The fat envelope felt like it weighed a ton against her
it open with relish and quickly scanned the contents.
"What's it say, Nancy?" George asked impatiently when she saw Nancy's raised eyebrows, the black holes of her hugely dilated pupils obscuring her normally-pretty blue eyes.
"Princess Di wears into the hereafter a rosary given her by Mother Theresa," said the TV commentator soberly, as the hearse passed through London streets lined with mourners.
"Mr. Leary died of prostate cancer," Nancy said. She bit her lower lip in concentration. "The prostate is a gland in the male that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra. It contributes to the seminal fluid a secretion containing acid phosphatase, citric acid, and proteolytic enzymes which account for the liquefaction of the coagulated semen."
"Huh?" said Bess.
"There's more. Mr. Leary died 15 months before Princess Diana's tragic car accident. The night of his death, he spoke with William Burroughs. And ... well, look at this!"
George and Bess bent close. Beat icon Burroughs — practitioner of collage and cut-up fiction and author of Naked Lunch, Nova Express, and The Revised Boy Scout Manual — had also died recently. Mysteriously, right in the same package with Mr. Leary's medical records, were the last diary entries of Mr. Burroughs!
While the rain continued to fall steadily outside, the girls made a nice fire in the Drews' livingroom and spread out the strange contents of the subpoenaed package. Hannah brought them a large tray of Deviled Green Eggs and Spam, then savory slices of White Spam and Garlic Pizza, followed by Pig Newtons. Nancy, George, and Bess took turns reading aloud the cryptic entries in Mr. Burroughs journal:
May 25, Sunday
I talked to Tim the night of his death. He said: "Why not?"
May 26, Monday
We have been abandoned here on this planet ruled by lying bastards of modest brain power.
May 30, Friday
A review of life is not an orderly account from conception to death. Rather it's fragments here and there.
June 6, Clom Fliday
I wonder about the future of the novel or any writing. Where can it go? After Conrad, Rimbaud, Genet, Beckett, Saint-John Perse, Kakfa, James Joyce.... Maybe, on the basic level of truth, there just isn't any more to say.... Why go on? "The tram made a wide U-turn and stopped; it was the end of the line."" Paul Bowles at end of Sheltering Sky. Sky. Sky. I can't even write the word sky. I guess I feel — why go on?
Suddenly, they heard a loud crash in the kitchen! Had something happened to Hannah?