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241 Everything Fruits Vancouver, September 1999 River Dream Flat land, and after dreams Of tropic streams in blue, I dream one dusty brown: Logs float in lines, a few Rusty hooks hold the beams. I’m trying to drive out. Though roads are flat, the truck I’m in is going down, No brakes, the steering’s stuck; The water ends my route. Two muddy rivers merge And ride low to the bend. Logs jam, the brown-in-brown Where roads and rivers end, Downwards, downstream, they surge. Few make it to this place, Just teenage boys who screw Or take road trips to town, Boat down the narrow slough Which ends some time, some place. The seat was hard. Dennis, sulking, felt like a butterfly in a collection, pinned to the chair. No, a beetle. Jimmy kept calling him to look out his window, you’re gonna miss it, you’re gonna miss it, but they’d been walking around town all day and Dennis just sat there. It was the morning after the Quebecois incident at Hooters, and nobody was really interested in speaking to anybody else, but they were bodies in motion staying in motion. They were on a day excursion out of Vancouver, up to Squamish, on a big clangorous metal train. Jimmy was sitting alone in a seat behind Isabelle and Dennis. Isabelle wasted a window seat by sleeping in it. She slouched, crumpled like a dropped marionette . Dennis glanced at her every time the train hit a bump, but nothing roused her. He didn’t want to talk, so he watched the cars pass on the side of the tracks. An hour ago, they had passed a man, a businessman, driving alone. He was crying. Really bawling, tears streaming down his face, the whole thing. Did this guy really think he was private, just because he was in his car? When they got off the train, they went to a lodge 242 243 and had hamburgers made out of moose meat, and big beers. They’d been eating fish for every dang meal since they got here, so Canadian cuisine was a welcome break. “This just seems like more America,” Isabelle said, holding another large Coke up to show them. She was trying to be sociable, but she was still upset about the Hooters incident, and her turtle eyes were downcast, a sullen child awakened too early from a map. Jimmy said, “You think it’s the same, but it’s not. It’s just like in The Sheltering Sky.” They had had a long conversation about this book on Whidby Island during the rains, discussing Paul Bowles’s novel about people being done in by their own lust for wandering, a lust the three of them shared. Eventually, they each admitted , they would, one by one, be led into the alien desert of a foreign country and destroyed in some way because , said Jimmy (and the two others nodded knowing and fondly), “No matter how much you think you’ve conquered a foreign country, it’s ultimately savage and it intends, like Kali, to collect your head for her belt.” Now, Dennis spit out a caper. There were capers on his mooseburger! “This is what is going to kill me.” They laughed. Everybody had wanted to laugh. Everybody was tired of the strain and wanted to get along. It was at these times that Dennis warmed to Jimmy, became proud of his bull-headed, burr-headed yellow-journalist . . . friend—yes, friend, he’d live with that for a little while longer, especially if he was going to laugh at Dennis’s jokes. “I think this wish to die while traveling is terribly romantic,” said Isabelle. “You do not think you boys are romantic, but you are terribly romantic. My vampire gayhomosexuals.” Dennis was not romantic, he protested, he was a man of the cloth. “And Jimmy isn’t romantic either,” he added. “When he goes to movies they call romantic comedies, Jimmy is the one who laughs the loudest when somebody is trying to make sweet love and it goes terribly wrong.” They walked along, talking like this. Along the paths, they saw impossible configurations of flowers, cattleya,lilies,saxifrage,chrysanthemums,andviolets— planted, but so different from the confounded corporate garden outside the clinic in San Francisco. When they came into the big nutty bazaar of a market house, they wandered off in several directions. Jimmy photographed tile patterns on the...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780299189037
Related ISBN
9780299189006
MARC Record
OCLC
179558278
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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