In 1993 I spent a night in his 19th Century Sears kit house. It was purportedly haunted, but I didn’t care about those things; I had major problems sleeping, and those nocturnal hours of torture superseded the mystical or the supernatural. Sometime around three in the morning I began to hear loud, violent bursts of cracking or rupturing metal coming from the back yard. The small explosions were spaced out at equal intervals, like a slow Gatling gun almost. The precision timing was incredible. I stood propped on my elbow and put a watch to it and the gap of quiet time sandwiched in between the violence measured exactly two seconds every time. I stepped out to investigate with a small canister of pepper spray under my thumb. They had guns in Kansas. The capsaicin-laden extract was all I had packed and I knew it wouldn’t stand up to a fully-armed intruder. It was him. He was swinging an axe at his barbecue, methodically tearing and splitting the metal with two-second increments allotted for recuperation, assessment of damage, and perhaps savage reflection. His wife stepped out with me. She wore a heavy, black coat over her nightgown. He’ll stop when it’s finished, she said. He’s not well, you know. When he was satisfied with the carnage, which had now become an opaque, fusible pile of alkali, he dropped the tool and wiped invisible sawdust off his palms. Then he turned to us and said: it got what it deserved. I left later in the morning in a rented Chevy Lumina, up route 69, headed toward Kansas City.