33-year-old intelligent philistine with a highly developed reductive philosophy. A socially-outsider geek, with thick glasses, skinny body. Life insurance investigator. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Afterthought child of distant parents. Mother: devout catholic, father: hard working bureaucrat for the Buffalo waterboard. For the last seven years Ded has been travelling around the world as a life insurance claims adjuster; for the last three of those, since his divorce, travelling permanently without a home. Struggles to understand the dead poet. Continually embarrasses himself.
23 years old, an only child from Orlando, Florida, with a mother who descended into welfare when father left. From 7 years old she ran the household. Efficient, pleasant, self-effacing. Very beautiful, but doesn’t know it because she’s blind. Came to San Francisco to be a landscape gardener in Golden Gate Park and was swept away by the dead poet and his ideas. A true devotee of Jerusalem’s metaphysics. Appears almost spookily calm at times.
The Personal Assistant
Upper-class San Francisco lawyer. Late sixties. Obese, weary, beset by every ailment of age. Has a tendency to talk only in questions. Very educated, analytical mind. Doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Uneducated but clever seller of hippie trinkets who became Ickey Jerusalem’s business manager. A polymorphously perverse libertine who will have sex with anything moving or not. Wiry, middle-eastern looking. Dark eyes. Goatee. Parents were immigrant Maronite Christians from Lebanon. Raised in San Francisco. Stoned on marijuana most of the time. Very social. Always bragging about his conquests in-over-the-top terms. Believes in knowledge immediate by perception, rather than through analysis.
The Business Manager
Loosely based on William Blakes painting, “The Ghost of a Flea.” Raised by survivalists, then religious grandparents in Mendocino county, and then was a bouncer on Broadway in San Francisco before becoming Ickey Jerusalem’s chauffeur and security guy. Sees only the concrete. Doesn’t believe in anything he can’t see, including God. Did not understand anything that the dead poet said to him, but proud he worked for him.
Plastic surgeon. Condescending arrogance of a surgeon, just hidden under highly controlled Marin County studied casualness. Appears very good-looking, but close up can see toupee, girdle, bottle tan, false teeth, etc. Grew up with Ickey Jerusalem in Eden, a small, highly conservative town in the Central Valley of California. Proud to be away from there. 33-years old. Conformist and atheist. Can be quite nasty with a sharp tongue.
30 years old. Sex mad, very short, roly-poly whore of Babylon, covered with meretricious jewels. A self-possessed woman who knows what she wants. Generally friendly, though sexually voracious. Seductive. Speaks in hippie argot. Sexually suggestive, usually.