SECTION SEVEN
SM
COLUMN FORTY-EIGHT, AUGUST 1, 1999
(Copyright 1999 Al Aronowitz)

WISDOM'S MAW



[The following excerpt from Wisdom's Maw is offered here with the author's permission.  Signed, first-edition copies of Wisdom's Maw are available through Far Gone Books, http://www.fargonebooks.com ; contact Todd Brendan Fahey at: fargone@fargonebooks.com ]

"Wam-Pum?  Yeehaaww!!  Jesus traveling Christ, this stuff's good!" the Captain whooped, tucking the glass vials into his belt-case.  "Keep it coming, Henry.  And God bless Sandoz labs!"

"Al, before you leave we need to go over the new takers.  These Stanford kids are tremendous. . .  it's almost spooky."

"Any of 'em stand out?" the Captain winked.  "You got one who might interest us, Henry?"

The chemist nodded, staring over his low-cut reading lenses at a lab folder marked: Perry Lane Classified.  "A graduate student named Franklin Moore.  He arrived a few months ago on a creative writing scholarship from Oregon State."

"Jesus," the Captain moaned.  "Not another one of these sensitive, literary types."

Henry shook his head.  "This kid made the national wrestling team four straight years.  We sent him over to Czechoslovakia, and he tore their heavyweights new assholes."

The Captain stared at a school photo.  Bull-necked, knotty copper curls, and that look in the eyes, then nodded.  "OK, so you've got him into the IT-290.  How's he held up?"

Henry smiled.  "He could probably pin anyone in the United States, and nevermind the weight."

"But that's all bullshit, Henry.  What about his mind"  I want a kid with a goddamn mind like Aldous Huxley," the Captain shouted.  "Get him on the LSD-25, Henry, we know it's the future.  Don't you know it, Henry?  Don't you know it's the future?  You can eat all that methamwhateverthefuckyouwanttocallit yourself, for all I care, just get the kid on the L-S-D!  Do it now, Henry.  Do it for me.  Turn the whole fucking world on, Henry! Yeaaahooooo!"

The Captain walked out of Langley and stretched his arms in the early morning sun and let out another shout and offered a young agent, "Some wampum, son?  Make you a new man, boy!" Squaring his flat-top in the reflection of a blackened window near the entrance of the CIA's headquarters, Al Hubbard wondered when Sandoz was going to solve that dilation problem.  "The eyes," he said, to no one particular, "that's what gives it away.  The President couldn't tell right now if it weren't for the eyes."

At 8:35 a.m., in a leather notebook, he jotted: Franklin Moore, kid genius wrestler, then jogged up a short stack of stairs at the East Wing and knocked at the office door of Dr. Sheldon Gottfried.

A platinum-haired man answered the door, wearing a tan suit and a fixed, professional smile.  He motioned toward a chair, then took a seat behind his own desk, a blonde slab carved from a fallen bayou jacaranda.

"General," the Doctor said, to a tall, sallow man sitting at his right, "I'd like you to meet Captain Al Hubbard.  He'll be in charge of the Perry Lane project, reporting to me.  Sit down, Al."

The Captain palmed some sweat from his forehead, eyes glittering in the staid government den.

"Perry Lane.  Tell us about it, Captain."

"Yeah," Hubbard coughed, "well.  We've got what I call the Beatnik Problem.  These art-literary types and their social consciousness-oriented, well, you know, have a lot of campuses stirred up.  And we've got to put a lid on it.  But these kids are very keen on martyrdom, a sort of Jesus complex, you might call it and what we don't need right now is a big showdown."

Gottlieb smiled.  "So what would you have us do about this beatnik problem, Al?"

The Captain pulled out a thick Havana seed-roll, chomped the end off and put it back in his briefcase.  Lighting up, he rose from the chair.  "We take one of them," he puffed, "and train him and make him the spokesman of his generation, and then turn him in on his own people as a sort of Judas Goat, which would be like sticking a screwdriver in that socket over there, Shelly," the Captain glimmered.  "The lights go out.  Total confusion.  Then we go in, sweep away the dregs, and get back to business."

Dr. Gottfried continued to smile.

"It's a long-range solution.  We need to throw a switch in their circuitry," the Captain said, nodding, still staring at the socket in the wall.  "These liberal types are bright.  But their hearts are in the wrong place, you understand.  They'll sell this beautiful country of ours downstream if they ever get into power."

The General focused grimly on Hubbard, as the spy dragged slowly on the mahogany tube.

"So," the Captain said, punching at an imaginary spot in the air, "we keep one of these Beatnik types in his natural habitat, Perry Lane at Stanford University, where they have set up sort of a West Coast base and prepare him for a leadership position, like I said before, and render him weak to the power of suggestion.  Our chemist is working on it right now."

"What kind of suggestion?" Dr. Gottlieb asked.

"We're working on an intersubjectivity drug, sir, based on a South American vine with purported telepathic properties.  It's a ways off yet.  The best we've got going now is a combination of verbal reinforcement and a hell of a dose of LSD-25.  I wonder how some of these kids know tomorrow from yesterday with the dosage Sandoz cooks up," Hubbard chuckled.  "This spokesman will respond to a mentor, a like-minded, liberal-thinking guru type whose orders will come from us."

"Are we thinking of the same man, Al?"

The Captain sank back in his seat.  "He's been a hell of a service to us, Shelly.  He's not in great health, but he's just the sort of elder statesman this project needs," Hubbard said, reflecting deeply, drawing in as thoughts the languorous blue vapors of the cigar now resting gently between his fingers.  "Yes.  Indeed.  Vitally must have."

"Are you willing to share your supply, General?" Gottfried wondered, placing his long, tanned fingers on his desk.

William Creasy, Chairman of the Army Chemical Corps, cocked his head and grinned.  "Sounds so fucking crazy, it might work."

Dr. Gottfried stood up.  "As Director of Project MK-ULTRA, I will immediately request that special agent Aldous Huxley be assigned to the Perry Lane project."

"Thank you, sir. . .  thank you," the Captain jumped to his feet, saluting, and gleamed his whole, shining, glittering, goddamned magnificent self out into the warmth of the sun, with a fresh new pellet under his tongue, say hallelujah.

* * *                          

Morning came to Perry Lane with the jaybirds, the smoke from a nearby stove, and a vigorous rapping on the front door of Cabin #12.  Franklin tried to ignore it, but the sound was insistent.  He pulled on a worn pair of Levis and shuffled bare-chested to the front of the cabin.

A bearded man stood on the porch with a peculiar, twisted grin on his face.  "Good morning, oh yes, it is indeed a model morning, and since we are going to be virtual neighbors, I knew it would only be right to introduce myself.  Carlo Marx," the man smiled.  An appropriate surname, he admitted, in that his political convictions had recently evolved from the Zen order of something Franklin couldn't quite comprehend.  "And, while our backgrounds may be different, I hold not the slightest doubt that we will solve, not merely remediate, the ills of this venal world. . .together, Franklin Moore, you and I."

Franklin stared at the bearded man with the gallon jug of burgundy in his grip.  "You're too crazy to be dangerous," Franklin decided, inviting the man into his two-room cabin.  He stoked the big-bellied stove to take some of the chill from the air, then grabbed two cups from the basin, realizing that he was about to get drunk with a sandle-wearing, Jewish-born, wine-toting bearded freak: the type he'd been warned about repeatedly in the pages of the Corvallis Daily Herald.

"I read about your arrival in the Town Crier," Carlo giggled.  "You're a mixed bag, Franklin Moore.  Who would have ever thought that a common-day jock would end up gobbling strange pharmaceuticals for the Central Intelligence Agency?"

Franklin lifted his purpled lips from the cup and stared at Carlo.

"I will write a poem about you some day, my dear.  A great, epic tome.  A grand, ironic thing: Big Brother Requests Your Services.  Oh yes, I feel the flush of a hundred dichotomies.  I must be off.  Many pages to write," Carlo tittered.  "Say, dear, you wouldn't happen to have carried off any benzedrine from the hospital, now would you?  Oh, of course not," he smiled, eyelids drooping.  "I suppose that's the persistent junky spirit in me."

Franklin followed Carlo to a '54 Rambler loaded down so heavily with books and blankets and bric-a-brac that its tires resembled last summer's basketball on a forgotten shelf in the garage.  "That car's not goin' ten feet," he insisted.

Carlo laughed, gazing at the jalopy, comparing it to the fullness of an idea whose time had come, leaving Franklin wondering, as Carlo drove off, where he had heard that quote before, or if, indeed, it was an original, emanating like breath from the mind of a true genius. . .or if the strange bearded man was, after all, just one of the gaggle of California freaks he'd read about just last week in the Corvallis Daily Herald.

* * *

Franklin walked through the doors of the Menlo Park Veterans hospital that afternoon, as he had a dozen times before, each time wondering which bullet would be spun into the chamber.

"Whatcha got for me today, Doc?" Franklin wondered, laying himself on a sanitized cot.  "Some of that speedy stuff, maybe?"

Mixing viscous spirits, suffused through gleaming needle.  Slide shaft insert red poke vessel.

Franklin nestled into the bed, taking in the four white walls and the glistening, metallic instruments arranged on an even shinier tray.  "Good talking to you, too, Doc."  Within seconds, his fingers and toes began to tingle, hands and feet flushed, running up the arms, legs, chest cavity tightening, reflux peristalsis, retching up the wine in his gullet.

"Nurse, clean this boy up," the Doctor said, coolly.

Franklin coughed up another ounce or two of Burgundy and bile as the nurse waited for him to finish vomiting.  "Whyntcha tell the Doc that if. . .  schpptt. . .he wants me back here. . .he should give that Ditran to some other poor, dumb sonumbitch," Franklin spat and choked as nurse Lorraine Devlin wiped cold beads of sweat from his forehead.

"Sweet boy," she said, dabbing his face with a moist cloth.

Franklin's eyes grew huge as he stared down at a nest of thorns growing, growling out of a blanket down on his waist that he would have otherwise liked to pull up and over his head to stave off a sudden, venous cold.  He tried to laugh, but the sound came as the cackling of chickens in his ears.

"Hell, Ditran's only once a month," he said, feebly.  "The rest is usually good kicks; and I sure can use them 25 smackeroos.  What's your name?  I've seen you here before. . .ahhh, look at me," he said, wiping a crust from the corners of his mouth as he tried to ignore the army of tumbleweed thistles marching in divisions toward his head.

"I've been looking," she smiled, flushed.  "I'll see you Wednesday."

Franklin warmed through the chill of the Ditran, watching as nurse Devlin ministered to the mostly college-aged volunteers.  Her long, auburn hair, and the way she wore it pulled back in a ponytail, reminded him of his mom in old pictures.  Then, from the corner of his eye, he watched a stout man in a khaki suit exit the service elevator outside the Behavioral Research ward.  The man burst through the double doors and the two were joined intuitively.

"Boy, have I got good news for you," the Captain roared, taking in the same four breathing, pulsating white walls.  "Stagnant place, terrible scene," Hubbard growled.  "No wonder so many Americans are unbalanced."

The treating physician rounded a corner, pointing fervidly to a red and white plastic sign.  "This ward is for Authorized Personnel Only.  Can't you read!?"

Captain Hubbard chuckled, lifting away a flap from his jacket, feeling the coolness of a .357 in its holster.  "I can read a set of orders sending you off to a leper hospital in the Andes."

"I'm calling security."

The Captain extracted his Colt.  "I'm the only security you need.  I run this project, name's Al Hubbard," he said, watching the doctor lose color.  Pressing forcefully on the ulnar nerve, he led the physician to the bed of Franklin Moore.  "Looks from here like you've got a chill from whatever the Doc's got running through your veins, boy."  The Captain motioned nurse Devlin to remove Franklin's I.V., then walked the Doctor into an empty office.  "Ever try Ditran, Doc?"

"I've. . ."

"Course not," the Captain muttered.  "You'd never jab it into that fine boy's arm if you had.  Terrible stuff, Doc.  Evil.  Gives a man a powerful dislike for the world around him."  Hubbard unlocked the leather satchel on his belt and withdrew a vial of Delysid, fresh from Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland.  "Here.  Put Franklin Moore on 400 micrograms of this and let him see the truth.  And don't let us down, Doc," the Captain grinned.  "Someone of your professional standing might have a hard time adjusting to the hills of Peru.  It stays awful wet and cold all year.  Your skin just rots off."

Al Hubbard winked at the doctor, and then strolled through the ward and left as he had entered---a beacon of light, and a wonder.

II.

The Grey Eminence of psychedelic letters walked into the Vancouver Yacht Club as gracefully as he had thirty-five years before into an Oxford lecture hall with his vision of a Brave New World.  He glided effortlessly, though with a walking stick, bathed in flannel, toward a window table where Al Hubbard sat waiting.

The Captain knew Aldous Huxley's time was limited on this earth, but the pain never showed.  Hubbard stood up at his seat and grabbed Huxley fully around the body, holding him at stunned attention.  "We owe it all to you, you old sonofabitch!" Hubbard bellowed, his eyes completely swallowed by the pupils---black pools of burning conviction.

Huxley, standing six-foot seven, a mile above the Captain, began to smile---a wizened, fulltoothy, ear-stretching grin, then a laugh that caused his frail body to shudder uncontrollably.  "I do believe you are under the influence."

"Well, it's a damn fine place to be!" the Captain roared, letting Huxley free.  "It truly is."

Fire and ice, the two sat down and gabbed until some internal and inexplicable sense order became manifest, at which point Huxley withdrew a small magnifying glass, placing it over the menu, line-by-line, restoring sight to a pair of retinas damaged by an untreated bout of strep throat while at Eton.

"How appropriate," Huxley said, and began to order the quail on a bed of wild rice.

"And the soup, sir?" the waiter asked.

"Why, the mushroom!" Huxley cried, caving both men into a volley of helpless laughter.

The lunch crowd was beginning to focus on the odd pair, sensing, perhaps, a muted genius beneath Huxley's stork-like physique, the regal elegance of a long line of British dignitaries, author of some 84 novels and plays.  But there was also something strange about the man.  Something distinctly ungrandfatherly: something, no doubt, having to do with his conversion in 1953 to Psychedelic Drugs.

He was the F. Scott Fitzgerald of the British '20s, a mind new and brilliant and captivating; they bowed at his feet in the '30s, and shuddered at his satiric pen, which spared none. . .but by 1935 something had happened.  Nobody was quite sure what to call it, but it appeared to be madness, or genius, because nothing else could possibly explain Brave New World.  It was as if God, Himself, had lunched with Huxley and explained to him the ills of the human condition.

Madness.  Genius.  Essence of peyote. . .rhythms of the Cosmos, sending open the Doors of Perception.

"We owe it all to you," the Captain repeated.

"Nonsense," Huxley frowned.  "I knew nothing of LSD-25 until I met you, Captain Hubbard.  I have said it before, and will, no doubt, again, that you are the membrane through which all must pass to enter into the Mysteries.  You are the key, good Captain," Huxley maintained.  "The civilized world may occasionally be amused by my talents, but, when worshipping, pays homage to Al Hubbard."

"Wow," the Captain muttered.  "A guy could get a big head hanging around you, Aldous."

Outside the restaurant, across Puget Sound, a cigarette boat pulled alongside Hubbard's yacht, then cut its engine.  Hubbard stood abruptly.  "Looks like lunch's over."

Major General William Creasy and Dr. Sheldon Gottfried gripped a narrow ladder and pulled themselves aboard, waiting for the Captain and his foreign charge to slip out a side door of the restaurant and stroll down the dock, then onto the deck of the Wisdom.  Al Hubbard saluted General Creasy, who waved him immediately at-ease.

Sheldon Gottfried, tan and fit like an aging tennis pro, walked over to Huxley and shook his hand.  "It's been a long time, Aldous."

Huxley nodded, reddening in the eyes.  "It has, Shelly.  But we will make up for it, and the world will be a better place."

The four sat at a small table on the deck.  Hubbard opened a bottle of Louis-Mouton Courvasier, pouring a long round into deep snifters to warm their toes from a crisp wind cutting over the Sound.  "General Creasy is Chairman of the Army Chemical Corps, Aldous.  He's our resident populist," Hubbard chuckled.

Creasy snickered, his pale face offset by a pair of black eyebrows which flickered as he spoke.  "Aldous, I believe in drugs for the masses.  To each, according to their needs, from me, who owns the whole stash."

Dr. Gottfried smiled.  "Bill has a special contract with Sandoz Laboratories. . .for virtually their total output of lysergic acid diethylamide."

"It's a monopoly," Creasy grinned.

"Actually, a cartel," Gottfried corrected, "because he's sharing it with the Company."

"And I," Hubbard said, with a glitter in his eye, "am sharing it with you."  He unlocked the pouch on his waist, extracted a black vial, and dropped a clean two-hundred micrograms into each of the four cognacs.

"Bon amis," Gottfried pronounced, lifting his glass, and the Wisdom, under the direction of Captain Hubbard's personal driver and the power of twin Chevy 317's, raced out of the harbor toward the estate of Captain Alfred M. Hubbard, indeed a Man for All Eons.

 * * *

Forty minutes later, the approaching shore glowed orange, covered bulbs forming an ascending line from the steps of the dock to Al Hubbard's estate.  The Wisdom slowed and entered the slip.  All four men were consumed by the LSD, their bodies reverberating some inner magic, a vibrant aura illuminating everything around them.

"Feel it?" Hubbard wondered.  "I keep thinking one day the stuff won't hit me.  That I'll be immune."

"Maybe we should just talk here," Huxley said, running his hands over his frail thighs.  "I'm afraid I've forgotten how to walk."

Creasy broke up laughing, embarrassing Huxley.  "I thought I pissed my pants once," Creasy admitted, by way of apology.  "Got so fucking high I just forgot what I was doing.  Lucky for me, it was pouring rain and I had a coat on.  Then I got to a bathroom, and saw that I was perfectly dry."

After Captain Hubbard got Huxley aright, the author moved on his own volition to the lakefront home, feeling a strange softness in his feet, as if walking on sponge.  Hubbard unlocked the front door and let the men inside.

"Amazing!" Dr. Gottfried marveled.  "I never realized. . ." he said, walking the length of Hubbard's living room, in which a long teak table sat majestically on bone-white carpet, surrounded by objets d'art of the first water.  Over the fireplace, a great, curved sword, with etchings of hunts in the Savannah on the blade, refracted the room's light; a stuffed elephant's head, three-foot tusks intact, adorned a far mantle.

General Creasy stood inspecting a glass case devoted to Civil War revolvers.  In grainy celluloid, Harry S. Truman stood on the deck of the Wisdom.  On the same wall, unknown photographers had captured Al Hubbard with Lucky Luciano at the opening of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; with Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, at its national headquarters in Belmont, Massachusetts; and drinking whiskey with Papa Joe Kennedy in Hyannis Port.

"You keep weird company, Al," Creasy said, staring at the photos.  "Bob Welch, I can handle, but the other two give me gas."

The Captain laughed raucously.  "I believe in the diversity of mankind, General.  I have lots of friends: Jews, goys. . .even know some Fellow Travelers who pitch a mean contract bridge."

Aldous Huxley radiated into the living room and sank down into an immense leather sofa.  "Shall we?" he smiled.  "I will need to know Franklin Moore.  His character.  His morals, his weaknesses. . .his very essence before I meet with him.  I should not like to be remembered for a failed experiment."

Dr. Gottfried straightened in his chair.  "You won't, Aldous.  I've looked over the kid's medical records, his psychiatric profile, his background, and I think he's perfect.  He just needs some guidance."

"That's what you said about Neal Cassady," Creasy muttered, "and look what a fucking head-case he's turned out to be."

Captain Hubbard disagreed.  "We've gotten some good mileage out of Neal.  He's the model for our whole program.  The Ubermensch, right Aldous?"

General Creasy shook his head suddenly.  "I don't know what I'm doing here.  I'm not giving away any more of my Delysid to something I don't understand."

Following an uneasy silence, Aldous Huxley rose from the couch, like Jesus from the tomb.  "General, the Ubermensch is my dream.  It is a perfect human being, a superman, if you will.  He is an athlete, a field sergeant, an actor, an irresistible mind and body. . ."

The men sat rapt as Huxley began creating this perfect man, cell by resplendent cell, one protean layer atop another, until Frederic Nietzsche's original philosophical invention virtually sprang to life.

The world had seen facets of the Ubermensch---Mozart, Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson---but he had disappeared in recent times, and Aldous Huxley wanted him resurrected.

Indeed, to Huxley, creating the Ubermensch was the only way to a perfect utopia.  In some ways, Huxley was, himself, this hero: the perfect intelligence, the sharpest wit, the keenest sensibilities.  But he was also nearly blind, walked with a cane, and was dying of cancer.

"Gentlemen, I have little time to spare.  My contribution to this world will be measured not in my literature, but by the calibre of man that I may cultivate from his baser instincts."

General Creasy stared skeptically at Huxley.  "Why would a guy change for you""

Captain Hubbard shifted in his chair.  Dr. Gottfried sat silently.

"I once had a student at Oxford by the name of Eric Blair," Huxley said, softly.  "A very timid creature, fairly handsome, but somewhat dyslexic.  He came to me for help in the rudiments of the English language.  I told him to realize his vision.  Conceive of it in his mind, live in it, then transfer it onto paper.  As he did, he altered the outlook of the English-speaking world."

"George Orwell," Creasy said, eyes open, suddenly understanding.  "1984, Animal Farm. . .that was you!"

Huxley closed his eyes.  "When Eric succumbed to tuberculosis much too early, I was devastated.  He had been my prized model and a dear friend, and he was dead."

William Creasy came alive, a believer.  "Now. . .now, what were you saying about Neal Cassady?  What kind of mileage?  You've been keeping me in the dark!"

"MK-ULTRA has always been on a need-to-know basis, Bill," Gottfried said.  "And you've never needed to know."

"Well, goddamnit, I do now!" he yelled.

"Of course," the Doctor nodded, and took a heavy breath.  "The Company's Behavioral Research Division has been working on personality modification since the early '50s, sometimes on its own agents, sometimes with contract employees, but most of the time with volunteer civilians.  When the poetry movement started getting noisy in San Francisco, we decided to try out this Ubermensch concept on a couple of its leaders.  A couple proved worthwhile to a degree, a few did not," Gottfried said.

"Names!" Creasy shouted.  "I want to know who we've got out there as samoles."

Captain Hubbard cut in.  "Yeah, well, we tried with Jack Kerouac.  What a waste.  Handsomest man I've ever seen, looked like Clark Gable. . .then he found whiskey.  He's living with his mom on Long Island now, our men couldn't get at him if we wanted to.  She won't even put a call through from his friends."

"How did you attach him to MK-ULTRA?" Creasy wondered.  "What's the hook""

"It's different every time," Hubbard said.  "We got Kerouac through his buddy Carlo Marx, the fag poet from the Bronx.  He wrote Growl: `I've seen the great minds of my era destroyed by anguish, grieving, delirious, hostile, pulling themselves through the vacant city weeds at dusk, looking for a final thrill'. . ."

"Jesus," Creasy nodded.  "I remember when that thing came out.  The bookstores wouldn't carry it.  I think he beat a federal obscenity rap."

Hubbard nodded.  "That's him.  He was also an accomplice to a murder back in '52.  One of his friends stabbed a lover to death and weighted him down into the Hudson.  Carlo got rid of the knife.  Lucky for us, the guy bubbled back up," Hubbard chuckled.  "Marx got off as a nut-case and was shipped off to New York Neuro-Psychiatric.  We planted a young agent named Aaron Fischbein in as his roommate, and cooked up a story that Fischbein's pop owned a little press.  When they got out, they started publishing some of Kerouac and Willy Burroughs, who's kookier than seven chickens."

Sheldon Gottfried smiled and shook his head.  "What a plan.  Where did we go wrong?"

Hubbard pursed his lips.  "It broke my heart, but in '52 America wasn't ready for something like On the Road.  McCarthy was swinging for the bleachers.  We just kept hoping ol' Joe would drink himself to death, or that someone would put a bullet into his brain, because there was no way in hell the public would accept a book about sex with Negroes, and dope and hitchhiking to Mexico when the Activities Committee was hauling actors into jail for even sounding like Democrats.

"We kept putting Kerouac off," Hubbard continued, "getting him $1,000 here and $500 there for some magazine work. . .I mean, the guy was really good, there was never any doubt.  But by the time McCarthy's liver quit, Kerouac was boozing it pretty bad himself.  His looks have gone to hell.  He has no following.  He's just biding his days now until he pickles his innards."

"And what about Neal Cassady?" Creasy wondered.

"Amazing intellect," Huxley smiled, assimilating the classified information.  "I should like to know him better.  He has an extraordinary capacity of not only listening and digesting every word, but holding multiple conversations simultaneously.  I had occasion to meet Mr. Cassady at a Hollywood party.  He was listening to Dr. Oscar Janiger talk about LSD therapy in chronic alcoholics, while Stanley Kubrick was discussing the latest film techniques, and Mr. Cassady managed to fondle the backs of Candice Bergen's thighs, while answering both men and puff a marihuana cigarette in the same instant," Huxley giggled.  "I went to bed knowing there is still hope for the human condition."

"So why's he such a loser?" Creasy grumbled.  "Last time I heard, he was down in San Quentin for running dope."

Captain Hubbard groaned.  "Some redneck Kern County cops found him with a baggy of joints.  Any one of us could have inhaled them all at once and still driven home.  They gave him five-to-life.  We got him out in two and a half, but then he started eating speed.  His brain's wired like a bomb.  He'll aneurism before he hits forty if he doesn't stay off the bennies.

"We tried to get him the same deal we gave Kerouac," he explained, "but he doesn't want to sit still at a typewriter for as long as it takes to write his story.  He'd rather be stealing cars."

The LSD was wearing down, and the men were getting tired.

"Don't suppose I could interest any of you gentlemen in another dose," the Captain shrugged, eyeing his leather satchel, but noticed no takers.

Bill Creasy was nodding at the ground, still trying to deal with it all.  "So where are we now?  Where's the goddamned Ubermensch now!?"

The men looked at each other, then at the Captain.

"He's down at Stanford University," Hubbard smiled.  "It's a little early to tell, but I have a feeling he's Captain America."  ##

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