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CNN said Bush was putting in his 24 hours a day in the Kremlin--I thought as I scampered up San Carlos and made a left on Spencer. These were nice homes yelling and lisping, but they were not the homes of the super-rich. Where were they anyway? This was the big mystery of Sausalito. I huffed and puffed my way into an open house on Cloudview Road. No.41 it just blew into my ears. I walked up the catwalk and found the agent sitting like a hundred miles in Texas. She had blond hair. Also very milky blue eyes. She was thin and small and extremely hungry.

" Hello, how are you? Are you looking for a home? " She purred. It was like sweet vinegar up in the Alabama sun. I could see the San Fransisco sky-line hidden in the potatoe-patch fog. This was some kind of disenchanted heavan. It licked and roared. It did these creepy somersaults. " How much is it selling for? " I implored with wicked determination. " It's worth what people are willing to buy, " she said. " They're asking 3 million. " I hunched next to the counter. " I was told the real-estate market was slow. " The agent squirmed. " Not in the six hundred dollar range. Not if it's less than one point million. "

It was such a tacky house with bronze cats at the enterance making their plans for chop suey in the floating streets. The rooms were too small. "It's not for a family, " the agent bundled on into the living-room. I just kept walking to the freeway. So where were the really filthy rich homes with their rich blondes and paranoid hustlers hiding behind the exhausted veneers of nine-eleven. I walked beyond the skinny overpass. The traffic was in a rush to get to the bridge. Any bridge out of the current misery that the memorial day was bursting with. I saw a huge sign. " PRIVATE DRIVEWAY. " A huge house was hidden in the forest.Was this really Valhalla at last? An Indian tourist asked me where he could park his car for a view of the bridge. " Get back on the freeway and take the last exit before the bridge, " I shouted.

I then had a sudden revelation. I quickly walked back to the OPEN HOUSE. The agent was surprised to see me. " If you go over the freeway, is that were the mega-rich live? " I asked. " I don't know. Is there a ' for sale " sign there? " The agent inquired. " I've seen homes sell for 20 million, you know. " There was an anxious stillness like talking to someone married in the basement. " Now do you have an e-mail address? I can sell you a great home for about two-hundred. How long have you been living in Sausalito? I looked at the view and suddenly said. " Can you please take my picture? " I saw the pair of milky blue eyes look intensely into me. " Do you have a camera? I'm closing up now. "

I said. " Yeah.... "

We went out. The cats were still probably down below in their silent meditation. I sat in a deck chair and crossed my legs and just flew away as the wind blew and blew. " My hair keeps getting caught in the view-finder, " the agent protested. She took a snap. then another....this was just the west coast of the dying American empire. It made me mad. I was amused. I had found a crack in time near a red Mercedes. I had to dash home and write about it.

The Complexity of Seeing These Chicks on CNN

It was a complete farce and he knew it. The suicide bombers were trembling on the world screen. They were going into the LA vineyards and disrupting his concentration. It was just another secret conspiracy. Or was it more than one. They were possibly clashing on principle. Hitting the right buttons and and just making a bloody mess of things. Stupid things real bugged out and stumbling. Itching for a shower and shave.

Then the knock on the door.

" Can I talk to you? I need to talk to you. " It was a distant voice. It sounded possibly like Billie Holiday falling off the Twin Towers. It was so smooth and steamy like Chardonney. He had heard this voice before on the silver screen. Just a few blocks away. He loved it. It was addictive. It was rickety and...

" You're not washing the tin cans. We' re recycling them you know. You're not paying for the soap. You're not pulling back the shower curtains. Geez, I can't walk naked in the house because of you. I can't... "

He looked into the thick steamy screen with its lamp-light of arguements. The filthy currency markets were going crazy. The Yen had gone up 250 pips in two hours. Then suddenly 150 pips down in just ten minutes. These were certainly the kind of moves that could make serious money even for fools. The world was on fire. It was looking for cactus plants and saying " hands up. " It was breathing in the purple air. Where were those suicide bombers now? Were they in Calcutta, Montreal, maybe Haifa?

The voice continued its litany. "You never clean the sink. You never pull the living room curtains in at night. It's not ecologically efficient. You can only use the shower for ten minutes. Also you can't take baths. You can't... "

He had loved that voice on the silver screen. Even if it was commiting adultery.The editors and translators were screaming for their getaway money. It was suicide time for the snuffed-out planet. There were these large gas shells exploding everywhere. In Chinatown and then in California. So where were the aliens? Why hadn't they arrived? They were overdue.

How could one explain in fifteen languages the nature of the problem? It was everywhere in the air. Under the sea and up in the Himalayas. He had just loved her so much on the silver screen. He turned off the computer and just missed the last bus to Mississippi.

She began screaming:

" I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU. " She walked away.

This was CNN on a good evening. It roared in the mysterious night and he just loved it.

A Great Day for Having a Seizure

" Why are we leaving the classroom? " yelped Avery. " Because Brenden is having some trouble. " The elder man said. " What kind of trouble? Avery yelped again. " Don't worry about it. " The elder man said -- again with growing annoyance.

The mansions could be seen in the distant hills not too faraway. The geese in front of the pond near the playground seemed to be looking for Eskimos. A plane flew high above and made a strange sound.

Avery smiled. " Oh, I know. Brenden's having a seizure! Can I watch? " The elder man said no. But Avery continued speaking. He was looking forward to this. " Can I go fly in an ' plane ' now? Why can't Brenden learn how to fly? " It was recess and the children were beginning to come out of the ' special ed ' room.

The elder man was impressed with the chocolate-eating mice and all the constant apologies. As well as all the apocalyptic drawings with the little doggie glasses. It was a strange scene here and in every corner of America. The banana fish were coming out in force. They had sharp teeth and they were now behaving like sordid pigs.

" Why don't they teach us how to fly? It's easy. You just flap your arms and you start moving. " Avery was now very excited. " Look, I can do it. Just like those birds over there. " The elder man was looking beyond the horizon. He could see Tootsie rolls and also Sierra Leone. He now could see Avery and Brendan and the other silent children with their strange inner stares.

The geese were now much farther away. What a difference it was to be here. So different from the other school where he had taught a little Mexican girl in the first-grade to start reading the newspaper, then Shakespeare and finally Hopkins. Here things were so slow. So ploddingly slow. There were no miracle flashes. Just very weird things like….

" Let's fly now, " Avery continued to plead. " It's easy. Let's do it now. " The elder man thought about the other troubled children he had seen. The multi-graders who daily went into these raging tantrums and demanded to hear lil' Wayne and then lil' Bowwow. These kids were much darker in skin color and filled with this absolute rage. It was all just like cough syrup pouring out of a transparent bottle. It was like wearing identical brown loafers that smelled like these old cabbage leaves. No. This was ' special ed ' with all its grey and special wonders.

The bell suddenly rang for the children to go in. It was now music time in this big city of dreams. The intern teacher from Columbia University smiled at the elder man. She was the one with the big boobs and the fine tan. Her dark glasses seemed playful. She was also divorced and now living somewhere in Bolinas.

The geese were now very faraway. The mansions were still standing. It had been just six months since nine-eleven. Avery was also now flying solo.


01 - 02 - 03

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