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he was sort of press agent--public relations liaison man for them and the other civil rights groups, as well as being the man behind Stokely Carmichael, writing his speeches among other things, and on and on.

Emmett could clearly hear the guy's hunger pangs in the anxious sound of his voice. Abbot had been working in the "movement" for over ten years, always in the background, while others reaped the glorious laurels of fame, and now he was approaching his fortieth birthday--within a few years he was actually going to be forty fucking years old!--and nobody would ever have heard of him!

"The guy must fall asleep with fantastic dreams of grandeur every night," Emmett thought, but he didn't think it mattered to him one way or another, and so he accepted when Hoffman invited him inside his pad for a beer. Once they were there, Abbot continued to profile himself as a heavyweight who also knew his way around the East Village, all the while hinting that he would be a good man for Emmett to work with. But even though it was true that Emmett didn't have a tight working partner in New York City, he had no intention of getting next to Hoffman, at least not that way, anyhow. The guy did seem more than enthusiastic and energetic enough, however, so Emmett agreed to work with him now and then whenever something relevant came along to benefit the Lower East Side community. And that was Emmett's mistake. He didn't know it at the time. He might have had a slight inkling, but he really didn't know that he was making a serious mistake in getting involved with Hoffman, in allowing Hoffman to get involved with him. A blunder that he was only to discover he had made after it was far too late to rectify.

They were into their third or fourth can of beer when Emmett became buzzed by the juice and got trapped by his own ego and began riffing about what he was into on the West Coast and hoped to get into on the Lower East Side. He also rapped heavily about the importance of anonymity in getting things done, and Hoffman loudly agreed before he started to quiz Emmett, picking his brains for the secrets to the Diggers' style and their keys to being "political hipsters." Abbot carried on his interrogation like a cop, intently searching out clues, trying desperately to understand what he'll never understand.

The next day, Emmett compounded his initial mistake by stopping by the Hoffmans' ground floor pad at 30 Saint Mark's Place and dropping off a load of San Francisco Digger leaflets and Com [end page 343]


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