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They're old now, they go to conventions and sign autographs and stills and stuff, they get excited if you even recognize them. I got this one at a big convention last year where they had the star of all those Blondie-Dagwood movies. You know Dagwood, right? He's dead, but if he weren't he would have been there. See, they never miss a chance to go to one of these, because they don't have any money, they're unfortunates, all broke and living in the actor homes, they just do these conventions when they can. But most of them aren't able to do anything, and when they're dead, you have to order theirs from guys who sell them if you want to get them for your book. For this one, I saw that some guy in Indiana had it, so I sent away, that's why it's ripped, my sister tore it when she opened it because he mailed it in this flimsy envelope, no cardboard, nothing. That's how stupid people out there in the world of these things are. They think their flimsy little envelopes have no effect on anybody. Anyway, it's Keaton, only thing that matters, whether the "O" tore off or not. And then, of course, the "N".
      But I saw Fairbanks, Douglas, Junior, coming down a staircase once myself (at that convention), and he looked the same as you would think, the moustache, had the ascot too. So first they had a dinner, then we took a bus to where it used to be some kinda mental place where—where they made that one that has the guy who pops from underneath the table and machine-guns everybody at the table over and runs out and goes down this enormous staircase smashing right into the cop who gets there just in time to catch him (see, the giant cake that had the cop inside it got rolled into where they had a bunch of nuns all mumbling something as a group around the table, or he would have gotten that machine-gun guy as soon as he popped out—the cop, that is—from underneath the table) at the bottom of that staircase. Anyway, he looked like someone's dead-as-doornails grandpa coming down that staircase, propped up: not the Fairbanks we remember, just a sort of propped-up geezer coming down that staircase. But he had that moustache, had the vest, the ascot. All the same, you'd have to know whose shaky, spotted, hand it was, because, as you can see, it's just a mess. But he's dead too now, so, as you can also see, I skip a page right after his, because they die and I will skip a page, and sometimes if they're really old I skip it anyway, because there's something to the really old ones that just makes you want to go ahead and put a space before and after them. See here, it's empty after where the Blondie is. But not because she's dead. But see, he's dead, or I'd have had the Arthur Lake behind the Penny Singleton instead of just a blank before another blank before the Douglas Fairbanks Junior blank.



A short (rising or reaching upward to the knees) or less than knee-length (reaching downward toward the ground), broken (violently separated), slow (registering behind or below the average), trotting gait in which the hind foot (the part on which the man or woman stands) of the horse (limp-wristed) hits the ground (the bottom of a body of water (the liquid that descends from clouds (a visible mass of particles or water or ice in the form of fog, mist, or haze suspended, usually at a considerable height) as rain (water falling in drops, condensed) forming streams (a body, running), lakes (a purpling), and seas (great quantities of salty water that cover much of the earth) and forms a major constituent of all living matter and is an odorless, tasteless, slightly compressible, liquid oxide which appears milky-colored in thick layers) a trifle before the diagonally (passing through two nonadjacent faces (the front part of the human head including a chin, a mouth, a nose, cheeks, eyes, a forehead) of a polyhedron) opposite forefoot—or a ballroom (a large room for—) dance (to move or seem to move up (one in a high or advantageous position) and down or about in a jaunty manner) in double time (the measurable period during which an action, process, or condition occurs twice) that includes slow (registering behind or below) walking (going on foot (open-mouthed) steps (a rest for the foot in ascending or descending) quick-running (flowing) steps) and the step of the two-step (a ballroom (room for banquets, birthday parties—weddings?— anniversaries, receptions...) dance (to move or seem to move up and down (unfortunately, you are far too late, my friend) or about in a lively manner) having a basic pattern of step (the color), close step (the human mind is such a devilish thing), step, close step, step—and not, not under any circumstances could the pattern change to step-step-step-step-close, in which case that would be another style entirely (a downright fiendish, fiendish, thing to say the least).



A fluffiness capable of displaying, as a moving hand-drawn image thrown against a static screen, the wickedness that's in you, might just take off running at a given moment, and you'll spend your days and nights in search of this small fluffiness. You'll wander day and night, but you won't find it. You will have to be content with having merely come into a kind of near-to contact with its sweet and seemingly—"Oh, you're just so damned ephemeral," you might be known to murmur at a given moment—timid little self.



He walks along a dark and rainswept trail toward trees of colorful plumage. "Who's that calling me?" he wonders as he steps through where the light, like gray and grainy splotches, shows up here and there (a scattering of gray and grainy lights revealing, in that kind of scattering, clusters of hornlike buds with white, though grainy, tuberous-looking, roots). So he continues walking through that thickness. Overgrowth. No walls around. There's just this kind of pattern from the light that falls in splotches through the openings among the trees. He feels, stepping into them (this very act a kind of satisfaction in itself), repeatedly renewed, and pictures, every time he's stepped back into darkness, brown and lovely breasts. A silver charm hangs in between the breasts. There is the sound of fluttering from the trees, and calls. Not shrill; more like a kind of background to a silence other than the crunching of his feet in alternation with the muffled falling of his feet onto the leafless (rainswept) ground. The charm: it shimmers. "Just to walk this way," he thinks, "is all I need."
      He moves beneath the canopy of trees until he's come upon a clearing. Splotch of light. And, at the edge of it (that splotch of light), he stands. He's come upon such things before. He rides his bicycle through here so often that he usually will ride right through this light all grainy with the crumbled up materials abounding. Now he stands, then walks around the edge of one big splotch of light. Bicycle-free, he's looking up. He turns. He listens: plumy cries and whistles, carryings on. He says, "I've been here many times, but I have never heard a cry like that, a kind of melting, although it's a clatter too, all flutter, flap and shriek, a cry that seems to come from up there somewhere at the top part of this shaft of light." He walks around it as if searching for a door. He says, "I'd better stop." He says, "Because I do not even want to find a doorway in this shaft of light, because who knows where it would lead." He says, "Perhaps into a staircase made of bright though gray and grainy steps that shine as they go curling up so as to grayly, grainily, reflect my downward gaze as I went walking up." He says, "And what would I find waiting at the top?" He says, "And who would greet me?" "Anybody?" he asks. "Or would there be nothing other than a kind of floor that goes and goes forever, dried-up pieces of all creatures on the floor, and colorless of course, just beak or bone or brittle fin, but somehow not believable as having been originally the beaks and bones and fins of any bird?" he says. "Or fish?"
      He comes from someplace where the men wear all the colors in a shirt and shorts and walk across the green and muddy ground with dreams of breasts so brown and lovely floating down to them so slowly from above.
      He rings the bell, looks up. He's down there calling out a name. This man. He's from the kind of place where men like him go riding on a bicycle beneath the arcing boughs of trees a-shriek with wild and lovely plumage drifting now and then down to the green and muddy ground, a surface where the rain falls through in shafts depending on where there might be an opening between the trees. "Down here," he says. "Can I come in?" "Why aren't you going to let me in?" he asks, as if he's just awakened from his bed upon a low-hung cloud and hopped down to the windswept ground to find out that the world has changed while he went missing. "All so different now," he says. Hard-hearted, cold and empty is how he would surely find things. He looks at the shadows high atop the trees. "A girl," he says (he's peering up, then scanning all about him), "brought here by some evil sleight of hand, would surely live here in great wretchedness and misery."




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