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The Terra Incognita Loft: Part 1 1981-1982

Monday, December 12th, 2016: Places, The Terra Incognita Loft.

A Place, a Family, and a Community

A phantasmagorical building in a netherworld neighborhood built on the shifting sands of a kaleidoscopic city…A decade-long parade of ambitious young artists converging from around the world in a golden age of creativity and an epic of melodrama…Finally brought to the ground by a massive earthquake.

The cast of characters: Max, Gary, James, Chuck, Ann D, Francesca, Lurch, Mark, Mary, Scott, George, “Punk Monster” Erin, Olen, Dancy, Moses, Popeye, Pigeon Man, Harvey and his bike messengers, Jon, Betsy, Kathy, Tiare, Ed, Mark N, Jim L, Joan, Annette, Yasir, OJ, Malonga, Joni, Babatunde, Reggie, Laurie, John, Penny, George Gershwin and his wife, Kim, Clara, Patricia B, Victoria, Craig B, Pake, Ann, Tia, Jack B, Larry H, Brothers towing, Frank Z, Christy C, Katie, Madeline, Andrew, Troy, Carson, Kay, Paul and Denise, Ellen, Terri, Blue Movie, Chris M, Scott R and the White Fronts, Norman S, Benjamin B, Stuart, Colossal Pictures, Patti S, Mark F, Mark P, Cary, Jack A, Guy, Michael C, Kele, Mike E, Wendell, Quinn, Leslie, and many, many others.

Prologue: The Fall of Western Civilization

The Girl squinted through smoke at the lurid porno centerfolds papering the walls, her ears ringing and her body twitching nervously under an onslaught of conflicting drumbeats. She looked down at her bare feet in the dim light of the desk lamps surrounding the stage…Over to one side the shadowy figure of her friend huddled, shivering miserably, three days off a dope binge. The sound of running water from a tape loop spread deliriously across the room, a wavering, translucent curtain of background noise. Two guitars traded funk chops. A manic drummer held to a stiff tribal roll, interrupted at random by cheesy wood block sounds from a primitive drum sequencer…She scanned the smiling, mesmerized crowd, a motley assemblage of punks, hippies, yuppies, urban commandos in camo fatigues, boys in thriftshop jackets and girls in plastic miniskirts. From all over the city they had converged and now they wouldn’t leave, they wouldn’t let the band step down, even after three sets and five hours in this musty, smoky old room with nothing but Budweiser to drink. (from Loft of Dreams)

In 1980, young people all across Western Civilization were fed up, and we artists and musicians in San Francisco were no exception. We were the beneficiaries of the 1978 assassination of our liberal mayor and a leader of the gay community and the grisly mass suicide of the San Francisco-based People’s Temple, followed in 1979 by the fundamentalist Iranian Revolution and the Three Mile Island nuclear plant meltdown. Our president Jimmy Carter wasn’t a beloved humanitarian, he was a criminal accomplice in the Three Mile Island coverup, and the bumbling figurehead of a morally bankrupt consumer society that was rotten to the core and tottering in denial, a society that offered us NO FUTURE.

Our growing anger made 1980 the peak year of the punk music-inspired multi-media art scene in San Francisco, a flowering of underground culture that’s never since been matched in the U.S., and would take years to fade away.

I’d been down south at California Institute of the Arts with my Midwestern high school friend Mark N, making rebellious music and art in response to the unfolding societal collapse, and barely scraping by on welfare and food stamps. But in April I got an engineering job in the Bay Area, and moved north to San Francisco, where I rented a one-bedroom bungalow in the multi-ethnic Mission District. My day job was boring and undemanding, leaving me plenty of energy to write poetry, make music and visual art, and join thousands of peers at underground art events and punk and post-punk shows up to five nights a week, at venues all over the city like Mabuhay Gardens, the Savoy Tivoli, JetWave, Target Video, and Valencia Tool and Die.

My little house stood on a hill, and had a full basement where I built a cheap, primitive music studio. Mark moved up from Los Angeles for the summer, and we spent a couple months unsuccessfully trying to recruit musicians for an angry, ironic new wave pop band. After he left in the fall to resume studies at CalArts, I began recruiting a series of short-term artist roommates.

The peak event of that peak year was the Western Front festival, a citywide extravaganza of international music, multimedia and performance art, in October. There, I discovered electronic music pioneers Cabaret Voltaire and Rhythm & Noise, and minimalists Young Marble Giants from Wales and SF’s own Minimal Man. CalArts had been part of the high art establishment; this was a much more exciting DIY alternative. My mind was blown and my horizons exploded by radical work that could be created in the cultural underground by unattached people like me, outside the consumer marketplace and without the support of the big institutions of society, in complete freedom.

Immediately afterward, Ronald Reagan, an arch-conservative flagrantly unqualified to lead the country, and an actor trained to lie, was elected president, and started assembling a cabinet of criminals to rape and pillage the world. The month after that, John Lennon was assassinated. Personal trauma added to the political: I fell in love with one of my brief roommates, a young painter from New England, who ended up using me to make her boyfriend jealous, by sleeping with me the night before he visited from back east.

I reacted to all this with a burst of creativity, writing angry poems and songs, drawing and painting violent, distorted figurative compositions, and working solo in my recording studio to develop an idiosyncratic new series of dark, experimental compositions, using unconventional noisemakers, sampled recordings of ambient sound, and primitive overdubbing between two cassette decks, music that fell somewhere in the broad, poorly-defined vein of post-punk.

My latest roommate was Gary, a modest and soft-spoken but deeply insightful young artist from Southern California who was equally inspired by the new music and art scene. At the beginning of 1981, I met Jon, an Iowa-born writer, critic, and dropout from a prestigious Stanford doctoral program who was outspoken, culturally voracious, and eager for an outlet for his musical and theatrical passions. And I started sleeping with Francesca, a much younger, street-smart art student from New York by way of CalArts with a caustic wit and a skeptical bent. My work in the studio had reached critical mass, and I invited musician friends from CalArts to come up and join Jon, Gary, Cesca and me in an impromptu show at Club Foot, a legendary punk club in the derelict shipyard district south of downtown. I called this one-off collaboration “Terra Incognita” – the Latin term for unknown land which had appeared on the frontier of ancient maps of the world.

I booked the space, this group of strangers and near-strangers that had never played together spent only a day rehearsing compositions I had just written, and we played the show, to a packed, mesmerized house, for hours. Very rough, but very impassioned, and none of us had ever imagined trying anything this crazy before.

Immediately after the show, I received an eviction notice. It turned out to be an illegal attempt by my corrupt landlord to get around rent control, and months later, partly due to my complaints, he was convicted and fined by the city. But in the meantime, he succeeded in kicking me out.

Framing a Dream

My stuff went into storage, and Cesca and I drifted from floor to sofa at friends’ houses and apartments all over the Bay Area, but the memory of the Club Foot show, my new friends, and the musical experimentation I’d already started, kept me energized. And I was inspired by the months I’d spent exploring the underground art scene in San Francisco and Oakland, with its storefronts, lofts, and warehouses converted by artists into communal live-work-exhibition spaces. I wasn’t just searching for a new home, I was looking to establish Terra Incognita as a community arts center. And in April, Gary told me about a loft he’d looked at with a friend, on Fifth Street in the South of Market warehouse district, just a few blocks from the center of downtown.

At that time, South of Market was one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods of San Francisco. It was the heart of the gay leather scene, with a number of underground sex clubs, but it also had public housing projects and block after block of filthy, decrepit tenements and flophouses full of junkies, convicts, the mentally ill, and poor immigrant families packed together like sardines.

The loft Gary showed me was part of a half-block tract including several industrial, retail, and tenement buildings owned by a forty-something industrialist and real estate speculator named Chuck and managed by his mistress, Ann. Chuck was doing local artists a favor by giving them low rent and unregulated space. He was only planning to hold onto this property until the new Moscone Center development, which was just beginning construction a couple of blocks away, gradually pushed up land values in the neighborhood, turning his tract into a gold mine. In the meantime, he didn’t care what we did with the dilapidated old buildings. If a fire inspector came around, Ann would temporarily switch street numbers between different doors; our building was never inspected the whole time we lived there.

Located on a busy four-lane street that channeled commuter traffic between downtown and the nearby freeway, it was a 2-1/2 story crumbling concrete shell sandwiched between wood-frame tenements, divided into upper and lower rental units, with an ornate faux-Italianate front that hadn’t been painted in decades. The cast-concrete ground floor of the lower unit was several feet below grade, and a rough wooden mezzanine had been built above it, divided into windowless warrens occupied by anarchist musicians who were refusing to pay rent.

The upper unit, reached by a long windowless staircase, was gloriously open and bright, twenty-five feet wide by a hundred feet long, with a twelve-foot open-beam ceiling, white walls, generous windows front and back, and big old-fashioned pyramid-shaped skylights. The only dividing walls were a cross-wall a third of the way back, and a partial wall around the large bathroom. Previous tenants had installed a water heater and bathtub, and in the open kitchen, an enamel sink, Wedgewood range, and fridge.

Besides the sketchy, unpredictable downstairs neighbors, separated only by an uninsulated tongue-and-groove wooden deck that had been painted battleship gray, the only negative was the tilt. The entire building leaned like the Tower of Pisa, because one side of its foundation had been undermined by an underground stream. This whole neighborhood had been built on waterfront marshland after the 1906 earthquake. The top floor was inclined about six inches across its twenty-five-foot width.

But the front of the space, dominated by five tall, arched casement windows, was clearly the perfect rehearsal hall and showplace for parties and public events. And the rent was right – $600 a month at the beginning, for 2,500 square feet – especially considering that I planned to share it with several roommates. It was all so spectacular that I hoped we’d get used to the tilt and stop noticing it after a while.

Cesca and I moved in and I started employing the building skills and tools I’d inherited from my grandpa to frame, drywall and route electricity for five private rooms at the back of the space. Before framing, I painted the wood floor a pale sky blue. I’d just started a new day job across the bridge in Berkeley, so I had to hammer and saw at night, driving the downstairs people crazy until I moved my lumber pile and grandpa’s Skilsaw up to the roof, which was accessed by a trapdoor. Up there, I had a panoramic view of downtown and the busy freeway a block away.

All the framing lumber was salvaged from industrial construction and demolition sites – a habit I’d picked up while living in a DIY group house a couple years earlier, with enterprising older friends James and Mark. Mark was an eccentric fiddle player, mechanic, and all-around handyman who had recently returned from Vietnam-era draft-evasion exile in Canada, only to suffer major injuries in a freak highway accident. Recovered in body if not in mind, he was also interested in experimental music, and I enlisted him now as a co-conspirator and third roommate. Late at night, Mark and I would drive my VW Beetle through the darkened industrial area south of us, harvesting timbers to haul back home on the roof rack. Used doors and other fixtures came from the vast Caldwell Wrecking Yard farther to the south. A contractor I met in our neighborhood taught me how to hang drywall and run wiring, and I ordered a literal ton of half-inch thick sheetrock which was unloaded one morning on the sidewalk outside. I carried it all up the three flights myself, panel by 52-pound four-by-eight panel.

Cesca’s original boyfriend, another CalArts student nicknamed “Lurch”, had been recovering from multiple knife wounds in a Central Valley hometown altercation with a Latino gang, but now he joined us, and together he and Cesca starting hanging out with punks from one of the Sixth Street flophouses a couple blocks away. She returned one evening with Scott, a smart young bike messenger and aspiring drummer with movie star looks, who became our fourth roommate and started helping with construction. Soon after that, we were joined by an older painter, slender, reserved, prematurely gray-haired Mary, who took the room with the most light, in the far southwest corner.

The room nearest the big kitchen was also the smallest and the only one with no window or skylight. Wanting to make my roommates feel more welcome, I reserved that “cavelike” chamber for myself. The floor plan had been inspired by Lurch, who pointed out that the building itself, like the South of Market street grid, was oriented diagonally, so to maximize natural light, the interior walls should also be designed on the diagonal.

At some point in my exploration of the underground art scene, I’d developed a vision of a high-ceilinged artist loft with individual bedrooms hanging like cliff dwellings above a vast, open studio space. This ceiling wasn’t really high enough to achieve that, but we could still build sleeping lofts that would just hold a bed, and would be high enough to walk under, freeing up even more studio space. So I laid out a meandering hallway to access the rooms in the back, and three of the rooms, including mine, were built with sleeping lofts that extended over the hallway, making it into a tunnel. I even built homemade ladders out of two-by-fours with 1-1/2 inch hardwood dowels as rungs.

I left the bathroom as it came: surrounded by an eight-foot-tall partial wall that didn’t reach the ceiling, and with a doorway but no door. I remember us talking about it at the beginning, and agreeing it would be in keeping with our experimental lifestyle. We did hang a sheet across the doorway for visual privacy. And later there would be a partial door. But the “open” bathroom would challenge our visitors’ sense of privacy for the rest of the decade.

Community of Misfits

During the first few weeks, Cesca and I camped at the very front below the big windows, on a mattress walled off by broken pieces of drywall. But as construction was quickly completed and we moved into our individual rooms, those of us who were anxious to start playing music set up a schedule of rehearsals. On my drive home from work, I’d stop at the liquor store next to the Roxie Theater, on 16th Street in the Mission, to pick up a couple six packs of exotic imported beer for the Terra Incognita band, which now consisted of me, Cesca, Gary, Jon, Mark, Scott, and Scott’s bike messenger pal, Betsy, a very young, classically-trained singer from Berkeley who, as it turned out, had a crush on Scott.

We were all awkward but ambitious amateurs, feeling our way, deliberately exploring music beyond genres and boundaries, without a goal or direction. I, personally, wanted to draw something new and unpredictable out of our collective unconscious minds and bodies. We had a big room full of secondhand instruments and noisemakers – including our voices – and a reel-to-reel deck that recorded at slow speed so I could just leave it turning while we lost ourselves in the music. Some of what emerged was just noise, but you could also identify echoes of ambient and industrial rhythms and harmonics, and the occasional suggestion of a TV or movie theme one of us had absorbed in childhood. The energy was high, and furniture was occasionally broken.

The turbulent story of that group is told elsewhere. But between my hammering and sawing, our late-night music sessions, and Cesca’s increasingly rebellious circle of junkies, an angry rift developed between us and our downstairs neighbors. They were also musicians, and practiced at odd hours. George, the oldest, had a concert piano on the ground floor, at which he noodled pleasantly from time to time, unfolding endless new age melodies. Erin, known to us as Punk Monster, was a blonde who dressed in black leather and chains, and had just acquired a saxophone. Her room was just below Scott’s, and when she began whaling on that sax, it was just like a primal scream.

One night during the first week of construction, the minute I fired up the Skilsaw, our downstairs neighbors ran up our staircase and started attacking our inside door with an axe. That’s when I got the message and moved the saw to the roof. But a couple months later, perhaps inspired by TI’s evening music sessions, they organized their own band and began rehearsing at midnight, to which we reciprocated with our own intervention. That story, and others from that first summer, is told in Loft of Dreams.

Our first year in the loft was also the first year of the Reagan presidency, and we found ourselves on the front lines of Reagan’s mental health disaster. When I first moved into the loft, the sidewalks were full of burly guys wearing black leather chaps and jackets, lurching shoulder to shoulder, hungover, dissipated from long nights out. But they were soon displaced by people like “Moses,” the tall, bearded longhair of indeterminate age who endlessly circled our block, dressed in rags, feeling his way along by trailing his outstretched fingers across the facades of buildings, while his eyes stared off into the distance, unseeing. And “Popeye,” the handsome, athletic-looking older man who dressed up in antique costumes – including his sailor suit – and loped dramatically out into the street, stopping rush hour traffic wearing a broad grin. Popeye lived in the large halfway house around the corner on Folsom, visible from the back of our building. He would disappear for months at a time, then show up again, looking ten years older. The South of Market crazies just got scarier as the years went by and mental health services collapsed nationwide.

The tenement on our north side housed Olen’s record shop at ground level, and above that, the flat where rock band Journey got its start. Tall, slender, seemingly ageless Olen was our protector – he said he could “take care” of parking tickets for us, and fix any other little problems with the law. His eyeballs were a vivid yellow, and he spent most of his days standing outside his door, smoking and impassively watching the world roll by. He never seemed to sell any records, but every so often, a Mercedes would pull up to his shop, guys wearing suits would get out, and business was transacted around the open trunk of the car, sometimes after transporting an ice chest inside the shop. When I asked him about it, he said he had made connections overseas while in the service, and made a little money importing foreign cars through military channels.

Shipley Street, the narrow alley at Olen’s corner, was a narrow, dark canyon of tall wood-frame tenements. The rickety building behind our loft was a halfway house for violent felons who’d just been released from prison. Its yard, behind our back wall, was a junkyard run by Dancy, a big old guy who employed the ex-cons in his salvage operations. And farther down Shipley lived Pigeon Man, who brought his shotgun out at night to shoot pigeons off powerlines and the eaves of buildings.

Brothers Towing had the ground floor of the building on our south. They were good guys trying to make it with a marginal business, and eventually the cost of competition drove them out, but they were always really nice to us. Upstairs from them was a tenement apartment hosting a series of dangerously messed up people.

Past Brothers was another artist warehouse, at the corner of Clara Street, a narrow alley like Shipley, with more artist buildings, tenements, and marginal businesses. Across Clara was Harvey’s corner store. Harvey was the Chinese-American guy who cashed paychecks for bike messengers. In the late 80s, he would move to a larger space on the corner across from Olen, with a back lot facing our loft where messengers could reinact scenes from The Road Warrior.

At a TI party organized by Mary, the painter, I met her friend Kathy, a young student at the San Francisco Art Institute. We hit it off immediately and made plans to go backpacking at Point Reyes the following weekend. It was the start of a blissful bohemian romance. She lived in the Mission on Albion Street, just around the corner from the Roxie Theater, with another female art student, and I started spending a lot of nights there.

For the July 4th holiday, I made a big pot of chili, and the band piled into my old VW Beetle and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands, where we clambered down into one of the ancient defensive bunkers overlooking the Bay and waited for the fireworks to start, listening to cassettes of our music sessions on a boom box. The music was going really well, and we were stoked.

Scott worked at the old Strand Theater on Market Street, a faded palace that offered cheap second-run movies, and one night after the program, he invited us in, to listen to our tapes on the house system. I’ll never forget sitting up in the balcony with my bandmates, looking out into the shadows of the darkened theater and listening to music we’d all created, booming on the biggest sound system we’d ever hear.

We didn’t have laundry facilities in the loft yet, there was no laundry in our neighborhood, and I was driving all the way out Mission to a laundromat I’d used in my previous location. There, one Sunday afternoon, I met George Gershwin, a sixty-something pianist who claimed to be the reincarnation of the famous composer – and a former CIA agent. George was such a thrilling storyteller that we had him and his much younger wife over for dinner, and attended a concert they gave downtown.

While I was dallying with Kathy in the Mission, the situation back at the loft with Cesca and her punk friends came to a head. Mary was sick of their late-night drunken parties, so she moved out, I moved to her room, and finally decided that Cesca had to go. She did not leave quietly.

Long Winter Nights

My new room at the back, with a wall of steel casement windows and a huge skylight overhead, brought my visual art back from several months of dormancy. I hung floodlights from the ceiling so I could work at night, and started using raw, unstretched canvas, tacking it to the wall and attacking it with charcoal and oil pastels, evoking distorted figurative compositions inspired by the drama and pathos of our little loft community. There were only three of us now, so one evening Scott showed up with Tiare, another SFAI student, who had grown up in Hawaii. She’d grown up in a creative, cosmopolitan milieu, had done some world traveling, and was steeping herself in the radical oeuvre of the Situationists at school. We all hit it off, Scott moved into Cesca’s old room, and Tiare took over Scott’s room.

As the most ambitious members of the Terra Incognita band, Jon and I were anxious to extend it beyond music into the realm of performance art. In the best tradition of political art, we began to envision a lunch-hour intervention a few blocks away, in the Financial District, that would force office workers to think twice about where they were and what they were doing. The rest of the group caught our enthusiasm in varying degrees.

It was fall, and Kathy was back in school. The pressure of her art projects was freaking her out, so that our time together was reduced to furtive nights and short weekend getaways. Scott brought home the latest single by New Order, Ceremony. My CalArts friends and I had danced to the nihilism of predecessor Joy Division before Ian Curtis’s suicide; I carried this new classic up to the turntable on the disco deck above the loft stairway, and its autumnal dirge became our new anthem. And when New Order came to the cavernous I-Beam nightclub in early November, I forced my way through the most packed house I’ve ever seen, just to get a glimpse of the dim figures onstage.

Tiare and I gravitated into a brother-and-sister relationship, and started making art together. She helped kick off the first Thanksgiving in the TI loft, a delirious party which ended in jail for Scott and me, as told in As If Apes Would Hurl. The following week, adding insult to injury, Kathy decided she couldn’t sustain a relationship alongside school any longer, and I was single again.

Loft life just got more and more intense as San Francisco fell under a record cold wave that holiday season. We had no source of heat, and the crumbling walls and rusted, warped window frames let in a constant draft, so as the temperature outside dropped toward freezing, we began sleeping together in a blanket pile in the front room, to share our body heat.

Drugs and booze also helped keep us warm. From early December on, we maintained a marathon of nightly creative sessions that lasted more than a month, with friends and colleagues streaming into the loft to pick up on our energy. Despite working full-time during the day and staying up most of the night, I somehow found time to shop for special Christmas gifts for everyone: a deluxe shaving brush, mug and soap for Mark, a cymbal for Scott, silk stockings for Tiare.

My friend Mark came up from CalArts just before Christmas, and my mother flew out from Indiana to stay in a downtown hotel. Tiare’s friend Kim, a painter and student of art star David Salle at the Art Institute, joined us for late-night drawing sessions, and Clara, a manic local drummer who reminded me of New Order’s Stephen Morris, joined Mark and I and other TI members in late-night opium jams.

Africa Invades Terra Incognita

Jon, the writer and original TI conga player, had met a professional percussionist named Annette, telling her about our loft, and immediately after New Year’s she asked if she could have her birthday party there. What made it extra appealing to me was that she knew all the local stars of African music, and the party was likely to turn into an African music jam.

When I first met him in January 1981, Jon had given me cassettes of African music. This was long before David Byrne, the Talking Heads, and Brian Eno brought out their African-inspired recordings, and many years before Paul Simon got on the bandwagon with his Graceland album. I had a natural attraction to African music – my dad had played albums by Miriam Makeba and others at home when I was a little kid.

That party, sampled in the video below, was a watershed moment for Jon and me, and a unique moment in the musical history of the world, featuring collaborations between Moroccan master Yasir Chadly, Nigerian Afrobeat founder OJ Ekemode (the mentor of Fela Kuti), Prince Joni Haastrup (another Afrobeat founder), and Malonga Casquelourd, legendary Congolese drummer, dancer, and choreographer and founder of the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland. The jamming lasted till dawn, it set the course of my music for the next fifteen years, and it inspired us to produce a series of ambitious public multi-media events, called Music & Prophecy, at the TI loft.

Walls Come Crashing Down

Traumatized by winter in the unheated loft, I bought a cheap off-brand wood stove, and Mark and I installed it, cutting a flue hole through the asphalt-and-gravel roof with great difficulty. To save money, I resumed scrounging the industrial zone south of us for scrap firewood, but pine lumber burns much too quickly to be practical in an open space with high ceilings, so we ended up huddling around the stove as if it were an outdoor campfire. Desperately poor and without a vehicle to haul wood, Mark even rolled up and burned newspaper “logs.” I got a kerosene heater for my room, but it was still cold enough back there that I could keep my beer chilled by setting it on the windowsill.

A young aspiring drummer had moved to the mezzanine level of the downstairs anarchist squat, right underneath our bedrooms, and he started driving us nuts by practicing rolls on the floor with his drumsticks, sometimes for hours. There could’ve been drugs involved – or maybe he was just trying to keep warm.

As a follow-up to Annette’s party at the beginning of January, Jon and I launched our multi-media cabaret series a month later. In addition to Yasir and his Moroccan group, OJ showed up again, and there was a new guy, another Moroccan friend of Yasir’s, who played soprano sax and soared into a spine-tingling duet with OJ’s tenor.

Now that I was single, Tiare and I were spending more and more time together. She had a habit of walking through the loft naked, and I could tell it was getting on Scott’s and Mark’s nerves. Both of them were living from hand to mouth and hadn’t been able to pay rent for the past couple of months. We’d stopped playing music together and were becoming strangers in our own home.

In March, I summoned the two of them around the kitchen table and said they would have to move out. I’ve felt bad about it ever since. I went to bed early the night they left. Tiare was out. Just as I was falling asleep, I was shocked awake by a pounding, crashing, and shattering outside my room – it sounded like someone was trying to tear the building down – followed by the thunder of somebody big running down the hall and out the door. I was terrified, and just lay there for a while in the dark taking deep, silent breaths.

Mark, who tends to keep his frustrations bottled up inside, had reached the breaking point, but it wasn’t me he was mad at, it was Tiare. He seemed to blame her for my decision. He’d taken a hammer to the window in his room, to the wall between him and Tiare, and the glass panes of her door. As it turned out, I would end up demolishing that wall anyway. It was the end of the first phase of Terra Incognita, and the beginning of the next one.

  1. Mae Swanbeck says:

    Great Piece. I remember the loft, vaguely having been there only once. But I do remember your gigs and they were very, very good.

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