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Steve's A Naked Singularity Page

UC Press | Amazon | Amante/Xlibris

Interviews with Sergio De La Pava:
Hermano Cerdo/Brother Pig (July 2011, Spanish): http://hermanocerdo.com/2011/07/ņdonde-esta-el-arbitro/ (Dead link.)
21C Magazine (Sept. 2011): http://www.21cmagazine.com/#2033596/Boxing-Television-Law-and-More (Dead link.)
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 (Dead links.)
Several YouTube clips!

• SDLP reads from A Naked Singularity - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUO4rJNm6no. This reading is from late in Chapter 3 (from the top of p85 to 2/3 the way down p89 in the U of Chicago edition. (From the bottom of p92 to the middle of p97 in the original Amante/Xlibris edition.)

• Triple Canopy's Speculations Archive: The Peoples’ Machinery. "The Future of Criminal Justice." (26JUL13, 4 PM; 50 min.): https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/speculations-archive-the-peoples-machinery/#talk-thirtythree-frame

• "A Day's Sail": http://canopycanopycanopy.com/11/a_day_s_sail_. Give this a good look. I never get tired of it. For good or ill, I feel I'm at least passably conversant on the topic of boxing because of this article. (And even, please forgive me, a bit less afraid of Virginia Woolf!)

• "The Ocean": http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/fiction-sergio-de-la-pava-ocean/. One of the many intriguing facets of Personae. (This link is dated June 1, 2009 and Personae was published April 14, 2011, but there is no difference in the two versions save for four or five very minor typographical details.)

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!

As with all my book pages this page is a mish-mash of impressions, bouncing from tense to tense, from relevance to irrelevance and back, created solely to aid my increasingly unreliable memory, but is posted online 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 they occur. Meaning, if a character introduced in chapter two gets a big surprise in chapter seven, I'll note that, but not until chapter seven. So again, SPOILER ALERT NOW, READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK.


ALSO. The chapters are not named in the book, though I have supplied them with oblique headings on this page in keeping with my stated goal of creating a memory aid. You might interpret these headings as spoilers though I do not intend them as such and in fact they reveal less than 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 1Casi does arraignment 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 for thomeone with a lithp...); How one becomes a "body in the eyes of the criminal justice system"; Two different "48 Hour Rules" • Miranda digression • Why making a statement to the arresting cop is almost always bad for your case; Rosario list; Off you go, to Central Booking; DA's complaint renders cop's initial charges more like recommendations, really;  Bench warrant, CJA sheet, arraignment pens (and assorted desperation contained therein.)



            Darril Thornton – "The Devil made Valerie falsely accuse me of rape!" mandatory persistent, two felony priors. (Casi: "I don't need to believe that you're innocent...")

            Ah Chut – Selling batteries on the subway. Speaks only Cantonese.

            Ben (rhymes with) Glenn – Speaks in verse. Hal says he broke the glass door to his pizzeria. Prior 730 (psych) exam; deemed unfit.

            Someone pops in: "Deeble, Coomer & Lake are all specials." Glenn bolts. Linda tells Casi tomorrow's her last day; "Going into real estate."

            Glenda Deeble – 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 despite Casi's recommendation.

            Robert Coomer – 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;

            Terrens Lake – 16 year old selling drugs in a Land Of The Lost tee shirt.

            Casi talkth to DA about Chut needing an interpreter.

            Rory Ludd – Time served for being in park after closing; "Take it."

            Dane invites Casi for second dinner • Casi talks to Lake's mother; they're interrupted: "Can you throw 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, medical attention requested and ordered; Glenn, adjourned two weeks for another 730.; Chut, time served (29 hours and counting) and a day of community service, Casi says Chut agrees but the judge isn't having it and remands Chut until they can find an interpreter, all so Chut can comprehend "one day of community service."; Ludd curses in front of the judge, gets a lecture, apologizes, then curses again and gets fifteen days for contempt. • Casi talks to Lake's mom again; Leaves the office; Sees and hears "you good man" guy across the street; Endures a garrulous driver during a weary cab ride home.


CHAPTER 2Getting home late; Casi's three neighbors

55|46      Locked out of Brooklyn Heights apartment; Casper (pet?) probably hid the keys; [childhood memory #1]; Alyona Karn (working on doctorate; his uncle owns this apartment), Angus Glass (career undergrad) and Louis Sands (earning MBA) who tonight is entertaining the fetching Traci; Bigfoot v. Loch Ness monster; Magilla v. Grape Ape; Louis's hypno-advertising aspirations; Angus's Honeymooners marathon will turn the characters into "actual human beings"...will listen to the episodes until the characters become real; Angus takes e-classes; (Casi? Crime as a legitimate, alternate lifestyle...); Casi finally gets home; mail from bill collectors; winding down with TV; Mayor Toad's video vigilantes; News story: Dutch tourist leaves baby on NYC sidewalk while getting coffee inside, baby abducted (Baby Tula); 1-800-BAD-BABY; Enticing BuffBuster pitchman; 3:28 am? "I was 24."


CHAPTER 3Late for work; Swathmore's leaving/moving; Dane's surveillance video; The Pledge; Conley debates Henry; The perfect Crime

68|60      Casi's dream: brain surgery class; Call in sick? Nope, can't; Prodigies mock me; Morning boxes (elevator, then subway); Chauvanists on the stairs; Tip-toeing into office, two hours late; Cubicle-mate Leon Greene's quiet dignity; Baby Tula office pool; Tom's switching offices (under investigation? Deposed by Casi? Yelled at a female coworker?); Swathmore's speech to Casi: "You're good but slow down; Being thorough is more important than being good the way you're good." • Dane shows Rane/Cruz convenience store murder surveillance video; Casi agrees to help Dane with Rane/Cruz? Dane on religion • In elevator, Casi overhears that Ah Chut was pummeled in jail last night, instantly hates his job, makes The Pledge: "Nothing detrimental or untoward will ever happen to a client of mine." [childhood memory #2]; Malcum Jenkins update hearing; ("I'm looking to stay clean but moms is pressuring me about money..."); Casi is distracted by Conley's Mac & Cheese genetics prognostications and declarations that racism no longer exists the way it did in the 20's; Henry: "The desegregation you're so proud of was like pulling fucking teeth;" Their age-old debate continues: Are courts full of minorities because minorities commit more crime or because the system is inherently allayed against minorities; Casi reminds Jenkins what it means to be a felon; The Hangman • Over lunch (Mulberry St.) Dane tells Casi about a Florida cab driver case with a look-alike juror; Casi's 24, Dane's 29; Concept of one's legacy; Dane's Dilemma: We each feel indispensable, but are destined to be forgotten; "Only the unimaginative fear death when it's oblivion that cuts deepest;" 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; Considering the perfect crime.


CHAPTER 4In and around the office at the end of the day

102|94    Raul Soldera's drug-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 other lawyers; Linda: "Tom fired Diane for refusing to catch;" "This terror (of trying a jury case) is neither normal nor healthy. It made Lee Graham faint;" • Working on Jalen Kingg case with Toomberg; Solomon Grinn mails it in w.r.t. Edward Hill's fingerprint ID • Working with Tom on Rane/Cruz murder case • 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 costume guy snatches a purse • Walk home over Brooklyn Bridge; Wiffle ball in park with kids on the way home.


CHAPTER 5Casi's extended 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 the precocious; (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 a little kid, found by big sis Marcela; News item: Graffiti artist (Dom) hit by truck on bridge; Gluonn St BD party; Family Tree (p124|117);


Family Tree graphic


            Mom's fried empenada recipe; Party chatter ("multilogues" and "constant yapping" and aguardiente—"ardent water"—i.e. brandy); Party ends with Casi drunk on sofa; Alana pokes her head in the window, Casi gives her 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 3x2x1Apartment bull session

138|131    Sunday afternoon (Casi seems to have recovered from the preceding Friday night...); Bizarre encounter with nimble centenarian on the brownstone's stoop; Debate in progress: Has the Second Coming already happened; Pascal's Wager • Charlie's Angels; Sex is better 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 7Flashing back: courtroom underwear incident; Another lunch with Dane;  War on Drugs; Money is the star; Imagine...

150|143    Overheard "years back" in a courtroom; "Ron" teases about a story about McGarrity case [digressing: dropping daughter off at girls school, then chatting up the daughter's sleepwear-clad roommates] about having SeĖor Smoke burritos the night before summation, which burritos trigger horrific next-day gas, then apocalyptic evacuation, then the "Shitsoaked Underwear Incident" which results in a quick conviction and its own spray of lawsuits. • Casi was there that day waiting in court for Mr. Hurd (Mr. Third Ear) (ill-advised courtroom mp3 accompaniment courtesy of Y. Malmsteen's debut album); Hurd appears and eventually grasps the concept of a plea bargain; Judge Preskill grandstands a bit. • Casi meets Dane for lunch again;  ("Please do NOT look in here at the world's greatest invention...") • Dane lectures Casi on the War on Drugs and its effects (and efficacy) in NYC; Dane smoked crack; Dane's drug war solution? Full criminalization: caffeine users, nicotine users, the lot: "See how quickly addiction becomes a disease when THEY have been stripped clean. Casi, how will you respond to the social injustice (i.e. inmate demographic iniquity) this hypocrisy engenders? You won't, until its effects become proximal." Casi: "Imagine I was as fucked up as [refers to many such characters and events from the story so far] ...even then I wouldn't think my sadness came from my fucked-up-ness. Why do we sometimes take action to help others and sometimes not? Maybe we're always supposed to and ignore that directive—whatever it's source—at our peril?" Dane: "No. Darwin said it best: we MUST look out for #1; [1/4 mark] Money is why; Only the poor cry for justice; Money is insulation; I have no sympathy for those who ignore the power of money." Illustrates this with story of old girlfriend whose sick granny in Africa died while being "treated" with prayer, despite Dane's repeated offers to fly her to the US where she could have been cured essentially before her plane reached the terminal. "I pretended to grieve, for my GF's sake." Casi responds with story of a client who was a robbery lookout (who had a felony prior) 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 you want to extend a helping paw?" "So why'd you smoke crack?" "In the pursuit of perfection." Discussion of perfect numbers like 6 and 28; Dane tells of an exhausting attempt to try one case perfectly "...running out every lead, interviewing every witness, attorney and judge, reading all the literature, making my life as similar to client's as possible so I can predict how he'll handle testifying (which is where the crack enters the frame), getting inside the head of jurors, all while not fully ignoring all my other cases, but sort of. Five months of this...and I blanked during my closing remarks!" Catalog of criminal stupidity; Dane descends to brass tacks: "Imagine you and I committing the perfect crime; I'm dying." • In Conley's office, managing the BabyTula office pool; Someone called 1-800-BAD-BABY as Kramden; Debi keeps herself looking young by not smiling; Casi, not having done his homework for them, fails to avoid both Toomberg and Swathmore • Debi leaves early; Casi leaves to investigate Valerie Grissom (re Thornton case), alone. • Casi goes to Grissom's address but no one's home; People are still lining up for that "Greatest Invention In The World" peepshow.


CHAPTER 8Horrendous blind 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 takes DeLeon (former client) case from new attorney Darren/Darryl/Darius Leaves; "There is no greater anxiety than the quiet charged moments before the reading of a verdict in a case you've parented;" Trial v. Verdict; Good thing I got a Not Guilty because a guilty verdict can ultimately "impel the wrong kind of person to the wrong kind of conduct;" Part F: Being indicted is a near guarantee of conviction; A lot of waiting in Part F for the word: Indicted? No Grand Jury Action? No Word Yet? Thornton is indicted, as is Deeble, a pathetic mess, in Part N; Biologically-mandated daydreaming: Wilfred Benitez's young childhood in Bronx [the first—and briefest—of six or seven biographical 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 impress the other with how little you care that the other is impressed..." Casi dives into a cab to shut Dane up, arrives late but before his date...and his insecurities shift from dormant into overdrive; His date arrives and not only can't manage an apology but barely cares enough to ask: "Disappointed?" Straight downhill from there with this (both nominally and figuratively) plastic surgeon.


CHAPTER 9DeLeon talks to the cops about Freddy El Flaco, Red Bags, and $10 million

227|221    Casi and ADA Dacter haggle over 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: Jackson Heights 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 finds out and demotes DeLeon to street selling; DeLeon is busted; Escalera let me twist in the wind, then Casi got me off and now Escalera respects me; Red Bags is losing ground to the Crips; Fat Felix dies, El Flaco takes over with deal for primo genetically engineered dope; Freddy wants to 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 a HUGE deal that won't happen if he's locked up; Dacter only seems to care about local small-timers; DeLeon tells Casi that the address he just gave the cops is bogus.  • Casi thinks Dacter will offer a deal, but also thinks the Dominicans DeLeon is planning to screw will do far worse to him than the justice system could; DA makes offer, DeLeon accepts, and Casi ponders $10 million and what it would buy [Dane rubbing off on Casi?] Conley confirms that the Human Genome Project is complete [actual announcement was 16FEB01] and outlines many biological facts Casi already knows; Casi tells Dane about DeLeon's testimony regarding the big drug deal; Casi gives his final $10 to a homeless guy bathing in a fountain; Walks home.


CHAPTER 10Hurtado trial

262|256    Casi's freezing walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge in the dark; Uncle Sam & chimp with hat; the nimble centenarian again... ; Angus thinks Kramden has a new neighbor; Baby Tula's seven year old killers; Rane fails to appear, Dane interviews DeLeon without telling 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 Jalen Kingg case (Skittles!); No winner in BabyTula pool; Alana needed money; Casi resigns himself 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, third degree? 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 Casi wants...oops; DeLeon takes off; Dane: "I think we could 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 green book; Hurtado case continues: DA examines Jerry Bolo; Evidence: Four photos and a screwdriver; Casi questions Bolo about van photos; Casi cross examines; DA questions Cleary; Casi crosses; Lunch break; Casi splits the slimmest of legal hairs, and restates his case several times. • Casi and Toomberg search Grinn's office 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 and you're hesitant to jaywalk; This idea only seems extreme because you are comfortable in your numbness;" [Pink Floyd again.] Scruples game; Dane: "You're dying of slavery, beholden to green paper;" DA discovered there was no lettering on the van but Arronaugh doesn't care; Casi gets pissed, risking contempt charge; DA's voicemail to Casi: DeLeon disappears, Soldera reappears; On the bridge, Uncle Sam's chimp takes a swing at Casi.


CHAPTER 11A bankrupt decision?

322|313    "So let's do what I've proposed." "Yes. Let us. Yes."




CHAPTER 12Another visit 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; Calendar coincidence "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 benefits of 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 13Another apartment bull session

340|329    Armando arrested; Casi gets stuff from Armando's apartment; Kramden is becoming more real to Angus; Traci dumped Louie and Casi wants her number; ADTv, deconstructing a Wisk commercial; Three Ages of Ads; Casi's blind date plastic surgeon is in a TV commercial; Phobophobia will make Louie 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'm calling Traci."


CHAPTER 14Casi gets in deeper and deeper; Lunch at Mulberry St Italian restaurant. [La Mela? -smr-]

354|343    Casi has doubts about Dane's plan, but comes to work anyway; BabyTula's killers are all over the news but the video is not; Casi hides in his office; Casi comes to his senses, and Dane'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 Kingg case; Detailed espresso instructions; Liszt rumor mutates. • Dane's getting annoyed [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 him off, meets Dane for their third lunch; Dane witnessed Casi's Hurtado verdict; Dane's 294 pages of heist research; Casi lists several possible problems with the plan; Dane: "You spotted my flaws, which proves you are the right person to do this with;" Dane outlines the plan; Actual address v. fake address; Dane convinces 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 with moneybag...Casi's back in; Casi's adamant: No guns and we must destroy the dope; Exactly midwinter. (Feb 7-ish?).


CHAPTER 15Casi's Benitez-worship gets rolling; Casi locks horns with Cymbeline

384|373    BOXING: Benitez family boxers; 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; Soldera admits his lie. • Casi gets lost in the courthouse and exits via a previously unknown sub-street-level door.


CHAPTER 16Visitors after work: Traci, Toomberg, Dane

397|386    Casi gets home, forgets about Kingg meeting with Toomberg at office, leaves him a couple weird, screaming, apologetic voicemails concerning Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountian. Traci comes by; small talk (pendant, bottleish apartment, law school); Casi decides to pursue Traci conventionally, play it cool: "We should fall in love;" Back to small talk; Toomberg arrives; Traci leaves Casi a touching little parting gift... • Toomberg brings Casi up to speed on just how much trouble he's in (forgery, verbal assault on Grinn, physical assault on Liszt); They discuss prevalence of atheists in foxholes, God; Toomberg: First things first...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 a hyena); Casi knows how to use a sword. • Hulking blue figure darts into Alyona's apartment.• Traci's window finger drawing...


CHAPTER 17Life sucks 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 18Clerical Confessions

420|409    Deb & Conley prep Casi for his trip to the confessional. • Casi visits the "Hurtado" church after hours, meets Father Mulcahey, who mindfucks Casi by recommending that he speak to the priest who was on duty the night of the Hurtado incident, which priest it turns out is dead; Casi hems & haws & unloads a lot of personal stuff in confessional; "I don't think my disbelief has risen to the certainty of my previous belief;" Childhood regrets of indifference/inaction; Casi confesses to a monstrous theft, then accidentally destroys the confessional, then Mulcahey wants Casi to agree to be on HBO hidden camera show. • BOXING: What if both figters were great? Benitez loses to Leonard.


CHAPTER 19Casi prepares 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 guards will be focusing on the arriving car; 15-20 minutes for Escalera to weigh and test the dope. • Toomberg visits, they discuss Kingg's previous, incompetent defender; Jury gave Kingg life, judge overruled with death, supreme court passed. • Casi & Dane: How to handle the Whale. • Casi still hasn't read Toomberg's draft; 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 is done; 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|454 Casi 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 20Casi goes to Alabama

467|456    Chatty captain and dialogue-less movie. • Dramamine-fueled analysis of silent in-flight movie; Zeroing in on the movie's mom's actress [Jackie's not getting over Petey; Jackie's in existential agony.] • After landing in Alabama Casi gets lost looking for The Orchard hotel; 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 Yellow Mama, executing and electrocuting [featuring a harrowing description of John Louis Evans's ghastly 1983 execution at Holman Prison]; Casi meets Kingg and afterward makes a vow; Casi sets Kingg straight; Just sad...is all. • Big Mac mentions huge S.E.R.P.E.N.T. party tonight. • Jalen's cell; Guard can help with Jalen's case; 2nd visit with Jalen; Jalen tells Casi to "Bring fruit" (thinks his mom made Skittles) Jalen's mom rejected special ed when Jalen was young; Seizures; Sabotaged bike. • Guard's aforementioned help is something he calls an anti-sympathy packet, re-emphasizing the ghastliness of Jalen's crime, its umbral and penumbral effects. •  S.E.R.P.E.N.T. departs; Big Mac Wideload Santangeleeskees offers Casi free lodging at The Orchard. • Same movie on flight home, this time dramamine-less and tediously pomo.


CHAPTER 21Benitez and Casi realize something crucial

497|486    Casi loved airport visits when he was a 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 words desinence and incunabula]; Baby Tula video at Angus's; A/V malfunction nukes Tula video; Casi's doubt about the heist creeps back in; Brief blackout 31 hours before zero hour.


CHAPTER 22It's on.

510|499    Philosophy, Hume; Car won't start; Casi takes dead battery, via subway, to repair shop; New battery works; Necessary parking 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 loses both his mask and the return hook; [3/4 mark] Dane learns how maddeningly elusive perfection 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 to be indescribably large; DeLeon is there with the Whale! GO TIME; Whale throttles Casi, gets cooked by two stun batons; Dane finds the money bag; Landro comes up; 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 for the 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 23The next day; Blackout; Frigid.

541|528    Cold dream; Radiator? No radiator?; Alyona updates Casi 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 covers and wonders...


CHAPTER 24Angus and Casi freeze during blackout

550|537    Angus and Casi freeze in the dark together, hallucinate from the cold (cultural free associations) and ponder what appear to be their final moments; Power comes back on at sunrise. • Extra city lights are on by order of the mayor; Casi bums a ride to Mom's, enters through the window.


CHAPTER 25Casi reads Mary a rather age-inappropriate story/poem

557|544    An aging sky-Queen sends the much younger of her two princes away from their home in the sky on a voyage of discovery; In a surreal and dark eastern forest Young Prince runs away from a scary beast; He comes upon a chasm, and as he walks down into it he sees people trying 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 you can'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 of his home cloud, unaware that his mother had, only moments before, been murdered by his much older brother (jealous that mom didn't send him on the voyage); Old Prince rips mom's body's head from its torso and wears it like a mask to deceive Young Prince; Old Prince says, from behind the skull-mask, "Your older brother went down to find you. Go back down and find him." Young Prince freaks since the beast is waiting below on the vine; Mom's head drips blood exposing Old Prince's ruse; The princes fight furiously, fall down through the cloud and are devoured by the waiting beast, leaving mom's head up in the cloud to occasionally drip blood in the form of rain.


CHAPTER 26Casi prepares to defend himself

565|552    Casi vows to Toomberg that he'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" is permanent; Conley waxes voluminously on Dark Energy: "Like the universe, man is expanding exponentially, through technology."


CHAPTER 27Fretting

575|562    Manhattan snowglobe; Kramden at Angus's door tells Casi that D'Alessio stopped by. • Dane broke into Casi's apartment; D'Alessio's visit has spooked Casi, Dane reminds him that the Whale and Escalera are the only ones who could ID them; Casi wants to clear his caseload before reaping thievery's rewards; How to launder money; BOXING: Hearns wins split decision over Benitez. • Herb/Jackie/Ralph (Kramden) eases Casi's mind a bit; A stranger stops Casi out on the sidewalk: "I know what you did."


CHAPTER 14 + 7 + 4 + 2 + 1Detective Assado suspects Casi. A lot.

590|577    Detective Assado (not D'Alessio) and Casi spar verbally then go to a diner; Assado's hypothesis matches the events of the heist perfectly. • Casi writes the brief on behalf of Kingg, too emotionally; Casi dressed but feels very sick – Assado appears and confronts sickly Casi, asks about the photo of one of the roof guys and eventually accuses Casi. • In Casi's office, Toomberg marvels at Casi's brief; Casi lies to him about neck abrasions. • Assado visits Casi at work, asks him 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 Vigilantes have 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, not working on his "woman torched her kid" case anymore. • Casi gives Assado more attitude; Assado has Clerical Confessions video of Casi confessing to a multi-million dollar theft, then destroying the confessional.


CHAPTER 29One problem 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 freefall commences; Benitez-Hamsho; Hagler-Hamsho; Benitez-Moore, -Bravo, -Chapman, -Moley in MSG; Benitez-Hilton; Refusing to go quietly: Whittaker, Herrera. •  Casi visits Dane, living large in Plaza hotel; Casi refuses money for the moment; Dane: "Screw what Assado knows...what can he prove?He's fucking with you, fuck him back. Stop worrying about what his investigation can do to you, and start focusing on what his investigation reveals about him." Casi relaxes for a bit, but, as if on cue, Assado appears as Casi's leaving; They go to a bar; Assado knows more and more...knows about Dane; Casi figures it's over and is about ready to give up...but something turns....and he comes off the ropes swinging; It's a little hazy how Assado's investigation has progressed so quickly and produced so many 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 tells him to screw. Assado "Then you'll get what you deserve." • Toomberg reports that Atkins v. Virginia is going well; Conley pops in and debates Toomberg 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 guy came by looking for Casi, but he wasn't really huge and he wasn't looking for Casi.


CHAPTER 30Jalen Kingg 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 you soon  • I'll be there this weekend  • It was nice to meet you, you should write me letters; A doctor will be examining you soon  From Jalen: Thanks to you four visiting me...YoU HAVE MY BESTS iNTERSTS IN MIND...  • We found a doctor who will examine you in a few days; the Supreme Court is hearing  a case that might affect yours...  From Jalen: Thanks for Supreme Court Hearing my case...CAN YoU TELL ME MoRE ABoUT WHERE i WILL Go WHEN i GET oUT  • Supreme Court isn't hearing your case, they're hearing Atkins v. Virginia; The doctor reported his examination to us, and it sounds like you are similar to Atkins in that case  From Jalen: Something happened in general population and I was moved, can only get letters and visits from you my lawyer  • Write and tell me why you were moved, I keep asking but they won't tell me. What happened?  From Jalen: i do not think i am aloud to tell, theres no one i can ask here...even if you don't know write anyway since someone has to hand letters to me in person  • I checked and yes you can tell me why they moved you, I know this is difficult, hang in there • From Jalen: please write sum more letters fast please...i am only aloud to get letters from you • Here's ten copies so someone has to visit you ten times. I'll do this with all my letters now. They won't move you back but I'm trying. I'll also send you a copy of the brief I wrote for your case. • From Jalen: please come get me, it's dark here, take me to maple's house. PS please come get me • From Jalen: you don't have to send extra copies anymore, the guy who brings my food says you are lying the I am not going tomy old cell. Please bring frute, no matter what anyone says i will not think you are lying to me • From Jalen: i do NOT care anymore if i get out of hear realy, i know you can not come and get me i dont care anymore 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 I told you about; I will call there and a doctor will treat you and watch you closely. Melvyn and I will visit you soon, too. • From Holman Prison: Administrative form letter informing Casi of Jalen's suicide.


CHAPTER 31Absurd hearings

658|646    Judge Cymbeline postpones Soldera's sentencing, starts surreal contempt proceedings against Casi; Toomberg withdrew and Devin Quackmire now represents Casi; Casi is sentenced to apologize. • Kangaroo hearing #2, Liszt. Committee to Oust Casi Kwickly decides to fire Casi; Casi quits. • Casi sneaks home, meets Angus who has returned from Panama City, FL; Kramden was an actor named John; Citibank thermometer reads 6Ż during rainfall, meaning it's either very broken or simply displaying Celsius; Baby Tula feature film premiere; Angus explains singularities and how they explain the recent weirdness; Angus saw Time during the blackout (as did Casi); "We're all headed for a naked singularity," Angus heads back to Panama City, presumably for eternal spring break. • BOXING: Hagler – never fought again; Leonard – fought into the 1990s and 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-names in the 1990s; retirement; seizures; Hall of Fame; coma; stroke; currently in Puerto Rico at home with his mother (like when he "was her baby, and she a far stronger woman.")


CHAPTER 32 At Mom's with Marcela, Alana, Mary and newborn

678|666    [Picks up from the end of chapter 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 at all."


CHAPTER 33Strange doings on April 1st...

678|671    The first day of "life's cruelest month" [April, according to T. S. Eliot] Dane gives Casi the gold key to 402; Dane had to go underground, but he's back; Casi goes back to the office and sits 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 and sees Casi; Casi bolts for his secret egress [from the end of chapter fifteen.] On the street Casi spies Ballena walking swiftly away from him and—inexplicably—follows him. He recalls Angus's singularity explanation, stops to listen to a street musician, and when he looks back Ballena has turned and is glaring at him; They move toward each other [now remember, Casi knows Aikido. p328|317]; The singularity arrives...


Chronology (This section is a work in progress... as is, really, this entire page.)
Initally I caught a couple clues that led me to believe there were brief excursions into Casi's past, but the more I reread sections and chapters the less linear the narrative appears: Casi is repeatedly said to be 24 years old, as one might expect a young public defender to be* but he makes comments to Toomberg about the two of them serving in the Vietnam war (p361|350) and later refers to his own "quarter of a century" as an attorney (p 464|454). This of course would make Casi about 50.**

So which chapters/sections/scenes feature young Casi (Ň 1977) and which feature middle aged Casi (Ň 2002)? It would follow that anything in the Toomberg/Kingg thread must be Ň2002 (when Atkins v. Virginia was argued before the USSC), and it would seem anything involving the roomates in the apartment would have to be from the 70s since it seems unlikley that a 50 year old man would be hanging out with a doctoral candidate (Alyona), a career undergrad (Angus) and an MBA candidate (Louie), and certainly not ones that drop everything and move to Florida (as Angus says they did on p669|657). When I give the book the full re-read it demands, I'll pay particular attention to chronological clues.
- - - - - - - - - - -
* I'm guessing here, knowing little of what it takes to be a public defender apart from the basic assumption that "ya gotta go to law school." So figure, undergrad degree - finish by 21 or 22? - plus four years of law school...is 24 pushing it? Could he be 12-1 at age 24?
** Can Casi be 24 and middle-aged simultaneously? Sure; In Conley's universe. (p418|406-407) :-)

The big blackout at the beginning of Chapter 23 appears to be a composite of (relatively) recent blackouts that have affected NYC. Alyona supplies many details about it when he visits Casi at about 11:30am (p542|529). He tells Casi the power has been out for "seven hours and counting" which points to a roughly 4:30 am starting time (no recent blackout hit just before dawn). He says "all of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn" are affected ('77), and says there has been no civil unrest ('65 & '03). Note that Casi & Angus nearly freeze to death in Casi's apertment in Chapter 24, something that wouldn't likely happen during summer. Compare stats with the three NYC blackouts of recent memory:
  1. 1965. Started at 5:16pm, 9NOV. Affected NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT and the Canadian province of Ontario. No significant civil unrest.
  2. 1977. Started at 9:30pm on 13JUL, during a heatwave. Affected all of NYC except south Queens. Enormous civil unrest: looting, violence and arson.
  3. 2003. Started at 4:15pm, 14AUG. Affected all of MI, OH, PA, NY, NJ, CT, MA, and Ontario. Some looting in Canada and Brooklyn, but no significant civil unrest.

Wilfred Benitez sections

• p 69 | 61 (1st seemingly offhand mention)

• pp 212-214 | 207-208

• pp 384-392 | 373-382

• pp 432-436 | 421-425

• pp 498-503 | 487-492

• pp 583-586 | 570-573

• pp 609-618 | 596-606

• pp 675-677 | 663-665

New York Criminal Procedure Law - CPL

• 120.05 – Second degree assault. Assault with intent to cause serious physical injury to someone, and actually injuring him or a third party.

• 180.80 – Defendant must be indicted or receive felony hearing within 6 days (144 hours) of arrest, or be released.

• 190.50 – Grand Jury

• 205.30 –  Resisting arrest. Class A misdemeanor.

• 220.03 – Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree

• 240.20 – Discovery?

• 730 Exam –defendant is examined by two psychologists/psychiatrists and determined either fit or unfit to stand trial.

• voir dire – The questioning process whereby attorneys select and reject potential jurors. Also, the process by which expert witnesses are questioned about their backgrounds and qualifications before testifying.

Questions or comments, please email! 02FEB10