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We skid past a “Let’s Kiosk!” and I have never felt more like accepting its invitation. Yeah, let’s kiosk... anything but this.

The man behind the kiosk cannot believe his eyes: the crowds have parted, firstly, and secondly a white man with his face covered in blood and a salaryman with a soul are racing straight at him. If she were not such a traitor (or if I were not) he would also see a most aggressively attractive woman neck-to-neck with us, probably openly armed. But she is gone and I don’t know if her beauty will aid or hinder her attempt to stay gone. When this is over, that will be interesting to find out. If I see her mug shot on TV or if I never see her again will be how I find out.

“Stop!” cry the cops in English, which I take personally. This makes me turn around. I see that things are over. Somehow they coordinated the station like an army to part and create a long shooting range. They are skidding around a little at their end of the range as they get into position. The floor of this station is in places one of the slickest surfaces known to man, polished by several million feet in predictable chaos daily. It is veined in a pattern that would tell the anthropological programs of my father’s future much about the recently dead human race. The three policemen are about to shoot, as soon as they can stand, and even if one accidentally takes out the Kiosk man who is cowering behind dried squid in front of us, that still leaves plenty of bullets for me.

The dried squid remind me of the enormous giant squid beneath the oceans, sacs of amazing pressure and death power and darkness who nonetheless have had no impact on my life.

The kiosk man drops.


The beginning is in at least four places.

1) Something unknown in my father’s life

2) My mother’s death at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

3) When I got entangled with that girl, Claire

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