Agapé (or, does the secretary not wear glasses?)

goo goo g’joob
The Beatles

“Look at them,” said Krushchev adjusting his brand new thick black-rimmed glasses.

“At what sir?” asked Yevgeny Pavlovich standing up from his desk. Yevgeny Pavlovich was Krushchev’s personal assistant, bodyguard, English language Interpreter and expert on all things Obodenidae.

“Here, out this window… Come here and look at this,” Krushchev motioned with a short fat index finger for Yevgeny Pavlovich to look out the office window overlooking Red Square.

It was summer. A bright sun above the square warmed its ocher stones and thousands of people were milling around on them. On days such as these the line to Lenin’s tomb often stretched for many blocks. And it was at a portion of this line that Krushchev’s pale blue eyes were looking at.

“Youth,” sighed Krushchev as Yevgeny Pavlovich approached, “Look at them – those red scarred children, not children really, young adults. Do you see them Yevgeny Pavlovich? Pushing, laughing, joking.

“Yes, I do Comrade Secretary,” answered Yevgeny Pavlovich unsure of what he was looking at. Yevgeny Pavlovich out of habit twitched his thick pushbroom mustache and reparted his thick black hair.

Krushchev continued. “All those pert breasts and long legs. And look at those beautiful boys. All cock and muscle. Every nipple, every erection, pointing toward the future.”

“Do you want them removed?” asked Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“No. It’s just unnerving.” Krushchev walked back into the relative darkness of the office, “Have you ever spent time with youth? I mean since being one?”

“No, I’ve never really had a chance to, even as a youth,” answered Yevgeny Pavlovich in the almost informal manner, which he and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union used when in private.

“It’s just unnerving,” continued Krushchev.

“What is, Comrade Secretary?” asked Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“Youth, of course,” answered Krushchev, “parading itself around as if there were an infinite number of choices to make in life and it didn’t need to choose any of them. When in this world of infinite discomforts a whole life can be distilled down to three, four, maybe five choices – if you’re lucky. And the rest?” Krushchev paused and looked at his Interpreter’s silhouette, “The rest is just dealing with the consequences.”

Twenty-five years earlier Yevgeny Pavlovich was ten years old and living with his grandmother in a small Russian city near the Ural Mountains. His parents were both gifted musicians. And so was Yevgeny Pavlovich. By the time he spoke, he spoke mostly of sound. By the time he was seven or eight years old, he was transcribing the bird songs he’d hear while playing outside. He would memorize each song separately and then at night, alone in bed, whistle and write it out. He spent months struggling to understand what the difference between a short quarter note and a long eighth note was.

His father was a violinist and his mother sang beautifully. They often traveled together. During these tours, he was left with the oldest living relative in the family, his maternal grandmother. She was not a musician.

She hated musicians. She had married young, before understanding how many hours of isolation she’d endure while her husband, a violist, would be practicing or traveling with some orchestra. Over time, her loneliness transformed into bitterness.

Yevgeny Pavlovich’s maternal grandfather had married his grandmother without so much as a ruble for a dowry. When they married, she had thought it was dramatic proof of his love for her. Later in life, she came to believe it was a symptom of his impractical and naive nature.

By the time Yevgeny Pavlovich was being left with his grandmother while his parents toured and performed, his grandfather was no longer alive. And so Yevgeny Pavlovich spent most of his time with his maternal grandmother.

To her, Yevgeny Pavlovich’s parents were unreliable and weak. But more than anything, he wanted to be like his father. He looked like his father. He had his father’s thick black hair, high cheek-boned face, with something a little tartar adding to its handsomeness.

Yevgeny Pavlovich practiced every day, even though his grandmother would always end his practice sessions with comments like: “That was pretty, but you can’t eat it.” Or, “Musicians are weak. They cannot even take care of their own children.” Or, “Did you see the other Yevgeny today? He looked so handsome in his soccer uniform.”

The “other” Yevgeny was the son of his father’s best friend, Boris. Yevgeny Pavlovich called him Uncle Boris. He was a soccer coach at the local Youth Sports Center. Yevgeny Pavlovich liked Uncle Boris and his son, the “other” Yevgeny. But the two boys couldn’t have been more different. Yevgeny Pavlovich was a serious and studious boy. The other Yevgeny – popular and athletic.

Uncle Boris and Yevgeny’s father liked to play cards whenever the violinist was in town. The two Yevgenys would play in the yard or, where they especially liked to go, down into the coal cellar.

It was there in the coal cellar that Yevgeny Pavlovich was convinced once and for all that his grandmother was correct about his father.

One night, when his father was in town, and he and Boris were playing cards, the two Yevgenys went down into the coal cellar as usual. From the coal cellar the boys took turns spying on their fathers’ game through a crack in the floorboards. On this particular night there was a knock at the door.

The two Yevgenys watched as a pair of KGB agents and some armed policeman came into the house. The agents interrogated Yevgeny Pavlovich’s father. Yevgeny Pavlovich watched as his father cried and begged for mercy. He could hardly speak and all he could say was, “I don’t know anything. Please, I don’t know anything. Nothing. Please…” He shook with fear and the chill of sweat.

The two Yevgenys watched Boris and the “other” Yevgeny’s mother stand helpless watching, silent in fear. They watched the confident tone and posture of the agents, especially the agent in command.

The two Yevgenys watched the KGB agent in command order the policemen to search the house. That’s when the two Yevgenys were found. They were brought in front of the KGB agent in charge. He smiled at the boys and stroked his thick mustache, which covered his upper lips and made him look almost gentle, like a large friendly animal. After the KGB agent had been told what the two boys were doing he said, “My little spies.” He patted Yevgeny Pavlovich gently on the head and told Yevgeny Pavlovich to kiss his father goodbye. Yevgeny Pavlovich refused and never saw his father again.

“What do you think?” Krushchev’s voice startled Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“What do I think, Comrade Secretary? I am instructed not to think, but to carry out your orders,” Yevgeny Pavlovich snapped to attention.

“Yevgeny Pavlovich, that is the exact right answer. Good. How are the arrangements for America coming along?” Krushchev asked in a satisfied business-like tone.

“The zoo has been infiltrated and the message delivered. Our plans for America are complete,” answered Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“What about the bird?” asked Krushchev.

“As soon as we have the pinniped under our control, the bird will not be a problem,” Yevgeny Pavlovich stated without a hint of doubt. His mustache perfectly still.

It was going to be another hot L.A.-in-the-summer kind of day. The sun had just burst forth behind a hill and was already baking the asphalt and iron bars of the L.A. County Zoo. Kentucky Formalwear and TyVek were reclining in the cool mists of a sprinkler set up for them by the zookeeper. Having been fed fresh fish a few minutes earlier, the penguin and the walrus were busily digesting.

Kentucky Formalwear, the penguin, beak tucked under his right wing, tiny monochromatic feathers waving in a sea breeze, dozed in the relative coolness. Suddenly he awoke, yellow beak wide open, with a scream, “Aaaaagh!”

TyVek, the walrus, reacted quickly to his friend’s distressing call. Two tons of pinniped bounced quickly to his friend’s side. TyVek embraced his Antarctic friend with one of his mighty flippers and said, “Kentucky, you’re O.K.” Then he gently rocked the penguin. The coolness of the water dripping from the thick super-sensitive mustache and tusks of the walrus calmed the penguin.

“What a dream Ty. What a dream. I was flying. Through the air, Ty! And what a world I flew over. So fresh and free,” Kentucky told his friend.

“You’re still a penguin, here with me,” TyVek reminded Kentucky.

Kentucky suddenly broke lose of his friend’s embrace, “With wings to ascend and dreams to guide – Outside! I step and search.”

To which TyVek said, “But Kentucky, you were screaming.”

“Something was happening to D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff…” Kentucky began and then stopped to recall his dream.

“What?! What was happening to D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff?” the walrus was concerned.

“I didn’t make it out and then I woke up in this stinking cage.” Kentucky squawked. And just then the stench of lions relieving themselves after a nighttime meal made its way to the penguin and walrus exhibit. He continued, “Can’t you smell it? That’s the smell of death Ty. The smell of death itself.”

“Aw gee Kentucky, it’s not so bad here at the zoo. We got our sprinkler there to keep us cool. We get fed three times a day. The visitors love us. They throw us goodies once in a while. And then at the end of each day you and I are left alone to talk away the evening,” TyVek said convincingly.

“Shadows of bars. Stench of death. Fed frozen, predigested, mutilated tablescraps. Feasted upon by hungry eyes all day. And then at night abandoned by nature and God.” Just as Kentucky finished, the first visitors at the zoo had made there way to the penguin and walrus exhibit. The children began to throw marshmallows through the spaces between the bars.

“Look, Kentucky! Marshmallows!” TyVek yelled excitedly as he began to eat each soft white ball of sugar he came across. Listlessly waddling, Kentucky followed his walrus friend.

The heat of the new day woke D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff in her single bed next to the window of her one room flat. The strong odor of Frank, a cowhand she had picked up at the zoo the day before, was still in the air. Her body was sticky from his sweat and cum. This made D.M.A Von Kappelhoff horny. She licked her fingers, spread her legs and labia, and fingered herself to an orgasm.

After showering in the shared facilities at the end of the hall on her floor, she came back to her room. She combed her jet-black hair and then began to write:

Resist the economy of all capitalist swine!
Don’t buy their trinkets.
Don’t wear their clothes.
Don’t drink their wine.
Become a universe unto yourself.
Each individual a cosmos.
Each cosmos with its own deity.
Each deity to be worshipped in kind.
Each worship individual.
Each individual a godhead.


Resist fascist hegemony in all its forms.
Struggle against fascism with every action.
Every action a liberation!

Struggle with the peoples of the world.
Overthrow the lords of death and destruction.
Free the spirits of creation.

Become the erotic!

Fuck all of you fascist pigs!

I’ll see you hang by your fat necks
Fattened by the blood of exploitation!
I’ll see you swing in the spring
At the end of history!


D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff closed her notebook. She would recite her poem at the zoo as usual. She dressed herself in her lightest cream-colored dress. A dress so tight that the form and shadow of her curly black pubic hair was clearly visible through the fabric. She had seen pictures of Carole Lombard in just such a dress and it had made her so wet she had bought one for herself.

After an average fourteen-hour day, Krushchev finally pulled out the bottle of vodka from a cabinet and poured two shots, one for himself and one for Yevgeny Pavlovich. Krushchev ordered goulash, potatoes, pickles and rye bread. After eating, the two men continued drinking, lit cigars and relaxed in comfortable armchairs. Not much was said.

Then, as was usual once or twice a week, Krushchev called in his Bulgarian masseuse. Antoaneta, an athletic beauty with strong hands, came in pushing her massage table. Krushchev disrobed and lay his round, soft body on the table. She began the massage with his toes.

“Yevgeny Pavlovich, I want you to find Sasha,” Krushchev said, abruptly breaking the silence of the night, “Do you remember him?”

Yevgeny Pavlovich had initially encountered the infant Sasha at the first meeting of the Politburo, just after Krushchev had consolidated his control over the Communist Party and the Kremlin.

During this meeting Krushchev had made his “Just One Perfect Day” speech:

“Just one perfect day! Just one perfect day! All this searching just for one day! Our yearning and work will overcome the obstacles and surmount all opposition. The perfect day has been conceived.

“It is here with us in the room. This womb of the revolution.

“The worker who thrusts himself down the halls of the Kremlin everyday no matter how inhospitable the environment, how foreign, how sterile, how dry. The worker has fertilized this womb with his cries of, ‘Where is my perfect day?! Where is my perfect day?!’

“The perfect day has been conceived and we will create it. And once the world has experienced the perfect day – no other day will be necessary. It will be a perfect day forever. The people of the world will throw down their weapons. They will raise the hammer and the sickle. And they will follow our example.

“For the people of the Soviet Socialist State! For Sasha!”

It was here that Yevgeny Pavlovich remembered Krushchev pushing a button in front of him and five or six soldiers marching in, one of them holding an infant. The infant was given to Krushchev. He continued:

“This is Sasha. And our mission is clear – Not for Lenin! Not for Krushchev! Not for Marx! We must create a perfect day for Sasha!”

Krushchev raised the infant in a biblical manner. The other Politburo Members stood up and began to cheer. They were soon chanting, “Another perfect day for Sasha!” for what seemed like ten minutes. No one dared stop chanting. Finally Krushchev sat down and began rocking the infant in his arms.

“Any questions?” he asked.

“Excuse me Comrade Secretary?” the Politburo Member from Lithuania spoke up. Yevgeny Pavlovich no longer remembered his name. “In your speech you mentioned Lenin, Marx and, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, yourself? Am I right?”

“You are correct,” answered Krushchev.

“But Comrade Secretary what about Stalin?” asked the Politburo Member from Lithuania. The other Politburo Members gasped. Krushchev motioned his fat bald head twice toward the Politburo Member from Lithuania. The four remaining soldiers moved toward him.

“That just won’t do Comrade. That just won’t do. Out with him. I don’t care where you take him,” Krushchev ordered calmly.

The Politburo Member from Lithuania realized what was happening and jumped out of his seat and onto the table yelling, “No! But I didn’t know! How could I have known?! No one told me!”

He lunged toward Krushchev. But before he even took three steps, Yevgeny Pavlovich appeared behind Krushchev pointing a revolver at the Politburo Member from Lithuania’s head. The Politburo Member stopped and, whimpering, was quickly escorted out of the room. The infant Sasha was carried out of the room by a KGB wet nurse and flown back to the village in the Caucuses from which he had been borrowed.

“Quite a little scene,” Yevgeny Pavlovich now said to Krushchev, who was lying on his back. Antoaneta was massaging his large round stomach and on her way to a give the Comrade Secretary a little penile pleasure.

“Yes it was, I’m glad I never had to go through that again,” Krushchev admitted.

“One good show of force is often enough, especially right away,” agreed Yevgeny Pavlovich looking at Krushchev’s small red erect penis.

“I think you’re right. And remember that little Sasha, through all of that, he didn’t make a peep. Not a sound. And I remember putting him to sleep saying, ‘No more Mr. Stalin for you my little one…”’

“‘No more big bad Mr. Stalin for you.’ I’ll find him,” Yevgeny Pavlovich clicked his heels and left the room smiling. He had always enjoyed the sound of Krushchev coming.

After the last syllable of the word “Resist!” ceased bouncing from wall to wall in the penguin and walrus exhibit, D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff strode away leaving Kentucky bothered and anxious.

“And if we weren’t here at the zoo we would never know D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff,” said TyVek slowly, picking up a crumpled piece of notebook paper. As always D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff had torn her poem out of her notebook and threw it into the penguin and walrus exhibit.

“The only fresh breeze in this stagnation,” said Kentucky Formalwear looking up at the place where D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff had recited her poem.

“If we left the zoo. What would happen to her? Where would she go?” asked TyVek.

Kentucky answered, “That’s one person. One person worth a grain of our attention in this atmosphere of fear and indifference. She’s the only one that understands. But I guess like the great poet Idaho spoke:

‘Strangle not the mackerel.
Swallow them whole.
Do not fight the swell.
Struggle to alter your Fole.
Surge as one  with the sea,
And the waters will wash you.
Where you need be.”‘

“Your dreams certainly speak to me Kentucky,” the walrus spoke softly.

“Can’t you smell it Ty? Can’t you taste it? It’s right there. I can sense it with every feather. I can see it in the longest shadow as the sun rises every morning behind that hill. Everything dreams:

D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff. Danger. Love. Solitude…”

“And chaos, Kentucky, don’t forget about chaos,” added TyVek.

“And chaos,” agreed Kentucky.

“This is my world: The keeper, the zoo and you.”

“There are more worlds to conquer. I remember the call of the Falklands. Forward you penguin soldiers!” Kentucky was now spitting out his words in a rapid-fire manner.

TyVek knew that the only thing for him to do was to wait and let Kentucky finish and then hold his friend.

As usual, Kentucky spoke of the 1st Falkland’s War. During a time of world economic collapse the penguins of the Falklands decided that it was an opportune moment to relieve the islands of their English overlord imperialist masters and their sheep.

“We all raced into the water as one massive penguin horde. We were tired of the English and their sheep. We dove into waters that would’ve been ice had it not been for the salt. All those brave birds swimming wing to wing. Such a raft of penguins has never been seen and likely will never be again.

That’s when the English devils came – with their double-winged flying metal monsters spitting lead death at us like some vile demon vomit. So many birds sank into the black bottomlessness of the sea. So many brave young birds. I was hit…”

“…and then you drifted, a feather’s distance from death, for twenty eight days…” the walrus tried to end the story more quickly.

But the penguin started up his soliloquy again, “Harassed by sharks. Always in fear of capture by the virulent English devil until I drifted into the warm waters of the Caribbean. There, a family of friendly Venezuelan fishermen nursed me back to health. But realizing the dangers to me in a tropical climate, even they had to sell me to a passing American freighter headed for this – the city of Lost Angels.”

Kentucky slumped into a heap of black and white feathers on the pavement of the penguin and walrus exhibit at the L.A. County Zoo.

“I’m sorry,” Kentucky muttered.

“What are you sorry about?” asked TyVek.

“You’ve heard that so many times but I… I just can’t seem to… shake it,” Kentucky stammered.

“Oh Kentucky,” was the sound TyVek ‘s heart breaking.

The “cinnamon city on the banks of the Ohio” was so far away. Further than the thousands of miles of road between her and Cincinnati. She had been sent by her revolutionary cell to infiltrate the Screen Actors Guild. She shook from loneliness. Only she and her comrade, her “agent,” could be spared. Her mission seemed overwhelming: To subvert the image-making machine, to sabotage its inner workings using her voice, her body – her very will as her weapons.

Her “agent” was a brutal man, perfectly suited for Hollywood deal making. But she was fragile. Only a few short months ago she was an anarchist dancer. Then the terrible accident: All gears, wheels, torn flesh and broken bones. Her only solace – revolutionary song. And then one evening, after entertaining her cell in the abandoned beer cavern that they called home, she was told of her mission. She agreed without speaking.

So she was sent. Her “agent” chosen from amongst the multitude of strong men available. She knew this was not suffering. It was only ideology.

Each anarchist must make, create her own way toward non-ideology and toward the real task-at- hand, toward art – life – not an egotistical exploration of that infernal ever-present temptation – the self.

The self, that satyr, that some-time dragon, which drags each individual into the abyss of separateness. This separateness is the trap door above all capitalist culture, industrial or not.

This abyss swallows individuals like the vortex at the center of each galaxy that spins stars into beautiful, terrible formations.

From up close, from the human perspective especially, a single arm, or even a few together, of these vortices may seem like straight lines. But there are no straight lines: Formations of soldiers, workers, bureaucrats – efficient distractions all – making each individual believe that vortices are straight lines. But each is only part of the same inevitable spiral to the center – to meaninglessness.

“Where do I go from here?” asked D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff concerned, as every anarchist is, with making the daily choices that would eliminate the vestiges of capitalist sign-signifier-signifieds.

After each audition D.M.A Von Kappelhoff would buy razor blades. Each song had a wound. Each monologue a cut. Never enough to bleed to death. But enough to remind herself how not to be, about how real her body was, and how her strange evolving stage persona was an invented fiction.

“Why do I need to invent myself?” she asked, her room squeezing her. The gray walls rubbing themselves against her skin, moist and slightly slick, as if covered by mucous. Oh this terrible place. This Los Angeles lost by the ocean. Lost by the desert. Lost by her on the way to becoming – but becoming what?

“What will become of me?” her question dissolved by the salt in her tears.

From TyVek ‘s perspective it must have looked like this:

That day, a Saturday, during the heaviest traffic the penguin and walrus had seen in a long time, a piece of paper landed inconspicuously in the exhibit area. How Kentucky recognized this unremarkable ball of paper as something special TyVek would never know.

But Kentucky, waving the paper in the air, waddled as quickly as he could to where TyVek was finishing a section of sausage.

“Ty! Ty! Something’s here for me!” Kentucky’s bill snapped over and over again.

“What is it?” asked TyVek.

“Exactly what I’ve been waiting for. It’s in penguin! It’s in penguin!” Kentucky began dancing in circles and the crowd of onlookers laughed and clapped their hands to the implied rhythm.

“What’s it say?” the walrus asked.

“What?” Kentucky stopped dancing and was a little dizzy.

The spectators threw extra large chunks of food. TyVek was eyeing the food and getting impatient.

“What does it say?” TyVek asked slowly and distinctly, “The letter.”

“They’re going to get me out of here,” Kentucky said in a distracted voice.

“Don’t believe them,” TyVek wanted to shake his friend, “Don’t believe them. They’ve lied to you before.”

“This is different. This time it’s in penguin. My brothers are coming to free me,” Kentucky was convinced.

“What’s the code word? You said there’s always got to be a code word and there never has been one before,” TyVek said trying to calm his Antarctic buddy.

“The code word is yellow and it’s in penguin!” Kentucky said joyfully.

And that night, long after the zoo guests had all gone home, long after the last of the nocturnal animals had been fed, long after TyVek had already fallen asleep, the sound of a rotor blade slicing the darkness grew into a roar as a black helicopter hovered above the penguin and walrus exhibit, dropped a small sling on a thin cable and lifted Kentucky Formalwear out of captivity.

“Cover for me!” were the penguin’s last words.

“Of course,” said the walrus to himself, lifting his sleepy droopy gaze to the already empty sky.

When Yevgeny Pavlovich found Sasha, he ordered the boy and his entire family sent to a penal colony in Siberia. Sasha had become an eleven-year-old hoodlum with tobacco-stained teeth and a mouth that could not but shape an obscenity every other word.

So on the day that Krushchev and Yevgeny Pavlovich were to board a submarine headed for California, an eleven year old, blond, blue-eyed, muscular, handsome boy was presented to Krushchev in a scouting uniform and red scarf. Krushchev was satisfied. He boarded the Potemkin II with his thin lips arching a smile across his globe-round face.

The submarine floated out onto the ocean from what the Czarists called the Port of Archangel. Once at a safe distance from shore, it submerged into the turbulent and horribly misnomered Pacific.

The crossing from Asia to America was uneventful. When they had arrived within sighting distance of California, Krushchev, of course, was given the privilege of the first view through the periscope.

“It’s strange,” Krushchev said, “how when you’re on land looking at the sea, all you want to do is to sail away across the main. And then when you’re on the sea and are looking at any land at all, all you want to do is to go ashore.”

The last periscope Yevgeny Pavlovich had looked through was when he was fresh out of the KGB Academy. He took pictures of a mid-level party aparatchik through a periscope in the wall of a brothel. His first clandestine mission had been a success.

His friend, Georg, reinforced this. Georg had worked for the KGB for a number of years and had been passed over for a promotion one too many times. He was never going to rise much higher in the ranks than he already had and he knew it. But this sort situation affords a kind of predictability, a stability. And stability was what Georg had joined the KGB for.

Georg and Yevgeny Pavlovich stood under the red light of a photo lab. Georg congratulated Yevgeny Pavlovich on his beautiful work and wanted to take him out to a bar and celebrate. But when Yevgeny Pavlovich said that he wanted to pursue the matter and bring the film he had shot to the attention of his superiors, Georg’s demeanor changed dramatically.

Georg grabbed Yevgeny Pavlovich and shook him, “Shut up you little idealist pip-squeak. Who do you think you are?”


“Don’t answer me. You’re a nobody. A nothing. And so am I. We do. We don’t ever have an opinion. If you have an opinion my friend they’ll squash you like a bug. You know that jolly round fellow you took pictures of with his pants down and a whore’s lips around his prick – he can have you shot. No questions asked. He signs a slip of paper and bang – you’re meat. Nothing but meat.”

“Aren’t you disgusted by this?” Yevgeny asked.

“Disgust? When I marched into Leningrad and had to push my way through crowds of starving children ignoring each one just to survive emotionally – that was disgusting. When I felt pleasure as the warm blood of the last Nazi I shot sprayed my face – that was disgusting. This? Means nothing to me.”

“But I…”

“You have to be a realist in this trade. A realist! Do you understand me?!” Yevgeny Pavlovich shook his head, “I have to…”

“You won’t do that you little punk,” Georg was centimeters away from Yevgeny Pavlovich’s face, “You’ll do no such thing at all. I’m not going to Siberia and neither are you. Today, my friend is your birthday.”

“No it…”

“I say it is and it is. Today is your birthday and you and I are going out, buying a bottle of excellent vodka, and getting drunk together like the two old friends that we are. And this whole matter – we will forget about it – completely wipe it out of existence. Do you understand me?”

“Yevgeny. Yevgeny!” Krushchev’s words pierced Yevgeny Pavlovich’s thoughts, “Come look at the lights of the city of angels. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Yevgeny Pavlovich peered through the viewfinder and looked at the dancing lights of the distant city.

“It is beautiful Comrade Secretary,” agreed Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“Come, let’s drink some vodka and toast this occasion before going ashore,” Krushchev invited Yevgeny Pavlovich.

“Yes, thank you. Let’s drink to your health and that of our home – the forever victorious and great C.C.C.P.,” said Yevgeny Pavlovich understanding clearly.

“Harry Miller, American Spy,” these were the first words Kentucky Formalwear had heard since being lifted into the L.A. night and carried across miles of bone-dry hills. The thermals rising from the desert mountains below made the ride to wherever he had landed very bumpy.

But the sensation of flight was also exhilarating to this most aquatic of birds. He had flown! He had seen the zoo shrink into the night and Los Angeles become nothing but a distant glow on the horizon. He had looked down onto towns, villages, forests, rivers and lakes pass under him like pieces of a toy world that was his to play with.

When Kentucky heard the introduction he knew immediately whom he was dealing with.

Kentucky was tied to a chair with a blindfold over his eyes and he didn’t like it.

“Who are you? The Americans do not know penguin code,” he snapped.

“You are a smart bird,” the man with the gravel voice continued, “but what is the code word?”

“Isn’t that a bit forward?” Kentucky was being ironic.

“Let me rephrase that,” continued Harry Miller, “When you see a color in the world – for instance…”


“Yes, yellow. What does it mean?” Harry Miller asked patiently.

“Caution,” Kentucky answered.

“Always?” Harry Miller asked with an ironic chuckle.

“Almost always,” Kentucky was confused momentarily.

“When does it not mean caution?”

“On flowers, let’s say.”

Harry Miller continued, “Good. A yellow flower does not mean caution it means…”

“…friendship! What does this have to do with anything? And please release me from this bondage. “

“Shush. Shush, my little fine feathered web-footed friend,” Harry Miller cooed softly.

“I’m not your friend!”

“If you do not calm down, I will be forced to use a tranquilizer. And that would not be in either of our interests. I think you’d agree?”

Kentucky stopped shouting and struggling.

“Good,” Harry Miller said pleasantly, “A yellow flower means friendship. And a red flower?”

“Love, for bird’s sake, let’s get to the point of this, a red flower means love,” Kentucky answered in monotone.

“Or?” Harry Miller asked.

“Or… Of course! Socialism.” Kentucky finally understood who he was dealing with.

“And they say interspieces communication is difficult.”

“Who are you? Why are you using penguin code? What do you want with me?” the penguin spit the questions at Harry Miller.

“Never mind that. We need you to do something for us,” Harry Miller said.

“Why should I do anything for you?”

“Because we know what you want.”

“I don’t want anything,” Kentucky retorted.

“Now, now Comrade Kentucky.”

“You are the KGB,” Kentucky accused the spy.

“Isn’t Secretary Krushchev coming here to the United States?” asked Harry Miller.

“I have no idea,” answered Kentucky.

“Don’t you read the papers?”

“I don’t read anything I can’t trust. And I don’t trust these Hearst papers full of they’re anti-fowl propaganda,” Kentucky answered.

“What if I told you that the secretary is here?” asked Harry Miller suggestively.

“What’s it to me? He’s in Washington or New York and I’m here blindfolded and tied up in the desert somewhere?” Kentucky made his point.

“What if I told you that the Secretary was here?” Harry Miller asked slyly removing the blindfold, and untying the ropes around Kentucky’s wings and feet.

It was, of course, not Harry Miller – American Spy that Kentucky now saw vaguely as his eyes adjusted to the lights of the room he was in, it was Yevgeny Pavlovich’s twitching mustache that came into focus. And when Kentucky turned his gaze in the direction that the mustache was twitching, all he could say was, “But… but… but the Secretary does not wear glasses.”

Kentucky would swear to anyone who would listen to him in the future, that behind Yevgeny Pavlovich he saw the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Comrade Nikita Krushchev, wearing a pair of thick black-rimmed glasses.

Like many a poet before and after her, D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff began writing because in the scribbles on a page she was discovering a self. She, at first, felt sure that no matter what happened, someone would be able to decipher her self when they read those strokes of the hand, like some sort of cave painting, and see, “D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff was here.”

“But that’s just more emptiness. As soon as I write it, sing it, perform it, say it – it is not who I am. As soon as I think it – it is exactly what I am not.

“Words: Objects, waves sculpted by the tongue, and animated by a poet’s lungs sent out to break on the sands of a heart.

“Words: Objects created by the mind to gain control of a subject. But in an always, unexpectedly, blind, silent turn – the sign – the sound – the word – becomes more powerful than the maker. The incantation is more powerful than the witch – a woman – if without a spell.

“Who am I kidding?” was the last in a long line of muddled thoughts that floated through the consciousness of D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff.

She was walking down a very concrete street under a barren sky because her “agent” had told her to meet someone at a tavern called Lucky’s. In the note she found slipped under her door that morning, her agent had told her to speak with the man in the third barstool from the back.

When she entered the dark hall-like room with a bar on the right stretching from the window and disappearing into the dimness of the interior, she could not make out any faces, but perceived a few hunched-over figures staring at her from their perches.

The bartender said, “Welcome to Lucky’s. Where everyone’s lucky,” listlessly, “What’ya need honey?”

Someone whistled.

“Shut up or I’ll smash another bottle over your head,” the bartender barked at the whistler.

D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff walked past the bartender and straight to the third barstool from the back. The stench from the men’s room was a taste in her mouth this far into the tavern, but the barstool was empty. She was about to turn around and leave when through the men’s room door, with no glasses on, exited Comrade Nikita Krushchev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

After Kentucky had been whisked away by the black helicopter, but before he himself was taken away by men in ski masks and black jumpsuits, TyVek sang to the stars above the L.A. County Zoo:

TyVek’s Song

It was not, after all, Krushchev who stepped out of the shadows behind Yevgeny Pavlovich to where Kentucky Formalwear could see him in the light, in the shack out in the California desert night.

“Secretary…” Kentucky stammered, “What?”

Kentucky watched “Krushchev” bow.

“As you see, the Secretary is wearing glasses. He has been wearing glasses since before arriving on this continent. And he will continue to do so until he returns to his homeland and freedom.”

“But, does the Secretary suffer from..?” Kentucky tried to ask.

“Don’t be silly my bird friend, our doctor’s can replace bad eyes as quickly as flat tires. There is a purpose to our having the Secretary wear glasses,” Yevgeny Pavlovich calmly told Kentucky. He took out a photograph of TyVek and continued, “Do you know who this is?”

“What have you done with TyVek?!” cried the penguin rushing at Yevgeny Pavlovich who calmly grabbed the penguin by the wings and let him wiggle and squirm in the air until he tired and went limp.

And that’s when Kentucky saw “Krushchev” take off the thick black-rimmed glasses and there, in front of Kentucky Formalwear stood his zoo mate, TyVek.

“Ty! Vekkie!!” cried the penguin and broken, slipped out of Yevgeny Pavlovich’s grip, melting into a puddle of minute black and white feathers. “I don’t understand,” he repeated like a mantra.

“Don’t worry, it will all make perfect sense when I explain how D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff is involved.”

“What are you going to do with D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff?!” Kentucky screamed.

At that outburst Yevgeny Pavlovich, losing patience, slapped the black and white bird across his yellow beak and continued to calmly explain to the prostrated bird that in order to attend a secret meeting with D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff, an anarchist infiltrator of the Screen Actor’s Guild, the Secretary needed a way to be in two places at the same time.

Of course, Kentucky wanted to know why he or TyVek should cooperate with this plan. He was told that there were three reasons: The first was that Kentucky had been granted one of his most cherished dreams – to fly. Second, after the plan was carried out, he and TyVek would be set free.

And third, the two of them would be quickly converted into cow-feed additive if they did not cooperate.

“You’ll never get me to go through with it. Never!” Kentucky, stood up and spat at Yevgeny Pavlovich.

But, of course, it was TyVek as “Krushchev” who had made his way west across the U.S. that month. It was TyVek, his mustache surgically removed and tusks sawn off, wearing thick black- rimmed glasses that was “Krushchev.”

The two polar buddies were secretly driven to the shore from the shack in the desert and taken by rubber boat to the submarine. They sailed to international waters off the coast of Baja California and both were transferred onto a Czechoslovak fishing vessel. A few hours later they ended up on an East German cargo vessel heading, through the Panama Canal, up the Atlantic coast of North America. TyVek and Kentucky Formalwear enjoyed the sea air and spray, and got fat eating the fresh fish brought to them every day by their Stasi caretakers.

After three weeks of this sort of easy voyaging, it took the helicopter an extra few gallons of fuel to lift the two polar buddies up into the cold Atlantic Ocean air from the deck of the East German ship. And there they dangled at the end of a snong cable, like a couple of upside-down balloons, for forty minutes before being scooped up by a Soviet plane equipped with a special hooking device for capturing cargo midair when dangling on a cable from a helicopter. This plane was also the one officially carrying the “Secretary” on his visit to the United States.

It was then TyVek as “Krushchev” who debated Richard Nixon in the bowels of the White House. It was TyVek as “Krushchev” who, at the United Nations, delivered the equivocal words, “Meer, My Htsemy Meer!”

These words, like Andy Griffith once said about his own, were greasy words. Not only did they slip out of the mouth easily, but they were also very difficult to handle once made audible. The word “Meer” in Russian means both peace and the world. And so the phrase that TyVek as “Krushchev” double spoke while banging his shoe on a table, could be interpreted as, “Peace, we want peace!” Or just as well, “The world, we want the world!”

And all these very diverting actions and speeches allowed Krushchev the time to meet with D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff and create what he dreamed was the future for her, for himself, for Sasha, for the proletariat of the world.

Transcription prepared at Lubyanka KGB Headquarters, Moscow, by Agent Yevgeny Pavlovich Yastrovsky.

Approx. 19. 30, on the chosen date, at the chosen site for the meeting – “Lucky’s,” a typical American tavern, Subject 1 [D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff] enters the bar at the appointed hour and, as directed, approaches the third to the last bar stool. Subject 1’s gasp is clearly audible when Subject 2 [the  Comrade Secretary] exits the men’s WC.

Subject 1: Are you?

Subject 2: Yes.

Subject 1: But how?

Subject 2: Don’t try to understand how, just believe, have faith.

Subject 1: But why?

Subject 2: Shush.

Bartender: You need something bud?

Subject 2: Would you like something to drink?

Subject 1: A vodka.

Subject 2 (to bartender): Two shots of vodka.

Bartender: Sure thing Joe.

Subject 2: Do you believe in the revolution?

Subject 1: I believe.

Subject 2: Do you believe that none of us is free until every one of us is free?

Subject 1: I believe.

Subject 2: Then that is enough.

Subject 1: Oh, but sometimes it isn’t. When I have to make so many compromises. I feel every day, every breath I drift away on an ocean of mediocrity.

Subject 2: Is that all?

Subject 1: Is that all!!?

Bartender: Here’s your drinks, Charlie. But maybe the young lady doesn’t need one.

Subject 2 (the quiet rustle of money being counted out) It’s under control. It’s all yours. Please leave us alone.

Bartender (joy in his voice): Sure thing sailor. You want the joint cleared out. Just let me know.

Subject 2: That won’t be necessary.

(Returning to Subject 1)

Subject 2: Don’t be afraid my child.

Subject 1: I am not your child.

Subject 2: All working souls are children of the revolution.

Subject 1 exits the bar in a fit of tears. It is not clear whether she understood or even had time to hear Subject 2’s last words. This agent tries to pursue Subject 1 but is stopped by Subject 2’s forceful grip.

20:23, one week later. Subject 1 enters “Lucky’s,” a typical American tavern, one hour and twenty-three minutes late. Against my advice, Subject 2 ordered glass after glass of cheap vodka. Some of the words of the surveillance audiotape are therefore unclear because of his slurring. The probable transcription for the slurred words is underlined, but an exact transcription is impossible due to the effects of cheap American liquor.

Subject 1: What do you know about my work? I am not one of your huddled products of mass oppression.

Subject 2: Of course not my dear. But I know the future of the ones I love. I know who they are and what they can and cannot become… [untranscribable]

Subject 1: Oh please…

Subject 2: Do you think I am just some film producer? Some movie mogul trying to bed you?

Subject 1: You’re a man and that’s all I need to know.

Subject 2: Would you like to hear that I am here because of some lust for your touch?

Subject 1: At least then this conversation would have an honest beginning.

Subject 2: But then I would be lyinq… You have sold yourself my dear.

Subject 1 is heard slapping Subject 2. At this point on the tape a scuffle is heard as this agent grabs hold of Subject 1 and restrains her.

Subject 2 (angry): Let her go. She was right.

At Subject 2’s order this agent releases the subject and takes up his post in the second stall of men’s WC to monitor the recording device. Subject 2 is heard addressing this agent.

Subject 2 (addressing this agent): I want you to be so far away that if an army of assassins…  [untranscribable] Be gone! You… [untranscribable]

Subject 2 (cont’d. to Subject 1): I’m sorry.

But it is too late, Subject 1 has already exited the bar.

Contact with Subject 1 is not made until the night before the last possible one for this mission. Subject 1 enters “Lucky’s,” a typical American tavern, at the agreed upon hour of 17:00.

Subject 1: I should have realized you weren’t alone. I’m sorry.

Subject 2: I’m sorry. I was very drunk.

Subject l: I’ve never met someone like you before.

Subject 2 is heard moving toward Subject 1.

Subject 1: Don’t hurt me.

Subject 2: No. But I cannot take away what I have done by staying away for so long. But I had to do what I had to do. Do you understand?

Subject 1: Maybe?

Subject 2: There still may be a chance. Let me explain. It was not me who kept us apart. It is history. It is the history of the rise of the bourgeoisie and its eventual control over all of the earth’s resources. They will take, remake, distribute goods and services at an ever-accelerating pace until eventually there will be nothing left except a vast emptiness. A vast emptiness that only the revolution will fill.

It is the flame. The revolution is the flickering light that through the darkness blinds all who enter the storm. I am at the eye of the storm. I have become the spout through which the fuel is poured onto the fire. And because of this proximity to the luminescence that is the revolution, I can see. And on the other side I see my people. The liberated workers of the world! And you my dear are there – D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff.

Subject 1: Maybe you should leave. You’re scaring me.

Subject 2: Let me look at you. You are…

Subject 1: More than I seem: I’ve heard that before.

Subject 2: More than they can consume… May I speak frankly?

Subject 1: And what have you been doing so far?

Subject 1 chuckles.

Subject 2: I know what you have done. You have done what all working people must do. Sell themselves to their bourgeois overlords, but then hold on, as dearly as possible, to a style of being that is the antithesis of the style of death set by the ruling class to sew you closed. You have remained open to penetration. You are no different than a factory worker.

Subject 1: Don’t you think I know that?! But they…

Subject 1 is heard sobbing and then, for approximately 00:01:37, there is only the sound of cloth being rubbed as, apparently, Subject 1 is being held and consoled by Subject 2.

Subject 2: Oh my little Tsarina. My little Tsarina: What have they done to you? Let me take you away.

Subject 1 (there is apparent belief in her voice): Where?

Subject 2: I will build you a Dacha and you will live your days as the virgin mistress of the forest.

Subject 1: I will be Diana reborn.

Subject 2: The wolf goddess roaming free the endless ranges of the taiga. Guarding it against all who do not sense and respect its delicate beauty.

Subject 1: But I am not a virgin.

Subject 2: My dear… Virginity is a matter of the heart and soul. Not of the body.

Subject l: I wish I could believe you?

Subject 2: You dare disagree with the Secretary General? Come with me. There’s always a way.

Subject 1: I have made my way. There are pictures of everything.

Subject 2: Pictures. Mind games. Nothing.

Subject 1: I wish that were so.

Subject 2: You will stay and die here.

Subject 1: If I go. I will go and die there.

Subject 2: You will be with me.

Subject 1: I am with you.

Subject 2: Always?

Subject 1: Always.

Subject 2: But how will I know?

Subject 1: I will change my name.

Subject 2: Would you do that for me?

Subject 1: No, but for the revolution yes.

Subject 2: But what will it symbolize, some sort of marriage?

Subject 1: I am not the property of even you or the revolution. I am not married. I do not belong. I am! And as long as my new name is heard, so the revolution will spread.

Subject 2: But the only thing that we have in common – the only thing that both of us share – is a day.

Subject 1: Ah, the day of red flowers. The day of the eight-hour day march. Rise up ye Haymarket martyrs!

Subject 1’s tone changes.

Subject 1: I have to go.

Subject 2: Where? There is only one more night left.

Subject 1: And the last one shall be all ours.

Subject 1 leaves the bar.

The next night Subject 1 and Subject 2 meet at “Lucky’s,” a typical American tavern, for the last time. After the preliminary pleasantries and reminiscences of meetings past, the conversation turns toward the Haymarket Riots of 1886.

Subject 2 and Subject 1 (together): Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest and eight hours for what we will!

Subject 1 and Subject 2 giggle and laugh like children.

Subject 2: But D.M.A. May is a difficult name to remember and in this town memories are short and unimaginative.

Subject 1: My first initial stands for Doris. I will be known as Doris.

Subject 2: Doris?

Subject l: Yes, Doris Day.

Subject 2: That is a perfect name: Revolutionary, pure, bright, without a hint of what lies underneath it. But what image will you project…

Subject 1: Image?

Subject 2: Of course my dear, your image. By the making of images humankind has been trying to tame the thing imagined since time immemorial. As long ago as when the cavemen tried to defang the lion, dehoof the horse or detusk the mammoth by carving tiny statuettes or painting rust-colored depictions of the beasts on rock walls. You must become the image of your polar opposite. In this way you are sure to tame the enemy.

Subject 1: I will dye my hair blonde.

Subject 2: Speak in a higher register.

Subject 1: I will become the virgin that every American man wants to believe his wife was when he married her.

Subject 2: You are perfect, my Doris Day.

Doris Day: And all because of you my sweet Nikita…

After a few drinks and exchanged whispers inaudible to this agent, Subject 1 and Subject 2 are heard embracing kissing and parting forever.

The nature of translation is a formal quandary. It is where every theory of language and communication falls short. It is where one must make leaps of faith as long and treacherous as those of an avowed (a)theist.

Only mathematics can transcend this ever-falling-shortness of language. But a novel in math, as perfectly Copernican as it would be, could never match the simple beauty of the “Magilla Gorilla” song.

And so we, those of us gifted in only a small portion of the linguistic possibilities created by humans on earth, will have to rely on the art of translators. And it is on this art of translation and this disability of all language, that the scheme conjured up by Yevgeny Pavlovich, and now being carried out by the penguin and the walrus from the L.A. County Zoo, depended.

“Krushchev” arrived in Los Angeles. In front of a room full of reporters with tape recorders and 16 mm cameras and note pads and still cameras with flash bulbs that only flashed once, was “Comrade Nikita Krushchev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” wearing a pair of thick black-rimmed glasses. There was nothing remarkable about the situation except that the leader of the Communist world stood at the center of the most decadent capitalist city in the entire decadent capitalist world.

“He” was about to give a speech. There was no nervous energy in the air as the “Secretary” stepped up to the podium. The flash bulbs flashed. The cameras whirred. And the reporters took notes feverishly in shorthand. Stepping up to another microphone, a level below and next to that of the “General Secretary’s” was an “interpreter” dressed in smart formal attire.

And as the “General Secretary” spoke, no one in the audience knew or ever noticed that the address was in Russian but with a slight walrus slur to the S’s, and that the high nasal accent of the interpreter was that of a native penguin speaker.

At the end of the “Secretary’s” speech, in the soft bellow that was TyVek singing, Kentucky for the first time came to realize how TyVek had been convinced to go through with this dangerous ruse. At first, TyVek unemotionally read the words from a paper prepared for him by Yevgeny Pavlovich:

“About the capitalist states, it doesn’t depend on you whether we exist. If you don’t like us, don’t accept our invitations, and don’t invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.”

And then softly, covering the microphone with a flipper, in penguin, TyVek whispered, “For your freedom, my Antarctic friend, for your freedom.”

A walrus, a penguin, a very blonde Doris Day, and Frank Sinatra sat drinking and toasting the life and death of D.M.A. hon Kappelhoff at her farewell dinner party.

“Read something for us Doris!” yelled Kentucky, who’d been slipping his beak into his drink a little too frequently that evening.

“Oh I don’t know,” said Doris, but then saw the desire in Frank’s blue eyes and so she recited:

“Here Krushchev ascended
On wings brittle as words
And crossed the desert
To speak with an angel he had dreamed.
And over the ruins of her former self,
As a black Anneas he left her,
A hero worthy of all lore,
A man who ascended and fell,
Left the angel standing on the arid shore
Holding only the hope
That killed D.M.A. Von Kappelhoff.

I saw the bourgeois veil
Lift into the clear night air.
And there was Doris, Doris Day
Standing in the light.

I saw comrade Krushchev
Do battle with a million workers’ strength.

Alas a man
Of mud,
Of flesh,
Of woman born
He lost and won and lost again.

And so the veil fell,
And covered D.M.A.

Beneath an image,
Beneath a wig,
Beneath a smile and demeanor
Of reflected powdered skin sublime.”

The roar of approval embarrassed Doris. But the appreciation was genuine and heartfelt.

Of course, after the fine meal, Doris, as a way keeping one little part of D.M.A. alive, took Frank home for the pleasure of his tight body and hard cock.

It was in this same year that she appeared on Frank’s TV show, “Saturday Night Parade.”

Nikita Krushchev returned to the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics not as he had arrived, secretly, but officially boarded an airplane at the Los Angeles airport and flew high above the misunderstood Pacific, over Siberia and the Urals, and landed safely in Moscow a day later. He smiled when he saw Doris in her first film and how well she could play her role of the coy virgin in “Romance on the High Seas” – a tale of mistaken identity.

And they all would’ve been successful had it not been for Ronald Reagan and GE.

Later, the same night of the farewell dinner, after everyone had returned home, Kentucky and TyVek lay dozing under the L.A. night sky. The gentle drops of the sprinkler in the penguin and walrus exhibit of the L.A. County Zoo kept the two polar friends cool and comfortable.

Kentucky turned to his friend, “Ty?”

“Yes, Kentucky?”

“Let’s go. Before somebody finds out we’re back.”

“There’s nowhere to go Kentucky,” came TyVek ‘s soft answer.

“Sure there is. There’s more to do. And now that those fat red, white and blue pie-eating freaks think you’re the secretary – you have the power to change the world.”

“I’ve played my part. The mask is off… I’m a walrus at the zoo, Kentucky… That’s what I am…” TyVek said peacefully.

“But…” Kentucky tried to interrupt.

TyVek wouldn’t let him, “You play your part. But don’t let them see who you are. They’ll catch you, and beat you, and burn every feather. They’ll store you, fillet you, stuff you and display you. And if you’re lucky enough, ignore you…”

“It doesn’t have to be. We can change that too. They can’t ignore the great Kentucky Formalwear! They’ll write our history and tell our story to their children they will,” Kentucky said optimistically.

Always the realist, TyVek asked, “And what would that change for me, right now?”

“What would that change?! You’re asking!? Everything!”

“It would just be another place, Kentucky. Just another sort of bars, different wardens, different brands of cigarettes. People don’t want to be free. They like it safe and predictable,” TyVek explained, trying not to lecture.

“But we’re not people TyVek. We’re not people. That’s the difference. We can show them by example. Free creatures of the Arctic and Antarctic working for the freedom of all.”

“And why can’t we do that here Kentucky?”

Kentucky really didn’t know how to answer and that made him shout angrily, “Here!?”

“The only freedom there is, for you and for me right now is right here. Between you and myself. Between you and Mary. Between you and Joe. Between you and whoever you happen to be with. Your children. Your husband. Your lover. Your wife.”

Kentucky wasn’t going to listen and TyVek knew it. So he let Kentucky say, “Ty, I’m leaving. There’s so much out there. There are so many smells wafting in the breeze that I just can’t ignore. You know as well as I do that smell is the most memory sensitive sense. Smell this. Take a whiff. Go ahead. What kind of memories am I going to have? What kind of stories will I be telling my grandchildren? What am I going to see on the back of my eyelids when I close my eyes?”

Kentucky stood up and began walking toward the feeding door. He knew it had been left open by the commandos who’d escorted TyVek and himself back to the zoo.

Before leaving though, Kentucky had to check if this was really going to happen, this parting, “When the messenger comes for me, and the message is that I must go, what will I see? Ty, what will I see?”

And when only the sounds of L.A. in the night answered his words, he left.

But TyVek had answered. He had answered softly, so as not to make the sound louder than the gentle splash of the water from the sprinkler, so as not to hurt his friend or change his nature.

TyVek had whispered, “You will see me, Kentucky. You will see me.”