"turbidity" was mystic's new word in the office behind the door with the sign reading "the way of wu" in the stone house off the main line in ardmore the bright day in spring of 1980 when last i was soaring so. he illustrated it squirting maple syrup into a shot of whiskey and raising the glass to the sun to catch the warm brown liquids in a psychedelic swirling before placing ludwig van on the victrola. "i'm one of the leading interpreters of beethoven" he said in the jocular melange of pride and self parody often favored by swingin' dicks agallop across their prime. as the dense air and fire of the master's notes sounded in his guarded chamber he wove a tale of a hero risen, defeated, driven to the dark and risen again to dire combat and a jolly slaughter. prevailing he stands slumped and is joined by the adoring damsel and our mystic characterized the climactic counterpoints in terms of her passionate joy and his exhausted sorrow surveying the bitter waste on display in a "field of corpses".
just a few days later in our calico cockamamie home in manayunk so spilling with the succor of the children's laughter from the sons i have not seen for thity years i received a phone call from my ace henchman in seattle - o! how you must savor his untimely demise mr. fish - who seemed dazed by a powerful dream he had just had of the two of us on motorcycles racing through "afield of corpses".
now here's a broad grin for you mr. fish...
it was perhaps a month thereafter when i was incarcerated without warrant in the northwest psychiatric facility being tormented with coerced drugging and "behavioural engineering" at the direction of "dr" kanther, a german zykiatrist spawned in adolph's third reich and then plying his infernal kraft at government expense. your tax dollars at work. a crowning acheivement of socialized medicine. o, it was HELL but i held my tr's in nearly flawless and even made manifest my firm auditor's beingness. even with all the cards in his hand still he became my pc the day he gave account of his escape from berlin in april of 1945 through "a field of corpses".
don't you find this tasty mr. fish?
and so much more and better yet to come.
you are in for a wonderful holiday season mr. fish and i would not diminish your pleasure for the world but if you will pardon me, as adept as you have been at delivering your lame crap to me i remain adamant and endlessly unwilling to let you get it past me. behind these ramparts against which i have been so painfully and often smashed are so many i defend in snug homes ringing with the laughter of their own children and i must offer them a few words of comfort as they attend...
"... o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming. and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there..."
we met in april of '86. i was hitching north from new albion to the emerald city and by a most eventful journey i had made the city of roses. each leg was woven from the same exquisite thread and a prime example was the passage through the valley of the river rogue. my benefactor was a six foot two inch dwarf. one thinks dwarfs short but dwarfism, like so many things, is a matter of proportion and his seven foot four inch armspread along with being the runt of his litter marked him so. the shortest of his eight siblings was a six foot four inch sister and a seven foot brother, greg kight (kite?) was then a reserve center for the celtics. his mother was a snowden and the family had an obscure claim to the english throne. naturally enough he had recently been in the employ of ray bradbury and it seemed tendrils sprouted from one of the wildest and sonorous imaginations of the twentieth century wreathed us as he spoke of things such as his theory the rogue valley was the true garden of eden as anything would grow there save cacao and coca.
a meteoric moment the night before initiated the span of years i call "the days of firefall" and we traveled through the closing crescendo of "le temps des belle aurores" begun one fearsome morning on the ridge in roxborough in the devilish spring of '80. it was sun and clouds and showers and again and again and again down some ravine to east or west against dark splotches of green and fluffy white descending into grey another bright arch, a very forest of rainbows the last one splayed across the interstate before us long lingering and receding as we pursued until it disappeared and we rambled on in the dwarf's ratty old pick 'em up truck.
the next day around ten in the morning i was dropped off just before a bridge across the mighty columbia. o boy! plenty of space to pull over safely and traffic slowed as the roadway narrowed by a lane. i'll be out of here quick.
so i stood there for hour after puzzled hour too forlorn and jizzed out to have faith in the magic of shank's mare. always, like the full day i was stranded by the freeway entrance in toledo in '81 so the fates could dispatch the short hop to position me just so to receive the meandering bohemian hospitality of cookie monster and the grey rabbit, the delays have their reward. to be ignored by man is to be seen by angels. it was nearly four when the bluishgrey '64 dodge dart slipped to the side and beckoned. the ascension sparked in the dim predawn light on mage mountain in golden gate park three days before had gained it's summit.
the glory of detroit in the 60's and still it's enduring emblam was henry's mustang but the dart is it's overlooked gem. sturdy, reliable, affordable and quietly stylish it served the workingman and his old lady well and the ragtop model had a passion to it. the sedan that stopped for me was not just cherry but preferred customer list and the driver a preferred customer of notes.
yeah, he was going past seattle and would drop me at the door of my pal's place in kirkland. he was proud of his dart as it was limited edition and in the center of the steering wheel was an elegant black disk embossed with "fiftieth anniversary" in gold. the dodge brothers had opened their doors in 1914 and had been a leading challenge to the model T for price and reliability. they were jews and until the great depression forced them to sell the marque to chrysler had used the star of david for a hood ornament. i wish i could better recall how he had acquired it. it was very low mileage and had been stored many years in a barn aging like a fine bottle of wine off in some rural jurisdiction. he told a charming tale of stumbling across it and picking it up for peanuts, a hawkeye yarn of yankee grace and privilege earned for he like francis scott key had been an american prisoner of war. after the cong plucked his whirlybird from the sky he spent three and a half years a guest of the hanoi hilton.
i awoke so very awake and would have risen no quicker had my bed been afire, the light to the east barely beginning to wash away the night. tarman was still asleep on the crest of the hill he named mage mountain and i neatly folded the blankets he had lent and covered them with the black cloth. i gathered my pack and canvas tote bag and threaded my belt through the wristband of the baseball glove i'd bought for a buck at a yard sale so it hung at my right hip. all these years i am perpetually poised to see my sons again soon and i snatched the glove anticipating a game of catch, not this week but soon, soon. then strangely gripped by some unfathomable terror i began to walk.
down the hill and out of the park, up hayes past the laundramat which had once been the legendary blue unicorn coffeehouse, the burgeoning light singing from peer gynt. i turned north through the upper fillmore, climbed the presidio, down into the marina and out van ness to the golden gate bridge, back straight, shoulders square, head bowed, eyes down against the nameless dread. i crossed the picturesque span and padded softly through sausilito onto the road to mill valley and after another mile, lo, on the shoulder, there it lay
i'd returned to The City to complete the court ordered community service from the arrest for the thing the artist paul green the notorious david whitaker and i had conjured at the hole on cole where the halcyon straight theatre had stood the year before and had raked and shoveled amidst the stately eucalyptus in a park in the excelsior hard by jerry's childhood home. when my property had been returned to me after the bust it was missing the nicely balanced walking stick i'd been given in santa cruz. now before me was it's just replacement, a stick the same length and when i picked it up the same heft and balance, the same feel and soon to be annointed as a wand.
but now it was my bindlestiff and i poked it through the handles of the bag, rested it on my shoulder, walked into the village and asking about soup kitchens was directed to san rafael. i stuck out the thumb and though i arrived too late i was handed a stale sandwich and a piece of fruit through the back door then stated hitching north. a good old boy hillbilly picked me up. when he turned off 101 i went with the flow and rode with him up into the hills.
about ten that night he left me at an intersection where the new road bypassed a small town whose lights flickered a quarter mile off. ther was a burger king there and in hope of dumpster diving when it closed i slipped into the shadows behind it to rest. there was a hummock plowed up by a dozer and i laid against it eclipsed from the flourescent shop. delicious rest sore with hunger and a long march, clad in sneakers, buff jeans, t-shirt, cotton windbreaker, bandana headband in pastoral environs beneath pristine starflecked ebony i could be no more primal and serene were i painted ito the tableau by rousseau. i did not lay the stick at my side but held it's roughness against my palm perpendicular to the slope askew to the horizon and absorbed the beauty of it's upthrust shaft, grey bark flecked with russet against the night sky.
for langorous minutes i held it steady and firm in what proved to be astronomical precision when perfectly along the line extending from it in streaked a shooting star reaching in a small fraction of a second the tip where it burst in a fireball whose blazing circle was scarcely smaller tha a full moon.
so this was the nightmare i'd sniffed out, the source of the noxious fumes spurring my spontaneous jaunt. ho hum. just another typical mundane case of a round ballbearing rolling to where it can do some good, file no. H31-15083. a technical difficulty suitable to my customized mexican speed wrench.
well i got less than three hours to address this marvelous pile of bypassed charge so i think i'll just hit the afterburners i thought as we crossed into a state that entered the union the same year as the johnstown flood and hitler's birth. in all my years this was the only time i've ever hitchhiked in posession of a certain powerful illicit substance but maybe this is why i have the medicine with me. i had already introduced myself as a vet when i told him i had three doses in my wallet and asked if he'd like one.
"yeah. sure," he said.
i handed him a hit and he removed his upper plate and wedged it in the false gums. hmmm... there might be some engramic material involved with those missing teeth. i suppose most any of my seat-of-the-pants sessions would make steam blow from The Qual Sec's ears but this would be good for smoke if not flames. i don't think i've ever done anything yet to make gouts of molten lava boil from both sides of his head but i'm working on it. i installed the ejector seat and handed my buddy the button by saying "if anything stresses your head too much you can pull over and i'll get out anytime."
(N.B. NEVER attempt to corner a man who has had this guy's form of life experience.)
so he told me about the interrogator they called "pigeye" and the one known as "mister straps and bars" and their wonderful expertise at keeping the nerve of a tooth alive for a long time. and told how the guys worked at recostructing the bible and the guards kept taking it away from them. when he was young his father made him read the bible every night and he had mostly studied second corinthians so that was the part he worked on.
and now kiddies, a word from our sponsor, the creator of heaven and earth. do a little study of scripture. it can be a source of comfort and solace if you ever wind up as a prisoner of war.
we were past ft. lewis when i got EP out of him. i don't have words for it because it was a "you had to be there" kind of thing. it's a vet thing, our thing. "we are the unwillng led by the incompetent. we do the impossible for the ungrateful." he was VVGI's alert and in comm in PT. he was a lone star son. always pleasant to meet someone built texas tough. we had a pleasant chat until i parted company with the aviator
but no, i have no bragging rights. i will feed mr. fish the pus from festering wounds inflicted by CoS but this dude had a whole other dimension of tough vittles.
still i am an auditor. i may have the appearance of a smoldering slag heap but put a mirror to my lips. if it fogs up i am still ok to do something good for someone who has taken it worse than i.
...and the mangy old wretch is on a computer
it is presumed and certainly hoped the interests and concerns of at least some of my readers are served by the report that though the pilot weighed only 106lbs when his stretcher was carried off the hercules at lackland afb he was back to 225lbs when we met and not only had a groovy set of wheels but also a new wife and a career as a veterinarian.
i only get an hour day at the library and i type with only my right index finger. this is an interesting challenge and the result is sort of a variant of the literary form developed by richard brautigan. i have composed the posts for tomorrow morning and saturday afternoon after i get off work. then i have my usual 24hr shift. next week's work is outlined but i hope monday to begin by reading the fcdc thread's sunday magazine with it's inevitable lingerie promo and maybe a nice photo of an old dart and if there are any who failed to confuse henri with jean jaques - claire perhaps - you might post a couple of the former's paintings and if anyone else might have some piquant visuals toward the glossarization of my odiously opaque erudition...
and maybe some comic relief from all my dreary nattering. and of course the writer must be villified for giving assiduously accurate accounts of material events slathering them with poetic turns of phrase and juxtaposing them so they add up to the demented phantasmagoria of a pathologically deluded madman.
along with the usual traffic of the thread of course.
...he was my son...
...so bright, so strong...
first person i ever met in my life when he gave me crap at least it was in a diaper...
look, you don't have to read my stuff. it's not required and it does get pretty miserable.
i'll give it a break for today...
i'll be back on it tomorrow. my kid is dead. he was dead four years before i was materialy informed. and CoS horsecrap is invovlved so i'm mocking the osa web monitor.
there's so much more to this. i'm a spiritual being and although i didn't know that i knew my kid was dead i did know it. he died of leukemia and all the time he was ill i was trying desperately to find him because i knew what was happenning, i could hear him, he was calling to me. very serious "OT" phenomena of a sort which very many people have some familiarty even though they may never even heard of ron.
if this gives you a headache go play some bach, go read some trollope whatever, but i have themes to develop and who knows? maybe i can drive some osa web monitor to pole vault over the barbed wire. or something.
my buddy's dental history is worth a headache innit?
and now i'm going to show you some lovely verbal snapshots of a dead child. and that will lead to a nasty little denouement presaging a broadside on the CoS flagship.
but this section is scheduled to be wrapped up on dec. 20 so i can release my readers to a warm and joyous Xmas celebration and in fact is designed to enrich the holiday by making people cherish ever more deeply the love they share with their own children.
personally i've had thirty years of cold hard lonely homeless holidays nicely eased by the generosity and compassion of the good people of a great nation. the extremely groovy upside of this is that my personal difficulties begin with defending The Bill of Rights against CoS policy as essayed in post no 4340 on this thread which lead to being "fair gamed" at the price of my sons life. (he died of leukemia. the year i was born,1949, this was an automatic death sentence. today 85% are in remission after five years and when he died it was 80%. there's a damn good chance if i'd been there he would have lived.)
so i get to spend christmas in the spiritual company of the shivering farmers' sons at valley forge under the command of colonel washington in '76 and the battling bastards of bastogne under tony mcauliffe. that's a damn good deal for a soldier.
CoS is engineered to go all the way as what it is.
our constitution is ordained to go all the way.
one will break.
one will not.
so please keep reading. if you get a headache, take an aspirin. unless you're an osa web monitor who needs to be "sessionable".
the lightning strikes not in a single flash but two, the first from cloud to earth and then too quick for eye to separate the second rising up along the same jagged ionized path. though slower by a different order of magnitude my son was named in a similar double stroke. for about three weeks she and i had bandied names, mine falling at her feet, hers at mine and then in a flash i knew his name and said "ian" and she knew it too and i said "middle name?" and she said "sean" and it struck me like a returning bolt. she and i were one. she and i were three.
and there was another bolt back in new york in april i suppose before we moved up to sommerville that summer. she was three months along and we were lazing in our living room she on the beanbag chair and i on our big floor pillows both just quiet and easy and she looked over at me and said "who is this jesus guy anyway?" and i said "he is the son of god". she looked at me sort of hushed and dazed and said "when you said that it went through me like lightning."
it was an aerie, a garret apartment atop a woodframe building across from the library in somerville and each room had a dormer window. i painted the kitchen a bright yellow and the cupboards and trim a warm dark brown. our bedroom had light blue walls and dark blue trim. the living room was between our bedroom and the nursery and i painted it an off white with a charcoal grey accent against the hall and wrapped the dark grey around onto the wall to the right. then i took masking tape to mark three broad diagonal bands rising from the floor a foot from the accent wall so they extended onto the eaves and their tip wrapped around into the dormer. i mixed the white and grey 50-50 for the middle band and then this 50-50 with the grey for the upper and white for the lower band, oh coo-rawnt and mo-derne.
i spent as much time on the kid's room as i did on all the rest combined. i used four colors, a soft yellow and green and two tones of blue. they weren't quite pastel, more like gouache colors. each of the several surfaces was a different color and then the wall to the left of the door was a wonderwall painted with odd shaped patches of the four colors and then i added a few clouds of the pattern higgledy piggledy on the other surfaces some wrapping from one surface to another
the happiness of preparing for our first child had it's peak on a crisp bright october sunday. in '76 the patriots had their first winning season since i had left in '66. 3-11 the year before they would go 11-3. i moved our 17" b&w boobtube into the kid's room to watch them host oakland as i doodled. the raiders would win the super bowl and go 13-1 and were the heavy favorite in the game but "grogan's heroes" beat them 48-17 and the image "naked reverse" won the pulitzer for best sports photo of the year.
the day was equally crisp and bright when she went into labor. his momma was one gutsy broad and she wanted to do home delivery.we had paid a doctor to attend but he had pulled up sick that day and sent his assistant, a midwife-in-training. she was a pretty darkhaired girl named joan from ipswich and it was her first attempt at solo.
the library was beside the the high school and the marching band practiced in the parking lot their music wafting through the open window. just so, just so, just so, that's just the kind of kid he was to
but the labor didn't go well and around midnight we decamped to women's hospital in boston. just before dawn 28 oct 76 he was delivered by forceps. a few minutes after i was told of his birth the prettiest little nurse hustled up to me. she had thick auburn hair pulled into a ponytail and wide set hazel eyes with large black belladonna pupils and she looked up at me with such a rapt beatific visage as to make a renaissance portrait fall off a wall and said "i work with babies all the time. your son... he's something different... he seems so wise."
of course i was in shock for a week fearing to touch the small delicate creature while his mother gave impeccable care but quickly the warmth of him on my shoulder as i'd walk him to sleep won me over. and he was so alert and sharp and alive, so much who he was right from the beginning. only three weeks old i could hold him at arm's length, my hand under his wump, his little legs dangling down, both of us keeping his balance and he'd look at me with clear blue eyes and a broad floppy grin both of us amazed to have found so great a friend. and the little wizard rounded off all our rough edges and made us the friends we had never quite been, made flawless truth of failed pretense.
other people's babies are gooey noisy sloppy smelly contraptions and a proud papa is a bore but this kid was awsome and intense and he seemed to bring to the task of being a babe the fervor and competence of a neurosurgeon. we had an old dictionary with a section giving the meaning of names so looked up ian. oh, scottish for john. gee, i should have known that. sean? irish for john. shoulda known that too. john? "god's gracious gift". hey! i didn't know that i knew that but, yeah, no s*** sherlock.
so there's a lot of baby pictures and either you know what they look like or you don't care. but let me tell you something you don't know and won't believe. i drove a cab and paid the rent and bought the food, we had a ten year old impala i bought for $75 and most of what we had came out of the salvation army thrift store and we were happy and vital and vibrant. and there was the night i had the dream i swear was no dream.
to work hard and lay on a firm mattress naked beside a good mate, a sweet child nearby and the cool fragrant night air of late spring breezing in the window is to sleep well. one night a couple days after i'd spent two weeks chewing on plato's "republic" i slept better. without prelude from soft blind repose i was in the air above billowing cumulus beneath the cerulean vault in so much bright light brighter than sunshine yet full absent of glare. then a great hand opened before me, maybe eighteen feet from fingertip to heel of palm and in it's hollow were some teeny-tiny gold seeds. i took one and broke it open and from it flowed the eensiest weensiest ittybitty drop of a golden fluid and i touched my tongue to it. it was only sweet because there is no word for it's taste, sweet as if honey is bitter and uncanny wet. it flowed into my tongue, into my blood even into the wetness of every cell and through my tongue filling my mouth and out through my face up through the brain and skull down through the neck, the chest and shoulders out through arms and hands, down through gut and groin through legs and feet melting me solid and firm and alive, alive, alive.
the greeks called it "Nectar" and i tasted it.
so pretty quick he's crawling and you get this cute little rugrat crawling on you while you watch the boobtube. then you come in the door one day and she's smiling and she gets the three of you set up. the kid's got a big grin and she's holding his arms up like he's a zebra signalling touchdown and she says "show daddy what you can do." three steps later, more like a projectile than a pedestrian he's in your arms and in less than a week he's a regular biped.
nor does it take long for the noises to turn into words. you've always talked straight to him, being to being, even before he was born and even before he commands the verbal apparatus the flow of understanding both ways is pretty much clear. it's amazing how well he understands.
like one day, for instance, i was laid back on the beanbag reading a book and the boobtube was on the educational channel. ten to twelve year old boys were being asked "if you had to lose either your father or the television, which one would you keep?" hee hee! i'm not sure that's less ponographic than asking girls to bare their boobs for the camera. there were a couple of kids who just said straight up "the television" and some of the kids who said "my father were sunny and some were cloudy and there was one kid who knew the right answer was father but looked like he was trying to find a crowbar in his skull to disengage his brain from tv.
just then ian came toddling around the corner, that wide track rocking walk demanded by balance and the leg splaying butt covers with his usual grin so i popped the question of the day on him, just jiving around and expecting mere puzzlement and he blew me away. he understood the dynamics of the query on hearing it but had to doublecheck it. he stood there and you could see him rewind his time track, examine the last entry, and get the same result he got in present time. and it didn't make any more sense the second time than the first but dad asked a question so he answered, gave a little shrug and toddled on.
he was an awful bright kid.
god he was an awful bright kid.
stuck only briefly in a world where you must so often understand things which make no sense.
billy martin packed off to seattle in the fall of '77 and much later told me when he heard next year we were moving to philly he knew right then i was a marked man.
i knew it too.
but kathie was pregnant with our second son and wanted the support of living near her folks. it had to be.
at the end of august i coached her through a much easier labor and we met a new friend, though it took ian a couple ticks to feel the love.
he was sitting on the front steps of her parents house when she came out of the hospital and if i were not again in a state of shock i probably would have burst out laughing at the face he made when she put his new brother in his arms. this was the first speed bump in ian's road and his nose come a bit out of joint about the intruder. one night a couple days later he was talking in his sleep, shaking his head back and forth moaning "no, no, no, no..."
of course the basic dynamics of his life had just been introduced to the san francisco eathquake of 1906 but there he was, just like the rest of us, all too human and plagued by the blight of "i, i, i, me, me, me, mine..." the inevitable pigself darkening the aldebo.
still the kid was a trooper from square one and no brambles grew from it. you may have heard of the "terrible twos" but they passed him by. a few years ago i read a report of a child psychologist explaining the phenomenon and it actually made pretty good sense. he can tell why they happen. i could tell you why they don't.
but not now.
i'm busy feeding mr. fish his holiday feast.
isn't this flavorful mr. fish?
and it gets better, stay tuned mr. fish. there's going to be a real treat for you on friday. i mean like you think it was fun for emma to get pinched by the local gendarmes? just wait till friday.
especially when i was young but also ever since i have had moments when i lift into i know not where very briefly and return to here and now knowing only it was paradisical. one time in particular i recall i was perhaps nine or ten and riding in the backseat of grampa's 1938 buick with it's rust spots and running boards and musty aroma and gazing over the hills to the west slipped into the bosom of abraham and, thump, i came back to the thrum of the road and whoosh of the wind and everything was right there just as it is and i was so alive and awake and there were grampa and grammie in the front seat, good simple righteous hill people but dour and i saw they were asleep even though they were awake.
in the wild outrageous blossoming spring of '80 i was rocked back in my old black barcalounger one bright day and ian, so handsome, so straight and so strong was standing at my left shoulder gazing into the fair sky of bright blue and fleecy white out the window with a most beatific look on his face, rapt and transfixed. i watched and i knew he was where i too had been. i saw him come back so i asked "ian, what were you just thinking?" he looked at me and said "something". gee i was hoping he might have some pertinent information.
what a thrill to think of the price i pad being raised by somnambulists and to look forward to being a better launch pad...
but, but, butt.
just a few days later in the same seat i was reading a book and though i was intent upon the text i was not immersed in it, consumed by it but panoramic, vaguely monitoring the boobtube in front of me and even more in the kitchen to my left the beautiful woman great with child who would so soon drift gracefully into the persona of a case of live hand grenades and poisonous serpents was gracefully busy and to my right in the front room jaime was napping and ian was playing with a toy in the puddle of sunshine streaming through the front window and i was fully awash in the whole idyllic scene.
and then the commercials came on, so terribly well crafted by the psychs. ian stood up, walked over in front of the twonky and stood there with dull eyes and slack jaw entranced.
"ian!" i said firmly.
"ian!" i said again a notch up.
again no response.
i wasn't quite horrified, not then, but very interested and concerned, a thing to note well but not to fear...
the stairway had lost it's railing long before we moved into the old house on monastery avenue and ian, just turned two, was precariously perched at the top. i was twelve feet or more away when i saw him tip and if i have ever violated the known laws of physics it was when i moved catlike to make a highlight reel catch, my left hand beneath the back of his head a foot above the floor, the right a bit higher under his wump.
and so too did i move when he fell ill and i'd have caught him again had i not been blocked.
if you've been reading along on this thread for the past month you might recall my spontaneous rising from mage mountain in the spring of '86 to begin a magickal journey. only after i was told of his demise four years after it occurred would i understand i was then again making a leap to save him as he fell ill seeing not by eye but by soul.
my last line of communication to my sons was severed when i was in seattle in '82. i have persisted continuously all these years in trying to regain it. i am sane (and proud to be crazy) but i was hit by black dianetics from CoS and psychiatrically lynched and branded in 1980.
good work mr. fish!
real well done!
dance around mocking my dead son!
the story is much too long to sensibly condense in my hour in the library to give the context of the note greg wilhere sent but most briefly i got back east at the end of summer in '86. my mother, subjected to intimidation as i would learn would say only "i can't help you" and i wound up in new york where i hooked up with the legendary caliph and we did our famous project in alphabet city. i returned to seattle in dec '87 having failed utterly to locate my sons still preternaturally desperate to do so. i tried writing a concilliatory letter to kathies' mother in philly. there was no response so i sent postcard after postcard asking "where are my sons?"
and then one day a small note arrived at my return address in kirkland. it was postmarked los angeles but it bore no return address. it's small typed message instructed me to stop "harrassing" mary wilhere. it was signed with an illegible squiggle but i knew greg's hand from folder study back at fcdc.
THE 'CHURCH' OF SCIENTOLOGY IS A HATE CRIME MR. FISH!
yet it's ideas are wondrous things dear readers and, in part, it is for them i was able as a living soul to be frantically aware i must get to my dying son and yet was finally stymied by my brother-in-law's obedience to rotten policy informed by huge black lies enforced by barred communication.
i am confident many readers know for themselves how the diabolic machina functions.
but i then accomplished the impossible. sometime after xmas i will tell a marvelous tale of the triumph of the human spirit and how i personally financed my son's medical treatment.
but for now this writing is the yule log blazing on the hearth of mr. fish who shall be delightfully warmed by tomorrow's crowning vignette.
smack your lips mr. fish, a most uncommon delicacy...
the darkness of the january night was chilled beyond the marrow by the imminence of desert storm and the stranger's insolence was attuned to the zeitgeist but it would be four years until i learned the full depth of the harmony.
i was peddling the ruth daigon issue of the haight ashbury literary journal on haight street in front of freddies' place just off masonic fishing for a pair of ears to hear a reading of julia vinograd's magnificent "when abbie hoffman killed himself" in hope of garnering a few shekels for my next pack of smokes. he was wearing a dark dulltoned green garbadine suit, tailored i think, not off the rack, clean shaven and short salt and pepper hair, medium build and in good fit, almost atheletic. he was sort of crouched as he approached and moving quickly, a most unlikely patron but not impossible, i've sold many issues to men like him. once i fell in stride with a fellow like him and extolled the virtues of poetry and our quirky rag for two and a half blocks dissolving his disdain to bridge the thin illusion of a gulf between us and capture respect, mirth and a sale.
not so with this one. i waved my wares in his general direction and he stopped just as he passed, pivoted and thrust a taut middle finger rising from a white knuckled fist in my face his own face blazing with a black and vicious hate then scurried on. well i was surprised and baited. there seemed to be something terribly personal and triumphant in his gesture and he must have gained some satisfaction from my eyes for he cracked my TRO and i was a moment shocked and frightened. if i'd had a case of hiccups he'd have cured them. recovering i called after him "have a better day tomorrow."
who or why i knew not, perhaps a local property owner who despised the residue of hippies. but when in january of '95 billy told me my son died the fifth of january 1991 it was not long till i recalled him and knew it was exactly then he had appeared bearing greg's sangfroid served warm and delivered to me your condolences mr. fish.
well now mr. fish
wasn't that just so delish?
not just the massive power of "fair game" but such sublime finesse.
what a gratifying image it must be, an offending auditor getting the finger when his son died incommunicado and then only learning it's meaning four years later, you must have doubled up with laughter when you read it.
don't laugh alone.
by numerous apparently credible first hand accounts of the david this is just the sort of tale he favors.
you must pass it on to him and quickly.
imagine how angry he will be if he finds you've withheld it from him.
especially in this season of good cheer.
o just think of the raucous chortles spouting from him and greg, the kneeslapping guffaws! just think of the riproaring celebration of a most joyously unwoggish yuletide festival lighting up COB's palazzo in the village of the damned ringed in it's collar of magic thorns! o they'll be rolling on the floor spewing great gales of chuckles.
you never know, this be the last xmas the david gets to grind his heel
into the back of the necks of the rpfer's eating beans and rice, making his list and checking it twice, picking out one or two to receive his magnanimous generosity and quickly scarf down as good a xmas meal as a serial child murderer on death row receives.
maybe you should start studying a map of bulgravia and find out what you can about the local carabinieri. maybe you can be one of the toadies he takes with him when he goes. there's been some interesting information about a few million quid lately. best to start positioning yourself for the demolition derby following the decapitation early.
but first things first.
get this happy story of a "yapping gnat's" distress on the holiday drums.
go get 'em tiger.
p.s. there was a cardboard carton of my papers in the back of my ford escort and another in the trunk of the caddy. now that your colleagues know they are of no use to you i'd like them back. you know where to find me.
there you have it
a piquant bohemian elegy for a beautiful child composed to be suitable to the tastes of the remarkable folk who are denizens of esmb.
and now a word from our sponsor, the creator of heaven and earth.
time for our solstice celebration. days have grown shorter and shorter, daylight is fleeting and children have died. now days grow longer and children live. as in ancient days we freshen our confines with evergreen cuttings and feast on the last of harvest bounty.
and in a recent development we take heart not only in the growing outer light of the sun but the growing inner light of The Son. he was born, apparently, in march. there was snow and the shepards who had brought their flocks in for the winter had returned them to the fields. but outer light is such a fine metaphor for inner light let's double 'em up eh?
well now, with some vague exceptions you're all a pack of wretched scuzzbuckets who might show up in a church for a wedding or a funeral if at all, the stupid things are just obsolete in this glitzy glutzy modern age.
maybe you got some kids.
do me a favor would ya? you got yours. i miss mine. take yours to a xmas eve service and let 'em sing a half a dozen xmas carols.
it's good for 'em.
trust me on this.
sing like you want our guys in the middle east to hear ya.
and maybe stick a copy of the bill of rights in their stockings and tell 'em it's a gift from them.
and if you want to really mainline the chiba of the thing find some place where a slim darkhaired young woman with warm brown eyes and a fancy set of pipes accompanied by two or three DROP DEAD musicians sings her heart out like ellen green in "little shop of horrors" performing "o holy night"