Issue 15 : Fall 2008





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Dr. Yes and the Mystery of the Mission, Part Five

by David Cox

24 Sep 2008

"DANCE there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?"

TO A CHILD DANCING IN THE WIND by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Gates of Gold and the appearance of Marie Morrow

Dr. Yes looked across the vast span of the Golden Gate Bridge before him, from the tollbooth side. The fog revealed, and then concealed the tall towers, and he thought he could see the spindly dull red cables, vaguely swinging in the wind. The time was right. By the time he was near the middle, another five minutes or so would have passed. He put the tip of his cane to the sidewalk, adjusted his fedora, curled the collar of his Inverness cape around his neck and walked toward the bridge's center.

Her figure was a vague grey form as it emerged slowly through the fog. She stood there looking in his direction, and as he neared her he could see her face. That face. The same one in the film left to him by his long dead father. Back then in 1968, this fresh face, full of the energy and sexual playfulness of a hippie-girl-in-her-prime, naked and bouncy on his father's bed, churlishly, flirtatiously filled him with desire and a tinge of moral outrage at the same time. There was that same smile now, on the quiet and worn visage of a woman in her middle sixties. She reminded him of contemporary posters of Joan Baez. That same post-hippie, pensioner look – earthy, oatmeal colored clothes, beads, elaborate jade earrings, silver trinkets here and there, and a shawl which covered her shoulders, and which flicked and moved, along with her hair in the strong wind of the bridge. Here she was. Marie Morrow.

"Hello! Oh my God you look just like him!" she said.

Dr. Yes could not say anything, but hugged her and they stood like that for a good 30 seconds. Thoughts of that tiny room came back yet again. That leathery face, dead, yet younger than his own when the life had drained away a million years prior.

"I made it. I promised him I would be here and here I am!!" she said.

Then she reached to his neck and revealed the yellow-framed pendant hanging around his neck. She pulled her own pendant out and brought them together. This meant their faces were very close now and with that, she kissed him. He felt her hot tears on his own cheek and felt her body shake with

….what was it? Relief?

"I loved your father and seeing you here, knowing what happened to him…"

"You mean you knew that he had committed suicide and boarded himself up in…"

"…Arcadia's secret stash room?" she said, then laughed. "We used to use that room to store the drugs, in case the cops arrived. So fitting that he should have chosen it. It is also the room where you were conceived!!

"How would you know that?", Dr. Yes asked her.

"Because, silly, I…knew…. your mother…."

"We put the LSD in our exposed film cans. Once we were busted at Arcadia, and the cops were about to open the 16mm cans and we told them that they were "opening priceless footage financed by the federal government", and that they would be answerable to the State Department! The cans stayed closed, and we were tripping six weeks later. We were telling the truth, we were making a film with grant money from Washington."

Dr. Yes and Marie walked all the way back to the Haight. In the old house, Marie showed him around every room, telling stories, recounting the heyday of the Diggers.

For Sharon Paillard, hearing her professor talk of his new experiences with his father, this new ghostly apparition on the bridge and all the other stuff made her a little peeved that he was not giving her more attention for her work. Here she was piecing together a film which already had most of the indie film circuit abuzz with excitement, and about an area of direct relevance to Yes and his research. Yet all he could do was look at the family archives and piece together his links to this forgotten Digger outfit, which supposedly used to operate anarchist services out of the Haight.

Today the Haight was largely a fashion boutique for tourists and the boringly rich, and a kind of Mecca for every panhandling street kid in America.

Dr. Yes sat at his desk in the Masonic Street house. He had decided to put the whole father/hippie/Digger stuff to one side for the time being. He stared at one of the doubloons dug up at Mission Dolores.

As he stared at the disk of solid gold (worth "as much as a garage full of new Ferraris," he had been told), the apparitions began again. Overlaid over the disc of the doubloon appeared a solid circle which became in his mind's eye a sphere. The imprint of the comet on the coin suddenly appeared to animate, like a very high-resolution computer animation of a comet from a TV documentary. Dr. Yes turned the coin around and as he did so, the sphere of milky, cloud like material before him rotated also. Then the winged serpent came to life as well and flew up from the coin and out of the window. Yes stood up to watch the tiny dragon fly in front of him in the late-afternoon San Francisco air. It hovered a while, circled a large elm tree outside the house, and then flew up and into the sky. Dr. Yes saw the comet above, bright and glowing, like a second sun.

Quetzalcoatl and the Comet merged into one. Then Dr. Yes blacked out.

As part of the city's campaign to stem the causes of violence, the San Francisco Diggers announce a 30-day period, beginning now, during which all responsible citizens are asked to turn in their money. No questions will be asked.

Bring money to your local Digger for free distribution to all. The Diggers will then liberate its energy according to the style of whoever receives it.

Money Is An Unnecessary Evil, Digger tract, circa 1968

Dr. Yes will return in the next issue of OtherZine!

David Cox is a writer, filmmaker, and artist who lives in the Mission District of San Francisco. He is a regular contributor to OtherZine. He is also working on a film version of the Dr. Yes story.

A trailer for this film can be viewed on