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three times his due. He celebrated with Rhea that night in North Beach and lived with her while trying to find a place of his own. She was a little confused at first by his new name but began calling him Emmett after a while, like everyone else he got to know.

A cultural alternative was being tried out in America by some young people who adopted their cause with evangelical fervor in the face of the secular establishment. They were a generation utterly separated from their parents by the unbreachable gap of acid. San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district was the focal point for most of them. Unlike New York's East Village, it was empty when the longhairs began arriving in search of a community. The predominately black neighborhood was sparsely peopled with Filipinos, Japanese, Russians, Czechs, Scandinavians, Armenians, Greeks, Germans and Irish before it became the city's "West Beach," or new bohemian quarter. Old-timers and newcomers were attracted by the low rents of the houses, but that soon changed. The old, wooden, Victorian homes were quickly divided into flats by brokers looking for fast money, and who preferred renting to faggots because they were thought to always improve the places they lived in. The shopkeepers were purported to be the pulse of the neighborhood's development. They left their shopwindow lights on all night to brighten up the area, and the straights simply considered them brave eccentrics on the side of virtue.

Emmett rented an unfurnished studio apartment in a huge, wooden building owned and divided by an art dealer. The rent was only fifty dollars a month and the place was in the Fillmore district on Fell Street, below the borderline separating that black ghetto from the Haight-Ashbury love ghetto. He painted the room a soft, mustard yellow and built a bed and a long, thin worktable out of lumber he copped from a construction site. He only used the communal kitchen down the hall for coffee or to store beer in the fridge. He ate regularly at a barbecue-and-booze parlor on the corner.

He signed up for unemployment as soon as he was discharged, and when he went down to pick up his first thirty-five-dollar check, he walked over a few blocks to the Mime Troupe. His hair had filled out from the boot-camp crew cut but it was by no means long, and he was wearing a green sports jacket, slacks and a turtleneck. He seemed to attract a bit of attention and even disturb a few people when he entered the office. One of those he put on edge was the company's founder-director, R. G. Davis, who asked him what he wanted, and also, "Are you a police officer?" After Emmett smiled [end page 233]


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