PEPPERED REPLICA - An excerpt from a novel

Max Perenchio

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Stern Expatrian made his way through the bumbling working hats and the deft, brazen shouts. The old time rustle of street song flew out from the city bandshell, propelled by Fifth street billboards and met in melodic counterpoint by the choir of telephant mumble. Elephones flew off pockets and met headlines slithering through store window televisions. A carhonk cacophony! Oh! a sleazy winderlude of moans… and meanwhile, Stern was contemplating the bore of Bach .

 

All of his work, filtered through an old, biased brain, however genius. Did he ever hear a world feast? Did he ever sing along with the in-need-of-service bus brakes? Beautiful isn’t it? Urban symphony number one. Crossing third street - shaking silhouetted figures inside of the corner arcade corrupted his footwork into ceasing. The collective youth brigade, not unlike a plucked peach, sorted and sold by radiating machines. Peculiar! Stern put down his bag and leaned in closer. Cupping his hands on the window for a peek, flashing undulations sheared through the glass and projected upon him cold neon. His white eyes bounced and beamed through old pinball buzzers and landed out of focus onto a poison screen. Attached, Stern ate images. Oh… sharp wires into my heart! Where art thou Man of Pac?

 

Over the roof, a triangle of pigeons shook wind into Stern’s yellow hair. A rather tragic mop it was; his lovely budding curls, like his heart and unmentionables, fell indefinitely suppressed by his own hands. The depravity found in his habitual hair snipping coupled itself perfectly with his singular attention sparrows or are they the flying rats?Loathsome vermin. Taking himself to be unwatched, he moved to the side of the window and examined a line of ants working their way into the sashes. You’ll like it in there, you little ants. You little, little ants. Blindly stepping onto a covered sewer hole, a clash of clockwork, too calculated to be coincidence, slaked his wits.

 

-PUMMMM - PUMMM

Two o’clock, yes? Certainly not three.

-PUMMM

Oh my! Fair enough - Sorry Kero. And though he was only a few minutes away from his apartment, today he decided to run. O! and what a collaboration it was! His cranky keys and stupid loud steps were everywhere! BAP PAP SHING TINKA TINKA. To Stern, it was as if Babatunde Olatunji and Jean Baudrillard started a band, and it was delightful. City diamonds on the walls, jump as I jump, sing as I sing, shine and, well, maybe I’ll shine.

Kero Milesberg was smoking a cigarette with his back kissing the building, sporting a one-foot-on-the-wall. A looming, smoky shadow of his figure arched across the bricks, casting black wings from his shoulders. He was hot all over. Hot pavement under his soles and fire in his eyes, Kero stood smiling. Catching the outro of the Sternsong, Kero delivered the epilogue.

-Stern, you’re late!”

-And you’re a bonafide junkie, but I‘ve never made a deal of it before.

Stern was feeling stabby, and Kero howled in delight, letting his inner content-herring poke its red fin through his yelps. They gave each other the deuces, and Kero, as always, expressed admiration for the graffiti covering the staircase walls of Stern’s apartment.

-Do you think the people who wrote this stuff were walking up or down these steps?

- Probably a bit of both I’d assume. This is Purgatory after all.

-I swear Stern, a lot of this is really fantastic.

Stern stepped up the stairs in quarter notes. Pet Sounds he thought; my sleigh-bell key rings, rich stair drum, unscrupulous background voices, even Mike Love walking behind me… or is it Virgil…or Mephistopheles? Taking out his primary key-set, Stern unlocked his room and dropped the jingling idols back into his pocket. Stern had two key rings which he carried on him at all times:

Key-ring-rang-one (1) “The Beautiful”: apartment key, room key, safe key, car key, Richard Star-key.

Keys-two-deu (2) “The Sublime”: a tedious collection of every loose key he has ever found, numbering somewhere between fifty seven and the infininininininininininin…….

Entering the dark and sterile apartment, they walked silently in segment and centered themselves across the table. Wordless still, the men lowered themselves solemnly into the same seats as last Sunday, and all the Sundays before. Kero grabbed the red book, Stern grabbed the striped book and flipped through the sacred, mustered pages…

 

- Kero I was looking over chapter 7, and you were right, its such shit.

- Well, I think we’ve hit a bit of a dry spell.

It was a bit funny to both of them, to think that such productive sessions actually began as pathetic reenactments of their college days- weekends of acerbic regression to their infantile stages; crawling on the ground, suckling their thumbs, losing teeth, and pissing themselves unknowingly.

- I feel like its me who is dragging this whole thing down.

- Sterny, come on now, I don’t think we’d even be here if you never-

What Kero was about to say was true. After all, it was Stern’s acceptance as Mathematics professor at Marcom University that directed the meetings into such structured, creative purposes; and through some sort of soapbox logic, they had decided to write a book together.

Stern tossed the pages to a passage which no editing pen had graced and recited, in his casually rehearsed brooding audio-book voice,

-“The attic smelled like a breath of ashes. There were dusty flower boxes in the corner, old magazines along the back wall, and the lonely apparition of his Mother everywhere. Other things were probably sprawled around, but the flower boxes and magazines were most important to Haret. His Mother bit the dust some time ago, and her breath has smelled like ashes ever since. Haret stared at the old apparition and crossed himself, “in the name of the Bothersome and Moldy Toast,” and told her he’d be needing the magazines, and, if she was feeling a little bit less ghostly, perhaps the flower boxes. His Mother gave Haret the magazines, and sort of implied, as old Specters often do, that he would have to return the old magazines before he could take the boxes. Stuff like this gave him the creeps.”

- Sad thing is nothing about that really gave me the creeps, Stern concluded glumly.

- It has a certain charm though, don’t you think? Like a street sweepers charm, but maybe adding something a little bit more cosmic? I mean, I could help you out with the wordplay, but the “bothersome and moldy toast” needs to stay, I love that. That famous Expatrian blasphemy seems to be a poetic fingerprint of yours, I mean Stern, look at those curtains for chrissake! Total sacrilege!

Stern cracked a smile, and stood up to grab an old stack of magazines he bought at the thrift store on Friday.

-Here, check these out, totally vintage

-Yeah, can I cut them up?

-I guess, I suppose that’s I why I got them.

So Kero sat there, reading the text, cutting out excerpts and taping them to sketches of naked women - this was his latest invocation to the Muses. Stern sat and watched, unmoved, thinking about the flower boxes.

- We’ve been stuck for a week, and you are making porn shrines for inspiration.

- I think “porn shrine” is a little reductive Sterny, its more of an adjustment to our collaborative milieu.

The door knocked. Probably Boonie.

- I am sensing baboon vibrations outside our creative milieu, Kero… IT’S OPEN!

- I don’t even know what to say to Boonie anymore. Fucking loon.

- ITS OPEN! Fucking idiot.

After unnecessary knob-rustling, Boonie entered Stern’s apartment like a hippopotamus in a dress and, without words, began to circle the coffee table. A natural Southern loon he was, equipped with enough banal knowledge of Area 51 and government employment records to reinvent the definition of conspiracy-induced-paranoia. He smelled like raw onions.

- Watcha cuttin Kero?

- One of Stern’s old magazines, he‘s got a deadman‘s shipload….This one’s a Geology journal.

Boonie turned around with his finger in the air

-Eh, fucken goddam geologists, the real rebels, man.

Neither Stern nor Kero bothered to respond anymore, it was more of an exercise of repugnant facial contortions to whatever schizo-Confederate garble they were about to hear.

 

I. BOONIUS Exordium- Dig this man, I reckon we’ere placed on Earth by an outside influence, obviously. Fucken aliens probably. And we gotta get BACK TO ‘EM!

 

II. BOONIUS Narratio- We hava sorta spatial detachment from ‘em cause der prolly millions of light years away. We gota childlike longin’ fer maternal realignment with em, with our creators.

 

III. BOONIUS Partitio - Y’know, eventually learning to travel across space and join ‘em again. It aint no accident that all’em our scientific observations led us to space exploration- pure intention actually. In order to get back to our sources we’ere gonna haveta learn how to really travel in space really fucken well…. But we tried d’go from crawlin to runnin, and we’ve shit on the clues they left us.

 

IV BOONIUS Confirmatio- How can we expect to learn to harness space when we haven’t even explored areas of our own oceans, man? The point is guys, that the ocean is space, roughly. Weightlessness, no breathin, all that floatin, similar properties, basically infinite. Its like training wheels for space. The clues are here on earth, gang. And then, it takes a guy like a geologist to wake up and say HEY!

 

V- BOONIUS Refutato- There is stuff HERE! Not the fucken NASA guys getting ahead of themselves like a bunch of fucken wolves,

 

VI BOONIUS Peroratio- but the persistent geologists who are going to make the biggest changes in space travel. Fucken codes, man.

 

After sensing a conclusion, Kero’s tongue was ripping a hole in his cheek,

- Definitely, that’s kind of what I was thinking when I was reading this. Goddam all those scientists and number men and Math Professors like Stern.

Kero smiled over at Stern who had disappeared into the kitchen during Boonie’s trailer park cosmogony. But from the kitchen, a detached response.

- I’m done, they fired me! Perhaps I’ll spend some time realigning myself with my cosmic parents.

Kero’s sardonic smile changed to a contrived open mouthed display of shock, and he was just about to spea-

-Fired? das a drag man, jobs, are, a, bitch . But hey man, I’m telling you, I aint kiddin… But hey I godahead myself, I was just droppin by to say hey, I gotta split for oneadem jury duties.

-Jury duties, Boonie?

The idea of Boonie defending our judicial system was not uncomforting to Stern, as he would easily sacrifice democratic justice for a shortened rendition of what was becoming daily blue-collar metaphysics. With Boonie out the door already, Stern returned to Kero around the table. Kero, in the wake of the announcement, changed the subject as soon as possible.

-Christ, Stern. How long until we just tell him, hey man, hate to be an ass but you are unbelievable.

-And you don’t have to put up with him everyday! But, I don’t know, he’s a bit ridiculous but I think he’s harmless, and I‘ve certainly had worse neighbors. Isn’t he the type your poet friends worship anyways?

- Stern, that guy’s a real trouser button fumbler, if you know what I mean. I’m not talking a terrible case or anything, just all that sexual suppression and weird energy, bound up to black hole density, and just festering right there in his thumb. And his thumb is just stroking the button of his pants, y’know? And inside he’s just shaking and waiting for some needle on the camel’s back and then BAM! Off comes the trouser button and out comes trouble.

- He’s always talking about the fucking wolves. You notice that?

- Stern, they all are, all those fucking paranoid loons, man. Nothing poetic about that.

They stared at each other. Kero, the more attractive of the two according to Kero, finally stroked the elephant, which for the sake of originality, was pissing all over the room. He supposed it would be less suspicious if he didn’t.

- So this is huge news, they fired you today?

- Like a Promethean spell.

- On what grounds?

- That’s still pending I think, they didn’t even tell me yet. I got a note in my mailbox, that’s how informal those university fascists are. But to be honest Kero, I’ve never felt better in my life.

Kero pretended like he wasn‘t shaking from the inside. The guilt began poking out of his pores, all salty and reticent. Already off schedule, everything was happening too soon.

- What are you going to do? Kero resumed, attempting to appear as detached as possible, discreetly wiping the protruding beads from his brow.

- I don’t know, probably conduct a real life Bildungsroman, and arrive at some cosmic wisdom.

Kero gave a learned laugh, the clinching triple axle.

- Well, take it from me Wilhelm, it’ll probably be more like comic wisdom.

 

--------------------------

 

Stern lay sprawled on his sofa, with one hand over his heart, tangled in his shirt buttons. Outside his window, big bowls of soup flew by on strings. Stuck below the cushion, his other arm, bound under his own weight, began twitching uncontrollably. Locked in his own mind as well, his dreams began to turn on him. The mortal scream, so divine. Laocoon. The horror! It is an incomplete pleasure, a negative one. Only fragments, but even a part of it destroys my senses, only a part of it. I want just to touch it. Ishmael’s doctrine, the uselessness of taxonomy is a sordid dogma. Can we not classify? Mathematics! Unification of the arts! Ut Picutra Poesis…and Mathematics!!! I just want to touch it. Just to touch it. Some noble, Herculean Tutelary Guardian, Arion and the dolphin. Rescue me dolphin, leave me a map of twine. THESIUS!

He woke up feeling like Hannibal. Not the man-eater, but the Carthaginian general… but he needed to eat something. Finally acquiring his senses, a fierce blow shook him to his core! The hunger had galed into a Poseidon wrath of starvation beating the seas of his stomach, a hunger he had never experienced. They always start the story with a storm, don’t they? Rising in panic from his couch, the mass had ended. Go in peace. Kero was long gone, and thrift-footed Expatrian, son of apparition, was struck with trepidation in the midst of his impending whirlwind. Thunderous bellows from gastric Hades cast out Diabolic Winds of scent. Disturbed, he locked the door behind him and was washed down the stairs of Purgatory. Doggy paddling now, Stern sighted the Whale - his horrifying Chrysler pearl minivan with a similar reputation for barbaric grunting. Mounting the great beast, Stern fearlessly plundered through the waves. OHHH!! A GULLY BUSTER! OHH! Mean Malignant Munchies!!! Up helm! Stern bent down, small fowls screaming, Under the tides, on the back of the whale, Winds of Scent hazing his horrendous hardiness. Lo! Nausicaa! Where art thou sandy shores? Juno! Casting your lasting hate on me? I am no Trojan! The skin on his face flapping with whirling rocks and salt, Stern anticipated Charybdis, Great Whale! Cast thine sails starboard! and steered away from her. Enchanting! But bouncing through the tremulous tides, his spirits were suspended at the sight of a far more fearsome and noble foe. A triple colored Scylla, eyes bright red hailing far above the level of the sea, stunning vine-arms sprawling, ceasing the momentum of the Whale. Wading helplessly now, the horizon darkened and the storm entered its final and most violent stages, its finishing move upon the helpless seafarers. Is vindictiveness an attribute of the celestial mind? Devastating blackness all around him, salt in his eyes, his hands shaking from the frosty tides, Stern closed his eyes and assessed his memory, understanding, and will. May I for my own self song’s truth reckon, Journey’s jargon, how in harsh days, Hardship I endured oft! And death anticipated.

Reawakening to his senses again, surprised at his vitality, it appeared as though

through some divine intervention, the eyes of Scylla turned green before him. And the great Whale valiantly drove on, casting him off his shoulders with a great thrust! Denny’s lot too full! O! Walgreen’s across the way! Land ho! Beached onto the Denny’s shoreline, Stern felt sick and grateful.

 

Prancing through the gates of Denny

Stern sought drink and food a-plenty

He ordered some eggs, and rested his legs

And thought about breeding a jenny

 

But back to the eggs on his tongue

He thought of what Boonie had sung

What his mother had said was alive in his head

He knew that this day would be long

 

I

Have been asleep all day

The outside world, draped in night mysterious

Lovely flower centerpiece. My Imagination.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Bristles of old stone in the sidewalks

Spider webs the door corners protected.

Kero Dean Milesberg, after slipping away from a sleeping Stern, retraced his steps through the aging downtown. The day was aged as well, and the sun began to barricade behind the buildings. The coward! The quivering sheep in his stomach was still kicking. Disgrace, culpability, malefaction, malfeasance, peccability, the lingo of a dingo. As he passed, the gaps between skyscrapers waved transient grey glimmers into his pupils. Tesknota… where is youth? Kero, confident in his own vitality, sought evidence. He turned spontaneously into the dim alley and jumped up onto the loading dock so as not to attract any unwanted eyes. He kept his body in the shadows. Sensational graffiti. Opening the back door, he slipped into the kitchen of the venerable Burnam Coffeehouse. Oh no, but from the cook!

- Hey, you can’t cut through her-

Kero flashed a keen grin and turned around.

- Kero Milesberg? I had no idea it was you, you remember me right? I was all at all your readings at Calliber’s back in the day. Congratulations on everything!

- Al, of course I remember you, thank you my friend.

Al the cook was beaming, shaking his head up and down and breathing like an idiot. He stammered some unintelligible aside as Kero shoved open the swinging steel kitchen doors. Emerging into the packed coffeehouse with dramatic grace, the crowd erupted (as much a painful hipsters can erupt) with whispers. Fluid in gesticulation, he opened his arms outstretched at his side, lowered his head and conducted an indulgent bow. Adam Westam, the coffeehouse owner and subordinate cool-guy, was cleaning the floor,

- Kero, what are you doing here!

Walking through the static crowd without ceasing,

- Mr. Westam how are you? Just cutting through, making sure my picture was still on the wall.

- Ha! We added a second one too! He shouted as Kero passed him by, pointing to a frame above the front table, trying his hardest to maintain an awkward cool-nonchalance. Kero retraced a few steps and gave Westam an amiable handshake (it was a long one), and slithered to the door.

- Quite flattering my good friend! Kero smirked and grabbed the handle.

- Well we’re all proud of you! Maybe sometime, you can stop by, like the good old days and read us a poem!

He nodded and waved to the electrified crowd, some of them stumbling for their cell phone cameras, and left with his insides soaring. That was his specialty; brief flashes before the real flashes, fleeting surprises, never giving them as much as they wanted. I am like Revelations.

He continued onto 7 th street with no momentum lost and passed the bank. If only the poet was the proprietor. The entire block radiated a smell of old newspaper. Dancing across the street in a mock-jig, he snuck into the second alley and weaved his fingers into the fence wire. Hoisting himself to the top, Kero looked down at the aimless, Humpty Dumpty, And plunged down to the shadowy side where his subterranean apartment lay sleeping.

As he approached the mouth where the stairs met the door, flames danced and illuminated the outside walls. He took a fantastic leap down all seven steps and halted himself at the door. He stared through the tiled glass and concluded a small crowd of usuals assembled in his sanctuary. Usurpers! He entered. Through the candle light and smoke Kero could make out Steve the bard, Lucy, Gabriel, Bombo, and a genuine stranger. In the midst of an argument on the sofa, Steve the bard shouted.

- We’ll ask Kero, Kero! What was the name of Queneu’s first book of poems?

- Chien et Chien, Kero responded as he put up his coat

- Right, and his second?

- Les Ziaux!

- See I fucking told you!

Bombo slammed his hand on the table.

- Oh well, who the fuck cares, what did he have to offer in the long run?

- Oh jee I don’t know, where do you want me to start? Oulipo? Howbout the creation of fucking Oulipo, you asshole.

Both men were noticeably drunk. Bombo lifted his massive frame from the couch and swaggered over to the counter to refill his wine glass. He stammered,

- Oulipo, too mathematical for my tastes anyways. Too structured, I prefer “Sturm und Drang”

Steve the bard, a conniving bastard, saw the opportunity,

- Speaking of too mathematical…Kero, how was your Sunday with the professor?

- I don’t know, who cares Steven, Kero said, knowing exactly what was to follow.

Gabriel, Lucy, and the stranger, stimulated, ceased their conversation and directed their gaze to Kero and Steve.

- I hope you don’t take offense to this Kero, but what do you see in that excuse of a man? I mean you’ve been working with him for months now.

- I told you before, he’s an old friend. You’re so harsh on him. He’s just locked out right now, he doesn’t know how to communicate what’s in his head. And for your information, the man is a bit of a erudite.

- I think he’s gorgeous, Lucy interjected. Lay off the gorgon! She pumped her fist in the air comically.

- The man is goddam Mathematics professor, and you’re writing a book with him!

Slightly frustrated but faithful in his superiority, Kero smiled at Steve the bard. He had a way with projecting and manipulating ease.

- Steven lets go easy on the man! First of all, he is no longer a Mathematics professor, and second of all, sure, I mean, he’s a bit too structured because of all the phony academia. but I have a solution!

Kero sounded like a Televangelist, and walked into the kitchen to open a drawer. Like a Sunday host, he raised a bottle up to the light.

- DMT? Gabriel laughed. What are you going to do, make him smoke DMT?

- Gabe, Gabe, Gabe, no my friend. This is fused with Harmaline!

Gabe, with a blank stare on his face, looked around for someone to fill him in. The stranger, smiling as well, spoke eloquently

- The harmaline functions as an MAOI, or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor… you know… for oral doses.

- Thank you stranger! You see, Sterny won’t have a clue! Kero replied sardonically.

Lucy’s face grew into scorn

- You’re gonna secretly drug your old friend?

- C’mon. I went to college with this guy, Luce. It’s really just to help him. Stern is no stranger to psychedelics. He’ll subconsciously appreciate it. The artist inside him, it needs to be channeled, or at least realized.

-Stern has always seemed to me an innocent, Lucy replied.

- Well Lucy, as a matter of fact I think he’s a virgin, but I don’t really talk to him about that. What should it matter, child is father of the man you know.

Kero, now noticeably uncomfortable in his own house, poured himself the first glass of Vodka. The laughter returned and everything smelled like wine again. And really everything, starts to slip from here.

Word in the air, spat from moist tongues

Smoke rings shimmered as jet streams do

Revelry, Revelry, eventual songs of rust

And slippery cheer in a handful of lust

In blurriness amaze, sweat from the speakers

Possesses the children into twisting

Hither and thither, amongst stained timbre

Of tarnished chords of voice, green

A bottle is drained, drained, drained

In a sour shut of eye, the exit songs enter

Gabriel the angel away flies, Lucy back to the sky

Bombo and Bard stumble, leaving the stranger

 

-Kero, your hospitality rivals the Greeks.

-Stranger, who are you?

- The Devil

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

“It’s not terribly unethical” Lionel Hobbes justified. “We have much worse in our sin bin than that! Neurosis, electro-shock, barbiturate control, fear-hypnosis, the tank for chrissake, involuntary neurasthenia…. I suppose its all involuntary really… loboto-”

“Hobbes, the tube is among friends now. Questions of ethics are really seaside scraps at this point.”

“And the ass and tits of Allah?”

“She’s reluctant, but the care package… Mills, where’s Mills? There you are. Mills, great job on the care package. She’s on board as far as I can tell. Even if she’s not, a night in the tank and she’ll be off our hands.”

“We haven’t seen anything about who exactly this broad is”

“Oh please, Greg, she’s brainless, but a fine piece, essentially the ideal specimen.”

The air stunk of the bargain aromatic essence dissipating from the cheap suits around the table. The gig was scheduled, the characters were more or less in place, and the suits, as if it mattered to any of them, seemed content and eager to stumble home to whatever kind of creeps they kept locked up there. Dumoulin sat quiet. Apathy alone folded those papers and tucked the chairs so many times before and the stories didn’t seem to be any less contrived this time. Mills, the steady one, itching his balls pensively under the table, usually thought of squids during these kinds of things, but he just couldn’t shake the image of a skeleton being strangled by his own nerves, bound between permanent complacency and a dose of the willies. Outside the moon set into flight with the ashes of a subway scuffle. It was like that earlier in the winter, when everyone’s hair was longer, and their clothes were much thicker. His heart felt more precious then. He was snug and bundled, and the music was more precious too. Right around the doorway, and the wind always seemed so oppressive then, violating even, and he pulled open the door so hard. It was warm in his room, and he watched the snow swim around in arch patterns. It really seemed so well timed, meeting that prick Hobbes right around then, getting the university job. It was archetypical, trite even. Innocence peels at the death season, and he is reborn along with spring a big fucking fascist like the rest of the board. He used to want to sing and play the drums.

“So we are just about settled then, yeah?” Hobbes panted, waiting for Dumoulin’s word, the nip for his delusional pets, which was another story for another story. Dumoulin nodded and got up first. The soots followed obediently and Mills, still not satisfied from the scrotum itching, pretended to look at something on the floor and kept itching.

 

CHAPTER FOUR ( a few days later)

 

Night mysterious saddled in twilight over Stern’s corpse.

 

CHAPTER FIVE (A.D. (After Denny‘s) )

Night mysterious saddled in twilight as Stern, lively, replenished and full of Denny’s manna, shuffled back to the Walgreen’s lot. Man made God, God made eggs, eggs fed man, man made Humpty. Quite dark, hurry to the van? His eyes anticipated each of his former steps, like Thesius again in effort to lead him to where he had, hastily, parked before the feast. He followed his mental twine passed the shallow mailbox, walking rather spooked through the silent transit line, and around the building boasting a rather lavish stone lion’s head. I’m no better than the lion in terms of courage, Off to see the Wizard! Baum, a horrible racist, really. Braintwine still strong and tightening as he turned the corner, he let his obnoxiously busy thoughts drown out the darkness and the evil alley murmurs The feeling of retracing, perhaps enabling involution, or lucidity of memory. Deja vu, nostalgia, tesknota. The senses have already seen it, made the initial imprint, when I‘m back, I‘m in a dream of sorts. Childhood room for instance; layers and layers of memory. So much time spent sensing in there. It seems so well known, upon every entrance, are you really sensing all that again, over and over? Can’t be, has to be relying somewhat on the past layers. Are those cracks in the wall actually still there? Oh! How overwhelming new sights are. Oh yes, can’t be like that every time. His path of memory was now mature enough to unveil the nook of the whale, just across the street, in the Walgreen’s lot… Empty. The empty Walgreen lot, Nothing. the empty Walgreen’s lot… pretty vacant as some pistols would say. A whole lot of empty, lots of green walls pistol emptiness, “Theres no point in asking you’ll get no reply.” There was no van. Oh, wrong lot probably - - He knew that was the right lot though, and when he understood the great vacancy, some people started singing a few miles down the road.

THE CHORUS:

Lets sing of Stern, the man who will die!

(Man who will die, yeah yeah, the man who will die)

Days before his death, he lost his job

(Looooost his job. Da da da da,)

Days before his death, his car got towed!

(Caaaaar got towed dee dee dee)

It couldn’t get much worse it seemed

(Get much worse, yeah yeah yeah, can’t get much worse)

But bad bad things happen in threes!

(Threeeeee oh threeeee!)

Stern Stern Stern’s gonna die die die

ALL: Bite the dust, say goodbye!!!!

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790