The Unknown: The Red Line.
  Ihave decided, again, to be misanthropic. I will not like people anymore, for a time. It will make my writing better.”

Scott said this. Everybody in the car was high, on drugs of various kinds and magnitudes.

“This nice guy shit makes you guys hate me and everyone else respect me and my writing turns to shit.”

“Ohhhhh, said William,” William said.

He had taken to imitating Dirk, for an effect that became less and less funny as time wore on.

“And no local color,” Scott muttered.

“Doesn’t leave you much to work with, now does it?” William said.

“Yes,” said Scott, “and I will never again use the word ‘said.’”

D: That’s going to cause problems for you.

S: You think? I think a simple initial followed by text will do the trick well enough.

W: You think?

S: What do you mean by that? Of course that’s what I think. I wouldn’t have said it otherwise, now would I?

W: Perhaps I was asking you if you think at all.

S: A little, I think.

D: One notes a certain marked tendency on your part to be inconsistent.

S: Whose?

[This is in Alabama. They were driving.]

W: As if you can’t decide anything.

S: You know what?

W: What?

S: I was asking you.

“There are only so many styles. This is the case, no?”

“Stop doing that.”

“Stop doing what?”

“Isn’t it clear?”


“What you are doing here.”

“Not at all.”

“Oh William.”

And so they pushed on through Alabama, they pushed on through the night, they drove through that state, they read at a bookstore called Shaver’s Books in Huntsville, but it was closed, and furthermore, absolutely inappropriate for the kind of stuff they were reading. No one was at the reading, and judging from a quick look in the window, most of the books were about rockets, and The Unknown had but one skance related scene. They weren’t even sure if skance was a word, but they read anyway, ceaselessly, into the night. No, the past, they read ceaselessly into the past. They had good grammar, and they had poor grammar; they had typos and they had none. They had nothing more or less than you would have expected of them, though you could have perhaps expected more if you knew them when they were better writers, better writers than who you might ask, better writers than them, than them right now. None of them still owned a sled from their youth, and it wasn’t called Rosebud.

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