A July night at a Texaco station outside Bakersfield, California. Eddie Iturbi, on his way to San Francisco to meet Leo Franchetti, the Beat Poet, gasses up his stolen Chevy station wagon and picks up Layne Hansen who looks like a girl in the red neon light of the huge Texaco sign. Eddie and Layne go to Layne’s granny’s place in Fresno because Layne is on the run from the LAPD. Eddie has just stolen the station wagon. They are two of a kind — Eddie wants to be a poet and Layne wants to live in an apartment overlooking San Francisco Bay. When Granny’s house burns down, Layne and Eddie run, leaving Granny dead.
In Fresno, Layne takes Eddie to Karl’s Gym where Layne dresses in his street clothes – a short black skirt and a tight tank top – and then they go talk to Cesar, the street boss. Layne wants to work a stretch of H Street by the bus depot. Cesar agrees, but takes an instant dislike to Eddie. Cesar’s dislike sets up a later confrontation when Cesar’s thugs beat Eddie, nearly blinding him in his right eye. Layne and Eddie gut the stolen Chevy and move in so they can live cheap to save money for their trip to the City.
When Cesar raises the street rent, Layne refuses to pay, Eddie tangles with Cesar and loses, ends up in the hospital almost dead. Layne sells himself to one of his admirers who will pay Eddie’s hospital bills if Layne agrees to become his forever.
When Layne gets hurt and calls Eddie to rescue him, Eddie can’t do what Layne wants – tell him he loves him – and so the rejected Layne stays with his lover but prepares Eddie’s downfall by calling Karl who ex-communicates Eddie from the gym. Pushed out on the streets, alone, Eddie gets arrested and spends the night in jail before the magistrate, a black woman with compassion for street boys, sends him back to his Aunt Beth in Coachella. But there is no way Eddie can go back, so on the way to the bus, Eddie escapes from the juvenile officer assigned to him and he stows away on a Greyhound bound for San Francisco.
On the bus, Eddie meets the crazy speed rapping driver named Chuck whose idea of heaven is a truck stop in Modesto where all the waitresses dress like Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. While cruising toward the City, Eddie encounters the Androgynous Earth Goddess – his first vision of the metaphysical – who initiates him into a new life – his second initiation.
In San Francisco Eddie walks up an early morning Grant Avenue paying homage to his poetic heroes. At the corner of Grant and Columbus he meets Leo Franchetti – his ideal, and the catalyst for his deeper wish to be a poet. Leo has a gimpy leg, a sign that Eddie can’t read yet. Leo adopts Eddie as a lost soul and offers him a job in his bookstore which Eddie accepts.
The Deification—Act One Cut to sequence:
C01 First encounter. In a stolen Chevy, runaway Eddie picks up Layne Hansen
C02 Hideout. Eddie and Layne crash at Granny’s house in the country.
C03 Angel of Death. In Granny’s bedroom, foregrounds the house fire
C04 Granny On Fire. Granny’s House burns down with Granny in it.
C05 First Transformation. Layne checks his dresses in the suitcase.
C06 Destroying the Evidence. Layne teaches Eddie how to trash a car.
C07 Karl’s Gym. First Descent into the Underground.
C08 Second Transformation. Layne becomes a woman.
C09 Layne Working. Layne on the Street earning money. Eddie is the protector.
C10 Eddie’s Bad Dream. The Dream About Aunt Beth. Confessions.
C11 Cooking Ritual. Second Feeding — Layne teaches Eddie how to cook stew.
C12 Karl’s Gym II. Layne dresses Eddie like a Black Snake, Mean Man.
C13 Strangest Trick. The client with one leg in a sling. Getting closer.
C14 Cesar On Stage. The Killer comes on with Lazarus to lay down the Law.
C15 Layne Says No. Layne’s fit about paying more. Sets up Eddie’s beating.
C16 Falling in Love. Two teenagers rape Layne with a tree limb.
C17 Jealousy. Eddie puts Layne under pressure about the Lebaron client.
C18 Cesar II. Cesar laws down the law. One Week to quit the Street.
C19 Second Chance. Layne gives Eddie a second chance to say he loves him.
C20 Near Death. Lazarus beats Eddie up, pops out his eye.
C21 Resurrection. Eddie wants to kill Cesar. Layne’s Hormone Therapy.
C22 The Exchange. Layne and Eddie split the Kitty. Layne’s gone.
C23 Separation. Eddie alone on the street.
C24 Expelled from the Brotherhood. Karl revokes Eddie’s gym privileges.
C25 Final Break. Eddie rejects the bruised Layne’s call for help.
C26 Escape from the Cage. The Magistrate locks Eddie up.
C27 Ferry Across. Earth Goddess Sex as Eddie rides the bus to San Francisco.