6/3/09

p 258-383

this section in 3 parts

p 258-270

YDAU [2009] Nov 6
place Port Washington Tennis Academy [Long Island]
narrated in third person

synopsis:

The ETA team is at Port Washington Tennis Academy [PWTA] for a meet. In any age group. the top 6 players from each team play one another, and then the top 3 doubles teams, which are usually comprised of the top 6 players, except for infrequent cases like Schacht and Troeltsch who grew up together playing doubles. There are 108 total matches, and each year the overall losing team has to sing an embarrassing song, and an even more embarrassing transaction is rumored to take place between the two headmasters. Last year ETA lost, but that was before they had John Wayne,and before Hal's competitive explosion. John Wayne, originally from Montcerf Quebec, near the 'infamously rupture-prone Mercier Dam,'is ranked #2 in the US, and will probably go to #1 at the WhataBurger, where he'll play the #1 player, who seems to be avoiding him. Hal has gone from 43rd to 4th nationally in a year. James Incandenza had spotted John Wayne at age 6, while making a film about people other than the actor with the name John Wayne. Currently Wayne is beating his opponent handily, with his emotionless precision. Pemulis and Schacht are on their way to their matches, and Pemulis is vomiting from pre-game nerves [this match is a must win for him to go to the WhataBurger]. Mario is following them trying to accumulate footage for his annual documentary. The PWTA players all have matching outfits, where the ETA players wear a mix and match of free stuff from corporate sponsors. Schacht has stopped caring about winning [and hence playing better] since his knee injury. Schacht thinks that Pemulis' pre-game nausea has something to do with his withdrawal from substance use before play. Schacht ingests the occasional substance, but doesn't care for the way Pemulis et al ingest/recover from substances and have a whole jargon around it. Schacht is warming up with his opponent, and his knee is OK on the indoor composite surfaces [unlike ETA's outdoor cement courts, which are about to become indoor with the yearly inflation of the lung which requires an ATHSCME fan and helicopters]. Hal considers Schacht's new laissez-faire attitude as a surrender of childhood promise for adult mediocrity, but considers him pleasanter to be around since the knee, and a dependable designated driver. He even sort of admires his stoic relinquishment of the Show, but can't relate it exactly because he's pretty much the opposite. They tacitly agree to not talk about it, or what Schacht thinks of Hal's devolution from occasional to compulsive substance use--which is that Hal's explosion in the rankings has to be a temporary thing,and something has to give. Meanwhile, as Schacht is about to begin playing, Hal is handily beating his opponent.


p 270-281

YDAU [2009] Nov
Ennet House
narrated in third person

synopsis:

[Much of this section is Gately's stream of consciousness]
Gately is having his patience tested by new resident Geoffrey Day, who is complaining to anyone within earshot about the fact that he is being asked to live by a bunch of cliches-- 'one day at a time, easy does it..'[etc] Day is driving the other residents crazy, and they look to Gately who is the resident staffer on duty for help. Day was a junior college professor 'who taught something horseshit sounding like social historicity' and 'manned the helm of a Scholarly Quaterly' and had recently driven his Saab through the window of a sporting goods store, while on Quaaludes. According the Gene M [Gately's counselor], it's the educated newcomers who are the worst, because they identify themselves with their heads, and that's where the 'Disease makes its command headquarters.' Gately has just pulled all night duty and then gone to his janitor shift 4-7am and now is back until 9am. In the morning Gately often still feels a sense of loss [of 'what they'd thought was their one true best friend and lover.'] Gately has seen people like Day before,either they leave early and wind up dead or in jail,or they break down and really ask for help. He thinks Day is the former, but tries to remember that Day is teaching him patience and tolerance. His gifts as a burglar helped him to 'screen input, to do sensory triage' even during his 9 months as a resident. His counselor Gene M [Eugenio Martinez] called Gately's selective attention into question, saying it could be the Spider doing the screening. Gately has been clean for 421 days. Geoffrey Day turns from Charlotte Treat, looking for the next person to engage and piss off, and thus prove he doesn't belong here. Burt F. Smith is 45 going on 70, and lost his hands and feet when he was mugged and left for dead on Xmas eve; he's on about his 50th attempt at sobriety. Gately wonders what color he'd call the ceiling if he had to [white/gray/brown/yellow]. Emil Minty is a former smack-addict punk with an orange mohawk. Gately likes Bruce Green, because he keeps 'his map shut' most of the time. Randy Lenz was a small time coke dealer wanted by both sides of the law, after he freebased 100 g of coke that he was fronted as part of a sting operation. Lenz wears sportcoats and Gately figures him for a knife carrier. Charlotte Treat has crayon-red hair, ghastly wounds in her cheeks, and is a former prostitute with HIV. Gately is 29, and his intimidating size was clearly a factor in him getting the staffer job. Gately is on duty until Pat comes back at 9am. Gately thinks of what he'd say to Day about cliches;that they're soothing, common sense, and that they 'license the universal assent that drowns out silence' and silence is 'pure Spider-food.' Gately thinks that Day will provoke Lenz in order to get himself kicked out and then blame his relapse on Ennet House. Ennet House 'reeks of passing time,' and Lenz is obsessed with knowing the exact time, and gets angry when Day gives him the time as 'right around 0830.' Gately tries to defuse the situation by giving Lenz the exact time.

YDAU [2009] Nov 6
place ETA
narrated in third person

synopsis:

The team returns triumphant from Port Washington. John Wayne and Hal both won easily as did the doubles and B teams. PWTA had to sing the silly song this year. Coyle, Troeltsch and Schacht all lost, and Schacht doesn't seem to mind. Pemulis won by default when his opponent became disoriented and decided the balls were too pretty to hit, and then later told the Headmaster's wife that he'd 'always wanted to do her from behind.' On the bus on the way back Hal is reading an SAT prep guide, Mario is playing rock-paper-scissors with a dejected Coyle, and Tavis is talking nonstop at John Wayne who is staring out the window. Bernadette Longley gets very upset because someone has circulated a pamphlet referring to her back-of-the-bus tryst with Keith Freer. They all get to have Mega-breakfast at Denny's next to Empire Waste at 0030.


notes
Burt F. smith was clearly a victim of 'yrstruly' and his crew from the episode on p 128-135. The fact that addiction is nicknamed 'the Spider' may explain, if only metaphorically the Incandenzas' arachnophobia.

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