“Who would bronc bust their pages around for 40 years?” asked someone in the audience.
“Whitman,” answered Chick.
He put the driver’s license in his wallet. “Why does it say I’m from Vegas?”
“So people don’t figure out who you are and take advantage of me,” said Lehman. “I’ve got something else for you.”
Lehman was carrying more clippings than usual this vacation. Erving watched patiently as his father searched his suit. The search was delayed by stops to read several of the clippings.
“We are going to send you to one of those Waspy New England prep schools soon.” said Lehman. “You should go to New England on your trip and look at them. Pick one out you like.”
Exit from Elsinore Naval and Military School? Another stunning gift. Erving’s mind spun like an Bell slot wheel loaded with jackpot symbols.
“And after you graduate there, we will send you to Harvard,” said Lehman naming the only elite Eastern college he could remember. “Or Dartmouth,” as another name had popped into his head. “Because you’re so smart.”
“Everything Waspy?” asked Erving. “Prep school. College. What about Jehovah?”
“He’s incompetent.” Lehman eliminated the divinity from his grand hotel and his son’s life with the same awesome authority he had used to page his son as Captain Chick Evans, promote him to 16 years old, and dismiss a favor stalker with a scribbled slip.
Finally Lehman found the clipping he was looking for. “Take it with you,” he said. It was a picture of a teenage Spike, a handsome young athlete with a crew cut and a modest smile. Below the picture was the story of Spike’s shooting 58.
“Thanks, Pop.” Affection flooded into Erving’s chest and washed away his stores of sarcasm with turbulent waves of gratitude. He knew his father couldn’t have a lot of time for any single person, not even his son, because so many people needed Lehman. Lehman was an attraction for an amazing parade of interest. You had to be around it for a couple of days to understand how intense and sustained it was. All the movie stars and V.I.P.s, they thought themselves the star everywhere, but they were just cameos in Lehman’s life. Lehman was so much more than the head they worshiped in their mirrors. The President of Turkey and Elvis, they were only spirals of smoke rising from the fire of Lehman’s cigar.
“Look at this,” said his father catching on to his son’s admiration. He showed him the red lined score card on the other side of the page. “Look what he did on the back nine.”
Erving felt his father’s arm on his shoulder as Lehman pointed out birdies and eagles 1 by 1. His breath was all over Erving, cigar pungent, yet sweet.
During moments like this Erving was like a comet coming to the sun after a deep orbit through space. Most of his dark other life was spun out in an ellipses so long it almost merged into a straight line during its cold winter verso in military school.
Now so close to Lehman, he was burned by his father’s charm and powers, and he did what mammals had done with their love for their fathers since it had happened 1st in the time of squirrels or dolphins or monkeys or wherever it started. He made his father his god.
“Plant 1,” Lehman said, handing the magazine to Erving and pointing to his whiskery gambling-all-night cheek as the location for a farewell kiss.
Play reading pinball in Jake Nevada where 2 kinds of gamblers compete for your approval. Physicists gamble their lives while jakes shed money with disdain. Find out what they are trying to mean when you roll across illustrations towards the 4 argent moons of indelible romantic attachment.
The >H paperback gives you hand fashioned art illustrating action at the instant of reading it. And adds photos from the story’s era which unwind their own seeing. And decorations in red graffiti from readers who came ahead of you spreading sarcasm and mysterious glyphs across a narrative glamorizing ambitious men and women of 1950 absorbed by the 3 great Nevada entertainments.
- Huge colored light
“Do you find old thoughts everywhere you look? Want some new ones? Here is a legend of beautiful ideas finding super-normal personalities spiraling towards an ending loaded with sense.
>H is a story you will think about when it is lying inert next to your reading chair, and you are out struggling with the same old sh^t in your life.
Go back to your chair. Pick up this read again and love it until you get to that ending. Then love it some more. Wouldn’t you like to get romantic about a book one more time before you die?”
Don’t be confused by my name from another life. The only thing which gets engineered in the world of >H is the thought beneath the sights and words.
Better Than Heisenberg, ePub
Her skin was brilliant with her sexy Persian melon glow. Last night when she’d been albino white, her breastbone had turned red. It had looked like neon tubing beneath her pale skin, lighting up her chest with a diffused glow. (“Oh, boy,” had been her opinion during their movements then.) Now the same soft glow was all over her body, but in Persian melon orange instead of red.
“You fill my head with dirty thoughts,” he said. “Why are you so smart?”
“Come on back to the Dog,” she said. “I’ll show you smart.”
“Will you 2 make your sex deals somewhere else,” said the superstitious goren next to her, putting the finishing touches on his wafer temple to the nasty gods who ordered playing cards. “Some of us are here to concentrate on our cards.”
Noreen turned to look at him.
“Imagine taking a game seriously whose most difficult feature is the requirement that you be able to count to 21,” Noreen gestured at the felt layout with toxic scorn. “You must be a very special person.” She turned to Spike. “He possesses an intuition so powerful it can compel the hostile soldiers of Chance to abandon their weapons and line up to suck on his knee.”
“I wish to speak to the manager,” said the unshaven mouth. “I’ll talk to the manager.”
“Why don’t you go get a manicure 1st.” suggested Spike. “You can’t shake hands with the manager using those fingers. A shave would do no damage either. You want to meet the boss looking like a drunk?”
Begin your fall through Jake, Nevada with this all black print on white background. With no illustrations, no graffiti, no photos, this edition is still a story you have never dated before. >H is no familiar girl wearing a different dress and the same hair as your last 30 efforts to take paterson’s daughter out of her underwear and into the secret corner of your cortex where the real reading happens. This one is rather like reading a public domain reprint of Bleak House, except Chick and Dickens are not the same thing.
A difference which usually solves in favor of Dickens, but, Hey!, who wins that comparison anyway. Here in electronic >H the reader who can go only slightly higher than free will discover that some writing doesn’t need anything beyond Elizabethan black and white.
Like Homer said, “We call this sh^t fiction, but it is real.”
To which Yeats added. “They say this is a novel, but you can find some truth here.”
So do you want to gamble? Or do you just want to waste time.
Better Than Heisenberg Kit
Viner lectured all the news hungry people who might be watching a kid’s show in the early morning. (6 jakes wearing red blazers on a group bender, maybe?) Phil thought back to his enabling idea for the H-Bomb.
Weeks ago his formula had exploded out his mouth and attacked Starzinchger like a poisonous bug. Now he was taking a rodeo ride on that purple bug. Phil and this huge widow-maker were bucking around Jake on a Nevada holiday. They were becoming the same inseparable one thing.
They had frog walked onto tv, but the lack of payload in their 6 jake audience was shriveling them into a much tinier insect. The purple air lobster with its Physics star rider had imploded into a small purple fly of science celebrity. And where the hell were they? Their arrival on tv felt a lot like landing on the hot lens of a Jake searchlight.
Phil listened to Viner compounding his beautiful physics into something ridiculous.
He felt as if he and his bronco bug were side-winding across a scorching searchlight glass while blistering light diminished them into a shimmering black dot. Perhaps the bender jakes in their matching red blazers would see a tiny silhouette at the top of the white column in the sky and get the warning that Jake was about to combust itself.
But their lobster bug wings were vaporizing on the searing lens of the searchlight. Viner preached more strange religion science. The charred bug and physicist genius burned completely away. Only a blank chip of high light was left to spin across the roiled clouds of a heroless Jake night. Phil’s celebrity had turned into a lying star of Bethlehem luring 6 stupid wise men to a free prime rib dinner and some gambling.
A bit spendy, this gift offering, because it has trinkets ripped right from the story, and its own special cover, all offered in a wooden box which looks like it might be full of gorgeous Havanas. Click on the > to see some of your over-priced souvenirs and your special limited production new cover.
But don’t buy this until you are rich and famous, and all your friends and family have everything they need, and you want to confuse the sh^t out of someone you have a deeply ambivalent affection for. Or maybe you want one before the price goes to $500.00
Better Than Heisenberg, Hardback
The drive north had taken the beautiful Nash along a corridor of ascending mountains. As Viner, Spike and Noreen waited for the burst where they had stopped on a lesser peak, they could see how Nevada had hunched up behind them in a huge spinal column.
Far across the great lunar sea of 52, the sun was rising above a tongue of clouds when it seemed to explode.
They were wearing the special goggles which Viner, a veteran of nuclear tests, kept in his glove compartment. But despite the goggles the incredible spreading of light nearly blinded them. The sun, a small brilliant disc they had been able to stare at directly through the goggles, came rushing past Mercury and Venus, and up the horizon to Nevada, coming so fast it was as big as the sky in an instant.
Frightened, Viner turned quickly to look at Noreen. There were a hundred tiny lines on her cheeks, and between them, 1,000s of little flakes of dead skin. He could see the minute skin chips with incredible clarity. He looked out the windshield of the Nash. The small scratches on the impeccably polished pearl-grey hood showed as fine white rivulets of wax.
“What is all this God-forsaken light?” Viner screamed.
For an instant the light dimmed slightly and he could see all the mountains around them. He jumped out of the Nash. The light came back up to its powerful bleaching intensity. Spike and Noreen jumped out, too.
Noreen walked stupidly towards the huge achromatic fireball, it had a shape now, it was a mammoth cloud of light climbing the sky like a balloon. It had grown so large and yet was still so near and low, it reduced the momentous humped back of Nevada to a few grey nuggets of dirt spread across a dusty desert floor.
“It’s not, don’t, don’t” Viner heard himself jabbering. He realized he’d been shouting from the instant the sky had turned into light. “Don’t, oh no, no, not this.”
“The mountains look small,” said Spike. He sounded far off to himself, feeling like he was admiring a Hudson River landscape in a New Jersey museum.
The toroid cloud of light seemed like a comet struggling to fly. The strain of lifting off was draining its energy because it lost brilliance as it labored upwards. It sparked with a luminous purple dirt. It was dragging an incredible train of smoke and ash up into the sky. A white halo formed about the sparking ball of purple and silver green. The column of dirt looked like a primitive animal brain stem shooting up into the roiling tormented cloud above it, bloating it until it began to resemble human cortex. It was a couple of miles high now and growing horizontally towards them.
“The article in Mercury was right,” Viner said. He’d fallen to the ground with shock over what he was seeing and found himself now babbling from the seat of his pants. “It’s a volcano. They’ve crushed through the earth’s crust.”
The bomb had ripped a hole in the earth and its guts were coming out. A minute passed. The cloud climbed until it was 6 miles high. It was growing towards them as fast as it ascended. Purple, in a rich pleasurable hue, was the color of death, and his own death was coming towards him right now in a noxious cloud of speeding gases. The sulfurous smoke the article had said would be the result of a chain of volcanic eruptions was curling over the desert floor like surf. It would wash a burning suffocating death over them soon.
The 3 of them looked back and forth between the cloud’s terrifying advance and each other. Without speaking it, they knew they shared the same startling thought. Not only were they dying, so was the world itself. It had been punctured to its volatile core.
This first edition of >H has a terse complexity which shows well against a paterson copying James M. Cain but as genuine as a drag performer operating a Sophie Tucker song.
Click to Buy,
But Try The Other Sh^t First
>H is more than a book about growing up mistaking the bizarre for normal. It is a hundred stories imploded into one narrative about Jake, Nevada, a strange civilization which flourished in 1950s much like Troy flourished in 1180BC before the Greeks arrived with their hostility and generosity.
Watch jakes and physicists contest a modern Trojan war in a narrative not limited to print. The story grows across this website, blooms in photos and illustrations throughout the paperback, and spills red graffiti everywhere between the lines.
When you wander like a Jew of proverbs around the many worldly experiences of >H, you may think, at first, it’s puzzling to have so much swirling around like gut bacteria trying to digest something huge; but that’s not a problem when each part is its own entertainment, related to all the other parts but needing nothing beyond itself to make it intriguing.
During such tumbling down an edition’s pages and reflecting on clues at the website, you should ping Chick with a new >H illustration. Or reform one of Chick’s improperly twisted sentences with a snapshot of your screen. Or bleed new graffiti onto to his monitor.
And let >H spin around the slot machine of your reading mind until the moment you win the alignment which aggregates all the artifices of >H into an emergent creature greater than its parts.
That instant might be the argent appearance of 4 moons in a black sky.
Want to Waste Time?
Learn how to think in >H
Don't Like Reading?
Try figuring out >H in pictures
Want to gamble?
Non lethal game playing
What Readers are Saying
“Better Than Heisenberg” is beyond words; it is a colossal collection of science, gambling, romance, love, society, all banging into each other and exploding like a chain reaction you suspect continues out into the cosmos after the pages end.”
Gerard R. Roche
Bombing in Las Vegas
“Chick is onto something here. In a sense, the arid, dusty plains of southern Nevada of 1950 was the arena for the foundation of the turning point of the twentieth century along crucial metaphyiscal axes.”
Philip H. Kozloff
“This book is like nothing else out there. Chick’s description of human nature’s desire for excitement, fame and greed are wonderfully displayed in his characters.”
Great Modern Novel
“This book is a great work about life in a midwestern gambling town (a.k.a. Las Vegas) during the high point of fascination with the atomic bomb. The novel takes you through a series of amusing and thought evoking events in which you meet some unforgettable characters.”
Better Than Heisenberg
>H is entertainment fiction answering the persistent question, “What goes on in a gambling town?” It is illustrated with colored graphics (drawn by Robert A. Nelson, a winking modern Leonardo), photos from the 50s, and red ink graffiti by the reading public of Portland, OR.