Hello again. I have given Nessy your words and she was happy to hear from you. Now she resides in a lake in Scotland. I now reflect upon my past in nineteen-hundred-and-ninety-four, when I was but a young pirate full of dreams, I heard that the lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, had killed himself. This saddened my being, the rocker pirate I am. So I ask your opinion on his suicide?
Anonymous the Pirate
My Dear Anonymous,
Much am I pleased by this to-follow-up missive; so rarely do I receive closure in my correspondence transacted via this column.
So Nessy is now in Sir Walrus Scott's Land! What great distances some do travel! I do suppose it stands to the reason, recalling her fondness for tartan plaids and viscera. And yet further she was happy to hear from me? What great and wonderful relief. I sigh a great 'Ivan Ho!'
Do you know of her current employ? Has she found a life- and help-mate who can to her be better a friend than I did manage in our adolescent years? Perhaps she has married Scott, and thus become Queen of All She Surveys? I would be a feckless or sycophantic tongue-wagger if I were to claim that she had the visage of a Princess (either of-the-fantastic(k)al-tales and perfect or of-the-true-world and inbred), but certainly her's was a steadfast and noble personality which could impress any Impresario of State.
If you should be again passing through Scott's Land, and should so happen to see my once and future Nessy, do not hesitate to encourage her to "drop the line" to me, and see all that I have achieved—if you were to perhaps, in passing, note that I was once the President of these Still United States, I would not become angry with you.
As for the Curt Co-Bane (as opposed to the more loquacious members of his Clan Cobain) his untimely demise was certainly une perte musicale, but it was no suicide. It is a well known fact that left-handed musicians—like lefthandedmen por lo general—do not die natural deaths.
"What?" my good friend and neighbor Donny MacPherson (of the Clan MacPherson, I now wonder? Of merry old Scott's Land? Nessy Queen of Scotts, Clan Cobain, Donny MacPherson of the Clan MacPherson—such coincidences do bear further, if separate and later, investigation) did ask when I explained this to him, pausing in his Free Throw of the Basket's Ball (woven, as it is, of the hundred hides of Hoggoth!) so that he might listen with full attention. He trapped the ball betwixt his left elbow's crook and hip, and turned to face me full, "What are you saying?"
"Hey!" Jarwaun called, angered at the perturbation in their game of the que baloncesto mano-a-mano, "My Pop gonna be up soon, then we gotta go!"
"Shush, J., I wanna hear this."
"Left-handed men of fame," I repeated, "Always fall to foul play, like MacAbel struck down by the withered left arm of MacCain."
"Damn, Donny," Jarwaun sighed, "Everyone know that. Where you been?"
Donny did turn and gaze upon Jarwaun, "What?"
"Left-handed folks always die of foul play or crazy accidents. Like Tupac: left-handed, shot by Notorious B.I.G. in the World Trade Center."
"Or James Mason Hendrix," I indicated, "Poisoned by agent provocateurs of the Eff-Bee-Eye."
"Mark Twain," Trael piped up.
"Yuh-hunh," Jarwaun nodded, "True that, T. Samuel Clemens," he enunciated the name carefully, "He was killed by Thomas Edison, on account of a promise Edison made to President Abraham Lincoln."
I recoiled involuntarily at the terrible mention of that hated name—The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!—but none noticed, and I shook of the Fear afore I shook it off.
"That's crazy," Donny said, "You're telling me a teenaged Edison promised a dying Lincoln that he'd kill Mark Twain 50 years later?"
Jarwaun rolled his eyes, frustrated by Donny's blind obstinacy, "No, dummy. He used his 'special phone,' the one he stole from Alexander Graham Bell, and talked to Mr. Lincoln from beyond the grave."
Trael shook his head sadly at Donny's ignorance as I nodded my own assent.
"Is there some display at the Henry Ford Museum that I've missed all these years or something?" Donny asked, but the dubiety was clear in his voice's uncertain course.
"It is the plain truth," I told Donny, "President James Garfield," I reminded him, and the color dropped from Donny's thin visage, and the basket's ball slipped from the cradle of his bent elle's-bow. It struck his left foot and scooted away into the lackluster hedgerow.
"A southpaw," Donny said in wonder, "Shot in the gut by a lawyer who wanted to be an ambassador to France. Shit."
It was his turn to shake the head.
There was a pause which hung pregnantly in the July air above the basket balling court. A weakening breeze attempted to stir the links of the chain net of the basket-which-cannot-hold and then quite.
"Shit," Donny repeated, "I'm left handed."
I nodded of my headsac once, curtly, having already come to this conclusion. "Best to be careful, then. It is a world of vipers, Donny."
So, accepted that the Curt Cobain did not die of his own hand, it is nonetheless the case that I, too, do find myself nostalgic for his musical stylings, at turns raucous and plangent. It was for this very reason that, one week past I was much excited to learn from Editor Dave that the haunted steel of the Mackinac Bridge might be for sale to interested parties. I am told that, driving across the bridge on a still day, one can hear the groans and laments of the damned in the thrum of the steel grate decking. In a high wind, their weeping, gibbering laughter echoes betwixt the cables. Coupled with an amplification circuit of my own design—plausible similar to Bell's "special telephone," although the degree of similarity is both unclear and entirely co-incidental—might be used to listen in upon and record the goings on in that Gig of Lost Souls, in which Hendrix and the Curt dual of their heavenly banjos, accompanied by Charles Chaplin's left-handed fiddle, John Dillinger's lazy backbeats and the syncopated, mellow brassiness of Napoleon's adored fluegel horn, Josephone.
Alas, as is clear, I am somewhat shy of the wherewithal which once marked and characterized my Architeuthic Empire, so the likelihood of acquiring the Bridge's steels-for-wheels seems slim at best, an impossible dream for the fugue-ish wakefulness of a sleepless dreamer like myself.
"So you're saying," Donny interrupted agitatedly, "That if we get your amplifier working, we can get Twain and Jimi and Kurt to lay down a few tracks and find out whose going to kill me?"
I doubted it greatly, but had pity for Donny in his state of extreme anxiety and duress, "It is quite likely," I indicated, "That after their demise, these sinister-handed men-of-ways-and-means do gain, with their enhanced perspective, a greater understanding of their murderers and the Sinister Cabal which conjoins them. This is a topic they might choose to sing upon. It is not unlikely at all."
"Then let's do it!"
I sighed through my vocoder, "The steel, Donny is not within our means—"
"What about," Donny said desperately, "What about . . ."
"We gotta go," Jarwaun said warily. "C'mon Trael."
"Pop's probably up. Let's go. Check you later, Donny."
Donny was headless, "I mean, what do you need it for? The steel? Like, do you have to melt it fill the flux capacitor or something?"
"For the antenna, of course."
"OK," Donny's eyes had grown wide and round, "OK," he nodded, "Got it. Like tricking out the rabbit-ears on an old black and while with coat-hangers and tin foil to boost the reception. We can do this."
"But we cannot," more than a little of the whinge had seeped into my PA, "For we have not the funds to purchase and transport the bridge."
"The mountain wouldn't come to Mohammed, Mr. President, so Mohammed went to the mountain."
"I see," I replied sagely, but despite my optically-perfect eyes, I truly did not. As such, I did feel quite the fool when Donny explained to me his "road trip" plan. So, let lift your heavy heart, you Nameless Thief of Mercy, for in not more than a fortnight's time, you shall hear from your beloved Curt Cobain again.
Your Giant Squid
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