Twiller Plot Summary
Twiller plot summary:
Early June - a man comes to consciousness in
Between his toes – specifically, between his big toe and the one next to it – he feels pain. He finds there a tiny pin stuck between them, tiny but deep. Taped around the pin is a piece of paper. On the piece of paper is written: Abraham.
He hitchhikes his way down the mountains. At one point, a couple pull over to pick him up. But when the woman in the passenger seat sees him, she points and screams to her husband: “it’s the man from the news.” They speed off. Bewildered, he continues on.
At a small mountain town, he enters gas station food mart to spend last $10 on food. A slender redhead approaches him says: Come with me! She seems to know him but drives her SUV in silence. He falls asleep in car. Finally, her first words to him are: “liar.” The car is stopped. She has a knife to his throat. “Killer,” she says. He suppresses a violent urge to grab the knife. There is much anger and violence in him.
She points him out of the car. He exits and finds himself at a bus station in
The bus ride permits and provokes memories: a father who was a pilot, mother – he seems to remember – who hacked computers, sister who played soccer and had anger. And visions of something else, or someone else, with the name Palfrey. It keeps nagging at him. What might it mean?
He arrives in
That night, at a hotel, someone slips a note under his door. It reads: “Abe.” He wonders is “Abe” the same as “Abraham,” the man from between his toes? Is Abe connected to the dead DC Madam?
Then the drinking starts. He remembers something about himself: he likes cheap gin. And he begins binging on it. Particularly as his memories start to return, he drinks more and more heavily – to the point of puking and passing out. He wakes up the next morning after an extreme bender.
The next night, he goes to Twirlers, aiming for find Abe, or who knows what. Instead, he meets a star-tattooed stripper named Sarah. She seems to take a shine to him. Next thing he knows, he’s at her apartment, having sex. And this is how he learns his name. She screams it: Lev. She must have known him earlier. She admits as much; says some weeks earlier, he’d been in the club asking about Abe.
Sarah, a single mom with a deadbeat ex-husband, gives Lev $100 and sends him on his way. He spends it on booze as memories surface. One of them is vibrant: he remembers a meeting on the 15th floor of
He goes to the building, and 15th floor. It is the offices of Hawl and Ile, a law firm specializing on political lobbying. “Hawl,” the lead partner is “Abraham Hawl.”
He returns to Sarah the Stripper’s house to demand answers. Initially, they have sex, and he starts drinking. He gets piss drunk and she boots him from the house at dawn. He wakes up on the street. He drinks more. Wakes up in his own puke. He is an addict. Drinks more. Returns to her apartment a few days later. He finds it ransacked and Sarah gone. He searches the place. Under a floorboard, he finds a picture of he and Sarah that looks about two years old. So he did know her. And he finds a clipping of a news story from the Aspen Times. It names him as the suspect in the murder of a high-end prostitute named “Shelalah.” It gives his full name: Lev Kind. There is one more thing: a pass to the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The name on the pass is Tim Havney.
Lev visits Transamerica building. He finds that Abe Hawl has headed to
On the bus ride, a new memory surfaces – the spinning of wheels and roads have a way of bringing back his memories. He keeps seeing a hospital, an operation or surgical procedure – and he’s in the middle of it. This image haunts him, along with Palfrey, and Abraham. What does it add up to?
Many minor details and partial memories later -- particularly of the surgical procedure -- he winds up in
His appointment with Stacy – another S-named hooker – begets not sex, but information: Shelalah was a mom with two kids, 92 credits toward college graduation, and a great capacity to make money playing Texas Hold-Em. He finds her headstone in the
And, suddenly, he’s arrested for the murder. The hooker named Stacy seduces him to her house, then she calls the cops. He’s taken into custody while sleeping off a gin bender. For a few days, Stacy gets the twittering phone. A novice in the medium, she tells the story from her perspective for a few days. Among her revelations: that the cops charge Lev with murder because they have critical evidence: Lev’s blood is on the knife that killed Shelalah.
Then Lev escapes jail.
How he does so is unclear. All that is clear to Stacy is that he shows up at her house, and she – with him watching her menacingly – twitters what she believes to be her last words. We do not know what happens to her, but only that Lev has gotten his phone back. He has a revelation and confession: There is a killer inside me – he writes – but it is not me. It is the mutant that is alive in me.
He heads to the Democratic National Convention
There, he’s not sure what to look for. At one of the elite parties his all-access convention pass allows him into, he bellies up to the bar. He is inspired by the political rhetoric and tries to do something novel and positive: not drink. He gets a seltzer water, and spies the crowd. A beautiful blonde woman catches his eye. She and Lev know he each other. She is talking to two men that he realizes from context are senators. He walks close to the three of them and inhales her Oscar de La Rente and his shocked with a vision of her with bloody hands. Before he can talk to her, she disappears in the crowd. He starts binging.
Then in the crowd, he sees Abe Hawl. He follows Hawl to
He manages to follow them to mile-high stadium for Obama’s speech. And one piece of the puzzle starts to come together. The surgical procedure that has been nagging at him was a transplant. Lev realizes and remembers he has in the last few years gotten cancer and required a bone marrow transplant. The donor was Abe Hawl. To what end?
At mile-high stadium, he makes a beeline to Hawl for answers. When he gets close, Hawl’s eyes widen with fear and recognition. Hawl’s strongmen push Lev to the ground, and Hawl disappears in the crowd.
Lev goes to a bar to drink. He feels a hand in his pocket. He looks to find the backside of someone he recognizes from earlier in the story: it’s the redhead who picked him up in the mountains. She too – like others in this tale – eludes him in a crowd chase. But she has left him something in his pocket: a note that says “they’ll kill you,” and a pass to the Republican National Convention.
He gets on a busy to
Nat begins to suspect that in addition to the group of hookers and political operatives involved in a conspiracy, there are a handful of twitterers who are helping him along by leaving him assistance and pieces of evidence.
Republican National Convention ahead.
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