Short story by U.R. Bowie, from the forthcoming collection, Stories from Russian Literature
Copyright 2014, all rights reserved
Link to Nabokov's collected stories on Amazon:
Time and place: The Ohio State University, Denney Hall (New Arts College Building), June 15, 1952. Final exam week.
Dramatis Personae: (1) “Hob” –Robert Hobson, 19, student taking final in course on European literature (2) “Nob”—Vladislav Nabkin, well-known writer of fiction, professor who taught the course and who is now proctoring the exam (3) father of Hobson (deceased) (4) father of Nabkin (deceased) (5) Supernumeraries filling seats in the auditorium
"As he was a heavy sleeper, old Dicky, Dicky Dickerson, brought so afraid, so afraid of missing tomorrow's glory, glory but then does it really, as he, Being a heavy sleeper, Dicky Dickerson was mortally afraid, mortally fatally so what he did was to buy and bring home a to buy and bring home to borrow all over the dormitory alarm clocks not one yes one one magnum magnum not two not three mortally fatally, of different sizes and vigor of ticking, old mucked-up Dicky Dickerson, nine, eight, seven, no six alarm clocks of all different sizes, placing them in strategic spots around the room, which made his look rather like a five four three two rather like a"
PICK ONE AND ONLY ONE ESSAY QUESTION
"Start with the given mumbo jumbo and work it into a coherent treatise on the Molly soliloquy from Ulysses." Hard.
Old screwed-up Dicky Dickerson, Bobby Hoberson, and the thing just rang and rang, big important test waiting out there, Bobby, time to wake up and face the but I don't want to face it, keep it down below conscious water, but then it broke free and surged to surface surgesurfacing grabbed my mind. The pain.
Physical pain, emotional pain, most esteemed Herr Doktor Professor. Neuralgic stuff been with me since May. Xylocaine doesn't help. Hurts along the course of a nerve, can be in the back of the head, the neck, with me it's between the ribs. But I'm used to living with that.
So this is how the story goes: "Mumble mumble, lyrical wave, mumble lyrical wave; mumble blunder, sucked asunder, mumble lyrical wave--FANTASTIC CLIMAX--mumble grumble, why do we fumble, lyrical wave, lyrical wave, waddle waddle, fuck-a-duck twaddle, tweekledum and tweekledee, maunder mumble, lyrical wave--WILD POSTLOGUE--mumble mutter, life's languid clutter, maunder on, maunder on blah blah blah blah blah, and then slither-dither slowly, ineluctably, back into primordial ooze." No, that's not Ulysses. But I should get some credit, since it's a direct (almost) quote from my classroom notes on the structure of Nikolai Gogol’s “Overcoat.”
Time to start. Get this exam done, Bob Hobson, and get it over with. Prove you're a better man than him... Swell-looking girl. Greasy blonde hair could use a wash, but then, after all, it's exam week. She gets up to sharpen her pencil, yes, nice behind, and the pencil grinds away, going ticonda, ticonda, ticonda, ticonda, roga, roga, roga reega, reega, REEGA REEGA REEGA ahhhhhh… whirr, whirr, silence. You can take it out now.
Got to get my butt in gear. Just turn the page in the bluebook and begin, red-headed, green-eyed Bobby Hobson.
As he, A heavy sleeper, Roger Rogerson, old Rogerson bought old Rogers brought... And so… Being a heavy sleeper, so afraid, so afraid of missing tomorrow's insomnia. Insomnia. Is it a blessing or a curse? After all, Vladik Vladerson, heavy sleepers miss so much in the night, and then again, you never are so receptive as after a sleepless, your omnivorous eye so eager to eat the essence of living life, something, that pimply lad, watching the blonde, every freckle on his nose gleaming with concupiscence, he's writing on great lit but his mind's on female tail, so mortally afraid of missing tomorrow's, but then, what is great lit if not an elevated wallow in the netherly-bodily, the vigorous fornication of your brain waves? No, of course it's more than that, Vladvlad, afraid of missing tomorrow's early train into the tunnel of love glory glory, so what he did was he bought and he brought home that evening not one yes one but ten nine alarm clocks seven nine as a pussy has nine lives ticking, ticking away which he placed which made his bedroom look like a and then they, the clocks, all gird up their loins, take a deep breath five four three two and ring out in unison, a choir of chimes, Roger, Roger (“roger”--an eighteenth century British slang term for the male organ) old Roger Doberson. Can't see the nape of her neck from here.
Stop wasting time. Finish writing your letter. "No, Catherine. It’s a take it or leave it, an analogue of a Hobson’s choice. Just publish the story the way I wrote it. You can bludgeon me, blandish me, nudge me outlandishly, but I won't give up the word 'hobnailnobbing.'" The pain...
So here we sit on the ides of June, 1952, in the Amphitheatre of Academe. The moment of reckoning. Exam runs eight a.m. to ten thirty. It's hot. The smell of sweat. Their deodorant's broken down, but no, they don't use deodorant during exam week. A superstition. No washing no shaving, let the body stink, concentrate on the fetid brain waves; get the thoughts attenuated, penciled down between lines in bluebooks. Me, the proctor, my premonitory spiel: "You have a total of two and one half hours. Please answer only one question. Remember that the details count, the details. Anyone mentioning the words 'symbol' or 'sincere' will be automatically assigned a grade of 'F.' Any questions? Yes, you may use the pencil sharpener without asking permission, but you must shut down the waterworks (kidneys, even bowels) until you complete your composition. All right, then, begin. Bon voyage."
Graffito in a "men's room" booth down the hall: "What are we doing here?" Apparently an ontological крик души, cri de coeur (“heartfelt plaint”?). Answer written below, in a different hand: "We are partaking in the universal process of elimination."
Little coughs, coming in clusters. You cough, then I'll cough, then we'll all cough-cough in a chorus of coughing. Now dirizhiruet the invisible dirizhor (conductor, chef d’orchestre), who slams down his baton to cut it all off, and they go back to sweating in silence. But then he raises the stick once more, his grim furrowed face. He’s bald on top, with long grey hair hiding the crisscross of wrinkles on his neck nape, as another face, two warts for eyes, peers out backwards from the bald spot, at us, the audience. Wiggle of the stick and they respond with a communal turning of pages/scores rustle rustle rustle--good teamwork, orchestra.
Looks directed at me, hostile envious (after all, I am the god who gives out the grades). A quick stab into my eyes and then she raises hers to the ceiling in pious meditation.
What are they thinking? I'm in pain. Come on, ribs, steel yourselves (ryobra, in Russian, the word itself is a groan). Are they thinking anything worth thinking? They are, I fear, banalizing the brilliant insights I've spoon-fed them, regurgitating onto paper not my salubrious nourishment, but the acidic gallimaufry they've concocted in their own petty intestines. And yet, as teachers, do we not reap our greatest rewards through reverberations of our minds in such minds as vibrate in later years? But I'm sick of teaching, sick of teaching. I yearn to write! Away with lectures, deadheaded students! Time to garner up, like Plewshkin, bits of straw, fluff, the minutiae of life. Eat some pebbles, conceive!
Time to write another letter:
I crawled back to Columbus in the grip of a hideous neuralgia intercostalis. Spent a week in bed. The pain is a cross between pneumonia and heart trouble; there's always an iron finger prodding you in the side. It's a rare illness, like everything about me... Now we're in the midst of "spring finals," and I'll have 150 exams to slog through (in high fisherman's waders, holding my nose with thumb and index finger of left hand) before Tonya and I can leave for Arizona. At this moment I sit calmly writhing in a cavernous auditorium, while my students pour their coruscations into bluebooks."
Strange. Those two. Side by side on the front row. There's no resemblance at all, but I looked at them and got a sudden frisson of the gruesome: the assassins, Tork and Baboritsky. How many years has it been now?
"Discuss the double-dream theme as embodied in two teams of twin dreamers: Stephen--Bloom (Ulysses) and Vronski--Anna (Anna Karenina)." Jesus Christ. Couldn't you think of a cutsier, artsier way of posing the question? Among the things that make me angry about this course: (1) Why did we need to know, and to draw a picture of! exactly what kind of cockroach Gregor turned into? This is not a fucking course on entomology. A cockroach is a cockroach is a. He could have woke up as an armadillo, and the point of Kafka's story would be the same. (2) Why did we have to draw a diagram of the inside of a railway carriage, on the Moscow-Petersburg line in 1876? If we can't understand Tolstoy’s novel without this, then why don't you need, say, a sketch of Anna's bedroom in the deathbed scene or a picture of a marsh with sedge in the hunting scenes, or an anatomical chart showing Kitty's erogenous zones?
If you want to draw pictures, why not teach painting instead of literature? Tolstoy paints the word pictures for us, that's the point, and each of us repaints them imaginatively. You want us to repaint them the way you do, but I intend to paint my way, and another thing, how dare you tell us, "Just skip the apotheosis of the grain"? Why, it's one of the great scenes in world literature, Levin out mowing with the peasants. And I'll have you know that I read it and reread it, and I'm prepared to write you an essay about how wonderful, 'symbolic' and 'sincere' it is.
Tell you what, Mr. Learned F. Prof, sitting up there on the proscenium, with your aristocratic nose in the air. Here's a drawing of a dead duck, shot by Levin and retrieved by his dog Laska. It's dripping blood and guts. Now that's down-to-earth Tolstoyan realism. Take a good sniff, you effete, modernist hoity-toity high and mighty...
So afraid. The pain. The pain. Don't know which is worse, physical pain or mental. Did Joyce or Kafka ever treat the subject? Twinned dream squeme theme scream shit. So why did he do it? My father. Why did you do it, huh? Everybody's a double of everyone else, Tolstoy’s wife Sonya once wrote a story about Dublitsky, Dublitsky, any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. My major is English lit.
Most esteemed professor! Hope you won't mind. I have decided to eschew the questions provided and to write my exam on an entirely different subject. Leo Tolstoy once said...
My father was not a particularly remarkable man. I once remember him reading a book on flying saucers; can't recall him reading anything else except the morning papers. But you see, honorable academic sir, his son Bobby Hob was/is an 'intellectual,' the first of his line to indulge in matters of the mind. By the time I was ten I already knew that Father's petty trains of thought were not the kind I wished to buy tickets on and ride, oh no. Let him sell his real estate and go out fishing twice a week. Leave me alone to my sublime cogitations.
But he wouldn't. He wanted me to be a son worthy of him, tough and masculine. And to fish. When I was little he used to harangue me, routing me out of my solitude. Be normal, be a real boy! I still hate him for that, I mean I hated him. Now I forgive him, I forgive you, father, for you knew not what you did, but why, why the? We could have talked about it, I mean who can talk if not a father and son? In the twenty years I've known you, knew you, why didn't we ever have a conversation?
One. Twin dream theme. Two half. Half not. To half and half not. You can't really split us in two. Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky... Last week, for the whole of last week, the stomach of my dreams was tied up in knots. Was it a premonition? How much time do we have left? Am I going to write this exam? You damn right I am!
Fathers and sons. Turgenev. In Russian the title is actually Fathers and Children (Отцы и дети). God, how lucky I am to have had a father like Father. His tender soul and brilliant mind. How lucky... Literary sons, литературные сыновья, always strive to annihilate the fathers, show they can do more, be better, but I never should have written that frivolous thing on Gogol. Thought I had him in ignominious retreat, run out of the book named after him, the structural plan (run him out of his own biography and take his place), but then, when you read Gogol your eyes and your mind get Gogolized, you find yourself in the throes of gobbledygook and gogoldegookery. Last night I was caught up in a hideous, grueling dream, looking back from my wallow in that nightmare index of mine, sibilants all running amuck, me on hands and knees in the mire, looked back and there he stands, that neurasthenic genius, Niklolai Gogol, long-nosed and leering, cocking a snook at me.
I sit here looking at all the little movements that make life out of present moment: the curl-twisting, pimple-teasing, the roving wide-eyed gazes... "The only real number is one, the rest are repetitious." The collective mass of C minus, backbone of the nation, sitting there spewing into bluebooks mass collectivist drivel. Brain waves going, "Mumble mumble, lyrical surge," look at the redheaded one, what's his name, don't know any of their names. He's profoundly sunk in cogitation, putting pencil to paper with purposeful verve! Ah, the ache in the brain, the ache-panache of the undergrad, enveloped in THOUGHT, or UNTHOUGHT.
Little blonde with stringy hair, been up twice to sharpen her sharp pencil. Spends lots of time gazing on high: help me, Lord, send down some inspiration. Not much to look at, but if viewed from behind I imagine a wonderful nape. I'll get up and take a casual proctoring stroll to the back of the room--neck proctologist on a ramble. When does the anxiety ease off? The brunette has a body more to my taste, "down, down, thou cullionly randiness."
"Bright ray of my life, throb in my loins, my sin, my succor, my suck." No, that won't do... “Fire of my loins,” what would that be in Russian? Огонь моих чресел, awful! Tabork, tabork, tabork... Things I loathe: jungle music, Freud, circuses, pornography (most), dead minds of students, nightclubs, any kind of clubs, 'highballs,' balls, political commitment, Dostoevsky, minds not in tune with my own, any kind of music, critics who harp on 'ideas,' 'myths' and 'symbols,' politicians (all), interpretations of literature that aren't my own, Pound, Gorky, Hemhaw (who thinks he has, but has not), cretinous pin-brained murderers, Tork and Bab.
Thirty years. That long? Could they still be rotting away in a German prison? No, by now they're dead or back out among their fellow degenerates of Berlin. Arthritic and avuncular. At this very moment Tab or Bork or Tabork is sitting in Teutonic sunshine, dandling a blue-eyed grandniece on a creaking knee. She's smiling, now laughing: squeak haha, squeak haha. He's happy... Or then again, maybe she's straddling his lap. Up down, up down. He sweats. She yawns. "Hold that pose. Let me have a look at your uvula."
Filchenkov, leader of the Cadet Party in emigration, spoke at the Philharmonic Hall: "Europe and the Restoration of Russia." In the middle of the lecture a short pockmarked man stands up in the crowd and starts walking, limping, slowly to the front of the auditorium. Everyone is nonplussed: whither is this crippled sleepwalker bound? But, most astounding in retrospect, nobody even thinks to be alarmed. The speaker goes on with the lecture, and all eyes watch the homunculus gimp his way along, and then (now) he has reached the front row and our film suddenly bursts out of slow motion. He pulls a revolver, shrieking, "For Tsar Nicholas the Martyr and for Mother Russia!" He gets off several wild shots at Filchenkov. That's when Father jumped up from his seat, grabbed the madman's arms and pinned him to the floor. And then the other one came out of nowhere, leapt up on the stage and shot my father three times in the back.
The Viennese witchdoctor says we all want to bed our mother and kill our pa. What banality. God, how I loved that man. I'm older now than he was then, but God, how I still love him. And don't tell me the trite tale of the extinction of consciousness with death! I'll hand in my ticket to eternity if they don't give it back to us, re-communion, our fully knowing love for one another.
I'm an optimist. Through the physical pain and the nerves of this difficult spring I sense we'll be together again. They say Lev Nikolaevich once said, "Life is a tartine de merde, which one is obliged to eat, slowly." Disgusting old man, in his beetled brows and peasant blouse. No, life for me has been freshly baked black bread, with country butter and orange blossom honey... Except for the times when it's an excrement sandwich.
It hurts, hurts in the ribs... Okay, sit up there and look superior, mister blueblood patronizer. You just spent a semester force-feeding us your la-tee-dah views on the transcendence of prettified lit. You’re offended by the gross sensuality, the lack of balance, the vomit and hysteria in Fyodor Dostoevsky. You told us he wasn't worth reading, so I went out and read five novels. He was worth reading.
Oh, shit, what am I doing here, taking this fucking test? What you're doing, dear Bobby, is engaging with life in the game called "Elimination." Life wears us down, eliminates our existence with its slow, inexorable, peristaltic movements. While we resist the inevitable, the being eliminated. That's our job... Also sprach the redoubtable philosopher, Robert L. Hobson! God, the pain, the throbbing in the temples, the sterile turmoil of thoughts. Don't give up, keep on writing, red-headed kid.
That's what you called me when you joked around, "red-headed kid," but then, you were red-headed too, with the same green eyes. Maybe that was your problem; growing up with red hair is hard on a kid. You were damn good at selling real estate, something about you could win people over, they liked you, the freckles, you had charm, I've never had that in all my life. How did a man so outgoing produce such an indrawn son? But you could have been kinder, you could have tried to understand that people are different. I remember the time in the new house, when I knocked over the bucket, ah the rage, you had such a temper and then me, contrite me, mopping the floor feeling lower than low, and you come in with a coke, trying to apologize, so you did really care about me, didn't you?
Maybe you were alone too much after the divorce. Is that what set your mind out of whack, the divorce? But you, you... I'll never forgive you, how could you just go and, didn't... Didn't I mean anything to you in the end?
Joggy, jittery, buzzy with insomnia... Light of my life, my rainbow, радуга моя...
They're on the way to being done, thank God. The clearing of nervous throats, hoarse bursts of sound, the communal sense of tedium and disaster is nearly exhausted. Tabork directs its bovine gaze at me, then looks back down. Stringy blonde enveloped in cerebration, bony arms linked behind lovely nape. Big-busted brunette puts on a Giaconda smile. Yes, one could... Cramped wrists whining, pens in a panic (out of ink, dried up, help!), armpits bewailing their missing dose of deodorant, mouths in the throes of halitosis. The ginger-haired scholar has his head down on the desk, done in by his encounter with THOUGHT (UN).
Some, including my inner eye, say I'm a prig and a snob--that I see only the gestures and poses of people. Must keep this personal weakness in mind when evaluating my inferiors. Yes, the viscosity of consciousness cannot be determined by the labels on the test tubes. Don't you forget that, Vladik Vladerson.
Oo, oo, ahh, ahh, ahh, ugh. Been howling and writhing since the end of May, when the neuralgia set in. The unceasing pain, panic, nerves warped and ragged after all these wretched weeks...
Berlin. Feb. 28, 1922. It had been a wonderful day. I came home about nine and opened a volume of Fet’s poems. Mother was laying out the cards for patience. All was quiet and peaceful. I read aloud the sibilant, susurrous love poem, “Whispers, timid breathing” (Shopot, robkoe dykhan’e). "How splendid that is," said Mother. The phone rang in the hall. Not an especially strident ring--it was controlled, pedestrian.
Isachev’s voice: --Who's that?
--It's Vladik. Hello, Yakov Borisovich.
--Vladik, I'm calling because I have to tell you something... I have to...
--Yes, go on.
--Something has happened to your father.
--What? What exactly do you mean?
--Something horrible. We're sending a car.
--But what happened?
--A car is on the way to pick you up, you and your mother.
I put down the phone, got to my feet. Mother was standing by the door, looking at me. What is it? Nothing special. Father's had an accident, hurt his leg or something. They're sending a car.
Her eyes went wide. She stood there... I changed my shirt, filled my cigarette case. My thoughts, all my thoughts, clenched their teeth.
"Shattering news arrives in the vestments of the commonplace." Two nights ago, was it that long? I'm sitting in my dorm room, the phone rings down the hallway, and someone comes to get me. Writing poetry and I don't welcome the interruption. Hello... Yes, Mother. BIG BLANK SPACE. Then: Are you still there? Yes, Mother. BIG BLANK SPACE. Then: So you'll come as soon as you can? Yes. Will you be all right? Yes. So when can you come home? I'll be there, Mother, but I've got one more final to take.
Maybe I should have gone right away, but I wanted to prove that Bobby Hobson is tougher than the world ever gave me credit for being. So here I sit, most esteemed chickenshit Professor, mired on bleak intercostal bogs, swamped in the obloquy of aching ribs, proving nothing. Is that being tough? And now back to my non-writing of this non-essay: my unthoughts recall that Tolstoy once said, "Life is a shit sandwich, which we all must eat, slowly."
Then came the night trip in the car, to the other side of the city. Mother and I, and the whole febrile thing was somehow set outside of life. I recalled the lovely afternoon on the commuter train with Aleksandra. I had traced out the word 'happiness' (счастье) on the fogged-in carriage window, and then every letter came trickling down in a damp wriggle. Yes, my happiness had run down, and out. Our conversation the night before, what do you say to a loved one in the final hobnob? We talked about the opera Boris Godunov, trying to remember when Vanya returns after his father has sent him away. Then I demonstrated a boxing clinch and he struggled and laughed. Just before going to bed, I asked him to hand me the newspapers from the next room, where he was undressing. When he passed them through the slit of the parted doors I didn't even see his hands, and that movement, I remember, seemed gruesome, ghostly--as if the papers had come floating through all by themselves.
Some years from now, after Robert Hobson is a household word in the literary pantheon, I can fabricate a better story about how I got the news and how I responded. Right now it's still just one enormous numb blank space... Why didn't we laugh more together, wrestle around like fathers and sons do? There was the time way back when, on the Western motor trip, at a gas station in Texas, and he comes back to the car from the men's room cracking up. Says, "I'm sitting there doing my business, and I hear this voice outside the booths, kind of pleading: 'Could one of you fellows in there please hurry it up? I'm about to mess my pants.' I said, 'Okay, hang on just a sec, buddy,' and I finished things up right quick, flushed the toilet and opened the door. Well, this bald-headed fat guy, he's standing there with one leg crossed over the other, and he sort of hobbles like that, still cross-legged, on into the booth, and as he does he nods at me and says, 'Thanks a lot, old buddy, but I believe you're too late.'"
When Mother called last night, she said, "I know you'll see him again, in some natural paradise, where everything is radiance." We English majors learn to sneer at sentiments like that. But all sneering aside, I can’t believe the myth of afterlife. It's just too pat and contrived to be true. But we did have that day in Texas, didn't we? We did laugh together... "Begin completing your essays. Time's almost up, people. Fifteen minutes." Uh-oh. Looks like hysteria's rising. Mr. Gingerhead's got the giggles, he's beaming laughter out of those strange green eyes. Who does he remind me of? Father. Why, why for God's sake? There's no resemblance.
Sudden recollection, apropos of nothing: the word 'hobnob' is from 'hab nab,' a phrase used by drinkers in the eighteenth century. It referred to a ritual of taking turns drinking, and meant, originally, "to have and have not." What kind of laughter am I laughing? The desperate laughter that verges on tears--he knows he's failed the exam. Ah, to have once been a boy is as fantastic as the dream of being, some day, a rich old man. "Ten eighteen. Twelve minutes left."
Just had an interesting idea for a story. It’s all stream of consciousness. We’ll begin it, say, and end it with conjuror’s patter, apparently senseless badinage, but not really senseless at all upon a second reading. We’ll have two characters, two streamers of consciousness (one of them representative of me, or a pale refraction of my ‘I’), and as the characters dream/stream through their brains, their streams (unbeknownst to them) will begin lapping over one another, little wavelet upon little wavelet, until finally, at the end they will merge-surge together into the mighty Stream of Life, all egos evaporating. You are aware, of course, that I’m an inveterate monist, and, mirabile dictu, despite my overweening ego, the most egotistical of earthly egos (mea culpa), I do, nonetheless, comprehend in my inner sanctum that we humans all stream together in the river of humanity, we’re all the same person. Although life is a mumble, a mumble and jumble, a jangle and jingle of pleasure and pain, recriminations, malice toward others, who are really us... You see? Us!
Etc. No time to tell you more now, but it will all come clear when I write it, and when it does we’ll have something that has never quite been set down exactly like this in literary words! Okay, when I try to sum it up I realize it sounds trite, and I’m sure there are those who will say (as they always do), “No, it’s too hard, stylistically. That’s too much of a challenge for the reader.” Or others who whine, “I feel as if someone were playing a trick on me, condescending to me.” Never mind them. Life is hard, complicated. Literary art is part of life. There’s no reason that it too should not be hard, complicated.
The pain. We're all united by pain... I know that in some sense we'll be together. The feelings you breathed out toward me and I breathed out toward you--certainly, at least, those vapors will blend again. Maybe that's all that counts...There was the time at the beach, Daytona, Nice, and I was what? twelve years old? and that bitch of a neighbor girl tells me, "You know what your problem is? You're not lovable, you'll never be lovable. Nobody will ever love you." I was devastated. Her words rang true. I stood there blushing, holding back the tears. You didn't say anything, you didn't know what to say, but you put your arm around me...
"Winding up, please, time to finish. Five minutes. FIVE." Herr Doktor Professor. Who does he remind me of? Daddy. Why, why for God's sake? There's no resemblance. My mind is totally on the blink... Well, just a final note, not for anybody's eyes (my bluebook goes in the waste basket):
Dear honored arbiter of my fate, I might have finished this exam and even written a semblance of something that made sense, but the problem is my mother won't stop calling me. She phoned again fifteen minutes before I came here for the test. She said, "You know, Bobby, once, right in the middle of all our problems, I asked him to tell me frankly if he'd ever felt good about the marriage, and he just said, 'Well, you know, I guess the happiest day of my life was the day my son was born. Now that was happiness.'"
FOUR. Four more minutes. So he's gone but not gone. The love lives on. The most wonderful day in my life as he was a heavy sleeper, a heavy sleeper, he, old Dicky Dickerson, old Roger Rogerson, mumble mumble, lyrical wave, so afraid, so afraid of missing the missing the pain, missing the love, no, if you live you'll get your share of the one and the other, don't be afraid, Daddy, we're still together, Father, old Dicky Dickerson, young Roger Rogerson, young Robby Hoberson, old Vlady Vladerson, mumble mumble, mumbo-jumbo, life is a muddle and lyrical wave, so he bought so he bought and brought so he sought and bought and brought, brought home not one yes one not one yes one but ten, nine alarm clocks eight, seven ticking on down through the glory glory aching beauty of life, the great countdown to the grand climacteric, six, five, four. THREE.
All in the end is yellowly blurred, all is illusive which made him look rather like a gory gory but mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble, it's a lyrical wave, mumble mumble, lyrical jumble. TWO.
All, in the end, is yellowly blurred, yet all in the end is a splendid blend, a mumble maunder splendid blended ONE.