Steve's A Naked Singularity Page
15AUG13. 2013 PEN/Bingham Prize awarded to Sergio De La Pava for A Naked Singularity! The story of this novel's (and author's) journey just keeps getting better and better!
Interviews with Sergio De La Pava:
• Hermano Cerdo/Brother Pig (July 2011, Spanish): http://hermanocerdo.com/2011/07/ņdonde-esta-el-arbitro/
• 21C Magazine (Sept. 2011): http://www.21cmagazine.com/#2033596/Boxing-Television-Law-and-More
• The Millions (June 20, 2012): http://www.themillions.com/2012/06/outside-the-ring-a-profile-of-sergio-de-la-pava.html
• The Believer Logger (Oct. 3, 2012): http://believermag.tumblr.com/post/32817533978/an-interview-with-sergio-de-la-pava
• 4ZZZ Book Club, radio/podcast interview (Jan. 17, 2013): http://zedbookclub.com/?p=743 | (direct mp3 download)
• "A Day's Sail": http://canopycanopycanopy.com/11/a_day_s_sail_
As with all my book pages this page is a mish-mash ofimpressions, bouncing from tense to tense, from relevance to irrelevance andback, created solely to aid my increasingly unreliable memory, but is postedonline for the benefit of anyone who might like a little help upon reaching a confusing part of the book. HUGE SPOILER ALERT.These notes do preserve plot twists and other surprises, but not once theyoccur. Meaning, if a character introduced in chapter two gets a big surprise in chapterseven, I'll note that, but not until chapter seven. Soagain, SPOILER ALERT NOW, READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK.
ALSO.The chapters are not named in the book, though I havesupplied them with oblique headings on this page in keeping with my stated goal ofcreating a memory aid. You might interpret these headings as spoilersthough I do not intend them as such and in fact they reveal lessthan do published reviews of the book. Again, read at your own risk.
Pagination for both editions is noted by Amante/Xlibris in plain text, then a vbar|pipe, then UCP in bold and italic
CHAPTER 1 – Casi doesarraignment interviews and arraignments
11|2 It's 11:33pm and substitute judge Manos has had us hard at it here in AR-3 since 5; The DA's lithp (Thath an awful lot of etheth forthomeone with a lithp...); How one becomes a "body in the eyes of the criminaljustice system"; Two different "48 Hour Rules" • Mirandadigression • Why making a statement to the arresting cop is almost always badfor your case; Rosario list; Off you go, to Central Booking; DA's complaintrenders cop's initial charges more like recommendations, really; Bench warrant, CJA sheet, arraignmentpens (and assorted desperation contained therein.)
DarrilThornton– "The Devil made Valerie falsely accuse me of rape!" mandatorypersistent, two felony priors. (Casi: "I don't need to believe that you'reinnocent...")
AhChut –Selling batteries on the subway. Speaks only Cantonese.
Ben (rhymes with) Glenn – Speaks in verse. Hal says he broke theglass door to his pizzeria. Prior 730 (psych) exam; deemed unfit.
Someonepops in: "Deeble, Coomer & Lake are all specials." Glenn bolts.Linda tells Casi tomorrow's her last day; "Going into real estate."
GlendaDeeble– Lookout for hubby who sells clinic methadone; prior for the same thing.Glenda unloads on Casi (horrible luck: AIDS, hepatitis, pregnant). Flat refuses to testify despiteCasi's recommendation.
RobertCoomer– Old timer, robbed a guy arguing over the efficacy of his rook pawn opening [Casi knows enough chess to immediately diagnose a weak opening.];ran from the cops across rooftops, two broken legs;
TerrensLake –16 year old selling drugs in a Land Of The Lost tee shirt.
Casi talkth to DA aboutChut needing an interpreter.
RoryLudd –Time served for being in park after closing; "Take it."
Dane invites Casi forsecond dinner • Casi talks to Lake's mother; they're interrupted: "Can youthrow me in jail? My wife and brother want to kill me.....you a good man."
Thornton, bail $50K; Coomer, bail $15K; Lake, bail $2500; Deeble, bail $5K, medicalattention requested and ordered; Glenn, adjourned two weeks for another 730.; Chut, time served (29 hoursand counting) and a day of community service, Casi says Chut agrees but thejudge isn't having it and remands Chut until they can find an interpreter, allso Chut can comprehend "one day of community service."; Ludd curses in front of thejudge, gets a lecture, apologizes, then curses again and gets fifteen days forcontempt. • Casi talks to Lake's mom again; Leaves the office; Sees and hears"you good man" guy across the street; Endures a garrulous driverduring a weary cab ride home.
CHAPTER 2 – Gettinghome late; Casi's three neighbors
55|46 Locked out ofBrooklyn Heights apartment; Casper (pet?) probably hid the keys; [childhoodmemory #1]; Alyona Karn(working on doctorate; his uncle owns this apartment), Angus Glass (career undergrad) and Louis Sands (earning MBA) whotonight is entertaining the fetching Traci; Bigfoot v. Loch Ness monster; Magilla v. Grape Ape;Louis's hypno-advertising aspirations; Angus's Honeymooners marathon will turnthe characters into "actual human beings"...will listen to theepisodes until the characters become real; Angus takes e-classes; (Casi? Crimeas a legitimate, alternate lifestyle...); Casi finally gets home; mail frombill collectors; winding down with TV; Mayor Toad's video vigilantes; Newsstory: Dutch tourist leaves baby on NYC sidewalk while getting coffee inside, babyabducted (Baby Tula); 1-800-BAD-BABY; Enticing BuffBuster pitchman; 3:28 am?"I was 24."
CHAPTER 3 – Late forwork; Swathmore's leaving/moving; Dane's surveillance video; The Pledge; Conleydebates Henry; The perfect Crime
68|60 Casi's dream: brainsurgery class; Call in sick? Nope, can't; Prodigies mock me; Morning boxes(elevator, then subway); Chauvanists on the stairs; Tip-toeing into office, twohours late; Cubicle-mate Leon Greene's quiet dignity; Baby Tula office pool;Tom's switching offices (under investigation? Deposed by Casi? Yelled at a femalecoworker?); Swathmore's speech to Casi: "You're good but slow down; Beingthorough is more important than being good the way you're good." • Daneshows Rane/Cruz convenience store murder surveillance video; Casi agrees tohelp Dane with Rane/Cruz? Dane on religion • In elevator, Casi overhears that Ah Chutwas pummeled in jail last night, instantly hates his job, makes The Pledge:"Nothing detrimental or untoward will ever happen to a client ofmine." [childhood memory #2]; Malcum Jenkins update hearing; ("I'm lookingto stay clean but moms is pressuring me about money..."); Casi isdistracted by Conley's Mac & Cheese genetics prognostications anddeclarations that racism no longer exists the way it did in the 20's; Henry:"The desegregation you're so proud of was like pulling fuckingteeth;" Their age-old debate continues: Are courts full of minoritiesbecause minorities commit more crime or because the system is inherentlyallayed against minorities; Casi reminds Jenkins what it means to be a felon;The Hangman • Over lunch (Mulberry St.) Dane tells Casi about a Floridacab driver case with a look-alike juror; Casi's 24, Dane's 29; Concept of one'slegacy; Dane's Dilemma: We each feel indispensable, but are destined to beforgotten; "Only the unimaginative fear death when it's oblivion that cutsdeepest;" Why do anything when so many people are better at it than you?Is there anything else to Julia? Dane seems meta-human; Sam Gold; Consideringthe perfect crime.
CHAPTER 4 – In andaround the office at the end of the day
102|94 Raul Soldera'sdrug-habit-induced woe; Casi: "If you're sick, no prison. Healthy?Prison;" Judge Cymbeline subs for Judge Hilton; Raul's healthy, bolts • Catching cases for otherlawyers; Linda: "Tom fired Diane for refusing to catch;" "This terror(of trying a jury case) is neither normal nor healthy. It made Lee Grahamfaint;" • Working on Jalen Kingg case with Toomberg; Solomon Grinn mails itin w.r.t. Edward Hill's fingerprint ID • Working with Tom on Rane/Cruz murdercase • Conley & Debi lead office death debate; Dances With Death DVD:Colosio assassination video [Tijuana, 23MAR94]; Lady clocked by train video •"You good man" guy leaves message on Casi's machine; Casi has a lot of work to do • Titanic lawyer joke induces Pledge retraction • Superman costumeguy snatches a purse • Walk home over Brooklyn Bridge; Wiffle ball in park withkids on the way home.
CHAPTER 5 – Casi'sextended family celebrates his 24th birthday
117|110 Casi's phone call with mom •Casi picks up Marcela, Timmy & Mary on the way to Mom's; Timmy theprecocious; (x-ray specs for Timmy); Mary the willfully mute; Marcela gets Casi a date with a doctor; Casi &Marcela discuss Mary during the drive over; Casi's memory: Lost in mall as alittle kid, found by big sis Marcela; News item: Graffiti artist (Dom) hit bytruck on bridge; Gluonn St BD party; Family Tree (p124|117);
Mom'sfried empenada recipe; Party chatter ("multilogues" and "constantyapping" and aguardiente—"ardent water"—i.e. brandy); Partyends with Casi drunk on sofa; Alana pokes her head in the window, Casi givesher the "as if I were there;" Alana's Mary hypothesis; Alana's"Carefree youth/old record player/Beethoven/Lincoln Center"monologue; She leaves Casi a birthday present.
CHAPTER 3x2x1 – Apartmentbull session
138|131 Sunday afternoon (Casi seemsto have recovered from the preceding Friday night...); Bizarre encounter withnimble centenarian on the brownstone's stoop; Debate in progress: Has theSecond Coming already happened; Pascal's Wager • Charlie's Angels; Sex isbetter now than it was; Sexual saturation; Ridiculous Three's Company question [Seriously.Who wouldn't do Janet?] Honeymooner's project update; McDonaldland; WKRP;Casio/Sony symbiosis; Traci took off, so fuck Louis, you're fuckin' fucked. [Happy BD Casi: 24 fucks!].
CHAPTER 7 – Flashingback: courtroom underwear incident; Another lunch with Dane; War on Drugs; Money is the star;Imagine...
150|143 Overheard "yearsback" in a courtroom; "Ron" teases about a story about McGarritycase [digressing: dropping daughter off at girls school, then chatting up thedaughter's sleepwear-clad roommates] about having SeĖor Smoke burritos thenight before summation, which burritos trigger horrific next-day gas, thenapocalyptic evacuation, then the "Shitsoaked Underwear Incident"which results in a quick conviction and its own spray of lawsuits. • Casi was therethat day waiting in court for Mr. Hurd (Mr. Third Ear) (ill-advised courtroom mp3accompaniment courtesy of Y. Malmsteen's debut album); Hurd appears andeventually grasps the concept of a plea bargain; Judge Preskill grandstands abit. • Casi meets Dane for lunch again; ("Please do NOT look in here at the world's greatestinvention...") • Dane lectures Casi on the War on Drugs and its effects(and efficacy) in NYC; Dane smoked crack; Dane's drug war solution? Fullcriminalization: caffeine users, nicotine users, the lot: "See how quicklyaddiction becomes a disease when THEY have been stripped clean. Casi, how willyou respond to the social injustice (i.e. inmate demographic iniquity) thishypocrisy engenders? You won't, until its effects become proximal." Casi:"Imagine I was as fucked up as [refers to many such characters and eventsfrom the story so far] ...even thenI wouldn't think my sadness came from my fucked-up-ness. Why do we sometimestake action to help others and sometimes not? Maybe we're always supposed to and ignore that directive—whatever it'ssource—at our peril?" Dane: "No. Darwin said it best: we MUST lookout for #1; [1/4 mark] Money is why; Only the poor cry for justice; Money isinsulation; I have no sympathy for those who ignore the power of money."Illustrates this with story of old girlfriend whose sick granny in Africa diedwhile being "treated" with prayer, despite Dane's repeated offers tofly her to the US where she could have been cured essentially before her planereached the terminal. "I pretended to grieve, for my GF's sake." Casiresponds with story of a client who was a robbery lookout (who had a felonyprior) and was rolled by one of the thieves (who didn't) so thief gets a year,lookout gets eight. Dane: "Proves my point. It's dog eat dog here, and youwant to extend a helping paw?" "So why'd you smoke crack?""In the pursuit of perfection." Discussion of perfect numbers like 6and 28; Dane tells of an exhausting attempt to try one case perfectly"...running out every lead, interviewing every witness, attorney andjudge, reading all the literature, making my life as similar to client's aspossible so I can predict how he'll handle testifying (which is where the crackenters the frame), getting inside the head of jurors, all while not fullyignoring all my other cases, but sort of. Five months of this...and I blankedduring my closing remarks!" Catalog of criminal stupidity; Dane descendsto brass tacks: "Imagine you and I committing the perfect crime; I'mdying." • In Conley's office, managing the BabyTula office pool; Someonecalled 1-800-BAD-BABY as Kramden; Debi keeps herself looking young by notsmiling; Casi, not having done his homework for them, fails to avoid bothToomberg and Swathmore • Debi leaves early; Casi leaves to investigate ValerieGrissom (re Thornton case), alone. • Casi goes to Grissom's address but noone's home; People are still lining up for that "Greatest Invention In TheWorld" peepshow.
CHAPTER 8 – Horrendousblind date with plastic surgeon
205|199 Casi in cataonic repose:unflicked and long cigarette ash between fingers [De La Pava cites Bob Geldoff in Pink Floyd's movie The Wall,though Ellen Ripley in Aliens comes to mind too.] • Casi takesDeLeon (former client) case from new attorney Darren/Darryl/Darius Leaves;"There is no greater anxiety than the quiet charged moments before thereading of a verdict in a case you've parented;" Trial v. Verdict; Goodthing I got a Not Guilty because a guilty verdict can ultimately"impel the wrong kind of person to the wrong kind of conduct;" PartF: Being indicted is a near guarantee of conviction; A lot of waiting in Part Ffor the word:Indicted? No Grand Jury Action? No Word Yet? Thornton is indicted, as isDeeble, a pathetic mess, in Part N; Biologically-mandated daydreaming: WilfredBenitez's young childhood in Bronx [the first—and briefest—of six or sevenbiographical digressions on Benitez]; Mozart, Einstein, Pascal, Nietzsche, Wagner;DeLeon wants to sell his drug buddies out, and wants Casi to represent him;Dane keeps Casi from his blind date by digressing on how we're perceived:"In short, all that matters is what others think. You each want to impressthe other with how little you care that the other is impressed..." Casidives into a cab to shut Dane up, arrives late but before his date...and hisinsecurities shift from dormant into overdrive; His date arrives and not onlycan't manage an apology but barely cares enough to ask:"Disappointed?" Straight downhill from there with this (bothnominally and figuratively) plastic surgeon.
CHAPTER 9 – DeLeontalks to the cops about Freddy El Flaco, Red Bags, and $10 million
227|221 Casi and ADA Dacter haggleover the value of DeLeon's information v. plea • Debriefing Agreement document• Casi can get DeLeon 4 1/2 to 9, but DeLeon wants to walk; (Bail was set at$25K for a minor sale?) ; Cops let Casi stay in the room as they spell it all out[1/3 mark] BS about sandwiches, Coke/Pepsi, caffeine; DeLeon starts talking: JacksonHeights Queens = Little Columbia; Escalera moves from Queens to Manhattan, "acquires" Red Bags, a Blood;DeLeon gets with girl that Escalera likes, then goes over Escalera's head who findsout and demotes DeLeon to street selling; DeLeon is busted; Escalera let me twist in the wind, then Casi got me off and nowEscalera respects me; Red Bags is losing ground to the Crips; Fat Felix dies, ElFlaco takes over with deal for primo genetically engineered dope; Freddy wantsto unload it all and keep DeLeon in the loop, but DeLeon was at Rikers after being busted;Escalera connects with Colon for financing, but Flaco still wants DeLeon; DeLeon tells of aHUGE deal that won't happen if he's locked up; Dacter only seems tocare about local small-timers; DeLeon tells Casi that the address he just gave thecops is bogus. • Casi thinksDacter will offer a deal, but also thinks the Dominicans DeLeon is planning to screwwill do far worse to him than the justice system could; DA makesoffer, DeLeon accepts, and Casi ponders $10 million and what it would buy [Danerubbing off on Casi?] Conley confirms that the Human Genome Project iscomplete [actual announcement was 16FEB01] and outlines many biological facts Casi alreadyknows; Casi tells Dane about DeLeon'stestimony regarding the big drug deal; Casi gives his final $10 to a homeless guybathing in a fountain; Walks home.
CHAPTER 10 – Hurtadotrial
262|256 Casi's freezing walk homeover the Brooklyn Bridge in the dark; Uncle Sam & chimp with hat; thenimble centenarian again... ; Angus thinks Kramden has a new neighbor; BabyTula's seven year old killers; Rane fails to appear, Dane interviews DeLeon withouttelling Casi, gets an idea...; Hurtado, caught breaking into a van parked outside a church,insists on going to trial; Looking for a book in Conley's office; Uncle Sam& chimp do a London Bridge thing; Casi tells Toomberg he's backing out of JalenKingg case (Skittles!); No winner in BabyTula pool; Alana needed money; Casi resignshimself to losing the Hurtado case; PEOPLE OF NEW YORK v. JUAN HURTADO;Riffing on McSlappahan's name; Hurtado caught red handed; Casi to jury: "Come on,thirddegree? This is petit larceny at best;" Casi explains all his objections,to no avail. • Casi bitches to Toomberg about his case; Grinn has the book Casiwants...oops; DeLeon takes off; Dane: "I think wecould do it...perfectly." Casi is not having it; Casi's not sleeping;Cousin Armando arrested; Dreaming of Benitez (and defendants and other heinous shit); Casi resumes search for greenbook; Hurtado case continues: DA examines Jerry Bolo; Evidence: Four photos anda screwdriver; Casi questions Bolo about van photos; Casi cross examines; DAquestions Cleary; Casi crosses; Lunch break; Casi splits the slimmest of legalhairs, and restates his case several times. • Casi and Toomberg search Grinn'soffice for green book to no avail; DA has horrible closing; Jury's out;Waiting: Casi dreams or daydreams: Baby Tula funeral; Uncle Sam & chimp;Casi corners Dane about his "I'm dying" line on page 199|193. Not really;Dane presses the perfect crime again; Casi: "What if we got caught?""Hell, these people couldn't catch cold. Look, you're in war zone andyou're hesitant to jaywalk; This idea only seems extreme because you arecomfortable in your numbness;" [Pink Floyd again.] Scruples game;Dane: "You're dying of slavery, beholden to green paper;" DAdiscovered there was no lettering on the van but Arronaugh doesn't care; Casigets pissed, risking contempt charge; DA's voicemail to Casi: DeLeondisappears, Soldera reappears; On the bridge, Uncle Sam's chimp takes a swingat Casi.
CHAPTER 11 – Abankrupt decision?
322|313 "So let's do what I'veproposed." "Yes. Let us. Yes."
CHAPTER 12 – Anothervisit to Mom's
327|316 In car on the way to Mom's,Casi and Alana discuss her art show; Aikido (using a larger person's mass & momentum against him), rhesus monkeys/chimps; Calendarcoincidence "twos everywhere" [Feb. 2nd or 20th or 22nd, 2002?] Casi looks different to Alana, and later to Marcela and Mom; Alana, Marcella and Casi with Mom;Mary still silent; Timmy asks about near-death "white light"experiences; Casi explains selective observation to Timmy; Armando's arrest; [Alana's comment at bottom of p334|323 hints that Casi was adopted...] Mom enumerates benefitsof coming to America from Colombia; Reunion of Fantastic
Five Four;Alana wants to "accomplish" happiness (echoing Dane's accomplishment/achievement philosophy); Armando was here illegally.
CHAPTER 13 – Anotherapartment bull session
340|329 Armando arrested; Casi getsstuff from Armando's apartment; Kramden is becoming more real to Angus; Traci dumpedLouie and Casi wants her number; ADTv, deconstructing a Wisk commercial; ThreeAges of Ads; Casi's blind date plastic surgeon is in a TV commercial; Phobophobia will makeLouie famous; Hair cancer; ZZZZT: Rat in a box; [1/2 mark] Learned helplessness;"God has some 'splainin' to do;" "Whether God exists or not,this rat is evil," "Let the rat go," "No," "I'mcalling Traci."
CHAPTER 14 – Casigets in deeper and deeper; Lunch at Mulberry St Italian restaurant. [La Mela? -smr-]
354|343 Casi has doubts about Dane'splan, but comes to work anyway; BabyTula's killers are all over the news butthe video is not; Casi hides in his office; Casi comes to his senses, andDane's not hearing it; Casi tells Toomberg about Arronaugh/Hurtado and Armando; Casi made Toomberg a promise [During the vietnam war: p361|350]Toomberg says Armando's case is hopeless; Casi has to go to Alabama for Kinggcase; Detailed espresso instructions; Liszt rumor mutates. • Dane's gettingannoyed [the "This constant vascillation...that is your question," excerpt on p366|355 appears on the back cover of the Amante/Xlibris edition but not the UCP edition.] and ratchets up the carpe diem rhetoric. •Casi explains list-mania to Conley; Conley needs to talk to Casi, but Casi blows himoff, meets Dane for their third lunch; Dane witnessed Casi's Hurtado verdict;Dane's 294 pages of heist research; Casi lists several possible problems withthe plan; Dane: "You spotted my flaws, which proves you are the right person todo this with;" Dane outlines the plan; Actual address v. fake address; Daneconvinces Casi that DeLeon lied to the cops but not to him; Escalera loves the Middle;Dope enters the US, stored at Flaco's nephew's...Mule will drive away withmoneybag...Casi's back in; Casi's adamant: No guns and we must destroy thedope; Exactly midwinter. (Feb 7-ish?).
CHAPTER 15 – Casi's Benitez-worship gets rolling; Casi locks horns with Cymbeline
384|373 BOXING: Benitez familyboxers; Wilfred turns pro at fifteen and by sixteen is 23-0; Cervantes; Bruce Curry;Palomino; Duran; Leonard. • Soldara appears before Cymbeline, Casi can't hold his tongue; Cymbeline says that Soldera says Casi advised him to jump bail; Solderaadmits his lie. • Casi gets lost in the courthouse and exits via a previouslyunknown sub-street-level door.
CHAPTER 16 – Visitors after work: Traci, Toomberg, Dane
397|386 Casi gets home, forgets aboutKingg meeting with Toomberg at office, leaves him a couple weird, screaming, apologeticvoicemails concerning Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountian. Traci comes by; smalltalk (pendant, bottleish apartment, law school); Casi decides to pursue Traciconventionally, play it cool: "We should fall in love;"Back to small talk; Toomberg arrives; Traci leaves Casi a touching littleparting gift... • Toomberg brings Casi up to speed on just how much troublehe's in (forgery, verbal assault on Grinn, physical assault on Liszt); Theydiscuss prevalence of atheists in foxholes, God; Toomberg: First thingsfirst...they work on Kingg case then Toomberg leaves; Dane arrives; Swords!;Dane's lion/hyena parable (i.e. Unlike a lion, Dane would rather die than lose to ahyena); Casi knows how to use a sword. • Hulking blue figure darts into Alyona's apartment.•Traci's window finger drawing...
CHAPTER 17 – Lifesucks but is too short nevertheless
417|406 Holy Saturday; How old is Casi?; Deb & Conley debate:Primacy, recency, and the forgotten middle. [Well...not totally forgotten. p377|366] :-)
CHAPTER 18 – ClericalConfessions
420|409 Deb & Conley prep Casifor his trip to the confessional. • Casi visits the "Hurtado" churchafter hours, meets Father Mulcahey, who mindfucks Casi by recommending that hespeak to the priest who was on duty the night of the Hurtado incident, which priest it turns out is dead; Casi hems & haws & unloads alot of personal stuff in confessional; "I don't think my disbelief hasrisen to the certainty of my previous belief;" Childhood regrets ofindifference/inaction; Casi confesses to a monstrous theft, then accidentallydestroys the confessional, then Mulcahey wants Casi to agree to be on HBOhidden camera show. • BOXING: What if both figters were great? Benitez loses to Leonard.
CHAPTER 19 – Casiprepares on two fronts...
437|425 Where is DeLeon; Dane:"Did DeLeon give the cops a fake address? I'll test my theory by checking the fake location at the fake time;"THE PLAN; Stash equipment three doors down the night before; All the guardswill be focusing on the arriving car; 15-20 minutes for Escalera to weigh andtest the dope. • Toomberg visits, they discuss Kingg's previous, incompetentdefender; Jury gave Kingg life, judge overruled with death, supreme court passed. •Casi & Dane: How to handle the Whale. • Casi still hasn't read Toomberg'sdraft; Casi: "Who can we get to testify about Kingg's mental deficiency?I'll pay for it, I'll have money;" Non-linear Time; Fat Chance. • Casi& Dane: Gold key to bldg 402, Gold plated remote, roof cameras, Gold series Stun Batons, heavy money bags; Plan isdone; Necessary parking space; Minding the gap between 406 & 408; Another quicker rundown of plan; [2/3 mark] Guitarist analogy: time off is good; Casi &Toomberg: "Can we suggest Kingg is in fact innocent?" [Note: On p464|454Casi says "I've been doing this a quarter of a century...." which would make him a damn sight older than the 24 year old I'd been reading him as up to this point. See Chronology note, at the end.]
CHAPTER 20 – Casigoes to Alabama
467|456 Chatty captain anddialogue-less movie. • Dramamine-fueled analysis of silent in-flightmovie; Zeroing in on the movie's mom's actress [Jackie's not getting overPetey; Jackie's in existential agony.] • After landing in Alabama Casi gets lost looking for The Orchardhotel; Big Mac gives Casi a tour of The Orchard; S.E.R.P.E.N.T. convention;S.E.R.P.E.N.T. lady. • Casi visits Holman prison; Guard tells Casi about YellowMama, executing and electrocuting [featuring a harrowing description of John Louis Evans's ghastly 1983 execution at Holman Prison]; Casi meets Kingg and afterward makes avow; Casi sets Kingg straight; Just sad...is all. • Big Mac mentions hugeS.E.R.P.E.N.T. party tonight. • Jalen's cell; Guard can help with Jalen's case; 2ndvisit with Jalen; Jalen tells Casi to "Bring fruit" (thinks his mom made Skittles) Jalen's mom rejected special ed when Jalen wasyoung; Seizures; Sabotaged bike. • Guard's aforementioned help is somethinghe calls an anti-sympathy packet, re-emphasizing the ghastliness of Jalen's crime, its umbral and penumbraleffects. • S.E.R.P.E.N.T. departs; Big Mac Wideload Santangeleeskeesoffers Casi free lodging at The Orchard. • Same movie on flight home, this timedramamine-less and tediously pomo.
CHAPTER 21 – Benitezand Casi realize something crucial
497|486 Casi loved airport visits when he wasa kid; BOXING:Benitez accepts loss to Leonard; Duran beats Leonard; Hearns-Cuevas; Duran-Leonard II ("No mas!");Hagler-Minter; Benitez-Maurice Hope; Benitez-Duran II; Leonard d. Hearns; Benitez d. Duran badly. •Alana is very late picking up Casi at the airport; Marcela is exasperated by Mary;Casi senses something critical [Sentence—single line, in fact—featuring the wordsdesinence and incunabula]; Baby Tula video at Angus's; A/V malfunction nukesTula video; Casi's doubt about the heist creeps back in; Brief blackout 31 hours before zero hour.
CHAPTER 22 – It's on.
510|499 Philosophy, Hume; Car won't start; Casi takes dead battery, via subway, to repair shop; New battery works; Necessaryparking space is taken, but opens up after a wait; Couple of DBs wanted it and yell at Casi; It's 2:30 am and baby, it's on; Entering 402; The not-so-easy lasso trick; Casi losesboth his mask and the return hook; [3/4 mark] Dane learns how maddeningly elusiveperfection is; Roof guards turn out to be the prenominate douchebags who wanted the parking space;"Philosophically we must proceed and succeed;" The Whale turns out tobe indescribably large; DeLeon is there with the Whale! GO TIME; Whalethrottles Casi, gets cooked by two stun batons; Dane finds the money bag; Landro comesup; The Whale gets a great look at Casi; Casi goes back for the pregnant mule;Guns blaze; DeLeon also sees Casi; Rope escape; Casi negotiates with Escalera forthe girl; Getaway; Casi & Dane split up; Casi drives home where he learns via phone message that Marcela has birthed #3 and Mary has begun speaking;Blackout #2 [see Blackout section at the end for more details...]
CHAPTER 23 – The nextday; Blackout; Frigid.
541|528 Cold dream; Radiator? No radiator?; Alyona updatesCasi on blackout and massacre; Angus doesn't look so great; Now a physics major(verification v. falsification); Casi goes out for food; Gets under the coversand wonders...
CHAPTER 24 – Angusand Casi freeze during blackout
550|537 Angus and Casi freeze in thedark together, hallucinate from the cold (cultural free associations) andponder what appear to be their final moments; Power comes back on at sunrise. • Extra city lightsare on by order of the mayor; Casi bums a ride to Mom's, enters through thewindow.
CHAPTER 25 – Casireads Mary a rather age-inappropriate story/poem
557|544 An aging sky-Queen sends the muchyounger of her two princes away from their home in the sky on a voyage ofdiscovery; In a surreal and dark eastern forest Young Prince runs away from ascary beast; He comes upon a chasm, and as he walks down into it he sees peopletrying but unable to crawl out; Young Prince sees his mother's face in the moon, but it's only a mirage;He has so many thoughts of how to get home, the thoughts form a ladder, but youcan't climb thoughts, can you? So he makes a magic vine and starts climbing that,but sees the beast climbing up after him; Young Prince reaches the safety ofhis home cloud, unaware that his mother had, only moments before, been murdered by hismuch older brother (jealous that mom didn't send him on the voyage); OldPrince rips mom's body's head from its torso and wears it like a mask to deceive YoungPrince; Old Prince says, from behind the skull-mask, "Your older brotherwent down to find you. Go back down and find him." Young Prince freakssince the beast is waiting below on the vine; Mom's head drips blood exposingOld Prince's ruse; The princes fight furiously, fall down through the cloudand are devoured by the waiting beast, leaving mom's head up in the cloud tooccasionally drip blood in the form of rain.
CHAPTER 26 – Casiprepares to defend himself
565|552 Casi vows to Toomberg thathe'll save Kingg; Casi asks Toomberg to represent him in his contempt hearings.• Conley tells Casi that Debi's gunning for him; It's clear Tom's "vacation" ispermanent; Conley waxes voluminously on Dark Energy: "Like the universe,man is expanding exponentially, through technology."
CHAPTER 27 – Fretting
575|562 Manhattan snowglobe; Kramdenat Angus's door tells Casi that D'Alessio stopped by. • Dane broke into Casi'sapartment; D'Alessio's visit has spooked Casi, Dane reminds him that the Whaleand Escalera are the only ones who could ID them; Casi wants to clear hiscaseload before reaping thievery's rewards; How to launder money; BOXING: Hearns wins splitdecision over Benitez. • Herb/Jackie/Ralph (Kramden) eases Casi's mind a bit; Astranger stops Casi out on the sidewalk: "I know what you did."
CHAPTER 14 + 7 + 4 + 2 +1 – Detective Assado suspects Casi. A lot.
590|577 Detective Assado (notD'Alessio) and Casi spar verbally then go to a diner; Assado's hypothesismatches the events of the heist perfectly. • Casi writes the brief on behalf ofKingg, too emotionally; Casi dressed but feels very sick – Assado appears andconfronts sickly Casi, asks about the photo of one of the roof guys andeventually accuses Casi. • In Casi's office, Toomberg marvels at Casi's brief;Casi lies to him about neck abrasions. • Assado visits Casi at work, askshim where he was, tells him not to leave town. • Kramden in Alyona's apartment,tells Casi Traci was looking for him. • Assado tells Casi the Video Vigilanteshave video of the heist; Supreme Court Case delays Kingg's execution (Atkins v.Virgina, argued 20FEB02... twos all over the place again); Tom still gone, notworking on his "woman torched her kid" case anymore. • Casi gives Assado more attitude; Assado hasClerical Confessions video of Casi confessing to a multi-million dollar theft,then destroying the confessional.
CHAPTER 29 – Oneproblem disappears, another appears
609|596 BOXING: Duran-Moore;Duran-Hagler; Leonard-Howard; Hearns-Duran (!); Hagler- Hearns (!);Leonard-Hagler; Leonard retires; Hagler retires; Hearns-Roldan;Leonard-LaLonde; Hearns-Barkley, -Kinchen, -Leonard; Duran-Barkley;Leonard-Hearns II; Leonard-Duran III; Benitez-Cera: Benitez's freefallcommences; Benitez-Hamsho; Hagler-Hamsho; Benitez-Moore, -Bravo, -Chapman,-Moley in MSG; Benitez-Hilton; Refusing to go quietly: Whittaker, Herrera.• Casi visits Dane, living largein Plaza hotel; Casi refuses money for the moment; Dane: "Screw whatAssado knows...what can he prove?He's fucking with you, fuck him back. Stopworrying about what his investigation can do to you, and start focusing on whathis investigation reveals about him." Casi relaxes for a bit, but, as if oncue, Assado appears as Casi's leaving; They go to a bar; Assado knowsmore and more...knows about Dane; Casi figures it's over and is about ready togive up...but something turns....and he comes off the ropes swinging; It's alittle hazy how Assado's investigation has progressed so quickly and produced somany accurate details, though it's really not hazy at all to Casi; Busted, Det.Assado steps up the rhetoric and offers Casi "a chance," Casi tellshim to screw. Assado "Then you'll get what you deserve." • Toombergreports that Atkins v. Virginia is going well; Conley pops in and debatesToomberg on executing mentally ill criminals; More of Conley's eugenics;Toomberg loved Casi's brief; Art v. Advertising;Kramden wants to golf; NY Post says Assado & Escalera killed by The Whale;Kramden says the Whale came by the apartment looking for Casi; Back at the office, a huge guycame by looking for Casi, but he wasn't really huge and he wasn't looking forCasi.
CHAPTER 30 – JalenKingg correspondence
635|623 Casi introduces himself,Toomberg & Ledo • Still awaiting entire file of your case • I've tried to call with no luck • Ledo left • Sorry so long since last letter, I'll be visiting yousoon • I'll be there this weekend • It was nice to meet you, you shouldwrite me letters; A doctor will be examining you soon • From Jalen: Thanks to you four visiting me...YoU HAVE MYBESTS iNTERSTS IN MIND... • Wefound a doctor who will examine you in a few days; the Supreme Court ishearing a case that might affectyours... • From Jalen: Thanks for SupremeCourt Hearing my case...CAN YoU TELL ME MoRE ABoUT WHERE i WILL Go WHEN i GEToUT • Supreme Court isn't hearingyour case, they're hearing Atkins v. Virginia; The doctor reported hisexamination to us, and it sounds like you are similar to Atkins in thatcase • From Jalen: Something happened ingeneral population and I was moved, can only get letters and visits from you mylawyer • Write and tell me why youwere moved, I keep asking but they won't tell me. What happened? • From Jalen: i do not think i amaloud to tell, theres no one i can ask here...even if you don't know writeanyway since someone has to hand letters to me in person • I checked and yes you can tell me whythey moved you, I know this is difficult, hang in there • From Jalen: please write summore letters fast please...i am only aloud to get letters from you • Here's tencopies so someone has to visit you ten times. I'll do this with all my lettersnow. They won't move you back but I'm trying. I'll also send you a copy of thebrief I wrote for your case. • From Jalen: please come get me, it'sdark here, take me to maple's house. PS please come get me • From Jalen: you don't have to sendextra copies anymore, the guy who brings my food says you are lying the I amnot going tomy old cell. Please bring frute, no matter what anyone says i willnot think you are lying to me • From Jalen: i do NOT care anymoreif i get out of hear realy, i know you can not come and get me i dont careanymore and im not sorry anymoar probly • I just got your last three letters,no matter what they say you WILL go back to your old cell; Here's the brief Itold you about; I will call there and a doctor will treat you and watch youclosely. Melvyn and I will visit you soon, too. • From Holman Prison: Administrative form letter informingCasi of Jalen's suicide.
CHAPTER 31 – Absurdhearings
658|646 Judge Cymbeline postponesSoldera's sentencing, starts surreal contempt proceedings against Casi;Toomberg withdrew and Devin Quackmire now represents Casi; Casi is sentenced toapologize. • Kangaroo hearing #2, Liszt. Committee to Oust CasiKwickly decides to fire Casi; Casi quits. • Casi sneaks home, meets Angus who hasreturned from Panama City, FL; Kramden was an actor named John; Citibankthermometer reads 6Ż during rainfall, meaning it's either very broken or simply displayingCelsius; Baby Tula feature film premiere; Angus explains singularities and howthey explain the recent weirdness; Angus saw Time during the blackout (as did Casi); "We're allheaded for a naked singularity," Angus heads back to Panama City, presumably foreternal spring break. • BOXING: Hagler – never fought again; Leonard – fought into the 1990sand clearly shouldn't have; Hearns "too fought on way past any sense;" Duran – fought until a serious car wreck ended his career at age 50; , Benitez – pounded by no-namesin the 1990s; retirement; seizures; Hall of Fame; coma; stroke; currently inPuerto Rico at home with his mother (like when he "was her baby, and she afar stronger woman.")
CHAPTER 32 – AtMom's with Marcela, Alana, Mary and newborn
678|666 [Picks up from the end ofchapter 24]; Marcela's newborn is actually handsome; Love is loss; Mary:"You told me if I didn't have something nice to say not to say anything atall."
CHAPTER 33 – Strangedoings on April 1st...
678|671 The first day of "life'scruelest month" [April, according to T. S. Eliot] Dane gives Casi the goldkey to 402; Dane had to go underground, but he's back; Casi goes back to the office andsits in on court session; Several of his old cases come up: Deeble, Lake,Malcum. New judge sends Soldera on his way; Ballena is in the courthouse andsees Casi; Casi bolts for his secret egress [from the end of chapter fifteen.] On thestreet Casi spies Ballena walking swiftly away from him and—inexplicably—follows him.He recalls Angus's singularity explanation, stops to listen to a streetmusician, and when he looks back Ballena has turned and is glaring at him; Theymove toward each other [now remember, Casi knows Aikido. p328|317]; The singularity arrives...