Possible home of Major Warden

Or maybe one of these



Operator, said Cathy, I need the street address for a phone number.

Yes, I know it’s not standard procedure. I’m calling from the law offices of Garry, McTernan and Stender. We have reason to believe a client of ours may be in some trouble and her number has been disconnected.

Yes, the number is a military number, and you’d be doing me a real favor. We were strong supporters of the phone workers’ strike last year, and we urgently need this information.

Why thank you. Thank you, sister.



The mesh of the lovely world that pays no heed to the mess we’re in and that we — tight inside our nervous bodies — ignore for days and weeks, caught Cathy at the Divisadero Street summit, driving north. Wham! there was the San Francisco Bay blue as a Oaxacan door, dappled with sailboats, as easy with itself as she was not.

She had to pull over, lean on the wheel, breathe it in, reconcile herself. We’ve never travelled further together than Stinson Beach for something other than a meeting. The calm sails frightened her. She released the brake, dipped the Ford on the downhill run to the Bay, skated like a gull on the whitecaps, white sails, white clouds, until Lombard Street where all the perfect beauty dropped behind a billboard for Johnny Walker Red.

No guards halted her at the gate; the Presidio Military Reservation was, after all, a highlight of the 49-mile scenic drive; still it was enemy territory, a beachhead of the war. She asked directions from an enlisted man at the cemetery, lost herself on rank-based winding roads, came to the Funston Avenue address, an officer’s white-columned house. She passed, turned, parked down the road, watched the house, came up with no smarter plan than she had the night before. No dressing-up, no lipstick. Paint and a skirt won’t change what Jennifer thinks, yet she checked herself in the mirror before she left. For what? Out-of-placeness.

“Yes?” said Jennifer Warden with an up-and-down class, race, and style check, “what do you want?”

“I’m Cathy Cohen, Jennifer. I —”

“Oh no.” She pulled the screen door closed between them, latched it, but did not close the wooden door. Cathy wanted a cigarette more than life; Jennifer shook open a pack on her side, lit it, blew the smoke through the screen, still did not shut the door. Younger than Cathy, late teens, early twenties.

“It’s your father, isn’t it? Who doesn’t want us to talk. I heard him on the phone.”

“Yeah, he thinks you’re some kind of shit. You are, aren’t you?”

“You went to that peace demonstration.” Cathy hated calling it that. “I’m sure he didn’t want you there, so you went on your own. You must have gone for a reason.”

“I wasn’t there for that.”

“For what?”

“Peace shit. Hippie commie shit. What it is you people do.”

“What Jimmy did was save you from the cops.”

“Big hero.”

“OK. Think of it this way, Jennifer. He saved you from getting arrested and having to call your parents to bail you out. That’s worth something.”

“You’ve got nothing to do with me, lady. You and the cops and the war and all that shit has Nothing To Do With Me.”

“Jimmy thought you were in trouble.”

“My troubles.” A cloud of smoke filtered through the screen. “Are not in the same world with you and your jerk hero, ok?”

“Why go in the first place? Why’d you run across the intersection?”

Jennifer stepped back, slammed the white door.

“Jennifer,” Cathy called. If someone else was in the house and overheard, there was nothing she could do about that. “I’m putting my card under the door. All I want to do is talk. Please.”

She flicked the card beneath the screen; it stuck like a small white sail half under the wooden door. “You better take it,” Cathy said, “before someone else does.”

She looked to see if neighbors had heard her, if MPs were on their way. When she turned back the card was gone.

Now I get to smoke.