WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 1 page
Lenz wears a worsted topcoat and dark slacks and Brazilian loafers with a high-wattage shine and a disguise that makes him look like Andy Warhol with a tan. Bruce Green wears a cheesy off-the-rack leather jacket of stiff cheap leather that makes the jacket creak when he breathes.
‘This is when you man this is when you find out your like what like true character, is when it’s pointed right at you and some bugeyed fucking spic’s not five mitts 230away pointing it, and I strangely I get real calm see and said I said Pepito I said I Pepito man you go on and do what you need to do man go on and shoot but man you better I mean fucking better kill me with the first shot man or you won’t get another one I said. Not even bullshitting man I’m serious it’s like I found right then I meant it. You know what I’m saying?’ Green lights both their smokes. Lenz exhales with that hiss of people in a rush to drive their point home. ‘You know what I’m saying?’
‘I don’t know.’
It’s an urban November P.M.: very last leaves down, dry gray hairy grass, brittle bushes, gap-toothed trees. The rising moon looks like it doesn’t feel very well. The click of Lenz’s loafers and the crunchy thud of Green’s old asphalt-spreader’s boots with the thick black soles. Green’s little noises of attention and assent. He says he’s been broken by life, is all he’ll personally say. Green. Life has kicked his ass, and he’s regrouping. Lenz likes him, and there’s always this slight hangnail of fear, like clinging, whenever he likes somebody. It’s like something terrible could happen at any time. Less fear than a kind of tension in the region of stomach and ass, an all-body wince. Deciding to go ahead and think somebody’s a stand-up guy: it’s like you drop something, you give up all of your power over it: you have to stand there impotent waiting for it to hit the ground: all you can do is brace and wince. It kind of enrages Lenz to like somebody. There would be no way to say any of this out loud to Green. As it gets past 2200h. and the meatloaf in his pocket’s baggie’s gotten dark and hard from disuse the pressure to exploit the c. 2216 interval for resolution builds to a terrible pitch, but Lenz still can’t yet quite get it up to ask Green to walk back some other way at least once in a while. How does he do it and still have Green know he thinks he’s OK? But you don’t come right out there and let somebody hear you say you think they’re OK. When it’s a girl you’re just trying to X it’s a different thing, straightforwarder; but like for instance where do you look with your eyes when you tell somebody you like them and mean what you say? You can’t look right at them, because then what if their eyes look at you as your eyes look at them and you lock eyes as you’re saying it, and then there’d be some awful like voltage or energy there, hanging between you. But you can’t look away like you’re nervous, like some nervous kid asking for a date or something. You can’t go around giving that kind of thing of yourself away. Plus the knowing that the whole fucking thing’s not worth this kind of wince and stress: the whole thing’s enraging. The afternoon of tonight earlier at circa 1610h. Lenz’d sprayed RIJID-brand male hairspray in the face of a one-eyed Ennet House stray cat that had wandered by mischance into the men’s head upstairs, but the result: unsatisfying. The cat had just run away downstairs, clunking into the bannister only once. Lenz then got diarrhea, which always disgusts him, and he had to stay in the head and open the little warped frosted-glass window and run the shower on C until the smell’s evidence cleared, with fucking Glynn pounding on the door and attracting attention howling about who’s flailing the whale in there all this time is it by any chance Lenz. But then how would he be supposed to act henceforward toward Green if he blows him off and says to let him walk solo home? How would he be supposed to act if it’d seemed like he’d like spurned Green? What does he henceforward say if he and Green pass each other in the aisle at Saturday Night Lively or both reach for the same sandwich at the raffle-break at White Flag, or get caught standing there half-naked in towels in the hall waiting for somebody to get out of the shower? What if he like spurns Green and Green ends up in the 3-Man room while Lenz is still in there and they have to room together and interface constantly? And if Lenz tries to temper the spurning by telling Green he likes him, where the fuck is he supposed to look when he says it? If trying to X a female species Lenz would have nullo problemo with where to look. He’d have no problem with looking deep into some bitch’s eyes and looking so sincere it’s like he’s dying inside him. Or if like assuring a bad-complected Brazilian he hadn’t stepped on a half-kilo three separate times with Inositol. 231Or if high: zero problem. If he got high, he’d have no problem telling somebody he liked him even if he really did. For it’d give his spirits a voltage that’d more than overweigh whatever upsetting voltage might hang in the air between somebody. A few lineskers and there’d be no stress-issues about telling Bruce G. with all due respects to screw, go peddle his papers, go play in the freeway, go play with a chain saw, go find a short pier, that no disrespect but Lenz needed to fly solo in the urban night. So after the incident with the cat and diarrhea and some hard words with D. R. Glynn, who was slumped holding his abdomen down against the south wall of the upstairs hall, Lenz decides enough is enough and goes and gets a little square of foil off the industrial roll Don G. keeps under the Ennet sink and goes and takes a half-gram, maybe a gram at most out of the emergency stash out of the vault-thing he’s razored out of the Principles of Natural Lectures Far from your scenario of relapsing, the Bing is medicinal support for assertively sharing his need for aloneness with Green, so that issues of early sobriety can get resolved before standing in the way of spiritual growth — Lenz will use cocaine in the very interests of sobriety and growth itself.
So then like strategically, at the Brookline Young People’s Mtg. over on Beacon near the Newton line on a Wednesday, at the raffle-break, at 2109h., Lenz moistens his half-gasper and puts it carefully back in the pack and yawns and stretches and does a quick pulse-check and gets up and saunters casually into the Handicapped head with the lockable door and the big sort of crib built around the shitter itself for crippled lowering onto the toilet and does like maybe two, maybe three generous lines of Bing off the top of the toilet-tank and wipes the tank-top off both before and after with wet paper towels, ironically rolling up the same crisp buck he’d brought for the meeting’s collection and utilizing it and cleaning it thoroughly with his finger and rubbing his gums with the finger and then putting his head way back in the mirror to check the kidney-shaped nostrils of his fine aqua-line nose for clinging evidence in the trim hair up there and tasting the bitter drip in the back of his frozen throat and taking the clean rolled buck and back-rolling it and smoothing it out and hammering it with his fist on the lip of the sink and folding it neatly into half of half its original Treasury Dept. size so that all evidence anybody ever even had a passing thought of rolling the buck into a hard tight tube is, like, anileated. Then sauntered back out like butter wouldn’t soften anywhere on his body, knowing just where to look at all times and casually hefting his balls before he sat back down.
And then aside from the every so often hemispasm of the mouth and right eye he hides via the old sunglasses and pretend-cough tactic the second half of the mtg.’s endless oratory goes fine, he supposes, even though he did smoke almost a whole expensive pack of gaspers in 34 minutes, and the holier-than-you Young-People AAs over in what were supposed to be the Nonsmoking rows of chairs against the east wall to his right shot him over some negative-type looks when perchance he happened to find he had one going in the little tin ashtray and two at once going in his mouth, but Lenz was able to play the whole thing off with insousistent aplomb, sitting there in his aviator sunglasses with his legs crossed and his topcoated arms resting out along the backs of the empty chairs on either side.
The night-noises of the metro night: harbor-wind skirling on angled cement, the shush and sheen of overpass traffic, TPs’ laughter in interior rooms, the yowl of unresolved cat-life. Horns blatting off in the harbor. Receding sirens. Confused inland gulls’ cries. Broken glass from far away. Car horns in gridlock, arguments in languages, more broken glass, running shoes, a woman’s either laugh or scream from who can tell how far, coming off the grid. Dogs defending whatever dog-yards they pass by, the sounds of chains and risen hackles. The podiatric click and thud, the visible breath, gravel’s crunch, creak of Green’s leather, the snick of a million urban lighters, the gauzy far-off humming ATHSCMEs pointing out true plumb north, the clunk and tinkle of stuff going into dumpsters and rustle of stuff in dumpsters settling and skirl of wind on the sharp edges of dumpsters and unmistakable clanks and tinkles of dumpster-divers and can-miners going after dumpsters’ cans and bottles, the district Redemption Center down in West Brighton and actually even boldly sharing a storefront with Liquor World liquor store, so the can-miners can do like one-stop redeeming and shopping. Which Lenz finds repellent to the maximus, and shares the feelings with Green. Lenz observes to Green how myriadly ironic are the devices by which the Famous Crooner’s promise to Clean Up Our Urban Cities has come to be kept. The noises parallaxing in from out over the city’s winking grid, at night. The wooly haze of monoxides. You got your faint cuntstink of the wind off the Bay. Planes’ little crucifi of landing lights well ahead of their own noise. Crows in trees. You got your standard crepuscular rustles. Ground floors’ lit windows laying little rugs of light out into their lawns. Porch lights that go on automatically when you stroll by. A threnody of sirens somewhere north of the Charles. Bare trees creaking in the wind. The State Bird of Massachusetts, he shares to Green, is the police siren. To Project and to Swerve. The cries and screams from out across who knows how many blocks, who knows the screams’ intent. Sometimes the end of the scream is at the sound of the start of the scream, he opines. The visible breath and the rainbowed rings of streetlights and headlights through that breath. Unless the screams are really laughing. Lenz’s own mother’s laugh had sounded like she was being eaten alive.
Except — after the maybe five total lines hoovered in a totally purposive medicinal nonrecreational spirit — except then instead of assuring Green he’s a blue-chip commodity on Lenz’s Exchange but to please screw and let Lenz stroll home solo with his meatloaf and agenda, it eventuates that Lenz has again miscalculated the effect the Bing’s hydrolysis 232will have, he always like previsions the effect as cool nonchalant verbal sangfroid, but instead Lenz on the way home finds himself under huge hydrolystic compulsion to have Green right there by his side — or basically anyone who can’t get away or won’t go away — right there with him, and to share with Green or any compliant ear pretty much every experience and thought he’s ever had, to give each datum of the case of R. Lenz shape and visible breath as his whole life (and then some) tear-asses across his mind’s arctic horizon, trailing phosphenes.
He tells Green that his phobic fear of timepieces stems from his stepfather, an Amtrak train conductor with deeply unresolved issues which he used to make Lenz wind his pocketwatch and polish his fob daily with a chamois cloth and nightly make sure his watch’s displayed time was correct to the second or else he’d lay into the pint-sized Randy with a rolled-up copy of Track and Flange, a slick and wicked-heavy coffee-table-sized trade periodical.
Lenz tells Green how spectacularly obese his own late mother had been, using his arms to dramatically illustrate the dimensions involved.
He breathes between about every third or fourth fact, ergo about once a block.
Lenz tells Green the plots of several books he’s read, confabulating them.
Lenz doesn’t notice the way Green’s face sort of crumples blankly when Lenz mentions the issue of late mothers.
Lenz euphorically tells Green how he once got the tip of his left finger cut off in a minibike chain once and how but within days of intensive concentration the finger had grown back and regenerated itself like a lizard’s tail, confounding doctoral authorities. Lenz says that was the incident in youth after which he got in touch with his own unusual life-force and energois de vivre and knew and accepted that he was somehow not like the run of common men, and began to accept his uniqueness and all that it entailed.
Lenz clues Green in on it’s a myth the Nile crocodile is the most dreaded species of crocodile, that the dreaded Estuarial crocodile of saltwater habits is a billion times more dreaded by those in the know.
Lenz theorizes that his compulsive need to know the time with microspic precision is also a function of his stepfather’s dysfunctional abuse regarding the pocketwatch and Track and Flange This segues into an analysis of the term dysfunction and its revelance to the distinctions between, say, psychology and natural religion.
Lenz tells how once in the Back Bay on Boylston outside Bonwit’s a pushy prosthesis-vendor gave him a hard time about a glass-eye item of jewelry and got his issues’ juices flowing and then down the prosthesis-vendor line another vendor simply would not take No of any sort about a bottle of A.D.A.-Approved Xero-Lube Saliva Substitute with a confabulated celeb-endorsement from J. Gentle F. Crooner on it and Lenz utilized akido to break the man’s nose with one blow and then drive the bone’s shards and fragments up into the vendor’s brain with the follow-up heel of his hand, a maneuver known by a secret ancient Chinese term meaning The Old One-Two, eliminating the saliva guy’s map on the spot, so that Lenz had learned about the lethality of his whatever-was-beyond-black belt in akido and his hands’ deadliness as weapons when his issues were provoked and tells Green how he’d taken a solemn vow right there, running like hell down Boylston for the Auditorium T-Stop to evade prosecution, vowed never to use his lethally adept akido skills except in the most compulsory situation of defending the innocent and/or weak.
Lenz tells Green how once he was at a Halloween party where a hydro-cephalic woman wore a necklace made of dead gulls.
Lenz shares about this recurving dream where he’s seated under a tropical ceiling fan in a cane chair wearing an L.L. Bean safari hat and holding a wickerware valise in his lap, and that’s all, and that’s the recurving dream.
On the 400 block of W. Beacon, around 2202h., Lenz demonstrates for Bruce Green the secret akido 1-2 with which he’d demapped the saliva-monger, breaking the move down into slo-mo constituent movements so that Green’s untrained eye could follow. He says there’s another recurving nightmare about a clock with hands frozen eternally at 1830 that’s so trouser-foulingly scary he won’t even burden Green’s fragile psychology with the explicits of it.
Green, lighting both their smokes, says he either doesn’t remember his dreams or doesn’t dream.
Lenz adjusts his white toupee and mustache in a darkened InterLace outlet’s window, does the odd bit of t’ai-chi stretching, and blows his nose into W. Beacon’s cluttered gutter Euro-style, one nostril at a time, arching to keep his coatfront well back from what he expels.
Green’s one of these muscle-shirt types that carries his next gasper tucked up over his ear, which the use of RIJID or other brands of quality hair-fixative makes impossible for the reason that residues of spray on the cigarette cause it to burst unexpectedly into flame at points along its length. Lenz regales how at that Halloween Party with the necklace of birds there’d been allegedly a Concavity-refugee infant there, at the party, at the home of a South Boston orthodontist that dealt Lidocaine to Bing-retailers on the prescriptional dicky, 233a normal-size and unferal infant but totally without a skull, lying in a kind of raised platform or dais by the fireplace with its shapeless and deskulled head-region supported and, like (shuddering), contained in a sort of lidless plastic box, and its eyes were sunk way down in its face, which was the consistency of like quicksand, the face, and its nose concave and its mouth hanging out over either side of the boneless face, and the total head had like conformed to the inside of the containing box it was contained in, the head, and appeared roughly square in overall outline, the head, and the woman with the lei of gull-heads and other persons in costumes had ingested hallucinogens and drank mescal and ate the little worms in the mescal and had performed circled rituals around the box and platform around 2355h., worshipping the infant, or as they termed it simply The Infant, as if there were only One.
Green lets Lenz know the time at roughly two-minute intervals, maybe once a block, from his cheap but digital watch, when the critical B.B.S.B. liquid-crystal sign is obscured by the urban night’s strolling skyline.
Lenz’s labial writhing occurs worst on diphthongs involving o-sounds.
Lenz clues Green in that AA/NA works all right but there’s no fucking question it’s a cult, he and Green’ve apparently got themselves to the point where the only way out of the addictive tailspin is to enlist in a fucking cult and let them try and brainwash your ass, and that the first person tries to lay a saffron robe or tambourine on Lenz is going to be one very sorry cableyarrow indeed, is all.
Lenz claims to remember some experiences which he says happened to him in vitro.
Lenz says the Ennet graduates who often come back and take up living-room space sitting around comparing horror stories about former religious cults they’d tried joining as part of their struggle to try to quit with the drugs and alcohol are not w/o a certain naïve charm but are basically naïve. Lenz details that robes and mass weddings and head-shaving and pamphleteering in airports and selling flowers on median strips and signing away inheritances and never sleeping and marrying whoever they tell you and then never seeing who you marry are small potatoes in terms of bizarre-cult criterion. Lenz tells Green he knows individuals who’ve heard shit that would blow Green’s mind out his ear-sockets.
At lunchtime, Hal Incandenza was lying on his bunk in bright sunlight through the window with his hands laced over his chest, and Jim Troeltsch poked his head in and asked Hal what he was doing, and Hal told him photosynthesizing and then didn’t say anything else until Troeltsch went away.
Then, 41 breaths later, Michael Pemulis stuck his head in where Troeltsch’s had been.
‘Did you eat yet?’
Hal made his stomach bulge up and patted it, still looking at the ceiling. ‘The beast has killed and gorged and now lies in the shade of the Baobob tree.’
‘Surveying his loyal pride.’
Over 200 breaths later, John (‘N.R.’) Wayne opened up the ajar door a little more and put his whole head in and stayed like that, with just his head in. He didn’t say anything and Hal didn’t say anything, and they stayed like that for a while, and then Wayne’s head smoothly withdrew.
Under a streetlamp on Faneuil St. off W. Beacon, Randy Lenz shares a vulnerable personal thing and tilts his head back to show Bruce Green where his septum used to be.
Randy Lenz reguiles Bruce Green about certain real-estate cults in S. Cal. and the West Coast. Of Delawareans that still believed Virtual-Reality pornography even though it’d been found to cause bleeding from the eye-corners and real-world permanent impotence was still the key to Shrangi-la and believed that some sort of perfect piece of digito-holographic porn was circulating somewhere in the form of a bootleg Write-Protect-notched software diskette and devoted their cultic lives to snuffling around trying to get hold of the virtual kamasupra diskette and getting together in dim Wilmington-area venues and talking very obliquely about rumors of where and just what the software was and how their snufflings for it were going, and watching Virtual fuckfilms and mopping the corner of their eyes, etc. Or of something called Stelliform Cultism that Bruce Green isn’t even near ready to hear about, Lenz opines. Or like e.g. of a suicidal Nuck cult of Nucks that worshipped a form of Russian Roulette that involved jumping in front of trains and seeing which Nuck could come the closest to the train’s front without getting demapped.
What sounds like Lenz chewing gum is really Lenz trying to talk and grind his teeth together at the same time.
Lenz recalls orally that his stepfather’s blue-vested gut had preceded the conductor into rooms by several seconds, fob glinting above the watch-pocket’s sinister slit. How Lenz’s mother back in Fall River had made it a point of utilizing Greyhound for voyages and sojourns, basically to piss her stephusband off.
Lenz discusses how a serious disadvantage to dealing Bing retail is the way customers’ll show up pounding on your door at 0300 sporting lint in the terms of resources and putting their arms around your shins and ankles and begging for just a half-gram or tenth of a gram and offering to give Lenz their kids, like Lenz wants to fucking deal with anybody’s kids, which these scenes were always constant drags on his spirits.
Green, who’s hoovered his share, says cocaine always seemed like it grabbed you by the throat and just didn’t let go, and he could relate to why the Boston AAs call Bing the ‘Express Elevator To AA.’
In a dumpster-lined easement between Faneuil St. and Brighton Ave., Brighton, right after Green almost steps in what he’s pretty sure is human vomit, Lenz proves logically why it’s all too likely that Ennet House resident Geoffrey D. is a closet poofta.
Lenz reports how he’s been approached in the past to male-model and act, but that the male-model and acting profession is pretty much crawling with your closet pooftas, and it’s no kind of work for a man that’s confronted the ins and outs of his own character.
Lenz speculates openly on how there are purportaged to be whole packs and herds of feral animals operating in locust-like fashion in the rhythmic lushness of parts of the Great Concavity to the due northeast, descended reputedly from domestic pets and abandoned during the relocational transition to an O.N.A.N.ite map, and how teams of pro researchers and amateur explorers and intrepid hearts and cultists have ventured northeast of Checkpoints along the Lucited ATHSCMulated walls and never returned, vanishing in toto from the short-wave E.M. bands, as in like dropping off the radar.
Green turns out to have no conceptions or views on the issues of fauna of the Concavity at all. He literally says he’s never given it one thought one way or the other.
Whole NNE cults and stelliform subcults Lenz reports as existing around belief systems about the metaphysics of the Concavity and annular fusion and B.S.-1950s-B-cartridge-type-radiation-affected fauna and overfertilization and verdant forests with periodic oasises of purportaged desert and whatever east of the former Montpelier VT area of where the annulated Shawshine River feeds the Charles and tints it the exact same tint of blue as the blue on boxes of Hefty SteelSaks and the ideas of ravacious herds of feral domesticated housepets and oversized insects not only taking over the abandoned homes of relocated Americans but actually setting up house and keeping them in model repair and impressive equity, allegedly, and the idea of infants the size of prehistoric beasts roaming the overfertilized east Concavity quadrants, leaving enormous scat-piles and keening for the abortive parents who’d left or lost them in the general geopolitical shuffle of mass migration and really fast packing, or, as some of your more Limbaugh-era-type cultists sharingly believe, originating from abortions hastily disposed of in barrels in ditches that got breached and mixed ghastly contents with other barrels that reanimated the abortive feti and brought them to a kind of repelsive oversized B-cartridge life thundering around due north of where yrstruly and Green strolled through the urban grid. Of one local underground stelliform offshoot from the Bob Hope–worshipping Rastafarians who smoked enormous doobsters and wove their negroid hair into clusters of wet cigars like the Rastafarians but instead of Rastafarians these post-Rastas worshipped the Infant and every New Year donned tie-dyed parkas and cardboard snowshoes and ventured northward, trailing smoke, past the walls and fans of Checkpoint Pongo into the former areas of VT and NH, seeking The Infant they called it, as if there were only One, and toting paraphernalia for performing a cultish ritual referred to in oblique tones only as Propitiating The Infant, whole posses of these stelliform pot-head reggae-swaying Infant-cultists disappearing forever off the human race’s radar every winter, never heard or smelled again, regarded by fellow cultists as martyrs and/or lambs, possibly too addled by blimp-sized doobsters to find their way back out of the Concavity and freezing to death, or en-swarmed by herds of feral pets, or shot by property-value-conscious insects, or… (face plum-colored, finally breathing) worse.
Lenz shudders just at the thought of the raging Powerlessness he’d feel, he shares, lost and disorientated, wandering in circles in blinding white frozen points due north of all domesticated men, forget the time not even knowing what fucking date it was, his breath an ice-beard, with just his tinder and wits and character to live by, armed just with a Browning blade.
Green opines that if Boston AA is a cult that like brainwashes you, he guesses he’d got himself to the point where his brain needed a good brisk washing, which Lenz knows is not an original view, being exactly what big blockheaded Don Gately repeats about once a diem.
SELECTED SNIPPETS FROM THE INDIVIDUAL-RESIDENT-INFORMAL-INTERFACE MOMENTS OF D. W. GATELY, LIVE-IN STAFF, ENNET HOUSE DRUG AND ALCOHOL RECOVERY HOUSE, ENFIELD MA, ON AND OFF FROM JUST AFTER THE BROOKLINE YOUNG PEOPLE’S AA MTNG. UP TO ABOUT 2329H., WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER Y.D.A.U.
‘I don’t know why all this shit about wanting to hear about the football all the time. And I’m not going to make my goddamn muscle. It’s stupid.’
‘It’s inappropriate, since you like words like that.’
‘But this Sharing and Caring Commitment guy, the Chair, the Sudbury Half-Measures Avail Us Nothing Group, he had a power about him. The Chair, he said he used to be a nuclear auditor. For the Defense industry. This man who was very quiet and broken-seeming and fatherly and strange. There was this kind of broken authority about him.’
‘I know what you mean. I can I.D.’
‘… that seemed fatherly somehow.’
‘The sponsor type. My sponsor’s like that, Joelle, in White Flag.’
‘Can I ask? Is your own personal Daddy still alive?’
‘Oh. Oh. My mother’s dead. Worm-farming. My own personal Daddy’s still sucking air, though. That’s how he puts it — still sucking air. In Kentucky.’
‘My mother’s a worm-farmer from way back, though.’
‘But so what about this Half Measures guy hit you so hard?’
‘Harrd. Harrrrrd. Sound it out.’
‘Don well it started out as that he spoke about himself like he used to be somebody else. Like a whole different person. He said he used to wear a four-piece suit and the fourth piece was him.’
‘An Allston Group guy says that all the time, that joke.’
‘He had on a real nice white thick-weave cotton shirt opened at the throat and wheat-colored pants and loafers without socks, which I’m up here ten years Don and I still can’t follow this thing up here about y’all all wearing nice shoes and then wrecking them by wearing them without socks.’
‘Joelle, you’re maybe about the last person to be taking somebody’s inventory about weird ways they dress, under there, maybe.’
‘Kiss my rosy red ass, maybe.’
‘Remind me to Log how it’s real positive to see you coming out of this shell of yours.’
‘Well and I got reservations on this Don but Diehl and Ken are telling me to come in to you with this issue of what’s like occurring out there which Erdedy says it’s a Staff-type issue and duh-duh duh-duh.’
‘Had a little coffee tonight have we Foss?’
‘Well Don and like you know and duh-duh.’
‘Take a second. Inhale and blow out. I’m not going anywheres.’
‘Well Don I hate a cheese-nibbler much as the next man but Geoff D. and Nell G. are out in the living room going around to all the new people asking them to think about if their Higher Power is omni-potent enough to make a suitcase that’s too heavy for him to lift. They’re doing it to everybody that’s new. And that skittery kid Dingley —’