12. "Laura's Secret Diary"

"I could write it all in the second person: you, Reader...I could also introduce a young lady, the Other Reader, and a counterfeiter-translator, and an old writer who keeps a diary like this diary...."

- Italo Calvino, If on a summer night a traveler

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Twelve

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That reminds me of something but I don't remember exactly what: Sheryl Lee becoming a star by accident. Eddie Murphy on SNL (Saturday Night Live), a background player that couldn't be kept in the background.

A SNL regular, Molly Shannon, will later make her television debut in a small part of an upcoming episode of "Twin Peaks". 

Which thread of my ongoing story do I pick up here? Which BB topic do I return to, adding a layer of paint or a shadow or flipping it on its head? I haven't talked much of Son of Sam because I don't know much about it. I only thought I knew. I contacted the FBI. The FBI listens. I was worried about being killed.

Lost in the rewrite, Molly Shannon's actual appearance and a long discussion of various Saturday Night Live alumni, particularly the seemingly large number of dead ones: the show has been on the air for 25 years and these regulars are dead: John Belushi, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Phil Hartman, none of them a natural death in any sense, even Gilda's death from ovarian cancer not a natural death given her relative youth, her too, too early death.

Relating this narrative is somewhat like having to edit Bulletin Board every day, pick the focus, use the best.

Some Bulletin Board threads have been around since it began. I think of "Simple Pleasures," "Our Pets, Our Selves" and "Cute Kid Stories." Some threads are topical and some timely, related to current events, major or minor. A few have even been revived after a period of brumation.

"The Vision Thing" is usually meant in a sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek way by the editor, Dan Kelly, who attaches the titles to stories in his own inimitable way. He sometimes, too, adds parenthetical comments which never take over the community feel of the column (and daily web posting).

Audrey is being held for ransom. I think of my own hostage. I, too, should ask a ransom but first must contact someone who'd care.

Jim Post's pack has three cigarettes left. The carton I just finished of my own brand was bought by him two weeks ago.

What spare money appeared has disappeared, making Jim Post rightly possessive. 

Who would guess after hundreds of years of literature, no one would want to learn or teach poetry any longer in what's supposed to be "the greatest country" in all of history? 

Ever since I've kidnapped Baysans, Jim has become possessive of my time like he never has been before.

I wish he could perceive this as my work, my kidnapping of Baysans, my interviewing him.

I should think about maybe getting some fresh poems from him, valuable ones, sell-able ones! Poems by gunpoint!

An interview, a formal one, perhaps, as potential income? Would The JWR want that? 

Jim Post is only seeing the time that my doing this takes away from time spent with him (which would only be spent watching tv, the Prozac of the masses, anyway).

Audrey's tormentor is shot but the shootist unties only her torso (not her arms?) to hug her.

Laura may have a second, a "secret" diary. It may be stashed at Harold's, the Orchid Boy invalid. I disliked but identified with his character, his pale complexion  and wish to stay inside.

It's 4:09, too late to take a Trazedone now (I always waited too long to take them; I'm no longer working so my doctor now says why take them? good advice). I have another session this afternoon, my group. I've been there twice now and haven't mentioned that I'm keeping a prisoner at home in the basement whom I feed only once a day. 

Basements. Across the street. The duality of "Bouleversement" was the map I used to discover tunnels under the streets, like in the building I once rented in and lived in there in Spokane. The police station is across the street from the library where I researched my book (and would later read back issues of The JWR), made photocopies of my manuscripts. The cops had read them!

My current drama is so small compared to that. And it's now that I'm attending group sessions, even after relocation to an out-of-the-way office.

Before that I attended two sessions ("seasons" k.d. lang sings and I like that better and think of Rimbaud) at the clinic's former branch office closer to where Jim and I live. This getting jerked around is its own game and takes time, becomes the focus rather than What am I doing there? What can I do to not be going there? That would not be good for their paychecks, curing people and having them gone, the insurance company's payments too. Plus, insurance people have to keep their jobs. Who is running this game, anyway?

First draft notes here compromise confidentiality and mention the members of the group, none of whom has the attendance regularity of me. I'm no better. I know it.

I do like this new therapist, Pam, but two visits does not a confidence cement. Cement, Washington. Twin Peaks, twin peaks in Africa. This is becoming a prose poem. 

I want to write poetry. Shame on me. I know better. I have the examples of Rimbaud and Baysans to deter me. Don't do it! There is no reward. The ability to write is a talent valuable only to history, never to the person himself, herself. Think Sylvia Plath. I shouldn't bring her into all this.

Yet the example Rimbaud provides also shows that one meant to be a poet should not try to make his way in the world of commerce. How many times was he taken advantage of, repaying debts of his dead business partner largely to keep from being scalped? 

Do I dare stay up all night again? That, too, is making Jim Post edgy. I have to decide soon if I mean to obtain ransom for my "guest" or if I should return to my original plot to kill him?

At this part of the "Twin Peaks" tapes I did a great job of pausing while commercials aired, so I'm not seeing many nor having to fast forward through them, my usual habit. That is a factor in there being only five and not more tapes. I'm nearing the half-way mark (but have only filled a quarter of this journal's pages).

Will I have to add notes? Explications? Attempt, after all these years, to write that poem, any poem?

Greg Baysans left a typesetting job in Portland, Oregon, at a firm named DJC (Daily Journal of Commerce). Production manager and supervisor of "legal" advertising department's typesetting, Ali Hassannia, had no training in typography, the English language, or human relations. His position seemed guarded by a gentleman's agreement, some nude Emperor's edict, or by his tenure and the fact that the department was financially sound, supported by legally bound entities required to post certain notices in a public newspaper. The department would have been financially sound if it were managed by a stapler.

Laura kept a secret diary and Maddy and Donna conspire. They're going to find it and read it and figure out who killed her.

The Hacker had inserted a long string of Xs, Os, and Is here. - ewl

That effective, lulling music: the end of the episode, another.

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