Chapter 16 Summary
A zine from the fall of 1988 features an interview with Mr. Clean (Johnny) and Jude Green (Jude) of the Green Mountain Boys. In the interview Johnny and Jude talk about the reasons behind their strict straight-edge lifestyle and explain the scuffles they have been in as they tour the country. Johnny talks about the importance of Krishna to his philosophy and mentions Eliza, his pregnant wife, but Jude pushes the interview back toward the subject of music.
In a essay titled “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” Little Ben, now known simply as Ben as the former Big Ben has left the group, talks about going on the road with the Green Mountain Boys, serving as their roadie and all-around-helper.
Wanting to avoid the blowback sure to come to him after Tory’s attack, Jude convinces the group to move to New York and try to get their musical career on track. Left alone in Lintonburg, Harriet tries not to worry so much about Eliza and Jude, telling herself that they are keeping themselves safe. One day Harriet is visited by Di, who has tracked her down with the P.I. initially paid off by Les. Over tea the two mothers talk about Eliza and Jude. Harriet wants to sympathize with Di, and by the end of the conversation she finds they have a lot more in common than Les. But feeling loyalty to Eliza and Jude, she purposefully throws Di off the trail by claiming the kids have gone to Chicago.
Using the money from the sale of Delph’s car, the band produces a record which starts to get immediate acclaim. They reunite with Johnny, and after booking a number of shows, they hit the road in two cars, Kraph’s Camaro and Les’s old van. Riding in the van are Jude, Johnny, and Eliza, the three old friends reunited at last. The trio discuss potential baby names. Although Eliza is partial Annabel Lee, Johnny and Jude suggest more punk-inflected names such as Dottie, after Dottie Danger, or Joan, after Joan Jett.
After catching her smoking pot, Jude makes a pact with Eliza that if she will quit using pot, he won’t tell Johnny. Eliza agrees to the deal and explains that she has just smoked a few joints, stolen from Prudence’s purse, because she was overwhelmed by the anxiety of her situation. After leaving Rooster, Johnny has fallen back in with Eliza, but their relationship maintains a platonic veneer.
The van crosses a bridge and enters a line for the toll onto the New Jersey Turnpike. The vast amount of cars have separated into several lines. Looking across the freeway, they see Kram’s car in line, too, but something strikes them as odd: Delph is smoking a cigarette.