Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: September 23

On the coffee table there was a skull with wax dripped over the crown.

For a full month, I’d nodded to it without recognizing its identity as a horned goat.

No idea what it signifies. It’s not in any of my reference books.

~*~

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Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: September 21

Mona’s returned. She was 50 pages from the end of Poma when Herman ate it. Some amigo!

From their porch, Mona and Paul can observe how two houses define a canyon. Their driveway leads into another. Across the street, the canyon continues through two more houses before shrubs enclose the vista. These houses are nondescript working-class gray or dirty blue, with porches and lean-tos added on over the years. The rest of the neighborhood is largely lawn chairs on patches of grass, torn roofing, noisy flivvers, old women, gravel, weeds. A touch of the mountains beyond town hangs overhead. Groundhog possesses how many chapters on this?

On our way for pizza, we joked that their new address sounded like a bad novel: 9 Scribners’ Lane. We started calling the place Scribners’ Inn.

Connie, the kid downstairs, is running around. She whistles like a man and smokes tough. Despite her nice body of 16, she has a pasty complexion from all-America greasy food.

Paul sprawled out, asleep, with the surviving portion of Poma open on his lap. Photos enclosed.

Then, when we took Herman for a walk, he hit in a parking lot, straddling like a puppy. Another dog moved in and Herman jerk away, afraid.

An Edsel sits on blocks in the driveway.

Paul’s junk luck has produced a fine captain’s chair, good padded chair, and pair of men’s boots all from trash piled up on the street today.

View from the roof offers more mountains. Again, photos enclosed.

~*~

For the full story, click here: BIG INCA

Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: September 17

Wolf Jester went back to the city for a couple of days, so Mercedes and I met for a swim. On the way home, a wino stopped us on Hawley Street, white foam at the edge of his mouth, stench of cheap wine. “I’se a poor black man and I seen you, white boy, and your girlfriend around.” (I couldn’t tell him, she was my best friend’s.) “I want youse to know I’se just a poor black man and you white,” at which point I expected him to say, “leave the sister alone,” instead, it was, “and your white girlfriend there, can you spare something to eat?” Well, I’d left my wallet in the apartment. “Look, we don’t have any money, but I’ll fix you something,” she said we took him behind her place, with him and me at the bottom of the stairs while she went up to cook. “I don’t want to cause you no trouble. You ain’t gonna call the cops, is you? I don’t want you to cause me no trouble. You ain’t gonna put me in jail, is you? I didn’t do nothin’ to you.” Over and over. “No, she’s just cooking you something hot. Do you want some coffee?” “No, I’m super-diabetic.” “How about some milk?” Which he drank. He said he hadn’t had anything to eat for three days, he needed some meat. She came down the fire escape with an omlette and a hot dog sandwich, which he devoured. Then she had cherries and some spiced apple yogurt. “I want you to know you’re the first white folks, young white folks, who’se shown me any kindness. You’se the nicest young white folks I’se ever met. God will bless you for it.” “Peace.” “Peace.” “Peace.”

And then it hit her. “We don’t have anything to eat.” Now.

The I remembered my wallet a block away. “That’s OK, let’s go out. We’ve got money now.” And then: “Hey, that’s right!” as flew down those stairs. “Pizza?”

~*~

For the full story, click here: BIG INCA

Big Inca

To: Bill

From: The Boss

Date: September 16

Welcome to the joys of being a landlord.

On a more exotic note, you’re authorized to look into the aspects of establishing a poplar beer brewery. Maybe even in the mill. Headquarters would handle the advertising and marketing. Sounds like a nice incubator enterprise, if you ask me.

~*~

For the full story, click here: BIG INCA

Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: September 15

On Wolf Jester’s birthday, I was stunned to discover another file was missing. Security must be beefed up.

I remember the party well. It was crowded with Mercedes’ friends. The swimming team, especially, who preferred the poplar beer. The Vikings and Celts were not invited. So Jester and I went riding 10-speed bicycles through the autumn night, ran stop signs – there was no other traffic. We sang out at the top of our lungs, ecstatic.

By now Mona and Paul and Clancy and Hilda are dwelling in a compound over in Patrick City. It’s an old frame apartment building – actually, two or three, connected by an inner courtyard of wooden porches and stairwells. A fire hazard, no doubt. We enter through the kitchen window. The place features an old refrigerator and a stove without a pilot light. That night Paul cooked up garlic bread, using garlic salt rather than the real thing. We thought that was the only way you could do it. A GI special, no doubt. That night, I sensed I was an intruder. They wanted to watch TV or play bridge. I don’t remember. Maybe it was go to some dumb movie.

The place is like something we built out of Lincoln Logs.

The window screens held a lot of bugs inside. There weren’t many on the other side who wanted to come in. Is another report in order?

We own the building, but I don’t dare tell them we just purchased it.

~*~

For the full story, click here: BIG INCA