The bones are outside a lobster restaurant. A beardy old man crouched on an upturned beer crate. He wore a brimmed hat and held a bamboo stick and dangling from it with a piece of string this plastic cup. His cardboard sign in marker pen said: Help me catch a fortune. As Soup carried on walking I pointed my camera. One shot and he mumbled and people at tables in the window watched me say: Got no money.
. . .
I took a pic of a burned down house. I saw a man in a Venetian mask that had a penis for a nose. I went in Tower Records on Market Street. I got Abbey Road on cassette. Then I thought Evan Dando strolled by as I went to the Peaks where there’re winding stone alleys that I’ve seen replicated on GTA San Andreas. From the hillside I saw how Market Street cuts thru the city and I saw the Pacific and the waves in the sun looking silver or white or gold. I was resting on a wood bench when a guy spoke. He sat and we were talking. He was a soldier who’d fought the Gulf War. His girlfriend was a speed addict. Soldiers risking shit for politicians, I said, mad. Hadn't thought of it like that, he said and then asked: You never been in the desert? His car was parked below. He drove me to Sutter, the hotel.
. . .
Granddad Cottar sat next to the hearth, Nan by the telly. Not seen you in two years, she said. Why you not been down? I forget my reply. And forget it too when Granddad on the edge of the chair said: People get shot in America, they’re crazy. A few minutes later he also said: You don't want to be taking them drugs. At his feet lay the false-hand he used for driving. But by then I never noticed the nub on the end of his left arm, which as a kid I used to touch and it felt soft and was because in 1972 on a British Leyland assembly-line his hand was chopped. The last image I have is when I said I'm into reading James Joyce and the beginning of a word came out of his mouth but not the end.