In November 1974 I began writing a
novella which is a "shaggy dog tale" satire of
alienation and loneliness – I was having fun
playing with the concept, a date of a year could be a living thing…I was
influenced reading Nikoli Gogol’s
novel, DIARY OF A MADMAN, which I had also seen a brilliant one-man adaptation
of the book at The Church of Scotland’s Netherbow Theatre in Edinburgh. Just
recently I decided to edit it for the first time adding my illustrations.
Perhaps it will ring some bells for you or more than likely the ringing noise is
just in my head...never mind, watch the step!
THE BEAST OF 1967
At this moment, this very moment I feel quite normal and even stranger – content – what, me?– Content? Yes it is true. I’m sure any moment the dread thrombosis of living and reality will descend on me again – but for this brief point in time I am balanced, yes, even calm.
Ah shit! There it is that nagging nightmare in the background. See? I mention "content" and the first thing to rear its ugly head is the snake of despair. Oh well at least on this day I have come accustomed to such a sidekick. Do I like this Beast? No. Do I call him up myself? Perhaps. Who knows how the mind works? My friends? No. But do I care? Well, yes sometimes...
It was in 1967 when the relationshipship with the Beast that lives within me
began. Where was it? It might’ve been in the Spatenhaus, a famous beer drinking
palace owned by the future mayor of
Oh, the old glorious Spatenhaus! What a genius bar it was. Bach on stereo and ham on rye, and sometimes the MJ Q and girls rubbing my crotch and conversations about God and war, art, Chinese vases, rat brains with electrodes, British flags on the wall, carpet samples on the floor, church pews to sit in and intoxicating smell of cigarettes, beer and saurkrout. It was more than a beer joint. It was a meeting place for the up and in and the down and out. An artist auxiliary! The good old Spatenhaus, how I miss it sometimes!
It was there I got to know Steve Martin who was born in Gold Beach, Oregon
who once upon a time went to San Francisco for a month but never saw it
because all he did was stay in bed making love to a California girl. Good old
Steve’s wife was not a
Maybe it wasn’t the Spatenhaus where the Beast was born. No, perhaps the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 my brother gave me. Was that where the Beast took his first breath? I don’t know. I did have a hard time parking it one night. Wait a minute something rings a bell. Was it parking the Oldsmobile that brought on this never ending anxiety I have come to know?
Was it parking the Rocket at the Spatenhaus? Everything is in bits and pieces. The Spatenhaus. The Oldsmobile. Rat brains. God help! I’m drowning in my own wretched thoughts... everything is a hallucigenic picture of Medusa headed characters.
But the Oldsmobile was really hard to park, like it was 50 feet long. I remember
that. I got out, I walked around the corner. Where? Yes, now I remember. It was
There was all of those lonely nights in that dirty little steel mill town…an eleven year old kid walking through the streets of pure blowing subzero weather, thinking maybe I should give up smoking, throwing my Lucky Strikes away, going home feeling lost, lonely – asking Mama if I could sleep with her because I got cold, but it wasn’t really true. I got lonelier, not cold, 11 years old and already lonely!
Come to think of it, I must of been born lonely. I remember sitting by the radio during the kid’s hour listening to a famous local drunk called Jimmy singing “Old Shep”, me crying because it was such a sad song – it was about a boy’s best friend, Old Shep died. Yeah, at four years old I went out to the doghouse where Mutt lived. Mutt was my best friend. She always had pups.
I went to the doghouse full of pops. I lay down with Mutt and nursed on her breast just like her pups. She didn’t mind. I remember the dog tit smell. I closed the door of the doghouse and after a while I could hear Mama crying for me. I felt good with Mutt and her pups and had no reason to leave. I thought it was funny. I mean, me being in the doghouse and no one knowing it. My Mama got real worried and had my Pop and brothers drag the irrigation canal for my body. I didn’t know about drowning then, but at four years old, I knew about being lonely.
That’s why I didn’t feel sorry for an old man I met one day that told me his wife was dead and his friends were dead and it is unbearably lonely when you get to be an old man. Well sometimes it’s unbearably lonely when you are a little boy that sucks on dog tits cause she’s your only friend.
But that ain’t the Beast I’m talking about – or is it? No! It’s something more. I don’t know when it came alive or where from but seems to me it has always been here with me – it was when I got older I could see this monster easily. Now he hangs on me like flies hang on shit.
So at least I’ve got it narrowed down. It was either the Spatenhaus, my brother’s red and white two-door hardtop Rocket 88 Oldsmobile or the Broadway Inn.
But, the Spatenhaus...it was where I first learned of electrodes placed in rat brains and got publicly rubbed between the knees by girls I didn't even know. As for the Rocket 88, it did seem to grow 32 feet longer than it actually was one night at the Broadway Inn.
That’s where I drew quick sketches of nude women on stage, learned about blowjobs in front of fireplaces, got an enraged husband stubbing a cigarette out on my cheek, banged lesbian snake dancers, and got turned on by a 44-year-old titty tassel twirler named Blue who was never happy unless she was turning on and seducing young men like me. Oh yes, I did learn a couple things.
Tassle twirler Blue said, “Do you turn on kid?” I said, “Turn what?” She said, “Turn on – turn on?” I said, “Turn on what?” She said “Never mind!” It was a while later I found out what she meant. At first I thought it was a key to knowledge, but all it did was turn my mind into dishrag in a sink full of rag eating piranhas . Right. That’s the connection between the Spatenhaus, the Rocket 88 and the Broadway Inn.
What a joke, turning on. It should be called letting out. Letting out the monkeys from the zoo, the mad man out of the cage, the Beast out-of-the-box.
Back in 1967 it got let out. Not just for me. The world went mad… Fortunately
the world wasn’t trying to blow each other to bits like it did the other times
it went mad, like WWI and WWII. We lucky Americans were one of the few still
playing the strange game. We were napalming
Aha! I seem to be coming to something significant. It wasn’t the Spatenhaus or the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 or the Broadway Inn.
It was 1967 which gave the kiss of life to the strange creature living in me now. Of course, why didn’t it occur to me before? Life is more diabolical than it seems. It’s not people, things or places that drive us mad, but the number of a year and 1967 is one of them. A string of numbers come to mind, 1914, 1929, 1941, 1944, 1951, 1953, 1957, 1964. That’s recent numbers. There are ancient numbers too like 1492, 1776, 1812 and 1861.
Mostly those numbers have to do with big events or big people who happened to exist during those numbers. They must affect us all in some immeasurable way but what about the little numbers that slip in sideways and no one knows it is a special number until the number is all gone away? For instance 1944.
That’s when the Beast first howled in the back of my brain... for me if nobody else because I was born in 1944. Its shadow crossed my life again in 1951, 1953, and 1957 then disappeared until 1967. That’s when he broke down the doors of my perception and manifested his Beastly face.
“Here I am,” 1967 said, then with slimy fingers reached over the top of my head and grabbed the front of my mind and pulled me off the barstool at the Broadway Inn. A few months before that he had elongated my Oldsmobile Rocket 88, 32 feet and made it extremely difficult for me to park. A few days before that, he disguised himself as a girl rubbing me between the knees at the Spatenhaus. I know for fact that was 1967 – or was it 1966? Fragments! Rat brains!
Now let me see was it 1966 or 1967…it must’ve been 1967 even if it was 1966 because that’s how years are. It’s tricky how the number of a year tries to camouflage the entrance of the Beast. It’s a wicked game the Beast is trying to play on me.
Looking at these papers on a table I’ve discovered that I was in
I’ll describe this particular number, 1966. The color of this number is muted tones of blues, grays and violets, except for scattered patches of sunshine and bright greens. Also there are strings of scarlet speckled rhododendrons.
This number seems to be quite a tall number. In some ways it is much taller than most numbers. If it was in an elevator crowded with other numbers it certainly would appear taller. Although in reality it might actually be shorter. It might not be a big number on the outside but because there is so much on the inside, indeed it is bigger than other numbers.
This number is dressed in an old clothes bought at the Salvation Army. There are dirt spots, rips and patches all over it. He’s got a hobo bag on his shoulder and looks like its hitch-hiking somewhere. If you were the type of person to identify the characters by dress, you would probably say this number appears to be a bohemian artist type freak. Also this number appears to me to be growing a very immature mustache. There are also little balls of hair going on both sides of its chin. This number has a very square chin. 1966 likes to stand in front of a mirror and pull in its stomach muscles and flex. This number is acting out basic narcissistic insecurity.
I see puddles of water lying around this number. They serve as portable mirrors for 1966 so it can stop at the reflecting spots along its journey to be sure the Salvation Army clothes are looking bohemian enough. There are wet drops falling out of the sky that are little mirrors that haven’t found their spot yet. There are clouds sifting through the hills that haven’t turned into wet drops yet. In the hills are tall fir trees. Among the fir trees are beautiful warm looking houses.
In these houses are golden lights that beam civilization on blue-black nights. In the rooms of these houses under the warm glowing lights are small human figures. 1966 is alone walking down a mirror filled street, alternately looking into the warm gold houses and then back to the silver grey puddles. The old clothes are made for walking out in the streets, not to be in wonderful houses on a hill full of trees.
1966 likes to go to free public places. 1966 is a very poor number. It doesn’t have any money. Not having money makes 1966 feel poor, thus deserving walking in the streets and going to free public places.
One of the free public places 1966 goes to is the Portland Museum of Modern Art. Usually 1966 doesn’t talk to other numbers unless it is spoken to first. It is very insecure number, but doesn’t really like to talk even when it’s feeling arrogant. That is, truly talking. For the most part 1966 only makes statements and not conversations.
It was in the art museum that a young lady spoke to 1966. She mistook it for a young man, not knowing it was only old clothes enclosing a number. Because the number was spoken to first, it made a statement. “Art is trash,” it said. The young lady said, “Yes, would you like to have a spaghetti dinner at my apartment tonight? I play the guitar. Maybe we can fool around too.”
“Yes,” it said. 1966 liked spaghetti.
Okay, that’s an approximate look at 1966. Now, how about 1967?
1967 is olive green. It is the color of
1967 is very short, almost flat at times, and then in one tiny instant it becomes tall but also very puffy. It wears jet black sunglasses so people won’t know who it is. Because 1967 changes so easily it really has no height or form at all. Mainly 1967 is a mirage and doesn’t exist except by the trick of memory. People beat drums around 1967. Some of these people have rifles and shoot at black silhouettes which look like shadows of people. There are many people that live near 1967 that don’t sleep at nights, being kept awake by nightmares. These people are given pills by other people that make them sleep while they are awake.
1967 grows a mustache every three days and then shaves it off. It has a round ball that could be easily mistaken to be a head. The head looks as though it sets on a well-developed athletic body. There is no neck between the round ball and the body. There are black boots on the body that are spit shined. The round ball is proud the way the boots shine. It spends many hours coaxing the body that has arms and fingers to rub the boots to a high luster. The boots are the balls friends. They have long conversations.
Boots: How’s it going ball
Ball: Not bad boots, and you?
Boots: Pretty good I guess, can’t complain! What’s new for you?
Ball: Not much, same old thing!
Boots: New mustache?
The ball and boots have highly interesting talks. It’s hard to tell which one is more clever.
1967 gets confused quite often. It is very changeable condition. Everywhere 1967 goes the confusion intensifies. The other numbers don’t even recognize 1967 as a number but once in a while someone in olive green wearing a helmet and has yellow stripes on its sleeve will ask 1967, “Who do you think you are boy, an individual?”
This is a very odd question even though 1967 is confused, that is one thing it is not confused about. 1967 thinks it is an individual. 1967 gets angry when olive green people ask him that question.
In the front of 1967 are the people dressed in olive green. In the back of 1967 are people dressed in white.
Running all around are people dressed in very weird costumes. Some look like cowboys, some like Indians, some like wizards and some dress as Renaissance musicians. All of them have long hair, wear beads, are brightly colored and smell like pechulia oil. They are like an army but don’t think they are an army.
The olive green people and the white people are like an army too, but think they are an army. 1967 has a theory that they are all crazy. The people in white tell 1967 that it is crazy because it told the people in olive green that they were crazy. No one really believes that they are crazy except for the people that are dressed in the weird costumes. They know they are crazy.
The ball that sits on 1967 shoulders has two inset jelly babies that look like eyes. These eyes tell things to the ball that make the ball say very hysterical things to the boots such as, “Run boots, run!” This happens when the ball smokes what the crazy people say is medicinal herbs. Sometimes the ball swells up and completely fills a room on particular nights. If there are people in the room they are submerged by the ball. The ball doesn’t like to do this. It makes the ball feel afraid.
Most of 1967 is actually very afraid, but there is a tiny part in 1967 trying to be brave. The only way it can be brave is to be puffy. 1967 drinks yellow liquid and smokes herb that makes the ball puff up and fill rooms and get very afraid. The tiny part in 1967 that's brave keeps trying to come out. The ball tries to hide the tiny part most of the time.
1967 has a fantasy companion he calls Max. 1967 thinks Max is crazy. Max is dressed in olive green but his heart is dressed in buckskin and beads. One day Max leaves the olive green people that think they are not crazy, to join the long haired people who think they are crazy. Max will drive many of the long haired people who think they are crazy, really crazy. Max is a secret agent without knowing it. When Max leaves the olive green people, 1967 finally lets the little brave part out.
It hasn’t helped me discover when the Beast was born and the only Max I know is Max Headroom. As for fantasies, I never have them except just tonight I had another experience of this depressing Beast dancing with jungle natives. Maybe his name is Max.
I was trying to talk to a young lady but I made sounds like a motorcycle. I don’t want to sound like a motorcycle. I want to sound like a person. I want to sound like a person that is not insane. Most people sound like they are insane. The girl I was trying to talk to does not sound like she is insane, but it was difficult for her to talk when I was sounding like a motorcycle.
I would like to ask her if she knows whether the Beast is 1966 or 1967. She has beautiful eyes. It could be that she would know but I’m afraid that if I mentioned the Beast it would scare her. What really would scare her, is the Beast that lives in her.
There is a Beast that lives in everybody, but no Beast likes to know about other Beasts. They think they are the only Beast. The Beast in her would tell her I’m crazy and dangerous. She would stop talking to me. Very well I won’t bring up 1966 or 1967. It is my own personal search.
One time I met a girl that liked me making sounds like a duck. It was okay for a while because she thought I was trying to be funny. She even went so far as making duck sounds too. That made me more secure because there wasn't much to talk about. We quacked for about six months and then she got bored. She thought something was wrong. I did too but I couldn’t bring myself to say it. I thought quacking was better than nothing although I could understand what she was quacking, I thought I had simplified talking. The Beast in her told her to quack which proves there was something foul.
I used to talk to girls easily. That was when I was playing dolls with them. I like to play dolls with little girls. Doctor and Nurse was a good one too. Then it was easy to talk to girls. It was when the Beast made the appearance in1951 was when it told me to put sand down a little girl's pants and ask her if she would like me to take it out with my hand. I stuck my hand in and played with her crack. It felt good, but after that I noticed when I talked to girls I made strange sounds. I wavered between frogs and chickens at first. It took me years to come to ducks. It has been just lately that I started sounding like a motorcycle. Talking seems just so human.
As time went on I came to believe I was human and everybody else were Space Martian’s. That didn’t last long. It is difficult being human among Space Martian’s.
That is why I turned into a raving Bible beating evangelists. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in Jesus – or sort of – I mean he has got me out of a couple of really bad holes in life. It was one of those holes that I thought I was a human and should be better than I was. I didn’t realize that’s what being human is about – that is – being a whole lot of bad and sometimes good too. I thought I was supposed to be perfect because everybody on the planet were Space Martians. I was going to help them out.
Naturally it got too hard. I found out Jesus had done most of the work anyway. That was when I joined the church. I thought they kept Space Martians out of church. Boy did I have a lesson to learn. Space Martians even get into churches these days. One can never know where Space Martians might be lurking.
I can see that you might misunderstand what I’m saying about Space Martians and think I’m talking about the Beast, but it ain’t so.
Space Martians and the Beast are two different things. The Beast is a life melt like an arch-weld on an oil line pipeline where as the Space Martians are just passing boogymen , kind of like mirages. If a Space Martian takes a trip on your mind it never owns you. It pays rent, that’s all. But the Beast is different. The Beast owns the whole picture show and if it wants, can make you dance like Gene Kelly.
Beasts are part of being human, but Space Martians are part of being nothing. Space Martians are like a the magician trick of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but the Beast is alive inside but paranoid you might notice and screw up the picture show. That’s why the suspicion I might be human.
But lately I’ve been having strange thoughts about 1966 and1967. I’m beginning to think that I’m not really human at all but maybe one of those numbers. I might be both of those numbers. Together they look like this 19661967. Apart they look like ordinary numbers, but joined they look like they are trying to say something. When I look into the mirror I think I don’t look like none of those numbers, apart or together. Although in describing them I began to wonder how I look.
Maybe you are curious how I look. I see no harm in telling you, so I will. I walk with my hands in my pockets a lot. When nobody is looking I pick my nose. That is one of my secret fears – that is, someone will see me picking my nose. I walk with my feet pointed outwards. Maybe that is why I started quacking like a duck. Most of the time I think I am rather handsome, but the other day I noticed that my mouth is put on crooked. I might have bent my mouth by quacking so much. I have blue eyes. My mother had blue eyes. I used to have a dog with one blue eye. When I was a little boy my hair was bright orange, but now it is dust colored – also it has been falling out and I’m afraid I will be bald any day. I have noticed recently that wrinkles are starting to run over my face. I am beginning to look quite old but I am really a young man – or at least a relatively young man.
But it is a mystery to me because some days I feel ancient. Once I felt as old as infinite time. That was when I thought I was a Space Martian.
I have a mustache and right below it, a goatee. I tug at the goatee in a kind of nervous habit and much of the time I think about cutting it off. Sometimes I look in the mirror and threaten my goatee. My goatee looks like a bunch of short ropes hanging over a barn door. I used to have a girlfriend that told me I was ugly. Later on I really realized she was mentally ill.
Well, by now you can probably tell by the description of myself that I don’t look anything like 1966 or 1967. I might look like 19661967 but there is no description for that number.
Have you noticed how peculiar looking 19661967 is? It looks like a government portrait. Government portraits often look like a long string of numbers.
Never mind, the way I look now makes me quite attractive to ladies. They always come around. Usually after I make sounds like ducks, frogs, chickens, or motorcycles they go away, but the girl with the beautiful eyes is still around. I’ve been trying really hard not to sound like a motorcycle, but my words become sputtering masses of syllables.
Today I made sense for a few moments but what should I do in that short span but tell the girl with beautiful eyes terrible truths about myself. I think I would have been better off to have sounded like a motorcycle. That might have aroused sympathy in her. She might have thought I am something more than I really am, if I'd remained ambiguous.
If I had paid her bus fare downtown perhaps I could have told her later that I forgot my money pouch but without even a penny to my name she knew I didn’t have any money any where. How embarrassing.
If I could have talked about the weather, it would have been different. No not me, I say, I have no money. No money anywhere. No bank accounts and no credit. I am a poor man.
I felt bad about her paying for lunch so I took her to the fanciest store in town where we could look at crystal glasses and French pottery. I knew it wouldn’t cost anything. I thought that was using my head.
I told her that I had once bought a coffee cup there . She was not exactly
choked with emotion. She is an easy-going sort. I mean she didn’t have to see me
again and she didn’t even attempt to make any excuses about being tired or
having to go somewhere. To tell you the truth I’m quite confused by this girl
with beautiful eyes. I suppose that is why I pinched her ass in the
Probably it’s my imagination. Girls with beautiful eyes make me paranoid. I should have never put sand down that little girl's pants. I was seven years old then. I should’ve never pinched the beautiful eyed girl in public. I’m 30 years old now. I haven’t always been paranoid. I seem to have got that way only recently. It's getting worse.
That reminds me of the Beast. I don’t know how much the Beast has to do with me being paranoid but I think he brought on the pinch. I feel embarrassed about the pinch. It’s not like me at all to do such a thing. I was embarrassed when I put sand in the little girl's pants, because she told her sister I rubbed her bottom. At seven years old I didn’t know what to be embarrassed about but everybody said I should be ashamed, not embarrassed.
Sometimes I am ashamed over what happened way back that makes no difference now. I’m ashamed I stabbed my pet lizard when I was eight. First sand in the pants then stabbing lizards; see what I mean? No wonder I’m confused over the number of years or what will come I'll be ashamed about! Who knows? It's the roller coaster of the mind anyway so fuck it!
Soon after I pinched the beautiful eyed girl’s ass, she bought a ticket to another town. She’s gone now. But she didn’t mention the pinch on the ass. I don’t get enough time to think, even less time to write what beautiful eyed girls think about. I simply must skip over huge happenings just so I can get back to the original thought I had.
Another three days have slipped by and I haven’t been able to write a thing. I can only mention cameo's of interest.
Yesterday I met a young lady that looked like Botticelli’s Venus. What a beautiful nose she has. She giggles all the time. I told her I am writing a famous novel. She said she will type my hand written manuscripts. She’s a secretary.
Tonight Margo Fontaine, the world famous ballerina kissed a red carnation and handed it to me. I know this sounds like it’s a lie but these things really happen to me and I just don’t have the time to explain them properly.
That is because I want to discover where the Beast has come from. Margo Fontaine has a Beast too. That’s why she kissed the red carnation and gave it to me. The Beast made her think she was somebody special by kissing a flower and handing it to a stranger.
I wonder if Margo Fontaine knows about the number of years being a disguise. She probably doesn’t. She most likely thinks she’s a famous ballet dancer and strangers like to get hand kissed flowers from her. She probably thinks years are great events and not disguised Beasts. Well, baloney with Margo Fontaine!
I want to know why we all have a Beast in us. I want to know why the Beast disguises itself in the number of a year. I have to keep my mind clear of all these incidental events. There must be more of a story and go back to the birth of the Beast. Everyday living is certainly a real distraction to the past.
Speaking of the past I might as well try to decipher the difference between 1966 and 1967 again. I must admit though I’m becoming more and more convinced that these two numbers are the same. I think these two numbers are only a government file number or could it be the Beast? Maybe it's code name is Max...
The girl with beautiful nose has the Beast too. She giggles every time I talk to her. That’s a sure sign of the Beast. I asked her if she thought I was a comedian but all she did was a giggle. What am I to make of giggles? The Beast is devious resorting to giggles. It can’t fool me. I can see the Beast perfectly well and when it tries to act like a young lady giggling I know that is just one of its cheap tricks.
Recently I have been led to believe I am a "pushy person". A gallery owner said that. The reason a gallery owner called me a “pushy person” is because between working on this manuscript, I am painting masterpieces. Unfortunately I’m not dead yet so my great work has not been discovered. I was trying to let this particular gallery owner have the honor of discovering me. It would do his ego good. But no, he thought I was a pushy person.
If I am a pushy person, I am sure it relates back to a government plot- 19661967 is the file number for sure. I personally don’t think I’m a pushy person but merely an individual that is more curious about the drive of humanity and gamesmanship of the world than most people.
Somewhere in my brain at this moment I hear the Beast laughing. The Beast sometimes tries to make me feel like a liar. I’m not a liar. I am a dreamer. I was a dreamer long before I came to know the government portrait, file number 19661967, but I can’t help but feel, it was the influence of the government portrait that brought on this advanced state of dreaming.
I must digress to the numbers again. If I look to the papers on the desk perhaps they will give me a hint. Let’s see. Here is an unusual photograph.
It is a picture 1966 standing on what appears to be some kind of stage. The old bohemian clothes it usually wears are discarded. 1966 looks quiet fashionable. He wears a tailored suit and a velveteen pullover. His hair is styled and the mustache trimmed. In the hand of 1966 is a painters brush. It is an artist stance that 1966 suggests. He seems to be gazing at his model and there is a nude woman on a canvass. Half of the photograph is missing. It looks as though the nude woman 1966 is painting is the missing part of the photograph.
1966 certainly is different than how I remembered it. I can see there might be some confusion in me calling him 1966. The odd thing is 1966 has a striking similarity to me, but I’m sure he is only part of the Beast illusion or worst part of the disguise of a government plot. 1966 looks quite angry – that is in a silent smoldering sort of way. He looks like he could be a psychopath at the drop of a hat.
I don’t know what to think of this, because in the beginning 1966 was dressed in a old clothes looking at puddles of water walking in the hills among the trees outside of gold warm houses. That was by memory, and then by evidence and the rubbish of my desk I discovered a drastic transition where 1966 was drawing nudes on stage appearing very fashionably dressed.
Anyway 1966 doesn’t have a goatee and I do. It is true to that I have drawn nudes but one has to draw such things in the process of making masterpieces. I submit an example. I do recall having a dream once about being on stage drawing nudes but I’m sure it could have never been part of reality. However I happened to come in possession of this photograph of 1966 painting nudes on stage is quite curious. I don’t see any puddles in the photograph and as I remember there were a lot of puddles from 1966. This photograph confuses me. But I wait but wait a minute! What is this?
Ha! A sketch of him! My God will the mystery never end? The back side of it looks like some sort of government identity business with numbers and stamps all over. It even has the height and weight on it. How bizarre! Here he has no hair or mustache. He looks slightly insane. He seems to be staring at some horrible vision in the distance. Look here, a hand written number, 1967!
Now I can see that my suspicions of 1966 and 1967 being one and the same are not mere fantasies. Something very weird and strange is starting to occur to me, that perhaps I have stumbled onto a very diabolic scheme. Of course! 19661967 is the government tracking number! Not just a file number!
The scheme is this: the Beast is a government plot to subvert and confuse the real identity of a number that happens to be a year..
So! At last I am onto something big! I can see now that I have got confused into thinking that the Beast was a natural part of me. Government plotters want me to think that. Ha! They can’t fool me.
How could I think that the Beast was as natural as fingers and toes? How absurd! People don’t really want to act the way they do! Government plotters want people to act the way the plotters want them to act! It is so obvious!
I can see now where I have gone wrong through the years. It was by treating this demonic feeling inside my head as part of me. It was by accepting this detestable creature as part of my basic nature that made me regard it with kindred respect.
Because I have tolerated this monstrosity as a family tolerates an obnoxious child, I have allowed a great injustice and deviation of natural homogenous pursuits. I have allowed the enemy to implant a traitor in my very being and what’s worse I have let this fiend corrupt my soul. The time is not too late! I have discovered this insidious intruder and I shall burst the chains of its contempt! Never say die! I am victorious!
is that squeaking? Good heavens! Do I have mice in the house? I’m sure that is a
mouse squeak. Mice! What a nuisance! It has only been a year or so since I
murdered a mouse that lived in the bread truck with me. What remorse that mouse
has caused me. I even had a nightmare where I was a demon who murdered
women who had come to
But I didn’t want to murder the mouse. I certainly felt guilty after I murdered it but the fact simply remains. I murdered a mouse.
I tried to get used to the squeaking and bumping of walls all night long and after I started banging on the walls in the day time it did seem to be quieter at night but it really pushed my patience too far when it started leaving little turds in the flour. I didn’t care if it ate my flour if it would have just had the decency to place its turds elsewhere but mouse turds are too much! Now I suppose the whole thing will start all over again.
Well, so be it. I will not murder another mouse. I cannot stand the thought of murdering some living creature just because it has terrible manners. Besides I have heard a story about this particular mouse and happen to know it is quite talented.
It was just last week that this mouse was inspecting the spoils of my rubbish bag when my room mate, Zorro, happened to take the bag outside. He picked up the bag, taking it to the hallway and laid it down for a moment so that he might close the apartment door. The mouse undoubtedly knew that was his chance for escape.
As Zorro reported it to me and he’s always an honest chap I shall report it to you.
Well, much to his surprise, as he turned from closing the door and was in the act of picking up the rubbish bag, the mouse drove out on a very tiny Harley Davidson motorcycle with a long white scarf flowing around its neck. It had a remarkable resemblance to Isadora Duncan. Now that indeed is unusual for mouse and no one can deny that required talent, but what occurred immediately thereafter was an act of daring do.
Apparently the mouse didn’t know that we lived on the fourth floor – probably a 10th generation flat member and all records of family migration forgotten – and being completely unaware what height means drove right off the steps bouncing down several levels before he gunned the tiny Harley off the staircase and like Evil Knievel landed on the ground landing 3 floors below. At that point, Zorro said (and I have no reason to question his honesty) the mouse drove away in a cloud of dust.
Personally I find this quite extraordinary and have never heard of such a talented mouse before. The mouse has proved his ingenuity again, by returning to the flat. So, I suppose I shall have to put up with a nuisance of mouse squeaks and mouse turds. I would like to meet this mouse and congratulate him on his amazing feats, but it is a very timid creature insofar it has remained out of sight.
But all of this is nonsense! I am not doing the investigation I begun. Mice have nothing to do with the Beast or government plot makers. I am sure mice are ignorant of such matters. What I have been examining is purely the calamity of man. There was the famous statement about “matters of mice and men” but whoever could put mice in the slightest comparison with mankind is unduly informed. The mouse life is a simple affair compared to the plight of the human condition – even motorcycle driving mice.
So, where was I? I must clear the rubbish off my desk someday. There’s too much clutter for me to make heads or tails of information that is available to me. If I was in the proper frame of mind it would be a simple affair to put some order to this nonsense. I shall never come to the bottom of this puzzle, but I am not in the mood to go further at this point. I need a bit of relaxation. I shall go to the pub.
Just like that, now I’m in a pub. That’s me down there in the left bottom corner. There’s a cute little gall next to me that I might have a chat with if the opportunity prevails. But this place is not really a pub. It is more of a notorious bistro and you should see the people that come here. Well, look at them you can see for yourself! They stuff their faces and talk about office work. Poor souls. They are all totally unaware of the hideous plot of the government. They are all very fashionable and conscious of their eating manners, but little do they suspect that within their substance is a living government device that makes them do these foolish things. I know and how well I know.
By God how pathetic these public places are; food left in plates with cigarette stubs sticking out like small tilted chimneys. What about me? I am no better. Already I have consumed 4 pints of beer. It has brought on a measure of disgust within me and I might add terribly difficult to explain anything at all. Therefore I shall submerge myself to the decadence of the moment. I shall explain tomorrow what has come about.
Several days have passed since I left the notorious bistro. I was sure to resolve the matter of the confused years right away but there’s been a bewildering assortment of happening since my last communiqué bringing new insight. It is no easy solution to come to the bottom of diabolical government schemes.
I see no explanation of 19661967 unless I include the experience that has occurred in the last four days. The government plotters are behind it to throw me off course. There’s no telling what may happen if I come to the true identity of 19661967. You see I happen to know almost as a fact that in the secret government headquarters the device implanted in me caused a red light to blink telling the government plotters my unit has malfunctioned.
At this very moment there is a man sniffing his nose and drinking coffee on the other side of the table I am positive is an informer. How obvious the way he sniffs his nose and reaches for his coffeecake. He is sending secret messages to the agents in the corner of the room. I must be careful or I shall certainly be discovered. Keep on your toes now that I am writing what’s happened in the last four days.
Actually it all started over a month ago – or was it a month and a half? It was no less than two months possibly!
This is what happened. My room mate Zorro told me a man who lives in
It was arranged that I should go to
Just as I was about to begin the painting in
On return to Bonny Scotland I begin the great work and after an incredible three
weeks produced a masterpiece depicting
The sun was falling to the horizon on the right and the moon was hanging like a crystal in ultraviolet blue on the left. The sky was flowing with bronzed clouds. It was an accomplished feat of transparencies. The painting was bordered by an oval formation of golden flowered scrolls. At the very bottom of the painting were two silver sabers of the Royal Scottish Regiment crossed in the customary fashion. It was a clever work of genius. Never before was the military extravaganza captured with such poetry.
At the end of the three weeks I cleaned my paintbrushes and collapsed in a heap
of exhausted accomplishment. I was ready, to return to
You see after I had seen the mouse I became quite interested in motorcycles and should money come, I would buy a motorcycle. I was slightly afraid that he would want to pay me in the same manner the other clients did. The drugstore paid with root beer floats, 237 and a dozen banana splits. One delicatessen paid me with unlimited soup and pastrami sandwiches. I lost track after 100 bowls of soup and 58 sandwiches, but it was a handsome amount.
I didn’t really mind to be paid with food again, although truthfully I am not that fond of haggis and turnips, the specialty of this Scottish restaurant. But the mouse with the motorcycle set off a lifetime of desires. The mouse looked so glamorous with the long white scarf trailing behind and that little pointed nose high in the air was an image that suited me. I was desperate to get a motorcycle and saw no way I could trade haggis and turnips for a proud machine.
Before I go on with the episode in London I must interrupt briefly to state that while I was gone on the second journey to London which I will explain in detail in one moment, the girl with a beautiful nose resigned from the very important job of typing up my manuscript and got a job in the police station as a secretary. It just goes to show that a conspiracy of the most treacherous kind is going on.
However, with a motorcycle in my brain Zorro took me to
Most of what occurred in
That evening we drank Martinis and met two very nice Swedish off-duty waitresses
at Ian McLeod’s restaurant and bar who said they loved foreigners after I bought
eight rounds of Martinis. They disappeared while I was paying the tab. In the
hard morning light we departed for
For the second time in my life I was paid money instead of sandwiches. I would have been overjoyed with my success except for one thing. My patron McLeod hated the painting. I don’t know why he gave me the money. He said, “A bargain is a bargain.” He certainly hated the painting though. I didn’t really care for the work in some ways. Normally I don’t paint castles but it was a blow to my pride to be told that the painting was no good. However for 100 English Pounds I felt that I could take this ruffians insults as well as money. With the money I hoped to buy the motorcycle and that was the importance of the matter, but I seem to have spent 97 English Pounds at the bar. Pity really. Zorro was so obtuse nothing came of the little fling but a hangover and what remains, 3 English Pound notes.
Sometime has passed since I last put down the words of
Perhaps the reality of what I have been talking about is a dream. None of it is a lie, just a dream. A lie is something that doesn’t happen anywhere, but if it happens in your mind, it is reality. It just seems to be a lie to some people. So that’s what has been happening to me. I have been having a lot of dreams.
Even mice have dreams. I am not the one to condemn dreams.
For instance a couple of days ago I dreamt I was in
Oh well, to hell with this gypsy and dreams and paintings!
I just don’t have time to sort all of this nonsense out. My desk is nothing but a landslide of confetti paper. All it does is confuse me. There are too many pieces of contradictory history on this desk. I keep thinking that occasionally I get up and leave this room – indeed I swear days have passed that I am somewhere else, then in a conscious flash I find myself sitting right back at the desk again – chained to my thoughts by this insidious terror that lives in my heart. God damn the Beast!
It is the devil in his worst disguise. I must be crazy thinking it is a government plot. It is far worse than that. It’s the dark side of the universe that creates the sickness in my soul. It is not only me, but the very fabric of humanity that is infected with this Luciferian malady. It is the creepiness of 1 million years of evolution in the evil rotten heart of mankind. What a paradox because under the pathetic face of humanity still lives the innocent eyes of the infant child in the first day of awareness. Goddamn awareness!
I’m angry with this Beast inside my soul and disgusted with the sickness I am convinced is my own. We all have this disease. Lord, Lord, wake up sleeping humanity! Send a fiery chariot! – let the trumpets blow! – Gabriel descend! – Jesus light up the sky!
Run and slap your bellies you laughing Buddha’s but there is no place to hide! – Life is deadly serious – wars and famines and birth and tides and rivers bloody with death and greed and lust of the demon that rips our throats and minds – the unbelievable greed of God’s children trying to grab the measure, the share, the pieces we can call our own.
I am sick of me, sick of this demon greed and lust that closes my soul into a claw. Lord, where’s the tender child all of us yearn for? Where is the reflection of a diamond rainbow sky painted across our eyes? When will the dream to come to an end, so we will wake up into the plain day of truth and justice? Where oh where is the day the sun will be our master and kindness our love? I am tired, so tired, I shall sleep.
SLEEP is the merciful Savior.
Elliptical shaped ships sail into the dusk face of a tilted dawn. On the decks, grey with salt and age are shiny bullet formed cockroaches scurrying through the dark cracks. There are cracked red leather boots that tramp upon the deck’s wood, the soles and heels shushing and clicking. The boots squash slow running cockroaches diving into to the cracks. The cockroaches are in control of the cracks on all parts of the ship, but fear the great Red Boots. High above is a body connected to the boots but it is blurred, a fuzzy membrane yellow and violet. The body seems to be merely an attachment to the boots rather than the boots being ornaments of protection to the body. The body flows like a flag on the blown decks of this dark voyage. The cockroaches hate the boots, but have an inbred respect. They worship of these stamping roach squashers.
The cockroaches say to each other, “The Red Boots,The Red Boots!”
They cringe in the depth of the cracks but occasionally misfortune takes place. The boots blunder upon the sleek body of a fat black cockroach that was a bit too slow to get to the crack. The smear lies flat on the deck but sometimes it is more than that. The cockroach will be half in a half out of the crack smashed flat to the deck. For many days after that, until the rain or waves have swept away the remains, the other cockroaches avoid that crack. They are not typical cockroaches. Most cockroaches would eat the slain but not these fellows. They are dream cockroaches and not only that, they are mystical cockroaches – they don’t eat at all. All they do is run up and down the ship during the absence of The Red Boots, and then occupy the cracks or trenches as they prefer to call them during the presence of the Red Boots. These cockroaches are so mystical that they don’t even know that they are on the ocean. They call the ocean The Sliding World.
The ship happens to be sailing to the North Pole. This is even stranger because it is a wooden ship, with two masts. The canvas is limp and pasted to the masts. The wind is coming from the wrong direction yet the ship is cleaving the sea and a white mustache curls around the bow that resembles an old-time American locomotive – the ones with enormous cow catchers.
The dream strikes the dreamer as a complete distortion to reality. The dreamer can’t accept distortions to reality – the dream program button is pushed and the dream changes abruptly.
The ship melts into a sidewalk that runs through a city park with tall grass, as though it has never been mowed. Cockroaches line both sides of the sidewalk. Their eyes are beady little black balls and a flick anxiously from side to side. Every few moments one of the cockroaches makes a sudden leap onto the sidewalk desperately trying to scurry across to the other side. However at that precise moment a tricycle comes down the sidewalk.
There are Red Boots pumping peddles of the tricycle but the cockroaches never
seem to notice the Red Boots. They only noticed the rubber tires on the
tricycle. They always say to each other, “Rubber Tires, Rubber Tires.” Usually
the cockroaches never get across the sidewalk because the Rubber Tires squash
them. These cockroaches speak with Romanian accents. A Romanian cockroach in
this park is highly unusual because this park might be
At any rate, these are international cockroaches although they have never been to the Grand Prix of Monaco because they would have found it easier crossing this particular sidewalk. But most peculiar, these cockroaches are trying to get to the other side of the sidewalk so they can meet Salvador Dali.
One may ask what on earth do cockroaches want to speak to Salvador Dali for and if they do meet, what do they talk about?
However, on the other hand it is entirely possible Salvador Dali is testing which cockroaches to come to speak to him and set up the tricycle so that it rolls over the most stupid cockroaches. Being it is Salvador Dali; he prefers to speak only to the intelligent and fleet of foot Romanian cockroaches.
What they would speak about would be entirely fitting with Dali’s character. They might talk about melting wristwatches or rubbish bins of various restaurants. Salvador Dali would ask what Romanian cockroaches dream. They are quite famed in this respect. At any rate they don’t seem to be talking about much at all because all the cockroaches are getting squashed by the tricycle.
The test is working – only the most interesting and quick minded cockroach will get across the sidewalk. Do you think Salvador Dali wants to talk to sluggish cockroaches? Of course not! Only the quick witted will get through!
One conversation between a very quick Romanian cockroach and Salvador Dali went as such:
Dali: Welcome my friend! I’m so glad you could come for this visit.
Cockroach: What is this? A joke?
Dali: No my friend, we have a very important thing to talk about.
Cockroach: Who is that tricycle driving freak?
Dali: Don’t worry about the tricycle my friend – it is only a dream. What we have to talk about is much more serious than that.
Cockroach: But my whole family and half of my friends are squashed!
Dali: This is of no great importance. What I want to know is it 1966 or is it 1967? That’s what we’re here to talk about!
Cockroach: 1966! 1967! Almost the entire Romanian cockroach race wiped out and you want to talk about numbers!
Dali: Ha! So! Then you know? Ha! Just as I suspected!
Cockroach: But of course. All true blooded Romanian cockroaches know that 1966 and 1967 are really 19661967 which is really a government portrait of you – it is common gossip.
Dali: Common gossip! Well, let me tell you I am quite happy half of the remaining cockroach race is squashed. Yes quite flat to the sidewalk – Ha ha, now that I know this information I have one question for you!
Dali: Can a Romanian cockroaches type? You see I have an finished manuscript needs typing.
Here are the dreamer of the dream is somewhat shocked that there is a similarity to the dream in his life – also the Romanian cockroaches seem to be somewhat stumped if his race can type manuscripts. If he had shoulders, he would have shrugged them, however when a cockroach tries to shrug his shoulders, they appear to be jumping up and down on the ground.
A sudden gust of wind bends the pointed mustache of Salvador Dali and I am tumble back into this thing called conscious reality, but the dream remains and I am left to decipher it. So it seems that I have been confusing these numbers as years with Salvador Dali’s government portrait. Now through the process of dream sequences, I am given the notion these numbers are Salvador Dali, but more probable Salvador Dali is only a symbol of the real meaning behind the government portrait. Anyway what do Romanian cockroaches know?
But there’s more here than meets the eye. The similarities are too diabolic too coincidental, too absurd, like I happen to be a great undiscovered painter that in between opportunities I am working on an unfinished manuscript. It is odd though because I did paint a picture of a cockroach only two years ago.
Balls! My mind is turning into balls and wire. How am I ever to make sense of myself? What about the time? The time is evaporating. How much time is one given to sort out all the innumerable consequences of this maze of dreams?
There is not enough time to ask such foolish questions. There is barely enough time to strike out, to fight, kick or kiss your way into this cosmic arena and proclaim your assumptions. We are all evaporating yet we know we will continue by some measure of a miracle, by some flexible rod of rule or what ever wise men would like to say about continuation. We go on and on and it worries us. More to the truth, it worries me because I have had the power of existence!
My Lord, still here and kicking! Do you know how much time has gone by since I first set at my desk with this heap of documents and propaganda? No of course you don’t know, but I will tell you. Nearly 2 months have gone by – and many times have I nearly fallen to the seduction of this world – this lovely world I call home.
Many times and it was only the night before last and I walked into a pub for a bit of refreshment and to my surprise another woman’s face beckoned me to assured disaster. Ha! I fooled her by taking her telephone number and telling her I would call her later. That was a good tactic on my part.
Who knows what might have taken place if I had stayed within grasp of her charming arms? I must say she was by far the most dazzling creature I have met recently and I have been accosted at every occasion by some female temptation. I know some men would be envious of my situation but I tell you now, woman are nothing but distractions.
Distractions upon distraction! What is this? It is an envelope brought to my
desk freshly this morning. I can see by the stamps it comes from
Actually I wrote to several women, seven to be exact. That’s what sentimentality does to you. It makes you write to memories. So what does she have to say? Probably the same old rubbish – wishing that we weren’t so many miles apart and her life is nothing but shambles. The grass is always greener and these women are always trying to confuse me. They want to get me! I will be aloof. Ha!
That’s what I get for paying attention to dreams. I suppose that’s why I wrote to her in the first place. I had a lovely dream about her so I thought maybe somehow there was a poetic connection to reality. Now look what has happened. No doubt a letter of full of sob stories. I think I want even bother to read it. I read them so many times before. A pox! Women and dreams are nothing but calamity!
So what am I to do? Let me see. Her handwriting appears to be rational and calm. Very well I shall read it.
Oh dear, see what I mean? Barely an introduction and she is already trying to butter me up for some unbearable heartbreak. Women are such snakes. I might as well throw the letter away – still it was a lovely dream I had of her – and her handwriting is quite gentle. I shall go on.
“There are a few people in my life that always make me sentimental and make me want to sit down and write the minute I get a letter from them. Strangely enough I received news from…”
See? There she goes! Just like a woman to immediately bring up old times… But I guess she’s right – I mean about getting sentimental. It makes me feel backwards – to the time I used to be – to the days I was another person – to…
Oh my God! I just realized something. It was that year – or one of those years that are really just numbers. It was 1966 or 1967 I first got to know…wait a minute…what’s her name? I’ll have to go the signature…oh yes… Barbara... I was looking out the window – that’s right – looking out the window of a fashion store display, yes!
I was a decorator for a woman’s fashion store – now the memory is coming back. I was placing a woman’s shoe in a commercial but artistic slant when I glanced through the glass. There was a grinning young lady looking directly at me. I thought it was one of the usual street watchers that got some kind of perverted pleasure in watching a grown man making a fool of himself fondling women shoes – then at once, recognition.
My God the very irony of life! It was lovely Barbara Foot. Who else would smile at me while I was prostrating myself over women shoes but a girl named Barbara Foot. Yes. It was late 1966 – maybe November or December. I went out on the sidewalk and talked to her. We decided to meet again when I got off work. Where did we meet?
Where else could we have met? It must have been the Spatenhaus. Good old Bud
Clark’s Spatenhaus. We talked I suppose of what we were destined to say. She
told me she had always liked me in high school. I told her I had always noticed
her but was afraid to make a meeting. We got drunk together and made a mad plan.
We would run away to
There was complication. It was the woman I lived with. In reality she was a 44
years old Titty Tassle Twirling Go-Go Girl but in her heart she wanted to be a
striptease dancer. But I didn’t go to
I went back to the aging Go-Go Girl. So at least now I have a real life memory and rational vision of those numbers…but was it 1966 or 1967? Is it the Beast who has made me think those numbers are a government plot? Surely there must be other evidence one can trace existence in reality – this letter from Barbara Foot is proof because I know she smiled at me on the sidewalk and we rendezvoused that evening in the Spatenhaus.
But just a minute, the
To be free what does it mean? I was free for a moment – or was it a lifetime ago, a place time does not roll through numbers? I saw waves breaking under the embryo sky like painted crystal lace opal fire bright and fragile brass gold. I was an innocent child for that instant – I was pure without memories that time brings. I was free for a point in space and now – if I can hold faith in timelessness I am still free. But the clock ticks in this room. There are pleasant sounds of quiet conversations and sniffs and mumbles of child-like people playing. A fire smolders amber heat but my mind burns with memories.
Am I alive somewhere in the Universe? If it is true, today is the first day of a New Year. If so, then half the world suffers the nightmare of alcohol saturated brains while other half wish for food in their belly. A few of us are blessed, because for a small moment we are simply alive, to have eyes and ears and fingers and toes and breathing air is a gift beyond words – to know for a tiny speck of infinity, God Almighty rules the Universe and men such as myself can have a good long laugh, because we understand that we are only pimples on the ass of existence.
Yes, there are a few people on this New Year day, quite happy because life is exactly as it is – because we can stand on a hill that is kissed by the wind, lighted by the eternal eye of God, open our arms to the sky and sing out as loud as we can, thank you.
There is a flickering fire in the hearth and needles are falling off the 10th day Christmas tree. The Rolling Stones first album plays old electric rock ‘n roll. I sit next to the fire sipping my second whiskey, finished the second cigar, looking forward to the end of complication and then on the second thought realize there is no immunization from complications. Thoreau was crazy saying, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” He should have said, “Complicate, complicate, complicate.”
If there is simplicity it doesn’t seem obvious. That’s what happens to me when I feel at ease – that is, a lack of concern whether I am making the eternal contribution of what artistic humans are supposed to contribute. At this hour I feel very rational in a careless way. Why should I bother to think about years, lovers, cockroaches, Salvador Dali or anything of this quicksand of reality? It is all incidental and all predetermined. So what if life is only a collage of up and down repeated plots? That is the heart of my existentialist conclusion.
So what! I say a lot of things that never make a bit of logical sense. I don’t have to deal in logical sense – that’s not my attempt. To me there is no logical sense except the unexplainable meanderings of a very mysterious God – that is, directly referring to the power substance that controls the electricity bill of this cosmos and the power that pushes the spin. If that is God so be it…
I also have mentioned more than once the Beast. I should be honest at say that more than once I have suspected God and the Beast are one in the same. I realize I was saying the Beast was a government plot devised to snoop and subvert the human character, but it is obvious to me now I was utterly insane to suggest such a thing.
It is true that some people would think I am being heretical or even attempting to confuse God with the Devil. Well let me clear that up immediately by proclaiming it is no attempt or polite sidestep on my part but a blatant and honest accusation that God, the Devil and the Beast are in fact one confusion in itself.
As I see it, God Almighty is making an all out attack on humanity by trying to disguise itself and me sitting at this desk with its history of confusion is only making matters worse. I must escape.
it is a week later than it was just a moment ago. I’m sitting in a big rough
wooden table in a barn like room, by a big black metal fireplace deep in the
But then again why should I even hesitate over what is known as a mental condition? It is just an insidious game the darkness of torment tortures every cosmic traveler. Everything that comes and goes in experience is a story whether it is the truth or fantasy. It is a story for me and the story for you.
I wonder about the puzzle pieces of it all still. I mean as to what the Spatenhaus represents in my life, a girl named Barbara, or another girl with beautiful eyes, and the one with the beautiful nose, and now blasted all, to even complicate matters worse, I met a girl that appears to be beautiful all over – even her name appeals to me. I simply should refrain from bars and pubs and refused to drink alcohol. I suspect I’m an alcoholic except that I seem to have delirious tremors whether I'm sober or drunk.
I realize this must be entirely confusing to understand what I’m going on about but believe me, I am just as confused. It all comes back to the Beast that I started out with. The Beast pops in and out of situations and has a new proposition at every hand. For example right now the Beast has taken the form of peace and quiet in the countryside and the act of me scribbling words on a piece of paper and the fire crackling. Perhaps the Beast is the only proportion of life that it is a completely rational and it is me that is the wrong sized vessel – but what is the use? Nothing will change by my meditations of these unavailable answers.
I have come to a conclusion I shall predict the future!
In 20 years I will be 3 feet shorter. Land and water will be hard to tell apart. Baby food companies will be going bankrupt. Bah!
It is no good! I’m miserable as a predictor and prophet of the future. I lack faith in my proclamations. What I need is Adventure and Romance to spice up this dwindling spirit spiral of events.
There is someone knocking on the door. Three soft raps – as if the hands are softened by thick gloves. I lay my pipe down the table and noticed that I have slobbered on the end of the stem again. Perhaps drool will come out on the table I worry as I walk down the steps to the front door. As I’m about to open the front door I have an excited feeling about who is standing on the other side of the door.
The door handle is hard to turn but the door swings open easily. To my surprise it is not one person but four people. I can’t make out their faces because of the darkness. Then very suddenly a voice says something about being glad to see me. I stand in the door as one by one the figures walk into the hallway. My God! It is the beautiful nose, the beautiful eyes, Barbara Foot and the girl that is beautiful all over.
I have forgotten her appealing name. I say something like, “Hi, what a surprise to see all of you – at one time!”
They all laughed and agreed with me that it is a surprise to them too. Then I help them off with their coats and hang them up but when I look back at them they are still taking their clothes off.
“I don’t think it’s very warm up stairs, maybe you should keep your pullovers on,” I said.
They all laugh like tape recorders and continue taking their clothes off. I try to be polite by saying, “Sure is cold weather – beautiful country around here – my heavens, I can’t get over what a surprise it is to see you here – I mean all of you.”
They all giggle. It sounds like they have built-in echo chambers, but continued to pull off blouses, trousers, dresses, socks, underwear, brassieres and at last I am left with my mouth hanging loosely looking at four bare naked ladies. They are completely natural about it as if they are always go to a mutual friend’s house and pull off their clothes. However for me it is an unusual experience.
I try to make conversation by saying, “Well, you sure got your clothes off quickly didn’t you?”
Once again the echoed laugh comes back to me. They all have huge smiles on their faces and their eyes reflect devilish looks. For an instant they look around communicating secret messages then step lightly to four sides of me. We walk up the staircase to the big room. I have a mixture of unbelievable joy and absolute terror about the situation. I think things to myself like, wow, this can’t be true, how embarrassing, what am I supposed to do and what the fuck!
At the top of the stairs the thoughts that are left funnel out the holes in my ears and nose like they were dislocated brain cells. Then there are no thoughts but just a vision and sensation of being in ancient great room colored amber and reds with smells of pine smoke and musk perfumes. The ladies are fuzzy looking as if they were in romantic movies with a soundtrack that is the cracking and snapping of the fireplace and a toilet running somewhere. Very far away I hear cowbells and Swiss mountain horns reverberating down through a valley. I keep thinking, good heavens this certainly is unusual.
A hand reaches up to my neck and fingers gently trace down and rest on my shoulder. I see Barbara Foot looking at me questioningly. Her face is masculine, smooth and clear. Her eyes put me in a melancholy state of comfort. I think, why should this be happening. I look at her body. She has small firm breast just like they write about in novels, I look at her stomach. She is an athlete with boyish hips and muscled legs. I think, she always looked like a boy, but there is a woman’s velvet about her.
Another hand touches the small of my back. I see the girl with the beautiful nose. She has enormous tits. They hang like two potato sacks. Her belly hangs as if it is practicing for the day when it will drop to her knees. Her nose is still beautiful. By way of answering she gives me a solo giggle. She always giggles.
To my right is the girl with beautiful eyes. It looks like she has just had her hair done at the parlor. I’m embarrassed because she looks so proper. I look down at her breasts being astounded because I can easily see she has hair on her nipples. It would not matter so much except she has more hair on her chest than me. I looked down at her ankles. They are very thick.
I turn around and the girl who is beautiful-all-over is behind me. I look at her eyes. She has heavy make up and her long blonde hair hangs down over perfect pear shaped breasts. At the moment I have a strange feeling. I must be like a meat inspector at a butcher house. The girl that is beautiful-all-over should be in a Playboy center fold but maybe it is just the long blonde hair. I am lost in this vision running through my mind. I have a multitude of ideas.
One those ideas are that this is all a bloody lie and I’m still sitting at my desk that is full of rumors and trash. Of course that’s where I am. How insane to think that I could run away to the country and how crazy I am to think that four women came for a visit and took off their clothes. No – none of this has happened.
All that has happened is a few more worthless paintings and the manuscript that I can never get typed. My mind is boggled with the games of life. If I could pull my self away from this table…No, I shall put my head on the desk and sleep. I shall close my eyes and pretend I’m asleep and then perhaps the world will go on its own. I think towards sleep.
What is sleep? The body floats into bright summer flowers. A waterfall of the mind sprays down my eyes and darkness fills this hollow room. Rain pats a dance upon the roof. I am dry and drifting to an enveloping warm bed of peace. Ivy grows out of my eyes and covers my body in a jungle of matted vines. An androgynous being is running by carrying a torch with an orange red bird flying at his side. A crescent sun beams violet light into the jungle. The AC/DC being whispers, "Rest – sigh – breath – sleep."
I am sitting on a dirt road. I feel depressed, desperate, bored. A girl approaches on a bicycle. She has dark eyebrows but all I notice are her eyes. I get on the bicycle with her and she pedals down the road. We come to a soccer field with boys wearing red and white striped shirts. I realize I must go to a castle on the other side of the field to kill the Beast.
At the castle the Beast approaches. I take a long sword and cut off it’s arms and legs. People gather and put a blanket over the Beast and place it on children’s school desk. It is still alive but they want me to set it on fire. A small child asks why should I do that and I wonder why myself. I pick up the Beast who has shrunk in the blanket and decide to carry it to the sea to set it free. Before I get to the sea I tell it will grow new arms and legs. I pulled back the blanket and discover that it is the girl that was riding the bicycle. I fall in love with her instantly. I’m glad we’re together.
I pull my head off the desk. I look at piles of paper, an orange peel, empty beer cans, cigarette butts, fingernail clippings. The desk represents my life. My life is a desk that is stacked with rubbish. Why have I failed? Why have I lost the thread that connected me to magic? I see a needle on the corner of the desk. Perhaps the thread is connected to it. No it’s not on the needle – but I do have the needle – all I need is the thread. Of course! Why didn’t I think of it before? All I need is the THREAD. But where can I find the thread?
Let’s see – probably a yarn store.
I go to a Buttons Needles and Clothe shop on the High Street, very close to
Hello do you have the thread?
“What kind of thread Sir?”
The thread that connects the magic back to me – the magic thread.
“Oh no Sir, we don’t have any of that. Perhaps a novelty store would carry magic thread.
A novelty store?
"Three shops down the street is just such a merchant."
Hello, do you have Magic Thread?
“What? What thread?”
The magic thread. Do you have the Magic Thread?
“Magic thread? No we don’t have any magic thread but we do have magicians rope.”
“Yes, no magic thread just magicians rope.”
Will it fit through this needle?
“No, the needle is far too small – but you don’t really need needles for magicians rope.”
“No, you use magicians wire with magicians rope.”
“ Yes, magician’s wire.
Well I need something to fit through this needle.
“Maybe you should go to a yarn store.”
But I just came from one.
“All I have is the magicians rope.”
Okay I’ll take the magicians rope. But is it magic?
“Not without the wire.”
Okay I’ll take the wire too.
Now I have magician’s rope and magician’s wire. I have to find out how I can get
my magic back. The cobble stone streets are shining
with Scottish rain. In front of me the long coil of wire bumps into a
stranger I have seen before. He sits in the corner of the Grass market every
day. It is the old crazy man that walks around town in three raincoats, a sea
man’s rain hat, and
Maybe he knows about losing magic. I remember looking closely at him one day. His eyes were clear and he had a strange smile on his face, almost as if he was content. Maybe he knows about magic rope. Maybe he knows how to put the magic back on with magician’s rope.
Hello I say and he looks up and says, “Hello there slick.” You know anything about magic? I say.
He is eating cold butter beans out of a gravy spattered tin can. His hands and
face have the same dead flesh grey of his toes sticking out of the
Yeah magician’s rope
“How much rope?”
Just a this little piece.
“I need a little piece about that size,” says he spitting chewed butter beans on my shoes.
Well this is special rope. It’s magician’s rope and I want to know something about it.
“I need a piece of rope,”
But it’s magicians rope.
“I’ll tell you my Theory of the Universe if you give me that rope’.
Is it about magic?
Okay it’s a deal.
“I call it my Theory of the Universe. Once there was this Big Black Ball that had two tiny spots on it. One spot was on one side and other was on the other side of the Big Black Ball. The spots looked like glowing embers because they light up except when you look closer at these two spots they happen to be planets. Both of these spots individually thought they were the only spot on the Big Black Ball – that is the people that lived on the spots. They were right clever people except they was too many of them because nobody died because they were so smart they had done away with sickness and germs of all kinds. No one died from nothing. No bad colds, no wars and no old age. Everybody just kept living on except they got to be too many for the spot and ate up all the trees and cabbages and insects and there was getting to be a shortage of air. So one day they think maybe they should try to find a new place to live because none of them is dying, and the spot they live on is dying. It is so happens they got a real smart scientist that says there is a fine place to live in the middle of the Big Black Ball. Both of these spots on the Big Black Ball have the same problem and the same kind of smart fellows. In a way they are like mirrors to each other, so it happens both spots send a spaceship out into the middle of the Big Black Ball to find a new spot. The smart fellows told them they should send a man and woman so the race of people could keep on going – that is, the type of people they were – so they pick out the best of their kind – put them on a spaceship and sent them out into the middle of the Big Black Ball. Both of these mirror-like spots do the same thing at the same time just like they were doing a dance. Well, while they are out there searching for the spot in the middle of the Big Black Ball they both get in the same time warp where they give birth to a young species of their kind. But the mommies and poppies of this new crop suddenly get very old when the babies are born and even more sadly crash at the same time on an expected spot in the middle of the Big Black Ball. The parents are so fragile and old as soon as they take a sniff of air in this new spot, they disintegrate. It so happens that both the spaceships crashed close together except that the young ones don’t see each other for quite a while but then both happen to meet some friendly inhabitants that are mostly animals, snakes and insects of different kinds. They are right clever little babies and get along fine with the creatures because they can communicate only by thinking. Then one day after years they happen to meet each other. It so happens they have grown up into a big new kind of super race and one a man and one is a woman. They are a bit frightened of each other at first because they can’t seem to talk together – that is think together, but as time goes on they think they think they are thinking to each other but really they are just thinking to themselves they are thinking together. As time goes on, one day they accidentally touch each other and a whole series of thinking gets even more confused. Well, to make a long story short, they mate and have a bunch of brand new super race brats but because they don’t know what they’re thinking so they just keep mating with each other and their babies grow up and meet with each other and the super race species keeps getting uglier and stupider all the time but they just keep on meeting and thinking stupid thoughts until there are millions of them all over the spot in the middle of the Big Black Ball. That’s about the time they looked all like cavemen who were so stupid that they stopped thinking all together. Well, some several million years passed and then one day one of these ugly and stupid cavemen had a thought in his head, and since then they got a whole lot prettier and everybody started thinking again except now there’s getting to be too many of us on this spot we’re standing on and it’s dying. That’s my Theory of the Universe. Now can I have the rope?”
Okay, I said and the crazy old man my took magician’s rope.
Bless my luck! Not only have I given way my magical rope for a completely ridiculous story from a silly old fool but now I have gone and lost the needle that was on my desk. There is no hope now that I can put the magic back on. I know it seems peculiar to think about sewing magic back onto my life but I have tried to do it so many other ways – all of them have failed. I might as well try to sew it back on.
What have I got to lose? But crap! I have lost the needle and the magician’s rope. I got the wire but what’s the use of the wire without the rope? The fates are against me. There has been only one time when magic stayed with me. That was when it was hanging on me. There were no threads tying it to me, nor was I holding onto it. Magic was around my life holding me in its feather and sand fingers. Then one day magic let go of me. I tried to pull it back but it became smoke leaving only its smell in my hair and clothes, vanishing by its own terms. Magic.
I suppose you wonder when the magic was in my life. Very well, it was one moment, an instant that lasted for a fraction of a second. My mind was a kaleidoscope sky filled with snow crystals like the hand of creation. In that instant my flesh was the blood and bone string that tied the earth to the stars. I was the sucking pissing living connection between matter and time. I was God looking at God, breathing in God and moaning out God.. It was a time that’s hard for me to remember because in bringing back that memory I am all too aware I am without the experience now.
It was a moment I was in love, making love, taking love. It was an instant I was holding a Gypsy that was holding me knowing we were part of something infinitely majestic. I looked at her face between clicks of my eyelids and understood I was God that found God and together we were breathing in and out God’s love. Yes, love.
Love, the beginning of breath, that smells life, tastes life, yet when the lungs are filled all one can do is exhale wondering if the lungs will collapse, praying for another breathe in the thousand dreams from the kiss of life – but once the lungs are full there is no choice but to feel it for only a moment, always a moment, and faith lets us breathe in and out as if we deserve air. We breathe in and out to feel magic and wonder.
It was for me a nana-second of time I was given the gift of faith to believe in miracles and see the face of the invisible. God was everything and everything was held in the warm embrace of love. It was freedom in the prison of Magic’s rapture. But I had it.
So who am I kidding talking about the kiss of life and magic? I don’t know Jack Bo Diddly shit about anything!
I'm just sitting in a chair in a room thinking I am somebody and then you Beast! What do you do but invade my life again and make me think I’m sitting in another room and another chair feeling like I ain’t nobody had all but a reproduction done a zillion times before!
You Beast, you try to fool me but I am on to your tricks! At last, I know there is no such thing as time. It’s just as Zorro said before he left this morning with my manuscript tucked under his arm, “Man passes through time – Time passes through God!” But Ha! I’m one up on Zorro now because I know that God is the Beast that tried to convince me that time is an actual living thing. Yes, that damned number 1967!
But…I hesitate as a violin plays a melancholy phrase across the memory of another age, another dance... a strange sense of doom overtakes me even though I tell the engineer of my body to put more coal in the fire. I’m having such queer and fretful anxiety. Pardon me I must go for a dream.
Country music is playing on a highfalutin stereo system high up on a shelf but down near my feet a 1920s woman is singing opera on a little bitty television except a bluegrass band is doing the music that is coming out of her mouth. A fellow gets up and walks across the room and kills the bluegrass band, one by one with a bow and arrow. There is a furious discussion between two Space Martians in the room who decide it is best to kill the 1920s woman opera singer and resurrect the bluegrass band. I think it’s a good idea because I like bluegrass better than opera. It has something to do with my past. There is a smoky sadness in my heart because it makes me angry to see people kill bluegrass bands instead of opera singers.
On my knee there is a huge Coors beer bottle that means something to me and the fellow who killed the blue grass band. We both think we came from the same country. He is wrong about that, because he just smelled it, but I walked knee deep in shit through it. That’s a whole different thing in dream.
There is a woman here who is weird but I can’t help but like her. She has the same smoky sadness as me but she falls to sleep and I can’t wake her up. She said the time isn’t right. I’m only hearing the sounds of goodbye. I have a pen in my hand that squiggles little black marks in a book that is supposed to be sacred. It has something to do with the past. Somewhere in the background voices sing out, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Coming For To Carry Me Home. I have a notion I am supposed to remember this – there is guitar music – then a violin plays a bluesy rendition of House Of The Rising Sun – a slide guitar slips across the melody.
Over and over I hear a distant voice. It screams, “Danger! Remember Ulysses and the Sirens!” I am beginning to see a secret about magic and myths. I know deep down I don’t really believe in such things – the violin wavers and loses itself in its own circles. I hear another voice. It says, “Closure arrives.” I know it isn’t me talking but some other being. I get the feeling even though I am sitting with a bunch of people, I’m still alone. It is the solitude of freedom.
Slaving ships ride the high seas looking for new cargo. I have a distinct memory Ulysses had one slave on his boat who wrote this story. I am the descendent of that slave. What irony this story should be remembered by me, descended from a slave and now I'm the next captain of this imagined cruise ship on a Siren plagued journey. Oh the quiet joys of Brotherhood. Yes, love is all.
Headless Horsemen in the sky appears with a love letter carried in a bone aged
hand. Now it occurs to me what I’m supposed to remember! I am such a fool.
Faithless love like a river flow. Yes, that’s what it is. It is my lack of
faith! I lost love in the light and now in darkness I have been trying to hide.
I have left my flowers of sadness strung behind me like the
What? I wake up from this dream. There is a sound, a knock at the door. I come to the door with a latch I turn to look out and see…what? Nobody. I walk into the hallway to see no one. Then at my feet I hear a tiny roar and look in unbelievable shock. I see the mouse drinking a beer with a guitar strapped on his back and a motorcycle gang behind him! Blast! It is the mouse with the long white scarf like Isadora Duncan around his neck. He is not hard to recognize. Not only that, he’s got a whole bunch of chopper riding mice with him. They are all wearing little Nazi helmets and little black leather jackets. The sleeves are cut off and their hairy little arms stick out flexing their mousey muscles.
By heavens this is absurd. I have never seen such hooligan looking mice. I stand horrified as they gun their tiny little engines and roar over the top of my feet, right into the flat. The mouse that has the Isadora Duncan scarf starts squeaking a laugh through the rumble of the machines. I am shocked. That little Isadora Duncan turns and gets off his bike and walks right up to me and spits on my foot. Why, that little monster! Blast! He reaches out with his mousy muscled arm and slams the flat door. I am locked out. I hear a laughing roar. I know they will raise hell.