Home Page 2


           For information as to what this site is all  about please go to “Archive” and read the first HOME PAGE that is dated 9 Sept 09 and you’ll also find previous stories under it. This next story – number 9 – is both a few hours late in being published and it’s a short one too and the reason is because I didn’t have much spare time last week due to having to welcome a new member of the family into the world – there’s no other excuse that comes even close to being as acceptable as that one is, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
                                                                             NO RE-ENTRY TO THE ZOO.
                                                                                        ROY GARDE
         Whenever I had a temp job to go to I obviously had to leave the safety of my room but I always walked straight to the subway station and at the other end I went directly to wherever the job was. I always stopped to buy a bagel and coffee for breakfast and some kind of sandwich for lunch so that I didn’t have to venture out into the street again until it got to be time to go home.
          I am so used to being let go after a few months – due to ‘a slow down in business’ or ‘these are hard times and we have to economize’ or, worst of all, ‘it’s just not working out’ which is a catch-all euphemism for nepotism and for prejudice and for racism or simply because a girl has shown up who wanted my job so badly that she promised to blow the guy every day for a week if she’s given it – that I save all the money that I can to be able to pay my rent, and eat, through the lean times.
         When I know that I can afford it I get myself a six-pack of beer on Wednesdays, after I’ve stopped off to buy food for the week, and I always find it difficult to not visit the local bar on Saturday nights for a couple of beers to remind myself that I’m alive and that reading paper-back detective novels and watching TV doesn’t add up to having a life.
         I’m glad to say that I like boiled rice – I lived with a Peruvian family once and the rent that I paid them included dinner every day – because that helps solve both my major budgeting problem and my dislike of cooking in that I can make five cups of it in my big pot on Wednesday nights and right there I have enough carbs/starch/staple/bread-substitute, or whatever, to see me through the week.                 Twice a day when I’m out of a job, and always on the weekends, I open a small can of fish or meat and I add something green and then I put the mixture on top of a bed of rice and, because of that, they can close all the cafes and restaurants in the whole city on those days as far I’m concerned.
        I’m not paranoid about not socializing, nor do I have one of those phobias, I’m just cautious because I’m still on parole and I do not ever want to be taken back to the open-sewers that they call prisons and if I don’t expose myself to street life I can’t hardly get involved in dangerous behavior nor, as would be more likely, get roped into it accidentally.
        I live, deliberately, in an area of Brooklyn where I don’t know anybody from my youth and if I meet one of them somewhere, which rarely happens, I’m polite but evasive and I get away as quickly as I can. Life is hard and there’s little hope for change but as long as I’m out here – that is, not in there – I won’t do much complaining because it’s like comparing perfume with swamp-gas. Not only is it dehumanizing to be locked up and regimented from morning to night there’s also the constant humiliation and the rage that’s generated by knowing that you can’t opt out and do your time quietly because if you don’t join up with a gang you’ll be singled out for exploitation. That made it difficult for me because I’ve promised myself to not join up with anyone or anything again after what got me put inside in the first place.
        Contrary to the Hollywood versions of prisons – where fighting and beating one guy means that after that you’ll be left alone by all of the rest of them – it’s never one against one because bunches of them work together and they can always bring enough force to bear to subdue any resistance before it’s allowed to get properly started. I won’t go into the details of what comes after, they’re well known and besides that I desperately need to try to forget them, but I can sum it all up by telling what happened to a guy who got locked up a few days after I was. He refused to go along and keep still for the first guy, which cost him a nasty beating and he got pronged anyway, and, not only that, he didn’t learn anything from the experience because, later that same night in his cell, he threatened to bite off anything that his cellmate put into his mouth – maybe he’d seen that movie with the unpronounceable title – and two minutes later, after the brutal application of a steel pipe, he only had gums where his teeth had been and then, a minute after that, his then unenforceable threat would have been unintelligible anyway.
          What saved my sanity was the fact that there was a tall white guy, named Mark, who had been in the place about a month longer than me and who was still a favorite of the predators when they wanted to play the chicken game.
          He and I, and sometimes two and sometimes three other unaffiliated guys, would become the designated chickens but it wasn’t for anything that was remotely like a game. A dozen or more of them would take us to a room just off the laundry, which the guards didn’t seem to know existed, and, once inside, they’d make their choices.
          The rest of us would get used at least once and maybe twice but there’d always be a line waiting for Mark because he was soft and white. Afterwards we’d all separate and go off someplace to deal with it on our own but Mark always looked for me for some reason and would come and stay near me to do some crying and to share in some ranting and some cussing at the system. After a while he’d make himself stop crying and he’d start mumbling his mantra and I gradually got to understand what he was saying and in time I managed to get it all down in writing –
         “I am ineluctably secure in my own sense of being and I know my place in the world and what just happened was only another anomaly perpetrated by worthless, perverted, scum of the earth predators.”
         “I am ineluctably secure in my own sense of being – – – – – – – – – – – – – – “
         I looked up the spelling and the meaning of the long words in a dictionary – I was one of the few in there who’d finished high school so I was given a job in the library and I tried to spend all of my spare time there too – and then I used his mantra as a model to make up one that I could use –
        “I am a man and I know it and it’s those guys who are scum and rapists and homos.”
        “I am a man and I know it and it’s – – – – – – – – – – – – ”
        It must have worked because I stayed sane inside and I never had so much as a twinge of curiosity about what it would be like to do it to another guy although, given the pecking order that was always in force and the fact that some of the chickens learned to like having it done to them, there was plenty of it available.
         Five or six months ago I lucked into finding a job in a printer’s plant on the west side of lower Manhattan and, wonder of wonders, I was given a two dollar raise over the minimum wage a month after I started there because I’d learned, by observation, how to operate a specialized one-off, as they call it, press. I’d learned how to do it because when I’d done my own work I used to hang with the only other brother there, he worked in an annex on a machine that had to be activated and then fed paper just so or else it would come out a mess, and he explained to me what he was doing as he did it. He didn’t show up one day and I offered my services and they liked me for being enthusiastic but were skeptical until they’d watched me do the job properly.
        When the other guy came back they, impressed with the way that he’d taught me his job even though it meant that he might have lost it to me, upgraded him into some kind of apprenticeship in the main shop and so I got to keep his job and not for a shitty reason.             Well, because of getting the raise I brought home sixty odd dollars more than usual every Friday and so my wallet got to be heavy because I didn’t buy any more stuff with the extra than usual. On top of that, on payday a week before Xmas, they gave me two envelopes instead of one and in the second one was a bonus check of a hundred dollars! The foreman brushed away my thanks and then apologized about it being small and said that that was because I hadn’t been working there for a full year. I was already loyal to the company but that sealed it.
        Yesterday, which was a Friday and was New Year’s Eve, after I’d eaten and had cleared up I foolishly decided to spread out all of my Andrew Jacksons on the table and seeing all twenty nine of them laid out went to my head. I was rich! I had nearly six hundred dollars and was well on the way to getting a thousand. I didn’t think about what I was going to do when I got up to actually having a thousand dollars in my pocket but it seemed like a good goal to have in itself.
        Well. The sight of all that greenery went to my head and I decided to drink more than my usual limit of one beer to celebrate, and – hello! surprise! – I finished all that I had left, four bottles, and then I badly needed another one.
         I’d already put a chain lock and two heavy slip bolts on the door of my room – the door was flimsy and hollow so I’d had to through-bolt them all and use inch wide washers to give them a chance to hold – but, obviously, I couldn’t put them to use when I was outside the room so all that there was between a thief and my stuff was one of those flimsy locks that are secured by twisting a little lever in the inside door knob and so I didn’t for a second consider leaving any money in there.
         I walked to my usual bar and I bought two Buds, which, because of it being a special night, cost me three dollars each, and I took them over to a corner table. When I’d finished them both I found myself going to buy two more even though I’d promised myself that, New Year’s Eve or not, the first two would also be the last two.
        When I got to the counter I ordered two more Buds and that’s when I messed up.
         I’d used most of the bills that I had loose in my pocket to buy the first ones and so I had to pull out my wallet and I knew that it would be stupid, not to say dangerous, to show a full one in there so I kind of leaned in towards the bar so that my body shielded my hands from view and I took out a twenty and gave it to the barman.
        I realized later that I’d have probably done better if I’d turned away from the bar and let everyone else except the barman get a look at what I had.
        Seeing what the occasion was the place filled up by around eight o’clock and my corner table got to be shared by a couple who were drinking vodka and who talked quietly to each other about their taste in movies and books and like that. It sounded to me that they were on their first date and were trying to impress each other with their knowledge of culture.
        Well, I’d just taken a swig from the first of my two newly purchased Buds when a girl who was only a little bit heavier than I like them to be came over and asked if she could take the vacant seat and when I gestured that she was welcome to it she sat down and she told me that she’d seen me in there a few times but that I had never so much as looked around to see who else was in the place and from that she’d guessed that I was married and also that I didn’t fool around. I told her that I wasn’t married and that the only reason that I kept myself to myself was because I was always nearly broke so what was the point of looking around for company? She asked me if I’d buy her a beer and in answer I slid the one that I hadn’t yet touched over to her. After taking a healthy pull at it she put it down and told me that she’d always wanted to meet me but because I’d never so much as glanced at her she couldn’t give me a smile and an invitation to get to know her. With that I looked more carefully at her and saw that she was a bit darker than me in skin color and that she had a nice face and a helmet of tightly curled shiny black hair. She was wearing a low-cut blouse that had frilly things at the top that were transparent and so I could see about a half of her breasts in plain sight and another inch or so through the gauze which meant that only maybe an inch above her nipples was covered properly. When she leaned forwards, just so, I got to see those last inches along with the jostling that was going on and it caused a stir in me every time.
         From what she’d said and from what she was showing me I knew for sure what I’d already suspected and that was that she was one of the bar’s whores and by knowing that it meant that I didn’t have to try hard to butter her up and put on an act, like the other two people at the table were doing and like I’d had to do with girls when I was in school and afterwards before I went to jail.
        We talked back and fore and we got on fine and she laughed easily.
        When we’d drained our bottles I got us some more and as she went on talking I began to think about buying some of her time but the thought of paying her whatever she charged – she was young and presentable and so an all-nighter with her, and I had no use for anything less than that, would have had to run to around two hundred dollars seeing that it was New Year’s Eve and all – hurt me down deep and so I reluctantly decided against it.
        When I’d finished my beer I stood up, awkwardly, and I told her that I’d better go and I was astonished when she said that she’d come with me. She stood up too and whispered into my ear, “If it’s OK with you, that is, but don’t worry man, this’ll be a freebee ‘cos I like you and this is New Year’s Eve, right? Let’s celebrate it properly.”
        In my condition of neediness I could only shrug in embarrassment and smile in acceptance of her kind offer.
       We worked our way through the mob of drinkers to get to the door and then she pulled away from me to go up to a table that was to one side of it and I saw that the guy who she was talking to was a thin, very dark dude who was sharply dressed and had a fine display of bling and who, after a moment or two of listening to her, looked me up and down.
       Outside, I asked about him and she said that he was her pimp and that she’d told him that she wasn’t going to work any more that night and that she’d see him the next day.
       To make conversation as we walked up the street she told me that his name was Tyrone Trapper but that everybody called him ‘Blades’ because he always carried a knife on his belt and two more of them in ankle sheathes. She told me that she’d loved him at one time and that that was why she’d started working for him and she wanted to move up to being a call girl but couldn’t because he kept telling her that she had to stay with him for another few months to pay off his investment. I asked what investment was that and she only shrugged.
       The building where I live calls itself the ‘Hotel Cedar Grove’ but it’s only a rooming house. It’s got six rooms – more like cubicles really – for rent on the first floor and another floor has six rooms on each side of a central passageway and there are another six of them on the top floor. The rooms are about twelve by maybe fifteen and they all have a kind of closet which has a toilet and a sink with a cold water faucet in it and they all have a window, with a small steam radiator under it, and there’s a naked bulb hanging from the center of the ceiling. There’s also a small table and a chair and a bed that has a gray-painted angle iron frame.
        Just inside the front entrance to the ‘Hotel’, and above the front desk and scattered throughout the building and on the inside of the door in every room, there’s a laminated notice that has a long ‘NO’ stretching down both sides of it and in between them there’s a list of what’s prohibited and they all start with ‘no’s’ too so that means that there’s a triple negative present which brings you back to ‘not allowed’ I guess.
        Listed are –
                           ‘No women; No visitors; No guests; No children; No pets; No welfare recipients; No unemployed; No instrument                                     playing; No loud TVs nor Radios nor Record Players, etc.; No cooking in rooms; No hot plates; No eating in rooms.’
       Across the bottom it says –
                          ‘The main entrance is locked shut between midnight and six a.m.’ ‘Rent is payable in advance and is due every Friday.’                                                                                           ‘NO EXCEPTIONS.’
       The way they work the ‘rent is payable’ thing is that when each guy comes in on Friday afternoon, or night, he’s expected to hand over his one hundred and fifty bucks right then and if he has any kind of excuse it’s brushed away and he gets the warning that Saturday noon is the deadline.
       The next day at around that time delinquent ‘guests’ get a visit from the owner and his nephew, who is a nasty looking guy, and they knock on the door and say eight words, “Rent. A hundred and fifty. You got it?” If the answer is anything different from, “Yes, here it is.” Or, “Yes. Wait a minute and I’ll give it to you.” or like that, they bust their way in and then – right on through excuses or pleading – they put all of the guy’s belongings in his suitcase or bag – or in a cardboard box or some shopping bags if he doesn’t have anything else – and he and his belongings are escorted out to the side walk.
       The owner mans the front desk all day and everyday from seven in the morning until six at night and then another guy, also a relative, stays behind it until midnight at which time he locks the front door and then sleeps until six o’clock in an alcove behind the desk.
       When we got there the guy at the desk – he calls himself, ‘Night Manager,’ no less – shook his head at me when he saw that I wanted to bring a woman in but a ten got him to change his mind right away.
       When I’d closed the door of my room behind us, and had fixed all the locks, she used the bathroom and when she came out she immediately started to get undressed. I could find no quarrel with that and I wanted to watch but because my bladder was insisting that I take the pressure off it I went into the toilet and was as quick about it as I could manage which wasn’t very fast because I had to piss in the sink seeing that I couldn’t bend my dick at all nor tilt it enough to get it to point all the way down into the toilet bowl.
       When I came out I saw that she’d switched the overhead light off but it didn’t matter all that much because there was street light coming in through the window.
       The first time I did it to her it took me about two seconds to finish, after I’d gotten all the way in, and then it took what seemed to be a full minute before I stopped coming into her. She did some nasty cussing while it was going on but there was nothing that either of us could do except wait for my reservoir to empty.
       There was no question that she had to go back into the bathroom to deal with all that fluid and while she was in there I realized that she hadn’t even mentioned a condom and I thought, ‘What kind of a ho is this? Not only doing it for free but bare-back too!” and I’m ashamed to admit it now but I was stupid enough to just accept it as good luck for once and I didn’t do anything about it.
       Well, besides that and in defense of myself, her body was really fine and soft and that’s my only real excuse.
        In hindsight I have to believe that it was her expertise, and not her guilty conscious, that made her decide to make our first time get to be over as fast as possible and it wasn’t to make it memorable for me.
       When she came back she said, “Man! Now I believe what you said about never fooling around but don’t you ever jerk that thing off? Your stuff poured out of me for a hell of a long time.”
       She got back onto the bed and because it wasn’t possible for me, much as I wanted to, to do some nice, friendly kissing much less go down on her – she was a whore after all even if I wasn’t paying her – I just held her close but a minute or two later she pulled away and moved on down herself and blew me for a while and when I got hard again she came back up and put her head on the pillow and she said, “I want this time to be special for me so go real slow, please.”
        I don’t know how special it was for her but it sure was for me.
        I went really slowly as requested and she made soft little noises at first and then she started to groan loudly and I told myself that that has to mean something but she just stayed wide open and didn’t move her ass at all which should have told me something else entirely. I still ask myself to this day – just how many signs did I need, for crisakes?
       Because there wasn’t nearly as much urgency in me that second time I was able to enjoy it more but then, inevitably, I wanted to see and touch more woman than I was doing right then – it had been a long, long time – so I reached down and grabbed her ass with both of my hands and I rolled with her until she was on top of me.
      My idea was to get her to straddle me so that I could watch her body do some bouncing around and could reach for her nice tits while she was working away for me.
      Rolling with her meant that I had to be concerned about both of our positions, so as to not get uncoupled nor fall off the bed, so I wasn’t alert to my surroundings nor was I much aware of them in general anyway because I felt safe knowing that my slip bolts and my chain lock were in place.
      However, my peace of mind got to be altered drastically after I’d completed the acrobatics because she started shouting loudly at me, “No. No. What the fuck? Let me go. No. No. No. No.” and she struggled really hard as she tried to pull my pinioning hands away from her ass.
      She’d only just got the last of that string of ‘No’s’ out before she screamed in pain and then stiffened and then collapsed. A dead weight, if ever there was one.
       I quickly realized that we were very much no longer alone and when I turned my head to look around I saw that the intruder was Blades, her pimp, and that he was right then trying to pull his knife out of her back but couldn’t because of grief or panic or shock or through having used up all of his screwed-up courage or simply because the knife was stuck in bone. I got out from under in a hurry and then I pulled at his other arm and got him to fall onto the bed and then I pushed his ho’s body over towards him and held him trapped underneath it and then I remembered about the ‘s’ in his nick-name and so I pinned his left leg and I reached down to its ankle and I pulled out the knife that was sheathed there.
      Its handle was rounded but it was as slim as the blade was and so it was a shiv or maybe a throwing knife.
      I couldn’t get at his chest because his body was under the woman’s so the only thing that I could do was to drive it into his nearest eye, like in that movie about the Russian mafia in Brooklyn.
      He immediately saw the point and got to be as still as the woman was.
      When I succeeded in getting myself moving again I got up and pulled some clothes on and then I fixed a beach towel over the window and then I put the overhead light on. I’d expected to see a whole mess of blood but there was very little. I guess that the knives that were still stuck in place were holding it back. There was a trickle of it falling from the guy’s eye but it hadn’t yet reached the pillow and there was nearly none of it coming out of the woman’s wound.
      Well, there wasn’t much blood but there sure was voided shit in plenty and its stench was already filling the room so I opened up the lower window as far as it would go which was about one foot. The top part was painted solid shut and hadn’t been opened for maybe fifty years.
      I had long ago rigged an extension cord from the light socket to be able to plug my TV and my hot plate into it and I put some water on to boil to make coffee, not having anything stronger,  and as I waited I breathed through my mouth and kept facing away from the bed. When I had a mug of it in my hand I sat down near the window – luckily there was a cold breeze blowing inwards through it – and I tried to think.
      First off, I thought up ways to get the bodies out of my room but I soon decided that that wasn’t on.
      My TV was a small one with rabbit ears and I could only get four channels on it but they all ran those CSI shows, or something like them, and I could also get repeats of NYPD, which was my favorite. What I can never understand is why all of the women on just about all of them are as good looking as film stars and have nice long hair and heavy make up on always and, strangest of all, show a whole lot of cleavage while they’re working at their day jobs! I’ve seen a lot of women cops and none of them have added up to much and not one of them ever showed so much as a hint of bare tit.
      Also, on about one in three episodes of CSI when they all get to be stymied a just discovered new technique with its special instrument would turn up that could do exactly what was needed to help them solve the clues and so, when one of the other shows could have used the instrument to solve a case, I wanted to call up and tell them to contact the Miami, or the New York, CSI and ask them where they got theirs.
      Anyway, that aside, because of what I’d seen on those shows I knew how to cover up what’s happened at crime scenes and the double-murder scene where I was at right then sure did qualify.
      What I came up with was that because Blades’ fingerprints were already on the knife I could leave it, as is, but I should wipe the shiv’s handle and then press the woman’s hand on it so as to leave her fingerprints there.
      As I was moving her arm I realized that a better thing to do would be to put her hand on it and have it stay like that so that’s what I did.
      I figured that the police wouldn’t care much about a whore’s murder and still less about her pimp’s and that they’d settle for it being a weird double murder in which the permanent occupier of the room was only a bystander even if he might have been the instigator through looking for a piece of prohibited, or unpaid for, ass.
       I realized that they might well find traces of my semen inside her but I couldn’t think of a way to do anything about that and I just had to hope that she’d splashed it all away after the first time and that when her sphincters had let go her piss might have washed the rest of it away too. Why don’t those CSI shows mention that little point I wondered and, come to think of it, why don’t they mention the terrible stink too?
      Thinking about the semen question made me realize that not much sex could have been involved between the two of them on the bed seeing that Blades’ pants weren’t down, so, to add something that might confuse the cops, I moved his ho’s body to one side, not a pleasant job, and then I unfastened his belt and zipper and pulled his pants down to his knees and then lowered his underpants too. While I was doing it I saw, although I tried hard not to, that his dick was about as big as my little finger. I left the conjecturing about that for another time and that time hasn’t come yet.
      I rearranged the bodies as they’d been before and then went back to where I could start breathing again to do some more thinking.       Blades had a beautiful diamond and gold wristwatch on that I would have loved to own and I was sorely tempted to take it. Also I had a thought or two about checking out his wallet and about taking the rest of his bling but common sense told me that the right thing to do was to leave everything where it was where it would grease or ease the investigating cops’ zeal from carrying out a full background check on me and my movements or at least, if the cops were honest, it would rule out robbery and maybe bend the decision making towards a weird and unfathomable double-murder love and sex thing.
      I packed up my stuff and as I did so I realized that the two bodies being there didn’t bother me as much as I would have supposed and I guess that that was because I just couldn’t get my mind around to understanding the thinking processes of the two worthless pieces of shit who had set me up and were ready to kill for a roll of bills that was worth less than a tenth of the value of his watch alone.       ‘More. More. More.’ I can understand but taking a life for such a relatively small amount of ‘more’? No. That I can’t figure out.
      I needed air so when my bag was packed I sat by the window again and thought some more and it came to me that the door lock on its own wouldn’t hold up anybody for more than a minute – and anyway the owner had a master key that would open it – but if the slide bolt was in place that would make them have to smash in the door and that would give the cops something else to ponder on.
      Well, I’d bought a hand-powered drill and a pack of tools in a 99c store – two small screwdrivers and two bigger ones and a small adjustable wrench – when I’d had to install the chain lock and the slide bolts and so I got them out of the table drawer.
       I freed up the housing of one of the slide bolts which let me pull the bolt part clear and I roughed it up on the inside by putting it on the floor and then banging the biggest screwdriver into it with a cast iron frying pan that I’d muffled with a dish cloth. After that I slowly and quietly drilled a hole in the wooden door using the biggest bit that was in the handle of the drill and then I put some cooking oil on the bolt before reassembling and replacing everything and then, with the door open and me on the ouside, I practiced using the thinnest screwdriver to poke at the bolt through the hole that I’d drilled so as to get the bolt to slide across and, when I was sure that I could do it and was ready to leave, get it to slide on home.
        I left my hot plate where it was but I took my TV and put it on the floor outside the room of a guy I sometimes had a beer with and then I went back and I put my bag out in the passageway.
        I twisted the little lever in the knob and then pulled the door shut and I used the small driver to move the slide bolt over and into its closed position.
        I then found some dirt and some fuzz on the floor, there was plenty of it there believe me, and I spit on it and made a ball and then pushed it into the hole that I’d drilled in the door and I rubbed at it until it was flush and hardly noticeable. When they’d come and had had to smash in the door the hole would probably get destroyed or at least distorted and would go unnoticed, I figured. And hoped.
        I carried my stuff down the stairs and continued on down to the basement and to the rear fire door. It had a panic bar on it and a big sign that said, ‘EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY. THE  ALARM WILL SOUND.’ I pushed on the bar and the door opened and the alarm did sound as I went out and into the alley but I didn’t bother to run because I knew that the night guy wouldn’t get there for two or three minutes and I’d be in the street and out of his sight by then.
       I decided to catch the subway to upper Manhattan and go to a church that lets the homeless sleep inside in the winter or, if they no longer allowed that, come back down to mid-town to that church on Fifth Avenue and try my luck there or at least get some sleep on the steps outside and then, in the morning, look for a room that was near to my job and close enough for me to walk back and fore between them and that didn’t pass a bar on the way.
      When I was on the train I realized that the cops would make the ‘Night Manager’ tell them when and who I’d come home with and at what time had Blades ‘asked’ to be let in but then I figured that if a few days went by before a really strong smell forced them to take a look in the room perhaps the ‘Night Manager‘, who was shit-scared of the owner, might have had a total memory lapse by then.
      But then I also realized how easy it would be for the cops to get my name and, from that the address where I worked, because I was already in the system, and so, besides wanting to question me, they’d tell my P.O. about my ‘consorting with known criminals’ and that alone would get me put back in one of the hell-holes.
      Black despair at the thought of being taken back there told me that my hanging around New York was not on so I decided to get off the subway train at forty-second street, where the Transit Authority is located, and buy a full ticket for a seat on a bus that was heading for California and would go through the tunnel to New Jersey and then get on Route 80 and stay on it for three thousand miles.
      Some of it without me on board.