Living in such a state taTestaTesTaTe etats a hcus ni gniviL of mind in which time sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA emit hcihw ni dnim of does not pass, space STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE ecaps ,ssap ton seod does not exist, and sTATeSt oFOfOfo dna ,tsixe ton seod idea is not there. STatEst ofoFOFo .ereht ton si aedi Stuck in a place staTEsT OfOFofo ecalp a ni kcutS where movements TATeSTa foFofoF stnemevom erehw are impossible fOFoFOf elbissopmi era in all forms, UfOFofO ,smrof lla ni physical and nbEifof dna lacisyhp or mental - uNBeInO - latnem ro your mind is UNbeinG si dnim rouy focusing on a unBEING a no gnisucof lone thing, or NBeINgu ro ,gniht enol a lone nothing. bEinGUn .gnihton enol a You are numb and EiNguNB dna bmun era ouY unaware to events stneve ot erawanu taking place - not iSSUE ton - ecalp gnikat knowing how or what 5/31/98 tahw ro who gniwonk to think. You are in FORTY-SiX ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
Geez, is it May already? Not like it was that hard to tell, being in Texas and feeling the sun preparing to take vengeance on all of us who are spoiled by air conditioning. And we do have that nice little smoke wave coming in from the south, which makes smoking cigarettes look like a healthy habit. I'm waiting for gas masks and clown wigs to come back in style.
In interesting personal news, my dreamlife has been so intesne lately that I think I've already got enough material to make another article out of. The dreams all have plots, are extremely vivid, and are immensely twisted. Some people wanted me to relate one of them in this very editorial, saying that out of my many dreams it was definitely the strangest one I had ever had, and that something that bizarre should be shared with the world.
So I think you'll have to wait on that one. I guess that's a good side effect of taking anti-convulsants. It's a lot more interesting than TV, anyway.
We're still making copies of the audio issues for those of you who can't access them, and basically we've come up with the trade of an audio tape for you sending us something "strange" or "unique." If you'd like more details and/or addresses, email us and we'll be happy to set something up with you.
Other than that, I don't really know anything right now, especially as the whole day I feel like I've been on withdrawal from drugs or something even though that's not the case, so I watched a bunch of music documentaries while I put the zine together. And I also shook uncontrollably at times as well. But that's okay, because the other night when I was trying to sleep I was hallucinating the face on Mars in my closet. I'm kinda used to it now.
Before I make a compleat fool of myself, I'll shut up and let you get on with the zine. It's all good (just don't bite it) and keep those submissions coming in. Drop by #unbeing on undernet, and until next month, enjoy...
From: Beattrack To: email@example.com Subject: mailing list As I sit here, with the Wonder Years blaring in the background and Fred Savage whining about his latest plight, I'm thinking 'hmm...why the hell should I be added to the mailing list?'. Yes, lame thought, I must say so myself, but the first thing that pops into my mind is that this online mag. kicks ass. Then I think, 'no, that is really sucking up, I can't say that'. The next thought that pops into my head is that I've read every last issue, and then I realize that I don't want to tell you that for fear that I'll sound like some sort of loser with no life, so I realize that I must resort to the last really dumb reason that I can think of, which is that I just really like the mag. and I think I'm in love with Nathan, wait, I didn't just think that. So if any of these reasons are good enough, add me to the list. If they aren't, feel free to write me and tell me that I have no friends. Becky
[those are all good reasons for wanting to be added to the mailing list, to which you've been added. we don't really mind sucking up too much since we really don't get a lot of it, and i've read every issue as well, and i don't think i'm a loser, so don't be so hard on yourself. heh. woof.]
From: Tae Moon To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Subscription Dear Kilgore, Please add me to your list. Why? Because, just because. Really, I am trying to learn about postmodernism and I think I will enjoy your ezine. thank you, Tae Moon
[postmodernism, you say? sometimes we serve it on toothpicks as an afterdinner snack. enjoy! slurp.]
To: email@example.com From: Bircham Subject: deserving titles Hello, Yes, I am still alive. It's amazing what a weekend in a psychiatric hospital can do for you. All the orange jello and carrots you want for not stabbing yourself in the neck. I too, noticed I was not under the correct categorie in last month's issue. I knew the problem would be fixed, so I didn't worry. As for Crackmonkey, what makes you think I don't deserve to be a groupie for Sob? Why is it that you are? I figured, since two heads are better than one, we could really do some amazing things TOGETHER, that would show our appreciation for the writers of this zine. We could make up t-shirts with SoB on it and wear them in wet t-shirt contests. Summer is just around the corner. We could get matching tattoos or even bake together. The possibilities are endless. Let's not ruin this relationship between the only two Official Groupies of SoB, before we give it a chance to bloom and become something beautiful. Oxide de Carbone
[i think i'll let the intergroupie dialogue take off on its own accord. it seems to me to be the right thing to do, anyway. prozac.]
From: "j" To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: i wanna be a member of the Mailing List! because i am a proponent of the 'take-off-and-nuke-'em-from-orbit' theory of advancing the Cause of intelligent evolution on Earth!
[i prefer the crashing asteroid hypothesis. more time for lots of really bad drama. with nukes, you only have like 30 minutes at the most. with asteroids, you have years in which to overact and flub your lines, but it's still okay because you know you're going to die anyway. squish.]
From: Mark McHugh To: email@example.com Subject: State of unBeing Mailing List Please add me to your list! I can Be and unBe, there is no question! Plus I'm a big RAW and Vonnegut lover. I once paid $74 to my college library because, due to a night of wandering drunken in the tunnels below the college, lost a 5-novel Vonnegut collection. I woke up inside a vast darkness. Once I found some light, I was horrified to find that I had slept the night away in one of the lecture halls connected to the tunnels (Thank God for a prof forgetful or lazy who left the backdoor unlocked). Here's the kicker. I went through my pockets to make sure I hadn't been mugged and found one of those goofy and divinely mad Jack Chick comics! I wonder if I met a wandering Baptist that night? I guess I'll never know... -- Mark McHugh Omnia quia sunt, lumina sunt. E=mc2
[ahh, nothing like jack t. chick to brighten up your day, especially after losing a whole set of vonnegut novels. lake of fire, evil catholics, gays trying to contaminate the national blood supply, demonic role playing games... i could go on forever, and apparently so can jack. i'll let him keep making his little pamphlets. after all, if he stopped, i wouldn't be able to collect them anymore.]
From: "Sweater Girl" To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fan mail, assurance, etc. I was re-reading some old issues of SoB and came across an editorial you wrote (issue #29). I was a little struck: you said the real reason that the August issue was late that year was prolly because you wanted to see if anyone beyond the writers care about the zine... and while this may be obsolete, I'm following an impulse and morphing back into that caring, sensitive girl I once was and uhhh.. noting that I love the zine and read and reread the issues regularly. So, anyways, bask in the glow of fan mail and disregard any fleeting thoughts that people don't appreciate you or any of the writers <they're just spiffy too>. YEah. SweaterGirl
[well, thank you very much. i was trying to remember the last time i was a caring, sensitive girl and think that maybe -- possibly -- that would have to be in 1979. i would have been only four then, but there is a chance that during that time period i might have actually been a caring, sensitive girl for a while. if at all.]
Howler in the shadows
Session Start: Thu Apr 02 22:11:58 1998 [22:11] *** Now talking in #unbeing [22:11] *** Topic is 'State of unBeing e-zine -- and you look at it and say, 'that's no aircraft.'' [22:11] *** Set by kilgore on Thu Apr 02 21:45:23 <clock_> that's no aircraft. <kilgore> hey, clocky. <clock_> hey, freak nut. <kilgore> did you see that special? <clock_> yeppers. <kilgore> i'd seen it before. last summer. <clock_> really, the same show? <kilgore> yup. cuz i remembered all the stuff... cuz it happened like three or four months after the phoenix sights of march 13, 1997, and i was following all those shows since i didn't have a job then. <clock_> well, that's lame. <kilgore> the upn shows i don't recognize, though. <clock_> yeah, supposedly the upn show is new. <clock_> at least that is what i am told. by them. <morrigan> but of course, i will. i wouldn't want to let you down, kilgore.. ;) <morrigan> hey clock <kilgore> every time i watch springer, the violence escalates dramatically from the last show. pretty soon, it's just going to be a continous high-pitched tone and an hour of fisticuffs. <clock_> howdy. <clock_> i want them to have two minor league baseball teams on springer, all decked out with bats and cleats... <kilgore> that mexican guy is gonna be on the upn stuff, i think. one of the mexican universities even has a ufology department. <clock_> that would be fun. <kilgore> i always like that shot out of the space shuttle window of the "ice particles" dodging that streaking flash... that one really impresses me for some reason. <clock_> i keep hearing about some recent ufo sighting in mexico... art bell mentions it all the time. i don't have any clue what it is, tho. yes. i really enjoy that one also. good stuff. <kilgore> um, i'm not sure if they're the old ones from 1995-96 or newer. mexico has been getting a bunch of stuff flying around, and they publicize the hell out of it. ithink it might be smog monsters, tho.;) <kilgore> i would also suggest digging around ftp.rutgers.edu /pub/ufo for a TON of textfiles. <clock_> alien dust bunnies. <kilgore> i thought i saw a tooth fly across the screen in that last interchange. <clock_> a tooth? [22:20] *** LeighDe (LeighDe@152.orlando-06.fl.dial-access.att.net) has joined #unbeing <kilgore> i don't think it was, but it would have been cool. "i'm angry at the bitch cuz the bitch is angry at me!" <LeighDe> hi <kilgore> hello [22:20] *** kilgore sets mode: +o clock_ <clock_> hello... <clock_> tank you master sir. <LeighDe> hi <morrigan> hello. <LeighDe> i was confused about channel name; am glad to see my perception was wrong <clock_> what was your perception? <LeighDe> was worried about suicide is all <clock_> worried that we would all be suicidal? <LeighDe> if that makes me sick i will leave channel; i m sorry <clock_> no. that doesn't make you sick. and if you are sick, hey, that's fine. we have no problem with that. <LeighDe> no clock;' on other occasions only saw one nick here; thought was call for help; i was wrong <kilgore> and do you, leighde, read our little zine? or are you just browsing channels? <LeighDe> kilgore, neither, long story <kilgore> rutgers has a pretty big archive that runs up to files like 1996... i like it a lot. <kilgore> there's even a database of sightings that you can download, i think... never played with it too much, tho... <LeighDe> im only lovesick but i care about pe0ople <clock_> up to 1996? does that include 1996 and after...or everything before 1996? <clock_> it's a damn good thing to care about people... unfortunately not everyone does. Session Close: Thu Apr 02 22:28:57 1998 Session Start: Thu Apr 02 22:33:45 1998 [22:33] *** Now talking in #unbeing [22:33] *** Topic is 'State of unBeing e-zine -- and you look at it and say, 'that's no aircraft.'' [22:33] *** Set by kilgore on Thu Apr 02 21:45:24 <clock_> aha. <clock_> where'd everybody go? [22:34] *** kilgore sets mode: +o clock_ <kilgore> everybody keeps leaving me. mommy. <kilgore> leighde left. you left. morrigan left. morrigan came back, confused. she left again. you came on. [22:34] *** clock_ changes topic to 'State of unBeing e-zine -- we're one of those internally lit blimps. really.' [22:34] *** morrigan_ (email@example.com) has joined #unbeing <morrigan_> well then. [22:34] *** morrigan_ is now known as morrigan <clock_> wacky. [22:35] *** clock_ sets mode: +o morrigan <clock_> so what was up with leihde? <clock_> or leighde <kilgore> um, i just went to the rutgers site, and the latest files looked to be from late 95... <kilgore> she said she was being a bummer and left. <clock_> man. she was depressed. <clock_> late 95...hmm. well. hmm. <kilgore> and we were being extra nice. no talk of rubber suits and gas mask sex or anything like that radley guy when he came in last night. <morrigan> seriously. <clock_> did she get scared? <morrigan> yes. poor gal. <morrigan> heh. <clock_> oh yes. that should happen sometime. i feel bad about leighde. she needs some zucchini. <morrigan> sounds like an excellent plan... <kilgore> um, he was pretty quiet, and he left. he was from my provider. which is probably why he came in, to see if he knew me. <clock_> did you hit on him? <clock_> ha. Dr. Douglas Richards is on art bell fri night...talking about atlantis ruins. Session Close: Thu Apr 02 22:50:00 1998 Session Start: Wed Apr 08 23:50:18 1998 [23:50] *** Now talking in #unbeing [23:50] *** morrigan sets mode: +o clock_ <morrigan> hey there... <clock_> hello...how's life? <morrigan> good enough... <clock_> that's good. <morrigan> how's yours? <clock_> not bad, i guess. i'm not starving. not missing any limbs. have 6 senses. so, all is well. <morrigan> heh <clock_> do you ever leave here? <morrigan> occaisionally.... ;) [0:26] *** Alcibiadz (st3h9@Bayou.UH.EDU) has joined #unbeing [0:26] *** morrigan sets mode: +o Alcibiadz <clock_> hey, you. where have you been? <Alcibiadz> what's new? <Alcibiadz> here and there <clock_> oh, nothin much at all. <Alcibiadz> what's the url for the new mars face pic? <clock_> uhmm...hold on. <clock_> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/marsnews/mgs/cydonia/ <Alcibiadz> thanks, brb. [0:31] *** Alcibiadz has quit IRC (Leaving) <clock_> sure... [0:33] *** kilgore (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #unbeing [0:33] *** clock_ sets mode: +o kilgore <kilgore> i am not dead. <clock_> hey, i know you. <morrigan> hey... [0:34] *** kilgore changes topic to 'State of unBeing e-zine -- hey, i know you. you're <nick>!' <kilgore> jeez... you know, if people don't stick a topic up before i come in, you have to put up with my crappy ones. <clock_> i've just been distracted...warez boy. <kilgore> um, i just saw a release date for eyes wide shut... tentative december 18, 98 <clock_> ok. neato. <clock_> probably have some wacky competition. <kilgore> kubrick shall rule in my little world. <clock_> mine, also. <kilgore> "i saw a guy doctoring ufo photos. he admitted it to me." ;) <clock_> oh, sure, mr ftp. lock up. that's great. <kilgore> mike myers will be bringing "sprockets" to the big screen. would YOU like to pet my monkey? <clock_> uhhh...no. [0:40] *** ansat (email@example.com) has joined #unbeing [0:40] *** clock_ sets mode: +o ansat <kilgore> did he say hancock was coming on tomorrow or today? <clock_> today. <kilgore> hiya, ansat. <clock_> hey, babe. <ansat> hi <morrigan> hey ansat.... <kilgore> what time? 1? <clock_> i think so...not sure. <kilgore> take a walk on the wild side. <kilgore> cool. ansat, graham hancock will be on artie tonitie. <ansat> hi clock, hi morrigan... <ansat> how's that Hancock book you two were reading? <clock_> haven't started it yet, actually. <kilgore> i read it last summer. <ansat> is it good? <clock_> how come there isn't a #christianwarez <ansat> i read his The Sign and the Seal years ago, and liked it.... <kilgore> um, how come there isn't a #satanistwarez? [0:46] *** clock_ changes topic to 'State of unBeing e-zine -- our offices are under the left paw of the Sphinx.' <kilgore> heh. * ansat is the left paw of the sphinx * kilgore is the right paw of the sphinx <kilgore> wonder twin egyptian powers, activate! * kilgore says, "form of a purple pteradactyl!" <ansat> go go gadget dead civilisation.... * clock_ is the apparently very large ass of the sphinx, and isn't sure he is happy about it. <kilgore> i never understood why the other person always had to change into something made of water. WTF? "form of an ice cube!?" oooh, superpowers my ass. <kilgore> superpowers of the very large ass of the sphinx, rather. <kilgore> wow. wendy o. williams killed herself. <ansat> who? <clock_> whos dat?> <kilgore> lead singer of the punk group Plasmatics. they used to blow up equipment and chainsaw guitars. <ansat> Sonny Bobo's wife was running for senator today, right? anyone know if she won? <kilgore> she was always mentioned in a cDc textfile where the guy went to hell and had to try and fuck WoW to put out his flamin' cock o fire. <ansat> looks like something's happening in DC..... <kilgore> so, i guess people are more upset about tammy wynette's death than wendy o. williams. <kilgore> riots? please say riots. <clock_> what's happening in dc? <ansat> nothing that important. ;) Session Close: Thu Apr 09 00:55:42 1998
Last night I went out to see Kilgore and I Wish My Name Were Nathan and Clockwork and Styx and all those down in Austin, with the idea of going out for a drink afterward. I had barely gotten out of the subdivision when I had an odd experience. I was driving along, and a bird flew at the windshield. It hit and bounced over the car. I was very shaken, and told I Wish My Name Were Nathan and Kilgore it was a very bad omen, but didn't think much of it.
I hit the bookstores and picked up three new books -- well, one new and two used -- and got to Austin. We did crossword puzzles, rapped about psychiatric medication, and I had a couple of beers. We went to three different coffee shops, and I even ran in to Dancing Messiah for the first time in a long time. About three I headed home. I hadn't been able to sleep the night before, and wanted to get to bed.
Apparently, I fell asleep behind the wheel. I was stupid. I should have known I was too tired. I should have taken myself off the road. But I thought I could make it. When Dad and I tried to reconstruct the accident as the sun came up, we decided one wheel left the road, and then the second, and I found myself in a ditch, and hit a barrier to keep things out of the tunnels that run under roads. We guess that was when I lost my front tires.
Tire marks exist on the first bar. That was probably from my front tires exploding. Tire marks exist on the second bar. That was probably from the back tires, though only one of them blew, and it isn't clear when. There are at least four more bars, but the tire tracks don't begin again until the dirt next to the perpendicular road. Apparently, I flew some several feet.
I remember heading toward this barrier. I think I remember thinking I needed to get over it to get back on the road. I know I was very disoriented. Next thing I remember was sitting in a car that wasn't moving. Turns out I was in the turning lane of the perpendicular road. My horn was in my lap, my rear view mirror was on my floor, and I was very concerned. My car would start -- all the electronics made it through fine -- but it would not move, and when I started it I heard the sound of a chain being dragged under the car. The police told me that was because there was by that point no more oil in my car.
I first tried to push it, but it wasn't going anywhere. I got back in the car. Of course, as soon as I realized I was stopped I had turned it off, put on the emergency blinkers, and slapped it in park. I tried to put it in neutral, but that wasn't moving, either. When the sun came up we could see the tires had been wedged against the backs of the tire wells. The axles were about eighteen inches further back than they should have been.
When I realized I wasn't moving anywhere, I circled the car to see what was up. When I saw a black liquid draining from my car, I came to suspect I should have done that before trying to start it again, and got very worried. That was when I called home. After I had told my mother, and she said she would call my father to find out what wrecker to talk to, I hung up, walked away from the car, had a cigarette, sat on a fire hydrant and wept.
Not long after, the cop showed up. We chatted, and I gave him my driver's licence and insurance, and he filled out a report. I dipped my finger into the liquid and saw it was oil, and he talked to Dad on the phone.
In a way, I think it might have been easier if Dad had stayed angry, if he had hit me or something. He was very relieved I walked away, apparently utterly unharmed. He is upset about the car, of course. I don't know that we can possibly afford to repair or replace it, and I feel particularly bad the family will have to suffer from this -- I was not the only one who used that car. But he took care of the wrecker and waited with me for hours while it got taken care of. And I went home and crashed.
I am still processing all this. I tried to talk him into canceling my tuition for the next semester so we could free up more money and possibly get the car taken care of. He stuck with education is more important, though, and that didn't go anywhere. There is, as yet, no closure, and I remain a little shaken up when I let myself think about it. But it is over now, and I walked away, so it was a good accident -- the first one that was my fault. And life goes on.
Before going to sleep tonight I shall finish the last review of The Double Helix in the Norton edition, and then will -- with the exception of the second half of The Origin of Species, which I kind of blew off -- have read everything assigned for my History of Science course. Indeed, slightly more, since the only section I haven't read yet in The Double Helix is the final section with the technical papers.
Having already read about a dozen reviews, I have come to think most people do not write their memoirs out of fear people will read them, whereas I don't write mine because I'm afraid no one will.
Morrigan is working on her thesis tonight, needing a rough draft by the morning. I took the opportunity to play around a little more with my Nigeria paper. I am now dissatisfied with my thesis. The two generation thing seemed very good when I began, but now it seems a bit more complicated, as if there were two distinct portions within what I had been calling the First Generation, and I have begun reworking the paper to indicate this change of mind. I don't have much time left to flounder, though; I give my presentation on Friday.
I have been thinking again about happiness. Not much; just for a few minutes. I have been thinking again that I simply have nothing to put with the word "happiness." It doesn't mean any more to me than "red" to someone born blind. It is a word, and I have some vague idea what it is not, but what it is -- or specifically what it would be to me -- I have simply no idea. That is very interesting. It seems people take for granted that people know what "happiness" means, but if they take it for granted it leads me to suspect there are others who don't have a meaning for "happiness," but use the word sloppily, without a definition. It is intriguing to wonder how many people believe they are happy, but only because they never stopped to wonder what they meant by the word, or think they are unhappy merely because they never came up with a content for the word, and hence could not achieve it.
I have also been thinking about how my psychology puts me through class. Here is an example, taken more or less from my Medieval India class. I may come in to a class, and be utterly bored, because that is virtually always how I am in lectures. Usually, I will look around the class in the hopes of finding someone attractive to look at and take my mind off the lecture. In my Medieval India class, there is a very attractive Indian girl who sits in a position that I can watch her without seeming like I am watching her, but not very easily.
Anyway, this will make class bearable for a while, and I will steal glances or sit staring, depending on how aware I am of myself at the time. Occasionally, and this happened with her, the girl will catch my eye. She seemed to smile, and most, I suppose, would take this as a good sign. I did not. To me, it doesn't matter at all how the girl reacts. Remember: I live in my head, not the heads of those around me. The minute her eye catches mine, I think: See, this is a person you have made an object out of. I become increasingly convinced that I am a bad person, not because this person is offended or not, and not because this person is harmed or not. Offending people doesn't bother me, and I don't imagine people are hurt by being the object of my lectured amusement. I increase my self-hatred merely because it is wrong, and I know it is wrong, and I do it anyway. I have internalized all my life that people are people, and it is wrong to objectify them, and if others do not understand why I hate myself for this, that does not bother me. I know why, and I know it is so, and it makes me hate myself.
Doesn't do wonders for my social life, either.
Anyway, I had a dream last night. It was very lengthy, involved no small amount of driving, and was set in a composite of Austin, New York, and Washington, D.C. (Well, an imagined Washington, D.C. It has been so long since I was there I have no reason to believe it bore any resemblance to the geographic one.) I am not sure exactly what was going on. I remember I was working with M.C. in New York, and I remember something about attending Congress to hear about the War on Drugs. I think I remember either that I was endangered by or befriended of Senators Foley and Ferraro. (I know Foley is no longer Senator, and I don't even know if Ferraro was one.) Whether it was from them or from another person, I know I was advised that if I ever got into trouble to let this person know, and they would send people to take care of me. I dimly recall being in a grocery store at one point, and being in M.C.'s office at another, and driving the highways of this composite city during many, always at night.
Now, I suppose I'll power down, finish reading, and head to bed. More, perhaps, tomorrow.
Whatever did they do before they had the net and could watch Indian music videos in the middle of the night? I've been sitting up learning about Indian pop music again, and believe it or not found some Indian music videos. I tend to think India could be an excellent setting for cyberpunk stories with a bit of a change.
I should be reading Richard II. I meant to have it done today, but instead I have only read a little more than half. Oh well, the Lord will provide. I finished my Nigeria paper today, more because I was sick of having it hanging over my head than anything else. But it is done.
One thing I have been thinking about today is the accident. It occurs to me that, although the little I had to drink is not enough to generally impair me, it is enough to loosen me up, especially as I was hanging out with friends. It further occurs to me that when I get loosened up I tend to act out and totally lose the memory of it, indicating to me that alcohol is capable of triggering a dissociative state in me, and that this dissociative state tends to be self-destructive.
It occurs to me that perhaps my accident was no accident at all, but was rather my shadow or subconscious or other personality or whatever term one's psychology uses, attempting to commit suicide. When we looked into the ditch we could see that I was driving the whole time. When I went into the ditch we could see that the wheels were inline, and so I was driving straight, but then there comes a point where I turned, going toward the barricade that blew out my tires. I remember coming to at one point, and while I thought this was waking up, it is entirely possible it was switching between personalities.
If this theory be true, it is rather disturbing, not so much because I didn't know I want to die, but because it shows that if it is given enough capacity, it will follow through and not just act out. The fact that previously I did my acting out in secure locations led me to believe that however destructive it might appear, it was all a release mechanism and basically harmless, especially as it was confined to safe places. If this was a suicide attempt, however, I cannot be this complacent.
I might actually have to think whether I want to die or not, lest I wake up and find I have killed myself.
A. called tonight, just to say she was glad I wasn't dead. She was on her way to bed, and almost literally wanted only to say that much.
Then I spoke briefly with Morrigan online. Not about much; about the same as usual. She, too, was on her way to bed.
Which is where I should be.
I had a dream earlier. I don't remember much about it. I remember I was at someone's house, and it was night. For some reason it was time to go, but I think I was a little disoriented and didn't know where I was going. In any case, on my way out I realized that my shoes, socks, and underwear were off and I had to put them back on before leaving. I was otherwise fully clothed, and was standing on the porch or something with these items, and trying to figure out when I had taken them off. Anyway, I am off now to bathe and bed.
Here's a mind game for you, a veritable thought experiment. Assume you have a young man, hypothetical I assure you. Now this fellow either started out with a fear of failure and developed a perfectionist personality type, or perhaps he began as a perfectionist and went on to develop a fear of failure. As you will, so long as he evidences both. In most things this is easy: Nothing ventured, nothing lost. In some things, however, one must make a choice.
One of these things is morality. On one level, this is an easy one. One sets up insanely high moral standards, such that one is utterly incapable of being good. This ensures success at failure, in that as no one could ever be morally perfect, he is ensured not to manage it. One may see here there is no hypocrisy in my morality. I do set up insanely high moral values, and I do hold myself to them. I do not pretend I succeed at them, and I do not put myself above others. Indeed, I tend to be harder on myself than on others. Some people feel intimidated or -- which is hilarious -- guilty because I have these standards and they do not, and their defensive mechanism is to lash out at me, or to try to impeach my moral fiber. This does not work, though. I consider myself a miserable sinner, too; I do not have a separate set of moral standards for myself.
But then this hypothetical young man continues to think. Ought he to try to be bad, or ought he to try to be good. One must choose. Knowing one cannot be good, it is tempting to be immoral. This also fits in to the program of setting standards one cannot achieve. However, it occurs to one that one can also fail at being evil, especially if one tries to get across to people that one is not good. Then, these people may come to have expectations of the not-goodness of one, and one may fail to meet these expectations, and then one has failed again. One cannot succeed at meeting people's expectations of goodness, which is fine for someone who considers himself worthy of being despised and hated. But one may not be able to meet others standards of badness, and so not achieve their hatred. And hence have failed at one's goal.
Ideally, I know, one should have no dreams or hopes or expectations. One cannot fail to meet expectations if one makes no expectations. However, I feel compelled.
It appears I fail if I try to be moral, and I fail if I try to be immoral. I seem to have a better bet if I remain moderately immoral, as I have, and I suppose as much as it may bore or guilt me to do so, I will stick to it. But I will also continue to think and try to find a way out.
"The poets? They stink. They write badly. They're idiots you see, because the strong people don't write poetry.... They become hitmen for the Mafia. The good people do the serious jobs."
Clouds of dust
look like rain
from my window
as they sail by
lightly kissing the
Answers cease to exist
on the Dead Spawn Highway.
Curdling bloody fiction,
ain't here, by the way.
A long tailed excuse
for years of abuse
and still we submit
to the crack of the whip.
Mighty is the head
that splits down the middle,
Ida and Pingala,
elevate and settle.
Cold frozen lake
dusted with white,
reflecting off the moon-
Love is a dismal malady of the soul.
In it I am a helpless infant locked
onto mother's breast-
Only, there's one problem,
Mama is sick and dying,
AIDS, Cancer, Heart Disease,
you name it, she's got it.
And when she dies,
Ill suck my thumb,
but my thumb has no milk,
No holy nectar.
Now I'm a self effective vampire,
that is, until I find a surrogate
My cradle rocks from anxiety,
My mouth waters with bile,
I laugh at myself,
just as the Gods, I'm sure, do.
Certainty in Gods,
Gods who have no meaning,
just as we the people
live meaningless lives.
If there was ever a more powerful
indication of divinity,
it surely was a deranged shard of
"Multiply, divide, add, subtract and understand..."
Earth, I ask you one favor:
Please facilitate communication.
America, I have one thing to say to you:
Go fuck yourself, whore!
And he sank deeper into the trance of
an infinitesimal diamond fragment in
a crystal ocean,
centerless, without position,
and he spake, making all spirits,
of the firmament,
on dry land,
in the air,
in the sea,
and in the burning fires,
subject unto themselves.
Freedom for the elements.
No longer do you have to
accept the commands
and be subordinate unto
The sun beats down.
The man wipes his brow
steps in front of
I. JOHN SHADE RECEIVED A CHALLENGE...
The letter was abrupt and to the point. It began:
My dear Mr. Shade:
This is the fourth short story that you have sent us. While we enjoy your style, while we would be ecstatic to print one of your pieces, we are wondering if you can write anything without filling the pages with sex and violence. Everything you write depends for its effectiveness upon fucking, decapitation, mutilation, more fucking, occasional prostitution and still--yes--more fucking. If you write to us again, please, let it be something truly redeeming; let it speak wonders of the human spirit; let it avoid the dreadful darkness which you seem to believe influences every facet of our lives. In short, Mr. Shade, no more fucking around.
Thomas Traherne XXIII, Editor, "The Pedant"
Wounded almost beyond words, the sixty-four year old John Shade decided that it was indeed time to turn from a career of writing dark fiction that glamorized werewolves, prostitutes, and college professors and put his mind to writing something "redeeming," something that did not literally ooze with those staples of American life, SEX AND ViOLENCE.
Desperately, Shade scanned the bookshelves of his perpetually dark study. He could just make out the names. Koontz. King. DelLillo. Leonard. Koontz. Saunders. Pynchon. Leonard. Koontz. Tarantino. Leonard. Shakespeare. Parker. Ellis. Koontz. Dickens.
Unbelieving, Shade scanned the titles again. What's this shit? he asked himself. He stopped, reached, and pulled down the worn copy of "The Plays of William Shakespeare." He had no recollection of wasting even one hour reading "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "Othello," or "Lear." Even now, he had no desire whatsoever to read anything by the shoemaker's son. Yet, curious, Shade opened the old volume at random and came upon the following passage, which inspired the narrative that follows:
...Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for a time doth change his nature. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus.... ("Merchant of Venice," V, i)
II. SHADE'S STORY OF REDEMPTiON (as told by CD)
It was evening. A kaleidoscope of blue, red, pink and yellow spread across the southern Nevada sky as the sun sank behind the huge purple mountains to our west. A desert breeze blew in from the south, cooling the desert valley and the City of Lights. It had been a hellishly hot day in late May.
In the satanic semi-darkness between the Strip and Glitter Gulch, we sat around a table at Barney's. Named after the cartoon character, Barney's was an outdoor restaurant encased by flashing purple neon and overlooking Las Vegas from the thirty-second story of the Babylon Hotel. A monument of old Vegas, the Babylon was a pink crumbling concrete structure that sat on Las Vegas Boulevard. Show-Girl Video and Adult Book Store was right next door, and across the street stood Adult Peek-O-Rama. Two streets to our west were Las Vegas' famous nude bars.
We felt right at home at Barney's. The only other customers looked like refugees from concentration camps, drifters without destination, worshipers at a Black Mass. On the roof of the Babylon, five floors up, stood the oldest roller-coaster in Nevada. Pulsating red neon tubing ran parallel to and beneath the track; from a distance, the tubing resembled a line of fire. The huge blazing blue neon sign towering over the ride read "Last Ride to Hell." In years past, the four of us always had capped off a day of hustling money with a roller-coaster ride. But this night we had nothing to celebrate. We were flat broke and couldn't even afford another night in a cheap dump in Northtown.
Before I tell you the strange and stirring story about how we edged our way out of this tight spot, allow me to introduce the four of us.
My name is Seedy Pete, short for Charles Dickens (CD) Petrovich. I picked up the nick name at the state university where, encouraged by my father (a Lutheran pastor), I'd gone to study English literature. Uninspired by academics, I'd spent most of my time in the darkened, dirty, smoke-filled pool halls, hustling anyone worth a quarter. Once, in desperation, I hustled one of the college's administrators and took every cent. At the end of my sixth year, when I gave up on my degree, I had spent so much time in the poolroom that I resembled a vampire: pasty pale skin, long dark hair swept back, bloodless lips. I felt dirty all the time: my skin, my heart, my soul. It took me six months to get used to the sun while working highway construction outside Bleak, Nevada. I'd worked highway construction throughout the West ever since. I still felt dirty inside.
Sitting across from me was Pick, a two-hundred forty pound ex-professional football player with animal tattoos on almost every inch of his body. The only exception, of course, was the pentagram on his neck. Pick's real name was James Jordan Picassio. We had given him the nickname in high school in Mountain Home, Idaho. Picture this: the four of us would be hanging out at Frosty's Drive-In talking to some beautiful Boise girls, who'd driven over for a football game, when Pick would start on his nose. One by one, the girls would excuse themselves to go inside the drive-in or back to their car, and the four of us were left standing, waiting for the next car-load of chicks.
While his parents had trained him in ballet, Pick turned to college football and later went to the NFL. His three years in the pros were cut short by Saints line-backer Buddy "Midnight" Grim, who'd hated Pick since they'd played together in college and Pick had cut the toes off Buddy's cleats just before the biggest game of the season. On national TV, Buddy had put a vicious tackle on Pick, snapping his leg. Pick then turned to pro wrestling, took the ring name "The Duster", and after too many pile-drivers and thunder-drops became prone to black-outs. Presently, he sold vacuum cleaners in Weiser, Idaho. Discouraged like the rest of us with the day's earnings, Pick rested his head in his left hand, elbow on the table, while with his right hand he managed a fork to pick at his apple pie.
Sitting to my right was Bennie the Snitch, or George Bernard Scheisterwitz. Dressed in a black jacket, red shirt, black pants and wrap-around sun glasses, long and black greasy hair swept back, Snitch sat erect, staring straight forward, saying nothing, possibly dozing. On a good day, Snitch looked like the devil, so people generally steered a path around him; on a bad day, hung over or strung out, he looked like shit. Snitch is like a statue, unfeeling, uncaring. He wouldn't offer a helping hand if his brother were drowning in quicksand two feet in front of him.
Life had been a kick in the ass for Snitch, a high school English teacher until seven years ago, when he got involved in a series of fraudulent mob-related Arizona land deals. Suckered by the feds, he spilled his guts in court. A number of his associates went to prison, among them his brother-in-law. Friends in the business had threatened to kill him. Once he'd been tracked to a small cafe in the California desert, where some goon twice his size had beaten him half to death, thrown him in a lake, and left him for dead. Snitch had learned not to care and needed his rest.
On my left was Evelyn. Sweet, sweet Evelyn. His real name was William Handel Waugh. We had ridiculed Evelyn mercilessly in junior high and high school for taking speech and drama instead of PE, for rarely dating girls, for being a virgin, for combing his hair differently, and for going out for orchestra instead of sports. When we were juniors in high school, Snitch, Pick and I had stripped Evelyn bare and thrown him into the girls' locker room. We were amused at ourselves until Snitch found him sobbing silent and alone in one of the drive-ins near the school, talking suicide.
Through high school Evelyn had been a whiz at the violin; he had won several local and state contests and was eventually given a full-ride to an Ivy League College. After his mom died of cancer, Evelyn quit college, briefly dabbled in Satanism, and moved to Mt. Hood, Oregon, where he managed a music store. In his spare time, he played for the Portland Philharmonic. Now at Barney's with the rest of us, Evelyn was furiously wolfing his third piece of bright red cherry pie.
III. SHADE PAUSED....
Shade brought his fist crashing onto the table. Hell's bells, was there no escaping it? What is "satanic semi-darkness?" And the notion that someone would have a pentagram tattooed on his neck...? Struggling to write something noble, something uplifting, he had already created two characters spawned by Satan himself; one character was a tattooed moron; the other was probably gay and had likely given his soul to the devil.
Am I, Shade asked himself (emptying the fifth of Kentucky Bourbon with which he had begun his writing this evening) an evil man? Is my mind a dwelling place for darkness, devils, and demons? Shade heard the answer to his questions loudly, clearly, as if spoken by The Good Lord Himself: "Yes, John Shade, you are an evil man." Grateful for any answer, Shade proceeded.
IV. CD CONTINUES...
"Well, fellas," I began, snapping my fingers at the balding, effeminate waiter for some more coffee, "what the fuck we gonna do? I mean, the way I see it, we're fucked. Totally."
Fifteen years ago, four years after high school, I had come up with the idea of our meeting yearly in Vegas to test our luck. We'd made a game of it: every year, we'd meet in Vegas in May and have to earn money off the streets to pay for our night life. We'd mimed, sung, danced, begged, stolen, even prostituted ourselves -- anything for money. For the past three days, nothing had worked. I'd spent three days holding a "Will work for food and prayer" sign on the Flamingo off-ramp. We were broke.
For ten minutes, no one said anything. Snitch stared at the back of his shades, Evelyn drank his coffee, and Pick scratched his nose. We watched the sunset, and wished we were somewhere else -- Bombay, Tokyo, or Omaha -- anywhere but here. The balding mustached waiter came prancing over, gave me an encouraging wink, and refilled our coffee.
Pick suggested that we considered stealing from retired people, arguing that the elderly welcomed anyone who offered them money. We'd claim to have some free cash, get invited over, and convince them to turn their life savings over to us. Snitch told Pick to shut the fuck up and said he didn't want to spend the next ten years in the pen.
We sat in a somber sepulchral silence, which was finally broken by Evelyn. "I have an idea," he began quietly, delicately. "A rather good idea, yes, one perhaps that would allow us to recap our expense and maybe even go home with a little extra cash."
We all looked at Evelyn. Evelyn rarely came up with a suggestion, but when he did things happened.
"Let's hear it," I said.
"All right, I do have a very good idea. I could play my violin. On the corner. In that park next to the Mirage. We'd make money. Easy."
None of us had ever heard Evelyn play the violin, not even in high school. It had been beneath us. Pick, Snitch, and I looked at each other for a moment. Snitch shrugged his shoulders; Pick rubbed his nose; I nodded.
Evelyn continued. "I have it in our car, my violin that is, in the parking garage next to the Babylon." We had rented one car for the four of us.
"You brought your fuckin' violin?" I asked, puzzled.
"In the trunk. Just left it there."
It took us a minute to respond. Carrying around a Stradivarius was like going into a nude bar with $10,000 stuffed in your shirt pocket.
"What ya got in mind, kid?" Snitch asked, taking a loud sip of coffee.
What Evelyn had in mind was playing the violin for the tourists of this fair city. It was a cool beautiful evening, one with a slight breeze, a perfect night for an outpouring of tourists onto the sidewalks and streets. No one had a better idea. Besides, most tourists in this town were loaded with money and alcohol.
We returned to our rental, a battered red and black '82 Oldsmobile. Burn marks indicated that the back seat had been set on fire at least twice, we figured. The radio and air didn't work, and the interior stank of cigarettes and stale fast food.
Evelyn took the keys from me, opened the trunk, and took out an oversized violin case. Without saying a word, Evelyn took off on a fast walk, almost running, headed we knew for a small park that stood right in the middle of the Strip.
When we arrived at the park forty minutes later Evelyn removed his red and black felt stove-pipe hat and placed it in front of him on the grass that just came up to the sidewalk. The two elderly couples sitting on the two benches eyed us with suspicion.
After Evelyn adjusted his violin, he began with two Rumanian folk dances by Bartok. These were pieces my father used to play on his violin. Amused, then stirred by the dances' lively rhythm, I watched Evelyn's fingers dance on the strings, and during the second piece, half in jest, Pick and Snitch linked arms and danced in a circle. At one point, three old ladies stopped, stared, shook their heads, and walked on. Another time, a man with his dog on a leash walked by, the dog smelling Evelyn's hat as if he were considering pissing on it. A group of drunk high school girls came by, stopped, clapped along, and then put some money in the hat. When Evelyn finished, we had accumulated a grand total of $2.43.
"Uh, that's fuckin' great, man," said Pick, placing one finger on the side of his nose, blowing suddenly, and clearing his head of snot. "Let's go."
Snitch followed with, "Hey, Maestro, got another jewel of the night?" Then he added, "Let's get outta here."
But I wanted to give Evelyn a chance. I had enjoyed the Bartok, whom I remembered from my youth. So, the leader of the group, I said, "No, I got a hunch. We're gonna stay. What's next, Evelyn?"
Encouraged, Evelyn moved onto his next selection -- a solo piece by Mendelssohn, he later told me. This time, some people actually stopped long enough to listen as Evelyn played, running his fingers dexterously on the strings, his music piercing the night, briefly drowning out the sounds of cars passing on the strip, temporarily stripping us of anxiety.
As Evelyn played, memories -- images -- that I had pushed into the far corners of my mind began to emerge. I remembered trout fishing in a Montana stream with my father, mother, and brother. The memory was as vivid as a photograph. I was twelve, the year before mom died of cancer. In the memory, huge torrents of glacial water pounded down the mountain side, the water exploding on rocks and boulders; I smelled the icy mountain freshness of the pristine stream, saw my mother and my little brother Davie throwing their lines upstream. It would be the first fish my brother Davie had ever caught.
When I opened my eyes, I didn't feel as dirty anymore. I felt like a child in spring time. And I noticed that a crowd of around one hundred people had gathered around the sidewalk and in the grass.
Evelyn's performance had been nearly perfect, and after he ended this second piece we counted up something like $49.53 cents. This was some success. I looked at Pick and Snitch, telling them with my expression that I wanted to stay. I placed my hat, an old gray bowler, next to Evelyn's hat.
It had been many, many years since I had heard Paganini, known as "the devil priest." I still can't remember the name of the piece. Occasionally, before Mom died of cancer in the winter of '63, Dad had played this particular work by Paganini while he and mom had just sat in the dimly lit living room of an evening and listened, sitting together, sometimes holding hands on the couch. Even at the time, I had found this music exhilarating. However, I didn't realize that Evelyn had chosen a composer that most concert masters avoid. Paganini is the impossible standard against which all violinists measure themselves.
Just as Evelyn began, I looked at Pick; his eyes were closed. Snitch had removed his sunglasses. His eyes were still the deep blue I remembered from high school. Well over a hundred people milled about, drawn by the classical musician in an environment dedicated to spectacular shows, spectacular people, spectacular sex.
Evelyn began softy, gradually, sending clear, crisp notes into the night air. Building in intensity, he made a couple of runs, his dexterous fingers dancing up and down the neck of the violin, making the strings do what he commanded.
The crowd had increased to nearly two hundred. Some were sitting on the grass and sidewalks.
The music built, faster and faster, moving to crescendo after crescendo, rending the night sky, Evelyn throwing out more notes and harmony than I had thought possible from a violin. Its music seemed to hang magically suspended in the gloriously cool spring night, like the moon and stars overhead, and became one with the breeze. Evelyn played furiously, like one possessed, and I suddenly saw who this musician was.
It was probably the most incredible experience of my life. Like Christ feeding the five thousand. Like the parting of the Red Sea. Like witnessing the exorcism of the demoniac of the Gadarenes. Deeply moved, as the notes swam around me, I saw Mom asleep in her coffin, face white and expressionless, and wondered how this could be the woman who had given me birth. Dad stood next to me, a weakened, trembling man fighting tears. He held Davie by the hand; Davie was sobbing uncontrollably, and it was then that I, hating my mother and father and God for this death, had bolted from the church.
Still locked in my memory, still studying my mother's body, I let Bill's music empower me and looked at my mother. Kneeling to kiss my mother on the cheek and bid her goodbye, I felt a warm wind wrap itself around me and felt transported beyond myself. Now, as my father had done, I fought back tears.
V. JOHN SHADE ANGRiLY REFLECTED....
"...fought back tears." Where, Shade asked himself, is this shit coming from? Have I fucking flipped my lid? It was at this point that Shade angrily stood, pushed his chair to the side and, grabbing the great oaken cane that he had hung to the back of the chair, made his way to the liquor cabinet, where he kept another fifth of Kentucky Bourbon. If he had been a younger man, Shade would likely have smashed something. He hated Thomas Traherne XXIII. He hated himself for having given in to the pedantic editor's demands.
Shade opened the cabinet, took out the bottle, and if he could have he would have drained it. After three giant gulps, Shade staggered back to his chair, bottle in hand, and continued the narrative:
VI. CD's NARRATiVE CONTiNUES....
This was the "music of the spheres." I recalled that years ago I had actually sat through a college course in Renaissance Literature in which the professor had explained the music of the spheres, that divine harmony resulting from the perfect ordering, the perfect movement of the angels, planets, and stars around the Creator. According to the literature of the period, one could attune to this divine harmony only in a moment of perfect romantic love.
The violin music, intense, powerful, rich, reached the heights and the depths and seemed to fill the city. Looking around me, I saw my friends, the spectators, the buildings and the neon lights of this darkened place temporarily transformed into, what can I say, a vision of paradise, reminiscent of something I had once imaginatively constructed of St. Augustine's Heavenly City, which I had read about when I was thirteen to try to get an image of where my mother had gone. The city lights seemed almost celestial, and I felt at that moment washed clean of bitterness, hatred, triviality, ready to begin anew. I could have howled.
The music ended, the final note hanging in the air. I stood, my head filled with a kaleidoscope of music. I looked around and saw that Ben's eyes glistened with moisture. The stunned crowd stood and watched and waited. I guess they half expected Bill, now drenched in his own sweat, to begin again. Realizing Bill had finished, I began clapping.
My action was greeted by applause and cheers. Then, slowly, one by one, the onlookers walked up to our hats, gave their money, and walked away.
After the last had left, I walked over to the two hats. The hats were filled to their brims. We were to count out something like $700 from that performance alone. When we left the park and headed back to Barney's, a couple curious things happened: Mike asked if he could carry Bill's violin, case and instrument, and Bill consented; Ben gathered the money together, gave it to Bill -- "This belong to you, pal," Ben said, his voiced cracking as he placed the earnings at Bill's feet -- and then walked next to Bill all the way back to the Babylon.
VII. "HOW MUCH OF THiS CAN ONE MAN TAKE?" SHADE ASKED HiMSELF....
Maybe, Shade thought to himself, I should have turned them all into seagulls or butterflies. Maybe I should have sent them to therapy and given them all teddy bears.
Rereading his manuscript, Shade knew that he had lost it. At sixty-four, if he were in Las Vegas, Shade realized that the last thing he'd do is waste a half hour listening to classical music; God willing, he'd be in one of Las Vegas' nude bars, letting some young beautiful thing restore his manhood for, perhaps, the last time.
The image of letting some tall, thin raven-haired beauty ride his bone, of the same beauty allowing him to kiss her nipples and touch her pussy, nearly drove the man to distraction. He had to finish the story. Perhaps, he should allow his three characters the pleasure of one female among the three or four of them. Smiling, for one moment, he thought of bringing a vampire into the story. Shade loved vampires (and vampires loved Shade), and so did his thousands of fans.
Suddenly, in a burst of enlightenment, Shade knew what he must do.
VIII. CD's NARRATiVE CONCLUDES....
That night, compliments of Bill, we stayed in the Mirage, a magnificent hotel whose artificial and paradisial jungle beauty had always attracted us. It was like a return to the Garden of Eden. We went out to eat at a fancy seafood restaurant, classical music in the background, but didn't pick up any hookers, male or female, this night. We didn't hit the tables. We wanted to savor Bill's performance.
So we stayed in our room, overlooking the pulsating and vibrant neon jungle of Las Vegas, and talked like we hadn't talked for years. We talked about art, life, God, the after-life, girls, literature, and philosophy. We praised Bill's genius and asked ourselves why we had never heard him play before. When Ben asked about the composers, Bill spent the rest of the evening explaining to him the intricacies of the devil priest.
As I lay in bed that night, smoking furiously on my final cigarette, looking out our window, I could see the blue-red-purple neon of the Babylon in the distance. We'd probably go back there next year. I realized as well that we'd needed Bill all along. Bill had touched something of inestimable worth inside us all, and I vowed never to put my friend down again.
I knew that in a year things might change. One of us could be dead and damned for eternity. Or rich and famous. Chances were excellent, however, that nothing really would change. For now, Bill would go back to Oregon, Mike would return to Weiser, and Ben -- Ben would probably continue to run from his pursuers. As for me, driving a grader for a highway construction was no longer the worst job in the world. I could bring a Walkman and listen to Mozart, Bach, and Paganini and shovel dirt to the classics. Besides, next year we'd all be together again in Las Vegas. I was counting on it.
IX. "FUCK POINT OF VIEW," SHADE MUTTERED....
How they loved Bill, or Billy, as Snitch now called him as in "Hey, Billy, that was fuckin' great, man." Bill just smiled at his three companions, who had been taken in by a performance any self-respecting high school orchestra director would see as mediocre. Jesus H. Christ, thought Billy Busby to himself, these guys really are stupid....
It was approaching the hour of Billy's redemption. Preparing for the surprise, Billy suggested that they spend the night at Desert Rest, a seedy motel on the outskirts of town. Desert Rest was where you took a prostitute for a one-night stand. It was known as a place where one could do a drug deal without getting pressure by the cops, who knew about the place.
The group agreed. Anything would be better than a night in the rental car. So, after returning to the parking garage, Billy drove the four of them to the Desert Rest and checked them all in room 66.
The room was old but large and spacious, with two king-size beds. Billy knew that his three friends probably wanted to fuck him that night. That's often how these trips ended. But this night, he would make sure to fuck them. He had waited for this for years.
As CD, Pick, and Snitch got comfortable around the television, watching Tarantino's "True Romance" and beginning a case of just purchased Coors, Billy excused himself, picked up his violin case, and headed for the bathroom. Inside the bathroom, door locked, Billy opened the huge case. He removed the Stradivarius and then removed the cover to a second compartment. Embedded in the second compartment were two pieces of a twelve-gauge sawed-off shot gun.
Billy assembled the death weapon, put enough shells in the chamber, opened the door and walked into the next room.
""Hello, chums," said Billy, a huge sardonic smile on his face. He pointed the twelve-gauge right at them.
The three stooges were struck silent. A church bell tolled in the distance. These guys are done, Billy thought.
The tattooed Pick was the first to react. Jumping to his feet, Pick charged for Billy. Aiming for the belly, Billy fired once, saw the bloodied Pick stop and stagger, and then fired again, this time for the head. The second blast blew Pick's head off.
The other two were on their feet. There was no plate glass door leading to the back in this dump.
"Now, pal," Snitch began, one hand out in an effort to cool Billy down, "let's fuckin' think about this. Let's...."
KABOOM!!! Billy fired, the force of the explosion throwing the smaller Snitch across the room. Snitch landed against the wall, his chest a bloody cavity, and slid to the floor.
That left CD.
"Hey, hey, hey," said CD, sounding a bit like Fat Albert from the Bill Cosby days, "old buddy, old friend, old pal, Evelyn, my sweet...."
KABOOM!! Billy fired just as CD dodged to the right. The last shell in the chamber hit CD's left arm, reducing it to a bloody dangling mess as CD fell to the floor five feet from Billy. Billy pumped the gun and fired again... Click.
Taking the shotgun by the barrel, Billy brought the shoulder piece crashing onto CD's head. Head split, CD dropped flat to the carpet, now a sea of red. As CD, struggling for survival, tried to push himself up, Billy struck again and again and again.
When Billy had finished, CD's face and skull were no longer recognizable, a mushy mass of broken bloody pulp. (CD always had been a softy, thought Billy.) Blood was on the walls, on the TV, on the bed, on the ceiling, everywhere. He was reminded of the cherry pie he had eaten earlier that evening.
His three companions dead, Billy looked at himself in the mirror next to the TV. He was soaked in blood. But Billy was proud; he remembered when the three of them had humiliated him by taking off his clothes and throwing him into the girls' locker room. Now things were even....
It had been a hard three days' work. Billy removed his clothes and headed for the shower. Just outside the bathroom door, Billy flipped on the radio that began playing his favorite tape, Led Zep's "Stairway to Heaven." "Now, that's some fuckin' music," said Billy aloud. Tonight, Billy would really paint this town red.
Nearing the end of life, I glance out the window of my sixty-forth flour apartment and search for the sun. Though it has not set, it is a darkening ball of fire, obscured by filthy air. Tonight, the moon will be blood red, a perfect opportunity for telling a tale of true romance.
In writing the following narrative, I admit to caving in to commercial demands for the "true" account of the infamous, possibly vampirish duo, Professor Antonio Z and the stunning Juliana Delanoir, and the murder-execution they committed on Halloween of 1984 in the Southern California desert. What else can one do besides cave in? However, to redeem the story, aesthetically, from the dark pit of sensationalized fiction, I have embellished, adding a metaphor here, a dialogue there, creating a narrative voice that (inspired by Borges) occasionally looses itself in labyrinth of contradictions, contributing symbols whose obscurity may render the narrative meaningless and inaccessible. The characters, however, are real; I have failed to provide the Professor's name because I have forgotten it. I hope you will forgive a dope-smoking old man, who is writing to buy an airplane ticket to Bangladesh, where the lovely Juliana and Professor Z were spotted.
Aside from the fact that Juliana was a nude dancer, an occasional prostitute, an all-around slut and that no event or person in the Professor Z's past explains his plunge into the world of murder, one could notice nothing unusual about this beautiful couple until they put their sick, twisted minds together and executed one of their friends, a pillar of the community of Las Vegas. The murder -- involving disembowelment, decapitation, and blood-sucking -- shocked the community and the world. The corpse (scattered in bits and pieces) was found in a cave just north of Baker, California.
"Just for kicks we did the murder, and maybe to celebrate Juliana's birthday," the Professor told the aging blonde interviewer with baby-blue eyes, who found Professor Z three years ago jogging one night on a forest path in, where, Tibet? South America? Canada? Greenland? Australia? No one knows, for the professor and Juliana managed a masterful escape, gliding effortlessly, invisibly into an eternal twilight zone, forever changing shapes like clouds, shifting locations at will, making it impossible for anyone, ever, to apprehend them.
Wherever they allow themselves to be discovered, the Professor and Juliana live in a castle of the Udolpho variety, a big gothic thing with darkened skies, lightening, enormous towers, a drawbridge, vampire bats, hidden skeletons, a dungeon, blood on the walls, spirits of the dead, and a moat. Attempts to record, photograph, or film this shadowy couple have failed, lending credence to one of the following theories: that they do not exist, that they have never existed and are literary fabrications, or that they are flesh-eating, blood-sucking vampires who did what the reports from Person magazine claim they did, even to the point of partially devouring his corpse, a humanitarian gesture since they left enough of the face for police identification.
"It was kinda fun, slicing and dicing that fat slug," Juliana will add when asked about the killing of Dr. Martin Feinstein, long-time resident of Las Vegas, former mob physician. "It was a real scream, but I wouldn't do it again for ten million bucks." When she interviews, Juliana -- who looks as she did twenty, thirty, forty, one hundred years before -- always sits partially or completely nude, sipping bitter black coffee, furiously smoking cigarettes. A tall beauty with haunting eyes, long raven hair, and large breasts, Juliana is gorgeous, a regular La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
The professor was re-united with Juliana -- after more than two centuries of separation? -- in the mid-'70s in Orpheus' Den of Vice, a nude bar located in the darkest, most dangerous area in West Las Vegas, known for drug deals, gang fights, pimps, prostitutes, and bail bondsmen. Having little regard for safety or reputation, the professor always came during the evening, dressed in his New Jersey Devils hockey sweater, faded dark green shorts, and sandals and spent two or three hours drinking El Diablo beer, watching the dancers, talking to girls who had taken his night classes.
Occasional arrests or busts in the Club never bothered him. The Professor may have enjoyed them, getting a grim rush from the promise of blood and violence. One night, he was seated just beneath the center stage, feeding dollar bills to a dancer, when Metro entered and apprehended three dark, swarthy men -- their arms covered with Satanic tattoos -- who had been cowering in a corner of the bar for three days, hoping that authorities would not trace their escape from a Georgia pen to a Las Vegas bar. Guns were pulled, one of the escapees knocked to the floor and beaten bloody in front of everyone, the professor calmly observing the proceeding, as if he were watching a church service.
Once, as the dark duo told the same blue-eyed interviewer, the Professor broke up a fight, in front of everyone, between the tiny cross-wearing Bangkok Annie and the large tall evil Magic Wonder. Before anyone could say boo, the Professor intervened, for Annie had the large blonde in a choke hold and would, in all likelihood, have bitten into her foe's jugular, creating one bloody, stinking mess for the bouncers to clean up. The action was considered quite out of character for the professor, who never minded a little blood-letting.
Juliana and the Professor hit it off from the start, as if they were made for each other, the Romeo and Juliet of Las Vegas nude bars, and when he visited Orpheus', she danced only for him. They even got married, in a manner of speaking. Rumor in the dark streets has it that one Christmas at the club, following a round of "Silent Night," Juliana gave the Professor a golden cock ring, her initials and a little verse inscribed on the inside, and the Professor wore the ring with pride. He, on the other hand, gave her two pussy rings, one for each lip, which she proudly wore when she danced, showing her customers the lock that bound the rings and indicated that she was off bounds to all but the Professor. It was touching.
Juliana's occasional prostitution never bothered the Professor; it may have fascinated him. For instance, there was one older man from New Jersey -- a wealthy CEO type -- who paid her a thousand two times a year if she would defecate in his bed and mouth. Twice, hungry for money, Juliana even agreed to have intercourse with him one dark night in his hotel bed while wallowing in her own mire. She said she didn't mind. Finally, of course, the old fart was found in his room, the headless victim of gruesome bludgeoning murder, all blood having been drained from his body.
Juliana discovered that the Professor had two all-consuming passions: soccer and sex, in that order. He liked to remind others that Charles II of England had once outlawed soccer as a form of witchcraft. Rumor had it that he had played professionally in Scotland with DarkHearts, a team of traveling Satanic soccer players. In the Club, at the height of the European soccer season, he enjoyed holding Juliana on his lap while watching some team like the Glasgow Rangers administering an international blood-letting to Ireland's best club team on one of the TVs situated in the corners of the bar. Sometimes, the Professor got so carried away when the Rangers scored a goal that she would not dance for him. "When you get over your fuckin' football frenzy, you horny blood-suckin' son-of-a-bitch, I'll be ready. Until then," she'd say, looking around the room in an aloof manner, "I'll be with that guy." And she'd point to some aging, doddering Oriental or Mexican and then, in a fury, stomp off. "And by the way," she'd spit, feelings genuinely hurt, "fuck the Rangers and fuck Scottish football." After such a scene, the Professor refused to speak to Juliana for days.
The execution that made Juliana and the Professor household names came out of the blue. They had seemed perfectly content with each other, she a dancer and he a college professor. Then, slice, slice: Dr. Martin Feinstein was dead, cut like a cucumber into little pieces in the Southern California desert, and Juliana and the Professor were suddenly skyrocketed to mythic status. The following account, given to me years ago one dark and stormy night by the notorious one-eyed Dr. Johnny Darkshade, whom I met in a Nevada brothel, very likely belongs to the professor. It can best tell the story.
The Professor's Narrative
Who darkly calls from within, crying for blood? A lizard? A snake? A little boy crying for attention? No matter. The call echoes from the abyss, region of eternal night, my own dead soul. It is a lair of demons that twist me, turn me, sing to me, the source of rage, my strength, the ability to tear limb by bloody limb.
In vivid recollection, running feet pound through this dark region, my own beating heart. Juliana runs eternally in my memory from a wolf pack, screaming uncontrollably, screaming to me through the darkening forest, huge panting beasts steps behind her. She had gone one evening -- All Hallows Eve, to be exact -- to pick berries with her parents, ordinary church-going folks who knew no harm could come to their darling little crucifix-bearing daughter. Wandering off alone, beckoned by the misty river's song, she found herself lost, in another world, and stumbled through thickening brush and trees towards the trail no longer there, calling mother and father, finally encountering the beasts. She ran like the wind. When she tripped, they fell upon her, tearing flesh as I suddenly came upon them.
Recognizing me, their master, they stopped, cowered, cringed, whined as she lay bloodied from head to foot, clothes ripped from her. And one by one, I cracked each great beast in two, breaking its neck, severing its spine with my great blade. I then carried the girl home, drank her blood, and gave her a transfusion guaranteeing a shadowy eternity with me. After forty years of happiness together, she disappeared, and I wandered, looking through the centuries for my mistress of my soul. Only years later, traveling with Scottish friends, I came upon her again, dancing drugged and deliriously in a delightful den of decadence in the city of lights. Immediately, she recognized me and together, in the moonlit parking lot behind the Club and over the body of a now bloodless security guard, she pledged herself eternally to me.
Enough poeticizing. Now on to the guts of the matter. I met Dr. Martin Feinstein at a faculty party one month before the date of his execution at the college president's grand old house out on Darkpost Lane in northwest Las Vegas. He came lumbering up, a circus bear walking on two legs, shook my hand, and then told us how important he was. He knew Senator Black and Congressman White; he was a personal friend of Mayor Steed; he sat on the town zoning board; he had been past president of some big physician's group in southern Nevada; he.... Well, you get the idea.
A four hundred pound balding Jewish physician from New Jersey, Marty was repulsive even to a vampire. At fifty five and five feet ten inches tall, his face was pock-marked from years and years of acne. He wore big thick black-rimmed glasses, had a huge nose, and talked in a nasal whine. Folds of fat draped around his neck and jaw, and his fingers were so fat that his wedding ring threatened to cut the circulation. His hands were perpetually greasy, like train oil. He claimed to know the Encyclopedia Britainnica backward and forwards, and probably did, and he enjoyed talking about the college courses he'd taken.
When we sat down together at a dinner table, Marty tirelessly railed against Christians (probably assuming Juliana and I were true believers) and used his napkin to blow his nose and the table cloth for a napkin. Juliana, a stickler about table manners, couldn't finish her meal, silently vowing to teach this glob some manners. As he talked, stopping long enough every five minutes to empty snot into his napkin (he had suffered a bloody nose earlier that night), gulping glass after glass of burgundy wine between enormous bites of his rhubarb pie, which he somehow smeared on his yellow blue-polka-dotted shirt, Juliana and I looked at each other and smiled. This schmuck, we silently agreed, would be the perfect meal.
We courted his friendship for a month, asking him and his scrawny whining wife Martha out to dinner, going to movies with them, calling them every other night on the phone, even going once to Temple with them one Saturday evening. A very thin, tiny, and bloodless women who would barely provide dinner for one, Martha liked to drone on about the night she had heard angels sing and had seen the Virgin Mary. Juliana and I decided to focus our attention upon her blithering, his arrogance drove people away. He was the sort of person no one would really miss.
His wife and daughter were flying out to visit an ailing relative, a nun, in Baltimore the day before Halloween 1984. Thus, we invited Marty to a huge Halloween bash we claimed we were attending on the Southern Californian coast. "It's called 'Beelzebub's Annual Bloody Bash,'" we told him. "Bands will play, animals will be sacrificed, a human baby eaten, and everyone will end the evening by fucking the person of his or her choice." Marty agreed to tag along. So now it was Halloween, around 9:30 on a night of the full-moon, which was to bathe us in glory like a shower of blood.... Driving her rebuilt Black 1948 Packard from Las Vegas to LA, Juliana sat behind the wheel, feeding on AC/DC tapes and stuffing her mouth with Fritos; because she wanted to hear no more about bloody Scottish football grudge matches ("Hey, fuck your Glasgow Rangers," she had barked at me moments before), I sat in the passenger seat, lost in dark thought, wishing I had something round to kick, brooding over our next deadly move, hungrily fingering the sharp twelve inch stainless steel blade I had wrapped to my left leg; the passenger sitting directly behind me was a hitchhiker we had picked up out of Vegas, a good looking blonde boy with baby-blue eyes, who claimed to write for Occult Hysteria magazine and carried with him a weathered hard back version of Christopher Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus;" finally Marty Feinstein, Shylock himself, sat directly behind Juliana, droning on about what Jews do on Halloween.
Both Juliana and I loathed this slug. Knowing that I could trace my ancestry back to the packs of roving bandits from twelfth century Scotland, for instance, he rarely missed an opportunity that night to tell a lengthy anecdote about cowardly and stupid Scots. Knowing Juliana supposedly came from rich Irish blood, he became nearly uncontrollable, unleashing a barrage of jokes pushing Irish to the bottom of the ethnic barrel. Marty, of course, thought that we were stupid. But we understood everything this dull-witted glob of flesh said. My window open, I sniffed the air occasionally, sensing the immanence of blood.
As we approached Baker, an ugly little desert town fit for grasshoppers, lizards, and real estate salesmen, I looked at Juliana and gave her the signal. She interrupted Marty with, "Y'know, honey, I hate fat people, and I can't stand Jews. How about you, love punkin?" Her Irish accent thick as blood tonight, she turned her sweet malevolent eyes towards me and bared her fangs, ready for the feast. Watching everything, the kid in back said nothing.
Marty grew silent. Glancing over my shoulder, I could see Marty's eyes open wide, two enormous white planets; beads of sweat glistened on his creased forehead. He was fighting Poe's grim phantasm FEAR, an incubus which had chosen that moment to seize his shriveling soul.
"Naw," I began, in a low growl, my Scottish accent thick as blood, "I can't much stand the Jew. How about you, Marty, you like the Jew?" I turned full around in my seat so I could face my obese prey.
"Z," he said (Z is short for Zoroaster), "I thought you knew I was Jewish. I mean, what have I been talking about for the past two hours? Hasn't anyone been listening in this fucking piece-of-shit automobile? And what the fuck's with the accents?" Marty was trying his best to act tough, to be a man.
"I been listening, Martin. You talk way, way too much," I assured him, emitting a low growl, then reaching back and patting him on the leg. "I just want to know how you feel about them. Jews, I mean. How about you, kid?" I asked our other passenger, who remained expressionless and, while taking something out of his jacket pocket, whispered, "Jews? Exterminate the brutes!" This kid had a heart of darkness.
At this, Juliana took a sharp right turn down a dirt road, hit the gas, and sped hell bent for leather towards the desert mountains just north of Baker. The Packard, the death car, seemingly careened out of control as it lumbered under the clear but bloody autumn sky.
Thrown backwards by the acceleration, Marty angrily exclaimed, "Hey, this isn't the way to LA. I know the way to LA. This is not it. This is not it. Where in the fucking hell are you taking us, you stupid bitch?!!!" He was bellowing, confused, sickening. He definitely deserved to die. Marty looked to the boy sitting next to him. In the process of rolling a joint, the kid didn't even look at Marty, who likely recognized the lad as an eternal symbol of Aryan supremacy.
"Marty," Juliana began in a low soothing tone, her beautiful mouth stuffed with chips, "we're taking you to a special place, where we can get to the guts of the affair, so to speak."
Marty looked at me, fear slowly taking control. I was enjoying this. "Z, my good friend, what the fucking hell does the bitch mean?" His voice shook, and I could smell the stench of shit and urine.
"You're going to die, Marty," I said, looking him square in the eyes, mesmerizing him with my own vampirish facial transformations. He saw my teeth, my glowing yellow eyes, the gleaming silver blade. "Fat guts, my friend," I rasped, "we're going to cut you open, eat your flesh and drink your blood." I looked at the kid for an instant. Puffing a joint, smiling, laughing to himself, he was taking it all in. As for Dr. Martin Feinstein, barely breathing, visibly trembling, he was on the death-train to Dachau.
"Z, please," Marty whined, "you don't want to kill me. I can see you and Juliana are just plain honest down-home folk. Why, you wouldn't hurt a fly -- would you?"
"Yep," Juliana responded, taking a gulp of Dr. Pepper, turning down the stereo, now playing Van Halen's "Running with the Devil". "You're right there. We really are good ordinary folk. But it's time to slice you up like a carrot. Chop, chop, chop."
"Oh, God," wailed the fat man, looking squarely at me, "oh my dear God, I just know you wouldn't hurt me. Z, I know you're good honest folk. Heheheh, I grew up around the salt-of-the-earth people just like you and Juliana. You wouldn't kill anyone. Uh, would you?"
Marty could really lay it on. I looked at the kid, whose blue eyes blazed for a split second at me. "You know, you unbearably overweight sweat gland," I responded, "I'd hate to have to kill anyone. I'd just hate to do it. But sometimes things have to be done, and this is one of those things. It's like taking out the garbage. It is time for you to go, fat bat."
The kid actually laughed at this. Marty began sobbing, sounded like a barking seal, and put his head into his hands, imploring, "Please, please, please. Oh my God, my God, my God, please, please, please. I know you had good parents, Z. I'll give you whatever you want. Just don't, please don't, kill me."
"You're right there," I agreed. "I had the finest parents in the world, Martin. Good God-fearing people from Scotland who believed in never hurting anyone. But we gotta do what we gotta do, my blubbering friend," I hissed, fiendishly. "Besides, as they say, 'nobody never gave the undertaker a tip.' It is time, fat worm, for you to dance the dance of death."
The fat worm made one more plea: "I am a Jew, Z! Like you, I have two eyes, two hands, the same feelings. I piss and shit just like you and Juliana. My God, if you cut me, like you, I bleed and bleed and bleedà." Here, fat guts wept.
At this last remark, I laughed and smiled at Juliana. "That's just the point, fat old rat," I commented, smacking my lips, "you bleed."
After taking several more dirt roads, Juliana came barreling into the Canyon, an isolated spot about as large as a soccer field surrounded by the enormous desert mountains. Encircled by thin wisps of clouds, the moon shone brilliantly overhead. When she braked, the fat grotesque meal bolted from the car and began lumbering through sand and sagebrush toward an opening on the far side of the canyon. As usual, wind blasted the canyon walls, sand cutting my face as I jumped out of the car and began pursuit. The kid in the back was stoned to the gills. None of this seemed to matter to him.
For an instant, stunned, amused, I watched the huge man run. Marty was like a giant pig, plodding against the wind, moving forward ten feet for every ten steps, like a character in a slow-motion cartoon. At one with the darkness, breaking time and space barriers, I shifted in front of him like a thief in the night. I stood my ground, arms crossed over my chest, threw my head back, began to howl to the moon when this fleshy tank lumbered right over me and into a small crevice that cut a path into one of the huge sandstone mountains.
Cursing aloud, picking myself out of a thorny tumble weed, I saw Juliana, completely nude, standing next to me, long dark hair blowing wildly in the wind, lips red and moist, eyes aglow with bestial glory. She was absolutely stunning. Bathed in sublunary glory, she looked good enough to fuck. For sacrifices, she always removes her clothes to bathe herself in the victim's blood.
I turned and we sprinted into the winding crevice. I looked down the trail and couldn't see Marty, who had to be near, hiding, a frightened oversized mouse just waiting to be devoured by two vampire rats.
Wind lashing my face, sand stinging my eyes, I lunged forward, Juliana behind me, both of us yelling in guttural tones, "Here, Marty. Come to papa, you fat shite. That's right. Make a tasty tidbit for Z and J."
We had gone about seventy-five feet when the trail curved up and to the right. Making the turn, I saw the cave mouth, an entrance of four feet, portal to someone's grisly death.
Beast-quick, I entered the cave, smelling shit, spotting immediately the huge black mass, sitting in the sand, back against the wall, legs spread, gasping for oxygen. Approaching, I withdrew my blade, now quivering and singing in my hand. Behind me, Juliana knelt in front of our flabby sacrifice, hands on her knees, in predatorial bliss, hissed at her next meal, and howled. I had never heard a howl rend the night air before, echo from the pit. Joining her, inspired, my soul intertwined with hers, I let out a guttural shriek that silenced the wind and raised the dead.
Then, in one giant stride, I lunged forward and kicked Martin, screaming, "GOOOOAAALLL!" I felt his ribs crack, and Juliana laughed savagely. (She, at least, has always appreciated my twisted sense of humor; I think it's helped keep us together.) Marty whimpered, blood spurting from his mouth, and he fell on his left side holding his right ribs. I reached down, put my hairy clawed hand around his fat and fleshy neck, squeezed to draw blood, and summoning dark strength oozing into me from the abyss, I lifted him two feet off the ground. This overweight Shylock was speechless, fat arms and legs waving slowly and helplessly, reminding of Kafka's giant dung beetle. I stuck my blade between his legs next to his scrotum, asked, "Having fun, fat ball of flesh?" and, with a hellishly loud and low howling, thrust violently upward. The blade went in easily, smoothly, warm liquid draining onto my hand. This would be a blood feast.
An astute reader may question the credibility of the preceding narrative, raising a number of objections. Yet, we can dispense with the theory, now popular, that the characters are fabrications. The Professor's students' accounts of this man, of his incredible ability as a teacher of literature, of his unflagging kindness to his colleagues -- along with documents substantiating that the Professor had, at one time, given himself over to volunteer church work at night, even assisting for a period the chaplain in one of the local hospitals -- are quite sufficient to substantiate the probable existence of this fine man.
In response to the theory that Juliana never existed, this interviewer, at this writing, has in his possession a dark painting, dated 1714, that Juliana kept hidden among her belongings. Her picture, that of a strikingly beautiful creature with raven hair, matches other descriptions given of her by dancers at the Club, who claim that Juliana, princess of dancers, always showed up for work, treated everyone with the utmost in courtesy and respect, and even went to evening service on Christmas.
This leaves us with the theory that Juliana and Z were either vampires, surely an absurd plausibility, or just plain ordinary salt-of-the-earth people -- like a small-town couple from the Midwest, the Griswalds, perhaps? -- acting out grisly, psychotic vampire fantasies. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a civilized age, an enlightened century, and era of science, reason, and pornography. Certainly, this is not Medieval Europe. However, our own base superstitions control us to a great degree, substantiating the claim that Juliana and the Professor were, in reality, vampires, step children of the devil himself. The vampire theory would certainly explain the nature of the brutal murder these two committed in the canyon just north of Baker, California in 1984.
As for the traditionalist argument that the Professor and Juliana embody evil, holding such a view is equivalent to maintaining that the world is still flat, that there is a man in the moon, that Santa Claus and his reindeer have an actual flesh-and-blood existence, or that Christ rose from the dead. No one takes these things seriously any more.
So let us take our leave of Juliana and Professor Z. Imagine them, if you will, in a gigantic water bed, furiously fucking away like a couple of minks, having already plotted out their next blood feast.
--SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-- State of unBeing is copyrighted (c) 1998 by Kilgore Trout and Apocalypse Culture Publications. All rights are reserved to cover, format, editorials, and all incidental material. All individual items are copyrighted (c) 1998 by the individual author, unless otherwise stated. This file may be disseminated without restriction for nonprofit purposes so long as it is preserved complete and unmodified. Quotes and ideas not already in the public domain may be freely used so long as due recognition is provided. State of unBeing is available at the following places: ftp to ftp.io.com /pub/SoB World Wide Web http://www.io.com/~hagbard/sob.html irc the #unbeing channel on UnderNet Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The SoB distribution list may also be joined by sending email to Kilgore Trout. --SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB--