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The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter IV-2

Continued from Chap. IV-1

     Sonderman, who now had the most authority in our club began to undermine my authority as soon as he was selected.  Ever the dupe he followed Hirsh’s directions.  Sonderman was a nothing himself.  Trapped in his father’s box he didn’t have and never could have initiative.  He was a neuter.

     I had started, built up and maintained the club.  Sonderman wore the shirt I had selected one day a week.  He wore it proudly too.  The shirt gave him status and prestige he could never have attained on his own.  Sonderman was and is actually in debt to me for the best times of his youth.  In what form did he show his gratitude?

     Once in the club he began slandering and belittling me constantly on the old ‘bore from within’ principle.  Whereas before we had always had friendly dinners I now became the butt of ridicule.  Everything I said and did was belittled.  I became the victim of practical jokes.

     Sonderman and Hirsh’s first intent was to drive me out but failing that to lower me in the estimation of my fellows to a walking joke, a subhuman who had come to the defense of the Negroes.  Probably Sonderman’s own thinking was that with me out of the way he could claim he had originated the club reducing me to the role of jealous imitator; perhaps he could have represented me as someone who wanted into his club but couldn’t make it.

page 1.

     He demanded the first dinner after he became a member which was in January just before they moved.  The dinner was a studied insult to me.  I was denied a place at the table while the abominable little was seated at it.  He shouldn’t even have been allowed to be there.  I was given a plate and told to sit in the living room by myself.  So, as you see Law and Order has nothing to do with right or wrong or justice; it is a question of police power.

     I stared bemusedly at the torn up rug which Mrs. Sonderman had seen fit to leave on the floor.  What strange people.  Did they walk over it every day picking their feet way up to get over the bumps while cursing me?  What queer notions prompted them to leave that threadbare rug on the floor?

     I would have walked out but I knew what the gig was.  I had to keep the club together till the end of the year.  I couldn’t let the Hirshes humiliate me in that manner.

     It became less and less possible to enjoy myself during the February and March dinners.  Even that dolt, Denny Demwitter, who owed me everything, turned against me.  Now that I think about it maybe my attitude toward Ed Phlatoe had something to do with that.

     Unable to garner the votes to have me ejected Hirsh had his tool Dirk Klutz, who was to host the April dinner, cancel the dinner.  As May coincided with graduation Sonderman determined to void the dinner for that month.

     That was alright with me, an honorable way out.  Given another couple months and they would have defeated me but in their eyes I had been already.  The club disintegrated after the aborted April dinner.  We began to look to the future beyond high school.  Sonderman had already been accepted as a cadet at West Point which accounted for a lot of his prestige in the club at the end.  Some of the others were destined for colleges while half of us including me had less distinguished prospects.  Time would tell who had risen and who had fallen but the future couldn’t be seen by our high school eyes.

page 2.

     Klutz did not escape criticism for reneging on his obligation.  In their single minded pursuit to hurt me they didn’t think of the others they were injuring.  The social status of every member of the club depended on its continuance.  In order to deflect justified condemnation Klutz gave a graduation party to which all the club members but me were invited.  So, in a way Hirsh would have gotten me expelled from the club but giving in to complaints from some other members Klutz said that I could come if I really wanted to.  Well, it was a difficult choice but the end result if I hadn’t gone would have been that I was booted out of my own club so I swallowed my pride and went. 

     As it turned out Klutz, it seemed to me at the time that if not a member of the Hirshes, was in with them because they were all there, the whole bunch.  Symbolically they subsumed our club to them by transferring the dinner meeting to this party under their auspices allowing them to still feel superior.  To heighten their triumph my club members were all shuttled into a game room off the front door while they were escorted past us into the living room and main party.

     When I saw Consuelo and Meggy Malone and Michael Hirsh enter casting disdainful glances in my direction I knew I had been had.  Well, it was a push; I had been invited to the same party they had. Still left a sour taste in my mouth.

page 3.

     If I had been had, strangely so, as I learned later, was David Hirsh.  Hirsh had given egregious offence to his wife’s family who were not the forgiving kind.  They had been nursing this grudge for three years.  On this night they collected the debt.  Michael Hirsh had knock out drops placed in his bourbon and coke.  Then before the drops took effect he was challenged to a drag race.  The drugs hit him just at peak acceleration.  He veered off the road into the ditch hitting a concrete culvert at the intersection.  He didn’t feel a thing. 

     So the querolous Hirsh even though he had defeated me suffered a defeat from which he would never recover.  Ain’t life funny that way?

3.

     Michael Hirsh’s death on graduation night created shock waves in the community.  However as life is for the living and the dead are soon forgotten Michael Hirsh being no longer with the living was no longer of any consequence.

I was still there.

     Judaeo-Christian mores say that the penalty must fit the crime.  Although I had committed no crime I think that surely the imagined insult to the dignity of David Hirsh should have been satisfied long before this.  However graduation was not the end but only the end of the beginning.  A second phase began that lasted for at least another ten years with ramifications that are still going on.

    Not content with having ruined my life through the school years, Hirsh began a program to extend into the future.  As usual he enstooged Sonderman.

page 4.

     I can only guess at the terrible repercussion to Sonderman’s psychology from his failed attempts to injure me and the actual murder of Shardel Wilson.  As people do in such situations he blamed me for his own actions.  I ‘made’ him do it.

     Probably he was brought low in his own estimation by his crimes.  It was necessary for him then to reduce me to a level beneath his opinion of himself.  As he had emotionally emasculated himself he sought to physically emasculate me.  Thus he bent all his efforts toward sodomizing me.

     Hirsh wanted to isolate me, to cast me on the dung heap of society.  He had messed up my club at the end; stung by his son’s death he now wanted to destroy my friendship with Denny Demwitter, to isolate me completely.

     Although a member of our club Sonderman had made no effort to befriend the members.  If he had he would have expected them to visit him; he never visited anyone else.  The summer of ’56, the greatest summer in the history of the world, there is no feeling like being eighteen, was a time of deep recession in the Valley.  Cars weren’t selling so there just weren’t any jobs; we all had time on our hands.  I began the summer spending most of my time at Demwitter’s.

     Sonderman had never voluntarily left his porch in my memory.  Now, violating all his lifelong habits he began to call on Denny.  Demwitter had been putty in my hands but I wasn’t going to  spend all my life trying to shape him.  Sonderman’s influence became more effective than mine after the Blockbusters won the championship.  Demwitter now deferred to Sonderman’s influence.

page 5.

     Except for the football groping under the influence of Sonderman Denny and I had always had a chaste relationship.  We had always respected each other’s person; no punching, wrestling or grabass of any kind.  We had never even discussed girls or sex.

     Now, with Sonderman present the two of them started pushing and shoving, groping in the most obvious fashion; not just a pat on the ass which would have been offensive enough, but grabbing a whole cheek in the hand.  They started goosing, not just lightly, but trying to hook a thumb or finger into the rectum.  Real queer stuff.  Makes me wonder about Ed Phaltoe and Demwitter now.

     Sonderman, who had never left his porch, now began to show up at Demwitter’s shortly after I did.  Obviously someone was watching me and reporting my movements.  Sonderman no longer lived across from me so he couldn’t have seen me leave my house from his perch on the porch.  Sonderman’s style at his house had been to hold court in his bedroom.  I never appreciated that aspect of his behavior as bedrooms were always private with me.  I preferred living room or porches.  Denny and I had always used his living room in winter and his porch in summer.  With Sonderman there everything was moved upstairs to Denny’s bedroom.  Sonderman insisted that all the shades be drawn so we were practically sitting in the dark.

     Now that I think about it  Old S was such a devotee of his hero Roosevelt that it is quite probable that Old S thaught his son to hold court in his bedroom a la FDR.  Sonderman always used to sit on the bed while I stood talking to him.  Roosevelt while president used to hold court in bed in his silk pajamas.  As Dean Acheson said the only thing he could compare it to was the court of Louis XIV.  King’s men aftershave and emulating Louis XIV, it’s not hard to see what Roosevelt was up to.

page 6.

     So the Old Sod was probably training his heir and successor to the manner of command and royalty.

     At Demwitter’s the conversation got more smutty and faggy as time passed.  I read the handwriting on the wall trying to discourage Sonderman’s visits.  Sonderman was intent on his purpose.

     One day I was visiting Demwitter.  He was slouched against the wall sitting on the floor as we talked.  Sitting on the floor was another of Sonderman’s innovations.  Probably because he couldn’t command Demwitter’s bed himself he didn’t want anyone to use it and be in command.  Especially me.

     I was lying belly down on the bed with my chin resting of the footboard.  As Sonderman always showed up twenty minutes after I did it must be true that someone watching me phoned him.  He bounded up the stairway, entered the room and seeing me lying prone on the bed he jumped on my back.  Grabbing me around the neck as he had at the Y he began dry humping me.  I threw him off with great indignation but neither he nor Demwitter seemed to take any notice.

     It was clear that I would have to abandon my visits or become a ‘consenting’ adult.  This direction was made clear shortly thereafter when I went to visit Demwitter.  Some guy I had never seen before was there and then Sonderman came traipsing in.  We sat around talking until Sonderman had a bright idea.  He suggested we turn out the light and masturbate together.  I was still completely innocent sexually.  Even if I hadn’t been, for me sex was something between a boy and his girl not to be discussed with anyone else.

page 7.

     I don’t know whether I had heard the trick discussed or whether I knew enough of Hirsh’s style to divine the trick.  It really wasn’t hard to figure out.  I knew then that this would be the last time I visited Demwitter.  Sonderman and the Hirshes had won the round.  I was isolated.  Demwitter betrayed the best friend he would ever have.

     Sonderman flicked off the lights.  They were so stupid.  Even with the shades drawn there was enough light so that I could see.  Apparently they couldn’t.  I went along with the joke to a point.  I huffed and puffed and slapped the bedspread in rhythm.  Sonderman leaped up to turn on the light expecting me to be the only one masturbating.  I sat looking at him with my most sardonic smile.

     I wouldn’t put up with anymore.  That terminated my friendship with Demwitter.  Once I was gone Sonderman stopped calling on the boob too.  I suppose Sonderman’s version was that Denny was his old friend and I tried to horn in.

     Denny owed me everything.  That he had attained prominence in high shool was due solely to me.  I introduced him to a higher quality of friends.  The other guys he knew were thugs or slugs.  If it hadn’t been for Sonderman’s hope for vengeance on me there wouldn’t have been any Blockbusters for Demwitter to quarterback.

page 8.

     That he should have sacrificed our longstanding honorable friendship for a temporary alliance with Sonderman was incredible to me.  Denny never was smart.  Now that he had betrayed our friendship he was no longer of any use to me and I have never given him a second thought.

4.

     I had been taking a psychological battering all my life.  One personality lay dead on the second grade playing field.  I had never been able to build a viable alternate personality or even persona.  I lacked all male force which is to say my Animus was completely beaten down.  In Freudian terms I had a weak Ego.  Now that the support of the camaraderie of school was gone the prop it had given to my deteriorating mental state was removed.  I collapsed into an inert pile.

     Everyone had their plans.  Some had seemingly glittering prospects at college; some were even lucky enough to find jobs.  I had nothing.  My mother had signed me up to go into the Navy.  She apparently thought that the Navy would be my last foster home.

     My mother! There was a source of information for the Hirshes I never even considered.  She babbled things to anyone who would listen.  Who knows who she talked to, but she had been telling unknown hordes that I was going to make the Navy my career.  She told others but not me that I was going to be a Chief Petty Officer and be back in twenty years.  She never talked to me about it but the story came back to me from some girl I hardly knew and didn’t like.  When I said I wasn’t going to make a career of the Navy the girl grew angry with me saying I was wrong because my mother said I would, just like my mother would know more about it than I would.

page 9.

     The fault lies within?  In the sense that conditioning determines conduct but once the die is cast it is all preordained, only the variables can be manipulated.

     My mind at this point turned to stone.  I was capable of only the slightest exertion as I inertly waited to be called up.  The only friend who stood by me was Larry Dubcek.  He had also enlisted and was waiting to be called up.  As for Sonderman the last two stars in the Constellation were placed just before he left for West Point.

     Our relationship ended on a tragi-comic note.  Although I had sworn I would never speak to Sonderman again after the the incident in Demwitter’s room it chanced that I met this really swinging girl.  She wasn’t my type but she was a total knockout.  I just couldn’t resist her.  She was one of those hot little numbers that you want to meet because you think you know what to do with them but then find out they know a heck of a lot more than you do.

     For a while we were really flaming.  I was even introduced into her family circle as a sort of suitor.  Her hotness was in reaction to a very traumatic experience.  I don’t really understand what I represented to her because I wasn’t her type either.  Her father owned a wholesale janitorial supply business.  I was shown the premises.  Mr. Fotheringay had had the misfortune to call the attention of the Outfit to himself.  The Outfit was the Chicago Mob.

page 10.

     He sold to hotels and restaurants so it was natural that the Mafia should annex his business.  Strangely he was quite open about it with me.  When I, in my ignorance of social realities, reproached him for being involved with the Mafia he gave me a painful snarl and a look that showed both his impotence against the Outfit and his disdain for such a dolt as myself.  He had already suffered unbearable ignominy at their hands and he was to suffer more.

     Terrorism in the United States is treated as a recent importation from the Moslem countries but terrorism has been practiced by the Mafiosi since the turn of the last century.  The Mafia had terrorized Jack Fotheringay in a particularly effective way.

     Briony or Brie Fotheringay when I met her was entering her Senior year.  She was just seventeen.  She was more flashy than beautiful but then it’s a fine line between flash and beauty, I suppose.  At any rate a couple days before her birthday, which was two days before mine, she caught the eye of her father’s Mafia handler, Two Ton Tony Lardo.

     Two Ton Tony was an underboss from the Chicago Outfit assigned several areas in the State including our county the county to the South of us and the county to the North.  He was your typical Mafioso- ignorant and uncouth.  He was six-five and three hundred twenty-five pounds.  Foul mouthed, vulgar and intrinsically obscene.  All he had to do was show up to fill a place with obscenity.  He announced to Jack Fotheringay that his daughter was a good looking piece.  Fotheringay had only been annexed for a few months so he told Lardo that she was none of his business.

page 11.

     The details are unimportant; you can devise them anyway.  Jack personally delivered Brie to Rocco’s Pizzeria down on Thelema then was told to wait in the car.  They had a basement storage room into which this uncouth behemoth carried the terrified Brie by one arm.

     She was about five-four, a mere slip of a girl.  This Mafioso sewer rat literally tore her clothes off.  Without any preliminaries he just rammed it home standing up as she lay back across a chopping block with her head hanging over the edge backward.  Then he grabbed both her ears pulling her up of the table onto her knees and pulled her mouth over his dick.

     Finished with her he gave her a kick in the ass to help her up the stairs as she ran half naked out the back door into the parking lot where her totally devastated father waited for her.  Two Ton Tony followed her out lighting an enormous cigar with one hand while with the other he slowly zipped his pants in Fotheringay’s face.

     Then with a knowing sneer he took his cigar and tapped a picture drawn on the wall by the door.  The picture was of the man with the big nose hanging over a fence with the legend ‘Kilroy Was Here.’  It is hard to tell which hurt Fotheringay the most, but he knew he was powerless, thoroughly emasculated, to resist.  He was a mere cipher.  There was no need to go to the cops; no need to tell you where the cops got that extra little augmentation to the pay envelope.

      As everyone at the time knew, the picture and legend ‘Kilroy Was Here’ was a symbol plastered all over Europe by the troops of the Arsenal Of Democracy as they rolled up those nasty Nazi armies.  Lardo and Fatheringay had talked about the matter previously.  While Fotheringay had been terrorized by the thundering ‘Arsenal Of Freedom’ fighting in the ranks at the Battle Of The Bulge Lardo had been sitting pretty back home with plenty of forged gas rations, stolen food rations, hijacked new tires for his late ’41 Roadster, he was important enough to get one of the few ’42s, and plenty of money in his pocket to spend on the bevy of women without men and fewer morals.

page 12.

     He got so much nooky he laughed to Fotheringay that for all he knew Brie was his own daughter conceived while Fotheringay was stupid enough to be off fighting people he didn’t even know in Europe.

     Fotheringay watched Lardo tap Kilroy with rueful eyes.  Had he fought a war to make the world safe for criminals?  Had he defeated Hitler just so he could become enslaved to a despicable Mafioso?  It seems so.  It was true.  The Fotheringays of the world had the power to defeat the Nazis but not the power to rule out and out criminals in their own homeland.  Zeus is one tricky fellow.

     It was one of those moments from which you never recover.  Never did a man feel more helpless and ashamed as his lovely sweet sixteen Brie shivered and cried beside him.  What could he do about it?

     The Mafia was very nearly protected by the Law.  Even though we had watched breathlessly in 1951 when Senator Kefauver confirmed and revealed the existence and influence of the Mafia the top cop in the country, J. Edgar Hoover of the fabled Federal Bureau Of Investigation, denied their existence.  He refused to move against them.

page 13.

     Hoover was the guy who stood gloating over the dead body of the folk hero John Dillinger while ignoring the activities of Al Capone who led the Outfit in Chicago.  Hoover let those creeps dominate the business activity of the Central States and the West.  At this very moment he was abetting a psychopath like Sam Giancana in terrorizing my hometown.

     Even when I was ten years old I knew organized crime existed.  I read comic books.  I went to the movies.  I knew that Hoover had murdered John Dillenger while he allowed Valentines Day Massacres to go uninvestigated and unpunished; he couldn’t even find the guys who did it, nearly a century later the killers are still unproven.

     I am unable to describe my reaction when I saw criminals defy the Kefauver Committee with impunity.  My faith in the masculinity of the government was shattered when I watched Frank Costello get up and walk out of the courtroom saying he didn’t feel like answering any more questions.  Goddamn the cops.

     If any Anglo, if I, had done the same the police would have grabbed us and thrown us back in his seat but the police, the same cops that told me that I, and only I had to walk my bike through intersections, watched as Frank Costello ambled out of the courtroom.

     I saw plenty of Mafia activity in town while decent citizens suffered helplessly with no recourse, slaves to this vile criminal group.

page 14.

     It reached into my family circle.  While not directly involved with the Mafia my uncle Sammy was a goon for the Mob.  Uncle Sammy was a truck driver.  You don’t think of these things at the time but I guess Sammy thought the ends justified the means.  He thought Jimmy Hoffa was a great man.  Hoffa was another fearsome persona from my youth.  Hoffa aligned himself with the Mob, both New York and Chicago.   You know, he had a foot in both camps.  He adopted the terroristic tactics of the Mafia.

     In the early and mid-fifties these guys bombed and killed in a wild frenzy.  My Uncle Sammy was one of the bombers and hit men.  I don’t know who all knew.  I’m sure he didn’t think I did although I took him to task about Hoffa once.  Sammy was a real labor type so he defended Hoffa vigorously.

     Uncle Sammy was real nervous the day after the simultaneous bombing of the Trans-Central States terminal and the killing of its owner.  I stood looking at him accusingly.  He shoved me away angrily saying something about the bastards wouldn’t listen to reason.  He and my Aunt Jo moved across town shortly thereafter.  He never came around to visit, I never saw him again.

     So this was the environment in which Fotheringay suffered and had somehow to endure with no chance of extricating himself.  The cops and judges were under the thumb of the Outfit.  The FBI would have no time for him.  He had gone to fight in the Big One for this.  Was Hitler a bigger villain than Sam Giancana? 

     These illiterate criminal Sicilians owned America. How had the Greatest Generation allowed this to come to pass?

page 15.

     My youth was the transition from the hopes of the ‘Melting Pot’ to what we at the beginning of the twenty-first century call ‘celebrating our multi-cultural diversity.’  This is no longer the beginning of  the twentieth century when these national groups were new requiring ‘tolerance.’  If we are to celebrate our diversity then we are not only free to do so but must analyze what those differences are if the country is to succeed as a political entity.

     Psychologically the Sicilian mentality can be typed.  Their characteristic way of viewing society can be easily described.  There is no mystery.  All you have to do is celebrate this particular diversity.

      Prior to 1950 movie makers felt compelled to celebrate the Anglo Saxon origins of the country.  After 1950 the emphasis changed.  People with ‘foreign’ sounding names had formerly changed them to ‘American’ or Anglo Saxon names. As Monsieur Arouet who became a gentleman by the name of Voltaire said:  The name’s the thing.  So I don’t quarrel with any actor who wishes to change his name to something that may lead to greater success.  John Saxon whole Italian name I forget was the last person who changed his name for immigrant reasons along about 1957-58 or so.  His putdown of the process probably cost him his career as the Anglo-Saxons resented his sardonic use of Saxon.

     Also the emphasis shifted from doing mainstream movies to presenting ethnic movies that celebrated a particular diversity while denigrating the Anglo-Saxons.  Reacting against the sense of inferiority caused by immigrating these always placed the dominant culture in a bad light.  In the manner of immigrant cultures they especially belittled the virtues of the dominant culture.

page 16.

     As we have seen the movies are a powerful medium for conditioning the thought and actions of viewers.  Anglo-Saxon women are always depicted as nymphomaniac bimbos while all other women are depicted as women of high virtue.

     It was thus that Lardo took great pleasure in violating Brie Fotheringay.  He wasn’t really interested in sex per se but he wanted to violate the image the smartass Anglos had of themselves.  They would do nothing to stop him.  He committed his crimes with impunity.  The rules that governed their lives had no restraints for a ‘wise guy.’  If a non-Mafioso had violated Brie in that manner you may be sure he wouldn’t escape the vengeance of Fotheringay and the Law.  Two Ton Tony had a good laugh at America as he sucked on his big Cuban cigar tapping the image of Kilroy.

     The Sicilian ethos was, I must use the word, brilliantly portrayed in the Godfather trilogy of 1972-74 and ’90.  As the movie was co-written by Mario Puzo and Francis Coppola, two Sicilians, it is to be presumed that they knew whereof they spoke.  While the Sicilian psychosis is brilliantly portrayed the analysis limps along behind it but it is there.

     The saga was lovingly executed in epic fashion covering an incredible nine hours.  All of the villainy is done under the cover of sacred ceremonies.  It is necessary for the Mafia to violate everything anyone else respects.  Platoons of wise guys are murdered while the Godfather is attending weddings, baptisms or symbolically in Part III the crucifixion of Christ on stage.  This attitude may hark back to the Sicilian Vespers when the Norman conquerors were locked in churches and burnt, apparently a fixative event.

page 17.

     The basic Sicilian Mafia premise is that they are entitled to all the most prestigious things in life because they entitle themselves to take them.  There is no pretense of earning anything.  They are parasites; they create nothing.

     You get guns and an organization and you terrorize everyone out of what you want.  There is no need to waste effort on education or social niceties.  You merely get ‘respect’ by terrorizing others into submission.  ‘Respect’ means that anyone who shows independence is blown away.  ‘Respect’ means that everyone is servile in your presence.  ‘Honor’ means that if you say you’ll kill a man, you do it.

     As parasites the Mafia makes no contribution to society, they merely consume what others make.

     Just as their transportation in 586 BC destroyed Jewish self-confidence and gave them an apocalyptic vision of history so did Sicilian history fixated the Sicilian mind.  The theme of the Godfather movies seems to be that the winner is the last guy standing when the carnage is over.  That is also what the Mafioso Santos Trafficante of Miami, once said.

page 18.

     The denouement of Part III in a dream sequence stunningly portrays this vision.  The Mafiosi involved themselves with the Vatican in the most intermingling way.  This part was apparently true. The Papacy thinks it is in control but as usual the Mafia uses violence to dominate the Papacy.  The Pope himself is involved in their sewer machinations.  The criminal Mafia has captured the citadel of the Sacred.  Evil rules.

     As the hero Michael Corleone’s son wants to be an opera singer he is placed on the stage.  To a Mafioso to want is to have.  There can be no denial.  Obstacles such as training and talent are not allowed to get in the way.

     The opera is Cavalleria Rusticana which concerns the crucifixiion of Christ.  There, as Christ is being crucified, the murder machine goes into full operation.  In dream like fashion an apocalyse of bodies is falling everywhere.  One in an evocation of the fall of Lucifer descends from the crown of the cupola.  The poisoned Pope dies in bed with a smile on his face.  Corleone’s enemies are falling in carloads as he stands untouched in their midst while tremendous operatic music is being performed.  He’s the man with the most ‘respect.’

     The assassin designated to dispose of Corleone fires off a couple rounds point blank but he somehow misses Corleone and hits his daughter instead.  Sicilian girls count, Anglo girls like Brie don’t.

     The final scene shows an aged Michael Corleone (translated the name means Lion or Stouthearted) sitting alone in a cemetary like a sole surviving anti-Christ where he stares mournfully at the tombstone of the only thing he ever loved in his life, his beloved daughter.  He’s won the battle but the only price is sorrow.  Nice view of life.

page 19.

     Well, if he wasn’t an ignorant moron who caused his own troubles one might feel for him.  As to his daughter what made her more valuable than Briony Fotheringay and all the Anglo women abused by stouthearted Mafiosi?

     Hoover might not have acknowledged the problem but the TV movie ‘The Borgia Stick’ of the early sixties did.  A variation on Jack Fotheringay’s predicament was accurately portrayed in the movie.  In the movie an Anglo is coopted into serving the Mafia where his life becomes a living hell.  He himself is a virtual slave while he is compelled to give his wife as a prostitute.  You might not believe it could happen but believe me it does.  Briony is only one example.

     When I met her she was just emerging from her shock or depression or whatever you wish to call it.  Perhaps she was attracted to me because my name represented a secure English past.  If so she was to be disappointed in me as she was in her father.  It never came to that exactly but our date at Hillbilly Heaven convinced her I wasn’t the man.

     Wherever she was to turn she could find no man who could stand up to the Mob.  Disappointed by her own men, in later life she was attracted to the apparent male superiority of the Mafia.  She became one of their party dolls and prostitutes.

     But all I knew at the time was that she was one hot number ready to go.  I had to make some kind of splash as a spry young fellow.  If you noticed you have never seen me behind the wheel.  That’s because Tuistad and my mother were adamant in not allowing me to drive.  They were terrified I might have a good time or become a normal young man.  So I had this hot little number who was ready to go and no way to get her there.

page 20.

    My only choice was to double date.  I sure couldn’t ask Tuistad to drive.  Graduation had completely disrupted my social patterns so I knew no one but Dubcek, Demwitter and Sonderman to ask.  I was completely disgusted with Demwitter, Dubcek was out of town courting his girl and that left only Sonderman.  So I asked him.

     After the scene at Demwitter’s he thought he was rid of me.  I saw the haughty sneer on his face as he prepared to crush me by refusal but showing some strategical sense for the first time he asked me where I wanted to go.  My heart sank.

     I was a fan of Country and Western music.  This guy named Freddie Hart had a record out that I liked entitled:  Drink Up And Go Home.  It went something like this:

You sit there a cryin’,

Right in your beer.

You think you got troubles?

My friend listen here:

Now, there stands a blind man-

A man who can’t see-

He’s not complainin’

Why should you or me?

Don’t tell me your troubles,

I got enough of my own.

Be thankful you’re livin’

Drink up and go home.

 page 21.

     I was sailing on a sea of troubles that I knew no one wanted to hear or would sympathize with me if they did listen so Freddie’s advice was pretty timely for me.  I took his sentiment to heart.  I have never complained since but just soldiered on.  I thought I would like to hear Freddie sing his song.

     The guy wasn’t appearing in town.  There was a hillbilly bar over by the time line in the central part of the state called Hillbilly Heaven.  It was about fifty miles away.  I had never been there but I knew from the radio announcer that the building was divided into two halves by a floor to ceiling chain link fence.  You could drink on one side while the other side was for underage kids.

     Freddie Hart was playing that weekend.

     Most people despised C&W; Sonderman was no exception which was why I quailed at asking him.  I could see his lip curl in contempt as he prepared his rejection but then a light went off in his head while his lip uncurled and he broke into a wide grin.  I was giving him a better chance than the railroad trestle.  He asked for two bucks for gas and said he’d pick me up.

     I didn’t like the idea of paying two bucks for gas especially as it only cost fifteen cents a gallon and we wouldn’t use more than three or four gallons but I considered myself lucky to get a driver.

page 22.

     I had never seen Sonderman with a girl before so when he picked me up he had a very ordinary looking girl by his side.  She had that cousiny kind of look.  I could never figure out my group; none of them ever dated girls I’d seen before.  They always came from somewhere else as was the case with Sonderman’s date.

     Brie came from a fairly affluent family.  Not rich, but Jack bought one of those new houses in a development; a pretty nice house.  It was three times my house and double the Sonderman’s new bungalow.  You could see the anxiety on Sonderman’s face when we drove up.

     When I escorted Brie back to the car you could see that she knocked Sonderman’s socks off.  I don’t remember Brie as being actually that beautiful but she had this blonde, sophisticated Audrey Hepburn movie star quality that just thrilled you into instant excitement.  It was that quality that Two Ton Tony Lardo wanted to sully.

     We set out for mid-state with Sonderman in a flush.  Hillbilly Heaven was just across the line that divided Eastern Standard from Central Standard.  At the time the dividing line ran through the middle of the State so we left at eight and got there at eight.  I impressed Brie with that one.

     Brie had had some sexual experience before Two Ton banged her.  Now recovering from the trauma she was fixated fast and loose.  She was hot on making out.  She didn’t care whether the sun was up or not.  She threw herself across my lap, flung her arms around my neck and got down to it.  Lardo had taught her that niceties didn’t count so rather than wait for me to get up the courage she guided my hand straight to her breast.  I could have made her right there but I was a little too backward.  Sonderman was stunned at what seemed to be my sexual virtuosity; he spent as much time watching the rear view mirror as he did the road.  There wasn’t that much traffic back in those days.

page 23.

     If you’ve never been to a hillbilly bar it’s quite a shock.  They’re a pretty rowdy bunch.  They let loose like a bunch of Holy Rollers in a frenzy.  Each one is trying to out have a good time the others.  One talks loud the other talks louder, one acts proud the other acts prouder.  Men and women alike.  Man, they call that setting the woods on fire.  The place was packed on both sides.

     Freddie, still a young guy, bounced on stage to do his thing.  They had the stage behind mesh wire fencing too.  On a good night they used to shower the band with beer bottles whether the drummer was on time or not so they put up this fencing so band members wouldn’t have to pluck beer bottles from between their bleeding gums.

     The crowd wasn’t that rowdy this particular night but I was the only one listening to Freddie Hart, or trying to, as everyone was into a noisy something else.  Sonderman got up.  While I watched he went to speak to some long tall raw looking cowboy type.  The guy was six-five and lean as a rail but he still weighed in at two-forty.

     When Sonderman came back he stood over me and pointed down so the cowboy couldn’t make a mistake.  The thirty year old cowboy type came over by us on the other side of the fence where he began making  provocative comments to me.

page 24.

     Sonderman sat smugly so I guess it’s clear why the light went off in his head.  His dad and Hirsh took care of the details.  Hirsh was nearly in a state of shock because of his son’s death.  He considered my survival a gross miscarriage of justice so now he gave up any pretext of Law and Order.  The cowboy was hired strictly on the basis of Mafia Criminality.

     Freddie sang his song.  Since that was what I mentioned I wanted to hear, after the song was over, Sonderman curtly said we were leaving.  He had to try to look powerful in front of Brie, who he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off, by cutting the evening short.  It was his car and I had an hours worth of smoldering makeout time with Briony so I didn’t put up too much of an objection which wouldn’t have done me any good anyway.

     I saw Sonderman motion to the cowboy so he was waiting for me outside the door in the parking lot with a couple other guys.  Those rowdy bars don’t like to have the police come around because sober citizens are always trying to shut the places down so I don’t know whether the bartender put these guys on Cowboy to slow him down or not but they were trying hard to dissuade him.

     The guy was obviously a hired slugger, as I look back on it now, because he raised his great big ham fist not like he wanted to punch me but like he was trying to knock my eye out and fracture my skull.  I could see this guy was a brawler with plenty of experience; I was only eighteen with no fights to my credit but I felt like a virtual midget in front of this towering behemoth.  I mean, I had to tilt my head up to look at that huge fist hovering over me.  There was no doubt in my young mind that he would stomp me to dust.  Something smaller than that if possible.

page 25.

     Boy, I sure didn’t want to fight this guy but I didn’t want to look bad in front of Brie either.  I thought the Cowboy was jealous because I had this hot looking chick.  Fortunately Sonderman got anxious to leave me to my fate.  I guess this was a reenactment of the State game when they tried to drive off without me.  Laughing with satisfaction he grabbed both girls making a run for the car.

     The Cowboy’s friends or bartender’s agents who looked like dogs jumping at an elephant were trying to pull him back telling him to leave the kid alone which cleared the way for me.  I knew Sonderman intended to drive away without me. With bowels quaking I scooted after him grabbing the door as he backed out of the space.  Brie threw it open.  I tried not to look like I was loading my pants.

     Yeah, well, he had humiliated me in front of my hot number.  My manhood was really shaken.  It took me weeks to rationalize the affair and even at that I wasn’t too successful.  It was almost like Brie and Two Ton Tony although hers was much worse than mine.  She seemed to understand, wanting to get back into it hot and heavy, but I was so shaken I was less than satisfactory.

     Sonderman wasn’t finished.  Even though he and Hirsh had failed to have my eye knocked out and my head broken into pieces the effect of Brie on Sonderman was incredible.  He was in love.  His date had been totally outclassed by mine, if his wasn’t his cousin.  Sonderman felt inferior to me which was something he couldn’t tolerate.

page 26.

     When I got out of the car to escort Brie to the door Sonderman put the pedal to the metal peeling rubber for half a block in his haste to leave me cold.  I made some comment to Brie about how jealous he was, kissed her goodnight, then began the long walk home.

     I had plenty of time to think about Hillbilly Heaven as I walked along.  The Cowboy seemed fishy but I was shaken to my socks by him.  I felt that I had really failed a test of manhood but at the time I didn’t see why I should have hung around to get pulverized.  I could have had a readier repartee in avoiding him but I was certainly under no obligation to fight a guy twice my age and three times my size.  Good rationalizing but it didn’t change my feeling of failure.

     Just as today I eat my food standing up as a result of Sonderman so decades later I wore a lot of suits with the pinch waisted Western jacket.  Just like the outfit the Cowboy wore although I have always detested cowboy boots.

     Sonderman had been thrown a loop by Brie.  Even her name, Briony Fotheringay, had an exotic but soundly English tone.  Aristocratic.  In the early fifties English names still carried a lot of weight.  The name itself was a reason for Two Ton Tony to want to dishonor her and through her the detested Anglo-Saxon culture.

     Briony was so much more than Sonderman had ever imagined for himself, let alone me, that he was thrown into a terrified jealousy.  He had to  find a woman to outdo me.  He had to do it quick, too; he only had a couple weeks before he left for West Point.  The pressure was on.

p. 27.

     He suddenly appeared with a girl named Donna on his arm.  She was a real knockout too in a conventional sort of way.   She didn’t have the flair that Brie had but she had a terrific full figure with a really impressive bust line.  That was one thing Brie lacked.  Big ones.

     He and she stood at a distance while he glared at me as though to say:  Check this out.  He didn’t greet me; he just stood there with an arrogant look on his face.  I signed to him.

     That’s one thing about Law and Order guys, they don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.  Once he located her he must have really come on to her.  He had obviously diddled her as he believed I had gotten it from Brie.  Donna stood there clutching his right hand with both of hers like she thought she was betrothed.  Sonderman must really have deceived her in the hope of shafting me.

     He must have talked to her about me a lot because she seemed eager to meet me.  Sonderman pulled her away with a shrug saying I wasn’t worth the bother.

     Sonderman may have thought that he won Donna with his own manly attributes but Donna had been attracted to him by the prospect of being an officer’s wife.  Some women are attracted by the uniform, taking the symbol for the man.  Their desire for the male draws them to the outer symbol as young girls are drawn to horses.  When the true man separates from the symbol they are often disappointed, turning in chagrin to drink or other men or both.

page 28.

     Sonderman cruelly disabused Donna of the notion of being an officer’s wife.  He cut her dead a few days later when he left for the Point.  She had served his purpose when he tried to put me down.  Now useless, she could be discarded without a thought.  Makes me wonder why I was so concerned about Ange when I cut her dead in the same manner.  It must be some shortcoming in my ‘breeding.’

     Sonderman west East to West Point.  I just went West in the Navy.  We parted company forever.  I had no idea that he was the most important male figure of my life.  He had become my Animus.  I judged all men through that lens.  It wasn’t pretty.

     Sonderman did not leave town with the healthiest of minds.  The past weighed as heavily on him as it did on me.  He was able to function better than I but you’ve seen the psychosis he acquired in his childhood and youth.

     The last get together with him at Hillbilly Heaven had left an indelible impression on my mind.  The Cowboy slugger had entered my subconscious attached to a cluster of memories that formed a dream element that persisted for decades which I call the Brown Spot.

     The dream was a simple image of a pulstating brown spot like a round bog in the middle of an open field.  The sight of it roused tremendous terror in my mind.  This was a very tough image to crack especially as it conflated disparate and widely spaced incidents in my life.  I’m still not sure how they are parallel.

page 29.

     I had always been able to remember all these incidents clearly but their combined significance was suppressed and incomprehensible.  In  the strange way that the mind works the trail led backwards from the Cowboy slugger.  Stranger still is that it was not until I understood why Sonderman showed Donna to me that the whole thing cleared up.  I am not clear how Donna and Brie lead back to the initial incident of the Brown Spot.

     However the path from the Slugger led back to an incident between the fourth and fifth grades when for some reason I decided to visit the Junior High I would be attending from the orphanage, but two full years later.

     The fourth grade had just ended.  I thought school would be empty.  I entered the building to look around.  The school was empty except for eight Black boys who were lurking around.  These fourteen year olds spotted a ten year old White boy they could terrorize and they did.  They chased me back and forth through the halls saying all the horrible things they were going to do to me when they caught me.

     They had no intention of catching me but I was so terrified that I ran past the entrance doors several times without seeing them.  That’s how my mother’s breast fixation worked.  Finally I identified the doors and ran out into the sunshine.

     Now, I had risked life, limb and mental health in the kindergarten to defend some Black kids.  I took the harassment of these kids as a betrayal of that deed.  I wouldn’t say I hated Negroes after that but I thought them undependable and untrustworthy.  I would not rely on them for any purpose.

page 30.

     In my liberating or explanatory dream of this incident as I ran through the halls the walls collapsed covering me with brown horse dung.  Evidently I found my conduct with the Black boys as cowardly as I found myself before the Cowboy slugger.

     When nearly buried a path led down to the bottom of the pit to the initial incident when I was in kindergarten.  This memory was the source of the terror associated with the Brown Spot.  This occurred after the Black kids left me to hang out to dry  which leads back to the Black boys at the Junior High.

     When my mother filed for divorce she began to revile my father to me, terrifying me of him and turning me against him.  Thus when my father came to visit me the last time I was too terrified to go to him as he begged me to do.  He accused my mother of turning me against him which she denied with a straight faced lie.  Don’t think I didn’t notice.

     My father left me this really neat dark green corduroy outfit with a spiffy traffic light aplique on the front pocket then he walked out head hung low crying softly and never came back.  I never saw him again, however for a period of years in my thirties I wore nothing but corduroy pants and jackets including a spiffy dark green one.

     Thus the theme of cowardice connected all three shaming incidents creating a brown spot like a big bruise on an apple.  Psychologically the reference to the bruise on an apple has a reference also.

page 31.

     During the war, about 1942, the country was terrified that the Nazis were capable of bombing the whole Midwest to pieces all the way from Berlin; or so Roosevelt let on.  We were said to be a prime target with our auto, now defense, plants.  Even as a little child of four I found this notion ridiculous but my elders had set up a system of air raid drills for our protection.

     My mother and I were on a bus going down Main downtown one night when the sirens went off.  We were all herded out of the bus to stand in storefronts for protection from the bombs.  Even then, as I stood in front of those plate glass windows, I thought we would be cut to shreds if they shattered all over us.

     For some reason I can’t imagine now I was terrified and set up a wail equal to those of the air raid sirens.  As may be imagined this annoyed the other bus riders considerably.  In an act of desperation which I sensed and didn’t appreciate and reacted to a woman reached into her grocery bag and pulled out a nice large apple and handed it to me.

     I examined the apple carefully noting that it had a large bruise or brown spot.  I handed the apple back to her cooly saying:  ‘It’s bruised.’

     She dropped it back in the bag in a huff but she still had her apple and stopped me from crying.

     The relationship between my mother, Brie and Donna is not clear to me although my mother and Brie were both hard women.  I don’t know the meaning of Donna unless it was that she was well built like my mother thus creating an association or, perhaps I associated Sonderman’s treatment of her with my mother’s treatment of my father.  All incidents in personal psychology are related.

page 32.

     The result of all the images was that my father was buried deep in my subconcious under a heap of horse pucky.

5.

…O Zeus and Athena and Apollo

If only death would take every Trojan

And all the Achaeans except us two,

So we alone might win that Sacred City.

–Homer

     Hirsh had succeeded in degrading me but I had avoided his desire that I debase myself.  However as a result of the persecution I had been put into a certain mind set which stigmatized me until I integrated my personality.  You know, psychology is so much more complex than Freud imagined.  He thought that his Oedipus Complex solved everything whereas in fact it is practically meaningless.  If such a complex exists in the universal psyche, which it doesn’t, it would only be a minor and passing part of a man’s psychology.

     Freud had a pretty shallow understanding of Greek mythology.  He wasn’t very well read in it at all.  He seized upon the Oedipus story in an unwarranted manner completely ignoring the reaction of Oedipus when he discovered that he had married his mother.  With a deeper understanding of Greek mythology he might have noticed the myth of Io, the Holy Cow.  Rather than having a desire to copulate with his mother which is beyond a young boy’s ability to imagine it is more likely that he views this woman who has not only fed him from her own body like a cow but has tended to his every need willingly, lovingly and with self-abnegation as his personal milk cow.  At a certain point when the child perceives that this woman is dividing her concern between himself and his father he may fear losing the economic privilege he enjoys.  Thus he may believe temporarily that he is in competition with his dad.  If so, the feeling passes within a couple years as he realizes the true situation.

page 33.

      I can say that I never had a desire for an old used woman from whose womb I had emerged when there were plenty of fresh young heifers around who could do me more economic good in the future than my mother.

     But then Freud was a pioneer and not a developer.

     There are only so many visions of reality that a human can hold.  The uniqueness of the individual is mainly illusory.  Or at least that uniqueness exists only as an individual is representative of a mind set.  I had my own Responses in dealing with the Challenges from the Field but the Field remains paramount in my own and everyone else’s personal psychology.  Then as I began to understand to which psychic fraternity I belonged I recognized some of my fellows.  Over the years I came to realize that I was akin to others in the same mind set.  We all pursued the same goal and our objectives and methods were not all that different.

     Certainly Tim Leary and I were psychic brothers as well as Dr. Petiot, Moses, Richard Speck, Charlie Whitman, Sonderman and the most prominent member of our septum, Adolf Hitler, not to mention Brave Achilles.

page 34.

     The stimuli for each of us was undoubtedly somewhat different but our Responses were also somewhat of the same character if not the same degree.  If we’d all been as capable of Hitler you may be sure we would have acted the same as he did although our personal objectives may have been different.  We wished mass destruction on all our tormentors.  We had our eyes on the gates of that Sacred City and it mattered little who died so long as we passed through those pearly gates, preferably alone.  We sat and sulked in our tents waiting to be called to save humanity.  When that didn’t happen, like Nero we wished that they all had one neck so we could strangle them all at the same time.

     Of the group I am the only one to break on through to the other side and freedom.  The rest remained trapped in their pasts.

     It is not to be assumed from the cast of characters that our mind set among the others is particularly vile.  After all Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Charlie Starkweather, Ted Bundy, Lord Strafford, Hirsh and host of great destroyers belong to other mind sets.  Your is one of them.  Saints and Sinners abound in any of the mind sets.

     But I know my brothers.

     Each of my brothers here mentioned responded to his Challenges from the Field in different ways.  Each chose to resolve his dilemma in his own individual way as his circumstances dictated.

page 35.

     The most conscious or willed Responses were by Dr. Tim of the Ozone Space Patrol and myself.  We both are or were psychologists.  Tim of course was certified by society and I am not.  However I succeeded where Leary failed.  Tim left behind him a fairly extensive body of writing, the most finished of which is of a very high literary quality.  His autobiography ‘Flashbacks’ is very innovative in the first half while his most literary production ‘High Priest’ is, shall we say, unique in format and style.  Very avant garde.  Timmy had it, but he blew it.

     The problem with Tim is that when he realized that the key would be hard to find he gave up; he turned to drugs, no stamina.  The guy really needed instant gratification.

     Tim’s central problem which he inexplicably failed to recognize was his abandonment by his father.  His father’s leaving muddied his waters for all time.  As a psychologist his fixation was staring him in the face but in the peculiar way of fixations it remained invisible to him.  Such is the fear that one is prevented from seeing what is before one’s eyes.

     Like many befuddled people he became a psychologist in the hopes of discovering his problem.  Instead he found that psychologists were impotent before their own and their patients’ illness.  With or without help a third got better, one third got worse and one third stayed the same.  Tim was of the group that slowly got worse.  He accordingly gave up on psychology.  No staying power.  Tim was a sad case.

     Before he gave up he made a fateful contribution to psychological literature while employed at Kaiser.  Interestingly he never mentions Kaiser in his autobiography.  Slides right over it.  He realized he had been manipulated into his psychological disorder.  As Judaeo-Christian thought decrees that the punishment fit the crime he set about to divise the tools for the psychological manipulation of the whole world.  He want everybody else to get screwed up too.  He did this at Kaiser when he devised the personality tests that are still in wide use.

page 36.

    Once the tests were devised Tim had no sense of direction.  The pernicious use of his personality researches remained fallow for the time being except that as Tim sank over the deep end he turned to psychedelic drugs.

     When his LSD researches began he drew into his circle the most pernicious of post-war movements, that of the Beats, the stage was set for his merry pranks.  The so-called Beats, can be summed up by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs with Ginsberg as the most important member.  Actually the roster of important Beat writers can be rounded out with Leary himself, Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey although the last three are sort of an after Beat.

     Their novo literary plans were lauched and were being propagated by Ginsberg’s ‘poem’: Howl.  Once through the publishing door Ginsberg helped bring out Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ and Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch.’  The three works were slim fare to get and keep their ‘rucksack’ revolution rolling, but boy, did they have an effect.  Thus Ginsberg, who knew the main chance when he saw it, searched out Tim Leary as soon as his psychedelic researches reached his ears.

page 37.

     Ever ingratiating and insinuating Ginsberg’s seed fell on Leary’s fertile mind.  The two men had the same goal but for different reasons.  Leary in effect became the fourth Beat and its Pied Piper.

     Tim had no intellectual content beyond some vague notion of some ‘politics of ecstasy’ but he became a master showman and clown.  When the mind of a generation was blasted apart by LSD which has absolutely no content but opens the mind to immediate reconditioning Ginsberg and the Beats provided the intellectual attitude grafting it onto the blown minds of the generation by using the substance of Leary’s brilliantly manipulative personality theories.

     It must be noted that Leary himself seemed unable to penetrate to anyone’s ulterior motives.  He calls it naivete but such simplicity is almost impossible to believe in one so intelligent.

     Ginsberg’s trained agents infiltrated every Beatnik or Hippie group to graft his value system unto their blown and receptive minds.  This was the brainwashing technique that Leary believed the CIA was probing him for although Doctor Timmy blithely claimed to know nothing of any such technique.  It should be noted that Leary was quite as capable as the CIA of lieing to protect his own.  As an instance, in his autobiography he spectacularly shifts attention away from the crimes of Charles Manson who he defends to direct attention to a similar crime for which the ‘establishment’ Army officer Jeffrey MacDonald  was convicted.  Although the crimes were quite dissimilar in some way he thought the latter crime somehow absolved the drug culture.  Tim was not an honest man.

page 38.

     So as Ginsberg appropriated Tim’s research to further Semitist and homosexual goals, Leary in his frustration contributed to the befuddlement of society just as he had been befuddled by his own central childhood fixation.  As he was naive he considered himself innocent.

     Freud believed that morality was of no consequence.  His belief has been embraced by psychologists subsequently.  Psychology has no concern with morality.  Freud believed that anyone who knew certain ‘truths’ about themselves was incapable of committing an immoral act.  Tim Leary disproves his theory.

     If anyone cares to apply my psychological approach my only fear is that they will liberate themselves without having good morality.  Thus, if criminals, they will only be more effective criminals.  A clear mind and vile methods can never create good.

     So Tim and I differ in methods and goals.  I want to correct and eliminate the evils practiced on me while Tim merely wanted to pass his monkey on.

     Nevertheless his researches are valuable and useful for understanding who you are.  At the very least such an understanding will prevent your being easily manipulated by pernicious people.

     Tim gave vent to his fixation in his way as I have in mine.

page 39,

     Tim never mentions a fear of the law.  In point of fact at the time he was arrested in Laredo he had broken no laws.  Psychedelic drugs had been legal to that time.  So the man was actually railroaded into prison merely because he had made himself unpopular with certain governmental officials.  Still, he must known he was barefoot on a barbed high wire so he should have taken extreme precautions.

     I too have never done anything illegal but I learned very early that laws for me were different than the laws for my enemies.  You’ll remember the cop who said only I had to walk my bike through intersections, so, you see, you don’t have to do anything to end up on the wrong side of the law.  I have always known that innocence is no defense so my ‘paranoia’ has kept me vigilant and alert.  I have never wanted to gratify the hopes of my enemies by spending my life in prison.  Nor did I ever have any intention of killing myself.

     Dick Speck and Charlie Whitman were not of my mind.  Dick was not reflective enough to know what he was doing.  He and Charlie committed their outrages within a couple months of each other in 1966 at a time when I was passing the crisis in my own mental development.  Becoming a serial killer was no longer possible for me but I immediately recognized my kinship to both men.  I too had considered both crimes although Dick Speck’s was not one that would gratify my own malaise.  Speck’s crime was directed against his mother who formed his Anima, thus in his own way he was murdering his Anima which had betrayed him, while mine like Charlie’s was directed against males and, indeed, the whole of society as was Addie Hitler’s and that of Achilles.

page 40.

     Dick Speck, as I imagine is still well known, actually murered six nurses in Chicago one hot summer night.  That his conflict centered on his mother is attested by the fact that he killed young women, so-called Angels Of Mercy.  In attempting to exorcise his central childhood fixation he delivered himself into his enemies hands spending the rest of his life in prison in conditions too horrible to discuss at this time.  Suffice it to say he became his mother.  Society didn’t have the decency to execute him.

     Charlie Whitman took a different approach.  He was the man who barricaded himself in the tower at the University Of Texas.  From there he took pot shots at anyone who fell within his sights.  It was a most futile attempt at exorcising his fixation  with no chance of escape, a mere act of desperate frustration.  At best he killed or wounded a few people but he at least had the self-respect to kill himself when the authorities broke through his barricade.

     I knew that my enemies wanted me to commit some such act which would discredit me while confirming their opinion of me to the world.  By graduation they had formed me and placed  me at the crossroads.  I was programmed for just such crimes; it was up to me to avoid the destiny prepared for me. 

     I had no interest in killing women because I cherished Ange who was my Anima but Dick’s crime thrilled me to the core as I recognized a fraternal brother who had attempted to purify himself of his fixation.  Speck’s act should not be seen as an act of senselessness or revenge but purification.  It failed as I knew that it must.  Purification comes from within rather than without.  No drug, no crime can purify the mind.

page 41.

     A couple years before Charlie climbed the tower I had considered barricading myself at Stanford University, a symbol of social acceptance and my rightful place in society to me.  In my waking fantasy or daydream I commanded a small army to take on the world.  When asked to surrender it was my intent to offer my brain as a scientific specimen to study the working of the mind of the mass or serial killer much as Ted Bundy was to do in an attempt to escape the electric chair.

     Among the reasons I didn’t perform this absurdity was that I didn’t know of a small army that would accept my leadership.  I didn’t even have any friends.  Also I suspected that there was nothing so abnormal about the serial killer’s mind except his exaggerated Response to a Challange that most people would find normal and not remarkable.

     Interestingly enough, in my most desperate moments I thought up an act of desperation that had been considered by the top strategists of the Nazis.  At this time I was living in the Bay Area.  The water supply of the Bay Area is impounded behind a number of massive dams that ring the San Joaquin Valley.  The mighty Shasta Dam had also just been completed which impounded a small ocean.

     During the war the Nazis had formed a plan to bomb the dams surrounding the Bay so that the waters rushed down at the same time would inundate the low areas and disrupt shipping.  The idea occurred to me too.  With the addition of Shasta the effect would have been terrific.  In my plan the waters reached the Bay as the highest tide of the year was coming in.  The enormous flood would have reached into Merced and inundated Sacramento.  The resulting malarial swamp would have got millions.  I probably wouldn’t have entered that Sacred City alone but the devastation would have been a balm to my wounded soul.  But remember, your immoral society had created me.  Responsibility begins at home.

page 42.

     The problem with that one was getting enough plastique and knowing how to use it.  Always something.  I just didn’t have the necessary determination.  Wisely I decided not to try.

     Shortly thereafter I began to organize my baggage better.

     The baggage is important.  For, like Dr. Petiot we all take our baggage with us.  That’s why Tim’s notion of changing consciousness with drugs is so impossible; the baggage remains the same.  The question is do we let it overwhelm us or do we learn to arrange it into manageable units?  Like Tim Leary said only a third learn to do so.  A third just sit on the baggage and a third like Dr. Petiot sink beneath the weight.

     When our attitude is combined with great political skill and determination it becomes most dangerous.  Of the politicians I recognize as being of the same mind set Moses holds the least sympathy for me.  There is a great resemblance between Mighty Mo’ and the most famous representative of our mind set, Addie Hitler.  Both believed that they represented an elect group of people; both were willing to exterminate all other people for the benefit of the elect.  Both ruthlessly eliminated groups of dissidents within their parties.  Both suffered devastating defeats of their programs.

page 43.

     As I say I have scant sympathy for Mo’ but I also find similarities between Hitler and Sonderman.  You may laugh or object to the audacity of comparing myself and Sonderman to important figures like Leary and Hitler and Moses but this is not an exercise in comparing apples and oranges but oranges and oranges.  No matter how influential or inconsequential  the exemplars, these are comparisons within one mind set.  For instance to compare Hitler with Napoleon which has been done is to compare an apple to an orange.  They come from two entirely different mind sets with entirely different motives.  Although they may be similar politically we are dealing with psychology.

     Sonderman and Hitler are examples of Law and Order aspects of our mind set.  Myself, Tim, Mo’, Dick and Charlie are not Law and Order types.  We despise the Law and Order mentality.  Addie Hitler was a foremost example of the Law and Order approach which he combined in the end with our more characteristic chaotic approach.  Contrary to popular opinion he did nothing outside the laws of Germany even if he had the power to write them himself.  He was a Law and Order sort of guy.

     Everything he did was legal.  He resisted the temptation to seize power illegally which he could easily have done.  Once legally in power he legally assumed dictatorial powers and passed laws to suit his purposes but then he was legally empowered to do so acting no differently than other mind sets in the same situation.  That is Law and Order to a fault.

page 44.

     Nor was Addie a particularly innovative man.  He just brought political and historical trends to their logical conclusions.  Totalitarianism was the the order of the day; he perfected it.  In the thousand year war between the Slavs and Germans he merely extended the policty of the Teutonic Knights from piecemeal annexations of Slavic lands to a massive one time takeover effort.

     In the two thousand year old war between the Jews and Europeans Addie merely repeated the Roman solution in its war with the Jews that kicked off the Piscean Age.

     There was no break or discontinuity in historical tradition; Hitler merely brought the trends of the previous two thousand years to their logical conclusions.  Addie was quite conscious that he was creating a New Order.  As he said the Old Order ended with his death.  Unfortunately he committed suicide before he could see the spectacular introduction of the New Order over Hiroshima but, then, those are the breaks.  The guy knew what was happening whether you like him or not.

     Now, the means and methods he chose to end the Old Order were the result of the mind set he had been given as a youth.  He had a Brown Spot the size of a pumpkin.   I don’t know how the cluster was composed but he discusses the last element in his reminiscences or table talk while on the Eastern Front.  He had just graduated from high school.  He undoubtedly was not a popular person with his schoolmates because they got him roaringly drunk to humiliate him.  In an effort to amuse them he wiped his rear with his diploma.  In some manner the schoolmaster learned of this.  No longer drunk Addie was thoroughly ashamed of himself as he should have been.  Not for using his diploma as toilet paper but for allowing others to abuse his good will.

page 45.

     At any rate the incident affected him more than the Cowboy slugger affected me.  Enraged at his youthful treatment in the last and earlier elements of the Brown Spot and capable of killing any enemy he chose with impunity he tried to bundle their necks together and stangle them all ignoring all consequences so long as he might take that Sacred City of the soul just like Brave Achilles.  They both failed.  Hitler was not abnormal.  Far from it.

     Addie’s Animus had been severely blunted while his Anima while not exactly healthy was whole.  He transferred all the energies of his Animus to the Anima and became Matriarchal in intellect no doubt as a tribute to his mother.  A characteristic of the Matriarchal intellect is the belief in the fertility of nature; thus life becomes expendable and replaceable which, in fact, it is.  Compare Hitler with Mao Tse Tung for the Matriarchal effect.

     As a symbol of the attitude let look again to Greek mythology.  These myths are puzzling so I don’t hope to convince you of my interpretations but they are plausible.  In the myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, after Hades had abducted Persephone Demeter turns the world into a wasteland in grieving over the loss of her daughter.  In her wanderings she comes to Eleusis where she sits down on a rock to mourn.

page 46.

     There she is approached by a comic toothless old crone by the name of Baubo.  Baubo tries to cheer Demeter up but the goddess remains inconsolable.  Then with a toothless laugh Baubo who is squatting in the birth position lifts her skirts to reveal a baby emerging from the womb.  Demeter laughs and begins to recover.

    Why did Demeter laugh?  To quote the great Calypsonian and the Kingston Trio:  Back to back, belly to belly, I don’t give a damn because I’ve got another ready.  So Baubo’s lesson is what does it matter that you lost one child when you have the means to make many more.  Baubo exemplified the Matriarchal principle.  No matter how many die many times that number are still in the womb.  The individual life is unimportant.

     Hitler’s response to his fixation was to embrace the Matriarchal intellect.  He applied it exactly.  Not only was he indiscriminate in destroying human life, who he killed is irrelevant, but in his frustrated rage at losing the war he was willing to destroy his entire civilization just like Brave Achilles.  Cracow was leveled to the ground.  He gave orders to explode the former jewel of civilization, Paris, in its totality.  It is a miracle that Paris was not leveled like Cracow.  Thank God, Addie, didn’t have the means to reach Chicago.  It is a miracle that Paris was not leveled like Cracow.  Of course, the Allies flattened Berlin and the rest of Germany, so I guess he had some reason to be sore.

page 47.

     When his world had been completely destroyed Hitler put a bullet through his own brain next to Eva Braun who may possibly have been an exemplar of his Anima while ordering his body to be completely destroyed.  My friends, that is complete self-negation.  Thus as I say, Hitler was the perfect exemplar of our mind set.  We’ll never see his like again.

     Speaking of embracing an opportunity, Tim Leary’s death provides an interesting variation.  When he died he had his body put into orbit around the earth.  At some future time when the orbit degrades the missile will enter the atmosphere as a shooting star disappearing in a blaze of glory.

     But wait, that’s not all.  I don’t know if it happened but Leary wanted to have his head removed and frozen with the expectation that at some time science will be able to transplant his brain onto another’s body.  Thus it is possible that he may come back to life in time for his brain to see his body plummet into the sea.  That then would be a headless comet, the first of its kind.  Leary may have been crazy but he didn’t lack imagination.

     Sonderman completly lacked the chutzpah to either sink to the depts of Hitler or rise to the heights of Leary.  In the turmoil of his mind he completed his studies at West Point.  From which institution Tim Leary was expelled, by the way, and then went to his duty station to await his call from home.  When it came he buried his hopes as completely as Hitler or Leary to heed his father’s call.  What biological clock he was responding to I cannot tell.

     Trained by Law and Order he returned home.  Now, interpreted rightly Sonderman was already a serial killer before he left Junior High.  He had offed Wilson while trying repeatedly to kill me.  Unlike Dick Speck with his lawless murders Sonderman was a Law and Order type guy.

page 48.

     I don’t know if having assumed his role in the social structure of the Valley he participated in other murders but as the Valley is known as the murder capitol of the State I wouldn’t be surprised if he has.

     As I sat talking to him during the Reunion I was closing in on my own delivery from the psychology.  The integration of my personality was not far away.  Had I not turned to psychology for deliverance it is not impossible that in an orgy of self-pity I might have gone on a murderous rampage and killed as many of my classmates as I could.  Not of the Law and Order mentality, I would have been chaotic ending my days in prison as a ‘monster.’  To my shame I wouldn’t have had the integrity to kill myself afterwards.

     As that was what my ‘monster’ enemies wanted I was determined not to give it to them.

     I know that most people think their personality is innate and immutable.  Most people think that they are what they are and that they could never have been any other way.  The fact is that our personalities are shaped and not created.  We become what we are by a system of Challenge and Response from the Field.  What has been done can not be undone but one can escape from its onerous burden.  One can use one’s intelligence.

     As far as morality goes the Challenge of Correct Behavior is given us.  Contrary to Freud morality is more important than psychoanalysis.

page 49.

     The psyche breaks on the rock of morality.  Even a Mafioso like the fictional Michael Corleone broke on the rock of morality.  He felt guilt.  While people applaud the notion of morality most people are incapable of embracing the whole system.  They think they can pick and choose which elements are useful to them disregarding the rest.  People have a public morality as they give lip service to Correct Behavior and a private morality in which they indulge all their whims and hatreds.

     My morality both public and private was purer than that of either Sonderman or Hirsh yet both had better reputations than I did.  Whereas they exuded a certain confidence and unwarranted self-esteem I had been robbed of nearly all my self-respect.  I lacked confidence and assurance.  I was tentative and uncertain which translated into a species of guilt and effeminacy.  I was incapable of projecting the person I felt I was inside.

     While trying so hard to injure me my enemies had done injury to their own psyches.  Remarkably, they were to deteriorate as years passed while I would be able finally to cast off the personality they had imposed on my while returning myself to myself.  I have often wondered who the little Grey One that ensheathed me in my dream might be.  Quite possibly she was the personality killed on the playing field in the second grade.  If so she had been residing in the House of Death.  Perhaps she had been released to reclaim me from my psychic prison.

     Now, here, twenty-five years later, unaware of my true relationship with Sonderman I was sitting across from him.  The old resentment still glowed in his eyes; if I was unaware of our true relationship he wasn’t.  Still thinking we had been friends I was hopeful to reconnect with him so I could join my present, my fractured past and my hopeful future into a whole.

page 50.

     If Sonderman had been initially glad to see me it must have been that he had been waiting twenty-five years to tell me he had always disliked me because I copied him.  Once done I presume that he no longer had any use for my presence.

     The ancient traumas had locked him into a state of arrested adolescence.  It was as though he had never left ninth grade.  Except for the addition of the miles he looked just as he had way back then.  He was still slender and square.  He had the same elfin head.  He still had all his hair combed in exactly the same way.  His style of dressing hadn’t even changed from Junior High.  He wore the same Wrangler jeans, although now that his wife had a washing machine they were clean.  He never had and still didn’t have the cool to wear Levi’s.

     It was appropriate, I think, that the jeans were called Wranglers, obviously chosen to fill some deep psychological need.  His shirt might have come out of his teenage closet.  His shirts had always been cut square across the bottom and worn outside his pants.  He was still in the box in which his father had placed him except now he was running the chemical plant.  He hadn’t busted the block.

     Sonderman wouldn’t know and I can only speculate about the subliminal influence of his mother.  I found it of interest that his first and only child was a girl.  It might be thought that having pleased his mother with a grand daughter he didn’t want to run the risk of antagonizing her by having a son.  What did Sonderman know subliminally?

page 51.

     In contrast, my wife and I had no children.

     His role in the destruction of my eating club was uppermost in his mind.  He looked me square in the eyes in an intended insult to say that he had never once in twenty-five years ever seen a member of the club except for a chance meeting with one whose name he couldn’t recall in an airport.

     If he meant to hurt me, he did.  It also brought to mind a chance encounter with me that he had in the Chicago Greyhound station in the summer of ’57 when I was coming back on leave while he was returning to West Point.

     He fled my presence thinking I hadn’t seen him.  Ever vengeful and mean  he went into the reading room to tell the bartender that I was a Communist.  Then he had someone direct me into the room.  Lest I not order a coke I was directed to the bar.  There out of the blue the bartender told me they didn’t serve people like me in there.  Well, you know, I was pretty darn high class for a Greyhound station.

     When I asked why he told me to just keep my political opinions to myself.  When asked what that meant he told me to look at my shirt.  I was wearing a pink shirt.  I guess he meant that I was a Pinko.

     As Sonderman had been in his cadet uniform he commanded a great deal of respect so everyone was glad to do it for him.

     I was lost in a reverie for a moment.  When I came around Sonderman was staring at me with a hopeful smile on his face.  I guess he was saying that he thought he had taken my club from merely as a lark; neither it nor its members had any relevance for him.

page 52.

     He was clearly in a state of arrested emotional development.  I came to the conclusion that he was daily haunted by myself and the memory of those years.  His mind must have been obsessed with the attempts on my life and his murder of Shardel Wilson.

     The vehemence and finality with which he said I copied his every move must have concealed the guilt he felt but couldn’t acknowledge.  He was the result of the training of his people.  I have no doubt that he had absorbed all the rules of Law and Order.  I have no doubt he was capable of cooperating with his fellow trainees to eliminate anyone he or they wanted either physically or socially.  He was paying the price of that immorality.  Breeding will out.

     His wife was a woman named Donna.  She puzzled me because if this was the same Donna I had seen back then her physical attributes had shrunken considerably.  In fact she looked more like Brie than that earlier Donna.  I could find no discreet way to ask so I was forced to assume that after having been cashiered from the Army Sonderman came home took over the reins of his dad’s business then began to look for a wife.  Apparently fixated by me he didn’t go looking for the full figured Donna but a replica of Brie.  It may be coincidence that his Brie lookalike had the name of Donna but then maybe that had been the attraction.  He had gotten the best of both of them in one woman.  Needless to say all those years later they were still together.

page 53.

     I quickly sensed that Sonderman was extremely distraught, sunk within himself.  His voice came as though from the depths of some tank, with each succeeding drink it became moreso.

     Once the novelty of my appearance wore off he seemed to increasingly resent my presence until he blurted out in searing pain that I had stayed long enough; it was time for me to go.

     I was shaken by the outburst but saw no reason to plead to stay.  It was clear he had achieved his purpose when he said I copied him.  The car I had been loaned had been reclaimed so I was without wheels.  I had to ask him to drive me to my cousin’s house.  He was gracious enough to comply.

     On the way I was surprised to learn that he and Wink Costello were still friends and golfing buddies.  I also learned that Wink was a year younger than us which explained some things.   I sensed his dissociation from reality when he showed surprise that I had known Costello.  I knew why he seemed to be unaware of my relationship to himself, Costello and Little.  It was clear that he had converted the killing of Wilson into something else.  He had somehow conflated my copying him with Wilson’s death, probably thinking that he generously concealed the secret of my murder of Wilson to protect me.

     My family had programmed me to get as far away from the family as possible.  They always did that to one member.  They actually intended me to flee to Australia as Uncle Louie had done.  I just wanted to flee.

     Mr. Sonderman had apparently programmed Little to move away also, probably so as not to interfere with Sonderman’s management of the company.  Little had graduated from the University as a nuclear physicist.  I can tell you I was bowled over, I respected nothing more than nuclear physics.  Then I had the pins kicked out from under me when I was told he was abandoning nuclear physics to become a psychiatrist.

     I very nearly laughed out loud.  What a psychological load of baggage both Sonderman and Little were carrying.  It would take more than psychoanalysis to purge them.  Both Sondermans had a great deal of penance to do.

     Sonderman thought he had slipped when he told me that Little was living on the West Coast fairly close to me.  I could see him make a mental note to call Little to tell him that I might try to contact him.  Before his psychoanalytic training Little was already a more astute psychologist than his brother.  He told him that there was no chance I would contact him.  He was right.  Just the thought of Little makes my skin crawl; he really was an evil guy.

     So my wife and I got out of his car.  Sonderman gave her a last lookover with a wistful eye.  I think he thought that I had topped him again but I’d give it a draw with a shade on my side.  I’m a very generous guy.

      I was unaware I was closing the door on my Animus.  This guy was the image of manhood through which all other males were filtered.  In psychological terms he was the image of the Terrible Father.  My Animus was not clothed with a counter balancing image of the Good Father.  All men were insane as far as I was concerned.

page 54.

     I evaluated all men in comparison to this despicable model.  As I perceived Sonderman he was a homosexual, liar, sneak, cheat and thief.  Now, by his own admission he was a willful failure.

     My public persona had been formed in reaction to him and through him the Hirshes.  While I projected Sonderman’s image on all men I also subconsciously  presented an abject figure to them with which I telegraphed my past.  Thus a cycle of mutual repulsion was perpetuated.  The moving finger had written; the stars were in control.

     I was vaguely aware of projecting the abject image but not knowing where it came from I was powerless to change it.  In order to change my image of myself It would be necessary to change the image of the Sonderman Constellation.

     My life was effectively over.  Regardless of whether I could change myself and the Constellation the baggage as Dr. Petiot realized was still in my hands.  The moving finger had writ.  My education was complete.  Nothing could change that.  Even if the men I knew should show me a new countenance I knew the truth behind any seeming fairness.  I knew who they really were.  And having written the finger moves on.

     Nor, even if I changed, would that change be noticeable to those who already knew me.  They would continue to react to me as they always had.  They might not get the same response but their education as regards me was complete too.

     Like Sonderman’s when he met me their minds were made up so that I would be able to present this new persona to new acquaintances who would be apprised of my old persona by my old acquaintances.  A vicious circle.  I was doomed to be a loner.  It was written in the stars.  The Field dominated.  The Challenges had been made; the Responses had been offered.

page 55.

     The question was: Could I realign the Sonderman Constellation from the brooding theatening image reflected on my face or convert it into one which would be more constructive for myself.  The truth seems to be that like Medusa’s sisters the Anima and Animus are immortal.

     I was given a glimpse behind the Constellation.  It was worse than I imagined.  I had a dream of a house.  I was both inside and outside, above it looking down on it.  The house was being assaulted by myriads of bugs trying to break in.  I fought this image for several days until I came to the conclusion that the house represented my mind and the bugs millions of memories that were trying to destroy my mind.

     I retreated back a bit to the other side of the Constellation but then I realized that as I was both inside and outside the house I was in control of my own mind.  I was the proud possessor of my own mind.  I was one of Leary’s third that healed.

     As I looked up the Sonderman Constellation had begun to change form.  The past after all, while not a jot of it can be washed away, is the past.  It can’t pysically hurt you nor can it reach out for you.  The baggage can be repacked so that it can be carried comfortably.

     All the stations of Sonderman’s stars realigned themselves while I watched apprehensively.  Then I broke out into a laugh.  I was engulfed by merriment.  In place of the threatening aspect the stars formed a portrait of Sonderman’s silly Alfred E. Neuman face grinning idiotically down at me.  There was no reason to fear that Animus.

     So in the end Sonderman assumed his true form.  If I wasn’t free from him at least he was always there for a good laugh.

    What, me worry?

The End Of The Sonderman Constellation,

 

    

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The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter IV

The Psychosis

…now Zeus had abandoned him

to humiliation in his own homeland.

–Homer

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

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

page 1.

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

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

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

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

page 2.

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

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

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

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

page 3.

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

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

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

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

page 4.

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

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

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

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

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

 page 5.

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

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

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

page 6.

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

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

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

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

page 7.

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

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

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

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

page 8.

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

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

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

page 9.

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

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

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

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

page 10.

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

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

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

page 11.

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

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

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

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

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

page 12.

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

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

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

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

page 13.

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

     I was alone.

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

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

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

page 14.

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

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

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

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

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

page 15.

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

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

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

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

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

page 16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 17.

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

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

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

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

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

page 18.

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

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

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

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

page 19.

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

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

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

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

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

page 20.

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

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

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

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

page 21.

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

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

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

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

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

page 22.

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

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

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

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

page 23.

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

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

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

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

page 24.

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

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

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

page 25.

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

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

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

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

page 26.

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 27.

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

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

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

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

page 28.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 30.

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

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

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

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

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

page 31.

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

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

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

page 32.

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

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

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

page 33.

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

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

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

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

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

page 34.

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

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

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

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

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

page 35.

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

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

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

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

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

page 36.

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

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

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

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

page 37.

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

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

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

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

page 38.

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

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

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

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

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

page 39.

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

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

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

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

page 40.

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

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

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

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

page 41.

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

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

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

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

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

page 42.

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

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

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

page 43.

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

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

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

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

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

page 44.

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

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

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

page 45.

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

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

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

page 46.

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

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

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

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

page 47.

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

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

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

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

page 48.

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 49.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle 

Chapter II.

The Psychonautica

The senate house of planets all did sit

To knit in her their best perfections.

–The Bard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.

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

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

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

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

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

page 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 9.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ‘OK.  Let’s go.’ He gasped.

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

page 11.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 12.

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

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

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

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

p. 13.

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

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

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

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

page 14.

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

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

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

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

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

p. 15.

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

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

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

page 16.

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

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

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

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

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

page 17.

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

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

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

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

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

p. 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

p. 19.

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

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

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

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

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

page 20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 21.

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

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

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

page 21.

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

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

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

page. 22

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

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

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

page 23.

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

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

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

2.

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

page 24.

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

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

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

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

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

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

page 25.

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

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

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

Guilt!

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

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

page 26.

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

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

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

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

page 27

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

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

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

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

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

page 28.

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

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

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

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

page 29.

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

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

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

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

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

page 30.

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

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

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

page 31.

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

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

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

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

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

page 32.

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

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

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

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

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

page 33.

     Hermes, after whom the Hermetic Science is named, is wisdom and intellegence personified.  These are the two attributes that both Perseus and Psychonaut will need:  Moral Virtue and Right Conduct combined with detached intelligence.

     Killing the Gorgon is not child’s play so Perseus needs the help of magic.  He applies to some other girls, the Stygian Nymphs, for the Cap of Invisibility so he can’t be seen, winged sandals to get him to the mysterious cave which is obviously not of the material world and a leather bag to contain Medusa’s head so that he won’t later be turned to stone by an accidental sight of it.  He also has the adamantine sickle with which Zeus castrated his father, Cronus and Cronus his father, Saturn.

     So abundantly armed, accompanied by Athene and Hermes in person Perseus lurks about the Grey One on duty until her relief arrives.  He snatches the eye and tooth as they are passed from Grey One to Grey One.  The Grey Ones are at his mercy.  They must indicate the labyrinth through the cave.

     To look upon Medusa is to turn to stone so Athene lends Perseus her shiny shield.  Working from the reflection which the myth of Narcissus indicates has no substance, his hand guided by Athene or Moral Virtue and Right Conduct, as he is working backward, he takes the adamantine sickle given him by Hermes or Science and Knowledge and cuts off the Medusa’s head.  Perseus deposits the head in the magical leather bag given him by the Stygian Nymphs.

page 34.

     Upon Medusa’s decapitation two incredible beings emerge from her neck:  The Golden Warrior Chrysaor and the Winged Horse, Pegasus.  When the Matriarchy was destroyed rationality became possible, or, in other words, evolved.  Thus the male and society received a new Anima and Animus when the Matriarchy was disabled.  Chrysaor the Golden or Pure, or Refined warrior is the ideal Animus while the soaring mare Pegasus is the ideal male Anima.  The Anima/Animus imagery is constant throughout the myths.

     Medusa’s two immortal sisters representing the Matriarchal Animus and Anima, the two snakes of Heracles,  who had been sleeping awake but concealed by his cap of Invisibility Perseus leaps upon the great white charger to escape.  He flipped the eye and tooth back to the Grey Ones as he winged past the cave entrance.

     There are variants of the myth in which Perseus despoils the Grey Ones of their tooth and eye but this is impossible because he would emasculate his own mind if he did so.  The Grey Ones are a very important part of the story.  They cannot be deprived of their limited power.

     The deed was done.

     As I said the mythographers were recording an historical event in mythological terms.  Whether they were aware of the psychological interpretation or merely unconsciously described their inner reality is open to question however the story is a perfect description of my own and Sonderman’s central fixation as well as yours.  To heal ourselves, to escape a debilitating consciousness we would have to find our Medusa and slay it.

page 35.

     3,

Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.

–Red saying of the Relatavistic period.

          From the time of Perseus c. 1500 BC to the Christian Era was a period of profound development in human consciousness.  At the beginning consciousness was still Matriarchal while at the end it had passed to the Patriarchal.  The transition was not easy.  The period of the Greek Hero myths from Io to Europa, Perseus, the Phoenician Cadmus of Thebes and through the Trojan Cycle emcompassed the most devastating religious war in the history of mankind.  The conservative forces of the Goddess fought bitterly to the end but the rationality of the God prevailed as it must, although the victory was far from complete as the Iliad shows.  By the end of the Homeric period the population had been so reduced that all civilized systems disintegrated producing a Dark Age in Greece.  Hundreds of years later civilization reemerged.  The great war was fought to replace the ecstatic, emotional, orgiastic religion of the Goddess or Great Mother with the disciplined rational religion of the God or Father.

page 36.

      Accompanying the religious changes were the great political and social changes.  Egypt had for millennia been the beacon of civilization and religion in the Eastern Mediterranean.  When the Persians overran Egypt near the close of the Arien Age they destroyed the cradle of religion.  Unable to sustain their ancient ritual the Egyptians in a defensive move allied themselves with the Greeks who under Alexander destroyed the Persian power.  The Greeks occupied Egypt becoming its Pharaohs.

     Emerging out of the ruins of the Greek Matriarchy was the system of thought we know as True Science.  Arising out of the fusion of the Greek and Egyptian systems was the system of thought which we know as Hermetic Science.

     True Science is based on materialism which says that a scientific experiment must be able to be replicated under the same conditions at all times to be true.  Hermetic Science is based on spirituality.  It believes that scientific experiments depend on supernatural intervention so that if an experiment fails it wasn’t because of a faulty method but because God wasn’t petitioned in the right manner.  Both systems were anathema to orthodox religious thought.  Thus the religion triumphing in the transition from the Arien Age to the Piscean Age, Catholicism, execrated and outlawed both scientific systems.

page 37.

     Man’s consciousness was not yet developed enough to move from mythopoeic to scientific thinking.  Still the conflict which arose during the Enlightenment is the next stage in the development of consciousness between the True and Hermetic Sciences.

     In that sense Freud represents the amoral materialism of True Science while Jung represents the tenets of Hermetic Science.  Freud renounced morality as irrelevant to his Science with extremely harmful consequences.  Jung’s system while not exactly proclaiming supernatural influences has elements that are just as irrational.

     The Ancient Fathers knew nothing of personal psychology in the Freudian or Jungian sense.  They attached all importance to the Field or the Stars as they called it which was unavoidable and unchangeable.

     Jesus of Nazareth was in reality a minor Jewish prophet.  The Jews have never accepted him as a Messiah, indeed, as he failed in their redemption he was ipso facto a failed Messiah.

     However as the Arien Age ended and the Piscean Age began the Greeks who had been developing a successor to the Arien god as Zeus had succeeded the Taurean Cronus, had devised a cult of Kyrios Christos which was designed to replace Zeus in the Piscean Age.  For whatever reasons, which I do not choose to go into here, the cult of Kyrios Christos was attached to the person of the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth and he became the universal Jesus the Christ, one of the religious archetypes of the Piscean Age.

     The whole code of morality that had been devised to temper man’s innate rascality was attached to the Christian religion.  Thus Jesus and Christ are two aspects of the same desire which accounts for the conflict between primitive and developed Christianity.

page 38.

     Now, even though Christianity arrogated orthodoxy to itself while declaring all other religious viewpoints heretical those other viewpoints continued to develop underground.

     Their approach to the means of obtaining human perfection varied from that of Catholicism.  One of the main rivals, Manicheism, which developed in the third century AD was physically obliterated in Europe in the thirteenth century when it became powerful enough to become a threat to orthodox Christianity.

     The Hermetic religion was more discreet bubbling along underground.  It survived to form the basis of the Esoteric or Occult religious current which formed the basis of early modern psychology eventually surfacing as the basis of Depth Psychology.

     As before mentioned Hermeticism evolved out of the wreck of Egyptian religion.  Hermeticists developed the modern concepts of suggestiblity and auto-suggestion.  These two concepts have formed the basis of magic since the first stirring of consciousness.

     Hermetic Science has always been disparaged by True Science because of its reliance on supernatural or spiritual causes.  While it is true that supernatural causes cannot affect material results it is not true that ‘spiritual’ yearnings do not affect our minds.  Materialism has no need of moral influences as scientific results cannot be affected by moral considerations.  However, it has been said quite correctly that Man does not live by bread alone.  Man requires morality to have a good and pure life.  Freud as a scientist rejected the concept of morality hence his reputation has fallen into disrepute as well it should.

page 39.

     The ancient view of morality as combined to the tenets of Christianity prevailed in Europe and America intil that great watershed, the Great War of 1914-18.  Morality which had formerly been viewed as absolute now began to be viewed as ‘relative.’  Relative to what?  Relative to one’s momentary desires, of course.  In later years the amoral phrase: If it feels good, do it came into currency.

     The fact is morality is a scientific absolute.  the ancient concept of morality came under attack by two Jewish ‘scientists’, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.  It is difficult to say which was more influential in disrupting moral patterns but I believe the great ‘scientific’ reputation of Einstein has had the greatest effect.

     If True Science requires that if an experiment is to be true it must always replicate accurately then ‘relativity’ cannot refer to true science in any way.  It follows then that both Einstein and Freud must have practiced a kind of Hermetic or supernatural science and if fact this is true.

      As Jews both claimed to be Semiticists.  As followers of the non-scientific Semitist belief system they must of necessity have held that all other belief systems were false.  Any ‘ism’ is by definition True for its believers while all other belief systems are false or, at least, deal less adequately with reality.  Judaism was at war with all the other isms, as must be in a multi-cultural society, hence, relativism.

page 40.

     The roots of Semitist relativism can be found in the emergence of the Enlightenment in seventeenth century Europe.  True Science displaced the ancient religious systems such as Catholicism and Judaism as the standard of truth at that time.  Neither the Church nor Judaism had a valid counter argument for the scientific method.  The pretensions of Judaism to absolute truth suffered irreparable damage so that the faith went into a state of shock completely losing its sense of direction.

     As no supernatural belief system can compete with True Science the Semitists had to either create a higher science of their own or destroy the basis of True Science in order to reestablish the supremacy of Semitism.  As there is no higher truth than True Science it was necessary to undermine it.  Thus Einstein tried to establish the notion of relativity in True Science.  It follows that if True Science is relative than the basis of its authority was removed and the ‘truth’ of Judaism could be reestablished as supreme.

     It also follows that if what Europeans believed was false then Semitism had an obligation to destroy that and any other competing belief system.  Lacking the power of the Catholic Church to impose its system  Communism was created with the hope of assuming temporal power to eliminate dissenters.

     In terms familiar with Tim Leary they had first to decondition the peoples from their belief systems and recondition or brainwash them to their own Semitism.

page 41.

     It was therefore necessary to destroy the basis of the Euroamerican belief system.  Freud attacked on the moral level by saying that the individual was the sole determinant of morality as it suited him at any given moment.  Thus his dictum that anyone who knows a few truths about himself cannot commit an immoral act.  Freud’s relativity backfired on him when Adolf Hitler showed him how far the concept of morality had to be stretched to eliminate the concept of immorality.

     Thus as Freud never explained what truths a person had to know about himself one can only assume that in relativistic terms Hitler knew them and was incapable of an immoral act.  Hence, logically, Auschwitz was a moral undertaking.

     Hitler is an example of Freud’s dictum carried to its logical conclusion in the hands of a great man; in the hands of lesser men a general corruption spread throughout society.

     This was aided and abetted by the ‘science’ of Albert Einstein and his ‘Theory Of Relativity.’  Now, True Science can never be relative so the Theory of Relativity must be based on false premises.  Physics, terrestrial or extra-terrestrial cannot be relative and absolute at the same time.  In fact, waffling or ‘relativity’ was a characteristic of Einstein’s mental condition.  To mention only one instance, Einstein was an ardent pacifist when other people were being killed but he became a rabid militarist when Hitler exercised his moral relativity by killing Einstein’s own people.  Einstein even contributed to the development of the Atom bomb in the hope it would be used to exterminate the entire German people.  That’s what I call pacifism.

page 42.

     Thus Relativity was a great method to undermine the social structure of the dominant belief system but Relativity broke down on the rock of ethnic or group self-interest.  What was sauce for the goose was not sauce for the gander.  Auschwitz for the Semitists became not relative to Hitler’s personal needs at the given time but an absolute wrong for the Semitist belief system.  The Freudian and Einsteinian fabric of relativity was ripped to shreds by self-interest.  Of course, that’s relative.

     So also for other interested groups once they had undermined established beliefs and gained a position of strength they shed the notion of relativity in favor of the absolutism of their own views.  Thus the basis of intolerance once such a group is established.  It’ll just be Hitler all over again with different victims.

     The abandonment of relativity was nowhere more apparent at the beginning of the twenty-first century than in the Red ideology and homosexual psychosis.

     Homosexuality was not only banned until 1969 but was actually a criminal act by law.  During the sixties of the twentieth century the homosexual community first fought to legalize pornography as the opening move toward legalizing their psychosis.  Once pornography was legalized which showed heterosexuals performing unnatural sexual acts such as sodomy, which is still punishable by law, or fellatio then the next step to the societal endorsement of same sex sexual acts was automatic.  Thus the sixties opened the war in erotic matters for homosexuals which led to their stepping out of the closet with the Stonewall riot in New York City in 1969.

page 43.

     After 1969 the corrupting slogan: If it feels good, do it was added tothe earlier slogan of: Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.  But the latter slogan and relativity cut both ways.  If only thinking made homsexuality good then the reverse was equally true so it was relative.  If it was neither good nor bad relative to one’s viewpoint then one viewpoint was as valid as the other.  Homosexuals were left where they had been.

     This was nowhere more apparent than in the homosexuals’ favorite example of the Sacred Band of Thebes in the ‘Golden Age of Homosexuality.’  Thebes was the capitol city of Boeotia, a region of ancient Greece above Athens and East of Sparta.  The Thebans at one time created a separate division in their army composed entirely of homosexuals.  They called it the ‘sacred band.’

     Homosexuals point to this army division with great pride as though  it were a tribute to their valor rather than a segregated unit.  They imagine that the division was organized for them to show off their superior valor.  They say that the notion is that rather than be dishonored in front of their fellows the homosexuals fought twice as hard as the normal troops.  Such traditions have not been passed down historically.

     While the true facts cannot be known it is much more reasonable to assume that homosexuals caused so much trouble in the ranks with their antics that they were segragated into this unit to increase the efficiency of the army.

p. 44.

     The designation ‘sacred band’ rather than being complimentary can be construed to be sacred in the sense of taboo.  Just as only certain high priests were allowed to handle sacred objects so homosexuals became untouchables for the rest of the army.

     The Reds also, by whatever name you know them, began as a disruptive force in society.  Over the years they refined their methods until they infiltrated every liberal cause.   Having now associated themselves with every oddball method that challenges traditional ways they are in a position to legislate for the majority.

     Having obtained this position there is no more relativity.  If you are not with their program you are not only absolutely wrong but criminally so.

     So both Freud and Einstein contributed to a feeling that one way of doing a thing was as good as another.  Integrity as a form of morality, had no value.  Because lieing was considered a great social art or skill by some obsure people in some unheard of location at some distant time in history society concluded that lieing was not an immoral act but merely a matter of personal preference.

     Scientific objectivity was discarded in favor of relativistic subjectivity.

     The fact is that morality is a scientific absolute.   Psychoses are the direct result of immoral behavior.  Had I had the science to put my central childhood fixation into perspective on the spot I would not have committed the immoral act of murdering my own personality.  I would have chosed the correct response of giving battle to Michael Hirsh and his whole crowd.

page 45.

     Freud’s own studies lead to the same conclusion but he chose for relativistical ethnic considerations to ignore it.  Nevertheless one’s mental health is dependent on living the moral life.  Never forget it for one moment.

     Moral Virtue and Right Conduct form the basis of conduct for successful people.  The rules of Moral Virtue and Right conduct have always been built on the concepts of Suggestion and Auto-suggestion.  ‘As you think so shall you be.’ As the Kyrios Christos put it.  Thus in the philosophic tract, Poimander of the thrice great Hermes, the narrator asks for guidance.  Characteristically  he encounters Poimander in the subconscious state of dreaming:

     Quote:

     Once when I began to think about the things that are, and my mind soared exceedingly high and my bodily senses were held down by sleep like people weighed down by overeating and weariness, I thought I saw a being of vast and boundless magnitude coming toward me, who called me by name and said: ‘What do wish to hear and see, to learn and know?’

     ‘Who are you?’ I said.

     ‘I am Poimander.’  He said.  ‘The mind of absolute power.  I know what you want and I am with you everywhere.’

     ‘I want to know about the things that are, their nature, and to know god.’  I replied.

     ‘I know what you wish for I am with you everywhere.  Keep in mind what you want to know and I will teach you.’

     Unquote.

page 46.

     Here is the basis of auto-suggestion:  Keep in mind what you want to know and I will teach you.

     I wanted to find the reason for my mental discomfort and by applying that maxim that is how I found, recognized and eliminated my central childhood fixation.  The Hermetics took the concept and worked on it through the centuries.  The first great light to surface was Paracelsus in the Middle Ages; it was developed by Anton Mesmer in the eighteenth and perfected by Emile Coue in the twentieth.  Auto-suggestion is one of those things that have always been known but require reformulation every now and then.  Norman Vincent Peale provided the same message in the fifties in his ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking.’  All self help comes down to the same thing:  As ye think, so shall ye be.

     Suggestion and auto-suggestion work on the subconscious until the suggestion is brought to fruition, if realistic.  Suggestion which comes from others is actually all there is to magic- black or white.

     A malicious person can suggest a harmful course to you which if you do not reject it you will realize.  Thus someone may curse you saying your right arm will wither and become useless.  If you feel guilty or let the notion into your mind your perfectly good right arm may or will wither and become useless.

     There are still people who practice the ancient Black Art of sticking pins into effigies.  The pins in the effigies won’t harm you but the suggestion will if you take it seriously.

page 47.

     Thus Hirsh had been denying me all self respect, all self-dignity, all honors.  He was trying to make me accept the suggestion that I was worthless.  He wanted me to feel inferior in every way.  He wanted to destroy my confidence.  I was uable to completely reject his influence.  Even though I stubbornley tried to assert my self-worth consciously, Hirsh’s hopes for me had entered my subconscious  where they were strong enough to negate most of my conscious will.

     In magical terms his will or magic was stronger than mine.  In naturalistic terms ill treatment drove me toward psychological depression resulting in physical inertia.  By the summer of graduation Hirsh had nearly defeated me, he had nearly imposed his will on me.  I was like the remnant of a defeated army fleeting for the security of some safe place.

     Suggestion is very powerful.  So with auto-suggestion.  What you put into your mind will happen.  Once again I was saved, this time, ironically by Mrs. Sonderman.  As dotty as she was she was a devotee of Emile Coue.  He was a man from the psychological school of Nancy who popularized auto-suggestion in the twenties when he made a tour of America.  As there is very little to study in auto-suggestion he reduced his program to the formula:  I am getting better and better everyday in every way.

     To the uninformed mind the approach was laughable.  After his intitial success Coue was ridiculed into oblivion.  But Mrs. Sonderman was a true believer.  She initiated me into the concepts.  I don’t believe Coue’s maxim did anything for Mrs. Sonderman but his auto-suggestion saved my life.

page 48.

     Thus the injunction of Christ to be always pure in thought is not idle suggestion.  If you think evil you will be evil.  If you think well your conduct will be correct and proper, at least as far as your understanding of correct and proper.  But your mind must dwell on the concept you choose.  As God was considered pure good by the Ancients that was the reason they felt it necessary to be always thinking of God.  They hoped thereby to avoid committing evil.

     Hermetic Science has its limitations versus True Science as its tenets are based on a non-existent supernatural being but by combining the importance of the Field, Challenge and Response of Hermetic Science with the materialistic understanding of the mind of True Science one can learn what one wants to know about oneself.

     Contrary to Tim’s maxim that you have to use drugs to go out of your mind to use your head you have to stay securely in your mind while developing the courage to face your fixations so that you can save your head.  There is no better.  The baggage doesn’t change and it doesn’t go away; you have to learn how to carry it.

     It was through auto-suggestion that I uncovered my childhood fixation.  It wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy.  The greatest impediment was the tremendous fear surrounding the fixation.  I had seen the Gorgon and my mind had turned to stone; it was paralyzed.

p. 49

     I knew the general location of the fixation.  I knew it had to do with something between the ages of five and ten.  That little cluster of years could not be put into perspective.  I began to overcome the fear when I decided to organize the flow of memories into lineal succession.  Thus I had to isolate the memories of kindergarten and first grade.  Then I was able to organize the memories of third and fourth grades.  The second grade was impenetrable.  There lay the central fixation.

     The fixation had nothing to do with any bad actions of my own, I knew that.  An overwhelming Challenge had been presented me from the Field.  Totally unable to Respond adequately to the Challenge my Response had redounded on myself.  I had killed my former personality which had failed me completely.  By so doing I condemned myself to a feeling of overaweing guilt.  The feeling of guilt came from within  because my Animus or Ego had been defeated.  A comparable effect would be when an ancient god failed to save his people from defeat.  As the god could not perform its function the defeated people turned their back on the god either embracing the seemingly more powerful god of the victors or entering the Wasteland while they sought another.

     I died of mortification and shame that day and entered the Wasteland.  The incident would have been trivial as an adult.  I would have easily dealt with the situation turning back the evil on my tormenters.  As the knights of the Medieval historian, Froissart, invariably said when met by force majeure as they retreated:  There was nothing for it.  We will meet another day under more propitious skies.

page 50.

     That event, nevertheless, fixated my future life.  It made me think I was unworthy to be successful.  The Field, or the Stars, is all important.  It is nonsense to blame oneself.

     Challenges are transmitted requiring a Response before the child has developed consciousness at all.  Thus life determining Challenges are presented in the cradle while the child is absolutely defenseless.  There is no reason to bemoan this, there is no other way.  Thus in the Perseus myth the Grey Ones were born ancient and have only one tooth and eye between them.  They are ill prepared to deal with any situation and yet they are guardians of the sanctuary.

     Human conditioning undoubtedly begins in the womb.  It is not conceivable that certain, shall I call them dispositions, are borne by the very sperm that fertilizes the egg.  In addition to carrying the genes the sperm must also have a degree of consciousness and possibly even intelligence to read the signs to find the way to the egg.  How does it know what to do?   One might ask the question are all sperm created equal?  Obviously not, some are X and some are y.

     Certainly conditioning begins at birth.  Timidity and aggression are transmitted, as it were, with the mother’s milk.  Thus the so-called Alpha male is really the image of the Alpha female.  It is only the Alpha mother who can create an Alpha male.  All men are Alphas until their mother gets hold of them.

     The mother’s role on the character of her son is determined by the character of the woman.  Remember Mother is not synonymous with Woman.  It is the woman’s character, her intelligence and her intellect that will have the most influence on her son.  Mothering is something else.  You can see how lucky I was to be separated from my mother at the formative stage.

page 51.

     Nature may not have done women a favor by making them potential mothers but the mother is a role which most women must assume, not infrequently against their will.  Thus Freud is quite correct when he says the mother is responsible for the future of her children.  The woman may rebel against her fated motherhood but how she handles her responsibility determines the fate of her children.

    My mother fated me to frustration as a baby although as a woman she may claim she did not have the intelligence to understand what she was doing, she nevertheless had the subconscious craft to achieve her ends.  Her wishes had been frustrated when my father failed to present her with a girl.  She made him pay and she made me pay.

     In order to frustrate me as she had been frustrated by me, so to speak, my mother teased me by presenting her nipple and then withdrawing it just as I was gaining satisfaction.  She didn’t do this just once but repeatedly.  The resultant search for the source of nourishment left me with a ridicuous complex.  She conditioned me.  In certain instances when I was searching for something I couldn’t find which was often right in front of me I became very distraught.  Others interpreted this as unwarranted anger leaving me open to ridicule.

     Thus as I had disappointed my mother for life when her older sister had the first girl in the family she attempted to frustrate me for life as a punishment.  She wouldn’t be able to understand if she were told and neither may you but it is true nonetheless.

page 52.

     I retrieved those two memories by auto-suggestion.  Over a period of time my mind presented an image of a nipple being offered and withdrawn.  Auto-suggestion will call up images from the subconscious but you must make an effort to consciously interpret them and you better do it quickly.  I seized the moment.  Little was required of me to reconstruct the situation.  Knowing, I eliminated the fixation.  I am now able to deal with the problem constructively.  Poimander makes my life better and better every day in every way.

     So that, to understand one’s influences one must somehow learn the Field, work to find the Challenge to which the Response applies.  A person acts and reacts; you may have been the perpetrator and had your own evil turned back upon yourself.  One must be honest with oneself.  Sonderman cannot blame me for Wilson’s death; he must accept that responsibility himself. 

     If you lie to yourself you aren’t going to get very far.  Others will have motivations that affect you; you will have motivations that will affect others.  You may be unaware that you have been targeted; you may think that things have just ‘happened.’ Or, as in my case, you may know, be aware, or vaguely aware that you are being targeted but not know who the stalkers or agents are or why they are doing it.

     For whatever reasons you may be on the butt end the important thing is not to accept other people’s negative opinions about yourself.  Do not give up hope.  Refuse the negativity; reject the Suggestion; turn back the evil before it enters your soul.

page 53.

     Right Conduct is in may ways more important than personal psychology.  The Ancients who had a very different concept of psychology rightly placed great emphasis on morality.  They were in a lane on the right highway, in my opinion, the fast lane.  Following Freud psychologists do not recognize the importance of morality.  I have never read a psychological work where morality was even mentioned.

     The rules of Right Conduct were expressed in gnomic terms of which it is difficult to acquire a right understanding.  For instance the injunction of Christ to turn the other cheek must not be taken literally.  The meaning is not to suffer insult but not to return evil for evil because evil begets evil.  Returning evil for evil justifies the perpetrator in his own mind.  It justifies his belief that the world is created in his own image.  Nothing hurts them worse than to realize it isn’t.  One must learn to turn back another’s evil on himself thus causing him to eat the bitter pill.  To take the evil on one’s self only embitters one’s own life whether one realizes it or not.  Of course, often there is nothing for it and it must be dismissed as the boorishness of the other.

     Earlier I remarked that when Sonderman took me to visit his father’s  chemical plant I tried to burn it down.  How did that ‘happen’?  Failed evil is a powerful rebuke.  The evil of the perpetrator has been turned back on him and he knows shame.

page 54.

     When Sonderman took me out to the Shield and I survived that was a powerful rebuke to him and his father.  Had I fallen beneath the great steely wheels they could have consciously rationalized my fate to themselves as my own stupidity.  When I didn’t they became evil in their own eyes while they now saw me as more virtuous.  They found my innocence intolerable as it made me better than them.  They took it upon themselves to prove that I was no less evil than themselves.  They had to prove to themselves that I would have done the same thing or its equivalent myself.  No one wants to think he is less moral than his fellows.

     Human life is less haphazard than we imagine.  On a close examination you will find that more is caused than happens.  If you have an effect then look for the cause.  Thus the Sondermans did something they were loath to do; I was invited to see their chemical plant, or the inner sanctum of the Sondermans from which I had been carefully excluded.

     The Sondermans didn’t want anyone to have to take their word for it so they invited a young cousin along who I had never seen before.  He was to act as their ‘witness.’

     As I would never attempt a crime on my own it was necessary to suggest one to me.  Sonderman pointed out the extreme combustibility of some chemicals sitting in an old open wooden tub.  He admonished me not to let a spark get near it.  As young as I was I still should have had better morality than to fall for the suggestion, to attempt a revenge on what I rightly interpreted as attempted murder.  In the sense of Christ I should have turned the other cheek.

     Having suggested the act Sonderman was already prepared to prevent me from making the attempt so that while I was willing no such attempt was actually made.  Had I remained pure in thought I would have redoubled the evil on the Sondermans.  As it was he went and told his father that it was my intent to put a match to the chemicals even though I had no match.  I was ordered off the property.  To some extent I enabled them to redeem their innocence.

page 55

     But then, as events will show, my enemies would only have redoubled their efforts.  As I had made no real overt attempt to return their evil in a way for which they could condemn me as they condemned themselves their guilt remained unexpiated.

     Evil cannot be expiated by further evil but the Sondermans did not know that.

5,

     A peculiar dream happened to me as I wrestled with this part of the story.  The problem of confronting my inner fears was apparently  more fearsome to me than I realized or had more far reaching consequences than I imagined.  Subsequent events were apparently very traumatic, much more so than I realize even now.  I apparently needed greater protection to deal with them.  My subconscious provided it for me.

     In my dream I had just been let out of prison.  Although outside the walls I was told that I couldn’t leave the area until the Grey Ones arrived.  When I asked who the Grey Ones were and when they would arrive I was told that I would see them when I saw them.

page 56.

     The prison and its guards looked a great deal like my fourth grade school so I suppose I was being released from the confines of my central childhood fixation.  As I was standing around marveling at this, wondering what to do, the three Grey Ones appeared in the distant bright blue sunless sky drifting slowly on the breeze in my direction.

     I had no idea what to expect.

     As they come fluttering closer over this bleak barren desert landscape they took the shape of what I can only describe as wrinkled grey windsocks.

     I stared up in amazement and apprehension not knowing what to expect.  The eldest windsock, who was also the ugliest, rippled past disdainfully not even deigning to notice me.  The middle one wrinkled past sheepishly as though ashamed to represent my present situation.

     The youngest and prettiest Grey One seemed to fall in love with me on the spot.  She breezed over and playfully ensheathed me with her joyful presence.  She would be my Anima for the future.  I would be her eyes and teeth, her Ego.  Thus protected against any future psychic dangers I was free to leave the prison grounds.

      Psychologically the Grey One is still with me.  She has guided me over several treacher0us shoals.

page 57

     At the Judgment of Paris he was asked to choose but I was chosen.  The oldest Grey One rejected me outright.  Indeed, there was no going back to a shameful past for me.  The middle one realizing she could not maintian an unpleasant status quo sheeplishly passed me by.  The youngest representing a fearless flight into the future took possession of me.

     Dreams are of course a product of subconscious desires so that auto-suggestion indicated that the way had been cleared.  I was to deal with the future as it arose unimpeded by past or present impediments.

     The message was that when I failed to turn back the evil in the second through fourth grades I had transferred it into my own guilt and shame.  I had accepted inhibiting behavior that was now at an end.

     Perhaps in the organization of the Sonderman Constellation I will be able to rid myself of his evil incubus.

     The senate house of the planets may sit again to deal me a new hand.

End of chapter II.

Now that the stage has been set the narrative begins.

Go to Chapter III

The Psychodrama

A Novel

by

R.E. Prindle

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line;

Nor all thy Tears wash out a word of it.

Omar Khayam lays down the basic law of all psychology

and

History.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

–Another old guy

Table Of Contents

Chap. I: The Psychogenesis Posted 48 pages

Chap. II: The Psychonautica Posted 47 pages

Chap. III: The Psychodrama  posted 100 pages

Chap. IV: The Psychosis  posted 100 pages

I.

 

The Psychogenesis

     Here I am.  Safe and sound; a healthy mind in a healthy body.  I make mention of the fact only because so much effort was expended in my youth to destroy my body and corrupt my mind.  I have not only survived but prospered.  I was thrown into the depths of the slough of despond.  But now I have passed through the fires of the pathology of my childhood fixation and emerged hale and hearty on the other side.

     Yes.  I broke on through to the other side.

 

Timothy Leary who, as you may know, was a clinical psychologist before he lost himself in drugs, once observed that of the people treated by psychologists one third got better, one third remained the same and one third got worse.  Of the afflicted who weren’t treated by psychologists one third got better, one third remained the same and one third got worse.  He concluded that the practice of psychology was fetish.

     Tim undoubtedly included himself in the third that was getting worse.  In despair he took leave from his job right at the midlife crisis to winter on the Costa Del Sol.  Now, Timothy always thought of himself as a Christlike apostle of a new age although it would take several years for him to admit it.

     In a slow motion take on symbolism he retired to a dark cave carved from the living rock to wrestle with his dilemma.  While wrestling he had a psychosomatic reaction in which first his face broke out into blisters and then his body.  Finally his joints swelled and locked in rheumatic tension.  Consciously he resolved to quit his job while subconsciously he determined to find a means to realize his calling as a saint.

 

    At once his blisters and swelling disappeared.  He was transformed into a Christ sans apostles or a god.  He had a new face.

     He was too rational to believe in a supernatural agency.

     In a scientific age he turned to science.  He found his salvation in the psilocybin of the Magic Mushroom of Mexico.  Having despaired of changing human consciousness from the inside of psychology he found hope in changing it from the outside with drugs.  He imagined that psychedelics were something new.  Vain hope, foolish man.

     Timothy Leary began his Odyssey in 1959 just as I was entering into young manhood.  We never met but still he was a major influence on my life as indeed he was on that of the entire population of the United States as well as that of the world.

      He was passing forty while I was passing twenty.  I intuitively recognized his psychosis as being that of mine.  Like him I denied having a psychosis, characterizing myself as troubled by the problems of life.

     Having accepted his election to sainthood Tim went about forming the basis of his new religion.  In full rebellion against all standards of conduct this was no easy matter as he wished to have nothing to do with established religious patterns.  Tim had never heard of peyote or mushrooms before 1959 so he wasn’t aware that the items were already fairly common in drug circles.  He thought he had discovered them.

     Lacking an intellectual basis for their drug taking the old users just considered themselves addicts.  Tim was about to change all that.

     Thus when on vacation in Mexico he sampled the magic mushrooms.  People had been taking these items for decades without associating them with religious experience.  They thought they were just taking drugs.  But for Timothy the mushrooms were an amazing religious experience.  Drugs were to form the basis of his church.

     Further Timmy professed to believe that these ‘sacraments’ would replace psychology, achieving in a blinding flash of light what could only be achieved over years or decades, if ever, of patient endeavor.  I saw clearly the error of his understanding.  Thus while thousands upon thousands of my generation raced to receive this false deliverance I rejected the approach for a patient search through what I can only describe as my excess baggage.

     For the problem of personal psychology is that the baggage has to be searched discarding what we can and converting to usefulness what we can’t.  Tim was not patient enough to examine and identify the contents of his baggage.

     There is an interesting case of a man in France during the Nazi era who shared the elements of the psychosis Tim and I had although he expressed them in a singular way.  But then as Hitler created an environment in which his psychosis could flower in the way it did everything was made possible and easy for him.

     This man went by the name of Dr. Petiot.  His baggage weighed heavy on his mind.  During the war he found a way to relieve the pressures on his mind.  There were many people seeking to flee Paris and occupied Europe in a clandestine manner.  Dr. Petiot posed as a man who could smuggle people out of Nazi Europe.

     But the good doctor was burdened by a load of excess baggage.  Rather than smuggle people out he murdered them confiscating their baggage in a mad orgy to acquire as much as he could.  Strange man.

     He might have lived his lifetime without the means to achieve his ambition but in the most incredible chain of circumstances Nazi Germany moved into sequence with his desires.  Just as quietly the war ended and the times phased out of sequence with Dr. Petiot’s ambitions.

     Left high and dry in post-war France he was arrested.  After his capture it was discovered that he had warehoused the effects of all the people he murdered.  Among them were several hundred items of baggage.  The authorities sentenced him to death.  On the scaffold when asked whether he had anything to say he turned with a benign smile and said: ‘No.  I’m the kind of man who takes his baggage with him.’

     It was that psychological baggage I realized that could not be disposed of by drugs.

     The load that had been dumped on me had to be disposed of by patient and laborious effort.  Tim was wrong.  Drugs were not consciousness expanding but consciousness limiting.  The only thing that can be gotten out of a mind is what is already in it.

     As the Drunken Poet said:  The Moving Finger writes and having writ moves on.  You have to carry that weight.  No matter how many drugs you take when the morning breaks the face in the mirror doesn’t change.  The baggage remains the same.

     Time, I think, has proven that the use of drugs is futile.

     I’m not sure that all psychology isn’t futile.  There are too many variables that can’t be controlled.  Insane men have achieved great things while many sane men have done great harm.

     Although aware of possessing a troubled mind since I don’t know when, I never sought professional help.  There were many who undoubtedly thought I should have but then who is the pot to call the kettle black.  I have never seen any avatars of sanity walking around in my vicinity.  If they’re there I have never met them.

     Perhaps, and I only say perhaps, professional help might have been useful but I read many life stories and those undergoing psychoanalysis did so for decades with no results.  I mean how can anyone else understand your symbolism when you can’t understand your symbolism yourself.  Your referential structure is so obscure you yourself can’t penetrate it.  I decided self-help would be cheaper and less humiliating.  I present the results of my endeavors for your approval.

     Above all there is that numbing fear.

     Why talk to you? What do you know? You are not a self-creation anyway.  You were made by others.  Why not go out into the Field and talk to the people who created you; the ones who presented the Challenges to which you responded.  Talk to those who forced you to Respond as you did making you what you are.

     Why not find the Challenges from the Field against which you are reacting.  It was only when I stopped dwelling on my narrow self and reconstructed the Field that I made progress.

     Well, I did succeed in unlocking my mind.  Yes! I did! I did what they all talk about.  I integrated my personality.  I eliminated my subconscious and became totally conscious.  Now there is nothing hidden from me.  As Jung predicted, the memory becomes prodigious.  He was wrong in thinking you would be able to remember everything but the expanded memory is truly astonishing.

     The way wasn’t easy and it wasn’t painless.  No. No. It took a long time. Far too long.  Almost too long.  I found the key in Freud, not that Freud’s understanding of the mind is all that profound.  In many ways he seems willfully obtuse, complicating the simple.  He is hardly one of the three greatest geniuses of the twentieth century as so many maintain.  Put simply, he was the culminating point of what had gone before.  He boldly formulated what others were trying to say before they did.

     But in his writings I found a clue, only a clue, but a way to the truth.  He believed that the problem was the central childhood fixation.  That central fixation, that central suppressed Challenge and Response, for that is all that it is, that dominates your subconscious and through that directs your conscious acts against your conscious will, or intelligence.

     That fixation is difficult if not impossible to approach because it is such a thoroughly terrifying thing.  Although the fixation itself may be a commonplace occurrence it is fearful mainly through your subjective Response to a Challenge too difficult for your unprepared young mind to handle.  The fixation is fearful to confront which is why you have suppressed it.

     I must have read Freud’s notion in my twenties.  I have always been honest with myself so I didn’t deny that I had a fixation.  Most people think that if they have a fixation that makes them insane so rather than deal with their problem they deny it.  Freud’s notion then took its place dwelling in my subconscious side by side with the fixation.

     Yet, Freud’s understanding of the mind did not seem quite right.  So it became necessary for me to evolve a more correct notion of how the mind works.  Like Freud I have built on the efforts of those who have gone before just trying to put my hand to the oar.

     An understanding of the physiology of the central nervous system or Power Train as it may be called, is essential to understanding the mind.  The mind may be said to be composed of the brain, the spinal chord and fluid and the genitals.  No one element functions independently of the others.  Recent discoveries in physiology of course post date Jung and Freud so they could not be incorporated in those psychologists’ understanding.

     It follows from the bicameral structure of the brain that a unisexual organism preceded sexuality whether in the form of the Amoeba or what.  But it is necessary because logically neither male nor female can precede the other.  It is common to believe that woman preceded man since she gives birth but that doesn’t explain the origin of woman.

     The unisexual organism therefore contained all four sexual chromosomes: the X1, X2, X3 and y.  This unisexual organism must have been male in character because it had the y chromosome which determines maleness.

     When sexuality came into existence there was only one y chromosome so the male of the species received the chromosomes X and y while the female was given XX.

     Thus the ovum which is provided by the female is invariably X while the sperm of the male provides either an X to create a female or a y to create a male.

     The body has two distinct sides corresponding to the egg and the sperm.  Thus when the sperm and ovum combine the active sperm contributes the more active and stronger right side of the body and the active left side of the brain while the passive ovum contributes the weaker left side of the body and the passive right side of the brain.

     The Power Train is anchored at the genital end in the gonads of the male and ovaries of the female  being connected by the spinal chord and fluid directly with the brain.  The two chromosomal elements anchored to the ovaries or gonads which lead to the spinal chord travel up the spine where they join the brain stem at the top of the neck.

     Now, this is difficult, a chromosomal sexual element enters each lobe of the brain but they are not anchored there as in the genitals but act as a loose end or in horned animals actual horns.  In humans they remain unformed horns.

      The left or spermatic horn forms what Freud designated as the Ego.  The right side is what Freud designated as the Libido as I understand his rather confused notion of the mind.  Following Jung I will call them the Anima and Animus.

     Jung got it half right when he said that the male had an Anima and the female an Animus.  Differing from his view I say that the individual has one of each.  The X or spermatic chromosome forms the right/left combination while the y forms the left/right in the male while the female has a spermatic and ovate X answering to the Xy of the male.

      The brain itself can be divided horizontally to create the conscious and subconscious portions of the psyche.

     In the case of Challenges to the sexual identity, that is to say the Animus, which cannot be resolved a fixation occurs.  Not all fixations are permanent, some can be resolved in the natural course of events some are identified and named by the mind at which time they cease to function.

      Merely being named resolves them as Freud discovered with his ‘talking cure.’

     A recent example is the pop singer Meatloaf.  He felt unworthy to be successful because of his youthful baggage.  He phrased this in the form that he was not a star.  As a consequence he lost the ability to use his voice in order to validate his notion that he wasn’t worthy.  If he couldn’t sing he couldn’t be the star he in fact was.

     He regained the use of his singing voice when his psychoanalyst persuaded him to accept the fact that he was a star.  Being prodded to admit this simple fact that he was a star, Meatloaf at first refused but then reluctantly admitted out loud:  OK, I’m a star.  By this simple acceptance of his worthiness to be a star he immediately regained the use of his singing voice.

     The fixation was not caused by adult success but by the childhood fixation that he was not a worthy person.  His psychiatrist exorcised his childhood fixation, but not necessarily his central one.

     I too was given the notion that I was not worthy of success by my childhood fixation which was to haunt me through the major part of my life.

     During long decades I made scant progress in solving my problem or so it seemed.  Actually my early baggage was so compacted that the process of differentiation so that the components could be identified was scarcely noticeable.  During those years I compulsively committed the same mistakes over and over although my conscious mind knew better.  I reenacted the fixation in many different contexts and forms.  I constantly thwarted my own best efforts.

     The worst occurred when I was forty-two when through this mental block I lost a multi-million dollar business I had built up from scratch.  I don’t know whether the price of enlightenment was too high but from that moment I began to approach my fixation.  Perhaps my subconscious rebelled thinking the price was too high.

     Still, consciously I do know whether the price was too high, for as it is written:  What profiteth a man to gain the world if he lose his soul.  I regained my soul.

     As I approached the fixation the accumulated fear was stultifying.  Even though my dreams were haunted by these troubling nightmares I eagerly went to sleep in hopes of resolving my problem.  Ah, but the fear.  The closer I came to the goal the more that suffocating fear increased.  My mind turned into a solid block of stone.

     The complex of events forming my fixation took place in my fifth through tenth years; the central fixation took place in my seventh year.  In my terror I had totally confused the period in my mind.  The whole period formed a ball of memories  which I was unable to differentiate.  Some memories were available to me but their sequence and meaning was blocked by other suppressed memories.  I had never been able to put those years and memories into chronological order.  I began to try.

     My desire to uncover the fixation was strong; my method was sound but I was impotent against the fear.  However auto-suggestion, a mental tool I had employed for decades, was at work massaging my subconscious.  Through a series of dreams my subconscious began to release a stream of clues.  The symbolism seemed inpenetrable but it was mainly the fear that held me back.

     The constellation of facts began to take form.  The symbols were very difficult; I came right up against the fixation rebounding away as that stifling fear prevented me from interpreting the symbols.  This happened several times in symbolism that seems transparent to me now.  Then, almost as in disgust, my subconscious dream mind tore the veil away, actually a stone wall had a hole blasted through it exposing not the memory, no, but as it were a snapshot, a still photograph of the exact moment of my life.  The deed that compelled me to act against my best interests was exposed.

     To this day I cannot organically remember the situation portrayed in that snapshot but recently, very recently, the memory has begun to take organic shape.  I have heard a snatch of what was said to me repeated in my mind.  I have been able to pick out the constellation of deeds, ordering all the memories on either side of the fixation.

     The fixation was revealed to me in my forty-eighth year.  Since than I have probed my subconscious actively and effectively.  Having resolved the central fixation I have cleared layer after layer of suppressed memory.  What was always conscious I can now see in its true perspective.

     This central childhood fixation I know as the Hirsh Constellation.  It is independent but related to the Sonderman.

     About three years later I eliminated all the suppressed memories clearing my subconscious down to the brain stem as it were, as it is.  My baggage hadn’t gone away but I could now manage it.

     At last I am of one mind.

     My inhibitions and compulsions have disappeared.  I can do as I will.  I speak my mind as I wish.  I can now conduct my affairs and relationships on a rational level.

     But there is no expansion of the consciousness Leary talks about.  Alas, Tim Leary, there is no real better; there is no leap to a higher consciousness.  The face in the mirror is still mine although the features are more relaxed; the baggage remains the same.  There is no escaping the confines of your mind; that is an illusion.

     There was a great emptiness where those memories used to be.  Over the years a gentle infusion of later experience has eased my feeling of the void created by the evacuation of those memories but I understand all my dreams now, there is no longer any mystery.  I had grown accustomed to my old face; my new one seems strange.

     In a way it is artificial.

     Yes, I anticipated what would happen.  I had prepared for the clearing of the rubble of the past because I knew there would be a void and it would have to be filled with something.  I could see it developing.

     I feared that I would have no persona left so I adopted several historical role models so I would have an acceptable male persona to step into but the feeling of emptiness is still there.  All that activity wasn’t necessary.

     I have filled my mind with reams of history, volumes on the development of consciousness.  I have sacrificed hecatombs of hours on the altar of learning of the psychological development of consciousness in the attempt to replace the dream basis of my life.

     I learned it all too, am still learning.  I can discourse non-stop for hours on a myriad of such topics but the void is still there.  It hurts; it disturbs me.

     But then, as I contemplated this void searching for something to fill the void, I noticed that one image always seemed to occupy the left side of my brain while another occupied my right.  The left side was a male image while the right was a female.

     Strangely I could think of them separately, simultaneously or in combination.  There was no mystery as to who they were. I knew them well.  Neither had been off my mind since I left home.  But now, when all my memories were voided from my subconscious I couldn’t understand why these images stood exposed so starkly.

     I had penetrated to another level of psychology.  I had exorcised my fixations, that is gotten my baggage under control, but it seemed these images were permanent.  Indeed, there seemed to be no memories left behind them.  I remembered each image perfectly.  As far as I knew I had examined our relationships in detail, but they wouldn’t go away.  They sat shining against the constellations of my memory like those big pictures of Marx and Lenin in Red Square on Party days.  I couldn’t exorcise them.

     But as I pondered them it slowly dawned on me that these were the Animus and Anima Jung talked about.  I hadn’t yet evolved the idea of the two horns of the Power Train but these two images were what clothed my naked Animus and Anima and gave me my sexual identity.  My character was directed in emulation of them.

     Jung allows an Anima to the male and an Animus to the female.  Had he studied his ancient mythological sources more carefully and had access to subsequent physiology he would undoubtedly have come to realize as I had that man and woman have one of each.

     Jung who came from a parented family believed that the Anima in the male was determined by the mother while the female Animus was represented by the father.  He didn’t take into account orphans.  I never had a real mother or father to clothe my Anima and Animus.

     Oh, I know, I know.  How did I get here then, right?  What I mean is that while I was fathered on a woman neither were part of my life during my formative years.  As I used to say, I wasn’t born, I blew down in a storm.

     My father left and my mother put me in foster homes and the orphanage until I was ten.  I didn’t need her after that.  Didn’t want her.  There was no possibility that Mom and Dad could form my Anima and Animus.

     Oh no, the answer was more startling.  The Animus and its Anima are in reality composites of the various qualities of human kind.  The dominant aspect of my Anima was the Good Mother or Female.  She was my childhood sweetheart, Ange.  She is the only person who ever loved me.  And I hurt her so…but…well, that has no place here.  I have told  her story in the Angeline Constellation.  No, she has little place in this story.  This story concerns the Animus of my mind.  However he was not the Good Father or Male but the Terrible Father.

   Sonderman!

2.

     As the importance of Sondeman dawned on me I was even more than amazed.  While he had been one of the central figures of my childhood I would never have believed he was so important as to form my Animus.

     As I pondered this phenomenon all my memories of Sonderman which before had been isolated fragments unconnected to each other began to order themselves in my mind.  It was as though my psychic baggage containing the constellation had opened allowing them to escape transforming themselves from leaden baggage to ethereal stars that seemed to stud the dome of my brain as the night sky is studded with stars.

     My consciousness had matured.

     As in the mythical creation of the world when all was mixed in chaos there had been a wind on the waters that differentiated the above from the below.  So my mind with its consciousness undifferentiated had felt a divine wind breathe upon the plane that separates the conscious from the subconscious.  The subconscious half had been translated to the realm of consciousness.  My consciousness had differentiated, indeed atomized, was translated from the brain core to the perimeter.

     Memory.

     To the unintiated the stars seem to be only a myriad of twinkling lights, some brighter, some dimmer than others.  Unseen among the stars distant constellations and galaxies unfold.  With optical telescopes still more stars and galaxies become visible with radio telescopes an infinity of stars and galaxies stretch out toward the edge.

     Edge?

     Edge of what?

     An edge that the Hubble can’t even see?

     There is no edge.

     There is no limit to the embrace of Mother Space.

     It must go on forever just as the female is infinite.

     So male matter must always penetrate to her center.

     I thought I saw all the Sonderman Constellation at first glance but with each attempt at explaining it, half submerged memories rose to clarity while hidden causes and effects that I had never considered sharpened and became if not clear at least more significant.

     The Ancient Ones thought that great lessons lay concealed in the stars which with understanding could be read.  By connecting the stars in patterns great constellations were formed telling the stories of titanic struggles that had occurred on Earth but had been translated to the heavens- the Bull, the Lion, The Great and Little Bears, Perseus and the Gorgons and the hero’s reward, Andromeda.

     As above, so below.

     My heroic struggles had been translated from the brain stem to the extremity.

     As below, so above.

     The differentiation was more or less complete.

     The isolated memories were there; some stronger, some weaker.

     Necessity had forced me to connect up those memories into coherent events and individuals.  Having formed the constellations I was forced to read them; to make sense of them in order to put my life together.

     Thus having worked out the main outlines of the much larger Hirsh Constellation with great difficulty which involved my central childhood fixation I was able with relative ease to read the Sonderman Constellation which was half in and half out of the Hirsh Constellation.

     Even though the Sonderman had always been much closer and clearer than the obscured Hirsh Constellation the decoding and meaning of the former depended on the prior decoding of the latter.

Sonderman!

     How strange that he should be my Animus.  And what a peculiar Animus.  Sonder means special in German.  Sonderman was always trying to find ways to demonstrate superiority over me.  He ridiculed my name because he said it meant nothing.  This caused me a certain amount of chagrin until one day my step-father, Tuistad, who was German himself, pointed out to me that ‘sonder’ also has the sense of being peculiar.

     Sonderman flew into one of his foaming rages when I laughingly told him but he never reminded me of the meaning of his name again.

     Sonderman was peculiar too.  Not that I mean to exaggerate the fact but that he is my Animus it means he transmitted some of the peculiarity to me.  I resent that.

     He was certainly not the type of person who I would voluntarily give such preeminence.

     I didn’t know Sonderman all my life.  I moved into the neighborhood in the seventh grade so our lives crossed for six years.  The strange thing is that though I knew Sonderman that long we had only brief intense contact twice in that period; eighteen months from the end of the seventh grade to the beginning of ninth and for about nine months during the twelfth grade.

     My memories of him which I had never analyzed were quite benign but as I thought of him he emerged in an entirely different light.

     After high school I didn’t see Sonderman again for twenty-five years.  The occasion for visiting him again was our twenty-fifth high school reunion.  My personal troubles prevented me from achieving any distinction in high school while Sonderman had excelled scholastically.  I had always admired him.

     I had to overcome scruples to attend the reunion but as I had to make sense of my past I traveled the twenty-five hundred miles to find I knew not what.

     I had been gone for twenty-five years.  During that time in a state of denial I had romanticized both my childhood and my relationship with Sonderman.  I found upon returning that nothing was as I had imagined it.  Instead of having been idyllic years I found that they had been quite the reverse.

     I expected to see Sonderman at the reunion but even though he lived in town he refused to attend.  I now learned why.

     I was very eager to see the guy again but I was wary of how he might receive me.  I feared that he might refuse to see me both to my own chagrin as well as to my embarrassment as my wife was at my side.

     For believing in a romanticized notion of my relationship with Sonderman I was unaccountably apprehensive.  I found it very difficult to explain my apprehension to my wife in a manner that would account for a hostile reception.

     He had of course been notified that I was on my way over.  To my surprise he rushed from his house to greet me effusively before I had even closed the car door.

     I was so overwhelmed I staggered against the car as he reached out to squeeze my hand with one of the biggest smiles I had ever seen on his face, perhaps the first.

     Perhaps for the moment he subconsciously realized that I was as important to him as he was to me.  As I later reconstructed the Constellation it would turn out that I should have been more important to him than he was to me.  But he would never be as conscious of our relationship as I was.  His conscious mind quickly reasserted itself and he only grudgingly tolerated my presence from then on.

     Still, he invited me in.  Sonderman introduced me to his very lovely wife, Donna.  In that area of competition we might have been even although I am compelled to give the nod to my wife.

     The house was a modest tract house in an area that had been undeveloped when I left.  The interior was a combination of Sonderman’s parents’ style and that of his wife.  The living room which reflected that of his wife was roped off to keep everything fresh and new, used only for ‘state’ occasions.  I wasn’t state.

     I was escorted to the living quarters which were just as messy, if less dirty, as his parents’ home.  A quite ordinary house actually.  I was fairly disappointed because when I left Sonderman’s prospects were glittering while mine were rather dull.  I quietly took satisfaction in the knowledge that my house was three times the size of Sonderman’s while my furnishings displayed a much more refined taste.  My house was practically a mansion in comparison.

     The years obviously had not been kind to Sonderman as he seemed to have become if not an alcoholic at least a very heavy drinker.  He had been drinking before I got there.  As we sat and talked we downed Bloody Mary after Bloody Mary.  Many, many Bloody Marys.  He drank swiftly insisting that I keep up.

     When I left home Sonderman was on his way to be a cadet at the West Point Military Academy.  I was eager to hear of what I imagined had been a splendid military career.  I thought he had put in twenty years or so returning at least a Colonel.  Then he dropped a real bomb on me.  He said he guessed I must have heard at the reunion so I might as well hear it from his own lips.   I shook my head no and waited to hear.

     He said that he had been cashiered from the Army.

      My mind grappled with the meaning, which was clear, but my mind couldn’t process the information.  As the idea sank in I was stunned.  Whatever our personal differences may have been I had always been respectful of Sonderman’s abilities.  He’d had a 3.8 average in high school, all in demanding courses, so he had well deserved his appointment to the Military Academy.

     The story was that he had graduated West Point in the top quarter of his class.  Sonderman had always wanted to be in the Cavalry but they made him an Artilleryman instead.  While on duty in Alabama Sonderman was ordered to set up a gun emplacement to show the locals what they were getting for their tax dollars.

     I find it very difficult to understand what Sonderman did next.

     During the six years I knew him Sonderman had deeply desired a military career.  He always claimed that he was descended from General U.S. Grant on his mother’s side.  We played war games on our street in Junior High.  Sonderman wasn’t but he insisted that he was a natural leader.  He had trouble leading me; still, everything indicated that he would have no trouble accepting military discipline.

     In our games he always criticized me for being careless and sloppy.  He pointed out to me that the Roman Empire had been built on iron discipline.  He said with the pride of someone who had obviously been there that the Romans always built their camps for maximum security even when there was no obvious danger and the camp was as temporary as one night.  I mean, this boy had learned the lessons before he got to the Point.

     So, and even now I cannot credit my belief, Sonderman just took the gun and left it sitting haphazardly on the ground.  You’ve seen the pictures of gun emplacements.  They’re all dug in on level ground surrounded by a neat row of sandbags, right?  He just set the gun down and walked away.  I was stunned, my jaw dropped.  I had been in the Navy; I could feel the reaction of his superior officers.

     Sonderman seemed genuinely dismayed twenty years later that he’d even been reprimanded.  Sonderman gave me the lame excuse that it was only display for civilians.  He argued with his superior officers and insisted that he would not dig the gun in.  He told officers of  higher rank that he would not obey an order!

     Well, they don’t put officers in the brig so they just gave him his walking papers.  Sonderman caught the next train back home.

Wow!

     My mind was reeling as I was hastily dismantling my old image of Sanderman and was trying to assemble another when he dropped another bomb on me as though what he said next was connected in some way to his refusal to follow orders.

     Leaning forward for emphasis while fixing a breathless steady gaze on me he said he had never liked me because I copied everything he did.

     He leaned back intensely relieved as though he had won a jackpot at poker.

     Just as he had leaned forward I reeled back as though struck in the face by the allegation.  I had no idea what he meant as I had never known Sonderman to initiate anything.  He always sat passively on his porch gazing blankly out at the street unless I proposed something.

     I had no ready reply nor did I wish to challenge him as I hoped that we might become friends, as I thought at the time, again.

Sonderman!

Sonderman!

Sonderman!

3.

     My life had not been particularly pleasant up to the time I moved into the neighborhood.  Nature which does not provide the young with adequate defenses against the Challenges of life at least gives youth the strength to bear them without too many external evidences of the pain although childhood pictures of serial killers and miscreants of all sorts often portray a distracted face with eyes foreboding future retaliation.

     I was always amazed that as difficult as my childhood was many of those from advantaged backgrounds had more difficulty in adjusting than I did.  Sonderman was one.

     After having placed me in the orphanage for a couple years my mother remarried taking me to live with her new husband, Dick Tuistad.  This was three years after the war was over.  For the first couple years we lived in a converted garage behind the house of Tuistad’s parents.  Because of the shortage of housing after the war we were lucky to have that; otherwise we would have had to live in the Projects where many of the returning Vets resided.

     Boy, that would have been a one-two punch– from the orphanage to the Projects.  I might have been a different person.

     Then after a couple years when things returned to what passed for normal they bought a home over on North Caterina.  I moved in kitty corner from the Sondermans.  That was in the middle of the seventh grade.  Since we moved within the same school district I didn’t miss any days nor did I have to make new friends.  The worst of it was I didn’t lose old enemies.  They were still there to plague me.

     My character had been unalterably stamped by my stay in the orphanage.  I find it hard to believe that my mother didn’t know what she was doing when she put me there.  There shouldn’t be a mother alive who doesn’t know what kind of punishment that is.  The orphanage might as well have been a leper colony.  Upon entrance you were unceremoniously stripped of whatever social acceptability you had.  The house mothers plundered you of your meager possessions for the benefit of their own kids.  The community treated you as not only subhuman but non-human.  Definitely they wanted you to stay on the other side of the fence.

     For a comparison of our status you would have to go to the South of the days of Reconstruction.  The self-righteous Puritans of New England who had after all been Roundheads in England were determined to humiliate their ancient enemies the descendants of the Cavaliers of the South.  Having won the war they were determined to punish the Whites by reversing the roles between them and the Negroes.  They placed Blacks in authority over the Whites trying to strip them of any means of defense.

     The Whites could not tolerate this position nor should they have.  Having been suppressed beneath the Negro, as people of spirit, the Whites had no choice but to form the Clan to reestablish the status ante quo.  In a fit of indignation they disarmed the Negroes in turn pushing them back down.

     Down means not only beneath the Southern Aristocracy but below what the Aristocracy charmingly called White Trash.

     In the orphanage we were considered not only below our equivalent of White Trash but also below them ‘uppity’ Negroes.

     This was no mere matter of attitude either.  We were subjected to physical disabilities as bad or worse than anything the Blacks have suffered.  Indeed, we were treated no better than Jews in Nazi Germany.

     We were allowed no dignities.  We were not allowed to walk on the streets to school.  We were forced to use the alleys upon pain of thrashing by four or five boys or even adults if we didn’t.  I refused to accept this and I was very nearly attacked by three grown men for presumptuously using the thoroughfare.

     Attempts were made to exclude us in a body from public school just as the Japanese had been in San Francisco in 1906.  In the absence of that there were two fourth grade classrooms in school.  One was in a large well lighted, well ventilated high ceilinged room on the first floor.  The other was in a small dingy half basement before the coal room.  All of us orphans were assigned to that room.

     The parented students among us hated the fact that they had been condemned to the basement room with us.  They expressed their dislike by making us all sit against the wall in a row just as the Jews had been made to sit in the Pale between the wars.

     When we went out to recess we were ordered to sit quietly on a bench while we watched the parented kids at their games.  If for any reason they were short a person or two for a game orphans were selected from the bench to fill the team but we were not allowed to score points.

     Like the Negroes before the Aristocracy we were denied all equality; we were expected to be submissive and know our place.  We were not permitted to perform to our abilities.  Any attempt to equal or excel the parented kids was visited with severe punishment.

     We were not allowed to learn or use socially acceptable manners.  It was demanded that we be goofs.  It was coldly assumed that we be inferior or else.  This was just after Our Boys had returned triumphantly from Europe having crushed the racial arrogance of the Nazis.  I don’t have to tell you that some of our oppressors were Jews.  I hope you’ll pardon me but I have to laugh every time I hear the Jews complain about Hitler or the virtues of Americans are lauded while the Nazis are derided as criminals.  What do they say about the mote and beam?

     I can only say that the orphange was a harrowing experience which has developed my attitude toward our delusive self-righteous ‘democracy.’

     I have never forgiven my mother for what she did to me and I never will.

     She was the most foolish of women.  I would call her criminal but it takes a certain amount of forethought to be a criminal.  She didn’t have the necessary amount of self-awareness to be responsible for her actions.

     Even when she remarried and removed me from that particular hell she had no idea what was going on.  She acted like I had been away for a weekend visiting relatives.  Boy, that wasn’t where it was at.  Getting out of the orphanage is like getting out of prison.  All of the survival skills you learned on the inside not only do not apply on the outside but are an absolute hindrance to getting along.  One has to be brought along as it were, re-educated to an entirely different reality.  You have to taught how normal people react and do things.

     I was not given this luxury with the result that I alienated all my classmates and neighbors.  On the other hand, they alienated me.

     It may be excusable in my mother that she was unaware of my psychological needs but she could at least have been glad to see me.  She wasn’t.

     Rather than attempting to understand or realize my situation she merely dismissed me as acting weird.  Heck.  I didn’t even know her while Tuistad was a total stranger.  She and he didn’t realize that after seven years on my own I had been cooked in a crucible that they couldn’t understand.  I had grown up on my own without help or guidance.  What she and Tuistad took to be fact I could contradict from my own experience.  I wasn’t about to renounce my own experience for their fairy tales.  Gosh, I had heard things about them that they weren’t even aware of.

     My transition from the orphanage into society had been a rocky experience that netted me more new enemies at school than friends.

     Now as I moved into my new neighborhood I found a hostile reception had been prepared for me there, too.

     Insulated as I was from town gossip at the orphanage I never had any idea of the relationship of my elders to each other which were the residue from their own childhoods.  It seemed like there were more hostilities than friendships as I look back on it.

     I didn’t know at the time but Hirsh and Mr. Sonderman had been buddies and partners in crime in the old days.  Hirsh came from one of the most prominent families in town whose reputation he exploited to the full in arrogant disregard of everyone’s rights.   Mr. Sonderman had been his sidekick thereby incurring the wrath of his generation.

     Both Tuistad and my mother had been in Hirsh’s and Mr. Sonderman’s class at Valley High.

     Although I never learned exactly what, something had transpired between Hirsh and my  mother which was remembered by Tuistad with great outrage even though he and my mother hadn’t been friends in high school.  Whatever happened was apparently well known at the time.

     Breaking into a new neighborhood is never easy.  I was overjoyed to find that Sonderman was my own age.  I had no idea that my chance of acceptance had been poisoned by the enmity of Hirsh.

     I should have known who Hirsh was  but because of the psychological quirk of my central childhood fixation even though I subconsciusly reacted to Hirsh and his minions I had no conscious knowledge of who he was nor could I recognize him.  Even though I had seen him and his son many times he was still able to act incognito in my presence.  I am sure he found this puzzling.

     I am also sure that they believed I was arrogantly ignoring them as I never recognized them by name or actions.  When I talked to Michael I always addressed him as a new acquaintance with no allusions to the past.  This strange attitude must have incensed him and them much.

     Because of my fixation I always assumed an attitude of guilt or perverse self-criticism so I always blamed myself for my reception by Sonderman because I thought I had been gauche or over friendly.  Without absolving myself completely, you can see how that early training works; it always gets you.  As Hirsh put it:  as the twig is bent so the tree will incline.  I have come to the conclusion that I had no chance of acceptance by Sonderman.

      He always believed himself superior to me although this was far from the truth even though for psychological and parental reasons his scholastic attainments were greater than mine.  But he thought he was morally and socially superior to me.  He went to the Congregational Church which was derived from the Church of England and all those people thought they were superior.  Oddly enough the kids from the orphanage attended the same church although I refused to go. Still, I attended certain functions there.

     I didn’t copy him.  Actually I was the catalyst and initiator.  He copied me more than I copied him; if he wanted to put things in those terms.  I always had the superior imagination.  I usually suggested the neighborhood adventures.

     It now became apparent to me that by being active I aroused great antagonism in Sonderman.  Each time I organized something it became necessary for Sonderman to humiliate or punish me in some way.  Neither he nor the Hirshes were to allow me any self-respect.  As the twig is bent…

     As we sat knocking back those Bloody Marys the fact that he thought I always copied him came as a revelation to me.  I copy Sonderman?  Sonderman had the least imagination of anyone I ever met.  He never did anything on his own but sit on his front porch with his brother Little staring out at a silent street.

     I had never thought of our relationship in those terms.  Actually the reverse was true but the comment revealed a layer of personality that I had not suspected.

     When I met Sonderman he was already carrying quite a load of baggage.  He was always in a suppressed rage; he always had a preoccupied look about him as though he were viewing a distant battlefield.  A terrific inner conflict was always in progress.

     He too was struggling with an oppressive childhood fixation.  I remember a revealing incident in woodworking class during the second semester of seventh grade after I had moved into the neighborhood where Sonderman’s actions struck me as particularly strange.

     We had to take several shop classes in Junior High.  If they taught me anything it was that I wasn’t going to be a manual laborer.  In seventh we took metal and woodworking classes.  My group took metal in the first semester and woodworking in the second.  I still lived in the converted garage during the first semester, that semester was a tremendous battle for precedence.  The Hirsh group fought successfully to establish their dominance as the premier group.  The were aided and abetted by the metal teacher who retired to his cage at the end of the room and watched the terrorism with relish.

     He only came out to judge disputes as when the Hirshes provoked an actual fist fight.  They were in training by their fathers to place the onus on the victim.  They had harassed or discredited those outside their group including me.  I did notice that they never harassed Sonderman.  They succeeded in provoking one boy, Larry Dubcek, into defending himself and he was suspended from school.  By the end of the semester they had established their supremacy as the dominant group having succeeded in placing everyone else below their members.

     The similarity between their methods and those of the Nazi Brownshirts was strikingly similar.

     I was aware of Sonderman in metal class and actually was attracted to him although we never spoke.  He was conspicuous in that he worked alone in an isolated manner.

     The Hirshes roamed freely trying to damage everyone’s work.  They succeeded in ruining the scoop I was working on which cost me at least a grade.  That’s the only way they could get better grades to show that they were superior people.  To oppose them meant fighting and suspension so we were compelled to endure them or submit.  I have never submitted to anyone.

     It was singular that they let Sonderman alone.

     Mr. McMahon of woodworking in the second semester did things strikingly different than the anarchist teacher of metal class.  Whereas the metal teacher encouraged trouble making, Mr. McMahon was of the orderly peacemaker disposition.

     I presume that seventh graders are like young lion cubs always tumbling over each other fighting for dominance.  In acknowledgment of this propensity Mr. McMahon placed his desk in the very center of the room dividing the room into four quadrants somewhat like the occupied Germany of our time.

     He wisely allowed us to sort ourselves into our respective groups.  Thus the Hirshes, or white collar group, took the North Window quadrant which they thought was the prestige place on the principle that wherever they sat was the head of the table.

     The blue collar group under the leadership of Jim Bremerwald took the North Wall Quadrant opposite.  A loose confederation of friends took the South Wall Quadrant.Those of us who were unaffiliated, or perhaps misfits or outcasts, appropriated the South Window Quadrant.

     Once we had established our places Mr. McMahon insisted that we not leave our quadrant during class.  Thus it made it more difficult for the Hirshes to damage work in progress although not impossible.  So the class was realtively free from harassment by the Hirshes.

     When they had fixated me in the second grade a side effect was that I thought I was affiliated with their group; that was sort of like licking the boot of the oppressor.  As a result I had no interest in the other groups even if they would have accepted me.  I took a seat with the outcasts where self-loathing prevented one from speaking to the others.  I didn’t object to being left alone.

     As none of the manual ‘arts’ was to my liking I was looking around distastefully appraising the tools of this particular loathsome trade when I was surprised to find Sonderman sitting next to me.  I had just moved into the neighborhood so even though we were merely acquainted I felt as though I had known Sonderman all my life.  Must have had something to do with a similarity of fixation.

     I always felt close to him.

     With the naivete of youth I asked what he was doing in the South Window Quadrant with us misfits and outcasts.  I had expected to find him among the Hirsh group where, because of his father’s and Hirsh’s chuminess, he really belonged.  I could see from the signs they were making that he was welcome among them.  But he preferred to stay glued to me.  I was flattered.

     I could see from their expressions that, confined to their quater by Mr. McMahon they champed at the bit to do mischief; they not only would accept him but wanted him.  I urged him to go.  He mumbled something but stayed with me.  He elected to remain among the misfits.  As events will show he truly belonged among us.

     Mr. McMahon expected us to undertake a project for which at the end of the term we were to receive our grade.  Everyone was making lamps and whatnot for their moms but, here’s the kicker, Sonderman chose to make something for his dad.  The only boy in class making something for his father.

     Sonderman worked hard all semester long.  He was very good; his workmanship was meticulous in detail and beautiful to behold.  All the details were perfect; the sanding, the staining, the lacquering and buffering.  He did an extraordinary job for a twelve year old.

     Mr. McMahon’s grading system was sensational.  He allowed me to defeat the efforts of the Hirshes and get a very good grade.  Mr. McMahon allowed us to grade our own work.  Le me tell you I was not bashful!  I made up for the damaged scoop in metal class.  I did OK.

     I was very surprised, absolutely astonished to hear Sonderman ask for only a C.  His work surpassed mine by far.  He definitely deserved an A which I got but Mr. McMahon true to his word gave us the exact grade we asked for.  Pays to have a practical turn of mind; when you’re cheated in one area where the moving finger has written it is moving on to point to another area where you can make it up.  I made it up.  While grades were being assigned Sonderman sat legs extended turning the box over and over in his fingertips contemplating it, studying it from every angle like French peasants are reported to examine their affairs.

     The box he made for his father was one of those trick boxes you can’t open unless you know how to push the slides.  I was really lost in admiration; the box was astounding work for a mere kid.  I urged him to ask for an A but he only valued himself as a C.

     At that moment I realized that I was psychologically no worse off than Sonderman who had had all the apparent advantages.

     The psychological significance of the box was that his father had put him in a trick box and he didn’t have the key to get out.  I guess the present was a hint to his father to show him the way out.  That was the reason for Sonderman’s dark brooding and foaming rages.

     Sonderman’s father had done something to fixate his son.  Mr. Sonderman was torn between his desire to have his son become a great military figure and to remain home to manage his wretched chemical business.

     The immortal Bard said something to the effect that the fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.  The Ancient Ones believed that the fault lay in the stars.  One’s whole life was predetermined by the natal conjunction of stars and planets and couldn’t be changed.  Freud hinted that the fault was imposed on us in fixations caused by others.  The Bard was an unconscius link between the Ancient Ones and the modern Freud.

     Like each of the others the Bard was only half right.  We are only free, if free we are, to choose the lesser of evils in later life.  The direction of those choices are determined by circumstances occurring during infancy and childhood over which we have no control.

     Did Sonderman have any say in his father’s fixation of him?  Was he ever free to pursue the military career he was directed toward?  No.  The invisible elastic string held by his father drew him back.  Sonderman was not at fault; he was controlled.  The astral metaphor of the Ancients while not wholly true is apt.

     Sonderman was aware of his psychological dilemma if he was not conscious of it.  In the summer between the seventh and eighth grades Sonderman and his family left to visit relatives somewhere downstate.  As I considered Sonderman my only friend I insisted on writing to him much against his wishes.  He was not so keen on our friendship but his mother compelled him to go along.

     I forget the exact details of what I sent him or what my joke was but the result was revealing if puzzling to me at the time.  As I say I forget the joke; I have a bizarre sense of humor anyway, you wouldn’t be interested, I mean I’ve already told a dozen, but I sent him a picture of a row of mansions with an X over one with the inscription:  This is where I live.  Not this is my house but where I lived in one of the rooms of that imaginary Mansion of the Father and not in my parent’s house.

     Whatever the joke was Sonderman found it hilarious but he was furious with himself for finding anything I said funny.  His response was curious.  He returned me a picture of a golf course green with an X over the hole with the inscription:  This is where I live.

     I think the incident really shows the difference between us but at the same time why our characters were, or should have been, complementary.  I was hurting seriously but I had hopes for a future when I would enter a glorious destiny commensurate with my true worth.  My hopes were the hopes of desperation while Sonderman could expect the brilliant future I was only hoping for yet he was living in the depths of despair, trapped and unable to free himself from his trick box or get out of his hole.  Perhaps Sonderman envied or hated me for my mansion while he lived in his hole.

     Sonderman’s father was really something of a failure.  Although he had inherited some kind of chemical company from his father he had no skill in running it.  Probably his father had psychologically impaired him as he had his son.  His earnings from his company barely allowed him to get by.

     Considered one of the elite in high school Old S had now fallen considerably behind his fellows.  Hence he was vulnerable to pressures by his fellows to do things to remain in their good graces.

     He was approached by his high school chum Hirsh who was himself falling on hard times but as his downfall was more recent his reputation as a leading light still retained considerable luster.

     As Hirsh had had the ascendancy over him since childhood Mr. Sonderman agreed to make life difficult for his new neighbor.

     Had Sonderman not been boxed in it is possible he would have been less diligent in harassing me although he certainly would have followed his group’s wishes.  Possibly if he had had a free will he would have been more balanced.  As it was he allowed himself to be used by others which caused him both temporal and further psychological injury.

     The use of Sonderman by the Hirshes continued throughout Junior High and High School.

     I thirsted for recognition, achievement and distinction.  It was the Hirshes goal to deny me any success no matter how small.

     The Patrol Boys were a perquisite of the eighth graders.  I longed to be a patrol boy all during the seventh grade.  God, I could just see myself standing on a corner arms outstretched, white Sam Browne belt blazing in the sun directing the traffic.  I applied as early as I could.  I was accepted and given an assignment.  I received my Sam Browne belt and armband with a feeling of pride that I couldn’t possibly begin to express.  At last I was somebody.

     I had reached a platform on which to build greater successes.  I felt that I could take my place in society.  I was on the job and more than capable of doing it.  But this is where the Field arises to thwart personal ambition.  It wasn’t in the stars for me to be a patrol boy.  The Hirshes noticed my satisfaction.

     As I was below the most abject in their minds, lower than the Negroes, they did not believe that I had the right to self-respect, social status or self-satisfaction.  They didn’t want me walking tall.  They wanted me to shuffle along like the Negro boys, abject in the presence of my ‘betters.’  They set about to destroy my contentment, to ruin my prospects.

     How known this conspiracy against me was I am unaware.  All I know is that everywhere I turned I ran into a stone wall.  The violence against me was I am sure recognized by many teachers who did what they could to mitigate the activity or it is quite possible that I would have been destroyed rather than just being overwhelmed.

     I was unaware of what was said and done in the Hirshes’ private councils.  They must have felt they couldn’t interfere with me directly without exciting suspicion or else they thought I was beneath their dignity.  If it were clear that they were carrying on a vendetta against me then that would have redounded to their discredit and perhaps reprisals.  They didn’t want to bring the onus on themselves which is a cardinal rule of Law and Order people.  One must conceal one’s true intent while passing the onus to your victim.

     As it is always necessary to deflect the potential blame on someone else so they employed their dupe Sonderman.  In retrospect I am amazed Sonderman never learned that he was being used.  My patrol boy post was on the corner of Caterina.  Sonderman naturally crossed that intersection on the way home.  I had been having a splendid time doing it up in the finest dramatic manner.  It was terrific.  I was terrific.

     The Hirshes concerted their plan giving simp Sonderman his intructions.

     As I was standing with my arms outsretched in the approved manner waiting for the traffic to pass to release the waiting students Sonderman rudely pulled my arm down brushing past me.  I was really astonished; he had criminally violated the rule of society.  Feeling betrayed by him, I reprimanded him.  He replied that he didn’t need me to give him permission to cross the street.

     He did this everyday encouraging others by his example to do the same.  Soon no one would respect my authority, Sam Browne belt or not; everyone walked around me.  The Hirshes pointed the situation out to the administration.  As I no longer had any authority the administration was compelled to remove me from my beloved Patrol Boys.  I was crushed as I turned in my glowing white Sam Browne belt for the last time but that soon turned to indignation when I found that I had been replaced at my post by…Sonderman. 

     The Hirshes were laughing hard at me now, adding insult to injury.

     Here was Sonderman who was accusing me of having copied him in everything he did.  The guy didn’t have the initiative or desire to sign up on his own but under the direction of others he usurped my place.  As I sat looking at Sonderman over the Bloody Marys I was unable to articulate my feelings so rather than just argue I said nothing.  It was obvious that in the Freudian sense he had reversed the roles to salve his conscience.

     Eight grade was the year that Civil War caps were all the rage.  My mother who failed me on every possible occasion adamantly refused to buy me one and further said she would destroy mine if I found a way to earn money for one.  Inexplicable.

     If I had been able to get one I would gotten a Southern cap.  Sonderman did have a Union Cap of which he was inordinately proud; reminded him he was descended from U.S. Grant.

     Sonderman’s cap plus my mother’s denial of my right to have one increased my rage against him as he usurped my place.  Although my inclination was to respect convention I could not stand the sight of that cap so I stood respectfully behind him waiting for him to lower his arms.  I could stand it no longer; I knocked his hat off, pushed his arm down and walked past him as though he wasn’t there.

     He responded in a shocking way by abandoning his post to chase me down the street.  Unable to believe the response of this Roman Centurion I ran ahead then stopped to allow him to catch up then ran ahead again.  I had him a full block from his post before he realized what he was doing.  Perhaps it was inevitable that he would fail in the real Army.

     How did he like it?  Not much, but Sonderman didn’t believe what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander.  He felt justified in disregarding my authority but thought it was criminal for disregarding his.  You might say Law and Order equals hypocrisy.

     I disregarded him everyday as he had done me until students streamed by him as though he wasn’t there.  He once again and then again abandoned his post to chase me as I laughed down Caterina while he raged, foaming at the mouth.  Complaints were lodged against him.  He whined to his dad who turned to Hirsh who complained to the principal.  The cheeso Hirshes turned me in.  I hadn’t turned Sonderman in.  Sonderman and all those Hirsh guys were always running off at the mouth about how men settle their differences between themselves and don’t turn each other in.  That’s all a ruse, a ploy to catch you off base.  They aren’t man enough to settle their problems; their problems cant be settled, they’re part of their psychosis so they  turn you in.

     Sonderman was a cheesy guy.  He had an in so they didn’t kick him off the Patrol Boys like they had me; they kept him on and told me to use a different corner.  I suppose the Hirshes thought they’d won that one.  They really did; the effect on me was to withdraw from trying; not all the way, from that incident, but the cumulative effect was growing.  The Hirshes were getting the job done.

     The effect on me was really quite profound.  I had been emotionally battered by the Hirshes since the second grade, physically too.  I was ignorant of what was happening in the Field so I was increasingly trapped within myself.  I only knew that people, it seemed like everyone, didn’t like me.  But I didn’t know why.  I tried everything to make them like me.  Nothing worked.  My loss in self-esteem at being kicked off the Patrol Boys made me seem entirely an outcast.

     It was obvious that I wasn’t going to be allowed to have anything.  I was going to be denied every shred of respectability.  Don’t give me any of that baloney that the fault was mine either.  I had a serious Challenge from the Field for which there was no adequate Response but surrender.  My enemies would accept nothing else.  I refused to surrender and I’m proud to say it.

     Unable to process the information any other way my mind entered the information as a fact that I wasn’t liked not that I was being unjustly persecuted.  After all we all had it drummed into our heads that if things weren’t working out well for us then it was because of some shortcoming in ourselves and not as the Bard says in the stars.  It’s always a good maxim to make sure first that the appliance is plugged in.  If it’s plugged in then something else is the problem.  I was plugged in alright but somebody was shooting me direct current while I was made for alternating current.  There was nothing apparent for me to analyze or resolve.

     My unpopularity was merely a burden on my mind.  Nothing was clearer than that I couldn’t get them to like me.  If they wouldn’t like me then maybe they would like someone else.  I began to devise an alternate persona.  I pretended that I was my cousin visiting me from Ol’ Alabam’.

     When people greeted me I said I wasn’t me introducing myself as my twin cousin.  I persisted in this charade for several weeks until it became clear to me that even being effusively friendly with a charming Southern drawl I was liked no better than before.

     I abandoned the persona and reassumed my own; no doubt just as the authorities were about to take action.  I had carried the thing to the point where I wouldn’t answer to my name in class.  I didn’t associate my bizarre Response to the Challenge with my dismissal from the Patrol Boys nor did I associate it with Sonderman and through Sonderman to the Hirshes.

     In fact until Sonderman jogged my memory over Bloody Marys I had forgotten ever being a Patrol Boy remembering only the second half where Sonderman stood at my post.  In trying to explain my reaction to that my own role surfaced.

     Now twenty-five years later Sonderman was sitting across from me telling me that I copied everything he did.  I can’t imagine how he represents the Patrol Boys in his mind.  So, as we sat guzzling our Bloody Marys I listened in quiet astonishment.

     I was amazed that he gave up his military career to come back to manage his father’s wretched so-called chemical business for the rest of his life.  He took me out to show it to me once in the summer of the eighth grade right after the big train incident.  I tried to burn it down.  The place was a relic from the nineteenth century.  It must have been just as it was when Mr. Sonderman inherited it from his father.  They hadn’t changed anything since Sherman left Atlanta for the sea.  Another crime no one wants to talk about.

     There was no activity; no one worked there.  There were just a bunch of old ramshackle buildings with the doors hanging off their hinges just like their garage.  Totally decayed facilities.  Their only income came from selling saltlicks for cows.  The visit really taught me to respect the vision of people like the DuPonts.  The difference is as between black and white.

     What really set my mind astir was why Sonderman thought I imitated him.  I just shook my head in disbelief; I had no answer for him at the time.  In fact I didn’t think too much about it until I realized he was my Animus.  Then I began to shape the formless group of memories into the Sonderman  Constellation.

4.

     Each activity of mine apparently triggered an extreme reaction in Sonderman; not only extreme but criminal.  Murderous. 

     On Sundays Tuistad used to take our family, such as it was, on drives around the Valley.  On one of those drives I noticed a very nice aquatic area reminiscent of Deindorfer Woods.  The woods were over where I used to live in the garage.  I always enjoyed them immensely until I made the mistake of introducing Sonderman to them.

     We all had bicycles in our neighborhood.  As the wetlands I had noticed, in those days they were called swamps but latterly we refer to them as ‘wetlands’, was a nice bicycling distance.  I organized the neighborhood kids to ride out to it as an excursion.  The way out was a very pleasant ride.  Sonderman was skeptical about our destination but I was sure he would like it.  I was right.  Everyone was getting into it, even Sonderman, when he suddenly noticed everyone was having a good time.  His expression changed as he became insanely jealous because I had organized the excursion rather than himself.  Perhaps I had unknowingly challenged his image of himself as the great military leader, natural one, of course.  He became really agitated insisting that we leave immediately.  He leaped on his bike and dashed away.

     Somewhat like the Patrol Boys everyone disregarded me leaping to their bikes to follow Sonderman.  He was in one of his foaming rages pedaling furiously demanding I keep up with him even though everyone else would be left behind.  I begin to see why he failed in the military; he knew neither how to lead or to follow.

     Well, I couldn’t keep up with him.  I blamed my bike which I thought was slower than his.  He demanded we switch bikes.  The he proved to me that my Columbia wasn’t inferior to his Schwinn.  Previous to this Sonderman had claimed his Schwinn was better than my Columbia.  Schwinns were the prestige bike.  Leave it to Tuistad and my mother to buy me a Columbia.  It was a pretty blue though to Sonderman’s green.

     I guess he had to show that while I organized the outing he was still better because he could break it up and pedal faster.  I didn’t understand then but I do now.  He couldn’t stand an innovator so he said I copied him.  If he didn’t originate it then he wanted to destroy it.  Since he lacked the ability to originate he could only imitate or destroy.  Being embarrassed to be only an imitator he reversed reality projecting the image of copycat on me.

     He had done the same thing when I showed him Deindorfer Woods.  Now, this visit to the Woods began the curious trio of incidents centered around trains.  Let me give a little background because this is really extraordinary.  Hirsh had a cousin who was a railroad engineer, Pere Marquette Line.  When I was in the orphanage in the Spring of 1948 after I had declared my love for Susan Webster, one of the Hirsh/Webster clan, and been denied the right to use the main streets on penalty of being beaten up by the Hirsh clan for my impertinence I had to develop other routes to the orphanage.  The route I chose was behind the school along the railroad tracks. 

     I used to leave the tracks for the street just as the little four wheel drive switch engine thundered by.  Sometimes a six wheel drive  came along.  I never saw an eight weel drive come along and I’ve never even seen a ten wheel drive in my life.  Probably never will now.  I used to really enjoy waving to the engineers who themselves enjoyed being heroes to we little boys.

     Hirsh, who always dogged my steps, I kid you not, discovered my route and noticed my satisfaction at being recognized by the engineers.  He got his cousin to request the route who, when I waved to him, merely sneered disdainfully at me.  A sacred trust had been broken between boys and engineers which completely enraged me.  Next time a train came by I threw rocks at it.  Now I had violated that same sacred trust myself.  I was able to explain my actions sufficiently well on the run and over the roar of the engine so that Hirsh’s cousin was compelled to apologize to me by waving back.  I thought I had won that one which I did but the case was not closed.

     Just as Hirsh, parked on the side street, had laughed with delight at my anger at being snubbed he was now driven into a frenzy because I had compelled his cousin to wave back at me.  Hirsh and his cousin seethed over what they considered a humiliation but was in fact, justice.

     Five years later they were working out a plan of vengeance.  If you think this is incredible so do I.

     The Woods was a wonderful place full of sand redoubts and pollywog ponds until they dried up in August.  Train tracks ran along the northern edge.

     When we got there Sonderman was wearing his sullen face.  He even seemed to be trying to keep a distance from me.  Then that dark man dressed in his black suit, tie and hat appeared with a demented grin on his face walking rapidly toward me.  If I hadn’t had that memory block I would immediately have recognized Hirsh.  In all the time I had been visiting the Woods I had never seen an adult there.

     At Hirsh’s appearance Sonderman leaped on his bike and rode off.  Subconsciously I associated railroad tracks with Hirsh.  I don’t know why but I thought he was going to tie me up and lay me across the tracks.  I would have thought it was just a weird premonition except for what happened subsequently.

     Well, I didn’t hang around to see what would happen either.  I grabbed my bike and made a dash for the street.  Sonderman was already long gone but as I rode down the street alone I heard the big diesel engine roar on down the tracks.

     I don’t know exactly what the connection between the Sondermans and Hirsh was but they seemed to be in pretty close communication.  Sonderman or his father must have related my doings to Hirsh soon after they occurred or even before if they were apprised of them.  The Field is always obscure to the participant concealing connections that would make explanations easy if we only knew them.

     Shortly after the neighborhood expedition Sonderman approached me to take another bicycle ride, this one of his own choosing.  He said it like that as if I had taken unfair advantage of him by suggesting the ride to the wetlands.  He seemed to be seething deep down in his belly which projected from his eyes as fiery sparks with a drawn down mouth.  I didn’t relate his request to our trip to the wetlands nor had I done so would I have been able to relate it to the violence of his reaction.

     I was overjoyed believing Sonderman to have come around to my way of thinking.  I suggested we get everyone together but he said no.  He wanted only me and him and his brother, Little, to go.

     Sonderman had a brother who I will denominate only as Little rather than honor the little creep with a name.  Little the Inseparable.  Little had no friends nor did I ever see him except in the company of his big brother.  He was a year younger than Sonderman and me, although taller than us both, and therefore had no right to hang around with us.  Little and I had no love for each other.  I disliked him intensely the first time I saw him.  He didn’t seem to understand he was a year younger than me.  He reciprocated my dislike in kind but he started it.

     Sonderman proposed we ride out to a little crossroads by the name of the Shield.  I didn’t have any objection but Sonderman took the attitude like he was managing me; like he was my handler as the spymasters say.  Kind of like the Mad Comic strip Spy vs. Spy.  There was something a little sinister in his manner that, while it didn’t alarm me, put me on my guard.  I had begun to suspect, or fear really, Sonderman’s good will but I would never have accused of of being so evil.

     As I recall the Shield was a fairly long way out.  I expected some kind of wonderful like Deindorfer Woods or the wetlands we had just visited but when we got to the Shield it was nothing, sort of like Sonderman’s and Little’s minds.  There were just a few houses, a corner store and a filthy little creek with a railway trestle over it.  I saw nothing particularly interesting there which fact I bluntly and unceremoniously related to Sonderman.  He just gave me a cold fish eyed stare and said I was free to ride back alone if I wanted.

      That was a very inappropriate response between friends.  There was an implied threat in the way he said it.  Besides it was a long way back alone.

     Let me say that over the years I have been accused of having a paranoid personality, whatever may be meant by that.  In point of fact I am very good at reading vocal inflection, body language and demeanor; that coupled with the fact that most people are incapable of concealing their intent.  Quite naturally I sometimes have misgivings about my ‘paranoid’ readings and disregard them.  I can’t think of a single instance when I wouldn’t have been better off to have indulged my ‘paranoid fantasies.’  This was one of them.

       I was torn between going and staying.  I apprehended danger whether I left or stayed so I chose to stay rather than take my chances of being run down on the highway.

     There was absolutely nothing stirring in the crossroads called The Shield.  The place could have been a ghost town; no cars, no people.  For a while we just sat on our bikes in the middle of the road, they looking at me with a gurgling look, leaning on the handle bars and gently rocking back and forth.  Some little white clouds no bigger than bread baskets moved past over head in stationary phases.

     I could see that the Sondermans had no natural wonders in mind to explore.  I asked again why we were there.

     There was only one side street in town.  Sonderman pointed down it telling me to ride down and stop before a particular house.  Naturally I told him I didn’t have to do what he said but anxious to do anything I rode down and stopped looking alternately at the house and back at the Sondermans.  The Sondermans stared steadily at me.  I was completely mystified as nothing stirred in the house.  The whole street was silent; there was nothing shaking, not even the leaves on the trees.

     Inside the house Hirsh and the little Hirshes including Hirsh’s son Michael stared out at me from behind curtains and blinds where they couldn’t be seen.  Some were behind basement windows, some behind the bay windows of the first floor,  some behind the curtains of the second floor and two from behind the attic blinds.

     The sacrificial victim stood before them.  The instrument of death was rolling down the tracks a few miles distant.  That was what we were waiting for.  They gloried and gloated over their victim, seeing but unseen.

     They thought a wonderful thing was about to happen.  They thought the earth was going to open up and swallow me.  I would be out of their hair forever as they expressed it.  The beauty of it was that in their infernal cleverness they would kill me and go unpunished.  They would commit the perfect crime.  It would be beautiful.  I would be dead but there would be nothing to connect them to the murder.  Murder?  What murder? It would be an accidental death; it would appear just to have ‘happened.’

     That was how the ‘better sort’ killed their enemies.  Nothing messy like the lower classes; no violent rages like with serial killers, no bodies laying around that had to be explained or investigated; everything would be in order.

     Hirsh was a Law and Order type of guy.  He wanted everything legal and orderly.  A rural Hitler, he thought a dead body was OK just so long as it could be explained in a natural reasonable way.  In this case a stupid kid was playing on the tracks and was squashed beneath the big steel wheels.  Unfortunate but nothing our of order; just a dumb kid being where he shouldn’t have been at the wrong time.

     It would be within the Law too.  There would be no violent shooting, stabbing, cutting or beating; no bloodshed per se, just an unfortunate accident such as dotted the chronocles of the Valley from time to time.  Hirsh was a Law and Order man.

     Law and Order has to be separated into its component parts and more narrow interpretation.  Most people confuse equity and justice, right and wrong and Law and Order.  Justice and equity, right and wrong can be purely subjective interpretations.  For instance it would be wrong to think that Hitler did not believe in justice and equity and right and wrong.  He did.  He had thought about them deeply before he acted.  It’s just that most people disagree with his application of the terms.  The same people who think that nothing is right or wrong but thinking makes it so.  It should be noted to Hitler’s credit however that he was a Law and Order man.  He took over the State legally and in that capacity passed laws to authorize his programs.  Those laws were no different in intent than the so-called ‘anti-hate’ laws of today.  Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.  That’s what Law and Order is.    Hitler’s laws are bad because they are thought so; ‘anti-hate’ laws are good because they are thought so although both laws are equal in intent.   It’s easy.  Law and Order.

      However, justice, equity and right and wrong were so subjective in the mind of Hirsh and his ilk that it could be properly said that he disregarded them or so completely fused them with his own needs and desires that they were one and the same in his mind.

     The Hirshes of the world, and there are lots of them, want  Law that serves their interests and Order that keeps them from harm yet allows them to exercise their prejudices.  They want this narrow self-serving conception of Law and Order forced on everyone else and they demand that others observe their will.  If this world isn’t the Hirshes’ oyster then something is wrong with the world.

     This concept of justice is that their enemies should be punished at whim.  They know that political man cannot allow this to happen openly or chaos would ensue.  Therefore they form alliances with the police, the lawyers, the judges and officials so that their ‘peccadilloes’ are winked at.  They don’t ‘own’ the judges in the crude sense so many people think but as all these men have proven their merit by being at the top they maintain respectable facades and trade favors that would be crimes committed by those outside their circle.  They belong to the same clubs.  Clubmembers look out for each other.

     No one would think to question the death of an inconsequential boy even if the circumstances should appear more questionable that they would in this case.  Why would anyone ruin the reputation of an eminent man for a simple outcast boy?  It just isn’t done, you see?

     It is important to know how to do things.  The Sondermans and all the little Hirshes were being given valuable hands on training by their folks on how to do these things when the administration of affairs would be in their hands and they would in turn have to educate their sons.  After all, good breeding will out.  You can always spot those without it.

     Then too, once gone the dead are invisible.  Only the living have rights.  There would be no question in this case of the Hirshes being implicated but if that question should arise the rights of a live criminal are more important than a dead victim.  Think about it; the victim is gone hence forgotten, dead men tell no tales, but if the penitent criminal  shows ‘remorse’ there is a chance he can be ‘saved.’  Besides why destroy a person’s entire life for just one mistake- especially if he’s one of the ‘better sort?’

     The living are here to remind us of their existence; the dead are gone and forgotten.  Hirsh wanted to see me dead.  If it was good for Hirsh it was good for mankind.  His self-indulgence knew no bounds.

     They stared at me chuckling in anticipation.  I sat on my bike wondering, what?  I was not yet familiar with Hirsh’s technique.  He used this one a lot; he never varied.  He’d used it on me before.  Had I powers of reflection at that time I would have gone up to the door and thrown the fear of god into him.  I never did catch on till long after his death.  Hirsh gained great satisfaction, I pity him, by having his victims, how many others he was at war with I have no idea, lured before his place of concealment to stand unsuspectingly before him while he studied them with cool contempt, while his mind glutted itself with a feeling of unlimited power.  What a pervert!  What a queer!

     It seems clear to me in retrospect that Sonderman had gone crying to Hirsh after the wetlands excursion and this trip to The Shield was the outcome.  I do not know by what mechanism Hirsh and the Sondermans coordinated their efforts.  So far as I know Sonderman was always at home.  I don’t remember their going out at night but they must have.  It is clear that they must have met together and planned.  Yet not at this time nor at any other in all the time I knew Sonderman did he give any indication of knowing Hirsh or any of the little Hirshes.  At no time did he associate with them or even acknowledge them in public.  I find their relationship mystifying.

     As I sat on my bike before the house nothing stirred on the street, not even a cat or dog; nothing stirred in the house.  I looked back down the street at the Sondermans who were talking to a woman in a white car who had stopped.  White cars were really unusual at that time.  They looked from her towards me; I raised my hands as if to say- now what?  The woman drove off while the Sondermans merely sneered at me.  I rode slowly back wondering what was going on.

     Little did I know that what we were waiting for was that train that was intended to carry my blues away beneath its huge grinding steel wheels.

     The sheep sized clouds that studded the sky in even shoals running from horizon to horizon and side to side as far as the eye could see looked down serenely as once again I asked Sonderman what there was in The Shield that he had brought me out to see.  He pointed to the corner store telling me to go in there.  I didn’t have any money, I could tell something was up.  I could see that Sonderman was trying to manage me so I told him I didn’t feel like it.  I suggested again that we leave.  Sonderman said go ahead:  I could ride back alone.  The haunting thought of crashing through the shrubbery as I was run off the road was still with me; I elected to tough it out.

     Sonderman and Little brushed past me as though I wasn’t there entering the store.  I followed them.  The man in black was there as well as the store owner.  I was obviously being dandled before my enemies to give them their parting shot at me.  They began to insult and revile me.  I looked at these grown men abusing a twelve year old boy with disgust.

     I told Sonderman that maybe I would ride back alone walking out of the store to jump on my bike.  The man in black took Sonderman by the shoulder whispering in his ear as he looked in my direction.  The train was only a few minutes away; I would have to be kept there.  Sonderman came outside as I was mounting my bike to suggest we go play on the train trestle.  Play on a train trestle?  I had no idea Sonderman was so creative, what kind of madness was this?

     The situation was quite eerie.  Everything was in such a state of stasis, just like in that Hopper painting:  Nighthawks At The Diner.  The road through town had the town on one side with this filthy little creek below street level like a big ditch.  It was narrow and shallow; it really was a big ditch rather than a creek.

     The Shield residents were either so dirty, or so cheap or both, that they didn’t even take their trash to the dump.  The creek bed and sides were littered with cans and garbage and old tires.  It was thoroughly disgusting.  They might has well have thrown the garbage off their back stoops.  It wouldn’t have made any difference.  They should have been ashamed of themselves.  Probably called other people names too.

     The train tracks came through town in a curve around the back of the country store to emerge between the store on the right and large copse of trees on the left.  The train couldn’t be seen until it began to cross the street.  As the crossing was unmarked this was a very dangerous situation.  Of course in those days of a smaller, slower America before cars went a hundred miles an hour and insulated you from the world with air conditioning, complex stereo systems louder than themselves, telephones and even TVs then you were expected to know what the train schedules were, besides the crossings were so rough you had to slow down to a crawl anyway or blow your tires out.  Still, there were no bells or crossbars.  Even at that time I was amazed.  Well, we were out there aways.

     The trestle was about seventy-five feet across, maybe a hundred.  At the far end were two copses of trees through which the train passed before it took a sharp left and disappeared into farmland.  Twenty feet below the road bed lay the filthy little creek.  A pretty long fall into a slimy mess.

     As we stood on the trestle looking down into it Sonderman speculated that a guy could get killed or break his legs or his legs and his back or his legs, back and arms plus maybe drown if he had to jump when a train came by.  Little gave an approving laugh and leered at me.  I thought they were both nuts but then I was too young to know they were telegraphing the game plan to me.  Maybe, consciously.  I still worked out a game plan for if a train came along.  My mind just worked that way.

     I walked over to the far bank looked around and walked back to the Sondermans in mid-trestle where they blocked my way.  My thought was now that we’ve seen this we can go.  But the Sondermans wanted to stay on the trestle.  About a third of the way from the street the railroad had constructed a steel railing as a leanout if workmen were caught on the trestle when a train came along.  You stood with your toes on the end of the ties and leaned back into the steel railing.  I guess the railroad men like the idea of danger.  The leanout was ample for two very large men; certainly large enough for three small boys.

     The Sondermans stayed in the vicinity of this leanout insisting that I stay in the middle of the trestle.  They blocked my way with the implied threat that I would be pushed back if I tried to get by them.  I had no idea what was up.  I was still trying to figure out the game when a huge diesel engine exploded from between the store and the copse.  Hirsh’s engineer cousin hadn’t even sounded his horn before he entered the crossing.

     Three years after I had won the first round the second round was being played out.  The wound of my triumph was still fresh in their minds while I had forgotten about it.  I had been in the right and they had been in the wrong.  Justice had been served when the engineer was compelled to wave at me.  But I had violated the rules of Law and Order.  An inferior had brought a superior to the bar of justice.  Justice has a different meaning to a Law and Order man.

     The train caught me entirely by surprise.  I stood in the middle of the tracks with my mouth open.  I was not so stunned that I didn’t notice what was happening around me.  In the half dozen seconds it took for the whole thing to transpire I saw the white car pull up to the crossing; I saw Hirsh, the store owner and a half dozen young Hirshes emerge from the store where they could see more clearly.  I saw Hirsh signal to the engineer with a look of devilish glee on his face.

     The Sondermans stepped back into the leanout.  I ran to join them but they pushed me back on the tracks saying there was no room.  There was but not for me.  I thought quickly shifting my feet more than once.

     The train was rolling slowly perhaps at two or three miles an hour.  In my excitement the noise of the huge shiny steel wheels was enormous.  I began a run for the other side which I could have made easily but I feared that I might trip on the ties which were six inches apart with no underlying support.  If I tripped I was done for sure.

     Thinking quickly I leapt over the left rail to the end of the ties.  The engine was already passing as I balanced on my toes at the end of a couple ties.  Hirsh’s cousin came down the steps from his cabin to offer me his hand but I recognized that ruse; I could see him throwing me under the wheels; I refused his proffered hand.  At that point I realized that if I stayed where I was the train would pass without hitting me unless a gate or some such thing swung out to hit me.  I couldn’t take that chance.

     As the Sondermans stood passively watching me Hirsh and his minions danced up and down excitedly.  I hopped backward and dropped.  Clasping my hands I grabbed a tie on the way down dangling there above the creek.

     I suppose as I hung dangling I probably looked more terrified than I was.  I was no longer in danger and I knew it.  Still, the big steely wheels ground slowly past me just above eye level with a terrific din.  Those big shiny steel wheels were bigger than I was.

     As I looked over at the Sondermans they were staring at me impassively obviously enjoying my dilemma but disappointed that I was out of harm’s way.  Beyond them on the street I could see the man in black staring at the tracks hoping to see my blood gush from under the big steel wheels.  The store owner stood leaning in his door watching with folded arms.  All the little Hirshes stood to Hirsh’s left dancing up and down in the street in excited animation.  I took a certain amount of pleasure in disappointing their expecatations.

     The train which was only an engine, coal car and caboose rumbled or really from where I was screeched past to disappear between the two copses at the far end of the trestle.  But as the caboose passed over I could hear the loud giggling of a number of girls.  I stared uncomprehendingly as the Hirshettes leaned out the door of the caboose to wave me goodbye.

      In the excitement of trying to hoist myself back up on the roadbed all the details fled my mind.  Getting back up wasn’t as easy as dropping down.  I could get up about waist high but my belt caught and I couldn’t get on the roadbed.  I called to the Sondermans for help but they just sneered that I got down by myself so I could get up by myself.

     I could have gone sideways hand over hand to the bank but then I found I could reach through the ties to grab the rail.  My hand flew away from the hot steel of the rail.  Those grinding wheels must really have set the molecules colliding.  In a few seconds the rails cooled and by throwing a leg up and hoisting myself over like a high jumper crosses the bar I was able to get back on.

     I turned to demand of Sonderman why he hadn’t let me into the leanout but he and Little turning their backs on me walked away.  How long it takes for the obvious to penetrate.  He had said there wasn’t room for me so I called him a liar to his face.  I missed his meaning.  What he had really said was that there wasn’t room for ME.  He wasn’t lieing after all.

     I was quite pleased with my maneuver on the trestle.  I expected to be congratulated and marveled at by Sonderman and his brother.   But they disparaged my move refusing to discuss it as they yawned in my face.  I was a little hurt.

     By the time I brought my senses into focus the white car was gone.  Hirsh and his minions had disappeared.  The scene had returned to primordial stillness as the little white clouds no bigger than pillows evaporated into the afternoon heat to disappear forever.  It was a little surreal.

     As the Sondermans refused to respond to my animation a grim silence fell over us.  I was unaware of the guilty disappointment that filled their minds.  I didn’t get the meaning of the sagging shoulders of Sonderman as he sat on his bike twirling the pedal as though he didn’t know how to put his foot on it.

     To me there was only the satifying conclusion to an exciting adventure.  To them the feeling of guilt caused by a failed murder attempt began to stir in their subconscious.  All of the really important conclusions are formed there passing to the conscious mind in a more or less sanitized and acceptable form.  From there our actions are taken while we are completely unaware of what we have decided or how and why.

     Just in that manner I came to the unarticulated conclusion as I pedaled home that murder is a legitimate way to eliminate those you don’t like.

     While on the personal level this may be so yet there is a conflict on the societal level where the solution is definitely frowned on and may, on occasion, be severely punished.  Especially if you’re from the lower classes and messy.  So, good form is absolutely essential.

      Having the background of an orphan I was predisposed to chaotic responses.  You see, while the Hirshes were being trained to be responsible citizens I had been trained to be a goof.  You see, I really didn’t have good breeding.  It was too late for me to acquire good breeding too but Law and Order did make sense to me because I saw clearly that Hirsh and the Sondermans would have walked.  That was only the result of good planning.  My soul was torn between the emotional satisfaction of chaos and the necessity for Law and Order.

     If one reflects, Pretty Boy Floyd the Outlaw is reported to have said that some will rob you with a six gun; some will use a fountain pen.  That’s actually pretty profound.  It’s the difference between bank robbers and lawyers.  As all the people in prisons are of the six gun mentality and all the bank presidents surrounded by their lawyers are of the fountain pen variety I think that fact speaks for itself, and loudly, don’t you?  Who would prefer prison to a suite on the forty-fourth floor of a high rise looking out over the top of everything.

     Unwilling to ride home alone previously I now feared riding back with the Sondermans.  I could imagine that man in black riding me down as I rode behind or ahead of the Sondermans.  I insisted on riding in the middle with Little in first and Sonderman behind me in order to make it more difficult to get me.

     When I heard a car approaching I looked back preparing myself for another jump.  I saw the car driven by the man in black coming up.  I bated my breath apprehensively as he slowed down studying me intently as he passed.

     Once he was past my fear of danger abated.  Swinging around Little I left him and Sonderman behind as I raced for the safety of home.

Go to:

SONDERMAN CONSTELLATION

Chapter II:  The Psychonautica