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Women & Men Chapter Discussions > 0927 Wall-to-Wall High Reaching for the Ground

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (NathanNRGaddis) | 658 comments Discuss.


message 2: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 524 comments Wonderful summary, Jonathan! Thank you.


message 3: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (NathanNRGaddis) | 658 comments Jonathan's deleted posts ::

#2---
part 1
The diffused plotlines are being yanked together, converging, becoming starcore dense. Mercifully, perhaps to counter this, for a normal-cased chapter Wall-to-Wall High is linear and segmented.

We are in Grace's Body-Self space. Two men are ripping up an old carpet to put in a new. The phone rings. It is Rima (Kate's friend. Kate?).

Rima has a new name 'as if she had gone Muslim', a name taken on post feminist conversion, that Grace can't remember. Rima came to three of Grace's sessions but then went to check out 'similar operations' and went on a trip to Esalen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_I...). Since returning, she has been calling frequently.

Rima begins questioning Grace about the upcoming ("Wall-to-wall; tonight's the night") debut of Grace's Men's Workshop, seems to disapprove of it, wants Grace's temporary 'nationwide moratorium on relations' made more permanent. Rima seems to know the whole Body-Self cast and then some.

Lucille (Luce) is discussed. She works with the doctor who is in love with Luisa. She's helping Grace (in some capacity). Cliff. Maureen. Freya and Dobbie (whose name Grace heard as and therefore thinks of as Hobby).

They discuss Grace running a workshop in the upstate prison (again, Rima disapproves). Grace had trouble with one man in prison. It's, you guessed it, Foley (or Feaulie as it is newly spelled. By whom?), who rejects self-sex in favor of 'astral intercourse' with 'some girlfriend in Manhattan'.

Jimmy is asked about, and that leads to discussion of Señora Wing and her sister (also a psychic, well, aura reader, but in the Bronx, who could very well just be Wing knowing this novel) and Spence:

Well, I only wanted to ask about this guy Spence, who's in your workshop tonight, because you know he calls himself Spence when he's at the prison talking to that con who didn't dig your masturbation trip? and Santee when he's renting space to the messenger boy for his bike right next door to-if you can believe this-a warehouse theater that's rehearsing something with music that no one can find out anything about...and Lucille's doctor friend was seen coming out into the street arguing with this guy Santee, and if you can believe it this aura reader in the Bronx whose sister is your bike boy's employer was seen going in and out of there too.

Rima knows about Clara, has Grace saying Allende who?

How does Rima know all of this? She and Spence both seem information magnets.

The men who are installing the carpet leave supposedly to finish another job. Grace doubts their story, but as long as they finish the rug before the Men's Workshop that night (Spence's future presence there looms), she is okay. In fact, she goes out with them to the bike messenger/psychic place, drawn (?) to see the old man and woman who are always looking in the window (the man is the Hermit-Inventor, woman yet unknown).


#3--
part 2
'But she knew she was going where she had been before and knew that the old man and the crazy old beautiful woman would be there like once before, and weeks ago that seemed so little time, littler and littler, that it might have squeezed right down into being a future the goddess gave her a glimpse of.'

On her way she encounters a homeless man, gives him a dollar, and recommends he attend the local A.A. meeting (on Bleecker Street). "I'm not dressed for it...you get a haircut lady." Grace arrives. A broom, a high-chair are thrown out of the third floor window of a building downstreet. The old couple watch. Grace says to them "I came" (with 'tears in her eyes, as if she weren't in fear' ?) and the woman replies "We could see that". The old girl asks about "that silly pair", presumably Goodie and Baddie, the androgynous twins who fight in the shop window. Grace's connection to the older couple still does not click for me. Thoughts?

Grace has a reading done with Señora Wing. The text takes the form of a script. Wing insists Grace is "looking for something they have not told you". Grace insists that because Wing has "a sister. So she [is] one." Wing tells Grace a whole lot of specific information about Grace and various other characters revolving around her. Like Rima and Spence, Wing has collected vast amounts of information, supernaturally or because she has some involvement in the situation that has enveloped most of the other major characters and now Grace. (I continue to strive for a materialist reading of the novel, perhaps in vain.)(Grace suspects information has been flowing from Rima. Wing denies knowing Rima.)

Wing: You say things that will get you in trouble. What I tell you about your future I take responsibility for. Remember the man who licks his lips; if you have information about a trip to be taken by the man who is husband to your woman friend from across the water, do not give it to the man who licks his lips and has a small beard, he does not understand how to use it and neither do you.

Wing belittles Grace's work, "who the hell cares if the doctor doesn't warm up his speculum?", and says that the events to come are not bullshit, not gossip, "they are real".

Grace leaves the shop and talks to the old couple again. Grace: "Listen, do those people in there want you two to come here every day? Is that it? Is that why those nitwits put on a show in the window?" (the andro-twins fighting)
Old man: "I wouldn't know" and then he begins talking about working in New Jersey (for the radio station?). Their conversation flows oddly...

[photo]

Grace comes back to her building. The carpet layers are already there. Manuel let them in even though Grace didn't explicitly give him permission to do so. They've finished their job. Grace discusses the Men's Group with them, the various vagina molds.

It's almost time for the Men's Group. Spence shows up early, 'greeted Grace in the peepscope and she knew she had been getting set for this unknown'. He begins undressing and asking about mutual acquaintances. Perhaps we are merely projecting an image of threat into the void of Spence, but we do. Then another early group member, a young minister (Ave) shows up, with two others behind him. Have they been given the information that the workshop was to start earlier than Grace planned for it to start?

Our Navachoor Prince braces herself. Spence: "You know Jim Mayn, I think, don't you?"


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