Skip navigation

Category Archives: William S. Burroughs

Disco Donn Demands Deliverance

by

R.E. Prindle

Part II-3

     Turkish spies amongst the Jews learned of their Messianic hopes, one hesitates to call them intentions as there was little hope of success.  Sabbatai was called to Adrianople where the Sultan resided and there he apostasized to Mohammedanism.   He put on the white turban of the Moslems.  Thus redemption of Israel was once again placed in the indefinite future.  God wasn’t willing to forgive the transgressions of his people just yet.

     The future began to take shape in the wake of the great reorganization of society known as the French or Great Revolution.  In that great attempt to strike down all racial, national and class barriers the social disabilities  of the Jews, at least, were struck down.  The Jews were incorporated into the various states as full citizens.  This is known by the Jews as the emancipation of the Jews.  The difference being a matter of loyalties.  The states expected that the Jews would give their undivided loyalty to the appropriate State, much as the Catholics and Protestants did.  But the highest loyalty of the Jews remained Israel.

     The failure of Zevi had taught the Jews a lesson.  They saw the futility of relying on one man as a redeemer.  Henceforth the redemption would depend on the whole people.  The notion of Redeemer was transferred to the that of the Revolution.  Thus the Jews began working toward redemption through a revolution.  The Euroamericans gave this new millennial urge the name of the International Jewish Conspiracy.

     As the idea took shape in the mind of Israel, the Messiah of the Revolution would come in the years 1913-28.   Their plan was revealed time and time again.  There were intelligent sociologists in every State that recognized the plan.  They were apparently unable to explain the process satisfactorily in the face of Jewish obfuscation.  The Jews were able to denounce them as diseased, unbalanced, wacko anti-Semites.

page 101

     Thus the Jews made great progress during the nineteenth century ending in the seizure of the Russian State and the nearly successful takeover or all central and eastern Europe.  Every action creates a reaction which explains the intense reaction throughout the world toward the Jews during the years 1920-46.

     Lacking a territorial base or an army the Jews had to work by devious means.  The method was early exposed but on the surface is so risible as to appear ridiculous.  European sociologists said they were trying to get all the money through Capitalism while seizing control of the labor force by socialism or unionization.  No adequate explanation was offered so the sociologists became the butt of jokes.

     Several decades later the process is clear.  In fact Howard Sachar, a Jewish historian, explains it.  Here are two examples.  These are pertinent to the story because Norm and Art Barsky attempted the ruse against Dewey Trueman.

     IN 1859 the Italians wished to drive the Austrians from Italy.  At the time the Rothschilds and other Jewish financiers were at the apex of their success.  If they didn’t control the money markets they didn’t miss much.  Modern financial methods for raising money by the States did not yet exist so they were dependent on loans from the Jewish financiers.  Austria was especially dependent on the Rothschilds for loans.

     Thus while dissension was fomented in Italy, the Rothschilds refused to loan money to Austria.  With no money above the line the Austrians were unable to deal with dissension below the line.  Thus Jews controlled the politics of the situation through finances.  The Austrians were forced to retire from Italy.  The Jews were able to direct the course of European history to their own advantage unobtrusively from behind the scenes.

    The second instance involves the First Russian Revolution.  A war between the Jews and the Russian State had been going on for decades.  Industrialism had created a proletariat in Russia.  Russia was engaged in a contest for Manchuria with the Japanese.  The Japanese were unable to pursue their goals for lack of money.  A man called Jacob Schiff in the United States raised hundreds of millions of dollars of American money for the Japanese.  His efforts were abetted by the Jewish consortium of Europe.

     At the same time Schiff and others prevented loans being made to Russia.

     With the economic situation under control the Jews fomented strikes and rebellion on the labor front.  The result was that the enemy of the Jews, Russia, lost the war with Japan and had to change the structure of the government to placate the Jewish rebels.

     This procedure is known as getting the victim between the upper and nether jaws of the vice.  Once pinioned the victim can be filed into any shape at leisure. 

     The Jews of course denied everything and still do.  But just as the sociologists saw what was happening so did certain politicians.  Jewish history had been well studied by both the Germans and the Russians.  They were quite aware that a slaughter of the peoples would follow a Jewish victory as indeed did happen in Russia in the years following 1917.  Once again denied although as obvious as the Nazi death camps to anyone who wants to study the period.

page 103.

     Nineteen-seventeen to nineteen-twenty-four or so was the high tide of the redemption period.  Success seemed imminent.  The reaction however created two very strong personalities  in Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

     There were many signs that were to proclaim the Redemption.  Among them was the notion of Gog and Magog, great cataclysmic armageddons.  This prophecy was fulfilled by the two great wars bracketing the twenties and thirties.  Hitler’s contention was always that the Jews caused the wars.  He was probably correct.

     At any rate the Jews believed that they had isolated and surrounded the last great anti-Semite.  Stalin’s activities in Russia had not sunk in yet.

     In the United States the redemption was in full swing.  In 1899 the the founder of Reform Judaism in the United States, Isaac Meyer Wise, had predicted that the redemption would occur within twenty-five years.  The massive immigrationof Jews from the Pale gave the Jews an ample power base in the United States.  From 1913 to 1945 in a line of politicians from Woodrow Wilson through Al Smith to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Jews created the coalition they hoped to direct.  They did attain a position of great influence.

     Thus while Hitler and Stalin were tightening the screws on the Jews in Europe, in the United States the Jews were isolating all American nationalists and devout Christians under the names of Facscists and ‘anti-Semites.’  The only serious opposition to their program came from Henry Ford in the twenties.  He, in his American naivete, thought he could persuade the Jews to end their historical confrontation with Euroamerican society.  He was mistaken.  He was isolated and ostracized by his fellow Americans.

page 104

     There was not much active opposition to the Jews in the United States; after all Americans had always considered themselves neo-Hebrews.

     Nevertheless all dissident religious or nationalist voices were identified and isolated in an aggressive program of vilification.  In 1943 as Hitler and Stalin were destroying the Jews, those in America were calling for concentration camps to isolate the ‘anti-Semites.’  This is true.  In a country that had always prided itself on the separation of church and State the Jews were calling for laws outlawing dissenters from their religious views, or as they called them, anti-Semites.

     No one could have foreseen the extermination of Eastern and Central European Jewry.  Thus the Revolution as Redeemer failed as disastrously as Bar Kochba in Roman times and Sabbatai Zevi at the end of Medieval times.

     In the twenties and thirties the Jews believed that they were to come into their own in ‘America, my home sweet home.’  In the land of plenty, the plenty was to be at their disposal.  Everyone else would be their servant or slave.  A life of indolence and ease analogous to that enjoyed by the post-war Kuwaitis would be theirs.

page 105.

     Louis Barsky, Art’s father, exulted in the hope.  He implanted the expectation in Art who had been born in 1923.  Art grew up filled with the hope.  He was aquiver with hope as the war against the Axis began.  He really believed he would begin that life on V.E. day.  The stage was certainly prepared in the United States.

     In 1948 the ancient Jewish hope would be realized when the head and tail of Ouroboros were put in place as Israel became a Jewish State.

     One can only imagine the horror of the realization that the main body of the Ouroboros was crushed in Germany and the East.  Redemption had failed yet again.  The Revolution as Messiah was a bust.

     Art Barsky looked out on the world through tears of bitterness.  There was no life of ease for him.  He would have to work for a living unable to enjoy the plenty that he thought was rightfully his.  He had to work.  Oh, he did well enough.  He made a lot of money selling women’s nylon stockings.  But every year his bitterness and rage mounted.  He had his son Norman, the young lord.  Norm had graduated from college, married and fathered his own son in one fell swoop.

     Art had communicated his and Louis’ attitude to Norm.  But there seemed no way for Norm to realize his heritage.  Thus when Harry Grabstein called Art with his proposition concerning Dewey Trueman it was a godsend.

     Norm was briefed and sent West with his shiksa and child to claim his inheritance.  As Trueman didn’t realize that his business rightfully belonged to Norm some deception was required.

page 106.

     Getting hired was no problem.  Retail sales is an entry level position for high school dropouts and malcontents who can’t hold a job elsewhere.  Record stores in general draw the dreamy types, separated and withdrawn from objective reality.  As the term then was- spaced out.

     The recorded word has a tremendous appeal to them.  It is as though the voice of god speaks from the groove.  A standard story was of the guy who dropped a couple hits of acid, turned Black Sabbath’s album ‘Paranoid’ up to ten and saw god.

     The bands and singers were certainly thought of as oracles or prophets, super prescient people who understood the whole of the entire.  Thus singers told them truth directly.  Spoke to them through their stereos.   Ras le bol was one of the primary messages- screw it all.  Consequently these people didn’t stay on the job too long while they did as little work as possible while there.  Getting to work on time?  Who would buy that load of bullshit?

     Thus Norm, wearing the same outfit as in the mountains except that he had the de rigeur leather jacket of the times instead of the flowering vest and shirt, presented himself for employment.  He literally burst noisily into the store.  He asked for a job letting it be known that he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  If Trueman hadn’t had an opening at the time he soon would have.  Norm Barsky presented a bizarre persona but it was a time of bizarre personas.  Trueman was curious as to his story.

page 107.

     Norm had more ambition than the listless drifting types Trueman normally saw.  He wasn’t creative but told what to do and how to do it he was capable of not only doing it one time but being able to repeat the action without repeated istruction.

     He quickly acquired greater responsibility, soon becoming Dewey Trueman’s manager.  This was all done within two months.  Things move fast in the the record business.  Tomorrow will soon be yesterday.  Sell them hits while they’re hot.

     Norm had began to organize the employees around himself and against Dewey as soon as he had been hired.  In fact he had the floor functioning smoothly for nearly the first time in the store’s history.  Trueman himself handled the buying and all the other chores but was unable to supervise the floor full time.  He was pleased with Norm’s performance.

     At the same time he noticed the alienation of the personnel from himself as Norm sought their loyalty.  When he became manager he could speak with the authority of ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it with Dewey.’  Thus as the store was actually his in his own mind he began to give liberties to the crew.  He allowed them to take records home gratis.  He gave Rolfe Kusinen money from the till to buy, or rather, upgrade, as it was known, his new stereo system.  Then, as Rolfe’s old records were scratched he allowed him to bring them back and exhange them for new records.  Norm backed his car up to the back door and loaded a few boxes in to pick up some pocket ‘change.’  Nor did he think he was stealing.  In his mind he already owned the store, Trueman was working for him.  Stealth was necessary because Trueman was not yet aware of the new arrangement.

pate 108.

     Norm quietly nudged aside Trueman’s influence with the sales reps.  He represented his assumption of power as an accomplished fact but urged them to keep it quiet as Trueman was sensitive to the fact.

     By early November he believed he was in the position for a takeover or, as he expressed it, ‘a palace revolution.’

     He told Dewey that his father was coming to town and that as, next to his father, he admired Dewey most of all he would like Dewey to meet his father.

     Thus as the nether jaw of the vice was prepared the upper jaw would hopefully soon be screwed down.  Dewey, by this time, was aware that Norm’s facade concealed some misdoings.  Intimations of difficultes were coming from both the floor and from the sales reps.  While nothing was said, different attitudes were projected.  He was beginning to have real difficulties adapting himself to the role of ‘Norm’s ’employee’ which role Norm unconsciously assumed.

     Out of consideration to Norm he agreed to meet his father.  They met over lunch at the Willametter River Inn.  Norm and Art arranged a late lunch so as to be undisturbed by other diners.  They sat in the far corner looking out over the river.  Dewey had his back to the restaurant.  Harry Grabstein drifted in to watch from an obscure position.

     Art Barsky now fifty was an embittered man.  Being a salesman is one of the toughest jobs in America.  One’s manhood and dignity are constantly being insulted.  There is no attitude except complete servility that will protect you from the slings and arrows.  If you’re completely servile you’re a failure as a salesman.

page 109.

     Art Barsky had taken refuge in a carney’s attitude.  He viewed his customers as stupid suckers while he was a wise manipulator.  The attitude meshed neatly with his disappointment in the failure of the Redemption.  His attitude was beginning to interfere with his salesmanship.  His best years were behind him.

     The face he presented to Trueman was quite similar to Lee J. Cobb in ‘Death Of A Salesman.’  Trueman had an intuitive dislike of the man.  He also now understood Norm Barsky better.

     Art began by talking down to Dewey.  Trueman responded coolly and laughingly showing his contempt for Art.  Barsky was not subtle enough to pick up on it.  Besides the script was already written.  All Trueman had to do was act his part.  Thus Art very nearly waived aside any civilities getting straight to the point. 

     ‘I’ve got to have my boy here established.’  He said bluntly.

     ‘Well, if has to quit…’  Dewey began.

     ‘No, not quit.’  Art sort of bellowed.  ‘But I can’t have him just working for you.’

     ‘Well, if has to quit…’  Dewey began again.

     ‘No.  Not quit.’  Barsky interrupted again.  ‘The way I see it is he’s indispensable; you can’t get along without him.  He needs something of a permanent nature.’

page 110.

     ‘Well, if he has to quit…’  Trueman began a third time.

     ‘No! Not quit, damn you.’  Barsky blundered on oblivious to objective reality.  ‘If he’s going to make your business for you he should have an interest.  Say, one half…’

     Dewey stared in disbelief.  Norm, who had been watching him intently took the look for one of fear and acquiescence.  Dewey wasn’t an actor in their movie but they didn’t realize it.  Norm kicked his father under the table to indicate they were on the right track.

     Trueman took Barsky for a fool.  His expression turned to a sardonic smile as he tittered a little laugh.

    ‘Oh yeah?  What kind of deal do you have in mind?’  He asked curiously.

     ‘Well we figure the business is worth ten thou but we also figure we’ll really make it boom with our expertise.  We’re Jews you know.  We don’t want you to be unhappy so we’ll give you a bonus making the business worth twenty-five thou but you’re going to have to take a salary cut.  Maybe half.’

     Dewey couldn’t believe his ears.  He valued the business highly perhaps exaggerating its worth but he wouldn’t have taken less than two hundred thousand and would have balked at that.  He had his own expansion plans based on his own expertise which up to this point had been considerable.

     His eyebrow shot up.  ‘Twenty-five thousand?  Cash or check?’  He said derisively.

     Norm’s face lit up.  He thought he was in.  He reached over and patted Dewey’s arm.

     ‘We’ll give you a note.’  the Old Con Man barked authoritatively.

page 111

     Dewey involuntarily blew air through his compressed lips giving the mistaken impression he was giving a bronx cheer.  A little spittle got on Art’s face.

     ‘Well, buddy,’ Dewey began derisively, ‘why don’t I just give you an interest?  You’re going to give me a note.  All that means is that you’ll pay me out of my own profits.  Since I’ve already got a hundred per cent of them do you really think I’ll settle for half and lose my salary by half at the same time?’

     Art stared at him viciously.  The audacity of this goi to balk a Prince of this Earthly Realm.  How long will we have to suffer these indignities he thought bitterly projecting every nuance of his thought into his facial expression.

     ‘I gotta go now.  See you back at the store, Norm.’

     The upper jaw of the vice was not to descend.  As in the macrocosm so in the microcosm the Redemption was balked.

     Norm looked questioningly at his father.  His father was stunned.  It wasn’t so much that they thought so little of their quarry, Trueman, it was just that like all con men they thought that they were so damned clever.

     ‘That guy’s a real prick.’  Art exclaimed defensively.

     ‘I told you so.’  Norm nodded.

     Prick or not they had lost the initiative.  All they could do was attempt to intimidate Trueman on the labor front; he couldn’t use their ‘captital.’

     Once in, of course, they would have used law suits and legal means to harass Trueman.  As Grabstein could control the judges, the town fathers wanted Trueman gone anyway, all decisions would have gone against Trueman.  Within a year he would have been locked out while the business accrued to Norm and Art for essentially nothing.

page 112

     The two were victims of their own fantasies.  They really believed that Norm was indispensable.  They really believed that the success of Trueman’s business was due to Norm.  The fact that the business had been a success before Norm got there was disregarded.  Such inscrutable obtuseness is scarcely to be believed, yet it is a normal state of affairs.

    Art and Norm devised a plan where the entire staff would quit on New Year’s Day.  Faced with the loss of the indispensable Norm and his crack crew Trueman would have to capitulate.  The palace revolution would be a success.  Trueman would have to deal with them on their own terms.  In order to get the Indispensable One back he would have to actually give them ownership.

     Norm’s ease in manipulating the crew reassured them of his abilities.  The Christmas season was begun.  This is the worst time for labor troubles in retail.  Dewey wanted to fire Norm or, at least get rid of him, but it was the wrong time.  He thought that the season might produce a gross of fifty thousand dollars.  He decided to tolerate Norm.  Norm and the crew, who thought the profit margin was much higher than it was, in the record business of the time the margin was only twenty to twenty-five percent, Dewey was at thirty, thought that Dewey would make ninety thousand or God only knows how much.

     Norm encouraged them to think that they were the reason for the store’s success.  He pressed Trueman hard for large bonuses.

page 113.

     Trueman, cursed with the orphan’s need to be loved, wanted to do what was right.  Like most nouveaux riches he felt guilty about his success.  The times were propitious to augment that feeling.

     It would appear from the narrative that Trueman was rolling in money but this wasn’t true.  He was being driven by a load of debt.  He had started with no money at all.  He had received no bank loans.  The growth had been very rapid.  The rate of expansion had him financially against the wall.  He was perpetually behind in his bills.  He really couldn’t spare the money but he allowed himself to be coerced into giving large bonuses.

     Norm took full credit with the crew which, indeed, was his right in this instance.  Now convinced that there were millions to be had he guaranteed the crew that he would double their wages if they followed him.  They readily consented.

     At closing on December 31 Norm delivered his ultimatum; either all wages were to be doubled, his tripled, or they would quite en masse none showing up for work on January second.

     The season was behind him.  January and February were slow months.  Trueman just said goodbye and had the locks changed.  he had a new crew by week’s end.

    Norm was incredulous.  Unbelieving.  Actually stunned as though running full tilt into a goal post.  But he thought that as he was indispensable Trueman would capitulate and call him back.  The fantasies that corrupt one’s mind.

     Norm’s failure destroyed his relationship with his shiksa wife.  She had been won mainly by by Norm’s tall talk of his abilities and future success.  She had been led to believe that she would be moving into Dewey’s mansion on the hill.  Now she lost faith in Norm completely.  When, two months later, it became apparent that Norm was not going to be called back; she packed her bags and took their son and moved back to LA where she had come from.

page114.

     Forced to accept reality, Norm’s sense of grandeur prevented him from accepting just a job.  Electric vehicles were a big topic then so Norm obtained a loan and opened a lot selling electric motor scooters.  Well, an idea whose time had come or not, no one bought them.

     The bank called Norm to discuss his lack of payments on the loan.  Norm always heeded fantastic solutions to any problem.  He had read an article about some guy who had been called in to make good a loan.  This guy, so the story went, stared coolly back into the banker’s eye and said:  Either you give me time to make the loan good which I will do, or you can have the business and you can’t run it.’  In the story the bank capitulated, the guy made good and everyone laughed about it later.  Real chutzpah.  I mean, wouldn’t you?

     Incredibly Norm tried this act.  The banker laughed, foreclosed and threw Norm out into the street.  Norm thought he had obtained the loan himself but naturally unbeknownst to him his father had co-signed for it through the good offices of Harry Grabstein.  The banker thought he was secure but he was never able to collect from either Art Barsky or Harry Grabstein.  So much for high finance in Norm’s life.  And for Art the Revolution as Redeemer sank into the sands like the Rhine before the ocean.  For him the third great messianic attempt became a sour, bitter, excoriating experience.  Goddamn everybody and everything, he thought.

page 115.

     Norm was still the unabashed hero of his own movie.  He had not only read ‘On The Road’ but most of Kerouac’s novels.  In a college town like Eugene they were especially popular.  If he couldn’t succeed in the business world, Norm could succeed as a bum.  There is no success like failure and failure is no success at all.  Norm could be part of the ‘rucksack revolution.’  He embraced the notion behind Kerouac’s novel:  The Dharma Bums.  Don’t you just love Kerouac.  Norm became Dharma Bum.

     Somehow Donn sensed the real story behind Bum’s story of woe in capitalist society.  There was that about Bum that bespoke delusional fantasy.

     Having finished his beans, Bum rolled himself what he called a splif from what he said was Thai-stick tea.  A splif is a Jamaican marijuana joint as big as a cigar; Bum’s spliff was slight larger than a pencil lead.  As with the beans he didn’t offer Donn any.  As he talked and smoked he unbuttoned his fly.  As he had no underwear on his dong flopped right out.

     Finishing one ‘spliff’ he rolled himself another.

     ‘This Thai shit is really potent.’  He said.

     ‘Let’s see.’  Donn said reaching out his hand.

     ‘Uh uh.’  Bum said pulling the joint back.  ‘I’ve got a different number for you to suck on.’  He said, indicating his penis in his best John Wayneish movie tough guy talk.

page 116.

     Donn just sat there looking at him in wonder.  Who does this guy think he is?  He thought.

     Dharma Bum, in fact, thought he was faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, hold back freight trains by main force.  But since he couldn’t find a job as a brain surgeon or bank president because of the stupidity of capitalism he had chosen the life of the wandering mystic.  The Holy Bum who though he appeared to be beneath society was actually superior to it.

     ‘Assume the position.’ He commanded with quiet authority, taking a long toke on his ‘splif.’

     Donn looked steadily back and shook his head no.

     ‘Assume the position, damn it! Bum bellowed.

     Donn didn’t move.

     ‘Don’t try to balk me son-of-a-bitch.  Assume the position.’  Bum half commanded, half whined.  At the same time he grabbed a stick and began to belabor the sitting Contrales.

     Donn leaped to his feet beneath the stinging blows to land a stiff right on Bum’s outhrust chin.  Dharma Bum fell to the ground unconscious.  He flew over backwards striking his head on an outcrop.  He was dead as he settled to the ground.

     Donn in his agitation bent over with his hands on his knees to collect his senses.  As he did he noticed that Bum didn’t seem to be breathing.  Yes, Donn ascertained, Bum was dead.  Donn had killed two men in one week.  Serial killer.  Once again it was self defense, but who would believe him.  All of the circumstantial ‘evidence’ would be against him.  There would be no one to believe his story.  He felt a rising sense of panic, of fear and loathing, as he looked down on the dead body of Dharma Bum.

page 117

     The outcropping was a ledge between which and the ground, between the upper and nether jaws of the vice as it were, there was a gap almost big enough to admit a man’s body.  In frustration and anger Donn grabbed Bum’s body, backing up a couple steps he ran forward thrusting the head and torso into the opening.   The body jammed at the chest.  Try as he might he could force Bum’s body in no further.  Totally frustrated he delivered three sharp kicks to Bum’s dead ass.

     ‘Back under the rock you crawled out from you goddamned bum.’

     Then, as the first light of dawn illuminated the mountain tops Donn dusted himself off as best he could to catch another ride to take him a little further down the road.

     In what must have been a reenactment of Cain and Abel, this time when Abel’s blood called out there was no answering voice from heaven.  Bum just lay there and rotted until his skeleton was shrouded in flowery rags.

     Donn became depressed at the thought of the two killings which he now thought of as murders.  He presented a wild disheveled appearance beside the road.  Still he got rides but they were short and the duration between them was long.  Three days later found him in a gas station on the east side of Graig, Colorado lonely, forlorn and despondent.  It wasn’t so much that his head ached or that his body throbbed in pain.  Donn was hurting mentally even more. 

page 118.

     Donn walked across the lot of the gas station to use the toilet.  He entered, washed and shaved.  As he was drying off the door opened and a smashing older gent entered.  He was tall, lean, athletic looking.  He had hair half grey amidst the dark blonde strands.  He had one of those long headed chisel faces that represented manly beauty to Donn.

     Rather than despising him he gave him a warm smile.  Then some small gesture conveyed the message the gent was in the mood.   Donn didn’t prefer the catamite role but in his lonely desolation any affirmation of worthiness was enough.  He entered the stall followed by the gent.

     Wordlessly they went about their business.  For some reason, perhaps an unconscious need to be discovered the gent hadn’t latched the door.  Suddenly the latrine door burst open as three men, two with cameras and tape recorders rushed in.  Donn’s heart stopped.

     The latrine doors were forced open as cameras whirred and clicked. 

     ‘Well, Senator, what do we have here?’  The first man sneered.

     Donn who believed he was the target was puzzled by being called Senator, then the truth dawned on him.

     ‘Senator Richard Walker, is this the kind of secret life you lead?’

page 119.

     Donn saw that they were paying him scant attention so scooting across the floor while trying to get his pants up he fled the scene.

     He picked up a copy of the Coloradan next afternoon to discover a picture of State Senator Walker pulling up his pants in the toilet of the gas station.  Donn was clearly recognizable.  Apparently Dick Walker, unable to bear the pressures and humiliations of public life had been relieving his stress in this manner over the past several months.  His enemies had finally caught up to him.  Not unrelieved, he quietly disappeared from public life.

     Donn finally found himself in Denver after the most adventurous trip.  He’d had too much adventure.  He wanted to be in St. Louis safe as a TV anchorman.  Considering that he believed himself a wanted man it hadn’t occurred to him that a major city TV screen was not the best of hiding places.

     As bad as Donn was he was no worse than his fellows so that there is no reason not to extend him a little sympathy.   Within the context of his society he was suffering grievously for a minor peccadillo.  His state of mind was severely darkened by the sequence of events since leaving Portland.  He was struggling to keep his mental equilibrium.  At odd moments he had to struggle to keep back the tears.  His physiognomy increasingly showed the strain he was under.  Stress lines appeared where none had been before.

     By the time he reached Denver despair of the present and the hope of the TV job in St. Louis, which had now become a fixation in his mind, drove him from the road.  He couldn’t take it anymore.  The bus or the train would have been cheaper but Donn wanted to get above it all while recapturing for a blissful moment his past glory.  He decided to fly.

page 120

     He spent the night in a motel to rest and cleanup before he went into the airport to buy a ticket.  He expected to just walk on.  He was somewhat stunned when he was told the price was four hundred dollars.  As he stood open mouthed blinking in astonishment the clerk said:  But if you wait two days I can sell you a ticket for sixty-eight dollars or a non-refundable ticket for forty-two..

    Donn’s motel room was only eighteen dollars.  He could stay two days, eat frugally and save a lot.  He decided to do that.  He foolishly gave the clerk his real name.

     He left the airport in a confused state of mind.  ‘For a twenty dollar discount they lay claim to the whole fare.   What kind of Ever Ever Land dealing is that?  How does anybody get away with claiming they get paid for nothing if you don’t show because they gave a discount on nothing?

     Something had happened in American thinking; Donn was right about that, but he didn’t know the half of it.  He was too troubled in mind to wonder why a walkon ticket should cost four hundred dollars whan an advance reservation dropped down to sixty dollars.  How had the airline’s costs been reduced by a two day delay on boarding?  Obviously the authorities wished to limit free and unrestricted travel.  Most people pay by credit card giving advance notice of who will be on what plane.  Although Donn had paid cash he he had given his right name.

     Due to the wonders of computerization his name was flagged in a nationwide memory bank.  Even though he had done nothing wrong- the charges against his name had been shelved- there were those who wished to know his doings.  Thus Maggie, who was watching the flags carefully, picked up Donn’s movement the same afternoon.  Donn’s flight originated in Portland.  Maggie put a man on board in the seat next to Donn’s.  A little spoonful of his excrement was given to the flight attendant to put in Donn’s food along with instructions to be out of whatever his first selection was,  whatever he requested they were to give him something else.  These games get incredibly petty.  Twenty-two years of schooling and you’re still a psychotic moron.

page 121.

     Donn did little the two days but lay around his motel room, rolling about trying to fight his way out of the despondency which was saturating his mind like black ink diffusing through clear water.  Everything showed on his face but even looking in the mirror Donn was unable to discern it.

     He was too preoccupied to notice the glow of anticipation in Maggie’s man, Wally Reid’s eyes.  Reid was there to fid out Donn’s plans and torment him.

     Donn didn’t want to talk but Reid amiably persisted.  Beyond the fact that he was bound for St. Louis Reid got nowhere.  As Donn despised airline food he declined his tray foiling Maggie’s plan of special nutrition.  Maggie correctly thought that Donn thought he was a fugitive from justice so he had Reid tell stories of fugitives being betrayed by some inconsequential quirk and caught.  He even explained the flagging system to Donn.

     By the time the plane landed Donn was aquiver with anxiety.  He expected to be arrested when he disembarked.  When he wasn’t he half dismissed Reid’s chatter, while making plans for job hunting.

page 122.

     Psychology is difficult to account for.  Donn had the most sanguine hopes of landing the job as news anchorman.  He still hadn’t figured out that anonymity and a TV personality don’t go together.  In order to be successful in his job hunt he believed, quite rightly of course, that he would have to make a good appearance.  Maintaining the appearance for any length of time would deplete his resources, but counting on landing a job quickly Donn went ahead with style.

     He checked into a good hotel, better than he needed, and bought himself a very nice suit, also better than he needed, shirts, shoes and ties.  He made appointments for interviews.  These were all delayed a couple days to give the stations time to check up on him.  The flag came up.

     The manager of the first station, who was only a member of the Old Boy network, figured he had enough troubles of his own without adding Donn’s so he declined politely sending Donn on his way.  The manager of the second station was a member of both the Jewish and Homosexual networks but not the Old Boy.  Maggie got in touch with him.  He arranged to be in the studio when Donn was there.

     This interview went very smoothly.   Wesley Cohn expressed great interest in Donn.  He asked him to come back in two days for a screen test.  Informed that there would be an opening and he was a very good possibility Donn was delighted.  He bounced out of the studio muttering Eureka! under his breath.

page 123.

     Maggie who knew how much Donn had withdrawn from the bank intended to string him along till it was gone.  If Maggie hadn’t had contacts at UNB he had his own hacker who could penetrate any system.  Imagine passing laws against such things.  One might as well pass laws against the sun setting in the West.

     Donn showed up for the test.  He was actually very good.  He had the looks, he projected a confident, affable, knowledgeable image.  The studio workers were very impressed.  Donn, watching anxiously, was sure they were sincere.  He was told to call back in a couple days.  Then he was invited to dinner with the manager, the news director and his assistant.  They went to the best restaurant in St. Louis.  After a friendly, jovial dinner full of many yaks it came time for the bill.

     Cohn slapped his pockets a couple times saying:  ‘Donn, you know what?  I left my wallet at home.  Say, Donn, you couldn’t…’

     Everyone watched with suppressed mirth as Donn gulped and his face fell. But they were surprised.  Donn waxed indignant:  ‘You don’t have have an account here?  Why at the Daily Assassin, he said giving himself away somewhat, ‘we had accounts at all the best restaurants.  We just had to sign for it.  That’s the way it’s done in professional circles.  That’s how any company that knows does it.  Mingo wouldn’t have any problem.’

     Mirth fled their faces as they shook their heads and uttered low ‘ummms.’

     ‘Right.  Of course I can sign.  I forgot about that.’  Cohn replied.

page124.

     Out on the street he said:  ‘That was a test too, Donn, you’re doing fine.  Call you in a couple days.’

     Donn’s funds were running low.  He could no longer afford to wait.  He called the next day to be informed that although he was perfect they were bringing in a Black woman from Detroit.  They thought she would give the station the proper social balance.

    Well…now Donn was both down and out.

IV.

Off  The Track

 

How is it that I have come up to here

And I’m still fallin’

-The Byrds

I deplore brutality he said.  It’s not efficient.  On the other hand prolonged mistreatment, short of physical violence, gives rise, when skillfully applied, to anxiety and a feeling of special guilt.

-William S. Burroughs

     Donn now didn’t know which way to turn.  He could call his dad down in Waco but that would be truly a last resort, admitting defeat.  Besides maybe even his dad would stiff him after the manner in which he had left.  Donn was at a loss.  He didn’t know why but he got out on the highway heading North through Iowa.  Keokuk, Waterloo and up the Mississippi.

page 125.

     Maggie had a man pick him up to learn his plans if possible.  He dropped Donn off halfway to Keokuk using his CB to inform Maggie who was about five miles behind.  When Maggie sighted Donn he edged to the side of the road forcing Donn to step back.  He averted his face as he passed laughing a vengeful laugh.

     Donn couldn’t be sure, of course, but there had been no mistaking that gold hair.  Donn still hadn’t analyzed the implications of that computer that had sat on his desk.  If he had he would have realized that there is no such thing as paranoia in the modern world.  It’s all true.  Stalking is a way of life.

     Hitching a ride in suit clothes and fine shoes is the toughest kind of hitching of all.  After all why would a guy who could afford good clothes hitchhike unless he was just godawful cheap?  The only reason to hitch is if you’re down and out or in the Service.  Donn had a terrible time getting rides.  When he did the drivers were all disrespectful.  Hence he found himself in Keokuk way out on Johnson St. Road miles from downtown.  Everything is always funny when it happens to someone else.  Donn had always found stories such as this amusing but now that it was happening to him he lamented the fact that others would have the laugh.  Other people elsewhere were having a good chuckle.  So life goes on.

     Donn oriented himself tothe East and began walking toward the Mississippi.  The evening was sultry and warm.  Great billowy clouds, white on the edges passing through symphonies of greys sailed proudly across the bright blue sky.  The trees and grass shown green.  Natural beauties abounded.  Donn’s gloomy frame of mind turned all brown and seer.

page 126.

     But a bit of good fortune fell on him.  As he trudged up the road he approached the house of Phineas Elonginus Pillbender.  Phineas had suffered a terrible childhood.  He had been in foster homes and an orphanage.  Although life had kicked him about much more severely than he or anyone else deserves he had never given way to self-destructive impulses.

      Against all odds he had constructed the type of life he most admired.  His spirit was epitomized in the almost surrealistic beauty of his house and grounds.  He had an acre and a half, his house standing on a little rise in the middle of the lot.  It was painted the strangest color blue, the numerous shutters white.  The house sparkled, as he washed it frequently.  A white picket fence enclosed his yard.  The edges of the pickets were also painted blue.  The fence too shone splendidly.  The impossibly well kept lawn with the medium sized apple tree caused many a passerby to stop and stare.

     A red brick walkway curved up to the house from the mailbox which was painted blue with a little border of flowers across the bottom and Phineas Elonginus Pillbender inscribed in quaint lettering, having a Land of Oz effect.

     The driveway leading to the garage was carefully constructed to look natural.  The concrete slab was sunk three inches below the surface being carefully graveled and cindered to look rural.  Pillbender raked it three times weekly.

page 127.

     He was too perfect for his neighbors.  A big gash invariably disfigured his driveway while one or two pickets were always hanging loose.  Pillbender left them after having learned he must make at least this concession to his neighbor’s envy.  They had no intention of maintaining their property so carefully nor were they about to be made to look sloppy by their own fastidious neighbor.

     Farmer Pillbender stood, corncob pipe in the mouth of a face surrounded by an Abe Lincoln beard, in the red brick walkway leading to his front door.  His thumbs were stuck in the straps of his overalls.  He wasn’t really a farmer, it was a pose he affected.  He actually worked as a tool and die maker in town.

     He saw Donn Contrales in his fine pants carrying his jacket under his arm coming down the road.  Rather than having been embittered by his life experiences Farmer Pillbender was a kindly if brittle man.  His workmates called him ‘prickly.’  Like many who had borne a heavier cross than his back could support he passed his burden on to Jesus.  He was a serious and good Christian.  He often hummed:  What a friend we have in Jesus, all our griefs and sins to bear, as he went about his chores.

      He mistakenly sized Donn up as a good man who’d gotten a tough break.  Pillbender hailed Donn at his gate.  After a few minutes palaver he invited Donn in for supper and a bed for the night.

page 128.

     As the outside of Pillbender’s house shone so was the inside glorious.  The hardwood floors were radiant.  The colonial style early American furniture was immaculately kept.  The fire place floor was freshly scrubbed.   The grate had been sanded and painted.

   As one’s eyes moved up the fireplace front to the mantle a large sign, six feet long, eighteen inches high proclaimed in red, white and blue bunted letters:

F U C K  C O M M U N I S M

     Above it was a large plain white cross.  One knew where Farmer Pillbender stood.

     Donn arose the next morning which as hot as an oven, humid as hell, grateful for at least a chance to rinse off and shave.  He thanked Farmer Pillbender and took his leave.  As the neighbors had seen him enter the house the night before they now stood at their windows or in their yards to look him over.  A number of childred stood in the street.

    Among them was Billy Treska.  Billy was eight.  He had been violated by a big neighbor kid a week before.  The seduction had been rude, verging on rape, while the subsequent rejection had made him feel contemptible.  He was in the throes of emotional distress unable to adjust to his emasculation.  The sight of Donn, forlorn and forsaken, awoke feelings of kinship in his tortured mind.  As Donn walked by Billy slipped his hand in Donn’s in a love gesture.

     Billy didn’t know what he was doing or why.  His act was unconscious while his motives were unknown to him.  In the way of homosexuality he was seeking affirmation of his worth by seeking a surrogate of the lover who had seduced and rejected him.  Donn looked down in shock as he recognized the meaning of the gesture.  While Donn had never had an inclination for little boys, now, conscious of his own identity and the eyes of the neighbors about him, he jerked his hand rudely away whereas at another thime he might have been more sympathetic.

page 129.

     Billy, unable to understand his own motives or Donn’s rejections took the move as a further indication of his worthlessness.   He was completely shattered and crushed.  He ran from Donn howling and crying, causing dismay in the spectators.  In later life Billy would end up a curbstone cutie in San Francisco with silicon breasts.

     As the boy turned sobbing and ran away the whole scene was misinterpreted by Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson.  She believed and would swear that Donn had made an attempt to abduct the boy, possibly for ransom.  That Donn was a bum, albeit a well dressed bum with really nice shoes, was proof sufficient.

     As Donn walked downtown slowly in the heat Mrs. Anderson tracked him at a distance.  As he stood at the corner of Seventh and Main aimlessly plotting his next move, perhaps even getting a job somewhere in town to gather his senses and accumulate a few dollars, Mrs. Anderson with a policeman by the arm pointed him out to the cop saying:  ‘That’s him.’

     Fearful of being picked up on the charges he thought were pending in Oregon Donn blanched a whiter shade of pale acting extremely guilty.  The officer who had nothing on Donn except Mrs. Anderson’s confused story hesitated.  As he did so an officious self-righteous townsman announced in a stentorian voice:  You better move on.

page 130.

     The police officer and the crowd automatically acquiesced in the sentiment of the speaker.   They stepped back to make room for Donn to move on.

     Donn’s motor responses were affected by the repetitious humiliations that are impossible to bear with equanimity no matter how cool the victim may appear.  Donn moved off not smartly but with a shambling gait.  The pavement seemed so uneven that Donn couldn’t raise his feet high enough to keep from scraping over the pavement.  As he reached the other side of the street he tripped over the curb and turned to look back at the faces sternly set against him.  Unconciously he hunched over, back curved, and with one hand clumsily hitched up his pants, confessing to his feeling of emasculation.  He had fallen far but he was still far from the bottom.

     As he hitched up the road to Waterloo he realized for the first time that he was penniless.  He hadn’t the means to buy a meal; he had no place to sleep but in the jungles with other bums, under overpasses, wherever those off the track congregated.  That was pain that Donn couldn’t face.  Even though with the proper attitude and his boxing skills he could easily have dominated any such crowd.  He could have been King of the Jungles.

     Thus Donn avoided those places although he soon learned where they would be.

page 131.

     Maggie had fixed his location.  There was a transmitter in the heel of Donn’s spiffy shoes.  Thus even as Donn entered a town he was surprised to find that it seemed as though he was expected.  It seemed as though everyone knew him already.  The police seemed to be waiting for him, members of the various networks were on the forces.  Donn was arrested.  He was, of course, anxious that the Portland charges would be brought against him.  Of course they never were which Donn attributed to good luck.  Donn was held overnight and released the next afternoon with the advice that he’d better move on; he’d better keep going.

     Thus Donn’s psyche was further impaired as he became familiar with jail cells and the rough jail crowd.  He began to wonder what he had done to deserve such cruel treatment.  By so doing he made a wrong turn.  He should rather have asked who is doing this and why.  It should have been obvious to him that he actually was recognized and that someone was stalking him.  Instead he took the blame on himself.  The notion began to flicker through his mind that perhaps he actually had wronged Maggie by not admitting him on that night.

     While his mind toyed with the notion his former life became distant and unrecognizable to him but the memory of which he cherished.  As he wandered hungry and friendless he remembered the lesson that Sandy Tyler had taught him.  He began scrounging the dumpsters for discarded food.  As this was a necessity he didn’t consciously take it seriously but subliminally his whole being revolted at the practice.

    Thus one night in Waterloo he was scrounging a Kroger dumpster when an extraordinary thing happened.  As he leant over into the dumpster to seize some half rotten bananas it seemed as though his cherished old existence, the real Disco Donn Contrales, slid over his back, down his arms off into the garbage.  Donn was astonished, realized he was losing his former self and lunged after it as it disappeared into the bottom of the dumptser.

page 132.

     He upended himself, his torso in the dumpster half immersed in the garbage while his feet threshed the air.  The door beside the dumpster opened to reveal the grocery manager.

     ‘Hey, what you doing there?’  The manager yelled, laughingly attempting to stuff Donn further into the dumpster.

     Donn was horrified to be caught scrounging in the dumpster.  Claxons went off in his mind at the humiliation.  He kicked free scrambling from the dumpster, lettuce and produce spilling off him, his hands clutching the squashed bananas oozing through his fingers.

     As he ran it seemed as though his body crusted and cracked apart leaving a smaller replica of Donn running through the night.  Then it happened again and yet once more.  Thus when Donn stopped running two or three miles down the road while his stature was the same as before, psychologically Donn was a much smaller man.  He felt only two feet tall while remaining five-eight.  The effect was invisible to all but the discerning eye.

     There Donn stood amidst the faint smell of decaying vegetable matter, bits of garbage clinging to his hair and clothes, his hand oozing banana slime.  Humiliation and shame engulfed his being.  His shame would not allow him to use a service station toilet to clean up; he might have to ask for the key.  He cleaned his hands as best he could on some leaves.  Then he set out to find some stream in which to clean up.

page 133.

     He was so ashamed, so in shock, that he would no longer walk the highways for fear that someone might offer to pick him up.  Instead he sought the railway tracks.  Following them he came to a trestle over a small creek.  He scrambled down the embankment in hopes of washing the corruption from him.

     As chance would have it this was the spot chosen by the Mankato Kid for his resting place for the evening.  Just as Donn was about to begin his ablutions a snarling voice cursed at him.

     ‘Hey, son-of-a-bitch, what do you think you’re doing using my creek.  Get the hell out of my face.  This my place, my place.  Get out!’

     Donn turned toward the voice to see a spectral form lurking on the far side of a small fire.  The image matched the voice.  The form was turned sideways, stooped, its head tossed and bowed like a beaten cur who still had the spirit of resistance in him but had been cruelly taught the futility of expressing it.

     Donn was still in the thrall of his experience at the dumpster.  His mind was paralyzed.  He had not yet begun his rebound from the experience of having lost his former self and feeling so small, perhaps two feet high.  He knew that this was no man to intimidate him yet his confidence was gone.  Nevertheless he answered bravely, if shakily:  ‘This is a free country, buddy, I’ve got just as much right to be here as you.’

page 134.

     ‘Free country?  Free country is it?’ the Kid roared, or attempted to roar in his snarling defensive manner.  ‘Well, you’re full of shit, Jack.  Free country is it?  I’ll tellyou how free it is.  No freer than Nazi Germany.  No freer than Communist Russia.  We’re just niggers working on the Man’s plantation here.  If you’re not born to it they won’t let you have it.  Take your ‘free’ country and shove it up your ass.

     The only difference between the Nazis and the Commies and us is the style.  We just do it different.  Here they make you think you’re free but it’s all on credit from the company store.  You’re free to work for the company so you can make money for them.  Then you have to give all your earnings back to the company store to pay off your credit.  Then without money you go into debt with more credit from the company store.  That song sure was right:  You load sixteen tons and what do you get?  Another day older and deeper in debt.

     If you’re man enough to protest they kill you.  They shot down the hardrock boys of the WFM (Western Federation of Miners) in Colorado just because they didn’t want to be in debt to the company store.  Shot ’em down.  Open warfare.  Never was nothing like in Germany or Russia.  Then just because the Wobblies tried to organize the Stiffs they got really mean.  Drove us out of our houses at Holly Grove then turned machine guns on us while we slept in our tents.  Burned our wives and children live at Ludlow.  And laughed about it, the dirty bastards.  Dumped hundreds of miners out in the desert without water at Bigby (Bisbee, Arizona) and told ’em to keep movin’ on, the heartless bastards.  All because we wanted a living wage.  Free country!  Look at what happened to me…

page 135.

     As though reminding himself of what they had done to him the Mankato Kid appeared to see a vision.  Anger flooded his heart obscuring his vision.  He began punching the air in a violent shadow boxing match.  His snarling roar boomed and bleated out:  Leave me alone you bastards.  Get out of here, go on, get out of here.’

     Even if Donn had been himself there would have been no reason to stay but diminished as he felt, reacting to the horrors of the past several weeks more than through fear of the Kid Donn turned and fled.  He skipped over the shallow creek on the stepping stones placed there by the bums, or homeless as they are now known.

     The Mankato Kid punched away at the air for a few moments before his crazed mind resettled allowing him to sit.  There he continued to grumble his compaints into the fire.  Unlike so many bums who had never had the stature to make a serious attempt at life the Kid had been seriously wronged.

     He actually came from Mankato which is in Minnesota.  He was now in his fifties.  He had been driven out of Mankato just as he was turning thirty.  He had spent all those years circling Mankato, the city of his dreams.  He never went further and he never came closer.  he never got saner and he never got crazier.  He was just shadow boxing his life away.

page 136.

     His parents had been Polish immigrants who had drifted out to Mankato.  His father had been a square little man of five-five.  His mother had been a big buxom, very good looking woman with peasant manners.  They had given birth to the Kid and an older child, a daughter, Mary.  As Poles they differed in religion, speech and manners from the Swedish population.  In those days Northern immigrants considered the Eastern and Southern European immigrants as Untermenschen.  No, that’s not too strong.  the attitude was quite similar to the Nazi attitude toward non-Germans.  Immigrants were reviled, beaten and chased from pillar to post.  They were subject to massive displays of contempt.

     When the Kid was twelve his father was bullied into a fight in a bar and killed.  Murdered might not be too strong a word although  technically he was given the opportunity to defend himself in a fight.  Still, he was impeded by the jeering circle of spectators while his Anglo adversary was assisted.  His death was termed accidental.  No one ever stood trial.  Nor was the knife wound in his kidney ever explained or even acknowledged.  He was just Polack dirt.

     Ballard Quincy, one of the big men in town, sought to solace the Kid’s mother in her distress.  She advanced on Quincy with a frying pan, able only to deliver a glancing blow off his retreating shoulder.

    Ballard Quincy did not take rejection kindly.  Like many of his kind rather than attack her he sought revenge on her children.  They became the targets of  ‘polite’ society.  Mary who was more attractive even than her mother was easily seduced by the boys from the right side of the tracks.  She became the school whore.

     Efforts were made to train the Kid to think ill of himself.  He was offered a dollar a customer to steer them into a house of which Quincy had a rake off in the red light district of Mankato.  There he was allowed shots of whiskey.  He, as a boy of character,  quickly perceived that he had been misled.  he abondoned the ‘job’ with a fit of indignation.

     The damage had been done.  He had been associated with that ‘element.’  He had defamed himself.  He fought gallantly to remove the taint, but the best families led by Quincy had irrevocable set their faces against him.  He was denied and interfered with all through high school, which he completed.  His sister’s reputation was constantly thrown in his face.

     But he believed in the myth of America, of Horation Alger, of luck and pluck.  He had been taught that life was what you made it and if you didn’t make it you had no one to blame but yourself, if things didn’t go your way it was your own fault.  So he kept his chin up, braved the ridicule heaped on him and kept hoping for the main chance such as it was in Mankato.  And then it happened.  In the post-war years TV came onto the scene.  As with any new item business peopled looked at it, decided it wouldn’t last and left the field open to outsiders.

     As Henry Kaiser’s cement trucks rolling down the East Bay proudly proclaimed: Find a need and fill it.  The Kid saw the need and rushed to fill it.  He opened a TV sales and repair shop.  He did well.  He could see his rise in society.  He proceeded to develop an open and generous character.  But at the first glimmer of prosperity the better people sprang into action against him.  He was slandered, sabotaged and not allowed to prosper.  He fought on.  Driven out of TV he tried a couple other lines but he was boycotted.  No one in that small town would buy from him.  Driven half mad by the abuse and injustice he had experienced he took to the road which is where Donn encountered him.

page 138.

     Donn had scrambled up the bank fleeing across country.  In his terror he crashed through the brush and across fields.  Then tearing wildly through a wood his foot slipped.  He tumbled over falling down a slope into a sort of pit or sinkhole.  He slid and tumbled down about twenty feet coming to an abrupt stop.

     ‘Well, good evening.’ Said a mellow voice.  ‘Nice of you to drop in.’

     In his agitated state of mind the sudden fall into the hole, or rather, head of a ravine, he was completely disoriented.  He stumbled about dizzily for some several moments attempting to determine up from down.  Finally getting his behind on the ground his eyes peered out in the sky above the narrow rim of the ravine.  As he accommodated his senses to his situation all across the universe the stars roared and popped.  Had one been able to hear and see the incredible noise and heat of the incandescent firestorms sweeping their surfaces one would have been astounded.  As the huge balls of fire hurled incandescent streamers far out into space to be retracted by their gravity with a report sharper than the sharpest report of a whip magnified thousands of times.  The released light went spreading through the black oblivion on an endless chase through space.  Losing its heat through the eons of space travel, the light from far distant stars now seemed to twinkle merrily as the laughing stars played with Magic Sam’s laughing dice.

page 139

     The light sped past the bright marigold of the full moon reflecting the light of this system’s solar furnace past the man made debris circling the earth, down past the great mainliners escorting smiling people across the skies eight miles high.  The light passed the light planes and birds to penetrate dimly into the hole that Donn and the Roving Gambler were in.

     ‘Allow me to introduce myself,’ the voice said with exquisite manners and a BBC English accent, ‘I am the Roving Gambler, at your service.’

     Donn, still dazed, grunted something that could be taken for a greeting.

     ‘And you are Donn Contrales.’  The Gambler continued laughingly.

     Donn gave a start at the novelty of being recognized by a man he had never seen in a hole he’d never been in before.  Involuntarily he began to rise to flee.

     ‘Oh, no no.  No!  My goodness.  Sit down Donn and let me explain.  You are talking to, or rather, listening to a very extraordinary man.  You are surprised that I recognize you, yet your picture appeared daily in the Oregon Assassin.  I spend much time in libraries pursuing my various studies.  While there I leaf through the papers of the whole country plus foreign nations.  I have a very good memory for names and faces plus I have fabulous, I might say, total recall.  I recognized you immediately even before you ceased that infernal tumbling.’

page 140.

     Donn, mouth open, tongue out stared at the Gambler stupidly.  His mind was only beginning to stop swirling.  What he saw was the slender (imperially slim, as the Gambler would say) tall figure of a man lounging against a rock before a small fire reading, or at least holding, a newspaper in front of him.  He was dressed in cream colored pants, cream colored buccaneer cut shirt with a red and blue paisley ascot.  His long rectangular face was surmounted by a wavy shock of blond hair which fell to his shoulders.  His high expanse of forehead would have excited envy in those who take such things as indication of nobility.  A blond mustache was placed between his fine aquiline nose and lips neither too thin, too thick, too wide or too narrow.  In short the Roving Gambler was a strikingly handsome man.  As he put it he was one of nature’s noblemen, too good for this world.

     The Gambler’s vanity was the source of his discomfort with the world.  He came from Virginia where his ancestry could be traced back to the Cavaliers of 1660 in an unbroken line on both father’s and mother’s sides.  He had been an outstanding student at the University of Virginia.  Thus one might say he had had everything propitious for a great start in life- looks, family, training.  Unfortunately for the Gambler he thought because of these assets that he was entitled to a place at the top.  Refused the job of bank or corporate presidency fresh out of school he was indignant that if would be required of him to work his way up, albeit from a reasonably good starting point.  Consequently, rather than be a ‘peon’ he took to the road immediately after graduation where he had been ever since.  He was now fifty-three.

page 141.

     The Gambler was extremely vainglorious and boastful.  He delighted in the incongruous.  The creation of the juxtaposition of extremes was his joy.

     ‘Here my boy, would you like a taste of my champagne?’  He said, handing Donn the bottle.  ‘Some pate, perhaps? and some caviar?’ He flipped Donn a can of tinned pate, then handed him a ‘biscuit’ covered in caviar.  Donn who was quite hungry wolfed everything down.

    ‘Oh, ha ha, you thought perhaps I was an ordinary bum.  No, no, no.  Au contraire, mon petit.  I am quite an extraordinary bum.  You will never see my like again.  Once in a million years, my boy, once in a million years.  I greet you by name, hmm?

     Yes, I solved the riddle of life long ago.  You may think you’re talking to a penniless bum.  Well, you’re not.  I happen to be a very pennied bum.  I have thousands- modestly forbids I meantion how many thousands- of dollars in dozens of banks throughout the country.  I have a portfolio of stocks and bonds that would excite the envy of many a speculator.

     Ah, you stare in disbelief.  Well, I’m used to it.   All of these bindlestiffs think the same.  They have no imagination, no skills, no art.  I am gifted.  When out of Virginia they refused my due I knew I would be as rich as they and much more free, unbeholden to anyone, as it were, as it is.

page 142.

     My solution was just to demand they give me the money, and so they did.  I merely approach and say:  Give me money.  And they do.  I’m extraordinarily successful.  You may be sure it’s true when I tell you that in one three day stretch in Chicago I once took in over two thousand dollars.  Two thousand, ninety-eight dollars to be exact, forget the small change.  I put it all in the bank, of course.  One hundred to three hundred dollars a day is normal to me.

     I studied the career of Death Valley Scotty and discovered his secret.  Hmm?  Oh, Scotty was a legend in LA between the wars.  He was absent for long stretches then would show up to buy everyone drinks and distribute his largesse.  He said he had a secret gold mine in Death Valley that he worked for a stretch then brought his diggings to town.  He didn’t worry about money because he said he could always dig up some more.

     They tried to follow him to his mine but he always gave them the slip.  I reasoned therefore that there was no mine but that Scotty was either a thief or a master panhandler.  Rather than being absent in Death Valley, I reasoned, he was off panhandling in some distant city.  Probably shaved his beard so no one would recognize him.

     Well, between Scotty and The Man With The Twisted Lip I put my act together.  I, however, have no interest in distributing largesse.  I am not only handsome, as you can see, but I have a genius IQ.  When the weather gets cold I haunt all the finest libraries in America.  The Houghton, Universities of Michigan and Illinois, Stanford, U.C., Berkeley, occasionally down to Santa Cruz because I like the weather, I don’t want to bore you with a list, suffice it to say that I have pursued my studies in the finest institutions, North, East, South and West.

page 143.

     As you can see I am quite distinguished looking.  I have suits of clothes in several cities.  With my appearance I can get in…’  While everything the Gambler said was true he perceived a look of bored disbelief on Donn’s face.  Actually Donn was still half stunned.  the Gambler’s words were just washing over him but the drone of his voice was comforting to him.  ‘…anywhere without any difficulty.

     I have written  the tentative results of my studies down.  I have hidden them in unfrequented nooks and crannies.  Thus it may be said that my work is in all the best libraries.’

     The Gambler was quite serious.  He had an inexhaustible line of chatter.  He could go on for hours at a stretch whenever he had a chance.  But he liked full attention.  He now chose a different topic.  As Donn was a music reviewer he chose a topic that wowed the homeless in the jungles but was ill suited for the more discriminating intelligence of Donn.

     Donn had finished his tin of pate which he flipped into the fire.  The Gambler tossed him another.

     ‘Elvis is not dead, you know.’

     Donn burped.

    ‘I had a long conversation with him myself.  I can’t tell you where he lives because he obviously wishes to remain incognito.  But we had a long chat.  He said the pressure was just too great for him.  He had to excape.  He told me some interesting details you won’t hear anywhere else, Donn.  Of course in the beginning he was only interested in getting girls.  But then when he began to get famous he enjoyed that.  When the money began to really flow in he was ecstatic.  But his success was too far beyond his ability to cope, perhaps anyone’s.  He became the first great postwar folk hero.  Something like the movie stars of the first decade of the talkies.  Genuine stars, not hyped into prominence.  But, you see, he hadn’t been vetted.  He didn’t perform in a manner acceptable to the arbiters of culture.  He was raw.  He dressed atrociously by their standards.  He was, in fact, no better than a White nigger.

page 144.

     As such he wasn’t supposed to have money.  But he got quite a lot, actually.  More than most of them.  As a cultural icon he stood far above the actual power brokers of the world both straight and criminal.  They couldn’t stand that.  They tried to to kill his career by putting him in the Army.  Regardless of their denials it was a political move.  The resulting publicity campaign by RCA in order to preserve its investment against their machinations made him Elvis Presley, the singer, into the pop icon, Elvis.  We’ll probably never know exactly how Colonel Parker fit in there, Elvis doesn’t.  He became not only bigger than life but bigger than fantasy.

     He said he was in constant fear of his life.  He couldn’t go anywhere, certainly not without bodyguards.  He became it was as though, he told me, that he was under house arrest.  The fruits of his talent and success turned to ashes in his mouth.’

page 145.

     The Gambler, who had been speaking from behind his paper now lowered it for a dramatic effect as he came to his most thrilling revelation of what ‘Elvis said.’  Donn, at about this time began to regain his mental composure so that he actually heard what the Gambler was saying.

    ‘But this wasn’t enough for them, Elvis told me.  They wanted more.  They wanted to humiliate him completely, to emasculate him, to render him sterile, neutered.  What did they do?  They offered him, or at least Colonel Parker, large sums to perform in Las Vegas.  On their home turf they could get away with anything.

     Up to that time Elvis had been disciplined and under self-control.  He was relatively blithe, youthful and slim.  After that his personality disintegrated.

    He told me that he was invited to the master suite.  As he was Elvis, commanding a large sum to make them even larger sums, he assumed that they only wanted to meet him.  That was fine with him.  As a boy from humble origins he was proud to meet them as equals, nay, even as a superior.

     He said that when he entered he was greeted by the cold derogatory stares of five angry men.  Three were big time criminals, one was a famous show biz personality, singer, and one was a very well known conservative politician.  I can’t tell you his name because if word got out my life wouldn’t be worth a blind man’s view of Mt. Rushmore.

page 146.

     Elvis was taken aback immediately when the toughest customer behind his dark sunglasses greeted him with a venomous:  Hello. Big Shot.

     Well, as Elvis said, he was quite taken back by the hostile reception.  As he looked from face to face the expressions were hard, harder and hardest.  Now, Elvis came from the humblest circumstances.  Having been denied power as a youth he sought to conquer by love rather than force.  He thought since he, as he expressed it, was going to make these men lots and lots of money they would value him accordingly.  He was shocked to find that they viewed themselves as masters and himself as a plantation slave; someone to toil for them and be abused.

     “So you think you’re really something, hey?”  The criminal continued.  “Well, I got news for you, sonny boy.  You ain’t nothin’ to us.  There’s dozens more where you came from.  We can manufacture a dozen a day.  There’s dozens more where you came from.  There’ll be dozens more after you’re gone.  You’re the dogshit I scrape from my shoes.  What have you ever done but shake your pelvis?  Nothin’.  You ain’t never built a magnificent club like this.  You never had to meet a payroll in your life.  You never had to knife or be knifed.  You’re nothin’ but a puke assed kid in diapers.  We give you money you couldn’t earn any other way.  We earn it.  We did the work.  Without this club you wouldn’t have anyplace to shake your ass.  We, all of us, are men who fought and clawed to get where we are.  You’re a pansy.  All you’ve ever done is get up on stage show ’em your blue suede shoes and shake your skinny ass.  Elvis the Pelvis!  Is that any name for a man to be known by?  Hell, no.  You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.  Well boy, we’re goin’ to separate the boys from the girls right here and now.”

page 147.

    At this point in his story Elvis began to choke and sob as the horrible memory overwhelmed him but he felt compelled to tell me the story.  He needed to relieve himself to someone.  I felt honored to be the one.

     He said that they all unzipped and flipped their dick out.  He was told to get down on his knees and suck each one off in series.

     He was indignant.  He told them to kiss off.  But they all produced weapons, waving them under his nose.  The criminal said:  “Don’t think you’re so big that we can’t off you and get away with it.  Bigger fish than you have been thrown into Ma Bates’ pond.  All that’ll happen is we’ll claim some deranged fan waited in your room and shot you.  We got guys who are dying to be famous.   The man who shot Elvis Presley!  They’ll take credit.  Then what?  We dose some crazy broad with drugs give her a gun and make it easy for her to kill your killer.  We clap her in solitary confinement for the remaining months of her life.  She dies.  The secret goes to the grave with her.  Now you know how it’s done pussy boy.’

     At this point Elvis said the guy actually shoved the barrel of his gun in his mouth.

     “On your knees pussy boy, and let’s see some action.”

     Well…Elvis said the criminal actually worked the barrel back and forth in his mouth a couple times cocking the hammer as he did so.

     Elvis was shaking uncontrollably as he told me this.  He couldn’t articulate the next bit by by signs and simulations he indicated that he sank to his knees and did them all.  He had to go on just a few hours later.  You can imagine his mental condition.  The set was actually taped by the vicious bastards.  They show it on TV every now and again.  About halfway through Elvis can’t deal with it.  He leans forward half kneeling in that stance of his and simulates fellation on the microphone saying:  Suckee, suckee.  Then he shrugs his shoulders as if to say:  No big thing.  Later in the show he rushes from the stage into the audience seeking affirmation.  Then at the cameras filming as he leaves backstage he flips a thumbs up sign as if to say:  Fuck You.

page 148.

     But the thing took its toll.  Up to then Elvis had been thin and under self-control.  Now he started to gain weight.  He started doing bizarre things like shooting out TV screens in his room when he played Vegas.  His costume became more outre as he sought to recover his manhood.  He started wearing that stupid little Captain Marvel cape.  His whole outfit became patterned after that of Captain Marvel.

     To spite them and reaffirm himself he tried to be bigger than even the fantasy giant he was.  He did the spectacular satellite Live from Hawaii beamed simultaneously all over the world.  Now that was bigger even than Las Vegas.  It showed them how big he was and how small time they were.

     But, it wasn’t enough.  His ego, always fragile because of his cracker origins, was crushed.  He just couldn’t go on.  He staged his death on the shitter because they had turned his life to shit.  Then he just disappeared to where I met him.  No, don’t ask.  I’m honor bound not to tell.

page 149.

     I will say this though.  Elvis never had any idea of what he got himself into when he got into show biz.  Of course, how could he know that he would come to represent the transition from the prewar immigrant culture to the post -war more or less synthetic culture, the union not only of the European nationalities but also the Negro culture.

      As a symbol of the synthesis the Anglo rear guard would hold him responsible for the change.  A race traitor if you will.  Then again he represented the the democratic upwelling of the under classes as a result of the post-war prosperity.  He didn’t adopt the cultural norms of the overclass.  Not because he rejected them as they thought but just because he didn’t know any better.

     And the, and this is most important, the phenomenal reverence and awe paid him was so far in excess of their own masculinity and manhood that they felt Elvis had emasculated them.  Chirst, their wives were throwing their panties at him.  They felt diminished so that in order to reassert their manhood they had to diminish Elvis below themselves.

     Now, Man is homosexual by nature.  He must either be a man and dominate or be a girl and be dominated.  Hence the innate viciousness of the male.  Obviously he who dominates every other male is King.  Elvis was styled the King hence it was incumbent on him to dominate every other male.  But, until his own emasculation at the hands of those jerks he was just a big friendly goof.  He learned too late, but he did learn.  Watch how he treats the musicians in the Live from Hawaii special.  You’ll see it.’

page 150.

End of clip II-3.  Go to continuation at clip II-4.

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.