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Category Archives: Jesse Winchester

A Short Story

Angeline Gower

by

R.E. Prindle

     As I have told you I have never had the blues.  But, as with the weather systems, tropical low pressure systems are of the most intense low pressure systems, so while I have never had the blues, I have flirted with the blues.  So it was on the evening in question.  A Pacific low pressure system was passing through bringing with it the steady splash and drips of its persistent rains.  The drops hit the skylight and roof with two distinct tones, answered by the drops pelting the windows and the gurgle of the runoff down the drainpipe.

     I stood in the dark looking out the windows at my own reflection suspended like a phantom on the glass.  The vision of myself stirred up memories from my past that haunted my mind just below the limes separated from conscious memory by an invisible but impenetrable barrier.  There lay those troubling ghosts that I had spent my life trying to exhume.  The suppressed memories, those most painful episodes in a troubled life, that dominated my consciousness from the beyond and directed my energies into unfruitful  channels.

     Loosing the spectres of the past was my preocupation.  I had long studied Freud and De Sade, self-analysis of my psyche had often nearly driven me mad, but how could I, how can I desist.  Our minds are on the beam of the same wavelength so I can tell you this without overt shame or embarrassment.

page 1.

     Reading, my usual refuge and solace, had failed me on this particular evening.  I had replaced on their shelves Athenian Propertied Families 600-300 B.C., Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds as well as Robertson Smith’s Religion Of The Semites.

     I opted for a bottle of scotch and some old phonograph records.  Now I’m not what you would call a drinker, and you know I’m not, but this night as I saw the Blues sitting on my couch batting her eyelids at me, I though I’d fortify myself with some protection and possibly open a door on one of those troublesome memories.  Aiming for lighter hearted frivolity I got out some old Louis Prima records and tried to lift my spirits.  Oh, of course I was amused by Josephina Please No Leana On Da Bell and Prima’s other amusing frivolities but as I sipped away at my scotch I found a need for more ineffable sadness.  Thus just as Louis was swinging into Bongo, Bongo, Bongo, I don’t Want To Leave The Congo, I levered the tone arm up and began digging through my collection for someone giving voice to their hurt.  I passed up Hank Snow and Webb Pierce because they don’t reach the area I was reaching for, although both are great singers of sad songs.

     Reaching down into the section labeled ‘Moaners’ I pulled up Jesse Winchester’s first LP and Mickey Newbury’s It Looks Like Rain.  Mick and Jesse knew enough about rain and pain to satisfy my desires.

     My bottle was half empty as my brain fogged up and the notion of lying down occurred to me.  The rain was still descending as I weaved toward the bedroom with the lyrics of Winchester’s Yankee Lady and Newbury’s pleas for his Angeline dancing around in my brain.  I had hopes, even in my sodden state, that my memories would be jostled around and one might come up.  One did.  I wish now that it never had.

page 2.

     I stood for a moment clutching the door jamb while trying to relocate my balance.  I had wanted to connect links with suffering humanity and I had.  I was feeling lower than a catfish on the bottom of the mouth of the Mississippi way down South in New Orleans.  I oriented myself in the direction of my bed and gave a shove.  With a deftness unplanned and of which I would not have thought myself capable I caught the covers up and in my fall actually slid between them.  I didn’t have to wait for sleep for Sleep took my head and slammed it into the pillow.  I disappeared into the abyss of oblivion.

      Sometimes, most of the time, sleep is never so deep that you’re unaware of your blood circulating or your hair growing or anyone of a number of physiological matters, but this night, probably because of the alcohol or possibly because of psychic exhaustion I slipped below the level in the abyss of oblivion where the sun had never penetrated.  If there had not been a bottom I would probably be falling yet.

     My exhaustion was psychic rather than physical.  After a couple of hours of total amnesia, my body sated with rest, the alcohol in my blood stream diminished but not yet dissipated set off discharges in my mind that lifted me from the pleasure of oblivion to the threshold of pain.  I lay there flickering in and out of consciousness until I reached a state that was half waking, half dozing.

page 3.

     I didn’t dream, but my liberated sub-conscious sent up images and images from my subliminal reservoirs faster than I could grasp them.  Just as I was about to recognize an image it fled before my mental grasping.  And then, I can’t explain it, it’s only happened twice in my life, my inner being, my doppel-ganger, my alter ego, that image of myself in the rain splattered window, that phantom who may be more real than myself, perhaps he is the guardian of my sanity, he who suppresses and hides my most painful memories; puts them in a place where they can’t harm me, transweaves the unpleasantnesses of life into a fabric that makes my life presentable, who didn’t, can’t make himself known, seemed to say, athough nothing could be heard:  ‘All right, you want to see?  Look!’

     Then, somewhere along the limes where my conscious and unconscious meet, a hatch, a skylight opened and I was shown, I don’t say I remember, but I was shown the worst moment of shame and sorrow I have ever known.  The guilt of a thoughtless and callous man rose up and took possession of me.  I let out a low moan.  It was too late to turn away.

     Don’t think badly of me.  It was my fault but I wasn’t entirely responsible, there were mitigating circumstances.  I’m sure you’ll agree once you know.  Let me tell you the story.  I’m sure you will find mitigation to soften your censure into a compassionate pity, empathy, or even sympathy.  Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.

     I was eighteen, no, nineteen, when I committed that despicable act.  But let me begin the story much earlier so that you can understand much better.  No man can be understood without a knowledge of his childhood.  My own was not imbued with the vibrant and cheerful colors of happiness.  No, my friends, it was quite the reverse.  Nor do I seek your pity although I will not reject your sympathetic attention.  I have always been of the opinion that one must accept the situation in which one finds oneself and try to convert that dross into gold.  To shed our past like a caterpillar sheds his skin and emerge transformed into a newer better creation.  I hope when my life is over I will not have failed in this task.

page 4.

     I am not an orphan but I was abandoned by my mother when I was seven.  She left me on the steps of the Municipal Orphanage and I never saw her again.  My life in the orphanage is not germane to my story, but you must know the hardships which orphans must endure.  Orphans are social outcasts.  Just as a man without a country has no place to rest, so the child without a parent is an outcast of society.  An orphan child has no protector.  He is a wanderer in a desert with no boundaries.  He is despised  and victimized by adult and child alike.  He is compelled to wear the badge of inferiority just as the Jews in medieval times were required to display their yellow Star of David.  He wears his as the Negro wears his skin.

     In our case we were dressed in oversized or undersized clothes.  We were compelled at various times to wear mismatched socks or shoes.  Oversized shoes and socks that were more hole than sock.  Shirts so large that the sleeves had to be cut back to expose our hands, the ragged edges flapping at our wrists. Our hair was cut with cowlicks sprouting every which way.  We were made to look ridiculous, so that others might appear normal.  We did look ridiculous and we were sent to public school that way.  I have often envied Blacks and Jews their solidarity.  Despised though they may have been they could find solace together, or at least as much as humankind will allow from each other.  At school we were not allowed to win, and were denied any success.  The gates of charity were closed to us although the ‘decent folk’; gave us small conscience offerings at Christmas.  It was demanded that we be hewers of wood and carriers of water for our masters with the parents.  But the worst was yet to come.

page 5.

     When a child turned ten he was no longer welcome at the Children’s Home.  Orphaned or abandoned he was even rejected by the custodians of the damned.  The Angels of Charity arrived to claim their due.  Our foster parents arrived to pick up a means of livelihood and a slave for the house.  I was either selected by or assigned to, I don’t know which, the Wardens.  The Wardens did not really want the money they were sent for my care each month, or, that was not their prime motivation, although precious little of the money was ever spent on me.  What they wanted was a clown.

     The Wardens were much less than successful people.  Jack Warden, or Mr. Warden as I was compelled to call him, had delusions of grandeur based  on some sort of imagined connection to the royalty or nobility of ancient England.  He even kept a collection of coats of arms on the wall.  He would point to this particular one and say, ‘Yeh, that’s the one right there.  That’s the one all right.’  just like it was his, but I knew it wasn’t.  He was white collar over at Malleable Iron so that he could maintain his dignity over the blue collar workers.

     The Wardens lived in a decent house on Bay Street which was OK, but beneath his supposed diginity.  Geli Warden, Angelica, his wife, affected manners which she thought the immaculate reflection of the ‘Well born.’  But, I shouldn’t complain because those manners have stood me in good stead.  They had two sons, Skippy and Cappy.  Cappy was two years older than I and Skippy was four.  Neither boy was amounting to anything.  The townsfolks’ opinion of the Wardens was much less exalted than their own.  The status of Skippy and Cappy consequently was not the highest.  The Warden’s were not totally oblivious to reality.  While they were masters of delusion they were also acutely aware of the disparity between their illusions and reality.  They could not levitate their sons over the children of more affluent and successful people.  They could invent innummerable reasons for themselves but the neighbors rebuked them when they made exorbitant claims for the lads.

page 6.

     I was the solution to their problems.  On the one hand they could demand credit for their charity from the neighbors and on the other society paid them to keep a fool for them and their boys.  What radio beam I followed to keep me on track I’ll never know.  I suppose religion had something to do with it.  I had been compelled to attend church since a small boy.  I knew the Baptists, the Methodists and non-sectarians , whatever their fantasy may be, now, as the Wardens were very sanctimonious I found the Presbyterians.  I was always revolted by both the Bible and its devotees, but as the Bible is the dream story of a despised and ineffectual people whose lives are irradiated only by an irrational hope, I identified with that strange peoples’ desperate situation and seized the only life raft that fate had to offer me.  I embraced a vain hope as a fat man embraces a full refrigerator.  I made it my own.  It was all there was between myself and psychic desolation.  For the Wardens drove me further and further into a mental zone that was very far from normal.  As my childhood progressed I became aware of two existences.  The one, the despicable clown that I was compelled to be and the other, the real me, that stood aside and watched and doled out encouragement and hope to the wretch that walked in my shoes. 

     As society would not honor Skippy and Cappy in the manner they thought was their due, I was to give them that status in their eyes.  I was denied and ridiculed.  I was made to mow the lawn with a dull mower and compelled to watch in silence and mortification while Skippy ‘did the job right’ with a sharpened mower.  But it’s more important that you see what I was forced to become.

     While the boys dressed well I was made to look shabby and unkempt.  Just as at the orphanage my clothes never fit.  I had to wear Skippy’s worn out shoes.  Cappy’s old clothes, although I actually outgrew him.  By high school I was flopping around in oversize shoes and a pair of too small grey gabardine pants.  High in the leg and the crotch pulled up tight between my legs.  The pocket openings were all frayed and the pockets were all worn out.  Girls wouldn’t even look at me.

page 6.

     Then after Skippy and Cappy graduated it was even worse.  Neither went to college as was expected.  Both just kind of bummed around.  The Wardens turned on me savagely in their disappointment.  They wanted me to be even more ridiculous as they now thought their sons had failed them and I had been a bad influence.  I don’t like to drink because sometimes the memory of it seems to drive railway spikes through my brain.

     I don’t know when it started but I know that it was the result of the accumulated opprobrium, ridicule and denial that I had endured all my life.  It became an especial burden as I became old enough to understand, even if in primitive outline, what was being done to me.  I rejected all accusations of unworthiness and knew in my heart and grasped intellectually that I was as good as my detractors.  Nevertheless the weight of their scorn and hatred, which they of course denied, bore down heavily on me.  As my various neuroses and eccentricities developed in relation to this ostracization I began to hear a sound in my ears, a roar as mighty as Niagara.  It stood as a barrier between myself and the world.  I had to listen to people around it, with an especially attentive ear.  I was afraid.

     I held myself together through high school but upon graduation, abandoned by everyone, ridiculed and laughed at by the Wardens, I fell apart.  I became ineffective.  I had difficulty tying my clown shoes.  I often had to make two, three or four attempts before I could succeed at that simple task.  Once while receiving change from the paper boy I turned my hand sideways just as he released the change which clattered to the floor.  I was mad with anguish and self-criticism.  The hope that had sustained me fled and I was hopeless.

     Throughout the summer I knew not what to do.  When the days began to shorten and daylight began to flee I, by association, thought that I too must flee.  I had some few dollars that I had managed to save and putting on my clown shoes my shabby grey pants with the short legs and high crotch, an old white T-shirt and a too small denim jacket that I had inherited from Cappy, I walked out of theWarden’s house for the last time.

page 7.

     I wanted to get far away.  As I had never been far away before I thought in short distances.  Primary to my mind was to leave the Valley.  I rejected Detroit and the South because I knew I couldn’t deal with that many people.  I thought of going out into the Thumb but the Wardens had relatives in Caro and I didn’t want to be close to them at all.  For probably psychological reasons I decided to head up North to the Grand Traverse, The Great Crossing.  A divide that once crossed would divide me forever from a hated and hateful childhood.  As my mother had abandoned me I would symbolically abandon her.  Not that she cared.  I had never heard from her.

     Blinded by my desperate urgency I walked out of that house of the distraught and just kept walking.  I wouldn’t have spent the money anyway but it never occurred to me to take a bus.  It never occurred to me to put out my thumb; I just walked along listening to the roar in my ears which seemed to be intensifying; to be getting louder, it seemed to be engulfing my brain.  I don’t remember much of my flight.  I remember passing the multitudinous churches of Midland.  The chemical stench of the place corresponded exactly in my mind with my opinion of the parishioners of those churches.  No love had I ever known from those sanctimonious hypocrites of God.

     After Midland the roar seemed to affect my vision.  I saw but registered nothing.  The tears repressed for eighteen years began to flow and I walked and walked sobbing and sobbing.

     I don’t even know whether I stopped to rest or not.  I just kept picking those big clown shoes up and laying them down.  Because of the size of the shoes I had to lift my knees high to bring my foot forward.  I was oblivious to the catcalls of passing drivers appalled by the sight of the strange apparition that I was.  At night, local boys drove by and threw beer cans at me.  One reached out the window and tried to hit me with his fist.  I grabbed at his arm and pulled it back.  I escaped their wrath for playing ‘unfair.’

page 8.

     As I say I walked on an on until my woes engulfed me completely, until my body and mind separated and we existed in two different worlds.  As my body trudged on my mind descended by stages into a hell of despair.  Oblivion overwhelmed me, nothingness became my reality.  I don’t know what happened.

     When my senses returned, when the terrible fog lifted and dissipated and became a mere haze I found that I must have left hell and gone directly to heaven.  My overall impression was white but I was surrounded by the most heavenly colors.  White, a delicate pink and the palest of blues.  My head was resting in billows of soft clean pillows, the cases of which I never seen the like.  My body was covered by the sheets, pink and blue and a downy blue comforter.  Above, the white underside of a blue canopy glowed cheerily back at me.  It was daylight but still semi-dazed I lay there drifting in and out of consciousness.  Then just as the sun was going down I heard the door open and shut.  I looked up to find her smiling down at me.  It was Angeline, my redemptress.

     A feeling of security warmed my heart and saying nothing I slipped off into unconsciousness for the night.  When I awoke, sometime before dawn she was laying there beside me, sleeping peacefully.  Not daring to move I lay there quietly studying her.  She began to stir.  I pretended to be asleep  and she, solicitous for my welfare, dressed quietly and left for work.  As I tried to rise I found I couldn’t and spent the morning fitting my mind back into my body.  The reunion was difficult and imperfect.  I would spend decades trying to match the edges.

     I found myself weak and lethargic, unable to concentrate or even to grasp my situation.  Sometime in that morning, feeling the pangs of hunger, I compelled myself to rise and seek nourishment.  During the process of alimentation I surveyed my surroundings.  My shelter, and it was little more than that, was a one room shack.  It was small and mean but immaculate.  The lovely bed, although bed is an inadequate description of the little paradise in which Angeline reposed for her slumbers, was in one corner.  A bathtub was adjacent to it.  On the other side of the room, where I now sat, were her kitchen facilities.  Dressers and a table with chairs occupied the front of the room.  In the middle of the front wall was the door.

page 8.

     After eating, still exhausted, I lay down again to rest.

     It was as though I had received a great injury, suffered a debilitating illness for as the fall turned into winter I remained faint and listless.  As the approach of spring became imminent my mind began to regain some of its sharpness and my body its vitality.

     Angeline was very patient with me, neither pressing me nor hurrying me.  In those few months, even in my depressed state I came to appreciate and love her.  She was twenty-five and had also had a difficult childhood; which fact I only surmise as she never talked about her past nor complained about her present.  She sought complete self-sufficiency and within reason did everything for herself.  She eschewed radio and television and even never bought magazines and newspapers.  She wanted to create her own perfect world without obtrusions from an unsympathetic and hostile reality.  In the time I knew her I never saw her with another person.

      My own laughable wardrobe had disappeared and she had tailored new clothes for me.  She knew how to do everything.  Where she learned I don’t know.  Even my oversize shoes were gone, replaced by a pair of moccasins Angeline had sewn.  For the first time in my life I was dressed in clothes that fit.  Clothes that were meant to dignify me and not ridicule me.  Clothes that signified manhood and not foolhood.

     Angeline worked as a waitress in town.  What town I can’t remember except that it was on the Lake Michigan side of the Grand Traverse.  It was a small town.  Angeline’s cabin was on the rise looking out over the cool blue waters of Lake Michigan, over the Grand Traverse separating the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.  the place where Lake Michigan without any discontinuity or break changed its name to Lake Huron.

     On those cold winter days I often sat on a stump looking out over the Great Crossing, The Grand Traverse, that might someday separate me from my past, that might lead to a new and better life on the other side.

page 9.

     Angeline was always cheery, what cheeriness I know I learned from her.  Much cheerier she than I.  I was not the best of company that winter and I often wondered why she didn’t turn me out.  She didn’t.  Angeline had the capacity to make the best of everything.  She could warm up the coldest night and cool off the hottest day.  She could make the darkest corner bright.  She was able to nurse me back to health.

     So my winter of recuperation passed in the heaven created by Angeline.  Recovering by day, fed by a divine cook and passing my nights beside the loveliest incarnation of woman ever made.  Angeline would have been no-ones cover girl but there was no woman more beautiful than she.

      As Spring came on my strength and energy returned.  My psyche repaired itself and I attempted to recover my balance or perhaps I began to seek a balance I had always been denied.  As the days grew longer and daylight appeared between Angeline’s return and nightfall we began to take long walks through the woods and down to the lake shore.  There were delightful little streams in the woods, there was an abundance of wild flowers.  The air was fresh and sweet.  The skies were clear and blue.  There was nothing more a man could want-except escape from a hateful past that lay too close behind.

     As I began my slow recovery I felt the need to tell the world of the way it really was, to save it from doing to others what it had done to me.  I began to write about my pain in little stories.  I sent them to magazines but they all came back.  the world was not interested in my pain, or perhaps, my pain was so new and fresh that the jagged edges terrified whoever my readers were.  Angeline encouraged me and urged me on so that I never quit trying.

page 10.

     The roaring in my ears had continued and continually distracted me.  I was compelled to be patient with it for there was no way to avoid it.  But then one night that summer during my sleep that mighty Niagara ceased to flow.  When I awoke that morning I was aware that something was different but I didn’t know what.  Something was missing. It was so quiet.  And then when Angeline spoke to me it was as though I could hear her voice clearly for the first time.  It was then that I realized that the roaring had stopped.  The very worst part of the pain must have been dissipated.  My joy suffused my body and the look of love and gratitude with which I embathed Angeline brought a flush of pleasure to her cheeks.  Whatever happiness I was able to give her she enjoyed it then.  I could never understand what pleasure Angeline could find in me.  I wanted to be pleasant and charming for her and I tried very hard to be so but I know that my injuries were so grievous, my self-absorption so complete that I couldn’t have been.

     But we spent the summer and fall roaming over our little paradise, dipping our feet in the cool streams and exploring the lake side.  And then came the winter once again.  We still walked in the woods on Angeline’s days off and it was there on that cold January day that we came on our portent of disaster.  We discovered a deer that had been injured by a bow hunter.  The arrowhead and the broken shaft of the arrow were still lodged in the deer’s foreleg.  the wound had festered and the deer was in great pain, limping badly.  If it had been healthy it would have run away before Angeline could have charmed it.  Perhaps Angeline could have charmed it anyway; she was that spontaneous and wonderful.  The deer, with the trust and docility of one bereft of hope, subordinating his fear out of desperation in his pain submitted to Angeline’s graces and the two of us guided it to Angeline’s little cabin in the woods.

page 11.

     She lavished attention on the deer and with all the care of a loving and open heart began to nurse it back to health.

     I am ashamed.  It wasn’t jealousy.  It wasn’t envy.  I too had enough compassion to want to help the deer.  It was a feeling of foreboding.  My own pain had been so great, indeed its dissolution had only a year earlier just begun, that I had been unable, it had not occurred to me till then, to ask Angeline how it was that she had found and brought me to her home to mend.  I wish I had not thought to ask myself that terrible question then.  I certainly could not have been a prize.  My face must have mirrored the distraction of my mind.  I was wearing those ridiculous clothes, dirty from I don’t know how many days of tramping along the highway.  I was grateful to Angeline then, I’m even more grateful today, but I couldn’t help comparing myself to that deer on which she lavished as much love and attention as she lavished on me.

      I didn’t really think about it, I didn’t consciously dwell on it but my past, just behind me, began nipping at my heels.  As I stood outside her door and gazed out toward the Grand Traverse, escape from that past seemed possible and necessary.  Without really thinking about the notion of flight, or leaving, leaving Angeline behind, the notion began to take shape in my mind.

     As winter passed once more and the beauties of April and May arrived, the deer, now healed, nodded a goodbye one morning and disappeared into the woods.  I stood by Angeline and watched him leave saying nothing.  That April and May I enjoyed Angeline’s company as never before while I, myself, grew more sad and morose.

page 12.

      On a day in May Angeline and I were out walking through the woods.  I had my head down my mind dwelling on myself, Angeline and the deer.  Thinking me sad, in an effort to cheer me Angeline exclaimed:  ‘Oh, Greshie, look up, look at the sky, isn’t it beautiful?’  And it was.

     It was a sky such as I’ve only seen in Michigan.  The clouds were drifting in majestic rows from the Northwest.  Each wisp seemed no bigger than a cream puff.  Each was separated from its neighbors by an equal distance; each row separated from the others equally.  These serried battalions of fluffy white clouds marched on in endless succession with absolute precision across the blue of a fading day.

     Each cloud was tinted with overtones of pink.  Pink, white and blue.  Angeline’s colors.  The colors of happiness with which she surrounded herself, surrounded us, me too, each night in her arbor of bliss.  She pointed this out to me glowing and joyous.  Of couse I shared her joy but I also noticed a dark grey band forming behind each of the thousands of clouds.  I said nothing.  An answering ominous shade formed in my own mind.

     When we returned to the cabin the deep blue of the Grand Traverse was still visible in the fading light of a perfect day.  It was then I think that I first saw the path across the water.  I didn’t think any of this out at the time and perhaps I’m only making excuses for myself now, but Angeline was on this side of the Grand Traverse at childhood’s end. 

     Perhaps if I had made the crossing and she had found me on the other side things could have been different.  There was no hope on this side and there was on the other.  As part of my future rather than my past I might, I might never had had to leave her.  Perhaps.  I can’t be sure.

     How could I tell her; How could I explain?  How could I possibly find the words to say it?  What right did I have to leave the savior of my life?  There were no answers that came to my mind.  There were no answers.

     And this is my shame.  That deer had more compassion for Angeline than I had.  He had a deeper sense of gratitude.  He at least gave Angeline a nod good-bye.  With me Angeline just came home to an empty cabin and an empty bed.  Oh god!  I am so ashamed of myself.  How could I be so cruel and heartless?  I who knew what cruelty and heartlessness was.  How could I…

     As the ferry pulled from the slip leading across the Grand Traverse toward St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula I was on it.  Across the water lay escape and freedom or so I thought.

     Once across the Traverse I had no idea what to do.  So I just started walking down the highway toward Sault Ste. Marie.  I had walked for a day and night; I was out there somewhere when I was overwhelmed by despair again but not so bad as last time.  I threw myself down on my back in the middle of the road spreadeagled.  I don’t know how long I lay there, perhaps five minutes, perhaps a couple hours.  Maybe I thought a truck would run over me and my problems.  None did.  There wasn’t even a car came by, either way. 

     I had no choice but to get up, I couldn’t lay there forever.  Once on my feet I looked off to the West over a mile of cutover ground.  Away in the distance the forest began again.  With shaking steps that slowly grew firmer I walked off to the woods into which I disappeared…

Finis.

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Disco Donn Demands Deliverance

by

R.E. Prindle

Part II-5

     So I get this inspiration and jump and say ah yes, but all gods are one,  Jews, Christian and Muslims all worship the same god.

     So much for ecumenism, man.  Boy, did they come down on me.  I couldn’t believe it.  You won’t believe it.  They actually jumped up and down screaming at me that I’m disrespectful to their august persons, that I’m a bigot, a troublemaker, a disturber of the peace, I oughta be kicked out of school and so on.  They were disgraceful but I’ve found the older you are the geekier your act.  Screw ’em.  So they don’t have the balls to kick me out of school but I can read the handwriting and besides I have enough of so-called higher education.  I don’t have to be told what to think and that’s the only kind of education they’re capable of giving, the stupid Fascist bastards.

     So next thing you know, here I am bussin’ with the band from Charlevoix.  Hey, come on, have a swig, you’ll feel better.  With any luck you’ll look better.’

     Big Daddy’s story about himself was accurate but like most people he wasn’t aware of his major influences.  Raised in different circumstances Big Daddy would have been a very different person, maybe a couple hundred pounds lighter.  America’s story has become one of eating disorders.  He hadn’t made himself what he was, he was the product of his environment.  Congratulate yourself America.  The beating and hammering he took combined with the closing of opportunities to him by the racial and immigrant situation prevented his aspiring to success in the corporate world.  The same forces blunted his manhood so that on the one hand he sought redemption in homosexual adventures while on the other, in addition to being a clown, he became a fool.  Shut out by ‘polite society’ of his own race he had nowhere to turn but inward, or to strike out in blind rage.  Screamin’ Big Daddy Gargantua’s response was a combination of the two.

page 201.

     Big Daddy was an intelligent man.  He was even immensely talented.  He knew a great deal about music.  He was not original, but he was as gifted at arranging as the best at any point in musical history. The Bull Lee Band played some terrific sets.  As a dance band which means everything is played loud, no dynamics, they could go through four or five songs in a twenty minute set without anyone noticing rhythm changes.  The dances just fluidly moved from one song into the next.  Big Daddy was really hep to the rhythm section.  He learned from both disco and reggae how to play the melody off the beat.  The band could start with Question Mark And The Mysterians ‘Ninety-six Tears’ and combine it with Doug Sahm’s ‘Mendocino’ before slipping into ‘Unchained Melody’ and ending with the Rolling Stones’ ‘Get Offa My Cloud.’

     It may be difficult to visualize if you weren’t there but after six beers, a couple joints and whatever with a hot Sorority Sister on your arm I’m here to testify that there was no incentive to come back to earth.  I mean, MAN, that was done with four distinctive beats but you never knew where the changes happened.

page 202.

     In the fifties when big Daddy was small Kerouac and Burroughs began proselytizing society to their vision of anarchy.  Kerouac made the wider societal impact but Burroughs’ message hit hard in the music business.  All kinds of groups were named from his books.  Bull Lee was Kerouac’s name for Burroughs in ‘On The Road.’  The name was also punning as in ‘Bully Band’ meaning terrific in the Teddy Roosevelt sense as well as ‘Bully’ in the conventional sense.  ‘Steely Dan’, a very successful group was named after the dildo in ‘Naked Lunch.’  The Other Half, The Insect Trust, The Soft Machine and many others took their names, inspiration and philosophy from Burroughs.  They pushed drugs and homosexual anarchy.  The goal was to burn the ballroom down, tear it all down until society reflected their own inner reality which was a barren desert.

     Big Daddy didn’t even have to think about it, Burroughs made perfect sense to him.  Since Big Daddy rejected the cant of what passed for formal education he turned a deaf ear to school but drank in Burroughs.  He understood Burroughs’ comic strip style of writing perfectly.

     Wherever Big Daddy and the Bull Lee Band played drugs showed up in abundance.  There would be plenty on the SMU campus after the band left.  Big Daddy and the band preached foolishness from the bandstand.  When Big Daddy got going he moved his big belly around in monumentally foolish fashion.  When he was honkin’ sax he could swing the sax up and down to the right and left while he got his belly going up and down to the left then switch back and forth.  You had to be there.

page 203.

     The Bull Lees were as good as any band going.  They never got a contract for two reasons.  First, Big Daddy was terrified of success.  He’d rather complain about the injustice of the system than put his ego on the line.  Second, they were a copy band.  Big Daddy could arrange like crazy but he couldn’t compose.  No original material, no contract.  Augie Myron and Johnny and Jack did go on to successful careers in other bands though.

     So Big Daddy was on a collision course with the vanishing point.  But in the meantime he was thoroughly enjoying himself.  He offered Donn a drink again.

     Donn had been refusing Big Daddy for hundreds of miles but he broke down and took the pint from Cunningham.  The travelers, expecially a couple prim ladies had been complaining to the driver for hours.  But the driver was loath to take Big Daddy on.  Big Daddy knew this.  He also knew the driver would jump on Donn.  thus he cleared his throat loudly as he openly passed the bottle to Donn.  The driver braked the big bus to a stop.  Opening the door he stalked down the aisle to Donn:  ‘Alright, Buddy, that’s it.  There is no drinking on my bus.  Off! Now!’

     Big Daddy softly smiled:  ‘Sorry about that pal.  Come on by in Big D, I’ll see that you get in.’

page 204.

     Donn Stepped off in Plano to spend the next two days hitchhiking into Waco.

VI.

Out In Oregon

     Donn in his misery had almost forgotten that Oregon existed except for his nagging apprehension of Maggie Spingold.  In Donn’s absence many plots had come to fruition all in the same summer and fall.  Albert Morley had been driven from the state, Richard Dick had been railroaded into prison, Dewey Trueman had been driven from business and E.L. Shaddai had been destroyed.

     Albert Morley had displeased the Old Boy Network, most probably because he wasn’t a ‘team player.’  In other words he pursued his own goals for his own benefit regardless of the wishes of the Old Boys to pursue his goals for their benefit.  They have their plans and one is supposed to subordinate one’s desires to theirs.  One is supposed to wait one’s ‘turn.’  They will determine whose shot it is, not you.  Morley had seen his opportunity and gone for it.  He had founded a small electronics firm.  Through constant harassment he had fled the state to set up in North Carolina.  There he was to prosper.  From there he sent letters to the Daily Assassin complaining of the Old Boy attitude.  The Old Boys didn’t care, they just laughed.  After all they had won.  Morley was in North Carolina.

page 205.

     Richard Dick was a more curious case.  He was a Native Oregonian.  He had enjoyed a career as a minor sports figure.  After a lengthy minor league career he had actually played in two games as a Yankee.  The pinstripes must have a remarkable effect on a man because Dick considered himself an important man about town.  He wanted to be a member of the Grammercy Club which was hopelessly beyond his reach.  He couldn’t even obtain membership with the other twenty thousand in the Multnomah County Athletic Club.

     He was a wild and crazy guy.  He liked to think of himself as dancing madly backward on a sea of air beyond the edge.  His imagination was spent devising startling escapades.  Angered by his rejection he tried to offend his rejecters as much as possible.  Thus he opened a restaurant called Dick’s In with only one N.  That drew gasps of astonishment and notoriety.  But the attention had failed after a few months while not giving him any acceptance.

     He then opened a second restaurant called Dick’s Out.  Once again gasps of astonishment.  In the nature of his enterprise no one would work for him who was in the least respectable.  He therefor had recourse to the street girls who ran the streets of downtown.  These girls who slept in the underpasses and wherever were mostly fifteen and sixteen.  Runaways, naturally, they knew nothing of hygiene or even cleanliness.

     Had Dick been conscientious in running his restaurants he might very well have made at least an adequate living from them.  There were plenty of people rooting for him.  But he was unable to apply himself to the details of day to day affairs.  The restaurants were draining his resources.  In an attempt to save himself he opened yet another; a juice bar based on the model of the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange.’  This evil movie which is followed by a series of rapes and crimes everytime it is shown was hated by anyone of good sense.  This time Dick thoroughly outraged the Old Boys while offending thoses who had been sympathetic or neutral.

page 206.

     The juice bar failed ignominiously leaving Richard Dick with only his Dick’s Out.  Devoid of defense, the Old Boy Network moved in on him.  They followed the time honored method of sex and drugs.  Dick was desperate to recoup his finances.  Being short on morals as well as sense he was more than open to selling cocaine.  Shoot, ask John DeLorean.  An Old Boy was given a kilo to sell Dick.  Needless to say as soon as the money and dope changed hands the arm of the law grabbed hold of Dick.

     He had no money for a lawyer which was of no consequence as he would not have been properly defended if he had so he took a public defender.  The thing was obviously a clear cut case of police entrapment which Dick should have been able to beat.  Now at the mercy, or rather, in the clutches of the Old Boys, the Daily Assassin gave his story full coverage.  To show the full extent of his degeneracy he was depicted as the seducer of fifteen and sixteen year old girls.  Reading the Assassin one would have thought these girls were the virgin daughters of the ministry rather than girls who had sold their charms for drugs from the age of ten on.

     As Dick had wanted to be among his persecutors he suddenly realized the extent of his perfidy.  He honored their desires by being sincerely contrite and remorseful.  They gave him ten years in Salem anyway.

page 207.

     The third feather in their cap was the destruction of Dewey Trueman.  There was nothing overly dramatic in his elimination.  The Sukomotos, his landlords, had refused to give him an option to renew his lease.  While they had promised renewal and not to worry six months before the expiration date they pulled the rug out from under him at renewal time.

     He was offered suicide locations at high prices which he declined.  All three Networks wanted to see him in jail also.  He was offered sex, drugs and stolen merchandise, all three of which he had the character to decline.  Absolutely frustrated they had an old homosexual, George Grandios, befriend him.  Dewey didn’t know that Grandios was a homosexual but seen in George’s company the maxim of guilt by association applied.  Very interesting how homosexuals can defame a man by their presence while decrying society’s lack of tolerance.

     To gratify their desires at least vicariously Grandios lured Trueman to King David’s Delicatessen.  King David’s was an old tradition in Portland.  Their former location had been demolished.  They were moved into the brand new Justice Center as the jail was humorously named.  Talk about a suicide location.  Grandios sat Trueman down amongst a group of homosexuals at the very moment that Richard Dick was being sentenced inside.  A veritable parade of Old Boys, straight and gay, minced by the table as though in disguise with big smiles on their faces.

page 208.

     Finally in the glorious Summer of Vengeance the arch-homophobe, so-called, Earl Shaddai was brought down.  The problem with Earl was that there was no convenient handhold to bring him down.  He led a spotless life.  There were no glaring sexual peccadilloes.  He had nothing to do with drugs.  He was just a hard working self-respecting County Commissioner.  He had rejected the blandishments of sex and drugs.

     His constituency was well pleased with him as he was strictly following the heterosexual platform on which he had been elected.  While he had no control of the school board he was using whatever influence he had to prevent the teaching of the parity of homosexuality with heterosexuality while discouraging the hiring of known homosexuals.  Earl’s activities ran counter to the desires of the Homosexual Network which wanted their disease taught in grade schools as an acceptable alternative to heterosexuality.

     There seemed to be and there was no legitimate way to get rid of Earl.  The only possible way was a character assassination.  Behind the back sniping and a whisper campaign, two of the usual tools, would have taken too long and most probably would not have been effective.  Earl had too many followers who could couteract such piecemeal defamation.

     What is involved here are two conflicting points of view.  If in the democratic political process one doesn’t ascribe the notion of right and wrong to either side what one has is a ‘democratic’ decision on the part of the voters to reject homosexuality much as one might vote to reject the sales tax.  The voters had spoken.  But, as the voice of the people ran counter to the wishes of the Old Boy, Jewish and Homosexual Networks democracy had to be defeated by autocratic means.  The will of the people had to be perverted.  In America this is called Democracy with a Big D.

page 209.

     Interest groups in Oregon, and presumably throughout the country, repeatedly circumvent the will of the people.  Thus there is a conflict between the people and the Dictatorship of the Marginals or as Richard Bernstein calls it in his book:  The Dictatorship of Virtue.   No matter what the expressed will of the people may be these self-selected censors annul it.  Thus even though Oregonians approved of capital punishment such sentences are thwarted by these censors who, one must believe, think that democracy is wrong although they hypocritically defend it.

     As regards Earl Shaddai the question now arose of how to dispose of him against the will of his electorate who supported him wholeheartedly.  The action taken while not to be unexpected was so boldly in defiance of propriety and indeed, the law, as to take one’s breath away.  Indeed, to leave one gasping.  Not since the Star Chamber proceedings of Thomas Cromwell had such a proceeding occurred.  Well, maybe the Gestapo or KGB, Mossad, CIA but those are the exceptions that prove the rule.  The Oregon Daily Assassin had always been used to indicate the acceptability of certain individuals.  If the Assassin had been shameless in the past it now passed all bounds of decency.  It now printed a two page article denouncing E.L. as nothing less than a hypocritical arch-homosexual and for that reason unqualified to be a County Commissioner.  The hotel bit mentioned earlier was dredged up.

     The Assassin presented absolutely no evidence to support their contention.  It only vilified Earl not even for blemishes but for things they considered ridiculous.  The manufactured testimony of ‘witnesses’ was given uncontested credence.

page 210.

     Earl was vilified for being from Texas where he received his degree from the then defunct University Of Plano; as humerous a college name as ever existed, the paper made capital use of it.  Plano, North of Dallas, is where Donn was ejected from the bus.  The university records were now kept in the basement of the ex-president’s home in New Jersey as if this fact reflected somehow on Earl’s abilities.  The testimony of a list of narcs, agents provocateur and hitmen were produced to prove Earl was a homosexual.  These people were employed by the Old Boys against all their targets.  Morley, Dick and Trueman knew all by name as did many others.  In print the fact that they were stooges went unmentioned.

     Earl’s trip to the Great Gotham Hotel with Donn Contrales was, from a careful reading of the text, the only incontrovertible fact in the whole denunciation.  Witnesses claimed to have conducted Earl to hotel rooms where he watched, he wasn’t accused of joining in, homosexual orgies.  The article’s message was found in the last paragraph which said in so many words:  This is what we can do to any ‘homophobe’ out there.  We are going to recall E.L. Shaddai and we don’t want to see him re-elected.  Now, there is a perfect example of ‘democracy’ in America.

     There was no way for Earl to retaliate.  He couldn’t sue because no lawyer would have represented him and if one had no court would have admitted such a ‘frivolous’ suit.  As with Cromwell’s Star Chamber he was allowed no recourse.  This was homosexual ‘democracy’ in action.   Thank-you, Mingo Miybriy.

page 211.

     Earl was recalled.  He gamely went from door to door explaining the situation.  He even got a respectable vote but the message not to re-elect him had been too clear.  Too many jobs were at stake.  The Dictatorship of the Marginals had thwarted the democratic process, ‘Virtue’ had won.  The multitude was blissfully unaware.  As was Donn in his misery.

VII.

Down In Texas

     Donn’s parents welcomed him back.  He was their son.  The rest of the town was not so forgiving for Donn had left reviling the town swearing to shake its dust off his feet and its imprint off his soul.  Nevertheless Donn felt much more secure believing he had placed a barrier between himself and Maggie Spingold.  There is a great deal of truth in today’s axiom:  You can run but you can’t hide.  Even with the less developed electronics of the day one could not only be followed but anticipated anywhere in the world.

     One may be sure that famous fugitives such as Abbie Hoffman or the Weathermen were not long out of sight of the authorities.  As they were fugitives in hiding they had already been neutralized.  They daren’t commit further crimes lest they give themselves away, blow their cover.  Why go to the expense of trying them and storing them in expensive prisons?  They weren’t marauders after all but political criminals.  As the federales say:  we could have picked them up anyday.

page 212.

     Donn wasn’t hidden either.  Maggie had anticipated a return to Waco and the folks back home.  Where does a man at the end of his tether go?  The Homosexual Network informed Maggie of Donn’s arrival within hours.  Nor was it Maggie’s intention to leave Donn in peace.  He intended to make his life miserable until Donn was before him on his knees.  The majesty of Maggie had been offended.

     After a couple weeks rest Donn, relaxed and refreshed, confidently went to seek employment suited to his tastes.  There was none of that to be found in Waco.  Donn had to find normal employment.  His parents and his own self-respect demanded it.  In his mind he daren’t step outside Waco.

     He had little choice but to accept a laborers job.  He had no difficulty obtaining construction work.  There he experienced little harrassment for several weeks.  But then it started; Maggie’s slander campaign kicked in.  The story of his arrest for buying child snuff films was quietly circulated amongst his fellow workers.  People began to discuss the topic of child molestation around him.  It seemed as though that was the only topic they were interested in.

     Donn began to have problems with his truck.  Expensive problems.  His battery went dead a couple times; he blew a head gasket; his driver side turn signal went out repeatedly; he was compelled to drive around with a cracked windshield.  Every time he turned a corner it seemed that a police car was around somewhere.

page 213.

     Worse still, accidents started to happen around him.  A falling paint can narrowly missed him.  Pipes accidentally were swung head level as he walked by.  Donn was uneasy.  If he hadn’t believed himself a wanted man he would have moved on for whatever good that would have done him.  The complacency with which he had begun on his return home now vanished as his mood darkened and deteriorated under his treatment which seemed more than coincidental but could be attributed to ‘paranoia.’  Maggie’s influence was even indcated by remarks others made behind his back which he was allowed to overhear.

    Then it happened.  He was nudged off a scaffold.  He took a header in the dirt.  It was only from the second story but he threw his arms out to break his fall thereby breaking both his forearms.  The crack of the bones one after the other was heard across the construction site.

     The cast on each arm meant that Donn was unemployed.  He now had all his time to dwell on his problems.  All the despair he had been resisting for so long rushed in upon him from all four sides overwhelming his mind.  He was close to hitting bottom.

     Waco is deep within the Bible Belt.  The zaniness of the fundamentalists was everywhere about him.  Donn had always disparaged Christianity.  That was one of the things that he had hated about Waco.  But as his mind sank beneath his woes he became receptive to the idea of Christian salvation.

     Its very atavism began to appeal to him.  Unable to deal with reality he slowly began to take refuge in God.

page 214.

     The whole notion of God is a product of man’s adolescence.  When man first learned enough to emerge from pure savagery he began to develop the Gnosis.  Unable to understand himself and his environment in a scientific or rational manner he interpreted and explained himself in metaphysical terms.  Nor is this phase of man’s intellect to be despised.  Except for its attribution of supernatural forces as cause early man’s explanations can be interpreted to roughly conform to scientific explanations.

     The Gnosis itself developed in all areas from China to Egypt.  Its focal point seems to have been somewhere from the Indus Valley to Mesopotamia.  Certainly until the time of the Jewish transportation from Jerusalem to Babylon the Gnosis evolved in an unrestricted manner, innovations coming from where they would.  There was only one Gnosis of numerous variations.

     The transportation of the Jews in 586 BC changed all that.  The Jews’ reaction to their transportation put a kink in the Gnosis that was to affect it drastically about eight hundred years on.

     Realistically, in the terms of the time, the Israelites and Judahites were a back country people, rustics, rubes.  While Christians accept the Jewish account of the magnificence of the first temple it must in reality have been inconsequential compared to the magnificent edifices of Egypt, Babylonia and even the coastal cities of Phoenicia.  After all, if the biblical account is true Solomon mortgaged parts of the Jewish nation, which he had to surrender, to build it.  The temples of Egypt and Babylon reflected the accumulated wealth of millennia.

page 215.

     The spirit of the Judahites was already crushed by their military defeat as they trudged along under the eyes and spears of their conquerors on the long, long walk to Babylon.  When they arrived the splendor of the walls, the gates, or any building must have made their temple appear insignificant further demoralizing them.

     For the first time they came into direct contact with the Gnosis in one of its most active centers.  Thus, crushed militarily, in awe of the architecture and dwarfed intellectually the Jews were made to feel insignificant in their own eyes.  In effect they were thoroughly emasculated.  Who cannot feel their despair in Isaiah’s depiction of his fellows slinking along city streets thinking someday our roles will be reversed.  Someday we will be where you are now and you will be where we stand.  Is it any wonder that the Yahweh of the Pentateuch crashes around in a perpetual rage.

     And so the Jews created an alternative Gnosis that predicted just such a restitution.  They created a special God; this God made them his special people; he promised them dominion of the world.  He promised to reverse the situation.

     For centuries this silly doctrine had no real effect on the world.  But as the Jewish belief system was challenged by the Hellenic belief system the Jews in turn challenged the Greco-Roman world for dominance.  The result was the second kink in the Gnosis:  Christianity.

     Christianity took the Jewish notion of the Gnosis into the surrounding peoples which enabled the viewpoint to directly challenge the main stem of the Gnosis.  In the resulting struggle the narrow intolerant view of Judeo-Christianity was actually able to suppress and outlaw the main stem of Gnostic speculation.  The result was disastrous to the Jews who became a pariah people but their Semitism in the form of the Catholic Church dominated first the Mediterranean world and then Europe for millennia.

page 216.

     Over the years the Catholic Church accommodated the main stem of the Gnosis by adopting several of its tenets in a modified form.  The Isis and Osiris myth gained precedence in the persons of Mary and Jesus at the expense of the Jewish Father figure of Yahweh.  Reconsider Freud’s Totem And Taboo.  The Puritans adopted the savage Jewish form of the raging Yahweh thus subverting the main stem of the Gnosis in Catholicism.  The Christianity of the Bible Belt was formed on the insane Yahweh model rather than the Catholic version.

     The main stem of the Gnosis, this irratinal mode of thought, survived the suppression of Judeo-Catholicism surfacing and reorganizing in the wake of the French Revolution.  Eliphas Levi, a Frenchman who adopted a Jewish name, made the first reorganization of the Gnosis while Madame Blavatsky following him put it into the form under which it now exists in its many variants.

     But the scientific mode of thought which showed man’s advance from adolescence into adulthood emerged triumphant from the Great Revolution casting Gnostic thinking into an atavistic role.  Still the Gnostics, or Theosophists, as they are now generally known, were in a better position to confront Science than Judeo-Christianity.

page 217.

    In their modification of the Gnosis the Jews had their tribal god create the world approximately fifty-seven hundred years ago.  The Gnostic version deals with untold millions of years as with evolution.  Its doctrine of worlds and races of man allows it to adjust its doctrines to scientific discoveries.  Gnosticism does not have a static system whereas Judeo-Christianity does.  Thus as Science has progressively invalidated Judeo-Christian beliefs the two faiths have been driven deeper into a corner from which they cannot escape without abandoning their faith.  They therefore became cranky and crazy whereas Theosophic faiths are just spacey.

     Waco is preeminently Protestant Judeo-Christian.  Now one advantage of Judeo-Christianity is that when the world becomes too much for one, one can always immerse oneself in God in place of going absolutely insane.  God becomes a sort of retreat from reality.  Thus the mind instead of breaking bends beneath the weight sloughing the pain off into vague notions of universal love.  Once the source of irritation is removed the mind can recover.  Broken a mind may never be reclaimed.

     Thus, one Sunday morning Donn hit bottom moving out over the void.  He looked down and found he was suspended by an invisible thread.  Disco Don Contrales had found Jesus.

     He was walking down the street that Sunday with his encasted arms held up in front of his chest in a cross shape for comfort.  As he walked he passed a house from whence issued sounds from a phonograph.  He heard the song sung by Jesse Winchester, the greatest of the sad sack singers.

page 218.

     Jesse sang:

Live is just too short for some folks,

For other folks it just drags on.

Some folks like the taste of smoky whiskey,

Others think that tea’s too strong.

Now, I’m the kind of guy who likes to ride the middle,

I don’t like this bouncing back and forth.

Me,  I want to live with my feet in Dixie

And my head in the cool, blue North.

It ain’t…life ain’t nothing but a breeze.

     Well, it was a cold, chilly wind blowing all the way  from the Great Divide down Donn’s collar that Sunday.  His mind didn’t register the lyrics but the longing of the lyric agitated all the anxieties he felt.  Thus his mind was more or less prepped as he passed the Ancient Rock Of Ages Presbyterian Church.  As he stood on the corner waiting the the light to change the sound of one hundred eighty properous complacent voices wafted out like a zephyr on the cool morning air:

    Just a closer walk with thee,

O, Blessed Savior set me free.

       The voices had none of the wild ecstatic shouting of the Negro Gospel singing against their desperate plight but the calm reassuring tone of those secure in life and pleased with their place in society.  It was this promise of peace that drove Donn into the arms of the Lord.  Like a wave of hallejujahs from heaven the balm of love and forgiveness swept over Donn, not that he had much reason to love or forgive Maggie Spingold.  Suddenly standing in the bright light of his epiphany he knew that what he had to do was to get on the bus, return to Portland and beg Maggie’s forgiveness on his knees.  If he had to go to prison, so be it.  Down as he was in Texas he hoped to be up in Oregon.

page 219.

     The fervor of his conversion upon him, all his pain just a memory, Donn began his trip back to Portland, forearms held before him, the very next day.

VIII.

You Can’t Be Late For Your Own Movie.

     Donn’s sense of misery was swept away by the illuminating light of Jesus.  His pain disappeared as he lost himself in the wondrous love of the savior.  His heart was light as he boarded the bus to Portland to redeem himself with Maggie.  In his movie he saw himself apologizing to the Magus to be received with forgiving joy as a long lost love come home.  As he rode along with his encasted arms crossed before him he broke out into little bubbling laughter from time to time as he envisioned the reunion.

page 220.

     He maintained a state of bliss as the bus rolled across the beige tones of the Southwest into LA.  There he changed buses for Portland.  He had the misfortune to board a local.  Over the Grapevine to Bakersfield.  Then up I5 to Fresno.  In Fresno a man took the empty seat beside him.  Donn turned a beatific smile on him, his face shining.

     The man looked back; first with a distant but not unfriendly look, then his face set in a mask of frozen hostility.

     ‘This jerk is a Christian.’  Dean Long intuited.

     Dean Long was a militant athiest of the old school.  He hated anything that smacked of religion.  He knew all the tried and true diatribes against the Bible.  He could rant and roar about the preposterousness of the parting of the Red Sea and the Virgin Birth with the best of them.  He wasn’t educated in either mythology or Theosophy.  His whole argument was the standard rejection of miraculous events;  reason against superstition.

     However he was studied in Geology.  He read many many scientific journals.  He had developed an hypothesis on the Earth and Solar System.  This hypothesis, quite naturally, flatly contradicted the natural history of the Bible.  As religious people accept the Bible to the letter, and will even argue it so, this leaves them open to ridicule.

     Not unlike Screamin’ Big Daddy, The Mankato Kid, The Roving Gambler and many others Dean Long was frustrated by the censorship imposed on him by minorities.  Like the others this left him no recourse but to turn on his own kind.  In Dean Long’s case his victims were White Christian and Christianity.  In one of the great paradoxes of American society Genesis is a Christian text that can be ridiculed and reviled while as a Jewish text it cannot.  Thus the same heritage can be legitimately denied Christians while allowed Jews.

page 221.

     In the same manner a Jew can immerse a cross in a bottle of urine and display it as a work of art while if a goi were to immerse a Mogen David in the same solution it would be blasphemous and ‘anti-Semitic.’  Both cults were religions beneath the contempt of Dean Long but as one was above criticism to him he turned with redoubled savagery on the other.  Donn’s bliss was now to be shaken.

     ‘What are you so happy about?’  Long asked savagely.

     ‘I’ve found Jesus.’  Donn replied blissfully.

     Long’s internal satisfaction can’t be described.  It was somewhat like the Halcyon days of Greece sandwiched between two winter storms.

     ‘Ooooh.’ Long cooed with a deceptively approving smile.  ‘So, you’ve found Jesus, the great love man.’

     ‘Yes.  I’ve finally discovered his truth and it’s wonderful now, I don’t hurt anymore.’  Donn said turning his eyes upward, staring rapturously at the ceiling of the bus.

     ‘Ohhh- you’ve discovered the Truth, hey?  You take every little word from ‘the mouth of God’ as fact then?’

     Donn had merely gone crazy, accepted Jesus as his savior, but he hadn’t thought about the actual Bible.  He had rejected that as fable long ago but now he was caught with one foot on either side of the abyss unprepared to defend himself.

page 222.

     Long on his part knew the Bible through Methodist eyes.  He had considered study of the Bible and its milieu beneath his dignity.  Nor was he aware of the narrowness of his point of view.  He was completely unaware of how the Methodist understanding differed from the Catholic or Jewish.  For that matter he was unaware of differences of interpretation from Congregationalists through the Portestant sects down to the Southern Baptists.  In his mind God was God, that is, the Father.  Jesus assumed the role of dependent son while Mary was merely the woman who bore him.  The modified Goddess cult of the Catholics was unknown to him.  In fact, he unconsciously despised Catholicism from its rivalry with Methodism.  He had many many unresolved religious notions which he kicked under the table when he became an atheist.

     He now turned venomously  on Donn expressing his hatred of anything Christian.  ‘Well, I got news for you buddy, the world never was destroyed by water and it won’t be destroyed by fire.  What do you think of that?’

     Donn blinked.  While it was true he had rejected the Bible as fable he had also always accepted the received notion of the Flood and he uncritically received the notion that the world would next be destroyed by fire.  Like most of us he had never examined or analyzed the obvious contradictions in his mind.

     There was that in the vicious arrogance of Long that offended him deeply.  Had he not been in a mental fog he would have pushed Long back.  But now, his curiosity was aroused as the implication in Long’s statement had been that he did know how the world was going to end.

     ‘No fire?  How’s it going to end then?’  He mumbled.

     Long was ready.  His contempt for Christian Donn Contrales had no bounds, which by the way Christian was a new facet to the many faceted personality of Donn.     Long was essentially a coward but with both Donn’s arms in casts he was bolder and more savage in is rhetoric than he would have been with a hale Donn.

     ‘Well, this is a scientific explanation that won’t square with divine dispensation that you believe in but see if you can understand this.

     All is one, there is only one matter, but matter has many forms from gaseous clouds to huge incandescent masses like our sun and the stars.  Our solar system has examples of all forms.  the Earth and the Sun are identical in composition, as is the Sun and Mars and Uranus and Jupiter, as those planets are with Earth.  The Sun is incandescent solely because it is so huge that the forces of gravity heat it to incandescence.  Jupiter is gaseous because it is large enough that gravitational forces atomize it but aren’t strong enough to make it burn.

     Mars has no molten core because it is so small that gravitational pull is slight.  By a lucky accident for man the Earth is of such a size that the gravitational pull is strong enough to keep the core molten while allowing the crust to form.

      Uranus which is nearly twice as large as Earth is molten to the surface while the process of exuding an atmosphere is the same, Uranus is so far from the Sun that the gases freeze upon emission enveloping the planet in an ice crust.  The heat is so intense however that hot spots exist where the ice covering actually melts.

page 224.

     The Earth because of its much closer proximity to the Sun has developed a life allowing atmosphere which doesn’t freeze.  But this is merely an accident it has nothing to do with God.  There is no God.

     Are you capable of following the argument so far?’  Long asked arrogantly.

     Donn nodded yes.

     ‘Now, as to how the world will end.  The core is molten, the crust is hard.  The crust therefore slips around on the core.  Because the Earth is a ball floating in space, rotating from East to West the land mass will evntually all rise to the North.

     The mechanism for this is tectonic plates.  Don’t know tectonic plates?  Well as the crust rests on the core it isn’t strong enough not to fracture.  The crust is fractured into several large sections.  These sections are called tectonic plates.  They move in relation to each other.  For instance the North Pacific plate inches North every year.  The movement causes the Earthquakes around the Pacific Rim.  Along the edges are slip faults where the plates slide past each other.

     Where the North Pacific plate meets the Arctic Plate on the south coast of Alaska the North Pacific plate is subducted below the Arctic Plate.  As it does the Arctic Plate scrapes off large amounts of matter which accumulates in the Aleutians and the transverse mountain ranges of Alaska.  Now, if you look at the globe you’ll notice that the land mass makes a perfect circle around the pole.  This means that the land mass has moved as far North as possible.  Thus the Plane of the Ecleptic is about 24 degrees.  In other words the immense weight of the Northern land mass has toppled this rotating floating ball 24 degrees toward the Sun.

page 225.

     The East Coast of Africa is moving North as well as the North Pacific Plate.  Now, when the weight in the North becomes sufficient it will incline the North Pole even further toward the Sun.  As proof I offer Uranus, which because it is molten already has a pole inclined almost directly at the sun.

     So, you see, by a natural process this world will become uninhabitable, except for possibly a very narrow band, when the Earth inclines to say, 40 or 50 degrees.  So now what do you say about the end of the world, Christian?’

      Donn sat arms crossed eyeing Long askance.  Even if he had been able to deal with Long he wouldn’t have had the knowledge to either deny or affirm but in his crazed mental state he didn’t even have the power to assimilate what Long had said.  He said nothing, which infuriated Long.

     ‘Damn, I despise you Christians.’  He vituperated.  ‘You people are the epitome of ignorance.  Look at you.  You don’t even have what it takes to argue with me.  No, I know what you’re going to say; don’t say it.  You’re going to say God wouldn’t let that happen.  Fire perhaps, but not that.  Yeah, yeah, I know I can’t prove there isn’t a God, but you also can’t prove there is.  God, you disgust me.  You make me sick to my stomach.’

     Long made a retching noise.  At that time the bus pulled into the Modesto station.  Long was bound for Sacramento, but he made a dramatic gesture.

page 226

     ‘You make me so sick I don’t even want to be on the same bus with you.  I’m getting off here.  I’ll catch the next bus into Sacto.  Goodbye and wise up, Christian.’

     Donn’s euphoria was shaken but was quickly reasserted.  He swung his feet up on the seat resolved to let no one else sit there.  No one did.  He was unmolested into Portland.

     Donn half expected the police to be waiting for him as the bus pulled into the Portland station.  The police weren’t there but one of the Old Boy agents provocateur watched Donn from a distance.  He needn’t have been so discreet because Donn totally absorbed in his resolve to contact Maggie wouldn’t have noticed him even if he had known him.  Even if Donn had known him and been spoken to he would only have gushed the love of Jesus all over the guy.

     Donn did not waste any time.  He immediately seized a phone in the bus station to call Maggie for an appointment to see him.  Maggie told him to come to his office the following morning at ten.

     Maggie showed up at his office at eight to begin to prepare for his triumph.  In his vanity he believed Donn was going to acknowledge his power.  That was Maggie’s movie.  Maggie’s office was very fine.

     There is a major difference between the offices of Jews and gois.  The goi office if nearly always plain, utilitarian and business like; just as on the average they dress with much less taste and expense than the Jews.

page 227.

     There is actually something almost barren in the goi approach.  A Jewish businessman always has objets d’ art to display his culture.  Very Freudian.  The office is always tastefully designed, probably by an interior designer.  The offices always contain religious symbols.  If one were to walk into a goi’s office to see Christian symbols one would immediately walk out.  Perhaps it is that Jewish religious symbols are less known to gois.  Maggie had a Mezusah beside the inside of the entrance to his office.  As with all Jewish businessmen he had built a religious shrine into the East wall of his office.  Often they are merely an arrangement indicating the Jewishness of the tenant.  Many are little alcoves built into the East wall.  Maggie’s was actually a little chapel big enough to contain a table and chairs for eight.  Against the curved back wall he had a large framed picture of Moses in his most raging pose; long flowing beard flying in the tempest; his mouth twisted in hatred.  A sculpture of the same pose sat on a table in front of the picture.  Between the two was a huge Menorah with seven massive sockets for candles.  Maggie signed all his documents and held all his serious discussions in this shrine under the watchful eyes of the wrathful Moses.  If you asked him what the alcove meant neither he nor nor any other Jew would tell you.  They would fob you off with vague mutterings and change the subject.

     Maggie meant to celebrate his triumph in the shrine.  He pulled the table and chairs out arranging them in front of the South wall of his spacious office.  The office itself was twelve hundred square feet, larger than many people’s houses.  Maggie’s massive ornately carved desk was against the West wall.  Five chairs were strung across its front.  As Maggie’s chair faced East he was always watching Moses over the shoulder of whoever he was talking to.

page 228.

     To supplement his huge desk a three foot wide shelf stretched from the windows on the North to the entrance of his complete bathroom on the South.  The toilet was in black marble with gold fixtures.  In itself it was eight feet by twenty; it would have made a magnificent bedroom in any teenager’s house.  If you were sufficiently important to Maggie he would allow you to urinate in his toilet, otherwise he sent you down the hall.

     Just inside the entrance was a large oak chair.  It was so huge and ornate with what appeared to be cabalistic symbols carved in its crown that it seemed incongruous beside the bathroom wall.  The chair was on casters.  Maggie now rolled the monstrous thing to the back of the shrine in front of the Menora and the two representations of the insane Moses.  The chair wasn’t actually a chair, it was a throne.  Maggie believed he was from the line of King David.  He put a little footstool in front of it, fluffed a couple pillows and placed them carefully on the throne.  Then he leaped up, bounced up and down a couple times smiling gleefully in anticipation  of a perfect morning.

      Then he took a shower.  He scented himself all over with a scent of Frankencense and Myrrh, took off his wig of golden straight hair and placed a curly one on his head.  The effect was somewhat like a senescent Orphan Annie.  He put on a white linen top, placing a gorgeous blue robe with gold bordering on top of that.  He tied it closed with a silken gold cord.  He modeled for himself in the full length mirror.  Aw, beautiful, he thought.

page 229.

     As has been said Maggie was a nickname for Magus, a belief in himself which he had carefully cultivated.  Maggie had done a fair amount of reading but he certainly was not at the adept level.  Besides he perverted the Gnosis for his own personal needs.

     He had developed a rationale for his homosexuality which made him, in his eyes, a part of the godhead.  The Gnosis is an immense and diverse body of religious speculation.  The Jewish contribution of the Kabbalah and Zohar is but a small fragment.  Under the Judeo-Catholic suppression the Gnostic sects were much more influential among Europeans than they are now that the Catholic censorship has been is ineffectual.  Since the Revolution the Gnosis has blossomed once again in America to the vigor it enjoyed before the Judeo-Christian suppression in Europe.

     Among the versions of the Gnosis the problem of sex is treated in various ways.  But the thinking is that the godhead is neuter.  Thus in its first emanation it becomes the Universal Androgyne or, in other words, it is bi-sexual in the sense of participating in the attributes of each sex.  From there it evolves in the second emanation into the concept of distinct male-female duality.

page 230.

     Maggie had no patience with the genetic explanation of homosexuality and he totally rejected environmental causes.  He saw himself as the Universal Androgyne.  He actually believed himself a part of the godhead.  He had been married forty years and did have a son who he had exiled to Boston.  He hadn’t had relations with his wife since the conception of his son.  He had thereby satisfied his the bi-sexual aspects of his beliefs and given himself an adequate cover.  The rest of his life had been devoted to satisfying his homosexual lusts.

     He mounted his throne to await his triumph which was five minutes away.

     Donn walked, almost ran, in his eagerness to reach Maggie’s office so that he could tell the joyful news of his redemption and beg Maggie for his forgiveness.  He entered the swinging doors of the Miriam Building.  Miriam was the name of Maggie’s wife while she thought he had considerately named the building after her.  Miriam was also the name of the wife of Moses.

     Donn stepped into the elevator ecstatically touching the lighted space for the fifteenth floor with his little finger.  Already in an excited frame of mind his brain spun uncomprehendingly as the elevator sank to the basement rather than rising.  As the doors parted Donn stepped between them his head spinning to look out into the varius bric-a-brac stored in the basement.  Three men smiled sardonically at him; one was cleaning a revolver, one was honing the blade of a knife while the other was taking practice swings with a baseball bat.

     The doors began closing and opening as the rubber bumpers retracted from his shoulders.  Slowly Donn realized where he was; he stepped back quickly into the elevator allowing the doors to close.  His ecstasy was somewhat shaken.  It would be hours before Donn realized the warning.  As for now he didn’t even realize that the elevator whisked him non-stop to the fifteenth floor without his having pushed a space.  Maggie was showing off his power.

 page 211.

     Donn was greeted by Maggie’s secretary, Ann Powers.  The tone of cold condescension was almost more than Donn could bear.  Donn knew of Ann.  She had been with Maggie for fifteen years.  The relationship was so close that many thought she served as Maggie’s mistress.  But Donn knew, as the Homo Network knew, that Ann was merely what is called a fag hag.  She enjoyed being around homos because she wanted to be around men but she was incapable of having relations with them.

     Through pursey lips and cold eyes she indicated an ashtray containing several checks.  Donn thought she was indicating a chair and sat down to wait.

     At the time it was customary for well-to-do hot shots to show their contempt for money by placing several hundred dollars bills in a receptacle in plain view in their living rooms.  The notion was that they could well afford to lose the hundred dollar bills if you were so contemptible as to take them.

     Donn had had a laugh at an acquaintance of his who had done the same with dollar bills.  The connection between the money and the checks lying across the ashtray was too distant for him to make the connection.  Actually Maggie was taking less of a chance than the guy with the dollar bills; the checks would have been difficult to negotiate and easy to replace.

page 232.

     ‘Look at Mr. Spingold’s checks that he just leaves lying around so casually.’  Ann said exuding heavy respect as she pronounced what was to her the sacred name.

     Donn was in no condition to shuffle through them so Ann held them before his eyes one by one.  They were dividend checks.  To show his contempt for, or perhaps lack of need, of money there were checks from AT&T for three successive quarters for six thousand and change each.  An IBM check for eight thousand plus and a couple UNB checks for a couple thousand.  When Donn had acknowledged them Ann, her eyes shining triumphantly indicated the door with her long middle finger meaning Donn could enter the august presence.  Athe same time she pressed a buzzer to alert Maggie to prepare himself.

     As Donn stepped through the doorway the door clicked shut as if by magic.  Turning in surprise Donn saw the Mezusah but not knowing what it was he didn’t rub it.  There was a sort of foyer leading into the main room.  Entering the room Donn looked eagerly behind the desk.  As there was no one there his eyes searched the room to find Maggie seated on his throne in the alcove.  Maggie resplendent in blue, white and gold was sitting head tilted to the left leaning lightly on his arm his middle finger forming a dimple in his cheek a la Shirley Temple.

     ‘Well, Donn,’ he said gazing with satisfaction at the pitiful figure before him, ‘How have you been?’

     ‘Oh, Ed, I’ve come to beg your forgiveness.’

     ‘Really, Donn?  How’s that?’

page233.

     ‘Oh, Eddie, the most wonderful thing has happened.  I’ve taken Jesus Christ as my personal savior.  I’ve found the forgiving grace of the Lord.  Through him I’ve been born again.  I’ve got you to thank for my redemption.  If I had let you in that night I would never have found Christ’s love.  Still, I know how rude I was and I’ve come in Jesus’ name to ask your forgiveness.  Say you will, Eddie.  Say you will.’  Donn ended somewhat breathlessly, his face aglow with what can only be presumed to be the divine love of Jesus.

     ‘Oh, you’ve found Jesus.’  Said this scion of the Anti-Defamation League, this pillar of support for the American Jewish Committee.  ‘You’ve found Jesus.’  He repeated distastefully his anger and resentment mounting.

     ‘Don’t you ever think of anyone but yourself, Donn.  You’ve put an end to your own suffering by finding salvation in Jesus.  Well, what about me?  What about my suffering?  Do have any idea how much it hurts to lay your precious love at another man’s feet and he won’t even open his door, at the very least, to dismiss you?  Do you have any idea how much you made poor little Eddie Spingold suffer- O self-important Disco Donn Contrales?  I, Eddie Spingold, came to your door to offer my love while you hunt around garbage cans behind discos looking for God only knows what kind of contemptible affection.’

     Maggie had gone into a pout, twitching his earring.  He looked up at the picture of the demonic Moses beard flying in the hurricane, mouth distorted as he hurled what?  Imprecations at the boiling clouds of the raging Jehovah of the Dark Sky?  Eyes bulging Moses glared into cloud cuckoo land at the God of a Thousand Names in the Land of a Single Dance.

page 235.

     Maggie went on.  ‘And now you who have suffered nothing in comparison to mine, Donn Contrales, you come back and tell me that you have excaped suffering in your Jesus while the wounds of me, Eddie Spingold, are open and bleeding?  Well, it won’t be that easy Mr. Disco Donn Contrales.’

     Maggie turned his head petulantly to the right fingering his ring and pouting in the general direction of Yahweh of the Dark Sky.

     ‘Oh, Ed, I know, I know.’  Donn said in the emotinal delerium of his religious and sexual quagmire.  ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry I did you wrong.’  Donn continued, gleaming white casts crossed before him as he got down on knees before Maggie.  Donn, a disciple of the God with one name in the Land of a Thousand Dances.

     ‘I’ll do anything Ed, anything I can to correct my error.’

     ‘Well,’ said Maggie flipping his gown open.  He was a real blonde.  ‘See if you can raise that man from the dead.’

     Donn did as he was bidden and indeed, lo and behold Lazarus arose from the tomb.

     And then Donn took the seed of death into his body for the seed of death was in Maggie.  At this time the AIDS virus was throwing a terror into the homosexual community.  The epidemic was reaching its apex in media attention.  Dire reports were being broadcast that within ten years or by the turn of the century incalculable millions, both hetero and homosexual would have to meet the dark visaged boatman.  While the heterosexual world considered AIDS a homosexual problem the news media obligingly prophesied that not  only homosexuals but millions perhaps tens of millions of heterosexuals would die too.  It was never explained how heterosexuals would contract the disease in such numbers except through the dirty needles of heroin addicts and blood transfusions.  Thus the news media gave the impression that homosexuality, heroin use and blood transfusions from homosexual contributors were universal problems not just problems confined to distinct minorities of the population.

page 235.

     When the term homosexuals is used one thinks only of the priss down on the corner but AIDS threw real terror in those immensely successful and rich men who saw not only their pleasures curtailed but terminated permanently.  A chill breeze blew down the halls of Congress.

     Presently, well after the turn of the century, the problem appears to be not even close to what was predicted.  Tens of millions haven’t died, heterosexuals are unaffected.  The concept of unbridled sex has however been extended down to the grade schools.  Something has been accomplished anyway.

     Maggie was used to making many trips to San Francisco to indulge his passions.  There in the early days of the emergence of the disease he had contracted it.  The period of incubation was over.  The disease had been active for three months.  Maggie knew he had the disease but like so many others he believed that if he had it, others ought to have it too.  Why should he suffer alone.  He, nevertheless, did not advise Donn that he had been exposed.

page 236.

     ‘Well, Maggie,’  Donn began, arms still crossed against his chest, presumptuously believing that he had made things right, ‘I’m glad you have forgiven me.  Because now I’ll to go to jail on that pornography charge when the police pick me up because I just don’t have the money to defend myself.  But at least I’ll feel better knowing that things are mended between we two.’

     ‘Not so fast, Donn.  Did I say I’d forgiven you?  I think you have much more penance to do.  But as a token of my good will I know a little about those ridiculous charges against you.  I’ve always believed that they were trumped up.  I’ll talk to the District Attorney to see just what evidence they have against you.  You will give me your word that you are innocent, won’t you?’  Maggie was a consummate actor and an accomplished liar.

     ‘Oh, Ed, as Jesus is my savior, I swear I knew nothing about it.  They just told me I had this package and I only took it for that reason.  I had no idea, Ed.  I promise.’

     ‘I belive you, Donn.’  Maggie said with a confidence born of true conviction.  ‘I believe that someone did set you up.  Well, you’ll need a job to support yourself, I suppose?’

     ‘Oh, yes, sure.  I’ll go down and talk to Mingo.  I’ll get my old job back now that you’re behind me.’  And Porsche he unconsciously added to himself.

     ‘Oh, no.  I don’t think that’s possible Donn.  Especially since you’re still under a cloud of suspicion.  But, I’ll tell you what.  I know a lot of influential people.  Oh, say, do you know Louis d’ Angeli?  He owns a whole string of service stations.  I’m sure I can get you a job pumping gas.

page 237.

     ‘Pumping gas?  Oh, Ed, I…’

     ‘Well, Donn, you’re going to have to keep a low profile while I’m dealing with District Attorney Naro.  This is for the best, trust me.  Besides you still have to expiate your sin against me.  Don’t forget how I’ve suffered.’

     Fifty percent of Donn’s religious conversion had fled with Maggie’s statement that he could get the charges quashed, so he was somewhat reluctant to take the pump jockey job.  Yet, as he was unaware that there were no charges, he thought it best to go along with Maggie.

     At the time there were four stations at the corner of Scholl’s Ferry and Hall.  Two of the four were owned by D’Angeli.  Donn was made to buy his uniform and installed in one of them.  The job may have been low profile but the location was not.  The corner was one of the busiest in the Portland area.  It  controls the approach to the Washington Square Shopping Mall.  All of West Portland passes through on the way to shop.  In fact, Donn was Maggie’s prize and he was on display.

     Donn was at the mercy of all of his enemies.  A single ‘Filler ‘er up, Boy.’ was enough to destroy his day.  When someone like Shakey Jake from the Disco Deep Elum drove up on a motor scooter, belched in his face, ordered a gallon of gas while proceeding to berate and belittle him, Donn was quite beside himself.  The great Disco Donn, the ex-eminent local music critic led a most miserable existence.

page 238.

     Donn protested to Maggie who advised him to keep a ‘low profile’ while Maggie quashed the charges.  In the meantime Donn was required to participate in humiliating sex relations with Maggie and his friends.  Most were very high up in the social hierarchy.  It was among them that Donn for the first time began to realize how corrupt society actually is.  He overheard bits and pieces and some whole conversations that revealed many secrets to him.  Certain bits and pieces of humor at his expense gradually opened to him a correct idea of who had set him up.  Gradually he grasped that the big joke was that no charges had existed against him since he had left town.

     This truth, when he realized it, savaged his mind right and left while it seemed that he had been kicked in the stomach.  He had a burning desire to confront Maggie with the information.  But while he was at the beck and call of Maggie, Maggie was capable of seeing him at his own will.  Maggie, who well knew the purpose behind Donn’s repeated calls refused to come to the phone.  To torture Donn more he had his hours increased at the service station so that Donn was working twelve hours a day seven days a week.

     Nevertheless, Donn caught him early one morning.  Donn expressed his anger and resentment.  He ended by telling Maggie that he could take the service station job and shove it.  Maggie listened with a bemused expression on his face then calmly informed Donn that he had indeed set him up, what could be done once could be done twice.  Donn as a repeat offender could expect little mercy from the court.  He added further that he was still suffering from Donn’s rejection of him.  He didn’t think that Donn had yet expiated his sin against him.  He added that Donn could quit if he wanted but he could be sure that he would only find the job Maggie wanted him to find or none at all.  With a sweet smile Maggie reminded him of the tribulations Donn had suffered the last time he had taken flight.  Maggie advised Donn to stay patiently on the job.  Perhaps something better might come up, Maggie didn’t know.

page 239 

     Donn realized the powerlessness of his situation.  He went into a state of mental shock.  His color drained.  His lips formed a thin narrow line.  He turned slowly to get in his car looking back scowlingly as he did so.  Maggie smiled him a wan smile, shrugging his shoulders.

     Business is a tough way to make a living.  There is no one to go your wages.  Your life style can only be supported from your continuing profits.  No matter how good it looks from the outside those profits are tenuous.  There are constant reverses, drains and damages.  A business requires constant on hands management no matter how the owner may kick at his responsibilities.  Real Estate people like Maggie are constantly everextended as they attempt to multiply their holdings on bank loans as rapidly as possible.  Few businesses can be done other than on OPM.

     The period under consideration was one of severe economic downtown.  Commercial vacancies were high.  In addition to business problems it is common to speculate in the stock market.  Most of Maggie’s investments were sound but he also pursued all the fantasies of Wall Street.  Many of these went sour in a big way.  Overall Maggie in these years was a net loser rather than an accumulator.

page 240.

     Illicit business has a greater profit margin, while losses can be better anticipated.  As illicit business requires police protection to exist, people like Maggie are in a very good position to arrange things.  Thus the drug business was managed on a share basis.  The dealers were unmolested while the major share of their profits went to the Combination.  The only drug busts that occurred involved freelancers and Wild Boys.

     In addition the massage parlors and porn shops provided a steady cash income.  Since the massage parlors were usually in neighborhoods there was very active opposition to them from the residents.  Eventually, as in this period, active citizenry was able to close them down.  They would of course survive and emerge in a different form.

     So that Maggie was able to sustain his life style, support his wife’s rather extravagant needs and those of his distant son, he needed this illicit cash regardless of business conditions.

     As it happened the porn shops in town were under Jewish control.  The main one was in the Oldtown area- The Pink Prowler.  Maggie and his fellows always hired a goi to front for them as manager.  As they treated them badly the managers always rebelled, cleaned out the till and really headed South to the fleshpots of Vegas, Reno and LA.  The most recent of these departees had set up in Vegas leaving the Prowler managerless.

page 242.

     Maggie was certainly intelligent but it didn’t take a great big flash of inspiration to suggest Donn as the man’s successor.  Maggie summoned Donn to apprise him of the good news of his release from the service station to a more ‘executive’ position.

     The ravages of AIDS were showing on Maggie, Donn knew that AIDS had been transmitted to him.  Maggie’s formerly plump little face was becoming thin and drawn.  Donn was watching this with a quiet rage.  He was honoring the code by keeping quite.  Maggie now outraged and enraged Donn beyond the limits of exasperation.

     Donn had always had a seething resentment at the nature of the charges against him.  Although they were not far from the truth Donn was only involved in a particular form of pornography which he had intellectualized into, shall we say, an ‘art’ form.  He did not consider his tastes as being the illicit kind.  He distanced himself from the object.  Porn shops were quasi-illicit.  Running one was degrading.  One was completely outside polite society; Donn still cherished hopes of gaining re-entry.

     Thus when Maggie explained the nature of the opportunity Donn threw caution to the winds.

     ‘Goddamn you, Maggie.  I’ve got AIDS because of you and just like you I’m dying.  You don’t have more than a year or two left.  What are you going to tell people Maggie, that you’re a fucking faggot with evil habits or that you died of ‘pneumonia.’  You don’t want anyone to know you’re queer do you, Maggie?  They’d all sneer up their sleeves and say they always knew- even though they don’t see anything wrong with you.  You know how fags turn on their own, don’t you, Maggie?  How is it, Maggie, that we think homosexuality is legit but everyone is destroyed by it when it becomes known.  Hell, you don’t even have to be queer.  Look at what you did to Earl Shaddai.  You know what kind of posthumous reputation you’ll have when the world know, Maggie?  Shit!’

page 242.

     ‘Donn, I would advise you to consider your words.  Or…’

     ‘Or what, Maggie?  You’ll kill me.  You already have.  I’m a dead man.  You’re a dead man too, Maggie.

     ‘Your end could be comfortable Donn, or…’

     ‘Did you hear me, Maggie?  Take a look at these.’  Donn threw a sheaf of pictures at Maggie which would leave no doubt in the viewer’s mindof Maggie’s sexual preferences.

     ‘Yes.  I snuck these pictures of you and you’re going to be known as a fucking faggot who knowingly spreawd death unless I get mine.  They aren’t going to name any streets after you, Maggie, my man.’

     Maggie disdainfully flipped through the telltale photographs.  He didn’t want the world to know he was homosexual and more importantly that he had knowingly spread the disease.  He hadd intended to leave the notice that he died of ‘pneumonia.’  He did want a street named after him.  He shrugged his shoulders at Donn as though to say:  What’s the holdup.

     ‘I’ll tell you what I want Maggie and you’re going to give it to me or else.  I want my old apartment back just exactly like it was before you destroyed it.  I want my Porsche…’  He sobbed at the memory of the scene on the highway in Washington.  ‘And I want two hundred fifty thousand cash and my medical bills paid.  Or else.’

page 243.

     Maggie pursed his lips, looked coyly askance at Donn with chin down then flirtatiously flipped his chin up.  His busy mind was devising ways to stall Donn at minimum cost.  He would cheat Donn beyond the grave if he could.

     ‘Or else, Maggie.’

     ‘I guess you’ve forgotten my name is Mr. Spingold?’  Maggie arched, suddenly realizing Donn had been calling him that derogative appellation, Maggie.

     ‘Shut up, you old fairy queen.  Give me what I want or else.’

     Now it was Maggie’s turn to shudder at the necessity of receiving humiliation.  A thin film of perspiration covered his forehead, foam flecked his lips.

     ‘Hmmm.   Give me some time Donn, dearest.’

     ‘Now, Maggie, now.  Now! Now! Now! Write me a check.  Get me my apartment.  Call up now and buy a Porsche for me.  Right now! Or else when I walk out of here these pictures are going to be showing up all over town.’

     Maggie most seriously did not want to go down as a socially negligent homosexual who had infected God knows how many other men.  No matter what the justification of homosexuality, homosexuals despised themselves as inferiors.  Only the desperate advertised their homosexuality.  Maggie waffled.  As one of the walking dead he knew that it would be impossible to offset the charges.  His power on earth was already a shadow of itself as knowing eyes apprised his imminent demise.  Maggie’s nature was not to give in.

page 244.

     ‘Now, Maggie, now.  The Porsche.’

     Maggie reluctantly called to order Donn a Porsche.  That done Donn gave Maggie instructions and warnings.  He advised Maggie that he would be at is office every morning at ten to check on his progress.  Maggie gave Donn a check for then thousand which he said was all he had in his account.  He was half lieing. 

     The fear of expose gripped Maggie’s mind.  He very reluctantly fulfilled Donn’s demands but the did.  The tenant of Donn’s old apartment was turned out souring her outlook on life.  The apartment was restored as closely as possible.  Although it was impossible to replace all the records Donn insisted on a clean import copy of ‘Interstellar Overdrive.’

     Maggie was very reluctant to settle the quarter million on Donn Donn threatened and bullied.  He finally hit on the right formula by threatening to reveal the real Maggie Spingold after his death.  Maggie was terrified at the thought of being known as a pederast and what in subsequent years would be treated as willful murder.  Maggie had knowingly passed AIDS on to at least two dozen men.

     Thus Maggie passed the threshold of the great mystery of death to await the great gittin’ up morning when he would return from the other side in his full glory.  Maggie had his remains buried in Isreal in preparation for the great event.

page 245.

     Donn’s will to life had been quashed by the events of the preceding two or three years.  He no longer took delight in anything.  The Porsche sat in the parking lot month after month as Donn lay around his apartment.  His spirit was gone, he made no attempt to resist the ravages of the disease.  He sought no medical help.  He just sat and waited.

     Then, on one very fine spring morning as the sun peeked through his open window, Donn’s body went limp as he lay in bed.  His soul departed.  It fled through the open window into the glorious sunshine.  Disco Donn Contrales was no more but the world had not yet done with him.  While Donn had kept his owrd and not revealed the nature of Maggie’s disease, Maggie, seeking the last word in vengeance as his kind always does, reached from beyond the grave to smear Donn.

     As arranged beforehand the Daily Assassin used Donn as the centerpiece for an article on the perils of AIDS.  Before and after pictures were displayed.  It was believed that Donn had contracted the disease in his notorious sexual pranks among the garbage cans behind the now defunct Disco Deep Elum.  The disco had died with the AIDS epidemic also.  As the capstone of the article a posthumous pleas for tolerance and understanding of these unfortunate victs of hideous disease was printed from the king of altruists, Edward G. Spingold after whom a street had recently been named.

     The era was over.