15. "Lonely Souls"
"I need you, brother, because, brother, you are all I have."
- Gary Alinder, "My Gay Soul"
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by Luke Edwards
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Here, then, is the first draft of the letter that obtained by Sheriff Gardner that Halloween night.
This version was written while Edward was in control of his senses. The version under toast has been forgotten and was written by someone other than Edward.
I, Lucas, recognize a small amount of code embedded in this version of the letter which I'll try to explain, as needed.
Dear Dean and Maggie,
oh but do I have news!!?!
The both of you should have argued more to keep me in Seattle. For now. I need somme truths...how or are you involved?? Among other more contagious things, I have a severe case of unsuspicious paranoia.
Outside is the first staying snow after yesterday's news that cleared up "everything." I don't even mind the white stuff - vitamin K in large doses. My cough started again as I woke up. I thought I'd coughed my last last Friday, double pneumonia which degenerated to pain in the teeth area only. Such pain and such busy thinking - backwards sleuthing, such chaos that I had to keep learning instead of go see a doctor about the cough, etc.
And the paranoia. This may be a long paragraph: I feared for my life. For no reason and yet many reasons (others). My damn book.
My damn book (anyway, this is the story as I now think it went; this is revision #841) was read by high officials after I xeroxed it for the first time at the public library about a month before I came to visit you. "The first rough draft of 'Bouleversement'" was in numerical order, very different from the finished version. I don't remember what notes I've deleted since that first version. Which version did Celeste see? She showed it to someone I don't know. Maybe that was the leak.
A few days before my visit to Seattle, I copied the latest and final version at the public library. The head librarian's husband, I know, is an FBI agent. Why would they want to gobble up my poems?
Too late I realize serious implications that my art eyes never saw. The owner of the book's "restaurant" has connections to local organized crime, it is mentioned. Local rumor says he's also been convicted of abuse of animals, an indication of possible Satanic interests. There was another rumor of a faked robbery between the building's owner and the restaurant owner.
Oh, God. It was just before Halloween, I now remember. Does he have connections to prostitution as well?
Halloween figures prominently in New York/North Dakota Satanic/Mafia/Air Force/robbery/vice/etc. connections. The latest news stories are about how David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") knew a person from Spokane and visited here. There's talk of someone named John Carr also. Was he married to my eighth grade teacher? A body has been found, unidentified. Is it her?
Are they Devil worshippers or devil worshippers? John has a brother, Michael, drug dealer par excellence, lived in the house I rented where you visited me a couple years ago. How do I know they lived there? I don't know how I know. I just know. That's the part I'm not understanding.
In the basement may have been a tunnel to the house across the street, providing access and escape for someone needing to hide out. (The library is across the street from the police station and there are reports of tunnels all over town going back to bootleg days, this was the area's Chicago.)
There's a reference to a "red light party" held at the house before Edward resided there. I'm trying to connect that to something in "reality" and don't remember any news story about such a party being held in the house to identify it. Was there? My best guess is that maybe Edward, when first moving into the place, heard about such a party having been held there. This could, in fact, be the glue that made Edward realize the house was that of Michael (?) Carr in the first place.
Have I been watched by cops all these months? I drive around the city a lot cruising for nothing, around and around in a car no one could miss. They're wondering what I'm doing because I'm doing nothing! I'll sit in the parking lot at The White Lodge for hours, writing and watching who comes and goes. There has been a rise in local arrests the past month: the charge? Suspicion. Honest.
Sometimes I'd sit at the all night diner and write for hours, especially when I was working on rewrites of "Bouleversement".
Yes, when Celeste was here she saw one of the final crazy rewrites, a mess. The final copy was typed one crazier weekend, the first time I've ever left the restaurant after arriving. Sick. It seemed so urgent to finish it. Rewrite. Retyped it the last time two weeks before I visited you in Seattle.
I didn't want to take the time to copy the finished manuscript myself so I took it to Leo's Copying. Across the street? My father's workplace.
I had copies made for me, for you, for Celeste, one for the mail (the night after I'd finished it, I heard on the radio [at work] that there is a Walt Whitman poetry contest). I mailed the "extra" copy the next day. Oh, what have I told them?
Dean called to say Bill Burroughs was going to be speaking in Seattle. What a great way to celebrate finishing my manuscript!
While I was in Seattle, I was bouncing checks back in Spokane left and right because of a many-month-old $500 mistake of mine. So I returned to stress when I'd wanted to unwind after the crucible of finishing "Bouleversement".
My boss suddenly found my behavior strange and then the Son of Sam investigation stories began to show up in the daily paper. I became suspicious of my boss.
In Seattle I pretended to be in love for the first time in my life.
I returned to Spokane in a high high and also gay mood but have to work that night but stay awake all day to write (I wrote on the train all the way to and half the way back from Seattle) as though I'm a published and moving to Seattle in December, just weeks from now. A day in Spokane. To be published in 1987, I figure!
Went to work that night and decided to write a Gertrude Stein-like play from the kitchen at the restaurant. The script would come from the tickets the waitresses brought me along with other notes I added to their tickets about customers, etc. The First Clues.
Too many things started clicking together, too many regular customers and other such patterns developed; my damn mind. By 5 a.m., before my shift was up, I was physically ill from the strange connections I was seeing between people I knew and a chaos of ideas. Every word I heard was in code, every code a warning. Confused by the frenzy of the warnings being given to me, from expected and unexpected acquaintances, I was dizzy, sick.
I slept all day and vowed not to write when I returned to work Saturday night. Still, everything I said or heard (the building heard) was pertinent on more than one level, the radio songs were commenting too directly on the activity specificly in front of me at the restaurant. I'd switch radio stations and the next station would pick up where the other left off.
By 5 a.m. I couldn't resist picking up the previous night's writing project. Why?¹
I'd begun with the concept that it takes 25 minutes for an atomic bomb to reach us here from the other side of the globe. My "cut-up" poem would be recorded every 25 minutes.
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