Sidney became unbearable, her chemical cigarettes polluting the entire house and my asthmatic lungs. I have gone to California and left her to her fate....I sit scribbling at Venice Beach....Couple days ago I got it third hand, Sidney took to discharging a firearm, out in the yard, or maybe the street, enough to scare the natives any case, and got herself looked back up. The natives quickly pillaged the house.
My sister Bonnie lives in Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, Venice being next to Santa Monica on the beach. Living away from the beach in Los Angeles is sub-standard, ill. Smog settling in one's vision. Bonnie Olive is a computer programmer, a studied actress, lately a budding script writer. Bonnie had flown into Texas to meet with Geoffrey, her son, who had her very old car and had been staying the summer in Seguin. In Aransas Pass I did some yard work for my father, then followed Bonnie and Geoffrey to California. Geoff has now gone back to college at Santa Cruz. I have been keeping out of my sister's way by living on the beach. Unlike the Santa Monica beach, the Venice beach (Muscle Beach) is loose about leash law. Many people are living outdoors hereabouts. Late 1987 before El Depression. In Santa Monica 10 A.M. on the beach one sees a few curled lumps of blankets, cocoons drunk to the world of man. At Venice Beach people arise early. The strip of sidewalk and shops off the beach moves by eight A.M., joggers, skaters, skate boards, musclemen, old winos, young winos, all races, hustlers, punks, hippies, sexy women, old Europeans, young Europeans, wet backs, Vietnamese running shops. It is the biggest street scene. I hardly stand out here. Twenty years ago I was in the Bay Area four years, and this is more relaxed and has more variety than the old Telegraph Avenue or Haight Ashbury. One nice factor, there is less racial tension than in the sixties.Slow is everything. Decisions, money, even horniness. Seldom ever had money. A live1ihood has been a different world this incarnation thus far. What, you got no fate? said this actor (he used to play Paco on Zorro) friend, looking at my palm. Said I have no fate line, on either hand, ought to get someone more versed than he in palmistry, to check this phenomenon for me. Welp, I am really here, solid, forever, just slow. Now I need money, material and territory, quit losing so many chunks out of my child's childhood. Modeling is slow, I did some yard work for a rich friend of my sister's, 3 1/2 hrs., $lOO, right after the earth tremor. Had been sitting in my car drinking coffee, car rocked a little for a minute, Rosa Dog wondered about it. Drove to the little job listening to the rhythm and blues station--all these natives calling in so serious about their personal experiences. A couple of weeks before I got saved by this yard work I was asked to model a session for Jerry Sic, artist and old friend of Tiddle's whom I had known briefly in 1962, who is doing well with a business of this painted wall paper, getting rich. Paid me $75. Sic is an old friend of the actor played Paco. Noel (Christian parents, he was born on Xmas), Asian Indian who has been in the business twenty years. Noel had me drop a TG book with his agent, who is also a literary agent, but she turned it down, never reading it I'm sure, biggest mistake of her life. It is near impossible to see movie people without having either an agent or lawyer. They fear being sued for plagiarism. In Austin, Bob Wishoff, in reply that I fear scaring people, told me to be busting in on people and scaring them, that they like to be scared. But out here life is not so simple. Couple mornings ago I had locked myself out of my car before coffee and bowel movement. On Venice Blvd., I borrowed first one then a second coat hanger from a neighboring lass. Back window was slightly cracked, but I found the seventy-six Skylark door latches are too smooth to get hold of with coat hangers. So I tried connecting two coat hangers, to reach my keys which were visible on the seat. I knocked the keys back into seat where I could not get them. The bare opened back window was loose so I tried jarring it further to move the door handle. I was bad off mentally in a couple of hours. A woman came down the sidewalk pushing a baby in carriage. and she had a dog on leash so Rosa was stubborn about growling. Rosa would not obey me. The woman was worried, suddenly I kicked my toe into Rosa's face. Then the woman uttered something in sympathy for Rosa. Rosa took the incident poorly. Knowing that sometimes a drug can change things, I decided to go get coffee. Rosa insisted on slinking a distance behind me, even as I would back track and pet her. Her act went on and on. I bought a large coffee, drank it, took a crap at the dirty bathroom of the famous little Muscle Beach outdoor gym, went bought second large coffee, returned to car finding my gear was as I had left it on top of my locked trunk. The seventy-six Skylark has a closed decorative corner off the back window, and the rubber on the partition was warped enough for me to get a coat hanger through, to be reaching the window handle. I knew I could do it. In a few tries I pulled the window handle. After I had pulled it as far as I could, I could not quite get my arm through the window, but I pushed the handle further with a card board tube off a coat hanger. I had spent about three and a half hours over the locked car. My nerves were worn. I went to work on the bars outside the little Muscle Beach gym, did exercises a half hour. Still felt poorly, drank a dozen eggs, bought six pak of ale tallboys, drank one, poured a couple in empty V-8 can and sat in park near Bonnie's house drinking and writing a letter. A tall black bum who had been wearing a woman's dress was passed out on the grass. I had seen him around. He doesn't seem homosexual. The dress had been finally thrown in a garbage can, maybe advice of his friend bum, and now the guy was in shorts, maybe his boxer underwear. He has a leather satchel of clothes and things. Maybe he just wears what he can get. There are many shot bums, living off garbage. There are increasing numbers of homeless, all around the parks and beaches, many with automobiles because not long ago the economy fitted them in. Not all these people are alcoholic. As a precaution, I had put a spare key in my wallet. However, I left my wallet in my pants, went to the beach in short pants, key in the trousers locked in car. Unbelievable. How can I do it to myself? Again I was parked by the apartment building of the girl from whom I had got the coat hangers last time, and I caught another girl entering, maybe her sister. She brought me a hanger. I was working on entering the back window again, and was interrupted by this guy with a pit bulldog on leash. Hey! Let an expert do it! I'll have it open in a flash! I had seen him around a little, a verbal, hyper, muscular sort of young man ( he said he was forty-two) in sun glasses covering the fight scars around his eyes. (But you ought to see the other guy!) I let him take over. We talked. With some trouble, he got in about as fast as I would have, with his method. He went for the door latch rather than the door handle, but his difference was in making the loop on the hanger barely large enough, so that one slips it from the side of the latch, rather than drop it over the top. Thus it is tight enough to jerk the smooth latch without slipping off. Our dogs, both female, had relaxed near one another and not fought. He said he is a reader. I autographed him a TG book, to "Isaak". He talked about being outlaw, had done time, gave a story of breaking out of prison, getting caught years later, doing another seven years. Said he was from Hawaii originally. He looked Mexican, a likeable, violent, intelligent personality. He and dog went on down the Venice walk. I ran into him again that afternoon. He was sitting on a bench talking with a young man flown in from Brooklyn who wanted cocaine. So the outlaw hipster left us in care of his dog, radio and new TG book, taking off with a couple of hundred dollar bills. He did not return, which was strange, being his dog, Lady, whom he was very fond of (said she had just finished beating up a great dane, whose owner tried to mace her, thus Isaak had kicked the owner), was worth more than the money. I hope he is not in jail. better to have been jumped. Welp, I like Lady much, and after a couple of days there was no return of her other master. I did not have enough modeling coming in just then, and took off for Berkeley while I had the gas. Lady is tan, wild, funny, a hunter, a great beast, who wants to fight, has some scars on her back. She acts like she has been pitted though Isaak said he did not believe in that, and she is no more than a year old and appears to have never been in best aerobic condition, because her hams were not that toned. She turned out to be pregnant. Isaak had talked of having a litter of pit bull pups, but I had understood him to mean they were at his house. I figured she would have her pups in the back seat. It takes time to get her under control, and I often have her on the leash that came with her. Rosa gets jealous, started a couple angry scuffles, but Lady understands they are not to fight, just gets her feelings hurt. They can learn to like each other. I have traveled before carrying a couple or more dogs. I once had a wild mongrel breed, streaks of wolf, coyote, pit, once lived outdoors with six in a Volks bug. They went down one by one, other story of my hard adventure getting to the New Mexico mountains. In New Mexico I got a cabin with my last dog of that line, and he vanished just before he quite knew we were set in. Berkeley, hip capitol of the world. From the Bay area, mainly Berkeley, four years in the sixties I did two autobiographical books. It has been interesting and strange to return after twenty years. I had come as a health fiend type beatnik writer. I left sick of cities, Thought to never return, holocaust being upon us anyway, hippy warrior and psychedelic adventurer who was going for an escape into wilderness somewhere. Writing Texas Gang, New Mexico was chosen. I look up old friends. After the hippy sixties revolution, which bodily I had dodged, things look not so altered. The difference is people's Park (which took a small war), all these people living outdoors, and I swear, in Berkeley with all its traditional acceptance, beggars are allowed some respect. This is the spare change world capito1. The race scene has continued to mellow, and among a row of people on Telegraph Avenue asking for spare change there will be black guys from ghetto background, and off of Telegraph somewhere else some old black wino will ask for "spare change." Spare change people may be clean and tidy on Telegraph Avenue, a normal appearing young female with a cat on a leash. A racially mixed young handsome male who says nothing, who looks educated, sophisticated, neat, his hands outward cupped for alms, a put on serious expression of need, a hilarious fellow whose eyes roll over at me standing with dogs a ways down sidewalk to marvel at him, and I thought his eyes might be just a trace crazy and I turned the dogs and walked on laughing. Millie Harris is an artist and mother, triple divorcee by now, whom I met in the sixties and have written about. Her name was in the Berkeley phone book, under Harris waiting for me to call after twenty years. When I had left the area, only one person, Tony Wayman, British writer, had I remained in touch with, but I don't know if he lives or not by now, an alcoholic with suicida1 tendencies, who did encourage me to carry on with Texas Gang. In sixty-seven Millie had a boyfriend who told her to see none of her old male friends, and she had not been too friendly toward me, for sundry reasons at that point. I used to live with her, as a brother or baby sitter, and get kicked out. After she spent years with that dominant male, a chicano whom she has a beautiful seventeen year old daughter by, she pulled away from him, made money in real estate and went to Europe, did a three year marriage with a younger man, a European. Now she has traveled twice in Europe. She is in A.A., has not drank in twenty-five years, only drug she uses now is coffee. She is a high spirited observer of human nature. She spends time drinking coffee in the old Caffe Mediterraneum, socializing and sketching faces. I have been joining her, also helping a bit in a small janitorial service she owns. One of her two sons is in a wheelchair, severed spinal column from a motorcycle accident some years ago. Maybe in time he can manage a magazine we we are putting together--we surely need somebody to. I knew her boys well as children. Another old friend of ours, woman with three sons who are here or there, whom I was also kicked out by numerous times, has died, alcoholic complications. I had cared much for her, especially her youngest son, a Christofer Robin. The cops finally ran me off from sleeping at the Marina, Berkeley park near the water. I have been showering at Mike Lyons'. From Austin, Mike has a one room apartment with kitchen and bathroom, no bed, sleeps on a pallet. He has become a technical writer. He should help on the magazine, insisted it be called "Outlaw Sentiment." Millie owns a couple of cheap rent places, but rents a small apt. that is piled with her possessions. She sleeps in the living room amid clutter. Her daughter has the bedroom, very messy room. A young bartender-writer-mucician friend, who "enjoys the circus." pays two hundred something rent there, had a pallet off to a side in the kitchen. The kitchen remains a huge mess. There is also a tiny office type room, had been rent by a quiet German student. This European had complained of paying two hundred something, saying he could get better elsewhere - Millie told him he is paying for her personality. However, this past month there was some argument, as he found Millie only pays three something and he did not have much money said he. For paying less rent the quiet German was switched to the kitchen, the young friend taking his little room. Lately I am sleeping in my car parked in the street next to Millie's, having put my back seat stuff into her living room, and the bulldog is a big hassle, needing to shit and piss a lot in her heavy pregnancy. Getting more tired, I have taken to letting her out an hour or so a couple of times a night, by herself, hoping she doesn't get shot (probably not at four A.M.) for killing somebody's cat. (Yesterday I shook one out of her mouth during the daytime and kept walking. The cat had attacked Rosa on the sidewalk, probably a nursing mother cat, and Lady, temporarily off the leash up the sidewalk, rushed back around and in and snatched the attacking cat while Rosa played with it, shook it twice - but dropped it when I lifted her and demanded she do so. The cat ran, lucky if it kept living. An Oriental coming down sidewalk turned for the other side of street.) I am suffering a fluish condition - have not got rid of the virus as I normally would, need better sleep. Today I am notified I did not make the modeling guild. Strange, I was the best model at the audition - I have always been the most popular model at other universities. I almost know why the guild, which seem to be run by models, would not let me in, but I can't quite figure it. I keep helping Millie a bit on her janitorial stuff. Outside Boulder Creek, a small town a few miles from the university town of Santa Cruz, my nephew and two other students rented a small cabin in the woods. Under the tall second growth redwood trees the cabin is too damp and cold in winter and they are moving. I arrived there with my two dogs and eleven new born pups in my back seat. I got modeling work. Day before Thanksgiving I came in from a modeling job, was alone, sad about my daughter, took some acid my nephew had left me, plus some ecstasy, for whatever that is worth - am not sure I get much out of popular ecstasy. Think maybe I physica1ly tend to feel that way anyway. Not getting paid yet, I was broke and hungry, gobbled some lentils and peanut butter and crackers, all out of animal protein for a couple of days. Just wondering how, on a light belly and coffee, and a climb of possibly a half mile up this 1andsliding woody hill with the dogs, I did get so stoned. I had taken ecstasy maybe once before, and the acid was not supposed to be that much. One theory, it was the lack of animal protein and fat in the beast. Top of the ridge, the senses began rising, the hunt was on. Toward sundown I was nursing my problems but the path up there cresting a ridge was enchanting, new, colors in the passing light. For many years I have kept wild dogs. I have not been settled nor had the means to acquire them. They come to me. One line went from 1971, from an oddly big boned and wild pit bulldog, Sue, who got impregnated by some farm animal, and had one wolfish pup in the litter, Sissie, a brilliant, spooky and timid female I kept, big feet, big head, big eyes, most physically beautiful dog I have seen. Sue mysteriously dropped dead on a run when she was about two years old, but Sissie later had two spaced litters, one from an animal said to be a quarter wolf, one from a wild animal in the Gila wilderness of New Mexico, and through death and bad luck the line lasted till summer of 1981. Like I say, there had been times I kept half a dozen adult Medicine Dogs at once. From the Gila Wilderness, I hitch hiked with two adults and eight twenty pound spooky pups, onto my poor parents on the Texas coast. Five years later, soon as I had gained my New Mexico cabin, I lost the last one, a fine ninety pound male, Griz. It struck me I fought evil spirits, past lives, "'an ancient war against evil," my Medicine Dogs taking the brunt of attack, their losses ripping my heart, though life and love really does not die. Just as I lost Griz, I had a female maybe three quarters coyote dropped on me. A year and a half later my next wife got the coyote dog knocked up by a small pit bull in Austin accidentally. We did have and lose a couple other decent female mongrels brought in by this past wife, but at my New Mexico cabin the coyote had two pups, a male and female. The female pup was taken by a wild critter in daytime - I never knew what happened - the mother and I were at a neighbor's house. The male turned out well, and in another couple of years, I had lost those good dogs, my life being nomadic and disturbed. I was becoming calloused. My wife and child and I living in the Austin ghetto, I accepted Rosa as a pup, a lab and pit cross, primarily for the protection of our child who played in our wide overgrown yard, and the child and pup grew together. In the violent neighborhood Rosa was as good a watch dog as any can be, aLmost too good. Rosa takes no shit, man or dog. Recently in Berkeley I had tied up Lady, leaving more obedient Rosa free, and went into this little store, came out and had to break up this funny fight between Rosa and this rattled little chap swinging a satchel at her. He was about to get it. Older than two years now Rosa is not big hunter, but she is Medicine Dog. Lady, full blooded pit from Venice, had never known the outdoors before being with me, while she is born a hunter, instincts of the wild, possibly even the smartest dog I have known. Some hundreds of years man bred these fighting dogs, fighting spirit in the bulldogish body, and no telling what lines went in there, but instincts and intelligence can follow the breeding of that spirit. Some pit bulldogs may be smart as a coyote like Lady. Anycase, it is my karma. Wild canines have come to me. I dug my dogs up there, as I will. Lady, showing fine nerve, sensitivity. I enjoyed big Rosa. Rosa pushes on Lady, who then would bite any dog but Rosa. If Rosa takes over the back seat of car, nursing Lady's pups (once, I had virginal Cimarron, and mother Sissie, helping nurse Cimarron's sister Gila's pups - much milk - Cimarron next stole the litter and hid from us), and before Rosa is producing her milk, then Lady will bark till I get out of bed, come out of the house and straighten matters out. Rosa is maternal, used to clean my kid's butt. I could not get myself to head on down before nightfall. I found a small clearing and stood and meditated on the moon. I put away conscious thought and emotion and waited. In a while Lady was telling me she needed to get back to her pups. The moon had told me evil dwelt in the ghetto house where my marriage had been destroyed. My wife had talked of spirits in the old house, but I am too thick to have felt them. It is a fair sized old house on a lot with trees, the walls are planks, originally not constructed for plumbing or electricity. There had been slight word of its having spirits, but I had not got any definite information from folks. My wife could not say that they were evil, but said there were a couple of them. Personally, I have never known of a spirit, have no fear and am curious. Said the moon, horrible things have happened to some black folks in that house, murder, torture, that it might be racial. I have thought evil might be created by mankind's collective unconsciousness, that consequently a material snag or memory such as that house could hold suffering or sadism. I felt that I was now whipping evil from somewhere, though the house would have been better off burned to ashes. Seems its effect had touched off Bubba's pulling the stupid nigger trip on me, thus I forgave Bubba. I remembered, how oddly my cleanliness wife had used an old coffee canister there, never even cleaned it before dumping our coffee into it, and I had wondered about her doing it, and I had continued using it with its cracked little plastic dipper till I had left the place. Different bad trips did occur till everybody was out of the house. The earth here is shifty, dampest country I have seen, dead leaves feet deep and rocks and logs are not stable. Heading down in the dark was dangerous. I was on my ass trying to carefully follow my own landslide. More than twenty yards off to my left, where I had never been, a boulder tore out of its perch, sounded like a ton, I don't know, bashing the trees for maybe the half mile down. Could have got me. Something in last ditch attempt to kill me. I had to sit still, meditate. The dogs were circling back up to find what happened to me. I let them know I was alright. They reached me. I began then to carry on, slide downward, but Rosa would not have it. She was agitated, first trying to play with me, then whimpering and gabbing my arm and pulling me back up. Guess it was a gouge in the earth, a cliff. I went back up, took another route down. Rosa did not like that one either, did the same thing. My eyes are terrible, and I am night blind and it was black, and I shifted along and selected a new route. Rosa let me have that one. Danger was there, minor drops, all of it wet and sliding and tangled. I remembered my mother can be psychic, feared she might be worried. I said, Pretty rough country, Mrs. Olive....But not rough enough....I began toying with this, different nuances, till seeing I was a verge of losing my edge. A wee slip and I could be sliding fast under a log or rock. Thus the old psychic warrior got on down....pretty rough country, Mrs. Olive....But not rough enough....Lady went directly to the pups. I spent some time comforting Rosa, who was still emotional.
I had the pups living in my car over two months. But some utter fool took away Lady with gorged tits before their eyes opened. I got her back. She had been running in the brush near my nephew's, outside Boulder Greek, being disobedient, was going to have to nurse within a half hour. Maybe she had cut a quarter mile to the highway, maybe she got hit. I contacted the Humane Society in Santa Cruz after two days, and surprisingly that evening they found her, in a small town between Santa Cruz and Boulder Greek. Told me I could get her in the morning even though it would be Sunday. Relief was great. Gone three nights, she had lost pounds of muscle, her tits ballooned tight and they were bigger than they would be on a fifty pound cow. She had two egg sized blood clots in her tits on her right side, and there was injury in her right hind leg or hip. I hope she bit somebody getting loose. I had bottle fed the pups, and Rosa had begun nursing. One of the eleven pups I found dead and bloated the day after Lady got back, one with a stub tail. Two others had stub tails, one a half tail like Lady. Rosa continued nursing, produced milk in a few days and Lady was now willing to share the pups. Later in Berkeley I had a bad day trying to sell them at the flea market, age six weeks, and late in that evening I sold two to a woman for thirty-five dollars. Eventually I found people to take the pups, had a filthy car till the last two went at about age ten weeks. It had been a job, getting up early and turning them loose in the unfenced yard of Millie's Emeryville place where I stayed, shaking out their back seat blanket, washing it a couple of times, shaking out and rinsing the plastic sacks I was putting on the floor boards, feeding the pups and watching them get enough exercise so they would not chew up too much of the car, which soon they were climbing all through, and then I would have to run the adult dogs, doing all this two or three times a day. Found I could get fish scraps from a cannery near. I have brought up dogs on fish before. Just that most fish does not have enough fat. Too, eating all the high protein, even with all that bone, the pups did not shit in the car so much as they did eating dog food which is meat products mixed with a lot of grain.It is a strange and prevailing myth that a dog can choke and die eating fish bones or chicken bones. A dog is a natural scavenger, at fifty pounds has a throat much larger and tougher than does the human being. I have always given pups chicken bones soon as they could chew when their throat is about big enough to put your thumb down. The great society runs on myth and folly. We no longer have any village elders, but folks have yet to realize they are on their own. Last year in Austin I sat at my table eating chicken and arguing with my sister and Bix. To prove my point I suddenly held their attention by eating an entire drumstick easily. But it proved nothing. Billy Frank crunched up a drumstick bone. In Aransas Pass in the seventies when I descended onto my parents with the pack of big wild ones, I raised them with the mixture of fat I got from HEB, (Texas grocery chain) and all the fish scraps I needed from my taxidermists friends the Brownrats who had always fed their dogs thusly. I recall once their thirty pound family dog had a large fish bone lodged in his throat for days before coughing it up without any puncture. My growing wild ones would have a grand fight when I dropped a pile of tarpon or sailfish into the yard, aggravating my father. Hatch likes to demonstrate a story of my then taking ax and chopping fish plus my father's garden hose into pieces, over cries of my protesting father, but actually, I only cut the hose in two. Hatch accepted a dog, but returned it when his wife gave him hell because the large pup tore up her shrubbery. My parents kept that one with affection - Bullwolf. Once he was theirs, Bullwolf (Beowulf to my mother) got no more fish or chicken bones, eighty-five or ninety pounds of hybrid vigor beast, no matter my argument.
After my sister's third wedding, in Santa Monica, I drive down Hi-101, thinking to see scenery I saw twenty years ago and visit that beach again. I get very depressed because of conservative populations everywhere. There is no place in my unfamiliarity where I can stop with my wild dogs. I see no rest stops but one, small, crowded, with normal citizens. I cannot afford state park camping fees, which also charge for dogs. In '62, having hitch hiked from New York, I first saw that beach, went for a nude swim, no people in sight.I become very depressed. Even with Guiness Stout and LSD my personal problems are too much. I am wondering how I can carry on. Lady is half out the window and farting. I know she is breathing in the country, deer, etc., but I figure she needs to shit. Luckily I find a spot where I can pull over. I take the last two Guinesses and Lady's dog rope and follow the animals through barbed wire. It is woody, overlooking a gorge, and the happy beasts take off. Lady my less obedient checks back about every fifteen minutes, but Rosa stays out of sight. I see cattle across the gorge run through the woods. I finish the Guiness and start whistling for Rosa. Lady comes in again so I put her on her rope. Another quarter hour I am getting pissed. Then Rosa comes in, panting. She is wet from a creek, and smelling strongly of cattle, though I see no blood on her. I had been thinking on a conversation my anthropologist brother Mike and I had had earlier, opinions of many anthropologists being mankind's life is steadily more difficult since the development of farming. Hunters spend maybe twenty hours a week enjoying themselves on the hunt, their women doing camp chores and most of the gathering, and other time is spent spiritually, socially, making music, arts, etc., life without stress, "the actual good life." Except for possibly the macho sport of war, this is Eden, if ever there was Eden. I am very glad to see Rosa, not pissed now. The normally obedient dog had got herself a good run.
My mood changes. Obviously I am manic-depressive.Emeryville is a town under three thousand on San Pablo Ave. in the East Bay Area between Oakland and Berkeley. It has legalized gambling and a police force with a reputation for corruption. There is ample poverty, trash in the streets, and dealing of hard drugs, in particular crack. In 1988 the year's Spring Cleanup dates were April 9 and 10.
March 1, 1988
Dear Neighbor, Once again the city is providing a general cleanup at no cost to you, the resident. As you know, this is a service that no other city provides. I am writing to you personally to ask for your cooperation in keeping the streets clean and your environment healthy and free of rodents. Please keep your household garbage in an appropriate container, keep the lids closed at all times and keep the garbage area swept and free of debris that would attract mice, rats or roaming cats and dogs. Also, please keep your papers tied securely to keep them from blowing around the neighborhood. This YEAR'S SPRING cleanup dates are April 9 and 10, 1988. If you have any questions, you can contact the Public Works Department and speak to Daniel Martinez, the Maintenance Supervisor at 654-6l6l. I want to thank you all for your cooperation. Sincerely,
EMERYVILLE CITY COUNCIL
Millie wanted me to come with her to see. I waded out into the day and followed her down the alley. Police cars were lined in the short, dead end alley. There were police on foot. There were two wreckers. There was a van of hooting, laughing workmen, who played they were barbarians in a movie, breaking things, swaggering. The hurricane fence of Andre's back yard ripped up, the van backed in the yard, workmen on a walkway from van to boxcar hauled heavy things out of the boxcar and tossed them upon Andre's picnic table till it busted. Millie was indignant, angered, had me stand by her and eyeball the cretins. Self conscious, first they blustered, put on more show, acting out with one another for support. In their movie, they were not wild and free conquerors - they were stupid brutes. clumsy, drunk barracks soldiers, the horde, the rapists. They waddled in their swagger. I would catch eyes of individuals and do macho to macho psych. The warrior to riff raff. Then there is Millie the crusader. Losing confidence for a moment the ruffians got less brazen about smashing stuff. At one point Millie had me hold the station while she went to call newspapers. By then the little mob - multi-racial, couple white guys, couple black guys, an especially vicious Oriental - had reinforced itself, carrying on with cheerful impunity. Other neighbors of Andre's had gathered, older folks, amazed. Millie could get no newspapers to come cover Emeryville's crime in action. Either they feared Emeryville, or as they claimed they figured Andre had done something very wrong. Millie rejoined me and we stood a while more. She pointed out a husky white thug in crew cut for me to psych, I already got him, I said. A big fat black one momentarily hoisted an ax and glared at Millie, and she told me. I worked on catching his chicken shit eye, calmly, and he was evasive. We did have power, and the blond one, friendly-like, from cab of wrecker as he was pulling out, told us all Andre's stuff was stolen anyway. Millie and I returned inside. I tried to resume my acid reveries. All this disruptive noise continued all day. Howls of the mob, the crash of wreckage. Andre had very much stuff. Nothing had slowed by early evening when Andre came in from work. He had not been informed and he was shocked. He snatched the keys out of a wrecker and ran into his house. Millie had given me this detail, when she asked me to go get something out of her car's trunk. The end of her parked car was barely into the edge, and cops and workmen behind a car parked in connecting street near Millie's began hollering to me, "Get out of the line of fire!" They were smiling and gesturing, and I asked if they were serious. I went over to them to determine such. They declared Andre was armed, and from Andre's end a voice in microphone ordered: Get out of the line of fire! I could see no line of fire, not from the alley nor across Kevin's yard. I took whatever it was I was getting from Millie's trunk. Inside, I related these developments to Millie. Millie was already pumping adrenalin, in her crusader role, and this set her into action. Near tears she took me with her and we walked through the police plainclothes lines. A plainclothes cop told us it was alright, that Andre was not armed. The uniformed cops had pistols drawn, peering over the parked squad cars like TV. At least one held your official pump twelve gauge. Kevin later told me they had ordered him away from the window of his house.Andre, a small thin man of great spirit, who as a boy had watched the allied commanders sacrifice much in tanks and men retaking his town from the Germans (says General McArthur who returned to the Philippines is not shit in Europe), found this matter scary. Millie and I had to knock a time at his front door before getting in. Also we talked to a friendly policeman parked in front, a guy for whom Andre the mechanical genius had previously done work. This man on duty gave the official spiel I had already heard a few times in the alley: "If you feel you have a complaint, you can etc." Millie and I saw Andre to be stimulated, though clear in his mind. Later Andre's lawyer appeared. The lawyer, an old friend, had to chuckle once at Andre's temper and feisty personality. The destruction in the back yard continued - the box car at dusk being maneuvered by the wrecker. Andre wagged his finger through his window at the plainclothesman standing on his back porch: Shame on you! Shame on you! "Andre, you've had plenty of warning," righteously spoke the cop.
In fact, as Andre's lawyer was to find, Emeryville had acted illegally, by not allowing Andre seven day's notice of abatement, by striking in surprise, by never doing previous inventory on what possessions of his they were moving. The lawyer was able to get a few signatures from neighboring witnesses He tells Andre he will probably not win emotional damage, though Andre can surely be paid for material damage. That in itself must be a fortune. The many simple tools were stolen, and the ones the workmen could not understand - like an xray machine to detect flaws in metal - were all smashed. The lawyer says it will be an easy suit to win, though it will take years. Emeryville will hire expensive lawyers, lose, and collect from the tax payers.Andre tells me this could not happen in Europe. In Europe, the police are held in check, the individual protected, so long as the individual does not go against the government itself. Andre does not try to patent his inventions in the U.S., because the little man is not protected from the corporations. For this reason, says Andre, the U.S. automobile has not improved since the war, whereas the European automobile has. In the U.S., money is respected. In Europe, the president of Macdonald's is still a peasant. In Europe, the bias is not racial or against foreigners, but in class. In Europe you are high class by birth, no matter if the family wealth has been lost. Americans are considered peasants, because America was settled by peasants. Andre comes from aristocracy, married a U.S. peasant, and after having two children they divorced. In Europe divorce is frowned on. Andre had to move all his stuff from her cellar, having let her keep the house, had consequently acquired the sea train container for his shop. He told his people in Belgium what has happened. They find it amusing. What did you expect over there? they said. You should never have stayed there. The incident was a little more impetus toward our getting out the phantom magazine. I became familiar with Andre. But Millie would never get down to doing any illustrating for her love lorn column, "Moan With Millie," which in order to get it going I had, though with some consultation from Millie, already written. Millie's life is generally chaotic. She does not sleep enough. She spends as much as $5OO a month talking to several prisoners who call collect. Her attention span is brief. She is obsessively in love with Fast Eddie, a forty-eight year old bank robber. Fast Eddie is getting out soon, winding up a stretch for the murder of his best friend, who had ratted on him for robbing banks. Millie said to her best friend, Bibi Lyons, herself a great character, that "murderers need friends too." Millie, said Bibi, but he killed his best friend. Eddie got second degree murder for the crime - self defense - though he confided in Millie how he had slowly twisted the knife in his friend's heart, having him beg and scream. Millie relates these matters to her friends and they are worried for her. Her children act blase. Her daughter Maya is pissed that Eddie gets money out of Millie. Bibi says Maya "would poison Eddie like ants in the kitchen." Millie's children get much of her money and each month the telephones or water or something is getting cut off or about to. Naturally, Millie's art is forsaken. All this was driving me mad. I was doing many errands, between Millie and her son Mark in the wheelchair. I never had enough change, each day needed something, gasolene, coffee, dog food, protein for three laborers. I would work with Millie when she needed me, and she drifted out of paying me till I hurt my back. It is an old injury. I had been trying to communicate, that I had a bad back and needed my siestas, and finally one morning in my back's uptight condition I made an error of doing one armed pushups before I did my hamstring stretches, and was rendered incapable of walking. Meanwhile, Bonnie Olive had sent me $150 to pay Mike Lyons to do the computer layout. Suddenly Millie needed a couple of grand for back taxes on her Emeryville house or lose the property. I squalled but let her borrow the one fifty and she had not finished paying back money brother Kelly had sent me xmas. In a panic Millie borrowed enough money to gt her taxes together, claiming on her next pay checks she would have "lots of money." My back was the worst it had been since I hurt it in 1967, and for three days I could not shit. Lady was coming out of heat, and now I am worried she is showing pregnant. Each morning I would crawl out to the tree where I had had Mike Lyons drive from San Francisco and tie them, and I would untangle their ropes one handed, leaning on the other hand and my two knees. I was mainly left alone, and hungry. Kevin was coming over for his coffee as usual, and I would direct him in making it himself. He began bringing me food, snuck from his beer-holic mother's refrigerator. First time it was sweet potatoes and opossum. His neurotic working mother is second generation country, and a fellow from the countryside will sometimes give her game. I have eaten various critters but opossum is the first meat I actually do not care for. I ate about three quarters of it for strength, tossed the fat and bones out my bedroom window to my dogs. When I was on my feet and bent over and annoyed with Millie, I gathered things and dogs and drove to my sister's big production wedding. Night of the wedding I had eaten nothing except acid that day, and got very drunk, and danced, wild white nigger most the women kept well back from. I did consider not coming back to Berkeley at this time, but Bibi convinced me the magazine would never get going were I not here. I camp out, and hang out, and bicker with Millie. Camping out I strained the bad back breaking up my dogs' second serious fight, blood splashing. I struggled with Millie getting back the one fifty, then the car broke down. Andre Carpauix put a hundred dollars worth of parts in it for me. Kevin meantime bringing me breakfasts about three times a week during my stops here, eggs and bacon and such meats. One day we ate eighteen eggs (I had eleven) and a pound of bacon a piece. Then his mother caught him lifting a dozen eggs out of the refrigerator, as punishment made him eat them all. Next, she overheard Millie asking Kevin for some milk (for her coffee one morning), believes Millie is the one he has been bringing food, cut his allowance of twenty dollars a week to fifteen. My back slowly gets better, I wait for the one armed pushups. I am about to get some modeling work. Kevin took me down to the plasma center. At the plasma center he was exactly the same unruly cub scout, but louder in the noise, asking everybody for cigarettes, hollering across the room to me - there were about ninety percent blacks off the street, shaking their heads at Kevin - and giving plasma is a process taking a couple of hours and as we did this, laid down clear across the room from one another, he still hollered at me. And the month closed. When in correspondence Bonnie learned I was selling plasma twice a week she decided to send me a hundred a month while she can, before she gets pregnant. Millie has one nice prisoner friend, Tate, a black person like all of them, but he is not of the ghetto background. He is in for white collar crime, and for drunk. Mike Lyons and I have appreciated his illustrations on mushy love letters he writes Millie. After I wrote Tate, he agreed to do Millie's illustrations. He says they are ready, in the mail, but Millie has to pay her P.O. box bill before we can see them. Tate sounds reasonably enthused about "Outlaw Sentiment." He is a great illustrator.
As it is most common in the world of folly and myth, the freer spirit of Millie Harris is laced with conservatism. She enjoys a sense of mysticism and witchcraft, but she is ignorant of animal life or the physical universe outside the cities. She, and her daughter Maya, thought all the U.S. was city limits. Not so, I told them in separate dialogues. There is 30, 40, 50 miles between towns that is not city limits. Well, what is it called? they each had asked. Why, it is United States! I told each in her turn.Millie had tried various employment before getting into her janitorial business. She worked in a diner, where she was spied wearing a scarf over her head and looking like a gipsy by this middle aged woman from the Philippines. Are you a fortune teller? the woman asked her. Having some psychic abilities, Millie replied modestly in the affirmative. Since then the woman calls up Millie, asking for bits of advice on her life. She warts Millie, and offers more money, and Millie is rude, cuts her off, but gives her a few answers, which Millie says nearly always come true. In this matter, Millie has scruples, will not accept much money, knowing greed interferes with intuition. In one instance, Millie turned the woman upon Bibi Lyons, who can do Tarot cards like Millie and claims to have some psychic ability. When Millie was not available, the woman would jar Bibi on phone, till Bibi was hanging up on her and getting rid of her. Millie can not so easily use her intuitive powers with people she is familiar with, so does not try. In her early years Millie had taken to drink. It was serious, and most of her adult life she has been in A.A., fearful of ever again taking that first drink. With great belief in A.A., she once told me A. A. is "anarchistic." A big coffee drinker, she views the other drugs, cigarettes, heroin, LSD, as destructive, that marijuana leads to heroin or cocaine. To try to describe to Millie what LSD is, or to tell her that many folks like marijuana better than smack or coke, is like telling citizens chicken bones or fish bones cannot hurt dogs. Millie would believe a pit bull can die on a chicken bone and that said animal might eat a child. With enthusiasm she would provide the outlandish argument. Because she is fed not by truth but clamor, thus finds pleasure in irritating Billy. I tell her about Port Aransas, where my friends all their lives drive down the hard beach and park and see how the waves and water are that day, or my cabin, where I can sit on porch and look at the gorges and different weather in parts of the sky simultaneously. She likes to hear of these places and would like to see them or live in them. I explain in general to her the meditative life and she is in agreement. She is unhappy she has not returned to her art, for years now. The many months I have been here she has done a sketch of Maya quickly, well done while talking about her art, pinned it on the kitchen cabinet, and one day she did a painting, because Maya had wanted to paint that day, couple or so weeks ago, thinking she had finally returned to her art. But alas, her toil, her social life, her "telephonites" as Bibi, a victim herself calls it, and the lack of sleep, the daily pressures and calamities slam her about. She was thinking to get an art group together, to use me as model, but this, like Outlaw Sentiment, is talk. $7O,000 of Vancouver casino chips she discovered hastily buried among rubble in her back yard. Actually, a hungry poet friend, doing her yard work, found them, along with cheap jewelry, asked should he throw it all away. Give me that! I don't throw anything away! Indeed, as it is most common among the befuddled homeowners in our little world, she does not. That happened more than half a year ago. First thing, she contacted her lawyer. She and he were all set for a Vancouver vacation in the passion of that moment, but the lawyer asked for it and got word the chips were stolen property. Time passed. Her paraplegic son greedy Mark got different reports on the chips, trying to keep them himself quarreling bitterly with his mother. Most of it is in $25 chips, which he washed, being he has serious debts. At one point he had me wash the several thousand dollars of $l and $5 chips, gun on table. Young criminals Mark knew were coming to pay like thirty grand for them, a cut of which with he would later surprise Millie. He knew a bird in hand would absolve any quarrel with Millie. I was to be heavy, but people backed off of that one. Finally, through a gambler friend of my sister's, a $25 chip was cashed at a Vancouver casino. The story is the $25 chips are used to cash in what one earns gambling in the Vancouver casinos, and a person would draw suspicion cashing too many. Mike Aries moved into Millie's house. I had been there off and on amidst quarrels. I would leave in loud voice, stay away a couple of weeks till Millie and Maya were missing my protection. This they would not admit to me, but to other people. They were both living in the Emeryville house with its neighborhood of crack and thieves, because the telephone had gone out in the Berkeley apartment. There had been one rip off in Millie's Emeryville house, an evening Millie and I had hurriedly left together, neither of us locking the back door. I bought groceries and did pullups and ran dogs in Berkeley Marina Park, returned at dusk finding the door wide open and color TV and nice radio gone. I also noticed I hadn't locked my window in back room where I had been sleeping, made mistake of saying so to Millie. The thief naturally had knocked on first the front door then on the back door, and then entered but I got the blame. But I fell back into grace while the police forces were hounding the homeless who have automobiles, this time lived in Millie's back yard.Kevin's mother, citizen Mrs. Arbuckle: Why is that man sleeping in the back yard - he looks like wolf! I would work out swinging my forty-five pound dumbbell, read, lay up, be finding homes for Lady's second litter. Yes, dog across the street had got in there when I could not walk three days, six living big pups, only one female, but they went to decent homes. Maya, showing more maturity plus intelligence and a likeable personality, had taken a great fondness for the last two pups, the female in particular, but Millie did not want her to have a dog. My car parked in front of Millie's house I got tickets, on my license plates, on the dogs in car, a couple bull shit "seventy-two hour" things" though I drove my car daily, via Kevin's very unpleasant sister, Fat Paulette. Millie at the time rating me part of the household, made room for me to park beside her car in the back yard. So Mike Aries moved in, as did Bob, Millie's musician boyfriend, and Millie's conservatism re-emerged, exclamations about her yard and her water and give her one hour free work each day for rent. I never minded the one hour free work, but the exclamations. I might hear them before even a "good morning." Mike is an Aries, a fortyish little guy with a lot of generosity whom people will take advantage of and pick on till his fierce temper presents itself, a teletype operator, a gambler. He had just escaped a worse household, where he had run himself broke trying to appease an alcoholic woman with bills, a bartender. There was a Bukowlsky-like scene. While Mike was in the bathtub, cooking a roast in the oven, the bitch was in and out with a drunk boyfriend. The bitch took out the roast, threw away the thermometer - "This damn thing's no good!"-- cut off chunks of uncooked meat and gobbled them, and lost temper with Mike and threw the roast at him in the tub. The roast got tossed about, and Mike Aries gave up the bath. He was holding a towel around self, and she attacked him with her fists, as went her custom. Mike pushed her and she slipped on grease from the roast and floundered into something, got bruises. Her big boyfriend sprang to her cause, took Mike by the throat, but was pushed backward and went through a window, receiving a serious gash which sobered him up. Glass had taken the woman in the neck, missing her jugular. Mike's gambling instincts are at rest while he applies his teletype trade to get back on his feet. The day we met he came with me on a long walk down the railroad tracks, and we smoked a joint of leaf. One thing we talked about was the chips. He was fascinated, wondered how months had passed with nothing done. Back at the house we talked with Millie, and plans were discussed about two or three of us spending time in Canada and turning the chips into money. I can't leave my dogs, so thought it appropriate for Millie and Mike, or Mike alone, to fly to Vancouver to do it. That night Mike was kind enough to accompany Millie and me on some janitorial stuff, and Millie shocked us with a paranoid outburst about smoking dope and snickering behind her back. In short, nothing gets done out of Millie's household. Mike learns this and loses interest in the jabber about the chips. Mike works for a Japanese trading outfit, and they deal with a company in Taiwan which produces these "panty roses," imitation roses on sticks - red, yellow, white - which can unfold into women's panties. They could be marketed over here - all one has to do is get a store to buy a batch for say two dollars apiece, sell them for maybe five. I think Mike said he can get them for one fifty. Mike, and his fellow wage earners, do not want to take the time to mess with it. He tried to get Millie to. Knowing Millie will not get that organized, I thought to, though my clothes are rags and I am not of this disposition. Desperately needing money in life to do something about my daughter, I got psyched up over night to do it, next morning was jotting down the information from Mike, and Millie and Maya jumped at me, they could not imagine Billy selling something, and Millie will always move if she thinks someone might get something she ought to get. Millie and Maya just would not shut up their interruptions. I struggled with the chaos of the household a good bit, then I got Millie to agee to do it herself but please do it, I was worn out a la Outlaw Sentiment.. At some point some hours later Millie was dressed up and she called one store. The store did not want to see anyone, they wanted to be mailed photographs. That is as far as that matter gets. Static on the yard and water grew more intense. One morning I was enjoying a visit from Eugene Nelson, a writer of anarchy whose philosophical novelette, "The Man Who Would Not Use Electricity," was one of the things we would run in Outlaw Sentiment. I had yet to even take my morning shit when Millie came in, back from her early janitorial chores, raving, without even a hello to Eugene (whom I had met through her, but whom she had complained does not come to visit her but only Billy), her yard, her water, one hour work a day. Eugene could not handle it and upped and left. I could no longer take it, hollered at my spiritual sister I was moving to Andre's. Ah, shut up! Don't tell me shut up in my own house! I pulled car and dogs and all my stuff into Andre's back yard. Andre had invited me many days earlier but I had been putting it off. I had been doing some letter writing for him in his war with Emeryville. He had done work on my car and we were getting on well. Andre says at least two hundred other people had lost stuff in his shop, things he was designing for them, tools, parts of cars. He writes letters from these friends, smart, creative, has the people add to them or put them in their own words, sign them, and the letters go to the City Attorney. Andre is rather famous, dealing with more people than Emeryville had considered. I did one of the letters to the City Attorney for him, re-worked it and primarily bulked it with my account of the pillaging contained in this book, omitting the fact of my having been on acid. I sent copies of this open letter to the City Attorney of Emeryville, to the supposed leftist papers, the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Guardian. It is difficult or impossible to get them to respond. The Guardian claims they want stuff "more political," and the Express acts too busy. A Mike McGrath of the Express was going to meet with us, but evidently went and got himself brain washed or intimidated by Emeryville, on phone with Andre sounded like Emeryville, said he would see what he could do, ignoring the fact of the crime, the pillaging. Without his shop, Andre is running hither and thither all day, usually out somewhere, his phone ringing, a man in demand. Next he had me write Mayor Bukowlski, whom he had done work for and been on terms with before the guy got elected. Next, the City Attorney, as well as the City Engineer, are fired. Andre learns this from a friend who is City Inspector and Andre credits this action to my letter to the Mayor. Heads are expected to roll like Watergate on up the line of command. Police Chief Colleti and the little black ass hole plainclothes pimp cop who had directed the pillaging are said to now be in line to go. Andre's former lawyer has backed out of the case. He says he is too busy and strapped paying his monthly overhead to spend a couple of years doing nothing but suing Emeryville. Yet he says, says Andre, that Emeryville may have to give Andre back his shop. Recently I helped Andre bring in a pile of heavy blocks, got off a friend in construction, for the sea train container's foundation. It does appear his shop had not been illegal in the first place. There is no change in the mystery of why this has happened. One of the people who lost in the shop is a British scientist who was co-working with Andre on an invention that will evaporate the solids in sewage. This woman fears the FBI or CIA is involved, that maybe they think she and Andre are up to something other than inventing a machine to oxidize shit. Andre thinks she is probably paranoid, hopes so, but wants the matter kept quiet. I guess, by time this gets published, it will be O.K. to talk about it then, but I'll check with Andre.
Kevin tells me his mother and Fat Paulette are unhappy to see Andre still here. His mother is weary, and if I say, Hello, Mrs. Arbuckle, she responds, one day caught off guard called me "Honey," southern, like my mother. But Paulette is murderous, will call the cops on a car parked in front of her house, "in her space," though her family has about four cars they are parking around here wherever they can put them, often in front of Millie's house. I can't understand it, but the cops will come and have an owner move his car out of Paulette's space. She had the cops come and get a van of Andre's, parked and legal across the street. cops came, kicked at the van's tires, had it hauled away via Berry Brothers. Andre had to borrow eighty some odd dollars to get his van. Andre says this will come up in court. A few days ago Andre was working on a couple of old cars on property of their owner that was edging the street. Over protests of this neighbor the cops, who claimed to Andre they were disgusted too, followed their orders and put the 72 hour warning on these cars. I helped Andre move the vehicles around the block into Oakland territory. Few days later, two days ago, the Emeryville police force got one of those cars anyway, and Andre was quick enough to drive the other one out of their way. It seems we don't have time at this point to fight Emeryville about the dip shit. Emeryville is used to doing whatever the city cares to do with poor people. It is vague, weird, muddled, just who is in charge. It would be funny for Mrs. Arbuckle and Paulette to see Andre get his boxcar back. Already funny they see me and dogs living in Andre's back yard. I guess they don't know people are being fired. Mrs. Arbuckle has been suing the city for negligence, for years has called the cops on anyone for anything possible, and the cops like to use her as an excuse for their actions.Andre had a roomer here, Rachel, when I pulled into his back yard. Then Liz moved into his large attic space, with her beautiful daughter, Jessica, age fifteen. Rachel is twenty-seven and Liz is thirty-eight. Liz works part time as an RN, Rachel does obscene phone calls, and a part time restaurant job. These women are smart, attractive, unpretentious. Liz and I were laughing a morning recently at Rachel with her wireless telephone, pacing about, walking out into the back yard talking loud enough for the Arbuckles to hear: What! You still got your underwear on! You little wimp, you get those underwear off right now! I've got this big dildo and I'm going to shove it right up your ass! Come on, you little slut, you can take it!
Is that all that he was doing
Well, Sir. He was holding a large dumbbell at the back of his neck. And his dogs just waited there.
His dogs just waited there....Mmm....How large was this dumbbell?
Uh, how large? I don't know. Heavy. Sound of it hitting the ground you could hear the clank with just your ears.Then he laid down. One of his pit bulls went laid down beside him. Before that he had been waving at us and looking at us. He knew what we had. Once he bent way over and smiled at us between his legs, upside down. Ocean Avenue is the street wherein Emeryville begins its "abatement of public nuisances," we are told at the City Council meeting September 5, 1988. The squad cars drive through frequently. Across the street from Millie's household, and the Arbuckle family, and Andre's household, are mainly poor black people and their families. The squad cars will drive up the trash strewn alley behind Millie's and Andre's, named Peabody Lane. Much of Peabody Lane is residential, black and white, but at a corner across from Millie's goes a large filthy tin wall factory of some sort, behind Arbuckle and Andre and a big happy family of whites, the Smiths, whom Kevin calls rednecks, with the mother who used to work on the Emeryville police force and who will discretely spy for Andre (word is the City Council wishes to keep our outcry quiet, but wait till next week), past couple more poor addresses to the dead end. Mrs. Arbuckle, squeezed in her little house and tight middle class lawn, suing Emeryville for negligence (negligence in general), has bumped the tin wall driving into her garage, a few times, and this is why I am told, I saw a man out making a hell of a racket one morning hammering on said bumps sticking out of tin wall interfere with Arbuckle's driving. Fast food wrappers blow about in weeds of tin wall, and from Peabody Lane most of Emeryville is factories and filth and pollution that drops on my car windows. I saw a cop driving up Peabody Lane in the dark morning, backing up to peer into the darkness of Andre's yard, heading forward slowly again till halting at the Smith's, then backing up looking at Andre's yard in the dark the second time. I sleep lightly and piss in the night, and Kevin, who is early to bed and sometimes five o'clock or earlier rising for a cigarette, saw the cop, identified him with better sight than I have as the Oriental one, and Kevin's time of five fifteen corresponded with mine. Mike Aries heard noises of pain and fear come through his window one evening. First he could not figure what it was. He went into Millie's back yard, seeing into the Arbuckle garage a man choking Kevin for visiting the white trash. Kevin was whimpering that he would no more, gasping that he would get a job. Michael Arbuckle is the oldest brother and the tough brother, 1ives out of the household but is called in for keeping Kevin in line. Mike Aries exploded into vehement gut curses and whirled about. Michael Arbuckle released his brother and threatened Mike Aries. A battle of frustrated curses raged through the fence. Yeah, beat 'im up, treat 'im like a dog! Come over here, honkie, I'll kick your motherfucking ass! Millie called cops on Arbuckles. First time ever cops called on Arbuckles. cops talked to Michael Arbuckle. Kevin would not talk. cops talked to Millie who gave long story on Kevin's abuse. Kevin got past that one. He sneaks over to Millie's for coffee and she and he are closer. With the cops watching Andre and being such friends of Kevin's mother and sisters, Kevin won't come to Andre's, but I hand him coffee, which sometimes he helps me buy, over Andre's fence (Mrs. Arbuckle's fence, she had it put in and fudged over Andre's property some, so she could get her bulk around her house, says Andre). Kevin has even been doing work with Millie's janitorial, early mornings sneak out. Millie is advising him, be getting free of his mother's household. Kevin won $lOO on the lotto, made mistake of telling his younger sister, Myra, the nurse. Myra reported to her mother. Mrs. Arbuckle tells Kevin the SSI people will have to take it out of his check. Kevin does not see his SSI check anyway, because Mrs. Arbuckle handles it, giving him money for clothes and slowly building Kevin a small bank account. Millie talks to Kevin about getting the SSI money transferred. Kevin would like to spend time in my New Mexico cabin and go to school at the World College twenty miles away. Kevin has talent in art, shows us his drawings. We learn his IQ was taken at one thirty back in school. He babbles off the wall his autobiography, fights he had in school, family abuse, his weight and height certain years when particular songs came out on pop charts. He can sing a bit. In public with Millie going to job: I am black and proud of it! Most of these people around here are Negroes! But I'm a young proud black man! I had a bad day August 22, 1988. Millie rousted me from my foam rubber in Andre's yard before seven thirty telling me Mike Aries was hitting her and Maya, and I had to do something. Ah, let me take a shit first. Many of her sentences are exclamations. I figured I needed coffee and a bowel movement. She acted impatient with me, said her lip was busted and went back to her house. I fixed my coffee in Andre's kitchen, carried it over to Millie's before taking my shit. Mike Aries had been upset two or three days since running out of gas. He blamed Millie for his running out of gas because she always grasps for more money. Her telephone had been cut off again and he had paid her half a month's rent ahead of time, ran out of money and gas and had his car towed, costing more money. Before his car got towed he had seen me at Andre's a couple times that night, needing some money and a gas can. He had been bad off at that point. His second time into Andre's, Liz was here, and she found him a gas can. She and I and a new comer, Peter, were drinking whiskey, but I offered Mike a ride. Later I learned from Millie, who bought him some gas and gave him the ride, he had already destroyed her two cans, rage in his hands, throwing one can with gasolene in it out into the street in fact. Your goddamn can won't work. With my little coffee pot and cup I sat down at Millie's kitchen table and talked to Maya who had tears in her eyes. Mike Aries was in his room, Millie was calling the cops the second time because Billy was too slow. Mike had ambushed Millie - "sprang at her from his door when she was heading out to work six thirty A.M." - wanting his money before she had any money. His tone was nasty, calling her "ho!" (Means whore.) In the madness he had flung her, flung her purse into street, and snatched Maya by the neck. Maya told me he had smacked her too. I went around to Mike's back window to be communicating. I had to rap hard on the window. He was curled up in his clothes as though asleep. Coming out of it to deal with me at his window he firstly acted sleepy and innocent, then hostile on my mentioning his hitting them. I didn't hit nobody! Look, Mike, they have no reason to lie, why is Millie's lip busted? (Her lip, I later understood, had been bruised.) Mike and I had zero communication, till I said the cops were on their way. Again? What for? They've already been here! He pushed his quarter ounce of bud on me to hold for him. Soon he slammed his window In my face. Two cops came in. One is a tall guy named Lopez, saw me standing around with no shirt as usual, pointed: Is that him! No, that's just Billy, said Millie. The other cop was the Oriental, a quiet guy. May I insert, when the Oriental cop had studied Andre's yard at five fifteen in the darkness of the morning, it was, still is, filled with Peter's furniture, disturbing Mrs. Arbuckle, for Peter had lost his house, but the cops had known all about the furniture first thing so I don't know why the Oriental cop was looking at it. (One day I had surprised a uniformed cop who stood inside Mrs. Arbuckle's yard taking photographs of the piles of furniture through the fence - I had appeared standing for I had been doing my midday repose, sat up in my sleeping place behind my car, put on shoes, stood, powerful barbarian. The cop abruptly went back inside Mrs. Arbuckle's.) The Oriental had been present during the pillaging of Febuary 18, and I had spoken to him that day, asked why was "all this stuff being broken?" He was slow to speak, and the plainclothes pimp little black cop, Doug Manning, in charge, jumped into my face, declaring nothing of value was being broken. Man, I said. I am not hallucinating all this and I am not going to argue with you. I had turned and walked away. We had a bit similar scene with him and Lopez one sunny day in Millie's yard, when the Emeryville police force was leaning on Andre, and now Millie, to clean up their public nuisances. I had got into another little argument then with Manning, because he will say stupid thing. I told him I was not going to argue with him this time any more than the time a million and a half (by estimate of Andre and his lawyer who backed out) dollars of material was destroyed in Andre's yard. Lopez, who had been putting on charm with Millie, lost it - Look, buddy, we're talking with Millie! And I turned my killer back on them and walked away. After Lopez's reaction that I could be Mike Aries, Millie brought it up in a day or so: Billy, they really want to arrest you. Lopez was sorry that nobody would yet press charges, said he didn't want anybody hitting anybody, that if he has to come over again he is going to arrest somebody. I told him I would defend Millie and Maya if necessary. He backed off, glanced at my naked navel, said we could of course defend ourselves. The cops left and I had a useless short talk with Mike, ended threatening to bust his ribs if he hits them again, returned to Andre's to finally take my shit and take dogs a few blocks and do my little workout. Mike came over wanting his weed while I was exercising. I told him I would give it to him if he would communicate. I was bent over extending my forty-five pound dumbbell in a movement, and Mike said something about killing something I love (my dogs). I finished the set, braced him, man, I almost hit you then. Now, common, let's start trying to communicate. So you won't give me back my marijuana, huh! Well, Billy, I'll have you know, I have you on tape. I got you on this tape now and we'll be hearing this in court! Mike Aries had this little pocket tape recorder. This be one of his practices. There is a fat woman on welfare, with whom he had been compatible long enough for her to get pregnant, being they had agreed to have a child, his first, a son, but she just wanted one more kid in sake of her welfare, says Aries, and she denied it is his kid and had a restraining order put on him, but he got her on tape, admitting it is his son "but with all her traits." The son is yet an infant - the woman is a horrible mother, says Aries, and will raise his son fucked up like the boy she has at present who is four years old and she never lets him out of the house. Mike Arie's ambition is to save enough money to get her into court. He was so difficult with me that I suddenly slammed my hands to his neck and laid him on the ground and he feigned unconsciousness. Ah, knock that shit off! You're not hurt! said I stomping the little recorder with my tennis shoe. Billy, you've got my shirt dirty and I've got to go to work! Somehow, he had been carrying two recorder type things while on his way to work. Back over in Millie's yard, with threat he is packing and apt to blow me away, he threw this other one clear across Arbuckle's yard and hit me in the foot in Andre's yard, raging that I had already busted that one too. Then later he was coming back to get both bent things. But, while he was back in Andre's yard at some point, Andre's phone rang, and I took it, nobody else being up yet and Andre early to bed and early to rise was out into his twelve hour day oblivious of his hippy type semi-freeloading house mates, no work ethic complex this genius, nosir, just living his life. The phone call was this attorney I had been trying to get hold of to see would he take on Andre's case. I was barely talking to the attorney and people were rapping at the door. Come in, I'm on the phone! In came one large detective named Sierra, flashing his badge, and the City Inspector, and Doug Manning.
The attorney on phone, George Alshular, who is also on the Berkeley police force, understood I was having trouble and said he would get back to me. These guys were already taking photos inside Andre's house. The City Inspector is actually a spy, on our side, a friend of Andre"s, but there is this move to condemn Andre's house which has been going on quite some time like everything else. Sierra is sort of a friend of Andre's, has gone skiing with him, Sierra s brother having been a student of Andre's. Sierra amounts to kind of a slob bully boy, a cop, perhaps not a bad sort otherwise. Our loud voices drew Liz the part time night nurse from her bed upstairs, who felt she should interfere before we had a fight, though, while I can't speak for Sierra, this was no idea in my mind. Liz told Sierra something about not expecting much help from her if she sees him hurt at the hospital. Sierra told Liz he might get her "barred" from her RN practice. Rachael came out of her room. Jessica the fifteen year old beauty looks age nineteen came downstairs. Not being able to lean with much success on anyone, Sierra called my car, in Andre's back yard, both dogs inside it in heat, my trunk open full of my stuff, an "abandoned automobile." You know that I know you know this is not an abandoned automobile! Looks like an abandoned automobile to me. Doug Manning got my expired license plate number. Andre had explained to the Emeryville police force in a previous visit how I had paid for Ca. plates but was waiting for him to fix my muffler to pass the smog test. I spoke sharply Aug. 22, 1988, we don't know if this is Big Industry, Mafia, CIA or what, but Andre is not moving - you can shoot him - you can shoot me - this thing is not ending here!Next day, from Andre's suggestion, I did a certified letter to Mayor Bukowlski, reporting Sierra, telling Bukowlski he is running the same police state as before, but if he lets the cops take my car it will be known he allowed them to do so. Andre informs me Bukowlski, whom he has done work for, is this boyish and fortyish guy never moved out from his mother, who had complained at all City Council meetings as a citizen, published a little civic paper named "City Watch," who ran for City Council claiming he would do things differently, and surprised everyone by getting enough votes to be Mayor. I had to have some of Mike Aries's bud. He had refused to take it back, said he was too disgusted to take it. The girls were babbling. Jessica was calm. Rachael was saying let's find out who is his (Sierras) favorite whore. Liz was saying she ought to get Tiny (ex boy-friend, large guy, biker type, nice guy) over here. I took care of my dogs. That evening, I step out onto back porch, stoned, Lady is outside the car getting fucked. I had not rolled up my driver's window quite far enough after dog walk. Same free dog who got her last time, chow-husky cross. Leap over railing thud to the ground. Dog flees. When I had sacked out, Mike Aries startled me. He was telling me the tape I had stomped on was still good. I accused him of letting Lady out of my car. I had thought he had, because I had not been able to find his weed again, having put it in this milk carton and shoved it under my seat, but had shoved it under too far, and had found a wrong, empty milk carton. He denied he had retrieved his weed and let my dog get fucked, said I was probably just trying to keep his weed! Before too much more of it all I was taking hold of him. Quit hitting me, quit hitting me, quit hitting me! Mike Aries heads a foot down Peabody Lane. Look, I'm telling you, Billy, I'm packing, I'm packing, if you come into my room again I'm blowing you away! Because of this threat I start to follow him but he speeds up and moves past Millie's. Peter of the furniture is from Holland, been here many years and shows no accent, has known Andre, has a teenage son, who has black blood as does Liz's daughter, Jessica. In a cocaine affair, Peter had had his house in the name of his "best friend." This partner had borrowed money from somewhere, used Peter's house as collateral, and let the house go. This individual is a black landlord across the street from Andre's house, named Assan, well built and somewhat my size who likes to act sophisticated with his machismo. Before knowing he was Peter's ex-partner, or that he had been involved in drugs and sex with Rachael, I threatened him on Rachael's behalf. She had sold him a car, told him she would give him the title once she paid her tickets on it. He took this poorly, told her he ought to hit her. She came in and told me, by chance, I guess, fairly upset, and I went across the street, for he was outside, said I would hit him were he to hit her. Later on, getting more information, I felt a wee bit silly. I like Peter well enough. Regarding her fifteen year old daughter, Liz is worried that he uses crack. But Peter got into Texas Gang and dug it, even began the second reading, and any man what likes Texas Gang can't be all bad. He is literate, pleasant, or he can be, can be a gentleman. Said he wants to get a friend of his, from Book people, distributors, to read it. Anything to keep me half up. I stay low, low, in spite of the diverting humor, see my beard turning gray this year. Robert Berger, old friend of Andre's who has published around twenty non-fiction books, read a couple TG chapters, saw the value, advised me to get an agent, maybe start by taking it to Ten Speed Press in Berkeley. Millie does janitorial for Ten Speed. I had frequently been up there with her, knew they do non-fiction, which is less risk. Berger said they are doing some fiction now, so I went there in the day, met a woman editor, who talked to me and took the book. Soon, right after I threatened Assan, she called me, saying a guy at Ten Speed wanted to show it to a friend at Black Sparrow. I said fine, please do. In a couple weeks I had heard no more, went back to Ten Speed, met male editor Sal Glyn, a young guy. He did not know anyone at Black Sparrow, only would like to. He had read no more than a couple TG chapters, but had looked around in the book, liked the language. He informed me Ten Speed only takes on an occasional slim volume of fiction by now. Said they get a hundred manuscripts a week meantime. Said take Texas Gang to Black Sparrow, in Santa Rosa, that I might also try Black Lizard in Berkeley. I had, back in year, mailed TG to Black Lizard, Black Sparrow, and others, but I understand by now that where it goes nobody knows. I called Don Ellis, the boss at Black Lizard, was allowed to take TG up there. We talked and he seemed receptive, though he was in a hurry. I left him, thinking finally an established publisher will read Texas Gang. He had said he would take two or three weeks to get to it, but in a week a woman called me to come get my book. I complained that Don E1lis had said he would read it. He did, he looked through it, said the harried woman. Pissed, that once again some fool tried to speed read Texas Gang, I went and got my book, because I have run out of books. My day was ruined. It always ruins my day, men without imagination in the publishing world. Always had I the spark, natural talent, could have published books or short stuff either one in earliest sixties had my brother been an editor of power, yep, could have had any number of children and problems and women growing old on me, but I survive, in all my vigor, ready for the big one, the volcano. Bonnie Olive (keep forgetting her husband's last name) sends $100 a month "before she gets pregnant." She is late this time. I have no money to get to Santa Rosa. I fear she is angry mother has paid $235 on my California parking tickets. If you are broke in a car in a city you get fined and interest mounts and California was threatening my parents that they would arrest me. Daddy very pissed, but good that Mother paid, because there are some on the other side who are interested in arresting me. Then faithful Bonnie comes through (she had spent too much money off a two week pay check and been short), telling me let her pay any tickets from here on. I still am too behind to make Santa Rosa. Mike Lyons meets a smaller publisher, reads him the first TG chapter (Lyons had memorized that first chapter, before I met him, came and recited it to me, good drama talent, and we became house mates in Austin, 1979.) Said he had the guy laughing at the chapter one, claiming he would read the book. Ah, yes. So Andre and I get to see George Alshuler. Alshuler is O.K., has worked with ACLU and Black Panthers. Said the matter with the Emeryville police is a Gestapo mentality they have indulged in for years. Yes, they will take your car, he said. They won't mind killing either of you. It would be better for you to stay out of their sight, he said to me. Alshuler talked of dip shit abatement law, explaining they have likely covered their ass in the case. He would look over what we have, including all papers from Andre's former lawyer. However, of late Alshuler backs out also, says the main weakness in Emeryville's defense is the police conduct, and being himself a cop, he thinks we should go back to ACLU. ACLU had turned me onto Bay Area Lawyers For The Arts, who, because Andre is an inventor, got us Alshuler. ACLU tells me again try Bay Area Lawyers For The Arts. I have. They are supposed to call us back. Day after seeing Alshuler I got hold of a bunch of LSD from Liz's friend, Tiny, who had kept it a couple of years in a cool dark place. Thinking it should have deteriorated I ate a few, fifteen hundred micrograms had it not lost potency. Perhaps it had not. Sometimes Liz lets me repose on her daughter's mattress upstairs, and I smoked some of Mike Aries' bud and went up to meditate. In acid meditation. I have been doing a series of adult-child stories to Madrea, a la Wild Bill, which she can enjoy now, but more as she grows. Missing my daughter becomes too heavy, then I will do one of these pieces send a copy to her, hoping her mother will read it to her, and I get a wee bit of relief. Upstairs, I was not getting into a very good one, but I was getting quite whacked out and it looked good enough to me. I may know from experience, more about LSD end psychedelics than anybody in the world, including Tim Leery, and I know these experiences must be reevaluated, in sober states, plus in post trips.. Anyway, an impression was forming of man and child maybe hiding out from the white people, and into Andre's house came Millie and Bibi. Oh, God, went I. Liz or Michael came upstairs, said Bibi wanted to see me. I didn't want to be rude to Bibi. I respect her much but she is demanding, usually needing to be transported somewhere, talking more than anyone I have known. I demand my own time, or go crazy, why I am not employed (one reason) (can this be our world, where most folks are "employed," gads). I trudged downstairs to tell Millie and Bibi how busy I was. Look, I'm very close to my daughter right now, I think in a past life we were maybe black people, we were not white people. Millie the psychic was impressed, though she is anti-drugs and I told her I was on acid. Yes, Millie, but it does work, claimed Billy. You see now what it is! Millie, as go most of my old friends, likes theatrics, the humor, the diversion of it all. Billy! she squealed. Bibi was our mother in a past life! Oh no, I said. I'm not Going to let you hang me up! I'm going back upstairs!
However, it was too late. My tripping was fucked up, city life, city life. I could hear Andre and his old friend, Woody Chin, preparing for a quick trip to Arizona and back. Something about Andre doing some automobile repair for Woody's daughter, if I understand. Woody Chin is ex-military, had worked in Intelligence and been five years on the CIA payroll, but he is a great guy, age sixty-four, healthy, very Americanized, large sized Chinese descendant.BLACKOLIVE AND CHIN ON PHONE Chin: How are you? Working hard?
You're sorry, I've lost everything, heirlooms from my grandfather, everything!I had no plans to speak myself, being at heart a shy man. But the City Council had to try to regain their respectability, and ran through a pile of crap on desk, getting to "apparently inoperable automobile in Andre's back yard." When my car, home, dogs are threatened my heart has strength of ten. So I got up and kicked ass pissed, used Sierra's name and called his report a pile of crap, took biggest round of applause from all citizens not paid to be there. Andre, standing in doorway, liked the part about his smoking no dope, said Colleti was flabbergasted. Hell, Andre breaks no laws, I know, he is so much into his work he can't pay attention to these petty laws but he is no danger to the public, he never hurts anyone, he does all this cheap work on everyone's cars, he is very popular in the neighborhood, he doesn't even smoke dope, he doesn't even drink! When I sat down the City Council was mumbling about grants for home repair Andre could be getting. It is true Andre is no criminal. He is not concerned with crime. He is an outlaw. He is not concerned with law. When PG & E turned off Millie's lights, Andre rigged up her box, very simply, bypassed something, the kitchen had electricity and other parts of the house did not, looking like the workmen had fucked up in the box. We won the City Council meeting, and next week we have the next - one every two weeks and we're coming to all of them - Andre will bring in a horde of self righteous mechanics, grease monkeys in work clothes, many who lost stuff in his shop. Woody is coming to this one in his Major's uniform (he barely missed making Colonel before retirement - some kind of operation got aborted). Millie has chalked up latest persecution of Andre - cops told household of Andre's to put covering on naked manikin, in shed window of Andre's visible some years to Mrs. Arbuckle - there she was in bathrobe - after work one six pack under, in her back yard with two uniformed officers, pointing to armless, legless manikin a slant in shed window, I and two dogs get in car and drive out going to Safeway. Now Liz and Rachael dress the manikin, give it new shift or bathing suit, sexy pieces, each day. Oh, my god. It does not end. But end of chapter. I have to do two more long drafts just to send it to yall. Yes. Get up. Do little finger waves to unimaginative watching car unmarked 200 yds. over there just where the marked car had been 4 hours ago. I am not paranoid. Paranoid is Packy Gunter. Nobody gets out of that car. This is a park, camping grounds. Car just sits there, Dear reader, using equipment, I figure. I smile. They see me watching them between my legs when I do my ham stretches. They can watch me do 30 one 1egged knee bends with 45 lb. dumbbell on neck. But enough.
Lady was concerned. Marlo stood out hollering for the guy's mercy. I didn't hit him. I bullied him. He was telling me a guy from people's Park named Gypsy had said he knew who I was but didn't know my name. In such poor communication I was telling him to tell Gypsy his ass is blood. In the possibility of the young fellow's innocence, I let him off. He attempted to regain dignity and repair his tent. I slapped it aside again, with serious warning.Also bad day for Marlo. I had my dog back jabbering violently. Told Marlo I had no money, was not gay, was beholden, owed him the favor. He would not shake my hand. After dropping off Maya a bit late, who thought I should not pursue the matter, poor young guy tried to get a dog, let it go (Maya, you just can't let the riff raff get any edge) (Re. Texas Gang), I drove to people's s Park.. Very first person I spoke to happened to be Gypsy's old lady, lying on blankets with three dogs. Couple male friends, hanging by, who happened to be Texans, one from Corpus. I was in a calmer frame, started out that Gypsy might be in trouble but I was willing to talk. If I have met Gypsy, I can not place him, but his wife was cool, smoking cigarette, discussing with me love of dog. Juaquim is the name of the young white guy who had kept Lady. Gypsy, said Gypsy's old lady, had told Juaquim he knew who Lady's owner is, though not by name. Gypsy's sympathetic wife told me Juaquim is a nice kid, had brought Lady to People's Park trying to find me. I have passed that way with dogs possibly as often as once a month.. I softened, told Gypsy's old lady to tell Juaquim he can have a puppy from Lady. Goddamnit, pregnant again.. I had been hoping she could skip and build up. A friend of Tiny's will let me use a stud free, ninety-five pounds of the most remarkable looking pit bull. He is all sculpted muscle, line of show biz pedigree, the pit bull's pit bull, named Whitey. Well, I have seen one other American pit bull, in this neighborhood, as impressive, a longer legged type, still filling out, maybe seventy-five pounds, usual stud fee at least a hundred. But Whitey is free, ninety-five pounds of man's given proportions for Staffordshire Terrier. Amazing Lady, in all her difficulties, has continued to mature physically, so, if she keeps looking so good, we will probably take on old Whitey while we can, probably in February. He is bright, easy going, what the hell - have eighty-five pounders instead of ninety-five pounders, maybe spay Lady once I have the male pup to cross with wolf, after I get that female wolf pup. When I'm back at cabin. Whenever I get the money, windmill, horse stables, take my daughter riding up the Sandre De Christos with canine pack, wolf dogs possibly strong as wolves in the wild, less aggresslve and wild, my pack, my guardians of my daughter. Real life, real life. In the meantime. This morning I aroused Juaquim again. Peace. The guy from yesterday. I hope you will accept a pup of Lady's. I don't care if you stole her or not. Some people speak well of you in the park. Juaquim mumbled responses but all I got to was the bottoms of his boots protruding from his blanket. Would you accept a puppy? Um. Yeah. Father is this chow/husky - Siberian husky, one of these little huskies crossed with chow, good dog. Look, Juaquim, I'm putting my number by your boots here. Um, O.K. She'll have'em in a couple of weeks. So in a couple of months I can give you the pick of the litter, male or female, whatever you like. I had felt bad about bu1lying the kid, scaring the shit out of him. Ruining his day. Just one of the homeless. Poor kid needs a good dog. He had taken good care of Lady. She likes him. Looks like it had been a matter of time before I got Lady back, in this case, I had been able to feel her, a1ways, as if she were not gone. But, I have endured so much, I can hardly differentiate between true feeling and desperation. By day seven or eight I was telling myself give up, bear it, onward for Madrea. The morning of the ninth day, having thought I was giving up, I awoke peacefully, coming out of a dream Lady was back. I thought the feeling was false, but I enjoyed it any way. I drank coffee, shit, walked Rosa, got into my workout. I had good strength, for a change. Marlo called. When I returned with Lady, I needed to finish my workout bad, and did so in good strength. Kill, violence.. The high still had not set in. I felt it coming, last night, trouble sleeping, but I had picked up some acid, so today I dropped, let it come over, went calling on that poor kid, Juaquim. He had not wanted to have to look at the savage again (all very funny, Dear Reader, Wild Bill the aristocrat this morning.....
|Sorry about our|
|Juaquim.) but I will|
Paulette continues to threaten Andre. I'm going to blow you away, honky! Rather amused, Andre files charges. Nevertheless, Fat Paulette, who, according to Kevin, has never been kissed, has a heart of murder and could get dangerous.In the United States, and South Africa, much of the fear that has been called racist is a consciousness of the situation. Andre deals with all types and notices that most blacks in the U.S.steal. It can be argued that most people steal, that it is human nature. Blackolive steals antihistamines in rationale the legal drug companies are gangsters, too, when you need it and can't pay you need it all the same. People in this neighborhood have always stolen from Andre, tools, car parts off cars he works on, and they are poor, lazy, mean, and he is white, though of course the blacks steal from one another. Andre does not hesitate to deal with a soul, and he gets around more than most. He has known black white-collar workers who got their jobs because they were black, but who took a cut in pay to get hired because they were "bad security risk," prison record, lack of education, or such reason for the employer to pay them less, and rather than have no job these blacks will not complain. Andre knows war, and did a military stint for Belgium in the Congo where enough carcasses of the Africans washed down river past bloated crocodiles to be seen in the ocean, understands the white South African fear, the fear in Israel. Like some white rednecks in the southern United States, he is aware of psychologies black people or the down trodden may have, and he would prefer to not be bothered. He and Woody Chin prefer to not eat at MacDonald's in this neighborhood, where the young locals are loud and ugly and make great messes. Life goes on. The pigs at the top want more guns and lawyers. Demand for drugs that desensitize is extreme in the inner city. In the prisons beds pour into the hallways and repeat offenders must be released on probation, but the pigs at the top are drunk or on stuff themselves and push for more stringent and more complicated law. Folks drink six packs and eat chips watching game shows and canned laughter on TV. Newspapers babble socially acceptable hypocrisy. Dictators are supported, the flow from the south becomes a flood. Kids in the streets buy machine guns. Dukakis lacks spirit and imagination. Bush the gangster gets elected. More law, more illegal money, more illiterate kids in the street with machine guns in their only chance at wealth. The U.S. is no longer number one economically and like a dying snake said to bite itself will keep trying for all the resources in Latin America. Woody Chin thinks the U.S. needs to annex at least Mexico. The blood flows, the guns, the drugs, the refugees. Pancho Villa gets napalmed in Texas. Tensions on the rise. Being Peter has disappeared with the van owned by a Belgium quadraplegic, who hired him as chauffeur for a trip to Baja California, the quad and his Belgium nurse now stranded, confused, I now have Andre's shed in back (had to get out of the rain), am awakened 2 A.M, by Andre, the yelling brute. But the racket shortly ends, Andre pushes my door. You in there, Billy? Yeah, I'm in here! Is everything O.K.? Yeah, everything's O.K., I just wondered where you are. The lights had gone out on our block some way and some guy who had a disagreement with Andre about a truck had knocked, then accused Andre of hiding from him and called Andre a little shit. You don't know why I have to be careful around here opening this goddamn door, come outside with me! hollered Andre, throwing a flashlight at the guy, who ran. Andre has to be careful, had considered a possibility of thugs hired by Paulette, couple guys she had been seen talking with. But again, our City Council meeting does not occur. This time, the entire thing was called off for some reason.. Andre and I did go up there and find this to be, and Khadijah had come and left and her mother was yet there, talking with another friend, Petey, a diver who lost stuff in Andre's sea-train container, but Millie had not arrived back yet with my car from a trip to Sacramento where she took an LVN exam, and the mechanic friends of Andre's who were supposed to come and rage about their lost possessions had chose instead to watch the baseball game. Woody had been detained with his daughter in Arizona. But, next time. Andre will try to get it all straight and get the grease monkeys up for the next one. Life goes on. Sure can be a hassle in the city. I think, after being here a year, well over my second wife by now, my old horniness is returning. The trouble from there, finding an attractive woman who will take me as I am. That part has always been difficult, and by now I am more selective than before but as broke. But I have finally applied for SSI, and am fairly eligible, don't have to lie to the other side in this case if I can only be believed. This will take maybe three months, but it will be retroactive from date of application. In California, this will be six hundred some odd a month, plus three hundred to Madrea, I understand. And Andre has connections for me to get one of these repossessed four wheelers for a few hundred, so I'll have my growing male pit pup and Rosa and Lady (after losing a strange bloat, Lady proves to be not pregnant, wow) trucking about. Very impressive. About all I'll be able to do as usual is offer ladies camping trips. But it always turns them on to see me dancing so maybe I could make some of these jazz night clubs, few drinks in the ladies, let them know later how the nature boy ain't got much past muscles and bulldogs and tank or chariot. Once, in Austin, when I had cash before getting the New Mexico land, I ran a personal column about a "philosopher-adventurer-warrior who looks like a Greek God" wanting a woman strong and smart, beautiful, etc., and I got much response from women who were mainly neither strong, smart nor beautiful. If I have time I could try this again, but I'll have to be a little more specific, stipulate they need to be wealthy and love butt fucking and dominance and literature and psychedelics and wild dogs and jazz and be of aristocratic savagery in general. Aren't women weird, my god. Well, Dear Reader, I think we are slowly on our way up. Maybe not so slowly. Mike Lyons is big success as Texas Gang story teller, in a story telling circuit, getting a radio spot in couple months, and we plan to make tapes, and get his publisher friend to print up a few more thousand because when people hear him they want the book. Next, there is this strange book review of Larry McMurtry's western "Only for Billy," seen in U.S.A. Today, done by Ann Vliet of Kyle, Texas, which is right outside Austin. Artist Steve Vaughn of Port Aransas had received it from Tiddle's sister, Patsy, in North Carolina, and mailed it to me. In her review, Vliet mentions two other books redefining the western, though unlike McMurtry's western the others are "nihilistic and have no humor whatsoever to dissipate the Greek-like terror." One of these two is "Blood Meridian," by a Cormac McCarthy, which I had never heard of, published in 1985. The other is "Tales From The Texas Gang," by Bill Blackolive, published in 1978. I need to figure how to capitalize on this fortunate shit. Maybe it can work that she has not read Texas Gang (must not even know there was only 2000 copies that reached throughout the U.S. and into Europe) because this provides me means of approach. I've written Vliet in Kyle and told her she may acquire a book from Kelly Olive in Seguin, next I'll send my last copy to U.S.A. Today explaining the book is not really published and challenge anyone to open a page anywhere and find it nihilistic or else without humor, invite Vliet to make amends by giving an honest review. Vliet should like this anyway, another chance to write in U.S.A. Today.
Andre Carpiaux has a washing machine. He gets up even earlier on wash day, washes all the household's dirty clothes, wrings them in strong hands and hangs them on his line. He is a busy man who spends no time on the sloth of others. This is remarkable. I am comfortable here.In previous chapter I erred, saying Andre's military duty was done in the Congo when the slaughtered blacks washed down river past the bloated crocodiles into the ocean. His military duty was done elsewhere, but Andre taught school six months in the Congo, right after the punitive action, African bodies seen at sea six hundred miles past sharks, 1958 when racism was less an international issue. The city of Emeryville has pulled back their police force since our first city council meeting, and Fat Paulette does not come anymore, but there is still pressure regarding such as Peter's possessions in the back yard. One of Liz's boyfriends, John, who owns an apartment building of Hell's Angels and artists in San Francisco, took it upon himself to "store" much of the more valuable stuff, but Andre is annoyed about several plastic garbage sacks of good mildewed clothing tearing out and starting to spread. He thought about washing and hanging out all this. Goodwill is a couple of blocks away and I suggested we call them to come get it. There are other unrelated decisions to make every day, and the plastic bags get torn and the nightly heavy dew feeds the mildew. Peter came back. He drank coffee and ate food and messed around with his stuff, crammed most of the bags in the shed I now occupy. Already in the shed was barely room for my foam rubber and sleeping bag, but Peter pushed more shit in there against the manikin in the window. The mannequin wears only a snazzy little tiger stripe piece on the crotch, triangle thing held by strings, Raquel having removed the top piece to wear herself. Two of Peter's ripped sacks of clothing stay outside, and that night it rained. The quadraplegic, Ian, from Belgium, after hiring Peter for the man's long planned trip to Baja had put $40 in Peter's hands for him to go buy insurance on Ian's van. In a couple of days Ian notified the police. An all points bulletin was put out, Peter's photo on the TV news. Peter is a dope fiend with charm. Ian and his Belgium nurse had stayed at the home of one of Millie's friends, a paraplegic named Willard who claims he has one million dollars. Millie had recommended Peter. We were all happy for Peter, thinking now he would get some fresh air and pull himself up. Millie was shocked as we all were when Peter took Ian the quadraplegic's van, but she predicted he would be back with a good story, charm his way out of it, and be Ian's driver. Willard and I had had disagreement back early in the year. He is a fat black queer who acts like an educated Nero. I had liked him alright to start, he showed interest in my book and I think I gave him a copy, and he gave me an address of a local small dumb publisher to whom I took a copy and have never heard from. Willard had hired me to do some chores, talking about a fifty dollar day for quick work, but when I reported he brought it to seven an hour and acted bitchy. He likes to give orders from off his back, giving one the impression he is unable to bend and sit up, but this is not true. He is large and fat and reminded me of a beached whale. Before doing any work I walked out on him. This disturbed him - he is a Leo - he called Millie several times to her amusement of course - trying to understand why Billy did this to him. Shortly after that he tried to get me by phone to report for work again, I would tell him I am not working class, he would lose it - but you are, you are, you don't have any money! A few months after that he called me on Ocean Ave., offering $lOO. "for an hour of your time." What's wrong, Billy, don't you like black girls? But, Willard, you're not a girl. But, Billy, you can close your eyes and pretend. I give great blow jobs. Willard, you are living in a goddamned fantasy! I am forty-seven years old and I knew who I was at age four - face reality! He was persistent and I hung up on him. This was very disturbing to Willard. Peter had been gone a few days, and Ian and his Belgium aid and a nineteen year old girl from Germany named Andrea, who had worked for Willard, appeared in Peabody Lane in Willard's van, one morning I was completing a workout. They had been so frustrated they were even asking me questions. My opinion at the time was something had to have happened to Peter, there being no percentages in stealing $400 and a van, that maybe Peter was dead. Millie walked up, whom Andrea has a rapport with. Andrea, blond, large, older appearing than nineteen, had been studying me. She got out and wrung Millie's hand, giving me an impression she was interested in me. Thinking thus, I had Millie later put in word for me with Andrea, which Millie did enthusiastically, while telling me nineteen is too young for me. (Once I told her when Maya is twenty-one I'll ask her out and Millie said she would kill me.) Andrea is interested in writing and Millie built me up there. Next day or so Willard and I had wee altercation on phone, about Peter, Willard trying to call me stupid, blabbering how Peter's kid (age 18) would be harassed by the other kids at school because of the all points bulletin on TV. I hung up on him with a degree of courtesy. Next, Willard told Millie I had referred to her as being sixty years old and senile. It is against my creed as a southern gentleman gunfighter to permit men to lie about me. I phoned Willard and ruined his day, said if he wasn't already crippled I'd fuck him up. He lost it, calling me white mother fucker. Willard, you are a beached whale! A beached whale, Willard! He really lost it and I hung up on him. Millie thought it awfully cruel to call a paraplegic a beached whale. I was actually a bit pissed, but found it highly amusing and went on about being a southern gentleman gunfighter. Millie said I was very complex. I said I was merely earthy, which she could not follow. Nobody else, including Maya who has worked for Willard, thought it too harsh calling Willard a beached whale. I only had time to converse with Andrea a couple of times before she returned to Europe, though Willard did what he could to interfere. Andrea said she would like to correspond. Eventually, Raquel had led Ian and assistants to the crack neighborhood frequented by Peter in San Francisco. There was parked Ian's van. Peter was located. Peter said he had been "on drugs." Charges were dropped. Time and expense had ruined Ian's vacation, though Peter's wealthy father in Holland flew to San Francisco to pay Ian. Ian was angry. But, as Peter did carpentry work inside Ian's van while it was parked in front of Andre's (and then, it was spotted by a cop, who pulled gun on Peter, with Raquel, thinking finally the goods was got on Andre), Peter, with Raquel, did end driving Ian to L. A., before Ian was to return to the old country (Ian was very glad to get out of this country, he told Andre). Raquel was paid not much past her expenses, said she took it on the chin for Peter's fuckup. Peter got no pay, but he bragged to Millie how Ian had him be kissed on each cheek. By then, even Ian was mad at Willard, who sulks now, talking of going to Europe. Millie says Willard will talk like this when his social life is down. We were not organized for the next city council meeting. Only Andre, and two mechanics, and a violent though poised old beatnik diver, Petey, who had lost stuff, were there to talk, plus Millie and I. Eugene Nelson accompanied Millie and me but was not talking. The talk was fine. Andre presented a story about a famous sculptor, whose lathe being designed by Andre had been lost in the shop, who had had car trouble on the street in Emeryville one night, Andre had come to his rescue, but three Emeryville squad cars pulled in, to tell them they could not work on cars in the street in Emeryville. When the cops left, they pushed the car over the line into nearby Oakland. Andre lacked tools, and they planned to get at it the next day, However, the Emeryville cops confiscated it anyway. So, the famous sculptor had no car and a few days later he was mugged and killed walking home This was Andre's talk at the meeting, winding it up with a threat. You guys had better get your jogging machines, because one of these days you will find your cars won't work. It was my impression the threat was a bit subtle and did not take. But once again the great point was being missed. Millie prompted me to get up and talk again, about the hours of purposeful destruction, million and a half dollars material alone destroyed by work men in fun, police with guns drawn, etc., to make sure the citizens got it this time. If Andre's sea-train container was illegal, it was absurd, only view spoiled was long dirty tin wall of a factory, weeds, trash, crud from the factories falls on your car window every day - whole thing was unreal, like maybe a blood feud in Mexico or somewhere. The City Attorney, a young woman now, was shut up, looking down, as were the rest of them, Mayor and four City Council people in front, three behind tables on each side including Police Chief, they who wish to build and sell beautiful Emeryville to the upwardly mobile class. Millie followed my talk, verifying as witness all that Billy said. Emeryville is shaken, wanting to shut us up. After we talked, citizens with their outraged complaints about trees and signs and things carried on as if nothing had happened. While the rest of the world turns, Liz, who is likeable and can be kind and intelligent, shows herself a babbling dingbat, a dumb cunt and lying bitch. She had sent her teenager, Jessica, to stay with family in L.A., in excuse Jessica was "fucking up too much," that influence of drugs and crime should be less in L.A. Jessica was not doing anything but skipping school. Though there is obvious love between the two, Liz in raving mania had punched Jessica's face one night Andre and I were trying to talk, bloodied her face, blacked her eyes, Jessica would not fight back just squalled. Liz is possibly using speed all the time, I don't know, but talking with her it is more difficult to get her to hear a sentence than it is Bibi. Andre and I figured Liz got her daughter off her hands to fuck around easier. We thought she had finally got rid of her super ass hole boyfriend, John, but after claiming so, John came calling, and they disappeared a few days, and returned from Lake Tahoe married. Andre had never minded John taking off Peter's stuff, as Peter has been unreasonably irresponsible while the house hold is besieged by Emeryville. John had disgusted us in an earlier quarrel with Peter, punching on Peter, who is smaller and would not fight, for napping against Liz's wishes in Jessica's bed upstairs when nobody was in. I had already been disgusted with Liz and John, because last year John had stomped in five of Liz' ribs, for fucking around, put Liz in the hospital, and Liz will not get rid of him. There is something warped. John is not even a respectable tough guy among tough guys, though many of his renters are bikers, but of course bikers are often chicken shit. John is maybe six feet, weak, fat, two hundred pounds or so, and Liz knows he is a coward. Except Peter is a coward he could have whipped John. We were very surprised Liz had married John. Night of the City Council meeting they were upstairs, had not been back from Lake Tahoe very long, Andre and I sitting at table of entirely cluttered dining room discussing our victory, this woman Sam knocked, raving about Liz is dead meat for sleeping with Orlando. Andre has known Sam and Orlando for years, they have always had bad fights. Andre patiently managed to convince Sam that Liz who had gotten married was not here. Sam was heading back out to her car, but John, needing to not face any more facts about his bitch, had to come downstairs and catch Sam about threatening his wife's life. Silly Liz, on her way outside over Andre's protests also, grinned, should I punch her? I had considered John could possibly be up to hitting somebody else's woman, but Andre had told me he wants no more physical stuff around here drawing attention, and he asked me to not get involved. Liz and Sam quarreled as John squatted on the sidewalk watching, Liz struck her, she had Liz by hair, being a little bigger was perhaps about to sling Liz, and John jumped on Sam, bearing her to the pavement. Watching from the front door at that point, going along with my word to Andre, I had to turn my back and return to the table, not seeing John pummel Sam's face. I have been disturbed about this. I was agitated throughout that night and into the following days. Liz and John even claimed to the cop on night shift Sam had threatened them with a gun. They ran on over to San Francisco, and the same cop, Oriental American, educated nice young guy, was promptly back with Sam who had gone to the police station. Andre backed up Sam's story. The gun, in a form of wondrous logic, was a plastic toy off Sam's front car seat. Liz had snatched it. Possibly, Sam had touched the toy first, but that makes no sense either. John the slob carrying on about anybody threatens his wife a life with a gun. I rationalized, here is John so insecure, going to be fucked over by Liz again, etc. But next morning, Liz came in, I tried to tell her how I felt, that I would injure John should I ever see the like again, she drove me up the wall, with drivel, about the gun. I started punching a door jam, hard on an old break in hand. Well, I guess you didn't see it, Billy! Maybe I'll just fuck John up on sight! I'll drive in his cheekbones! If you think you can do it, go ahead! Shit, my sister can whip that pig, he can't do ten pushups! I think I'll stomp in his ribs! Liz moved out of the house, carrying boxes of her stuff to her car then. Peter has been living in Liz's upstairs vacancy. We remain unsuccessful in finding Andre a lawyer. Nobody can afford to sue the city on contingency basis. Ostensibly, any city in the U.S. may do as it likes with an individual, if it will firstly be sure or make sure the individual has no money. Andre Carpiaux, Gemini with Aries moon, becomes alternatingly manic, and cunning. Couple nights ago late, a drunk out in the neighborhood asked Andre for a dollar. Andre had the drunk phone the Emeryville police for help, that the man had just been mugged and robbed, his assailant now moving a foot down a given street. Andre stood in phone booth with the drunk, saw that it was done right. The drunk took his dollar and went on. No squad car bothered with the call. See, said Andre. They sleep. I could fuck up any car I wanted to. Emeryville cops lay back. They do not pursue crime in wee hours, a1though, they may be seen anywhere at any time doing whatever it is they do. Meanwhile, the angry inventor can be quick as mercury. From the whack of Bubba's dull knife there is nerve damage above my left ear. I think it very slowly dissipates. Tissue of the small, long healed scar behind ear is sensitive. Someway, a nerve was cut, causing lack of circulation. It improved, but traces of numbness have not lessened much in a year. I wonder if some of it shall always be there. When I need to summon Kevin back outside, after making him a cup of coffee, first I was using an elephant call. Then I added the cow, and the wolf. Frequently I do it through one of these orange conical things used to border street construction. Peter, with his father, gathering self and things from his piles of shit to return to Holland ("for six months" but see his father roll his eyes), asked, don't they know that is you yet? No, Kevin tells them I don't do that, that someone else is doing it. Kevin comes out his back door to the fence, cup with milk in it ready in hand, smiling, whispering, I heard you, Bill. Last night was council meeting for November 16, 1988. I had shaken them so much last time they have made new rules, and they thwarted us. One must now make application to be allowed to talk, and keep it to five minutes. Andre and Woody had gone up there early and found this. Woody noticed a total lack of blacks. Emeryville is the biochemical center of the world, and they are trying to get rid of the poor people and bring in money. Woody tells Andre they could even end letting him exist, were they to get rid of the bitching Arbuckles. Woody says in a couple of years the black poor people, which is most of Emeryville, will be gone. They will get bought out, as they were in Berkeley. Already, a street over, a couple of houses in better shape than Andre's have been condemned, windows boarded up, just recently, the people forced to leave. Doug Manning, I understand, is fired, and Detective Sierra looked pretty stupid being repelled from Andre's. Woody tells Andre clean up and maybe they'll let him alone. I told Andre I can haul Peter's clothes to people's Park, he wants me to do that but first he wants to wash them, would rather not give mildewed clothing to street people. Meanwhile, naturally, he wants his sea-train container. We end with a caring letter from my sister, Bonnie. Millie loves this letter, wants it and all of my mother's letters. Millie is my mother's greatest fan. Millie says she will use these letters in a book, "Anatomy of Writer." Chore.
November 11, 1988
Hi, Bill, The review of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Billy by Ann Vliet was very interesting. Congratulations on getting a side review in USA Today. Perhaps you can use the review to get a publisher. Enclosed is the $100 for this month. Bill, in your last Blackolive Last Laugh you mentioned that you were still stealing, antihistamines. Bill, one of the reasons I started giving you money was so you wouldn't sell your blood plasma for money and also so that you wouldn't steal. Stealing is so stupid, especially in your case. If you get put in jail, I will not put up bond money to get you out. And, though you don't believe this, when you and the other thieves steal, we, the public pay for your stea1ing by higher prices for the goods we buy. You don't hurt the drug companies or drug store, you hurt your sister by making her pay higher prices when she has to buy antihistamines. Please don't steal. Out of my $l00 you can buy some antihistamines. You are your own worst enemy, Bill, for the stupid things you do. Unfortunately, your family has to suffer, like Mother paying your delinquent parking tickets. You have been put in jail and fined for stealing before; why do you insist on doing it. Do you get some perverse joy out of beating the system? I hate it when you steal. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that my brother is a thief. And, I don't excuse you because you have no money. And, I don't believe that you can't find some part time job to get a little spending money, so that you can feed yourself and feed your animals. You make too many excuses for yourself, Bill. I remember Cynthia telling me how pissed off at you she was for your stealing in Austin, and I agreed with her. If you would think of others instead of yourself, perhaps you wouldn't feel that you had to steal, that you had the right to steal, because of the system. It really bothers me when you steal, for principle more than for the stupidity of the risks. At times I throw up my hands and give up on you, Bill. I guess I don't have much more to say right now. I have to go to work. David and I are fine, but very busy. We're going to southern Oregon at Thanksgiving to look for some fishing land for David. Hopefully, we can find something cheap. Well, take care. Love,
Bill,Got your latest 1etter and Last Laugh chapters, 7-11, for Mac. You're supposed to send this to Mac. I sent his address to you. But, it also seems you need to send him chapters 1-6. I'll try to get 7-11 chapters to him but I threw away his address Anyway, send it to him, not to me. In your previous letter you asked if I was angry toward you for 1) being drunk after wedding or 2) because you suggested Joe would be a good mate for Jess. No, I don't get mad over these things - why should I? Now, I do get mad about your overall burden to the parents. You do seem to inflect pain upon them, even though your experiences may have humor on paper. I never have understood why you can't be more sensitive toward them. It's like you keep twisting a screw in their guts (boy, that one ought to get a response). But then, I know it doesn't do any good to preach to you on this. You say and do what comes naturally. Your writings are good (yes, maybe great). Whether anything comes of them in our lifetimes remains to be seen. Probably not. But, chances are your stuff will be more popular a la Van Gogh another time - in terms of money. Oh well - we just keep moving, like life goes on, shake our heads, pay the bills, and say "He's handicapped" and wink. Yes, Bush will be funny - he might come close to Nixon and his paranoia. I'm sure we'll see many tantrums on TV. He'll definitely lose it many times in corresponding mood changes. Yes, Leonard won't fight another light heavy or a tough middleweight or junior middle. He may fight Hearns as he knows Hearns can't take a punch. Your man Hilton lost a decision, but, the other fighter tested positive for pain killers. Kinchen, who lost to Hearns, also tested positive for same drug. Hope to see you soon. Take care - Kelly
I had come off a dog walk at Aquatic Park, sluggish or slightly stoned from smoking early in the day. I had Lady but Rosa had not come in. It was turned dark. Kelly had sent twenty dollars because friends want Last Laugh. I took Lady to a nearby grocery/liquor store on San Pablo, just in Berkeley. I tied her to a pole outside and got a half gallon of milk. There were some street corner types making noise as usual. I had the milk and was untying Lady, a large fool leaning on a newspaper rack told me to contain my dog. Said he would shoot the motherfucker. I said I would shoot him in that case. He offered me a fight, kicked at Lady, who dodged. I put down the milk and walked at him to hook him. He bounced into a position, beat me to the punch, ran around the newspaper rack, snatching stuff out of a garbage can en route and throwing it at me. I don't think he picked up anything worth throwing, but he seems to have done a fair amount running around the garbage can and newspaper rack, maybe on speed. If I hit him, there was never anything solid, but maybe I had greased him and freaked him. Seems he came on into me and bore me back a few steps, or I chased him some steps, but in an instant he was strong and trying to get me into the plate glass window. I did not twist him into the window because I am friendly with the store, and we went off the curb or sidewalk. I was hit twice more, no real power in his lick, but he was fast and strong and heavy. I dropped on my right knee once or twice hard but I can't remember the fight. I was annoyed that I was not doing well. Supposed to be able to street fight with anyone on earth and I'm having trouble with this lout. But keep on coming, though I'm getting slower. I could not get set to knock him down, either knocked him in the groin or thought about it, and I got him down upon the curb. He was probably playing out and I would have kept him there and injured him in any case, but one or two black guys were at my back interfering and one got my wallet. I had to get off the guy to see about my wallet, snatching up a sneaker one of these other guys had stepped out of. I wanted my wallet, there was this little guy in an untied shoe wanting his other shoe. The big guy was gone. There were several other young black guys, and a few other people on the corner. I was very unobservant, panting, arguing. I poked about on the belligerent little guy's person but he did not have my wallet. The store owner, Middle Easterner, wanted me to hang back in the store, said he had called the cops. The cops from Berkeley were very slow and my milk carton had a bad leak. The little guy went home nearby, returned with fresh and tied tennis shoes (steals them somehow), wanting his shoe. He was likely on speed or crack too and got in my face and I threatened to hit him, but neither of us were mad at the other. It was just life in the crack city. I expect he had given my wallet to the big guy first thing. Little guy said he didn't know anything about my wallet but he had only wanted to stop me from jumping on his brother. I told him he is a goddamned lying punk and he knows where my wallet is and that he saved his friend's ass because I was going to fuck him up, and if I see the ass hole on the street again I'll fuck him up. Finally, after a good half hour hanging around for the cops because the store owner wanted me to, I gave the little punk his shoe, told him he is nothing but a goddamned lying punk but maybe he would care to do a little better by turning my wallet in. He kept up his bull shit, acted for a second like he was not taking his shoe back. Oh, you don't want your shoe? Man, you gotta give me my shoe back. No, man, I don't have to give you your shoe back, etc. Someone told me the name of the guy I fought, "Bu", from the sound of it. Andre knows Bu, and where he 1ives. Bu is a renown trouble maker. Andre knows the store owner, went over there by time the cops arrived. Andre gets around much, and a black friend of his whom I've met, Willie, a gangster type, nice guy, now in Florida, had had some kind of problem with Bu. Andre said Bu would give up my wallet, to Andre, in the day, though too bad Willie is not here, as Willie has shot a few people and knows people and would find out what is what. I figure nobody would keep the wallet, that it hit a garbage can or the sidewalk soon as the eighteen dollars was lifted, but who can say, so Andre plans to speak to Bu. If I see Bu, I will be ready to hurt him fast, but there are always these punks, and weapons. Andre, back at the house, after talking to store owner, wanted me to call the Berkeley cops. He called them, and eventually someone called us back, and I talked. The cop on phone was angry with me for fighting. There was not shit he could do - he wouldn't even listen to fact I and Andre knew the guy's name and address. Just wanted me to call the cops next time. What shit. Go armed, kill punks, hide from the cops on their radios. No wonder people are crazy. Maybe if I had had Rosa Dog running about this would not have happened.
Frankly, I don't remember getting minor injuries from short fights I had in my twenties. I did not fight in my thirties - ahh...one fight at thirty, and punched a couple of people, and threw down a little carpenter and quit a job. I mean, here I have a sprained right foot, and badly jammed left toes. The bashed knee is the worst, though I took three or four licks to the head. Bu is no big puncher. He glanced a left off my eye, caught me with a right to my left point of jaw, dealt a decent right to my ear, tore my left ear lobe. If I see him and rush in and catch him, he will go down. I take this poorly.I did not sleep well next night because the skinned knee took to throbbing. This morning after , I took Andre's suggestion and used his phone to contact Austin about replica of driver's license. I gritted through a tough forty-five minute workout. Andre comes in, laughs that he had gone over Bu's house, guys told him Bu hasn't been out of his room (lives in an apartment with his mother, when he is out of jail) for two days because he got hurt in a fight. This makes my day. Well, says Andre to the fellas, tell him Willie is looking for him. Maybe I did throw the right to his groin, before I took him down. While on my right knee is how I could have taken both his right hand shots, and I could have rammed him low then. I don't remember things in fights, tend to be doing more than I will recall, Yay. Maybe I glanced some licks and didn't get behind on points, but I must consider before hand the adrenal capacities of scared young black guys on speed. What if I have to struggle with a Bubba or a guy who can hit hard? Andre is known around town. He taught seven years at a school in Oakland for guys out of prison, which is how he met Willie, who even lived a while with Andre. Willie has been shot and beaten and had a tough time, but he has done a few people in himself, and gets respect from the riff raff. Now I am connected with Andre, and Willie. What a world. Life in crack city. Ah, let's have a chapter. Seems to be a lull on the homestead. Looks like Bu had kicked me in the shin. Maybe he had kicked me in the knee, though I know I did drop on it, tore up the jeans. A couple of my left toes were purple like a heavy object fell on them, the large and the middle. It would take hard stomps to do that. In my surprisingly dim memory, he was always going backward, keeping me barely offset. The tactic won't do with me, because the guy has to back into something, and I will get him, and it sounds like I got him anyway. Blackolive notes on the diversion of street fighting. I need to be more conscious of the other person's size in my career, his adrenalin, and be prepared psychologically for an off night, or the rare meeting with somebody who is good. Millie is doing little janitorial, having let her son David take over. She is making close to two hundred a night in the sex fantasy business over the phone. Thinks about getting back into her art now. Guys calling from all over the U.S. of A. Millie is a telephone addict. She also has a sexy voice and is curious about sexual deviation. She goes by "Melanie," -has regular customers. One is a baby, goes Goo-Goo, needs a diaper change and powder to his jack off. One likes to be hung, ejaculates to the snap of his neck. There is the chap who fucks his mother-in-law's douche bag, wants to impregnate the mother-in-law. Millie says all this guy does on phone is talk, relate his story, no masturbation, wants to know if Melanie thinks he can get his mother-in-law pregnant this way. Perhaps her number one customer is a warm fellow taken in by Millie's creation of Melanie's roommate, a younger childlike woman named Jill, dumb blond with Marilyn Monroe voice who is somewhat subservient to Melanie. He has fallen in love with Jill, wishes to come meet her. I once went with Millie to collect her check from this company in nearby Vallejo run by three women weighing about three hundred pounds apiece. Millie had been embarrassed about meeting them, thought they would be young and pretty or the like, had wanted me to go in for her. She was happy to see the others were fatter and less attractive than she is. The men who call in are professional, well heeled citizens, who can foot the bill, ten or twenty dollars per call these days, cheap jack offs for lawyers, doctors, sundry Republican sharks in the age of AIDS, family men and good ol' boys. Kelly Olive: The point is, Van Gogh or no, to be an artist, to be recognized, and to be wealthy, is not common, comparatively. Your work is spreading and it just may pick up. George Bush is supported by most Americans. That's pretty incredible. Life's a farce. But, your recognition will increase. That is for sure. Enuf money to make easy road, I don't know. Andre tells me about Europe. The northern European countries have higher standards of living than does the U.S. Belgium considers the U.S. a poor country, he says. It would be easier and quicker there for me to get the subsistence money, the SSI I'm trying to get here. All the poor get taken care of. It is a police state, and poverty and street crime is a drain not to be tolerated over there. The streets are safe. To go hunting, one signs for a certain number of cartridges, brings back empty shells, turns in remaining rounds if there be any. Sometimes, someone gets shot hunting, who likely had it coming. He was hungry during the war. All Europe was hungry. Says he is small because he didn't eat well those years, never got the height his father had. Like many boys, he joined the Nazi Youth Movement, because it was a way to get meals, kind of a boy scout activity, discipline, camping. His family ate rats, cats, dog. All Europe did. After the war, in school, he horrified his family by getting into the lower class sport of boxing, had a punch, fast, knocked a bunch of people out, got up to weighing a hundred forty pounds. He's much smaller than that now, but strong. The Nazis had taken to pinning up the Jews because the Jews were an international conspiracy against the Nazi war effort. Many Nazis blame the Jew grapevine for their losing on the Russian front. Too, a German army froze, starved, and was defeated after a supply train was overrun in a German village by hungry Jews whom the Nazis had been detaining. This was an especial incidence of outrage. The Jews could no longer be fed. It was too expensive to shoot them all. Gas was chosen. Andre remarks what a disaster it is bringing up this history to a Hebrew girlfriend. Andre has a few girlfriends. His main one, near thirty now, who has been married and widowed, has been his lover off and on since age fifteen. This happened from a joke, something about trouble at home or something, she needed a place to sleep. Andre, greasy under her car: Well, you could sleep with me. She: Well, but you would have to take a bath first. He gets his "wife" every now and then, when she needs it or needs some work done. They have been divorced about ten years. She gets hysterical, and their thirteen year old son, Patrick, whom she caught in bed with his girlfriend, and caught smoking weed, became too much for her, so she locked Patrick out. Patrick is now in the loft where Liz had been. Liz needs a place to stay. Her marriage has not worked. Jessica got back from L.A., stayed with Liz and John two days, and disappeared. Raquel isn't around much and is about to join the Army. Millie has a seventeen year old boarder, Andrew. White kid, he was kicked out at fourteen by his mother, a Berkeley woman whom Millie had met. Andrew was introduced to Millie by Andrea the nineteen year old German girl. Andrew payed some rent, lost his job at a pizza place, got behind on rent, got new job but is behind. Andrew brought Webb in off the street, fourteen year old girl. Webb's father had gone to jail and her mother left town. Millie asked Andrew if Webb was his girlfriend. He said, Hell no, I'm not going to rob the cradle. Webb looks and acts older, rather calm and nice looking except for weird hair cut and a chain going from earring to nose ring, an intelligent girl, Mexican-Italian, reads books. She stayed at Millie's a while, found this safe boarding house for teenagers in San Francisco. I caught her picture in the San Francisco Examiner, front page article on teenage homeless. There, just in backhand of pretty blond girl slapping cigarette from pack, sat Webb, her open, bright expression, decked out with little chain cross her face. Doug Manning has still kept his job after all. Comes by alone today, taking pictures from his car in Peabody Lane, while I had been working out. His approach is now all gentility - he is near boyish. He appeals to me to appeal to Andre, I explain these remnants of Peter's mess, how busy Andre is sneaking about working on cars since loss of his shop. Doug says he likes Andre, he really likes the guy, but damn he wishes Andre would just cooperate. I mean, what if everybody in the neighborhood was let keep one of these big boxcar things in their back yard. Why, there would be chaos! I am slow getting this chapter off, car down, no money but people wanting it, and Kelly sends money and further word:
So look here Bill - Hagler didn't have timing against Leonard - couldn't get a clean punch or combinations. Neurons are slower with age. Why all the attempts for a clean bash? Why don't you grapple - get close- - then slower neurons aren't so obvious. Enclosed is a $60 Christmas and Last Laugh to Gary Mackler. This is very important - don't waste time! Maybe you should challenge Bu to street fight. Put up the $5O and have Andre hold cracker's guns & knives. This time a flying tackle & inside moves would be more effective. Seems to me you haven't got a clean lick in many moons.Ah, yes. I love it. Probably I'll never lose a fight. Too much folk hero, cant afford it. Brother Kelly, ex-linebacker, couple inches height on me at six feet, a skinny two hundred (I'm a fat maybe 200) but with these Olive legs would near kill a Bu. But he doesn't fight, sophisticated. And shit, Bu is not about to fight me again. The chicken shit won't even hang on the corner these days. I bet his back got bruised hitting the curb. Shit. I can land on him. Adrenalin makes the great difference. Last two fights I have not used adrenalin. Anyway, let us finally end this chapter with an amusing letter to the little state clerks. I'll probably get SSI eventually.
Yours, Bill F. Olive
December 19, 1988
Dear Sirs: I am not Belly Olive. I am Billy Frank Olive.
I am not Bill Oliver. I noticed when in your office that a Bill Oliver had expanded the work record of my social security number of 458-64-6051. The clerk did not think this important. Perhaps it should not be, because the work record of 458-64-6O5l was still not blown up enough to suggest any normal capacity to make a living.Being my work record, even with its use by the impostor Bill Oliver, speaks for itself, I am unable to follow the logic of Miles Weber, M.D., or whose ever it is, that I am able to work. You say the medical evidence shows that I am "able to think clearly, communicate effectively, and to act on my own behalf." Indeed, I was able to remember my appointment and make my way to Weber's office on time. For how else does a poor devil get SSI? It remains that my statements were not heard. I told Miles Weber, M.D. that I have not taken care of myself monetarily in my lifetime because wage earning and mundane tasks drive me up the wall, to a blood lust. It is true I am a rational man and have understood by my age (48) I am not going to turn into a werewolf, and it is the unnatural conditions or the twentieth century and its demons which bombard my sensitivities and cause me such temperament. I felt this information in itself, plus my work and hospital records, should show I have no way to get money. I cannot concentrate, regardless that I may "communicate, act on my own behalf," etc. One does not live like this because of choice. The circumstances caused my suffering wife to divorce and desert me with my only child, a five year old daughter whom I love more than anything, who is now in Florida living on food stamps. If I could have dispelled my plague or evil spirits and kept my child, of course I would have done so. My little girl needs me. Law requires me to send child support to: Madrea Olive, P.O. Box 1232, Old Town, Fl 32680. I would if I had anything to send, but with this loss my concentration on a workaday world is even more impossible than it was ten years ago. In 1978 I had the presence of mind (when an old friend, currently in prison, lent me the money) to print 2000 copies or my 1800s memoirs (Should your office think it necessary, I can probably locate a volume of this information, demonstrating a past life as a Texas gunfighter, so many killings I have not always differentiated successfully particular angry spirits from others). In the 1960s I was even let alone enough to do irregular Teamster work out of Oakland, and so what. Now, I cannot send support to my child and my torments are growing. A car, given me by my poor father, is finished at one hundred and sixty-five thousand miles, stuck in a friends yard, and I am living on handouts. I lack vitamins, and when I lack vitamins, my sensitivities become heightened. There is no way out of this. I had thought basic information to Miles Weber, M.D. should suffice, were he to take me at my word. I have feared being locked back up. For almost three decades I have stayed out of those places. I spent time in Jeff Davis Psychiatric Ward in Houston in 1960 or 1961, had fifteen shock treatments under Dr. Emanual Cortez, and later that year spent time at Central Islip State Hospital in New York. I feel Miles Weber, M.D. had sufficient information. I cannot concentrate to attend a job, I fear my blood lust, my back injures itself over the years, tightens up if I am on my feet longer than an hour, till I can hardly walk, my lungs congest with asthma which may only clear in a release of adrenalin, and this, I know, could interfere with 20th century memory of civilized composure. If I must see another doctor, please allow me to do so. Though it does seem the amount you have on record would, if it is believed, convince you I am in need of sustenance. My daughter needs help. That I can "communicate, think clearly, etc.," is disregarding the issue.
Out of money. Bonnie cutting me off after this next hundred, so she and husband David can easier pay for fifteen acres they found with cabin in Oregon for David's fishing camp. I have a small plate of dog food. I have some coffee. I have six eggs boiling. Boiled eggs said to help in dropping some of these extra pounds. Boiled eggs and grapefruit, a favorite fruit, but I usually can't afford the grapefruit, just stick to Safeway vitamin C pills for allergy trouble. Maybe I've picked up weight in the weather, Andre's damp, unheated, airy house, and because the back is lately worse and I must sack out early afternoon, and because I'll take in more carbohydrates when broke and scrounging about for edibles. I am apt to model again. Vanity would have the hero, five ten, to drop several pounds and weigh one ninety. I could weigh one eighty or so if I could do running, which my body desires getting back into. Hard to run around human beings when I have to try controlling Lady. Lady would not follow like Rosa, she either pokes along maddeningly or pits her muscles fully against mine or takes off in a wild bent. Hum, come to recollect, last time I did running I started at a slow three miles, dropped to one eighty, increased distance to six miles drinking Guiness and got to weighing one ninety and got burned out on running the six miles. One ninety is alright except I tend to get fatter without getting stronger. I try getting a little stronger but I have been hurting too many joints.It is time to figure another letter to my daughter. It is difficult to imagine one containing joy, humor or something for my girl child, though I have not had any acid for a while now. There is a beating at door behind my chair. It is Millie, come through Andre's little washroom, with Maya. It is eight o'clock. Is Andre here! Hell, I don't know, Millie, I just got up. It's eight o'clock. Millie beats on Andre's bedroom door. Andre! Andre!
Maya needs a ride to school, or at least to the Bart station. Yesterday Kevin had come along on the dog walk, said he had liked it better when I had lived at Millie's because he got to see me more. I told him I like it better at Andre's because it is easier to write. May I say, Millie and some people can not be adult. I can say Andre will be glad to know he got away early as normally and was not here at eight O'clock. Who knows why Millie and Maya did not contemplate matters before they turned in last night, but I guess this is the first day of school after the holidays. Meanwhile Millie is making money through the twentieth century's gift to her, el telephono, and can buy a car. Maybe I can borrow some dog food money today, have to get it somewhere.Millie is in such demand already in the telephone business Raquel is envious. Intelligent yet the perennial kid, Millie is a big talent. Freddie, you peed on the bed! You peed on the bed, Freddie! Naughty, naughty, now I have to give you a spanking, Freddie! Millie says the guys who like to be dominated tend to be executive types who spend their day ordering people around. She says you also get a lot of people from Texas and the south, good ol' boys, crop dusters and the like. Raquel is burned out on the telephone calls but Millie gives it serious attention.
Next thing, large, stray dog has Lady barking from inside car. Lady looks to be entering an early heat. Male dog is overturning bowl covering the pan of dogfood. I run him off. My dogs have been in the car thirteen hours and are stirred up. Bad Medicine to let my dogs suffer. I release them, we go through factory area to a place where they can dig gophers, let me sit and scribble in tablet. Have to get through fumes and crashing noise pollution before I can get back at my paragraph. City life in U.S. is sub-standard. Couch potatoes and alcoholics just vote and bear children and die.I am sitting on toppled creosote post in field. My back is hurting too much and Rosa is bored. I must drag Lady half out of a gopher hole she is expanding and go. I don't think I can recognize Bu. I have heard he is large and fat and about six, two. In the neighborhood grocery store, different store than liquor store in story, a youngish black guy said to me, hey, how're you getting along, or the like, very drunk guy holding a cigarette. About my height, he rather stood in my face, smiling, eyes evasive slits. Do I know you? I asked. Yeah. From the corner. How you been making out? You mean you remember me from the fight? Yeah. Do you know Bu? Hey, wait a minute, man. Well I think we should finish what we had going. But I'm not him, man. But, you know, he robbed me, his friends got my wallet and I'm pissed off. He robbed you, man. But you hurt'im. Well I need to find him and do a little more. I don't think I did enough. But what did I do to 'im? Yeah, he robbed you. But you hurt'im. I don't remember doing anything to'im, what did I do? Oh, you laid one on'im. Where did I hit'im. In the jaw. Really, man, if I hit'im in the jaw I should've done more damage. Oh, you hurt'im, man. That boy ain't going to fight no more! The rap went a bit longer than the above context. All while I hounded the drunk to the beer cooler where he got a tall malt liquor and to the two cashier lines wherein after I stood into one, he asked a guy with many groceries in the other line for a cut, and got it. I'll talk to you outside, he slurred. I did not expect him outside, but I had got whatever information I could, unsatisfied. Does not seem I caught Bu in the jaw. Strangest fight I have had. Went into it cold, can't remember much adrenalin, can't remember what happened. Sounds like something did happen before I took him down. Seems maybe I twisted him down, bracing off my right knee. Don't know why I was ever on a knee. Maybe we shall keep an ingedient of mystery. Andre tells me the murder toll in the Bay Area nearly reached 500 this past year, 72 more in 1988 than in 1987. 3 or 4 were Asian extraction, 8 or 9 white, a couple dozen Mexicans, the rest black, most all of it drug related, said Andre. His friend Willie claims "at least fifteen definite killings. Willie's favorite method is a .22 caliber through the eyeball. Rolls about inside the brain, from handgun point blank, like from coming up behind someone.
I was surprised. Willie is a large, nice, easy going sort. I asked Andre could not Willie be exaggerating. I don't know, said Andre. Maybe it's more than fifteen. He scares me. He's unpredictable. He shows no remorse.Aw, but Willie likes you. He respects you, Andre. He thinks you're a genius. I know, I know. But I tell'im I can't bail'im out anymore. I have enough trouble. The police have me connected with him. I haven't been encouraging him to hang around so much this last time. Willie had offered to "talk to that bitch next door" for Andre. Andre says he could get Willie to kill someone. Their friendship appears sound enough. They talk easy. Willie told Andre he looks old, Andre retorted sharply that Willie is fat. But Andre says he is a little nervous with what he has heard Willie casually tell. Willie had rubbed out this guy he had had drive him to Arizona. No telling about what involvement, the guy had driven Willie to Arizona, had paid for gas and expenses. Willie's reason he gave Andre for eliminating the individual was that he "got tired of his talk." Wil1ie pushed the body out in Arizona, drove the car till it ran out of gas, then took a train back to California. Right, and his name is changed for this account. Big Willie had three brothers, one OD'ed, one disappeared the day he was let out of prison with two hundred dollars, one is for certain shot to death. The one sister, a prostitute, disappeared. Willie is now worried because his seventeen year old son is in jail. Willie tells Andre he wouldn't mind shooting his wife, who is a bitch and whore. At one point Willie was shot in the back of the neck robbing a bank. Niggers in emergency may make it or may not - Andre says Willie has this rough patch of hip skin grafted speedily onto his back of neck. At another point Willie had a little drug territory, before competitors caught him, beat him, forced him to sign over two homes, his Cadillac, yacht, etc., and threatened to kill his wife and couple of kids if he did not move on. Those people involved became much of the fifteen he says are surely killed. When Andre becomes irritated with race relations Willie tells him don't worry about the niggers. The niggers will take care of themselves, Andre. The niggers are killing each other out. Willie one night came running into Andre's house, to lay low, said he had just shot a nigger. Another time he came to Andre's having been beaten up in Concord, neighboring white town. Willie had stolen something there, hid it in some bushes. Then a couple of white guys beat him up on principle, unaware of the stolen goods. Willie had feigned unconsciousness till they had left him in the street. Once Willie slept too long on a bus ride, ended in Sonoma, rednecks. Willie says he was all smiles. The bus was staying overnight but the understanding driver let Willie sleep in the bus. In the morning kids were climbing up the windows to see the nigger. Andre, said Willie, you don't know what it is like being black out in the country. You just don't live out in the country if you're black. Unless it's the south, but it is poor there. Police don't care if a nigger dies. You never hear of a reward for finding who killed a nigger. But kill a white man you are in trouble. Andre commented to me, you won't hear of a reward for information on the kidnapping of a black child, but little black kids disappear all the time. The black people are sensitive about that. People won't hire black teenagers because they are known to steal and not turn up for work. But a kid's got to get money someway. Andre gives his own kid, Patrick, age fourteen, pocket money to keep him out of trouble. Few days ago, a sixteen year old former contact of Peter's, black kid Raquel knew and liked, was machine-gunned behind the wheel of his car. Millie had a live-in boyfriend a good few months, Bob, black singer and friend of Bibi's. Bob was a jovial, gentlemanly sort, who liked sports and TV and if he was at Millie's he kept to himself in his room with the TV on. He had a good van and a well kept white Cadillac and much of the time he stayed away, like when Millie had the trouble with Mike Aries, overnight at a place of business where he had a part time job doing deliveries, or somewhere else. He was a showman with talented voice doing Motown type songs, ambitious, had a hit or two but connection did not favor him and age sixty he began to die with cancer in his liver. When the ambulance hauled Bob away Millie notified his relatives, who had never kept up with him but who moved in on his stuff. Within this mob was Bob's wife, separated thirty years without a divorce, and two ex-girlfriends, one from Alaska. Word went around in the black musician circle, look, old Bob had three women not counting his wife. The hospital strapped Bob in tight the last few days he was out of his mind dying because they wanted him to die with his IVs stuck in, which he preferred to pull out. Consequently one of the ex-girlfriends removed a diamond ring from Bob's finger. In his state, he had thought this woman was Millie. Millie has been undesirous of touching any of Bob's stuff or of handing it over to the others, following her lawyer's advice to not give the others Bob's car keys or anything, and they broke into his Cadillac, parked elsewhere than here, where he had kept most of his valuables. His van is yet parked in Millie's driveway. They do not care that without Millie's contacting them they would not have known of his dying. They view her poorly, the white bitch. Millie was glad Bob did not quite die in her house, though she cared for him, because that could bring on an Emeryville investigation, her being Andre's friend. A good buddy of Bob's, named Andrew, has been attempting to fill Bob's place, another musician needing a sugar mama, ideal of struggling black musicians. This chap is rather unaware, acts almost like a pimp - "But I'm hungry now!" - guess he believes white women want a stereotype. He is really out of it but this amuses Millie. Andre was afraid for a while of an Emeryville investigation, being his son Patrick, with girlfriend Gretchen, and his buddy Mario, used drug money to fly to Hawaii. Mario, abused kid who has had to live with his grandmother, had stolen around a hundred grand from his stepgrandfather, box of money in a closet. The kids hired a limousine, bought clothes, had a party in a five hundred dollar hotel suite throwing things out the windows upon passersby on the sidewalk below, before flying to Honolulu. From Honolulu they took a little flight to an island resort for the privileged and went swimming. Patrick got in trouble, a Pacific current would not let him get back to shore for two hours. Mario had been running and crying up and down the beach for help. Even policemen would not help, looked at Patrick through binoculars, said, ah, he'll make it. Before death or brain damage Patrick was rescued by two surfers. He was very angry at the cops, something about being in intensive care at a hospital and screaming at the cops who came in and ordered hospital food on his account. Also the cops got eighty grand Patrick had convinced Mario they should keep in this safety box in a condominium because under questioning Mario told everything, making the excuse they were only spending drug money. After anxieties were past, Andre was pissed the cops got the money. He thought about claiming it, then decided no, too much trouble from Emeryville already. Before his son was back, Emeryville police called, a woman, saying they had heard his son had run away. Don't put words in my mouth! exclaimed Andre, and she said, alright, Andre, and he hung up pissed. Mario's stepgrandfather's house got ransacked by cops and Andre feared they would come into his house again. He did talk matters with the dope dealer's lawyer. Accompanying the lawyer to the guy's house, Andre chanced to witness the step-grandfather suddenly spy Mario, run him down, slug him, was beating on the lad before taking heed there were witnesses. Andre believes the man would have shot his step-grandson in the moment had he been armed. The man still talks of killing Mario. Gretchen's father wants to sue Mario. Patrick says his mother got a three thousand dollar hospital bill, though Patrick was hospitalized less than one day, or so I understand, and she wants to sue Mario if her insurance will not cover her. Modern times, the matter may be blowing over. Fat Paulette calls the cops also on a black guy named Michael living directly across the street from Millie who works at night on cars. A car Michael owned was then hauled away, with too many tickets on it for Michael, unemployed, to retrieve it. He has been having a friend or friends, sell them a little crack or something, to break her car windows. This has been happening a few nights now, Paulette's car alarm going off repeatedly in the night, Paulette out of her mind dashing out in night clothes, police coming. Her car alarm is wired so tight it went off early last evening when Michael bounced a ball from across the street onto her car. From a window at Millie's I listened a while to Paulette and beery Mrs. Arbuckle scramble the consciousness of a poor woman officer. Paulette would use good English, go in and out of rationality, all three women arguing three ways, the woman officer getting personally defensive, Paulette righteously leaning towards threat of violence. I am frustrated, and besides that, I have had it up to here, I am fed up, if someone touches my car again I hope I don't kill them. Thus far, Andre is mainly blamed, cops want to talk to Andre, who is in and out and misplaced the card a plains clothesman left with me yesterday. Couple mornings ago Michael Arbuckle was called in, and he threatened Andre. After he did, he was in his mother's back yard picking some lemons, cigarette planted in corner of mouth, and he saw me lifting weights. Morning, I said. Poor devil had no reply, preferred to not see me. He's some kind of fighter but unlike the author is over the hill, only about six feet one sixty or so. During a mid day repose in the shed I listened to Mrs, Ruby Arbuckle out in her back yard relating her reality to a sympathetic woman friend. She said Andre is trying to destroy them. She spoke of how he had brought in this railroad shack and stuck it here, that she had to hire a lawyer to make him get rid of his seatrain container, pointed out a piece of junk on Andre's side against her hurricane fence, to bust her fence she had paid "good money" for. Somehow sounds from the Arbuckles come up into the shed boosted off the end of Andre's back porch (being it off the ground enough over a puddle of rain water, I have taken this oil funnel from the pile of junk sliding at my wee bed, stuck it in large floor crack for use as a urinal) almost like I am in a room in their house - I can hear their bathroom easiest, nose blowing, toilet flushing, bath tub draining, even a fart at times. They have yet to know I rest in the shed and here was Ruby in back yard, few feet from shed with friend who agreed with her. I was sorry to hear this ugly dementia because Ruby is shyly friendly to me now, tells Kevin I seem to be alright, though wild looking and crazy, does not mind if Kevin talks to me now if I am not howling. They have finally caught on I am the one, naturally, who howls. It was Bibi who had originally suggested I try saying hello to fearful Mrs. Arbuckle. Raquel does not join the army because a truck backed onto her while she was stationary astride her motor bike, knocking the bike over on her foot, which broke in a few places. She has a pin in her foot, staying temporarily with another friend whose house is warmer. We do have a wood stove working in here fairly well now, not a lot of wood. Raquel hasn't had money for rent, her room here a Jewish girl's spoiled mess. Geoffrey, my nephew, visited and spent a night in it, by pushing enough shit out of the way on her bed. He noted how some nice expensive stuff is scattered about in a very general mess. When Raquel lives there she just pushes a pile aside on the bed to give room to her body, too. Raquel had one's usual bad time in the hospital, frequently phoned Andre. Millie's laughing excuse for beating on Andre's door eight o'clock A.M. is Andre likes to do things for women, an example being this particular day for some hours Raquel was phoning Andre or her buddy Millie who had no car then, trying to find Andre and have him bring her cigarettes, raving. Millie is right again, about Liz, who got beat up and is said to be moving back today. Cops have her hubby at the time. I told Liz on phone I have nothing against her ("dumb cunt, lying bitch, babbling dingbat," really, if this might apply to women more than it does men, rather than being the prejudicial bent of my sex, perhaps women are only a little more this nature than are most men, and men thereby having a margin of fault greater in other direction) personally, that I just don't like her boyfriend. I don't like him either, said Liz. I suppose Liz could move into Raquel's deserted room, with some physical work. The hip TV series or soap opera unfolds daily onward to the earth quake. Maybe Last Laugh needs a break, change to inspired essays or the like. Raquel means to resume her rent here, awaits an advanced settlement. Liz unloaded her stuff, then spent the night homeless in her car, awakened by cop with flashlight, who on hearing her tax payer's, battered wife's spiel, agreed to let her alone, though she could not get back to sleep in the uncomfortable car. This morning here she carried on about injustice in the country. "I just thought I'd join the homeless for the night and see what it's like, etc." "There is no room in the emergency shelters, what are women and children going to do, etc." She talked much of the morning with Patrick, who had stayed the night at a buddy's and came home to find a strange woman in his bed - Wendy, a rather beautiful, tall, blond young lady friend of Andre's who used to live here but had a DWI traffic accident and disappeared all year, no word from her, Andre feared someone killed her, as Wendy, another story, Dear Reader, of course, is short tempered, headstrong, impulsive, he says. Wendy had been in L.A., but another warrant drove her back here, so the author understands, got picked up here, got out of jail last night and returned to Andre's, walked in, went upstairs and sacked out early today, Andre lying in bed wondering who was it came in who knew his house, but do you want these little particulars, Dear Reader? Today I sat here working at perusing my work without the help of babbling Liz (I repeat, I do like Liz, agitated woman) and learned from Patrick how he was along when Mario was run down and stomped by the suffering step-grandfather. The suffering devil's lawyer was not along, Andre had just come from seeing him, another shark, who believes Patrick and Mario should be separated forever. Anyway, should you bear with me, one particular I find amusing is suffering devil bashes Mario through a neighbor's wooden gate, and citizen who owns gate comes out wildly indignant, screams at crying boy atop his gate. Perhaps, Dear Reader, you do not find this awfully funny. The citizen is ranting about calling the cops. Don't do that, says suffering devil who has lost his life savings and gives citizen forty dollars for his gate. Then come the sirens, suffering devil snatches the forty do11ars back from fingers of citizen. Andre gathered tough Mario (Patrick says Mario is stupid but tough, good fighter, gets experience at home) and Patrick and jumped into car and did a U-turn on the cops, who tried to follow but had to give up. Andre is tired of cops, Mario is back with his dangerous family now - even the grandmother smacks him about, says Patrick - but plans another hit. His suffering stepfather is into coming large deal, to get rich, Mario intending to "find the money and escape." While step-grandfather speaks of killing him. Port Aransas, I say. Tell'im Port Aransas, Patrick. Patrick: I'll tell'im. Right, they will never know. Right, while muddled babbling Millie is doing so well she too could get rich. There is this executive type who has met Melanie Heart (alias Millie, have I said, usually age twenty-five but in this case she is forty-five). They met in a restaurant, though Melanie let him sit by himself for a time. Then: Hey, Steve! So Steve met his mistress. Out in car he pulled out his big dong, and Melanie permitted him to borrow one of her gloves and touch it with her glove, but she would not permit him to come. Not till we are home and you can call me on phone, went his orders. On phone, Melanie, who has been missing sleep making money all night, fell asleep. Steve: May I come now, please, may I come now! But what Steve especially wants is to be "humiliated" by fixing dinner in the raw for Melanie and her low life friends, who will all be dressed and either pointedly ignore him or treat him with air of contempt. Millie wants to do this at Andre's, out of Maya's way. Fine, laughs Andre heartedly. Yep, looks like a pretty piece of change here for Millie. Millie had thought Liz could be an appropriate guest, except Liz says she wants a cut. Steve wishes to be painted in the nude, says he will finance Millie's art career. We will see. Millie says she can tell by now Mayor Bukowlski is this type - says she wishes she could get him alone. Oh, yes, one more Last Laugh XIII particular before the quake. Andre called Greg Harper, Vice Mayor over for a conference. Harper is the most sensitive of the City Council. Firstly, Andre informed him how a mutual non-friend, lawyer woman of the political party who oppose the current City Council, has offered to take Andre's case. Andre is indecisive here, being he does not trust the person. Next, he expounded to Harper that all these folks who lost stuff in the seatrain container are ready to take personal, unlawful action. You remember Dan White, said Andre. Dan White is the ex-cop who got so fucked over he shot and killed the homosexual Mayor of San Francisco. White got off lightly (later committed suicide) on the famous junk food defense because the jury knew he had been wronged. And Greg Harper paled and forgot to drink his coffee.
Kevin does not give all this much attention. He has no conversation with Paulette for years now, just some yelling. Millie and I see Kevin growing more confident, brasher, sillier, sometimes actually funny. I give him this leaf from a farmer friend, which I don't care for, and he is stoned all day. He pesters me to make more howls. He wants to hear them 1 P.M., when all in his house are in bed. Millie wonders why Ruby never calls the Cops on me. Ruby is sleeping on beer after eight, but she likes me, I reminded Mi1lie. Ruby just doesn't want Kevin talking to me if I am howling. She does not want Kevin talking to Millie or Andre ever. There have been several friends about I haven't done much or anything on yet, one being Sylvester,a tall black guy on SSI who had talked me into going for SSI. Sylvester has no U.S. black accent, has large vocabulary, says his folks came from Jaimaca, that he grew up in New York. Says he doesn't like niggers. Kevin found he could bug Sylvester. He made him furious one day asking did he want some chitlins 'n rice. Millie has heard nothing further at this time from the gent who wanted to fix her and guests dinner when naked, Steve. Sorry, Dear Reader, but you never can tell. Millie decides she is only averaging seventy-five dollars most nights, and is not yet free of her economic confusion, had to abandon her Berkeley apartment, now has her house very cluttered - a walk way plowed through each room - she is nevertheless successful in the new business and becoming a legend. The difficult, sick callers are introduced to Melanie Hart. One of the companies she works for, it happens, has a receptionist who is an actress friend of Mike Lyons, with whom Mike attended a party of these people. Millie and I should have gone, but Millie had been too sleepy and I was in a fever having a hellish time making a couple of Texas Gang tapes in chaos off equipment Mike Lyons had left with me. He heard about Millie at the party, which he found bizarre. One of the people running things is a transsexual, another is one of the thalidomide victims, weighs four or five hundred pounds, has nubs for arms but handles a can of beer. In the story of the evening, which Millie related next morning in Andre's car on our way to a small claims court date for a Ted Rosencrantz, nice chap who lost parts to a three hundred dollar saw in the pillaging, Mike Lyons' friend was the receptionist. The caller, a man in the military, had wanted for his fantasy a fourteen year old girl with braces on her teeth tied up to be tortured in her pussy with a soldering iron and her mother present. Surprises me they dealt with him. People like this need to die. But there was Millie/Melanie, and they handed him over to her. Millie and caller went into the first few steps of it, then Millie, who has studied the darker arts, put some soul in it. Melanie: But, wait, this is not my daughter.... Caller: Yes, yes, this is your daughter. She is fourteen years old with braces on her teeth.
|Melanie: Oh, no. I have|
|look into my|
"So enclosed is some kind of cartoon character. Went to the ranch last week and saw the most brilliant display of nature as I watched a golden eagle, high in a cloudless sky, and aided by my new binoculars, which I had run to secure after dropping chopped and sawed firewood, and followed in amazement as the majestic bird weaved, dove, dipped, rose, and it owned the sky, and it knew it, and I'm screaming, dogs bewildered, god, who's to believe (I had 1 1/2 cartoons) me, back to chopping with vigor, look up 15 minutes later and its back, and I watch and scream again until I can no longer see it again. I apologized for J.T.(Steve's father - he died last month - we attended a memorial in Austin - drank scotch at a bar afterward) and opened a .69 quart of schafer and tipped my brim. I'm a lucky person."Hum, why I'd liked this one in particular, I had thought J.T. was standing there. Or maybe it was just his spirit and he'd shot an eagle, no matter. Then Kelly compliments the first tape M. Lyons and I have produced, and talks about brother Mike, daughter Jessica, nephew Geoffrey in a coffee house, being as Jessica who is an athlete and never uses drugs was full of energy and impatience, Geoffrey stoned and hardly moving and wondering what was the hurry, Miguel like always, loud, abrasive of strangers and not aware of them, carrying on about fat people and fat people sitting near by. He expounded on dog and wolf, and I quote Kelly: "Now, chihuahuas, god damn, I don't know what the fuck those are, I'm not sure they're dogs." Actually, my opinion, the chihuahua is alright, the best of the rat-dogs. But Mike Olive is funny, the sugar addict in our family, hardly uses drugs otherwise, louder than any drunk at a Port Aransas Xmas party - in a restaurant his long big arms jerk and slash the air, might pound a table, takes up much air space with plenty "What-the-fucks", oblivious, a Libra who will otherwise bend over backward being nice to most folks. Bit of humor in the daily opera got by me a short while back, these crack dealers across the street kept borrowing a floor jack from Andre. One day the jack was missing, he asked them for it. They said they did not have it. Their garage was locked. Andre went got his crowbar, ripped open their garage, got his jack. All they could do was watch. Andre would have done injury with the crowbar.
Andre says most of the goods stolen county to county that the police eventually confiscate are goods re-stolen, thus unclaimed by anyone. Although, the counties do not communicate anyway. He says technology - finger printing, silent alarms, etc, - could eliminate thievery in the United States, but it would put too many people out of work. As for example, he says, there are 280,000 in jobs that lead to producing a single Nuclear bomb - thus the inane stockpiling of weapons.Andre is a remarkable person possessing extensive information. Two or three times a week we may sit alone together at the table, usually at night before he retires between 9:30 and 11 o'clock, discussing perhaps the current house affairs or his Emeryville war, or else he will tell me things I had not known. Last night I asked more on John George, being I have noticed the Express and other media voice regret on his passing, and we took off on the race thing, his court thing, and Greenland the continent. We be mercurial, and Moons aflame in Aries, but I a steadfast Virgo and he the leaping Gemini. I try to glean what I need, but must let him have at it. Before John George was barred from law practice after swindling too many people and had to concentrate on politics, he had taken a case against Andre in '69, as a woman Andre had a little affair with had borrowed Andre's car, letting a black pimp borrow it who wrecked it on a telephone pole. Andre won the case, but she would not pay John George, and, I guess, John George was crazy, because he wanted Andre to pay him his fee for her, and John George was angry Andre would not pay his ex-girlfriend's fee. John George became the county supervisor, causing over the years, if indirectly, what mischief toward Andre he could. From an Emeryville cop, Andre has heard that John George, a member of NAACP, used political leverage to get the current police chief to rake Andre, on grounds Andre is a racist. John George also of course made what use of the Panthers he could, though, according to Andre, he cheated some poor black folks and made a few enemies among the blacks. The school where Andre taught auto-mechanics seven years to convicts was the East Bay Skill Center, closed down now for lack of funds after the Black Power political push was driven back. Andre was the last of the white instructors they got rid of, thinking they could control the school but forgetting that ultimately the white power structure downtown owned it and would control it. In 1974 one night Andre was working late, heard a truck and forklift unloading crates. Nobody saw him, he later opened a crate and found weapons and ammunition, of the Black Panthers. I forget whom he mentioned this to first, but the man in charge of the school was mulatto but a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, who had too much to lose in such involvement, and when the FBI got into it he quit his job right then before his good record got soiled. The FBI chose to be slow and it was three or four nights later Andre still working late saw the Panthers in same gray truck come get their stuff. Now, says Andre, he realizes he should have minded his business, but he was a foreigner at the time. Then it was the school, knowing one of their teachers had seen things, found ways to dismiss them, one by one, starting with their black teachers, then the chicanos, then the whites. Finally, there was Andre from Belgium. None of the fired teachers had raised too much protest, or they did not bring up the Black Panthers, and the school figured as a consequence the snitch must be Andre. During a Xmas party they had the tool room cleaned out in theft. For Andre's job, the mass of tools was required. They told him they lacked funds to replace the tools, and they were rid of Andre Carpiaux of the sharp temper. Andre and I last night went over his case, being that a year later Emeryville is telling claimants of loss in his container to come look for their stuff, that Andre will not come get it and it must now be disposed of. Abruptly, the topic became Greenland, the island owned by Denmark. There is a world map pinned on the wall in here, and couple days ago I had remarked how huge is Greenland. Somehow, in past schooling, I had never known Greenland is a continent, nor heard anything about it during my adult life. In high school I got no formal education except muy poquito espanol, but I had heard in grade school about the astounding Vikings - wild men at the oars in icy, tumultuous seas, crossing thousands of miles of seas, oh god almighty damn - Eric the Red, Leaf the Lucky, running upon Iceland, Greenland, Canadian shores.... Greenland is an arctic continent with immense mineral wealth beneath its ice. Since 1968 the U.S. has had secret dealing with Denmark and footed a bill of many billions. The people of Denmark have laid back on plush welfare. Civilization bores great tunnels deep in the warm earth of the continent finding plenty. Populations live comfortably in there like ants. So I got him back onto the economics of U.S. versus European countries. The U.S. is wealthy in resources. Food is cheaper here than anywhere. The gasolene is cheap. It is rent that is expensive. The few get wealthy at the misfortune of the many. Standards of living are higher in Europe because socialism prevails, thus landlords and doctors and lawyers do not have such advantages. People no longer live in the street in Europe. Some kind of authoritative socialism - a Communism in disguise - will be necessary over here, within the next fifty years, says Andre. I know, Dear Reader, you wonder could Andre Carpiaux ever respect any kind of authority. The answer is no, while it is also beside the point.
It is time to put aside the daily opera. Liz is reading Last Laugh as we go along, and a scandal sheet is not my objective. Wendy, the beautiful blond who was sleeping in Andre's bed while he slept upstairs has been gone again, having had big two A.M. row with Andre when she brought in a guy from a bar. Wendy, turned twenty-two this past February, is one of these troubled young women gets madly drunk I have seen enough of for one lifetime, and nobody wants a strange lout out of a bar in their house. Andre drove her and him to a motel. Right before she had left a year ago, before I met Andre, I had heard this drunk woman in a fight - it went on a time - I was in the other house with Mark and David Harris, wondered should I risk myself saving the 1ady, but David told me the lady was winning anyway. He had gone outside and seen Wendy slam into Andre with car keys in a fist, and they crashed to the ground and went into a knot, where she bit and pounded Andre bloody while he restrained her 1ong enough to wear her out. She had wanted to drive his car off drunk and he had said no. Now, Andre says, Wendy will likely be back when she gets sick and vulnerable on her period. When Andre had first met Wendy she had been sitting on a curb weeping in shorts and a halter because a truck driver had driven off with everything she owned. Andre put her up, she soon took offense to Big Willie staying here then, packed all Willie's stuff and loaded it into Andre's van, where Willie had to stay. She claimed Willie had been spying on her naked body through a keyhole. Willie was angry Andre went along with it, talking he and Andre had been friends ten years, but Willie had to live in the van because women out in the street are more vulnerable than are men. Andre says Wendy likes to dance around the house naked, looking at her reflection, did not want Willie in the house for this reason - Andre would just go upstairs to read and "let her do her thing." But we do not need to keep on with the opera from here. It is too much work, and distraction, no further point in it, now I have presented sufficient background in Carpiaux versus Emeryville. I am around this stuff all my life, wherever I go, no end to it. It is like the newspaper or TV news - you can look at it daily and it is funny and entertaining and remarkable and sick and there appear to be developments. But you can skip a month of it, ten years of it, come back to it, the same shit exactly, round and round. People in the Bay Area are a bit more frenzied than in Austin but it is the same old shit. My father will ask me why is everybody I know sick, but I do not see weirdos as being more sick, only less repressed and less boring. And so, here we are, the shit goes on, and I hope to start keeping my fingers out of it. When somebody smart and rich advances me cash for the hip TV series I can always whip it out then, let the beaten neurotics view the psychotics safely. Until then, to hell with it.Yesterday, a pleasant chap named Andy visited, talked sitting in sunny backyard with first me, then Andre joined us. He is a new comer to Emeryville, a developer, had some trouble with the Emeryville idiocy, ended accepting a volunteer job on some sort of committee. I forget these particulars, but the subject is Andre. He had a pile of paper work, dumb photos by Doug Manning of Andre's yard and other shit. Andy wanted to hear our side of the bizarre bullshit. Wanted to know could we settle for a great wall between Ruby's house and Andre's house. We would settle for it, it would mean ripping up Ruby's little fence that is on Andre's property anyway. Emeryville plans a second big attack in a few weeks, clean out Andre's yard entirely, cars, tires, plastic barbell set of Liz's, weeds, just some of the stuff listed in the paper work - everything down to the dirt in fact - unless something is done fast. Andy, who seems sincere, and has some humor, concluded we will bring up The Wa11 tomorrow at a five o'clock meeting with the enemy. He is reaching hard for some 1ogic. My guess is he will learn how weirded out Emeryville is. We understand Bill Blackolive has an awkwardness in 1eft hemisphere. The above idea is as far as I got this morning, thinking about the meeting last night, which, I determine, we won. But it is slow 1ooking at it. Then today I was given a batch of old acid, again, got whacked out again to my surprise, though without the uncalled for adrenalin. The consciousness or spirit that is man's evil is a tricky thing, the blindness we get in threat or vanity either. Still can't remember even throwing a lick at Bu, only frustration, nor was there evidence in either hand later of anything half solid. The man had jabbed, glanced off my eye, and he freaked. He threw shit out of the garbage can, and I chased him around, then I cut him off, chased him the other way. He was freaked in a clinch, tried to get me into the plate glass. I took him off the curb, wherein, before or after I slipped to a knee, he came down with two or three freaked, pretty good right hands, one chancing upon the left corner of my chin, knockout button, and he got the other solid shot that sliced my earlobe. He got lucky, and was about to maybe die, when my wallet was lifted. The scar of his left hand's nail remains on my right wrist where I had brought it free of his clutch. I am poorly coordinated throwing rocks. I move with ax, hammer, fist. It did not occur to me I nearly did a man in, because I had wanted to whip jolts into the scull on the concrete and did not get to. At the meeting Andy acted like such a regular member of City Council I could not recognize him. But it appears to me, we are winning in Emeryvil1e. I had on my leather cowboy hat. Maybe I was decent in my presentation, got the thing into near informality. To forestall the attack and try for media, we had idea to put up tents and bring in homeless women and children, asking for the city's help in providing sanitary facilities, and Andre said these women we had in mind had goats to eat the weeds the city is worried about. This worried them and I modified it, said there is only one goat one of these women has. The ploy was not necessary however, and I have not had time to discuss it further with Andre, because the city is going for The Wal1. Andre wanted a fireproof wall because Ruby is a beerholic and cigarette smoker and the houses are too close for when she sets hers afire. He wanted a one way mirror in The Wall so he could see the Arbuckles without their seeing him. When Ruby got up to talk she said she's not the only neighbor mad about Andre like we had been talking and she complained about the one way mirror. Aw, he's just kidding, I said. I don't think so, she said. Andre carried on that he wants his container back. The present woman City Attorney is showing Andre sympathy, agreed he lost his container on a technicality. A City Council member denied to Andre he can get the container back. This man said something about Andre's not having any money and the bill for The Wall can be tacked on Andre's house mortgage for him to "pay in thirty years or when he can." They do not want to concede the wrong they did, but they want to back off. They need some appeasement. They want a written statement how Andre recycles everything being he refuses garbage service. They need to feel their work with Andre has been of value, and they fear they are fools. John George is dead, the leverage gone. John George was crazy already, and Andre called him a stupid nigger. I consider John George spent twenty years alluding to Andre's being racist. The meeting was conducted by a gruff black guy, whoever the hell he was, I don't know these things. I think I managed to turn him off his racial sniffing going along with his orders more or less but never quite quitting speaking out of turn. Doug Manning, whom Andre has called stupid nigger, looked boyish, unsure, learning his way in white hypocrisy. Ruby Arbuckle has had this suit going against Emeryville for their not pursuing their duty against Andre, and Andre told me John George had made an appearance at a hearing for her sake, but now there is dawning that Andre has scarcely been illega1. And everybody is tired of the whole thing. Maybe not Fat Paulette. They were going to show some slides of Andre's yard, and Andre got up said to me let's go. You'll miss the slides, they said. We've already seen them, I smiled. Now don't forget, said I interrupting everything again - The Wall - we need The Wall - that's a start! Even the black guy was getting friendly. We thanked each other. When Andre and I came out, Paulette saw us from her car and got out and went in and caught the slides.
To Emeryville City Council Members
re. Public Nuisance: Honda # 2 ENT 346 at 1262 Ocean Av. Emeryville Ca 94608We the undersigned, declare that a vehicle Honda # 2ENT346 has for the last several months become a burden as it triggers a loud whining siren type of noise 27001-27002. It appears that whoever uses: a microwave oven, garage door opener, magatronic ignition device, Rumkoff coil, makes it go off. Also street light, quake tremor, cat jumping on car, rain and bird drops, passing bike, car, truck, train, children at play plus other unknown bamboozling effect. We have added over two hundred siren blasts. We all have nightmares, insomnia, palpitation (not those from love making) and emotional anxiety. Jobs and other performances are in jeopardy! Epinephrine action and stagnation is conducive to heart disease. Neurological lapse requiring shrink care! By this crude public nuisance, invasion of privacy is absolute, disrespect and disregard to the peace, welfare and our comfort of well being. Because it affects so many, we want immediate action such as the above named vehicle be "abated," yanked off the street and crushed at owner's expense. Thirty signatures from Ocean Ave. and Peabody Lane follow. Andre says he missed three or four. Some of these neighbors have received phone calls from the city to verify. A copy of the petition was sent to Fat Paulette. While we are at it, Dear Reader, you might appreciate another little piece by Andre Carpiaux, which I carried to the office of the City Attorney.
Dear Ms. Vliet: Rob Cowley left Holt over the summer to start up a new military history quarterly, so your letter was passed to me. I like this guy. His writing is quirky and compelling and I'd love to see more. Unfortunately, I only have your address. Could you pass the word on and have him send in material? I'd be grateful. Sincerely, Amy HertzWhen back in Texas I will try for opportunity to check out my young blood-brother, Eddie Bruton. Semi-literate, he never has answered any of my cards. Madrea, age five and a half, has not seen him for two years either, but she liked him much and I expect she remembers him. He could be in jail. I had taught him some reading, if he is doing any time I will press him to get literate there. He has an intelligence and personality and energy well beyond most folks. His environment is criminal, as I left he had gone on probation for being among young fellows who burglarized a car, and one or two of his brothers was selling speed. They were wise enough to not take any, they were making money. Crack was not yet big in Austin when I left. Crack is speed, intense, brief. Cocaine is speed, smooth. The U.S.media remains unconscious. Marijuana does not lead to barbiturates or stimulants, because a true pothead prefers pot.. Pot is dreamy, sensuous, can be creative, with indulgence it is a sedative. A serious alcoholic usually does not care for marijuana by itself, because without mixing booze it will launch too much thought. A speed freak wants speed. A heroin addict wants to nod. A person will get the drug of choice regardless of legality. We could create a lot of jobs, more crime and bloodshed, by making tobacco illegal, or say just the packaged cigarettes which are mysteriously doctored. What interests me to read about crack is it is reaching the suburbs and Europe. It has made sense to me that it is like heroin the sleeper an inner-city drug - in this case a person possessed of adrenalin and fear is allowed to buzz on past. It is cheap and one hit calls for another, like cigarettes. Being not what one sees on TV, crack does not grab everyone who tries it. Bibi, Kevin, Maya are people I know who have tried it and do not care for it. Mike Lyons tried it and did like it, says he can see how it could be addictive. One sits with one's heart in one's brain, or, I suppose, one gets up and commits a mindless act. I do not have to try crack to know I would never pay money for it, having learned I will never pay money for heroin or methodrine or cocaine, maybe use a bit of it if it is handed to me, though with the speeds I have to chop wood or smoke dope or run or fight or something. We have such an incredible world, there be now the theory the whole thing is a.CIA plot, create jobs and put the poor people in concentration camps. I do not know if Eddie could get in to crack physically, I expect not, as he is fond of his extraordinary physical genetics. I remember his using speed at moments when it had been given to him, and I tried to explain what speed does to his vitamins and in his vitality and youth he had felt no ill effects. Selling illegal crack he can get into, and this has become likely to occur. There is too much money in illegal crack for violent Eddie, who is born in poverty, works at Taco Bell in Austin, to ignore. Hell, he would give me money. Take back our neighborhoods house by house indeed. To Whom It May Concern. We hereby want to report that Mr. Kevin Anthony Arbuckle age 26 at 1262 Ocean Av Emeryville Ca 94608 has been ever since adolescent age subject to physiological, emotional abuse. We do wish to point out this constitutes part of what we have commonly observed and that it implies that other concealed violations of family law exist. We pity said "Kevin" because he goes by without basic food care and money. He begs for money here and there for "a dollar" and has become a pest when it comes to that. He has been denied basic decision dealing with personal hygiene and he is not allowed to enter or be in the house by himself. Kevin does not have access to the house other than sneaking in and out the bathroom window. (See Emeryville Police report, call made by Wendy K Crosby.) The access of the house is "off limit" to him but his sleeping quarter and can only be enter by the back door. Kevin is kept as chattels receiving $600 monthly from SSI. From this sum he gets next to nothing and he is being swindle of his entity through a maze of bank account as he says "They know all the tricks" Mrs.Ruby Arbuckle and Miss Paulette Arbuckle are both B of A employees. Kevin is being forbidden to go visit his ill father at the hospital, he is kept out of enough change for bus fare and or basic transportation. He cannot own a bicycle and was denied the popular privilege of learning how to drive. The Arbuckle family possess four new cars (bought with his money) and he cannot ride in any one of them, and he is left stranded out on the street, he then hitch hike or ride with friends and neighbors. Because he is kept out of the house, he wanders at loose end, and when stranded at night he is being taken care by kindlier, gentler neighbors. It is not uncommon to see him chased out of the house by ferocious Paulette. If Kevin complains or makes allusion to his money, they call big brother Michael Arbuckle to lay hand and beat him up (see Emeryville police report; assault and battery) Kevin wears misfit clothing from second hand stores and they complain that he eats too much too often. All they care is my money he says! As a form of punishment and anything is an excuse for, he is starved of food and they threaten to cut him out completely if he knocks on the doors and wake up someone like Paulette. We, the undersigned, have been neighbors of the Arbuckle household at 1262 Ocean AV. in Emeryville Ca 94608. Each of us is aware of the dehumanizing and degrading living condition in which Kevin has been subjected ever since his early childhood. We are unaware of the specific grounds upon why Kevin has ever been mistreated, discriminated and persecuted. We wish, however, to relay to anyone reviewing file record and decision on the case of Kevin, that we all have the firm desire to expose what we have been witnessing all these years. We may not all have experienced (witnessing) each of the above commented allegations but have knowledge and or are aware of at least one. We request a full scale investigation and that Kevin's mental state be re-evaluated and re-assessed and that the "nut money" SSI he is receiving is well awarded and deserved in proper hand. We suggest that Miss Paulette Arbuckle "the Tuart" be incarcerated in correctional mental institution until her warped mind be deemed untyrranical toward others. We grant that to apprehend Miss Paulette Arbuckle on the grounds of diabolical craziness may be vague and encompassing, but she yell at every opportunity to kill neighbors with her .38 semi-automatic pistol and then claim "temporary insanity." Although premeditated "temporary insanity" could be fogged down by legal promiscuity we would not be sure and safe. Please take notice that none of the signatures knows when that "temporary insanity" is on or off or at what time of the month. We do not know if the local police has given much attention to the threat mongered by Miss Paulette Arbuckle but it brews suspicious suspense that we may have next door a "Ramona Sulfuro" which of course would have tragic results! Too late for an ounce of prevention Ha, ha? (I told you so) Conduct such as the above is we believe a clear indication by the Arbuckle family that it is their desire to prevent Kevin from growing up, getting an education or getting at least a trade so that he would seek gainful employment thus maturing to his own independence and peace of mind. The psychological impact inflicted to Kevin has been a devastating one and may be irreversible. The sympathy and care for Kevin has made the most timid of us to come forward in support and in signing this petition.
April 29, 1989
Dear Mr. Ulvang, I have for some time considered writing someone about Kevin's lack of money and his situation. Recently he has mentioned to me that you have voiced some curiosity about his money. Living next door to him, I became familiar over a year ago when he would ask to borrow change for a cup of coffee. I found him likeable and intelligent though boyish, and I began fixing him coffee regularly. I have slowly learned his strange story. My old friend, Millie Harris who lives here and owns the house, also now fixes him coffee and socializes with him, though Kevin's mother does not allow him to drink coffee, in that it would cause him to get "too excited." While that is bizarre enough, he only gets $15 a week, if he "is good." Other punishment has been to bring in an older brother, Michael, to beat him up. Possibly that practice is now discontinued, because Millie called the police on Michael the last time, and the police spoke with Michael, who then went on home elsewhere, but Kevin is intimidated and will never speak to the police against his family. Michael had been brought in to beat on him that time for "talking to the white trash", for Kevin is not permitted to talk to neighbors on either side of him. The neighbor on his other side is Andre Carpiaux of Belgium, an inventor and auto-mechanics teacher who has lived here twenty years and offered to teach Kevin automechanics. Kevin says he would like to learn auto-mechanics from Andre, whom he likes, but his mother, Mrs. Ruby Arbuckle, hates Andre. Ruby, who works for Bank of America but gets drunk on beer each evening, and her daughter Paulette, who does not drink beer and also works for Bank of America, call the police on any neighbor for anything possible, have caused Andre to lose cars he works on either in his back yard or in the street, as such work on cars in Emeryville is illegal in residential areas. Ruby Arbuckle falls asleep in a stupor early, while Paulette stays awake and aggressive, and lately a guy across the street has lost a car to Paulette and now Paulette, who likes to rave about shooting people with her .38 and pleading temporary insanity, can no longer park her car here at night because the windows get broken. Ruby Arbuckle parks hers in her garage. Ruby and Paulette concentrate most of their energy on Andre, and this is a feud which has gone on the twenty years. The rest of the neighborhood is generally aware of Kevin's troubles. But Andre has seen him grow up under numerous physical attacks from Paulette, and as he eventually threatened her, Paulette brought in the police on Kevin when he was age nineteen. Kevin tells me that as a cop got out of his car and pulled his gun Kevin ran, and was pursued about the neighborhood, till the Emeryvi1le police force had cut him off and captured him. Then, they merely brought him back to his house and told him to "be good." He is still very angry about that incident, and others, and tries to not speak with Paulette. Should, for example, Paulette cook dinner, she threatens to give Kevin none unless he does certain chores she bids him to do. Frankly, sir, all this makes me quite angry. Kevin's money is supposed to be paying for his room and board. Frequently, sometimes daily, he gets locked out of his house. They allow him no key. There is himself living there, his mother, sister Paulette, sister Myra, brother Glen, these others with their own cars and house keys. Glen seems nice, a quiet guy, secretly (the family is Catholic) in the Hare Krishnas. Last week, Kevin was locked out in the day by his favorite sister, Myra, because she was undressing in her room, for some reason with her door open. I no not know if she believes he would peek at her, or what they think his illness is supposed to be, but Kevin is sick in no way, except intimidation and humiliation. He does not even question Myra's right to lock him out, but just asked me for some coffee and did I have milk and sugar, being he could not get inside to get the milk and sugar. I have only been here the short while, yet have seen more weird stuff than I care to list. In the past week there were a couple of screaming early morning fights. One was Ruby trying to run him out of the bathroom at five o'clock. He kept hollering back at her that he really had to go, couldn't hold it, etc. The other was around the same time of morning, as Kevin arises early each day to sit outside to smoke a cigarette, and Ruby was disallowing him to visit his sick father, who was then in the hospital. Kevin had to sneak visit his father. Millie, and Andre, have seen Kevin, and also Glen, pissing early morning through the hurricane fence into their yards, as Ruby does not want them pissing in her yard (Andre who neither drinks nor smokes has caught her tossing beer bottles into his yard). Once just before dawn Andre saw Glen shitting in the little garden that Glen tends, and burying it. Millie, who arises early doing janitorial (nor does Millie drink, or smoke for that matter), has seen Glen burying mysterious paper bags in the garden. Millie, and Andre have both had their lives threatened by paranoid Paulette, always concerning her .38 and the temporary insanity bit. I find myself getting too angry, so must cut this short. Kevin tells me he got 130 on an IQ test back in school, and I believe him. That SSI money should be in his name, not Ruby's. He can pay rent, buy groceries, make payments on a car or whatever. He does not care for alcohol and his needs are not expensive. If he is getting six or seven hundred a month with the SSI, there is no way his room and board, clothes or anything else, can take up all of it but $l5 a week. The thousand or whatever he told me it is in "his bank account" his mother keeps is no larger than it was a year ago. If his mother has to charge him say $300 a month for a room in her house (with Glen as room mate - perhaps you could inquire if Glen and the sisters pay rent), and say as much as $200 a month for groceries, why could not a hundred a month go for a car payment? Because, they do not want him to drive or even have a house, but just suffer abuse and get no dignity and be chattel. Perhaps, in their sicknesses they are unconscious of what they do, but they are doing it nevertheless. Kevin ought to simply get his own money and live elsewhere, learn auto-mechanics or something.Mr. Ulvang is Kevin's new social worker, maybe Kevin sees him monthly. Andre's letter will find Ulvang, but also other offices, IRS, Emeryville Police Dept, Bank of America, Center For Abused Children, etc. At this point in his hithers and thithers Andre is still less than thirty signatures away from mailing his out everywhere. From these offices Paulette and Ruby will receive copies of Andre's. Maybe I am driving away as madness outside of Andre's household runs to a severity hitherto unknown. Thought I was going to get to lay up with Giedra first, but the money is too tight these last two weeks and maybe that and the three long letters I wrote her and Eugene's Texas Gang book she got away with has affected the conservatism most women have before I am "successful." I am such a mad fool should my hormones get pointed one direction, anyway, probably it is better I keep the gas monies together and get. Need to figure can I find a way to cash the California welfare while I see my daughter in Texas, or not. Got this black cloud date May 17th on the food stamp work program I should make before take off, limp around with terrible back injury picking up sticks or something.
Andre had not believed it legal for police to have one's car hauled out from under one when one does not have a driver's license. I went to the Berkeley Police Dept., was told it is true. I found I had no warrants out, I understand, but that to check whether my driver's license is revoked I have to go stand in line at DPS. Or maybe it is the other way around, but I know I have to only survive to Texas, walk into the little DPS at Aransas Pass, get back my robbed twice Texas license and now with photo, and my head fogs over any further on the matter. Andre has been viewing Emeryville cop cars positioned to drive for him, had been outflanking them and parking where he would have one block to make Berkeley, walking the short walk to his house thus is pissed to hear they can now snatch his car. They have long known he drives with no license, he thinks about fixing an explosive in his car so when it is yanked it blows up the wrecker. If I do this one time, says he, they won't yank any more cars in Emeryville (or California?)- the wreckers will refuse to do it!He enjoys life and jokes like a kid with the mad women who live under his wing but he is enraged with never a relenting that Emeryville has not returned his container. Emeryville has not figured what to do with his container, exactly, that would not put a little worse the story on them that does not die. Calmly Andre concludes the only simple route for Emeryville is to get him back in a corner for a shooting. He is listening seriously to me of the cabin my sister and I own in New Mexico. He has conferred with an individual to get all the materials together again for the big one he had going that got stolen or destroyed in The Pillaging. He seems blackballed throughout the area on getting any teaching job which would finance such work, wants at the moment to wait see will this one last place hire him. He is about to send his young son, Patrick, who skips school, to Belgium with family there. Andre had been paying rent for Patrick at Andre's young woman's address in a neighboring town and Patrick has not settled down. I tell Andre I expect my sister would let him slide on the cheap rent at the Bonnie Olive Cabin till he is on his feet, maybe a job at the World College in Las Vegas, New Mexico, twenty miles away. Other amusing material which may show some development, as I will ask a couple scientist friends to call in alarmed: Andre set out the warning, be careful traipsing about his property, because vials containing cultures of active bacteria taken dormant from ancient diseased Indian bones during an expedition to the Grand Canyon were busted open into his yard during The Pillaging (yes, though a cave and the open earth are not the same). He cannot be responsible for possible exotic disease. A few days ago, Alameda County Health Agency sent David Byrne, Hazardous Materials Specialist, accompanied by an assistant, from the Division of Hazardous Material of the Dept. of Environmental Health, to sniff about. I missed them, myself. Si, Senor, and today Andre claims he will finally get around to dropping last chapter's letter to the Central Manager of the Bank of America, via one respectable and concerned citizen who volunteers to walk in the camera though our last chapter appears to be fading into a background somewhere, maybe. Andre does wonder his badgering Emeryville about inefficient police action as regards psychotic Paulette is making Chief Colleti dangerous. Social workers did come to Kevin's house. Only were Myra and Kevin home. Kevin had already seen Andre's letter, at Millie's. Millie, unlike Maya and boy friend Petey and roomer Stewart, would not sign, fearing the unforseen from the Arbuckle women with whom she lives in listening distance. Kevin was alarmed and denied any knowledge of anything. Myra threatened suit, of the social workers is my understanding. Kevin tells me to tell them not to come to his house anymore, but tells me however his decision all on his own to talk to his social worker about precise steps toward his getting his money into his control. He is getting up to moving out and taking care of self. Tina the woman social worker of the pair who visited the Arbuckle house called Millie, who conceded she had given Kevin coffee three hours he was locked out on a rainy day, and Millie advised Tina to call Billy. We talked, resulting in her agreeing she will talk to Kevin's social worker about Kevin's getting his money. Kevin was scheduled to have seen his social worker last week but the guy was out. The Carpiaux War has not quelled with the death of John George, so maybe George was not the seed. Aging hackles can awaken, but as of yet nobody is feeding me any LSD. I must be graceful and reach my daughter. Millie is coming, will pay up her pile of tickets to get her license. We leave the seventh, Millie wants to see Port Aransas and everybody - she is my mother's biggest fan, loves to see letters to Billy from his mother - can be free now to go all over the country with her sex therapy, such a muse, Ono the Oriental, Vanessa the Negress, or Melanie Hart, taking interest in well heeled U.S. citizens holding their peckers telling all in their lives, lately one of them losing lust for his neighbor age ten and he is begging to meet our Melanie Hart.
The things I say, I know there are those who would beg to differ. Some would like to get me on television and posture and interrupt, but I wont go for it. I am a shy man and that stuff is show biz. But, say in many years I have drifted into the media and got cornered or talked into a stand, I would be cognizant just what we have here, little circus box in millions of neurotic or manic households, the finer points of a debate less important than the viewer's escape, Wild Bill the pure of heart, the bold knight, maybe your old wife would prefer being with him tonight, your daughter, all your little children, he is so funny, such a gentleman too, but what's that, what did he just say? - and Wild Bill is an explosion of molten earth, a brilliant volcano painting the very heavens, molten, brilliant, captures all. Well, mebbe so, if I went to the damn thing in the first place. Maybe, or maybe the next time, go so whacked out on peyote I can't heed what my quote unquote opponent says. Sir, you sit there thinking you are on TV with your hands in your lap and that policemen help little old ladies but I can see by the peculiarly parched and scaly look about the pores of your face you are addicted and craving a chemical cigarette, worst scam ever perpetrated on the homo sapien race lite beer notwithstanding where in real life whether the old folks get the help is beside my point - maybe you saw it and I have never but it does not matter in the argument, because what I'm saying, if we had the family, the tribe, the village, we would all help our grandmothers cross the street, so would you, no man would dare mess with my children or yours on the playground, even did such a suffering devil yet exist in the face of each witness and his dog who would converge like fire ants and tear loose his very head, send him back to his maker for reconstruction, yessir. Solve the chain murder cases, the cops never solve shit, what they do sometimes is consult the people, and return to their files and laboratories for a time. Hell, we got so many lonely women stumbling blindly hither and thither, nobody to touch their souls, not their parents, their brothers, their men, not their children left home, all these lost paranoid fuckers lining up at a bar just like dull bovines at a trough in a stockyard before they die it gets to be real easy to kill someone. People disappear all the time so many it can be likened to the production of marijuana in the United States, weed is number one cash crop in first one state then another till the media has no room to discuss it any further or even keep at the two minute skits on TV but just talk about "drugs" now because the blind fear is great and crime from Columbia to here is well financed by the folly of government, the fear, the loathing, the loneliness is great that out of the red streets of the night the baby rapers and archfiends themselves can wade up to the same bovine neighborhood bar just for a touch of drunken human cheer and the cops cannot help but catch a few even growers of marijuana when they don't even have time for them but all people have to talk a little bit, sir, it is the nature of the beast, this is what we do.Ah, well, sure, but why go on. My personal Last Laugh will not do much. They who need it do not read literature or sociology, without maybe somebody tells them to. Let us have fun. Let us be alert, not believe in falseness, do not believe in police security. Maybe get some of those poor cops to laughing too. So dreary to have to be alerted to them, too, damn. Many of them are nice guys, it is merely that we do not need them. Just be nice to them, they need love too, let them roll on into that retirement pay, while it lasts. And authority still believes they can shoot and beat and jail and be respected and keep grown people believing they are homeless children or potential mad dogs, and now the world governments take their singular inhalations for respite, and scold the Chinese authority. The old hippy talks grandly, because indeed we could be grand. On the hot Arizona highway material disaster struck with further reaching spiritual consequence, the Monte Carlo had a cracked block and burned its oil and cracked more, or so I grasp. To get some oil Millie had taken off with a horny old lout and I waiting with his license number met first one then another gentlemanly highway patrolman, before Millie got on back with the cans of oil and the old fart and his sad hard-on who had attempted talking her into desertion, thus I thought about it all some more. Ken Kesey had called the highway patrolmen "the best of the cops," Much, much further down the road, Texas, a truck driver, cantankerous good old guy, claimed some highway cops are O.K., some are ass holes. I have done this rough hitch hiking, mostly early in the sixties, one highway cop told me in maybe Oregon when I had come tired from Main with bushy hair that I needed a haircut, another had asked me what was I doing out there, like in Ohio. I write, I said. He said: I do too - but I work! The car and half my stuff went to a local chicano going to a Tucson dance but who stopped, hauled us to a service station, where the shot engine was diagnosed. Millie, first wisely deciding to take the bus, felt sorry for Billy when he honed down his load to an amount he could hand-carry fifty yards non-stop, maybe it was closer to one hundred yards, the important manuscripts, the jeans and some clothes, dogfood, not his lantern, stove, big stout old pressure cooker, sledgehammer, semi crowbar, or his ax, but his hatchet, and she made decision to hitch hike one day with him. Billy seems to have misunderstood, that she needed the adventure, experience, beauty of the harsh road with Billy, and she got a little mad the next day hearing this, called it "arrogant" and unappreciative. That was after the fire I started, which was her awakening rather than romantic coffee. I was impressed with her, her humor and spirit beyond most women. She is a citified being, one of these who had never slept outdoors, but she was firstly happy to sleep in the desert weeds next the freeway where our helper had let us out - she dug it - we badly needed the sleep of four hours before I arose at five to build wee coffee fire being I had been too scattered with our misfortune and the woman's normal jabber to think to bring my little coleman burner. She carried her good coffee still, though with my one busting ancient suitcase I had left mine to our helper. Welp, I am an old woodsman and will disregard prohibitions about campfires in dry seasons and disregarded this dry grass and wind, figured I could arrogantly stomp out any problem like always. But the stuff was purely dry, combustible. Stomps were not enough in the wind. My sleeping bag was tied back to my large very inflammable nylon bag contained my clothes, and this bundle I rolled over the spreading flame and set smoldering - Millie, we got a problem here! - grabbed the dogs' bottle of water to pour. Up came the woman with her blanket and she smothered the fire. She was happy with herself. See, Billy, where would you be without me! I learned in my nurse's training, you put out a fire with a blanket, never water, you don't put water on it because water only turns to steam! You were panicking and I stayed calm! Later in the truck stop restaurant there was this card to Maya ruining my reputation, how Billy panicked - Help me, Milly, help me! - which Millie would first not let me read. Anycase, no coffee but a fire, and some honking motorists who called in. My fear had been the cops, the fire would merely have swept away from us, maybe burned some brush, oh the wind was taking it to the highway but it likely would have burned a little of the brush. Again a cop was nice and accepted my postulation that somebody's cigar or cigarette had started the fire that we had been awakened by and had to put out. The last time I had hitch hiked had been in the mid seventies, when I took ten dogs from the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico where we had been getting hungry to Texas in one hundred degrees down to the coast. Hitch hiking with two dogs appears by now to be that hard. My memory bank is a mite disordered as to how I managed that seventies jaunt, which astounds me now - I recall I had a heavy pack on my back, a double headed ax in one hand, and learned to organize those averagely twenty pound wild blooded pups under some kind of shade with water, and the travel was two times as slow as normally. Most of those rides happened to not be pickups but folks who favored dogs and were curious. In Corpus Christi twenty some odd miles from the Olive house on the outskirts of Aransas Pass I called my unfortunate parents to come get us. While I have always hated hitch hiking I had otherwise done some seventies hitch hiking with two dogs, concluded that one or two dogs went same awful speed (it is the standing, standing on ugly pavement in the elements tired) as hitch hiking with no dogs because whereas many people do not like dogs other people will pick up a hitch hiker only because he has a dog. In the rising sun Millie and I first hauled our load piecemeal with rests some hundreds of yards down the highway to the shade of an overpass and the desert truckers with their C.B.s had conversation about these two with their pit bulldogs, up and down that road, and their insurance does not cover riders. There was no jolly Mescan in a pickup as Billy had visualized and the female saw it was practical that we stand apart, yet the truckers all knew we were together. Millie can be no U.S. hitch hiker, lacks patience, monetarily independent would rather pay cash, too much Aries she has to move about wrongly or rightly, for a fat female had surprising energy and humor in that sun and not long into that day was walking without stuff couple miles backward to the truck stop. She had her coffee and ate something and got a local guy with his wife to come with her to get me and everything while I sat dozing in slow heat of day propped against cement slant of overpass. The man chose to not accept the agreed on ten dollars and consensus was we had to be where traffic moved less than top speed and I normally have gone for quantity of traffic but was not to care for we needed water and I had had no coffee. At the truck stop she was friends with a young waitress, while the management regarded her a prostitute (I believe Millie was mildly flattered). I tied the dogs in shade, we did some eating and coffee drinking but a woman in charge complained about her hanging about so much, and a wimp by and by said to me firmly they could not have my dogs harassing customers. Lady had barked two or three times at other people's dogs and there was complaint. The little waitress friend was willing to take Millie nine o'clock in the evening to the Tucson bus station, were we still there and it looked likely. Around seven thirty we were back on the road where the access connects to the freeway and Millie returned to the truck stop then maybe a mile back to call the waitress who had gone home. It is too bad that on her way back up after the call this certain trucker stopped to get her. I had seen the diesel truck pull to its stop, not first understanding, but round the bend under the freeway overpass a figure jogging some steps in the heat on that access showed to be Millie. I went to her and had brief words and saw her off into the truck once she held dialogue with the guy, telling her be careful - she turns on the truck seat and arches her brows confirmatively - figuring she could handle the guy psychologically. It was one of those cases where the trucker (craven fool grabbed her tit first thing) (I thought you said you were going to be a gentleman, she said) is such a poor loser he lets the hippy woman go in for coffee somewhere then drives off with her possessions. I did not tell the coming waitress friend how Millie got aways further along (craven fool was going to Houston) to shorten the bus ticket because suddenly I was taken thirty miles out of that pit, young student local at dusk. Still in Arizona, I smoked pot, let dogs tear about a while in brush, fed them and slept. Next morning when I untied them again they found themselves another tear and were gone I thought too long, but no matter because we had to stand by a freeway sign till its shade went and I had to tie dogs under lean protection of a bush. A likeable black chap was the late ride that day, out of L.A, who had been stuck with car breakdown two weeks in a small Arizona town, a traveling mechanic now in a hundred fifty dollar heap, burning oil, out of gas nearly, out of money. It was imperative to escape this pit as well, because of my dogs and always fretting about the days of Madrea's visit missed already and we did reach a Las Cruces truck stop on empty. My driver's plan was to hustle mechanic work but I could not tarry. He was sorry I was going, we bid farewell, a thirty-six year old man limping off a wooden leg granted in a motorcycle accident who had two or three teenage children he lived in touch with. Dogs and I bedded in field aside the freeway of Las Cruces, New Mexico, the town I know where abides Elizabeth Shirley Baca, buxom woman four feet ten who held my heart in the earliest seventies. Following day up there we had sun strong at high noon that got blotted by a wild sand storm, like in Texas Gang, Dear Reader. Andre Carpiaux tells me in Europe hitch hiking is respectable and easy, am glad to hear. Well, sir, in the United States weather makes no difference and reality twists into a most grim monotony of hours a person looks at singular motorists - Can this one be it? But somewhere sometime abruptly and invariably a motorist breaks to a long halt and it is a surprise, a change of reality. My daughter interrupts my writing here, curious what is the content, less than age six asks if the guy who picked me up then had long hair like I do (how long I will have the hair this time hard to say, my poor mother is fierce). In our father-daughter dialogue I pause, why, yes, indeed, he did. He certainly did, a real hippy born like twenty years past the generation, an artist this one, claimed to be selling his stuff, full of rap and mysticism and the entire thing, for energy ate some kind of pollen concentrate out of the bee hive if I understood, the kind who lost the first battles of the war, I guess the breed remains. He put me in Fort Worth five A.M. Texas was not as bad. Much two hour struggle getting my load up the freeway - little back pack but my two hands tiring, trapezius muscles tormented - my dogs trailing by urgent command - get out of the goddamn road! - and one more useless old fart authorized to jail or shoot ran me off the freeway, telling that if I caused a wreck I went to jail. I could lose my dogs via two or three steps were facts discussed how a motorist so blind as imagined could not survive on a freeway anyway, I could fight and kill and die and let my child down, but I did get out of the third pit off the access road late in the day, nice chap who talked Texas economics to your cultured author, pickup ride under twenty miles, and two or three hours later we had another short pickup hop, and shortly before the next sleep a pretty hippy type lady and thirteen year old son came who like dogs, who live forty miles above Austin, bought me hamburger, dropped us at rest stop, post bit of a spiel on getting Jesus into my heart, with goodby hug, and I and the beasts sniffed around and took rest, and next morning was ye good truck driver, got me clear to Odem, TX., which is the other side of Corpus Christi. I was uplifted yet there were some hours in Odem before this final ride being a spaced young man with rotted teeth named Leslie in a wreck of a pickup who told me of Millie's misadventure. He had given her the ride following the wretched truck driver (a truck driver after Leslie is the one who told her about all the American desert truckers knowing of us). Leslie only saw it was I when my dogs stood up from their shade. Had he known, maybe he would not have stopped, because Millie believes he stole her check book. When Millie rode with him there had been another crazy, Waco being their destination - left stunned at a truck stop, suddenly Millie had met what she first thought were two nice Berkeley type freaks, till they took off, rough and lustful with her. Her ride then did not go too long, some way or other. Next Leslie had kicked out the other guy for being crazy, and headed for the Gulf to get on a fishing boat. Leslie was broke, seat and floorboard and back of truck laid with canned goods and beans and packages of noodles from church stops. He is strong physically like a plump construction worker who lives on such starch and junk food. With me he was spaced and watchful. We had a blowout between Corpus and Aransas, pulled over into the stickers O.K. He had this type of jack takes just a lot of slow tricep work and curious about him and watching his watchfulness I voiced my tiredness and lack of sleep. I told him Aransas Pass is the shrimping capitol of the world and showed him Con Brown Harbor where he could hang out and get on one of the shrimp boats soon as somebody gets drunk and doesn't show. Told him like any fishing it is a gamble but he could get fortunate and miss sleep and make money. Wanted to know would they cheat him. Naw, because for all they know you might be a rough hombre and sometimes these people get violent, cut and shoot. Now, they're just like anybody else, they're not all violent, but like fishermen anywhere etc. At Con Brown Harbor I talked to one boat for him to show him how it goes and my dogs jumped out and took a big dump and he said whew regarding their wind and he drove us to my parents house quarter mile outside the city limits facing Rockport and my mother came out and he requested a couple of dollars gas and she went in and got him a $5 off my father. My child came out peering a wee shy. Into my arms. It has been too long, Madrea. She told me she knew. Millie was in Port Aransas, with help from the Vaughns finding herself a $200 cottage. Leslie had not been enthused to see her anyway. Maybe this is the last of Leslie in our story, who knows. I am more fortunate in parents than is the average maladjusted white boy in the United States. When I took fifteen shock treatments for suicidal contemplation or what was the reason in 1961 the three doctors I ran through on the public fund had not perceived why I should have a problem. Shock treatments, which might calm temporarily by affecting a temporary loss of memory, were a solution in theory that one might reorganize one's mind during that desired calm. I guess, but at the time I didn't care. Among the old friends, that I had "shock therapy" was a source of humor. Or even that I might kill myself, they were not wonderfully happy either, and nothing is sacred but humor. My parents would have preferred straight children, sons who had crew hair cuts and marched straight to Viet Nam. It is a chilling world, and surely to be what we weirdos refer to as straight the citizen must on at least occasions run schizoid. Maybe this should be said of most people we call weirdos, too. The parents tend to have common sense, but be average citizens in that the male is more rigid and irritable, having got out and "earned" the living, the female more open minded while sensitive of the male's irritance. An example on the contrary is before my father was diagnosed as having emphysema he took to smoking pot with his kids while drinking his beer at our get-togethers, disclaiming he was affected, said it tasted like horse shit, would get stoned to my mother's disapproval. Their chemical cigarettes, which they were forced to stop in their old age for medical reasons, were conducive to my serious asthma (in 1955 I had hospitalizations and people wondered if asthma would kill me) (I never considered the possibility, I was just laying up on the shots of adrenalin thinking and reading about flying saucers and reading other stuff the rhythms of whatever prose - some of it was the Captain Horatio Hornblower series - ringing in my mind when I dosed)(hell, high school in the nineteen fifties was conducive to my serious asthma, and this is when I observed there was nothing to learn in high school I had not learned by junior high) each winter they closed the house, and I grew weary of complaining and quit complaining pre-puberty, and the cigarettes offended my two brothers and my sister and this is weird addiction and strange story in the U.S., that it is O.K. if not blown directly into the kid's face, that when the molecules are separated enough to lose visibility they are not there, no matter the child can smell them the smoker does not. The child, in defense, takes to smoking and becomes desensitized, learns grit and sucks and puffs and makes a living and carries on maybe looking sexual with the cigarette slapped out of the pack. My sister and brothers hated it too much to take ary a foul toke and we enjoy now the easy breathing inside my parents house which they had saved for and my creative mother designed. Without further digression on U.S. bizarre sociology, I state we have put my old father through a bit - he had to change on Viet Nam and other matters he never had time to be conscious of - he continues in a slow, barely discernible social shock (he would angrily disagree - but we all have some degree and flux of social shock), he is in his early seventies, a frail yet very macho male, who guided me as a child in that manner and has had a pride in me as an adult in perhaps only that way (used to tell men details I had related to him of my annual street punch outs, my mother told me, now my years are middle aged he gets rather disgusted there too, I think), a powerful sometimes childish personality he is to the end, poor nerves or no, Mother always trying to shelter him, and her nerves are bad, and they bicker but have always loved each other a lot. Millie came in two or three days before I did, babbling. My folks are social and kind but thought her story had holes in it. Like other people, they prefer to talk themselves rather than to listen. At the Vaughn's, gathering center of my old friends and the Port Aransas middle aged elite, Millie and I drew conclusion, her story sounds like babble. Mother had meanwhile pressured her and drug from her just what is her "sex therapy," what are her degrees, till Mother had enough idea. My parents are domineering personalities, each taking turns making way for the other, and Millie likes them, herself a dominant and subjective type in ways, has some awareness of them, but they turned less than kind with her. I am confused, but I saw it began once Millie accepted an offer of lent money. My father will talk of El Depression, a tough guy who worked from early childhood, could wrestle and box and won his fights, before marriage and quieter life age twenty-three, who loves songs like Stardust and Begin The Beguine, if they are not used for jazz, best music written in history of mankind and he understands no further complexity in music or say anything of art in literature though he reads mainly garbage (he would disagree with plenty feeling), once read possibly the first two little chapters in Texas Gang and voiced disgust for its obscenity, last night read chapter one in Blood Meridian, got put off ("sounds like its written by a drunk, I mean, whats its point, where's it going, makes no sense") (he read Lonesome Dove alright, admired the TV version much). I forget what he considers I owe him monetarily over the many years, twenty, thirty, forty maybe fifty grand, maybe I can pay him before he dies, and nobody bets on that, but anytime he lends the other children money he lives with a grudge till he gets it back. Once it comes back, the matter is forgotten entirely. My parents have only forty grand in their savings and my father offered Millie money to grab the little Port Aransas $200 cottage (Port Aransas is great, Dear Reader, but don't expect to score such a deal under the noses of thousands of tourists who come summers to a town that has a population of maybe fifteen hundred in winter). I had felt she ought to grab it, and my parents had only heard "two hundred dollars," not that she was required to pay first and second months rent, nor that she was anxious to get a phone and begin work, and of course one must eat. Daddy asked her how much did she need, she had some money and calculated she needed $300, he gave that over, then she calculated some more, asked for an additional $25. He told her he was not made of money, refused. I was slow catching on they wanted her packed and gone that moment. Mother was driving us to Port Aransas, tension on the rise. My voice was rising. We pulled out, went fifty yards, Millie had forgotten her birth certificate. We pulled back in. My father came out. What is it now! Her birth certificate, she needs her birth certificate - nobody can pack in five minutes! My father believes he got burned. It is never forgotten Dan (Rattlesnake) McConchie stole maybe $.75 age eighteen from a dime bank my father had, and that a couple of years later a girl named Rebel whom Dan was ditching and whom I had rest at my parents house while I was in Berkeley stole from my sisters coin collection (Bonnie was in college) (Kelly was in high school, had to do with heading off Rebel with some other ne'er do well boyfriend). My brothers and Bonnie called in concerned. Though a Libra Mike Olive gets oblivious but he did call me hello. Daddy gets pissed that Bonnie (she and especially Kelly are the mediators, guardians) (get pissed I will blabber too many facts) never minds running up her own phone bill (tell Daddy this is my phone and I can do what I want to with my own phone on Saturday morning!). The parents think Millie has burned them on phone bills too. Daddy thinks Millie kept raiding the refrigerator (Not so, says she, I'm on a diet). Kelly had never seen the parents so worked up and he called back offering to pay Millie's money for her. I told him please not or they will always remember he paid, never that she paid Kelly back, and Kelly agreed. Captain Jack in prison called collect, lonely, and as I was out turning dogs into the brush (the elbow room is less all the time and may we never hear Lady got a neighbors cat or cow) (my dogs are an issue, tied so they do not eat the two fixed cats), and Kelly worrying about the complaints on the phone bill had left word for me to tell Mother to not accept the Captain's call unless I was right there, Captain Jack was not accepted. Now he is fine material, power lifting champ and prize winning painter while locked up went straight to his room and crossed off Lyla (our mother) (who paints herself) from his list for F.P. (Free Painting), claims she actually said they were accepting no calls from prisoners but I dunno. Then I had to deny to my father that the Captain and Kelly and I have a dope deal going. The Vaughns are looking after Millie. I hope they can keep her from discouragement while awaiting her bank card. The Vaughns are gracious and unusual. Steve's wife Nancy is a school teacher, extraordinary woman who lets Steve be house husband (story is Steve has worked less than I have) though he does not consistently sell. He paints daily. Nancy enjoys bitching, enjoys riding the men, but she is a queen and people gather at their house, smoking weed and drinking, sundry free spirited children banging around, most nights in a week. I guess Millie can make it. I do yard work, watching the back injury. I read "Dear Madrea" stuff to my kid mid day, care for my dogs, or go with Mother when she dog walks their two who live in the large fenced front yard. Lovely the short weeks with my fine daughter. Sad she must leave. Night time from our beds downstairs Madrea and I do animal sounds, humor a la Sesame Street. What was that! Maybe that was a hound dog, maybe that was Jonesy (parents basset). Wish we could have a quiet night for a change. I wish we could too. Well, goodnight. Goodnight! Goddamnit, what was that? That sounded like a goat. Maybe it was a sheep. Wish those animals would shut up. I wish they would shut up. I wish we could have a quiet night. I wish we could have a quiet night. Well, good night. Good night. What was that! Maybe that was a wolf. Goddamnit, what was that! That was an elephant. Wish we could have a quiet night. Me too. Good night. Good night. Long pause.
What was that!