Is There a Smart Martin in the House?: Chapter 13 of ‘Mmmerican Waterloo0

The Boy In The Rubble
The Boy In The Rubble

by Richard Oxman

While the police were high-fiving themselves, and jiving the public around with their low-profile profiling underground in major cities around the country, a new kind of baby stroller was introduced into the the nation’s subway system…and elsewhere.

The one that carried a bomb in the baby carriage.

Meanwhile, Big Al’s carriage and Bad Al’s carriage changed quite a bit down roun’ Al-’Ayun around the same time.

Their *marriage*, following Malone’s knock on Good Al’s Desdemona door…ostensibly to apologize for the slash in the windsurfed sea off Essaouira, was a shock to their collective systems; suddenly they just wanted to be alone with one another.

But when they ventured into the Western Sahara, Morocco’s illegally occupied territory, to escape…Matilda followed in disguise. That would have shocked them even more had they known.

“Not even the rain has such small hands,” whispered Good Al, in appreciation. “I like Cummings too,” dripped The Bad Malone.

> “It was a slow day
And the sun was beating
On the soldiers by the side of the road
There was a bright light
A shattering of shop windows
The bomb in the baby carriage
Was wired to the radio
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry

> It was a dry wind
And it swept across the desert
And it curled into the circle of birth
And the dead sand
Falling on the children
The mothers and the fathers
And the automatic earth
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry

> It's a turn-around jump shot
It's everybody jump start
It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts
Medicine is magical and magical is art
The boy in the bubble
And the baby with the baboon heart

> And I believe
These are the days of lasers in the jungle
Lasers in the jungle somewhere
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires and baby
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry”

The two Als had very different reactions to the radio’s lyrics, but you’d never have known it to see them cavorting, farting and sharing hearts together. Certainly, Matilda, straining to hear whatever she could circling their large tent, couldn’t have guessed there was any contrast whatsoever.

Her surreptitious observing wasn’t easy, taking place ‘midst the searing heat of the Sahrawis homeground, and the obligatory, natural questions the indigenous people had respecting her odd behavior. But she pulled it all off gracefully, entering their midst with the cover of concern about the robbery of their phosphates, tales of the raunchiness of Kerr-Mc-Ghee (with wondrous stories about Karen Silkwood, who she actually did know as a youngster), anecdotes about the disingenuousness of the U.N. Security Council, foul-mouthing of disgusting Jim Baker injunctions, her astute analysis of the *true* functions of the four self-managed camps near the town of Tindouf, Algeria (for Sahrawi refugees), a show of unprecedented respect toward the Shaykhs (indigenous elders), and her ability to spin a filthy joke with Moroccans at the butt.

Big Al’s butt was all but the most beautiful thing Bad Al had ever laid his lap on, and Matilda — bursting with a desert desire to penetrate what was really going on — couldn’t wait to learn more. But…she had something else to occupy her in the interim.

She had snagged a small package out of Malone’s room back is Essaouira, and as she drank her sweetened green tea each evening, she went through a very unusual ritual…in preparation for the opening of her contraband.

The atmosphere was clogged, however, by the vibrations emanating from the Boujdor Block — the 27 million offshore acres being explored day and night by Karen’s killers, “the Silkwood shits” — and she had been experiencing warnings…urging her to wait before going through Bad Al’s belongings.

Meanwhile the two Als laid back and stretched in ecstasy in Laayoune (which is what the Moroccans call Al-’Ayun), never once talking about who they were…even what their names were or why they had come to The Land Off Of The Canary Islands.

The singsong dialect of the westernmost Sahara, Hassaniyyah, enveloped them, whilst inside their *wired tent* goat meat and heart kabobs blended with the breezes.

The Great Matilda continued to explore her tiny little corner of Greater Morocco, when –suddenly — a little bird spoke to her. A House Martin to be precise, quite out of his normal pre-winter element (which is what caught Em’s attention), collecting mud for nesting.

She could open the package. It was okay now. T’was how she thought of the prospect.

“What’s with the Graco Metrolite?,” she wondered. *Cosco Soria* was followed by *Bertini M5 Steerable*…which was followed by four others.

She made a cellphone call to find out more about the *BOB Sport Utility Stroller D’Lux (Blue) ST0511*, however. To ask a few questions, in general.

For she had just gotten wind of a horrifying report from the bad-off bad ‘ole U.S. of A. And it seemed as if someone had just handed candy to a baby.

Malone was regressing, but he wasn’t stressing. He simply wasn’t being careful…like he had been all his life. Not as observant, messing up.

In making up for what he had been missing most of his life, he hadn’t noticed the package missing when packing for the trip to Africa's Last Colony.