Originally appeared in the Boston Book Review. Date Approximate.
Her body slowly adjusted to the fact of the Archbuilder, its walking and speaking, scuffling in the dust, seemingly made of scraps, stage props, but alive, cocking its head curiously like an attentive dog, moving around the truck now beside the unconcerned men. She stared, perfectly still, fighting the urge to run. In one sense the Archbuilder was nothing, a joke, a tatter, too absurd to glance at twice. It seemed pathetic that they'd honored this thing with their endless talk, back in Brooklyn. That Caitlin had wasted her breath. At the same time, the Archbuilder burned a hole in the world, changed it utterly.
"Girl in Landscape"
HB: There's a bit in "Gun With Occasional Music" in which you have Freudians going door to door:
A neatly dressed woman in her late twenties or early thirties stood in the doorway, and behind her a young guy in a suit and tie was walking up the steps. "Hello," she said.
I said hello back.
"We're students of psychology. If you're not too busy, we'd like to read you a few selections from Freud's "Civilization and Its Discontents."
. . . "Thanks no. I'm not a believer myself."
. . . I could see the guy in the suit already sizing up the next house down the street as I closed the door on them.
HB: It's a wonderful set piece, Freudians peddling "Civilization and Its Discontents" as if they were Jehovah's Witnesses. But you don't follow up on it.