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Category Archives: Tim Leary

Disco Donn Demands Deliverance

by

R.E. Prindle

Part II-2

     You take your life in your hands when out there in the great beyond on the highway.  It’s a place beyond the reach of the law.  Lawless people drive the highways looking for excitement and adventure.  Lawless people put their thumbs out for the same reason.  The driver never knows who’s getting in the car; the hitchhiker never knows who’s driving.

     Al, who had introduced himself, looked all right but that could change pretty quickly.  Hitchhikers disappear all the time.  Donn, hesitated, reluctant to put his fate in the old man’s hands.

     ‘It’s all right, son.  You’ve got nothing to worry about.  I’m not queer.’

     ‘Sure.’ D0nn said with an ironic smile, accepting both out of trust and weariness.  ‘I’d be grateful.’

     They wheeled into Richland crossing the great Columbia River then down to Pasco and across the snake at the confluence of the two rivers, then east toward Eureka in the orchards and farmlands.

     ‘You know, son, religion can be a cover for real moral anarchy.  A lot of people forget that morality is the whole reason for religion not politics.  If you can’t do a kindness for your fellow man then your religion don’t mean a thing.  Love is the law and I don’t mean mere sex.  It’s a simple answer, it’s a trite answer, it’s an ignored and overlooked answer.  The answer runs at cross purposes to most men’s inclination.  It’s an answer that has to be told over and over from generation to generation.  It’s an answer that should be in every book ever written.  If you ever write a book promise me you’ll put it in yours, Donn.’

page 51.

     ‘Sure.  If I ever write a book, I will.’  Donn glibly answered.  What else could he do.  What an odd request.

     ‘Love,’ the old boy went on, somewhat tediously, ‘By love I mean charity.  Not alms giving, but goodwill toward your neighbor.  Charity in the old fashioned sense of the word.  It is true what Jesus said:  A man must have faith, hope and charity.  The greatest of these is charity.  For if a man hath not charity his voice will be as the sounding brass.  It’s true.  Without kindness your words merely rasp and buzz.  No one will listen to you.  So, love your neighbor, son.’

     ‘I’ve done that before.’  Donn said with a smirk, turning to look out the window.

     By now Donn was hoping the lecture was over.  He saw the validity of the lecture but he could find no application in his past, present or future.  He smiled at the old geezer and shook his head.  At least this guy was better than Zadok and Amirah.

     Al pulled off the highway a couple miles past Eureka to drive about five miles toward the Snake.  There was the neatest, prettiest little farmstead Donn had ever seen.  The square, frame house stood on a little rise surrounded by small trees and bushes.  The house reflected the kind gentility of Al Martin.  As within, so without.

     Within the hour Donn had washed, shaved and was between clean sheets drifting off into oblivion.

page 52.

     Donn was too exhausted to sleep soundly,  He woke two or three times during the night, his mind too numbed to rouse himself from bed, his thoughts too crowded to separate into strands he could analyze.  Morning found him seated at the breakfast table dazed, listless and despondent.

     Al Martin studied him intently from across the kichen.  He said:  ‘You know Donn, keeping this place up isn’t easy for a man my age.  I got a whole bunch of chores needs doin’.  If you help me out you can stay for a week or so till everything gets done.  Can’t offer you more than room and board, but…’

     Donn shook his head yes:  ‘Yeah, Al, that would be great.  I can do that.  What needs to be done?’

     Donn pitched in with good will.  Over the week he worked on his problems while he worked, rather than whistled, for Al.  As he had his last breakfast with Al the worst of the numbness was gone.  He had toughened a little but the future still dismayed him casting a dark pall over his mind.  He had identified Maggie as the culprit.  A growing powerless hatred began to envelope him.

     Al drove him back to the highway, thanked him and dropped him off as the morning heat began to build.

     Al Martin had been a solitary ray of sunshine piercing through the great black storm clouds over Donn.  The respite Al had given Donn served him well; his nerves were strengthened and he had time to make some necessary adjustments to his psyche from his fall from grace.  Grimmer events were now to occur.  The hammer blows of his destiny would not allow him to rise but his descent to beyond the depths of despair would be slower.

page 53.

     Donn had been out there for a couple hours.  The morning sun had turned to an afternoon bake, god almighty hot.  Blistering.  The blacktop wasn’t bubbling but it looked like it was about to boil any minute.  The stuff actually moved beneath Donn’s heel.  Donn still wearing his Disco clothes was drenched.

     ‘Hey, Cowboy, need a ride?’

     It wasn’t a beautiful woman in a Cadillac, it was four Mexican braceros in a beatup old ’61 Chevy.  The question had a sinister tone to it.

     ‘I’m looking for a ride to St. Louis.’ Donn said ludicrously, declining the ride.

    His response was met by raucous laughter.

    ‘Hey, there aint’ no St. Louis around here, man.’

     One of the men, they were all eighteen to twenty-three, got out of the back and motioned Donn to sit in the middle.  In the middle surrounded on both sides and vulnerable from the front.  Not a good hitchhiking situation.

     ‘No, man, no.  Thanks, but I mean St. Louis, Missouri.’  In hitchhiking terms this was a virtual insult.

     ‘Hey, you muchachos hear of this place, St. Louis, Missouri?’

     The query was answered by a chorus of noes and ‘there ain’t no such place as St. Louis, Missouri, man.  There ain’t no such place as Missouri.’  More raucus laughter.

page 54.

     ‘Get in, man.  We give you ride.’  The guy holding the door open smiled, the other three doors cracked open as if the occupants were going to get out.

     Donn got in.  This was not the worst thing he could have done.  Had he not they might have made short work of him with tire irons, knives and whatnot, conversely he might have outsprinted them across the burning desert.  When you’re way out there without hope or friends in alien territory you just naturally have to make difficult decisions.  Donn’s hope was not unjustified.  Nor did he behave abjectly to deal with this difficulty.

     Once in the car the Mexicans became verbally abusive of him.  They called him blondie, ridiculed his mustache and insulted his sexual prowess.

     Then the passenger in the front seat, Juan Perez, who was somewhat vain of his pysique flexed his biceps saying: ‘Hey, man.  See that arm?  I can knock you out with one punch, man.’

     As Juan said so, the driver, Pedro Martinez, swang onto a dirt road leading into the hills.  Donn felt a chill in the un-air-conditioned car but didn’t flinch.  He’d gotten his opening.

     ‘Yeah, man?  Maybe, but you’d never get to land a punch.  I was scientific (he threw the word in for effect) boxing champion at SMU.’

     ‘SMU?  What’s that?’  Juan said, overawed by something he didn’t know.

page 55.

     ‘Scientific Mangling University.  You want to go a round or two with me, stop and car and I’ll show you some real science.’

     Juan was frightened by unfamiliar terms like science and SMU and became apprehensive.  He didn’t want to go a couple rounds but he wanted Donn to show him some of his moves.

     The driver pulled over; they all got out.  Donn and Juan squared away.  As Donn had predicted Juan couldn’t come close to landing a punch.  The Mexicans were duly impressed.  After Donn had shown them a few moves Juan said:  ‘Hey man, for a gringo you’re alright.  Then they piled back into the Chevy amidst more raucus laughter leaving Donn standing among the heatwaves in the field.

     In that heat it was an hour and a half walk back to the highway.  Donn caught a number of short rides.  As the sun was setting he was dropped off just past Tucannon a couple miles from Fort Kwakiutl.  He decided to walk into town.  Fort Kwakiutl was a small town, barely on the map, but it did host a Starlight Motel, a restaurant, a bar and a couple gas stations.  Spoiled by his stay at Al Martin’s Donn decided to stay at the Starlight.

    He checked in, cleaned up and went to the restaurant to eat.  He was relatively relaxed and hungry.  He had a lot of money so he ate heartily.  Ed Quigley sat at the bar watching him.  ‘That hobo’s got some money.’  Ed thought darkly.  ‘I bet nobody knows where he’s at or why.’

     Quigly was a big beefy man.  Though much out of shape, big paunchy belly, he thought he could handle a little guy like Donn.  He moseyed over inviting himself to Donn’s table.  He plunked his beer down on the table.

page 56.

     ‘Howdy, podna.’

     ‘Uh, howdy.’

     ‘Saw ya walkin’ inta town.  You a ‘knight of the road.’

     Donn laughed amiably.  ‘Let’s just say I’m passing through.’

     ‘Oh yeah?  Must be hitchhiking?’

     ‘Yes, I am.’  Donn replied.

     ‘Say, listen, buddy, I gotta proposition for ya.  I’m goin’ inta Boise tomorrow.  If you got twenty for gas I’ll take ya along.’

     Donn thought a minute.  He was weary of the road.  He’d been at it for a couple weeks and he still wasn’t out of the state of Washington.  By now he felt a little more confident.  He was anxious now to get to St. Louis.  He didn’t dare say he was broke because Quigly could see the remains of his dinner.

     ‘I’ve blown just about everything I have here tonight.  Bummed it along the way.  It’s a good chance though.  Could you take ten?  He didn’t want to give the idea that he could afford more.  A few more miles down the road of life and Donn would understand how transparent he had been.

     Quigly looked at him, seemed doubtful, then said:  ‘Yeah, sure, OK.  Ten’s better than nothin’.’

     ‘It’s a deal.’  Donn smiled.

     ‘One thing,’  Quigly said.  ‘I’m leaving early, four in the morning.’

     ‘OK.’  From Donn.  ‘Where are you going to be?’

     ‘There’s a big oak tree two miles outta town.  It’s the only tree that size out there.  Can’t miss it.  Meet me there.  In any case I’ll drive slow so I won’t miss you.’

page 57.

     Donn was up trudging through the night to his four o’ clock rendezvous.  Quigly was waiting for him.

     Injuring our fellow man is quite akin to sexual intercourse.  You work yourself up in pretty much the same way.  As they sped up Hwy. 12 through Delancy Donn had intuited from Ed’s rutting manner what was up.  There was no surprise when Quigly swung into a side road moving between two hills by an arroyo.

     Ed left the motor running.  ‘Alright, Cowboy, now I know ya got money.  Ya don’t eat like that and stay at the Starlight if ya don’t.  Ya can give it to me peacefully or I can beat it out of ya.  It’s up to you; it’s your choice, you call it, what’s it gonna be?’

     Donn opened his door and jumped out.

     Still leaving the engine of his beater running Quigly got out huffily, ‘Alright, son-of-a-bitch, if that’s the way you want it.’

     Quigley’s confidence caused him to over expend his energies too quickly.  Donn played him like a trout on a line util  Quigly, breathless, held up a hand for Donn to wait while he caught his breath.  Donn had a different role for himself than in Quigly’s fantasy.  He moved in giving Quigly everything he had.  Quigly unprepared for the response, caught between gasps, rolled onto the ground.

    As he did something snapped in Donn.  He wanted vengeance for everything; his rape, football, boxing, Maggie’s treatment, everything.  As Quigly fell Donn leaped on him picking up a big rock and bringing it down repeatedly on Quigly’s head until the corpse was nearly headless.

page 58.

     As Donn came to himself there was no remorse.  He was both sickened and relieved.  He was no killer but the release had been very satisfying.  In any case he had no cause for self-recrimination as he had killed Quigly in self-defense.  His conscience was clear, but as a drifter, the preponderance of proof was his, he didn’t have any.

     Acting quickly he dragged Quigly’s nearly headless body over to the arroyo and threw it in.  Fate was on his side as the body rolled under a ledge and wedged in out of sight.  Quigley’s precaution of leaving early lest he be seen with Donn worked to Donn’s advantage.  No one had seen them.

     Quigly’s old beater was still running.  Donn got in behind the wheel, turned the old buggy around and got out on the highway to Boise and beyond to Salt Lake City.

     Mentally Donn tried to sweep the killing of Quigly into the dust bin of his memory as he had his reprehensible sexual relations that he detested.

     He wanted to believe that he had only witnessed the killing but his conciousness rejected the falsehood.  Forced to deal with reality he came to the right conclusion- he had killed in self-defence.  Quigly’s unlucky day.  But justly or not he knew that as a drifter and with the suit back in Portland and assigned to a public defender he was lost.

     It then dawned on him also that in the eyes of the law he was driving a stolen car.  And what a car!  The big beast was a favorite of urban desperadoes; a huge old carcass of a ’63 Olds.  The immense rusty hood stretched out before him to eternity.  The vinyl top was ragged and torn.  The giant trunk lid was held down by a wire.  The worn tires made 100% constact with the road; the tread was gone.  Quigly was no mechanic.  The engine roared around faint rattles coming from diverse places.

page 59

     The interior was trashed, the glove compartment hanging open; seats and roof lining torn, butts all over the floor and even on the seats.  Quigly had customized it to reflect his inner malaise.  As within, so without.  Gradually Donn realized what he was driving.  These were no cosmic wheels; this was no astral vehicle.

     The realization drove all other thoughts from his mind.  His brow knitted; he put the first two fingers of his right hand to his lips and gazed about in dismay.  He sat back and tried to look cool.  Revulsion overcame him.  He realizied how low he had sunk.

     ‘There must be some way out of here.’  He thought.

     He made Boise the next morning.  Disgusted with himself and his situation; embarrassed now by the Disco Donn facet of his personality he bought a levi jacket, jeans and a couple sweaters to adapt to his new situation.  Tennis shoes for walking.  In fact Donn shed all the facets of his multi-faceted personality but one.  His multi-facets could only be supported by prosperity.  He reverted back to the Texas gold old boy personality he had when he entered Portland.

page 60.

     Don began to be really apprehensive about driving the big beast but he wanted to make Salt Lake before he aband0ned it.  To make matters worse a patch on the radiator gave way about Brigham City.  He began to make frequent stops at gas stations to fill up the radiator in hopes of cooling the engine well enough to make Salt Lake City.  He steamed through Odgen and into the suburbs of Salt Lake as a blistering heat wave through the fire wall roasted his feet and legs.

     He wheeled into a side street.

 

Guilty Of the Shame

 

We know there’s a dark side

To the moon that we see;

But what’s a little darkness

To the likes of you and me.

-Jesse Winchester

     Donn stepped out of the steaming heap looking at it in vengeful disgust to turn his steps back to the highway.  As he did a pair of blue eyes watched him approach.  The eyes, all the luster having departed, belonged to Sandy Tyler.  Sandy, now well into her thirties, was a refugee from the dolorous broken dreams of the sixties.  Trapped in a state of arrested adolescence, her mind inundated by drugs, she was arrayed in the symbols of the mock poverty of the late sixties. 

     She had once been a very beautiful young woman.  While she sought desperately to retain the vestiges of that beauty against the ravages of drugs and despair only mere glimmers of her former freshness remained.  Superb bone structure prevented her face from dissolving into sheer ugliness.  Beneath her T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of some indiotic post-1975 heavy metal band her once firm high breasts sagged braless down to her belt loops.  Her jeans had the obligatory tears across each knee.  There was a tear beneath each cheek of her derriere which exposed white skin no longer firm or translucent.  Her jeans were tucked into brown suede boots, calf high, turned down.  A certain pride of former glory still clung to her presence.

page 61.

     One might well blame Sandy for a wasted life but the shame was not hers; it belonged to American society.  She had been dragged down completely innocent and against her will with no menfolks to defend her degradation.  In circumstances which you in your comfort would dismiss with a comment like:  Oh well, life’s not fair.

     Sandy had come from Cincinatti, Ohio.  She had come from well-to-do parents who had raised her to be the model of decorum.  She had breeding.  She had been blond and pert with a beautiful figure.  Psychologically she had been as well balanced as one of twenty can be.  Her expectations were those that one would associate with her background.

     She had married Bert Tyler who she had met and fallen in love with at the University Of Ohio.  Upon graduation Bert had taken a job with Standard of California and moved to San Francisco.  This was in 1964 when the subterranean rumbles of massive change could be heard and experienced if not understood.  The times were changing at incredible speed as they usually are when you’re in the middle of them.  Intelligence and precaution were not enough to save you; you had to play dodgeball with the juggernaut and win.  Luck was of the greatest importance.  Luck was not with Sandy Tyler.

page 62.

     Sandy’s husband was something of a rake.  Unresolved wildness lived in his soul.  He wasn’t ready to settle down to middle class respectability.  He suggested that he and Sandy take up residence in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco,  that wicked, wicked city of transients.  Tourists ooh and aah over Baghdad By The Bay.  But beneath the charming exterior of the Bay and cable cars of the City all is sour and corrupt.  The spirit of Tom Mooney and Harry Bridges hovers over the City.  There is a seething hatred and class envy which negates the charms of the location.  All San Francisco is a suberb of Chinatown.  It is no accident that Beatniks and Hippies flourished there.

     The Sixties seethed and boiled with unremitting vigor.  Contrasted to the glitter of the scientific accomplishments of the times, cities decayed into ruin before your eyes.  The Maelstrom whirled all around you.  One had to learn to navigate its currents to survive.  It was wise to avoid the use of drugs in a city of drug proliferation.  Heroin was the least of your worries.  Only junkies used heroin and they are a class unto themselves.  One can look at a junkie and realize immediately that junkieism  is a trap to be avoided.  Cocaine, which has a long history of societal use beginning with its first pusher, Sigmund Freud, was nowhere prevalent at the time.  Cocaine didn’t become common until the seventies.  Marijuana was not yet everywhere but was indispensable to the Underground.  Exotica such as peyote and mescaline and mushrooms were still of a semi-legendary character.

page 63.

     The man made drugs were prevalent.  Amphetamines, barbiturates and LSD were everywhere.  Stanford University advertised in the papers for ‘psychological’ subjects.  As it turned out the subjects were wanted for drug experimentation.  They were given massive doses of LSD.  This gave a certain legitimacy to their use.  After all, the high priest of acid was a defrocked professor from Harvard, Timothy Leary.

     The world of drug use was being popularized and glamorized by the evangel of the generation- the phonograph record.  The psyche of the era cannot be understood without a thorough knowledge of the recorded music and comedy of the era, comedy may have been as important as the music.  The phonograph record was the single most important factor in the lives of the generation except for, perhaps, the psychologically inert.  The generation was raised on records.

     To understand the music, which is to say songs, you have to start with the incoherent  shouting and strumming of a black blues shouter by the name of Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbettor and follow the chain through the various white blues singers until you end at the Kingston Trio.  From thence Ledbettor’s songs and stylings entered the main stream.  Thus the mind of the sixities generation was conditioned by an outsider’s slave and prison mentality.  Let that Midnight Special shine its ever loving light on me.

     At the same time a group of men were setting about to create the ‘rucksack revolution.’

page 64.

     Here comes a no-no in American letters.  We’re going to discuss imigration in a realistic rather than romantic fashion.  This group of men who sought to influence and undermine American civilization were, with one exception, the sons of immigrants who were reacting to the inconveniences of being foreign elements integrating into an existing social structure.  Jack Kerrouac was a Catholic French Canadian, Allen Ginsberg was a Jew from the Pale, William S. Burroughs was the descendent of the inventor of the calculator who apparently rejected logical thinking in favor of anarchy,  Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti were Italians.

     An Anglo view of the group can be found in John Clellon Holmes autobiographical novel ‘Go.’  They all grew to maturity between the wars when the conflict between Anglo-American society and immigrant society was most intense.  The Anglo-American demand that the immigrants shed their ethnic beliefs and characters created an intense reaction.  Carl Witte epitomized the struggle in his early forties book:  We Built America.

     As the immigrant population equaled or exceeded that of the Anglo-Americans it was perhaps inevitable that they should triumph.  In any event they did.  By 1950 all the trappings of Anglo culture were being torn down to be replaced by symbols that either asserted other ethnic origins or pointedly and often violently rejected Anglo symbols.

     Where formerly immigrants had been rejected and reviled by the Anglos the immigrants now quickly turned the tables.  While the sons and daughters of the Anglos had been brought up to believe in the incredible homogeneity of American society the sons and daughters of the immigrants sought to bring the Anglos down.  The humiliation of Sandy Tyler was the result of those feelings.

page 65.

     The Beat writers, as these men have been called, represented the grossest materialism.  They were all drunks, perverts and drug addicts.  They sought to impose those values on America.  The onslaught was led by Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerrouac.  Both had done time in the bughouse or insane asylum.  Oddly enough the whole group was exposed for what they were long before they became effective by John Clellon Holmes.  Holmes’ premonitory warning was not understood.  Why should anyone worry about a bunch of bums.

     Kerrouac glorified the subculture in ‘On The Road’, ‘The Dharma Bums’, ‘The Subterraneans’ and other novels.  Ginsberg contributed an insane chant called ‘Howl.’  Through their success from 1956 to 1959 they were able to get Burroughs’ scream of hatred ‘Naked Lunch’ published.  He followed this by the influential ‘Soft Machine’ and ‘Nova Express.’

     The Beat writers were well received by the Underground.  Evidences of their cultural impact were obvious in San Francisco and the Bay Area in the early sixties.  They were not so obvious and understandable to the larger society which had heard little of the Beat writers.  As Bob Dylan expressed it: ‘…there’s something happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you…?’

     Dylan himself, who as a recording artist, was a major influence on the sixties, appears to have drawn so much inspiration for his middle period from Kerrouac and Burroughs that he can be described as a post-Beat writer.

page 66.

     The Beat writers originally tried to oerganize the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco but the Beatniks themselves, who came from an earlier period uninfluenced by Beat writers chose North Beach as their headquarters. 

     While the Beatniks dominated North Beach the Hippie culture was being formed in the Haight-Ashbury at the same time.  This culture found expression in the music of the San Francisco Sound.  Marty Balin, no one knows which two swords he carried, and the Jefferson Airplane musical group were establishing the Matrix nightclub while the rock clubs would supplant the jazz clubs of the Beatniks and transfer the focal point of the scene from North Beach back to the Haight-Ashbury.

     In addition to the Anglo-Immigrant conflict the old struggle between the Black Folk and the White Folk was assuming new dimensions.  The Blacks were demanding social equality- whatever that is.  One doesn’t want to generalize excessively where the Blacks are concerned because theirs is also a society of many diverging opinions and attitudes, nevertheless in a sizable majority of Blacks ‘social equality’ involved what is known as ‘the Payback.’  Blacks feel that they are owed something for the indignities placed on them by White Society.  This opinion is shared by a not unsizable group of Whites, so long as some other Whites pay the bill.

     Racial memories are not obliterated in a moment, a generation or even several generations.  Whites seem to have the inexplicable notion that the memory of unjust deeds can be removed by an apology, or checks drawn on someone else’s account.  Whites seem to think that things are thereby cured and resentments will disappear.  Blacks who have suffered grievous injuries with marvelous equanimity don’t believe so.

page 67.

     One of the most humiliating indignities Black women had to endure during the slave era was to be at the beck and call of any White man.  Literally, a White male could take any Black woman by the arm and lead her off to minister to his sexual needs at any time.  If she were the wife of a Black man there was absolutely nothing he could do about it but endure the shame.  So, the Payback involves White women.  Black men demand the same privilege with White women that White men had with Black women.  Everything in life gets down to a sexual offence.

     As there was no social apparatus to suport their hopes and ambitions as their had been for White men, Black men had to enforce their desires surreptitiously. 

     Thus, of a foggy overcast midday, nearly all days are foggy and overcast in San Francisco, Sandy Tyler was walking down Grant St. in North Beach on the way to the laundromat.  She was the epitome of a what a young White woman should be.  She was beautiful.  All eyes turned.  She was innocent.  She walked the streets of North Beach as though they were the streets of her upper class neighborhood in Cincinatti.

     Among the Beats and degenerates, the Blacks and Italians of this very Italian neighborhood her very Anglo dress and style stood out like Jane in Tarzan’s Africa.  Deep racial instincts stirred at the sight of her.  She had been trained to believe that assimilation in America had been complete.  All people were kind.  It is still a myth that most adhere to.

page 68.

     Sheldon Washington, a drug dealer and a huge Black man stood talking on the corner before the The Gate Of Wine Coffee House.  The Gate was a quintessential Beatnik Coffee House of the era.  Despite its name, which came from the Gilgamesh, no liquor was served.  Each night local poets, writers, thinkers and simple complainers held forth from the podium to the assembled multitude.  Unlike the Hippies, the Beatniks were well educated and much intelligent discourse could be heard at the Gate.

     Unfortunately complainers like the said Seldon Washington also inflicted themselves on the audience.  Sheldon had bent the ears of the audience for fifty-three minutes twenty-two seconds the night previous complaining about how a Spade Cat couldn’t walk down the street with a Honky chick without drawing stares.  His argot was so new that half the audience picked up Spade Cat as spayed cat and had no idea what a Honky Chick was.  Perhaps a spayed cat and an honky chick should be stared at.

     But at this moment that Sandy chose to walk by, the Man was being being waited on by his Honky heroin addict.  The addict, thin and unkempt, stood holding his money in his hand eagerly pressing it on Sheldon who was in no hurry to hand him his balloon.  In fact he didn’t have one on him.  the junkie would have to wait a little longer.

      Sheldon stood drawing out the wasted junkie’s agony when Sandy entered the intersection drawing his attention.  Now, Sheldon was one of those Black giants at six-four, two-eighty whose muscalature was concealed beneath the immense smooth expanse of his biceps and chest.  If he just raised his arm and let if fall on your back he could knock you down.  He was wearing a black Italian undershirt over his dark brown body.

page 69.

     Sheldon was so enchanted that he let out an involuntary long low whistle.  A girl of White breeding, Sandy ignored it as she properly should.  Breeding was unknown in North Beach where other standards applied.  Indignant at what he considered arrogance, Sheldon bellowed:  ‘Say mama, that was a compliment to your beautiful booty.’

     Well, Sandy seldom answered to ‘mama’, never acknowledged strange men on the street, let alone Black men, and had she known that ‘booty’ referred to her ass she would have been indignant.  But then, that was Cincinatti, this was North Beach.  Sandy responded by sticking her nose in the air pointedly ignoring Sheldon.

     Washington’s attitude changed abruptly.  Washington belonged to the Black Brotherhood and associated with the Junkie Brotherhood.  In both the individual identity is submerged in the collective identity.  One is immediately on familiar terms with every other member of the Brotherhood.  There are no interfaces.  Thus had Sandy been a Black woman she would have smiled, perhaps shook her booty as a token of appreciation and returned some compliment as to the probable size of Sheldon’s ‘thing.’  That she didn’t angered Sheldon.  He had a very big voice which he now raised to its loudest putting the threat of direct physical violence into it.

page 70.

     ‘Say Woman,’ he bellowed,  ‘where you manners?  When a brown eyed handsome man compliments a pretty woman that woman better appreciate it or she gonna have big troubles in this man’s neighborhood.  You dig?’

     Sandy stopped dead in her tracks, terrified, as she had every reason to be.  At the sound of Sheldon’s voice the Junkie had nearly fallen to his knees groveling before the Big Black.  Other White boys along the street stared lasciviously at the beautiful girl hoping to get some of whatever Sheldon left.  Their eyes silently encouraged her to acquiesce.  Alone and small, never before confronted with such brutal customs, the White girl turned to face Sheldon’s wrath with wide staring eyes.

     ‘I sayed you got a beautiful ass, mama.’  Sheldon bellowed louded than a bass drum.

     ‘T-thank-you.’  Sandy stuttered, terrified, embarrassed and not knowing how to respond to retain her dignity as a married woman.

     That’s better, mama.’  Sheldon said attempting to console and command at the same time.  ‘Now you run along and don’t ever pull that haughty shit again, hear?’

     The White boys on the street snickered confident that Sheldon, the Spade Cat, would take what he wanted and leave the rest of the Honky Chick to them.

     ‘That’s tasty,’ each thought, ‘I’m really going to enjoy fucking that bitch.’

     The promise of America was no promise at all, it was a perverted curse.

      A week later Sandy was walking down Grant on the way to the laundry.  She didn’t know how to preserve her own boogie in The Land Of The Thousand Dances.  She walked close to the buildings rather than curbside.  The Grant St. Grocery lay on her line of march.  The grocery was one of those shallow stores with no back room; rather a section running from front to rear was walled off as a storage room.  Some ten feet or so from the store entrance was an unobtrusive door through which deliveries were made.

page 71.

     As Sandy was passing this door a hand shot out grasping her by the throat and pulling her in.  Taken completely by surprise she was not consciously aware of anything till she lay gasping and sobbing against the shelves where Sheldon Washington had discarded her.

     The scene would haunt her dreams, transformed  into symbolism she could not understand, but which would shield her from some of the shame although the terror had hypnotized her into a different person.  Sheldon, who was a very big man, wanted to teach the Honky Chick a less in humility.  Blue eyes would not secure her immunity; on Grant Street brown eyes ruled.  His method was direct action, straight terror; his intellect was of the crudest but no less effective on that account.  He had merely grabbed Sandy off the street.  Picking her up, she was only 5’3″, 110 pounds, he had shoved his pelvis forward and dropped Sandy on his penis, jiggling her up and down until he climaxed.  He had then just thrown her against the shelves where she fell in a heap. 

     The street which had been empty in anticipation of the deed silently filled as the White boys stepped from doorways, alleys and from behind telephone poles where they had been inconspicuous.  Faces came to windows, eyes staring fixedly on the side door of the grocery.

page 72.

     ‘Now let that be a lesson to you, bitch.  When some brown eyed handsome man give you compliments you give him his reward and don’t give me none of that cheap assed marriage shit neither.  You learn to treat a man right and he’ll treat you right.’

     After this lecture in ethics Seldon’s mind turned to business, for after all a man has to eat, and Sheldon’s other business was pimping.

     ‘Say, bitch, you know you got a tight little ass.  You should put that cute money maker to work for me.  I show you how to live right and tight.  You be wearing diamonds and minks; you dump that Honky cat and come with me.  I show you how to shake that money maker; you don’t be walkin’ so stiff assed down the street no mo’, walk like a righteous woman.’

     Anyone looking for a good time of any kind could always get what they wanted from Sheldon.

     Sandy let out a few incoherent howls through clenched lips as she cautiously rose to her feet not sure of what was yet in store for her.  Her mute rejection was enough for Sheldon.  He turned to the clerk who had been watching through the beaded curtain and gave him a farewell acknowledgment with the shake of a finger.  Then proudly puffing out his chest for the street people he stepped out into the dim damp gloom of Grant St. and sauntered away humming ‘White Port and Lemon Juice.’

     Sandy stumbled out on shaky legs turning back toward Telegraph Court leaning on the wall for support.  Although she could not see them, the White boys slipped unobtrusively back into their holes while the faces in the windows slid back into the shadows.

page 73.

     Sandy’s life irrelevant of subsequent events was shattered.  Her sense of purity and personal integrity was gone to be replaced by a sense of defilement and consuming guilt as though she had been the perpetrator rather than the victim.  A knowledgeable psychiatrist might have been able to help her if she had gone immediately, but probably not for she would have been unable even to tell him the sequence of events.  She couldn’t remember what happened even though she knew what had happened.

     Angelo Toretti spoke quietly to Bert Tyler from behind a cracked open door as Tyler walked from the bus stop on Columbus to his apartment.

     ‘You better watch that little filly of yours, man.  she’s got eyes for that dark meat.’

     ‘What?’  Tyler said, turning in the direction of the voice.

     ‘Ask her who Sheldon Washington is.’  Toretti said with a low chuckle pushing the door shut.

     Tyler was possessed of honky cool.  He had no idea of what the threatening words of Toretti meant.  He was mildly apprehensive.  He gripped his brief case more tightly but he continued on at his normal pace.

     He fund Sandy lying on her back, skirt above her waist, with tears streaming down her cheeks.

     ‘What did you do?’  He began oblivious to the implied condemnation in his words.

page 74.

     Sandy’s response was to  increase her sobs and sense of humiliation to the point where her slender body was so wracked by shaking and pain that it is a wonder she survived.

    Tyler was twenty-two, born in ’42.  He had grown up in the bosom of a prosperous family.  He had been taught that the world was his oyster.  Raised in his upper class neighborhood, he had been advantaged from the cradle to the present.  At six feet, sandy haired and handsome he had received favored treatment through high school and the U.ofO.  While his manners were too fine for his present neighborhood they were much appreciated at the office. 

     His marriage to Sandy had seemed a perfect blending of family, looks and brilliant future.  But beneath the handsom exterior Tyler had a rotten core.  He was self-centered to the point that he was contemptuous of others.  This included Sandy.  She was desirable to him as a showpiece that demonstrated to the world his impeccable good taste and good fortune.  He was not prepared to drag damaged goods around with him.

     He should have known that North Beach was no place for a respectable woman.  But because of his favored youth he thought himself and his possessions beyond the reach of the arrows of fortune.  In college he had used marijuana, LSD and barbituates along with the ever present examination companion, amphetamines.  As he thought himself beyond, or rather, above the dangers that drugs posed, so many of his class did, he had been fearless in their use.

page 75.

     It is probable that Sandy would never have taken drugs on her own but as Tyler was the guardian of her virtue she had followed his lead trustingly.  She still considered the drugs naughty and dangerous but she was already familiar with pot, LSD and downers.  Living dangerously, out on the edge, had been the attraction of North Beach to Tyler.

     Now that he had reaped the fruit of his daring he stood staring down at Sandy.  He was unfeeling and obtuse.  He sensed that his position had been violated, he believed he had been humiliated.  He wasn’t far wrong.

     Remembering Toretti’s words his narrow vision could only conceive that he had almost walked in on Sandy and Sheldon and that whe was sobbing because she had almost been caught.

     ‘Who is Sheldon Washington?’  He asked.

     The question was greeted by additional shaking and sobbing.  Tyler had to make an effort to calm his wife.  It was not easy.  Several hours later, well into the morning Tyler had gleaned the notion that Sheldon Washington had had his wife.  His first thought as a red blooded American boy was to go looking for Sheldon Washington.  He did so the following day having called in to work sick.

     His queries after Sheldon alerted the Spade Cat that the Honky Cat was looking for him.  He arranged to be found.  He ensconced himself in an alley on Montague Street.  There with some white junkies for effect, a couple of Black hepcats around him, he sat on a garbage can waiting.

     Tyler was directed to Sheldon’s throne room.  He marched resolutely into the alley.  As he entered Sheldon rose, hitched up his pants and flexed both arms as though he were stretching.  Both his Black confederates cleaned their nails with switchblades.  The White boys stood around snuffling and grinning.

page 76.

     ‘I hear you lookin’ for me, boy.  Whachoo want?’   

     This was urban warfare for which Tyler was unprepared.  This was not a man to man confrontation which, given the size of Washington he would not have undertaken anyway, but was rather a confrontation of the big battalions against his puny one.  A quick vision of himself lying face-up beaten, cut and bleeding among the garbage cans flashed before his eyes.  He opted out.  He turned and walked away amidst chuckles, laughter and catcalls.

     Nor should he be blamed.  The rules had been changed.  Tyler had not been informed.  His only recourse would have been to stalk Washington and blow his brains out.  This was not feasible to Tyler in his present state of mind. While Washington’s position in North Beach society protected him from identification, there would be no witness come forward to identify him in the event of a complaint, Tyler would be quickly identified.  A jail cell was waiting for him if he tried.

     Unable to endure the humiliation to his wife and his own subsequent humiliation Tyler transferred the blame to Sandy.  Then by shedding her he was able in his mind to shed the double humiliation.  At least he thought he had.

     ‘Did that nigger actually put his dick in you?’  He brutally asked Sandy.

page 78.

     While White boys profess a complete lack of prejudice toward Black Folk, this is only in the social sense.  In 1964 Tyler couldn’t endure the idea that his wife had been penetrated by a Black man qua Black man.

     ‘I didn’t do it, honey.’  Sandy protested weakly.

     ‘All I want to know is wether he put that black dick up you?’

     ‘I- I think so.’  Sandy replied, her mind reeling beneath the horror of the thought of her rape.

    ‘I think so!  I think so!  God, you must know that.  I think so!  Well, that’s good enough for me.  He did.  Well, I can’t stay with a woman who’s been defiled by a nigger.  I’m leaving.  The rent’s paid till the end of the month then you’re on your own.  My lawyer will send the papers by.  I think so!’

     Thus life pitilessly took away Sandy Tyler’s hopes and joys.  She became the victim of social forces of which she was  not even aware of in their true form.  She had been lied to by society.  The American Dream!  What a pack of lies.  Shamed beyond psychological recognition she didn’t inform her parents.  A stranger in San Francisco she drifted into the drugs and demi-monde of North Beach.

     She avoided heroin and actual prostitution but she was heavy into barbiturates and marijuana.  The leering immigrant descendants gleefully passed the Anglo girl from man to man; gleefully taking out the frustrations of sixty years of humiliation at the hands of Anglos on Sandy’s body.

      The Scene shifted from North Beach to the Haight-Ashbury; from the Beatniks to the Hippies; from Cal Tjader to the Grateful Dead; from junk to junk.

page 78.

     The Hippie Movement was the realization of the materialism that Kerrouac and Ginsberg had been pushing.  History may to a very accurate extent be characterized as the war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.  The ascendance to spiritual perfection being the direction of the Sons of Light while the Sons of Darkness seek a return to the pure materialism of the untutored savage, the feral nature of man.  Materialism is as much a religion as spirituality but over the course of time all visible churches became of the spiritual kind.

     Because of Jewish opposition to the presence of Christianity in public schools the doctrine of the separation of church and state has been interpreted to mean that no spiritual beliefs can be taught in public schools.  This means in practice that no positive ethics can be taught.

     Thus while all eyes are trained on Catholics and Protestants for violations of the doctrine the Jews under the guise of preaching tolerance push their program through the schools.  At the same time the materialists have a free hand preaching materialism as no one understands its nature as the religion of the Sons of Darkness.

     Under the guise of helping the young student understand his sexual nature, courses, which are religious in intent, on ‘Human Sexuality’, undermine spiritualist precepts.  Spiritualists reject the indiscriminate indulgence of the senses while materialists embrace it.

page 79.

     Thus one has the concept of ‘the varieties of sexual experience.’  These include everything from homosexuality to child molestation.  All forms  of sexual expression are considered legitimate expressions of ‘human needs.’

     So, while those who preach self-control in order to create a better world are silenced in the name of ‘freedom’, the classrooms are turned over to materialists who seek to make life hell on earth.  Women are prostituted and men perverted in the name of ‘sexual freedom.’

     The media, movies and TV in particular  have been taken over by the materialists who exclude spiritualists from employment in those industries.  Black list.  On Big Screen and Small Screen they preach total self-indulgence at the expense of all other people.

     As a consequence crime and illiteracy increase geometrically.  The poor befuddled citizenry talk of ‘wars on crime’ which will never succeed as long as materialism is the dominant religion.  Take the religion of materialism  out of the schools and replace it with a spiritualist doctrine seeking the curbing of self-indulgence.  Then crime will diminish.  The war is not a war on crime but a war of moral attitudes.  The war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.

     Needless to say, crime will never disappear.  Crime and criminals have existed since the dawn of time.  Even then the war of the Sons of Light and Darkness commenced.  Anglo-Americans were governed by the Chivalric notion of Shame.  Not that they didn’t commit crimes but the sense of shame forced them to repent or move out of society.  During the great period of European immigration Jews opposed the notion of Shame with that of Chutzpah.  Chutzpah can be defined as simply the shameless attempt to achieve one’s desires against the will of others by surprising them with extravagant audacity.  If bold enough you may overwhelm their opposition, if not, oh well, you can always ‘apologize.’

page 80

     Leaving Kerrouac aside for the moment, William S. Burroughs lived in New York City.  NYC has been described as ‘that great factory of criminals.’  The description has been given with good reason.  For the city was invaded by the post-Great Revolution society of criminals organized around the philosophy of the Marquis de Sade.  Crime has a philosophical basis in the modern world.  ‘Ending poverty’ would have no effect on crime.  It is not just a matter of illegal activity to satisfy one’s needs.  Burroughs combined this criminal philosophy with the docrines of anarchy which were also prevalent in the Big Apple.  Burroughs’ doctrine leads to complete oblivion.  In form he continues the Jewish Chutzpah by which he was definitely influenced, as NYC is, or was, a Jewish city, into the equation of:  Wouldn’t you?

     I mean, he asks, wouldn’t you kill a little old lady and take her purse if you needed money for a heroin habit.  Wouldn’t you?  Who wouldn’t?  Of course you would if you were a heroin addict, as Burroughs was, needing a fix.  Thus Burroughs in ‘Naked Lunch’ brought the definition of morality down to what the individual needs at any given moment.  If you felt the need the for sex wouldn’t you rape an eight year old girl.  Who wouldn’t?  It was inconceivable to Burroughs that anyone wouldn’t.  If one said one wouldn’t then the logic is that your need wasn’t great enough or you would.  Who wouldn’t?  Thus Burroughs propounded a very destructive version of the materialistic religion of the Sons of Darkness.

page 81.

     Like syphilis the first outburst of the disease was evident in the Hippie movement on Haight-Ashbury.  The sores have disappeared but Burroughs’ philosophy has been spread throughout the social system.  The deteriorization of mankind was very noticeable by the late seventies to the artistic temperament.  At that time a rock band by the name of Devo made the point perfectly clear.  They asked the musical question:  Are we not men? and answered it:  No!  We are Devo.  The point being that mankind had stopped evolving and was retrogressing into devolution.  Devo hit the nail on the head.  Materialism was rapidly destroying the fabric of society.  We  were, in fact, returning to our savage origins.  J.G. Frazer’s ‘civilized veneer’ was wearing off.  Or as W.B. Yeats put it:  And what rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?  The hippies embraced Wouldn’t You wholeheartedly.  They took to drugs like an alcoholic to drink.  Drugs are the antithesis of morality.  Lying and stealing become one’s nature.  A druggie’s word isn’t worth a broken syringe.

     Sandy drifted into this environment as she moved over to the Haight-Ashbury.  Now, she came from a strong Episcopalian background.  She had an affluent past.  The Hippies bubbled up from the urban depths.  They had no strong anything except for the desire to get, to exploit.  As drug addicts they had no chance of succeeding at anything but total failure.  They succeeded at that.  The worst weren’t even human.

page 82.

     Sandy moved from crash pad to crash pad as soon as the toilets filled up and wouldn’t flush anymore.  Filthy rooms filled with filthy mattresses and filthy people.  Toilets stopped up  overflowing with excrement.  As there were no sexual barriers or restraints she was used by any derelict passing through.  She deadened her sensitivities by pretending to revel in the ‘new freedom.’  Drugs and music were exhilarating accessories.  They could turn night to day, black to white.

     But the Hippie scene with no other ethic than sex and drugs and Rock and Roll continued to deteriorate.  Unbridled sex with anyone and anything was the norm.  There were no limits.  Homosexuality forced itself into the breach as legitimate.  Then as the Disco music of the homosexuals came to dominate in 1977-78, Rock music died on the vine.  Without the impetus of music Sandy looked around to find nothing but barrenness.

     Somehow, through the years of degradation she had clung to the ghost of the vision of her past.  No matter what clothes she wore she wore them with a certain stylishness that betokened a nearly forgotten pride.  She had never abandoned her bourgeois dreams.  Now looking over the wreck of Haight-Ashbury her thoughts turned to rehabilitating herself.  As this was impossible in San Francisco she thought to find a refuge in some other part of the country.  Her rape by Sheldon Washington was never out of her mind.  She had had other unpleasant experiences with Black men so she looked for a place where she thought there wouldn’t be any.  For this reason she selected the Mormon capitol because of their alleged aversion to Blacks.  So she had moved to Salt Lake City in the late seventies.  The Mormons are an exclusive people, they don’t take kindly to non-Mormons in their midst.  Sandy once again found herself an outsider.  Rather than kicking drugs as had been her intent she continued to find solace in them.

     During all this time Sheldon Washington prospered.  He had prospered with a clear conscience.  He even considered himself a benevolent figure in the community, which, compared to some others in his line, he was.  Sheldon considered that he as a Black man was only getting back the Black Folk’s own.  ‘As ye sow so shall ye reap.’  he was fond of saying, referring to White Folks.  True.  You must be careful of the seeds you sow.  Whether Sheldon was merely reclaiming his own is left to subtler minds than mine.  Sheldon was strewing his own field with the seeds of hatred no matter how justified he felt.  His victims were not the White Folk that may have oppressed his ancestors they were living people.

     Shortly after Sandy left town a junky with sandy hair and very dark glasses began showing up in North Beach.  At least he had the appearance of a junkie.  He quickly made the connection with Sheldon Washington for his heroin.

     Over a few weeks Sheldon accepted him as just another junkie who had been around forever.  He abused him as he did all his junkies.  On this particular occasion Sheldon made appointments with this junkie failing to keep each.  Someone at each assignation point directed the junkie on to the next.  The junkie resignedly went from place to place.  He was finally directed to go the alley off Montague.  The junkie took longer to get there than he might have for he stopped off at his pad first.

page 84.

     As he turned into the alley Sheldon sat alone on a garbage can.  The Black confederates were gone.  The White junkies were out of sight.  As the junkie approached, Sheldon observed that his walk was rather stiff but as he was a junkie, what was new?  The reason the junkie’s walk was stiff was because a crowbar was suspended from his belt down his left pants leg.  A revolver was stuck in his belt beneath his moth eaten sweater.  His eyes glowed hatred beneath his very dark glasses.  He was not really a junkie; he was an impostor.

     Like a junkie he had his money ready in his hand.  He thrust it at Sheldon holding out his other hand for the baloon. 

     ‘Not so fast, my man, not so fast.’  Sheldon said.  ‘I mean, man, like man, money ain’t everything.  I mean, I am the most important man in your life.  I want you to acknowledge that.’

     The junkie shrugged indicating:  What?

     Sheldon unzipped his fly flopping his member out.  He looked at the junkie emitting only a low chuckle.  The junkie understood.  He began to go down on one knee.  His right hand moved beneath his sweater.  Sheldon had just time to focus on the hole in the blue-black barrel before his brains flew out to mingle with the rest of the garbage.

     The junkie unbuckled Sheldon’s pants and pulled them down rolling the huge inert form unto its stomach as he did so.  Removing the crowbar from his pants he rammed it far up Sheldon’s ass until the tip rested just below Sheldon’s heart.  Throwing the shades aside and discarding the moth eaten sweater he walked out of the alley and was never seen in North Beach again.

page 85.

     The police were baffled but unconcerned.  After all Sheldon hadn’t really been murdered.  He was dead but he was only a casualty in the urban warfare.  Only another soldier who had given his life for the cause.  A casualty in that urban warfare that raged beyond police jurisdiction and control.  A warfare that was beyond the law; one that operated on laws of its own.  All that can be said is that he who lives by the rod dies by the rod. 

     All across the universe the stars stayed the clacking dice of Magic Sam in his hand to look down on such insanity and say:  They ain’t nothing but a heartache and you know they’ll never get over it.  Then, with a shrug, they returned to their games.  Roll the dice with a sound like thunder.

     The junkie, his own heart broken beyond repair blew a kiss from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.  Just another boogie in The Land Of A Thousand Dances.

     Sandy watched Donn as he came up the street.  She recognized someone, who like her, had lost his place in the world.  A hope sprang up in her breast, she was beyond being able to think, that perhaps he and she might find comfort in each other reclaiming in some small degree their place in the world.

page 86.

     ‘Hi there.  What are you doing?’

     Donn paused to appraise her.  He recognized that about her that spoke of a declassee.  As he had no interest in women he attempted to dismiss her.

     ‘I’m going to get something to eat.’  He said brusquely.

     Undaunted Sandy said:  ‘Oh, I know all the good places.  I’ll take you there.’  She said clasping his hand impusively, leading him away.

    Donn could no longer go to the type of restaurant he favored.  He thought that perhaps Sandy knew of some hippie hangouts where the food would be filling and maybe passable.  He allowed himself to be led away.

     They walked for several blocks.  Sandy babbled on along the way hoping to win Donn over.  A strip mall hove in sight.  There was an Albertson’s grocery store at one end.  Donn spotted a restaurant in the middle of the mall.  When they reached the corner of the Albertson’s Donn began to continue down the front but Sandy pulled him along the side and toward the back.  Donn was confused but thought Sandy was aware of another entrance. 

     When they reached the back Sandy pointed proudly at the dumpster and said:  See.

     Donn looked at the huge garbage can puzzled.

     ‘See what?’  He asked Sandy who was still holding his hand.

     ‘Well, see,’  She said giving his hand an affectionate squeeze.  ‘Nobody ever has to go hungry in America.  They throw away tons of good food just because it’s a day or two old.  See.’  she said, grabbing at some limp brownish lettuce, ‘This lettuce is perfectly good to eat.  It’s just a little old.  And it’s free, it doesn’t cost anything.’

page 87.

     ‘All kinds of places are this stupid.  If you want I’ll take to Cheesy Burgers later.  At midnight they throw out all the burgers they’ve prepared but haven’t sold.  Wrapped and everything.  We’ll have to get there early though because everyone wants those.’

     Donn listened incredulously, rudely pulling back his hand.  He wasn’t familiar with underground ‘survival’ techniques.  He wasn’t aware that Abbie Hoffmen had published a whole book full of ideas and scams, all as good as this one.  But he was not yet so low that he would search through garbage cans for food.

     ‘God, that’s absolutely disgusting.’  He said.

     ‘No, it’s not.  Everybody does it.’  Sandy replied speaking for her crowd.

     ‘Well, I don’t eat out of garbage cans and I think anyone who does is absolutely disgusting.’  Donn replied angrily.  ‘You! Get away from me, you filthy slut.  No, don’t touch me.’  He said brushing away Sandy’s imporing hands which sought to hold his again.  ‘Get away.’  He said angrily, turning on his heel.

     Sandy’s rejection by Donn was the last thing that it took to bury her poor heart completely out of sight.  As she stood in the moonlight she sank beneath the burden of accumulated woes of nearly twenty years.  All the crimes perpetrated against her rose up to engulf her sense of decency.  Her last shred of worthiness disappeared.  The world’s guilt entered her soul as her own.  She considered herself evil.  She went through life as an empty shell.  But she was not Guilty of the Shame.  Oh no!  It was society’s shame.  It was our shame.  Repeat aloud:  I (insert your name) am Guilty of the Shame.

page 88.

     Donn found his way to the highway East.  He found a spot to doze a few hours.  Daylight found him alongside US 40.  ‘Denver, here I come.’  He whistled, praying for the best.  This was not Donn’s moment for the best.  He was over a day getting to Fruitland, an interminable number of short rides and long delays.  His spirits sank again.  He had his thumb out just outside of Fruitland when a fifty-eight Chevy pulled over.

     ‘Hi! I’m Kirk Douglas Strachan.’  The driver said extending a soft flabby hand.  He was wearing a black cowboy hat, had a soft pudgy face with black horn rimmed glasses, black cowboy shirt with white piping and black Can’t Bust ‘Ems over black cowboy boots.

     ‘Uh, yeah,’  Donn replied,  ‘I’m Phil Brown.’

    ‘Nice to meet you Phil.’  Strachan said eyeing him like a side of beef.

     This was about ten o’ clock at night.  Strachan was a practiced hand.  He got right to the point.

     ‘Now, Phil, I’m going to tell you how it is,’ he began with the authoritative tone of a movie tough guy,  ‘I like men.  I’m really a tough guy.  Did you get my name, Kirk Douglas Strachan?  Kirk Douglas was a movie tough guy.’ he said, overlooking the fact that Kirk Douglas was still alive.  ‘My mother wanted me to be tough so she named me after him.  I am tough.  Now, it’s your choice, you can either live or die.  Your second choice is obvious, we don’t have to discuss that.  Now, if you want to live you’re coming home with me and you’ll be my sex slave for a week or two.  Now, if you’re good at that I’ll reward you by driving you up to Vernal.  If you’re not you’ll join the rest of my boyfriends.  Got it!  Well, get it, my man!’

page 89.

     Donn was staring at him incredulously, his mouth agape.  Donn looked at this soft flabby creep wondering where he got the notion he was tough except from his mom.  Kirk Douglas Strachan mistook  incredulity as a sign of fear.  Strachan was a murderous fiend.  The ‘boyfriends’ he sarcastically referred to were all buried out in his garden patch beneath the turnips.  There were fifteen in all.  Some he had just blown away with a shotgun others had died lingering deaths.

     Strachan’s mother had named him after Kirk Douglas.  Strachan had studied all the actor’s films.  Except that he was short, pudgy and effeminate Strachan had his Kirk Douglas act down.  He had the same buzzsaw whine that came from the back of his head.  He had even had a cleft surgically made in his chin.  Needless to say it looked ridiculous with his moon faced pudgy head.

     Emboldened by Donn’s open mouthed wonder Strachan continued:  ‘Terrific.  You’ll have a great time too.  Now, I need a down payment right now.  See that knoll just up there.  I’m going to pull behind it.  You’re going to give me a great blow job, then I’ll take you to the ranch.’

     ‘I was boxing champ three years running at SMU.’  Donn said quietly in the Texas manner brushing imaginary lint from his fly.

page 90.

     Oh, a John Wayne type, huh?  Well I’m going to make you get out right here.’  He said skidding to a stop.  He pressed a button, the door flew open and Donn sneeringly got out.  Strachan copped a U and raced back toward Fruitland.  John Wayne trumps Kirk Douglas every time.

     Donn dropped his bag, placing his hands on his hips while he looked up and down the dark road.

     ‘Over here.  Hey, buddy, over here.’  A loud booming voice cried from the wilderness. 

     ‘Over here, buddy, I’m over here.’

     Donn peered out into the darkness.  He could see nothing.

     ‘Come on.  I’ll guide you in.’  The voice cried.

     Donn started walking into the darkness.  As he stumbled along it seemed to him like he walked on an on.

     ‘Man, that guy must have a voice like a foghorn.’  He thought.

     Then he perceived the glow of a fire.

     ‘Keep coming.  I’m right over here.’  The voice coaxed.  ‘All right, all right.  If I hadn’t been out taking a leak I would have missed you.’

     A hand came out of the darkness grabbed Donn’s hand and shook it.

     ‘Hi!  I’m Dharma Bum.’  Bum said proudly.

     ‘You can call me Jack.’  Donn said, taken back by Dharma Bum’s strange name.

page 91.

     Bum led him back behind a small rise where a fire burned in the darkness.

     ‘Dharma Bum?’  Donn asked.  ‘Did I hear you right.’

     ‘Dharma Bum, that’s right.’  Bum replied.  ‘I’m out here seeking enlightenment.’

     Dharma Bum was quite an apparition in the barren mountain night.  He was about six-four high.  Thin but not slender.  He wore a pair of knee high boots, medium platforms with two and a half inch heels, laced all the way up to his knees fitting over form fitting jeans that gave Bum the appearance almost of walking on stilts.  The jeans buttoned with the buttons showing on the outside.  A pink, or dusty plum, flowered vest covered a lavender flowered shirt with enormous billowing sleeves.  It was an outfit modeled after John Hall of Hall and Oates.

     Bum’s face was fleshy, all the features being large.  He wasn’t handsome, plain verging on homely, but carried himself with real leading man verve.  He was topped by a mane of black hair streaked now with silver combed straight back, en brosse, falling to his shoulders.

    He was a child of TV, records and movies.  He invariably saw himself as Batman and others as his Robins.  He had developed the authoritative way of talking which in the movies leaves the bit actors gasping in astonishment at the sagacity and sheer manliness of the lead.  In the same manner Bum tried to impose himself on reality.  Reality not being the movies, Bum had been, as it were, rejected by life.  He was undaunted; New Day, New Script.  As Jim Morrison of the Doors replied when being urged to hurry lest he be too late to catch his flight:  ‘You can never be too late for your own movie.’  Whatever happens is in the script.

page 92.

     Besides money wasn’t a real problem for Bum.  He just wired home to Dad to pay the card.  He was covered for medical and dental care.  Unlike most bums, or homeless, he was in excellent health and his teeth were good.  He was actually cooking baked beans in the can held over the fire with a forked stick, just like in the movies.

     ‘I’d offer you some but I wasn’t expecting company.’  He said with an authoritative chuckle indicating that he knew Donn would understand as he reacted to gasps of astonishment from Donn in the theatre of his mind.  Bum always played to an SRO audience.  Each movement, each word was done and spoken in a stagy manner.  Often there was no necessity for a reply.  Bum merely waited the appropriate time  for the reply in his mental script then continued his next lines.  Not infrequently he overrode the speaker or completely ignored, in fact, didn’t hear, the reply.

     ‘Jack, huh?  Jack?’  Bum said with a wink.

     ‘What?’ Donn said uncertain whether to be apprehensive or puzzled.

     Bum had taken his name from Jack Kerrouac’s novel ‘The Dharma Bums.’  He thought Donn was making a sly joke on Bum’s self-introduction.

     ‘Yeah.  Ya know Jack understood me real well.  Yeah.  Ha, ha.  He wrote my life before I even began to live it.’

page 93.

     ‘Jack?  Jack who?  Me?’

     ‘Jack Kerouac!’  Bum cried incredulously.

     ‘Jack Kerouac?  You mean the guy who wrote ‘On The Road?’  Donn said fishing for the sense as his head swam trying to understand Bum.

     ‘Oh, ho.  You do know Jack then?’  Bum beamed.

     ‘I read ‘On The Road.” Donn said.

     He had read it out of curiosity in college where it had been a life style manual for a certain crowd.  He had detested the book.  It represented everything he despised.  Donn, then as now, wanted the good life, the high life.  He didn’t think hanging around with petty grifters and small time thieves in sleazy bars equated the good life.  Even if you camouflaged your sleaziness with intellectual pretense.

     ‘Great book, isn’t it?  I read ’em all.  That, the Dharma Bums, Desolation Angels, terrific stuff.  I just don’t know how he anticipated my life though.  Eerie, don’t you think?’

     ‘Is that how you got the name Dharma Bum?’

    ‘No.  I am Dharma Bum.  Jack wrote the book about me.

     ‘Didn’t Kerouac write it before you hit the road?’ Donn said unpolitically.

     ‘What the hell you talking about?’  Bum said glaring across the fire suspiciously at Donn.  ‘Didn’t I just say Jack wrote my life?’

     ‘My mistake.’  Donn said wryly, realizing that Bum had only just been beamed down from the saucer.

page 94.

     ‘Damn right it is, fella.’  Bum said in his best John Wayne style.  Then his face formed a reverie as he began talking.  The speech was one he had prepared for the inevitable Time or TV interviewer.  He thought they would catch up to him sooner or later to get his story.

     ‘Yes.’  He began in f0nd reminiscence.  ‘I must have crossed this great big beautiful land a hundred times or more.  God bless this crazy topsy-turvy unbelievable US of A.  Yes, from that fabled Golden Gate of old San Fran to the New York Island, from the tropical shores, actually sub-tropical, he,he, of Key West to the Mesabi iron range up on Lake Superior, I’ve loved it all.  My feet have led me to the tops of the highest mountains, and I mean literally, the tops, I’ve been above Cripple Creek, and down into the depths of amazing valleys, my feet have washed in gorge of the Grand Canyon.  In one day I’ve been to the top of Mt. Wilson and to the depths of Death Valley, the highest and lowest places in the lower Forty-Eight in one day.  I’ve stood with my feet in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  Now, what do you think of that?’

     He stopped with a big quizzical Will Rogers smile seemingly looking into Donn’s eyes but actually nearly oblivious of his existence.  Donn was fearful that this night might go on forever.  He cleared his throat loudly speaking piercingly to blow his way into Bum’s consciousness.

     ‘Why did you start doing this?  Why are you out here?’

     This was almost the question Bum had scripted for the Time Magazine interviewer.  He heard and shifted into second gear.

     ‘What am I doing out here?’  Bum said with a rueful shake of his head accompanied by several musing snarls.  ‘Well, I’ll tell you why I’m out here.  I’m a victim of capitalist oppression.’

page 95.

     ‘How’s that?’

     ‘How’s that?  Well, let me tell you how the system really works.  Or, doesn’t work.  Ya know, a guy goes to work for some jerk in good faith, promised that if things work out he’ll be taken care of.  He gives the best he’s got, which in my case was pretty damn good, puts in the best period of his life.  Then he makes the business big and successful for this jerk.  The more money you make for this jerk the more he starts reneging on the deal.  Then when he figures he’s got it made and doesn’t need you anymore- Bingo! you’re gone.  Oh yeah, I know all about capitalism.  Tell that to your readers.

     What a jerk the guy is.  If you ever run into him dump on him.  His name is Dewey Trueman.  I’m a Jew you know.’  Bum added with a significant arch to his eyebrows.

     A the mention of readers Donn thought that Bum somehow knew who he was, or had been, a music reviewer.  The mention of Dewey Trueman threw him off his heels.  He was totally mystified.

     ‘Dewey Trueman?’  Donn said.  ‘Where abouts in this great land of ours did this take place?’

     ‘Out on the coast.  Eugene, Oregon.’

     ‘What does your being a Jew have to do with it?’

     ‘Huh!  Anti-Semitism of course.  It’s always the Jew gets it in the neck.  Always been that way.  Need a scapegoat, get a Jew.  I should have known, I suppose.’

     ‘You say this guy Trueman promised you part of the business?’  Donn asked, his curiosity really aroused.

     ‘Yeah.  That’s right.’  Bum said ruefully.

    ‘So.  What?  You worked for him for five or six years then?’  Donn was familiar with Trueman and to some extent his store.

     ‘Well, it wasn’t quite that long.’

     ‘How long then?’

     ‘Well, let’s see.’  Bum began manipulating his fingers and drawing in the dirt.  ‘Maybe five or six months.’

     ‘Months?’  Donn said incredulously.

     And well he should have for Bum had created a verstion of the events that completely rewrote the facts.

     Bum’s real name was Norm Barsky.  He was from St. Louis.  he had been brought into Eugene to take possession of the business Dewey Trueman had built up.  A record store in Eugene that was very successful.  For the size of the city tremendously successful.  In a small pond the record store had been a big splash.  Trueman was a Hippie.  He therefore succeeded against the wishes of the town fathers.  A couple attempts had been made to assassinate him.  When the last attempt to kill him on the highway by bogus Hell’s Angels had failed the town fathers were at a loss of what to do.  At the same time they, or at least Harry Grabstein, realized that the store was a valuable money maker.  It should be preserved but put into righteous hands.  Grabstein undertook to resolve the matter.  He would appropriate or, in other words, steal the business.    

     So as to evade the appearance of being himself involved he called an acquaintance in St. Louis, Art Barsky.  Art’s son Norm, had just finished school at the University of Chicago, was married, new baby, and could use a good income.  Norm, wife and child were sent to Eugene to receive his inheritance.

page 97.

     It was not to be expected that Trueman would just hand over his business to Norm so a certain deception and ruse had to be practiced.  Norm was schooled by his father while refresher points would be supplied by Harry Grabstein.  The method was quite simple and well tried.  The only obstacle in the way could be the victim’s character.  That was the only variable that couldn’t be controlled.  As Grabstein thought Trueman a despicable Hippie with no character he perceived no problem in bringing him down.

     One may ask why these Jews thought themselves entitled to another man’s property.  The problem was not in the capitalist economic system as Bum sincerely thought but in the Jewish religious system and culture which he would have denied.  A quick survey of the three great crucial periods in Jewish history should provide the intellectual justification.

     Jewish history is a closed field, permitted only to those who have been properly vetted.  As the editor of the Cambridge History of Judaism puts it:  But as the study of Judaism is peculiarly open to emotive interests and unconscious influences which make it highly susceptible to hurtful misinterpretations, no effort to get rid of the blinkers of traditions and prejudices may be deemed superfluous.

    In other words if you don’t see it their way you have no right to be heard.  Nevertheless the truth must be pursued.  The objectivity of historical facts cannot be allowed to be skewed to the advantage of one party to the hurt of another.  Neither valid history or sociology can be approached in such a manner to obtain preconceived results.  Any conclusions are always subject to discussion.  Just as the Constitution of the United States decrees the separation of church and state it also decrees absolute freedom of expression  whether a subject is peculiarly open to emotive interests or unconscious influences or not.

page 98.

     Messianism is the backbone of the Jewish belief system.  The belief is that the natural order of things was overturned when Cain slew Abel.  All of history since then has been the promise of God to bring the Jews into their rightful place as arbiters of the nations thereby reversing the decision of history or, reality.  The redemption of Israel is the purpose of all ‘History.’  There have been three great periods of redemptive or messianic expectations.  On these pivots the Jewish character was formed.

     The first great period was from c. 188 BC to 135 AD.  The second centered around the messiahship of a man called Sabbatai Zevi in the years around 1640-1700 AD.  The third with the Revolution of the Messiah around the years 1913-28.  In all three the Jews were brutally disappointed.

     As the smaller and weaker portion of the greater society the Jews have always felt abused and suppressed, especially as they believe they are the bearers of the true god.  Thus when Israel is redeemed and the roles are reversed all the wealth of the world will belong to the Jews; and the gentiles will be their slaves.

     The initial confrontation was  begun between the Hellenes and Jews expanding into a war between the entire Greco-Roman world and the Jews.  Initially the Jews were successful against the Hellenes.  the Roman world proved too much for them.  In a series of tremendous wars from 66-70 AD when the Temple was destroyed through the amazing uprising in 116-18 to the final destruction of the Jewish state in the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135 AD, the Jews were all but exterminated.  In the hopes of ending the confrontation and destroying the locus of what, by then was the center of perpetual disturbances, Jerusalem was leveled while Jews were forbidden to enter the city. 

page 99.

     Thus in the wars which the Jews characterize as anti-Semitic persecution but which were actually a contest for the dominion of the Roman world, redemption for the Jews was postponed, while Rome was prostated.

     For approximately 1500 years the Jews longed for the appearance of the true Messiah, both Jesus and Bar Kochba having failed them.  After fifteen hundred years of various disasters culminating in the expulsion from Spain and the Cossack rebellion against Poland in 1648 a new Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi appeared in the Asia Minor governed by the Turks.  Sabbatai is the pivot of Jewish history.  Israel quivered in the expectation of deliverance.  As in the 116-18 uprising of the Roman period Europeans from the Pale to England were to be slaughtered.  True, the means were lacking but the will was there.  Once again the wealth of the world was to accrue to the Jews.

page 100.

    End of II-2.  Proceed to II-3 for the continuation.

     At this point the story consists of Part One:  Disco Donn Does Deep Elum and Part II, clips 1 and 2.

   

 

 

 

  

 

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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,

 

    

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