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Monthly Archives: April 2007

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter IV

The Psychosis

…now Zeus had abandoned him

to humiliation in his own homeland.

–Homer

     My relations with Sonderman were interrupted after the Door Monitor incident for about a year.  I don’t remember having anything to do with him at all until the tenth grade.  Even then we didn’t get along and had little to do with each other.

     The failure of the three attempts on my life during those furious months of summer and fall had a devastating effect on Sonderman’s personality.  Whereas before he had been merely withdrawn because of his father’s fixation he now became withdrawn and troubled.  The effect on his physiognomy was quite pronounced.  The conflict of reconciling the immoral demands placed on him by his people with his religious training caused great stress.

page 1.

     The efforts of the Hirshes to injure me never ceased but remained intense all through high school.  They were unrelenting.  Their efforts continued to be intertwined with Sonderman.

     The effects of those months in the ninth grade on my own personality were equally devastating.  I lost all confidence; I became morbid.  I had no affinity for friendship.  I carried as much baggage as any Dr. Petiot, Richard Speck, Charlie Whitman or many another serial killer.  I was in fact trained to become a serial killer.  I had been fused and was waiting to happen.  It isn’t that nobody pulled the trigger that would set me off; had that been my intent there was no one to stop me.

    The result of indulging my resentment would have been to gratify my enemies wishes.  Other people can try and may succeed in making you look bad but all that does is prove to everyone they don’t like you.  There is no real discredit to you.  But if you can be tricked into discrediting yourself then you have been well and truly smeared.  I was resolved to never give them that satisfaction.  I resolved to excel them.  I didn’t know how but that was what I resolved.

     Thus I finished Junior High in a totally despondent frame of mind.  Procrastination was my middle name.  My face had broken out in pimples in seventh grade; their severity increased every year.  This was an additional affliction I just didn’t need.  I was just coming up on five feet tall at the end of the ninth so I had already accepted the fact that I would be abnormally short and slight for the rest of my life.  In combination with my other woes these two things nearly separated me from my mind.  Plus I didn’t have any money.

page 2.

     I don’t know who suggested caddying to me; I would never have thought of it myself.  As I showed up at the country club the day after classes I must have made my decision at least a month before.  It took me at least that long to get going to do anything.  A result of my tormenting was that I became a master proctrastinator.

     My experience was to show me that caddying was a task for the lowest stratum of society so I can only believe the guy who recommended it was one of the Hirshes.  As Hirsh was a member of the country club and could watch me discreetly this must have been so. 

     Then again, as I was always complaining about not having any money some well meaning kid, who didn’t show up to caddy himself, could have suggested it as good enough for the likes of me.  None of them did it because I had never met any of the young things who did caddy before.  Perhaps as caddying placed me securely out of contact with Sonderman for the summer Mr. Sonderman got the suggestion through to me.  They must have been terrified that I would be hanging around.

     At any rate for the first time in my life I had money to spend.  I made a lot of money.  Fifteen dollars a day in 1953.  Even then that was soured by the insistence of Tuistad and my mother that I turn every penny I made over to them.  Every penny!  I was supposed to work all summer yet not be allowed to keep one penny as my own to spend as I pleased.

page 3.

     Do you really believe that we are not the result of other people’s machnations and not our own?  Why did they hate me?  Why wouldn’t they leave me the simplest of pleasures?

     True they opened a savings account for me but it was beyond my control.  You know, I wasn’t stupid.  I would have been happy to save most of my earnings as with my limited wants, lack of friends and long working hours the money was more than I could possible spend.

     I had to resort to a despicable thing.  I was forced to lie.  I refused to give them everything.  I under reported my earnings, spending some and secreting more for use in the tenth grade.  They were going to try to make me go through school without a dime while I had hundreds in the bank.  Literally, they would not let me have a dime– ten cents.  Thus Tuistad and my mother made me steal from myself.  This is a crime of such magnitude that no number of murders could compensate it; not if I killed the whole Valley.  Heck, pimples, Sonderman, the Hirshes, Tuistad and my mother, a world full of crazy people, and they had the audacity to call me– nuts.  Who wouldn’t want to kill them?

     The Bard said the fault lies within ourselves and not in the stars.  Having been conditioned to Respond to Challenges like one of Pavlov’s dogs there is some truth in the former part of the Bard’s opinion but no, the Stars, or The Field, is much more important an influence than the Bard thought.  No, as I have turned out decently there was no other explanation- I was a miracle.

page 4.

     So, as I was single mindedly laboring away with a golf bag on each shoulder great changes were taking place.  My consciousness shifted from childhood to young manhood.  Caddying was a very bad environment for the change to take place as I was actually among criminal types.  I made the change without any loss of integrity, morals or character but it was a very close call.  It wouldn’t have taken much for it to have gone the other way.

     Perhaps the most remarkable change was that while I was lamenting that I would be forever short I grew six inches.  I began the summer as one of the shortest caddies and ended among the tallest.  It was something to see; you could almost watch me grow.  By August several of the shorter caddies were looking up to me in open mouthed wonder.  They had to tell me I had grown because I wasn’t aware of it even though the golf bags no longer dragged on the ground.  I thought I was just getting better at hefting them.

     Mentally I never adapted but found myself awkward and gangly.  I still thought like I was short but my spine and knees hurt all the time.

     Beginning the tenth grade was not so easy.  While my intent is to tell only the Sonderman Constellation I will have to preface this chapter with a rather remarkable machination of the Hirshes so that my mental condition stays in perspective for you.

     When we left ninth grade we had to elect between the high school and Trade School.  I elected to go to high school.  However the Hirshes overruled my own choice unbeknownst to me and had me enrolled in Trade School.  You see how many responsible people had to be involved to remove the form I filled out and replace it with theirs.  The Field; watch the Field.  Then, when I showed up for the first day of high school I was told they had no place for me.

 page 5.

     After thinking things out they told me I must be enrolled at Trade School.  They told me to take a hike over there.  I told them to take a hike back into records and enroll me there.  They flatly refused telling me to leave.  Whether true or not we believed that only dumb kids went to Trade School so I wasn’t about to go there.  In point of fact I hated all that manual arts stuff so much I would have flunked out.

     I couldn’t count on Tuistad or my mother to do anything for me so I stubbornly sat around the office telling them the law required them to give me an education whether they liked it or not.  The conspiracy against me was quite large.  Grown men I didn’t know stopped me on the street to tell me there was no shame attached to going to Trade School.  Whether there was or not I was going to high school where I knew honor was attached.

     After three days they capitulated.  Heck, the Black kids in Little Rock didn’t have as much trouble getting into Central High as I had getting into high school.  I didn’t have the U.S. Army to help me out either.  Nor were my trials over yet.  I signed up for the college prep curriculum.  As all the Hirses were in college prep that meant they would still have to sit in class with me.  Hirsh didn’t want to allow that.

page 6.

     The administrators tried to talk me into the Business Curriculum on the basis that I would never go to college.  This argument took a whole morning but I finally prevailed.  They were not finished; Hirsh was determined that if I wasn’t going to Trade School that I was going to be enrolled in the Business curriculum.

     As a final ploy I was assigned to the premier teacher of English, Mrs. Hicks.  She had been instructing the elite of the Valley since 1938.  Only those who had been instructed by her had the key to move about town freely.  The education she gave was the education that ruled town.  The class I was assigned to contained all my worst enemies.

     By the time I was given my permit to attend Mrs. Hicks class was half over.  I walked up to the second floor right wing to enter her class.  The Hirshes were waiting for me.  They ran in a body, boys and girls together, this was about fifteen people, to physically drive me back out into the hall where I stood as they all screamed at me that they didn’t want me in their class.  They directed me across the hall to the open door of the Business English class telling me I should go there as I would never go to college.  How everyone knew I would never go to college was beyond me.  In any event they were wrong.

     Startled and mystified I was standing in the hall when a girl came out from the Business English class to seize my hand and pull me toward the opposite door.  Believe it or not she even promised sex if I came over.  Her argument was that they knew how to have fun in the Business Curriculum.  I didn’t know anything about sex but I didn’t think anyone had a monopoly on it besides sex is nothing to base your decisions on; it is relatively unimportant except as a drive.  It’s like water; if you’re thirsty you’ll seek some out.

page 7.

     I disdained the young woman to fight my way back into the College Prep class.  I was assigned and I meant to stay.  Mrs. Hicks was finally able to restore order and I was allowed to take a seat.  Thus I was instructed in the tradition of the elite through a miscalculation of Hirsh.

     Everything has its consequences, so while I was not welcome among the elite my ‘rejection’ of the business types was taken badly by them.  They too vented their resentment on me.  The split between College Prep and Business was quite pronounced.  The Valley was a class social structure.

     Once seated the first thing the Hirshes took cognizance of was my growth.  I had left ninth a virtual midget and entered tenth at or above the meridian.  They told Sonderman to check me out.  The effect of my growth on Sonderman was electric.  He hadn’t seen me all summer and now I was taller than he by four inches and still growing.  As a defensive measure Sonderman chose to call attention to my pimples.  Those damn things were to plague me until I was twenty-three and receded only slowly then.

     Perhaps as bad was that my mother made me wear the same pants I wore in the ninth grade.  I mean, the cuffs were midcalf, my gonads hung out like golf balls.  It was devastating.  My mother not only refused to buy me a new pair of pants she expressly forbade me to use my own money for a pair.  There I was in front of all the girls, a virtual buffoon.

page 8.

     Hey wait, that’s not all.  Now fifteen, the peach fuzz was getting really obvious.  Plus there were several long thick hairs that stuck way out.  Now, you tell me why.  Tuistad not only refused to let me shave he refused to let me cut off the long hairs.  I looked stupid.  I tried to smooth the long hairs down with spit continually but that didn’t work for more than a second.  You don’t think I’ve baffled my enemies by growing straight and strong?  Think again.  The best revenge is to live well.  Here I am.

     Don’t think I’ve exhausted the catalog it’s just tht I don’t think you’d believe much more.  The effect may lie within but the cause lies without.

     At first, envy caused Sonderman to associate with me again.  But to compensate for my height he devised way after way to humiliate me and bring me down.  Once again he used a scientific argument to start the fight.  There was a corner on the way home where a path cut across an empty field.  Sonderman made the remark that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  I knew this obvious fact  but as the path was bumpy I chose to include the up and down measurements in the calculation.  We were supposed to walk in measured steps, I taking the right angle around the corner and he the diagonal across the lot to prove the point.  We came out even but it started a big argument about how I walked faster than him.  After a month of this unpleasantness I broke off the relationship although I didn’t know the cause of his attitude.

page 9.

     As the year began there were social changes for me.  High school blended the student bodies of two Junior Highs.  I began to make a few friends from the other Junior High so my dependence on Sonderman lessened.  In fact all my friends in high school would be from the other Junior High with the exception of Larry Dubcek.

     Dubcek was the guy the Hirshes had bullied into a fight in Metal class in the seventh grade.  He was still taking the injustice pretty hard.  The Hirshes had really defamed Dubcek to himself over that one.  The guy was a walking scar.  It was a bond between us.

     The interesting thing about my battering was that I never lost faith in my destiny; I continued to live in the mansion of my mind.  Dubcek was just the opposite.  As his name indicates he was of South Slavic origins, both sides.  Although his parents were actual immigrants Larry was born in the US.  There was still a lot of fairly strong feeling against Eastern and Southern European immigrants as Dubcek was growing up.  He had reacted to slurs against his origins unfavorably.  Instead of turning back the evil he had ingested it.  He hadn’t learned to feel superior to his detractors as I had.  He felt resentful and inferior.

     We didn’t talk about such things but perhaps his origins may have been part of the reason he had been attacked by the Hirshes in the seventh grade.  If you remember the Hirshes had struggled for supremacy in the shop classes in seventh.  The harassment had been very intense in the first semester in metal.  They went to great lengths to establish their positiion, discrediting anyone they couldn’t intimidate.

page 10.

    Dubcek was one of those people who stood up for his rights.  The Hirshes provoked him into an actual fistfight in class.  That is to say that they looked like they intended to fight him as a feint to get him to commit himself first, much as Sonderman had done in our fight as Door Monitors.  When Larry put up his dukes in preparation to defind himself he looked like the aggressor when the L&O Hirshes called the ‘cops’ or metal teacher to witness his aggression.  They appeared as the innocents.

     After have framed him they came around to each of us to ask for our support of their version.  If you gave it you had submitted to their authority, if you didn’t you hadn’t.  They had so little discretion they even asked me.  I wasn’t OK in their eyes to start with.  I just laughed at them.  Larry was expelled from school for a week.  What a joke!  I don’t remember him coming back and I hadn’t seen him since then.

     One morning as I was waiting for the bus to school Larry came hitchhiking up the street.  I was waiting for the a public bus because in those days only rural kids rode school buses.  Larry was backing along in hitchhiking fashion with his thumb out.  He was absolutely declasse.  Hitchhiking was only for hoodlums; he was dressed in hood style too.  He was almost perfect for the times.  They could have modeled Fonzi from Happy Days on him.  He wore black denim trousers with motorcycle boots, a black leather jacket with a million zippers all over it and a really terrific ducktail flattop.  As Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook might say:  Aww, bootiful, man.

page 11.

     Larry’s Response to the Challenge in the seventh grade had been to abandon all hopes of social status placing himself outside ‘polite society’.  He had been defeated in the Law and Order trap.

     I recognized him and began talking to him.  I discovered he was really a great guy.  I liked him, and don’t forget he was dressed as a hood.  I brought up metal class which was still a very, very sore subject but I reassured him by agreeing that he was absolutely innocent and the Hirshes were completely at fault as well as being jerks.  I mean, he thought everybody thought ill of him because he resisted those jerks.

     My bus came but I let it pass as I continued talking to Larry.  I hd plenty of time to walk to school.  A car stopped to give him a ride.  The driver offered me a lift too but I would have declassed myself by accepting so I bid Larry adieu and hoofed it to school.

     We became very good friends after that.  In fact, of all my high school acquaintances I would say that he is the only one who never betrayed my friendship.  It helped that soon after due to my encouragement he gave up his hoodlum attire and dressed normally.

     At about the same time my Anima, Ange, came into and out of my life.  She was to have as profound an effect on my life as Sonderman.  More, since she was a force for good rather than evil.  I have dealt with the Angeline Constellation in full elsewhere so I will only mention the main details here as they coincide with the Sonderman Constellation.

page 12.

     The Bard should really have rethought his attitude.  His opinion is so complete in its simplicity that average minds find it so satisfying they don’t have to think it over.  It just seems obvious.  Of course since the Bard put the words in Hamlet’s mouth it is not necessary that it be his or his complete opinion.  After all, sprinkled throughout the plays are many, many astrological references.  The Bard was a very knowledgeable guy.

     Once again the Field was my controlling factor.  I did a truly horrible thing to Ange but as I was controlled by an attitude from my subconscious I do not feel truly responsible.  I’m sure Ange could never see it that way and I can understand that but the result might have been predicted if one were able to read the writing in the stars.  I have never written about the Mother Constellation but the answer to the tragedy likes there.

     There is no way Ange could have known; if she had she might have been able to avert the consequences of her action.  Listen now, because you might have to stretch your mind a little.  Most people don’t like psychology because it comes too close to home but if you can deal with it life will be much more satisfactory to you.

     As a little child I had been placed in two successive foster homes by my mother.  I was now fifteen, these things happed to me ten, nine and eight years before.  Bear in mind it took me thirty years with an adult brain to unravel this so all that experience on an immature mind compressed into ten years or less was like a tube of paint that had never known brush or canvas.

page 13.

     In the second foster home the incident with the Hirshes on the second grade playing field occurred.  I had no support, no refuge, no one to turn to.

     I was alone.

     It was bad enough to go into the foster homes but my understanding with my mother had always been that it was somehow necessary and temporary.

     Then my mother delivered me the terrible blow of putting me in the orphanage.  I had feared this for some time.  This removed me far to the outside of the pale of humanity.  It was clear to me then that it wasn’t temporary.  I felt abandoned.  Now, this next point is crucial.  It is true that my mother asked for, demanded the permission of my seven year old existence, but, and I understood this, you might as well have the court ask the conemned man whether he want to be hanged or shot.  The prisoner would have no real choice but the judge would be off the hook.  He would be able to say:  Well we asked him and he wanted to be shot.  The pressure of circumstances did force the prisoner to make the choice but it was hardly permission.  I had been abandoned and I knew it.  The woman ceased to be my mother right there.  When I felt Ange abandoned me she ceased to be my girl friend right there.

     The effect of my abandonment by my mother entered my mind below the subconscious level.  How shall I put it;  it shot through both my conscious and subconscious mind into the brain stem like a lightening bolt.  It left invisible scar tissue in its wake.  There was no fixation per se, the abandonment was just a searing fact of life.  I don’t know how I recovered it.

page 14.

     Without being aware of it my mother on evey level had conditioned my attitude toward women from that moment.  The fear of abandonment became the overriding fear in my relationships with them.  That I was ever able to make conscious the effect on me of my abandonment can be viewed only as some kind of miracle.

     Now Ange, poor child, repeated my mother’s crime.  Had Ange the prescience to time things differently the result would have been much happier for both of us.  How could the little girl know?

     She appeared to me in November.  She had selected me as her only beau.  After our first date she announced  that she wanted me to be her only boyfriend.  No, she wanted more than that.  She wanted me for her ‘husband.’  She considered us as already married.

     For decades I had no idea where she had come from before the party at which I met her.  I had no recollection of having seen her before although she obviously was very familiar with me.  Through auto-suggestion I was able to call up that first meeting thus allowing me to reconstruct the entire Angeline Constellation.

     While I was a Door Monitor in the ninth grade a girl asked me to open the door so she could speak to me.  I was reluctant to do so because it might have been another ruse by the Hirshes to get the door open so they could rush in to my discredit.  But, with perhaps insufferable self-importance, I did so.  she informed me that she knew someone who liked me.  I asked who and she mentioned Ange’s name and pointed to where she stood with eager hopefulness.

page 15.

     She looked young.  I asked what grade she was in; the reply was the seventh.  I was at the apex of my ninth grade career; what use had I for a seventh grader.  I snapped that she was too young and slammed the door shut.

     I had only said she was too young.  I hadn’t given any other reason for rejecting her.  She nursed her love for a whole year then, being a year older, she could wait no longer.  She made her move.

     I had no friends.  I was invited to no parties.  Thus when someone who I knew didn’t like me invited me to a hayride party I thought it was just a trick and almost didn’t go.  Ange had asked the girl to invite me and it was there she got my attention.

    Sometime just after Thanksgiving she asked me for my love.  Not quite right.  She wanted my heart and soul.  This was a pretty heavy commitment for a young boy of fifteen who had just been on his first date to make but I made it.  According to the conventions of the time we were ‘going steady’ or ‘married.’

    Poor Ange had been too anxious to obtain her heart’s desire.  One cannot blame a thirteen year old girl for lacking the prescience that few have at any age.  But if she had waited till after Christmas the result would have been more durable and happy.

page 16.

     Ange was a revelation to me.  I had always been unloved so the adoration of this divine child was balm to my wounded soul.  I began to have idyllic dreams about what Christmas vacation would be like when we could be with each other all day every day.

     Then she told me she forgot to tell me that she would be out of town for Christmas vacation.

     What a bomb, what a blockbuster, what a nuclear device!  I was more than crushed; I was vaporised.  My conscious mind dived below my subconscious like a screaming Stuka divebomber to reanimate my abandonment by my mother.  I was being told that I was to be abandoned again.  First my mother, now this marvelous creature who had demanded the essence of my existence and received it.  It appeared that she had done so only to abandon me too.

     The mother I had counted on had done so and now the love that I counted on was doing the same.  The Same!  Same Again!  What were these demons and furies who pursued me?  I had to take measures to protect myself.

      When Ange returned neither she nor I realized what she had done but I could no longer trust her.

     She came back and we resumed our romance.  Ah, but the fear of abandonment was with me.  After walking her home from a dance on Valentine’s Day I kissed her goodnight and stepped out of her life without a word.  I enshrined her in my heart where she could never leave me.

page 17.

     The effect on both of us was terrible.  As sweet as she was in loving she now became terrible as a woman scorned.  She told everyone what a rotten guy I was.  I became known as the ‘Heart Of Stone.’  Girls wouldn’t have anything to do with me.  So I had to bear that through high school too.  Ange became my Anima.

     Still fighting off the Hirshes, out of this period of intense emotional turmoil, I began to make some friends at school.  As my Tom Sawyer fantasies of a romantic childhood had been denied by the Hirshes and Sondermans I now began a sort of Andy Hardy stab at High School.

     My efforts to obtain good grades were blocked by the Hirshes and my own inculcated procrastination.  Grades became less important to me than having friends.  Always go for the grades.  I went all out to develop a strong social life.

     The Hirshes were determined to prevent me from obtaining any honors, achievements or distinctions.  They were even successful in preventing me from getting the automatic A in Gym.  I was the only guy in class, probably in the history of the school, who got a B.

     I know I could have gotten an easy 2.5 by simply doing my homework.  Much more than that would have been impossible because I would have been prevented from getting any As.  I know, because I wrote several A papers for other students but never received one for myself.  The Hirshes, Louis Schriver, even followed me to the public library while I researched trying to have me thrown out as a noisemaker.

page 18.

     I’m not making this stuff up.  While I don’t want to appear to make excuses for myself, after a first good academic year, the Hirshes increased the pressure on me.  Seeing a futility in trying, even having a fear of doing well, I ceased doing any homework.  My grades fell steadily until I barely graduated with an accumulted 1.2.  Without my decent first year and some gracious last minute aid from my teachers I wouldn’t have graduated.

     Thus I threw over school work to concentrate on the social aspects of high school.  Somewhere along the line I heard of eating clubs.  These were Round Robin affairs where the members ate at each other’s houses once a month.  I thought the idea terrific, a perfect example of comaraderie.  A great feeling, camaraderie; I know people who would die for it.  I am no longer capable of it.

     Unfortunately I didn’t know enough people to make it happen; but where there’s a will there’s a way.  As Poimander said:  show me what you want and I will show you how to get it.  I set about finding a way; I kept my eyes open for the main chance.

     The beginning of the club I found in French class.  I sat behind this guy by the name of Denny Demwitter.  Denny was one of those torpid types who spend their lives waiting for catalysts.  I was the catalyst he was waiting for.  He was everything I was not.  He was tall and not unhandsome.  He was athletic; he made the basketball team.  He had a good presence; he never lost his cool.  He was also vacuous; nothing ever went on inside his head.  Really, he was almost stupid but he could be made to appear to be something he was not.  He was the nucleus my club was built around.

page 19.

     While I was the brains, the driver, the ability, I could never have been able to get anyone to rally around me.  I could get them to rally round Demwitter; people like leaders who think slower than they do; that way they don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up or feeling inferior.

     With Denny as my nucleus I was able to ally two others.  Selection was crucial.  Everyone had to fall within certain parameters of social acceptance; yet they all had to be wary of Hirsh influence.  I would dearly have loved to include Larry Dubcek who was a better man than any in the group but he had allowed the Hirshes to declass him.  None of the others would go for him.  While Larry had abandoned the hood image he had assumed in self-defense he would never be able to shake it; he had been perfect of the kind.

     In tenth grade we were just a loose knit group of guys.  Then in the summer of tenth grade I formed a sandlot baseball team.  Little League was brand new in those days, only the littlest kids were regimented into their father’s fantasies.

     Baseball had been one of my consuming interests since I don’t know when.  Ranked a lot higher than stamp collecting in my mind.  No one was going to ask me to be on their team so I had to form my own team.  I had to command all my resources to field nine guys.

     Even though Sonderman and I were reduced to snarling terms, I had been permanently refused entry to his house, I had to swallow my pride to ask him to join.  I didn’t expect him to say yes and I wasn’t going to beg him but much to my surprise he readily but disdainfully consented.  Good enough.  Little the Inseparable tagged along.  Maybe he wanted to be a cheerleader.  Looking back on it you couldn’t pry those two guys apart.  Talk about Damon and Pythias.

page 20.

     Thus I was able to field a team that I gave the unfortunate name of the Lemons.  Oh, yeah, I knew what a lemon was.  Why Lemons then?  I was a Cleveland Indians fan.  They had fielded the greatest team that ever walked onto a diamond.  They won 111 games out of 154.  Never been done before or since.  They had four, count ’em, four, twenty game winners in that fabulous year- Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Ray Garcia and Early Wynn.

     Then they went into the World Series with the New York Giants and lost four straight.  The series was probably as fixed as the 1919 Black Sox series although the fix was never made public.  I was never quite the same about baseball ever after. 

     I fancied myself a pitcher.  I had a great sinker or fork ball.  I couldn’t throw hard enough to get the ball all the way over the plate so it just dropped in the middle of the plate.  But nobody could hit it and they were all strikes.

     We could hardly be the Fellers or Early Wins although I did consider the latter.  The Garcias didn’t sound right besides nobody in town could pronounce Spanish so we would have been called the Garshas.  Marcia=Marsha; Garcia=Garsha.  Got it?  Tradition was in the townspeoples favor.  So.  Who was left?  Bob Lemon.  My favorite anyway.  So we became the Lemons.  Had white T-shirts with yellow iron on letters that said Lemons and everything.

page 21.

     That was back before Bob Lemon became a hide bound conservative when he coached Spokane.  Of course, if you’re in Spokane you’d better be a hide bound conservative in order to survive.  Later Lemon became a real disappointment.  He became a buffoon on a TV ad advertising lemon flavored tea.  That one hurt me a lot.

    Our team wasn’t bad considering Sonderman tried to sabotage me.  You know, but even then, when we went up against the Hirsh team I was really wary that he might throw it and warned him against it but we beat those guys soundly and then Sonderman turned to me in a fury and asked if I was satisfied.  I sure was.

     We ended up even, five wins, five losses.  I don’t remember what position I played but Sonderman wouldn’t allow me to pitch.  He demanded the position or he wouldn’t play so I had to let him or field eight guys.

     I suppose the Hirshes thought I would be caddying again and out of their sight.  I found caddying too demeaning a job, not to mention the company you had to keep so I had rather be without money than do it again.

     My appearance on the diamond shocked the Hirshes and beating them drove them insane.  They quickly found ways to demean the team, removing us from their sight.  Our first couple games were scheduled with the rest of the teams.  There were about five diamonds grouped together in Reuchlin Park.  With five games going on simultaneously it was quite exciting.  I like it.  Then David Hirsh interfered, he got busy rescheduling and we were set on off days by ourselves.  We were denied the camaraderie.

page 22.

    You think Hirsh was small and petty?  You ain’t seen nothing yet.

     After the season a really nice awards ceremony was held.  All the teams showed up.  My presence there drove the Hirshes wild.  They remembered how I had beaten them.  The Lemons were given some kind of honorable mention.  We were called up on the stage to receive it.  One the way up the Hirshes threw things at me while one stuck his foot out to trip me.

     I was pretty quick on things like that.  I stepped on his ankle and darn near broke it.  He gave out a howl while the other Hirshes stood up and reviled me.  I buckled under the animosity as I had in the second grade.  I’m afraid I embarrassed my team mates.  I was unable to stand up to the hatred and contempt of the Hirshes.  I withered completely before their vituperation.  My body slumped into complete dejection and I played the buffoon and goof for them. 

     But now that I have the mental image conjured into my forebrain it seems that I was demeaned further.  It was my team, I had put it together and kept it together but now I see myself standing at the end of the line while Sonderman was accepting the award on our behalf.  You see how the Hirshes worked;  Sonderman must have been party to it because he walked right up as though it had been his team.  They’d filched that from me.

page 23.

     Nevertheless they considered the season an achievement for me which it was.  As Sonderman was our pitcher he was credited for our success by them.  Hirsh severely reprimanded Old S for letting his son play on my team.  Hirsh wanted me punished for my ‘presumption.’  To Mr. Sonderman’s credit he wasn’t going to involve his son in any more murder attempts so between them they divised an odd but effective punishment.

     I certainly would have satisfied Hirsh by caddying another year but, man, it was just such a demeaning task.  My character would really have been affected.  An alternative form of making money, respectable enough, was delivering papers.  There were three different papers in our medium sized city, the local paper and two papers from the metropolis downstate, the News and the Free Press.  The local paper was a closed corporation.  Everyone in town subscribed so the routes were compact and easily walked but they were passed down from brother to brother.  Although very desirable the routes were unobtainable.

     In those days before papers became social institutions rather than disseminators of news it was a mark of education to subscribe to a daily paper.  You’d rather be dead than not get one.  If you didn’t it was a sure sign you were an ignoramus.  So everyone took at least one paper, some two, and not a few, all three.

    The News and Free Press routes were always available.  The News went begging; a lot of people had to buy it from news stands if they wanted it.  The turnover in paper boys on the Free Press was terrific but they could usually find kids.  Routes for both newspapers covered immense areas as only one in ten or fifteen houses subsribed to the papers.  I had to ride two miles to pick up my papers then pedal two square miles to deliver only forty-eight papers, one for every state in the Union.  Nearly covered that much ground too.

page 24.

     Sonderman approached the job with great enthusiasm.  For myself I was less keen on delivering papers than I was on stamp collecting.  Besides I couldn’t figure out what Sonderman was up to.  There was no longer any reason for him to be friendly to me unless he had a trick up his sleeve.

     Suddenly I was the center of his and that idiot Little’s attention.  Sonderman should have picked that clone off his back and chucked him aside.  Augh!   Sonderman got one of the best Free Press routes then began pressuring me to take a route.

     Sonderman’s route included our neighborhood so he didn’t have to go far to pick up his papers.  He had a more compact route than I  eventually got plus he had about sixty subscribers.  That was a Free Press route.  It was worth eighteen dollars a month but still below minimum wage.  the minimum wage was seventy-five cents at that time.  A paper boy worked for ten or fifteen cents an hour.  But as the master capitalists of the press told us we were independent businessmen.  You can read that:  suckers.  I can tell you this, Colonel McCormick of the Chicago Tribune didn’t build that mansion on ten cents an hour. He built it on the backs of teenage suckers.

page 25.

     But then a funny thing happened.  We took the Free Press.  The first time Tuistad opened the door to find Sonderman waiting to collect he became very angry.  I’d never really seen him so livid.  He immediately canceled the paper.  I mean he walked right over and picked up the phone and canceled, fuming about Old S for days.  He never told me the particulars but his hatred of Mr. Sonderman was something I had never suspected.

     I don’t know what Mr. Sonderman had done or when but he had done it to a lot of people.  Just as the Hirshes were visiting the ‘sins’ of my father on me all those people punished Sonderman for what his father had done.  Within a matter of a couple weeks Sonderman’s route had shrunk to twenty papers.  He gave it up pretty quickly.  He used some ph0ny excuse concocted by his father.  I tried to find out what Old S had done but it was a secret of his generation which they were in no mood to divulge to a kid like me.

     The first route I was offered was a real joke which I disdainfully refused.  This was a News route which was way out on Golfside just beside the country club.  I’d already been thrown out of that neighborhood just for walking through it so I couldn’t see myself delivering papers there.

     I didn’t know where Hirsh lived at that time but that was where he lived.  Other than any laughs he might have gotten from seeing me pedal around the neighborhood the only advantage I can see is that he or one of his cronies could run me down.  Of course it’s possible that he and his friends would have canceled their subscriptions to avenge Sonderman on me.

page 26.

     It’s not so unlikely they would have run me down.  The Valley was a mean vicious town in any circumstances.  They would not give an inch and they always tried to take the mile.  One time in high school I was walking to church.  I had just passed my old paper drop on Court.  The corner was rounded to facilitate high speed turns.  Boy, you’d better look left and right because those people would have run down a woman and a baby buggy.

     I was halfway across the lane when this guy coming down Court saw he would have had to slow down for me to make his turn.  Instead when he saw me entering the lane while half a block away he sped up careening around the corner.  If I hadn’t been looking back I wouldn’t be here.  I saw him coming with an actual murderous look in his eye as though I were committing some crime by being where he wanted to go.  I did a quick two step and arched my back to avoid the car.  Even then the car ran over the heels of my shoes pulling both laced shoes off my feet.

     And all the time this guy was shaking his fist at me screaming insanely for me to get out of his way.  Now that was the true character of the Valley.

     When I was in fifth grade I saw this guy run an intersection in a school zone with kids crossing!  He picked one kid up on his bumper and carried him a hundred yards.  He was allowed to go in his way.

    If I had only one image to show their character, that would be it.  Why anyone thought I was weird I just can’t understand.  Today I am reliably informed that the Valley is the murder capital of the State.  I can well believe it.

     After I refused the News route I was offerd a Free Press route.  That was inconvenient too but I succumbed to the Sondermans’ pressure.  Old S gave me a big lecture about not being a quitter.  I didn’t see how I could be a quitter since I had never started.  Anyway right after I took the route Sonderman quit.  Mr. Sonderman spread the story around about how successful his son had been in adding new customers.  That was my introduction to the rule of politics.  Tell it like it ain’t.

page 27.

     Rather than be a quitter I stuck it out for my whole Junior year.  The Free Press was a morning paper so I had to get up at five-thirty to have the paper on front porches on time for eggs and bacon.  Very often I pedaled in sub-zero weather and a thirty mile an hour North wind that blew papers back in your face.  I’m sure old Colonel McCormick never did that for a dime an hour.

     Following the instructions of Hirsh and Mr. Sonderman the dispatcher was always rude to me; if I hadn’t been afraid of being called a quitter I would have told him to stuff it from the very beginning.

     I was bone tired my entire Junior year.  It was worse than when I went in the Navy when I once had to stand four on and four off watches for weeks.  Beyond wearing me out I don’t know what the joke was.  I can assure you that if that form of childhood American entrepreneurship builds character I’m not so sure Colonel McCormick is such a good example.

     My club developed apace in eleventh grade.  The Lemons had been good for bonding the members of the club.  As the eleventh grade progressed we added members from among the friends of other members.  They weren’t my choices but they were all good fits so that after Christmas we had seven solid members.  All were good guys you could be proud of, no clinkers.  Like me they didn’t come from elite homes but as Hirsh was to say:  As the sum is greater than the parts we assumed a role in the school’s social structure that was first rate.

page 28.

     Our success brought me once again to the attention of the Hirshes.  As by dint of my own efforts I had raised myself to the same level as themselves they began searching for a way to destroy my club.

     Unaware of their concern I was happy.  We began our rounds of eating at each other’s houses.  Strange to say the families of our members took more pride in our club than we did.  The mothers seemed to be genuinely  delighted to cook for us.  Even my mother who I had not consulted before I formed the club was delighted to cook for us.

     In addition we had get togethers for cards and gambling that were a great success.  Our reputation spread.  I can say with satisfaction that that sincerest form of flattery, imitation, spread.  Our greatest days lay just ahead.

     Still obsessed with baseball I tried to form a team in the summer between eleventh and twelfth.  I named this one the Conquistadores.  Had I been ahead of my time I would have called it the Chivalry but I wasn’t ahead of my time.  This year I lacked the element of surprise that I had with the Lemons.  The Hirshes were waiting for me.  Sonderman and a couple others had been warned off while I had been blackballed to the extent that I couldn’t replace them with anyone else.  Prudence forbade me to field a team of seven men but I was so desperate to play I enrolled it anyway hoping to pick a couple spectators to round us out.  You know, Casey was a walk on twenty years after.

     There weren’t any spectators.  We were not allowed to play with the rest of the league.  They scheduled us only when the entire Reuchlin Park was empty.  I kid you not.  There was no one else in the park when we played.  We didn’t have a chance.  We lost every game.  We weren’t advised of any awards ceremony, nor were we invited.  I want to give those six other guys my undying thanks for sticking it out for the whole season.

     Now the Hirshes were really angry.  They wanted to hurt me real bad.  What they came up with was a decent plan too.  As our Senior year began Sonderman did something that was completely out of character for him:  he showed initiative.  Or at least it appeared he did.  He organized a city league touch football team.  He had refused to join the Conquistadores so I thought their was no hope of being on his team.

     I was unaware of what was happening in the Field.  Sonderman didn’t have any initiative he was put up to it by David Hirsh.  This was an attempt to injure me and break up my club.  Breaking up the club may have been an afterthought; their primary purpose was to cripple me.

     To my surprise not only was I on the team but so was every member of my club.  The Hirsh plan sort of backfired; you’ve got to be able to control those variables.

     I had been busy through the summer too.  I was aware that our club had made a strong impression in the eleventh grade.  What we needed now was something to put us over solid.

page 30.

     That summer I discovered an outstanding shirt.  It had both flash and tradition going for it.  The pattern had been around for decades  I’m sure.  They still make the same shirt today fifty years later.  The shirt was a pullover with a blue collar and plaque and thin blue and red horizontal stripes.  I thought if we all wore it one day a week the effect on the school would be electric.  We would be over solid and so we were.

     Thus even though I had barely passing grades I was achieving my social goal.  Except for science and math courses which I didn’t take anyway the rest of the education was irrelevant.  While I did no school work I read voraciously otherwise so it’s not like I wasn’t learning anything.  Besides, and this is important, I looked up every word I didn’t know in the dictionary.

     I was now the social equal of my enemies.  I had defeated their plans.  At least, temporarily.

     The shirts did trigger a response from the administration.  The elements of post-war changes were everywhere gaining momentum.  Unsettling influences were in the air but little understood if at all.  While the elimination of Black segregation may have been just and right it nevertheless undermined the whole basis of society with devastating consequences.  The fight against Communism was raging.  The recognition of organized crime as a permanent and accepted part of society was having terrible effects.  On top of all this was something invented by the media called the revolt of youth.

     We were supposed to be discontented.  We weren’t.  I saw no rebellion or discontent around me but it was a hot topic among Hollywood movie makers.  They saw it everywhere.  One might almost say they invented it.  It really caught on.  Time Magazine along with Life ran huge picture essays showing the youth of various cities in their states of ‘rebellion.’  Teen life was captured as an enduring ongoing entity rather than a mere snapshop of a period of growing up.  Teenagerism took on a life of its own even though a teen passed through the years faster than he could become accustomed to them.

page 31.

     Rebelling teenagers became a meaningless social institution.  Now after fifty-five years of teenage rebellion things are pretty much the same; you’ve got roughly four years to enjoy what used to be known as the best years of your life.  Why waste them in meaningless ‘rebellion?’

     We unwittingly adopted our shirts in the wake of a movie called ‘The Blackboard Jungle.’  It was a good how to flick.  Much of subsequent history can be traced back to it.  We weren’t rebelling or discontented before the movie hit, we were enjoying the best years of our lives, but a lot us became so afterwards.  ‘Blackboard Jungle’ had a tremendous effect on schools across America.  The movie was a watershed in developing the terrible tension in schools since.  The move has been from fists in our town to switchblades in New York to machine pistols nowadays.  There was a definite before and after ‘Blackboard Jungle.’  The question is how did the movie makers think they would benefit from the change.

     The movie dealt with gang fighting in New York City schools.  None of the conditions existing in New York applied to  us but as the movie was a piece of pure education emulators sprang up anyway.  When challenged about the films socially destructive influence movie makers coyly claimed that a movie has no effect on the psychology of the viewers; nor is a movie intended to be anything but simple and pure entertainment; to the contrary all story telling has an instructive and psychological goal.

page 32.

     None of our big brains in society could  come up with an effective argument to disabuse the movie makers of their error in logic.  Strangely while critics allowed the movie makers to prevail they assumed that books and recorded music had a deleterious effect on youth.  Censorship of printed material and recorded music was actively pursued.  Thus, as kids, we were supposedly unaffected by movies while little 45 rpm records with a big hole and comic books were supposed to be driving us wild in the streets.

     Neither attitude seems very sound psychologically.  I’m sure that Prof. Timmy Leary would agree with that.  The power of movies and TV to condition thought processes is immense. Who’s kidding who?  TV was in the infancy of its influence when my class of ’56 was growing up.  Only a few families had TVs before 1950 when it was a novelty.  By 1954 most families had one or were thinking of getting one.  Tuistad bought ours in time for the McCarthy-Army hearings.  Still the classes of ’54, ’55 and ’56 were largely unaffected by TV viewing.  However, with the difference of only one year, the class of ’57 became the first year of the TV generation.  They were different.

     We of ’56 were neither of the earlier generation nor of the later;  we were stuck in the middle.

page 33.

     As movies made up the major part of the programming of TV I think we can analyze both media as a single influence.

     The power of movies to condition attitudes is immense.  The movie makers know that, selecting their material to achieve definite results.  People do emulate what they see.  They may not apply the information in the the exact same way as shown them but once in their minds it will find its way out.

     The power of suggestion of movies is immense.  More immense than any conspiracy Joe McCarthy ever dreamed of.  The screen is much bigger than life filling the entire consciousness to the exclusion of any peripheral distractions.  Aurically one is overwhelmed as the sound is louder than you can think.  The action moves faster and is filled with more detail than you can consciously sort out or comprehend.  The subliminal feed into the mind is incalculable.

     The efficacy of the subliminal feed was proven by an experiment in 1955 in which a message to go buy popcorn was flashed on the screen faster than the eye could apprehend.  I was in the audience.  I remember saying to myself over and over that I didn’t want any popcorn.  During intermission the friend I was with insistently demanded that we go get popcorn.  Snapping more at the screen than him I sternly said that I didn’t want popcorn.  He went and got his.

     As Christ said:  As ye think so shall ye do.  You can only get out of a mind what you put into it.  In our society very little is going in anyone’s mind that doesn’t come from movies and television.  That’s you one the screen.

page 34.

     In point of fact while movie makers deny the influence of picture images and sound they use the medium to decondition minds and recondition them on social issues.  Most movies are preaching to you on one issue and level or another.  Preaching is not simple and pure entertainment no matter what the movie makers may tell us.

     While critics deplore the sex and violence of movies, sex and violence are not really the issues.  The issue is what sex and violence are supposed to achieve for the viewer.  Movie makers are heavily influenced by the teaching of Freud.  Most of their sexual attitudes derive from that source.

     Now, Freud actually believed and stated that extreme frequency of sexual intercourse makes you a better person.  Except for Freud’s great scientific reputation I would have to call him either a fool or a knave.  He had to know better.  The most sexually active members of society are libertines and homosexuals.  Neither can make any claim to virtue.  However it is exactly their sexual ideals that the movies illustrate.

     So as with violence.  Freud advised against ‘repression.’  To repress a violent emotion was to incur psychic damage according to Freud.  The movie makers believe that violence is an effective solution to any problem.  All difficulties can be solved by blowing people away, destroying property or thumbing your nose at authority.  No one in the movies ever reasons a problem through.

     The depiction of sex and violence is not really the problem.  The problem is the misguided attempt to portray them as solutions.  That notion goes back to our old friend Sigmund Freud,or is it Sigmund Fiend?

page 35.

     Prior to ’56 we had enough training to resist the de- and reconditioning ourselves.  From the class of ’57 onwards they had no such ability.  By the sixties the minds of youth were receiving their training and conditioning directly from the screen, big or little.  There was no longer any need to decondition them they had been reconditioned.

     The ability to think a problem through had been destroyed.  Youth merely received their opinions and accepted them as fact.  This was no more apparent than on the over riding issue of the century- the relations between Blacks and Whites which was then reaching a critical point.  The goal of the movie makers was not only to overturn prejudice but to create prejudice against Whites.

     There may have been those who had an unreasoning hatred of Blacks in town but they were nowhere apparent.  It was generally accepted in theory that Blacks were entitled to equality in opportunity.  The problem was how to put the notion into practice without disrupting society.  In other words:  How best to bring Blacks up to White educational standards.

    This feat couldn’t be achieved in the matter of a few years or even in a single generation.  But the Blacks were impatient.  The only way to close the gap was to bring Whites down to the level of Blacks.  It is always easier and faster to bring the higher down than to raise the lower.  It was thought to be better to sacrifice the quality of life of White youth than that the gap should exist.

     The first move for the movies was to show sex between the two races.  The target was always the White woman.  Woman is the weak link in the chain.  Thus the movie makers showed White women throwing themselves at Black men.  The White woman became the whore of the world.  This tended to reinforce the myth that Black men were sexually superior to White men which subtly undermined the sexual confidence of the White male lowering him in his own and his women’s estimation.

page 36.

     However older people are generally more set in their ways so that by the end of the century few White women voluntarily aligned themselves with Black males and even fewer White men with Black women.

     So the proper way to influence attitudes was to try to influence the young.  Now, equality of the races was never the issue in movie maker’s minds.  Like the Northern Puritans in the Civil War their goal was to make Whites inferior just as the North tried to establish the Negroes over the Southern Whites.

     Thus in one TV show aired on Saturday morning to young children Black kids are shown to be uniformly superior to Whites.  The show takes place in a high school where all the authority figures are Black.  The student body appears to be more than half Black.  All the best students are Black.  They are wise beyond their years, more intelligent and better disciplined than the Whites.  More trustworthy too.  The Whites are reversals of the Rastus caricature.  Their hair is dirty and styled as unattractively as possible.  They are more or less white pickaninnies.  They are all dumb; I mean really dumb.  The brightest is not as bright as the dumbest Black.

     The complexions of the Whites are dulled while those of the Black kids are brightened.  The overall intent seems to be a reversal of the roles the races played in the first half of the century projecting the Whites as inherently inferior.

page 37.

     The show has no entertainment value, the intent is merely propaganda.  So the argument that movies are intended purely as entertainment is pure bushwa.

     People believe what they see.  On the social level they are not being shown ‘equality’ they are being shown a Black racist viewpoint whether written by Whites or not.  The notion behind the sex and violence they are being shown can only work to their detriment as the spate of high school shootouts demonstrates.  Blame on the movies.

     Suggestion in the form of sound and pictures which require no imagination or intelligence to construe as would be the case with books is very insinuating.  Movies are passive; books are active.  Books do furnish a mind but movies condition it especially under the influence of Dr. Leary’s mind altering re-conditioning drugs.

     ‘Blackboard Jungle’ showed the discontented the way as it was meant to do.  The Law and Order group in our school had had a monopoly on terror since the seventh grade.  They had successfully imposed their hegemony.  The way was now shown the oppressed how they might turn the tables on their oppressors or, at least, grab a share of the power.  As the apparatus of Law and Order had already been appropriated by other criminals and as Southern Willfulness was beyond their reach all they could do was to resort to Mafioso Lawlessness which was already all to evident in town:  Open naked terror.

page 38.

     So, emulating the movie, a group of ‘Jungle’ toughs set up in the South front stairwell to exact tribute from passers by.  As there were about eight of them they were able to intimidate individual boys.  They were actually grabbing and groping girls.  The girls were terrified.  Under the right conditions, it could easily be seen how they might gang rape a girl right on the stairwell.  They threatened to do so.  The South end began to be avoided.

     Complaints were made to the administration but the officials were reluctant to deal with the less tractable cases.  They only want to demonstrate their power to decent types where there is no danger of retaliation.  They let the stairwell situation build.  That’s just like the cops to let the Mafiosi ride but they play hell with jaywalkers.

     After having been asked by one of the Hirsh girls to escort her up the stairwell which I did to my eternal shame I suggested to the Law and Order faction that they clean the group out.  Heck, we’d known the guys for years; the hadn’t seemed so tough before.  Law and Order guys with the expert training of the Hirshes should have known how.

     You wouldn’t even have to confront them all together in the stairwell.  You could just catch each one alone before or after school, six on one.  The Hirshes knew that gig.  If they wouldn’t respond to persuasion, beat them up.  They find guys in the alley all the time; this is pragmatic America.

     Anyway, if the administration had acted in the beginning the thing could have been broken up with a few well chosen words.  The administration let it drag on until it got real messy with the cops being called in and everything.

page 39.

     Now, when the administration saw our shirts they saw more ‘Blackboard Jungle.’  Hirsh even went into some hysterical thing with them about how Fascism started over shirts.  He said that ‘shirtism’ was one of the causes of the Second World War.  He mentioned something about black shirts, brown shirts, red shirts even some guy in the United States who no one had ever heard of by the name of William Dudley Pelley who had Silver Shirts.  The only shirts he didn’t mention were the sky blue shirts.  I guess he thought we were neo-Nazi storm troopers in blue and red striped pullovers.

     We proved to be more tractable than the boys in the stairwell.  The administrators saw me as the leader of the ‘shirtists’ so they came to talk to me.  I was really less the leader than the prime mover, but, then, what do they ever know?

     You have to stop ‘shirtism’ before it gets started.  When I agreed to discontinue wearing the shirt if it came to that they said that it was OK so long as we weren’t a gang and backed down.  Shirtists rule.

     So just as Sonderman used my club to form his football team we were achieving the pinnacle of our success.  That success was aided by the football team which in turn drove Hirsh to fresh excesses because we were the champions.  Sonderman called the team the Blockbusters.  The word was the name of a big bomb used in World War II.  Block=box.  Busting his way out of the box, I suppose, as breaking up the pinball machine hadn’t done the job for him.

page 40.

     I was afraid I wouldn’t be asked to join so I approached him to see if I would be included.  To my surprise he not only already had me on the team but he had assigned me the position of center. 

     I was astonished at the position because usually centers are big heavy guys.  I mentioned this point which drove Sonderman into one of his foaming rages.  It was as though he took my formation of the baseball team as a personal insult, rather, even an injury.  He became very abusive of me, reviling me as his imitator.  Perhaps this was the genesis of his belief that I copied him.  As I said before, Sonderman was a very intelligent guy; an A student.  But when emotions gain the ascendant they most certainly submerge the intelligence, reason and logic not to mention one’s sense of justice.

     Sonderman went so far as to say I formed the Lemons in imitation of the Blockbusters.  I was incredulous.  What could I say?  I was dumbfounded, at a loss for words.  How could something that happened two summers before be imitative?  Even so, every fool knows that baseball season comes before football season.  Even the Conquistadores came before the Blockbusters.  Who did he think he was kidding?  Nevertheless he stoutly maintained his position, turning aside all my scoffing.  I argued hotly sneering at his absurdity.  Copied him indeed.

     Sonderman must have had a lot at stake because unable to refute obvious reality he went blind swinging out at me.  I suppose his attitude went back to the murder attempts.  The Hirshes and Sonderman had convinced themselves that I was subhuman, lower than the Blacks they made sit on the edge of the sandbox.  Consequently any arguments of mine, no matter how conclusive, were inadmissable.  No matter how wrong they were they attempted to ignore me and stonewall it through.  Sonderman had placed himslf in an untenable position just like in placing the gunmount which resulted in his dismissal from the Army.  Rather than admit he was wrong to someone he considered beneath him he attempted to resolve the argument by force.  Real superior type of guy.

page 41.

     I danced away.  I couldn’t explain it.  I was just happy to be on the team.

    I never did figure out why I was chosen to be center at the time so what I say here is mere conjecture, reasoning backward from the result.  The position of center is vulnerable.  As the center of the line you’re going to get knocked about a bit.  It isn’t unusual for centers to get injured especially about the head, neck and shoulders.  With careful planning and the compliance of the officials a center, I, could easily be cripped or perhaps even killed.

     There were two key games.  One against a team of ex-orphanage guys and one against a Black team from the First Ward.  These games were crucial for me.

     The Blockbusters started out winning and actually posted an undefeated season.  In the first couple games I did surprisingly well.  The other side lined up on the other side of the ball thus I was able to offset the bigness of the opposing center with fancy footwork and clever moves.

     In the third game we played the veterans of the orphanage.  I didn’t like them in the orphanage and they hadn’t liked me.  By then they were all out in foster homes.  I have no idea how they managed to form a team.  They had a real grudge against ‘rich’ West Side kids so they didn’t come to play so much as to fight.  This game was my first real challange because they didn’t line up on the other side of the ball.  When Ihunkered down to hike their center crossed the line to stand directly over my neck.  I can tell you it doesn’t feel good when someone slams his forearms down on the back of your neck repeatedly.

page 42.

     Hirsh who was standing back off to the side of the other team’s bench had set the thing up.  Not only did none of my team members call foul but the officials never called the other team offsides.  It therefore follows that my club members were in on it as well as the officials.  I even overheard observers discussing the situation loudly while I was on the field.  That game was the toughest game I ever played but I came through it and we won.

     The Hirshes and Sonderman were watching sullenly.  My classmates were favorably impressed by my performance.  My stock was rising.  Efforts had to be coming from within the club to debase me.  The most perfect way to destroy or subordinate a man, to reduce him to a state of contemptability, is to sodomize him.  In his emasculated ‘queer’ form he is not only a laughing stock but has to implore you for sexual favors.  It would have done the hearts of my enemies good to see me mincing down the street.

     They had been making efforts to sodomize me for some time.  Sonderman from this time directed his chief efforts to either sodomize me himself or have me sodomized.  Perhaps he thought to transfer his terrified feelings of guilt to me in this manner.  He began to work on Demwitter.

page 43.

     Denny was our quarterback.  A pretty dumb one, too.  Although he should have taken the hike ten yards back in touch, he insisted on the pro style crouch over center and fall back.  The first couple games there was no problem but then as I had survived the game with the orphans without injury his attitude changed.  At Sonderman’s instigation he began to practically fondle my gonads and rectum while he called the signals.

     I considered Denny my creature, or alter ego, so I calmly admonished him expecting him to respect my wishes.  He would for a while until Sonderman instigated him to begin again.

     I didn’t think we played that sharp but we won our first six games on the way to our perfect season.  After we won our sixth game and were certain for a tie for the championship the Hirshes suddenly realized that they would have to see me as a champion on the podium.  Wormwood and bitter gall for them.

     They went into a panic as they realized that their work of over a decade to keep me down would be undone in less than a month and this as a result of their own folly.  The pain would have been too much to bear.

    Remember that because  of my defense of the Black kids in kindergarten they had placed me below the Blacks in status.  Now, regardless of how benevolently the Southeners thought they administered slavery they thought the Negroes were subhuman, separated from themselves by more than color.  The Southener thought of the Negro as a talking ape of whom it was constitutionally impossible to educate as a man.

page 44.

     Thus, when the War Between The States ended the North in a crazy act of hatred elevated the Negro over the White, virtually enslaving the Southern Whites.  Many egregious acts were committed to humiliate Southern White pride.  They were placed under actual civil disabilities.  Southern resentment flared when an illiterate bare-footed Negro was made head of the Greek department of a Carolina University.  The insult was not just making the Negro the head of the Greek department; it was that they thought that this ‘animal’ could ever learn to read and write English.  In their minds the Negro was not only inherently inferior but not human.

     It was in this state of mind that Sonderman and the Hirshes contemplated seeing me as a champion before them.  It would be the same as that barefoot ‘baboon’  being head of the Greek department.  They simply could not allow that to happen.  Because of kindergarten they had planned from the beginning of the season to have the Black team beat me up but those Black guys were a set of variables over which Hirsh had no control.

     East Side versus West Side was always tough but now the issue of color was added.  The hatred of the Blacks for the Whites was the paramount issue.  The game was less important for the Blacks than the opportunity to legitimately beat up Whites.  In this game they could have thrown away the football, armed everybody with baseball bats and body armor and seen who was left standing at the whistle.  Football destruction derby time.

page 45.

     These Black guys, playing as the Diamond Dogs, already had a reputation for being mean and violent.  The game promised to be a brawl.  I wasn’t so worried as I should have been but it’s not like I didn’t know how to take care of myself.  I was still alive.  I was still in one piece.  I wasn’t worried.

     Gossip is always a major item in any town.  Word of Hirsh’s intentions got around.  My mother was alerted by a close friend of hers.  She didn’t take me into her confidence and explain anything to me as usual but she just forbade me to play that game.  A higher duty called to which I would have responded but it chanced to pour on that cold November night.  Coupled with the horrendous reputation of the Diamond Dogs and the fact that I didn’t feel like having my balls fondled in the cold rainy dark by Demwitter I took advantage of my mother’s injunction and said I wasn’t allowed to play in the rain.

     Now, Hirsh had gotten the Black guys up to cripple or kill a player.  He forgot to get the word  to them that the hit was off.  The Dogs were eager to fulfill the contract so since they didn’t know how to identify the player they just began banging up player after player.  They were having fun, the time of their life.  The game was rougher than rough.  We won but all the guys got thoroughly beaten up.  I mean, they were all hurting the next day.  They were all limping with severe bruises.  Sonderman’s right arm was so hurt it hung uselessly by his side for a week until he regained control of it.  There were in a completely unhappy frame of mind.  I can’t imagine what the Diamond Dogs would have done to me at center way over the line.

page 46.

     With that game we clinched the championship.  I was unhurt.  I would be able to play the last two games.  The Hirshes could not bear the thought of seeing me up on the podium to receive championship honors.  There was no longer any room for decorum.  Sonderman just walked up to me in the hall and told me I was no longer on the team.  They thought, to hell with Law and Order; rules are only for the weak.  Neither Demwitter nor any other member protested.  I was denied the dignity I had earned.

     The Blockbusters along with our shirts really established the club.  By that time we were nearly halfway through our Senior year.  A little thought would have shown me that for all practical purposes School was over.  Preparation for graduation would break us up.  For some reason I had my heart set on increasing the membership from seven to ten.

     We were already as successful as we could be.  Hirsh even had adults going around slandering us.  They were using the line that the sum was greater than the parts.  Maybe they thought that seven zeros could add up to more than one zero.  Not likely; if the sum was great then all the parts must have had significant value.  I guess what Hirsh was trying to say was that even though he thought I was nothing I had created something.  I wish I knew then what I know now.

     Now he wanted to either have me ejected by my clubmates or to destroy the club.  As the former he enlisted Meggy Malone to work to try to shame certain clubmembers into kicking me out.  Meggy was one of the people who surrounded me in second grade; a key Hirsh.  She was one of the three or four most influential girls in school.  She had convinced everyone that she was most likely to succeed, she was actually given that honor at graduation.

page 47.

     She went to work on the guys.  She was able to convince Lebaron Briscoe and Buzz Barrett and oddly enough Denny Demwitter but the other three remained loyal to me.

     As to the latter point of destroying the club, Hirsh tried and succeeded in insinuating two of his own choices.  The most likely candidate to join our club was Sonderman.  Sonderman either from inertia or whatever had never had any friends.  He wasn’t friends with the Hirshes he merely served as their tool because of his father’s relationship with Hirsh.

     Even in school he was always a loner until I was forced to let him into my club.  Perhaps he identified with me in a back handed way assuming that since I ‘imitated’ him my friends were really his and not mine.  At any rate the Blockbusters ingratiated him with them especially after the swell honors dinner and ceremony to  which I was not invited.  He directed his efforts to suborning Demwitter as he was my closest friend and alter ego.

     The Blockbusters had definitely given the club added luster so I was compelled reluctantly to ask Sonderman to join.  As Demwitter insisted that I ask him I suppose there was some humiliation involved in it for me.  Our relations hadn’t improved.  I knew that he undermined me everywhere I went and would do so in the club.  I held out as long as I could but I had to give in.  Sonderman accepted my invitation as coldly as he could doing his best to look down on me despite his small stature.

page 48.

     My last chance was that his mother wouldn’t cook for us.  I stressed this requirement but he said that she would.  Damn that woman! It was the only meal she had cooked for him in his life.

     Thursday Sonderman showed up in our shirt.  He had bought the last one in August in anticipation of joining our club.  The shirt was way too small for him but he wore it proudly anyway.  He was no sooner in than he put forward the name of Dirk Klutz for admission.

     Klutz had also been one of those who surrounded me in the second grade.  Had I known then the humiliation would have been unbearable as it was intended to be.

     I didn’t look beyond obvious motivations, indeed, it was impossible for me to realize what was really going on but I knew that Klutz was not a good fit and was potentially disruptive.  I didn’t know that his purpose was to destroy the club but as he came from much more affluent parents than the rest of us it was clear that problems lay ahead.

     I was unable to prevent his entry.  We still needed the ninth member.  I considered Klutz the tenth.  Denny suggested someone who now makes me suspect his sexual orientation.  The notion just occurred to me as I write.  Actually the guy he suggested was an OK guy and I might have suggested him myself except that I knew he was queer.

     Ed Phlatoe and I went back to the fifth grade just after I got out of the orphanage.  He used to hang around with a guy named Bumme Slider.  Ed introduced me to Bumme.  Slider was the dominant partner in their relationship.  After I hung around with them a while Bumme clued me in.  Once again I didn’t know what homosexuality was but as we all do I got the drift that I was expected to do something I didn’t want to do.  I cut Ed loose.  He and Bumme remained lovers.  However, I was in possession of their dangerous secret.

page 49.

     I had trouble with Bumme ever after that.  He was in typing class in the hour ahead of me in eighth.  I was assigned the same typewriter after him.  He remembered me better than I remembered him.  Maybe he was afraid I would spread the word he was queer.  You know, in those days you wanted to keep that a deep dark secret.  He used to set all the stops in weird positions so I had to clear the machine when I came in.  One time he scratched dandruff an inch thick all over the machine.  OK, an inch is a lot but he was not sparing.

     I saw him at the reunion but he wasn’t too glad to see me.  He was a doctor now deep in the closet in Minneapolis and didn’t pronounce his name Bummy anymore; now he pronounced it Bjoomay, Scandanavian fashion.

     Anyway Demwitter and Phlatoe were better friends than I knew.  I scotched Ed without giving Demwitter the real reason.  About a week or two later Phlatoe compromised himself somehow and it became generally known that he was queer.

     When I told Denny that the was the reason I didn’t think Ed was appropriate Denny just looked at me kind of funny.  I did nominate the ninth guy who fortunately proved loyal to me.

     Meggy Malone contrived to exert her influence while the male Hirshes intrigued to denigrate me to the other members.  Hirsh was so confident that I would be ejected that he selected Jerry Kramer as my replacement.  All of a sudden Jerry was hanging around us virtually as a member.  I never realized why until decades later.  Actually a couple weeks ago when I heard Jerry died.

page 50.

     End of Part IV-1.  Go to Part IV-2.

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The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter III-2

The Psychodrama

     He played so furiously he tilted the machine just as he was running up the score for a free game.  Then he began to tilt it on purpose.  Then he picked it up and tilted it before he had even shot a ball.

     Looking back at me he hammered the glass with his fist breaking it into smithereens.  The trick box was open!  Looking back at me from time to time he carefully and with great satisfaction removed each fragment.  He cleared the inside of all debris carefully and lovingly as I stood back watching in astounded silence.

     He took a shoe box down from a shelf and carefully placed the glass shards within which he then carefully marked and stored on the shelf as though they were valuable.  I’m sure they represented important pieces 0f his psyche.  The symbolism was so clear I almost burst out laughing.   By this time Sonderman was sweating, his facial features distorted in anguish.  As he smashed the machine around he cast strange exalted glances back at me as though he were saying he would soon be free like me.

     He had opened the box but it was still tilted which conflicted with his desires.  His solution was ready at hand, he removed the tilt mechanism also placing it carefully in the box of glass shards while he carefully wrote in capital letters:  Tilt Mechanism on the bottom of the box.

     Then he proceeded to just hack that topless box to pieces.  He caved the sides in; ripped the legs from the box.  I didn’t know what Little thought but I was absolutely dismayed.  I had no idea what I had been called to witness.  Perhaps Sonderman was trying to declare his freedom from restraint and his independence from his father.  I can only speculate that I was called in to witness because I could do what Sonderman couldn’t.  Perhaps he really felt inferior to me and was now demonstrating that he was, in fact, now equal to or even better than me.

page 1.

     The psychology is self-evident.  The scene occurred in Sonderman’s basement.  The basement is appropriately the domain of the father.  It might also be said to represent the subconscious.  What exactly was the response Old S hoped to elicit from his son by putting the box in his subconscious?  Thus the placement of the pinball machine, or box, in the basement or subconscious undoubtedly activated Sonderman’s feeling of frustration.  He seemed to be incapable of resentment toward his father so he directed it at me as a father surrogate.

     Like the rest of the house the basement hadn’t been cleaned since the Flood.  The dirt and grit was really old.  Things were just strewn across the floor.  There didn’t appear to be any reason why anything had been kept.  Perhaps an old Sod like Mr. Sonderman put all his own tilt mechanisms down there.  Viewing this and having just witnessed the ‘asset to the class” remarkable performance I was at a loss to explain his feeling of superiority.  I said some sharp things to that effect.  Sonderman, his performance ended, ordered me out of the basement perhaps meaning his subconscious.

     When Old S found the wreckage which Sonderman left conspicuously in the middle of the floor he demanded an explanation from his son.  I’m sure that if Sonderman had understood what he had done he would have explained it but since he had been in the control of his subconscious he was at a loss for words.  Or, perhap, I had been invited to be his Fall Guy.  He blamed it on me.

     If he had accepted the responsibility it is possible that he might have freed himself from his father’s domination but by passing the buck to me he negated the effect of his whole performance and returned to vassalage.

     He said I had snuck into the house through the side door while he and Little the Inseparable were out and I did it out of jealousy.  He didn’t explain how he knew I did it or how he knew that I entered through the side door since he wasn’t there but doting fathers will believe anything from their sons.

     Shortly after this display of attempted independence from his father’s fixation I organized the neighborhood expedition out to the wetlands.  Perhaps I somehow contradicted what Sonderman meant to say by the destruction of the pinball machine by doing so.  At any rate the train trestle incident followed shortly.

     The planning of the train incident was perfect of its kind while the execution was flawless.  There was only one uncontrolled variable and that was me.  Unlike the incident in Miss Ryman’s class in which the Hirshes were able to control all the variables I remained the sole uncontrollable element.  Even then the incident was so masterfully executed that except for what must be considered exceptional resourcefulness on my part this plan would have succeeded.  Let’s give credit where credit is due, they were good.

 page 3.

     The number of persons who would have obtained satisfaction was astounding.  The male Hirshes, the Sondermans, the Engineer, the female Hirshes in the caboose and many others who were awaiting the news.  I was expertly managed, having been gotten there without any hint of wrongdoing, marshalled onto the trestle against my own inclination and kept there until the train burst upon me.  Not a hand was laid on me, no KKK or Mafia stuff, yet all the ‘witnesses’ were there and all could tell the same story which was, moreover, within a hair of the truth.  The young ‘uns could have been most proud of their governors expert Law and Order ruse.  The instruction and hands on training they received was magnificent for them.  Such a brilliant opportunity may occur only once in a lifetime.

     Operations such as the trestle incident prove the value of family training over the loose wild ways of orphans and kids from broken homes.  They or we actually are given to chaotic acts of revenge.  We give way to emotional excesses slicing people up needlessly or shooting and stabbing them to death leaving the bodies lying around as evidence.  Where is the discipline?  Where is the self-control?  Is it any wonder that our prisons are filled with such excrescences?  Once again, credit where credit is due.

     In my own handling, after they’d scraped the rails to collect enough of me to call remains these would have been neatly disposed of and I would have been forgotten as never having existed.  My death might even have been salutary; some good might have come from it.  Perhaps my death might have caused an uproar over unmarked railway crossings causing them to be made safe.  Maybe they would have named the crossing and trestle after me.  Laid out flowers there on the anniversary every year.  There’s some kind of immortality in that isn’t there?

page 4.

     Law and Order methods are clearly superior to chaotic methods.  This is nowhere more apparent than in the war that has been going on between the North and South since the founding of the country.  The South could and should take lessons from the North.  Down there they just, or used to anyway, lynch anyone they didn’t like and leave the bodies hanging from trees for everyone to see.  Where’s that at?  They even wrote a song about it called ‘Strange Fruit.’  Strange indeed, kind of the seedless variety.  Come on Southern Guys, this is very untidy.

     The South has a a very strong caste system.  At the bottom are Blacks and Poor White Trash.

     Anyone consistently maltreated like the Blacks and Poor White Trash might get rebellious so they have to be taught lessons from time to time to remind them of their place.  Thus it is necessary to sacrifice a few hundred a year so the remaining learn from their example.

     Now, the ‘best’ White people obviously thought that hanging from trees with hands symbolically tied behind backs was the most effective method.

     Here is where they could learn something from the Law and Order people up North.  The ways of the South might be better described as Willful rather than Chaotic, after all their killings are sanctioned by popular opinion.  Law and Order is superior to either method.  Consider this, wouldn’t it have been better if maybe several hundred Blacks and Poor White Trash just mysteriously disappeared every year.  You know, in kind of the same way that Daddy Warbucks used the Asp and Punjab to make people disappear.  You see, Daddy Warbucks was a real American but the Asp and Punjab were some kind of foreigners who did his dirty work for him.   Get it?  Displace the responsibility.  Did you ever wonder how Daddy Warbucks got away with that?  I used to, all the time.  Law and Order.

page 5.

     The victims could be chosen at random so as not to show favoritism or discrimination.  Why fudge around, just get those troublemakers out of there.  Then once a year they could have the Unknown Dead Darky and Poor White Trash Commemorative Day with the eternal flame, nice touch, where they all stood around the tomb all pious and contrite weeping with their Black Brothers by their side and the Poor White Trash standing off at a distance.  Thus the crimes against the Blacks would be consolidated with the crimes against the Whites and no discrimination on the basis of color would be evident.  That’s what I call good planning.

     No, I’m sure that Law and Order is why the North has always won the war.

     As perfectly planned as the operation against me was, it failed.  Failure is no light matter.  There are always psychological consequences to failure, don’t kid yourself.  The plan had been so beautifully made that closure occurred in the minds of the Hirshes before the fact.  They had visualized my murder to a successful conclusion.  This vision was breached by my survival causing a malaise in their psyches.  I was a walking rebuke to them.  This breach necessitated a further validation to discharge the unexpended energy.

page 6.

     Sonderman’s childish solution had been to implicate me in the attempted burning of his father’s chemical plant.  He couldn’t do it himself so he tried to enlist me.  You see, I would have been just as directed as he was.  While this ploy had technically succeeded this proved psychologically unsatisfactory.  He needed more ample justification.

     Once again Sonderman called to me from the middle of the intersection beneath the streetlight my parents had paid for.  He wanted me to come over and join himself and Little in a game.  My Tom Sawyer phase was wearing thin.  Sonderman hadn’t cooperated to bring my fantasy to fruition.  I suppose the train incident hurt me emotionally.  I suppose it could be romanticized and told in a hilarious nostalgic way but I didn’t feel it that way then and I don’t feel it that way now.  Then I was sullenly resentful, now I angrily denounce them as murderers.

     I was apprehensive now of anything Sonderman wanted to do.  I was now chary of him.  But I still hoped we could be friends so I went over.  Sonderman and Little were actually under psychological stresses probably as great and maybe even more so than mine.  This thing with Sonderman’s father was serious stuff.  So too was the burden of his mother.  Neither Sonderman or I knew but he was frantically resentful of her treatment of his family.  Just as  he had used the pinball machine to punish his father his ulterior motive now was to use me to punish his mother.  Thus in each instance he killed two birds with one stone, Father and me, Mother and me.  His method was to destroy her old threadbare oriental rug and lay it off on me.  He succeeded very well in a Law and Order way.  See, I told you that training was useful.

page 7.

     The game was this, Little was always avidly interested in science.  He had recently come up against the conundrum: What happens when an immovable object comes up against an irresistible force?  The game they divised consisted of one participant playing the immovable object while the other was the irresistible force.  I suggested rolling the rug up because no foothold was possible on the grit, but that was vetoed.  My objection that we would ‘ruin’ the carpet was waved aside.

     By driving hard the Irresistible Force was always able to push the Immovable Object from one side of the carpet to the other.  I had warned Sonderman that the result of digging our toes into the carpet would be huge gaping holes.  That was, of course, what he wanted.  Sonderman gazed at the holes contentedly and said his mother would never notice with a little laugh out of the corner of his mouth.  I had to laugh out loud.  Sonderman just waved me out the door with a dreamy satisfied look on his face.  I had served my intended purpose.

     When Mrs. Sonderman came home the first thing she noticed was the rug.  The two them dumped it all off on me.  They had gotten their mother good.  I don’t know how Mrs. Sonderman rationalized my having done it but she banned me from the house for all time.  See how well Sonderman learned the lesson back there on the trestle?

page 8.

     I assumed from the rug incident that our relationship was over.  My imitation of Tom and Penrod was a thing of the past.

     As failed evil is a serious rebuke and as he needed closure Hirsh himself was afflicted with unexpiated guilt.  Whereas Sonderman’s childish expiation was relatively easy Hirsh required stronger satisfaction.  The trestle incident was only one of a very long series of attempts to either destroy my self-respect or kill me.  He desperately needed to have me debased and ineffective or dead.  In this phase of his pursuit he was using the Sondermans as Fall Guys.

     In order to identify the next two locations in the Sonderman Constellation I am going to have to complicate the story a little by introducing some material that may seem extraneous but will prove to be essential.  So stick with me.

     Sonderman and I associated only sporadically in the summer so I roamed around looking for people to meet.  I met a boy by the name of Shardel Wilson.  I can’t remember how.  I was always roaming great distances (read ten or fifteen blocks) in the neighborhood trying to make my Tom Sawyer fantasy a reality.

     Shardel’s mother had recently been divorced.  She was a very attractive, vivacious woman.  She is still the subject of some of my erotic fantasies.  She had been happily married for the thirteen years of Shardel’s life.  He was her only child.

page 9.

      She had allowed her head to be turned by the compliments of lustful men.  They had convinced her that some great future lay in wait for her if only she divorced her husband.  Perhaps some enemy was trying to screw her husband.  If so, they did.  It’s always done through the woman.

     She immediately exchanged a prestigious address and social life for a cheap second floor apartment in a nondescript neighborhood and the evil attention of several sexual predators passing as respectable men who passed her around.  At the time I met her she did not seem to have yet learned the consquences of her actions.  She still seemed to think these men were going to do something wonderful for her.  She was beginning to show some anxiety though.

     Shard’s life had been shattered.  At thirteen, a most delicate age, he had the social security of a prosperous home substituted by the insecurity of a broken home.  This is quite serious business because children from orphanages and broken homes are shunned and prejudged as troublemakers and actual criminals.  Shardel Wilson had taken quite a fall.  I knew how far better than he did.  As will be seen he acted out this fall symbolically.

     I watched his distress.  I felt a great deal of sympathy for him as I was from a background much more distressed than his; but he was a new recruit, I was a veteran.  I thought I could help him; guide him over the rough spots.

     Since the trestle and rug inidents I had moved away from the Sondermans but as I tried to move away they began to dog my steps.  He says I copied him.  Rather than copy him by sitting on my porch looking out at a silent street I had searched out Shardel.  I went to visit him every day.  Sitting on their porch Sonderman and Little watched me walk by on the other side of the street.  Slowly Sonderman figured out that I had someplace to go.  If I did and if I enjoyed it he wanted to destroy it.  That’s how I copied him.

page 10.

     By nature I was inclusive rather than exclusive so I probably would have needed little persuasion to introduce him to Shardel.  But he wanted to bring that evil twit Little with him.  I hated Little and resented his always incuding himself where he had no right to be.  He not only always tagged along but acted like he had a right to be there.  As a junior he tried to be an equal.

     They put the screws to me to find out where I was going everyday.  I knew what the result would be so I tried to put them off.  This proved impossible for me to do, so I had to take them along to introduce them to Shardel.  Sonderman alone wouldn’t have been so bad but that damned Little.

     Sonderman and Little seemed to show a great interest in Shardel.  Shard had been somewhat distant with me because he was a new declasse who recognized another.  The Sondermans represented to him the social class he had just come from so he immediately clasped unto them as a return to his past.  As he was subseqently always to do Sonderman went right to work turning Wilson against me.  Given Wilson’s insecurity as the new product of a broken home Sonderman succeeded quickly.

     I met Shardel at the period of his most extreme reaction from having been ejected from the Garden.  He seemed to recognize his mother’s shame, which made her a laughing stock among the women of the town and it oppressed him badly.  He interpreted the disruption of his home as a form of death.  Thus he constantly feigned death or injury.  He was excellent at it.

page 11.

     Once we were up in his mother’s apartment.  Shardel was very stressed.  This apartment of hers formed part of my dreamscapes ever since even to the extent of my having extremely realistic sexual intercourse with her in her bed in my dreams.  She was a very attractive woman.  I still occasionally have intercourse with her in my dreams.  Shard’s mother was really a gorgeous woman.  Oh god, I go on, forgive me.  This was only a one room apartment.  Her bed was in an alcove in the front wall with curtains.  Shardel slept on a couch opposite.  Sometimes when his mother entertained men behind the curtains he turned his face to the wall and wept.

     There is no forgiving the fatuity of his mother.

     The entry was down a half dozen steps.  Shardel had perfected the most extraordinary prat fall down those steps you have ever seen.  No slapstick comedian could have done it better.  He was so good he made you want to imitate him.  I tried and was sorry for it.

     He was also very adept at feigning a heart attack.  It was his favorite.  He would persist too, until someone began to call an ambulance, then he would pop up born again.  His pain didn’t go away and he wasn’t reborn, but the magical import of his act was clear.

     The heart attack routine was funny the first couple times but I quickly grasped the game; I hadn’t been in the orphanage for nothing.  As I could see the Sondermans edging me out I lost all sympathy with Shardel.  The Sondermans, from a different background than mine, were not so quick to catch on.  The last time I saw Shardel try it I refused to believe him but even after having seen it several times the Sondermans were convinced.  They ran upstairs to the phone for an ambulance.

page 12.

     After that Shardel renounced me in favor of the Sondermans so I ceased visiting him.  Just before I left the Sondermans began calling him Char like it was short for Charlotte and he was a girl.  I found that ominous.  As Sonderman had forced me out of the picture he had achieved his goal losing interest in Wilson.  Soon he was back at his post on his front porch a vague smile of satisfaction on his lips.

     As the ninth grade began our relations were quite cold.  I resented the Wilson episode more than anything.  A barrier arose between us; we seldom spoke.  However Hirsh was still working on a means to expiate his guilt.  He came up with a plan to sodomize me.  Perhaps his plan also included murder afterwards but we’ll never know for sure.  In his desperation he was sliding to the left of Law and Order.  According to strict Law and Order tenets he shouldn’t lay hands on me but he was becoming increasingly frustrated.

     Thus one day after school Sonderman and Little were waiting for me under the streetlight as I came home.  They were all smiles and compliments.  I was alert but since I wanted Sonderman’s friendship my suspicions wavered.

page 13.

     They wanted to know if I wanted to go swimming at the Y.  I explained that I thought you had to be a member and I didn’t belong.  They said they did have a YMCA membership and they could get me in on a pass so that was no objection.

     I was reluctant to trust them besides I thought they were talking about some future time but, no, they were talking about right then.

     I made a quick decision with both feet firm.  I said I would get my suit and be right with them.  They said a suit wasn’t necessary.  Only boys used the pool so that suits were not only not necessary but the rules forbade their use.

     As homos go where the boys are I suppose the Y must have had a homosexual reputation from its founding.  I know there were a lot of jokes made about the Y and homosexuality at the time.  As I had no sexual experience I had no idea what homosexuality was except that you didn’t want to be one.  I had been told that it meant boys who liked boys.  As physical sexual conceptions were beyond me this definition made little sense to me.  Heck, I liked boys, how could you have friends without liking boys.

     The Y was down on Melmoth Street.  As we pushed open the doors I expected to see scenes of I knew not what.  There seemed to be nothing to fear.  There were even some girls our age walking around as the Y was actually the center of a social scene.  I guess you’ll also find the girls where the boys are so you can take your pick.  My god, it’s probably even more wide open than that.

page 14.

     The pool was in the basement well below the surface almost as far down as the Goodge St. Station.  There was a steel staircase riveted to a brick wall and it seemed like we descended to the infernal depths.  Finally we descended to the showers and locker room.  I always hated locker rooms.  You sexually liberated types can say what you will about the joys of homosexuality but locker rooms always had that musty faggy atmosphere about them.  They didn’t warn you not to bend over to pick up your soap for nothing.  The smart ones had ropes on their soap.

     As the Field was unknown to me my understanding of what was happening was quite different from what was really going on.  I didn’t know that I was there to be sodomized and possibly drowned.  In an effort to soften me up Little and Sonderman began complimenting the size and shape of my penis all but touching it as they pointed to it with apparent awe.  Even if my ‘equipment’ was that good I didn’t go around complimenting boys about their dongs and I didn’t feel comfortable having mine eulogized over by two guys who had never had a good word for me.

     I was unaware that Hirsh had engaged the pool for the duration  of our visit so I was disappointed to find no one else in the pool.  Just imagine sitting in this seventy-five foot high dressing room.

     As we entered the pool area, the queery poolkeeper, Parker Cleftpied, stood before us.  He was one of the baggy pants queers.  Wore his clothes unkempt and baggy to prevent identification.  He admired all our penises a lot but he didn’t single out mine.  Maybe such admiration was de riguer at the the Y.  He backed before us as we entered eyes fixed on our tiny little boy items salivating at each step.  He explained the use of the pool then vanished through a door on the other side.

page 15.

     There he joined Hirsh who was giddily waiting for the sex show he had planned for himself.  I only know they planned to screw me for sure but it is quite possible they intended to hold me under.  If so Hirsh was disappointed on both counts.  Like Clementine I am no swimmer; I take little pleasure in water, ‘living’ or otherwise.  I don’t even think I went in the water.  Parker Cleftpied and the Sondermans made me uncomfortable so I said something like since we were the only ones there I was going to leave.  Rather than being angry I couldn’t believe how solicitous the Sondermans were; you’d have thought I was their favorite girl.

     I dismissed the whole episode from my mind.

     A week later they invited me back.  Acting on the notion that enough people hadn’t been there they also invited their next door neighbor, Wink Costello.  He had been let in on the situation, also coached, which means that Mr. Costello, the school principal, knew what was going on.

     The scene was the same.  The old pervert, Parker Cleftpied, eyeing us hungrily as he disappeared through his door to join Hirsh,  The addition of Wink did make a difference.  The atmosphere was more relaxed.

     They all went and dove off the springboard at the deep end.  I don’t ever get in the pool that way.  I don’t like water over my head.  I use the steps at the shallow end.  As this was a competition pool there were no steps; there was no shallow end.  I slid off the edge into the deep water.  The trio called me down into the deep end.  I don’t like swimming; my only stroke was and is the dog paddle; even then I detested that.  I hauled myself hand over hand along the edge.  As I did I noticed the door through which the pervert had disappeared open a few inches.  He was watching which aroused my disgust.  I began to be apprehensive.

page 16.

     I no sooner got to the deepend than I was surrounded by the trio.  Costello was on my left, Little on my right and Sonderman directly behind me.  Sonderman wrapped his arm around my neck to steady himself then I felt his prick against my ass tentatively as though to ask my permission.  I realized my danger as Little began describing what they were going to do.  Gangbang my ass.  I realized my danger.  I tried to heave myself up out of the pool.  Sonderman pulled me back down from behind while Little and Costello pulled me down from the shoulders.

     There comes a time when one fear overrides another.  They could keep me from rising but they couldn’t keep me from diving so disregarding my fear of being under water I thrust down, pushing my feet against the side of the pool I propelled myself between Wink and Sonderman out into the middle of the pool.

     My move surprised them.  As I surfaced I told them to leave me alone or I would drown myself in the middle of the pool.  They hesitated so I dog paddled to the other side of the pool, got out, dressed and left.

     Hirsh was disappointed again.  As soon as my attention had been diverted by Sonderman’s grabbing me around the neck the two old perverts had come out to get a better look.  I only had a vague sight of this man in black but subconciously I understood, or I couldn’t be telling you now.

page 17.

     Hirsh was driven frantic by this latest failure.  The need for closure was compelling him to riskier moves.  They tried again a couple weeks later.  This time, as well as myself, Wink, Little and Sonderman, ‘Char’ Wilson was remembered and brought along.

     The inclusion of Shardel was especially cruel.  Hirsh was a vicious man.  Among the men Shardel’s mother had been passed to was our man Hirsh.  So he had screwed Shardel’s mother.  And as a matter of fact he had screwed mine.  In high school years he had made a move on my mother which she had repulsed.  Enraged that a low class immigrant Polack ‘broad’ would reject him Hirsh bided his time, ruined her marriage, and then broke her down in the wreckage of her life.  Hirsh always said he got his way no matter what.

     Perhaps this attitude which included his partner in crime, Old Sonderman, was the cause of their being so disliked.

     Having scewed the women he wished to complete the degradation of their lives by screwing their sons.  Not daring enough to make the attempt himself he used his teenage surrogates.

     I can’t explain why I went again.  Certainly their intentions were clear to me.  Maybe I thought that by wearing my black trunks my ass would be covered.  Otherwise all I can say is I needed to have friends, I was young, a kid.  We use a different logic at that age.  As I had my black trunks on old pervert Parker Cleftpied wouldn’t let me into the pool area.  Hirsh must have loved that but, rules are rules.  I didn’t care but I didn’t feel like walking home alone either so I was dawdling in the locker room when Wink excitedly burst in with a terrified look on his face.  He excitedly exclaimed that Shardel Wilson had drowned.  He wanted me to come quickly.  Well, they weren’t going to get me with that one again.  It didn’t occur to me then that they had surrounded Shardel, attempted to screw him, and then drowned him in a reflex action for what they had planned for me.  I don’t know that that’s true but it is possible.  I assumed the Shardel was playing dead again.  So, with a smile and laugh I stepped into the pool area in my black trunks.

page 18.

     Shardel was floating face down, arms outspread, in the middle of the pool.  Sonderman and Little were holding on to the edge of the pool under the diving board staring at Shardel with terrified expressions.  Must have been the spot they cornholed him.  I just thought it was a good act; nice variation.  I stood there for a full minute laughing and joking waiting for Shardel to blow out his breath and emerge with a laugh.  He didn’t do it.  I laughed and joked for another minute; they weren’t going to catch me out.

     Shardel still didn’t move.  Slowly it dawned on me that he was indeed dead.  His breath had already been blown out.  Immediately I intuited what had happened.  Sonderman had screwed Wilson; Shardel had committed suicide from shame.  I gave Costello, who was standing by, an accusing look.  He thrust his hands out in front of him wagging them as though to push the accusation away.

page 19,

     The Sondermans remained at the end of the pool with their free hands covering the lower half of their faces blowing out through their noses.  Their eyes were wide with terror at the unexpected consequence of their action while their minds reeled, vainly trying to find a way to undo the deed.

     Sonderman, that great natural military leader, wasn’t doing any leading.  It was up to me.  I went through the door on the other side of the pool in search of Parker Cleftpied.  The other door concealed a warren of rooms.  The pool was used for high school swim meets so this was where the swimmers dressed.  The only way out was back through the pool area.  I went from room to room calling for Cleftpied but there was no answer.

     There were an amazing number of rooms which I took one by one.  When I entered the last room as far from the entry as possible I was baffled.  He wasn’t there but he couldn’t have gotten out.  Then I spotted another door over in the corner.  I pulled it open.  It was a mop closet.  And there cowering amongst the dirty mops and buckets were the two old queers.  Cleftpied and Hirsh were clutching each other shivering and crying.

     I was really surprised to find the man in black in there, black suit, tie and all.  They refused to come out of the closet so I closed the door and walked back into the pool area.

     I don’t know who called them but when I got back to the pool a policeman, the same guy who told me to walk my bike through the intersections,  and a couple Y officials were already there.  The cop hadn’t stripped to enter the pool area.  He was standing there in full uniform.  They have that privilege.  The Sondermans and Costello were standing before the cop with their little dicks quivering in fear giving their story.  Somebody asked where Cleftpied was so I pointed to the other door said he was in the last room in a mop closet with some other guy.  They went back and dragged the two old perverts out of the closet.

page 20.

     By then I was back in the locker room.  Through the open space to the pool I could see the cop questioning Hirsh.  The man in black was in anguish.  He was afraid they had him.  He had a handkerchief in his hands that he was twisting round and round just beneath his chin.  He kept his knees together and alternately kicked a leg up behind him.  Somebody was running around asking what he was doing there.  That was never explained.  The whole thing was hushed up; it never appeared in the paper.  Law and Order types have their prerogatives.

     They had missed me again.  However Shardel Wilson wasn’t coming home except in a box.  Although no criminal charges were ever pressed the incident had severe consequences for everyone but me.

      Don’t think this added anything to my baggage.  As Wilson had thrown me over for the Sondermans I didn’t care what happened to him.  Bye, bye Shardel.

     I also rejoiced in the discomfiture of Costello, the Sondermans and the man in black.  Of  course since I didn’t know what this was all about so I was more subdued.

     The two Sondermans took a direct hit.  They were now murderers.  However they consciously reasoned it out, The Shadow knows, their subconcious mind had to accommodate their guilt.  Sonderman had to put it in his Daddy’s box; he became more surly and vicious from this date.  Little was nearly driven frantic.  Old S. laid off the blame for himself to Hirsh and me.

page 21.

     The worst affected was Mrs. Wilson who was now bereft of her only son and comfort as a result of her own folly.  She had by now learned her error, realizing that she was only serving as a whore to a number of vicious men.  The circle of men who believed they had access to her body was widening daily.  I never learned what happened to her but I’m sure it was so bad.  She has my compassion.

     Hirsh himself was given the fright of his life when he was dragged out of the closet to be questioned by the police.  He pulled some strings though, called in some favors, he got through it.  He also blamed me not to mention that he now thought I  knew what he was doing.  He had no idea he was invisible to me.  He became frantic to get me at any cost.

     To my knowledge Wink Costello suffered no adverse reaction, but then, I didn’t ever know him very well.

     The jolliest of the whole lot was old pervert Parker Cleftpied.  This was one of the biggest adventures of his sexual career.  Delicious was one of the words he used.  He thought the whole sex and snuff show that cost Shardel his life was ‘delicious.’  He thought the overwhelming fear he felt clutching onto that divine man in black in the mop closet was too delicious.  He thought all those nude little boys when he came out of the closet were delicious.  The floating nude dead body of Shardel was delicious.  Delicious!  He thought it was all delicious.  A homosexual’s dream.

page 22.

     He went home had a huge dish of Fettucine Alfredo with his own special white sauce, drank close to a whole bottle Of Jim Beam and then passed out on the floor in delirious bliss.  What a perfect day!

     At bottom they all blamed me.  Rather than examine their own evil intentions they reasoned that if I hadn’t been alive none of this would have happened.  Freudian analysis has its limitations.  Their argument was irrefutable on that level, of course.  Both Hirsh and the Sondermans had not only the three train incidents to expiate but now the failed rape of me and the inadvertent murder of Wilson.  My sacrifice was absolutely demanded.

     I do not know what soul searching Hirsh and the Sondermans went through but the evidence of this next location in the Constellation indicates they were pushed to the limits of Law and Order.  They may even have been over the line.  Anxiety was taking its toll.

     Mr. Sonderman had been so incensed at the psychological reaction of his sons that he himself took part in the next crime.  The whole crew would take direct action, in fact.  In their frenzy there would be a transition from strict Law and Order to a form of Southern Willfulness.  They were just short of Mafia lawlessness.

     Ever fertile of invention Hirsh next set up an attempt at the homecoming game at State.  You can trace Hirsh’s deteriorating judgment in his inability to control the variables from true precision on the trestle through the progressive deteriorization of the rape attempts to the farce of the State game.  His chances of success were miniscule.  The State game was a knee jerk reaction.

page 23.

     Simmering with resentment at his sons’ distress Mr. Sonderman himself came out under the streetlight to call me to him.  Old S never spoke to me unless it was unavoidable.  I thought he wanted to beat me.

     Just as the Old Sod had readily accepted his son’s story that I had smashed up the pinball machine he now transferred the result of the failed swimming escapade to me.  I was the culprit.  No punishment would be too great for me.  He was no longer willing to allow his sons to be the tools of Hirsh but he was willing for his family to be my psychopomps.

     Unaware of the evil in his heart I accepted his greeting as he told me that he and the boys were going down to the homecoming game at State.  He said he had an extra ticket.  He offered to give me the ticket.  I said thanks but I didn’t have anyway to get there.  Oh no, he said in as affable a manner as he was capable of, he meant that I was to be their guest.

     I was breathless at the chance to go to the State game but I was of two minds regarding Sonderman.  I knew on a fairly conscious level that Shardel Wilson had only been a surrogate for me; I was the intended victim.  Still, my longing for that perfect Tom Sawyer childhood made me hope I could work things out with them.  Maybe they were sorry, I mean, I was OK.  Surely they would see that soon.

page 24.

     Whatever misgivings I had I threw to the winds.  I should have known, I suppose I did know, but so what, this was all I knew; this was the environment in which I lived my life.  This was the way it had always been.  I knew how to handle it; I was surviving every attempt to injure me.  I had no idea where else to go.  This was my life.  This was the context in which I had to live it.  Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

     I knew that the Sondermans had never done anything but try to injure me but I wanted to go to that State game.  I have never been down South to either State or the University.  I equated State with the Corbenic Hotel.  I didn’t know anyone at the Royal Palms who had ever been to college.  I knew that Tuistad and my mother would never take me.

     I find it impossible to reconstruct Tuistad and my mother’s relationship to society.  They bore grudges against Old S and Hirsh and they picked up information on the grapevine to which I was not privy.  The only time they spoke to me was to tell me what to do.  My mother didn’t want me to go to State.  She had also never wanted me to associate with Sonderman.  Whether she had heard something of Mr. S’s intentions on the grapevine or whether it was because of their old grudge against him or whether she was jealous that I would have a good time I am unaware.  I attributed her objections to jealousy.

     After very serious pleading she said she wouldn’t stop me but I wanted five dollars to eat on the way back as Sonderman said they were going to stop.  My mother absolutely refused to let me have a penny.  I had never had one red cent from Tuistad and her from the time I left the orphanage.  I walked around in such cheap threadbare clothing I was embarrassed.  I was dressed better in the Children’s Home for chrissakes.  I shouldn’t have been seen in public, really.

page 25.

     I was a good kid.  I was more than a good kid.  I was more than patient and forebearing.  I was a paragon of Christian virtues.  I did so much work around the house I should have been allowed five dollars a week let alone this once.  I didn’t care whether the Depression was going to come back or not.  Now, once, just once in my life I wanted five dollars for something I really wanted to do and she wouldn’t give it to me.

     Without the five dollars prudence forbade me to go.  I would only risk humiliating myself.  But, ask a man dying of thirst not drink brackish water; you won’t get very far.

     I knew I could get by without refreshments at the Stadium.  I thought I might be able to tap Mr. Sonderman for dinner or at least borrow a minimum amount from Sonderman; he always had money.  The temptation of a trip to see a football game at State was too strong.  I had to take the risk or never go to a State game ever.

     Because I remember this so well since the integration of my personality doesn’t mean it was this clear to me at the time.  All of this was half remembered, half forgotten and none of it was analyzed.  If I had known the State game was a consequence of the swimming incident I wouldn’t have gone– maybe.  I didn’t connect the presence of Hirsh at the pool with his involvement there.  I didn’t even suspect Sonderman of being involved with him.  I only deduced all this when my liberated mind began organizing the Constellation.

page 26.

     I knew I was innocent of destroying the pinball machine and damaging the rug so I thought that, perhaps, Old Sod learned the truth and was trying to make it up to me.  I certainly had no idea that Mr. Sonderman wanted vengeance on me because his son had murdered Shardel Wilson.

     My memory of the trip downstate is pretty vague except that I was bubbling over with enthusiam.  Once we got there I found the college atmosphere a dreamscape.  The place was everything a college should be.  I walked in open mouthed wonder.  The stadium was the biggest thing I had ever seen.  The walls seemed to rise and shimmer.  There was nothing like it upstate.  Downstate was so much richer.

     When we entered I started for the first row on the fifty yard line because I just assumed that Old S was so important that that’s where the seats would be.  Imagine my surprise when we headed for an end zone and climbed and climbed and climbed.  We came closer to the stars than those little cable cars in San Francisco that Tony Bennett sings about.  You couldn’t even see the field let alone the players.

     I was impolite enough to remark on the poor quality of the seats.  I had always been told how superior the Sondermans were; I suppose I half believed it.  On that basis I really expected seats front row, fifty.  The Old Sod’s reputation suffered serious erosion on that day.   Sonderman also sunk in my estimation.  Little couldn’t get any lower.

page 27.

     Although disappointed in the Sondermans the quality of the seats didn’t bother me all that much.  I didn’t care that much about football anyway.  It was just something too much to be there at State.

     We were only three rows from the top of the stadium.  Boy, we might as well have been in the Goodyear Blimp.  The way down to the field was very distant and very steep; a good shove and a guy would tumble a long way before he came to a painful stop.  Sonderman made a couple of prepared jokes about how far a guy would tumble or, turning and pointing to the top ledge of the stadium what a long drop and sudden stop could do to a person’s skeletal structure.

      I was young and had un undeveloped awareness that people always telegraph their intentions- it’s a psychological necessity- with some such remark.  But something in the way he said it reminded me of his remarks on the railroad trestle.  I scented danger.  Little, the evil little twit, joined in the banter.  I didn’t like the way he looked at me when he said that it wasn’t the fall that hurt you; it was the sudden stop.  That was too clever for Little by half.

     When you’re up that high in the stadium you spend the whole game standing on your seat as everyone if front of you is standing on theirs.  I was too short to see over people in front of me so I stood there just kind of looking around.

     Suddenly I was bombarded by spitballs and received a hard shove from behind that threw me into the people in front of me.  At the same time the Sondermans moved away from me looking out on the crowd as though they didn’t know me.  Old S himself totally ignored me.  I found this strange at the time; I had never associated him at all with the previous murder attempts.  It never occurred to me that he was on the planning board.

page 28.

     When I looked back to where the spitballs had come from I found the entire section had been cleared out.  Up on the walkway was the jeering crowd of Hirshes.  I was astounded to see so many of them there although then as now the Hirshes had no faces.  I couldn’t identify them by name then nor can I now.  My psychopomps had gotten me there for Hirsh; they moved a littler further away from me.

     The notion, of course, was that I was to become enraged and chase the Hirshes along the top of the stadium.  I was supposed to go over the top to my death on a fall to the concrete before the ticket gate.   Perhaps I had been tipped off by the jokes of the Sondermans or perhaps this had been going on so long I knew better than to make a rash respnse.

     As I dodged the spitballs I came up with two alternatives.  In one the Hirshes pretended we were friends and dared me to walk along the ledge on the wall.  This would have been consistent with Hirsh’s acro obsession.  At Pfeffercorn Island the test was on the ledge above the dam; at the Shield, a train trestle twenty feet above the creek.  As I said Hirsh’s mind must have been balanced on the edge of a razor blade.  He must have been in constant fear of either staying on or falling off.  Perhaps he was using sympathetic magic to save himself through me.

page 29.

     As I imagine it, assuming I had taken the dare, one of the Hirshes would have rushed gainst my legs claiming that he thought I was falling and he was trying to save me as he pushed me over.

     Failing that plan, which was positive, the other negative alternative I could visualize was that I rush to the top in anger to pursue the Hirsh spitballers; they close in on me and toss me over in self-defense.  The crowd roars at the action on the field; the Hirshes close behind me as though nothing had happened, the body of a thirteen year old boy without identification is found dead on the concrete and nobody saw anything happen.   They were all watching the game.  The Sondermans didn’t know what had happened to me; first I was there and then I wasn’t.  Pretty neat except for all the loose ends.

     It was probably just as well for the Hirshes that their plan didn’t work for there would have been two bodies smashed on the concrete one of which wouldn’t have been mine, maybe neither.  The Hirshes had been after me for a lot of years.  A lot happened that doesn’t figure into the Sonderman Constellation so it hasn’t been told.  I had learned the physical laws of push and shove.  I knew how to grab hold of the other guy use him for leverage to regain my balance and place him where he intended to place me.  I had already chucked one of them off a dock into the water in similar circumstances.  Had they won in the stadium it wouldn’t have been a cheap victory.  One body could be passed over; two would have to be investigated.

     Up to this point Hirsh had been a fairly strict Law and Order man.  As psychopomps the Sondermans were removed from the actual entourage.  As Old S would no longer let them stooge for Hirsh, Hirsh was reduced to implicating his own people.  Further this would have been no apparently accidental death but hand on murder from which he hoped to extricate himself and his.  Thus he was well over the line of Law and Order, even that of Southern Willfulness and into the red of Mafia Lawlessness.

     Hirsh was a criminal.

page 30

     I was pelted with spitballs until the people in front of me got angry at being hit in the back.  A couple threats from the men toned the Hirshes down.  I was so used to the Hirsh tactics I never questioned how they had known I was there nor did it occur to me that they were in league with the Sondermans.  That may seem strange but when you don’t want to face the facts that’s how denial works.  That was an affect of my mental block.

     On the long way down to the field it seemed that the Sondermans resented the fact that I was still there.  As they really thought I would have been thrown over the top my presence once again was a reminder of failed evil.  As the closure had taken place in their minds before we got there they no longer wanted me along.

     I began to wish I had listened to my mother.  I was at a loss.  Why had they invited me?  The anwer only became apparent later when I found the location in the Sonderman Constellation of my memory filed under– Shirts.

     They really didn’t know what to do with me when we got back in the car.  Old Sod had a couple calls to make so I was given a pretty good tour of the campus area.  As it turned out Old S and Hirsh had continued on from Valley High to State so the Sod was on a sentimental journey.  He lovingly pointed out various details of his past for his sons’ admiration.

page 31.

     I was made to wait in the car while they made their calls.  I have no proof that one of the calls was made for some emergency planning with Hirsh, but it seems pretty obvious one was.  Thus even though I wasn’t aware of it I still had plenty of reason for apprehension.

     Then we drove down to the campus shopping street where they were to eat.  Before the so-called student revolution of the sixties and seventies had destroyed these areas there were wonderful shops reminiscent of the turn of the century.  They sold all those wonderful collegiate styles of clothing that the Hippie style drove from the shops before I had a chance to buy them.

     Thus we entered this spectacular restaurant.  This place was very ahead of the Corbenic which now seemed small town, absolutely Hicksville.  The place was designed in Old English style with all that mahogony paneling, green plush, tapestries and all that was de rigeur before the immigrant cultures at war with the Anglos replaced it with pizza parlors and taco stands.  Ironically the style survives albeit transformed into the quintessential hamburger stand as McDonald’s replaces all the rathskellars on American campuses.

     Now, pay close attention.  Here comes the real crux of the matter.  This is the reason why.  If it seems too trivial then your complaint is not with me but to the nature of the human mind.  This is the exact time and place when Sonderman jelled as my Animus.  The problem I dwelt on at the time and later was that I didn’t have any money to spend for dinner, but that wasn’t it.  Reconstructing the scene now I realize that the money was an inconsequential detail.  The real thing was that I had blundered into what was supposed to be my own wake.

     When Old S met with Hirsh on one of those stops he was told to bring me along where I would be properly humiliated.  The restaurant was filled with Hirshes.  This was to have been their victory celebration after having finally gotten rid of me.  I should have been dead and here I was walking in as big as life.  I can only guess that they were pretending I was dead as they had left no room for me.

     The restaurant was completely full.  The maitre d’, one of which I had never seen before, led us to the last available booth.  It was one of those huge semicircular booths that curve around forever seating six.  I followed after the three others who rushed in ahead of me.

     Mr. Sonderman took a seat tightly on the end of the left side.  Little clambered in followed by Sonderman who sat tightly on the edge of the right side.  Thus they must have planned this on one their two stops.  As the booth sat six it had probably been intended for the Sonderman and Hirsh families.

     Even though a space nearly as wide as the railroad trestle was vacant in the center they would neither move over nor let me in.  I threatened to climb over the table to which they sneeringly replied that they would like to see me make such a fool of myself.  Given the choice between that and letting them make a fool of me I should have chosen the former but I didn’t have what it took.

page 32.

     The Old Sod coldly suggested I wait outside.  This staggered my mind so much that I must have swept the suggestion aside.  This must be where I began to get angry.

     In the meantime I was left standing in the middle of the floor.  I was amazed to find all the little Hirshes dancing around me hurling insults at me.  I couldn’t understand how we had stumbled into a restaurant where they all happened to be.  The truth was just too obvious for me to grasp.  Damn that mental block.

     In desperation I sat on the very edge next to Sonderman facing out into the restaurant clinging on for dear life fearing I would slip off at any moment.  What they wanted was to see me standing on the outside in the cold looking in.

     So money was not my problem.  Even if I had had the five dollars there was no place at this spacious table for me.  I don’t know what choice I had but I obtusely refused to understand the true situation.  I mean, I was actually begging the Old Sod to buy me a dinner.  So I could do what?  Eat it on the floor?

     His excuse, and I remember it well, was why would he buy dinner for another man’s son?  I was staggered by this response.  I had no idea of the layers of revenge that were being enacted.  I didn’t know that both Hirsh and Mr. Sonderman had grudges against my mother and real father.  Back in their high school days my mother had refused to put out for Hirsh which he never forgave and sometime later my father knocked him down.  These two Old Sods went way back.

page 33.

     I didn’t know what was behind Old S’s refusal but I was being harassed by the Hirshes who were kicking at my feet trying to knock me off my perch.  Sonderman was giving me the same dispassionate stare that the had given me on the trestle.  Little was beside himself with excitement.  My mind was reeling. In the circumstances things were flying past so fast I didn’t have time to express each and every strand of my emotions; all my retorts tumbled beneath each other unexpressed.  My mind was filled with conflicting responses.  I might easily have asked the old fraud why he gave another man’s son a free ticket and brought him down to State as a friend of his own sons.  Little did I know he would have had a ready answer.  If he didn’t think well enough of me to at least help out with a loan of enough money for dinner, why bother?  It would have made his own experience more pleasant.  Even if he had to wait until I caddied next summer I would have been willing to pay him back double.  But then, I had no idea how much he was enjoying himself.  His thoughts were back on his high school days when he had developed his grudge against my parents.

     Sonderman could have loaned me enough to buy a coke.  I mean, where’s that at?  But then, I was unaware of the Field.  I should have known I was being set up, especially when I was clinging to the edge of the seat watching the Hirshes run around me I noticed the man in black who I had noticed so many times before, most recently in the mop closet after Shardel Wilson’s murder, staring at me ruefully directly opposite me at a one man table by the door, as he chuckled quietly to himself.

page 34.

     Yes, this was Hirsh.  I knew then, I intuited that the Sondermans knew who this guy was.  Mr. Sonderman in a bald faced lie said that he had never seen the man before in his life.  These are the people who thought they were better than me.  I could see that he was lieing so I turned to Sonderman for an explanation.  He wagged his head no and shrugged his shoulders.  Even if our relationship wasn’t as friendly as I wanted he had no right to lie to me like that.  My distrust and dislike of him took seed at that moment as his silly face floated up to place itself as my Animus.  Strange the seed should take so long to flower.

     Hirsh?  Where was this guy coming from?  What sort of juvenile madness fixated his soul?  What great perversion dominated his intellect?  What had I done to him?  I didn’t do anything to him.  What I had done was defend my right against his son.  Yes! My crime was that I had refused to accept the place in society assigned by the great Hirsh.

     For decades I wondered how my self-assertion had triggered such a maniacal response is this man.  Oddly enough I found the answer in the Iliad of Homer which Old S had insisted I read.  On my seventh reading a passage finally registered in my consciousness.  In it Artemis had talked back to Hera.  The old queen became enraged that Artemis would talk back to her superiors.  Artemis didn’t know her place.  So what it was was a simple temper tantrum on the part of the Old Queen because I had dared to assert my rights against his majesty.  He had a queen for a role model.  He had a distorted notion of his own importance.  He may have been a queen but he wasn’t royal.

     The Christian name of Hirsh was David.  He had a son my age named Michael.  I was in grade school with Michael.  The Hirshes were or had been among the wealthiest families in the Valley.  David’s grandfather, Baruch, had established the town’s department store.  Baruch’s son Solomon had consolidated his father’s success.  However the Hirshes had great difficulty adjusting to post-war competitive realities.  National chains had reduced their store from one of supremacy to one of hanging on for life.  David and Michael would never inherit the commercial temple Baruch and Solomon had built.  At the time of this story the Hirshes were rapidly losing their influence.  They still had enough to bend an old loser like Mr. Sonderman to their will.

     When I was five years old I was in kindergarten with Michael.  The Valley was a closed conservative town.  A number of people assumed a dignity that was based on nothing apparent.  None of them had the class they thought they did but they talked about it enough so that class seemed familiar to them.  They thought they knew what it was and that they had it.  The Sondermans sitting in their dirty house thought they were the epitome of it.  It was sort of like a midget talking about being seven feet tall then bending over to pass through doorways.  It just kind of made you laugh but you still had to deal with it.

page 35.

     Anyway because of my mother’s contretemps with Gentleman David Hirsh she had been shown her place which was pretty close to the bottom.  She accepted it without a demur.  I certainly did not feel bound by my mother’s decision but Hirsh thought I was.

     As the son the Valley’s first citizen, for so Hirsh considered himself, Michael was the self-appointed leader of kindergarten class.  He was given paramount treatment by others, the teacher and his elite fellows.  he was being groomed by his father to be the future ‘first citizen’ of the Valley.  As the leader of the ‘best’ kids in the class he had been putting me down all year.  Because of his father’s clash with my mother and father I had already been made the actual dunce of the class and would in all likelihood had accpted the role and remained so all my life had not Hirsh inadvertently delivered me from my thralldom.

     Because of his treatment I was down, thoroughly dejected and rejected, beaten up pretty good.  Then, this was during the War at the time of Stalingrad and the height of the holocaust, a couple Black kids, three to be exact, although one of them was pretty old, were going to be enrolled in class.  During the War they brought a lot of Black people up from the South to work in our factories as all the Whites were off fighting the Axis.  Hirsh was horrified that his son  would come into contact with Black kids.  We were all sternly admonished by Michael that in no circumstances were we to play with the Black kids.

     I was already in their status.  It was forbidden to include me in games.  I didn’t need more trouble so I wasn’t going to resist.  Then Michael said we weren’t even to speak the them.  That seemed unfair, rebellious thoughts began to stir in my head.  Now, for some time I had been ordered to be the last kid to leave the classroom for recess so by the time I got outside Michael Hirsh and the gang of the ‘best’ kids had the Black kids sitting on the edge of the sandbox where they were being told to remain throughout recess.  Good thing for the Black kids there were no ropes around, we had plenty of trees.

     page 36.

     Coming out I walked up just as Michael was shaking his finger in their faces.  He had told them to sit on the edge of the sandbox all recess long and not move a finger.  I thought that was outrageous.  I told him off.  Seeking an alliance with the Black kids I offered to fight Michael and all the rest of the ‘best’ kids with them.  There was my offence.  There was the cause of all the persecution.  I defied the son of the great, the mighty, the giant among men, David Hirsh.  For this act of defiance in kindergarten David Hirsh had been trying to kill me for eight years.  For no offence against him at all that moron Sonderman was helping him.  Surprised at my show of resistance Michael swallowed hard then backed away into the security of his gang.  That was one of those fatal errors where one surrenders one’s authority forever.  The move cost him his leadership but the Black kids left me hanging out to dry.  I was all alone out there.

     Imagine my crime.  Me, a lowly member of society had insulted the dignity of the mighty Hirsh dynasty by asserting my dignity in the ‘Arsenal of Freedom.’  What a crime.

page 37.

     As the year was at an end they threatened to take revenge on me in First Grade.  I moved out of this school district that year to my great relief.  I thought I was safe.  To my horror, the next spring I was moved back into my old school district just after Hitler put a bullet through his brain.  My return at the end of the First Grade surprised them so they had to wait until the second grade to retaliate.

     They gave me no peace over summer vacation.  I was at my foster home with the Johnsons that summer so I didn’t know anyone as the Hirshes had told everyone it was forbidden to play with me.  I was pretty battered and disconsolate as the second grade began.  One the first day it was made clear to me that I was to be chastened at recess.  Once again I was told to be the last kid out of class.  Once out on the playing field of our little school I was enclosed in a semi-circle by Michael Hirsh and the ‘best.’  Michael advised me of my offence in defending the ‘niggers.’  He said I would have to suffer their fate.  I would have to be his nigger and niggers never have any rights.  From that day on I was stripped of any right.  That wasn’t taking much away but probably something.

     Michael ordered me to step forward.  I did.  As I began to raise my foot he ordered me to stop and remain frozen in that position for the duration of recess.  It was equivalent to the ‘niggers’ sitting on the edge of the sandbox.  To my shame, which ceased being eternal when I discovered this fixation, I complied.  However the crime of Michael Hirsh was so severe that he murdered my personality.  No small thing.  The person I had been died that recess.  I lost my identity.  My shame was so great that I suppressed the memory so thoroughly that it was encapsulated in my mind as a fixation while I was never able to recognize any of them again.  In fact nearly any unpleasant person or situation was immediately voided from my conscious mind to my subconscious thereafter.  It was as though what had just happened had never happened.  I developed a strange character in which I could talk to someone who had given me a gross insult as though nothing had been said.  But the speaker was dead to me; it was as though I were talking to a ghost.  I couldn’t remember him even as I talked to him.  Hence I can remember events in accurate detail but I cannot recall most people.  This psychological fact may be difficult to understand but it is true.

     page 38

     I suppose they expected me to apologize to them and accept further punishment in the assumption of my role as their ‘nigger.’  But the Challenge presented to my as yet unformed Animus was so strong my Response had been psychological suicide.  My Animus died.  It was impossible for me to even recognize them in class so they continued to persecute me forever after; not only through Junior High and high school but even in my Navy career and possibly to the present day.  The legacy lives on.

     This second grade incident was my central childhood fixation.  When I was able to uncover it at the age of forty-eight layer after layer of subordinated suppressed experience came to light.  Many memories were actually more injurious than the central fixation but had been rendered less harmful in relation to it.  In addition many layers of Responses had been distorted to conform with my fixation.  Nor were the memories stored in chronological order but in layers of importance related to the central fixation.  There was a great exhilaration of relief as the fixation was uncovered until my memories began to rearrange themselves into my new reality.

page 39.

      Thus without psychiatric treatment I was one of Dr. Leary’s untreated who got better on ‘their own.’  I found the cure that Tim was unable to discover for himself.  Further I was much better off without drugs than Tim was with them.  When I say drugs I am sure that you will include only illicit drugs.  Don’t limit the topic.  Drugs also includes all those prescription items that killed Elvis Presley.  Those same legal drugs that you think you need to deal with reality.  Drugs are drugs whether illegal LSD or prescription prozac.  The nature of drugs doesn’t change because a doctor prescribes them.  Don’t kid yourself.  They all inhibit the ability of the mind to deal with reality.  If you have any throw them away.

     As strange as it may seem I have no regrets for my painful resistance to the Hirshes.  No matter how much pain I endured or the blight they placed on my later life I was ragged but I was right.  They were evil people; the very face of evil.  It is every man’s duty to resist evil.  My resistance was absolutely justified.  I had rather suffer whatever I incurred than to have submitted to their injustice.  Law and Order be damned.  What price Liberty?

     Mentally all subsequent experience was subordinated to that central fixation.  The memories existed on two different levels.  One was vital and organic.  In the other I could examine a clear snapshot of scenes, as it were.  They were inorganic, distorted and filed behind my fixations.  As layer after layer of repressed memory came to light the image of my Anima, Ange, appeared.  Strangely a true understanding of her had been deposited at the very bottom of my mental rubble.  Now that my mind had been united and swept clean of the debris of decades the only things remaining were the Angeline Constellation of my Anima and the Sonderman Constellation of my Animus.

page 40.

     My mind filled like the dark vault of heaven with a million stars of memory, took shape for me.  It came into focus, like some ancient astronomer here am I arranging patterns in my memories to form the Sonderman Constellation that makes the Animus of my psyche.

     As I sat watching Hirsh laugh at me I saw him make a signal to Mr. Sonderman.  The food was about to be served.  Mr. Sonderman didn’t just suggest I wait outside.  I might as well make a clean breast of it no matter how much it hurts.  I was put outside.  I was not to be allowed in the same room with them while they were eating.

     Mr. Sonderman ordered me to wait outside until they finished.  With one eye on Hirsh I indignantly refused.  Old S then nodded to Sonderman who slid over pushing me off my perch onto the floor.  I sprawled out on the floor to the merriment, laughter and pointings of the Hirshes.  I started to laugh along with them but then I must have gone into a daze.

     Sonderman prepared to resist my regaining the edge at any cost.  He was willing to embarrass himself and his family for Hirsh.  I felt sorry for him.  I could see no utility in fighting for the edge and I couldn’t just stand around in the middle of the floor making a spectacle of myself for the surrounding Hirshes.  I bit the bullet retreating outside.

page 41.

     This was late November.  I don’t know how many times mothers remind their sons to take jackets because it will get colder at night.  Whether I forgot or Sonderman said I wouldn’t need one, possibly a grim joke, a little dark humor, I can’t remember, but I needed one.  I walked shivering up and down outside the mahogany stained mullions of the windows of this quality restaurant.  Hirsh sitting against the window turned languidly from time to time to unsmilingly observe my pacing back and forth shivering in the cold while he and his sat in the warm good cheer of the restaurant.  I bet it wasn’t as warm as that closet at the Y.

     How do you explain such a pervert among perverts?  If his god was dumping on him, depriving him of his honors, then he richly deserved it.  Had either he or his been worthy it wouldn’t have happened.  I didn’t deprive his chicken son of his position in kindergarten; Michael deprived himself.  All he had to do was fight; he was too cowardly.

     And what of Hirsh?  So brave and energetic in punishing a mere boy a third his size.  So courageous now in using his tools, the Sondermans, to humiliate me.  How could anyone respect a man who got into a closet to hide with an old queer.  How was he going to hide?  Even when he had to face the music he stood like an old fairy twisting his handkerchief, knees together, kicking his legs up backward in knee jerk fashion.  What a powerful guy!

page 42.

     The very sight of him disgusted and angered me as I paced up and down in the cold.  He angered me.  Then a fear passed over my mind.  Perhaps they intended to abandon me.  They might drive off without me.  I was far from home without even a nickel for a collect call back home.  Even then Tuistad and my mother probably would have refused the call saying I got myself into the situation so I could get myself out.

     I walked back to where the car was parked.  I stood with my hand on the door handle so I couldn’t be left.  Good thing too.

     As I shivered in the cold, resentment of years and years of mistreatment began to well up in me.  I hadn’t ever done anything to anybody.  I began to become indignant.  I was indignant because Hirsh was laughing at me.  I was indignant because I had been on the edge of the seat while all the little Hirshes could point at me laughing and mocking my plight.  I was really indignant at Sonderman for refusing to make room for me.  I was indignant because this guy who I thought was my best friend wouldn’t even loan me a dime for a coke.  I was indignant at having been ousted into the cold and getting colder.  I was so indignant I learned a lesson; no matter how desperate I might be in the future I would never ask anyone for anything or place myself in their power.  I would rather die first.  Up everyone’s.

     Just as I suspected the Sondermans got in on the other side of the car refusing to open the door for me.  Old S started the car to drive away.  I shouted for him to let me in but the old pervert shouted back no.  I vowed to hang onto the handle and let them drag me down the street until I fell off.  I would have too.  That was too much for the old bastard; too many witnesses were around.  He stopped the car and let me in.

page 43.

     My indignation didn’t let up.  I became increasingly intemperate on the way back venting torrents of indignation on Sonderman, Little and their father.  Murderers that they were they maintained a facade that I didn’t appreciate what they had done for me.  What they had done for me! I couldn’t articulate my rage, I was becoming increasingly tongue tied so I couldn’t accuse them of the attempts at murder and sodomy but my indignation grew apace.

     By the time we drove into their driveway we were shouting at each other.  As we piled out of the car Sonderman and I were swinging at each other.  I don’t remember any blows being landed.  I was ordered away as an ingrate while I vowed never to speak to traitors like them again.  I was indignant, I meant it.

     I would have maintained the attitude but once again Sonderman came to me.  Shortly after the game at State Sonderman allowed himself to be used in an attempt to get me thrown off the Door Monitor staff.  As the Patrol Boys were an eighth grade perquisite, the Hall and Door Monitors were a ninth grade perquisite.

      I knew better but as I was always hungry for honors I applied to be a Hall Monitor.  I’d been waiting since seventh grade.  Never in my life will I ever be able to imagine anthing more prestigious than being a Hall Monitor.  I may as well add that being a ninth grader has always been for me the crown of creation.  No other year in life has such significance; not even being a senior in high school or graduating from college.  After ninth grade it’s all down hill.

page 44.

     As a Hall Monitor was a shining exemplar for the seventh and eigth graders before we left childhood for what follows I wanted to play that role.

     Hall Monitors maintained order in the hallways between classes.  They stood in the halls at intervals to prevent students from harassing each other.  We must have been an irascible bunch if one judges from the precautions the teachers took.

    Being a Hall Monitor was a very prestigious role.  The Hirsh group took it as their prerogative.  Only they or those they permitted served.  All the machinations that went on in the Field were beyond my ken but judging from appearances and results the Hirshes were successful in representing my dismissal from Patrol Boys and my subsequent bizarre behavior as reasons to keep me off the Hall Monitors.  In the language of the fifties I was ‘controversial’ which meant untouchable.  The fifties hated controversy which is why it is described as conformist.

     I was unable to join.  That was probably just as well for my own reputation and mental health.  Standing in the middle of the hall I would have been an easy target.  It wouldn’t have taken them more than a week to create a row that would have served as an excuse to remove me.

     There was an alternative.  In the morning before classes the entries were staffed by Door Monitors who admitted teachers and Hall Monitors before the doors were thrown open for general admittance.  The role was much less prestigious than Hall Monitor.  The administration found it difficult to staff it completely.  There was always an opening.

page 45.

     I was accepted.  I was given a post with three others at the right back doors.  The big bank of front doors where the principal entered was the preserve of the ‘in’ Door Monitors, those who had just missed being Hall Monitors or who hoped to replace one during the year.  I was never assigned there.  My presence was only grudgingly accepted at any of the doors.  Nevertheless before the State game things were going acceptably.  I was happy and content.

     Before the State game the Hirsh Hall Monitors had shown resentment at my opening the door for them.  After the State game that resentment increased.  First they heaped little indignities on me which I brushed aside but then Louis Schriver made a grand play to discredit me.  The ploy was a minor variation on the Patrol Boy ruse.

     When a Monitor approached I swung the door open far enough for him to enter then quickly closed it behind him.  Wiseguys would occasionally try to outwit the Door Monitor rushing in behind an entrant so there was a minor contest to beat the Monitor.  Schriver organized a group of kids, grabbed the door holding it open to allow them all to rush inside.  The idea was that I wasn’t capable of performing my job.  Schriver made the mistake of doing it in front of the other three Door Monitors who witnessed against him although we were both called on the carpet.  Schriver was given a reprimand.  I wasn’t thrown off the Door Monitors probably only because there weren’t enough applicants but I was made a ‘floating’ monitor.  In other words I wasn’t given a permanent location but filled in whenever someone was sick.  I guess they hoped I would take the hint and go away.  No such luck.

     The Hirshes had to go to Plan B, Sonderman.  He allowed himself to be enstooged again.

     Sonderman had belittled me for accepting the post of a lowly Door Monitor.  I was amazed therefore when a week or so after Schriver made a fool of himself Sonderman enlisted as a Door Monitor.

     We hadn’t spoken since we swung on each other getting out of the car.  Sonderman was now very stressed.  The box his father had put him in plus the guilt of the attempted murder on me and the actual murder of Shardel Wilson had placed a great strain on his psyche.  He was much darker and raging continually, much closer to the surface.

     When Sonderman joined, the attitude toward me became more vicious.  Efforts were instigated to drive me off the corps but I held on tenaciously.  I had rights too, even if I was the only one who thought so.  I ignored the insults.  Matters were brought to a head one morning when I was assigned Sonderman’s door.  I was extremely annoyed that Sonderman as a new Monitor was given a permanent post while I, with both seniority and service- I had never missed a day- was kept on only as a floater.

     When I was assigned his door that morning I should have known trouble was in store but I couldn’t be aware of the Field.  Sonderman began by showing his teeth, trying to get his sullen resentment out.  He muttered abusive remarks half under his breath, half uttered as verbal thoughts and half spoken to me.  Man, he didn’t have anything to be resentful about; I was the injured party.  Don’t think I didn’t know it; my own resentment bubbled up.  I said some rather sharp things in his direction.

page 46.

     Our quips became loud insults.  I was not consciously aware of the anger I felt toward him because of the trains, Y and State game but I let fly a couple trenchant remarks let loose from deep within my subconscious; they really did the job.

     The dark side of Sonderman flipped up like a flag in a taxi.  Perhaps he had transferred his hostility toward his father to me; exonerating his father and blaming me.  Perhaps he tried to resolve his conflicts by projecting them on me.  At any rate an impotent rage foamed up on his lips.  He let out an immense bellow of pain.

     He didn’t swing at me but he raised his fists close to his chest in a threat, trying to get me to throw the first punch and therefore take the blame as the aggressor.  A common ploy of the Law and Order crowd.  Amazed I backed up a couple steps.  I knew I had more to lose in a fight than he did.  I knew he was ‘an asset to the class’ and I wasn’t.  I would be blamed and he exonerated.  I retreated down the hall before him trying to calm him down, if a man can be calmed by further insults.  But, they were clever insults.  Law and Order taunts.

     It cannot be a coincidence that this happened just as the principal entered.  Sonderman must have received a signal from outside that the principal was coming when he began to harangue me.

page 47.

     Just as we drew abreast of the Front Doors Sonderman with his back toward the door punched out at me so that his punches couldn’t be seen from behind.  Clearly the intent was to get me to take a couple swings which the principal would see thus making me the aggressor.  Sonderman was taking his L&O training much better than that klutz, Schriver.

     As the principal who I could see entered we were just shouting at each other.  Then we quickly separated and were taken into the principal’s office for a dressing down.  I was insulting dismissed from responsibility because as he said, nothing better was expected of me.

     I took that very personally because I was a very good kid.  I had never caused any trouble.  Any careful investigation of the Patrol Boy incident would have shown that none of the fault was mine; heck, they didn’t even investigate it.  This was certainly the first time I had been before him.  His attitude could only have been the result of malignant gossip; he shouldn’t even have known who I was.

     Fortunately I wasn’t dismissed from the corps.  Whether because knowledgeable teachers interceded for me or because I was too valuable for never being absent and willing to be a floater, I don’t know.  At any rate Sonderman quit since he couldn’t pull the same trick twice without discrediting himself while things settled down for me as the Hirshes gave up that fight.

     I have no further memories of Sonderman in the ninth grade.  As far as I considered it our friendship was over.  Rather than having copied him as he charged it can easily be seen that he either  followed my lead or induced me to become interested in what he was doing.

     Junior High was over but my troubles with Hirsh and Sonderman were just beginning.  Now I had to get through High School.  No easy task.  That guy Hirsh had resources, man, that guy had resources.

End Chapter III, The Psychodrama.

Go to Chapter IV, The Psychosis

Chap. III-1 Sonderman

43 pages

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

III

The Psychodrama

…What glory be there

For many to pick on one, and grown up men

deceive a little boy?

–Ovid

     To resume the story at the beginning.

     After the battering of the previous twelve years the move to Caterina was a tremendous psychological lift for me.  The move from the orphanage to the converted garage behind a real house had been a move from total inferiority to mere inferiority.  All the other kids at school who mattered and even those who didn’t lived in real houses while I lived in a garage.  I found the taunts hard to take; I can only be thankful that we didn’t live in the projects.

page 1.

     I was overjoyed to move into a real house thereby becoming a bona fide member of society even though I did have to share a room with my brother.  We moved into a decent but unpretentious neighborhood.  The blocks had been developed in the twenties to accommodate the employees of the burgeoning auto industry which formed the backbone of the town’s industrial base.  The houses were the kind that auto workers could be expected to afford.

     New they cost probably a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars.  Right after the war about three thousand.  Ours cost Tuistad and my mother six thousand in 1950.  They sold it for thirteen thousand eight years later.  Today you couldn’t give it away.

     At that time banks were more worried about the principal than interest so Tuistad and my mother had to pay half down with five years rather than thirty to pay the rest.  The way bankers look at it now they were gyped out of twelve thousand in interest.  Bankers quickly saw their error and shifted the emphasis from principal to interest.

     Having never mixed with regular people in the orphanage my skills and social understanding were limited although I wasn’t necessarily aware of this.  I knew none of the gossip about other people.  I thought eveyone was as isolated from each other as I was from them.  It never occurrred to me that the lives of the older generation had been intermingled for decades in the past.

page 2.

     It never occurred to me for one minute that Tuistad and my mother had known Mr. Sonderman from high school.  They not only grudges against him but real hatred.  They never once mentioned these things to me.  I have since discovered this was so but such considerations had no influence on my actions back then.  They never entered my thinking.

     In my naivete the thing that always amazed me was that none of the neighbors said anything to each other, seldom even a hello.  They always seemed angry and unhappy to me.  Given what seemed to be pleasant living conditions their visages always seemed dark and ominous.  Maybe that’s what Tim Leary meant; maybe a sort of depression is normal to the human mind.

     As I look back I think Sonderman was working out of a deep depression.  Working out of his box I think Sonderman had been able to impose this kind of inertia on the neighborhood kids so that they too stayed in their yards.  As Sonderman looked out on his world he wanted to see everyone trapped in their boxes just as he was.  We all want the world to resemble out state of mind.

     When I moved in with my urgent need for acceptance and fraternity I inadvertently destroyed Sonderman’s scheme by attempting to establish community.  I was only successful in getting about four households together with any consistence and then only for that one summer.  All the kids lived on the intersection of Caterina.  We didn’t even know the names of kids three houses away.

     We lived on a corner which was supposed to be more prestigious than a house in mid-block.  Across the street from us on the north-east corner was a little corner grocery store; super markets were not yet so common as to have run corner grocery stores out of business.  There were several within a six block radius of us.

page 3.

     The one across the street was run by recent Polish immigrants.  I never knew the reason but everyone was forbidden to shop there even for candy.  If I had to go for a loaf of bread I was made to go six blocks away to a store owned by some guy who had somehow terrorized people into shopping there.  His was the ‘official’ store.  You were literally placed under sanctions if you didn’t patronize this guy.  Like all terrorists who had terrorized people into compliance he actually believed people shopped there because they loved him.  He used to stand around looking bewildered by the show of ‘affection.’

     To tell the truth I only went there once.  I had to get only a loaf of bread so I was already angry because I couldn’t go across the street to the Polish immigrants.  My mother was Polish; what was her problem with them?

     A bunch of thug kids hung around the front door of the ‘official’ store.  As I was new to the neighborhood I didn’t know any passwords or handshakes so I had to fight my way in and out.  With any breeding I could have muttered passwords, like Sonderman did when he showed me how a real guy did it., establishing that he was OK as they were and friends.  I didn’t have the breeding so I returned their hostility.  That’s the way things were done in the orphanage.

     Tuistad and my mother might think they had to put up with that stuff but as an orphan I was outside those laws and conventions.  I  was used to being a free agent.  Those rules didn’t apply to me, I stepped to the beat of my own drum.  I went back in, demanded my money back, told the old jerk, who seemed genuinely bewildered, off and went and got bread from the Polacks.

     Tuistad and my mother were horrified at what I’d done but I told them I would never, never shop at that guy’s store; I had bought and paid for my independence and saw no reason to surrender it.  They still said I couldn’t buy from across the street but I could go elsewhere.  I used a couple of the other stores.  Shopping at those stores was a trial because very few of them thought service was essential.  At least the Poles were friendly.

     Next to the Polish grocery were the Simpsons.  Talk about dark!  Jesus Christ!  Jack was my and Sonderman’s age but he had some kind of emotional problem I could never understand.  I tried to include him whenever I could but it wasn’t easy.  They had an old ramshackle house with uneven floors but Jack had a terrific collection of old baseball cards.  Amazing stuff, duplicates of Babe Ruth and everyone.

     Kitty corner from us, Northwest, and across from the grocery store was where the Sondermans lived.  They probably had the biggest house on the block.  Next to our house and that of the Costellos next door to them it was the soundest. 

     Their house really reflected old Mr. Sonderman’s temperament.  He must have had an untidy but orderly mind.  The house was two story plus attic and basement, rectangular box structure characteristic of a whole lot of the houses on our side of town.  There was more variety of architecture on our street but I could show you whole blocks of houses just like theirs.  The front porch was always stuck on them like an afterthought or addition.  This always struck me as kind of weird like the builder hadn’t figured out a way to get up to the front door then said:  ‘Oh, I’ve got it, a front porch.’  Mr. Sonderman had the house painted a dull blue grey with darker blue accents which perfectly reflected the Sonderman mentality.

page 4.

     Mr. Sonderman’s long suit as a homeowner was not maintenance.  Neither the house or the lot was ever maintained.  Our street was lined with fine old trees.  The Sondermans had two in front of their house.  That’s right, two.  Count ’em, two.  How many did we have?  One, right?  Little details like that make superiority in some people’s minds.  Another argument of Sonderman’s was that our front steps were kind of weird; even I had to admit that.  There were seven concrete steps descending in ever larger semi-circles.  I’m sure they looked good on paper to whoever added them on but they were sure ugly looking.  That was one of Sonderman’s criticisms that I was never able to explain away and can’t get around now.  Suffice it to say that the front steps were weird but neither I nor my parents had anything to do with it.

     But our grass was cut.  Sonderman’s front yard was bare dirt with weeds butted up against the lattice work of the porch.  They never plucked them once.  The backyard appeared to have been designed as an English garden, perhaps it had at one time been but they allowed it to become terrifically wild and overgrown.

page 5.

     The free standing garage, which was the norm, was at the back of the lot.  Two ruts of bare earth led to where the doors hung off their hinges.

     Wink Costello lived next door to the Sondermans.  Wink’s father was the Principal of Jesse Loomis grade school over on the East Side.  Mrs. Costello kept the best house of anyone I ever knew.  Their yard was neatly maintained and the exterior of the house was immaculate.

     The only other kid that joined us regularly was Rose Craddock.  She lived across the street from the Costellos in a crazy house quite similar to the Simpsons.  There was a lot of dry rot in the beams that supported the house so the floors sagged kind of crazily and creaked when you walked on them.  Now, I liked Rose, although she developed a dislike to me, but her psychology sagged a lot like her floors.  When I moved into the neighborhood her mother and father were getting an acrimonious divorce and I think her hatred of her father kind of slopped over on me.  She was really a nice person but deeply distraught.  Hard to like disturbed people who think you’re the one who’s disturbed though.  As it turned out she wasn’t such a nice person.

     The strange thing was they all thought I was weird.  I maybe wasn’t ‘normal’ but I was squared away.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wasn’t walking on a heaving deck.  I could have given them a pert little psychanalysis but they would have denied it.  Ergo, I guess we were all ‘normal’ for whatever that’s worth.

page 6.

     Those were the only people in the neighborhood I ever knew.  In six years I never met the people behind us or even the people next door.  The house next door was a rental and all the guy ever did was stand in his windows looking into ours.  The guy behind never did anything but snarl at me through his door.  I thought the situation strange but experience has shown that it was not.

     Anything beyond the houses I mention was terra incognita.  I don’t think Tuistad or my mother ever spoke to a single neighbor nor they to them.  Everyone kept a sullen distance from each other.  This always amazed me.

     Sonderman and I first met under the streetlight in the intersection.  In our town streetlights were suspended from cables over the middle of the intersection.  I guess he must have thought it was the halfway point between his house and mine.  He never came any further.  I was the one who always called on him.

     We were midway through seventh grade when we met but I had noticed him in metal class during the first semester.  He was solitary even then though the remarkable thing is that while the Hirshes harassed everyone else they left him alone.  Even so the Hirshes monitored my movements carefully and had notified Mr. Sonderman of my coming so the reception was strained.

     As I said, I had little social sense; I had no idea of anyone’s pasts so I knew little of what was going on or what had gone on.  In the orphanage I was completely excluded from the community.  I was not allowed to be a citizen.  I was a dog who lived in the orphan’s kennel.  You must understand a community’s attitude toward its orphans.  Since then, either because I was preoccupied with myself, an orphan is always described as self-centered because they have always been denied and have to push themselves to get what is rightfully theirs, or because I was excluded from all gossip I had learned nothing of who was what to whom

page 7.

     I have since learned that Hirsh and Mr. Sonderman were pretty tight high school chums.  I can only speculate that Mrs. Sonderman was related to Beverly Webster, perhaps information was passed at one of the meeting of the Daughters Of The American Revolution to which they both belonged.

     I don’t know specifically how or where they communicated but judging from appearances they acted in close concert.  Old S was an odd old duck.  He always acted like a fugitive to my eyes, it always seemed like he was looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was catching up.  Old S was a complete failure.  His so-called chemical plant didn’t even have any employees.  He must have made his saltlicks with his own hands.

     For myself my past was an aborted mess, now I wanted a future to be in the mold of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer or like that of the now neglected Penrod Schofield of Booth Tarkington.  I consciously tried to form those precious years around those images.  I couldn’t do it alone so I viewed it as though fate had provided Sonderman.  But as Sonderman accepted the Hirsh position that I was lower than the lowest our two aims came into conflict.  Thus as Sonderman put me off he frustrated a deeply felt need while his own unfounded pretensions to supreriority infuriated me.

page 8.

     The Sondermans always acted like they thought they were important substantial people, superior to myself, even though there was no evidence of it in their car, house, family life or psychology.

     Once I gave vent to my anger as Old S was carefully manipulating his garage doors on their hanging hinges to close them.  I asked him, perhaps subconsciously in mocking tones, why his driveway was two muddy ruts and his garage doors hung off their hinges while we had a concrete driveway with a garage in good repair.   I don’t think he understood my reason for putting it to him.  He said something gruff and raised the back of his hand to me.  I noted the back of his hand and deeply resented it.  Still, I ran off laughing.

     Sometime later however he laid concrete tracks and repaired his door carefully pointing out the repairs to me.

     He was always as dark and brooding as Sonderman.  Why not, he made Sonderman in his own image.  He and Mrs. Sonderman  had a very disturbed relationship.  I mean, you know, like we’re talking psychotic.  The psychology was reflected in every aspect of their lives.  Perhaps that is why, even though I  knew pretending to be my cousin was borderline insanity, I didn’t think I was abnormal.

     Mrs. Sonderman especially was sitting on the edge of a tilted table.  Because my relationship with my Anima is especially good I have always had excellent relationships with women.  I find little to dislike in any woman unless she has an aversion to me in which case I have no use for them.  Mrs. Sonderman was no exception.  She showed some of her early girlishness to me.  I thought she was a lovely, if peculiar, woman.

page 9.

     As I mentioned earlier Mrs. Sonderman had very unrealistic expectations from life as well as marriage.  Her mother had taught her that her husband as her Prince Charming could or should be able to satisfy her every whim.  When it came time to propagate the species Mrs. Sonderman had wanted daughters.  When Old S disappointed her with sons she vowed eternal revenge.  She did everything she could to make the life of her husband and sons a hell on earth.  Which is to say, she did nothing.

     She left home shortly after he did every morning not returning until in the evening after he did.

     I hesitate to put this next bit in but since it affected my mind in relation to Mrs. Sonderman I will, altough it does not refer directly to the woman but demonstrates why the ancient maxism: Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, is true.  Had Mrs. Sonderman been better balanced and not sought vengeance on Old S and his sons on the basis of her flimsy excuse she would have led a much happier life.  But then, who knows what the ultimate source of her action was.  Women invariably blame their husbands for matters that occurred in their childhood.  She may very well have been acting out some childhood fixation given her in the distant past.

     When I caddied in the summer between ninth and tenth the other caddies had a never ending font of dirty jokes.  These guys told ten or fifteen dirty jokes every day all summer long.  For decades I could remember a couple hunddred but they have left my conscious memory now.  One which I always associated with Mrs. Sonderman I have never forgotten.

page 10.

     There was this guy who had a wife who cut him off for some reason a long time previously.  But she still had a longing for the weeny but didn’t want to be unfaithful.  Every day when the old boy left for work this woman would get a banana and place it in a hole in her bedroom floor and then hunker down on it for sexual satisfaction.

     As often happens she was careless about closing the shades.  Her next door neighbor chanced one day to look through his window where he saw the woman perform her act with the banana.  He watched this for several days then he examined the foundation of her house and discovered he could slide under the house.  Thus the next day when she put the banana in the hole and turned around he pulled the banana through and stuck his own up through the hole.

     This worked very well for about three days.  On the fourth day the woman had put the banana in the hole when she heard her husband who had forgotten his lunch coming up the steps to get it.

     Her neighbor who didn’t note the husband’s return had already put his weeny up through the hole.  When the woman heard her husband coming she turned quickly around kicking the banana under the bed.

     Whether this had to do with any longings I had for Mrs. Sonderman I can’t honestly say although from the moment I heard the story I associated Mrs. Sonderman with it.  I still ache when I think of the woman of the joke kicking the ‘banana’ under the bed.

page 11.

     The mind is a funny thing.

     Anyway she made her and their life miserable.  She did absolutely no housekeeping.  Mr. Sonderman didn’t either; nor did their two sons.  When I wasn’t over there Sonderman and Little sat quietly on their porch watching the silent empty street daring something to move.

     So far as I know the house had never been cleaned since the birth of the two boys had disappointed their mother.  They had hardwood floors.  In the living room an old threadbare oriental rug of  ‘great intrinsic value’ had been thrown over it. When I say threadbare, I mean threadbare.  There were huge areas where the pattern was missing, just the warp and woof visible.  Over the years the dirt on the floor had congealed into a fine grit, actual fine gravel that crunched beneath your feet.  The only dust free places were places where shirtsleeves had wiped it away.

     Old S. and his boys must have been having a duel with Mrs. Sonderman to see who would crack up first and clean it up.  I even offered to help the sons give the place a good sweeping and dusting and it was refused.

     Mrs. Sonderman never cooked.  Hadn’t so much as boiled water since the boys were born.  The centerpiece of the dining room table was symbolic; she had placed old transmission parts on a silver tray.  I suppose that they represented the ‘snails and nails and puppy dog tails’ that boys were made of.  They were a grim reminder of the failing of Old S in not giving her girls.  The really nice sideboard they owned was covered in like trash.  It was really quite eerie; would have been great in a spooky movie if handled right.

page 12.

     As Mrs. Sonderman would not cook for her husband and his boys it was Mr. Sonderman’s duty to whip something up for them when he came home.  It never occurred to Sonderman of Little to chip in and help.  They had this little tiny kitchen adjoining the dining room where the side entry came in with a little tiny table where three people couldn’t even sit.  Mr. Sonderman and the boys ate there out of tin cans standing up every night all the time, forever.  They had to do their own dishes- once every so often- too.  Of course when you’re eating straight out of the can that obviates doing a lot of dishes.  You just throw the can away.  Might have to rinse a fork or two.

     I always marveled at these signs of superiority although I have to confess that subconsciously I absorbed their style for today as for all my life I prefer to eat out of cans standing up in front of the stove.  Minds are tricky things.  What goes in will come out in one form or another.

     As indicated earlier I do have some understanding of the cause of Mrs. Sonderman’s behavior.  It revolves around the fact that Mr. Sonderman gave her sons instead of daughters.  My mother had somewhat the same problem with my brother and me although she expressed her resentment differently.

     I’m sure that there was a complex of reasons for denouncing my father but her subsequent actions toward me indicate her disappointment at having girls was the significant factor in her rejection of my father.

page 13.

     After divorcing she put us away from her in foster homes and ultimately the orphanage.  In my mother’s family primogeniture went to the eldest female in reversal of the normal male.  This is not as unusual as you may think.  This is an area of female psychology that has been completely ignored.  She herself was the second eldest of four sisters, no brothers.  She had a great envy of her oldest sister who my grandmother trained to leadership.

     I was the first of the grandchildren.  If I had been a girl my mother’s status would have catapulted her to the top from which she could never be dislodged.  She would have been chief sister and I, as a girl, would have been chief grandchild.  Instead, four years later the oldest sister had the first girl remaining chief sister while her daughter displaced me as chief grandchild.  Thus I was dispaced from my proper role and recast as a subordinate cousin.  Coming on top of the foster homes and orphanage I found it impossible to be treated as an inferior to this cousin who was actually stupid.  That is another part of the story but I have never forgiven my mother for demoting me to inferior status.  I would dance on her grave but for the fact I would honor her too much.  Besides she was cremated and her ashes scattered over farmland.  Let her try to do a better job of raising something.

     Having established a principle there is a denouement to Mrs. Sonderman’s story.  During the time she lived on our street Mrs. Sonderman dressed like a slob.  She wore dowdy old black clothes.  Believe it or not she rolled her nylons down to her ankles and actually went out in society in that guise.

     Now, when Mr. Sonderman’s two boys were about to graduate and leave home she didn’t want an empty nest so Mr. Sonderman climbed up on the Mound of Venus for the first time in fifteen years and gave her two more children.  These were both girls.  Mrs. Sonderman’s life was completely changed.

     Midway during our Senior year she made Old Sonderman sell their house and they moved over to the North Side of town.  I was forbidden by Sonderman to call on them there but after I went into the Navy I called on the house while on leave.  I was startled at the remarkable changes.  The house was a very attractive bungalow.  Somebody even mowed the lawn occasionally and made a stab at keeping up the yard.  I was really astonished.  I knocked at the door with some trepidation unsure that I wouldn’t be turned away which would have crushed me.

     Mrs. Sonderman was an entirely different woman.  She very graciously invited me in.  The house was immaculate.  Everything was brand new and expensive.  She had really deep pile wall to wall carpeting, drapes on the windows, flowers in vases, the transmission gears were gone from the dining room table.  Instead of the old frumpy Mrs. Sonderman she seemed to be professionally groomed with contemporary chic clothing of her social caste.  Did I say I was astonished?  Words fail me.

     Remember when Mrs. Sonderman told me as though it was an actual fact that boys were made of nails and snails and puppy dog tails while girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice?  I remember having laughed at her sincerity but she insisted it was literally true and furthermore acted on the assumption.  Talk about ephemera making a deep impression.

page 14.

     Thus when she had two boys Mrs. Sonderman in some demented fashion, poor thing, created what she considered the proper environment for ‘snails and nails and puppy dog tails’ but when she had two daughters she created an environment that was ‘sugar and spice and everything nice.’  What do you think of that?

     She remained quite dotty however.  I could see that she was still sitting on the edge of the tilted table.

     My main reason for visiting her, I knew Sonderman had already left for West Point, was to check on her little library.  On Caternia the only thing she took care of was this little black enameled bookcase that stood right by the front door.  It housed her collection of Folio Society books from England.  Folio Books was started in 1947.  In 1951 Mrs. Sonderman had a complete collection.  She tried to interest me in them but I refused my attention.  She treated me distantly after that.

     As I was curious I asked her about them.  I guess the change of persona was so complete she didn’t have any idea what I was talking about.  Now, just as I eat standing up by the stove today I have an almost complete collection of Folio Society books.  The mind! Who knows what goes in where or when or how it will come out.

     At any rate she did not lift a finger around the house on Caterina.  Neither Sonderman nor his clonelike brother were ever expected to do anything.  They never did.  They just tolerated the filth; heck, they acted like it was sacred.  the funny thing was, the Costellos next door, who were immaculate, looked up to and respected Mr. Sonderman.

page 15.

     My mother who worked forty hours a waeek kept very respectable house and had dinner on the table every night no matter how unpleasant our dining experience was.  Thus, when the Sondermans claimed superiority I was both amazed and incredulous not to mention, indignant.

2.

     When I met Sonderman in the middle of the seventh grade we were both undersized for our ages.  I was only four-ten, somewhere around ninety pounds.  I always remember Sonderman as being five- three to five-five, his ultimate height.  But he was probably shorter then although he was always a head taller than me until after the ninth grade.

     I was only five feet tall at a hundred pounds on leaving the ninth grade.  At that time I had accepted the fact that I was destined to be short.  I already had a short man’s complex.  It is very distressing to a man to see all his fellows towering over him.  The boxing terms Heavyweight and Lightweight have definite positive and negative connotations; it didn’t look like I would ever be anything but a flyweight.  I had the list of Flyweight boxing champions memorized.

     Fortunately for myself I grew six inches in the summer between the ninth and tenth grades.  As our relationship had been ruptured after the Y incident  and the State game we didn’t associate that summer so that Sonderman was surprised that fall to find me taller than he.  I think that affected our relationship backward in changing his memories and forward where he would always be shorter than me.

 page 16.

     Fate plays some mean tricks.  So long as I was shorter than he this allowed him to be taller in relation to others.  In other words there was someone shorter than he was.  Being now shorter than me he had to alter his perceptions to being shorter than me as well as eveyone else.  Now he was just short, the shortest.

     I  know I had developed a very unfair onesided rivalry with Darly Machotte who had been as short as me in the ninth.  I crowed over my increase of height until he justly put me in my place.  However I always disregarded him thereafter because he was so short.

     Sonderman developed a short man’s complex on the day he saw me taller than him.  My growth as seen by myself and others was little short of miraculous.  I’m sure Sonderman saw my growth as a betrayal of his god.  Considering himself innately superior to me I had somehow unjustly made him inferior in height.  How does one handle such a fact?  I hope I messed up his life good.

     In addition to being short Sonderman had a dwarfish cast to him.  I never did and I never would mention it to him for fear of the consequences yet I always felt he was troubled by it.

     He gave the impression of stockiness yet he was quite thin.  He had a large squarish torso set on slim hips and short but not out of proportion legs.  His head was too small for his body having a resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Comics fame.

page 17.

     Little, his brother by contrast, grew straight as an arrow.  Like myself he was admirably proportioned.  We both reached six feet although where I was skinny and emaciated he was imperially slim.  His fine form was marred by the same too small head and the silly expression of A.E. Neuman just like his brother.

     I suppose our personalities clashed under the streetlight.  That light seemed to symbolize our differences.  Sonderman always had a knack for drawing me into situations where I would be the fall guy.  I should have known better than to go along with him in anything.  In my more positive moments I think of myself as having been trusting at other times I think I was just simple.

     Sonderman devised this game where we were to try to hit the streetlight by kicking a football at it.  This proved to be beyond the ability of Sonderman, Little or myself.  Next he came up with the idea of throwing stones at it.

     While stones were well within the range of our capabilities I failed to notice that Sonderman and Little weren’t trying as hard as I was.  I also failed to consider that stones break glass.  I won that contest and the shards came cascading down.

     Naturally I had a hard time explaining to the police after Sonderman turned me in.  The cost of replacing the light wasn’t shared; my family had to pay the whole thing because Sonderman denied involvement and I had already admitted to throwing the actual stone that broke the lamp.  He always made a big point about how we should never fink on each other but, as usual, he did.

page 18.

     When the summer between the seventh and eighth grades came I disturbed the equilibrium of inactivity by trying to organize neighborhood activities.  This created a competitive tension in Sonderman.

    

 

There had just been a terrific issue of Donald Duck comics in which the Duckburg Olympics had been held.  My imagination had been captured by the fantastic names of the competitors.  Like, one of the sprinters was named Ramjet Rocketflash.  the other sprinter had a terrific name too.  I always swore I would remember them both but Ramjet is the only one I can recall now.  My imagination was fired so I organized the Caterina St. Olympics.

     I had to overcome the passive resistance of Sonderman but I was young and enthusiastic so I prevailed.  The Caterina St. Olympics were a success.  But as was to be the pattern, a pattern I failed to recognize, whenever I initiated something Sonderman planned a vengeance for destroying his system of intertia.  Sonderman liked to sit in his box and look out on a quiet, inactive street.  His box was too small for any activity.

     We bicycled everywhere.  Shortly after the Olympics Sonderman wanted to bicycle over to an area opposite Pfeffercorn Island where the municipal swimming pool and tennis courts were located.  There was a slough that ran from the River to behind Reuclin Park.  A dam had been built at the River’s edge to regulate the level of the slough.  It was just a small thing maybe fifteen feet across.  A narrow ledge was built about three feet out from the dam with a drop into the dirty chemical laden water of the river.  I’m sure that very few people knew the dam was there.  I didn’t and I explored everywhere.  I’m surprised that someone who sat on his porch all day like Sonderman did know of it.

page 19.

     If the incident on the trestle didn’t convince you that Sonderman had a vicious turn of mind quite independent of Hirsh this should.  As a serious even criminal revenge Sonderman and Little had tampered with my bicycle chain before setting out.  I have never been mechanically inclined so I wasn’t aware of this fact nor did I ever  check the mechanical elements of my bike.  The pins that connect the links on the chain can be removed to shorten or lengthen the chain.  Sonderman took out one half of a pin so that the chain was only connected on one side.  A strain would pull it apart breaking the chain.

     The way to the dam lay over the Court St. Bridge.  We had two bridges in town constructed in an unusual way.  They were both high arches built along the lines of the arched bridges in Japanese gardens.  Of the two, the Main Street Bridge was actually dangerous for cars.  Another bridge had been built adjacent to it which people in the know used.  The arch of the Court St. Bridge was lower than that of Main Street.  You could bike over the Court St. Bridge but not the Main.  Even then it was a test of strength and skill.  A lot of kids had to walk their bikes over.

     If my chain had given out while I pulled mightily on the upgrade I might not be here.  I would have seriously crippled myself on the crossbar or possibly fallen into traffic.  As it was Hirsh and his son Michael drove past me as I crested the top taunting me as they went.  They probably wanted to run over me if I fell.  I was so proud of having pedaled over I was oblivious to anything else.  Fortunately my chain held.

page 20.

     The Sondermans brought Rose Craddock along to see me hurt or humiliated.  Bloody minded Rose.  I have no idea what I ever did to her to want to see me crippled or dead.  Sonderman led us up to the dam then insisted we run back and forth across the narrow ledge.  When I say narrow I mean narrow for a twelve year old.  Rose and Little both refused.  Girls didn’t count but Little lost caste by refusing.  Of course he wouldn’t ever admit it.

     Sonderman ran across and back then badgered me to do it or lose caste.  I was reluctant to undertake the feat myself but I successfully negotiated the ledge.  My success only threw Sonderman into one of his foaming rages.  He ran back and forth insisting I follow.  We did this several times he screaming at me in hatred.  In a frenzy to knock me off he grabbed a stick and ran it between my legs so I stumbled.  Fortunately I fell toward the dam against which I could brace myself with my hands and edge sideways without falling in.

     Stumbling on the stick satisfied Sonderman that he was my superior but he was still half out of his mind because I hadn’t fallen into the chemical and sewage laden water and swallowed some.  It didn’t help when I ridiculed Rose and Little as chickens to prove my superiority over them.  The deck was stacked against me.

page 21.

     Sonderman kept plotting.  Rather than go back over the Court St. Bridge which my chain had withstood Sonderman insisted we go back by way of the steeper Main St. Bridge.  This was really the long way home all the way down Corbenic on the East Side of the River and back.

     I demurred but Sonderman insisted or, rather, bullied me into it.  They arranged things so that we caught all the lights.  On the pull to get started I could see them looking at my chain and I think I gleaned the meaning.  If my chain broke on Corbenic it would be a long, long way to walk my bike so I began not to pull so hard on the starts.

     My chain was still OK when we got to the Main St. Bridge.  Really you would have to see the Bridge to appreciate it.,  The rise was so sharp and steep that cars had to enter it at two or three miles an hour so as not to crash.  Pedestrians very nearly had to pull themselves up using the rail.  You’ve never seen anything like it; it was steep.

     Sonderman proposed we attempt to peddle over.  I laughed derisively.  If I had to point out one single incident that predicted Sonderman’s failure in the Army this would be it.  Sonderman was smart.  He knew enough physics then to know how impossible it was but he insisted on attempting it.  I sat laughing silently to myself as like a fool he could barely get both wheels on the grade without falling over.  I never stopped wanting to be his friend but I could never view him as superior after stupidity like that.

     On the West Side of the Main St. Bridge is the Big Intersection.  To turn left on Melmoth you had to get into the left turn lane of traffic.  When the light turned you gave it everything so as not to hold up car traffic.  This was when the chain broke as I was heaving my ho.  Luckily I am still able to walk after caroming off the crossbar.  Sonderman, Little and Rose rode off laughing leaving me to walk my bike home alone.  Like Dr. Petiot I picked up a little baggage from that one.

page 22.

     A small mean and vicious vengeance seemed to be characteristic of the Sondermans.  That same summer Sonderman, Little and I were riding down Melmoth Avenue discussing what little we knew about sex.  The conversation was actually between Little and me.  How I resented his butting in and tagging along.  I really resented his attitude of superiority especially since he had refused to cross the dam.  He had no class.

     I find it inconceivable that Sonderman had any friends on the basis of his shadow, Little, alone.  Not only was Little a year younger but he considered himself a universal genius.  There wasn’t anything Little didn’t know or know better.  He was always ready to contradict you and never apologized when he was wrong.

     We were discussing where babies came from.  To be asolutely on the level I had only abandoned Little’s position a couple weeks before at Sonderman’s own prodding.  Little now contradicted the truth insisting that women became pregnant solely because they had lived with a man in marriage for a while.  Well, I hooted him down as derisively as they did to me.  He appealed to Sonderman to affirm his position.  Sonderman underwent a terrific struggle as he tried to find a way to justify his brother but I wouldn’t let him.  I knew he knew.  He gave me a vile look conceding the point to me.  Little turned it around somehow saying that he had been arguing my point and he had just proved it.  I started to argue back but gave it up as a futile effort.  We rode on in silence.

page 23.

     That there should have been a sequel to this trivial incident is I think extraordinary.  But my offence was much more serious than I imagined.  The Sonderman’s must have gone crying to their daddy who must have taken the matter up with Hirsh.  At any rate they decided I must be humiliated to compensate them for losing the argument.

     A week later we were riding down the street with Rose Craddock, what she had to do with this I have no idea, when we rode through an intersection.  A cop car forced me over.  The cop got out to inform me tht it was against the law for ME to ride my bike through an intersection.  I would have to get off and walk MY bike through intersections.

     I told him you couldn’t pass laws against individuals besides why had he stopped only me.  I pointed out the Sondermans and Rose who were gleefully riding in a square around all four corners of the intersection jeering at me as the cop ingnored them.

     He continued to ignore them telling me that what they were doing didn’t matter; it was what I did.  I was to walk my bike through all the intersections.  The Sondermans and Rose rode off laughing leaving me with the cop.

page 24.

     He said he wasn’t going to give me a ticket this time.  I suppose not; but I’m sure that if I had lost my temper he would have escalated the matter until he could have taken me in.  Then I would have the beginnings of a police record as a troublemaker.  Clever people, Hirsh and the Sondermans.  That’s one thing about being an Outlaw, you have to learn to take abuse without a show of temper.  Anyway my enemies had the satisfaction of watching me get off and walk my bike through every intersection for about a week until I figured out I had been had.

     More baggage.  The incident was central to the formation about my ideas of the police.  Justice is not their concern either.  Nor do they have any integrity.  They’re just ordinary grunts with a job just like any factory worker and with the same level of morality.  They do not nor will they ever obey the laws.  Ask any Black person.  Friends of the cops can do anything they want.  All others had better watch their step.  It’s called Law and Order.  Some are in a position to use the Law for the their own Order, some aren’t.

     I think Sonderman’s reaction to such a minor ‘infringement’ of his ‘position’ was extraordinary.  But perhaps the very idea of an ‘inferior’ asserting himself before a ‘superior’ was such a violation of the ‘natural order’ that it couldn’t go unpunished.  After all since my original offence involved Negroes my station in society had been pegged far below that of the Negroes.  In White lore the Negro was always subhuman, a butt of ridicule.  So long as he participated in his own ridicule good naturedly laughing and shouting ‘Yassuh, Mas’r Son’man’ he was a ‘good nigger.’

page 25.

     If the ‘nigger’ showed spirit and stood up for his rights he had to be brutally knocked down, or, even, in the South, strung up from a tall oak tree.  I never saw it myself but it is rumored that dead ‘niggers’ were hanging from every tree.  If Sonderman was an example of whiteness I am sure it was true.

     Thus, a superior in relation to an inferior has no moral obligations.  The superior can lie, cheat and steal and it is the inferior’s role to politely accept his treatment.  I didn’t see why I should.  I aggresively asserted my self worth.  To the Sondermans and Hirshes this was an unforgivable sin.  Having Law and Order on their side they could make me sting.  It should be borne in mind that Law and Order bears no relation to morality, truth or justice.  It is merely a tool to be untilized by those so placed to use it.  I don’t mean to overstress it but they’re sort of like a socially acceptable Ku Klux Klan.

     In this context my rebuke of Little was not an affront or even an insult but an injury.  I was not to be allowed then or ever any dignity, honor or self-respect in order for them to maintain their opinion of me.  I must not be allowed any symbols of worth.  For, any dignity or honor by raising me lowered them.  A success on my part caused a tremendous conflict in them because it contradicted their opinion of me.  Even my growing in that summer had been an insult to them because as a tall man I couldn’t be looked down upon.  That is no joke but a psychological fact.

     As I was only one against the many the odds of success were with them.  In combination they could use their influence with any authorities to prevent my achieving any success, which they did.

page 26.

     I was alone.

     Tuistad and my mother were useless to me.  They neither could nor would do anything to help me.  I never asked.  Unlike crybaby Sonderman who went moaning to his father over nothing I had no one to turn to for help or protection.

     That was the summer Sonderman went to visit his relatives, when I sent him the letter about the mansion I lived in to which he replied about the hole he lived in.  I do thing I got the hint that Sonderman didn’t want to include me in his life but my dilemma was I couldn’t be Tom Sawyer or Penrod without him.  After the horrors of the orphanage I had to legitimize my childhood.  Sonderman was an essential part of my fantasy but he wasn’t living in my dream.

     As exemplified by the golf hole joke there was something about Sonderman  that showed a self-loathing or self-hatred.  He didn’t have any friends that I know of, no one ever visited him, certainly not any of the Hirshes, and he never visited anyone else.  He and Little just sat on the front porch guarding their empty, dirty house.

     Sonderman always put me off as I wouldn’t play Robin to his Batman so that I always remember myself as forcing myself on him.  During these eighteen months in Junior High I always had to go over to his house because he never once in all the time I knew him ever called on me.  Even when I wrote to him after the reunion he refused to answer.  Well, he closed that book.  I don’t owe him anything.

page 27.

     Having driven me off he yet refused to leave me alone.  When he sought my company there always seemed to be something symbolical going on which nearly always escaped me.  When he wanted me to come over he would come out to the middle of the intersection under the streetlight Tuistad and my mother paid for and yell for me.

     By late summer the inertia he loved so well had been restored so I would be doing nothing but sitting on my porch watching the Sondermans sitting on their porch.  Must be what he meant when he said I copied everything he did.  He was probably wondering how he was going to avenge himself for my taking him to Deindorfer Woods.

     He beckoned me over.  This time he wanted to show me some Mercury he had obtained from his father.  Mercury is really neat stuff but I was sullen and not willing to show any interest.  He was very mysterious as he led up to the climax rolling the mercury around in a bottle top combining the globules and separating them again.  All the time he was explaining that although mercury looked just like a fluid it was really a metal just like iron.  But mercury is dangerous if absorbed through the skin.

      Then in a startling move to show his astonishing courage- he was descended from General U.S. Grant on his mother’s side- he poured the mercury into the palm of his hand all the time explaining to me how deadly dangerous the metal was.  Little stood there apparently awestruck at this brother’s courage in handling this dangerous metal.  Real science here.  Sonderman let Little handle it but when I asked for my turn he refused because I didn’t have the courage.  I scoffed at him and walked out.

page 28.

4.

     In addition to sabotaging my efforts as a Patrol Boy Sonderman continued to stooge for the Hirshes while his father plotted to establish his superiority over me.  I would have thought, I would have demanded of him that he have more pride than to do the Hirshes’ dirty work.

     The problem with a Field in human psychology is that nearly all of what is caused is beyond our perception.  It’s kind of like a bank has no idea that someone is going to rob it until they do.  As it was I was even unable to accurately gauge the machinations of Sonderman even though I could see what he was doing.  I was only able to witness the result of whatever deliberations went into his actions.  As a stooge for the Hirshes I saw only what he did and not what the Hirses were doing beyond my ken.

     Thus, who influenced Sonderman or how is really beyond me.  I can only deal with probable causes of actual manifestations.  As we all know, anonymity is the chief asset of the sneak and thief.  A liar merely takes advantage of your good will.

page 29.

     As that summer waned Mr. Sondeman initiated three avenues to establish his son’s superiority over me.  He had Sonderman read the Iliad by Homer and then insist that I read it, which I did.  Beyond the surface meaning the Iliad is very difficult to understand.  I have read the book seven times since then and am only beginning to feel that I have a grasp of Homer’s intentions.  Old S had only read it once, also when he was in Junior High, and certainly did not understand it well enough to explain it to his son.  Nevertheless Sonderman insisted that he understood it and I didn’t.

     There was no question I could answer questions that would convince him that I understood it as well as he.  As he would do in stamp collecting when he appropriated the British Empire as his own province he took the part of the Greeks insisting I take the part of the Trojans.  As you will know the Greeks won and the Trojans lost.

     He cast himself as Achilles and me as Hector then gloated because Hector ran before Achilles three times around Troy.  Well, OK, but that didn’t make him Achilles and me Hector.  I never knew how that one came out of his mind.

     At the same time Old S began Sonderman on stamp collecting and making HO gauge railroad models.  Sonderman then insisted that I follow him in both hobbies.  I didn’t have any money although I could come up with enough for stamp collecting but I couldn’t afford to follow him in HO models although he insisted I go with him to buy his kits.

     There was a hobby store down on Melmoth in the Court St. shopping area.  The intent now as when the cop demanded I walk my bike through intersections was to discredit me.  When Sonderman and I entered the store a couple of the Hirshes scurried up to the proprietor and told him to watch out for me because I was a shoplifter.

page 30.

     The Hirshes came from well known families so the owner didn’t even question it but came over and told me to leave.  I wasn’t going before Sonderman did so I refused.  He didn’t dare accuse me of being a thief to my face so he just groaned and kept both his eyes fixed on me while the Hirshes walked out with his goods.

     Sonderman bought his models sneering at the way I was treated as though it established his superiority.

     Even with money I had no interest in HO gauge models but Sonderman showed the same expertise in making models as he had in making that box in woodworking.  Beautiful craftsmanship.

     As eighth grade began the Hirsh group never ceased attacking at any time or any opportunity.  Enraged by my attempt at respectability by being a Patrol Boy and while they were devising the plan of enstooging Sonderman to get me removed they were wild to discredit or hurt me in any possible way.  They threw caution to the winds.

     Earlier in the summer I had taken Sonderman to Deindorfer Woods. I really believe that Hirsh had intended to strap me to the railroad tracks.  He and his cousin had that unsettled score to settle.

     As part of my Tom Sawyer image I liked to swipe an apple from the trees.  I was always looking for different varieties.  I just love Hirsh’s creativity.  He either knew or was related to this old type guy who had an apple tree in his backyard behind which railroad tracks ran.  There was more than one set so they may have been coming out of a railroad yard but I was there only once so the details escape me.

page 31.

     The more I think about this the less I can forgive Sonderman.  Hirsh got Sonderman to bring me over to old type guy’s house to swipe an apple from his tree.  It was a long way to go just to get an apple that turned out to be an ordinary variety but I went along.

     So we approach this house from back across what looked like pretty close to a switchyard.  The old guy’s backyard was a three foot cut above the tracks.  This was really well thought out.  Hirsh must have had time on his hands.  We climb into this old guy’s yard and rather than grabbing an apple and running Sonderman stands around looking first at the apples then up the tracks.  Now, I can see the old guy standing behind his screen door but I can’t see the shotgun in his hands.

     Well, I’ve been holding onto my apple for quite some time now when I hear this great roar approaching.  I couldn’t figure out what it was because I didn’t check to see whether the rails were rusty or shiny so I forgot about trains.

     When this old guy sees the train a-coming he rushes out waving this shotgun around yelling he hears apple rustlers in his orchard.  This one tree constitutes his orchard and Sonderman and I are apple rustlers whatever they are.  Some people make you wonder.

     Sonderman shouts out real panicky that we should run.  Well, I’ve got my eye on this shotgun so I don’t need a lot of encouragement to pick ’em up and put ’em down.

page 32.

     Now, one daren’t pause to scramble down an embankment when a guy’s behind you with a shotgun in his hands.  About the time I launch a prodigious leap off the embankment toward the tracks I realize what this tremendous noise is because I am high enough in the air to look Hirsh’s cousin in the eye through his little window in the Diesel.

     My eyes went very, very wide as I realized that I might slam under the big steel wheels of this Diesel monster.  Perhaps the Diesel wasn’t the biggest one in the yard but how big does a Diesel have to be to seem like a monster in this particular precarious situation?

     Man, I did everything I could to make myself heavy and subject myself to the pull of gravity.  I don’t know whether it worked but I hit the gravel with my feet jammed against the end of the ties putting everything I had into falling backward.

     Once on my behind I breathlessly crawled back under the cut while Old Guy marches back and forth shouting where are they.  Well, this is a pretty long train of maybe twenty cars and a caboose so I quickly get the idea that Old Guy doesn’t want to see us apple rustlers and shoot.  So at this time I look to my left to see Sonderman crouched up against the embankment staring at me with guilt, fear and loathing in his eyes.

     I should have given him reason for fear and loathing but after the train passed and the old fud went back in I accused Sonderman of knowing before hand that the train was coming.  He lied about it, what else could he do? Then adding insult to injury he refused to walk this great long way home with me.

page 33.

     I didn’t say anything as I watched him walk off.  But then my anger rose up and I winged my apple after him.  Caught him between the blades too, heart high.  The apple split in two.  He looked back sullenly.  I’m sure he never forgave or forgot that either.

     The Hirshes had already intimidated everyone in the seventh grade so that everyone else respected the order and gave the Hirshes supremacy.  I certainly wasn’t about to take the place assigned me.  I was somebody and I wasn’t going to accept less.

     Infuriated by my place on the Patrol Boys and not yet having devised their plan to get me off the Hirshes attacked me furiously in every class.  I simply could not understand all that hostility.

     In the first semester of eighth, the most abandoned of the Hirshes, Louis Schriver, sitting behind me, interrupted history class so much by continually punching me, pulling my hair or stabbing me in the back with a freshly sharpened pencil that he earned a reprimand from the teacher.  I was moved to the other side of the room to stop the disruption.

     I didn’t recognize Schriver then but he used his pencil routine on me when we were in third grade.  Then he had stabbed me on my right index finger breaking off the lead.  If you know where to look you still can see the discoloration to this day.

     The only empty seat available was behind Sonderman.

     The Hirshes took the reprimand very, very personally.  The teacher’s act struck them all as an injustice.  They were supposed to be always in the right.  It was as though I had achieved a victory.  As with all unbalanced people in their situation they took the view that they could only remedy the situation by reversing roles to my discredit.  Their man would be exonerated if I were condemned for the same thing.  The only obvious connection between the two incidents would exist solely in their minds but they were oblivious to eighter reason or intelligence.

     Left to chance, of course, the opportunity would never come or if it did, being unprepared, they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of it.  It had to be set up, all the variables had to be controlled.  Such a phony triumph may gratify vanity but it can never be satisfying.

     The stage was set in second semester in Miss Ryman’s math class.  Miss Ryman was a typical old spinster school marm.  It was easy for the Hirshes to tickle her vanity.  She was invited to the country club for dinner by Beverly Webster Hirsh.  There Beverly expounded their version of my nefarious personal history.  Flattered by the attention of one of the first families of the Valley as well as her surroundings Miss Ryman was easily won over.  Country clubs are great bastions of the Law and Order crowd.

     My habit on the first day of class was to crowd up front so when the door was opened I could get my preferred seat.  For the Hirsh plan to succeed this had to be prevented.  Under some pretext including physical bumping but short of holding, to use a football term, the Hirsh gang held me up from entering until the last.  When I got in all the desks were taken.  There were no desks left but an incongruous table for two had been placed at the back of the room.  I had no choice but to sit at this table.  Different from all the rest you see.

page 35.

     That’s where ‘niggers’ are supposed to sit.  the other chair at the table was unoccupied.  I was not happy sitting at a table while all the rest of the kids had a desk for I would have to stay there for the rest of the year.

     I couldn’t understand why I but I had been maneuvered out of my wonted desk.  I thought it was just because they were being jerks as usual.  There I was, practically in my own separate area with all the Hirshes glaring back at me.  I was quite pleased, overjoyed when Sonderman got up from his desk to come back and sit with me.  I was flattered, I thought that finally my Tom Sawyer fantasy was a possibility.  I should have read his face better then got up to take the desk he vacated.

     Now, the desk he vacated was exactly in the same location where my desk was behind him in history class.  He was sure a stooge.  All the world’s a stage and we are bit players although that thought didn’t occur to me at the time.

     Sonderman, fresh from disrgarding my authority as a Patrol Boy now began to pick little fights with me emulating Louis Schriver in history class.  It took a lot to get me vexed.  I always respected the rules besides, as everywhere I turned someone was trying to pick a fight with me, I had to learn to be patient.  If you respond to provocation from various quarters it is quite easy to get you to defame yourself as a troublemaker which is exactly what Law and Order types want.  The upper class kids were learning all the tricks from their fathers.  I knew that Law and Order would be used against me.  Hadn’t the cop told me that I, and only I, had to walk my bike through the intersections?

page 36.

     Finally, completely disregarding decorum, as with the Patrol Boys and Door Monitors, Sonderman jumped up screaming and yelling at me.

     Miss Ryman, following Law and Order codes, then condemned me out of all proportion to my own actions while transferring the aggressor, Sonderman, to the seat he had vacated to get him away from me.  Thus the Hirshes reversed the incident in history class discrediting me.  Somehow they felt Louis Schriver had been exculpated.

     Even though the scene had been rigged, which was even apparent to me at the time, an effect was committed to my psyche as well as my reputation.  This was a goodly sized load of baggage that had profound effects.  It was perhaps at this time I adopted my alternate persona.

       Miss Ryman not only assigned Sonderman his new seat but also made some gratuitous remarks that Sonderman was a real asset to the class which was more than could be said for another as she fixed her gaze on me.  I took that real hard; the injustice of it rankled on me then while I have never gotten over it to this day.  But then, right and wrong has nothing to do with Law and Order.

page 37.

     At the time I didn’t realize the criminality of Miss Ryman but I do now.  At the time, not realizing that he had been enstooged I wondered how Sonderman could be such a fool.

     It is axiomatic that we can never learn what we don’t already know.  I knew this at the time but I hadn’t learned it.  That would take decades of puzzling over it, as well as integrating my personality.  Jung spoke quite truly when he said that integrating the personality would mean infinite memory.  Dr. Petiot had he been able to integrate his personality and been able to tell it might have had a very interesting story.

     I know that my alternatives were clear to me then and that I dealt with them in the only way available to me at the time.  How many alternatives does a man in prison have?  The very formidable array of power used against me in Miss Ryman’s class demonstrted the feebleness of any power I had.  All I had was my Henley like indominatable will to resist.  I might bend but I would not be broken.  If the authorities could be mustered against me in the form of the police and teachers I not only could not win but I could not even participate.  I was severed from humanity.

     It may seem strange when I say that the betrayal by Sonderman was a stunning blow just after the apple incident especially.  I was dimly aware that I was projecting my needs on him; that I wanted him to be my friend more than he wanted me for a friend.  Still, it was clearly in his power to repudiate me and renounce any association with me.  He wouldn’t just go.  This would have been difficult for me but I could have turned elsewhere.  However, in the depths of my being I also knew that wherever I turnd the Hirshes would show up to poison the relationship.  Thus I was really ensnared.  I know I recognized these considerations but as there were no viable alternatives I had to ignore the true situation and pretend it didn’t exist.  I was actually being denied the right to live by overwhelming force.  What could I do but grit my teeth and try to survive until I could get away.

page 38.

     Of course, the psychological toll was very high.  After abandoning my role as my cousin from Alabama many other undesirable psychological characteristics developed although, thank God, I never became perverted; a little on the unusual side perhaps, but not perverted, I left that condition to my enemies.

     In a whole bunch of ways this sequence of events foreshadowed the remarkable sequence of events that took place in the summer and fall between the eighth and ninth grades.  This is a real story, folks.

     Miss Ryman’s class coming after my expulsion from the Patrol Boys should have been enough to break me down.  The Hirshes thought I would then submit to their supremacy but I didn’t.  As I couldn’t be brought under they had no choice but to exterminate me.  I’m sure that they began planning my elimination seriously at this time.

     Actually Sonderman’s collaboration with the Hirshes was much more extensive than I could ever have imagined until the revelation of the Sonderman Constellation was given me.  He and they had been devising ways to discredit me all year.  Apropos of Sonderman’s contention that I always copied his doings, going back to the summer before the eighth grade Sonderman at his father’s insistence began to collect stamps.  As I said he demanded I do so also which I was very reluctant to do.

page 39.

     Stamp collecting didn’t much appeal to me.  I would never have gotten involved except Sonderman bullied me into it.  I really despise the hobby.  To me stamp collecting is just a scam, a con job.

     So while as I say I have always thought of myself as having forced myself on Sonderman, on reflection it was as much that he sought me.  After all, stamp collecting forced a lot of contact.

     Mr. Sonderman, Old S- S for Sod- was a great fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Don’t ask me why.  I thought there was very little of the democrat about Old S, he was a born Republican if I ever saw one.  As you may know, Frank Roosevelt was a philatelist of some distinction.  There are a couple famous photos where, with magnifying glass in hand, he pores over his stamp album in deep and satisfying reflection.  He was reputed to have on extraordinary collection of stamps; he was one of the world’s great hingers,

     That’s it; that’s why I didn’t want to collect stamps.  If FDR did it I abhored it.  I abhored Franklin D. Roosevelt.

     It was on the basis of Roosevelt’s having been a collector that Sonderman and I were supposed to become ones.  Roosevelt’s having been a philatelist was no recommendation of the hobby to me.  I hated Frank with the rabidity of any Wall Streeter.  There was something about the guy.  He had the air that he knew better than you and me and anybody else.  The guy used a long cigarette holder and then cocked it nearly straight up.

page 40.

     Since then I have learned enough to confirm my intuitive dislike.  The guy was a Red.  In 1936 he believed that only three governments threatened world peace.  Germany, Italy and Japan.  You’ll notice that he didn’t include the USSR as most others would have done.  If he didn’t consider Communism a threat, why not?  Obviously he was in sympathy with the Reds.

     Roosevelt had been part of the Wilson administration and he embraced its ideals.  Wilson favored Reds although as he considered himself the messiah of the New World Order rather than Lenin he rejected the trappings of Boshevistic Communism in favor of a socialism of his own concoction.  Frank accepted Stalin as the leader of the New World Order.  He called him his Uncle Joe.  As the USSR was the homeland of socialism he was quite content to subordinate the USA to the USSR.

     Thus when Hitler appeared as the only threat to what appeared to be the inevitable triumph of socialism Roosevelt aligned himself with Stalin.  He recognized Hitler as the common enemy rather than an ally against Communism.  When Fascism emerged as the avowed enemy of Communism Stalin directed the Comintern, or Communist International, to form Popular Front governments in the nations of the world.

     If you just look at it Roosevelt fell into line making his government a Popular Front in sympathy with Stalin.  Any competitive form of government had to be stopped.  As early as 1937 Roosevelt was waging political, social and economic war against Germany.  He was never neutral as international and domestic law required him to be.

page 41

     He used the resources of the USA as the weapons of his own personal fiefdom.

     To what extent Roosevelt caused Japan to attack the United States is arguable.  Suffice it to say that years before Pearl Harbor he had been aiding the Chinese in their war with Japan which began in 1931.  At the same time he refused to allow US companies to sell supplies to Japan in violation of neutrality.

     In our minds the Axis powers were evil and that  Roosevelt was morally justified in doing so.  However, he violated all the international rules in violation of neutrality.  Legally he was in the wrong.  For years before the outbreak of hostilities Roosevelt had in reality been waging war against the Axis.  He did this not for the benefit of the United States but for the benefit of worldwide Communist Revolution.

     If you don’t believe that ask yourself who benefited from his actions.  There was no threat to the United States from the Axis, then or in the future.  Assuming that Roosevelt’s aid to China and intransigence toward Japan drove the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor in a desperate attempt to seal off the Pacific then, barring that, the US had no fear of attack from any of the Axis powers.

     Planners in the War College must have seen the futility of Germany’s assault on Russia as well as the absurdity of the small resourceless Japan’s attack on China let alone the rest of the ‘Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.’  There was no need for Roosevelt’s frantic response.

page 42.

     Roosevelt and Roosevelt alone demanded the plundering of America’s resources to be distributed with a prodigal hand from England to the USSR and China and the rest of the world as Lend-Lease.  Whether you realize it or not, at the end of the War America had impoverished itself.

     Further, in China, he and George Marshall demanded that the Chinese Nationalists include Communists in their government in order to receive aid.  This fact alone insured that China would go Communist when the Japanese were expelled as they inevitably would have been with or without US resources.

     Now, the Rosenberg’s have been much maligned for giving Atomic secrets to Stalin which they surely did, however the biggest culprit of all went free.  Roosevelt sent Atomic supplies and literature to Stalin all during the war.  The materiel was flown out of Montana across Siberia to Russian scientists.

     The fact is the Goldbergs were fried for their aid while Roosevelt died peacefully in bed tended by his mistress.  Today the Red media in the United States is organized so that not one word of criticism is directed toward their ‘great’ president.

     The irony of it is that if Roosevelt hadn’t given aid to Stalin, the whole of post-war Europe would have been occupied by Russia.  It was only the intervention of the United States that saved Western Europe for the ‘freedom loving peoples of democracy.’  The victory of the USSR over Germany was inevitable.  After all, as Stalin said quite confidently:  God is on the side of the big battalions.  The Soviets had the big battalions.

page 43.

     Roosevelt’s Red policies were repudiated after his death as the great American reaction to Communist infiltration began.  As I and Sonderman began collecting stamps the great but disastrous defense of Americanism by Joseph McCarthy was reaching flood tide.

     Opinion on Frank Roosevelt was very strong in the wake of the War.  I know he aroused the same instinctual hatred in many others too.  I’m sure they were right whatever their reasons.

     After Frank died propped up comfortably by his mistress on his pillows they printed a picture of his dressing table in the papers.  I forget the exact name of the after shave he used, The King’s Men, King’s Arms, King’s something or other, it gave away Roosevelt’s not so secret ambitions, after the picture was published the sale of this stuff skyrocketed for a couple years.  Eight years later Old S was still dousing himself with the stuff.  How’s that for identifying with your hero?

     They coerced me into becoming a hinger.  I don’t really regret becoming one, not in the very fiber of my existence.  I learned an awful lot about geography- I know where Karelia is, do you?  ever heard of the White Sea?  history, flowers, plants, ethnography, you name it.  I mean the connection of the Communist Revolutionaries to the French Revolution is clearly depicted on Russian stamps, can you find it?  I mean that’s a conspiracy thing they still argue about.  It’s all on postage stamps.  Stamps are kind of like the subconscious expression of a nation’s mind.  They show what we would never tell.  Watch ’em.  In these latter days Micky Mouse has appeared on a stamp.  Think about it.  And Goofy.  Think twice. The knowledge I gained has stood me in good stead too.  I learned as much or more collecting stamps as I did in school.

page 44.

     Yeah, but I couldn’t afford stamp collecting, you see.  I didn’t have any money.  Tuistad and my mother never gave me an allowance so that the first time I ever had any money was when I caddied between the ninth and tenth grades.  You can be sure I didn’t spend any of my earnings on stamps.  But then, perhaps that was the idea or part of it.  I would be made to feel inferior because I couldn’t keep up with Sonderman.  He could outspend me.  Part of my conditioning to inferiority.  Didn’t work.

     The basis of stamp collecting, at least at that time, was the approval system.  A selection of stamps was sent to you by these companies that were expert at extracting pennies from little boys.  They would send you three or four dollars worth of stamps on approval.  That meant that you would select what you wanted, send them the thirty-seven cents cash or whatever you kept and returned the rest to await the next selection.  The system always amazed me and I marvel at it now.

     I mean, that’s not all.  Now, dig this.  Places like Gershon Stamps out West had secretaries in offices tear off stamps for Gershon which they then sold as grab bags.  They would advertise a burlap bag (tremendous boy appeal) of a thousand stamps of mixed quality, no guarantee.  About 997 of these stamps were ordinary three centers with maybe three commemoratives and possibly a foreign stamp.  They charged you fifty cents for the crap not including postage.  Think about it.  Would you buy used newspapers from anybody at any price?  I mean, Gershon mailed trash from one end of the country to the other, charged exorbitantly for it, and the customer threw West Coast garbage into a Midwest waste basket.  Ha!  Talk about being enterprising.  That was Gershon.

page 45.

     Takes your breath away.  Those guys were marketing geniuses even though they were preying on nitwit kids in the name of high culture.

     Sonderman started a competition as to who would buy the most and return the least but I wouldn’t fall for it.  I was a conscript not a volunteer.

     The company Mr. Sonderman selected for us was H.E. Harris and Co.  The old Sod supposedly knew someone there so I’m sure some trick was involved.  Harris advertised in all the comic books, right up there with the body building kings, Charles Atlas and Joe Weider, the Rosicrucians of AMORC in San Jose and the seed companies recruiting little boys to take advantage of friends and relatives for prizes that Carnys would have laughed at.  Well, maybe they wouldn’t have laughed but they would have smiled knowingly.

     The only people with real chutzpah were Charles Atlas and Joe Weider who were after fairly big bucks from little boys.  As I remember their first offer for their body building kits was for like, sixty-nine dollars.  Their best offer after you had ignored all the other solicitations was for four ninety-five.  Things were cheap in those day; they could afford to send literature five or six times and still make money at four ninety-five.

page 46.

     I sent in for it all though; pretty exciting stuff for an emerging adolescent.  I still get disgusted when I think of how I fell for it but it was high excitement.  The seeds were the worst.

     But, I digress.  Sonderman belittled everything I did.   If I collected French colonials he collected British, or as he put it, if he collected British, I couldn’t.  If I collected what he didn’t then my choice was worthless compared to his.  He made stamp collecting a very unpleasant experience.

     Whether the whole thing was in collaboration with the Hirshes or whether they found out about it they turned it to their use.  I don’t know but late in the fall of the eighth Sonderman invited me to join his stamp collecting club.  God, they even had clubs for this stuff.  I should have been wary enough to know that since Sonderman never included me in his doings outside the neighborhood something was up.  But, anxious to live up to my Tom Sawyer image of boyhood, rather than being leery of his invitation I agreed to go.

     What a dreary affair.  Boy, that middle class knows how to have fun.  About ten of  us were supposed to meet every month to discuss such sizzling topics as the proper hinging of stamps.  Not all hingers are equal; nor all hinges.  You had to the One and have the right stuff.  It is true that not all hinges are equal.

     Hinges are used to affix the stamp to the proper place in the stamp album.  You can’t collect stamps without buying an album.  I have actually known people who committed the major blunder of gluing their stamps to the album pages.  Heck, I was way ahead of that.  Now, watch this.  Stamp sales are directed by which stamps are illustrated among the blank spaces in your album.  The collector feels obligated to get the pictured stamps first.  H.E. Harris printed the album I bought.  The firms like H.E. Harris exercise great control over which stamps will have the greatest demand by those they picture.

page 47.

     The inferior old fashioned hinges, which Frank Roosevelt undoubtedly used, were too adhesive.  You couldn’t remove the hinge without tearing the stamp.  Progress will not be stopped.  The new improved version was only mildly adhesive and popped right off even when affixed to a stamp with unlicked glue.  They do leave a little mark but that’s OK.  The club even had a contest for the best hinger.  The prize was a package of hinges, new style, of course.  That was where I peeled off.

     I foolishly trusted Sonderman.  I had no idea what was going on, that the Hirshes were involved, but everybody either studiously ignored me or were outrightly rude.  Sonderman acted like I wasn’t there.  Even the stampmaster treated me rude.  then they all left for a break and never came back.

     Even though we walked home together on this occasion Sonderman was give a ride home and I was left.  Even though we lived kitty corner his friends said they weren’t going my way.

     I was dumb enough to be hurt.  They must have been watching me because just when I was about home they came driving past me laughing and screaming as though in high spirits to drop Sonderman off at his door.  If you ever saw dark Sonderman pretending to laugh and have a good time you would think it hilarious.

page 48.

     That was enough for me.  I never went back even though I considered myself the equal of any hinger alive.  In fact, I surpassed them all.  Soon after these easily detached hinges came on the market an even more advanced product appeared.  These were plastic sleeves into which the stamp was inserted without the need to hinge it at all.

     When I showed them to Sonderman, stealing the march on him, he objected that the stamps would probably become damp enclosed like that and self-destruct.  However he was soon using the sleeves.

     By shunning me at the stamp club my enemies wanted me to feel bad.  If you want to make someone do that you can’t be so open; you’ve got to be more mysterious.  They came close to this at the stamp convention.  Even then they were so obvious they failed.

     The convention was held on the mezzanine of the Corbenic Hotel.  The Corbenic was the height of luxury in the Valley.  I hadn’t been to a quality place like that ever before.  The idea of ‘mezzanine’ was new to me too.  Tuistad and my mother didn’t move in very elevated circles.  If fact they didn’t move in any circles at all.  When we went out which was fairly often the places we visited were, if not dives, at least very colorful.  Maybe they were dives.  Some folks like pork chops, some folks like ham hocks and some folks will take anything at all.  The places we went to were in the ‘anything at all’ category.  You ever been to the Royal Palms?  Don’t look for it , it’s not there anymore.  They must have passed a city ordinance against it.  Some of the most amusing moments of my life were spent in the Royal Palms watching low lifes put on high airs.

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     No, I hadn’t been too many places where the elite met to do anything.  The Corbenic is where that class went.  What I discovered right away is that as much as I liked color I liked the style of the Corbenic a whole lot better.  In fact the Corbenic made me forget whatever I knew about color.

     It wasn’t that they had better morals at the Corbenic, those remained as low, but they had better style.  Well, they dressed better and they didn’t spit on the carpets.  The Royal Palms couldn’t have carpets; imagine what they would have looked like after a Friday night.  Heck, the floors of the Royal Palms weren’t even hardwood, just wood.

     I knew what was up as soon as Sonderman and I entered.  I had it figured out in more ways than one.  The Hirsh crowd was everywhere.  They were practically the only ones there.  Sonderman had led the lamb to the slaughter.

     I didn’t have any money so I couldn’t buy anything.  I’m not sure I would have anyway.  There was just such an air of the con about stamp collecting.  The sight of all those grown men sitting behind tables waiting to fleece little boys made me sick to my stomach.

     The Hirshes were really obvious running around telling all the dealers to watch out for me because I was a thief just like at the hobby shop.  Yeh, that’s the way they operated.  Some dealers tried to cover their stamps leaning over them; others just ordered me away.

page 50.  

     If the intent of the Hirshes was to make me feel inferior they failed.  However they effectively slandered me in the stamp collecting world.

     I still had a very eye opening experience.  I was fixated.  But not the way my enemies hoped.  I thought the Corbenic Hotel was snappy.  I now had some idea what the mansion in my mind should look like.  The Corbenic was the high point of my stamp collecting career.  The day the Sondermans moved across town was the day I put my collection away for keeps.

4.

     After the incident with the mercury and just as the summer between eighth and ninth began Mr. Sonderman bought his elder son a pinball machine.  You will remember that Sonderman made a trick box for his father in woodworking class.  His father now reciprocated.  A pinball machine is little more than a glass covered trick box on legs.  Was there a psychological connection between the two boxes or was it just a coincidence?  I can give no authoritative answer but there is a school of thought  which claims there is no such thing as a coincidence.

     As Sonderman had given his father a box the year before so now the father gave his son one; and what a great one.  The mechanism of the pinball is visible through the glass unlike the psyche hidden in its box of dense bone.  By propelling a steel ball into the mechanism bells flash, lights ring, wheels go round, scores bark away on the score board like machine guns; a furious but satisfying din.  It must have been just like Sonderman’s psyche, all the action took place within the box.  In Sonderman’s mind the pinball machine probably represented the box he was in; so he wanted to destroy it.

page 51.

     The symbolism for Sonderman must have been terrific.  He wanted me to witness what he was going to do.  He very excitedly came out to the streetlight to invite me over to see it.  I have no idea how our relationship conflicted in Sonderman’s mind.  For him to sit and tell me he had never liked me because I copied everything he did was absurd.  I don’t know what I actually meant to him but it was very important to him that I see this pinball machine being destroyed.

     He said there was something he wanted to demonstrate to me.  I no longer trusted Sonderman.  I was becoming wary of him.  I was reluctant to go over to his house but it was better than sitting alone on my front porch.

     I had guessed the meaning of the box he had made for his father.  He had confessed to living in a box.  As he subsequently reversed our roles as initiator and follower I can only guess that he secretly admired the activity of my imagination, my freedom of action, as it were.  While these things may only have registered subconsciously with him I think that he invited me over to watch him demolish the symbolical box his father had placed him in.  He wanted to be as free as I appeared to be.

page 52.

     He and Little the Inseparable led me through the side door down into the basement where I had never been before.  The basement was just as unkempt as the house.  But it was almost an artistic construction.  It too seemed to have been organized to represent the interior of the Sondermans’ psyche.  Once again a room is merely a box big enough to move around in.  The smaller box of the pinball machine had been placed in the bigger box of the basement.

     Things of no value were distributed in the age old grit with quaint precision.  The basement had artistic merit but the objects were just meaningless junk; they bore no obvious relation to each other.  Coupled with the drive way ruts and the hanging garage doors it became apparent that Old S was crippled in a broken down psyche.

     Of the things that were there, what wasn’t there was even more remarkable.  There was no washing machine.  Mr. Sonderman must have taken the laundry out.  Of course, from the look of Sonderman’s clothes they wouldn’t have used a washing machine anyway.

     He showed me the pinball machine but wouldn’t let me touch it.  He let me walk around it but I had to keep back.  He shot a couple balls up the chute to demonstrate.  Finally he began to play; as he did he entered into a trance like state breaking out into a cold sweat.  He turned ordering me back several more feet.  He wanted more elbow room I guess.  He began to play furiously looking back at me from time to time in a peculiar bug eyed manner I can’t describe.  Rather than being out of his mind he was lost within.

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Chapter III is broken into two parts to facilitate scrolling.  Go to Chap. III-2 for the second half.

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle 

Chapter II.

The Psychonautica

The senate house of planets all did sit

To knit in her their best perfections.

–The Bard

     The human mind is incapable of imagining what it has not seen.  There is no such thing as human creativity; all is in explanation of what is.  Everything is understanding and extrapolation.

     Thus Man perceived his nature and explained the world according to his understanding.  There was sea, earth and sky.  Man assumed that what went on in heaven was a duplicate of what went on here on earth; thus the dictum: As above, so below.  It followed that if the  Earth dictated one’s physical existence then the stars in heaven dictated one’s spiritual existence.  When one’s soul left this earthly existence one became a star.

 page 1

     Most of the stars are perceived as fixed but there were five known stars that wandered across the skies.  The Greeks called them Planets or in other words, moving stars.  It made sense that one’s nature would be determined by the position of the planets at the time of one’s birth.  Thus personal astrology developed out of this general astrology.

     It must be remembered that in those days one’s social position was fixed at birth.  A blacksmith’s son was expected to become a blacksmith.  An aristocrat’s son due to breeding was irrevocably an aristocrat regardless of the whims of fate.  However there were changes in fortune, a blacksmith might become prominent while an aristocrat might become a slave.  All was preordained by the stars.  Everything could be predicted if you could read the meaning of the stars.  The stars where right up there where they couldn’t be missed.

     Man’s consciousness evolved.  As it did it sought desperately to explain character in more reliable terms. 

     The Bard appears to have been of at least two minds concerning astrology.  On the one hand in the quote prefacing this chapter he claims that the stars determine character while at another time he declares the fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.

     A couple centuries later and a few miles down the road of consciousness Freud determined that the springs of action did indeed lie within while indicating a way to control and correct them.  Freud might have been able to relieve Hamlet of his most distressing symptoms with the ‘talking cure.’

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     Antagonists of Freudian concepts of human behavior have returned to the Ancient Fathers bypassing the Bard and Freud and by utilizing modern science in a specious manner brought the fault down from the stars by placing it in our genes.  According to modern science Man is still not responsible for his actions, influences beyond his control compel him from which he has not the intellect or intelligence to resist.  To counteract these internal chemical imbalances, so they claim, some psychologists have developed a program of drug therapy not unlike Dr. Tim’s which is supposed to correct the chemical imbalances and while it still doesn’t cure the problem there is the appearance of a temporary cure by numbing the affected area.  Why the introduction of chemicals to redress the imbalance doesn’t cure the psychosis is never explained.  The conclusion is that Man is just a helpless wisp in the wind.

     No one of these explanations is wholly correct but allowing for the metaphors of the stars and genes there is some truth in each assertion.  This led the Ancients to Hermetic Science.  The Hermetics believed that one’s future could be affected by applying rules of Moral Virtue and Right Conduct.  Thus while the stars were influential one could change the quality of one’s life, if not one’s destiny, by one’s own efforts.  Of course, by the heyday of the Hermetics social conditions were somewhat more fluid.  Man changed his philosophy to suit his perceived conditions.

page 3

     In our own time one’s birth condition has less to do with one’s station in life.  With a little initiative a person born into the worst social circumstances can rise to the highest position in life such as President of the United States or Premier of the Soviet Union.  In which case the answer does lie within but only for those who have conquered their ‘inner demons’ or turned them to good use.  One would still rather be born a doctor’s son than a streetsweeper’s .  It’s a much easier road for the former regardless of mental condition.  But if one doesn’t rise does the fault truly lie within?  I don’t think so.

     I had a cat once who had a litter of kittens.  The mother was a sleek short haired black cat.  Of her litter five were copies of herself while the sixth was a long haired tortoise shell kitten.  Very beautiful, prettier than her mother or siblings.  The mother took an intense dislike to this beautiful kitten.  She refused to groom it like the others.

     One night we heard a kitten scream, then silence.  Upon rising we found this beautiful kitten dead.  She had been thrown out the nest having been pushed well away.  The mother was looking at it with the same dispassionate look that the Sondermans had given me when I hung suspended from the railroad ties as the great grinding steely wheels of the Diesel engine ground by my fingertips.  I mean, at the time I could have told you how many revolutions it took them to cross the trestle.

      Upon examining the kitten I discovered that it had not been able to void its feces.  Previous fecal matter had dried over the rectum forming a plug.  The mother had refused to clean it so that, unable to void, the kitten’s intestines had exploded, killing it.

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     A scream and then silence.  The kitten had been murdered by its mother.

     We threw the dead kitten in the garbage and paid attention to the living kittens.  Life belongs to the living, doesn’t it?  Dead things tell no tales and thus have no rights.

     What had the dead kitten done to deserve the neglect of its mother.  Nothing.  The fault does not lie within.  The kitten was just unfortunate to have been born different and beautiful.  Not even malformed, just prettier, just not like the others.  The kitten was just born under a bad sign, no planets sitting for her benefit.  It was just written in the stars beyond the kitten’s control.  Unfortunate combination of genes.

     Consider the situation with my own and Sonderman’s relations with our mothers.  Nature has its flaws.  While it has provided all women with the physical capability to bring children into the world it has not provided all women with the intellectual capacity to function as mothers.  Some girls, as it has been noted, just want to have fun.  Some girls have been given unrealistic expectations as to the nature of life.  Some girls have very unrealistic notions as to the power of men.  Some girls remain ignorant of the nature of sex.

     Both Sonderman’s and my mother had psychological expectations that had disastrous results for their sons and husbands.  In the psychology of both women they wanted daughters not sons.  When their husbands disappointed them by giving them sons both experienced psychotic reactions,

5.

     In my mother’s case she first rejected her husband as a failure.  She no longer wanted him.  To save her own dignity she had to transfer the blame for a marital separation to him.  Using the wiles of women she induced him to beat her.  By his becoming a woman beater she was justified in divorcing him.  She was the innocent and injured party.

     While society recognizes the criminality of the brutality of the male it willfully refuses to recognize the criminality of the wiles of women.  Women’s wiles are only the female counterpart to man’s physical strength.  Even if society had recognized the concept, my father would have been unable to give a clinical explanation of why and how my mother had induced him to defame himself.

     She punished my father for failing to give her girls by defaming  and discarding him.  She next had to punish her boys for not being girls.  She spurned them from her, much as our cat did her kitten, by placing them in foster homes and the orphanage.  Murder by neglect  was out of the question in human society.

     To be sure her womanly wiles created a good reason for doing so, not wanting to appear reprehensible in the eyes of the world.  The wiles of women are clever but no less vicious than the brutality of men.

     In contrast Mrs. Sonderman as a silly girl thought that her husband could will the sex of her children.  She devoutly wanted girls because as she once told me girls are ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’ while boys are made of ‘snails and nails and puppy dog tails.’  The woman had taken a nursery rhyme heard as a small girl as actual fact.  Understand me, she believed it.

page 6.

     She eagerly submitted to old S’s embraces on their honeymoon in the expectation that he would grace her with a daughter.  She had been to college and knew as a scientific fact that the male sperm determines the sex of the child.  Therefore she believed old S could will the sex of the child and give her the daughter she desired.  Imagine her disappointment when young Sonderman popped out all malely and rasty as a puppy dog’s tail.  She was gracious; she thought her husband may have made a mistake, didn’t try hard enough.  Ignoring custom and medical advice she was impelled to immediately attempt another to get a daughter.  When, ten months after Sonderman was born Little crawled out into the light of day she knew that old S was betraying her willfully.  He was crossing her.  The selfish bastard had no intention of giving her daughters.  She crossed her legs and turned the lives of her sons and husband into a living hell.

     Our mothers didn’t let us die and then throw us out of the nest but that was perhaps only because social pressures prevented such a resolution.  Both of us had to bear our mothers’ hatred; a hatred which neither of them could understand and which neither of them would ever have admitted.  Their hatred was nevertheless a Challenge to which we had to Respond.

     When my father was rejected by my mother she created a different set of Challenges to which I would have to Respond.

     Sonderman’s rejection by his mother would become more evident to him in his adolescent years especially after I moved into the neighborhood.

page 7

      The women would do nothing openly that the world could censure as violent or criminal such as beating us which the womanly wiles of my mother caused my father to do to her.  Even if they had, men do not take the physical violence of woman seriously as they are the weaker sex.  On top of that a man assumes that a woman always has cause to strike a man or boy.

     Modern American society seems to have obscured the concept of the wiles of women.  Women are even thought to be without the vices common to humankind regardless of the abundant evidence to the contrary.  They present themselves as all virtue without faults.  The fantasy is that men through their basic indecency have completely fouled up the world while if women were in charge as in the good old days of the Matriarchy all would be sweetness and light.

      Well, ‘When ‘Omer smote his bloomin’ lyre’ he had a different tale to tell.  For him the wiles of women caused the most destructive war of all time.  The Iliad of the great Trojan Cycle centers on the basic conflict between the male and female of the species.  The inequality of the sexes is the number one unending problem of history.  Homer must be understood as the most detailed examination of the problem in literature.

     The Iliad is only one part of a massive ten part epic not unlike the Vulgate Arthur.  Of the parts, only the two parts of Homer have come down to us intact.  When the cycle was redacted probably only his work came from such a powerful mind that it merited survival.  The remainder exists only in epitomes and summaries.  The whole cycle concerned the war of the sexes or that of the Matriarchy and Patriarchy.

page 8.

     Homer knew the whole story.  The Iliad refers regularly to the other parts not only of the Trojan Cycle but the whole of the mythology of the Bronze Age.  Homer was obviously an initiate in the complete esoteric mysteries.  He is able to summarize the developed world outlook of the Bronze Age from the arrival of the Greeks to this own period.  The vast compendium of knowledge and outlook was organized just previously to the world dissolving into the succeeding psychological Piscean Age depending on a savior to rescue mankind from itself.

     But Homer understood perfectly the relationship between the male and the female.  The Trojan War was caused by female vanity and it was fought out to satisfy female spite.  Using the wiles of women three goddesses got mortal men to fight their battle for them.  So much for the notion that the world would be at peace if women ruled.

     The story begins at the equivalent of the annual Freaker’s Ball or Black and White Ball or whatever they chose to call it in those times that began with Once Upon A Time.  Mount Olympus was gaily decorated for the occasion.  For this gala all the gods and goddesses were invited but one.  Oh, those overlooked invitations.  The only immortal left out was the goddess of strife, Eris.  No one wants strife at their party but the lesson is it will enter wanted or not.

     Eris was the mistress of the wiles of women.  Rather than just crash the party as a man would do, she showed up bearing gifts.  The Greeks were clever at giving deceitful gifts; hence the saying:  Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.  With honeyed words she said it was not her intent to stay; even though uninvited she had brought a gift to demonstrate her good will.

     With a lovely smile Eris laid a beautiful golden apple on the gound.  Smiling brightly over her shoulder she tripped off.  There was something written on the apple.  Aphrodite, Hera and Athene drifted over their curiosity piqued.  As they stared at the apple the words became clear.  They simply said:  For the fairest.  You never heard of the wiles of women, hey?

     ‘Oh, look Girls.’  Aphrodite giggled.  ‘It has my name on it.’

     ‘Not so fast, Child.’  Hera said, holding up a cautionary hand.  ‘Fairest is my middle name.’

     ‘Oh, daddy.’  Athene cried to Zeus.  ‘Help me.  They’re trying to take my little golden apple from me.’

     The big sap came over to give his decision for his favorite daughter but neither his wife or older daughter would accept his decision.  And so, Eris, using her womanly wiles had destroyed the tranquillity of the Freaker’s Ball.  They were all freakin’ out.

     The gods could not agree or dared not to assert which they thought was the fairest so it was determined to offer the case to a mortal for adjudication.  That was a neat Law and Order decision.

     Far off across the water on the slopes of Mt. Ida near Troy a simple shepherd boy named Paris decided to take a nap in the warm afternoon sun.  Laying himself down in the high grass beneath a pine tree he brushed a spent pine cone out of his way and drifted off into a delicious sleep.  As Somnus, as Homer would say, received Paris in his arms the three godesses drifted into his slumbering consciousness.

page 9.

 

     ‘Hello, simple shepherd boy.’  Hera said.  ‘We gotta problem.  We need your help.’

    ‘Oh, you have a problem.’  Paris answered warily.  ‘Well, go down to Troy.  There are a number of soothsayers there; they will be glad to help.  It’s their business.’

     ‘You punk.  Your number’s up.  You’re the man of the hour.’  Hera rudely said, although she would have called it speaking imperiously.  ‘Here’s the gig.  See this apple, Sonny?  It says to the fairest.  OK.  Which one of us does it belong to?’

     ‘Hard to say.’  Paris evaded diplomatically.  ‘I’m only a simple shepherd boy as you noted.  Why ask me?’

     ‘Well, smarten up, Sonny.  This is an either or situation.  Either you give us an answer or we’ll shrivel your gonads to the size of peas.  Which is it, kid?  Me, her or her?’

     Life is like that sometimes, now, isn’t it?  This was one of those unsought times for the simple shepherd boy, Paris.  Even though his only chance was to go ahead and deliver what is known as the Judgment Of Paris he tried to be evasive again.

     ‘I couldn’t say when you have all those clothes on.’ he said hoping they would be modest and leave.

     ‘You don’t get off that easy, Sonny.’ Hera replied. ‘Two of us will retire so that you can examine us in detail one at a time.  I’m first.  Girls go behind that mountain until I call.’

page 10.

     Athene and Aphrodite floated away.  Hera dropped her robes saying:  ‘How do like them apples, Big Boy?’

     She was beautiful but in a matronly sort of way.  She could see it in his eyes, so she thought she had better sweeten the pot.

     ‘Listen, Punk.’  She intimidated. ‘Give me that apple and I will guarantee you Success and Power all the rest of your life and it will be a long, long life.  Think about it.  Athene, you’re next.’

     Athene tripped up giving the simple shepherd boy the seductive eye as she dropped her drawers.  ‘Check out them pomegranates.’  She smiled.  Paris did.  He took his time.  Stunningly beautiful but as a virgin still and a virgin forever she was insecure.  She could only offer Paris the fruits of Moral Virtue and Right Conduct.  In other words, virtue is its own reward.  The reward would be great in the end but the apparent pleasures few.

     Paris heard her out, nodded his head and said:  ‘Send in Aphrodite.’

     Aprhodite flitted up as only Aphrodite can engagingly and flirtatiously she slipped out of her raiment.  You knew she was hot; she wore raiment.  Man, she was a knockout.  ‘How do you like them melons, honey.  You look like a lusty young man.  How would you like to get laid by the most beautiful woman in the world anytime you wanted?’

      Well, Hera and Athene had been OK and made attractive offers but Paris was indeed a lusty eighteen year old with nothing but a six inch slash running through the middle of his brain as any of the ewes in the flock could have told you.

     ‘OK.  Let’s go.’ He gasped.

     ‘Not me, silly.  I’m a goddess; you’re a mortal.  But I know a hot little number in Sparta who’s got the hots for a stud like you.  You’ll like her.’

page 11.

     So saying she called Hera and Athene back.  ‘It’s all over Girls.’ She laughed.  ‘I told you it was my apple.  I don’t know why we had to go to all this trouble.’

     Athene and Hera threw those noses in the air sniffed and looked balefully at Paris.

     Thus began the great Trojan War over the vanity of woman.  The war had nothing to do with men in that far off blissful Matriarchy.

     Having promised Paris the woman, Helen, who just coincidentally was married to another man, Menelaus of Sparta, Aphrodite told this nitwit shepherd boy to go to Sparta to claim his prize.  Menelaus greeted Paris cordially offering the run of the house as was due a guest.

     ‘Oh, by the way.’ Menelaus added.  ‘I’ve got a business engagement in Egypt so I’ll be gone a few days but make yourself at home until I get back.’

     And so Paris did, and how.  He put Helen in his boat, loaded up all Menelaus’ possessions and sailed for a distant shore.

     The Greeks would not stand still for this rude treatment by someone calling himself a guest so they gathered all the tribes and nations together to sail for Troy to retrieve Helen and the possessions.  The girl was just a slave to love.

     Nine years of fighting later Homer begins the tale of his portion of the story.

     The Iliad is a very difficult book to understand.  Ostensibly a story of war and battles it is really the story of the wiles of women vs. the brute strength of men.  The inequality of the sexes caused by the ancient unequal division of the four chromosomes can never be rectified.  Freud with a certain prescience called women’s discontent penis envy.  Being intelligent creatures women find the unequal division of the chromosomes an egregious injustice.

page 12.

     The confusing presentation of Homer’s story is the result of having to interweave two parallel tales.  Now, Homer is not just telling a story but is demonstrating the functioning of the universe as it was understood by the most advanced consciousness of his time.  The man is really a genius, a mind of great power.

     The central difficulty as I see it is that Zeus has promised the Greeks victory but then seems to be advancing the cause of the Trojans.  Zeus, in this capacity, is the example of the Universal mind or the mind of absolute power.  Quite a concept.  He sees all and knows all; he knows the result of everything before it happens.  According to Homer once he has acceded to a request by nodding his head the thing must come to pass.  He has given the Greek commander, Agamemnon the nod so the Greeks are fated to win.  Yet Zeus proclaims that he favors the Trojans.  The contradiction must be resolved if one is the understand the story.

     A straight line is the shortest distance between two points, however in human affairs the only way between two points is the most convoluted line.  Zeus must contend with the wiles of his very resentful wife, Hera.  the Queen Of Heaven is suffering from one of the worst cases of penis envy ever.

     She had at one time led the gods in a revolt against Zeus.  He had been too strong for her and her allies.  As a punishment for Hera he had her hung out to dry in the sky with two golden manacles around her wrists and two golden anvils attached to her feet.  That must have taken the spring out of her step for a while.

p. 13.

     Hera’s complaint is that even though Zeus does have all the power, both physical and mental, she must have scope to exercise her own designs.  This is the central problem of womankind.  The only way she can have scope is if Zeus willingly accords it to her.  Now, if  Zeus wants peace and harmony in heaven as on earth he has to give Hera the appearance of free will.  He must use guile to defeat womanly wiles rather than manly force.  This is Homer’s lesson for all mankind for all time.

     So, Zeus has given his nod to the Greeks; the decision cannot be changed.  Thus opposing manly guile to womanly wiles he announces himself in favor of the Trojans.  Hera then automatically opposes him to favor the Greeks in order to thwart Zeus towards which goal she employs all her womanly wiles.

     The story like life can be read as a tragi-comedy.

     The esoteric key to Homer is very important for the characters are not only characters but symbolic forces.  As with all esoteric writing there is the exoteric or literal meaning of the story which is for the uninitiated vulgar consumption as well as three or four levels of meaning for the various degrees of initiation.  As there is no evidence of the meanings having been passed down it may well be that they have been lost.  They may even have been forgotten before Homer completed his tale.

page 14.

     Still, it is possible to relate the Iliad to other mystery systems such as the Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian.  I cannot claim to have penetrated very far but I have found a few things that apply here.  It seems clear that Aphrodite, Hera and Athene correspond with the Hindu concepts of Kama, Arthas and Kharma.  Kama being Lust or Love; Arthas being Success and Power (compare the career of the medieval Arthur=Arthas) and Kharma being Moral Virtue and Right Conduct.   Thus when Paris chose Kama he chose the least worthy of the three powers.  By choosing Kama he chose a past whose time was gone.  Arthas would have preserved the status quo while Kharma led to a better future.  When he chose Lust, Success and Power and Moral Virtue and Right Conduct sided with the Greeks.  The outcome was therefore obvious.

     I am convinced that the Ancients, meaning the educated Priesthoods, were aware of the effects of Man’s chromosomal identity.  Thus Homer opposes the XX of Hera and Athene with the X of Aprhodite and at various times the y of Ares, Apollo or Zeus.  Ares is raging, senseless slaughter; insensate rage coupled with unbridled lust.  I am unsure what Apollo represents except unwholesome natural forces such as plagues.  Zeus is in his character of Brute Force coupled with Aphrodite as Lust.

     Thus the war is fought by a marriage of an Xy and an XX and a trio of male Xys.

     The quarternity of a coupling of Patriarchal Xy and XX and the XX of Hera and Athene is victorious.

     Zeus is compelled to employ guile to achieve his true end of causing the Greeks to win.  But because of his softheadedness he creates problems for himself.  After Agamemnon takes Briseis from him Achilles asks his goddess mother Thetis to intervene with Zeus to bring a great disaster on the Greeks.  The big oaf, who can never resist girls, gives her the nod and so he is compelled to let the Trojans ravage the Greeks.  This is achieved when the Trojans breach the Greek ramparts while firing one of the boats.  Having fulfilled his nod to Thetis he allows the course of battle to change in favor of the Greeks.

p. 15.

     But by openly siding with the Trojans he forces those who will oppose whatever he projects to aid the Greeks.  Hera will do anything to defeat him while Zeus’ very powerful brother, Poseidon, can be counted on to oppose him also.  Both do.  Athene who is angry with Aphrodite for losing the apple unwittingly falls in with the plans of Zeus by opposing Aphrodite for female reasons.

     Thus the plan and outcome of the story is known before the story begins.  Only the details are of interest.  The two parallel stories of above and below are played out concurrently in the entire Universe as known to Homer.  Events take place in heaven, on earth, on and below the seas, references are made to Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, while even Tartarus which is thought of as being as far below Hades as Earth is below high heaven is brought into play.  The gods ascend and descend Olympus in order to aid or hinder their favorites.  There can be no doubt Troy is the ancient Armageddon.

     In heaven womanly wiles prevail.  When Athene guides Diomedes spear to wound Aprhrodite in the hand who is fighting for the Trojans, Aphrodites’s nurses threaten vengeance on Diomedes.  They do not threaten force but wiles.  They say they will cause Diomede’s wife to lay with his worst enemy.  They will hurt Diomedes with womanly wiles against which he cannot defend himself while if he resorts to beating his wife in retribution he will be discredited.  So, of course, he will be compelled to suffer his injury in silence.  Gall for the rest of his life.  Clever girls, and no will know.

page 16.

     I suppose that is what my father should have done but not yet wise to the wiles of women he chose force rather than resorting to male guile to achieve his ends.

     Zeus finally orders all the gods to desist from helping either side while he goes to help the Trojans.  Hector and his Ilions immediately threaten to drive the Greeks into the sea.

     Hera undertakes a desperate resolve to aid her favorite Greeks.  She borrows Aphrodite’s irresistable girdle of love to go off to Mt. Ida to seduce Zeus.  While they are in dalliance the tide turns with the Greeks turning back the Trojans.  Having satisfied his nod to Thetis he can now propitiate Hera by letting her seem to have her way.

     Hera believes that her womanly wiles have succeeded while it must be true that Zeus having had a little afternoon delight is laughing up his sleeve.

     Zeus’ temporary backing of the Trojans has the effect of bringing Achilles back into the fight so from that point on the interference of the gods is less significant although it is only through the aid of Athene that Achilles is able to kill Hector.

page 17.

     The focal point of the heavenly war between the sexes comes at the end of the general armed action on Earth in the story of Hera’s seeming greatest triumph over Zeus.  This is the birth of Heracles.  Now, Heracles means the Glory of Hera.  Mankind has always been mystified as to why this greatest son of Zeus should be called the Glory of Hera.  Thereby hangs the tale.

     The big goof Zeus is sitting around the dinner table this particular night when he makes the boastful announcement that a son of his lineage will be born that day who will be the most powerful mortal of all minkind.  As another Greek myth demonstrates there is ‘many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.’  It is is important to remember that while Zeus’ decress cannot be changed they can be altered.

     Hera whose jealous eye spotted Zeus’ dalliance witht the mortal Alkmene knows that Zeus is talking about her and that her child is due that day.  Having universal prescience she also knows that a descendant of Perseus who was the son of Danae who some may remember was impregnated by Zeus in a shower of gold was carrying a son who was in the seventh month.

     Zeus had not said that the woman had been impregnated by him, only that a son of his lineage would be born.  Thus it is possible for Hera to thwart the big oaf without changing his decree.

     The wily woman hurries off to Eilythia, the goddess of child birth to implore a favor.  She want Eilythia to cause a premature birth for the seven month boy while crossing Alkmene’s legs so she won’t be able to deliver until the seven months’ child is born.  She does.  As a son of Zeus’ lineage is born usurping Heracle’s place as the greatest man alive, Hera trumps the hope of Zeus.

p. 19.

     As difficult as it is to understand the Iliad the story of Heracles is even more difficult.  Hera, having foiled Zeus’ design by having an earlier son delivered first, is not content.  She sends two huge snakes to end the life of the hours old infant, Heracles.

     While woman’s wiles can work wonders when clandestinely employed womanly force cannot stand up to manly force in direct confrontation.  Two snakes are the ancient symbol for the female XX chromosomes.  So the symbol is of an XX attacking an Xy.  The baby Heracles seizes a snake in each hand and throttles each.

     When Heracle’s father hears of the attack he rushes to his son’s aid only to find a laughing Heracles gaily waving the dead snakes in the air.

     Hera has been defeated by a baby boy in direct confrontation.

     When he grows up he will still be subject to Hera’s rejection.  Her choice, Eurystheus, is the most cowardly and abject man alive but as he is king in Argos, Hera’s chief seat, Heracles will be subject to him.  One of Hera’s good jokes- the strongest man alive is subject to the weakest.

     Zeus’ big mouth has defeated his intent.  He must resort to guile to defeat Hera.  Heracles is not yet immortal but Zeus tricks Hera into giving Heracles suck.  Her milk will make the baby a god when he shuffles off his mortal coil.  Hera discovers her mistake when Heracles sucks so hard he draws blood.  She tears the baby from her but he spews milk and blood all over her.

p. 19.

     And so the story goes in the never ending war between the sexes in heaven.

     As above, so below.  If the war in heaven was fought over women so was the war on earth.  But here Homer shows the limitations of force vs. guile also.

     The whole trojan war is fought to recover Helen.  As the Iliad opens another disaster is about to occur because of a woman.  During one of the Greek raids Agamemnon, the king of kings by the divine right of Zeus, had captured many many women.  He has an actual harem their on the beach.  But the father of one of these, a priest of Apollo, arrives on the field to request the return of his daughter.  He offers a double king’s ransom, more money than the whole fleet could spend on a weekend in Hong Kong.

     Acting against the advice of his counselors he hautily refuses, ordering the priest of Apollo out of the camp on the toe of his boot.

     The result of this misguided use of force is that the Apolline priest calls on his god to send the direst of plagues on the Greeks.  Apollo the Far Darter, complies.  Beasts and men fall like flies.  The army complains asking Agamemnon to give the girl back.  He does; the plague ends.

page 20.

     However this odd, short sighted man who has refused a Mt. Ida sized pile of goods which should have been the ransom of any woman alive decides he must take a female prize from another warrior in compensation.  There is only one man in the army who can kill Hector ensuring victory for the Greeks.  That man, Achilles, is incomparably greater than the next ten greatest Greeks.  Now, whose woman do you think Agamemnon takes?  Right.

     Achilles wrath is unbounded at this egregious misuse of power.  He refuses to fight any longer.  Thus the war is fought over Helen, brought to one disaster by another and an even greater disaster by a third.

     Agamemnon’s inept use of force is the real cause of the disaster.  His style is contrasted with that of the wily, guileful Odysseus.  The latter is not really a very admirable character but by what is actually deceit and trickery he repeatedly triumphs over true worth and merit.  Thus wiles and guile are show to be more powerful than brute force.

     Thus when my mother’s wiles of woman triumphed over my father she created a different set of Challenges to which I had to respond.

     Sonderman’s rejection by his mother would cause him increasing distress in later life.  But, preeminent in Sonderman’s psychology was the fixation given him by his father.  Did Sonderman deserve the fixation?  No.

     Sonderman’s consciousness had been too undeveloped to resist or interpret correctly the Challenge his father gave him.  Sonderman went into his box head over heels.  His Response entered his young mind as his father intended indoubtedly for the selfish reason of binding young Sonderman to him as his successor in managing his worthless chemical plant.  Sonderman’s will and happiness were destroyed.  His ability to choose his own destiny was deflected but not for any fault that lay within himself.  He had been fixated.

page 21.

     We were both given serious fixations.  Our ability to manage these fixations determined the course of our lives.  Unaware of why we Responded to these subjective Challenges all our own efforts could do was to deal as successfully as possible with the objective Challenges life handed us.  We both did relatively well but not as we might have chosen for ourselves.

     I was not imprinted by my parents but Sonderman was.  All is determined by the imprinting we receive.  Imprinting is not the same as conditioning.  I am not sure but that Dr. Timmy didn’t confuse the two.  Imprinting is something that occurs instantaneously and possibly can never be changed.  Conditioning is done by repetition a little at a time.

     I know who gave me my primary imprint and when.  There is a period of susceptibility during the ages of eight or nine when one assumes the direction of one’s life from one’s male archetype.  I was in the orphanage at this time.  Hirsh who understood a youth’s vulnerability at this age was desperately trying to imprint my mind with the notion that I was destined for prison.  I don’t know the name of the man who imprinted me or why he took an interest in me.  Perhaps he was watching the machinations of Hirsh and either wanted to defeat him or save an innocent child.

page 21.

     At any rate, Hirsh missed in his attempt and imprinted my companion by mistake.  He has spent his whole life in jail.  A few days later my imprinter called me to him under the shade of living trees across the street from the steel wire mesh fence of the Children’s Home.  He told me to listen carefully then advised me to always pursue the better things in life.  He told me to study the classics and literature and develop my mind.  Stay on the straight and narrow, he said.  Having slipped into a hypnoid state his words went straight into my mind without opposition.  If he were still around I might ask him how well I have done.

     Conditioning and conditioned responses are inculcated by repetition such as Pavlov used to condition his dogs.  Conditioned Responses can be eliminated and replaced by other conditioned responses.  Tim Leary understood this very well.  Thus my central childhood fixation was not an imprinting but a conditioning which Hirsh reinforced continually during my childhood.  Tim Leary mistook the conditioning of the psychedelic experience as imprinting.  His subjects were not imprinted but conditioned.

     Timmy was correct in his belief that the psychedelic experience could disrupt conditioning allowing new conditions to be implanted but the original conditioning remained intact.  His subjects applied their imprinting to directing the course of their new conditioning.  Thus under the influence of psychedelics a different set of conditions could be induced by aural and visual stimuli as provided by phonograph records and movies.  It is important to look at TV and movies as conditioning with or without the aid of psychedelics.  The psychedelics are not absolutely necessary but they lower resistance.  Dr. Tim called this brainwashing technique ‘expanding your consciousness.’  Real Orwellian doublespeak by someone who abhorred the concept.  Thus to refuse to expand your consciousness, which is to say, accept new conditioning, became a sort of sin during the psychedelic era.

page. 22

      I am aware of the kinds of conditioning I experienced which I have been able in large measure to shuck off for what I consider more reasonable alternatives.  I can also indentify several of my would be imprinters but their effect is negligible.  I thought I chose the moral path I have followed but it appears that I have been merely unable to deviate from my original imprinting.

     At the ages of twelve or eleven Sonderman and his brother were being conditioned or trained to execute their people’s will.  Put in the social sense they were being bred.  They were being bred into evil ways and breeding, as they say, will out.

     There were conflicts in their educations.  Their people bred evil while their churches tried to teach morality.  The Sondermans had learned right from wrong.  They knew better than to try to kill me.  Were the Sondermans wrong to execute the will of their elders.  Yes.  Were they capable of resisting?  No.  They were faced with the difficult choice of becoming criminals or becoming outcasts of their social stratum.  To choose to become an outcast is a difficult decision.  No one who truly understands the consequences would choose it.  They were too young to argue with the customs of their people.  Argument would have been difficult at any age.  Evil customs, once intrenched withing a group can never be changed from within; it takes an outsider to destroy them.

page 23.

     Their people were unaware of how twisted they were.  In training the Sondermans to evil practices these people turned the psychology of the Sondermans against themselves.  Had I actually died on the trestle they might have been able to justify their act to themselves.  After all, I would have been stupid enough to trust them; they thought that anyone who would take their word for anything would have to be a fool.  Having failed in their attempt to kill me the Sondermans had to reconcile their intent to kill with the moral teaching not to kill.

     Only the living have rights; mine were still in existence with me.  The frustration and rage fixated on Sonderman by his father was embittered very unnecessarily by a bad conscience.

      Sonderman and I had been given different psychological Challenges.  Unless we could identify and slay our Gorgons our lives would be very unhappy.  A very good metaphor would be the favorite of the Depth Psychologists, Perseus And The Gorgons.

2.

     Depth psychology is a name given to the psychological regime founded by Freud and C.G. Jung.  The idea is that the sub- or unconscious is deep.  Contermporaries they lived and practiced at the psychological watershed between the Old Order and the New Order.  Their careers were intersected by the Great War of 1914.  Their ideas have directed the development of society from the Great War to the present.

page 24.

     Freud was not original; he merely stated the results of the earlier research of the eighteenth and nineteenth century psychologists Anton Mesmer, Charcot and Janet in Paris and the esoteric psychologists of the school of Nancy.

     The school at Nancy concentrated on hypnotism, suggestion and auto-suggestion.  Its most famous practitioner was Emile Coue of whom more later on.

     Freud then, incorporated the work of the Paris and Nancy schools along with the researches of his colleague Breuer to formulate his version of the personal psychology of the unconscious.  He called his approach psychoanalysis.

     C.G. Jung who also had an Esoteric background similar to the school at Nancy while accepting Freud’s general outlook on the nature of the mind made a radical departure toward developing a history of consciousness putting the individual psyche into a context with human consciousness.  Jung called his system analytical psychology.  The great Jungian scholars opened the door to the symbolic meaning of ancient mythology.

     The two approaches combined to form what has become known as Depth Psychology.  The name is slightly misleading; there is no depth to the psyche.  I accept the basic researches of both as the foundation of my approach.  I have no quarrel with either.

     Over against psycho-analysis and analytical psychology were the medical psychiatrists.  The record of psychiatry over the decades in effecting ‘cures’ is dismal.  Few, if any, found the way out of their mental afflictions.  Hence Dr. Timothy Leary’s sour view view of psychology and psychologists.

page 25.

     The difficulty of psychology is getting the patient or his afflicted mind to come to terms with his central childhood fixation.  No one really wants to face the truth.  Certainly Timmy with all his education and profound knowledge was unable to save his own mind.

     Instead he chose to crack and break, literally to go insane, rather than free himself.  His problem was not really psychological so much as the intelligent application of morality.  Freud set the tone of psychoanalysis when he declared morality was irrelevant.  As he said:  Anyone who knows certain truths about himself can never commit an immoral act.   Old Sonderman and his crowd were running with that one.  Psychologists since then have rejected any consideration of morality.  The world has become what it is.

     If you don’t like the reflection, look to yourself.

Guilt!

     The guilt Timmy gave to his moral nature was the rock on which he broke.

     Sound moral discipline would have prevented his mental dissolution while the avoidance of drugs might have given him space to find his central childhood fixation if he had chosen to look.  Merely finding the fixation is not enough.  One has to shed the fear that prevents one’s confronting it.

page 26.

     An example of one who should have recognized his fixation but refused to face it was Leary’s fellow conspirator in the drug revolution, William S. Burroughs.  His contribution to the revolution was an evil series of novels beginning with ‘Naked Lunch.’

     Burroughs underwent analysis for decades.  His psychiatrist led him up to the fixation, described it to him, showed it to him, got him to discuss it as an abstract problem but as Burroughs’ mind was fearfully intimidated by it he would not recognize it as his own.  Fear held him back.

     A discussion of Burroughs’ case requires the mention of several things that are anathema to the American psyche which has its own historical fixations.  Burroughs was the grandson of the man who invented the calculator.  He was not therefore from a wealthy background as one might expect because the Burroughs family was elbowed out of the company by subsequent management.  The family was given stock in the company with which it made the fatal mistake of selling in the crash of ’29.  Had they held it they would have been worth millions.  Nevertheless during Burroughs’ manhood they were well enough off to support him modestly.

     The Burroughs were of Protestant English extraction.  They hired a nurse for young William who was an Irish Catholic.  Following Irish Catholic prejudices she hated English Protestants.  Now, young William loved this nurse very much but she betrayed his love in the most foul way.  One day when he was seven or so she took him to visit her boyfriend.  With devilish glee she forced his mouth down on her boyfriend’s penis.  Young William was fixated.

page 27

     His psychiatrist could bring Burroughs to a discussion around the incident but he couldn’t get him to broach his fixation by visualizing the actual deed.  Probably confirmed Dr. Tim’s vision of the futility of psychoanalysis rather than prodding him to solve the problem.

     The consequences for young William were that he was turned homosexual but he couldn’t renounce his love for his nurse.  Thus he pursued men for anal sex.  His experience caused him to hate oral sex, but he found a wife of whom he made a drug addict.

     He had a real love/hate relationship with his wife/nurse.  In the murky depths of his subconscious he divised a revenge on his nurse/wife.  He neither could nor would acknowledge his intent consciously.  Like the rest of us he devised his plan from his subconscious.

     Burroughs became a pistol marksman.  He used to entertain his friends by having his wife/nurse place a whiskey glass on her head which he shot off.  Thus he was asking his wife/nurse to put absolute trust in him as she stared down the barrel of the gun.  Now, this is almost a duplicate of his fixation.  His nurse asked him to put absolute trust in her while he stared down the hole in the end of her boyfriend’s penis.

     Burroughs contrived to drug himself out of his mind.  One night in Mexico City drugs reduced his resistance or the time was right.  He had his wife/nurse place the whiskey glass on her head.  She must have seen that the elevation of the barrel of the pistol was slightly lower than usual just the before the bullet entered the middle of her forehead.  Three decades or so after his fixation was created Burroughs killed his surrogate fixation.  He was still a homosexual after.

page 28.

     The fate of his wife had been ordained by his nurse.  If he hadn’t shot the wrong person the killing would have been justifiable homocide.

     Had Burroughs been able to follow the lead of his psychologist to traverse that lonesome valley to find the lair of the Gorgons he might have been able to slay his fixated Medusa instead of his wife.

     The Jungians recognize the universal psychological implications of the Greek myths.  My studies of the Ancients leads me to believe that they knew a great deal which has been lost to subsequent millennia because of the inadequacy of their ability to express themselves for scientific psychological uses.

     The Greeks had serious motives in writing their important myths.  They are not to be construed as simple fairy tales or pretty but superfluous stories.  It is also a mistake to think that their consciousness was on the same level as modern man’s or that they had the linguistic apparatus to express themselves with the same scientific precision.  Human consciousness then was at the same stage Sonderman and I were passing through as young teenagers.  Do not confuse consciousness with intelligence.

page 29.

     Human consciousness in the Mediterranean world at the time of the myths was making the transition from the irrational, emotional, ecstatic state of the goddess culture to that of the rational, scientific state of the god.  The direction was from lustful Aphrodite or the Great Mother to Zeus or the Benevolent Father.

     The Greek Hero myths are based on historical fact.  The subject matter occurred nearly a thousand years before the myths were transcribed in writing.  It has been proven archaeologically that the sites of the myths existed in the locations the myths said they did.  The only thing that remains to do is unravel the facts behind the seemingly fanciful descriptions.  Precise detail may be impossible but the general outline should be clear.

     Psychologically a great advance in conciousness was occurring during this period.  This is one of the great watersheds in the history of consciousness.  The transition was from the Matriarchal consciousness to the Patriarchal.  I know that you women will jump up to claim that the Matriarchal period was the happiest of mankind but as Homer indicates, it was not.  The level of ignorance was appalling.  The destruction of human life was degrading.  The move to rationality had to happen.  There is no going back.

     Thus the myths record the struggle for the new and better psychology.  The Patriarchal is being succeeded by the even more advanced Scientific.

     The myth of Perseus and the Gorgons records an early episode in this warfare.  Without a scientific language the Greeks could only express themselves symbolically.  Besides the records of this momentous struggle  had to be transmitted verbally for centuries as there was no way to record it except one.  The stories were translated to the stars.  The great Greek astral constellations date from this period.  Once this mnemonic device was completed the priests had a visual means of transmitting this information.  A detailed story existed for each constellation.  A tale for the uninitiated was told while for the initiated each detail of the story had a deeper meaning behind it.  Miraculously in one way or another the meanings have either been transmitted or can be deduced in a scholarly manner.  Certainly no ancient writer seems to have had the key.

page 30.

     Perseus of course represents the Patriarchal Consciousness while Medusa and her Gorgon sisters represent the Matriarchy.

     Now, Homer calls Perseus the greatest of all men so his cycle of myths is not to be taken lightly.  The pity is that if Homer understood the meanings that he didn’t write a detailed story about them.

     Perseus takes it upon himself to slay the monstrous Medusa.  She is the only mortal member of a trio of Gorgon sisters.  All live in a cave deep in the Earth.  You see in a Jungian manner that could be interpreted as the Anima and Animus and the central fixation.  The fixation is termporary and can be eliminated while the Anima and Animus cannot.  The Matriarchal Great Mother is the Earth and all in it.

page 31.

     Medusa is extremely hideous having boars tusks for teeth, snakes for curly locks, bulging ecstatic eyes and a protruding tongue representing sexual abandonment.  She is absolutely fearful.  All men who look upon her turn to stone.  Whether intentional or not this is an exact description of the central childhood fixation.

     She is the Matriarchal figure Perseus has to slay her in order to release rationality into the world.  No easy task.  In fact, he can’t do it without a great deal of help.

     The entrance to the Gorgon’s cave is guarded by the three Grey Ones who never sleep.  They are women who were born old, have been old forever.  Just as your mind has been with you from birth.  Between them they have one eye and one tooth which they pass to each as they change the guard.

     Thus  as a child you are ill prepared to Respond to your Challenges so you have the equivalent of one eye and one tooth.  Inadequate Responses slip past your guard into your subconscious where they remain to haunt you.  However as an adult it is nearly impossible for you to slip past the Grey Ones to lay your ghosts to rest.

     The Grey Ones undoubtedly represent the phases of the moon.  The boar was sacred to the moon.  Probably because as one looks a boar in the face the tusks form the two crescents of the moon while the snout resembles the full moon.  Thus the single tusk facing left would be the first phase of the moon.  This lady would pass the eye and tooth to the representative of the full moon who would then pass them to the last phase of the moon which would be a crescent facing right.  The phases are followed by three nights of a dark moon.

page 32.

     The only way for Perseus to get by the Grey Ones is to snatch the tooth and eye as they are being passed from the old to the new moon.  Then he can force them to tell him the route to the Gorgon’s lair or he won’t return the tooth and eye.  The seeker is now enabled to penetrate his subconscious to clear his central fixation.

     Historically this may mean that the time to attach a Matriarchal citadel was during the dark phase of the moon.  Perseus would have been able to pass unobserved from the mainland to the island of Corcyra which was the center of the goddess cult he was challenging.

     So the seeker must catch the subconscious unawares to force it to reveal his fixation.  But, it takes great courage.

     It takes more than courage.  Perseus is not capable of fighting the Gorgons alone.  He must be aided by others.  He seeks the aid of the Olympians Athene and Hermes of the Father cult.  Thus they act as his Anima and Animus.

     Athene is the chaste maiden who has her emotions under control unlike the Medusa who runs down the road with her attribute, the bitch, under her left, or feminine side, arm, eyes bulging, tongue hanging out offering herself to whoever will.  In one legend Athene is said to have made the Medusa frightful because she boasted that she was more beautiful than Athene.  This is a way of saying that the Matriarchy was better than the Patriarchy until the Patriarchy condemned it to inferiority.  In the end Athene triumphed over Medusa.  When the Gorgon was killed Perseus gave Athene the head which she placed on her breast or shield to display her victory.

page 33.

     Hermes, after whom the Hermetic Science is named, is wisdom and intellegence personified.  These are the two attributes that both Perseus and Psychonaut will need:  Moral Virtue and Right Conduct combined with detached intelligence.

     Killing the Gorgon is not child’s play so Perseus needs the help of magic.  He applies to some other girls, the Stygian Nymphs, for the Cap of Invisibility so he can’t be seen, winged sandals to get him to the mysterious cave which is obviously not of the material world and a leather bag to contain Medusa’s head so that he won’t later be turned to stone by an accidental sight of it.  He also has the adamantine sickle with which Zeus castrated his father, Cronus and Cronus his father, Saturn.

     So abundantly armed, accompanied by Athene and Hermes in person Perseus lurks about the Grey One on duty until her relief arrives.  He snatches the eye and tooth as they are passed from Grey One to Grey One.  The Grey Ones are at his mercy.  They must indicate the labyrinth through the cave.

     To look upon Medusa is to turn to stone so Athene lends Perseus her shiny shield.  Working from the reflection which the myth of Narcissus indicates has no substance, his hand guided by Athene or Moral Virtue and Right Conduct, as he is working backward, he takes the adamantine sickle given him by Hermes or Science and Knowledge and cuts off the Medusa’s head.  Perseus deposits the head in the magical leather bag given him by the Stygian Nymphs.

page 34.

     Upon Medusa’s decapitation two incredible beings emerge from her neck:  The Golden Warrior Chrysaor and the Winged Horse, Pegasus.  When the Matriarchy was destroyed rationality became possible, or, in other words, evolved.  Thus the male and society received a new Anima and Animus when the Matriarchy was disabled.  Chrysaor the Golden or Pure, or Refined warrior is the ideal Animus while the soaring mare Pegasus is the ideal male Anima.  The Anima/Animus imagery is constant throughout the myths.

     Medusa’s two immortal sisters representing the Matriarchal Animus and Anima, the two snakes of Heracles,  who had been sleeping awake but concealed by his cap of Invisibility Perseus leaps upon the great white charger to escape.  He flipped the eye and tooth back to the Grey Ones as he winged past the cave entrance.

     There are variants of the myth in which Perseus despoils the Grey Ones of their tooth and eye but this is impossible because he would emasculate his own mind if he did so.  The Grey Ones are a very important part of the story.  They cannot be deprived of their limited power.

     The deed was done.

     As I said the mythographers were recording an historical event in mythological terms.  Whether they were aware of the psychological interpretation or merely unconsciously described their inner reality is open to question however the story is a perfect description of my own and Sonderman’s central fixation as well as yours.  To heal ourselves, to escape a debilitating consciousness we would have to find our Medusa and slay it.

page 35.

     3,

Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.

–Red saying of the Relatavistic period.

          From the time of Perseus c. 1500 BC to the Christian Era was a period of profound development in human consciousness.  At the beginning consciousness was still Matriarchal while at the end it had passed to the Patriarchal.  The transition was not easy.  The period of the Greek Hero myths from Io to Europa, Perseus, the Phoenician Cadmus of Thebes and through the Trojan Cycle emcompassed the most devastating religious war in the history of mankind.  The conservative forces of the Goddess fought bitterly to the end but the rationality of the God prevailed as it must, although the victory was far from complete as the Iliad shows.  By the end of the Homeric period the population had been so reduced that all civilized systems disintegrated producing a Dark Age in Greece.  Hundreds of years later civilization reemerged.  The great war was fought to replace the ecstatic, emotional, orgiastic religion of the Goddess or Great Mother with the disciplined rational religion of the God or Father.

page 36.

      Accompanying the religious changes were the great political and social changes.  Egypt had for millennia been the beacon of civilization and religion in the Eastern Mediterranean.  When the Persians overran Egypt near the close of the Arien Age they destroyed the cradle of religion.  Unable to sustain their ancient ritual the Egyptians in a defensive move allied themselves with the Greeks who under Alexander destroyed the Persian power.  The Greeks occupied Egypt becoming its Pharaohs.

     Emerging out of the ruins of the Greek Matriarchy was the system of thought we know as True Science.  Arising out of the fusion of the Greek and Egyptian systems was the system of thought which we know as Hermetic Science.

     True Science is based on materialism which says that a scientific experiment must be able to be replicated under the same conditions at all times to be true.  Hermetic Science is based on spirituality.  It believes that scientific experiments depend on supernatural intervention so that if an experiment fails it wasn’t because of a faulty method but because God wasn’t petitioned in the right manner.  Both systems were anathema to orthodox religious thought.  Thus the religion triumphing in the transition from the Arien Age to the Piscean Age, Catholicism, execrated and outlawed both scientific systems.

page 37.

     Man’s consciousness was not yet developed enough to move from mythopoeic to scientific thinking.  Still the conflict which arose during the Enlightenment is the next stage in the development of consciousness between the True and Hermetic Sciences.

     In that sense Freud represents the amoral materialism of True Science while Jung represents the tenets of Hermetic Science.  Freud renounced morality as irrelevant to his Science with extremely harmful consequences.  Jung’s system while not exactly proclaiming supernatural influences has elements that are just as irrational.

     The Ancient Fathers knew nothing of personal psychology in the Freudian or Jungian sense.  They attached all importance to the Field or the Stars as they called it which was unavoidable and unchangeable.

     Jesus of Nazareth was in reality a minor Jewish prophet.  The Jews have never accepted him as a Messiah, indeed, as he failed in their redemption he was ipso facto a failed Messiah.

     However as the Arien Age ended and the Piscean Age began the Greeks who had been developing a successor to the Arien god as Zeus had succeeded the Taurean Cronus, had devised a cult of Kyrios Christos which was designed to replace Zeus in the Piscean Age.  For whatever reasons, which I do not choose to go into here, the cult of Kyrios Christos was attached to the person of the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth and he became the universal Jesus the Christ, one of the religious archetypes of the Piscean Age.

     The whole code of morality that had been devised to temper man’s innate rascality was attached to the Christian religion.  Thus Jesus and Christ are two aspects of the same desire which accounts for the conflict between primitive and developed Christianity.

page 38.

     Now, even though Christianity arrogated orthodoxy to itself while declaring all other religious viewpoints heretical those other viewpoints continued to develop underground.

     Their approach to the means of obtaining human perfection varied from that of Catholicism.  One of the main rivals, Manicheism, which developed in the third century AD was physically obliterated in Europe in the thirteenth century when it became powerful enough to become a threat to orthodox Christianity.

     The Hermetic religion was more discreet bubbling along underground.  It survived to form the basis of the Esoteric or Occult religious current which formed the basis of early modern psychology eventually surfacing as the basis of Depth Psychology.

     As before mentioned Hermeticism evolved out of the wreck of Egyptian religion.  Hermeticists developed the modern concepts of suggestiblity and auto-suggestion.  These two concepts have formed the basis of magic since the first stirring of consciousness.

     Hermetic Science has always been disparaged by True Science because of its reliance on supernatural or spiritual causes.  While it is true that supernatural causes cannot affect material results it is not true that ‘spiritual’ yearnings do not affect our minds.  Materialism has no need of moral influences as scientific results cannot be affected by moral considerations.  However, it has been said quite correctly that Man does not live by bread alone.  Man requires morality to have a good and pure life.  Freud as a scientist rejected the concept of morality hence his reputation has fallen into disrepute as well it should.

page 39.

     The ancient view of morality as combined to the tenets of Christianity prevailed in Europe and America intil that great watershed, the Great War of 1914-18.  Morality which had formerly been viewed as absolute now began to be viewed as ‘relative.’  Relative to what?  Relative to one’s momentary desires, of course.  In later years the amoral phrase: If it feels good, do it came into currency.

     The fact is morality is a scientific absolute.  the ancient concept of morality came under attack by two Jewish ‘scientists’, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.  It is difficult to say which was more influential in disrupting moral patterns but I believe the great ‘scientific’ reputation of Einstein has had the greatest effect.

     If True Science requires that if an experiment is to be true it must always replicate accurately then ‘relativity’ cannot refer to true science in any way.  It follows then that both Einstein and Freud must have practiced a kind of Hermetic or supernatural science and if fact this is true.

      As Jews both claimed to be Semiticists.  As followers of the non-scientific Semitist belief system they must of necessity have held that all other belief systems were false.  Any ‘ism’ is by definition True for its believers while all other belief systems are false or, at least, deal less adequately with reality.  Judaism was at war with all the other isms, as must be in a multi-cultural society, hence, relativism.

page 40.

     The roots of Semitist relativism can be found in the emergence of the Enlightenment in seventeenth century Europe.  True Science displaced the ancient religious systems such as Catholicism and Judaism as the standard of truth at that time.  Neither the Church nor Judaism had a valid counter argument for the scientific method.  The pretensions of Judaism to absolute truth suffered irreparable damage so that the faith went into a state of shock completely losing its sense of direction.

     As no supernatural belief system can compete with True Science the Semitists had to either create a higher science of their own or destroy the basis of True Science in order to reestablish the supremacy of Semitism.  As there is no higher truth than True Science it was necessary to undermine it.  Thus Einstein tried to establish the notion of relativity in True Science.  It follows that if True Science is relative than the basis of its authority was removed and the ‘truth’ of Judaism could be reestablished as supreme.

     It also follows that if what Europeans believed was false then Semitism had an obligation to destroy that and any other competing belief system.  Lacking the power of the Catholic Church to impose its system  Communism was created with the hope of assuming temporal power to eliminate dissenters.

     In terms familiar with Tim Leary they had first to decondition the peoples from their belief systems and recondition or brainwash them to their own Semitism.

page 41.

     It was therefore necessary to destroy the basis of the Euroamerican belief system.  Freud attacked on the moral level by saying that the individual was the sole determinant of morality as it suited him at any given moment.  Thus his dictum that anyone who knows a few truths about himself cannot commit an immoral act.  Freud’s relativity backfired on him when Adolf Hitler showed him how far the concept of morality had to be stretched to eliminate the concept of immorality.

     Thus as Freud never explained what truths a person had to know about himself one can only assume that in relativistic terms Hitler knew them and was incapable of an immoral act.  Hence, logically, Auschwitz was a moral undertaking.

     Hitler is an example of Freud’s dictum carried to its logical conclusion in the hands of a great man; in the hands of lesser men a general corruption spread throughout society.

     This was aided and abetted by the ‘science’ of Albert Einstein and his ‘Theory Of Relativity.’  Now, True Science can never be relative so the Theory of Relativity must be based on false premises.  Physics, terrestrial or extra-terrestrial cannot be relative and absolute at the same time.  In fact, waffling or ‘relativity’ was a characteristic of Einstein’s mental condition.  To mention only one instance, Einstein was an ardent pacifist when other people were being killed but he became a rabid militarist when Hitler exercised his moral relativity by killing Einstein’s own people.  Einstein even contributed to the development of the Atom bomb in the hope it would be used to exterminate the entire German people.  That’s what I call pacifism.

page 42.

     Thus Relativity was a great method to undermine the social structure of the dominant belief system but Relativity broke down on the rock of ethnic or group self-interest.  What was sauce for the goose was not sauce for the gander.  Auschwitz for the Semitists became not relative to Hitler’s personal needs at the given time but an absolute wrong for the Semitist belief system.  The Freudian and Einsteinian fabric of relativity was ripped to shreds by self-interest.  Of course, that’s relative.

     So also for other interested groups once they had undermined established beliefs and gained a position of strength they shed the notion of relativity in favor of the absolutism of their own views.  Thus the basis of intolerance once such a group is established.  It’ll just be Hitler all over again with different victims.

     The abandonment of relativity was nowhere more apparent at the beginning of the twenty-first century than in the Red ideology and homosexual psychosis.

     Homosexuality was not only banned until 1969 but was actually a criminal act by law.  During the sixties of the twentieth century the homosexual community first fought to legalize pornography as the opening move toward legalizing their psychosis.  Once pornography was legalized which showed heterosexuals performing unnatural sexual acts such as sodomy, which is still punishable by law, or fellatio then the next step to the societal endorsement of same sex sexual acts was automatic.  Thus the sixties opened the war in erotic matters for homosexuals which led to their stepping out of the closet with the Stonewall riot in New York City in 1969.

page 43.

     After 1969 the corrupting slogan: If it feels good, do it was added tothe earlier slogan of: Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.  But the latter slogan and relativity cut both ways.  If only thinking made homsexuality good then the reverse was equally true so it was relative.  If it was neither good nor bad relative to one’s viewpoint then one viewpoint was as valid as the other.  Homosexuals were left where they had been.

     This was nowhere more apparent than in the homosexuals’ favorite example of the Sacred Band of Thebes in the ‘Golden Age of Homosexuality.’  Thebes was the capitol city of Boeotia, a region of ancient Greece above Athens and East of Sparta.  The Thebans at one time created a separate division in their army composed entirely of homosexuals.  They called it the ‘sacred band.’

     Homosexuals point to this army division with great pride as though  it were a tribute to their valor rather than a segregated unit.  They imagine that the division was organized for them to show off their superior valor.  They say that the notion is that rather than be dishonored in front of their fellows the homosexuals fought twice as hard as the normal troops.  Such traditions have not been passed down historically.

     While the true facts cannot be known it is much more reasonable to assume that homosexuals caused so much trouble in the ranks with their antics that they were segragated into this unit to increase the efficiency of the army.

p. 44.

     The designation ‘sacred band’ rather than being complimentary can be construed to be sacred in the sense of taboo.  Just as only certain high priests were allowed to handle sacred objects so homosexuals became untouchables for the rest of the army.

     The Reds also, by whatever name you know them, began as a disruptive force in society.  Over the years they refined their methods until they infiltrated every liberal cause.   Having now associated themselves with every oddball method that challenges traditional ways they are in a position to legislate for the majority.

     Having obtained this position there is no more relativity.  If you are not with their program you are not only absolutely wrong but criminally so.

     So both Freud and Einstein contributed to a feeling that one way of doing a thing was as good as another.  Integrity as a form of morality, had no value.  Because lieing was considered a great social art or skill by some obsure people in some unheard of location at some distant time in history society concluded that lieing was not an immoral act but merely a matter of personal preference.

     Scientific objectivity was discarded in favor of relativistic subjectivity.

     The fact is that morality is a scientific absolute.   Psychoses are the direct result of immoral behavior.  Had I had the science to put my central childhood fixation into perspective on the spot I would not have committed the immoral act of murdering my own personality.  I would have chosed the correct response of giving battle to Michael Hirsh and his whole crowd.

page 45.

     Freud’s own studies lead to the same conclusion but he chose for relativistical ethnic considerations to ignore it.  Nevertheless one’s mental health is dependent on living the moral life.  Never forget it for one moment.

     Moral Virtue and Right Conduct form the basis of conduct for successful people.  The rules of Moral Virtue and Right conduct have always been built on the concepts of Suggestion and Auto-suggestion.  ‘As you think so shall you be.’ As the Kyrios Christos put it.  Thus in the philosophic tract, Poimander of the thrice great Hermes, the narrator asks for guidance.  Characteristically  he encounters Poimander in the subconscious state of dreaming:

     Quote:

     Once when I began to think about the things that are, and my mind soared exceedingly high and my bodily senses were held down by sleep like people weighed down by overeating and weariness, I thought I saw a being of vast and boundless magnitude coming toward me, who called me by name and said: ‘What do wish to hear and see, to learn and know?’

     ‘Who are you?’ I said.

     ‘I am Poimander.’  He said.  ‘The mind of absolute power.  I know what you want and I am with you everywhere.’

     ‘I want to know about the things that are, their nature, and to know god.’  I replied.

     ‘I know what you wish for I am with you everywhere.  Keep in mind what you want to know and I will teach you.’

     Unquote.

page 46.

     Here is the basis of auto-suggestion:  Keep in mind what you want to know and I will teach you.

     I wanted to find the reason for my mental discomfort and by applying that maxim that is how I found, recognized and eliminated my central childhood fixation.  The Hermetics took the concept and worked on it through the centuries.  The first great light to surface was Paracelsus in the Middle Ages; it was developed by Anton Mesmer in the eighteenth and perfected by Emile Coue in the twentieth.  Auto-suggestion is one of those things that have always been known but require reformulation every now and then.  Norman Vincent Peale provided the same message in the fifties in his ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking.’  All self help comes down to the same thing:  As ye think, so shall ye be.

     Suggestion and auto-suggestion work on the subconscious until the suggestion is brought to fruition, if realistic.  Suggestion which comes from others is actually all there is to magic- black or white.

     A malicious person can suggest a harmful course to you which if you do not reject it you will realize.  Thus someone may curse you saying your right arm will wither and become useless.  If you feel guilty or let the notion into your mind your perfectly good right arm may or will wither and become useless.

     There are still people who practice the ancient Black Art of sticking pins into effigies.  The pins in the effigies won’t harm you but the suggestion will if you take it seriously.

page 47.

     Thus Hirsh had been denying me all self respect, all self-dignity, all honors.  He was trying to make me accept the suggestion that I was worthless.  He wanted me to feel inferior in every way.  He wanted to destroy my confidence.  I was uable to completely reject his influence.  Even though I stubbornley tried to assert my self-worth consciously, Hirsh’s hopes for me had entered my subconscious  where they were strong enough to negate most of my conscious will.

     In magical terms his will or magic was stronger than mine.  In naturalistic terms ill treatment drove me toward psychological depression resulting in physical inertia.  By the summer of graduation Hirsh had nearly defeated me, he had nearly imposed his will on me.  I was like the remnant of a defeated army fleeting for the security of some safe place.

     Suggestion is very powerful.  So with auto-suggestion.  What you put into your mind will happen.  Once again I was saved, this time, ironically by Mrs. Sonderman.  As dotty as she was she was a devotee of Emile Coue.  He was a man from the psychological school of Nancy who popularized auto-suggestion in the twenties when he made a tour of America.  As there is very little to study in auto-suggestion he reduced his program to the formula:  I am getting better and better everyday in every way.

     To the uninformed mind the approach was laughable.  After his intitial success Coue was ridiculed into oblivion.  But Mrs. Sonderman was a true believer.  She initiated me into the concepts.  I don’t believe Coue’s maxim did anything for Mrs. Sonderman but his auto-suggestion saved my life.

page 48.

     Thus the injunction of Christ to be always pure in thought is not idle suggestion.  If you think evil you will be evil.  If you think well your conduct will be correct and proper, at least as far as your understanding of correct and proper.  But your mind must dwell on the concept you choose.  As God was considered pure good by the Ancients that was the reason they felt it necessary to be always thinking of God.  They hoped thereby to avoid committing evil.

     Hermetic Science has its limitations versus True Science as its tenets are based on a non-existent supernatural being but by combining the importance of the Field, Challenge and Response of Hermetic Science with the materialistic understanding of the mind of True Science one can learn what one wants to know about oneself.

     Contrary to Tim’s maxim that you have to use drugs to go out of your mind to use your head you have to stay securely in your mind while developing the courage to face your fixations so that you can save your head.  There is no better.  The baggage doesn’t change and it doesn’t go away; you have to learn how to carry it.

     It was through auto-suggestion that I uncovered my childhood fixation.  It wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy.  The greatest impediment was the tremendous fear surrounding the fixation.  I had seen the Gorgon and my mind had turned to stone; it was paralyzed.

p. 49

     I knew the general location of the fixation.  I knew it had to do with something between the ages of five and ten.  That little cluster of years could not be put into perspective.  I began to overcome the fear when I decided to organize the flow of memories into lineal succession.  Thus I had to isolate the memories of kindergarten and first grade.  Then I was able to organize the memories of third and fourth grades.  The second grade was impenetrable.  There lay the central fixation.

     The fixation had nothing to do with any bad actions of my own, I knew that.  An overwhelming Challenge had been presented me from the Field.  Totally unable to Respond adequately to the Challenge my Response had redounded on myself.  I had killed my former personality which had failed me completely.  By so doing I condemned myself to a feeling of overaweing guilt.  The feeling of guilt came from within  because my Animus or Ego had been defeated.  A comparable effect would be when an ancient god failed to save his people from defeat.  As the god could not perform its function the defeated people turned their back on the god either embracing the seemingly more powerful god of the victors or entering the Wasteland while they sought another.

     I died of mortification and shame that day and entered the Wasteland.  The incident would have been trivial as an adult.  I would have easily dealt with the situation turning back the evil on my tormenters.  As the knights of the Medieval historian, Froissart, invariably said when met by force majeure as they retreated:  There was nothing for it.  We will meet another day under more propitious skies.

page 50.

     That event, nevertheless, fixated my future life.  It made me think I was unworthy to be successful.  The Field, or the Stars, is all important.  It is nonsense to blame oneself.

     Challenges are transmitted requiring a Response before the child has developed consciousness at all.  Thus life determining Challenges are presented in the cradle while the child is absolutely defenseless.  There is no reason to bemoan this, there is no other way.  Thus in the Perseus myth the Grey Ones were born ancient and have only one tooth and eye between them.  They are ill prepared to deal with any situation and yet they are guardians of the sanctuary.

     Human conditioning undoubtedly begins in the womb.  It is not conceivable that certain, shall I call them dispositions, are borne by the very sperm that fertilizes the egg.  In addition to carrying the genes the sperm must also have a degree of consciousness and possibly even intelligence to read the signs to find the way to the egg.  How does it know what to do?   One might ask the question are all sperm created equal?  Obviously not, some are X and some are y.

     Certainly conditioning begins at birth.  Timidity and aggression are transmitted, as it were, with the mother’s milk.  Thus the so-called Alpha male is really the image of the Alpha female.  It is only the Alpha mother who can create an Alpha male.  All men are Alphas until their mother gets hold of them.

     The mother’s role on the character of her son is determined by the character of the woman.  Remember Mother is not synonymous with Woman.  It is the woman’s character, her intelligence and her intellect that will have the most influence on her son.  Mothering is something else.  You can see how lucky I was to be separated from my mother at the formative stage.

page 51.

     Nature may not have done women a favor by making them potential mothers but the mother is a role which most women must assume, not infrequently against their will.  Thus Freud is quite correct when he says the mother is responsible for the future of her children.  The woman may rebel against her fated motherhood but how she handles her responsibility determines the fate of her children.

    My mother fated me to frustration as a baby although as a woman she may claim she did not have the intelligence to understand what she was doing, she nevertheless had the subconscious craft to achieve her ends.  Her wishes had been frustrated when my father failed to present her with a girl.  She made him pay and she made me pay.

     In order to frustrate me as she had been frustrated by me, so to speak, my mother teased me by presenting her nipple and then withdrawing it just as I was gaining satisfaction.  She didn’t do this just once but repeatedly.  The resultant search for the source of nourishment left me with a ridicuous complex.  She conditioned me.  In certain instances when I was searching for something I couldn’t find which was often right in front of me I became very distraught.  Others interpreted this as unwarranted anger leaving me open to ridicule.

     Thus as I had disappointed my mother for life when her older sister had the first girl in the family she attempted to frustrate me for life as a punishment.  She wouldn’t be able to understand if she were told and neither may you but it is true nonetheless.

page 52.

     I retrieved those two memories by auto-suggestion.  Over a period of time my mind presented an image of a nipple being offered and withdrawn.  Auto-suggestion will call up images from the subconscious but you must make an effort to consciously interpret them and you better do it quickly.  I seized the moment.  Little was required of me to reconstruct the situation.  Knowing, I eliminated the fixation.  I am now able to deal with the problem constructively.  Poimander makes my life better and better every day in every way.

     So that, to understand one’s influences one must somehow learn the Field, work to find the Challenge to which the Response applies.  A person acts and reacts; you may have been the perpetrator and had your own evil turned back upon yourself.  One must be honest with oneself.  Sonderman cannot blame me for Wilson’s death; he must accept that responsibility himself. 

     If you lie to yourself you aren’t going to get very far.  Others will have motivations that affect you; you will have motivations that will affect others.  You may be unaware that you have been targeted; you may think that things have just ‘happened.’ Or, as in my case, you may know, be aware, or vaguely aware that you are being targeted but not know who the stalkers or agents are or why they are doing it.

     For whatever reasons you may be on the butt end the important thing is not to accept other people’s negative opinions about yourself.  Do not give up hope.  Refuse the negativity; reject the Suggestion; turn back the evil before it enters your soul.

page 53.

     Right Conduct is in may ways more important than personal psychology.  The Ancients who had a very different concept of psychology rightly placed great emphasis on morality.  They were in a lane on the right highway, in my opinion, the fast lane.  Following Freud psychologists do not recognize the importance of morality.  I have never read a psychological work where morality was even mentioned.

     The rules of Right Conduct were expressed in gnomic terms of which it is difficult to acquire a right understanding.  For instance the injunction of Christ to turn the other cheek must not be taken literally.  The meaning is not to suffer insult but not to return evil for evil because evil begets evil.  Returning evil for evil justifies the perpetrator in his own mind.  It justifies his belief that the world is created in his own image.  Nothing hurts them worse than to realize it isn’t.  One must learn to turn back another’s evil on himself thus causing him to eat the bitter pill.  To take the evil on one’s self only embitters one’s own life whether one realizes it or not.  Of course, often there is nothing for it and it must be dismissed as the boorishness of the other.

     Earlier I remarked that when Sonderman took me to visit his father’s  chemical plant I tried to burn it down.  How did that ‘happen’?  Failed evil is a powerful rebuke.  The evil of the perpetrator has been turned back on him and he knows shame.

page 54.

     When Sonderman took me out to the Shield and I survived that was a powerful rebuke to him and his father.  Had I fallen beneath the great steely wheels they could have consciously rationalized my fate to themselves as my own stupidity.  When I didn’t they became evil in their own eyes while they now saw me as more virtuous.  They found my innocence intolerable as it made me better than them.  They took it upon themselves to prove that I was no less evil than themselves.  They had to prove to themselves that I would have done the same thing or its equivalent myself.  No one wants to think he is less moral than his fellows.

     Human life is less haphazard than we imagine.  On a close examination you will find that more is caused than happens.  If you have an effect then look for the cause.  Thus the Sondermans did something they were loath to do; I was invited to see their chemical plant, or the inner sanctum of the Sondermans from which I had been carefully excluded.

     The Sondermans didn’t want anyone to have to take their word for it so they invited a young cousin along who I had never seen before.  He was to act as their ‘witness.’

     As I would never attempt a crime on my own it was necessary to suggest one to me.  Sonderman pointed out the extreme combustibility of some chemicals sitting in an old open wooden tub.  He admonished me not to let a spark get near it.  As young as I was I still should have had better morality than to fall for the suggestion, to attempt a revenge on what I rightly interpreted as attempted murder.  In the sense of Christ I should have turned the other cheek.

     Having suggested the act Sonderman was already prepared to prevent me from making the attempt so that while I was willing no such attempt was actually made.  Had I remained pure in thought I would have redoubled the evil on the Sondermans.  As it was he went and told his father that it was my intent to put a match to the chemicals even though I had no match.  I was ordered off the property.  To some extent I enabled them to redeem their innocence.

page 55

     But then, as events will show, my enemies would only have redoubled their efforts.  As I had made no real overt attempt to return their evil in a way for which they could condemn me as they condemned themselves their guilt remained unexpiated.

     Evil cannot be expiated by further evil but the Sondermans did not know that.

5,

     A peculiar dream happened to me as I wrestled with this part of the story.  The problem of confronting my inner fears was apparently  more fearsome to me than I realized or had more far reaching consequences than I imagined.  Subsequent events were apparently very traumatic, much more so than I realize even now.  I apparently needed greater protection to deal with them.  My subconscious provided it for me.

     In my dream I had just been let out of prison.  Although outside the walls I was told that I couldn’t leave the area until the Grey Ones arrived.  When I asked who the Grey Ones were and when they would arrive I was told that I would see them when I saw them.

page 56.

     The prison and its guards looked a great deal like my fourth grade school so I suppose I was being released from the confines of my central childhood fixation.  As I was standing around marveling at this, wondering what to do, the three Grey Ones appeared in the distant bright blue sunless sky drifting slowly on the breeze in my direction.

     I had no idea what to expect.

     As they come fluttering closer over this bleak barren desert landscape they took the shape of what I can only describe as wrinkled grey windsocks.

     I stared up in amazement and apprehension not knowing what to expect.  The eldest windsock, who was also the ugliest, rippled past disdainfully not even deigning to notice me.  The middle one wrinkled past sheepishly as though ashamed to represent my present situation.

     The youngest and prettiest Grey One seemed to fall in love with me on the spot.  She breezed over and playfully ensheathed me with her joyful presence.  She would be my Anima for the future.  I would be her eyes and teeth, her Ego.  Thus protected against any future psychic dangers I was free to leave the prison grounds.

      Psychologically the Grey One is still with me.  She has guided me over several treacher0us shoals.

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     At the Judgment of Paris he was asked to choose but I was chosen.  The oldest Grey One rejected me outright.  Indeed, there was no going back to a shameful past for me.  The middle one realizing she could not maintian an unpleasant status quo sheeplishly passed me by.  The youngest representing a fearless flight into the future took possession of me.

     Dreams are of course a product of subconscious desires so that auto-suggestion indicated that the way had been cleared.  I was to deal with the future as it arose unimpeded by past or present impediments.

     The message was that when I failed to turn back the evil in the second through fourth grades I had transferred it into my own guilt and shame.  I had accepted inhibiting behavior that was now at an end.

     Perhaps in the organization of the Sonderman Constellation I will be able to rid myself of his evil incubus.

     The senate house of the planets may sit again to deal me a new hand.

End of chapter II.

Now that the stage has been set the narrative begins.

Go to Chapter III

The Psychodrama