The Dawn Patrol

The Winter of Frankie Machine

The Power of the Dog

California Fire and Life

The Death and Life of Bobby Z

Isle of Joy

While Drowning in the Desert

A Long Walk up the Water Slide

Way Down on the High Lonely

The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror

A Cool Breeze on the Underground



To Thom Walla.

On or off the ice.

“Going back to California,

So many good things around.

Don’t want to leave California,

The sun seems to never go down.”




Fuck you.


Pretty much Chon’s attitude these days.

Ophelia says that Chon doesn’t have attitude, he has “baditude.”

“It’s part of his charm,” O says.

Chon responds that it’s a muy messed-up daddy who names his daughter after some crazy chick who drowns herself. That is some very twisted wish fulfillment.

It wasn’t her dad, O informs him, it was her mom. Chuck was 404 when she was born, so Paqu had it her own way and tagged the baby girl “Ophelia.” O’s mother, Paqu, isn’t Indian or anything, “Paqu” is just what O calls her.

“It’s an acronym,” she explains.


Passive Aggressive Queen of the Universe.

“Did your mother hate you?” Chon asked her this one time.

“She didn’t hate me,” O answered. “She hated having me because she got all fat and stuff—which for Paqu was five LBs. She popped me and bought a treadmill on the way home from the hospital.”

Yah, yah, yah, because Paqu is totally SOC R&B.

South Orange County Rich and Beautiful.

Blonde hair, blue eyes, chiseled nose, and BRMCB—Best Rack Money Can Buy (you have real boobs in the 949 you’re, like, Amish)—the extra Lincoln wasn’t going to sit well or long on her hips. Paqu got back to the three-million-dollar shack on Emerald Bay, strapped little Ophelia into one of those baby packs, and hit the treadmill.

Walked two thousand miles and went nowhere.

“The symbolism is cutting, no?” O asked when wrapping the story up. She figures it’s where she got her taste for machinery. “Like, it had to be this powerful subliminal influence, right? I mean I’m this baby and there’s this steady rhythmic humming sound and buzzers and flashing lights and shit? Come on.

Soon as she was old enough to know that Ophelia was Hamlet’s bipolar little squeeze with borderline issues who went for a one-way swim, she insisted that her friends start calling her just “O.” They were cooperative, but

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