chapter 19


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Andy was walkin on his hands, doin the wheelbarrow, his legs
held up by a guy who lookd like a bouncer exept he had a baby face. it
was the dude from the bathroom, the one who was pissin on his own flyer.

i thought they were kiddin around atfirst, but it quikly became aparent
that andy was not a willing participant in this bit of jollity.  the bouncer
pushd him across the patio, weaving rapidly between peeple and doing
circles around tables. it lookd hard as shit to walk on your hands that
fast, but andy was hangin in there.

they came to a stop nexto D.

ask her,

said burlyman, still holdin andy s legs.

D can you please close the gate? andy, upsidedown

if you want your friend to regain the use of his legs

youll do as he says.

[ dont imagine a sinister look tho, he said it with a

corn fed grin ]

i laughd, noncomitaly.

thats andrewprater, he aint jokin D he will

walkim till dawn if necessery.

then why dont you close the gate? i askd

your closer.

i got up, with a groan that i think i pickd up from andy, and closed the gate. as soon the gate was closed andrewprater let go of andys legs.

thanks for playin walkthedog!

Andrewprater loomd over D, tryin to intimidate her. D wasnt
intimidated tho. or she was doin a goodjob of pretendin not to be.

gotta keep the gate closed D, its legal. dont know if you heard

said as if there was no way she couldnt have heard but mike

had to go to jail lasnight.

yeah, townie jail. all he did was get drunk with vince,

hows that difrent from evry othernight?

and do you by any chance know what happend to

the lock?

quit trying to be responsibl and stickto what you get

paidfor dude— gettin drunk and kickn ass.

actialy, im not workin tonite.

your not?

[ sevral peeple said that at once ]

you didnt hear?

[ he was pleasd to know something we did not ]

brownfrowns playin titepockets.


he nodded.

but isnt that band playin? D said the one all

the teenagers like?


andrew radiated devilment.

i thought madi said no wiskey if there were kids D

she did.

[ if he had a waxd mustache, he woulda been twirlin it ]

theres gona be like— twelve year old kids— there.

yes, there will.

Andrewprater took a swig from a handle of earlytimes, turnd on his heel, and walkd  off.

say what you will about andrewprater yall, that was an impressiv exit.

peeple are gona be scarrd tonite johnson

permanently andy

we should probly be there to see it kathleen

oh well be there D my only concern is how did we not know

about this sooner?

they probly just foundout andy i bet some outatown band

canceld at the lasminute.

i dont know andy, what if were slippin?

were not slipin, D.

you do realize that titepockets is in punktown johnson

so whats  yer point?

youll hafta leave townieville.

im fine with leavin townieville, yallre the ones who never

wana leave this block.

uh=huh andy and howmany times hav you left townieville?

cant help it if theres nothin to do out there.

excuses D, your full of em tonite.

Peeple kept stoppin by our table to say hi, including the entire staff of bluesky minus marko, i eventialy stopt tryin to explain that i wasnt realy gona work there. jesse whos evrywhere made good on his promise to buy me a drink. when i toldim i didnt drink it seemd to confuse him, but eventualy i think i made him understand. after he left D said—

what was that allabout?

he wanted to thank me for talkin to his mom.

what, are you gona be friends withim now?

no. but if i livd here i might.

thats freeky.

i think its cool andy

whatever dude, jesse whosevrywheres for seein, not for

bein friends with.

then doctor shit hammer rolld a blunt. it lookd like the good stuff, the kind i never woulda rolld, but with all these folks i guess it made sense. i didnt partake [ i quit pot when i quit booz ] and i wasnt the only one to pass it up. jondavies and kathleen didnt touch it, and dave considerd but then said it would make him too antisocial.

the conversation got prety random and
tangential and was pepperd with names of people i didnt know and
words id never heard before so that i was often lost, tho evry now
and then D would stop and explain something. i was treeted to a
few lectures. for example, somebody had grafittied the side of
the engine  room

grammar's fascist

, and it wasnt the firstime

id seen it, so i askt.

D fielded that one.

grammers fashist D said whats not to understand?

i dont see how grammar can be fascist. its an inherent property of


not de-scriptiv grammer. pre-scriptiv. youknow— standard

rotten english.

how is that fascist?

they took control of the language away from the peeple

that speak it and they force evrybody to write in their

bullshit made up language

who does?

the boujies.

why would they care?

thinkabout it. lifes good in amerka

but theres only so much room at the top. you taut english, you know—
the poorer the kid, the worse his grammer. the blacker the kid, the worse
her grammer. you want statistics? cause i can break ya off some.

but clarity is important. we have to be able

to understand eachother.

if you cant tell the difrence between you’re and your

from context you dont need to be teachin english.

but its important to know what the difrence is.


because its language.

standard rotten aint a language, hate ta break it to ya,

not a natral one. you are familiar with the term ‘natural


i think so.

i dont know why im havin this convee with an english teacher,

its like askin a millionair to be a socialist. language evolvs dude. thats the
nature of language. if the cappersd been in charge in shake spears day
wed still be sayin thee and thou.

just agree with her, al andy it ll be easier in the long run.

I did not agree, so D decided to start me a reading list.
she scribbled a buncha shit on there, most of it under the
heading hazmats [ historical materialists ] tho i noted a few
buddhist texts mixd in, and sartre, and a david  foster  wallace
article about roger federer. she handed me one  a the books
right then, reachd inside her purse and pulld it out from
beneath the sleeping fermina, a little black paperback
with the title in red


folded inside the book was a single piece of paper
which D brought my atention to directly—

item number one, Ms preface to ‘a contribution to the critique

of political economy’ D the best introduction to M– is M–.

she was lookin at me.

you want me to read it now?

its only a page.

D, chill andy he just got here.

thats no excuse for coddling. thiss the en em  aitch,

get with the program.

whats the N-M-H? that was me ofcourse

nobody said anything.


its just a nickname for athens.

as in neutral milk hotel?

andy and D exchanged a look.

pretymuch D

basicly andy

is this another one a those things your not allowd to tell me?

not another one D

whado you mean?

i apeald to evrybody— andy, johnson, dave and kathleen. jondavies. the other al and doctor shit hammer.

we already went over this D

you keep sayin you cant tell me. thats not goin over it.

silence from the peanut gallery.

yall act like theres some big secret, but you knowhat i

think? i dont think there is a secret. i think this is just

somethin yall do to fuck with people from out a town.

think in one hand, shit in the other, see which one

fills up first D

i will think.

i know ya will.

then, kathleens voice—

i never knew a whisper could be piercing

but it can—

 t a y l o r t a y l o r t a y l o r - t a y l o r - t a y l o r -  h i d e h i d e h i d e ! h i d e ! h i d e !