00330315

He corrected me as soon as it came out of my mouth, perhaps before. “Bono, I’m Bono here,” he said. “And you’re Newt — we can’t change that.”

“But Peggy –”

“Peggy Smeggy.” He took a breath. “You don’t understand the implications yet. Darkside is *here*.” He looked me square in the eyes now, black inside black. He wasn’t evil but he came from a place of called Intensity. In Mississippi I believe. Very focused in his tasks, he was.

“So… you brought them here.”

“Yup,” with the “p” emphasized with a pop. I reviewed what I knew. I thought he was Nemo but he said he was Bono. Bono Jores, fresh from the bowels of Mississippi. Or was it Arkansas? Anyway, he presented me with the book; said it was the way out. He did this now.

“This is the way,” he said, scooting it toward me. “The Way.” He scooted it closer. “Open in the middle and start reading.”

“I–,” I started to protest. Closer. He even opened it for me, eyes still boring. But he was no Sherwood Anderson. Or was he?

—–

3 hours later — sunset — I finished the book that was the same as 1/2 a book. Everyone had left in the meantime, Bono to my right and Peggy Gertrude to my left. Peggy was still here with her friend over at another table in the establishment. And that’s where I headed next — to give her the good news. All was not lost.

The convincing took a while. Her hometown was still gone; I led with that. But there’s *another* hometown coming up where gravity’s not as much up in the air. “Aerial,” I said, and demonstrated with my hand.

(to be continued)

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