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Everything from the six o'clock newscasts to the FM midnight-to-dawn, musical-interlude interviews, to the search-for-tomorrow soap operas at noon, was nothing short of hypnotic. He concluded that if you had enough beer and pretzels and a radio and TV you could barricade yourself inside a room for a week and just sit and listen and watch and switch stations. Whether you wanted to or not, you would learn what they wished you to know about so-and-so and such-and-such in a way that left little for you to decide except what station and from whom you wanted to hear it. The content was always inoffensively the same--only the styles of delivery and the images of the performers varied slightly.

By that Wednesday, Kenny had enough of home entertainment and he took the subway over to Manhattan to see for himself what the voices on the airwaves were trying to tell him about the city streets. He got off at a stop in Greenwich Village and stood on the corner of Eighth Street and Broadway for a moment to get his bearings.

"Kenny! How you been, man?" wanted to know a very long-curlyhaired guy wearing a floppy brown car coat which hung below his knees and made him look shorter than he was. He was standing in front of him with his hand outstretched waiting to shake Kenny's Kenny didn't recognize him for the hair but shook his hand anyway and said he was fine and "Okay, I give up. Who are you?"

"Billy. Billy Landout from Brooklyn. Remember?"

"Billy! I'll be a son of a bitch! My mother wrote 'n told me that you were away at some college studying to be an engineer. What happened?"

"Nothing happened. I graduated last summer with a degree in engineering and just decided I didn't want to be an engineer for a while, that's all."

"Well, are you in a play or something?"

"What do you mean, in a play?"

"I mean your hair and everything."

"No, man. I just felt like a change, and besides the chicks like to run their fingers through my curly locks and make believe I'm Donovan or somebody but I'm just me, man. Just me."

"Are you still living in Brooklyn?"

"No, I got a pad in the East Village."

"The East Village? Where's that?"

"Oh, that's just a name some real-estate dudes gave to the Lower East Side to promote it as sort of a new bohemia, an extension of [end page 217]


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