osh Smith was working at Pixels and I did him the service of driving him out to the Malvern Girls' house when I finally went there. Upon entering the kitchen where all their Malvernian things go down, I noted that there were a quite a few rare or unknown faces present. Firstly, there was an older guy, may be in his late 40s. He was Carl, the father of Eric the Huffanator Huffman. Then there was a youngish woman, maybe in her early 20s who had long brown hair. She was Melissa, the unlikely girlfriend of Carl. There was a young man there with a wide face and a small chin. He was the guitarist for that good crazy atonal band that had played at the House Warming. His name was Michæl Nace and he'd come with some hope of pursuing a romantic desire he'd been nursing for Peggy. Last, but certainly not least in as much as she was the most extroverted and out of control person present (more extreme even than Sara and that takes some doing) was a girl with shortish fake blonde hair and unappetizing blue lipstick. She, known as Jennn, was busy hailing me as The Gus, for some reason surprised that I wasn't a 70 year old man with a long flowing beard. The main reason she was in town, a least according to Sara and Jessika, was to see Farrell, though Jennnn certainly wouldn't admit to this. By this point she had a massive crush on Farrell, out of all proportion to his many positive traits. This crush had developed for the most part exclusively out of things she'd been told by Sara and Jessika. According to Sara, such crushes are common for Jennn. Sara can cite a long history, beginning with Jennn's initial discovery of boys, of playing second fiddle to random penis-porting personages who, like comets, fly distractingly into and then out of Jennn's life.
The evening wasn't one filled with nagging insignificant details. Perhaps this could be attributed to all the vino I was drinking. I seem to recall everyone getting along quite amiably at an early stage of the evening. Jennn was seeming to enjoy Dan Reitman tales nearly as much as Sara had. When she saw my drawing of him, with big hair and a headband festooned with buttons, she started loudly protesting, "What's wrong with that guy?" She wrote a bunch of degrading things about him all around the picture in garrish all caps. I called information and got Dan Reitman's phone number in Eugene, Oregon, then we used phone fraud to leave a message on his answering machine. It was Sara's voice, begging that he call and provide assistance for the beleaguered Malvernia Astrological Cooperative, so under the onslaught of The Gus.
Then Farrell showed up in his ridiculous topless convertible and whisked Jennn away. It turns out they went to a fancy restaurant that had just closed, but true to His debonaire form, Farrell kindly suggested that the kitchen staff whip up some vegetarian pasta for His female companion. If she hadn't been by this point, Jennn would have now been in the most degrading manner of love with Him. But starting from where she was...it is hard to find words to describe the FEELINGs she now had for Farrell. Together they returned later in the evening and kept to the periphery as other events unrelated to them unfolded.
In Farrell's presence, Jennn acted restrained and calm, obviously a front to convince Farrell that she wasn't really a raving lunatic. Sara detected this difference, though her doing so does not on its own put Sara in the league of Gemini rocket scientists. Sara was annoyed that all she predicted Jennn would do: her initial moping about because of being without Farrell, her excited extreme-ness upon learning of his imminent arrival, and her abandonment of everyone for Farrell upon his arrival; had now come to pass. It reminded Sara of my painting Woman Crucified on Man, which hangs above Jessika's bed. Thus she felt it important to inform the world that Jennn was again crucifying herself on Man. Down came the painting, out of Jessika's room, and up it went on the kitchen wall with the letters J,E,N,N,N written one each to five PostIt notes across the bottom. This so humiliated Jennn that the letters disappeared and Jennn feigned interest in non-Farrell people for the remainder of the evening.
On Saturday, we all piled into the car to go on the grand tour of Charlottesville. This was to be the big day when we Virginians would see Jennn and Michæl Nace off after their wonderful stay amongst us. In our contingent in the Pegger's car was: Josh Smith, The Pegger, Zachary Firkeley (who now controls the extra room on first floor in the House, a possibility now that, owing to the capable capitalism of AmeriGas, there is heat on the first floor) and Sara, Jessika and myself (The Grand Air Trine). Meanwhile, Jennn and Michæl Nace rode in Michæl's car. We all rendezvoused on the Downtown Mall. By this time, Jennn had found Farrell also on the Mall, so they were together. He was trying to convince her to stay another day.
We'd made a bag lunch containing some cookies and an apple with the name "WEI" carved into it. This was to be a lunch, delivered as a psychological prank, to the alien, a Downtown Mall and The Corner regular. Wei is an oriental guy who walks back and forth over the same ground many times each day in a robotic style, turning his head to look at the pretty girls. From this comes the name we gave him, "The Alien." He's been known to stalk girls. But he never says anything. Ana, Raphæl's increasingly pregnant girlfriend, knows him from her position as a waitress and his as a customer. He is apparently obsessive/compulsive. Food must always be exactly the same or else he complains. Thus it was a pleasant stroke of luck today on the Downtown Mall to see Wei, moving along in his characteristic style, as though the alien takeover was imminent and his skin was soon to split and dozens of lizardiform aliens then to leap out. We followed him in an amorphous phalanx, mixing with the many others around us, Jessika at the front, and me far ahead to come back towards him from the other way. I saw him enter Sylvia's Pizza just as the confrontation ended. Jessika had offered Wei the lunch but he had refused it, saying he did not know her. This despite the fact that he has seen her often (there is a whole Barnes and Noble New Age Section story which I can't recall), and has turned to look at only her on many occasions during his rambles.
The Mall had developed a carnival atmosphere since it was such a warm day so late in December. There was a juggler juggling chain saws, having fun at the expense of a child's cooperative naïvitè and very successfully soliciting funds from the crowd. The juggler used an obviously poor-looking negro member of the audience (probably a paid confid·nte) as an example of the money-in-the-cup spirit, and when the act was done, the crowd dissolved into an orgy of donations. In the window of the African-goods store right next to Chaps sat a negro Santa Clause, called "Brother Clause." Everyone in our contingent, including Farrell and a forty-something Mall schitzo named Bob Hastings, posed with Brother Clause for a single polaroid photograph. We paid the $5 this cost with pocket change, and then Jennn and Farrell went off to get colour xeroxes made of this amusing (but not overly so) photograph.
Bob Hastings tailed around with me and Jessika. He has had a fascination with her at least since May. His schizophrenic delusions about her frequently remake her as Madonna or as a relative of a Charlottesville-area billionaire named Kluge.
Jessika and I separated from the others to see if we could find Das Defino, the guy whose diary we were in possession of, working at the restaurant named Brasa on Water Street. But the place was closed and we ended up exploring within the fence at the construction site of the skating rink between Brasa and the Omni Hotel. I found a long straight steel piece of electrical conduit, the very stuff I used to use as a massive dart gun back in Oberlin '89-'90. I took this when Jessika and I returned to the others. I made a very crude dart to shoot out of it, and despite its obvious shoddiness, it still flew about fifty feet.
We were all hanging out with our new "pea shooter," behaving in our usual way, with Sara chatting away as forever she does (helpless in the grips of Attention Deficit Disorder), Jessika looking ambivalently into space and speaking lines from a wish list of things to do, me making snide remarks about all that annoyed me, Josh Smith coming up with facts, Michæl Nace doing the same, Peggy saying little and looking about flirtatiously, and Zachary alternating between goofy laughter and pouty pensiveness. Jennn and Farrell were off somewhere firefly promoting no doubt. We three of the Grand Air Trine, along with the Pegger, held the pole and swung it to and fro or else one of us would try to use it as a horn, miraculously avoiding chipping her teeth in the process.
About this time a youngish Caucasian bicycle-mounted cop rolled to a stop at this the end of his mall beat. He was full of smiles if a little puzzled about the metal pole we were so centered around. He didn't address the pole at first. He just sort of sank into conversation with us. It was all pretty much mindless chit chat about who we were and where were from. Interspersed with all of this was crazy things involving aspects of the Grand Air Trine and sometimes the Pegger swinging around with the Pea Shooter acting as a rotor or object to be tugged as in tug-o-war. The cop's name was Joe, and he gave us a beautiful colour business card with a photo of him and a white police horse. He seemed to like his job and he seemed to like us. Most particularly, the girls thought he liked me. Later when I was in Mudhouse with the girls and the Pea Shooter, he could be seen happily chanting, "The Gus! The Gus!" through the window. Joe was obviously trying to gauge exactly who was sleeping with whom (Sara picked up on this too), but was having little luck doing this. He said that it seemed we "are all living free." The cop was so nice that we were given to being confessional, with Jessika admitting to experiments with LSD and me to having walked back from parties carrying an open container. Looking at the photograph we had had taken with Brother Clause, Joe the cop noted the absence of the Pea Shooter (or "the Pole"). It seemed to him that since it was by now such a special friend it could not be so newly our acquaintance.