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LA CONNER, Wash.— THE dark-season rains have come to this little hamlet at the mouth of the Skagit River, and under the wet blanket of winter, Tom Robbins is burrowing ever deeper into his imagination.He finds the rain nurturing; it would be hard to work without it. What he strives for is the perfect sentence -- trying to do with a few words what another famous Northwesterner, Jimi Hendrix, used to do with his electric guitar."Shingles -- next time I think I'll ask for Italian tile," he said, forcing a joke out.Recovery is gradual for the writer, who is 57 years old but has never let go of the anarchy of adolescence. Kervorkian and tell him to bring me the pipe," he said of the Michigan suicide doctor.
It has caused him enormous, searing pain, particularly at night.
Even sick, on his back for most of an afternoon, he looks much younger than his years.