The Unknown: The Red Line.
  Buffalo was great, though each of us was pretty drained, in our individual ways, by the end of that wild two weeks spent up and down the Eastern seaboard.

We came through Appalachia to those territories where they fought the Revolutionary War. Here Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that crazy day in the Pioneer Valley; in the field there at Hampshire College, there Cambridge, Mass.; where a handful of underfed graduate students sneered us down; there Boston, where the Guinness was plentiful and bought by a man whose license verified his claim that he was named Gore Vidal.

Up in Conneticut, for that unforgettable barbeque with Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, the details of which we have sworn never to reveal. Though I’ll admit that DeLillo and I had a heated conversation about him always sticking personal details of my own life in his fiction. Pretty much resolved it in a positive way. Tom and Don both wanted galleys of the next two Unknown books, which was no problem whatsoever.

Into the wretched wonderful City then, into that great garden of the secular gods, of swagger and night. New York. Moments we thought it was a shitcan, moments we thought it was Utopia. Our readings weren’t what you’d call properly arranged, but we met a lot of ordinary people, most of whom were pretty cool.

Which is to say nothing of the warm greeting we received in Charlotte, how the sea whipped our hair in Savannah, the exceptional seafood, the three alligators in Tallahassee. So many nights those two short weeks. Time will boggle them, but never erase.
Audio Button
Read 9/5/98
at Mike’s House
241K RealAudio Clip

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