23. "Slaves and Masters"

"(Forger and murderer Mark Hoffman) once told me that if he could create a document that is so well done that the experts declare it to be genuine, then for all practical purposes it is, and there is no fraud involved. He genuinely believed that."

- Chuck Larson, former Utah State correctional guard

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Twenty-Three

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This is the episode in which Heather Graham makes her television debut. She would go on to appear in "Boogie Nights" as a porn star who is always on roller skates. I saw her in something else recently which surprised me it was she who had done it, an odd role. This week, August 4, 2003, she's on the cover of Time magazine; the caption reads, "Meditation." I'm obsessed by Time magazine. I wouldn't have guessed it was Heather Graham except for the credit inside. She looks like any generic model. Is it because her eyes are closed?

I can't afford Time magazine. I'm watching reruns of movies I've seen before on cable TV.

"Ain't It Something" that Lyle Lovett doesn't show up as an actor in "Dr. T and the Women", directed by Robert Altman who has used Lyle Lovett in at least two previous movies? I'm not sure whether to classify him as "performer" or "actor."

Work, this project, this reliving of a bad poem, is starting to amass, pile up. I see how much work would be involved in completing, polishing this writing, if I were to want to do so. Foolish thought. Abandon it. Think of Rimbaud as a negative role model.

I checked my e-mail and have had no response to demands for ransom for the life of Greg Baysans. Not only that, no response to his death has been made as I rewrite this narrative the first time, months later. (I hope I haven't given away the end of this story by saying that.)

Billy Zane's first episode! Those eyelashes! I thought I first saw him in "Titanic" (hated it!) in the role of the villian. I forgot at the time that I'd already seen him in "Twin Peaks"! He's young here. And delicious.

Josie is dead and Cooper is seeing Bob and the midget, the first vision he's had in a long time. Things had almost seemed normal.

I remember this scene vividly from its first airing: Josie's face is morphed (early CGI [computer generated imagery]) onto the wood knob of the dresser drawer. She tips her head back a bit and screams!

Josie is dead. Dean is dead. David is dead. Rimbaud is dead. Sylvia Plath is dead. Phillip Whalen is dead. John Keats is dead. Germaine Nouveau is dead. Poet X is dead. Baysans would be better dead. Jim Post is ready to kill us both. I ready for the change a death brings to the ratio.

I put the tape in and started watching just now (trying to slow down my pace in viewing the finite amount of episodes yet to watch, avoiding my decisions regarding what to do with a kidnap victim now that I have him and his financially useless pen, head, appetite.

Jim Post is adamant today that I decide earlier than I'd planned what to do with Baysans. From being undecided, he has not only begun to argue that I "recycle" him (his phrase, not mine) - he's threatening to do it for me one of these nights when I sleep or some week while I'm at group.

A commercial proclaims, "Starting Sunday, April 7, with Sidney Portier, 'Seperate But Equal'." A series? A miniseries? A movie doesn't "start" on a certain date on tv. And movies don't start on Sundays but on Fridays. Or is it Thursdays?

I'm hungry but not eating because I don't have a job. I don't have a job because I quit. I think I'll move to Germany! Rothenberg ob der Tauber in springime sounds awfully nice.

It's 3:45 a.m., and my resolve is about to fail. Many episodes back I did eat a green apple while Jim and I watched awhile together (he's not watching any of this with me other than that brief segment). It was only because Josie (Joan Chen), still alive, was cutting a green apple of shame. Tired of shame and green apples, she dies of fear, according to Cooper's take on her death.

Jim Post makes Pakistani chicken which his sister taught him to make. She lives here in Seattle too. (We were living with her when I wrote the first draft of the first few episodes of this. I kept Baysans tied up in a shed the first three days after I kidnapped him.) I thought our food differences could be worked past but he seems to like "rubbing it in" (hot spices).

Dishes have become my sole responsibility, a thing that shouldn't bother me but does because he knows how very specifically I resent that.

Ironies of rewriting: the first draft note here is an apology for not concentrating enough on my own situation and instead focusing too much of the "Twin Peaks" storyline (some of which was removed during the second rewrite). First draft: "we're having a strange contest of who can stay awake longer, an old game that sure makes unemployment easier." Second re-write: "He is sleeping."

To get away from Jim Post, I joined Baysans in the basement. We had a lengthy discussion about his long poem, "A Real Education." A couple hours later, encouraged by Baysans to talk about my own poetry writing so many years ago, I wrote a parody of it. (Along with the new introduction mentioned above, it can be found on the page of "Supplemental Documents.")

As I listen to "The Owls Are Not What They Seem," this third rewrite distracts me from what should be time for a serious job-search. None of the jobs available to me seem serious. Sandwich maker? Scrivener? What does one do after deciding that poetry is not a great area in which to get compensation for one's contributions? My question and Rimbaud's. Baysans doesn't give a rat's pellet.

The distraction of "Twin Peaks" has long since past. The owls are again what they seem.

Oh, my! Windham Earl is alone with Donna in her house, inviting her to his ball.

A strange note in the first draft of this reads, "I am Rimbaud returned to Paris for a last cab ride. My one leg and experience which is of no value to anyone are all that I have. Will you hire me? I have no home, no wife, no kids which makes me suspect but you can get by with paying me less and expect me not to complain."

I've left the above note from early February, 2003. It's my first notice of the hacker.

G'night. I sleep here. End of episode. Few remain. I close my eyes.

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