USW: Tip the World Over on Its Side

Session 22

Monday, January 24, 2011

In between contacting other people about the auction, Leah receives a phone call from Clark. He indicates that he was unable to retrieve anything from the blanket, but that he should be in the area if she’s available for him to return it. She says she should have a little time, so Clark agrees to swing past her house. After Clark returns her blanket and the two make small talk, Leah asks if it’s actually possible to buy and sell years, and Clark confirms, indicating that The Dealer can probably do it, although he supposed to be able to do many things — the tales say he can bring back the dead. Leah also tells Clark that her father is probably in Algiers, and Clark asks if she plans to go after him; she doesn’t fully know what she’ll do just yet. After further conversation, Leah offers him a drink. One thing leads to another, and eventually Clark and Leah find themselves in her bed.

Meanwhile, Kevin uncovers the door in his room, but leaves the boards nailed across it. Then Kevin and Felicia wait on the porch for Otis to get home. When he arrives in the late afternoon, Kevin and Felicia indicate they have something to discuss. Kevin proceeds to explain that the world is a bit weirder than Otis knows. After entering the house, Kevin shows Otis the extra door in his room. Otis sits in shock for a while before asking more about it, and Kevin explains that there’s a hidden world; he and Felicia know about it, as do Jones and Leah. Mabel is also aware. A lot of weird stuff goes on in this secret world. Kevin also indicates that Felicia caught an intruder in the house earlier, and this person apparently came from beyond the extra door. She was surprised and defended herself, but it resulted in this person’s death. Incidentally, Otis should probably avoid the bathroom until the situation is resolved this evening, when somebody comes around to move the body. Felicia, Kevin, and Otis agree that Otis probably shouldn’t be around when that happens, so Otis and Felicia decide to spend the night somewhere else. Kevin slips them $100 and says he’ll see them tomorrow. Afterward, he again runs out to the hardware store to purchase some wood and locks so that he can build a box symbolically representing his house and ward it against external intrusion.

Jones takes a brief nap and then meets Eli at a local bar. They discuss matters; Eli’s from Kalispell, MT, Jones is local. Jones asks more about his philosophy and his choice to derive power from the gun, although Eli doesn’t seem to see it as a choice. Eli describes the gun as a lever that changes one’s interaction with society, potentially making one an authority figure or a pariah. In this case, though, it equalizes personal authority and governmental authority. Jones brings up Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asking if Eli has ever actually read him, and he indicates he has not. Jones recommends it, and Eli notes that the gun is for those without other leverage; for Dr. King’s purposes, he had an economic lever. What if it’s only a small group of people, or a single person? Firearms might make a more effective lever in such a case.

After further conversation on the topic, Jones brings up the SovCit sticker on Eli’s truck. Eli then launches into his philosophy: the United States government, propped up the military-industrial complex, is illegitimate. Its temporal power comes from human collateral as evinced by the 1933 abandonment of the gold standard and the 1936 Social Security Act; its esoteric power comes from the gun. The counterbalance to the former is reclaiming the “straw man,” as he calls it; the counterbalance for the latter is reclaiming the gun.

Jones politely says Eli’s given him a lot to think about, and takes that as a good time to excuse himself. He says he’ll be in touch.

Back at home, Jones calls Detective Willett. He gets her voice mail, but she calls back in a few minutes. He asks if she might be available to meet; she says she can probably manage something in a couple of hours. Same Starbucks as last time? Jones agrees.

After Clark and Leah are finished with their amorous activities, Leah notes that she has a voicemail message and a text message. The text is from Kevin, noting some ritual idea he has. The voicemail is from Bex, asking if Leah can accompany her because her normal chaperone for a photoshoot fell through. If she gets this by 4:30 PM or so, call her back; otherwise, she’ll catch up with Leah later. Leah figures she can get back to people later, and continues to spend the afternoon with Clark.

Jones is awakened by his phone ringing. It’s Jane, and she indicates she’s being followed. She’s currently hiding out in the bathroom of a restaurant, and is Jones available to escort her out? After asking about the man following her — Jane doesn’t know him, he looks rather like a scruffy-headed hipster, he’s been following her for a couple of blocks before ducking into this restaurant after her, but he doesn’t appear to know she’s in the bathroom — he says he’ll be right over.

When Jones arrives at the bar, he quickly spots a man sitting at a table who clearly seems to be looking for someone. Jones heads to the back and knocks on the door to the ladies’ room, announcing his presence. Jane answers and the two of them walk out. When the man moves to approach, Jones interposes himself and rebuffs the man by acting like he misunderstands him and thinks he’s a waiter. When the man persists, Jones indicates that they’re not interested. The pair leaves.

Jones lets Jane know that he’s expecting another call, but he can talk with her for a bit before he has to go. They duck into another restaurant, and after some small talk, Jones segues into whether or not Jane is afraid of flying. He uses that as a jumping-off point to recommend she speak to Mabel. Jane says she doesn’t really know her, and would probably feel more comfortable with Jones making an introduction, but Jones says she’s pretty easygoing. Jones is interrupted when he receives a phone call from Detective Willett, saying she’s ready to meet. Before he leaves, Jones says he hopes to see Jane again, and recommends speaking to Mabel. Jane says she might take him up on it, and asks for her number.

When he meets with Detective Willett, they leave the Starbucks to go walking around the block while he describes his problem in a roundabout fashion. She says she can make some recommendations, although if he just wants the problem handled without worrying about other police officers encountering him in the middle of things, she probably knows someone who would be willing to assist. However, she knows her associate is in need of a pilot sometime soon, and would probably want Jones to assist as payment. Jones asks for details, and Willett excuses herself for a moment to call her friend. Returning, she explains he wants someone to fly a seaplane to Tijuana so he can hunt down a fugitive without officially being registered as having crossed the border. Since rental places usually require licensed pilots to rent, Jones would have to put the rental plane in his name, although her associate could reimburse him. After some thought, Jones agrees. He calls Kevin to see if strangers coming over to his house to move a body is acceptable, and he agrees. Detective Willett says she’ll be in touch, and the two part ways. Jones heads back home to hopefully nap.

Within an hour or so, Kevin hears a knock at the door and is surprised to see an older man with gray hair and a mustache accompanied by Detective Willett. An umarked police car with an open trunk is parked outside. He greets her with a bewildered, “Detective Willett?” and she indicates she’s here to pick up his parcel. He directs her to the bathroom, and they head in that direction. She surmises Jones did the wrapping job. They heft the body out of the tub, quickly place it in the trunk, and as her companion gets in the car, she notes that they have not been formally introduced; she’s Detective Patricia Willett. She surmises he was Jones’ friend in the precinct station the day she first approached Jones, and says she’ll no doubt see him around.

That evening, Leah receives a call from Bex, who sounds rather distraught and disoriented. She asks if Leah can come pick her up as she doesn’t feel very well. Leah asks where she is, and she replies she’s outside 811 Wilshire Boulevard. Leah says she’ll be right there, and proceeds to call Jones for backup.

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