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Somewhere in the back streets of Yokosuka, a few blocks from the naval base, is the Hideaki karaoke bar. The neon sign above the doorway entrance has been missing since Typhoon Kirogi years before. But word of mouth has made Hideaki the place in Yokosuka for sailors on shore leave, at least any sailor with a keen ear for improvisation and the ability to count in 11/8. Because Hideaki is the world’s first Eric Dolphy memorial karaoke bar.

Phyllis Cormack stepped off the bus just as the valve on the air-brakes released, emitting a sudden harsh snort. Startled, a gulp from the coke bottle she was drinking shot up her nose, bubbles exploding like pinpricks in her brain. She sneezed a spray of cherry-zero over the pavement. Before her head cleared, a cop car suddenly screamed by the bus, sirens wailing, too close, an involuntary reflex kicking in causing her to duck down, as if dodging some low-flying aircraft screaming down the sidewalk.

The Cienega Expressive Therapy Center can be found in a small log cabin a few miles off the main highway from LA to Palmdale. Sited upon a groundwater spring it’s a small green oasis amongst the scrub and desert along Canyon Road, with a welcoming homestead feel, ducks and geese roaming free in the yard.

Today Ashlin Geres arrived in a positive mood. She’d considered drama therapy, but it was too close to home, so settled on expressive writing. During the first session Ashlin was warned the therapy would be intense and emotionally draining. But right off the bat all she’d felt was release, freedom, her troubles lifted and gone. Dr. Jakschetz had changed everything in her world.

“Dr Asch? Fancy bumping into you here...”

“Hey! Great to see you again Dr Lingertz. Say, you’ve not aged one iota since MIT and it’s been... what?”

“Five years come June. And please, call me Betty.”

“…and you can call me Al. When’s your flight? Got time for a beer before boarding?”

“Waiting for a transfer to Dulles, two hours to burn.”

“Waiter. A Schwarzbier for me please and a...”

“Hefeweizen. So what are you working on these days?”