.  Thank you.  Now we would like to play a song that I am dedicating to my best friend and lover, Gabriella Gayle Grace, also known as Go-Go of the Thousand Smiles.”

            Everyone except Go-Go is smiling warmly; she is radiating.  I’ve dropped my guitar to an open D tuning; and, as the lights go down, we begin a slow and relentless groove whose ringing chords create an elevated, nearly heroic mood.  This song I know to be one I wrote in Real Life to a lover I had yet to encounter.

            I know a goddess who dances [Play song]
            Into amazing circumstances;
            The tables turn upside down

            Whenever she passes.
            She sends lurid visions to you;
            Makes you hate the hand that drew you;
            Shines her flashlight knife-like
            Through your glass heart.

            At this point, Go-Go comes to her feet as if in a trance and begins to dance, alone on the floor, to her song.  Someone shines a spot on her and my world fills with flowing beauty.

            I know an angel who hovers
            Above the reach of her would-be lovers

            The chain that is strong secures their feet to the planet
            At a sweet uncertain time she will cause the night to shine
            With her light that blinds, but she takes for granted
            She sees behind pale plastic walls
            Knows why you hide when freedom calls
            Envying any sign of life that crawls in through your armor
            She rides the storm with easy grace
            Taking the rainfall in her face
            Knows that it cannot harm her.
            So dead, so vain and immodest
            Decline to dance with the goddess
            And know all along
            That you need her song so badly
            Though great men pretend and flatter
            In this kingdom nothing matters
            Even when your glass heart shatters

            Madly... madly...madly...

            The song ends on one last ringing power chord as Go-Go’s floating form descends gracefully to the floor where she lies still as if resting in death.   And once more the adulation of the audience washes over us.  “Gabriella Gayle Grace,” I say into the mike holding my upturned palm towards her.  Go-Go rises to her feet to intense applause as if the audience is relieved to see that she is alive.  “Will Siegfried on vocal,” Takashi says into his, making the same motion towards me.  For the space of the song I disappeared into a transcendent realm where only two people exist, forgetting Dawgs on Mojo, Morpheus World, Michael Leuchtenpfad, Real Life, and the pervasive insanity that is drowning us all.  After the exchange in the car with Go-Go asking me to promise never to give up on her, I would not have imagined it could get any better, much less on the same day.  But, gazing at her dancing as I sing directly from my heart into hers... The sound of everyone in the club clapping and cheering slowly summons me but all at once I snap violently back into full awareness as I see Michael Leuchtenpfad walking confidently up to the stage, grinning more treacherously than ever.  He takes the mike out of my hand so quickly and authoritatively that I do not even resist.

            “Very nice, Will, Go-Go, Takashi, all of you, great performance!  Every Dawg on Mojo has his day.  Now, I am sure that while our artists are taking a well deserved break, no one will mind humoring me as I provide a little divertissement, nothing much really, just a  number or two from my own little group.”

            As Leuchtenpfad speaks, five bikers perfectly recapitulating a B-movie stereotype are swaggering up to the stage like so many pirates.   They pass our table and we are engulfed by such a stench as might emanate from a urinal clogged with cigarette butts and wet yellow toilet paper beneath an OUT OF ORDER notice in one of the lower circles of Hell.  Sewn on the back of his road-worn leather jacket, each thug sports an elaborate cloth decal depicting a hideous grinning insect in a Stahlhelm smoking a cigarette.  The nasty-looking bug leers out from between two rows of big red gold-trimmed letters that read:



            I note that each jacket also has a decal with the Arabic number 12.  This strikes me as odd, in that many bikers in Real Life, following the lead of Hell’s Angels, put the number 13 on their jackets to indicate the 13th letter of the alphabet, M, for “mother” or “marijuana.” Otherwise, the full range of classic biker stigmata are distributed among the aptly named Fliessun-browned rawhide skin, scraggly beards and pony tails, missing teeth, handkerchiefs tied over shaved heads, obnoxiously dirty hair, assorted tattoos and scars, tight and tattered jeans, and heavy riding boots.  One gaunt older biker with the blank eyes of death catches my attention: On his right biceps are the words AMERICAL and on the left, DON’T MEAN NOTHING.  Our band steps away and the Terrible Flies descend upon our helpless instruments. We watch numbly as they strap on our guitars, try out our drumsticks, and settle into our places, parroting everything we did earlier.  Dead Eyes dons Takashi’s Flying V lefty and a stocky miscreant places filthy hands on my beloved Strat.  Under the best of circumstances, musicians don’t like other people touching their axes; and, with the Terrible Flies on stage playing with our gear, we know there will be trouble.

            Suddenly, just as I’m leaning toward Go-Go to make a sarcastic comment, Leuchtenpfad clasps the mike stand with his left hand and pulls it toward himself shouting,

            Up in the morning and out to school,

to which the Terrible Flies react.

            The teacher is teaching the Golden Rule. 

            “Dead Eyes wields his ax like a Viking on crack,” I whisper in Go-Go’s ear.

            American History, Practical Math

            “These creeps know how to rock and roll,” I continue.

            Studying hard & hoping to pass.

            “I doubt that they ever reached that goal!”

            Working your fingers right down to the bone

            “Only in the sense of Portnoy’s Complaint.

            And the guy behind won't leave you alone

            “Till you showed him your shiv and it caused him to faint!” I crack wise, ending the impromptu rhyming annotation I’ve concocted to entertain and impress my erstwhile girlfriend.

            Go-Go is yanking me by the arm to get me onto the dance floor.  Michael and the Flies are doing justice and more to the tune and I don’t resist.  In free-form dance, I am not in the same league with Go-Go; but, I feel the music and draw from a wide repertoire of stage moves.  Moreover, this is one of Chuck Berry’s greatest all-time songs and the Terrible Flies are smoking like the bad boy bug on their thug club logo.

            Meanwhile, Leuchtenpfad is doing pelvic thrusts and taking liberties with the lyrics

            Drop the coin right into the slot
            You’ve got to screw someone who’s really hot!
            With the one in your sights, you're makin' romance

            On this twisted line, Leuchtenpfad leers at Go-Go and lewdly sticks out his tongue at her.  She rolls her eyes and sneers at him, giving him the classic “get lost” signal.  He laughs it off and continues,

            All day long you been wantin' to get in her pants

            I catch the wicked substitution for Chuck Berry’s original wanting to dance.  Go-Go turns away disgustedly, while I, though dutifully offended for her and primally protective of my woman, feel a part of me almost liking Michael’s bawdy chutzpah.

            Feeling the music from head to toe
            Round and round and round we go

            Here, instead of the usual guitar break, the Satyr pulls a Hohner out of his pocket and renders an erotically charged harmonica ride which seems to be adding salacious details to his stated desire to get physical with Go-Go.  As his soliloquy ends, he manhandles the mike one more time yet somehow elevates himself to the honorable office of universal rock-and-roll cheerleader.

            Hail, hail rock and roll!
            Deliver me from the days of old
            Long live rock and roll!
            The beat of the drums, loud and bold

            And pumping his clenched fist in the air four times he shouts,

            Rock, rock, rock and roll!
            The feelin' is there, body and soul.

            Michael Leuchtenpfad wheels and with a sweep of the head commands his brothers to bring their anthem to a crashing halt amidst the gleeful shouting and stamping feet of the tribal congregation.  Without pausing to acknowledge their props, Michael and the quintet of Flies kick it back into gear with another fast-paced rock song. Takashi and I catch each other’s eyes momentarily in acknowledgment that we both recognize Talk Talk, the seminal one-hit wonder from the Music Machine.  Again Leuchtenpfad delivers the vocal with authority:

            I got me a complication.
            And it’s an only child.
            Concerning my reputation
            It’s something more than wild
            I have to hide my face
            Or go some other place.
            I’m out of circulation
            I’ve all but washed my hands
            My social life’s a dud
            My name is really mud
            I’m up to here in lies
            I guess I’m down to size
            Talk talk!
            Talk talk!

            The song ends with dramatic silence as all of us on the dance floor and everyone throughout SF2 pay heartfelt tribute, as would any and all who love to rock and roll:  The Terrible Flies are kicking ass in the very finest tradition.  Now, Leuchtenpfad and his cohorts pause and look around the room, drinking up the applause like tequila shots. They all smile at one another wickedly, even Dead Eyes of the Thousand-Yard Stare.  Then, as if on an invisible signal, the Flies crank up a time-honored blues groove, echoing a short, simple riff that has undergirt the musical confessions of countless backdoor men.  Beginning to reach full stride, Leuchtenpfad struts his stuff with aplomb, wailing an impertinent harp intro like Sonny Boy Williamson, then breaking into a vocal that bears witness to his personal version of Mojo Confidential:

            Now I’m a man [Play song]
            I done made 21
            If I saw myself comin’
            I’d tell you to run…
            The life I lead is extremely bizarre.
            Cause you to lose your mind
            Start riding around in your car.
            The places I go are exceptionally strange.
            The people I know are corrupt and deranged.
            Breaking bread with fools is a necessary strain.
            The women I do need to have their brains rearranged.
            If you’re looking for me, I’m already some place else.
            If you’re looking for money, go find some for yourself. 
            If you re looking for love, I ain’t got it.
            If you’re looking for drugs,
I’m a narcotic.
            If you’re looking for women, they’re all psychotic.
            My whole damn life is so-o-o erotic.

            Now Dead Eyes and the Satyr turn their backs to the audience and begin trading hot licks, dueling with their instruments like manic swordsmen, the guitar thrusting crisply and the harp parrying in kind.  From my seat at the corner of the stage, I catch a glimpse of inner fire illuminating the guitarist’s empty orbits as the blues temporarily resurrects his lost soul.   He and Leuchtenpfad solo just long enough to whet their blades on our ears; then, the Terrible Flies drop the volume and settle back into the repeating groove.   For a timeless stretch the Satyr stands motionless, looking away into the void, waiting.  The tension builds higher and higher until he turns abruptly and makes his move on the mike.

            If you’re looking for love
            I done told you I ain’t got it
            Then again maybe I do.
            Maybe I’m psychotic!
            Ho, ho, ho.
            Ain’t that a man?

            The band is firing on all cylinders and we’re being carried along on the joyride.  I’m dancing with helpless abandon, drinking in the vision of Go-Go twirling and flowing through space as if she could shake loose the impediment of the mortal coil, loving it all.  The Flies boogie on, tossing trade-off solos back and forth among the bass, drums, guitar and harp, everyone catching the spotlight, holding it for a brief while like a spud that only gets hotter, and passing it elsewhere, with the jam progressively becoming more dense and frenzied until the instruments all blend together like the Yardbirds raving up Armageddon and I can no longer distinguish separate voices.  As the maelstrom of sound approaches cataclysmic force, smoke bombs suddenly go off; and, before anyone can react, the leering Satyr is standing center stage holding a can of fire starter to his crotch in a pose Hendrix immortalized at Monterey Pop, spraying it like flammable body fluid on the drum kit and amplifiers.  We gaze frozen like the condemned as the Satyr tosses the can over his shoulder, pulls out a book of matches, lights one, and uses it to ignite the entire pack.  I am flashing back to the psychotic fury of the Japanese commander.  Dead Eyes and the golem playing my Strat turn towards Leuchtenpfad with rage-twisted faces, and, grasping our precious instruments by their slender necks, swing them at his head from either side like baseball bats.  Dropping to his knees at the last instant, the Satyr tosses the lit matchbook onto the drum kit, which bursts into flames as our beautiful axes collide with effect just above him, two pristine bodies shattering in a blizzard of sparks and a world of screaming noise that explodes through the amplifiers.  Framed by fire, Leuchtenpfad faces the crowd, stretching his arms out like wings. The spell breaks and we surge to the stage like a direct current.  Our ruined instruments lie on the floor smoking and burning as electronic feedback shrieks unabated.  Though terrified, I see myself moving forward and hear myself shouting out above the din, “You a**holes had no right to do that!  You wrecked our f***ing instruments!  You’ll pay for all this!”

            “Payback is a m*****f*****,” Dead Eyes comments casually to Leuchtenpfad.  As we close to fighting range, Michael and the Terrible Flies turn to look at us in amusement.  “Hey, hey,” Michael addresses me with feigned intimidation.  “Chill, Will, chill!  You forget something—this is only a dream, so no harm done.  Like you said,

            In this kingdom, nothing matters.

            Holy Sh*t, Batman!  He’s got us there.  The music-killer Flies, joined onstage by the rest of their biker cohorts, are running to and fro amidst the flames bumping chests, doing crude gorilla imitations, and slugging down huge steins of beer.  I turn to my friends and see that Takashi is seething, Wally has murder in his eyes, and Esther and Valerie are in various stages of outrage and fury.  Go-Go, now sitting, looks ashen. Only Jagrati remains calm.

            “The hell with Jung, that dude is evil!” Takashi tells me.

            “His a** is mine,” says Wally.  “It’s only a matter of when.”

            “I agree totally,” I say.  “But what can we do?  He’s right about this being a dream.”

            We look at one another, then exchange shrugs in a manner reminding me most annoyingly of Professor Hayes’ class earlier in the day.  G*dd*mmit all to hell! 

            I turn my back to the carnage and start to leave the stage, passing Dead Eyes, who comments to me almost reassuringly, “Don’t mean nothing.”

            Resignedly I walk to where Go-Go sits at our table and put my hands on her shoulders.

            “This isn’t good, Will,” she tells me, her face very grave. 

            “No shlock,” I agree.  “Look what those subhumans did to our axes!”

            “It’s not about the musical instruments, Will.”

            “It’s not?  Oh.” I suddenly feel the air escaping from the balloon.  “OK, Go-Go, so what’s it about?”

            “Life and death,” she replies.

            “Life and death?  What do you mean?”

            “We need to talk, Will.  Privately and soon.”

            “OK, let’s get out of here.  We can go to my apartment.”

            Go-Go neither objects nor questions my motives.  She simply gets up and starts for the exit. 

            “We’re leaving,” I call back to our friends.  “See you on campus tomorrow.”

            “Wait up, guys,” Wally shouts after us.  Even he seems anxious now.

            The Goddess Who Dances keeps on walking as if she doesn’t hear him; and, hurrying to keep up with her, I witness an awe-inspiring sight: on either side of her, the tables in the club, drinks and all, turn completely over onto their tops, forcing the club patrons out of the way, as if a powerful and invisible tidal wave were sweeping Go-Go out the door.   Following in her wake, I see a long row of shining Harley-Davidson choppers lining the sidewalk next to the parking lot.  A turbid swarm of Terrible Flies hovers around the bikes, staring at us with faces like Klingons.  I feel another strong jolt of fear but Go-Go is oblivious.  Bad idea! I hear my commentator shouting at me.

            But Go-Go presses on and as she passes through an opening in the ranks of the legion, two leather-gloved hands reach out and grab her by the arm, yanking her sideways toward the bikes.  Two more Flies grab me from either side and sling me backwards, causing me to fall flat on my seat cushion.  I hear the sounds of motorcycles revving up and I can no longer see Go-Go due to the hulking monsters standing over me between us.  Fear makes a run towards panic then suddenly goes ‘poof!’  Clear and focused now, I leap to my feet hell-bent on getting to Go-Go, but too swiftly I feel quicksilver blurs from behind flash by on both sides.  The right blur becomes Takashi the Winged Messenger delivering a letter, Q as in billiard, and a well-placed blow with a wooden rod sends a huge Fly crashing into several of his cohorts, thus generating a chain reaction of overturning bikes and bikers. 

            “Jesus Christ!” I yell at Takashi.  “You never told me you knew karate!”

            “Kendo, Sigi-san!” he yells back.

            On the left, I see Wally somehow yank a dark rider by the neck from his outbound chopper and catch Go-Go as she falls from the headless hog, all in one smooth motion.   The unmanned motorcycle continues forward across the street into the path of a police car arriving on the scene, blue lights flashing, producing a collision that sends the careening bike sliding over the asphalt on its side in a shower of sparks.  Three black Suburbans screech to a halt, sirens wailing, and storm troopers in riot gear pour forth, their pump action shotguns aimed indiscriminately at all comers.  My head is swimming as images of my nightmare merge in and out of the confrontation unfolding in front of me. 

            “Everyone drop your weapons and lie face down on the ground!  Get down and spread ‘em!” directs a God-like voice emanating from the amplified horn of a police helicopter descending from above like a spider.  “Drop your weapons and get down on the ground, now!  I said spread em.” 

            I follow the orders as do my friends; but the Terrible Flies, bound by some unspoken code of honor, stand their ground defiantly in the face of a fearsome assault wave of SWAT warriors, who without hesitation jam gunstocks into the first guts they reach, doubling their owners over.  Shotguns come down on bowed heads like samurai swords and the resisting bikers find themselves joining us in compliance with the lawmen.  Those in the second rank grudgingly drop to the ground and assume the position.  More policemen are arriving as one squad quickly rounds up a small arsenal of guns, knives and truncheons while another slaps cuffs on the miscreants.  And now, Michael Leuchtenpfad strolls nonchalantly out of Strawberry Fields Forever and reacts to the melee with mock surprise. 

            “What’s going on here, Captain?” he asks a middle-aged man in a trench coat, badge out, who emerges from the copter.

            “We’re still figuring that out,” comes the reply from between cigarette-clenching teeth.  “Go back inside and we’ll talk to you in a few minutes.”  The man in a trench coat takes a deep drag on his Lucky Strike and coughs.

            “No problem, Captain,” the Satyr says with politesse. “I’ll be waiting to answer your questions whenever you’re ready.” 

            “These putrid a**holes tried to kidnap our friend when she was leaving to go home,” Wally begins explaining to the man in a trench coat.  “I was in the process of whacking a few of em when you guys showed up.”

            “Don’t try to be Sheriff Buford Pusser,” the captain lectures him.  “This ain’t Walking Tall!”

            “Actually, Captain, I’m an Army officer with Delta Force.”

            “Oh, I see.  You’re f*cking Rambo.  When we’re finished cleaning up this mess, can I get you to autograph the police report?”  Coughing furiously, he draws more toxic fumes into his chest cavity.

            I accompany Go-Go, who is physically unharmed, back inside, to give our story to the police.  The tables are still upside down, Leuchtenpfad is nowhere to be seen, and the jukebox plays on.

            Let me take you down cause I’m going to
            Strawberry Fields
            Nothing is real
            And nothing to get hung about
            Strawberry Fields Forever...

12.  When the music’s over

            Go-Go and I are standing outside a nineteenth-century Victorian house divided into apartments, one of which is mine.  The police helicopter, having escorted us home, is idling on the front lawn.

            “I’ll send a unit by every hour to make sure you two are OK,” the man in a trench coat is saying as we turn to go in.

            “Thanks so much,” Go-Go tells him.  “We appreciate everything you guys do.”

            We walk up the outside stairs and enter through a porch door leading into the bedroom where I also have my desk.  The radio is playing softly in the background and I am half-aware of Jim Morrison’s hypnotic voice singing one of the Doors’ classic ballads.   I flop onto the bed without re-arranging the unmade covers from this morning.  I am in that surreal state produced when exhaustion, sleep deprivation and too many emotional shocks converge.  Go-Go locks the door behind us and then gently lays her body next to mine.   I feel her warm presence and smell her perfume as she moves closer.  I put my arms around her and we embrace tightly.

            “How can you be aware of someone so long and not realize who he is?” she asks the Universe. 

            “Do stars that are light years apart feel one another’s warmth?” I wonder.

            “Make love to me, Will.”

            I want nothing more.  But the star that has shone for untold eons eventually grows dark; and, with Morrison whispering in my ears, I feel myself sinking irresistibly into the welcoming arms of Morpheus...

            Turn out the lights

            Turn out the lights

            Turn out the lights…

copyright 2010 Owen Scott, III ***Installment IV next issue***

The songs in this installment:
all copyright 2010-2011 Owen Scott III
You and Your Lover are Through
Running Backwards
Muse (The Goddess)
Ain't That a Man
jptHOME Issue 20
Copyright 2011- WJ Schafer & WC Smith - All Rights Reserved