By Timothy A. Ruane, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Meg Greenfield
Warning, this story contains mature content, please exercise your own discretion in deciding whether or not to read it.
Mommy lay naked on her back in the big brown bed. Daddy sat naked on top of her, his skinny buttocks squishing into her chubby thighs, his knees pinned to her rib cage on either side. Daddy held his right brown hand high over his head in the air like a meat cleaver or the hand of a professional kung-fu karate black belt or somethin'. The world was still then like that for 10 minutes or so. The room was silent. All you could hear was the panting of my mother and father. Then, just like a big missile that has just blasted off, Daddy swung his arm down toward Mommy's white face. He cracked his hand--smacked it, really--against the left side of Mommy's face. A huge crack sound reverberated about the room against the walls and ceiling and floor and big window panes for 10 minutes. Everything was frozen, except the sound of my Daddy's hand cracking against my Mommy's face. Then, like Frankenstein or somethin', Poppa lay out on top of Momma. He penetrated her with ease for Momma was all wet. They curled their arms about each other like four snakes. First they rolled to Daddy's left, then they rolled toward Daddy's right. They did this two or three times, like beasts. Then like two clowns they rolled to Daddy's right for the fourth time, but they rolled too far, and they fell off the bed. Momma issued an ugh sound, for she had hurt her left shoulder. Daddy grunted and made animal sounds too. Daddy remained on top of Momma, thrusting in and out like a big bear or somethin'. There was a small bathroom attached to the bedroom which Mommy and Daddy were in, and the toilet bowl began to gurgle a little. There was no scientific explanation for this gurgle. It was just a sound from God, a sound that occurred while I was being created. Daddy eventually climaxed inside Mommy, and when he did he snorted like a big brown bull or a big brown bear or somethin', and then he collapsed on top of Mommy, like an exhausted dog that has been chasing tennis balls all afternoon. It was early in the morning. The sky was black, and a half moon hung in the sky like a human liver or somethin'.
Mommy and Daddy were on the floor, remember, and 16 minutes after Daddy achieved his climax, I was miraculously conceived. Daddy's sperm boys did a good job, and Mommy's eggs or whatever you call them did a good job too. They, Mommy and Daddy, both fell asleep on the floor shortly after their dirty coitus, Daddy on top of Mommy. So, I was violently conceived on the floor of a bedroom just outside a bathroom whose toilet bowl issued a miraculous gurgling sound during the coitus. I have never been happy or proud about these facts, but I've never held them against Mommy or Daddy.
Life inside Mommy's tummy was 10 months of bliss. I grew appropriately in appropriate stages, stages that scientists have classified, and I had fine hands and feet. I had a disproportionately large head, which might partly explain why I am the way I am. I never once dreamed while I was in Mommy's tummy, I just existed, like, in a state of nirvana. Mommy slipped and fell once during my pregnancy, and she landed on her stomach. This was the only time I ever felt pain in uterus.
When nine months were up, I chose not to leave Mommy's tummy. Mommy wanted me to leave her, but I wouldn't. She squished and squeezed and pushed and wheezed, but I wouldn't come out. I assumed an upright position not unlike a man on a crucifix, and dug my little hands as sharply as I could into the sides of Mommy's tummy. On the first day of the 10th month, I could hold out no longer. My feet began to slip a little, and my legs started sliding down the path of Momma's sacred tube. I held off pretty good, though. Mommy decided it was time to go to the hospital, so Daddy drove her down to Georgetown University Hospital, down there on Reservoir Road in Northwest Washington, D.C. He drove Mommy down in the old, pale-green 1950 station wagon Ford that we had in those days. In the hospital, I held out for as long as I could, but some chink doctor named Ching or Chang or Wong or Wang or somethin' got a hold of my feet with a big old pair of biceps. He positioned his feet on Mommy's either thigh and yanked me out (feet first) after a 15-minute heroic struggle by me. Doctor Ching or Chang or whatever his name was slapped hard on my little ass, but I did not cry. He slapped me again and again, but I did not cry. I was not happy about being in the world, and Dr. Chang or whatever his name was thought there was something psychologically wrong with me, but he did not tell my parents this, because he did not want to hurt their feelings on this, their special day when they were bringing new life into the world. I looked like a fish or somethin' right after Dr. Chang pulled me out of my Mommy's tummy. I was all oily and bloody and my limbs were dangling loose and hangin' down, like an octopus, I'd guess you'd say. Maybe a star fish.
Grandfather O'Malley--Daddy's Daddy, that is--stood majestically in the cool spring night. He wore a white cotton shirt that had been neatly pressed, and he had on a pair of neatly pleated gray pants that he hitched up high on his waist. He also wore a belt and unassuming black leather shoes.
During Prohibition, Daddy's Daddy was a bootlegger. He ran a sort of speak-easy out of the basement of his home down there around 14th and U streets NW in Washington, D.C. Nuns from the local parishes used to come there for their bottles of whiskey. Irishmen of all sorts stopped by to drink shots of whiskey, three, four and five or even six times a day. Even the niggers from the neighborhood--Daddy told me that there were lots of niggers in the neighborhood and that you had to be ready to fight them all the time--stopped by and put down shots of my Grandaddy's whiskey.
Daddy told me--and he cried like an infant baby when he told me, "Boy, you don't know what it's like to see your father carted off in a Patty wagon, but I do. I saw your grandfather carried off in a Patty wagon three times, and I used to have to go get him out of jail." I had no sympathy for my Daddy about this. I considered the prospect of my Grandfather O'Malley in a Patty wagon actually to be a magnificent sight. Often I have imagined Grandfather O'Malley in a Patty wagon. He wasn't upset or nothin'. He just sat there starin' out in front of himself wonderin' why he was in the Patty wagon. He did not wonder too long, though, for Grandfather O'Malley was not a great thinker. He was a nice man who owned a restaurant in addition to his speak-easy, and he gave all his Irish friends free meals when they came to eat brunch at his restaurant after Sunday Mass, and he served them good whiskey at his speak-easy, for Grand Daddy O'Malley served only good whiskey. He never bought or sold any of the cheap stuff.
Grand Daddy O'Malley became a millionaire during the Prohibition. He sold lots of bottles of whiskey, and he had a concrete drain in the basement where he'd pour the whiskey down when the cops came. I guess the drain didn't work very good, since he got arrested so many times.
After he became a millionaire, Grand Daddy O'Malley bought a house in Maryland right across from the old Chevy Chase Country Club. It was a beautiful Victorian house, and my Daddy planted a bunch of shrubs in the front yard there. Daddy used to caddy at the Chevy Chase Country Club, and he said there were a lot of Negro caddies there.
But what was I saying? That Grand Daddy O'Malley stood there majestically in the spring night or somethin'? Yes, that's right. Grand Daddy O'Malley. He held his hands in his pockets and in his right hand he clutched a dollar bill. We--the kids, that is, all six of us--walked in a line past Grand Daddy O'Malley and said goodbye to him one by one. I was the last in line and must have been 3 or 4 or somethin', and when I went to say goodbye to Grand Daddy O'Malley, he pulled out the dollar bill from his pocket and said: "Here, son, take this."
And I took the dollar bill and put it into the pocket of my plaide shorts which were held up by a band of elastic. Mommy had bought them at Sears.
When I got into the car, I whispered so my Daddy would not hear, and I let it be known to my brother and sisters that Grand Daddy O'Malley had given us a dollar. This was fabulous news because it meant that we would soon be eating ice cream. There was a problem, though, because Daddy O'Malley always gave us strict instructions when we visited Grand Daddy O'Malley: We were not to take any money from Grand Daddy O'Malley. Never. We always did, though, and we always ate ice cream after visiting Grand Daddy O'Malley. Somebody broke it to Daddy--that Grandaddy O'Malley had given us a dollar--it was prob'ly my oldest sister Colleen 'cause she was the bravest, and when she told my Daddy that Grandfather O'Malley had given us a dollar and could we please now go to High's store and buy some ice cream, and Daddy got all ferociously angry, like he always did at just about anything, cuz he had a bad temper, a real bad temper, and he often screamed like a deranged man: "Go-o-o-d daaammmn it!!! I told you all not to take any money form your grandfather!" But he calmed down pretty quick because he liked ice cream a lot too, and he didn't say anything more to us about it, and we drove straight to High's, which being up there on Wisconsin Avenue, was about a block or two from our house, and he didn't say anything or nothin', and then he just pulled up in front of High's, and then we knew we were gonna get some ice cream, and when the car was fully parked my Daddy , "Okay, Colleen. Go get some vanilla, chocolate and strawberry." And Collen did. She bought a half gallon of Breyer's vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, and when we got home we all sat around eating vanilla and chocolate and strawberry, and vanilla was my favorite, and Daddy always got the largest portion out of all of us, and he always ate it out of a plastic pale white measuring cup that actually measured two cups, and I don't know if we watched TV 'cause I don't even know if there was TV in those days. It was around 1956 or 1957 or so, and I guess maybe I hadn't been run over by the cement truck by then, but I don't know really if those are the correct dates or nothin' 'cause I'm not too good with chronology and stuff like that.
I don't know much about Grandfather O'Callahan, my mother's father. I knew he was born in Ireland, and he had a farm, and he was rich, or so I heard. And he took his family of about 14 or 15 children or so on a boat across the great Atlantic Ocean to America, and he lived there for awhile in New York City or Washington, D.C., or someplace, and then he decided to return to Ireland, so he packed all 16 or 17 kids or however many there were and crossed the great Atlantic once again this time in the opposite direction--east it would be-and he did some more farming for a while, and then maybe the potato famine hit, and maybe he farmed potatoes or sheep or somethin', I don't really know, but I imagine he farmed sheep for wool and shit, and as I said I don't really know, and so he brought his whole God-damned family of 14 or 17 kids or somethin' back to America to Washington, D.C., in fact, because he didn' want his children to starve or nothing from the potato famine and whatnot. And he bought a hardware store in Georgetwon on M Street, and he called it O'Callahan's Hardware, and he made a fortune selling screws and nails and bolts and peat moss and whatnot, and he bought a fine, huge Victorian house over by the zoo on Park Road or somethin'--it was Euclid Street NW, I reckon, I now recall, I reckon--and he lived very happily, I think.
And the only other thing I know about my Grand Daddy O'Callahan is that he helped build a bridge. It wasn't the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or the Golden State Bridge, but it was that big bridge in Delaware, I think, and I just can't remember its name, but that's okay cuz the point of the whole story is not just that my Grand Daddy O'Malley built a brigdge. The point is to get the job he had to wait in a line with other workers before he got hired. And when the people who were doing the hiring announced that they had room for only one more worker, Grand Daddy O'Callahan was third in line. So being pretty smart and being able to count and all, and being a big strapping man, he turned the guy in front of him around and cold-cocked him kind of like the way my Daddy hit my Mommy just before my miraculous conception, but Grandaddy O'Callahan punched the guy with his fist and knocked him down and out, and then Grand Daddy O'Callahan pulled the other guy in the line in front of him cold-cocked him too and knocked him out and to the ground also, and the people who were doing the hiring really liked all this. Yes, they liked the violence and the blood and the action and the excitement, and they said, "Yeah, uh, what's your name? O'Callahan, you say? Yeah, uh. Yeah, uh. You're hired." And they went ahead and hired my Grand Daddy O'Callahan as the last man hired during that particular day, and then they all laughed a big laugh. And that's how my Grand daddy O'Callahan came to build and work on the Delaware Memorial Bridge--I remember now, it was the Delaware State Memorial Bridge--and I guess this was before he bought up and started his Geoergetown hardware store.
And I remember one other thing about the old guy, my Grand Daddy O'Callahan. He always sat in the parlor when my Daddy came to pick up my Mommy for a date whenthey were in high school, and my Daddy said my Grandfather O'Callahan was a stern and mean man and shit, and he wanted to always know what time my Daddy was going to have my Mommy home and that there's to be no drinkin' of the whiskey, and he would know the reason why if there was, and he would be stern in his retribution if he found out that there was. Or something like that. But you get the idea. Grand Daddy O'Callahan was a big old mean bastard is what I'm tryin' to say. And he beat two men in their faces to get a job to build the Delaware State Memorial Bridge.
I know nothing about my Grand Mother O'Callahan. I've never seen even a photograph of her. I'm certain she was a fine woman, though. She had about 15 or 16 kids after all.
Grand Mother O'Mally, my Daddy's Mommy, was a very dignified woman, judging from the couple of photos I've seen of her. And when she got old, they had to put her in St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the insane, for she had what my Daddy said they used to call "the fever," meaning that she was a lulu. But I'm sure in this day and age (I'm writing now in the year of Our Lord 2007) they'd say she had Alzheimer's. But maybe not. And maybe it's from Grand Mommy O'Malley that I get my illness, and and maybe that's why I think sometimes that I am a spy and shit. My Daddy could not converse or anything with his mother during the last part of her life. He could only visit her at St. Elizabeth's, which was a hard thing for him to do because in those days they called St. Elizabeth's the looney bin and the nuthouse and stuff like that, and it was a really bad thing to be locked up in there, it was almost worse than committing a mortal sin if you had to go there, and they said once you go to St. Elizabeth's you never come back, and I do believe that Grand Mommy O'Malley never did come back from St. Elizabeth's. I believe that she died there, and this is all very sad, but maybe I did inherit her illness. And shit. Maybe I did.
My first memory, I think, I don't really know for sure because my memory is not that good, and maybe it's the drugs I am on and shit, and my first memory was when I was 3, which would have beeen 1956, five years before the Cuban missile crisis or so. We all six children and my Mommy and Daddy lived in a little three-bedroom brick house down there on Albemarle Street at 44th or so in Northwest Washington, D.C. We had lots of fun there, and there were lots of children in the neighborhood, and there was a German man who lived across the street who used to get roaring drunk and get into his German World War II Nazi military uniform and goose step up and down the sidewalk like Heinrich Himmler or somethin',out across from our house, and he used to scream: "Sigh Heil!" or whatever, and everyone in the neighborhood watched him, and everybody just thought he was a crazy drunk German Kraut and that maybe one day they would come and take him and put him into St. Elizabeth's, but they never did. And there was Freddy Smoots, who was my bother's age who was four years older than me, and Freddy was an only child, and his parents were real nice people but kind of shy and withdrawn, and Freddy was a real good kid, and he did good in school and got high grades and shit, and he was a great baseball player, and he played first base at Wilson High School, and he hit a lot of home runs and shit, and for college he went to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he had a nervous breakdown in his freshman year of school, and he had to come home and go to St. Elizabeth's for six months or somethin', and everybody in the neighborhood was all sad about this because Freddy's life was ruined, and he had been doin' so great and all, and truthfully no one really knew what to think except that Freddy would never be the same and would probably amount to nonthin' in this world and would probably have to go back to St. Elizabehth's periodically and from time to time. And this was all very sad.
And so my first memeory from my house on Albemarle Street, where I was surrounded by lunatics, I guess you could, say involved paint. My mother loved pink paint, and we always had a lot of it around. In particular and at the particular time about which I am now writing, there was a gallon can of pink paint in a closet in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I was at the age of 3 or so, I think, and this was my first childhood memory, and I went into the closet and pryed open the can of paint somehow or another, and I stuck my little left leg into the can of paint, and then I walked around in the bedroom and the hallway, leaving my left foot print all over the place, and when one of my sisters (Shaylin, I believe it was) saw what had happened, she got all scared and shit, amd she screamed at the top of her little lungs and said and I quote, "Oh, no! Oh, my God! Daddy is going to kill you when he gets home!" And there was a rush for turpentine, and everybody heard my sister scream, and everybody came and joined in (all six of us children and my Mother too ', cuz nbody wanted to see my Daddy murder me), and everybody got rags and dipped them in the turpentine and wiped up my pink footrprints before my Daddy got home, and I didn't get murdered by my Daddy after all, and luckily we cleaned up the footprints, and actually it didn't matter at all because I never ever got in trouble with my Daddy, first because I never did anything wrong and second because my father perceived something in me which said that I was fragile unlike my big brother Skipper, who was big and strong, and I should not be yelled at or punched or beaten, and my Daddy used to call me "the little boy," and I should definitlely not be hit in the head with a fryin' pan, which is what my brother swears my Mommy did to him. And my brother, Skipper, for I had one brother and four sisters, swears it to the highesst heaven that it happened right there in the old house on old Albemarle Street in the kitchen, where my brother swears my Mommy picked up a wrought iron fryin' pan and clocked him over the head with it, which I doubt really happened. but then again maybe it did. My brother swears it happened. I just don't know for sure, though.
Johnny Kramerson stood on top of a metal milk crate on the northeast corner of Albemarle Street and 44th, flexing all the muscles in his body so that he looked like the "Boy Holding a Hand Grenade in Central Park" photograph by a photographer whose name I have forgotten. His veins were bursting out of his skin along his big, primal and pale forehead and along his inner arms. He looked like a Nazi youth: He wore khaki shorts that were two sizes too large for him; they were held up by a black belt the end of which hung loosely down by his crotch; he had on a loose-fitting khaki shirt that was also two sizes for him; he wore brown shoes and knee-high brown socks; he was skinny and his arms and legs looked like a broom stick, protruding from his shirt sleeves and pant legs. Johnny was 10 years old. "You're all chicken shits!" he screamed like a wild bird or somethin'. "You're all chicken shits! Won't anybody ride down the hill with me? Or are you all too affeared?"
Johnny was addressing a group of four or five children who had gathered around him. They all had on summer clothes and sneakers from Sears, and it was August 1957, four years or so before the Cuban missile crisis. Suzanna Bishop was one of the children. I was another.
Suzanna relented: "Okay, Johnny. I'll go with you,"
"All right!" declared Johnny. For some reason he reminded me of a porcupine.
Johnny grabbed the metal handle of his wooden wagon and started up the sidewalk on the Albemarle Street hill, which was fairly steep. Suzanna followed after him, and I followed after Suzanna. Yes, at the susceptible and vulnerable age of 4, I was in love. I think Suzanna was 7, but age made no difference. She was just about all I thought about in those days. She was skinny and tan and had long black straight hair, which hung to almost halfway down her back.
The walk up the Albemarle Street hill, which was four or five blocks long, was not worth mentioninmg. Suzanna said nothing. I said nothing. And Johnny whistled "Dixie" the whole time.
When we reached the top of the hill, Johnny turned the wagon around, facing it downhill. Upon seeing me he said, "What are you doing here, squirt?"
And I said, "I wanna ride too," my only reason being that I wanted to be near Suzanna Bishop at all times. "Well, all righty then," said Johnny. "Get in the back."
And I sat in the back of the wagon, facing backward. Johnny sat crossed leg in the front facing front, steering rod in his right hand; Suzanna sat in the middle, facing right.
"Whoo weeee!" screamed Johnny like some kind of wild animal--not like a porcupine, though, it was more like a hyena or somethin'. "We're off!" he said.
And off we were. We rolled down the sidewalk along Albemarle Street picking up speed as we went along. When we had rolled along for about two blocks and were going really fast, Johnny screamed something that sounded like a "shooo weeee," and he jerked the wagon left onto a driveway and into Albemarle Street, Yes, into mother-fucking Albemarle Street. And then everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I saw a cement truck (a big old mother-fucking cement truck with one of those things that looks like a giant football spinning on its bed, all full of wet concrete and shit), it was bearing down on us. The truck had to be moving at close to 40 mph, but as I said it seemed to approach us in slow motion. And I could see it perfectly, since I was in the back of the wagon and facing backward and shit. And I said nothing but rather was transfixed by the sight of the cement truck. I could see through its front window that a black man was driving the truck. I remember him now some 49 years later or somethin': He wore a white plastic helmet; he had fat, fat fleshy cheeks and a big double chin; his eyes were big and black, and he had thick white stubbles of beard all over his fat face.
When Suzanna saw the truck, she jumped out of the wagon, and, save for a bruise or two from her fall, she was unhurt. The cement truck continued to bore down on Johnny and me, though, and I remember the license plate of the truck right up until it hit me square in the face--D.C. plates: CF4 796.
Well, to put it plainly, the truck ran over me and Johnny, and it smashed the wagon into smithereens and little pieces. And shit. And Johnny and I were bothed dragged about 500 feet or somethin'. And Johnny had two bloody holes in his forehead and suffered permanent brain damage. I had most of my back gashed and a concussion, but we both somehow survived.
I remember waking up dazed and on my stomach in the front yard of my house right theree on old Albemarle Street. And I got up, walked into the house and lay down on the living room sofa. My mother appeared and screamed, "Oh, my God! We have to call the doctor!" and I replied calmly, "No, Mommy. Don't call the doctor." I hated doctors in those days. And then there was a loud banging on the front door. I, still dazed (I suppose I was in the stste of shock) went to see who was at the door. There was a big, muscular man in a white T-shirt at the door, and he said in a real deep voice, "Let me in, son. There's been a terrible accident. I have to use your telephone. I have to call for an ambulance."
Then I remember being flat on my back on an ambulance stretcher. Three ambulance men lifted me up an rolled me into an ambulance. I heard someone say, "Sibley or Georgetown?" And someone replied, "Georgetown."
Then I heard a real loud siren.
I remember being flat on my back on a gurney in an empty hall of Georgetown Hospital, and I remember wondering where everybody was. I remember being in a room of about 12 beds, and I remember my bed was farthest from the door. I called for the nurses often. I asked them when my Mommy was coming to visit me. I forgot all about Suzanna and became enamored of the girl in the bed next to me. I never knew this girl's name. I never spoke to her, but she did look over at me sometimes, and our eyes did meet. In the morning the nurses would come to take her temperature. The nurses would ask her to lean over the side of her bed, and then they would lift up her hospital gown, showing her bare ass. As the nurses submitted the thermometer, the girl would look over at me, embarrassed, and she would blush. And I can't quite explain it, and all I can say is that I was in love with this girl, whoever she was, and it was indeed and in fact true love. I know all about love. I learned a lot about love when I was very young.
The doctors and nurses wanted me to stay in the hospital for two week, but after a week my mother insisted on taking me home. She didn't approve of the care I was being given. Perhaps she noticed something between me and the girtl in the bed next to me, I don't know, but I stayed in the hospital for one week only, and I had a big bandage around my head.
At home, Freddy Snoots came to visit me. (Suzanna did not.)
He brought me an American flag, and it was a small flag, and it stood about 10 inches tall including its gray plastic base. That's about all I remember.
But I do remember some 25 years later, when I was locked up in the psychiatric ward of Montgomery General Hospital, asking my psychiatrist, Mauritzio Hernandez, this Hispanic dude and my doctor, whether the accident, whether getting run over by a cement truck when I was 4, might explain why I was a patient in the mental ward of a hospital, and Dr. Mauritzio just said, "No, I don't think so."
I was 12 when I had my first orgasm. It was a family affair.
The six of us, the six O'Malley children, were in the big brown bed, where my parents had maintained perverse foreplay before they, in their imitable and bestial way, made me into the seed of a human being.
"Pin him down!" yelled my brother, Skipper. "Pin him down!"
And pin me down they did. Colleen, who was nine years older than me, grabbed my right arm to her chest and then lay down on it in the big bed. My sister Barbara May, who was six years older than me, did the same to my left arm, and Roseanne, who was two years older than I, grabbed my right leg and lay on it. My yonger sister, Alicia Jr., who was a year younger than I, did the same to my left leg. I was sort of splayed out all over the place into the shape of an X, like a prisoner tied to four stakes or somethin'. All I could move was my head, which a swang back and forth like a wild horse or somethin'. My brother, Skipper, who was four years older than me, had an evil look upon his face. He looked like the devil all right.
I swear he had this big evil grin on his face and looked like the devil. About a week earlier, my mother, Alicia O'Callahan O'Malley Sr., who was some 40 years older than I, brought home a surprise for her children. The surprise was a hand-held electric massager. The massager had a plastic handle which was about five inches long, and a metal prong which was about two inches long protruded at a right angle from one end of the handle. The handle had a long electrical cord attached to its other end, which plugged into a wall socket. There were several attachments with round heads--one with thick brush-like prongs for scalp massages, and two other doodads for various muscle massages. If you put the massager on a table, and turned it on, it would bob and buzz and bump and rattle and vibrate around perhaps like a chicken whose head head has just been cut off. We, the O'Malley children, had been playing with the massager in the evenings delightfully for a week now during these little rumble sessions we would have in parents' bed (yes, we rumbled in the evening in the bedroom before retiring). We'd wrestle around and push and shove each other around and hit each other over the head with a pillow--nothing overtly sexual, mind you. And during these sessions one of us, usually Skipper, would apply the massager to one of the sibling's body parts, usually an arm and a leg. That was until Skipper got a bright idea, and there I was, like I said, pinned down like a prisoner to four stakes, in the hot desert sun for that matter, when Skipper took said electric massager--it had the hair brush thingamajig attachment on at the time--and pressed it purposefully and directly onto my 12-year-old unit. Said unit grew large quickly, and with in 14 seconds it issued forth its semen. I continued to swing my head back and forth like a wild horse or somethin', and I climaxed not knowing I was coming. I just experienced the greatest feeling I had ever felt down in my loins and sort of rippling through my entire and whole adolescent body. Skipper laughed as he applied the massager to my unit, and Colleen and Barbara May and Roseanne and Alicia Jr. all laughed aloud too. It was like a 22-second, perverse acid trip: the low tone humming and bumbling of the massager, the hard pressure and vibration applied to my unit and then the insane laughter and the climax which emitted a sensation and feeling which I have just failed to adequately express to you.
After my orgasm my brothers and sisters stopped laughing and let me loose. Thus freed I I headed immediately for the bathroom, wearing but T-shirt and Fruit of the Loom briefs. In the bathroom, I felt beneath my underpants and T-shirt, and I felt a fairly thick gooey substance sort of like glue. When I looked down, I saw my own sperm and thought to myself: "Oh, my God, is this . . . sperm? Have I had an orgasm?" I wasn't sure, but I thought I probably had. I wiped myself off with toilet paper, and for what it's worth my sisters all wore pajamas during this incident and my brother, like me, wore but T-shirt and Fruit of the Loom briefs.
It was a Saturday, early in the evening, and I opened the door to my Daddy's 1968 big white Chrysler Newport and got in. I must have been 16 at the time, a junior at Georgetown Preparatory High School, and I turned the car on. It was a big car, and it reminded me of a tank. I pulled her up half a block into the dirt and gravel alley way and turned her around. I took her a half block back down Warren Street and turned right onto 40th. At the end of the block, I pulled the car over and got out. Behind some bushes behind the old Johnson's Flower Center nursery, I found what I wanted: a fifth bottle of Gilbey's gin, a quart bottle of 7-Up and some paper cups. My brother had bought me the stuff and left it behind the bushes for me. I put the gin and the cups and the 7-Up underneath the passenger's seat of my Daddy's big car and headed out for Missy McCormack's house in Northern Bethesda.
Missy was my high school girlfriend. She was 15 at the time, and she was a sophomore at a school called Stone Ridge, and she was an extraordinary beauty. If I were Matisse or Picasso or Cezanne or somebody. I could do her justice. She had sandy blond hair, and she was thin but well endowed, if you will. She used to wear dresses that gathered beneath her breasts and a then fell plainly to an inch or two above her knees. I loved Missy McCormack in an inexplicable way. It was like the love I felt when I was younger for Suzanna Bishop and the girl in the hospital, only this love was bigger, and it was stronger. I loved Missy McCormack, like, infinitely and on into infinity. I loved her so much it made me sick to my stomach, and I didn't know at the time just how much I loved her.
I drove maybe nine or 10 miles out old River Road past old Mario's and past old Kenwood Country Club. I turned right on--shoot! What was it? Falls? No, it wasn't Falls--I can't remember the name of the road. Now I remember though. It was old Seven Locks Road. Yes, Seven Locks Road. Missy's brother, Johnny, used to ride his Porche, which his father had bought for him so he could drive on up to Bowdoin College in Maine in his freshman year, down old Seven Locks road because it was so much fun and because it was so beautiful. It was a two-laned, hilly and curvy road boarded by stone houses for people with lots of money. It was lined with telephone poles too, and I considererd killing myself a couple of times along that road by driving head-on into one of the telephone poles, and I thought about killing myself for no particular reason--the thought would just occur to me--but I didn't do it. I never have attempted suicide.
The speed limit on old Seven Locks Road 25 mph, but I used to do 50 mph, taking the curves and the hills like a professional race car driver or somethin'.
I turned left on old Greentree Road, the road that Missy McCormack lived on, and drove a couple hundred yards and pulled up the McCormacks' narrow and curved driveway.
I don't remember her parents on this occasion exactly, but the Missy's mother was always at the door to greet me. Missy's father always styed somehow in the background. Usually he was upstair in the bedroom like the spook he was, always in the background. Misst's father, Jonathan McCormack, was a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. He also worked for the CIA. When I asked Missy what he did at work, she said she didn't know. She just said he worked for the CIA and that that was all she knew. Mr. McCormack wasn't allowed to talk about his work, and he never did. Her mother, I guess you would say, was a homemaker. She was tall and slender, and she was an elegantly beautiful woman too. Mrs. Cormack kept her hair modestly short, and whenever I was at the McCormacks' on a weekend, Mrs. McCormack always had opera or classical music playing from the radio in the kitchen.
Misssy and I got the in the car and started off for the dance--we were going to a dance at Georgetown Prep--and while we were just a little ways form her parents' home and still on old Greentree Road, I had both my hands on the steering wheel. Out of nowhere Missy, who was sitting across from me, took my right hand from the steering wheel. She held it across both her hands as if it were some sort of sacred object or somethin'. The palm of my right hand was up, and she brought her lips to it, and she held her lips to the palm of my hand for about five seconds or so. I'm tempted to say that I was metamorphosized, which I was, but it was more maybe like a magical moment, a moment from some miracle in the Bible, maybe.
I recovered from this kiss, perhaps the best kiss I have ever had, and Missy and I drove out to Georgetown Prep. I parked her just outside Prep's campus across from the first green--Georgetown Prep was surrounded by a golf course in those days--next to the white-brick apartment complex whose name I have forgotten. It was quiet there, and had there been a lake nearby we would have heard the noise of the crickets and the croaking of the frogs and the sounds of other night animals. As it was there was mostly quiet, as I said, with the roar and rumble and rush of car engines occasionally up on Rockville Pike.
I pulled out the gin, poured about an inch into each cup and then added the 7-Up to the brim of the cups. Missy moved over next to me, and we we talked about I don't know what. I'm tempted to say we talked about her brother Johnny, who was a freshman at Boudin College in Maine or wherever the hell it is. Johnny was a graduate of Prep, and he was two years older than me, and I knew who he was, but I never met him during high school. He was not athletic. He liked English and art.
Missy and I drank two cups gin and 7-Up each--well actually I drank three cups, and she drank two--and we dedcided to go to the dance. It must have been about 9 p.m. by then, and it was pitch black save for the car lights and the street lights up on Rockville Pike. Oh, shit! That's not true. It's true that here was no moon out. The sky was black and cloudless, but the sky was studded with stars, which were blinking and twinkling and shit. There were all kinds of stars out, actually. No moon, though, no God-damned moon. That much is true.
Missy and I walked into the gymnasiunm of Georgetown Prep and just stopped, stood and took in what we saw. The scene was dark and psychedelic. The song "Inna Gotta Vida" blared and blasted throughout the room. The sound hurt one's ears. There was a big ball hanging high from the center ceiling of the gym, and it was covered with jagged pieces of mirrored glass. Strobe lights shined off the glass shards, making the place look all freaky and shit, and groups of boys and girls milled around various parts of the gym floor.
The stands were pulled out on one side of the gym, and Missy and I, neither of us quite sure what to think or do since we were not psychedelic people and did not take LSD, went over to the stands and about midway sat in the front row of the stands. There we sat, silently looking over the scene before us. Most of the girls had long straight hair, and and most of them wore miniskirts and knee-high boots. Most of the sernior boys whom I recognized combed their hair a little bit more than halfway over their ears. This was thought to be revolutionary in those days--May 1970, I guess it was. Missy was a sophomore and I was a junior, or have I already told you that?
Missy and I hadn't been stitting for five minutes, taking it all in and not quite sure what too think, when this small freshman guy walked up to us. He said to Missy, "Are you Missy McCormack?"
And Missy said, "Yes."
And the little freshman said, "Father Dugan wants to see you right away. He's in his office."
With that Missy said, "I'll be right back, Seamus"--that's me, Seamus O'Malley--and off she went with the little guy.
In about five minutes she returned, and the strobe lights now seemed more pronounced and freakier than ever. "We have to go now, Seamus," Missy said, the strobe light flickering on and off her face. "Seamus. We have to go home." It was like a freak show there in the gym. A God-damned psychedelic freak show.
So we left, and as we pulled out of the parking lot and onto the driveweay in my Daddy's big Newport Chrysler, Missy slid over the front seat and sat real close to me. As we pulled out onto Rockville Pike, she said softly: "It's Johnny. I know, it's Johnny." I didn't say anything back to Missy, and I didn't know what to say, so we drove the six or seven miles back to her place in relative silence. We didn't drink any more gin, but I thought about it. I thought I would like to have some more gin.
When we pulled up into the McCormacks' driveway, Missy's father, the former lieutenant colonel in the Army and current CIA spook, came out onto the front porch and crossed his arms.
Missy got out of the car and said, "Can Seamus come in, Daddy? Can Seamus come in?
Col. McCormack looked very serious, and he also looked troubled. He shook his head no and said mildly and maybe meakly, "No, no. I think it best that Seamus goes home now. Yes, Seamus should go home."
With that Missy disappeared into her house with her father. I don't know why, but I didn't move. I just sat there for a couple of minutes thinking about what I do not know. Maybe I thought about the bottle of gin, and maybe I thought about how I would like to have another cup of gin and 7-Up, or maybe I thought about the sky, which was empty of the moon, or maybe I started counting the stars. I don't know what the hell I did. I was confused, though, and that much is certain and that's for sure, and I guess I knew that I didn't want to go home. And I guess I knew that I wanted to be with Missy McCormack.
After four or five minutes or somethin', the door to the McCormacks' opened, and Missy appeared. She was crying, crying quietly, and she walked toward me and my Daddy's car. I got out of the big car, and she then began running toward me. She ran 20 feet or so to me, and then she began to cry aloud. She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me tight to her body. Somewhere in between her sobbing she said: "It's Johnny! It's Johnny! He's tried to kill himself!"
We stood there in the dark night, me just there standing like an idiot or somethin', Missy now sobbing practically uncontrollably for , I don't know, maybe five minutes or maybe 10 minutes or so. Eventually Missy calmed her crying down, and she said, "You can come in, Seamus. You can come in. Daddy says it's all right for you to come in."
Col. Cormack greeted us in the foyer of his house.
He explained, "Jonny fell from the fifth floor of a dormitory room and landed on his feet. The fall rammed his spine up into his brain, and he has serious brain damage. I am waiting for a call from the doctors at Yale for permission to operate. A brain operation. You two can go into the den."
Missy and I went into the den and sat on the brown couch. We used to lie down and make-out on this couch a lot, while Col. and Mrs. McCormack would wait upstairs in their bedroom, which was directly above the den. I held my left arm around Missy, and she rested her head on my right shoulder and chest. Mrs. McCormack (the beautiful and elegant Mrs. McCormack) sat in a rocking chair next to us. She rocked back and forth just a little bit and she rocked slowly, methodically, and she held her hands together in her lap. Over and over again, she whispered, "This is all my fault. This is all my fault. This is all my fault. . . . " And she cried a constant low-grade miserable kind of cry. Her brown eyes were all swollen and wet from her tears.
I don't really remember much of what happened after that. I do know that when I returned home it was 5 in the morning, and my father was sitting on a chair waiting for me on the front porch of his house. When I walked up to him, he said, "Where have you been, boy?" And I said, "It's Missy's brother, Dad. He's tried to kill himself."
Johnny McCormack survived for about 10 days or so, but he was technically dead the whole time. He was brain dead, the doctors explained, and even after the operation he stayed alive only because of the life support system they had him hooked up to.
Missy and her parents flew up to Yale University Hospital to be with Jonny, and I continued to go to school at Prep. After about 10 days the McCormacks agreed to have the life support system or whatever the hell you call it terminated, and Johnny McCormack died. It was May 12, 1970, or something like that. Close to it. What day it was. I don't really know for sure, but it was definitely in the month of May.
Missy and I talked by phone pretty much every day while she was up at Yale in New Haven or wherever the hell Yale is, and she was visiting her brother, being at his side, and she said that it was very difficult to look at Johnny. She said his head was all blue and swollen. "He doesn't look at all like Jonny," she said, and from what I can gather Johnny might not have tried to kill himself at all.
After Johnny's funeral and burial--they played Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" with acoustic guitars at the funeral, and my father said to me sternly afterward: "Boy, the answer is not blowing in the wind. The answer is with God!"--Johnny's roommate from Bowdoin visited with the McCormacks, and I was there for some of the visit. What I understood or got from Johnny's roommate's story was that Tommy had traveled from Bowdoin in Maine to Yale for a weekend visit with his old Georgetown Prep high school friend Roberto Curo, who was a freshman at Yale. The two had dropped some acid late that awful Saturday afternoon, and in the evening Johnny and Roberto were in Roberto's fifth-story dorm room at Yale.
Johnny seated himself in the window, which had no screen. He faced inward with his legs from the knees down dangling in the dorm room. Perhaps because of the LSD, he lost his balance and fell accidentally to his death. That's what his roommate said happened anyway, and anyway maybe that is true. Maybe that's what happened.
But I have a third theory about Johnny McCormack's death. But before I tell you my theory, I have to tell you a little bit about myself. You see, I am a crazy man. I am Don Quixote. I am a manic depressive. I suffer, if you will, from what is euphemistically called these days a bipolar disorder. Six times in my 54 years I have been hospitalized for manic episodes, which means that basically six times in my life I have felt invicible and thought I could fly and shit, and once I thought I was Prospero with magical powers, and another time I thought I was the head of the CIA, and another time I thought I could communicate with Langley by talking down the drain pipe of a shower. I have been way, way, way out there, you know? And in addition to my six manic episodes I have twice gone in to day-treatment programs for depression. What this all means or what I'm trying to say is that aside from beings six times insane and twice morbidly depressed, I think a little differently from the way most people think. You see, I think Roberto Curo was a Cuban espionage agent. I believe he pushed Jonny Cormack out that fifth-story dorm window in an act of murder. I believe that Roberto acted on orders from Fidel Castro. When Missy was a young child she lived in Venezuela because her father was stationed by the CIA in Venezuela. The colonel did something I am sure--yes, I am sure--that pissed old Fidel off, and Fidel ordered Jonny's death as retribution. Something happened there in old Venezuela, but I don't know what. It's all secret and classified and shit, and I have had to figure it out on my own. Col. McCormack didn't tell me. He didn't say shit. It was his job not to say shit.
And I worked with Roberto Curo. Yes, a few years back or so I worked at the old Washington Post newspaper here in D.C. And Roberto Curo was a writer for The Post for a couple of years. Twice I had to approach him on business matters. I had to check out some of the stories he was working on--and yes, his beat was intelligence including the CIA--to make sure that we in the editorial department, where I worked, were not overtaken by news events. Twice I talked to him, Roberto Curo. He had a high-pitched voice, and he wore pink shirts, and I'm not saying he was gay or anything. He could have been married with six children for all I know. I don't think that really matters if he was gay or not. But I think he most likely killed Jonny Cormack. But that's' far fetched, wyou say, but I say then again I am a crazy man. I am Don Quixote.
When I was a kid and I was groin' up, when I was around 10 or so, my father used to come home and say, "It's the niggers and the Jews. It's all the God-damned niggers and Jews!
This was around 1960 or so, and he didn't say it for his whole life or anything. I mean he stopped sayin' it after awhile. But I think he really believed it for awhile.
My father, Kevin Patrick Joseph O'Malley, was an insurance salesman. He sold mostly life insurance, but he also sold everything under the God-damned sun. He also was a former FBI agent and that's what he considered his true identity to be: former FBI agent. A genuine and bona fide J. Edgar Hoover man. No shit. He worked in Washington in Soviet espionage surveillance. I know because I FOIAed his records at the FBI. My Daddy never told me that he worked in Soviet espionage surveillance. My Daddy didn't tell me shit about his FBI work, except that he could shoot a .38 real good. Maybe I'll talk more about that later.
Once I wet myself. It was when I was in fourth grade or so, so I must have been, like, 10 years old or somethin'. It was the summer, I think, in June, and I was on a softball team down there at the old Jelleff's Boys Club in northern Georgetown. I got up to bat and was wearing a T-shirt and these plaid shorts that were held up by an elastic waste band which my mother had bought from Sears. I think it was before the first pitch. Maybe, maybe not, but whatever I was just standin' there at the plate waitin' for a pitch, and I was feelin' uncomfortable and everything, and then I just couldn't hold it any longer. I wet my underpants and my shorts. There was a big wet splotch around my crotch, and the urine even trickled down my left thigh. I got on base all wet and shit--I walked or maybe got a hit or soemthin', I don't know, and I made it to for first base, and then I made it to second, and then I made it to third, and while I was on third and all, I was hopin' that no one would notice my met wet pants, and I was hopin' I would have a chance to slide into home plate because there, I thought, I could throw some dirt onto my crotch and no one would know that I had wet myself,and everyone would think that I just had dirt on my pants from the slide into home plate, and everything would be okay, and I wouldn't suffer any embarrassment or mortification, and no one would know that I, at the tender age of 10, had wet my pants . Well, I did get a chance to slide into home plate, and there wasn't even a play at the plate, but I slid anyway even though I didn't have to, and I threw some dirt onto my crotch, and the dirt stuck to my shorts around my crotch area so I thought I hade made it. I thought that I had succeeded in covering up the fact that I had urinated on myself pretty good and stuff, but the fact is everybody knew, but thankfully nobody said anything, and I found out everybody knew because during the car ride home from the game, my father said to me, "Boy, always go to the bathroom before you play in a big game. Always go to the bathroom before a big game." And that in a peculiar way was some of the best advice my father ever gave to me: One should always go to the bathroom before a big game.
When I was a child, maybe 6 or 7 cuz I don't really know, I used to play with what I think were called Tinker toys. They were, like, these two-inch long replicas of trucks and and bulldozers and machines and shit. And I used to play in the dirt underneath the evergreen on the east side of our Hose at 40th and Warren streets NW. That would have been a little before the Cuban missile crisis, I suppose. I used to sit there in the dirt under the tree just across from the firehouse--I grew up in a house next to a fire house-and I had this yellow Tinker toy two-inch bulldozer thing, which my Mommy had bought me from Joe's Toy Shop up there on Albemarle Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW (and Joe, who ran the place, was a Jew, and we used to call the place Joe's Gip Joint, and there were thousands of boxes of model warplanes and tanks and cars and shit stacked from the floor to the ceiling at Joe's--and I would push the dirt into little piles with the bulldozer, and I'd make like 20 piles or somethin', and then I'd smooth the ground all out and start making more piles of little dirt with the Tinker toy bulldozer, which my Mommyhad bought for me from Joe's. And Joe's was this little store up there by the northeast corner of Albemarle Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW, and Joe's was this little store that was packed wall to wall with tinker toys and boxes of plastic models of tanks and airplanes and cars and trucks and shit. And there was just this one little curvy aisle in Joe's because the plastic models were stacked three and four and five and six and seven deep from the floor to the ceiling, but Joe knew where everything item in his store was. All you had to do was ask him for a tank or a truck and he'd go right to it, andhe'd get it for you, even if he had to pull out four or five models or toys just to get the very one you needed. And I used to do this--play in the dirt that is--for hours on end, and no one knew where I was, and no one disturbed me, and I was quite happy there in those days playin' in the dirt before the Cuban missile crisis with my Tinker toy bulldozer from Joe's Gip Joint.
I was like in fourth or fifth grade when the Cuban missile crisis happened. I mean, it was in 1961, right? The fact is, I don't even know what year the Cuban missile crisis occurred (if a crisis can in fact occur), and I'm just guessing, and I guess if I were more enterprising and less lazy I would just Google the God-damned thing and find out month, days and year, but I don't feel like doing that. Let's all just agree for the sake of argument and shit that the Cuban misssle crisis happened ( if a crisis can happen; I suppose a crisis happens) in 1960, and the only thing I wanted to say about the crisis, I mean, I don't want to say how my boss at The Washington Post newspaper, Megan Rosenbaum, the famous and powerful editor of the editorial department of The Washington Post, told me in, oh, it must have been around 1990, give or take seven years that -and I quote: "Castro is a shit!" No, I don't want to talk either about how I agreed with old Miss Rosenbaum, for how could anyone point nuclear weapons at our children and how could anyone who was prepared and willing and able to fire nuclear weapons at our children be anything othert than a shit? Huh? I ask you.
But what I wanted to say was that my family--Kevin Patrick Fitzgerald Joseph O'Malley (father), Alicia O'Callahan O'Mally (mother), Colleen O'Malley, Barabara May O'Malley, Rose Anne O'Malley, and Alicia Bernadette O'Malley Jr. (daughters) and my older brother, Skipper, and me, Seamus O'Malley-every day during the Cuban missile crisis, which lasted three or four days or soemthin', said the Holy Rosary. My father, Kevin Patrick, led us in the Rosary every day during the Cuban missile crisis, and we all sat around living room, which was painted pink, (and our entire house was painted pink because my Mommy, Alicia O'Callahan O'Malley, loved pink), saying the Our Fathers and Hail Marys and shit all reverent like and concerned and respectful and shit, and it's pretty damned tricky to say the Rosary actually because there are some places in the Rosary where you say a prayer or maybe it's prayers) that are not just the Our Father or the Hail Mary. But I, on this day, the first or second or third day of Novermber, 2007, don't even know or remember how to say the Rosary, but I wish I had one. I wish to God I had a rosary. I'd put it in my first drawer to keep my bedroom all sacred and shit. I'd say it too, even though I don't know all the prayers but could get by just saying Our Fathers and Hail Marys, because when you get down to it all we got is ourselves and our Gods, and there is nothing more except infinity and outer space, which is infinite so there is infinity too, not just us, and I've read that if you get sucked into a black hole, you get sucked out and into a new universe, and I guess you start all over again from scratch or soemethin', and I don't really know, but I offer you this as my proof of God. I mean if there is infinity and black holes that suck you into another whole God-damned universe, there has to be a God and shit.
Did Herman Melville think such thoughts? No, he couldn't have exactly cuz they didn't know about black holes in those days, I guess.
Once I started to write a novel. This was, oh, say, four years ago when I was but 50 years of age, I reckon. And it was a good start and shit, and it was all about the CIA, and I used to be kind of obsessed if not otherwise preoccupied with the CIA. I mean, I used to think about nothing other than the CIA, and I don't know how it all began, the novel, that is.
You see, I was, like, a journalist once upon a time. I mean, like, I was a journalist for, like, 20 years, and I used to read the paper every day from page one to the end, and I used to know all the stuff that was going on in the world because I worked in the editorial department of The Washington Post, where you had to know everything about everything, or old Megan Rosenbaum, the chief editor there in the old editorial department, would have your ass, and she'd spank it too, but even though I had to read about everything in the world and I did a credible job of it, I have this defect, this mental handicap if you will, and that is namely that I assimilate but I cannot recall too good. I mean I can't even tell you what year the Cuban missile crisis was, for Christ's sake. I mean, I think it was 1960, but I wouldn't bet a God-damned red cent on it and shit, and so as I said I read about everything that was happening in the world as reported by the major media of which I was a fairly important part, for I was an editor, okay , a lowly copy editor chief, but they made me responsible for all this shit, and I mean I basically got fired when we referred to Donald Rumsfeld as the secretary of state as opposed to the secretary of defense, which by all accounts he actually was and shit, and anyway that was after Megan Rosenbaum's time, and by my count seven of us missed it, seven of us missed the fact that we called Donald Rumsfeld secretary of state and not secretary of defense, which he was, including the editor who ran my ass out of the newspaper business. Yeah, he missed it too, but somebody had to go down. Somebody had to pay, I guess. Yeah seven people maybe --I counted seven--but I took the jolly old hit and basically got fired or squeezed out or what have you. And that was the end of my journalism days, but anyway I digress.
What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, I was a journalist. Twenty fucking years in the editorial department of The Washington Post, and I don't even know the date of the fucking Cuban missile crisis, a time when we were forcefully reminded that we could annihilate each other without hardly lifting a finger and by just pushing a couple of buttons, and we all were that close to our deaths and our own mortality or immortality, depending, of course, on whether you've been bad or good, and St. Nick and shit and, oh, yeah, I used to be a journalist. And I was writing about the start of my novel. Oh, yeah, and the novel was all CIA-ish and shit, and I got interested in the CIA because of my journalism days and because of good old Lt. Col. McCormack, whom I loved, and because of my father, who in 1944-45 worked in Washington, D.C., for J. Edgar Hoover in "Soviet Espionage Surveillance," and I know that because I FOIAed the mother-fucking FBI, and after 18, yes, 18 mother-fucking years, they gave me his records, and that's the only thing basically that they would tell me about him. I mean, he worked in Milwaukee and Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and a couple other places, but the only thing they would tell me really about was the "Soviet Espionage Surveillance" in Washington, D.C. and shit, and I ask you: Why is that? And shit. And also because I was a journalist and I knew there are a lot of good writers down there at the old Washington Post, and I knew they had some excellent sources, but I figured it out that some of these writers were getting fed info-good info in the cases I recall, by the way--by and from the CIA. I mean, I'm crazy and I readily admit it, but I just got to the point where I had enough of this ushering this news in as the CIA would have it, and isn't it about time that I started seeing where the CIA was getting their shit? Do you know what I mean? I mean, I felt that I had graduated from the world of journalism into the world of spookdom, because it all seemed a natural progression or some such, so I applied for a job with the CIA, and that's when my boss after the dear Megan Rosenbaum passed on into infinity (my new boss was named Ed Cohen, and Ed is 100 percent Mossad, if you ask me. And who's asking? And what do I know? For I am a manic depressive, and I might jump off Key Bridge any day now or at any moment). So what I do know is that Ed Cohen, my new bosss after Meg Rosenbaum, started monitoring my computer, and he figured, being a good Mossad man, that he didn't want any CIA boys in his office watching what he was doing and what he was up to and whatnot. And I'm beginning to remember my point which was that I actually started to write a novel some four or five or maybe six years ago, and it started out with this shit about the CIA and how it, the CIA, was monitoring my computer and how they, the CIA, knew practically everything that I was thinking and shit because they were monitoring my computer and my every move. And I don't know, and I mean it was a really good start for a Washington novel, you know, and it was all about the CIA and shit, and it had mystery and intrigue and shit, but really I don't know a God-damned thing because I'm really a helpless and hopeless manic depressive, and they may lob me over the Key Bridge if I say too much or if I say the wrong thing or shit, so I have to be very careful about what I say and I've prob'ly said too much already, and they're probably going to lob me over the Key Bridge and call it suicide like they did with Johnny McCormack, but as I said, what do I know? And shit.
The point is that the CIA knows every character I type on my computer, and if it's not the CIA then it's the NSA, and all I can say is God bless them all. 'Cause somebody should be monitoring my shit. I mean after all I'm Jesus Christ. A clairvoyant psychic told me once. I called up for, you know, one of those late-night, free two-minute consultations with a psychic all for free and shit, and then you get hooked and spend a thousand U.S. dollars on psychism and shit, and I called all right, and the psychic said: "All I can see is Jesus Christ." And then I hung up 'cause I didn't want to hear anything more after that and shit. But about the novel. It started all a spooky and shit and the CIA was monitoring me and I wasn't coming across as a paranoid schizophrenic like John Hinkley or nothing and shit, and then I didn't go anywhere with the novel 'cause I didn't know where I had to go with it because I tried to get into the CIA after 9/11 and all, because who didn't want to work for the CIA after 9/11 and shit? And I sure did, but they didn't take me because I'm too old and I'm white and I'm middle class and I'm the last category to get a break in society these days and shit,and it's true, but also I am crazy, and I take psychotropic s drugs, and so why would the CIA hire me anyway?
Once I got locked into a basement all by myself. I was about 10 or so, and I was playing with my good friend Bruce Davenport, and he was playing with his friend Bobby Suddath, and Bruce and I were 10, and Bobby was 12, and Bobby Suddath was kind of evil to tell you the truth, and his father used to be a U.S. Navy captain, and he sailed a submarine under the North Pole or some shit, but he died early in life due to a heart attack and shit, and that's one reason why Bobbyy was bad. He didn't have a father to provide him guidance or nothin'. And anyway Bruce and Bobby were makin' coffee in the kitchen of Mrs. Suddath's house during the day during some summer--maybe 1963 or something, three year after the Cuban missile crisis or so--and Mrs. Suddath was off to work 'cause she had to pay for all the expenses of the family, and she had like three boys, Billy and Ned in addition to Bobby, and so Bruce and Bobby were makin' coffee, and they started teasin' me, and it was mostly Bobby who did the teasin'. Bruce kind of just went along with Bobby. But they both said I couldn't have any coffee because I was too young and it would stunt my growth and shit, and so they drank coffee, and they gave me a Coke or a glass of water or somethin', I guess 'cause I don't really remember, and then I went down into the basement to get something or another, and Bruce and Bobby locked the basement door on me, and I couldn't get out, and it was almost 5 p.m. in the after nooon, and I had to be home by 5 or my father was going to beat me up and shit, and I was scared, and it was dark all alone in the basement, and for some reason I didn't think to turn on the light because it didn't seem like the natural thing to do and shit, an di didn't think of just going out the back door of the basement either, and so I begged Bruce and Tommy to please let me out of the basement, and I didn't, like, wet my pants or anything, but I really did not like being locked up in the basement, and I was scared because I had to be home by 5 in the p.m., and it ws almost that time, and my father was going to kill me and cut my head off or somethin' if I wasn't home on time and shit, and Bruce and Bobby just kept me locked until 6 or so, and they said, "What are you gonna do, Seamus, cry like a baby?" And I don't really remember how long they kept me locked up in the basement 'cause I'm making up half this stuff as I go along--Huh! Me in the CIA! Imagine that--and I did suffer severe claustrophobia being locked in a fucking dungeon-like basement as it were for an hour and a half or somethinm' and having been denied a cup of coffee with cream and sugar and shit.
And that's why I am they way I am today.
And then there was the time when I was younger than 10 and I was about 6 or so, and my younger sister, Alicia, was 5 or so, and there was this big old new electric clothes dryer in the garage, and I don't know what the fuck it was doing there, but there it was, and so Alicia said she was going to do an experiment or a test or somethin', and she said it would prove that we both knew how to open the dryer door. And it was a big old dryer with a huge, round glass plate on the door so you could watch the clothes go round and round in perfect tune with the universe as they were meant to be, and so so Alicia said, "You get in first" -no, I got that backward. Alicia got in first, and I closed the dryer door on her and then pulled the little lever or latch thing on the door, and I successfully let her out, and then it was my turn to get into the dryer, and so I did, and Alicia closed the door on me real good, and it was firmly shut and shit, but then-I swear to Almightiest God--then she couldn't figure out how to open the God-damned door to the dryer. She started to cry, and I panicked and began to cry too, and there we were a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old and we're both crying and I'm panicked and shit, and I told her "Go get Mommy! Go get Mommy!" and Alicia left presumably to get Mommy and then being all alone I panicked some more, and I pushed on the door real hard, but it would not budge, and that was that, and I was gonna die a horrible death by asyphixiation in a clothes dryer, and how worse could things get? Or so I thought, but by an by Alicia returned with my Mommy, and my Mommy opened the dryer door, and I was saved and rescued and ready to live about 50 more years, and the only thing about the event that I really remember really was that my mother didn't embrace me or hold me or coax me or anything. I mean, she just opened the door and scolded my my sister Alicia, and then left, and then I just dried my tears and shit and went out to the ground under the evergreen on the northesast side of our house and started to play with my Tinker toy bulldozer and shit, and eventually after maybe 20 minutes or so I was back to normal and shit. And all what I'm saying is because these things happened to me at a very early and tender age I was traumatized for an entire life time. Or something like that. And I didn't go to the bathroom in my pants or nothin'. That was back in 1959 or so, when I was about 6. Just a year or two before the Cuban missile crisis.
I cheated my way through high school.
Okay. So there was me--hippy hunting was my idea after all--and there was Timmy O'Day and the Baptista brothers, Billy and Tommy, but Billy was scared and kept his distance from the rest of us, and he didn't participate in the--what was it? An assault that's what it was--an assault, but Tommy did participate, I think, but Tommy was just with the rest of us he didn't hit anybody, he didn't cut off anybody's hair, and there was that guy Lucas--I don't know where he came from, he was not from our neighborhood, he was not from Tenleytown, D.C., and he was older than the rest of us too; and there was Tommy Malvaso, and he and Lucas did some of the hitting--no, they did all the hitting--and Tommy went on to play professional football. He played for the Redskisns and Cincinnati maybe, I don't know, he was a free or strong safety defensive back, and he was fierce and violent and great, and well, he really smashed the hippy's nose. And I guess I'm trying to tell you the story of how in May of 1967, we--a bunch of Catholic boys who lived in Tenleytown, Washington, D.C., surrounded and assaulted--beat the shit out of really--a couple of long-haired boys about our own age who went to Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school, a school founded by pacifists.
Like I said, it was my idea, and I'm not sure how it all started. I think I just came up with the idea: hippy hunting, and I rode with it. I guess I brought up the idea up at school, St. Anne's, with Timmy O'Day--he was also and perhaps better known as Crazy Day, and he was my best friend from second grade on into eighth grade, and we were in eighth grade when we did it, when we went hippy hunting, and Timmy O'Day was always getting into trouble at school, and he used to throw eggs at Metro buses, dozens of eggs, and he put rocks in his snowballs and used to try to break the window of the Metro buses, and he used to steal change from the poor boxes in St. Anne's Church, and Crazy Day, as we used to call him, was the first of us to kiss a girl--he kissed Stephanie O'Brien on the lips in sixth grade, and Stephanie is no longer with us for she died of cancer a couple years back, and she died in California somewhere, where she had moved and raised a family and was active in sporting life because Stephanie was a real good athlerte herself in her day, and she was the best girl on the St. Anne's juniors team, and they won a championship, probably, I think, and Stepahnie was the first St Anne's girl to go all the way, which she did with Ray Evans, good old Ray Evans, at Crazy Day's eighth grade graduation party, in the basement under a blanket on a cot while everyone else was drunk and I took off my pants, I think, and Crazy Day made out with fat Teresa O'Connor--Two Ton Tessie we used to call her behind her back--and Timmy had his arms around her, and he had his hand under her shirt, and he was trying to unhook Tessie's bras, but he couldn't get it to unhook so he snapped it apart, and Tessie was of course horrified and mortified and shit, and I'm straying (am I not?) 'cause I wanted to tell you about the time in May of 1967 we--good old Irish and Italian and Spanish Catholic boys assaulted two innocents.
Like I said, I came up with the idea--hippy hunting--and I said to Crazy Day, who had a brother named Harry, and Harry was gay, and he played the piano beautifully, and he was over 18 at the time, and he bought us the Iron City beer which was goin' for $5 a case back in those days, and he bought us three cases for Crazy Day's eighth-grade graduation party, and Timmy liked the idea of hippy hunting just fine, so he started bringing up the idea with everyone -with the Baptista brothers and Mark Gehring and Tommy Malvaso and Steven Rugerrio and Luis Font and all, and everybody thought, yeah, hippy hunting was a great idea, and it would be great fun to go hippy hunting, and we'd beat up two hippies, and then I added the idea that we would cut off all their hair, and Crazy Day liked this idea just fine too, and he told everybody (the whole gang of Catholic boys although we weren't a gang actually) and everybody thought this was swell and, yeah, we were gonna find some hippies and cut off all their hair, and we were gonna have some real good fun.
Maybe I should say something about the times back then. It was 1967 back then, and the country--these United States--was being ripped apart by the Vietnam War. '67. Who was president in '67? Couldn't have been Kennedy. It must have been Johnson, not yet Nixon. I don't know, and it doesn't really matter. But the war was going strong, and the country was ripped right down the middle because of it. Half of the people in the country said heck yeah we should be fighting the motherfucking communist gooks and we had to stop 'em somewhere, and half the people saw folly in all this. Half saw the futility of the war, and they grew their hair long, and wore beads around their knecks and smoked marijuana and went to war protests on the mall in D.C. Well, I guess it's safe to say that all of our good old St. Anne's Catholic families were for the war. I'm not saying it was my parents' fault or my father's fault. But we all got our antagonism toward hippies from our families. We were not educated enough or, at 14 years old, old enough to think for ourselves. We were just stupid fucking kids sort of acting out what our parents would have liked to do themselves, if it hadn't been against the law.
So it was a Friday night I think about 8 o'clock p.m., and it was all dark as I remember, and we all met somewhere and said yeah this was the night we were gonna go hippy hunting and, yeah, we were gonna beat up some hippies and cut off all their hair, and I brought the scissors, which I took from my mother's sewing kit, and we didn't really know how we were going to go about our hippy hunting since it was something we had never doen before. And so somebody suggested that we go up to Hearst playground up there on 37th Street NW across from Sidwell Friends, and somebody said, yeah, it was dark there, and we were sure to find some hippies up there, and nobody thought we'd really find hippies up at Hearst, for what would a hippy be doing at Hearst Playground on a Friday night? They were all down at the Mall protesting or somethin'. And so we all said, yeah, let's go do some hippy hunting up at Hearst, and we'll find some hippies there, and we'll cut off all their hair and shit. And so we all went up to Hearst, and, we were justs standing around the upper field at Hearst, and we were all there--me, Timmy O'Day, the Baptista bothers, Billy and Tommy, but like I said Billy was scared and he stayed away from us. Billy Baptista actually stayed about two blocks away from the rest of us at Hearst that night, and I guess he was smarter than all of us. But we all frankly forgot all about Billy, and there was Tommy Malvaso, who later palyed in the NFL, and Lucas and maybe Charles Lynch, and I don't know who all else. Theret was six or seven of us, and we were just standin' around on the upper field laughin' and jokin' about hippy hunting, and we really didn't think we were gonna do anything, and we weren't drinkin that night, none of us had had any Iron City Beer, and then out of the black night came two smart whistles from acrososs the way. It was Tommy Baptista who had broken from the group earlier and went to scout out somes hippies over by the steep hill on the edge of the upper palying field, and after Tommy whistled twice he yelled over, "Here, they come! It's the hippies!" And then Tommy made this sort of demonic laughter, kind of like the way the droogies laughed in the film version of "A Clockwork Orange," and then somebody in our group said all sinister and quietly, "Yeah, here they come. They're two of them. Two hippies." And right then I got scared and couldn't believe it was happening, I couldn't beleive that two hippies were walking right toward us, and we were going to beat the shit out of them and cut off all their hair and, good God, this could not actually be happening, but there they were : two hippies about 5' 9 each, and they were about 24 yards from us, and you could tell in the light--I guess there was a half moon out--yeah, you could tell by the light that they were longhairs-they both had hair down to their shoulders, and they had on bell-bottomed blue jeans, and they had tie-died shirts I guess, I don't know, I don't remember, but they may as well have had on tie-died shirts on, I guess. It doesn't make any difference, and they walked right up to us, and nobody said anything, and it all happened like we were electrons or somethin', and you could tell the hippies were scared, and you could tell they meant no trouble and they were innocent as shit as a matter of fact, but we, the good old I rish and Italian and Spanish and what-have-you Catholic boys just acted like a bunch of elelctrons who knew their paths, and we circled around the hippies as if we were savage Indians or somethin', and there was a moment or two of tense silence, and then somebody tackled one of the hippies, and somebody yelleed, "Yeah! Git 'im! Git the hippie! And then a couple guys tackled one of the hippies and the other hippie ran away, and so we had one of the hippies down on the ground, and we stretched him out as if he were on stakes or somethin', and somebody--it was Lucas whom we hardly even knew--went first, and he was left-handed, and he just held his left hand up like the way my Daddy did to my Mommy right before they made me into a human being, and he clenched his fist, old Lucas did, and then he smashed the hippy in the face once, and then twice, and nobody said anything and the hippy didn't make any noise or anything, and, I mean, it was sort of like we were at a funeral or somethin', and then old Tommy Malvaso took a turn, and he was really violent, and he kind of growled or somethin', and he smashed the hippies nose two or three times, and the hippy's nose began to bleed pretty bad, and then somebody said "Okay. That's enough." And then I stepped in, and I had the scissors in my hand, the scissors I took from my mother's sewing machine kit, and I snipped off about a one inch lock of his hair from the hippy's bangs, and that was it. The hippy got up and ran away, and then we all started running away like scared chickens or somethin', and all are adrenalin was pumping, and we were all scared, and we didn't realy know what we were doing, and so we just ran, and I had a sense of dread in me, a sense of dread that you get when you know you've done something terribly wrong and you can never take it back, and I just ran, and I just ran, and I dropped the scissors in some bushes and kept on running until I got four or five blocks and back up on old Wisconsin Avenue.
It was strange the way it happened. I spyed a cop car, and I got real scared. But the cop car passed me and Crazy Day--I was with Crazy Day, I was always with Crazy Day--and his mother was a terrible alcoholic, and she kept a bottle of bourbon in the cupboard just beneath the sink in her kitchen, and usually when me and Timmy got there after school, after we got there in the O'Days' kitchen, she, Mrs. O'Day, was standing in the kitchen all drunk and tryin' unsuccessfully to stand up straight, and you could tell she was drunk and all, and I never saw her take a drink, though, or nothin', and usually she wasn't in the kitchen when we got there after school, usually she was passed out in her bedroom, and when we came home to Timmy's after school and she wasn't drunk in the kitchen, Timmy would tell me to wait in the kitchen, and he would go upstairs all by himself and check on his mom who would be passed out and all drunk on her bed in her bedroom, and Timmy would close the bedroom door, or maybe she was babbling to him, I don't know. I saw her drunk and babbling once. She was a real bad drunk, the worst drunk I've ever seen, and Jimmy would close the door to his mother's bedroom, and Jimmy would come downstairs and say that his mother wasn't feeling well and that we couldn't go upstairs cuz his mother wasn't feeling well, but I knew all along after awhile anyway that she was drunk an incoherent and an embarrassment to my best friend, and so I didn't say anything.
So there we were, Timmy and me, and we were up on old Wisconsin Avenue up by Warren Street and pretty close to my house and right across from the firehouse, as a matter of fact, and another cop car comes driving by us on our side of the street, and it didn't have its siren on or its lights blinkin' or nothin', but I was scared maybe like a kitty cat or somethin', and I thought the cop car was gonna stop and the cops were gonna arrest me and Timmy, but the cop car kept going right on past us, and I felt an instant of relief, and then the instant of relief turned into a horrible anxiety because as the cop car passed I saw Ray Evans in the back seat lookin at me and Timmy, and I knew that if they already had Ray and five minutes hadn't even passed, they for sure were gonna arrest all of us, and I was a goner, and for sure my father was gonna beat me up, but maybe not for he didn't like hippies that was for sure, and then another cop car started coming our way, this time the cop car was on the opposite side of the avenue from me and Timmy and it too passed us without stoppin' and for another second or two I felt sense of relief, but then the cop car turned on its blinkers and turned on its siren and made this audacious U-turn up on old Wisconsin Avenue, and the cop car crossed about six lanes and then pulled right up next to where me and Crazy Day were. There were two cops in the car, and Tommy Malvaso was sitting in the back seat, and the cop on the passenger side had his right arm hanging out the window, and he had on one of those funny cop hats that they wore in those days--the ones that are shaped like a pentagon or somethin' and have a little shiny plastic beak--and he turns his head out the window and says to Crazy 'Day, "Are you Crazy Day?" And Crazy Day, my best friend in grade school, says "Yeah, I'm Crazy Day." And the cop-he was a white guy, they were both white guys, all the cops were white in those days as a matter of fact-the cop says, "Git in the back. Both of you." And I knew we were doomed, and I knew my father was gonna beat me up, and we didn't have a chance, and we were sumptuously fucked in the ass, and there was no God, and there was nothing we could do, so I looked at Timmy straight in the eye and I could see he was thinkin' the same thing as me, and I knew he was thinkin' that his father, Calvin, was gonna take out the old leather belt that he used to whipp across Timmy's bare ass from time to time when Timmy got caught doin' soemthin' bad, and Timmy was always doin' somethin' bad but he didn't always get caught, but this time we wer caught and we both knew it, and we both got into the back of the cop car next to Tommy Malvaso.
The cop in the passenger side of the cop car thought he was Sgt. Joe Friday or soemthin', and he started asking us all kinds of questions. His partner seemed a little irritated by this guy's playing detective and all, and then the cop on the passenger's side says, "All right. Where's the scissors?" And I was terribly scared now, but I wasn't gonna wet my pants or nothin', and I just shot right back at the cop on the passenger's side, "I threw it down a sewer."
"What sewer?" said the cop on the passenger's side. We have got to have the evidence."
And that's when the cop who was driving the car chimed in, and he too had one of those funny dark blue hats that were shaped like a pentagon or somethin' and had a short and sharp beak, and he said, "Ease up, Mike. We don't need the scissors. Let's's just take 'em back to the station." And I felt a sense of reflief when the cop who was driving the car said this, but the sense of relief went away real quick and mostly all I felt was this heavy, heavy dread or somethin'.
The coppers took us up the avenue a bit and turned left onto old Albemarle Street, and stopped at 42nd, where the old No. 8 Precinct used to be. And two or three other cop cars pulled up and all their sirens were screachin' and shit, and each of the cop cars had two or three of us boys in the back seats, and sure enough in less than 10 minutes they had gathered or all six or seven of us up and arrested all our dirty little evil asses. All except Lucas, and he wasn't really part of our group or nothin', and we forgot about him anyway, and mostly all of us were just plain really scared. All of us but Timmy O'Day. He wasn't scared or nothin'. Timmy O'Day was always getting' into trouble. He thought ordeals with the police were normal. Timmy O'Day was a real and for-certain, bona fide juvenile delinquent.
When we got into the precinct we had to walk down a narrow hallway, and and there were some chairs in the hallway, and a couple of cops wer sitting in the chairs. One of the cops pulled me aside and said, "You should've stepped on his neck so that way there'd be no finger prints." And he sort of mashed his right boot to the flooor, which was all shiny and made of marble or soemthin', and he grinded his foot on the floor back and forth for emphasis.
That was basically it. They put us all in a room full of chairs and a podium and after about a half hour a man--he was white and wore a dark suit and white shirt and dark tie--came in, and he told us he was a commissioner from a downtown bureau or somethin' . He told us that we had committed a very serious crime and that we were all arrested for assault and battery or somethin', but he went on to explain that if none of us got arrested before we tunred 18, the record of our arrest would be whtchamacallited. Expunged or eliminated or made to disappear. Or you know what I mean, and that was it. We were all free to go, and by then all of our fathers were there, and some of the fathers seemed really angry, and Mr. Baptista called his son Johnny a "boob" and said he didn't have the sense of a chicken or soemthin', and other fathers seemed embarrassed, amd my fahter didn't say a word. He was with my brother, Skipper, who told me when we got home and were alone that my Daddy wasn't really too upset, and he really wasn't angry or nothin, but when my Mommy first saw me come in from the police station, she charged at me, and she shouted at me face to face: "Look at yee! Look at yee! Are yee proud of yourself? Look at what yee have done!" She was crazed like Electra or somethin'. She didn' make me feel too good, but I guess somebody had to punish me.
So my first official contact with the CIA came on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2001, just about two months after September 11. And I was all ready to sign up and shit, and I was ready go to Pakistan or Kazakhstan or Nirobi or wherever it was that I needed to go to fight the terrorists, and yes I was all ready to fight the al Qaeda boys wherever they were and shit, and I'd drive an A-1 Abrams tank if necessary and shit. Yeah, I was ready to fight, but really I'm just, as my father would have put it, just a chicken shit cuz it took me two whole months to apply to work as a covert agent for the CIA, and I started researching the CIA from my computer down at the good old Washinton Post, where I was an editor, the chief copy of the editorial department to be a bit more excact and exacting, and you know what I mean so I mean everybody in my office was talking about signing up, and I didn't know computers could be monitored and shit, and I was very naïve about computers, and I didn't even own one myself, or if I did I couldn't access the Internet cuz I didn't know how to, and anyway I started researching the CIA and I went to their site about a thousand times during and after my work down at the good old Washington Post, where like I said I was an editor, the chief copy editor in the editorial department, as I said. And it was all spookey and scary for me cuz I couldn't believe that you could log into the computer and access the CIA, and it was such a cool site, all spooky and stuff and shit, and I figured with my college background of literature and art that I would not qualify for a technical position, so I signed up for one of the clandestine officer positions, which I figured would be fine and dandy for me. And the CIA site said you had to be able to function in an ambiguous world to be a clandestine officer, and I thought shit yeah that's me all over, I mean, with an English and art degree from good old Georgetwon University, and yeah, I could thrive in an ambiguous world, so I signed up for the CIA. And actually I did not sign up for the CIA from my work computer, but rather I signed up from the an Arlington County, Va., library, but Ed Cohen, the editor of the editorial page at the good old Washington Post, figured out that I was surfin' around the CIA page, and he began to monitor my computer because, like I said, he is an agent of the Mossad--a colonel, in fact--and he didn't want some CIA guy lurkin' around and spyin' on him in his own office and shit, and I did print out an application for a clandestine position at the CIA from my computer at The Post and I figure that's when Ed got word that I was fishin' around the CIA site all the time, and that's when he began to monitor my compuer and shit. Like I said. So, yeah, I applied for a position at the CIA, all clandestine and shit, and I did it at the Arlington Public Library over there on Quincy Street or some shit in Arlington, Virginia, where I lived alone in apartment for $1,350 a month, and who can afford such prices in this day and age? And I lived alone in the apartment, having left my x-wife for the fifth or sixth time--you know, I can't be sure how many but I left the witch, yes, she is a witch and an agent for the KGB or the VRW or whatever the Soviets call their ownelves these days, and yes, I married a KGB spy whose job it was to make me crazy and dysfunctional so I could not do my job well as a clandestine officer of the CIA and shit. And so yeah I applied for a job at the CIA from the public library over there on Quincy Street or wherever, and I remember well becase I had to wait to get on a compter, and you could only access the computert for a half hour, and then you had to let somebody else on, and I know, and I remember because once I got on the library computer there was this guy sitting immeditately behind me. Well, he was standing actually, and he would ask me from time to time if I was finished and shit, and I would think to myself: "Jesus H. Mother-Fucking Christ. Doesn't he realize that I am applying for a job as a clandestine officer at the Cental Intelligence Agency?" And I wished he would quit buggin' me and shit. And I will say this much for the CIA, which may or may not have accepted me into the ranks because I mean I haven't quite figured it out yet because they haven't exactly told me I am in, and they've never sent me a paycheck that has CIA written on it, and they haven't sent me a badge or nothin'yet, and I haven't been to the farm, and I haven't waded my way through a lagoon full of rattle snakes and cobras and shit like all the other CIA operatives do and shit. And yeah I will say this much for the CIA: They have an easy-to-fill-out application, which basically asks for your name and address and shit, and which position do you want to join up as and why do you want to join in 2,000 words or less or somethin', but I have a problem with the CIA application too, because when after I filled it out and I went to save it, the application on the screen told me that I forgot to include my phone number or date of birth or somethin', and so would I please go back and fill in the right and correct information, which I did or tried to do for when after I saved it the whole application went blank, and not only did I have to fill out my phone number or whatever it was that I forgot, I also had to fill out the whole God-damned application over again for the application had erased all the information I had given it, and I had some hairy guy with a beard behind me asking me when was I gonna be finished and shit, and I had to write a real good paragraph on why I wanted to sign up for the CIA and shit, and I said I wanted to eradicate al Qaeda and shit or soemnthin', some wild and crazy and shit or another, and so as I was saying my official and first contact with the CIA occurred on Saturday Nov. 25, 2001.
And I was at this, um, Indian restaurant, and I prefer to cal it Injun cuz I like to insult all ethnic groups whenever I get the chance to, and yeah I was at this Injun restaurant, which by the way served louzy Injun food, which I could not understand for I had been to a million Injun restaurants before where kind towel-heads had served me fine-tasting and delicious Injun food, and I didn't know how this particaculr restaurant managed to ruin the food, and it did ruin the food, I will guarantee you that, for I knew cuz I had eaten there a couple times before, having moved out on my x-wife for the sixth or seventh time, and yeah, shit, I was at the bar part of the restaurant, which was separate but attached to the restaurant, and the bar was an all plastic and shiny and yellow and brown sort of room, and the bar itself was wood, but it was all laquered and shiny and shit, and I was just standin' there thinknin' of nothing in particular--maybe I was thinkin' about the CIA or somethin' or maybe I was trying to figure out how many times I had left my x-wife, cuz I was always leavin' her cuz she was a bona fide member of the KGB, and she used to spy on me, and she used to use psyops and me, and she used to bug me a lot with mind games, and she knew I was a crazy mental person, and she knew I had been hospitalized six times in the past for being technically and patently and legally insane, driving down a street in Adams-Morgan the wrong way at 50 mph and nearly killing myself and shit--and oh, yeah, that reminds me: One of my favorite patients in all the area psychiatric wards which I have been locked up in, this one being Montgomery General Hospital, all the way out there in Olney, Md., and don't ask me how I got there, when I was livin' in the District of Columbia at the time because I'm trying to tell you about the first time I had official contact with the CIA, which occurred in a the bar of an Injun restaurant which served lousy Injun food, but I gotta tell you about this insane patient guy that I met in the psychiatric ward at Montgomery Genreal Psychiatric Hospital. His name was Kevin O'Reilly or somethin'. I don't know, this was about 50 years ago in 1981, I reckon, and Kevin O'Reilly or whatever his name was was a real good guy, and when I asked him what he was in for he said attempted suicide, for I was always asking the patients what they were in for cuz that's what I thought you were supposed to do--you know, be all sensitive and kind to everybody's feelings and shit. And Kevin O'Reilly told me he was in for attempted suicide, and I thought that was just grand, and I asked him how he tried to off himself and did he slit his wrists with a razor ort somethin', and I wholeheartedly believed that he didn't do this because there were no bandages on his wrists, and I just asked him cuz I was tryin' to be sensitive and shit or somethin', and it was pretty obvious to me that he hadn't tried to slit his wrists like the psychiatric nurse patient who came home from work one day with a bottle of Mouton Cadet red wine and smashed the bottle on the tile in her bathroom and then proceeded to hack up her wrists with the jagged wine bottle and shit. And yes, she had bandages around both her wrists so it was obvious how she tried to kill herself just as it was obvious that Kevin O'Reilly hadn't tried to slit his wrists, but I asked him if he had anyway cause I didn't know what else to say, and I was trying to be all sensitive and shit because that's how you're supposed to behave in those psychiatric wards, and I know cause I've been in them six or seven times or somethin' for a total of 24 or 30 weeks or somethin' and shit, and if there's anybody who knows how to act in a psychiatric ward it's me because if you don't act all sensitive and shit theyll never let you out, and they'll send you to St. Elizabeth's, where you'll never get out unless of course you're John Hinkley or somebody like that and shit. And so I said, very sensitive like to Kevin O'Reilly, said I: "So. What're you in for?"
And Kevin O'Reilly said, "Suicide. Attempted suicide, that is." And I knew then right away that Kevin O'Reilly hadn't been in a psychiatric ward before because he wasn't acting all sensitive and shit and appreciateive to one another's feelings like I did and shit because I did not want to be sent for the rest of my life to St. Elizabeth's, where they electrocute your brain daily and shit, and they hardly ever feed you there and shit, and so I said all sensitive and shit like, "Oh. Tried to slit your wrists and shit?"
And Kevin O"Reilly screamed, "No!" And he was real fierce like and mad and angry like a raging bull or soemthin', and I thought: "Shit, this guy could be a murderer or some shit because he's a raging fucking maniac cuz that's what he sounded like and shit, and I was thinking he was never gonna get out of this fucking hospital and shit, and then after he screamed "No!" to me and his face was all beet red and shit, he calmed down real quick like he had a complete change in personality, and he was then all sensitive and all kind and caring and shit, and so I figured there might yet be a way for him out of this particular psychiatric ward in which he was currently in, and they might not send him to life in St. Elizabeth's after all, and Kevin O'Brien went on all genteel like--calm as a calm baby as a matter of fact--to describe to me how he had attempted to kill himself . And he said he drove a big El Dorado, which is like a Lincoln Townhouse-type of car or somemthin', in case you don't know, and he said that he was a bartender Christies Seafood Restaurant out there in Silver Spring where you can eat real fine and fresh sea food--no shit--and Kevin O'Brien said he just got all pissed off one day, and so he took his El Dorado and while he was out there on some avenue or some country road in Olney , Md., he revved up his car to about 50 mph or so, and then he steered his big, old car machine head-on into a street telephone pole, and he said that he failed to kill himself on his first try, so he backed her up and the rammed her forward into the telephone pole once again, but failed again, and so he said he backed her up and rammed her into the pole, and he kept on doing this--backin' her up and rammin' her into the telephone pole--by his count 14 times until the police came and dragged him out of his big old El Dorado car. And they handcuffed him and put him in a straight jacket and threw him into a Paddy wagon like he was my good old Grand Daddy O'Malley, and they locked him up in old Precinct No. 12 out there in Olney somewhere and then they transfered his ass to Montgomery General Psychiatric Ward Hospital, where he began to habitate with the likes of me and where he was gonna have to learn to be sensitive and kind and caring and shit, or they were gonna lock his ass up in St. Elizabeth's for good. And there he would receive electric shock therapy daily, and he would be starved to death or soemthin'.
So like I was saying, my first contact with the CIA came on Saturdy, Nov. 25, 2001, at about 7:30 p.m. in the evening while I was standin' at this Injun bar drinking a Injun Kingfisher beer 'cause I always drink the ethnic beer of the ethnic restaurant I'm in to get a true flavor of the ethnicity and the culture that I am experiencing and shit. But first since I got on this topic of Montgomery General Psychiatric Ward Hospital, I wanna tell you a little bit about me and Mardoo. Mardoo Cricket. Mardoo Cricket was a real pretty girl of about 28, and she was pretty skinny but not emaciated or anorexic or nothin'. And okay, well, maybe she was a litlle bit anorexic, I don't know, but she was real pretty and was sort of hollow beneath her cheek bones, and she had large and hollow eye sockets and dark eyes and jet black hair, and she really was a pretty girl despite how I've described her, and when we were in a group therapy meeting discussing various rules and regulations of our psychiatric community and how we should be sensitive to one another's needs and feelings and shit--there were about 24 of us nuts, all in for various reasons--me? I was insane and thought I had a top secret mission to Moscow or soemethin', and I've never tried to kill myself or off myself in any fashion or nothin', though I have considered jumping off a brigdge or two, I will admit. And so we were in this large room, and there were chairs against the walls, and I sat in a chair, and Mardoo sat in a chair directly across from me about 20 or 30 feet away, and there was some nurses all dressed up in white telling us to be sensitive toward one another and how we had to throw away our coffee cups into the proper recptacles and shit, and I wasn't really paying attention because Mardoo had most of my attention. As I said she was sitting across from me by about 20 or 30 feet, and she was sort of blowing kisses me. Now, she wasn't blowing me kisses with her lips and hand-type blow-kisses. No, she was just blowing me ksisses with her lips. And I don't know how to describe it. She was just forming, like, an O with her lips and then blowin' me kisses sort of like a fish in water or somethin'. And while she was blowin' me kisses, she kept opening and closing her legs so her crotch was exposed, if you will, intermittently. And at first I wasn't certain that Mardoo was gesticulating to me, cuz I've never had a girl express herself to me like that in such a fashion, but after 10 minutes or so I was convinced that she, Mardoo Cricket, was gesticulating in a flagrant and outright sexual way toward me, my ownself. And as time went by in Montgomery General Psychiatric Ward Hospital, me and Mardoo got to be real good friends. She told me that she was a psychiatric nurse in her real life job outside the hospital we were in, and she told me she tried to kill herself with a cracked wine bottle and shit, and she told me she was an art therapist too, so after I showed her some of the pictures of faces I had drawn im our art therapy sessions, Mardoo told me that faces indicated paranoia, and I questioned her on this because I did not think I was particularly paranoid, but rather I was being quite sensitive enough to get myself out of this fucking psychiatric ward for there was no fucking way I was going to St. Elizabeth's, where they lock you up and starve you to death and shit. And Mardoo and I wanted to kiss one another real bad, but we weren't allowed to because inmates in psychiatric wards aren't allowed to kiss. That's one of the rules, and if they catch you makin' out or petting or some shit, they lock your ass up in solitaire, and solitaire is just this empty room with a cold marble like floor and no furniture or anything, and there are grates on the windows so you can't jump out and kill yourself in case you were planning to do so, and sometimes they strip you and leave you in there naked. I swear, they do this shit, and it happened to me. I got locked up in solitaire once, and they took all my clothes and left me with a blanket, but I'll talk about that later. The thing I wanted to tell you was how I made out with Mardoo and didn't get caught. After we had been in the psychiatric ward for a time, maybe for about two or three weeks or somethin', and after we had acted appropriately sensitive and shit, Mardoo and I both got off-ward privileges. This meant we were allowed to leave the ward for up to two hours once a week. So Mardoo and I synchronized our times off, and one evening about 7 p.m. we checked out for our two-hours of freedom. And we were up front with the people in white, the people who ran the psychiatric ward. We told all the nurses and technicians who checked us out that we were gonna go to a Chinese Chinky reastaurant just down the street which Mardoo knew about, and the nurses and the technicians and shit who were all dressed in white told us that we could and shit but there was to be no makin' out or petting and shit, and Mardoo and I agreed wholehaertedly and shit, and then when we went out-me and Mardoo-and we stopped at a bench on the way to the Chinese Chinky restaurant and lay down and made out for about 15 minutes like two sex-starved criminals, like two mad people. And I didn't touch Mardoo's bossoms or crotch or anything. We just made out. No petting. No shit. And that's all I really wanted to tell you about me and Mardoo--how we outsmarted everybody and got to make out and didn't get locked up in solitaire or nothin', and neither of us got sent to St. E's either.
So as I was sayin' there I was in this bar of this Injun restaurant waitin' for my Injun take-out, and I had orderd two entrées for my dinner, for I figured that would set me up pretty good for theree or four days as far as food was concerned, even though I knew the food wouldn't taste that good, cuz I had eaten froods from this particular Injun restaurant before, and they managed to pretty much ruin it, and I don't know who in the hell their Injun chef was, but I think maybe he or she should go back to India or somethin' and learn how to cook all over again, cuz how anybody could botch and Indian meal was beyond me.
Right. So I was in this bar off this Injun resataurant, and this bar didn't have a bartender cuz there was never any patrons in it, and I don't even know why they had the bar cuz they didn't have a bartender or nothin', and I had to hail one of the waiters just to get one louzy Kingfisher, and I was all alone, and I don't know what I was thinking. Well, I guess, maybe I was thinking about the CIA a little because some people used to tell me I was obsessed with the CIA and shit, and I prob'ly thought some about my x-wife, the agent from the Soviet Union whose msission was to torture me with psychology and psychological tricks and shit, and I was probably thinking about God, cuz I do tend to think about God perhaps an inordinate amount of time, cuz I am always wonderin' how we all got into this fix and why I had to get locked up in psychiatric wards six times for bein' crazy and shit, and and then I just felt this slap--this hard smack--on my right arm up by my shoulder. And I turned around, and there's this guy standing there, and I now figure out that he has backhanded me on my right arm, and before I have any time to think or postulate or make some hypotheses or theorems or some shit, he, the guy, says to me: "So you wanna join the CIA, huh?" And I swear to God I had never seen this person ever before in my life, and I didn't know him for Adam and Eve or whatever the appropriate expression is, and then I just started laughin' a little bit, and I don't know why I laughed-maybe I was nervous or some shit--and I just said, "Yeah, I wanna join the CIA." And he said, "Okay, then. Follow me. I'll show you what it's like."
And I would like to describe this guy to you. He was about 5' 9 tall, and he wore a black baseball cap and a blue jeaned jacket and a bland blue-collared shirt of some sort and tight blue jeans and black, pointed cowboy boots, and he was thin but muscular, and he had sharp features on his face and he had beady eyes, and he was a very handsome guy.
And he said, "Come on, dude. Let's go." And he was wavin' me on out of the bar like we had to get to work right away or somethin', and I said, "But I'm drinkin' a beer." And he said, "Oh, well, then, why don't you buy me one?" And I said sure, and I didn't mind buyin' a CIA guy a beer 'cause I was prertty well off in those days, makin' like $90,000 in a year (half of which, though, went for child support), and I hailed one of the towel-headed Injun waiters who just happened to be passing through the bar at that particular moment in time, and I said brightly, "Sir! Another Kingfisher, please!" And the Injun waiter said okay, and he brought us another Kingfisher, and Jordan and I, for the CIA dude's name was Jordan, Jordan Cleighton, which he sometimes spelled C-L-E-I-G-H-T-O-N and which he sometimes spelled C-L-A-Y-T-O-N.
And I figure that he did this not because he was crazy, but because he was in the CIA and prob'ly had to have at least two aliases and shit.
And so me and Jordan clinked our Kingfisher bottles and Jordan said, "To the CIA!" and I said, "To the CIA!" And I was thinking this was all cool as shit and that there was a God and that I was gonna be in the CIA and wasn't life cool as shit?
Jordan explained a game plan to me. He said that if I was gonna be in the CIA I had to learn to "play act." Those were his exact words, and I figured that, yeah, he was prob'ly right about that, and if I was gonna be a spy I had to learn how to play act real good and shit. And Jordan said there was a hotel attached to the restaurant, which I knew, and he said his girlfriend Mary was upstairs in a room waiting for him and that he was gonna propose matrimony to her on this very night, and somehow it came out that I was a photographer-my first job at the good old Washington Post was as a photographer, by the way--and Morgan said that was real good and that he had an instamatic camera on him and that I should photograph the proposal, and I figured again this was some real shit, cuz spies in this day and age prob'ly had to take pictures of their work and that if I was was gonna kill Osmam bin Laden or somethin' I would have to prob'ly take pictures before and after his death so that I-we, I mean, me and the CIA--could prove to the world that we really got him, and then Jordan said that we had to tell his girlfriend that we were old high school friends and that we just bumped into each other in the restaurant downstairs, and I said, "Yeah, and we can tell her we played baksetball against each other." And he would say he went to Maret and I went to Georgetown Prep, and the talk went on like that until we both had finished our beers.
So there's really not much to tell really. I mean, being in a psychiatric ward is really more interesting than being recriuited by the CIA, but I'l tell you about Jordan anyway just because it happened and because I don't have anything better to do.
So we went up into the room, and sure enough Mary was there, and she was all splayed out on one of the two beds that were in the room, and "splayed" is probably not the right word, since Mary wasn't meretricious or anything. I mean, she wasn't anything like Mardoo Prescott, and she generally kept he legs together, and she never came on to me or blew me kisses or anything, even when Jordan left the room.
And Jordan, with a thick, sharp grin on his sharp face introduced me to his girlfriend Mary and said I was an old high school rival, and I played along with Jordan, and we went into how we played basketball against each other, and I stole the ball from him, and no I didn't and back and forth and shit like that, and then suddenly Jordan gets all serious, and says, "Forget this high school stuff. Get the camera, Seamus." And I pulled out the old instamatic which Jordan had previously given to me, and Jordan, as I said, was all serious now, and he pulled out a diamond ring from his pant pockets and shit, and then he does this pretty taditional proposal of like how much she means to him and shit, and he didn't tell her that he had a second girlfriend who was rich as shit and lived in some apartment, a luxury apartment, out there by Western and Wisconsin Avenue at the District line and shit. (And I didn't know about Jordan's second girlfriend then either, but I got to meet her later and shit, and she was a real nice girl too.) And I'm takin' pictures, and I'm sure to get the shot where he places the ring on her finger, and I take the shot of them kissing, and they kiss, and everything is la dee daa, and then Jordan announces that he's all out of cigarettes and that he has to go buy a pack. And so he leaves the room, and I kind of have this heart to heart with Mary, and she tells me that she will never marry Jordan and that he's a manic depressive but he refuses to take medicine and that he's totally irresponsible, and I'm thinkin' that well maybe he's not in the CIA after all, and I tell Mary that I'm a manic depressive too, but I take medicine, thank you very much, and Jordan retruns, and we all three of us go out to dinner at Jordan's favorite restaurant, the name of which I've forgot, but it's that Italian place up there on old Lee Highway a little west of Glebe Road. And we had pasta and spaghetti and all this Italiano food and shit, and we drank a botlle of champagne first just to get started, and then we had a couple bottles of wine, and Jordan and I get really blitzed, and I'm thinkin' the CIA is A-okay with me and I paid the tab, and I swear it was for $500. And Jordan says: "Let's go down to Nathan's!" And Mary says no it's too late, and she doesn't want to go to a bar, and she's had enough to drink and shit, and why don't Jordan and I go together, and and so off me and Jordan go into Jordan's white van-it was a Ford or a Chevy or somethin'--and we found a spot to park in Georgetown, which is an impossible thing to do, but Jordan's in the CIA and shit, and so things happen this way, things just have a way for workin' out for CIA people, and Jordan and I start drinking gins and tonic at Nathan's, and we meet up with these two girls, and one of them is flat out gorgeous. No shit. Playboy Bunny potential and really nice, but with a funny-sounding squeaky voice and shit, and she takes a liking to Jordan, and the other girl is kind of tall and she's real fat and has a huge pair of breasts, which are firmly outlined by this grotesque pink sweater she wore, which was about two sizes too small for her. And Jordan is all nicey to the beautiful girl, and I'm all nicey to the fat chick, and we're both thinkin' we might get laid, but I'm thinkin' that I'm not gonna get laid 'cause I won't have coitus with the big girl in the pink sweater because she's way too fat for my tastes, and I spill my third gin and tonic on the bar 'cause I'm so drunk, and the bartender cuts me off and won't get me another gin and tonic, and it's the first time in my life I've ever been cut off at a bar before, and I say some insult to the big girl in the pink sweater. I tell her that she has huge tits, as I recall, and she gets all hurt and upset and emotional and stalks off, and Jordan's still doin' pretty good with the beautiful girl, but she tells Jordan that she has to go too because her friend is gone, and she tells him that she's only 17, and he's 35 or so, and he says age doesn't matter when it comes to love, and she kinda goes for this line, but then she decides, no, she had better go, and Jordan's all drunk and shit, and he becomes all melodramatic and shit, and he begs her not to go, and she goes anyway, and he follows her out the door onto M Street, and she hails a cab right there on the southest corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW and shit, and Jordan's still begging her not to go as she gets into the cab, and he's still beggin' her to stay, and he tells her that he could give her a ride home in his white van and shit, and--poof, like magic or somethin'--she's off and gone, and Jordan is pretty depressed, and I don't know how we got home, and I suppose Jordan drove us. I mean, I don't know and shit. I had a headache in the morning when I woke up, and I peuked in the shower stall, but I thought I was gonna like the CIA just fine. CIA people liked to drink and chase girls, and that was oakey-dokey with me.
Yeah, right. So I met this guy from the CIA named Jordan Cleighton, who sometimes spelled his name C-L-A-Y-T-O-N because he had at least two identities because he was in the CIA and shit. And Jordan was a real nice guy, and he was real crazy, which, being crazy myself , I liked a lot, and I, uh, I hung out with him for about three or four weeks, and he brought me a gun at one point, a 38, and it wasn't a real gun, it was like a race-starter gun, but the trigger clicked like a real gun and shit, and Jordan told me I should practice with it because if I was gonna be in the CIA--and Jordan reminded me that I wasn't in the CIA yet because I had to pass some tests he was gonna give me, and these were not like written academic tests but life-experience kinds of tests and shit, the kind of test that tests what kind of man you are and shit. And the question was did I have any guts, cuz it takes a lot of guts to be in the CIA, where you have to lie and play act and shoot guns and shit. Oh, yeah, so Jordan gives me this toy gun and shit and tells me I have to practice shooting with it, and I did so, shooting at road signs as we drove past in his white van, and I took the gun home to my own apartment and practiced with it there, shooting at various spots on the wall 'cause I didn't have any pictures on the wall or even furniture for that matter, for I had just left my x-wife--whom I divorced on the account of mental cruelty and kidnapping and shit--and I didn't have anything except a trunkfull of preppy clothes with some ties because that's how Ben Bradlee at The Post dresses, all blue-collared Oxford shirts with khaki pants and all ironed and shit, and my shirts weren't ironed and shit because I didn't iron and and my x-wife, being a fairly liberated type of American woman (even though she was really a fucking Communist Soviet spy whose purpose was to harass me and make me crazy), and I'm losing track here cuz I was gonna tell you all the things Jordan and I did like all the titty bars me and Jordan went to cuz that's all Jordan wanted to do. It could be 12 o'clock in the afternoon, and he would take me to a titty bar, and we'd just sit in there and he'd drink beer, and I'd drink champagne, cuz I figured that if I'm gonna be in the CIA I might as well treat myself to a little champagne, and the titty bars I didn't get at first. I mean, if Jordan was CIA, why was he taking me to titty bars all the time, noon time and night time?--and after awhile it started to make sense for it was all a part of the whole pictireure to see whether I was a real man and whether I could thrive in sordid situations and atmospheres like in tittly bars, where you really did come across some scummy men, and the girls were all naked and shit. And so, yeah, I had been at The Washington Post for 20 years and proven that I could thrive in a civil place where everyone wore preppy clothes just like Ben Bradlee cuz everybody wanted to be Ben Bradlee and where everyone was liberally perfectly correct and where everyone was very much concerned about not saying anything anti-Semitic, and it was a very Semitic place, truth be told.
Yeah, and then one day Jordan brought me a Winchester rifle, but it was actually a toy, and the trigger didn't work, so I asked Jordan how was I supposed to practice on the Winchester when the trigger didn't work, and Jordan just said, "The trigger doesn't work? Well, I'll be fucked. I didn't know that." And with those words he took the Winchester from me and threw it into the back of his van, where he kept his carpentry equipment, for, yes, Jordan's cover was that in everyday life he was a carpenter, and he tossed the Winchester into the back of the van and said, "Shit, boy, you don't need a rifle. Fuck! They'll prob'ly give you a flame thrower if you get into the CIA" and shit.
So I hung out with this CIA guy for three or four weeks or so, and we went to the titty bars all around Washington, and I drank champagne while he drank beer, and Jordan talked a little bit about the CIA, and he said he got recruited when he was 10 and that they had wanted him really ever since he was a baby, and he told me too that he was in the Army reserve and that his sergeant who, he said, was a real tough guy used to call him from time to time, and that he--Jordan, that is--thought he might be called up to active duty or somethin' like that, and he thought that he might have to go off to Iran or Afghanistan or someplace far away to serve his country as a soldier, and I was pretty sure Jordan was lying about this cuz I can tell pretty good when somebody is lyin', and it's not very hard to see. I mean, it's not like I have extrasensory or supernatural or extraordinary means of perception. I mean, I'm not a clairvoyant or a psychic or a soothsayer or nothing, and that's not why the CIA wanted me and shit, and, in fact, I wasn't sure what the CIA wanted me for. I mean, considering the fact that I had been locked up six times for being a complete insane lunatic who thought he could talk to Langley by speaking into drainpipes in shower stalls and shit, but I haven't told you about my isnanity and shit yet, have I? Maybe I'll tell you a little bit about that later. It's kind of important, I guess, and basically essential to my being and shit.
So I hung out with Jordan for three or four weeks or so, and we'd do the titty bars, and I admit at first I was pretty uncomfortable, cuz I'm an Irish Catholic boy, and I was taught by nuns and shit in grade school and then by Jesuit priests in high school and then by Jesuit priests again in college, and so it's real easy for me to feel guilty real quick, and I guess that's what I felt when I first went into the titty bars with Jordan--my CIA man, the CIA recruiter--who was sizing me up to see if I could function well in sordid places and sordid environments and shit. And so I'd see these girls all naked and shit except for little g-strings they wore around their sexual areas, and they'd be humpin' the fire ladder poles and swingin' around on the poles like they needed poles real bad or soemthin' and shit, and they'd slap themselves on the ass and shit, and I suppose this is supposed to be sexy and shit, and so I felt real guilty in the titty bars at first, and really I'm not sure it was guilt but for sure I felt a great discomfort. And Jordan used to ask me for dollars and then he'd go up to the stage and smile and put a dollar one of the girl's g-strings and shit, and he told me I had to do the same thing, and I told him, no, I wouldn't, but I was figurin' that this might be some part of the test to see if I had what it takes to be in the CIA and shit, and so hell, yeah, I put dollars in the girls' g-strings and shit, and after awhile I got to kind of like it, and I felt the titty bars were a real swell environment, and though there were some bad-assed and unsavory-looking men all over the place, and though there was always some skinny old man sittin' in the front row, and he looked like a real pervert and shit, and you could just tell he had some fetishes and shit, and he put dollars in the girls' g-strings and blew them kisses and shit, and you just knew he was a pervert. So I did the titty bars full of all kinds of weird motherfucking men who would kill you instantly if you said the wrong thing to them, if you insulted them about their mothers and shit, or if you called 'em a Negro or somethin'. I mean, these were the kind of men who would stick you with a knife and cut your poor fucking head off and throw it on the stage where the dancers were. I mean, I'm just trying to give you the idea of what these titty bar places were really like and shit, and I mean, they were really seedy and dark and evil and dangerous kinds of places.
So I hung out with this guy Jordan Cleighton, and did I tell you that he stole my credit card one night? And that he used it to check into two hotels-the Rosslyn Marriott and some place in Bethesda, Md.? And I didn't even get mad at him for doing this, and when I figured out that I was missing my credit card and when I figured out that Jordan had stolen it from me, I called his girlfriend Mary, who said to me that she told me so, that Jordan was an unmedicated manic depressive and that he did crazy stuff like this and I should have known better. And then Jordan called me one night and said that I should come over and meet him at his favorite restaurant, and it was real important that I do so, and when I got there he was sittin' at a table, and he was lookin' all fierce like a maniac, like Kevin O'Reilly in the Montgomery County Psychiatric Ward Hospital and all, and he really wasn't his usual self, and I could tell that he wasn't in his right mind, and he was just sitting there at a table with my passport lying out flat on the table in front of him and shit, and I sat down, and Jordan with this fierce maniacal look on his face said he was gonna have to kill me, and I didn't know why he was going to have to kill me, but I believed he was serious, judging from the maniacal expression on his face and all, and I was scared as shit, but I didn't wet my pants or nothin', and Jordan eventually calmed down, and he said he wasn't really gonna kill me, but he still kept my passport, and I don't know why I didn't demand that he give me my passport back, and maybe it was because I was too scared, and maybe I wasn't man enough to be in the CIA, and maybe this whole scene was a test that I was failing, and I don't know. Fact is, I still don't know. I still don't know sometimes. Sometimes I just don't know.
So all the time when I was with Jordan, and I was practicing shooting with the .38, which wasn't a real gun but maybe it was one of those guns they used to start races at the Olympic and shit, I don't know, you know, one with blanks and shit cuz it clicked and shit when you pulled the trigger and the barrel rotated around like on a real gun, but the nozel was solid so a bullet couldn't be fired through it and shit, and so during our time together we went to Ocean City, Md., once for a couple of days, and I think it was Ocean City , Md., but I can't be too sure about that cuz my geography is none too good, and it was the Ocean City that's at the end of Rt. 50, and we stayed in a real fancy and la dee daa high rise with a view of the ocean, and when we got there all the hotel people knew Jordan cuz he had just been there just a week before, and he had made a big deal out of proposing to his sencond girlfriend, Suzi, or whatever her name was, and he did it in the lobby in front of all the hotel people because he wanted to make a show, a real special show for his girlfriend No. 2, Suzi, or whatever her name was, so here I was with my CIA contact and recruiter, and I learn that within two weeks he proposed matrimony to two girls and both accepted even though one told she would never marry him because she said Jordan was a manic deopressive who wouldn't take medicine and shit, so I truly wondered if maybe his first girlfriend was right but maybe Jordan was a fraud and a crazy man after all, but he didn't seem so crazy to me really, and he told me he was in the CIA, and the thing I've been tryin' to get to to tell you was that all during the three weeks or maybe it was four, cuz I don't really recall chronology so good, and so after three weeks or four weeks I was hangin' out with Jordan, he kept telling me he had someone he wanted me to meet if I passed the manhood test with him and shit and if I had the right stuff and shit, and so one Sunday morning at exactly 10:26 in the a.m. he calls me on the phone and he's all serious and shit, and he says that the time has come, the time has come for me to meet the big guy, and this is it, this is the guy I have to meet and impress if I'm gonna be in the CIA. I gotta meet the big guy, and so he tells me I got to get my ass immediately over to his girlfriend No. 1's apartment for the time had come, and I hurried over to Mary's cuz it was just s a mile or two from my empty apartment where I slept on the floor after leaving my x-wife, the KGB agent, for the fifth or sixth time, and just how many I cannot really be sure of, and I hurried up and got my ass over there to girlfriend No. 1's apartment and knocked on the door, and Jordan opened the door, and he had this real big friendly grin on his face indicating that this was it , this was the day I was gonna be the day when I was gonna meet the big guy from the CIA and shit, and Jordan sat me down in the living room, and I was right next to the big guy from the CIA and shit, and I was pretty nervous cuz this spook business made me pretty nervous and shit, and Jordan disappeared into the kitchen where he was fryin' up some steak and eggs for the big guy, and his No. 1 girlfriend Mary or whatever her name was was out and not there, and she was at work or something .
So I sat down next top the big guy from the CIA, and he didn't say nothing to me, and I didn't say nothing to him, and he didn't even look at me for five minutes or somethin', and so I looked him over. First off, he was drinkin' Budweiser beer out of a can, and he had really long hair. I mean, it was red and bushy and thick like a lion's mane or somethin', and it was parted down the middle and pulled back behind his ears, and then it kind of fell down to shoulder length, if you get my meaning. And his face was all red and kinda greazy like he was once a teenager with real bad acne or soemthin', but there weren't any acne scars on his facer or nothin'. And the second thing about him was that he was pretty fat, and he wasn't just in the stomach that he was fat like some men, but he was fat uniformly all over: His face was fat, and his ears were fat, and his kneck was pudgy fat, and his chest was fat so that under his T-shirt you could see both his bossoms, which looked apparently a little bit like a woman's because he was so fat there, and he had a pretty fat pot belly, and his thighs were fat, and his ankle s and feet were fat too. And he had on a pair of dirty old ratty and torn blue jeans, and I don't mean to be mean or nothin' but this big CIA guy reminded me of a pig, and not Porky the pig or nothin' but just a big, old, fat and hairy farm pig.
And as I said, he didn't say nothin' to me, and I didn't say nothin' to him, and he didn't look at me, but I looked him over real good and began to postulate that, yeah, he could be CIA all right, he could be a high-level CIA recruiter, cuz I had read a in a couple places where bona fide successful CIA agents had been recruited by sloven and alcoholic types. And that's what I thought I was lookin' at all right, a sloven and beaten down, alcoholic man and shit.
And he had a bag too. And it was a backpack really, kind of like the ones that are so popular among college and high school students, the kind with two places where you put in your arms and shit and then you wear on your back while you walk around campus and shit. And the bag was dirty and looked like it had been dragged around in the mud or somethin'.
So then he finally breaks the ice and shit and says: "So, you wanna join the company, eh?" And he had a real low voice like a baritone in an opera or whatever, and it fit his fat body perfectly somehow.
And he continued: "My name is Don, Don Kirk. Don Kirk--CIA." And he bellowed these words. I guess "bellowed" is the word--you know, he let the words out in a real low and dark and maybe even serious tonality.
And then he reached for his backpack, and by this time I was gettin' pretty nervous, cuz he said he was from the CIA and shit, and I thought this was the real thing for sure, and I was gonna be in the CIA just like I wanted to ever since I met my high school girlfriend Missy McCormack's dad, who was a bona fide spook and shit, and now I was in the presence of another bona fide spook, or so it seemed.
Yeah, he reached into his knapsack, and he had all kinds of papera and books in there, and he says, "Let me see," and he shuffles around the papers which were all dusty and dirty and wrinkled and ratty-like and shit, and then he pulled one sheet out, and said: "Here, read this."
And I held in my hands what appeared to be an old document, having been dated in the year 1969, and it looked like a carbon copy and not the original deed, and it said that this is to verify that Don Kirk worked for the CIA and the DIA in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969, and that he should be given medical benefits, in particular, for post traumatic stress disorder. And it was signed by a psychiatrist named Dr. Al Stein.
And Kirk said, "You see. They won't give me any veterans' benefits because they ain't got no record of my service, cuz I was a spook in'Nam." And then he repeated, "So, you wanna join the company, eh?" And he did not give me time to answer, and I surely would have answered in the affirmative, cuz that was my real, true life goal--to be in the CIA, that is--and he continues, "Well, I'd like to welcome you to the most fucked up organization I have ever been associated with in my entire life." And I wasn't sure what to make out of that remark, and that's about all I remember, except I remember that my hands were skaking when I read the letter from Dr. Stein, and that was because of the lithium I was taking in those days, and I'm not taking lithium now, cuz I am taking Symbiax now, and now my hands don't shake, and Jordan came in with a plate of steak and eggs for Don Kirk, and Don Kirk ate them like a hungry man, like an animal and like he hadn't been fed in the last week or two.
So like, I was kind if a superstar athlete when I was in high school out there at good old Georgetown Prep. And I played football and basketball, and I remember only two plays basically from my five years of varsity sports--three in basketball and two in football, in case your wondering.
It was a Saturday afternoon around 2 in the p.m., and it was kind of a cool and gray and and overcast day. And we were playing our archrival, Gonzaga, which hated us down to our very guts 'cause we were the ritzy prissy prep school and we had a golf course and a beautifully kept football field, and they were the inner-city school, and they didn't even have their own practice field to practice on or nothin'. And I guess you could say they were jealous of us and shit. I don't know.
And so, um, I don't remember what the score was or nothin', but it must have been pretty close cuz we always had close games with Gonzaga and I mean the year before--this was in my senior year, 1970--we beat 'em 8-6 and shit.
And so, um, it must have been third down, cuz that's the only down we threw the ball on, being pretty conservative on offense and shit, and I was the flanker back, and the call was a long pass right, which meant that I was to run straight down the field as fast as I could and pull the cornerback deep with me so the end, whose name was Randy, Randy Chacos, would cut to his right at a 45 degree angle or so into the area I had just vacated, ideally with the corner following me deep. And this is pretty much what I did. And Paul Mulroney was the quarterback, and Paul was a small guy, a real good guy quarterback and shit, and he came out of the huddle, he called some signals and shit, and then he called hike, and I took off straight down the field just like I was supposed to, and I wasn't the intended receiver, you see, Randy Chacos was, and so I was really just a decoy and shit, and I ran and ran and a couple of things happened. First, Mulroney got chased out of the pockert and was forced to move to the right over to the side of the field that me, Seamus O'Malley, and Randy Chacos were on, and second, the Gonzaga cornerback didn't do what he was supposed to do, meaning that rather than sticking deep with me he jumped up short for Randy, probably thinking that he could get an interception, and Gonzaga surely had us scouted real good, and they prob'ly new the pass was intended to go to Randy and, well, Paul Mulroney was a real smart quarterback, and he saw what was happening, and he adjusted real good, and since the Gonzaga cornerback came up short with Randy Chacos, Mulroney threw the ball to me. Now, you have to realize that by now there wasn't anybody within 10 yards of me, and I was wide open, as they say, and shit, and old Paul Mulroney lofted up the ball in the air real good, and then everything just seemed to happen in slow motion again. Like the time I got run over by a cement truck when I was 4, like God had slowed down the world for me or somethin', and I had run about 30 yards and reached the end zone, and the ball was up in the air coming to me, and I could see the ball real good, and it was a fine looking football, and I ran about eight more yards, and the ball was coming down on my right side (as my back was to the quarterback), and I just turned around counterclockwise, and the ball came down real slow, like, down to my left hip, and I put my left hand down by my left hip, and I caught the ball with my left hand with the ball wedged onto my left hip, and it was a one-handed and left-handed catch, a sensational grab, if I do say so myself, and I positioned my feet real good too. I placed my heels about two inches just inside the end zone, and then I fell back out of bounds onto my sweet tush.
There was an official right there, and he saw the whole thing, and he signaled touchdown, and the cornerback from Gonzaga came running up cursin' and swearin' like a banchee or somethin', and he was screamin, "God-damned mother fuck ! He was out! He was out!" and shit, and the official threw his yellow flag straight up into the air, and he called the lyin' cornerback for unsportsmanlike conduct, and so I guess you could say that the universe was returned to balance, and shit.
And I remember two things about this play. The first was that we always filmed all our games, and Fr. Sullivan, who taught me physics, filmed all the games and shit. And so when I was in physics class the following Monday, Fr. Sullivan apologized to me and said he didn't get my catch on film, saying that he had run out of film right in the middle of the play, and, sure enough, that afeternoon when we football players went into the gym to watch the film of the game, and when the film came to my play, there it was and everything was just fine, and I started down the field and Randy Chacos started down the field, and the Bear, we used to call Mulroney the Bear, dropped back in the pocket, and then he got forced out of the pocket, and he threw the ball real high and soft, just as the ball reached its highest point, the film began to flicker with those bits of white light until it went to all white about two or three seconds before the ball reached me in the end zone.
And the second thing is Missy McCormack used to attend all my games, and after the game I went over I met up with her as I always did after a game and said, "Hey, Missy. Hey, Missy. Did you see my catch?" And she said, "What catch?" and I said , "The catch I made in the end zone.' And she said, "Was it in the first half?" And I said, "Yeah." And she said, "I was in the library working on a term paper for 'Anna Karenina.' I only saw the second half." And she said, "Was it a good catch?" And I said "yeah, it was a good catch." And then I felt like a deflated balloon. It was only the most beautiful and most athletic play I have ever made in my entire life, and I was sad because Missy didn't see it.
When I was 10 or so--I think I was in sixth grade or so--I won an award for football from the Touchdown Club of Washington, a very prestigious organization to receive an award from. There were three awardees, I being one of them, Sonny Jurgensen from the Redskins being the second, and a fullback guy from Notre Dame or some such college. No shit. I swear to God in high heaven and shit.
And so I learned I had won the award, which meant I was the most outstanding football players in the greater Washington metropolitan area--college, high school and grade school, and I was gonna receive the award with Sonny Jurgensen, who was voted the Redskin player of the year by the Touchdown Club members, whovere they were. And so my Dad and my coach, Paul Ford, and I had to all go out and rent tuxedoes for the occasion, and none of us owned a tuxedo, but I bet Sonny Jurgensen did. And so we went out and rented tuxedoes, like I said, and then in some cold evening in January of 1964 or so, we (my Dad, Coach Ford and I) all got together and drove down to the Touchdown Club, and my father told me before we left that when I said my acceptance speech, I was supposed to express my appreciation to my coach and I was to ask my coach to stand up and take a bow of appretiation, and during the awards ceremony I learned that I averaged 10.8 yards per carry and scored 52 touchdowns or some such. I really don't remember the numbers of touchdowns, but I do remember the yards per carry, and it was 10.8 a clip, as I just stated, and even I thought this was pretty God-damned impressive, and I was one of the first awardees to be honored, and I received a this huge trophie which was almost as tall as I was, and when the officials were talking about the Notre Dame football guy, and they were giving all his stats and stuff, he didn't gain10.8 yards per clip like I did, and he was a straight A student, and when they announced that, my father leaned over to me and said, "Now there's a man, son. Now there's a man." And they honored Sonny Jurgensen too, and Sony didn't ask for his coach to stand up, but he gave a nice litltle speech about how thankful he was and how honored he was because of the Touchdown Club. And when the awards ceremony was over and everybody was headin' for the door, they rounded up all the honorees for a picture, and I got my picture taken standin' right between Sony Jurgensen and this Notre Dame football guy, and for what it's worth, I felt pretty happy.
My Swedish girlfriend. I met my Swedish girlfriend on a fine early September evening in, oh, say, it must have been 1976 or so. No, yeah, it was '76 cuz I graduated in '77 and she, being one Monika Bjornstrom, was a sophomore, and I was a senior, and we were both students at Georgetown University over there in Georgetown in good old Washington D.C. And, uh, there were these two little red-bricked buildings just outside the main entrance to the campus, and they were old buildings, around since World War II, I heard, and students used to go into them in the evening to study. So on this particular evening, I'm not sure what the day was, it was prob'ly Tuesday, Sept 13, or some such, but I don't really kow. I'd have to go back and check in an Atlas or a map or calendar or some such, but it doesn't really matter and the way it happened was like this: I had just finished "King Lear" or "Hamlet" or "The Merchant of Venice" or some shit, cuz I was and English major, and I was reading Shakespeare and shit, and I exited the building at about 8 p.m. in the evening exactly. And when I looked over to my right, there was this girl standin' there lookin' at me and shit. And despite the fact that she was about 30 yards away, I could tell that she was real pretty, and she had real long, thick blond hair, which was like a tiger's mane or somethin'. And she just stood there lookin' at me. And she was smilin' a coquettish kind of smile, and when I looked away, that is, when I looked ahead at where I was walking, looking not to the north where she was standin', but looking west, I didn't see her, but when I looked back to the north toward where she was, she was still looking at me, and I thought this was pretty cool cuz this wasn't the way American girls treated me, and I was 24 and practically a virgin for Christ's sake--with the exception of one time with my high school girlfriend, Missy McCormack, a coital event which I might describe for you at some point later in this novel. I was in effect, if you will, a virgin at 24 and shit. And so she just stood there lookin at me coquettishly like I said, and she had a glow about her of some sort. I swear to God. It was like she was an angel or some shit. And I walked a little to the west and then to the north and on over to her, and she didn't take her eyes off me and shit, and the closer I got to her the more I was sure it was love at first sight and shit, and I hadn't been in love for like six years now except for Missy McCormack, who dumped me for two of my best friends in high school, but that's another story, and maybe I will tell you it later in this novel--I don't really know for sure. And so I walked over to this blonde-haired Swedish girl who had a thick mane of blonde hair like a lion or a tiger or somethin', and I said, "Hi" and she said, "Hi." And I said "What's your name?" And she said "Monika, Monika Bjornstrom," and she said, "Whats's your name?" and I said,
"Seamus, Seamus Aloysisus O'Malley." And then we both smiled, and I kind of felt real good about her, and I was thinking that this giril was really beautiful in her features, and she asked me a bunch of silly questions, and she asked me if I wore Lacoste shirts, and I told her I didn't and that I didn't even know what a Lacoste shirt was, and she was very pleased with my answer cuz she said all the guys at Georgetown wore Lacoste shirts, and I guess we talked for about three hours, and I walked her up and over to her dorm, which was, I believed, called Healy Village, and the dorms were new red-brick apartment complexes where four students lived in each apartment, and they had a bathroom and a living room and a kitchen too and two bedrooms for four students. Yeah, well we sat for about three hours on the red-brick wall that circles that big tree up there in the middle of Healey Village, and I can't remember what all we talked about, and I probl'y talked about "Lear" since I was an Englsih major and all, and Monika told me about her family, and she first told me that she was Swedish, which I thought was reall y cool, and she said that her family had come to live in the U.S. about five or six years ago and that her Father, Bjorn Bjornstrom, was the president of Volvo of America, and I thought this was nice and shit, and it didn't quite register to me that this meant her family was rich as shit, cuz I didn't think much about money in those day, being interested in literature and art, for I minored in art, you see. So what else did Monika tell me? Her mother's name was Icha, Icha Bjornstrom, and Monica told me she had a younger brother named Pelle, Pelle Bjornstrom, and a younger sitster named Annika, who she said was a real lcool kid of about14 or 16 or so, and her name was Annika Bjornstrom. And Monika told me that she really loved her Dad but she hated his political positions because he supported Richardd Nixon and she, Monika, hated Nixon, and she thought Nixon was a dirty rat or somethin', and on and on we talked and, no, I wasn't a Nixon fan, and Monika asked me like a thousand question like I was on a job interview or somethin', and apparently I answered all her questions well, for when it was getting' to be about midnight, and Monika was sayin' that she had better go in and go to bed and shit, and I was saying yeah it was getting pretty late, and I didn't think of sleepin' with her or nothing, cuz I mean at 24 I was basically a virgin except for one time in my the front seat of my Daddy's big car on a summer night, which I might yet describe for you, because it ws a coital event that I remember a little about, so, no , I wasn't going to sleep with Monika on the first time I met her because I didn't know how to to tell you the truth, being basically a virgin with one basically technical exception with my high school girlfriend Missy McCormack in the front seat of my Daddy's car on some fine summer night when it ws all dark and pitch black where I had parked my Daddy's car, the big old white Chrysler Newport. No. I wasn't gonna sleep with Monika on this the first night I met her although I'm sure , knowing Monika the way I now do, she would have, if I had tried to put on any moves and shit. So we eventually said good night, and I was very taken with this young woman, and even though I hadn't yet started to think in terms of love, and I mean did I love her and shit, and I was quite taken by her, I am sure, cuz what I did after she went into her dorm apartment was lie out float on my back on the red brick wall that surrounded the big tree up there is Healey Village and shit, and after a minute or two Monika appeared at the window on the third floor of her dorm apartment and shit, and she opens the window and mouths, "I love you." And I thought this was pretty cool and shit, and I didn't mouth it back or nothing, cuz I wasn't thinking in terms of love and shit yet, and I just got up an shit and grabbed my Shakespeare book of "King Lear" or "Hamlet" or whatever the hell it was that I was reading in those days, and I hoofed it on home to my off-campus basement apartment up there on old 37th Street NW across from the old Western High School, which they now call Duke Ellington High School. And it was a basement apartment that I lived in, a basement in a beautiful Victorian townhouse, and I lived there with two guys, Rich and Ed, but there really not part of this story. Maybe I'll talk about them later.
And so Monika and I din't fornicate upon our first meeting, but we did fornicate upon our first date, which was a couple nights later. And we just went out to dinner, and Monika said we had to go to the Au Fruites du Mer restauarant down there in Georgetwon, down on Wisconsin Avenue just a couple blocks up from M. And Monika said we could eat lobster there, and Monika loved lobster, and the prices at the Au Fruites du Mer were real good, like $6.98 a lobster in those days. And I swear to the most almightiest of Gods, that this was true, just $6.98 a lobster back then, back in 1976 or so. And we ate lobster, and it was the first time I had ever eaten a lobster, and I thought it was pretty good, but I wsan't all crazy about it the way Monika was, and we drank a lot of white wine, two bottles, maybe, and when we were all full with lobster and drunk on wine we just sort of gravitated back to her dorm room, and she slept in the upper bunk of a bunk bed, and her roommate was out some place or somethin', and we just got into the upper bunk be and started fornicating all natural like two savage animals or soemthin', and I remember sort of rippin' off Monika's clothes like a hungry animal or somethin'. And I remember well the coital part where Monika held her legs straight up and out, and I remember coitaling away and noticing that her legs were up and out forming a sort of V-like figure, and I was wonderin' what she was doing with her legs and what was she doing that for? And then I climaxed, and then I fell asleep, and I felt really petty good and had sweet dreams because at the age of 24 I was basically for the first time really no longer a virgin.
In the morning, I got up and left for I was a waiter down there at old Clyde's bar and restaurant in Georgetown, and I had to work the Sunday bruch shift from 9 a.m. in the morning til 5 p.m. in the night, and I didn't know it at the time, but Monika was real upset when I left in the morning because, as she explained to me at some later date, her old boyfriend, who had some famous name, and I can't remember what it was, was a bus boy at some other Georgetwon restarant bar kinda place, and when they fornicated on a Saturday night and spent the night with each other in post coital bliss, he would always call in sick or somethin' so they could enjoy the morning after together, but I wasn't gonna call in sick, and I didn't know people made love in the morning, and anyway I thought coitus was something you did only at night, but what did I know? And Monika's previous boy friend, whose name I forget--Rothschild or Rockefeller or Morgan-Stanley or soemthin' famous and rich like that--dumped her real good, and Monika was very upset about this not so much because she loved him a lot or nothin', which she didn't because he always wore Lacoste shirts and that wasn't cool and shit, and she was just hurt because she had been rejected and no one had ever rejected her before, for she had previously always done the rejecting.
So, my Swedish girlfriend and I became boyfriend and girlfriend, and her father, Bjorn Bjornstrom, who was the presiden t of Volvo of America and a real nice guy, loved Richard Nixon. And I remember while we were drivin' in this giant, revved-up, super suped-up black Volvo to a professional tennis tournament at the old George Washington University that Volvo was sponsoring, in which Bjorn Borg was playin' and shit, that Mr. Bjornstrom asked me if I liked Richard Nixon, and I said no that I didn't, and I just said that I just didn't like Nixon and shit, and I just said that Nixon was a bad guy. And Mr. Bjornstrom, after Monika said all embarrassed and shit that her father actually loved Richard Nixon, said with a sharp smile on his face, "Yeah, Seamus, I love Richard Nixon. He's the only one of them all that knows how to run a country" and shit.
And I really didn't even want to talk about Bjorn Bjornstrom. I wanted to talk about his daughter Monika who became my girlfriend in my senior year at Georgetown while she was a sophomore or maybe a junior, I don't know, and I don't care to think back and figure it out because it was only about 50,000 years ago, relatively speaking and such, and I wanted to moan a little bit and cry like a big baby and say why couldn't I have been Picasso or Matisse or van Gogh so I could paint a picture of Monika so I could show you how beautiful she was, and she was really a beautiful girl, and she had these light blue eyes that were like two light blue marbles or some shit and real fair white skin with rosy cheeks like a cherub or something, and she was al little over weight, which she got from eating lobster and caviar and other expense foods, but I didn't mind at all 'cause, well, I was getting laid right and left by the girl, and I basically had never been laid before this, which was my 24th or maybe my 25th year of life on this here holy planet Earth.
So, yeah, Monika was a real beautiful girl and shit, and she had large breasts, which she said she hated because they were too big and flashy or somethin', and the way I knew this girl was hot was by the way of just walking down the street with her, and every guy who passed would look at her and turn his neck as he passed and shit. And so Monika Bjornstrom was a neck-turner, a girl who did a lot of sex with me, and she generally wore boots up to her knees and tight blue jeans and a loose-fitting wrinkled white collared shirt to try and her hide her bossoms, which she thought were too big, like I've already said, and her father said to her that in his day the boys would call Monika a "mattress," and I'd have to agree with him on that because even when we were boyfriend and girlfriend, Monika did a lot of other boys, and maybe I'll tell you about it or somethin', and maybe I won't. And after a while, after Monika had cheated on me about 10 times, I used to call her "Monika the Mattress," but I never once called her that to her face because I knew if I did she'd get all angry at me and she'd all tighten up on me and not give me any sex for at least three days, which seemed to be a long time in those days, if you know what I mean.
So, like, um, I guess I should tell you about my first nervous breakdown, which sort of occurred on March 16, 1972, which was my 19th birthday. But that's not even true or right exactly, cuz my first nervous breakdown started about a month earlier than that in mid-February of '72, when I was a freshman at good old Bucknell University up there in Lewisburgh, Pa. And I was a freshman at Bucknell University back then, and during my first year there I came across this wild and kinda whackey but for-sure extremely liberal English professor named Mike Patton. Now Prof. Patton wore dark brown cuorduroy pants and a tweed jacket and a collared shirt, and he had a very nice beard, not one of those real bushy long ones, but just kind of a short one that clung to his face real good and shit . And he had us--there were seven of us in his class, and it was a special seminar class for freshman, and we did't even have tests or have to write papers or anything for all we did was read, think and talk, and that's what Prof. Mike called his course--"Read, Think and Talk," and we read a book called "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," which was all about some poor tenant farmers in the south and how dignified they were and how shafted they were by society, which just sort of sat idly by not doin' a God-damned thing for the poor, and what do the poor matter? was the kind of morality of society, and we, Prof. Patton and seven students, all got upset and shit about the economic inequity of the situation and said this was wrong and shit, and we got exercised a bit and shit, and oh, yeah, I was supposed to tell yo about my first nervous breakdown, and I've had six official ones--six official nervous breakdowns, that is--where I've had to go into hospitals and act all sensitive and feeling and caring and shit, or else I was gonna find myself all locked up for an entire lifetime inside St. Elizabeth's with John Hinkley or soemthin' and shit. So what I remember about my first nervous breakdown is this: I was sittin' in the window sill of my dorm room at 202 Trax Hall on the freshman quad at Bucknell University. And it was the second or third week in February, and it was a real warm and sunny day, and I was wearing my Frye square-tipped, banana-yellow Cowboy boots and my bell-bottomed, hip-hugging blue jeans pants with my red and yellow cloth belt and my blue cotton collared shirt, and I was just sitting there, and it was about 9 a.m. in the morning, and I was sitting cross-ways on the window sill, and in fact I had both my boots on the window sill itself, and my back was leaning against the left side of the window--what I'm tryin' to say is that I wasn't sittin straight out the window with my feet hanging out the wind, but rather that I was sitting crossways--and I was smoking a joint of marijuana. And the joint was good marijuana and shit, and it was powerful stuff, and I smoked the whole thing all the way down all by myself for there wasn't anybody else in the room, and my roommate was off for his 9 a.m. in the morning economics class and shit, and I clenched my eyes closed real tight after a couple of the hits, and I held the marijuana in for as long as I possibly could, for I did want to get high, and hell, I was high after the second or third toke and shit, and I must have had about 15 tokes by the time I finished the whole joint. So, yeah, well, I was wrecked as hell, I guess, right then and there, and well I was, well, insane, kinda like I was on a permanent acid trip or somethin'. And I started thinking that what we freshman at Bucknell needed was a good old-fashioned orgy. And I figured that I would have to go over to the girls' dorm and invite a bunch of girls into our shower stall, where we would all get naked and have lots of soap and suds and all the showers on, and there were seven or eight showers in the boys' bathroom, and they were all open showers with no dividers or nothin' between them, and mostly, though. I was just sittin' and taking in how beautiful the day was, and then I was in downtown Lewisburg, right off campus, and I was squinting my eyeballs 'cause the sun was so strong, and it was real strong, psychidelically strong even, and then I went back to my room, and I got a notebook and pen, and I started writing poems in the notebook, crazy poems, poems that made no sense, and I started walking around the campus, and I think I was talking out loud to myself, and I'd write a crazy nonsensical poem and tear a sheet of paper out of the notebook and throw it in the air, and then I was in the foyer of the student union building, and some senior guy with long hair came up to me and said, "Hey, man, are you on acid? You really seem like your tripping." And I said no I wasn't tripping, and then it was night, and I was all alone in my room, and there was a knock on the door, and it, the knock, that is, scared me a lot cuz I knew they were comin' to get me, and I opened the door of my dormitory room there at old 202 Trax, and it was John Gartner at the door, and Gartner was a senior and the RA, resident assistant, that is, who lived just two doors down from me on our floor, and also at he door was the senior whom I saw in the student union building earlier that day and they said, "Okay, Seamus. You're coming with us," and I was all paranoid and shit. And I thought these guys were rttalking sexually to me, meaning I thought they wanted me to come with them so they could fuck me in my butt or soemthin'--I swear to God this is what I thought,-- and then real quickly I calmed down, and my paranoia went away, and I said, "Okay. Where are we going?" And Gartner said "To the psychologist's." And I thought that was a pretty good idea cuz I could sense that I was crazy, and crazy people need psychologists and shit, don't they? So I walked arm in arm with Gartner and this other senior guy for a couple blocks or so, and they brought me into this building and then into the room of a building, and the room had a big official looking table with lot of papers on it, and there were books on the table too, and there were some chairs in front of the table, so I sat down in one of the chairs, and Gartner and the other guy left, and I was all alone, having my first nervous breakdown, and I started thinkin' that I would sure like another joint right about now, and then the door to the room opened and this man dressed in a suit and vest and tie walks in and sits down behind the desk and folds his hands on the desk all official like and shit, and he says, "Well, Seamus, what is it that you would like to do right now more than anything else in the world?" And I said, "Sleep." And then he, the psychologist, said, "Well, then. Why don't you?" And with that I said "Okay. I will." And I lay out in front of the desk on the floor, which by the way was carpeted, and the psychologist left the room, and Gartner and the other guy came back in, and they said, "Come on, Seamus. Your're coming with us." And I got all paranoid again, and I thought that these boys were homosexuals and desiring my 19-year-old body, but the paranoia went away pretty quickly, and I eventually said, "Okay, I'll come with you," and we walked out into a pitch black night. And I mean it was pitch black, and it was if somebody had taken a canon and shot the moon from the sky, and I don't know where the stars were 'cause usually in Lewisburg, which is where Bucknell is, you could see the stars and billions of them real good too, but not on this night, no, everything on this night was pitch black. And Gartner and I and this other senior guy walked arm in arm, and they led the way, and I was in the middle, and I just followed along with them, and by now my paramoia had receded, and I was no longer feeling that I was on the verge of being violated by two male seniors at Bucknell University. And we got into a car, and we all sat up front, and I sat in the middle, and the guy who asked me earlier in the day if I was on LSD drove the car, and all I can remember is the lights of the car coming on, and it was a mystical or magical moment or somethin' because suddenly there were these two perfect triangular beams of light in the otherwise perfectly black night, and I just stared, mesmerized in wonderment at the beams of light, and it was as if I were on LSD or some shit. And that's the only way I can explain it. And we left the campus and turned right on good old Rt 15 North, and after a short while we pulled up to a stop next to this small building, and I knew then that we were at a hospital of some sort, and when we got out of the car we were walking arm in arm again the three of us, with me in the middle, and I knew it was a hospital because there was a shiny hallway with gurneys here and there just like when I was in Georgetown University Hospital when I was 4 and when I had been run over by a cement truch, and we just walked into a room, and there was a bed there with the back cranked up quite a bit, and I got in the bed as if I knew that I had to, and I lay on my back with my hands folded in my lap, and Gartner had a bag, a leather bag that my sister Rose had given me and sticking out of the bag was a red book, the complete works of William Blake, which I thought at the time was verysignificant.
A nurse came in, and she was dressed all in white and had one of those funny white things on her head, the things that nurses used to wear in the old days, and she was holding a small paper cup, and she and Gartner and the other guy kind of huddled up with their backs to me, and I started to get real scared again, and then all three of them turned around at the same time, and now Gartner was holding the paper cup, and he leaned over me, and he held the paper cup out to me like right in front of my face, and he said like he was some kinda monster or something. "Here, Seamus! Drink! It's papyra juice!" And I was real scared and I thought for a moment that the contents of the cup was some kind of poison and that I was gonna die real soon, but then that thought went away real quick, and I took the cup and drank its content, which was a deep yellow in color, and it tasted terrible like rotten oranges or somethin', and I fell asleep within a few minutes after I drank the contents of the cup, and I think that was my first taste of liquid Thorazine.
When I awoke, it was morning, and I was starving hungry. The lights in the hospital were painfully bright, and I squinted a lot, and I made my way out of my bed and out of my room, and I can't remember whether I was wearing my blue jeans outfit-no, I remember now. I was just in one of those little hospital gounds, and I went out of my room, and I was starving, and I canme to the room next to mine, and it wasn't a room of hospital patients, but it was a utility room or somethin', and it didn't have the electrocution zapper machine that the real psychiatric hospitals have because this wasn't a psychiatric hadpital I was in, it was just a regular old hsospital, and there was a refrigerator in the room, and I started thinkin' of how much I would enjoy a steak right about now, when over the past three weeks I had eaten nothing but a little Life cereal and milk every now and again 'cause that's all I could stomach, and I had lost my appetite basically completely except for a litlle Life cereal and milk, as I said just to keep me goin', and now, though, having downed a shot of liquid Thorazine I was famishedly hungry, and I opened the refrigerator door looking for a big steak, but all I found was a bunch of medicines, insulin and liquid Thorazine and shit.
I made my way down the hall and past the nurses' station, where ther were some nurses and doctors, and they were all dressed in white, even the doctors, and I came to a litltle room which had a couple sofas and some tables with magazines on them. Then a nurse came up to me and clamped her hands to her hips real hard, and she wore one of those funny things on her head like nurses did in those days, and she said. "Mr. O'Malley, you're supposed to be in your room." And this scared me, and I said, okay, I'd go back to my room, and so I was real paranoied now, and the nurse was walking behind, walking with me step for step, and every time I passed a room another person dressed all up in white got in line behind the nurse who was tailing me until there was a line of four or five or six of them, and they were all following me, and I was getting really paranoied now, and I made it back to my room, and I hopped onto my bed and lay on my back, and they-the people in white--surrounded me around my bed, and there was a nurse or a doctor all around me everywhere I looked, and somebody said sternly, "Now, listen, Mr. O'Malley. You're gonna just have to calm down." And I shot back very quickly that I was calmed down even though I wasn't, and then somebody said, "Calm down, Mr. O'Malley," and I then sort have said kinda loud that I was calmed down, and somebody said, "Calm down, Mr. O'Malley!" again real sternly like, and the I screamed as loud as I could that I was fucking calmed down, and then they all at once grabbed me--12 hands on me maybe--and then they flipped me over on the bed, and then they opened my gown in the back and exposed my buttocks, and then they jabbed a huge hyperdermic needle into my ass, and I was still screamin, "I am calmed down! I am calmed down!" And I said this over and over, and each time I said it I was quieter and quiter, until after about 35 seconds or so when I was real quiet and real calm and then within about 45 seconds or so after being jabbed by a hyperdermic needle I was unconscious and in fact asleep.
I don't know how long I was out, but when I awoke I was alone in my room. I got out of the bed and went into the hallway, and I was real hyper now, and I turned to my left this time, having turned right the first time I left my room, and then a miracle occurred. There was a girl in the room next to me on my left, and I had seen her before on campus. She was a sophomore, and she was thin and beautiful, and she had long dark brown hair. And when I saw her there, she was just lyin' there on her back with the back of the bed propped up and shit, and I was thinking there was a God and He had put this woman on Earth just for me because she was so beautiful and shit, and I had fallen in love with this girl when I saw her leaving the biology lecture hall once or twice during the previous semester, and I walked into her room, and she kind of looked at me, and I had read her name which had been listed on a door plate on her door, and her name was Pamela A. Beagle, and I said to her, "Your name is Pamela?" and I mispronounced the name, accentuating the second syllable, and she smiled and laughed some and said, "No, silly. My name is Pamela," and she pronounced her name correctly. And I went up to her as she lay in her bed, and I turned around and sat on her bed right next her and shit, and it felt like a sacred moment, and I really can't decscribe it, and I took my right hand and gently palced it on her hip sort of close enough to her mound of Venus which I really couldn't feel but which I could sense, and I left my hand there for about three of four seconds or maybe five seconds, and then I flifted my hand up and got off the bed and quicly returned to my room.
Soon after that, my father showed up with two of my sisters, and we got in his car, the big white Chrysler, and my Dad drove, and me and my sisters sat in the back seat with me in the middle for the three- or four-hour drive back to Washington, where my parents lived.
I don't believe anybody said a word for the whole three or four hours. I stayed at my parents' home for a couple of weeks, I am told, and I don't remember much, but I was mad as lunatic the whole time, and I didn't sleep or eat or nothin', and my parents were all waiting for a bed to open up for me at Sibley Memorial Hospital's psychiatric ward, and then on my 19th birthdy, that would be March 16, 1972, my father came to me and said, "Come on, boy. You're coming with me." And I said, "Are we going to a party?" and I was thinking that maybe there was a surprise birthday party somewhere for me, and my Dad said, "Yeah, we're going to a party, son." And we got in the car, and we drove a mile or so south on old Nebraska Avenue and then a mile or so down old Loughborough Road, and we pulled into the parking lot of Sibley Memorial Hospital. I didn't realize where we were, and I just walked along wherever my father went, thinking that we were going to a party or somethin'. My Dad and I walked into the hospital lobby, and we took an elevavator to the 13th floor. There when we got out were two wooden doors which were locked. Like another rmiracle, the doors opened up, and I then I understood I was supposed to go in. And I walked past my Dad saying nothing to him--I wasn't mad or nothin', and I wasn't thinking that he had double-crossed me or nothin', and I just walked straight in, being resigned to the idea that that was what I was supposed to do and that this was how the cards were dealt and what not, and fate too, I figured I was in a hospital and I figured I was fated to walk into this psychiatric ward, and before I knew it I was walking with seven or eight people around me, and they were all dressed in white, and one of them kept asking me, "Do you hear voices? Do you hear voices?" and I said "Yes, I hear voices" and I know this might be hard to understand, but I meant that I heard the voices of the poets like good old William Blake and good old Walt Whitman and good old T.S. Eliot and shit, the poets I had read in my first semester at Bucknell. But that's what I said, I said, "Yes, I hear voices," and they thought I was as nutty as John Hinkley or somethin', and they thought that if I had a gun I might try to shoot somebody or maybe myself or maybe even the president or somethin' or some such.
Yeah they thought I was as crazy as John Hinkley and had better be locked up. Maybe even sent to St. Elizabeth's.
So I guess I could tell you about my time in Sibley's psychiatric ward, but I don't really remember a whole lot. I mean, there was this old, real tan, skinny man whose name I don't recall, so let's call him Jack, and Jack was sort of the catatonic type. He just sort of stood around real still and unmoving and stared at the walls because he was so depressed, and he never talked or nothing, and he seemed like a real nice guy and all, as far as I could tell considering the situation, but I really didn't know if there was much hope for him cuz he was cataotonic for like three weeks or seomethin' and then my doctor, who was also Jack's doctor , took Jack and drugged him all up real good with some kind of tranquilizers that knocked his ass out, and they strapped him down on a gurney and rolled him into the electroconvulsion shock therapy operating room, and they applied electrodes to his brain and electrocuted him him 10, 12, maybe 13 times, I don't know for sure, and this was on a Thursday, and on Friday, which was the day after the electrocution, my doctor gave Jack a weekend pass, which meant that Jack got to go home with his wife for the weekend and shit, and I never got no weekend passes or nothin' when I was locked up in Sibley, and I was locked up for a month, but, anyway, Jack went home for the weekend, and his apartment burned down, and when Jack was back in the ward I asked him what he did when his apartment burned down, and Jack said he just laughed and laughed and laughed, and I asked Jack if he told his doctor (my doctor, that is), that he, Catonic Jack, laughed when his apartment burned down, and Jack said yes he told our doctor this, and the doctor said he could go home then after 24 more hours in Sibley just for observational purposes, that he was healed now since he could laugh at his apartment burning down, and he could go home, so Jack got out before I did, and I know I wouldn't have laughed if my apartment burned down. I'd be upset and shit, and I sure as hell wouldn't laugh about it, and how can you release from a psychiatric hospital a guy who laughs like a madman or sosmethin' when his apartment burns down? But who understands the world of psychiatry anyway?
And my doctor's name was Frank Moscorino, and he was a tall man of about 6'5", and he always wore neatly tailored expensive suits with brand new shiny ties and freshly shined wing tips shoes, and he drove a two-door Mercedes Benz, and he was always smiling and shit, and I didn't like him one bit, and sure, yeah, I thought he was a phony just like Holden Caufield would have thought about him, and Dr. Moscorino was always smiling as if life on earth was supposed to be a fun adventure or somethin', and he said to me, he said, "Seamus, life can be a breeze if you want it to be," And, he said, "Seamus, you worry too much." And the first day I saw good old Dr. Moscorino was just about 12 hours after the psychiatric staff had stuffed a bunch of thorazine pills down my mouth or somethin', and so I finally fell asleep for the first time in about a month or somethin', and there I was, Seamus Aloysius O'Malley III, lyin' in my bed with my cowboy boots on and my blue jeans on and my blue shirt on and with an orange and blue belt wrapped around my waist, for I refused to disrobe in front of all the people in white who were there in Sibley psychiatric ward and shit, and there I was, lyin' on my back fully clothed and fully booted, and I'm in this room that's got this big old thick black grate on the window, so I can't jump out and kill myself--I, being on the 13th floor of Sibley Memorial Hospital and lyin' on my back and propped in bed, and good old Dr. Moscorillo sticks his head in my room, just his head, just inside my door, and he looks like some kinda clown, and he, all happy and shit, says, "Good morning, Seamus! I'm you doctor!" And I said after I thought for a couple of silent moments, "Well, doctor, what am I doin' here?" and he, still all animated and shit, says, "Seamus, you've been acting crazy. I'll see you tomorrow morning." And with that he disappeared, and my room was all empty once again, except for me, me and my bed, for the room had no furniture, just the bed in which I was in, and the shiny floor which looked like marble, which I hated for some reason. And when I woke up the second morning, after the staff had stuffed 15 or 20 Thorazine pills down my throat, Dr. Moscorillo popped his head, just his head, inside my door, and he said, "Seamus?" And I didn't say a word to him 'cause I had this guy pretty well chalked up as a real phony with his shiny shoes and new suit and shit, and I, lyin' there on my back in the bed which was propped up, just lifted my right hand and gave old Dr. Moscorino the finger. And to my surprise Dr. Moscorino didn't get upset or angry or nothin', and instead he seemed to like my gesture, and he let out a big laugh like a guffaw or somethin', and he said, "Seamus, you're doing much better today. I'll see you in the morning," and then he just disappeared from my room again, and I didn't really know what to think. Good old Dr. Frank Moscorino sure had me confused, and I guess that's the way he wanted it to be. I guess confusing me was part of my therapy.
And I was in Sibley Memorial psychiatric ward for four whole fucking weeks, cuz that was all my insurance would pay for, and I would have been in there longer if my insurance would have paid for it, but it didn't.
And so Dr. Moscorino used to come visit me in my room every day, and he started actually entering my room with his whole tall body, and he would stand by my bedside, all erect and shit, and he used to come into my room with two other doctors, younger guys. And I think they were interns or somethin', and on about the seventh or eighth or ninth day or so, Dr. Moscorino comes in with the two interns by his side, and one intern's got a go-t beard and looks like Sigmund Freud or somethin', and the second one was a black guy who was all short and fat and shit. And the three of them were like the Three Stooges or somethin' if you ask me, and they used to come right up to my bedside and then they would lean forward so that they were like almost hangin' over me or soemthin'. And Dr. Moscorillo was all serious and shit on this particular day, and he wasn't all happy and stuff for a change, and he says, "Now, Seamus. We have your diagnosis." And then he paused for a few seconds, I suppose, to build up the suspense and the seriousness of the matter at hand. And then he says, "You are a schizophrenic," and then he paused for what seemed to be like 10 seconds or somethin', and then he continued. "And all three of us are in agreement, and I've talked with your mother about this, and she seems to be taking the news quite well, and she wants to know if you will have to take medicine all your life, and I told her I just don't know. And I didn't say anything or ask any questions or shit or anything, and I just decided to hide my feelings and not let old Dr Moscorino know what I was really felling, and I just said, "Okay. Fine. Go away." And with that the three good doctors stopped leanin' over me the ways they did when they were at my bedside, and they stood erect and turned and left my room, and now I'm tempted to say that I started to cry, but I didn't cry really, because it's not the worst thing in the world to hear for the first time in your life that you're a schizophrenic or somethin'. I did feel awfully bad though, sort of like I did when I was 4 and got run over by the cement truck. But I didn't cry. I just started thinkin': "Shit! I hope they don't lock me up in St.Elizabeth's." Cuz when you're in on the inside of a psychiatric ward and they've locked the doors on you, you just never know for sure if you're ever gonna get out.
So I guess I'll tell you a little bit more about my Swedish girlfriend, Miss Volvo, as a good buddy of mine used to call her, since I don't know what else to talk about and shit. And, uh, yeah, we hit it off there pretty good and shit and started fornicating after our first official date like a pair of banshees or somethin', and we were coitusing all over the place and two and three times a day and on the floor and in the kitchen of her dorm apartment and shit and sometimes at 11 in the a.m. in the morning and sometimes at 11 in the p.m. and shit. And we even fornicated outdoors once in the Dunbarton Oaks woods, as I recall, and we stuck together like a real boyfriend and real girlfriend was supposed to and shit, and we didn't asleep with nobody else or nothin' through the whole first semester of my senior year. And then during my second semester I was taking a poetry writing class and for that class I had to keep a journal, and so I got pretty embarrassed cuz what I did in my journal was not to write about poetry or about how I could become the second William Butler Yeats or somethin' but instead I wrote all about how me and Monika Bjornstrom fornicated, and I duly noted the exact locations and positions and shit, and my treacher collected our journals and read them once a week, and then he returned them to us promptly with comments, and basically all he ever said about mine was : "Wow, Seamus, you're doing just fine," or some such. And so, yeah, about my Swedish girlfriend and me: We got along real good and had sex all the time in various positions and places and shit, and then my Swedish girlfriend made some decisions. First off, she decided that she was going to return to Sweden for a year to take time to see if she really wanted to get a degree from good old Georgetown U, like her Poppa wanted her to, or whether she wanted to live in Sweden for the rest of her whole life, cuz I mean politically speaking, she was basically a communist or somethin'. A real liberal anyway. So her first decision was that she was taking her junior year off and returning to Sweden, but there was a catch, and the catch was she wanted to go to Sweden in May when school finished, but I had to stay in D.C. and take two summer courses to finish my degree. And so at first she said she'd wait for me through the summer and that we could go together in September, but she changed her mind on that pretty quickly, and my Swedish girlfriend said: all coy and presumably sexy and shit, "Now, Seamus, you wouldn't mind if I leave for Sweden in May after finals--would you?--and we can meet in September in Sweden. Isn't that a good plan? And you don't mind now, do you, Seamus?" And I said shoot no I didn't mind, and she could spend the summer playing with her two good Swedish buddies, Birgitta and Maja Berg, and that was cool, and I could finish up my degree in Englsih literature and art, and we'd spend the summer apart and have a grand reunion come September in Gothemburgh, and we'd start fornicatin' again just like we had done for a whole school year at Georgetown, and so Monika left me and D.C. toward the end of May and went to Sweden, and I satyed and took two courses , a TV production course and a drama course in which we read "Valpone or the Fox" by some great writer whose name I now some 30 odd years later cannot remember. Maybe it was Ben Johnson. I can't be for certain, though. And so I had a lonely summer and did not fornicate with anyone ,and I wrote these really nice love letters to Miss Volvo, telling her how much I missed her and how much I needed her and how much I wanted her, when what I really wanted was to get back to all the fornicating we had been doing, truth be told. And, well Miss Volvo, aka Monika the Mattress, didn't exactly return all my letters, and in fact she wrote me very sparingly, and when she did write she told me stuff like I should live for each day, and she was having fun with Birgitta and Maja, and they were doing things and meeting new people and shit, so I knew pretty well right away that Monika was over there in Sweden, wherever the hell that is, and she was fornicating with one or more men 'cause I could just tell from the tone of her letters and I could read between the lines and stuff and nobody has ever called me a dummy or nothin'. Well, at the time I thought I was gonna be a great writer or a great artist of some sort (and I didn't even think of bein' a spy in those days), so I just said to myself that you know all her fornicating with another man or other men is just what you have to go through 'cause you are an artist and shit and what great artist didn't suffer like this and shit? And so I made a plan. In September I would take a plane from New York to Brussels, and then I would hitch-hike to old gay Paris, and I would fornicate with one or two French women, since I has heard that French women were quick to fornicate, sort of just like my Swedish girlfriend, and then I'd figure a way to get to Sweden somehow maybe by means of another jet plane or somethin'. I didn't know, but it didn't matter. So there I was, Sept. 15, 1977, takin' a jet plane from New York to Brussels, wherever the hell that is, and from there I was gonna hitch-hike on down to good old Paris and get laid and shit, and everything would be nice and the world would be returned to balance or some shit.
Except my plan didn't work out. I got off the plane in Brussels, and everybody was speaking languages which I did not know, French or Italian or some shit', and all the street signs were in French and all the maps were in French, and I didn't even know how to say, "Bon jour" in French in those days, and I didn't know which way Paris was 'cause I wasn't sure where north was, and I wasn't sure where south was, and I was pretty sure Paris was south of Brussels, but actually at that point, being disoriented from being abroad and all, I wasn't certain that Paris was south of Brussels, and I just picked up my luggage, which was an old white laundry bag stuffed with underwear and a suede woolen jacket 'cause I heard the weather in Sweden was pretty cold and shit, and then I walked out of the airport, and I really felt like I was trippin' or somethin', and I didn't know which way Paris was so, I just stuck my thumb out as I was walkin' along the road, and as if it were an act of God, this little two-door car--all the cars in Europe are little two-doors -pulls over, and there's this guy in the car, and he says in English with a heavy Belgian accent, "Where are you goin'?" and I tell him I'm goin' to Paris and shit, and he says, "How are you getting' there?" and I say I'm gonna hitch-hike and did he by the way know which way I should hitch-hike in order to get to good old gay Paris and shit, and he tells me I'm crazy, and I'm thinkin' I've been told that before, and he says he'll take me to a youth hostel and that I should stay there for the night and then take a train up to Kiel, Germany, where I could get a boat to good old Gothemburgh, Sweden, whevever the hell that was. And so I said, "Okay, yeah, sure, and, well, maybe you're right," and I got out at the youth hostel, and I went in with my laundry bag and looked around and saw all this unsavory Arab-looking types, and I felt none to comfortable, so I made up my mind to find the train station and to take a train across Belgium and then to Kiehl and then to take a boat to good old Gothemburgh, wherever the hell that was, and thank you very much and shit.
And so I was walkin' down this street, having left the youth hostel, not knowin' where the hell I was, thinking sort of maybe I should take a train to Paris, and I could fornicate for a night or two there in gay Paris, and everything in Brussels was gray, and I was walking along in all these gray surroundings and shit, and then I came across three boys who were kicking around a soccer ball, and they were maybe 9 or 10 or some such, and I asked 'em if they knew where the train station was, and one of 'em said, "Oui!" And he, the one who answered, took me by the hand and led me for about four blocks to the train station. Well, I made my decision there to scratch good old gay Paris from my itinerary, because I didn't know which way was south and because I was feelin' quite disoriented like I already mentioned, and I decided to go straight to Sweden via Kiehl, Germany. And so I bought a ticket to Kiel.
I got on a train and bought a sandwhich from the guy rolling this cart of sandwhiches down along the interior of the train, and I drank a beer, which made me feel real good, and it was the best beer I had ever tasted and shit.
And when I got to Kiehl some 20 hours later or some such, it was dark night, and I figured that I couldn't catch a boat until morning, so I went to some hotel, and it was the ritziest looking place I had ever seen, and I knew I couldn't afford it, but I had to do somethin', so I walked right in and asked for a room, and the porter was a real nice German man, and he told me they were all full up and shit and that all the hotels in Kiehl were all full up and shit, so I went outside and walked around d until I found a bench, and I put my laundry bag on one end of the bench, and I put my head on the laundry bag and lay out on the bench and went to sleep. I guess it was a bout midnight or so, but I didn' tknow for sure cuz I didn't have a watch or nothin' and shit, and every two hours or so, I'd get woken up by German plolicemen who would drive by in their little police cart and flash a spot light on my face, and then finally it was morning, and I found a butcher shop, and I didn't know a word of German, so I just mimed for a meat sandwhich, and the German butcher and his wife figured out pretty quickly what I wanted and made me this huge bologna sandwhich with mustard. And I ate the sandwhich and shit, wolved it down actually, and then I went to the boat station and bought a ticket for Gothemburgh, wherever the hell that was, and then I got on the boat, and I bought a cabin and went to sleep and when I woke up it was all misty and cool and velvety gray and brown or somethin', and there were these little, brown rock islands all over the place. And I'm failing miserably here at describing the scene, and it really is too bad that I'm not Picasso or Matisse or van Gogh or somebody like that, for then I could have painted what had to be the most wondrous sight I have ever seen in all of my 54 years on this planet: the coast of Sweden as I approached Gothemburgh.
And when I got to Gothenburgh I found Monika pretty quickly, 'cause she had told me which street car to take and shit, and she was all happy to see me when we met up, and she was speakin in Swedish, and I had to keep tellin' her to speak in Englsih, cuz I didn't speak a word of Swedish and shit, and she took us immediately to our apartment, which was a tiny efficiency with a small kitchen and no hot water and a shared toilet out in the hallway and a twin mattress on the floor. And so we began to fornicate just like back at good old Georgetown U and shit, and then we got into this litltle Volvo rental car, which her Poppa had gotten for her, although Monika never took anything from her Poppa, mind you, and shit, and we went to this fishing village called Mallosund, where her family owned a house, and we fornicated there some more, and it was after we had fornicated for the third time or so there in Mollosund that Monika broke the news to me. She said, "I've been really bad." And I prepared myself real good knowin' that she had fornicated with some other guy during the summer while we were apart, cuz I could tell from the tone of her letters which were infrequent and chastising, like I already told you, and Monika continued, and she said, "I've been really, really bad." And I think I started to say something, and I was trying to remind myself that I was an artist and artists go through this sort of shit, and then she said, "I'm pregnant, and I'm having an abortion on Tuesday." This, I think, was a Friday.
I had my first of drink of alcohol when I was 14. It was me and Timmy O'Day. We got his brother, Harry O'Day, to buy us a sixpack of Iron City beer for like a dollar and a quarter or somethin'. And Harry bought the beer at the old Leed's Liquor Store up there on the northeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Van Ness Street. And I can't remember where Harry gave us the beer, but it was in a brown bag, and me and Timmy took it into the woods behind the old Hot Shoppes that was on the southwest corner of Wisconsin and Van Ness, and we took the six pack back into the woods with us, and Timmy had poured a little container full of bourbon from his mother's bottle of bourbon beneath the kitchen sink at his house, and Timmy drank some of the bourbon, but I wouldn't touch the stuff. I drank some of the beer and didn't like it much either. I don't think I finished even the whole can, but Timmy might have gotten a litltle tipsy cuz he took pretty many swigs of the bourbon and drank two of the cans of Iron City. That was the first time I ever drank. We drank there a few more times in the spring of '67 with the Baptista brothers and Ray Evans, and after he took a few sips Ray would always act like he was drunk, and maybe he was 'cause he was thin and he had a small constitution, and he used to tuck his hands up under his armpits and go walkin' around in circles, flapping his arms up and down as of they were wings and making bawk, bawk-bawk, bawk sounds like a rooster or a hen or something. The rest of us had to drink at least a whole beer before we were tipsy, and we spent most of the time when we were drinking just tryin' to figure out if the alcohol was taking effect or not.
What's a novel? Isn't a novel something that has a story that has a beginning and a middle and an end? I'm not sure I'm writing a novel, but I'm trying to.
So I once went out with this girl once. Her name was Scarlet. Scarlet Bezoomian, or something like that.
And I met Scarlet at Clyde's in Georgetown, where she started off as a hostess in the back patio room. And don't get me wrwong, Scarlet was a fine-looking woman, she was 21 at the time, and she had pretty dark brown skin and jet black hair and eyebrows, and she was small, petite, I guess you might say. She was about 5'5 and couldn't have weighed a hundred pounds.
Now all the guys at Clyde's--all the waiters and bartenders and chefs and all the dishwashers--thought Scarlet was a real, genuine, bona fide, Grade A piece of ass. And they'd come on to Scarlet when they were passing her at the hostess station out there on the patio down there at Clyde's with its glassed-in roof and what not, and Scarlet didn't like that very much. Deep down inside she considred it a compliment, but on the outside she felt slighted or insulted or something like that, and to borrow a phrase from my Daddy, Scarlet wouldn't give them the time of day.
Now when I was descrbing Scarlet to you and I mentioned how all the boys of Clyde's lusted after her and shit, I meant to mention that I kind of had a different take on Scarlet. I mean, don't get me wrong or nothin', I thought Scarlet was pretty and all, but she reminded me of a bug. And this was because she had big brown eyes that were set far apart on her head. So to me she looked like some kind of beetle or somethin'.
And Scarlet used to wear tight pants. Yeah, they were real tight and sexy and not quite to the point of being camel toes, and all the boys loved Scarlet's pants, and they said they were real hot and shit, but I thought they were sort of meretricious or somethin', if you want to know the truth.
One time--it wasn't during a Sunday brunch because I always worked the Sunday brunches, and I didn't see it happen but I just heard about it. Well, anyway, one day when Scarlet was wearing a pair of white pants, and she wore 'em real tight and just to the point of camel toe but not quite camel toe, and she got her period, and she didn't have a tampon in, so she bleeded some blood in he crotch area, and the blood from her period stained her white pants around her crotch. Scarlet didn't notice, so she just kept on greeting people and seating them with her stained crotch and whatnot, and nobody said anything because everybody was a little embarrassed and didn't know quite what to say, and then the manager, a big tall guy with a beard who brushed his hair straight back, Kenneth Watts was his name, noticed that Scarlet had a problem, and he told Scarlet what the problem was, and Scarlet was mortified and shit, and Kenneth calmed Scarlet down, and he took her downstairs into the basement of old Clyde's and gave her an apron and threw her pants in the washer and then washed and dried them, and Scarlet borrowed a tampon from one of the waitresses and was back in business, as they say, in about 30 minutes.
Now Scarlet was a good worker, but hostesses at Clyde's don't make much money. The waiters and waitresses make pretty good money, though, and so Scarlet let it be known that she wanted to be a waitress, and after awhile they promoted Scarlet and she became a waitress. And Scarlet worked Sunday brunches with me, and we used to slice the fruit--two 40 pund boxes of lemons and two 40-pound boxes of limes--in the morning around 8 in the a.m. before brunch started. And Scarlet and I got to be good friends and shit. And we used to talk about all kinds of stuff--I can't remember what exactly, but I know Scarlet used to mention how all the boys were always hittin' on her and how she thought this was obnoxious and vulgar and crude and stuff, and Scarlet was a Catholic. And these conversations between me and Scarlet went on every Sunday for two or three months, and Scarlet said she appreciated how I didn't come on to her, and Scarlet said I was different from the rest and that I "had a good heart." And I thanked Scarlet and all and said I thought that that was very nice.
And I had to leave in September of '77 to go to Sweden. So on my last Sunday at Clyde's I said good-bye to Scarlet, and I told her I didn't know if I was coming back because my Swedsh girlfriend thought she might choose to live her life in Sweden, and if she did I would probably stay with her and shit, and I suggested that if I did come back we should have a cup of cooffee or somethin', and Scarlet seemed to like the idea and said, yeah, why don't we do that.
And so I went to Sweden and stayed for exactly a year. Yeah, I left for old Sweden, wherever the fuck that is, on Sept. 15, 1977, and I returned on Sept. 15, 1978. I think. I'm pretty sure, but I guess the exact dates don't matter so much, but I was gone for a year.
And while I was in Sweden, my Swedish girlfriend, Monika Bjornstrom, aka Miss Volvo, aka Monika the Mattress, told me she was pregnant, and I asked her if it was by me and she said no it was by some Swedish guy she had slept with over the summer, and she was really sorry, and my Swedish girlfriend and I lived in a tiny efficiency without a bathroom really, and Monika had one poster on the wall, and it was one of those melodramatic shots of Che Guevara in his little French beret hat looking off and out into the distance and shit, and I didn't even know who the hell Che Guevara was in those days, 1977, for I had studied Englsih and art and not global affairs or international relations or some shit.
So, yeah, I was talking about Scarlet but kind of got side-tracked on my Swedish goirlfriend and how she got pregnant and all and not by me, and well, what happened was my Swedish girlfriend and I broke up after six months of life together in Sweden in the litlle efficiency with the Che Guerva poster on the wasll, and we broke up because Monika wanted her freedom, or maybe she just got sick of me, the way lots of young couples get sick of one another, but anyway, I moved into another apartment, and I moved in with this guy named Per and everybody used to call him Pelle and I forget his last name, maybe it was Swenson or Johanson or somethin', and Per was good friends with the Berg sisters. Brigitta ans Maja, but the point is I lived with Pelle, and he was a real nice guy and shit, and he was a member of some socialist psychology group of about 10 people, five boys and five girls, and they all took turns sleeping with one another, so I guess it was a sex group of sorts too, in addition to being a social psychology group, although Per always called it his psychologicy group, and after I had been livin' with Per for about four or five months or somethin', Pelle somehow tells me--I don't remember the context or how exactly it comes up--but he tells me that he is the guy who got Monika pregnant, and when I heard him tell me this, I got real upset, and I didn't start thinkin' about suicide or nothin', but I was thinking, "Motherfucker! And why didn't somebody tell me! And so I said so it was you, Per, you shit and shit, and I was all upset, but eventually I calmed down and reminded myself that this is the sort of thing an artist had to go through and shit. But about Scarlet.
So I came back to the United States after living like an expatriate, you know, like Ernest Hemingway or some shit, and I really didn't write much when I was abroad, as I recall, and even though Monika and I had broken up, we became boyfriend and girlfriend when I got back because she decided to return to Georgetown and finish he degree like her Poppa wanted, but she was gonna live in Sweden after she completed her degree in linguistics or some shit, and while I was with Monika one time, I asked her how many boys she slept with during the summer we were apart, and she said, "Five." And I was shocked and mortified and felt like wet toilet paper or somethin', but I still continued on with her--I guess I had no pride or somethin'--and I remember one day in December, this would be December of 1978, Monika came over to my house (I was living in a group house at the time) and she was cryin' and shit, and she was saying, "I'm really a bad person. I'm so really bad. I'm so bad." And so I said, "Who was it this time?" And she said, "Vladimir, and it was on the floor of our poli-sci classroom" and shit. And I still forgave her and continued to fornicate with her, and I broke up with Monika finally for good on March 16, 1979, which was my birthday, because it was spring break for good old Georgetown U, like March 14 to March 21 or some shit, and Monika wanted to go home and visit her Poppa and shit, and I said I wanted her to stay in Washington and celebrate my birthday with me, and I said if she went to Upper Saddle River, N.J., where her Poppa lived and where Richard Nixon lived, I would never see her again, and sure enough she went home to her Poppa over spring break and did not honor my birthday the way I wanted her to honor it, and she called me on my birthday and she wanted to wish me a happy birthday, but I wouldn't let her, I just said when I recognized her voice on the phone, "Don't call me ever again" cuz we were broken up for good, so it was like two months later that I heard from Scarlet Bezoomian or whatever her name was.
Yeah, old Scarlet called me up out of the blue like two years now after I had sliced fruit with her at Clyde's and shit, and she wanted to go out to dinner with me, and I said, "Cool" and shit, and I was thinkin' that now maybe I could have Scarlet and shit, and her eyes set wide apart on her head didn't seem to matter now, but prob'ly not because she's probably a virgin and she was a Catholic girl from Iran and shit, and she probably wanted to wait until she was married and shit, and so we go out to dinner, and it was at some restaurant which I had never heard of over there on Wisconsin Avenu and Fesseden Street NW, and the restaurant had pink table clothes which I thought was kinda gay, but I didn't really mind cuz old Scarlet Bezoomian, or whatever her name is, and I had a real good time, and I invited her back to my house after dinner, and she said, "Yeah, sure," all cool like and shit, and so what I remember is this. Scarlet and I were in the kitchen, and Scarlet was sittin' on the kitchen counter top between the electric stove top and the refrigerator. And Scarlet was wearing tight blue jeans that were new and almost camel toe but not quite camel toe, and I remember standing right in front of her, and her legs were not exactly spread wide, but they were spread a little, and Scarlet and I were talkin', and I was touchin' her legs some with my hands, just sort of rubbin my hands on her lower thighs by her knee caps, and Scarlet tells me that she's been seeing a psychiatrist, and she tells me that she loves sex now because of the talks she's had with her psychiatrist, and I was thinkin' that this is great and I'm gonna get laid, and even though Scarlet does remind me of a bug of some sort, with he big brown eyes that are set far apart on he forehead and shit, and the next thing I know is we are upstairs in my bedroom in my bed and we were coitally fornicating like dogs or something, and Scarlet took the on-top-of-me position, and I remember she had litlle firm breasts, and I remember how pleased I was at the sight and touch of these bossoms, and after we finished fornicating and we werer lyin' there in my bed in post-coital bliss and shit, Scarlet, who is now studying to be a nurse in a addition to being a waitress at Clyde's, tells me that after she gets her nursing degree we can move to Madagascar or some other romantic place which I've barely heard of and shit, and we can walk along the beach holding hands, and I could bring my camera (for I was taking photographs in those days), and we could walk along the beach and all, and I didn't answer Scarlet about this idea, but rather I fell asleep and in the morning when we awoke, Scarlet starts again talkin' about walkin' on the beaches of Madagascar or someplace, and I tell her and I try to break it as gently as possible, "Look, Scarlet. We aren't gonna be goin' to Madagascar together." And Scarlet got all upset and got all red in her brown face and pulled on her tight jeans and put on her little bras and all the rest of her clothes, and she stomped out of my room and slammed the door behind her. And then she opend the door back up, and sticks her head back in sort of like the way Dr. Moscorini stuck his head into my hospital room, and she says, all emphatic and shit, "I hate you!" and she looked like Electra or somethin', and she didn't looklike a bug at that point in time, and then she disappered from my room, and she disappeared from my life.
And the last thing I want to say about Scarlet Bezoomian, or whatever her name is, is that, like, 15 years went by, and I hadn't seen or heard from the old girl and then she calls me up from the out of the blue. Fifteen years had passed, and she wants to meet me for coffee, and I guess I'm an editor now at the old Washington Post, and we meet for coffee and she tells me she's a nurse now and how have I been, and I really don't remember what we talked about, and I do remember noticing how much Scarlet had aged. She had some wrinkle s on her face which she never had before back in the good old day 15 years earlier, and she gave me a ride home from the coffee shop and her car was a new blue Ford Mustang convertable, and when she pulled up in front of my house I was still livin' in the same house, I think, and I asked her in. but she said no and left, and she said to call her, so I called her after a day or two and said that we should meet for coffee again or somethin', and she says she can't right now 'cause she's so busy being a nurse and all, and she says she'will call me, and well, it's been about--what?--30 years now, and Scarlet hasn't called me so my conclusion is that she was just kinda teasing' me and that she wasn't gonna sleep with me ever again and that she was still all pissed after all these years, and she was still hurt because I wouldn't go to Madagascar or wherever with her and shit, and in her own way she was exacting revenge, and I guess you could say that Scarlet, in her own way, was trying to create a balance in the universe.
And the last thing I wanted to say about my Swedish girlfriend is that one time in, I think it was October, while we were living together in Sweden in a little efficiency with a pic of Che hangin' on the wall, we were out one evening at a pizza parlor--me and Monika, that is--and these five Swedish guys come in, and they all have dark hair except one is a blond, and they walk by our table and sit in a table a few tables away from us, and Monika says: "Did you see the blonde guy who came in?" And I said, "Yes." And she said, "I slept with him last summer." And I felt like my inside were rotting out or soemthin', and I was wondering just why the hell Monika the Mattress, this Swedish girl, would tell me something like that, and I didn't really know what to do, and I thought I should have hitch-hiked to good old Paris after all, and I shouldn't have chickened out, and I should have bedded some Parisan girls 'cause they are easy to bed and shit. And, yeah, Monika Bjornstrom was my Swedish girlfriend off and on for about two years or so.
Oh, yeah! So I remember this funny thing that happened to me in high school, and I can't remember whether it was my junior or senior year. But it was the end of the football season, must have been my junior year, and it was a Saturdy, and we had just beaten Gonzaga by a score of 8-6 or somethin', and so we--the Georgetown Prep football team--were going to celebrate, which means we were going to drink like fish and shit, and so somebody threw a party, and their parents were prob'ly out of town, and it was out their in Potomac, Md., in one of the richest neigborhoods of the whole Washington, D.C., area, and I was going on a double date.
I was with Missy McCormack, and I was driving my father's big old Chrysler Newport, and I was going on a double date with Dicky McSherry and Dicky was taking out my younger sister, Alicia Jr. And so were were all four of us in the car, and me and Missy were in the front seat, and Dickey and Alicia were in the back, and we were talking all friendly like and having a real good time, and Missy and I had our gin and 7-Up thanks to my brother, and Ricky--I don't know how he got it-had a six pack of 16-oz.Schlitz Malt Liquor. So we were drivin' out to Potomac, and I can't remember whose party it was or nothin', and we decided that we should go park somewhere first and drink a little before we went into the party. And so we drove around and found this place that was, like, I don't know how to explain it, about a block form the party, and I pulled her up to this cul de sac, which was undeveloped, meaning there were no houses and no street lights and there was basically just some grassy areas on the side of the road, and there were some woods beyond the grass areas, and the party was in a house on the other side of the woods to our right. And so as I was pullin' her over to the side of the road McSherry said, 'Don't turn all the way off the road, Seamus," and he said this because it had rained some during the day, and the ground was all wet and soggy and shit, and McSherry thought we might get stuck, but I, for some reason, pulled her all the way off the road and parked her,and we had all four wheels of the old Chryslyer parked on the wet grass.
So we just sat there for like a half hour or an hour or somethin', and Missy and I drank our 7-Up and Dickey and Alicia Jr. drank three or four of the Schlitz Malt liquors, and we talked a lot and had a generally fine time. And when we decided to go, I started her up and tried to pull her out but the old Chrysler Newport wouldn't budge. The back wheels just spun around in the wet grass and dirt and shit, and the more gas I gave her the deeper the wheels sank into the ground. So we were all a litltle drunk and a lot stuck. So Dickey got out and tried pushin', while I gave her the gas, but that didn't work, so Dickey and I went into the woods and got some sticks and branches from trees and stuck them under the wheels to try to get some traction, but this didn't work either. So the girls decided to walk across the woods and go to the party to ask for someone to come by and pick me and Dickey up. And the girls made it through the wood and to the party okay, cuz about 10 minutes later Randy Chacos pulled up in a Chevy Impala and stuck his head out the window of his car and and let out some sort of primordial scream, which I do not know how to spell, and he said "Havin' some trouble, boys?" or something like that, and Dickey and I got in the car and Randy made fun of us and called us spaztics and stuff, and that's about all I remember. I don't remember the party or anything that happened there, and I don't know we all got home. But we did get home, cuz I remember talkin' to my older brother, Kevin, and tellin' him the car was stuck and all, and we made a plan to get up at 7 in the morning and drive out in his car, and see if we could get my Daddy's car unstuck out of the mud and bring it home without my father noticing it was gone.
So I guess to understand this story, you have to know a little bit about my father. And he was an old-school kind of guy, and he yelled a lot when somethin' happened that he didn't like, and he was, well, a hard ass basically, and he was mean, and sometimes he was a cruel bastard. I mean, he was an FBI special agent in the early'40s under J. Edgar Hoover, and he was a real tough guy. And I knew that if he found out that I got the car stuck, he would take my head off and kill me.
So me and my brother got up at 7 and dressed real quick, and I was hung over, and we walked down the stairs of the old house there at 4001 Warren St., NW, and I was walkin' first, and we were hoping we could sneak past my father, and then my father came out into the hall way, and he was wearing loose-fitting boxer shorts and a sleeveless white T-shirt and a pair of knee-high dark socks and shit, and he said real angry like, "Where are you two going?" And my brother said '"Keep on walking, Seamus. Keep on walking." So I kept on walking, and we made it outside to my brother's car, which was a 1970 Lemans Sport Pontiac convertible, and it was a really cool car, and we just jumped in and pulled off with my father runnin' out after us, and my father now had a pair of pants and some shoes on but he was still just in his white sleeveless T-shirt, and he was screamin', "Hey, come back here! Where's my car? God-damn it! Where's my car?" And Kevin just kept his foot on the gas and said to me not to worry about Dad and everything was going to be all right.
And so we got out to where I had parked my Daddy's car, where it was stuck in the mud, and Kevin tried to drive her out, and he couldn't, and we both concluded that she was real, real stuck and shit, and Kevin said he'd have to go to a gas staion and get a tow truck, and so he went to do that, and I waited by the Chrysler, and after 10 or 15 minutes or so, I heard a car engine approaching, and I figured it was my brother and shit, and when I looked up and saw what was comin', I almost went to the bathroom in my pants. It was my father, and he was driving my sister Barabara May's car. And he was driving real slow like about 5 mph or somethin', and it was my sister's blue '65 two- door Ford Dart, and my father drove up real slow, and he had on a fedora sort of hat and was lookin' all stern and shit, and the dart reminded me of a Sherman tank during World War II or soemthin', and he parked the Dart on the street just beyond where his car was stuck. And he got out, and he didn't say nothin' at first, and I was scared as shit, thinking, like, he might beat me or somethin', and he just walked around the stuck car, doin' an inspection of the scene and shit, and then, after spotting three or four malt liquor cans on the ground outside by the back windows where Dickey and Alicia Jr. were sittin', he said, all sternly and all angry like, "Been drinkin' Schlitz malts, eh, boy?" And I was scared and kind of petrified, and I said real fast and scared like, "No! It wasn't me! I didn't drink any Schlitz malts! And much to my surpsise my Daddy didn't say nothin' in response to me, and he didn't call me a liar or nothin' and he didn't hit me either and then there were some engine sounds and my brother pulls up in his Lemans Sport, and a guy from the gas station in a Jeep pulls up behind my brother, and they attached some chains to my Daddy's car and to the Jeep, and then the gas station guy pulled my Daddy's Chrysler Newport out of the mud. And I drove her home, and she didn't seem broken or nothin', and my father didn't beat me or even say anything more about the drinkin' of the Schlitz Malt Liquor, and I wondered how he found out where we were, and I figured that he must have called the McSherrys', and Dickey must have told him how to get there. And I remember that scene a lot, and mostly what I remember is my father drivin' up real slow in my sister's old two-door Ford, and he was wearin' one of those fedora-like hats, like Sgt. Joe Friday or soemthin' and lookin' real stern and shit, as if he was ready to commit murder.
And sometime--I guess it may as well be now--I'm gonna have to tell you again why I am calling this book "I, Don Quixote." And it's really very simple, and it does make sense because I am like Don Quixote. That is to say, I'm an old romantic fool fool, thinking that I might be able to rid the world of evil and shit.
You see, after 9/11 I knew I had to join the CIA and become a clandestine operative, a NOC, in fact, and a NOC isn't like one of those sissy spies who works in a U.S. embassy abroad and runs agents and picks up intelligence from other diplomats at cocktail parties and such, and if he gets arrested he can declare diplomatic immunity and shit. No, a NOC is someone who's just out there. He could be a janitor or a longshorersman or anything really, but he's on his own. If he gets caught spyin', that's it. The CIA or the U.S. government will not acknowledge any affiliation with a NOC, and in fact they will deny any said affiliation, and then the NOC who gets caught probably gets beheaded or shot at sunrise or somethin'. And so I was convinced I was meant to be a NOC, cuz after workin' 20 years in the editorial department of The Washington Post and following the news and real world events real closely and shit, I figured that I was a shoe-in for a job with the CIA, and I met this guy who said he was CIA, and he just slapped me on my shoulder and knew my name and shit when I had never seeen him before in my life, and then he introduced me to another recruiter who was higher up an shit, and I hung out with this guy for about a year, and we used to go to the old Clyde's up there in Chevy Chase, Md., by the District line, and we used to listen to loud bands so our conversations couldn't be monitored and shit, and he taught me all the CIA terminology and shit, and told me about all the satellite surveillance and shit, and he said I was destined for black ops and that I was gonna be a NOC and shit, and well the thing was that it wasn't true. Those "CIA guys" were crazy drunken liars, and I'm not in the CIA or the NSA or the DIA. I just sometimes think I am sometimes, and so I'm am old fool like Don Quixote. I think I'm gonna find Osama bin Laden and kill him or soemthin', and sometimes I feel like I have these connections to the U.S. intelligence community and shit, and I can't talk about them so maybe I'm not Don Quixote, and maybe I'm gonna fool you all and actually be an intelligence agent of some sort and shit. So that's why I'm calling this sucker "I, Don Quixote." And I don't think I explained myself real good. But I don't care if I did or not.
So I have this 16-year-old daughter named Dianne, who is really the key to the whole thing. I mean she's going to be a secret agent when she grows up, and she is going to be the one to figure out all the stuff I've been trying to figure out. Like, um, for example, who destroyed the twin towers on 9/11, and why and how did the third building go down?
So when Dianne was a child, she had two traumatic experiences. They both happened when she was around 2 or 3.
The first one happened when I was still married, which makes Dianne just a little under 2 at the time, and I was still living with my KGB agent wife, Olga, and shit, and it was in the morning, and Olga was off to work 'cause she worked 9 to 5, and I worked 12 to 9, and I took a care of Dianne in the mornings. So one morning I was in the living room reading the old Washington Post cuz I had to read the whole God-damned thing from cover to cover in those days cuz I worked in the editorial department and had to know everything about everything in the world, and I stopped reading the paper on this particular day and went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. And I see my little one-and-a-half-year-old daughter sittin' there up against the back kitchen door. And there was a problem, I could tell, because her color was purple. I mean she was this ghastly, sickly purpkle in her face, and so I ran up to her and stuck my finger in her mouth and detected a plastic cap to a 35 mm film container lodged in the back of her throart. I pulled the cap out, and then my daughter was then safe, and she started berathing normal again and she didn't cry or nothin', and so I hugged her some and tried to comfort her as best as I could and shit, and all the time I felt like areal heel or somethin'.
The other trauma occurred when Dianne was like 2 and a half, and I remember it was winter cuz there was lots of snow on the ground and shit, and I had this little pink plastic sled with a rope attached to the front of it, and I used to put Dianne in it and pull her along in the snow and shit. And I had just taken her for a walk in the snow and returned to my apartment, where we could get all warmed up and shit. And I lived on the seventh floor in those days, and I took Dianne to the elevator, where I did an inexplicably stupid thing. I pulled her into the elevator and then turned around, and while holding the rope that was attached to the sled, I stood in the hallway outside the elevator. I have no idea what I was thinking. I do remember thinking that it was okay because if the elevator doors shut I could just pull the doors to the left or right, and the door would open. Well, sure enough the elevator door closed, and I tried pullin' the rope to the right and then to the left, but the door closed anyway, and the elevator headed up and the sled's rope was in my hand, and it pulled my arm up until it snapped the rope from my hand, and I was mortified. What should I do? I thought. Should I run up the stairs ? No, I decided to wait, and the elevator went all the way up to the seventh floor and then it came back down, and I could hear my daughter wailing, and I was thinking what a schmuck I was or somethin'. And when the door opened I took my baby into my arms, and said I was so, so sorry and shit, and I think I really botched it there, and I traumatized my baby doll, and that was bad.
So I gotta tell you about my senior year high school retreat.
So there were 91 students in my senior class, and they divided us up into six groups so there were about 15 in each group. And for those of you who don't know what retreats are, I will try to explain. A retreat is first and foremost a religious experience. It's a place where you go to refelect on God and shit, and you get real holy and you say prayers and go to Mass and shit--I mean, we were all Roaman Catholics--and you talk in groups about important and sensitive things, sort of like in psychiatry and psychoanalysis and shit, but really, I mean, I guess I don't know what the purpose of a retreat is. I mean, that is not true. A retreat is when you go away with a group of peers and with some religious guidance, you try to become closer to God. And they, the Georgetown Preps schoolmasters, divided us up into six groups so there were about 15 kids in each group. And my group went to St somethin' or another in Baltimore. And this place was a professional religious retreat center, run by real live Catholic priests and shit. And I don't know what kind of priests they were, I mean, maybe they were Dominican or soemthin', but they weren't Jesuits, because we at Prep were taught by the Jesuits-damned good priests, the Jesuits, by the way--and they were some different order who were expecting normal kids to come and reflect and go to Mass and shit and thus grow closer to God and become better and more sanctified people or somethin' like that and shit.
So we all went up there, and there were 15 or so of us, and I remember only three or four of them. They were: Tom Bridge, whose father was a colonel in the Army or some shit, John Coffey, whose father was a famous Georgetown University Hospital heart surgeon, and John Convoy, who had all white hair and shit, and I never knew anything about Convoy's parents, but they were probably pretty rich if they were sending him to Prep (and Prep is a real expensive school and shit, and I was from a pretty poor family and all with six kids and a father who was selling life insurance for a living, and I got a half scholarship to Prep cuz I was a real good basketball and football player, and shit). So there were about 15 of us, and we lucked out because we got Fr. Kevin McMahon and Mr. Dennis O'Reilly, who was studying to be a priest and later became one for what it's worth, and then he died real young like in his 40s or somethin' from lung cancer because he smoked cigaretetttes constantly and like a fiend and shit. So, yeah, we lucked out with Fr. McMahon and Mr. O'Reilly cuz everybody knew McMahon liked to drink a lot and O'Reilly drank a lot too. He drank at our parties and shit, and we all liked him just fine, and shit.
And so we were off to Baltinmore to some retreat house, and we were sure we were gonna have a wild and fun time.
And so when we got there the retreat priests--there were two or three of them--sat us down, and made us sit in a circle, and they didn't make us pray or nothin', and this was 1969, by the way, in the springtime, and the retreat masters, as they were called, sat us all down and shit and put us in a circle and then started asking us all these meaningful and sensitive questions. I mean, like, they were asking us if we really loved our parents and did we love one another and did we love God, and half of us didn't even know whether we believed in God or not and shit, and they were asking all about our feelings and shit, and nobody was buying into it except Bridge, and he was getting affected by the retreat masters, and he was getting' all sensitive and shit, and we (all the rest of us) couldn't believe Ridge was doing what the retreat masters wanted him to do. I mean, for example, Bridge asked me what it felt like to score a basket in a basketball game and shit, and I didn't know how to answer him and shit, and so we went through like three hours of this bullshit, and then got a break and were sent to our rooms for reflection time. And instead of reflecting we got together and said we were gonna have to do some drinking, and the problem was none of us was 18 and how were we gonna get some beer, and then Tom Bridge pops up and says something like, "Hey, fellas. I can buy the beer. I'm 18." And he pulled out his wallet and pulled out his driver's license and showed it around as if anybody really wanted to see it. So we all said, yeah, hell, Bridge can buy us some beer, and that would be great, so we all gave Bridge some money and told him to go buy as many cases as he could, and Bridge, aside from being insecure, was real big, and he was a wrestler, and he used to tell us how he rubbed himself down with garlic and onion so he would smell real bad so when he got close to pinning his opponent his opponent would quit because, because he, Bridge, smelled so bad. And so Bridge takes our money and shit, and goes out and finds a liquor store and buys three cases of Budweiser and brings 'em back to the retreat house, and when he gets there he finds the retreat house door is locked and shit, and so he doesn't think of stuffing the beer into some bushes and coming back later and sneakin' the beer in. No, Bridge just rings the fucking retreat house door bell while we are all supposed to be in our rooms reflecting on God and the nature of life and stuff and what do we really believe and shit, and Bridge rings the God-damned door bell and the head retreat priest answers the door, and there's Bridge with three cases of beer, and the retrerat master priest is dumbfounded and stunned Bridge just walked right by him and says, "Thank you, father," cuz Bridge was real polite too, and he walked up the stairs to the dorm rooms where we all were supposed to be reflecting on the nature of God and shit, Bridge passes out the beer and says, "Here, you go, fellas,"and it was like each one of us had an entire six pack and shit, and so we were all appreciative of Bridge, but we couldn't believe he didn't hide the beer in some bushes and come back later and smuggle the beer in and shit, and so the retreat masters didn't know what to do because they had never been faced with such a problem like this before. Ands so they called a special meeting and got us all together, and they sat us all down in a circle again, and they said, now, boys, we know you have some beer, and it's usually not a good idea to drink on retreats and shit but we understand you want to drink so what we're asking is that each of you keep one or two beers, and you can drink them tonight after dinner, and we all thought that was just great because we knew that everybody was gonna keep most of their beer, and we were gonna get drunk that night and shit, and that's what happened. A couple of guys returned a couple of beers, and after dinner that night, we all popped open our beer cans and started drinkin' and having a good old time, and John Convoy had brought some acid, so he dropped his acid instead of drinkin' beer with us, and that was cool with us, and he just stayed in his room and sat by his window sill, and he watched flowers blossoming outside in the ground when there were no flowers outside and shit, and we all the rest of us were getting all drunk on Budweiser beer and we drank for a few hours, and then supposedly we went to bed at 10, but we didn't go to bed at 10, at least not all of us for four or five or six us went into Mr. O'Brien's room where Mr. O'Brien and Fr. McMahon were drinkin' Scotch whiskey like fish, and we all went in there and
Mr. O'Brien was our English teacher, and he made us read "Hamlet" and "Hedda Gabbler" and a bunch of poems and stuff, and he was always asking us what was the purpose of life and shit, and we all liked him just fine, and he didn't care if we drank booze or nothing, so there we were, four, five or six of us getting into deep discussions and shit, and Fr. McMahon was real real drunk, and he could hardly speak or nothin', and then we heard a loud banging on the door, and somebody opened it, and it was the head priest retreat master and shit, and he barged into the room and said real loud, "Will you boys please go to bed!" And he was about to say more but then he saw Mr. O'Brien and Father McHale and then the head priest guy clams down and says, "Oh, excue me, Father," and turns around and walks out of the room, and then we just went on drinkin' for another hour or two until we all got tired about discussing just what life might really mean and was there a God or not and shit like that. And so that's what my senior year retreat was like and shit.
Now my first girlfriend was name Mary Lou O'Conner, and she was about 6' 1" tall, and I was 4'10" or somethin'. And we were a good match and all despite the height diferences and all, and the way we became boyfriend and girlfriend, I think, is pretty interesting. We had two cool groups when we were in sixth grade--oh, yeah, Mary Lou and I were in sixth grade when we were boyfriend and girlfriend--a group for the boys and a group for the girls. In my group there was me and Crazy Day, although we didn't quite yet call him Crazy Day. That wasn until seventh grade--so there was me and Crazy Day and Ray Evans and Tommy Malvaso ans Tommy Baptista and Mark Gehring and maybe one or two others, I don't know. And for the girls there was Two-ton Tessie O'Brien and Mary Lou and Stephanie Kilroy, who is now dead of cancer, and Lynn Huckleberry and Sharon Tufts and maybe a couple others. And the way Mary Lou and I became girlfriend and boyfriend was like this: I told Timmy O'Day or someone in my group that I liked Mary Lou O'Conner, and then he told someone in the girls' group, probably SharonTufts or someone, and then Sharon told Mary Lou, and then Mary Lou told Sharon that she likes me, and Sharon would report back to Crazy Day that Mary Lou liked me and Timmy would tell me that Mary Lou Liked me, and that was it. We were then officially boyfriend and girlfriend just like that without even saying a word to one another. And before school, which started promptly at 8:45 a.m. in the morning, the girls used to gather in the same spot every day. And the girls were always there earlier than the boys, and the spot was southwest corner of the old St. Ann's School building, which was made of brick and painted white, and a sidewalk led past the south side of the school building, and me and all the boys used to take this sidewalk to go to our hangout before school, which was up there on the upper playground, and so all what I'm tryin' to say is the boys individually walked by the group of girls before school each morning. And if you had a girlfriend you said hello to her, so that's what I did when I walked by the girls. I said hello to Mary Lou, who was a tall girl and was more than a foot taller than me or somethin' and shit, and she'd say hello back to me, and it felt pretty good to have a girlfriend and shit, and, I mean, you felt all this warmth in your heart or somethin' and shit. And so this went on for about two months--me saying hello to my girlfriend, Mary Lou, and Mary Lou saying hello back to me, and both of us feeling a warmth in our hearts the way loves makes you feel, and then one Saturday, there was a fair of some sort in the old St. Anne's School gymnasium, and I decided I had to win a stuffed animal for Mary Lou and all, cuz that's what a good boyfriend in the sixth grade of St. Anne's School did in those days back then in, oh, it must have been 1964, three years or so after the Cuban missie crisis, and so I went to the stand where you threw darts at balloons or somethin', and if you hit five balloons in a row, you won a stuffed animal, and I went to this palce and on about my fifth try I hit all five of the ballons and shit, and I won a purple dog stuffed animal, which was about 16 inches tall and had real floppy ears and shit. And so I got real nervous because I knew I had to find Mary Lou and give her the stuffed animal and shit, and I started walkin' around the gym lookin' for Mary Lou, and it was really crowded, and there were kids all around and some nuns here and there dressed in their habits, meaning they were all coverred loosely in black robes and and had like this black veil over their head which was part of the robe, an extension of the robe, I guess you'd say, and the only thing white they had on was the curved beak-like thing that stuck out from the top of their foreheads like the beak of a baseball cap or somethin'. And I searched around dodgin' all the people at the fair, and it was like a mysteryous acid trip with all the people and all, it was like a carnival someplace in South America or some shit, and then I dound Mary Lou, and I went up to Mary Lou, since I had finally found her, and I gave her the stuffed animal purple dog thing, and I wanted to say, "Here, Mary Lou, this is for you." But I couldn't because I was too nervous, so I just sort of stuck the animal out from my body with my arm stuck out and all, and Mary Lou looked genuinely surprised and amazed and and happy too, and she blushed so he rcheeks became pink, and she took the stuffed animal from my outstretched arm and said, "Thank you. Thank you, Seamus" in a wondrously and innocent way in which only a six-foot sixth-grade Catholic school girl could do. So that is how I gave my first girflfriend a stuffed animal, and a couple weeks later I was thinking that I didn't like Mary Lou anymore because she really was too tall for me and shit, and so I told Timmy O'Day that I didn't like Mary Lou anymore, and he told Sharon Lufts, who told Mary Lou that a I didn't like her anymore, and that meant we were breaking up and shit, and the next day when I was walking by the girls before school, when I would normally say hi to Mary Lou, but this morning I wouldn't cuz I had broken up with her and shit, and we were broken up and shit, and when I got to where all the girls in our cool group were standin', Mary Lou came running up to me, and she had the stuffed animal in her hand, the God-damned purple dog and shit, and she cocked her arm and threw the stuffed animal at me real hard, and the animal hit me on the side of my head and shit, and Mary Lou screamed like a bird or like Electra or somethin', "Here, Seamus! I don't want your stuffed animal anymore!" and then she started to cry, and I was feelin' really lousy and real low and shit, and I was probably to the point of clinical depression and shit, and my head hurt from where Mary Lou had hit me with the stuffed animal, and I didn't know what to do, so I just put my hand on my head where it hurt and shit and kept on walkin', and I walked up the steps to the upper playground where the boys hung out, and I got to our group with Timmy O'Day and Ray Evans and all and said, "Mary Lou hit me upside the head with the stuffed animal I gave her ." And everybody was all sympathetic and shit, and I always wondered what happened to that old stuffed animal cuz I didn't pick it up or nothin', and I admit I just let it lay there on the sidewalk when the bell rang and we all walked into school and shit, and I guess good old John Henry, the St. Anne's School janitor, picked the stuffed animal up and shit and gave it to one of his children cuz John Henry had six children, everybody knew that, or maybe he threw it in the trash or soemethin', I don't know. I mean it wasn't out there on the sidewalk when we went to recess, so I guess John Henry picked it up. Maybe he picked it up and did something with it. I really don't know and can only speculate.
Amd so my first girlfriend was really Mary Pat Cuzimano, not Mary Lou O'Conner. Mary Lou O'Connor--no offense to Mary Lou, who was a really great person and all, and has probably forgiven me by now some 50 years later or somethin' if of course she hasn't died of cancer like Stephanie Kilroy did or soemthin'--was really more like an infatuation than love, but Mary Pat Cuzimano was real, unadulterated, passionate, bona fide, 100 percent love. I mean, my heart ached I loved her so much, and I really don't remember how I fell in love with Mary Pat, but I'm sure it was love at first sight cuz that is how I fall in love to this day, some 50 years later and shit, and I don't know, I can't remember falling in love with Mary Pat, I just remember being in love with her, and there was the time of the May Procession, and it was a Felini-like ordeal where all the children in St. Anne's wore all white--the boys wore white sutes with white shirts and white ties and white buck shoes and shit and white socks, and it was the May Procession, whatever the hell that is, and maybe it had somethin' to do with Lent or somethin', but it was a religious event of some sort, signifying purity or some shit, and that is why everybody wore all white and shit, I don't really know, nor do I remember, and maybe Mary Pat was in eighth grade because she was the May Queen, which meant she walked last in the line of the whole procession and had a special bouquet of flowers that was placed at the base old crucifix of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross in the big old huge St. Anne's Church or somethin' like that, cuz I don't really remember. But what I do remember is standin' the on the side of the stoned path that led fromn the main school building and past the statue of our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary, mother of Christ and shit, whom my theology teacher in college said was going to become and otherwise considered a God, making the Holy Trinity a Holy Quaternity and shit, and restoring a balance to the universe and shit or something like that, and I remember standin' there with my father just wachin' the hundreds of children all in white, representing purity, I suppose, and the girls wore white dresses and patent leather white shoes, if there is such a thing, and they wore white bobby socks, which came up about three inches on their ankles and shit, and I was just standin' there watchin because I had graduated from the eighth grade at St. Anne's and was now a freshman at Georgetown Prep, but I was still in love with Mary Pat, I had been in love with Mary Pat for two whole years now or some shit, and that's the truth, and I know I was with my Dad, so Mary must have been in eithth grade at the time, and I wasn't in the procession at all, but rather I was watchin' it with my Dad, and I remember waitin' for Mary Pat, and hundreds of kids walked past all in white and in rows of twos, and Mary Pat was the last one of them, and she had a special large bouquet of flowers for the Christ Jesus and shit, and after hundreds of kids in white passed by, as if they were in a Frederico Felini film or somethin', as I said, Mary Pat then arrived, and I looked at her, and she looked at me, and that moment where we were both lookin' at each other was, I wished, as true a moment of pure love as there ever was between in ninth-grader, me, and an eithth-grader, Mary Pat, and afterword, after the May Procession was over, my father asked me if I liked Mary Pat, and I said, "Yeah, I like Mary Pat a lot, Dad" but I didn't say anything about love or nothin', and my Daddy said, "Well, I could tell by the way she looked at you that she really likes you, boy" and shit, and my Daddy didn't know that Mary Pat didn't like me at the time, cuz just about a week before the May Procession, she had broken up with me for about the third time or somethin', and this time she broke up with me cuz she liked Tommy Quinonez more than she liked me and shit, and I was miserable and took to the bottle with Timmy "O'Day at the young age of 14.
But I'm not getting any of this right. You see, because Mary Pat and I had a lot of good times together, because I liked her when I was in the eighth grade and shit, when she was a year behind me in the seventh grade and shit, and she was only the most beautiful creature that God had ever placed in the universe and shit, and I mean it and shit, and you don't get picked to be the May Queen of the May Procession unless you are really beautiful and a really a good studfent too and shit, and so May Pat and I became boyfrien and girlfriend just the way me and mary Lou became girlfriend only this time I leaked word that I liked Mary Pat through Crazy Day, and we were officially calling him Crazy Day now that he was in eighth grade and since he had startred stealing money from the poor boxes in St. Anne's Church and shit, and Crazy Day leaked word that I Liked Mary Pat to Mary Pat's best friend, Mona Mathews, and Mona told Mary I liked her, and Mary told Mona to tell Crazy Day that she liked me and Mona did that, and so we were boyfriend and girlf riend, and things were really cool, and life was really grand, and I was happy in eithth grade when Mary Cuzimano was my girlfriend and shit. And during Lent the nuns and sisters who taught us at good old St. Anne's Catholic Grade School encouraged us to go to Mass at 8:15 a.m. in the morning, and if we did so, we would be excused for coming to school 10 minutes late or so, cuz Mass usually took about 35 minutes, and school started at promptly at 8:45 a.m., and so Mary and I went to Mass every school day during Lent, and we didn't sit next to each other or anything like that, and I used to sit a few rows behind Mary so I could keep my eyes on her and shit during the Mass, and then when Mass was over, Mary would wait for me outside the church side door, the church's north exit, and we would walk the 50 or 75 yards back to school and sometimes we would talk and say stuff like how ya doin'? and how are you? and stuff, but mostly we walked in this nervous and silent kind of state of being and shit, and Mary and I were boyfriend and girlfriend for a long time certainly through and entire Lenten season and shit, and then she told old Mona Mathews to go tell me she didn't like me anymore, which meant we were breaking up, and Mona told me that "Mary Pat told me to tell you that she doesn't like you anymore," and I was devasted and my heart was cracked into two pieces, and I took to drinkin with Crazy Day and shit, and sometime, maybe a month or two later, Mary and I got together again cuz Mary started likin' me again, and I told Mary that if she broke up with me again she had to tell me herself, and she couldn't send old Mona Mathews again to do the dirty work, and I guess I said this 'cause I thought it was a matter of gumption, and I thought, well, if you're gonna break up witht someone, you ought ot have at least the zoobs to telll 'em yourself and shit.
And Mary and I were boyfriend and girlfriend on and off again over the course two years or somethin', I don't really remember, but it was a very sifgnificant time in my life, for I was truly and deeply in love with the girl, and then the pressure to kiss her started mounting. And toward the end of my eighth-grade year, Lynn Huckleberry told Crazy Day that she wanted to know when I was going to kiss Mary Pat, and when Crazy Day asked me this, I got all nervous and shit and said I didn't really know and shit, and I'd kiss her for sure and just give me time and then there were the eighth-grade graduation parties, and we were in the backyard of old Two Ton Tessie O'Conner's, and we were playin' the Temptations album on the stereo, and the song "My Girl" came on, and I was slow dancin' with Mary Pat and to this day, like 40 years later or somethin', I can still remember how Mary Pat put her arms around me all kind of nervous like but nevertheless resolved or intent or somethin', and you had to really experience it yourself to perceive the genuine impact and shit, and then Mrs. O'Connor came out on the back porch and told us all to stop slow dancing, and she was upset cuz she was Catholic, and Catholics weren't supposed to have sex until they were married, and we were way too young to be holdin' onto one another, and Timmy O'Day was dancing with Sharon Lufts and Ray Evans was dancin' with Stephanie Kilroy and shit, and we were all of us holding each other in each others' arms, feeling the fronts of our bodies up against one another and shit, and Mrs. O'Connor put an end to that, and she came out on the back porch and broke us up and Two Ton Tessie was all embarrassed and mortified that her mother would ruin our good time the way she did, and Tessie started to cry and shit, and it was a real awkward moment for everybody and shit, and Mrs. O'Conner was a widow, and no one ever talked about her father, including Two Ton Tessie herself, and I'm pretty sure Two Ton Tessie's Dad was dead but maybe he had just walked out on Mrs O'Conner and really I just don't know cuz you weren't supposed totalk about stuff like that in those days.
But the only thing I really wanted to tell you about was the time Mary Pat and I first kissed, and I admit it was a magical moment kinda like trippin' on LSD or somethin' and a good film amker could do wonders with the scene, and so the plan was that after the graduation parties in Tenleytown, which is where the old St. Anne's Church is and where we all of us went to school and shit, the idea was that I'd walk Mary Pat home to her house down there on 37th and Veazy, I think it was, and when we got on her porch and when Mary Pat was just about to go into her house, I'd kiss her, and Lynn Huckleberry told Timmy O'Day to tell me that this was the plan and shit, and I knew this was the plan, and I told Timmy to go tell Lynn Huckleberry that sure, yeah, I'd do it, I'd kiss Mary Pat on the front porch of her house and shit, and I sort of got myself psyched up and stuff to do it, and this was hard for me, cuz I was a young schizophrenic or manic depressive or somethin', having been born out of the wedlock of two crazy Irish people, but, yeah, so I psyched myself up and shit, and I said to myself, yeah, when I got to the porch I would kiss Mary Pat, an then after Tessie O'Conner's party, Mary Pat and I had walked 10 blocks or so holding hands and shit and not really talking, but being very happy as we held hands, and then we got onto the porch at Mary Pat's house and Mary turned toward me, and I said to myself that this is it and now I have to kiss her and shit, and I leaned forward and Mary leaned forward, and then just before I got my lips to her lips we both inexplicably turned our heads a little bit, cuz we were both nervous, and maybe it was just me who turned his head, but the result was that afte all the slow dancin' at Two Ton Tessie's party and the long 10-block walk home while holdin' hands and being happy, after all this, I wound up kissing Mary Pat Cuziamno not on her lips but on her cheek, her left cheek, truth be told. And this happened twice. The next time after somebody else's graduation party, I can't remember whose it was and shit, and maybe it was Sharon Lufts' or somethin', but I told Timmy O'Day how I wound up kissin' Mary Cuzimano but only on the cheek, and Timmy O'Day told this to Lynn Huckleberry, and Lynn didn't get mad or nothin', but she said kissing on the cheek wasn't good enough and kissing on the cheek didn't really count and shit, and Lynn came up with a plan.
And in those days--it was the summer of 1967, I guess--we all used to hang out at Friendship Playground down there at Van Ness and 45th Street, and the boys were off playin' hardball baseball, and the girls we in the little house doin' I don't know what, maybe playin' Truth or somethin, but the girls had a softball team too, and we all used to get together and go about 10 blocks away down past Delacarlia Parkway, and we'd all go skinny dipping in Devil's Bathtub, and the girls would take their shirts and bras off, but Mary Pat would never go because she ws not that kind of girl, but hell, yeah, me and Timmy O'Day and Stephanie Kilroy and Sharon Lufts all used to go skinny dippin', and Devil's Bathtub was really just this big pool of water that came from water off the streets mostly, and we'd jump in from on top of the big concrete pipe that was about a10 feet in diameter, and the pipe fed into Devilds's Bathtub, where I got to see some girls' bare breasst for the fisr time in my life, and I liked it just fine and shit, but I was going to tell you about the plan that Lynn Hucklerberry came up with, and I gues I'll just go ahead and tell it to you now, and we used to hang out down there at Freiendship Playground down the on Van Nes at 45th or somethin', and there was this guy named Pat McGriffin or soemthin', and he used to come down to th playground and ask us if we wanted rides in his car anywhere, and Pat was about 35 or 40 or somethin' and he was a real nice guy and shit, and he wasn't a pervert or nothin', he just used to like to giving younger people a ride in his car, which ws a blue convertable Ford Mustang, 1966. And Pat McGriifin was fat, and he was kind of short too, and he had a big belly that just sort of hung out in front of the rest of his body, and we used to call him Fat Pat, but never to his face or nothin' because we liked Fat Pat a whole lot, and we didn't want to hurt his feelings or nothing, and Fat Pat McGriffen used to give us rides up the old Vann Ness Street hill to the Hot Shoppes at Wisconsin and and Van Ness, where we all used to eat Mighty Mo's or somethin', and so Lynn Huckleberry made the plan, and so on one perfect June evening when the moon was out and all full and shit, Lynn Huckleberry arranged it so that it was only me and her and Mary Pat drivin' around in Fat Pat McGrifffen's Mustang, and we were drivin' to nowher in particular because Fat Pat, who was a good guy who used to just take us for rides all around Teneleytown because it was fun ridin' in his convertible car with the top down and not going anywhere in aprticular. Yeah, so on this particular night at about 8:30 p.m. in the evening Fat Pat was drivin' me and Lynn Huckleberry and Mary Pat Cuzimano and not going anywhere in particular but just sort of ridin' around, and Lynn Huckleberry was sittitn' in the rear left seat of the car, and Mary was sittin in ther rear midddle seat of the car, and I was next to Mary Pat in the rear right, and Lynn says, "Okay, Mary. Do it now," And Mary says, "Okay," and she reaches into this purse sort of thing which she had, and pulled out this giant tube of lipstick which she had in the purse thing, and it was a brightly colored red lip stick, gaudy bright red to tell you the truth, and she applied the lip stick to her lips in a romantic and sexy fashion, kind of slowly, and Mary didn't seem nervous at all, and maybe she had practiced with Lynn Huckleberry, I don't really know, but she was all calm and sexy and shit, and after she applied the red lipstick to her lips, which were kind of small, by the way, she was already facing me, and now she calmly and resolutely, I'd guess you'd say, put her arms around me, and then she moved her head toward me, and we were at about 35th and Veazy, and she just leaned over to me and put her lips on mine, and I was nervous but thoroughly enjoying myself, and the kiss lasted for about seven seconds or somethin', and Fat Pat looked in the mirror and saw me and Mary Cuszimano kissin', and that made Fat Pat smile a big smile. Yes, Fat Pat had a real big nice smile.
So I wanted to tell you a couple of things, and the first was that before I started seeing the psychiatrist I see now, I was seeing another psychiatrist. And her name was Dr. Ching, Dr. Joyce Ching, and one time when I was seeing her in her office and shit, she told me, and this was during one of our psychotherapy sessions and shit, and I used to see Dr. Ching once every two weeks, but during this particular session which I am now talking about, she says to me, and I quote and shit and she said: "I am now authorized to tell you that you are being considered for a high government position. And this position is of considerable importance and responsibility. And I wanted you to know that we are monitoring you carefully and you are doing really well." And that's what the God-damned woman doctor told me. I swear to the Almightiest God. That's exactly what the woman said to me, and I shit you not and all. And this statement kind of stunned me and shit, and it got me to thinkin' that maybe I was a spy after all 'cause this was all clandestine in its own way sort of. Maybe I was gonna be a super secret spy for the gorvernment after all or soemthin', and I don't know what I said in response to Dr. Ching about this matter.
And the second thing I wanted to tell you was about another psychiatrist whom I saw a couple of times about 20 years before I started seeing Dr. Ching. And his name was . . . oh, I don't remember his name, but he was all kind of weird and spooky lookin', and he was tall and skinny, and wore a dark suit with a dark tie, and he looked absolutely gangster or Nazi or somethin' and he smoked a cigarette. And his face was all thin and pale and shit, and he had this little tiny office, which didn't have any windows, and it was all dark in there except for this tiny little table lamp he had on his desk, and the lamp didn't light up the room, it just lit a part of the big desk that as in the room, and the light gave a little glow, and so there I was, siittin' in front of this psychiatrtist whose name I have forgotten, and maybe it was Morgan or Feinberg or soemthin', I don't know, and I don't really remember, and I saw this psychiatrist after my second nervous breakdown, which was in about 1982, 10 years after my first nervous breakdown, and after I had spent a month in the psychiatric ward of old Montgomnery General Hospital out there past Olney or soemtin', and I was sititng in front of this psychiatrist, and he's sitting by this big desk and I can hardly see his face it's so dark and he's smokin' on a cigarette, a Marlboro I'd guess it was, but I don' really know, and can't say for sure, but maybe it was a Marlboro, and it may as well have been a Marlboro, and it doesn't really matter much and shit, and the thing is, the room was all mysterious in a way. I mean, it was almost all dark in there, and there were no windows or nothin', and it was about a 16' by 16' by 10' room, and this crazy and skinny motherfucking doctor who looked like a Nazi scientist or somethin', judging from what little I could see of him and shit, was just stittin' there, asking me questions like how do you get along with your mother and shit and how do I feel and shit, and then after I answered all his questions I said, "Hey, can I say somethin'?" And he said, "Sure." And I said, "I can't really explain it, and I don't understand it, but I just getting' this feeling all the time that like, well, like, I feel like I'm in the CIA." And I did in those days think I was in the CIA, and I talked to my psychologist therapist, Douglass LaPierre about it, and I said to him that I get this feeling I'm in the CIA, and he said, "Has anyone from the CIA ever contacted you?" And I said, "No." And he said, "Well, then, what do you think?" And I thought that that meant that I wan't in the CIA and I must be delusional or somethin', but all I'm tryin' to tell you is that when I went in front of the psychiatrist and told him that sometimes I think I am in the CIA, his response was, "Well, then, maybe you are."
And that's all I wanted to tell you about. One psychiatrist told me that I was being considered for a high government position, and another told me that I might be in the CIA.
So, um, when I got back from Sweden, where I worked on the docks unloading 40-pound boxes of bananas that came from Panama or Guatemala or some other foreign country and shit, and I got my first real job, it was as a teacher, and it was at the old Edmund Burke Scool down there off Connecticutt Avenue and Veazy NW, I believe it is. And I won't go into all the details, but I'll just say I was teachin' one photography class and one art history class and two Englsh classes or soemthin' like that, and I was teachin' mostly high school kids, and I was in way over my head, and I was getting all nervous and stuff until on about the fifth day of school I just broke, psychologically that is, and at one point in my eitghth-grade English class I took this huge volume of Shaekespeare I had and lifted it up over my head like an ax or somethin' and then I rammed it down onto the teacher's desk in front of the whole class and all the kids were lughin' and talkin' and carrying on, because I had absolutely no control over them and shit, and then I yelled really loudly, as loudly as I could as a matter of fact: "Shut up!' and then evertything was silent, and then we went on to read the to be or not to be passage, and I had the children one by one come up to the front of the class and read the passage aloud, and this one kid named Zane Zellwinger came up to the front of the class, and he was the troublemaker in the class, and he read the passage real good, like he knew it by heart or somethin', and I remember I bumped into Zane Zellwinger about a year later, and we were just walkin toward each other up there on old Nebraska Avenue along side the playing field of Wilson High School. And so I bumped into Zane, and I said, "Hi, Zane, how are you doing?" and shit, and Zane said he was doing fine and then he adds that he was out on pass from some psychiatric hospital--Pratt or something like that--and he said he had tried to kill himself, and I thought that was a shame and shit, and so after the English class, I was having a nervous breakdown or somethin', and it was the end of the school day, and I was spent and half crazy and all wired out and shit, and I sort of sensed this too, so I went into the director's office to talk to the guy who hired me, and his name is Jean, Jean Mookskin, and he was a real good guy to talk to and shit, and he told me to sit down and shit, and he pulled out a botlle of port from his desk, and he poured a glass for me and said, "Here, drink this." And I drank the glass of port and I said, "How am I doin'?" And Jean said, "I think the kids are getting to you." And I felt bad about this, and it was a Friday, and I had just finished the last class of the day, and I knew that I respected Mookskin's opinion and shit, and, yeah, I was losing it and shit, and so I asked Mooskin what I should do, and he told me to go home and prepare my classes for the next week and shit and come back strong on Monday, but I never did come back cuz I wound up in Motgomery Gernerals's psychiatric ward, and Dr. Mauritzio Hernandez was my doctor and shit, and the thing I really wanted to tell you about was my stint in solitare, and despite what the shrinks and psychiatric professionals will tell you, they are not always touchy and feely all the time, and sometimes they can be almost savage or somethin' and this is because they, and they don't talk about it much, but it's the solitaire room, where they lock you up in a room all alone, and the one in Montgomery General is about 25' by 25' by 10' high and shit, and there's one mat on the floor and it's about 6' by 4' or somethin', and it's like a high school wrestling mat or somethin' and, well, I was out there in Montgomery Genberal Hospital, and I was crazy as a bona fide lunatic and whatnot, and I kept thinking that I had a mission in Moscow and that I had to get to Moscow and that if I could just get out of the hospital, there would be three stretch limoes outside wiatitin' for me to take me to old Dulles Airport for a direct flight to Moscow for negotiations of a high order or some shit, or maybe I was gonna have to murder soemebody, and I wasn't really quite sure what my mission was, but I knew the mission was important even if I didn't know precisely what it was, and this is how I thought in those days. And Montgomery General psychiatric ward is shaped like a U, and you enter the place through a set of locked doors, and they're really the only locked doors in the place and shit, and you come in through the locked doors, and you walk into what appears to be a living room and there's a couch and a TV and a stereo and all the stuff you'd find in a regular living room except it's in a psychiatric ward and shit, and then the room turns down into a corridor, and you go down this corridor, and there are bed rooms on either side of the corridor, and when you walk down the corridor you can hear people laughing maniacally and shit, cuz that what it's like in the nuthouse, and this is where I met Kevin O'Brien, the guy who tried to kill himslelf by ramming his car into a telephome pole and he rammed it again and again, failing to kill himself on each attempt, until the police arrived and arrested him and put him in a straight jacket and shit and brought his ass to Montgomery General, and you continue down the corridor, and maybe you find someone leanin' up against the wall, mumblin' to himself, and then you turn left down another corridor, and there are more bed rooms along the sides of the corridor, and then you turn left again, and there is the third corridor and more bedrooms, and then you come to the nurses' station, and there is this huge glass window at the nurses station, so they can look out and see if someone is trying to kill himself and whatnot, and the nurses'station is where they give out the Thorazine and other drugs and where they force the pills down your throat if you refuse to take them, if you walk a little farther past the nurses' staion, which no one usually does cuz everybody's scared to go back there, there's the solitaire room, which I've already descscribed, and across from the solitaire room is the electrocution room, and this room has a gurney with all kinds of wires and instruments and straps and shit on it and shit, and you know that if you don't act right they're gonna take you into the electrocution room and electrocute your ass into convulsions and shit by attaching the electrodes to your brain, and at least they knock you out first with some ether or Thorazine or what have you, and then if you walk out of the electrocution room and turn to your left, you face what I truly to this day find incredible, and that is you find an exit doorway. And it's not locked and shit or nothin' and anybody can just go through these doors and walk into freedom on the outside. So I gave it some thought, and it all seemed as logical as the daily sunrise--that I would go through those doors and on to freedom, and oustside the hospital there would be three limoes waitin' for me, but I was scared to do it right then and there, and so I thought about it for a few days, while the Thorazine or lithium was settling into my body and tryin' to make me a sane creature even though in fact I was quite insane, and so my plan and shit was I was gonna escape through the exit doors and get in one of my three limoes and go to Dulles and fly off to Moscow and probably murder somebody or somethin' and that part I didn't know for certain, but I sure knew I had a msission to go to Moscow cuz it was ingrained inside my brain, so I waited for about three days and then on a Friday in the afternoon, after I had my two-minute psychotherapy session with the good doctor Mauritzio Cortinez, and after we patient in the ward had lots of group therapy meetings in which we discuseed the nature of life and speculated about the beginning of the universe and whatnot and was there God and all kinds of stuff like that because being in a psychiatric hospitalis a very metaphysical experience and shit. And yeah, so I waited til the afternoon when all the psychiatrists were gone because the psychiatrists come around only in the morning when they talk individually to their own patients and shit, and nobody used to go to that end of the U-shaped ward, cuz it was just the solitaire room, which no one wanted to got to, and just the electrocution room, where no one wants to go to either, cuz, I mean, who wants to get electrocuted in a psychiatric ward and shit? But to tell you the truth I have met some patients who say they want to be electrocuted, and if that's what it takes to cure them out of their depression, then so be it, and elelcrocute away and shit. And so there I was at the end of the U-part of the pasychaitric ward next to the elctrocution room and next to the solitaire room, standin' in front of the exit doors which were not locked and shit, and I had on a pair of square-tipped cowboy boots, and I was going to Moscow for an important if not clearly defined mission, and so I just sort of charged the exit doors, wondering why in God's name they would have an unlocked set of exit doors in a psychiatricv ward in an area that was basically desolate and shit, and maybe it was fire regulations or some shit, but whatever, it didn't seem logical to me. And so I charged the doors, and I flung my feet first sort of like I was sliding into second base down at old Jelleff's Boys Club, only my feet were much higher, about waste high, as a matter of fact, and everything was happening in slow motion, and I felt like a cruise missile or somethin', and the bottoms of my boots hit the bars on the exit doors, and the exit doors flew open like crazy or somethin', and an alarm bell went off, and it was the loudest alarm bell you ever have ever heard, louder than the horns signaling air raids in London in 1942 or 1943 or whenever, and I landed in a stairwell safe and flat on my back, and I wasn't bruised or nothin', and I had a great deal of energy, and actually I was scared as shit if the truth be told. And if you want to know what paanoia is, you just had to be me at that moment in time, having just sprung myself from a psychiatric ward in order to go on a mission to Moscow, where I would have to murder somebody or hold important high-level meetings and discussions about the fate of the free world or somethin', and I got up, and I started running down the stairs, cuz I knew they were comin' after me, because the psych personnel in psychiatric wards do not take attempted escapes lightly, and they throw you in solitaire for that shit, and maybe they even electrocute you too, and I am not lying, and I ran down two flights of stairs and now I'm feelin' like superman orsomethin', and I'm experiencing this fantastic rush all through my brain and shit, and I stopped for a moment and my heart was pounding and thumpin' real hard and shit, and I put my hands over my ears, cuz the alarm bell was piercingly loud, and it was fucking with my mind and shit, and then I started runnin' down some more stairs, and I knew the limoes would be waitin' for me, and I ran down some more stairs, and then I saw a set of doors, and I said to myself out loud, well, this is meant to be and this is my fate, and I have to go through these doors and shit, and I went through the doors, and on the other side of the doors was the hospital kitchen, and now my whole life was like an acid trip or somethin'. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of shiny metal pots were hangin' everywhere, and there were all these chef types there in the kitchen, thousands of them, all in white with those big puffed-up white hats that chefs wear, and I started runnin' through the kitchen, and I don't know why, but I picked up a heavy metal spoon and started bangin' it against all the pots that were hangin' there, and one of the chefs said, "Hey, what the fuck?" and I continued to run like a maniac, because I was a maniac, and I was all paranoid and shit, until I came to another set of doors, and again I knew that I had to go through them, not knowing what was behind them and shit, and I went through them, and I came out on this landing-like area, and I don't really know what you call it, it was a little balcony or somethin' and I was on the second floor now, looking down at the main lobby of the hospital, and suddenly I regained my composure and was not manic or paranoid anymore, but I was just normal once again, and real happy as a matter of fact and shit, because I realized my dream was coming true, and that all I had to do was walk down one flight of stairs and walk through the lobby and get into one of the three limoes of my own choosing, if you will and what not, and I could see the three limoes just outside the front entrance way to the hospital, and I walked down the stairs, and now I was in my triumph, like Gen. George Patton or soemthin', or whatever his name was, and I felt like I had had just single-handedly won World War II for Christs's sake, and I was going to Moscow, and I could see the rear ends of the limoes, and they were all black and shiny with chrome bumpers and shit, and I got down to the floor of the lobby, and while still walking triumphantly like Patton or somebody and shit, and just as I put my hand up to reach for the exit door of the hospital and entrance was just as I was mere yards away from my limoes, I felt a strong hand grasp my left arm between my elbow and my shoulder, and then I felt another strong hand grasp my right arm between my elbow and my shoulder, and then I knew I wasn't gonna make it to Moscow after all, and I turned around and sure enough, it was two of the technicians from the paychiatric ward, andthey were all dressed in white, and they had caught up with me just in time to save their jobs, cuzz if you're a technician in a psychiatric ward and one of the paitients gets out and escapes and runs away free, they fire your ass. And these two guys weren't gonna get fired cuz they caught my poor terrible and pathetic ass and right there just before I was gonna choose which limo to get into and shit, and then I felt like a deflated balloon, and my spirits drooped, and I went all limp and shit, and then I recognized the two technicians, and one was the smaller but muscular African American guy who once had beaten me five times in a row in ping-pong upstairs in the psychiatric ward, where they show you no mercy and shit, and the other guy was the big 6'4" fat guy who played folk guitar in the ward after dinner and shit, and he thought he was really cool or somethin', like he was James Taylor or somebody, and those two old boy had ahold of me by either arm, and one of them said, "Not quite so fast, O"Malley," And "You're not goin' anywhere, Seamus" and shit. And so they marched my poor and pathetic ass over to the elevator and back up to the 16th floor or somethin', and then they marched me into the front entrance of the psychiatric ward, and I heard them jinglin' their keys and shit just as I heard keys jingle on March 16, 1972, 10 years earlier when they locked my ass up in Sibley Memorial Hospital, and they walked me through the living room and down the entire U of the corridor, and then on past the nurses' station, and then on up by the electrocution room, and I was sure they were gonna electrocute me and shit, for I had done wrong, and I had been a bad boy, and I had tried to escape and shit, but they did not electrocute me. Instead, they marched me up to solitaire, and they threw me into the solitaire room, and they threw me down on the mattress so I did a somersault or soemthin', and I landed on my stomach just beyond the end of the mat and on the cold marble-like floor and shit, and the first thing I noticed was the place had the acrid smell of urine in it, and then the two boys came into the solitaire room, and they took off all my clothes, and they threw me a woolen blanket and said, "See you later, Seamus" and "Nice try, O'Malley," and they locked my ass up in solitaire. And this was on a Friday, so I couldn't do nothin' except survive a life in solitairy confinement all the way until Monday morning, when good old Dr. Mauritzio Hernandez would return, and then he could order me to be freed from solitairy confinement and shit. And so I wrapped myself in the blanket, and walked around the room in circles, and I had to keep myself sane somehow, since I was in solitairy confinement and all, and there was really only one window, and that was the little 6"-by-6" window on the door, where they used to look in on me and check up on me from time to time, and there were a couple of normal-sized windows in the solitaire room, but these were all grated up, so I couldn't kill myself or nothin', and you really couldn't see out these two windows because the grating was so thick and shit, and they would't even let me out to go to the bathroom, but I refused to go to the bathroom, so I held it in unitil Monday morning when Dr. Hernandez arrived and let me out. And a lot of the time when I was in solitaire, I walked around in circles with the blanket over my head, so I was blinded, and I kept thinkin' that this is what the American hostages in Iran must have felt like as they got their poor asses marched around Tehran and shit, with blind-folds on, and I used to bounce off the walls in solitaire from time to time, not knowing where I was goin' or what I was doin', and I did this for two full days until Dr. Mauricio came on Monday morning and got my ass out of solitaire and back into the real world again, and when Dr. Mauricio let me out of solitaire I put some clothes on, so I could feel like a respectful human being once again, and I asked Dr. Mauruitzio if he was gonna electrocute me and shit, and he said no that he never electrocuted any of his patients, and he said he was a humanitarian and shit. And so I liked Dr. Mauritzio just fine after that--after that, my stint in solitaire in Montgomery General Psychiatric Ward Hospital and shit.
And so, oh, yeah, this "I Don Quixote" business, and why did I call this book "I, Don Quixote"? And it's really quite simple and shit: I mean, sometimes I think I am this top secret spy and shit, and I know the NSA controls my computer, and I know they know everything I do, and I know they record every stroke that I make on my computer keyboard, and they follow me around everywhere I go and shit, and sometimes I will swear that this is all true. But the fact of the matter is I haven't been insane and shit for like 10 years now, and I take my pill every night, (I'm off the Thorazine and the lithium), and I just take Symbiax now, which is an antipsychotic and anti-anxiety agent and an antidpressant all in one, so I never get depressed now, well, sometimes I get a little depressed, but I hardly ever get nervous now, and I don't get manic at all anymore, and I run two to six miles every day, and I take my pill faithfully at night, as I said. And so since I sometimes think I am a top secret spy and shit, but since I know I'm really not a spy at all, I call myself Don Quixote. I mean, I'm an old man charging wind mills. I mean, I actually believe sometimes that I'm a spy, and I'm gonna save the world from nuclear destruction, for Christ's sake and shit, and I don't know, maybe I'll capture Osama bin Laden or something like that--you know? So what I'm trying to say is that deep down in my heart I want to be a superpowerful, supersecret spy in charge of an enormous portion of the U.S. intelligence community, a portion that is bigger and better than the fucking Mossad, for Christ's sake and shit, but as I said, the fact of the matter is I'm not. I am simply Don Quixote.
So, I'm a top secret super spy and shit, and I never did tell you all the suff about the CIA that Don Kirk taught me about, and all the satellites and the secret code names and shit, and the black ops that I was a part of, and so I work on my computer all day, and I go to these top secret sites and shit, and I read stuff that's top secret, and I cannot divulge the contents of this top secret stuff, for the sake of the God-damned national security, and what do you think? And if you don't believe me, you can ask my roommate, Joel, cuz Joel sees me every day except when he's out at Ft. Meade, shackin' up with his girlfriend, who works for the NSA and shit, and I swear to God she does, but I'm not supposed to know cuz it's a very secretive organization and shit, and Joel is probably gonna dismember me for revealing the true identity of his girlfriend, but I mean he's all shacked up with her now half the time, so it's like I don't even have a roommate anymore, so I'm free to assess my top secret sites and shit, and I haven't had a nervous breakdown for 10 years now or somethin', and I'm doin' real good, and my hands don't shake or nothin' like they way they used to when I was on the lithium, and I don't hallucinate or anything anymore, and I know I don't have a mission to Moscow or nothin' even remotely close to it, and I'm not delusional, and I don't think I'm the head of the CIA, like I once did when I was taken off the lithium and when I became delusional, thinking I was in charge of the whole shibang and shit, and that I was runnin' the whole show and shit and no, I'm Don Quixote. Man of le Mancha, or some shit.
So, man, like, one of my secret spy sites has these videos that the terrorist guys have made, and I get to watch these videos. And one of the videos, called the murder of Christopher Smith, shows an American getting beheaded by the terrorists and shit, and sure, the terrorists are really right and shit, and one world under Allah, and everybody knows that that is right and shit. And so they have to behead some of us, you know, because, Allah be He willing, that is what has to happen and shit. And so I looked at this one video called "The Murder of Christopher Smith," and the video starts off with a long shot, sort of, and you see Christopher Smith sitting there, and he looks all meek and passive and shit, to tell the truth, and he doesn't look at all like he knows he's about to get beheaded and shit, and and he's clean shaven, and you can tell that he looks like he's 22 or maybe 23 or somethin', I mean, he's young enough looking to be called a kid and whatnot, and he's got a full head of thick hair, which is jet black, and his hair comes down over his ears and shit, so you can't see his ears and shit, and he's wearing this orange jump suit, and it's like one of those suits you see the prisoners wearing at Guantanomo, or Gitmo, as some would call it and shit, and I don't know where the terrorist hirabi types got the orange jump suit and shit, like maybe one of them escaped from Guantanomo and went to Cuba and to good old Fidel Castro and shit, and I haven't even gotten a chance to tell you what old Megan Rosenbaum called Castro (she said, "Castro is a shit") and shit. And maybe the hirabis exported the orange jump suit back to Iran or wherever this beheading was taken place, and there are four of the terrorist types standin' behind Christopher, and there all carryin' AK-47s, and they all have the AKs slanted across their chests and shit, so the whole scene takes on a measure of symmetry, and these four trerroists have on regular clothes and their all wearing masks-woolen caps with holes for the eyes and mouths and shit, and they look like something out of a Quinton Terrantino movie or somethin', and then there's a fifth guy. and he's standin' off to the side, and he's got some papers in his hand, and he's reading from the papers, and he's saying, "All praise Allah" and shit and "Allah be willing" and whatnot, and he's speaking in Turkish or Arabic or Farsi or some foreign language which I know nothing about, and maybe that's why the CIA didn't take me, cuz I don't know any foreign languages and shit. And so, yeah, this guy's readin' off the sacred words of Allah, and he's probably quoting passages from the sacred Koran and shit, and "Allah be praised" and shit,and we the mujahadden and shit, and the Holy People according to Allah's law and whatnot, and I don't know what all he says, cuz I don't speak Turkish or Farsi and shit, and that's why I never got into the CIA, and besides I'm too old to be a spy and shit, and the guy reading has a mask on his head too, and so I'm guessing they know that what they're about to do is wrong. Otherwise, I wonder, why would they be afraid to show their faces and shit. And then the guy just keeps on reading in Farsi or Turkish or whatever, and you're gettin' all bored practically, because you know that all he is saying is praise Allah and shit and Allah be willing and other sacred and meaningful words and shit, and then he finally finshes readin', and he gestures to the old boys standin' behind Christopher Smith and shit, and they all throw down their AKs, and each of them pulls out a big butcher knife out of their pants and shit, and they all start to make animal noises like linemen in the NFL or some shit, and they're all sayin', "Awa! Awa! Awa!" or some shit, and the sounds the terrorists are making is truly gorey and ghoulish and their groaning and grunting and shit, and then they just sort of tip old Christopher over onto his side, and he's been sitting legs akimbo. I believe is the expression, and he keels over like a stiff board or barrel or somethin', and he doesn't even change expression or yell or nothin', and he looks the whole time like everything is oaky dokey with him and the world is a fine place to live and shit, and then the guy who was doing all the reading goes first, and he just slices into the right side Christopher Smith's neck as if he's slicin' into a turkey or some shit, and then he steps back and the others step in, and they start hackin away at Christopher's neck, and they're makin' these horrible guttural sounds and shit, and they're all crowded around Christopher Smith like a football team in a huddle or somethin', and one of the guys has a go at Christopher's neck, and this terrorist guy just hacks away, and I think he hits the jugular, cuz all this blood spurts out from the body, not from the head, and then he just keeps hacking and the blood pools on the foor, and he just keeps hackin' and they're all making animal noises now, and they all seemingly have forgtotten about Allah, or I don't know, maybe they're still praisin' Allah or somethn', I don't know, and then the head is almost completely severed, and you can see where the buthcher knife had a little more to go, and by now they've cut all the way through Christopher's neck, and the head has been severed, and Christopher, I guess, is officially dead by now, and the expression on his face hasn't changed at all and shit, and he just looks all peaceful and calm like, and the mujaheddin terrorist guy who did all the reading grabs onto Christpher's head of hair, I mean, he just grabs Christopher's head by its hair, and then he picks up the head, holdin' it like a statue or somethin', and they've all stop their animal sounds by now, and the guy who did the reading holds the head up higher now at about camera level, and he approaches the camera with the head, and the head is taiking up practically the whole screen now, and then there's a flickering of white, and then all the lights go out, and the screen goes to black.