this section in 2 parts
narrated in first person [unknown]
Enfield MA is described as being comprised of almost entirely medical, corporate and spiritual facilities. These include the ATHSCME headquarters [they make the 'really big fans'], The National Cranio-Facial Pain Foundation, the Empire Waste Displacement Co.[they make huge catapults, that fling giant bundles of waste into the Great Concavity, producing a sound like a giant stamping foot], and of course ETA which occupies what is now possibly the nicest spot in Enfield, kind of perched on a hill above the squalor. To 'I think it must be the southwest' of ETA is Sunstrand, where the 'annular-generated' electricity is produced.To the north ETA overlooks 'its hill's steepest, best-planted decline into the complexly decaying grounds of Enfield Marine.
YDAU Nov 5
place ETA [&Tucson]
narrated in third person
Orin calls Hal again and catches him shooting baskets with his toenail clippings into the wastebasket. They discuss superstitions around breaking your streak, Hal quotes legends of the 'Ahts of Vancouver' from the 'Discursive OED' while Orin talks about what some football players will do to maintain a streak. Orin says that he thinks he's being followed by handicapped people. Hal is more interested in the trailer park where the woman Orin has most recently seduced resides. But the real reason that Orin has called is that someone from Moment Magazine is doing a 'soft profile' on him and wants to know about Himself, aka the Mad Stork. The woman from Moment is 'a girl and a half in all directions' and has the linemen gaga. Hal sums up what the reporter might want to know 'you and tennis, you and the Saints, Himself and tennis, the Moms and Quebec and Royal Victoria, the Moms and immigration, Himself and annulation, Himself and Lyle, Himself and distilled spirits, Himself killing himself, you and Joelle, Himself and Joelle, the Moms and CT, you v. the Moms, ETA, nonexistent films, etc.' Hal reveals that Orin did not come to Himself's funeral, and Hal clearly holds it against him. Hal begrudgingly tells him that CT moved upstairs 2 days before Himself's suicide, and that it had been Hal who had found Himself, who had put his head in the microwave oven, and asks why the sudden interest 'after 4 years 216 days, and with two years of that not even once calling.' Orin says he needs to get a handle on what he's not saying when answering Helen's questions. Orin asks if the PGOAT was there. Hal answers that she hadn't been around since she and Orin split up, and that Himself met her at the brownstone for shooting. Himself had gone underground and barely emerged from his editing, except for a 3 day film related trip on which Kyle probably accompanied him, and a 2 day purge and detox. His suicide was April 1. Orin is surprised because Joelle had told him that Himself had quit drinking in January as a condition of her appearing in his films. Hal explains that Himself had cut a head-sized hole in the microwave door and packed aluminum foil around his neck, and that he had a half-empty bottle of Wild Turkey next to him. Hal explains that the scene had to be 'reconstructed' because Himself's head had exploded. Hal describes his grief [he dropped weight, had nightmares of a face in the floor, got Bs on quizzes, but mostly was obsessed with how to outwit his grief counselor. He studies upon exactly how he is supposed to feel, but the counselor doesn't buy it. Finally Lyle suggests that he tackle it from the perspective of what the counselor is 'professionally required to want.' Hal studies up again and then unleashes a tirade at the counselor replete with therapy terms like validate, process and toxic guilt. As he tells about his faux-catharsis, however, it becomes clear that it had become in part a real one. He says that it wasn't his fault that he had found Himself, but that he was hungry and 'something smelled delicious!' He then tells Orin that he has omitted the 'most nightmarishly compelling thing' about the grief therapist was that his hands were never visible,and it was only after the catharsis, on the last day of therapy Hal held out his hand and the therapist revealed that he had extremely tiny hands, and Hal barely made it out of the office before he was overcome with laughter. Hal deflects any further grief-related talk by asking about the trailer's interior.
The opening part explains the mysterious thumping sound during Joelle's bathroom scene. It's curious how the narration lapses into first person just once. The second section explains at least a few things, eg the nightmare [p 61-63] is Hal's and not Troelsch's. And of course fills in many details about Himself's suicide and Orin's absence,and Hal's trauma.