Helen - Part 1

It all started the day he saw the American flag tattooed on the girl's chest. [... Original beginning episode, not including the crucifixion ...] [T-rain: Bobbie]

[Alternate: You know, none of it would ever have happened if he hadn't exploded when he saw the American flag tattooed on the girl's chest. That was back in '69, and he was still the naive, self-righteous prick of his adolescence. You would think he would have learned something by then. ...

But wait, that isn't it - the beginning of it, I mean. For that, you have to go back to San Pedro days, the Hilton in the Desert, the endless stream of hot-cold high-low on-off fuckedup-fuckedleft-fuckedright dissipation that forged miles of new links for his chain. [CH-ain: Kris]

No, that wasn't where it really began. For that, you had to go back to Horse's year of self-enforced hermitage. [D-rain: Hank]

Well, you know, what led up to that was his meeting Helen(?) and Jim and My My Myra in high school. You know, that time of undying friendships that die after 6 months? [B-rain: Woody]

Come to think of it, I guess we should have started this at the very beginning (why didn't I think of that?), namely the very beginning, on a tranquil Minnesota lake in his third month, his first remembrance. (Yes, I know, I know. Nobody remembers anything from that early in life. But take my word for it. Horse remembers. And his mother verified it. Yes, they did. [Followed by: First Day; fights in grade school (Hey Joe, woman driver, buddy in alley, dog shit in pocket); riding with Candy Kane; the 2 comedians soliciting his father's laughter; the hens.]

[Followed by ST-rain, REF-rain, COLT-rane, and The Horse Beatitudes.]

Well, we may have gone a bit far on that one. But bear with me. It does explain a lot. It explains, for instance, The Desert. [post-crucifixion isolation in the shade of the bristlecone pine: Leonard]

>>>> Name is Roland Horace ... [Named after grandfathers.] 'Rollie', but some gleefully saddled him with 'Hor-Ass', which he tried desperately to at least get them to shorten to 'Horse'.

>>>> Johnny Schmao -> John Hardy ? Then: The Hanging of John Hardy.

>>>> Jim is Dean, who died right after high school, leaving Horse abandoned. But here he is, alive and being crucified!

In the den In the den In the cold cold den where the lions pick at my bones.

In the pines In the pines where the sun never shines I shivered the whole night thru.

[Helen tells of him of sleeping even with Jim. He panics and despairs, then says "But you couldn't have! he died 6 months after high school!" "That isn't what he told me!"]

[She tells him about high school. "Oh, you wanted me all right. You wanted -really wanted -all the girls, intheir fluffly pink sweaters with the dear little bumps in front, with their tight skirts that left their calves open for your piercing eyes. Oh, yes, you did - you wanted them all. I could see the lust in your eyes, you prude! You couldn't ask them. But if any girl had asked you, you would've laid her down, yes you would, you sanctimonius prude! And what would have been the matter with that? huh? You were ready, they were ready, why not? huh?" Confused confused. "I wanted you, Hor-Ass! If you'd just asked me, you horse's ass! I could see the other girls all wanted you, too. You could've had your pick. You could've picked me, pricked me. But you didn't pick, you prick."]

>>>> ? Use Helen as springboard to past events? "I was ready again and again for you, don't you realize it now? Think about your Pedro Parties, man. Don't you remember seeing me standing there all frilly like you liked? waiting on the porch while you slobber after that dyke who wouldn't let you near her inners?" -> Pedro Days.

"Instead, you just holed up in your Cambridge Cave ignoring the smell of musk all around - you had your hand halfway up my thigh, for chrissake! why couldn't you put it all the way up, you wuss!" -> Hermitage. How does she know all this? why does she think she was the one in the WAC Shack (actually, several - the forelorn-looking girl, Diane, etc.), how does she know about Joy in the bus?

Helen is all the girls who loved him unrequitedly, while he mooned about the ones who kept him at arm's length; Helen is also Helen and John in East Boston, whom he kept at arm's length.

Helen is the one who takes him back to remember, in a new light, all his struggles with the flesh. Jim is the one who takes him back to remember, in a new light, all his struggles with the spirit.

He is torn, even in his remembrances, between the two. He still can't accept both fully. He still can't reconcile them. But at the end, he must at least admit to the truth - that they can be reconciled and living in the same being without destroying it; that, for the being to survive they must both be present and working together.

Three views are presented - Horse, Jim, and Helen. Horse sees Jim and Helen as 2 separate parts of his life, but he is forced to attempt a consolidation, without destroying his unique individuality.

- Lone Coyote Calls