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Oliver Benjamin                            
quash that hypersensitivity with alcohol or drugs, this kid seemed
eager to exploit it.
After the confrontation with Colin, he and Yak walked from the
beach inland to a bad neighborhood, two nomads traversing an
eastern wasteland. After a couple hours of strolling they rested on a
bus bench by a nudie place called “The Mobius Strip” (OPEN 24
HOURS. THE STRIP NEVER ENDS), outside of which were gathered
assorted pros in work dress.
“Money,” the boy grumbled, “Money has become everything, a
symbol for everything. It’s stripped the world of all of its meaning.”
“Unlike the old days when people stripped for cattle and wheat,”
Yak imagined.
“Hey Izzy,” a fat prostitute called out to the boy, “How about a
“So that’s your name,” Yak noted, “Izzy. Short for Isaiah?
Ishmael? Ezekiel?”
“You can call me whatever you like,” he replied. “No,” he called
to the hooker, “But thanks for the offer.”
The woman and her friends laughed. They found him adorable.
And maybe he was, here, in this corner of the city where the refuse
was swept. It seemed as if he had love and respect only for the
lowliest; even the Undergrounds crowd had been too upper crust for
him. After all, they had territory. He was like a young Partment only
even more intense. If such a thing were possible.
“Hey, you guys wanna buy some smack?” a sweatsuited young
man approached them with studied swagger.
“No,” Izzy replied, “But I’d like to talk to you about the
consequences of selling heroin,”
“Huh?” the man said.
“Maybe we could sit down and have a little man-to-man.”
“You’re on the wrong street brother. Gay tricks are three blocks
“What I meant was, I’d like to talk with you about your soul.”
“Shit,” the man groaned, “There goes the fucking neighborhood.”
He spun around and took off down the street.
“Nice try,” Yak shrugged.
The sky was darkening. Yak knew what was coming. He had been
watching the weather like a distant lover spurned.
“We’d better get home,” he said. But Izzy refused.
“I’ve got things to do.”
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