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I Am the Cheese

Robert Cormier

TAPE OZK007–TAPE OZK010

TAPE OZK006

TAPE OZK007–TAPE OZK010, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Narrative

Adam narrates and describes eating clam chowder in a diner in the small town of Carver. He has left his bike at the police station, and watches the only other customers—three unsavory diners who are eating popcorn. The counterman had dropped a huge chunk of butter in his chowder, which Adam only pretends to like because the counterman smiles. The three guys start throwing popcorn at Adam, who tries to ignore them. One of the popcorn-throwers, a teenager named Whipper, comes over and hassles Adam with questions about where he is from and where he is headed. When Whipper finds out that Adam left his bike at the police station for "safekeeping," he takes offense that Adam does not trust his town. He says he wants to see what is in the package Adam is carrying to bring to his father. Adam is enraged and he will not let anyone see it. Without any words, Whipper finally backs off, and the counterman interrupts. Adam leaves the diner, holding the package.

TAPE OZK007

In a dialogue between Brint and Adam, Brint asks what is wrong, as Adam has summoned him at 2:15 A.M. Adam finally speaks and asks him to fill in the rest of the blanks, if Brint knows them.

A third-person narration describes how Adam remembers waking up in a sweat in his room at home, unsure of his identity. His name seemed like merely an arbitrary combination of words. He hears himself moaning.

Back in the session, Adam asks Brint why he can remember only so much, and not everything. Brint suggests that a part of Adam does not want to remember, because the truth is so terrible. Adam wants to know why and for how long he has been here, and he says he hates the people at this place and thinks they hate him. He agrees to take one pill to help him fall asleep.

Narrative

Adam narrates that he is about to leave Carver when he spots a telephone booth. He sees an old lady with a red hat on her head, and they mutually smile at each other's hat. Adam gets another male operator on the phone and places a call to Amy. A man answers and says there is no Amy who lives there. Adam realizes he has dialed the wrong number. He sees the diners, led by Whipper, slowly walking toward him. He hangs up on the man and makes a quick getaway on his bike, feeling even less brave than before.

TAPE OZK008

Adam and Brint speak to each other, and Adam brings up someone called the "gray man" to Brint, whom he says he remembered after taking a pill the previous night. Adam is not sure who he is, but knows he is an important clue. Brint presses Adam, but his aggression only disrupts Adam, who is on the brink of remembering. Brint brings up Paul Delmonte. Adam asks if he is the gray man, and says that when he was brought up earlier, he was bluffing when he told Brint he did not want to talk about him. Adam actually does not know who Paul is, and Adam and Brint end the session.

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