Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: September 12

Having the dynamic duo in town has been a big help. They’re so competent and supportive. Yes, Thor, Goat-man, and Wolf Jester have signed on. The store’s actually starting to look like something.

Is her full name really Francesca? She seems to detest Manny’s teasing. She explained my new pay system, the idea of quarterly paychecks that appear to come from a trust fund established by my “aunt” – enough to subsist on – while the bulk of my pay really goes into another account, kept out of town. Sounds convoluted to me. Same for the new ownership set-up for the store. So I own 40 percent, and Fran and Manny each have 30? And the Company gets its cut through the advance and “service fees”? A certified public accountant and a lawyer? Now I see why.

At least it’s not all work and no play on my part. Three afternoons ago, I took off with Mona. These days, it’s up and down in these clouds! In a mountain meadow, I began reading the copy of Poma for the Hell of It you sent me, while Mona tried to read Plato’s Republic. (I recognized these immediately as variations on the Master Plan. Augustine’s City of God is another.) My laughter bothered her, so I ran off and climbed a tree, where I continued my reading. Out of the blue, it seemed, I ran into Sloth. I thought they said he’d spent the summer in Ecuador?

A half-hour later, I was overwhelmed by this rush. “Hey! You’re in a tree! Crazy, man, crazy!” The self-consciousness hit me. Zonked out, I fell asleep in her arms. My afternoon nap, I guess.

The next day, Mona joined me in the meadow again. We listened to the joyous explosion of crickets, grasshoppers, and a multitude of birds. She read more Plato; I laughed through Poma’s prose. I want to trap her, keep her, even though I know that’s a sick idea. (It’s a sin to stay cooped up indoors when the sun’s giving itself to nature.) Another shotgun fired away in the distance.

The violence that wild meadows imposed on bare feet is like the violence of insects to bare skin, a real contrast to the gentle river this time of the year. As we draw up plans for restoring its waterpower, I find it difficult to believe the river really can rampage. Will simply have to wait and see.

Last night, euphoric, we kissed and touched (oh, so stoned) on the porch. In the morning dawn, I awoke, alone.

Six blue ridges in the distance engulf and hide big white farms. I imagine a funeral procession of black buggies to white tombstones, crashing through eons of sorrow.

By the way, Mercedes and Wolf Jester are getting pretty tight.

What should we do?


For the full story, click here: BIG INCA.


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