13. "The Orchid's Curse"

"This circumstance, coupled with his ambiguous, half-hinting, half-revealing, shrouded sort of talk, now begat in me all kinds of vague wonderments and half-apprehensions, and all connected with the Pequod; and Captain Ahab; and the leg he had lost; and the Cape Horn fit; and the silver calabash; and what Captain Peleg had said of him, when I left the ship the day previous; and the prediction of the squaw Tistig; and the voyage we had found ourselves to sail; and a hundred other shadowy things."

- Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Thirteen

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Theme song, I should go to bed. The theme music could put me to sleep.

I took two (instead of my usual one and a half) Trazedone and yawned. I'll watch one more (FBM) episode....

There! That was an excellent example!

As I wrote the words "one more," they were spoken by the actor who played Squiggy on "Laverne & Shirley" who is making his first appearance of two appearances in "Twin Peaks" as a salesman of equipment for paralyzed home patients like Leo.

"False Baader Meinhoff" is awfully clumsy and difficult to define but may have to do. I'll start marking those occurences of False Baader Meinhoff with "FBM" when they occur: if, as I type or write a word or phrase the same word or phrase is being expressed or broadcast by any other source, stranger, television, radio, that is an FBM.

Next is a funny scene: Andy is trying his hand at a courtroom sketch. He draws the man in three-quarter profile, a stage term for mostly the back of his head.

It was on my way to the psychiatrist's today that I was thinking of high school and college drama days, my treading of the boards. I've not yet talked about my kidnapping victim at group. Nor have I mentioned there that I killed Poet X with a vehicle in April, 2002.

Harold, the Orchid-boy, talks about growing up in books.

"Maybe our dreams are real," Donna responds.

First draft notes here describe my high school and college days on stage, highlights among the roles I played. In order of significance: Billy Bibbit in "One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest" (in the role played on Broadway by Gene Wilder to Kirk Douglas's Randle P. McMurphy) while in college, Winthrop Paroo in "Music Man" in high school, Rumpelstiltskin in my only titular role, a children's theater production that expanded my interest in acting from mild to more emphatic.

(The notes don't include mention of a high school musical role in which I appear on stage, scrawny kid I was, in old-fashioned one-piece male body swimwear, a favorite role, nor another high school role done in old age make-up [in "George Washington Slept Here"], nor my stint as Wally, Emily's paperboy brother in "Our Town." I delivered papers from the time I was in fourth grade until I was a sophomore in high school, bike delivery in summer but a daily walk of more than two miles in the winter when a bike is not the way to get around rural Spokane.)

Piper Laurie shows up in male drag, very effective. Sorry, I've given away the secret of "Who is the mysterious Chinaman?"

When I watched this the first time in 1990, I knew it was a suspicious person but would never have guessed it was Katherine, who disappeared mysteriously after the fire which was part of the chaos-filled ending of the "first" season of "Twin Peaks."

Winthrop Paroo was played, of course, by Ron Howard in the Hollywood version of "Music Man." The recent Prozac, I mean tv version of "Music Man" wasn't bad but wasn't great either. I didn't much like the directing, or the casting of Marion.

It was at this point in the first draft that I consciously stopped watching multiple episodes of "Twin Peaks" at one sitting, hoping to put off the decision I meant to make about what to do with my houseguest.

After having written the first three forays of this narrative in multi-hour sessions, I was "primed" (again, echoes of writing the poem and being stalked by the agent of Son of Sam in Spokane), my wheels running smoothly enough to come up with some details of my fictional "Blaise Cendrars."

I'm going to place him in Paris around the time of the Cubists' beginnings. With that background, I'll have him construct poems with pieces of newspaper clippings like Baysans has done in more than one poem, a perfect historic precedent!

This will validate my explications, making them of interest to, say, The James White Review or some other literary publication. I'll write a paper "discovering" this connection between Baysans's current works and those of the historical (but invented) Cendrars.

Disorganization of the senses is like flight and writing rough drafts are the runway part of the process. Depending on how far the pilot wants to fly, take off runway time is proportional.

I've always liked the works of Braque and Picasso in the days their paintings looked like copies of each other. Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein is also done in this style of Cubism. Newspaper pieces were included in some of these works.

My first Cendrars poem will thus be a newspaper story presented in broken lines of poetry. To make it easy, unlike Baysans who interspersed the newspaper items with his own writing, Cendrars' poem will be just the newspaper story, written in the early 1900s.

So his early writings period can last until around 1915. A book of his poetry could appear around 1920. Shall I have him grow from a writer of poetry to a novelist? That was a popular and usual enough route for a man of letters to take in that era.

That's it! Cendrars will write an autobiographical novel that's not autobiographical. His novel, written in diary form, will be a madman's diary. I'll have to think awhile to conjure a believable title.

I worry that I won't be able to kill Baysans now that I'm getting to know him better. But killing him should be my decision, should ransom be obtained.

Every other day my mood changes. Kill him? Get a small ransom? Kill him? Get a small ransom? A cloud follows me, a feeling of guilt maybe, but mostly a fear of getting caught.

The feeling is strong that someone must die if someone hasn't already.

That paragraph referred only to "Twin Peaks" the first time. As I rewrite this, it takes on more meaning. The metaphor is getting too close to me and not staying on my fixed object.

Nadine has spun off the deep end since her suicide attempt. Released from the hospital, she thinks she is back in high school. But she has superhuman strength.

Cooper and Truman are in halls with red curtains. But this is not one of Cooper's dreams. They've come to rescue Audrey from One-Eyed Jacks, the whorehouse.

I'm too in control to reveal my secrets; I won't be caught in this kidnapping! Either I get a ransom or I'll kill him.

Letting the fixed metaphor ("Twin Peaks" in this case) get too parallel to my life.... This is what is important to avoid a repeat of, how to avoid the breakdown in the direction of up that I felt so many years ago.

Audrey is being rescued.

"Are you looking for secrets?"

Was there an unidentified female body to be identified? Some Lucy fossil?

"I used to live in a house on 6th Street. Did the man whose death you're investigating live there before I did?"


The episode ends.

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