Katie and I stand behind the blue screen totally naked. Since the NRA/NSA/RNC debacle—truthfully, my political troubles are such that I can no longer keep them separate—I have been placed on numerous watch lists. I know better than to protest the indignity, and it is a point of pride that I suffer them with pleasant acquiescence. If I got mad, then it would be clear that the joke was lost on me.
“Bend over and spread my cheeks? You betcha! Though it would be nice if you we could curl up on the couch and watch some Netflix first, ha ha!”
As he searches my orifices for contraband, I watch a nun wearing sunglasses make her way through the checkpoint. She breezes up to the guards, and they exchange words . I hear her say, “Sister Mary Gnostic.” At first I suspect that if I believed in God, his benevolent mercy would guide me through the checkpoint, but when the thought fades, I wonder if I am hearing things. I could almost swear I know that voice.
Presently we are released, and Katie says, “That was less fun than it seemed.”
I pull her against me in half-hug of support, and we board. Our seats are above the wing, which
is statistically the least likely place on the plane you will die, and I note that the nun is in the back. I will try to get a closer look once we are in the air.
We take our seats and she leans into me. “I can’t believe we are together again,” she says.
“Katie, you make me complete,” I say.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this! I never thought I would visit Uzbekistan. And it’s all possible because you are back in my life,” she says.
“I never knew you felt so strongly about the Uzbeks.”
“I feel strongly about you, silly. I love you so much, and I am so glad you have forgiven me.”
“I have,” I say. “I don’t even think it will bother me when we meet Wasserman in Paris.”
“The past is only the past,” she says. “Truthfully, I am glad he will meet us and travel the last leg in with us. I am sure he will be an able tutor for the unwashed.”
“I think so too. I’m just glad you are with me on this adventure.”
“No matter what happens, we will let nothing come between our love,” she says. “Will you promise?”
“We must wash ourselves of the past, she says,” and begins reading her copy of Ethan Frome.
I make my way back to the bathroom in order to check out the nun. Her face is buried in her magazine, and her headphones are blaring Vivaldi, so getting her to look up would be socially awkward. I make my way back to my seat. An hour later I try again. This time she is asleep with the blanket over her face
“Part action, part thriller, all comedy, The Librarian at the End of the World fires on all cylinders. Fans of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace will revel in the ridiculousness that is Miller’s America.”
“A constantly surprising picaresque journey through cultural darkness”
“A most unique rollicking story that careens from the almost familiar instantly into a world of what is happening here?
“Not so much a novel as a perpetual- motion machine: part road-show, part parable, careening between surrealism and comedy”
“Laugh out loud rambling tale of the future/present”
“Prepare to be blown away”
“A tight and cohesive fever dream”
“This book is absolutely bonkers in the best way”
“On the cutting edge of audacious literature”
“Takes madcap to a new level, blending Preston Sturges and Philip Dick”
“Outrageous and thought-provoking”
“Just blown away.”
“Fantastic and bizarre”
“Lovecraft turns Beatnik and drops acid”
“One of the absolutely most freakishly odd books I have ever read”
“It’s like E. L. James, Larry Flynt, and Hunter Thompson somehow merged their DNA”
“Even Carrie Fisher (yes, her vagina is in here) isn’t safe from this menace!”
“If you are looking for a completely unique book, this one is hot!”
“Funny and intelligent”
“Filled with hedonism, erotica and hilarity.”
“Only for strong and fearless readers.”
“Wild, trippy, fun, and sometimes profound”
“I found myself engaged, disconnected and overwhelmed all at the same time”
“No one would ever expect this”
“Imagine a world where Thin Man was co-written by Tim Leary and Douglas Adams and set in the Office staffed by assassins”
“Brilliant, raunchy, hilarious, heartfelt, and by the end, breathtaking”
“Social satire at its best”
“In the end, this romp becomes something else. It becomes a work of art, moving and funny and memorable.”
Editor’s note: Technically it is her vulva, not her vagina.