When I was in college, I learned, from a bunch of people wierder than I, (I caught up, more or less, later on) that God lived in downtown Amherst under the name of Brown and drank wine. One of them may have been doing a little Conrad with his mj, or perhaps they knew things that I, even now, only suspect. I married during my senior year and we moved into an appartment over the movie theater and the Chinese takeout. When we showered carelessly, it dribbled on the popcorn. Our bed was on the other side of a thin wall from the projection booth. Wedded bliss was blessed with nightly first run soundtracks and Ho Yu Gnow fumes.

And Mr. Brown lived on the same floor, front. He was on the short side, grey but balding, moustached and roughly dark-chocolate colored. He was a gardener for the Old Families of Amherst. Learning that I was a student, he deferentially, not obsequeously, suggested that if I didn't have anything against working for a black man, he coud use some help.

That spring, I mowed lawns for God, while He did various meticulous trimmings, edgings and transplantings. He wouldn't let me drive His elderly pickup. I never saw Him drink any wine. He paid, I think, two dollars an hour.

Now that takes care of God, but I keep thinking that there are a lot of cats out there, ordinary cats like Mr. Brown, who are part of the Cast and have important roles, possibly several roles. I really do know somone named John Michael Cholmondeley Frawley III. He used to make acid in the cellar of a duplex in a sort of rural slum just outside of Amherst. He had about $1500 worth of liberated glassware and lab equipment and kept the cellar locked, which was a nuisance when a fuse went and he wasn't at home. It was the only lock in the neighborhood that was worth a pinch of shit. JMCF, III shared the apartment with a grad student who was writing a Ph.D. thesis on the Beats and collected beer bottles, not for spare change, but trying to amass a complete set, based on the bottle makers' marks and numbers on the bottoms. He gave it up when he began teaching 18th Century Novel at a small college.

I'm certain that Cholmondeley is now a radio operator on an oil rig off Galveston. But I suspect him of being either the true heir to the throne of Scotland or, just possibly, the only person in the Northern hemisphere who knows the secret of controlling red haired people at a distance with nothing more than a lemon, two pennies (one of them a 1943 zinc), a bicycle wheel and a bound copy of the 1871 Frank Leslie's Weekly. (That was the year of the Great Chicago Fire and there's somthing in the paper that....but that's another story.)

So you see, (You probably don't see. It's ok. If you only see Gnow and Zen, it will be enough.) You see, it's perfectly obvious that you have to pay attention if you mean to go on a vacation, engage in commerce or even fiddle around with your pocket knife. Pay close attention, and what you learn will not fit into your schedule, nor will it scan very well, nor will it fit between commercials or be palliated by 2 aspirin. It won't get there before post office closes and it probably won't give good head. But it will be as real as anthing you can make up.

One of those people who told me about Mr. Brown is, even in these days of pharmacology, locked up in a quilted cell. Another left his stunning, intellegent wife to run off with an evangelistic chickie and preach the Gospel. Another has store teeth and a mortgage on a house worth half what he paid for it. Cholmondeley has forgotten everything he can't share with the oil rig roughnecks. So I peck away at these ravings. I'm catching up, I think, but I have to work at it.

Go on to Greenbag Canteen, Chapter 3 or go back to Resident Alien home page.

Copyright (c) 1994 Michael Spencer. Permission to reproduce or transmit by electronic means for non-profit purposes is granted provided that the text, including this notice, remains unchanged.

Resident Alien is an occasional publication of the Bridgewater Institute for Advanced Study. It appears variously in electronic, paper and other formats such as serial gummed labels.