Lin Page 11
 
the volume waxing and waning every time someone opens and closes the front door. The tune is a punk-style rave-up, the singer bellowing the chorus before punctuating it with a sedate spoken statement of fact: You gotta keep 'em separated


The roving searchlight exposes the riverbank as dust and emptiness, and he slows to a near-turtle pace as his eyes struggle to adjust to the dark -- every step might just as well be the final one taken before tumbling into an abyss. Further and further they walk, until the interruptions of the searchlight are as intimate as candles. He can barely make out Annie's retreating figure ahead as it floats over the riverbank like the shadow of something flying above. As they draw closer to the river pathetic shrubs begin to appear, loose collections of pebbles, unrecognizable plastics and paper products that have been deposited by the wash. The ground is more humid and pliable under his


feet.

At the edge of the river a few feet back from the water, to the left, stands a man. C.J. cannot make out anything except his general form -- he seems a bit stooped, a bit overweight. Annie is walking straight towards him. C.J.hustles over to his right, where the riverbank dips a bit more acutely, providing him a natural alcove to hide. What's the course of action? Spy camera, if he had a spy camera. Recording device, if he had a recording device. The thump thump of the disco is still louder than their footsteps.

C.J. sets his knapsack down and sinks to his hands and knees, keeping as low as he can. A cracked beer bottle lies on the ground just in front of him, but he is too squeamish to touch it, move it out of the way. Lucky Star beer. About twenty feet away, Annie and the stranger are