18. "Dispute Between Brothers"

"Je crains toujours, - ce qu'est d'attendre

"Quelque fuite atroce de vous."

("I must expect, and always fear,

"You'll make some wild atrocious flight.")

- Paul Verlaine, "Spleen"

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Eighteen

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As of yesterday, I'll only be feeding Baysans once a day. Jim Post has quit talking to Baysans altogether and barely acknowledges me.

There is controversy about whether Rimbaud was a slave¹ trader or not. He was, indisputably, an arms trader, although the guns were barely more than pop-guns (and Rimbaud was paid less than he'd hoped to get because of it). These "arms" were part of the disastrous Labatot affair. 

I'd rather focus on a possible murder much earlier in his life, before he'd even been to Aden or Harrar. 

Nicholl argues that the sudden change in Rimbaud's plans in Cyprus (not long after his period of the Philomath) indicate the rumor of a murder is true. Steinmetz thinks no murder took place.

I believe Nicholl. I may be influenced by the fact that I've committed a murder of my own.

Where's Waldo? In the bird cage where he belongs.

I turn on the tape to get away from it all, but I write: (I meant video tape when I wrote that, but now that I'm rewriting I mean the cassette tape:)

"Red, Hot, and Blue" "later tonight," the commercial announces before that familiar theme music.

"Red, Hot, and Blue" was an AIDS tribute. I bought the CD at a used CD store when I saw it a few months back, even though I was on my last week at a temp job. I still thought I had citizenship privileges then.

Waldo in "Twin Peaks" is named after a character in a movie, "Laura" (directed by Otto Preminger) which has a lot of tie-ins with "Twin Peaks." Waldo is played by Vincent Price.

After the shooting incident with Verlaine, Rimbaud went back to live with his mother. From Steinmetz: "Alone, nourished on disgust [...] there was nothing else to do but write." (p. 157)

The next commercial is for a company that is "here to help you out of your money problem, call the bankruptcy lawyers." 

I rewind. I grab the third of the five VCR tapes.

But I was making millions in '91 compared to the nothing of the present. I'm rewinding the tape. The mental breakdown happens when you can't stop the tape, can't fast forward, can't rewind.

Germaine Nouveau used the pseudonym P. Néouvielle. Descriptions of him usually mention he's small. But what a lovely, bearded man in the picture in Steinmetz's book!

The problem is that nothing ends the way one plans. I didn't expect Jim's ultimatum (or my unemployment) (I didn't know the language would be the first to financially go) either: Baysans must be dead and/or gone by the time I finish watching these episodes of "Twin Peaks." That wasn't my original plan at all.

Baysans's employment problems peaked when he worked at a newspaper in Portland, The Daily Journal of Commerce, where his supervisor in the typesetting department was "English illiterate" according to Baysans (and verified).

In an unemployment case involving Baysans and the supervisor, Ali² Hassannia, the latter committed perjury, and Baysans received an order from lawyers for the company ordering him to "cease and desist" in making the claim that Mr. Hassannia had done such a thing.

The phone rings. "Is Waldo there?"

So there I was in 1979, taking my own tour of "disorganized senses," when I get hit by this very public police investigation into Son of Sam's local connections, how he didn't act alone. I'm sure of it.

The phone rings. Is it Labor Day, Memorial Day, New Years Day?

Ed's wife, not mine, Nadine gained superhuman strength after failing to commit suicide. She has regressed and thinks she's in high school again. Comedy within tragedy or is it tragedy within comedy?

Rather than watching "Taken", Jim Post is sleeping, dreaming an alternate reality, learning his lines for tomorrow.

It's at this point that, during the second rewrite of this narrative in February, 2003, that I give up, abandon the few months of time I've spent working on this distraction. It's time to move on. What little I like about it is inextricable from the parts that I'd take out if I were going to start over. - ewl 

Bush the Younger willed himself into office by writing a final version before the rough draft. They've handled the "war" in Iraq the same way.

Many who knew better willed one man responsible for the Son of Sam killings. It's the version we've all accepted.

That fag committed suicide killing a whole bunch of sailors. It's true! ("It was true" or "It is true" - I don't know.)

Cooper is telling Audrey about Windham Earl, a new character and obvious villian. A story from Cooper's past reveals they used to work together for the FBI. A stray bullet from Cooper's gun shot the woman they both loved. Earl went crazy and has stayed there.

The hacker has also removed a large chuck of this episode which dealt with... hacking! Edward Lacie, in the first draft of this, interrogated Baysans for the first time regarding passwords for his web site and other intimate information to further the fraudulent report of Baysans's death and/or kidnapping.

Especially humorous was the account of the discussion between Edward and Jim Post - lost and unretrievable - about how much ransom might be expected for Baysans. It was at this time that Jim's mind changes from one of tollerance and consideration for the hostage to one of conscious sabotage.

I was slow to pick up on this change of Jim Post's attitude, which led to more and more difficulty between us.  

Poet X had a problem with the truth. But even worse was his problem with a bottle on which a bourbon label had been attached.

Besides claiming to have once been a priest, Poet X claimed to have been a published poet who had outgrown the interest. His interest now was said to be promoting younger writers. Baysans was actually a few years older than Poet X but didn't look it. Poet X was usually too drunk to be much of a mentor.

After the hit and run, when no one had yet identified the body, a rumor began that Poet X had been seen in Seattle. I suppose it helped the minds of the regulars who knew him at Boxx's to think of him as having moved a few hours north, without having said anything beforehand.

The hacker's damage to this episode ended here with yet another of the odd strings of Xs, Os, and Is. The original text resumes mid-sentence:

to die. It was his usual silence. Baysans had no answer for me.

That melancholy theme music....

I don't have much will to live myself.

I'm surprised the hacker left that line in. In fact it leads me to suspect the hacker is Jim Post himself, trying to tarnish my reputation. It makes a small amount of sense that he'd be the hacker: he's got access to the keyboard I use to write this. Still, I'm very doubtful that Jim Post is the hacker. It's too important to him that my plans succeed, not that they be sabotaged.

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