Bebop in the World

Camp on Big Frank's Creek, a watercolor by Oona

And this is Bebop Loco, baby, on the airwaves of on and off, on the fingers of the Woman of Clothing, the virgin of us all. Me and the Hootchiecutie have been driving up and down the continent. We have been up on the great East Slope of the Sierra mountains, where the towns leave off at five thousand feet and the big mountains rise straight up to some fourteen or more, where the huge vistas overengulf the little me, the small me, the humble and looking-up me. Oh, man.

Oh, man. I’m overengulfed.

And this is Bebop Lobo, baby, on the muscles of my legs, the guy with the knife on his belt, the man who can raise a tent and drive the fourwheels, who can split a willow stick in threes and predict when Big Frank the Fish will rise and what he’ll enjoy eating. I am Bebop Lobo, baby, the Night Wolf, the quickly awakening One whose dogs have spotted the giant Coyote, that wacky guy, that fun-loving mofo, that big guy. I am Bebop Lobo and I’ve got the babe from Quitobaquito with me and she sets it all down and serves it all up and remembers every inch with her hands and her ???.. what is that? What is it that she’s got? What is the cloak and why is it pictured?

And I am Bebop Loco, baby, the morning Joker, the mourning dove, the zoo of the driver, the sound of the mountains – the hills, as the people of Kim would say – the inability of the clown to say what the vistas say to him, the huge slabs of color, the absolute aridity of the American West, the little snows and glaciers clinging to the peaks, the every-footstep memories of the old people and their glass knives, the birds, the bunnies, the elks ???.