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SHADE-GROWN BROADLEAF hand tended and rolled. $2 roach. 87-307.

PRESENT WHEREABOUTS Agosto T. Agnelli. Call Corporation security for Interpol. Reward.

STORIES, POEMS published. Perfect way to preserve memories for your children. Surprisingly low cost. Publishers rep, 87-349.

ANYBODY FROM Pittsburgh or Paducah? Im homesick. 88-226.


Banzai, he said, and drank. Listen, do you know an old guy named Bakin?

Shicky? Sure. My neighbor.

Give him my regards, he said, pouring another drink for the purpose. Hes a great guy, but he reminds me of you. I was with him when he lost his legs: got caught in the lander when we had to jettison. Damn near died. By the time we got him to Gateway he was all swelled up and smelled like hell; we had to take the legs off, two days out. I did it myself.

Hes a great person, all right, I said absently, finishing the drink and holding the glass out for more. Hey. What do you mean, he reminds you of me?

Cant make up his mind, Broadhead. Hes got a stake thats enough to put him on Full Medical, and he cant make up his mind to spend it. If he spends it he can have his legs back and go out again. But then hed be broke if he didnt score. So he just stays on, a cripple.

I put the glass down. I didnt want any more to drink. So long, Ituno, I said. Im going to bed.

I spent most of the trip back writing letters to Klara that I didnt know if I would ever mail. There wasnt much else to do. Hester turned out to be surprisingly sexual, for a small plump lady of a certain age. But theres a limit to how long that is entertaining, and with all the cargo we had jammed in the ship, there wasnt room for much else. The days were all the same: sex, letter writing, sleeping and worrying.

Worrying about why Shicky Bakin wanted to stay a cripple; which was a way of worrying, in a way I could face, about why I did.

Sigfrid says, You sound tired, Rob.

Well, that was understandable enough. I had gone off to Hawaii for the weekend. Some of my money was in tourism there, so was all tax deductible. It was a lovely couple of days on the Big Island, with a two-hour stockholders meeting in the morning, at afternoons with one of those beautiful Island girls on the beach sailing in glass-bottomed catamarans, watching the big mantas glide underneath, begging for crumbs. But coming back, you fight time zones all the way, and I was exhausted.

Only that is not the sort of thing that Sigfrid really wants to hear about. He doesnt care if youre physically exhausted. He doest care if youve got a broken leg; he only wants to know if you dream about screwing your mother.

I say that. I say, Im tired, all right, Sigfrid, but why dont you stop making small talk? Get right into my Oedipal feelings about Ma.

Did you have any, Robby?

Doesnt everybody?

Do you want to talk about them, Robby?

Not particularly.

He waits, and I wait, too. Sigfrid has been being cute again, and now his room is fixed up like a boys room from forty years ago. Crossed Ping-Pong paddles hologrammed on the wall. A fake window with a fake view of the Montana Rockies in a snowstorm. A hologrammed cassette shelf of boys stories on tape, Tom Sawyer and Lost Race of Mars and- I cant read the rest of the titles. It is all very homey, but not in the least like my own room as a boy, which was tiny, narrow, and almost filled by the old sofa I slept on.

Do you know what you want to talk about, Rob? Sigfrid probes gently.

You bet. Then I reconsider. Well, no. Im not sure. Actually I do know. Something had hit me on the way back from Hawaii, very hard. Its a five-hour flight. Half the time I had spent drenched in tears. It was funny. There was this lovely hapi-haole girl flying east in the seat next to me, and I had decided right away to get to know her better. And the stewardess was the same one Id had before, and she, I already knew better.

So there I was, sitting at the very back of the first-class section of the SST, taking drinks from the stewardess, chatting with my pretty hapi-haole. And every time the girl was drowsing, or in the ladies room, and the stewardess was looking the other way racked with silent, immense, tearful sobs.

And then one of them would look my way again and I would be smiling, alert, and on the make.

Do you want to just say what youre feeling at this second, Rob?

I would in a minute, Sigirid, if I knew what it was.

Dont you know, really? Cant you remember what was in your head while you werent talking, just now?

Sure I can! I hesitate, then I say, Oh, hell, Sigfrid, I guess I was just waiting to be coaxed. I had an insight the other day, and it hurt. Oh, wow, you wouldnt believe how it hurt. I was crying like a baby.

What was the insight, Robby?

Im trying to tell you. It was about well, it was partly about my mother. But it was also about, well, you know, Dane Metchnikov. I had these I had

I think youre trying to say something about the fantasies you had of having anal sex with Dane Metchnikov, Rob. Is that right?



Dear Voice of Gateway: | Gateway | MISSION REPORTVessel A3-77, Voyage 036D51. Crew T. Parreno, N. Ahoya, E. Nimkin.



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