Windfalls: Chapter 12 of ‘Mmmerican Waterloo0

by Richard Oxman

“The wind stood up and gave a shout.
He whistled on his fingers and

Kicked the withered leaves about
And thumped the branches with his hand

And said he’d kill and kill and kill,
And so he will and so he will.” — James Stephens’ “The Wind” (1915)

“…to know which way the wind blows.” — *Subterranean Homesick Blues* (1965)

To the south of Essaouira, due west of Marrakech, there’s the windy beach, the one with gusty winds so strong they drive people to relief in *madness song*, seeking shelter in the medina.

At the estuary of Wadi Qsob, on the far side of the beach, vestiges of the system of defenses built on a rocky promontory by the sultan, silly/senile Sidi Mohammed, are visible. They crumbled long ago, but thick walls can still be made out at the spot where Good Al stood August 7th, one month to the day of 07/07/07, before meeting up again with his off-road mates.

He moved quite a distance south along the shore for a much-anticipated rendezvous, absent-mindedly humming something from *Don’t Look Back* — beckoning parking meters, leaders and weathermen — hypnotizing himself (with the full cooperation of the moist northeasterlies), when he suddenly burst out — probably in response to fear of the overwhelming waves facing him, crashing on rocks (drowning cocks?) — rock ‘n rolling its biting, hypnotically incanted hopscotch snot lyrics, a songster weilding a verbal sledgehammer, exploding.

Alone, unheard. Unheard of in those parts.

He wandered back to when — just a day before — he had trekked through Zagora’s dry, hot southwesterlies, wondering how he had come to see himself as a persecuted Kafkaesque martyr, surrounded by “users, cheaters, six-time losers.”

Then the wind, raging and cracking like “cataracts and hurricanoes,” snapped him back to the windsurfing he had *anxiously* agreed to…with his “Hummer Holiday” companions. They were only a hundred yards from him now (fast-approaching, drunk with pathetic power), but they might as well have been all the way back at the recently re-opened, rennovated riad, an hour’s drive away.

Where…at the multiple-starred Palazzo Desdemona, Bad Al was bathing in a quiet corner that had been created just for reading…in a very elegant bedroom…which shared a wall with one of Big Al’s moronic mates. A lamp had been carefully arranged over a crewelwork-upholstered chair, where wenge-and-mirror wardrobes ranged across the width of the room, increasing the feeling of space, horizontal bands of linen draperies accentuating the room’s proportions.

Malone had *also* resolved to go windsurfing that day, and was so enveloped by fear too…that — upon picking up his beach gear (to face his debilitating phobia, the injunction of his self-help book) — he smashed a beautiful antiquarian clay figure over a wenge radiator. Intentionally.

Then he left for His Windiness as if he had done nothing.

Swoosh! The monogrammed “AMM” handkerchief, stuffed inadvertently into his beach bag, blew skyward. It became the bouyant balloon out of that French children’s film classic, bouncing here and there, out of reach, a life of its own to assert, no string attached. *Read* by no one…until it landed on the lap of another person with the same initials.

High as the highest minaret…and beyond. Wan accessory for blowing, not knowing wherefore to go, not above hanky-panky.

It flew and blew down the P8, past Tamanar and Tamri, almost to Agadir where souks were being set up…beyond the Atlas. Souks that Good Al’s allies would have given their rightwing arms to mow down mercilessly. And had actually talked about in that poisoned vein.

Undetectable, delectable traces of mosquitos and sand clung to what stung our trembling Good One, just in the nick of time…to save him from joining his mates in the murderous waves, calling “Now! Now!”.

“No way, no how,” he copped out for the moment. “You guys go ahead. I’ll join you in a sec. I want to look at this thing first.”

They ran off, the muscular no-fear Hummer hunks, teasing the Good Malone with feeble taunts and jibes such as “Al believes in omens!”…”He should go to Oman!” And so on.

But though he initially was using the hanky from the heavens as an excuse, the ruse gave way quickly to an actual observation of the blue “AlMM,” a real interest in the white cloth…once he turned it right-side-up. It jogged something true.

He saw it as “MMM,” not white against blue or anything un-new. Unforgettable blackness, blue beyond belief in anything positive, sweeping, weeping blues.

“Do something, Al!”, his mates baited him from the shore.

But he was stuck with what felt like some twisted kind of *luck* that he couldn’t quite put together. Or was it opportunity of some sort? For that one moment he knew, but down he forgot.

No open window he could visualize explained the oddest of serendipitous breezes directed his way. Al Martin Malone would ordinarily be AMM on a hanky…for everyone. Good Al never owned a monogrammed anything, but he had often fancied that if he ever did go that route…he’d use *AlMM*, not what most people would expect: *AMM*.

He couldn’t help but wonder what the odds out of Las Vegas would have been (if they hadn’t closed down last week!) on a) someone named Al Martin Malone choosing “AlMM” over “AMM” for monogrammed initials, b) two people with *similar* names (elements) to work with choosing the same configuration, and c) such a *convergence*, for want of a better expression, landing in his lap.

Good Al let go of the initial (inexplicable) “MMM” flash (which had so unsettled him), but he was unable to relax his muscles for quite some time; he had the distinct impression that he was experiencing some metonymic Alzheimers.

His vision was surely of the foreground only, he thought, the lonely sense of *the whole* being missed setting in, as the sun began to set; he became obsessed with getting with the gestalt.

By the time “Good AlMM” reluctantly dipped into the Atlantic, Bad Malone was already getting saltwater splashed, lashing to and from among *his* beastly buddies…riding waves that would eventually — that very day — make them collide, the Big One sloppily slashing his own wrists (seriously) with a too-long thumbnail from a clenched fist.

Deleriously he bled till he went to bed. While Matilda, much much closer than he could possibly have dreamt (in his wildest), grimaced and ticked her night away in a bed of perspiration…under a fan that wouldn’t work…behaving as if she were playing the lead role in a film of *The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat*.

They both remained motionless in their individual, very separate spaces, places, plagued by paralysis of intuition, inklings emerging…only to submerge immediately. They both knew they were close to something, on the verge of a life-changing epiphany, but they could only stand gazing straight in front of their emptied selves…*with eyes as pale and unwavering as a gull’s* (just like in Beckett’s Malone Dies).

Improbable? All or some of the above?

No more than the fate of the hanky held by Iago…in the face of The Moor.

No mo’ so than Jimi Hendrix masturbating to his own music on the shores of Essaouira, making fun of Vietnam hippie protesters while propagating a radical(ly different) image.

No more than suggesting that there were intimations of intimacy between Spade and frigid Brigid in Huston’s *The Maltese Falcon*, that the Gent from San Francisco had the Humprhey Hots for Mary Astor or vice versa. That Sam faced a *crossroads* at the end.

No less likely than the lobby attack in *The Matrix* leaving almost every column destroyed, riddled with bullets. I mean, not after a bomb explodes in an elevator…flames erupting in the same lobby later…the columns somehow having been restored.

Or…consider the case of Richie (in *Mars Attacks!*) who reaches home (with a superimposed line informing one and all that it’s Thursday, May 11th in Perkinsville, Kansas), offering one and all “fresh baked Monday” doughnuts…to which his mom replies: “Monday?! That’s six days ago!” Do the math.

One doesn’t need to resort to Probability Theory…to know which way the wind blows.

Initially, I intended to delineate the *top ten thousand* plot quirks, indiscretions in famous flicks and novels, but…who has the time ‘midst these crimes of the centuries? How cute it would be…so Vonnegut…so Robbins…so Pynchon…so SB (depending on exactly how it was handled), but…this IS a work with a sense of urgency, after all.

So we can’t go on after…all.

And, besides, after all was said and done, Alice Matilda Murphy-Molloy (or “AlMM,” as her name read inside of the overnight camp panties at age ten, thanks to grandma’s sewing) banged into Large Lambert (nursing a Hummer bruise) poolside at Palazzo Desdemona…the Big Al cohort with the shared (Bad Al) radia wall. All of which takes some time.

Just like the killing of a pig.

(Pause) Breathe deeply. Soueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

In the fall, when butcher Large Lambert partook in a period of joy, the harvest of a year's work culminating in sadness…when the lives of his beautiful, healthy animals had to come to an end, he treated his doomed piggies with the same kindness and respect with which they were treated during the whole of their lives. A good farmer, Good Farmer Alvin Lambert-Brown raised all of his animals free from fear, anxiety and stress. Everyone of his animals met their end as they lived, without the terror of the slaughterhouse. With peace.

He could say the same of his women. All of them.

And after he was through with The Great Matilda, behind the deep brush (adjacent to the pool), on rooftops in Essaouira, balling against the debased basement wall down the road, and so…on and on…on top of her, entering from behind (ignoring her cunt — *that trump card of young wives* — as only a butcher could), making her squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeal, squeallllllll!, she would have done much more than *second the motion*, semen or no semen. Ordinarily.

For there was plenty to go around…and around. Enough to make one dizzy with release.

He had set *ten* as the number he wanted her to reach…and he drew out the last one, phonetically, and in every other way, his dentures rattling in the cup by the window.

The Good Butcher Alvin still felt a strong adrenaline rush when he slit gullets and other tender swine parts. So he had to make a special effort to not wind up at such times…and when — since it was so much the same for him — when in the midst of another’s orgasm.

When the temperature only reaches 40 ° (Farenheit) during the day and the pasture is no longer adequate feed, it is time to butcher. It was way over that in the delicately decored bedroom, drapes dripping, and subliminal instinct took over for our farmer.

He directed his strong feelings into doing the job right, instead of letting his emotions get the best of him and botching the job. He sized up Matilda as quite the satisfied squealer, pig in her proper place, penned against the window (overlooking the pool) for number 10.

But he was fooled, for *el chillido numero diez* (”Now la ventana, bitch!”) came…from her observing Big Al walking in from the seawater, blood dripping from his windsurfer’s wrist, not from Alvin Ecstasy, the touchy *feel work* of Farmer Lambert-Brown.

Richard Oxman,, hopes readers can see Matilda looking out of the window, reaping the *windfall* of Big Al’s unexpected presence in Morocco; unlike the case with most novels, they don’t have to care. Regardless, he’d like to have the word put out…that he’s interested in hooking up with a pen and ink person, for the purposes of collaboration…prior to the presentation of this work to…anyone abroad…or here.