this section in 5 parts
YDAU  Nov 7
narrated in third person
We meet Joelle van Dyne literally at the end of her rope. She is in Molly Notkin's apartment preparing to kill herself. She thinks of how you can be at a party and not really be there. She thinks that the 'invisible pivot' where a party ends is one of the saddest times she knows. She is perched on one of Molly's chairs [molded in the likeness of great film directors] and her 'feet dangle well off the floor, her squished hamstrings beginning to burn.' Joelle is the daughter of a chemist and a homemaker from Kentucky and 'a lot of fun to be with normally, if you can get over the disconcerting veil.' She was formally a doctoral student in film theory before 'her retreat into broadcast sound.' She feels like she is 'sub-rosa twins' with Molly, whose one true love was/is a film scholar who suffers guilt with each erection, because he believes there are a finite number of erections, and his is depriving a more deserving person. She ponders what if heredity is branching instead of linear, and there are only two people in 'history's mist' and that their differences account for all differences-- 'the deformed and the paralyzingly beautiful...the hidden and the blindingly open.' As she contemplates the end of her life, she sees it as a 'stuttered old hand-held 16mm... from Uncle Bud and twirling to Orin and Jim and YYY.' She thinks back to the walk [to arrive at Molly's] through the rainy streets-- she buys a cigar in a glass tube and throws away the cigar, keeping the tube in her purse. She gives out change to homeless people, and gives one of them [with a Notre Ray Pays' sign] $20. she buys a pepsi and pours it out,and puts the empty bottle in her purse. She is 'excruciatingly alive' and contemplating that 'most self involved act' of locking herself in the bathroom and getting 'so high that she's going to fall down and stop breathing and turn blue and die, clutching her heart. No more back and forth.' On her walk, she gets called 'bitch' approvingly by three young black men. 'No more deciding to stop at 2300h and then barely getting through the hour's show and hurtling back home at 0130h.' No more throwing away 'Material' and then scrounging later for enough to smoke. She likens the blur of the rain's 'wet veil' to the blur created by Jim's lenses-- 'more deforming than fuzzy.' She contemplates the drugs she's about to intake-- 'what looks like the cage's exit is actually the bars of the cage.' She thinks of Jim's film 'Cage III: Free Show'. She no longer enjoys the drugs, nor can she lie to herself about being able to quit. She thinks about the caller saying that the moon never looks away. She contemplates her powerlessness to quit even though she hates it, likening it to what 'they'd made Jim do near the end.' She finally takes the drugs 'weeping and veilless and yarn-haired, like some grotesque clown, in all four mirrors of her little rooms walls.'
Chronology of Organization of North American Nations' revenue-enhancing Subsidized Time, by year
[the text has them numbered 1-9 instead of giving the numerical year]
2002 Year of the Whopper
2003 Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad
2004 Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar
2005 Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken
2006 Year of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishmaster
2007 Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office, Or Mobile (sic)
2008 Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland
2009 Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
2010 Year of Glad
YDAU  Nov 8
narrated in third person
Orin had once showed Joelle his collection of 'husks of Lemon Pledge' from childhood. Joelle hurries along Boylston St. where the drug dealers are lined up, cops are removing anti-ONAN flags hung in the night by separatists. There is a 2-D display of a man without legs in a wheelchair, with his arms upraised in an ecstatic gesture, with a film cartridge sticking out of a slot in his palm. There is however no title of the cartridge being advertised, and the display cartridge which Joelle removes from the ad's hand is blank. Jim had filmed her at the end of his career. 'After the acid, after first Orin left and then Jim came... only to leave...after taking the veil' Joelle liked to get high and imitate the obsessive cleaning of 'the wife and mother they both declined to shoot.' Joelle 'aka Madame P.' remembers that Jim was the 'world's best hailer of Boston cabs' and hence never rides in cabs. She had smoked freebase cocaine 'for the last time' this morning, and then an hour later gone to find her dealer Lady Delphina to get more. While waiting for the subway, an older man remarks about her veil, and she explains the history of the 'Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed' which was formed in the 40's when Winston Churchill, while inebriated had placed a napkin over the deformed face of wife of a member of the House of Commons.
no narration-- this section in the form of a resume
The 'putative curriculum vitae of Helen P. Steeply' is given here. She worked successively for Time, Decade, Southwest Annual, Newsweek, Ladies Day, and Moment magazines. While at Ladies Day,she had he purse snatched and vowed never again to live in Manhattan. She's now at the Southwest Bureau of Moment in Erythema, AZ writing about 'medical, soft sports, personality' etc.
YDAU  Nov 7
narrated in third person
Joelle is returning from buying drugs to Molly's apartment, where she once lived with Orin, and where she had performed in his father's films. Molly is throwing a party for herself after competing her oral examinations in 'post-millennial Marxist Film-cartridge theory' dressed as Karl Marx. Molly has no idea that Joelle has been 'in a cage' ever since Jim's death in YTSDB . She has no idea whether they were lovers, or whether Orin left her because they were lovers. [The footnote explains that Orin knew they were not lovers, but Avril did not, and it was learning of Avril's own infidelity which had caused Jim to shoot Joelle 'the weird wobble-lensed maternal "I'm-so-terribly-sorry"-monologue-scene' of his last work.] Nor does she know that Joelle now lives off of a trust willed to her by 'a man she unveiled for but never slept with, the prodigious punter's father, infinite jester, director of a final opus so magnum he'd claimed to have had it locked away.' Joelle arrives at the party and Molly partially lifts the veil to kiss Joelle on the cheek, and offers her some of the 'muddy' apple juice they both love. Joelle feels the urge to 'raise the veil before a mirror' and 'breathe the only uncloth'd gas' she can stand. 'She feels ghastly and sad; she looks like death.' People at the party watch cartridges and listen to a 'Latin revival CD.'Joelle remembers Orin's 'forearm the size of a leg of lamb.' She had been his only lover for 26 months and his father's optical beloved for 21 months. A beautiful girl on Ecstasy watches herself dance in a mirror that Jim had made Joelle stand before and recite the lines of his final film. The girl exclaims 'aren't they beautiful' referring to her breasts, which Joelle finds heartbreakingly sincere. Joelle ponders the difference between suicide and homicide, wondering if she would kill someone else to 'get out of the cage.' She wonders whether Jim's last film was a cage or a door, and wonders whether he had ever edited the 'mother-death-cosmology and apologies she repeated over and over' into anything coherent. He had killed himself less than 90 days later by putting his head in a microwave oven. She wonders how he even rigged it to go on with the door open. She wonders if she killed him 'somehow, just inclining veilless over that lens.' People are applauding the woman's breasts and Joelle's empathy dissipates, and she becomes suicidal. She waits for the bathroom off the bedroom, and ignores party guest who asks about her veil. She half hears the mingling voices of the party, as they discuss everything from the Brady Bunch to Eisenstein to Jim's rumored cartridge, and whether the Great Concavity should be called the Great Convexity. Joelle enters the bathroom and contemplates 'the last thing she will ever smell.' She lifts her veil back 'to cover her skull like a bride' and empties her purse to remove the plastic Pepsi bottle, matches, the glass cigar tube, baking soda, aluminum foil and 4 grams of cocaine. While she freebases the cocaine, a 'bulky thump sounds from behind the large flat-top Enfield hill... a large but relatively shapeless projectile of drums wrapped in brown postal paper' hurtles northward in the sky. Joelle recalls as a child that she and 'her own personal Daddy' would sit in the front row at movies, not one of which she 'didn't just about die of love for' and that she'd never again felt so 'taken care of.' While the average freebase rock 'looks like a .38 round' hers looks like a 'county-fair corn dog.' She contemplates things she will never again get to do like 'invite people to watch darkness dance on the face of the deep' and this reminds her that she had suggested 'Face of the Deep' as the title for Jim's last film, but he had thought it too pretentious and instead chose 'that skull fragment out of the Hamlet graveyard scene.' She hears a helicopter as she makes a pipe for the cocaine, and thinks of all the people she'll never see again, a thought which she considers banal. Someone is knocking and asking whether the bathroom is occupied as she smokes the cocaine, which sends her sliding down the wall 'deveiled, too pretty for words, maybe the Prettiest Girl Of All Time (Prettiest GOAT).' She pulls herself up somehow and vomits into the claw-foot tub as a search helicopter flies overhead.
Joelle is an amazing DFW construction. The prettiest girl of all time who veils her face to the world. Or is she hideously and improbably deformed under that veil. The end of this section seems to spell out that it's the former, and but then somehow we are unsure. She is also the saddest character of all time. Was cocaine ever freebased so wistfully? I wonder if the thumping noise from Enfield Hill and the search helicopters might be a clue to tie the time of this thread to something that happens in another thread on Nov 7. It first seemed to me that the p 226-240 happened the day after 219-223, but I have now decided that they are alternate takes on the same overdose scene.