were in D.C., we got an interesting offer from CIA director George
Tenet. He had heard us reading from The Unknown on Ollie Norths
radio show, and had decided to hire us. He spoke to us over the phone
and said that it was an insecure line so he couldnt go into any
He had us meet our handler, who went by the name of Cormac McCarthy,
at the Borders. In the Political Science section, we were approached
by an overweight man in an impeccable suit and mirrored
Ray Bans. I like Stephen King, he offered. Dirk said: William
here likes language poetry, but Scott here likes metafiction. This
was the proper response. The man laughed and shook our hands vigorously. My
name is Cormac. Our friend in San Francisco
says you boys write good. This was obviously a veiled reference
to Frank. This stunned us. Was Frank a spook?
know he had ties.
Over croissants at the Borders Café, Cormac spoke openly
to us about his plan. The CIA was to finance a special cut-out, code-named
the Unknown. We would be foreign operatives. Our purpose would be to
Eastern European literary circles in order to get close to burgeoning
Eastern European politicians.
We listened to his plan with interest. . . .