I've marched past thousands of bodies inside Conversion Centers without a second look, but I've never seen a single human female...until Bonn. It's like the Chimera have been stockpiling them somewhere. A couple of Hybrids were moving this one somewhere when I surprised them. Probably just my imagination, but I swear I recognize this face. She's a ringer for Claudia Grosser, German star of stage, screen and radio; she had a smoky kind of voice that just blew in your ear. Johnny had a 78 of hers, and after he left for the RAF, I just about wore out the vinyl grooves. The last night he was home on leave, Johnny took me to London for a cabaret show starring Claudia. I was so entranced that when the show ended,and she marched off stage, my stomach knotted--and I immediately began to regret the fact that I hadn't properly processed the moment. Too awed by her presence ,my focus narrowed to the point of a pinhead--which is what I am because I missed the entire show. I didn't see her face,hear her voice,or feel her music. I just sat there frozen, with a stupid grin on my mug and a crown of cuckoo birds orbiting my skull. Some shit just flies right past us before it's gone for good. I didn't know that then--when I used to think women like Claudia were cut from some exotic, other-worldly stock or royal bloodline of charisma and beauty. But here she is, just another slab of meat for the gorillas to make into Boilers.

-- Journal Entry, 01 September, 1951-- James Grayson

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