chapter 27


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Booty dharma slamd on the brakes—

keep scrolling

we went flyin all over the van

what was that? madi

frank booty-d

booty-d rold down his window.

hey frank.

it was the same pedestrian wed almost hit
earlier. dude made a habit of walkin down the middla the road with
his hand infronta his face.

he held it up there with his fingers spreadout just enough for him to peek thru, like he was gettin ready to fence and he forgot his mask. he kept his hand propt up by cradling his elbo against his stomach with his other hand. he could keep it up there allnight. infact he does, and not only that— you can tell how drunk he is by how close his hand is to his face.

course i didnt know that yet. all i knew was there was this drunkguy swayin in the road with his hand infronta his face.

hi booty-d!

frank said. he had a realy nice drunksmile, what you could see thru his fingers. if they designed a muppet whose main thing was bein drunk, theyd model it after frank.

do you need a ride frank?

frank lost his balance and regaind it. laughd.
held his hand infronta his face.

its pretty close madi to booty-d

how close? booty-d i have terible nitevision.

pretty close.


hes beyond questions b-d, lookatim D

you can barely see is eyes.

frank was. i mean he existed. in the
middle of the road in a state of frankness, with his hand infronta his face.



get in the van.

frank got in the van.

franks a drunk bodisatva D

prepare to be enlightend madi

and possibly be made drunker by his

presence andy

frank stood in the center of the van [ it was that big, you could standup in it ] smiling at evrybody like he was so happy to see us—even me—it was all he could do not to eat us up.

i was already feelin kinda enlightend. and drunk.

and i stand by what i said about drunk muppet.

have a seat, frank D

frank had a seat. nexto me.

frank a-l D a-l frank.

frank took is hand away from is face to shake my hand
only for a second, but in that second i gazed upon his visage and beheld
the radiant joy— i had to avert my eyes yall, it was too much. i was glad
when he put his hand back infronta his face.

its your ffirsday frank said, or maybe it was a question


you mus  be ffffffreakd  out---------

i am.

he waited a beat before answering...


then he retreated into a smiling state of halfconsciousness
with his hand infronta his face.

i sure was freakdout when i got here booty-d

in a good way tho. mostly.

i got a whole album outof it madi

outa movin here? me

madi nodded.

i coulda done three. its like you get to
be a kid again, only now you can process it like an artist. craffin, workin,
doin battle. your first massacker, your first all in.

whats all in? i said

you hadnt gone all in yet? thatll change

real soon i bet.

but what is it?

youll see in due time D interupted

hey andy, you knowhat the world

needs now?

yeah, i do. but im not sure johnson does.

johnson dyou knowhat the world needs now?

no anser.


johnson was asleep.

kickim andy.

you kickim D

your closer.

andy kict johnson.

johnson wokeup—

who shot who in the what now?

i was just askin andy if he knew what the world needs now.

you were?

he said to ask you.

well deidra, jusso happens that i do know what the world needs now.

whadoes it need?

it needs. . .

johnson lookdaround to make sure evrybody was excited.

we were.

Elaphent Elaphent E L A P H E N T E L A P H E N T E L A P H E N T E L A P H E N T Super S U P E R S U P E R S U P E R S U P E R Murder! M U R D E R ! M U R D E R ! M U R D E R ! M U R D E R ! M U R D E R !

Andy and johnson pulld guitars from beneath the pillows and started bangin on em so hard they didnt even need a drummer.

johnson sang—

the the DEVIL D E V I L D E V I L D E V I L MADE M A D E M A D E M A D E the the LEGS L E G S L E G S L E G S

but but but but GOD G O D G O D G O D stitcht S T I T C H T S T I T C H T S T I T C H T the the CLOooOooOES! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S ! C L O o o O o o O E S !

and so forth, it was prety intense. i dont think id ever heard
someone sing that loud that upclose before. when it was over andy went
straight into the next song, strumin pretty and somber, notafraid to try,
like the music is here, god i wish you could hear it.

johnson started fingerpickin in and outa andys chords.

andy croond—

im not an asshole. im just misunderstood.

they tell me god is good—

oh, and who am i t’ argue?

afterwards, D said—

is that a new one andy?

it is.

whend yall geta chance to practice it?

we didnt andy

that was the firstime i heard it johnson

sweet D

sadly, ill probly never play it that good again johnson

they finisht off with a murder ballad andy wrote, i cant recall any of the lyrics but it wasnt all hokey and ersatz. it involvd a plauzibl situation— a borrowd car, a wreck, a girl freakin out on acid.

When the last chord had faded, D said—


thanks D.

that was good yall me encore.

ill encore your core andy this is the en thiss athens g-a,

quit while your ahead.

were you gona say  the N-M-H? me

i was.

why did you stop?

to avoid the inevitable, i spose.

what inevitable?

your startn ta sound like a worrier D i had you pegd

as a fuckup.

im both, i guess.

nice. we can use more a that around here.

im not here. quit sayin that.

you are here a-l. let go a whats backthere, you cant

get to it now.

i can get to it.

not rightnow you cant, its not real. now is the only thing

thats real, evrything else is imaginary.

no. its real.

no it isnt. add these to your list, i cant bleev i leftem off—

sartre, the imaginary. lacan, the four fundamental concepts. gotem all at the hizzy, evrythings alphabetical no categories, makes it easier, trustme—

[ she was lookin at me ]

write it down dude, i know your not gona remember it.

fuckall that andy said just think of ticknot. member the part

about the mama holdin her baby?

i did.

you know what kinda energy it takes to be present like that?

andy you cant do it if you spred yourself thin.

let go D your still hangin on to it. i can tell by the way

you hunch yer sholders.

i cant help it. i love them.

i know ya do D if you were with them id tell ya to letgo

of us. but your not with them now, your with us.

but i will be. with them.

you may be, al andy but you arent now.

whatre you doin now? D

ridin in bootydarmas van. with yall.

i started to drift

evrybody was smilin. even frank wokeup and smiled.

breathe in f l o w e r breathe out c l o u d

look— hes flowting madi

i wonder whats goin on in his litle mind? D

crazy shit, actially.

some of it too crazy even to mention

breathe in f l o w e r breathe out c l o u d

uh-oh, hes goin too fast andy

dude relax, evrythings gona be o-k D

evrything is o-k.

relax, al andy deep breaths.

i tried to relax. but who cares? freakinout, relaxin—

none a thats even real.

shit was fallin off me

like i was the grandcanyon and this was erosion.

i had the sudden thought—

things are never gona be the same for you, again.

scary. but also exciting, if you let it be.

breathe in breathe out

D kneaded my sholders.

she found the spot where i carry it most, topa my chest.


i satback. ended up with my head in her lap.

re-laaacks. re-laaacks.

[ flower ] [ flower ]

she ran her fingers thru my hair.

let gowwww letgowwww

cloud ]

[ id never been more relaxd. this was the womb yall, id figured out how to get back in! ]

as i drifted off, D cooed to me,
somewhere between a prayer and a lullaby, in a beautiful soft voice
she must save for ocasions such as this—

if you wana be happy

be happy with what you have now—

be happy with nothing