9. "May the Giant Be With You"
"Leaps and twirls
"in the sun
"like some Icarus,
"that proud, that fast."
- Greg Baysans, "Uncrocheted"
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by Edward Lacie
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Agent Cooper is wearing a tuxedo. The jacket is off. He is lying on his back. A small pool of blood spreads on his white shirt.
A doddering bellman - gaunt, his head shaved bare, a sort of fool - needs Cooper's signature on a receipt for the milk he's just delivered. He bends to say "I heard about you."
Cooper remains on the floor, shot, dying. Cooper is about to have his second vision.
A taller man than the bellman has entered (he looks like the guy called the Green River Killer, a regular at Boxx's. A connection? I hate the thought of introducing a random suspect to this narrative).
My first idea was to write and sell explications of Baysans's poetry. Not even the JWR was interested in them. My next plan was to rid Baysans of Poet X, the drunk at his elbow. I hoped it would make him more able to focus on writing and return to wishing to be published.
"The owls are not what they seem," the Giant says in a baritone almost as perfect as that of Lou Rawls. (Coincidence: Lou Rawls was in the paper today for assaulting someone in his family.)
The Giant has three predictions, three things Cooper must learn before the Giant will return.¹
Note, February 17, 2003: As I work on the last rewrites of my e-novel, I discover a hacker has accessed the website where I've posted this. I discovered the damage first in this file: a long string of Xs, Os, and Is with no clear pattern. There are pages of these characters in several places and I have deleted them where I could find them.
When I discovered other, less obvious, damage to my files, I contacted a friend who works with corrupt and/or damaged electronic files. Garry's been able to reconstruct, I hope, this narrative as I'd left it in February, 2003. - ewl
Cooper is dictating his last will as he lies dying. He expresses a wish for Tibetan peoples, that the Dalai Lama be able to return to his country, an echo of Richard Gere's speech at the Oscar presentation a year or two before this was written.
A detailed account of Baysans and Poet X first meeting has been deleted by the hacker and could not be re-assembled; I've lost notes taken during my most extensive interview with Baysans, from which I'd originally written that description, nothing spectacular, two strangers at a bar who began talking. Trivia is what they had in common, an enjoyment of NTN - National Trivia Network²) - trivia games. - ewl
Cooper is in a hospital gown and bed. Lucy, Truman and Deputy Hawk are there. Lucy opens her notebook, brings Cooper up-to-date:
Since they last met the evening before, besides Cooper being shot, losing consciousness and waking in the hospital, "Leo Johnson was shot, Jacques Renault was strangled, the mill burned, Shelley and Pete got smoke inhalation, Katherine and Josie are missing, and Nadine is in a coma from taking sleeping pills, a suicide attempt."
There are two nights of "Taken" left for Jim Post to watch in the living room; I won't be done with watching my five VCR tapes of "Twin Peaks" until weeks later than that. Jim has told me I have to have my detainee gone by the time I finish my "Twin Peaks" revival.
I may have to watch only one episode at a time (or less? or weeks apart?), retard my progress, if I can't decide what to do with my kidnap victim.
"You tell me," Miguel Ferrar's character says.
(At this point in the first draft there is mention of Miguel Ferrar's rising star and Kyle MacLachlan's diminishing one in contemporary 2003. There is a lengthy mention of MacLachlan as part of "Full Frontal" which I enjoyed a lot but several critics much dismissed.)
("Full Frontal" concerns a movie being filmed about a movie being filmed. In that interior movie there is a TV showing a movie with Brad Pitt. Taken to that set, a director calls, "Cut!" and the camera withdraws showing Julia Roberts waiting for Brad Pitt to get off work.)
The hacker inserted a sort of "review" of "Full Frontal" here that was complimentary. When I first noticed the damage in this file, I deleted that review. Now that I've had Garry restore my files (somewhat), I wish I could also retrieve the hacker's movie review, but Garry couldn't locate it. - ewl
It's midnight. Awake an hour longer than I meant to be tonight, I'm very drowsy.
Lucy is pregnant, I forgot to mention. And Jim is stll watching "Taken". Lucy's boyfriend, Andy, is, like she is, a comic relief character. I need some of those!
Dr. Jacobi, hospitalized after being beaten ("Careful of your wrists, doc."), is babbling, "Laura wanted to die, contemplated suicide," he is telling Cooper.
"She arrived at the decision to end her life. Maybe she allowed herself to be killed," Cooper intones.
"It's usual in cases of strangulation for the victim to void his bowels," we learn.
Ed shot out Nadine's eye on their honeymoon. I hadn't remembered that. I have to rewind.
Jim Post has chased me out of the bedroom and I resume watching "Twin Peaks" and writing in the living room. He's upset: about my "Twin Peaks" project, the kidnapping, everything!
James and Ed, an uncle and his nephew, hug. Or two actors? I'll take the second (answer) and both of them (actors, not answers).
But what a waste of the food I'm giving him, if I were to eventually kill my detainee. It's easy to see how it would have been easier to kill him immediately, my original plan.
The table in front of Cooper at the sheriff station has a stripe of donuts, three wide and the length of the table. Cooper and Truman are reviewing evidence and suspects as they are known.
Donna Hayward's poet sister readies herself to recite her latest work. I'll stop writing long enough to watch. The Haywards have guests, the Palmers.
"It was Laura.
"I saw her glowing."
Leland sings "Get Happy". His hair turned white overnight.
"Sleep deprivation is a one-way ticket to psychosis, and I'm going on a three-day jag." Cooper is dictating to Diane, like before being shot.
The Giant returns. "I forgot to tell you something: Don't search for all the answers at once."
First draft notes here include a description of the physical differences between the JWR as it now appears and the publication that was the JWR in its first decade: a newspaper-sized magazine, it included artwork and photography, poetry, prose, lots of reviews of gay literature (most little-known). Greg Baysans was chief designer and typographer/typesetter, a volunteer/unpaid position, for most of the first decade of the publication's existence and had created a "new form". I could argue here that The James White Review was a precursor to the Zine explosion of the late 80s and early 90s. I won't.
I don't think the next paragraph related to the previous, but I'll leave it in as a note to myself to try and remember what might have been deleted here by the hacker.
I won't. Let me go, Beelzebub.³
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