By: Jane Arnest and Paul E. Schoen
Two weeks after Friday the thirteenth, Koinonians celebrated their Hallowe'en
party with plastic versions of monsters. Some of them were clever enough
to appear real, or as if dead but still creeping among us. After the party,
when the costumes were discarded and the people dispersed, there appeared
in the doorway a ghoulish figure reminiscent of the recent party but needing
Behind him a smiling face with a fuzzy bush joined him and directed
his clumsy bare-footsteps to the kitchen, where he ravenously were-wolfed
down a monstrous blob of warmed-over pork and beans. Meanwhile, the human
remnants of the party were perched in their favorite places, staring bleary-eyed
at the tube, in hopes of seeing a horror movie, while unbeknownst to them,
not twenty feet away, was beginning a most incredible and unforgettable
one-man horror show.
Suddenly, the relative quiet of the TV room was shattered by the excited
appearance of Jay. He turned to Paul and said, "Who is that guy? He's
weird!". As a disgruntled mumble arose in the kitchen as if in response,
Paul calmly explained, "Oh, that's just a hitch-hiker who's staying
for the evening. Somebody said his name was Bill".
The next day, early in the morning, Jane and Cindy were surprised when
they walked into the Gallery to be in the presence of a snoring someone
on the sofa. Cindy exclaimed to her companion, "Jane, do you know
who that is?" Jane said, "I have no idea". Cindy offered
the stranger some coffee, but he mumbled something incoherent, so they
continued on their way.
At lunch time the mysterious "Bill" dragged himself to Gramercy
and gobbled up some food, frequently using his filthy fingers as a fork.
Everyone was wondering who this stranger was, while he at the same time
was wondering what this place was, and why all of these people were here.
Jane rapped with him awhile after lunch, and she sensed that something
was lacking. In the afternoon the usual tranquillity of Gramercy was broken
repeatedly by the insane laughter of the mysterious being sprawled on the
porch. Toward the end of this rainy, dismal day, Paul came to Gramercy
and approached him as he sat sternly in a chair. The only response he would
give was a stiff nod of his head accompanied by several intense puffs of
After an uneventful supper he groped his way back to the Annex. He paused
behind a tree, and suddenly stumbled out next to Jane K. with a clump of
his foot and a mumble from his mouth. Jane jumped back to the protection
of her companion Richard, and they hastened on their way. "Bill"
made it back to the Annex, and crawled into a quiet cranny in the corner
of "George's room" to mumble and burp. His bare chest, deformed
barefeet, and glaring eyeballs made him quite unapproachable.
A short while later Paul came in, and headed to the kitchen to unlock
his stash of beer (both cans of it). He promptly popped one; this familiar
sound reverberated through the Annex into the eager ears of our strange
visitor. In an instant there appeared in the doorway his bloodshot eyes,
staring intently at the beercan. He introduced himself as Pete, and they
shook hands. Pete grimaced with pain as he withdrew his scab-encrusted
knuckles, injured in a motorcycle accident. He muttered demandingly, "Hey,
kin ah hab wun ub dem beers too, man?" Reluctantly, Paul offered him
his only other beer. Then Pete got into a rap that went about like this:
"Yuh gotta car here? I wish I kud git outta here to uh bar or sumpum,
yuh know. Mosta bars I bin in there's always sum guy fuckin' wantsa fight.
Like, one time I was in this bar with some chick. I tuk her to a show cuz
she paid for it all, she was bad, you know, and I wuz sittin there drinkin
beers right and left and this guy walks up an' calls her a pig, and I wouldn't
of minded it so much, yuh know, 'cept he tuk a swing at me so then I smashed
him real gud. Then the next day I seen him on the street all drunk so I
apologized to him an' I said she wuz a pig anyway, yah know wadda mean?
Yeah! HuhHuhHa. I mean, thass all there is to it. Yeah, mosta chicks I
know are pigs, like they don't bother to take showers and have smells coming
from them, you know, like I can't even hardly get inta the car with mosta
He ended the conversation with some rap about some "fuckin' punkins"
he had smashed in North Dakota, Fargo, his home town, that he almost got
busted for. As he spoke, he violently fondled a jack-o-lantern on the kitchen
table. Paul invited him into the TV room, but Pete just went into his nook,
grumbling about some bar he couldn't quite make.
Later, while the annex tube-watchers were engrossed in some horrible
movie, they heard an unusual noise emanating from the carriage room. Jay
and Paul went in to investigate, and found Pete erratically dropping a
softball on the floor. He acted as if it was going to bounce right up into
his clutching paws, but it barely bounced over his deformed foot. It seemed
like the only way he could tell when it hit his foot was by the different
sound it made. The entire scene clashed obscenely with the background music,
Godspell, which he described as "some kinda fuckin' church music".
Keith tried to cheer him up by playing catch with him in the courtyard,
but he gave up when he started hurling scabby knuckleballs full-speed at
him. Finally he bacame worn out or frustrated, so he returned to his bed
in the Gallery, continuing to drop the ball on the floor.
Meanwhile, the survivors of the all-night TV orgy went out for snacks;
Pete had eaten a humungous pile of popcorn prepared by Keith, so he abstained.
When we returned, someone had set the clocks back once or twice, and nobody
knew what time it was or what was happening. We were all stoned and scared
and sleepy and full of slop, so from then on anything could happen and
Later, Cindy and Jane were upstairs rapping and listening to music,
when they heard an uneven thumping noise coming toward them in the narrow
Annex hallway. Cindy bravely challenged, "Hello, who's there?"
There was but one reply, "Where's Jane?" With that Jane jumped
into the nearest closet, pretending not to hear him. Pete asked, "Can
I come in?", to which Cindy replied, "No, I'm not decent!"
Pete remarked, "Oh, far out man, hahuha!", and wandered back
down the hall. Cindy and Jane resumed their conversation.
A little while later, Marci came flying down the stairs with a blanket
wrapped around her, screaming that Pete was staggering around in the halls,
mumbling incomprehensible somethings in the mirror, turning on the showers,
and running after her. Then Cindy burst into the TV room, hysterically
shrieking, "Where's that guy?" Paul casually replied, "I
don't know, he's Ross's guest." Cindy said, "Has anybody thought
of asking him to leave?", then turned away and left.
As the night dragged on, a commercial ominously repeated, "The
ultimate in evil lurks in the Asylum", while we had our own ultimate
in horror lurking in the Gallery. Jane, suspicious and stoned, crept to
the doorway to the Gallery to hear Pete's mumbling remarks, and always
breaking into uncontrollable fits of laughter. Finally, as she approached
the den of the lurking horror, she was greeted by a flying hacksaw. This
contributed to our growing paranoia that he might be armed and dangerous,
so we confiscated the kitchen knives into our TV room fortress.
Waiting in anticipation of the worst horrors imaginable, we heard a
frantic scratching at the bottom of the TV room door. A gray fuzzy object
pushed through the widening crack. Half expecting to find the rest of his
deformed foot, we very hesitantly opened the door, only to find a frightened
cat. Eventually we became used to his moans and mumbles, and about daybreak
we fell asleep.
Later that morning, as Ross prepared to drive his guest to a convenient
expressway exit, he bade us farewell with his immortal last words, "You
all take care of yourselves!"; then he turned and muttered, "Man,
this place is really weird and so are these people."
All that was left to remind us of his visit was a scabby band-aid, which
he sloughed off in "George's room", and a half-eaten map in the
Gallery where he once lurked, and where his spirit is sure to forever haunt
us. All we can hope is that our incredible visitor took a heavy step in
the right direction.
Composed from true events on the weekend of October 28, 1972
By: Jane Arnest and Paul E. Schoen
have read this since October 22, 1996.