On Christmas night 1970, Epi snapped the radio off and rose from his live-in Falcon to go for a walk: a little air until 6 p.m., when the carols finally stop. His dreams of a giant-leap to his own Moon had crashed months earlier, and he still gloomed on the disgrace. Soon he found himself on Hollywood Way, on a bridge looking west toward Pass Avenue. He surveyed the rush of headlights below; imagined leaping to his death. No, I might cause a chain reaction; can’t sink to that. Somehow the flow of traffic triggered a flashback:
Crack! Crack! Crack! Look on my works ye mighty and despair! I am Lee Harvey Oswald, shatterer of worlds!
The moment of empathy stirred mild surprise; the wounds of Dallas were still fresh, yet this insight banished his rage at Oswald’s intolerable smirk. A year earlier he had read a book on the assassination, one that disdained the resentful loner for his Earth-shattering murder. Now Epi felt his own resentment: at his failure, at the shallow book. He knew he could never top Oswald’s publicity stunt; he had to seek a rational outlet for his furies. Yet how tell the world of his reversed antipathy?
It would be three years before Epi read Dante’s "Hell," there gaining hints of the dangers of empathy: that to pity the violently estranged is to risk losing one’s Self in wrong-headed sympathy. For now Epi sensed one thing about his Quest for the Apolline Life: He must endure; he must not let the crushing pains and furies defeat him. He must continue this descent through Hades until he finds a way to his higher Self.
An ever-present Now: Christmas 1970, brooding on Apollo and the call to transcendence: Wishy Epi looking west toward Pass Avenue, singing a lyric from “My Sweet Lord,” a hit single on George Harrison’s first solo album, "All Things Must Pass" …