THE RAFTERS (pt. 2)
In the closet of Marjorie Dunne, that's where I
awoke - a closet big enough for a room. Nothing
cramped about it, and I'd guess this wasn't a so-bad
military cot or something. It could have been two
hours later, or two days; I wasn't sure. My head was
crammed and hurting, and some loud music still played.
That curious fellow with the silver hair again, and his
camera, was looking in on me ; 'awake now, Buddenbrooks,
another day is calling!' I don't know why he called me that;
every day it seemed a new name. I asked Billy : 'oh that's
just the way he does it. It'll go on for a while, until one
of the names seems to catch - then that'll be you! You'll
know.' I smiled, and said, 'But, I thought you, you chose
your own name, or your own not-name, or whatever, Billy
Name is.' And he smiled too - eating toast with something
sweet upon it. He gave me a glass of hot coffee. 'Yes, I did,
but that's only because he let me. Anyway, just stay quiet
and do little - it's best for you that way; just watch, see what
develops - it's all a game, like film is a game. Get it! See
what develops! I've made a film joke!'
I sensed I needed shoes. Yes, I did. Where mine had gone, I
didn't know. This Marjorie person saw me looking around;
'We threw them out - they were cheap and ugly and worn
out too. Andy saw your size and he's put 4 pairs of shoes for
you outside the other door. They're yours now. Use what you
want. You know that's how he got started, right, drawing
shoes - for Bloomingdale ads or something. I forget. Now
get out. I need more sleep.' It dawned on me - egads - I
may not have been alone these last so many hours after all.
Yet, yet, I couldn't remember a thing. So strange. And
who was she, anyway - how'd it all start?
Evil Kenny came out the elevator doorway. That was his
name; I knew him from carrying endless boxes, with him,
just last week, up and down horrible flights of stairs
somewhere on the east side, upper. Rich people's dwellings -
well-appointed brownstones and townhouses, reeking of
money and things. All Kenny did was curse - a string
of invectives that would clean a dog's ears right out if it
knew. 'Mother-fucking cock-sucking generalissimo bastard
asshole! Would you look at this cunt's living room! I'd
cut my son-of-a-bitch dick off for one-fourth of her fucking
dough.' It was how he got things across, how he thought,
what he did. I got used to it, and then stopped even noticing.
After a while, it was just like talking with a wind-up doll
named 'Idiot'. But, Evil Kenny worked just as well.
We had been - little known to me - carrying very valuable
art and things - jewelry, one of a kind ancient sculptures and
talismans. Lots of things. This Andy guy had bought an entire
lot of it, by description - auction, numbered, by bid. He
didn't really know what he'd bought even, just numbered-lots
and shouted out bid OKs, nods and hand-waving, all sorts
of things. A guy I knew then, from the Studio School, said
I should 'go to this address, they're hiring people to move
stuff - a few days at a time, work, good money, at the end
of each day. Try it.' I went - that was three weeks ago already.
Just kept coming back now, and then staying over. It was all
fascinating and, I knew, would pass by me quickly if I ignored
it. I wanted it, wanted to watch and see it all, so I stayed.
They made films. Some of them were constantly painting - at
work on odd things - boxes, cans, containers, they painted
the kind of stuff you see everyday. I didn't get it, but they were
making lots of money. And the movies, well, like they were
movies, but sometimes nothing moved - a camera, filming
the Empire State Building from a window-view here, hours,
just filming something that really never moved. 'That's the
point, silly - it never moves, but everything around it is in
constant motion, agitated-reality, a new form of thing!'
There was more, lots. Films of people kissing, two-hours
of it, until their tongues and lips were raw and they
themselves were almost sick. It was nuts.