Walking the dog for Margaret (that yappy bastard, Tyde), Henderson had been going along the bike path in the park, clutching a paper bag (Oh, will you be a dear and get some of those, whatsit almonds, those smoky things? and the gin, of course), so enjoying his solitary bits of merriment, his half-remembered fragments of Shelley (evening must usher night, night urge the morrow), and his papery, whistled-out notes of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, when BAM, BAM, BAM, something smacks him right goodly on the crown, he lies there, and the, the rascal removes his wallet. And leaves him.

It is 5:32 PM, Saturday, October 18th, Prospect Park, Brooklyn and guests are expected at 6:00.

Oh, she’ll be mad as hell.


Seems he’s rolled into a bush, not a bad bush, luckily soft and kindly, not burred. Can’t move, couldn’t possibly get up. Can’t even touch head to assess damage, but he is sure that partial skull crushing is part of the deal, and concussion and all that jazz. He’ll probably black out soon.

Oh, fiddle, this puts a real damper on tonight’s activities. Blasted damn city. Has always insisted on Greenwich or Darien, but Margaret’s got this thing about the city, the energy, et cetera.

All senses fall aside, leaving smell. He discovers, in the post-summer world of a Brooklyn park, wafts of singed meat, cigarette smoke, blood, sweat, and Coke odors that trickle different things across his mind, his brain addled, wounded and childlike.

Yes, he definitely smells barbecue smoke, possibly hamburgers, no, no, a pork variation, an ethnic, igneous salute to curry, or cumin. Ha, that’s a good one. Igneous salute. He’ll tell Margaret that one later. God bless the person that milled the spices in that blend and lovingly picked the cut of meat for its caramelizing tendencies. His nose is full of browned scents of richness, and he’s damn hungry, picture that! Fading out in concussionville and I’m hungry. God, that would’ve made a great little conversation nabber tonight, how I was lying, zonked out of my brain, bleeding like a sorry bastard, and craving curried goat!

Would Margaret’s eyes have done that imperceptible half-close of agony or would she have reached her neck back, column of pale milk, and released that delightful chortle? Who will know.