11. "The Man Behind the Glass"

"Maintain the most total silence

"while you wait for the bird to enter the cage

"and once he's in

"softly shut the door with a quick stroke of your paintbrush"

- Jacques Prévert, "To Paint the Portrait of a Bird"

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Eleven

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"The owls are not what they seem," is mentioned almost immediately after the theme music is played.

The first time I wrote this book (after three years of college and before I knew I'd not be returning for a fourth year, maybe due to the mental break-down that went up which I experienced as a result of writing it), it was written as poetry, the Gnome Notebook. The first draft of what has become this book was written only in prose.

I want to re-live the euphoria but not the uncontrolled aspects of what I felt then.

From that poetic experiment I remember nothing. I've blocked it out. I wasn't very familiar with Rimbaud at the time, but I don't doubt that what I wrote was about Rimbaud, if only unconsciously.

(The above statement is false. I've found a reference to Rimbaud in the Gnome Notebook. There is also a quote, "Pitiful brother" used to designate Larry, the character responsible for the line, "Don't make me go back there.")

A new character shows up in "Twin Peaks" - a home-bound orchid grower who was on Laura's Meals-on-Wheels route. Donna has taken over the route to learn more about who might have killed Laura. His name is Harold, the shut-in.

"I love you, Sheriff Truman," Albert (Miguel Ferrar) says.

Bob used to flick matches at Leland. Bob would say, "Fire, walk with me." That's the title of the movie that appeared after the announcement that "Twin Peaks" would not return after its second season. "Fire, Walk With Me" was called a pre-quel,¹ though, not a sequel, to "Twin Peaks," so the things left unresolved at the end of the tv series remain unresolved.

I'm out of cigarettes and have to smoke some of Jim's. The one-armed man is trying to sell shoes to Sheriff Truman. I realize I haven't mentioned BMs in a long time.

Jim bought me a new coat a month ago, since I'm no longer working. He's also been buying all the food.

The one-armed man is shooting up in the bathroom of the sheriff station. He's asking for Bob to appear. "Are you here?"

What did that make me think of?

I was born to be a stalker.

Another attempt at describing the breakdown during and after the first time I wrote: after a while everything became a metaphor and the metaphor came to life as monsters and angels and Jesus and someone very much like Bob. I wondered at the time if I might be having an acid flashback. 

It's after 3:00 a.m. (it's five minutes to 2:00 a.m. as I retype this) and I haven't thought of e-mail for over an hour. I don't want to be traced once it's learned my captive has been kidnapped (now retyping and rewriting, editing, I can say, I wasn't found out). (Have I ruined the mystery?)

I should get some sleep. Jim went to bed hours ago. We're not getting along well. I should just kill him (Baysans, not Jim) and be done with it. But first I have another plan, learned from Mark Hoffman, the forger and murderer: create back-up texts to validify my current documents.

I need to invent a poet similar in style or subject to Baysans, providing him with an accepted intellectual or literary precursor, model.² I hereby invent, in honor of Rimbaud, a French poet who I'll have write poems which Baysans will imitate or use for inspiration! 

Of course, he'll be important enough to have been translated into English since Baysans doesn't read French. I'll put him long enough ago in the past to be well-regarded, but not contemporary to or preceeding Rimbaud. A name: Blaise Cendrars. Does it sound French? (Pascal?)

The writing, in poetry, years ago, the first draft of this trying to explain a theory of magic and illumination, the writing was not always lyric, an interior monologue. Nor was it "modern" free verse.

I was trying to record events as they happened, how events coincided with my thoughts, my moods, how each mirrored the other. My thoughts were fueled by my just-completed manuscript "Bouleversement" and its theme of duality.

The premise in "Bouleversement" was that all things have opposites and opposites, in their dependency on the other, equal their opposites. A notion sensed in great poetry - that time does not exist in the linear sense we perceive it in an everyday way - was also a main theme and theory I was trying to provide examples for, here and now.

Donna is talking to Laura at Laura's grave. Lara (not Laura) is showing her acting chops in this scene. And the monologue is well-written, a pleasure for an actor. No actor can save bad writing, but even bad actors can present a great speech because of that greatness.

She apologizes for her and James, Laura's boyfriend (the secret one of two) before her death, now falling in love. Donna walks in on James about to kiss Maddy, the dark-haired look-alike cousin of Laura.

"I only came for a funeral and look at the mess," she says to her uncle Leland as Sheriff Truman arrives to arrest him for the murder of Jacques Renault in the hospital bed way back when.

I seem to remember hearing that Sheryl Lee, who played Maddy and, in flashback, Laura, was first hired only as the face model for the pictures and the body (FBM as I retype this, k.d. lang sings the word "body" as I type it) for the corpse on the opening scene beach. She stepped into a speaking role meant to be a cameo that grew into a central character.

Hollywood myth or hideous contrast to Rimbaud who worked, had the right stuff, seemed not to succeed?

Here's the end of the episode.

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