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DOCTOROW/MAKERS/1

Makers
CoryDoctorow doctorow@craphound.com TorBooks:9780765312792 HarperCollinsUK/Voyager:9780007325221 Lastmodified24Jan2012

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DOCTOROW/MAKERS/2 Ihavealwaysdreamtofwritingsfnovels,sinceI wassixyearsold.NowIdoit.Itisagoddamned dreamcometrue,likegrowinguptobeacowboy oranastronaut,exceptthatyoudontget oppressedbyranchersorstuckonthelaunchpadin anadultdiaperfor28hoursatastretch.Theidea thatIdgetdyspepticoverpeoplereaders celebratingwhatIwriteisgoddamnedbizarre. So,downloadthisbook. Somerulesoftheroad: Itskindofatraditionaroundherethatmyreaders convertmyebookstotheirfavoriteformatsand sendthemtomehere,anditsonethatIlove!If youveconvertedthesefilestoanotherformat, sendthemtome(doctorow@craphound.com, subjectMakersConversion)andIllhostthem,but beforeyoudo,makesureyoureadthefollowing: Onlyoneconversionperformat,first come,firstserve.Thatmeansthatif someonesalreadyconvertedthefiletoa Femellhebber3000document,thatsthe oneyouregoingtofindhere.Ijustdont knowenoughaboutesotericreadersto adjudicatedisputesaboutwhattheideal formatisforyourfavoritedevice. Makesureincludealinktothereaderas well.Whenyousendmeanebookfile, makesurethatyouincludealinktothe websiteforthereadertechnologyaswell sothatIcanincludeitbelow. toaformatthathasaDRMoption,make sureitsswitchedoff.

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Dedication:
Fortherisktakers,thedoers,themakersof things.

PARTI

SuzanneChurchalmostneverhadtobotherwith theblueblazerthesedays.Backattheheightof Youarefree: thedotboom,shedputonherbusinessjournalist toSharetocopy,distributeandtransmitthe dragblazer,bluesailclothshirt,khakitrousers, work loafersjustabouteveryday,puttinginher obligatoryappearancesatsplashypress toRemixtoadaptthework conferencesforhighflyingIPOsandmergers. Underthefollowingconditions: Thesedays,itwasmostlyworkathomeoroneday AttributionYoumustattributetheworkinthe aweekattheSanJoseMercuryNewssoffice,in mannerspecifiedbytheauthororlicensor(butnot comfortablelightsweaterswithloosenecksand inanywaythatsuggeststhattheyendorseyouor loosecottonpantsthatshecouldwearstraightto yogaaftershuttinghercomputerslid. youruseofthework). NoncommercialYoumaynotusethisworkfor Blueblazertoday,andshewasnttheonlyone. TherewasReedyfromtheNYTsSiliconValley commercialpurposes. office,andTribbeyfromtheWSJ,andthat ShareAlikeIfyoualter,transform,orbuild despicablerattoothedjumpedupgossip uponthiswork,youmaydistributetheresulting columnistfromoneoftheUKtechrags,andmany workonlyunderthesameorsimilarlicensetothis othersbesides.Oldhomeweek,blueblazersfresh one. fromthedrycleaningbagsthathadguardedthem Withtheunderstandingthat: sincethelasttimetheNASDAQbroke5,000. WaiverAnyoftheaboveconditionscanbe ThemanofthehourwasLandonKettlewellthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/4 kindofoutlandishprepschoolnamethatalways seemedalittlemadeuptoherthenewCEOand frontforthemajorityownersofKodak/Duracell. ThedespicableBrithadalreadystartedcalling themKodacell.Buyingthecompanywaspure Kettlewell:shrewd,weird,andethicalinatwisted way. Whythehellhaveyoudonethis,Landon? Kettlewellaskedhimselfintohistiemic.Tiesand suitsforthenewKodacellexecsintheroom,like surfersplayingdressup.Whybuytwodinosaurs andstickemtogether?Willtheymateandgive birthtoanewgenerationoflessendangered dinosaurs? Heshookhisheadandwalkedtoadifferentpart ofthestage,thumbingaPowerPointremotethat advancedhisslideonthejumbotrontoapictureof acoupleofunhappycartoonbrontosstaring desolatelyatanemptynest.Probablynot.But thereisagoodcaseforwhatwevejustdone,and withyourindulgence,Imgoingtolayitoutfor younow. subjectofhers,whichnodoubtaccountedforhis fellowfeeling),anditwasalsothecruxof Kettlewellsschtick.Thespectacleofanexecwho talkedethicsenragedRatToothedmorethanthe vilestbabykillers.Hewasthekindof revolutionarywholikedhisfiringsquadsarranged inacircle. Imnotthatdumb,folks,Kettlewellsaid, provokingastageylaughfromMrRatTooth. Heresthething:themarkethadvaluedthese companiesatlessthantheircashonhand.They havetwentybillioninthebankanda16billion dollarmarketcap.Wejustmadefourbillion dollars,justbybuyingupthestockandtaking controlofthecompany.Wecouldshutthedoors, stickthemoneyinourpockets,andretire.

Suzannetooknotes.Sheknewallthis,but Kettlewellgavegoodsoundbite,andtalkedslow indeferencetothekindofreporterwhopreferred anotebooktoarecorder.Butwerenotgonnado that.Hehunkereddownonhishaunchesatthe edgeofthestage,lettinghistiedangle,staring Letshopehestickstothecartoons,RatToothed spacilyatthejournalistsandanalysts.Kodacellis biggerthanthat.Hedreadhisemailthat hissedbesideher.Hisbreathsmelledlikehed beengarglingturds.Hehadanotsosecretcrush morningthen,andseenRatToothedsnew moniker.Kodacellhasgoodwill.Ithas onherandlikedtodemonstratehisalpha infrastructure.Administrators.Physicalplant. malenessbymakinghalfwitticismsintoherear. Supplierrelationships.Distributionandlogistics. Theyreabouthisspeed. Thesecompanieshavealotofusefulplumbing Shetwistedinherseatandpointedlyhunchedover andalotofpricelessreputation. hercomputersscreen,towhichshedtapedathin Whatwedonthaveisaproduct.Therearent sheetofpolarizedplasticthatmadeitopaqueto enoughbuyersforbatteriesorfilmoranyofthe anyoneshouldersurfingher.Beingahalfway attractivewomaninSiliconValleywasmoreofa otherstuffwemaketooccupyorsupportallthat infrastructure.Thesecompaniessleptthroughthe painintheassthanshedexpected,backwhen dotboomandthedotbust,trundlingalongas shedbeencoveringrustbeltshenanigansin thoughnoneofitmattered.Therearepartsof Detroit,backwhentherewasanautoindustryin thesebusinessesthathaventchangedsincethe Detroit. fifties. TheworstpartwasthattheBritsreportagewas Werenottheonlyones.Technologyhas justspleenfillededitorializingonthelackof challengedandkilledbusinessesfromevery ethicsinthevalleysboardrooms(afavorite sector.Hell,IBMdoesntmakecomputers

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/5 anymore!Theveryideaofatravelagentis inconceivablyweirdtoday!Andtherecordlabels, oy,thepoor,crazy,suicidal,stupidrecordlabels. Dontgetmestarted. Capitalismiseatingitself.Themarketworks,and whenitworks,itcommodifiesorobsoletes everything.Thatsnottosaythattheresnomoney outtheretobehad,butthemoneywontcome fromasingle,monolithicproductline.Thedaysof companieswithnameslikeGeneralElectricand GeneralMillsandGeneralMotorsareover. Themoneyonthetableislikekrill:abillionlittle entrepreneurialopportunitiesthatcanbe discoveredandexploitedbysmart,creative people. Wewillbruteforcetheproblemspaceof capitalisminthetwentyfirstcentury.Ourbusiness planissimple:wewillhirethesmartestpeoplewe canfindandputtheminsmallteams.Theywillgo intothefieldwithfundingandcommunications infrastructureallthatstuffwehaveleftover fromtheeraofbatteriesandfilmbehindthem, capitalizedtofindaplacetoliveandwork,anda jobtodo.Abusinesstostart.Ourcompanyisnta projectthatwepulltogetheron,itsanetworkof likeminded,cooperatingautonomousteams,allof whichareempoweredtodowhatevertheywant, providedthatitreturnssomethingtoourcoffers. Wewillexploreandexhausttherealmof commercialopportunities,andseekconstantlyto refineourtacticstominethoseopportunities,and fillourhungrybelly.Thiscompanyisnta companyanymore:thiscompanyisanetwork,an approach,asensibility. thosedepartingworkers,andtheoneswhodtaken advantageofthecompanystockbuyingplan wouldfindtheirpensionsaugmentedbywhatever thisnewschemecouldrakein.Ifitworked. MrKettlewell?RatToothedhadclamberedto hishindlegs. Yes,Freddy?FreddywasRatToothedsgiven name,thoughSuzannewashardpressedtoever retainitformorethanafewminutesatatime. Kettlewellkneweverybusinessjournalistinthe Valleybyname,though.ItwasaCEOthing. Wherewillyourecruitthisnewworkforcefrom? Andwhatkindofentrepreneurialthingswillthey bedoingtoexhausttherealmofcommercial activities? Freddy,wedonthavetorecruitanyone.Theyre beatingapathtoourdoor.Thisisanationof manicentrepreneurs,thekindofpeoplewhove beeninventingbusinessesfromvideoarcadesto photomatsforcenturies.Freddyscowled skeptically,hisjumbleofgreytombstoneteeth protruding.Comeon,Freddy,youeverhearof theGrameenBank? Freddynoddedslowly.InIndia,right?

Bangladesh.Bankerstravelfromvillageto villageonfootandbybus,findingsmallcoops whoneedtinyamountsofcredittobuya cellphoneoragoatoraloominordertogrow.The bankersmaketheloansandadvisethe entrepreneurs,andthepaybackrateisfiftytimes higherthantherateataregularlendinginstitution. Theydontevenhaveawrittenlendingagreement: entrepreneursreal,hardworkingentrepreneurs Suzannesfingersclatteredoverherkeyboard.The youcantrustonahandshake. Britchucklednastily.Nicetalk,consideringhe justmadeahundredthousandpeopleredundant, YouregoingtohelpAmericanswholosttheir jobsinyourfactoriesbuygoatsandcellphones? hesaid.Suzannetriedtoshuthimout:yes, Kettlewellwasfiringacompanysworthof Weregoingtogivethemloansandcoordination people,buthewasalsosavingthecompanyitself. tostartbusinessesthatuseinformation,materials Theprospectushadadecentseveranceforall science,commodifiedsoftwareandhardware

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/6 designs,andcreativitytowringaprofitfromthe airaroundus.Here,catch!Hedugintohissuit jacketandflungasmallobjecttowardFreddy, whofumbledit.ItfellontoSuzanneskeyboard. Allthewhile,Kettlewellswordswerescrollingby inblackblockcapsonthatdistantwall:crisp, laseredgedletters.

Thisthingwasntinvented.Alltheparts Shepickeditup.Itlookedlikeakeychainlaser necessarytomakethisgowerejustlyingaround. pointer,ormaybeanoveltylightsaber. Itwasassembled.Agalinagarage,herbrother Switchiton,Suzanne,please,andshineit,oh,on themarketingguy,herhusbandoverseeing manufacturinginBelgrade.Theyneededacouple thatwallthere.Kettlewellpointedatthe upholsteredretractablewallthatdividedthehotel grandtogetitallgoing,andtheyllneedsome lifesupportwhiletheyfindtheirnaturalmarket. ballroomintotwofunctionalspaces. TheygottwentygrandfromKodacellthisweek. Suzannetwistedtheendandpointedit.Acrisp Halfofitaloan,halfofitequity.Andweputthem rectangleofgreenlaserlightlitupthewall. onthepayroll,withbenefits.Theyrepart Now,watchthis,Kettlewellsaid. freelancer,partemployee,inateamwithbacking andadvicefromacrossthewholebusiness. NOWWATCHTHIS Itwaseasytodoonce.Weregoingtodoitten Thewordsmaterializedinthemiddleofthe thousandtimesthisyear.Weresendingouttalent rectangleonthedistantwall. scouts,liketheartistsandrepresentationpeople Testingonetwothree,Kettlewellsaid. therecordlabelsusedtouse,andtheyregoingto signupalotofthesebandsforus,andhelpthem TESTINGONETWOTHREE tocutrecords,tostartbusinessesthatpushoutto Dondeestaelbano? theedgesofbusiness. WHEREISTHEBATHROOM So,Freddy,toansweryourquestion,no,were Whatisit?saidSuzanne.Herhandwobbleda notgivingthemloanstobuycellphonesand littleandthedistantlettersdanced. goats. WHATISIT Thisisanewartifactdesignedandexecutedby fivepreviouslyoutofworkengineersinAthens, Georgia.TheyvematedatinyLinuxboxwith somespeakerindependentcontinuousspeech recognitionsoftware,afreesoftwaretranslation enginethatcantranslatebetweenanyoftwelve languages,andanextremelyhighresolutionLCD thatblocksoutwordsinthepathofthelaser pointer. Turnthison,pointitatawall,andstarttalking. Everythingsaidshowsuponthewall,inthe languageofyourchoosing,regardlessofwhat languagethespeakerwasspeaking. Kettlewellbeamed.Suzannetwistedthelaser pointeroffandmadereadytotossitbacktothe stage,butKettlewellwavedheroff. Keepit,hesaid.Itwassuddenlyoddtohearhim speakwithoutthetextcrawlonthatdistantwall. Sheputthelaserpointerinherpocketand reflectedthatithadtheauthenticfeelofcool, disposabletechnology:thekindofthingonitsway fromastartupsdistantsuppliertotheschwag bagsathighendtechnologyconferencestoblister packsofsixhangingintheimpulseaisleatFrys. Shetriedtoimaginethetechnologyconferences shedbeentowiththeadditionofthesubtitling andtranslationandcouldntdoit.Not conferences.Somethingelse.Akidstoy?Atool

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/7 forStarbuckssmashingantiglobalists,planning Whatareyourplansforyourexistingworkforce, strategybeforeaWTOriot?Shepattedherpocket. MrKettlewell? Freddyhissedandbubbledlikeateakettlebeside her,fuming.Whatacock,hemuttered.Thinks hesgoingtohiretenthousandteamstoreplace hisworkforce,doesntsayawordaboutwhatthat lotismeanttobedoingnowhesshitcannedthem all.Utterbullshit.Irrationalexuberancegone berserk. WHATAREYOURPLANSFORYOUR EXISTINGWORKFORCEMRKETTLEWELL

Sherepeatedthequestionseveraltimes,refreshing thetextsothatitscrolledlikeastocktickeracross thatupholsteredwall,anilluminatedfocusthat graduallydrewalltheattentionintheroom.The protestorssawitandbegantolaugh,thenthey Suzannehadaperverseimpulsetoturnthewand readitaloudinraggedunison,untilitbecamea backonandsplashFreddysbiliouswordsacross chant:WHATAREYOURPLANSthumpofthe theceiling,andthethoughtmadehergiggle.She bigdrumFORYOUREXISTING suppresseditandkeptonpilingupnotes,thinking WORKFORCEthumpMRthump aboutthestructureofthestoryshedfilethatday. KETTLEWELL? Kettlewellpulledoutsomechartsandanother surferinasuitcameforwardtotalkmoney, walkingthemthroughthefinancials.Shedread themalreadyanddecidedthattheywereapretty crediblebitoffiction,soshelethermindwander. Suzannefelthercheekswarm.Kettlewellwas lookingatherwithsomethinglikeasmile.She likedhim,butthatwasapersonalthingandthis wasatruththing.Shewasalittleembarrassedthat shehadlethimfinishhisspielwithoutcallinghim Shewasahundredmilesawaywhentheballroom onthatobviousquestion.Shefelttricked, doorsburstopenandtheunionizedlaborersofthe somehow.Well,shewasmakingupforitnow. formerKodakandtheformerDuracellpouredin Onthestage,thesurferboysinsuitswere onthem,tossingliteratureintotheairsothatit confabbing,holdingtheirthumbsovertheirtie snowedangryleaflets.Theyhadabigdrumanda mics.Finally,Kettlewellsteppedupandheldup bugle,andtheyshooktambourines.Thehotel hisownlaserpointer,paintinganotherrectangleof rentacopsoccasionallydartedforwardand lightbesideSuzannes. grabbedaprotestorbythearm,buthercolleagues Imgladyouaskedthat,Suzanne,hesaid,his wouldimmediatelyswarmthemandpryherloose voicebarelyaudible. anddragherbackintothebodyofthe IMGLADYOUASKEDTHATSUZANNE demonstration.Freddygrinnedandshouted somethingatKettlewell,butitwaslostinthedin. Thejournalistschuckled.Eventhechanters Thejournaliststookalotofpictures. laughedalittle.Theyquieteddown. Suzanneclosedhercomputerslidandsnatcheda Illtellyou,theresadownsidetolivinginthis leafletoutoftheair.WHATABOUTUS?it ageofwonders:wearemovingtoofastand began,andtalkedabouttheworkerswhodbeenat outstrippingtheabilityofourinstitutionstokeep KodakandDuracellfortwenty,thirty,evenforty pacewiththechangesintheworld. years,whohadbeenconspicuouslyabsentfrom Freddyleanedoverhershoulder,blowingshit Kettlewellsstatedplanstodate. breathinherear.Translation:youreassfucked, Shetwistedthelaserpointertolifeandpointedit thelotofyou. backatthewall.Leaninginveryclose,shesaid,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/8 TRANSLATIONYOURASSFUCKEDTHE LOTOFYOU THATWECANMEETOUROBLIGATIONS TOALLOURSTAKEHOLDERS Suzanneyelpedasthewordsappearedonthewall SHAREHOLDERSANDWORKFORCEALIKE andreflexivelyswungthepointeraround,painting WECANTPAYAPENNYINSEVERANCEIF themontheceiling,theoppositewall,andthen, WEREBANKRUPT finally,inminiature,onhercomputerslid.She WEAREHIRING50000NEWEMPLOYEES twistedthepointeroff. THISYEARANDTHERESNOTHINGTHAT Freddyhadthedecencytolookslightly embarrassedandheslunkawaytotheveryendof therowofseats,scootingfromchairtochairon hisnarrowbutt.Onstage,Kettlewellwas pretendingveryhardthathehadntseenthe profanity,andthathecouldnthearthejeering fromtheprotestorsnow,eventhoughithadgrown soloudthathecouldnolongerbeheardoverit. Hekeptontalking,andthewordsscrolledoverthe farwall. THEREISNOWORLDINWHICHKODAK ANDDURACELLGOONMAKINGFILM ANDBATTERIES THECOMPANIESHAVEMONEYINTHE BANKBUTITHEMORRHAGESOUTTHE DOOREVERYDAY WEAREMAKINGTHINGSTHATNOONE WANTSTOBUY SAYSTHATTHOSENEWPEOPLECANT COMEFROMWITHIN CURRENTEMPLOYEESWILLBEGIVEN CONSIDERATIONBYOURSCOUTS ENTREPRENEURSHIPISADEEPLY AMERICANPRACTICEANDOURWORKERS AREASCAPABLEOFENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIONASANYONE IAMCONFIDENTWEWILLFINDMANYOF OURNEWHIRESFROMWITHINOUR EXISTINGWORKFORCE ISAYTHISTOOUREMPLOYEESIFYOU HAVEEVERDREAMEDOFSTRIKINGOUT ONYOUROWNEXECUTINGONSOME AMAZINGIDEAANDNEVERFOUNDTHE MEANSTODOITNOWISTHETIMEAND WEARETHEPEOPLETOHELP

Suzannecouldnthelpbutadmirethepluckittook THISPLANINCLUDESAGENEROUS tokeepspeakingintothepointer,despitethe SEVERANCEFORTHOSESTAFFERS howlsandbangs. WORKINGINTHEPARTSOFTHEBUSINESS Cmon,Imgonnagrabsomebagelsbeforethe THATWILLCLOSEDOWN protestorsgettothem,Freddysaid,pluckingat Suzanneadmiredthetwisted,longwayaround herarmapparently,thiswashisversionofa wayofsaying,thepeoplewerefiring.Pure charmingpickupline.Sheshookhimoff CEOpassivevoice.Shecouldnttypenotesand authoritatively,withawhipcrackofherelbow. readoffthewallatthesametime.Shewhipped outherlittlesnapshotandmonkeyedwithituntil Freddystoodthereforaminuteandthenmoved itwasinvideomodeandthenstartedshootingthe off.ShewaitedtoseeifKettlewellwouldsay anythingmore,buthetwistedthepointeroff, ticker. shrugged,andwavedatthehootingprotestorsand BUTIFWEARETOMAKEGOODONTHAT theanalystsandthejournalistsandwalkedoff SEVERANCEWENEEDTOBEINBUSINESS stagewiththerestofthesurfersinsuits. WENEEDTOBEBRINGINGINAPROFITSO

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/9 Shegotsomecommentsfromafewofthe protestors,somedetails.WorkedforKodakor Duracellalltheirlives.Gaveeverythingtothe company.Tookvoluntarypaycutsundertheold managementfivetimesintenyearstokeepthe businessafloat,nowfacinglayoffsasabigfat thankyousuckers.Somanykids.Suchandsucha mortgage. SheknewthesestoriesfromDetroit:shedfiled enoughcopywithvaryingrenditionsofittolasta lifetime.SiliconValleywassupposedtobe different.Growthandentrepreneurshipafailed companywasjustasteppingstonetoasuccessful one,cantwinthemall,dustyourselfoffandget backtothegarageandstartinventing.Theresa wholeworldwaitingoutthere! Motherofthree.Dadwhosebrightdaughters universityfundwasraidedtomakeendsmeet duringthetemporaryausteritymeasures.This onehasaDownsSyndromekidandthatone workedthroughthreebacksurgeriestohelpmeet productiondeadlines. ofthetrunksoffreshfaced,friendlycokedealers cars.Downhereitwasgiantmalls,purposebuilt dotcombuildings,andtheoccasionalfunpark. PaloAltowasauniversitytownthemepark, providedyousteeredclearofthewrongsideofthe tracks,theEastPaloAltoslumsthatwere practicallyshanties. Christ,shewasgettingmelancholy.Shedidnt wanttogointotheofficenottoday.Notwhen shewasinthiskindofmood.Shewouldgohome andputherblazerbackintheclosetandchange intoyogatogsandwritehercolumnandhave somegoodcoffee. Shenailedupthecopyinanhourandemaileditto hereditorandpouredherselfaglassofNapared (thelocalvintagesinMichiganlikewiseleft somethingtobedesired)andsettledontoher porch,overlookingthebigreservoiroff280near SanMateo.

Thehousehadbeenworthasmallfortuneatthe startofthedotboom,butnow,intheresurgent propertyboom,itwasworthalargefortuneand Halfanhourbeforeshedbeenfullofthatold thensome.Shecouldconceivablysellthisbadly SiliconValleyoptimism,thesensethattherewasa builtlittleshackwithitsleakyhottubforenough betterworldaborningaroundher.Nowshewas moneytoretireon,ifshewantedtoliveoutthe backinthatoldrustbeltfunk,withthefeelingthat restofherdaysinSriLankaorNebraska. shewaswitnessnottoabeginning,buttoa Youvegotnobusinessfeelingpoorly,young perpetualending,acycleofdestructionthatwould lady,shesaidtoherself.Youareaswellsetup teardowneverythingsolidandreliableinthe asyoucouldhavedreamed,andyouarerightin world. thethickoftheweirdestandbesttimetheworld Shepackedupherlaptopandsteppedoutintothe parkinglot.Acrossthefreeway,shecouldmake outthebonesoftheGreatAmericafunpark rollercoasterswhippingaroundandaroundinthe warmCaliforniasun. hasyetseen.AndLandonKettlewellknowsyour name.

Shefinishedthewineandopenedhercomputer.It wasdarkenoughnowwiththesunsetbehindthe hillsthatshecouldreadthescreen.TheWebwas Theselittletechhamletsdownthe101were fullofinterestingthings,heremailfullof deceptivelyutopian.Allthehomelesspeoplewere challengingnotesfromherreaders,andhereditor milesnorthonthestreetsofSanFrancisco,where hadalreadysignedoffonhercolumn. pedestrianmarksforpanhandlingcouldbehad, Shewasgettingreadytoshutthelidandheadfor wherethecrackwassoldoncornersinsteadofout bed,soshepulledhermailoncemore.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/10 From:kettlewelll@skunkworks.kodacell.com WorkstodescribeagenericR&Ddepartment. ThatmeantthatKettlewellhadmovedsofastthat To:schurch@sjmercury.com hehadntevenrunthisprojectbylegal.Shewas Subject:Embeddedjournalist? willingtobetthathedalreadyorderednew Thanksforkeepingmehonesttoday,Suzanne.Its businesscardswiththeaddressonthem. thehardestquestionwerefacingtoday:what Therewasaguysheknew,aneditoratamag happenswhenallthethingsyouregoodatareno whodassignedhimselfaplumarticlethathed goodtoanyoneanymore?Ihopeweregoingto runonhisowncover.Hedgottenabookdealout answerthatwiththenewmodel. ofit.Ahalfmilliondollarbookdeal.IfKettlewell wasright,thentheexclusivebookontheinsideof Youdogoodwork,madam.Idbehonoredif youdconsiderjoiningoneofourlittleteamsfora thefirstyearatKodacellcouldeasilymakethat couplemonthsandchroniclingwhattheydo.Ifeel advance.Andthepropswouldbemad,asthekids said. likeweremakinghistoryhereandweneed someonetochronicleit. Kettlebelly!Itwassuchastupidfratboy IdontknowifyoucansquarethiswiththeMerc, nickname,butitmadehersmile.Hewasnttaking andIsupposethatweshouldbedoingthisthrough himselfseriously,ormaybehewas,buthewasnt myPRpeopleandyoureditor,buttherecomesa beingapompousassaboutit.Hewasserious timeaboutthistimeeverynightwhenImjusttoo aboutchangingtheworldandfrivolousabout goddamnedhypertobotherwithallthatstuffand everythingelse.Shedhaveahardtimebeingan objectivereporterifshesaidyestothis. IwanttojustDOSOMETHINGinsteadofask someoneelsetostartaprocesstoinvestigatethe Shecouldntpossiblydecideatthishour.She possibilityofsomedaypossiblymaybedoing neededanightssleepandshehadtotalkthisover something. withtheMerc.Ifshehadaboyfriend,shedhave Willyoudosomethingwithus,ifwecanmakeit totalkitoverwithhim,butthatwasntaproblem work?100percentaccess,nooversight?Sayyou inherlifethesedays. will.Please. ShespreadonsomeexpensivedutyfreeFrench wrinklecreamandbrushedherteethandputon Yourpal, hernightieanddoublecheckedthedoorlocksand Kettlebelly didallthenormalthingsshedidofanevening. Shestaredatherscreen.Itwaslikeaworkofart; Thenshefoldedbackhersheets,plumpedher pillowsandstaredatthem. justlookatthatreturnaddress,kettlewell l@skunkworks.kodacell.comforkodacell.com Sheturnedonherheelandstalkedbacktoher tobeliveandacceptingmail,ithadtohavebeen computerandthumpedthespacebaruntilthething registeredthedaybefore.Shehadavisionof wokefromsleep. Kettlewellcheckinghisemailatmidnightbefore From:schurch@sjmercury.com hisbigpressconference,catchingFreddys column,andregisteringkodacell.comonthespot, To:kettlewelll@skunkworks.kodacell.com thenwakingupsomesysadmintogetamailserver answeringatskunkworks.kodacell.com.Lastshed Subject:Re:Embeddedjournalist? heard,LockheedMartinwasthreateningtosue Kettlebelly:thatisonedumbnickname.Icouldnt anyonewhousedtheirtrademarkedtermSkunk possiblyassociatemyselfwithagrownmanwho

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/11 callshimselfKettlebelly. SostopcallingyourselfKettlebelly,immediately. Ifyoucandothat,wevegotadeal. Suzanne hisexcitement.

Hollywood,Floridasbiggestjunkyardwas situatedintherubbleofahalfbuiltghostmalloff Therehadcomeadaywhenherreadersacquired TaftStreet.SuzannesMiamiairportrentalcar camewithaGPS,butthelittleboxhadntever emailandthepaperranheraddresswithher byline,andherreadershadbeguntowriteherand heardofthemall;itwasoffthemap.Soshetook amomentintheswelteringparkinglotofher writeherandwriteher.Somewereamazing, coffinhoteltocallherinterviewsubjectagainand informative,thoughtfulnotes.Somewerethe getbettercoordinates. vilest,mostbilioustrolling.Inordertodealwith thesenotes,shehadtaughtherselftopause, Yeah,itscausetheyneverfinishedbuildingthe breathe,andrereadanyemailmessagebefore mall,sotheaddresshasntbeenincludedinthe clickingsend. USGSmaps.TheopenGPSesallhavethesebetter Thereflexkickedinnowandsherereadhernote mapsmadebygeohackers,buttherentalcar companieshavegotarealhardonforofficial toKettlebellyKettlewell!andfeltacrimpin mapdata.Morons.Hangon,lemmegetmyGPS herguts.Thenshehitsend. outandIllgetyousomedecentlatlong. Sheneededtopee,andapparentlyhaddonefor Hisvoicehadapleasant,youthful,midwestern sometime,withoutrealizingit.Shewasonthe sound,likeaCanadiannewscaster:friendlyand toiletwhensheheardthepingofnewincoming enthusiasticasapuppy.HisnamewasPerry mail. Gibbons,andifKettlewellwastobebelieved,he From:kettlewelll@skunkworks.kodacell.com wasthemostpromisingprospectidentifiedby Kodacellstalentscouts. To:schurch@sjmercury.com TheghostmallwasjustoneofmanyalongTaft Street,ranginginsizefromlittlecornerplazasto IwillnevercallmyselfKettlebellyagain. giganticpalaceswithbrokeninatriaandcracked Yourpal, parkinglots.AlotofthemallsinCaliforniahad crashed,buttheydbeenturnedintofleamarkets Kettledrum. ordaycares,or,iftheydbeenabandoned,they Ohshitohshitohshit.Shedidalittletwostepat hadntbeenabandonedlikethis,lefttogotoruin. herbedsedge.Tomorrowshedgoseehereditor ThisremindedherofDetroitbeforeshedleft, aboutthis,butitjustfeltright,andexciting,like wholeswathsoftheinnercityemptiedofpeople, shewasonthebrinkofaneventthatwouldchange neighborhoodscondemnedandbulldozedand,ina herlifeforever. coupleofweirdcases,actuallyfarmedby enterprisingcitydwellerswhoplantedcrops,kept IttookherthreehoursofmindlessWebsurfing, livestock,androdetheirminitractorsbeneaththe includingatrulydrearyHotOrNotclicktrance andanhoursworthoffiddlingwithtweetsfrom beamofthedefunctwhiteelephantmonorail. thepressconference,beforeshewasabletolull Theothercommonalitythisstretchofroadshared herselftosleep.Asshenoddedoff,shethought withDetroitwastheobesityofthepeopleshe thatKettlewellsinsomniawasascontagiousas passed.Shedfeltalittleselfconsciousthat Subject:Re:Embeddedjournalist?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/12 morning,dressinginalightshortsleevedblouse andapairofshortsnothingelsewoulddo,the weatherwassohotanddrippythatevenclosedtoe shoeswouldhavebeenintolerable.At45,herlegs hadslightcellulitesaddlebagsandhertummy wasntthewashboardithadbeenwhenshewas 25.Buthere,onthisstretchofroadpopulatedby peoplesofattheycouldbarelywalk,sofatthat theyweredesexedmarshmallowswithfaceslike inflatabletoys,shefeltlikeatoothpick. TheGPSqueepedwhenshecameuponthe junkyard,asprawling,halfbuiltdiscountmall whosewaisthighwallshadbeenusedtoparcel outdifferentkindsofsortedwaste.Themallhad beenplannedwithwideindoorboulevards betweentheshopswideenoughfortwolanesof traffic,andshecruisedthoselanesnowinthe hertzmobile,lookingforahuman.Onceshe reachedthecenterofthemalladryfountain filledwithdustyChristmastreeornamentsshe stoppedandleanedonthehorn. Shegotoutofthecarandcalled,Hello?Perry? Shecouldhavephonedhimbutitalwaysseemed sowastefulspendingmoneyonairtimewhenyou weretryingtotalktosomeonewithinshouting range. Suzanne!Thevoicecamefromherleft.She shieldedhereyesfromthesunsglareandpeered downaspokeofmalllaneandcaughtherfirst glimpseofPerryGibbons.Hewasstandinginthe basketofatallcherrypicker,barechestedand brown.Heworeasunvisorandbigworkgloves, andbig,baggyshortswhosepocketsjangledashe shinnieddownthecranesneck. eyes.Hehadabraceononewristandhissteel toedbootswerethemottledgreyofagrease puddleonthefloorofamufflerandbrakeshop. Hegrinnedandtuggedoffaglove,stuckouthis hand.Apleasure.Sorryforthetroublefinding thisplace.Itsnoteasytogetto,butitscheapas hell. Ibelieveit.Shelookedaroundagaintheheaps ofinterestingtrash,thefountaindishfilledwith thousandsofshiningornaments.Thesmellwasa mixtureofmachineoilandsalt,jungleair,Florida swampandDetroitsteel.So,thisplaceispretty cool.Lookslikeyouvegotprettymuch everythingyoucouldimagine. Andthensome.Thiswasspokenbyanother man,onewhopuffedheavilyupfrombehindher. Hewasenormous,notjusttallbutfat,asbig aroundasabarrel.HisgreenteeshirtreadITS FUNTOUSELEARNINGFOREVIL!inblocky, pixelatedletters.Hetookherhandandshookit.I loveyourblog,hesaid.Ireaditallthetime. Hehadthreechins,andeyesthatwerenearlylost inhisapplecheeks. MeetLester,Perrysaid.Mypartner. Sidekick,Lestersaidwithahugewink. Sysadminslashhardwarehackerslashdogsbody slashdotorg. Shechuckled.Nerdhumor.Ararar. Right,letsgetstarted.YouwannaseewhatIdo, right?Perrysaid. Thatsright,Suzannesaid.

Leadtheway,Lester,Perrysaid,andgestured Shestartedtowardhimtentatively.Notalotof withanarm,deepintothecenterofthejunkpile. businessreportingassignmentsinvolvedspending Allright,checkthisstuffoutaswego.Hestuck timewithhalfnaked,sunbakeddudesinremote hishandthroughtheunglazedwindowofanever southernjunkyards.Still,hesoundednice. builtshopandpluckedoutatoyinabatteredbox. Hello!shecalled.Hewasyoung,22or23,and Ilovethesethings,hesaid,handingittoher. alreadyhadsquintcreasesatthecornersofhis Shetookit.ItwasaSesameStreetElmodoll,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/13 labeledBOOGIEWOOGIEELMO. ThatsfromthegreatElmoCrash,Perrysaid, takingbacktheboxandexpertlyextractingthe Elmolikehewasshellinganut.Thelastand greatestgenerationofElmoidtechnology,castinto anuncaringworldthatboughtmillionsofLil TaggerwashablegraffitikitsinsteadafterRosie gavethemtwothumbsuponherChristmas shoppingguide. PoorElmowasanorphan,andeveryjunkyardin theworldhasmountainsofmintinpackage BWEs,gettingrainedon,waitingtostarttheir long,halfmillionyeardecomposition. feettall,withaloftandacatwalkcirclingit halfwayup.Itwaslinedwithmetallicshelves stackedneatlywithlabeledboxesofparts scroungedfromthejunkyard. PerrysetElmodownonaworkbenchandworked aminiatureUSBcableintohischestcavity.The otherendterminatedwithaPDAwithasmall rubberizedphotovoltaiccellonthefront.

ThisthingisrunningInstallPartyitcan recognizeanyhardwareandbuildandinstalla Linuxdistroonitwithouthumanintervention. Theyusedatonofdifferentsuppliersforthe BWE,soeveryoneisalittledifferent,depending Butcheckthisout.Heflickedamultitooloffhis onwhowasofferingthecheapestpartsthedayit beltandextractedashort,sharpscalpelblade.He wasbuilt.InstallPartydoesntcare,though:one clickandawayitgoes.ThePDAwasdoingall slitthegrinning,discosuitedElmoopenfrom chintogroinandshuckeditsfurryexteriorandthe kindsoffunnydancesonitsscreen,montagesof playfulphotoshoppingofpublicfiguresmatted foamtissuethatoverlaiditsskeleton.Heslidthe intohistoricalfineart. bladeundertheplasticcoveronitsassand revealedalittleprintedcircuitboard. Alldone.Now,havealookthisisaLinux computerwithsomeofthemostadvancedrobotics ThatsanentireAtomprocessoronachip, there,hesaid.Eachlimbandtheheadhavetheir everengineered.Nosweatshopstuff,either,see this?Thesolderistooprecisetobedonebyhand ownsubcontrollers.Theresahighpowered digitaltoanalogrigforlettinghimsinganddance thatsbecauseitsfromIndia.Ifitwasfrom Cambodia,youdseeallkindsofwobbleinthe tonewsongs,andananalogtodigitalconverter arrayforconvertingspokenanddancedcommands solder:thatmeansthattiny,cleverhandswere tomotions.Basically,youdanceandsingforElmo usedtocreateit,whichmeansthatsomewherein thedeviceskarmichistory,theresasweatshop andhelldanceandsingbackforyou. fullofcrippledchildreninhalingsolderfumes Suzannenodded.Shedmissedthattoy,whichwas untiltheykeeloverandaredumpedinaditch. apity.Shehadafiveyearoldgoddaughterin Thisisthegoodstuff. MinneapoliswhowouldhavelovedaBoogie Sowehavethiskarmicallycleanrobotwith WoogieElmo. infinitelymalleablecomputationandabunchof Theyhadcometoagiantbarn,setattheedgeofa roboticcapabilities.Iveturnedthesethingsinto storyandahalfsworthofanchorstore.This wallclimbingmonkeys;Ivemoddedthemfora usedtobewherethecontractorskepttheirheavy womanfromtheUniversityofMiamiatthe equipment,Lesterrumbled,aimingacardoor JacksonMemorialwhousedtheircapabilitytoape remoteatthedoor,whichqueepedandopened. humanmotionsinphysiotherapyprogramswith nervedamagecases.ButthebestthingIvedone Inside,itwascoolandbright,thechuggingair withthemsofaristheDistributedBoogieWoogie conditionersefficientlyblastingpurifiedairover themanyworksurfaces.Thebarnwasagood25 ElmoMotorVehicleOperationCluster.Comeon,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/14 hesaid,andtookoffdeeperintothebarnsdepths. Elmos,HALTPerryshoutedandthecarstopped silently,rockinggently.StandDOWN.The Theycametoadusty,strippeddownSmartcar, oneofthosetinytwoseatelectriccarsyoucould Elmossatdownwithaseriesoftinythumps. literallybuyoutofavendingmachineinEurope. Itwasbarelyrecognizable,havingbeenreducedto itsrollcage,drivetrainandcontrolpanel.Agang ofnakedrobotElmoswerepiledintoit. Wakeupboys,timeforademo!Perryshouted, andtheysatupandmadecanned,tinnyElmooh boynoises,climbingintopositiononthepedals, aroundthewheel,andonthegeartree. IgottheideawhenIwasteachinganElmoto playMarioBrothers.Ithoughtitdgetadecent diggdotting.Icouldgetittospeedrunallofthe firstlevelusinganoldpaddleIdfoundand rehabilitated,andIwastryingtofigureoutwhatto donext.Thedeadmallacrossthewayisadrivein theater,andIwasoutfrontwatchingthesilent movies,andoneofthemshowedallthesecute littlefurryanimatedwhateverscollectivelydriving acar.Itsareallyoldsightgag,Imean,likeracial memoryold.IdseentheLittleRascalsdothe samebit,withAlfalfaonthewheeland BuckwheatandSpankyonthebrakeandclutch andthedoggyworkingthegearshift. AndIthought,Shit,IcoulddothatwithElmos. Theydonthaveanynetworkingcapability,but theycantalkandtheycanparsespoken commands,soallIneedistodesignateoneforleft andoneforrightandoneforfastandoneforslow andonetobetheeyes,barkingordersandthey shouldbeabletodothis.Anditworks!Theyeven adjusttheirbalanceandcentersofgravitywhen thecarswervestostayuprightattheirposts. Checkitout.Heturnedtothecar.Driving Elmos,tenHUT!Theysnappeduprightand tickedsalutesofftheirnakedplasticnoggins.In circles,DRIVE,hecalled.TheElmosscrambled intopositionandfiredupthecarandinshort ordertheyweredoingdonutsinthecarslittle indoorpasture. Suzannefoundherselfapplauding.Thatwas amazing,shesaid.Reallyimpressive.Sothats whatyouregoingtodoforKodacell,makethese thingsoutofrecycledtoys? Lesterchuckled.Nope,notquite.Thatsjustfor starters.TheElmosareallabouttheuniversal availabilityofcyclesandapparatus.Everywhere youlook,theresdevicesforfreethathave everythingyouneedtomakeanythingdo anything. Buthavealookatparttwo,cmere.He lumberedoffinanotherdirection,andSuzanne andPerrytrailedalongbehindhim. ThisisLestersworkshop,Perrysaid,asthey passedthroughasetofswingingdoubledoorsand intoaclutteredwonderland.WherePerrys domainhadbeencleanandneatlyorganized, Lestersareawasahappyshambles.Hisshelves werentorderly,butrather,crammedwithlooming pilesofamazingjunk:thriftstorewedding dresses,plasterstatuesofbowlingmonkeys,box kites,kneehightinknightsinarmor,seashells paintedwithAmericanflags,presidentialaction figures,pastejewelryandantiquecoughdroptins. Youknowhowtheysayasculptorstartswitha blockofmarbleandchipsawayeverythingthat doesntlooklikeastatue?Likehecanseethe statueintheblock?Igetlikethatwithgarbage:I seethepiecesontheheapsandinroadsidetrash andIcanjustseehowitcangotogether,likethis. Hereacheddownbelowaworktableandhoisted upahugetriptychmadeoutofthreehingedcar doorsstoodonend.Carefully,heunfoldeditand stooditlikeascreenonthecrackedconcretefloor. Theinsideofthecardoorshadbeenstripped cleanandpolishedtoahighmetalgleamthat glowedlikesterlingsilver.Spotweldedtoitwere

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/15 allmannerofsodatins,poundedflatandcutinto gears,chutes,springsandothermechanical apparatus. Itsamechanicalcalculator,hesaidproudly. AbouthalfaspowerfulasUnivac.Imilledallthe partsusingalasercutter.Whatyoudois,fillthis hopperwithGIJoeheads,andthishopperwith Barbieheads.Crankthiswheelanditwilldropa numberofM&Msequaltotheproductofthetwo valuesintothishopper,here.Heputthreescuffed GIJoeheadsinonehopperandfourscrofulous Barbiesinanotherandbegantocrank,slowly.A musicboxbesidethecrankplayedaslow, irregularrenditionofPopGoestheWeasel whilethehundredsoflittlecoinsizedgears turned,flippingswitchesandaddingandremoving tensiontosprings.Aftertheweaselpoppedafew times,twelvebrownM&Msfellintoan outstretchedrubberhand.Hepickedthemout carefullyandofferedthemtoher.ItsOK. Theyrenotfromthetrash,hesaid.Ibuythem inbulk.Heturnedhisbroadbacktoherand heavedahugegalvanizedtinwashtubfullof brownM&Msinherdirection.See,itsabit bucket!hesaid. said.EvenPerrydidntgetit! Getwhat?Perrysaid,alsogrinning. VanHalenhadthisthingwhereiftherewereany brownM&Msintheirdressingroomtheydtrash itandrefusetoplay.WhenIwasakid,Iusedto dreamaboutbeingsofamousthatIcouldactlike thatmuchofaprick.Eversince,Iveaffordeda greatpersonalsignificancetobrownM&Ms. Shelaughedagain.Thenshefrownedalittle. Look,Ihatetobreakthispartyup,butIcame herebecauseKettlebellycrap,Kettlewellsaid thatyouguysexemplifiedeverythingthathe wantedtodowithKodacell.Thisstuffyouve doneisallveryinteresting,itskillerart,butI dontseethebusinessangle.So,canyouhelpme outhere?

Thatsstepthree,Perrysaid.Cmere.Heled herbacktohisworkspace,toaplatform surroundedbyarticulatedarmsterminatedin webcams,likeagroceryscaleintheembraceofa metalspider.threeDscanner,hesaid, producingaBarbieheadfromLestersmachine anddroppingitonthescales.Heproddedabutton andanearbyscreenfilledwithathree Suzannegiggledinspiteofherself.Youguysare deeimensionalmodelofthehead,flattenedonthe hilarious,shesaid.Thisisreallygood,exciting sidewhereittouchedthesurface.Heturnedthe headoverandscannedagainandnowtherewere nerdystuff.Thegearsonthemechanical twodigitalversionsoftheheadonthescreen.He computerwerereallysharpandprecise;they lookedlikeyoucouldcutyourselfonthem.When mousedoneovertheotheruntiltheylinedup, theygroundoverthepolishedsurfacesofthecar rightclickedadropdownmenu,selectedan doors,theymadeasoundlikeaboxoftoothpicks optionandthentheyweremerged,rotating. fallingtothefloor:clickclick,clickclickclick, OncewevegotthethreeDscan,itsbasically click.Sheturnedthecrankuntiltwelvemore Plasticine.HedistortedtheBarbiehead, brownM&Msfellout. stretchingitandsqueezingitwiththemouse.So wecantakearealobjectandmakethiskindof WhostheVanHalenfan? proteanhyperobjectoutofit,ordropitdowntoa Lesterbeamed.MightaswelljumpJUMP!He wireframeandskinitwithanybitmap,likethis. mimedheavymetalairguitarandthrashedhis MorefastmousingBarbiesheadturnedintoa shornheadupanddownasthoughhewere griddedmesh,finefilamentsstretchingoffalong headbangingwithamightymaneofhairband eachmussedstrandofplastichair.Thena locks.Yourethefirstonetogetthejoke!he

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/16 CampbellsCreamofMushroomSouplabel wrappedaroundherlikeastockingbeingpulled overherhead.Therewassomethingstupendously weirdandsimultaneouslyverycomicaboutthe sight,thekindofinherentcomedyinacartoon stretchedoutonablobofSillyPutty. Sowecanbuildanythingoutofinterestingjunk, withanyshape,andthenwecandigitizethe shape.Thenwecandoanythingwelikewiththe shape.Thenwecanoutputtheshape.Hetyped quicklyandanothermachine,sealedand mammothlikeanoutsizedphotocopier,startedto gruntandchurn.Theairfilledwithasmelllike SaranWrapinamicrowave. Thegoopweuseinthisthingisepoxybased. Youwouldntwanttobuildacaroutofit,butit makesameandollhouse.Thelaststageofthe outputswitchestoinks,soyougetwhatever bitmapyouveskinnedyourobjectwithbaked rightin.Itdoesaboutonecubicinchperminute, sothisjobshouldbealmostdonenow. Hedrummedhisfingersontopofthemachinefor amomentandthenitstoppedchunkingand somethinginsideitwentclunk.Heliftedalidand reachedinsideandpluckedoutthebarbiehead, stretchedanddistorted,skinnedwithaCampbells Souplabel.HehandedittoSuzanne.Sheexpected ittobewarm,likeasquashedpennyfroma machineonFishermansWharf,butitwascool andhadtheseamlesstextureofaplasticmargarine tubandtheheftofapaperweight. So,thatsthebusiness,Lestersaid.Orsowere told.Wevebeenmakingcoolstuffandsellingit tocollectorsonthewebforyouknow,gigantic bucks.Wemoveoneortwopiecesamonthat abouttengrandper.ButKettlebellysayshes goingtoindustrializeus,alienateusfromthe productofourlabor,andturnusintoanassembly line. Hedidntsayanysuchthing,Perrysaid. Suzannewasawarethatherearshadgrownpoints. PerrygaveLesteranaffectionatesluginthe shoulder.Lestersonlykidding.Whatweneedis acoupleofdogsbodiesandsomebiggerprinters andwellbeabletoturnoutmoremodestdevices bythehundredorpossiblythethousand.Wecan tweakthedesignsreallyeasilybecausenothingis comingoffamold,sotheresnosetupcharge,so wecandolimitedrunsofahundred,redesign,do anotherhundred.Wecanmakeemtoorder. AndweneedanMBA,Lestersaid.Kodacells sendingusabusinessmanagertohelpusturnjunk intopesos. Yeah,Perrysaid,withaworriedflickofhis eyes.Yeah,abusinessmanager. So,Iveknownsomebusinessgeekswhoarent totalassholes,Lestersaid.Whocareaboutwhat theyredoingandthepeopletheyredoingitwith. Respectfulandmindful.Itslikelawyerstheyre notallscumbags.Someofthemaretotally awesomeandsaveyourass. Suzannetookallthisin,jottingnotesonanold fashionedspiralboundshirtpocketnotebook. Whenshearriving? Nextweek,Lestersaid.Weveclearedhima spacetoworkandeverything.Hessomeonethat KettlewellspeoplerecruitedupinIthacaandhes goingtomoveheretoworkwithus,sightunseen. Crazy,huh? Crazy,Suzanneagreed. Right,Perrysaid.Thatsnextweek,andthis aftwevegotsomeworktodo,butnowImready forlunch.Youguysreadyforlunch? Somethingaboutfoodandreallyfatguys,it seemedlikeanawkwardquestiontoSuzanne,like askingsomeonewhodbeenhorriblydisfigured byburnsifhewantedtotoastamarshmallow.But Lesterdidntreacttothequestionofcoursenot, hehadtoeat,everyonehadtoeat.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/17 Yeah,letsdotheIHOP.Lestertrundledbackto hishalfoftheworkspace,thencamebackwitha caneinonehand.Thereslikethreeplacestoeat withinwalkingdistanceofhereifyoudontcount themobileMexicanburritowagon,whichIdont, sinceitsarollingadvertisementfordysentery. TheIHOPistheleastobjectionableofthose. Wecoulddrivesomewhere,Suzannesaid.Itwas cominguponnoonandtheheatoncetheygot outsideintothemallsruinswaslikethesteamoff adishwasher.Shepluckedatherblouseacouple oftimes. Itstheonlychancetoexerciseweget,Perry said.Itsprettymuchimpossibletoliveorwork withinwalkingdistanceofanythingdownhere. Youenduplivinginyourcar. Andsotheyhikedalongthesideoftheroad.The sidewalkwasacuriousmixofoldandnew,the concreteunwornbutstillovergrownbytall sawgrassthrivingintheFloridaheat.Itbrushedup againstherankles,hardandsharp,unlikethegrass backhome. thescarybeachcombers.Hewavedacrossthe malarialditchtoanoldmaninapairofpressed khakishortsandacrispBermudashirt.Hey Francis!hecalled.Theoldmanwavedback. WellhavesomeIHOPforyouboutanhour! Theoldmantickedasaluteoffhiscreased forehead. Francisisagoodguy.Usedtobeanaerospace engineerifyoucanbelieveit.Wifehadmedical problemsandhewentbusttakingcareofher. Whenshedied,heendeduphereinhisdouble wideandneverleft.Kindoftheunofficialmayor ofthislittlepatch. SuzannestaredafterFrancis.Hehadabitofa gimpyleg,alimpshecouldspotevenfromhere. Besideher,Lesterwaspuffing.Noonewas comfortablewalkinginFlorida,itseemed.

IttookanotherhalfhourtoreachtheIHOP,the InternationalHouseofPancakes,whichsat oppositeaminimallwithonlyonestillbreathing store,aplacethatadvertised99centtshirts, whichstruckSuzanneasprofoundlydepressing. Therewasajunkieoutfrontof99CentTees,a Theywerewalkingparalleltoaditchfilledwith sluggish,brackishwaterandpopulatedbysinging womanwithaleatherytanandatinytanktopand shortsthatmadeherlookalittlelikeaTenderloin frogs,ducks,ibises,andmosquitoesingreat hooker,butnotwiththatratsnesthair,noteven number.Acrossthewaywereemptylots,ghost intheLoin.Shewobbleduncertainlyacrossthe plazas,deadfillingstations.Behindoneofthe parkinglottothem. fillingstations,aclusteroftentsandshacks. Excuseme,shesaid,withanimprobableValley Squatters?sheasked,pointingtothe Girlaccent.Excuseme?Imhopingtoget shantytown. somethingtoeat,itsformykid,shesnursing, Yeah,Perrysaid.Lotsofthatdownhere.Some gottakeepmystrengthup.Hernakedarmsand ofthemaretheparamilitarywingoftheAARP, legswerebadlytrackedout,andSuzannehada oldtrailerhomeretireeswhoverunoutofmoney horrifiedrealizationthatamongthestainsonher andjustsetupcamphere.Somearebumsand tanktopwereapairofspreadingpoolsofbreast junkies,somearerunaways.Itsnotasbadasit milk,dampeningoldwhite,crustedpatchesover lookstheyreprettycomfyinthere.Webring hersaggingbreasts.Formybaby.Adollarwould emfurnitureandothergoodpickingsthatshow help,adollar. upatthejunkyard.Thehomelesswiththe TherewerehomelesslikethisinSanFrancisco, wherewithaltobuildshantytowns,theyhavent goneallanimalliketheshoppingcartpeopleand too.InSanJoseaswell,shesupposed,butshe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/18 didntknowwheretheyhid.Butsomethingabout thiswoman,crackedoutandtrackedout,itfreaked herout.Shedugintoherpurseandgotoutafive dollarbillandhandedittothehomelesswoman. Thewomansmiledasnaggletoothedstumpygrin andreachedforit,then,abruptly,grabbedholdof Suzanneswrist.Hergripwasdampandweak. Thejunkiecockedherhead.Thenshelaughed. Yeah,OK,yeah.Surethanks,thanksalot! LestermotionedherovertothemenuintheIHOP windowandwaitedwithherwhileshepickedout ahelpingofcaramelapplewaffles,sausagelinks, friedeggs,hashbrowns,coffee,orangejuiceanda chocolatemalted.Isthatall?hesaid,laughing, laughing,bothofthemlaughing,allofthem laughingattheincredible,outrageousmeal.

Dontyoufuckinglookatmelikethat.Youre notbetterthanme,bitch!Suzannetuggedfree andsteppedbackquickly.Thatsright,runaway! Theywentinandwaitedbythepodium.The Bitch!Fuckyou!Enjoyyourlunch! greeter,ablackguywithcornrows,noddedat Shewasshaking.PerryandLesterclosedranks LesterandPerrylikeanoldfriend.HeyTony, aroundher.Lestermovedtoconfrontthehomeless Lestersaid.Canyougetusagobagwithsome woman. takeoutfortheladyoutsidebeforewesitdown? Thefuckyouwantlardass?Youwannafuckwith Herecitedtheastoundingorder. me?Igotaknife,youknow,cutyourearsoffand feedemtoya. Tonyshookhisheadandduckedit.OK,beright up,hesaid.Youwanttositwhileyoure waiting?

LestercockedhisheadliketheRCAVictordog. Hetoweredovertheskinnyjunkie,andwasfiveor Wellwaithere,thanks,Lestersaid.Dont sixtimeswiderthanher. wanthertothinkwerebailingonher.Heturned andwavedather. Youallright?hesaidgently. Ohyeah,Imjustfine,shesaid.Why,you lookingforaparty? Helaughed.YourejokingIdcrushyou! Shesmean,youknowbecareful. Thanks,Tony,Lestersaid.

SuzannemarveledatLestersequanimity.Nothing Shelaughedtoo,alesscrazy,morerelaxedsound. gothisgoat.Thedoggiebagarrived.Iputsome extranapkinsandacoupleofwetnapsinthere, Lestersvoicewasalow,soothingrumble.I dontthinkmyfriendthinksshesanybetterthan Tonysaid,handingittohim. you.Ithinkshejustwantedtohelpyouout. Great!Lestersaid.Youguyssitdown,Illbe Thejunkieflickedhereyesbackandforth.Listen backinasecond. canyouspareadollarformybaby? PerrymotionedforSuzannetofollowhimtoa Ithinkshejustwantedtohelpyou.CanIgetyou booth.Helaughed.Lestersagoodguy,hesaid. ThebestguyIknow,youknow? somelunch? Howdoyouknowhim?sheasked,takingout Fuckerswontletmeinwontletmeusethe hernotepad. toileteven.Itsnothumane.Dontwanttogoin thebushes.Notdignifiedtogointhebushes. Thatstrue,hesaid.WhatifIgetyousome takeout,yougotashadyplaceyoucouldeatit? Nursingshungrywork. Hewasthesysadminatacompanythatwas makingthreeDprinters,andIwasatechata companythatwasbuyingthem,andtheproducts didntwork,andIspentalotoftimeonthephone

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/19 withhimtroubleshootingthem.Wedgettogether inouroffhoursandhackaroundwithneatlittle workbenchprojects,stuffwedcomeupwithat work.Whenbothcompanieswentunder,wegota bunchoftheirequipmentatbankruptcyauctions. Lestersuncleownedthejunkyardandheoffered usspacetosetupourworkshopsandtherestis history. Lesterjoinedthemagain.Hewaslaughing.She isfunny,hesaid.Keptheftingthesackand saying,Christwhatthosebastardsputonaplate, nowonderthiscountryssogoddamnedfat! Perrylaughed,too.Suzannechucklednervously andlookedaway. baconandapintoforangejuice.Evenifyouorder thisstuffandeatathirdofit,aquarterofit,thats probablytoomuch,andwhenyouvegotalotof foodinfrontofyou,itsprettyhardtoknowwhen tostop. Suzannecouldnthelpit;sheblurtedout:But willpower

Sure,willpower.Willpowernothing.Thething is,whenthreequartersofAmericaareobese, whenhalfaredangerouslyobese,likeme,years offourlivesfromallthefatthattellsyouthat thisisntawillpowerproblem.Wedidntgetless willfulinthelastfiftyyears.Mightaswellsay thatallthosepeoplewhodiedoftheplaguelacked Heslidintotheboothnexttoherandputahand thewillpowertokeeptheirhousesfreeofrats.Fat onhershoulder.ItsOK.Imaguywhoweighs isntmoral,itsepidemiological.Thereareasmall nearly400pounds.IknowImabig,fatguy.IfI numberofpeople,atinyminority,whosegenes wassensitiveaboutit,Icouldntlasttenminutes. areshortcircuitedinawaythatmakesthemless ImnotproudofbeingasbigasIam,butImnot pronetoretainingnutrients.Thatsamaladaptive ashamedeither.ImOKwithit. traitthroughmostofhumanhistoryburning unnecessarycalorieswhenyouvegottochase Youwouldntloseweightifyoucould? downanantelopetogetmore,thatsnowaytolive Sure,whynot?ButIveconcludeditsnotan longenoughtopassonyourgenes!Soyouand optionanymore.Iwasalwaysafatkid,andsoI Perryoverherewithyourlittleskinnyselves,able nevergotgoodatsports,nevergotthathabit.Now topackawaytransfatsandhighfructosecorn IvegotthishugedeficitwhenIsitdownto syrupandapoundofcandyforbreakfastatthe exercise,becauseImluggingaroundallthislard. IHOP,yourenotdoingthisonwillpower Cantrunmorethanafewsteps.Walkingsabout youredoingitbyexpressingthesomatotypeofa it.Couldntjoinapickupgameofbaseballorget recessive,countersurvivalgene. outonthetenniscourt.Ineverlearnedtocook, either,thoughIsupposeIcould.ButmostlyIeat WouldIliketobethinner?Sure.ButImnot out,andItrytoordersensibly,butjustlookatthe gonnaletthefactthatImgeneticallybettersuited tofaminethanfeastgettome.Speakingof,lets craptheyfeedusattheplaceswecangetto therearentanyhealthfoodrestaurantsinthestrip eat.Tony,cmere,buddy.Iwantaplateofcandy! Hewassmiling,andbrave,andatthatmoment, malls.Lookatthismenu,hesaid,tappinga Suzannethoughtthatshecouldgetacrushonthis pornographicglossypictureofastackof glisteningwafflesoozingwithsomekindofhigh guy,thisbig,smart,talented,funny,lovableguy. Thenrealitysnappedbackandshesawhimashe fructoselube.Caramelpancakeswithwhipped was,sexless,lumpy,almostgrotesque.Theoverlay cream,maplesyrupandcannedstrawberries. ofhis,what,hisinnerbeautyonthatexterior,it WhenIwasakid,wecalledthatcandy.These peoplewillsellyouaneightdollar,18ounceplate disorientedher.Shelookedbackoverhernotes. ofcandywithasideofsausage,eggs,biscuits, So,yousaythattheresathirdcomingoutto

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/20 workwithyou? Tolivewithus,Perrysaid.Thatspartofthe deal.Geekhouses,likeintheoldcollegedays. Weregoingtobeapowertrio:twogeeksanda suit,leanandmean.ThesuitsnameisTjan,and hesSingaporeanbywayofLondonbywayof Ithaca,whereKettlebellyfoundhim.Wevetalked onthephoneacoupletimesandhesmoving downnextweek. Hesmovingdownwithouteverhavingmet you? Yeah,thatsthewayitgoes.Itslikethearmyor somethingforus:onceyoureinyouget dispatchedhereorthere.Itwasinthecontract.We alreadyhadaplacedownherewithroomforTjan, soweputsomefreshlinenontheguestbedand laidinanextratoothbrush. Itsalittlenervousmaking,Lestersaid.Perry andIgetalonggreat,butIhaventhadsuchgood luckwithbusinesstypes.ItsnotthatImsome kindofidealistwhodoesntgettheneedtomake money,buttheycanbesocondescending,you know? Suzannenodded.Thatsatwowaystreet,you know.Suitsdontlikebeingtalkeddowntoby engineers. Lesterraisedahand.Guiltyascharged. Sowhatreyouplanningtodofortherestofthe week?ItwasWednesday,andshedcountedon gettingthispartofthestorybySaturday,buthere shewasgoingtohavetowait,clearly,untilthis Tjanarrived. Samestuffaswealwaysdo.Webuildcrazystuff outofjunk,sellittocollectors,andhavefun.We couldgototheThunderbirdDriveIntonightif youwant,itsarealclassic,fleamarketbyday anddriveinbynight,practicallythelastone standing. Perrycutin.OrwecouldgotoSouthBeachand getagoodmeal,ifthatsmoreyourspeed. Naw,Suzannesaid.Driveinsoundsgreat, especiallyifitssuchadyingbreed.Bettergeta visitinwhiletheresstilltime. Theytriedtotreatherbutshewouldntletthem. Sheneverletanyonebuyhersomuchasacupof coffee.Itwasanoldjournalismschooldrill,and shewaspracticallytheonlyscribblersheknew whohewedtoit:someofthewhoresonthe SiliconValleypaperstookinfreecomputers,trips, evenspadays!butshehadneverwavered. Theafternoonpassedquicklyandenchantingly. Perrywasworkingonakneehigh,articulated Frankensteinmonsterbuiltoutofhandpainted seashellsfromabeachsidekitschmarket.They saidGODBLESSAMERICAandSOUVENIR OFFLORIDAandCONCHREPUBLICandeach hadtobefittedoutforamotorcustombuiltto conformtoitscontours. Whenitsdone,itwillmaketoast. Maketoast? Yeah,separateasinglesliceoffaloaf,loadit intoatoploadingslicetoaster,depressthelever, timethetoastcycle,retrievethetoastandbutterit. Igottheideafromoldtimebackuptapeloaders. Thisplusatoasterwillfunctionasaloosely coupledsinglesystem. OK,thatsreallycool,butIhavetoaskthe boringquestion,Perry.Why?Whybuildatoast robot? Perrystoppedworkinganddustedhishandsoff. Hewasreallybuilt,andhisshaggyhairmadehim lookyoungerthanhiscrowsfeetsuggested.He turnedaseashellwithahalfbuiltmotorinitover andspunitlikeatoponthehandpainted WEATHERISHERE/WISHYOUWERE BEAUTIFULlegend.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/21 Well,thatsthequestion,isntit?Thesimple answer:peoplebuythem.Collectors.Soitsa goodhobbybusiness,butthatsnotreallyit. Itslikethis:engineeringisallaboutconstraint. Givenaspanoffoofeetandmaterialsoftensile strengthofbar,buildabridgethatdoesntgoall fubared.Writeafunvideogameforaneightbit consolethatllfitin32K.Buildthefastest airplane,ortheonewiththelargestcarrying capacity...Butthesedays,theresnotmuch traditionalconstraint.Ivegottheengineersmost dangerousluxury:plenty.Allthecomputational cyclesIlleverneed.Easyandrapidprototyping. Precisiontools. Now,itmaybethatthereisasuiteoftasks lurkinginpotentiathatdemandallthisresource andmoremaybeImlikesomelocomotive engineerdeclaringthat60milesperhouristhe pinnacleofmachinevelocity,thatspeedis cracked.ButIdontseemanyofthoseproblems nonethatinterestme. WhatIvegotherearemyownconstraints.Im challengingmyself,usingfoundobjectsand makingstuffthatthrowsallthiscomputational capacityat,youknow,thesetrivialproblems,like cardrivingElmoclustersandseashelltoaster robots.Wehavesomuchcapacitythatthetrivia expandstofillit.Andallthatcapacityisjunk capacity,itsleftovers.Theresenough computationalcapacityinajunkyardtolauncha spaceprogram,andthatsbydesign.Remember theiPod?Whydoyouthinkitwassoproneto scratchingandgoingallgunkyafterayearinyour pocket?WhywouldApplebuildahandheld technologyoutofmaterialsthatturnedtoshitif youlookedatthemcrosseyed?Itsbecausethe iPodwasonlymeanttolastayear! witheredupandblewaway?Oh,notreally, obviously,becauseitsnicetoseeawell maintainedlandyachtonthehighwayeverynow andagain,ifonlyforvarietyssake,butifyoure goingtodesignsomethingthatismeanttobeau faitthenpresumablyyoushouldhavesome plannedobsolescenceinthere,someendoflifing strategyfortheaestheticcrashthatfollowsany couturemovement.Here,checkthisout. Hehandedherawhitebrick,thesizeofadeckof cards.Ittookheramomenttorecognizeitasan iPod.Christ,itshuge,shesaid. Yeah,isntitjust.Rememberhowsmalland shinythisthingwaswhenitshipped?Athousand songsinyourpocket! Thatmadeheractuallylaughoutloud.Shefished inherpocketforherearbudsanddroppedthemon thetablewheretheyclatteredlikeM&Ms.Ithink Ivegotabout40,000songsonthose.Haventrun outofspaceyet,either. Herolledthebudsaroundinhispalmlikeapair ofdice.YouwontIstoppedkeepingtrackof mineafterIaddedmyhundredthousandth audiobook.IvegotabunchoftheLibraryof Congressinmineashighrezscans,too.Acopyof theInternetArchive,everypostevermadeon Usenet...Basically,thesethingsareinfinitely capacious,giventhesizeofthemediawework withtoday.Herolledthebudsoutonthe workbenchandlaughed.Andthatsjustthe point!Tomorrow,wellhavesomenewextrafat kindofmediaandsomenewtasktoperformwith itandsomenewstoragemediumthatwillmake thesethingslooklikeanoldiPod.Beforethat happens,youwantthistowearoutandscuffupor getlost

Ilosethosethingsallthetime,likeaseta ItsliketailfinstheywerecoolintheTailfin month. Cretaceous,butwouldntithavebeenbetterif theycouldhavedisappearedfromviewwhenthey Thereyougothen!TheiPodsweretoobigto becameaestheticallyobsolete,whenthespaceage loselikethat,butjustlookatthem.TheiPods

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/22 chromewasscratchedtothepointofbeingfogged, likethemirrorinagasstationtoilet.Thescreen wasalmostunreadableforallthescratches.They hadscratchproofmaterialsandhardplasticsback then.TheychosetobuildthesethingsoutofSaran Wrapandtinfoilsothatbythetimetheydoubled incapacitynextyear,youdhavealreadyworn yoursoutandwouldntfeelbadaboutjunking them. SoImbuildingatapeloadingseashellrobot toasteroutofdiscardedobsoletetechnology becausetheworldisfullofcapacious,capable, disposablejunkanditcriesouttobeusedagain. Itsapotlatch:Ihavesomuchmaterialand computationalwealththatIcanaffordtowasteit onfrivolousjunk.Ithinkthatswhythecollectors buyit,anyway. getmoretimetohack;everyonegetspaid. Kodacellsgotsomemicrosizedmarketing agencies,specializedPRfirms,creativeshippers, allkindsoflittlethreepersonoutfitsthattheyve promisedtohookusupwith.Tjaninterfaceswith them,wedoourthing,enrichtheshareholders,get stockourselves.Itssupposedtobeallupside. Hell,ifitdoesntworkwecanjustwalkawayand findanotherdumpandgobackintothecollectors market.

Hepickeduphishalffinishedshellandswunga lampwithamagnifyinglensbuiltintoitoverhis workspace.Hey,justasec,OK?Ivejustfigured outwhatIwasdoingwrongbefore.Hetookupa littletweezersandaplasticrodandprobedfora moment,thendaubedsomesolderdowninsidethe shellsguts.Hetweezedawiretoacontactand theshellmadeamotorizedsound,apegsticking Thatbringsusbacktothequestionofyour relationshipwithKodacell.Theywanttodowhat, outofitbegantomoverhythmically. exactly,withyou? Gotit,hesaid.Hesetitdown.Idontexpect Imgoingtobedoingmanymoreoftheseprojects Well,wevebeenplayingwithsomemass productiontechniques,thethreeDprinterandso afternextweek.Thiskindofdesign,wecould nevermassproduceit.Helookedalittlewistful, on.WhenKettlebellycalledme,hesaidthathe wantedtoseeaboutusingthescannerandsoonto andSuzannesuppressedasmile.Whatatortured makealotofthesethings,atalowpricepoint.Its artistethisFloridajunkyardengineerwas! prettyperversewhenyouthinkaboutit:using moderntechnologytobuildreplicasofobsolete technologyrescuedfromthedump,whenthese replicasareboundtoendupbackhereatthe dump!Helaughed.Hehadnicelaughlines aroundhiseyes.Anyway,itssomethingthat LesterandIhadtalkedaboutforalongtime,but neverreallygotaroundto.Toomuchlikeretail. Itsbadenoughdealingwithacoupledozen collectorswhollpaytengrandforasculpture: whowantstodealwithtenthousandcustomers whollgoadollareachforthesamething? ButyoufigurethatthisTjancharacterwill handleallthecustomerstuff? Thatstheidea:hellrunthebusinessside,well Asthelongdaydrewtoaclose,theywentoutfor awalkinthetwilightscoolintheyard.The soppinghumidityofthedaysettledaroundthem asthesunsetinalongsummerblazethatturned thedryfountainfullofChristmasornamentsintoa luminescentbowlofjewels. Igotsomerealprogresstoday,Lestersaid.He hadacanewithhimandhewaslimpingheavily. Gottheprintertooutputcompletemechanical logicalgates,allinonepiece,Almostno assembly,justdaisychainthemonaboard.And Ivebeenworkingonastandardsnaponsystem forlegobrickingeachgatetothenext.Itsgoing tomakeitaloteasiertorampupproduction. Yeah?Perrysaid.Heaskedatechnicalquestion

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/23 abouttheprinter,somethingaboutthegoops tensilestrengththatSuzannecouldntfollow.They wentatit,hammerandtongs,talkingthroughthe abstrusedetailsfasterthanshecouldfollow, walkingmoreandmorequicklypastthevastheaps ofdeadtechnologyandhalfbuiltmallstores. Sheletthemgetaheadofherandstoppedto gatherherthoughts.Sheturnedaroundtotakeit allinandthatswhenshecaughtsightofthekids sneakingintoPerryandLesterslab. Hey!sheshouted,inherloudestDetroitvoice. Whatareyoudoingthere?Therewerethreeof them,inMiamiDolphinsjerseysandshinybald shavedheadsandlittleshorts,thelatest inexplicablerapperstylewhichmadethemlook morelikedragqueensinmuftithantoughguys. Theyroundedonher.Theywereheavysetand theireyebrowswerebleachedblond.Theyhad beensneakingintothelabssidedoor,looking aboutasinconspicuousasatrioofnuns. Getlost!sheshouted.Getoutofhere!Perry, Lester! Theywerecomingclosernow.Theydidntmove sowell,puffingintheheat,buttheyclearlyhad mayhemontheirminds.Shereachedintoher purseforherpeppersprayandhelditbeforeher dramatically,buttheydidntstopcoming. Suddenly,theairwasrentbytheloudestsound shedeverheard,likeshedputherheadinsidea foghorn.Sheflinchedandmistedacloudof aerosolcapsicumaheadofher.Shehadthe presenceofmindtostepbackquickly,before catchingablowback,butshewasntquickenough, forhereyesandnosestartedtoburnandwater. Thesoundwouldntstop,itjustkeptgoingon,a soundlikeherheadwastoosmalltocontainher brain,asoundthatmadeherteethache.Thethree kidshadstoppedandstaggeredoff. ofher.Shefoundthatsheddroppedtoherknees intheteethofthatastonishingnoise. Shelethimhelphertoherfeet.Jesus,shesaid, puttingahandtoherears.Theyranglikeshed beenataraveallnight.Whatthehell? Antipersonnelsonicdevice,Lestersaid.She realizedthathewasshouting,butshecouldbarely hearit.Itdoesntdoanypermanentdamage,but itllscareoffmostanyone.Thosekidsprobably liveintheshantytownwepassedthismorning. Moreandmoreofthemarejoininggangs.Theyre ourneighbors,sowedontwanttoshootthemor anything. Shenodded.Theringinginherearswassubsiding alittle.Lestersteadiedher.Sheleanedonhim.He wasbigandsolid.Heworethesamecologneas herfatherhad,sherealized. Shemovedawayfromhimandsmoothedouther shorts,dustingoffherknees.Didyouinvent that? MadeitusingaHOWTOIfoundonline,he said.Lotofkidsaroundhereuptonogood.Its prettymuchahomebrewcivildefensesiren ruggedandcheap. Sheputafingerineachearandscratchedatthe itchybuzzing.Whensheremovedthem,her hearingwasalmostbacktonormal.Ioncehadan upstairsneighborinCambridgewhohadastereo systemthatloudneverthoughtIdhearitagain. Perrycameandjoinedthem.Ifollowedthema bit,theyrewaygonenow.IthinkIrecognizedone ofthemfromthecampsite.IlltalktoFrancis aboutitandseeifhecansetthemright. Haveyoubeenbrokenintobefore?

Afewtimes.Mostlywhatweworryaboutis someonetrashingtheprinters.Everythingelseis easytoreplace,butwhenLestersoldemployer YouOK?Thevoicesoundedlikeitwascoming wentbustweboughtupaboutfiftyofthesethings fromfar,faraway,thoughLesterwasrightinfront attheauctionandIdontknowwherewedlay

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/24 handsonthemagain.Computersarecheapandits notlikeanyonecouldreallystealallthisjunk.He flashedherhisgoodlooking,confidentsmile again. Whattimedothemoviesstart? Theworldhadbeenstoodonitsheadsomany timesintheinterveningthirtyplusyearsthatit wasliterallydizzyingorwasthatthebeerhaving adelayedeffect?Suddenlyallthecertaintiesshe restedonher401k,herhouse,herabilityto navigatetheprofessionalworldinacompetent mannerseemedtobebuiltonshiftingsands.

Lestercheckedhiswatch.Aboutanhourafter sunset.Ifweleavenowwecangetarealdinnerat TheydcomeinLesterscar,ahomemadeauto aHaitianplaceIknowandthenheadovertothe Thunderbird.Illhideunderablanketintheback builtaroundtwoelectricSmartcarsjoined togethertoformakindofminisedanwithroom seatsothatwecansaveonadmission! enoughforLestertoslideintothedriversperch Sheddonethatmanytimesasakid,herfather withroomtospare.Oncetheyarrived,they shushingherandherbrotherastheygiggled unpackedcleverfoldingchairsandsatthembeside beneaththeblankets.ThethoughtofgiantLester thecar,rolleddownthewindows,andturnedup doingitmadeherchuckle.Ithinkwecanafford thespeakers.Itwasawarmnight,butnotsticky topayforyou,shesaid. thewayithadbeenthatday,andthekissofthe windthatrustledtheleavesofthetallpalms Thedinnerwasgoodfieryspicyfishandgood ringingthetheaterwaslikebalm. musicinanoldtikibarwithpeelinggrass wallpaperthatmanagedtolookvaguelyHaitian. Themoviewassomethingforgettableabout ThewaitersspokeSpanish,notFrench,though. bumblingdetectivesonthemoon,oneofthose Sheletherselfbetalkedintotwobottlesofbeer trendynewthingsactedentirelybyanimateddead aboutoneandahalfmorethanshewould actorswhocombinedthevirtuesofboxoffice normallytakebutshedidntgetlightheaded. drawandcheaplabor.Theremighthavebeena Theheatandhumidityseemedtorinsethealcohol coupleoffictionalactorsintheretoo,itwashard rightoutofherbloodstream. tosay,shedneverreallyfollowedthemovies Theygottothemoviesjustatdusk.Itwasjustlike exceptasaplacetoescapeto.Therewasreal magicandescapeinadrivein,though,withthe sherememberedfrombeingalittlegirland palpableevidenceofallthoseotherbreathing comingwithherparents.Childreninpajamas climbedoverajunglegymtoonesideofthelot. humansinthedarkenednightwatchingthemagic Rankedrowsofcarsfacedthehuge,grubbywhite storyflickerpastonthescreen,somethingthat wentrightintoherhindbrain.Beforesheknewit, projectionwalls.Theyevenshowedoneofthose hereyelidsweredroopingandthenshefound scratchyoldLetsallgotothelobbyandget ourselvesatreatcartoonshortswiththedancing herselfjerkingawake.Thishappenedacouple timesbeforeLesterslippedapillowunderher hotdogsbeforethemovie. headandshesankintoitandfellintosleep. Thenostalgiafilledheruplikeaballoon Shewokeattheclosingcreditsandrealizedthat expandinginherchest.Shehadnteverseena computeruntilshewastenyearsold,andthathad shedmanagedtopropthepillowonLesters barrelchest.Shesnappedherheadupandthen beenthesizeofachestfreezer,withless capabilitythanoneoftheactiveprintedcomputer smiledembarrassedlyathim.Hey,sleepyhead, cardsthatcameinglossyfashionmagazineswith hesaid.Yousnorelikeabandsaw,youknowit? comeonsforperfumeandweightloss. Sheblushed.Idont!

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/25 Youdo,hesaid. Ido? Perry,onherothersidenodded.Youdo. God,shesaid. anddrovearoundMiamiforawhile.Sheneeded tofindsometoiletriesandthenacafewhereshe couldsitdownandfilesomecopy.Shedtweeted abunchofworkingnotesandpostedafewthings toherblogthedaybefore,buthereditorexpected somethingmorecoherentforthosewhopreferred theirnewsalittlemoredigested.

Dontworry,youhaventgotanythingon Lester,Perrysaid.Ivegoneintohisroomsome BythetimeshearrivedatPerrysjunkyard,the morningsandfoundallthepictureslyingonthe dayhadtippedforafternoon,thesunnolonger floor,vibratedofftheirhooks. straightoverhead,theheatalittlesofterthanithad ItseemedtoherthatLesterwasblushingnow. beenthedaybefore.Shesettledinforanotherday ofwatchingtheguyswork,askingtheoccasional ImsorryifIspoiledthemovie,shesaid. question.Thecolumnshedendedupfilinghad Dontsweatit,Lestersaid,clearlygratefulfor beenakindofwaitandseepiece,describingthe thechangeofsubject.Itwasalousymovie coolculturethesetwohadgoingbetweenthem, anyway.Youdrownedoutsometrulyfoul andaskingifitcouldsurvivescalinguptomass dialogue. production.Nowsheexperimentedwiththeir Well,theresthat. worksinprogress,sculpturesandmachinesthat almostworked,ordidntworkatall,butthat Cmon,letsgobacktotheofficeandgetyou showedthescopeoftheircreativity.Kettlewell yourcar.ItsanhourtoMiamifromhere. thoughtthattherewereathousand,tenthousand Shewaswideawakebythetimesheparkedthe peopleascreativeasthesetwooutthere,waiting rentacarinthecoffinhotelsparkinglotand tobediscovered.Coulditbetrue? crawledintoherroom,slappingtheairconbuttons uptofulltoclearoutthestiflingairthathadbaked Sure,Perrysaid,whynot?Werejusthere becausesomeonedroppedthebarriertoentry, intotheinteriorduringtheday. madeitpossibleforacoupleoftinkererstogeta Shelayonherbackinthedarkcoffinforalong lotofmaterialsandtoassemblethemwithout time,eyesopenandslowlyadjustingtotheidiot knowingawholelotaboutadvancedmaterials lightsonthecontrolpanel,untilitseemedthatshe science.WasntitlikethiswhentheInternetwas waslyinginaspacecapsulehurtlingthroughthe startingout? universeatrelativisticspeeds,leavingbehind Woah,Suzannesaid.Ijustrealizedthatyou history,theworld,everythingsheknew.Shesat up,wideawake,onWestCoasttimesuddenly,and wouldntreallyrememberthosedays,backinthe earlynineties. therewasnowayshewouldfallasleepnow,but shelaybackdownandthenshedid,finally. SureIrememberthem.Iwasakid,butI Thealarmwokeherseeminglyfiveminuteslater. rememberthemfine! Shedidacouplelapsaroundtheparkinglot, paddingaround,stretchingherlegs,tryingtoclear herheadherinternalclockthoughtthatitwas 4AM,butat7AMontheeastcoast,thesunwas upandtheheathadbeguntosizzleallthe availablemoistureintotheair.Sheleftthehotel Shefeltveryold.Thethingwasthatnoone reallysuspectedthatthereweresomanyliberal artsmajorslurkinginthenationsuniversities, dyingtodropoutandlearnperlandHTML. Perrycockedhishead.Yeah,Iguessthats

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/26 analogous.Thelegacyofthedotcomyearsforme isallthisfreeinfrastructure,verycheapnetwork connectionsandhostingcompaniesandsoon. That,Iguess,combinedwithpeoplewillingtouse it.Ineverreallythoughtofit,buttheremusthave beenalotofpeoplehangingaroundintheold dayswhothoughtemailandthenetwerepretty sketchy,right? quitelike,itsaesthetic,likeapaintingwith visiblebrushstrokes.ButPerrysright:ifyousee solderlikethisonanythingthatthereareamillion of,thenyouknowthatitwaslaiddownbykids andwomenworkingforslavewages.Theresno wayitscheapertomakeamillionsoldersbyhand thanbyrobotunlessyourlaborforceislockedin, forcefedamphetamine,anddestroyedforanything Shewavedherhandsathim.Perry,lad,youdont exceptprostitutioninsideoffiveyears.Buthere, knowthehalfofit.Therearestillexecutivesinthe insomethinglikethis,sohandmadeandoneofa rustbeltwhospendbailoutmoneyonsecretariesto kind,Ithinkitgivesitanicecargocult neoprimitivefeel.Likeafieldofhandtilled printouttheiremailandthendictaterepliesinto furrows. taperecorderstobetypedandsent. Hefurrowedhisthickeyebrows.Yourejoking, Shenodded.Todayshewaskeepinghercomputer out,writingdownquotesandtweetingthoughtsas hesaid. theycame.Theyworkedsidebysidein Sheputherhandonherheart.Ikidyounot.I companionablesilenceforawhileasshekilleda knewpeopleinthenewsroomattheDetroitFree couplethousandspamsandhelaiddownacouple Press.Therearewholeindustriesinthiscountry dozenblobsofsolder. thatarelivinginthelastcentury. HowdoyoulikeFlorida?hesaid,after Well,forme,allthatdotcommiestuffwaslike straighteningupandcrackinghisback. puttingdownagoodbase,makingiteasyfor Shebarelystoppedtyping,deepintosomeemail: peoplelikemetogetpartsandbuildlogsandto Itsallright,Isuppose. findhardwarehackerstojamwith. Theresgreatstuffhereifyouknowwhereto Perrygotengrossedinatrickybitofenginein look.Wantmetoshowyouaroundalittletonight? seashellthenandshewanderedovertoLester, ItsFriday,afterall. whowasprintingoutmoreBarbieheadsfora muchlargerversionofhismechanicalcomputer. Itllbeabletoadd,subtract,andmultiplyanytwo numbersupto99,hesaid.Ittookdecadesto buildavacuumtubemachinethatcoulddothat muchImdoingitwithswitchesinjustthree revs.Inyourface,UNIVAC! Shelaughed.Hehadahugebagoflasercutsoda canswitchesthathewassolderingontoavariety ofsubstratesfrompolishedcardoorstoabamboo tikibar.Shelookedcloselyatthesolder.Isthis whatsweatshopsolderlookslike? Helookedconfused,thensaid,Oh!Right, Perrysthing.Yeah,anythingnotdonebyarobot hasthisartisanalqualityofblobbiness,whichI Soundsgood.IsPerryfree? Ittookherasecondtoregisterthathehadnt answered.Shelookedupandsawhewasblushing tothetipsofhisears.Ithoughtwecouldgoout justthetwoofus.Dinnerandawalkaroundthe decostuffonMiamiBeach? Oh,shesaid.Andtheweirdthingwas,shetook itseriouslyforasecond.Shehadntbeenonadate insomethinglikeayear,andhewasareallynice guyandsoforth.Butprofessionalethicsmadethat impossible,andbesides. Andbesides.Hewashuge.Hedtoldherhe weighednearly400pounds.Sofat,hewas,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/27 essentially,sexless.Roundandunshaped,doughy. ofpoorLester,buriedunderneathallthatflesh, andthatgotherthinkingaboutthelifeshed Allofthesethoughtsinaninstantandthenshe chosenforherself,coveringtheweirdworldof said,Oh,well.Listen,Lester,itsabout techwherethegroundneverstoodstilllong professionalethics.Imhereonastoryandyou guysarereallyswell,butImheretobeobjective. enoughforhertogetherbalance. Thatmeansnodating.Sorry.Shesaiditinthe samefirmtonesasshedusedtoturndowntheir offertotreatherattheIHOP:afactoflife, somethingshejustdidntdo.Liketurningdowna glassofbeerbysaying,Nothanks,Idont drink.Novaluejudgment. Butshecouldseethatshehadletherthinking showonherface,ifonlyforthebriefestmoment. Lesterstiffenedandhisnostrilsflared.Hewiped hishandsonhisthighs,thensaid,inalighttone, Sure,noproblem.Iunderstandcompletely. Shouldhavethoughtofthat.Sorry! Sosheretreatedtobloginacafe,postingsnippets andimpressionsfromherdayswiththeboys, alongwithphotos.Herreaderswerealloverit, commentinglikemad.Halfofthemthoughtitwas disgustingsomuchsufferingandwasteinthe worldandtheseguyswereinventing$10,000toys outofgarbage.Theotherhalfwantedtoknow wheretogotobuyoneforthemselves.Halfway throughSunday,herlaptopbatteryfinallydied, needingafreshweeklycharge,sosheretreated again,tothecoffin,towaitforMondayandthe newdaythatwoulddawnforPerryandLesterand Kodacellandher.

Noproblem,shesaid.Shepretendedtoworkon heremailawhilelonger,thensaid,Well,Ithink Tjanturnedouttobealotolderthanshed expected.Shedpicturedhimasabout28,smart Illcallitaday.SeeyouMondayforTjans andpreppieliketheyallwerewhentheywere arrival,right? freshoutofBschoolandfullofManagement Right!hesaid,toobrightly,andsheslunkaway Wisdom.Instead,hewasaboutforty,balding,with tohercar. alittlepotbellyandthinninghair.Hedressedlike anEnglishprofessor,bluejeansandachecked Shespenttheweekendbloggingandseeingthe shirtandatweedysportscoatthathedshucked beach.Thepeopleonthebeachseemedtobeof anotherspeciesfromtheonesshesawwalkingthe withinsecondsofleavingtheterminalatMiami streetsofHollywoodandMiamiandLauderdale. airportandsteppingintotheblastfurnaceheat. Theyhadfreakishlyperfectbodies,thekindof TheydallcomeinLestersbig,crazycar,and thingyousawinananatomicaldrawingora squishingbackinwithTjanssuitcaseswaslikea comicbooksomuchmusculardefinitionthat geometrytrick.ShefoundherselfhalfonPerrys theywerepracticallycrosshatched.Sheeventried lap,hugginghalfabigduffelbagthatseemedto outthenudebeach,intriguedtoseetheseperfect befullofbricks. specimensinthealltogether,butshechickened outwhensherealizedthatshedneedasubstantial Books,Tjansaid.Justalittlepersonallibrary. waxjobbeforeherbodyhairwasbroughtdownto Itsabadhabit,movingthephysicalobjects around,butImaddicted.Hehadacalmvoice normsforthatstripofsand. thatmightinfactbealittledull,aprofs Shedidgetaneyefulofseveralanatomically monotone. correctdrawingsbeforetakingoffagain.Itmade heruncomfortablyhornyandawareofhowlongit TheybroughthimtoPerryandLestersplace, hadbeensinceherlastdate.Thatgotherthinking whichwasthreecondoswiththedividingwalls

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/28 knockedoutinacomplexthathadlongrust streaksdownitssidesandricketybalconiesthat hadbeeneatenawaybysaltair.Therewasa guardhouseatthefrontofthecomplex,butitwas shuttered,abandoned,andgraffititagged. around,showedhimtheircabinetsofwonders. Whentheyweredone,heletthemwalkhimtothe IHOPandheorderedthemostausterethingonthe menu,apeanutbutterandjellysandwichthatwas technicallyonthekidsmenuakidsmenuata placewherethegrownupscouldorderaplateof Tjansteppedoutofthecarandputhishandson hishipsandconsideredthebuilding.Itcoulduse candy! acoatofpaint,hesaid.Suzannelookedcloselyat So,Perrysaid.So,Tjan,comeonbuddy,give himhewassodeadpan,itwashardtotellwhat ittomestraightyouhateit?Loveit?Cant wasonhismind.Butheslippedherawink. understandit? Yeah,Perrysaid.Itcouldatthat.Onthebright side:spacious,cheapandtheresapool.Theresa lotofthisdownheresincethehousingmarket crashed.Thecondoassociationheredissolved aboutfouryearsago,sotheresnotreallyanyone whosinchargeofallthecommonspacesand stuff,justafewcondoownersandspeculatorswho owntheapartments.Suckers,Imthinking.Our renthasgonedowntwicethisyear,justforasking. Imthinkingwecouldprobablygetthemtopayus tolivehereandjustkeepoutthebumsandstuff. Thelivingquarterswerenearlyindistinguishable fromtheworkshopatthejunkyard:strewnwith cooldevicesinvariousstagesofdisassembly, detritusandart.Theplatesanddishesandglasses allhadIHOPandCrackerBarrellogosonthem. Fromthriftshops,Lesterexplained.Oldpeople stealthemwhentheygettheirearlybirdspecials, andthenwhentheydietheirkidsgivethemto Goodwill.Cheapestwaytogetamatchedset aroundhere. Tjancircledthethreeadjoinedcrackerboxcondos likeadogcirclinghisbasket.Finally,hepickedan unoccupiedmasterbedroomwithmoldylace curtainsandamotelartpaintingofanabstract landscapeovertheheadboard.Hesethissuitcase downonthefauxChinoisechestofdrawersand said,Right,Imdone.Letsgettowork. Theytookhimtotheworkshopnextandhis expressionhardlychangedastheyshowedhim Tjansetdownhissandwich.Youboysarevery talented,hesaid.Theyreverygoodinventions. Therearelotsofopportunitiesforsynergywithin Kodacell:marketing,logistics,evenpacking materials.Theresalittleaerogelstartupin OregonthatKodacellisunderwritingthatyou coulduseforpaddingwhenyouship. PerryandLesterlookedathimexpectantly. Suzannebrokethesilence.Tjan,didyouhaveany artisticordesignideasaboutthethingsthatthese guysaremaking? Tjantookanotherbiteofsandwichandsippedat hismilk.Well,youllhavetocomeupwitha nameforthem,somethingthatidentifiesthem. Also,Ithinkyoushouldbecarefulwith trademarkedobjects.Anytimeyouneedtobring inanIPlawyer,youregoingtorunintohuge costsandtimedelays. Theywaitedagain.Thatsit?Perrysaid. Nothingaboutthedesignsthemselves? Imthebusinessmanager.Thatseditorial.Im artisticallyautistic.Notmyjobtohelpyoudesign things.Itsmyjobtosellthethingsyoudesign. Woulditmatterwhatitwasweweremaking? Wouldyoufeelthesameifitwastoothbrushesor staplers? Tjansmiled.IfyouweremakingstaplersI wouldntbehere,becausetheresnoprofitin staplers.Toomanycompetitors.Toothbrushesare

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/29 apossibility,ifyouweremakingsomethingreally revolutionary.Peoplebuyabout1.6toothbrushesa year,sothereslotsofopportunitytocomeup withaninnovativedesignthatsellsatagood profitovermarginalcostforacoupleseasons beforeitgetsclonedoroutinnovated.Whatyou peoplearemakinghasanedgebecauseitsyou makingit,verybespokeanddistinctive.Ithinkit willtakesometimefortheworldtoemergean effectivecompetitortothesegoods,providedthat youcanbuildaninitialmarketplacemassinterest inthem.Therearentenoughpeopleouttherewho knowhowtocombineallthethingsyouve combinedhere.Thesystemmakesithardtosell anythingabovethemarginalcostofgoods,unless youhaveareallyinnovativeidea,whichcantstay innovativeforlong,soyouneedcontinuous inventionandreinventiontoo.Youtwofellows appeartobedoingthat.Idontknowanything definitiveabouttheaestheticqualitiesofyour gadgets,norhowusefultheyllbe,butIdo understandtheirdistinctiveness,sothatswhyIm here. Atthejunkyard,TjanwanderedaroundtheElmo propelledSmartcarandpeeredatitsinnards, watchedtheElmosnegotiatetheirbalanceand positionwithminutemovementsandacoustic signals.IwouldntworryaboutitifIwereyou, hesaid.Youguysarenttemperamentallysuited todoingjustonething. Lesterlaughed.Hesgotyouthere,dude,he said,slappingPerryontheshoulder. SuzannegotTjanoutfordinnerthatnight.My dadwasinimportexportandwetravelledalot,all overAsiaandthentheformerSoviets.Hesentme awaywhenIwas16tofinishschoolintheStates, andtherewasnoquestionbutthatIwouldgoto Stanfordforbusinessschool. NicetomeetafellowCalifornian,shesaid,and sippedherwine.Theydgonetooneofthefamed Miamidecorestaurantsandthefishinfrontofher waspracticallyasculpture,sothoroughlyplatedit was. Well,ImasCalifornianas...

Itwaslongerthanallthespeechesheddelivered ...aspossible,underthecircumstances,shesaid sincearriving,puttogether.Suzannenoddedand andlaughed.ItsaCanadianjoke,butitapplies madesomenotes.Perrylookedhimupanddown. equallywelltoCalifornians.SoyouwereinB schoolwhen? Youre,what,anexBschoolproffromCornell, Ninetyeightto2001.Interestingtimestobein right? theValley.Ireadyourcolumn,youknow. Yes,forafewyears.AndIranacompanyfora Shelookeddownatherplate.Alotofpeoplehad while,doingimportexportfromemerging readthecolumnbackthen.Womencolumnists economystatesintheformerSovietbloc. wererareintech,andshesupposedshewasgood Isee,Perrysaid.Soyoureintowhat,anew atit,too.IhopeIgetrememberedasmorethan companyevery18monthsorsomething? thechroniclerofthedotcomboom,though,she Ohno,Tjansaid,andhehadalittletwinklein said. hiseyeandthetiniesthintofasmile.Ohno. Oh,youwill,hesaid.Youllberememberedas Everysixmonths.Ayearattheoutside.Thatsmy thechroniclerofthiswhatKettlewellandPerry deal.Imthebusinessguywiththeshortattention andLesteraredoing. span. Whatyouredoing,too,right? Isee,Perrysaid.Kettlewelldidntmention Oh,yes,whatImdoingtoo. this.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/30 Arobotrollerbladedpastontheboardwalk, turningtheoccasionalsomersault.Ishouldhave thembuildsomeofthose,Tjansaid,watchingthe crowdturntoregardit.Ithoppedontoandoffof thecurb,expertlysteeredaroundthewandering couplesandtheoccasionalhomelessperson.It hadabanneritstreamedoutbehindit:CAPN JACKSPAINTBALLANDFANBOATTOURS GETSHOTANDGETWETMIAMIKEY WESTLAUDERDALE. Youthinktheycan? Sure,Tjansaid.Thosetwocanbuildanything. Thatsthepoint:anymoderatelyskilled practitionercanbuildanythingthesedays,for practicallynothing.Backintheolddays,the blacksmithjustmadeeverybitofironmongery everyoneneeded,onepieceatatime,athisforge. Thatswherewereat.Everyindustrythat requiredafactoryyesterdayonlyneedsagarage today.Itsarealreturntofundamentals.Whatno oneevercoulddowasjoinupallthesmithiesand allthesmithsandmakethemintoasinglelogical networkwithasinglesetofobjectives.Thatsnew anditswhatIplanonmakinghayoutof.This willbemuchbiggerthandotcom.Itwillbemuch harder,toobiggercrests,deepertroughs.Thisis somethingtochronicleallright:itwillmakedot comlooklikeawarmupforthemainshow. secondtheyrejustlessgreedyorlessambitious. Theydoitandsoyouhavetodropyourpricesto compete.Thensomeonecomesalongwhosless greedyormoreefficientthanbothofyouand undercutsyouagain,andagain,andagain,until eventuallyyougetdowntoakindoffirmament,a baselinethatyoucantgolowerthan,thecheapest youcanproduceagoodandstayinbusiness. Thatswhystraightpins,machinescrewsand reamsofpaperallcostbasicallynothing,and makedamnedlittleprofitfortheirmanufacturers. Soifyouwanttomakeabigprofit,youvegotto startoveragain,inventsomethingnew,andmilkit forallyoucanbeforethefirstimitatorshowsup. Themorethishappens,thecheaperandbetter everythinggets.Itshowwegothere,yousee.Its whatthesystemisfor.Wereapproachingakind ofpureandperfectstatenow,withcompetition andinventiongettingeasierandeasierits producingakindofsuperabundancethats amazingtowatch.Mykidsjustsurfit,make themselvesovereverysixmonths,learnanew interface,anewentertainment,younameit. Changesurfers...Hetrailedoff. Youhavekids? InStPetersburg,withtheirmother.

Shecouldtellbyhistonethatithadbeenthe wrongquestiontoask.Hewaslookinghangdog. Weregoingtocreateanewclassofartisanswho Well,itmustbenicetobesomuchcloserto canchangecareersevery10months,inventing themthanyouwereinIthaca. newjobsthathadntbeenimaginedayearbefore. What?No,no.TheStPetersburginRussia. Thatsaprettyunstablemarket,Suzannesaid, Oh,shesaid. andatesomefish. Thatsafunctionalmarket.HereswhatIthink thepointofagoodmarketis.Inagoodmarket, youinventsomethingandyouchargeallthe marketwillbearforit.Someoneelsefiguresout howtodoitcheaper,ordecidestheycandoitfora slimmermarginnotthesamething,youknow,in thefirstcasesomeoneismoreefficientandinthe Theyconcentratedontheirfoodforawhile. Youknow,hesaid,aftertheydorderedcoffee anddesert,itsallaboutabundance.Iwantmy kidstogrowupwithabundance,andwhateveris goingonrightnow,itsprovidingabundancein abundance.Theselfstorageindustryisbigger thantherecordingindustry,didyouknowthat?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/31 Alltheydoisprovideaplacetoputstuffthatwe ownthatwecantfindroomforthats superabundance. IhavealockerinMilpitas,shesaid. Thereyougo.Itsagrowthindustry.Hedrank hiscoffee.Onthewaybacktotheircars,hesaid, Mydaughter,Lyenitchka,isfour,andmyson, Sasha,isone.Ihaventlivedwiththeirmotherin threeyears.Hemadeaface.Sashas circumstanceswerecomplicated.Theyregood kids,though.Itjustcouldntworkwiththeir mother.ShesRussian,andconnectedthatshow wemet,Iwashustlingformyimportexport businessandshehadsomegoodconnectionsso afterthedivorcetherewasnoquestionofmy takingthekidswithme.Buttheyregoodkids. Doyouseethem? Wevideoconference.Whoknewthatlong distancedivorcewasthekillerappfor videoconferencing? Yeah. Thatweek,Suzannetweetedconstantly,filedtwo columns,andbloggedtenormoreitemsaday: photos,bitsofdiscussionbetweenLester,Perry andTjan,acouplevideosoftheBoogieWoogie Elmosdoingimprobablethings.Turnedoutthat therewasquiteacultfollowingfortheBWE,and thenewsthattherewasatroveofsomethousands oftheminaHollywooddumpsentahalfdozen pilgrimswingingtheirwayacrossthenationto scoresomeforthecollectorsmarket.Perry wouldnteventaketheirmoney:Fella,hetold onepersistentdealer,Igotfortythousandof thesethings.Iwontmissacoupledozen.Justcall itgoodkarma. PerrylookedatSuzanne,whowasvideoingthis exchangewithherkeychain.Thenhelookedback atTjan,Yeah,ofcourse.Sorryforceofhabit. Noharmdone,though,right? Thatfootagegotdownloadedacouplehundred timesthatnight,butonceitgotslashdottedbya coupleofhighprofileheadlineaggregators,she foundherserverhammeredwithahundred thousandrequests.TheMerchadthehorsepower toservethemall,butyouneverknew:everyonce inawhile,thewebhitanothertippingpointand grewbyanorderofmagnitudeorso,andthenall theserverprovisioningcalculatedtosurvivethe oldslashdottingsshreddedlikewetkleenex. From:kettlewelll@skunkworks.kodacell.com To:schurch@sjmercury.com Subject:Re:Embeddedjournalist? Thisstuffisamazing.Amazing!Christ,Ishould putyouonthepayroll.ForgetIwrotethat.Buti should.Youvegotafantasticeye.Ihaveneverfelt asintouchwithmyownbusinessasIdoatthis moment.Nottomentionproud!Proudyouve mademesoproudoftheworktheseguysare doing,proudtohavesomeroleinit. Kettlebelly Shereaditsittingupinhercoffin,justoneof severalhundredemailsfromthatdaysblogposts andcolumn.Shelaughedanddroppeditinher folderofcorrespondencetoanswer.Itwasnearly midnight,toolatetogetintoitwithKettlewell.

Thenhercomputerrangthenetphoneshe forwardedhercellphonetowhenhercomputer wasliveandconnected.Shedstarteddoingthata coupleyearsback,whensoftphonesreally stabilized,andherphonebillshaddroppedtoless WhenTjanfoundoutaboutithepursedhislips thantwentybucksamonth,downfromseveral foramoment,thensaid,Letmeknowifsomeone hundred.Itwasntthatshespentalotoftime wantstopayusmoney,please.Ithinkyouwere withinarmsreachofalivecomputer,butgiven right,butIdliketohaveasay,allright? thatcallsroutedthroughthelaptopwerefree,she

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/32 wasperfectlywillingtodeferhercallsuntilshe was. HiJimmy,shesaidhereditor,backinSan Jose.9PMPacifictimeonaweeknightwasstill workinghoursforhim. Suzanne,hesaid. Shewaited.Shedhalfexpectedhimtocallwitha littleshowerofpraise,anechoofKettlewells note.Jimmywasntthemosteffusiveeditorshed had,butitmadehislittlemomentsofpraisemore valuablefortheirrarity. youjustsaid,butitdoesntmatter:ifIleaveyou whereyouare,Illhavetocuttheguywhocovers theschoolboardsandthecitycouncils.Icantdo that,notifIwanttoremainadailynewspaper editor. Isee,shesaid.CanIthinkaboutit?

Thinkaboutwhat,Suzanne?Thishasnotbeen thebestdayforme,Ihavetotellyou,butIdont seewhatthereistothinkabout.Thisnewspaper nolongerhascorrespondentswhoworkinMiami andLondonandParisandNewYork.Asoftoday, thatstuffcomesfrombloggers,oroffthewire,or Suzanne,hesaidagain. whateverbutnotfromourpayroll.Youworkfor thisnewspaper,soyouneedtocomebackhere, Jimmy,shesaid.Itslatehere.Whatsup? becausethejobyouredoingdoesnotexistany So,itslikethis.Iloveyourreportsbutitsnot longer.Thejobyouhavewithusishere.Youve SiliconValleynews.ItsMiaminews.McClatchy missedthenightflight,buttheresadirectflight handedmeathirtypercentcutthismorningand tomorrowmorningthatllhaveyoubackby Imgoingtothebone.Iamfiringathirdofthe lunchtimetomorrow,andwecansitdowntogether newsroomtoday.Now,youareastupendouswriter thenandtalkaboutit,allright? andsoIsaidtomyself,IcanfireherorIcan IthinkShefeltthatohshitohshitfeeling bringherhomeandhaveherwriteaboutSilicon Valleyagain,andIknewwhattheanswerhadto again,thatneedingtopeefeeling,thattension fromhertoestohernose.Jimmy,shesaid.I be.SoIneedyoutocomehome,justwrapitup needaleaveofabsence,OK? andcomehome. Hefinishedspeakingandshefoundherselfstaring What?Suzanne,Imsureweoweyousome athercomputersscreen.Herhandsweregripping vacationbutnowisntthetime thelaptopsedgessotightlyithurt,andthe Notavacation,Jimmy.Sixmonthsleaveof machinemadeaplastickysqueakasitbeganto absence,withoutpay.Hersavingscouldcoverit. bend. Shecouldputsomebanneradsonherblog. Floridawascheap.Shecouldrentoutherplacein Icantdothat,Jimmy.ThisisstuffthatSilicon California.Shewassixstepsintotheplanandit Valleyneedstoknowabout.Thismaynotbe whatshappeninginSiliconValley,butitsureas hadonlytakentensecondsandshehadnodoubts whatsoever.Shecouldtalktothatbookagent shitiswhatshappeningtoSiliconValley.She whodpingedherlastyear,seeaboutgettingan hatedthatshedcussedshehadntmeantto.I advanceonabookaboutKodacell. knowyoureinahardspot,butthisisthestoryI needtocoverrightnow. Areyouquitting? Suzanne,Imcuttingathirdofthenewsroom. No,Jimmywell,notunlessyoumakeme.ButI Weregoingtobecoveringstorieswithindriving needtostayhere. distanceofthisofficefortheforeseeablefuture, Theworkyouredoingthereisfine,Suzanne,but andthatsit.Idontdisagreewithasinglething

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/33 Iworkedreallyhardtoprotectyourjobhereand thisisntgoingtohelpmakethathappen. Whatareyousaying? togetacondoorsomething.Aplacewitha kitchenwhereshecouldprepmeals.Shefigured thatPerrysbuildingwouldprobablyhavea vacancyortwo.

IfyouwanttoworkfortheMerc,youneedtofly backtoSanJose,wheretheMercispublished.I cantmakeitanyclearerthanthat. ThesecondbusinessthatTjantookPerryintowas evenmoresuccessfulthanthefirst,andthatwas No,hecouldnt.Shesympathizedwithhim.She wasreallywellpaidbytheMerc.Keepingheron sayingsomething.ItonlytookaweekforTjanto wouldmeanfiringtwojuniorwriters.Hedcuther getPerryandLestercrankingonaKitchenGnome alotofbreaksalongtheway,tooletherfeelout designthatmashedtogethersomeHomeland theValleyinherownway.Ithadpaidoffforboth Securitygaitrecognitionsoftwarewithabig solidstateharddiskandamicrophoneandalittle ofthem,buthedtakentheriskwhenalotof camera,allpackagedtogetherinoneofacouple peoplewouldnthave.Shedbeafooltowalk hundreddesignsofagardengnomefigurinethat awayfromallthat. stoodsixinchestall.Itcouldrecognizeevery Sheopenedhermouthtotellhimthatshedbeon memberofahouseholdbythewaytheywalked theplaneinthemorning,andwhatcameoutwas, andplaybackvoicememosforeach.Itturnedout Jimmy,Ireallyappreciatealltheworkyouve tobeakillertoolforcontextsensitivereminders doneforme,butthisisthestoryIneedtowrite. tokidstodothedishes,andforhusbands,wives Imsorryaboutthat. androommatestonageachotherwithoutgetting oneachothersnerves.Tjanwasreallyjazzed Suzanne,hesaid. aboutit,asittiedinwithsometheorieshehad Thankyou,Jimmy,shesaid.Illgetbackto aboutthechangingUSdemographic,trending CaliforniawhenIgetalullandsortoutthedetails towardsblendedhouseholdsinurbancenters,with myemployeecardandstuff. threeormoreadultscohabitating. Youknowwhatyouredoing,right? Thisisarichvein,hesaid,rubbinghishands Yeah,shesaid.Ido. together.Livingcommunallyishard,and Whensheunscrewedherearpiece,shediscovered technologycanmakeiteasier.Roommateware. Itsthewaveofthefuture. thatherneckwaskillingher.Thatmadeher realizethatshewasafortyfiveyearoldwomanin Americawithouthealthinsurance.Orregular income.Shewasajournalistwithoutajournalistic organ. TherewasanotherKodacellgroupinSan Francisco,adesignoutfitwithabunchofstringers whocoulddesignthegnomesforthemandthey didgreatwork.Thegnomeswereslightlylewd ShedhavetotellKettlewell,whowouldnodoubt looking,andtheyweretheproductofagenerative algorithmthatvariedeachone.Someofthe offertoputheronthepayroll.Shecouldntdo designsthatfelloutofthealgorithmwerejaw that,ofcourse.Neutralitywashardenoughto droppinglyweirdPerrykeptathreeeyed,six maintain,nevermindbeingfinancially armedversiononhisdesk.Theytooleduptomake compromised. thembythehundred,thenthethousand,thenthe Shesteppedoutofthecoffinandsniffedthesalty tensofthousand.Thefactthateachonewas air.Livinginthecoffinwasexpensive.Shedneed differentkepttheirmarginsup,butastheGnomes

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/34 gainedpopularitytheirsalesweresteadilyeroded byknockoffs,mostlyfromEasternEurope. Theknockoffswerentascoollookingthough theywerecertainlyweirderlooking,likethe offspringofaNorwegiantrollandananimerobot buttheyweremorefeaturerich.Somesmart hackerinRussiawaspackingallkindsof functionalityontoasinglechip,sothattheirtrolls costlessanddidmore:burglaralarms,baby monitors,streamingInternetradiosource,and lowreliabilitymedicaldiagnosticthatreliedon quackanalysisofeyepigment,tonguecoatingand othernewage(rhymeswithsewage)indicators. LestercamebackfromtheDollarStorewithabig bagoftrolls,adozendifferentmodels,and dumpedthemoutonTjansdesk,upinold foremansofficesonthecatwalkabovethe workspaces.Christ,wouldyoulookatthese? Theyresellingthemforlessthanourcostto manufacture.Howdowecompetewiththis? bucks. Buthere,thecompanyputfiftythousandinto thesedollsandthreemonthslater,theytook seventythousandout,afterpayingoursalariesand bonuses.ThatsafortypercentROI.Seventy thousandbucksisntfourmillionbucks,butforty percentisfortypercent.Nottomentionthatour businessdrovesimilarmarginsinthreeother businessunits. Ithoughtwedscrewedupbylettingtheseguys eatourlunch,Lestersaid,indicatingthedollar storetrolls.

Nope,wegotinwhilethemarginswerehigh, madeagoodreturn,andnowwellgetoutasthe marginsdrop.Thatsnotscrewingup,thatsdoing therightthing.Thenexttimearound,welldo somethingmorecapitalintensiveandwelltake outanevenhighermargin:soshowmesomething thatllcosttwohundredgrandtogetgoingand thatwecanpullahundredandsixtythousworth Wedont,Tjansaid,andrubbedhisbelly.Now ofprofitoutofforKodacellinthreemonths.Lets wedothenextthing. dosomethingambitiousthistimearound. Whatsthenextthing?Perrysaid. Well,thefirstonedeliveredareturnon investmentatabouttwentytimestherateofany KodakorDuracellbusinessunitinthehistoryof eithercompany.ButIdliketoshootforthirtyto fortytimesnext,ifthatsallrightwithyou.So letsgoseewhatyouveinventedthisweekand howwecancommercializeit. Suzannetookcopiousnotes.Theredbeena coupleweeksawkwardnessearlyonabouther scribblingastheytalked,orvideoingwithher keychain.Butonceshedmovedintothebuilding withtheguys,takingacondoonthenextfloorup, shedbecomejustamemberoftheteam,albeita memberwhotweetednearlyeverywordthey utteredtoafeedthatwasaddingnewsubscribers bythetensofthousands.

PerryandLesterjustlookedateachother.Finally, So,Perry,whathaveyougotforTjan?she Lestersaid,Canyourepeatthat? asked. ThetypicalROIforaKodacellunitintheold dayswasaboutfourpercent.Ifyouputahundred Icameupwiththelastone,hesaid,grinning theyalwaysendedupgrinningwhenTjanran dollarsin,youdgetahundredandfourdollars downeconomicsforthem.LetLestertakethis out,anditwouldtakeaboutayeartorealize.Of one. course,intheolddays,theywouldnthave touchedanewbusinessunlesstheycouldputa Lesterlookedshyhedneverfullyrecovered hundredmillioninandgetahundredandfour fromSuzanneturninghimdownandwhenshe millionout.Fourmillionbucksisfourmillion wasintheroom,healwayslookedlikehedrather

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/35 besomewhereelse.Heparticipatedinthemessage boardsonherblogthough,themostprolificposter inafieldwiththousandsofveryprolificposters. Whenheposted,otherslistened:hewaswitty, charmingandalwaysright. designedwithacleanandadirtycompartment basically,twologicaldishwashers.Youtake cleandishesoutofthecleanside,usethem,and putthemintothedirtyside.Whenthedirtysideis full,thecleansideisempty,soyoucyclethe dishwasherandthecleansidebecomesdirtyand Well,Ivebeenthinkingalotaboutroommate ware,causeIknowthatTjansjustcrazyforthat viceversa.Ihadsomesketchesfordesignsthat wouldmakethishappen,butitdidntfeelright: stuff.Ivebeenhandicappedbythefactthatyou guysaresuchexcellentroomies,soIhavetothink makingdishwashersistooindustrialforus.I backtomycollegedaystorememberwhatabad eitherlikemakingbigchunksofartorlittlesilver roommateislike,wherethefrictionis.Mostly,it thingsyoucancarryinyourpocket. comesdowntoresourcecontention,though:I Shesmileddespiteherself.Shewasdrawinga wannacook,butyourdishesareinthesink;I halfmillionreadersadaybydoingnearto wannadolaundrybutyourboxersareinthedryer; nothingbesidesrepeatingthemindblowing IwannawatchTV,butyourcrapisalloverthe conversationsaroundher.Ithadtakenheramonth livingroomsofa. toconsiderputtingadsonthesitelotsoffeelers fromblogmicrolabelswhowantedtogether Livingupstairsfromtheguysgaveherfresh undermanagementandintotheirbannernetworks, insightintohowtheKodacellphilosophywould workout.Kettlewellwasreallybigoncommunal andshebrokedownwhenoneofthemshowedher alittlespreadsheetdetailingthekindoflonggreen living,puttingthesepeopleintoeachothers shecouldexpecttobringinfromacoupleoflittle pocketsliketheoldtimegeekhousesofpizza banners,withhergettingtherighttopersonally eatinghackers,gettingthatinthetrenches approveeveryadvertiserinthenetwork.Thefirst camaraderie.Ithadtakenaweekendtoputthe month,shedmademoremoneythanallbutthe mostpreciousstuffinherCaliforniahouseinto mostseniorwritersontheMerc.Thenextmonth, storageandthenturnoverthekeystoarealtor shedoutstrippedherownoldsalary.Shed whodsortoutleasingitforher.Themonthly coveredcommercialblogs,theflamboyant checkfromtherealtorleftmorethanenoughfor hertopaytherentinFloridaandthensome,and attentionwhoreswhodboughtstupidcarsand ridiculousbimboswiththemoney,butshed oncetheUPSmandroppedoffthefiveboxesof personaleffectsshedchosen,shewaspractically alwaysassumedtheywereinadifferentleague fromanewspaperscribbler.Nowshesupposedall athome. themoneymeantthatsheshouldmakeitofficial Shesataloneovertheguysapartmentsinthe andphoneinaresignationtoJimmy,buttheyd evenings,windowsopensothattheirmuffled leftitprettyambiguousastowhethershewas conversationscoulddriftinandformthe retiringortakingaleaveofabsenceandshewas soundtrackasshewrotehercolumns.Itmadeher reluctanttocollapsethatwaveformintothe feelcuriouslywith,butnotof,theirmovementa certaintyofsayinggoodbyetoheroldlife. reasonableproxyforjournalisticobjectivityinthis SoIgottothinkingaboutsnitchtags,radio ageofrelativism. frequencyIDgizmos.Rememberthose?Whenwe Resourcecontentionreadilydecomposesintoa startedtalkingaboutthemadecadeago,allthe bunchofsmallerproblems,withdistinctive privacypeoplewentcrazy,totallysurethatthese solutions.Takedishes:everydishwashershouldbe thingswouldbebadnews.Thegeeksdismissed

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/36 themasnotunderstandingthetechnology. Supposedly,anRFIDcanonlybereadfroma coupleinchesawayifsomeonewantedtofind outwhatRFIDsyouhadonyourperson,theyd havetowandyou,andyoudknowaboutit. Perryshookhishead,though.WhenIwasakid, Ihadareallybadrelationshipwithmymom.She wasreallysmart,butshedidnthavealotoftime toreasonthingsoutwithme,sooftenasnotshed getoutofarguingwithmebyjustchangingher story.SoIdsay,Ma,canIgotothemallthis Yeah,thatwasbull,Perrysaid.Imean,sure aft?andshedsay,Sure,noproblem.Then youcantreadanRFIDunlessitsbeenexcited withelectromagneticradiation,andsureyoucant whenIwasgettingreadytoleavethehouse,shed askmewhereIthoughtIwasgoing.Idsay,To dothatfromahundredyardswithoutfrying everythingbetweenyouandthetarget.Butifyou themall,yousaid!andshedjustdenyit.Just hadasubwayturnstilewithanexciterbuiltintoit, denyit,pointblank. youcouldsnipeallthetagnumbersfromadistant Idontthinksheevenknewshewasdoingit.I roofwithadirectionalantenna.Ifthosethingshad thinkwhenIaskedherifIcouldgo,shedjust caughton,theredbeexciterseverywhereand absentmindedlysayyes,butwhenitactuallycame youdbeabletotrackanyoneyouwantedChrist, timetogoout,shedsuddenlyrememberallmy theyevenputRFIDsinthehundreddollarbillfor unfinishedchores,myhomework,allthereasonsI awhile!Pickpocketscouldhavefiguredoutwhose shouldstayhome.Ithinkeverykidgetsthisfrom pursewasworthsnatchingfromhalfamilea theirfolks,butitmademefuckingcrazy.SoIgot way! aminitaperecorderandIstartedtotapeherwhen Alltrue,Lestersaid.Butthatdidntstopthese shegavemepermission.IthoughtIdreallynail herthenexttimeshechangedhertune,playher guys.Therearestillacoupleofthemaround, limpingalongwithoutmanycustomers.Theyprint ownwordsbackinherear. thetagswithinkjets,sizeddowntoaboutathird thesizeofagrainofrice.Mostlyusedinsupply chainmanagementandsuch.Theycansupply themonthecheap.

Whichbringsmetomyidea:whynottag everythinginagrouphousehold,andusethetags tofigureoutwholeftthedishesinthesink,who tookthehammeroutanddidntputitback,who puttheemptymilkcartonbackinthefridge,and whosgottheTVremote?Itwontsolveresource contention,butitwilllimitthesocialfactorsthat contributetoit.Helookedaroundatthem.We canmakeitfun,youknow,makecoolRFID stickerdesigns,modthelittlegnomedollstoact asterminalsforgettingreports.

SoItriedit,andyouknowwhathappened?She gavemeninekindsofholyhellforwearingawire andthenshesaiditdidntmatterwhatshedsaid thatmorning,shewasmymotherandIhadchores todoandnohowwasIgoinganywherenowthat Idstartedsneakingaroundthehousewitha hiddenrecorder.Shetookitawayandthrewitin thetrash.Andtotopitoff,shecalledmeJ. Edgarforamonth.

Soheresmyquestion:howwouldyoufeelifthe nexttimeyouleftthedishesinthesink,Ishowed upwiththeaudittrailforthedishesandwavedit inyourface?Howwouldwegetfromthatpointto ahappy,harmonioushousehold?Ithinkyouve mistakenthecausefortheeffect.Theproblem withdishesinthesinkisntjustthatitsapain Suzannefoundherselfnoddingalong.Shecould usethiskindofthing,eventhoughshelivedalone, whenIwanttocookameal:itsthatwhenyou justtohelpherfindoutwheresheleftherglasses leavetheminthesink,yourebeinginconsiderate. Andthereasonyouvelefttheminthesink,as andtheTVremote.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/37 youvepointedout,isthatputtingdishesinthe dishwasherisapainintheass:youhavetobend over,youhavetoemptyitout,andsoon.Ifwe movedthedishwasherintothekitchencupboards andturnedhalfofthemintoadirtysideandhalf intoacleanside,thendisposingofdisheswould beaseasyasgettingthemout. nextday,thenfollowedupwithanemail. YesterdayIwentbythehouseanditwasempty. Alltheirstuffwasgone.Nofoodinthefridge.I thinktheymighthavetakenyourhometheater stuff,too.

Yourefuckingkiddingme,Suzannesaid.Itwas 11AMinFloridaandshewasintohersecondglass Lesterlaughed,andsodidTjan.Yeah,yeah oflemonadeasthesunbegantosuperheattheair. OK.Pointtaken.ButtheseRFIDthings,theyreso BackinCalifornia,itwas8AM.Herrealtorwas friggingcheapandpotentiallyuseful.Ijustcant pullinglonghours,anditwasntherfault.Sorry. believethattheyveneverfoundasinglereally Right.OK,whataboutthedeposit? compellinguseinallthistime.Itjustseemslike Youwaivedit. anopportunitythatsgoingtowaste. Shehad.Ithadntseemedlikeabigdealatthe Maybeitsadeadend.Maybeitsanornithopter. time.Thedistantownerofthecondoshewas Inventorsspenthundredsofyearstryingtobuild rentinginFloridahadntaskedforone.SoIdid. anairplanethatflewbyflappingitswings,andit Nowwhat? wasallarathole. Youwanttoswearoutacomplaintagainst Iguess,Lestersaid.ButIdontliketheidea. them? Likeitordont,Perrysaid,doesntaffect Withthepolice? whetheritstrueornot. Yeah.Breachofcontract.Theft,iftheytookthe ButLesterhadasparkleinhiseye,andhe hometheater.Wecantakethemtocollections, disappearedintohisworkshopforaweek,and too. wouldntletthemin,whichwasunheardofforthe Goddamnedmarketingpeoplehadthecollective big,gregariousgiant.Helikedtodragtheothers moralsofasnake.Allofthemuseless,conniving, inwheneverheaccomplishedanythingofnote, shallowshenevershouldhave... showitofftothemlikeabigkid. Yeah,OK.Andwhataboutthehouse? ThatwasSunday.Monday,Suzannegotacall fromherrealtor.Yourtenantshavevanished,she Wecanfindyouanothertenantbytheendofthe said. month,Imsure.Maybealittleearlier.Haveyou thoughtanymoreaboutsellingit? Vanished?Thecouplewhodrentedherplace hadbeenasreliableasanyoneshedevermetin Shehadnt,thoughtherealtorbroughtitupevery theValley.HeworkedataPRagency,sheworked timetheyspoke.Isnowagoodtime? inmarketingatGoogle.Ormaybeheworkedin LotofnewmillionairesintheValleyshopping marketingandshewasinPRatGoogle whatever,theywereaffluent,wellspoken,andhad forhouses,Suzanne.MorethanIveseenin years.Shenamedasumthatwasathirdhigher paidtheextortionaterentshedchargedwithout thanthelasttimetheydtalkeditover. battinganeye. Theynormallypaypaltherenttomeonthefirst, Isitpeaking? butnotthismonth.Icalledandleftvoicemailthe Whoknows?Itmightgoup,itmightcollapse

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/38 again.Butnowisthebesttimetosellinthepast tenyears.Youdbesmarttodoit. Shetookadeepbreath.TheValleywasdead,full ofvenalmarketingpeopleandbuckchasers.Here inFlorida,shewasonthecuspofthenextthing, anditwasnthappeningintheValley:itwas happeningeverywhereexcepttheValley,inthe cheapplaceswhereinnovationcouldhappenat lowrents.Leakyhottub,incrediblepropertytaxes, andthecrazyrollercoasterrideup20percent thismonth,downfortynext.Thebubblewas goingtoburstsomedayandsheshouldsellout now. Sellit,shesaid. Youregoingtobeawealthylady,therealtor said. acouplehelperstoworkonboxingstuff,emailed Jimmytoseeifhewantedlunch,andlookedup theaddressforthecentralpolicestationtoswear outhercomplaint.Theamp,speakers,andA/V switcherwereallmissingfromherhometheater. Shehadadozenhelperstochoosefromthenext morning.Shepickedtwowhocamewithdecent references,marvelingthatitwassuddenlypossible inSiliconValleytogetanyonetoshowup anywherefortenbucksanhour.Thepolice sergeantwhotookthecomplaintwassympathetic andagreedwithherchoicetogetoutoftown. Ivehaditwiththisplace,too.Soonasmykids areoutofhighschoolImmovingbackto Montana.Imisstheweather.

Shedidntthinkofthemarketdroidsagainuntil thenextday,whensheandherhelperswere Right,Suzannesaid. boxingupthelastofherthingsandloadingthem Ihaveabuyer,Suzanne.Ididntwanttopressure intoherUHaul.ThenaBMWconvertible you.ButIcansellitbyFriday.Closeescrownext screechedaroundthecornerandburnedrubberup toherdoor. week.Cashinhandbythefifteenth. Thewomanmarketdroidwasdriving,looking Jesus,shesaid.Yourejoking. crazyanddisheveled,eyesredrimmed,oneheel Nojoke,therealtorsaid.Ivegotawaitinglist brokenoffofhershoes. forhousesonyourblock. WhattheFUCKisyourproblem,lady?shesaid, AndsoSuzannegotonanairplanethatnightand assheleaptoutofhercarandstalkedtoward flewbacktoSanJoseandtookapriceytaxiback Suzanne. toherplace.Themarketdroidshadleftitinpretty Instinctively,Suzanneshrankbackanddropped goodshape,cleanandtidy,cleansheetsinthe linencupboard.Shemadeupherbedandreflected theboxofbooksshewasholding.Itspilledout overherlawn. thatthiswouldbethelasttimeshemadethisbed thenexttimeshestrippedthesheets,theydgo Fiona?shesaid.Whatshappened? intoalongtermstoragebox.Sheddonethis before,onherwayoutofDetroit,packingupalife Iwasarrested.Theycametomyworkplaceand ledmeoutinhandcuffs.Ihadtomakebail. intoboxesandshovingitintostorage.Whathad Tjansaid?Theselfstorageindustryisbigger Suzannesstomachshranktoalittlepebble, thantherecordingindustry,didyouknowthat? impossiblyheavy.WhatwasIsupposedtodo? Alltheydoisprovideaplacetoputstuffthatwe Youtwotookoffwithmyhometheater! ownthatwecantfindroomforthats Whathometheater?Everythingwasrightwhere superabundance. youleftitwhenIwent.Ihaventlivedherein BeforebedshepostedaclassifiedonCraigslistfor weeks.TomleftmelastmonthandImovedout.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/39 Youmovedout? Imreallysorry,Fiona.Whydidntyouanswer mycallsoremail?

Yeah,bitch,Imovedout.Tomwasyourtenant, notme.Ifherippedsomethingoff,thatsbetween ShelookedatSuzanne,hereyeslostinstreaksof youandhim. mascara.Idontknow.Ididntwanttotalkabout it.Helosthisjoblastmonthandkindofwent Look,Fiona,wait,holdupasecond.Itriedto callyou,Isentyouemail.Noonewaspayingthe crazy,toldmehedidntwanttheresponsibility rent,noonetoldmethatyoudmovedout,andno anymore.Whatresponsibility?Buthetoldmeto go,toldmeitwouldbebestforbothofusifwe oneansweredwhenItriedtofindoutwhathad wereapart.Ithoughtitwasanothergirl,butI happened. dontknow.Maybeitwasjustcraziness.Everyone Thatsoundslikeanexplanation,shesaid, Iknowouthereiscrazy.Theyallworkahundred hissing.Imwaitingforafuckingapology.They hoursaweek,theygetfiredorquittheirjobsevery tookmetoprison. fivemonths.Everythingissoexpensive.Myrent isthreequartersofmysalary. Suzanneknewthatthelocallockupwasalong wayfromprison.Iapologize,shesaid.CanI Itsreallyhard,Suzannesaid,thinkingofthe getyouacupofcoffee?Wouldyouliketousethe easy,lazydaysinFlorida,thehackersidyllthat showeroranything? PerryandLesterenjoyedintheirworkshops. Thewomanglaredatheramomentlonger,then Tomwasonantidepressants,buthedidntlike slowlyfoldedinonherself,collapsing,coughing takingthem.Whenhewasonthem,hewaspretty andsobbingonthelawn. good,butwhenhewentoff,heturnedinto...I dontknow.Hedcryalot,andshout.Itwasnta Suzannestoodwithherarmsathersidesfora moment.HerCraigslisthelpershadgonehome,so goodrelationship,butwemovedoutherefrom Oregontogether,andIdknownhimallmylife. shewasallalone,andthiswoman,whomshed Hewasalittlemoodybefore,butnotlikehewas metonlyoncebefore,inpassing,wasclearly havingsomerealproblems.Notthekindofthing here. shedealtwithalotherlifedidntincludemuch Whendidyouspeaktohimlast?Suzannehad persontopersonhandholding. foundacoupleofblisterpacksofantidepressants inthemedicinechest.Shehopedthatwasnt Butwhatcanyoudo?ShekneltbesideFionain thegrassandtookherhand.Letsgetyouinside, Tomsonlysupply. OK? WehaventspokensinceImovedout. Atfirstitwasasthoughshehadntheard,but Anhourlater,themysterywassolved.Thepolice slowlyshestraightenedupandletSuzannelead wenttoTomsworkplaceanddiscoveredthathed herintothehouse.Shewastwentytwo,twenty beenfiredtheweekbefore.TheytriedtheGPSin three,youngenoughtobeSuzannesdaughterif hiscaranditfinkedhimoutasbeinginaghost Suzannehadgoneinforthatsortofthing. mallsparkinglotnearhisoldoffice.Hewasdead Suzannehelpedhertothesofaandsatherdown behindthewheel,aguninhishand,shotthrough amidtheboxesstillwaitingtogointotheUHaul. theheart. Thekitchenwaspackedup,butshehadacouple bottlesofDietCokeinthecoolerandshehanded Suzannetookthecallandthoughshetriedtokeep herendoftheconversationquietandneutral, onetothegirl. Fionastillonthesofa,drinkingthewarm,flat

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/40 Cokeknew.Sheletoutamoanlikeadogthats beenkicked,andthenascream.ForSuzanne,it wasallunreal,senseless.Thecopstoldherthat herhometheatercomponentswerefoundinthe trunkofthecar.Nonote. God,ohGod,Jesus,youselfishshitfucking bastard,Fionasobbed.Awkwardly,Suzannesat downbesideherandtookherintoaonearmed hug.Herhelpersweremeetingherattheself storagethenextdaytohelpherunloadtheU Haul. Suzannehadheardalotofpeopletalkabout givingupontheValleysinceshedmovedthere.It wasacommonthing,beingbeatendownbylifein theBayArea.Youweresupposedtoinsertapep talkhere,somethingabouthangingin,aboutthe opportunitieshere. Yes,shesaid,thatsagoodidea.Youreyoung, andtheresalifeforyouthere.Youcanstart somethingup,orgotoworkforsomeoneelses startup.Itfeltweirdcomingoutofhermouth, likeabetrayaloftheValley,ofsometriballoyalty tothistechMecca.Butafterall,wasntsheselling upandmovingeast?

Doyouhavesomeonewhocanstaywithyou tonight?Suzanneasked,prayingtheanswerwas yes.Shehadahousetomoveoutof.Christ,she TheresnothinginOregon,Fionasaid, feltsocoldblooded,butshewasonagoddamned snuffling. schedule. Theressomethingeverywhere.Letmetellyou Yes,Iguess.Fionascrubbedathereyeswithher aboutsomefriendsofmineinFlorida,andshe fists.Sure. toldher,andasshetoldher,shetoldherself. Hearingitspokenaloud,evenafterhavingwritten Suzannesighed.Theliewasplain.Who? aboutitandwrittenaboutit,andbeenthereand Fionastoodupandsmoothedoutherskirt.Im DONEit,itwasdifferent.Shecametounderstand sorry,shesaid,andstartedforthedoor. howfuckingcoolitallwas,thisnew, Groaninginwardly,Suzanneblockedher.Youll entrepreneurial,inventive,amazingthingshewas stayonthesofa,shesaid.Yourenotdrivingin engagedin.Shedlovedthecontrastofnimble thisstate.Illorderinpizza.Pepperonimushroom softwarecompanieswhencomparedwithgigantic, brutalautocompanies,butwhatherboyswere OK? doing,itmadethesoftwarecompanieslooklike Lookingdefeated,Fionaturnedonherheeland lumberinglummoxes,crashingaroundwiththeir wentbacktothesofa. fiftyemployeesandtheirbigpurposebuiltoffices. Overpizza,Suzannepulledafewdetailsoutof Fionawasdisbelieving,theninterested,then her.Tomhadfallenintoafunkwhenthelayoffs excited.Theyjustmakethisstuff,doit,then hadstartedinhisofficetheywereendemic makesomethingelse? acrosstheValley,anotherbustwasuponthem.His Exactlynopermanenceexceptfortheteam,and behaviorhadgrownworseandworse,andshed finallyleft,orbeenthrownout,itwasntclear.She theysupporteachother,liveandworktogether. Youdthinkthatbecausetheyliveandwork wasonthiniceatGoogle,andtheywerelaying peopleofftoo,andshewasconvincedthatbeing togetherthattheydonthaveanybalance,butits ledoutinhandcuffswouldbethestrawthatbroke theopposite:theybookoffworkatfouror sometimesearlier,gotomovies,gooutandhave thecamelsback. fun,readbooks,playcatch.Itsamazing.Im IshouldmovebacktoOregon,shesaid, nevercomingbackhere. droppingherslicebackontheboxtop.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/41 Andsheneverwould. wasminimalist.Thefloorwasnotonlyclean,it Shetoldhereditoraboutthis.Shetoldherfriends wasvisible.Liningthewallsweretranslucent whocametoasendoffpartyatabarsheusedto whiteplastictubsstackedtotheceiling. gotowhenshewentintotheofficealot.Shetold Youlikeit? hercabdriverwhopickedheruptotakehertothe Itsamazing,shesaid.LikeIkeameets airportandshetoldthebemusedengineerwhosat Barbarella.Whathappenedhere? nexttoherallthewaybacktoMiami.Shehadthe presenceofmindnottotellthecouplewhobought Tjandidalittletwostep.ItwasLestersidea. herhouseforasumofmoneythatseemedtohave Havealookintheboxes. atleastoneextrazeroattheendmaybetwo. Shepulledacoupleofthetubsout.Theywere jampackedwithbooks,tools,cruftandcrudall AndsowhenshegotbacktoMiami,shehardly noticedtheincredibleobesityofthemanwhotook thecrapthathadpreviouslyclutteredtheshelves themoneyforthegasinherleasedcarnowthat andthefloorandthesofaandthecoffeetable. shewashereforthelonghaulshedhavetolook Watchthis,hesaid.Heunvelcroedawireless intogettingLestertohelpherbuyausedSmart keyboardfromthesideoftheTVandbeganto carfromajunkerlotandthetinroofsofthe type:THECO...Thefieldautocompleted shantytownsshepassedlookedtropicaland itself:THECOUNTOFMONTECRISTO,and quaint.Thesmellofswampandsalt,thepeasoup broughtupapictureofabeatenuppaperback humidity,thebassthunderoftheboomcarsinthe alongwithlinkstowebstores,reviews,andthe trafficaroundheritwaslikesomekindofsweet fulltext.Tjangesturedwithhischinandshesaw homecomingforher. thatthefrontofoneofthetubswaspulsingwitha Tjanwasinthecondowhenshegothomeandhe softblueglow.Tjanwentandpulledopenthetub andfishedforasecondbeforeproducingthebook. spottedherfromthebalcony,wherehedbeen sunninghimselfandhelpedherbringupher Tryit,hesaid,handingherthekeyboard.She suitcasesofthingsshecouldntbeartoputin begantotypeexperimentally:UNandupcame storage. UNDERWEAR(14).Noway,shesaid. Comedowntoourplaceforacupofcoffeeonce Way,Tjansaid,andhitreturn,bringingupa youresettledin,hesaid,leavingher.Shesluiced thumbnailgalleryoffourteenpairsofunderwear. offtheairplanegreasethathadfilledherporeson Hetabbedovereach,pickedoutapairof thelongflightfromSanJosetoMiamiand Simpsonsboxers,andhitreturn.Adifferenttub changedintoacheapsundressandapairofflip startedglowing. flopsthatshedboughtattheThunderbirdFlea Lesterfinallyfoundasociallybeneficialusefor Marketandheadeddowntotheirplace. RFIDs.Weregoingtogetrich! Tjanopenedthedoorwithaflourishandshe steppedinandstoppedshort.Whenshedleft,the IdontthinkIunderstand,shesaid. placehadbeenareflectionoftheirjumbledlives: Comeon,hesaid.Letsgettothejunkyard. gizmos,dishes,parts,toolsandclothesstrewn Lesterexplainsthisreallywell. everywhereinakindofjoyful,eyewatering Hedid,too,losingalloftheshynessshe hypermess,likeanenormouskitchenjunkdrawer. remembered,hiseyesglowing,hissausagethick Nowtheplacewasspotlessandwhatsmore,it fingersdancing.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/42 Haveyoueveralphabetizedyourharddrive?I mean,haveyoueverspentanytimeconcerning yourselfwithwhereonyourharddriveyourfiles arestored,whichsectorscontainwhichfiles? Computersabstractawaythetedious,physical propertiesoffilesandleaveuswithhandlesthat weusetopersistentlyrefertothem,regardlessof whichpartoftheharddrivecurrentlyholdsthose particularbits.SoIthought,withRFIDs,you coulddothiswiththerealworld,justtag everythingandhaveyourfurniturekeeptrackof whereitis. Oneofthebigbarrierstoroommateharmonyis thecorrectdispositionofstuff.Whenyouleave yourbookonthesofa,IhavetomoveitbeforeI cansitdownandwatchTV.Thenyoucomeafter meandaskmewhereIputyourbook.Thenwe haveafight.Theresstuffthatyoudontknow whereitgoes,andstuffthatyoudontknowwhere itsbeenput,andstuffthathasnowheretoputit. Butwithtagsandasmartchestofdrawers,you canjustputyourstuffwherevertheresroomand askthephysicalspacetokeeptrackofwhats wherefrommomenttomoment. Theywereallwaitingforher.Well,itsvery cool,shesaid,atlast.But,thewholewhite plastictubthing.Itmakesyourapartmentlook likeanIkeashowroom.Kindofinhumanly minimalist.WereAmericans,welikecelebrating ourstuff. Well,OK,fairenough,Lestersaid,nodding. Youdonthavetoputeverythingaway,ofcourse. Andyoucanstillhaveallthedecoryouwant.This isaboutcluttercontrol. Exactly,Perrysaid.ComecheckoutLesters lab. OK,thisisprettyperfect,Suzannesaid.The clutterwasgone,disappearedintothewhitetubs thatwerestackedhighoneveryshelf,leavingthe worksurfacesclear.ButLestersworksin progress,hiskeepsakes,hissculpturesand triptychswerestillout,lookinglikevenerated museumpiecesinthestarktidinessthatprevailed otherwise.

Tjantookherthroughthespreadsheets.Thereare tenteamsthatdoclosetorganizinginthenetwork, andabunchofshippers,packers,movers,and storageexperts.Afewfurniturecompanies.We Theresstilltheproblemofgettingeverything taggedanddescribed,butthatsaservicebusiness adoptedtheinterfacefromsomefreesoftware inventorymanagementappsthatwerebuiltfor opportunity,andwhereyouvegotothershared illiterateserviceemployees.Lotsofbigpictures identifierslikeISBNsyoucouldusea cameraphonetosnapthebarcodesandlookthem andautocompletion.Andweveboughtahundred RFIDprintersfromacompanythatwasso upagainstpublicdatabases.Thewholething gratefulforanewcustomerthattheyreshipping couldbecoordinatedaroundspringcleaning us150ofthem,sowecanprintthesethingsat eventswhereyougothroughyourstuffand aboutamillionperhour.Theplanistostartour photographit,tagit,describeitgoodforyour insuranceandforforensicsifyougetrobbed,too. salesthroughtheconsultantsatthesametimeas westartshowingattradeshowsforfurniture Hestoppedandbeamed,foldinghisfingersover companies.Wevealreadygotahugeorderfroma hisbelly.So,thatsit,basically. coupleoflocaloldfolkshomes. PerryslappedhimontheshoulderandTjan TheywalkedtotheIHOPtohaveacelebratory drummedhisforefingerslikeaheavymetal lunch.BeingbackinFloridafeltjustrighttoher. drummeronthesideoftheworkbenchtheywere Francis,theleaderoftheparamilitarywingofthe gatheredaround. AARP,threwthemasaluteandblewherakiss,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/43 andevenLestersnursingjunkiefriendseemedto beinagoodmood. Whentheyweredone,theybroughttakeoutbags forthejunkieandFrancisintheshantytown. customerswiththose.Peoplewillchange everythingabouthowtheylivefrommomentto momentbecauseofsomethingLesterthoughtup inmyjunkyardoverthere.

Well,theresthirtymillionofuslivinginwhat thesocialworkerscallmarginalhousing, Francissaid,grinningwryly.Hehadafunnysmile thatSuzannehadfoundadorableuntilhe explainedthathehadanuntreateddentalabscess thathecouldntaffordtogetfixed.Sothatsalot Francisuncrossedhisbonyanklesandscratchedat ofdifferenceyoucouldmake. hismosquitobites.Alotofpeoplethinkthatwe dontbuystuff,butitsnottrue,hesaid.Ishop Yeah,Perrysaid.Yeah,itsureis. hardforbargains,butthereslotsofstuffIspend Thatnight,shefoundherselfstillbloggingand moreonbecauseofmylifestylethanIwouldifI answeringemailstheyalwayspiledupwhenshe hadarealhouseandsteadyelectricity.WhenIhad travelledandtookacoupleoflatenightstoclear achestfreezer,Icouldbulkbuygroundroundfor outafterninePM,sittingaloneinapooloflight aboutatenthofwhatIpaynowwhenIgotothe inthebackcornerofLestersworkshopthatshe grocerystoreandgetenoughforonenights hadstakedoutasheroffice.Sheyawnedand dinner.Thealternativeisusingpropanetokeep stretchedandlistenedtoheroldbackcrackle.She thefridgegoingovernight,andthatsnotcheap, hatedfeelingold,andlatenightsmadeherfeelold either.SoImakindofpremiumcustomer.Back feeleveryextraounceoffatonhertummy,feel atBoeing,welovedthepeoplewhomadesmall thelinesbracketinghermouthandthelittlebagof orders,becausewecouldchargethemsucha skinunderherchin. premiumforcustomwork,whilethebigairlines Shestoodupandpulledonalightjacketand wantedstuffdonesocheapthathalfthetimewe begantoswitchofflightsandgetreadytohead lostmoneyonthedeal. home.AsshepokedherheadinTjansoffice,she Iwanttomakesometechnologyforthoseguys, PerrysaidastheysatinfrontofFrancissRV drinkingcowboycoffeecookedoverabanked woodstoveofftooneside.Roommatewarefor homelesspeople. Perrynodded.Thereyouhaveitroommate wareforhomelesspeople,agreatanduntapped market. sawthatshewasnttheonlyoneworkinglate. Hey,you,shesaid.Isntittimeyougotgoing? Hejumpedlikehedbeenstuckwithapinand gavealittleyelp.Sorry,hesaid,didnthear you. Hehadacardboardboxonhisdeskandhadbeen fillingitwithhispersonaleffectslittleoneoff inventionstheguyshadmadeforhim,personal fetishesandtchotchkes,aframedpictureofhis kids. Whatsup? Hesighedandcrackedhisknuckles.Mightas welltellyounowastomorrowmorning.Im

Suzannecockedherheadandlookedathim. Youresoundingawfullycommerceorientedfor apureandunsulliedengineer,youknow? Heduckedhisheadandgrinnedandlookedabout twelveyearsold.Itsinfectious.Thoselittle kitchengnomes,wesoldnearlyahalfmillionof thosethings,nottomentionallthespinoffs. Thatsahalfmillionlivesahalfmillion householdsthatwechangedjustbythinkingup somethingcoolandmakingitreal.TheseRFID thingsofLesterswellsignacouplemillion

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/44 resigning. Shefeltaflashofangerandthenforceditdown andforciblyreplaceditwithprofessionaldistance andcuriosity.Mentallyshelickedherpenciltip andflippedtoablankpageinherreporters notebook. Ohyes? Ivehadanotheroffer,inWestchesterCounty. Westinghousehasspunoutitsownversionof Kodacellandtheyrelookingforanewvice presidenttorunthedivision.Thatsme. Goodjob,shesaid.Congratulations,MrVice President. Goaheadandprintthat,hesaid.Blogit tonight.Therescompetitionnow.Weregiving twopointsmoreequityandcharginghalfapoint lessonequitythantheKodacellnetwork. Thatsamazing,Tjan.Ihopeyoullkeepintouch withmeIdlovetofollowyourstory. Countonit,hesaid.Helaughed.Imgettinga weekoffeveryeightweekstoscoutRussia. Theyvegotanincrediblecultureof entrepreneurship. Plusyoullgettoseeyourkids,Suzannesaid. Thatsreallygood. Plus,Illgettoseemykids,headmitted.

Heshookhishead.IemailedKettlewellhalfan HowmuchmoneyisWestinghouseputtinginto hourago.Imleavinginthemorning.Imgoingto theproject?sheasked,replacinghernotional saygoodbyetotheguysoverbreakfast. notebookwitharealone,pulledfromherpurse. Notmuchnotice,shesaid. Nope,hesaid,anoteofangercreepingintohis voice.MycontractletsKodacellfiremeonone daysnotice,soIinsistedontherighttoquiton thesameterms.MaybeKettlewellwillgethis lawyerstowritebetterboilerplatefromhereon in. Whenshehadanangryinterview,shehabitually changedthesubjecttosomethingsensitive:angry peopleoftensaymorethantheyintendto.Shedid itinstinctively,notreallymeaningtopsyopsTjan, whomshethoughtofasafriend,butnotletting thatgetinthewayofthestory.Westinghouseis doingwhat,exactly? Idonthavenumbers,buttheyveshutdownthe wholeappliancesdivisiontoclearthebudgetfor it.Shenoddedshedseennewsofthelayoffs onthewires.Massdemonstrations,peopleoutof workaftertwentyyearsservice.Soitsabig budget. Theymusthavebeenimpressedwiththe quarterliesfromKodacell. Tjanfoldeddowntheflapsonhisboxand drummedhisfingersonit,squintingather. Yourejoking,right? Whatdoyoumean?

Suzanne,theywereimpressedbyyou.Everyone knowsthatquarterlynumbersareeasytocook ItllbeasbigasKodacellsoperationinayear, anythinglessthantwoannualreportsisaslikely hesaid.GeorgeWestinghousepersonallyfunded tobeenronningasrealfortunemaking.Butyour Teslasresearch,youknow.Thecompany dispatchesfromheretheyrewhatsoldthem.Its understandsfundingindividualentrepreneurs.Im whatsconvincingeveryone.Kettlewellsaidthat goingtobetrainingthetalentscoutsand threequartersofhisnewrecruitscomeonboard mentoringthefinancialpeople,thenturningthem afterreadingyourdescriptionsofthisplace. loosetosignupentrepreneursforthe ThatshowIendeduphere. Westinghousenetwork.Theresacompetitive Sheshookherhead.Thatsveryflattering,Tjan, marketforgarageinventorsnow.Helaughed.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/45 but Hewavedheroffandthen,surprisingly,came aroundthedeskandhuggedher.Butnothing, Suzanne.Kettlewell,Lester,Perrytheyreall basicallybigkids.Fullofenthusiasmand invention,buttheyvegottheemotionalmaturity andsenseofscaleofhyperactivefiveyearolds. Youandme,weregrownups.Peopletakeus seriously.Itseasytogetakidexcited,butwhena grownupchimesinyouknowtheressomethere there. Theguyswerehangdogandcuriouslooking, slightlyinaweofKettlewell,whodidlittletoput themattheireasehewasstaringintenselyat Tjan. Exitinterview,hesaid.Companypolicy. Tjanrolledhiseyes.Comeon,hesaid.Ivegot aflighttocatchinanhour. Icouldgiveyoualift,Kettlewellsaid. Youwanttodotheexitinterviewbetweenhere andtheairport?

Suzannerecoveredherselfafterasecondandput IcouldgiveyoualifttoJFK.Ivegotthejet awayhernotepad.Imjustthepersonwhowrites warmedupandwaiting. italldown.Youpeoplearemakingithappen. Sometimes,Suzannemanagedtoforgetthat Intenyearstime,theyllrememberyouandnot Kodacellwasamultibilliondollaroperationand us,Tjansaid.YoushouldgetKettlewelltoput thatKettlewellwasatitshelm,butothertimesthe youonthepayroll. pointwasveryclear. Kettlewellhimselfturnedupthenextday.Suzanne Comeon,hesaid,wellmakeadayofit.We haddevelopedanintuitivesenseoftheflight canstoponthewayandpickupsomebarbecueto timesfromthewestcoastandsoforasecondshe eatontheplane.Illevenletyoukeepyourseatin couldntfigureouthowhecouldpossiblybe therecliningpositionduringtakeoffandlanding. standingtherenothingintheskycouldgethim Hell,youcanturnyourcellphoneonjustdont fromSanJosetoMiamiforasevenAMarrival. telltheTransportSecurityAdministration! Privatejet,hesaid,andhadthegracetolook Tjanlookedcornered,thenresigned.Sounds slightlyembarrassed.Kodakhadeightofthem goodtome,hesaidandKettlewellshouldered andDuracellhadfive.Wevebeentryingtosell oneofthetwohugeduffelbagsthatweresitting themalloffbutnoonewantsausedjetthesedays, bythedoor. notevenSaudiprincesorColumbiandruglords. Hi,Kettlewell,Perrysaid. So,basically,itwasgoingtowaste. Kettlewellsetdowntheduffel.Sorry,sorry. Hesmiledandlookedeighteenshereallydid Lester,Perry,itsreallygoodtoseeyou.Illbring feelliketheonlygrownupsometimesandsaid, Suzannebacktonightandwellallgooutfor Zacklyitspracticallyenvironmental.Wheres dinner,OK? Tjan? Suzanneblinked.Imcomingalong? Downstairssayinggoodbyetotheguys,Ithink. Isurehopeso,Kettlewellsaid. OK,hesaid.Areyoucoming? PerryandLesteraccompaniedthemdowninthe Shegrabbedhernotebookandapenandbeathim elevator. outthedoorofherrentedcondo. Privatejet,huh?Perrysaid.Neverbeeninone Whatsthisallabout,Tjansaid,lookingwary. ofthose.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/46 Kettlewelltoldthemabouthisadventurestryingto Kettlewellincreasedordecreasedsharply.She selloffKodacellsprivateairforce. usedtotrytoreadeverything,butitwas impossibletokeepupnowallshewantedwasto Sendoneofthemourway,then,Lestersaid. keeptrackofwhethertheinterestingnessindex Doyoufly?Kettlewellsaid. wasontheuptickordowntick. No,Perrysaid.Lesterwantstotakeitapart. Ithadstartedtobuzzthatmorningandthepitch Right,Les? hadincreasedsteadilyuntilitwasactually Lesternodded.Lotsofcooljunkinaprivatejet. uncomfortableinherpocket.Irritated,sheyanked itoutandwasabouttoswitchitoffwhenthelead Thesethingsareworthmillions,guys, articlecaughthereye. Kettlewellsaid. KODACELLLOSESTJANTO No,someonepaidmillionsforthem,Perrysaid. WESTINGHOUSE Theyreworthwhateveryoucansellthemfor. ThebylinewasFreddy.Feelinglikeacharacterin Kettlewelllaughed.Youvehadaninfluence ahorrormoviewhocantresistthecompulsionto aroundhere,Tjan,hesaid.Tjanmanagedasmall, lookunderthebed,SuzannethumbedthePDAs tightsmile. wheelandbroughtupthewholearticle. Kettlewellhadadriverwaitingoutsideofthe ::KodacellbusinessmanagerTjanLeeTang, buildingwholoadedtheduffelsintothespacious whoseadventuresweve trunkofaspotlessdarktowncarwhosedoors ::followedthroughSuzanneChurchsgushing, chunkedshutwithanexpensivesound. besottedblogposts IwantyoutoknowthatImreallynotangryat Shelookedawayandreflexivelyreachedtoward all,OK?Kettlewellsaid. thedeletebutton.Theinnuendothatshewas Tjannodded.Hehadthelookofamanwhowas romanticallyinvolvedwithoneormoreofthe steelinghimselfforaturninaninterrogation guyshadcirculatedonherblogsmessageboards chamber.HedbarelysaidawordsinceKettlewell andaroundthediggdotseversinceshedstarted arrived.Forhispart,Kettlewellappearedoblivious writingaboutthem.Nowomancouldpossiblybe toallofthis,thoughSuzannewasprettysurethat writingaboutthisstuffbecauseitwasimportant heunderstoodexactlyhowuncomfortablethiswas shehadtobewiththeband,agroupieora makingTjan. whore. Thethingis,sixmonthsago,nearlyeveryonewas CombinethatwithRatToothedFreddyssneering convincedthatIwasafuckingmoron,thatIwas toneandshewasinstantlysentintoheart abouttopissawaytenbilliondollarsofother thunderingrage.Shedeletedthepostandlooked peoplesmoneyonastupiddoomedidea.Now outthewindow.Herpagerbuzzedsomemoreand theyrecopyingmeandpoachingmybestpeople. shelookeddown.Thesamearticle,beingpicked Sothisisgoodnewsforme,thoughImgoingto uponblogs,onsomeofthebiggerdiggdots,and havetofindanewbusinessmanagerforthosetwo anAPwire. beforetheygetpickedupforturningplanesinto Sheforcedherselftoreopenit. componentpieces. SuzannesPDAvibratedwheneverthenumberof ::hasbeenhiredtoheadupanewbusinessuniton onlinenewsstoriesmentioningherorKodacellor behalfofthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/47 ::multinationalgiantWestinghouse.The appointmentstandsasmore ::proofofChurchspowertocloudmensminds withprettyempty ::wordsaboutthehalfbakeddotcomschemes thathaveoozedoutof ::SiliconValleyandintoeveryemptyanddead Americansuburb. accumulatedenoughreadersthattheadvertising revenuedwarfedheroldsalaryattheMerc,an astonishinghappenstancethatneverthelesskept herbankaccountfull.Sheclickedalittle. Besides,lookatthis,therearethreedozenlinks pointingatthisstorysofarandallofthemare criticalofhim.Wedontneedtostickupfor ourselvestheworldwill.

Sayingitcalmedherandnowtheywereatthe airport.Theycruisedintoaprivategate,away Itwashypnotic,likestaringintotheeyesofa serpent.Herpulseactuallythuddedinherearsfor fromthemilitarizedgulagthatfrontedMiami International.Acourteoussecurityguardwaved asecondbeforeshetookafewdeepbreathsand themthroughandthedriverconfidentlypiloted calmeddownenoughtofinishthearticle,which wasjustmoreofthesame:nastypersonalattacks, thecaruptoawheeledjetwaybesideacute, stubbylittletoyjet.Ontheside,incursivescript, sniping,andinnuendo.Freddyevenmanagedto wastheplanesname:Suzanne. implythatshewasscrewingallofthemand Kettlewellbesides. ShelookedaccusatoriallyatKettlewell. Kettlewellleanedoverhershoulderandread. Youshouldsendhimanemail,hesaid.Thats disgusting.Thatsnotreportage. Nevergetintoapissingmatchwithaskunk,she said.WhatFreddywantsisformetosendhim mailthathecanpublishalongwithmoresnarky commentary.Whentheguyyourearguingwith controlsthevenueyourearguingin,youcant possiblywin. Sobloghim,Kettlewellsaid.Correctthe record. ItwascalledthatwhenIboughtthecompany, hesaid,expressionlessbutsomehowmirthful behindhiscurvedsurfershades.ButIkeptit becauseIlikedtheprivatejoke. JustnoonetellFreddythatyouvegotan airplanewithmynameonitorwellneverhear thefuckingendofit. Shecoveredhermouth,regrettingherlanguage, andKettlewelllaughed,andsodidTjan,and somehowtheicewasbrokenbetweenthem. Nowayflyingthisthingiscosteffective,Tjan said.YourCFOshouldbekickingyourass.

Therecordiscorrect,shesaid.Itsneverbeen incorrect.Ivewrittenanexhaustiverecordthatis Itsalittleindulgence,Kettlewellsaid,bounding thereforeveryonetosee.Ifpeoplebelievethis,no upthestepsandshakinghandswithasmall,neat amountofcorrectionwillhelp. womanpilot,anAfricanAmericanwithcornrows Kettlewellmadeafacelikealittleboywhodbeen peekingoutunderhersmartpeakedcap.Once toldhecouldnthaveatoy.Thatguyispoison, youveflowninyourownbird,younevergo back. hesaid.Thosequotemarksaroundblog. Thisisamonstrosity,Tjansaidasheboarded. Lethimaddhisquotemarks,shesaid.My Whatthisthingeatsupinhangarfeesalone dailyreadershipishigherthantheMercspaid wouldbeenoughtobankrollthreeorfourteams. circulationthisweek.Itwastrue.Afterashort HesettledintoanoversizedBarcaloungerofaseat uphillclimbfromhernewURL,shed

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/48 andacceptedaglassoforangejuicethatthepilot pouredforhim.Thankyou,andnooffense. Nonetaken,shesaid.Iagreeonehundred percent. See,Tjansaid. theybrokethroughthecloudsandtheten thousandfootbellsounded. Howthehellareyougoingtomakeanythingthat doesntcollapseunderitsownweightinRussia?

Thecorruptionsaproblem,sure,Tjansaid. Suzannetookherownseatandherownglassand Butitsoffsetbytheentrepreneurship.Someof buckledinandwatchedthetwoofthem,warming thosecatsmaketheChineselooklazyand unimaginative.Itsashamethatsomuchoftheir upforthemainevent,realizingthatshedbeen effortshavebeencenteredongraft,buttheresno broughtalongasakindofopeningact. reasontheycouldntbefocusedonmakingan Theypayingyoumore? honestruble. Yup,Tjansaid.Allonthebackend.Halfa TheyfellintoadiscussionoftheminutiaeofPerry pointoneverydollarbroughtinbyateamIcoach andLestersbusinesses,frankerthananybusiness orwhosemembersImentor. discussionshedeverheard.Tjantalkedaboutthe Kettlewellwhistled.Thatsabigshare,hesaid. placeswheretheydscrewedup,andplaceswhere theydscoredbig,andaboutalltheplanshed IfIcanmakemynumbers,Illtakehomea madeforWestinghouse,theconnectionshehadin millionthisyear. Russia.Heeventalkedabouthiskidsandhisexin Youllmakethosenumbers.Goodnegotiations. StPetersburg,andKettlewelladmittedthathed knownaboutthemalready. Whydidntyouaskusforthesamedeal? Wouldyouhavegivenittome? Youreastar,Kettlewellsaid,noddingat Suzanne,whoseinvisibilitytotheconversation poppedlikeabubble.Thankstoher. Thanks,Suzanne,Tjansaid. Suzanneblushed.Comeon,guys. Tjanshookhishead.Shedoesntreally understand.Itsactuallykindofcharming. Wemighthavematchedtheoffer. Youguysarefirsttomarket.Youvegotalotof proceduresinplace.Iwantedtoreinventsome wheels. Weretooconservativeforyou? Tjangrinnedwickedly.Ohyes,hesaid.Im goingtodobusinessinRussia. Kettlewellgruntedandpoundedhisorangejuice. Aroundthem,thejetswindowsflashedwhiteas ForKettlewellspart,heopenedtheproverbial kimonowide,tellingTjanaboutconflictswithin theboardofdirectors,poisonousholdoversfrom thepreKodacelldayswhosabotagedthecompany fromwithinwithpettybureaucracy,eventhe problemshewashavingwithhisfamilyoverthe longhourstheywereworking.Heopenedthe minibarandcrackedabottleofchampagnetotoast Tjansnewjob,andtheymixeditwithmore orangejuice,andthentherewerebagelsand schmear,freshfruit,powerbars,andcanned Starbuckscoffeeswithdeadlyamountsofsugar andcaffeine. WhenKettlewelldisappearedintothetinybut marbleappointedbathroom,Suzannefound herselfsittingalonewithTjan,almostkneeto knee,lightheadedfromlackofsleepand champagneandaltitude. Sometrip,shesaid. Yourethebest,hesaid,wobblingalittle.You

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/49 knowthat?Justthebest.Thestuffyouwriteabout theseguys,itmakesmewanttostandupand salute.Youmakeusallseemsofuckingglorious. Weregoingtoenduptakingovertheworld becauseyouinspireusso.MaybeIshouldnttell youthis,becauseyourenotveryselfconscious aboutitrightnow,butSuzanne,youwontbelieve itbecauseyouresogoddamnedmodest,too.Its whatmakesyourwritingsoright,sobelievable Kettlewellsteppedoutofthebathroom.Touching downsoon,hesaid,andpattedthemeachonthe shoulderashetookhisseat.Sothatsaboutit, then,hesaid,andleanedbackandclosedhis eyes.Suzannewasaccustomedtothinkingofhim astwentysomething,theboyishageofthe magazinecoverportraitsfromthestartofhis career.Now,eyesclosedonhisprivatejet,harsh upperatmospheresunpaintinghisface,his crowsfeetandthedeepverticalbracketsaroundhis mouthrevealedhimforsomeonepushinga youthfulforty,keptyoungbyexerciseandfunand theanimationofhisideas. didntlookbackwhentheydlandedatJFK. Shouldwegointotownandgetsomebialyto bringbacktoMiami?Kettlewellsaid,squinting atthebrightdayonthetarmac. BringdelitoMiami? Right,right,hesaid.ForgetIasked.Besides, wedhavetocharterachoppertogetinto Manhattanandbackwithoutdyingintraffic. Somethingaboutthelightthroughtheopenhatch orthesoundorthesmellsomethingindefinably NewYorkmadeheryearnforMiami.Thegreat citiesofcommercelikeNewYorkandSan Franciscoseemedtoorealforher,whilethe suburbsofFloridawereakindofendlesssummer camp,adreamtimewhereanythingwaspossible. Letsgo,shesaid.Thechampagnebuzzhad crashedandshehadatouchofheadache.Im bushed. Metoo,Kettlewellsaid.IleftSanJoselast nighttogetintoMiamibeforeTjanleft.Notmuch sleep.Gonnaputmyseatbackandcatchsome winks,ifthatsOK?

Guessso,Tjansaid,slumping.Thishasbeen oneofthemorememorableexperiencesofmy life,Kettlewell,Suzanne.Notentirelypleasant,but Goodplan,Suzannesaid. pleasantonthewhole.Amagicaltimeinthe Embarrassingly,whentheywerefullyreclined, clouds. theirseatsnearlytouched,formingsomethinglike Onceyouveflownprivate,youllnevergoback adoublebed.Suzannelayawakeinthehumofthe jetsforawhile,consciousofthebreathinghuman tocoach,Kettlewellsaid,smiling,eyesstill closed.YoustillthinkmyCFOshouldspankme besideher,thefirstmansheddoneanythinglike shareabedwithinatleastayear.Thelastthing fornotsellingthisthing? sherememberedwasthetenthousandfootbell No,Tjansaid.Intenyears,ifwedoourjobs, goingoffandthensheslippedawayintosleep. therewontbefivecompaniesonearththatcan affordthiskindofthingitllbelikebuildinga cathedralaftertheProtestantReformation.While ::PerrythoughtthattheydsellamillionHome wehavethechance,weshouldkeepthesethings Awaresinsix inthesky.ButyoushouldgiveonetoLesterand ::months.Lesterthoughthewasnuts,thatnumber Perrytotakeapart. wastoohigh. Iwasplanningto,Kettlewellsaid.Thanks. :: SuzanneandKettlewellgotofftheplaneandTjan

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/50 ::Please,hesaid,Iinventedthesethingsbut therearenta guysandSuzanneupontheroofoftheworkshop onfoldingchairs,withbeers,watchingthesweaty ::millionroommatehouseholdsinallofAmerica. sunset. Wellsellhalf ::Theyrenotthesolesupplier.Thatswhatan ecosystemisall ::amilliontops,total. Lesteralwayscomplainedwhenshequotedhim directlyinherblogposts,butshethoughthe secretlyenjoyedit. ::Todaytheboysshippedtheirmillionthunit.It tooksixweeks. ::about,creatingvalueforalotofplayers.Allthis competition ::isgreatnewsforyouandme,becauseits alreadydriventhe

::priceofHomeAwaregoodsdownbyforty Theyduncorkedabottleofchampagnewhenunit percent.Thatmeansthat onemillionshipped.Theyhadntactuallyshipped ::LesterandPerryaregoingtohavetoinvent it,perse.Themanufacturingwasspreadout somethingnew,soon, acrossfortydifferentteamsallacrossthecountry, ::beforethemargindisappearsaltogetherand evenacoupleofCanadianteams.TheRFID thatsalsogood printercompanyhadrehiredhalftheworkers ::newsforyouandme. theydlaidofftheyearbefore,andhadthemall workingovertimetomeetdemand. Areyoucoming?Lesterhaddatedagirlfora while,someonehemetonCraigslist,butshed ::Whatsexcitingaboutthisisntjustthemoney dumpedhimandPerryhadconfidedthatshedleft thattheseguys himbecausehedidntliveuptothepresshed ::havemadeoffofit,orthemoneythatKodacell gotteninSuzannescolumn.Whenhegot willreturnto dumped,hebecameeventouchieraboutSuzanne, ::itsshareholders,itstheecosystemthatthese caughtatadistancefromherthatwasdefinedby thingshave equalpartsofdesireandresentment. ::enabled.Therereatleasttencompeting commercialsystemsfor Upinaminute,shesaid,tryingtokeepher smilelightandnoncommittal.Lesterwasvery nice,butthereweretimeswhenshecaughthim ::organizing,tagging,sharing,anddescribing staringatherlikeakickedpuppyanditmadeher HomeAwareobjects. uncomfortable.Naturally,thisincreasedhis ::Parentslovethemfortheirkids.Schoolteachers discomfortaswell. lovethem. Ontherooftheyalreadyhadacoolerofbeers ::Seniorshomes. goingandbesideitahugeplastictubofbrightly coloredmachineparts. TheseniorshomeshadbeenFrancissidea. Theydbroughthimintooverseesomeofthe Jetengine,Perrysaid.Themonthshadputa productionengineering,alongwithsomeofthe couplepoundsonhimandnewwrinkles,and youngbraveswhoranaroundthesquattercamps. givenhimsomegreyatthetemples,andlaugh Francisknewwhichoneswerebiddableandhe linesinsidehislaughlines.Perrywasalways keptthemtoheel.Intheevenings,hedjointhe laughingateverythingaroundthem(They

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/51 fuckingpaymetodothis,hedtoldheronce, handsinpockets.Silhouettedagainstthesetting beforeliterallycollapsingtothefloor,rollingwith sun,bicepsbulging,muscularchesttaperingtohis uncontrollablehysteria).Helaughedagain. narrowhips,helookedlikeaGreekstatue.What doyouthinkofthestuffwerebuilding? GoodoldKettlebelly,shesaid.Musthave brokenhisheart. Francisheldupacurvedpieceofcowling.This thingwasntgoingtolastanyway.Seethe distortionhereandhere?Thisthingwasdesigned inavirtualwindtunnelandmachinelathed.We triedthatacoupletimes,butthewindtunnelsims wereneverdetailedenoughandtheformsthat flewwellinthemachinealwaysdiedapremature deathinthesky.Anothertwoyearsandhedhave hadtohaveitrebuiltanyway,andtheKoreanswho builtthischargeshitloadsforparts. Toobad,Lestersaid.Itspretty.Gorgeous, even.Hemimeditscurveintheairwithapudgy hand,thatelegantswoop. Aerospacelovesthevirtualwindtunnel,Francis said,andglaredatthecowling.Youcanuse evolutionaryalgorithmsinthesimandcomeup withreallyefficientdesigns,intheory.And computersarecheaperthanengineers. Isthatwhyyouwerelaidoff?Suzannesaid. Iwasntlaidoff,girl,hesaid.Hejiggledhis lamefoot.Iretiredat65andwasallsetupbut thepensionplanwentbust.SoImissedamonth ofmedicalandtheycutmeoffandIendedup uninsured.Whenthewifetooksick,bam,thatwas it,wipedrightout.ButImnotbitterwhyshould thepoorbeallowedtolive,huh? Hisacolytes,threeteenagersindoragsfromthe shantytown,laughedandwentontopitching bottlecapsofftheedgeoftheroof. Stopthat,now,hesaid,youregettingthe junkyardalldirty.Christ,youdthinkthatthey grewupinsomekindofzoo.WhenFrancis drank,hegotalittlemean,alittledark. So,kids,Perrysaid,wanderingovertothem, Theylookedattheirtoes.SOK,oneofthem grunted.

Answertheman,Francissnapped.Complete sentences,lookingupandathim,likeyouvegota shredofselfrespect.Christ,whatareyou,five yearsold? Theyshifteduncomfortably.Itsfine,oneof themsaid. Wouldyouuseitathome? Oneofthemsnorted.No,man.Mydadsteals anythingnicewegetandsellsit. Oh,Perrysaid. FuckerbrokeintheothernightandIcaughthim withmyipod.Nearlytookhisfuckingheadoff withmycannonbeforeIsawwhoitwas.Fucking juicehead. Youshouldhavefuckedhimup,oneoftheother kidssaid.Mymapushedmypopsinfrontofa busonedaytogetridofhim,guybrokebothhis legsandnevercameback. Suzanneknewitwasmeanttoshockthem,but thatdidnttakeawayfromitsshockingness.Inthe warmfogofwritingandlivinginFlorida,itwas easytoforgetthatthesepeoplelivedinasquatter campandweretechnicallycriminals,andreceived noprotectionfromthelaw. Perry,though,justsquintedintothesunand nodded.Haveyouevertriedburglaralarms? ThekidslaughedderisivelyandSuzannewinced, butPerrywasundaunted.Youcouldbesurethat youwokeupwheneveranyoneentered,setupa lightandsirentoscarethemoff. Iwantonethatfiresspears,theonewiththe juiceheadfathersaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/52 Blowtorches,saidtheonewhosemotherpushed Sorry,itsnotsafe,hesaid.HewasLatino,good hisfatherunderabus. looking,likeamoviestar,bronzeskinflickering Iwantaforcefield,thethirdonesaid,speaking withcopperhighlightsfromthefire. forthefirsttime.Iwantsomethingthatwillkeep Ilivethere,Francissaid.Thatsmyhome. anyonefromcomingin,period,soIdonthaveto Thefirefighterlookedaway.Itsnotsafe,he sleeponeeyeup,causeIllbesafe. said. Theothertwonodded,slowly. Whyarentyoufightingthefire?Suzannesaid. Damnstraight,Francissaid. ThatwasthelasttimeFrancissacolytesjoined themontherooftop.Instead,whentheyfinished worktheywenthome,walkingslowlyandtalking inlowmurmurs.Withjustthegrownupsonthe roof,itwasalotmoresubdued. Whatsthatsmoke?Lestersaid,pointingatthe blackbillowingcolumnofftothewest,inthe sunsetsglare. Housefire,Francissaid.Hastobe.Orabig fuckingcarwreck,maybe. Francissheadsnappedaround.Yourenot fightingthefire!Youregoingtoletourhouses burn! Acouplemorefirefighterstrickledover.Across theriver,thefirehadconsumedhalfofthelittle settlement.Someoftheresidentswereoperatinga slowandponderousbucketbrigadefromthe canal,whileothersranintotheunburnedbuildings andemergedclutchingarmloadsofbelongings, bitsoffurniture,boxesofphotos.

Sir,themoviestarsaid,theownerofthis Perryrandownthestairsandcamebackupwitha propertyhasaskedusnottointervene.Since theresnoimminentrisktolifeandnoriskofthe pairofhighpowerbinox.Francis,thatsyour burnspreadingoffhisproperty,wecanttrespass place,hesaidafterasecondsfiddling.He toputoutthefire.Ourhandsaretied. handedthebinoxtoFrancis.Justhitthebutton andtheyllselfstabilize. Theowner?Francisspat.Thislandisintitle dispute.Thecourtcasehasbeenunderwayfor Thatsmyplace,Francissaid.Oh,Christ. twentyyearsnow.Whatowner? Hedgonegrayandseemedtohavesoberedup instantly.Hislipswerewet,hiseyesbright. Theydroveoveratspeed,Suzannewedgedinto Lestersfrankensmartcar,practicallyunderhis armpit,andPerrytravelingwithFrancis.Lester stillworethesamecologneasherfather,and whensheopenedthewindow,itssmellwas replacedbytheburningtiressmellofthefire. Themoviestarshrugged.ThatsallIknow,sir. Acrossthecanal,thefirewasspreading,andthe bucketbrigadewasfallingback.Suzannecould feeltheheatnow,likeputtingyourfaceinthe steamfromaboilingkettle.

Francisseethed,lookingfromthefiremenand theirtruckbacktothefire.Helookedlikehewas Theyarrivedtodiscoverafiretruckparkedonthe goingtopopsomething,orstartshouting,or sideofthefreewaynearesttheshantytown.The chargeintotheflames. firefighterswerestandingsoberlybesideit, Suzannegrabbedhishandandwalkedhimoverto watchingthefirerageacrossthecanal. thetruckandgrabbedthefirstfirefightershe Theyrushedforthefootbridgeandafirefighter blockedtheirway. encountered. ImSuzanneChurch,fromtheSanJoseMercury

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/53 News,aMcClatchypaper.Idliketospeaktothe commandingofficeronthescene,please.She hadntbeenwiththeMercformonths,butshe hadntbeenabletobringherselftosay,Im SuzanneChurchwithSuzanneChurch.org.She wasprettysurethatnomatterhowhighher readershipwasandhowprofitableheradsales were,thefirefighterwouldnthavebeen galvanizedintotheactionthatwasinvokedwhen shementionedthenameofarealnewspaper. wasinaudibleoverthecrackleofthefire.When sheturnedaroundagain,Franciswasgone.She caughtsightofhimagaininjustamoment, runningforthecanal,thenjumpinginandlanding badlyintheshallow,swampywater.Hehobbled acrosstotheoppositebankandbeganto laboriouslyclimbit. Asecondlater,Perryfollowed.ThenLester.

Chief!shesaid,goingaroundtheengineand pointing.TheChiefhadthephoneclampedtohis Hehoppedto,quicklymovingtoanolderman, headstill,butwhenhesawwhatwasgoingon,he tappinghimontheshoulder,whisperinginhisear. snappeditshut,droppeditinhispocketand SuzannesqueezedFrancisshandasthefirechief startedbarkingorders. approachedthem.Sheextendedherhandand talkedfast.SuzanneChurch,shesaid,andtook Nowthefirefightersmoved,boilingacrossthe bridge,uncoilinghoses,strappingontanksand outhernotebook,thekeypropinanysetpiece involvingareporter.Imtoldthatyouaregoing masks.Theyworkedineasy,fluidconcert,andit wasonlysecondsbeforethewaterandfoamhit toletthosehomesburnbecausesomeone theflamesandthesmokechangedtowhitesteam. representinghimselfasthetitleholdertothat propertyhasdeniedyouentry.However,Imalso Theshantytownresidentscheered.Thefireslowly toldthatthetitletothatlandisindisputeandhas receded.PerryandLesterhadFrancis,holding beeninthecourtsfordecades.Canyouresolve himbackfromchargingintothefrayasthefire thisforme,Chief...? fightersexecutedtheirclockworkdance. ChiefBrianWannamaker,hesaid.Hewasher Thesteamwashotenoughtoscald,andSuzanne age,withtheleatheryskinofaFloridanativewho pulledthecollarofherblouseupoverherface. spentalotoftimeoutofdoors.ImafraidIhave Aroundherweretheshantytowners,motherswith nocommentforyouatthistime. smallchildren,oldmen,andaseeminglyendless Suzannekeptherfacedeadpan,andgaveFranciss paradeofthuglifeteenagers,theboysinminiature handawarningsqueezetokeephimquiet.Hewas cyclingshortsanddorags,thegirlsinbandeau tops,glittermakeup,andskirtsmadefrom tremblingnow.Isee.Youcantcomment,you overlappingstripsofrag,likepostapocalyptic cantfightthefire.Isthatwhatyoudlikemeto hulaoutfits.Theirfacesweretight,angry, writeintomorrowspaper? smudgedwithsmokeandpinkenedbytheheat. TheChieflookedatthefireforamoment.Across thecanal,thebucketbrigaderswerelosingworse Shesawtheonewhosefatherhadreportedlybeen pushedunderabusbyhismother,andhe thanever.HefrownedandSuzannesawthathis grimacedather.Whatwegonnadonow? handswereclenchedintofists.Letmemakea call,OK?Withoutwaitingforananswer,he Idontknow,shesaid.Areyouallright?Is turnedonhisheelandsteppedbehindthefire yourfamilyallright? engine,reachingforhiscellphone. Dontgotnowheretosleep,nowheretogo,he Suzannestrainedtohearhisconversation,butit said.Dontevenhaveachangeofclothes.My

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/54 momswontstopcrying. Thereporterwasstaringatherandnaturallyso; Thereweretearsinhiseyes.Hewasalloffifteen, shedbeenstaringatthereporter.Glaringather. sherealized.Hedseemedmucholderontheroof. MyRV,Francissaid,pointing,distractingher.It Shegatheredhimintoherarmsandgavehima wasacharredwreck.Hewenttothemelteddoors hug.Hewasstiffandawkwardatfirstandthenhe andopenedthem,steppingbackasapuffof kindofmeltedintoher,weepingonhershoulder. smokerosefromtheinside.Afirefighterspotted Shestrokedhisbackandmurmuredreassuringly. itanddivertedastreamofwaterintotheinterior, Someoftheothershantytownerslookedatthe soakingFrancisandwhateverhadntburned.He spectacle,thenlookedaway.Evenacoupleofhis turnedandshoutedsomethingatthefirefighter, homeboyswhomshedhavebetwouldhave buthewasalreadyhosingdownsomethingelse. laughedandpointedatthisshowofweakness InsideFrancisstrailer,theysalvagedadrenched onlylookedandthenpassedon.Onehadtears photoalbum,afewtools,andalockboxwith streakingthesmokesmudgesonhisface. someofhispapersinit.Hehadbackeduphis Forsomeonewhoisntgoodatcomfortingpeople, laptoptohiswatchthatmorning,sohisdatawas Iseemtobedoingalotofit,shethought. safe.Ikeptmeaningtoscanthesein,hesaid, pagingthroughthephotosinthesoakedalbum. FrancisandLesterandPerryfoundherand Shouldhavedoneit. Francisgavetheboyagruffhugandtoldhim everythingwouldbefine. Thefirewasoutnow,thefirefighterhosingdown thelastembers,goingthroughthecrowdand checkingforinjuries.ATVnewscrewhadsetup andaprettyblackreporterinhertwentieswas doingastandup. Theillegalsquattercommunityhaslongbeen identifiedasaproblemareaforganganddrug activitybytheBrowardCountySheriffsoffice. Thedestructionhereseemstotal,butits impossibletosaywhetherthisspellstheendof thisencampment,orwhetherthedenizenswill rebuildandstayon. Nightwasfalling,themosquitoessingingand buzzing.Theneatlittlelanewaysandhomey, patchworkbuildingslayinruinsaroundthem. Theshantytownersclusteredinlittlegroupsor pickedthroughtheruins.Driversofpassingcars sloweddowntorubberneck,andafewshouted filthy,vengefulthingsatthem.Suzannetook picturesoftheirlicenseplates.Shedpublishthem whenshegothome.

Alightdrizzlefell.Childrencried.Theswampy soundsofcicadasandfrogsandmosquitoesfilled thegrowingdarkandthenthestreetlightsflicked onalldowntheriverofhighway,painting Suzanneburnedwithshame.Thatcouldhavebeen everythinginbluewhitemercuryglow. her.Whenshedfirstseenthisplace,ithadbeen Wevegottogettentsup,Francissaid.He likesomethingoutofadocumentaryonEthiopia. grabbedacoupleofyoungmenandgavethem Asshedcometoknowit,ithadgrownhomier. orders,thingstolookforfreshwater,plastic Theresidentsbuiltpiecemeal,onewallatatime, sheeting,anythingwithwhichtoerectshelters. onewindow,onepouredconcretefloor,asthey Lesterstartedtohelpthem,andPerrystoodwith couldaffordit.Noneofthemhadmortgages,but hishandsonhiships,nexttoSuzanne. theyhadneatvegetablegardensandwalkways JesusChrist,hesaid.Thisisafuckingdisaster. spelledoutinwhitestoneswithgardengnomes Imean,thesepeopleareusedtolivingrough,but standingguard.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/55 thishebrokeoff,wavinghishandshelplessly. Hewipedhispalmsoffonhisbutt,thengrabbed Francis. dangerousanddirtythisplacewas.Theydnever seewhatSuzannesaw,tenmenandwomen forminguptoonesideofthecrowd.Youngbraves Getthemgoing,hesaid.Getthemtogatherup andhomegirls,peopleherage,theirfacessolemn. theirstuffandwalkthemdowntoourplace. Francisoversawthegatheringupofbelongings. Wevegotspaceforeveryonefornowatleast. Suzannehadneverhadasenseofhowmany Francislookedlikehewasgoingtosaysomething, peoplelivedintheshantytownbutnowshecould countthemastheymassedupbytheroadsideand thenhestopped.Heclimbedprecariouslyupon thehoodofLesterscarandshoutedforpeopleto begantowalk:ahundred,alittlemorethana gatherround.Theboyshebossedaroundtookup hundred.Moreifyoucountedthesurprising thecallanditwasntlongbeforenearlyeveryone numberofbabies. wasgatheredaroundthem. LesterconferredbrieflywithFrancisandthen Francistappedthreeoftheoldtimersandtwoof Caneveryonehear?ThisisasloudasIgo. themotherswithbabesinarmsandtheycrammed Thereweremurmursofassent.Suzannehadseen intoLesterscarandhetookoff.Suzannewalked himmeetwithhispeoplebeforeinthedaylight bytheroadsidewiththelonglineofrefugees, andthegoodtimes,seentherespecttheyafforded listeningtotheirmurmuringconversation,andina tohim.Hewasnttheleader,perse,butwhenhe fewminutes,Lesterwasbacktopickupmore spoke,peoplelistened.Itwasacharacteristic people,atFrancissdiscretion. shedencounteredintheautotradeandin technology,intheonestheothersallgravitatedto. Perrywasbesidehernow,hiseyesamillionmiles away. Charismatics. Whatnow?shesaid. Wevegotaplacetostayabituptheroadfor tonight.Itsaboutahalfhourwalk.Itsindoors andtherestoilets,butmaybenotmuchtomake bedsoutof.Takewhatyoucancarryforabouta mile,youcancomebacktomorrowfortherest. Youdonthavetocome,butthisisntgoingtobe anyfuntonight. Weputthemintheworkshoptonight,tomorrow wehelpthembuildhouses. Atyourplace?Youregoingtoletthemstay? Whynot?Wedontusehalfofthatland.The landlordgetshischeckeverymonth.Hasntbeen byinfiveyears.Hewontcare. Shetookacouplemoresteps.Perry,Imgoingto writeaboutthis,shesaid. Oh,hesaid.Theywalkedfurther.Asmallchild wascrying.Ofcourseyouare.Well,fuckthe landlord.IllsicKettlewellonhimifhesquawks. WhatdoyouthinkKettlewellwillthinkaboutall this? This?Look,thisiswhatIvebeensayingall along.Weneedtomakeproductsforthesepeople. Theyreahugeuntappedmarket.

Awomancameforward.Shewasyoung,butnot youngenoughtobeahomegirl.Shehadlongdark hairandshetwistedherhandsasshespokeina softvoicetoFrancis.Whataboutourstuff?We cantleaveitheretonight.Itsallwevegot. Francisnodded.Weneedtenpeopletostand guardintwoshiftsoffivetonight.Youngpeople. Youllgetflashlightsandphones,coffeeand whateverelsewecangiveyou.Justkeepthe rubberneckersout.Therubberneckerswereout ofearshot.Theaccounttheydgetofthiswould comefromthenewsanchorwhodtellthemhow

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/56 WhatshewantedtoaskwasWhatwouldTjansay aboutthis?buttheydidnttalkaboutTjanthese days.Kettlewellhadpromisedthemanew businessmanagerforweeks,butnonehad appeared.Perryhadtakenovermoreandmoreof themanagerialroles,andwasgettinglessandless workshoptimein.Shecouldtellitfrustratedhim. InherdiscussionswithKettlewell,hedconfided thatithadturnedouttobehardertofindsuitsthan itwasfindingwildlyinventivenerds.Lotsof peoplewantedtorunbusinesses,butthenumber whoactuallyseemedlikelytobecapableofdoing sowasonlyasmallfraction. huggedhim.Someofthemenshookhishand. Perryblushed.Suzannesmiled.Thesepeoplewere goodpeople.Theydbeenthroughmorethan Suzannecouldimagine.Itfeltrightthatshecould helpthemlikemakingupforeverypanhandler shedignoredandeverypassedoutdrunkshed steppedover.

Therewerenoblankets,therewerenobeds.The squatterssleptontheconcretefloor.Young couplesspoonedundertables.Childrensnuggled betweentheirparents,orheldontotheirmothers. AsthesquattersdosseddownandasSuzanne walkedpastthemtogettohercarherheartbroke Theycouldseethejunkyardnow.Perrypulledout ahundredtimes.Shefeltlikeoneofthose hisphoneandcalledhisserverandtouchtoned Depressioneraphotographerswalkingthroughan thecodestoturnonallthelightsandunlockall Okiecamp,arendingvisualateachcorner. thedoors. Backatherrentedcondo,shefoundherselfatthe Theylostacoupleofkidsintheaislesof miraculousjunk,andFrancishadtosendout biggerkidstofindthemandbringthemback, holdingthetreasurestheydfoundtotheirchests. Lesterkeptgoingbackformoreoldtimers,more mothers,morestragglers,operatinghisferry serviceuntiltheywereallindoorsinthe workshop. Thisistheplace,Francissaid.Wellstay indoorsheretonight.Toiletsarethereandthere orderlylines,noshoving. footofhercomfortablebedwithitsthickduvet shelikedkeepingtheACturnedupenoughto snuggleunderablanketandthefourpillows. Shewasinherjammies,butshecouldntclimbin betweenthosesheets. Shecouldnt. Andthenshewasbackinhercarwithallher blankets,sheets,pillows,bigtowelseventhe sofacushions,whichthelandlordwasnotgoingto behappyaboutandspeedingbacktothe workshop.

Whataboutfood?askedamanwithasmallboy Sheletherselfinandsetaboutdistributingthe sleepingoverhisshoulder. blanketsandpillowsandtowels,pickingoutthe ThisisnttheRedCross,Al,Francissnapped. families,theoldpeople.Awomanapparently Wellorganizefoodforourselvesinthe ablebodiedandyoung,butskinnysatupand morning. said,Hey,wheresoneforme?Suzanne Perrywhisperedinhisear.Francisshookhishead, recognizedthevoice.ThejunkiefromtheIHOP. Lestersfriend.Theonewhodgrabbedherand andPerrywhisperedsomemore. cursedher. Therewillbefoodinthemorning.ThisisPerry. Shedidntwanttogivethewomanablanket.She Itshisplace.HesgoingtogotoCostcoforus onlyhadtwoleftandtherewereoldpeoplelying whentheyopen. onthebarefloor. Thecrowdcheeredandafewofthewomen Wheresoneforme?thewomansaidmore

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/57 loudly.Someofthesleepersstirred.Someofthem theireyesfortherestoftheweek. satup. Ihavetowriteaboutthis,shesaidtoPerry. Suzannewasshaking.Whothehellwassheto Thisispartofthestory.Shedstayedclearofit decidewhogotablanket?Didbeingrudetoherat foramonth,butshecouldntgoonwritingabout theIHOPdisqualifyyoufromgettingbedding thesuccessesoftheHomeAwarewithoutwriting whenyourhouseburneddown? abouttheworkforcethatwasturningoutthe Suzannegaveherablanket,andshesnatchedone devicesandaddonsbythethousands,allaround her,inimpromptufactorieswithimpromptu ofthesofacushionsbesides. workers. Itswhyshesstillalive,Suzannethought.How Why?Perrysaid.Hedbeenadervish,filling shessurvived. orders,trainingpeople,fightingfires.Bynightfall, Shegaveawaythelastblanketandwenthometo hewasholloweyedandsnappish.Lesterdidnt sleeponhernakedbedunderneathanoldcoat,a jointhemontheroofanymore.Helikedtohang rolledupsweaterforapillow.Afterhershower, outwithFrancisandsomeoftheyoungmenand shedriedherselfonteeshirts,havinggivenaway pitchhorseshoesdownintheshantytown,ortinker allhertowelstouseasbedding. withthecompostingtoiletshedbeeninstallingat strategiccrossroadsthroughthetown.Cantyou Thenewshantytownwentupfastfasterthan justconcentrateonthebusiness? sheddreamedpossible.Theboyshelped.Lester downloadedalltheinformationhecouldfindon Perry,thisisthebusiness.Kettlewellhasntsent temporarysheltersbuildingoutofmud,outof areplacementforTjanandyouvefilledinand sandbags,outofcorrugatedcardboardandsheets youveturnedthisplaceintosomethinglikea ofplasticandtheytriedthemall.Someofthe workerownedcoop.Thatsimportantnewsthe houseshadtwoormorericketyseemingstories, pointofthisexerciseistotryallthedifferent buttheyallfeltsolidenoughasshetouredthem, businessesthatarepossibleandseewhatworks.If snappingphotosofproudhomesteadersstanding youvefoundsomethingthatworks,Ishouldwrite nexttotheirhandiwork. aboutit.Especiallysinceitsnotjustsolving Kodacellsproblem,itssolvingtheproblemfor Littlethingswentmissingfromtheworkshops tools,easilypawnedbooksandkeepsakes,Perrys allofthosepeople,too. walletandtheyallstartedlockingtheirdesk Perrydrankhisbeerinsullensilence.Idont drawers.Therewerejunkiesinamongthe wantKettlewelltogetmoreinvolvedinthis.Its squatters,anddesperatepeople,andimmoral goinggood.Scrutinycouldkillit. people,themtoo.Onedayshefoundthathercute littlegoldearringswerentbesideherdesklamp, Youvegotnothingtobeembarrassedabout here,shesaid.Theresnothingherethatisntas whereshedleftthemthenightbeforeandshe practicallyburstintotears,feelingsetupononall itshouldbe. sides. Perrylookedatherforalongmoment.Hewasat Shefoundtheearringslaterthatday,atthebottom theendofhisfuse,tryingtodotoomuch,andshe regrettedhavingbroughtitup.Youdowhatyou ofherpurse,andthatonlymadethingsworse. Eventhoughshehadntvoicedasingleaccusation, havetodo,hesaid. shedaccusedeveryoneofthesquattersinher mindthatday.Shefoundherselfunabletomeet ::Theoriginalshantytownwasastonishing.Built aroundanexusof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/58 ::trailersandRVsthatdidntlookintheleast roadworthy,the ::settlershadaddeddwellingondwellingtotheir littlepatchof ::land.Theystartedwithplasticsheetingand poles,andwhenthey contractualarrangementswith ::thedwellersofthefirststories,paidthemrent. Acouplewith ::secondstoryroomsoppositeoneanotherinone ofthenarrow

::streetsconsummatedtheirrelationshipby ::couldaffordit,theyreplacedthesheets,oneata buildingaskybridge time,with ::betweentheirrooms,payingjointrenttotwo ::bricksorpouredconcreteandrebar.They thatchedtheirroofs landlords. :: ::withpalmleaves,shingles,linoleum,corrugated ::Thethingthesemotleyhouseshadincommon, tineven allofthem,was ::plywoodwithflattenedbeercans.Somewalls ::ingenuityandprideofwork.Theyhadneat werewood.Somehad vegetablegardens, ::windows.Someweremadefromoldcardoors, withhandcranked ::flowerboxes,andfreshpaint.Theyhadkids bikesleanedup ::againsttheirwalls,andthesmellofgood cookingintheair. ::Theywerehomelyhomes. :: ::Manyofthepeoplewholivedinthesehouses workedregular ::servicejobs,walkingthreemilestothenearest citybusstop ::everymorningandthreemilesbackevery evening.Theysent ::theirkidstoschool,fakinglocaladdresseswith POboxes.Some ::wereretired.Somewerejustdownontheirluck.

::handlestolowerthemintheday,thenrollthem upagainat ::nightwhenthemosquitoescameout.Mostof thesettlersslepton ::nets. :: ::Asecondwavehadmovedintothesettlement, justasIarrived, ::andratherthanbuildingoutandfartheraway fromtheir ::neighborslatrines,waterpumpandmysterious sourcesof ::electricalpowertheybuiltup,ontopofthe existing

:: ::structures,shoringupthewallswherenecessary. ::Theyhelpedeachother.Whensomething Itwasnt preciouswasstolen,the ::hurricaneproof,butneitherarethecrackerbox ::communitypitchedintofindthethieves.When condosthat oneofthem ::propertyownersoccupy.Theymade

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/59 ::startedalittlebusinesssellingsodasor sandwichesoutofher ::shanty,theotherspatronizedher.When someoneneededmedical leftitinlegal ::limbothatletthesquatterssettlethere.Its suspiciousall

::rightvariousentitieshadtriedtoevictthe ::care,theychippedinforataxitothefreeclinic, squatters orsomeone ::before,butthelegalhassleslefttheminhappy ::withaworkingcardrovethem.Theywerelike limbo.Whatthe theneighborsof ::lawcouldntaccomplish,thefiredid. ::thelonglamentedAmericantown,anidealof civicvirtuethatis ::soremoteinourancestryastohavebecome mythical.Therewere ::eyesonthestreethere,proudresidentswho knewwhateveryone ::wasaboutandsawtoitthatbadbehaviorwas curbedbeforeit ::couldgetstarted. :: ::Somehow,itburneddown.Thefiredepartment wontinvestigate, ::becausethiswasanillegalhomestead,sothey dontmuchcare ::abouthowthefirestarted.Ittookmostofthe homes,andmost ::oftheirmeagerpossessions.Thewatergotthe rest.Thefire ::departmentwouldntfightthefireatfirst, becausesomeoneat ::cityhallsaidthatthelandsownerwouldntlet themonthe ::property.Asitturnsout,theownerofthatsad stripofland ::betweenanorangegroveandthesideofafour lanehighwayis ::unknownadecadesolddisputeovertitlehas :: ::Thestoryhasahappyending.Theboyshave movedthesquatters ::intotheirfactory,andnowtheyhavelivework condosthat ::looklikesomethingDrSeussdesigned[photo gallery].Likethe ::CentralParkshantytownofthelastcentury, theselooklikethey ::wereconstructedbycrazypoetsanddistributed byawhirlwind ::thathadbeendrinking,asapressaccountof thedayhadit. :: ::Lastyear,thecitycompletedanewhousing projectnearbyto ::here,andsocialworkersdescendedonthe shantytownerstoget ::themtopickupandmovetotheselowrent highrises.The ::shantytownerswouldntgo:Itwastoo expensive,saidMrsX, ::whodoesntwantherfamilybackinOklahoma toknowshes ::squattingwithherhusbandandtheiryoung daughter.Wecant ::affordanyrent,notifwewanttoputfoodonthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/60 tableon ::whatweearn. :: andstumbledwirelessnetworksthattheyaccessed withantiquelaptopsonstreetcorners. Kettlewellscomingdowntoseethis,Perry said.

::Shemadetherightdecision:thehousingproject Herstomachlurched.Shedgottentheboysin isanurban trouble.Ishemad? ::renewalnightmare,filledwithcrimeand IcouldnttellIgotvoicemailatthreeAM. junkies,thekindof MidnightinSanJose,thehouratwhichKettlewell ::placewherelittleoldladiestriplechaintheir gothismadimpulses.Hellbeherethis doorsandorder afternoon. ::ingroceriesthattheypayforwithdirectdebit, Thatjetmakesittooeasyforhimtogetaround, unwillingto shesaid,andstretchedoutherback.Sittingather deskallmorningansweringemailsandcleaning ::keepanycasharound. upsomedraftpostsbeforebloggingthemhadher :: inknots.Itwaspracticallylunchtime. ::Thesquattervillagewasashantytown,butitwas Perry,shebegan,thentrailedoff. noslum.Itwas Itsallright,hesaid.Iknowwhyyoudidit. ::aneighborhoodthatcouldbeimproved.Andthe Christ,wewouldntbewhereweareifyouhadnt boysaredoing writtenaboutus.Iminnopositiontotellyouto stopnow.Heswallowed.Themonthsincethe ::that:havingrelocatedthevillagetotheir shantytownershadmovedinhadputfiveyearson grounds,theyre him.Histanwasfading,thewrinklesaroundhis ::inventingandremixingnewtechniquesfor eyesdeeper,greysaltinghisstubblybeardand buildingcheapand shorthair.ButyoullhelpmewithKettlewell, ::homeyshelterfast.[profile:tenshantiesandthe right? technology Illcomealongandwritedownwhathesays, ::insidethem] shesaid.Thatusuallyhelps. Theresponsewasenormousandpassionate. Dozensofreaderswrotetotellherthatshedbeen takeninbythesecrookswhohadstolentheland theysquatted.Shedexpectedthatshedfeltthat wayherself,whenshedfirstwalkedpastthe shantytown. Butwhatsurprisedhermorewerethemessage boardpostsandemailsfromhomelesspeople whodbeenlivingintheircars,onthestreets,in squattedhousesorinshanties.Toreadthese, youdthinkthathalfherreadershipwassleeping roughandgettingonlineatlibraries,Starbuckses, ::Kodacellissupposedtobeanewwayofdoing business. ::Decentralized,netsavvy,reallytwentyfirst century.The ::suckuptechpressandtechaddledbloggers havebeentrumpeting ::itstriumphoverallothermodesofcommerce. :: ::Butwhatdoesdecentralizationreallymean?On

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/61 herblogthis ::created.

::week,formerjournalistSuzanneChurchreports :: thattheinmates ::Areaderwrites:Iliveneartheshantytownthat ::runningtheflagshipKodacellasylumin wasrelocated suburbanFloridahave ::totheKodacellfactoryinFlorida.Itwasa ::invitedanentirevillageofhomelesssquattersto dangerousslumfull takeup ::ofdrugdealers.Noneoftheparentsinmy ::residenceattheirfactorypremises. neighborhoodlettheir :: ::Describingtheirillegalhomesteadingaslive workcondosthat ::DrSeussmighthavedesigned,Kodacellshill Churchgoesonto ::describehowthiscaptive,liveinaudiencehas beenconvertedto ::aworkforceforKodacellsmostprofitableunit (most ::profitableisarelativeterm:todate,thisunit hasturneda ::kidsridetheirbikesalongtheroadthatpassedit byitwas ::ahavenforallkindsofdownandouttrash. :: ::Thereyouhaveit,thefutureoftheAmerican workforce: ::downandoutjunkiesquattersworkingfor starvationwages.

Kettlewell,youcantletjerkslikeFreddyrunthis company.Hesjustlookingtosellbannerspace. ThisishowtheBritragswriteitsall ::profitofabout1.5million,perthelastquarterly meanspiritedsniping.Suzannehadneverseen Kettlewellsofrustrated.Hissurfergoodlooks report;by werefadingfasthewasgettingalittlepaunchon ::contrasttheoldKodaksmostprofitableunit himandhischeeksweresaggingoffhisbonesinto madetwentytimes thebeginningsofjowls.Hiscarhadpulledupto theendofthedrivewayandhedgottenoutand ::thatinitslastquarterofoperation). walkedthroughtheshantytownwiththeairofa :: maninadream.Thetruckerswhopulledinand outallweekpickingupordershadoccasionally ::Americahasagrandtraditionofthiskindof hadacuriouswordattheoddlittlesettlement,but indenturedliving: forSuzanneithadallbutdisappearedintoher ::thecoalbaronscompanytownsofthe19th normalexperience.Kettlewellmadeitstrangeand centuryarethe evenalittleoutrageous,justbyhisstiff,outraged ::originalmodelforthiskindofindustrialpractice walkthroughitsstreets. intheUSA. YouthinkImlettingFreddydrivethis ::Substandardhousingandonlyoneemployerin decision?Hehadspittleflecksonthecornersof townthatsthe hismouth.Christ,Suzanne,youresupposedto ::kindofbravenewworldthatChurchsboyfriend betheadultaroundhere. Kettlewellhas Perrylookedupfromthefloorinfrontofhim,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/62 whichhehadbeenstaringatintently.Suzanne caughthisinvoluntaryglareatKettlewellbefore hedroppedhiseyesagain.Lesterputabigmeaty pawonPerrysshoulder.Kettlewellwasoblivious. Lesterheldupahand.Wedonthaveanymarket research,Kettlewell,becausewedonthavea businessmanagerontheteamanymore.Perrys beentakingthatoveraswellashisregularwork, andhesbeenworkinghimselfsickforyou.Were Thosepeoplecantstay,allright?The flyingbytheseatofourpantsherebecauseyou shareholdersarebayingforblood.Thefucking liabilityChrist,whatifoneofthoseplacesburns haventsentusapilot. down?Whatifoneofthemknifesanotherone? YouneedanMBAtotellyounottoturnyour Wereonthehookforeverythingtheydo.We workplaceintoaslum?Kettlewellsaid.Hewas couldendupbeingonthehookforafucking boiling.Suzanneverycarefullypulledoutherpad choleraepidemic. andwrotethisdown.Itwasallshehad,but Irrationally,SuzanneburnedwithangeratFreddy. sometimesitwasenough. Hehadwritteneveryvenal,biliouswordwiththe hopethatitwouldresultinascenejustlikethis one.Andnotbecausehehadanysubstantive objectiontowhatwasgoingon:simplybecausehe hadaneedtoderidethatwhichothershailed.He wasntafflictingthemighty,though:hewas takingontheverymeekest,peoplewhohad nothing,includingameansofspeakingupfor themselves. Perrylookedup.Youveaskedmetocomeup withsomethingnewandincredibleeverythreeto sixmonths.Well,thisisnewandincredible. Wevebuiltalivinglabonourdoorstepfor exploringanenormousmarketopportunityto providelowcost,sustainabletechnologyforuse byasubstantialsegmentofthepopulationwho havenofixedaddress.Therearemillionsof Americansquattersandbillionsofsquatters worldwide.Theyhavemoneytospendandnoone elseistryingtogetitfromthem. Kettlewellthrusthischinforward.Howmany millions?Howmuchmoneydotheyhaveto spend?Howdoyouknowthatanyofthiswill makeusasinglecent?Wheresthemarket research?Wasthereany?Ordidyoujustinvitea hundredhobostopitchtheirtentoutfrontofmy factoryonthestrengthofyourhalfassed guesses? Kettlewellnoticed.Getout,hesaid.Iwantto talkwiththesetwoalone.

No,Suzannesaid.Thatsnotourdeal.Igetto documenteverything.Thatsthedeal. Kettlewellglaredather,andthenhedeflated.He saggedandtooktwostepstothechairbehind Perrysdeskandcollapsedintoit. Putthenotebookaway,Suzanne,please? Shesilentlyshookherheadathim.Helockedeyes withherforamoment,thennoddedcurtly.She resumedwriting. Guys,themajorshareholdersaregoingtostart dumpingtheirstockthisweek.Acoupleof pensionfunds,amerchantbank.Itsaboutten, fifteenpercentofthecompany.Whenthat happens,ourtickerpriceisgoingtofallbysixty percentormore. Theyregoingtoshortusbecausetheydontlike whatwevedonehere?Perrysaid.Christ,thats ridiculous! Kettlewellsighedandputhisfaceinhishands, scrubbedathiseyes.No,Perry,no.Theyre doingitbecausetheycantfigureouthowtovalue us.Ourbusinessunitshaveanindustryhighreturn oninvestment,buttheresnotenoughofthem. Weveonlysignedathousandteamsandwe wantedtenthousand,soninetypercentofthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/63 moneywehadtospendissittinginthebankat garbageinterestrates.Weneedtosoakupthat moneywithbigprojectstheHooverDam,Hong KongDisneyland,theBigDig.Allwevegotare littleprojects. people.Soakupeverycenttheyspend.Betterus providingthemwithqualitygoodsatreasonable pricesthanlettingthemgetrippedoffbythe profiteerswhohaveacaptivemarket.Thisplantis alivinglab:thisisthekindofmarketintelligence Soitsnotourfaultthen,isit?Lestersaid.Perry youcantbuy,righthere.Weshouldsetupmore ofthese.Invitesquattersalloverthecountryto wasstaringoutthewindow. moveontoourgrounds,testoutourproducts,help No,itsnotyourfault,butthisdoesnthelp.This usdesign,buildandmarketthem.Wecanrecruit isadisasterwaitingtoturnintoacatastrophe. travelingsalespeopletogodoortodoorinthe shantiesandtakeorders.Shit,man,youtalkabout Calmdown,Landon,Perrysaid.Calmdown theGrameenBankallthetimewhynotgointo forasecandlistentome,OK? businessprovidingthesepeoplewitheasy Kettlewelllookedathimandsighed.Goahead. microcreditwithoutpreyingonthemthewaythe banksdo?Thenwecouldloanthemmoneytobuy Therearemorethanabillionsquatters thingsthatwesellthemthattheyusetobetter worldwide.SanFranciscohasbeengivingout tentsandshoppingcartseversincetheyranoutof theirlivesandearnmoremoneysotheycanpay shelterbedsinthenineties.FromCopenhagento usbackandbuymorethingsandborrowmore money Capetown,therearemoreandmorepeoplewho aregoingoffthegrid,ofteninthemiddleof Kettlewellheldupahand.Ilikethetheory.Itsa cities. nicestory.ButIhavetosellthistomyBoard,and Suzannenodded.TheyfarmDetroit,intheruins ofoldbuildings.Raisecropsandsellthem. Chickens,too.Evenpigs. theywantmorethanstories:wherecanIgetthe researchtobackthisup?

Wereit,Perrysaid.Thisplace,righthere. TheresnonumberstoprovewhatImsayingis Theressomethingthere.Thesepeoplehave money,likeIsaid.Theybuyandsellinthestream rightbecauseeveryonewhoknowsitsrightistoo busychasingafteritandnooneelsebelievesit. ofcommerce.Theyoftenhavetobuyata premiumbecausetheservicesandgoodsavailable Butrighthere,ifwereallowedtodothisright herewecanproveit.Wevegotthecapitalinour tothemarelimitedthinkofhowahomeless account,wereprofitable,andwecanrollthose personcanttakeadvantageofbulkpackaged profitsbackintomoreR&Dforthefutureofthe perishablesbecauseshedoesnthaveafridge. company. Theyarethespiritofingenuity,tootheymod theircars,caves,anythingtheycanfindtobe Suzannewaswritingsofastshewasgettingahand livingquarters.TheyturnRVsintopermanent cramp.Perryhadnevergivenspeecheslikethis, homes.Theyknowmoreabouttents,sleeping evenamonthbefore.Tjansleavinghadhurtthem bagsandcardboardthananyUNSHELTER all,butthegrowthithadprecipitatedinPerrywas specialist.Thesepeopleneedhousing,goods, stunning. appliances,younameit.ItswhatTjanusedtocall agreenfieldmarket:nooneelseknowsitsthere. Kettlewellarguedmore,butPerrywasa steamrollerandSuzannewaswritingdownwhat Youwantsomethingyoucanspendungodly everyonesaidandthatkeptitallcivil,likeasilent amountsofmoneyon?Thisisit.Geteveryteam inthecompanytocomeupwithproductsforthese camerarollinginthecorneroftheroom.Noone

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/64 lookedather,butshewasthethingtheywere conspicuouslynotlookingat. columns.Butthepresswasmostlypositive: cameracrewslikedtocomebyandshootthe compound.Onetime,theprettyblackreporter Francistookthenewscalmly.Soundbusiness strategy.Basically,itswhatIvebeentellingyou fromthenightofthefirecamebyandsaidvery nicethingsduringherstandup.Hernamewas todoallalong,soImboundtolikeit. Mariaandshewashappytotalkshopwith IttookacoupleweekstohiveofftheHomeAware Suzanne,endlesslyfascinatedbyareal stufftosomeoftheotherKodacellbusinessunits. journalistwhodgonepermanentlyslummingon Perryflewabunch,spendingdaysinMinnesota, theInternet. Oregon,Ohio,andMichiganoverseeingthe Theproblemisthatallthisstuffistoo retoolingeffortsthatwouldlethimfocusonhis specialized,ithastoomanyprerequisites,Perry newproject. said,staringatawaterproof,cementimpregnated Bythetimehegotback,Lesterhadretooledtheir bagthatcouldbefilledwithahose,allowedto ownworkspace,convertingittofourfunctional dry,andusedasaselfcontainedroom.This areas:communications,shelter,foodand thingisgreatforrefugees,butitstooonesizefits entertainment.TheywereFrancissidea,he allforsquatters.Theyhavetobeabletoheavily said.Francissgimpylegwasbotheringhimmore customizeeverythingtheyusetofitintoreally andmore,buthedoverseentheworkfroma specializedniches. rollingergonomicofficechair.Itshisversionof thehierarchyofneedsstuffheknowsforsurewe Moresquattershadarrivedtotakeupresidence withthemfamilies,friends,acoupleofdodgy cansell. driftersandathirdstorywasgoingontothe Itwasthefirsttimetheboyshadlaunched buildingsinthecamp.TheywereevenmoreDr somethingnewwithoutknowingwhatitwas, Seussianthanthefirstround,idiosyncratic wheretheydstartedwithanicheanddecidedto structuresthathadtobebuiltlighttoavoid fillitinsteadofstartingwithanideaandlooking crushingthefloorsbelowthem,hangingoutover foranicheforit. thenarrowstreets,corkscrewinglikevinesseeking Youregoingtounderestimatetheresearchtime, sun. Francissaidduringoneoftheirflipchart Hekeptstaring,andwouldhavebeenstaringstill brainstorms,wheretheyhadbeencoveringsheet hadhenotheardthesirens.Threeblueandwhite aftersheetwithideasforproductstheycould BrowardCountysheriffscarswereracingdown build.Everyoneunderestimatesresearchtime. theaccessroadintotheirdeadmall,sirens Decidingwhattomakeisalwaysharderthan howling,lightsblazing. makingit.Hedbeendrinkinglesssincehed Theyscreechedtoahaltattheshantytownsedge gotteninvolvedintheretoolingeffort,waking andtheirdoorsflewopen.Fourcopsmoved earlier,bossingaroundhisyoungbloodposseto quicklyintotheshantytown,whiletwomore gethimpaper,bricks,Tinkertoys. workedtheradios,shelteringbythecars. Hewasright.Suzannesteadilyrecordedtheweeks JesusChrist,Perrysaid.Heranforthedoor,but tickingbyasthefourcompetinglabsfocus grouped,designed,testedandscrappedallmanner Suzannegrabbedhim. oftchotchkesfortramps,asFreddyhaddubbed Dontruntowardarmedcops,shesaid.Dont itinaspiralingseriesofevermorebilious doanythingthatlooksthreatening.Slowdown,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/65 Perry. Hetookacoupledeepbreaths.Thenhelooked aroundhislabforawhile,franticallymuttering, WherethefuckdidIputit? UseHomeAware,shesaid.Heshookhishead, grimaced,wenttoakeyboardandtyped MEGAPHONE.Oneofthelabdrawersstartedto throbwithawhiteglow. Hepulledoutthemegaphoneandwenttohis window. talkingintentlyintotheirradios,thoughitwas impossibletoknowiftheyweretalkingtotheir comradesintheshantytownortotheir headquarters.Perryburstoutofthefactorydoor andtherewasanothershotandhespunaround, staggeredbackastep,andfelldownlikeasackof grain.Therewasbloodaroundhishead.Suzanne stuckherhandinhermouthtostifleascreamand stoodhelplesslyinthedoorwayoftheworkshop, justafewpacesfromPerry.

Lestercameupbehindherandfirmlymovedher ATTENTIONPOLICE,hesaid.THISISTHE aside.Helumbereddeliberatelyandslowlyand LEASEHOLDERFORTHISPROPERTY.WHY fearlesslytoPerrysside,kneltbesidehim, AREYOURUNNINGAROUNDWITHYOUR touchedhimgently.Hisfacewasgrey.Perry thrashedsoftlyandSuzanneletoutasoundlikea GUNSDRAWN?WHATISGOINGON? cry,thenrememberedherselfandtookouther Thepoliceatthecarslookedtowardtheworkshop, cameraandbegantoshootandshootandshoot: thenbacktotheshantytown,thenbacktothe thecops,LesterwithPerrylikeatragicPieta,the workshop. shantytownersrunningbackandforthscreaming. Snapofthecopsgettingoutoftheircars,gunsin SERIOUSLY.THISISNOTCOOL.WHAT hands,snapofthemfanningoutaroundthe AREYOUDOINGHERE? shantytown,snapofthemcomingcloserand Oneofthecopsgrabbedthemicforhisown closer,snapofacoppointinghisgunatLester, loudhailer.THISISTHEBROWARDCOUNTY orderinghimawayfromPerry,snapofacop SHERIFFSDEPARTMENT.WEHAVE approachingher. RECEIVEDINTELLIGENCETHATAN ARMEDFUGITIVEISONTHESEPREMISES. Itslive,shesaid,notlookingupfromthe viewfinder.Goingoutlivetomyblog.Daily WEHAVECOMETORETRIEVEHIM. readershiphalfamillion.Theyrewatchingyou WELL,THATSWEIRD.NONEOFTHE now,everymove.Doyouunderstand? CHILDREN,CIVILIANSAND Theofficersaid,Putthecameradown,maam. HARDWORKINGPEOPLEHEREARE FUGITIVESASFARASIKNOW.CERTAINLY Sheheldthecamera.IcantquotetheFirst THERESNOONEARMEDAROUNDHERE. Amendmentfrommemory,notexactly,butIknow WHYDONTYOUGETBACKINYOURCARS itwellenoughthatImnotmovingthiscamera. ANDILLCOMEOUTANDWELLRESOLVE Itslive,youunderstandeverymoveisgoingout THISLIKECIVILIZEDPEOPLE,OK? live,rightnow. Thecopshookhisheadandreachedforhismic Theofficersteppedback,turnedhishead, again,andthenthereweretwogunshots,ascream, mutteredinhismic. andathird. Theresanambulancecoming,hesaid.Your PerryranforthedoorandSuzannechasedafter friendwasshotwithanonlethalrubberbullet. him,tryingtostophim.Thecopsatthecarswere Hesbleedingfromthehead,Lestersaid.From

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/66 theeye. Lesterunscrewedhisearphoneandscrubbedathis eyes.Impulsively,sheleanedoverandgavehima Suzanneshuddered. hug.Hestiffenedupatfirstbutthenrelaxedand Ambulancesirensinthedistance.Lesterstroked enfoldedherinhishuge,warmarms.Shecould Perryshair.Suzannetookastepbackandpanned barelymakeherarmsmeetaroundhisbroad,soft itoverPerrysruinedface,bloodyandswollen. backitwaslikehuggingagiantloafofbread. Therubberbulletmusthavetakenhimeitherright Shesqueezedtighterandhedidtoo.Hewasa intheeyeorjustoverit. goodhugger. PerryMasonGibbonswasunarmedandposedno Youholdinginthere,kiddo?shesaid. threattoSheriffsDeputyBadgeNumber5724 Yeah,hemurmuredintoherneck.No.He shezoomedinonitwhenhewasshotwitha squeezedtighter.AswellasIneedto,anyway. rubberbulletintheeye.Heisunconsciousand bloodyonthegroundinfrontoftheworkshop Thedoctorpriedthemaparttotellthemthatthe wherehehasworkedquietlyandunassuminglyto EEGandfMRIwerebothnegativeforanybrain inventandmanufacturenewtechnologies. damage,andthattheydmanagedtosalvagethe eye,probably.Kodacellwasspringingforallthe Thecopknewwhentocuthislosses.Heturned careheneeded,cashmoney,nodorkingaround asideandwalkedbackintotheshantytown, withthefuckingHMO,sothedoctorshadputhim leavingSuzannetoturnhercameraonPerry,on theEMTswhoevaccedhimtotheambulance,on througheverymachineonthepremisesinaseries offarcicallyexpensivetests. thethreeinjuredshantytownerswhowereonthe ambulancewithhim,onthecorpsetheywheeled outonhisowngurney,oneofthenewcomersto theshantytown,amanshedidntrecognize. Ihopetheysuethecopsforthecosts,thedoctor said.ShewasPakistaniorBangladeshi,witha faintaccent,andveryprettyevenwiththedark circlesunderhereyes.Ireadyourcolumns,she TheyoperatedonPerryallthatnight,gingerly tweezingfragmentsofbonefromhisshatteredleft said,shakingSuzanneshand.Iadmirethework orbitoutofhiseyeandface.Somehadfloatedto youdo,shesaid,shakingLestershand.Iwas thebackofthesocketandposedaspecialriskof borninDelhi.Weweresquatterswhoweregivena deedtoourhomeandthenevictedbecausewe braindamage,thedoctorexplainedintoher couldntpaythetaxes.Wehadtobuildagain,in camera. therains,outsideofthecity,andthenagainwhen Lesterwasarock,sittingsilentlyinthewaiting wewereevictedagain. room,talkingcalmlyandfirmlywiththecopsand Shehadtwobrotherswhowereworkingfor overthephonetoKettlewellandthespecially startupslikeKodacells,butrunbyotherfirms: impaneledboardroomfullofKodacelllawyers onewasbackedbyMcDonalds,theotherbythe whowantedtomicromanagethis.RatToothed AFLCIOsinvestmentarm.Suzannedidalittle Freddyfiledacolumninwhichhecalledhera interviewwithheraboutherbrothersprojectsa grandstandingbint,andaccusedKodacellof bikehelmetthathadbeenalgorithmicallyevolved harboringdangerousfugitives.Heddugupthe forminimumweightandmaximumprotection;a factthatoneofthenewcomerstotheshantytown nottheonetheydkilled,thatwasabystander smartskylightthatdeformeditselftofollowlight basedonsimplephototropiccontrollers.The waswantedforholdingupaliquorstorewitha brotherworkingonbikehelmetswasridingatiger corkscrewtheyearbefore.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/67 andcouldbarelykeepupwithorders;hewas consumingabouthalfoftheoperationalcapacity oftheMcDonaldsnetworkandclimbingfast. Lesterjoinedin,diggingonthedetails.Hedbeen followingtheskylightsinblogsandonalistor two,andhedheardofthedoctorsbrother,which reallytweakedher,shewasvisiblyproudofher family. Butyourworkismostimportant.Thingsforthe homeless.Wegettheminheresometimes,hurt, offtheambulances.Weusuallyturnthemaway again.Theoneswhoselloffthehighwaymedians andatthetrafficlights.Suzannehadseenthem, sellinghomemadecookies,oranges,flowers, newspapers,plastickytoys,sadorbeautiful handicrafts.Shehadacarvedcoconutcoveredin intricatescrimshawthatshedboughtfromalittle girlwhowasallskinandbonesexceptforher malnourishedpotbelly. Theygethitbycars? Yes,thedoctorsaid.Deliberately,too.Or beatenup. Perrywasmovedoutoftheoperatingtheatertoa recoveryroomandthentoaprivateroomandby thentheywerereadytocollapse,thoughtherewas somuchemailinresponsetoherpoststhatshe endeduppoundingonhercomputerskeyboardall thewayhomeasLesterdrovethem,squeezingthe bridgeofhisnosetostayawake.Shedidnteven takeherclothesoffbeforecollapsingintobed. Theyneedthetoolstomakeanyothertools,is whatPerrysaidwhenhereturnedfromthe hospital,thesideofhisheadstillswaddledin bandagesthatdrapedoverhisinjuredeye.Theyd shavedhisheadathisinsistence,sayingthathe wasntgoingtotrytokeephishaircleanwithall thebandages.Itmadehimlookyounger,andhis fineskullbonesstoodoutthroughhisthinscalp whenhefinallycamehome.Beforehedlooked likeaoutdoorsmanengineer:nowhelookedlikea radical,apirate. Theyneedthetoolsthatwillletthembuild anythingelse,forfree,anduseitorsellit.He gesturedattherapidprototypingmachinesthey had,thethreeDprinterandscannersetups.I meansomethinglikethat,butIwantittobe capableofprintingoutthepartsnecessaryto assembleanotherone.Machinesthatcan reproducethemselves. Francisshiftedinhisseat.Whatarethey supposedtodowiththose? Everything,Perrysaid,hiseyeglinting.Make yourkitchenfixtures.Makeyourshoesandhat. Makeyourkidstoysifitsinthestores,it shouldbeadownloadabletoo.Maketoolchests andtools.Makeitandbuilditandsellit.Make otherprintersandsellthem.Makemachinesthat makethegoopwefeedintotheprinters.Teacha mantofish,Francis,teachamantofuckingfish. Notopdownsolutionsdrivenbymarket researchhisfingerquotesoozedsarcasm thethingthatweneedtodoismakethese peopletheauthorsoftheirowndestiny. Theyputupthesignthatnight:AUTHOROF YOUROWNDESTINY,hungovertheworkshop door.SuzannetrailedafterPerrytranscribingthe rantsthatspilledoutofhismouthasheexplained ittoLesterandFrancis,andthentoKettlewell whenhecalled,andthentotheprettyyoungblack ladyfromtheTVwhobynowhadfiguredoutthat therewasarealstoryinherbackyard,thentoan NPRmanonthephone,andthentoaCNNcrew whodroveinfromMiamiandfilmedthe shantytownandtheworkshoplikeJapanese touristsatDisneyWorld,neverhavingventured intotheskanky,failedstripmallsuburbsjust outsideoftown. Francishadaprotegewhohadarealdabtouch

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/68 withthe3Dprinters.Themanufacturer,Lesters formeremployer,hadbeenoutofbusinessfortwo yearsbythen,soalltheserviceonthemachines hadtobedoneonthepremises.Francissprotege theonewhoclaimedhismotherhadpushedhis fatherunderabus,hisnamewasJasonwatched Lesterworkonrecalcitrantmachinessilentlyfora coupledays,thenstartedtohandhimthetoolhe needednextwithouthavingtobeasked.Thenhe diagnosedaproblemthathadstumpedLesterall morning.Thenhesuggestedanimprovementto thefeedstockpumpthatincreasedthemeantime betweenfailuresbyacouplehours. ButIknoweverygirlinthisplaceandnoneof emareeveninterested,OK? SuzannecockedoneeyebrowjustalittleandJason shifteduncomfortably.Hescratchedhisbare midriffandshuffled.Ido,allofthem.Why wouldthey?Onegirl,aroomfulofboys,itdbe gross.Theydactlikejerks.Theresnowaywed getanythingdone. Suzanneliftedhereyebrowonehairhigher.He squirmedharder.

Soallright,thatsnottheirfault.ButIgot enoughwork,allright?Toomuchtodowithout No,man,no,notlikethat,Jasonsaidtooneof spendingtimeonthat.Itsnotlikeanygirlshave thesmallgangofboyshewasbossing.Gently,or askedtojoinup.Imnotkeepingthemout. youllsnapitoff.Theboysnappeditoffand Suzannejottedacoupleofnotes,keepingperfectly Jasonpulledanotherreplacementpartoutofatub mum. andsaid,See,likethis,andsnappediton.The smallgangofboysregardedhimwithsomething Well,Idliketohavethemintheworkshop,OK? MaybeIshouldasksomeofthemiftheydcome. likeawe. Shit,ifIcanteachtheseapes,Icanteachagirl. Howcomenogirls?Suzannesaidasshe Theyresmart.Girlsdmakethisplacealittle interviewedhimwhilehetookasmokebreak. bettertoworkin.Lotsofthemtryingtosupport Perryhadbannedcigarettesfromallindoor theirfamilies,sotheyneedthemoney,too. workshops,nominallytokeepflamesawayfrom Therewasagirltherebytheafternoon.Thenext thevariousindustrialchemicalsandsuch,but reallyjusttoencouragetheshantytownerstogive day,thereweretwomore.Theyseemedlikequick upthehabitthattheycouldntaffordanyway.Hed studies,despitetheiryouthandtheirlipgloss. alsoleanedontheshantytownerswhodopenedup Suzanneapproved. smallshopsintheirhousestokeepcigsoutofthe town,withoutalotofsuccess. Lesterstayedlongenoughtoseethefirstprototype Girlsarentinterestedinthisstuff,lady. printerprintersrunning,thenhelitoutwitha duffelbagjammedintothebackofhismodded Youthink?Therewasatimewhenshewould Smartcar.Whereareyougoing?Suzannesaid haveobjected,butitwasbettertolettheseguys asPerrylookedongloomily.Illcomeandvisit sayitoutloud,hearthemselvessayit. you.Iwanttofollowyourstory.Truthbetold, No.Maybewhereyoucomefrom,OK?Dont shewassorrytoseehimgo,verysorry.Hewas know.Butheregirlsaredifferent.Theydogoodin sucharock,suchananchorforPerrysnewcrazy schoolbutwhentheyhavebabiestheyredone.I pirateenergyandforthemadnessaroundthem. mean,hey,itsnotlikeIdontwantgirlsinthe Hehadntgivenmuchnotice(nottoherPerry team,theydbegreat.Ilovegirls.Theyfuckin didntseemthatsurprised). work,youknow.Nobullshit,noscrewingaround. Icantreallytalkaboutit,hesaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/69 Nondisclosure. Soitsanewjob,shesaid.Youregoingto workforTjan?TjansWestinghouseoperation wasfullyrocking.Hehadfiftyteamsupthe easternseaboard,teninthemidwestandwas rumoredtohavetwiceasmanyinEasternEurope. Hegrinned.Oh,Suzanne,donttrytojournalist me.Hereachedoutandhuggedherinacloudof herfatherscologne.Yourefantastic,youknow that?No,Imnotgoingtoajob.Itsathingthats anamazingopportunity,youknow? Shedidnt,butthenhewasgoneandboydidshe misshim. PerryandshewentoutfordinnerinMiamithe nextnightwithaPhDcandidatefrom PepperdinesBschool,eatingatthesamedeco patiothatsheddinedatwithTjan.Perryworea whiteshirtopentorevealhistangleofwirychest hairandthewaitresscouldntkeephereyesoffof him.Hehadapermanentsquintnow,andascar thatmadehiseyebrowintoaseriesofsmallhills. funnyeyebrowandrubbedhisfuzzyscalp. Therateofemploymentissomethinglikeninety fivepercent,whichithasntbeeninlikeahundred years.Ifyourenotinventingstuff,yourekeeping thebooksforsomeonewhois,ormaking sandwichesforthem,ordrivingdeliveryvehicles around.Itslikeatiny,distributedgoldrush. OrliketheNewDeal,Suzannesaid.Thatwas howshedcometoinvitehimdown,aftershed readhispapercoiningthetermNewWorkto describewhatPerrywasupto,comparingitto Rooseveltspublicinvestmentplanthatspent AmericafreeoftheDepression. Yeah,exactly,exactly!Ivegotresearchthat showsthatoneinfiveAmericansisemployedin theNewWorkindustry.Twentypercent! Perryslazyeyeopenedalittlewider.Noway, hesaid.

Way,thePhDcandidatesaid.Hefinishedhis caipirinhaandshookthecrushediceatapassing waiter,whonoddedandambledtothebartoget IwasjustinGreensboro,Miss,thePhD himafreshone.Youshouldgetontheroadand candidatesaid.Hewasinhismidtwenties,young writeaboutsomeoftheseguys,hesaidto andslick,hisonlynodtoacademeasmallgoatee. Suzanne.Theyneedsomeink,somephosphors. Iusedtospendsummerstherewithmygrandpa. Theyrepullingupstakesandmovingtothesmall Hetalkedfast,flecksofspittleinthecornersof townstheirparentscamefrom,ortoabandoned hismouth,eyeswide,forkstabbingblindlyatthe suburbs,andjustdoingit.Bravestfuckingthing bitsofcrabcakeonhisplate.Therewasnt youveseeninyourlife. anythingleftthere,justacouplegasstationsanda ThePhDcandidatestayedouttheweek,andwent 7Eleven,shit,theydevenclosedtheWalMart. homewithasuitcasefullofthepartsnecessaryto Butnow,butnow,itsaliveagain,itsbuzzingand buildathreeDprinterthatcouldprintoutallof hopping.Everyemptystorefrontisfullofpeople thepartsnecessarytobuildathreeDprinter. playingandtinkering,justalittlebitofmoneyin theirpocketsfromabankoracompanyorafund. Lesteremailedherfromwhereveritwashed gone,andtoldheraboutthelovelytimehewas Theyredoingthedumbestthings,mindyou: having.Itmadehermisshimsharply.Perrywas tooledleatherlaptopcases,switchbladeknives hardlyeveraroundforhernow,buriedinhiswork, withthumbdrivesinthehandles,singingand buriedwiththekidsfromtheshantytownandwith dancinglawnSantasthatyodellikehillbillies. Francis.Shelookedoverherlastmonthsblogs Idbuyatooledleatherlaptopcase,Perrysaid, andrealizedthatshedbeenturninginvariations swillingasweatybottleofbeer.Hewaggledhis onthesamethemeforallthattime.Sheknewit

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/70 wastimetopackaduffelbagofherownandgo ago. seethebravestfuckingthingshedseeninherlife. Didyouseeyourkids?shesaid.Hows Bye,Perry,shesaid,stoppingbyhisworkbench. businessthere? Helookedupatherandsawthebagandhisfunny Isawmykids,hesaid,andgrinned.Theyre eyebrowwobbled. amazing,youknowthat?Goodkids,unbelievably Leavingforgood?hesaid.Hesounded unexpectedlybitter. No!shesaid.No!Justacoupleweeks.Going togettherestofthestory.ButIllbeback,count onit. Hegruntedandslumped.Hewaslookingalot oldernow,andbeatendown.Hishair,growing out,washalfgrey,andhedgottengaunt,his cheekbonesandforeheadspringingoutofhisface. Onimpulse,shegavehimahugliketheones shedsharedwithLester.Hereturneditwoodenly atfirst,thenwithgenuinewarmth.Iwillbeback, youknow,shesaid.Youvegotplentytodo here,anyway. Yeah,hesaid.CourseIdo. Shekissedhimfirmlyonthecheekandstepped outthedoorandintohercaranddrovetoMiami International. smart.Reallittleoperators.Theolderone, Lyenitchka,isrunningababysittingservicenot babysittingherself,yousee,butrecruitingother kidstodothesittingforherwhilesheskimsa managementfeeandrunsthequalitycontrol. Shesyourdaughterallright,shesaid.Sotell meeverythingabouttheWestinghouseprojects. Shedbeenfollowingthem,ofcourse,lotsof differentlittlestartups,eachwithitsownblogs andsuch.ButTjanwasquitefearlessabouttaking herthroughtheirprofitsandlossesandtaking notesonitallkeptherbusyuntilshereachedher hotel.Tjandroppedheroffandpromisedtopick herupthenextmorningforaVIPtourofthebest ofhisteams,andshewenttocheckin. Shewasinthemiddleofreceivingherkeywhen someonegrabbedhershoulderandsqueezedit. SuzannebloodyChurch!Whatareyoudoing here,love?

Thesmellofhisbreathwaslikeadeadthing,left TjanmetheratLoganandtookherbag.Im tofester.Sheturnedaroundslowly,notwantingto surprisedyouhadthetimetomeetme,shesaid. believethatofallthehotelsinruralRhodeIsland, Themonthshadbeengoodtohim,slimmingdown sheendedupcheckingintothesameoneasRat hispotbellyandputtingatwinkleinhiseye. ToothedFreddy. Ivegotagoodorganization,hesaid,asthey motoredawaytowardRhodeIsland,throughstrip mallsuburbsandpastboardedupchain restaurants.Everywherethereweresignsof industry:workshopsinoldstorefronts,roadside standssellingdisposablemusicplayers,digital whoopeecushions,andsoforth.Ibarelyhaveto putinanappearance. Tjanyawnedhugelyandconstantly.Jetlag,he apologized.GotbackfromRussiaacoupledays Hey,Freddy,shesaid.Seeinghimgaveheran atavisticurgetostabhimrepeatedlyinthethroat withthehotelstickpen.Hewasunshaven,his gawkyAdamsapplebobbingupanddown,and heswallowedandsmiledwetly.Nicetoseeyou. Fantastictoseeyou,too!Imherecoveringa shareholdermeetingforWestinghouse,isthat whatyoureherefor,too? No,shesaid.Sheknewthemeetingwasonthat week,buthadntplannedonattendingit.Shewas

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/71 donewithpressconferences,preferringonthe groundreporting.Well,nicetoseeyou. Oh,dostayforadrink,hesaid,grinningmore widely,exposingthosegreyteethinasharks smile.Comeontheyhaveafreecocktailhour inthisplace.Illhavetoreportyoutothe journalistsunionifyouturndownafreedrink. Tjanmetherasshewasfinishinghercoffeeinthe breakfastroom.ShehadntseenFreddyyet.

Ivegotfiveprojectsslatedforyoutovisit today,Tjansaid,slidingintotheboothbesideher. Funnilynowthathewasinthecoldnortheast,he wasdressinglikeaFloridianinbluejeansanda Hawaiianbarkclothshirtwithabrightspatterof Idontthinkbloggershavetoworryaboutthe pineapplesandOscarMayerWienermobiles.Back inFlorida,hedfavoredunflatteringnylonslacks journalistsunion,shesaid,makingsarcastic fingerquotesincasehedidntgetthemessage.He andwhiteshirtswithironedcollars. stilldidnt.Helaughedinstead. Theprojectswerefascinatingandfamiliar.The culturaldifferencesthatdistinguishedNew Oh,love,Imsuretheyllstillhaveyouevenif EnglandNewWorkfromFloridaNewWorkwere youhavelapsedawayfromtheonetruefaith. smallbuttelling:alotmorewoodcraft,inapartof Goodnight,Freddy,wasallshecouldmanageto thecountrywheremanypeoplehadgrownupin getoutwithoutactuallyhissingthroughherteeth. theirgrandfatherswoodworkingshops.Alittle OK,goodnight,hesaid,movingintogivehera moreunreflexivekitsch,likethehomelykittens andpuppiesthatmarchedaroundthereactive, hug.Asheloomedtowardher,shesnapped. waterproof,smashproofscreensintegratedintoa Freeze,mister.Youarenotmyfriend.Idonot biomonitoringcrib. wanttotouchyou.Youhavepoorpersonalhygiene andyourbreathsmellslikeanoverflowingcamp Atthefourthsite,shewasambushedbyaflying hug.Tjanlaughedasshenearlywentdownunder toilet.Youwriteviciouspersonalattacksonme theweightofastrong,youngwomanwhoflung andonthepeopleIcareabout.Youareunfair, meanspirited,andyouwritebadly.TheonlydayI herarmsaroundSuzannesneck.Holycrapits wouldntpissonyou,Freddy,isthedayyouwere goodtoseeyou! onfire.NowgetthefuckoutofmywaybeforeI Suzanneuntangledherselfandgotalookather kickyourtinylittletesticlesupthroughtheroofof hugger.Shehadshortmousyhair,twinklingblue yourreekingmouth. eyes,andwasdressedinoverallsandapretty Shesaiditquietly,butthedeskclerksbehindher floweredblouse,scuffedworkbootsandstained andtornworkgloves.Uh...shesaid,thenit overhearditanywayandgiggled.Freddyssmile clicked.Fiona? onlywobbled,butthenreturned,broaderthan ever. Yeah!DidntTjantellyouIwashere?Thelast timeshedseenthiswoman,shewasweepingover Wellsaid,hesaidandgaveherasinglegolf pizzaandgettingreadytogiveuponlife.Nowshe clap.Sleepwell,Suzanne. waspracticallyvibrating. Sheboiledallthewaytoherroomandwhenshe Uh,no,shesaid,shootingalookatTjan,who cameoverhungry,sheorderedinroomservice, wassmilingliketheBuddhaandpretendingto notwantingtotakethechancethatRatToothed inspectapairofshoeswithgyroscopically Freddywouldstillbeinthelobby. stabilizedretractablewheelsintheheels. Ivebeenhereformonths!Iwentbackto

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/72 Oregon,likeyoutoldmeto,andthenIsawa wasntforyou.Iloveyou,Suzanne. recruitingadforWestinghouseandIsentthemmy Ick.Suzannegaveheranotherperfunctoryhugand CVandthenIgotavideoconferenceinterview gotthehelloutofDodge. andthen,bam,IwasonanairplanetoRhode Island! Suzanneblinked.ItoldyoutogobacktoOregon? Whatswiththejunglegym?Itreallyhadbeen something,funandMartianlooking. Well,maybeshehad.Thatwasalifetimeago. Theworkshopwasanotherdeadmall,thisonea horseshoeofstorefrontsseparatedbyflimsy gyprock.TheWestinghousershadcutthroughthe wallswithdrywallknivestojoinallthestores together.Theairwaspermeatedwiththefamiliar SaranWrapinamicrowavetangofthreeD printers.Theparkinglotwasgivenovertosome largerapparatusandafantasticalchildrens junglegymintheshapeofabaroque,spiredpirate fortress,withelegantlycurvedturrets,corkscrew skybridges,andflyingbuttressescrustedover withornate,grotesquegargoyles.Children swarmedoveritlikeants,screechingwith pleasure. Thatsthebigone,Tjansaidwithabiggrin. Mostpeopledontevennoticeit,theythinkits daycareorsomething.Well,thatshowitstarted out,butthensomeofthesensorpeoplestarted noodlingwithjunglegymcomponentsthatcould tellhowoftentheywereplayedwith.Theystarted moddingthegymeverynight,addingvariations ontheelementsthatsawthemostaction, removingtheduds.ThentheCADpeopleadded analgorithmthatwouldtakethesensordataand generaterandomvariationsonthesamebasis. Finally,someoftheroboticspeoplegotinonthe actsothatthebestofthecomputerevolved designscouldbeinstantiatedautomatically:now itsaselfmodifyingjunglegym.Thekidsloveit. Itisthecrackcocaineofjunglegyms,thoughwe wontbeusingthatinthemarketingcopy,of course.

Well,yourelookingreallygood,Fiona, Suzannesaid.Stillnotgreatwithpeople,she thought.Fiona,though,wasindeedlookinggood, andbeaming.Shewasntwearingthecrustof cosmeticsandhaircareproductsshedaffectedin Ofcourse,Suzannesaiddrily.Shed automaticallyreachedforhernotepadandstarted thecorporateSiliconValleyworld.Sheglowed writingwhenTjanstartedtalking.Now,reviewing pink. hernotes,sheknewthatshewasgoingtohaveto Suzanne,Fionasaid,gettingseriousnow,taking gobackandgetsomephotosofthis.Sheasked herbytheshouldersandlookingintohereyes.I Tjanaboutit. cantthankyouenoughforthis.Thishassavedmy life.Itgavemesomethingtolivefor.Forthefirst Therobotsgoallnight,youknow.Notmuch sleepifyoudothat. timeinmylife,IamdoingsomethingImproud of.Igotobedeverynightthankfulandhappythat NogoingbacktothehoteltoseeFreddy,whata Iendeduphere.Thankyou,Suzanne.Thankyou. pity.Illgrabacoupleblanketsfromthehotelto Suzannetriednottosquirm.Fionagaveher anotherlonghug.Itsallyourdoing,Suzanne saidatlast.Ijusttoldyouaboutit.Youvemade thishappenforyou,OK? keepwarm,shesaid. Oh,youneednt,hesaid.Thatcrewhasasetof bleacherswithgasheatersforthenightcrewand theirfamilytowatchfrom.Itsprettygorgeous,if OK,Fionasaid,butIstillwouldntbehereifit youaskme.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/73 Theyhadahastysupperofburgersatadrive throughandthenwentbacktothejunglegym project.Suzanneensconcedherselfatsomeones vacateddeskforacouplehoursandcaughtupon emailbeforefinallyemergingasthesunwas dippingswollenandredbehindthemall.Sheset herselfuponthebleachers,andFionafoundher withathermosofcoffeeandaflaskofwhisky. Theysnuggledunderablanketamidasmallcrowd ofgeeks,anoutdoorslumberpartyunderthegas heatersroar. Gradually,therobotsmadeanappearance.Mostof themhumpedalonglikeinchworms,carrying chunksofnewplaygroundapparatusincoilsof theirlongbodies.Somedeployedmanipulator arms,thoughtheydidnthavemuchbywayof handsattheirends.Wejustuserareearth magnets,Fionasaid.Lessfiddlythantryingto getartificialvisionthatcanaccuratelygraspthe bars. triedtoproductizethem.Suitsusjustfine, though. Thefieldwasaswarmwithglintingmetal inchwormrobotsnow,shiftingbackandforth, boilingandroilingandpickingupenormous chunksofclimberlikecartoonantscarryingaway apicnicbasket.Theplaygroundwasbeing transformedbeforehereyes,inwaysgrossand subtle,anditwasenchantingtowatch. CanIgooutandhavealook?shesaid.Imean, isitsafe? Sure,Fionasaid.Ofcourse!Ourrobotswont harmyou;theyjustnuzzleyouandthenchange direction. Still,trytostayoutoftheirway,Tjansaid. Someofthatstufftheyremovingaroundis heavy. Soshewadedoutontotheplaygroundand carefullypickedherwaythroughtherobotswarm. Somecrawledoverhertoes.Acoupletwined betweenherfeetandnearlytrippedherupand onceshesteppedononeanditwentstilland waitedpolitelyforhertostepoff.

Tjannudgedherandpointedtoanewtowerthat wasgoingup.Therobotsweretwistingaround themselvestoformascaffold,whilevariousof theirnumbercrawledhigherandhigher,snapping modularpiecesofhighimpactplastictogether withsnicksoundsthatwereaudibleoverthewhine Onceinthethickofitall,sheswitchedonher videoandbegantorecordthroughthenightfilter. oftheirmotors. Standingthereamidthewhirlandracketand Suzanneswitchedonhercamerasnightvision undulatingmotionofthejunglegymasit modeandgotshooting.Wheredidyougetall reconfigureditself,shefeltlikeshedarrivedat theserobots? someposthumanfuturewheretheworldnolonger Tjangrinned.ItsanopendesigntheEPAhired neededherorherkind.Likehumanityscreations hadevolvedpasttheirinventors. Westinghousetobuildthesetoworkonsensing andremovingvolatileorganiccompoundson Shewasgoingtohavetodoalotofwritingbefore Superfundsites.Becausewedidtheworkforthe bed. government,wehadtoagreenottoclaimany FreddywascheckingoutinthelobbywhenTjan designcopyrightorpatentsintheoutcome. droppedheroffat5AM.Itwasimpossibleto Theresafreakingwarehousefullofthisstuffat sneakpasthim,andhegaveheranasty, Westinghouse,allkindsofcrazythingsthat bucktoothedsmileasshepassedbyhim.It Westinghouseabandonedbecausetheywerent distractedherandmadethewritingcomemore proprietaryenoughandtheywereworriedthat theydhavetocompeteontheopenmarketifthey slowly,butshewasaproandherreadershadsent

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/74 inalotofkindmail,andtherewasonefrom Lester,stillawayonhismysteriouserrandbut soundinghappierthanhehadinmonths, positivelygiddy. Shesetthealarmclocksothatshecouldbeawake forhernextstop,outsideofNorthCarolinas ResearchTriangle,wheresomelocalmillionaires hadbackedadozenNewWorkteams. DevilsNightwasthepreHalloweentraditionof torchingabandonedbuildings,andallofBrush Parkhadbeenabandonedforyears,itshandsome housesattractivetargetsformidnightfirebugs.

Reclaimingthesebuildingswasanartisanal practiceofurethaningthecharredwoodand addingcleverputty,cement,andglasstopreserve thelookofaburnedouthulkwhilerestoring Anotherthreeweeksofthisstuffandshedgetto structuralintegrity.Oneentirefloorofthe gohomeFlorida.Thecondowashomenow,and restaurantwasmissing,havingbeenreplacedby polishedtemperedonewayglassthatletupstairs thejunkyard.Hotandstickyandinventiveand dinerslookdownonthebaldspotsandcleavageof everchanging.Shefellasleepthinkingofitand thoseeatingbelow. smiling. Suzanneshowedupafewminuteslate,having ItwastwoweeksmorebeforeLestercaughtup withher,inDetroitofallplaces.Goingbacktothe gottenlostwanderingthestreetsofaDetroitthat oldplacehadntbeenheridea,shedbeendragged hadrewrittenitsmapinthedecadessinceshed backbyimpassionedpleasfromthelocalFordand left.Shewasflustered,andnotjustbecauseshe wasrunninglate.Therewasalingering GMNewWorkteams,whoweresecond awkwardnessbetweenherandLesterandher generationunemployed,oldrustbeltfamilies whodrebootedwithmoneyfromthecompanies elationatseeinghimagainhadaninescapable undercurrentofdread. thathadwrungtheirprofitfromtheirancestors andabandonedthem. Whenthewaiterpointedouthertable,shetold himhewasmistaken.Lesterwasntthere,some Thebigfocusintherustbeltwaseradicatingthe strangerwas:shorthaired,burly,withafewdays car.Somewerebuildingrobotsthatcould decommissionleakygasstationsandcrateroutthe stubble.Heworeasmartblazerandaloosestriped cottonshirtunderneath.Hewasbeamingather. toxicsoil.Somewerebuildingcardisassembly plantsthatreclaimedmaterialsfromtheold Suzanne,hesaid. beastsinteriors.BetweentheFordandGMteams Herjawliterallydropped.Sherealizedshewas withtheirlatestbailoutandthosefundedbythe standingwithhermouthopenandshutitwitha UAWoutofthesettlementstheydwonfromthe snap.Lester?shesaid,wonderingly. automakers,Detroitwasspringingupanew. Hegotup,stillsmiling,evenlaughingalittle,and Lesteremailedherandsaidthathedseenonher gaveherahug.ItwasLesterallright.Thatsmell blogthatshewasheadedtoDetroit,anddidshe wasunmistakable,andthosebig,warmpawshe wanttomeethimfordinner,beingashedbein calledhands. towntoo? Whenheletgoofher,helaughedagain.Oh, TheyateatDevilsNight,arestaurantinoneof Suzanne,Icouldnothaveaskedforanybetter thereclaimedmansionsinBrushPark,a reactionthanthis.Thankyou.Theyweredrawing neighborhoodofwoodframebuildingsthat stares.Dazedly,shesatdown.Sodidhe. teenagershadallbutburnedtothegroundover severaldecadesworthofHalloweens.InDetroit, Lester?shesaidagain.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/75 Yes,itsme,hesaid.Illtellyouaboutitover pharmagold.Theyreviolatingallkindsof dinner.Thewaiterwantstotakeourdrinkorders. pharmapatents,ofcourse,butthatswhatCuba andCanadaarefor,right?Insideofayear,every Theatrically,sheorderedadoubleScotch.The waiterrattledoffthespecialsandSuzannepicked fatpersoninAmericaisgoingtohaveabottleof pillsinhispocket,andinsideoftwoyears,there oneatrandom.SodidLester. wontbeanyfatpeople. So,hesaid,pattinghiswashboardtummy.You wanttoknowhowIgottothisintenweeks,huh? Sheshookherhead.Youlook...Lester,youlook incredible.Imsoproudofyou. CanItakenotes?Suzannesaid,pullingouther Heduckedhishead.Hereallydidlookamazing. pad. Droppingtheweighthadtakenofftenyears,and Ohbyallmeans,hesaid.Igotadiscounton betweenthatandthehaircutandthenewclothes, mytreatmentsonthebasisthatyouwouldendup hewaspracticallyunrecognizable. takingnotes. DoesPerryknow? TheclinicwasinStPetersburg,Russia,ina Yeah,Lestersaid.Italkeditoverwithhim neighborhoodfilledwithRussiandentistswho beforeIoptedforit.Tjanhadmentioneditin cateredtoAmericanhealthtouristswhodidnt passing,itwasabusinesshisexwifewastangled wanttopayUSpricesforcrowns.Thetreatment upwiththroughhermafiyehconnections,and hadntoriginatedthere:Theelectromuscular onceIhadresearcheditonlineandtalkedtosome stimulationandchemicaltherapyforskin peoplewhodhadthetreatment,includinga tighteningwasstandardforrichnewmothersin coupleMDs,Idecidedtojustdoit. Hollywoodwhowantedtogetridofpregnancy bellies.Theappetitesuppressinghormoneshad Ithadcostnearlyeverythinghedmadefrom beenusedintheMexicanpharmaindustryfor Kodacell,butitwasasmallpricetopay.He years.Stemcellshadbeenaneffectivesubstitute insistedongettingdinner. forsteroidswhenitcametobuildingmusclein Afterward,theystrolledthroughthefragrant professionalathleticcirclestheworldround. eveningdownWoodwardAvenue,pastthedeco Genomictherapyusinggenescribbedfrom skyscrapersandtheplowedfieldsandcommunity hummingbirdsboostedmetabolismsothatthe gardens,theirlivestockpensmakingsoftanimal bodyburned10,000caloriesadaysittingstill. noises. ButtheStPetersburgclinichadripped,mixedand burnedthesedifferentprocedurestomakea single,holistictreatmentthathaddroppedLester from400to175poundsintenweeks. Itswonderfultoseeyouagain,Lester,shesaid truthfully.Shedreallymissedhim,eventhough hisparticipationonhermessageboardshadhardly letup(thoughithadstartedcominginatweird Isthatsafe?shesaid. hours,somethingexplainedbythefactthathed beeninRussia).Walkingalongsideofhim, Everyoneasksthat,hesaid,laughing.Yeah, itssafeiftheyremonitoringyouandstandingby smellinghissmell,seeinghimonlyoutofthe cornerofhereye,itwaslikenothinghadchanged. withlotsofdiagnosticequipment.Butifyoure willingtotakeslowerlosses,youcangoonaway Itsgreattoseeyouagaintoo.Tentatively,he lessintensiveregimethatwontrequire tookherhandinhisbigpaw.Hishandwaswarm supervision.Thisstuffisthenextbiggreymarket butnotsweaty,andsherealizedithadbeenalong

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/76 timesinceanyonehadheldherhand.Heart pounding,shegavehishandasqueeze. werewideandscared.Shekissedhim,softly.His lipsweretremblingandunyielding.Shekissed himmoreinsistently,runningherhandsoverhis Theirconversationandtheirwalkrambledon, withnooutwardacknowledgmentofthecontactof chestandshoulders,puttingonelegoverhim.He closedhiseyesandkissedherback.Hewasnt handonhand,butherhandsqueezedhissoftly nowandagain,orhesqueezedhers,andthenthey bad,buthewasscaredornervousandalljittery. wereatherhotel.Howdidthathappen?sheasked Shekissedhisthroat,breathinginthesmell, herself. savoringtheroughtextureofhisthreedaybeard. Butthentheywerehavinganightcap,andthenhe Tentatively,heputhishandsonherback,stroked wasintheelevatorwithherandthenhewasatthe her,workedgraduallytowardsherbottom.Thenhe doorofherroom,andthebloodwasroaringinher stopped. earsasshestuckhercreditcardinthereaderto openit. Wait,shetriedtosay.Lester,hangonasecond,is whatshetriedtosay,buthertonguewasthickin hermouth.Hesteppedthroughthedoorwithher, thensaid,Uh,Ineedtousethebathroom. Withrelief,shedirectedhimtothesmallwater closet.Theroomwasbasicnowthatshewasher ownboss,shewasntspringingforCrownePlazas andHiltons,thiswaspracticallyacoffinand therewasnowheretositexceptthebed.Herlaptop wasopenandtherewasalotofemailinherinbox, butforonce,shedidntcare.Shewaskeenly attunedtothewaternoisescomingfrombehind thedoor,eachnewsoundmakingherjumpalittle. Whatwashedoinginthere,insertingafucking diaphragm? Sheheardhimworkthelatchonthedoorandshe putonherbestsmile.Herstomachwasfullof butterflies.Hesmiledbackandsatdownonthe bednexttoher,takingherhandagain.Hishand wasmoistfrombeingwashed,andalittleslippery. Shedidntmind.Wordlessly,sheputherheadon hisbarrelchest.Hisheartwasracing,andsowas hers. Gradually,theyleanedback,untiltheywereside bysideonthebed,herheadstillonhischest. Movinglikeshewasinadream,sheliftedher headfromhischestandstaredintohiseyes.They Whatswrong?shesaid,proppingherselfupon herforearms,stillstraddlinghim. Shesawthatthereweretearsinhiseyes. Lester?Whatswrong? Heopenedhismouthandthenshutit.Tearsslid offhisfaceintohisears.Sheblottedthemwitha cornerofhotelpillow. Shestrokedhishair.Lester? Hegaveoutachokedsobandpushedheraway.He satupandputhisfaceinhishands.Hisback heaved.Shestrokedhisshoulderstentatively. Finally,heseemedtogethimselfundercontrol. Hesniffled. Ihavetogo,hesaid. Lester,whatswrong? Icantdothis,hesaid.I... Justtellme,shesaid.Whateveritis,tellme. Youdidntwantmebefore.Hesaiditsimply withoutaccusation,butitstunglikehedslapped herintheface. Oh,Lester,shesaid,movingtohughim,buthe pushedheraway. Ihavetogo,hesaid,drawinghimselfuptohis fullheight.Hewastall,thoughhedneverseemed itbefore,butoh,hewastall,sixfootfourortaller.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/77 Hefilledtheroom.Hiseyeswereredandswollen, butheputonasmileforher.Thanks,Suzanne.It wasreallygoodtoseeyouagain.Illseeyouin Florida. Torrencescrowsnest,thenpaidthegrinningold bagandtookthestairstwoatatime,hurryingto catchupwithLesterandhiscrowd.

Lesteracceptedherhugwarmlybutdistantly, Shestoodupandmovedquicklytohim,stoodon lettinggoafractionofasecondbeforeshedid. tiptoetoputherarmsaroundhisneckandhughim Shedidntletitgettoher.Hehaddrawnacrowd fiercely.Hehuggedherbackandshekissedhim now,withFrancissprotegeprintertechsinthe onthecheek. innermostcircle,andhewasrecountingthestory ofhistransformation.Hehadthemasspellbound IllseeyouinFlorida,shesaid. asaroomfulofEwokslisteningtoC3PO. Andthenhewasgone.Shesatontheedgeofher bedandwaitedfortears,buttheydidntcome.So Shit,whydontwesellthatstuff?Jasonsaid. Hedtakenarealinterestinthebusinessendof shepickedupherlaptopandstartedtowork theirthreeDprinterproject. throughhermountainofemail. Toomuchcompetition,Lestersaid.Thereare alreadyadozenshopstoolinguptomakebathtub Whenshesawhimagain,hewascomingdownthe versionsofthetherapyhereinAmerica.Hundreds driveleadingtotheshantytownandthefactory. moreinEasternEurope.Therejustwontbeany Shewashavingteainthetearoomthathad profitinitbythetimewegettomarket.Getting openedinacorkscrewspirehighabovetherestof thinonthecheapsgoingtobeeasy.Hell,allit theshantytown.Theladywhooperateditcalled takestodoitisthestuffyouduseforamethlab. herselfMrsTorrence,andshewasexquisitely Youcanbuyallthatinakitfromacatalog. antiquebutbynomeansfrail,andwhenshe Jasonnodded,butlookedunconvinced. workedtheropesonherdumbwaitertobringup suppliesfromtheloadingareaontheground,her SuzannetookLestersreturnashercuetowrite bicepsstoodatattentionlikePopeyes.Therewas abouthistransformation.Shesnappedmorepics ofhim,addedsomevideo.Hegaveherten arumorthatMrsTorrenceusedtobeaman,or stillwas,underherskirts,butSuzannedidntpay minutesdescriptionofthetherapieshed undergone,andnamedapriceforthetherapythat attentiontoit. wassubstantiallylowerthanacoupleweeksata Lestercamedownthedrivegrinningand Hollywoodfatfarm,andfarmoreeffective. bouncingontheballsofhisfeet.Perryhad evidentlybeenexpectinghim,forhecameracing Theresponsewasamazing.EveryTVnewscrew inthegreaterMiamiareamadeapilgrimageto throughtheshantytownandpelteddownthe roadwayandthrewhimselfatLester,grabbinghim theirfactorytofilmLesterworkinginatightt shirtoverathreeDprinter,wranglinghugevatsof inacrazy,exuberant,whoopinghug.Francis gimpedoutamomentlaterandgavehimasolemn epoxymixgoopinthesunwithsweatbeading overhisbig,strainingbiceps. handshake.Shehadntbloggedtheirmeetingin Detroit,soifFrancisandPerryknewabout Hermessageboardsexploded.Itseemedthata Lesterstransformation,theydfoundoutwithout heretoforeunsuspectedcontingentofhergrowing hearingitfromher. readershipwassubstantiallyobese.Andtheyhad ShefinishedrecordingthehomecomingfromMrs friends.Lestereventuallygaveuponposting,just sohecouldgetsomeworkdone.Theyhadthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/78 printerstothepointwheretheycouldturnoutnew printers,butthewholesystemwastemperamental andneededcarefulnursing.Lesterwasmore interestedinwhatpeoplehadtosayonthe engineeringmessageboardsthanchattingwiththe fatties. now,NewWork.

NewWorkisntgoinganywhere,Suzanne.Well beherewhenyougetback.Andthisstoryisone thatneedsyourtouch.Theyremicro entrepreneurssolvingpostindustrialproblems. Itsthesamestoryyouvebeencoveringhere,but Thefattieswereskepticalandhopefulinequal withadifferentangle.Takethatmoneyandbuy measures.Thebigfightwasoverwhetherthere yourselfabusinessclasstickettoStPetersburg wasanythingtothis,whetherLesterwouldkeep andspendacoupleweeksonthejob.Youllclean theweightoff,whetherthenewskinnyLesterwas up.Theycouldusethepublicity,toosomeoneto reallyLester,whetherhedundergonesurgeryor goanddrilldownonwhichclinicsarelegitand hadhisstomachstapled.Americaswalletshad whichonesareclipjoints.Youreperfectforthe beencleanedoutbysomanysnakeoilpeddlers gig. withacureforobesitythatnoonecouldbelieve Idontknow,shesaid.Sheclosedhereyes. whattheysaw,nomatterhowmuchtheywanted Takingbigchanceshadgottenherthisfarandit to. wouldtakeherfarther,sheknew.Theworldwas Lord,butitwasbringinginthereaders,notto mentiontheadvertisingdollars.Theclearingprice forathousandweightlossadstargetedtoaffluent, obeseEnglishspeakerswasoverfiftybucks,as comparedwithhercustomaryCPMofthreebucks athou.Insideofaweek,shedmadeenoughto buyacar.Itwasweirdbeingherowncirculation andadsalesdepartment,butitwasntashardas shedworrieditmightbeanditwasintensely satisfyingtohavesuchanosetotail understandingoftheeconomicsofherproduction. Youshouldgo,Lestertoldherassheclicked himthroughherearningsspreadsheet.Jesus,this isinsane.Youknowthatthesefattiesactually followmearoundonthenetnow,askingme questionsinmessageboardsaboutengineering? Theboardmoderatorsareaskingmetopostunder anassumedname.Madame,yourpublichas spoken.ThereisadireneedforyourskillsinSt Petersburg.Go.Theyhavechandeliersinthe subwaysandcaviarontap.Allthebliniyoucan eat.Bearsteaks. youroysterifyoucouldstomachalittlerisk. Yeah,shesaid.Yeah,hellyeah.Youretotally right,Lester. Zasterovyeh! Whatyousaid! Itscheers,hesaid.Youllneedtoknowthatif youregoingtomaketimeinPetrograd.Letmego sendsomeemailandgetyousetup.Youbooka ticket.

AndjustlikethatshewasofftoRussia.Lester insistedthatshebuyabusinessclassticket,and shediscoveredtoherbemusementthatBritish Airwayshadaboutthreeclassesabovebusiness, presumablywithevenmoreexclusiveclasses reservedtoroyaltyandpeersoftherealm.She luxuriatedinfourteenhoursofrecliningseatsand warmpeanutsandinflightconnectivity,runninga briefvideoconferencewithLesterjustbecauseshe could.Tjanhadsentheraguidetothehotelsand shedoptedforthePribaltiyskaya,acrumbling Sheshookherheadandslurpedattheteahed broughther.Yourejoking.Itsallmafiyehthere. Stalinerafourstarofspectacular,Vegasesque dimensions.Thefacaderevealedthetragedyofthe Scarystuff.Besides,Imcoveringthisbeatright

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/79 USSRsunrequitedloveaffairwithconcrete,as didthecracksrunningupthewallsofthelobby. Theycheckedherintothehotelwiththenosiest questionnaireever,atwopagerongovernment stationarythatdemandedtoknowherprofession, employer,cityofbirth,detailsoffamily,andso forth.AnAmericanbusinessmannexttoheratthe checkincountersawherpuzzlingoverit.Just makestuffup,hesaid.IalwayswritethatI comefrom123FakeStreet,Anytown,California, andthatIworkasaprofessionalpaperhanger. Theydontcheckonit,exceptmaybethemob whentheyrefiguringoutwhotomug.Firsttime inRussia? Jetlagiswayworseforyouthanthisstuff.Its overthecounterstateside.Idontleavehome withoutit.Anyway,Iminroom1422.Ifitstwo inthemorningandyourestaringattheceiling andregrettingit,callmeandIllsendsome down. Washehittingonher?Christ,shewassotired,she couldbarelyseestraight.Therewasnowayshe wasgoingtoneedanyhelpgettingtosleep.She thankedhimagainandrolledhersuitcaseacross thecavernouslobbywithitsgiganticchandeliers andtotheelevators.

Butsleepdidntcome.Thenetworkconnection costafortunesomethingshehadntseeninyears Itshows,huh? andthenumberofwormsandprobesbouncing offherfirewallwasastronomical.Theconnection Yougetusedtoit,hesaid.Icomehereevery wasslowandfrustrating.Come2AM,shewas, monthonbusiness.Youjustneedtounderstand thatifitseemsridiculousandtoobadtobetrue,it indeed,staringattheceiling. is.Theyhavelotsofruleshere,butnoonefollows Wouldyoutakedrugsofferedbyastrangerina em.Justignoreanyunreasonablerequestand hotellobby?TheywereinaWalgreensbottlefor youllfitrightin. chrissakes.Howbadcouldtheybe?Shepickedup thehousephoneonthechippedbedstandand Thatsgoodadvice,shesaid.Hewasmiddle aged,butsowasshe,andhehadniceeyesandno punchedhishotelroom. weddingring. Getawholenightssleep,dontdrinktheso calledchampagneanddontchangemoneyon thestreets.Didyoubringmelatoninand modafinil? Shestaredblanklyathim.Drugs? Lo? OhChrist,Iwokeyouup,shesaid.Imsorry. Sok.Ladyfromcheckin,right?Gimmeyour roomnumber,Illsendupamelatoninnowanda modafinilforthemorning.Nosweatski.

Uh,shehadntthoughtaboutgivingastrange Sure.Onetonighttosleep,oneinthemorningto manherroomnumber.Inforapenny,infora wakeup,anddoitagaintomorrowandyoullbe pound.2813,shesaid.Thanks. unlagged.Noboozeorcaffeine,either,notforthe Geoff,hesaid.ItsGeoff.NewYorkupper firstcoupledays.Melatoninsoverthecounter, WestSide.Workinhealthproducts. evenintheStates,andmodafinilspractically legal.Ihaveextra,here.Heduginhistravelbag Suzanne,shesaid.Florida,lately.Ima andcameupwithsomegenericWalgreensbottles. writer. ThatsOK,shesaid,handinghercreditcardtoa Goodnight,Suzanne.Pillsareenroute. prettyyoungclerk.Thanks,though. Goodnight,Geoff.Thanks. Heshookhishead.Itsyourfuneral,hesaid. Tiptheporteraeuro,oracouplebucks.Dont

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/80 botherwithrubles. Oh,shesaid.Ithadbeenalongtimesinceher lastvisitoverseas.Shedforgottenhowmuch minutiaewasinvolved. Hehungup.Sheputonarobeandwaited.The portertookaboutfifteenminutes,andhandedher alittleenvelopewithtwopillsinit.Hewasabout fifteen,withabadmustacheandbadskin,andbad teeththathedisplayedwhenshehandedhima coupleofdollarbills. Aminutelater,shewasbackonthephone. Whichoneiswhich? Iamafirmbelieverinbetterlivingthrough chemistry,hesaid.Hepoundedanothercoffee. Ahhh.Coffeeandmodafinilareanamazing combo. Shedtakenhersthatmorningwhenthealarmgot herup.Shedbeensotiredthatitactuallymade herfeelnauseatedtoclimboutofbed,butthe modafinilwasgettinghergoing.Sheknewalittle aboutthedrug,andfiguredthatiftheTSA approveditforusebycommercialpilots,it couldntbethatbadforyou.

So,mygirlishfigure.Iworkforafirmthathas partnershereinPetersburgwhoworkoncutting Littlewhiteoneismelatonin.Thatsfornow.My edgepharmaproducts,includingsomestuffthe FDAisdraggingitsheelson,despitewidespread bad. acceptanceinmanynations,thisoneincluded. Shesawhimagaininthebreakfastroom,loading Oneoftheseisapillthatoverclocksyour aplatewithhardboiledeggs,potatopancakes,the metabolism.Ivebeenonitforayearnow,and ubiquitouscaviar,salami,andcheeses.Inhisother eventhoughIamastonecaloriefreakandpack handhebalancedavatofporridgewith awayfiveorsixthousandcaloriesaday,Idont strawberryjamandenoughdriedfruittokeepa gainanounce.Iactuallyhavetoremembertoeat parrotzoohappyforamonth. enoughsothatmyribsdontstartshowing. Howdoyoukeepyourgirlishfigureifyoueat Suzannewatchedhimgobbleanotherthousand likethat?shesaid,settlingdownathistable. calories.Isithealthy? Ah,thatsaprofessionalmatter,hesaid.AndI makeitapointnevertodiscussbiznizbeforeIve hadtwocupsofcoffee.Hepouredhimselfacup ofdecaf.Thisisnumbertwo. Shepickedherwaythroughhercornflakesand fruitsalad.IalwaysfeellikeIdontgetmy moneysworthoutofbuffetbreakfasts,shesaid. Comparedtowhat?Beingfat?Yes.Runningten milesadayandeatingabalanceddietoforganic fruitandnuts?No.Butwhentheaverage Americangetsthemajorityofhercaloriesfrom sodapop,healthyisaprettyloadedterm.

ItremindedherofthattalkwithLester,alifetime agointheIHOP.Slowly,shefoundherselftelling Dontworry,hesaid.Illmakeupforyou.He himaboutLestersstory. poundedhiscoffeeandpouredanothercup. Waitasecond,youreSuzanneChurch?New Humanityreturns,hesaid,rubbinghisthighs. WorkChurch?SanJoseMercuryNewsChurch? Marthter,thecreaturewaketh!hesaidinhigh Sheblushed.Youcantpossiblyhaveheardof Igor. me,shesaid. Shelaughed. Herolledhiseyes.Sure.Ishouldersurfedyour Youarereallyinto,uh,substances,arentyou? nameoffthecheckinformanddidabackground shesaid. checkonyoulastnightjustsoIcouldchatyouup

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/81 overbreakfast. Itwasajoke,butitgaveherafunny,creepedout feeling.Yourekidding? rushhourlookedlike?

Oh.OK.Butyouvegottoletmescheduleyou foravisittosomeofourclinicsandplantsjust toseewhataprofessionalshopwerunhere.No Imkidding.Ivebeenreadingyouforfreaking goldteethshinysuitplaceslikeyoudgetifyou years.IfollowedLestersstoryindetail. justpickedthetopGoogleAdWord.Really Professionalinterest.Yourethevoiceofour Americanstandardplaces,bettereven, generation,woman.IdbeaphilistineifIdidnt Scandinavianstandard,alotofourdoctorscome readyourcolumn. overfromSwedenandDenmarktogetoutfrom Yourenotmakingmeanylessembarrassed,you underthesocialistmedicinesystemsthere.They know.Ittookaneffortofwilltokeepfrom runatightship,yashore,youbetcha,he squirming. deliveredthislastinabroadSwedishborkbork bork. Helaughedhardenoughtoattractstares.All right,Ididspendthenightgooglingyou.Better? Um,shesaid.Italldependsonscheduling. Letssortitouttonight,OK? Ifthatsthealternative,Illtakefamous,I suppose,shesaid. OK,hesaid.Cantwait.Hestoodupwithher Youreherewritingabouttheweightlossclinics, andgaveheralong,twohandedhandshake.Itsa realhonortomeetyou,Suzanne.Youreoneofmy then? realheros,youknowthat? Yes,shesaid.Itwasntasecret,butshehadnt Um,shesaidagain.Thanks,Geoff. actuallygoneoutofherwaytomentionit.After all,theremightnotbeanykindofstoryafterall. Heseemedtosensethathedcomeontoostrong. Andsomewhereinthebackofhermindwasthe Helookedlikehewasabouttoapologize. ideathatshedidntwanttotipoffsomewell fundednewsroomtosendoutitsowninvestigative Thatsreallykindofyoutosay,shesaid.Itll begoodtocatchuptonight. teamandgetherscoop. Hebrightened.Itwaseasyenoughtobekind, Thatisfantastic,hesaid.Thatsjust,wow, afterall. thatsthebestnewsIvehadallyear.Youtaking aninterestinourstuff,itsgoingtoreallypushit overtheedge.Youdthinkthatsellingweightloss toAmericanswouldbeeasy,butnotifitinvolves anykindoftravel:80percentofthoselazyinsular fucksdontevenhavepassports.Ha.Dontquote that.Ha. Shehadthefrontdeskcallherataxishedbeen repeatedlywarnedoffofgypsycabsandany vehiclethatoneprocuredbymeansofawandering tout.Shegotintotheback,hadthedoorman repeatthedirectionstoLestersclinictwicetothe cabbie,watchedhimswitchonthemeterand checkedthetariff,thensettledintowatchSt Petersburggoflyingby. Sheswitchedonherphoneandwatcheditstruggle toassociatewithaRussiannetwork.Theywereon theroadforalloffiveminuteslongenoughto notetheloomingbulkoftheHermitageandthe ripplesleftbyofficialcarsslicingthroughthe

Ha,shesaid.Dontworry,Iwont.Look,how aboutthis,wellmeetinthelobbyaroundnine, afterdinner,foracupofcoffeeandaninterview? Shehadgonefromintriguedtoflatteredto creepedoutwiththisguy,andbesides,shehadher firstclinicvisitscheduledfortenanditwas cominguponnineandwhoknewwhataRussian

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/82 trafficwiththeirblueblinkinglightswhenher phonewentnutso.Shelookedatitshehadten texts,halfadozenvoicemails,adozennew clippedarticles,anditwasringingwithanumber inNewYork. IminStPetersburg,shesaid.InRussia.Ionly foundoutabouttensecondsago.What happened?

OhChrist.Whoknows?Cascadingfailure.Fell shortoflastquartersestimates,whichstarteda ShebumpedtheNewYorkcalltovoicemail.She slide.Thenacouplelawsuitsfiled.Thensome didntrecognizethenumber.Besides,iftheworld unfavorablepress.Thesharepricekeptfalling, hadcometoanendwhileshewasasleep,she andthingsgotworse.Yourbasicclusterfuck. wantedtoknowsomedetailsbeforeshetalkedto Butyouguyshadgreatnumbersoverall anyoneaboutit.Shepagedbackthroughthetexts Sure,ifyoulookedatthemourway,theywere inreversechronologicalthelastfivewere great.IfyoulookedatthemthewaytheStreet increasinglypanickedmessagesfromLesterand looksatthem,wewereindeepshit.Analysts Perry.ThenonefromTjan.Thenonefrom Kettlebelly.Theyallwantedtodiscussthenews couldntfigureouthowtovalueus.Addalittle whateverthatwas.Onefromheroldeditoratthe marketchaosandsomeoldscoresettlingassholes, likethatfuckerFreddy,anditsawonderwelasted Mercaskingifshewasavailableforcomment aslongaswedid.Theyrealreadycallingusthe aboutthenews.Tjan,too.Thefirstonewas twentyfirstcenturyEnron. fromRatToothedFreddy,thatsnake. Kodacellscreditorscallingindebts.Shareprice Kettlewell,shesaid,Ilivedthroughacoupleof these,andsomethingsnotright.Whenthe belowonecent.ImminentNASDAQdelisting. dotcomsweregoingunder,theirCEOskepttelling Comments? everyoneeverythingwasallright,rightuptothe Herstomachwentcold,herbreakfastcongealed lastminute.Theydidntthrowinthetowel.They intoahardlump.Theclippedarticleshadquotes stoodlikecaptainsonthebridgeofsinkingships. fromKettlewell(Wewillseetoitthatallour employeesarepaid,ourcreditorsarereimbursed, So? andourshareholdersarewelldonebythroughan Sowhatsgoingonhere.Itsoundslikeyoure orderlywinddown),Perry(FuckitIwas whipped.Whyarentyoufighting?Therewere doingthisshitbeforeKodacell,dontexpectto lotsofdotcomsthattanked,butafewofthose stopnow)andLester(Itwastoobeautifuland deepindenialCEOspulleditoff,restructuredand cooltobereal,Iguess.)Whereshewas cameoutofitalive.Whyareyougivingup? mentioned,itwasusuallyinasnidecontextthat madeherouttobeadisgracedpitchwomanfora Suzanne,oh,Suzanne.Helaughed,butitwasnt ahappylaugh.Youthinkthatthishappened failedmovement. overnight?Youthinkthatthisproblemjust Whichshewas.Basically. croppedupyesterdayandItossedinthetowel? Herphonerang.Kettlewell. Oh.Oh. Hi,Kettlewell,shesaid. Wherehaveyoubeen?hesaid.Hesounded reallyedgy.Itwasthemiddleofthenightin California. Yeah.Wevebeentankingformonths.Ivebeen standingonthebridgeofthissinkingshipwithmy biggestsmilepastedonfortwoconsecutive quartersnow.Ivethrownoutthemostimpressive realitydistortionfieldthebusinessworldhasever

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/83 seen.JustbecauseImgivingupdoesntmeanI gaveupwithoutafight. Nilcarborundumillegitimistoyou,too.

Sheclickedovertohereditor.Jimmy,shesaid. Suzannehadneverbeengoodatcondolences.She Longtimenospeak.SorryImissedyourcalls hatedfunerals.Landon,Imsorry.Itmusthave beforeIminRussiaonastory. beenveryhard Hello,Suzanne,hesaid.Hisvoicehadanodd, Yeah,hesaid.Well,sure.Iwantedyoutohave strainedquality,ormaybethatwasjusthermood, thescooponthis,butIhadtotalktothepress projecting.Imsorry,Suzanne.Youvebeen oncethestorybroke,youunderstand. doinggoodwork.Thebestworkofyourcareer,if youaskme.Ifollowitclosely. Iunderstand,shesaid.Scoopsarentthat importantanyway.Illtellyouwhat.Illposta shortpieceonthisrightaway,justsaying,Yes, itstrue,andImgettingdetails.ThenIlldo interviewswithyouandLesterandPerryandput upsomethinglongerinacoupleofhours.Does thatwork? Itmadeherfeelalittlebetter.Shedbeen uncomfortableaboutthewaysheandJimmyhad partedways,butthiswasvindicating.It emboldenedher.Jimmy,whatthehelldoIdo now?

Christ,Suzanne,Idontknow.Illtellyouwhat Helaughedagain,nohumorinit.Yeah,thatllbe nottodo,though.Offtherecord. fine. Offtherecord. Sorry,Kettlewell. DontdowhatIvedone.Donthanggrimlyonto No,no,hesaid.No,itsOK. thelastplanksfromthesinkingship,chronicling Look,Ijustwanttowriteaboutthisinawaythat thelastfewstruggling,sinkingschmucksdemise. honorswhatyouvedoneoverthepasttwoyears. Itsnofunbeingthestenographerforthefallofa greatempire.Findsomethingelsetocover. Iveneverbeenpresentatthebirthofanything remotelythisimportant.Itdeservestobe Thewordsmadeherheartsink.PoorJimmy,stuck describedwell. thereintheMercsoncegreatnewsroom,while theworldcrumbledaroundhim.Itmusthavebeen Itsoundedlikehemightbecrying.Therewasa snufflingsound.Youvebeenamazing,Suzanne. heartbreaking. Wecouldnthavedoneitwithoutyou.Noone couldhavedescribeditbetter.Greatdeedsare irrelevantifnooneknowsaboutthemor remembersthem. Thanks,shesaid.Youwantaninterview? What?No,woman.Imnotaghoul.Iwantedto callandmakesureyouwereallright. Jimmy,youreaprince.ButIllbeOK.Ilandon myfeet.Youvegotsomeonecoveringthisstory, sogivehermynumberandhavehercallmeand Illgiveheraquote.

Herphonewasbeeping.Shesnuckapeek.Itwas heroldeditor.Listen,shesaid.Ihavetogo. TheresacallcominginIhavetotake.Icancall yourightback.

Really,Suzanne Dont,hesaid.ItsOK.Imbusyhereanyway. Thisisabigday.Hislaughwaslikeadogsbark. Itsfine,Jimmy. Suzanne,hesaid.Wedontcoverthatkindof Takecareofyourself,Kettlewell,shesaid. thingfromournewsroomanymore.Justlocal Dontletthebastardsgrindyoudown.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/84 stuff.Nationalcoveragecomesfromthewiresor fromtheMcClatchynationalnewsroom. Shesuckedinair.Coulditbepossible?Herfirst thoughtwhenJimmycalledwasthatshedmadea terriblemistakebyleavingtheMerc,butifthis waswhatthepaperhadcometo,shehadleftjust intime,evenifherownliferaftwassinking,it hadkeptherafloatforawhile. Theofferstillstands,Jimmy.Illtalktoanyone youwanttoassign. Youreasweetheart,Suzanne.Whatareyouin Russiafor? Shetoldhim.Screwscoops,anyway.Notlike JimmywasgoingtosendanyonetoRussia,he couldntevenaffordtodispatchareporterto MarinCountybythesoundsofthings. Whatastory!hesaid.Man! Yeah,shesaid.YeahIguessitis. Youguess?Suzanne,thisisthesinglemost importantissueinpracticallyeveryAmericans lifethereisntoneinathousandwhodoesnt worryendlesslyabouthisweight. Well,Ihavebeengettingreallygoodnumberson this.Shenamedthefigure.Hesuckedair betweenhisteeth.Thatswhatthewholefreaking chaindoesonatopstory,Suzanne.Youre outperformingfiftylocalpaperscombined. Yeah? Hellyeah,hesaid.MaybeIshouldaskyoufor ajob. Whenhegotoffthephone,shespoketoPerry, andthentoLester.Lestersaidthathewantedtogo travelingandseehisoldfriendsinRussiaandthat ifshewasstillaroundinacoupleweeks,maybe hedseeherthere.Perrywasmoroseandgrimly determined.Hewasonthevergeofshippinghis threeDprintersandhewassurehecoulddoit, evenifhedidnthavetheKodacellnetworkfor marketingandlogistics.Hedidntevenseemto registeritwhenshetoldhimthatshewasgoingto bespendingsometimeinRussia. Thenshehadtogointotheclinicandask intelligentquestionsandtakepicturesandrecord audioandjotnotesandpayattentiontothesmall detailssothatshewouldbeabletowritethebest accountpossible. TheydressedwellinRussia,intheclinics. Businesscasual,butwelltailoredandmadefrom goodmaterial.TheEuropeansknewfromtextiles, andexperttailoringseemedtobeincheapsupply here. Shedhavetogetsomeonetorunherupablue blazerandawhiteshirtandadecentskirt.It wouldbenicetogetbackintogrownupclothes afteracoupleyearsworthofFloridacasual. ShedseeGeoffafterdinnerthatnight,getmore detailforthestory.Therewassomethingbighere inthemedicaltourismanglenotjustweightloss butgenetherapy,too,andvoodoostemcellstuff andadvancedprosthesesandevensomecrazy performanceenhancementstuffthathadkept RussiaoutofthepastOlympics. Shetypedherstorynotesandansweredthephone calls.Onespecialcallshereturnedonceshewas sittinginherroom,relaxed,withacupofcoffee fromtheinroomcoffeemaker. Hello,Freddy,shesaid. Suzanne,darling!Hesoundedlikehewas breathinghard. WhatcanIdoforyou? Justwantedaquote,love,somethingforcolor. Oh,Ivegotaquoteforyou.Shedgiventhe quotealotofthought.Livingwiththesquatters hadbroadenedhervocabularymagnificently. Andthoseareyourgoodpoints,shesaid,taking asipofcoffee.Goodbye,Freddy.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/85 andmallsthathadbeenturnedintothenewtowns.

PARTII
ThedrivefromOrlandodowntoHollywoodgot worseeverytimeSammytookit.Theturnpike tollswentupeveryyearandtheroadsurface qualitydeclined,andthegaspricesattheclip jointswereheartattackinducing.WhenSammy startedatDisneyImagineeringadecadebefore, thecompanyhadcoveredyouractualexpenses justcollectthereceiptsandturntheminforcash back.ButsinceParkshadbeenspunoffintoa separatecompanywithitsownshareholders,the newausteritymeasuresmeantthatthebean countersinBurbanksetamaximumpermile reimbursementandnevermindtheactualexpense. Enoughofthiscompetitiveintelligenceworkand Sammywouldgobroke. Offtheturnpike,itwasevenworse.The shantytownsmultipliedandmultiplied.Laundry linesstretchedoutintheparkinglotsofformer stripmalls.Everytrafficlightcloggedwith aggressivetechnotchotchkevendors,thesqueegee bumsofthetwentyfirstcentury,withtheir pornographicanimatronicdolliesandinfinitely variedrobotdogs.DisneyWorldstillsuckedina fairnumberoftourists(thoughnotnearlysomany asinitsgoldenday),buttheywerestayingaway fromMiamiindroves.Thesnowbirdshaddiedoff inagreatdemographicspasmoverthepast decade,andtheirchildrenlackedthefinancial wherewithaltoeventhinkofoverwinteringin theirparentsnowderelictcondos. TheareaaroundthedeadWalMartwas particularlyawful.Theshantieshererosethree, evenfourstoriesintotheair,clusteredtogetherto makemedievalstreetmazes.BrowardCountyhad longsincestoppedenforcingthepropertyclaims ofthebankruptcycourtsthatmanagedthereal estateinterestsoftheformerownersofthefields

BythetimehepulledintotheWalMarts enormousparkinglot,thedayhadheatedup,his airconhadconked,andhedaccumulateda comettailofurchinswhowantedtosellhima computergeneratedbustofhimselfinthestyleof aRomanemperortheyworkedonaffiliate commissionforsomethreeDprinterjerkinthe shanties,andtheyhadarealaggressivepitch, practicallyflingingtheirsamplesathim. Hepushedpastthemandwanderedthroughthe openairmarketstalls,akindofcruelparodyof thelonggoneFloridafleamarkets.Thesegypsies soldfabricatedpartsthatcouldbemoddedto makesingleshotzipgunsand/orbongsand/or illegalgainwirelessantennae.Theysoldfruit smoothiesandsuspiciousbeefjerky.Theysold bootleghardcopiesofMexicanfotonovelasand boundprintoutsofJapanesefanproduced tentacleporncomics.Itwasalldamnablyeye catchingandintriguing,eventhoughSammyknew thatitwasalljunk. Finally,hereachedtheticketwindowinfrontof theWalMartandslappeddownfivebucksonthe counter.Theguybehindthecounterwasthekind ofcharacterthatkeptthetouristsawayfrom Florida:shavenheaded,withonecockeyed eyebrowthatlookedlikeasetofhills,athreeday beardandskintannedlikewrinkledleather. Hiagain!Sammysaid,brightly.Workingat Disneytaughtyoutotalkhappyevenwhenyour stomachwascrawlingthecastmembersgrin. Backagain?theguybehindthecounterlaughed. Hewasmissingacaninetoothanditmadehim lookevenmoresketchy.Christ,dude,wellhave toinventaseasonspassforyou. Justcantstayaway,Sammysaid. Yourenottheonlyone.Youreahellofa customerfortheride,butyouhaventgotanything onsomeofthepeopleIgetherepeoplewho

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/86 comepracticallyeveryday.Itsflattering,Itell you. rememberedthemasfailurepronebehemothsthat youneededaforklifttobudgewhentheydied,but theridepeoplehaddonesomethingtoimproveon Youmadethis,then? thedesign.Thesethingsperformedaswellasthe Yeah,hesaid,swellingupwithalittlepigeon originals,thoughtheywerecertainlyknockoffs chestedpuffofpride.MeandLester,overthere. nohowwerethesecatsshellingoutfiftygranda Hegesturedatafit,greyingmansittingonastool popfortherealdeal. beforeasmallcocktailbarbuiltintoascavenged Theupholsteredseatpuffedcloudsofdustintothe OrangeJuliusstandGodknewwherethese peoplegotalltheircrapfrom.Hehadthelookof spotlightsshaftashesettledintothechairanddid uphislapbelt.ThelittleLCDsetintothecontrol oneofthefatkins,unnaturallythinandmuscled panellitupandstartedtoplaythestandardvideo andyetsomehowlazy,thecombinationofaten spiel,narratedingrizzledvoiceover. kilocaloriediet,zerobodyfatandnonsteroidal muscleenhancers.Tenyearsago,hewouldhave WELCOMETOTHECABINETOFWONDERS beenamodel,buttodayhewasjustanotherex THEREWASATIMEWHENAMERICAHELD tubbalardwithaseriousfoodhabit.Timewasthat OUTTHEPROMISEOFANEWWAYOF DisneyWorldwasnighunnavigablefromallthe LIVINGANDWORKING.THENEWWORK poweredwheelchairscartingaroundmorbidly BOOMOFTHETEENSWASAPERIODOF obeseAmericanswhocouldntwalkfromrideto UNPARALLELEDINVENTION,ACAMBRIAN ride,butthesedaysitlookedmorelikeanadfora EXPLOSIONOFCREATIVITYNOTSEEN gymnasium,fullofgenericallybufffatkinsin SINCETHETIMEOFEDISONANDUNLIKE tightfittingclothes. EDISON,THEPEOPLEWHOINVENTEDTHE Goodwork!hesaidagainincastmemberese. Youshouldbeveryproud! NEWWORKREVOLUTIONWERENTRIP OFFARTISTSANDFRAUDS.

Theproprietorsmiledandtookalongpulloffa THEIRMARVELOUSINVENTIONS strawhookedintothedistillerbesidehim.Goon, EMERGEDATTHERATEOFFIVEORSIX getinthereflatterer! PERWEEK.SOMEDANCED,SOMESANG, Sammysteppedthroughtheglassdoorsandfound SOMEWEREHELPMEETSANDSOME WEREMEREJESTERS. himselfinanairconditionedcaveofseemingly infinitedimension.TheoldWalMarthadbeenthe sizeoffivefootballfields,andacunning arrangementofcurtainsandbafflesmanagedto conveyallthatspacewithoutrevealingits contents.Beforehimwastheridevehicle,ina singleshaftofspotlight. Gingerly,hesteppedintoit.Thedesignwas familiartherehadbeenaglutofthesethings beforethefatkinsmovementtookhold,stair climbingwheelchairsthatusedgyrostabilizersto pitch,yaw,standandsitinaperpetualcontrolled fall.TheDisneyWorldveteransoftheirheyday

TODAY,NEARLYALLOFTHESE WONDERFULTHINGSHAVEVANISHED WITHTHECOLLAPSEOFNEWWORK. THEYVEENDEDUPBACKINTHETRASH HEAPSTHATINSPIREDTHEM. HEREINTHECABINETOFWONDERS,WE AREPRESERVINGTHESELASTREMNANTS OFTHEGOLDENAGE,ASINGLEBEACON OFLIGHTINATIMEOFDARKNESS. ASYOUMOVETHROUGHTHERIDESPACE, PLEASEREMAINSEATED.HOWEVER,YOU MAYPAUSEYOURVEHICLETOGETA

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/87 CLOSERLOOKBYMOVINGTHEJOYSTICK TOWARDYOURSELF.PULLTHEJOYSTICK UPTOCUENARRATIONABOUTANY OBJECT. sectionedcars.Eachonewaskittedoutwith differentcrazytechnologiesdashboardgodsthat monitoredandtransmittedtrafficheuristics, parallelparkingautopilots,peertopeermusic sharingboxes,evenanamphibiousretrofitona MOVETHEJOYSTICKTOTHELEFT, TOWARDSTHEMINUSONE,IFYOUTHINK littlehybridthatapparentlyworked,convertingthe littleBugintoawaterBug. ANITEMISUGLY,UNWORTHYOR MISPLACED.MOVETHEJOYSTICKTOTHE Thechairswoopedaroundeachone,pausing RIGHT,TOWARDTHEPLUSONE,IFYOU whilethenarrationplayedbackreminiscesbythe THINKANITEMISPARTICULARLY inventors,orsometimesbytheownersoftheold PLEASING.YOURFEEDBACKWILLBE gizmos.Thestorieswerepithyandsweetand FACTOREDINTOTHECONTINUOUS alwaysfunny.Thesewereartifactsscavengedfrom REARRANGEMENTOFTHECABINET, thefirstdaysofabetternationthathaddieda WHICHTAKESPLACEONAMINUTEBY borning. MINUTEBASIS,DRIVENBYTHEROBOTS Thenontothekitchen,andthebathrooms YOUMAYSEECRAWLINGAROUNDTHE bathroomafterbathroom,withbettertoilets,better FLOOROFTHECABINET. showers,bettertubs,betterfloorsandbetterlights THERIDELASTSBETWEENTENMINUTES ANDANHOUR,DEPENDINGONHOW OFTENYOUPAUSE. bedrooms,kidsrooms.Oneafteranother,a hypermuseum.

Thedecorwasmilesaheadofwhereithadbeen PLEASEENJOYYOURSELF,AND thelasttimehedbeenthrough.Therewerelotsof REMEMBERWHENWEWEREGOLDEN. weirdgracenotes,liketaxidermiedalligators, Thisplusone/minusonebusinesswasnewtohim. vintagetouristpennants,chintzlamps,andtiny dioramaeofactionfigures. Ithadbeenamerefourdayssincehedbeenup here,butlikesomanyotherofhisvisits,theyd Hepausedinfrontofafabricprintersurrounded mademajorrehabstotheirrideintheamountof bycustomteesandknitcapsandthreeDvideo timeitwouldhavetakenImagineeringtowritea gamefigurinesmachinecrochetedfrombright memoaboutthepossibilityofholdingadesign yarns,andwaspassedbyanotherchair.Initwasa reviewmeeting. cutewomaninherthirties,whiteblondshaggy Hevelcroedhiscameraswirelesseyetohislapel, hairluminousinthespotlightoverthesoftgoods. Shepausedherchairandlovinglyreachedoutto tappedthepresettocorrectforlowlightand motion,andhitthejoystick.Thewheelchairstood setdownapairofappliquedshortswithorganic LEDspulsingandswirlingaroundthewaistband. upwithwobblygrace,andbegantorollforward Giveitaplusone,OK?Theseweremybest ontwowheels,heelingoverprecipitouslyasit sellers,shesaid,smilingadazzlingbeachbunny corneredintothemainspaceoftheride.The smileathim.Shewheeledawayandpausedatthe gyroscouldtakeit,heknew,butitstillthrilled himthewaythatafast,outofcontrolgokartdid, nextdioramatosetdownadollhouseinachilds roomdiorama. milesawayfromthesaferidesbackinDisney. Thechairscreechedaroundacornerandpulled intothefirstscene,adioramalitteredwithcross

Wowtheyweregettingusergeneratedcontentin theride.Holycrap.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/88 Hefinishedouttheridewithakeenhandonthe plusone/minusonelever,carefullyvotingforthe beststuffandagainstthestuffthatlookedoutof placelikeapornographicceramicbongthat someonehadleftinthemidstofaclockwork animatronicjugbandmadefromstitchedtogether stuffedanimals. BeforeSammyknewit,hewastakingreceiptofa sealedplasticpacketinhotpinkwithaperforated stripdownoneside.Uh,thanks...hesaid,ashe begantotuckitintoapocket.Hehatedhardsells, hewasnogoodatthem.Itwaswhyheboughtall hiscarsonlinenow.

Naw,thatsnotthedeal,yougottotrythemon, Thenitwasover,andhewasdebarkinginwhat otherwisehowcanyoubuythemonceyoufallin hadbeentheWalMartsgardencenter.Thenew lovewithem?Theyresafeman,goon,itseasy, brightsunmadehimtearup,andhefishedouthis justlikeputtinginabigcontactlens. shades. Sammythoughtaboutjustwalkingaway,butthe Hey,mister,cmere,Ivegotsomethingbetter thansunglassesforyou!Theguywhobeckoned himovertoamarketstallhadthelookofanaging bangbanger:shavedhead,tattoos,ridiculous cyclingshortswithsomeguthangingoverthem. othervendorswerewatchinghimnow,andthe scrutinysappedhiswill.Myhandsaretoodirty forthis,hesaid.Thevendorsilentlypassedhima sealedsterilewipe,grinning.

Knowinghewashad,hewipedhishands,tore Seethese?Polarizingcontactlenses openthepackage,tookoutthelensesandpopped prescriptionoropticallyneutral.EveryoneinIndia themoneatatimeintohiseyes.Heblinkeda isintothesethings,butwemakeemrightherein coupletimes.Theworldwassolarizedandgrey, Florida.Heliftedahalfsphereoffilmyplastic likehewasseeingitthroughatintedwindscreen. fromhiscaseandpeeledbackhiseyelidand Ohman,youlookbadass,thevendorsaid.He poppeditin.Hiswholeiriswastintedblack,along heldupahandmirror. withmostofthewhitesofhiseyes.Geometric Sammylooked.Hiseyeswereshinyblackbeads, shapeslikeMaoritattooswererenderedin charcoalgreyacrossthelenses.Icanprintyouup likeamouseseyes,solidsaveforasubtletracery asetinfiveminutes,tenbucksforplain,twentyif ofMickeyMouseheadsatthecorners.The trademarkinfringementmadehimgrin,hardand youwantthembitmapped. spitless.Helookedtenyearsyounger,likethose IthinkIllstickwithmyshades,thanks,Sammy lateteenhipsterswhoseparentsdraggedthemto said. WaltDisneyWorld,whoshowedupinbangbanger Cmon,theladieslovethesethings.Real threadsandsneeredandscratchedtheirgroinsand conversationstarter.Makeyoulookallanimeand madeloudremarksabouthowsuckballsitallwas. shit,guylikeyoucantrythiskindofthingoutfor Hisconservativebuzzcutlookedmorelikea twentybucks,youknow,wonthurt. retroskinheadthing,andhissmoothshaved, roundcheeksmadehimboyish. Thatsallright,Sammysaid. Justtryapairon,then,howaboutthat.Iprinted anextrasetlastWednesdayandtheyveonlygota shelflifeofaweek,sothesellonlybegoodfor anotherday.Freshinasealedpackage.Youlike em.youbuyapairatfullprice,cmonthatsas goodasyouregoingtoget.

Thosearegoodfortwodaystopsyoureyesstart gettingitchy,youjusttossem.Youwantapair thatsgoodforaweek,twentydollahwiththe Mickeys.IgotDonaldsandAstroBoysandall kindsofshit,justhavealookthroughmyflash book.SomestuffIdrewmyself,even.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/89 Playingalongnow,Sammylethimselfbeledona touroftheflashbook,whichfeaturedthekindof arthewasaccustomedtoseeingintattooparlor windows:skullsandsnakesandscorpionsand nakedladies.MickeyMousegivingthefinger, DaisyDuckwithastrapon,MinnieMouseasa dominatrix.Thecompanyofferedabountyfor turningintrademarkinfringers,butsomehowhe doubtedthatthecompanylawyerswouldbeable tosendthissquatteraceaseanddesistletter. Oh,hesaid.Well,Ispentthoseyearsworkinga straightjob,soitdidntreallytouchme. Thatsyourloss,man,thevendorsaid.The printerbehindhimwasspittingoutthelastof Sammyscontactlenses,insealedplasticwrap. Thevendorwrappedthemupandputthemina brownliquorstorebag.

Sammyploddedthroughtherestofthemarket withhispaperbag.Itwasallsodepressing.The numbersatDisneyWorldweredown,waydown, Intheend,heboughtoneofeachoftheDisney anditwashisjobtofigureouthowtobringthem sets. upagain,withoutspendingtoomuchmoney.Hed Youlikethemouse,huh? doneitbeforeacoupleoftimes,withthelive actionroleplayingstuff,andwiththerebuildof Sure,hesaid. Fantasylandasanironicgothhangout(beinga Ineverbeen.Tooexpensive.ThisisalltherideI whollyseparateentityfromtheoldWaltDisney want,righthere.HegesturedatthedeadWal Companyhaditsadvantages).Buttodoitathird Mart. timeChrist,hehadnoideahowhedgetthere. TheseweirdassWalMartsquattershadseemed Youlikethathuh? promising,butcouldyoupossiblytransplant Man,itscool!Igoonthatsometimes,justtosee somethinglikethistoahighthroughput, whatitsturnedinto.Ilikethatitsalways professionallocationbasedentertainment different.AndIlikethatpeopleaddtheirown product? stuff.Itmakesmefeel,youknow... Theurchinswerestillintheparkinglotwiththeir What? Romanemperorbusts.Heheldhishandsoutto wardthemoffandfoundhimselfholdingontoa Suddenly,thevendordroppedhishardcase bangbangerfacade.Thosewerethebestdaysof bustofhisownhead.Oneofthelittleratshad gottenathreeDscanofhisheadwhilehewas mylife.IwasbuildingthreeDprinters,making walkingbyandhadmadethebustonspec.He themrun.Myolderbrotherlikedtofixcars,and lookedolderinRomanemperorguisethanhedid sodidmyoldman,butwhoneedsacar,where inhismindseye,oldandtired,likeanemperorin yougoingtogo?ThestuffIbuilt,man,itcould makeanything.Idontknowwhyorhowitended, decline. butwhileitwasgoing,Ifeltlikethekingofthe Twentydollahman,twenty,twenty,thekidsaid. goddamnedworld. Hewasabout12,andstillchubby,withlonghair Itfeltlessfunandironicnow.Thereweretears brightonthevendorsblackbeadeyes.Hewasin hismidtwenties,youngerthanhedseemedat first.Ifhedbeendressedlikeasuburbanhome owner,hewouldhavelookedlikesomeonesmart andaccomplished,withlivelyfeaturesandclever hands.Sammyfeltobscurelyashamed. thatfrizzedawayfromhisheadinadandelion halo.

Ten,Sammysaid,clutchinghistiredhead.It wassmoothasepoxyresin,andsurprisinglylight. Therewasalotofdifferentgoopyoucouldrun throughthosethreeDprinters,butwhatever

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/90 theydusedforthis,itwasfeatherweight. Thekidlookedshrewd.TwentydollahandIget ridoftheseotherkids,OK? Sammylaughed.Hepassedthekidatwenty, takingcaretotuckhiswalletdeepintotheinside pocketofhisjacket.Thekidwhistledshrillyand therestofthekidsmeltedaway.Theentrepreneur madethetwentydisappear,tappedthesideofhis nose,andtookoffrunningbackintothemarket stalls. waswearingtightfittingjeansthatowedalittle debttothebangbangercyclingshorts,something youwouldhavehadtogotoagaybartoseewhen Perrywasincollege.Hisshirtclungtohispecs andwastailoreddowntohisnarrowwaist.Itwasa fatkinsstyle,thekindofthingyoucouldntwear unlessyouhadauniquelyadversarialrelationship withyourbodyandmetabolism.

No,Lester,no.Perrysaid.IsaidIdgoonthis doubledatewithyou,butIdidntsayanything aboutlettingyoudressmeupforit.Thetwogirls ItwashotandmuggyandSammywastired,and wereapairthatLesterhadmetatafatkinsclubin thedrivebacktoOrlandowasanotherfivehoursif SouthBeachtheweekbefore,andhedcamera thetrafficwasagainsthimandthesedays, phonedtheirpictoPerrywithascrawleddrunken everythingwasagainsthim. noteaboutwhichonewashis.Theywereattractive enough,butthemonotonicfatkinsdevotionto sybartismwassotiresome.Perrydidntseemuch Perrysfunnyeyebrowtwitchedashecountedout pointinhookingupwithagirlhecouldnthavea thedaystake.Thisgigwasallcream,allprofit. goodtechnicaldiscussionwith. Hisoverheadsamountedtoacouplehundreda monthtoJasonandhiscrewtohelpwiththerobot Comeon,itsgoodstuff,youllloveit. andmachinerymaintenanceintheWalMart,half IfIhavetochangeclothes,Imnotinterested. thattosomeoftheshantytowngirlstodustand Perryfoldedhisarms.Intruth,hewasnt sweepafterclosing,andaretainertoabangbanger interested,period.Helikedhislittlekingdom packthatransecurityattherideandinthemarket. there,andhecouldgeteverythingheneededfrom Plushegotthemarketstallrents,andsowhenthe burritostoRAMatthemarket.Hehadachest daywasover,onlythefirsthundredbucksoutof freezerfullofbankruptcysaleorganicMREs,for thetillwentintooverheadsandtherestspliteven variety. stevenwithLester. JusttheshirtthenIhaditprintedjustforyou. Lesterwaitedimpatiently,watchinghimcount Perryraisedhisfunnyeyebrow.Letsseeit. twicebeforesplittingthestack.Perryrolleduphis takeanddroppeditintoahiddenpocketsewninto Lesterturnedtohislatestcar,atrikewithhuge, electricbluebacktires,andpoppedthetrunk, hiscargoshorts. rummaged,andproudlyemergedholdingabright Somedayyouregoingtogetluckyandsome blueHawaiianprintshirt. chickisgoingtoreachdownandfreakout, Lester,arethose...turds? buddy,Lestersaid. Bettershefindsmybankrollthanmyprostate, Perrysaid.Lesterspentalotoftimethinking aboutgettinglucky,makingupforalifetimeof badluckwithgirls. OK,letsgetchanged,Lestersaid.Asusual,he Itstransgressivistmoderne,Lestersaid, hoppingfromfoottofoot.SawitintheNewYork Times,broughtthepictoGabrielainthemarket, sheclonedit,printedit,andsentitoutfor stitchinganextratenbuckforsameday

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/91 service. seemedtoopreciouswhencomparedwiththe Iamnotwearingashirtcoveredinsteamingpiles denizensofhisownlittlesettlementoutonthe Hollywoodfreeway. ofshit,Lester.No,no,no.Agoogoltimesno. Lesterlaughed.Christ,Ihadyougoing,didntI? Letsgoforawalkonthebeach,Lestersaid, diggingouthiswalletandrubbinghiscardover Dontworry,Iwouldntactuallyhaveletyougo outinpublicwearingthis.Buthowaboutthis?he thepaypatchonthetable. saidwithaflourish,andbroughtoutanothershirt. Somethingstretchyandiridescent,likeanoil slick.Itwassleeveless.Itllreallyworkwithyour bicepsandpecs.Also:looksprettygoodcompared totheturdshirt,doesntit?Goon,tryiton. LesterBanks,youarethegayeststraightmanI know,Perrysaid.Heshuckedhissweatyteeand slippedintotheshirt.Lestergavehimabig thumbsup.Heexaminedhisreflectioninthe blackedoutglassdoorsoftheWalMart. Yeah,OK,hesaid.Letsgetthisoverwith. Yourenthusiasm,yourbestfeature,Lestersaid. Theirdatesweretwobrunetteswithdeeptansand wholeeyecosmeticcontactsthathidtheirpupils infavoroffeaturelessexpansesofwhite,sothey lookedliketheireyeshadrolledbackintotheir heads,ormaybeliketheywerewearingcueballs forglasseyes.LikemostofthefatkinsgirlsPerry hadmet,theydressedtothenines,atelikepigs, dranklikefishes,andtalkedaboutnothingbut biotech. SoImthinking,sure,mitochrondriallengthening soundslikeitshouldwork,butifthatsso,why havewebeenscrewingaroundwithitforthirty yearswithoutaccomplishinganything?Hisdate, Moira,workedatalawoffice,andshecameupto hischest,anditwashardtotellwiththoseeyes, butitseemedlikeshewastotallyoblivioustohis completeindifferencetomitochondria. Henoddedandtriednottolookbored.South Beachwasntwhatithadoncebeen,ormaybe Perryhadchanged.Heusedtolovetocomehere topeoplewatch,buttheweirdosofSouthBeach

Goodidea,Perrysaid.Anythingtogetoffthis patioandawayfromtheinsufferableclubmusic thunderingoutofthespeakerspolemounted directlyovertheirtable. Thebeachwasgorgeous,sotherewasthat.The sunsetbehindthemstainedtheoceanbloodyand thesandwasfineandclean.Aroundtheirfeet, DadeCountybeachcomberswormedendlessly throughthesand,filteringoutallthegunk,cig butts,condoms,needles,wrappers,loosechange, weddingrings,andforgottensunglasses.Perry nudgedonewithhistoeanditroombaedaway, followingitsinstincttoavoidhumancontact. Howdoyoufiguretheykeepthevagsfrom bustingthoseopenforwhatevertheyvegotin theirbellies?Perrysaid,lookingoverhisdates headatLester,whowasholdinghandswithhis girl,carryinghershoesinhisfreehand. Huh?Oh,thosethingsarebuiltliketanks.Have tobetokeepthesandout.Youneedaboutfour hourswithanairhammertobustoneopen. Youtriedit? Lesterlaughed.Who,me? NowitwasPerrysdatesturntobebored.She wanderedawaytowardtheboardwalk,withits stripofnoveltysellers.Perryfollowed,becausehe hadaprofessionalinterestinthekindofwares theycarried.Mostofthemoriginatedononeof hisprinters,afterall.Plus,itwasthegentlemanly thingtodo. Whathavewehere?hesaidashepulledup alongsideher.Shewastryingonabraceletofodd, bonybeads.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/92 Ectopicfetuses,shesaid.Youknow,likethe Christianfundiesuseforstemcellresearch?You quickenanunfertilizedegginvitroandyougeta littleballoffurandboneandskinandstemcells. Itcanneverbeahuman,soithasnosoul,soits notmurdertoharvestthem. Thevendor,aTurkishteenagerwithaluxurious mustache,nodded.Everybeadmadefrom naturallyoccurringfoetusbones.Hehandedone toPerry. night.Lestergotsmoochedwhentheysawthe girlsoffinapedicab.Inthebuzzandhumofits flywheel,Perrygotadampandunenthusiastic handshake. Winsome,losesome,Lestersaidasthegirls rolledawayinaflashofmuscularcalvesfromthe pairofbeachperfectcabbiespedalingthething. Yourenotangry?Perrysaid.

Nah,Lestersaid.Igetlaidtoomuchasitis. Sapsmeofmypreciousbodilyfluids.Gottakeep Itwasdryandfragileinhishand.Theboneswere somechiinside,youknow? warmandporous,andintorturedElephantMan Perryraiseduphisfunnyeyebrowandmadeit shapesthatherecoiledfromatavistically. dance. Goodprice,theTurkishkidsaid.Hehad Oh,OK,Lestersaid.Yougotme.Immeeting practicallynoaccentatall,andwaswearinga Japanesebaseballteamuniformandsprayonfoot minelater,aftershedropsherfriendoff. coverings.ThoroughlyAmericanized.Look Illgetacabhomethen,shallI? here,hesaid,andgesturedatalittlecornerofhis Takemycar,Lestersaid.Illgetaridebackin table. themorning.Nowayyoullgetataxitotakeyou Itwascoveredinrosesmadefromfabricsmall toourneighborhoodatthishour. andcrude,withpinbacks.Perrypickedoneup.It Perryscarhadbeenuponblocksforamonth, hadacertainnaivecharm.Thefabricwassome awaitinghisattentiontoitsfailingbrakesand kindofverydelicateleather mushysteering.Soitwasnicetogetbehindthe Itsskin,hisdatesaid.Foetalskin. wheelofLestersBigDaddyRothtrikeandgiveit Hedroppedit.Hisfingerstingledwiththeechoof alittlegasoutontheinterstate,thesmellofthe thefeelingoftheleather.JesusIhatebiotech.The swampandbiodieselfromthebigrigsstreaming pastthewindscreen.Theroadwasdarkand roseflutteredpastthetabletothesandy treacherouswithpotholes,butPerrygotintothe boardwalk,andtheTurkishkidpickeditupand rhythmofitandfoundhedidntwanttogohome, blewitclean. quite,sohekeptdriving,intothenight.Hetold Sorry,Perrysaid,stickinghishandsinhis himselfthathewasscoutingdeadmallsforfuture pockets.Hisdateboughtabraceletandamatching expansion,buthehadkidswhodvideo chokermadeoftinybonesandteeth,andthe documentedthestatusofallthelikelycandidates Turkishkid,leering,helpedherfastenthe inthehood,andhekepttabsonhischoicest necklace.WhentheyreturnedtoLesterandhis morselsviadailysatphotosthathesubscribedto date,Perryknewtheeveningwasataclose.The inhismorningfeed. girlsplayedacoupleroundsofeyehockey, Whatthehellwashedoingwithhislife?TheWal unreadablebehindtheirlenses,andPerry MartridewasalarkithadbeenLestersidea, shruggedapologeticallyatLester. butLesterhadlostinterestandPerryhaddone Wellthen,Lestersaid,itsurehasbeenanice mostofthework.Theywerentquitesquattingthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/93 WalMart:Perrypaidrenttoastatecommission thatcollectedinescrowfortheabsenteelandlord. Itwasafinelife,butthedaysblurredoneintothe next,directionless.Buildingtheridehadbeenfun, settingupthemarkethadbeenfun,butrunning themwell,hemightaswellberunninga laundromatforallthementalacuityhiscurrentjob required. Youmissit,hesaidtohimselfoverthewhistle ofthewindandthehissofthefatcontactpatches onthereartires.Youwanttobebackintheshit, inventingstuff,makingitallhappen. Forthehundredthtime,hethoughtaboutcalling SuzanneChurch.Hemissedher,too,andnotjust becauseshemadehimfamous(andnowhewasno longerfamous).Sheputitallinperspectivefor him,andeggedhimontogreaterthings.Shed beentheiraudience,andtheydallperformedfor her,backinthegoldendays. Itwas,what,5AMinRussia?Orwasittwointhe afternoon?Hehadhernumberonhisspeeddial, butheneverrangit.Hedidntknowwhathedtell her. HecouldcallTjan,orevenKettlebelly,justring themoutoftheblue,veteranstogethershooting theshit.MaybetheycouldhaveaKodacell reunion,andgettogethertosingthecompany song,wearingthecompanytshirt. Hepulledthecaroffatatruckstopandboughtan icecreamnoveltyfromavendingmachinewitha roboticclawthatscoopedtheicecream,mushedit intothecone,thengaveitahaircutsothatit lookedlikeAstroBoyshead,thenextendedthe coneonaroboticclaw.Itmadehimsmile. Someonehadinventedthisthing.Itcouldhave beenhim.Heknewwhereyoucoulddownload visionsystemlibraries,andforcefeedback libraries.Heknewwhereyoucouldgetplansfor therobotics,andofftheshelfmotorsandsensors. Christ,thesedayshehadagoodideawhereyou couldgettheicecreamwholesale,andwhich crookedvendingmachineinterestshedhaveto greasetogethisstuffintotruckstops. Hewasthirtyfouryearsold,hewassingleand childless,andhewaseatinganicecreamina desertedtruckstopattwointhemorningbythe sideofafreewayinsouthFlorida.Hebosseda lowbudgettouristattractionandheranapirate fleamarket. Whatthehellwashedoingwithhislife? Gettingmugged,thatswhat. Theycameoutofthewoodsnearthepicnictables, fourbangbangers,butyoungones,intheirearly teens.Twohadgunsnothingfancy,justAK47s runoffacomputercontrolledmillsomewherein anindustrialpark.Yousawthemalloverthe place,easyaspietomake,buttheammowasalot hardertocomeby.Somaybetheywereunloaded. Speakingofunloaded.Hewasabouttopisshis pants. Wallet,oneofthemsaid.Hehadabadmustache thatremindedhimoftheTurkishkidonthebeach. Probablythesamehormonesthatgavekids mustachesgavethembadideaslikesellingfetus jewelryorstickinguppeoplebytheicecream machinesatlatenighttruckstops.Keys,hesaid. Phone,headded. Perryslowlysetdowntheicecreamconeonthe lidofthetrashcanbesidehim.Hedonlyeaten onespikeoffAstroBoyshead. Hisvisiontelescopeddownsothathewaslooking atthatkid,athismustache,attheguninhishands. Hewasreachingforhiswallet,slowly.Hedneed tohitcharidebacktotown.Cancelingthecredit cardswouldbetough,sincehedstoredallthe identitytheftpasswordsandnumbersinhisphone, whichtheywereabouttotakeoffhim.Andhed havetocancelthephone,forthatmatter. DoyouhaveanolderbrothernamedJason?his

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/94 mouthsaid,whilehishandswerestillbeing mugged. What? WorksastallbytheWalMartride,selling contactlenses? Thekidseyesnarrowed.Youdontknowme, man.Youdontwanttoknowme.Betterforyour healthifyoudontknowme. thatwasrubbingagainsthiscollar.Herealized thatthekidhadapaperbackbookstuckinthe waistbandofhisbangbangershorts,whichwas unusual.Itwasafantasynovel.AConannovel. Wow. Timesnappedback.

Iwonttellyourbrother,hesaid.Thenhe surprisedhimself,Butyouvegottogivemeback thecreditcardsandleavethecaratthemarketin Hishandswerepassingoverhisphone,hiswallet, themorning. hiskeysLesterskeys.Lesterwouldbegladto Thekidnodded.Thenheseemedtorealizehewas haveanexcusetobuildanewcar. holdingagunonPerry.Heloweredit.Yeah, OnlyIowntheWalMartride,andIveknown thatsfair,hesaid.Cantusethefuckingcards Jasonalongtime.Igavehimhisfirstjob,fixing thesedaysanyway. theprinters.Youlooklikehim. Yeah,Perrysaid.Well,theressomecashthere Thekidsthreebuddieswerebeginningtheirslow anyway.Herealizedhehadfivehundredbucksin fadeintothebackground.Thekidwasvisiblyon arollinahiddenpocketinhisshorts. thehornsofadilemma.Thegunwavered.Perrys YougethomeOK? kneesturnedtowater. Yourethatguy?thekidsaid.Hepeeredcloser. Illthumbaride,Perrysaid. Shit,youare. Keepitall,Perrysaid.Hismouthwasntso smart.Knowingwhomuggedyouwasntgoodfor Thatsreallyniceofyou,Perrysaid.Thanks. yourhealth. Thekidtookoutalittlephoneandproddeditfora Shit,thekidsaid.Thegunwavered.Wavered. minute.Ontheway,hesaid.Thegunsarent loaded. Comeon,oneofhisbuddiessaid.Comeon, man! Illbethereinaminute,thekidsaid,hisvoice flat. Perryknewhewasadeadman. Imreallysorry,thekidsaid,oncehisfriends wereoutofrange. Metoo,saidPerry. Youwonttellmybrother? Oh,well,Perrysaid.Goodtoknow. Anawkwardsilencespreadbetweenthem.Look, Imreallysorry,thekidsaid.Wedontreallydo this.Itsourfirstnight.Mybrotherwouldreally killme. Iwonttellhim,Perrysaid.Hisheartwas beatingagain,notthunderingorkeeping ominouslystill.Butyouknow,thisisntsmart. Youregoingtosticksomeoneupwhohasbullets andhesgonnashootyou. Icancallyouataxi,thekidsaid.Itsnotsafe tohangaroundhere.

Perryfroze.Timedilated.Herealizedthathisfists wereclenchedsotightthathisknuckleshurt.He Wellgetammo,thekidsaid. realizedthathehadazitonthebackofhisneck Andshoothim?Thatsonlyalittlebetter,you

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/95 know. Whatdoyouwantmetosay?thekidsaid, lookingyoungandpetulant.Iapologized. ditches. Glennsaidnothing.

Imnottryingtotellyouhowtorunyourlife, Comebytomorrowwiththecarandletstalk,all Perrysaid.Butyouseemlikeadecentkid,soI right? figuretheresmoreinstoreforyouthangetting Lesterdidntevennoticethathiscarwasmissing killedorlockedup.Iknowthatsprettynormal untilthekiddroveupwithit,andwhenheasked aroundhere,butyoudonthavetogothatway. Yourbrotherdidnt. aboutit,Perryjustraisedhisfunnyeyebrowat him.Thatfunnyeyebrow,ithadthepowertocloud Whatthefuckdoyouknowaboutit,anyway? mensminds. Thekidwasupnow,bodylanguagesayinghe Whatsyourname?Perryaskedthekid,giving wantedtogetfaraway,fast. himthesparestoolbytheticketwindow.Itwas afterlunchtime,whenthepunishingheatslowed everyonetoastickycrawl,andthecrowdwasthin oneortwocustomerseveryhalfhour. Glenn,thekidsaid.Infulldaylight,helooked older.Perryhadnoticedthattheshantytowners neverstoppeddressingliketeenagers,wearingthe fashionsoftheiryouthsforever,sothatawalk throughthemarketwaslikeatourthroughthe teenfashionsofthelastthirtyyears. Icouldaskaroundthemarket,Perrysaid,as thoughthekidhadntspoken.Someoneherehas gottobelookingforsomeonetohelpout.You couldopenyourownstall. Thekidsaid,Itsalljustsellingjunktoidiots. Whatkindofjobisthatforaman?

Sellingpeoplestufftheycantbebotheredto makeforthemselvesisatimehonoredwayof makingaliving.Thereusedtobeprofessional portraitphotographerswhodtakeapicofyour Glenn,youdidmearealsolidlastnight. familyformoney.Theywereevenconsidered Glennsquirmedonhisstool.Imsorryaboutthat artists.Besides,youdonthavetosellstuffyou download.Youcaninventstuffandprintthat. Metoo,Perrysaid.ButnotassorryasImight Getoverit.Thosedaysareover.Noonecares havebeen.Yousaiditwasyourfirstnight.Isthat aboutinventionsanymore. true?

ItnailedPerrybetweentheeyes,likea slaughterhousebolt.Yeah,yeah,hesaid.He Carjacking,sure,thekidsaid. didntwanttotalktothiskidanymorethanthis Butyougetintoothershit,dontyou?Mugging? kidwantedtotalktohim.Well,ifIcanttalkyou Sellingalittledope?Somethinglikethat? outofit,itsyourownbusiness...Hestartedto rearrangehisticketdesk. Everyonedoesthat,Glennsaid.Helooked sullen. Thekidsawhisopportunityforfreedomand Maybe,Perrysaid.Andthenalotofthemend bolted.Hewasprobablyheadedforhisbrothers stallandthenthelongwalktowhereverhe updoingastretchinaworkcamp.Sometimes plannedonspendinghisday.Everythingwasa theygetbitbywatermoccasinsanddontcome longwalkfromhere,oryoucouldwaitforthe out.Sometimes,oneoftheotherprisonershits themovertheheadwithashovel.Sometimesyou bussesthatranonthehourduringbusinesshours. justlosethreetofiveyearsofyourlifetodigging

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/96 Perrycheckedoutthecar,cleanedouttheempties andtheroachesandtwistsfromthebackseat,then parkedit.Acouplemorepeoplecamebytoride hisride,andhetooktheirmoney. whenyoustartaccusingmeofbeingthegrownup inourpartnership.HavesomeM&Msandtellme aboutit.

Perrydid,unburdeninghimselftohisoldpal,his Lesterhadjustfinishedhislargesteverflattened roommateoftenyears,theguyhedgonetowar sodacanmechanicalcomputer,itsnakedbackand withandstartedbusinesseswithandcollaborated forthacrossthewholeoftheoldWalMart with. solarium,sheetsofpressboardwithprecisioncut Yourerestless,Perry,Lestersaid.Heputnine gearsmountedonaviationbearingsFrancishad golfballs,apingpongball,andanotherninegolf helpedhimwiththose.Allday,hedbeenlistening ballsinthemachinesinputhopper.Twoanda totheracketofitgrindingthroughitsmighty thirdsecondslater,eightyoneM&Msdropped 0.001KHzcalculations,dumpingcarloadsof intotheoutputhopper.Yourejustbored.Youre M&Msintoitsoutputhopper.Youprogrammedit amaker,andyourerunningthingsinsteadof withregulationbaseballs,footballs,soccerballs, makingthings. andwiffleballs:dumpthemintheinputhopper andtheywouldbesortedintothecorrectchutesto Noonecaresaboutmadethingsanymore,Les. triggertheoperations.Withawhoppingone Thatssortoftrue,Lestersaid.Illallowyou kilobitofmemory,thethingcouldbestanyofthe that.Butitsonlysortoftrue.Whatyoure earlyvacuumtubecomputerswithoutasingle missingishowmuchpeoplecareabout electricalcomponent,andLesterwasreadyto organizationsstill.Thatwasthereallyimportant finallydeclarevictoryoverthecursedUnivac. thingabouttheNewWork:thewaywecouldall cometogethertoexecute,withoutalotoftop Perrylethimselfbecoaxedintotheworkroom, downmanagement.Thebangbangerarmsdealers, deputizingFrancistomantheticketdesk,and thebioterroristsandfatkinssupplierstheyall watchedadmiringlyasLesterputthemachine runonsocialinstitutionsthatweperfectedback throughitspaces. then.Youvegotsomethinglikethatherewith Youvedoneit,Perrysaid. yourmarket,afluidsocialinstitutionthatyou Well,Igottablogit,Lestersaid.Runsome couldnthavehadtenorfifteenyearsago. benchmarks,reallytestitoutagainsttheold Ifyousayso,Perrysaid.TheM&Mswere monsters.Imthinkingofusingittobruteforce givinghimheartburn.Cheapchocolatedidnt theoldNaziEnigmacode.Thatllshowthose reallyagreewithhisstomach. dirtyNazibastards!Wellwinthewaryet! Ido.Andsotheanswerisstaringyourightinthe Perryfoundhimselfgiggling.Yourethebest, face:goinventsomesocialinstitutions.Youvegot man,hesaidtoLester.Itsgoodthattheresat onecreepinguphereintheride.Therearelittle leastonesanepersonaroundhere. blogospheresoffanswhocoordinatewhattheyre Dontflatteryourself,Perry. goingtobringdownandwheretheyregoingto putit.Buildonthat. Iwastalkingaboutyou,Lester. Uhoh,Lestersaid.Hescoopedadouble handfulofbrownM&Msupfromtheoutput hopperandmunchedthem.Itsnotagoodsign Noonesgoingtohaulassacrossthecountryto ridethisride,Les.Getreal.

Coursenot.Lesterbeamedathim.Ivegotone

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/97 wordforyou,man:franchise! Franchise? Builddupesofthisthing.Printoutanything thatsaoneofakind,runthemasfranchises. cubed?Logsix?Sixfactorial?MyGodyoure weird,Les. Geniusisneverappreciated.Hescoopedupa doublehandfulofbrownM&Ms.Inyourface, VonNeumann!LetsseeyourpreciousENIACtop this!

Wontwork,Perrysaid.Likeyousaid,this thingworksbecauseofthehardcoreofvolunteer curatorswhoaddtheirownstufftoititsalways different.Thosefranchiseswouldallbestatic,or Amonthlater,Perrywasclearingsecurityat woulddiverge...Itdjustbeboringcomparedto MiamiInternational,lookingawkwardinlong this. trousers,closedsoleshoes,andadenimjacket.It wasautumninBoston,andhecouldntshowupin Whyshouldtheydiverge?Whyshouldtheybe flipflopsandapairofcutoffs.Thesecurity static?Youcouldnetworkthem,dude!What guardsgavehisleathery,lopsidedfaceahardlook. happensinone,happensinall.Thecurators Hegrinnedlikeapirateandmadehisfunny wouldntjustbeupdatingoneexhibit,butallof eyebrowtwitch,astuntthatearnedhimhalfan them.Thousandsofthem.Millionsofthem.A hourbehindthescreenandadatewithDoctor giganticphysicalwiki.Oh,itdbesoveryvery Jellyfinger. verycool,Perry.Acoolsocialinstitution. Whydontyoudoit? Imgonna.ButIneedsomeonetorunthe project.Someonewhosgoodatgettingpeopleall pointedinthesamedirection.You,pal.Youremy Itsprocedure,sir. heroonthisstuff. Well,thedocsaidmyprostatewasthesizeofa guavaaboutamonthagoinyourprofessional Youresuchaflatterer. opinion,hasitshrunkorgrown?Imean,while Youloveit,baby,Lestersaid,andflutteredhis youreupthere. longeyelashes.Liketheladysaidtothestamp TheTSAmandidntlikethatatall.Aminute collector,philatelywillgetyoueverywhere. later,Perrywasbucklingupandleavingthelittle Oy,Perrysaid.Yourefired. roomwithanexaggeratedbowleggedgait.He tippedanimaginaryhatattheguardsretreating Youcantfireme,Imavolunteer! backandsaid,Callme!inastageyvoice. Lesterdroppedsixgolfballsandaheavy Itwasthelastbitoffunhehadforthenextfour medicineballdownthehopper.Themachine hours,crammedinthetincanfullofrecycled groundandchattered,thenstarteddropping discountairtravellerflatulenceandtheclatterof hundredloadsofM&Ms100,200,300,400, fingersonkeyboardsandthegabbleofahundred 500,600,700thensomechange. phoneconversationsasthesalarymenontheflight Whatoperationwasthat?Perrysaid.Hednever stoleafewminutesofcrampedproductivityfrom seenLesterpulloutthemedicineball. thedeadtraveltime. Figureitout,Lestersaid. TouchingdowninBostonandgettinghisluggage, Perrythoughtforamoment.Sixsquared?Six hefeltlikehedlandedonanalienplanet.The

What,exactly,doyouthinkIvegothiddenup there?heaskedashegrippedtherailingandtried nottolettheillegitimaticarborundum.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/98 feelingofdisorientationandforeignnesswasnew toPerry.Hewasusedtobeingsupremely comfortable,incontrolconfident.Buthewas nervousnow,maybeevenscared,alittle. HedialedTjan.Ivegotmybags,hesaid. Illberightaround,Tjansaid.Reallylooking forwardtoseeingyou. Thereweremorecopsthanpassengersinthe arrivalsareaatLogan,andtheywatchedTjan warilyashepulledupandswungopenadoorof hislittlesportscar. Whatthefuckisthis,aPorsche?Perrysaidas hefoldedhimselfawkwardlyintothefrontseat, steppinginthroughthesunroof,pullinghisbag downintohislapafterhim. ItsaLada.Ihaditimportedtheyreallover Russia.Evolutionaryalgorithmusedtoproducea minimummaterials/maximumstrengthchassis. Itsnicetoseeyou,Perry. Itsnicetoseeyou,Tjan,hesaid.Thecarwas solowtothegroundthatitfeltlikehewasriding luge.Tjanhammeredmercilesslyonthegearbox, rocketingthemtoCambridgeatsuchspeedthat Perrybarelyhadtimetoadmirethefoliage,except atstoplights. andstylishseriesofclicks,clunksandchirps beforesettlingdownoveritswheels,droppingthe chassistoamufflerscrapingcentimeteroffthe ground. Comeon,hesaid.Illshowyouyourroom. Tjansporchsagged,withacouplekidsbikes triplelockedtoitandanallcoveringchalkmosaic overeveryinchofit.Thewoodcreakedandgave beneaththeirfeet. Thedoorsprangopenandrevealedaprettylittle girl,nineortenyearsold,inbluejeansanda hoodiesweaterthatwentnearlytoherankles,the longsleevesbuncheduplikebeachballsonher forearms.Thehoodhungdowntoherbuttitwas EastCoastbangbanger,asreinterpretedthrough themalls. Daddy!shesaid,andputherarmsaroundTjans waist,squeezinghard. Hepriedherlooseandthenhoistedherbythe armpitsuptoeyeheight.Whathaveyoudoneto yourbrother? Nothinghedidntdeserve,shesaid,withasmile thatshoweddimplesandmadeherlittlenose wrinkle.

TjanlookedoveratPerry.Thisismydaughter, Theywerearoundthecampusnow,takinga Lyenitchka,whoisabouttobelockedinthecoal screechingrightoffMassAveontoatreelined cellaruntilshelearnstostoptorturingheryounger streetofhomelytwostoreybrickhouses.Tjan brother.Lyenitchka,thisisPerryGibbons,upon pulledupinfrontofoneandpoppedthesunroof. whomyouhavealreadymadeanirreparablybad Thecoldairthatrushedinwasascrispasan firstimpression.HeshookhergentlyPerrywards. apple,unlikeanybreathofairtobehadinFlorida, Hello,Perry,shesaid,giggling,holdingoutone wheretherewasalwaysamushiness,afeelingof hand.Shehadafaintaccent,whichmadeher airthathadbeenfilteredthroughthemoistlungs soundlikeatiny,skinnyBondvillainess. ofFloridasteemingfauna. Heshookgravely.Nicetomeetyou,hesaid. PerryclimbedoutofthelittleRussiansportscar andtwistedhisbackandraisedhisarmsoverhis Yougotyourkids,Perrysaid,onceshewas headuntilhisspinegaveandpoppedandcrackled. gone. Tjanfollowed,andthenheshutdownthecarwith Fortheschoolyear.Meandtheex,wehada hearttoheartabouttheRussianeducationsystem aremotethatmadeitgothroughanimpressive

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/99 andendeduphere:IgetthekidsfromSeptember toJune,butnotChristmasesorEasterholidays. Shegetsthemtherestofthetime,andtakesthem toafamilydachainUkraine,wheresheassures metherearehardlyanymafiyehkidstoinfluence mydarlingdaughter. Youmustbelovingthis,Perrysaid. Tjansfacewentserious.Thisisthebestthing thatseverhappenedtome. Imreallyhappyforyou,buddy. Theyhadburgersinthebackyard,cookingonan electricgrillthatwascakedwiththesmoking greaseofasummersworthofoutdoormeals.The plastictableclothwasweigheddownwithpainted rocksandthecornersblewupinthefreshening autumnwinds.Lyenitchkaslittlebrotherappeared whentheburgersbegantospitandsmokeonthe grill,asevenyearoldinmetallicmeshtrousers andshirtwroughtwiththelogoofacartoon Cossackholdingalaserswordaloft. airwasweirdinghimout,awakeningsome atavisticinstincttoseekacave.Yup,weirdas hell.Buttheyloveit.Notjustthegeeks,either, thoughtheyeatitup,youshouldseeit.Obsessive doesntbegintocoverit.Butthecivilianscomeby thehundreds,too.Youshouldhearthemwhen theycomeout:Jeezus,Idforgottenaboutthose dishwasherstackers,theywerewicked!Wherecan Igetoneofthosethesedaysyoufigger?The nostalgiasthickenoughtocutwithaknife. Tjannodded.Ivebeengoingoveryourbooks, butIcantfigureoutifyoureprofitable. Sorry,thatsme.Imprettygoodatkeepingtrack ofnumbers,butgettingthemmassagedintoa coherentpicture Yeah,Iknow.Tjangotafarawaylook.Howd youmakeoutonKodacell,Perry?Financewise? Enoughtoopentheride,buyacar.Didntlose anything.

Ah.Tjanfiddledwithhisbeer.Listen,Igot Sasha,meetPerry.Sashalookedaway,then richoffofWestinghouse.Notfucktheservice wentofftoswingonatireswinghangingfromthe hereImbuyingthisrestaurantrich,butrich bigtree. enoughthatIneverhavetoworkagain.Ican Youvegotgoodkids,Perrysaid,handingTjan spendtherestofmylifeinthisyard,flipping burgers,takingcareofmykids,andlookingat abeerfromthecoolerunderthepicnictable. porn. Yup,Tjansaid.Heflippedtheburgersandthen Well,youwerethesuit.Gettingrichiswhatsuits lookedatbothofthem.Lyenitchkawaspushing do.Imjustagrunt. herbrotherontheswing,alittletoohard.Tjan smiledandlookedbackdownathisburgers. Tjanhadthegoodgracetolookslightly embarrassed.Nowheresthething.Idonthave Tjancuttheburgersinhalfanddressedthemto hiskidsexactingstandards.Theypickedatthem, towork,but,Perry,IhavenoideawhatImgoing pushedthemontoeachothersplatesandgotsome todoifIdontwork.Thekidsareatschoolall day.DoyouhaveanyideahowmuchdaytimeTV intotheirmouths. sucks?Playingthestockmarketiscompletely Ivereadyourbriefingontheride,Tjansaid, nuts,itsallgonesidewaysandupsidedown.Igot oncehiskidshadfinishedandeatenhalfa aneducationsoIwouldnthavetoflipburgersfor packageofChutneyOreosfordessert.Itspretty therestofmylife. weirdstuff. Whatareyousaying,Tjan? Perrynoddedandcrackedanotherbeer.Thecool Imsayingyes,Tjansaid,grinningpiratically.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/100 ImsayingthatIlljoinyourlittleweirdass hobbybusinessandIllopenanotherrideherefor theMassholes.Illhelpyourunthefranchising op,collectfees,makeitprofitable. Perryfelthisfacetighten. What?Ithoughtyoudbehappyaboutthis. Iam,Perrysaid.Butyouremisunderstanding something.Thesearentmeanttobeprofitable businesses.Imdonewiththat.Theseareart,or community,orsomething.Theyremuseums. Lestercallsthemwunderkammerscabinetsof wonders.Theresnofranchisingopthewayyoure talkingaboutit.Itsadhoc.Itsaprotocolweall agreeon,notabusinessarrangement. Tjangrunted.IdontthinkIunderstandthe differencebetweenaagreeduponprotocolanda businessarrangement.Hehelduphishandto fendoffPerrysnextremark.Butitdoesnt matter.Youcanletpeoplehavethefranchisefor free.Youcanclaimthatyourenotlettinganyone haveanything,thattheyrelettingthemselvesin fortheirfranchise.Itdoesntmattertome. ButPerry,heressomethingyouregoingtohave tounderstand:itsgoingtobenearlyimpossible nottomakeabusinessoutofthis.Businessesare greatstructuresformanagingbigprojects.Itslike tryingtodeveloptheabilitytowalkwithout developingaskeleton.Onceinabluemoon,you getanoctopus,butforthemostpart,youget skeletons.Skeletonsaregoodshit. colderthantheinsideofaniceboxandshitting downgreysnowwiththeconsistencyoffrozen custard. Greatweatherforanopening,hesaid,oncehed climbedthroughtheroofofTjanscarandgotten snowallovertheleatherupholstery.Sorryabout thecar. Dontsweatit,thekidsaremurderonleather.I shouldtradethisthinginonsomethingthatsless ofadeathtrapanyway. TjanwasbalderthanhedbeeninSeptember,and skinnier.Hehadathreedaybeardthatfurther hollowedouthisnormallyroundcheeks.TheLada sportscarfishtailedalittleastheynavigatedthe tunnelsbacktowardCambridge,theroadsslick andicy. Wescoredanexcellentlocation,Tjansaid.I toldyouthat,butcheckthisout.Theywereright inthemiddleofabuiltupareaofBoston, somethingthatfeltlikeabankingdistrict,with impressivetowers.IttookPerryaminutetofigure outwhatTjanwaspointingat. Thatsthesite?Therewasamallonthecorner, withaboardedupderelictHyattovertoppingit, risinghighintothesky.Butitsrightinthe middleoftown!

BostonsnotFlorida,Tjansaid.Lotsofpeople heredonthavecars.Thereweresomedeadmalls outinWorcesterandthelike,butIgotthisplace fornothing.Theownershaventpaidtaxesinthe Tjan,Iwantyoutocomeonboardtohelpme tenyearssincethehotelfolded,andtheonlyshops createanoctopus,Perrysaid. thatwereleftopenwereacoupleofAzerbaijani Icantry,Tjansaid,butitwontbeeasy.When importexportguys,sellingjunkystufffromIndia. youdocoolstuff,youendupmakingmoney. Weguttedthewholesecondfloorandturnedthe Fine,Perrysaid.Makemoney.Butkeepittoa groundfloorfoodcourtintoafleamarket. TheresanoldtunnelconnectingthistotheTand minimum,OK? Imanagedtogetitreopened,soIexpectwellget somewalkin. ThenexttimePerryturnedupatLogan,itwas Perrymarveled.Tjanhadasuitsknackforpulling

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/101 offtheambitious.Perryhadnevertriedtoeven rentanapartmentinabigcity,figuringthatany placewherelandwasatapremiumwasaplace wherepeoplewillingtospendmorethanhim couldbefound.Givehimaghostmallthatwasoff theGPSgridanytime. theyllcountthisoneamongthem,becauseof whatwemade. Sono,Perry,Idontthinkitssad.

Imsorry.Sorry,OK?Ididntmeanitthatway. Butitstragic,isntit,thatthedreamended?That theyrealllivingoutthereintheboonies,thinking Haveyoumanagedtofillthefleamarket?Ithad oftheirglorydays? takenPerryalongtimetofillhis,andstillhehad acoupleofdogsatarotreaderandabongstall,a Yes,thatissad.ButthatswhyIagreedtodothe ridenottofreezetheoldprojectsinamber,but guysellinghighpressurespraypaintcansanda discountpornstallthatsoldnakedshovelwareby tocreateanewprojectthatwecanallparticipate inagain.Thesepeopleuprootedtheirlivesto thepetabyte. followus,itstheleastwecandotogivethem Yeah,IgotprotegesupanddownNewEngland. somethingbackforthat. Alotofthemsettledhereafterthecrash.One PerrystewedonthattherestofthewaytoTjans, placeisasgoodasanother,andthehousingwas staringatthesleet,handrestingagainsttheicy wickedcheaponcetheeconomydisappeared. TheyuppedstakesandcametoBostonassoonas windowglass. Iputthewordout.Ithinkeveryoneswaitingfor thenextbigthing. SammycheckedintoaComfortInntuckedinto Youthink? thethirtyseventhstoreyoftheBankofAmerica Perry,NewWorkisthemostimportantthingthat buildingindowntownBoston.Thelobbywas everhappenedtosomeofthosepeople.Itwasthe empty,thesecurityguardsdeskunmanned.Bof highpointoftheirlives.Itwastheonlytimethey Awasinreceivership,andnotdoingsohotatthat, asthefactthattheyhadletouttheirexecutive everfeltuseful. floorstoadiscountbusinesshoteltestified. Perryshookhishead.Dontyouthinkthats Theroomwasfine,thoughsmalland sad? windowless,butfine:power,shower,toiletand Tjannegotiatedatrickytunnelinterchangeandgot bed,allhedemandedinahotelroom.Heatethe thecarpointedtoCambridge.No,Perry,Idont packetofnutshedboughtattheairportbefore thinkitssad.JesusChrist,youcantbelievethat. jumpingontheTandthencheckedhisemail.He WhydoyouthinkImhelpingyou?Youandme hadmoreofitthanhecouldpossiblyanswerhe andalltherestofthem,wedidsomething didntthinkhedeverhadanemptyinbox. important.Theworldchanged.Itscontinuingto change.Haveyoustoppedtothinkthatoneinfive Buthepickedoffanythingthatlookedimportant, includinganotefromhisex,whowasnowliving Americanworkerspickedupandmoved somewhereelsetodoNewWorkprojects?Thats intheKeysonasquatterbeachandwantedto oneofthelargestAmericanresettlementssincethe knowifhecouldloanherahundredbucks.No senseofhowshedpayhimbackwithoutwork. dustbowl.TheaverageNewWorkcollective ButMichellewasresourcefulandprobablygood shippedmoreinventionsperyearthanEdison forit.Hepaypalledittoher,feelinglikeasucker Labsatitspeak.Inahundredyears,whenthey forhopingthatshemightrepayitinperson.Hed rememberthecenturiesthatwereAmericas,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/102 beensinglesinceshedlefthimtheyearbefore andhewaslonelyandhardup. Hedlandedattwoandbythetimehewasdone withallthebullshit,itwasafterdinnertimeand hewashungryashell.Bostonwasfulloftaco wagonsandkebabstandsthathedpassedonthe walkin,andhehustledoutontothestreettoseeif anywerestillopen.Hegotahugegarlickykebab andateitintheleeofafrozenATMshelter, wolfingitwithouttastingit. bustsorcontactlensesandhadstuckhiswallet inhisfrontpocketonthewayover. Themallwaslikeasauna.Heshuckedhisjacket andsweaterandhungthemoveronearm.The wholegroundfloorhadbeengivenovertoflimsy marketstalls.Heskulkedamongthem,tryingto simultaneouslytakenoteoftheircontentsand avoidtheirownersnotice.

Hecametorealizethatheneedntskulk.It seemedlikehalfofBostonhadturnedoutnot Hewentandscoutedthelocationofthenewride. justyoungpeople,either.Therewereplentyof Hedgottenwindofitonlinenoneofhisidiot tweedyacademics,bigworkingclassSouthieboys colleaguescouldbebotheredtoreadthepublic withthickaccents,recentimmigrantswith emaillistsofthecompetitorstheywere Scandiechicclothes.Theychatteredandlaughed supposedlyinchargeofopporesearching.Shaking andmixedfreelyandatehotfoodoutofhuge loosethebudgettogetadiscountflighttoBoston cauldronsoroffofcleverelectricgrills.The hadbeenamajorcoup,requiringhorsetrading, smellsmadehisstomachgrowl,eventhoughhed blackmail,andpassiveaggressivegamingofthe justpolishedoffakebabthesizeofhishead. system.Withtheridiculouslylowperdiemand Thebuzzofthecrowdremindedhimof hotelallowancehedstillgohomeacouple something,whatwasit?Apremiere,thatwasit. hundredbucksoutofpocket.Whydidheevendo WhentheyopenedanewrideorareaatthePark, hisjob?Heshouldjustplaybytherulesandget therewasthesamesenseofthrillinganticipation, nothingdone. ofexcitementandeagerness.Thatmadeitworse Andgetfired.Orpassedupforpromotion,which waspracticallythesamething. Thenewridewasinanimpressiveurbanmall. HedspenthiscollegeyearsinPhillyandhad passedmanyahappydayinmallslikethisone, cruisingforgirlsorcampingoutonabenchwith hisbooksandasmoothie.Unlikethecrappy roadsidemallsofFlorida,therehadbeennothing butthebeststoresinthem,thepropertyvaluestoo hightomakeanythingbuthighmargin,high turnover,highticketshopsviable. thesepeoplehadnobusinessbeingthisexcited aboutsomethingso...lowbrow?Cheap? Whateveritwas,itwasntworthy. Theywereshoppinglikefiends.Amotherwitha babyonherhippushedpasthim,herstrollerpiled highwithshoppingbagsscreenedwithgiant, pixellatedBelgianpastries.Shewaslaughingand thebabyonherhipwaslaughingtoo.

Heheadedfortheescalator,whosetreadshad beenanodizedinbrightcolors,somethinghed neverseenbefore.Heletitcarryhimupstairs,but Soitwasespeciallysadtoseethismallturned lookeddown,andsohewasnearlyatthetop overtothejunkystallsandjunkierridelikeafat, beforeherealizedthattheguyfromtheFlorida washedupsupermodelsentencedtoatalkshow ridewasstandingthere,handingoutfliersand appearanceforhershopliftingarrests.He staringatSammylikeheknewhimfrom approachedthedoorswithtrepidation.Hewas somewhere. resolvednottobuyanythingfromthemarketno Itwastoolatetoavoidhim.Sammyputonhis

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/103 bestcastmembersmile.Hellothere! Theguygrinnedandwiggledhiseyebrow.I knowyoufromsomewhere,hesaidslowly. FromFlorida,Sammysaid,withanapologetic shrug.Icameuptoseetheopening. Noway!Theguyhadahugesmilenow,looked likewasgoingtohughim.Youreshittingme! itsend.Hepoppedinaheadphoneandsetuphis headlinereadertotexttospeechhisdaysnews. Hedfallenbehind,whatwiththeairtraveland all.Mostofthestuffinhiscachecameinfromhis coworkers,anditwasthemostinsipidcrap anyway,buthehadtolistentoitorhedbeodd manoutatthewatercoolerwhenhegotback.

Helistenedwithhalfanearandconsideredthe giganticcrowdstretchingawayasfarastheeye WhatcanIsay?Imafan. couldsee.Comparedwiththereopeningof Thatsincredible.Hey,Tjan,comehereandmeet Fantasyland,itwasnothinggothsfromallover thisguy.Whatsyourname? theworldhadflockedtocentralFloridaforthat, Sammytriedtothinkofanothername,butdrewa GermansandGreeksandJapaneseandevensome blank.Mickey,hesaidatlast,kickinghimself. fromMumbaiandRussia.Theydfilledthepark tocapacity,thrilledwiththedelightfulperversity Tjan,thisisMickey.Hesaregularontheridein ofchirpyoldDisneyWorldremadeasagoth Floridaandhescomeupherejusttoseethe themepark. opening. ButalinethislonginBoston,inthedeadof Tjanhadshorthairandsallowskin,anddressed winter,forsomethingwhosesoleattractionwas likeanaccountant,buthiseyeswerebrightand thattherewasanotheronelikeitbyashitty sharpastheytookSammyin,lookinghimupand forgottenbroadoutsideofMiami?Christonan downquickly.Wellthatscertainlyflattering. Omnimover. Hereachedintohiscreasedblazerandpulledouta slipofpaper.Haveacouplecompticketsthen Thelinemoved,justalittlesurge,andtherewasa cheeralldownthemallslength.Peoplepoured theleastwecandoforyourloyalty.Thepaper pasthimheadedforthelinestail,vibratingwith wasfestoonedwithhologramsandsmartcards andraisedbumpscontainingRFIDs,butSammy excitement.Butthelinedidntmoveagainforfive minutes,thenten.Thenanothersurge,butmaybe knewthatyoucouldbuystandardanti thatwasjustpeoplecrowdingtogethermore. counterfeitingstocklikeitfromamailorder Someofthepeopleinlineweredrinkingbeersout catalog. ofpaperbagsandgettingraucous. Thatsmightygenerousofyou,hesaid,shaking Whatsgoingon?someoneholleredfrom Tjansdry,firmhand. behindhim.Thecrywastakenup,andthenthe Ourpleasure,theotherguysaid.Bettergetin lineshudderedandmovedforwardsome.Then line,though,oryouregonnabewaitingalong, nothing. longtime.Hehadasatisfiedexpression.Sammy sawthatwhathedmistakenforacrowdofpeople Thinking,screwthis,Sammygotoutoflineand wasinfactalong,jostlingqueuestretchingallthe walkedtothefront.Tjanwasthere,workingthe wayaroundtheescalatormezzanineandoffoneof velvetrope,lettingpeoplethroughindribsand drabs.HecaughtsightofSammyandgavehima themallssidecorridors. solemnnod.Theyrealltakingtoolongtoride, Feelinglikehedavertedadisaster,Sammy hesaid.Itellthemfifteenminutesmax,getback followedthelengthofthequeueuntilhecameto

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/104 inlineifyouwanttoseemore,butwhatcanyou do? Sammynoddedsympathetically.Theguywiththe funnyeyebrowputinanappearancefrombehind theheavyblackcurtains.Sendthroughtwo more,hesaid,andgrabbedSammy,tugginghim in. practicallyanythingforaprivatespottoscore somenookie.

Theairsmelledofthreedeeprinter,thecheap smelloftruckstopswherevendingmachines outputtedcheapkidstoys.Hereitwasntcheap, though:hereitsmelledfuturistic,likethefirst timesomeonehadhandedhimaprintedpropfor Behindthecurtain,itwasdimandspotlit,almost oneofhisridesithadbeenaheadforanupdated SmallWorldride.Thenithadsmelledlike identicaltoFlorida,andhalfadozenvehicles waited.Sammyslidintooneandletthespielwash somethingforeignandnewandexcitingand frightening,likethefirstdaysofadifferentworld. overhim. THEREWASATIMEWHENAMERICAHELD Smellingthatagain,rememberingthecrowds outsidewaitingtogetin,Sammystartedtogeta OUTTHEPROMISEOFANEWWAYOF sickfeeling,thekebabreboundingonhim. LIVINGANDWORKING.THENEWWORK Movingasifinadream,hereacheddownintohis BOOMOFTHETEENSWASAPERIODOF UNPARALLELEDINVENTION,ACAMBRIAN lapanddrewoutasmallutilityknife.Therewould beinfraredcameras,butheknewfromexperience EXPLOSIONOFCREATIVITYNOTSEEN SINCETHETIMEOFEDISONANDUNLIKE thattheycouldntseethroughridevehicles. EDISON,THEPEOPLEWHOINVENTEDTHE Slowly,hefingeredtheaccesspanelsunderside NEWWORKREVOLUTIONWERENTRIP untilhefoundaloosecorner.Hesnickedoutthe OFFARTISTSANDFRAUDS. knifeslittlebladehedbroughtanentire Thelayoutwasslightlydifferentduetothesupport suitcasejustsohecouldhaveacheckedbagto storethisinandtuggedatthecablesinside.He pillars,butassimilartotheFloridaversionas sawedatthemwithsmallmovements,feelingthe geographyallowed.Robotshumpedunderfoot copperwiresinsidetheinsulationgivewayone movingobjects,keepingtheminsyncwiththe strandatatime.Thechairmovedjerkily,thennot changesinFlorida.Hedreadonthemessage boardsthatFloridawouldstayopenlatesothatthe atall.Hesnippedafewmorewiresjusttobesure, thentuckedthemallaway. riderscouldcollaboratewiththeattendeesatthe Bostonpremiere,tweetingbackandforthtoone another.

Theotherchairsintheridecrawledaroundeach exhibit,reversingandturningslowly.Riders broughttheirchairsupalongsideoneanotherand conferredinlowvoices,overthenarrationfrom thescenery.Hethoughthesawacouplemaking outacommonenoughoccurrenceindarkrides thathedevenexploitedafewtimeswhen planningoutridesthatwouldbelikelytoattract amorousteenagers.Theyhadakeydemographic: tooyoungtoleavehome,oldenoughtopay

Hey!hecalled.Mychairsdead!Hehad fetchedupinacentralpathwaywherethechairs triedtoruncloverleafsaroundfourdisplays.A couplechairsswervedaroundhim.Hethumped thepaneldramatically,thensteppedoutandshook hishead.Hecontrivedtosteponthreerobotson thewaytoanotherchair. Isyoursworking?heaskedthekidridinginit, alloftenyearsoldandofindefinitegender. Yeah,thekidsaid.Itscootedover.Theres roomforbothofus,getin. Christ,donttheyhavestrangerdangerinthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/105 north?Heclimbedinbesidethekidandcontrived toslideoneslyhandunderthepanel.Teasingout thewiresthesecondtimewaseasier,evenone handed.Heslicedthroughfivelargebundlesthis timebeforethechairgroundtoahalt,itsgyros whiningandrockingitfromsidetoside. Thekidlookedathimandfrowned.Thesethings areshit,itsaidwithrealvehemence,climbing downandkickingoneofitstires,andthenkicking acoupleofthefloorlevelrobotsforgood measure.Theydlandedanothergreatbreakdown spot:directlyinfrontofarankeddisplayof raygunshapedappliancesandobjects.He rememberedseeingthatoneinitsnascentstage, backinFloridajustacoupleoftoyguns,which werepresentlyjoinedbythreemore,thenthere wereten,thenfifty,thenahighwallofthem, strikingandcharming.Thechairsbreakdown positionneatlyblockedtheway. Guesswedbetterwalkout,hesaid.Hestepped onacouplemorerobots,makingoopsnoises.The kidenthusiasticallykickedrobotsoutofitsway. Chairsswervedaroundthemasotherriderstried tonavigate.Theywereapproachingtheexitwhen Sammyspottedachargeplatefortherobots.They werestandardissueforroboticvacuumcleaners andothersemiautonomousappliances,andhed hadoneinhisoldapartment.Theyweresupposed tobesafeasanything,butafriendstoddlerhad crawledovertohisandshovedastackofdimes intoitsrecessedjackandoneofthemhadshorted itoutinasmoking,fizzingfireworksdisplay. Yougoonahead,Imgoingtotiemyshoes. Sammybentdownbesidethechargeplate,his backtothekidandtheimaginedcamerasthat werecapturinghiseverymove,andslippedthe stackofcoinshedtakenfromhispocketintothe littleslotwheretherobotsinsertedtheircharging stamen. Theensuingshowerofsparkswasmoredramatic thanhedrememberedmaybeitwasthe darkenedroom.Thekidshriekedandranforthe EXITsign,andhetookofftoo,atagoodclip. Theydgettherideupandrunningsoonenough, butmaybenottonight,notiftheycouldntgetthe twochairshedtoastedoutoftheroom. Therewasthebeginningsofchaosattheexit. TherewasthatTjancharacter,givinghiman intenselook.Hetriedtoheadforthedown escalator,butTjancuthimoff. Whatsgoingoninthere? Damnedestthing,hesaid,tryingtokeephisface composed.Mychairdied.Thenanotheronea littlekidwasridinginit.Thentherewasalotof electricalsparks,andIwalkedout.Crazy. Tjancockedhishead.Ihopeyourenothurt.We couldhaveadoctorlookatyou;thereareacouple aroundtonight. IthadneveroccurredtoSammythatprofessional typesmightturnoutforaridelikethis,butof courseitwasobvious.Therewereprobablyoff dutycops,localpoliticians,lawyers,andthelike. Imfine,hesaid.Dontworryaboutme. Maybeyoushouldsendsomeoneinforthepeople stillinthere,though? Thatsbeingtakencareof.Imjustsorryyou cameallthewayfromFloridaforthiskindof disappointment.Thatsjustbrutal.Tjans measuringstarewasevenmoreintense. Uh,itsOK.Ihadmeetingsherethisweek.This wasjustacoolbonus. Whodoyouworkfor,Mickey? Shit. Insurancecompany,hesaid. ThatdbeNorwichUnion,then,right?Theyve gotaheadquartershere. Sammyknewhowthiswent.NorwichUnion

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/106 didnthaveheadquartershere.Ortheydid.Hed havetooutguessTjanwithhisanswer. Areyougoingtostayopentonight? Tjannodded,thoughitwasntclearwhetherhe wasnoddingbecausehewasansweringinthe affirmativeorbecausehissuspicionshadbeen confirmed. Wellthen,Ishouldbegoing. suitcaseandhedslippeditintohispocketbefore leavingtheroom.Sohowinstinctivecouldit possiblyhavebeen? Hehadavisionofthecarnivalatmosphereinthe marketstallsoutsideandknewthatevenafterthe ridehadbrokendown,thecrowdhadlingered, laughingandbrowsingandenjoyinganights respitefromtheworldandthecoldcity.TheWhos downinWhovillehadgoneonsingingevenafter hedGrinchedtheirride.

Tjanputoutahand.Oh,pleasestay.Imsure wellberunningsoon;youshouldgetawholeride Thatwasit.Theridedidntjustmakeuseofuser through. createdcontentitwasusercreatedcontent.He couldneverconvincehisbossesinOrlandotolet No,really,Ihavetogo.Heshookoffthehand himbuildanythingremotelylikethis,andgiven andpelteddowntheescalatorandoutintothe enoughtime,itwouldsurelyovertakethem.That freezingnight.Hisbloodsanginhisears.They probablywouldntgettheriderunningthatnight Tjansomeonelikehimwouldntbeinvolvedif therewasntsomeseriousmoneyopportunityon atall.Theyprobablywouldsendthatwhole theline. carnivalcrowdhome,disappointed.Hedwon somekindoflittlevictoryoversomething. Hedseenthefuturethatnightandhehadno placeinit. Hedfeltmoreconfidentofhisvictorywhenhe wasconcernedwiththeguywiththefunny eyebrowwithPerry.Hedseemedlittlemore thanabum,avag.ButthisTjanremindedhimof ItonlytookaweekontheBostonridebeforethey hadtheirthirdandfourthnodes.Thethirdwas theclimbershedmetthroughhiscareeratWalt outsideofSanFrancisco,inagiganticghostmall DisneyWorld:keenlyobservantandfast formulatorsofstrategies.Someonewhocouldadd thatwasalreadybeingusedasafleamarket.They hadtwoformeranchorstores,oneofwhichwas twoandtwobeforeyoudknowthattherewas beingsquattedbyartistswhoneededstudiospace. suchathingasfour. Theotheronemadeaperfectlocationforanew Sammywalkedbacktohishotelasquicklyashe ride,andthegeekswhoplannedonbuildingithad could,giventheicysidewalksunderfoot,andby cuttheirteethbuildingelaborateBurningMan thetimehegottothelobbyoftheoldofficetower confectioneriestogether,soPerrygavethemhis hisfacehurtforehead,cheeksandnose.Hed blessing. bookedhisreturnflightforadaylater,thinking heddomorerecciesofthenewsitebeforewriting ThefourthwastoopeninRaleigh,intheResearch hisreportandheadinghome,buttherewasnoway Triangle,wherethestripmallsranoneintothe next.Thesoftspoken,bitinglyironicsoutherners hewasfacingdownthatTjanguyagain. whoproposeditwerethedaughtersofoldIBM Whathadpromptedhimtosabotagetheride?It bluetiestalwartswhodbeenrunningawomens wassomethingprimal,somethinghehadntbeen techcollectivesincetheyrealizedtheycouldnt inanyrealcontrolof.Hedbeeninsomekindof affordcollegeanddroppedouttogether.They fuguestate.Buthedpackedthelittleknifeinhis wantedtoseehowmuchadmissiontheycould

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/107 chargeiftheyletitbeknownthattheywouldplow Idontwanttolicensethis.Youhavetoown theirprofitsintoscholarshipfundsforlocal somethingtolicenseit.Alicenseisawayof women. saying,Withoutthislicense,youreforbiddento Perrycouldntbelievethatthesepeoplewantedto dothis.Youdontneedalicensetoclickalink andloadawebpagenoonehastogiveyou opentheirownrides,northattheythoughtthey neededhispermissiontodoso.Hewasreminded permissiontodothisandnoonecouldtakeit awayfromyou.Licensingjustgivespeopleeven oftheglorydaysofNewWork,wheneveryday worseideasaboutownershipandpermissionand therewerefiftyNewWorksiteswithahundred property! newgizmos,poppinguponthemailinglists, lookingfordistributors,recruiting,competing, swarming,arguing,formingandreforming. WatchingTjancutthedealswherebythesepeople weregrantedpermissiontoopentheirown editionsoftheridefeltlikethat,andweirderstill. Whydotheyneedourpermission?TheAPIs wideopen.Theycanjustimplement.Arethey sheeporsomething? Tjangavehimanoldfashionedlook.Theyre beingpolite,Perrytheyregivingyoufacefor beingtheprogenitoroftheride. Idontlikeit,Perrysaid.Ididntgetanyones permissiontoincludetheirjunkintheride.When wegetaprintertoclonesomethingthatsomeone bringshere,wedontgettheirpermission.Why thehellisseekingpermissionconsideredso polite?Shit,whynotsendmealetteraskingmeif Imindreceivinganemail?Wheredoesitend? TheyretryingtobenicetoyouPerry,thatsall. Itsyourshow,Tjansaid. Noitisnt!Thatsthepoint! OK,OK,itsnotyourshow.Butwelldoityour way.Youarealovable,crankyweirdo,youknow it? TheydiditPerrysway.Hewasscheduledtogo backtoFloridaafewdayslater,buthechangedhis tickettogoouttoSanFranciscoandmeetwiththe crewwhowereimplementingtheridethere.One ofthemtaughtinteractiondesignatSFSUand broughthimintotalktothestudents.Hewasnt surewhathewasgoingtotalktothemabout,but whenhegotthere,hefoundhimselftellingthe storyofhowheandLesterandTjanandSuzanne andKettlebellyhadbuiltandlosttheNewWork movement,withouteventrying.Itwasafunstory totellfromstarttofinish,andtheytalkedthrough thelunchbreakandthenagroupofstudentstook himtoabarintheMissionwithabigoutdoor patiowherehewentontellingwarstoriesuntilthe sunhadsetandheddrunksomuchbeerhe couldnttellstoriesanylonger.

WellIdontlikeit,Perrysaid.Howaboutthis: fromnowonwhensomeoneasksforpermission wetellthemno,wedontgiveoutorwithhold Theywerealltenorfifteenyearsyoungerthan permissionforjoiningthenetwork,butwehope thattheylljoinitanyway.MaybeputupaFAQon him,andthegirlswereprettyandandrogynous andtheboyswerealsoprettyandandrogynous, thesite. notthathereallyswungthatway.Still,itwasfine Youlljustconfusepeople. beingsurroundedbythecatcalling,joking, Iwontbeconfusingthem,man!Illbeeducating bullshittingcrowdofyoung,pretty,flirtypeople. Theyhuggedhimalot,andtwooftheprettiergirls them! (who,helaterrealized,werealotmoreinterested HowaboutifyouaddaCreativeCommons ineachotherthanhim)tookhimbacktoacapsule licensetoit?Someofthemareveryliberal.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/108 hotelbuiltacrossthreeparkingspotsandpoured himintobedandtuckedhimin. drunkenoldfartthateveryoneseemedsixteen.He wasntoldenoughtoshave,anyway.Perrytriedto rememberhisnameandcouldnt.Jetlagor Hehadaburritothesizeofafootballfor breakfast,stuffedwithshreddedpigpartsandtwo sleepdeporwhatever. kindsofsloppybeans.Hewasheditdownwitha Thatsprettyweird.Everywhereelse,theyrejust quartofacinnamon/ricedrinkcalledhorchatathat movingintospacesthathavebeenleftvacant. wasservedicecoldanddidwondersforhis Wehaventgotmanyofthose.Alltheofficesand hangover. stuffarebeingoccupiedbyheavilyfunded Acouplehoursnoodlingonhislaptopanda couplebagsofTecatelaterandhewasfeeling almosthuman.Earlymariachisstrolledthestreet withelectricguitarsthatcontrolledlittletribesof dancing,singingkneehighanimatronics,belting outoldJoseAlfredoJimeneztunes. Itwasshapinguptobeagoodday.Hislaptop rangandhescrewedinhisheadsetandstarted talkingtoTjan. Man,thisplaceisexcellent,hesaid.Ihadthe bestnightIvehadinyearslastnight. Wellthenyoulllovethis:theresacrewin Madisonthatwanttodothesamethingandcould usealittleguidance.Theyspoketomethis morningandsaidtheydbehappytospringforthe airfare.Canyoumakeasixoclockflightat SFO? startups. Heavilyfundedstartups?Inthisdayandage? Superbabies,thekidsaidwithashrug.Itsall anyoneherethinksaboutanymore.Thatand cancercures.Ithinksuperbabiesarecrazy imaginebeingatwentyyearoldsuperbaby,with twodecadeoldtechnologyinyourgenes.Inyour germline!Breedingotherobsoletesuperbabies. Crazy.ButtheChineseareinvestingheavily. Sonodeadmalls?Christ,thatslikerunningout ofsandorhydrogenorsomething.Arewestillin America?

Thekidlaughed.Thecampusisbuildingmore studenthousingbecausenoneofuscanaffordthe rentsaroundhereanymore.Butthereslotsof farmland,likeIsaid.Wontbeaproblemtothrow upaprefabandputtherideinsideit.Itllbelike TheygavehimcheeseinMadisonandintroduced puttingupahauntedcornfieldatHalloween.Used himtothebiohackerswhowerethespiritual todothateveryyeartoraisemoneyfortheACLU, progenyofthequirkymomentwhenMadisonwas backinNebraska. oneofsixplaceswherestemcellscouldbelegally Wow.Hewantedtosay,TheyhavetheACLUin researched.Thebiohackersgavehimthewillies. Nebraska?butheknewthatwasntfair.The Onehadgills.Oneglowedinthedark.Onewas midwesternershedmethadgenerallybeenkick orangeandclaimedtophotosynthesize. assgeeksandhackers,sohehadnocalltoturnhis Hegothishoststobringhimtotheratskeller wheretheysatdowntocomedysizedbeersand huge,suspicioussteamingwursts. Wheresyoursite? noseupatthiskid.Sowhydoyouwanttodo this?

Thekidgrinned.Becausetheresgottobeaway todosomethingcoolwithoutmovingtoNew Wewerethinkingofbuildingonetheresalot York.Ilikeitaroundhere.Dontwanttolivein offarmlandaroundhere.Eitherthespeakerwas somerundowndefaultedshitbuiltcondowhere sixteenyearsoldorPerrywasgettingtobesucha themicearehunchbacked.Likethewideopen

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/109 spaces.ButIdontwanttobeafarmeroran academicorrunastudentbar.Allthatstuffisa deadend,Icanseeitfromhere.Imean,who drinksbeeranymore?Theresmuchsweeterhighs outthereintherealworld. Perrylookedathisbeer.Itwasinathemedstein withGermanoGothicgingerbreadworkedintothe finish.Itfeltlikeithadbeenprintedfromsome kindofceramic/epoxyhybrid.Youcouldgetthem attravelingcarnymidways,too. Ilikebeer,hesaid. ButyoureThekidbrokeoff. Old,Perrysaid.Sok.Yourewhat,16? whattosaytothem,either.BackintheNewWork dayshedmeetreporterswhocalledthemselves fans,butthatwasjustblowingsmoke.Nowhewas meetingpeoplewhoseemedtoreallymeanit.Not many,thankGod. Hesjustlikeapuppy,Hildasaid,pinching Erniescheek.Allenthusiasm. Ernierubbedhischeek.Lukereachedoutabruptly andtousledbothoftheirhair.Thesetwoare goingtohelpmebuildtheride,hesaid.Hildas anamazingfundraiser.Lastyearsheranthe fundraisingforawholewalkinclinic.

Womenshealthclinicorsomething?Perry asked.Hewasstartingtosoberupalittle.Hilda 21,thekidsaid.Imalatebloomer.Devoting wasoneofthoseincredible,pneumatic resourcestomoreimportantthingsthanpuberty. midwesterngirlsthathedseenatfiveminute intervalssincegettingoffhisflightinMadison. Twomorekidsslidintotheirbooth,aboyanda girlwhoactuallydidlook21.HeyLuke,thegirl Hedidntthinkhedevermetonelikeher. said,kissinghimonthecheek. No,Hildasaid.Metabolichealth.Lotsof peoplegetthefatkinstreatmentatpuberty,either Luke,thatwashisname.Perrycameupwitha becausetheirfatkinsparentstalkthemintoitor mnemonicsohewouldntforgetitagain Nebraskababyfacedfarmboy,thatwaslikeLuke becausetheyhatetheirbabyfat. Skywalker.Hepicturedthekidswinginga Perryshookhishead.Comeagain? lightsaberandknewhedkeepthenameforgood Youthinkeatingtenthousandcaloriesadayis now. easy?Itshellonyourdigestivesystem.Notto ThisisPerryGibbons,Lukesaid.Perry,thisis mentionyouspendafortuneonfood.Alotof HildaandErnie.Guys,Perrystheguywhobuilt peoplegettocollegeandjustswitchtohigh therideIwastellingyouabout. caloriepowderedsupplementsbecausetheycant Ernieshookhishand.Man,thatsthecoolestshit affordenoughrealfoodtostayhealthy,soyouve Iveeverseen,wow.Whatthehellareyoudoing gotallthesekidssuckingdownvanillaslurryall dayjusttokeepfromstarving.Weprovide here?Ilovethatstuff.Wow. counselingandmitigationtherapiestokidswho Hildaflickedhisear.Stopdrooling,fanboy,she wantit. said. Andwhentheygetoutofcollegedotheyget Ernierubbedhisear.Perrynoddeduncertainly. thetreatmentagain? Sorry.Itsjustwell,Imabigfanisall. Youcant.Themitigationspermanent.People Thatsreallyniceofyou,Perrysaid.Hedmeta whotakeithavetogothroughtherestoftheir livestakingsupplementsandeatingsensiblyand couplepeopleinBostonandSanFranciscowho exercising. calledthemselveshisfans,andhehadntknown

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/110 Dotheygetfat? patterns.Wedidreallybigpieces,toobed Shelookedaway,thendown,thenbackupathim. frames,sofas,kitchentables,chairs Yes,mostofthemdo.Howcouldtheynot? Likeactualfurniture? Everythingaroundthemisgearedatpeoplewho Likeactualfurniture,shesaidwithasolemn needtoeatfivetimesasmuchastheydo.Eventhe nod.Weusedhugesheetsofpaperandtreated saladsallhaveproteinpowdermixedinwiththem. themwithstiffening,waterproofingand Butitispossibletoeatright.Youveneverhadthe fireproofingagents.Wedidafrathousesoutdoor treatment,haveyou? barandsauna,withawinddynamoIevenmade Perryshookhishead.Trickmetabolismthough.I asteamengine. caneatlikeahogandnotputonanounce. Youmadeasteamengineoutofpaper?Hewas Hildareachedoutandsqueezedhisbicep.Really agog. andIsupposethatallthatleanmusclethereis Youmeantosaythatyouresurprisedby partofyourtrickmetabolism,too? buildingstuffoutofunusualmaterials? Sheleftherhandwhereitwas. Perrylaughed.Pointtaken.

OK,Idoafairbitofphysicallabortoo.ButIm Wejustgotacouplehundredstudentstodosome justsayingiftheygetfatagainaftertheyreverse foldingintheirsparetimeandthensolditon. thetreatment Everyoneoncampusneedsbookshelves,sowe Thereareworsethingsthanbeingfat. startedwiththoseusingaccordionfoldedarched Herhandstillhadntmoved.HelookedatErnie, supportsundereachshelf.Wecouldpaintorprint whomhedassumedwasherboyfriend,toseehow designsonthem,too,butalotofpeopleliked themallwhite.Thenwedidchairs,desks, hewastakingit.Erniewaslookingsomewhere else,though,acrosstheratshkeller,atthehugeTV kitchenettesets,placematsyounameit.Icalled thatwasshowingcompetitivemultiplayergaming, thedesignsMultipleOrigami. apparentlysomekindofchampionships.Itwasas confusingasahundredairhockeygamesbeing playedonthesameboard,withthousandsof zipping,jumping,firingentitiesandjumpcutsso fastthatPerrycouldntimaginehowyoudmake senseofit. Thegirlshandwasstillonhisarm,anditwas warm.Hismouthwasdrybutmorebeerwouldbe abadidea.Howaboutsomewater?hesaid,ina bitofacroak. Perrysprayedbeerouthisnose.Thats awesome!hesaid,wipingupthemesswitha kleenexthatsheextractedfromafoldedpaper purse.Lookingclosely,herealizedthatthewhite baseballcapshewaswearingwasalsofoldedout ofpaper.

Shelaughedandrummagedsomemoreinher handbag,comingupwithapieceofstiffcard. Workingquicklyandnimbly,shegaveitafewdeft foldsalongprescoredlines,andamomentlater shewasholdingabaseballhatthatwasthetwinof Lukejumpeduptogetsome,andasilencefell overthetable.Sothisclinic,howdyoufundraise theoneshewaswearing.Sheleanedoverthetable andpoppeditonhishead. forit? Papercraft,shesaid.Ihavealotoffriendswho Lukecamebackwiththewaterandsetitdown areintopaperfoldingandwemoddedabunchof betweenthem,pouringoutglassesforeveryone.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/111 Smoothlid,hesaid,touchingthebillofPerrys cap. talking.

Youknow,Hildasaid,stretchingandyawning, Thanks,Perrysaid,draininghiswaterand itscominguponfourAM. pouringanotherglass.Well,youpeoplecertainly Noway,hesaid,buthiswatchconfirmedit. havesomeprettycoolstuffgoingonhere. Christ.Hetriedtothinkofacasualwayof Thisisagreattown,Lukesaidexpansively,as askinghertosleepwithhim.Foralltheirtalking, thoughhehadtravelledextensivelyandsettledon theydhardlytouchedonromanceormaybe Madison,Wisconsinasatrulyinternational theredbeenromanceineveryword. hotspot.Weregoingtobuildakickassride. Illwalkyoutoyourhotel,shesaid. Yougoingtomakeitalloutofpaper? Hey,thatsreallyniceofyou,hesaid.Hisvoice Someofit,anyway,Lukesaid.Hildawouldnt soundedfakeyandforcedinhisears.Allofa haveitanyotherway,right? sudden,hewasnttiredatall,insteadhisheartwas Thisonesyourshow,Luke,shesaid.Imjusta hammeringinhischestandhisbloodsanginhis ears. fundraiser. Therewashardlyanytalkonthewaybacktothe Anyonehungry?Hildasaid.Iwanttogoeat hotel,justtheawarenessofherstepsandhisin somethingthatdoesnthaveunidentifiedorgan timewithoneanotheroverthecoldlatewinter meatmixedin. streets.Notrafficatthathour,andhardlyasound Goonwithoutme,Erniesaid.Igotmoneyon fromanyofthewindowstheypassed.Thetown thisgame. wastheirs. Homework,Lukesaid. Atthedoortohishotelanotherstackofthe Perryhadjusteaten,andhadplannedonspending ubiquitouscapsules,thesegearedtovisiting thisnightinhisroomcatchinguponemail.Yeah, parentstheystopped.Theywerelookingatone anotherlikeacoupleofgooglyeyedkidsatthe Imstarving,hesaid.Hefeltlikeahighschool endofadateinasitcom. kid,butinagoodway. Um,whatsyourmajor?hesaid. TheywentoutforUkrainianfood,whichPerry hadneverhadbefore,butthecrepesandtheblood Puremath,shesaid. sausageweretastyenough.Mostly,though,hewas payingattentiontoHilda,whowasrunningdown IthinkIknowwhatthatis,hesaid.Itwas freezingoutonthestreet.Theory,right? herwarstoriesfromtheMultipleOrigami fundraiser.Therewerefunnyones,sadones,scary Puremathasopposedtoappliedmath,shesaid. ones,triumphantones. Doyoureallycareaboutthis? Everyoneofherstoriesremindedhimofoneof hisown.Shewasanorganizerandsowasheand theydbeenthroughpracticallythesameshit. Theydrankgallonsofcoffeeafterward,getting chuckedoutwhentherestaurantclosedand migratingtoacafeonthemaindragwherethey hadlowtablesandsofas,andtheyneverstopped Um,hesaid.Well,yes.Butnotverymuch. Illcomeintoyourhotelroom,butwerenot havingsex,OK? OK,hesaid. Therewasroomenoughforthetwooftheminthe capsule,butonlyjust.Thesewereprefabbedin

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/112 bulkandtheycameindifferentsizesinthe Midwesttheywerelarge,theonesstackedupin SanFranciscoparkingspotsweresmall.Still,he andHildawerealmostineachotherslaps,andhe couldsmellher,feelwispsofherhairticklinghis ear. Yourereallynice,hesaid.Lateatnight,his abilitytobeflippantevaporated.Hewasleftwith simpletruths,simplydeclared.Ilikeyoualot. WellthenyoullhavetocomebacktoMadison andcheckinontheride,wontyou? Um,hesaid.Hehadaplanningmeetingwith Lukeandtherestofhisgangthenextday,thenhe wassupposedtobeheadedforOmaha,whereTjan hadsetupanothercrewforhimtospeakto.At thisrate,hewouldgetbacktoFloridasometime inJune. Perry,yourenotacareeractivist,areyou? Nope,hesaid.Ihadntreallyimaginedthat therewassuchathing. dayortwo. Perrytookamomenttounderstandthis, swallowedacoupletimes,thennodded.Lotsof peoplehadcomeinandoutofhisfactoryandhis rideovertheyears.Lestercameandwent. Suzannewasgone.Tjanwasgonebutwasback again.Kettlebellywasnolongerinhislifeatall,a ghostofamemorywithagreatsmileandgood cologne.Alreadyhewasforgettingthefacesin Boston,thefacesinSanFrancisco.Hildawouldbe amemoryinamonth. Hildapattedhishand.Ihavefriendsin practicallyeverycityinAmerica.Myfolks campaignedforstemcellsupanddowneveryred stateinthecountry.Ievenmetsupermanbeforehe died.Heknewmyname.Ispenttenyearsonthe roadwiththem,backandforth.TheBushyears,a coupleyearsafterward.Youcanlivethiswayand youcanbehappy,butyouvegottohaveright mind.

Whatitmeansisyouvegottobeabletosay thingstopeopleyoumeet,like,Yourereally Myparents.Bothofthem.Hereswhatbeinga careeractivistmeans:youareontheroadmostof nice,andmeanit,reallymeanit.Butyouvealso gottobecoolwiththefactthatreallynicepeople thetime.Whenyougetontheroad,youmeet people,haveintenseexperienceswiththemlike willfalloutofyourlifeeveryweek,twiceaweek, andfallbackintoitornot.Ithinkyourevery goingtowarortouringwithaband.Youfallin nice,too,butwerenotgonnabeacouple,ever. loveathousandtimes.Andthenyouleaveall Evenifweslepttogethertonight,youdbegone thosepeoplebehind.Yougetoffaplane,turn somestrangersintobestfriends,getonaplaneand tomorrownight.Whatyouneedtoaskyourselfis whetheryouwanttohavefriendsineverycity forgetthemuntilyoucomebackintotown,and whoaregladtoseeyouwhenyougetoffthe thenyoutakeitallbackupagain. plane,orexgirlfriendsineverycitywhomight Ifyouwanttosurvivethis,youvegottolove showupwiththeirnewboyfriends,ornotatall. that.Youvegottogetoffaplane,meetpeople, fallinlovewiththem,treasureeverymoment,and Areyoutellingmethistoexplainwhywerenot knowthatmomentsareallyouhave.Thenyouget goingtosleeptogether?Ijustfiguredyouwere datingthatguy,Ernie. onaplaneagainandyoulovethemforever. Otherwise,everynewmeetingissourbecauseyou Erniesmybrother,shesaid.Andyeah,thats knowhowsoonitwillend.Itslikestartingtosay kindofwhyImtellingyouthis.Ivenevergone yoursummercampgoodbyesbeforeyouveeven onwhatyoumightcalladate.Withmyfriends,it unpackedyourduffelbag.Youvegottoembrace tendstobemorelike,youworktogether,youhang oratleastforgetthateverygigwillendina

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/113 outtogether,youcatchyourselflookingintoone anotherseyesacoupletimes,thenyoudoalittle circlingaroundandthenyouendupinyourbedor theirbedhavinghard,energeticsexandthenyou sortoutsomedetailsandthenitlastsaslongasit lasts.Wevedoneacompressedversionofthat tonight,andwereuptothesex,andsoIthought weshouldlaysomethingsonthetable,youshould forgivetheexpression. chargeofplanningandhedbeeninchargeofthe ideas:inchargeofwhattoplan.Hadtheycome fullcirclewithouthimnoticing?Iftheyhad,was thatsobad? Man,Iwasreallylookingforwardtospendinga couplenightsinmyownbed.

Isitmuchmorecomfortablethanthisone?She thumpedthenarrowcoffinbed,whichwas surprisinglycomfortable,adjustable,heated,and PerrythoughtbacktohisdoubledatewithLester. massaging. Thegirlhadbeenprettyandintelligentandwould havetakenhimhomeifhedmadetheleasteffort. Hesnorted.OK,Isleeponafutononthefloor Hehadnt,though.Thisgirlwasinappropriatein backhome,butitstheprincipleofthething.Ijust misshome,Iguess. somanyways:young,rootedtoacitythousands ofmilesfromhomewhyhadhebroughther Sogohomeforacoupledaysafterthisstop,or backtothehotel? thenextone.Chargeupyourbatteriesanddoyour laundry.ButIhaveafeelingthathomeisgoingto Athoughtstruckhim.WhydoyouthinkIm goingtobegettingonandoffplanesfortherestof beyoursuitcaseprettysoon,Perrymydear.Her voicewasthickwithsleep,hereyesheavylidded mylife?Ivegotahometogetto. andbleary. Youhaventbeenreadingthemessageboards, Youreprobablyright.Heyawnedashespoke. haveyou? Hell,Iknowyoureright.Yourearealsmarty. Whichmessageboards? AndImtootiredtogohome,shesaid,soIm Forridebuilders.Thereareprojectsstartingup asmartywhosstayingwithyou. everywhere.Peoplelikewhattheyveheardand Hewassuddenlywideawake,hisheartthumping. whattheyveseen,andtheyrememberyoufrom theolddaysandwanttogetinonthemagicyoure Um,OK,hesaid,tryingtosoundcasual. goingtobring.Alotofusknoweachother Heturnedbackthesheets,then,standingfacing anyway,fromotherjointprojects.Everyones intothecrampedcorner,tookoffhisjeansand passingthehattoraiseyourairfareandarguing shoesandsocks,climbinginbetweenthesheetsin aboutwhossofayouregoingtostayon. hisunderwearandtee.Therewereundressing noisesexquisiteonesandthensheslitheredin Hedknownthattheywerethere.Therewere alwaysmessageboards.Buttheywerejusttalk behindhim,snuggledupagainsthim.Withajolt, heneverbotheredtoreadthem.ThatwasLesters herealizedthatherbarebreastswerepressedto job.Hewantedtomakestuff,notchatter.Jesus, hisback.Herarmcamearoundhimandrestedon hisstomach,whichjumpedlikeaspringuncoiling. whenthehellwassomeonegoingtotellme? Hefeltcertainhiserectionwasemittingafaint YourguyinBoston,wevebeentalkingtohim. cherryredglow.Herbreathwasonhisneck. Hesaidnottobugyou,thatyouwerebusyenough Hethoughtaboutcasuallyrollingontohisbackso asitis. thathecouldkissher,butrememberedher Hedid,didhe?Intheolddays,Tjanhadbeenin admonitionthattheywouldnotbehavingsex.Her

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/114 fingertipstracedsmallcirclesonhisstomach. around,sothattheybrushedagainstherlabia,her Eachtimetheygrazedhisnavel,hisstomachdida asshole.Hepulledather,draggingherupher flip. body,tugginghervaginatowardhismouth.Once Hewastotallyawakenow,andwhenherlipsvery shesawwhathewasafter,shekneewalkedupthe softlysosoftlyhebarelyfeltitbrushedagainst bedinthreeorfourquickstepsandthenshewas onhisface.Hersmellandhertasteandhertexture thebaseofhisskull,heletoutasoftmoan.Her andtemperaturefilledhissenses,blottingoutthe lipsreturned,andthenherteeth,worryingatthe room,blottingoutintrospection,blottingout tendonsatthebackofhisneckwithincreasing everythingexceptforthesweeturgency. roughness,anexquisitepainpleasurethatwas electric.Hewaspanting,herhandwasflatonhis stomachnow,grippinghim.Hiserectionstrained towardit. Hesuckedatherlabiabeforeslippinghistongue upherlength,lettingittickleherass,heropening, herclit.Inresponse,shegroundagainsthim, plantingheropeningoverhismouthandhe Herhipsgroundagainsthimandshemovedher tonguefuckedherinhard,faststrokes.She mouthtowardhisear,nippingatit,thetipofher tonguetouchingthewhorlsthere.Herhandwason reachedbackandtookholdofhiscock,slipping themovenow,slidingoverhisribs,herfingertips hersmall,stronghandunderthewaistbandofhis boxersandcurlingitaroundhisrigidshaft, athisnipple,softlyandthenharder,givingitan pumpingvigorously. abrupthardpinchthathadsomefingernailinit, likeabitefromlittleteeth.Heyelpedandshe Hemoanedintoherpussyandthatsether giggledinhisear,sendingshiversuphisspine. shuddering.Nowhehadherclitsuckedintohis mouthandhewaslappingatitsengorgedlength Hereachedbackbehindhimawkwardlyandput hishandonherass,discoveringthatshewasbare withshortstrokes.Herthighswereclampedover there,too.Itwaswideandhard,foamrubberover hisears,buthecouldstillmakeouthercries, steel,andhekneadedit,digginghisfingersin.She timedwiththeshudderingofherthighs,the spasmodicgriponhiscock. groanedinhisearandtuggedhimontohisback. Assoonashisshouldershitthenarrowbed,she wasonhim,herelbowsonhisbiceps,pinninghim down,herbreastsinhisface,fragrantandsoft. Herhot,barecrotchgroundagainsthisunderwear. Hebitathertits,hardlittlebitesthatmadeher gasp.Hefoundastiffnippleandsuckeditintohis mouth,beatingatitwithhistongue.Shepressed hercrotchharderagainsthis,hissedsomething thatmighthavebeenyesssss. Shestraightenedupsothatshewasstraddlinghim andlookingimperiouslydownonhim.Herbraids swungbeforeher.Hereyeswereexultant.Herface wassetinanexpressionoffierceconcentrationas sherockedonhim. Hedughisfingersintoherassagain,alltheway Abruptlysherolledoffofhimandtheworldcame back.Theyhadntkissedyet.Theyhadntsaida word.Shelaybesidehim,halfontopofhim, shudderingandmakingkittenishsounds.He kissedhersoftly,thenmoreforcefully.Shebitat hislipsandhistongue,suckingitintohermouth andchewingatitwhileherfingernailsrakedhis back. Herbreathingbecamemoreregularandshe tuggedatthewaistbandofhisboxers.Hegotthe messageandyankedthemoff,hiscockspringing freeandrockingslightly,twitchingintimewith hispulse.Shesmiledacatatethecanarygrinand wenttoworkkissinghisneck,hischesthard bitesonhisnipplesthatmadehimyelpandarch hisbackhisstomach,hiships,hispubes,his

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/115 thighs.Theteasingwasexcruciatingandexquisite. Isee.Youknow,youhaventactuallyfuckedmy Herjuicesdriedonhisface,thesmellcaughtin brainsout,hesaid. hisnose,refreshinghiseroswitheverybreath. Yet,shesaid.Sheretrievedherbackpackfrom Hertonguelappedeagerlyathisballslikeacat besidethebed,dugarounditin,andproduceda withasaucerofmilk.Long,slowstrokes,overhis stripofcondoms.Yet. sack,overtheskinbetweenhisballsandhis Helickedhislipsinanticipation,andamoment thighs,overhisperineum,ticklinghisassashed latershewasunrollingthecondomdownhisshaft tickledhers.Shepulledbackandspatoutapube withhertalentedmouth.Helaughedandthentook andlaughedanddovebackin,suckingsoftlyathis herbythewaistandflippedherontoherback.She sack,then,inoneswiftmotion,takinghiscockto grabbedheranklesandpulledherlegswideand thehilt. hedovebetweenher,draggingthestillsensitive Heshoutedandthenmoanedandherheadbobbed furiouslyalongthelengthofhisshaft,herhand squeezinghisballs.Ittookonlymomentsbefore hedughishandshardintothemattressand groanedthroughclenchedteethandfiredspasm afterspasmdownherthroat,hernoseinhispubes, hiscockdownherthroattothebase.Sherefused tolethimgo,swirlinghertongueoverthehead whilehewasstillsupersensitive,makinghim gruntandtwitchandbuckinvoluntarily,allthe whileherhandcaressinghisballs,rubbingathis prostateoverthespotbetweenhisballsandhis ass. Finallysheworkedherwaybackuphisbody lickingherlipsandkissingasshewent. Hello,shesaidassheburiedherfaceinhis throat. Wow,hesaid. Soifyouregoingtobeabletoliveinthe momentandhavenoregrets,thisisaprettygood placetostart.Itdbeahellofashockifwesaw eachothertwiceinthenextyeararewegoingto beabletobefriendswhenwedo?Willthefact thatIfuckedyourbrainsoutmakethings awkward? Thatswhyyoujumpedme? No,notreally.Iwashornyandyourehot.But thatsagoodpostfactoreason. tipofhiscockupanddownthelengthofhervulva acoupletimesbeforesawingitinandoutofher opening,sinkingtothehilt. Hewantedtofuckhergentlybutshegroaned urgentdemandsinhiseartopoundherharder, makingsatisfiedsoundseachtimehisballs clappedagainstherass. Shepushedhimoffherandturnedover,raising herassintheair,pullingherlabiaapartand lookingoverhershoulderathim.Theyfucked doggystylethen,untilhislegstrembledandhis kneesached,andthensheclimbedonhimand rockedbackandforth,grindingherclitagainsthis pubis,pushinghimsodeepinsideher.Hemauled hertitsandfeltthepressurebuildinhisballs.He pulledhertohim,thrustwildly,andshehissed dirtyencouragementinhisear,begginghimtofill her,orderinghimtopoundherharder.The stimulationinhisbrainandbetweenhislegswas toomuchtobearandhecame,liftingthemboth offthebedwithhisspasms. Wow,hesaid. Yum,shesaid. Jesus,its8AM,hesaid.Ivegottomeetwith Lukeinthreehours. Soletstakeashowernow,andsetanalarmfor halfanhourbeforehesdue,shesaid.Got anythingtoeat.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/116 ThatswhatIlikeaboutyouHilda,hesaid. Businesslike.Vigorous.Livinglifetothehilt. happenedtobecompressedintoasingleday.

Loving? Herdimpleswereprettyandluminousinthehints Sure.IfIdbeenwithyouforamonthortwo,I oflightemergingfromundertheblinds.Feed wouldhavefalleninlove.Yourejustmytype.So me,shesaid,andnippedathisearlobe. IthinkofyouassomeoneIlove.ThatswhyI Intheshoeboxsizedfridge,hehadacowshaped wanttomakesureyouunderstandwhatthisall brickofWisconsincheddarthathedbeengiven means. whenhesteppedofftheplane.Theybrokechunks Youreaveryinterestingperson,hesaid. offitandateitinbed,thenstartedinonthebagof soycrispieshishostsinSanFranciscohadgiven Imsmart,shesaid,andcuddledhimagain. Youresmart.Sobesmartaboutthisanditllbe him.Theyshoweredslowlytogether,scrubbing oneanothersbacks,setanalarm,andsackedout foreversweet. forjustafewhoursbeforethealarmrousedthem. Shelefthimoffatthespotwherehewassupposed Theydressedlikestrangers,notembarrassed,just tomeetLukeandtherestofhisplanningteamto gooverschematicsandtheoryandpractice.Allof toogroggytotakemuchnoticeofoneanother. thesediscussionscouldhappenonlinetheydid, Perrysmusclesachedpleasantly,andtherewas anotherache,dullandfaint,evenmorepleasant,in infactbuttherewassomethingabouttheface tofaceconnection.Themeetingransixhours hisballs. beforehewasfinallysavedbyhisimpending Oncetheywerefullyclothed,shegrabbedhimand flighttoNebraska. gavehimalonghug,andawarmkissthatstarted onhisthroatandmovedtohismouth,withjusta Sleepdepcamedownonhimlikeahammerashe checkedinforhisflightandbegantheritual hintoftongueattheend. securityclearingbuckandwing.Hemissedacue Youreagoodman,PerryGibbons,shesaid. ortwoandendedupgettingadetailedhand Thanksforalovelynight.RememberwhatItold searchbuteventhatdidntwakehimup.Hefell you,though:noregrets,nolookingback.Be asleepinthewaitingroomandintheplane,inthe happyaboutthisdontmope,dontmissme.Go taxitohishotel. ontoyournextcityandmakenewfriendsand Butwhenhedroppeddownontohishotelbed,he havenewconversations,andwhenweseeeach couldntsleep.Thehotelwasthespittingimageof otheragain,bemyfriendwithoutany theonehedleftinWisconsin,minusHildaand awkwardness.Allright? themuskysmellthetwoofthemhadleftbehind Igetit,hesaid.Hefeltslightlyirritated.Only aftertheirrollinthehay. onething.Wewerentgoingtosleeptogether. Ithadbeenyearssincehedhadaregular Youregretit? girlfriendandhednevermissedit.Therehad Ofcoursenot,hesaid.Butitsgoingtomake beenwomen,highlibidofatkinsgirlsandrandom thisinjunctionofyourshardtounderstand.Im strangers,somewhocamebackforadateortwo. notgoodatanonymousonenightstands. Butnoonewhodmeantanythingorwhomhed wantedtomeananything.Theclosesthedcome Sheraisedoneeyebrowathim.EarthtoPerry: thiswasntanonymous,anditwasntaonenight hadbeenhesatupwithastartandrealizedthat stand.Itwasanintimate,lovingrelationshipthat thelastwomanhedhadanystrongfeelingsfor

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/117 hadbeenSuzanneChurch. KettlewellemergedfromNewWorkrich.Hed takenhomelargebonuseseveryyearthatKodacell hadexperiencedgrowthabettermetricthan turninganactualahemprofitandhedinvested inadiverseportfoliothathadeverythingfrom soybeanstosoftwareinit,alongwithrealestate (oops)andfineart.HebelievedintheNewWork, believedinitwitheveryfiberofhisbeing,butan undiverseportfoliowasflatoutirresponsible. TheNewWorkcrashhadkilledthenetworthofa lotofirresponsiblepeople. LivingintheCaymansgotboringafterayear.The kidshatedtheinternationalschool,scubadiving amazedhimbygoingfromendlessly,meditatively fascinatingtodeadlydullinlessthanayear.He didntwanttosail.Hedidntwanttogetdrunk. Hedidntwanttojointhecreepyzillionaireson theirsextoursoftheCaribbeanandwouldnthave evenifhiswifewouldhavestoodforit. andfunnyandattractiveandincisiveandfearless, anditwasahellofacombination. Thekidswereawayatschoolandhiswifewas havingacoupleofdayscampingwiththegirlsin Yosemite,whichfactslentalittlechargeto Suzannesimpendingvisit.Helookedupthe AirBARTscheduleandcalculatedhowlonghe haduntilshearrivedatthe24thStreetstation,a brisk20minutewalkfromhisplace. Minutes,justminutes.Hecheckedtheguestroom andthendidaquickmirrorcheck.Hismonthsin theCaymanshadgivenhimadeeptanthathed keptupdespiteSanFranciscosgreyskies.Hestill lookedlikeasurfer,albeitwithjustalittledaddy paunchhedgainedmoreweightthroughhis wifespregnanciesthanshehadandonlyhard, aneurysminducingcyclingoverandaround PotreroHillhadknockeditoffagain.Hisjeans neatrowsofpocketsandMobiusseamswerea littleoutdated,buttheylookedgoodonhim,asdid hisHawaiianprintshirtwithitsmachinescrew motif.

AyearaftertheNewWorkcrash,hefileda1040 Finallyheploppeddowntoreadabookand withtheIRSandpaidthemfortymilliondollarsin waitedforSuzanne,andmanagedtogetthrougha backtaxesandpenalties,andrepatriatedhis wholepageintheinterveningtenminutes. wealthtoanAmericanbank. Kettlebelly!sheholleredasshecamethrough Nowhelivedinarenovatedhousingprojecton thedoor.Shetookhiminahugthatsmelledof PotreroHillinSanFrancisco,allupscalenowwith staleairplaneandrestlesssleepandgavehima restored,kitschywindowbarsandvintage thoroughsqueezing. linoleumandstuccoceilings.Hehadfourunits Sheheldhimatarmslengthandtheysizedeach overtwofloors,withcleverlyknockedthrough otherup.Shedbeenawellpreservedmidforties wallsandaspiralstaircase.Thekidsfreaking whenhedseenherlast,buttoneddownina lovedthestaircase. Californiayogaaddictway.Nowshewasyears SuzanneChurchcalledhimfromSFOtolethim older,andhertimeinRussiahadgivenheraforest knowthatshewasonherwayin,havingcleared ofsmilelinesatthecornersofhermouthand securityandcustomsafterascanthour.Hefound eyes.Shehadasad,wiseturntoherfacethathed himselfunaccountablynervousabouthernow,and neverseentherebefore,likeapaintedPieta.Her realizedwithalittlegigglethathehadsomething handshadgonealittlewrinkly,herknucklesmore likeacrushonher.Nothingseriousnothinghis prominent,butherfingernailswerebeautifully wifeneededtoworryaboutbutshewassmart manicuredandherclotheswerestylish,foreign,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/118 exoticandEuropean. Shelaughedhuskilyandsaid,Youhavent changedabit. Ouch,hesaid.Imolderandwiser,Illhave youknow. Itdoesntshow,shesaid.Imolder,butno wiser. Hetookherhandandlookedatthesimple platinumbandonherfinger.Butyouremarried nownothingwisesyouupfasterinmy experience. beinganapparatintheSovietdays,whichmeans thattheylearnedtodrivewhentheroadswere empty.Theydontsignal,theystraddlelanes,they cantparkImean,theyreallycantpark.And drunk!Everyone,allthetime!Youveneverseen thelike.Imagineafratpartythenextday,witha lotofinnocentbystanders,hookers,muggersand pickpockets. Landonlookedather.Shewasanimatedand vivid,thinagehadbroughtouthercheekbones andhereyes.Hadshehadachintuck?Itwas commonenoughallthemedicaltouristsloved Russia.Maybeshewasjustwellpreserved.

Shelookedatherhand.Oh,that.No.Thatsjust tokeepthewolvesatbay.Marriedwomenarent Shemadeashowofsniffingherself.Phew!I thesamekindsoftargetsthatsingleonesare.Give needashower!CanIborrowyourfacilities? mewater,andthenabeer,please. Sure,hesaid.Iputcleantowelsoutinthekids Gladtohavesomethingtodo,hebusiedhimselfin bathroomupstairsandsecondontheright. thekitchenwhilesheprowledtheplace.I Shecamedownwithherfinehairslickedback rememberwhentheseplaceswerebombedout, overherears,herfacescrubbedandshining.Im realghettos. anewwoman,shesaid.Letsgosomewhereand eatsomething,OK? Whatdidyoumeanaboutbeingatarget? StPetes,youknow.Lawlessstate.Everyoneson HetookherforpupusasataSalvadoranplaceon themake.Ihadabodyguardmostofthetime,but GoatHill.Theysloggedupanddownthehillsand valleys,takingthestepscutintothesteepsides, ifIwantedtogotoarestaurant,Ididntwantto walkingpastthePaintedLadiesgrand,gaudy havetofendoffthedatingservicemafiyehwho Victorianwoodframesandthewobbly,heavy wantedtooffermethedealofalifetimeona canvasbubblehousesthathadsprungupwhere greencardmarriage. thebigquakeandlandslideshadwashedaway Jeez. partsofthehills. Itsanotherworld,Landon.Youknowwhatthe Idforgottenthattheyhadhillslikethat,she bigpanicthereisthisweek?Acultofecstatic said,greedilyguzzlinganhorchata.Herfacewas evangelicalChristianswhohypnotizewomenin streakedwithsweatandflusheditmadeherlook theshoppingmallsandstealtheirbabiestoraise prettier,younger. assoldierstotheLord.Godknowshowmuchofit istrue.Theseguysdontbathe,anddressinheavy MysonandIwalkthemeveryday. coatswithbigbeardsallyearround.Imean, Youdragalittlekidupanddownthateveryday? freaky,reallyfreaky. Christ,thatschildabuse! Theyhypnotizewomen? Well,hepoopsoutafteracoupleofpeaksandI endupcarryinghim. Weird,yeah?Andthedriving!Anyoneoverthe ageoffiftywhoknowshowtodrivegotthereby

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/119 Youcarryhim?Youmustbesomekindof Shelaughedagainandtheyatesomemore.Im superman.Shegavehisbicepasqueeze,thenhis startingtofeelhumanatlast. thigh,thenslappedhisbutt.Afinespecimen. Metoo. Yourwifesaluckywoman. Itsstillmidafternoon,butmycircadianthinks Hegrinned.Havinghiswifeintheconversation its2AM.Ineedtodosomethingtostayawakeor madehimfeellessatrisk.Thatsright,Im Illbeupatfourtomorrowmorning. marriedandwebothknowit.Thisisjustfun Ihavesomemodafinil,hesaid. flirting.Nothingmore. Theybitintotheirpupusasstuffedcornmeal dumplingsfilledwithgrilledporkandtoppedwith shreddedcabbageandhotsauceandgruntedand ateandorderedmore. Whatarethesecalledagain? Pupusas,fromElSalvador. Humph.Inmyday,weateMexicanburritosthe sizeofafootball,andweweregrateful. Nooneeatsburritosanymore,hesaid,then coveredhismouth,awareofhowpretentiousthat sounded. Dahling,shesaid,burritosareso2005.You musttryapupusaitswhatallthemost charmingCentralAmericanpeasantsareeating now. Theybothlaughedandstuffedtheirfacesmore. Well,itwaseitherhereoroneofthefatkins placeswiththetripledeckerstuffedpizzas,andI figured Theyreallydothat? Thefatkins?Yeahanythingtogetthatmagical 10,000caloriesanyday.Itmustbethesamein Russia,right?Imean,theyinventedit. Sworeemoff.Letsgoforawalk. Theydidalittlemorehillclimbingandthen headedintotheMissionandwindowshoppedthe NorthAfricantchotchkeemporiathatwere crowdingouttheMexicanrodeoshopsand hairdressers.Theskindrumsandrattleswere laseretchedwithintricatedesignsCocaCola logos,theUNAccesstoEssentialMedicines Charter,Disneycharacters.Itputthembothin mindoftheolddaysoftheNewWork,andthe subjectcameupagain,hesitantatfirstandthena fullborereminisce. SuzannetoldhimstoriesofthethingsthatPerry andLesterhaddonethatshedneverdaredreport on,thewaystheydskirtedthelawandhisorders. Hetoldherafewstoriesofhisown,andthey rockedwithlaughterinthestreet,staggeringlike drunks,poundingeachotheronthebacks, grippingtheirkneesandstomachsanddoubling overtothecuriousglancesofthepassersby. Itwasfine,thatday,Landonthought.Somekind ofgreatsorrowthathedforgottenhedcarried liftedfromhimandhischestandshoulders expandedandhebreathedeasy.Whatwasthe sorrow?ThedeathoftheNewWork.Thedeathof thedotcoms.Thedeathofeverythinghed consideredimportantandworthy,itsfadinginto tawdry,cheapnostalgia.

Maybeforfifteenminutes.Butmostofthem dontbothertheygetalittlemetabolictweak, notawideopenthrottlelikethat.Christ,whatit mustdotoyourdigestivesystemtoprocess10,000 TheyweresittinginthegrassinDoloresParknow, watchingthedogsandtheirpeoplerompamong caloriesaday! therobotpooperscoopers.Hehadhisarmaround Chacunasongout,hesaid,essayingaGallic hershoulders,likewarbuddiesonabender(he shrug.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/120 toldhimself)andnotlikeamiddleagedman flirtingwithawomanhehadntseeninyears. moneyandtheydmakeamazingstuffhappen withit.TheclosestIcometothatnowismykids, watchingthemlearnandbuildstuff,whichis Andthentheywerelyingdown,theacheof laughterintheirbellies,thesunontheirfaces,the reallygreat,dontgetmewrong,butitsnothing barksandhappyshoutsaroundthem.Theirhands liketheolddays. twinedtogether(butthatwasfriendlytoo,Arab ImissLester.AndPerry.Tjan.Thewholegang menheldhandswalkingdownthestreetasaway ofthem,really.Sheproppedherselfuponone ofshowingfriendship). elbowandthenshockedhimbykissinghimhard onthecheek.Thanks,Kettlebelly.Thankyouso Nowtheirtalkhadbankeddowntocoals, throwingoffanoccasionalsparkwhenoneorthe muchforputtingmeinthemiddleofallthat.You otherwouldremembersomefunnyanecdoteand changedmylife,thatsforsure. gruntoutawordortwothatwouldsetthemboth togingerlychuckling.Buttheirhandsweretied andtheirbreathingwasinsync,andtheirflanks weretouchinganditwasntjustfriendly. Abruptly,sheshookherhandfreeandrolledon herside.Listen,marriedman,Ithinkthats enoughofthat. Hefelthisfacegored.Hisearsrang.Suzanne whatHewassputtering. Noharmnofoul,butletskeepitfriendly,all right. Thespellwasbroken,andthesorrowcameback. Helookedfortherightthingtosay.GodImiss it,hesaid.Oh,Suzanne,God,Imissitsomuch, everyday. Herfacefell,too.Yeah.Shelookedaway.I reallythoughtwewerechangingtheworld. Hefelttheimprintofherlipsglowingonhis cheekandgrinned.OK,heresanidea:letsgo buyacouplebottlesofwine,sitonmypatio,geta glowon,andthencallPerryandseewhathesup to. Oh,thatsagoodone,shesaid.Thatsavery goodone. Afewhourslater,theysatonthehorsehairclub sofainKettlewellslivingroomandhitanumber hednevertakenoutofhisspeeddial.Hi,thisis Perry.Leaveamessage. Perry!theychorused.Theylookedateachother, atalossforwhattosaynext,thendissolvedin pealsoflaughter. Perry,itsSuzanneandKettlebelly.Whatthehell areyouupto?Callus!

Theylookedatthephonewithrenewedhilarity andlaughedsomemore.Butbythetimethesun Wewere,hesaid.Wedid. wassettingoverPotreroHillandSuzannesjetlag Yeah,shesaidagain.Butitdidntmatterinthe wasbeatingherupagain,theydbothdescended end,didit?Nowwereolderandourworkis intotheirownpersonalfunks.Suzannewentupto forgottenanditsallcometonothing.Petersburg theguestroomandputherselftobed,not isnice,butwhogivesashit?IsthatwhatIm botheringtobrushherteethorevenchangeinto goingtodowiththerestofmylife,hangaround hernightie. Petersburgbloggingaboutthemafiyehand medicaltourism?Justshootmenow. Imissthepeople.Idmeettenamazingcreative PerrytoucheddowninMiamiinanearcoma,his geniuseseverydayatleast!ThenIdgivethem eyesgummedshutbyseveraldaysworthof hangoverschasedbydrink.Sleepdeprivation

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/121 madehimuncoordinated,sohetrippedtwice deplaning,andhisvoicewasabarelyaudiblerasp, histhroatsorewithacoldhedpickedupinTexas ormaybeitwasOklahoma. Lesterwaswaitingbeyondtheluggagecarousels, grinninglikeaholyfool,tallandbroad shoulderedandtanned,dressedinfatkinspimped outfinery,alltightstretchfabricsandglitter. vpodshewashome,andhisbodyknewit. Lestercookedhimahugeplateofscrambledeggs withcornedbeef,pastrami,salamiandcheese, withamountainofsauerkrautontop.Thereyou go,fattenyouup.Youreallskinnyandhaggard, buddy.Lesterwasanexpertatthrowingtogether highcaloriemealsonshortorder.

Perrystuffedawayasmuchashecould,then Ohman,youlooklikeshit,hesaid,breakingoff collapsedonhisoldbedwithhisoldsheetsand fromthefatkinsgirlhedbeenchattingup.Perry hisoldpillows,andinsecondshewassleepingthe noticedthathewasholdinghisphone,asuresign bestsleephedhadinmonths. thathedgottenhernumber. Whenhewokethenextday,hiscoldhadturned Ten,Perrysaid,grinningthroughthesnotty rheumofhiscold.Tenrides. intoahorrible,wet,crustythingthatpractically hadhisfacegluedtohispillow.Lestercamein, tookagoodlookathim,andcamebackwitha Tenrides?Lestersaid. quartoffreshorangejuice,apotoftea,anda Ten.SanFrancisco,Austin,Minneapolis,Omaha, stackofdrytoast,alongwithapackofcoldpills. OklahomaCity,Madison,Bellingham,ChapelHill Takeallofthisandthencomedowntotheride andHefaltered.AndShit.Iforget.Itsall whenyoureready.Illholddownthefortfor writtendown. anothercoupledaysifthatswhatittakes. Lestertookhisbagfromhimandsetitdown,then Perryspentthedayinhisbathrobe,shuttling crushedhiminanenormous,muscularhugthat betweenthelivingroomandthesunchairsonthe whiffedslightlyoftheketosisfumesthatallthe patio,lettingtheheatbakesomeofthesnotoutof fatkinsexuded. hishead.Lesterskindnessandhiscoldmadehim Youdidgood,cowboy,hesaid.Letsmosey nostalgicforhisyouth,whenhisfatherdotedon backtotheranch,feedyouandputyoutobed, hisillnesses. sawright? Perrysfatherwasalittleman.Perrynogiant CanIsleepin? himselfwastallerthantheoldmanbythetime heturned13.Hisfatherhadalwaysremindedhim Ofcourse. ofsomecleverfurryanimal,araccoonorbadger. UntilApril? Hehadtinyhandsandhismovementsweresmall andpreciseandcareful. LesterlaughedandslippedoneofPerrysarms overhisshouldersandpickeduphissuitcaseand Theyweremostlycordialandfriendly,butdistant. walkedthembackthroughtheparkinglottohis HisfatherworkedasaCAD/CAMmanagerina latesthotrod. machineshop,thoughhedstartedouthiscareer Perrybreathedinthehot,wetairastheywent, feelingitopenhischestandnasalpassages.His eyeswereathalfmast,butthesightofthesickly roadsidepalms,thewanderingvendorsonthe trafficislandswiththeirnetbagsfullofipodsand

asaplainoldmachinist.Ofallthemachinistshed startedwithattheshop,onlyhehadweatheredthe transitiontothenewcomputerizeddevices.The othershadalllosttheirjobsortakenearly retirementorjustquit,buthisfatherhadtakento

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/122 CAD/CAMwithtotalabandon,losinghimselfin thescreensandstaggeringhomeblearyafterten orfifteenhoursinfrontofthescreen. ButthatallchangedwhenPerrytookill.Perrys fatherlovedtoplaynurse.Hedbookofffrom workandstayhome,ferryingupgallonsofteaand beefbroth,flatgingeraleanddrytoast,cold tabletsandcoughsyrup.Hedopenthewindows whenitwaswarmandthenrunaroundthehouse shuttingthematthefirstsignofacoolbreeze. jarred. Theantichordsmadeupantitunes.Somewherein themusictheredbeoneormoremelodies,often thestuffthatPerrylistenedtoinhisroom,but sometimesoldjazzandbluesstandards.

Themusicwouldsettleintolongrunsof improvisationalnoisethatwasntquitenoise.That wasthebeststuff,becausePerrycouldnevertellif therewasamelodyinthere.Sometimeshedbe surethathehadtheknowofit,couldtellwhatwas Bestofallwaswhathisfatherwoulddowhen comingnext,asegueintoHereComestheSun Perrygotrestless:heandPerrywouldgodownto orLettheGoodTimesRollorMerrilyWeRoll thelivingroom,wheretheuprightpianostood.It Along,butthenhisfatherwouldgettothatspot hadbeenPerrysgrandfathers,andtheoldman andhedmoveintosomethingelse,someother whoddiedbeforePerrywasbornhadbeena latentpatternthatwasunmistakableinhindsight. jazzpianistwhodplayedsessionswitheveryone Therewasajokehisdadliked,Timeflieslikean fromCabCallowaytoDukeEllington. arrow,fruitflieslikeabanana.Thiswasfunnyin Youready,P?hisfatherwouldask. justthatway:youexpectedonething,yougot Perryalwaysnodded,watchinghisfathersitdown somethingelse,andwhenyourexpectationsfell apartlikethat,itwaspurehilarity.Youwantedto atthebenchandtryafewnotes. clutchyoursidesandrollonthefloorsometimes, Thenhisfatherwouldplay,tinklingandthen itwassofunny. pounding,runningupanddownthekeyboardin animprovisedjazzrecitalthatcouldgoforhours, Hisdadusuallyclosedhiseyeswhileheplayed, squeezingthemshut,lettinghismouthhangopen sometimesonlyendingoncePerrysmomcame slightly.Sometimeshegruntedorscattedalong homefromworkattheframingshop. withhisplayingbutmoreoftenhegruntedout NothinginPerryslifesincehadthepowerto somethingthatwaskindoftheoppositeofwhat capturehimthewayhisfathersmusicdid.His hewasplaying,justlikesometimesthemelody fingersdanced,literallydancedonthekeys, andrhythmsheplayedonthepianowere walkingupanddownthemlikeapairofhigh sometimestheoppositeofthesonghewas kickinglegs,makinglittlecomedymovements. playing,somethingthatwasexactlyandperfectly Thelittlestubbyfingerswiththeirtuftsofhairon opposite,soyoucouldnthearitwithouthearing theknuckles,likegoatslegs,nimblyprancingand thethingitwastheoppositeof. turning. Thegamewouldendwhenhisdadbeganto Andthentherewasthemusic.Perrysometimes improviseonpartsofthepianobesidesthekeys, playedwiththepianoandhedfiguredoutthatif knockingonit,reachingintopluckitsstringslike youhiteveryotherkeywiththreefingers,yougot aharp,rattlingPerrysteacuponitssaucerjustso. achord.ButPerrysdadalmostnevermade chords:hemadeantichords,soundsthatinvolved Nothingmadehimfeelbetterfaster.Itwasatonic, thosemysteriousblackkeysandclashedinaway afineone,betterthanpillsandteaandtoast, daytimeTVandflatgingerale. thatwaspreciselynotachord,thatjangledand

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/123 AsPerrygotolder,heandtheoldmanhadtheir shareoffightsoverthenormalthings:girls, partying,school...ButeverytimePerrytookill,he wastransportedbacktohisboyhoodandthose amazingpianorecitals,hisfathersstubbyfingers doingtheircomichighkicksandpratfallsonthe keys,thegruntingantisonginthebackofhis throat,thosecrazyfinaleswithteacupsandpiano strings. Nowhestaredmoroselyattheemptyswimming poolsixstoriesbelowhisbalcony,filledwith blowinggarbage,leaves,andahugewaspsnest. Hisfathersmusicwasinhisears,distantlynow andfadingwithhiscold.Heshouldcalltheold man,backhomeinWestchesterCounty,retired now.Theytalkedonlyrarelythesedays,threeor fourtimesayearonbirthdaysandanniversaries. Nofighthadstartedtheirsilence,onlybusylives grownapart. Heshouldcalltheoldman,butinsteadhegot dressedandwentforajogaroundtheblock,trying togetthewetsickwheezeoutofhiswhistling breath,stoppingacoupletimestoblowhisnose. Thesunwaslikeablowtorchonhishair,which hadgrownoutofhisnormalducklingfuzzinto somethingmuchshaggier.Hisheadbaked,the coldbakedwithit,andbythetimehegothome andchuggedaquartoforangejuice,hewas feelingfullyhumanagainandreadyforashower, streetclothesandaturnattheoldticketwindow atwork. Thequeuesnakedallthewaythroughthemarket andouttothestreet,wherethelinehadacasual, partykindofatmosphere.Themarketkidswere doingabriskbusinessinpopsicles,homemade colas,andcleverorigamistoolsandsunbeds madefromrecycledcardboard.Someofthekids recognizedhimandwaved,thenreturnedtotheir hustle. Hefollowedthequeuethroughthestalls.The vendorswerehappierthanthekids,ifthatwas possible,sellingstuffasfastastheycouldsetit out.Thequeuehadeveryconceivablekindof personinit:oldandyoung,hipstersand conservativerawbonedsoutherners,Latinamoms withtheirbabies,stonefacedurbanhomeboys, crackers,andMiamiBeachqueersinpastelshorts. TherewereoldJewishcouplesandsmartlyturned outEuropeantouristswiththeirfunnytwotone shagcutsandthefiltermasksthattheysmoked around.TherewasanofoolingKoreantourgroup, ofthesorthedseennowandagaininDisney World,ledbyasmartladyinaswelteringlittle suit,holdinganumbrellaoverherhead. Lester,whatthefuck?hesaid,grinningand laughingasheclappedLesterontheshoulder, takingayoungmallgothsfivebucksoutofa handwhosefingernailswerepaintedwithchipped blackpolish.Whatthehellisgoingonhere? Lesterlaughed.Iwassavingthisforasurprise, buddy.Recordcrowdsgrowingeveryday. Theresalineupinthemorningnomatterhow earlyIopenandnomatterwhattimeIclose,Iturn peopleaway. Howdtheyallfindoutaboutit? Lestershrugged.Wordofmouth,hesaid.Best advertisingyoucanhave.Shit,Perry,youjustgot backfromtencitieswheretheywanttoclonethis thinghowdidtheyfindoutaboutit? Perryshookhisheadandmarveledatthequeue somemore.TheKoreantourgroupwascomingup onthem,andPerrynudgedLesterasideandgot outhisticketroll,thefamiliarmovementslovely afterallthattimeontheroad. Thetourguideputastackoftwentiesdownonthe counter.Igotfiftyofem,shesaid.Thatstwo hundredandfiftybucks.ShehadanAmerican accent,somewheresouthoftheMasonDixonline. PerryhadbeenexpectingaKoreanaccent,broken English. Perryriffledthebills.Illtakeyourwordforit.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/124 Shewinkedathim.Theygotofftheplaneand theywerealllike,ScrewDisney,wehaveoneof thoseinSeoul,whatsnew,whatsAmerican?So Itookthemhere.Youguystotallyrock. Nowweride,Lestersaid.Youregoingtolove this.

Thefirstthinghenoticedwasthattheridehad becomealotlessopen.Whenhedleft,thered Hecouldhavekissedher.Hishearttookwing.In beenthesensethatyouwereinagiantroomall yougo,hesaid.Lesterwillgetyoutheextraride thatdeadWalMartwithlittleexhibitsspread vehicles. aroundit,likethetradeflooratamonstercar Theyreallintherealready,hesaid.Ivebeen show.Butnowtheexhibitshadbeenarrangedout runningthewholefleetfortwoweeksandIvegot ofoneanotherssightlines,andsomeofthetaller pieceshadbeenupendedtoformbaffles.Itwas tenmoreonorder. muchmorelikeacarnyhauntedhousetradeshow Perrywhistled.Youshouldasaid,hesaid,then floornow. turnedbacktothetourguide.Itmightbealittle Thecarcircledslowlyinthefirstroom,which bitofawait. hadaccumulatedalotofjunkthatwasntmad Ten,fifteenminutes,Lestersaid. inventionsfromtheheydayofNewWork.There Noproblem,shesaid.Theyllwaittillkingdom wasachippeddollcradle,andasmallcollection come,providedtheresgoodshoppingtobehad. ofgirlsdolls,apursespilledonthefloorwith Indeedthetourgroupwasatthecenterofapack photosofyounggirlsclowningatabirthdayparty. ofvendorkids,hawkingbustsandtattoos,contacts Hereachedforthejoystickwithirritationand slammedittowardminusonewhatthehellwas andactionfigures,kitchenwareandcigarette thiscrap? lighters. Nextwasaroomfullofboystanksandcarsand Onceshewasgone,Lestergavehisshoulder tradingcards,someincarefulpackagesand anothersqueeze.Ihiredtwomorekidstobring theridecarsbackaroundtotheentrance.When frames,somelovinglyscuffedandbeatenup.They werefromalleras,andherecognizedsomeofhis Perryhadleft,thathadbeenaoncedailychore, belovedtoysfromhisownboyhoodamongthe somethingyoudidbeforeshuttingdownforthe mix.Theitemswerearrangedinconcentricrings night. oneoftherobotsdefaultpatternsfordisplaying Holycrap,Perrysaid,watchingthetourgroup materialsaroundawrithingtowerofjuddering, edgetowardtheentrance,slipinsideinonesand shudderingdomesticrobotsthathadpiledone twos. atoptheother.Thevogueforthesehadbeen Itsamazing,isntit?Lestersaid.Andwaittill mercifullybrief,butithadbeenintense,andfor Perry,thejuxtapositionofthecarsandthecards, youseetheride! thetanksandtherobotsmadesomethingcatchin Perrydidntgetachancetorideuntilmuchlater histhroat.Therewasastatementhereaboutthe thatday,oncethesunhadsetandthelastmarket drivetoautomatehouseholdchoresandthesimple stallhadbeenshutandthelastriderhadbeen pleasureofrollinganimaginarytankoverthe chasedhome,whenheandLestersluggedback imaginaryarmiesofyourimaginaryenemies.So, bottlesofflatdistilledwaterfromtheirhumidity too,somethingaboutthecollectingurge,theneed stillandsatontheticketcountertogettheweight togeteverycardinaset,andthentogeteachin offtheirtiredfeet. perfectcondition,andthentoarrangethemin

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/125 perfectorder,andthentoforgetthemaltogether. Fantasyland.

Hishandhadbeenjerkingthejoysticktoplusone Exceptthosesuckandourriderocks.Itsmore allthistimeandnowhebecameconsciouslyaware likePiratesoftheCaribbean. ofthis. Haveityourway.Whatever,howfreakingweird Thenextroomhadmanyoftheoldinventionshe isthat? remembered,buttheywerearrangednoton Notsoweird.Peopleseestoriesliketheysee gleamingsilvertables,butweremixedinwith facesinclouds.Oncewegavethemtheabilityto heapsofclothing,mountainsofthebrightly subtractthestuffthatfeltwrongandreinforcethe coloredubiquitoustshirtsthathadgonehandin stuffthatfeltright,itwasonlynaturalthattheyd handwitheveryNewWorkinventionandcrew. anthropomorphizetheworldintoastory. Mixedinamongthemweresomevintagetees Perryshookhishead.Youthink? fromthedotcomera,andperchedontopofthe mountain,staringglassilyathim,wasalittlegirl Wehavethisguy,aculturalstudiesprof,who dollthatlookedfamiliar;hewasalmostcertain comespracticallyeveryday.Hesbeentellingme thathedseenherinthefirstdollroom. allaboutit.Storiesarehowweunderstandthe world,andtechnologyishowwechooseour Thenextroomwasbuiltoutofpiecesoftheold stories. kitchendisplay,buttherewasdisarraynow, dishesinthesinkandaplateonthecounterwitha CheckouttheGreeks.AllthoseGreekplays, cigarettebuttedoutinthemiddleofit.Another theyendwiththedeusexmachinathe platelayinthreepiecesonthelinoleumbeforeit. playwrightgetstiredofwriting,sohetrotsagod outonstagetosimplypointafingerattheplayers Thenextroomwascarpetedwithflattenedsoda tinsthatcrunchedunderthechairswheels.Inthe andmakeitallbetter.Youcantdothatinastory today,butbackthen,theydidnthavethetoolsto centerofthem,aneatworkbenchwithranked helpthemobserveandrecordtheworld,soasfar tools. astheycouldtell,thatshowstuffworked! Theridewentonandon,eachroomutterly Todayweunderstandalittlemoreaboutthe differentfromhowhedleftit,butsomehow familiartoo.Theridehedlefthadcelebratedthe world,soourstoriesareaboutpeoplefiguringout NewWorkandthepeoplewhodmadeithappen, whatscausingtheirtroublesandchangingstuffso thatthosecausesgoaway.Causalstoriesfora andsodidthisride,butthisridewaslesslinear, causaluniverse.Thinkingabouttheworldinterms lessaboutdisplaymore ofcausesandeffectsmakesyouseekoutcauses Itsastory,hesaidwhenhegotoff. andeffectsevenwheretherearenone.Watch Ithinksotoo,Lestersaid.Itsbeengetting howgamblersplay,thatweirdcargocultfeeling moreandmorestorylike.Thewaythatdollkeeps thattheroulettewheelcameupblackathirdtime reappearing.Ithinkthatsomeonehadliketenof inarowsothenextspinwillmakeitred.Itsnot themandjusttossedthemoutatregularintervals superstition,itskindoftheoppositeits andthentheplusoneingsnuckoneintoevery causalityrunamok. scene. Sothisisthestorythathasemergedfromour Itsgotscenes!Thatswhattheyare,scenes.Its likeaDisneyride,oneofthosedarkridesin collectiveunconscious? Lesterlaughed.Thatsalittlepretentious,Ithink.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/126 ItsmorelikethoseJapanesecrabs. WhichJapanesecrabs? WerentyoutherewhenTjanwastalkingabout this?OrwasthatinRussia?Anyway.Thereare thesecrabsinJapan,andiftheyhaveanythingthat lookslikeafaceonthebacksoftheirshells,the fishermenthrowthembackbecauseitsbadluck toeatacrabwithafaceonitsshell.Sothecrabs withfacelikeshellshavemorebabies.Which meansthatgradually,thecrabsshellsgetmore facelike,sinceallnonfacelikeshellsare eliminatedfromthegenepool.Thisleadsthe fishermentoraisethebarontheirselection criteria,sotheywilleatcrabswithshellsthatarea littlefacelike,butnotveryfacelike.Soallthe slightlyfacelikecrabshellsareeliminated, leavingbehindmoderatelyfacelikeshells.This getsrepeatedoverseveralgenerations,andnow youvegotthesecrabsthathavevividfaceson theirshells. Weletourriderseliminateallthenonstorylike elementsfromtheride,andsowhatsleftbehind ismoreandmorestorylike. Amen,Lestersaid.Helookedathiswatchand yelped.Shit,lateforadate!Canyougetyourself home? Sure,Perrysaid.Broughtmywheels.Seeyou laterhaveagoodone. Shesamazing,Lestersaid.Usedtoweigh900 poundsandwasshutinfortenyears.Manhasshe gotanimaginationonher.Shecandothisthing Perryputhishandsoverhisears.LalalaImnot listeningtoyou.TMI,Lester.Seriously.Wayway TMI. Lestershookhishead.Youaresuchaprude, dude. PerrythoughtaboutHildaforafleetingmoment, andthengrinned.Thatsme,atotalpuritan.Go. Besafe. Safe,sound,andslippery,Lestersaid,andgotin hiscar.

Perrylookedaroundattheshutteredmarket, rooftopsglintingintherosytropicalsunset.Man hedmissedthosesunsets.Hesnortedupdamp Buttheplusone/minusoneleveristoocrudefor lungsfulofthetropicalairandsmelleddinners this,right?Weshouldgivethemapointeror cookingattheshantytownacrossthestreet.Itwas somethingsotheycanspecifyindividualelements differentandbiggerandmoreelaborateeverytime theydontlike. hevisitedit,whichwasalwayslessoftenthanhe wished. Youwanttoencouragethis? Therewasagoodbarbecueplacethere,Dirty Dontyou? Maxs,justaholeinthewallwithapitoutback Lesternoddedvigorously.OfcourseIdo.Ijust andthefriendliestpeople.Therewasalwaysa thoughtthatyoudbealittlelessenthusiastic mobscenearoundthere,localsgreasyfromthe aboutit,youknow,becausesomuchoftheNew ribsintheirhands,abigbucketoverflowingwith Workstuffisbeingdeemphasized. discardedbones. Youkidding?ThisiswhattheNewWorkwasall Wanderingtowardsit,hewasamazedbyhow about:groupcreation!Icouldntbehappierabout muchbiggerithadgrownsincehislastvisit.Most it.Seriouslythisissomuchcoolerthananything buildingshadhadtwostories,thoughafewhad thatIcouldhavebuilt.Andnowwiththenetwork three.Nowalmostallhadfour,leaningdrunkenly comingonlinesoonwow.Imagineit.Itsgoing towardeachotheracrossthestreets.Powercables, tobesofuckingweird,bro. networkcablesandclotheslinesgavetheoverhead

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/127 spacesthelookofacarelesslyspunspidersweb. Thenewstoriesweremostremarkablebecauseof whatFrancishadexplainedtohimabouttheway thatadditionalstoriesgotadded:mostpeople rentedoutorsoldtherighttobuildontopoftheir buildings,andthenthenewupstairsneighborsin turnsoldtheirrightson.Sometimesyoudgeta thirdstoreydwellerwhodwanttobuildatoptwo adjacentbuildingstomakeanextrawide apartmentforabigfamily,andthatrequired negotiatingwithalloftheownersofeachfloor ofbothbuildings. Justlookingatitmadehisheadhurtwithallthe tangledpropertyandownershiprelationships embodiedinthehighspaces.Heheardtheeasy chatterouttheopenwindowsandmusicand cryingbabies.Kidsranthroughthestreets, laughingandchasingeachotherorbouncingballs orplayingsomekindofnetworkedRPGwiththeir phonesthathadthempeekingaroundcorners, seeinganotherplayerandshriekingandrunning off. Soyouvehitonsomething,too. Naw.Whenitsrailroadingtime,youget railroads.Whenitssquattertime,yougetsquats. Youknowtheywanttoopena7Elevenhere? No!Perrylaughedandchokedonribsandthen guzzledsomebeertowashitalldown. Francisputawrinkledhandoverhisheart.Hestill worehisweddingband,Perrysaw,despitehis wifesbeinggonefordecades.Iswearit.Just there.Hepointedtooneofthebusiercorners. And?

Wetoldthemtofuckoff,Francissaid.Weve gotlotsofcommunityownedbusinessesaround herethatdoeverythinga7Elevencoulddoforus, withouttakingthewealthoutofourcommunity andsendingittosomecorporatejackoff.Some soreheadswantedtoseehowmuchmoneywe couldgetoutofthem,butIjustkepttellingthem whatever7Elevengivesus,itllonlybe becausetheythinktheycangetmoreoutofus. Theysawreason.Besides,IminchargeIalways Thegrillwomanatthebarbecuejointgreetedhim winmyarguments. bynameandthemenandwomenarounditmade spaceforhim.Itwasfriendlyandcompanionable, Youarethemostbenevolentofdictators,Perry said.Hebegantoworkonanotherbeer.Beer andafteramomentFranciswanderedupwitha coupleofhisproteges.Theycarriedboxesofbeer. tastedbetteroutsideintheheatandthebarbecue smoke. Heyhey,Francissaid.Homeagain,huh? Imgladsomeonethinksso,Francissaid. Homeagain,Perrysaid.Hewipedribsauceoff Oh? hisfingersandshookFrancisshandwarmly. God,Ivemissedthisplace. The7Eleventhingleftalotofpeoplepissedat me.Theresplentyaroundherethatdont Wemissedhavingyou,Francissaid.Big crowdsacrosstheway,too.Seemslikeyouhiton rememberthewayitstartedoff.Tothem,Imjust somealterkockerwhoskeepingthemdown. something. Isitserious?Perryknewthattherewasthe potentialforserious,majorlawlessnessfromhis littlesettlement.Itwasntafailingcondocomplex Lotsandlots,Francissaid.Theresawhole rentedouttoFilipinadomesticsandweird netcommunitythinghappening.Lotsoftrafficon entrepreneurslikehim.Itwasaplacewherethe theAARPmessageboardsfromotherpeople copswouldloveanexcusetocomeinwithriot settingtheseuparoundthecountry. Perryshookhisheadandsmiledandatehisribs. Whatsthestoryaroundhere?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/128 batons(hisfunnyeyebrowtwitched)andgas,the kindofplacewheretherealmostcertainlywerea fewverybadpeoplelivingtheirlives.Miamihad badpeople,too,butthebadpeopleinMiami werenthisproblem. Perrydrankhisbeer,morosely.Hethoughtofhow ridiculousitwastobemoroseaboutthepossibility thathewasbeingmorose,butthereyouhadit.

Finallyhisphonerangandsavedhimfromfurther conversation.Helookedatthedisplayandshook Andthebadpeopleandthepotentialchaoswere hishead.ItwasKettlewellagain.Thatfirst whathelovedabouttheplace,too.Hedgrownup voicemailhadmadehimlaughaloud,butwhen inthekindofplacewhereeverythingwas theyhadntcalledbackforacoupledays,hed predictableandsafeandhedhatedeveryminute figuredthattheyhadjusthadalittletoomuch ofit.Thegloriouschaosaroundhimwasjustashe wineandplacedthecall. likedit.Thewoodsmokecurleduphisnose, Nowtheywerecallingback,anditwasstillpretty fragrantandallconsuming. earlyontheWestCoast.Tooearlyforthemtohave Idontknowanymore.IthoughtIdretireand settledownandtakeuppainting.NowIm basicallyamobboss.Notthebadkind,butstill. Itsalotofwork. hadtoomuchwine,unlesstheydreallychanged. PerryPerryPerry!ItwasKettlebelly.He soundedlikehemightbedrunk,ormerelypunch drunkwithexcitement.Perryrememberedthathe gotthatwaysometimes. Kettlewell,howareyoudoing? Imheretoo,Perry.Icashedinmyreturnticket. Suzanne?

Pimpinainteasy.Perrysawtheshockedlook onFrancissfaceandaddedhastily,Sorrynot callingyouapimp.Itsasonglyricisall. Wegotpimpsherenow.Whores,too.Youname it,wegotit.Itsstillagoodplacetolivebetter thanMiami,ifyouaskmebutitcouldgoreal animal.Bad,badanimal.

Yeah,shesaid.Shetoosoundedpunchy,like theydbeenhavingafitofthegigglesjustbefore Hardtobelieve,standingthereinthewoodsmoke, calling.Kettlewellsfamilyhavetakenmein, waywardwandererthatIam. lickinghisfingers,drinkinghisbeer.Hiscold seemedtohavebeenbakedoutbythesteamy Youtwosoundpretty,um,happy. swampyheat. Wevebeenhavinganamazingtime,Kettlewell Well,Francis,ifanyoneknowshowtokeep said.Hisspeakerphonemadehimsoundlikehe peace,itsyou. wasatthebottomofawell.Mostlyreminiscing Socialworkerscomearound,saythesamething. aboutyouguys.Whatthehellareyouupto?We triedtofollowitonthenet,butitsalljumbled. Buttherespeoplearoundherewithlittlekids, Whatsthisaboutastory? theyworrythatthesocialworkerscouldforce themout,takeawaytheirchildren. Story? ItwasntlikeFrancistocomplainlikethis,it wasntinhisnature,buthereitwas.Thestrainof runningthingswasshowingonhim.Perry wonderedifhisownstrainwasshowingthatway. Didhecomplainmorethesedays?Maybehedid. Anuncomfortablesilencedescendeduponthem. Ikeepreadingaboutthisrideofyoursandits story.Icouldntmakeanysenseofit. Ihaventreadanyofthis,butLesterandIwere talkingaboutsomestufftodowithstoriestonight. Ididntknowanyoneelsewastalkingaboutthis, though.Wheredyouseeit?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/129 Illemailittoyou,Suzannesaid.Iwasgoing toblogittonightanyway. SoyoutwoarejusthangingaroundSan Franciscogigglingandwalkingdownmemory lane? Well,yeah!Itsabouttime,too.Weveallbeen separatedfortoolong.Wewantareunion,Perry. Areunion? Wewanttocomedownforavisitandseewhat youredoingandhangout.Youwouldntbelieve howmuchfunwevebeenhaving,Perry, seriously.Kettlewellsoundedlikehedbeen huffingnitrousorsomething.Haveyoubeen havingfun? Hethoughtaboutthequestion.Um,kindof?He toldthemabouthistravels,aquickthumbnail sketch,strugglingtorememberwhichcityhed beentowhen,leavingoutthecrazysexwhich camebacktohiminarush,thatnightwithHilda inthecoffin,likeawarmhallucination.On balance,yes.Itsbeenfun. Right,sowewanttocomedownandhavefun withyouandLester.Hesstillhangingaround, right? Lesterhadtoldhimaboutthehistoryhehadwith Suzanne,andtherewassomethinginthewayshe askedafterLesterthatsuggestedtoPerrythat therewasstillsomethingthere. Youkidding?Youdhavetopryusapartwitha crowbar. See,Itoldyouso,Suzannesaid.Thisguy thoughtthatLestermighthavegottenboredand wanderedoff. Never!Plusanyonewhofollowshismessage boardtrafficandblogswouldknowthathewas righthere,mindingtheshop.Andyourereading hisblog,arentyou,Suzanne?Hedidntneedto sayit.Hecouldalmosthearherblushoverthe line. Sohowabouttomorrow? Forwhat? Foruscomingtotown.Illbringthewifeand kids.Wellrentoutacouplehotelroomsand spendaweekthere.Itllbeablast. Tomorrow? Wecouldgetthemorningflightandbetherefor breakfast.Yougotagoodhotel?Notacoffin hotel,notwiththekids. Perrysheartbeatfaster.Hedidmissthesetwo, andtheyweresopunchy,sogleeful.Hedloveto seethem.Hemutedhisphone. Hey,Francis?Thatguesthousedowntheroad,is itstillrunning? Lulus?Sure.Theyjustbuiltanotherstoreyand tookoverthetopflooroftheplacenextdoor. Perfect.Heunmuted.Howdyouliketostayin asquatterguesthouseintheshantytown? Um,Kettlewellsaid,butSuzannelaughed. Ohhellyes,shesaid.Getthatlookoffyour face,Kettlewell,thisisanadventure. Wedloveit,Kettlewellsaid. Great,Illmakeyouareservation.Howlongare youstaying? Untilweleave,Suzannesaid. Right,Perrysaidandlaughedhimself.They weredifferentpeople,thesetwo,fromthepeople heremembered,buttheywerealsooldfriends. Andtheywerecomingtoseehimtomorrow.OK, lemmegomakeyourreservations. Franciswalkedhimoverandthelandlordfussed overthetwoofthemliketheywerevisiting dignitaries.Perrylookedtheplaceoveranditwas completelycharming.Hespottedwhathethought wasprobablyahookerandatricktakingaroom

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/130 forthenight,butyougotthatattheHilton,too. Bythetimehegothomehewassurethathed sleeplikealog.Hecouldbarelykeephiseyes openonthedrive.Butafterheclimbedintobed andclosedhiseyes,hefoundthathecouldnt sleepatall.Somethingaboutbeingbackinhis ownroominhisownbedfeltalienandexciting. HegotupandpacedtheapartmentandthenLester camehomefromhisdatewiththefatkinsnympho, fullofimprobablestoriesandcoveredinlittle hickeys. Youwontbelievewhoscomingforavisit, Perrysaid. SteveJobs.Hescomedownfromthelamasery andrenouncedBuddhism.Hewantstogiveafree computertoeveryvisitor. Close,Perrysaid.KettlebellyandSuzanne Church.Comingtomorrowforastayof unspecifiedduration.Itsareunion.Itsareunion youbigsonofabitch!Woot!Woot!Perrydida littletwostep.Areunion! Lesterlookedconfusedforasecond,andthenfor anothersecondhelooked,what,upset?andthen hewasgrinningandjumpingupanddownwith Perry.Reunion! readytoeathim.Itsbeenyears,dude!Getyour assintheshoweranddowntotheInternational HouseofPancakes! Lesterdidntrouseeasy,butPerryknewallthe tricksforgettinghisoldpaloutofbed,theywere practicallymarriedafterall. Theyarrivedjustintimeforthemorningrushbut Tonygreetedthemwithasmileandsentthem straighttothefrontoftheline.Lesterorderedhis usual(Bringmethreepoundsofcandywitha sideofgroundanimalpartsandpotatoes)and theywaitednervouslyforSuzanneandtheclan Kettlewelltoturnup. Theyarrivedinahugebustleoftaxisandluggage andtwowideeyed,jetlaggedchildrenhangingoff ofKettlewellandMrsKettlewell,whomneitherof themhadevermet.Shewasasmall,youthful womaninhermidfortieswithartfullystyledhair andbig,abstractchunkysilverjewelry.Suzanne hadgoneallEurochic,railthinandsmoking,with quiet,understateddarkclothes.Kettlewellhada realdaddybellyonhimnow,alittlepotthathis daughterthumpedrhythmicallyfromherperchon hiship.

Sit,sit,Perrysaidtothem,gettinguptohelp themstacktheirluggageateitherendofthelong Hefeltlikehedbarelygottentosleepwhenhis tabledownthemiddleoftheIHOP.Bigfamily phonerang.TheclockshowedsixAM,anditwas groupswithtonsofluggagewereparforthe KettlebellyandSuzanne,bleary,jetlaggedand courseinFlorida,sotheydidntreallydrawmuch grouchyfromtheironehourpostflightsecurity attentionbeyondmildirritationfromthepatrons processing. theyjostledastheygoteveryoneseated. Wewantbreakfast,Suzannesaid. PerrywasmildlyamusedtoseethatLesterand Suzanneendedupsittingnexttooneanotherand Wevegottaopentheride,Suzanne. werealreadychattingavidlyandcloseup,insoft Atsixinthemorning?Comeon,youvegot voicesthattheyhadtoleaninverytighttohear. hoursyetbeforeyouhavetobeatwork.How HewasnexttoMrsKettlewell,whosename,it aboutyouandLestermeetusattheIHOP? transpired,wasEvaAsinExtraVehicular Jesus,hesaid. Activity,shesaid,geekingoutwithhim. Kettlewellwasinthebathroomwithhisdaughter Comeon!Kettlebellyskidsaredyingfor andson,andMrsKettlewellEvaseemed somethingtoeatandhiswifelookslikeshes

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/131 relievedatthechanceforalittleadult conversation. Youmustbeaverypatientwoman,Perrysaid, laughingatalltheticklishnoiseandmotionof theirgroup. burning.Well,therewillbeoneinyourneckof thewoodssoonenough.Hetoldheraboutthe BurningMancollectiveandtheplantobuildone downthe101,southofSanFrancisco International.

Oh,thatsmeallright,Evasaid.Patienceismy Kettlebellyreturnedthenwiththekids,andhe managedtogetthemintotheirseatswhilesucking virtue.Andyou? backacoffeeandeatingabiscuitfromthebasket Oh,patienceissomethingIvalueverymuchin inthecenterofthetable,breakingoffbitstoshove otherpeople.Perrysaid.ItmadeEvalaugh, inthekidsmouthswhenevertheyprotested. whichshowedoffherprettylaughlinesand Thesearesomewaytiredkids,hesaid,leaning dimples.Hecouldseehowthiswomanand overtogivehiswifeakiss.Perrythoughthesaw Kettlewellmustcomplementeachother. Suzanneflickalookatthemthen,butitmight Sherockedherheadfromsidetosideandtooka havebeenhisimagination.SuzanneandLester longswigofthecoffeethattheirwaiterhad wereoffintheirownworld,afterall. distributedaroundthetable,toppingupfromthe Theplanealmostcrashed,saidthelittlegirlnext carafehedleftbehind.ThankGodforlegal toPerry.Shehadahaloofcurlyhairlikea stimulants. dandelionclockandbigsolemndarkeyesanda Longflight? bigwetmouthsetbetweenappleroundcheeks. Travelingwithlarvaeisalwaysachallenge,she Diditreally?Perrysaid.Shewassevenoreight said.Buttheydugithard.Youshouldhaveseen hethought,thebossybigsisterwhodbeengiving thematthewindows. orderstoherlittlebrotherfromthemomentthey camethroughthedoor. Theydneverbeenonaplanebefore? Shenoddedsolemnly.HelookedatEva,who Iliketogocamping,shesaidwithashrug. LandonsalwaysonmetotakethekidstoHawaii shrugged. orwhatever,butImalwayslike,Man,youspend Really?hesaid. halfyourfuckinglifeinatincanwhydoyou Really,shesaid,noddingvigorouslynow. wanttostartyourholidaysinone?Letsgoto Therewereterristsontheplanewhowantedto Yosemiteandgetmuddy.Ihaventeventaken blowitup,buttheskymarshasstoppedthem. themtoDisneyland! Howcouldyoutelltheywereterrists? Perryputthebackofhishandtohisforehead. Thatsheresyaroundhere,hesaid.Yougoing totakethemtoDisneyWorldwhileyourein Florida?Itsalotbigger,youknowanditsa differentdivision.Reallydifferentfeel,orsoIm told. Youkidding?Perry,wecamehereforyourride. Itsfamous,youknow. Net.famous,maybe.Alittle.Hefelthischeeks Sheclickedhertongueandrolledhereyes.They werewhispering,shesaid.JustlikeonCaptain PresidentandtheFreedomFighters.Heknew somethingofthiscartoon,mostlybecauseofall theknockoffmerchforsaleinthemarketstallsin frontoftheride. Isee,hesaid.Well,ImgladtheSkyMarshas stoppedthem.Doyouwantpancakes?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/132 Iwantcaramelapplechocolatepancakeswith blueberrybananasauce,shesaid,rollingone pudgyfingeralongthedescriptionintheglossy menu,beneathanoozingfoodpornphoto.And mybrotherwantsachocolatemilkshakeanda shortstackofhappyfaceclownwaffleswith strawberrysauce,butnottoomanybecausehes stillababyandcanteatmuch. comicalBorisandNatashaaccent.Bolshoivay. Sowhyareyouthere? Itslikehomeforme.ItsgotenoughofDetroits oldbrutal,earthyfeel,plusenoughofSilicon Valleysmanichustle,itjustfeelsright. Yougoingtosettleinthere?

Well,putthatway,no.Icouldnthackitforthe Youllbecomeasfatasyourdaddyifyoueatlike longterm.Butatthistimeinmylife,itsbeenjust that,Perrysaid.Evasnortedbesidehim. right.ButitsgoodtogetbacktotheStates,too. Imthinkingofhangingouthereforacouple No,shesaid.Imgonnabeafatkins. months.Russiassocheap,Ivegotatonsavedup. Isee,hesaid.Evashookherhead. Mightaswellblowitbeforeinflationkillsit. Itsthegoddamnedfatkinsagitpropgames,Eva Youkeepyourmoneyinrubles? said.Theycomefreewitheverythingnow digitalcameras,phones,evenincerealboxes.You Hellnonooneusesrublesexcepttourists.Im worriedaboutanotherrunofUSinflation.Imean, havetoeataminimumnumberofcaloriesper haveyoulookedaroundlately?Yourelivingina leveloryoustarvetodeath.Thisoneisa thirdworldcountry,buddy. champeen. Awaitercamebetweenthem,handingout heaping,steamingplatesoffood.Lester,whod finishedhisfirstbreakfastwhiletheywaited,had Perrylookedacrossthetableanddiscoveredthat orderedasecondbreakfast,whicharrivedalong SuzannehadcoveredLestershandwithhersand withtherestofthem.Mountainsoffoodstacked thatLesterwaslaughingalongwithherat uponthetable,sideplatescrowdingjugsofapple somethingfunny.Somethingaboutthatmadehim juiceandcarafesofcoffee. alittlefreakedout,likeLesterwasmakingtime Incredibly,thefoodkeptcomingmultiplesyrup withhissisterortheirmom. jugs,platesofhashbrowns,basketsofbiscuits Suzanne,hesaid.Whatshappeningwithyou andbowlsofwhitesausagegravy.Perryhadnt thesedays,anyway? paidmuchattentionwhenorderswerebeingtaken, Petersburgiswhatshappeningwithme,she butfromthelooksofthings,hewaseatingwitha said,withahoarselittlechuckle.Petersburgis bunchofIHOPvirgins,unaccustomedtothe likeDetroitcrossedwithParis.Completely astonishingportionstobehadthere. decrepitanddecadent.Theresaserialkiller HecockedhisfunnyeyebrowatSuzanne,who whosbeenworkingthestreetsforfiveyearsthere laughed.OK,notquiteathirdworldcountry.But andthebiggestobstacletocatchinghimisthatthe notarealindustrialnationanymore,either.Maybe firstcopsonthesceneletrubberneckersbribe moreliketheenddaysofRomeorsomething. themtotakehomeevidenceassouvenirs. Drowninginwealthandwallowinginpoverty. Imnationallyranked,thelittlegirlsaid,not lookingupfromthemenu. Noway!Lestersaid. Oh,da,bigvay,shesaid,droppingintoa Sheforkedupamouthfulofhashbrownsand chasedthemwithcoffee.Perryattackedhisown plate.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/133 Kettlewellfedthekids,sneakingbitesinbetween, whileEvalookedonapprovingly.Youreagood man,LandonKettlewell,shesaid,slicingupher steakandeggsintosmall,precisecubes,wielding theknifelikeanartist. Youjustenjoyyourbreakfast,myqueen,he said,spooningoatmealwithraisins,bananas, granolaandboysenberryjamintothelittleboys mouth. Suzannenodded.Damnedright.Wespenta wholedaylookingforsomething. Whatisit? Well,Kettlewellsaid.Wefiguredthatitshould besomethinguseful,notdecorative.Youguys havedecorativecomingoutofyourasses.Sothat leftuswithtools.Wewantedtofindyouatool thatyoudidnthave,andthatyouwould appreciate.

Wegotyoupresents,thelittlegirlsaid,takinga Suzannepickedupthestory.Ithoughtweshould breakfromshovelingbananachocolatecaramel getyouanantiquetool,somethingsowellmade applesintohermouth. thatitwasstillusable.Buttobeuseful,ithadto Really?Perryraisedhisfunnyeyebrowandshe besomethingnoonehadimprovedon,andthat giggled.Hediditagain,makingitwrithelikea hadinfactbeendegradedbymodern snake.Shesnarfedchocobananaacrossthetable, manufacturingtechniques. thenscoopeditupandputitbackinhermouth. Atfirstwelookedatoldtapemeasures,butI Shenoddedvigorously.Dad,givethemtheir presents! Kettlewellsaid,Someonehastofeedyour brother,youknow.

Illdoit,shesaid.Sheforkedupsomeofhis oatmealandattemptedtogetitintothelittleboys Therewerealotofniceoldbrassspiritlevelsand face.Presents! handlathedplumbbobsbuttheyweremore Kettlewelldugthroughtheluggageclusterunder decorativethanusefulbyadamnedsight.Great thetableandcameupwithanoverstuffeddiaper oldsteelworkhelmetslookedcool,butthey bag,thenpawedthroughitforalongtime,urged weighedaboutahundredtimeswhatthesafety onbyhisdaughterwhokeptchantingPresents! helmetsaroundhereweigh. Presents!Presents!whileattemptingtofeedher littlebrother.EvaandLesterandSuzannetookup Weweregoingtogiveinandtrytobringyou thechant.Theyweredrawingstaresfromnearby guysabiggoddamnedtubeamp,ormaybesome tables,butPerrydidntmind.Hewaslaughingso Inuitglassknives,butIdidntseeyouhaving muchofauseforeither. hardhissideshurt. Whichishowwecametogiveupontoolsperse FinallyKettlewellheldapaperbagaloft andswitchedovertoleisuresportstools.There triumphantly,thenclappedahandoverhis wasamuchrichervein.Woodenbats,ohyes,and daughtersmouthandshushedtherest. realpigskinfootballsthathadniceidiosyncratic Youguysarereallyhardtoshopfor,hesaid. spinthatyoudhavetolearntocompensatefor. Whatthehelldoyougetfortwoguyswhonot Butwhenwefoundthese,weknewwedhitpay onlyhaveeverything,butmakeeverything? dirt.

rememberedthatyouguysweremostlyusing keychainlaserrangefindersthesedays. Screwdrivers,pliers,andhammerswerealloutI couldntfindadamnedthingthatlookedany betterthanwhatyouhadaroundhere.Thestateof theartisgenuinelyprogressing.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/134 ShepickedupKettlewellspapersackwitha flourishandunzippedit.Amomentlatershe presentedthemwithtwoidenticalpackages wrappedincoarselinenpaperhandstampedwith Victorianwoodcutsofsportingmenswingingbats andchargingthelinewithpigskinsundertheir arms. Tadah! Thekidsechoedit.Thesearethebestpresents, thelittlegirlconfidedinPerryashepicked delicatelyattheexquisitepaper. theseorfabthese.Theyrewonderfulbecause theyresowellmadeandsowellused!Theonly waytomakeaglovethisgoodwouldbetofabit andthengiveittoseveralgenerationsofbaseball playerstoloveanduseforfiftytoahundred years. Perryturnedoverthecatchersmitt.Overa hundredyearsold.Thiswasntsomethingtogoin aglasscase.Suzannewasright:thiswasagreat glovebecausepeoplehadplayedwithit,allthe time.Itneededtobeplayedwithoritwouldget outofpractice.

Thepapergavewayinfoldsandcurls,andthenhe Iguessweregoingtohavetobuyabaseball, andLesterbothheldtheirtreasuresaloft. Perrysaid. Baseballgloves!Perrysaid. Thelittlegirlbesidehimstartedbouncingupand Acatchersmittandafieldersglove,Kettlewell down. said.Youlookatthatcatchersmitt.1910!Itwas Showhim,Suzannesaid,andthegirldove blackandbulbous,theleathersoftandyielding, withapatinaoffinecrackslikeanoldpainting.It underthetableandcameupwithtwowhite,fresh smelledlikeoilandleather,anoldrichsmelllike hardballs.Oncehefittedonetothepocketofhis glove,itfeltsoperfectlyrightlikeakeyina agentlemanscluboranexpensivebriefcase. lock.Thispockethadheldalotofballsoverthe Perrytrieditonanditmoldeditselftohishand, years. snugandcomfortable.Itpracticallycriedoutto haveaballthrownatit. Lesterhadputaballinthepocketofhisglove, too.Hetosseditlightlyintheairandcaughtit, Andthisfieldersglove,Kettlewellwenton, pointingatthegloveLesterheld.Itwasthemore thenrepeatedthetrick.Thelookofvisceral traditionaltancolor,comicallylargeliketheglove satisfactiononhisfacewasunmistakable. ofacartooncharacter.Ittoohadthelookof ancient,welllovedleather,thesamemysterious smellofhideandoil.Perrytoucheditwitha fingeranditfeltlikeawomanscheek,smooth andsoft.RawlingsXPG6.TheMickeyMantle. Early1960stheultimateglove. Thesearegreatpresents,guys,Perrysaid. Seriously.Welldone.

Theyallbeamedandmurmuredandthentheball Lesterwastossingcrashedtothetableandbrokea pitcherofblueberrysyrup,upsetacarafeof orangejuice,androlledtoastopinthechocolate Yougotthewholesalespitch,huh,darling?Eva messinfrontofthelittlegirl,wholaughedand said,notunkindly,butKettlewellflushedand laughedandlaughed. glaredatherforamoment. Andthatiswhywedontplaywithballs Perrybrokein.Guys,thesearewow. Incredible. Theyrebetterthanthemodernproduct, Suzannesaid.Thatsthepoint.Youcantprint indoors,Suzannesaid,lookingassternasshe couldwhileobviouslytryingveryhardnottobust outlaughing. Thewaiterswereaccustomedtowipingupspills

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/135 andLesterwasawkwardlyhelpful.Whilethey weregettingeverythingsettorightsagain,Perry lookedatEvaandsawherlipstightlypursedas sheconsideredherhusband.Hefollowed Kettlebellysgazeandsawthathewaswatching Suzanne(whowaslaughinglyrestrainingLester fromdoinganymorecleaning)intently.Ina flash,Perrythoughthehadcometo understanding.Ohdear,hethought. Thekidslovedtheshantytown.Thelittlegirl Ada,liketheprogramminglanguage,Evasaid insistedonbeingsetdownsoshecouldtread thecrackedcementwalkwaysherself,head whippingbackandforthtotakethecrazyleaning buildingsin,eyesfollowingthezippingmotor bikesandbicyclesastheywoveinandoutofthe busystreets.Theshantytownerswereusedto touristsintheirmidst.Afewyardiesgavethemthe hairyeyeball,butthentheysawPerrywasalong andtheyfoundsomethingelsetopayattentionto. ThatmadePerryfeelobscurelyproud.Hedbeen absentformonths,buteventhecornerboysknew whohewasanddidntwanttoscrewwithhim. Theguesthouseslandladygreetedthematthe door,alertedtotheircomingbythejungle telegraph.SheshookPerryshandwarmly,gave Adaalollipop,andchuckedthelittleboy(Pascal, liketheprogramminglanguage,saidEva,with aneyeroll)underthechin.Checkinwasalot simplerthanatacoffinhoteloraHilton:justa briefdiscussionoftheavailableroomsandaquick tour.TheKettlewellsoptedfortheloftyattic, whichcouldfittwothreequarterwidthbedsanda crib,andoverlookedthecurvingstreetsfroma highvantage;Suzannetookamorequotidian roomjustbelow,withlovelytilemosaicsmade fromsnippedoutsectionsofplasticfruitand smashednoveltysodabottles.(Thelandlady privatelyassuredPerrythathereuphemistic hourlytradewasinadifferentpartofthe guesthousealtogether,withitsownstaircase). Afewhourslater,Perrywasaloneagain,working histicketcounter.TheKettlewellswerehaving naps,LesterandSuzannehadgoneofftoseesome sights,andthecrowdfortheridewasalready large,snakingthroughthemarket,thickwith vendorsandhustlingkidstryingtoprythevisitors looseoftheirbankrolls. Hefeltlikedoingacarnybarkerspiel,Stepright up,steprightup,thiswaytothegreategress!But themorningsvisitorsdidntseemallthat frivoloustheywereseriousfacedandsober. EverythingOK?heaskedagirlwhowasriding foratleastthesecondtime.Shewasa midwesternlookinggiantessinherearlytwenties withbigwhitefrontteethandbroadshoulders, wearingafadedHoosiersballcapandalotof coraljewelry.Imean,youdontlooklikeyoure havingafuntime. Itsthestory,shesaid.Ireadaboutitonline andIdidntreallybelieveit,butnowItotallysee it.Butyoumadeit,right?Itdidntjust...happen, didit? No,itjusthappened,Perrysaid.Thisgirlwasa littlespookylooking.Heputhishandoverhis heart.Onmyhonor. Itcantbe,shesaid.Imean,thestoryislike rightthere.Someonemusthavemadeit. Maybetheydid,Perrysaid.Maybeabunchof peoplethoughtitwouldbefuntomakeastoryout oftherideandcamebytodoit. Thatsprobablyit,thegirlsaid.Theother thing,thatsjustridiculous. Shewasgoneandontheridebeforehecouldask herwhatthismeant,andthethreebangbangers behindherjustwantedtickets,notconversation. Anhourlater,shewasback. Imeanthemessageboards,shesaid.Dontyou followyourreferers?TheresaguyinOsceola

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/136 whosaysthatthisis,Idontknow,likethestory thatsinsideourcollectiveunconsciousness. Perryrestrainedasmileatthemalapropism. Anywayalotofpeopleagree.Idontthinkso, though.Nooffense,mister,butIthinkthatthisis justaprankorsomething. thefingeratyou.Imjustkeepingthebooksand closingthecontracts.Thatsadirectquote. Wellmaybenoonesleading.Noteverything needsaleader,right?

Suzanneshookherheadathim.Theresaleader, sweetie,anditsyou.Havealookaround.LastI Something,Perrysaid.Butsherodetwicemore checked,therewerethreemoreridesgoing thatday,andshewasnttheonlyone.Itwasaday operationalthisweek,andfivemoreinthenext ofmanyrepeatriders,andthemarketstallpeople month.Justlookingatyourspeakingcalendar camebytocomplainthatthevisitorswerent gavemeaheadache buyingmuchbesidestheoccasionalicecreamor Ihaveaspeakingcalendar? porkcracklin. Youdoindeed,anditsabusyone.Youknew Perryshruggedandtoldthemtofindsomething thatthesepeoplewantedtobuy,then.Oneortwo thatthough,right? oftheminiaturesguysgotgleamsintheireyesand Tjansenthimemailallthetimetellinghimabout boughtticketsfortheride(Perrychargedthem thisgrouporthat,wherehewassupposedtogo halfprice)andPerryknewthatbythetimetheday andgiveatalk,buthedneverseenacalendar.But wasout,theredbesouvenirridereplicastobe whohadtimetolookatthewebsiteanymore? had. Isuppose.IknewIwassupposedtogetona LesterandSuzannecamebyafterlunchtimeand planeagaininacoupleweeks. Lesterrelievedhim,leavinghimtoescortSuzanne Sothatswhataleaderissomeonewhogets backtotheshantytownandtheKettlewells. peoplemobilizedandmoving. Youtwoseemtobegettingonwell,Perrysaid, ImetagirlinMadison,Wisconsin,youd jerkinghisheadbackatLesterastheywalked probablygetalongwith.ThinkingofHildamade throughthemarket. himsmileandfeelalittlehorny,alittlewistful.He Suzannelookedaway.Thisisamazing,Perry, hadntgottenfuckedinmindandbodylikethat shesaid,wavingherhandatthemarketstalls,a sincehistwenties. gesturethattookinthespiresoftheshantytown MaybeIllmeether.Issheworkingonalocal andtheride,too.Youhavedone ride? something...stupendous,youknowit?Imean,if youhadaslightlydifferenttemperament,Idcall Youregoingtogototheotherrides? thisacult.Butitseemslikeyourenotincharge Igottowriteaboutsomething,Perry.Otherwise ofanything mypageviewsfalloffandIcantpaymyrent.This Thatsforsure! isastoryabigone,andnooneelsehasnoticed ityet.Thatkindofstorycanturnintothekindof eventhoughyourestilldefinitelyleading moneyyoubuyahousewith.Imspeakingfrom things. experiencehere. NowayIjustgowhereImtold.Tjans Youthink? leading. IspoketoTjanbeforewecameout,andhepoints Sheputherhandoverherheart.Imgoodat

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/137 spottingthese.Man,youvegotacultonyour handshere. Sammydidntdaregobacktotherideforweeks afterthedebacleinBoston.Hedbeenspottedby theChineseguyandthebummylookingguywho What? saidheddesignedtheride,thatmuchwassure. Thestorypeople.Ivebeenreadingthemessage Theyprobablysuspectedhimofhavingsabotaged boardsandblogs.ItswhereIgetallmybesttips. theBostonride. Perryshookhishead.Everyoneelsewasmoreon Buthecouldntstayaway.Workwasdismal.The topofthisstuffthanhim.Hewasgoingtohaveto otherexecsatDisneyWorldwereallamazingly spendlesstimehackingtherideandmoretime petty,andalwaysworsebeforethequarterly readingtheinterweb,clearly. numberscameout.Managementlikedtochase anykindofbadnumberswithafewritual ItwasallLestersidea,anyway,hesaid. beheadings. Shelookeddownwithanunreadableexpression. ThenewFantasylandhadbeenafeatherin Hehazardedaguessastowhatthatwasabout. Sammyscapthathadkepthimsafefrompolitics Thingsaregettingtightbetweenyoutwo,huh? foralongtime,butnotanymore.Nowitwas gettingrundown:cigaretteburns,graffiti,and Christitdoesntshowthatmuchdoesit? everynowandagainsomeonewouldfindacouple No,helied.IjustknowLesterisall. havingpervyeyelinersexinthebushes. Hessomethingelse,shesaid. HedlovedtoworkopeningsinFantasylands Suzanneneededsomesundries,sohedirectedher heyday.Hedstandjustpastthecastlegateand toalittlebodegainthebackroomofoneofthe watchtheflockingcrowdsofblackclad,lightly houses.Hetoldherhedmeetheratthe sweating,whitefacedgothkidspourthroughit, guesthouseandtookaseatinthelobby.Hewas blinkingintheunnaturallightofthemorning.A stillbeatfromthecoldandthejetlag,thework lotofthemtookdrugsandpartiedallnightand andthesheerexhaustion. thencappeditoffwithanearlymorningat FantasylandDisneyhaddonefocusgroups,and Ontheroadhedhadmomentumdragginghim theydstartedsellingthechewythingsthat fromonethingtothenext,flightstocatch, speechestomake.Backathome,confrontedwith soothedtheclenchedjawsbroughtonbydance drugs. routine,itwaslikehisinertiawasdisappearing. EvaKettlewellthundereddownthestairsthreeata timewithasoundlikeabarelycontrolledfall, burstintothelobbyandheadedforthedoor,her backrigid,herarmsswinging,herfaceapicture ofrage. Shewentoutthedoorlikeaflashandthenstood inthestreetforamomentbeforestrikingout, seeminglyatrandom. Uhoh,Perrythought. Butnowhehatedtheravengarbedcustomerswho salliedintohisparkliketheyownedthejoint.A girlmaybe16walkedpastonvinylplatform heelswithtwogiganticmenintheirthirtiesbehind her,ledonthinblackleatherleashes.Agroupof whippetthinboysingreydusterswithimpossibly highspraysofteasedelectricbluehairfollowed. Thenagroupofheavilypiercedolderwomen, theirfacesrattling. Thenitwasariverofblack,kidsinchainsand leather,leatherygrownupswhodressedlikesurly

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/138 kids.Theyformedneatqueuesbytheirfavorite ridesthehauntedhouses,thegraveyardwalk through,thecoffincoaster,theriverofblood andpuffedclovesthroughsmokelesshookahs.At leasthehopeditwascloves. DeathWaitshadworkedatDisneyforthreeyears now,sincetheageof16,andhehadgrownup comingtothepark,oneoftherareOrlandolocals. Sammyhadcometorelyonhimforwhathe thoughtofasinsightintothegothstreet.He neversaidthataloud,becauseheknewhowmuch ThecastmembersinSammysFantasylandwere nobetterthantheguests.Theywerepierced,dyed, itsoundedlikewhateveryoucrazykidsareinto thesedays. teased,andbrandedtowithinaninchoftheir lives,evengothierthanthegothswhomadethe Butthiswasnthelpful.Iknowthateveryone longpilgrimagestoridehisunwholesomerides. likesthrillrides,buthowthehellcanyoucompete withthegypsycoasters?Theysetuptheir Theworstofitwasthattherewerentenoughof themanymore.Thegothscene,whichhadshown coastersbytheroadandranthemuntiltherewas aninjuryseriousenoughtodrawthelawaweek everysignofsurgingandresurgingeveryfive years,seemedfinallytobedying.Numberswere ortwoatbest.YoucouldordertheDIYcoaster down.Acoupleofgoththemedparksinthearea kitsfromanumberofsuppliersacrosstheUSand Mexico,putthemupwithcranesandsemiskilled hadshuttered,ashadthemarshyoneinNew Orleans(admittedlythatmighthavebeenmoreto laborandwishfulthinking,starttakingtickets,and whentheinevitablecatastropheensued,youcould dowiththecholeraoutbreak). bepackedandonthelaminacouplehours. Lastmonth,hedshutdownthegothtoddler Gypsycoasters?Theysuck.Wevegottheming. clothingshopandputitswaresondeeponline Ourridesareart.Thatstuffisjustengineering. discount.Allhislittleniecesandnephewswere DeathWaitswasagoodkid,buthewasaserious gettingbatwingonesies,skullplatformbooties andtemporaryhairdyeandtattoosforChristmas. imbiberofthekoolaid.Maybetrydanceparties Nowhejusthadtogetridoftheothertenmillion again?Theydtriedastringofallnightraves,but thefights,drugs,andsexwerejusttoomuchfor bucksworthofmerch. theuppermanagement,nomatterhowmuch Morning,Death,hesaid.Thekidsrealname moneytheybroughtin. wasDarrenWeinberger,butheinsistedonbeing calledDeathWaits,whichgivenhispudgyround Sammyshookhisheadmorosely.Ivetoldyou thatacompanythissizecantaffordtherisksfrom cheeksandgenerallyeagertopleasedemeanor, wasfunnyenoughthatithadtakenSammyafull thatsortofthing.Afewmoregothsstraggledin. Theyheadedforthewalkthrough,whichprobably yeartolearntocontrolhisgrinwhenhesaidit. meanttheyplannedtogethighormakeout, Sammy!Goodmorninghowreyoudoing? somethinghedgivenupontryingtoprevent. Anythingtogetthenumbersup.Heandthe Thenumbersstink,Sammysaid.Youmust securitystaffhadcometoanunderstandingon havenoticed. thisandnoonewastellinghisbossorhis Deathsgrinvanished.Inoticed.Timeforanew colleagues. ride,maybe.Noonecalledthemattractions anymoreallthatoldOrwellianDisneyspeakhad Ishouldjustbulldozethewholefuckingthing andstartover.Whatcomesaftergoth,anyway? beenabolished.Theylovethecoasterandthe freefall.Thrillridesarealwayscrowdpleasers. Areraversback?Hippies?Punks?Chavs?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/139 DeathWaitswasstaringathimwithroundeyes. Youwouldntreally waslateforsomething.Heslappedatit,readthe messagethatcameup,rememberedthattherewas Hewavedatthekid.Thiswashiswholelife.No, aweeklystatusmeetingforthemeleadersthat Death,no.Werenotgoingtobulldozethisplace. hedbeenspecificallyinstructedtoattend.He Youvegotajobforlifehere.Itwasalieofsuch didntgotothesethingsifhecouldhelpit.The amazingcallousnessthatSammyfeltatwingeof timemarkerswhoranAdventurelandand Tomorrowlandandsoonwereallboringcuratorial remorsewhilesayingit.Thosetwingesdidnt comeoften.ButDeathWaitslookedalothappier typeswhothoughtthatchangewaswhatyougave oncethewordswereoutofhismouthgothswith asuckerbackfromatenatafrozenbanana bigcandyapplecheekswereprettyunconvincing wagon. gloommeisters. Thethemeleadersmetinasumptuousboard roomthathadbeenthemedinthegloryyearsof Sammystalkedbacktothenearestutilidor theunifiedWaltDisneyCompany.Ithad entrance,overbywhathadbeenthePinocchio renewabletropicalhardwoodpanelling,abeautiful VillageHaus.Hedturnedtheredesignovertoa gardenandakoipond,andanaviarythatteemed designerwhodstartedoutasalitmajorand withchirrupingbrightbirdsborrowedfromthe whoseadmirationforthedarkandtwisted AnimalKingdommenagerie.Thetablewasaslab elementsoftheoriginalPinocchiotalebyCarlo Collodishonethrough.Nowitfeaturedmuralsof ofslatewithabrushedfinishoveritspitsand shelves,thechairsweresoergonomicthatthey donkeysbeingflensedbyfish,hecticPleasure hadzeroadjustmentcontrols,becausetheyknew Island.HangedPinocchioonhisgibbetdangled muchbetterthanyouevercouldhowtoarrange overthecondimentbar,twitchingandthrashing. themselvesforyourmaximumcomfort. Thesmellofstalegreaserosefromitlikea miasma,clashingwiththepatchoulitheypumped outfromtheundergroundmisters. Hewasthelastonethroughthedoor,andtheyall turnedtostareathim.Theyalldressedforshit,in Downintothetunnelsandthenintoagolfcartand oldfashionedslacksandhightechwalkingshoes, outtohisoffice.Hehadtimetopawdesultorilyat companypocketteesorbaseballjerseys.Noneof themhadahaircutthatwasworthadamn,not themountainofmerchandisesamplesthathad comeinovertheweeksincehedlasttackledit eventhetwowomenexecswhocoranMain everyplasterskullvendorandsilvercrossmaker Street.TheydressedliketheMiddleAmericans theycateredto,ormaybealittlebetter. intheworldsawhimasatickettoeasystreet. Nonehadtwiggedtothefactthattheywere Sammyhadalwaysbeenasharpdresser.Heliked reducingtheirgoththemedmerchthesedays. shirtsthatlookedlikegoodcottonbuthadalittle Still,goingthroughmerchhadbeenhistaskfor stretchbuiltintothemsotheyrestedtightathis threeyearsnowanditwasahardhabittobreak. chest,whichwasbig,andtightathiswaist,which Helikedthelickandstickwoundswithdancing wassmall.Helikedjeansinwhateverstylejeans maggotsthatwereactivatedbybodyheat.The werebeingworninBarcelonathatyear,which skeletalbikerswithflockingalgorithmsthatled meantblackjeanscutverysquareandwide themintonoisydemolitionderbieswereagreat legged,ironedstiffwithoutacrease.Hehad idea,too,sinceyoudhavetobuyanothersetafter shadesthathadbeendesignedtomakehisface acouplehoursplay. lookalittlevulpine,atraitthathedalwaysknown Hisdeskwasthrobbingpink,whichmeantthathe hehad.Itputpeopleonedgeifyoulookedalittle

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/140 wolfy. Hestoppedoutsidethedooroftheboardroom andsquareduphisshoulders.Hewastheyoungest personontheboard,andhedalwaysbeenthe biggest,cockiestbastardintheroom.Hehadto rememberthatifhewasgoingtosurvivethisnext hour. Theysuck,Sammysaidbrightly.Thatswhy wereabouttochangethingsup. Thatpreemptedthem.Canyouexplainthat some?Wienersaid,clickinghispenandsquaring uphisnotepad.Thesejerksandtheirpaperfetish.

Sammydidhisbestthinkingonhisfeetandonthe move.Confident.Wolfy.Yourebetterthanthese Hecamethroughthedoorandstoppedandlooked jerkswiththeirpadsandtheircornfednotions. atthepeoplearoundthetableandwaitedfor Hesuckedinabreathandbegantopaceanduse everyonetonoticehim.Theylookedso hishands. midwesternandgoofy,andhegavethemhiswolfy Weregoingtotakeouteveryunderutilizedride smilehello,littlepiggies,heretoblowyour intheland,effectiveimmediately.Layoffthe housedown. deadwoodemployees.Weregoingtogetacouple Hey,kids,hesaid,andgrabbedthecoffeecarafe andamugoffthesideboard.Hefilledhiscup, thenpassedthecarafeoff,asthoughevery meetingbeganwiththepassingaroundofthelow gradestimulants.Hesettledintohisseatand lookedaroundexpectantly. Gladyoucouldmakeit,Sammy.Thatwas Wiener,whogenerallychairedthemeetings. Theoretically,itwasarotatingchairship,but theresacertainkindofpersonwhonaturallyends uprunningeverymeeting,andRonWienerwas thatkindofperson.HecoranTomorrowlandwith threefacelessnonentitieswhohadbeenpromoted abovetheircompetenceduetohisinexplicable loyaltytothem,andbetweenthefourofthem, theydmanagedtokeepTomorrowlandthemost embarrassinglybadlythemedpartofthepark. Wewerejusttalkingaboutyou. offtheshelfthrillridesandgivethemasolid workingoverforthemingbuildourownride vehicles,queueareasandenclosures,bigones, weeniesthatwilldrawyoureyefromoutsidethe maingate.Butthatsjustastopgap. NextImgoingtostartfocusgroupingthe fatkins.Theyrereadymadeforthisstuff.All abouthavingfun.Mostofthoseexfattiesusedto packthisplacewhentheywerestuckinelectric wheelchairs,butnowtheyretoobusyhe stoppedhimselffromsayingfuckingHaving moreadultfuntocomeback,butanyonewhocan affordfatkinshasdiscretionaryincomeandwe shouldhaveapieceofit.

Itshardtosaywithoutresearch,butImwilling tobetthattheseguyswillrespondstronglyto nostalgia.Imthinkingofreinstatingtheold Fantasylanddarkrides,diggingpartsoutof Ilovebeingthesubjectofconversation,Sammy storage,whateverwehaventauctionedoffonthe said.Heslurpedloudlyathiscoffee. collectiblesmarket,anyway,andcloningtherest, butremakingthemwithalittle,youknow, Whatweweretalkingaboutwastheutilization darkness.LikethePinocchiothing,butmoreso. numbersfromFantasyland. CaptainHooksgrislydeath.TinkerBells Whichsucked,Sammyknew.Theydbeeninfree inherentporniness.Whatkindoffriendshipdid fallformonthsnow,andlookingaroundatthose SnowWhitehavewiththedwarfs?Youseewhere cowlikemidwesternfaces,Sammyunderstood Imgoing.Ironicwehaventdoneironicina thatitwastimefortheknivestocomeout. longtime.Itsprobablydueforacomeback.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/141 Theystaredathiminshockedsilence. Yousayyouregoingtodothiswhen?Wiener said.Hedwanttoknowsohecouldgetsomeone seniortointervene. Yes,Sammysaid.HedforgottenthatDeath Waitshadsuggestedthatinthefirstplace.Good thatwasagoodspin.Ivedecidedtotakeyour suggestion.Ofcourse,weneedtomakeroomfor it,soImgoingtoshutdownsomeofthecrap youknowwhichonesImean.

Youknow,researchfirst.Wellshutdownthe crapridesnextweekandcanthedeadwood.Want DeathWaitswasgreenunderhiswhitemakeup. tocommissiontheresearchtodayifIcan.Start Youmean workonthefillerthrillridesnextweektoo. Allthewalkthroughs.Thecoffincoaster,of Hesatdown.Theycontinuedtoboggle. course.Theflyingbats.Maybeoneortwoothers. Youreseriousaboutthis? AndImgoingtoneedtomakesomelayoffs,of course.Gottamakeroom. Aboutwhat?Gettingridofunprofitablestuff? Researchingprofitabledirections?Yesandyes. Youregoingtolaypeopleoff?Howmany people?Werealreadybarelystaffed.Deathwas Therewereotherroutineagendaitems,which remindedSammyofwhyhedidntcometothese theofficialarbiterofshiftchanging,schedule swappingandcrossscheduling.Ifyouwantedto meetings.Hespentthetimesurfingreadymade takeanafternoonofftogetyourmomoutofthe coastersandcheckingtheintranetforengineer hospitaloryourdadoutofjail,hewastheoneto availability.HewasjustgettingintotheHR recordstoseewhohedhavetolayoffwhenthey talkto. finallywounddownandhesaunteredout,giving ThatswhyImcomingtoyou.IfIshutdownsix hiswolfygrintoall,withaspecialflashofitfor oftheridesDeathgasped.Fantasylandhad10 Wiener. ridesintotal.Sixoftherides.Howmanyofthe seniorstafferscanIgetridofandstillhavethe warmbodiestokeepeverythingrunning?Senior Death,Idlikeaword,please? peoplecostalotmorethantheteenagerswho camethrough.Hecouldhiresixjuniorsforwhat Idbedelighted.Deathtalkedlikesomeone Deathcosthim.FriggingFloridalaborlawsmeant whodlearnedtotalkbybeingaprecocious thatyouhadtogivecostoflivingraisesevery reader.Heoverpronouncedhiswords,spokein year,anditaddedup. completesentences,andpausedatthecommas. Sammyknewthatspeechpatternwell,sincehed Deathlookedlikehewasgoingtocry. workedhardtotrainhimselfoutofit.Itwasa Ivegotmyownestimates,Sammysaid.ButI geekaccent,anditmadeyousoundlikeasmart assinsteadofasharpoperator.Yougotthatwayif wantedtogetarealitycheckfromyou,since yourerightthere,ontheground.Idhatetoleave yougrewuptryingtotalkwithagrownup toomuchfatonthebone. vocabularyandachildscontrolofyourspeech muscles;youlearnedtoholdyourchinandcheeks Heknewwhateffectthiswouldhaveonthekid. stillwhileyouspoketogiveyoualittleprecision Deathblinkedbackhistears,puthisfistunderhis boost.Thatwasthegeekaccent. chinandpulledouthisphoneandstarted Rememberwhatwetalkedaboutthismorning? scribblingonit.Hehadalistofeveryemployeein thereandhebegantotransfernamesfromitto Buildingathrillride? anotherplace.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/142 Theyllbeback,right?Tooperatethenew rides? Theoneswedontbringback,wellgetthem unemploymentcounseling.Enrollthemina networkingclubforthejobless,oneofthereally goodones.Wecangetagrouprate.Ajob referencefromthisplacegoesalongway,too. TheyllbeOK. Deathlookedathim,alonglook.Thekidwasnt stupid,Sammyknew.Noneofthesepeoplewere stupid,notWiener,notthekid,notthegothswho ledeachotheraroundFantasylandonleashes.Not thefatkinswhodsoonpacktheplace.Theywere noneofthemstupid.Theywerejustsoft. Unwillingtomakethehardchoices.Sammywas goodathardchoices. thatallwasnotwellintheHouseofKettlewell. Suzanneahemd. Sorry,sorry,Lestersaid.Letstalkaboutthis later,OK?Sorry. TheyscurriedofftoLestersroomandPerry whippedoutacomputer,putonsomeshorthumor videosinshufflemode,andgrabbedabigtubof sparepartshekeptaroundtofiddlewith.Itcould besoothingtotakeapartandreassemblea complexmechanism,andsometimesyougotideas fromit. Fiveminuteslater,heheardtheshowerrunning andthenSuzannecameintothelivingroom. Imgoingtoordersomefood.Whatdoyoufeel like?

Whateveryouget,youllhavetoorderitfrom PerrygothomethatnightandwalkedinonLester oneofthefatkinsplaces.Itsnotpracticaltofeed Lesteranyotherway.Getmeasmallchickentikka andSuzanne.Theyweretangledontheliving pizza. roomcarpet,mostlynaked,andLesterblushed righttohisasscheekswhenPerrycamethrough Sheporedoverthestackofmenusinthekitchen. thedoor. DoesFoodinTwentyMinutesreallydeliverin20 Sorry,sorry!Lestercalledashegrabbedasofa minutes? cushionandpassedittoSuzanne,thengotonefor Usually15.Theydomostoftheprepinthevans himself.Perryavertedhiseyesandtriednotto andusealotofpredictivemathintheirrouting. laugh. Theresusuallyavanwithinabouttenminutesof here,nomatterwhatthetraffic.Theydeliverto Jesus,guys,whatswrongwiththebedroom? trafficjams,too,onscooters. Wewouldvegottenthereeventually,Lestersaid ashehelpedSuzannetoherfeet.Perrypointedly Suzannemadeaface.IthoughtRussiawas turnedtofacethewall.Youweresupposedtobe weird.Sheshowedthenumberonthebrochureto herphoneandthenstartedtoorder. atdinnerwiththegang,Lestersaid. Closeupontheridewascrazy.Everythingwas Lestercameoutaminutelater,dressedtothe changingandtheprinterswereoutofgoop.Lots ninesasalways.Hewasbarelycapableofentering hisbedroomwithouteffectingawardrobechange. ofactiononthenetworkBostonandSan Franciscoareintroducingalotofnewitemstothe ride.BythetimeIgottotheguesthouse,the Kettlewellswerealreadyputtingthekidstobed. HedecidednottomentionEvasangrystormout toSuzanne.Nodoubtshehadalreadyfiguredout HegavePerryaslightlypissedofflookandPerry shruggedapologetically,thoughhedidntfeelall thatbad.Lestersfault. Christonabike,itwasweirdtothinkofthetwoof themtogether,especiallygoingatitontheliving

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/143 roomruglikeacoupleofhornyteens.Suzanne hadalwaysbeenthegrownupintheirlittlefamily. Butthathadbeenbackwhentherewasabig companyinvolved.Somethingaboutbeingapiece ofabigcompanymadeyouwanttoactlikeyoud alwaysfiguredgrownupsshouldact.Onceyou wereafreeagent,therewasntanyreasonnotto embraceyoururges. Whenthefoodcame,thetwoofthemattackedit likehungrydogs.Itwasclearthattheydforgotten theirembarrassmentandwereplanninganother retreattothebedroomoncetheydrefueled.Perry left. Hey,Francis.Franciswassittingonthesecond storeybalconyofhismayoralhouse,surveyingthe electricglowoftheshantytown.Asusualnow,he wasalone,withoutanyofhisoldgangofboys hangingaroundhim.Hewavedanarmtoward Perryandbeckonedhiminside,buzzinghimin withhisphone. Igetthatmad,too,Perrysaid. Oh,hell,metoo,allthetime.Butmenusually donthavethegutstopackasuitcaseandlight out.Womenhavetheguts.Theyrenothingbut guts. Perrycursed.WhyhadntKettlebellycalledhim? Whatwasgoingon? HecalledKettlebelly. Hi,Perry! Hi,Landon.Whatsup? Up? Yeah,howarethings? Things? Well,IhearEvatookoff.Thatsortofthing. Anythingwecantalkabout? Kettlewelldidntsayanything. ShouldIcomeover?

No,hesaid.Illmeetyousomewhere.Where? Perrytrackedupthenarrowstairs,wonderinghow Francisnegotiatedthemwithhisbadkneeandhis FranciswordlesslypassedKettlewellabeerashe steppedoutontotheterrace. propensitytohaveonebeertoomany. So? Whatsthegoodword? Oh,notmuch,Perrysaid.Hehelpedhimselfto abeer.Theymadeitintheshantytownand fortifieditwithfruits,likeaBelgianbeer.The resultingsudswerestrongandsweet.Thisonewas raspberryandittastedalittlepink,likeredsoda. Yourfriendsarentgettingalongtoogood,is whatIhear. Really.Nothingwasmuchofasecretinthis place. Theyreinamotelnotfarfromhere.Thekids lovecoffins. Francisopenedanotherbeerforhimself.Hardto imagineakidlovedacoffinmorethanyourkids lovedthisplacethisafternoon. Evasprettysteamedatme.Itjusthasntbeen verygoodsinceIretired.IguessImprettyhardto livewithallthetime. Perrynodded.Icanseethat.

Thelittlewomanstakenaroomofherown Thanks,Kettlewellsaid.Also.Hetookapull downtheroad.Mywifedidthattomeonce.Crazy offhisbeer.AlsoIhadanaffair. broad.Thatstheirwaysometimes.Getsomad Bothmensuckedairbetweentheirteeth. theyjustneedtowalkaway. Withherbestfriend.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/144 Perrycoughedalittle. WhileEvawaspregnant. Lesterdid.

Iknow,Iknow,butthatsthedealwiththeride. Yourestillbreathing?Patientwoman,Francis Itsgottogetinsync.Youknowwevebeen workingonthisformonthsnow.Itsjustgrowing said. pains.Here,Illgiveyoubackyourmoneyyou Shesagoodwoman,Kettlewellsaid.Thebest. comebacktomorrow,itllallbesettorights. Motherofmychildren.Butitmadeheralittle Theangryriderwasaregular,oneofthepeople crazyjealous. whocamebyeverymorningtoridebeforework. Sowhatstheplan,Kettlewell?Youreagood Shewasgauntandtallandgeekyandtalkedlike manwithaplan,Perrysaid. anengineer,withthenerdaccent. Ihavetogiveheranightofftocooldownand Whatkindofprinter?Lesterbrokein.Perryhid thenwellsee.Neveranypointindoingthiswhile hissnickerwithacough.Lesterwouldgether sheshot.Tomorrowmorning,itllcome talkingabouttheinsandoutsofherprinter, together. talkingshop,andbeforeyouknewitshedbe mollified. Thenextmorning,Perryfoundhimself desperatelyembroiledinorderingmoregoopfor Perrysoldanotherticket,andanother. thethreeDprinters.Lotsmore.Theotherrides Hiagain!Itwasthecreepyguy,thesuitwhod hadfinallycomeonlineinthenight,after shownupinBoston.Tjanhadacrazytheoryabout interminablenetworkscrewupsandmalfing whyhedlefttheBostonlaunchinsuchahurry, robotsandprintersandscannersthatwouldnt butwhoknew? cooperate,butnowthereweresevenridesinthe network,sevenrideswhoseriderswere Hithere,Perrysaid.Longtimenosee.Back rearranging,addingandsubtracting,andtherewas fromBoston,huh? reconcilingtodo.Theprintershummedand Formonths.Theguywasgrinningandsweating hummed. anddidntlookgood.Hehadafreshbruiseonhis Thenativesarerestless,Lestersaid,pointinga thumboverhisshoulderatthegrowingqueueof wouldberiders.Wegoingtobereadytoopen soon? cheekwithacoupleofknuckleprintsclearly visible.Cantwaittogetbackontheride.Its beentoolong.

Perryhadfallenintoaclassicnerdtrapofhaving almostsolvedaproblemandnotrealizingthatthe lastthreepercentofthesolutionwouldtakeas longastherestofitputtogether.Meanwhile,the ridewasinashamblesasrobotsattemptedtoprint andarrangeobjectstomirrorthosearoundthe nation. Soonsoon,Perrysaid.Hestoodupandlooked aroundattheshambles.Ilie.Thiscrapwontbe readyforhoursyet.Sorry.Fuckit.Openup.

Sammyhadbeenthrougharehabandknewhow theywent.Youlaidoffabunchofpeopleinone fast,hardbigbang.Hiredsomeunemployment coachesfortheseniorunionizedemployees, scheduledacoupleofnetworkingeventswhere theycouldminglewithotherunemployedslobs andpassaroundhomemadebusinesscards. YouneededaJudasgoat,someonewhodtalkup therehabtotheotheremployees,whomyoucould relyon.DeathWaitshadbeenhisJudasgoatfor

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/145 theFantasylandgothmakeover.Hedtirelessly evangelizedtheideatohiscoworkers,hadfound gothtrufanswhodblogthehelloutofeveryinch oftherehab,hadruneveryerrandnomatterhow menial. fromthesnufflingnoises,Sammyknewtherewas somecryinggoingonunderneathallthathair. Suckitup,hesaid.Orgohome.

Sammyturnedonhisheelandstartedforthedoor, andthatwaswhenDeathWaitsleaptonhisback, Buthispassiondidntcarryovertodismantling draggedhimtothegroundandstartedpunching thegothrehab.Sammyshouldhaveanticipated him.Hewasntmuchofapuncher,buthedidhave that,buthehadtotallyfailedtodoso.Hewasjust alotofchunkysilverskullringsthatreallystung. sousedtothinkingofDeathWaitsassomeone HepastedacouplegoodonesonSammybefore whowasaneverquestioningslavetothepark. Sammycametohissensesandthrewtheskinny Comeon,cheerup!Lookathowcoolthesethrill kidoffofhim.Strangely,Sammysangerwas ridesaregoingtobe.Thosewereyouridea,you dissipatedbytheactual,physicalviolence.Hehad know.Checkoutthecoffincarsandthelittle neverthrownapunchinhislifeandhewaswilling photoopattheendthatphotoshopsalltheriders tobetthesamewastrueofDeathWaits.There intozombies.Thatsgottoberightupyouralley, wassomethingalmostfunnyaboutanactual right?Yourfriendsaregoingtolovethis. punchup. Deathmopedasonlyagothcould.Heperformed hisdutiesslowlyandunenthusiastically.When Sammypinnedhimdownwithadirectquestion, helethisbangsfalloverhiseyes,lookeddownat hisfeet,andwentsilent. Comeon,whatthehellisgoingon?Thefences weresupposedtobeupthismorning!Theplan hadbeentogetthemaintenancecrewsinbefore ropedroptofenceoffthedoomedridessothatthe dismantlingcouldbegin.Butwhenhedshownup ateight,therewasnosignofthefences,nosignof themaintenancecrewsandtherideswereallfully staffed. Deathlookedathisfeet.Sammybubbledwith rage.Ifyoucouldnttrustyourownpeople,you werelost.Therewerealreadyenoughpeople aroundtheparklookingforawaytowrongfoot him. DeathWaitspickedhimselfupandlookedat Sammy.Thekidseyelinerwasinsmearsdownhis cheeksandhishairwasstandinguponend. Sammyshookhisheadslowly. Dontbothercleaningoutyourlocker.Illhave yourthingssenttoyou.Anddontstoponyour wayoutofthepark,either. Hecouldhavecalledsecurity,butthatwouldhave meantsittingtherewithDeathWaitsuntilthey arrived.Thekidwouldgoandhewouldnever comeback.Hewasdisgraced. Andleavehedid.SammyhadDeathWaits employeepassdeactivatedandthecontentsofhis lockerpatchoulireekingblackteeshirtsand blunteyelinerpencilssentbylastclassmailto hishouse.HecutoffDeathWaitssbenefits.He hadthedeadwoodridesshutteredandcommenced theirdestruction,handingoveranypiece recognizableascomingfromaridetothe companysauctiondepartmenttolistonline. Anythingtoaddblacktohisbottomline.

Death,Imtalkingtoyou.ForChristssake, dontbesuchagoddamnedbaby.Youshutdown thegoddamnedridesandsendthosegluesniffers home.Iwantawreckingcrewherebylunchtime. ButhischeekthrobbedwhereDeathhadlaidinto DeathWaitslookedathisfeetsomemore.His him,andhedlosthisfireforthenewproject. floppyblackwingsofhaircoveredhisface,but Werefatkinsadecentsizedmarketsegment?He

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/146 shouldhavecommissionedresearchonit.Buthed neededtogetaplaninthecanintimetomollify theexecutivecommittee.Plusheknewwhathis eyestoldhimeveryday:theparkwasfullof fatkins,andalwayshadbeen. thedarkridepresshadreportedonitinan editorialthatweek.ButnowTheStorywhich,as hecouldperceiveit,wasanorderlyprogressionof whatseemedtobesomeoneslifeunfoldingfrom childhoodnaivetetoadolescentexuberanceto TheghostofDeathWaitswaseverywhere.Sammy adultcynicismtoanostalgic,elderlydelightwas augmentedbyfamiliaraccoutrements. hadtofigureoutforhimselfwhomtofire,and howtodoit.Hedidntreallyknowanyofthegoth Therewasarobotzombieheadfromoneofthe kidsthatworkedtheridesthesedays.DeathWaits rideshedtorndownyesterday.Andherewashalf hadhiredandledthem.Therewerelotsofcrying thesignfromthecoffincoaster.Abatwingbush fitsandthreats,andthekidshedidntfireacted fromthehedgemaze.Thelittlebastardshad liketheywerenext,andifithadntbeenforthe stolenthedeconstructedridedebrisandbroughtit needtokeeprevenueflowing,Sammywouldhave here. cannedallofthem. Bythetimehegotofftheride,hewasgrinning Thenhecaughtwindofwhattheywerealldoing withtheirseverancepay:travelingsouthto Hollywoodandridingthatgoddamnedfrankenride inthedeadWalMart,tryingtoturnitintogoth paradise.Judgingfromthemessageboardshe surfed,thewholethinghadbeenDeathWaitss idea.Goddamnit. ferociously.Bytomorrowtheredbecopiesofall thattrademarkedridestuffrollingofftheprinters intencitiesaroundtheUnitedStates.Thatwasa majorbitofillegalactivity,andheknewwherehe couldfindsomehungryattacklawyerswhodlove toargueaboutit.Hejumpedontherideagainand gothiscameraconfiguredforlowlightshooting.

ItwasBostonalloveragain.Hedpulledtheplug andthemachinekeptonmoving.Thehoardings wentupandtheridescamedown,butallhis formeremployeesandtheirweirdeyelinerpervert palsallwentsomewhereelseandpartiedonjust thesame.Hisattendancenumberswerewaydown, andthephotobloggerspostingshotsofblack cloudsofgothsatthefrankenridemadeitclear wheretheydallgone. Fine,hethought,fine.Letsgohavealook. Theguywiththefunnyeyebrowmadehim immediately,butdidntseemtobesuspicious. Maybetheyneverfiguredoutwhatheddonein Boston.Thegothkidswerebusyinthemarket stallsorhangingaroundsmokingcloveand patchoulihookahsandtheyignoredhimasa squareandbeneaththeirnotice. Theridehadchangedagreatdealsincehislast fatedvisit.HedheardaboutTheStory,ofcourse

EvashoweduponPerrysdoorstepthatnightafter dinner.LesterandSuzannehadgoneofftothe beachandPerrywasalone,updatinghisinventory oftchotchkeswithacameraandanoldcomputer, gettingeverythingstickeredwithRFIDs. Shehadthekidsintow.Adaspottedthetwoold, lovelybaseballmittsonthecrowdedcoffeetable andmadeabeelineforthem,puttingoneover eachhandandwalkingaroundsmackingthem togethertoheartheleatherysound,snoopingin drawersandpeeringatthebusinessendofanarc welderthatPerryhastilysnappedupandputona highshelf,whichwinkedoncetolethimknow thatithadtrackedthemovementandnotedthe locationofthetool. Thelittleboy,Pascal,rodeonhismothership. Evahadclearlyhadabitofacry,buthadgotten overit.Nowshewasdetermined,withherjaw

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/147 thrustoutandherchinuptilted. Idontknowwhattodoabouthim.Hesbeen drivingmecrazysinceheretired.Youknowhe hadanaffair? Hetoldme. Shelaughed.Hetellseveryone.Hesboasting, youknow?Whatever.Iknowwhyhedidit.Mid lifecrisis.Butbeforethat,itwasearlyadulthood crisis.Andadolescentcrisis.Thatguydoesnt knowwhattodowithhimself.Hesagoodman, buthesoutofhisfuckingmindifhesnot jugglingahundredballs. Perrytriedoutanoncommittalshrug. Yourehisbuddy,Iknow.Butyouhavetosee thatitstrue,right?Ilovehim,Ireallydo,buthes gotaselfdestructivestreakamilewide.Itdoesnt matterhowmuchhelovesmeorthekids,ifhes nottorturinghimselfwithwork,hesgottocome upwithsomethingelsetoscrewuphislife.I thoughtthatweweregoingtospendthenext twentyyearsraisingthekids,doingvolunteer work,andtraveling.Notmuchchanceofthat though.YousawhowhewaslookingatSuzanne. YouthinkheandSuzanne No,Iaskedhimandhesaidno.ThenItalkedto herandshetoldmethatshewouldnteverlet somethinglikethathappen.HerIbelieve.Shesat downanddandledthelittleboyuntilhegurgled contentedly.PerryheardAdagoingcrazyinthe kitchenwithamechanicalsphincterhedbeen building.Ridesarealotoffun,Perry.Yourride, itsamazing.ButIdontwanttoridearideforthe restofmylife,andLandonisaridethatdoesnt stop.Youcantgetoff. busy,heshappy,andwhenhesslack,hes miserable.Soundslikeifyoukeephimbusy,hell bethekindofguyyouwanthimtobe,evenifyou wonthavemuchtimetoplaywithhim. Sheunholsteredatitandstuckitintheboys mouthandPerrylookedatthecarpet.She laughed.Youaresuchageek,shesaid.OK, fine.Ihearwhatyouresaying.SohowdoIget himbusyagain?Canyouusehimaroundhere? Here?Perrythoughtaboutit.Idontthinkwe needmuchempirebuildingaroundhere. Ithoughtyoudsaythat.Perry,whatthehellamI goingtodo? Therewasatremendouscrashfromthekitchen,a shriekofsurprise,thenasmalloops. Ada!Evacalled.Whatnow? Iwasplayingballinthehouse,Adasaidinthe samesmallvoice.Eventhoughyouhavetoldme notto.AndIbrokesomething.Ishouldhave listenedtoyou. Evashookherhead.Playsmelikeagoddamned cello,shesaid.Imsorry,Perry.Wellpayfor whateveritwas. Hepattedherarm.Youforgetwhoyouretalking to.Ilovefixingstuff.Dontsweatit. WhateverIllbuyyouoneandyoucanuseit forparts.Ada!Whatdidyoubreak,anyway? Madeofseashells,bythetoaster.Itstwitching. Toastmakingseashellrobot,Perrysaid.No sweatitwasdueforanoverhaul,anyway. Christ,shesaid.Toastmakingseashellrobot? Kettlewelliswhywegaveupmakingthatkindof thing,hesaid.

Perrywasataloss.Iveneverhadarelationship thatlastedmorethansixmonths,Eva.Ivegotno Haveyouseenhim? businessgivingyouadviceonthisstuff.Kettlewell Iveseenhim. isprettyamazing,though.Itsoundslikeyouve gothimprettywired,right?Youknowthatifhes Howpenitentwashe?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/148 HethoughtbacktoKettlewellslongpusson Francissterrace.Yeah,prettypenitent.Hes prettyworried,Idsay. Perrynoddedasthoughheunderstood,thoughhe didnt.

Sincefatkins,Ivefeltlike,Idontknow,areal Shenodded.Allrightthen.Maybeheslearneda person.WhenIwasbig,Iwasinvisibleandtotally lesson.Ada!Stopbreakingthingsandgetyour asexual.Ididntthinkabouthavingsexwith shoesbackon! anyoneandnooneeverthoughtabouthavingsex withme.WhenIfeltsomethingforawoman,it WegoingbacktoDaddy? wasmorelikeabig,romanticlove,likeIwasa Yes,shesaid. beastandshewasabeautyandwecouldenjoy somekindofchaste,spirituallove. Good,Adasaid. TheywerebarelyoutthedoorwhenSuzanneand Fatkinsmademe...whole.Awholeperson,witha lifebelowmybeltaswellasabovemyneck.I Lestercamein.TheynoddedatPerryand disappearedintothebedroom.Tenminuteslater, knowitlooksgrossanddesperatetoyou,butto Suzannestompedoutagain.Shebarelylookedat meitsacelebration.EverytimeIgettogether withafatkinsgirlandwere,youknow,partying Perryasshedisappearedintothecorridor, forbothofusitbecomessomethingreally slammingthedoorbehindher. intimate.Adenialofpain.Afuckyoutothe PerrywaitedfiveminutestoseeifLesterwould universethatmadeussogrossanduntouchable. comeoutonhisown.Thishappenedsometimes withthefatkinsgirls;loveamongthefatkinswas Andwithher,yourestillfat,huh? stormyandunpredictableandLesterseemedto Lesterwinced.Yeah,itsmyproblem.IguessI likebraggingaboutthemeltdownsthey reallyresentherfornotwantingmewhenIwas experienced,eachoneanoddityofsybaritic big,thoughItotallygetwhyshewouldnthave. fatkinsculturetoboastabout. Maybeyoureangrythatshewantsyounow. ButLesterdidntcomeoutthistime.Perry Huh.Lesterlookedathishands,whichhewas thoughtaboutcallinghimorsendinghiman email.Finally,Perrywentandknockedathisdoor. drywashinginhislap.OK,maybe.Whyshould shewantmenow?Imthesameperson,afterall. Oh,gobacktothelivingroom,Illcomeout,Ill Exceptthatyourewholenow. comeout. Urk.Lesterstartedpacing.Whobrokethe Perrywentbackandmouseddesultorilyatsome toastrobot? ridefanblogsforawhile,listeningforLesters dooropening.Finally,outhecame,longfacedand Kettlewellsdaughter,Ada.Evawasoverwiththe puffyeyed. kids.ShemovedoutonKettlebelly.Hethought aboutwhetherheshouldtellLester.Whatthehell. Perryshookhishead.Waseveryonemiserable ShethinkshesinlovewithSuzanne. tonight? Hello,Lester,hesaid.Somethingonyour mind? Hebarkedahumorlesslaugh.Withher,Imstill fat. Jesus,Lestersaid.Maybeweshouldswap.Ill takeEvaandhecantakeSuzanne. Youresuchapig,Perrysaid. Youknowusfatkinsfuck,foodandfolly.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/149 SowhatsgoingonwithyouandSuzannenow? CanIhelpyou? ShesgoneawayuntilIcangetnakedaroundher Wereshuttingyoudown,buddy,sorry.Thecop withouteitherburstingintotearsormaking wasyoung,Latinaandfemale,herpartnerwas sarcasticremarks. older,whiteandmale,withtheruddycomplexion thatPerryassociatedwitholdtimeFloridacops. Jesus.Crying.Perrycouldntrememberwhen hedeverseenLestercry.Itwaswaterworkscity thesedaysaroundhere. Whatsthecharge? Theresnocharge,themalecopsaid.He Ah.Perryjustwantedthisdaytobeover.He soundedlikehewasangryalreadyandanything missedHilda,thoughhebarelyknewher.Itwould Perrysaidwouldjustmakehimangrier.We havebeennicetohavesomeonehereathomewith chargeyouifweregoingtoarrestyou.Were him,someonehecouldcuddleuptoinbedand enforcinganinjunction.Now,ifyoutrytogetpast talkthisalloutwith.MaybeheshouldcallTjan. us,wellcomeupwithachargeandthenwell Hehitthebuttononhiscomputerthatmadethe arrestyou. TVblinkthetimeinMorsecode.Itwas1AM. CanIseetheinjunction? Hedhavetobeupinsixhourstogettherideup andrunning.Screwallthis,hewasgoingtobed. Sure,youcangotothecourthouseandseethe injunction. HehadntevengottenasingleemailfromHilda sincehedleftMadison.Notthathedsentoneto Arentyousupposedtohaveacopyofittoshow her,ofcourse. tome? LesterwasstillsnoringwhenPerryslippedoutof AmI?Thecopsgrinwasmeanandimpatient. thecondo,abulbofjuiceandamicrowavable venisonandquaileggbreakfastburritounderhis CanIgoandgetsomestufffrommyoffice? arm.Hehadalittlegloveboxmicrowaveandby Ifyouwanttogetarrestedyoucan.Hepulleda thetimehehithisfirstredlight,theburritowas dyspepticfaceanddranksomecoffee,thengot nuclearhotandreadytoeat.Hegobbleditone backintohiscruiser. handedwhilehemadehiswaytotheride. Theothercophadthegracetolookfaintly Thereweretwocopcarsattheendofthedriveway embarrassedatherassholepartner,butthenshe, leadingtotheparkinglot.BrowardCounty too,gotbackinhercar. sheriffsdeputyblackandwhites,parked Perrythoughtfuriouslyaboutthis.Thecopwas horizontallytoblockadethedrive. clearlyitchingtobusthisass.Maybehehatedthe Perrypulledoverandgotoutofhiscarslowly, ride,orthisduty,ormaybehehatedPerry keepinghishandsinplainsight.Thedoorsofthe maybehewasoneofthecopswhohadraidedthe cruisersopened,too.Thedeputiesalreadyhad shantytownallthoseyearsbefore.Perryhadtaken theirmirrorshadeson,thoughthesunwasstill aprettybigsettlementoffthecountyovertheshot rising,andtheysetdowntheircoffeesonthehood inhishead,anditwasasurebetthatalotofcops ofthecars. hadsufferedforitandnowharboredsomeenmity forhim. Thisyours?Adeputysaid,jerkinghisthumb overhisshoulderatthefleamarketandtheride. Perryknewbetterthantoansweranyquestions. Asbadasthiswas,itwasabouttogetworse.The gothkidswhodbeenhangingaroundindroves latelytheydidntseemlikethesortwithalotof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/150 goodinstinctswhenitcametodealingwith authorityfigures.Thentherewerethefleamarket stallowners,whodbecomingovertheroadto opentheirshopsinanhourorso.Thiscouldget reallygoddamnedugly. again? Weveshutyoudowntoenforceaninjunction. Whatinjunctionisthat? Acourtinjunction.

Heneededalawyer,andsomeonetofrontforhim Whichcourt? withthelawyer.HecouldcallTjanhewouldcall him,infact,butnotjustyet.Therewerelimitsto Thecoplookedreallyangryforasecond,thenhe gotbackinhiscarandfishedaround.Broward whatTjancoulddofromBoston,afterall. County.Hesoundedaggrieved. Hegotbackinhiscarandpeeledacrosstheroad Isthattheinjunctionthere?Kettlewellsaid. totheshantytownandtheguesthouse. No,thecopsaid,tooquickly.Theybothknew Kettlewell!Hethumpedthedoor.Comeon, hewaslying,jerkingthemaround. Landon,itsme,Perry.Itsanemergency. CanIseeit?Doesithaveinformationaboutwho totalktotogettheinjunctionlifted?Kettlewells tonewaseven,pleasantandveryadult.Thevoice Sorry,man,Iwouldnthavewokenyoubutitsa ofsomeoneusedtobeingobeyed. realemergency. Youllhavetogotothecourthouse.Theyopenin Fire? acouplehours. No.Cops.Theyveshutdowntheride. Idreallyliketoseeit. HeheardEvacurse,thenheardmovement. Whazzit? Kettlewellopenedthedooracrackandstaredat Ohforchrissakes,thefemalecopsaid.Just himwitharedrimmed,hungovereye.Copsshut showittothem,Tom.God.Shespatonthe downtheride? ground.Herpartnergaveheralook,thenhanded thepaperovertoKettlewell,whoporedoverit Yeah,theysaytheresaninjunction. intently.Perryshouldersurfedhimandgathered Gimmeasec,gottaputsomepantson.He thattheywerebeingshutdownforinfringing closedthedoor.AsPerrylistenedtothesoundsof DisneyParksCompanytrademarks.Thatwas himgettingdressed,hereflectedthatheddone weird.YoucouldhardlygotenfeetinFlorida Evathefavorshedbeenseeking:hedfound withouttrippingoverabootlegMickey,sowhy somethingtokeepKettlewellbusy. shouldthemarketstallsMickeydesignstrigger Kettlewellquizzedhimintenselyastheydrove legalaction? backacrosstheroadtothepolicecars.Hecalled Allright,then,Kettlewellsaid.Letsmake Tjanandgotvoicemail,leftabriefmessage,then somephonecalls. gotoutofthecarandstoodstilloutsideit,waving Theygotinthecaranddroveacrosstheroadto atthecopcars. theshantytown.Therewasateahousethatopened What? earlyandtheycommandeereditswindowtable Themalecoplookedevenmoredyspeptic. andspreadouttheirthings.PerrycalledLesterand Hithere!IwonderedifIcouldgetyoutoexplain wokehimup.Ittooktwoorthreetriestogethis headarounditLestercouldntfigureoutwhy whatsgoingonheresowecanopenupshop

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/151 theydshutdownthemarketstalls,butoncehegot Ithoughtwewereimmunetothisstuff.Iftheres thattheridewasdowntoo,hewokeupfastand noonetosue,howcantheysueus? promisedtomeetthem. Iftheresnoonetosue,theresnoonetoshow KettlewellsconversationwithTjanwasalotmore upincourtandobject,either. heated.Perrytriedtoeavesdropbutcouldntmake Yeah. anysenseofit. Idontthinkwecanincorporateyouintimeto Alltheridesaredown,hesaidoncehed makeadifference,Kettlewellsaid.Soweneed droppedthephonetobounceacoupletimesonthe tothinkofsomethingelse. tabletop,makingthecoffeesshiver.Everyoneof Suzanneslidintotheboothbesidethem.Herhair themwasshutdownbythecopsthismorning. wastiedbackandhermakeupwasspareand Youreshittingme.Buttheydontallsellthe severe.ShehadonEuropeancuttrousers,high samestuff. likeabolerodancers,andaloose,flowingwhite TheywereshutdownbecauseofDisney cottonovershirtontopofaluminescentpink trademarksintherideitself,orsoitseems.Now, tank.Perrycouldnttellwhetheritwasformalor whatarewegoingtodo?Tjanshiredalawyerfor informal,butitlookedgoodandalittle theBostongroupandwecanhireoneforhere,but intimidatinglyforeign.ShedidntmeetPerrys Idontthinkweregoingtobeabletohirefixers eye. everywherethattheresaride.Thatsgoingtobe Briefme,shesaid.Sheheldoutherphoneand reallyexpensive.Disneysfiledalltheinjunctions putitinrecordmode. atthestateleveltheyhaveanindustry associationtheyworkthroughthathascooperating Kettlewellranitdownquicklyandshenodded, jottingnotes. attorneysineverycityinthecountry,soitwas easyforthem. Sowhathappensnext? Holycrap. Notmuchwecando,Kettlewellsaid. Yeah.Whodidyoupissoff,Perry? Damnedifheknew.Heliterallycouldntthinkof asinglepersonwhodwanttodothissomeone Illgotakesomepictures,shesaid. hadconvincedtheDisneycompanytoclobberhim likeGodzillagoingafterTokyo.Itjustdidntmake Becareful,Perrysaid. anysense. Shemuggedforhim.Sweetie,Itakepicturesof themafiyeh.Thenitwasallrightbetweenthem Sowhatdowedo? again,somehow. Kettlewelllookedathim.Ihavenoclue,Perry. Right,Kettlewellsaid.Howsourtime Youarentacompany.Youarentanetworkof companies.Youarentanindustryassociation.No looking? onecanspeakforyou.Youcantlobbyoreven Gotthirtyminutesuntilthefirstofthemerchants fieldaspokesman.Imean,noneofthatstuff showup.Anhouruntiltheridersstartturningup. worksforyouandthatstheonlywayIknowto Youdonthavealawyer,doyou? fightbackincourt. Perryquirkedhisfunnyeyebrow. Theriderswillbealongshortly.Oh,andthe merchants.Perrystillcouldntcatchhereye.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/152 Stupidquestion.OK.Right,Illmakesomemore knowiswebuiltthisthingafteryoucameand calls.Letsgetsomepeopleoutofbed. talkedtousaboutitandnowitsbeenshutdown, sowerewaitingforyoutotelluswhattodo WhatcanIdo? next. Kettlewelllookedathim.Huh.Um.Thisisreally Hegroanedandsatdownonacurb.Oh,crap. mybeatnow.Isupposeyoucouldgokeep Suzannecompany. Thenshesighedheavilyattheotherend.OK, Perry,youneedtopullittogether.Weneedyou Gee,thanks. now.Weneedsomethingthatexplainswhats SomethingwrongwithSuzanne? goingon,whattodonext,andhowtodoit. Theresalotofenergyouthere,alotofpeople NothingswrongwithSuzanne,hesaid.OK, readytofight.Justpointusintherightdirection. offIgo. Hesetoffonfoot.Theshantytownhadwokenup Ihaveaguywhostryingtofigurethatoutright now,peoplegettingreadyforthehiketotheearly now. bussesintoplaceswherethefewremainingjobs Perfect.Nowyouneedtosetupaconferencecall were. witheveryrideoperatorsowecantalkthisover. Hetookhisphoneoutandtosseditfromhandto Getonlineandpostatimeandanaddress.Illchat itupandmakesomecalls.Youmakesomecalls hand.Thenhecalledthenumberthathed programmedinallthosedaysagoinMadisonbut too.Everyonelikestohearfromyou.Theyliketo knowyoureontheirside. hadneverbotheredtocall.Heforgotuntilthe ringingstartedthatitwasanothertimezonethere Right,hesaid,gettingbacktohisfeet,turning anhourortwoearlier.ButwhenHilda aroundtogethiscomputeroutofhistrunk. answered,shesoundedwideawake. Right.Thatstotallytherightthingtodo.Imon it. Niceofyoutocall,shesaid. Niceofyoutoanswer.Hervoicesentathrillup Goodman,shesaid. hisspine. Alittlepausestretchedbetweenthem.So,he said.Howyoudoing,apartfromallthis? Wevegotcopsoutsideoftheridehere,she said.Weveonlybeenliveforaweek,too. Herlaughwasmerry.Ithoughtyoudneverask. Imlookingforwardtoyournextvisit,ishowIm Theyreateveryride,hesaid.Theyshutus doing. downtoo. Really? Well,whatareyougoingtodoaboutit? WhatamIgoingtodoaboutit? Sure,thisisyourthing,Perry.Wewokeupand discoveredthecopsthismorningandthefirst thingeveryonedidwaswonderwhenyoudcall withtheplan. Yourekidding.WhatdoIknowaboutcops? Whatdoanyofusknowaboutcops?Allwe Ofcoursereally. Yousoundedalittlepissedatmethereisall.He soundedlikealovesickteenager.ImeanHe brokeoff. Yourassneededkicking,wasall.Pause.Im notpissedatyou,though.Whenareyoucoming foravisit?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/153 Gotme,hesaid.IguessIshould,right?He reallysoundedlikeateenager. please.Hepostedapolltotheconferencepage anditquicklygotto100percentgreen.SoIjust foundthecopsoutsideofmine,too,andImnot Youneedtovisitallthesites,checkinonhow weredoing.Pause.Plusyoushouldcomehang surewhattodoaboutit.Ivegotsomedoughfora lawyer,butIcantaffordlawyersforeveryone.To outwithmesome. makethatwork,wedhavetoflyattorneysto Healmostpointedoutallherwarningsaboutonly everycitywitharideinit,andthatsnotpractical havingaonenightstandandnotmissingthe asImsureyoucantell. peoplehewasawayfromandsoforth,butstayed histongue.Thefactthatshewantedhimtocome Ahalfdozenflagswentupintheconferencepage. foravisitwasovershadowingeverything,eventhe Ineedsomeonetoplaymoderator,causeIcant talkandmodatthesametime.Howaboutyou, loomingcrisiswiththecops. Hilda? Itsadeal. OK,shesaid.ImHildaHammersen,fromthe Deal. Madisongroup.Postonelinesummariesofyour pointsandIllsetaspeakerorder. Well,bye. Theconferencepagefilledup.Therewasthe Bye. officialbackchannelatthebottomwherethetext Healmostsaid,Youhangupfirst,butthat wasspillingbytoofastforPerrytoparse,andhe wouldhavebeentoomuch.Insteadhejustkeptthe knewthattherewerelotsofunofficialback phoneathisearuntilheheardherclick. channelsinuse,too.Hecoveredthemicand sighed.Hehadnothingtosaytothesepeople.He Suzannewaspointingandshootinglikemad. didnthaveanyanswers. Perrysatdownonthecrackedpavementbeside herandunfoldedhiscomputerandstartedsending Right.Sowhoknowswhatweshoulddo?The outemails,settingupaconferencechannel.He backchannelwentcrazy.Hildastartedgreen gaveSuzanneashortversionofhistalkwith lightingspeakerswiththeirflagsup. Hilda,beingcarefulnottogiveahintofhis Whyareyouaskingus,Perry?Youvegottorun feelingsforher. this.ThevoicewaspetulantandPerrysawthatit Shesoundslikeasensiblegirl,Suzannesaid. wasoneoftheBostoncrew,whichmadehim Youshouldgoandpayheranothervisit. wonderwhatTjanwasgoingtodowhenhe discoveredthatPerrywasdoingthis. Heblushedandshesockedhimintheshoulder. Takeyourcall,shesaid.Thecopsweregiving themthehairyeyeball,andPerryscrewedinhis headset. Thepagepinkenedandthensankintored.The otherpeopleonthecallclearlythoughtthiswas BS,whichwasarelieftoPerry.Hildacuedupthe nextspeaker.

Theconferencechannelwasfillingup.Perry checkedoffnamesasrepsfromalltheridescame Wecouldsetupinformationpicketsatthegates online.Therewasalotoftight,tensechatter,jokes toeachridehittingpeopleupfordonationsforour legaldefensegetthepresstocoveritandmaybe aboutthefuzz. wecouldbringinenoughtofightallthe OK,Perrysaid.Letsgetitstarted.Theres injunctions. copsblockadingeveryride,right?Usethepoll

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/154 Thepinklightenedalittle,wentbacktoneutral ass. white,turnedalittlegreen.Perrysloweddownthe PerrystartedtoIMback,butashadowfellacross backchannelalittleandskimmedit: hisscreen.ItwasJason,whoranthecontactlens ::Nowaycouldwebringinenough,thatslike30 stall.Hewasstaringatthetwocopcars grandeachIgetacouplehundredpeopleherein quizzically,lookinggroggybutgrowingalarmed. themorningandthatwouldmeanahundredand Perryclosedhislidandgottohisfeet.Morning, fiftybuckseach Jason.BehindJasonwerefiveorsixother ::Nonoitstotallydoablewecanraisethateasy vendors.Thesellerswholivedintheshantytown justsetupsomepaypalsandpublicizetheshitout andcouldthereforewalktoworkwerealwaysfirst ofit in.Soonthecommuterswouldstartarrivingin Thenextspeakerwastalking.Whatifwegotthe theirbeatercars. maintenancebotstobreakopenthedoorsand Hey,Perry,Jasonsaid.Hewaschewingonan carrytherideoutsidewhereeveryonecanseeit? unlitcigarette,adisgustinghabitthatwasonly marginallylessgrossthansmokingthem.Hed Brightred.Dumbidea. triedtoothpicks,butnothingwouldsatisfyhisoral Perrybrokein.Imworriedthatwhenpeople cravingslikeafiltertip.Atleasthedidntlight showupitllprovokesomekindofconfrontation them.Whatsup? withthelaw.Itcouldgetuglyhere.Howcanwe Perrytoldhimwhatheknew,whichwasntmuch. keepthatcooledout? Jasonlistenedcarefully,asdidtheothervendors Green. whoarrived.Theyrefuckingwithyou,man.The cops,Disney,allofthem.Justfuckingwithyou. Thatstotallygottobeourtoppriority,Hilda Yougoaheadandhirealawyertogotothecourt said. foryouandseehowfaritgetsyou.Theyrenot Nextspeaker.OK,sothebestwaytokeeppeople playingbyanyrules,theyrenotinterestedinthe calmistotellthemthattheresanalternativeto lawyoubrokeorwhatever.Theyjustwanttofuck goingnuts,whichmaybecouldberaisingmoney withyou. foralegaldefense. SuzanneappearedoverPerrysshoulder. Greenish.Whataboutfindingprobonolawyers? ImSuzanneChurch,Jason.Imareporter. WhatabouttheACLUorEFF? Sure,Iknowyou.Youweretherewhenthey Greener. burneddowntheoldplace. ThebackchannelfilledupwithURLsandphone Thatwasme.Ithinkyoureright.Theyre numbersandemailaddresses. fuckingwithyouguys.Iwanttoreportonthat OK,timesrunningouthere,Perrysaid.You becauseitmightbethatexposingitmakesit guysneedtoorganizeacallaroundtothoseorgs hardertocontinue.CanIrecordwhatyouguyssay andseeiftheyllhelpusout.Passthehatatyour anddo? rides,trytofindlawyers.Everyonekeepreporting inalldayespeciallyifyougetawinanywhere. Jasongrinnedandslidthesoggycigfromone cornerofhismouthtotheotherandbackagain. Imgoingtogotakecareofthingshere. Sure,thatscoolwithme.Heturnedtotheother HildaIMedhimGoodluck,Perry.Youllkick sellers:Youguysdontmind,doyou?They

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/155 jokedandlaughedandsaidno.Perryletouta breathslowly.Theseguysdidntwanta confrontationwiththecopstheyknewbetter thanhimthattheycouldntwinthatone. Suzannestartedinterviewingthem.Thecopsgot outoftheircarsandstaredatthem.Thewoman cophadhermirrorshadesonnow,andsotheboth ofthemlookedhardandeyeless.Perrylooked awayquickly. goingtoasktheACLU?Theycantbetrusted, Perry.Theyreimpactlitigatorstheylltake casestomakeapoint,evenwhenitsnotintheir clientsbestinterests. Whatcouldbemoreinourintereststhangetting lawyerstofightthesebogusinjunctions?

Kettlewellblewoutalongbreath.OK,tableit. Tableit.HereswhatIvebeenpullingtogether: wevegotashitkickingcorporatefirmthatusedto Thevendorswithcarswerepullingthemaroundto handletheKodacellbusinessthatssendingouta theroadsideleadinguptotheride,unpacking partnertogototheBrowardCountycourtthis merchandiseandsettingitoutontheirhoods. morningtogettheinjunctionlifted.Theyredoing Vendorsfromtheshantytownheadedhomeand thisasafreebie,butItoldthemthattheycould camebackwithfoldingtablesandblankets.These handlethebusinessifweputtogetheralltherides guyswerebusinesspeople.Theywerentgoingto intooneentity. letthelawstandinthewayofputtingfoodonthe NowitwasPerrysturntoboggle.Whatkindof tablefortheirfamilies. entity? Thecopsgotbackintotheircars.Kettlewell workedhiswaycautiouslyacrossthefreeway, climbinglaboriouslyoverthemedian.Hehad changedintoasmartblazerandslacks,witha crispwhiteshirtthathidhisincipientbelly.He lookedliketheKettlewellofold,thekindofman usedtogivingordersandgettingrespect. Hey,man,Perrysaid.Kettlewellseasysmile wasreassuring. Perry,hesaid,throwinganarmaroundhis shouldersandleadinghimaway.Comehereand talkwithme. Wehavetoincorporatethemall,getthemall underoneumbrellasothatwecandefendthemall inonego.Otherwisetheresnowayweregoing tobeabletosavethem.Withoutacorporateentity, itsliketryingtoherdcats.Besides,youneed somekindofstructure,aformalconstitutionor somethingforthisthing.Youvegotanetwork protocol,andthatsit.Theresmoneyatstakehere potentiallysomebigmoneyandyoucantrun somethinglikethatonahandshake.Itstoo vulnerable.Youllgetembezzledorsuedinto oblivionbeforeyouevenhaveachancetogrow. SoIvestartedthepaperworktogeteverything underonebanner.

Theystoodintheleeofoneofthesicklypalms thatstoodbytheroadside.Thedaywascomingup Perrycountedtoten,backwards.Landon,Im hotandPerrystshirtstucktohischest,though reallythankfulthatyourehelpingusouthere. Kettlewellseemeddryandincontrol. Youreprobablygoingtosaveourasses.Butyou Whatsgoingon,Perry? cantputeverythingunderonebanneryoucant justdeclaretothesepeoplethattheirprojectsare Well,wedidaphonerthismorningwithallthe ours rideoperators.Theyregoingtoworkonraising moneyforthedefenseandgettingprobono Ofcoursetheyreyours.TheyreusingyourIP, lawyersfromtheEFFortheACLUorsomething. yourprotocols,yourdesigns....Iftheydontcome Kettlewelldidadoubletake.Wait,what?Theyre onboard,youcanjustthreatentosuethem

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/156 Landon!Pleaselistentome.Wearenotgoingto effectahostiletakeoverofmyfriends.Theyare equalownersofeverythingwedohere.Andno offense,butifyouevermentionsuingother projectsoverourIPhemadesarcasticfinger quotesthenwerethroughhavingany discussionsaboutthis.OK? Kettlewellsnortedairthroughhisnostrils.My apologies,Ididntrealizethatthiswassucha sensitiveareaforyou.Perryboggledatthis lawsuitsagainstrideoperators!ButIcangetthat. Heresthething,Perry.Withoutsomekindoffast movingstructureyouregoingtobedead.Evenif werepeltheboardersthismorning,theyllbeback tomorrowandthedayafter.Youneedsomething strongerthanabunchoffriendswhohaveloose agreements.Youneedalegalentitythatcanspeak foreveryone.Maybethatsacooporacharityor somethingelse,butitsgottoexist.Youmaynot thinkyouhaveanysayovertheseotherrides,but doeseveryoneelseagree?Whatifyougetsuedfor someonesbaddeedsinMinneapolis?Whatif somerideoperatorsuesyoutoputyououtof business? Perrysheadswam.Hehatedconversationslike this.Hedidnthaveanygoodanswerfor Kettlewellsobjections,butitwasridiculous.No onefromaridewasgoingtosuehim.Ormaybe theywould,ifhegotallgrabbyandwentMINE MINEMINEandincorporatedeverythingwith himatthetop.Hildasaidhewastheonetheyall lookedto,butthatwasbecausehewouldnevertry tohijacktheirprojects. No. Nowhat? Notoallofit.Wehavetodefendthisthing,but werenotgoingtodoitbytryingtotieeveryone downtocontractsandagreementswhereIgetto controleverything.Maybeacoopistherightway togo,butwecantjustdeclareacoopandforce everyonetobemembers.Wehavetogeteveryone toagree,everyonewhosinvolved,andthenthey canelectacouncilorsomethingandworkout somekindofuniformagreement.Imean,thats howallthegoodfreesoftwareprojectswork. Theresauthority,butitsnotallunilateraland imperious.Imnotinterestedinthat.Idrather shutthisdownthandeclaremyselfpopeemperor ofrideland. Kettlewellscrubbedhiseyeswithhisfists.Up close,thelinesinhisfaceweredeepsunk,his eyeballsbloodshotandhungover.Yourekilling me,youknowthat?Whatgoodisprinciplegoing todowhentheyknockthisfuckingthingdown andslapyouwithagiganticlawsuit? Perryshrugged.Ireallyappreciatewhatyouve done,butIdratherloseitthanfuckitup. Theystaredateachotherforalongtime.Cars whizzedpast.Perryfeltlikeabigjerk.Kettlewell haddoneamazingworkforhimthismorning,just outofthegoodnessofhisownheart,andPerry hadrepaidhimbybeingastiffneckeddickwad. Hefeltanoverwhelmingdesiretotakeitback,just putKettlewellinchargeandlethimrunthewhole show.Justshrughisshouldersandabdicate. Helookeddownatthegroundandupintothe stragglypalms,thenheavedasigh. Landon,Imsorry,OK,butthatsjusthowitis.I totallydigthatyouresayingthatwererisking everythingbynotdoingityourway,butfrommy seat,doingityourwaywillkillitanyway.Sowe needabetteranswer. Kettlewellscrubbedhiseyessomemore.Youand mywifesoundlikeyoudgetalong. Perrywaitedforhimtogoon,butitbecameclear hehadnothingmoretosay. Perrywentbacktothecopcarsjustasthefirst gangofgothsshoweduptotakearide.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/157

PARTIII
Sammyhadfilledacoolerandstuckitintheback seatofhiscarthenightbefore,programmedhis coffeemaker,andwhenhisalarmrousedhimat 3AM,hehittheroad.Firstheguzzledhisthermos oflethalcoffee,thenreachedaroundinbackfor bottlesoficydistilledwater.Hekeptthewindows rolleddownandbreathedintheswampy,cool morningair,themostpromisingairoftheFlorida day,beforeitallturnedtosteamandsizzle. Hedidntbotherlookingfortruckstopswhenhe neededtopiss,justpulledoverontheturnpikes sideandletfly.Whynot?Atthathour,itwasjust himandthetruckersandthetouristswithmorning flights. HereachedMiamiaheadofscheduleandhada dinerbreakfastbigenoughtokillalesserman,a realfatkinsaffair.Hegotbackontheroad groaningfromthechowandmadeittotheold WalMartjustasthemerchantsweresettingup theirmarketontheroadside. WhenheddonetheBostonride,hedbeen discouragedthattheydkeptonwiththeirWho villeXmaseventhoughhedgrinchedawayall theirfun,butthistimehewasexpecting somethinglikethis.Watchingtheseguyssell souvenirsatthefuneralfortheridemadehimfeel prettygoodthistimearound:theirdisloyaltyhad tobearealmoralekillerforthoserideoperators.

havingahugefightwiththeeyebrowguyandnow theeyebrowguywasrunningawayfromhim. Gettingthelawyerstoagreetospringthebudget tofileineverylocationwheretherewasaridehad beentricky.Sammyhadhadtofudgealittleonhis research,claimthattheywerebringinginreal money,tieittothedropinnumbersinFlorida,and generallydoasonganddance,butitwasallworth it.Theseguysclearlydidntknowwhethertoshit orgoblind. Noweyebrowmanwasheadedforthecopcars andtheentrance,andthere,ohyes,thereitwas. Fivecarsworthofgoths,luggingbagsfullof somekindofhomemadeorscavengedhorror memorabilia,pullingupshortattheentrance. Theypiledoutoftheircarsandstartedmilling around,askingquestions.Someapproachedthe cops,whoseemedinnomoodtochat.Thebody languagecouldbereadat150feet: Goth:Butofficer,Iwannagetonthisriiiiiide. Cop:Yousickenme. Goth:Allaroundmeisgloom,gloom.WhycantI goonmyriiiiiide? Cop:Iwouldliketoarrestyouandlockyouupfor beingaweird,sexuallyambiguousmelodramatic whosdumbenoughtohangaroundoutofdoors, allinblack,inFlorida. Goth:CanItakeyourpicture?Imgonnaputiton myblogandtheneveryonewillknowwhata meanieyouare.

Thecopsweregettingtwitchy,whichmadehim grin.Twitchycopswereakeyingredientforbad trouble.Hereachedbehindhimandpulledaniced Cop:Yapyapyap,littlebitch.Yougoon coffeefromthecoolerandcrackedit,listeningto photographingmeandmouthingoff,seehowlong thehissastheembeddedCO2cartridgeforced itisbeforeyoureincuffsinthebackofthiscar. bubblesthroughit. Scumbagstreetvendors:Hahaha,lookatthese Nowherecameasuit.Helookedlikeagenuine gothkidsmouthingofftothelaw,thatcopmust mightymorphinpowerbroker,whichmade haveminusculetesticles! Sammyworry,becauseaguylikethathadnt Cop:Dontmakemeangry,youwouldntlikeme figuredintohisplans,butlookatthat;hewas whenImangry.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/158 Eyebrowguy:Um,caneveryonejustbenice?Id preferthatthisallnotgoupinflames. Scumbags,goths:Hurrhurrhurr,shuttup,lookat thosedumbcops,ahahaha. Cops:Grrrr. Eyebrow:Oh,shit. Fourmorecarspulledup.Nowtheshoulderwas gettingreallycrowdedandfreewaytrafficwas slowingtoacrawl. Moregothspiledout.Familycarsapproachedthe snarl,slowed,thenspedupagain,notwantingto riskthecraziness.Maybesomeofthemwouldget onthefuckingturnpikeanddriveuptoOrlando, wheretherealfunwas. Inhisrearview,hesawthechaosbegin.Someone threwapunch,someoneslipped,someone knockedoveratableofinfringingmerch.Wahoo! Partytime! Hehitthenextleft,thenpointedhiscaratthe freeway.Hereachedbackandsnaggedanothercan ofcoffeeandwenttoworkonit.Asthecanhissed open,hecouldnthelphimself:hechuckled.Then helaughedafull,loudbellylaugh.

Perrywatchedithappenasthoughitwerealla dream:Thecrowdsthickening.Thecopsgetting outoftheircarsandputtingtheirhandsontheir belts.Adistantsiren.Morepeoplemillingaround, hangingoutinthemiddleoftheroad,likeidiots, Thefourlaneroadwasdowntoaboutalaneanda idiots.Thenthatjerkinthecarwhatthehellwas half,andmillingcrowdsfromtheshantytownand hethinking,hewasgoingtokillsomeone! thearrivingcarswerecloggingwhatremainedof Andthenitallexploded.Therewasaknotof thethoroughfare.Nowgothswereparkingtheir fightingbodiesoverbythetables,andtheknot carswaybackattheintersectionandwalkingover, wasgettingbigger.Thecopswererunningfor carryingtheobjectstheydplannedtosacrificeto them,batonsout,peppersprayout.Perryshouted therideandsmokingclovecigarettes. something,buthecouldnthearhimself.Ina SammysawDeathWaitsbeforeDeathWaits turnedhishead,andsoSammyhadtimetoduck downbeforehewasspotted.Hegiggledtohimself andchuggedhiscoffee,croucheddownbelowthe window. secondthecrowdnoiseshadgonefromfriendlyto anangryroar.

PerryspottedSuzannewatchingitallthroughthe viewfinderonherphone,presumablystreamingit live,thenshoutedagain,anunheardwarning,asa Thesituationwasheatingupnow.Lotsofpeople combatantbehindherswungwideandclockedher wereaskingquestionsofthecops.Peopletryingto inthehead.Shewentdownandhechargedforher. drivethroughgotshoutedatbythepeopleinthe Hedjustreachedherwhenanoisewentoffthat road.Sometimesagothwouldslamafistdownon droppedhimtohisknees.Itwastheir ahoodandtheredbealittlebitofbackandforth. antipersonnelsoundcannon,whichmeantthat Itwasapowderkeg,andSammydecidedtotouch Lesterwasaroundheresomewhere.Thesound itoff. wasaphysicalthing,itmadehisbowelslooseand Heswunghiscaroutintotheroadandhitthehorn andrevvedhisengine,drivingthroughthecrowd justahairfasterthanwassafe.Peopleslappedhis carasitwentbyandhejustleanedonthehorn, ploughingthrough,scatteringpeoplewhoknocked overvendorstablesandsteppedontheirwares. madehisheadringlikeagong.Thoughtwas impossible.Everythingwasimpossibleexcept curlingupandwrappingyourhandsaroundyour head. Painfully,heraisedhisheadandopenedhiseyes.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/159 Allaroundhim,peoplewereontheirknees.The cops,though,hadputgiantindustrialearmuffson, thekindofthingyousawjackhammeroperators wearing.Theyweremovingrapidlytoward... LesterwhowasinapickuptruckwiththeAPhorn stuckinthecargobed,wiredintothecigarette lighter.TheyhadgunsdrawnandLesterwas lookingatthemwideeyed,handsintheair. Ahandcamedownonhisshoulderandhe jumped,squeaked,andfellintoadefensivepose, waitingforthetruncheontohithim,butitwas Suzanne,grimfaced,pointingherownphone.She hadalaminatedpresspassoutinherfreehand andwasholdingitupbesideherheadlikea talisman.Shepointedoffdowntheroad,where someofthegothkidswhodjustbeenarriving whenthingswentdownweremoreambulatory, Theirmouthsweremoving,butwhateverthey havingbeensomewhatshieldedfromthenoise. weresayingwasinaudible.Perrytookhisphone outofhispocketandaimeditatthem.Hecouldnt Theywererunningandbeingchasedbycops.She madealittlescootinggestureandPerry movewithoutspookingthemandpossibly knockinghimselfoutfromthesound,buthecould understoodthatshemeantheshouldbefollowing them,gettingthevideo.Hesuckedinabigbreath rodneykingthemastheyadvancedonLester.He couldpracticallyreadLestersthoughts:IfImove andnoddedonceandsetoff.Shegavehishanda firmsqueezeandhefeltthatherpalmswereslick toswitchthisoff,theyllshootmedead. withsweat. ThecopsclosedonLesterandthenthesourold Hekeptlowandmovedslow,keepingthe malecopwasupinthebedandhehadLesterby viewfinderupsothathecouldkeepthemeleein thecollar,throwinghimtotheground,pointing hisgun.Hispartnermovedquicklyandefficiently shot.Hehopedlikehellthatsomeonewatching thisonlinewouldspringforhisbail. aroundthebed,eventuallyfiguringouthowto unplugthehorn.Thesilenceranginhishead.He Miraculously,hereachedtheoutlierskirmish couldnthearanythingexceptadogwhistlewhine withoutbeingspotted.Herecordedthecops fromhisabusedeardrums.Aroundhim,people takingthegothsdown,cuffingthem,andhooding movedsluggishly,painfully. onekidwhowasthrashinglikeafishonahook.It Hegottohisfeetasquickashecouldanddrunk seemedthathewouldneverbespotted.Hecrept walkedtothetruck.Lesterwasalreadyinplastic forward,slowly,slowly,tryingtofeelinvisibleand cuffsandlegrestraints,andthebig,deadeyedcop unnoticed,tryingtoprojectit. waswatchinganarmoredpolicebusrolltoward themintheeeriesilenceoftheircollective deafness. Itworked.Hewasgettingincrediblefootage.He waspracticallyontopofthecopsbeforeanyone noticedhim.Thentherewasashoutandahand grabbedforhisphoneandthespellwasbroken. Suddenlyhisheartwasthundering,hispulse poundinginhisears. Heturnedonhisheelandran.Amadgiggle welledupinhischest.Hisphonewasstill streaming,presumablyshowingwild,nauseous shotsofthelandscapeswingingpastashepumped hisarm.Hewasheadedfortheride,fortherear entrance,whereheknewhecouldtakecover.He feltthefootstepsthudbehindhim,dimlyheardthe

Perrymanagedtoswitchhisphoneoverto streaming,sothatitwasuploadingeverything insteadofrecordingitlocally.Hefadedback behindsomeofthecarsforcoverandkeptrolling astheriotbusdisgorgedaflyingsquadronof helmetedcopswhobegantomethodicallyand savagelygrab,cuff,andtossthegroaningcrowd lyingflatontheground.Hewantedtoadd narration,buthedidnttrusthimselftowhisper, sincehecouldnthearhisownvoice.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/160 shoutsbuthistemporarydeafnessdrownedout thewords. wholewayalong.Onehardjouncemadetheir headsconnectandtheybothcussed,then Hehadhisfoboutbeforehereachedthedoorsand apologizedtooneanother,thenlaughedalittle. hebadgedin,bangingthefoboverthetouchplate MynamesPerry.Hisvoicesoundedlikehewas aninstantbeforeslammingintothecrashbarand underwater,buthecouldhear.Thepepperspray thedoorsswungopen.Hewaitedinagitationfor seemedtohaveclearedouthissinusesandgiven thedoorstohissshutslowlyafterhimandthenit himbacksomeofhishearing. wasthegloomoftheinsideoftheride,darkinhis ImDeathWaits.Hesaiditwithoutanydrama. sunadjustedeyesight. Perrywasntsureifhedheardright.Hesupposed Itwasonlywhenthedoorsshiveredbehindhim thatherealizedwhathedjustdone.Theydbreak inandcomeandgethim,andintheprocess, theyddestroytheride,forspite.Hiseyeswere adjustingtothegloomnowandhemadeoutthe familiar/unfamiliarshapesofthedioramas,now blackandlacywithgothmemorabilia.Thisplace gavehimcalmandjoy.Hewouldkeepthemfrom destroyingit. Hesethisphonedownonthefloor,propped againstaplasterskullsothatthedoorwaywasin theshot.Hewalkedtothedoorandshoutedas loudashecould,hisvoiceinaudibleinhisown ears.Imcomingoutnow!heshouted.Im openingthedoors! hehad.Gothkids. Nicetomeetyou. Likewise.Theirheadswerebangedtogether again.Theylaughedandcursed. Christmyfacehurts,Perrysaid. Imnotsurprised.Youlooklikeatomato. Youcansee? Luckyme,yup.Igotaprettygoodcoupleof whacksonthebackandshouldersonceIwas down,butnogas. Luckyyouallright. ImmorepissedthatIlostthetombstoneI broughtdown.Itwasarealrarity,anditwashard toget,too.Ibetitgottromped.

Hewaitedforatwocount,thenreachedforthe lock.Heturneditandletthedoorcrashopenas twocopsinriotvisorscamethrough,pepperspray Tombstone,huh? atthefore.Hewasdownontheground,writhing FromtheGraveyardWalkatDisney.Theytoreit andclawingathisfaceinaninstant,andthephone downlastweek. caughtitall. Andyouwerebringingittoaddittotheride? AllPerrywantedwasforsomeonetocutthe plasticcuffsoffsohecouldscrubathiseyes, thoughheknewthatwouldonlymakeitworse. Theriotbussoundedlikeanorgy,moaningand groaningwithdozensofvoiceseverytimethebus jouncedoverapothole. Perrywasonthefloorofthebus,nexttoakid judgingfromthevoicewhocursedsteadilythe Surethatswhereitbelongs. Perrysfacestillburned,butthepainwas lessening.Beforeithadbeenlikehisfacewason fire.Nowitwaslikeamillionfireantsbitinghim. Hetriedtoputitoutofhismindbyconcentrating onthepaininhiswristswheretheplasticstraps werecuttingintohim. Why?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/161 Therewasalongsilence.Hastogosomewhere. Bettertherethaninavaultorinthetrash. Howaboutsellingittoacollector? Youknow,itneveroccurredtome.Itmeanstoo muchtogotoacollector. Thetombstonemeanstoomuch? Iknowitsoundsstupid,butitstrue.Youheard thatDisneystearingoutallthegothstuff? Fantasylandmeantalottosomeofus. JustpickeditupasIwentalong.Youcoulddo thesame,Imsure.Buthangonasecyouwere puttingstufffromDisneyridesintomyride? Well,yeah.Butitwasstufftheydtorndown. Perryseyesstreamed.Thiscouldntbea coincidence,stufffromDisneyridesshowingup inhisrideandthecopsturninguptoenforcea courtorderDisneygot.Buthecouldntblamethis kid,whosoundedlikearealpuppydog.

Wait,youdontthinkthecopsweretherebecause Youdidntfeellikeitwas,what,cooptingyou? Dude,youcanbuygothclothesatachainof Probably.Nohardfeelingsthough.Imighthave mallstores.Werealloverthemainstream/non donethesameinyourshoes. mainstreamfight.IfDisneywantstoputtogethera gothhomeland,thatsallrightwithme.Andthat Ohshit,Iamsosorry.Ididntthinkitthroughat all,Icanseethatnow.Ofcoursetheydcomeafter ride,itwasthebestplacetorememberit.You you.Theymusttotallyhateyou.Iusedtowork knowthatitgotcopiedovereverynighttoother there,theyjusthateanythingthattakesaFlorida ridesaroundthecountry?Soallthepeoplewho touristdollar.Itswhytheybuiltthemonorail lovedtheoldDisneycouldbepartofthe memorial,eveniftheycouldntcometoFlorida. extensiontoOrlandoairporttomakesurethat Wehadtheidealastweekandeveryonelovedit. fromthemomentyougetofftheplane,youdont spendanickelonanythingthattheydontsellyou. SoyouwereputtingstufffromDisneyridesinto Iusedtothinkitwascool,becausetheybuiltsuch myride? greatstuff,butthentheywentafterthenew Fantasyland Yourride? Youcantbeacitizenofathemepark,Perry Well,Ibuiltit. said. Nofuckingway. Thekidbarkedalaugh.Man,howtrueisthat? Way.Hesmiledandthatmadehisfacehurt. Youvenailedit,pal. Dude,thatisthecoolestthingever.Youbuilt Perrymanagedtocrackaneye,painfully,and that?HowdidHowdoyoubecomethekindof catchablurrylookatthekid:ablackEdward personwhocanbuildoneofthosethings?Imout Scissorhandsdandelionclockofhair,eyeliner, ofworkandtryingtofigureoutwhattodonext. frockcoatbutababyfacewithcheeksyoucould probablyseefromthebackofhishead.Aboutas threateningasaSmurf.Perryfeltasudden, delayedrushofanger.Howdaretheybeatupkids Sure,Iguess.ButIwanttobethekindofperson likethisDeathWaitsallhewantedtodowas whoinventstheideaofmakingsomethinglike rideagoddamnedride!Hewasntacriminal, that.Didyougetanelectricalengineeringdegree wasntoutrollingoldladiesorreleasingmalicious orsomething? bioorganismsonthebeach! Well,youcouldjoinoneofthecoopsthats buildingtheotherrides.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/162 Thebusturnedasharpcornerandtheirheads bangedtogetheragain.Theygroanedandthenthe doorswerebeingopenedandPerrysqueezedhis eyesshutagain. Roughhandsseizedhimandmarchedhimintothe stationhouse.Thecrowdsusurrationswereliquid inhisscrewedupears.Hecouldntsmellorsee, either.Hefeltlikehewasinsomekindofterrible sensorydeprivationnightmare,anditmadehim jerky,sowheneverahandtookhimandguided himtoanotherstationinthecheckinprocess(his walletliftedfromhispocket,hischeekswabbed, hisfingerspressedagainstafingerprintscanner) heflinchedinvoluntarily.Thehandsgrewrougher andmoreinsistent.Atonepoint,someonepeeled openhisswolleneyelid,afeelinglikebeing stabbedintheeye,andhisretinawasscanned.He screamedandheardlaughter,distantthroughhis throbbingeardrums. armbroke.Hehadamomentslucidawareness thatabonehadbrokeninhisbody,andthenthe painwasonhimandhechokedoutashout,thena louderone,andtheneverythingwentdark. Asitturnedout,hisprisoninfirmarytimedidnt lastlongatall.Kettlewellhadfadedfastfromthe riot,headedbacktotheguesthouseandgotthe lawyersonthephone.Hedshownthemthe streamoffofPerrysphoneandtheywereinfront ofajudgebeforePerryreachedthejail. Perrywasledoutoftheinfirmarywithhisarmin asling.Hisfacewasstillpainfullyswollen,and hedmanagedtoturnanankleaswell.Atleasthis hearingwascomingback.

KettlewelltookPerrysgoodarmandgavehima soulfulhugthatembarrassedhim.Kettlewellled himoutside,towhereabigcabwaswaiting.Init Itgalvanizedhim.Heforcedhiseyesopen,glaring werethefamilyKettlewell,Lester,andSuzanne. atthecopsaroundhim.MostlytheywereFlorida Lesterhadacouplebandagestapedtohisfaceand whenSuzannesmiled,hesawherlipswere crackers,middleagedguyswithdeadeyed expressionsofimpersonalmalevolence.Therewas stainedredandoneofherfrontteethhadbeen knockedout. atinysmatteringofbrownfacesandwomens faces,buttheywerebutasprinklingwhen Hemanagedabravesmile.Lookslikeyouguys comparedtothedominantsomatypeofFlorida gotthefulltreatment,huh? law. Suzannesqueezedhishand.Nothingthatcantbe Thenexttimesomeonegrabbedhimtoshovehim fixed.AdaandPascallookedgoggleeyedat towardsthenextstationonthisquest,hejerkedhis them.AdawaspoppingKoreanlotusbeanwalnut armawayandsatdown.Hedseenprotestorsdo cakesintohermouthfromagreasypaperbag,and thisbefore,andknewthatitwashardtomovea sheofferedthemsilentlytoPerry,whotookone sittingmanexpeditiouslyorwithdignity.Hands justtobepolite,butfoundafterthefirstbitethat seizedhimbythearms,andheflaileduntilhewas hewasntreallyhungryafterall. free,remainingfirmlyseated.Thelaughterwas KettlewellandPerryfoughtaboutwhattodonext, turningtoangernow.Besidehim,someoneelse butKettlewellprevailed.Hetookthemtoaprivate sat.DeathWaits,lookingwhitefacedandround eyed.Morepeoplehitthefloor.Abillyclubwas doctorwhophotographedthemandexamined shovedunderhisarm,whichwasthentwistedinto themandxrayedthem,documentingeverything whileAdaKettlewellplayedcamerawomanwith anagonizingposition.Hewassuddenlyreadyto giveupthefightandgoalong,buthecouldntget herphone,videoingitall. tohisfeetfastenough.Withasickeningcrack,his Idontthinksuingthepoliceisgoingtohelp,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/163 Landon,Perrysaid.Suzannenoddedvigorously. Thethreevictimswereinpaperexamininggowns, andtheKettlewellswerestillinstreetclothes, whichgavethemarealadvantageintheself confidencedepartment. Itllhelpifwecashoutabigsettlementitll bankrollourdefenseagainsttheDisneytrademark claims.IPlawyerschargemorethanGodperhour. Igottheinjunctionlifted,butwerestillgoingto havetogotocourt,andthatsnotgoingtobe cheap. Wellchargeittothebusiness,Perrysaid. Lesterchuckledandgavehimathumponthe back.Itsalegitexpensetheseareour customersafterall. Kettlewellshookhisheadatallofthem,thenhe leftthedoctorsoffice.Healreadyhadhisphone stucktohisheadandwastalkingwiththelawyer beforehegotoutofearshot. PerryandLesterandSuzanneandEvaexchanged mischievousglances,grinningwithunexpected delight.Pascal,ridingonEvaship,wokeupand startedcryingandEvahandedhimtoLesterwhile shewentforthediaperbag.

ItneedledPerryhedidntliketheideaofbeing embroiledinthelegalsysteminthefirstplace, andwhilehecouldgrudginglyadmitacertain Herewegoagain,Lestersaid,wrinklinghis eleganceinusingcashsettlementsfromthelawto noseandholdingthewailingPascalatarms fundtheirdefenseincourt,thewholebusiness length. madehimsquirm. Suzannegotitallwithherphone,thensheflipped Evasatdownbesidehim.Icantellthissucksfor itshutandgaveLesterahardkissonthecheek. you,Perry.Adawhisperedthewordsucksand giggled,andEvarolledhereyes.Buttheresfifty Fatherhoodwouldsuityou,shesaid. peoplewedidntbailoutinthere,whoareallof Hewentbrightred.Dontyougetanyideas,he themgoingtohavetofigureouttheirownway said.Suzannelaughedandskippedaway,looking throughthelegalsystem.Youcantrunabusiness alloften. ifyourcustomersriskasolidbeatingandjailtime Perryfelthuge.Largerthanlife.Theadventure justforshowingup. wasbeginninganew,withthesegoodpeople Idontwanttorunabusiness,hethought,buthe whomhelovedlikefamily.Hehadtheworkand knewthatwaspetulant.Hewasthemanwiththe thepeople,andwhoneededanythingmore. rollofbillsdownhispants.Therearefiftypeople Itwasafeelingthatlastedallthewaybacktothe stillintheslam? ride. Kettlewellnodded.Suzannehadhercameraout Butthenhesurveyedtherideitselfandfounditin andshewasrecording.Ithadbeenalongtime utterruins,farworsethanithadbeenleftwhen sincePerryhadreallyfeltthecameraseyeon hedbeendraggedoutofit.Everysingleexhibit him.Itwasonethingtoberecordedbysome wassmashed,strewnhereandthere. friendsforremembrance,butnowSuzannes cameraseemedlikethegazeofposterity.He Hecouldntbelieveit.Hebroughtupthecleanup neededtorisetoit,heknew. lights,floodingtheplace,andthenhesawwhat hedmissedatfirst:thesmashedexhibitswerenot Letsgetthemout.Allofthem. smashedexhibitstheywerereplicasofsmashed Kettlewellraisedhiseyebrows.Andhowdoyou exhibits.Ateveryrideinthecountry,policehad planondoingthat? goneinsmashing,andeveryotherrideinthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/164 countryhadfaithfullyreproducedthedamage, dutifulprinterschurningoutreplicadetritusand dutifulrobotsplacingitwithmicrometer precision. Hebegantolaughandcouldntstop.Lestercame inandimmediatelygotthejokeandlaughedalong withhim.Theymanagedtostoplaughingjustlong enoughtoexplainittoSuzanneandKettlewell, whodidntfinditnearlyasfunnyastheydid. Suzannetookpictures. Finallyhegotdowntobusiness,openingthe changelogandrollingtheridebackthroughthe revisionstoitsunsmashedstate.Itwouldtake therobotsalongtimetoseteverythingright again,butatleasthedidnthavetooverseeit. Instead,hetrackeddownasmanyofthemarket stallvendorsashecouldlocateintheshantytown andmadesuretheywereallrighttheywere, thoughtheydlostsomeinventory.Hecomped themallamonthsrentandmadesuretheyknew thatstepswerebeingtakentokeepitfrom happeningagain.Heknewthattheycouldmake nearlyasmuchmoneysellingfromaroadsideor online,andhewantedtokeepthemhappy. Besides,itwasnttheirfault. Hewasexhaustedandhisarmwasreallystarting togripehim.Hefoundhimselfstoppinginthe streeteveryfewstepstorubhiseyesandforce himselfon.Franciscameonhimwhenhewaslike that,leaningagainsttheprefabconcretewallof oneofthetall,twistyshanties,andhetookPerrys carkeysawayanddrovehimhome.Perrywasin toomuchofastatebythetimehegotthereto thinkabouthowFranciswouldgetbackhewas alreadylyinginbedbeforeitoccurredtohimthat theoldmanwiththegimpylegprobablywalked thetenmileshome. argumentbetweenLesterandSuzanne,andthen Suzannestormingoutoftheapartment.Oh, goody,hethought.Helayonhisback,tryingto findsleepagaintheclocksaid3AMandfound thoughtsofHildadriftingunbiddenintohismind. Itwassillytheydonlyspentonenighttogether, andhehadtoadmitthatasgreatasthesexhad been,hedhadbetterwiththefatkinsgymnasts youcouldpickupdownonSouthBeach.Shewas tooyoungforhim.ShelivedinWisconsin.But thereweretouchesintheridethathadoriginated withherinstantiationhelookedoverthelogs everynowandthenandhefoundhimself contemplatingthemwithsentimentalsmiles. Hefellasleepagainandonlywokewhenherolled overonhisbadarmandyelpedhimselfawake. Thesmellofwaffles,baconandeggswasstrong intheapartment.Hecouldntbebotheredto figureouthowtoshowerwithhiscaston,sohe pulledonapairofshortsandlethimselfintothe livingroom. Lesterwasatthestove,cookinguphalfapigand pouringmaplebatterintothewaffleiron.He wavedaspatulaathimandpointedoutatthe terrace.PerrysteppedoutandsawSuzanneand TjanandTjanslittlekidswhatweretheir names?Lyenitchkaandthelittleboy?Man,the wholefamilywashere. Yourarmisbroken,Lyenitchkasaid,pointingat him. Perrynoddedgravely.Thatstrue.Wanttosign mycast?Hewasprettysurethathehadagrease pencilthatwouldmarkthesurface,thoughthe hospitalhadswornthatitwouldsheddirt,inkand anythingelsehethrewatit.

Shenoddedvigorously.Tjanlookedhimoverand gavealittlewave,thenPerrywentbackintothe Hewokeuplaterthatnighttosexnoisesfrom livingroomandaskedhiscomputertofindthe LestersroomandherecognizedSuzannesvoice. greasepencil. Later,hewokeagaintohearthetailendofanother ThoughtyoudbebusyinBoston,hesaid,while

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/165 Lyenitchkapainstakinglyspelledouthername, goingovertheletterstogetthemtoshowupdark thecastsurfacereallydidntwanttosuckup anytint. BostoncameoutOK.Wehadlawyersontapat thestartandthevibewascool.Iincorporated there,soitwaseasierthanyouguyshadit.But someoftheotherswerehitbad,likeSan FranciscoandMadison. Madison?Perrywasalarmedbyhowalarmed hesounded. Perrygavehimamockglare.Youhavenorightto sayanythingonthisscore.Hedartedaglanceat Suzanneandsawthatshewasblushing.Tjantook thisinandnodded,asthoughhissuspicionshad justbeenconfirmed. Fairenough,Tjansaid.Letsmakesome inquiriesabouttheyounglady.Whatshername? HildaHammersen. Tjanseyebrowsshotup.HildaHammersen? Fromthemailinglists?ThatHilda?

Hildawasthequeenofthemailinglistsbrash, quick,andargumentative,butneverthekindof personwhostartedflamewars.Hildasarguments werehotandfast,andshealwayswon.Perryhad PerryjerkedandspoiledLyenitchkaswriting.He watchedheradmiringlyfromthesidelines,only pattedherheadandsethisarmbackdownwhere weighinginoccasionally,butheseemedto shecouldgetatit.Hegroaned. remembernowthatshedtakenTjantothe Theyremostlystillin.Weretryingtogetthem cleanersonceonanissueofprotocolresolution. bailedout,butthejudgeatthearraignmentsetbail Thatstheone,Perrysaid. prettyhigh. Ialwayspicturedherasbeingaboutfifty,witha Massarrests.Thecopstherearerealhardcases, withallthisantipersonnelgearleftoverfromthe stemcellriots. Illpostit,Perrysaid.Icanputupmysavings orsomething... machetebetweenherteeth,Lestersaid.No offense.

Tjanlookeduncomfortable.Perry,thereare250 peopleinthelockupinWisconsin.Someofthem aregoingtoskipout,itsnearlyacertainty.Ifyou bailthemallout,youllgobroke.Imean,its goodtoseeyouandImsorryyougothurtandall respect,butdontbeanidiot. Perryfelthimselfgobelligerent.Hishandswent intofistsandhisbrokenwingprotested.That broughthimbacktoreality.Heforcedhimselfto smile. TheresagirlinMadison,Iwanttomakesure shesOK. TjanandSuzannestaredathimforasecond.Then Lesterclappedhimacrossthebackfrombehind him,startlinghimandmakinghimsqueak.Big fella!hecrowed.Ishouldhaveknown.

Lyenitchka,gogetmyphonefrommybed stand,Perrysaid,pattingthegirlontheshoulder. Whenshegotbackhewentthroughhisphotosof Hildawiththem. LestermadeawolfwhistleandSuzannepunched himintheshoulderandtookthephoneaway. Shesverypretty,Suzannesaid,disapprovingly. Andveryyoung. Ohyes,datingyoungerpeopleissosleazy, Lestersaidwithachuckle.Suzannesquirmedand evenPerryhadtolaugh. Guys,hereitis.IneedtospringHilda,andwe needtodosomethingaboutallthosecustomers andsupportersandsoonwhowenttojailtoday. Weneedtofightalltheinjunctionsallofthem andpreventthemfromrecurring.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/166 Andweneedtoeatbreakfast,whichisready, Lestersaid,gesturingatthetablebehindhim, whichwasstackedhighwithwaffles,sausages, eggs,toast,andpitchersofjuiceandcarafesof coffee. Theycantspringhertoday.Tomorrow,though.

HeclosedhiseyesandshutouttheTSAgoon.She hadahugebouffantofcopperhair,anda midwesternerssenseofproportionalitywhenit cametoeyeshadowandrouge.Shewasthekind LyenitchkaandSashalookedateachotherandran ofwomanwhocouldcallyouhoneyandmakeit tothetable,takingseatsnexttooneanother.The soundlikeIslamofascistfaggot. adultsfollowedandsoontheywereeating.Perry Whynot,Tjan? managedawaffleandasausage,butthenhewent offtohisroom.HildawasintheslaminMadison, Therewasapause.Shesintheinfirmaryand theywontreleaseheruntiltomorrow. andwhothehellknewwhattheantipersonnel stufftheMadisoncopsusedhaddonetoher.He Infirmary. justwantedtogetonafuckingplaneandgothere. Nothingseriousshetookaknockonthehead Halfwaythroughhisshower,heknewthatthatwas andtheywanttoholdherforobservation. whathewasgoingtodo.Hepackedashoulder Hepicturedacopperselectrifiedbillyclub bag,tookacouplemorepainkillers,andwalked comingdownonshiningblondhairandfeltlike outintothelivingroom. throwingup. Guys,ImgoingtoMadison.Illbebackinaday ortwo.Wellworkeverythingoutoverthephone, Perry?Buddy.ShesOK,really.Ihadourlawyer visitherintheprisoninfirmaryandsheswears OK? shelooksgreat.ThelawyersnameisCandice LesterandSuzannecameovertohim.Yougoing takeacabtoherofficefromtheairport.OK? tobeOK,buddy?Lestersaid. Whyissheintheprisoninfirmary,Tjan?Why Illbefine,hesaid. cantshebemovedtoarealhospital? Wecanspringherfromhere,Tjansaid.We Itsjustaliabilitything.Thepolicedontwantto havetheInternet,youknow. riskthesuitifshegoescomplicatedonthem Iknow,Perrysaid.Youdothat,OK?Andtell betweenhospitals. herIllbethereassoonasIcan. Jesus. Thesecurityattheairportwentbonkersoverhim. Seriously,shesfine.Wevegotagoodlawyeron Theperfectstorm:afresharrest,asuspiciouscast, thescene. andaticketboughtwithcash.Hemissedthefirst ButPerryhadabadfeeling.TheTSAgoonpicked twoflightstoChicago,butbymidafternoonhe uponitandgavehimalittlebitofextraattention. waslandingatOHareandsubmittingtoan Actingnervousoragitatedinanairportwasaone interimscreeningprocedurebeforeboardingfor waytickettoacavitysearch. Madison.Hisphoneranginthemiddleofthe screening,andthewrinklyoldTSAgoonlady Butthenhewasliftingoffandheadedfor primlyinformedhimthathemightaswellgetthat Madison,andthoughthetimecrawledontheone sinceoncethephonerings,theyhavetostartthe hourflight,itwas,afterall,onlyanhour.Heeven procedureoveragain. nappedbriefly,thoughaskymarshallwokehim shortlyafterforarandombagsearch.Hisfellow Tjan,hesaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/167 passengersbadlydressedmidwesternersanda coupleofhipsterstudentsallturnedtheirbags outinthecrampedcabinandthengotbackintheir seatsforthelanding. lastyear.TheysaidIhadfinancialirregularities.I waspaypallingtoafriendinKampalawho withdrewitinshillingsandsentittomyfamilyin giros.HomelandSecuritysaidthatIwasmoney laundering.IthoughtIdbesentawayorputin Perryhadmeanttophoneinacarreservationat OHare,buttheextrasearchhadeatenupthetime prison,butMsCandicewrotethemaletterand theyvanished.Hesnappedhislong,knuckly hedallocatedforit,andnowalltherental countersweresoldout.Reluctantly,hegotintoa fingersforemphasis. taxiandaskedthedrivertotakehimtotheoffice Jesus.Well,thatsgood.Shesgoingtohelpme ofthelawyersthatTjanhadhired. getmygirlfriendoutofjail.Perryrealizedhed ThecabbiewasayoungAfricankidwithashaved justcalledHildahisgirlfriend,whichwouldbe head.Hehadadentinonetempleandmoredents newstoher,butthereitwas. inoneofhiswrists,visibleashelethislonghands Youdontneedtoworry.Shellgetyourfriend drapeoverthesteeringwheel. free.

Iknowwhereitis,hesaidwhenPerrygavehim Perrynoddedandtriedtoclosehiseyesandrelax. theaddress.Thatlawyer,sheisverygood.She Hecouldnt.Whatthehellhadhappenedtothe helpedmewiththeHomelandSecurity. world.Ithadseemedsoexcitingwhenhisfather Thekidwasyoung,21or22,withastudiousair, wasbringinghomenewshapeshedspunoffhis despitehisoldinjuries.HeremindedPerryofthe CAD/CAMrig.WhenPerryhadstartedtotrade designswithpeople,toeffortlesslyfindpeopleon shantytowners,peoplewhodidntalwaysget thenetwhowantedtocollaboratewithhimand medicalattentionfortheirailments,peoplewho viceversa.WhenPerryhadstartedabusiness wereoftenmissingatoothortwo,whohad mysteriouslumpsfrombadlysetbonesorscarsor makingcoolartoutoffreejunkandsellingitoff funnyeyebrowslikehis.Themidwesternersonthe anInternetconnectionthatwaslikewisefree. planehadbeenflawlessasactionfigures,but PerrysfriendsandthisAfricankidlookedlike somethingcarvedoutofcoalandchalk.

Perrywasonebigjitterfromthetripandthe coffeeandthepillsforhisarm,buthefound himselfdrawnintoconversationastheywhizzed pastthefieldsandmalls,thefactoriesandoffice parks. ImfromGulu,inUganda.Therehasbeencivil warthereforthirtyfiveyears.Istudiedchemical engineeringthroughtheAfricanVirtual Universitywikiprogram,andqualifiedfora ChavezscholarshiphereinMadison.Hisaccent waslightbutexotic,theAfricanrollingoftheRs, theBritishsoundingvowelshifts.Butthe HomelandSecuritydidntwanttorenewmyvisa

Free,free,free.Noneedtotalktoagovernment, orgrovelforacurator,orputupwithanagentora boss.Hedjustassumedallalongthathedendup livinginaworldwhereallthoseparasitesand bulliesandmiddlemenwouldjustblowawayin thewind. Buttheydallfoundjobsinthenewworld.They werentneededanymore,butthatdidntmeanthat theywentaway.Nowtheywerewandinghimin airportsandsuinghimfortrademarkinfringement andbustinghisgirlfriendandbreakinghisarm andgivinghassletothispoorAfricankidwhod taughthimselftobeanengineerwitha ferchrissakeswiki. Hedryswallowedanotherpainkillerandthen rememberedthattakingthepillsmeanthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/168 wouldntbeabletogetadrink,whichhecould sureasshituse. MynamesPerry,hesaid. Richard,thedriversaid.Werealmostthere, Perry.Iwishyoutheverybestofluck. understandit.Itreallylookslikeitwasthecops fault.Someonetoldthemthattherewereprinted gunsintheridelocationandtheyusedextreme anddisproportionateforce.

Isee,Perrysaid.Hisbloodwhooshedinhis ears.Printedguns?Nofriggingway.Sure,ray Youtoo,hesaid.Thedrivershookhishand gunsinsomeoftheexhibits.Butnothingthat warmlyaftergettinghisluggageoutofthetrunk,a firedanything.Hefelttearsbegintostreamdown limphandshakebyNorthAmericanstandards,but hisface.Thelawyermovedtohissofaandputher gentleandfriendlynonetheless.Hisdentedwrist armaroundhisshoulders. flexedoddlyasthehalfknitbonestheremoved. Shesgoingtobefine,Candicesaid.The ThelawyersofficewasnotwhatPerrywas Parkinsonsisrare,butitgoesawayin100percent expecting.Itlookedlikesomeoneslivingroom, ofthethecaseswhereitoccurs.Whatthismeans withacoupleofoverstuffedsofas,adozingcat, isthatwevegotanamazingchanceoftakinga andthelawyer,Candice,whowasayounglooking hugebiteoutofthelocallawthatwecanuseto womaninhermidtwenties.Shedressedinjeans fundfuturedefense.Tjantoldmethatthatsthe andanoversizedUWsweatshirt,withalaptop strategyandIthinkitssound.Plustheharderwe perchedononeknee.Shehadafriendly,open hitthelawtoday,themorereluctanttheyllbeto face,framedwithlotsofcurlybrownhair. rushoffhalfcockedthenexttimesomeone trumpsupaBStrademarkclaim.Itcouldbemuch YoumustbePerry,shesaid,settingthelaptop worse,Perry.Theresakidwholostaneyetoa downandgivinghimanunexpectedhug.That wasfromHilda.Isawheracouplehoursago.She rubberbullet. wasveryadamantthatIpassitontoyou. Perryfistedthetearsaway.Letsgogether,he Nicetomeetyou,"hesaid,acceptingacupoftea said. fromaninsulatedjugonacardboardsideboard. Theysaysheshouldntbemoved,Candicesaid. Hildaisallright? Whatdoesourdoctorsay? Sitdown,thelawyersaid. IphonedacoupleMDsthisafternoonandgot Perrysstomachturnedasomersault.Hildasall conflictingstories.Everyoneagreesthatnot right? movingherissaferthanmovingher,though.The onlydisagreementisabouthowdangerousit Sit. wouldbetomoveher. Perrysat. Letsgoseeher,then. Shewasgassedwithaneurotoxinthathasgiven Thatwecando. heratemporarybutsevereformofParkinsons disease.Normallyitjustrenderspeopleimmobile, Perryhadtroublewiththesearchattheprison butoneinamillionhasareactionlikethis.Its hospital.Hiscastandtheirscannersdidntget justbadluckthatHildawasoneofthem. alongandtheycouldntbesatisfiedwithahand search.Foracoupleminutesitlookedlikehewas Shewasgassed? goingtobekeptout,butCandicewhohad Theyallwere.Therewasahellofafight,asI changedintoapowersuitbeforetheyleftthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/169 officeputonasternvoiceanddemandedto speaktothedutysergeant,andthentohis commandingofficer,andintenminutes,theywere onthehospitalward,wherethemetalrailedbeds hadprisonershandcuffedtothem. Hilda?Shelookedsunkenandsick,herface slackandherjawaskew.Hereyesopenedand rolledcrazily,theyfocusedonhim.Herbody shookthroughtwowavesoftremorsbeforeshe wasabletoraiseashakinghandtowardhim, trailingIVtubes.Shewastryingtosayhisname, butitwouldntcomeout,justaseriesofplosive Ps. couplehoursago.Sleepstheonlythingforit. Theyvegothermildlysedated,too. Hildasmelledlikeheremembered,theundersmell beneathhershampooandthechemicalsclinging toherhair.Ittookhimbacktotheirnighttogether, andhestrokedhercheek. Illstayhere,hesaid. Idontthinkthattheyregoingtoletyoudothat, Perry.Thisisaprison,notahospital.

Illstayhere,hesaidagain.Justmakeit happen,OK?Weregoingtosuethemintoa smokinghole,right?Thatsgottogiveussome Butthenhetookherhandandfeltitsfinewarmth, leverage.Illstayhere. thecallusesherememberedfromallthosemonths Shesighedandlookedathimforalongtime,but ago,andhefeltbetter.Actuallybetter.Feltsome hewouldnttakehiseyesoffofHilda.Hisbroken peaceforthefirsttimeinalongtime. armthrobbedandhewasoutofpainkillers. Theydhavepainkillershere. Hello,Hilda,hesaid,andhewassmilingso broadlyhisfacehurt,andtearswererunningdown Candicewentaway,andthen,awhilelater,she hischeeksanddrippingoffhisnoseandrunning cameback.Stayhere,shesaid.Illcomeand intohismouth.Shewasweeping,too,herhead getyouinthemorning. vibratinglikeabobbledoll.Hebentoverherand Thanks,hesaid.Thenhethoughtthatheshould tookherheadinhishands,buryingtheminher saysomethingmore,andheturnedaround,butthe thickblondhair,andkissedheronthelips.She lawyerhadgone. shookunderhim,butshekissedhimback,he couldfeelherlipsmoveonhis. HefellasleepholdingHildashandwithhisgood hand,andwokeupwithanunbelievablepainin Theykissedforalongtime.Hesubconsciously tooknoteofthefactthatCandicehadmovedback, hisbrokenarmandcouldntfindanurse.Hebit downonthepainandspentalongwatchthatnight givingthemsomeprivacy.Whenthekissbroke, hehadanoverwhelmingdesiretotellherheloved staringatHilda,thinkingofallshemeanttohim her,buttheyhadnttakenthatstepyet,andmaybe andhowweirditwasthatshemeantsomuch whentheydhadsobriefamomenttogether.They aprisonhospitalbedwasnttherightplaceto hadntlethimbringhisphonein,orhedhave makepronouncementsoflove. takenathousandpicturesofherfaceinrepose.He Iloveyou,hesaidsoftly,inherear,kissingthe noddedoffagain. lobe.Iloveyou,Hilda. Hewokewhenshedid,stirringinherbed.Her Shecriedharder,andmadechokingsobs.He movementswerestillweakandfeeble,butthey huggedherashardashedared.Candicecame lackedtheuncontrolledtremorsofthenight backandstoodbythem. before.Heleanedinforakiss,notcaringabouthis sourbreathorhers. Theythinkthatshellbebetterinthemorning. Shesalreadymuchbetteroffthanshewasjusta

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/170 Goodmorning,hesaid. Morning,gorgeous,shesaid,andtookhimina soft,sleepyhug. Candicesprungthemandtookthemacrosstown toherdoctor,ayoungmanwhotookgreatcarein examiningHilda,explainingpatientlywhichfluids hewasdrawingandwhichtestsheplannedon runningonthem.Perryhadnoticedthat midwesternerscameintwoflavors:big ScandinavianAryanswithgiantshouldersand easysmiles,andexchangestudentsand immigrantsinvaryingshadesofbrown,who lookedhurtandbentalongsideofthenatives lookedlikethepeopleheknewfrombackhome, peoplewhodidnthavereadyaccesstomedical careorgoodnutritionintheirformativeyears. ThedoctorwasVietnamese,buthewasatleasta couplegenerationsin,judgingbyhisaccent,and hehadthesamemidwesternsmileandseemedbig andbulkycomparedwiththeVietnamesepeople PerryknewinFlorida.Hewatchedthemanpeer intentlyatascreenaftertapingsomeelectrodesto Hildashead,andfeltlikehedcometosomeland ofNorsegiants. ThedoctoreventuallytoldHildatogohomeand rest,andshepromisedshewould.Perryandshe gotintothebackofCandicescarandcuddledup tooneanother,dozing.ItwasntuntilPerrygot backwithhertoherapartmenteverystickof furnituremadefromclevercardboardand emptiedouthispocketsthatherememberedto switchhisphoneonagain. Hewasdowntohisboxersandshewasincotton PJswithsexycowgirlsprintedonthem,andwhen hepoweredthephoneup,itwentbonkers,lighting uplikeaChristmastree,vibrating,andmaking urgentbleats. Shit,hesaid,andbegantosortthroughthe alertswhilehisbackandneckmusclestightened. Hesatontheedgeofthebedandproddedatthe phonewithhisrighthand,holdingitawkwardlyin hislefthand,tryingtoworkaroundthecast.Hilda tookthephoneandhelditforhimsohecould workmorefreelyandtheybothreadwhatwas goingon. Asecondroundoflawsuitshadbeenfiledthat night,andtheinjunctionshadbeenreinstated.The storyabouttheridesbeingasourceofprinted armsandmunitionshadspread,andinSan Franciscotheridehadbeentakenapartby HomelandSecuritybombrobotsthathad detonatedseveralkeypiecesofequipment.Three oftheSanFranciscoridecrewendedupinthe hospitalafterclasheswithoverreactingcops. Hildanoddedandtookthephonefromhimandset itdown. Right,whatsthegameplan? HowshouldIknow?Perrysaid.Hecouldhear thewhineinhisvoice.Ijustbuildstuff.Tjanand Candicesaythattheythinkwecansuethecops overthebrutalityandusethemoneytofundlegal defenses,butDisneysdenialofserviceattacking usinthecourtroom.Theyrealsogettingallthis destructiondealttousbythecops. Youknowhowyoueatanelephant?Onebiteata time.Letsbreakthisdownintosmallcomponent piecesandworkonsolutionstothem,thencallup thetroopsandletthemknowwhatsgoingon.Ill getaconferencecallsetupwhilewechat. Shewasstillmovingslowlyandweakly,andhe triedtogethertoputdownherlaptopandrest,but shewasnthavinganyofit. Andsotheyworked,dividingtheproblemupinto manageablepieces:incorporatinganonprofitco op,writingthebylaws,gettingthewordout throughthepress,reopeningtherides,putting togetherscrapbooksofthecarnagewrought. Itallseemeddoableonceitwasreducedtoits componentparts.Perryputitallonlineandthen

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/171 conferencedTjanandKettlewellin. Perry,doyouthinkitsagoodideatotellour enemieshowweplantorespondtothem? HildashookherheadandputahandonPerrys goodarmtocalmhimdownbeforeheanswered Kettlewell.Thatshowwedoitoveronourside. Theirsideisallaboutsecrecy.Oursidetradesthe advantageofsurprisefortheadvantageof openness.Youwatchbytonightwellhaveby lawsdrafted,pressreleases,exhaustive documentation.Youwatch. Onthescreen,Lestersfacesuddenlyhoveinto view,fisheyedistortedbyhisproximitytothe lens.Hildagaveanamusedsqueakandpulled back. SothatsYoko,huh?Lestersaid,grinning. Cute!Listenguys,dontletthesesuitstalkyou outofwhatyouredoing.Thisistherightthing. Imonallthemessageboardsandstuffand theyreallchampingtodosomethingforreal. Yoko?Hildasaid.Sheraisedanadorable eyebrow. Justafigureofspeech,Lestersaid.ImLester. YoumustbeHilda.Perrystolduspractically nothingaboutyou,whichisprobablyasignof somethingorother. HildaregardedPerrywithmockcoolness.Oh really? Lester,Perrysaid.Iloveyoulikeabrother. Shutthefuckupalready. hardlygonenoonandthesilencestretched. Thanksforcoming,Perry,shesaid. IHebrokeoff.Hedidntknowwhattosay. Theyhadonlyknowneachotherforaday,only hadaonenightstand.Sheprobablythoughtthat hewasagiantcreep.Iwasworried.hesaid. Um.Youshouldprobablyrestupsomemore, right? Hegotupandheadedforthedoor. Wheredoyouthinkyouregoing?shesaid. FiguredIdletyourest,hesaidwithahalf shrug. Getinthisbedthisinstant,youngman,shesaid, slappingthebedbesideher.Andgetthosestinky clothesoffbeforeyoudoIwonthaveyou gettingmysheetsallcoveredinyourtravel grime. Hefeltthefoolishgrinspreadacrosshisfaceand heskinnedoutofhisclothesasfastashecould withhiscaston. Theydidntleavethehouseuntilsuppertime, freshlyshowered(shedbeenadelightfulhelpin scrubbingthosespotswherethecastimpeded access)andchanged.Perrytookapainkillerafter theshower,whichkickedinastheywentoutthe door,andtheautumneveningwascrispandsharp.

Theygotasfarasthecornerbeforetheman approachedthem.PerryGibbons,isntit?He hadanEnglishaccent,andalittlepotbelly,anda Lestermadealittlewhippingmotion.Suddenlyhe bigwhitebubblejacketandascarfwoundround wasgonefromthepicture,andtheysawSuzanne histhroat. pullinghimawaybyoneear.Hildasnorted.Ilike her,shesaid.SuzannegavethemawaveandTjan Thatsright,Perrysaid.Helookedattheguy. DoIknowyou? andKettlewellcamebackintoframe. Theymadetheirgoodbyesandhungup.Now HildaandPerrywerealone,together,inher bedroom,laptopsshut,daydonethoughitwas No,Idontthinkso.ButIvefollowedyouinthe press.Quiteremarkable. Thanks,Perrysaid.Beingrecognizedhow

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/172 weirdwasthat.Coolthatithappenedinfrontof Hilda.ThisisHilda,hesaid.Shetookthemans hand,andhegrinned,showingtwolongratlike frontteeth. musicindustrylawsuits.Imean,sure,goafter thecopsbecausetheyroughedyouguysup,but howmuchmoneydothecopshave?Yougotta targetsomefatcash,andforthatyouwanttogo Fred,hesaid.Whatanabsolutedelightrunning afterDisney.Abuseoftrademark,abuseof intoyououthereofallplaces.Whatareyoudoing process,somethinglikethat.Thestandardspretty high,butifyoucangetajudgement,themoneyis intown? incredible.Youcouldtakethemtothecleaners. Justvisitingwithfriends,Perrysaid. Perrylookedblearilyathim.Hewasyoung,like Wasnttheresomekindofdustupatyourplace allofthem,buthehadagoodrhetoricalstylethat inFlorida?Isawwhattheydidtotheridehere, Perryrecognizedassomethingbornofreal whatabloodymess. confidence.Heknewhisstuff,orthoughthedid. Yeah,Perrysaid.Hepointedathiscastedarm. Hehadastrawberrymarkonhishighforehead thatlookedlikeamapofadistantisland,and SeemedlikeagoodtimetogetoutofDodge. Perrythoughtthatthemarkprobablythrewoffthe Hildasaid,Weregettingsomedinner,ifyoud kidsopponents.SowesueDisneyandfiveyears liketocomealong. fromnowwecashinhowdoesthathelpus now? Iwouldntwanttointrude. Thekidnodded.Ihopedyoudaskmethat.Ive No,itsnosweat,wevegotawholebunchof peopleassociatedwiththeridemeetingus.Youd beenthinkingaboutthisalotlately.Hereswhat youneedtodo,dude,heresthefuckingthing. bemorethanwelcome. Theroomhadgrownsilent.Everyoneleaned Goodness,thatishospitableofyou.HowcanI closer.FredpouredPerryanotherbeerfromthe refuse? pitcherinthemiddleofthetable.Hereshowyou LukeandErnieweretherewiththeirgirlfriends, doit.Youraiseinvestmentcapitalforit.Theresa andthereweremorekids,midwesternandhealthy tonofmoneyinthis,aton.Disneysgotdeep eveniftheywerentnecessarilyallScandic,some pocketsandyouvegotagreatcase. Vietnamesekids,someHmong,somedesis Butlikeyousay,itlltaketen,fifteenyearstoget descendedfromtheH1Bdiaspora.Theyhada themoneyoutofthem.Anditllcostamilinlegal giganticmealinastudentplacethatwasheavyon feesontheway.Sowhatyoudois,youcreatean thepotatoesandbeersthesizeofyourhead,which investmentsyndicate.Youcanmaybegetthirty Perryresistedforacouplehoursuntilhefigured millionoutofDisney,pluswhateverthejury thathedmetabolizedmostofthepainkillerand awardsinpunitives,andifyoukeephalfofit,you thenstartedin,gettingjustshortofroaringdrunk. candeliverafifteenxreturnoninvestment.Sogo Hetoldthemwarstories,toldthemaboutDeath findamillionaireandborrowsixteenmillion,and Waits,toldthemaboutthecoopandtheplanto turnthedefenseovertohim. fightback. Perrywasdumbstruck.Yourejoking.Howcan Thatjustdoesntsoundrighttome,saidafriend thatpossiblywork? ofLukes,alawschoolgradstudentwhohadbeen bendingPerrysearallnightwithstoriesfromhis Itshowpatentlawsuitswork!Somedickhead lawclinicworkdefendinguniversitystudentsfrom engineergetsaboguspatentforhisdoomed

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/173 startup,andastheyresinkingintothemud,some venturecapitalistcomesandbuysthecompanyup justsoitcangoaroundandthreatenother companieswithrealbusinessesforviolatingthe patent.Theyaskforsumsjustbelowwhatitwould costtogettheUSPatentandTrademarkOfficeto invalidatethepatent,andeveryoneponiesup. Venturecapitalismisthemajorsourceoffunding forcommerciallawsuitsthesedays. anetworkofamusementparkridesthatguidetheir visitorsthroughanillustratedhistoryofthelast dotcombubble. Saythatyourmerrybandofunwashed polyamorousinfohippieswasovertakenby jackbootedthugsfromoneofthedinosauricmedia empiresofyesteryear,whoselegalmachinations resultedinnationwideraids,beatings,gassings, andthetotalshutdownofyourmovement.

Fredlaughedandclapped.Brilliant!Perry,thats Whatwouldyoudo?Sue?Callapress justbrilliant.Areyougoingtodoit? conference?Bailyourloyalfollowersoutofthe Perrylookedatthetable,doodlinginthepuddles slam? ofbeerwithafingertip.Ijustwanttogetbackto Getlaid,getshitfaced,andletabunchofstudents makingstuff,youknow.Thisisnuts.Devotingten spitballbullshitideasforfightingback? yearsofmylifetosuingsomeone? Ifyoupickedthelatter,youreingoodcompany. Youdonthavetodothesuing.Thatsthepoint. Lastnight,PerryGibbons,soidisantfounderof Yououtsourcethat.Yougetthemoney;someone therideafarianreligiouscult,wasspottedoutfor elsedoesthebusinessstuff.Hildaputherarm drinksandcuddleswithagroupof aroundhisshoulders.Givethesuitssomethingto twentysomethingstudentsinthebackwatertown occupythemselveswithotherwisetheygetantsy ofMadison,WI,aplacebetterknownforits andstiruptrouble. cheddarthanitsactivism. PerryandHildalaughedlikeitwasthefunniest WhileGibbonsregaledtheimpressionablepost thingtheydeverheard.Fredandtheothersjoined adolescentswithtalesofhisderringdo,heavidly in,andPerryscrawledadrunkennotetoTjanand notedtheirstrategicsuggestionsforsolvinghis Kettlewellwiththeinfo.Thepartybrokeupnot legal,paramilitary,andtechnicalproblems. longafter,amidmuchchortlingandsnorting,and OnesuggestionthatdrewGibbonssattentionand theystaggeredhome.FredgavePerryawarm handshakeandtreatedHildatoalingering,sloppy admirationwastoapproachventurecapitalistsand begthemforthecapitaltosueDisneyandthen huguntilshepushedhimoff,laughingeven usethesettlementsfromthesuitstopaybackthe harder. VCs. Allrightthen,Perrysaid,homeagainhome ThismindcrogglingPonzischemeistheclosest again. thingtoabusinessmodelweveyetheardoffrom Hildagavehisgroinafriendlyhonkandthen thechipaddledtechnohippiesoftheNewWork madeadashforit,andhegavechase. anditspostboomincarnation. OnecanonlyimaginehowourMsChurchwill PHOTO:ADrunkenPerryGibbonsGetsaHows coverthisinherfanblog:breathlessadmiration forMrGibbonsscunninginsolicitingyetmore YourFatherFromRideBrideHildaHammersen wayoutoftheboxthinkingfromtheJunior MADISON,WI:Sayyoumanagedtoinspiresome GuevarasoftheGreatMidwest,nodoubt. kindofmovementoftechnoutopianswhobuilt

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/174 PerhapsGibbonscanbeaffordedalittlesympathy, though.HislatestencounterwithFloridalawleft himwithabrokenarmanditmaybethatthepain medicationisprimarilyresponsibleforGibbonss fancythinking.Ifthatsthecase,wecanonlyhope thathisyoung,blondScandienursiewillcarefully ministerhimbacktohealth(whilehiscomrades rotingaolaroundthecountry). Thisorganizationneedstodiebeforeitgets someonekilled. Comments?WritetoFreddyat honestfred@techstink.co.uk LesterinterruptedSuzannesphonecalltobreak inandannouncethathedrunRatToothedFreddy toground:thereporterhadcaughtthefirstflight fromMadisontoChicagoandthengonewestto SanJose.TheTSAhadflaggedhimasaperson ofinterestandwerewatchinghismovements,and alittlediggingonitswebsitecouldcauseitto discloseFreddyseveryairbornemovement. SuzannerelayedthistoPerry. Dontyougothere,shesaid.Hesgunningfor theSanFranciscocrew,andheshopingfora confrontationoradenunciationsothathecan printit.Hegetsideesfixesthatheworriesatlikea terrier,goingformorebile. Isheapsycho?Whatthehellishisbeefwith me? Ithinkthathethinksthattechnologyhasntlived uptoitspromiseandthatweshouldallbe demandingbetterofourtech.Soforhim,that meansthatanyonewhoactuallylikestechnology istheenemy,theworstvillain,underminingthe caseforbringingtechuptoitstruepotential. Fuck,thatissotwisted. Andgiventhekindofvilecraphewrites,the onlyreadershehasarenutcaseswhogetoffon seeingpeoplewhoareactuallycreatingstuff flayedalivefortheirfailures.Theyegghimon everseeoneofhisletterscolumns?Ifhechanged toactualreportage,tellingthebalancedstoriesof whatwasgoingonintheworld,theydjumpship forsomeotherhatemonger.Hesalightningrod forassholeshesthekingofthetrolls. Perrylookedaway.WhatdoIdo? Youcouldtrytostarvehim.Ifyoudontshow yourhead,hecantreportonyou,exceptby makingstuffupandmadeupstuffgetsboring, evenforthekindsofloserswhoreadhisstuff. ButIvegotworktodo. Yeah,yeahyoudo.Maybeyouvejustgottotake yourlumps.Everycomplexecosystemhas parasitesafterall.MaybeyoujustcallupSan Franciscoandbriefthemonwhattoexpectfrom thisguyandtakeitfromthere. Oncetheywereofftheline,Lestercameup behindherandhuggedheratthewaist,squeezing thelittlelovehandlesthere,remindingherofhow longithadbeensinceshedmadeittoyoga. Youthinkthatllwork? Maybe.IvebeentalkingtotheNewJournalism Reviewaboutwritingapieceonmoral responsibilityandpaidjournalism,andifIcan bangitoutthisaft,Ibettheyllpublishit tomorrow. Whatsthatgoingtodo? Well,itlldistracthimfromPerry,maybe.It mightgethisemployertotakeahardlookatwhat heswritingImeanthatpieceisjustlies, mischaracterizations,andeditorialmasquerading asreportage.Sheputherliddownandpaced aroundthecondo,lookingattheleavesfloatingin thepool.Itllgivemesomesatisfaction. Lestergaveherahug,anditsmelledoftheold daysandtheoldLester,thegiant,barrelchested

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/175 prefatkinsLester.Ittookherbacktoasimpler bathroom,butnotbeforecatchingsightofEvaand time,whentheydhadtoworryaboutcommercial Landon.Evasexpressionwasgrimlysatisfied; competition,notpoliceraids. Landonlookedstricken.Fuckit,anyway.Shed Shehuggedhimback.Hewasallhardmuscleand nevergivenhimanyreasontohope,andhehadno businesshoping. zerobodyfatunderneathhistightshirt.Shed neverdatedanyonethatfit,notevenbackinhigh school.Itwasalittledisorienting,anditmadeher feelespeciallyoldandsaggysometimes,though heneverseemedtonotice. Speakingofwhich,shefelthiserectionpressing againsthermidriff,andtriedtohidehergrin. Gimmeacouplehours,allright? ShedialedtheNJReditorsnumberassheslid intoherchairandpulledupatexteditor.She knewwhatsheplannedonwriting,butitwould helptobeabletoshareanoutlinewiththeNJRif shewasgoingtogetthisoutingoodtime. Workingwitheditorswasapainafteryearsof writingfortheblog,butsometimesyouwanted someoneelsesimprimaturonyourwork. Fivehourslater,thecopywasfiled.Sherocked backinherchairandstretchedherarmshighover herhead,listeningtothecrackleofherspine. Shedbeenhalffrozenbytheairconditioning,so shedturneditoffandopenedawindow,andnow thecondowashotandmuggy.Shestrippeddown toherunderwearandheadedfortheshower,but beforeshecouldmakeit,shewasinterceptedby Lester. Halfwaythroughhershower,sheheardsomeone movingaroundinthebathroom,andthinkingit wasLester,shestuckherheadaroundthecurtain, onlytofindAdaonthepot,littlejeansaroundher ankles.Ihaddamake,Adasaid,withashrug. Christ.Whatwasshedoingbackhere,anyway? ShedmisseditallsomuchfromPetersburg.But shehadntreallybargainedforthis.Itwasonlya matteroftimeuntilTjanshoweduptoo,surely theydbewantingacouncilofwarafterFreddys openingsalvo. Shewaitedforthelittlegirltoflush(ouch!hot water!)andgotdressedasdiscreetlyaspossible. Bythetimeshegottothebalconywherethe councilofwarwasunderway,thetwolittlegirls, LyenitchkaandAda,hadgottenPascaluponthe sofaandwereplayingdressupwithhim,hot gluingBarbieheadstohischeeksandarmsand chubbyknees,likevacantlystaringwarts. Doyoulikehim? Ithinkhelookswonderful,girls.IsthatglueOK forhim,though? Adanoddedvigorously.Ivebeengluingthings tomybrotherwiththatstuffforever.Dadsaysits OKsolongasIdontputitinhiseyes.

Hefellonherlikeadogondinner,andhours slippedbyastheymadetheapartmenteven muggier.Lestersathleticisminthesackwas Yourdadsasmartman. flattering,butsometimesboundlesstothepointof irritation.Shewasrescuedfromitthistimebythe Hesinlovewithyou,Lyenitchkasaid,and giggled.Adasluggedherinthearm. doorbell. Thatssupposedtobeasecret,stupid,Adasaid. Lesterputonabathrobeandansweredthedoor, andsheheardthesoundsofthefamilyKettlewell Flustered,Suzanneduckedoutontothepatioand spillingin,thekidslittlefootfallspoundingup shutthedoorbehindher.EvaandTjanand anddownthecorridors.Hurriedly,Suzannethrew Kettlewellallturnedtolookather. onarobeandduckedacrossthecorridorintothe Suzanne!Tjansaid.Nicearticle.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/176 Isitupalready? abouttheridenetworkthatwasfoundedbyher oldpalsfromtheNewWorkpumpanddump, Yeah,justacoupleminutesago.Tjanheldup hisphone.Ivegotawatchlistforanythingtodo LesterBanksandPerryGibbons.Nowonthe scenearemorefamiliarfaces:LandonKettlewell, withFreddythatgetsalotoflinkloveinashort thedisgracedformerCEOofKodacell,andTjan period.Yourpiecerangthecherries. Tang,theformerbusinessmanagerofthe Shetookthephonefromhimandlookedatthelist Banks/Gibbonsscam. oflinksthathadbeenfoundtotheNJRpiece. Butnotlongafterarrivingonthescene,Church Threeofthediggdotshadpickedupthestory, fellinwithBanks,anearlyfatkinsandstalwartof sincetheylovedtoreportonanythingthatmade funofFreddyhewasafrequentsavageroftheir theNewWorkmovement,atechnologistwho readerscherishedbeliefs,afterallandthenceit entrancedhisfellowengineerswithhisaccounts hadwormeditswayallaroundthenet.Inthetime oftheNewWorksmanyinventions shedneededtotakeashower,herstoryhadbeen promptingonemessageboardcommenterto characterizehimasacrossbetweenSteve readbyaboutthreemillionpeople.Shefelta twingeofregretfornotpublishingitonherblog WozniakandtheReverendSunMyungMoon. thatwouldhavebeensomeseriousadvertising Now,eyewitnessaccountshavethemgoingatit coin. likeshaggingmarmots,asthebioenhancedBanks fallsonChurchswrinklycarcasshalfadozen Well,thereyouhaveit. timesaday,apparentlyconsummatingaromance Whatdoyousupposehellcomebackwith? thatblossomedwhileBankswas,toputitbluntly, Kettlewellsaid,thenlookeduncomfortablyatEva. agiantfatbastard.Itseemsthatradicalweight Shepretendednottonotice,andcontinuedtostare losshasputBanksintothecategoryofblokes atthegrimyHollywoodpalms,swimmingpools thatSuzanneChurchiswillingtoplayhidethe andfreeways. sausagewith. Somethingnastyandfulloflies,nodoubt. Allthiswouldbemeresordidgossipbutforthe factthatChurchisonceagainglowingly chroniclingtheadventuresoftheFloridacultists, NerdGroupieChurchFindsFatkinsLovewith playingjournalist,withoutashredofimpartiality RideSidekick ordisclosure. SourcesclosetotheHollywood,Floridaridecult Onecanonlyimaginewhentheother,financial haverevealedthatSuzanneChurch,thecelebrity shoewilldrop.ForwhereverChurchgoes,money bloggerwhohelpedinflatetheNewWorkstock isntfarbehind:surelytheresafinancialaspectto bubble,isinthemidstofaromanticentanglement thisbusinesswiththeride. withoneofthecultscofounders. UPDATE: ChurchrecentlycameoutofretirementinSt Indeedthereis:furtheranonymoustipsterism Petersburg,whereshehasbeenproducing revealsthatpapershavebeenfiledtocreateaco PR^H^Hjournalisticaccountsofthenew generationofRussianexperimentalplasticsurgery operativestructuredlikeaclassicPonzischeme, inwhichfranchiseoperatorsoftherideare butchers. expectedtopaymembershipduesfurtherupthe Churchwasluredbackbythepromiseofastory ladder.AlltheromanceofChurchsaccountswill

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/177 certainlyfindafreshbatchofsuckersiftheres onethingweknowaboutSuzanneChurch,its thatsheknowshowtoseparateamarkfromhis money. Kettlewellanymore,andthosetwoweregoingatit hammerandtongsnow,eachconvincedthathe wasincharge.Tjanreasonedthatsinceheactually ranoneofthemostdevelopedridesinthenetwork thatheshouldbetheexecutive,withKettlewellas atrustedadviser.Kettlewellclearlyfeltthathe Lesterrantheridebasicallyonhisownthatweek, deservedthecrownbecausehedactuallyrun missinghisworkshopandhistinkering,thinking globalbusinesses,asopposedtoTjan,whowas ofSuzanne,wishingthatPerrywasbackalready. littlemorethanamiddlemanager. Hewasntexactlyapeopleperson,andtherewere Neitherhadsaidexactlythat,butthatwasonly alotofpeople. becausewhenevertheyheadeddownthatpath, Ibroughtsomestuff,thegothkidsaidashe Suzanneinterposedherselfanddistractedthem. paidforhisticket,heftingtwohugeduffelbags. NooneaskedLesterorPerry,eventhoughthey ThatsstillOK,right? weretheoneswhodinventeditall.Itwasallso Wasit?DamnedifLesterknew.Thekidhada fuckedup.Whycouldnthejustmakestuffanddo hugebruisecoveringhalfofhisface,andLester stuff?Whydiditalwayshavetoturnintoaplan thoughtherecognizedhimfromtheshowdown forworlddomination?InLestersexperience, DeathWaits,thatswhatPerryhadsaid. mostworlddominationplanswentsour,whilea heftyproportionofmodestplanstoMake Sure,itsfine. SomethingCoolactuallyworkedoutprettywell, YoureLester,right? paidthebills,andputfoodonthetable. Christ,anotherone. Thegothkidlookedexpectantlyathim.Ima hugefan,youknow.IusedtoworkforDisney,and Yes,thatsme. Iwasalwayswatchingwhatyoudidtogetideas HonestFredisfullofshit.Ivebeenreadingyour fornewstuffweshoulddo.Thatswhyitsso postssinceforever.Thatguyisjustjealous totallysuckballsthattheyreaccusingyouof becauseyourgirlfriendoutedhimforbeingsucha rippingthemoffweripyouoffallthetime. lyingasshole. Lesterfeltlikehewasexpectedtodosomething Yeah.DeathWaitswasntthefirstonetosay withthatinformationmaybedeliverittosome wordstothiseffectSuzannehadhadthathonor lawyerorwhatever.Butwoulditmakea andhewouldntbethelast.ButLesterwanted difference?Hecouldntgetanyspitinhismouth toforgetit.Hedlikedthemomentsoffamehed overlegalfights.Christlegalfights! gainedfromSuzanneswriting,fromhisworkon Thanks.YoureDeathWaits,right?Perrytoldme themessageboards.Hedevenhadacoupleof aboutyou. fanboysshowuptodoalittleinterviewfortheir podcastabouthismechanicalcomputer.Thathad Thekidvisiblyswelled.Yeah.Icouldhelp beennice.ButblokesthatSuzanneChurchis aroundhereifyouwanted,youknow.Iknowalot willingtoplayhidethesausagewithugh. aboutrideoperating.Iusedtotraintheride Suzannewasholdingittogetherasfarashecould runnersatDisney,andIcouldworkanyposition. Ifyouwanted. tell.Butshedidntseemaswillingtostickher neckouttobrokerlittlepeacesbetweenTjanand WerenotreallyhiringLesterbegan.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/178 Imnotlookingforajob.Icouldjust,youknow, help.Idonthaveajoboranythingrightnow. Lesterneededtopee.Andhewassickofsitting heretakingpeoplesmoney.Andhewantedtogo playwithhismechanicalcomputer,anyway. Lester?Whosthekidtakingticketmoney? Suzanneshugwassweatyandsmelledgood. Lookatthis,Lestersaid.Heflippeduphis magnifyinggogglesandhandedherthesodacan. Hedcutawayapanelcoveringthewholefrontof thecan,andinsidehedpainstakinglyassembled sixtyfourflipflops.Heturnedthecrankonthe backofthecanslowly,andthecorrect combinationofrodsextendedfromthebackofthe can,indicatingthevaluesrepresentedontheflip flopswithin.Itsasixtyfourbitregister.We couldbuildashitkickingPentiumoutofacouple millionofthese. these,a64bitversionthatyoucouldbuildoutof garbage.Getacouplehundredofthelocalkidsin forthesummerandgetthemworking.Getthemto understandjusthowthesethingsworkthatsthe problemwithintegratedcircuits,youcanttake themapartandseehowtheywork.Howarewe goingtogetanothergenerationoftinkerersunless wegetkidsinterestedinhowstuffworks? Whosthekidtakingticketmoney? Hesafan,thatkidthatPerrymetinjail.Death Waits.TheonewhobroughtintheDisneystuff. HegraduallybecameawarethatSuzannewas rigidandshakinginhisarms. Whatswrong? Herfacewaspurplenow,herhandsclenchedinto fists.Whatswrong?Lester,whatswrong? Youveleftatotalstranger,who,byhisown admission,isarecentlyterminatedemployeeofa companythatistryingtobankruptyouandput youinjail.Youvelefthiminchargeofan expensive,importantcapitalinvestment,andgiven himtheauthoritytocollectmoneyonyourbehalf. Doyoureallyneedtoaskmewhatswrong?

Heturnedthecrankagain.Thecansmelledof solderandithadapleasantweightinhishand. Themillbesidehimhummed,andonhisscreen, thepartshedCADdeduprotatedinwireframe. Suzannewasathissideandhedjustbuilt somethingcompletelytehawesome.Hedtaken hisshirtoffsomewherealongtheafternoonslazy, Hetriedtosmile.ItsOK,itsOK,hesonly warmwayandhisskinprickledwithabreeze. Onlywhat?Onlyyourpossibledoom?Christ, Perry,youdontevenhavefuckinginsuranceon HeturnedtotakeSuzanneinhisarms.Godhe thatbusiness. lovedher.Hedbeeninlovewithherforyears nowandshewashis. DidshejustcallhimPerry?Hecarefullysetdown theCokecanandlookedather. Lookathowcoolthisthingis,justlook.He usedatweezertochangetheregistersagainand Imdownherebustingmyassforyoutwo, gaveitalittlecrank.Igottheideafromtheold fightingcops,lettingthatshitFreddysmearmy PrincetonInstituteElectronicComputerProject. namealloverthenet,andwhatthehellareyou Allthesegeniuses,vonNeumannandDyson,they doingtosaveyourself?Youreinhereplaying broughtintheirkidsforthesummertowindall withCokecans!Shepickeditupandshookit. thecorestheydneedfortheirRAM.Millionsof Heheardtheworksinsiderattlingandflinched thesethings,woundbythekidsofthesmartest towardsit.Shejerkeditoutofhisreachandthrew peopleintheuniverse.Whatacoolwaytospend it,threwithardatthewall.Hundredsoflittle yoursummer. gearsandratchetsandrodsspilledoutofit. SoIthoughtIdprototypethenextgenerationof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/179 Fine,Lester,fine.Yougoonbeinganemotional tenyearold.Butstopropingotherpeopleinto this.Youvegotpeoplealloverthecountry dependingonyouandyouarejustabdicatingyour responsibilitytothem.Iwontbeapartofit.She wascryingnow.Lesterhadnoideawhattosay now. ItsnotenoughthatPerrysoffchasingpussy, youvegottopickthismomenttotakeFrench leavetoplaywithyourtoys.Christ,thewhole bunchofyoudeserveeachother. Lesterknewthathewasonthevergeofshouting ather,reallytearingintoher,sayingunforgivable things.Hedbeentherebeforewithotherfriends, andnogoodevercameofit.Hewantedtotellher thathedneveraskedfortheresponsibility,that hedliveduptoitanyway,thatnoonehadasked hertoputherneckonthelineanditwasntfairto blamehimfortheshitthatFreddywasputtingher through.Hewantedtotellherthatifshewasin lovewithPerry,sheshouldbesleepingwithPerry, andnothim.Hewantedtotellherthatshehadno businessreaminghimoutfordoingwhathed alwaysdone:sitinhisworkshop. didntwantto. SammyskippedthreeconsecutiveTheme Leadersmeetings,despiteincreasinglydesperate requestsforhispresence.Thelegalteamwas eatingeverysparemomenthehad,andhehadnt beenabletogetaudienceresearchtogetbusyon hisfatkinsproject.Nowhewasbehindschedule notsurprising,giventhathedpulledhisschedule outofhisasstoshutupWienerandcoand dealingwithlawyerswasmakinghimcrazy. Andtotopitalloff,thegoddamnedrideswere backupandrunning. Sothelastthinghewantedwasavisitfrom Wiener. Theyresuingus,youknow.Theyraisedventure capitaltosueus,becausewehavesuchdeep pockets.Youknowthat,Sammy?

Iknowit,Wiener.Peoplesueusallthetime. Venturecapitalistshavedeeppockets,too,you knowwhenwewin,welltakethemtothe cleaners.Christ,whyamIhavingthis conversationwithyou?Dontyouhavesomething Hewantedtotellherthatshehadneveronceseen productivetodo?IsTomorrowlandsofucking himasasexualbeingwhenhewasbigandfat,but perfectthatyouvecomearoundtohelpmewith thathehadnotroubleseeingherasonenowthat mylittleprojects? shewasgettingoldandalittlesaggy,andso Someonesalittletouchytoday,Wienersaid, wheredidshegetoffcriticizinghisemotional waggingafinger.Ijustwantedtoseeifyou maturity? wantedsomehelpcomingupwithastrategyfor Hewantedtosayallofthis,andhewantedtotake gettingoutofthiscatastrophe,butsinceyou backhis64bitregisterandnurseitbacktohealth. mentionit,IdohaveworkIcouldbedoing.Ill Hedbeeninaluminouscreativefogwhenhed seeyouatthenextThemeLeadersmeeting,Sam. builtthatcan,andwhoknewifhedbeableto Missingthreeisgroundsfordisciplinaryaction, reconstructit? youknow. Hewantedtocry,toblubberatherforthe Sammysatbackinhischairandlookedcoollyat monumentalunfairnessofitall.Hestoodstiffly Wiener.Threatsnow.Disciplinaryaction.Hekept upfromhisworkbenchandturnedonhisheeland onhisbestpokerface,lookingpastWieners walkedout.HeexpectedSuzannetocalloutto shoulder(afavoritetrickforstaringdown him,butshedidnt.Hedidntcare,oratleasthe adversariesjustdontmeettheireyes).Inhis

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/180 peripheralvision,hesawWienerwilt,lookaway andthenturnandleavetheroom. Hewaiteduntilthedoorhadshut,thenslumpedin hisseatandputhisfaceinhishands.God,and shit,anddamn.Howdiditallgosocrapola?How didheendupwithathemeareathatwashalf shut,recordabsenteeism,andevenagoddamned unionorganizerjustthedaybefore,whomhed hadtohavesecurityremove.Floridalawsbeing whattheywere,itwasarareorganizerbrave enoughtotrytocomeonanemployersactual premisestodohisdirtywork,noonewanteda twoyearrapwithoutparoleforcriminaltrespass andinterferencewithtrade.Thekidhadbeen young,aboutthesameageasDeathWaitsandthe castmembers,andhadclearlybeendesperateto collecthisbountyfromSEIU.Hedgonehard, strugglingandkicking,shoutingslogansatthe wideeyedcastmembersandfewguestswho watchedhimgoaway. HavinghimtakenawayhadgivenSammyasick feeling.Theyhadnthadoneofthosevultureson thepremisesinthreeyears,andneveronSammys turf. Whatnext,whatnext?Howmuchworsecouldit get? Hi,Sammy.Hackelbergwasnttheheadofthe legaldepartment,buthewasashighupinthe shadowyorganizationasSammyeverhopedto meet.Hewasoldandleathery,thewaythat nativestotheSunbeltcouldbe.Helovedtoaffect icecreamsuitsandhadevenbeenknowntocarry acane.Whenhewasincasualconversation,he talkednormallikeaYankeenewscaster.But themoreserioushegot,thedeeperandthickerhis drawlgot.Sammyneveroncebelievedthatthis wasaccidental.Hackelbergwasaspremeditatedas theycame. Iwasjustabouttocomeoverandseeyou, Sammylied.Whateverproblemhadbrought Hackelbergdowntohisoffice,itwouldbebetter toseemasthoughhewasalreadyontopofit. Iexpectyouwere.WerecameoutWuhwhen thedrawlgotthatfarintotheswampsthatquickly, disasterwasonthehorizon.Hackelbergletthe phrasehangthere. Sammysweated.Hewasgoodatthisgame,but Hackelbergwasbetter.Entertainmentlawyers werelikefuckingvampires,evilembodied.He lookeddownathisdesk. Sammy.TheyrecomingbackafterusThey ahcominbackaftahus.Thoseridepeople. Theydidwhatwethoughttheyddo, incorporatingintoasingleentitythatwecansue onceandkillforgood,butthentheydid somethingelse.Doyouknowwhattheydid, Sammy? Sammynodded.Theyrecountersuing.Weknew theyddothat,right? Wedidntexpecttheydraiseawarchestlikethe onetheyvepulledtogether.Theyhaveabusiness planbuiltaroundsuingusforthenextfifteen years,Sammy.Theyrepracticallyreadytofloat anIPO.Haveyouseenthis?HehandedSammya hardcopyofachiclittleinvestmentnewsletterthat wassoexpensivetosubscribetothathed suspecteduntilnowthatitmightjustbearumor. HOWDOYOUGETRID(E)OFABILLION? TheKodacellexperimentrecognizedone fundamentaltruth:itseasytoturntenthousand intotwohundredthousand,butmuchharderto turntenmillionintotwohundredmillion.Scaling aninvestmentuptogigascaleissohard,itsnearly impossible. Butanewparadigmininvestmentthatsunfolding aroundusthatmightactuallysolvetheproblem: venturefinancedlitigation.Twentyorthirty millionsunkintolitigationcanbankruptatwenty billiondollarfirm,transferringtotheinvestors

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/181 whateverassetsremainafterlegalfees. Thisiscreativedestructionatitsfinest:theold Itsoundscrazy,andonlytimewilltellwhetherit dinosaurslikeDisneyParksarelikerichseamsof lockedawaycapitalbeggingtobeliquidatedand provestobesustainable.Butthefounderofthe strategy,LandonKettlewell,hasstruckgoldforhis puttoworkatnimblerfirms. investorsmorethanoncewitnessthelegendary Howcanyoutellifyouvegottherightfund? riseandfallofKodacell,theentitythatemerged Comebacknextweek,whenwellhaveaQ&A fromthemergerofKodakandDuracell.Investors withalitigationspecialistatCreditSuisse/First inthefirsttworoundsandtheIPOonKodacell Boston. broughthome30Xreturnsinthreeyears(of course,investorswhostayedintoolongcame ThereslitigationspecialistsatCreditSuisse? awaywithnothing). Meanwhile,KettlewellsbidtotakedownDisney Parkslooksgoodthelegalanalysisofthe vexatiouslitigationandunfaircompetitioncharges havelegalscholarsarguingandaddingupthe zeros.Mostdamningisthenumberofformer DisneyParksemployees(orcastmembersinthe treaclydialectoftheMagicKingdom)whove postedinformationaboutthecompanyslongterm plantosabotageKettlewellsclients. Hewasbig,Hackelberg,thoughheoftengavethe impressionofbeingsmallerthroughhishabitual slouch.Butwhenhepulledhimselfup,itwaslike astringinthecenterofthetopofhisheadwas holdinghimerect,likehewashoveringoffthe ground,likehewasabouttoleapacrossthedesk andgoforyourthroat.Hislowerjawrockedfrom sidetoside.

Theydonow,Sammy.Everyinvestmentbankhas Likewisefascinatingisthequestionofwhetherthe one,includingtheonethatthechairmanofour boardisamajorityshareholderin. jurywillbeabletodistinguishbetweenDisney Parks,whosecorporatecitizenshipisactually Sammyswallowed.Buttheyvegotjustasdeep prettygood,fromDisneyProducts,whoserecord pocketsaswedocantwejustfightthesebattles hasbeentaintedbyastringofdisastrouschild outandtakethemoneyoffofthemwhenwe labor,safety,anddesignflaws(astutereaderswill win? bethinkingoftheflammablepajamasflapof lastyear,andCEORobertMontaguesmemorable Ifwewin. words,Parentswhocantkeeptheirkidsaway Sammysawhisopportunitytoshifttheblame.If frommatcheshavenobusinesscomplainingabout wevebeenactingongoodlegaladvice,why ourirresponsibility).Punitivejuryawardsarea wouldntwewin? wildcardinthiskindoflitigation,butgiventhe trendsinrecentyears,thingslookbadforDisney Hackelberginhaledslowly,hischestfillingand fillinguntilhisicecreamsuitlookedlikeitmight Parks. pop.Hisjawclickedfromsidetoside.Buthe Bottomline:shouldyourportfolioincludea didntsayanything.Sammytriedtomeetthatcool litigationinvestmentcomponent?Yes, gaze,buthecouldntoutstaretheman.The unequivocally.Whileriskyandslowtomature, silencestretched.Sammygotthemessage:this litigationinvestmentspromiseastaggeringreturn wasnotaproblemthatoriginatedinthelegal oninvestmentnotseenindecades.Amillionor department.Thiswasaproblemthatoriginated twocarefullyplacedwiththerightlitigationfund withhim. couldpayoffenoughtomakeitallworthwhile.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/182 Helookedaway.Howdowesolvethis? Weneedtoraisethecostoflitigation,Samuel. Theonlyreasonthisisviableisthatitscost effectivetosueus.Whenweraisethecostof litigation,wereduceitsprofitability. Howdoweraisethecostoflitigation? entrance,makingthemfeelwelcome,talkingride trivia.Someofhispalsspottedhimatthedesk andenviouslydemandedtoknowhowhecameto besittingontheothersideofthewicket,andhe toldthemtheincrediblestoryofthefatkinswhod simplyhandedoverthereins.

This,thiswashowyouranaride.Noneofthat Youhaveafertileimagination,Sammy.Ihaveno artificialgloopysweetnessthatdefinedtheDisney doubtthatyouwillbeabletoconceiveof experience:instead,yougotapersonal,informal, innumerablemeansofaccomplishingthisgoal. humanscaleexperience.Chatpeopleup,findout theirhopesanddreams,makeadmiringnoisesat Isee. theartifactstheydbroughttoaddtotheride, Ihopeyoudo.Ireallyhopeyoudo.Becausewe kibbitzaboutwheretheymightplacethem.... haveanalternativetoraisingthecostof Aroundhim,thebarkofthevendors.Oneofthem, litigation. anoldladyinablindingwhitesundress,cameby Yes? toaskhimifhewantedanythingfromthecoffee cart. Wecouldsacrificeanemployeeortwo. Therehadbeenatime,thosefirstdayswhen theydrebuiltFantasyland,whenhedreallyfelt likehewaspartofthemagic.No,TheMagic, withcapitalletters.Somethingabouttheshared experienceofgoingtoaplacewithpeopleand havinganexperiencewiththem,thatwasspecial. Raisethecostoflitigation,huh? Itmustbewhypeoplewenttochurch.Notthat Hegrabbedhislaptop.Therewerewaysto Disneyhadbeenareligionforhim,exactly.But establishanonymousemailaccounts,buthedidnt whenhewatchedtheparkhedgrownup knowthem.Figuringthatoutwouldtakeupthe attendingtakeonthetrappingsthatadornedhis restoftheafternoon,herealized,ashecalledupa favoriteclubs,hisfavoritemoviesandgames coupleofFAQs. man,ithadbeenapieceofmagic. Sammypickeduphiswaterglassanddiscovered thatitwasempty.Heturnedawayfromhisdeskto refillitfromhisfilterandwhenheturnedback, thelawyerhadgone.Hismouthwasdryascotton andhishandswereshaking. Inthecourseofacareerasvariedandambitious asSammys,itwasoftenthecasethatyouran acrossanemailaddressforsomeoneyounever plannedoncontacting,butyouneverknew,anda wiseplannermakesspaceforlotsofoutlier contingencies. Sammyhadntwrittendowntheseemail addresses.Hedcommittedthemtomemory. DeathWaitswaslivingthedream.Hetook peoplesmoneyanddirectedthemtotherides Andtobeapartofit.Tobeanaltarboy,ifnota priest,inthatmagicalcathedraltheydallbuilt togetherinOrlando! Butithadntbeenreal.Hecouldseethatnow. AtDisney,DeathWaitshadbeenacustomer,and thenanemployee(castmemberhecorrected himselfreflexively).Whathewanted,though,was tobeacitizen.AcitizenofTheMagicwhich wasntaMagicKingdom,sincekingdomsdidnt havecitizens,theyhadsubjects. Hestartedtoworryaboutwhetherhewasgoingto

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/183 getalunchbreakbyabouttwo,andbythreehe wasstarving.LuckilythatswhenLestercame back.HethankedDeathprofusely,whichwas nice,buthedidntaskDeathtocomebackthe nextday. Um,whencanIcomebackanddothissome more? Youwanttodothis? ItoldyouthatthismorningIloveit.Imgood atit,too. Lesterappearedtothinkitover.Idontknow, man.Ikindofputyouinthehotseattoday,butI dontreallyhavetheauthoritytodoit.Icouldget intotrouble Deathwavedhimoff.Dontsweatit,then,he saidwithasmuchchirpashecouldmuster,which waspreciousfuckinglittle.Hefeltlikehisheart wasbreaking.Itwasworsethanwhenhedfinally askedoutacoworkerwhodworkedthe PinocchioVillageHausandshehadherlookedso horrifiedthathedmadeajokeoutofit,worried aboutasexualharassmentcomplaint. Lesterclearlycaughtsomeofthat,forhethought somemoreandthenwavedhishands.Screwher anyway.Meetmehereattentomorrow.Youre in. Deathwasntsurehedheardhimright.Youre kidding. kitstomodittolooklikeaBigDaddyRoth coffindragster.Thecarsataloneattheedgeofthe lot.Aroundhim,aslowprocessionofstall operators,withtheirarmsfull,headedforthe freewayandacrosstotheshantytown. Meanwhile,henursedhisembarrassmentandtried totakecomfortintheattentionthathisgleaming, moddedcarevinced.Helovedthedecorative spoilers,thehugereartires,theshiningmuffler pipesrunningalongsidethebulgingrunning boards.Hesteppedinandgrippedthebatshaped gearshift,adjustedtheheadstoneshapedheadrest, andgotrolling.Itwasalongdrivebackhometo Melbourne,andhewasreelingfromthedays events.Hewishedhedgottensomeonetosnapa picofhimatthecounter.Shit. Hepulledoffatafillingstationafteracouple hours.Heneededapissandsomethingwith guaranaifhewasgoingtomakeittherestofthe wayhome.Itwasallshutdown,buttheautomat wasstillopen.Hestoodbeforethegiant,wall sizedglassedinrefrigeratorandditheredoverthe energydrinks.Therewerechocolateones,salty ones,colasandcreamsodas,butafriendhad textedhimapictureofasemilegalyogurt smoothiewithtaurineandmodafinilthatsounded reallygood.

Hespotteditandreachedtotapontheglassand orderitjustasthefatguycameupbesidehim.Fat guyswererareintheeraoffatkins,itwas Noman,youwantit,yougotit.Youregoodatit, practicallyafashionstatementtobechunky,but thisguywasntfashionable.Hehadonionbreath likeyousaid. thatDeathcouldsmellevenbeforeheopenedhis Holythanks.Thankyousomuch.Imeanit. mouth,andhewaswearingagreasywindbreaker Thankyou!Hemadehimselfstopblithering. andbaggyjeans.Hehadacomboverandneeded Nicetomeetyou,hesaidfinally.Haveagreat ashave. evening!Yowch.Hewasspeaking Whatthehellareyousupposedtobe? castmemberese.Niceone,Darren. Hedsavedenoughoutofhiswagesfromhisfirst yearatDisneytobuyalittleShellelectrictwo seater,andthenhedgonewayintodebtbuying Imnotanything,DeathWaitssaid.Hewasused toshitkickersandtouristsgawpingathisshockof blackhairwithitsviridiangreenhighlights,his

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/184 whitefacepaintandeyeliner,hiscontactlenses thatmadehiswholeeyesintozombiewhitecue balls.Youjusthadtoignorethem. Youdontlooklikenothingtome.Youlooklike something.Somethingyouddressupasixyear oldasforHalloween.Imean,whatthefuck?He wastalkingquietlyandwithoutrancor,buthehad avibelikeabasher.Hemusthavearrivedatthe desertedreststopwhileDeathWaitswashavinga piss. didnthaveadayjob,butitwasbetterthanlosing histeeth. Theguysmiled.Hisonionbreathwasterrible. Iwanttrouble.Withoutanypreambleorwind up,theguytookholdoftheearringthatDeath woreinhistragus,thelittleknobofcartilageon theinsideofhisear,andbrisklytoreitoutof Deathshead.

Itwassosudden,thepaindidntcomeatonce. Whatcamefirstwasanumbfeeling,theblood DeathWaitslookedaroundforasecuritycam. drainingoutofhischeeksandthecolordraining Thesereststopsalwayshadalicenseplatecamat outoftheworld,andhisbraindoubleandtriple theentranceandacoupleofantistickupcams checkingwhathadjusthappened.Didsomeone aroundthecashier.Hespottedthecamera. justtearapieceoutofmyear?Tear?Ear? Someonehadhungabaseballhatoveritslens. Thenthepainroaredin,allofhissensesleapingto Hefelthisballsdrawuptowardhisabdomenand keenawarenessbeforemaxingoutcompletely.He hisbreathingquicken.Thisguywasgoingto heardacrashingsoundlikethesurf,smelled fuckingmughim.Shitshitshit.Maybetakehis somethingburning,alightappearedbeforehis car. eyes,anacridtastefloodedhismouthandhisear OK,Deathsaid,nicetalkingtoyou.Hetried feltliketherewasahotcoalnestledinit,charring theflesh. tosteparoundtheguy,buthesidesteppedto blockDeathspath,thenputahandonDeaths Withpaincametheplan:getthefuckoutofthere. shoulderitwasstrong.Deathhadbeenmugged Hetookastepbackandturnedtorun,butthere oncebefore,buttheguyhadnttouchedhim;hed wassomethingtangledinhisfeettheguyhad justtoldhim,fastandmean,tohandoverhis bridgedthedistancebetweenthemquickly,very walletandphoneandthenhadsplit. quickly,andhadhookedafootaroundhisankle. Imnotdone,theguysaid. Look,takemywallet,Idontwantanytrouble. Apartfromtwoglorioussuckerpunchesat Sammy,Deathhadneverthrownapunch,not sincehedflunkedoutofkaratelessonsatthe localstripmallwhenhewastwelve.Helikedto danceandhecouldrunacouplemileswithout gettingwinded,buthedseenenoughrealfightsto knowthatitwasbettertogetawaythantotryto strikeoutifyoudidntknowwhatyouweredoing. Youdontwantanytrouble,huh? Deathheldouthiswallet.Hecouldcancelthe cards.Losingthecashwouldhurtnowthathe

Hewasgoingtofallover.Helandedinarunners crouchandtriedtostartrunning,butabootcaught himinthebutt,likeanoldtimeycomedymoment, andhewentsprawling,hischinsmackingintothe pavement,histeethclackingtogetherwithasound thatechoedinhishead. Getthefuckup,theguysaid.Hewaspantinga little,soundingexcited.Thatsoundwasthe scariestthingsofar.Thisguywantedtokillhim. Hecouldhearthat.Hewassomekindoftruck stopmurderer. Deathsfingerswereencrustedinheavysilver ringsstylizedskulls,astaringeyeball,acoffin shapedpoisonersringthathesometimeskept

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/185 artificialsweetenerin,anankh,analienheadwith insectileeyesandheballedhishandsintofists, thinkingofeverythinghedeverreadabout throwingapunchwithoutbreakingyourknuckles. Getclose.Keepyourfisttight,thumboutside. Dontwinduporhellseeitcoming. Heslowlyturnedover.Theguyseyeswerein shadow.Hisbellyheavedwitheachexcitedpant. Fromthisangle,Deathcouldseetheguyhada giganticboner.Thethoughtofwhatthatmight bodesenthimintooverdrive.Hecouldntaffordto letthisguybeathimup. Hebackeduptotherailthatlinedthewalkway andpulledhimselfupright.Hecoweredinon himselfasmuchashecould,hopingthattheguy wouldclosewithhim,sohecouldgetinonegood punch.Hemutteredindistinctly,softly,hopingto makethemanleanin.Hisringencrustedhands grippedtherailings. punchsohardDeathsneckmadeacrackling soundashisheadrockedaway,slammingoffthe carsframe,ringinglikeagong.Deathbeganto slidedownthecarsdoor,andonlymanagedto turnhisfaceslightlywhenthemansprayedhim withhislittleaerosolcan. Mace.Deathsbreathstoppedinhislungsandhis facefeltasifhedplungeditintoboilingoil.His eyesfeltworse,likedirtyfingerswere sandpaperingoverhiseyeballs.Hechokedandfell overandheardthemanlaugh. Thenabootcaughthiminthestomachandwhile hewasdoubledover,itcamedownagainonhis skinnyshin.Thesoundofthebonebreakingwas loudenoughtobeheardovertheroaringofthe bloodinhisears.Hemanagedtosuckinalungful ofairandscreamitout,andthebootconnected withhismouth,kickinghimhardandmakinghim bitehistongue.Bloodfilledhismouth.

Theguytookasteptowardhim.Hislipswerewet, Aroughhandseizedhimbythehairandthe hiseyesshone.Hehadahandinhispocketand raspingbreathwasinhisears. Deathrealizedthatgettinghisattackerclosein YoushouldjustshutthefuckupaboutDisneyon wouldntbesmartifhehadaknife. thefuckingInternet,youknowthat,kid? Thehandcameout.Itwaspudgyandstub Themanslammedhisheadagainstthepavement. fingered,andthefingernailswereallgnawed downtothequick.Deathlookedatit.Spraycan. Just.Shut.The.Fuck.Up.Bang,bang,bang. Deaththoughthedloseconsciousnesssoon Pepperspray?Mace?Hedidntwaittofindout. Helaunchedhimselfofftherailingatthefatman, hedhadnoideathatpaincouldbethisintense. Buthedidntloseconsciousnessforalong,long goingforhiswet,whistlingcaveofamouth. time.Andthepaincouldbealotmoreintense,as Themannoddedashecameforhimandlethim itturnedout. pasteoneonhim.Deathsringsdrewbloodonthe fatcheekandrockedtheguysheadbackabit. Themansteppedbackandarmedawaytheblood Sammydidntwantthewritermeetinghimathis withhissleeve.Deathwasrunningforhiscar, office.Hisorganizationhadlotsofpeoplewhod handdiggingintohispocketforhisphone.He beenloyaltotheoldgothyparkandeventoDeath managedtogetthephoneoutandhishandonthe Waits.Theyplottedagainsthim.Theywroteabout doorhandlebeforethefatmancaughtup, himonthefuckingInternet,reportingonwhat breathingheavily,airwhistlingthroughhisnose. hedeatenforlunchandwhodshoutedathimin HepunchedDeathinthemouthinavastly superiorrenditionofDeathssolebraveblow,a hisofficeandhowthenumbersweredeclining andhownoneofthedesigncrewswantedtowork

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/186 onhisnewrides. Thewritercouldntcometotheofficecouldnt comewithinmilesofthepark.Infact,ifSammy hadhadhisway,theywouldhavedonethisallby phone,butwhenhedemailedthewriter,hedsaid thathewasinFloridaalreadyandwouldbehappy tocomeandmeetup. Pleasuretomeetyou,Freddysaid.Camelot, huh? Tasteofhomeforyou,Iexpect,Sammysaid. Tallyho.Pippip. Freddyscrunchedhisfaceupinanelaborate sneer.Youarejoking,right?

Imjoking.IfIwantedtogiveyouatasteof OfcoursehewasinFloridahewascoveringthe home,IdhaveinvitedyoutotheRoseandCrown ride. PubinEpcot:Haveajollyolgoodtimeatthe Thetrickwastofindaplacewherenoone,butno RoseandCrown! one,fromworkwouldgo.Thatmeantgoingas Stilljoking,Itrust? touristyaspossiblesomethingoverpricedand Stilljoking,Sammysaid.Thisplacedoesa kitschy. decentroastbeef,anditsprivateenough. Camelotwasjusttheplace.Ithadoncebeena demolitionderbystadium,andthenhaddoneturns Privateinthesenseoffullofscreamingstupid touristsstuffingtheirfaces? asaskatepark,adanceclubandadiscount wickerfurnitureoutlet.NowitwasOrlandos Exactly.Sammytookasteptowardthe numbertwoArthurianthemeddiningexperience, automaticdoors. cateringtopackageholidayconsolidatorswho Beforewegoin,though,Freddysaid.Before neededsomewheretofillthegulletsoftheir busloadsoftourists.Watchingmeninarmorjoust wegoin.Whyareyoutalkingtomeatall,Mr atlowspeedongluefactorynagstookcareofan DisneyParksExecutive? eveningsworthofentertainment,too. Hewasreadyforthisone.Ifiguredthatsooneror Sammyparkedbetweentwogiantairconditioned lateryoudwanttoknowmoreaboutthisendof thestorythatyouvebeencovering.Ifiguredit tourcoaches,thenmadehiswaytotheentrance. Hedtoldtheguywhathelookedlike,andtheguy wasinmyemployersbestinteresttoseetoitthat hadrespondedwithanobviouspublicityshotthat yougotmyversion. madehimlooklikePuckfromaboysschool performanceofAMidsummerNightsDream unrulyhair,mischievousgrin. Thereportersgrinwaswetandmean.Ithought itwassomethinglikethat.Youunderstandthat ImgoingtowritethisthewayIseeit,notthe wayyouspinit,right?

Whenheturnedup,though,hewastenyears older,acigarettejammedintheyellowingcrooked Sammyputahandonhisheart.Ofcourse.I stumpsofhisteeth.Heneededashowerandthere neverwouldhaveaskedanythinglessofyou. waseggonthefrontofhisdenimjacket. Thereporternoddedandsteppedinsidetheair ImSammy,Sammysaid.Youmustbe conditioned,horseysmellingdepthsofCamelot. Freddy. Thegreeterhadacneandapairoftightsthat showedoffhisskinnyknockknees.Hetookoff Freddyspatthecigarettetoonesideandshook hisgreatpeakedcapwithitslongplumeandmade withhim.Thewriterspalmswereclammyand astifflittlebow.Greetings,milords,toCamelot. wet. Yonfeastawaits,andourbraveknightsstand

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/187 readytodobattlefortheirhonorandyour amusement. FreddyrolledhiseyesatSammy,butSammy madealittlescootinggestureandhandedthe greetertheirtickets,whichwereringside.Ifhe wasgoingtogotoaplacelikeCamelot,hecould atleastgetthebestseatsinthehouse. Theysettledinandlettheservingwenchwhose fancycontactlenses,piercings,andelectricblue ponytailswereseriouslyoffthemetaketheir roastbeefordersandservethemgiganticpewter tankardsofale;BudLight,andthelogowas stampedintothesidesofthetankards. Tellmeyourstory,then,Freddysaid.The touristsaroundthemwerenoisyandalreadya littledrunk,theirconversationloudtobeheard overtheloopingsoundtrackofrenfairepolka music. meauniform,orapicofthedesignroughs,ora recordingofthesoundtrack,oracopyofthe contracts,andIllmakeitworthyourwhile.From streetsweeperstoseniorexecs,themoneyisjust sittingthere,waitingforustopickitup. Thewenchbroughtthemtheirgiganticpewter platesofroastbeef,Yorkshirepudding,parsnips, andamountainoffrenchfries,presumablyto appeasethemiddleAmericanappetitesofthe moreunadventurousdiners. Freddyslicedoffathroatplugginglumpofbeef andskewereditonhisfork. Youregoingtotellmethatthetemptation overwhelmedoneofyouremployees,yes?He shovedtheentirelumpintohismouthandbegan tomasticateit,cheekspouchedout,lookinglikea kidwithamouthfulofbubblegum.

Precisely.Ourcompetitorsdontwanttocompete Well,Idontknowhowmuchyouknowabout withusonalevelplayingfield.Theyare,more thenewDisneyParksorganization.Alotofpeople thananything,imitators.Theytakethestuffthat thinkofusasbeingjustanothersubsidiaryofthe wecarefullybuild,basedonextensiveresearch, Mouse,likebackintheolddays.Butsincethe designandtesting,andtheycloneitforparkinglot IPO,wereourowncompany.Welicensesome amusementrides.Theresnoattentiontodetail. trademarksfromDisneyandoperateridesbased Theresnoattentiontosafety!Itsallcowboysand onthem,butwealsoaggressivelylicensefrom gypsies. otherpartiesWarners,Universal,Nintendo.Even Freddykeptchewing,butheduginthepocketsof theFrenchcomicbookpublisherresponsiblefor hissportscoatandcameupwithasmallstubby Asterix.Thatmeansthatwegetalotofpeople notebookandaballpoint.Hejottedsomenotes, cominginandoutoftheorganization,contractors shieldingthepadwithhisbody. orconsultantsworkingondesigningasingleride Andthesecrassimitatorsenterintoourstory orshow. how?Freddyaskedaroundhisbeef. Thatcreatesalotofopportunitiesforcorporate YouknowabouttheseNewWorkpeoplethey espionage.Knowingwhatpropertieswere callthemselvesremixersbutthatsjusta consideringlicensinggivesthecompetitiona smokescreen.Theyliketocloakthemselvesin chancetogetthereaheadofus,tolandan exclusivedealthatsetsusbackonsquareone.Its somepostmodern,CreativeCommons uglystufftheycallitcompetitiveintelligence legitimacy,butwhenitcomesdowntoit,they madetheirfortuneofftheintellectualpropertyof butitsjustspying,plainoldspying. others,uncompensateduseofdesignsand Allofouremployeeshavebeencontacted,one technologiesthatothershadinvestedinand timeoranother,bysomeonewithanofferget created.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/188 Sowhentheymadearide,itwasntmuchof much.LikesomekindofdustyCommiemuseum, oldtrophiesfromtheirlastcampaign.But somewherealongtheway,theyhookedupwith oneofthesebrokerswhospecializesinsneaking oursecretsoutoftheparkandintothehandsof ourcompetitorsandquickasthat,theywere profitablenationallyfranchised,even.He stoppedtoquaffhisBudLightandsurreptitiously checkedoutthejournalisttoseehowmuchofthis hewasbuying.Impossibletosay.Hewasstill masticatingacheekfulofrareroast,juice overflowingthecornersofhismouth.Buthis handmovedoverhispadandhemadean impatientgoongesturewithhishead,swallowing someofhispayload. Wefiredsomeofthepeopleresponsibleforthe breaches,buttherewillbemore.With50,000 castmembersThewritersnortedalaughatthe Disneyspeakandchokedalittle,washingdown thelastofhismouthfulwithachugofbeer. 50,000employeesitsinevitablethattheyllfind more.Theseexemployees,meanwhile,have movedtothelastrefugeofthescoundrel:Internet messageboards,petulanttweets,andwhinyblogs, wheretheyrebusilyrunningusdown.Wecant win,butatleastwecanstanchthebleeding.Thats whywevebroughtourlawsuits,andwhywell bringthenextround. Thejournalistshandmovedsomemore,thenhe turnedafreshpage.Isee,Isee.Yes,all fascinating,really.Butwhataboutthese countersuits? intellectualpropertypiratesmadeafortune knockingoffyourridesandthattheyreonly countersuingyoutogetasettlementoutofyou, huh? Thatsitinanutshell.Iwantedtositdownwith you,onbackground,andjustgiveyouoursideof things,thestoryyouwontgetfromthepress releases.Iknowyouretheonlyonetryingto reallygetatthestorybehindthestorywiththese people. Freddyhadfinishedhisentireroastandwas workinghiswaythroughthefriesandlimp Yorkshirepudding.Hewavedvigorouslyattheir servingwenchandhollered,Morehere,love! andquaffedhisbeer. Sammydugintohiscolddinnerandspearedupa forkful,waitingforFreddytofinishswallowing. Well,thatsaveryneatlittlestory,MrDisney Executiveofftherecordonbackground.Sammy feltavividtwingeofanxiety.Freddyseyes glitteredinthetorchlight.Veryneatindeed. Letmetellyouoneofmyown.WhenIwasa youngman,beforeItookupthepen,Iworkeda seriesofcompletelyrubbishjobs.Icleanedtoilets, Idroveataxi,Istockedgroceryshelves.Youmay askhowthisqualifiedmetowriteaboutthe technologyindustry.Lotsofpeoplehave,infact, askedthat.

Illtellyouwhyitqualifiesme.Itqualifiesme becauseunlikealltheivorytowerbloggers,rich andcomfortablegeekswhosemasturbatoryrants aboutApplenothonoringtheirwarrantiesare Moreposturing.Pirateslovetoputonaggrieved whatpassesforcorporatecriticismonline,Ive airs.Theseguysrippedusoffandgotcaughtatit, beenthere.Imnotfromarichfamily,Ididntget andnowtheywanttosueusfortheirtrouble.You togotothebestschools,nooneputaPCinmy knowhowcountersuitswork:theyrejustabidto bedroomwhenIwassix.Iworkedforanhonest getafastsettlement:Well,Ididsomethingbad livingbeforeIgaveuphonestworktowrite. butsodidyou,whydontweshakehandsandcall AsmuchastheInternetcirclejerkdisgustsme, itaday? itsnotapatchonthebusinessesthemselves.You Uhhuh.Soyouretellingmethatthese Disneypeoplewithyourminimumwageandall

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/189 thesexualharassmentyoucaneatlaborpoliciesin yournicerighttoworkstate,yougetawaywith murder.Anyonewhocriticizesyoudoessoon yourownterms:IsDisneyexploitingitsworkers toomuch?Isitbeingtooaggressiveinpolicingits intellectualproperty?Shoulditbeniceraboutit? pimplysquirescameoutofthegateandtendedto them.Therewasasquireandknightrightinfront ofthem,andthesquiretippedhishattothem. Freddyhandedthekidatendollarbill.Sammy nevertippedliveperformers;hehatedbuskersand panhandlers.Itallremindedhimofstuffinga strippersGstring.Helikedhismediaalittle Imthewriterwhodoesntwatchyour moreimpersonalthanthat.ButFreddywas corporationsonyourownterms.Idontcareif anotherbusinessisunfairlycompetingwithyour lookingathim,sowithaweaklittlesmile,he business.Icarethatyourbusinessisunfairtothe handedthesquirethesmallestthinginhiswallet world.Thatitaggressivelyexploitschildrentoget atwenty. theirparentstospendmoneytheydonthaveon Thejoustingbegan.Itwasterrible.Theknights junktheydontneed.Icarethatyourworkers couldntrideworthadamn,theirlancesmissed cantunionize,makeshitwages,andgetfired oneanotherbyfarcicalmargins,andtheirfalls whentheycomplainorwhenyouneedtoflexyour weresoobviouslystagedthateventhechubbyten poweralittle. yearoldbesidehimwasclearlyunimpressed. Igrewupwithoutanypoweratall.WhenIwas workingforaliving,Ihadnosayatallinmy destiny.Itdidntmatterhowmuchshitaboss wantedtoshovelonme,allIcoulddowasstand andtakeit.NowIvegotsomepower,andIplan onusingittosettingthingstorights. Gottogotothebathroom,hesaidintoFreddys ear.Inleaningover,hecontrivedtogetalookat thereportersnotebook.Itwascoveredinobscene doodlesofMickeyMousewithahugeerection, Minniedanglingfromanoose.Therewasnta singlewordwrittenonit.Whatlittlebloodwas Sammychewedhisroastlongpastthepointthatit leftinSammysheaddrainedintohisfeet,which wasreadytoswallow.Thefactthathedmadean wereleadenanduncoordinatedonthelongtripto thefilthytoilets. errorwasreadilyapparentfromthestartof Freddyslittlespeech,butwitheachpassing Hesplashedcoldwateronhisfaceinthesink,and minute,thedepthofhiserrorgrew.Hedreally thenheadedbacktowardhisseat.Henevermade fuckedup.Hefeltlikethrowingup.Thisguywas it.Fromthetopofthestairsleadingdownto goingtofuckhim,hecouldtell. ringside,hesawFreddyquaffingmorealeand Freddysmiledandquaffedandwipedathisbeard flirtingwiththewench.Thethunderofhorse hoovesandthesoundtrackofcinematicmusic withtheembroiderednapkin.Oh,lookthe drownedoutallsounds,butnothingmaskedthe joustingsabouttostart,hesaid.Knightsin armoronhorsebackcircledthearena,lancesheld stinkofthemanurefallingfromthehorses,halfof whichwerepanicking(theotherhalfappearedto high.Thecrowdapplaudedandanannouncer bedrugged). cameonthePAtotellthemeachknightsname, referringthemtoaprogramprintedontheir placemats.Sammypretendedtobeinterested whileFreddycheeredthemon,thatsamelookof unholygleeplainonhisface. Theknightsformeduparoundtheringandtheir Thiswasamistake.HethoughtFreddywasa gossipreporterwholikedjuicystories.Turnedout hewasalsooneofthosetediousanticorporate typeswhowouldhappilyhangSammyouttodry. Timetocuthislosses.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/190 Heturnedonhisheelandheadedforthedoor.The doormanwashavingacigarettewithaguyina sportscoatwhowaswearingamanagerbadgeon hislapel. Leavingsosoon?Theshowsonlyjustgetting started!Themanagerwassweatingunderhis sportscoat.Hehadathinmustacheandbadly diedchestnuthaircutlikeaLegocharacters. Notinterested,Sammysaid.Alltheofftheme stuffdistractedme.Noserings.Bluehair. Cigarettes.Thedoormanguiltilyflickedhis cigaretteintotheparkinglot.Sammyfeltalittle better. miserable,buthecouldntbebothered.Hehada nicescreenedinporchbehindhishouse,witha hammock.Hedsatinitonnightslikethis,years ago.Nowallhewantedtodowassitinitagain. Goodnight,hesaid,andheadedforhiscar. Perryscaststank.Ithadstartedtogoalittle skunkyonthesecondday,butafteraweekitwas likehehadadeadanimalstucktohisshoulder.A rottingdeadanimal.Arotting,itchydeadanimal. Idontthinkyouresupposedtobedoingthison yourown,Hildasaid,ashesawedawkwardlyatit withtheutilityknife.Itwasmadeofsomethinga lottougherthanthefiberglassonehedhadwhen hebrokehislegfallingofftheroofasakid(hed beenuptherescoutingoutgliderpossibilities).

Imsorrytohearthat,sir,themanagersaid.He wasprematurelygreyunderthedyejob,forhe couldnthavebeenmorethanthirtyfive.Thirty fiveyearsoldandworkingadeadendjoblikethis Sammywasthirtyfive.Thisiswherehemight Soyoudoit,hesaid,handinghertheknife.He couldntstandthesmellforonesecondlonger. endupifhisscrewupscamebacktohaunthim. Wouldyoulikeacommentcard? Uhuh,notme,pal.Nowaythatthingis supposedtocomeoffanytimesoon.Ifyoure No,Sammysaid.Anyoutfitthatcantfigure goingtocrippleyourself,youregoingtohaveto outcleantoiletsanddecentthemingonitsown doitonyourown. cantbenefitfrommyadvice.Thedoorman flushedandlookedaway,butthemanagerssmile Hemadearudesound.Fuckhospitals,fuck stayedfixedandcalm.Maybehewasdrugged,like doctors,andfuckthisfuckingcast.Myarmbarely thehorses.ItbotheredSammy.Christ,howlong hurtsthesedays.WecansplintitonceIgetthis untilthisplacegetsturnedintoarollerderby off,thatllimmobilizeit.TheytoldmeIdneed again? thisforsixweeks.Icantwearthisforsixweeks. Wouldyoulikearefund,sir?themanager asked.Helookedoutattheparkinglot.Sammy followedhisgaze,lookingabovethecars,and realized,suddenly,thathewasstandinginacool tropicalevening.Theskyhadgonethecolorofa ripeplum,withproudpalmssilhouettedagainstit. Thewindmadethemsway.Afewcloudsscudded acrossthemoonsluminousface,andthesmellof citrusandthehumofinsectsandthecallsofnight birdswerevividontheeveningair. Hedbeenabouttosaysomethingcuttingtothe manager,onelastattempttomaketheman Illgonuts. Youllgolameifyoutakeitoff.Yourpoor mother,youmusthavedrivenhernuts.

Heslippedandcuthimselfandwinced,buttried nottoletherknow,becausethatsexactlywhat shedpredictedwouldhappen.Afteracoupledays together,shedbecomeanexpertatpredicting exactlywhichofhisescapadeswouldendin disaster.Itwasalittlespooky. Bloodoozedoutfromunderthecastandslicked hishand.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/191 Right,offtothehospital.Itoldyouyoudgetthis thistermandtheyrebothofferedbydistanceed. thingwetifyougotintheshower.Itoldyouthatit Letsjustgo. wouldstinkandrotanditchifyoudid.Itoldyou When? toletmegiveyouaspongebath. Afterthehospital.Youneedanewcast, Imnotinsured. stinkmeister.Rolldownyourwindowalittle,OK? Wellgotothefreeclinic. Whew! Defeated,heletherleadhimtohercar. Shehelpedhimbucklein,wrinklinghernose. Whatswrong,baby?shesaid,lookingathis face.Whatareyoumopingabout? Itsjustthecast,hesaid,lookingaway. Shegrabbedhimbythechinandturnedhimto faceher.Look,dontdothat.Donotdothat.If somethingsbotheringyou,weregoingtotalk aboutit.Ididntsignuptofallinlovewiththe strongsilenttype.Youvebeensulkingallday, nowwhatsitabout? Hesmiledinspiteofhimself.Allright,Igivein. Imisshome.Theyreallinthemiddleofit, runningtherideandstuff,andImhere.Hefelta momentsworrythatshedbeoffended.Notthat Idontlovebeingherewithyou,butImfeeling guilty Thedoctorswarnedhimtoletthenewcastset overnightbeforesubjectingittotherigorsofa TSAexamination,sotheyspentonemorenightat Hildasplace.Perryspentitgoingoverthe mailinglisttrafficandblogposts,confirmingthe planetickets,orderingacartomeetthematthe Miamiairport.Hefinallymanagedtocollapseinto bedat3AM,andHildagrabbedhim,draggedhim toher,andspoonedhimtightly. Dontworry,baby.YourfriendsandIwillget alonggreat. Hehadntrealizedthathedbeenworryingabout this,butonceshepointeditout,itwasobvious. Yourenotworried? Sheranherhandsoverhisfurrychestandtummy. No,ofcoursenot.Yourfriendswilllovemeor Illhavethemkilled.Moretothepoint,theyll lovemebecauseyoulovemeandIloveyouand theyloveyou,too.

OK,Igetit.Ofcourseyoufeelguilty.Itsyour project,itsintrouble,andyourenottakingcare WhatdoesErniethinkofme?hesaid,thinking ofit.Christ,Perry,isthatall?Iwouldhavebeen disappointedifthiswasntworryingyou.Letsgo ofherbrotherforthefirsttimesincetheyd hookedupallthosemonthsago. toFloridathen. Oh,hum,shesaid.Hestiffened.No,itsOK, What? shesaid,rubbinghistummysomemore.Ittickled. Shekissedthetipofhisnose.TakemetoFlorida, HesgladImwithsomeoneIcareabout,andhe letsmeetyourfriends. lovestheride.Hesjust,youknow.Protectiveof hisbigsister. But...Weretheymovingintogetheror something?Hewastotallysmittenwiththisgirl, Whatsheworriedabout? butthatwasfast.EvenforPerry.Dontyouneed Justwhatyoudexpect.Welivethousandsof tobehere? milesapart.Youretenyearsolderthanme. Theycanlivewithoutme.ItsnotlikeIm Youvebeengettingintothekindoftroublethat proposingtomoveinwithyou.Illcomeback attractsarmedcops.Wouldntyoubeprotectiveif hereafterawhile.ButImonlydoingtwoclasses

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/192 youweremybro? Iwasanonlychild,butsure,OK,Iseethat. Itsnothing,shesaid.Really.Bringhimanice souvenirfromFloridawhenwecomebackto Madison,takehimoutforacouplebeersanditll allbegreat. greetedsomeofthehawkerscomingacrossthe road,andreadiedhisticketroll.

Thefirstcustomersarrivedjustbeforeninean EastIndianfamilydrivingacarwithTexasplates. Dadworekhakiboardshortsandatanktopand leathersandals,Momwasinabeautifulsilksari, andthekidslookedlikemallbangbangersin Sowerecool?Allthefamiliesareinagreement? designerversionsofthestuffthewildkidsinthe Allthestarsareinalignment?Everythingis shantytownwentaroundin. hunkyand/ordory? Theycameoutoftheridetenminuteslaterand PerryGibbons,Iloveyoudearly.Youloveme. askedfortheirmoneyback. Wevegotacausetofightfor,anditsajustone Theresnothinginthere,thedadsaid,almost withmanybravecomradesfightingalongsideof apologetically.Itsempty.Idontthinkits us.Whatcouldpossiblygowrong? supposedtobeempty,isit? Whatcouldpossiblygowrong?Perrysaid.He Lesterputtherollofticketsintohispocketand drewinabreathtostarttalking. steppedintotheWalMart.Hiseyestookasecond Itwasrhetorical,goofball.Itsalsothreeinthe toadjusttothedarkafterthebrightnessofthe morning.Sleep,fortomorrowwefly. risingFloridasun.Whentheywerefullyadjusted, though,hecouldseethatthetouristwasright. Busyrobotshadtorndownalltheexhibitsand Lesterdidntwanttoopentheride,butsomeone scenes,leavingnothingbehindbutswarming hadto.Someonehadto,anditwasntPerry,who crowdsofbotsonthefloor,draggingthings wasoffwithhismidwesternhoney.Lesterwould offstage.Thesmelloftheprinterswashotand havelovedtosleepinandspendthedayinhis thick. workshoprebuildinghis64bitregistershed hadsomegoodideasforimprovingontheinitial Lestergavethemanhismoneyback. design,andhestillhadtheCADfiles,whichwere Sorry,man,Idontknowwhatsgoingon.This thehardpartanyway. kindofthingshouldbeimpossible.Itwasallthere lastnight. Hewalkedslowlyacrosstheparkinglot,the sunriseinhiseyes,acupofcoffeesteaminginhis hand.Hedalmostgonetothefatkinsbarsthe nightbeforehedalmostgoneten,fifteentimes, everytimehethoughtofSuzannestormingoutof hislab,buthedstayedhomewiththeTVand waitedforhertoturnuporcallorpostsomething toherblogorturnuponIM,andwhennoneof thosethingshadhappenedby4AM,hetumbled intobedandsleptforthreehoursuntilhisalarm wentoffagain. Blearily,hesathimselfdownbehindthecounter, Themanpattedhimontheshoulder.Itsallright. ImanengineerIknowallaboutcrashes.Itjust needssomedebugging,Imsure. Lestergotoutacomputerandstartedpicking throughthelogs.Thiskindoffailurereallyshould beimpossible.Withoutmanualoversight,thebots werentsupposedtochangemorethanfivepercent oftherideinresponsetoanotherrideschanges.If alltheotherrideshadtornthemselvesdown,it mighthavehappened,buttheyhadnt,hadthey? No,theyhadnt.Aquickcheckofthelogsshowed

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/193 thatnoneofthechangeshadcomefromMadison, originated.Heverifiedtheinfothreetimes,not orSanFrancisco,orBoston,orWestchester,or becausehewasntsure,butbecausehecouldnt anyoftheotherridesites. tellifthiswasgoodnewsorbadnews.Heread someblogsanddiscoveredlotsofotherride Eitherhisrobotshadcrashedorsomeonehad operatorswerechasingthisdownbutnoneofthem hackedthesystem.Herebootedthesystemand rolleditbacktothestatefromthenightbeforeand hadfigureditoutyet. watchedtherobotsbegintobringthepropsback fromoffstage. Grinninghugely,hecomposedahastypostand CCedittoabunchofmailinglists,thenwentout tofindKettlebellyandTjan.

Howthehellcouldithavehappened?Hedumped thelogsandbegantosiftthroughthem.Hekept gettinginterruptedbyriderswhowantedtoknow whentheridewouldcomebackup,buthedidnt know,therobotsestimateswereoscillatingwildly betweentenminutesandtenhours.Hefinally brokeofftowriteupalittlequarterpageflier aboutitandprintedoutacouplehundredofthem onsomeneonyellowpaperstockhehadlying around,alongwithajumboversionthathetaped overthepricelist. Itwasntenough.Belligerentriderswhodtraveled forhourstoseetheridewantedahuman explanation,andtheypesteredhimceaselessly.All thehawkersfeltliketheydeservedmore informationthantherubes,andtheypesteredhim evenmore.Allhewantedtodowaswritesome regexpsthatwouldhelphimfigureoutwhatwas wrongsohecouldfixit. HewishedthatDeathkidwouldshowupalready. Hewassupposedtobehelpingoutfromnowon andheseemedlikethekindofpersonwhowould happilyjawwiththemarksuntiltheendoftime. Eventuallyhegaveup.Hesetthesignexplaining whathadhappened(orrather,notexplaining, sincehedidntfuckingknowyet)downinthe middleofthecounter,bolteditdownwitha coupleoflockbolts,andretreatedtotherides interiorandlockedthesmokedglassdoorsbehind him. Oncehehadsomepeaceandquiet,ittookonly himafewminutestoseewherethechangeshad

Hefoundthemintheguesthouse,sittingdowntoa workingbreakfast,withEvaandthekidsatthe endofthetable.Tjanslittlegirlwastryingtofeed Pascal,butnotdoingagreatjobofit;Tjansson satonhislap,pickingathisclownfacepancakes. Morningguys! Suzannenarrowedhereyesandlookedaway.The tablefellquieteventhekidssensedthat somethingwasup.Whoswatchingtheride, Lester?Tjanasked,quietly. Itsshut,hesaidcheerfully. Shut?Tjanspokeloudlyenoughthateveryone jumpedalittle.Lyenitchkaaccidentallystabbed Pascalwiththespoonandhestartedtowail. Suzannestoodupfromthetableandwalked quicklyoutoftheguesthouse,holdingontoher phoneasakindofthinpretenseofhavingtotakea call.Lesterchosetoignoreher. Lesterheldhishandsoutplacatingly.ItsOK itsjustdownforacouplehours.Ihadtoresetit afterwhathappenedlastnight. Lesterwaited. Allright,Evasaid,Illbite.Whathappened lastnight? Brazilcameonline!Lestersaid.Liketwenty ridesopenedthere.Buttheygottheirprotocol implementationalittlewrongsowhenIshowed up,thewholeridehadbeenzeroedout.ImsureI canhelpthemgetitright;inthemeantimeIvegot

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/194 therideresettingitselfandIveblackholedtheir changestemporarily.Hegrinnedsunnily.How fuckingcoolisthat?Brazil! Everyonestaysinsync,giveortakeacouple hours. ButyouhadpasswordsontheSubversionserver forobjects,right?

Theysmiledweaklyback.IdontthinkI understand,Lester,Kettlewellsaid.Brazil?We Yeah,butwedidntdesignthisonetotake donthaveanyagreementswithanyoneinBrazil. passwords.Itsalotmoreadhocwewantedto WehaveagreementswitheveryoneinBrazil! besurethatpeoplewedidntknowcouldgetin Lestersaid.Wevegotanopenprotocolanda andplay. serverthatanyonecanconnectto.Thatsan Kettlewellputhisfaceinhishandsandgroaned. agreement,thatsallaprotocolis. Tjanrolledhiseyes.IthinkwhatKettlewells Kettlewellshookhishead.Youresayingthatall tryingtosayisthatthingshavechangedsince anyoneneededtodotoreprogramourride thosecarefreedayswereinaspotnowwhereif wastoconnecttoitandsendsomechanges. Disneyorsomeoneelsewhohateduswantedto Trustisassumedinthesystem. attackus,thiswouldbeaprimewayofdoingit. Trustisassumed?Youhaventchangedthis? Lesternodded.Yeah,Ifiguredthat.Openness Lestertookastepback.No,Ihaventchangedit. alwayscostssomething.Butwegetalotof benefitsoutofopennesstoo.Thewayitworks Thewholesystemisopenthatsthepoint.We nowisthatnooneridecanchangemorethanfive cantjuststartrequiringloginstogetonthe network.Thewholethingwouldcollapseitdbe percentofthestatusquowithin24hourswithouta likeputtinglocksonthebathroomandthentaking manualapproval.Theproblemwasthatthe Braziliansopened,like,fiftyridesatthesame theonlykeyforyourself.Wejustcantdoit. time,andeachofthemzeroedoutandtriedto Kettlewelllookedlikehewasgoingtoexplode. syncthatandbetweenthemtheydidwaymore Tjanputahandonhisarm.Slowly,Kettlewellsat than100percent.Itdbeprettyeasytosetthings backdown.Tjantookasipofhiscoffee. upsothatnomorethanfivepercentcanbe changed,period,withina24hourperiod,without Lester,canyouwalkmethroughthisonemore manualapproval. time? Lesterrockedbackandforthalittle.Theywereall Ifyoucandothat,whynotseteverychangeto requireapproval?Kettlewellsaid. watchinghimnow,exceptforSuzanne,whowas fumingsomewhereorgettingreadytogohometo Well,forstartersbecausewedendupspending Russia,orsomething. allourtimeclickingOKforfivecentimeter adjustmentstoproppositioning.Butmore Wehaveapublishedprotocolfordescribing changestotherideitsbuiltonGit3Dssystem importantly,itsbecausethesystemisallabout communitywerenotincharge,werejustpart formarkingupandsyncingthreeDmodelsof objects;itswhatweusedallthroughtheKodacell ofthenetwork. daysforcollaboration.Thewayyougetaride Kettlewellmadeasourfaceandmuttered onlineistosyncupwithourversionserverand something.Tjanpattedhisarmagain.Youguys theninstantiateacopy.Thenanychangesyou areincharge,asmuchasyoudlikenottobe. makegetsyncedbackandweinstantiatethem. Youretheonesfacingthelegalhassles,yourethe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/195 oneswhoinventedit. Wedidnt,really,Lestersaid.Thiswasareal standingontheshouldersofgiantsproject.We madeuseofabunchofstuffthatwasontheshelf already,putittogether,andthenotherpeople helpedusrefineitandgetitworkingwell.Were justpartofthegroup,likeIkeepsaying.Hehad athought.Besides,ifwewereincharge,Brazil wouldnthavebeenabletozerousout. Youguysarebeingreallyweirdandsuityabout this,youknow?Ivefixedtheproblem:noonecan takeusdownlikethisagain.Itjustwonthappen. Iveputthefixontheversionserverforthe codebase,soeveryoneelsecandeployitifthey wantto.Theproblemssolved.Wellbeshutfor anhourortwo,butwhocares?Youremissingthe bigpicture:Brazilopenedfiftyridesyesterday!I mean,itsucksthatwedidntnoticeuntilit screwedusup,butBrazilsgotitallonline.Whos next?China?India? Kettlewellsnappedanodather.Rightasever, darling.OK,Iapologize,allright? Metoo,Lestersaid.Iwaskiddingaboutgoing toBrazilatleastwhilePerrysstillaway. Hescominghome,Tjansaid.Hecalledme thismorning.Hesbringingthegirl,too. Yoko!Lestersaid,andgrinned.OK,someone shouldgetonlineandfindouthowalltheother ridesarecopingwiththis.Imsuretheyregoing nutsooutthere. Youdothat,Kettlewellsaid.Wevegotanother callwiththelawyersintenminutes. Howsallthatgoing? Letmeputitthisway,Kettlewellsaid,andfora secondhewasbackinhisglorydays,slickand formidable,ashark.Iliquidatedmysharesin Disneythismorning.Theyredownfiftypoints sincetheNYSEopened.YouwaituntilTokyo wakesup,theyregoingtobailandbailandbail.

Russia?Kettlewellsaid,lookingatthedoorthat Lestersmiledback.OK,wellthatsgood,then. Suzannehadleftby.Hewasclearlytryingto needleLester. Hehunkereddownwithalaptopandgothis homebrewwirelessrigupandrunningacard Lesterignoredhim.IdlovetogotoBraziland wouldhavebeencheaper,buthisriggavehimlots checkouthowtheyvedoneit.Ispeakalittle ofrobustnessagainstmaliciousinterference, Portugueseevenenoughtosay,Areyou18 multipathandplainoldattenuationandgothis yet?anyway. headlinereaderrunning. Youreweird,Lyenitchkasaid.Adagiggledand Hesettoreadingthepostsanddispellingthe said,Weird! popupsthattriedtocallhisattentiontothisor Evashookherhead.Thekidshavegotapoint, that.Hisfiltershadlotstotellhimabout,andthe shesaid.Youpeopleareallalittleweird.Why areasofhisscreendesignatedfordifferent areyoufighting?Tjan,Landon,youcamehereto interestswerestartingtopinkenasthey managethebusinesssideofthings,andthats accumulatedgreaterurgency. whatyouredoing.Lester,youreinchargeofthe creativeandtechnicalstuffandthatswhatyoure Hewavedthemawayandconcentratedongetting doing.WithoutLester,youtwowouldnthaveany throughtoalltheridemaintainerswhohad questionsabouthispatches.Buttherewasone businesstorun.Withouttheseguys,youdbein pinkareathatwouldntgo.Itwashisserendipity jailorsomethingbynow.Makepeace,because youreonthesameside.Ivegotenoughchildren zone,wherethingsthatdidntmatchhisfiltersbut hadlotsofinterestingnesscommentsandreposts tolookafterhere.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/196 frompeoplehepaidattentiontoandsome confluencewithhiskeywordsturnedup. Impatiently,hewaveditup,andapagemadeof bitsofLiveJournalsandnewsreportsandphoto streamsassembleditself. Hiseyefellfirstonthephotos.Butfortheshock ofblackandneongreenhair,hewouldnthave recognizedthekidinthepicturesasDeathWaits. Hisfacewasaruin.Hisnosewasabloodyrose, hiseyeswerebothswollenshut.Oneearwas ruinedapparentlyhedbeendraggedsome distancewiththatsideofhisheadontheground. Hischeekswerepulpyandbruised.Thenhe clickedthroughtothephotosfromwheretheyd foundDeath,beforetheydcleanedhimupinthe ambulance,andhehadtoturnhisheadawayand breathedeeply.Bothlegsandbotharmswere clearlybroken,withatleastonecompound fracture.HiscrotchJesus.Lesterlookedaway again,thenquicklyclosedthewindow. whatitmeanttoberesponsibleforpeopleslives. Whenhestoodupandwipedhisfaceonthetailof histight,glitteringshirt,hewasadifferentperson. Sweatinginthesuffocatingafternoonheat,hisre castedarmonfire,Hildahadshownhimthe articleaboutDeathWaitswhiletheywerebeing screenedfortheirconnectionatOHare.TheTSA guywasswabbinghiscastwithablackpowder residuedetector,andasPerryreadit,heletoutan involuntaryyelpandajumpthatsenthimbackfor afullroundoftertiaryscreening.NodatewithDr. Jellyfinger,thoughitwasaclosething.

Hildawasdeepinherownphone,probing ferociouslyatit,occasionallypickingitupand talkingintoit,thenpokingatitsomemore. Neitherofthemlookedoutthewindowsmuch, thoughinhismind,Perryhadrehearsedthis homecomingasakindoftourofhisterritory, pickingoutwhichabsurdlandmarkshedpoint HeswitchedtotextaccountsfromDeathsfriends out,whichfunnystorieshedtell,pausingto whodbeentoseehiminthehospital.Hewould nuzzleHildasthroat. live,buthemightnotwalkagain.Hewaslucid, Butbythetimehedabsorbedthemailinglist andhewastellingstoriesaboutthemanwhod trafficanddoneacouplephonerswiththepeople beatenhim backinMadisonparticularlyErnie,whowas YoushouldjustshutthefuckupaboutDisneyon freakingaboutDeathWaitsandcallingfortight thefuckingInternet,youknowthat,kid? physicalsecurityforalltheirpeopletheywere LestergotupandwenttofindKettlewellandTjan pullinginattheride.Thecabbie,aTurk,wasnt andSuzanneoh,especiallySuzanneagain.He verycoolabouttheneighborhood,andhekept didntthinkforonesecondthatDeathwouldhave slowingdownonthesideoftheroadandoffering inventedthat.Infact,itwasjustthesortofbrave toletthemoutthere,andPerrykeptinsistingthat hetakethemalltheway. thingthatthegutsylittlekidmighthavehadthe ballstoreporton. No,youcantjustdropmehere,man.Forthe Everystephetook,hesawthatruinofaface,the tenthtime,Ivegotafuckingcastonmybroken compoundfracture,theluminousbloodaroundhis arm.Imnotcarryingmysuitcaseamilefrom groin.Hemadeithalfwaytotheguesthousebefore here.Ilivethere.Itssafe.God,itsnotlikeIm askingyoutotakemetoawarzone. hefoundhimselfleaningagainstashanty, throwingup.Tearsandbilestreamingdownhis Hedidntwanttotiptheguy,buthedid.The face,chestheaving,Lesterdecidedthatthiswasnt cabbiewasjusttryingtoplayitsafe.Lotsof aboutfunanymore.Lestercametounderstand peopletriedtoplayitsafe.Itdidntmakethem

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/197 assholes,evenifitdidmakethemineffectualand useless. long,Francissaid.Hedagedsomethingfiercein thelastyear,boozemakinghisfacesubsideintoa WhilePerrytippedhim,Hildapulledthesuitcase messofwrinklesandpouchesandbrokenblood outofthecabstrunkandshedbarelyhadtimeto vessels.HegavePerryahardhugthatsmelledof shutthelidwhenthedriverroaredofflikehewas booze,anditwasntevenlunchtime. tryingtooutrunasniper. Francis,meetHildaHammersen;Hilda,meet FrancisClammer:aerospaceengineerand Perrygrimaced.Thiswassupposedtobea triumphanthomecoming.Hewassupposedtobe gentlemanofleisure. showingoffhistoys,allhedwrought,tothisgirl. Thetownwasallaroundthemandtheywereabout tochargeinwithoutevenpausingtoconsiderits DrSeusswonderment. Waitasec,Perrysaid.Hetookherhand.See that?Thatwasthefirstshantytheybuilt.Five storiesnow.Thebuildingwasmadeofprefab concreteforthefirstcouplestories,then successivelylightermaterials,withtheroofshack madeofbamboo.Thedesignsareexperimental, fromtheArmyCorpsofEngineersmostly,but theysaytheyllstandaforcefivehurricane.He grimacedagain.Probablynotthebambooone,of course.

Hetookherhandandfeintedakissatit,andHilda goodnaturedlyrolledhereyesatthis. Whatdoyouthinkofourlovelylittlesettlement, then,MsHammersen? Itslikesomethingoutofafairytale,shesaid. YouhearstoriesaboutChristianiaandhowgood andpeacefulitallwas,butwheneveryousee squattersonTV,itsalwayscrackhousesand drivebys.Youvereallygotsomethinghere.

Francisnodded.Wegetabadrap,butwereno differentreallyfromanyotherplacewherepeople takeprideinwhattheyown.Ibuiltmyplace,with mytwohands.IfJimmyCarterhadbeenthere withHabitatforHumanity,wewouldhavegotten Ofcourse,Hildasaid.Whatsthatone?Shed noendofgoodpress.Becausewediditwithouta pickeduponhismood,sheknewhewantedto deadexpresidentonthescene,werecrooks. showheraroundbeforetheyendedupembroiled Perrytellyouaboutwhatthelawdoesaround inridepoliticsandworkagain. here? Youvegotagoodeye,mydear.Thatsthefinest Perrynodded.Yeah.Sheknows. BBQonthecontinent.Seehowthewallsarea littlesootylooking?Thatscarbonizedambrosia,a Francispattedhiscast.Nicehardware,buddy.So whensomeBiblethumpingdogoodergivesyoua mixoffatandspiceandhickorythatyoucould legup,youreafolkhero.Helpyourself,yourea scrapeoffandbottleasperfume. CHUD.Itsthesamewithyoupeopleandyour Eww. ride.Ifyouhadthebackingofagiantcorporation YouhaventtriedLemarrsribsyet,hesaid,and withclawssunkdeepintokidsbrains,youdbe goosedher.Shesqueakedandpunchedhiminthe everypackagetouroperatorswetdream.Buildit shoulder.Heshowedherthetuckshops,thekids yourselfinthegutsofadeadshoppingcenter,and playing,thetutorsplace,thedaycarecenter,the youresomekindofslimyunderclass. workshops,takingheronagrandcircletourof Maybethatstrue,saidHilda.Butitsnot thisplacehedhelpconjureintoexistence. necessarilytrue.BackinMadison,thelocalslove NowtheressomeoneIhaventseeninfartoo us,theythinkwedogreatstuff.Afterthelaw

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/198 cameafterus,theycamebywithfoodandmoney andhelpedusrebuild.Scrappyactivistsgetalotof loveinthiscountry,too.Noteveryonewantsabig corporationtospoonfeedthem. SoyoureYoko,huh?Lestersaidfinally.It madeeveryonesmile,butthetensionwasstill there.Somethingbighadjusthappened,bigger thananyofthem,biggerthanthebeatingthathad beenlaidonDeathWaits,biggerthananything Offinhippiecollegetownsyoullalwaysfind Perryhadeverdone.Fromhismindtoanationon peoplewithenoughbrainstorealizethattheir neighborsarenttheboogieman.Butthereaintso anothercontinent manyhippiecollegetownsthesedays.Iwishyou Yourethesidekick,huh?Hildasaid. twoluck,butIthinkyoudbenutstowalkoutthe Lesterlaughed.Touche.Itsverynicetomeet doorinthemorningexpectinganythingbetterthan youandthankyouforbringinghimbackhome. akickintheteeth. Wewerestartingtomisshim,thoughGodalone ThatmadePerrythinkofDeathWaits,andthe knowswhy. senseofurgencycamebacktohim.OK,wehave Iplanonkeepinghim,shesaid,givinghisbicep togonow,hesaid.Thanks,Francis. asqueeze.ItbroughtPerrybacktothem.Thelittle Nicetomeetyou,youngwoman,hesaid,and girlswerestaringatHildawithsaucereyes.It whenhesmiled,itwasapainfulthing,allpouches madehimrealizethatexceptforSuzanneandEva, andwrinklesandsags,andhegimpedawaywith theirwholelittlebandwasboys,allboys. hislimpmorepronouncedthanever. Well,Imhomenow,hesaid.Hekneltdown Theytrackeddownthecrewattheteahousesbig table.Everyoneroaredgreetingsatthemwhen theycamethroughthedoor,aproper homecoming,butwhenPerrycountedheads,he realizedthattherewasnoonewatchingtheride. Guys,whosrunningtheride?

andshowedthegirlshiscast.Igotanewone,he said.Theyhadtothrowtheoldoneout.SoIneed yourhelpdecoratingthis.Doyouthinkyoucould dothejob? Lyenitchkalookedcriticallyatthesurface.Ithink wecoulddothegig,shesaid.Whatdoyou think,partner?

TheytoldhimaboutBrazilthen,andHilda listenedwithherheadcocked,herfaceanimated Tjansnortedouthisnose,butshewassosolemn withsurprise,dismay,thendelight.Yousaythere thattherestkeptquiet.AdamatchedLyenitchkas arefiftyridesopen? criticalpostureandthennoddedauthoritatively. Surething,partner. Allatonce,Lestersaid.Allinonego. Holymotherofpoo,Hildabreathed.Perry couldntevenbringhimselftosayanything.He couldntevenimagineBrazilinhishead jungles?beaches?Heknewnothingaboutthe country.Theydbuiltfiftyrides,withouteven makingcontactwithhim.HeandLesterhad designedtheprotocoltobeopenbecausethey thoughtitwouldmakeiteasierforotherstocopy whattheyddone,buthedneverthought Itwaslikevertigo,thatfeeling.

Itsadate,Perrysaid.Weregonnaheadhome andputdownoursuitcasesandcomebackand opentherideifitsready.ItstimeLestergot sometimeoff.ImsureSuzannewillappreciate havinghimbackagain. Anothersilencefelloverthegroup,tenseasa pianowire.PerrylookedfromLestertoSuzanne andsawinasecondwhatwasup.Hehadtimeto noticethathisfirstemotionalresponsewastobe intrigued,notsorryorscared.Onlyaftera

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/199 momentdidhehavethereactionhethoughthe shouldhaveamixtureofsadnessforhisfriend andirritationthattheyhadyetanotherthingto dealwithinthemiddleofahundredothercrises. withaprofoundsenseofanger,rememberingthe deadeyedguyshoutingaboutDisneywhile bouncinghisheadofftheground,knowingthat Sammyhaddonethis,wantingnothingmorethan HildabrokethetensionItwasgreattomeetyou togetaholdofSammyand,and...Thatswherehe ranoutofimagination.Hewasperfectlyhappy all.Dinnertonight,right? drawingmedievalstyletorturechambersand Absolutely,Kettlewellsaid,seizingonthis. vampiresinhissketchbook,buthedidntactually Leaveittouswellbooksomeplacejustgreat havemuchstomachfor,youknow,violence. andhaveagreatdinnertowelcomeyouguys Perse. back. Evatookhisarm.Thatsright,shesaid.Illget Canwedothissomeothertime?Hismouth thegirlstopickitout.Thelittlegirlsjumpedup hurt.Hedlostfourteethandhadbittenhistongue hardenoughtoneedstitches.Hecouldbarely anddownwithexcitementatthis,andthebaby brotherscaughttheirexcitementandmadehappy understandhisownwords. kidscreechesthatgoteveryonesmilingagain. Iwishwecould,buttimeisoftheessencehere. PerrygaveLesterasolemn,supportivehug,kissed Youveheardthatwerebringingasuitagainst SuzanneandEvaonthecheeks(Suzannesmelled Disney,right? good,somethinglikesandalwood),shookhands No,Deathsaid. withTjanandKettlewellandtousledallfourkids Musthavecomeupwhileyouwereout.Anyway, beforelightingoutfortheride,gaspingouta weare,forunfaircompetition.Wevegotashotat breathastheysteppedintotheopenair. cleaningthemout,takingthemforeverycent.

Weregoingthroughthepretrialmotionsnowand theresbeenamotiontosummarilyexcludeany DeathWaitsregainedconsciousnessseveraltimes evidencerelatedtoyourbeatingfromthe overthenextweek,awareeachtimethathewas proceedings.WethinkthatsBS.Itsclearfrom wakingupinahospitalbedonacrowdedward, whatyouvetoldyourfriendsthattheywantedto thathedwokenherebefore,andthathehurtand shutyouupbecauseyouweremakingthemlook couldntremembermuchafterthebeatinghad bad.Sowhatweneedismoreinformationfrom started. youaboutwhatthisguysaidtoyou,andwhat Butafteraweekorso,hefoundhimselfawake youdpostedbefore,andanythinganyoneat andawarehestillhurtallover,adullanddistant Disneysaidtoyouwhileyouwereworkingthere. stonedachethathecouldtellwasbeingkeptat Youknowthatthatguysaidhewasbeatingme baybypowerfulpainkillers.Therewassomeone upbecauseItalkedaboutthisstuffinthefirst waitingforhim. place? Hello,Darren,themansaid.Imanattorney Thelawyerwavedahand.Theresnowaytheyll workingforyourfriendsattheride.Mynameis comeafteryounow.Theylookliketotalassholes TomLevine.WeresuingDisneyandwewanted fordoingthis.Theyrescaredstupid.Now,Im togathersomeevidencefromyou. goingtowanttoformallydeposeyoulater,butthis DeathdidntlikebeingcalledDarren,andhe isapredepositioninterviewjusttogetclearon didntwanttotalktothisdork.Hedwokenup everything.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/200 TheguyleanedforwardandsuddenlyDeathWaits hadabonedeepconvictionthattheguywasabout topunchhim.Hegavealittlesqueakandshrank away,thencriedoutagainaseveryinchofhis bodyawokeinhotagony,afeelinglikegrating bonesbeneathhisskin. cripplehimforlife.EverytimeSammythought aboutwhatwouldhappenwhentheDeathWaits thingpercolateduptohim,hegotgooseflesh.

Damnthatidiotthuganyway.Sammyhadbeen veryclear.Theguywhoknewtheguywhoknew theguyhadbeenreassuringonthephonewhen Woah,takeiteasythere,champ,thelawyersaid. Sammyputintheordersure,sure,nothingtoo DeathWaitsheldbacktears.Theguywasntgoing rough,justalittleshovingaround. tohithim,butjustthemovementinhisdirection Andwhatsworseistheidiotkidhadntgottenthe hadscaredhimlikehedleaptoutholdinganaxe. hint.Sammydidntgetit.Ifastrangerbeathim Themagnitudeofhisownbrokennessbeganto halftodeathandtoldhimtostophangingoutin sinkinandnowhecouldbarelyholdbackthe messageboards,well,themessageboardswould tears. go.Damnedrighttheywould. Look,theguyswhoruntheridehavetoldme thatIhavetogetthisfromyouassoonasIcan.If weregoingtokeeptheridesafeandnailthe bastardswhodidthistoyou,Ineedtodothis.IfI hadmyway,Iwouldntbugyou,butIvegotmy orders,OK? AndwithFreddy,therewasashoewaitingto drop.Freddywouldntreportontheirinterview,he wasprettysureofthat.Offtherecordmeans something,eventojournalistslikeHonest Freddy.ButFreddywasntgoingtobenicetohim infollowups,thatmuchwassure.Andifwhen! FreddygotwindoftheDeathWaitssituation...

Deathsnuffledbackthetears.Thebackofhis throatfeltlikeithadbeensandedwitharustyfile. Hebegantohyperventilate. Water,hecroaked. Imgoingtogocheckontheconstruction,he Thelawyershookhishead.Sorrybuddy,justthe saidtohispersonalassistant,anewgirltheyd IV,Imafraid.Thenurseswereveryspecific. sentupwhenhislastonehaddefectedtoworkfor Letsstart,OK,andthenwellbedonebeforeyou Wiener(Wiener!)afterSammydshoutedather knowit. forputtingthroughapresscallfromsomeblogger Defeated,Deathclosedhiseyes.Start,hesaid, whowantedtoknowwhenFantasylandwouldbe reopening. hisvoicelikesomethingmadefromsofttarleft toolonginthesun. IthadbeenamistaketoshutdownFantasyland justtogettheothermanagersoffhisback.Sure theridesweresickdogs,buttherehadbeenlifein Sammyknewhewasadeadman.Theonlything themstill.Constructionsitesdontbringin keepinghimalivewaslegalsreluctancetoread visitors,andthenumbersfortheparkweredown thenet.Hackelberghadacoupleofjuniorswho andeveryonewaslookingathim.Nevermindthat keptwatchlistsrunningonhotsubjects,butthey theonlyreasonthenumbershadbeenashighas likedtoprintthemoutandmarkthemup,andthat theywerewasthatSammyhadsavedeveryones meantthattheylaggedadayortwobehindthe asswhenheddonethegothrehab.Nevermind blogosphere. thattherealreasonthatnumbersweredownwas TheDeathWaitsthingwasafreakingdisaster.The thatnooneelseinmanagementhadthegutsto guywasjustsupposedtoputascareintohim,not keeptheparkmovingandimproving.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/201 HeslowedhissteponMainStreet,USA,and forcedhimselftopayattentiontohissurroundings. ThestoresonMainStreethadbeencooptedinto helpinghimdumpallthesuperfluousgoth merchandise,anditwasintheirwindowsand visiblethroughtheirdoors.Thefatkinspizza standsandicecreamwagonsweredoingabrisk tradearoundthecastleroundabout.Thecrowdwas predominantlyveeringtotheleft,toward AdventurelandandFrontierlandandLiberty Square,whiletherightsideoftheplaza,which heldthegatewaystoFantasylandand Tomorrowland,wasconspicuouslysparse.Hed knownthathisnumbersweredown,butstanding inthecrowdsflow,hecouldfeelit. thechancetospendfortunesbuyingupthe dismemberedcorpsesoftheirfavored amusements. HewatchedsomeCubankidscarefullymelting thehotgluethathadheldtheskulltrimelements tothepillaroftheDiadelosMuertosfacade, settingthematopalargepileofothertrim scythes,hoodedfigures,tombstoneswithalayer ofaerogelbeneathtokeepthegarriturefrom scratching.Thewholeareabehindthehoardings waslikethisridesinpieces,towersoffiberglass detritussandwichedbetweenlayersofaerogel.

Theyddonethisbefore,whenhedtaken Fantasylanddown,andhedfrettedeverymoment abouthowlongtheteardownwastaking.There Heclearedthecastleandstoodforamomentat wereexcitingnewplanslurkinginthewingsthen, thebrinkofFantasyland.Itshouldbeimpossible waitingtoleaponstageandtakeshape.Hedhad tostandhereatoneintheafternoonthereshould someoftheridecomponentsfabricatedbya bebusyrushesofpeoplepushingpasttogetonthe contractorinKissimmee,butlargechunksofthe ridesandtoeatandtobuystuff,butnowthere constructionhadtotakeplaceonsite.The werejustafewkidsineyelinerpuffingclovesin advantagehadbeenhis:cheapfabricators,new smokelesshookahsandawastelandofhoardings materials,easycollaborationbetweenremote paintedashadeImagineeringcalledgoaway contractorsandhispeopleonsite.Noonehad greenforitsabilitytomaketheeyeslideright everexecutednewridesasfastandaswellashe pastit. had.Thethingshadbasicallybuiltthemselves. Hedleftthetwobigcoastersopen,andtheyhad Nowthecompetitionwasusingthesametechand decentqueues,butthatwasit.Noonewasinthe itwasafuckingdisasterforhim.Worseand stores,andnoonewasbotheringwiththezombie worse:hehadnoplansforwhatwastocome maze.Cloudsofdustandlouddestructionnoises afterward.Hedthoughtthathedjustgrabsome roseoverthehoardings,andheslippedintoastaff oftheaudienceresearchpeople,throwtogethera doorandthreadedhiswayontooneofthesites, fatkinsfocusgrouportwo,andgiveImagineering pausingtopickupasafetyhelmetwithmouse twoweekstocomeupwithsomedesignsthey ears. couldputupfast.Heknewfrompastexperience Atleastthesecrewswereefficient.Hedlongago impressedonthedepartmentthathired constructioncontractorsthenecessityof decommissioningoldrideswithextremecareso astopreserveasmuchofthecollectiblevalueof thefinishingsandtrimaspossible.Itwasalittle weirdDisneycustomershowledlikestuckpigs whenyoushutdowntheirrides,thenfoughtfor thatdesignexpandedtofillthetimeavailabletoit, andthatthebeststuffusuallyemergedinthefirst tendaysanyway,andafterthatitwasall committeegroupthink. Butnoonefromaudienceresearchwantedto returnhiscalls,noonefromImagineeringwas willingtoworkforhim,andnoonewantedtovisit asectionoftheparkthatwasdominatedby

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/202 constructionhoardingsanddemolitiondust. relationshipwithDisneyParksthatmadethem wanttocomeagainandagain,toownapieceof WhatthehellwashappeningattheMiamiride, anyway?Hecouldfollowitonline,runthethreeD theplace.Theycameforvisitsandthenthey flythroughsoftherideasitstood,evendownload visitedintheirheartsandtheycamebacktobring andprinthisownversionsoftherideobjects,but theirheartshome.Itwasanextremelyprofitable noneofthattoldhimwhatitfeltliketogetonthe dynamic. ride,tobeinitsclankingbowels,surroundedby ThatswhatthoseridepeopleupintheWalMart otherriders,pointingandmarvelingandlaughing weremakingtheirhayonanyonecouldreplicate atthescenesandmotion. therideintheirbackyard.Youdidnthavetofly fromMadisontoOrlandotohavealittlerefresher Rideswerethingsthatyouhadtorideto experience.Itwasrightthere,attheendofthe understand.Describingaridewasliketalking road. aboutamoviesoabstractandremote.Like talkingaboutsexversushavingsex. Ifonlytherewassomewaytoputhisrides,his park,rightthereintheridershomes,intheir Sammylovedrides.Orheusedto,anyway.So literalbackyards.Beingabletolookatthe muchmorethanfilms,somuchmorethanbooks soimmersiveandhuman,andthewholecrowd webcamsandtakeathreeDflythroughwasone thing,alltheotherpeoplewaitingtorideitorjust thing,butitwasntthephysical,visceral gettingoffit.Ithadstartedwithcoastersdoesnt experienceofbeingthere. everykidlovecoasters?buthedendedupa Themaintenancecrewhadfinishedallthetrim connoisseur,agourmandwholovedeveryspecies andnowtheyweregoingafterthepropsand ofride,fromthrillridestomonorails,carouselsto animatronics.Theyneverusedtoselltheseoff, darkrides. becausemanufacturingthegutsofarobotwastoo Theredbeenatimewhenhedriddeneveryride finickytodoanymorethanyouhadtoitwasfar bettertorepurposethem,liketheAmericaSings intheparkonceaweek,andeveryrideinevery geesethathadalltheirskinremovedandfounda nearbyparkonceamonth.Thathadbeenyears newhomeassmarttalkingrobotsinthepreshow before.Nowhesatinanofficeandmade importantdecisionsandhewasluckyifhemadeit fortheoldStarTours. ontoarideonceaweek. Butnowitallcouldbeprintedtoorder,fabbed Notthatitmatteredanymore.Hedscrewedupso andshippedin.Theywerentevendoingtheirown badthatitwasonlyamatteroftimeuntilheended machiningatImagineeringanymorethatwasall mailorderfulfillment.JustemailathreeD uponthebreadline.Orinjail. drawingtoashopandyoudhaveasmanyasyou Herealizedhewasstaringglumlyatthe wantedthenextday,FedExguaranteed.Sammys demolition,andpulledhimselfupright,suckedin lipsdrewbackfromhisteethasheconsideredthe afewbreaths,mentallykickedhimselfintheass possibilitythattheWalMartridepeoplehad andtoldhimselftostopfeelingsorryforhimself. orderedtheirpartsfromthesamesuppliers.Christ onabike,whatamess. Ayoungwomanpriedlooseanotherresinskull finialandaddedittothepile,placedanothersheet Andthere,inthepitofdespair,atthebottomof ofaerogelontopofit. hisdownwardarc,Sammywashitbyaboltof inspiration: Peoplelovedtheselittletchotchkes.Theyhada

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/203 PutDisneyintopeopleslivingrooms!Put printersintotheirhomesthatdecoratedacornerof theirroomswithareplicaofadifferentrideevery day.Youcouldputitonacoffeetable,orscaleit uptofillyourbasementrumpusroom.Youcould haveamagicroomthatwasapieceofthepark,a souvenirthatneverletgoofDisney,thereinyour home.Thepeoplewhowerewillingtospenda fortuneonprintedskullfinialswouldcreamfor this!Itwouldbelikeactuallylivingthere,inthe park.ItwouldbeImagineeringEyefortheFan Guy. Hecouldthinkofahundredwaystoturnthisinto money.Giveawaytheprintersandsell subscriptionstotherefresh.Selltheprintersand giveawaytherefreshes.Chargesponsorsto modifytheplansandtargetdifferentproduct placementstodifferentusers.Thepossibilities wereendless.Bestofall,itwouldextendthereach ofDisneyParksfurtherthanthestupidridecould evergoitwouldbethere,onthecoffeetable,in therumpusroom,inyourschoolgymoratyour summerplace. Helovedit.Lovedit!Heactuallylaughedaloud. Whatagreatidea!Surehewasintroublebig trouble.Butifhecouldgetthisthinggoingand itwouldgo,fastthenHackelbergwouldgethis back.ThelawyerdidntgiveashitifSammylived ordied,buthewoulddoanythingtoprotectthe companysinterests. thefullschematicsfortheirtoysalready.Hecould justripthemoff.Turnaboutisfairplay,afterall. HildaleftPerryafteracouplehoursworkingthe ticketboothtogether.Shewantedtogofora showerandabitofanexplore,anditwasasecret relieftobothofthemtogetsometimeapartafter allthattimelivingineachotherspockets.They wereintimatestrangersstill,notyetattunedto eachothersmoodsandneedsforprivacy,anda littleseparationwaswelcome. Welcome,too,wasPerrysoldpostthereatthe ticketcounter,likeLucyslemonadestandin Peanuts.Theriderscameonthick,asurprising numberofthemknewhisnameandwantedto knowhowhisarmwas.Theywereallwatching thedramaunfoldonline.Theyknewaboutthe BrazilianridescomingonlineandthepatchLester hadrun.Theyallfeltaproprietaryinterestinthis thing.Itmadehimfeelgood,butalittleweird.He coulddealwithhavingfriends,andcustomers,but fans? Whenhegotoffwork,hewanderedovertothe shantytownwithabunchofthevendors,tohavea customaryafterworkbeerandplateofribs.He wasabouttogethisphoneoutandfindHilda whenhespottedher,gnawingonagreasybone withSuzanneandEva.

Well,hello!hesaid,delighted,skippingaround Sure,noonefromImagineeringhadbeenwilling thebarbecuepittocollectagreasykissfrom tohelphimdesignnewrides.Theyallhadallthe Hilda,andmorechastebutequallygreasypecks newridedesignprojectstheycoulduse.Audience onthecheekfromSuzanneandEva.Lookslike youvefoundthebestplaceintown! researchtoo.Butthiswasnew,newnew,notold new,andnewwasalwaysappealingtoacertain Wethoughtwedshowheraround,Suzanne kindofnoveltyjunkieinImagineering.Hedfind said.SheandEvahadpositionedeachotheron helpforthis,andthenhedpulltogethera eithersideofHilda,usingherasabuffer,butit businessplan,andatimeline,andacriticalpath, wasgreattoseethattheywereonsomethinglike andhedstartexecuting.Hewantedaprototype speakingterms.PerryhadnodoubtthatSuzanne outthedoorinaweek.Christ,itcouldntbethat hadntledKettlewellon(theyallhadcrusheson hardthoseWalMartrideassholeshadpublished her,heknewit),butthatdidntmeanthatEva

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/204 wouldntresentheranyway.Iftheirpositionswere dance. reversed,hewouldhavehadahardtime Evaarchedoneofherfine,higheyebrowsin controllinghisjealousy. response.Insomeways,shewasthemost Theyvebeenwonderful,Hildasaid,offering beautifulofallofthem,themostselfassuredand himarib.Heintroducedhertothemarketstall poised.Ofcoursewewere,sonny.Youryoung sellerswhodcomeoverwithhimandtherewas ladyhereneededtoknowthatyouarentanaxe moregreasyhandshakingandhugging,andthe murderer.Thewomenscamaraderiewasalmost proprietorofthejointstartedhandingaroundmore palpable.SuzanneandEvahadclearlypatchedup ribs,morebeers,andsomeonebroughtoutasetof whateverdifferencestheydhad,whichwas speakersandsuctioncuppedtheirinduction probablybadnewsforKettlewell. surfacestoanearbywall,andPerrydroppedone WhereisLester,anyway?Hehadntplannedon ofhisearbudsintothemandsetittoshuffleand asking,butSuzannesmentionofhisnameled theyhadmusic. himtobelievehecouldprobablygetawaywithit. Kidsranpasttheminshriekinghordes,playing somekindofbiggamethattheydallbeen obsessedwith.PerrysawthatAdaandLyenitchka werewiththem,clutchingbrightlycolored mobilesandtryingtoreadtheirscreenswhile runningawayfromanothergangofkidswhowere clearlyit,takingexaggeratedcarenottoruninto invisibleobstaclesindicatedonthescreens. HestalkingtoBrazil,Suzannesaid.Itsall hesdone,alldaylong. TalkingtoBrazil.Wow.PerrydthoughtofBrazil asakindofabstractthing,fiftyroguenodesonthe networkthathadnecessitatedahurriedsoftware patch.Notasabunchofpeople.Butofcourse, theretheywere,inBrazil,realpeoplebythe dozens,maybeevenhundreds,buildingrides.

Itwasgreattogetbackintothesaddle,Perry said,diggingintosomeribs,gettingsauceonhis HedoesntspeakSpanish,though,Perrysaid. fingers.IhadnoideahowmuchIdbeenmissing Neitherdothey,dork,Hildasaid,givinghiman it. elbowintheribs.Portuguese. Hildanodded.Icouldtell,anyway.Yourea TheyallspeaksomeEnglishandhesusing junkieforit.Youreliketheoneswhoshowupall automatedtranslationstuffforthehardconcepts. googlyeyedaboutthestorythatssupposedlyin Doesthatwork?Imean,anytimeIvetriedto there.Youactlikethatsaholybox. translateawebpageinJapaneseorHebrew,its Suzannenoddedsolemnly.Shesright.Thetwo kindofreadlikenounnounnounnounverbnoun ofyou,youandLester,youresointothatthing, random. yourethebiggestfanboysintheworld.Youknow whattheycallit,thefans,whentheygettogether Suzanneshookherhead.Thatshowmostofthe tochataboutthestufftheylove?Drooling.Asin, worldexperiencesmostofthenet,Perry.Anglos DidyouseethedroolIpostedthismorningabout arejustabouttheonlypeopleonearthwhodont thenewgirlsbedroomscene?Youdroollikeno readthenetinlanguagesotherthantheirown. onesbusinesswhenyoutalkaboutthatthing.Its Well,goodforLesterthen,hesaid. aholythingforyou. Suzannemadeasourfacethatlethimknowthat Youguyssoundlikeyouvebeencomparing whateverpeaceprevailedbetweenherandLester, notes,Perrysaid,makinghisfunnyeyebrow itwasfragile.Goodforhim,shesaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/205 Wherearetheboys? stuff,tomessageandIMwithpeoplewhollhelp LandonandTjanhavethem,Evasaid.Theyve youmakestuff.Tolearnhowtomakeit.Look,the worldisgettingbetterbecauseweregettingbetter beenholedupwithyourlawyersgoingover strategywiththem.WhenIwalkedout,theywere atroutingaroundthebullies.Wecanplaytheir game,orwecaninventanewgame. tryingtogetthefirmspartnerstotakesharesin thecorporationthatownsthesettlementinlieuof Irefusetobesuckedintoplayingtheirgame.If cashupfront. weplaytheirgame,weendupjustlikethem. Manthatsalltooweirdforme,Perrysaid.I wishwecouldjustrunthisthinglikeabusiness: makestuffpeoplewanttogiveusmoneyfor, collectthemoney,andspendit. Youaresuchanerdfatalist,Suzannesaid. Gettinginvolvedinthemoreabstractelementsof commercedoesntmakeyouintoasuit.Ifyou dontparticipateandtakeaninterest,youllalways beoutcompetedbythosewhodo. Bull,Perrysaid.Theycangetacourttoorder ustomakepiequaltothree,ortoensurethatother peopledontmakeMickeyheadsintheirrides,or thatourridersdontthinkofDisneywhentheyget intooneofourchairs,buttheyllneverbeableto enforceit. Suzannesuddenlywhirledonhim.Perry Gibbons,youarentthatstupid,sostopactinglike youare.Shetouchedhiscast.Lookatthisthing onyourarm.Yoursuperiortechnologycannot makeinferiorlawsirrelevant.Youreassuming thatthemachineryofstateisunwillingto completelyshutyoudowninordertomakeyou complywithsomeminorlaw.Youretotally wrong.Theyllcomeafteryouandbreakyour head. Suzanneshookherheadsadly.Itsagoodthing youvegotTjanandKettlewellaroundthen,todo thedirtywork.Ijusthopeyoucansparethema littlepityfromatopyourmoralhighground. ShetookEvabythearmandledheraway,leaving Perry,shaking,withHilda. Bitch,hesaid,kickingtheground.Heballedhis handsintofistsandthenquicklyrelaxedthemas hisbrokenarmgroundandtwingedfromthe suddentensing. Hildatookhimbythearm.Youtwoclearlyhave alotofhistory. Hetookacoupledeepbreaths.Shewassooutof linethere.Whatthehell,anyway?WhyshouldI havetoHestopped.Hecouldtellwhenhewas repeatinghimself. Idontthinkthatshewouldbetellingyouthat stuffifshedidntthinkyouneededtohearit. Yousoundlikeyoureonherside.Ithoughtyou wereafieryyoungrevolutionary.Youthinkwe shouldallputonsuitsandincorporate?

Ithinkthatifyouvegotskilledpeoplewillingto helpyou,youoweittothemtovaluetheir contribution.Iveheardyoucomplainaboutsuits Perryrockedbackonhisheels.Hewassuddenly twentytimesinthepastweek.Twoofthosesuits furious,evenifsomewhereinhisheartofhearts areonyourside.Theyreputtingthemselveson heknewthatshewasrightandhewasmostly theline,justlikeyou.Hell,theyredoingtheshit angryatbeingshownupinfrontofHilda.Ive workwhileyougettodoalltheinventingandfly beenhearingthatallmylife,Suzanne.Idontbuy aroundthecountryandgetlaidbyhotgroupies. it.Look,itjustkeepsgettingcheaperandeasierto Shekissedhischeek,tryingtomakeajokeofit, makesomethinglikewhatwevebuilt.Togeta butshedreallyhurthisfeelings.Hefeltlike printer,togetgoop,tomakestuff,todownload

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/206 weeping.Itwasalloutofhiscontrol.Hisdestiny wasnothistomaster. onthis,itwentfaster.Themodetriedtolearn fromhim,learnhistremorsandmiskeys,his errorsandcursing,andsoemergesomethingthat OK,letsgoapologizetoKettlewellandTjan. wasuniquelyhisinterface.Itwasakindofagame Shelaughed,buthedonlybeenhalfwaykidding. towatchthecomputertrytoguesswhatwas Whathereallywantedtodowashaveabigold meantbyhismashedkeystrokesandspastic dinnerathomewithLester,justthetwoofthemin pointermovementsheturnedonthewebcam frontoftheTV,eatingLestersfatkinscuisine, andaimeditathiseye,andswitchedittoretinal planninganewinvention.Hewastiredofallthese scannermode,givingitcontrolofthepointer,then people.EvenSuzannewasanoutsider.Ithadjust watchedinamusementasthewildleapingofthe beenhimandLesterintheolddays,andthosehad cursoreverytimeaneedleorabrokenbone beenthebestdays. shiftedinsidehisbodywasbecalmedintoa graceful,normalizedcurve. Hildaputherarmaroundhisshouldersand nuzzledhisneck.PoorPerry,shesaid. Itwashumiliatingtobeahightechcrippleand Everyonepicksonhim. thebetterthetechnologyworked,themoreprone itwastoreducinghimtotears.Hemightbelike Hesmiledinspiteofhimself. thisfortherestofhislife.Hemightneverwalk Comeon,sulkypants,letsgofindLesterandhe withoutalimpagain.Mightneverdance.Might cancallmeYokosomemore.Thatalwayscheers neverbeabletoreachforandliftobjectsagain. youup. Hedneverfindawoman,neverhaveafamily, neverhavegrandkids. Butthiswasoffsetbytherealpeoplewiththeir realchatter.Heobsessivelyflewthroughthe Brazilianmode,strangeandwonderfulbut nowherenearwhathelovedfromhisvariation ontheride.Hecouldrollthroughallthedifferent changeshedmadewithhisfriendstotheridein Florida,andhebecamesubtlyattunedtowhich Thefirstday,hewasreducedtotearsoffrustration elementswerewrongandwhichwereright. withinminutesofstarting.Hecouldntusethe shiftkey,couldntreallyusethemouseandthe Itwasononeoftheseflythroughsthathe encounteredTheStory,leapingoutoftherideso medsmadeithardtoconcentrateandremember vividlythatheyelpedlikehedflexedhisIVintoa whatheddone. nerveagain. Buttherewerepeopleontheotherendofthat Thereitwasirrefutableandindefinable.When computer,humanfriendswhomhecould communicatewithifonlyhecouldrelearntouse yourodethroughtherewasanescalatingtension, asenseofpeoplewhobelongedtotheseexhibits thistoolthathedlivedwithsincehewasold goingthroughhardchanges,growingupandout. enoughtosituponhisown. Oncehedseenit,hecouldntunseeit.Whenhe Solaboriously,peckbypeck,keybykey,he andhispalshadstartedtoaddtheirownstuffto learnedtouseitagain.Themachinehadamode theride,thestorypeoplehadbeengiantpainsin fordisabledpeople,forcripples,andoncehehit ItwastwoweeksbeforeDeathWaitscouldsitup andprodatakeyboardwithhisbrokenhands. Someofhispalsbroughtalaptoparoundandthey commandeeredasparediningtraytokeepiton Deathslapwasinnoshapetosupportanything heavywithsharpcorners.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/207 theass,accusingthemofsomethingtheycalled narricidedestroyingthefragilestorythat humanityhadlaidbarethere. Nowthathedseenittoo,hewantedtoprotectit. Buthecouldseebyskimmingforwardandback throughthechangelogandtryingdifferent flythroughsthatthestorywasntbeing underminedbythegothstufftheywerebringing in;itwasbeingenhanced.Itwastellingthestory heknew,ofgrowingupwithanindefinableneed tobedifferent,torejectthemainstreamandto embracethissubcultureandaesthetic. Itwasthestoryofhistribeandsubspeciesandit gotrealerthemoreheplayedit.God,howcould hehavemissedit?Itmadehimwanttocry,though thatmighthavebeenthemeds.Someofitmade himwanttolaugh,too. Hetried,laboriously,tocomposeamessageboard postthatexpressedwhathewasfeeling,butevery attemptcameoutsoundinglikethosestorymystics hedbattled.Heunderstoodnowwhytheyd soundedsohippytrippy. corporateladder. WordhasitthatSamuelR.D.Page,theVice PresidentforFantasyland(Iassureyou,IamNOT makingthatup)hasbeenkickedupstairstoSenior VicePresidentforRemoteDeliveryofPark Experience(Imnotmakingthatup,either). InsidersinthecompanytellusthatRemote DeliveryofParkExperienceisaplantoconvince ustogiveTheMouseapieceofourhomeswhich willbeconstantlyrefreshedviaarobotthree dimensionalprinterwithminiaturesoftheDisney park. Ifthissoundsfamiliar,itshould.Itsapale imitationofthenolessridiculous(ifslightlyless evil)ridesmovementpioneeredbyPerry GibbonsandLesterBanks,previouslytheanti heroesoftheNewWorkpumpanddumpscandal. Imitationismeanttobethesincerestformof flattery,andifso,Gibbonsandhiscultistsmustbe blushingfireenginered.

Thisischeapirony,Disneystyle.Afterall,its onlybeenamonthsincethecompanylaunchedten Soherodetheride,virtually,againandagain, separatelawsuitsagainstvariousincarnationsof spottingthegracenotesandtheslywitandthe theridefortrademarkviolation,anditsnow wrenchingemotionthatthecollectiveintelligence tryingtoduckthepunishingcountersuitsthathave ofallthoseridershadcreated.Discovered?Itwas risenupintheirwake. likethestorywasthereallalong,lurkinglikethe Mostironicofall,wordhasitthatPagewas statueinsideablockofmarble. responsibleforbothendsofthis:thelawsuits Oh,itwaswonderful.Hewasruined,maybe againsttherideandthedecisiontoturnhis forever,butitwaswonderful.Andhedbeenapart companyintopurveyorsofcheapknockoffsofthe ofit. ride.

Hewentbacktowritingthatmessageboardpost. PageisbestknownamongParkaficionadosfor Hedbelaidinthatbedforalongtimeyet.Hehad havinghadtheforesighttogutthechildrens timetorewrite. FantasylanddistrictinWaltDisneyWorldand replaceitwithajumpedupversionofHotTopic,a goththemedareathatdrewdownthenations IFYOUCANTBEATTHEM,RIPTHEMOFF eyelinersupplytodangerouslylowlevels. AnewinitiativefromthetroubledDisneyParks corporationshowshowalittleimaginationcan catapultanambitiousexectothetopofthe Itwasapparentlythatsortofwayoutofthebox geniusthatledPagetohislatestroundof disasters:thelawsuits,anabortiverebuildingof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/208 Fantasyland,andnowthisRemoteDelivery scam. Whatsnext?TheMousehasalreadyshipped DisneyDollars,anabortivehomewaresline,a disastrousfineartchain,andoversawthecollapse ofthecollectiblecelartmarket.With visionarieslikePageatthehelm,thecompany canthelpbutnotchupmoresuccesses. knowledgethathewassharingexperiencewithhis peoplearoundtheworld,partofatribeevenifhe couldntseethem. Now,intheeraoftheride,hecouldseehowdumb thiswas.Howthinandshallowandcommercial. Whyshouldtheyhavetopaysomegiantevil corporationtoconvenetheircommunity?

HekepttryingtowriteaboutTheStory,kept failing.Itwouldntcome.ButSammyheknew whathewantedtosayaboutSammy.Hetyped Deathwasdeepintothestorynow.TheBrazilians untiltheysedatedhim,andthentypedsomemore hadforkedofftheirownridetheydhadtheir whenhewokeup.Hehadoldemailstoreferto. ownNewWorkculture,too,centeredinthe Hepastedthemin. favelas,sotheyhaddifferentstoriestotell.Some Afterthreedaysofdoingthis,thelawyercame oftherideoperatorsimportedafewoftheir scenes,tentatively,andsomeoftheridefanswere back.TomLevinewasdressedinasternsuitwith narrowlapelsandatiepiercedwithsomekindof recreatingtheBrazilscenesontheirownpasses fratpin.HewasntmucholderthanDeath,buthe throughtheride. madeDeathfeellikealittlekid. Itwasallinthere,ifyouknewwheretolookforit, andthebestpartwas,noonehadwrittenit.Ithad IneedtotalktoyouaboutyourInternetactivity, writtenitself.Thecollectivejudgementofpeople hesaid,sittingdownbesidehim.Hedbrought alongasaltwatertaffyassortmentboughtfrom whorodethroughhadturnedchaosinto theroadside,cutintodoublehelixmoleculesand coherence. otheroddbiologicalformsanamoeba,a Orhadit?Themessageboardswererifewith skeleton. speculationthatTheStoryhadbeenplantedby someonemaybetheridescreators,maybesome OK?Deathsaid.Theydswitchedhimto somethingnewforthepainthatday,andgiven clanofriderswhodinserteditdeliberately. Thesediscussionsborderedonthemetaphysical: himarockerswitchhecouldusetodrizzleitinto hisIVwhenitgotbad.Hedhititjustbeforethe whatwasanorganicridedecision?Itmade lawyercametoseehimandnowhecouldnt DeathWaitssheadswim. concentratemuch.Plushewasntusedtotalking. Thethingthatwasreallydoinghisheadin, Writingonlinewasbetter.Hecouldwrite though,wastheDisneystuff.Sammyhe something,saveit,gobackandrereaditlaterand couldnteventhinkofSammywithoutasick cleanitupifitturnedouthedgoneoffona feelinginhisstomach,crashingwavesofnausea stonedramble. thattranscendedevenhisnarcotichazeSammy wasmakingthesegrotesqueparodiesoftheride. Youknowwereengagedinsomeveryhigh stakeslitigationhere,right,Darren? Hewaspushingthemouttotheworldsliving rooms.Eventhedeletedridesfromtheglorydays HehateditwhenpeoplecalledhimDarren. ofthegothFantasyland,intimelimitedminiature. Death,hesaid.Histoothlesslispwaspathetic, IfhedstillbeenatDisneyParks,hewouldhave likeanoldwinos. lovedthisidea.Itwasjustwhatheloved,the

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/209 Death,OK.Thishighstakeslitigationneedsa maximumofcautionandcontrol.Thisisafifteen yearjourneythatendswhenwevebrokenthe backofthecompanythatdidthistoyou.Itends whenwetakethemforeverycent,bankrupttheir executives,taketheirsummerhomes,freezetheir accounts.Youunderstandthat? Deathhadntreallyunderstoodthat.Itsounded prettytiring.Exhausting.Fifteenyears.Hewas onlynineteennow.Hedbethirtyfour,andthat wasonlyifthelawyerwasestimatingcorrectly. Oh,hesaid. Icantdothat,Deathsaid.Hesoundedlikea fuckingretard,betweentalkingthroughhis mashedmouthandtalkingthroughthetears.I cant.Iliveinemail. Well,nowyoullhaveareasontogooutside. Thisisntupfornegotiation.WhenIwasherelast, IthoughtImadetheseriousnessofthiscaseclear toyou.Imfranklyamazedthatyouwere immatureandirresponsibleenoughtowritewhat Iveread. IcantDeathsaid.

Thelawyerpurpled.Hedidntlooklikeahappy Well,notthatyouregoingtohavetotakepartin goluckytannedpreppieanymore.HelookedDad fifteenyearsworthofthis.Itslikelywellbe scary,likeoneofthosefathersinDisneywhowas donewithyourpartinayear,tops.Butthepointis abouttoseriouslylosehisshitandhauloffand thatwhenyougoonlineandpostmaterialthats smackawhinykid.DeathsownPawpaw,whod potentiallyharmfultothiscase stoodinforhisfather,hadgoneredlikethat wheneverhemouthedoff,asinthatcouldbe Deathclosedhiseyes.Hedpostedthewrong thing.Thishadbeenamajordealwhenhewasat committedevenwithoutopeninghismouth.He hadaninstinctivecurlupandhidereactiontoit, Disney,whathewasandwasntallowedtopost andthelawyerseemedtosensethis,loomingover aboutthoughinpractice,hedpostedabout him.Hefeltlikehewasabouttobeeaten. everything,stickingtheprivatestuffinprivate discussions. Youlistentome,Darrenthisisnotthekindof Look,youcantwriteaboutthecase,oranything thingyoufuckup.ThisisntsomethingImgoing tofuckup.Iwinmycasesandyourenotgoingto involvedwithit,thatswhatitcomesdownto.If changethat.Therestoomuchatstakehereforyou youwriteaboutthatstuffandyousaythewrong thing,youcouldblowthiswholesuit.Theydget toblowitallwithyourchildish,selfish awayclean. Heseemedtocatchhimselfthen,andhesnorteda hotbreaththroughhisnosethatblewoverDeaths Deathshookhishead.Notwriteaboutitatall? face.Listen,theresalotonthelinehere.More No,hesaid.No. moneythanyouorIareworth.Imtryingtohelp Imnotaskingyou,Death.Icangetacourtorder yououthere.Whateveryouwrite,whateveryou say,itsgoingtobeverycloselyscrutinized.From ifIhaveto.Thisisseriousitsnotsomefunny nowon,youshouldtreateverypieceof littlegame.Therearebillionsonthelinehere. Onewrongword,onewrongpostandpfft,itsall informationthatemanatesfromyourfingertipsas likelytobecoveredontheeveningnewsand over.Andnothinginemail,eitheritslikely repeatedtoeveryoneyouveevermet.Nomatter everythingyouwriteisgoingtogothrough discovery.Dontwriteanythingpersonalinanyof howprivateyouthinkyourebeing,itllcomeout. yourmailnothingyouwouldntwantinacourt Itsnotpretty,andIknowyoudidntaskforit,but yourehere,andtheresnothingyoucandoto record.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/210 changethat. livingroomwallsglowedpink.Hefetchedthe glovesdown,tossedonetoLester,andpickedup Heleftthen,embarrassedatlosinghistemper, embarrassedatDeathsmeeksilence.Deathpoked hisball. athislaptopsome.Hethoughtaboutwritingdown Comeon,hesaid.TVishistoricallyaccurate, morenotes,butthatwasprobablyinthesame butitsnotverysocial. category. Lestergotupfromthesofa,aslowsmile Heclosedhiseyesandnow,nowhefelttheextent ofhisinjuries,feltthemtrulyforthefirsttime sincehedwokenupinthishospital.Therewere deep,grindingpainsinhislegsbothknees broken,fractureintheleftthigh.Hisribshurt everytimehebreathed.Hisfacewasaruin,his mouthfeltlikehehadtwistedlumpsofhamburger gluedtohistornlips.Hisdickwell,theyd catheterizedhim,butthatdidntaccountforthe feelingsdownthere.Hedbeenkickedrepeatedly andviciously,andtheytoldhimthatthe reconstructivesurgeriessurgeries,pluralwould takesometime,andnothingwascertainuntilthey weredone. Hedmanagedtopretendthathisbodywasnt thereforsolongashewasabletopokeatthe computer.Nowitcamebacktohim.Hehadthe painkillerrockerswitchandthepainwasntany worsethanwhatpassedfornormal,buthehadan ideathatifhehititenoughtimes,hedbeableto getawayfromhisbodyforawhileagain. Hetriedit. HildaandLestersatuncomfortablyonthesofa nexttoeachother.Perryhadhopedtheydhitit off,butitwasclearafterLestertriedhisYokojoke againthatthechemistrywasntthere.Nowthey werehavingararemomentofalllooksame screen,theTVswitchedonlikeinanoldcomedy, noonelookingattheirownlaptop. Thetensionwasthick,andPerrywassickofit.

spreadingonhisface,andHildafollowedaminute later.Outside,bythecrackedpool,itwascoming onslowtwilightandthatmagic,tropicalblood orangeskylikeaswirlofsorbet. LesterandPerryeachputontheirgloves.Perryd wornhisnowandagain,buthadneverhadareal gameofcatchwithit.Lesterlobbedaneasytoss tohimandwhenitsmackedhisglove,itfeltso right,thesoundandthevibrationandthefine cloudofdustthatroseupfromthemittspocket, Christ,itwaslikeasacrament. Hecouldntlobtheballback,becauseofhis bustedwing,sohehandedtheballtoHilda. Youremydesignatedrightarm,hesaid.She smiledandchuckedtheballbacktoLester. Theyplayeduntilthetwilightdeepenedtovelvety warmdarkandhummingbugsandstarlight.Each timehecaughtaball,somethingleftPerry,some painlongheldinhischest,evanescedintothe nightair.Hiscatchingarm,stifffrombeing twistedbytheweightofthecastonhisotherhand, unlimberedandbecamefluid.Hismindwas becalmed. Noneofthemtalked,thoughtheysometimes laughedwhenaballwentwild,andbothPerryand Lesterwentooh,whenLestermadeajump catchthatnearlytumbledhimintothedrypool. Perryhadntplayedagameofcatchsincehewasa kid.Catchwasnthisdadsstrongsuit,andheand hisfriendshadlikedvideogamesbetterthan tossingaball,whichwasprettydullby comparison.

Hereachedforhiscomputerandaskedittofind himthebaseballgloves.Twoofthedrawersonthe Butthatnightitwasmagic,andwhenitgottofull

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/211 darkandtheycouldbarelyseetheballexceptasa secondmoonhurtlingwhitethroughtheair,they kepttossingitafewmoretimesbeforePerry droppeditintothepocketofhisbaggyshorts. Letsgetadrink,hesaid. palatialcondosinHollywood,Florida.

Thethreeareringleadersofthelooseknit organizationthatmanagestheridesthatdotten citiesinAmericaandarepresentinfiftycitiesin Brazil.Theirprojectcametonationalattention Lestercameoverandgavehimabig,bearishhug. whenDisneybroughtsuitagainstthem,securing ThenHildajoinedthem.Youstink,Lestersaid, injunctionsagainsttheridesthatresultedinriots Seriously,dude.Liketheassofadeadbear. andbloodshed. Thatbrokethemupandsetthemtolaughing together,agigglingfitthatleftthemgasping, Lesteronallfours.Perrysarmforgottohurtand hemovedtokissHildaonthecheekandinstead sheturnedherheadtokisshimfullonthelips,a realjuicy,steamyonethatmadehisearwaxmelt. Drinks,Hildasaid,breakingthekiss. Theywentupstairs,holdingthemitts,andhada beertogetheronthepatio,talkingsoftlyabout nothinginparticular,andthenLesterhuggedthem goodnightandthentheyallwenttobed,and Perryputhisfaceintothehairatthebackof Hildasneckandtoldherhelovedher,andHilda snuggleduptohimandtheyfellasleep. AGAMEOFCATCH Onesupporterofthegroup,theoutspokenDeath Waits,aformerDisneyemployee,hasbeen hospitalizedforoveraweekfollowingasavage beatingthatheclaimsresultedfromhisInternet postingabouttheunhealthyobsessionDisney executiveSamuelR.D.Page(seeprevious coverage)borefortheride. Everyoneneedstounwindnowandthen,but sourcesatthehospitalwhereDeathWaitslies abedsaythathehashadnovisitsfromthecult leaderssincehetookhisbeatingintheirservice. Nodoubtthesethreehavemoreimportantthings todolikeplaycatch.

Suzannesaid,Look,youcantletcrazypeople setyouragenda.IfyouwanttovisitthisDeathkid, Popquiz:Yourempireiscrumblingaroundyour youshould.Ifyoudont,youshouldnt.Butdont ears.Yoursupportersarehospitalizedbyjackboot letFreddypsyopsyouintodoingsomethingyou dontwanttodo.Maybehedoeshavearatinyour thugsforstickingupforyou. building.Maybehesgotaratatthehospital. ThelawsuitsaremountingandflybynightMBAs Maybe,though,hejustscoredsomestillsoffa havedeterminedtouseyournonprofit,info flickrstream,maybeheswatchingnewphotos hippierideprojecttogetrightbyembarkingon20 withsomefacerecognitionstuff. yearsoflitigation. Perrylookedupfromhisscreen,stillscowling. Whatdoyoudo? Peopledothat? Well,ifyourelikePerryGibbons,LesterBanks Surestalkerware!Iuseitmyself,justtosee andHildaHammersen,yougooutintothe whatphotosofmeareshowinguponline.Iscour backyardandthrowaballaroundforawhile,then everyphotofeedpublishedforanythingthat youhaveabigcuddleandheadinside. appearstobeaphotoofme.Mostofitsfrom blogjects,CCTVcamerasandcraplikethat.You Thepicturesshownherewerecapturedbya shouldseewhatitslikeondaysIgotoLondon neighborofthecultleaderslastnight,attheir

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/212 youcangetphotographed800timesadaythere withouttrying.Soyeah,ifIwasFreddyandI wantedtoscrewwithyou,Idbewatchingevery imagefeedforyourpic,andmine,andLesters. Wejustneedtoassumethatthatsgoingon.But lookatwhatheactuallyreportedon:youwentout andplayedcatchandthenhuggedafteryourgame. Itsnotlikehecaughtyoucornholinggatorswhile smokingspliffsrolledinCnotes. Wellgoaftertherideshutstonight,Lestersaid. Allofus.Illbuyhimafruitbasketandbring himamini.TheminiswereLesterslatest mechanicalcomputers,builtinsideofsardine cans,madeofminiaturized,printed,highimpact alloys.Theycouldaddandsubtractnumbersupto ten,usingahandcrankontheside,registering theiroutputonabinarydisplayoflittlewindows thatwerecoveredanduncoveredbytinyshutters. Hedbuilthisfirstthedaybefore,usingdesigns Whatdoesthatguyhaveagainstus,anyway? suppliedbysomeofhispeopleinBraziland Suzannesighed.Well,atfirstIthinkitwasthatI tweakingthemtohisliking. likedyou,andthatyouweretryingtodo Thedaywasasclosetoanormaldayontheride somethingconsistentwithwhathethought asPerrycouldimagine.Thecrowdwasheavy everyoneshouldbedoing.Afterall,ifanyone weretofollowhisexhortations,theydhavetobe fromthemomentheopened,andhehadtogo backintothedepthsandkickthingsbackinto dumbenoughtobetakinghimseriously,andfor shapeacoupletimes,andoneofthechairsshut thattheydeserveallpossibledisapprobation. down,andtwoofthemerchantshadadisputethat Thesedays,though,hehatesyoufortworeasons. degeneratedintoabrawl.Justanotherdayrunning Thefirstisthatyoufailed,whichmeansthat aroadsideattractioninFlorida. youvegottohavesomekindofmoraldeficiency. Thesecondisthatwekeeppullinghispantsdown Lesterspelledhimofffortheendoftheday,then theycountedthetakeandsaidgoodnighttothe inpublic,whichmakeshimevenangrier,since merchantsandallpiledintooneofLesterscars pullingdownpeoplespantsishisjob. andheadedforthehospital. Iknowitsarmchairpsychology,butIthinkthat Freddyjustdoesntlikehimselfverymuch.Atthe YoulikingFlorida?Lestercalledovertheseat astheyinchedforwardinthecommutertrafficon endoftheday,peoplewhoaresecureandhappy thewayintoMelbourne. dontactlikethis. Itshot;Ilikethat,Hildasaid. Perrysscowldeepened.Idliketokickhimin thefuckingballs,hesaid.Whycanthejustlet usbe?Wevegotenoughfriggingproblems. Ijustwanttogoandvisitthiskid,Lestersaid, andtheywerebackwheretheystarted. Youdidntmentiontheawesomeaesthetics, Lestersaid.

Suzannerolledhereyes.Tickytackychic,she said.

ButweknowthatthisFreddyguyhasan Iloveithere,Lestersaid.Thatcontrast informantinthehospital,heaboutsaysasmuchin betweencrass,overdeveloped,cheap,nastystrip thisarticle.Ifwegothere,hewins,Perrysaid. mallsandunspoiledtropicalbeauty.Itsgorgeous anditticklesmyfunnybone. HildaandLesterjustlookedathim.Finallyhe smiledandrelented.OK,Freddyisntgoingto runmylife.Ifitstherightthingtovisitthiskid, itstherightthing.Letsdoit.

Hildasquintedoutthewindowasthoughshewere tryingtoseewhatLestersaw,likesomeonestaring atarandomdotstereograminamallstore,trying

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/213 tomakethethreeDimagepopout. Ifyousayso,shesaid.Idontfindmuch attractiveabouthumansettlement,though.Ifit needstobethere,itshouldjustbeinvisibleas possible.Wefundamentallyliveinuglyboxes,and effortstomakethemprettyneverdoanythingfor meexceptcallattentiontohowuglytheyare.I kindawishthateverythingwasbuilttodisappear asmuchaspossiblesowecouldconcentrateon thelovelinessoftheworld. YougetthatinMadison?Lestersaid. Nope,shesaid.Iveneverseenanyplace designedthewayIddesignone.MaybeIlldo thatsomeday. dontknow,pursuingyourhobby.Lessabout showingupinanemergency. HildasnortedagainandtheywereatDeaths room.Theywalkedpasthisroommates,anold ladywithherteethout,sleepingwithherjaw saggingdown,andamaninabodycast hammeringonavideogamecontrollerandstaring fixedlyatthescreenatthefootofhisbed. ThentheycameuponDeathWaits.Perryhadonly seenhimbriefly,andinbadshapeeventhen,but nowhewasawreck,somethingfromahorror movieoranatrocityphoto.Perryswallowedhard ashetookintheboyswracked,skinnybody,the casts,thesunkeneyes,theshavedhead,thecaved infaceandtornears.

Perrylovedherjustthen,forthat.Thecasualoh, yeah,theworldisntarrangedtomysatisfaction, HewasfixedlywatchingTV,whichseemedtobe showingagolfshow.Histhumbwaspoisedovera maybeIllrearrangeitsomeday. rockerswitchconnectedtotheIVinhisarm. ThedutynursewasaboredEasternEuropeanwho Deathlookedatthemwithdulleyesatfirst,not gavethemahalfheartedhardtimeabouthaving toomanypeoplevisitDeathWaitsallatonce,but recognizingthemforamoment.Thenhedid,and whomeltedwhenSuzannegaveheralittletalkin hiseyeswelledupwithtears.Theystreameddown hisfaceandhischinandlipquivered,andthenhe Russian. openedhismouthandstartedtobawllikeababy. Whatwasthatallabout?Perrywhisperedtoher Perrywasparalyzedtransfixedbythiscrying astheymadetheirwayalongthesoursmelling wreck.Lester,too,andSuzanne.Theyalltooka ward. minutestepbackward,butHildapushedpastthem Toldherwewouldkeepitdownand andtookhishandandstrokedhishairandwent complimentedheronhermanicure. shhh,shhh.Hisbawlingbecomemore uncontrolled,louder,andhistworoommates Lestershookhishead.Ihaventbeeninaplace likethisinsolong.Thefatkinsplacesarenothing complained,callingtohimtoshutup,and Suzannemovedbackanddrewthecurtainsaround likeit. eachoftheirbeds.Strangely,thissilencedthem. Hildasnorted.Moreupscale,Itakeit?Lester Gradually,Deathscriesbecamesofter,andthen andHildahadntreallytalkedaboutthefatkins hesnuffledandsnortedandHildagavehima thing,butPerrysuddenlyrememberedthe kleenexfromherpurse.Hewipedhisfaceand vehemencewithwhichHildahaddenouncedthe blewhisnoseandsqueezedthekleenextightinhis kidswhoweretalkedintofatkinstreatmentsin theirteensandwonderedifsheandLestershould hand.Heopenedhismouth,shutit,openedand shutit. beclearingtheair. Then,inawhisper,hetoldthemhisstory.The Notreallybutmorefunctional.Moreabout,I manintheparkinglotandhiserection.The

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/214 hospital.Postingonthemessageboards. Thelawyer. What?Perrysaid,loudenoughthattheyall jumpedandDeathWaitsflinchedpatheticallyin hishospitalbed.Hildasqueezedhisarmhard. Sorry,sorry,Perrymuttered.Butthislawyer, whatdidhesaytoyou? Perrylistenedforatime.DeathWaitsspokeina lowmonotone,pausingfrequentlytodrawin shudderingbreathsthatwerealmostsobs. Fuckingbastards,Perrysaid.Evil,corporate, immoral,sleazy muchasyouwant.Youarefreetotellyourstory toanyoneyouwanttotellitto.Evenifitscrews upmycase,yourefreetodothat.Youvegiven upenoughformealready. Deathlookedathimwithwateryeyes.Really? hesaid.Itcameoutinahoarsewhisper. Perrymovedthebreakfasttraythatcovered Deathslaptop,thenopenedthelaptopand positioneditwhereDeathcouldreachit.Itsall yours,buddy.Whateveryouwanttosay,sayit.Let yourfreakflagfly.

Deathcriedagainthen,silenttearsslippingdown hishollowcheeks.Perrygothimsomekleenex Hildasqueezedhisarmagain.Shh,shesaid. fromthebathroomandheblewhisnoseand Takeiteasy.Youreupsettinghim. wipedhisfaceandgrinnedatthemall,atoothless, wet,ruinedsmilethatmadePerrysheartlurch. Perrywassoangryhecouldbarelysee,barely think.Hewastrembling,andtheywereallstaring Jesus,Jesus,Jesus.Whatthehellwashedoing? Thiskidhewouldnevergetthelifehedhad athim,buthecouldntstop.Deathhadshrunk back. backintohimself,squeezedhiseyesshut. Illbebackinaminute,Perrysaid.Hefeltlike Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou,Deathsaid. hewassuffocating.Hewalkedoutoftheroomso Pleasedontbegratefultome,Perrysaid.We fastitwaspracticallyajog,thenpoundedonthe oweyouthethanksaroundhere.Rememberthat. elevatorbuttons,waitedtensecondsandgaveup Wehaventdoneyouanyfavors.Allthefavors andrandowntenflightsofstairs.Hegotoutside aroundherehavecomefromyou. intothecoolnessofthehazynightandsuckedin Anylawyershowsuphereagainrepresentingme, hugelungsfulofwetair,hishearthammeringin Iwantyoutoemailme. hischest. Hehadhisphoneinhishandandhehadscrolled Inthecarback,noonesaidanythinguntilthey toKettlewellsnumber,buthekepthimselffrom werewithinsightoftheshantytown.Kettlewell dialingit.Hewasinnoshapetodiscussthiswith isntgoingtolikethis,Suzannesaid. Kettlewell.Hewantedwitnessestherewhenhedid Yeah,Iexpectnot,Perrysaid.Hecangofuck it,tokeephimfromdoingsomethingstupid. himself. Hewentbackinside.Thesecurityguardswatched himclosely,butheforcedhimselftosmileandact ImagineeringsenttheprototypeuptoSammyas calmandtheydidntstophimfromboardingthe soonasitwasready,theactualengineerswhod elevator. beenworkingonitshleppingitintohisoffice. Imsorry,hesaidtoallofthem.Imsorry,he Hedbeencarefultocultivatetheirfriendship saidtoDeathWaits.Letmemakesomething throughtheweeksofproduction,takingthemout very,veryclear:youarefreetousetheInternetas forbeersanddelicatelylettingthemknowthat

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/215 theywerejustthesortofpeoplewhoreally understoodwhatDisneyParkswasabout,notlike thosephilistineswhocomprisedtherestofthe managementlayeratDisney.Helearnedtheir kidsnamesandforwardedjokestothembyemail. Hedroppedbytheirbreakroomandletthembeat himatpinballontheirgigantic,bizarre,multi boardhomebrewmachine,lettingthemknowjust howcoolsaidmachinewas. networkconnectionandthensubsidedinto marchingbandmusic.Therewasasmelllike SaranWrapinthemicrowave.Amomentlater, anotherpipecleanermanemergedfromthebox, luggingachunkofplasticthatlookedlikethebase ofarocketinanoldtimeysciencefictionmovie.

Thefirstpipecleanermanwasshinnyingupthe powercable.Hecrestedthedesktopandjoinedhis brotherinferryingoutmoreparts.Eachone Nowitwaspayingoff.Judgingfromthedevicehe snappedintothepreviousonewithaLegolike waslookingat,abreadboxsized,goawaygreen click.Takingshapeonthedesktopinslowstages, roundshoulderedsmoothboxthatittooktwoof theoriginal,1955Tomorrowland,completewith themtocarryin. therockettothemoon,theClockoftheWorldand Watchthis,oneofthemsaid.Heknockeda complicatedpatternontheboxstopandahidden DairyFarmersofAmericaPresenttheCowof hatchopenedoutoftheside,yawningoutand Tomorrow?Sammysaid,peeringatthelittle formingaminiaturestaircasefromhalfwaydown brassplaqueonthematchboxsizeddiorama, theboxssurfacetotheground.Therewassoft whichshowedacowwithanIVinherhock, musicplayinginsidethebox:ajazzy,uptempo watchingavideoofapasture.Yourekidding futuristicversionofWhenYouWishuponaStar. me. Alittlemanappearedinthedoorway.Helooked likehewasmadeofpipecleanersandhetookthe stairsinthreewobblingstrides.Heignoredthem ashelurchedaroundtheboxsperimeteruntilhe cametoafarcorner,thenanotherhatchslidaway andthelittlemanreachedinsideandtuggedout theplugandtheendofthepowercord.Hehugged theplugtohischestandbegantowanderaround Sammysdesk,clearlylookingforanelectrical outlet. Itsarandomwalksearchalgorithm,oneofthe Imagineerssaid.Watchthis.Afteracoupleof circuitsofSammysdeskthelittlerobotwentto theedgeandjumped,hangingontothepower cable,whichunspooledslowlyfromtheboxlikea belayline,gentlyloweringthemantotheground. Afewminuteslater,hehadfoundtheelectrical outletandpluggedinthebox. Themusicinsidestilledandafanfarebegan.The trumpetingreachedajoyouspeakItsfounda No!oneImagineersaid.Itsallforrealthe archiveshaveallthesetight,highrezthreeD modelsofalltheridestheParkseverseen.Thisis totallyhistoricallyaccurate. TheKaiserAluminumHallofFame.The MonsantoHallofChemistry.ThimbleDrome FlightCircle,withtinyflyingminiatureairplanes. Holycrap,Sammysaid.Peoplepaidtosee thesethings? Goon,theotherImagineersaid.Taketheroof offtheHallofChemistry. Sammydid,andwastreatedtoatiny,incredibly detailedthreeDmodeloftheHallsinterior exhibits,completewithtinypeoplein1950sgarb marvelingatthetrulycrappyexhibits. Weprintto1200dpiwiththese.Wecanput pupilsontheeyeballsatthatrez. Thepieceswerestilltrundlingout.Sammypicked uptheMonsantoHallofChemistryandturnedit

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/216 overandoverinhishands,lookingattheminute detail,admiringthewayallthepiecessnapped together. Man,IdseenthethreeDmodelsand flythroughs,buttheyrenothingcomparedto actuallyseeingit,owningit.Peoplewillwant librariesofthesethings.Wholeroomsdevotedto them.

Itskindofbrittle,thefirstImagineersaid.He tookitfromSammyandgaveitasqueezeandit crackedwithanoiselikeanofficechairrolling Umm,oneoftheImagineerssaid.Sammyknew overasheetofbubblewrap.Thepiecesfelltothe hisname,buthedforgottenit.Hehadawhole desk. complicatedschemeforrememberingpeoples Apipecleanermanhappeneduponashardaftera namesbymakingupstoriesaboutthem,butitwas alotofwork.Well,aboutthat.Thisfeedstockis momentandhuggedittohischest,thentoddled veryfastsetting,butitdoesntreallyweatherwell. backintotheboxwithit. Evenifyoustoreditinadark,humiditycontrolled Theresalittleopticalscannerinthereitll room,itdstarttodelaminateandfalltopieces figureoutwhichbitthispiececamefromandprint withinamonthortwo.Leaveitinthelivingroom anotherone.Totalconstructionofthismodeltakes indirectsunlightanditllcrumblewithinacouple abouttwohours. days. Youbuiltthisentirethingfromscratchinthree Sammypursedhislipsandthoughtforawhile. weeks? Please,pleasetellmethattheressomething proprietarywecanrequireinthefeedstockthat TheImagineerslaughed.No,nonoway!No, almostallthecodeanddesignscameoffthenet. canmakeusintothesolesupplierofconsumables forthisthing. MostofthisstuffwasdevelopedbyNewWork startupsbackintheday,orbythoserideweirdos Maybe?Wecouldcertainlytagthegoopwith downinHollywood.Wejustshoveditallintothis somethingproprietaryandhuntforitwhenwedo boxandaddedthemodelsforsomeofourold thebuild,refusetorunonanyoneelsesgoop.Of ridesfromthearchives.Thiswaseasy,man course,thatwontbehardtodefeat easy! Wellsueanyonewhotriesit,Sammysaid.Oh, Sammysheadswam.Easy!Thisthingwas boys,youveoutdoneyourselves.Seriously.IfI undeniablysupercool.Hewantedone.Everyone couldgiveyouaraise,Iwould.Asitis,take wasgoingtowantone! somethinghomefromthearchitecturalsalvagelot andsellitoneBay.Itsasclosetoabonusasthis Youcanprinttheseasbigasyouwant,tooif wegaveitenoughtime,spaceandfeedstock,itd fuckingcompanysgoingtopayanyofus. runthesebuildingsatfullsize. Theylookedathimquizzically,withsomealarm TheminiatureTomorrowlandwasnearlydone.It andhesmiledandspreadhishands.Haha,only seriousboys.Reallytakesomestuffhome. wasallbrave,sadwhitecurves,likethesetofa Youveearnedit.Tryandgrabsomethingfromthe remakeofRollerball,andfeaturedtinypeoplein ridesystemitself,thatsgotthehighestbook 1950sclothes,sundressesandsalarymanhats, value. blackrimmedglassesandscoutuniformsforthe boys. Theyleftbehindaslimfolderwithproduction notesandestimates,supplierswhowouldbelikely Sammygoggledatit.Hemovedthelittlepeople tobidonajoblikethis.Hedneedamarketing around,liftedoffthelids.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/217 plan,toobutthiswasfartherthanheever thoughthedget.Hecouldshowthistolegaland totheboard,andyes,toWienerandtherestofthe uselesscommittee.Hecouldgeteveryonelinedup behindthisandworkingonit.Hell,ifhespunit righttheydallbefightingtohavetheirpet projectsinstantiatedwithit. TjanandKettlewellgottotheirfeetandlookedat him,facesblankwithshock.Kettlewellrecovered first.Perry,letssitdownanddoanexit interview,allright?Thatstraditional.

Perrywasshakingwithangernow.Thesetwo friendsofhis,theydfuckingscrewedhim committedtheirdirtyworkinhisname.But Hefiddledwithacoupleofovernightshippers Kettlewellwasholdingachairouttohimandthe sitesforawhile,tryingtofigureoutwhatitwould othersintheteahousewerestaringandhe costtoselltheseintheParkandhavethem thoughtaboutEvaandthekidsandthebaseball waitingonthemarksdoorstepswhentheygot gloves,andhesatdown. backhome.Therewerelotsoflittledetailslike Hesqueezedhisthighshardwithhisclenching that,butultimately,thiswasgoodandcleanit hands,drewinadeepbreath,andrecitedwhat wouldextendtheParksreachrightintotheliving DeathWaitshadtoldhiminaneven,wooden roomsoftheircustomers,givingthemanew voice. reasontothinkoftheParkeveryday. Sothatsit.Idontknowifyouinstructedthe lawyerstodothisoronlyjustdistancedyourself KettlewellandTjanlookedupwhenPerrybanged enoughfromthemtoletthemdothisontheir own.Thepointisthatthewayyourerunningthis throughthedooroftheteahousetheydturned campaignisvictimizingpeoplewhobelieveinus, intotheirdefactoheadquarters. makinglifeworseforpeoplewhoalreadygota Perryhadgonethroughmadandbacktocalmon shitty,shittydealonouraccount.Iwonthaveit. theridehome,butashedrewclosertothetea house,passingthepeopleinthestreets,thepeople KettlewellandTjanlookedateachother.Theyd bothstayedpokerfacedthroughPerrys livingtheirliveswithoutlawyersorbullshit,his accusation,andnowKettlewellmadealittlego angercameback.Hedevenstoppedoutsidethe aheadgestureatTjan. teahouseandbreatheddeeply,buthisheartwas poundingandhishandskeptballingintofistsand Theresnoexcuseforwhatthatlawyerdid.We sometimes,man,sometimesyouvejustgottogo didntauthorizeit,wedidntknowithad forit. happened,andwewouldnthavepermitteditifwe had.Inasuitlikethis,therearealotofmoving partsandtheresnowaytokeeptrackofallof themallofthetime.Youdontknowwhatevery Yourefired,hesaid.Packupandgo,Iwant rideoperatorintheworldisupto,youdonteven yououtbymorning.Youredonehere.Youdont knowwherealltheridesintheworldare.Thats representtherideandyouneverwill.Getlost.He inthenatureofadecentralizedbusiness. didntknowhewasgoingtosayituntilhesaidit, butitfeltright.Thiswaswhathewasfeelinghis Butheresthething:thelawyerwasatleast projecthadbeenstolenandbadthingswerebeing partlyright.Everythingthatkidblogs,emails,and sayswillpotentiallyendupinthepublicrecord. doneinhisnameanditwasgoingtostop,right Likeitornot,thatkidcannolongerconsider now. himselftohaveaprivatelife,notuntilthecourt Hegottothetableandgrabbedthepapersthere andtossedthemoverhisshoulder.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/218 caseisup.NeithercanyouorI,forthatmatter. Thatsinthenatureofalawsuitanditsnot somethinganyofuscanchangeatthispoint. Perryheardhimasfromagreatdistance,through thewhooshingofthebloodinhisears.He couldntthinkofanythingtosaytothat. TjanandKettlewelllookedateachother. SoevenifwerefiredTjansaidatlast, makingsarcasticfingerquotes,thisproblem wontgoaway.Wevefloatedthesyndicateand givencontrolofthelegalcasetothem.Ifyoutry toditchit,youregoingtohavetocontendwith theirlawsuits,too. DeathfoundoutabouttheDisneyinaBox printerssecondsaftertheywereannounced.Hed beentuninghisfeedwatcherstogivehimnews abouttheDisneyParksfornearlyadecade,and thislittlePRitemontheDisneyParksnewswire rangallthecherriesonhisfilters,flaggingthe itemredandrocketingittothetopofhisnews playlist,makingalltheiconsinthesidesofhis screenbouncewithdelight.

Theannouncementmadehimwanttothrowup. Theyweretotallyrippingofftherides,andhe knewforafactthatmostofthethreedeemeshes oftheoldyesterlandridesandeventhe contemporaryoneswerefanmade,sothosedbe IdidntPerrystarted.Buthehad,hedsigned rippedoff,too. allkindsofpapers:first,papersthatincorporated Andtheworstpartwas,hecouldfeelhimself theriderunnerscoop;and,second,papersthat gettingexcited.Thiswasjustthekindofthingthat gavelegalrepresentationovertothesyndicate. wouldhavegivenhimmajorfanboydroolas recentlyasamonthago. Perry,ImthechairmanoftheBostonride collective.Imtheirreponthecoopsboard.You Hejuststaredangrilyathisscreen.Beingangry cantfireme.Youdidnthireme.Theydid.So madethepainkillerswearoff,sothemadderhe stopbreathingthroughyournoselikealocomotive gotthemorehehurt.Hecouldnailtherocker andcalmdown.Noneofuswantedthatlawyerto switchanddosehimselfwithmoreofwhateverthe goafterthatkid. painkillerpluggedintohisIVwastoday,butsince PerryandLesterandtheirgirlfriends(hadthat Heknewtheyweremakingsensebuthedidnt wanttocare.Hedendedupinthisplacebecause otheronebeenSuzanneChurch?Itsurelooked likeher)hadtoldhimhecouldusehislaptop thesesupposedpalsofhishadscrewedup. again,hedstayedoffthejuiceasmuchas Heknewthathewasgoingtoendupmakingup possible.Thecomputercouldmakehimforgethe withthem,goingtoendupgettingdeeperinto hurt. this.Heknewthatthiswashowgoodpeopledid shittythings:onetinyrottencompromiseatatime. Helookedattheclock.Itwas4AM.Theblindson thewardwereshutmostofthetime,andhekept Well,hewasntgoingtogothere. tohisownschedule,nappingandthensurfing, Tomorrowmorning,hesaid.Gone.Wecan thennoddingoffandthensurfingsomemore.The figureoutbyemailhowtohaveasmooth hospitalstaffjustlefthisfoodonthetablebeside transition,butnomoreofthis.Notonmyhead. himifhewasasleepwhenitarrived,thoughthey Notonmyaccount. wokehimforhisspongebathsandtostickfresh needlesinhisarms,whichwerefilledwithbruisey Hestalkedaway,whichiswhatheshouldhave collapsedveins. doneinthefirstplace.Fuckbeingreasonable. Reasonablesucked. Therewasnoonehecouldtellaboutthis.Sure,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/219 therewerechatroomswith24/7chatterfrom Disneyfreaks,buthedidntmuchwanttochat withthem.Someofhisfriendswouldstillbeup andtweaking,butChrist,whowantedtoIMwitha speedfreakatfourinthemorning?Histypingwas downtolessthan30wpm,andhecouldntkeepit upforlong.Whathereallywantedwastotalkto someoneaboutthis. HereallywantedtotalktoPerryaboutthis.He shouldsendhimanemail,buthehadtheinkling ofanideaandhedidntwanttoputitinwriting, becauseitwasadeliciouslynaughtyidea. callthisguy?Hewassuchanidiot. ThisisPerryGibbons.IsthatDeathWaits? Yes,sorry,Idonthaveamic.Canyouhearme OK? IfIturnthevolumeallthewayupIcan. Therewasanawkwardsilence.Deathtriedto thinkofhowtobegin. Whatsonyourmind,Death? Ididntexpectyoutobeawakeatthishour.

Ihadaroughnight,Perrysaid.Itoccurredto Itwasdumbtoeventhinkaboutphoninghim,he Deaththathewastalkingtooneofhisheros,a barelyknewhim,andnoonelikedtogetcallsat manwhohadcometovisithiminthehospitalthat fouram.BesideshedcheckedPerrysnumber day.Hegrewevenmoretonguetied. wasunlisted. Whathappened? From:deathw@deathwait.erTo: Nothingimportant,Perrysaidandswallowed, pgibbons@hollywood.rideSubject:Whatsyour andDeathsuddenlyunderstoodthatPerryhadhad phonenumber? aroughnightbecauseofhim,becauseofwhat Perry,Iknowthatitspresumptuous,butIdreally hedtoldPerry.Itmadehimwanttocry. liketotalktoyouv2vaboutsomethingimportant Imsorry,Deathsaid. thatIdprefernottoputinwriting.Idonthave Whatsonyourmind,Death?Perrysaidagain. anyrighttoimposeonyou,especiallynotafter youvealreadydonemethekindnessofcomingto Deathtoldhimwhathedfound,abouttheDisney seemeinthehospital,butIhopeyoullsendme printers.HereadPerrytheURLssohecouldlook yournumberanyway.Alternatively,pleasecallme themup. onmyenum1800DEATHWAITSGGFSAH. OK,thatsinteresting,Perrysaid.Deathcould Youradmirer, tellhedidntreallythinkitwasthatinteresting. DeathWaits Ihaventtoldyoumyideayet.Hegropedforthe Itwasfiveminuteslaterwhenhislaptoprang.It wasunnaturallyloudontheward,andheheardhis roommatesstirwhenthetoneplayed.Hedidnt haveaheadsetChrist,hewasanidiot.Wait, therewasone,danglingfromtheTV.Nomic,but atleasthecouldpairitwithhislaptopforsound. Hestabbedatthemutebuttonandreachedforthe headsetandslippediton.Thenheheldthe computerclosetohisfaceandwhisperedHello? intoitslittlemic.Hisvoicewasacroak,hisruined mouthdistortingtheword.Whyhadhedecidedto words.Hismouthhadgonedry.OK,soDisneys goingtoshipthesethingstotonsofpeoples houses,theyllsellthemcheapattheparksand mailthemasfreebiestoMagicKingdomClub goldcardholders.Soinaweekortwo,theres goingtobejust,youknow,tonsoftheseacrossthe country. Right. Soheresmyidea:whatifyoucouldgetthemto buildnonDisneystuff?Whatifyoucouldsend

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/220 themplansforstufffromtherides?Whatifyou couldjustdownloadyourfriendsdesigns?What ifthiswasopenedwide. Perrychuckledontheotherendoftheline,then laughed,fullthroatedandfullofmerriment.I likethewayyouthink,kid,hesaid,oncehed caughthisbreath. toolong,andDeathWaitsrangoffandfellintoa lightdoze,grinninglikeamaniac.

HildaeyedPerrycuriously.Thatsoundedlikean interestingconversation,shesaid.Shewas wearingalongtshirtofhisthatdidntreally covermuch,andshelookeddeliciousinit.Itwas Andthenthisamazingthinghappened.Perry allhecoulddotokeepfromgrabbingherand Gibbonsbrainstormedwithhimaboutthekindsof tossingheronthebedofcourse,thecastmeant designstheycouldpushouttothesethings.Itwas thathecouldntreallydothat.AndHildawasnt likesomekindofawesomedreamcometrue. exactlysmiling,either. Perrywastreatinghimlikeapeer,lovinghis Sorry,Ididntmeantowakeyouup,hesaid. ideas,keyingoffofthem. Itwasntthetalkingthatdidit,itwasyounot Thenadismalthoughtstruckhim.Waitthough, beingthereinthefirstplace.Gavemethetoss wait.Theyreusingtheirowngoopforthe andturns. printers.Everydesignweprintmakesthem Shecameovertohimthen,theleanmusclesinher richer. legsflexingasshecrossedthelivingroom.She Perrylaughedagain,reallymerry.Oh,thatkind tookhislaptopawayandsetitdownonthecoffee ofthingneverworks.Theyvebeentryingtotie table,thentookoffhisheadset.Hewaswearing feedstocktoprinterssincetheinkjetdays.Wego nothingbutboxers,andshereacheddownand throughthatlikewetkleenex. gavehisdickacompanionablehonkbeforesitting Isntthatillegal? downnexttohimandgivinghimakissonthe Whothefuckknows?Itshouldntbe.Idontcare cheek,thethroatandthelips. aboutillegalanymore.Legalgetsyoulawyers. Comeon,dudewhatsthepointofbeingallinto someantiauthoritariansubcultureifyouspendall yourtimesuckinguptotheauthorities? So,Perry,shesaid,lookingintohiseyes.What thefuckareyoudoingsittinginthelivingroomat 5amtalkingtoyourcomputer?Andwhydidnt youcometobedlastnight?Imnotgoingtobe hangingoutinFloridafortherestofmylife.I Deathlaughed,whichactuallyhurtquiteabit.It wasthefirstlaughhedhadsincehedendedupin wouldathoughtyoudwanttomaximizeyour Hildatimewhileyouvegotthechance. thehospital,maybethefirstonesincehedbeen firedfromDisneyWorld,andasmuchasithurt,it Shesmiledtolethimknowshewaskidding feltgood,too,likeabandbeingloosenedfrom around,butshewasright,ofcourse. aroundhisbrokenribs. Imanidiot,Hilda.IfiredTjanandKettlewell, Hisroommatesstirredandoneofthemmusthave toldthemtogetlost. pushedthenursecallbutton,becauseshortly Idontknowwhyyouthinkthatssuchabad thereafter,theformidableUkrainiannursecamein idea.Youneedbusinesspeople,probably,butit andsavagelytoldhimofffordisturbingtheward doesntneedtobethoseguys.Sometimesyoucan atfiveinthemorning.Perryheardandsaidhis havetoomuchhistorywithsomeonetoworkwith goodbyes,liketheywereoldpalswhodchatted him.Besides,anythingcanbeunsaid.Youcan

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/221 changeyourmindinaweekoramonth.Those guysarentdoinganythingspecial.Theydcome backtoyouifyouaskedem.YourePerry motherfuckinGibbons.Yourule,dude. Youreaveryniceperson,HildaHammersen. Butthoseguysarerunningourlegaldefense, whichweregoingtoneed,becauseImaboutto dosomethingsemiillegalthatsboundtogetus suedagainbythesamepackofassholesaslast time. Disney?Shesnorted.Haveyoueverreadupon thehistoryoftheDisneyCompany?Theoldone, theoneWaltfounded?WaltDisneywasntjusta racistcreep,hewasalsoamadinventor.Hekept comingupwiththesecoolhightechwaysof makingcartoonsstickingrealpeopleinthem, puttingthemincolor,addingsyncsound.People loveditall,butitdrovehimoutofbusiness.Itwas alltooexpensive. cowboyaroundandpissawaytheirmoneyonhis toys. SohowdhegetDisneylandbuilt? Hequit.Hestartedhisowncompany,WED,for WalterEliasDisney.Hepoachedallthegeniuses awayfromthestudiosandturnedthemintohis Imagineersandcashedinhislifeinsurance policyandraisedhisowndoughandbuiltthe park,andthenmadeRoybuythecompanyback fromhim.Imguessingthatthatfeltprettygood. Itsoundslikeitmustve,Perrysaid.Hewas feelingthoughtful,andbuzzedfromthesleepless night,andjazzedfromhisconversationwith DeathWaits.Hehadanideathattheycouldpush designsouttotheprintersthatwerelikethe Disneydesigns,butweirdandkinkyand subversiveandalittledisturbing.

Icanunderstandwhyyoudbenervousabout ditchingyoursuits,buttheyrejustthat,suits.At Soherecruitedhisbrother,RoyDisney,whowas somelevel,theyreallinterchangeable,mercenary justabanker,torunthebusiness.Royturnedthe parts.Youwantsomeonetowatchthebottomline, businessaround,watchingtheincomeandthe butnotsomeonewhollruntheshow.Ifthatsnot outgo.Butallthiscameataprice:Roywantedto theseguys,hey,thatscool.Findacouplemore tellWalthowtorunthebusiness.Moretothe suitsandrunthem. point,hewantedtotellWaltthathecouldntjust Jesus,youreallyareYoko,arentyou?Lester spendmillionsfromthecompanycofferson weirdassR&Dprojects,especiallynotwhenthe waswearinghisboxersandablearygrin,standing companywasstillfiguringouthowtoexploitthe inthelivingroomsdoorwaywhereHildahad stoodaminutebefore.Itwaspast6AMnow,and lastR&DprojectWalthadchased.Butitwas Waltscompany,andhedoverruleRoy,andRoy therewerewakingupsoundsthroughthewhole wouldpromisethatitwasgoingtoputtheminthe condo,toiletsflushing,acarstartingdowninthe parkinglot. poorhouseandthenhedfigureouthowtomake anothermillionoffofWaltsvision,becausethats Goodmorning,Lester,Hildasaid.Shesmiled whatthemoneyguyissupposedtodo. whenshesaidit,nooffensetaken,allgood,all good. Thenafterthewar,WaltwenttoRoyandsaid, Giveme$17million,Imgoingtobuildatheme Youfiredwhonow,Perry?Lesterdugapintof park.AndRoysaid,Youcanthaveitandwhats chocolateicecreamoutofthefreezerandattacked athemepark?WaltthreatenedtofireRoy,the itwithaselfheatingceramicspoonthathed wayhealwayshad,andRoypointedoutthat designedspecificallyforthispurpose. Disneywasnowapubliccompanywith IgotridofKettlewellandTjan,Perrysaid.He shareholderswhowerentgoingtoletWalt

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/222 wasblushing.Iwouldhavetalkedtoyouaboutit, onifitturnedouttobedirty.Whichdoyouthink butyouwerewithSuzanne.Ihadtodoit,though. thosetwowouldratherhavehappen:werunacool Ihadto. projectthateveryoneloves,orwerunalawsuit IhatewhathappenedtoDeathWaits.Ihatethat thatmakestenbilliondollarsfortheirinvestors? Theyreplayingadifferentgamefromusandtheir wevegotsomeoftheblameforit.But,Perry, TjanandKettlewellarepartofouroutfit.Itstheir victoryconditionisntours.Idontwanttobe reasonable.Iwanttodotherightthing.Youand show,too.Youcantjustgoshitcanningthem. Notjustmorally,either.Legally.Thoseguysowna mecouldhavesoldoutathousandtimesoverthe pieceofthisthingandtheyrekeepingthelawyers yearsandmademoneyinsteadofdoinggood,but wedidnt.Wedidntbecauseitsbettertoberight atbaytoo.Theyremanagingalltheevilshitso thantobereasonableandrich.Yousaywecant wedonthaveto.Idontwanttobeinchargeof theevil,andneitherdoyou,andhiringanewsuit affordtogetridofthosetwo.Isaywecantafford isntgoingtobeeasy.Theyreallpredatory,they notto. allhavedelusionsofgrandeur. Youneedtogetagoodnightssleep,buddy, Lestersaid.Hewasblowingthroughhisnose,a Youtwohavetheacumentohirebetter suresignthathewasangry.ItmadePerrys representationthanthosetwo,Hildasaid. hacklesgoupheandLesterdidntfightmuch Youreexperiencednow,andyouvefoundeda movementthatplentyofpeoplewouldkilltobea butwhentheydid,hooboy.Youneedtomellow outandseethatwhatyouretalkingaboutis partof.Youjustneedbettermanagement structure:anexecutiveyoucanoverrulewhenever abandoningourfriends,KettlewellandTjan,to makeourownegosfeelalittlebetter.Youneedto youneedto.Alackey,notaboss. seethatwereriskingeverything,riskingspending Lesteractedasthoughhehadntheardher.Im ourlivesincourtandlosingeverythingweveever beingprettymellowaboutthis,buddy.Imnot built. makingabigdealoutofthefactthatyoudidthis withoutconsultingme,becauseIknowhowrough AZenlikecalmdescendedonPerry.Hildawas itmusthavebeentodiscoverthatthiswickedness right.Suitswereeverywhere,andyoucould chooseyourown.YoudidntneedtolettheRoy hadgonedowninourname,andImighthave donethesame.Butitsthecoldlightofdaynow Disneysoftheworldcalltheshots. anditstimetogoovertheretogetherandhavea Imsorryyoufeelthatway,Lester.Ihear chatwithTjanandKettlewellandtalkthisover everythingyouresaying,butyouknowwhat,its andsortitout.Wecantaffordtoburnallthisto goingtobemyway.IunderstandthatwhatIwant thegroundandstartovernow. todoisrisky,buttheresnowayIcangoondoing whatImdoingandlettingthingsgetworseand Perryknewitwasreasonable,butscrew worse.Makingalittlecompromisehereandthere reasonable.Reasonablewashowgoodpeople endedupdoingwrong.Sometimesyouhadtobe ishowyouendupsellingouteverythingthats important.Weregoingtofindotherbusiness unreasonable. managersandweregoingtoworkwiththemto Lester,theyviolatedourtrust.Itwastheir makeasmoothtransition.Maybewellallcome responsibilitytodothisthinganddoitright.They outofthisfriendslateron.Theywanttodo didntdothat.Theydidntlookcloselyatthis somethingdifferentfromwhatIwanttodoisall. thingsothattheywouldnthavetoputthebrakes ThiswasntcalmingLesterdownatall.Perry,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/223 thisisntyourprojecttodowhatyouwantwith. Thisbelongstoalotofus.Ididmostofthework inthere. Youdid,buddy.Igetthat.Ifyouwanttostick withthem,thatshowitllgo.Nohardfeelings. Illgooffanddomyownthing,runmyownride. Peoplewhowanttoconnecttomynetwork,no sweat,theycandoit.Thatscool.Wellstillbe friends.YoucanworkwithKettlewellandTjan. Perrycouldhardlybelievethesewordswere comingoutofhismouth.Theydbeenbuddies forever,inseparable. Hildatookhishandsilently. Lesterlookedathimwithincreasingincredulity. Youdontmeanthat. Lester,ifwesplit,itwouldbreakmyheart.There wouldntbeadaythatwentbyfromnowtothe endoftimethatIdidntregretit.Butifwekeep goingdownthispath,itsgoingtocostmemy soul.Idratherbebrokethanevil.Oh,itfeltso goodtobesayingthis.Tofinallyaffirmthrough deedandwordthathewasagoodpersonwho wouldputethicsbeforegreed,beforecomfort even. inhospital.Never.Iwanttomakeitgoodagain. Wecanhavethekindofgigwherewedotheright thingandthecoolthing.Comeon,Lester.Please. HeletgoofLester.Lesterturnedonhisheeland walkedbackintohisbedroom.Perryknewthat thatmeanthedwon.HesmiledatHildaand huggedher.Shewasalotmorefuntohugthan Lester. Sammywasathisdesklookingoverthe productionprototypefortheDisneyinaBox(R) unitsthatImagineeringhaddroppedoffthat morningwhenhisphonerang.Nothisdeskphone hiscellularphone,withthecallreturnnumber blocked. Hello?hesaid.Notmanypeoplehadthis numberhedidntlikegettinginterruptedbythe phone.Peoplewhoneededtotalktohimcould talktohissecretaryfirst. Hi,Sammy.HaveIcaughtyouatabadtime?He couldhearthesneerinthevoiceandthenhecould seethefacethatwentwiththesneer:Freddy.Shit. Hedgiventhereporterhisnumberbackwhen theywerearrangingtheirdisastrousfacetoface.

LesterlookedatHildaforamoment.Hilda,this Itsnotagoodtime,Freddy,hesaid.Ifyoucall isprobablysomethingthatPerryandIshouldtalk mysecretary aboutalone,ifyoudontmind. Ijustneedamomentofyourtime,sir.Fora Imind,Lester.Theresnothingyoucantsayin quote.Forastoryabouttherideresponsetoyour frontofher. printersyourDisneyinaBoxCircleR,TeeEm, Lesterapparentlyhadnothingtosaytothat,and CircleC. thesilencemadePerryuncomfortable.Lesterhad Sammyfelthisgutstenseup.Ofcoursethoseride tearsinhiseyes,andthathitPerryinthechestlike assholeswouldhaveknownabouttheprinters. aspear.Hisfrienddidntcryoften. Thatswhatpressreleaseswerefor.Somewhere HecrossedtheroomandhuggedLester.Lester ontheirmessageboardshewassurethattherewas waswoodenandunyielding. somediscussionofthem.Hehadnthadtimeto Please,Lester.Please.Ihatetomakeyouchoose, lookforit,though,andhedidntwanttousethe DisneyParkscompetitiveintelpeopleonthis butyouhavetochoose.Wereonthesameside. Wevealwaysbeenonthesameside.Neitherofus stuff,becauseaftertheDeathWaitsdebacle arethekindofpeoplewhosendlawyersafterkids (debacleondebacle,ack,hecouldbesuchafuck

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/224 up)hedidntwanttohaveanytrainofintel gatheringonthegrouppointingbacktohim. makethemascoolashecouldimagine.Toplus themandreplusthem,intheoldslangofWalt Imnotfamiliarwithanyresponse,Sammysaid. Disney,makingthethingbecausethethingcould bemadeandtheworldwouldbeamorefunplace ImafraidIcantcomment onceitwas. Oh,itllonlytakeamomenttoexplainit, Nowherewasthistrollegginghimontogotowar Freddysaidandthenlaunchedintoahighspeed againwiththoserideshitheads,tospendhis explanationbeforeSammycouldobject.They weredeliveringtheirownthreeDmodelsforthe energiesdestroyinginsteadofcreating.Theworst part?Itwasallhisfault.Hedbroughthisown printers,andhadevengottenholdofoneofthe destruction:thereporter,DeathWaits,eventhe testunitsDisneyhadpassedoutlastweek.They claimedtohavereverseengineeredthegoopthatit lawsuit.Alltheresultofhisbadplanningand dumbdecisions.God,hewasatotalfuckup. ranon,sothatanyonesgoopcouldprinttoit. So,whatImlookingforisaquotefromDisney DisneyinaBoxsatonhisdesk,hummingfaintly onthis.Doyoucondonethis?Didyouanticipate nothumminglikeafridgehums,butactually humminginabaritonehum,hummingamedley it?WhatifsomeoneprintsanAK47withit? ofmagicuserssongsfromDisneymovies,likea NoonesgoingtoprintaworkingAK47with livingthing.Everyonceinawhileitwouldclear this,Sammysaid.Itstoobrittle.AK47 itsthroatandmutterandevensnorealittle.There manufacturingisalreadysadlyingreatprofusion wouldbehappyrustlesandwhispered acrossourinnercities,anyway.Astotherestofit conversationsfromwithinthegutsofthething.It Heclosedhiseyesandtookacoupleofdeep wasplussedallthewaytohellandback.Ithad breaths.Astotherestofit,thatwouldbe beeneasy,asmoreandmoreImagineershadcome somethingyoudhavetospeaktooneofmylegal upwithcoolfeaturestoaddtothefirmware, colleaguesabout.Wouldyoulikemetoputyou contributingthemtotheversioningsystem,and throughtothem? hedbeenabletochoosefromamongthemand pickthebestofthelot,makingadevicethat Freddylaughed.Ohcomeon,Sammy.Alittle rivaledWalts1955Disneylanditselffor somethingonbackground,noattribution?You originality,excitement,andcool. goingtosuethem?Havethembeatenup? Illjustsayyoudeclinedtocomment,then? Sammyfelthisfacegowhite.ImsureIdont knowwhatyouretalkingabout Asshole. WordhasitthattheDeathWaitskidcameup withthis.Heusedtobeyourprotege,no?AndI hearthatKettlewellandTjanhavebeenkickedout oftheorganizationnoonearoundtocallthe lawyersoutontheirbehalf.Seemslikeagolden opportunitytostrike. Youwritewhateveryouneedtowrite,Freddy, hesaid.Ahatchopenedatinybitonthetopofthe cubeandapairofeyespeeredout,thenit slammedshutandtherewasaroundofconvincing gigglesandscurryingfromwithinthebox.This couldbehuge,ifSammydidntfuckitupby worryingtoomuchaboutwhatsomeoneelsewas Sammyseethed.Hedbeenconcentratingon makingnewstuff,greatstuff.Competitivestuff,to upto. besure,butintheend,thereasonformakingthe Oh,andoneotherthing:itlooksliketheDeath DisneyinaBoxdeviceshadbeentomakethem, Waitskidisgoingtobedischargedfromthe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/225 hospitalthisweek. itstillhungfromhimlikeatent.

Youwillusecanes?sheasked.Hedhadsome physiotherapythatweekandhecouldtakeoneor Hewasntreadytoleavethehospital.Forstarters, twododderingstepsoncrutches,butcanes?No hecouldntwalkyet,andtherewerestilltimes way. whenhecouldbarelyrememberwherehewas, andtherewastheproblemofthecatheter.Butthe Icant,hesaid,picturinghimselfsprawledon insurancecompanyandthehospitalhadconcurred thepolishedconcretefloor,withwhatwasleftof thathedhadallthetreatmentheneededevenif hisfacebashedinfromthefall. hisdoctorhadntbeenabletolookhimintheeye Wheelchair,shesaidtosomeoneinthehall,and whenthiswasexplainedanditwastimeforhim anorderlycameinpushingachairwithasqueaky togohome.Goaway.Goanywhere. wheelthoughthechairitselfwasaprettygood one,atleastasgoodastheonestheyrentedat Disney,whichwerenearlyindestructible.Helet thenursetransferhimtoitwithherstronghands inhisarmpitsandunderhisknees.Abag containinghislaptopandafewcardsandthings thathadshownupatthehospitalwasdumpedinto hislapandheclutchedittohimselfashewas wheeledtotheendofthecorridorandaroundthe Andthecommentscamefloodingin.Firsta corner,wherethenursesstation,theelevators,the coupledozenfromhisfriends,thenhundreds,then commonareaandhisfanswere. thousands.Ragingfightssomepeopleaccused Theywerentjusthispals,thoughtherewereafew himofbeingafakestersockpuppetaimedat ofthemthere,butalsoabigcrowdofpeoplehed gatheringsympathyordonations(!)side nevermet,didntrecognize.Thereweregoths, conversations,philosophicalarguments. skinnyandpaleanddrapedinblack,buttheywere Buriedinthere,offersfromrealworldandonline outnumberedbythesubculturecivilians,normal friendstomeethimatthehospital,togethim looking,slightlyhippieish,oldandyoung.When home,totakecareofhim.Itwasunbelievable. hehoveintosight,theyburstintoawildcheer. Therewasasmallfortunehalfayearswagesat Theorderlystoppedpushinghischairandthe hisoldjobwaitinginhispaypal,andifthiswas nurserushedforwardtoshushthemsternly,butit alltobebelieved,therewasacadreofpeople barelydampenedthecalls.Therewerewolf waitingjustoutsidethatdoortomeethim. whistles,cheers,calls,disorganizedchants,and Thenursewhocametogethimlookedrattled. thentwoveryprettygirlshehadntthought Yourfriendsarehere,shesaidinherBorisand aboutprettyanythinginalong,longtime Natashaaccent,andgavehimadisapprovinglook unfurledabannerthatsaidDEATHWAITSin asshedisconnectedhishosesandpipessoswiftly glitteryhanddrawnletters,withalittleskull hedidnthavetimetoregisterthepainhefelt.She dottingtheIinWAITS. pulledonapairofSalvationArmyunderpants Thenursereadthebannerandreachedtotearit thefirstpairhedworninweeksandapairof outoftheirhands,buttheyfoldeditback.She new,darkbluejeansandaRotarypicnictshirt cametohimandhissedinhisear,something datedthreeyearsbefore.Theshirtwasasmalland HedputitallinhisLJ,theconversationasbestas hecouldrememberit,thewayitmadehimfeel. TheconversationhedhadwithPerryandtheidea hedhadforpwningDisneyinaBox.Hedidnt evenknowifhisapartmentwasstilltherehe hadntbeenbackinweeksandtherentwas overdue.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/226 aboutgettingsecuritytogetridofthesepeopleif theywerebotheringhim,andherealizedthatshe thoughtDEATHWAITSwasathreatandthat madehimlaughsohardhechoked,andshe flouncedoffinadeeplySlavichuff. mates.Dontworryaboutathing.Caraftercar appeared,takingawaymoreoftheparty.Here yougo.

Anothercarpulledup,anallelectrickneeling numberwithahugecargospace.Theywheeled Andthenhewasamonghiswelcomingparty,and thechairrightintoit,andthentwoofthestory itwasapartytherewerecakeandclove hippieshelpedhimtransferintotheseat.My cigarettesinsmokesaversandcansoflicorice momwasinawheelchairfortenyearsbeforeshe coffee,andeveryonewantedtotalkwithhimand passed,ahippietoldhim.Hewasolderand taketheirpictureswithhim,andthetwopretty lookedlikeanEnglishteacherDeathWaitshad girlstookturnsmakinguphisface,highlighting quitelikedingradeten.HestrappedDeathWaits hisscarstomakehimfitforaBelaLugosirole. inlikeaproandofftheywent. ThewerecalledLaceyandTracey,andtheywere TheyweretenminutesintoMelbournetraffic sisterswhowenttotherideeveryday,theysaid Deathmarvelingatbuildings,signs,people,in breathlessly,andtheydseenthestoryhed everycolor,withouttheoppressivewhiteandgore described,seenitwiththeirowneyes,anditwas colorsofeverythinginthehospitalwhenthe somethingthatwasaspersonalasthetwin EnglishteacherdudelookedshylyatDeath. languagetheyddevelopedtocommunicatewith YouthinkitsrealtheStory,Imeandont oneanotherwhentheywerelittlegirls. you? Hisoldfriendssurroundedhim:guyswho Deaththoughtaboutthisforasecond.Hedbeen marveledathisrecovery,girlswhokissedhis cheekandmessedupTraceyandLaceysmakeup. veryfocusedontheParkinaBoxprintersforthe Someofthemhadnewtattoostoshowhimone pastweek,whichfeltlikeaneternitytohim,but herememberedhisobsessionwiththestory girlhadgottenafulllegpieceshowingscenes fromtheride,andsheslylypulledherskirtallthe fondly.Itrequiredakindoffloatynon concentrationtoreallyseeit,ameditativestate wayup,allthewayup,toshowhimwhereitall hedfoundeasytoattainwithallthepainkillers. started. Securityshowedupandthrewthemalloutintothe Itsreal,hesaid. street,wheretheheatwasoppressiveandwet,but TheEnglishteacherandtwoofhisfriendsseemed theairwasfreshandfullofsmellsthatwerent torelaxalittle.Wethinksotoo. sicknessormedicine,whichmadeDeathWaits Theypulleduptohiscondohowdtheyknow feellikehecouldgetupanddance.Effervescent wherehelived?andparkedrightnexttohiscar! citrusandbiodieselfumes,moistvegetationand Hecouldseewherethetowhadkindoffuckedup thehumoflazyhighnoonbugs. therearbumper,butotherthanthat,itwasjustas Now,itsallarranged,oneofthestraight herememberedit,anditlookedlikesomeonehad lookingonestoldhim.Hedfiguredoutthatthese givenitawash,too.TheEnglishteacherputhis werethepurestorypeople,whodreadhis carinparkandcamearoundtoopenhisdoorjust descriptionsandconcludedthathedseen astherestofthewelcomingpartycameoutofhis somethingmorethananyoneelse.Theyallwanted building,pushing achancetotalktohim,butdidntseemtooputout thathewasspendingmostofhistimewithhisold Astairclimbingwheelchair,thesamekindthat

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/227 theyusedintheride.Deathlaughedaloudwith delightwhenhesawitrollingtowardhim, handlingthecurbeasily,hardlyabump,andthe twoprettygirls,TraceyandLacey,transferredhim intoit,andbothcontrivedtobrushtheirbreasts andjasminescentedhairacrosshischeeksasthey didso,andhefeltthefirststirringsinhisruined grointhathedfeltsincebeforehisbeating. Helaughedlikeawildman,andtheyalllaughed withhimandsomeoneputaclovecigarette betweenhislipsandhedrewonit,cougheda little,andthenhadanotherdragbeforeherolled intotheelevator. Thegirlsputhimtobedhourslater.Hisapartment hadbeenspotlessandhehadeveryconfidence thatitwouldbespotlessagaincomenighttime. Thepartyhadspenttherestofthedayandmostof thenighttalkingaboutthestorythattheydseenin theride,wheretheydseenit,whatitmeant.There wasalotofdebateaboutwhethertheyhadany businessratingthingsnowthatthestoryhad shownitselftothem.Thestorywastheproductof unconsciouseffort,anditshouldbeleftto unconsciouseffort. Butthecounterargumentwasthattheyhadaduty togardenthestory,orpossiblytosharpenits telling,ortoprotectitfrompeoplewhocouldnt seeitorwouldntseeit. Wevegottoprotectit,hesaidfinally,after listeningtotheargument,aftereatingthefood withwhichtheydfilledhisfridge,aftertalking intenselywithTracey(orpossiblyLacey)about theirparentsunthinkingblandness,afterletting theEnglishteacherguy(whosenamewasJim) takehimtothetoilet,afterlettinghisoldgothpals playsomemusicsomemutualfriendshadjust mixed. Wevegottoprotectitandsharpenit.Thestory wantstogetoutandtherewillbethosewhocant seeit.Hedidntcarethathisspeechwasmangled byhisfuckedupface.Hedseenhisfaceinthe mirrorandTraceyandLaceyhaddoneanicejob inmakingituphelookedlikealatterday MarilynManson,histwistedmouthaghoulish smear.Thedoctorshadtalkedaboutgivinghim anotherseriesofsurgeriestofixhislip,asetof implanteddenturestoreplacethemissingteeth, hadevenmentionedthattherewerespecialist clinicswherehecouldgetanewsetbuddedand grownrightoutofhisowngums.Thathadbeen backwhenthemysteriousforcesofthelawsuitand theridewerepayinghisbills.

Nowhecontemplatedhisfaceinthemirrorand toldhimselfhedgetusedtothis,hedcometo likeit,itwouldbeatrademark.Itwouldmakehim gothierthangoth,forlife,alwaysanoutsider, alwaysoneoftheweirdones,liketheoldtimers AtfirstDeathdidntknowwhattomakeofallthis whodcometoDisneywiththeirteenaged,eye talk.Atfirsthefounditfunnyandmorethana rollingkids.Gothskidswerenevergoths,it littleweirdtobetakingthestorythisseriously.It seemedmorelikebangbangersorjockylooking wasbeautiful,butitwasanaccidentalbeauty.The peakperformancetypes,orhippiesorgippiesor ridewastheimportantthing,thestorywasits dippiesortippiesorwhatever.Buttheirparents effect. werestillproudlyflyingtheirfreakflags,weirdto thegrave. Butthesepeopleconvincedhimthattheywere right,thatthestoryhadtobeimportant.Afterall, Wellleteveryoneknowaboutit,hesaid, ithadinspiredallofthem,hadntit?Theridewas thinkingnotofeveryonebutofallthecool justtechnologythestorywaswhattheridewas subculturekidshedgrownupwithand for. worshippedandbeenrejectedbyanddatedand lovedandhatedandwellmakeitpartof Hisheadswamwithit.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/228 everyonesstory.Wellprotectit,guys.Ofcourse wellprotectit. differentanglesfacingbackwardandsideways, lookingdownandlookingup,notingallthe Thatsettledtheargument.Deathhadntexpected elementsthatfeltlikestoryandalltheonesthat didnt,wishinghehadhisplusone/minusone that.Sincewhendidhegetthelastwordonany subject?Sincenow.Theywerefollowinghislead. joystickwithhimtocarveoutthestoryhewas seeing. Andthenthegirlsputhimtobed,shylyhelping himundress,eachofthemleaningoverhimtokiss himgoodnight.Traceyskisswassisterly,onthe Lesterwouldntworktherideanymore,soPerry cheek,herspicyperfumeandherjetblackhair tookitonhisown.Hildawasintownbuying caressinghim.Laceyskisswasanythingbut grocerieshischestfreezerofgourmetsurplus sisterly.Shemashedherbreaststohischestand foodhadblownitscompressorandthecontents thrusthertongueintohismouth,keepingher hadspoiledinamessofvenisonandsour silvereyesopenandstaringdeepintohis,her blueberrysauceandduckpancakesandhestood fingersworkingbusilyinhishair. alone.Normallyhelovedthis,beingthecarnival barkeratthemiddleofthethreeringcircusof Shebrokethekissoffwithagaspandagiggle. Shetracedtheruinofhismouthwithafingertip, fans,touristsandhawkers,buttodayhiscast breathingheavily,andletitslidelower,downhis itched,hehadntsleptenough,andtherewere lawyerschasinghim.Lotsoflawyers. chest.Hefoundhimselfactuallyhard,thefirst pleasurablesensationhedhadinhisdicksince thatfatefulnight.Fromthecorridorcamean impatientcoughTracey,waitingforLaceytoget going. AcaravanofcarspulledintothelotlikeaTim Burtonversionofafuneral,alongtrainof funnycarhearseswithjackeduprearwheelsand leaningchimneypots,gargoylesandblackbunting Laceyrolledhereyesandgiggledagainandthen withsuperbrightblacklightLEDsgivingthema commerciallyeldritchglow.Mixedinweresome slidherhandtherestofthewaydown,briefly holdinghisdickandthenencirclinghisballswith straightcars,andtheycameandcameandcame, herfingersbeforekissinghimagainonthetwistof caroncar.Thehawkersgotoutmorestuff,spread hislipsandbackingoutoftheroom,whispering, itoutfurther,andwaitedwhilethecaravan maneuvereditselfintoparkingspots,spillingout Sleepwell,seeyouinthemorning. intothestreet. Deathlayawakeandstaringattheceilingfora longtimeaftertheyhadgone.TheEnglishteacher Ridersgotoutofthecars,mostlysuperskinny dudehadlefthimwithabedpanforthenightand gothsalineofspeciallowcalorieveganversions manyofthemhadpromisedtoreturninrotations ofVictorianorganmeatdelicacieshadturneda indefinitelyduringthedays,helpinghimoutwith momandpopcafeinPortland,Oregon,intoa dressingandshoppingandgettinghiminandout Fortune500companyafewyearsbeforein elaborateDIYcostumery.Itshimmereddarkly, ofhismarvelouschair. petticoatsandtoppers,bodicesandbigstompy Hestaredandstaredatthatceiling,andthenhe bootsandtrouserscutoffinribbonsattheknees. reachedforhislaptop,therebesidethebed,the Theridersconvergedononeofthestraightcars,a sameplaceithadlivedwhenhewasinthe hospital.Hefireditupandwentstraighttotodays beigeminivan,andcrowdedaroundit.Amoment flythroughsoftherideandranthroughthemfrom later,theyweremovingtowardPerrysticket

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/229 takingstand.Thecrowdpartedastheyapproached andinPerrysawwhomtheydbeenclustered around.Itwasaskinnygothkidinawheelchair liketheonestheykeptintheridetheydgetthat everynowandagain,aguestinhisownchair,just needingalittlewireless+1/1box.Hishairwas shaggyandblackwithgreenhighlights,stuckout likeananimecosplayers.Hewaswhiteas WonderBread,withsomethingfunnyabouthis mouth.Hislegswereincaststhathadbeen wrappedwithblackgauze,andapairofblack pointyshoeshadbeenslidoverhistoes,tipped withelaboratesilvercurlicues. ThechairzippedforwardandPerryrecognized himinaflash:DeathWaits!Hefelthismouth dropopenandheshutitandcamearoundthe stand. Noway!hesaid,andgrabbedDeathshand, encrustedinchunkysilverjewelry,adifferent stylizedanimalskulloneachfinger.Deaths ruinedmouthpulledupinakindofsmile. Nicetoseeyou,hesaid,limplysqueezing Perryshand.Itwasverykindofyoutovisitme inthehospital. Perrythoughtofallthethingsthathadhappened sincethenandwonderedhowmuchofit,ifany, Deathhadarighttoknowabout.Heleanedin close,consciousofalltheobservers.Imoutof thelawsuit.Weare.MeandLester.Firedthose guys.Behindhisreflectivecontacts,Deathseyes widenedatouch. Heslumpedalittle.Becauseofme? Perrythoughtsome.Notexactly.Butinaway.It wasntus. Deathsmiled.Thankyou. Perrystraightenedup.Lookslikeyoubrought downagoodcrowd,hesaid.Lotsoffriends! Deathnodded.Lotsoffriendsthesedays,he said.Anattractiveyoungwomancameoverand squeezedhisshoulder. TheyweresuchafunnybunchintheirDIYgoth frocks,micromanufacturedcustomizedboots, theirelaboratetattoosandimplantsandpiercings, butforallthat,cuddlyandearnestwiththe shadowsvisibleofthegeekstheydbeen.Perry felthewassmilingsobroadlyitalmosthurt. Ridesareonme,gang,hesaid.Inyougo.Your moneysnogoodhere.AnyfriendofDeathWaits ridesforfreetoday. Theycheeredandpattedhimonthebackasthey wentthrough,andDeathWaitslookedlikehed grownthreeinchesinhiswheelchair,andthe prettygirlkissedPerryscheekasshewentby,and DeathWaitshadasmilesobigyoucouldhardly telltherewasanythingwrongwithhismouth. Theyrodeitthroughsixtimesinarow,andas theycamebackaroundforanothergoandanother, theytalkedintentlyaboutthestory,thestory,the story.Perryknewaboutthestory,hedseenit,and heandLesterhadtalkeditovernowandagain,but hewasstillconstantlyamazedbyitsabilityto inspireriders. Payingcustomersslippedinandout,too,and seemedtocatchsomeoftheinfectiousintensityof thestorygroup.Theywentawayinpairs,talking aboutthestory,andshoppedthemarketstallsfora whilebeforecomingbacktorideagain,tolookfor morestory. Theydnevernamedtheride.Ithadalwaysbeen theride.NotevenacapitalR.Forasecond, PerrywonderediftheydendupcallingitThe Storyintheend. PerrygothisDisneyinaBoxthroughacircuitous route,gettingoneofthehawkersbrotherstoorder ittoaPOboxinMiami,towhichPerrywould drivedowntopickitupandtakeitback. Lesterrousedhimselffromtheapartmentwhen

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/230 Perrytoldhimithadarrived.LesterandSuzanne hadbeenAWOLfordays,sleepinginuntilPerry left,comingbackafterPerrycameback,untilit feltliketheywerejusttravelersstayinginthesame hotel. HehadntheardapeepfromKettlewellorTjan, either.Heguessedthattheywereofffiguring thingsoutwiththeirmoneypeople.Thenetwork ofrideoperatorshadtakenthenewswith equanimityHildahadhelpedhimwritethe messagesothatitkindofimpliedthateverything wasundercontrolandmovingalongnicely. ButwhenPerryemailedLestertosayhewas goingtodrivedowntothePOboxthenext morningbeforeopeningtheride,Lesteremailed backinminutesvolunteeringtocomewithhim. Theboxart,aglossypicoftwochildrenstaring goggleeyedataboxfromwhichDisneoid marvelswereerupting,lookedalittlelikethe MakeYourOwnMonstertoyPerrydhadasaboy. Itactuallymadehisheartskipabeatthewaythat thatoldtoyhad.Really,wasntthateverykids dream?Amachinethatcreatedwondersfromdull feedstock? Theygotbacktotheridelongbeforeitwasdueto openandPerryaskedLesterifhewantedtogeta secondbreakfastinthetearoominthe shantytown,butLesterbeggedoff,headingforhis workshoptogettogripswiththeBox.

SoPerryalonewaitedfortheridetoopen, standingathisfamiliarspotbehindthecounter. Thehawkerscameandnoddedhellotohim.A customershowedup.Another.Perrytooktheir HehadcoffeereadybythetimePerrygotoutof theshower.Itwasstillodarkhundredoutside,the money. sunnotyetrisen,andtheyhardlyspokeastheygot Theticketcountersmelledofstickybeverages intothecar,butsoontheywereontheopenroad. spilledandlefttobakeintheheat,asoursweet smelllikebile.Hischairwasanuncomfortable KettlewellandTjanarentgoingtosueyou, barstoolhedgottenfromakitchensurplusplace, Lestersaid.Thereitwas,allinashortsentence: Ivebeentalkingtothem.Ivebeenfiguringoutif happyforthebargain.Hedloggedalotofhours inthatchair.Ithadwreakedhavoconhislower Imwithyouorwiththem.Ivebeensavingyour spineandtenderizedhisass. ass.Ivebeendecidingtobeonyourside. Goodnews,Perrysaid.Thatwouldhavereally HeandLesterhadstartedthisasalark,butnowit wasamovement,andnotonethatwasgoodforhis sucked. mentalhealth.Hedidntwanttobesittingonthat PerrywaitedfortherestofthedriveforLesterto stool.Hemightaswellbeworkinginaliquor saysomething,buthedidnt.Itwasalongdrive. storetheskillsetwasthesame. Thewholewayback,Lestertalkedaboutthe Hildabrokehisreveriebycallinghisphone.Hey, DisneyinaBox.Theredbeensomealienautopsy gorgeous,shesaid.Sheboundedoutofbedfully videosofthempostedonlinealready,engineers formed,withoutanyinterveningstagesofpre takingthemtobits,makingguessesaboutand coffee,invertebrate,preshower,andHomo whattheydidandhow.Lesterhadwatchedthe erectus.Hecouldhearthatshewasreadytocatch videosavidlyandheheldhisownopinions,andhe theworldbytheankleandchewherwayupits waseagertogetattheboxandfindanswersfor leg. himself.Itwasthesizeofanicechest,toobigto fitonhislap,buthekeptlookingoverhisshoulder Hey,hesaid. atit. Uhoh.MrBadvibesisback.YouandLesterfight inthecar?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/231 Naw,hesaid.Thatwasfine.Just...Hetoldher Isthisahurricane?sheasked,joking,not aboutthesmellandthestoolandworkingata joking,tensioninhervoice. liquorstore. Probablynot.HewasthinkingofHurricane Getoneofthosehomeslicesrunningthemarket Wilma,though,theyearhedmovedtoFlorida. stallstotakeoverthecounter,andtakemetothe NoonehadpredictedWilma,whichhadbeena beach,then.ItsbeenweeksandIstillhavent tropicalstormmilesoffthecoastuntilitwasnt, seentheocean.Imbeginningtothinkitsan untilitwassmashinga50kmwidepathof urbanlegend. destructionfromKeyWesttoKissimmee.Hed beenworkingastraightjobasastructural Sothatswhathedid.Hildadroveupinabikini engineerforacondodeveloper,andhedseen thatmadehisjawdrop,andboughtapairof polarizingcontactsfromJason,andPerryturned whatagoodblowcoulddotothecondosof Florida,whichwerebuiltmostlyfromdreams, thetillovertooneofthemoretrustworthy promises,spit,andkleenex. vendors,andtheyhittheroad. Hildanuzzledhimandproddedhimallthewayto thebeach,kissinghimattheredlights.Thesky wasblueandclearasfarastheeyecouldseeinall directions,andtheyboughtabagoforanges,a newspaper,beachblankets,sunblock,apicnic lunch,andabookofreplicavintageluggage stickersfromhawkersatvariousstoppoints. Theyunpackedthetrunkintheparkinggarageand steppedoutintothebrightday,andthatswhen theynoticedthewind.Itwasblowingsohardit tookHildassarongoffassoonasshesteppedout ontothestreet.Perrybarelyhadtimetosnatchthe clothoutoftheair.Thewindhowled. Theylookedupandsawthepalmtreesbending likedrawnbows,thehotdogvendorsandshave icecartsandthejewelryhawkershurriedlypiling everythingintotheircars. Guessthebeachiscancelled,Hildasaid, pointingoutovertheocean.There,onthehorizon, wasawallofblackcloud,scuddingrapidlytoward themintheragingwind.Shouldacheckedthe weather. Wilmahadleftcarsstuckintrees,treesstuckin houses,andithadblownjustlikethiswhenithit. Therewasacrackleintheair,andthesighingof thewindturnedtogroans,seemingtocomefrom everywhereatoncethebuildingsweremoaning intheirbonesasthewindsbuffetedthem. Wehavetogetoutofhere,Perrysaid.Now. Theygotuptothesecondstoreyoftheparking garagewhenthewholebuildingmoanedand shudderedbeneaththem,likeatremor.Theyfroze onthestairwell.Somewhereinthegarage, somethingcrashedintosomethingelsewitha soundlikethunder,andthenitwasechoedwithan actualthundercrack,asoundlikeahundredrifles firedinunison. Hildalookedathim.Noway.Notfurtherup.Not inthisbuilding.

Heagreed.Theypelteddownthestreetandinto thefirstsleetingshowerscomingoutofaskythat wasnowdirtygreyandlow.Asandwichboard advertisingenergybeveragesspunthroughtheair likearazoredgedfrisbee,trailingalengthof Thewindwhippedupstingingcloudsofsandand clotheslinethathadtetheredittothefrontofsome debris.ItgustedhardandactuallyblewHildainto beachsidecafe.Onthebeachacrosstheroad, beachcomberrobotsburrowedintothesand,trying Perry.Hecaughtherandtheybothlaughed togetsafefromthewind,butwerefoiledagain nervously. andagain,rolledaroundlikepotatobugsintothe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/232 street,intothesea,intothebuildings.They seizuredlikedyingthings.Perryfeltanirrational urgetorescuethem. aroundthem.TheDumpsterblockingtheir doorwaygroaned,andthenitactuallyslidafew inches.Watercourseddownthealleybeforethem, Highground,Hildasaid,pointingawayfromthe withdebriscaughtinit:branches,trash,thenan electricmotorcycle,scratchingagainsttheroadas beach.Highgroundandfindabasement.Just itrattledthroughtheriver. likeatwister. Theywatcheditpasswithoutspeaking,thenboth Asheetofwaterliftedoffthesurfaceofthesea andsweptacrosstheroadatthem,soakingthemto ofthemscreamedandscrambledbackasa hissing,soakedhousecatscrambledoverthe theskin,followedbyasheetofsandthatcoated dumpster,landingpracticallyintheirlaps,clawing themfromheadtotoe.Itwasallthe atthemwithhystericalviciousness. encouragementtheyneeded.Theyran. Theyran,butthestreetswererunningwithrain nowandmoredebriswasrollingpastthem.They gotuponeblockandsloshedacrosstheroad. Theymadeithalfwayupthenextblock,pasta coffeeshopandasurfshopinlowslung buildings,andthewindliterallyliftedthemoff theirfeetandslammedthemtotheground.Perry grabbedHildaanddraggedherintoanalley behindthesurfshop.Thereweredumpstersthere, andarecesseddoorway,andtheysqueezedpast thedumpsterandintothedoorway. Fuck!Hildasaidasitcaughtholdofherthumb withitsteeth.Shepushedatitsfaceineffectually, hissingwithpain,andPerryfinallyworkeda thumbintothehingeofitsjawandforceditopen. Thecatsprangaway,clawinguphisface,leaping backontotheDumpster. Hildasthumbwaspuncturedmanytimes,already runningfreewithblood.Imgoingtoneedrabies shots,shesaid.ButIlllive.

Theycuddled,inthebloodandthemud,and watchedtheriverswellandrunwithmoreodd Nowinthelee,theyrealizedhowloudthestorm debris:clothesandcoolers,beerbottlesanda hadbeen.Theirearsrangwithit,andrangagain laptop,cartonsofmilkandsomeonespurse.A withanotherthunderclap.Theirchestsheavedand smallpalmtree.Amailbox.Finally,theriver theyshivered,grabbingeachother.Thedoorway begantowane,theraintofalter. stankofpissandthecracklingozonearoundthem. Wasthatit?Hildasaid. Thisplace,holyfuck,itsabouttoliftoffandfly away,Hildasaid,panting.Perrysunbrokenarm throbbedandhelookeddowntoseearaggedcut runningthelengthofhisforearm.Fromthe Dumpster? Maybe,Perrysaid.Hebreathedinthemoistair. Hisarmsthrobbedonebroken,theothertorn open.Therainwaspeteringoutfastnow,and lookingup,hecouldseeblueskypeekingthrough thedirty,heavyclouds,whichwerescuddingaway Itsabigstorm,Perrysaid.Theycomethrough asfastastheydrolledin. nowandagain.Sometimestheyblowaway. Nexttime,wechecktheweatherbeforewegoto Whatdotheyblowaway?Trailers?Apartment buildings?Theywerebothspittingsandand Perrysarmoozedblood. thebeach,hesaid. Shelaughedandleanedagainsthimandheyelped asshecameintocontactwithhishurtarm.We gottogetyoutoahospital,shesaid.Getthat lookedat.

Sometimes!Perrysaid.Theyhuddledtogether andlistenedtothewindlashingatthebuildings

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/233 Youtoo,hesaid,pointingatherthumb.Itwas allsoweirdandremotenow,astheywalked throughtheMiamistreets,backtowardthegarage. Othershockedpeoplewanderedthestreets, weirdlyfriendly,smilingatthemliketheyall sharedasecret. Thebeachfrontwasinshambles,coveredin blowntrashandmud,uprootedtreesandfallen leaves,brokenglassandrolledcars.Perryhitthe carradiobeforetheypulledoutofthegarage.An announcerreportedthatTropicalStormHenryhad goneaboutthreemilesinlandbeforepeteringout toameresunshower,alongwithnewsaboutthe freewaysandhospitalsbeingequallyjammed. Huh,Perrysaid.Well,whatdowedonow? Letsfindahotelroom,Hildasaid.Have showers,getsomethingtoeat. Itwasaweirdandfunnyidea,andPerrylikedit. HedneverplayedtouristinFlorida,butwhat betterplacetodoso?Theygatheredtheirsnacks fromthebackofthecarandusedthefirstaidkit inthetrunktotapethemselvesup. coffinhotelaftercoffinhotel,tohisfirstnight withHilda,inMadison.OnelookatHildatold himshefeltthesame.Theywashedeachother slowly,asthoughtheywereunderwater,cleaning outoneanotherswounds,sluicingawaythecaked onmudandgrimeblowndeepintotheirearsand thecreasesoftheirskin,nestledagainsttheir scalps. Theylaydowninbed,naked,together,spooned againstoneanother.Youreagoodman,Perry Gibbons,Hildasaid,snugglingagainsthim,hand movinginslowcirclesonhistummy. Theysleptthatwayandgotbackontheroadlong pastdark,drivingtheblastedfreewayslowly, movingaroundthebrokenglassandblownout tiresthatremained. Thepathofthehurricanefollowedthecoast straighttoHollywood,alineofsmashedtreesand carwrecksandblownoffroofsthatmadethe nighttimedriveevenmoredisorienting. Theywentstraightbacktothecondo,butLester wasntthere.WorrynaggedatPerry.Takemeto theride?hesaid,afterhedpacedtheapartment afewtimes.

TheytriedtoreachLesterbutnooneanswered. Hesprobablyattheride,Perrysaid.Orballs deepinreverseengineeringtheDisneyBoxthing. Hildalookedupfromthesofa,whereshehad OK,letsfindahotelroom. collapsedtheinstanttheycamethroughthedoor, Everythingonthebeachwasfullybooked,butas armflungoverherface.Youreshittingme,she said.Itsnearlymidnight,andwevebeenina theycontinuedinlandforacoupleblocks,they hurricane. cameuponcoffinhotelsstackedfourorfive capsuleshigh,paintedgayMiamidecopastels, installedinrowsinoldstorefrontsorstuckin streetparkingspots,theirsilveredwindows lookingoutoverthedesertedboulevards. Shouldwe?Perrysaid,gesturingatthem. Ifwecangetanemptyone?Damnrightthese thingsaregoingtobeinseriousdemandinpretty shortorder. SteppingintothecoffinhoteltransportedPerry backtohisdaysontheroad,hisdaysstayingat Perrysquirmed.Ivegotabadfeeling,OK?And Icantdrivemyself.Heflappedhisbustedarmat her. Hildalookedathim,hereyesnarrowed.Look, dontbeajerk,OK?Lestersabigboy.Hes probablyjustoutwithSuzanne.Hedhavecalled youiftheredbeenaproblem. Helookedather,bewilderedbytheferocityofher response.OK,Illcallacab,hesaid,tryingfora middleground.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/234 Shejumpedupfromthecouch.Whatever.Fine. Letmegetmykeys.Jesus. hadbeenintheoldgardencenteratthesideofthe ride.Itwasallglass.Wehadsomepretty amazingwinds.

Hehadnoideahowhedangeredher,butitwas clearthathehad,andthelastthinghewantedwas Perryfeltlikeheshouldbeshowingoffhiswound togetintoacarwithher,buthecouldntthinkofa toprovethathehadntbeenfuckingoffwhilethe wayofsayingthatwithoutescalatingthings. disasterwasunderway,buthecouldntbring himselftodoso.WegotcaughtinitinMiami, Sotheydroveinwhitelippedsilencetotheride, hesaid. Hildatensewithanger,Perrytensewithworry, bothofthemtouchyascats,neithersayingaword. Wonderedwhereyouwere.Thekidwhowas Butwhentheypulleduptotheride,theybothlet mindingtheshopjustcutandrunwhenthestorm rolledin. outagasp.Itwaslitwithriggedfloodlightsand carheadlights,anditwasswarmingwithpeople. Astheydrewcloser,theysawthatthemarket stallswerestrewnacrosstheparkinglot,in smashedpieces.Astheydrewcloserstill,theysaw thattherideitselfwasstaringeyelessatthem, windowglasssmashed. Perrywasoutofthecarevenbeforeitstopped rolling,Hildashoutingsomethingafterhim.Lester wasjustontheothersideoftherideentrance, wearingapapermaskandrubberboots,wadingin threeinchdeep,scummywater. Perrysplashedtoahalt.Holyshit,hebreathed. Theridewaslitwithglowsticks,waterproof lamps,andLEDtorches,andthelightsreflected crazilyfromthestillwaterthatfilleditasfaras theeyecouldsee,wayoutintothegloom. Lesterlookedupathim.Hisfacewaslinedand exhausted,anditgleamedwithsweat.Storm brokeoutallthewindowsandtrashedtheroof, thenfloodedusout.Itdidarealnumberonthe market,too.Hisvoicewasdead. Perrywaswordless.Bitsoftherideexhibits floatedinthewater,alongwiththecorpsesofthe robots.

Hedid?Christ,whatanirresponsibleasshole.Ill breakhisneck. Aslimyraftofkitchengnomestheirsecond businessventurefloatedpastsilentlyintheharsh waterylight.Thesmellwasalmostunbearable. ItwasnthisjobLestersvoicecrackedon job,andhebreatheddeeply.Itwasnthisjob, Perry.Itwasyourjob.Yourerunningaround, havingagoodtimewithyourgirlfriend,firing lawyersHestoppedandbreathedagain.You knowthattheyregoingtosueus,right?Theyre goingtoturnusintoasmokingruinbecauseyou firedthem,andwhatthefuckareyougoingtodo aboutthat?Whosejobisthat? Ithoughtyousaidtheywerentgoingtosue, Perrysaid.Itcameoutinanembarrassedmumble. Lesterhadnevertalkedtohimlikethis.Never. KettlewellandTjanarentgoingtosue,Lester said.Thelawyersyoufired,theventure capitalistswhobackedthem?Theyregoingto turnusintopaste.

Whatwouldyouhavepreferred?Hildasaid.She wasstandinginthedoorway,awayfromtheflood, watchingthemintently.Hereyeswereraccoon Nodrainage,Lestersaid.Thecodesays bagged,butshewasrigidwithanger.Perrycould drainage,buttheresnonehere.Inevernoticedit hardlylookather.Wouldyouhavepreferredto before.Imgoingtorigapump,butmy havethosefuckersgoarounddestroyingthelives workshopsprettymuchtoast.Lestersworkshop ofyoursupportersinordertoenrichafewpig

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/235 assholes? Lesterjustlookedather. Well? Shutup,Yoko,hesaid.Werehavingaprivate conversationhere. inaBoxthing. Lesterlaughed,abittersound.Yeah,OK,buddy. Sure.

Outintheparkinglot,thehawkerswereputting theirstallsbacktogetherasbesttheycould.The shantytownwaslitupandPerrywonderedhowit Perrysjawdropped,andHildawasalreadyin hadheldtogether.Prettygood,iswhatheguessed motion,sloshingintothewaterinhersandals.She theymetandexceededcountycodeonallof smackedLesteracrossthecheek,acrackthat thoseplans. echoedbackoverthewaterandwalls. Hildahonkedthehornathim.Shewasfuming Lesterbroughthishanduptohisreddeningface. behindthewheelandtheydroveinsilence.Hefelt Areyoudone?hesaid,hisvoicehard. numbandwrungoutandhedidntknowwhatto saytoher.Helayawakeinbedthatnightwaiting HildalookedatPerry.LesterlookedatPerry. tohearLestercomehome,buthedidnt. Perrylookedatthewater. Illmeetyoubythecar,Perrysaid.Itcameout inamumble.Theyheldforamoment,thethreeof Sammylovedhismorningmeetings.Theyall them,thenHildawalkedoutagain,leavingLester cametohisoffice,allthedifferentparkexecs, andPerrylookingatoneanother. creatives,andemissariesfromtheoldpartner companiesthathadspunofftomakemoviesand Imsorry,Perrysaid. merchandeducationalmaterials.Theyallcame AboutHilda?Aboutthelawsuits?About eachdaytotalktohimaboutthenextdays skippingout? DisneyinaBoxbuild.Theyallcametobeghim Abouteverything,hesaid.Letsfixthisup, tothinkaboutaddinginsomethingfromtheir OK? franchisesandcantonstothenextinstallment. Theride?IdontevenknowifIwantto.Why bother?Itllcostafortunetogetitonline,and theyllonlyshutitdownagainwiththelawsuit. Whybother. TherewereoveramillionDiaBsinthefieldnow, andtheywerenteventryingtokeepupwith ordersanymore.Sammylovedlookingatthe onlineauctionsitestoseewhattheboxeswere goingforheknewthatsomeofhispeoplehad Sowewontfixtheride.Letsfixus. siphonedoffacarloadortwoofthethingstoetail Whybother,Lestersaid,anditcameoutinthe outthebackdoor.Helovedthat.Nothingwasa samemumble. betterbarometerofyoursuccessthanhavingmade Thewaterysoundsoftheroomandthesmelland somethingotherpeoplecaredenoughaboutto theharshreflectedripplinglightmadePerrywant steal. toleave.Lesterhebegan. Helovedhismorningmeetings,andheconducted Lestershookhishead.Theresnothingmorewe themwiththeflairofabenevolentemperor.Hed gottenabiggerofficetechnicallyitwasaboard candotonight,anyway.Illrentapumpinthe roomforDiaBstrategy,butSammywastheDiaB morning. strategy.Hedoutfitteditwithfanphotosoftheir Illdoit,Perrysaid.YouworkontheDisney

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/236 DiaBshrinesintheirhomes,withkidswatching enthralledasthedaysmodelwasassembled beforetheireyes.Thehypnoticfascinationintheir eyeswasunmistakable.Disneywasthefocusof theirdailylives,andalltheywantedwasmore, more,more.Hecouldpushoutfivemodelsaday, ten,andtheydgonutsforthem. laughedtoo.Officially,thiswasabrainstorming session,buteveryoneknewthatitwasallabout gettingthenodfromSammy. Wienerlaugheddutifullyandslunkaway.More supplicantscameforward.

Howaboutthis?Shewasverycutedressedin smart,darkclothesthatweremoreLowerEast Buthewouldnt.Hewastoocunning.Onemodel SidethanOrlando.Shesmelledgood,toooneof adaywasall.Leavethemwantingmore.Never thenewcolognesthathintedatfreemonomers, breatheahintofwhatthenextdaysmodelwould likehotplasticoranewboughttire.Catslanted beoh,howhelovedtowatchtheblogsandthe greeneyescompletedthepackage. chatterasthemodelsselfassembled,theheated, timeboundfightsoverwhatthedaysmodelwas Whatyougotthere?Shewasfromanadagency, someoneDisneyParkshaddonebusinesswithat goingtobe. somepoint.Agencieshadbeensendingtheir Goodmorning,Ron,hesaid.Wienerhadbeen peopletothesemeetingstoo,tryingtogetaco lobbyingtogetaMainStreetbuildintothemodels brandingcoupforoneoftheirclients. forweeksnow,andSammywastakinggreat Itsaseriesofthree,tellingalittlestory. pleasureindenyingittohimwithoutshutting Beginning,middleandend.Thefirstoneisa downallhope.GettingRonWienertogrovel beforehimeverymorningwasbetterthanacupof familysittingdowntobreakfast,andyoucansee, itsthesameoldcrap,boringmicrowaveomelets coffee. andbreakfastpuddings.Momsbored,dadsmore Ivebeenthinkingaboutwhatyousaid,and bored,andsisandbrotherherearesecretly youreright,Wienersaid.Healwaysstartedthe dumpingtheirsontomomsanddadsplates.All meetingbytellingSammyhowrighthewasto thisstuffisrunusingthesameprinters,soitlooks rejecthislastidea.Theflagpoleandmarching veryrealistic. bandscenewouldhavetoomanypieces.House catswouldknockitover.Weneedsomethingmore Itdidindeed.Sammyhadntthoughtaboutit,but unitary,morevisuallystriking.SohereswhatIve hesupposeditwasonlynaturalthattheomelets wereprintedhowelsecouldGeneralMillsget beenthinking:whataboutthefireengine? thatuniformity?Heshouldtalktosomeofthe Sammyraisedanindulgenteyebrow. peopleinfoodservicesaboutgettingsomeofthat Kidslovefiretrucks.Allthecolorsareinthe techtoworkattheparks. printersgamutIchecked.Wecouldcreatea Soinparttwo,theyresettingupthekitchen MickeyandFriendsfirecrewtopositionaround aroundthismysteryboxonepartEasyBake it,alittlebarnforit. lightbulboven,onepartTardis.Youknowwhat TheonlythingIlikedaboutfiretruckswhenI wasakidwasthatthewordstartedwithfand endedwithuckSammysmiledwhenhesaid it,andwaitedforWienertofakehilarity,too.The othersintheroomotherparkexecs,someof theirlicensingpartners,afewadvertisers thatis? Sammygrinned.Whyyes,IbelieveIdo.Their eyesmetinafiercelookofmutualrecognition. Itsabreakfastprinter,isntit?Theother supplicantsintheroomsuckedinacollective breath.Somechucklednervously.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/237 Itsaboutmovingtheapparatustotheedge. Bridgingthelastmile.Whynot?Thisonewilldo waffles,breakfastcereals,bagelsandbakedgoods, smallcakes.Newdesignseverydaysomething formomanddad,somethingforthekids, somethingforthesullenteens.Werealready doingthisattheregionalplantsand distributorships,onmuchlargerscales.Butgetting ourstuffintoconsumershomes,gettingthem subscribedtoourfood LaunchonSunday?Sheshookherhead.Its tricky,Sundaylaunches.Gottapayeveryonescale andahalf.Shegavehimawink.Whatthehell, itsnotmymoney.Shestuckoutherhand.She waswearingacoupleofnicechunkyobsidian ringsinabstractcurvyshapes,lookingalittle pornyintheirsuggestionofbreastsandthighs.He shookherhandanditwaswarmanddryand strong.

Well,thatsthisweektakencareof,Sammy Sammyheldupahand.Isee,hesaid.Andour said,andpointedlyclearedthewhiteboardsurface peoplearealreadyprimedforhomeprinting runningthelengthofthetable.Theothersgroaned experiences.Theyrerightinyoursweetspot. andgotupandfiledout.Thewomanstayed Partthree,Juniorandlittlesisaregoingcuckoo behind. forCocoaPuffs,butthesethingsareshapedlike them,withtheirportraitsoneachsugarlump. Momanddadareeatingtressophistiquecroissants anddelicatecakes.LookatRoverhere,withhis owncatshapeddogbiscuit.Seehowhappythey allare? Sammynodded.Shouldntthisallbeunder nondisclosure?hesaid. Probably,butwhatareyougonnado?Youguys areprettygoodatkeepingsecrets,andifyou decidetoshaftusbysellingouttooneofour competitors,wereprobablydead,anyway.Illbe abletoshipouthalfamillionunitsinthefirst week,thenwecanrampproductionifneedbe lotsoflittlepartsandassemblysubcontractors willtaketheworkifweoffer. Sammylikedthewayshetalked.Likesomeone whodidntneedtospendalotoftimescrewing around,planning,likesomeonewhocouldjust makeithappen. Yourelaunchingwhen? Threedaysafteryoustartrunningthis campaign,shesaid,withoutbattinganeyelash. MynamesSammy,hesaid.Hows Thursday? Dinah,shesaid.Shehandedhimacardandhe notedtheagency.Dallasbased,notNewYork,but hecouldtellshewasatransplant. Yougotanybreakfastplans?Itwashardlygone 9AMSammylikedtogetthesemeetingsstarted early.Inormallygetsomethingsentin,butyour littleprototypesthere... Shelaughed.Itwasaprettylaugh.Shewasa coupleyearsolderthanhim,andsheworeitwell. DoIhavebreakfastplans?Sammymyboy,Im nothingbutbreakfastplans!Ihavealaunchon Sunday,remember? Heh.Ohyeah. ImonthenextflighttoDFW,shesaid.Ive gotacabwaitingtotakemetotheairport. IwonderifyouandIneedtotalkoversome details,Sammysaid. Onlyifyouwanttodoitinthetaxi. Iwasthinkingwecoulddoitontheplane,he said. Youregoingtobuyaticket? Onmyplane,hesaid.Theydgivenhimuseof oneofthecompanyjetswhenhestartedreally rampingproductionontheDiaBs.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/238 Ohyes,Ithinkthatcanbearranged,shesaid. ItsSammy,right? Whysthefirmwaremattertoyou?

Well,thatswhereitstoresinformationabout Right,hesaid.Theyleftthebuildingandhadan wheretogetthedaysdesigns.Ifweregoingto altogetherlovelyflighttoDallas.Veryproductive. pushourowndesignstoit,weneedtogivepeople aneasywaytotellittotuneintoourfeed,andthe bestwaytodothatistochangethefirmware.The LesterhadntleftSuzannesapartmentindays. alternativewouldbe,oh,Idontknow,putting Shedrentedaplaceintheshantytownbemused anothermachineupstreamofittotrickitinto attheideaofpayingrenttoasquatter,butpleased thinkingthatitsaccessingtheirsitewhenits tohaveaplaceofherownnowthatLesterand reallygoingtoours.Thatmeansgettingpeopleto Perrysapartmenthadbecomesotense. configureanothermachinenoonebutafew hardcoregeekswillwanttodothat. Technically,hewasworkingontheDisney printers,whichshefoundinterestinginanabstract way.Theyhadaworkingoneandacoupleof disassembledones,andwatchingtheworkingone doitsthingwasfascinatingforadayortwo,but thenitwasjustathreeDTVwithonechannel, broadcastingoneframeperday. Shedutifullywroteaboutit,though,andabout Perrysongoingeffortstoreopentheride.She gotthesensefromhimthathewasheadingfor flatassbroke.Lesterandhehadalwaysbeen casualaboutmoney,butbuyingallnewrobots, moreprinters,replacementwindows,fixingthe roofnoneofitwascheap.Andwiththemarket inpieces,hewasntgettinganyrent. ShelookedoverLestersshoulderforthefiftieth time.Howsitgoing? Dontwriteaboutthis,OK? Hedneversaidthattoher. Illembargoituntilyouship. Hegrunted.Fine,Iguess.OK,well,Ivegotit runningongenericgoop,thatpartwaseasy.Ican alsoloadmyowndesigns,butthatrequires physicalaccesstothething,inordertoloadnew firmware.Theydontmakeiteasy,whichisweird. Itsliketheydontplanonupdatingitonceitsin thefieldmaybetheyjustplanonreplacingthem atregularintervals. Suzannenodded.Shewonderedifafewhardcore geekssummedupthetotalaudienceforthis projectinanyevent.Shedidntmentionit,though. Lestersbrowwassofurrowedyoucouldlosea dimeinthecreaseabovehisnose. Well,Imsureyoullgetit,shesaid. Yeah.Itsjustamatterofgettingattheboot loader.IcouldtotallydothisifIcouldgetatthe bootloader. Suzanneknewwhatabootloaderwas,justbarely. ThethingthatchosewhichOStoloadwhenyou turnediton.Shewonderedifeverydaring,sexy technologyprojectstartedlikethis,acranky hackermutteringangrilyaboutbootloaders. SuzannemissedRussia.Shedhadagoodlife there,coveringthebiotechscene.Thosehackers werealotscarierthanLesterandPerry,butthey werestilllovableandfascinatingintheirownway. BetterthantheFordandGMexecssheusedto havetocozyupto. ShedlikedthemanichustleofRussia,the glamourandthesqualor.Shedboughtatime sharedachathatshecouldspendweekendsat,and theexpatsinPetersburghadrollickingpartiesand dinnerswheretheytookapartthedays experiencesonPlanetPetrograd. Imgoingout,Lester,shesaid.Lesterlookedup

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/239 fromtheDiaBandblinkedafewtimes,then seemedtorewindtheconversation. Hey,hesaid.Oh,hey.Sorry,Suzanne.Imjust Imtryingtoworkinsteadofthinkthesedays. Thinkingjustmakesmeangry.Idontknowwhat todoHebrokeoffandthumpedthesideofthe printer. HowsPerrygettingonwithrebuilding? uphissleeve. HowcanIhelpyou? Imcallingforcommentonastory,hesaid.Its myunderstandingthatyourlad,Perry,pitcheda tantieandfiredthebusinessmanagersoftheride, andhastoldthelawyersrepresentinghimagainst Disneythatheintendstodropthesuit.

Isthereaquestioninthere? Hesgettingon,Lestersaid.AsfarasIknow.I Oh,therearemanyquestionsinthere,my readthattheDeathWaitskidandhispeoplehad darling.Forstarters,Iwonderedhowitcould comebytohelp.Whateverthatmeans. possiblybetrueifyouhaventwrittenaboutiton Hefreaksmeout,Suzannesaid.Imean,Ifeel yourlittleblogevenoverthephone,she terribleforhim,andheseemedniceenoughinthe couldhearthesarcasticquotes.Youseemtobe hospital.Butallthosepeoplethewaythey quitecomprehensiveindocumentingthe followhimaround.Itsjustweird.Likethe undertakingsofyourfriendsdowntherein charismaticcultsbackhome.Sherealizedshed Florida. justcalledRussiahomeanditmadeherfrown. AreyouaskingmetocommentonwhyIhavent Justhowlongwasshegoingtostayherewith commented? thesepeople,anyway? Forstarters. Lesterhadntnoticed.Iguesstheyallfeelsorry HaveyouapproachedPerryforacomment? forhim.Andtheylikewhathehastosayabout stories.Ijustcantgetalotofspitinmymouth Imafraidhewasratherabrupt.AndIcouldnt overtheridethesedays,though.Itfeelslike reachhisValkyrieoftheMidwest,either.SoIm somethingwedidandcompletedandshouldmove leftcallingonyou,Suzanne.Anycomment? onfrom. Suzannestaredacrosstheroadattheride.Shed Suzannedidnthaveanythingtosay,andLester beengassedthere,chasedbyarmedmen,watched wasntparticularlyexpectinganything,hewas awarthere. givingoffapalpableletmeworkvibe,soshelet Theridedoesnthavemuchformaldecision herselfoutoftheapartmentherapartment! andheadedoutintotheshantytown.Onthewayto makingprocess,shesaidfinally.Thatmeans thatwordslikefireddontreallyapplyhere.The theride,shepassedthelittleteahousewhere KettlewellandTjanhaddonetheirschemingand boysmighthaveadisagreementaboutthebest shesuddenlyfeltvery,veryold.Theonlygrownup waytoproceed,butifthatsthecase,youllhave totalktothemaboutit. onsite. Areyousayingthatyoudontknowifyour Shewasabouttocrossthefreewaytotheride boyfriendsbestfriendisfightingwithhis whenherphonerang.Shelookedatthefaceand businesspartners?Dontyoualllivetogether? thennearlydroppedit.Freddywascallingher. Hello,Suzanne,hesaid.Thegloatinhisvoice wasunmistakable.Hehadsomethingreallyslimy Imsayingthatifyouwanttofindoutwhat LesterandPerryaredoing,youllhavetoask LesterandPerry.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/240 Andthelivingtogetherthing? Wedontlivetogether,shesaid.Itwas technicallytrue. musicwithalotofelectronicscreams.

Aroundtheride,themarketstallswerecoming back,rebuiltfromatoweroffreshsawedlumber stackedintheparkinglot.Thiswasalotmore Really?Freddysaid. efficient,withgangsofvendorsquicklysawing Dowehaveabadconnection? thelumbertostandardsizes,slappingeachone withapositionalsensor,thenwatchingthe Youdontlivetogether? sensorslightstotellthemwhenitwasproperly No. linedupwithitsmates,andthenslippingon cornerclipsthathelditalltogether.Suzanne Wheredoyoulivethen? watchedasawholemarketstallcametogetherthis Myplace,shesaid.Haveyourinformantsbeen way,inthespaceoffiveminutes,beforethe misinformingyou?Ihopeyouhaventbeenpaying vendorsmovedontotheirnextstall.Itwaslikea foryourinformation,Freddy.Isupposeyoudont, hightechversionofanAmishbarnraising, though.Isupposetheresnoendofcrankswho performedbybandannacladsketchyhawkers reallyenjoyspitefulgossipandaremorethan insteadofbeardedtechnophobes. happytoemailyouwhateverfantasiesthey ShefoundPerryinside,leaningoveraprinter, concoct. tinkeringwithitsguts,LEDtorchesclippedtothe Freddytsked.Andyoudontknowwhats templesofhisglasses.Hewashamperedby happenedtoKettlewellandTjan? havingonlyonegoodarm,andhepressedherinto Haveyouaskedthem? servicepassinghimtoolsforagoodfifteen minutesbeforehestraightenedupandreally Iwill,hesaid.Butsinceyouretheranking lookedather. reporteronthescene. Imjustablogger,Freddy.Abusyblogger.Good Youcomedowntohelpout? afternoon. Towriteaboutit,actually. Thecalllefthershaking,thoughshewasproudof howcalmshedkepthervoice.Whata goddamnedtroll.Andshewasgoingtohaveto writeaboutthisnow. Therewereladdersleanedupagainsttheedgeof theride,andamotleycrewofroofersandglaziers onthemandontheroof,workingtoreplacethe gapingholesthestormhadleft.Theworkers mostlyworeblackandhaddyedhairandlotsof metalflashingfromtheirearsandfacesasthey worked.Acouplehadstrippedtothewaist, revealingfullbacktattoosorevenmorepiercings andsubcutaneousimplants,likearmorrunning overtheirspinesandshoulderblades.Acoupleof boomboxesblastedoutgrinding,incoherent Theroomwasahiveofactivity.Alotofgothkids ofvariousagesanddegreesoffreakiness,afewof thesquatterkids,somepeoplesherecognized fromthesecondcomingofDeathWaits.She couldntseeDeathWaits,though. Well,thatsgood.Hepowereduptheprinter andtheairfilledwiththefamiliarsmellofSaran Wrapinamicrowave.Shehadaneerieflashback toherfirstvisittothisplace,whentheydshowed herhowtheycouldprintmutated,Warholized Barbieheads.HowsLestergettingonwith crackingthatprinter? Whydontyouaskhimyourself?Shedidntsayit. ShedidntknowwhyLesterhadcometoherplace afterthefloodinsteadofgoinghome,whyhe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/241 stiffenedupandsniffedwhenshementioned Perrysname,whyhelookedawaywhenshe mentionedHilda. Somethingaboutfirmware. Hestraightenedhisbackmore,makingitpopand gaveherhisdevilishgrin,theonewherehis wonkyeyebrowwentupanddown.Itsalways firmware,hesaid,andlaughedalittle.Maybe theywerebothrememberingthoseolddays,the BoogieWoogieElmos. Lookslikeyouvegotalotofhelp,Suzanne said,gettingoutalittlestenopadandapen. towrestalivingfromtheworld. Shewalkedbackacrossthefreewaytothe shantytownandranintoHildacomingtheother way.Theyoungerwomangaveheracoollookand thenlookedaway,andcrossed. Thatwasjustaboutenough,Suzannethought. Enoughplaytimewiththekids.Timetogofind somegrownups.Shewasnthereforherhealth.If Lesterdidntwanttohangoutwithher,ifPerry hadhadenoughofher,itwastimetogodo somethingelse.

Shewentbacktoherroom,whereLesterwasstill workingonhisDiaBproject.Shetookouther Perrynoddedatit,andshewasstruckbyhow manytimestheydstoodlikethis,afewfeetapart, suitcaseandpackedwiththeefficiencyoflong herpenpoisedoverherpad.Shedchronicledso experience.Lesterdidntnotice,notevenwhen shetooktheblouseshedhandwashedandhung muchofthismanslife. todryonthebackofhischair,foldeditandputit Theyregoodpeople,thesefolks.Someofthem inhersuitcaseandzippeditshut. havesomecarpentryorelectronicsexperience,the Shelookedathisbackworkingoverthebenchfor restarewillingtolearn.ItsgoingfasterthanI thoughtitwould.Lotsofsupportfromoutinthe alongtime.Hehadasixpackofchocolate puddingbesidehim,andawastebasket world,toopeoplesendingincashtohelpwith overflowingwithfoodwrappersandboxes.He replacementparts. shiftedinhisseatandletoutasoftfart. HaveyouheardfromKettlewellorTjan? Sheleft.Shepaidthelandladythroughtheendof Thelightwentoutofhisface.No,hesaid. theweek.ShecouldsendLesteranemaillater. Howaboutfromthelawyers? ThecabtookhertoMiami.Itwasntuntilshegot totheairportthatsherealizedshehadnoidea Nocomment,hesaid.Itdidntsoundlikea whereshewasgoing.Boston?SanFrancisco? joke. Petersburg?Sheopenedherlaptopandbeganto Comeon,Perry.Peoplearestartingtoask priceoutlastminutetickets.Therushoftravelers questions.Someonesgoingtowriteaboutthis. movedaroundherandshewasjostledmanytimes. Doyouwantyoursidetoldornot? Thestandbysitesgaveherathousandoptions Not,hesaid,anddisappearedbackintotheguts MiamitoJFKtoHeathrowtoPetersburg,Miami oftheprinter. toFrankfurttoMoscowtoPetersburg,Miamito DallastoSanFrancisco....Thepermutationswere Shestaredathisbackforalongwhilebefore overwhelming,especiallysinceshewasntsure turningonherheel,muttering,Fuck,and walkingbackoutintothesunshine.Theredbeena whereshewantedtobe. mustysmellintheride,butouthereitwasthe Thensheheardsomethinghomeyandfamiliar:a Floridasmellofcitrusandcarfumes,andsweat largegroupofRussiantouristswalkingpast, fromthepeoplearoundher,workinghard,trying

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/242 talkingloudlyinRussian,complainingaboutthe longflight,thebadfood,andtheincompetenceof theirtouroperator.Shesmiledtoseetheoldmen withtheirhighwaistedpantsandtheoldwomen withtheirbouffanthair. Hawaiianshirts,andlavalavaswavingand smiling.Herpackageincludedacomplimentary luauthepicturesmadeitclearthiswasnothing likethetouristluausshedattendedinMaui.On topofthat,shewasentitledtoacharacter Shecouldnthelpbuteavesdropattheirvolume, breakfastwithawageslaveinanoverheated shewouldhavebeenhardpressednottolistenin. plushcostume,andanhourwitharesort counsellorwhodhelpherplanhertripfor Alittleboyandgirltoreassaroundtheairport, maximalfun. underthedisapprovingglaresfromDHSgoons, andtheyscreamedastheyran,DisneyWorld! Thebullettraincameandtookonthepassengers, DisneyWorld!DisneyWorld! familiesbouncingwithanticipation,jokingand laughingineverylanguagespoken.Thesepeople Shedneverbeenshedbeentoacoupleofthe kitschyGulagparksinRussia,andshedgrownup hadjustcomethroughaUSCustomscheckpoint andtheywereactingliketheworldwasafine withSixFlagscoasterparksandOntarioPlace andtheCNEinToronto,notfarfromDetroit.But place.Shedecidedtheremustbesomethingtothis Disneybusiness. shedneverbeentoTheBigOne,theplacethat evennowmanagedtodominatetheworlds consciousnessofthemeparks. DeathWaitswaited,andwaitedandwaitedforthe ridetocomebackonline.Hesplithisdays betweenhangingoutathome,writingaboutthe story,runningtheflythroughsfromtheother rides,watchingwhatwashappeninginBrazil, answeringhisfanmail;therestofthetimehe spentwithhisnewfriendsdownatthesiteofthe ride,encouragingthemtopitchinandhelpPerry Amomentofbrowsingshowedherthatshed andLestertogetthethingbackupandrunning. guessedwrong.AweekinDisneycostaheart Fast,please.Itwasdrivinghimbonkersnottobe stoppingsumofmoneytheequivalentofsix abletorideanylonger.Aftereverythinghedbeen months'rentinPetersburg.Howdidallthese Russiansaffordthistrip?Whatthehellcompelled through,hedeservedaride. peopletopartwiththesesums? Hisfriendswerewonderful.Wonderful!Lacey Shewasgoingtohavetofindout.Itwasresearch. especially.Shewasanurseandagoddessof mercy.Themoneythatfloodedintohispaypals Plussheneededavacation. wheneverhisfriendsletitbeknownthathe Shebookedin,boughtabullettrainticket,and neededmorecoveredallhisexpenses.Henever grabbedthehandleofhersuitcase.Sheexamined wantedforcompanionship,conversation, herwelcomepackageasshewaitedforthetrain. helpmeets,orrespect.Itwasawonderfullife. Shewasstayingatsomethingcalledthe PolynesianResorthotel,andthebrochureshowed Ifonlytheridewouldcomeonline. atickytackytikithemedsetoflonghousesseton HewokenexttoLacey,sheasleepstill,herhair anersatzwhitesandbeach,withacrewof spreadoutacrossthepillowinafallofshinyblack MexicanandCubandomesticworkersinleis, withbluehighlightsshedgivenhimamatching Sheaskedherstandbysitestofindheraroomina Disneyhotelinstead,lookingforaninclusiverate thatwouldgetherontotheridesandpayforher meals.Thesewereadvertisedatroadsidekiosksat 100yardintervalsoneveryfreewayinFlorida,so shesuspectedtheywerethebestdealgoing.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/243 dyejobafewdaysbeforeandtheylookedlikea matchedsetnow.Helethishandslazilytraceher softskin,theoutlinesofhertattoos,herimplants andpiercings.Hefeltastirringbetweenhislegs. Laceyyawnedandwokeandkissedhim.Good morning,myhandsomeman,shesaid. Goodmorning,mybeautifulwoman.Whatsthe planfortoday? Whateveryouwant,shesaid. Breakfast,thendowntotheride,hesaid.Ill domyemailandwritingtheretoday. Somethingbeforebreakfast?sheasked,witha lopsidedsmilethatwasadorable. Ohyes,please,hesaid,hisvoicebreathy. ThesmellattheWalMartwasoverpowering.It wasonepartsharpmold,onepartindustrial disinfectant,acitrussmellthatmadeyoureyes waterandyoursinusesburn. Iverentedsomebigblowers,Perrysaid. Theyllhelpairtheplaceout.Ifthatdoesnt work,Imighthavetoresurfacethefloor,which wouldberoughitcouldtakeaweektogetthat doneproperly. keeponremindinghimthatDeathandhisbuddies wereheretobepartofthesolution.ThatPerry neededthem. Theroofisjustaboutdone,therobotsareback online.Thedividersshouldbedonetoday.Ivegot thechairsstrippeddownforroutinemaintenance,I coulduseacouplepeopleforthat. WhatsLesterworkingon?Deathsaid. Youdhavetoaskhim. DeathhadntseenLesterindays,whichwas weird.HehopedLesterdidntdislikehim.He worriedalotaboutwhetherpeoplelikedhimthese days.HedthoughtthatSammylikedhim,after all. Whereishe? Dontknow. Perryputdarkglasseson. DeathWaitstookthehint.Comeon,hesaidto Lacey,whopattedhimonthehandasheliftedup inhischairandrolledouttothevan.Letsjust callhim. Lo?

ItsDeathWaits.Weredownattheride,but theresnotmuchtodoaroundhere.Ithought Aweek?Deathsaid.Jesus.Noway.Notanother maybewecouldhelpyouwithwhateveryouwere workingon? week.Hedidntknowitforsure,buthehada feelingthatalotofthesepeoplewouldstop WhatdoyouknowaboutwhatImworkingon? showingupeventuallyiftherewasnoridefor Lestersaid. themtogeekoutover.Hesurewould. Um.Nothing. Yousmellthat?Wecantclosethedoorsandthe Sohowdoyouknowyouwanttohelp? windowsandleaveitlikethis. DeathWaitsclosedhiseyes.Hewantedtohelp Deathspeople,standingaroundthem,listening in,nodded.Itwastrue.Youdmeltpeopleslungs thesetwo.Theydmadesomethingimportant, didnttheyknowthat? ifyoushutthemupwiththesefumes. HowcanIhelp?Deathsaid.Itwashisconstant mantrawithPerry.Sometimeshedidntthink Perrylikedhimverymuch,anditwasgoodto Whatareyouworkingon? Nothing,Lestersaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/244 Comeon,Deathsaid.Comeon.Wejustwant topitchin.Iloveyouguys.Youchangedmylife. Letmecontribute. easily,withhardlyabump.Astheycrossedthis border,theycrossedovertoanotherworld.There werecookingsmellsbarbecueandCubanspices Lestersnorted.Crosstheroad,gostraightfortwo andalittlehintofseptictankorcompostheap. ThebuildingsdidntmakeanysensetoDeaths hundredyards,turnleftatthehousewiththe eye,theycurvedorslopedortwistedorleanedand CesarChavezmural,andIllmeetyouthere. seemedtobemadeofequalpartsprefabcement YoumeangointotheDeathdidntknowwhat andaluminumandscraplumber,laundrylines, itwascalled.Healwaystriednottolookatit powerlines,andgraffiti. whenhecametotheride.Thatslumacrossthe road.Heknewitwassomehowconnectedwiththe Deathwasusedtodrawingstares,evenbeforehe becameacyborgwithabeautifulwomanbeside ride,butinthesamewaythattheadministrative him,butthiswasdifferent.Therewereeyes buildingsatDisneywereconnectedwiththe everywhere.Littlekidsplayinginthestreet parks.ThebigdifferencewasthatDisneys extraneousbuildingswereshieldedfromviewby hadntthesepeopleheardofstrangerdanger bermsandpaintedgoawaygreen.Theweirdtown stoppedtostareathimwithbigshoebuttoneyes. Facespeeredoutofwindowsfromthegroundon acrosstheroadwasrightthere. uptothethirdstorey.Voiceswhisperedandcalled. Yeah,acrosstheroadintotheshantytown. Laceygavethemhersunniestsmileandeven OK,Deathsaid.Seeyousoon.Hehungup wavedatthelittlekids,andDeathtriednoddingat andpattedLaceyshand.Weregoingover someofthehomeysstaringathimfromthe there,hesaid,pointingintotheshantytown. windowofwhatlookedlikealittlediner. Isitsafe? Deathhadntknownwhattoexpectfromthislittle town,buthecertainlyhadntpicturedsomany Heshrugged.Iguessso.Helovedhischair, littleshops.Herealizedthathethoughtofshops lovedhowtallitmadehim,lovedhowitturned himintoahalftoncyborgwhocouldraiseupon asbeingsomehowcivilizedtaxpaying,license bearingentitieswithcommercialrelationships hisrearwheelsandrockbackandforthlikea withsuppliers,withcashregistersandemployees. triffid.Nowhefeltveryvulnerableacrippled Notlawlessandwild. cyborgwhoseapparatuscostasmallfortune, abouttogointoaneighborhoodfullofpeople Buteverygroundfloorseemedtohaveatleasta whoweretechnicallyhomeless. smallshop,advertisedwithbrightOLEDpixel boardsthatshowedrotatingenticements Shouldwedrive? ProductosdeDominica,BeautifulforLadies, Ithinkwecanmakeitacross,hesaid.Traffic OFERTA!!!,FantasyNails.Hepassedtwenty waslight,thoughthecarsthatbombedpastwere differentshopsinasmanysteps,someofthem doing90ormore.Hestartedtogatherupafew seeminglynothingmorethanacounterrecessed moreofhispeople,butreconsidered.Itwasalittle intothewallwithayoungmansittingbehindit, scarytobegoingintothetown,buthecouldnt grinningatthem. affordtofreakoutLesterbyshowingupwithan Laceystoppedatoneandboughtthemcansof entourage. coffeeandsmallMexicanpastriesdustedwith Theguardrailshieldingthetownhadbeenbent cinnamon.Hewatchedahundredpairsofeyes downandflattenedandthechairwheeledoverit

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/245 watchLaceyasshedrewoutherpurseandpaid. Atfirsthethoughtofthedanger,butthenhe realizedthatifanyonewastomugthem,itwould beinfullsightofallthesepeople. Itwasafunnythought.Hedgrownupinsparse suburbswhereyoudneverseeanyonewalkingor standingonthesidewalksortheirporches.Even thoughitwasaniceneighborhood,therewere muggingsandevenkillingsatregular,horrific intervals.Walkingtherefeltliketakingyourlife intoyourhands. Here,inthiscrowdedplacewithahumandensity likeaDisneypark,itfeltsomehowsafer.Weird. TheycametowhathadtobetheCesarChavez muralaMexicaninacowboyhatstandinglikea preacheronthetailgateofatruck,surroundedby moreMexicans,farmertypesincottonshirtsand bluejeansandcowboyhats.Theyturnedleftand roundedacornerintoalittleculdesacwitha confusionofhopscotcheschalkedontotheground, ringedbyparkedbicyclesandscooters.Lester stoodamongthem,eatingachurroinapieceof waxpaper. Youseemtoberecoveringquickly,hesaid, sizingupDeathinhischair.Goodtoseeit.He seemedalittledistant,whichDeathchalkedupto beinginterrupted. buthemanagedtogetitinwithalittlebackand forth,butonceinside,hewasstymiedbythe narrowstaircaseleadinguptotheupperfloors. Thelobbysuchasitwaswascompletelyfilled byhim,LaceyandLester,andevenifthechair couldhavesqueezedupthestairs,itcouldnthave corneredtogetthere. Lesterlookedembarrassed.Sorry,Ididntthink ofthat.Um.OK,Icouldrigawinchandhoistthe chairupifyouwant.Wedhavetobeltyouin,but itsdoable.Therearemastsforpulleysonthetop flooritshowtheygetthebedsintotheupper stories. Icangetuponcanes,DeathWaitssaid.Isit safetoleavemychairoutside,though? Lesterseyebrowswentup.Wellofcoursesure itis.Deathfeltweirdforhavingasked.He backedthechairoutandlockedthetransmission, feelingsilly.Whowasgoingtohotwirea wheelchair?Hewassuchadork.Laceyhanded himhiscanesandhestoodgingerly.Hedbeen makinghiswaytothebathroomandbackon canesallweek,buthehadnttriedstairsyet.He hopedLesterwasnttoomanyfloorsup.

Lesterturnedouttobeonthethirdfloor,andby thetimetheyreachedit,DeathWaitswasdripping sweatandhiseyelinerhadrunintohiseyes.Lacey dabbedathimwithhergauzyscarfandfussed Itsgreattoseeyouagain,Deathsaid.My friendsandIhavebeencomingbytherideevery overhim.DeathcaughtLesterlookingatthetwo day,helpingouthoweverwecan,butweneversee ofthemwithalittlesmirk,sohepushedLacey awayandsteadiedhisbreathingwithaneffort. youthere,soIthoughtIdcallyou. OK,hesaid.Alldone. Youdcallme. Toseeifwecouldhelp,Deathsaid.With whateveryouredoing. Comein,Lestersaid.Hegesturedbehindhim andDeathnoticedforthefirsttimethesmallsign thatsaidHOTELROTHSCHILD,withastately peacockbehindit. Thedoorwasalittlenarrowforhisrollingchair,

Great,Lestersaid.ThisiswhatImworking on.YoutalkedtoPerryaboutitbefore,right?The DisneyinaBoxprinters.Well,Ivecrackedit.We canloadourownfirmwareontoitjuststickiton anetworkwithaPC,andthePCwillfinditand updateit.Thenitbecomesanopenboxitll acceptanyonesgoop.Youcansendityourown plans.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/246 DeathhadntseenaDiaBinpersonyet.Beholding itandknowingthathewasthereasonthatLester andPerrywereexperimentingwithitinthefirst placemadehimfeelasenseofexcitementhe hadntfeltsincethegothrehabofFantasyland began. Lesterpickedupascrewdriver.Youseethis?Its atool.Youcanpickitupandyoucanunscrew stufforscrewstuffin.Youcanusethehandlefora hammer.Youcanusethebladetoopenpaintcans. Youcanthrowitaway,loanitout,orpaintit purpleandframeit.Hethumpedtheprinter. Sohowdoesthistieintotheride?Deathasked. Thisthingisatool,too,butitsnotyourtool.It Iwasthinkingofbuildingridesinminiature,but belongstosomeoneelseDisney.Itisnt interestedinlisteningtoyouorobeyingyou.It atthatscale,willitreallyimpresspeople?No,I doesntwanttogiveyoumorecontroloveryour dontthinkso. life. SoinsteadIwasthinkingthatwecouldjustpush Thisthingremindsmeoflifebeforefatkins.It outdetailsfromtheride,littletabletopsized wasmyveryownpersonalbody,butitwasnt miniaturesshowingapieceeveryday.Maybe undermycontrol.Whatsthewordtheacademics whateverwasnewest.Andyoucouldhave use?Agency.Ididnthaveanyagency.Itdidnt multiplefeeds,youknow,likeanexperimental matterwhatIdid,Iwasjustthisfatthingthatmy trunkforobjectsthatpeopleinoneregionliked brainhadtolugaroundbehindit,listeningtoits neverendingcomplaintsandachesandpains. Lesterwasshakinghisheadandholdinguphis hands.Woah,waitasecond.No,no,noDeath Ifyoudontcontrolyourlife,youremiserable. Thinkofthepeoplewhodontgettoruntheirown wasusedtohavinghisfriendshangonhisevery wordwhenhewastalkingaboutideasfortheride lives:prisoners,reformschoolkids,mental patients.Theressomethinginherentlyawfulabout andthestory,sothisbroughthimupshort.He livinglikethat.Autonomymakesushappy. remindedhimselfwhohewastalkingto. Hethumpedthetopoftheprinteragain.So Sorry,hesaid.Gotaheadofmyself. heresthisstupidthing,whichDisneygivesyou Look,Lestersaid,proddingattheprinter.This forfree.Itlookslikeatool,likeathingthatyou thingisitsownthing.Wereaboutmorethanthe usetobetteryourlife,butinreality,itsatoolthat ridehere.Iknowyoureallylikeit,andthatsvery Disneyusestocontrolyourlife.Youcant cool,buttheresnowaythateverythingIdofrom programit.Youcantchangethechannel.It nowonisgoingtobeaboutthatfuckingthing.It doesntevenhaveanoffswitch.Thatswhatgets wasalark,itscool,itsgotitsownmomentum. meexercised.Iwanttoredesignthisthingsoit Buttheseboxesaregoingtobetheirownthing.I getsconvertedfromsomethingthatcontrolsto wanttoshowpeoplehowtotakecontrolofthe somethingthatgivesyoucontrol. stuffintheirlivingrooms,notadvertisemylittle Lesterseyesshone.Deathhurtfromheadtotoe, commercialprojecttothem. fromtheclimbandtheaftermathofthebeating, Deathcouldntmakesenseoutofthis.Itsounded andthelifehedlived.Lesterwastellinghimthat likeLesterdidntliketheride.Howwasthat theridewasntimportanttohimanymore,that possible?Idontgetit,hesaidatlast.Lester hedbedoingthisotherthingwiththeprinter wasmakinghimlooklikeanidiotinfrontof next,andthensomethingelse,andthensomething Lacey,too.Hedidntlikehowthiswasgoingat else.Hefeltagreat,unexpectedupwellingof all. bitternessatthethought.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/247 Sowhatabouttheride? mouseears,andSuzanneaveteranof Theride?Itoldyou.Imdonewithit.Itstimeto innumerablehotelscouldnotdissuadeonefrom dothenextthing.Yousaidyouwantedtohelpout, takinghersuitcase. right? Hebroughthertoacoachstationandsawher aboardabusmarkedforthePolynesian,decorated Withtheride,Deathsaidpatiently,withthe withtikilamps,bamboo,andpalmfronds(she mannerofsomeonetalkingtoachild. touchedoneanddiscoveredthatitwasvinyl).He LesterturnedhisbackonDeath. refusedhertipastheysawheraboard,andthen stoodandwavedheroffwithhiswhiteglovesand Imdonewiththeride,Lestersaid.Idont giantwhitesmile.Shehadtochuckleasshepulled wanttowasteyourtime.Itwasclearhemeant, Yourewastingmytime.Hebentovertheprinter. away,amazedathoweffectivetheselittletouches were.Shefelthermusclesloosening,little Laceylookeddaggersathisshoulders,thenturned involuntarychucklesrisinginherthroat.The tohelpDeathdownthestairs.Hiscanesclattered coachwasfullofparentsandchildrenfromall onthenarrowstaircase,anditwasallhecoulddo overtheworld,grinningandlaughingandhugging tokeepfromcrying. andtalkingexcitedlyaboutthedayaheadofthem. ThecoachletthemofftoagroupofHawaiian SuzannerodethebullettrainfromMiamiairport shirtcladstaffwhoshoutedAloha!atthemas theydebarked,andpickeduptheirluggagewith inairconditionedamusement,watchingthe swift,cheerful,relentlessefficiency.Hercheckin Mickeyshapedhangstrapsrockbackandforth. wassopainlessshewasntsureitwasoveruntila ShedboughtherselfaMickeywaffleanda niceyoungladywholookedChechenpickedup bucketsizedDietCokeinthediningcarand fendedofftheoffersofplushanimatronictoysthat herbagforherandurgedherouttothegrounds, whichweregreenandlush,likenothingshed wereclearlydescendedfromBoogieWoogie seensincelandinginFlorida.Shewassurrounded Elmo. bythehotelstructures,longhousesdecoratedwith Nowshewatchedthekidstearassupanddown Polynesianmasksandstalkedbyleggyibisesand thetrain,orsitmesmerizedbythevideosand chirpingtropicalbirds.Beforeherwasawhite interactivessetupattheendsofthecars.Thetrain sandbeachfrontingontoanartificiallakeringed wasreallyslick,andjudgingfromthebrochure withotherluxuryhotels:agigantic1970sSoviet shefoundintheseatpocket,therewasanotherone Aframebuildingandagingerbreadchoked fromtheOrlandoairport.Thesethingswerelike Victorianhotel.Thelakewasringedwitha chutesleadingfromtheluggagecarouselstraight monorailtrackandpliedbyhandsomepaddle intotheparks.Disneyhadfiguredouthowto wheelerferryboats. makesurethateverypennyspentbyitstourists Shestaredgapejawedatthisuntilthebellhop wentstraightintoitscoffers. gentlytuggedatherelbow,givingheradazzling Thevoiceoverannouncementsastheypulledinto smile. thestationwereinEnglish,Chinese,Spanish, HerroomwasthekindofthingyoudseeLucy FarsiandRussianinthatorderanddisplayed andRickycheckingintoonhoneymooninanoldI ontheportersredcoatswithbrassbuttonswere LoveLucyepisodewickerceilingfans,bamboo namebadgeswiththeflagsofmanynations, furniture,ahugehottubshapedlikeaseashell. denotingthelanguagestheyspoke.Theywore

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/248 Outside,alittleterracelookingoverthelake,with apairofcockatooslookingquizzicallyather.The bellhopwavedatthemandtheycawedatherand flewoff.Suzannemusthavemadeadisappointed noise,becausethebellhoppattedheronthearm andsaid,Dontworry,wefeedthemhere,they comebackallthetime.Greedybirdies! ofthelittleartificiallake.Assheclearedthe turnstilesintoMainStreet,USA,herheart quickened.Kidsrushedpasther,chasedbytheir parentslaughingcallstoslowdown.Balloon sellersandoldfashionedpopcornmachines jostledforspaceinthecrowd,andabrassband wasmarchingdownthestreetinstrawboatersand Shetippedthebellhopfivebucksonceshedbeen redstripedjackets,playingaSousamarch. giventhegrandtouroftheroomatameInternet Sheambleduptheroad,peeringintheadorable connectionthatwaskidfriendlyandalikewise littleshopwindows,liketheshopsinafancy censoredvideoondemandservice,deliverypizza casino,allthemedartificialfacadesthatwere,in orsushi,informationonparkhours,includingthe back,alloneshop,linkedthroughthelengthofthe dazzlingarrayofextrasshecouldpurchase.It street. turnedoutthatresortguestswereeligibleto Shereachedthecastlebeforesherealizedit,and purchaseprioritypassesforboardingridesahead sawthatitwasshorterthanithadappeared. oftheplebes,andforenteringparksearlyand TurningaroundandlookingbackdownMain stayinglate.ThismadeSuzannefeelrightathome Street,shesawthatthetreesliningthesidesofthe itwasveryRussianinitsapproach:themore streethadbeentrimmedsotheygotprogressively youspent,thebetteryourtimewas. smallerfromthegatestothecastle,creatingakind Sheboughtitall:allthefastpassesandpriority cards,allofitloadedintoagrinningMickeyona lanyard,awirelesspendantthatwouldtakecareof hereverywhereshewentinthepark,lettingher spendmoneylikewater. offalseperspectiveline.Shelaughednow,amused bytheaccomplishmentofthelittletrompeloeil.

ShesqueezedpastthehordesofAsiantourists takingpreciselythesamepictureofthecastle,one afteranother,aphenomenonshedobservedat Thusgirded,sheconsultedwithherbellhopsome otherfamouslandmarks.ForsomeJapanese moreandlaidoutanitinerary.Onceshed shutterbugs,theholidayphotoexperiencewasas showeredshefoundshedidntwanttowearanyof formalastheStationsoftheCross,witheach herEuropeantailoredshortsandblouses.She pictureofeachlandmarkrigidlyprescribedby wantedtodisappearintotheGreatAmerican customandunwrittenlaw. Mass.Thehotelgiftshopprovidedherwitha Nowshewasunderthecastleandheadedforwhat barkclothHawaiianshirtdecoratedwith hermapassuredherwasFantasyland.Justasshe tessellatedDisneytrademarksandabigpairof clearedthearchway,sherememberedher looseshorts,andonceshedonnedthem,shesaw conversationswiththatDeathWaitskidabout thatshecouldbeanyonenow,anytouristinthe Fantasyland:thiswasthepartthathadbeenmade park.Apairofcheapsunglassescompletedthe overasagotharea,andthenremadeasthe lookandshepaidforitallbywavingherMickey HappiestConstructionSiteonEarth. necklaceattheregister,spendingmoneylike Andsoitwas.Thecontrastwasstark.Fromfairy water. castletogreenpaintedconstructionsidings.From ShepassedtherestofthedayattheMagic smiling,wellturnedoutcastmembersto Kingdom,takingaferryfromthehotelspierto constructionworkerswithbuttcrackitisand theVictorianwroughtirondocksontheotherside

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/249 grouchyexpressions.Fantasylandwaslikeanugly dishofpoiandahollowpineapplefilledwithrum. scarontheblemishfreefaceofaBarbiedoll. Shetookhercomputeroutontoherlanaiand lookedoutoverthelake.Anibiscamebyand Shelikedit. demandedsomeofherdinnerscraps.Sheobliged Somethingaboutallthatartifice,allthatcunning itanditgaveheracoldlook,asifdetermining worktocoverupallthebodiesacompanylike whethershedbegoodfordessert,thenflewoff. Disneywouldhaveburiedunderitsmanicured Shebegantowrite. MainStreetithadgivenheralowlevel,tooth grindingheadache,akindofangeratthefalseness ofitall.Here,shecouldseethebodiesasthey SomethinghadchangedbetweenKettlewelland buriedthem. EvasincetheydleftFloridawiththekids.It Outcamehercameraandshewentontheprowl, wasntjustthelegalhassles,thoughtherewere photographingandphotographing,seekinghigh plentyofthose.TheydgonetoFloridawitha groundfromwhichtocatchsnapsoverthesiding. secondchanceachanceforhimtobeamover Shedlookatthesatellitepicsofthisspotlater. again,achanceforhertohaveahusbandwhowas Nowsheknewwhathernextprojectwouldbe:she happywithhislifeagain. woulddocumentthisscar.Sheddigupthebodies. Nowhefoundhimselfsneakingpastherwhenshe Justforcompletenesssake,shewentonsomeof wasinthelivingroomandtheysleptbacktoback therides.Hersuperfancypasslethersailpastthe inbedwithasmuchroombetweenthemas possible. longlinesofboredkids,angrydads,exhausted moms.Shecapturedtheirexpressionswithher camera. AdamissedLyenitchkaandspentallhertimein herbedroomIMingherfriendorgoingquesting withherintheirfavoritegame,whichinvolved Barbies,balrogs,andbuyingoutfits.Pascalmissed alltheattentionhehadreceivedasthedesignated mascotofthetwolittlegirls.

Therideswereallright.Shewassickofrides, truthbetold.Asanartform,theywerewildly overrated.Someofthemmadehersickandsome ofthemwerelikemildlyinterestingtripsthrough someonescollectionofactionfiguresinadark Itwasnotahighpointinthehistoryofthe room.TheDisneyridesdidntevenletyoudrive, Kettlewellclan. likeLestersridedid,andyoudidntgettovoteon Hello? them. LandonKettlewell? Bythetimethesunhadgonedown,shewasready Hello,Freddy,hesaid. togobacktotheroomandstartwriting.She wantedtogetallthisdown,thebeautyandthe Myfameprecedesme,thejournalistsaid. terror,thecommercelurkingunderneaththe Kettlewellcouldhearthegrininhisvoice.That friendlyfacade.Asthedaylengthenedintonight, voicewasunmistakableKettlewellhadheardit thereweremoreandmorescreamingchildren, intheoccassionalharassingvoicemailthat moreangryparents.Shecaughtparentssmacking Suzanneforwardedon. kids,once,twice,gothercameraout,caughtthree Howareyou? more. Theysentabigpupuplatteruptoherroomwitha Oh,Imverywellsir,andkindofyoutoask,yes

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/250 indeed.Ihearyourenotdoingsowell,though? bonkers.Hedinventedlitigationinvestment. Thosebigoldcompanieshavetwocommon Icantcomplain. characteristics:theyveaccumulatedmoreassets Iwishyouwould,though.Youcouldtell, thantheyknowwhattodowith,andtheyvegot Freddythoughthewasafunnysonofabitch. poisonous,monopolisticculturesthatreward Seriously,MrKettlewell.Imcallingtofollowup executiveswhobreakthelawtohelpthecompany onthestoryofthelitigationthatPerryGibbons turnabuck.Noneofthatschanged,andsolong andLesterBanksarefacingforunilaterally asthatsalltrue,therewillbelittlecompanies cancelingthearrangementyoudmadetofinance withlegitgripesagainstbigcompaniesthatcanbe theirlitigation.Imhopingthatyoullgivemea usedasinvestmentvehiclesforunlockingallthat quotethatmightputthisintoperspective.Isthe deadFortune100capitalandputtingittowork. defenseoff?WillGibbonsandBanksbesued? ButarentFortune100companiesinvestingin Areyouapartytothesuit? litigationfunds? Freddy? Kettlewellsuppressedanastylaugh.Yeah,so Yes,MrKettlewell. what? Iamnotachild,noramIafool,noramIa Well,ifthisisaboutdestroyingFortune100 sucker.Imalsonotahothead.Youcantgoadme companies intosayingsomething.Youcanttrickmeinto Itsaboutwringingpositivesocialvalueoutof sayingsomething.Ihaventhunguponyouyet, thecourtsandoutofinvestment.Thewayitused butIwillunlessyoucangivemeasinglegood towork,therewereonlytwopossibleoutcomes reasontobelievethatanygoodcouldpossibly whenabigcompanydidsomethingrotten:either comeoutoftalkingtoyou. theydgetawayscotfreeortheydmakesome Imgoingtowritethisstoryandpublishittoday. lawyersvery,veryrich.Litigationfundsfixthat. Icaneitherwritethatyoudeclinedtocommentor Theysocializethecostofbringingbigcompanies Icanwritedownwhatevercommentyoumight toheel,andtheyfreeupthecapitalthatthesebig haveonthematter.Youtellmewhichisfairer? companieshaveaccumulated. Goodbye,Freddy. Butwhenabigcompanyinvestsindestroying anotherbigcompany Wait,wait!Justwait. Sometimesyougetaforestwhereafewtreesend upwinning,theyformacanopythatkeepsallthe sunlightfromreachingthefloor.Now,thisis Whatisit,Freddy? stableforforests,butstabilityisthelastthingyou CanIgetyoutocommentonthegeneralideaof wantinamarket.Justlookatwhathappenswhen oneofthosebigtreesfallsover:whoosh!A litigationinvestment?Alotofpeoplefollowed millionkindsoflifearespawnedonthefloor, yourleadinseekingoutlitigationinvestment fightingforthelightthattreehadhoggedforitself. opportunities.Thereslotsofmoneytiedupinit Inamarket,whenyoutoppleacompanythats thesedays.DoincidentsliketheoneinFlorida meanthatlitigationinvestmentisadeadstrategy? cometocomplacentlycontrolsomepartofthe ecosystem,youfreeupthatnichefornew Ofcoursenot,Kettlewellsnapped.Heshouldnt innovators. betalkingtothisman,butthequestiondrovehim KettlewelllikedthepleadingnoteinFreddys voice.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/251 Andwhyisthatbetterthanstability?Dontthe workersatthesecompaniesdeservethesecurity thatcomesfromtheiremployerssurvival? Thankyou,MrKettlewell,Freddysaid.Ill certainlytakethesuggestionunderadvisement.

Kettlewellstoodinhishomeofficeandstaredat Ohcomeon,Freddy.Stopbeatingthatdrum.If thefourwalls.Upstairs,Pascalwascrying.Hedid youreanemployeeandyouwanttogetagood thatalotlately.Kettlewellbreatheddeeplyand dealoutofanemployer,yourebetteroffifyouve triedtochillout. gotfiftycompaniesyoucouldworkforthanjust Someonewasknockingathisdoor,though.He one. answeredittentatively.Thekidhefoundtherewas SoyouresayingthatifyoudestroyDisneywith yourlawsuit,thefiftythousandpeoplewhowork atWaltDisneyWorldwillbeableto,what,work forthoselittlerideslikeyourfriendshavebuilt? wellscrubbed,black,inhistwenties,andsmiling amiably. LandonKettlewell? Whossuingme?Kettlewellcouldspota processserveramileaway. Theguyshruggedandmadealittleyougotme smile.Couldntsay,sir,hesaid,andhanded Kettlewelltheenvelope,holdingitsothatthe headerwasclearlyvisibletothecamerasetinto thelapelofhisshirt.

Theyllfindlotsofwork,Freddy.Ifwemakeit possibleforanyonetoopenaninnovativelittle ridewithoutworryingaboutgettingclobberedby abigoldmonopolist.Youlikebigcorporationsso much? Yes,butitsnotlittleinnovativestartupsthat investinthesefunds,isit?

Youwantmetosignsomething?Kettlewellsaid. Itstheywhobenefitoncethefundtakesuptheir Itsallright,sir,thekidsaidandpointedatthe cause. camera.Itsallcaughtonvideo. Andhowsthatworkingoutfortheridepeople youremeanttobehelpingout?Theyrejectedyou, Oh,right,Kettlewellsaid.Wantacupofwater? Coffee? didntthey? Iexpectyouregoingtobetoobusytoentertain, KettlewellreallyhatedFreddy,herealized.Not justalittlehehadadeepandgenuineloathing. sir,thekidsaid,andtickedalittlesaluteoffhis forehead.Butyouseemlikeaniceguy.Good Oh,forfuckssake.Youdontlikelittle luckwithitall. companies.Youdontlikebigcompanies.You dontlikeworkerscoops.Whatdoyouwantus Kettlewellwatchedhimgo,thenclosedthedoor todo,Freddy?Youwantustojustcurlupundera andwalkedbacktohisoffice,openingthe rockanddie?Yousitthereandmakeupyour envelopeandscanningit.Nosurprisestherethe funnynamesforthings;youmakeyoursnarky shareholdersintheinvestmentsyndicatethathad littlecommentaries,buthowmuchgoodhaveyou backedLesterandPerryweresuinghimfor donefortheworld,youcomplaining,snipinglittle makingfalserepresentationsabouthisabilityto troll? speakforthem. Thelinegotveryquiet.CanIquoteyou? Tjancalledhimaminutelater. Youcertainlycan,Kettlewellhuffed.Infora Theygotyoutoo,huh?Kettlewellsaid. penny,inforapound.Youcanprintthat,andyou Justleft.WishIcouldsayitwasunexpected. cankissmyass.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/252 WishIcouldsayIblamedthem,Kettlewellsaid. sanguine. Hey,youshouldseewhattheridesbeendoing thisweeksinceFloridawentdown,Tjansaid. Itstotallymutated.Ithinkitsmostlycoming fromtheMidwest,thoughthoseBraziliansseem tokeeponlogginginsomehowtoo. HowmanyridesarethereinSouthAmerica, anyways? Braziliansofthem!Tjansaidwithamirthless chuckle.Impossibletosay.Theyvegotsome kindofvariantontheprotocolthatletsabunchof themshareonenetworkaddress.Ithinksomeof themarentevenphysicalrides,justvirtual flythroughs.Somearedirectlylinked,somedoa kindofmashupbetweentheircurrentnormsand otherridescurrentnorms.Itsprettyweird. Sowhatdowedoaboutit?Idontmuchwantto loseeverything. YoucouldalwaysgobacktoRussia,Kettlewell said,suddenlyfeelingshorttempered.Whydidhe alwayshavetocomeupwiththeplan?Sorry. Youknowwhatthelawyersaregoingtotellus. Yeah.SuePerryandLester. AndwetoldLesterwewouldntdothat.Itwas probablyamistaketodothisatall,youknow. No,dontsaythat.Theideawasareallygood one.Youmighthavesavedtheirassesiftheyd playedalong. AndifIdkeptthelawyersonashorterleash.

Theybothsatinglumsilence. Kettlewellpaced.Well,atleastsomeoneshaving Howaboutifwedefendourselvesbyproducing agoodtime. evidencethattheyrenegedonadealwedmadein Theyregoingtonailustothewall,Tjansaid. goodfaith.ThenthebastardscansuePerryand Bothofus.Probablytheindividualride Lesterandwellstillbekeepingourpromise. operators,too.Theyreoutforblood. KettlewelltriedtopicturePerryinacourtroom. Itsnotliketheyevenlostmuchmoney. Hedneverbeenthemostevenkeeleddudeand Theydidntneedtotheyfeelliketheylostthe sincehedbeenshotandhadhisarmbrokenand beengassed,hewasalmostpathological. moneytheymighthavewonfromDisney. Ivegotabetteridea,hesaid,growingexcitedas itunfoldedinhismind.Hehadthatburning sensationhegotsometimeswhenheknewhewas Tjansighedheavilyontheotherendofthephone. havingarealdoozy.Howaboutifweapproach Landon,youreavery,verygoodfinanceperson. eachoftheindividualridecoopsandseeiftheyll ThebestIveevermet,butyoureallyneedto jointhelawsuitseparatelyfromtheumbrellaorg? understandthateventhemostspeculativeinvestor Playitrightandwellhavethelawsuitbackon, ismostlyspeculatingabouthowhesgoingto withouthavingtogetourasseshandedtousand spendallthemoneyyoureabouttomakehim.If withouthavingtodestroyPerryandLester! investorsdidntcounttheirchickensbeforethey Tjanlaughed.Thatsthats...Wow!Genius. hatched,youdneverraiseacent. Yeah,OK,right!TheBostongroupisin,Illtell Yeah,Kettlewellsaid.Heknewit,buthe youthatmuch.Imsurewecangethalfadozen couldntsoakitin.Hedwonandlostsomany morein,too.EspeciallyifwecangetPerryto fortuneshisownandothersthathedlearned agreenottoblockit,whichImsurehelldoafter totakeitallinstride.Noteveryoneelsewasso Ihavealittletalkwithhim.Thisllwork! Butthatwastwentyyearsaway,andhighly speculative.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/253 Sometimesthethreatoftotallegaldestruction canhaveawonderful,clarifyingeffectonones mind,Kettlewellsaiddrily.Howrethekids? Theblooddrainedfromhisface.Shedlefthim plenty,overtheyears.Heddeservedit.Butithad alwaysbeenwhitehot,inthemiddleofafight, andithadalwaysendedwithsomekindof Lyenitchkaisinasulk.Shewantstogobackto FloridaandshewantstoseeAdasomemore.Plus reconciliation.Thistime,ithadthefeelingof somethingplannedandexecutedincoldblood. shesupsetthatwenevermadeittoDisney World. Hesatupandfoldedhishandsinhislap.He Kettlewellfloppeddownonhiscouch.Haveyou didntknowwhatelsetodo. seenSuzannesbloglately?

Hersmilewilted.Itsnotgoingtowork,youand Tjanlaughed.Yeah.Man,shesgivingittothem me.Icantlivelikethis,lurchingfromcrisisto crisis.Iloveyoutoomuchtowatchthathappen.I withbothbarrels.Makesmefeelsorryforem. hatewhatitturnsmeinto.Youreonlyhappy Um,youdoknowthatweresuingthemfor whenyouremiserable,youknowthat?Icantdo everythingtheyvegot,right? thatforever.Wellbepartofeachotherslives Well,yes.Butthatsjustmoney.Suzannesgoing forever,butIcantbeMrsStressbunnyforever. totaketheirballs. Noneofthiswasnew.Shedshoutedvariationson Theyexchangedsomemorenicetiesandpromised thisathimatmanytimesintheirrelationship.The thattheydgettogetherfacetofacerealsoonand differencewasthatnowshewasntshouting.She wascalm,assured,sadbutnotcrying.Behindher Kettlewellhungup.Frombehindhim,heheard inthehallway,hesawthatshedpackedher someonefidgeting. suitcase,andthelittlesuitcasesthekidsusedwhen Kids,youknowyouarentsupposedtocomeinto theytravelledtogether. myoffice. Wherewillyougo? Soundslikethingshavegottenstartedupagain. Itwasntthekids,itwasEva.Hesatup.Shewas ImgoingtostaywithLucy,fromcollege.Shes livingdownthepeninsulainMountainView. standingwithherarmsfoldedinthedoorwayof Shesgotroomforthekids. hisoffice,staringathim. Yeah,hesaid,mumblingalittle.Shewasreally beautiful,hiswife,andsheputupwithahellofa lot.Hefeltobscurelyashamedofthewaythathed treatedher.Hewishedhecouldstandupandgive herawarmhug.Hecouldnt. Hefeltlikeragingather,promisingherabitter divorceandcustodysuit,buthecouldntdoit.She wascompletelyright,afterall.Eventhoughhis firstimpulsewastoargue,hecouldntdoitjust then.

Instead,shesatbesidehim.Soundslikeyoullbe Sosheleft,andKettlewellwasaloneinhisnice apartmentwithhisphoneandhiscomputerand busy. hislawsuitsandhismindfizzingwithideas. Oh,Ijustneedtogetalltheindividualcoopson board,talktothelawyers,gettheinvestorsoffmy back.Haveashareholdersmeeting.Itllbefine. ThelastthingSammywantedwasafight.Dinahs Hersmilewaslittleandsad.Imgoing,Landon, promowasmakingmajorbankforthecompany andhewastakingmoreandmoremeetingsin shesaid. TexaswithDinah,whichwasahellofaperk.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/254 TheydshippedtwomillionoftheDiaBs,and wereprojectingtenmillioninthefirstquarter. Parkadmissionwassoaringandtherevenuefrom theadvertisingwasgoingtocovertheentirecost ofthenextrevoftheDiaBs,whichwouldbe better,faster,smallerandcheaper. ThatbusinesswithDeathWaitsandthenew Fantasylandandtheridewhatdiditmatternow? Hedbeensofocusedonthedetailsthathedlost trackofthebigpicture.WaltDisneyhadmadehis empirebyfiguringouthowtodothenextthing, notwastinghisenergyonhowtoprotectthelast thing.Ithadallbeenamistake,adumbmistake, andnowhewasbackontrack.Fromall appearances,thelawsuitswereonthevergeof blowingaway,anyway.Fantasylandhedturned thatovertoWiener,ofallpeople,andhewas actuallydoingsomegoodstuffthere.Really runningwiththeideaofrestoringitasanostalgia siteaimedsquarelyatfatkins,withlotsoffood andromantickiddieridesthatnokidwouldwant torideintheageofthebreakneckcoaster. Thelastthinghewantedwasafight.Whathe wantedwastomakeassloadsofmoneyforthe company,remakehimselfasapowerinthe organization. Nicetoseeyou.CanIofferyouaglassofwater? Icedtea? Hackelbergwavedtheoffersaway.Theyreusing yourboxestoprinttheirowndesigns,hesaid. What? Thosefreakswiththeirhomemaderide.Theyve justpublishedasystemforprintingtheirown objectsonyourboxes. Sammyrewoundtheconversationshedhadwith theinfosecpeopleinImagineeringaboutwhat countermeasurestheydcomeupwith,whatthey wereproofagainst.Hewaspissedthathewas findingoutaboutthisfromHackelberg.IfLester andPerrywerehackingtheDiaBs,theywouldbe talkingaboutitnonstop,runningtheirmouthson theInternet.Backwhenhewashisown competitiveintelligencespecialist,hewouldhave knownaboutthisprojecttheseconditbegan.Now hewastryingtofindacompetitiveintelligence personwhoknewhisassfromhiselbow,sofar withoutsuccess.

Well,thatsregrettable,obviously,butsolongas werestillsellingtheconsumables...Thegoop wasahugeprofitmakerforthecompany.They boughtitinbulk,addedaproprietary,precisely mixedchemicalthattheprintercouldcheckforin Buthewasabouttohaveafight. itshoppers,andsoldittotheDiaBusersforatwo Hackelbergcameintohisofficeunannounced. thousandpercentmarkup.Ifyoutriedtosubstitute SammyhadsomeoftheImagineersin,showing acompetitorsgoop,themachinewouldrejectit. himprototypesofthenextmodel,whichwas TheyshippedoutnewDiaBswithonlyhalfaload beingdesignedformorereliableshippingand ofgoop,sothatthefirstpurchasewouldcome easierpacking.Hackelbergwascarryinghiscane fast.Itwasmakingmoremoney,weekonweek, today,wearinghisicecreamsuit,andwasflushed thanpopcorn. adeep,angryredthatseemedtoboilupfromhis Thecracktheyredistributingalsodisablesthe collar. checkingforthewatermark.Youcanuseany Onelookfromhisblazingeyeswasenoughto genericgoopinthem. sendtheImagineersscurrying.Theydidnteven taketheirprototypewiththem.Hackelbergclosed Sammyshookhisheadandrestrainedhimself fromthumpinghishanddownonthedesk.He thedoorbehindthem. wantedtoscream. Hello,Samuel,hesaid.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/255 Werenotsuingthem,arewe? Thatsfine.Werenottreatingthesepeopleasa coupleofpunkpirateswhogodownatthefirst Doyouthinkthatswise,Samuel? signoftrouble.Notanymore.Weknowthatthese Imnolegalexpert.Youtellme.Maybewecan peoplearethecompetition.Weregoingtomake takestrongercountermeasureswiththenext anexampleofthem.Theyrethefirstonesto generationHegesturedattheprototypeonhis attackonthisfront,buttheywontbethelast. desk. Werevulnerable,Samuel,butwecancontainthat Andabandonthetwomillionunitsweveshipped vulnerabilitywithenoughdeterrent. todate? Hackelbergseemedtobeexpectingsomethingof Sammy,butSammywasdamnedifheknewwhat Sammythoughtaboutit.Thosefamiliesmight itwas.OK,hesaidlamely. hangontotheiroriginaltwomillionforever,or untiltheyworeout.Maybeheshouldbebuilding Hackelbergssmilewaslikeajackolanterns. themtofallapartaftersixmonthsofuse,toforce Thatmeansthatwevegottobepreparedfor updates. theirdiscoveryonus.Ineedtoknoweverysingle detailofthisDiaBproject,includingthethingsId Itsjustsounfair.Theyrerippingusoff.We findifIwentthroughyourphonerecordsandyour spentthemoneyonthoseunitssothatwecould sendourmessageout.Whatthehelliswrongwith email.Becausetheywillbegoingthroughthem. thosepeople?Aretheycompulsive?Dotheyhave Theyllbeputtingyouandyouroperationunder themicroscope. todestroyeverymoneymakingbusiness? Hackelbergsatback.Samuel,Ithinkitstimewe Sammyrestrainedhisgroan.Illhaveitforyou, hesaid.Givemeadayortwo. dealtwiththem. Sammysmindwasstilloffonthestrategiesfor keepingLesterandPerryatbay,though.Sure,a sixmonthobsolescencecurvewoulddoit.Orthey couldjustchargemoneyfortheDiaBsnowthat peoplewerestartingtounderstandwhattheywere for.Hell,theycouldjustmakethemost compellingstuffforaDiaBtoprintandmaybe thatwouldbeenough. Hackelbergtappedthetipofhiscaneonce, sharply.Sammycamebacktotheconversation. Sothatssettled.Filingsuittoday.Weregoingto doadiscoveryonthemthatllsplitthemopen fromassholetothroat.Nomoreofthischickenshit policestuffweregoingtofigureoutevery sourceofincomethesebastardshave,weregoing totakeawaytheircomputers,weregoingdownto theirISPsandgettingtheiremailsandinstant messages. Andasweveseen,theyregoingtoretaliate. HesawHackelbergoutofhisofficeasquicklyas hecould,thenshutthedoor.Hackelbergwanted everything,andthatmeanteverything,including hisplaymatesfromtheadvertisingindustry everything.Hewasbecomingthekindof executivewhoemittedstrategicintelligence,rather thanthekindwhogatheredit.Thatwouldntdo. Thatwasntthenaturalorderofthings. Hesatdownathiscomputer.Someonehadtodo thecompetitiveintelligenceworkaroundhereand itlookedlikeitwouldhavetobehim. WhattheWorldCanLearnfromDisney SuzanneChurch ItseasytodismissDisney.Theymakemore lawsuitsthanridesthesedays.Theyhavea reputationforPolyannaishchirpiness.Their corporatecommunicationsveerfromCorporate

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/256 PassiveVoiceThirdPersontoasyrupy, condescendingkiddeespeakthatscalculatedto drivechildrenintoafrenzyofparentnagging screeches. countingtheoutlyingareas:twonewtowns,golf courses,avelodrome,apreservedmarshlandthat youcantourinaskiffwithalocalnaturist.In thesedaysofcheapfabrication,itseasytoforget whatyoucandowithseveralbilliondollarsand ButifyouhaventbeentoaDisneyParkina while,youdontknowwhatyouremissing.Ive thekindofhubristhatleadsyoutodredgelakes, erectpapiermachemountains,andcreateyour beeninWaltDisneyWorldforaweeknow,and Imheretotellyou,itsprettygood.No,itsbetter owntoymasstransitsystem. thanthatitsamazing. Ofcourse,DisneyParksarenostrangerstosmall scalefabrication.Seetheirtiny,cleverDisneyin Youveprobablyheardabouttheattentionto aBoxdevices,whichIhavechronicledherefrom detail:therooflineoverFantasylandfeatures theotherside.Ontheonehand,thesethingsare sagging,Georgiantiles,crazychimneys,and networkedvolumetricprinters,butontheother, subtlyanimatedgargoyles(leftoverfroma theyaresuperbcategorybustersthathave previous,gothierincarnationofthispartofthe achievedanentirelyjustifiableyetstill park).Youdontseethisunlessyouraiseyour eyesabovethebusy,intriguingfacadesthatfront staggeringmarketpenetrationinjustafew months. therides,abovethemasterfullypaintedsignage, andhigherstill.Inotherwords,unlessyoure someonelikeme,lookingfordetails,youwont spotthem.Theyrethereaspuregoldplating, theyretherebecausesomeonewhotookpridein hisworkputthemthere. Icameherereadytobeboredanddisgustedand fleecedofeverynickel.Iamdisappointed.The parksaretremendousatseparatingpeoplefrom money,itstrue.Theyvestructuredeach promenadeandstrollsothatevenawalktothe Ittellsyousomethingaboutthepeoplebehindthe bathroomcancreateaMommyDaddyWantIt NOWsituation.Forsuchahappyplace,there sceneshere.Peoplewhocareabouttheirjobs certainlyarealotofweepychildrenandfrustrated workhere.Itseasytoforgetthatwhenyoure parents. thinkingaboutDisney,acompanywhose reputationthesedayshasmoretodowithwhom ButitshardtofaultDisneyforbeingabusiness theysuethanwithwhattheymake. thatmakesalotofmoney.Thatsthepoint,after all.Anditcantbecheaptokeepthetensof Butoh,whattheymake.Theresasafaripark thousandsofcastmembers(yes,theyreallydo here,somethinglikeazoobutwithoutthatstuff callthemthat,evenwhentheyreearning thatmakesyoufeellikeyoureparticipatingin someterribleexercisethatstripsnobleanimalsof minimumwageandworkjobswithallthe glamourofabathroomattendant)hangingaround, theirdignityforouramusement.Instead,the animalshereroamfree,neartheirhairlessmonkey pickinguplitterandconfrontingeverynew guestwitheerilyconvincingcheer. cousins,separatedfromthembywaterfeatures, camouflagedditches,simulatedancientruins [moredetails]. Thatsjustoneofsixparks,eachsubdividedinto sixorsevenlands,eachlandwithitsown uniquecharm,culture,andcustoms.Thatsnot Asforboredanddisgustednotyet.Bored itsimpossibletoimaginesuchathing.For starters,theworldsmiddleclasseshaveconverged hereinasortofbourgeoisUN,andyoucangeta lotofpleasureoutofwatchingaChineselittle emperorwithdotingparentsintowmaking

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/257 friendswithatinyperfectRussianmafiyeh princesswhoseparentsflicknervouslyattheir nicotineinhalersandscoutthebuildingfacadesfor hiddencameras. ThebarmanatSuzanneshotelstartedbuilding heraLapuLapuasshecameupthestairs.The drinkinvolvedahollowpineapple,overproofrum, andanumbrella,andshedconcludedthatit containedtheperfectdosageofliquidCNS Ofcourse,ifpeoplewatchingisntyourthing, therearetheridesthemselves,whichmakeartout depressanttounwindherafteradayofbattleat theparks.Thatdayshedspentfollowingaround oftheshoeboxdiorama.Thereareluaus,indoor thetroupesofroleplayingactorsatDisneys scubadivingwithlivesharks,andanislandof HollwoodStudios:acastofahundredcostumed genuinelysleazynightclubswhereyoucanget playerswhoactedoutaseriesofinterlocking propositionedforsomeimprobableactsthatare comediessetintheblackandwhitedaysof hardlyfamilyfriendly.Theselastappeartobe largelypopulatedbythecastmembersseekinga Hollywood.Theywerefearlesslycheeky,grabbing audiencemembersandconscriptingthemintheir littleafterworkaction. plays. Disgusted?IthinkifIwereaparent,theredbe Nowshewasfootsoreandtherewasstilla partsoftheexperiencethatdrovemenuts.But onceyougettoknowtherhythmoftheplace,you nighttimeatEpcotinherfuture.Thebarman starttoseethattherearenavigablepathwaysthat passedherthepineappleandshethumpedher lanyardagainstthebartwiceoncetopayforthe dontleadthroughanycommercialareas drinkandoncetogivehimageneroustip.Hewas fantasticadventureplaygrounds,naturehikes, pettingzoos,horsebackrides,sportstraining.And gayasagoose,butfuntolookat,andheflirted withherforkicks. foreverykidwhoshavingabloodsugar meltdownafterconsuminghalfaquartofhigh Gentlemancallerforyou,Suzanne,hesaid, fructoselubeslatheredonacinnamonbun,theres tiltinghishead.Youtemptress. anotherwhoisstandingopenmouthedwith Shelookedinthedirectionindicatedandtookin completebodilywonder,atsomestupendous themansittingonthebarstool.Hedidnthavethe spectacle,clearlyformingneuronalconnectionsof lookofaharrieddadandhewastoooldtobea asortthatwillcreatethepermanentpredisposition loveflushedhoneymooner.Insensibletropical toanappreciationofspectacle,wonder,and weightslacksandawesternshirt,hewas beauty. impossibletoplace.Hesmiledandgaveheralittle Thisisthekindofplacewhereyouhavetolove wave. thesinandhatethesinner.Thecompanymaysue What? andresorttodirtytricks,butitsalsochockfullof Hecameinanhouragoandaskedforyou. realartistsmakingrealart. Shelookedbackattheman.Whatsyourtakeon Ifyouhaventbeenforavisit,youshould. him? Honestly.Oh,byallmeans,alsogosomewhere unspoiled(ifyoucanfindit).Gocamping.Goto Ithinkheworkshere.Hedidntpaywithan oneoftheridesIvewrittensomuchabout.Butif employeecard,butheactedlikeit. youwanttoseethebrightsideofwhatbillionscan dothestuffyounevergetfromoutsidethewalls OK,shesaid,sendoutasearchpartyifImnot backinanhour. ofthisfortressoffunbuyaticket. Gogethim,tiger,thebarmansaid,givingher

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/258 handasqueeze. Shecarriedherpineapplewithheranddrifted downthebar. Hellothere,shesaid. MsChurch,themansaid.Hehadadisarming, confidentsmile.MynameisSammyPage. goingtohavetopublishit.Icanrespectthefact thatyourespeakingtomewithcandor,but frankly,MrPage,youhaventearnedtheprivilege ofspeakingonbackground.

Hesippedathisdrinkamoregrownup highball,withaloneicecubeinit,maybea Scotchandsoda.OK,right.Well,then,onthe Sheknewthename,ofcourse.Theface,too,now record,butcandorously.Ilovedyourarticle.Ilove thatshethoughtaboutit.Heofferedherhishand. yourworkingeneral.Imreallygladtohaveyou Shedidnttakeit.Heputitdown,thenwipediton here,becauseIthinkwemakegreatstuffand weremakingmoreofitthanever.Yourlatestpost histrouserleg. wasrightonthemoneywecareaboutourwork Areyouhavingagoodtime? here.Thatshowwegottowhereweare. Alovelytime,thankyou.Shesippedherdrink Butyoudevotealotofyourresourcestoother andwisheditwasalittlemoreseriousand projectshere,dontyou?Iveheardaboutyou,Mr intimidating.Itshardtodofrostywhenyoure Page.IveinterviewedDeathWaits.Hewinced holdingarumfilledpineapplewithapaper andshescribbledanote,leavinghimon parasol. tenterhookswhileshewrote.Somethingcoldand Hissmilefaltered.Ireadyourarticle.Icant believeImissedit.Imean,youvebeenherefor sixdaysandIjustfigureditouttoday?Ima prettyincompetentvillain. Sheletalittlesmileslipoutatthat.Well,itsa bigInternet. ButIloveyourstuff.Ivebeenreadingitsince, well,backwhenIlivedintheValley.Iusedtoget theMercactuallydeliveredonpaper. Youareawalkingfossil,arentyou? angryhadholdofherwritingarm.Ive interviewedhimandheardwhathehastosay aboutthisplace,whatyouhavedone.

Myhandsarentthecleanest,hesaid.ButIm tryingtoatone.Heswallowed.Thebarmanwas lookingatthem.Look,canItakeyouforawalk, maybe?Someplacemoreprivate? Shethoughtaboutit.Letmegetchanged,she said.Meetyouinthelobbyinten.

Sheswappedhertennisshoesforwalkingsandals andputonacleanshirtandlongslacks,then Hebobbedhishead.Soitcomesdowntothis. drapedascarfoverhershoulderslikeashawl. Ivebeenverydistractedwithmakingthings Outside,thesunsetwaspaintingthelagoon besideslawsuitslately,asyouknow.Ivebeen bloody.Shewasjustabouttorushbackdownto puttingmyenergyintodoingstuff,notpreventing thelobbywhenshestoppedandcalledLester,her stuff.Itsbeenrefreshing. fingersmovingoftheirownvolition. Shegrubbedinherpocketandcameupwitha Hey,you,hesaid.Stillhavingfunin littlestenobookandapencil.DoyoumindifI Mauschwitz? takenotes? Itkeepsgettingweirderhere,letmetellyou,she Hegulped.Canthisallbeonbackground? said.ShetoldhimaboutSammyshowingup, Sheheftedhernotebook.No,shesaidfinally. wantingtotalkwithher. Iftheresanythingthatneedspublishing,Im

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/259 Ooh,Imjealous,Lestersaid.Hesmyarch rival,afterall. Ihadntthoughtofitthatway.Heiskindofcute Hey! Inaslimy,sharkyway.Dontworry,Lester.I missyou,youknow? Really? Really.IthinkImaboutdonehere.Imgoingto comehomesoon. Therewasalongpause,thenasnufflingsound. Sherealizedhewascrying.Heslurped.Sorry. Thatsgreat,babe.Imissedyou. IImissedyoutoo.Listen,Ivegottogomeet thisguy. whyIcamehere.Iworkedforstartups,andthey werefun,buttheywereephemeral.Noone expectedsomethingontheWebtolastforhalfa century.Maybethebrandsurvives,butwho knows?Imean,whoremembersYahoo!anymore? Butforsure,anythingyoubuiltthenwouldbe goneinayearortwo,adecadetops. Buthere...Hewavedhishands.Theywere comingaroundthebendfortheContemporary now,andshecouldseeitinallitsabsurdglory.It hadbeenkeptupsothatitlookedlikeitmight havebeenerectedyesterday,butthetowering whiteAframestructurewiththemonorailrunning throughitsmidriffwasclearlyofanotherera.It waslikeamuseumpiece,orabitofartilleryon thefieldatacivilwarreenactment. Isee.

Itsaboutthegrandiosity,thepermanence.The Go,go.Callmeafterdinnerandtellmehowit goes.Meanwhile,ImgoingtogoviolatetheDiaB beliefindoingsomethinganythingthatwill endure. somemore. Channelit,thatsright. Righton. Youdidntneedtobringmesomeplaceprivateto tellmethat.

No,Ididnt.Heswallowed.ItshardbecauseI Sammymetherinthelobby.Ithoughtwecould wanttotellyousomethingthatwillcompromise goforawalkaroundthelake,hesaid.Theresa meifIsayit. trailthatgoesallthewayaround.Itspretty AndIwontletyouoffthehookbypromisingto private. keepitconfidential. Shelookedatthelake.Attwelveoclock,themain gatesoftheMagicKingdom;atthree,theretroA Exactly. frameContemporaryhotel,atnine,thewedding Well,youreonthehornsofadilemmathen, cakeGrandFloridianResort. arentyou?Thesunwasnearlysetnow,and Leadon,shesaid.Heledheroutontothe artificialwhitesandbeachandaround,anda momentlatertheywereonapathwaypavedwith octagonaltiles,eachengravedwiththenameofa familyandayear. Ireallylikedyourarticle. Yousaidthat. Theywalkedawhilelonger.Itremindedmeof stonesattheirfeetglitteredfrombeneath, sprinkledwithtwinklinglights.Itmadethe evening,scentedwithtropicalflowersandthe cleansmellofthelake,evenmorelovely.Acool breezefluffedherhair.

Hegroaned.Shehadtoadmitit,shewasenjoying this.Wasitanylessthanthismandeserved? Letmetrythisagain.Ihavesomeinformation

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/260 that,ifIpassitontoyou,couldsaveyourfriends downinHollywoodfromterribleharm.Icanonly giveyouthisinformationontheconditionthatyou takegreatpainstokeepmefrombeingidentified asthesource. TheydcometotheMagicKingdomnow.Behind them,themaingatesloomed,andapufferbelly choochootrainblewitswhistleasitpulledoutof thestation.Happy,exhaustedchildrenranacross theplaza,headingfortheferrydocksandthe monorailramps.Thestonesbeneathherfeet glitteredwithrainbowlight,andtropicalbirds calledtoeachotherfromthePiratesofthe CaribbeanAdventureIslandinthemiddleofthe lake. No.Notanymore.Heswallowedandlookedout atthelake.Look,Imdoingsomethingnow something...amazing.TheDiaB,itsbreakingnew ground.WereputtingthreeDprintersintoevery houseinAmerica.WhatyourfriendLesteris doing,itsactuallyhelpingus.Wereinventinga wholenew Business?

No,notjustabusiness.Aworld.Itswhatthe NewWorkwasmissingathreeDprinterin everylivingroom.Akillerapp.Therewere personalcomputersandgeeksforyearsbeforethe spreadsheetcamealong.Thentherewasareason toputoneineveryhouse.Thenwegotthe Internet,thewholesoftwareindustry.Anew Hum,shesaid.Thefamilieslaughedandjostled world.Thatswherewereheaded.ItsallIwant eachother.Hum.OK,onetimeonly.Thisoneis todo.Idontwanttospendtherestofmylife offtherecord. suingpeople.Iwanttodostuff. Sammylookedaroundnervously.Keepwalking, Hekickedattherushesthatgrewbesidethetrail. hesaid.Letsgetpasthereandbackintothe Iwanttoberememberedforthat.Iwantthatto privatespots. bemyplaceinthehistorybooksnotabunchof lawsuits. Butitsthecrowdsthatputmeinagenerous mood.Shedidntsayit.Shedgivehimthisone. Whatharmcoulditdo?Ifitwassomethingshe hadtopublish,shecouldgetitfromanother source. Theyregoingtosueyourfriends. Sowhatelseisnew? No,personally.Theyregoingtothemattresses. Everytrumpedupchargetheycanthinkof.But thepointhereisnttogetthecopstoraidthem, itstoservediscoveryoneverysingle communication,everydocument,everyfile.Open upeverything.Rootthrougheveryemailuntilthey findsomethingtohangthemwith. Yousaytheyarentyouthey? Itwastoodarktoseehisfacenow,butshecould tellthequestionmadehimuncomfortable. Suzannewalkedalongbesidehiminsilencefora time.OK,sowhatdoyouwantmetodoabout it? IthoughtthatifHeshutup.Look,Itried thisoncebefore.ItoldthatFreddybastard everythinginthehopesthathedcomeontomy sideandhelpmeout.Hescrewedme.Imnot sayingyoureFreddy,but Suzannestoppedwalking.Whatdoyouwant fromme,sir?Youhavehardlybeenafriendtome andmine.Itstruethatyouvemadesomething veryfine,butitsalsotruethatyouhelped sabotagesomethingeverybitasfine.Youre paintingyourselfasthevictimofsomemysterious them.ButasnearasIcanworkout,theonly differencebetweenyouandthemisthatyoure havingalittledisagreementwiththem.Idontlike tobeusedaspartofyourcorporateheadgames

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/261 andpowerstruggles. shovellingtheworldsrichchildrenintomodified Fine,hesaid.Fine.Ideservethat.Ideserveno threshingmachinesitwasdelicious. better.Fine.Well,Itried. Suzannesbodylanguagetoldhimthewholestory Suzannerefusedtosoften.Grownmensulkingdid fromthesecondshesatdown,armsfolded,a barelycontainedsmirkonherlips.Thelights notinspireanysympathyinher.Whateverhe playedovertheGElogo,whichhadacquiredan wantedtotellher,itwasntworthgoingintohis evenmoreanachronisticlustersincethelasttime debt. hedbeen.NowthatGEhadbeendelistedfrom Hegaveashudderingsigh.Well,Ivetakenyou theNYSE,itwasonlyamatteroftimebeforethey awayfromyoureveningoffun.CanImakeitup yankedthesponsorship,butfornow,itmadethe toyou?Wouldyouliketocomewithmeonsome rideseemlikeitwasparttimemachine. ofmyfavoriterides? TransportedbacktothecorporatePleistocene, whengiantdinocorpsthunderedovertheplains. Thissurprisedheralittle,butwhenshethought aboutit,shecouldntseewhynot.Sure,she Thetheaterrotatedtothefirstbatchofsinging, said. wisecrackingrobots.Hereyebrowsshotupand sheshookherheadbemusedly.Outcamethe secondbatch,thethirdnowtheywereinthe TakingaguestaroundDisneyWorldwaslike fabulousfortiesandtheAndrewsSistersplayed programmingaplaylistforadateoracartrip. whilegrandmaandgrandparobotwatcheda Sammyhaddoneitthreeorfourtimesforpeople bulgingfisheyeTVandsistergotvibratedbyan hewastryingtowinover(mostlywomenhewas electricslimmingbelt.Thejokesgotworse,the tryingtoscrew)andherefinedhistechniqueevery catchyjingleTheresagreatbigbeautiful time. tomorrow,shiningattheendofeverydaaaaay! SohetookhertotheCarouselofProgress.Itwas gotrepeatedwithmorevigor. theoldestuntouchedrideinthepark,areplicaof ItslikeanAmericanrobotperformanceof theonethatWalthimselfhadbuiltforGEatthe TriumphoftheWill,shewhisperedtohim,andhe 1964WorldsFair.Therehadbeenattemptsto crackedup.Theyweretheonlytwointhetheater. updateitovertheyears,buttheydallbeenripped Itwasneverfull,andhehimselfhadtakenpartin outandtheshowrestoredtoitsmidsixtiesglory. spitballexercisesbrainstormingreplacements,but Itwasarevolvingtheaterwhererobotsdancedand institutionally,DisneyParkscouldntbringitself toshutitdown.Therewasalwayssomeexcuse sangandtalkedthroughtheAmericanCentury, fromthelastdaysofthecoalstoveuptothedawn rabidfans,historicalinterest,competingpriorities butitcamedowntothefactthatnoonewanted ofthespaceage.Ithadagoofy,catchysong, cornballjokes,andherelishedplayingguideand tobringtheaxedownontherobotfamily. tellinghischargesaboutthetimethatthe Thefinalsegmentnow,thewholefamilyenjoying revolvingtheaterhadtrappedacareless afuturisticChristmaswithahightechkitchen castmemberinitscarouselandcrushedherto whosevoiceactivatedstovewenthaywire.Allthe death.Thatjuxtapositionofsunny,goofy robotswereonstageforthesegment,andthey Americancorporateoptimismandthemacabre exhortedtheaudiencetosingandclapalong. realitiesofoperatingaparkwhereagangofhalf Sammygaveinandclapped,andasecondlater, literateminimumwageworkersspenttheirdays Suzannedid,too,laughingatthesillinessofitall.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/262 Whenthehouselightscameupandthebored butunsquashedcastmemberspieledthemoutof theride,Sammyhadabounceinhisstepandthe songinhishead. Thatwasterrible!Suzannesaid. Isntitgreat? God,Illnevergetthatsongoutofmyhead. Theymovedthroughtheflashinglightsof Tomorrowland. LookatthatnolineonSpaceMountain, Sammysaid,pointing. SotheyrodeSpaceMountaintwice.Thenthey caughtthefireworks.ThenSammytookherover toTomSawyerIslandonamaintenanceboatand theysatupinthetreehouseandwatchedasthe parkheavedandthronged,dancedandran, laughedandchattered. Heartherustling? Yeah,whatisthat,rabbitsorsomething? Giantrats.Sammygrinnedinthedark.Giant, feralrats. Comeon,yourejoking. cameoutwithabrightlittletorchthatshonelikea beacon.Youwerentsupposedtousebrightlights ontheislandafterhourswhiletherestofthepark wasopen,butSammywasgladofit. Backonthemainland,theyrodeBigThunder Mountainandmoseyedovertothenew,half rebuiltFantasyland.Thezombiemazewasstill open,andtheygotlostinitamidthegroans, animatronicshamblers,andgigglingkidsrunning throughthehedges. Somethinghappenedinthemaze.Between enteringitandleavingit,theylosttheircares. InsteadoftalkingabouttheparkandHackelberg, theytalkedaboutwaysofgettingoutofthemaze, talkedaboutwhichzombiewascomingnext, aboutthebestzombiemoviestheydeverseen, aboutmemorableHalloweens.Astheynearedthe exit,theystartedtostrategizeaboutthebestrideto goonnext.SuzannehaddonetheHaunted Mansiontwicewhenshefirstarrivedandnow Comeon,itssuchacliche,Sammysaid. AnyonecanbeaHauntedMansionfan.Itslike beingaMickeyfan.Ittakesrealcharactertobea Goofyfan.

YoureaGoofyfan,Itakeit? Crossmyheart.Wedrainthelakeeverynowand thenandtheymigratetotheisland.Nopredators. Indeed.AndImalsoaJungleCruiseman. Lotsofdroppedfrenchfriesitsratopiahere. Morecornyjokes? Theygetasbigascats.Boldlittlefuckerstoo.No Wevebeendyingtohaveyoutalkabout onelikestobeherealoneatnight. cornballhumor. Whataboutus? Theyrodeboth.Theparkwasclosing,andall Weretogether. aroundthem,peoplewerestreamingawayfrom therides.Nolinesatall,noteveninfrontofthe Therustlinggrewlouderandtheyheldtheir rollercoasters,noteveninfrontofDumbo,not breath.Aboldratlikearaccoonpickeditsway eveninfrontoftheultraviolentflyoverofthe acrossthepathbelowthem.Thentwomore. SuzanneshiveredandSammydid,too.Theywere worldofthezombies(neePeterPansFlight,and aperennialfavorite). huge,feral,menacing. Youknow,Ihaventjustenjoyedtheparklike thisinyears.HewaswearingahugefoamGoofy Hellyes,shesaid.Shefumbledinherpurseand hatthatdancedandbobbedonhishead,tryingto Wanttogo?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/263 dolittlepasdedeuxwiththeotherGoofyhatsin thevicinity.Italsoletouttheoccassionalchuckle andsnatchofsong. imaging.Itwasundersomecrazyviralopen sourcelicenseandweweresupposedtopublishall ourmodifications,andweneverdid.

Shutup,Suzannesaid.Donttalkaboutmagic. Suzannethrewherheadbackandlaughed,long Livemagic. andhard.Sammyfoundhimselflaughingalong withher. Theyclosedthepark,lettingthemselvesget herdedoffofMainStreetalongwiththelast stragglers.Helookedoverhisshoulderasthey movedthroughthearchesunderthetrainstation. Thenightcrewwasmovingthroughtheempty MainStreet,hosingdownthestreets,sweeping, scrubbing.Ashewatched,theworklightscame on,throwingthewholethingintoneardaylight illumination,makingitseemlesslikean enchantedwonderlandandmorelikeamovieset, anartifice.Asham. Itwasoneinthemorningandhewasexhausted. AndHackelbergwasgoingtosue. Sammy,whatdoyouwantmetodo,blackmail him?

OK,shesaid.OK.Thatsagoodone.Illtell Lesteraboutit.Maybehellwanttouseit.Maybe hellwanttosue. Sammywantedtoaskherifshedkeephisname outofit,buthecouldntask.Hedgoneto Hackelbergwiththeinfoassoonashedfoundout andtheydagreedtokeepitquiet.TheImagineers responsiblehadhadaveryfirmtalkingto,andhad privatelyadmittedtoacuriousandaghastSammy overbeersthateveryoneeverywheredidthisall thetime,thatitwassonormalastobecompletely unremarkable.Hewasprettysurethatajudge wouldntseeitthatway.

Suzannesurprisedhimbygivinghimastrong, warmhug.Yourenottheworstguyintheworld, Idontknowsure.Whynot?Youcouldcall SammyPage,shesaid.Thanksforshowingme himandsay,Ihearyoureworkingonthis lawsuit,butdontyouthinkitshypocriticalwhen aroundyourpark. youvebeendoingallthisbadstuff Idontblackmailpeople. Fine.Tellyourfriends,then.Tellsomelawyers. Thatcouldwork. Sammy,Ithinkweregoingtohavetofightthis suitonitsmerits,notonthebasisofsomesneaky intel.Iappreciatetheriskyoureputtingyourself to WerippedoffsomeofLesterscodeforthe DiaB.Heblurteditout,notbelievinghewas hearinghimselfsayit.Ididntknowitatthe time.Thelibrarieswereonthenetandmyguys wereinahurry,andtheyjustimporteditintothe buildandleftittheretheyrewroteitwiththe secondshipment,butweputoutamillionunits runningalibraryLesterwroteforvolumetric Kettlewellhadbeenalmostpatheticinhisinterest inhelpingLesterout.Lestergottheimpression thathedbeensittingaroundhisapartment, moping,eversinceEvahadtakenthekidsand gone.AsLesterunspooledthestoryforhim Suzannewouldnttellhimhowshedfoundthis out,andheknewbetterthantoaskKettlewell grewmoreandmoreexcited.BythetimeLester wasthrough,hewaspracticallyslobberingintothe phone. Oh,oh,oh,thisisgoingtobeafunphoner,he said. Youlldoit,then?Evenaftereverything? DoesPerryknowyouvecalledme?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/264 Lesterswallowed.No,hesaid.Idonttalkto Perrymuchthesedays. DiaBsandthecode,layingitoutmoreorlessasit happened,thoughofcoursehedownplayedhis Kettlewellsighed.WhatthehellamIgoingtodo involvementinadvisingSammytogoaheadand ship. withyoutwo? Thecommitteeaskedafewintensequestions, Imsorry,Lestersaid. nonedirectedatSammy,whokeptquiet,though Dontbesorry.Behappy.Someoneshouldbe heinstinctivelywantedtodefendhisrecord.They happyaroundhere. tookabreakafteranhour,andSammyfound himselfinacornerwithGuignol. HerveGuignolchairedtheexecutivecommittee. Sammyhadknownhimforyears.Theydcome easttogetherfromSanJose,whereGuignolhad runtheentertainmentsideofeBay.Theydbeen recruitedbyDisneyParksatthesametime,during thehostiletakeoverandbreakup,andtheydhad theirshareofnightsout,golfgames,andstupid moviestogether. Whatdoyouthink?Sammyaskedhim. Guignolgrimaced.Ithinkwereprettyscrewed. Someoneisgoingtohavetotakeafallforthis, youknow.Itsgoingtocostusafortune.

Sammynodded.Well,unlesswejustsettlewith them,hesaid.Youknowwedropthesuitwe justfiledandtheydroptheirs....Hehadhoped thatthiswouldcomeoutonitsown,butitwas ButwhenGuignolwaswearinghischairmans clearthatHackelbergwasntgoingtoofferitup hat,itwaslikehewasadifferentperson.The himself.Hewastooinlovewiththeideaof boardroomwasfilledwithhuge,ergonomicchairs, gettinghishandsonPerryandLester. thecenterofthetablelinedwithbottlesof Guignolrockedhisheadfromsidetoside.You importedwaterandtraysoffancifulcanapesinthe thinktheydgoforit? shapesofDisneycharacters.Sammysatto Sammydroppedhisvoicetoawhisperandturned GuignolsleftandHackelbergsattohisright. awayfromtherestoftheroomtoconfoundany Guignolbroughtthemeetingtoorderandtherest lipreaders.Ithinktheyveofferedtodothat. ofthecommitteestoppedchattingandchecking GuignolcuthiseyesovertoHackelbergand emailandlookedexpectant.Atthetouchofa button,thedoorswungshutwithanauthoritative Sammynodded,imperceptibly. clunkandshutterssliddownoverthewindow. Guignolmovedaway,leavingSammytoeata Welcome,andthankyouforattendingonsuch shortnotice.YouknowAugustusHackelberg;he hassomethingtopresenttoyou. Hackelbergclimbedtohisfeetandlookedoutat them.Hedidntlookgood. AnissuehasarisenSammylovedthethird personpassivevoicethatdominatedcorporate meetings.Liketheissuehadarisenallonitsown, spontaneously.Adecisionthatwastakenhas comebacktobiteus.Heexplainedaboutthe

Mickeyheadbuiltfromchunksofsalmonand hamachi.Guignolmovedamongthecommittee, talkingtoafewmembers.Sammyrecognizedthe behaviorconsolidatingpower.Hardtoremember thatthiswastheguyhedplayedsavage,high stakesgamesofputtputtgolfwith. Themeetingreconvened.Noonelookedat Sammy.TheyalllookedatHackelberg. Whatabouttryingtosettlethesuit?Guignol said.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/265 Hackelbergflushed.Idontknowifthats possible Whataboutifweoffertosettleinexchangefor droppingthesuitwevejustfiled? Hackelbergshandssqueezedthesideofthetable. Idontthinkthatthatwouldbeawisecourseof action.Thisistheopportunitywevebeenwaiting forthechancetocrackthemwideopenandsee whatsgoingoninside.Discoverjustwhattheyve takenfromusandhow.Outthemforalltheirbad acts. Guignolnodded.OK,thatstrue.Now,asI understandit,everyDiaBweshippedwiththis Bankspersonscodeonitisaseparateactof infringement.Weshippedamillionofthem. Whatsthepotentialliabilityperunit? Courtsusuallyaward Guignolknockedquietlyonthetable.Whatsthe potentialliabilitywhatsthesizeofthebilla courtcouldhanddown,ifajurywasinvolved?If, say,thisbecamepartofsomeoneslitigation portfolio. Hackelberglookedaway.Itsuptofivehundred thousandperseparateactofinfringement. Guignolnodded.So,werelookingataceiling ontheliabilityat$500billion,then? whotookfromus.Itwontbeusedagainstus.We willface,atworst,afewhundreddollarsperactof infringement.Stillasizablesumofmoney,butin thefinalanalysis Thankyou,Guignolsaid.Allinfavorof offeringasettlement? ItwasunanimousexceptforHackelberg. SammygothisrematchwithHackelbergwhenthe quarterlyfinancialscameout.Itwasallthatblack ink,makinghimgiddy. Idontwanttobedisrespectful,hesaid, knowingthatinHackelbergsbooks,therecould benothingmoredisrespectfulthanchallenging him.Butweneedtoconfrontsomebusiness realitieshere. HackelbergsofficewasnothinglikeSammyhad expectednotasoutherngentlemansstudylined withhuntingtrophiesandframedancestralphotos. Itwasasspareastheofficeofatemp,almost emptysaveforahighlyfunctionaldesk,builtin bookcaseslinedwithlawbooks,andastraight backedchair.Itwasascetic,severe,anditwas moreintimidatingthananydarkwooddencould hopetobe.

Hackelbergsheavyeyelidsdroopedalittle,the cornersofhiseyesgoingdownwiththem.Itwas Technically,yes.But likestaringdownagator.Sammyresistedtheurge Iproposethatweofferasettlement,quidproquo tolookaway. withthisBanksperson.Wedropoursuitifhe Thenumbersdontlie.DiaBismakingusa indemnifiesusfromdamagesforhis. fortune,andmostofitscomingfromthe Seconded,saidsomeoneatthetable.Things platform,notthegoopandnottheincreased werepickingupsteam.Sammybittheinsideof visitornumbers.Weremakingmoneybecause hischeektokeephissmileincheck. otherpeoplearefiguringoutwaystouseourstuff. Itsourfastestgrowingrevenuesourceandifit Wait,Hackelbergsaid.Gentlemenandlady, continues,weregoingtoendupbeingaDiaB please.Whileitstruethatdamagescan technicallyrunto$500,000perinfringement,that companywithasidebusinessinthemeparks. simplyisntdone.Nottoentitieslikethisfirm. Thatsthegoodnews.Thebadnewsisthatthese Listen,wewrotethatlawsowecouldsuepeople charactersintheghostmallhaveusintheir

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/266 crosshairs.Theyrepryingusopenfasterthanwe canlockourselvesdown.Butheresanotherway oflookingatit:everytimetheyaddanother featuretotheDiaB,theymakeowningaDiaB moreattractive,whichmakesiteasierforustosell accesstotheplatformtoadvertisers. thefirstfivepages,thensquaredthestackup again. Youvedonealotofworkhere,Samuel.Ican reallyseethat.

Hegotupfromhisstraightbackedchair,lifted Sammyspapersbetweenhisthumband Hackelberghelduphishands.Samuel,Ithink forefinger,andcrossedtothewall.Therewasa Iveheardenough.Yourjobistofigureoutnew shredderthere,itsmawawiderectangle,thekind businessesforustodiversifyinto.Myjobisto ofthingthatyoucanstickentirehardcoverbooks containourliabilityandprotectourbrandand (orharddrives)into.Calmly,Hackelbergfed investors.Itsoundsalottomelikeyouresaying Sammyspaperintotheshredder,fastidiously thatyouwantmetoleaveoffdoingmyjobsothat holdingthepaperclippedcornerbetweenthumb youcandoyours. andforefinger,thendroppingthecornerinonce Sammysquirmed.No,thatsnotitatall.Weboth theresthadbeendigested. wanttoprotectthebusiness.Imnotsayingthat Iwontaskyouforyourcomputer,hesaid, youneedtogivetheseguysafreeride.WhatIm settlingbackintohischair.ButIexpectthatyou sayingis,suingtheseguysisnotgoodforour willbackupyourotherdataandthensendthe business.Itcostsusmoney,goodwillitdistracts harddrivetoITtobepermanentlyerased.Idont usfromdoingourjobs. wantanyrecordofthis,period.Iwantthisdoneby Hackelbergleanedbackandlookedcoollyinto Sammyseyes.Whatareyouproposingasan alternative,then? TheideahadcometoSammyintheshowerone morning,ashementallycalculatedthesizeofhis comingquarterlybonus.Agreatidea.Outofthe boxthinking.Therightanswertothequestionthat noonehadthoughttoask.Ithadseemedso perfectthen.Now,though theendofbusinesstoday. Sammysmouthhungopen.Heshutit.Thenhe openeditagain. Abruptly,Hackelbergstood,knockinghischairto thegroundbehindhim.

Notoneword,doyouunderstandme?Notone solitaryword,yougoddamnedidiot!Wereinthe middleofbeingsuedbythesepeople.Iknowyou knowthis,sinceitsyourfaultthatitshappening. Ithinkweshouldbuythemout. Iknowthatyouknowthatthestakesaretheentire Hackelbergsthin,mirthlessgrinmadehisballs company.Now,sayajuryweretodiscoverthatwe shrivelup. wereconsideringbuyingtheseassholesout?Saya juryweretodecidethatourlitigationwasabase Sammyhelduphishands.Here,lookatthis.I drewupsomefigures.Whattheyreearning.What stratagemtolowertheaskingpricefortheir,their companyTheworddrippedwithsarcasm weearnfromthem.Growthestimatesoverthe nextfivequarters.ItsnotjustsomerandomideaI whatdoyousupposewouldhappen?Ifyou hadintheshower.Thismakessense.Hepassed hadthesenseofafiveyearold,youdhaveknown betterthantodothis.GoodChrist,Page,Ishould overasheafofpapers,repletewithpiecharts. havesecurityescortyoutothegate. Hackelbergsetitdowninthecenterofhisdesk, perfectlysquaretothecorners.Heflippedthrough Turnonyourheelandgoweepinthecorridor. Dontstandinmyofficeforonemoresecond.Get

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/267 yourcomputertoITby2PM.Iwillcheck.That goesforanyoneyouworkedwithonthis,anyone whohasacopyofthisinformation.Now,leave. Sammystoodrootedinplace.LEAVE,you ridiculouslittledogspizzle,getoutofmysight! otherhalfpanickingaboutabadguesshedmade. HethoughtofPerryandLester,thoughtofthat nightinBoston.Hedkilledtheirrideandthe partyhadgoneonallthesame.Theyhad something,inthatcrazyshantytown,something pureandhappy,somecamaraderiethathed alwaysassumedhedgetsomeday,butthathad nevermaterialized.

Sammydrewinadeepbreath.Hethoughtabout sayingsomethinglike,Youcanttalktomelike that,butitwasverylikelythatHackelbergcould talktohimjustlikethat.Hefeltlightheadedanda Ifthiswashisdreamjob,howmuchworsewould littlesick,andhebackedslowlyoutoftheoffice. unemploymentreallybe? Standinginthecorridor,hebegantoshake.He poundedtheelevatorbutton,andfelttheeyesof Hackelbergsseveresecretaryburningintohis back.Abruptly,heturnedawayandyankedopen thestaircasedoorsoharditsmashedintothewall withaloudbang.Hetookthestairsinarushof desperateclaustrophobia,wantingmorethan anythingtogetoutside,tobreatheinthefreshair. Hewouldgototheexecutivecommittee.He wouldnoterasehisnumbers.Hesetoffforhis office,movingquickly,purposefully,headup.A laststand,howexciting,whynot?

Hepilotedthelittlegolfcartdownthebackroad andwasnearlyathisbuildingsdoorwhenhe spottedthesecuritydetail.Threeofthem,in lightweightDisneycopuniforms,wearingranger Hestumbledonthewaydown,fallingacoupleof hatsandlookingaroundalertly.Hackelbergmust stepsandsmashingintothewallonthelanding. havesentthemtheretomakesurethathefollowed Hestood,pressedagainstthewall,thecoldcinder throughwithdeletinghisdata. blockonhischeek,whichfeltlikeitmightbe Hestoppedthegolfcartabruptlyandreversedout bruised.Thepainwasenoughtobringhimbackto ofthedrivewaybeforetheguardsspottedhim.He hissenses. neededtogethisfilessomewherethatHackelberg Thisisridiculous.Hehadtherightanswer. Hackelbergwaswrong.Hackelbergdidntrunthe company.Yes,itwashardtogetanythingdone withouthissignoff,butitwasntimpossible. GoingbehindHackelbergsbacktotheexecutive committeecouldcosthimhisjob,ofcourse.

wouldntbeabletoretrievethem.Hezippeddown theserviceroads,thinkingfuriously.

Theansweroccurredtohimintheformofaroad signforthePolynesianhotel.Heturnedupits driveandparkedthegolfcart.Ashesteppedout, heremovedhisemployeebadgeanduntuckedhis Ofcourse. shirt.Nowhewasjustanothersweatyfresh Sammyrealizedthathedidntactuallycareifhe arrivedtourist,Dadcomingintorendezvouswith Momandthekids,backfromsomebanalmeeting losthisjob.Oh,thethoughtmadehischest thatdelayedhisarrival,hasntevenhadtimeto constrictandthoughtsoflivinginarefrigerator boxmaterializeinhismindseye,butbeyondthat, changeintoatshirt. hereallydidntcare.Itwassuchagoddamned Heheadedstraightforthesundriesstoreand rollercoasterrideSammysmiledgrimlyatthe boughtapostagepaidWaltDisneyWorldpostcard metaphor.Youguessright,youendupontop.You withalittlemagneticpatchmountedonone guesswrong,youbottomout.Hespenthalfhis corner.Youfilledupthememorywithacouple careerlordingitoverthepoorguessersandthe hoursworthofvideoandasmanyphotosasyou

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/268 wantedandmaileditoff.Thepixelateddisplayon thefrontplayedaslideshowoftheimagesat leastonceayear,somehoneymooncouplewould missthisfactandthrowacoupleracybedroom shotsinthemix,totheperennialdelightofthe mailroom. Hehastilywrotesomebanalitiesaboutthegreat timeheandthekidswerehavinginDisneyWorld, thenheopenedhiscomputerandlookedupthe addressthattheChurchwomanhadcheckedin under.Headdressedit,simply,toSuzanne,to furtherthrowoffthescent,thenheslippeditintoa mailslotwithaprayertothegodsofjournalist shieldlaws. Hewalkedascalmlyashecouldbacktohisgolf cart,clippingonhisemployeebadgeandtucking hisshirtbackin.Thenhemotoredcalmlytohis officebuilding.TheDisneycopsweresweating underthemiddaysun. MrPage? Yes,hesaid. ImtotakeyourcomputertoIT,sir. Otherwise,wegoseethem,allright? Heheldhiscomputerouttothekid,whotookit. Letsgouptomyofficenow,hesaid. Thekidshookhishead.Imsupposedtotakethis Iknow,Iknow.Butwehaveadeal.Thekid lookedlikehewouldheadoutanyway.Andthere arebackupsinmyoffice,soyouneedtocomeand getthose,too. Thatdidit.Thekidlookedalittlegratefulasthey wentinside,wheretheairconditioningwas blowingicycold. Youshouldhavewaitedinthelobby,Luis, Sammysaid,readingthekidsnameoffhisbadge. Youmustbeboiled. Ihadinstructions,Luissaid. Sammymadeaface.Theydontsoundlikevery reasonableinstructions.Allthemorereasonto sortthisout,right?

SammyhadhissecretarygetLuisabottleofcold waterandalittleplateofgrapesandberriesoutof Idontthinkso,Sammysaid,withperfectcalm. thestashhekeptforhisvisitors,thenhecalled IthinkwellGOuptomyofficeandcalla Guignolfromhisdeskphone. meetingoftheexecutivecommitteeinstead. ItsSammy.Ineedtocallanemergencymeeting Thesecurityguardwasyoung,Latino,andskinny. oftheexeccommittee,hesaidwithoutpreamble. Hisshortbackandsideslefthisscalpexposedto ThisisaboutHackelberg,isntit? thesun.Hetookhishatoffandmoppedhis foreheadwithahandkerchief,exposingalineof Hesalreadycalledyou? acnewherehishatbandirritatedtheskin.Itmade Hewasverypersuasive. Sammyfeelsorryforthekidespecially Icanbepersuasive,too.Givemeachance. consideringthatSammyearnedmorethan20 timesthekidssalary. Youknowwhatwillhappenifyoupushthis? Thisreallyisntyourjob,Iknow,Sammysaid, wonderingwhereallthissympathyforthe laboringclasseshadcomefrom,anyway?Idont wanttomakeithardforyou.Wellgoinside.You canhangontothecomputer.Welltalktosome people.Iftheytellyoutogoahead,yougoahead. Imightsavethecompany. Youmight,Guignolsaid.Andyoumight Iknow,Sammysaid.Whatthehell,itsonlya career. YoucantkeepyourdataHackelbergisright

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/269 aboutthat. Icansendallthebackupsandmycomputerto yourofficerightnow. Iwasundertheimpressionthattheywereallon theirwaytoITfordisposal. Notyet.Theresasecuritycastmemberinmy officewithmenamedLuis.Ifyouwanttocall dispatchandhavethemdirecthimtobringthis stufftoyouinstead Sammy,doyouunderstandwhatyouredoing here? Sammysuppressedamadgiggle.Ido,hesaid. IunderstandexactlywhatImdoing.Iwantto helpyouallunderstandthat,too. Imcallingsecuritydispatchnow. Amomentlater,Luissphonerangandthekid listenedintently,noddingunconsciously.Once hedhungup,Sammypassedhimhisbackups, hardcopyandcomputer.Letsgo,hesaid. Right,Luissaid,andledtheway. ofcourse.Thelawyerwasthepictureofsaurian calm. Sammysatdownatthetableandhelpedhimselfto aglassofwater,watchingaringpoolonthe tablespolishedandwaxedwoodensurface. Samuel,Hackelbergsaid,shakinghishead.I hopeditwouldntcometothis. Sammytookadeepbreath,lookingforthatdont giveashitcalmthathadsuffusedhimbefore.It wastherestill,notaspotent,butthere.Hedrew uponit. Letsputthistothecommittee,shallwe?Imean, wealreadyknowhowwefeel. Thatwontbenecessary,Hackelbergsaid.The committeehasalreadyvotedonthis. Sammyclosedhiseyesandrubbedthebridgeof hisnose.HelookedatHackelberg,whowas smilinggrimly,ameangrinthatwentalltheway tothecornersofhiseyes.

SammylookedaroundatGuignolandthe committeemembers.Theywouldntmeethiseye. Itwasashortridetothecastingofficebuilding, GuignolgesturedLuisintotheroomandhanded whereGuignolhadhisoffice.Thewindfelt himSammyscomputer,papers,andbackups.He terrificonhisface,dryinghissweat.Ithadbeena leanedinandspokequietlytohim.Luisturned longday. andleft. Whentheypulledup,SammyletLuisleadthe Guignolclearedhisthroat.Theresnothingelse wayagain,badginginbehindhim,followinghim todiscuss,then,hesaid.Thankyouallfor uptotheseventhfloorboardroom.attheendof coming. theGoldCoastwherethemostsenioroffices Inhisheart,Sammyhadknownthiswascoming. were. Hackelbergwouldbeathimtothecommittee Guignolmetthematthedoorandtookthe neverlethimpresenthisside.Watchingthelawyer materialsfromLuis,thenusheredSammyin. getupstifflyandleavewithslow,dignifiedsteps, SammycaughtLuisseye,andLuissurprisedhim Sammyhadamomentsintuitionaboutwhatit bywinkingandslippinghimasurreptitious mustbeliketobethatmanpossessedofakind thumbsup,makingSammyfeelliketheyshareda ofcold,furiouspowerthatcamefromtelling secret. everyonethatnotobeyingyoutotheletterwould Therewereeightontheexecutivecommittee,but puttheminterribledanger.Heknewthatlineof theytravelledalot.Sammyhadexpectedtoseeno reasoning:Itwasthesameonehegotfromthe morethanfour.Thereweretwo.AndHackelberg, TSAattheairportbeforetheybenthimoverand

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/270 greasedhimup.Youcantunderstandthegrave dangerweallface.Youmustobeyme,foronlyI cankeepitatbay. ImgoingtobeagoodboyandgiveHackelberga listofeveryoneImighthaveemailedaboutthis. Allthosepeoplearelosingtheircomputerstothe Hewaitedfortherestofthecommitteetofileout. bigmagnetatIT. Noneofthemwouldmeethiseye.Thenitwasjust Butyouneveremailedmeaboutthis himandGuignol.Sammyraisedhiseyebrowsand Yousure?Imighthave.ItsthekindofthingI spreadouthishands,mimingWhathappensnow? mighthavedone.Maybeyourspamfilterateit. Youwontbeabletogetanythingproductive Youneverknow.ThatswhatITsfor. doneuntilITgetsthroughwithyourcomputer. Guignollookedangryforamoment,thenlaughed. Takesometimeoff.CallupDinahandseeifshe Youaresuchashithead.Fuckthatlawyerasshole wantstograbsomeholidaytime. anyway.Whatareyoudrivingthesedays? Wesplit,Sammysaid.Hedrankhiswaterand JustboughtanewDellLuminux,Sammysaid, stoodup.IvejustgotonequestionbeforeIgo. grinningback.Ragtop. Guignolwincedbutstoodhisground.Goahead, Whendoweleave? hesaid. Illpickyouupat6AMtomorrow.Beatthe Dontyouwanttoknowwhatthenumbers morningtraffic. lookedlike? Itsnotmyjobtooverrulelegal Suzannewasgettingsickofbreakfastinbed.It Wellgettothatinasecond.Itsnotthequestion. washardtoimaginethatsuchathingwas Thequestionis,dontyouwanttoknow? possible,butthereitwas.Lesterstoleoutfrom Guignolsighed.YouknowIwanttoknow.Of betweenthecoversbefore7AMeveryday,and courseIwanttoknow.Thisisntaboutmeand then,halfanhourlater,hewasbackwithaladen whatIwant,though.Itsaboutmakingsurewe tray,somethingneweveryday.Shedhadsteaks, dontendangertheshareholders burritos,waffles,homemadegranola,fruitsalad withGreekyogurt,andtodaytherewereeggs Soignoringthispath,stickingourheadsinthe Benedictwithfreshsqueezedgrapefruitjuice.The sand,thatsgoodfortheshareholders? trayalwayscamewithaFrenchpressoffresh No,ofcourseitsnotgoodfortheshareholders. groundKonacoffee,aclothnapkin,andher Butitsbetterthanendangeringthewhole computer,soshecouldreadthenews. company Intheory,thiswasawarmritualthatensuredthat Sammynodded.Well,howaboutifwebothtake theyhadqualitytimetogethereveryday,nomatter sometimeoffanddrivedowntoHollywood.Itd what.Inpractice,Lesterwassoanxiousaboutthe doussomegood. foodandwhethershewasenjoyingitthatshe couldntreallyenjoyit.Plus,shewasntafatkins, Sammy,Ivegotajobtodo sothreethousandcaloriebreakfastswerentgood Yeah,butwithoutyourcomputer... forher. Guignollookedathim.Whatdidyoudo? Mostofall,itwasthepressuretobeahappy ItsnotwhatIdid.ItswhatImighthavedone. couple,tohavecementedovertheoldhurtsand

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/271 startedanew.Shefeltiteverymoment,when Lesterclimbedintotheshowerwithherand soapedherback,whenhebroughthomeflowers, andwhenheclimbedintobedwithherinthe morningtoeatbreakfastwithher. Shepickedathercaviarandbliniglumlyand pokedathercomputer.Besideher,Lester hooveredupthreethousandcaloriesworthof frieddoughandclatteredonehandedonhis machine. SuzannethoughtaboutSammy.Hehadntbeen thesortofpersonshecouldbefriendswith,but shedknownplentyofhiskindinherday,andhe washardlytheworstofthelot.Hebarelyrated aboveaverageonthecorporatepsychopathmeter. Somewhereinthere,therewasarealpersonality. Shedseenit. Well,thenIguessIdbettermeetwithhim alone.

Itsoundslikehewantsadoctorpatientmeeting Thisisdelicious,babe,thanks,shesaid,withas anyway. muchsincerityasshecouldmuster.Itwasreally Orconfessorpenitent. generousandniceofhimtodothis.Shewasjusta bitteroldwomanwhocouldntbehappynomatter Youthinkhellleakyousomething. whatwasgoingoninherlife. Thatsaprettygoodworkingtheorywhenit Therewasvoicemailonhercomputer,whichwas comestothiskindofcall. unusual.Mostpeoplesentheremail.This Lesteratethoughtfully,thenreachedoverandhita originatedfromapayphoneontheFlorida keyonhercomputer,replayingthecall. Turnpike. Hesounds,what,giddy? MsChurch,thisisah,thisisapersonwhom Thatsright,hedoes,doesnthe.Maybeitsgood yourecentlyhadtheacquaintanceof,whileon news. yourholidays.Ihaveaconfidentialmatterto discusswithyou.Imtravellingtoyourlocation Lesterlaughedandtookawayherdishes,and withacolleaguetodayandshouldarrivemid whenhecamebackin,hewasnaked,strippedand morning.Ihopeyoucanmakesometimetomeet readyfortheshower.Hewasaveryhandsome withme. man,andhehadadevilishgrinashewhiskedthe blanketoffofher. Shelistenedtoittwice.Lesterleanedover. Whatsthatallabout? Yourenotgoingtobelieveit.Ithinkitsthat Disneyguy,theguyItoldyouabout.Theone Deathusedtoworkfor. Hescominghere? Apparently. Woah.DonttellPerry. Youthink? Hedtearthatguysthroatoutwithhisteeth. Lestertookabiteofblini.Imighthelp. Hestoppedatthefootofthebedandstaredather, hisgrinquirkinginawaysherecognizedinstantly. Shedidnthavetolookdowntoknowthathewas gettinghard.Inthemirrorofhiseyes,shewas beautiful.Shecouldseeitplainly.Whenshe lookedintotherealmirroratthefootofthebed, drapedwithgauzysunscarvesandcrustedaround theedgeswithkitschytouristmagnetsLester broughthome,shesawasaggy,middleaged womanwithcottagecheesecelluliteandsaddle bags. Lesterhadsleptwithmorefatkinsgirlsthanshe couldcount,womenmadeintodolllike

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/272 mannequinsbysurgeryandchemical enhancements,womenwhoreadsexmanualsin publicplacesandboastedabouttheirKegel weightliftingscores. Welikeithere. Isthere,youknow,abathroom?thecompanion asked.

Throughthere.Suzannepointed. Butwhenhelookedatherlikethat,sheknewthat shewasthemostbeautifulwomanhedeverloved, Howdoyoudealwiththesewagearoundhere? thathewoulddoanythingforher.Thatheloved Sewage?MrPage,sewageissolved.Wefeedit herasmuchashecouldeverloveanyone. intoourgeneratorsandthewasteheatrunsour condenserpurifiers.Therewastalkofbuilding WhatthehellwasIcomplainingabout?she onebigoneforthewholetown,butthatrequired thoughtashefellonherlikeastarvingman. waytoomuchcoordinationandanyway,Perrywas convincedthathavingcentralpointsoffailure ShemetSammyintheirfavoritetearoom,theone wouldbebeggingforadisaster.Iwroteaserieson it.IfyoudlikeIcansendyouthelinks. percheduponacrowsnestfourstoreysupa corkscrewbuildingwhosesuppliescameupona TheDisneyexecmadesomenoisesandatesome seriesofdumbwaitersandwinchesthatshrouded shortbread,peeredatthechalkboardmenuand itsbalconieslikevines. orderedsomeThaiicedtea. Shestakedoutthebesttable,theonewiththe panoramicviewofthewholeshantytown,and orderedaplateofthetinyshortbreadcakesthat werethehousespecialty,alongwithagigantic mugofnonfatdecafcappuccino. Sammycameupthestepsredfacedandsweaty, wearingaHawaiianshirtandBermudashorts, likesomekindoftourist.Orlikehewason holidays?Behindhimcameayoungerman,with severelittledesignerglasses,dressedinthe conventionalpoloshirtandslacksuniformofthe corporateexeconanonsuitday. Look,MsChurchSuzannethankyoufor seeingme.Iwouldhaveunderstoodcompletelyif youdtoldmetogofuckmyself. Suzannesmiledandmadeagoongesture. Beforemyfriendcomesbackfromthebathroom, beforewemeetupwithanyonefromyourside,I justwantyoutoknowthis.Whatyouvedone,its changedtheworld.Iwouldntbeheretodayifit wasntforyou.

Hehadeveryappearanceofbeingcompletely sincere.Hewasalittleroadcrazedand windblowntoday,notlikesherememberedhim Suzannesprinkledanironicwaveatthemand gesturedtothemismatchedschoolroomchairsat fromOrlando.Whatthehellhadhappenedto hertable.ThewaitressShaynacameoverwith him?Whatwasheherefor? twoglassesofwaterandapapernapkindispenser. HisfriendcamebackandSammysaid,Iordered Thementhankedherandmoppedtheirfacesand youaThaiicedtea.ThisisSuzanneChurch,the dranktheirwater. writer.MsChurch,thisisHerveGuignol,co directoroftheFloridaregionaldivisionofDisney Gooddrive? Parks. Sammynodded.Hisfriendlookednervous,likehe waswonderingwhatmighthavebeenswimming Guignolwasmoreputtogetherandstandoffish thanSammy.Heshookherhandandmade inhiswaterglass.Thisissomeplace. executivesoundinggruntsather.Hewasyoung,

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/273 andclearlyintoplayingtheroleofexec.He remindedSuzanneoffreshSiliconValley millionaireswhocouldgofrompizzaslinging hackerstosuitwearingbizdroidswhobullshitted knowledgeablyaboutEBITDAovernight. Whatthehellareyoutwoherefor? MrPage Sammy,callmeSammy,please.Didyougetmy postcard? Thatwasfromyou?Shednotbeenableto makeheadsortailsofitwhenitarrivedinthe mailthedaybeforeandshedchuckeditoutas partofsomeviralmarketingcampaignshedidnt wanttogetinfectedby. Yougotit? Ithrewitout. Sammywentslightlygreen. Butitllstillbeinthetrash,shesaid.Lester nevertakesitout,andIhavent. Um,canwegoandgetitnow,allthesame? Whatsonit? SammyandGuignolexchangedalonglook. LetspretendthatIgaveyoualongrunupto this.Letspretendthatwespentalotoftimewith meimpressingonyouthatthisisconfidential,and notforpublication.LetspretendthatIcharmed youandmadesureyouunderstoodhowmuch respectIhaveforyouandyourfriendshere Igetit,Suzannesaid,tryingnottolaugh.Not forpublicationreally! OK,letspretendallthat.NowIlltellyou: whatsonthatpostcardisthefinancialsfora DisneyParksbuyoutofyourfriendsentire operationhere.DiaBolical,theride,allofit. Suzannehadbeenexpectingalotofthings,but thiswasntoneofthem.Itwasloopy.Daffy.Not justweird,butinconceivable.Asthoughhedsaid, Isentyouourplanstocarveyourportraitonthe moonssurfacewithagreenlaser.Butshewasa pro.Shekeptherfacestillandneutral,andcalmly swallowedhercappuccino. Isee. AndtherearetherearepeopleatDisneywho feellikethisideaissodangerousthatitdoesnt evenwarrantdiscussion.Thatitshouldbe suppressed. Guignolclearedhisthroat.Thatsthe consensus,hesaid. Andnormally,Idsay,hey,sure,theconsensus. Thatsgreat.ButIlltellyou,Idrewupthese numbersbecauseIwascurious,Imacuriousguy. Iliketothinklaterally,trystuffthatmightseem sillyatfirst.Seewhereitgoes.Ivehadpretty goodinstincts. GuignolandSuzannesnortedatthesametime. Andanimperfectrecord,Sammysaid.Suzanne didntwanttolikehim,buttherewassomething forthrightabouthimthatshecouldnthelp warmingto.Therewasnosubtletyorschemingin thisguy.Whateverhewanted,youcouldseeit rightonhisface.Maybehewasapsycho,buthe wasntasneak. SoIranthesenumbersformyownamusement, toseewhattheywouldlooklike.Assumethat yourboyswant,say,30timesgrossannualrevenue forabuyout.Saythatthissettlesourlawsuitnot theirs,justours,sowedonthavetopayforthe trademarksuittogoforward.Assumethatthey generateoneDiaBolicalscaleideaeverysix monthsSuzannefoundherselfnoddingalong, especiallyatthislastone.Well,youmakethose assumptionsandyouknowwhatcomesoutofit? Suzanneletthenumbersdancebehindherown eyelids.Shedfollowedalltherelevantfinancials closelyforyears,socloselythattheywereas familiarashermonthlytakehomeandmortgage

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/274 paymentshadbeen,backwhenshehadastraight jobandastraightlife. basketbeforeLesterdevelopsadomesticinstinct andtakesoutthetrash,then,Suzannesaid, Well,youdmakeLesterandPerryverywealthy, pushingawayfromthetable.Shaynabroughtthe shesaid.Aftertheyvestedout,theydbeableto billandSammypaidit,overtippingbyafactorof ten,whichendearedhimfurthertoSuzanne.She liveofftheinterestalone. couldntabiderichpeoplewhostiffedonthetip. Sammynoddedjudiciously.Hissidekicklooked Suzannewalkedthemthroughtheshantytown, alarmed.Yup.Andforus? watchingtheirreactionsclosely.Shelikedtotake Well,assumingyourlastquarterlystatementwas newpeoplehere.Shedwitnesseditsbirthand accurate growth,thengoneawayduringitsadolescence, Wewerealittleconservative,Sammysaid.The andnowshegottoenjoyitsmaturity.Crowdsof kidsranscreechingandplayingthroughthe othermannoddedreflexively. streets,adultsnoddedatthemfromtheirwindows, Youwereveryconservative,shethought.DiaBs wiresandplumbingandantennascrowdedthe makingyouafortuneandyoudidntwantto skiesabovethem.Thewallsshimmeredwith advertisethattothecompetition. muralsandgraffitiandmosaics. Assumingthat,well,youguysearnbackyour Sammytreateditlikehehadhisthemepark, investmentin,what,18months? seemingtotakeineverydetailwitha Ifigureayear.But18monthswouldbegood. Ifyouvesttheguysoutoverthreeyears,that means 100percentROI,plusorminus200percent, Sammysaid.Forlessmoneythanwellendup spendingonourendofthelawsuit. connoisseurseye;Guignolwasmorenervous, clearlyfeelingunsafeamidthecheerful lawlessness.TheycameuponFrancisandagang ofhiskids,buildingbicyclesoutofstiffened fabricandstrongmonofilamentrecycledfrom packingcrates.

MsChurch,Francissaidgravely.Hedgivenup Guignolwasgogglingatthemboth.Sammydrank drinking,maybeforgood,andhewascleareyed hisThaiicedtea,slurpingnoisily.Hesignalledfor andcharminginhisengineerscoveralls.Thekids anotherone. boysandgirls,Suzannenotedapprovingly Andyousentmethesefinancialsonapostcard? continuedtoworkoverthebikes,buttheywere clearlywatchingwhatFranciswasupto. Therewassomequestionaboutwhethertheyd beerasedbeforeIcouldshowthemtoanyone,and Francis,pleasemeetSammyandhiscolleague, Herve.TheyrehereforastoryImworkingon. IknewtherewasnowayIdbegiventhechance torecreatethemindependently.Itseemedprudent Gentlemen,Francisistheclosestthingwehaveto amayoraroundhere. tohaveabackupcopy. Francisshookhandsallaround,butSammys Abackupcopyinmyhands? attentionwasrivetedonthebicycles. Well,atleastIknewyouwouldntgiveitup withoutafight.Sammyshruggedandofferedher Francispickedoneupwithtwofingersandhanded ittohim.Likeit?Wegotthedesignfromashop asunnysmile. inLiberia,butwemadeourownlocal Wedbettergorescuethatpostcardfromthe improvements.Thetrickisgettingthestiffenerto

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/275 stayliquidlongenoughtogetthefabricstretched outintherightproportion. Sammytooktheframefromhimandspunitin onehandlikeabaton.Andthewheels? Mostlywedosolids,whichstayintruelonger. Weusethecarbonstiffeneronaprecutroundof canvasordenim,thenfitastandardtire.Theygo outoftrueafterawhile.Youjustapplysome solventtothemandtheygosoftagainandyoure truethemwithacompassandapairoftailors shears,thenrestiffenthem.Yougetmaybefive yearsofhardridingoutofawheelthatway. saidpointedly. Suzannenodded.Imsureitdoes,shesaid.But ithasmoretodowiththeoverallqualityofpublic educationinthisstate.47thinthenationfor funding. TheywereatherandLestersplacenow.Sheled themthroughthefrontdoorandpickedupthe trashcannexttothelittletablewhereshesorted themailafterpickingitupfromherPOboxata littlestripmalldowntheroad.

Therewasthepostcard.Shehandeditsilentlyto Sammy,whohelditforamoment,thenreluctantly Sammyseyeswereroundassaucers.Hetookone passedittoGuignol.Youdbetterhangontoit, oftheprofferedwheelsandspunitbetween hesaid,andshesensedthattherewassomething opposingfingertips.Then,grinning,hepickedup biggergoingonthere. anotherwheelandthebikeframeandbeganto NowwegoseeLester,Suzannesaid. jugglethem,onetwothree,hoopla!Francis Hewasbehindthebuildinginhislittleworkshop, lookedamused,ratherthanpissedgivingup hackingDiaBolical.Therewerefivedifferent drinkhadsoftenedhistemper.Hiskidsstopped DiaBsrunningaroundhim,chuggingand workingandlaughed.Sammylaughedtoo.He transferredthewheelstohislefthand,thentossed humming.Thesmellofgoopandfuserandheat theframehightheair,spunaroundandcaughtit filledtheroom,andanairconditionerlikeajet enginelaboredtokeepthingscool.Still,itwasa andthenhandeditallbacktoFrancis.Thekids fewdegreeswarmerinsidethanout. clappedandhetookabow. Ididntknowyouhaditinyou,Guignolsaid, pattinghimontheshoulder. Sammy,sweatingandgrinninglikeafool,said, Yeah,itsnotsomethingIgetalotofchancesto doaroundtheoffice.Butdidyouseethat?Itwas lightenoughtojuggle!Imean,howexcitingisall this?Heswepthisarmaroundhishead. Betweenthesewageandthemanufacturingand allthesekidsHebrokeoff.Whatdoyoudo abouteducation,Suzanne? Lotsofkidsbusintothelocalschools,orride. Butlotsmorehomeschoolthesedays.Wedont getaveryhighcaliberofpublicschoolaround here. Mightthathavesomethingtodowithallthe residentswhodontpaypropertytax?Guignol Lester,Suzanneshoutedovertheairconditioner din,wehavevisitors. Lesterstraightenedupfromhiskeyboardand wipedhispalmsandturnedtofacethem.Heknew whotheywerebasedonhisearlierconversation withSuzanne,buthealsoclearlyrecognized Sammy. You!hesaid.YouworkforDisney? Sammyblushedandlookedaway. LesterturnedtoSuzanne.Thisguyusedtocome up,what,twice,threetimesaweek. Sammynoddedandmumbledsomething.Lester reachedoutandsnappedofftheAC,fillingthe roomwitheeriesilenceandstiflingheat.What wasthat?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/276 Imagreatbelieverincompetitiveintelligence. YouworkforDisney? wasopentotheelements,itsimpslounginginits guts,wemixsomeseriousepoxyinwithit,some carbonfibers.Theprintoutsarepractically indestructible.Therearesomekidsaroundhere whovebeenusingittoprintpartsforbicycles

TheybothworkforDisney,Lester,Suzanne said.ThisisSammyandHerve.Hervedoesnt domuchtalking,shementallyadded,butheseems Thosewereprintedonthis?Sammysaid. tobeincharge. WeranintoFrancisandhisgang,Suzanne Thatsright,Sammysaid,seemingtocometo explained. himselfatlast.Anditsanhonortoformally meetyouatlast.IruntheDiaBprogram.Isee youreafan.Ivereadquiteabitaboutyou,of course,thankstoMsChurchhere. Lestershandsclosedandopened,closedand opened.Youwere,what,youweresneaking aroundhere? HaveImentionedthatImagreatfanofyour work?Notjusttheride,either.ThisDiaBolical, well,its Whatareyoudoinghere? Suzannehadexpectedsomethinglikethis.Lester wasntlikePerry,hewouldntgooffthedeepend withthisguy,buthewasntgoingtobehisbest buddy,either.Still,someoneneededtointervene beforethismelteddownaltogether. Lester,shesaid,puttingherhandonhiswarm shoulder.Doyouwanttoshowtheseguyswhat youreworkingon? Heblewairthroughhisnoseacoupletimes,then settleddown.Heevensmiled.

Lesternodded.Yeah,itsnotperfect,though.The epoxyclogsuptheworksandtheimpsreallydont likeit.Ionlygettwoorthreedaysoutofaprinter afterIconvertit.Imworkingonchangingthemix tofixthat,though. Afterall,Guignolnotedsourly,itsnotasif youhavetopayfornewDiaBswhenyoubreak one. Lestersmilednastilyathim.Exactly,hesaid. Wevegotagreatresearchsubsidyaroundhere. Guignollookedaway,lipspursed. Thisone,Lestersaid,choosingnottonotice, thisoneistherealizationofanageoldproject. Hepointedtothetablenexttoit,whereitsimps werecarefullyfittingtogethersomeveryfine parts. Sammyleanedinclose,inspectingtheirwork. Afterasecond,hehissedlikeateakettle,then slappedhisknee.

NowLesterssmilewasmoregenuine.Helovedit Thisone,hesaid,pointingtoaDiaBolical,Ive whenpeopleappreciatedhiswork.Youfiguredit gotitrunninganexperimentalfirmwarethatletsit out? printouthollowcomponents.Theyrealotlighter YoureprintingDiaBs! andtheydontlastaslong.Buttheyrealsoway Notthewholething,Lestersaid.Alotofthe lessconsumptiveongoop.Yougetabouttentimes logicneedsanFPGAburner.Andwecantdo asmuchprintingoutofthem. someoftheconductiveelements,either.Butyeah, Suzannenotedthatthisbitofnewsturnedbothof about90percentoftheDiaBcanbeprintedina theDisneyexecsalittlegreen.Theymadealotof DiaB. moneysellinggoop,sheknew. Suzannehadntheardaboutthisone,thoughshe Thisone,Lestercontinued,pattingaDiaBthat rememberedearlierattempts,backinthegolden

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/277 NewWorkdays,thedreamofselfreplicating machines.Nowshelookedclose,leaninginnext toSammy,socloseshecouldfeelhiswarmbreath. Therewassomething,well,spookyabouttheimps buildingamachineusinganotheroneofthe machines. Its,what,itslikeitsalive,andreproducing itself,Sammysaid. Theytroopedupthestairstogether.Guignol expressedadmirationfortheweirdjunksculptures thatadornedeachlanding,madebyalocal craftswomanandinstalledbythelandlord.They sataroundthelivingroomandLesterpourediced coffeeoutofapitcherinthefridge,droppingin icecubesmoldedtolooklikelegos.

Theyrattledtheirdrinksandlooked Donttellmethisneveroccurredtoyou,Lester uncomfortablyatoneanother.Suzannelongedto whipouthercomputerandtakenotes,oratleasta said. pad,oracamera,butsherestrainedhimself. Honestly?No.Itneverdid.MrBanks,youhavea GuignollookedsignificantlyatSammy. uniquelytwisted,fuckedupimagination,andIsay Lester,Imjustgoingtosayit.Wouldyousell thatwiththewarmestadmiration. yourbusinesstous?Theride,DiaBolical,allofit? Guignolleanedin,too,staringatit. Wecouldmakeyouavery,veryrichman.You andPerry.Youwouldhavethefreedomtogoon ItssoobviousnowthatIseeit,hesaid. doingwhatyouredoing,butwedputitinour Yeah,allthereallygreatideasarelikethat, productionchain,massmarketthehelloutofit, Lestersaid. getitintoplacesyouveneverseen.Atitspeak, SammystraightenedupandshookLestershand. NewWorkwhichyouwereonlyasmallpartof, Thankyouforthetour,Lester.Youhavemanaged remembertouched20percentofAmericans.90 percentofAmericanshavebeentoaDisneypark. tosimultaneouslyimpressanddepressme.You WereabiggertouristdrawthanallofGreat areonesharpmotherfucker. Britain.Wecangiveyourideaslegs. LesterpreenedandSuzannesuppressedagiggle. Lesterbegantochuckle,thenlaugh,thenhewas Sammyheldhishanduplikehewasbeingsworn doubledover,thumpinghisthighs.Suzanneshook in.Imdeadserious,man.Thisisamazing.I herhead.Injustafewshortmoments,shed mean,wemanagesomeprettyoutofthebox gottenusedtotheidea,anditwasgrowingonher. thinkingatDisney,right?Wemaynotbeas Guignollookedgrim.Itsnotafirmofferitsa nimbleassomelittlewhackedoutcoop,butfor chancetoopenadialogue,anegotiation.Talkthe whoweareIthinkwedoagoodjob. possibilityover.Agoodnegotiationisonewhere Butyou,man,youblowusoutofthewater.This webothstartbysayingwhatwewantandworkit stuffisjustcrazy,likeitcamedownfromMars. overuntilwegettothepointwherewereleftwith Likeitsfromthefuture.Heshookhishead.Its whatwebothneed. humbling,youknow. Lesterwipedtearsfromhiseyes.Idontthink Guignollookedmorethoughtfulthanhehadto thatyougrasptheabsurdityofthissituation, thispoint.HeandLesterstaredatSammy,wearing fellas.Forstarters,Perrywillnevergoforit.I similarexpressionsofbemusement. meannever.Suzannewonderedaboutthat.And Letsgointotheapartment,Suzannesaid.We wonderedwhetheritmattered.Thetwohadhardly cansitdownandhaveachat. saidawordtoeachotherinmonths.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/278 Whatsmore,therestoftherideswillnever, never,nevergoinforit.Thatsalsoforsure. Finally,whatthefuckareyoutalkingabout?Me gotoworkforyou?Usgotoworkforyou?What willyoudo,stickMickeyintheride?Hesalready intheride,everynowandagain,asyouwell know.YougoingtomovemeuptoOrlando? Sammywaggledhisheadfromsidetoside.I haveadeepappreciationforhowweirdthisis, Lester.Totellyouthetruth,Ihaventthought muchaboutyourrideorthislittletown.Asfaras Imconcerned,wecouldjustbuyitandthenturn aroundandsellitbacktotheresidentsforone dollarwewouldntwanttoownoroperateany ofthisstuff,theliabilityistoohuge.Likewisethe otherrides.Wedontcareaboutwhatyoudid yesterdaywecareaboutwhatyouregoingtodo tomorrow. Listen,youreasmartguy.Youmakestuffthat wecantdreamof,thatwelacktheinstitutional imaginationtodreamof.Weneedthat.Whatthe hellisthepointoffightingyou,suingyou,when wecanputyouonthepayroll?Andyouknow what?Evenifwethrowanidioticsumofmoneyat you,evenifyounevermakeanythingforus,were stillaheadofthegameifyoustopmakingstuff againstus. Imputtingmycardsonthetablehere.Iknow yourpartnerisgoingtobeevenharderto convince,too.Noneofthisisgoingtobeeasy.I dontcareabouteasy.Icareaboutwhatsright. Imsickofbeinginchargeofsabotagingpeople whomakeawesomestuff.Arentyousickofbeing sabotaged?Wouldntyouliketocomeworksome placewherewellshovelmoneyandresourcesat yourprojectsandkeepthewolvesatbay? suspected,neededtobesoldontheideaalmostas muchasLesterwasnoddingalongbytheendof it. Lesterwasntthough:Yourewastingyourtime, mister.Thatsallthereistoit.Iamnotgoingtogo andworkforagiggleescapedhislips Disney.Itsjust Sammyheldhishandsupinpartialsurrender. OK,OK.Iwontpushyoutoday.Thinkaboutit. Talkitoverwithyourbuddy.Imapatientguy. Guignolsnorted.Idontwanttoleanonyou here. Theytooktheirleave,thoughSuzannefoundout laterthattheydtakenaspinaroundtheride beforeleaving.Everyonewentontheride. Lestershookhisheadatthedoorbehindthem. Canyoubelievethat? Suzannesmiledandsqueezedhishand.Youre funnyaboutthis,youknowthat?Normally,when youencounteranewidea,youliketoplaywithit, thinkitthrough,seewhatyoucanmakeofit.With this,yourenotevenwillingtonoodlewithit. Youcantseriouslythinkthatthisisagoodidea Idontknow.ItsnotthedumbestideaIveever heard.Becomeamillionaire,gettodowhatever youwant?Itllsuremakeaninterestingstory. Hegoggledather. Kidding,shesaid,thinking,Itwouldindeed makeaninterestingstory,though.Butwhereare yougoingfromhere?Areyougoingtostayhere forever? PerrywouldnevergoforitLestersaid,then stopped.

Suzannewasimpressed.Thiswasntthesameguy whomRatToothedFreddyhadsavaged.Itwasnt YouandPerry,Lester,howlongdoyouthink thesameguythatDeathWaitshaddescribed.He thatsgoingtolast. hadcomealongway.EvenGuignolwhom,she DontyougoallYokoonme,Suzanne.Weve

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/279 gotoneofthosearoundherealready IdontlikethisYokojoke,Lester.Ineverdid. HildadoesntwanttodrivePerryawayfromyou. Shewantstomaketherideswork.Anditsounds likethatswhatPerrywants,too.Whatswrong withthemdoingthat?Especiallyifyoucanget thematonofmoneytosupportit? Lesterstaredather,openmouthed.Honey Thinkaboutit,Lester.Yourmostimportant virtueisyourexpansiveimagination.Useit. Shewatchedthissinkin.Itdidsinkin.Lester listenedtoher,whichsurprisedhereverynowand again.Mostrelationshipsseemedtobe negotiationsorpossiblycompetitions.WithLester itwasaconversation. Shegavehimahugthatseemedtogoonforever. Sammywasgladhewasdriving.Themood Guignolwasin,hedhavewreckedthecar.That wasnottheplan,Sammy,hesaid.Theplanwas togetthedata,talkitover Guignoldrummedhishandsonthedashboard. Sammypulledoverandgassedup.Atthenext pumpwasaminivanwithKansasplates.Dadwas adumpyKoreanguy,Momwasadumpywhite midwesternerwithacountryandwesterndenim jacket,andthebackseatwasfilledwithvibrating children,twogirlsandaboy.Thekidswere screamingandfighting,thegirlstryingtodrawon theboysfacewithcandyflavoredlipstickand kiddiemascara,theboysquirmingmightilyand lashingoutatthemwithhisgameboy. DadandMomwerehavingtheirownheated discussionasDadgassedup,Sammy eavesdroppedenoughtohearthattheywere fightingoverDadschoiceoftakingthetollroads insteadofthecheaper,sloweralternativeroute. Thekidswereshoutingsoloud,though YoukeepthatupandwerenotgoingtoDisney World! Itwasthemagicsentence,thelitmustestfor Disneyscurrency.Asitroseandfell,sodidthe efficacyofthethreat.IfSammycould,hedtakea videooftheresulteverytimethiswasuttered.

Thefirstcasualtyofanybattleisthebattleplan, ThekidslookedatDadandshrugged.Who Sammysaid,threadingthemthroughthepressof cares?theeldestsistersaid,andgrabbedtheboy touristbussesandcommutercars. again. Ithoughtthefirstcasualtywasthetruth. SammyturnedtoGuignolandwaggledhis Theydspenttoolongattheride,thengottenstuck eyebrows.Oncehewasbackinthecar,hesaid, Youknow,itsriskydoinganything.Butriskiest intheafternoonrushhouroutofMiami.That ofallisdoingnothing. too.Look,Improposingtospendatenthofthe profitsfromtheDiaBonthisventure.Inanyother Guignolshookhisheadandpulledouthis circumstance,Iwoulddoitwithapurchaseorder. computer. Theonlyreasonitsabigdealis Hespentalotoftimelookingatthenumbers Thatitcarriesenoughlegalliabilitytodestroy whileSammyfoughttraffic.Finallyheclosedhis thecompany.Sammy,didntyoulistento computer,puthisheadbackandshuthiseyes. Hackelberg? Sammydroveon. ThereasonIstillworkatDisneyisthatitsthe Youthinkthisllwork?Guignolsaid. kindofcompanywherethelawyersdontalways Whichpart? settheagenda.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/280 Youthinkifyoubuytheseguysout Oh,thatpart.Sure,yeah,slamdunk.Theyre cheap.LikeIsay,wecouldmakebackthewhole nutjustbysettlingthelawsuit.Thehardpartis goingtobeconvincingthemtosell. AndHackelberg. Thatsyourjob,notmine. Guignolslidtheseatbacksoitwasflatasabed. WakemewhenwehitOrlando. IttookITthreedaystogetSammyhiscomputer back.Hissecretarymanagedasbestasshecould, buthewasntabletodomuchwithoutit. Hetastedhislunchandbileashisstomach twisted.Itwasntfair.Hehadarealchanceof makingthishappenanditwouldbeasourceof genuinegoodforallconcerned. HegothalfwaythroughcallingGuignolsnumber, thenputthephonedown.Hedidntknowwhoto call.Hedputhimselfinanunwinnableposition. AshecontemplatedthearticlethatFreddywould probablywrite,herealizedthathewouldalmost certainlylosehisjoboverthis,too.Maybeendup onthewrongendofalawsuit.Man,thatseemed tobehisnaturalstateatDisney.Maybehewasin thewrongjob.

Hegroanedandthumpedhimselfontheforehead. Allhewantedtodowashavegoodideasandmake Whenhegotitbackatlast,heeagerlydownloaded themhappen. hisbacklogofmail.Itbeggaredtheimagination. Basically,hewantedtobeLester. Evenafterautofilteringit,therewerehundredsof newmessages,thingshehadtopayrealattention Thenheknewwhohehadtocall. to.Whenhewasdealingwiththisstuffinlittle MsChurch? spurtseveryfewminutesalldaylong,itdidnt Werebacktothat,huh?Thatsprobablynota seemlikemuch,butitsurepiledup. goodsign. Heenlistedhissecretarytohelphimwithsorting Suzannethen. andresponding.Afteranhoursheforwardedone Sammy,yousoundlikeyoureabouttopopa backtohimwithaboldredflag. testicle.Spititout. ItwasfromFreddy.Hegotaninstantheadache, DoyouthinkIcouldgetajobwithLester? thefeelinghalfwaybetweenamigraineandthe feelingafteryoubangyourheadagainstthecorner Yourenotjoking,areyou? ofatable. Freddyfoundoutaboutthebuyoutoffer. ::Sammy,Imdisappointedinyou.Ithoughtwe Oh. werefriends.WhydoIhavetolearnaboutyour bizarreplantobuyoutGibbonsandBanksfrom Yeah. strangers.Idohopeyoullgivemeacommenton SoImgonnabeinsearchofemployment.AllI thestory? everwantedtodowascomeupwithcoolideas HedleftthefinancialswithGuignol,whohad andexecutethem beendiscreetlyshowingthemaroundtotherestof Shushnow.Freddyfoundoutaboutthis,huh? theexecutivecommitteeincloseddoor,offsite Notsurprising.Hesgotaknackforit.Itsjust meetings.Oneofthemmusthaveblabbed,though abouthisonlyvirtue. ormaybeitwasaleakatLestersend. Urgh.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/281 However,itsalsohisgreatestfailing.Ivegiven thisalotofthought,sincemylastruninwithRat ToothedFreddy. Youcallhimthattohisface? Notyet.ButIlookforwardtoit.Tellyouwhat, givemeanhourtotalktosomepeoplehere,and Illgetbacktoyou. Anhour?Anhour? Hellkeepyousquirmingforatleastthatlong. Helovestomakepeoplesquirm.Itsgood journalismshakesloosesomenew developments. Anhour? Haveyougotachoice? Anhour,then. goingonatthissecond,andImtellingyouthat youneedtoshutthisdownandweneedtotalk. Doit,Perry. Hegaveheralong,consideringlook. Please? Helookedatthelittlequeueoffourorfivepeople, pretendingnottoeavesdrop,waitingtheirturn. Sorry,folks,youheardthelady.Family emergency.Um,hereHerummagedunderthe counter,cameupwithscrapsofpaper.Mrs Torrencestearoomacrossthestreettheymake thebestcappuccinointhehood,andthepastries areallbakedfresh.Onme,OK? Comeon,Suzannesaid.Timesshort.

Sheaccompaniedhimtothemaintenancebayand theypulledthedoorsshutbehindthem.Hilda lookedupfromherrobot,wipingherhandsonher shorts.Shewasreallylovely,andthelookonher SuzannedidntknockonLestersdoor.Lester facewhenshesawPerrywaspureadoration. wouldfallintoplace,oncePerrywasin. Suzannesheartwelledupforthetwoofthem, Shefoundhimworkingtheride,Hildabackinthe suchaperfectpictureofyounglove. maintenancebay,tweakingsomeoftherobots.His ThenHildasawSuzanne,andherexpressiongrew armwasoutofthecast,butitwasnoticeably thinnerthanhisgoodleftarm,weakandpaleand guarded,tense.PerrytookHildashand. flabby. Whatsthisabout,Suzanne?hesaid. Hello,Suzanne.Hewasformal,likehealways wasthesedays,anditsaddenedher,butshe pressedon. Perry,weneedtoshutdownforawhile,its urgent. Suzanne,thisisabusytime,wejustcantshut down Shethumpedherhandonhislemonadestand counter.Cutitout,Perry.Ihaveneverbeenan alarmist,youknowthat.Iunderstandintimately whatitmeanstoshutthisplacedown.Look,I knowthatthingshaventbeensogoodbetweenus, betweenanyofus,foralongtime.ButIamyour dearfriend,andyouaremine,nomatterwhats Letmegivethistoyouinoneshot,OK?They nodded.Sheranitdownforthem.Sammyand Guignol,thepostcardandthefunnycircumstances oftheirvisitthephonecall. Soheresthething.Hewantstobuyyouguys out.Hedoesntwanttherideorthetown.Hejust wantsIdontknowthecreativity.ThePRwin. Hewantspeace.Andtherealnewsis,hesovera barrel.Freddysforcinghishand.Ifwecanmake thatproblemgoaway,wecanaskforanything. Hildasjawhungslack.Youhavetobekidding Perryshushedher.Suzanne,whyareyouhere? WhyarentyoutalkingtoLesteraboutthis?Why

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/282 hasntLestertalkedtomeaboutthis.Imean,just whatthefuckisgoingon? Shewinced.IdidnttalktoLesterbecauseI thoughthedbeeasiertosellonthisthanyouare. ThisisagoldenopportunityandIthoughtthatyou wouldbeconflictedashellaboutitandIthought ifItalkedtoyoufirst,wecouldgetpastthat.I dontreallyhaveadoginthisfight,exceptthatI wantallpartiestoendupnothatingeachother. Thatswhereyoureheadednowyouremelting downinslowmotion.Howlongsinceyouand Lesterhadaconversationtogether,letaloneareal meal?Howlongsinceweallsataroundand laughed?Everygoodthingcomestosomekindof end,andthenthereallygoodthingscometoa beginningagain. canturnhiminto Alaughingstock? Apuddleofdeliquescedorganmeat. Perrybegantolaugh.Youresayingthatyou thinkthatweshoulddothisdealforspite? Yeah,thatsthesizeofit,Suzannesaid. Iloveit,hesaid. Hildalaughedtoo.Suzanneextendedherhandto Perryandheshookit.ThensheshookwithHilda. LetsgofindLester.

Bythetimethecallcame,Sammywasreadyto explode.Hegotinagolfcartandheadedtothe YoutwoweretheNewWork.Lotsofpeoplegot AnimalKingdomLodge,whichbackedontothe blisteringlyrichoffofNewWork,butnotyou. safariparkportionoftheAnimalKingdom.He Heresachanceforyoutogetwhatyoudeserve snuckhimselfontotheroofofthegrandhotel, forachange.Yousolvethisandyoucansolveit, whichhadacommandingviewoftheartificial andnotjustforyou,butforthatDeathkid,you savanna.Hewatchedafamilyofgiraffesgraze, cangethimjusticethatthecourtswilltakefifteen usingthezoomonhisphonetoresolvethe yearstodeliver. hypnoticpatternsofthelittlecalf.Itcalmedhim. Butthesoundofhisphoneringingstartledhimso Perryscowled.Idontcareaboutmoney muchhenearlydidahalfgainerofftheroof. Yes,thatsadmirable.Ihaveoneotherthing;Ive Hearthammering,heansweredit. beensavingitforlast,waitingtoseeifyoudcome IsthisSammy? upwithitonyourown. Yes,hesaid. What? Whyistimeoftheessence? BecauseFreddysgoingtooutthisdirtball Andhowdowesolvethat? Hildagrinned.Oh,thispartIlike. Suzannelaughed.Yeah. What?Perrysaid. LandonKettlewell,thevoiceontheotherside said.Sammyknewthename,ofcourse.Buthe hadntbeenexpectingacallfromhim. Hello,MrKettlewell. Theboyshaveaskedmetonegotiatethisdealfor them.Itmakessenseitllbehardtomakethis happenwithoutmycontributions.Ihopeyou agree.

Freddysgoodatintelligencegathering,buthes Itdoesmakesense,Sammysaid notsogoodatdistinguishingtruthfromfiction.In noncommittally.Thiswasntthebestdayofhis myview,thispresentsafascinatingopportunity. life.Thegiraffesweremovingoff,butaflockof Dependingonwhatweleaktohimandhow,we

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/283 craneswaswheelingoverheadinquietsplendor. Illtellyouwherewereat.Weregoingtodoa dealwithyou,afairone.Butaconditionofthe dealisthatwearegoingtodestroyFreddy. What? Weregoingtoleakhimbadintelonthedeal. Lotsofit.Givehimawholestory.Waituntilhe publishesit,andthen putdownhisbeerandskinnedhistee,thenpulled ontheMickeyflipsthebird.Helookeddownat hischest.Itsastatement. HaveyouandLestergivenanythoughttowhere youregoingtorelocate,after? Perrydrewinadeepbreath.IthinkLesterwants tocometoOrlando.ButImgoingtogoto Wisconsin.Madison.

Sammysatdownontheroof.Thiswasgoingtobe Yourewhatnow? alongconversation. Perryhadntsaidanythingaboutthistoanyone exceptHilda.SomethingaboutthisDisneyexec,it madehimwanttospillthebeans.Icantgo Perrygroundhisteethandsqueezedhisbeer.The alongwiththis.Imgoingtobowout.Do ideaofdoingthisinabiggrouphadseemedlikea somethingnew.Ivebeeninthisshitholeforwhat goodidea.DirtyMaxswascertainlyfullof feelslikemywholelifenow. camaraderie,thesmellofroastingmeatandthe Sammylookedpoleaxed.Perry,thatwasntthe chatterofnearlyahundredvoices.HeheardHilda deal laughingatsomethingLestersaidtoher,andthere Yeah,Iknow.Butthinkaboutthis:doyouwant wereKettlewellandhiskids,fingersandfaces methereifIhateit,resentit?Besides,itsalittle stickywithsauce. lateinthedaytobackout. Lesterhadsetuptheprojectorandtheydhung Sammyreeled.Christalmighty.Well,atleast sheetsoveroneofthemuralsforascreen,and yourenotgoingtoendupmyemployee. broughtoutabunchofwirelessspeakersthat theydscatteredaroundthecourtyard.Itlooked, Franciswhohadanuncannyknackforfiguring smelled,sounded,andtastedlikeacarnival. outtherightmomenttostepintoaconversation ButPerrycouldntmeetanyoneseye.Hejust wantedtogohomeandgetunderthecovers.They wereabouttodestroyFreddy,whichhadalso seemedlikeahellofalarkatthetime,butnow sidledover.Niceshirt,Perry. Francis,thisisSammy.Francishadabottleof waterandaplateofribs,soheextendedafriendly elbow.

Perry.ItwasSammy,upfromOrlando,wearing Wevemetshowedhimthebicyclefactory. theclassicMickeygivesthefingerbootlegtee. Sammyvisiblycalmedhimself.Thatsright,you Canyougetfiredforthat?Perrypointed. did.Amazing,justamazing. Sammyshookhishead.Actually,itsofficial.I AllthisisonSammy,Perrysaid,pointingatthe hadthemproducedlastyeartheyreabigseller. hugebarbecuesmoker,thecrowdsofsticky Ifyoucantbeatem...HereHeduginthe fingeredgorgers.HestheDisneyguy. backpackhecarriedandpulledoutanother.You Hencetheshirts,huh? looklikealarge,right? Exactly. Perrytookitfromhim,helditup.Shrugging,he

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/284 Sowhatstherumpus,exactly?Francisasked. Itsallbeenhushhusharoundhereforasolid week. Ithinkwereabouttofindout,Perrysaid, noddingatthegiganticscreen,whichrippledin thesultryFloridanightbreeze,obscuredby blowingcloudsoffragrantsmoke.Itwaslitup now,showingCNNfn,twopanracialanchors talkingsilentlyintothenight. Thespeakerspoppedtolifeandgraduallythe crowdnoisesdimmed.Peoplemovedtowardthe screen,allexceptFrancisandPerryandSammy, whohungback,silentlywatchingthescreen. mad.Theypulledoffthesebizarrestuntswiththe helpofsomeofthelargestinvestmentfundsonthe planet. Perrylookedaroundattherevellers.Theywere chortling,pointingateachother,muggingforthe camera.FreddyswordsmadePerry uncomfortablemaybetherewassomethingto whathesaid.ButtherewasFrancis,unofficial mayoroftheshantytown,smilingalongwiththe rest.Theyhadntbeenperfect,buttheydleftthe worldabetterplacethantheydfoundit.

Therearemanypersonalitiesinthisstory,but tonightsinstallmenthastwomainplayers:a venturecapitalistnamedLandonKettlewellanda guestontheshowisFreddyNiedbalski,a DisneyParksseniorvicepresidentcalledSammy technologyreporterforthenotoriousBritish Page.Technically,thesetwohateeachothersguts technologypublicationTechStink.Freddyhas SammyandKettlewelltoastedeachother agreedtocomeonCountdowntobreakastory throughthebarbecuesmoke.Buttheyvebeen thatwillgoliveonTechStinkswebsiteinabout chumminguptooneanotherlatelyasthey tenminutes.Thecamerazoomedouttoshow brokeredanimprobabledealtoshafteveryoneelse Freddy,sittingbesidetheanchordeskinan armchair.Hispaunchwasmorepronouncedthanit inthesordidmess. hadbeenwhenPerryhadseenhiminMadison, Adealthatyouvegotdetailsonforustonight? andtherewassomethingwrongwithhismakeup, Exactly.Mysourceshaveturnedupreliable acolormismatchthatmadehimlooklikehed memosandotherintelligenceindicatingthatthe slatheredhimselfwithManTan.Still,hewas investorsbehindtheshantytownareabouttotake grinningevillyandlookinglikehecouldbarely overDisneyParks.Itallstemsfromalawsuitthat containhimself. wasbroughtonbehalfofasyndicateofoperators Thankyou,TaniaLuz,itsapleasure. Now,takeusthroughthestory.Youvebeen coveringitforalongtime,haventyou? Ohyes.ThisisaboutthesocalledNewWork cult,anditsaftermath.Ivebrokenaseriesof scandalsinvolvingthesecharactersovertheyears weirdsex,funnymoney,sweatshoplabor.These arethepeoplewhospentallthatmoneyinthe NewWorkbubble,andthenwentontofoundan honesttoGodslumthattheycharacterizedasa livinglaboratory.outcamethesarcastic fingerquotesbut,asnearasanyonecanwork outwasmoreofahumansubjectexperimentgone ofbizarre,trademarkinfringingridesthatwere raidedoffthebacksofcomplaintsfromDisney Parks.Theseraids,andasubsequentandvery suspiciousbeatingofanexDisneyParkemployee, ledtothecreationofaninvestmentsyndicateto fundamonsterlawsuitagainstDisneyParks,one thatcouldtakethecompanydown. Theinvestmentsyndicatefoundanunlikelyally inthepersonofSammyPage,theseniorVPfrom DisneyParks,whoworkedwiththemtopush throughaplanwheretheywouldsettlethelawsuit inexchangeforacontrollinginterestinDisney Parks.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/285 Theanchorslookedsuitablyimpressed.Around thescreen,thepartiershadgonequiet,eventhe kids,mesmerizedbyFreddysgianthead,eyes rollingwithironyandmeanhumor. storyoftheridesyouhelpedcreate.Doyouhave anycomment?

Icertainlydo.Freddy,oldbuddy,youvebeen had.WhomeveryourleakwasinDisney,hewas Andthatsjustforstarters.Thedealrequired puttingyouon.Thereisnotonesinglewordof securingthecooperationofthebeatenupex truthtoanythingyouhadtosay.Hegrinned Disneyemployee,whogoesbythenameofDeath wickedly.Sowhatelseisnew? Waitsno,really!andherequiredthathebe FreddyopenedhismouthandTjanheldupone madeavicepresidentofthenewcompanyaswell, hand.No,wait,letmefinish.Iknowitsyour runningtheFantasylandsectionoftheFlorida schticktocomeafterusthisway,youvebeenatit park.Inthenewstructure,thetwofoundersofthe foryears.Ithinkitsbecauseyouhavean NewWorkscam,PerryGibbonsandLesterBanks unrequitedcrushonSuzanneChurch. aretooverseetheDisneyficationoftheactivist Hereswhatsreallyhappening.LesterBanksand ridesaroundthecountry,sellingouttheir PerryGibbonshavetakenjobswithDisneyParks comrades,whosignedovercontroloftheir aspartofastraightforwarddeal.Theyregoingto volunteerbuiltenterprisesaspartoftheearlier doresearchanddevelopmentthere,andDisneyis lawsuit. settlingitsongoinglawsuitwithuswithaseventy Themaleanchorshookhishead.Ifthisistrue, milliondollarcashsettlement.Halfgoestothe itsthestrangestturninAmericancorporate investors.Someoftheremainderwillgotobuy history. theunderlyingtitlestotheshantytownandput Ohyes,Freddysaid.Thesepeoplearelike theminatrusttobemanagedbyacooperativeof somekindofpoison,adiseasethataffectsthe residents.Therestisgoingintoanothertrustthat judgementofallthosearoundthem willbedisbursedingrantstopeopleoperating ridesaroundthecountry.Theresanonmonetary Ifitstrue,themaleanchorcontinued,asif partofthedeal,too:allridesgetaperpetual, Freddyhadntspoken.Butisit?Ournextguest worldwidelicenseonallDisneytrademarksfor deniesallofthis,andclaimsthatMrNiedbalski useintherides. hashisfactsallwrong.TjanLeeTangisthe chairmanofMassachusettsRideTheorists,a nonprofitthatoperatesthreeofthespinoffrides inNewEngland.HeisinourBostonstudios. Welcome,MrTang. Theannouncerssmiledandnodded. Wethinkthisisaprettygoodwin.Theridesgo on.Theshantytowngoeson.LesterandPerryget todogreatworkinaheavilyresourcedlab environment.

Freddysexpressionwaspriceless:amixtureof rawterrorandcontempt.Hetriedtocoverit,but TaniaLuzturnedtoFreddy.Itseemsthatyour onlysucceededinlookingconstipated.Onthe storyisindispute.Doyouhavefurther otherhalfofthesplitscreen,Tjanbeamedsunnily comment? atthem. Freddysquirmed.Astreakofsweatcutthrough Hithere!hesaid.Greetingsfromtheblustery hispancakemakeupasthecameracameinfora Northeast. closeup.Well,ifthisistrue,Idwanttoknow MrTang,youveheardwhatourguesthastosay whyDisneywouldmakesuchagenerousoffer aboutthelatestdevelopmentsintheextraordinary

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/286 Generous?Tjansaid.Hesnorted.Wewere askingforeightbillioninpunitivedamages.They gotoffeasy! Freddyactedlikehehadntheard.Unlessthe termsofthissocalleddealarepublishedand subjecttoscrutiny Wepostedthemaboutfiveminutesago.You couldhavejustaskedus,youknow. Freddyseyesbuggedout.Wehavenowayof knowingwhetherwhatthismanissayingistrue Actually,youdo.LikeIsay,itsallonline.The dealsaresigned.Securitiesfilingsand everything. Freddygotupoutofhisseat.Wouldyoushutup andletmefinish?hescreamed. Sorry,sorry,Tjansaidwithachuckle.Hewas enjoyingthiswaytoomuch.Goon. AndwhataboutDeathWaits?Hesbeenapawn allalonginthisgameyouveplayedwithother peopleslives.Whathappenstohimasyouallget rich? heardhimmakeaphonecall,presumablytohis editor,shoutingathimtokillthearticle,nearly weepinginfrustration.TheanchorsandTjan pastedonunconvincingpokerfaces,butaround theBBQpit,itwasallhowlsoflaughter,which turnedtoshriekswhenFreddyfinallyfiguredout thathewasstillonalivemic. PerryandSammylockedeyesandgrinned.Perry tickedalittlesaluteoffhisforeheadatSammyand heftedhistee.Thenheturnedonhisheeland walkedoffintothenight,thefragrantsmellofthe barbecuesmokeandthesoundofthepartybehind him. Heparkedhiscarathomeandtrudgedupthe stairs.Hildahadpackedhersuitcasethatmorning. Hehadalotmorethanasuitcasesworthofstuff aroundtheapartment,butashethrewafewt shirtsincludinghisnewfakebootlegMickeytee andsomeunderwearinabag,hesuddenly realizedthathedidntcareaboutanyofit.

Thenhehappeneduponthebaseballglove.The cloudofoldleathersmellitemittedwhenhe pickeditupmadetearsspringintohiseyes.He hadntcriedthroughanyofthisprocess,though, andhewasntabouttostartnow.Hewipedhis Tjanshrugged.Hegotalargecashsettlement eyeswithhisforearmandreverentlysettheglove too.Heseemedprettyhappyaboutit intohisbagandshutit.Hecarriedbothbags Freddywasshaking.Youcantjustselloffyour downstairsandputtheminthetrunk,thenhe lawsuit drovetojustalittlewaysnorthoftherideand Wewerelookingtogetcompensatedforbadacts. calledHildatoletherknowhewasreadytogo. Wegotcompensatedforthem,andwedidit Shedidntsayawordwhenshegotinthecar,and withouttyingupthepubliccourts.Everybody neitherdidhe,allthewaytoMiamiairport.He wins.Hecockedhishead.Exceptyou,of tookhisfriskingandsecondaryscreeninginstoic course. silence,andoncetheywereseatedontheChicago Thiswasafuckingambush,Freddysaid, flight,heputhisheaddownonHildasshoulder pointinghisfingersatthetwocoiffedand andshestrokedhishairuntilhefellasleep. groomedanchors,whoshiedawaydramatically, makinghimlookevencrazier.Hestormedoffthe stage,cursing,everywordtransmittedbyhisstill Epilogue runningwirelessmic.Heshoutedataninvisible LesterwasinhisworkshopwhenPerrycameto securityguardtogetoutofhisway.Thenthey

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/287 seehim.Hehadtheyogamatoutandhewas goingthroughtheslowexercisesthathis physiotherapisthadassignedtohim,stretchinghis crumblingbonesandshrinkingmuscles,tryingto keepitalltogether.Hedfiredthreephysios,but Suzannekeptfindinghimnewones,and(because shelovedhim)prettierones. Hewasdownonallfours,hisassstuckwayupin theair,whenPerrycamethroughthedoor.He lookedbackthroughhisanklesandsquintedatthe upsidedownworld.Perrysexpressionwas carefullyneutral,thesameupsidedownasit wouldberightsideup.Hegruntedandwent downtohisknees,whichcrackledlikepopcorn. Thatdoesntsoundgood,Perryremarked mildly. Perrycaughthimundertheshouldersandpropped himup.Lesterfeltarushofshamecolorhis cheeks. Steadythere,cowboy,Perrysaid. Sorry,sorry,Lestermuttered. Perryloweredhimtothesofa,thenlookedaround. Yougotanythingtodrink?Water?Ididntreally expectthebuswouldtakeaslongasitdid. YouretakingthebusaroundBurbank?Lester said.Christ,Perry,thisisLosAngeles.Even homelesspeopledrivecars. Perrylookedawayandshookhishead.Thebusis cheaper.Lesterpursedhislips.Yougotanything todrink?

Inthefridge,Lestersaid,pointingtoasetof Funnyman,Lestersaid.Getoverhereandhelp nestedclaypotevaporativecoolers.Perrygrinned meup,willyou? atthejuryriggedcoolerandrummagedaroundin itsmouthforawhile.Anything,youknow, Perrywentdowninacrouchbeforehim.There wassomethingfunnyabouthiseye,thewholeside buzzy?Guarana?Caffeine,even? ofhishead.Hesmelledalittlesweatyandalittle Lestergaveanapologeticshrug.Notme,not gamy,butthefacewastheoneLesterknewso anymore.Nothinggoesintomybodywithout well.Perryheldouthisstrong,leatheryhands,and oversightbyateamofveryexpensive afteramoment,LestergraspedthemandletPerry nutritionists. draghimtohisfeet. Youdontlooksobad,Perrysaid.Maybea Theystoodfacingoneanotherforan littleskinny uncomfortablemoment,handsclaspedtogether. Lestercuthimoff.Notbadlikethepeopleyou ThenPerryflunghisarmswideandshouted, seeonTV,huh?Notbadlikethedyingones.The HereIam! fatkinshadoverwhelmedthenationshospitalsin Lesterlaughedandembracedhisoldfriend,not successivewavesofsickeneddisintegrating seenorheardfromtheselast15years. skeletonswhosebrittlebonesandruinedjoints hadoutstrippedanyonesabilitytocopewith them.Theonlythingthatkeptthecrisisfrom Lestersworkshophadasofawhereheentertained boilingoverentirelywasthefastmortalitythat visitorsandtookhisafternoonnap.Normally, followedonthefirstsymptomsdifficulty hedusehiscanetocrossfromhisworkbenchto digesting,persistentstiffness.Onceyoucouldnt thesofa,butseeingPerrythrewhimforsucha keepdownhighcalorieslurry,youjuststarvedto loopthathecompletelyforgotuntilhewasapace death. ortwoawayfromitandthenhefoundhimself flailingforsupportashishipsstartedtogiveway. Notlikethem,Perryagreed.Hehadabitof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/288 limp,Lestersaw,andhisoldbrokenarmhung slightlystiffathisside. Lestercouldntbelievehowgooditfelttobein thesameroomasPerryagainafteralltheseyears. Hisoldfriendwasmucholderthanthelasttime ImdoingOK,Lestersaid.Youwouldnt theydseeneachother.Therewasalotofgreyin believethemedicalbills,ofcourse. hisshorthair,andhishairlinewasalothigherup DontletFreddyknowyouvegotthesickness, hisforehead.Hisknuckleswereswollenand Perrysaid.Hedlovethatstory'fatkinspioneer wrinkled,andhisfacehaddeeplines,makinghim paystheprice lookcarved.Hehadtheleatheryskinofaroadside Freddy!Man,Ihaventthoughtofthatshitheelin homelessperson,andtherewerelittlescarsall overhisarmsandafewonhisthroat. Christ,adecade,atleast.Ishestillalive? HowsHilda?Lesterasked. Perryshrugged.Mightbe.Idthinkthatifhed keeledoversomeonewouldhaveaskedmetopitch Perrylookedaway.ThatsanameIhaventheard intocharterabustogopissonhisgrave. inawhile,hesaid. Lesterlaughedhard,sohardhehurthischestand Yowch.Sorry. hadtosagbackintothesofa,doingdeepyoga No,thatsOK.Igetemailblastsfromherevery breathinguntilhisribsfeltbetter. nowandagain.Sheschipperandscrappyas Perrysatdownoppositehimonthesofawitha always.Fightingthegoodfight.Fatkinsstuffagain bottleofLestersspecialthricedistilledflatwater sameaswhenImether.Funnyhowthatfight inatorpedoshapedbottle.Suzanne?heasked. nevergetsold. Good,Lestersaid.Spendsabouthalfhertime Hardyharhar,Lestersaid. hereandhalfontheroad.Writing,still. OK,wereeven,Perrysaid.Oneoneonthe Whatssheontonow? fauxpasmasterstournament. Cooking,ifyoucanbelieveit.Molecular Theychattedaboutinconsequentialitiesfora gastronomyfoodhackerswhousecentrifugesto while,storiesaboutLesterslifeasthecloseted clarifytheirconsomme.Shesaysshesnevereaten geniusatDisneyLabs,Perryslifeontheroad, better.Lastweekitwassomekidwhodwrittena gettingitinerantandseasonalworkatlittlemicro geneticalgorithmtoevolvecustomprintable factories. moleculesthatcanbridgetwounharmonius Donttheyrecognizeyou? flavorstomakethemtastegoodtogetherlike, whatdoyouneedtoaddtochocolateandsardines Me?Naw,itsbeenalongtimesinceIgot tomakethemfreakindelicious? recognized.Imjusttheguy,youknow,hes handy,keepstohimself.Probablygoingtobe Istheresuchamolecule? movingonsoon.Goodwithmoney,alwayshasa Suzannesaysthereis.Shesaidthattheymistedit quietsuggestionfortweakinganideatomakeit intoherfacewithavaporizerwhilesheatea returnalittlehigherontheinvestment. sardineonaslabofdarkchocolateandittasted Thatsyou,allright.Allexceptthekeepsto betterthananythingshedeverhadbefore. himselfpart. OK,thatsjustwrong,Perrysaid.Thetwoof Alittleolder,alittlewiser.Bettertokeepyour themweregrinningateachotherlikefools. mouthshutandbethoughtafoolthantoopenit

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/289 andremovealldoubt. ThiswastheelephantintheroomwheneverLester Thankyou,MisterTwain.YouandHuckbeenon andSuzannetalkedabouthishealth.Betweenthe twoofthem,theydpopularizedfatkins,sent theriverawhilethen? millionswingingtoRussiafortheclinics,fuelled NoHuck,hesaid.Hissmilegotsad, thecreationoftheclinicsintheUSandMexico. heartbreakinglysad.ThiswasntthePerryLester knew.Lesterwasntthesameperson,either.They Buttheyneverspokeofit.Never.NowPerrywas talkingaboutit,stilltalking: werebothbroken.Perrywasalone,though gregariousPerry,alwaysmakingfriends.Alone. theFDA,thedoctors.Thatswhatwepaythem for.ThewayIseeit,youreavictim,theirvictim. So,howlongareyoustaying? Imjustpassingthrough,buddy.Iwokeupin BurbankthismorningandIthought,Shit, LestersinBurbank,Ishouldsayhello.ButIgot placestogo. Lestercouldntsayanything.Wordsstoppered themselvesupinhismouthlikeacork.Finally,he managedtochokeout,Changethesubject,OK? Perrylookeddown.Sorry.Imoutofpractice withpeople.

Comeon,man,stayawhile.Wevegotaguest cottageoutback,alittlemotherinlawapartment. Ihopeyoullstaywithus,hesaid,thinkingI Therearefruittrees,too. hopeyouleavesoonandnevercomeback. Livingthedream,huh?Hesounded unexpectedlybitter. Lesterwasembarrassedforhiswealth.Disneyhad thrownsomuchstockathiminthebeginningand Suzannehadsoldmostofitandwiselyinvestedit inabunchofmicrofunds;addtothatthemoney shewasrakinginfromtheaffiliatesitesherJunior Woodchuckskidreportersshedtrainedandset upinbusinessran,andtheyneverhadtoworry aboutathing. Well,apartfromdying.Andworkinghere.As soonasthewordswereoutofhismouth,he wishedhecouldtakethemback.Heneverleton thathewasnthappyattheMouse,andthedying thingwell,Suzanneandhelikedtopretendthat medicalsciencewouldcurewhatithadbrought. Perry,though,hejustnoddedasifhissuspicions wereconfirmed.MustbehardonSuzanne. Youmissit,huh? Sometimes. Yousaidworkinghere Workinghere.Theysaidthattheywantedmeto comeinandhelpthemturntheplacearound,help themreinventthemselves.Benimble.Shakethings up.Butitslikewrestlingatarbaby.Youpush, yougetstuck.Youargueforsomethingbetterand theytellyoutowriteareport,thennoonereads thereport.Youtrytogetanexperimentalservice runningandnoonewillreconfigurethefirewall. Turntheplacearound?Hesnorted.Itslike turningaroundabattleshipbytappingitonthe nosewithatoothpick. Ihateworkingwithassholes.

Theyrenotassholes,thatsthething,Perry. Theyresomereallysmartpeople.Theyrenice. Wehavethemoverfordinner.Theyrefuntoeat Nowthatwashittingthenailonthehead.You lunchwith.Thethingis,everysingleoneofthem alwayswereaperceptivesonofabitch. feelsthesamewayIdo.Theyallhavecoolshit Sheneversaidfatkinswasgoodforyou.Shejust theywanttodo,buttheycantdoit. reportedthestory.Thepeoplewhoblameher Why?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/290 Itslikeanemergentproperty.Onceyougetalot ofpeopleunderoneroof,theemergentproperty seemstobecrap.Nomatterhowgreatthepeople are,nomatterhowwonderfultheirindividual ideasare,theneteffectisshit. Remindsmeofreliabilitycalculation.Likeifyou taketwocomponentsthatare90percentreliable andusetheminadesign,theoutcomeis90 percentof90percent81percent.Keepadding90 percentreliablecomponentsandyoullhave somethingthatexplodesbeforeyougetitoutof thefactory. Maybepeoplearelikethat.Ifyoure90percent nonbogusandtenpercentbogus,andyouwork withsomeoneelsewhos90percentnonbogus, youendupwithateamthats81percentnon bogus. Ilikethatmodel.Itmakesintuitivesense.But fuckme,itsdepressing.Itsaysthatallwedois magnifyeachothersflaws. Well,maybethatsthecase.Maybeflawsare multiplicative. Sowhatarevirtues? Additive,maybe.Ashallowercurve. Thatdbeaninterestingresearchproject,ifyou couldcomeupwithsomequantitative measurements. Sowhatdoyoudoaroundhereallday? Lesterblushed. What? Imbuildingbiggermechanicalcomputers, mostly.Iprintthemoutusingthenewvolumetrics andhaveresearchassistantsassemblethem. Theressomethingsoothingaboutthem.Ihavean Apple][+clonerunningentirelyonphysicalgates madeoutofextrudedplasticskulls.Ittakesupan entirebuildingoutononeofthelotsandwhen youplayPongonit,thesoundofthejawsclacking islikelisteningtocorpsebeetlesskeletonizingan elephant. IthinkIdliketoseethat,Perrysaid,laughinga little. Thatcanbearranged,Lestersaid. Theywerelikegearsthathadonceemergedfroma millwithperfectlypreciseteeth,gearsthatcould meshandspinagainsteachother,transferring energy. Theywerelikegearsthathadbeenillusedin machines,apartfromeachother,untiltheirprecise teethhadbeenchippedandbent,sothattheyno longermeshed. Theywerelikegears,connectedtooneanother andmismatched,clunkingandskipping,but runningstill,runningstill. PerryandLesterrodeinthebackofthecompany car,thedriveranoldArmenianwhodfled Azerbaijan,whomLesterintroducedasKapriel.It seemedthatLesterandKaprielwereoldfriends, whichmadesense,sinceLestercouldntdrive himself,andinLosAngeles,youdidntgo anywhereexceptbycar.Therelationshipbetween amanandhisdriverwouldbenecessarily intimate. Perrycouldntbringhimselftofeelenviousof Lesterhavingachauffeuredcar,thoughitwas clearthatLesterwasembarrassedbytheluxury.It wastoomuchlikeaninvalidssubsidytofeel excessive. Kap,Lestersaid,stirringinthenestofpaper andpartsandemptyhealthfoodpackagesthat hedmadeofthebackseat. Kapriellookedoverhisshoulderatthem.Home now?Hebarelyhadanaccent,butwhenhe turnedhishead,Perrysawthatoneearhadbeen badlymangled,leavingbehindamisshapenfistof

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/291 scar. No,Lestersaid.Letseatouttonight.How aboutMussoandFrank? MsSuzannesays Wedontneedtotellher,Lestersaid. Perryspokeinalowvoice,Lester,Idontneed anythingspecial.Dontmakeyourselfsick Perry,buddy,shutthefuckup,OK?Icanhavea steakandabeerandabigassdesserteverynow andagain.Purifiedmedicatedfatkinschowgets old.Mycolonisntgoingtofalloutofmyasshole interrorifIsendacheeseburgerdownthere. TheyparkedbehindMussoandFrankandletthe valetparkthetowncar.Kaprielwentovertothe WalkofFametotakepicturesoftheroboticmovie starsdoingacrobaticbuskingacts,andtheywent intothedarkcaveoftherestaurant,alldarkwood, darkcarpets,picturesofmoviestarsonthewalls. Themaitredgavethemalook,tiltedhishead, lookedagain.Calmly,Lesterproducedahundred dollarbillandsliditacrossthepodium. WedlikeOrsonWellesstable,please,hesaid. place,hesaid,wavingthebottleatthecelebrity caricaturesliningthewalls.Itsperfect Hollyweirdkitsch.Celebritieswhousuallyeatout insomeultramodernplacecomehere.Theycome becausetheyvealwayscometositinOrson Wellessbooth. Howsthefood? Dependsonwhatyouorder.Thegoodstuffis great.Youdownforsteaks? Imdownforwhatever,Perrysaid.Lesterwasin hismediumhere,lettingthewaiterunfoldhis napkinandlayitoverhislapwithouttakingany specialnoticeoftheoldman. Thefoodwasdelicious,andtheyevengotto glimpseacelebrity,thoughneitherPerrynor Lesterknewwhotheyoungwomanwas,norwhat shewasfamousfor.Shewassurroundedby childrenwhocameoverfromothertablesseeking autographs,andmorethanonepatronsnappeda semisubtlephotoofher. Poorgirl,Perrysaidwithfeeling.

Itsacareerdecisionhere.Youdecidetobecome famousbecauseyouwantthatkindoflife. Themaitredanelderly,elegantMexicanwitha Sometimesyouevenkidyourselfthatitlllast precisespadebeardnoddedaffably.Giveme foreverthatinthirtyyears,theyllcomeinto fiveminutes,gentlemen.Wouldyoucaretohavea MussoandFrankandaskforMiss drinkinthebar? Whatshernamestable.Anyonewhowantsto knowwhatstardomlookslikecanfindoutand TheysatatthelongcounterandPerryordereda noonebecomesastarbyaccident. Scotchandsoda.Lesterorderedwater,then switchedhisordertobeer,thennonalcoholic Youthink?Perrysaid.Imean,wewerecelebs, beer,thenbeeragain.Sorry,hesaidtothe kindof,forawhilethere waitress.Justhavinganindecisivekindofnight, Areyousayingthatthathappenedbyaccident? Iguess. Ineversetouttogetfamous PerrytriedtofigureoutifLesterhadbeen showingoffwiththecnote,anddecidedthathe hadntbeen.HedjustgonenativeinLA,anda hundredforthemaitredwhenyoureinahurry cantbemuchforaseniorexec. Lestersippedgingerlyathisbeer.Ilikethis Youtookpartinanationalmovement,Perry.You practicallyfoundedit.Whatdidyouthinkwas goingtohappen Youresayingthatwewerejustattentionwhores

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/292 No,Perry,no.Wewerentjustattentionwhores. Wewereattentionwhoresandwebuiltandran coolshit.Theresnothingwrongwithbeingan attentionwhore.Itsanattentioneconomy.If youregoingtobeaworkingstiff,youshouldpick adecentcurrencytogetpaidin.Butyoucantsit thereandtellmethatitdidntfeelgood,didnt feelgreattohaveallthosepeoplelookinguptous, followingusintobattle,throwingthemselvesatus Illthinkaboutit. Lesterfellasleeponthecarridehome,and KaprieldidntmindifPerrydidntwanttochat, sohejustrolledhiswindowsdownandwatched theLAlightsscreampastastheyhitthepremium lanesonthecrosstownfreeways,headingto LestersplaceinTopangaCanyon.Whenthey arrived,Lesterrousedhimselfheavily,clutchedhis stomach,thenracedforthehouse.Kaprielshook hisheadandrolledhiseyes,thenshowedPerryto thefrontdoorandshookhishand.

Perryhelduphishands.Hisfriendwaslooking morealivethanhehadatanytimesincePerryhad beenusheredintohisworkshop.Hesatupstraight, andtheoldglintofmischiefandgoodhumorwas Inthemorning,heprowledLesterandSuzannes placelikeaburglar.Theguesthousehadonce inhiseye. servedasLestersworkshopandithadthetelltale Isurrender,buddy,youreright.Theyordered leavingsofabusyinventordrawersandtubsof desserts,heavydiplomatpuddingsbread parts,amoldycoffeecupinadeskdrawer,pens puddingmadewithcakeandcherries,andLester andtoysandunreadpostalspaminpiles.Whatit dugin,aftermakingPerryswearnottobreathea didnthavewasakitchen,soPerryhelpedhimself wordofittoSuzanne.Heatewithsuchvisible tothekeythatLesterhadlefthimwiththenight pleasurethatPerryfeltlikeavoyeur. beforeandwanderedaroundthebighouse, Howlongdidyousayyouwereintownfor? lookingforthekitchen. Imjustpassingthrough,Perrysaid.Hehad onlyplannedonmaybeseeingLesterlongenough forlunchorsomething.Nowitseemedaforegone conclusionthathedbeputupintheguest cottage.Hethoughtaboutgettingbackonthe road.TherewasalittleganginOregonthatmade noveltyschoolsupplies,theywerealwaysramping upfortheirbusyseasonatthistimeofyear.They weregoodpeopletoworkfor. Itturnedouttobeonthesecondfloor,abitof weirdarchitecturaldesignthatwascharacteristic oftheplace,whichhadstartedasashackinthe hillsonseveralacresoflandandthengrownand grownassuccessivegenerationsofownershad addedextensions,seismicretrofitting,andnew floors.

Perryfoundthepantriesfilledwithhightech MREs,eachnutritionallybalancedandfortifiedin Comeon,whereyougottobe?Stayaweek.Ill wayscalculatedtomakeLesterashealthyas putyouonthepayrollasaconsultant.Youcan possible.Finally,hefoundasmallcupboard givelunchhourtalkstotheR&Dteam,whatever clearlydevotedtoSuzanneseating,withboxesof youwant. breakfastcerealand,wayintheback,alittlebag Lester,youjustgotthroughtellingmehowmuch ofOreos.Hemunchedthoughtfullyonthecookies whiledrinkingmoreoftheflat,thricedistilled youhateyourjob water. Thatsthebeautyofcontractingyoudontstick aroundlongenoughtohateit,andyouneverhave HeheardLestertotterintoabathroomonthefloor above,andcalledGoodmorning,upanarrow, toworryabouttheorgchart.Comeon,pal

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/293 windingstaircase. Lestergroanedbackathim,asoundthatPerry hadntheardinyears,thattheatricalohmyshit itsanotherdaysound. oroverlapping.Theyhadtokens,cardsandmoney fromseveralofthegameslaidoutaroundtherims ofthegames.

Whattheblisteringfuck?shesaidgood Heclompeddownthestairswithhiscane,wearing naturedly.LesterhadtoldherthatPerrywas apairofboxershortsandrubberslippers.Hewas around,soshedbeenpreparedforsomethingodd, gaunt,thehaironhissunkenchestgonewirygrey, butthiswasprettyamazing,evenso.Lesterheld upahandforsilenceandrolledtwodice.They andtheskinaroundhistorsosagged.Fromthe neckdown,helookedahundredyearsold.Perry skitteredacrossthefloor,oneofthemslipping throughtheheatinggrating. lookedaway. Threepoints,Perrysaid.Onefornotgoinginto Morning,bro,Lestersaid,andtookavacuum sealedpouchoutofamedicalwhiteboxoverthe thegrating,twoforgoingintothegrating. sink,toreitopen,addedpurifiedwater,andputit inthemicrowave.Thesmellwaslikewet cardboardinadumpster.Perrywrinkledhisnose. Tastesbetterthanitsmells.Orlooks,Lester said.Veryeasyonthedigestion.WhichIneed. Neverletmepigoutlikethatagain,OK? Hecollapsedheavilyintoastoolandclosedhis sunkeneyes.Withoutopeningthem,hesaid,So, areyouin? AmIin? Yougoingtocomeonboardasmyconsultant? Youwereseriousaboutthat,huh? Perry,theycantfireme.IfIquit,Ilosemy healthbennies,whichmeansIllbebrokeina month.Whichputsusatanimpasse.Impast feelingguiltyaboutdoingnothingmuchallday long,butthatdoesntmeanImnotbored. Youmakeitsoundsoattractive. Yougotsomethingbettertodo? Imin. Ithoughtwesaiditwastwopointsfornotgoing intothegrating,andonefordroppingit? Letscallit1.5pointsforeach. Gentlemen,Suzannesaid,IbelieveIaskeda question?Towit,Whattheblisteringfuck Calvinball,Lestersaid.LikeintheoldCalvin andHobbesstrips.Therulesare,therulescan neverbethesametwice. Andyouresupposedtowearamask,Perry said.Butwekeptsteppingonthepieces. Noperipheralvision,Lestersaid. Caucusrace!Perryyelled,andtookalaparound theworld.Lesterstruggledtohisfeet,then floppedbackdown. Idisbelieve,hesaid,takinguptwotensided diceandrollingthem.87,hesaid. Fine,Perrysaid.HepickedupaBattleship boardandsaid,B7,andthenhesaid,Whats thescore,anyway? Orangetoseven,Lestersaid. Whosorange? Suzannecamehomeaweeklaterandfoundthem Youare. sittingupinthelivingroom.Theydpushedallthe Shit.OK,letstakeabreak. furnitureupagainstthewallsandcoveredthe Suzannetriedtoholdinherlaughter,butshe floorwithboardgameboards,laidedgetoedge

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/294 couldnt.Sheendedupdoubledover,tears streamingdownherface.Whenshestraightened up,Lesterhobbledtoherandgavehera surprisinglystrongwelcomehomehug.He smelledlikeLester,likethemanshedsharedher bedwithalltheseyears. wasahitchinhisvoice. AllImsayingis,itdoesnthavetobethisway. Youcould

Couldwhat?hesaid.Hesoundedangry,butshe thoughtthathewasjustupset.Icouldgowork forDisney,sitinaworkshopalldaymakingcrap Perryheldouthishandtoherandsheyankedhim noonecaresabout?Bethewageslavefortheend intoalong,hardhug. ofmydays,acagedmonkeyforsomecorporate Itsgoodtohaveyouback,Perry,shesaid,once sultanszoo?ThephrasewasLesters,and shedkissedbothhischeeks. SuzanneknewthenthatPerryandLesterhadbeen talkingaboutit. Itsfantastictoseeyou,Suzanne,hesaid.He wasthinnerthansheremembered,withsnowon Lester,leaningheavilyagainstheronthesofa theroof,buthewasstillhandsomeasapirate. (theydpusheditbackintotheroom,movingaside Wemissedyou.Tellmeeverythingyouvebeen piecesoftheCalvinballgame),madeawarning soundandgaveherkneeasqueeze.Aha, upto. definitelyterritorytheydcoveredbeforethen. Itsnotinteresting,hesaid.Really. Youtwohavesomeofthefinestentrepreneurial Ifindthatdifficulttobelieve. instinctsIveeverencountered,shesaid.Perry snorted. Sohetoldthemstoriesfromtheroad,andthey wereinterestinginakindofmicrocosmsortof Whatsmore,Iveneverseenyouhappierthan way.Storiesaboutinterestingcharactershedmet, youwerebackwhenIfirstmetyou,makingstuff improbablemealshedeaten,badworking forthesheerjoyofitandsellingittocollectors. conditions,memorablerideshitched. Doyouknowhowmanycollectorswouldponyup Sothatsit?Suzannesaid.Thatswhatyouve foranoriginalGibbons/Bankstoday?Youtwo couldjustdothatforever done? Lestersmedical ItswhatIdo,hesaid. Lestersmedicalnothing.Youtwogettogether onthis,youcouldmakesomuchmoney,wecould Imnotsad,hesaid. buyLesterhisownhospital.Besides,Lester Sheshookherheadinvoluntarily.Perrystiffened. wontlastlongnomatterwhathappens.She didntsayit,butthereitwas.Shedcometogrips Whatswrongwithnotsad? withtherealityyearsago,whenhissymptomsfirst Theresnothingwrongwithit,Perry.Imshe appearedwhenallthefatkinssymptomsbegan faltered,searchedforthewords.Rememberwhen toappear.Nowshecouldthinkofitwithout Ifirstmetyou,metbothofyou,inthatghostmall? gettingthathitchinherchestthatshedgottenat Youwerentjusthappy,youwerehysterical. first.Nowshecouldgoawayforaweektowork RemembertheBoogieWoogieElmos?Thecar onastorywithoutweepingeverynight,then theydrove? dryinghereyesandcallingLestertomakesurehe wasstillalive. Perrylookedaway.Yeah,hesaidsoftly.There Andyourehappy?

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/295 Imnotsayingyouneedtodothistothe exclusionofeverythingelse,orforeverthereis noforeverforLesterbutyoutwowouldhaveto beinsanenottotryit.Lookatthisboardgame thingyouvedone Calvinball,Perrysaid. Calvinball.Right.Youweremadeforthis.You twomakeeachotherbetter.Perry,letsbehonest here.Youdonthaveanythingbettertodo. Sheheldherbreath.Ithadbeenyearssinceshed spokentoPerry,yearssinceshedhadtherightto saythingslikethattohim.Onceuponatime,she wouldnthavethoughttwice,butnow Letmesleeponit,Perrysaid. Whichmeantno,ofcourse.Perrydidntsleepon things.Hedecidedtodothings.Sometimeshe decidedwrong,buthedneverhadtrouble deciding. Thatnight,Lesterrubbedherback,thewayhe alwaysdidwhenshecamebackfromtheroad, usingthehandcreamshekeptonherendtable. Hishandshadoncebeensostrong,mechanics hands,stubbyfingeredpistonshecoulddrive tirelesslyintotheknotsinherback.Nowthey smoothedandpetted,arub,notamassage.Every timeshecamehome,itwasgentler,somehow moreloving.Butshemissedhermassages. Sometimesshethoughtsheshouldtellhimnotto botheranymore,butshewasafraidofwhatit wouldmeantoendthisritualandhowmany moreritualswouldendinitswake. Itwasthebriefestbackrubyetandthenheslid underthecoverswithher.Sheheldhimforalong time,spooninghimfrombehind,herfaceinthe napeofhisneck,kissinghiscollarbonetheway heliked,andhemoanedsoftly. Iloveyou,Suzanne,hesaid. Whatbroughtthaton? Itsjustgoodtohaveyouhome,hesaid. Youseemtohavebeentakingprettygoodcareof yourselfwhileIwasaway,gettinginsomePerry time. ItookhimtoMussoandFrank,hesaid.Iate likeapig. Andyoupaidtheprice,didntyou? Yeah.Fordays. Servesyouright.ThatPerryissuchabad influenceonmyboy. Illmisshim. Youthinkhellgo,then? Youknowhewill. Oh,honey. Somewoundsdontheal,hesaid.Iguess. Imsureitsnotthat,Suzannesaid.Heloves you.Ibetthisisthebestweekheshadinyears. Sowhywouldnthewanttostay?Lestersvoice cameoutinthepetulantnearsobshehadonly everheardwhenhewasinextremephysicalpain. Itwasavoicesheheardmoreandmoreoften lately. Maybehesjustafraidofhimself.Hesbeenon therunforalongtime.Youhavetoaskyourself, whatsherunningfrom?Itseemstomethathes spenthiswholelifetryingtoavoidhavingtolook himselfintheeye. Lestersighedandshesqueezedhimtight.Howd wegetsoscrewedup? Oh,baby,shesaid,werenotscrewedup. Werejustpeoplewhowanttodothings,big things.Anytimeyouwanttomakeadifference, youfacethepossibilitythatyoull,youknow, makeadifference.Itsaconsequenceofdoing thingswithconsequences. Gak,hesaid.YoualwaysgetsoZenkoan

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/296 whenyoureontheroad. Givesmetimetoreflect.Wereyoureading? silently.Getitoverwith,damnyou. Imin,Perrysaid,aroundamouthfulofbagel, lookingaway.

WasIreading?Suzanne,Ireadyourposts wheneverIfeellonely.Itskindoflikehavingyou Suzannesawthathehadpurplebagsunderhis homewithme. eyes,likehehadntsleptawinkallnight. Youresweet. Didyoureallyeatsardinesonsorbettoast? Dontknockit.Itsbetterthanitsounds.Lots better. Youcankeepit. ListentoMrMussoandFrankboy,youvegot nobusinesscriticizinganyoneelsesfood choices. Heheavedahappysigh.Iloveyou,Suzanne Church. Youreagoodman,LesterBanks. Perrymetthematthebreakfasttablethenext morningasSuzannewasfiddlingwiththe espressomachine,steamingsoymilkforherlatte. HeworeapairofLesterssloppydrawstringpants andatshirtforamotorcycleshopinKansasCity thatwasspottedwitholdmotoroilstains. Bomdia,hesaid,andchuckedLesteronthe shoulder.Hewascarryinghimselfwithacertain stiffness,andSuzannethought,Hereitcomes; hesgoingtosaygoodbye.PerryGibbons,you bastard. Morning,Lestersaid,brittleandchipper. PerrydugaroundonSuzannesnonmedicated foodshelfforawhileandcameupwithabagel forthetoasterandajarofpeanutbutter.Noone saidanythingwhilehedugaroundforthebig breadknife,foundthecuttingboard,toastedthe bagel,spreadpeanutbutter,andtookabite. SuzanneandLesterjustcontinuedtoeat,in uncomfortablesilence.Tellhim,Suzanneurged

Imstaying.Ifyoullhaveme.Letsmakesome stuff. Heputthebageldownandswallowed.Helooked backatLesterandthetwooldcomradeslocked eyesforalongmoment. Lestersmiled.Allright!Hedancedashuffling step,mindfulofhissorehips.Allright,buddy, fuckinA!Yeah! Suzannetriedtofadethen,tobackoutoftheroom andletthemdotheirthing,butLestercaughther armanddrewherintoanembrace,tuggingonher armwithastrengthshedforgottenhehad. Hegaveherahardkiss.Iloveyou,Suzanne Church,hesaid.Youremysavior. Perrymadeahappysoundbehindher. Iloveyou,too,Lester,shesaid,squeezinghis skinny,brittleback. LesterletgoofherandsheturnedtofacePerry. Tearsprickedhiseyes,andshefoundthatshewas cryingtoo.Shegavehimahug,andfelttheways thathisbodyhadchangedsinceshedheldhim backinFlorida,backinsomeforgottentime.He wasthicker,butstillsolid,andhesmelledthe same.Sheputherlipsclosetohisearand whispered,Youreagoodman,PerryGibbons. Lestergavehisnoticethatmorning.Thoughitwas 8PMinTehranwhenLestercalled,Sammywasat hisdesk. Whyareyoutellingmethis,Lester? ItsaysinmycontractthatIhavetogivemy noticetoyou,specifically.

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/297 WhythehelldidIputthatthere?Sammys voicesoundedfarawaynotjustinIran.It soundedlikehehadtravelledthroughtime,too. Politics,Ithink,hesaid. Hardtoremember.Probablywantedtobesure thatsomeonelikeWienerwouldntconvinceyou toquit,switchcompanies,andhireyouagain. hewantstogointobusiness?Ithoughthewas somekindofCommie. Lesterhadarushofremembrance,theemotional memoryofhowmuchhedhatedthismanand everythinghestoodfor.Whathadhappenedto himovertheyearsthathecountedthissneak,this thug,ashiscolleague?Whathadhesoldwhenhe soldout?

Notmuchriskofthatnow,Lestersaid.Lets faceit,Sammy,Idontactuallydoanythingforthe PerryGibbons,Lestersaid,anddrewina breath.PerryGibbonsisthesharpest company. entrepreneurIveevermet.Hecanthelpbutmake Nope.Thatsright.Werenotverygoodat businesses.Hesanartistwhoanticipatesthe makinguseofpeoplelikeyou. marketayearaheadofthecurve.Hecouldbea richmanahundredtimesoverifhechose. Nope. Commie?Page,yourenotfittokeephisbooks. Well,emailmeyourpaperworkandIllshoveit Thelinewentquiet,theeeriesilenceofanet around.Howmuchnoticeareyousupposedto connectionwithnopacketsroutingonit. give? Goodbye,Lester,Sammysaidatlength. Threemonths. Lesterwantedtoapologize.Hewantednottowant Yowch.Whatever.Justpackupandgohome. toapologize.Heswallowedtheapologyand Gardeningleave. disconnectedtheline. IthadbeentwoyearssinceLesterdhadany contactwithSammy,butitwasclearthatrunning Whenitwastimeforbed,Suzanneshutherlid Iranianopshadmellowedhimout.Hardertoget andputthecomputerdownbesidethesofa.She intotroublewithwomenthere,anyway. steppedcarefullyaroundthepiecesofthe HowsIrantreatingyou? Calvinballgamethatstillcoveredthelivingroom TheMiddleEastoperationissomethingelse, floorandsteppedintoapairofslippers.Sheslid boy.Youdlikeithere.Thepostwartownsall openthebackdoorandhittheswitchforthe looklikeyoursquattercitythecraziestbuildings yardsfloodlight.Thelastthingshewantedtodo youeversaw.TheylovetheDiaBsthoughweget wastripintothepool. themostfantasticdesignsthroughthefan Shepickedherwaycarefullydowntheflagstones channels....Hetrailedoff.Then,withanoteof thatledtotheworkshop,wherethelightsburned suspicion:Whatareyougoingtodonow? merrilyinthenight.Therewasnomoontonight, Ah.Nosenseinfakingit.PerryandIaregoingto andthestarswerelaidoutlikeabagofsynthetic gointobusinesstogether.Makingkinetic diamondsarrayedonapieceofblackvelourina sculptures.Liketheolddays. streetmarketstall. Noway!PerryGibbons?Youtwoareback together?Christ,werealldoomed.Hewas laughing.Sculptureslikethattoastrobot?And Shepeeredthroughthewindowbeforeshewent aroundtothedoor,thejournalistinherwantingto fixanimageofthemomentinhermindbeforeshe

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/298 movedinanddisturbedit.Thatwastheproblem withbeingareportereverythingchangedthe instantyoustartedreportingonit.Bynow,there wasntapersonalivewhodidntknowwhatit meanstobeinthepresenceofareporter.Shewas arovingPanopticon. sethigherthantheotherhalf.Eachhadasingle, starkmechanicalarmextendedbeforeit,andatthe endofeacharmwasafamiliarcrackedand fragrantbaseballglove.

LesterputaballintooneoftheglovesandPerry hammeredawayatthekeyboard.Very,very Thesceneinsidetheworkshopwaseerie.Perry slowly,theslopeshoulderedrobotdrewits andLesterstoodnexttoeachother,cheekbyjowl, mechanicalarmbackWeusedoneoftheopen hunchedoversomethingontheworkbench.Perry sourceprosthesticplans,Lesterwhisperedinthe hadacomputeropeninfrontofhim,andhewas tensemoment.Thenitlobbedasoftunderhand typing,Lesterholdingsomethingoutofsight. tosstothelopsidedone. Howmanytimeshadsheseenthistableau?How manyafternoonshadshespentintheworkshopin Florida,watchingthemhackarobot,builda sculpture,turnoutthelatesttoyforTjans amusement,Kettlewellsenrichment?The postureswereidenticalthoughtheirbodieshad changed,thehairthinnerandgrayer.Like someonehadfrozenoneofthoseinnocent momentsintimeforadecade,thenretouchedit withwizeningmakeupandhairdye. Theballarcedthroughtheairandtheotherbot repositioneditsarminaseriesofclatteringjerks. ItseemedtoSuzannethattheballwouldmissthe gloveandbounceoffoftherobotscarapace,and shewinced.Then,attheverylastsecond,the robotrepositioneditsarmwithonemorefastjerk, andtheballfellintothepocket.

Amomentlater,thelopsidedbotPerry,itwas Perry,thatwaseasytoseetossedtheballtothe roundshoulderedone,whowasclearlyherLester, Shemusthavemadeanoise,becauseLester asshedfirstknownhim.Lesterbotcaughtthe lookedupormaybeitwasjusttheuncanny, ballwithasimilarseriesofjerksandreturnedthe semipsychicbondbetweenanoldmarriedcouple. volley. Hegrinnedatherlikehewastenyearsoldandshe Itwasmagictowatchtherobotsplaytheirgame grinnedbackandwentaroundtothedoor. ofcatch.Suzannewasmesmerized,mouthopen. Hello,boys,shesaid.Theystraightenedup,both ofthemunconsciouslycradlingtheirlowbacks, andshesuppressedagrin.Mylittleboys,all grownup. Lestersqueezedhershoulderwithuncontained excitement.

TheLesterbotlobbedonetoPerrybot,butPerry botflubbedthetoss.Theballmadearesounding Darling!Lestersaid.Comehere,havealook! gongsoundasitbouncedoffofPerrybots Heputhisarmoverhershouldersandwalkedher carapace,andPerrybotwobbled. tothebench,leaningonheralittle. Suzannewinced,butLesterandPerryboth dissolvedingalesoflaughter.Shewatchedthe Itwasinpieces,butshecouldseewhereitwas Perrybottrytogetitselfreoriented,aligningits going:apairoffamiliarboxyshapes,twoof torsotofaceLesterbotandshesawthatitwas Lestersmechanicalcomputers,theircolacan funny,veryfunny,likeaparticularlygreatcartoon. registersspillingawayinalongdaisychainof wormgearsandrotatingshafts.Onefigurewas Theydothatonpurpose? bigandroundshoulderedlikeavintage Notexactlybuttheresnowaytheyregoingto refrigerator.Theotherwascockeyed,halfitsgears

DOCTOROW/MAKERS/299 beperfect,sowebuiltinabunchofstuffthat wouldmakeitfunnierwhenithappened.Itisnow officiallyafeature,notabug.Perryglowedwith pride. Isntitbadforthemtogetbeanedwitha baseball?sheaskedasLestercarefullyhanded theballtoPerrybot,wholobbedittoLesterbot again. Well,yeah.Butitskindofanartisticstatement, Perrysaid,lookingawayfromthemboth.About thewaythatfriendshipsalwayswearyoudown, likeupperandlowermolarsgrindingawayateach other. Lestersqueezedheragain.Overtime,theyll knockeachotherapart. backtobed.Lesterclimbedintobedwithhera fewminuteslaterandspoonedupagainstherback, hisfaceburiedinherneck. Shefellasleepalmostinstantly.

Acknowledgements:
ThankstoAndrewLeonardandSalonfor publishingthiswhenitwasThemepunks. ThankstoPatrickNielsenHayden,IreneGallo, PabloDefendini,JustinGolenbock,LizGorinksy, TomDohertyandthemanywonderfulpeopleat Torfortheirgoodworkputtingthisbookintothe world.

TearsprickedatSuzanneseyes.Sheblinkedthem LikewisethankstoSarahHodgson,AliceMoss away.Guys,thisisgreat.Hervoicecracked,but andVictoriaBarnsleyatHarperCollinsformaking shedidntcare.Lestersqueezedhertighter. thisbookhappenintheUK. Cometobedsoon,hon,shesaidtoLester.Im Thankstomyagents,RussellGalen,DannyBaror goingawayagaintomorrowafternoonNew andJustinManask. York,arestaurantopening. Thankstomymother,DrRoslynDoctorow,who Illberightup,Lestersaid,andkissedthetopof remainsthesharpestprooferinthebusiness. herhead.Shedforgottenthathewasthattall.He ThankstomybusinesspartnersatBoingBoing, didntstandallthewayup. thestaffofMAKE:Magazine,andtoallthe Shewenttobed,butshecouldntsleep.She makerswholetmeholdtheirskateboardswhile crossedtothewindowanddrewbackthecurtain theyweldedthekillerrobots. andlookedoutatthebackyardthescummy Andthanks,ofcourse,toAliceandPoesy,who swimmingpoolshekeptforgettingtodo somethingabout,theheavygrapefruitandlemon arethereasonforallofit. trees,theshed.Perrystoodontheshedsstoop, lookingupatthenightsky.Shepulledthecurtains aroundherselfaninstantbeforehelookedupat her. Theireyesmetandhenoddedslowly. Thankyou,shemouthedsilently. Heblewherakiss,stuckoutafoot,andthen bowedslightlyoverhisoutstretchedleg. Sheletthecurtainfallbackintoplaceandwent