I am at a party. It is 1974, it is Hanoi.
The host is a chain-smoking news person.
French. He is a spy for the v.c. I know it.
I do not know why I know this, or much else.
The party is awful, guest clinging the walls
like limpets. Across this pond of boredom I
spot a couple in inappropriate big sweaters.
Inappropriate anywhere. They spot me detach
themselves from their wall and bob towards
me. The male half has his hands somewhat
outstretched. In each is a baby. In this
right had, a child as big as a average round
In his left a child as big as a
larger potato. Both a naked and red, as if
from mishandling. I ask about the children.
With discomfort he proffers the larger,
"this one's 4", and then the smaller, "this
one's 1", and gathering them both in his
right hand pockets them in his right trouser
pocket. He has the look of a man about to
get down to business but says nothing.
I push gently past the pair and make my way
to the 70's hi-tech home entertainment
centre. It is for some reason ok for me to
begin dissecting it. I find evidence of spy
hardware everywhere in the nest of wires and
clamour of boxes. The television is a
brushed aluminium capsule with an under 4
inch screen. Half it's housing is filled
with other non television stuff. The same
goes for the receiver. Other boxes have no
purpose other than obvious coding and
illicit communication devices. Obvious only
I might add to this character I was playing.
I walked to the window, outside a smallish
colonial town bustled. I have never felt
more at home or at ease. This is a feeling I
have felt before. The best travellers have
either taken care of everything back at home
and feel free to move. Or, never take care
of anything fully and prefer to start over,
however temporarily, wherever they travel
I am now in the vietnamese jungle. I find
a box in the bushes. It has a blinking glass
lens, blinking red, an miniature 1950's
automobile tail lens. I open it. Upon
opening it I realize I have begun a
countdown to it's detonation. I would like
to throw it away but I am interrupted by a
voice. The host of the aforementioned party
approaches me, wearing black pajamas and
carrying a rifle.
If he is here, and a VC operative, then I
might also appear to be one. I speak to him
dismissively ( he is french after all ) in
vietnamese which I speak fluently. He takes
a drag on his cigarette a moves on with a
shrug. I throw the box away.
I am in a pink room, my uncle Bill stands
before me. My mother pokes her head through
the door and says, "I am running your
shower". My uncle is talking about my new
car. We are interrupted by water gently
spraying from the wall's surface near my
face. The water is warm. I excuse myself to
go check on the shower. In the bathroom the
shower head is pointing at the far wall of
the bathroom onto which the water pounds.
The wall shared by the pink room.
I am on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. I am
on the bay side of the island with my new
car. It is a new BMW convertible and
amphibious. I enter the car and drive down a
ramp into the bay. The surface is choppy and
the whole project seems unwise. I pause for
a moment and see a metaphor for my whole
life. I decide to get a boat licence for the
car which will at least seem to help.
I am on the steps of a cast iron entrance
of a shop. The whole street is lined with
such shops. It is half 1969 Greenwich
village, half old New Orleans. I am with a
female friend. I am young and cannot walk,
transfixed by the mouths of passing women,
which I imagine I am kissing. About to fall
from my reverie I wake.