this section in 2 parts
ETA and Boston University
narrated in third person
Orin got out of competitive tennis at age 17 during a period of 'great pre-Experialist upheaval.' He was ranked in the low 70s nationwide, meaning that he had little hope of making the 'Show' and had to settle either for college tennis, or for 'Eurasian satellite pro tour.' Orin decides to attend college at Boston University, much to his mother's delight. Himself probably thought it best for Orin to 'get the hell out of Dodge' but had little input to offer. The Moms on the other hand, passive-aggressively lobbied for Orin to be a away from home, but close enough that he could return when desirable. Orin was easily the best player on the BU team [the low 70s national ranking put him well above anyone at BU] and he immediately exhausted the usefulness of the coach, who seemed as interested in the Moms, as he was in Orin. Tavis had also contributed to getting Orin into BU's program on full scholarship, but it is suggested here that resentment may have played some part in Orin's lack of acknowledgment. Tavis had taken on the the Headmaster duties just as Orin had moved out, during a period when Himself was either shut in his editing studio or in rehab. CT acknowledged that people might resent him, but was also aware that someone had to fill the void. By his third week at college, Orin was attempting a defection to college football. The reason for this was despite his total ignorance of football's rules etc, he had developed an enormous crush on a 'certain big-haired baton twirler.' Although Orin had some experience in this department, he had never been 'decapitated' before. He and his roommate had invented the epithet, 'PGOAT, for the Prettiest Girl Of All Time.' She was 'almost grotesquely lovely' and inspired in Orin and every other male in her vicinity a 'deep phylogenic fear of transhuman beauty' [aka Actaeon Complex.] None of the players had gotten close enough to hear her Southern accent, let alone asked her to dance. Needless to say, the tennis team had no cheerleaders, and so Orin pulls some strings to get a tryout, which is a disaster-- the football coach tells him he has 'some kind of empty swinging sack where his balls ought to be.' As fate would have it, just as Orin was leaving the field in humiliation, the team's punter was rushed by an over zealous tackle and put out of commission. Orin returns the wayward ball by punting it, and the jaws drop all around. Within weeks the 'empty swinging sack' comments were apologized for and Orin was on his way to becoming a football star. Also he was on his way to 'the only really cardiac-grade romantic relationship' of his life as his gazes at the baton twirler began to be reciprocated, and by Columbus Day, *she* approached *him* asking him to autograph a deflated football, he had kicked a hole in, for 'her own personal Daddy' a low pH chemist named Joe Lon van Dyne from Shiny Prize KY. Orin is disarmed and abandons his practiced seduction routine in favor of blurting out that punting is nearly spiritual for him. He has no problem keeping her interest, on account of the fact that no other males dare approach her. By the end of football season, Orin and Joelle had moved in together. Joelle had done Thanksgiving at ETA and Orin Xmas at the von Dyne home in Kentucky, each surviving the dread induced by the Moms and the Personal Daddy. That New Year's Eve [the last before Subsidization] was the first time Orin saw Joelle ingest cocaine. He had declined to take part [if for no other reason- to be mindful of his urine] but not in a 'judgmental or killjoy' way. He actually liked being with her when she was high. Joelle was studying film, and Orin turned her on to art film, partially by way of Himself. Eventually Himself brings Joelle in as an understudy and eventually as an actress [under a pseudonym.] After Orin's only mildly disappointing sophomore season, he went with Joelle and Himself to Toronto to make a film and ingest excessive amounts of alcohol. The next summer Joelle quit her baton twirling and left Orin behind to travel with Himself and make another film. Orin while recuperating from surgery, apparently did a bit of philandering. But Joelle's true ambitions were for behind the camera, and she began filming him, and to his surprise he found her little mini-films highly captivating. Joelle had been 'a maiden' when Orin met her, having repelled every male with her excessive prettiness. Joelle cleans house with a fervor reminiscent of the Moms, the mess 'just disappears sometime during the night.' Orin becomes obsessive about her little 10-second clips of him punting, including one where the recordable disc runs out just as he's about to get pummeled after a bad snap from the center.
YDAU  Nov 14
narrated in third person
Poor Tony Krause had a seizure on the metro train, after holing up in a bathroom for a week drinking codeine cough syrup. After he had stolen a woman's purse that contained her artificial heart, and also the incident with Wo and Bobby C, he cannot show his face in public and thus cannot score drugs from any of his usual connections. For a while he had lived in a dumpster and relied on a few lowlifes to score for him, but eventually those sources were eliminated and Poor Tony is forced to rely on the cough syrup. He eventually moves into the men's room of the Armenian Foundation Library because of his incontinence plus his hope of getting his social security check. He sat on the toilet day and night, staving off withdrawal with the cough syrup. [In a passage almost too brutal to summarize] tony goes from bad to worse, to beyond worse as the Withdrawal decimates his body and eventually his mind. He has visions of his dead father and fixates on the sound of the word 'Zuckung.' On his second day after the syrup runs out, he decides to venture to Cambridge in search of the Antitoi brothers, whom he thinks he can maybe turn to for a favor. On the train he imagines ants are crawling over him; he keeps his screams silent, but people keep their distance on account of the incontinence etc. He eventually has a seizure and swallows his tongue while hallucinating that his father is looking up his dress.
The roots of Madam Psychosis and her veil are perhaps laid bare here, in the inference that her beauty was so extreme as to be repellent. Also the fact that her mini-films are so compelling seems to signify something more than just Orin's narcissism. And of course Joelle's similarity to the Moms is as curious as her relation to her own Personal Daddy. Poor Tony of p 128-135 is perhaps drawn closer to the ETA story by way of the Antitoi brothers who supplied the DMZ to Pemulis [p 211-219] just a week prior to this episode.