It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol or other abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.

–Thomas Pynchon

Chapter 3. The Former Congressman Swore An Air Force Hospital…

The former congressman swore an Air Force hospital had never been located in Palm Beach County. He was a hometown boy, an habitual servant of the county until coming to Washington, knew every synchronized inch of that excruciatingly opportunistic, glitz infested, captivating, terse, paralingusitically vain but royalty free compound paradise. But ever since the feral drug invasions turned sinister with the likes of Termite Conquistatdoros at the root and his grandfather Summons Conquistadoros at the helm of one of the more formidable cartels in the sector, it’s not quite the same place either of us used to question. The fact that we were surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay, safely ensconced on his 35-foot sailing vessel, girls with pearls and sunny clothing, their men, and enough to drink us into the drink had no bearing at all in this argument. But I was born there, I insisted. It’s on my birth certificate. I’ll have to show you some day, I continue with the skipper, who had once been the congressman, and candidate for governor in his earlier years. I suppose he had eyes on the White House. But right then, I was puzzled, even flummoxed by Bafalis Sportsgate’s feral insistence on negating my birthplace, and heck, why not my entire birth? No Palm Beach Air Force hospital, no me. How could my permanent record be so dramatically wrong? If all the other shenanigans tucked inside my track record didn’t already disqualify me, now I was certainly no longer able to produce a valid birth certificate, and by valid, I mean an untampered with, unforged, historically signified, all tee’s crossed and all eyes dotted, official gold standard forty-eight star birth certificate from the Great State of Florida describing my biographical grammar. And while I had heard stories about the birth of my own parents, I wondered about the natural born clause being enforced if either of my own parents could not produce an official certificate from their small town hospitals, surely razed by natural catastrophes or human interventions by now. No, the skipper must be slipping. He’s pushing eighty, and even though this was like, what, the third time I’ve tried to rein the old man in on this subject, my God, I finally took the time to locate my birth certificate in proving to myself that my hospital existed, and that the paper itself, with credence to the chain of evidence expected in civilized and totalitarian nations, had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that I was indeed a documented American, born in West Palm Beach at the Palm Beach Air Force Hospital on a certain date at a certain time to certain progenitors, with a certain inky footprint under the stern protocol of a certain certified hospital official whose embossed stamp presumed us all quite satisfied.

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