Of him I love day and night I dream’d he was dead, And I dream’d I went where they had buried
him I love, but he was not in that place, And I dream’d I wander’d searching among burial-places
to find him,
And I found that every place was a burial-place; The houses full of Me were equally full of death
(this house is now),
The streets, the shipping, the places of amusement, the Chicago, Bos–ton, Philadelphia, the Mannhatta, were as full of the dead as of the
And fuller, O vastly fuller of the dead than of the living; And what I dream’d I will henceforth tell to every
person and age, And I stand henceforth bound to what I dream’d, And now I am willing to disregard burial-places and .
dispense with them, And if the memorials of the dead were put up indifferently
everywhere, even in the room where I eat or sleep,
I should be satisfied, And if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own corpse,
be duly render’d to powder and pour’d
in the sea, I shall be satisfied,
Or if it be distributed to the winds I shall be satisfied.
The dreams, a Looney Tunes cartoon version of my childhood, began after Makavejev left, taking his movie with him. They began with half a deer walking up to the cabin door and rattling at it. And when I went out to open the door I saw the lake had risen and was lapping at the lawn. When I looked into the water I saw the feet of a man who had drowned and was floating upside down.
Only in this dream, I was the drowned man. I had passed through the surface of the water as an image passes in light through film, and in the dream I saw myself sitting, a long time ago, at the edge of the lake at Annecy, coming out of one phantasmagoric anesthesized dream, afraid of another.
The park in Annecy is wide and open with great white moun–tains towering over it, dipping their peaks into the clouds. I wandered around the park dazed, watching children play, old men at their jeu de boules. I watched couples laugh together in the sunlight.
But I was removed from it all, just walking around with my arm in a sling beneath my ski parka, glad that after the tormented dream in the hospital, it was a gentle, sunny afternoon. The doctors and nurses had been very polite. They told me how brave I was to give them the signal like that.
People probably thought I was an escaped patient or something because I had stuffed a box of cookies into the kangaroo pocket of my parka and reached in every so often for a cookie, and my eyes were streaked and red from the crying.
I still didn’t know what it was I had dreamt in the hospital. I only knew that there was some other reality going on, on a different plane, and somehow, sliding around in the gas, I had bumped into it. Walking through the park with the empty sleeve of my parka flapping in the wind, I could only think of the tractor and Tom, mowing in the hot sun with Tom all day long, going around and around, watching the horizon until it was burned into my eyes so that in closing them, it was backwards, the trees bright and the sky dark. And then at dusk, still going around and around in smaller and smaller circles, there would be a moment when the trees and the sky were the same shade, separated by a fine light-blue line: the treetops etched against the sky. I knew that there was another boy on another tractor on the other side of the sky, looking back in at me. Was it that person I bumped into in the dream? Or was he in the movie?
At one point in our conversation, Makavejev said to me, “Movies are like tangible dreams, colorful moving shadows. When you turn the light on, it disappears. This is a very powerful fact.”
Only for me, the movie kept grinding away with a vengeance after the lights went on. The morning after Makavejev left, the lake began creeping up the hill to drown me. I fled into the back fields of Orgonon, chased by dreams. Why was I even there, at my father’s place? Where could I go? Was there any place I could run to and not be implicated in my father’s movie?
I walked from fields into forest, arms outstretched to spread apart branches and cobwebs. This was an old part, untouched by Tom’s ax, with branches slapping at me, dragging me back. But suddenly I stepped into a clearing. It was an old dump, one I had not discovered before, hidden among dense branches in a re–mote corner, protected by mosquitoes and a thick blanket of moss and needles. Only a few broken bottles and a rusted iron stove poked up through the earthy brown cover. For a moment the movie was forgotten. I pulled away at the soft earthy blanket that covered the dump. Thin gnarled roots ran through it like veins, holding needles and moss together so that when I pulled it away it rolled back like a huge monster skin. It was like all the dreams I had as a child, a huge blanket of tiny needles coming to cover me up and here I was, pulling it away.
I picked up a stick and began to poke through the black and rotted mass that lay beneath the surface until I saw something sparkle. Reaching carefully into the darkness I pulled out several small glass pipettes. Only the tips were broken and I was curious to know how many there were unbroken. Digging carefully, I uncovered a whole nest of the thin glass rods gathered together in tight broken rows like little shiny soldiers, stacks and stacks of glass pipettes. It gave me goose bumps to find these neat, fairly well preserved remnants of the lab, probably a small part of a load that Tom dumped here in 1952 or 1953, after the Oranur experi–ment.
With the rows of glass pipettes spread out in front of me, shining brightly, I stopped to rest. It was hot and the mosquitoes were beginning to close in. When I looked down again I saw something I had not seen before and it made my blood run cold.
Panic ran through me as I looked around in disbelief. Where I had torn up the mossy blanket, strands of 16-millimeter film poked out of the rotten earth like plastic ferns.
The movie was right there, all around me on the dump. Real movies. Old movies, all directed by my father.
At first I wanted to run down to a telephone and call Makavejev, to shout to him that the movie was still here, that he should come back and shoot this grand, final, cinematic irony.
I looked down at the film and pulled a strand out of the earth. Sweating and trembling, I held the pale film up to the sun and went into a dream.
After we went to the dump Tom and I drove the green pickup to the post office. Tom always leaves his hand on the gearshift lever where it shakes. He spits tobacco too, and sometimes I put my hand on the gearshift lever too. Someday he says hell teach me to drive the tractor so I can help him mow.
The post office is green with a black banister. Tom opened our mailbox, which is big because Daddy gets lots of mail. He handed me a red card which meant a package and said, “Hey, Pete, why don’t you go to the window and get this package?”
The man gave me a little box and it had my name on it.
Tom said, “What is itf”
“Oh, it’s for me,” I said.
When we got back to the truck Tom took a bite out of his tobacco and watched me unwrap the box. I don’t know why I was excited because a lot of the doctors or people who come up in the summer send me presents. Once I got an Indian belt.
When the box opened up I took out the white tissue paper that looked like clouds and inside there was a copper-colored saddle ring.
“What is it?” said Tom.
“I don’t know, it looks like some kind of a ring.”
It was a tiny saddle made out of copper with leather thongs and a western pommel just like a real saddle. The line around the edge of the seat was funny so I pushed back on the pommel and the top of the saddle slid back. Beneath it was a secret compartment.
“Oh, I remember,” I said. “A long time ago I was eating Cheerios in the morning and there was a picture of this ring on the back. It said I could get the ring for fifty cents and a boxtop. Mummy gave me the money and I sent it off. But it was a long time ago and I forgot.”
I held it up for Tom to look at.
Tom looked at the ring and then he took another bite out of his tobacco.
“Gee whiz. That’s a nice ring,” he said.
“It glows in the dark,” I said.
Tom let me off by the lab and I snuck across the field through the apple orchard sending messages to the cavalry on my new glow-in-the-dark ring. The grass was tall enough so no one could see me as I came up behind the trees around the clearing and moved along the outside edge toward the far end of the clearing in the woods where Daddy was standing in his long white coat, talking.
On hands and knees, the way Toreano taught me, I went all the way around the clearing so I was standing behind him and could look through the leaves and branches and see their faces.
The men and women were sitting on the long brown wooden benches that Tom made and I helped paint. The clearing was sort of round with trees all around giving shade. The grass was soft green except for the path that led through the trees to the lab, but it was long grass and came up past the bench legs and people’s feet as if they were growing there too.
Some of them I had to call doctor because that is what they were. Some were mister but some only had one name like Mickey.
A doctor was Dr. Baker, who was important, and Dr. Raknes from Norway, with a funny accent, Dr. Hoppe from Israel, who came in an airplane and landed at our dock, Dr. Willie, who come from Texas and has a star on his fence, and Dr. Duval, whose daughter is named Sally, Dr\ Tropp is warm and fat, and Dr. Wolfe is not there. Neill comes from Summerhill. Other doctors have names that we always say in a row. Then there were Mummy and Helen and Eva and Gladys and Lois and Grethe, who were taking notes too. Some of them worked in the laboratory with the mice. The mice lived in a special house in special mice boxes. They were all white.
Daddy was standing in front of me in his white coat talking about energy. He was always talking about energy.
Mummy saw me peeking through the leaves and smiled. She waved her hand so no one would see and said, “Go away” with her lips. When I shook my head she shook hers and said, “Be quiet.” So I lay in the grass watching people listen and take notes while Daddy talked. He talked a lot when the doctors came in summer for conferences. They came to learn about his discoveries which were important.
I like it when they come because I make them laugh and they like me. Mummy says she is going to send me away to be Jerry Lewis’s assistant because I make people laugh so much. But I really don’t like to laugh a lot. Mummy says if you laugh too hard it means you are going to cry.
After a while Daddy stopped talking and the people stood up and started talking and lighting cigarettes. I drew my gun and jumped into the clearing.
“Bang! Bang! Bang!”
Everybody laughed and came over to talk to me. They all wanted to see my glow-in-the-dark ring.
In the dream, I was down at the lake watching soldiers on the other side. There were armies of soldiers filing up and down the hills with uniforms of bright red, blue, and green glinting like swarms of bluebottle flies. While I watched they started coming across the lake, walking on stilts made out of long glass pipettes. There was a boat on the lake and I was in the boat with my mother, looking over the side, trailing my fingers in the water as she rowed back and forth, wondering if I would touch the deer that had drowned.
Once my mother came to visit and one night we were talking about dreams. I told her I had just had a crazy dream about getting out of the Army and my mother chuckled. She said I always had crazy dreams of one sort or another.
“Why in 1952,” she said, “Dr. Tropp gave you aureomycin for an illness you had and he didn’t tell me it could make you delirious. You were up all night raving about airplanes or some–thing coming to get you and take you away. I was terrified be–cause I didn’t know what was happening. ‘They are coming! They are coming!’ you shouted.”
We chuckled about the crazy dream, but I was afraid, because I didn’t understand what was science-fiction and what was real. It scared me that as early as 1952—when I was eight—I was having dreams about things coming from the sky to take me away. But even more frightening were reports I had read recently about flying-saucer sightings. In particular, I was alarmed by re–ports that two of the Apollo missions were allegedly “chased” or “followed” by unidentified flying objects. All records of these encounters was supposedly censored from nasa tapes.
How much could one believe?
It was easy for me to believe in things like flying saucers, even though it made living a “normal life” confusing at times. (When I worked on the desk at the Staten Island Advance the switch–board lit up like a Christmas tree one night with reports of a UFO. I was told that to run a story would have alarmed the population, and no mention of the incident appeared in the paper. But it made me wonder about all the books about suppressed Air Force studies in the 1950s, books my father studied closely. It made me wonder about what happened in Arizona in 1954 and made it harder to dismiss it all as some crazy dream or an imaginary conspiracy.) My mother, on the other hand, found it too difficult and for a great many reasons left Orgonon in 1954 and made a new life for herself. I know it was hard. It had to do with being a woman. She said to me and she has said to others that in regard to women’s liberation, she always practiced it. Since the age of sixteen she has been financially independent, although without independent income, even when she was living with Reich. “I have always maintained my personal and financial integrity,” she said.
And that was why she left. It had to do with personal integ–rity. I was never faced with the kinds of choices she had to make, but I know that when the going got tough she acted decisively and strongly. If the child in the dreams would not forgive her for leaving, the adult in me would, hoping she too would forgive for the bad times. Some of her dreams were broken too.
But what happened after she left still seemed like science fiction to me now, with the movie over and lights coming on.
Daddy was playing the organ. All the doctors had gone home for supper after the lecture, and now the music came all the way down across the fields and through the trees, slanting down the long afternoon sunbeams to the garden where Mummy was weeding and shaking her head because the deer and rabbits kept eating the lettuce.
“I don’t know what we can do about these animals,” she said, still shaking her head.
I was keeping guard with my gun and my glow-in-the-dark ring to make sure that no Indians snuck up on us.
“Come on and help me weed,” she said.
I put my gun away but kept it right on the edge of the holster so I could draw fast, and started to pull out weeds. Mummy had a big garden that Tom plowed in the spring. Daddy liked little red potatoes and peas and Mummy grew things he liked.
We weeded together and the music from Daddy’s organ was like a soft wind. Mummy hummed as she pulled out the long thin green weeds and threw them over the fence that even a deer could jump over.
“Now that I got this special glow-in-the-dark ring, do you think I could get another pair of cowboy boots?”
“I don’t know, Peter, you just had a pair last year. I think this year we’ll get regular warm boots. And besides, you said you wanted ski boots.” She threw a handful of weeds over the fence and brushed her long black hair back from her face with the back of her hand. “Okay?”
“Aw, I was looking in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue and they’ve got some really nice cowboy boots. And I can use the same old ski boots for another year. Please?”
“Well, we’ll see,” she said, and moved over to start weeding under the carrots.
What I really wanted was a two-gun set. But I knew I’d never get it because Daddy bought me this big one-gun holster set. We went to Farmington together and I wanted to buy the two-gun set that I liked but Daddy liked the one-gun set better so he bought it for me. He said it was better. I wished I had gone to Farmington with Mummy. She gets me things I like. Like my old cowboy hat that I got from Sears and Roebuck too.
We weeded for a while listening to Daddy play songs and then we started to go inside. Mummy said, “Why don’t you help me set the table?”
“How come we’re eating early?”
She passed me the silverware and napkins. “Tonight we are showing a special film of some of the experiments Daddy did last winter.”
“What is it about?”
“Oh, it is about the bions and amoebas and things Daddy sees under the microscope. I thought maybe you would like to go to the Rosses’ tonight and play with Kathleen. Maybe they will go to the movies in town.”
“Please can I come?”
She stirred the pots on the stove and smiled at me. “I don’t think so, Peter, you wouldn’t be interested because it is mostly pictures of tiny little things from under the microscope.”
“Oh, please can’t I go? I’ll be quiet. I can play with my ring. Besides, I was over at Kathy’s last night. Please?”
“Well, we’ll see.”
So I went to the movie with Mummy.
When we got to the lab where the movie was going to be, it was dark. People were already there and standing around looking at the stars and talking. Daddy had gone back up to the observatory and we were going to pick him up later.
In the afternoon Tom had moved the benches from the clearing in the orchard back into the lab so people could sit and see the movie. The benches were all in rows facing the wall near the door where Tom had put up the screen. I ran back and forth between the benches while Mummy got the projector ready.
Then the doctors started coming in. I said hello and told a few jokes to make them laugh.
When they were all inside and sitting down, one of them got up and started talking about bions and energy. I wasn’t interested and went back to the other part of the lab.
The lab is very long and has big picture windows on the side facing the lake. The other side, toward the hill, has little side rooms where they do experiments with the mice and glass tubes and other stuff. All the way around in the back was a room with lots of scientific stuff like jars and slides and glass things. I got into a dark corner where the lights from the big room couldn’t reach and pushed back the pommel on the saddle. Where the saddle moved, the secret compartment glowed like a window into a big green ocean. I moved it around. I didn’t even know how to write on it. It just glowed in the dark.
I looked at it for a while and wondered if I should send a message. Toreano was probably back at the fort.
The Lights in the other room clicked out and the projector started up. As I got up to go back in and watch the movie, my arm hit something in the dark. I reached out and felt around on the table edge until I picked it up. It was a glass magic wand. Daddy used the magic wands to rub in people’s hair and put them over machines that counted energy. My hair made the wand crackle in my ear and made the hair on my arms stand up. It didn’t do anything to the glow-in-the-dark screen.
I went around the corner slowly so I wouldn’t trip over anything and saw the white light from the projector flickering on the screen. The screen was full of small moving little squiggles that were alive, but you could only see them in Daddy’s powerful microscope. He let me look through it a lot.
Daddy is a scientist. He is a lot of other things too and wrote a lot of books. And he was a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst, I can never tell all the things with psych apart anyway. He is a teacher, too, and all these people sitting in the movie came to learn from him because he discovered Life Energy. It is in your body and everywhere. If you don’t get stiff or tight, it makes you feel good because it flows through you the way it does in a treatment. It is even in little things under the microscope.
The doctor’s voice went on and on as he talked about the bions. Every once in a while the picture changed. Then the doctor stopped talking and they all just watched. I went closer so I was right behind the projector watching the reels go around and around but I couldn’t see very well.
So I got down on my hands and knees with the magic wand in my hand and started crawling underneath the benches so I could get closer to the screen. Underneath the benches was a forest of legs. Some were crossed and some were tapping on the floor. Some people had their shoes off and their toes wiggled in and out. It all looked funny in the faint flickering light from the projector. I started to laugh but kept on going until I was in the middle of the forest and bumped into a leg. Mickey leaned down and whispered, “Peter, is that you? What are you doing?”
“Shhh,” I whispered back, “I’m trying to get closer.”
More and more hands started reaching down beneath the benches to feel what was going on. Sometimes a hand patted my back or my head and one scared hand reached down and touched my face. I heard a few people giggle, too.
All of a sudden I bumped into something soft. I felt all around it. It was a hat. So I put the hat on my head and kept on moving past legs until I was in the front row, leaning on my hands watching the silly blobs go around and around while the doctor talked about them. I wished they would show movies that Daddy took of me. They were more interesting than Daddy’s blobs. I waved the magic wand to make the blobs go away.
When the movie was over someone turned on the lights and Mummy started changing the reels. Some of the doctors in the front row leaned over and said, “Hello, Peter, what are you doing here? And what are you doing with that funny hat and the glass rod?”
“This?” I held up the magic wand. “This is a magic wand.”
I pulled myself out from underneath the benches and stood up in front of the screen. From a back row, somebody said, “Hey, that’s my hat!” But in front of me someone said, “Are you a magician?”
The hat was squashed down over my eyes. I raised the magic wand and everybody laughed. Somebody clapped.
I waved the wand back and forth and turned around in a circle. “And now, folks, the show is about to begin!” I waved the wand over all of them. “The greatest show on earth is about to begin!”
Everybody laughed and I laughed too. It made me feel good and happy. But then Mummy walked down the side of the benches next to the wall and whispered, “Peter, stop it at once. Don’t be a silly fool. Stop it or I shall tell Daddy.”
But I just remembered the thing that Bill taught me so I said it, waving the wand: “Yessir, folks, he walks he talks he eats ice cream and he crawls on his belly like a reptile. Step right up, folks, only one thin dime!”
Waving the wand up and down I danced back and forth in front of the benches and everyone was laughing.
Mummy came over to me and held my arm. She took the wand away and said, “All right. Go outside. I warned you.” I looked at her and she was mad. Some of the people had stopped laughing so I waved goodbye feeling funny and empty inside.
I went outside and sat on the lab porch. When my eyes got used to the dark I could see the stars. Then I heard the projector start up again and looking through the windows all I could see was the blobs moving around on the screen and I was terribly terribly scared that Mummy was going to tell Daddy.
The lights went out and the movie came on. It wasn’t a very good print; the faded garish colors added to the intensity of this 1950s science-fiction spine-tingler, The Fly.
Halfway through the movie, just when the monster appears, a freak walks into the theater. He staggers down the aisle stoned out of his skull, freaking on the fly monster. “Aaaaaarghl” he shrieks, pressing his hands to his temples. “ShitI What is this!?”
The movie is about a scientist who has discovered how to send matter through space. He has developed a special kind of box.
When he puts an object in the box and pulls the lever, presto, the object disappears in a puff of smoke and reappears in a similar box at the other end of the lab.
After repeated success sending objects back and forth through space, the scientist decides to send himself. Alas, unnoticed, a common housefly buzzes into the sending box. When the scientist emerges from the other box, molecules have shifted in trans–migration. The scientist now has the fly’s head and one of his arms. Somewhere, the fly has his.
The film continues after the freak walks in, screams, and takes his seat, building tension around whether or not the scientist will get changed back to a human being before his fly brain takes over his body. The fly, however, manages to escape, and as time passes, the fly’s brain begins to rule the scientist’s body. Finally, afraid of his own animal instincts, the noble scientist has his wife do him in.
In the last scene, a benevolent uncle comforts the scientist’s widow and son. He tells the son that his father had “touched on knowledge of the future,” and, “Maybe someday, in many years, the world will understand his contribution,” and, "He was ahead Slowly the scene dissolves. Music up. Lights up. People begin getting out of their seats and walking out of the movie but I sit there dazed and numb. Right there in the movie, people were laughing at how incredible The Fly was when sitting right there in the middle of the crowd was someone who had been through something like that and it was real. It was just more believable in a movie.
What was believable? I still had the magic wand, only now it was a typewriter. It happened. All those tilings happened but no one believed them. Reich was insane, they said.
But who was to judge? Did flying saucers actually chase Apollo, our astronaut-heroes, streaking toward the moon?
Why are people who live in communities in the Southwest, near former bomb test areas, having epidemics of leukemia and cancer?
When will people understand?
I think what hurts me most, in the most personal way, is that I feel mankind is groping blindly toward some understanding of the great forces at play in the universe and that my father was one of a very few men in history who understood the rhythm, the first to understand the function of the orgasm, things that glow in the dark spontaneously.
But that is still my good soldierly loyalty showing through. I want him to get credit. Does anyone understand?
That was always my trump card: Nobody understood.
I’m not sure my father thought that nobody would ever under–stand, although he knew it would take a long time. The war, the great misunderstanding, the conspiracy, was on all levels. As long as man’s character structure blocked him from life and he acted out that character structure in wars and bureaucracies, he couldn’t understand Understanding—really understanding, about the eyes and the energy—meant more than agreeing and nodding and being a cosmic captain. It meant going through deep emotional changes and incorporating them into one’s character.
I understood that, but how could I go about living a regular life when a flying saucer might come down any day and pick me up? I don’t know what happened in the skies of Arizona in 1954 . . . does anybody? When the argument breaks down, people say, “Well, he was crazy,” making insanity the only way to deal with those far-out issues. Hitting below the belt is good American sport. They attacked him, not his ideas. “They want my penis,” he said. Was he wrong?
And here I am with my magic wand, dancing around in that other movie, feeling guilty now for being that silly clown, the fool, for showing off to the audience. Once at a lecture, he used me to demonstrate a therapeutic technique.
A tall glass of warm water still milky from the tap. Swallow quickly and then with the forefinger of my left hand, probing down around my tonsils until it comes up and sprays out and twists my mouth. Sometimes when I do it it makes my face feel like the faces in the mental hospitals, twisted, leering, barfing, Again and again until my chest throbs and tingles from the spasms.
Or screaming on a couch, yelling, gagging, vomiting, letting all the muscles run and twist until it breaks loose through my whole body . . . keeping my belly soft.
Isn’t that just another authoritarian order, a command I obey too willingly? Is there nothing I can do for my own reasons?
The last thing Makavejev did before he left Rangeley was to I
tape an interview with me. We went out to the back porch of the motel and sat quietly waiting for the sound man to come. He had to get the tape recorder out of the car that was already packed. When I drove up, they were all packing quickly. Makavejev said there was tension and they decided to get moving. Looking out over Haley Pond, Rangeley’s back yard, it seemed a very peaceful June afternoon, a good place to relax. But Makavejev insisted they had to leave.
When the sound man finally came and sat down behind us, H with the microphone protruding between us, I got nervous.
It was as if Makavejev were calling my bluff. Sitting there on the back porch of a motel in Rangeley, Makavejev was going to ask me questions and I was—for the first time, really—going to put myself “on record” about . . . about me? My father?
Thousands of moviegoers were going to hear my voice as they watched any number of scenes, depending on Makavejev’s whim. What would it be? Was it wrong for me to be in his movie at all?
I waited. Makavejev nodded to the sound man, who pressed a lever on the recorder. Silently, the spools began revolving.
Makavejev leaned forward in his chair, fiddling with his hands as if there were invisible knobs on them and he was tuning me in.
“Could you tell me,” he asked, “who you are?”
Driving up to the observatory after the movie to get Daddy, Mummy didn’t say a word to me.
I ran up the steps to the study ahead of her and walked into the room quietly, walking around by the bookshelves, running my fingers over the books that went all the way to the ceiling. The room was warm and quiet because the wooden walls and the ceiling had soft lights on them and made Daddy’s hair all silvery.
He was sitting at his big desk writing and when he heard me padding on the rug he looked over the tops of his glasses.
“Hi, Peeps,” he said. “Where is Mummy?”
“She’s coming.” I looked down at the floor. If she told him he would get really mad. It was so scary when he got mad. I walked into the library where there was a couch and said, “I guess I’ll go to sleep for a while.”
Mummy came in and started talking to Daddy. I pretended to be asleep but all of a sudden his footsteps came across the room. My heart pounded all the way into my head.
“Peter.” He yelled. I sat up and tried to look sleepy.
His face was red and I felt his eyes burning. Mummy was standing in the study next to the light.
“Look at me!”
The carpet in the library was red. If I was sitting in the red chair that we sat in to listen to the Lone Ranger on the radio instead of the couch he wouldn’t be mad at me.
“Look at me! You play clown in front of everyone?”
If I squeeze my eyes shut sometimes there is a yellow wave or sparks. I squeezed them shut but it was only a glowing square. It was wrong to play magician at the movies.
“Look at me! You disrupt my movie?”
It was wrong because I laughed too hard and Mummy always said if you laugh too hard you’ll cry.
I looked up. His face was swimming in my tears and his eyes reached out and hit me.
I stood up and ran over to him and cried with my arms around him. He was warm and the smell of his skin oil came through the roughness of his shirt. Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy
He stood there in the middle of the library while I cried and then he reached down and picked me up and held me in his big arms.
After I got into bed Mummy came in to say goodnight. I took the ring off and tucked it under my pillow.
“Mummy, I forgot to show Daddy my new ring.”
“It’s all right. You can show it to him tomorrow.” She sat down on the bed and smiled.
“Is he still mad at me?”
“I don’t think so.” She pulled the covers up to my neck and smoothed my hair back. “But you should remember not to be silly when there are a lot of doctors around. Daddy doesn’t like it and you get in the way.”
I’m sorry. I won’t do it any more. Are you going to send me away to Jerry Lewis?" She laughed. “Yes.” “Will you sing me the cowboy song?” She turned off the light and started to sing.
Here come the cowboys riding on their ponies
They go out to the prairies to round up all the cattle
Then they come back to the ranch house and put away their ponies
Then they go in to the bunkhouse and then they go to sleep
heyup heyup heyup
Waking up, at Annecy, at Orgonon, at the dump, was not the way it was supposed to be. At the end it was supposed to be smooth and quiet, with faint ripples of water spreading out across the lake as the bust of my father moved majestically over the surface of the water. But instead of being smooth and silky, the wake of the bust was like a long undulating zipper, opening the lake, showing me dreams that were nightmares.
It is only a few inches from my face to the water in the toilet. Muscles pull in my jaws and neck, retching. I roll my eyes until the rolling makes my whole face move like a fish groping for water, like a baby, contorted, screaming, vomiting, letting it out as my body shakes in waves and currents, all by itself breathing deeper and deeper. It is easier in a toilet. You can kneel down, breathe more deeply. Aaaaaaaaaaa. Finally, my chest hums.
When I went to an Orgone therapist for help I cried for many reasons. The first reason was that when he put his hand on my chest it wasn’t my father’s. I miss his hands on my chest. And then after that hand had burned into my lungs, I cried even harder knowing that when the session was over I would have to get up, leave the office, and walk out into the street, alone.
I was afraid. That is why I went; I was afraid of my anger.
I didn’t trust myself; there must be anger and bitterness some–where hidden inside me. But how can I be angry when I am still afraid?
Afraid of flying saucers. Afraid of what it would mean to simply say: My father was right about everything and no one is qualified to say he was wrong.
Because nobody knows.
Why not think that? Why? Am I so politically naive to think he died of a simple heart attack? He said he was going to be murdered. He said they were going to kill him in prison. He told us he had proof of the conspiracy. Why not think that? Either way, I feel guilty and helpless, afraid of letting him down, afraid of not being faithful enough.
Standing up from the toilet, fingers slimy, face smeared, throat chafed and sore from stomach acids … what now?
How can such a good faithful soldier walk out the door and be free? You see, I was a real soldier. I really believed all that stuff. I was even in the real army, the United States Army. SP4 Ernest P. Reich, US 51522192. I played the game all the way. Yes sir. No sir. There was real security in knowing I had to obey orders.
In a way, I guess, it was my own conspiracy. There were other, secret things going on, and I only let the truth slip out once, during the first week of basic training at Fort Jackson. It was the day when all the new recruits line up to meet the company com–mander. Our sergeants briefed us over and over on what to do when we went to see the CO.
"Mens. You guys is going in to see the old man. Now first of all, don’t say nothing to him. Just walk into his office and say, ‘Sir, Private Jones reports.’ Then salute in a military manner and wait for him to salute back, don’t say nothin’. Let him talk to you. Got that? When he’s through askin’ you questions, he’ll salute you and that’s your signal. You salute him back in a military manner, Melendez, and make a right face. A right face, Plotkins, and exit through the orderly room walkin’ in a military manner. Don’t try to see who is comin’ behind you and how he’s doin’, just get the hell out and report back to the barracks for a Gl party. We got a inspection tomorrow.
“Now listen up. Don’t say, ‘Private Jones reports, sir,’ the way they do in the movies. You ain’t John Wayne and you ain’t no heroes. That’s for sure. You just walk in there and stand at atten–tion lookin’ right over his head and say, ‘sir, Private Jones reports.’ You got that?”
Sloppy in our fatigues, heads shorn, faces pale, we mumbled, “Yes.”
“Yes what?!” he roared.
“I can’t hear you!”
“yes, sergeant!” we bleated.
So there we were, five platoons strung out across the company area single-file waiting to go in and say good morning to the lieutenant.
As the line inched closer and closer to the ominous door, people got more and more nervous. The whole right side of the line was atwitch as we tried out salutes, mumbling, “Sir, Private Connor reports.” “Sir, Private Giordani reports.” “Sir, Private Marble-reports.” “Sir, Private Reich reports.” “Private Tompkins reports, sir. . . . Oh shit no. Sir, Private Tompkins reports.”
“Hey,” someone yelled. “Hey, you guys, where the hell is the right angle supposed to be, under your armpit or next to your head?”
By the time the first Ms were going in I had started to sweat, repeating over and over again, “Sir, Private Reich reports, Sir, Private Reich reports.”
The first Ms walked out of the orderly room door with huge sweat stains spreading out from beneath their arms, all pale, washed out, shaking their heads.
Sir, Private Reich reports. Sir, Private Reich reports. Sir, Private Reich reports. Over and over I said it, my arm joining the Ps and the rest of the alphabet twitching toward the door.
Suddenly I was inside. The lieutenant scowled as Plotkin stumbled out into the orderly room.
He sat in his chair stony-faced and looked at me. I looked at him for a few seconds and then drew myself up to attention. Heels together, toes at a forty-five-degree angle, thumb and fingers extending straight out from my forearm which was the hypotenuse of the right angle at my neck and shoulder, I looked over his head and saluted smartly.
“Sir, Captain Reich reports.”
After I woke up I ran up the road to meet Tom and go to town for the mail. The rocks on the road hurt my bare feet all the way up the road.
When we got back I rode up to the observatory, waving as we went past the lab. Tom said I couldn’t go upstairs because Daddy was talking to some of the doctors so I waited downstairs and played with the ring.
I went into the wing and opened the door to the cellar. The cellar smells like dirt because it is the very bottom of the observatory and the top of the hill. You can see it because there is a big rock right next to the furnace where the hill comes right up out of the ground. When I closed the door it was dark and scary but I wasn’t too scared because I could just reach up and open the door. The pommel slipped back easily and the secret compartment began to glow. It was exciting. I could get rings for everybody and write messages. It glowed soft green at me. I wished I knew how to really write messages on it, instead of pretend.
The door opened and Tom looked in.
“Hey. What you doin’ down there?”
I held up the ring for Tom to see. “I’m working with my glow-in-the-dark ring. Except I don’t know how to write on it. Look.”
He turned it over and over in his hand.
“Gee whiz. I don’t know either. Maybe it is just supposed to glow.” He handed it back. “Why don’t you ask your dad. Anyhow, I got to work on the furnace some.”
The ring rode my finger up into the hallway and partway up the stairs. The voices of the doctors talking floated down the stairs so the saddle rode down into the big room to wait.
I called it the ballroom because it was so big I thought there should be dances in it. The saddle rode over the tops of the chairs to the fireplace and then around to tibe big picture window. Next to the window was the walkie-talkie that Daddy used when he wanted to talk to people downstairs.
The saddle rode around to the organ and galloped across the keys to the windows that looked over the pond. The lake was all silvery blue.
Voices came down the stairs loudly and then there were hands on the banister. Dr. Baker, Dr. Duval, and Dr. Raphael came down the stairs. They waved to me and went out the door.
The saddle rode across the ballroom and slowly glided up the wooden banister. Extra quiet like a scout we got to the top of the landing and inched up the last couple of steps to watch Daddy working at his desk. After a while he looked over the tops of his glasses and saw me. He smiled. He wasn’t mad any more and I ran across the carpet to him.
“Daddy! Daddy! Look! I got this cowboy ring with a secret compartment just like the Lone Ranger! Lookl” I came around the side of the desk and showed him the ring.
He took it from me and looked at it. He frowned.
“Where is the secret compartment?” he said, putting his pen back in the penholder.
I leaned over and slid the pommel back. I
“See, it is supposed to glow in the dark and you can write 1 messages on it. Here, cup your hands and you can see it. I want to send messages on it. Could you figure out how to write on it?”
He looked at it for a minute sliding the pommel back and forth. Then he cupped his hand around it to make it glow, but it wasn’t dark enough.
“Have you seen it glow in the dark?”
“Sure. I was just down in the cellar and it glowed real bright. Come on down.”
“Where did you get it?”
“Don’t you remember? A long time ago it was on the back of a Cheerios box and Mummy gave me fifty cents to send away with the box top. It came back in the mail yesterday only … only I didn’t get to show it to you.”
He looked at me seriously, holding onto it so his fingers were right over the pretend stirrups. It was really nice. “Let’s just go over to the closet,” I said. “You’ll see, it really works.”
“Peeps, I’m sorry but you cannot keep it.”
“What?” He dropped it into his palm. “But I just got it. I’m going to use it with the cavalry to send messages about the Indians!”
“I’m sorry. You can’t keep it and that is final.”
“But Daddy, I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to be silly and make you mad.”
“It is not that, Peeps. This glow-in-the-dark substance may harm you. It may be very dangerous. Right now we are preparing an experiment to help us understand it. I’m sorry. I know you like it as a toy, but we must get rid of it. I shall ask Mr. Ross to bury it.”
He reached out and pressed the button on the intercom.
“Mr. Ross? Mr. Ross. Please come to the study.”
“Bury it? But Daddy, wait. Maybe we can take the glow-in-the-dark stuff out and save the ring. I don’t care if it doesn’t glow in the darkl” Tears started to blur him and I wiped my arm across my face.
He shook his head. “I’m very sorry, son, but I am afraid the whole ring may be contaminated.”
“No fair. I just got it. It was fifty cents. I didn’t even get to write a message. Please, Daddy, can’t I please keep it?”
“Peter, I am sorry. I have much work to do, preparing lectures, writing articles, and I don’t have time to explain it all to you. The substance in that ring is dangerous. Especially when we are making our own experiments. I don’t know how this material reacts with Orgone. Now you must understand and go with Mr. Ross____Ah. Mr. Ross.”
Tom came in and walked over to the desk. “Yes, Doctor.”
“Mr. Ross, please take Peter and help him bury this ring. It may have very dangerous material in it and I don’t want him to play with it. Perhaps you can bury it where we have buried some of our other equipment.”
He handed the ring to Tom and looked at me.
“All right, Peter. Now I have work to do. Please go with Mr. Ross.”
I tried to look angry at him but I couldn’t even see him because my eyes were so blurry and mad. He didn’t even want to let me play with it a little bit. All he thought about was his energy.
After we buried the ring Tom said I could help him saw wood in the barn but I didn’t want to. He walked around the side of the observatory with his shovel and I made the special call.
Toreano came out of the trees on his pony leading mine and we rode down the hill slowly.
I came down the hill running, still running away. I had been at the tomb, talking to my father. Sitting next to the bust on the huge granite slab looking out over the fields and forests, I talked to the bust for a long time. It was hard to say some of the things I felt. Makavejev was gone. My father was gone. For the first time I felt really alone, at tabula rasa, ready for a new reality, a reality that would be better than fantasies. And yet I was still surrounded by my own dreams. The military dream that had been my armor for so long was cracking and softening and I was afraid because I had only reached the sur–face of things that had been too long buried.
As I talked I examined the bust, running my fingers along the lines that were his hair; long on top, cropped short at the sides and in back. He had a set of hand clippers and liked to clip his own hair, pausing to run his fingers through it in a way that left it standing out at the back as if the wind was always blowing through it.
There had been a thunderstorm during the night and some rainwater was still caught in the rim of one eye. It looked as if the eye was crying. My father was terrified of thunder and light–ning. He used to run around and make me hide under tables. Once lightning hit a cloudbuster next to the cabin. Streaks of electricity shot through the house spinning sparks off the wire we used for a radio aerial. My father paced back and forth, afraid. I thought he was afraid that the thunder was directed at him, for understanding it, for being able to play with it. And I guess I have never totally believed that it wasn’t, just as I will never be totally sure that a flying saucer won’t come and take me away. I just don’t know. Perhaps it is the easy way out, keeping one foot in the dream—but it is deeper than that. My childhood is the dream. It is all there, and real.
I brushed the tear away. I didn’t like it that the iris and pupil of the eyeball were hollow. In the middle of the eyeball it sud–denly fell away and there was a concave hollow. His head is hol–low too. Except once some hornets built a huge nest inside his head. I think Tom removed it because the hornets came zooming out and buzzed people who came to look at the tomb. A hero’s tomb.
Is it wrong to have heroes? Aren’t heroes part of the authori–tarian misunderstanding? Or irthere a separate, tragic, category? He was plagued all his Me for saying things that are gradually being accepted. No one dared to stay with him to discover what lay at the end of his thoughts. Nothing he said has ever been disproved, only dismissed. People attack him for personal reasons … me too.
I’m sorry he gave me an attitude toward military authority that was consistent with his paternity (and his century, because in many ways he was a man of the nineteenth century) but in–consistent with his philosophy. I resent it in him that at the end he sought approval and aid from the higher-ups and institutional–ized authorities who killed him.
But that is my personal grudge. Perhaps he had no choice at the end. And as Eva said, in a hundred years those personal things won’t matter; the important thing is the process, the scientific principles. And until I learn more about what science does not know about Life Energy I have no choice but to believe in every–thing I experienced as a child. I think my father understood more about the life process than most people are emotionally prepared to accept. And that includes myself. I have a lot of catching up to do and I’m still running. Running away, away from the tomb and down the hill. Running hard, through the hard, new blue–berry buds on the side of the hill, across Tom’s lawns, down the road to the cabin and past the cabin, Indian paintbrushes and daisies whipping against my legs all the way down to the dock.
Breathing hard and sweating, I stripped and sat on the wooden planks facing out over the water, rising and falling slowly. Way out across the tops of the trees on the other side of the lake Saddleback held the late afternoon sun on its flanks. Clouds reflected in the water were broken up by the bobbing waves and every time it looked as if the reflection of a cloud would reach the dock a wave bobbed up and broke it. I felt confused about how freedom worked—every time I thought I was free of one thing, another popped up.
Splinters of clouds dissolving in the late afternoon sun dis–appeared and returned. Naked in this silent movement I still felt trapped, afraid of lake monsters beneath the water and terrified of flying saucers from the sky; trapped in the real world.
And guilty. I had armored myself with an incredible military dream which shielded me from the realities of becoming a real person. It was easier to feel guilty and afraid of disobeying the great celestial commands which echoed in all my dreams than it was to grow up. Either way I seemed to lose. I would feel guilty for obeying and for not obeying. Either way I could always, in a human failing, let Him down.
Each time I looked, it was different. But a few things always stayed the same. What always puzzled me about the lake was that wherever you are, the waves always come toward you. But it was still scary. This water was cold and dark out in the middle but if you looked straight down from the dock it was brown and a flaky scummy layer of dead wood and organic matter rose and fell with the heaviness of having already drowned. What happens when you swim without armor?
Being alive means having dreams but without armor. Doing the same thing for different reasons. Keeping my belly soft be–cause I want to, not just because he wanted me to. Standing out there in the middle of my fantasy thirteen years ago, beckoning the lights to take me away, I was not making the energy field and praying because I wanted to go to another planet, it was be–cause I was afraid to stay here. A. S. Neill said to me once, “I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of not living.” And I wasn’t even close enough to life to feel that! I hadn’t let myself livel I was not seeking life, I was fleeing it. I fled for thirteen years until I stumbled onto this blinding projection of my childhood and here, now, finally, I am looking at it, naked, at the lake.
The waves hypnotized me. It would be easy to just slip in the water and swim slowly out into the brown mud and monsters. Maybe my foot would touch the carcass of a dead deer floating just beneath the surface. I would panic and die breathing water.
The first thirteen years of my life always seemed most real to me, more real than anything that happened afterwards. And now, suddenly, with the infant soldier fading away in the bright lights after the movie, I felt afraid that my life would be empty and lost.
The last thirteen years were lost and unhappy. The infant was frozen in fear inside me, unable to live. I bumped into him in Annecy in a cloudy gassy dream but he eluded me. Three years later, when I was at Rangeley with those friends, he was still a good soldier, defenses strong. It took a movie to break my shell, maybe because movies are so close to dreams and I loved my dreams more than reality. There had been too much sadness; not enough laughter.
As an unhappy adolescent I followed the Playboy ethic as–siduously. Big tits. Love 'em and leave 'em. Sex as a diversion, like sports. I fucked a lot. I masturbated a lot, not as a release of energy, but because fantasy was easier to come by than the dream world portrayed in movies. It ran deeper, too, like the lake which only got darker and darker, because being a real person and letting myself love a woman would have meant sharing all that fear. It would have meant sharing who I was, and I was too loyal for that. In my own way, I wanted his penis too.
One night I met a nice girl at a party. We talked for a while and then stopped talking. She was very pretty and her eyes were very deep. After we sat in silence for a while I asked her if she wanted to come to my house.
“To spend the night?” she asked.
She agreed. We came to my house and went into the bedroom. Fully dressed, we fell on the bed. I started to touch her. After a few minutes she said, “I don’t want to make love with you.”
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because I don’t know who you are,” she said.
Without thinking, I answered and then knew it was wrong. I felt the scream rising within me, a scream that left me spinning and falling alone, lost in space.
“I’m Wilhelm Reich’s son,” I said.
And so I scream and scream. I gag or vomit every morning. Sometimes I scream in the car, driving along lost in the roar of turnpike driving, screaming, letting it out, making the windows vibrate. I need it, it helps me to have a soft belly. It makes me think life is a process of expansion and contraction. It pulsates. There are good things and bad things, but it is always shifting and changing, pulsating. Freedom, an elusive sensation, comes only in sudden spontaneous bursts like the wind that after–noon on the dock, when I was caught between sky and water. It came up suddenly, out of the west when the sun was behind the trees pouring huge sunbeams all over the land. A soft greengolden glow came out onto the smooth lawns that Tom so carefully mowed, and in the sky all the clouds raced away to make it all blue for the wind. And the wind made me shiver in my naked–ness. When the sun broke through the trees I dove into the wind following beams of sunlight into darkness. When I burst to the surface I was blinded by the shining water, swimming in the sun’s path, bathed in light.
Some of the doctors were dissecting a mouse and I got up real close where I could see his skin all stretched out on the board with pins in him and his organs all purple and smelly.
Some people were working at the row of microscopes and holding glass jars up in the air. I thought of a couple of jokes but didn’t feel like making anyone laugh. Around in the back where I found the magic wand, Mummy was sitting on a white lab stool making glass pipettes. I sat on the stool next to her and watched her hold them over the little flame until they turned red, draw them apart, and break them. She looked at me.
“Hello,” she said, putting the new pipettes down.
The stool went around faster and faster until I felt myself getting dizzy as I kicked it higher and higher. When I was as high as the table I looked at the little stack of glass pipettes.
“Have you been crying? What’s the matter?”
She put her hand out to take a tear away from my cheek. Her fingers were warm from the glass and it made me cry. She pulled me close to her and held me while I cried. She brushed my hair with her warm hand.
“It’s okay, Peter, it’s okay. Everything will be all right. Now tell me what happened.”
I told her what Daddy said and how Tom had helped me bury the ring. She frowned and squeezed me.
“Well, there are some things we just can’t have. We didn’t know that it was a dangerous ring and if we had, we wouldn’t have bought it. It wasn’t your fault. And Daddy may be right. It might not be good for you.”
“But he wouldn’t even let me play with it.”
“Well, it is just one of those things. Maybe you will get a pair of cowboy boots for Christmas and that will make up for it. Hmmm?”
She held my face back from her and with her warm thumbs stroked the tears from my eyes. She smiled and I smiled. She hugged me again and said, “All right. Now. I have to make some more pipettes. Do you want to help?”
I helped her put little wads of cotton in the ends of the pipettes and then we made droppers. Mummy took a long piece of glass and heated it in the middle. When it turned red she pulled it apart very slowly until it almost broke and then she took it out of the flame. When it cooled, she broke it and turned it around. She heated the end and just when it began to melt she pressed it against a hard board to make it just a little bit flat at the other end. Then she put the finished pipette in a row. At the other end of the row I picked them up and put rubber nipples on them.
Nipple was a funny word. Mummy had big ones. She told me I used to suck on them for milk. Once I tried to get milk out again but there was none left. I only have little ones. Daddy’s are bigger than mine and have hair all over them and smell of his skin oil.
I put one of the rubber nipples in my mouth and tried to suck on it but it didn’t taste good.
“What are you doing?” said Mummy.
“I was just sucking on it. You called it a nipple and I wanted to suck it. Will I ever be able to suck yours again?”
She smiled. “No, I don’t think so.”
I wheeled the stool down until I was dizzy again and walked back through the lab.
I walked into the big room where the movie had been. People were all leaving for lunch, going out the door talking and laughing. Just as I was passing one of the little side rooms where they did experiments, someone said, “Wait for me!” and ran past me out the door. He left the door to the room open so I went in.
The door closed by itself behind me and made the room pitch-dark. It smelled of metal because it smelled of accumulators. There were many accumulators big and small and in the darkness they all smelled of steel wool. One of the accumulators was a twentyfold one which was very strong.
It was pitch-black in the room except for the smell and a small buzz. After a while I could see faint shapes on the counter but I couldn’t see where the noise came from. I shuffled through the darkness until I came to a small accumulator where the noise was. The accumulator had a little square window. Inside the square window crackling very softly was a vacuum tube and in it, glowing at me in the darkness, was a clear cloud of blue Orgone Energy.
Mosquitoes were biting badly. I put the faded blue movie film back on the dump next to the little mound of glass pipettes and looked at them lying against the cold dark rotten earth. The film curled gently around the stack of sparkling glass. I pulled more strands of film out of the earth from wherever it poked out and threw it on the pile and then I buried it all with moss and pine needles, roots, and broken bottles and walked back through the trees into the fields of Orgonon.
It was late afternoon and I walked slowly through the grass and flowers feeling a peaceful kind of relief. I had the feeling everything was going to be all right. Look, even after Makavejev left, the flowers came out, and I walked through a mass of sway–ing color across the fields: Indian paintbrushes, daisies, and, hidden beneath their leafy camouflage, wild strawberries.
As I came over the top of a small rise I could see all of Orgonon: the weedy, overgrown meadows rolling right up to Tom’s bright lawns extending from the laboratory, and barely visible through tall trees at the top of the hill, the Observatory. And then moving backward across the green lawn in front of the lab came Tom’s truck. He backed his old red Chevy pickup right up to the cloudbuster platform and I walked over to see what he was doing.
When I got there, he had opened the tailgate and was throw–ing timbers from the platform onto the truck. The cloudbuster was gone, crated up in the barn. Tom pushed his hat back on his forehead and explained that the wood was rotten and that sightseers who came to Orgonon often ignored the “danger” signs and clambered up the rickety steps to crank the cloud–buster around like a toy.
He shook his head and grinned. “Why, last summer Bea told me I ought to come over here and chain it down. That’s right, chain her right down because people was coming up and messing with it all the time.” He leaned over and spat a quid of brown tobacco juice onto the grass. “Once some folks came up and messed with it five days in a row and didn’t we have rain every day for a weekl”
He raised his eyebrows like Groucho and spat some more.
We talked for a while in the late afternoon sun and then I got up on the old platform and started handing pieces of the rotten structure to Tom, who threw them into the bed of the truck.
We stood there together in the late-afternoon sunlight with his old Chevy idling and pouring clouds of blue smoke over us, passing pieces of wood over to the truck slowly and methodically, not talking, just working together. We worked easily together as if we had been doing it for a long time and it was as if the swinging arcs of wood were already there and all our arms had to do was find the place in space where they were.
Soon the truck was nearly full; the platform nearly gone. Soon grass would be growing where the platform had been, but nothing would be forgotten. And when I straightened up to wipe away the sweat I saw that the long golden sunbeams had come down and stretched out across the treetops as the sun sank into shimmering leaves etching brightness against the sky’s edge. For an instant I thought I could look across that thin line glow–ing on the horizon and see through to the other side. I closed my eyes and it was still there, happening again and again, over and over, and I am not afraid of going there now or afraid of having been there. And when I opened my eyes, the light had already gone and I was here.
Tom rested too. He took out his tobacco and took a bite as we watched the dusk settle over Orgonon. He offered the plug to me, grinning. He said,
“Try it. It’s good.”