THE SEVENTH BOOK

This story is like all the rest of my stories. There is no beginning and as of yet I haven’t been able to have an end. The reason there is no beginning is because I never know what I’m going to write and when sometimes on rare occasion I have thought of something to write, I get pushed off the track and babble about God knows what.

 

For instance, the last famous novel I was writing was going to be a love story, but somehow a quirk of incidents happened when a mad mouse took over the last few chapters and rewrote the whole damn thing. Anyway I’m not really a writer. I am an acrobat – well a part-time acrobat. Okay, you see the truth is I am really only a part-time acrobat but a full-time dreamer. I see what I imagine!

 

The reason there is no end is because when I’m on the last few chapters, ZAP the book disappears. That is why this is called the Seventh Book, because I have lost this story six times.

 

Imagine writing a famous novel six times then losing it just before it’s finished. I’ll be 75 before anyone knows what the story is all about. Actually I had planned on being a famous novelist by the time I was 25 so that means I am 50 years behind schedule.

 

Sometimes I wonder why this book has taken such a detour. I have said to me, “Self, it must be fate and destiny.” But crap! How can I continue to put all these words together when they all keep disappearing? I’ve wasted enough time saying why this is the Seventh Book. The problem is I don’t know how I can possibly tell what I’m about to write. I have enemies.

 

 

No it won’t happen again. I shall guard the manuscript with my life this time. I suspicion espionage. It is no coincidence the manuscript went missing after a demented mouse scribbled mumblings all over my last attempt. Yes, it is no coincidence! I'll keep a cat maybe!

 

It is obvious that hideous little rodent and his gang stole my manuscript. After all, earlier they had burst into my flat and locked me out leaving me standing on the staircase when I had just finished my love story called THE BEAST OF 1967, which was the sixth attempt of completing this great work! So you see it is quite a complex problem I have here. Just to get to the end of the story I have to go through hell. It’s not easy to be a famous novelist.

 

I was just beginning a fascinating episode about my horse adventures when a demented mouse and his motorcycle gang invaded my flat and wrote lies and accusations with his outrageous squeaking scribbles. I was at chapter 5 and this little pest fiend inserts chapter 5 ½. What arrogance!

 

I’m glad I have said this to you. The words you will read henceforth are not the mere diagnostic of some pretentious phrase catching wordsmith – but words that come from real life adventure. You might say this is even more of a report than a story. Still, there is a story to be told and I pledge the Seventh Book will complete the journey of a million miles.

 

Ah yes, the story… the story, well I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. Yesterday it seemed very important that I should write a new love story about a crazy woman who lived in Mexico, called Florentina that captured a living Abominable Snowman on top of Mt. McKinley and then fell in love with it. That was the basic plot. Simple really, although some of my literary acquaintances tell me there are no abominable snowmen in Alaska. Fools what do they know and besides, I happen to know a crazy Florentina in Mexico who would do just such a thing. After all, a genius must use artistic license from time to time.

 

Then today, my friend Zorro was talking about robbing a bank. It might be fun to tell a story about robbing a bank. I could rob the bank and describe the event punch by punch. There are stories I know about cawing crows in the mountains and stories about antelope in the desert heat. There is a story of espionage in Romania that led to book number six being stolen after an incident at a famous nightclub in the Sin City of Germany, Hamburg. My mind is boggled with the density of stories. The love story I should tell just because it is worth telling – but I’m not entirely sure it’s a love story, maybe more of a zoological experiment in bestiality.

 

I could go on about the crows on the mountain, but all I remember is one morning high in the mountains of Colorado, up in the cloudy jack pines there was a tremendous clatter of crows having a birthday party for one of their mates. I forgot the rest of the business on that day. As for the antelope, it’s a long story but I don’t feel like telling all of it right now. I’ll tell you this: sometimes herds of antelope will be laying around talking about sagebrush and favorable waterholes, then for no reason at all jump up at the same time and run away. It’s fascinating how they do that.

 

The way I see it, there are two possibilities for a good story – I might add, my most famous story – and they are one: robbing a bank and two: Romanian espionage. This comes as a surprise to me. Maybe I should put two ideas into one…a bank robbing double agent of espionage… but I am too much of a romantic for such thrillers.

Then again, who am I to deny my destiny? If it must be a story about bank robbing and spies, then I can only accept this great yoke. Being a part-time Acrobat, doesn’t make this adventure any easier.

 

If I am found out before this report gets into the proper hands, no doubt my life will be in danger. It is best therefore that I give the name of my enemies in case I should suddenly disappear. I don’t know how many there might be, but one is known as The Mouse. It is an not unusual he should be called that being he’s a mouse – you may laugh, but Communists have been known to plant microphones and bombs in everything from molecules to mole hills. Mice are of course no exception. I must write quietly as I can hear the little bastard chewing away in a rubbish pail this very moment.

 

Other enemies are spread over distance and time. As a matter of interest once upon a time I was my own enemy. I spent a good deal of energy trying to blow myself up. I fooled me by going to the distant country where I am now…. I left me standing in the dust somewhere in California.

 

Recently I saw the enemy on the ferry from Harwich, England to Hamburg, Germany. He was an ugly looking freak. He was wearing the disguise of an artist. He offered to buy me a beer and even gave me cigarettes. But a clever man like me can’t be easily fooled. I told him I had to go to the toilet. Instead I went to my cabin and locked myself in. But it was when the ferry docked in Hamburg the real trouble began. The docks of course are in the heart of the most notorious red-light district of all Europe.

 

I had to make a telephone call to tell the Hamburg Agent, I had decided to go to the famous Star Night Club. It was on the Raeperbahn, the Sin Street of Europe for whore houses, drug addicts and donkeys that do dirty deeds in public with beastly damsels, where the Mouse Motorcycle Gang tried to take the manuscript while I was in a telephone booth. Obviously the lady in the famous Star Nightclub had slipped me a Mickey. She did it with her eyes. The odd thing, her name was Florentina, the same name as my heroine in the love story I had thought of...

 

I told my traveling companion Zorro who was disguised as a Cossack, that I felt a queasy sensation after she made that provocative wink and gestured with her thumb towards the room in the back of the club. Zorro insisted we leave immediately when I told him the mouse gang almost got my manuscript while I was in the telephone booth. I had to make a plan of being someplace where I could continue my work undiscovered. Zorro doesn’t really look like the real Zorro at all. He has a mustache that looks as though it was made of dried sauerkraut and often states he is the children’s book hero, Tintin. It’s true sometimes Zorro wears English plus-fours, and believes in international conspiracies, but that is the only similarities to the boy wonder, Tintin

 

Mainly it’s in his mind, he is Tintin. I humor him. All he needs is a little white dog. Maybe a white mouse would do, but I have an aversion to mice. I don’t trust rodents. As for my traveling companion, his biggest desire is to buy a castle. I happen to know he owns two very sharp swords. I have even heard Zorro climbing in and out of his bedroom window late at night.

 

Zorro told me that a famous Romanian circus Maestro had trained cockroaches to type manuscripts by jumping from key to key on a vintage Remington with the amazing skill of 90 words a minute. He convinced me, no one would suspect I was there. I could at last finish my great novel. It was five days travel from Hamburg to our destination of Cluj, Romania where the Maestro and his genius roaches lived.

 

We were allowed to slip out of Germany, even though the border guard must have planted a listening device in my backpack. He thought I didn’t notice the way he did it not making a sound. Obviously it was a mini fingertip type that easily penetrated the material of my backpack. I should have inspected the pack immediately, but I was afraid the secret agents sitting in the seat next to me would discover the acrobat costume I was smuggling to use as a disguise. Zorro and I would pass as gay Gypsies.


It was necessary to travel through Hungary after Austria. There we were, Zorro and me on our way to Cluj, Romania. When we came to the Hungarian border, the guards smirked their way onto the train. “Passports! Visas!” they screamed. Visas?” We weren’t even getting off the train. We had no visas, so they took us off the train anyway. We tried to sneak off the wrong side, but there were guards with machine guns. A Russian on the train told us we must be careful or they would shoot us. I knew at that moment we had fallen into the hands of the enemy.

 

 

We followed a short mustached muscle bound officer. I told him a joke but he didn’t laugh. I could see he had no sense of humor, so I acted like it was a serious joke – one to be frowned at. I didn’t want him to think I approved of laughter. It might mean the firing squad. The Hungarian border guard had the nerve to smile at me as if he knew my sixth manuscript would soon be in the hands of his superiors.

 

We were returned to Vienna. Zorro and I wandered around the streets looking for a cheap hotel. Finally by happenstance we found a dump called the Golden Nugget. It felt like Las Vegas. I checked behind the mirrors for microphones. They were smarter than I had counted on. The bugs were hidden in the toilet down the hall. Reverse psychology. We should’ve guessed – but we blundered right into the trap. All of our messages were whispered in the toilet. We were like fish in the barrel. Shoot! Shoot!  My only excuse being I was new to espionage.

 

 

 

Perhaps I should regress and explain what led me to blowing my cool at those black thugs of Hungary. They are thieves of extraordinary fashion! The thing that ended my patience is what the Hungarian clerk started in Vienna. He charged us two hundred American dollars to travel through that stinky country! It was then I realized I should’ve never lost my temper and slammed my fist down on the clerks window and yelled, “God dammit!” The smell of foreign intrigue was already in the air. I should’ve used my nose more. Those lousy Hungarians! Under no circumstance shall I ever visit that country. I will even refrain from saying, “I’m hungry” at mealtimes.

 

At The Golden Nugget Hotel Zorro began talking about very strange visions. I couldn’t understand anything he said. Luckily I had a mini tape recorder in my pocket. I will transcribe what I can understand from those moments of his incoherent rambling. I’m sure there is a coded message in it. I made an image of him as he morphed into a new form looking somewhat like a cat playing with a mouse in front of my eyes.

 

“My name is Zorro. Very well, I will clue you in to what is going on. The moon sways and heavens beware of women. We are all on a very small ball. Get your hands out of your pockets and penetrate the walls. Stop holding your balls. Look at you – you are a mess.”

What do you mean? (My voice)

“You are a blessing or don’t you know your destiny? Shall I describe this moment? Let me tell you how. Your head caves in from the weight of fallen girders. Music you call noise and congestion. God bless dandelions.”

What is this? (my voice)

“Indeed! I shall give the sound that shudders rails of broken bridges. Rat! Rat tat tat tat! Ha! Look at all that rock and roll suicide. You are a closet mystic. Once you were laced with golden thread but now your soul is tarnished with lost tears. Do you hear tear drops smash on the floor? The world weeps. I am the messenger. I am Zorro! Zorro the Doro! Zorro no Morrow! I am the hang out artist of all time. I have the notice written on the great throne. Here is what it says: Fish traps slaps flaps!”

 

Come on Zorro, get off this weird stuff! (my voice)

 

“Perhaps you don’t understand – very well let me plagiarize. Last night I walked ankle-deep in fallen leaves. The trees moaned a winter song and today – hah today! I saw the sun laying opal-eyed behind the blur of  the Misty River. You are trash! Let me describe your nose, it grows. I am Zorro! I shall find the sheep on this grassy knoll and give them their last shepherd song. Now I must give you my first confession. I don’t exist! I am a phantom. I am wearing green knickers. I am Zorro to the Morrow!”

 

The following pages are transcriptions from my mini tape recorder before we journeyed to Romania.

 

“I am beginning to think is Zorro is a lunatic. The girl in the famous Hamburg Star Night club might have given us both Mickey Finns. She had Devilish eyes. I remember them well. Zorro was very odd after that encounter. What is occurring to me at this very moment is something monstrous. Zorro has been replaced by the enemy. They planted a spy posing as Zorro!

 

So they think it is easy to fool me do they? There is never been a man clever enough to trick me into misfortune. Poor Zorro, what have the fiends done with his mind? No doubt they have sent it off to Siberia. I can see it jiggling in a glass bottle riding the rails of the trans-Siberian Railway. Life is so cruel! I must think back for a moment. Oh my heart aches with the loss of my good friend – replaced by an evil communist spy manikin. I am certain of it. You should’ve seen the look on his face. Gone was that sweet boy grin. Some people said he looked simpleminded, but I know his face showed the light of innocence. Yes, I must pause for a moment and think about those last days together – after the train through Hungary and the epic journey through the mountains of Transylvania. Come to think of it, there were many clues of this impending disaster. Before I go on I will insert an image of what Zorro looked like as he left. Wait a minute…was he carrying my manuscript?

 

Transylvania – how that country lingers in my mind. The days that Zorro and I spent walking dirt roads with only the traffic of ox driven carts, watched by eyes that were full of bewilderment, surprise and amazement. They were used to seeing only vampires and werewolves. Indeed, those eyes must have never experienced the likes of Zorro. What they saw of me was no great surprise – I was traveling in my part-time acrobat costume

 

Now the reflection of Transylvania is like a broken crystal ball. If I was a man of tears I would have cried the day Zorro changed and spoke in strange tongues at the Golden Nugget Hotel. Remnants of images pull up my memory. I can hear the scrapes of time pulling past. Those blasted communist! Where is the justice that has leveled me such a penalty? Transylvania was the beginning.

 

It was the train station in Brasov, where we were supposed to catch the local for Cluj. I remember a black belted police men standing there conspicuously inconspicuous, hands knitted into fingers behind his back. And what about that misshapen Russian auto that pulled up full of Gestapo looking thugs, whispering in conspiratorial voices? They knew we had arrived and they put their thumb down. We were tabbed, being fed the long thin line tied to the sharp hook. They played us out like trout in the stream of foreign intrigue.

 

What is even more peculiar is Florentina, the girl from the night club in Hamburg showed up dressed as a Romanian peasant. Zorro kept repeating all he ever desired was to build a castle for his Princess. She told us there was a perfect castle not very far away and her uncle was a goat farmer living nearby. Florentina said it was the castle of Dracula in the Bran Valley. She knew about a secret room where Zorro could copy the blue prints for his future home. She gave us directions to get there, but my hackles of suspicion were raised.

 

 

There were cows with bells around their necks and inside those innocent clunking devices lay the perpetual Big Ear that listens. Yes, the listening Big Ears that followed us past the peasant huts, up the scenic rutted roads into a small village called Pas De Moecha, which means, Land of  Sluts. It was in this village where a funeral took place that Zorro developed symptoms of a transplant malfunction.

 

 

The funeral. It was a most peculiar experience. The spies were sent ahead of us, planting microphones in cowbells and disguising themselves as hump-backed old women carrying jagged packs of wood, and white whiskered farmers sitting on wooden wagons that looked like boats. In short, the spies were everywhere and took on all forms. I even begin to distrust the crows. It was the funeral that gave away the sophisticated scheme."

 

I will now insert the notes and a sketches done before and after the funeral.

 

“The angle of the mountains comes to a valley that holds this notch of the road. To our left there are small paths that lead up into the mountains. To the right are cliffs of missal   shaped rocks shooting up like backward icicles. The road is pimpled with small blue-black stones between powder yellow ruts.

Dark green pine trees blend into oaks going yellow, orange, red declaring that soon winter sleep will come. The air has the clear tang of high mountains. The smell of stale cigars and stinking feet was left on the train. The road wiggles up the valley coming to the first sign of a village full of barking dogs and picket fences. The afternoon sun winks behind the clouds onto the village of wooden houses with cedar shingles chipped wedges reflecting light like dull diamonds.

 

The gravel crunches with passing ox drawn carts mixed horse with dog songs. Peasant homes become closer together huddled in a tumbled manner. To our right we see a group of maybe 50 people sitting at an L-shaped table. They are outside a big house about 100 feet off the road. There seems to be some kind of celebration going on. The people are wearing traditional Romanian costumes. Some of the old men wear long white shirts that have ornate designs woven intricately on the chest and sleeves. The women wear embroidered blouses and skirts. All of them have a variety of head coverings. Black hats, berets, colored scarves. We stand gaping at them.

 

A tall gray-haired man waves his hand for us to come to them. As we get to the table all of the people turn to us, eyes wide, faces wrinkled with broad smiles and gold in every tooth. It seems a safe place to hide their fortune. All of the people are old, except for a half-dozen children that are held by grandparents. Where are the young people?

 

 

The peasants began to look very odd so I quickly made a sketch. They seemed to be morphing right in front of our eyes. They began to laugh and throw beams of warmth on us, as if they had long expected this moment which would give them such joy. We are shown a place to sit on a bench connected to long arms of the L-shaped table. It is covered with a black and red tapestry. Sitting down the sun falls across their faces cashmere soft. They gray-haired man demonstrates with his hands by telegraphing with his eyes we are honored guests. Welcome!

 

 He directs the ladies to put plates of food in front of us. The cutlery that was on the tables is changed. Bone handled knives and forks are brought. Another man brings a powerful bottle of spirits they call soyka and fills our glasses. All of us raise our arms and toast, Narook, Romanian for good luck.

 

 

The glasses are filled again and again. More food, each better than the last plate. Wine succeeds the spirits. We can only drink a half an inch from the glass, then it is filled again. Smiling, laughing, faces open to the sun and trust. More wine, then more soyka. More food, delicious spiced portions. Vegetable and mutton, salami, cheeses, olives and pickles. Heavy stew, bread and chicken. Laughter, joy… Zorro has found a ukulele and begins singing in Yiddish, a tongue he doesn’t even know…he looks more odd than ever…and the glasses of soyka keep getting filled…what is that noise? Ringing cowbells? A husky voice makes a grating sound somewhere past my nylon sheet of mind.

 

 

Where are we? Is Zorro snoring or is it a river? Oh yes. The tent. Now I  remember. The funeral. My God what happened?

 

They must’ve slipped drugs into the soyka. The feast, my mind is fuzzy and clanging like a hammer on an anvil. How can my brains be so confused? The tent must be a dream. No I am in a tent. Yes...the walk on up the valley. Maybe we were drunk. I might even be drunk right now – or worse I could possibly be crazy. No, impossible! I am one of the sanest men I know. But let me the state the facts of what is certain. I don’t know where I should start.

 

I just had a flash of inspiration. I shall describe myself to check out that it is still me. I shall begin at my nose because it is just in front of the end of the pen I am writing with. I see feet sticking out past my body that looks like some sort of bubble apparatus. That’s odd. Usually I am much more human looking. It must be the rotten Romanian Soyka messing with my brain...

 

 

But now most certainly my body is best described as an apparatus. My body normally operates much like a machine, well oiled, pumping orderly creation. Muscles like liver wrapped around steel springs. Coiled to strike, ready for action. Yes my body is near perfection – a work of divine art. What has David got on me you may ask? Michelangelo’s David of course. Well, nobody rubs my toes! That is the only trifling difference. Some of my enemies have said that my legs are too short. What do they know? Nothing. Others have insulted me saying my fingers are stumpy. Fools! They are jealous.

 

 

It is a perplexing thing to put two words the picture of what I am. After all, one’s appearance changes from moment to moment. I think of myself as the universal man, but that is far too complicated to describe at this moment. I could begin at my nose but I feel it best to start with a feature I am most familiar, my toes, but I have contemplated my toes to excess so perhaps the kneecaps would do better. Bah it’s no good! What use is there to describe my belly button – if you have seen one then you’ve seen them all.

 

I’ll go back to my nose. It is long, slender, aristocratic and hangs well balance between two wide set eyes that people have said squint, but the truth is they are cunning. My cheekbones I must admit have the carved bone roundness of two well embedded tulip bulbs and are generally throbbing with color and life. But it is funny on this day they have taken on a distinct grayness. My lips are a well matched pair that that lie ever so shy between the growth of a most substantial forest of reddish  whiskers. What glory those red threads of fire must scorch into a woman’s fancy! My face has the general shape of a chiseled Greek masterpiece and just in front of my ear is a riveted hole with a piece of lace that is tied around my head into a riveted hole on the other side of my face… There is a… Wait a minute! A piece of string?  Something is wrong! I don’t remember having a piece of string tied to my face… and what is this? It looks like a thin line down the side of my cheek. Holy crap! Flying shit! This is not my face! It’s a mask! Something treacherous is going on here!”

 

That is where my notes ended. I remember the discovery of the imposter in the tent was a great shock. I had noticed there was something quite peculiar about me that morning, but when I discovered that my face was wearing a mask, I knew right away the Commies were up to their old tricks. I ripped with all my might at the mask, and what should I discover? It wasn’t me in the tent but a bloody imposter. Naturally once I had exposed that damned Mouse, he ran out of this tent squeaking with fear. He knew I was no ball of mud he could manipulate into his evil plan.

 

 

I must say that I was quite distraught at being so easily infiltrated by the enemy’s camp. It meant obvious precautions and tighter security to be sure that this sort of thing wouldn’t happen again. Zorro had slept through the whole ordeal. He saw nothing. I have tried to talk to Zorro. I thought we could find each other through words. I could tell by the coldness in his eyes he had discovered betrayal all too often, and it was by that experience we could be brothers. For a few seconds looking at his sad face there was comfort, warmth, maybe even love, but now it seems Zorro has been brain washed. The Commies have done it, but it must be far worse than that. Perhaps there are no Commies, only Space Martians that disguise themselves as human beings, as governments, religions, television, sex, alcohol, war, washing machines, drugs, truth, hatred, love and a billion bullshit bafflements.

 

It’s the fucking Space Martians that have invaded us. They are goddamn everywhere. It’s too easy to say Commies. The Commies are being programmed just like the Capitalist are being programmed. It’s an alien force from outside our experience. Sometimes I even suspect my dogs.

 

 

Oh! That is one thing I have forgotten to mention. I have two dogs or sometimes as I think they have me. It is very hard to tell in our relationship who owns who. I have given them strange names. Actually I prefer strange names for dogs. Those children books with dog names like Spot and Buddy drive me crazy. That is why one is called Doublecash  and the other is called Faintruling. I saw those names in a ledger book I was reading.

 

Doublecash is quite conversational. We have had great talks. Many the time I have felt quite embarrassed after finishing one of my profound statements, he would look at me blankly and then let out a huge fart. He knows the complexities of life are more than I can decipher. Mainly Doublecash prefers to talk about truth, such as when is he going to get something to eat or when are we going on our next adventure. He’s quite a daredevil!

 

 

Faintruling is a bit of an idiot. She jabbers trivia and when she isn’t doing that she likes to jump up and down like a child. I get quite annoyed with her. There is very little loyalty in her. She would run away with anyone. There is fickleness about her as changeable as the wind. This is due to the fact that she came from a broken family. I took pity on her and brought her into my home but many times I have thought it a mistake.

 

Doublecash and Faintruling start nagging and bickering over the most mundane subjects, like who gets to sleep near my feet or what bone will get chewed, just plain old dog business. They are not as clever as I imagine but just stupid beasts. Lately with this realization, they are both under my scrutiny. No one is to be trusted. I even fear I have revealed too many secrets to Doublecash and he will certainly pass it on to Faintruling.

 

For instance one day I was telling Doublecash something troubling me for quite a spell. “Where have the stars gone. They have all but disappeared,” I said.  “Years ago the stars and me had a good thing going. I would tell the diamonds in the sky what was wrong and within a matter of hours they would send comfort. Look at me now! I walk in the rain, it beats my face, my jaws are tight and my back is bent crooked by gusts of wind. Mushroom hemorrhoids dangle then explode and blood runs in my shit. Where is the comfort? We are all desolate and alone…”

 

Doublecash looked at me smugly. I went on, “I have looked for everlasting peace, for love, and what do I find? I find peace, I find love, but it is not good enough. I want more than peace, more than love. I want comfort! Where is the comfort in this life? Nothing I say but disenchantment! The love I find wants to own me, to mold me into obsolete rituals. I am tired of tradition, tired of expectations from centuries past.”

 

Doublecash began to scratch fleas living in a housing development somewhere between his left ear and his collar. “Don’t you understand the complexity of life?” I felt I must make a point.

 

“We can no longer indulge ourselves in the luxuries of the past. It is not possible for us to be aware and at the same time proclaim the conviction of sanity. We are besieged in a mad world at the conclusion of its evolution. For craps sake Doublecash, soon cannibals will be roaming the streets of Los Angeles, of London, of Tokyo. We are just characters living in a fantasy land. There is no longer time that we can run around calling ourselves artists, race drivers, lawyers or garbage men. This is the time left only to prophets or soldiers. The sand is running through the clock. Time is gone.”

 

Doublecash blinked at me, then bent and licked his balls tenderly. How can I talk to such insolence. Such a know it all, go tell your problems to someone else attitude, not only that a smugness too. I’m sick of such toleration.

 

I will go on with the story of Zorro in the mountains of Transylvania soon but you see it happened sometime back and my notes are quite mixed up. Not only that Faintruling is under my desk crunching bones. It seems like an omen of God’s approach to mankind, while the sun is hiding in the winter grey dread. I feel like a piece of mud turning into a stone. The bone crunching doesn’t help with dog teeth crumbling the foundations of an ancient sheep kingdom; the humility of life and death. My feet are cold, toes numb with the thickness of winter. I used to think the chill set off all my creative chemistry. I’m not sure now. My mind is icy sludge.

 

There were so many warm moments in Transylvania even with the spies, the imposters, but before we even got to Hamburg we knew we were on an adventure, not like all those holiday seekers. We saw them everywhere on the ferries, the trains, in the streets, the stations and restaurants, even though it was October and the fat body of tourism began its winter crash diet. They are always so ugly, so precise, so assuredly, “I am wearing a new holiday suit,” smeared on their faces. Some slow down in front of shop windows, relaxed by the appetite of consumerism. Others look pressed and steamed into a

permanent meanness. Husbands hating wives, wives tolerating children, children complaining for more.

 

I’m sure of the image of Zorro and me on the trains and streets. We weren’t wearing the typical holiday costumes but our faces had “spectator” printed on our foreheads. We watched the watchers, with the eyes of eternal vagabonds, our own cliché of mundane sameness. What is new under this face of the sun?

 

On the train one cannot be certain. But when we found ourselves in the Bran Valley, home of Dracula, I knew we were romantic vagabonds, gypsies with real gypsies in the tattered remnants of the history of long ago. We were gypsies because we came from nowhere and we were living in the past. I imagined us traveling with my dogs and musical accoutrements in an American cart pulled by mystic creatures.

 

I must tell you Zorro even in normal times is considered an odd looking man with eccentric taste in clothing, but when he goes on an adventure it gives him the excuse to be outrageous and entertaining to himself. As for me, well I have always stood out in a crowd.

 

Ah yes, but back at the tent in the Bran Valley, home of Dracula it was time to leave the tent. The imposter had obviously taken on a new disguise. I awakened Zorro and told him of the incredible incident. He said I was insane and it was impossible that an imposter could have been in the tent. In his own words, “Furthermore you know quite well it is only a two man tent.” I saw no reason to argue with logic like that, however I kept a very suspicious eye on a cow that was standing with bells on its a neck not 20 feet away. The microphones were listening.

 

We had a breakfast of tea and goat cheese, apples and very dry peasant bread. It tasted like soap compared to the meal we had the night before. Suddenly I remembered the funeral! “Zorro, was it what I thought the old man said?”

 

Zorro’s kilt was hanging loosely between his knees, his eyes looked mad. “Yes he said ‘taté mordé.’ We arrived for his fathers wake.” Dracula’s peasants celebrated death in a shameless joyful way. I had thought it was a wedding but if it had been a wedding the peasants would have been grieving. Such backward people.

 

It all came back to me – of course. It was some time after the sixth or seventh course, after many bottles of Soyka we had been told that it was a funeral. I remembered the old man, his laughing eyes bright, pouring more and more Soyka. I asked what kind of celebration it was. He looked at me puzzled, not speaking English. He looked at Zorro for a clue. Zorro pointed to his finger and he said “Wedding?” The man shook his head his eyes crooked with misunderstanding. Zorro pointed again to his finger and said, “Marriage?” The old man laughed comprehending the finger language and said, “Ho ho, Mary and Jesus!”

“No!  MARRIAGE, BABY, HOUSE, MORTGAGE!” I said.

The old man’s smile fell flat, his eyes turned down, his shoulders slumped forward, and he lifted his hands up off the table, rubbed them in a slow spiral and said, “No! No marriage!”

We said, “No?”

“Noooooooo!”  Like he fell off a cliff then said, “Tate morde…”

Zorro whispered in my ear “He said, ‘My father is dead.’ ”

 

The old man slumped into a sad pose showing with his eyes he understood how bad we must feel but his smile widened with gold tooth sunshine then he clapped his hands toasted us “Narook” and poured our glasses full. There was laughter all along the table. Zorro was struck with the notion to play Amazing Grace and dug out bagpipes from his back pack. In a moment he was puffing away with the sound of a cat being pulled through a meat grinder. I retrieved my banjo and banged along a Turkish tune I learned in Istanbul. Thinking back our music sounded like a braking train’s squealing steel wheels as it crashed into a piano factory but the peasants didn’t seem to notice as they danced circles around us.

It seemed a bit odd to have such a good time at a funeral. I’m sure one doesn’t often hear such sounds at a funeral. The peasants smiled and laughed. That’s when I decided to break out the cigars. If it was a celebration and by all means we should smoke on it. I happened to be carrying a box full of cigars and with great theatrical presentation I opened the lid and presented the cellophane wrapped smokes. It was in the next few moments I remember panicking and whispering to Zorro, that we must leave the dirge at once. He whispered back to me, “Why, what is wrong? I’m having a good time.” I said look at them Zorro, look at the men smoking the cigars!

Zorro said, “So, so what?”

“Zorro look! They have left the cellophane on the cigars!”

Zorro screwed his eyes at them again and said, “Yes most peculiar. They seem to be smoking the cigars with the cellophane still on…”

 

There was no need to try to convince Zorro the significance of such an obvious blunder. I knew we had fallen into a trap. In less than a minute we were waving our hands at the peasants saying goodbye wobbling our way up the valley. We had no doubt barely escaped. I ask you, smoking cigars wrapped in cellophane is that not a dead give away? It was on the dirt road leading deep up into the Carpathian Mountains the drugged soyka took over and the imposter was inserted.

 

I was convinced until just recently that our journey had been under the scrutiny of the Commies from Russia. I suppose it was a natural mistake to make after meeting the famous Olga in Hamburg. I knew she was a robot and the real Olga, Mother of Russian State Children’s Theater, had been sent to Siberia or worse placed on a Sputnik. The woman I met in Hamburg resembled 15 yards of linoleum tied up in a bag made of pig skin with a chicken wire head. Her breath smelled like the greased nuts and bolts of a psychopathic merry-go-round mechanic. I was not aroused by her physical beauty and I say that with some conviction as I have come to believe over the years that no woman is ugly – however Olga, Mother of Russian State Children’s Theater, proved me wrong. It wasn’t until she shook my hand and her elbow squeaked I realized indeed she was a machine.

 

Later when Zorro and I went the Russian State Children’ Theater Company (one of Zorro’s obsessions is kiddy shows) and she stood in front of the company competing with a show of her own interpreting in very bad English what the tap dancers were doing while German children booed and tossed paper cups at her. One basic ingredient was missing from the talent of Moscow. There was no soul. What could you expect being conducted by a robot?

 

Oh yes the Russian State Children’s Theater Company performed like professionals, danced and sang but without a trace of knowledge they were computer fed machines. I saw in the eyes of the Russian robots there wasn’t a hint of curiosity of the free world and choice to be as human being, not a machine! It was easy to see this is where the espionage began in our first encounter of controlled Russian Art. It was the Commies that followed us to Romania and planted the microphones and replaced Zorro’s brain with a computer. The truth is I realize now the Commies were just being used by using Zorro and millions of other people being used. So who do you think is doing all of this? Dare I say it? The Space Martians!

 

I was shocked when I first had this amazing revelation. But little by little, I began to think back to other times and places where I’ve met creatures that resemble humans and even all kinds of people throughout history that have been used by the invaders. What makes them so difficult to catch is that sometimes they only visit a person’s head for a few moments quickly passing – the crazy woman in Mexico gave them room and board for years and stupid me I thought she was the Devil. As a matter of fact she told me she was the Devil.

 

Actually what happened was that in a flash of a second she had given me a demented stare and I said, “I know who you are – you are the Devil!” Her eyes became full moons with shot gun hole centers and she laughed wickedly and said, “Yes, yes I am!” And just as quickly she said “Oh no, I’m not – I’m just kidding!”

 

Oh dear it seems that it is going to take me forever to tell exactly what took place. There too many incidents that led up to that prophetic point of life. It is no good to go on explaining how it led up to the bank robbery unless I explain how the Space Martians first appeared in Mexico in the head and eyes of this lady, Florentina.

 

No one would ever say that Florentina was normal. She had an Italian father and a West Indian mother. Florentina had an IQ of 193. I know because she told me so. She was 26 years old and had various occupations, from a waitress to performing strange acts in men’s stag shows to a big time stripper, but when I met her in Mexico where she was writing a book about a bank robbery.

 

Aha, you are saying to yourself – a bank robbery – so this is where it fits in – well you are wrong. It is not how our bank robbery came about. It is just a coincidence. Florentina’s idea for the bank robbery was by seducing bank clerks one by one until she got up to the bank manager where he would give her the bank.

 

It was ridiculous and in the process she couldn’t stop herself from seducing anyone around her. That is how I got to know her. I won’t go into details except it was on the beach under a full moon and it was the first time I ever had oral sex. I thought at first she was trying to eat me. There’s something about first-time experiences that make you want to hang around.

 

I’d gone to Mexico because I was sick of the rain falling on Moonstone Heights in northern California. I was also sick of the Moonstone Heights freaks, but I will have to tell you about them later. First I must make it clear how crazy Florentina clued me into what is going on around our planet. I should’ve guessed that very first night but the obvious is hard to believe and truth is the last thing people want to hear. It’s a convenient blindness. In my case I liked getting oral sex. Florentina was weird and had strange habit of never taking her clothes off in my presence. She wouldn’t even let me go to the strip club where she worked. I figured it was some sort of puritanical bent. Still she was rather good at oral sex so I hung around. Maybe I should mention that she made lots of money.

 

It was that conversation that we had one humid Mexican evening on the patio that gave me the first vital hit that Florentina wasn’t quite normal. After all her denial of being the Devil she giggled a high pitched chilling sound and she began to look at me straight in the eye making a low morning grown. Her eyes twitched and appeared to be going back and forth in her head. I felt my thoughts were being placed in a freezer and my brain filled with Novocain. I had to force myself to look away. Out on the harbor the moon was beaming down on the opalesque sea. There were dark clouds, orange and pink on the horizon. Insects buzzed and pecked at the night. I could feel a magnetic sensation as though all the juices in my spine were being drawn up to the top of my head and sucked out of my eyes. I realized almost too late, that Florentina was giving me an eye-job. She was oral sexing my soul, sucking at my mind with her eyes. She was the cosmic vacuum cleaner. I jumped up and shouted, “Oh no you don’t!” No one is going to suck my brains off!” I ran out of the patio down the hill to the tourist bar and ordered a beer. I felt dizzy with fear but wondered how my soul could be pulled right out through my eyes. Maybe I was being paranoid. I wasn’t sure if I should return to the house. She might try to do it again. What if I fell asleep and she gave me an eye-job while I wasn’t looking? I decided best thing to do was to split. It always bothered me a bit that Florentina wouldn’t take her clothes off. Anyway one can only take so much oral sex.

 

Another thing weird is the girl in Hamburg’s famous Beatles nightclub name was Florentina but she was in disguise. She is good at it. How she got so much shorter is hard to figure out, but I could recognize her anywhere. It is the way her eyes bounce around in her head. She must have sucked Zorro’s brain off with one of her eye-jobs.

 

It wasn’t until sometime later that I begin to put two and two together. What an idiot! Why hadn’t I seen it before? It was Florentina with me in Mexico when one of my famous books was stolen as well as Portland Oregon, Phoenix Arizona and San Francisco. But the last time she finally gave herself away. Only a half hour after meeting her in the Beatles nightclub, my sixth book was almost stolen. You see? Is all very neat! I have been a fool for so many years but last I am on to the game.

Undoubtedly many years ago when I began writing my Theory of the Universe it was detected by the Space Martians. It is hard to imagine how they could have known. Perhaps I blundered into one of their agents or their telepathic powers could see inside my head, or worse, they control publishing companies. Of course! Foolish me!  I sent my manuscripts to Random House! That must be it!

 

I was disclosing the Space Martians eminent plan of taking over the earth. In each book I was getting closer to the truth, as my Theory of the Universe began to expand. The Space Martians stole my books and believed I would give up or commit suicide. So! They think I’m the fool but you wait and see! This time I won’t be so easily tricked. I shall find a way of publishing my book.

 

Eureka!  I have thought of a way of getting the book printed. All I have to do is buy a printing company! That is where Zorro comes in. That is where the walk-through Transylvania comes in. That is where the things I’m about to tell, link together. Doublecash, Faintruling, Moonstone Heights and all of it goes a long way back.

 

My Theory of the Universe has much to do with Doublecash saving my life. It is not an easy thing to recall but in fairness to the story, the time has come. Besides too often dogs are portrayed as mere bystanders and not recognized as the sensitive and intelligent beings they are.

 

The time was the spring of 1969. I was living in a mansion that had 28 rooms, 11 freaks and 15 dogs. It was called the Lovejoy Mansion. Originally it had been a millionaires home, then it became a funeral home, then a marriage chapel. The last metamorphosis before it was changed into an empty lot that one day would have a high-rise apartment was to be an exclusive dump for doped up freaks and freaked out dogs all eating vast quantities of brown rice. We were all very organic. Everyone ate meals together, slept together and stepped in dog shit together. At the time the reading list was three books; The Lost Civilization of Atlantis; the I Ching and the Book of Urantia.

 

Our diet consisted of brown rice, some more brown rice and lots of other brown rice. Sometimes we discovered Safeway’s were throwing out a lot of rotten vegetables, so for a day or two we would have wilted cabbage, tangy carrots, black oranges and stale bread with our brown rice.

 

Of the 11 people that lived there, only one worked. Larry the Lightshow Loony ran the psychedelic light show for local rock ‘n roll bands. They practiced in the basement – them screaming “my baby don’t love me” and Larry mixing oil, water and vegetable dyes like mad. Girls came from all over town to hang around the basement. Young girls. Juicy girls.

 

Of the 15 dogs that live there, only one had a dog license and that was for a town 80 miles away. Three of the dogs were female, which always come into heat together leading to 12 dogs with nuts trying to rip each other throats out. The three females had quite a reputation, because when they were in heat it brought every dog in town to our front door. We were quite popular.

 

Our neighbors in the up-market high-rise condominium across the street took notice of us, because of missing daughters, the thumping amps of rock ‘n roll at all hours a day, but mostly the appearance of an all breeds dog colony.  Other people took notice to. Namely the police.

 

They came to the door one day and asked if we would keep the female dog inside as she was causing a traffic disruption on the street and it wasn’t a decent thing to be seen by little children. He was talking about the long legged shepherd that was an amazing sexpot in the dog world. It was my dog Faintruling. The girl that answered the door explained they were only balling. The officer looked at her in a puzzled way, mumbled again that it didn’t look right and walked out of the door.

 

The next day a city official came to the door and I happened to be the one to answer. He asked how many dogs were there in the house and seemed shocked when I said 15. Maybe he thought I said 50. He then asked me for the dog owner’s names.

 

Just previous to his arrival I had been in the basement with Larry the Lightshow Loony. We had been sampling organic homegrown weed. What that led to was an Amazing Revelation of the Honor of Living in the Lovejoy Mansion, the Oneness of Life, the Brotherhood of Humanity, the Telepathic Capabilities of Dogs and the Interconnecting Crystalline Patterns of all Forms of Life. That was when the doorbell rang.

 

Well if he had asked me for the dog owner’s names an hour before he would have received Eskimo names. But at that particular moment I was struck with the ultimate fairness of truth and justice so without a blink of the eye I rattled off the names of my comrades without any hint of guilt or even a tiny notion I was blowing the scene. I was so glad that one human being asked a question that me as a fellow human being could give a total truthful answer.

 

It’s fantastic how fast bureaucracy can work. It was the very next day the warrants came around. Apparently not only had us dog owners not licensed our dogs but many other warrants had been discovered with our names on them. My name had been found on numerous parking ticket violations for a 1967 Dodge wagon called The Queen, and apparently owed the city $2,175 worth of parking violations. However my warrant was somewhat less than my organic colleagues.

 

The next day besides the arrival of the warrants, a very strange personal experience happened to me. I’d been in the basement with Larry the Lightshow loony again sampling hallucigenic brown seeds he called Hawaiian Woodrow. They sounded delightfully exotic and being still connected to the Oneness to Life I decided to delve deeper into the mystery of it all. Shortly after that things began to seem paradoxically peculiar to me so I went out for a walk.

 

When I returned, Larry the Lightshow Loony was at the door looking shell-shocked, saying, “How could you do it? But on one hand there is the other!”

 

He was quite ambiguous and I was feeling a bit abstract myself, so I didn’t pay much attention to him. I walked on into the main room and discovered my housemates looking at me in a hateful way. One of them said, “Some friends of yours are in the kitchen!” It was almost spit at me. I felt something was going on about me that I didn’t know. In the kitchen to my surprise were two young juicy girls I had been bonking separately sitting together. They said, “Oh hello, there are friends of yours in the basement.” It was said in a very dry manner. I felt uncomfortable so I decided to go to the basement. I could hear one of the musicians tuning up. I split the kitchen and ran down the steps to the basement ballroom. Again much to my surprise was two more girls I’d seduced separately sitting together looking quite hateful. One said, “There is a friend of yours waiting in your room.” I tried to act casual as I retreated at full speed to the top of the stairs to my attic room with no windows. Not so much to my surprise was my last juicy young conquest. She said, “Who are all of those girls?”

 

I said something about childhood friends and art lessons but what I really wanted to talk to her about was the meaning of her name. Her name was Diana. I told her Life was One Great Throbbing Glow of Oneness and that we are all Gods and that one must find their ultimate destiny. I felt very nervous about such strange goings-on but Diana wanted to believe my words as I led her to bed.

 

I was thinking a good ejaculation would make everything better and put the world back in order. I was on the verge of a panic attack. The room seemed very black. Diane submitted to my pulling her clothes off and laid beneath like a student studying strange events. I went in and out in and out, but for some peculiar reason it was like drinking a glass of water after swallowing a swimming pool. There was no taste, no pleasure no relief in the event. Diana was beginning to act distressed. I decided what we needed to do was to go for a drive in The Queen and rethink the Dynamics of the Universe leaving the puzzlement of Lovejoy.

 

This was a very bad decision. The Hawaiian Woodrow seeds were more exotic than I realized and it was near the prime traffic hour in the city; no time to be out of my mind wheeling a ton of nuts and bolts on narrow streets. The wheel felt like it was intended for ship instead of a car. The Queen floated away from the curb. When I got into the street I began to panic with the thought it was a ship and I couldn’t easily slam on the brakes. I might slice through another car or even go aground on a traffic light.

 

Diana seemed to be sinking inside herself giving me desperate looks. It upset her a bit the way I was addressing the crew in the engine room. She didn’t know the car had turned into a ship. She had grabbed at the armrest or alternately covered her face with her arms. I realized she was in no condition to be sailing around in such hazardous conditions, so I docked my ship at a nearby port. The Queen slid into birth without bumping the dock deck. I sat stunned wondering how the streets had been under water but now traffic was howling and smashing the silence. In front of the car was a huge red, white and blue Dairy Queen ice cream sign! I went inside and ordered a chocolate mocha and banana lemon double-decker. Diana waited wanted nothing. Not an adventurous sort I thought. I got back into The Queen and told Diana ice cream would make us feel better. She was silent but her eyes bounced around the car like some kind of lunatic. I kept telling her that ice cream has a very soothing effect. I looked at the cone thinking how a cow would feel about such a confectionery configuration of her cream. It struck me that I had ordered the wrong flavor but the size of the lump grew bigger the more I tried to make it disappear. The cone began to bleed. I licked my fingers as the globby stuff dripped down my elbow. Diana wanted to go home after she saw me licking my elbows. Maybe the traffic was safe so I threw the ropes cast off.

 

My car melted out onto the road as if the ice cream had converted the metal. I was in a better spirit and Diana acted relieved. That’s when I decided give Diana little tour of the city. There was a narrow twisting road that went around a hill with a good view of the city. Diana said that it would be a good idea to take her home first. I insisted what she needed to recover her mind was just as such a tour. She seemed very confused to me. Up the hill The Queen steamed like it had a mind of its own.

 

We got onto a small road only big enough to take one car at a time. It didn’t occur to me that it a dangerous road although I noticed it was quite steep. As we were coming down the road an odd thing happened. I forgot that I was driving the car. It had been going so well that I was sure it was on automatic pilot. I was looking out over the city remarking how beautiful the colors were as Diana kept screeching something that didn’t make sense. Suddenly I heard her words very clearly. “You are driving off the cliff for God sake!” At that instant I remembered I was driving. As I looked at the steering wheel my hands fused into it and my body became part of the car. Diana’s voice chimed into the sound of bells. I thought what a beautiful sound. My head filled with a ringing orchestration. What a miracle. Bells were ringing across the city. The sound of music flooded my brain.

 

Perhaps it wasn’t bells I was hearing, but trumpets and Gabriel had finally arrived. Judgment was near. No it couldn’t be! There were no trumpets but there was a familiarity about the sound. In some way it reminded me of automobiles. What? Automobiles! Yes of course it was the sound of car horns! Why on earth were there so many car horns blaring. It became an ugly aggressive noise.

 

They seemed to be directed at me and awareness came in a lightning stroke. Diana and I were stopped dead in The Queen sitting in the middle of the winding road. Cars were backed up the hill. An angry man was banging on the side window.

 

I know you are probably wondering how all of this has anything to do with Doublecash saving my life. I’ll tell you everything. You might be thinking what about the bank robbery? Don’t get concerned! If Doublecash hadn’t saved my life for one thing Zorro and I would never got around to looking at the map that night in Bennett’s Bar which led us to Transylvania. With that said I will go back to the man banging on the window.

 

His face was awfully red. His eyeballs were swollen, the veins on his neck were puffy, and his words were like machine gun bullets with razor blade smiles sounded rude – “Move your goddamn car in the middle of the goddamn street, you’re goddamn blocking traffic you goddamn long haired filthy goddamn hippie!” I thought he might be right and rolled down the window. Damn, he was right. I was in a car. I needed fresh air because Diana was breathing so fast she was taking more air than the car held. As the wind blew into my face, a proportion of reality came back – at least enough to get us to the bottom of the hill where luckily I found a space to Dock The Queen. I was out of control or maybe was the First Mate. One of us couldn’t drive.

 

The car stopped in a tilted position. Diana immediately opened the door and started walking down the street. I tried as best I could to get out of the door quickly but I felt weak catching up to Diana. “Please, I beg don’t let small things like this get on your nerves – would you like another ice cream?” She looked at me and what came from her mouth filled me with fear. She said, “It’s too late, it’s all over!”

 

Had it not been for the Hawaiian Woodrow seeds I might have understood what she meant, which was Fuck off! I’m tired of your lunatic shit! Get lost you creep! But what I understood was, It’s too late, it’s the END OF THE WORLD! I said, “Oh” with a doomsday sigh. I sat down on a low wall that had a wire mesh fence I rested my back against. Diana sat down next to me but I stopped thinking about her. I just looked up at the sky. It was turning black. I knew she was right. It was the end. Everything was over. I looked down the street and saw it rolling up like a carpet. I looked the other direction and black walls were coming. Across the street buildings were beginning to fade and the pavement in front of us was a transparent. Silence was coming that had a high pitched hum of a million electrical voices singing nothing.

 

“Fuck” I thought, it’s over. I sit there mentally waving goodbye to the world. Within a few seconds it would all be gone. Nothing left, I was vanishing, life was just an illusion. The cosmos was coming to the end. THE END flashed in lights in my mind. There was no sadness this time – once before it had happened, but God had reprieved the sentence – but this time, he was sick of me. I had it coming, I could only accept.

 

But Diana was louder than God as she kept yelling to take here home. She kept talking about her problem – that she was too rich – her whole family was too rich. I dumped her off at an upper-middle-class house and told her she wasn’t rich, that she was just under a credit card illusion. She said she never wanted to see me again. I drove away without answering. I had only one thing in mind. I was going to go back to the Lovejoy Mansion and jump off the roof before the END OF THE WORLD as it would be just too scary to face being alive.

 

The Queen gratefully died in front of the Lovejoy Mansion as electrical pulsations tingled over my body. The tip of my tongue bounced around in a cavernous mouth. Eternity was a tight rope walker and the fall was forever. As I swung the car door open Doublecash jumped up into my arms. His tongue spread dog germs all over my face but I didn’t care. I just sat down on the curb and held Doublecash as he continued to lick me with dog love. I kept saying, “Thank you, thank you” He had saved my life because the END OF THE WORLD did not happen. Since then I have always been in debt to Doublecash. I felt I owed allegiance to all dog kind until I inherited Faintruling. She showed me the truth in another way. I’ll tell you later.

 

I have been avoiding the reason I was so unbalanced in those early years. It is natural to assume that one’s problems stem from the activities of the inner self. That is, all problems are only mental conditions not properly balanced or displaced. I myself thought that perhaps I was a bit insane, or my natural ability to come to logical conclusions was short-circuited. I even thought I should go to a psychiatrist at one point. The outcome of that way of thinking was to make me insecure with my mental condition and led me to becoming a raving religious fanatic. However this is all beside the point of what I want to get out, so I will skip details of my personal experience and come to the most significant event that led to the Revelation of the Eminent Space Martian Invasion, soon to take place in your neighborhood.

 

That event was the map reading meeting at Bennett’s Bar. Zorro had said earlier in the week that it would be good to go to Transylvania. Where in Transylvania was the problem. After a few pints of that filthy black poison that surely is the cause of so much Irish insanity, we cleverly came to an appropriate choice. The town was called Cluj. Zorro chose it because if you say Cluj pronounced as kludge in Glasgow, it means the toilet, the throne or where turds are tossed.

 

The logic in choosing such a town of that name is completely understandable. When people asked us where we were going, we would answer, “We are going to the toilet.” You see the supreme craftiness of it all? This was when we first began our undercover techniques. In the beginning we had everybody fooled. After all, turds are not a common subject people like to pry into. However, it must have been a bit peculiar for our friends to see us load up heavy backpacks, dress in strange costumes and giggle madly about going to the toilet.

 

What a gimmick it was to say that we were going to the toilet, when we knew perfectly well we were going to Cluj pronounced as Kludge! I want to say, it was not an easy thing to do but that is yet to come. First, I must tell you why Transylvania was the choice of the journey.

 

You see it all has to do with Zorro and castles. For instance, do you realize that in the last five years Zorro has visited everything in all of the Great Britain that is called a castle. I have my own opinion of course that many of these places are only well organized pile of rocks. You see, it was his reasoning that if he could see Dracula’s castle in Transylvania he would have reached the zenith of Castledom. Tales of those dark nights with lightning on the gray stones, creaking wood doors, bats dipping and water dripping in the smell of age and bones was the thing that appealed to Zorro. He also had a great fancy to drink out of gold goblets and pamper great hounds that lay around the fireplace.

 

All of this has always been quite maddening to me as I could hardly care less about cold stone monuments. Me, I have always liked wood. Wood, not stone. Ha, but do you think I could talk any sense into that lunatic Zorro – no! Not a chance!

 

I tell you he is governed by…oh what is the use? I mean, he is dominated by one obsession after the other, and now he is controlled by them. I must go on. I will get to the facts of this horrible tragedy soon enough. Better to get back to the castle.

 

There we were in Bennett’s Bar. Zorro took one finger and drug it across a greasy glass of the round table top where under it lay an old map.

“There it is,” he said softly.

“Where?” I said.

“Right at the bottom of the red line.” He whispered.

“That’s a coffee spot!” I blurted.

“No, you don’t see the right spot. It is the black spot.” Zorro complained.

I looked down at the filthy table top and could vaguely make out a black spot. At the side of it was a part of a name that read,TRANS.

“All right, I see it so what?” I said.

“So what? Oh dear me! There is a most delightful castle – I tell you, you have never seen anything like it. There is a wall called the prisoners leap. You see it’s about a 12 foot space between 28 foot buttresses and the prisoner was placed on the top with his hands behind his back. He was then to jump across the gap, and if he didn’t make it he would fall to spikes below. Oh what a terrible thing it was!”

“Well what on earth has that got to do with anything?”

“Don’t you understand how different that is from prisons now?”

“Well, are, yes but…”

“Furthermore if they did make it, they still had to get down off the tower. It was a nasty business.”

 

I could go on with our conversation but to tell you the truth, Zorro hardly ever makes sense and when he does you wonder why you took the time to understand in the first place. So his babblings went on through the evening and fortunately he was buying the black filth Guinness. One of his redeeming qualities is to get you drunk when he has some kind of plot in mind. That evening was the beginning of my downfall. I should’ve never listen to him nor should I have drunk that Irish concoction. It made my usual powers of calm collected reasoning turning into a complete distortion of the obvious. Before that evening I was a different man. Now there’s nothing but an unavoidable catastrophe in front of me. Oh enough for my self-pity!

 

What Zorro was talking about that night was utter madness. Now it is too late to regret but I wish to the fates I would have never listened. Never listening is only part of the problem that exists with most humans.

 

However, just recently have come to a new theory which might account for the diabolic deafness of our species. I call this theory, “The Force of Mental Momentum.” It has to do briefly with mental gravity, the weight of contradiction, the speed of bringing travel relative to its surroundings. There is also some theory which involves viable appreciations of values and standards dependent on the occasion at hand. I shall go into the first part and show how not listening is the technique to convince and intelligent and logical person into robbing a bank in Transylvania. The second part will only illustrate how this phenomenon could be a worldwide hazard.

 

 

I was sitting right next to Zorro, him rattling away about castles and how he could have silver spoons for him and his princes, maybe even having a solar energy power plant on the roof when I begin to think he was a bit mad.

“So wait a minute how are you going to have solar energy plants on the roof to keep your whole house warm?”

“Nothing to it” Zorro said.

“What do you mean nothing to it?  There’s a lot of technology to have hot water pipes to heat the floor. For Christ sakes there isn’t even any sun in Scotland!”

“Well it’s easy. I got another idea about having wind mills up there. Listen to me, I can do this in a very simple way.”

“But you don’t…”

“Listen to me, listen to me! I know what I’m talking about. You see if you get windmills on your roof it solves all your problems you see all you need is the basic elements and then you will see there’s nothing to it… Nothing to it!” Zorro looked slightly confused.

“Zorro you just don’t go putting up solar power plants and windmills up on the roof. I mean think about the money side of it – you got only 7 Pounds and you can’t go buying castles and putting all that crap on it too – I mean 7 Pounds is not enough to buy a square inch of British ground. 7 Pounds is nothing for Christ sakes!”

Zorro sat quietly for a moment, his eyes wrinkling into his nose then he said, “I’ll think of something.”

 

I should’ve known that lunatic would come to some kind of insane proposal, but believe me, I never would have guessed it would be to rob a bank in Transylvania, nor would I guessed that would involve me tramping off to Ireland in disguise, with a red banjo case that had Gazornablat Gazette printed on its side. The Journal of that episode will show you how an innocent person such as me can get to the point where I thought robbing a bank in Transylvania is normal.

 

The entry:

“Stranraer port. I slinked through the security with a red banjo case and a pack on my back thinking about Zorro and the man we owe money. I’ll refer to him as the Financier. The Financier advised I should go to Dublin via Belfast. Seagulls passed next to me and one eyed me very suspiciously in the beginning of this adventure. The Financier arranged for me to be surrounded by seagulls to distract attention of the British Secret Service.

 

The ships rumble is interrupted by jet planes tearing long rips in the sky. Whistles from the dock workmen sound like birds falling off cliffs. The ship vibrations warn that it is about to set off for Belfast. Yes here we go. The hills and houses a Stranraer fade into the distance.

 

One day later. I’ve been taking my disguise off and on as it has begun to squeeze my lips. The Bozo the Hobo mask was not made for cross-country travel. Nobody knows who I am or where I really come from. The banjo in the banjo case which is to give the idea I’m just an ordinary troubadour looking for a gig. I contacted my first agent. He told me nothing and I likewise told him nothing. The reason for being here is yet to be revealed. Later in the day I shall meet the second agent. I believe the Financier has a very diabolical plot planned. He is very sneaky.

 

Last night following his instructions I had my first true Irish Guinness in a Dublin pub called O’Donoghue’s. Just like he said the Guinness is much different than it is in Scotland. I suspected there might be a Mickey Finn slipped in so I sucked the black filth very carefully. After 5 pints nothing happened so I lost inhibitions and had a few more. There was a brief moment when there was eye contact with a lovely lady but I shyly looked away. It is too easy to be tricked if you are under the influence of a Mickey Finn. No telling where I might find myself. There was a very strange look in this lady’s eyes that had familiarity. It seems impossible but– oh my God! Florentina!

 

How could she possibly know I’m here unless, unless of course, she and that sneak the Financier are in cahoots. I must be very wary of the situation.”

 

End of the entry.

 

What a fool I am. I have learned much by looking at the Journal of Ireland. You see not only was I keeping an account of Ireland but I was at the beginning writing my most famous book. Thinking back to Bennett’s Bar when Zorro revealed his plans of the Transylvanian bank robbery, and my journey to the Shamrock, I was in the midst of a very hot chapter. I also recall that there was a strange female sitting behind Zorro wearing a huge stringy Afro wig. I noticed her eyes wobbled around in her head. I thought she was an art school student – but of course what a fool – it was Florentina!

 

The Financier was sitting at the next table smoking Schmenel-Phenick cigars wearing gloves. I had not been introduced to him yet by Zorro but I can see how he must have been sneakily observing me and Zorro and sending messages to Florentina. Could it be that the Financier is a Space Martian?

 

The connection to this theory lies in the Irish expedition of a later journal entry:

 

7 PM. The first 24 hours in Dublin’s jagged skyline where the sun’s vibrant pinkish orange reflects on TV antennas through city smoke. Sweet sewer gas blends into the fish crap pungent Dublin River floating lumps of green and black. The sun sinks faster than these words fit this space. Buses and motorcycles gurgle while the sun is finding its last lonely chinks of colors and glimmers goodbye. Across the bridge a black horse is pulling a dark blue carriage. It responds to the driver and trots off with the mechanical monsters passing too close. I met the second agent today. It’s not the horse. It was a children’s theater company, the whole cast. They all seem to be under the influence of radical notions. I suspect the Russian  Olga is here with Florentina.”

 

The clue lies in the writings, that mad time of Ireland and the subtle green and black mysteries that took place. I arrived there in a puzzled mood and wonderment of the mixed Irish words. The only way to explain this is to enter journal again. It may tend to wobble off lyrical as my system was somewhat influenced in the mist of Guinness.

 

10:15 PM. They are crazy these television addicts and sweet black suckers that apologize for bumping me sitting at the black marble topped bar. A young woman in the corner flirts secretly wishing love would find my Guinness heart but woe to the one that has no home but heaven and silent poetry. Ha ha. Madness smiling at the beautiful harmony of drunken honesty creating timeless fantasies. Football games and teetering barstools with old man going to the pissing wall to press bladders of fused out Guinness. I thought earlier who am I, but now I don’t exist – my eyes burn with tobacco smog that gives memory of underwater chlorine stumbling – I think of Zorro and the Financier. They are back there somewhere in the midst of their intensities while I am on this mission of the obscure looking for I don’t know what.

 

Football growls and whistles shoot over my head. What will I admit on these transmissions to paper? I look around at my wrinkled Irish crowd and see they are all gazing at the television on a wooden shelf directly above me. They are looking for victory. Victory for some kind of magic answer that will fit into their keyhole life full of questions.

 

Zorro and the Financier are probably with Florentina. She wants to eat me. The Financier told me before I left, that I was… what were his words? “Mixed up – screwed up – unhealthy in my attitude toward towards women.” But he doesn’t he know Florentina. She has given him the eye-job, and convinced him to get her stupid book published. She thinks he can introduce her to a bank manager – after all he is the Financier. Poor Zorro is caught up in their insanity. All he wants is a castle. The Financier and Florentina don’t seem natural. They are Commies I’m sure or worse, Space Martians!

I met Commies today. Imagine that? A children’s theater company preaching the Commie World to children like porn. Then again children are monsters. Kids just want what they can get. That’s what makes them such prime targets for insurrectionist. The thing is I can’t figure out how all these creeps fit together. Zorro is a bit slow so I can forgive him for getting caught up with such fast movers as the Financier and Florentina. Wouldn’t it be crazy if  Florentina really was the Devil. You know what? She is just a symbol. The kind of symbol Eve was in the Bible. Imagine that? Ever since, women have been born losers.

 

I have heard rumors about the Financier and his feminist traits. I heard from a doctor friend of mine that once when he was examining the Financier’s plumbing section he discovered the Financier was wearing black silk laced panties. He’s a weirdo if you ask me. That slob telling me that I am confused about women – well so what! Maybe I am. I’ve got reason. Vipers! I wish they weren’t so beautiful. Even old ugly Olga must have looked like something when she was younger. It’s a big suck off. Women are made to make men do the weirdest things. Bank robbing cutthroats! Why did I think of that? There’s something to that. That is what Zorro kept saying at Bennett’s Bar – something about nobody ever robbing banks in Transylvania. He said there hasn’t been a bank robbery in Transylvania since the end of the Bolshevik Revolution. So what? What has that got to do with me being in Ireland and Florentina saying she was the Devil and the Financier wearing black silk laced knickers?

 

Holy shit!! There’s too much information to sort out. Words are cluttering the sense of thought. A strange land and me being screwed up about women doesn’t help. I’m not going to rob any piggy bank no matter what Zorro the Financier and that time bomb Florentina. Wait a minute, why did I say that? I don’t remember ever being told to rob a bank. But somewhere in the middle of my brain wave there is a message – Rob a bank! Rob a bank! Rob a bank! Rob a bank!”

 

That is the end of the Irish Journal.

 

It is a mysterious riddle of what happened in Ireland. There were long flat roads and conversations that led nowhere until I was taken to a place up in the hills. The second Agent sent me to the third Agent in Cork. The third Agent drove me out to the hills to meet the fourth Agent. It wasn’t until then the pattern started to unravel. That’s when my theory, the Force of Mental Momentum became very evident, especially the part with the Speed of Brain Travel Relative to Its Surrounding. It was in the hills very near The Blarney Stone I discovered the mirror image of Moonstone Heights in northern California. It was the same movie, the same freaks, the same jungle ghetto full of old broken cars. Don’t you see what I’m getting at? I mean there I was halfway around the world from Moonstone Heights and there in the hills of Ireland, just next to the famous Blarney Stone was the same hippy hideout. I had traveled nowhere! It was there, next to the Blarney Stone, the Transylvanian Bank Robbery plan was revealed.

 

Slowly the memory of those days in Ireland returns to me. The fourth Agent was in disguise in the hills. It was hard for me at first to realize that he was the fourth Agent. I thought he was just another long-haired crazy freak living in the woods, painting pictures of boring art. It was only discovered him being an Agent by a slip of the tongue. He said to the third Agent, “The Landlord is looking for you. He says you owe him back rent!” That’s when I knew.

 

My first impression of the collection of welfare drop outs near the Blarney Stone was the mirror reflection Moonstone Heights in California. Now here was further proof of their identical lifestyle. Not only the junked cars hidden in the undergrowth, the crazy freaks in a woodland ghetto, but also the Landlord chasing the inhabitants for back rent. Not only Florentina was constantly changing her disguise and following me around the world but groups of people in identical villages taking on new names, new faces. The links were beginning to chain themselves into one long continuous purpose – that being to keep me under observation and be sure I was manipulated in the right direction. I let on like I didn’t know the whole lot of them were conspirators.

 

Actually, my first clue of this diabolical plot came about several years ago when I was taken to Rick Shaw Charlie’s Chinese Restaurant by a childhood friend. Heavens how long it’s been going on? Her name was Flow. When we were small we played house together, you know, with dolls and blankets playing Doctor and Nurse. We did that in the front yard but in the backyard we did dirty things in the garage. Also in the garage is where we did a theatrical presentation for the neighborhood kids. We placed chairs in an semi-circle around the garage door selling Kool-Aid and then did our one act play. It consisted of Flow walking along the door of the garage on a very cold night in the fog so thick she couldn’t see anything. She would say something like, “I know horrible monsters are out on a night like this especially on full moon nights like this particular night even though it is so foggy you can’t see there is a moon!”

 

That would be my cue, the “…can’t see the moon…” part. I would jump out of the window of the garage with a long olive green army blanket cape and bite her in the neck. That was the end of the play. I think the other kids came to get the Kool-Aid. They paid us with I.O.U.s.

 

So it was years later, Flow took me to Rick Shaw Charlie’s Chinese Restaurant. She said it was the best restaurant in town. At that time I didn’t think much about it except that it was the best Chinese Restaurant in town. But it just recently something occurred to me. Isn’t “Flow” a nickname for Florentina?

 

I keep asking myself, “What is the use?” I mean, what is the use of trying to weave this tale into its proper order? So many contradicting plots characters and mysteries and only I know how they all fit together. It may not be logical that a bank robbery should involve space Martians, Commies, castles, foreign travel, espionage, subterfuge plus the elongation of a puzzle complexity mixed with the wonder of the living carnival, but then logic was only created to confuse people into not believing chaos is order and order is by accident. I prefer to say, “Organized Accident is Art.”

 

Is it necessary to explain why the Blarney Stone event was the reflection of Moonstone Heights to come to the realization of the Chinese Restaurant Conspiracy. It is very simple to me but I must explain at once Moonstone Heights is the complete understanding to this mass illusion the crafty Chinese are succeeding very well at! Yes the Chinese and the Japanese, but I don’t want to confuse you with too many co-conspirators so I will only infer the total success of the Japanese by giving just a small hint with two questions. 1. Who are the most populace tourists of Honolulu? 2. Who did not succeed at Pearl Harbor the first time?

 

Moonstone Heights was a place that came to knowledge by a Black Messenger in a yellow 1956 Ford half ton pickup truck. Standing on the highway in Arcata California at 6 AM feeling insane and silently cursing the foul lock of giving up freedom to go find work, a paycheck, working on the docks as longshoremen, hoping that there would be a ship I could place my unemployed back and soft hands to use – to make some bread and be respectable, pay my bills like everyone else, but pissed off because everyone else was paying their bills, because they were students and they just went to school and they’re parents sent the money in the mail, but fuck them, nevertheless trying their best to make me feel guilty by hiding their food in the refrigerator and looking at mean when they saw me eating their food.

 

So there I was standing out on the cold wet rainy morning, hanging out on a street pissed off a free Agent like me was not a free Agent because I had to work like everybody else, and the damn students saying it was just a fucking gimmick me being a messenger of God – nothing being easy and all that, when suddenly the yellow truck stopped and there is a black middle-aged man, with a net blue longshoremen cap, shiny cheekbones, kinky black man hair, a broken flat nose and that special kind of Louis Armstrong voice. He said, “Sorry, I am only going as far as the other side of the bay to see if I can get work at the longshoremen hall.”

 

Sitting beside him was a skinny white boy that was going there too so naturally I said, “Far out because I’m going there too.”

 

The old Ford truck roared off down the highway and I noticed that it was some kind of hot rod truck. It had racing wheels and I thought it was bizarre because many black gray-haired men drive that kind of contraption. We mumbled morning grunts on the way to the hall and the Black Messenger told me, him and the kid lived in Moonstone Heights. At the hall it was filled with big muscle armed drunkards looking like sweat and cigarette smoke. I was carrying my California to Mexico book with me even though at the time I had not yet gone to Mexico.

 

The hall was a big rectangle painted bile yellow and puke green. The wooden floors had foot prints of lost souls dragging their death about waiting for a ship – a logger bound for Japan or a Norwegian paper freighter or some long gone country was written on the chalkboard telling times, loads, docks and crews. The board had a listing for A men and B men and Casuals. The Black Messenger, me and the skinny kid were qualified to be Casuals.

 

If you got on the casual list it meant you worked eight hours and got paid $35. Not bad money even if it was only once or twice every week they needed casuals. Sometimes you are lucky and could work three or four days in a row. The three of us scuffed our shoes bumping along with the drunks and smoking cigarettes practicing looking like sweaty old timers at this ship business.

 

I got bored waiting for the caller to say if there was going to be casuals that morning, so I sat down with the California to Mexico book and started drawing portraits of a cynical old bastards looking sweat when suddenly I was noticed and regarded as being some kind of artist. I didn’t bother to tell them I was really a part-time Acrobat. I didn’t want to spoil their early-morning fortune and fame illusion that they were being immortalized by a famous artist. That’s when the Black Messenger began talking to me. I don’t remember much about what was said that broken morning except my complaints of how unfair life was answered by, “Suffer baby.”

 

There are two phrases the Black Messenger always said. If the world was collapsing on my head and I would whine to the Black Messenger he answered with “suffer baby.” If the welfare department was holding my check back it was “life is beautiful.”

 

I got to know the Black Messenger the first morning that seemed like it lasted 40 years. I got to hear about his life sitting under the board waiting for the Casual list to be called. Then news, no Casuals and so we went back to the other side of the bay, to have coffee in an old gray Chevy school bus sitting in that place called Moonstone Heights. Years of the Black Messenger’s life were told like a clay pot thrown on a potter’s wheel, the story of the Black Messenger looking back was like looking at barbershop mirrors that repeat images until they are only a tiny speck in the reflection of infinity. The Black Messenger said we get hung up in remembering our lives long gone in time and forget the living point of now. I must stop these introspective indulgences and bring back now.

 

This is now. There are two very old society dames sitting at a café table nest to me. I think they might be listening so I will write quietly. I am in London, sitting in the top floor of a huge fashionable store called Harrods. It is a perfumed place of plenty in the pantry of cheap treasures and consumer trash. Outside the grass has died in England’s worst drought in 250 years – perhaps the worst drought ever but the two ladies have smoked their cigarettes and now they move on to the calm manner of spreading butter and cheese, making cracker crunching noise among the bubble of piped music, chinking dishes and garbled mass babble. I sit here scribbling these notes sipping at bitter coffee jingling my mind a decimal more.

 

I think about the vast conspiracies that contort together in small glories of destruction. The ladies light up their second fag after the cheese vacantly staring into the vacuum of a Naugahyde and fiberglass restaurant experience. They chat uncannily about the price of cheese and crackers in Britain. They smoke and pull at shiny shopping bags of newly captured treasures but do they know about the Chinese? Probably here in this restaurant I am the only one that knows about the Chinese and their diabolical antics deep within the kitchens of every nation in the world. Yes, even here in Harrods.

 

The Chinese are not to be duped into this tinsel world of cheap Swiss watches, expensive French perfumes and Highland wool pullovers – no, they are much smarter than that. They wash the dishes, they serve the food, while they buy more and more vacant spaces to sell their Oriental pallet – they disregard the way I spell out their plot because they know they can steal my writing anytime they want. But they don’t know that I know. They know that these two ladies in front of me don’t know anything but to light up their third cigarette in eight minutes but they don’t know that I know. I have known of the evil they do for years. My fault has been to pin the problem on innocent bystanders.

 

What am I doing sitting here with these two ladies in London? I am bidding time in an obscure place to analyze the mistakes of the last few months.  I am writing truth that in most ways is more unbelievable than the most fantastic of stories. I mean everything is believable these days, but very likely you have concluded that I am mad.

 

Well my friend, you are mistaken! I am not mad. It is you who has lost grip.

 

It is you that pays the rent of reality to an insane landlord, and you who squanders on conspicuous consumption to have more and more. Your eyes continually search the pastures of this world noting how much green grass is everywhere but where you stand. It is you that disregards the gathering clouds that are going to rain on you while you apply layer after layer of suntan oil. It is you that indulges in the pathetic sadness of The News of the World, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The London Times, The Guardian, CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CBC, Radio Free Europe and all the rest of Babel-tower radioTV transmissions. It is you that leaps with lust looking at advertisements of brassieres, autos, balls and cunts. It is you guzzling gallon after gallon of bitter sweet nectar screaming phrases to your glorious sport team. It is you that goes to movies and theaters drooling your way through another evening of perversion and corrupt souls.

 

Yes, it is you that is insane and lost in the burning fires of this 21st century and reading these words of the prophet gone wrong, of the disciple that has strayed from the flock of Jesus. It is you my friend that takes no heed to the overture of the mighty trumpet of Gabriel’s mad jazz flourish of your coming exit.

 

It is you my friend that is mad insane crazy lost not to understand between the lines of what I have been saying to you. It is you that takes me serious when I am obviously trying to deny the truth and create my own delusion. Yes, you see I want to forget as much as you don’t want to know.

 

Have I spilled the beans or can I cut the crap?

 

In the very beginning of this episode I didn’t know what I was going to write though there was much to say. I went into tirades about my journeys from Scotland to Romania to California to Mexico, about the demented Florentina and Zorro that wanted to buy a castle and the Financier and how he manipulated everybody only to go on about the imminent invasion of Space Martians to dissolve the whole thing by introducing the Chinese Conspiracy which I have now over-loaded by pointing out your madness. Perhaps I have jammed this document with too much information, too much nervous urgency.

 

I have decided after a short stroll down the street to admit to you what this is all about. I hesitate to say the truth which will obviously point out the lie. The trouble is of course once you get the idea of truth one’s lies tend to undermine an honest attempt to build a framework of exposure – that is, every time I announce a new truth somehow my safety balance tends to fabricate a new lie so I won’t be vulnerable in case my honest exposure should go boom.

 

What I am getting at is that within the confines of one’s attempt to announce truth, the odor of distrust still permeates the potential of humanity – so it is not so much an attempt to get to the truth as it is to revitalize a belief in the unknown human face of acceptance. But then you see the contradiction of my previous admittance of your uncontrollable insanity denies the beginning of such experiment anyway, so then what I need to do is erase the idea that there is any truth here but only an honest bargain that the chances are all of this is a lie.

 

I begin then. I want to be totally vulnerable to you. I place the dignity in the very core of my soul in your mind’s eye. Look at me and comprehend what you want.

 

Like all men I am ruled and bashed about by the power of my penis to think more than my human soul can vibrate love. Like all mankind I’m anxious to believe, so my analytical mind can doubt. Like so many I want to see, that for a distance later I can say it was all a mirage. Like all fear, I am compelled to say that the dream is real and all that reality has always been a dream. And for the insecurity of reason I am stupid enough to believe that these vagaries might one day be understood by the intelligent brain.

 

I will stop being the story teller of profound prophecy and bring all of this to something more easily understood. I will admit to you my only personal melodrama.

 

You see I have always wanted to be a bank robber. Also in the last few years I have had a strange desire to smash a brand new Rolls-Royce into a steaming pile of junk.

 

You might think these are criminal thoughts and if they are, so what!

 

I mean who is a criminal and who is a saint? How many honest men have been shot for admitting what they are and how many liars have lived by deceiving their tormentors? The only real justice is that of the Grand Finale. The judgments that are dished out during this life are by and large incidental – but even so, if to rob a bank is criminal or to crash an expensive automobile is sacrilege, then I admit to these desires. I might add if they are criminal acts, it is only because they are acts of the minority.

 

All manifested ideas are only segments of previous thinking, so then if one man is guilty, he is only bearing out the guilt of many influencing conditions that existed before his time.

 

 

Let me explain this by saying that to rob a bank or crash a Rolls- Royce was only in my mind early on, but after numerous conversations with The Financier, Florentina and Zorro, who really only wants a castle, plus the influence of my dog Faintruling, which I have not mentioned for a few pages, my thoughts began to take on real forms. It doesn’t matter whose idea it is really. Ideas are only seeds and seeds will never germinate unless they are in fertile soil. My soil is fertile and the seed took root.

 

To rob a bank is not merely an act of violence, criminal belligerency or uncontrolled greed but can be a performance of the highest art. And to smash a Rolls-Royce? Well anyone in their right mind can see the pure simplicity of a rebellious act of social outrage. To smash a brand new Rolls-Royce in broad daylight in front of 1000 young aspiring executives is no more anarchistic than Jesus turning over the tables of the merchants in the temple.

 

I can hardly say it is the same act, but similar in that it would be the act of one man against the system and not in any way to be considered an organized political maneuver of one government to topple another. It would be only the exhibition of one individual to just say, NO MORE JUNK!

 

I have at other instances thought after I crashed the Rolls Royce, to self  immolate myself inside the steaming hulk, but someone might get the wrong idea and think that a failed executive had gone mad because his Rolls-Royce was about to be repossessed or even worse, a martyr of some idiotic fanatical religious revolutionary ideology.

 

I can hardly take that chance, so instead of burning myself alive, I have decided to get out of the wreck take a lotus position on the top of the car and smoke the biggest most expensive cigar I can find. In other words, as I was saying to a friend just the other day, “One should approach the Universe with a good deal of farting, snorting and a great display of balls!”

 

In the beginning I realize the course that to acquire a Rolls-Royce wasn’t as easy as it may seem. I mean one doesn’t just walk up to a Rolls Royce Show Room and ask if you can do a test drive. Also another difficult aspect is the paranoiac suspicion of the middle classes in regarding the smashing of a brand new Rolls-Royce much the same as French aristocrats thought of losing their heads – that is, a violent anti-materialistic attack brought about by the mundane dogma of the lunatics of the left. Lost would be the pure statement of NO MORE JUNK!

 

That’s why I decided to rob the bank With Zorro. That way I could buy the Rolls-Royce instead of stealing it from the show room and at the same time get Zorro out of his financial dilemma. It is not easy to buy a castle.

 

If Zorro hadn’t persisted at Bennett’s Bar or if I had refused the Financier’s proposal to go to Ireland, I would have never made the decision next to the Blarney Stone to rob the bank. All of that has passed, the decision was made, the wheels turned to the given hour, and the deed was done that is I managed to meet several more people in the process which took me to several parts of the world that led to at least one amorous conflict. I say conflict because of course it all goes without saying; men and women at their base are enemies.

 

Zorro told me at Bennett’s Bar it would take 250,000 Pounds to get the kind of castle he wanted and to rebuild it would cost more. It would cost another 250,000 Pounds to buy the Rolls-Royce or more for damages and fines and lawyer fees. But I had no intention of going to jail for smashing the brand new Rolls Royce. Then another 250,000 Pounds to buy a publishing company to print and publish my most famous novel and another 250,000 pounds for incidental expenditures. That means the bank robbery would have to take one million Pounds. There are a lot of banks that don’t have that much money.

 

Looking back at the sequences of events I realize that is why the Financier sent me to Ireland, Transylvania, numerous trips to London, to the south of France and the last big reconnaissance all the way to Turkey, India, Japan and onto California, sifting eastward to the mountains of Colorado and only then  return to the low lands of Scotland.

 

There are so many intervening factors throughout the plot of the bank robbery I will insert at this point some of the times and places that finally created a plan of the robbery and the mad trek back to the mountains of Transylvania where the deed was to take place. It was also the time of my last amorous conflict that solidified many of my notions of man’s war with women.

 

To make it clear I will insert my notes and drawing done in the south of France.

Journal entry:

 

 Sete, France. A boat slices the flat plane of blue Mediterranean.  The sound of water washes over rocks covered by the numbness of seaweed, hiding from the cracking heat of the sun, green sludge water and sand and burned red skin on the beach where I sit. Traffic hisses and whistles by. The faded blue sky above is like women who walk the streets in working class hero’s denim, trying to be one of the squad – blue denim soldiers next to the blue sea in the faded azure sky and me hiding in the rocks of the Mediterranean on the quite beginning of a new morning.

 

I look back just a moment to the desperate escape from Scotland to run off somewhere not to look for anything unless finding nothing can be called something – for nothing is what I wanted to find, to have no tugs of pain between my ears, to deny my responsibility to earth, to sleep and find quite corners away from the ceaseless struggle for the scales of balance some interpret as justice. I’m still tottering about for the balance it takes a lifetime to find.

 

I have lost the purpose of this mission the Financier and Zorro have sent me on. I am in the middle of a ring fighting a beast, falling back on my heels in the continual struggle of man and woman. I go back to my corner with a little man in my head, the boxing trainers give advice on how to deliver the next punch, how to avoid the surprise left, how to push to the rope, how to find imbalance using my brawn, not beauty. It is a Devilish combat.

 

I think I am old but this day proves my youth by being caught in such war with woman again – an old man wouldn’t fall for such tricks – an old man wouldn’t be in this position. He would cut himself off from such amorous squabbles. But I have blundered into the arms of a woman again because I have wanted to find the Gypsy Queen. A man like me searches for such a Mythical Being believing she lives just on the other side of the crossroads. Each time I have found a woman I hoped she was the dream.

 

So it is with me now. I am traveling this country of France, the mission gone astray. I am with a woman that sometimes loves me. Sometimes ever so slightly I love her but I fear she will read these words and wonder what I am up to. Meanwhile, I am not going ahead with the bank robbery. I’ll give you a clue why. The bank robbery is only a fantasy. The Financier and Zorro don’t exist and I am not sure this is me sitting here writing this. I am beginning to suspect I have been infiltrated. I won’t say by who but I am sure you know WHO I am referring…S. M. doesn’t always mean sadomasochistic.

 

But the woman is real as any conflict that ever existed…as real as the breath I pull into my lungs and a moment later exhale. This woman is different in too many ways to detail and too many ways to repeat, but she is herself. She has great fear of being herself and tries to place her identity burden upon me. But I am too changeable to be able to contend with the direction of another.

 

She asked what I know of her. She is a searcher for new beginnings but ever curious to discover new paths, new alternatives. She is moody and melodramatic. She is not content with what she is or what she has. From moment to moment she is ever so placid as the fires of history roar and all that exists melts in the heat. She is a lover of men or maybe what the man creature is supposed to be. When she finds out that a man is just a man, she is once again disappointed and showers her scorn. She shouts her hatred of the weak when she has not found strength. She is a fragile person too aware of feelings behind looks. She is afraid things will break even if she tries to destroy them. She wants life to be imperishable when she puts it to her severe punishments. She wants a man to be beyond her own corruption. She wants a Gypsy King.

 

So a woman wants the Gypsy King and the man wants the Gypsy Queen. Will they ever find each other? It is ironic. The blind lead the blind.

 

I look at her again, at the outward things about her – the insane inside things touched briefly enough. She dresses in delicate feminine things. She likes her role as a woman, her potential as a Queen, Gypsy or not. Her body is a strong soft form that a sculptor or a painter or a writer words would find much to let his fingers and thoughts dwell on. Her beauty is not a veneer but a beauty that takes voyeurs by surprise yet takes the lover of women only a moment to recognize. I hesitate in thinking about the other side of her outside. In a split second she is grotesque losing the ability to create something I find appealing. She seems to be covered in dust as fear corrupts her beauty.

 

I am not able to tell you what she looks like, having no poetical analogies to play on. I can only describe in a clumsy way. She has a forehead to please me, and brings back memories of flamenco dancers in Barcelona. She has a nose that is long, straight, and almost feline. Her lips are very pouty, the top lip like a small baby ready to nurse, ready to be kissed. Her chin is round and graceful that angles into her elegant neck, again like a dancer from Barcelona. Her body is well-built and touchable. It continues to arouse me visually like the newness of the passing unknown female.

 

Inside of her and outside of her I find what I need, but I’m afraid I stand next to a packed suitcase full of old goodbyes, ready to say bon voyage.

 

So here she is. At this moment she gives me company. She is my comfort for a Be Here Now kind of episode. She is too cautious and I am too cautious to proclaim tomorrow we will find each other again. She adds to my fantasy of Zorro and the Financier. Where she came from I don’t know. I can say I met her somewhere but it feels more like she just appeared.

 

Suddenly I flutter for a speck of doubt. Is this woman Florentina? Is she the crazy woman that has followed me halfway around the world? Have my lines of defense been infiltrated again? I must admit for an instant the other night in Paris I had opposing conclusions. One was to go ahead and nourish her ego, give her my seed, fill her body with my saps, my energies. But then two, the old fear, the old suspicion made its grant entry. Yes, she is the Devil. That said, be aware!

 

I’m tired of the thing in me that kills what gives me shelter. I am just like this woman. Something in me destroys the comfort that is in my hands. My choice must be made. I must have the truth no matter even if it is very hard to accept. I must live out my own words. I must show my balls, farts and snorts every day. The Universe acknowledges such uncompromising will as honorable.

 

There is only this day now to give her my confidence. If she is on my side then Zorro and the Financier are only illusions that can do me no harm. If she is Florentina, then I am in a plot impossible to stop. There is only to go on to new ground. I shall give her a code name, so that no blame shall be brought to her if all fails and the Space Martians begin there extinction plan. Her name is Margarita. I hope she likes my dogs.”

 

This ends the journal entry from France.

 

I know immediately something is peculiar. Of course it was a set up. Either the Commies or the Space Martians were moving in. Margarita’s eyes are blue.

 

I made the mistake of telling her about the time Zorro was in Yugoslavia. He looked at a couple of kids and they went screaming to their Papa and Mama. Zorro asked the parents what was the matter with the kids and the Poppa said they saw the blue in his eyes and thought they were seeing the sky through holes in his head. They thought he was the Devil. Oddly enough they were right, but anyway that was how blue Margarita’s eyes are.

 

When I first planned on going to Japan I didn’t know that I would go to Paris, Istanbul and Calcutta. I also didn’t know that I would burn seven pages of my manuscript featuring Margarita. Also I didn’t know I would have no money to do all of this. I also didn’t know I would have to meet in front of the post office in St. Tropez at 11 o’clock on the morning of May 25th to divulge my information to the last Agent. Another thing I didn’t know was what kind of Agent I would meet there.

 

I must admit looking at the images on my desk in front of me, it is all too weird. After I returned from the world journey having lost my sixth book, and one image appeared from nowhere. It is an old Chinese man making some kind of plan with Florentina and the Black Messenger’s portrait is on a wall. Very odd. He is the one who told me about the Space Martian’s infiltration of the Chinese by getting them to take over the world with fast food eateries…ah yes. Don’t you see? It all makes sense now!

 

Authors note:

 

At this very point in my journal I discovered all of the pages are ripped out and there is no further account of Zorro, the Financier and Margarita who turned out to be Florentina. So I have no idea what happened or how I have one million Pounds under my desk where Doublecash and Faintruling are using it as a dog bed. I plan on completing this book after some very detailed investigation. Keep posted. But there it is, no matter where you go, there you are.

THE END