chapter 8


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so we’ve been told and some choose to believe it so we’ve been told
and some choose to believe it sew weav bin tolld



weve all woken up and not rememberd where we were, sure. but have you ever had it where, even when you rememberd, you still didnt believe it?

i mean i believd it. i just couldnt believ all the trouble i went to to make it happen. all that time and energy cause of a dream and a thing, probly only the power of suggestion linkin em.

and all these folks carryin on at eleven oclock in the mornin, they seemd desprate. just a buncha people who had nothin better to do than get drunk in the middl a the day.

new plan: get the fuck outa athens. figure out evrything else
later. ohbut i still had dudes phone

just then, a woman walkd by
pushin a stroller, which made me realize i had not seen child one
[ or old person one for that matter ] since i got to athens.

the woman froze— like shed just rememberd somethin urgent.

stroller didnt freeze, tho.

it rolled,



ended up on the patio of a bar. parkd itself at a tableful of revelers, like the baby had pulld up a seat. it was imediatly wrapt in a cloud of cigaret smoke.

the mother, meanwhile [ or whoever she was ] had no idea. shed duckd into the place nexdoor.

somebody had to do something.

me. i was gona do something.

i was gona save the baby, sweet! somebodyd be real thankful for that i bet.

i walkt over to the bar patio and got the atention of a reveler— this redheaded chick, of the type you call firey, who was sittin nexto the stroller puffin on a cigaret.

Scuse me maam

did you just call me MA’AM?!

sorry. its just— a baby shouldnt be around

smoke like that.

baby? hes like three years old.

with that, she exhaled directly into the stroller. it was one of those big strollers where the babys inside this capsule. and she had just fild the capsule with smoke.

i didnt even look at her—
i just grabd

the stroller

yankt it back

spun it around

thats when i realized—

it wasnt a baby in that stroller.

it was a cat.

the cat took off took off

the redhead yelld—

cat at large! we hav a CAT AT LARGE!

tho she made no move to go after it.

the cat darted into the place nexdoor. which luck would have it  was the same place its owner just went,

x-ray cafe

, the chalkboard outfront advertized, home of the recordplayer from which kermit continued to sing—

so weve been told and some choose to believe it so
weve beentold

t h e  x r a y t h e  x r a y

i dont know what it was, but it wasnt a cafe. more like a surrealist-museum-slash-junkshop. lava lamps and pez dispensers, birdcages, toupees and wigs, an extensiv collection of he-man figures, dont get me started. you couldnt tell what was forsale and what was on display, there wasnt a pricetag in site. or a cat-at-large. course there was a lota shit to hide behind.

there were only two people in the place [ i guess cause it wasnt a
bar ] the cats owner—she had crazy blue eyes, and not necesarily the
good kinda crazy—and a tall pale guy in sunglasses and an eighties
big-hair wig, it lookd like hed just stept out of a whitesnake video.

they were in the middle of a convee—conversation—that went somethin like—

why did you ask me to come in then?

[ that spoken by the woman ]

i didnt ask you.

[ this was aparently the proprietor of the xray cafay. its not a wig, by the way, its his real hair ]

you didnt?

no. you justlike— showd up.

the fellow spoke in valleygirl, he never came out of caracter. his thumb held his place in a fat paperback, can i buy a vowel? the unauthorized biography of vanna white. maybe an irony freak, maybe just a freak. or a littl a both probly.

i spotted the cat then. hed minced his way to the backa the store, where he was investigatin a knicknack shelf full of the most delicate litle collectibles you could imagine, so many itd make your grannys head spin.

i tried to get somebodys atention.

scuse me, hi.

oh hi, didyou see the new menu? its not like, on there yet, but i hav gummy salamanders now, their fifty cents, three for a doller, does that sound good? i gettem at daily for eight ninedynine a pound, their organic, their pretybig, i bet one weighs like an eighth of a pound orsomethin.

do you know how much a pound is, paul?

[ that was crazy-eyes ]

yeah. its like, twelv ounces. no wait— sixteen. i hafta thinka that tab comercial, you know where their like sixteen ounces and just-one-callory?

the cat was gauging the nicknack shelf, thinkin about scalin it.

i cleard my throat—

well sorry to interupt

name somethin that ways a pound [ the woman said ]

i dont know, a shoe?

a guinea pig ways a pound. thats a lot more than

eight gummy salamanders, trust me.

then i noticed the eponymous ‘cafe’—
a folding chair, a cardtable, a mini fridge, a coffeemaker, and a
jarful of money labeld cash reji$ter. on top of the table was the
new menu—

x-ray new menu

paul turnd to me.

maybe they should be four for a doller.

i dont need any gummy salamanders thanks, but theres a cat over there.

paul followd my gaze to the nicknack shelf...

my curios!

the cat crouchd at the base of the shelf,

on the edge of leapin.

you could see his muscles twitchin.

BEE-BEE! what are you DOING?!

[ the woman askd the cat ]

AVA-LOU— do somethin! hes gona get on my CURIOS!

pauls hands were clenchd. he shook vizibly. i dont think id ever seen a human fret to this degree before.

ava-lou yelld—

whadja get outa your basket for?!

bee-bee lookd ashamed of himself.

i said stay in your basket. now go! back to

your BASKET!

bee-bee went. back to his basket i guess.

paul calmd down instantly.

so why do you have beebee with you anyway?

cause im on the lam.

whats that, some kinda weird diet orsomethin?

it means runnin from the law.

some choose to believe it so weve been told and some
choose to believe it

my plans were rapidly evolving from make excuse to leave, to get out while you stil have your sanity.

its just vince, right? its not the real law?

its vince. but he look prety pist when i ran away from im.

whad you like, do?

nuth n.


i just askd madi to stop playin her gittar, while im trynta sleep.

did you ask her— with a knife?

ava-lou lookd at her purse, from which protruded— i forgot to mention—the handle of a cheap steak nife.

i waved it around an stuff.

i must of atleast atempted a graceful exit, but now it seems like i strait up fled.

paul came after me—i thought he was chasin me, i was gettin prety paranoid—but he just calld out—

thanks come again! im open evryday. no wait, im closed on sundays now. im ona start goin to church. you know— for the hats.