#2 is dying in the driver’s seat of a Cord 810 that is parked in the dark at Fort Point and registered in the name of a man who has never existed. The Agent’s hair, much grayer now than it was in the photograph, is tousled by the Pacific breeze blowing through his window. (p329)
These two sentences go to great lengths to give us the time and location of Agent #2’s death. The location is a Fort Point located on a Pacific coastline. This occurs in Fort Point in San Francisco, California. Eric Husch confirms this in the margins when he mentions that “THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED – THE SF CORONER WROTE A MEMOIR…”
The time of the killing is dated by the vehicle in which it takes place – the Cord 810 – an American car manufactured in 1936 and 1937.
Our scene takes place at Fort Point, San Francisco no earlier than 1936. And what is occurring at Fort Point in 1936/1937? The construction and grand opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Point is an interesting location, because it was originally slated for destruction since it stood in the path of the bridge supports. Rather than destroy it, however, the architects figured out a way to span the fort. The fort sits conspicuously beneath two supports that form an arch that goes just above it. If you watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you will notice that key scenes take place in Fort Point, directly below the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge, one of the modern wonders of the world, became a major connection between San Francisco and Marin County, across the three-mile-wide Golden Gate Strait. In addition, S. places a page (189-190) of Ang Mamamana Kuwento (The Archer’s Tales) in Agent #2’s mouth, crumpled into a rosette. This version of the Archer’s Tales is written in Tagalog, a seemingly random choice of language. But is it random? Or could it be a reference to the very first person to drive a private vehicle across the Golden Gate Bridge during its Grand Opening? Inocencio Asuelo spoke Tagalog. He was the Filipino man from Santa Rosa who drove Frank Doyle across the bridge in the first private vehicle to ever cross. Frank Doyle was the Santa Rosa banker who spearheaded the idea and construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The street leading up to the bridge is called Doyle Drive after him.
These two sentences give us the precise time and place of the construction and opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, while at the same time carefully concealing it so that some rumination is required to see it.
The Golden Gate Bridge begins and ends with water. And it connects two major land masses, allowing people on either side to connect.
This brings to mind the city of Calais, where as Jen says, “It all goes back to Calais.” Calais was the site of the first long-distance underwater telegraph cable, which connected Calais, France to Dover, England. It was the precursor to the Atlantic cable that connected Europe to the United States.
“S.” is about connections. The death of Agent#2, the final death mentioned in the Interlude, takes place directly beneath a major landmark whose sole purpose is connection. This scene seems to intend for us to understand this. It is driven home even further with margin comments between Eric and Jen on p329-330.
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED – THE SF CORONER WROTE A MEMOIR & MENTIONS THIS AS ONE OF THE UNSOLVED MURDERS THAT HAUNTED HIM. I MEAN THE DETAILS (RE: CAR & PAGE) ARE RIGHT ON – EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN’T IN ANY OF THE NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS AND THE MEMOIR WASN’T PUBLISHED UNTIL THE LATE 50’S.
So you think Straka’s confessing?
WELL, HE COULD HAVE FOUND OUT ABOUT IT IF HE KNEW SOMEONE IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, OR EVEN THE CORONER HIMSELF – BUT I THINK IT SOUNDS LIKE HE WAS THERE.
I didn’t think so before. Now I do.