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corner room, the kids hushed and talking among themselves in their room, and I with the stillness of no thinking in my head gazing out the window under the Bat flag at the greenish dome of city hall.

Rap rap on the door and I go to open it to Richard Brautigan who comes in under a soft tan hat, checks out the action, spots Cassandra in the kitchen, decides everything is cool, walks once again through the rooms, tall, slightly stooping like a gentle spider standing up (we are all spiders, or ants, or something, I remember wondering, watching Richard putting his hands in his pockets and taking them out), decides to split. "Be back in a while--need anything?" "No, nothing." Out the door he goes.

It's early afternoon now. Quite suddenly Joan gets up, walks into the kitchen and squats down flat-footed on the floor with her back leaning to the wall, contractions coming quicker, Billy kneeling with her, Cassandra calm, me getting nervous--smoking cigarettes.

Knock on the door and in comes Claude and Helene with John Doss, way over 6 foot, a tower of a man with those huge gentle hands that by mere holding can take the panic from a hurt child. All of a sudden it seems we got the best. Right away he's with Joan, coat off, talking real easy, squat'd down, laughing with the simplicity of things. Claude asks me if I want to smoke some gold and lays a joint on me--I take it and put it on Billy.

People begin arriving--Tumble and Lenore, Tumble much calmer than the day before in the park loaded on acid and telling Richie Marley real anxious, "There's a warp in the continuum!" Emmett arrives. Diggers start coming.

By now the kitchen is a place of prayer--Joan in labor on the big patch quilt now in the middle of the kitchen floor and around her kneeling and sitting silent people--silent and back within listening to what silence says at self to birth.

John Doss moves in from the crowded front room every now and then and kneels his huge person down to speak quietly to Joan as he feels with those giant hands across her belly for the baby within. Billy squats Arab-silent flat-footed beside Joan, his hair long about his shoulders, staring into the thick air that holds the deep flux of his unspeaking Arab Prayer.

Now the city has darkened for night, and Geary Street outside the window crawls alive with the homeward bound. Across the street the huge sign of an auto-agency--BOAZ, in Hebrew "the lion-hearted"-- in black and white and red letters sends ancient benedictions into the rooms, and the green dome of city hall is alit as if it were a mosque removed one world and glowing not with bulbs nor candle but rather ringed with another light.

Now from out the night John and Sara and Coyote and Sam and Gandolf and Natural Suzanne and more Diggers arrive like a troupe or [end page 414]

 

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