so like I said the corner of Prytania and Washington there’s an above ground cemetery there and on the next block is Commander’s Palace and I don’t know if it’s still there but there used to be a PJ’s coffeehouse and that’s where we met after this after all this the sheltered upbringing coming to New Orleans four years of college the military (my title was Space System Analyst. That’s what I did in Los Angeles while I waited on my security clearance I played high-fidelity war games on computers inside a vault with classified data (that or I was playing solitaire and minesweeper)… until I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore) and then Texas a suicide attempt in San Antonio and then Los Angeles again the girl with red hair but it was before I saw Ben again I returned to New Orleans that Mardi Gras with the opening pages to the manuscript of Salted with Salt I remember the day I got the news it was published through iUniverse my dad came downstairs to vomit the chemo was making his skin burn and I had to help him because he was trying to take a shit on the dining room chair and much of this has been touched upon before in my other books some of the shit you can’t make up and then I learned to make subtle allusions to my own life the people I know and just stay anonymous The Psalmist is an 800 page tome to that fact and that’s why I don’t mind taking a look back without pretense now and you’ll see soon enough why for one thing I’ve learned working under pressure when you’re dumb enough to say: Hey, over here your own voice triangulates your position and when they see a free individual it’s gonna scare them and without freedom of speech I might be in the swamp (Swamp…) and I’m not saying this one conversation I had with a girl Ben’s girl was some earth-shattering life-changing event in fact if anyone could have heard us talk they wouldn’t have listened except now oh my God I’m using real names (her name was Gannon and I googled her the other day found a New York Times article from when she was a kid and they were interviewing parents a success at business with deep pockets and she had said then she wanted to be a writer go to Iowa but she never made it to Iowa I guess and instead she transferred to Loyola the sister college across from Tulane and that’s how she and Ben met they met at the Napoleon bar) yes remember that because how did I get from one place to the other from wandering the uptown streets north of Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras morning on a broken ankle to the Napoleon bar (did I walk or ride?) and how does this all pivot around what happened on the corner of Prytania and Washington and don’t worry I’m getting there I just want to say something about it to all those folks who like to think they’re in control because with some people it’s always about manipulation to be number one and what I want to show here is how time can be wasted getting from one place to the other because it wastes an awful lot of time having enemies but for some people that’s all they know and I guess they play the game of the head before they go to bed every night going through it all making sure everything’s cool that they’re alright with that guy and that guy guess it’s their way of counting sheep but my god they get pissed something awful when you drop the pretense and say okay I’m gonna tell a true story when I know many times before I wrote about them and they didn’t even know it because after a while you get good at rearranging names and faces drawing composite characters and you got to be reading pretty close to see the author’s reflection and that’s what I find ridiculous because I want say: You were always naked… The first time I took acid was with my father when he came down to New Orleans to tow away my broken car. He didn’t take it but we had some nice talks while watching Taj Mahal live on the levee down by Audubon Zoo and he told me stories I used later to find myself and it was those first stories (some of them about them already—my friends from that time) which I shared with her with Gannon and we had arranged to meet at PJ’s to talk about them…

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