Issue 16 : Spring 2009






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

by David Cox

14 Mar 2009

Of Being and of Earth

The sniper, a black form against the strong afternoon sunset sky of San Francisco’s Mission district, held his large Russian rifle to his chest like a baby as he rocked back and forth in a large wicker chair suspended by chains from a frame.

He sang softly to the portraits of his wife and child which sat atop the dresser in front of him.

Debe existir en algún lugar del planeta
un pedazo de tierra firme a donde nunca llegaré
Te ruego por favor me esperes

Te ruego por favor existir
para poder encontrarte en algún pedazo
de ser y tierra
Aquí en este planeta a donde
pronto llegaré

The rounds were laid out on the coffee table, standing like sentries. Between each one was a memento of his lost family. A toy car. Bullet. A silver ring. Bullet. A lock of black hair. Bullet. A small locket and chain. Bullet.

"Mi Famiglia, mi famiglia!!" He sobbed as he poured another Tequila. He doused the clear liquid.

He picked up the picture of a beautiful young Latina woman. Her eyes stared at the camera with great affection. He caressed the frame and glass softly.

Behind her in the picture was the city of San Francisco. Harrison street. Next to her a boy of maybe four years old, also smiling, holding up the toy car, the same one which was now on the table with the bullets.

A clipping from the Examiner was framed next to the pictures. The headline read: "Mission House Fire Kills Four, Mother and Child Perish in Blaze, Arson suspected."

He put the clipping down, and picked up a fresh bullet and loaded it into the chamber of the Draganov.

He peered through the sight. Pulling into focus: the logo for the Sunshine Real Estate corporation. It showed a young, white family beaming smiles, with an SUV behind them, wine bottle on the table. An ad for a luxury condo complex a block away. Bright red letters read:

"Condos, now selling for under a Million! "

Where before the pink white forehead of the billboard's central was a wide panel of color, now a half-inch, perfectly round hole appeared. A fleck of paint fell from within that hole. And then the sun shone through it, forming a laser-like pencil of gold, as if the billboard were trying to illuminate the way to some city yet to come.

Switchblade Fever

Dr. Yes was on his way to visit Sharon at her Mission apartment. Again he stopped by at the head shop on Mission to buy some rolling papers and some filters for his hash pipe. His newfound inheritance meant that he would no longer have to think twice about luxuries like medical pot, and that had meant more frequent visits to the Smoker’s Paradise.

"Why not just buy rolling papers online and save money?" he asked himself; and then the answer came in his mind as quickly as the question. Because then he could not look at the switchblades.

There was definitely something a bit off-color about his fascination with these automatic daggers laid out in severe neatness under the flouro-lit glass cabinet. Types of knives were laid out together. Stilettos next to Stilettos. Front-blades next to front-blades. Some (he was told by the more than eager middle-eastern proprietor) were disguised as standard thumb-released folding knives, but if one pressed down on one area near the front where the hinge to the blade was, then this released the spring-loaded blade in a second. This was to get around the four-inch restriction on blade length for spring-release pocketknives in the state of California.

He tried a new switchblade every week. This time he decided he would buy one. A stiletto with a green handle. Perfectly legal to own, just not to sell or not to carry. He paid the twenty-five for the blade, and the five dollars for the pot-smoking stuff and walked out of there quickly, imagining himself a kind of latter day William Burroughs on 16mm black and white, a bit sped up, clutching the semi-contraband in a brown paper bag. A police car slowed down next to him, its sun glassed black-shirted young driver staring at Yes for a second before accelerating down Mission.

Back to Sharon’s Paillard’s Place

Once again Sharon’s cat dragged its furry neck past Dr. Yes foot as he entered the basement apartment. Everywhere were cans of film, tapes of every gauge and size and type. Post-it note stickers covered everything like the result of some crazy blizzard during Fall where leaves, in the form of self-adhesive stationary, had stuck to everything in the room that might in some way or other contain audiovisual content.

Dr. Yes accidentally dropped the brown bag and the switchblade fell out between himself and Sharon’s feet.

She kneeled down to pick it up and held it, caressed it almost before holding it up to her eyes. The blade flashed out immediately and she laughed slightly. Dr. Yes suddenly had a moment of the most excruciating sexual longing, mixed with profound melancholy.

"I didn’t know that you had a thing for knives, professor!" She said coyly.

"Its for err.. an art installation I’m working on," he replied, nervously.

She smiled at him a bit too long for comfort as she closed the blade against her thigh. It gave an audible click. She handed it back to him.

"Nice," she said.

"Now, your film...? As you know I’ve put 'Further' on hold until I can really look closely at this material you provided me with. I think it would make an amazing trilogy of features about the counterculture in the 1960s, especially about the splits and alliances between the hardcore civil liberties and antiwar groups of East Bay and Berkeley versus the more middle-class lifestyle hippies of the Haight. Although the diggers seem to bridge the two extremes, judging by the literature on the subject and the testimony of those still around willing to talk about it...

He poured himself a vodka from his hip flask. She leaned over the Steenbeck. He stared at her and noticed her skin above the nape of her back. A tattoo of a moped in silhouette.

He’d not known about that. He shifted in his seat..

Now. Where was he?

Ah yes, the film...

The academy leader wound down its numbers over her smiling face as she looked away from the screen and sat in a swivel chair. He noticed her shoe was dangling from her foot from the toes.

She had started to build an assembly of the footage that Dr. Yes had given her from his fathers hidden suicide room.

“He was really into recording the activities of his friends!” Sharon said, excitedly.

“It looks as though he wanted to build some kind of meaningful archive of their activities. Its almost as though he knew the days of the diggers were numbered, and wanted to show in no uncertain terms that the events of the mid-sixties had indeed happened….”

The image of Dr. Yes father appeared, twenty years younger than his own. Naked people walked past him and he himself was naked, but for the yellow frame pendant around his neck. They all had them. The room was the large open space at the top of 992 Masonic. The stained glass window was shakily framed then a zoom out showed the room as a whole.

A baby came into view. Its teeth were shining and its face looked surprised.

I think that’s you, Doctor! You look like you need your diaper changed! Sharon froze the image.

Yes its definitely you, Doctor... I’d know those eyes anywhere. She turned then and stared at him with genuine affection....

Dr. Yes was sad, staring at the switchblade...


Dubloon Serpent Mind Fuck

Straker held the dubloon up to Dr. Yes's face.

“Look at it, Yes!!! Look at it. Its beautiful. Its... amazing. “

"The FBI don’t know what to make of it but they have asked me to keep this discovery top
secret for now. They are checking it with events they think it be linked to politically here in San Francisco."

“What kind of events….?” Dr. Yes replied.

“Matters to do with aboriginal land rights, I suspect….”

“I think they think this stuff could lead to a new contestation about whose land exactly it is we stand on here in the Bay Area …..Now, Dr. Yes…Look at this and tell me its nothing to do with the legend of the arrival of the winged serpent!!”

“I can’t and I won’t, besides, my field is geometry, not archeology, professor,” Yes replied.

“I know, I know, but look at the symbols, man!” said Straker.

Dr. Yes peered at the coin and noticed the nested marks of the pentacle, the golden section, all interwoven with the unmistakable image of the comet, and an animal which looked like a cross between a snake and a bird.

There had been that vision event in which he’d actually seen that creature fly up and away out of his room in the Haight. Then the visions of geometry, which had actually abated slightly since… he started thinking about Sharon more and more…

Straker placed the dubloon back in its velvet drawstring bag and pocketed it.
He took a puff on his pipe.

“That FBI man I told you about...?”

“Yes?” replied Dr. Yes.

“He wants to meet with you. About your late father,” said Straker.

“Really? Did he say what it had to do with?” replied Yes.

“Yes. He said only one word: COINTELPRO…."

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