The Untitled. (The as-of--yet-Untitled)
A history. A story. A poem.
No sword, no stone, no fire.Dead After
The present moment is the fruit of life.
Falling into illusion.
The lost journals of September Falls.
Note to self. How will I ever motionlessly career for my moving disaster. Career means meaning thing. Career, to me, means to run. When will it stop. Knots, lies and honey highs. Lies, and more lies. Foot's stumped. Tendons in a jam. Need rest. prescriped drugs ain't helping. Zoloft, clonapanzine, zanex, Don't have time to take off from the surreal life surrounding. Hurting bad. Down. SOS. On the blue and yellows. Even a worse feel. Nothing compares to her touch. The wolves will becoming soon. Look out for the flash bulb at Hotel, High Rise, near Wilshire blvd. Find out the name. I'll meet him at one of the studios. Tall, handsome and beyond charming. Don't forget to phone The Brat before you show. He'll take you with the package. Don't forget the package. Check in the attic. Get the pass.
--Jay Grisham's journal entry. Tuesday. January, 1st 2001. 56 degrees Far.
Meet R. October's cold. Sears tower. Coffee cup. Café with red brick. Pick up a pack of American Spirits, her favorites. She'll be on her Harley. Evening she said. Dinner time. Bring yo jacket and CD's. Between 6 and 7. This proves it's never too late.
Write the following (Proof it's never too late )on a sheet of paper and give it to R.
Beward of the hokaah people.
"If you spin your love around
the secrets of your dreams
you may find your love is gone
and is not quite what is seemed
to appear to disappear
beneath all your darkest fears
to the revelations of fresh face youth
no one will come to save you
so speak your peace in the murmurs dawn."
Thru the eyes of ruby
---Jona's Journal Entrey. Chicago. I think a Wed. Maybe Tue. October something. 2001. Near Holloween.
A poem for Sean,
Hide. Hide. Hide away. They are coming some day. Down and over the hornet's nest and through the pain of the bee sting. Changing coarses like a tropical storm, wrapping the wings of the Rebellion of angels. Niether hell nor above, swirling with out prayers. He is coming, some day. It is coming. Escape the earthquake to enter terroism of the unknown answer. It escapes terrorism to enter the tornado. No answer, no answer. Now. Now. Now. Escape the storm, enter the halls. Escape the hall;, enter the cold. Cold leads to valley, the valley to a whisper. A faint wind from God. A lift. Run falling shadow. Run throught it's dark body. It twirls and twists in us, calling. Calling the guilty conscience. Lost voices walking inside our shell. Hurry run. The hope killers are on their way. Run away. Hide, hide, hide away. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Run away. Hope killers trying to break. Their in the rain drops, the thunder claps and all their many faces, chasing, chasing, chasing and racing away. Hurry. Hide. Hurry. Hide, hide, hide away from the raining faces, chasing, racing to erase. Hope killers coming to play. Printing in their feet, hands and hips. Its gravitys pull, the wings of a butterfly and the roar of a hurrican, tacking down the scared souls. It smells man's fears and strikes in the cobra's stance. Taking the glorious sip, from the un- well of life. Hope killers on my brain and your untitled and they're on their way. Untitled and on their way. So dance my devilish fellow. Dance it all away. Put it in a pocket under the world. A hidden pocket under it all. Coming some day. Some day. Nor in our out. Nor up or down. Nor side to side. Warsps and hornets everywhere. Matter which trickles, dirty air, souls in torment, not to despair.
So the night it arises and it is forgoten. A kiss from Beatrice and his holy name.
Then, he drops and enters the forbidden door. Seeing a vision in a lit glowing box.
Hope beating in a chest at the foot of our beds. Thunderous screaming legs. Hope balancing on our heads. Raining hands fall. Thunderous pain and whipping Lightning striking twists, thundering prance, thunder crash clap and lightning rainy slides.. . . and all the rest of going insane. Don't deny the pain, don't deny the pain. Untitled and on it's way.
It was five months after September 11th, 2001 when I began to realize it was a lie. The dusty mist seemed to still hover in the air. Forgive me for I speak in imagery, and life to me that is, is merely only various segments of the whole in which I draw up to paint, in it's artful despair. Its hope that will save me. I swear dear God; I swear.
Everything speeds up, shuts off and on, off and on again and again. And above us the celestial spin. The wind would not stop as his heart galloped within his chest and sin. It was all too fogy to distinguish man from manmade, at best. It was all too hazy to differentiate between human and thing (matter.) No matter. Begin again, begin. Beside the madder and madder bang. For all that's sadder and sadder. He had to climb the ladder to tug and tug at the devil's doorbell. It out it cried and rang beyond gates of hell. And out he cried and rang. And a smile from life sprang into the heavens above. He was down in the mud. A soft angelic hand grasped. A cigarette but's ash, a tug, her hug and I've been bit by the bug. Bit by the bug. But the ocean waves called his name and he worked to play on it's shore long haven, once more. And out, out, out far, far away, he swam along the door of God and away. Dove with swans. Toppled out of grace. From the sky they fall. From this place. Lost on Magnolia, looking for fruit. Looking for a kiss. A wave. A handshack. A messege. Anything to keep him dreaming.
Magnolia street. A place where all things fall from.
Crystal block flew into the night as I stepped off into the nothing of the world. Burn all desires and float to heaven. Don't let them call me insane. Don't let them call me insane. Never let them call me. . .call me, call me, call, call, call. . .
Journal Entry—Washington D.C.—Depths of the asylum. Night before my big exit. January, something, 2003.
Steve Whatshisface, the pickpocket.
The Big Apple. Two years before he lost his name.
Can the dead speak?
Haven't found Tommy yet. Papers say he is staying somewhere near Gramercy. Found a place in Grammercy park. Nice flat. Loft like features. It was that or a studio apartment. Toilette runs and drips . . . every other morning shits here and there. Wrinkled towls on the floor, puddles of bath water, or vomit from Chinese food gone awry. Went by the costume store. Picked up FBI badge. Called in headquarters. No answer. Where's headquarters? Brat phoned me. I told him I was auditioning. Still looking for Tommy. I hope I find him soon. Need to start trailing his patterns. Catch me If you Can. Four star film. Leo and Tom hanks are in it. I empthize for the film. Is it MGM, Touchstone, what? Recommend it to a friend. Somethien keeps reaccuring on the streets. I keep finding and picking up pennies. It is if they have fell from heaven. In heaven the streets are layered from Gold. In New York the streets are speckled with pennies. Its not gold but its only a few steps down. They are everywhere. Stuck in the crossing walks. Pennies in the tar shining lucky dead faces. But when you reached down and picked them up they do not lift. The car wheels and foot steps have pushed them beneath a rising point. They are insurrected in the tarry streets. Pressure has melding them into the man made blackened ground.
Journal Entry. January 20th. 2001. 12:39.
Jay hid behind the tallest movie poster sign near Broadway and 19th street. Cigarette break. It was as if Tommy Wilhem from Bellow's world Seize The Day was going to walk past Jay munching on a jelly covered bagel, holding a thin Time magazine, with his thumb in an article about the new Pulitzer winner, and a expression with no variety mocking Tamkin, awaiting a café or moive house to seize the opportunity to ecape the grind or reality by escaping into a fantasy story, a novel about an actor's life or a new review of an upcoming screenplay, feature film, or some other form of entertainment designed to misguide the rawness of everyday life, to ascend the medoirce person, to the heights of Hollywood's fast paced lifestyle, for the mere pleasure of Falling off the cliff of work labor and into the leisure of literature and free time Seize The Day. What a short novel. Novella, they call him. Jay thought flicking the zippo and touching the blue bit of the flame to the end of his freshly wrist packed cigarette. Jay never packed the box on the back on his hand, he liked to hit his open wrist, to remind of the pulse, the crucial beat in which he was smothering with flame and tobacco. He was in New York. On Broadway. Life was pumping past him like a factory machine. Grinding out patterns of man, a new step, a new way to the future. Finance was bleeding and being patched before him on cell phone calls, ear to ear messeges about stock markets, the world trade and the new and improved upcoming product of communication that would easily beat out the wonders and genius of the cellular.
"Some types are just untitled." He whispered. Jay glared at the poster as smoke lifted before his eyes. It could be possible he was an extra in this flick. Titles change in Hollywood. One film he had performed background duties (or background art, as the background artist call it.) was known as Baby In Black, which was originally a Disney production and then later passed on to Touch Stone. They changed the film from Baby's to the feature name Midnight Mile. Midnight Mile is more flashy, sexy than Baby's in Black. He figured he was not in the movie poster he was standing next to. Most likely he would of heard the underground noise of a name change-actors, background artist, kept up with such details for resumes and to help others land future gigs. "My day will come. My day will come to become a title. Untitled today but a title tomorrow. It will happen to me. No more of this unknowner crap. Just need focus. Focus and breath." Another whispered escaped his puckered lips. His wish seemed to vanish in the thick dense air. People, people everywhere and not a drop to stop and say, "Good day or Good night." They walked by like mechanical robots, consuming their hot dogs, hailing cabs and buying the daily news at magazine stands. Busy, busy and far from a kind wave or friendly wink. Texas was a town of friendship. New York was a town of money. Money can break up a friendship if you value it's envious shade. Jay's eye's where green so he understood the meanings of it's ever lasting color. Time was clicking like wild fire. Steve took a short puff of a half smoked cig he lifted from an sandy ash tray near a fancy Hotel. He stepped on the burning cherry and watched the cigarette smoother to dirty ashy smear. "No more snagging butts." He moaned. He was so damn poor he could no longer afford to purchase packs for himself. So, he dug in hotel ashtrays and removed the most expensive brands. Some had lipstick on them and he always sunk those back into the sand. It was the expensive brands that attracted him. Camel, and various brands from Europe. He smell the ends, and taste the smoky skin. It was a method of tracking the money. The money from the fingertips of the greedy. The tips of fingers that once held and smoked these particular brands. Cigarettes held by millionaires. And now their scente exposed in sandy covered ash bins. All things that from earth have a scent, no matter how greedy they are. And if they carry no scent, they are from a absent plain of existanct. And now, Jay was getting to know them in a physical, way, in a way a wolf will track it's prey. Touching the end of the butt to his lip and taking it in, studying it, understading it on kenisthetic level. Perhaps, he would learn something from it. Besides the high his body received from the nic. He grew thinner by the moment and the taste became amplified. It was five bucks for a simple pack of Camel lights at a cigarette stand. In the harsh city a smoke cost you a meal. Five bucks could buy you a philly and cheese, Jay thought. Was it the meal he would replace with a cigarette or a cigarette in the semblance of a meal. He'd save the philly for when he got light headed from over walking the city streets. At times he become so rushed his legs would cramp up and his eyes would go fuzzy. The back of his heels would sting like a bee's vengence.
It was warm near the poster sign. One of those metal grids skimming along the surface of the sidewalk, pushed warm subway air upward. It hissed in long sporadic strides, exhaling heated air toward the great sky scrapers. It was like some metal tooth dragon stuck in the concrete force to live out it's hell exhaling it's warmth from it's fiery deep belly, chilling passerbyes. Anyone standing before it would be warmed like a hot jumbo frankfurter. It was funny to watch walkers stop and stick out their gloved hands to catch a few heat waves from the underground. Jay focused in on the details of the movie poster with great concentration. He studied the actor's photo on the cover, his lay out, his eyes, hair and positioning of his head. What style, he thought. What focus? For a slight moment he could hear his cheap watch tick. The cinema on Broadway was re-playing a screening of the ground-breaking release of The New Hope. One of those heart warming films about love and the military. Staring Brad Pit and some fine and fancy bimbo. Boy, was it out of place, he exclaimed. What innovation, hurrah for Hollywood. Its about time Hollywood came out with a new idea, he snookered with a hint of sarcasism.
The Empire state building lit up with out warning. It was the latent Christmas bulbs left over from the twenty fifth. It was casting twinkles of green and red light in the cracking of it's windows. Like far away dieing stars on a clear rural night. Morning rose. Afternoon happened and Steve still had the hanging out blues. He was drifting around the Dog Park off of Broadway and the thirties. Everyone could tell he was from out of town.
He took a minute to balance himself. Took in a full breath and let the morning sink in. His eyes floated upwards toward the white and blue sky. Then, his glare shot over to a angled mast, sticking out at a forty five degree angle, from the brick skin of the Empire's body. The American Flag flipped and tossed in sharp cutting slaps. The ring of the flag pole was wavering. The raising chain clicked against the pole. The tinging sound was sort of hypnotic. Thunk, dink, thunk, thunk, dink, ting. It clattered like an Indian chimes hovering from the Ganges river. The sound faded under the harsh honking and rushing wind, in which raced through the streets in unknowing patterns. "Don't ever open your umbrella while crossing the street." An actor freind of Jay's once told him. "Wind patterns. It will lift it clean away." He was from Chicago. Shy town folk used expressions like "lift it clean away." They had a far away manner, always one step behind but studying rather than living along side you. Chicago was like that. (Or atleast that is how he remembered the town. People with farway faces, cold, fast walkers but always trailing behind. Always two steps back. It was not that they were slow, but rather too fast, so fast, in this manner, that they vanished around corners, seeping through shadows, flailing out of cars. Stepping. Steeping. Wired eyes. Trailed all the way around the world to met your end. Worldly eyes. Eyes with dollar signs. "Lift it clean away." A peculair group of words. It was as if the winds in town had hands. Hands for snatching hats, scarfs, pamplets and newspapers, oh, and even umbrellas. It made sense to know the fate of one's umbrella in the windy city. It was rumoured that the real city kind didn't carry umbrellas in New York. Aslo, it was hinted that umbrellas were only carried in Chicago, not to say that Chicago doesn't breed city kind, just hefty umbrellas. Chicago has it's taste of the cold and money. Boy, they knew how to operate their umbrellas while crossing an avenue. They knew their inner city wind patterns. He thought the lights glared awfully pretty this January of two thousand three, and it was an amazing sight to see the most famouse building, besides, the two, well you know, and that's when silence over came him. He exclaimed in a hush, "What about that, there festive nature! Wow!" He thought cover up the lump in his throat. "What a sight!" He vanished the passing memory of the towers and cleared a tear with his glove. Each light lit up like a small flame. Flames of green, blue and red. Flames for the busy holiday. The festive glimmer cheered all the gawking Emprie State Building fans. Have you ever played that game where you go to the mall and look up at the ceiling and everyone begins looking up at the ceiling and you walk off with your mall friend and say, "Fooled them." Its psychological. Well, you didn't have to do that at the Empire State building. Nope. Everyone's neck folded back and their eyes wide open, stretching their esophagus to limit, in order to set glimps at the massive structure and the well known pointing spire. The, and I would say, visitors, others, tourist, walked beneath it's thick shadow, carrying their business cases and satchels like ants humping away crumbs from a picnic on a perfect Sunday. Slowly and methodically they carried their briefcases, shopping bags, and business person's materials and fancies. It reminding them of the brightness and illuminating warm glow of Christmas's meaning. Days of wonder, joy and meditation. Days of youth and purity. Days of snow and candy canes. Jay headed south on Broadway. Toward down town. Movie Day. It was Movie Day. Hurrah for the cinema and it's addictive light. Too much festivity was making him dizzy. He needed a break. Besides, cloudy day's were always movie days! Good way to get out of the rain, he thought.
Jay was in the process of staking down his next hit of movie magic from the silver screen. Unfortunately, he was a buck short from buying the matinee ticket. "One dollar short." Why one dollar from escaping reality?" He sniffled with an interrogating presence. It was time for a quick hustle. I got it. I'd just go to ever corner find a worthier well dressed business type and say, "Sir. I need a quarter for a phone call. It's important. I'm trying to call home to check my message machine. I have a important message concerning business. You understrand being a welldressed business like yo self. Not to mention, should have an message from a close friend who needs me to pick em' up. I don't know where they are staying and they have this serious flu. . . See, sir, I ahh. . . " It didn't take much. Wam. He gave in. He really bought it. The business type laid the silver shiny nineteen ninety three quarter in his soft palm and the unknown pedestrian headed off. Jay loved his dress and decorum. He had on a single breasted gray Armani suite with a fancy flashys earthy pink scarf, alligator dress shoes and three diamond rings. He was a blond devil of Wallstreet, indeed. A peacock that probably sold lost dreams and abandoned lots near the business district and Soho. Lost, in pedestrian traffic. Just like I like it, Jay thought.
Jay's story is complex. He was in the process of transforming. He needed a new persona. See, Jay's credit cards were max'd out. His financial situation was in deep shit. Plus, the last twenty bills in his wallet had been cleaned out for subway tickets, bagels and protein cookies at the GNC. He had nowhere else to go but into another body. There was a process in body swapping. 1. Social security card numbers would have to change, 2. license photos, 3. personal IDs, 4. clothing type, 5. a new hair style and 6. even a new name. That's going to take time, planning and organization.
Movies helped him organized. Getting away from the grind of reality helps seeding the fruit of creativity.
Crime takes time, it takes, it takes, it takes. Then, lost your back at ground zero. Bite, bite and bite and it will bite back, my friend. Don't you ever get tired of taking Jay, a voice hauntingly asked. It was an imperative, deep voice and tone with a interrupting intentions.
It was about a year before Jona took over his body, and about a year and a half before Steve showed his face in the rearview mirror of the old people's stolen car headed east from Shy town. Steve's life is much later. And he is much more complex. It was before he headed West, to the sunshine and beaches, and it was before he, (then Agent Jay Grisham) landed jobs for Hollywood. Before he got in touch with that which is underneath zero. Far underneath, into the subzero states, the place were nothing moves. Invisible, alone and in awe he continued on in a contium of possibilities. Before the sunrise. Before Chicago, the haunted house, Rhiannon's Harley, hookahs, bald vampires, Washington D.C, the nut bin, the crystal block, Sean the dancer, the upper levels, the roof of the hospital, the Olympic sized swimming pool race, the screenplay idea, the screenplay, the savior story, Dr. Hurt and the phone call.
Jay could be defined as an "it" gal, or dude, since he was a man, due to his various forms and personages. The It gal was a lady in the jitter bug age that attracted both sexes. He is more of an It dude because he attracted not only ladies but the others.
Jay was six feet, one hundred and fifty pounds, green eyes that showed up as blue, on various days, and he was approaching thirty. It was time to put away childish things. The problem with Jay was he didn't know how. He could throw away ever toy but the child keep seeping upwards, with out asking.
Hell, had many options. His life had become a canto from the Divine Comedy, and the only other path, once with Beatrice, is to act out the suffering, experience the hell, observe the punished, move up or down the nine levels, and, well, arise to blissful freedom. Once you have hit bottom you have no other choice but to build a trampoline, or cantepoult your soul past the flames. Or you can stay at the bottom. I'd rather invest in springs or rocket blaster tennies. Adidas had not come out with them as of yet. Jay would have to climb out. Unless an angel tugged him back. Only, luck with the Irish. Or it seems.
Freezing. It was in the teens (preferably the low degrees of what is recorded as Fahrenheit. The cold was not recorded in such a way Europe. He had visited France years back. A week with his aunt, step father and mom. They trecked to the Iffel tower and the louve. Jay got lost and forgot about time. Some how he ran into a group of cheerleaders from America. Mid West. He luckily found his mother, aunt and step father near the Mona Lisa.) Jay's view measured things on the level of pain. Or recently they were measured in that fashion. This, lead to his slow state and his confusing chatter. His life, at the present moment, was measured in windchills and mild frost bite.
One could see breath visibly dance before gapping mouths bouncing down the side walk. The cold could make the invisible visible. He had proof of this in peoples breath. Jona understood the cold and all it's unkindly flagellum and bright sharp stings, could hurt. Steve understood it in a more three dimensional way; the emotional state of glacial bitterness, and Jona had a grasp on the aspect of it's danger and it's worth. It is not hard environmental obstacle to take in and digest. But Jona and Steve are for later. Now, it is Jay's side. Jay and the cold of New York. Extreme cold could really open the eyes, suck in the gut and tremble the knees. Struggling against frosty winds really allows the NOW to happen now.
The temperature dropped so low in NYC that at times it felt like he was underwater; thickly iced over, laying on the bottom of some lake in North Alaska. Ice cycles from the overpasses hangings, fire escape steps and rain spouts and storm vents dripped down in long silvery spikes, slowly seeping and ticking away. The city was becoming crysalized. "It's like underwater out here!" he exclaimed.The passing walker's cold breaths turned to water drops that later hardened into a shiny jewelry of gray. Jay was seeing what was not there. Many called it hallucinating. When it got too cold he warmed himself by making up stories and believing in them. He had lost too much weight and his days of tripping were slipping up his spine. LSD does not leave the system once ingested. It is stored in fat. Once the fat is burned, it realeses. A cycle of psycodelic. It's return to the mind depends on the taker's good eating happens and healthy body image. Fat storage could be tricky. It was like storing psycodelic dynamite. But, nevertheless, LSD was his teenage years. Jay had not touched it for almost eleven years.
Drugs had had their bout with Jay's Texas highschool days.
Jay turned to the story for comfort and sanity.
Stories and their faiths became fags for the fire. And the vicissitudes of verisimilitude became the downward spiral of his reality, or real life. That's when he split persona. Even his voice changed, diction changed and his hairstyle. And when your voice, diction and hair style change, you change. Parts of you make up the sum. Was it LSD's fault or was Jay just nuts. Well, it is subjective. You could go both ways with it.
Jay had changed for the better or the worse. Nevertheless, he had changed masks.
Your outer appearance is what everyone sees. And when people see you as different than your respond differently. The inner you is the most precious part of the pie. The outer appearance and decorum is merely ash, in it's worth. But even ash has weight. Eventually the outer effects will give rise to an inner change, just as an inner change carefully transforms the outer. But Jona and Steve are a story for later. The evolution of Jay, Jona and Steve are part of the story as a whole. Now it is time to focus on Jay, a part, and his quest with the FBI.
Jay passed by a couple of men talking next to a segment of payphones. "I believe in illogic. Irrationality is part of culture. The film was about the whole folklore of Greek and Roman times. You know that Dionysus had followers, right?" The walk sign popped on to an odd and flashing coloriful light. The hand sign flashed off and on, on and off, and a cab cut by with out a sound. Jay took one step forward off the curb. "A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step." He whispered into the chilling, icey breeze. It always gave him warmth. Those words were invented by pure wisdom. Snow was on it's way. The wind was speaking in that type of somber, blue tone. Cold season.
Called in yesterday. No one answered. Where are they? Can they hear me? Did they abandoned me? I'm qualified, aren't I? All it takes is one day of falling from grace and your entire future shifts. I'm, qualified. If anyone is its me.
Jay. Journal Entry. Wednesday. Raining ice. Jan. 22. 2001.
Everything just piled up on poor Jay. The cold wind coercing him to mind the knotted halting brick wall named inhibition. He pulled his collar up and faced the world, and on his own.
Life was not about fear. Fear stacks the bricks and pain scratches at it's rough, gritty texture. Fear and pain are the helping hands in declension of the human existance. Life ticked in clicks, and in small moments. These clicks, passing with great speed, can be slowed if the will and heart wants to take them in. This means there must be dedications to every moment. See, the freezing wind has it's title role in the game of uppredictable weather. The chill of the wind is how we feel it coming. Jay's wind was whirling like a snowy tornado. The city was snowing vanity, infamous, fame, hate, greed and unpredictability, not just icey water. The escaping flames of hell moved on on all levels. Snow ploughed from the side walks and melted in the gutters. Tiny, snowstorms kicked off the hells of angry walkers. Coffee sapped into a congressman's soul. Plans were being made on a cell phones. Lost faces hanging from light poles and city phone boxes with Kinko copy emblems. It was reserved paper from corporate monsters. It had a place. Reserved for the dead, the dead words, or the far fetched strugglers, or the struggling words of the trying artist.
Jay made way to the ticket booth. Hurry don't worry, hurry don't worry, a voice echoed in the back of his head. The grind of life was currently brewing below the city streets in various formless cries. Under his moving feet it sang. Short, sporadic falsetto lifts rang out to remind the pedestrians of the busy life. Memories of the underground trains, haunted the housewife's morning tea. Could she take in a crazy man? Only until work let out.
Janruary 15th, 2001.
I followed Pigeonman to the corner. Pigeon had left his key above the light lamp, next to the mailboxed. Tall man, frizzy hair, dark glasses, slight beard. Looks like he's on vacation. The lamp was flickering when I peeped in from the street door. HE was on his tippy toes to place the extra key. Fool. He couldn't see me. Sharp dressing fellow. He had four suitcases with him. All Samsonite. Yeah, its pigeonman agent 006. He is off on a routine mission or RR. I heard him talking on his cell to the other side. Seems he'll be gone til summer. He's place will suffice for now. Woo hoo. I saw him give me the secret single as he hailed a cab. The key must be left behind for me. It has to be. He jumped in the cab and I went after the key. There it was. Inside the hall lamp. The lamp opened like a glass mini door. I stuck my index finger inside and slipped the key down. It fit the elevator and I pushed the eighth floor. It had a number eight on it. The elevator doors opened to a large one room flat. Stove. Refrigerator. Three weeks supply of rice, frozen fruit and two cartoons of eggs. Also, milk and bread. Party time. Nice bed. Simple Futon. Small book shelf. Blinds. Small rug. Small heater. Fan for summer. And I full out stereo system. CD's ranging from Johnny Cash to Philip Glass. This guy is loaded. Fone rang twice yesterday. Didn't pick up. It has a message machine. It goes, "Beeb. Leave your name and number and I'll be back with you shortly." The owners name is Burt Nethers. Burt Nethers. What a name. Figure I'll keep a watch out. Only go in past two. Leave before Five AM. Not much sleep, but it will do for now. No visitors. No phone calls. Just keep calm and use it for a temporary base. Over and out. Oh, before I go, I'm going out for the night. All night. Twenty four hour. Maybe longer. I got the key. It's six AM now. I'll wait till tomorrow late. He could miss his flight. Come back. Forget something important like file, laser watch or brief case. Who really knows? Keep an eye out for now. Over and out
Jay heard them screaming under the sidewalk. The machines were in pain. Fog uplifted like small sunshine ghosts haunting the day. The screaming breaks from the subway cars howled, and the hissing steamy, thick wisps that slithered from the sidewalk cracks groaned, and the metal grid, lattices curb vents enclosed the underground. Beneath the breathing foggy streets, arose to dance away a symphonic building rhythm, from the perpetual heartbeat of hope, all of it, stemming from a Big Apple's concrete system. It was alive with massive mechanics and manly quick breaths, heaving a life into action, a world into motion. The city danced and danced in steamy pirouettes and honking high kicks for the world to see and take pride. Pride is what built this mysterious contraptions: subways, escalators and fallen towers. It no longer feared man. It had been built beyond his petty trepidation. It was no turning back from this technological abyss. Once man had worked this hard, only God could get him down.
I'll find him. I'm doing my reading. Got my niezche and Kroetz. Spelled niezche wrong. I'm digging German drama. Observed a female butcher. Is there an elixer for spelling? Hm.
January 24, 2001. Jay's journal.
Jay's tracks temporally died in place like the magnanimous breaking of a checker cab during rush hour traffic. The stop sign that rested in a crooked stand on the corner of twentieth and Park Avenue seemed out of place and crooked. Everything seemed more red. Red and jarring like the color of the stop sign, or the color of blood. Jay halted to a sudden and unsure stop under the sign and twisted his neck to the left and right, double-checking the traveling walkers. A whistle from a bridge, a horn blast from far off, buildings sounding like locomotives, cars sounded like baby cries, women grunting like men, kids walking like adults, adults behaving like children, streets moving like the interior of an atom, highways joining like veins in the human body; all a system thriving from and for the unknown. The mystery of it's creator it's destroyer. What feeds it, eats it. The whole city blooming and burning up. Burning like a fever in a mad man's brain. Concrete like skin, crawling in and changing lanes, stretching over and under the membrane of structure and perfect order. It was all so planned and out of control. It was all an organized oxymoron awaiting a better backbone. A straighter one. A perfect vertical rail to heaven.
Awaiting the jungle fire. A fire to spread the newborn seeds of city and weed out, dig over, properly remove what man had lost, terrorized and once fully commanded.
The crazy one would soon be leaving New York for home. A fire of hope murmured under it all. Healing would soon become an issue in his future as a man.
I feel lost. So, I go to the story to be found. I feel found so I go to life to be lost. I go to life and back again. Asleep and awake I walk. Subway makes good Veggies. Horse radish is now my favorite mustard.
I feel lost and found. A story, a newborn life, a misplaced path cracking, withering, unfolding. And slowly wide-awake I become, not there. Slowly I fall. Then, with God speed, I am there, I hear her breath, and I am sent to the rain.
No taco bell's around. Craving a burrito with red sauce.
Jay's journal entry. January. 2nd. 2001
The sky grew gray over night. Clouds rolled in from nowhere. And with a blink morning lifting. As the sunrays peeled, unpeeled and skimmed over the city skyline; the grayness overtook any sight of morning color, any sight of pastels, or hue from the sky, and within it's cold charm it morphed to a lacquered auburn. Morning was in full. Jay took note of the changing sky above. By noon, it had revitalized from dull blue gray into a group of lifting yellows, drying apricots and fainting blues. They say that if one mixes all the colors together the outcome becomes a dull but soothing gray. The sky was constantly painting in this town. Mixing colors to every color and into a nothingness. He looked through a looking glass darkly. Jay headed to the East Village in a yellow checkered. He stared up at the passing world with wide eyes.
Buildings breathed steamy exhalations, cars discussed a language of clatter, dongs hollering in animalistic hymns, and the men's shadows grew. Grew, grew like wild fire. Shadows racing; from the forms of edifices, shadows of church steeples, shadows, shadows, shadows, everywhere and everykind, shading darkly, hardened bones of gothic stone faces, clanking fences screaming and stretching, preventing, blocking, locking, shadows of ancient and newly born ancestry forwarding time; in metals, irons, golds, silvers and microscopic silicon, brick layered skeletons of the past eyeing and warning the buried in cemeteries, the shadow of trees, rooftop veins, wooden heads, tin souls and even a shadow in glassy eye. Man had come here from far away places to study the concept of his shadow. And they spilled from the ground and above. Along sidewalks and crossings, there stood, a city watching over men. Street corner fruit stands exchanging dough for grapes awaiting the hungry belly. Café's, steak houses and meaty Italian dishes, that was the life of builders and businessmen. The green of their money was far from bleeding into a good form. Even it had it's shadow. But nevertheless, hand made it's way to mouth and hands clasped to say hello and goodbye and the time moved on.
The clouds above stood, watching and walking, pushing, like untrained machines; talking in equations, thinking in labyrinths, anchoring into constructiveness and nature. Shadows of hands reaching, tugging, pulling to surface and shadows of claws tearing a colorless intimidating sky. At times it grew chaotic, at times it grew wild, until a indivisible orderly, electrified, twined net wrapped around the lose bolts and tugged the great clock backwards and forwards. New York was raging and roving ahead of all. Men from the past walked by men head the future. Passing one another galloping and clopping the fast fatherly hands of time. The sky circled and fell into serious sunset of red, orange and amber. Season after season, winter to summer, the ritual whirled into orderly blues. Structure into plan. Fall and spring. Configuration whirled in and out a system of dreams. It was unreal. Abstract. Sleepy paths awaited and reality cried in grinds. Paths of icy white coldness shivered and tensed under the cold gray sky. But they fought with heat. Heat made from batteries, machines and blowing steam. Hot fog, from nowhere and everywhere, under streets, rushing toward the tops of buildings, trailing like makeshift clouds. Sipping up from subway grids, sewer lids and concrete slits. The steam rushed upward, flipping and teasing, windfully, fingering and lifting ladies dress hims and pulling off businessmen's hats and caps. Workmen babbled until the fire molded and healed. A manmade system to be turned over from the dead to the known. Fiery moldings of the lost arose in a foundation of pride, courage and strength. A city was growing, even at it's young adulthood. An unearthed rising city, quickly wound by unknown hands, stood far above the massive earth and boisterous sea. Nevertheless, the men treaded a good land. A land founded on honesty and spirit. But the dark roar hummed under neath, causing soft hands to mold into fists. Tearing and healing. Impulses walked into pulses. And the beating of the drum arose overall it's purity. The men hurt, the women kissed the wounds and the city scarred, mended and healed. Civilization is a constant balancing act between temptation and reasoning.
Jay made his way toward the front doors to General Cinemas. The cinema manager had just put out the preview sign for a upcoming movie event. Jay kept remembering a play he read in Sixth grade. Glass Menagerie. It was about a man trapped in his home, force to drink and fantasize in movie houses. The lead role was titled as Tom Wingfield, a shoe salesman. Steve remembered him saying something in the lines of, "We go to the movies to find Adventure, because we choose not to move." Steve whispered misplacing the exact words written by Tennessee Williams. Foggy words floating in the dense air like notes from a rusty sax.
The poster casing stood tall blocking out a few of the low flying rays of the sun and casting its triangular shadow along the length of the sidewalk. Hollywood's seed for a town of money. A cab bounced past in itsy honks and putters mystifying the cold air in white smoke puffballs. Lack of oil, Jay thought. A precious water down jewel for America. A liquid gold weighted in blood.
Jay caught eye of a man exiting the General Cinema house. Tommy's face appeared to be around every corner. No that wasn't him. Not looks like him but too thin. No looks like him but too blond. Not him. Nope, Jay thought. He walked next to one of the two triangle movie signs. He stopped in front of the New Hope poster and lit up a Camel cigarette with a swift strike from a wooden match. The hefty cinema house manager was getting ready for the late afternoon, 'pm', college rush. The manager knew it would bring in a lot of movie buffs and those who appreciate the dark, detective film noir stories. The gotham side of the Big Apple frame by frame. Noir had it's addiction. Films had been hooking people into the shady houses ever sense the days of Bogart. Now we had William Hurt in Dark City and future Nior like Blade Runner. It was a million times what Bogart starred in. Plus, many had to escape the somber faces tragically walking around the Village. Happiness arose in spurts. Lately, the walkers had been gloomy and saddened. But they matched the personality of the weather anyhow.
College and high school kids always rushed to the theatre near Weekends. The youth had to find refuge from the structured draining, monotonous voices of academia. Everyonce in awhile their raged a emotional teacher, but they were hard to find. The village was frowning and cheering in rising highs and falling lows, due to the fear and protest of War. Many of the young ones were blazing up some hefty weather storms against the oily gun. Times were changing. New York had physical proof of that. Proof beyond zero.
They say, Ground zero was the evil footprints of the murderer called Terror. Some believe it was more than mere terrorism. Some believe it was an Act of God.
So, how do we protest God? How do we speak to the Almighty now? Is this a test? Are we passing?
The hefty movie house manager, in his black vest and dark trouser, dusted off the dirt and grimy particulates from the glass casing. "Dat will do er, pal." He wiped the runny snot from his clogged nostril, with a light blue hanky and tucked it away in his inside snowcoat pocket. He never knew the sign would be Jay's temporary shield in the next few seconds. Jay was heading north from Jay Street. He had just applied for a business job selling Cutco knives in the business district of Manhattan. He turned it down. Besides, it would of only flip him upside down from his path. Plus, he once sold Cutco in high school in 1992. Back in Texas, near DFW and Richland Hills. All he learned was how to knock on doors with a bag of knives, make funny noises with a sandwich spreader and cut nickels with the super duper stainless steal collapsible sissors. No need to repeat a painful experience. It never made him sharper. He was tired of cutting his luck.
Been hanging around the movie house lately. Followed Tommy here from L.A. The Big Apple is fast pace. Everyone is protesting the terrorist attack. Some don't want bombing. Some do. A man stood up and hollered, "Nuclear destruction on its way." Others protested Nike in foreign countries. A fat businessman cried, "If Nike is giving jobs to other people let them stay. If the other people are in third world countries, let them stay. We are giving the jobs, not enslaving." Most of the kids didn't want war. "War's not the answer. How can we achieve peace with fighting. Fighting for peace is a contradiction. Understand the terror." Peace signs sung in the air. Media cameras, candle light gatherings, songs with John Lennon lyrics, songs of peace, songs of God. Amazing Grace. I got hungry. Red cross and organizations for humanity handed out free bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apples. I filled bag full of bread. Later, I got more hungry and found a ten dollar bill in the secrete pocket of my coat. Went by a bakery. Good bread. Better bread. The taste that is. Best bread ever. Love the scones. Delicatessens the best. Oh, don't forget the package. Meet Tommy at a bar called the Push in Grammercy. Don't take Subway. Possible terror atk. Don't walk under scaffoldings. Going to see a film to take break. Its got the title Danger in it. Forgot the first two words. Take Broadway to the theatre, scaffolding sighted on Park. It fell and killed a few work men. ATF and FBI are looking for terrorist foot prints. Possible link.
Don't walk under scaffoldings anymore. Tommy is staying off of 24th and 7th, I believe. Phone brat. Don't walk under scaffoldings.
Journal entrey. Jay FBI. 1/23 2001. 23:04.
Shield from Danger. It was the kind of movie poster sign that usually stood in front of the entrance of a cinema house. Only this time they had them a few yards before the ticket booth. Sometimes near the corner.
Steve was back. Hiding away. He stopped lit up a half smoked cigarette and awaited on Tommy. Shield from Danger was playing a matinee. Tommy was supposedly inside. Disguised in thick shaded eyeglasses.
No film advertisement out of the ordinary. Bright colors. Neon outline. Odd and mysteries large print font. Laser art. New age mystery. Something with spirit and mystery. It was artsy. Reminded Jay of the sound of the inner bird; it wasn't noisy art and it didn't have shitless metaphors. A man in a trench coat headed somewhere to nowhere. A rectangular shadow was cast upon the sidewalk and street near a stalled cab. The man poised near the cab as steam fogged his form. It was a nice photo. The movie poster nowadays had class. It had been computerized and enhanced at least a hundred times. The poster stuck out more than usual. It had a new actor's face on it. Jay studied the face. Today, a new Star gleamed from a small lot on Broadway. The new star/actor looked similar to Richard Gear, but with puffier cheeks and greener eyes. The case for the poster was constructed with frame glass and neon lights. Jay noticed it was upcoming great. Then, things went a little black. Thunder rang over the cab whistles and crowd noise. The city continued in hollers and claps. It's mechanical hands pointed and directed as it's flashy industrial eyes salivated the hands reaching for the automatic tailor machines and cash dispenser. The skin from the twenties, fifties and hundreds scratched out into the hands of the spenders. Energy was rotating in crazy green dust devils. The city remained in a flexible on going motion of emotional despair and cheerful victory. It's collective emotions rocked back and forth like a pendulum from a great grandfather clock. Despite the hate and terror, it plowed onward. Time clicked number to number. Faith breathed day to day. The past was it's lively dancer. The future was continuously stepping closer and closer on the path of Hope. The wish twinkled down from a far away wink. Even though it had taken a beaten it kept on ticking, and with heart. It could do that. It was still the Big Apple, even if it did have a few bruises.
Note to self. I think the guy living under my room is an undercover cop, selling fake drugs. He is trying to lure me in for a bust. Beware.
Jan. 4th. 2001.
A single white sheet of paper, dancing wildly in the wind, curving side to side, drifting upward and downward, flapping like a flat dead dove soaring to the un soil ground, above, above, yet above and below the edifice windows, twisting, spiraling, soaring fatefully like a preying eagle, descended directly and a few feet from Jay's lonely left black dress shoe. A Italian dress show that he easily wore a penny size hole in the bottom in two trips to Central Park. Jay followed the floating trashy paper with his fierce eyes.
Then, like a flying, sly, snake, the paper, swooped inches above the white snowy sidewalk, in short clicking flips, admitted quick wrinkling, wasp, airy cries, like from a poker card in a the spinning spokes of a kid's bicycle, slithering on the low city winds, it, the single sheet of dirty white paper, blowing in the wind wrapped around Jay's ankle, and in a one single flittering drumming sift; clinked still. It must have been from a business office miles up. Jay picked up the white sheet and read. The top of the paper said, "A message for Manhattan." It was printed in bold, large black Times New Roman font. The smaller print was in Century Gothic font. It read,
Hope is of the essential and enduring—the burning and haunted. Being born human, our name is hope. We rarely turn down the invitation of life in stand upright—look over our heads at the mystery of the night sky—or reach into the unknown and say yes to life. It takes an enormous destructive impulse to annihilate hope, and even in the worst of all worlds, hope can be sustained, re-kindled, quickened by the smallest gesture.
-Untitled. Anonymus Insomnious poet.
Jay noticed Anonymous was spelled incorrectly. What dope wrote this message. He thought while sticking a hot dog saturated with spicy mustard, and a handful of relish, into his big mouth. He swallowed and headed down Broadway again toward the famous bookstore The Strain. There was a fifty percent off sale on fiction written before 1900's.
Also, (Observing the paper.)
Jay noticed that the 'eve' in even was italicized. He folded the message into a four-part compaction and stuffed it into his back pocket. Hope had found a home.
Saw Shield of Danger. Not good. Three stars out of five. Main actor was the only thing entertaining about it. Trailers where good. Hollywood is coming out with two new films that look interesting: Brave New World and 1980. 1980 looks good. I don't think it's new. It has an English actor—John Hurt. He looks good. I'll have to see it when I return to LA. On Tommy's back. Left yesterday to meet some people at the Y. Swam for an hour. I peeked in from the glass window at the locker room. Tommy went to a corner bakery. Picked up three large poppy seed muffins with a tall blond lady. Think she's an actress. She wore a tight black dress, vest and a swanky scarf. He walked her back to his Studio on 23rd and 7th. Next, they headed toward a small cinema house near NYU. They saw the film Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise and Nicole. Kubric festival. Three screens. Showing Full Metal Jacket and the Shining. Next, week they're going to show Clock Work Orange. Don't miss it. They ordered some popcorn and two hotdogs each. Hungary, I guess. I didn't go in. I waited at a nearby coffee bar. Ordered a scone and some hot coco. It was a long film, Costner long. After film, three hours later, they headed home and dropped off a small 35-millimeter still camera with film. I watched them with night scope hand held- infra reds binoculars. They came out with a small box of treats with a pink bow. Walked to Chealsi Hotel. Stayed the night.
Went home and clocked out. Spelled Chelsea wrong
Journal Entry. Jay. 1/29/0
Jays notes on a possible screen play called Angels found. And a possible book called-
The Untitled Fresh Face youth and their getgo cars.
In after life their are apparition.
Four levels of Guardian Angels.
They may mediate with living.
Some choose to change the weather.
Apparition mostly follow clients, ah,
I mean living persons, around to
protect and provide security.
Sometimes a single angel can be
assigned to one particular family.
But he has to be a really masterful
After life's hierarchy.
Ghost. Ordered to haunt. Confined to one area. For example, like a house, apartment, studio, old house.
Appirations. Can travel more than a ghost.
Usually appears before some one dealing in
mediations. There purpose are to deliver messages or move things around. Change order.
Spirit. Similar to a muse. Can not be seen.
Only possess a body to give strength, aiding life force and inspiration.
Muse. Can be felt. Only seen by the gifted.
Gives incredible inspiration and life force.
Angels. Assinged to protect all humans.
Under the command of God.
Guardian Angels. Designed to protect a certain person. Can protect more than one
Person, or family. Quicker and stronger
Than the working angel. Guardian Angels
Can travel through time, warp and travel
The speed of life and light. They usually fly. Large white wings and quills. They
are particular of the gifted writers.
Guardian Angels usually keep an eye on
The artistic type. Writers, actors and musicians. Angels, or the working angel,
Are designed to protect only people. Some may change the weather to protect or control
Evil from man.
Saints. Only can be seen in heaven.
God. Almighty. Omniscient. Majestic and holy.
He commands over all.
The devil. A slave to ever thing.
Demons. The workers for the devil. They can only put fear into man with God's permission.
They may not speak to man with out God's say so. They may not look or touch angels, saints
Or gaurdain angels. They may not touch the dead, spirits or ghosts with out God's authority. In most cases they are not giving permission to communicate with ghosts or angels. All an angel must do to beat a demon is remove a quill and point upwards. The demon will dissolve or flee in fright.
Jay could see nothing and everything all at once. The world landed on his head, the freedom of being out there, being in America, in New York, flags where waving in his eyes-he was going to make it. He was going to a place far from home. All he concentrated on at the present moment was his paddling feet on the wet glistening concrete. Dark dress shoes with leather lacing, moving like some strange vehicle-kicing in gear, turning and rowing him sidewalk to sidewalk. One foot infront of the other. One damn foot infront of the other. I will not stop. I don't care if they think I'm nuts. I will never give in. Never. It is said that man's feet have two meanings. One foot claims the love of life and the other owns the love of God. Heels clicking, beating a rhythm of forward motion. Never will they get Me down. Life walking to a point in space. And in this motion awaited a smile, a cigarette, a handshake, a kiss and perhaps, if he had a spare moment, the morning paper. The news of the world in black and white all for the eager and interested. Papers sold for money not for truth. So, interest became an issue in the taking. He layed a dollar and some change down on the New Stand and grabbed a Backstage. This, particular Sunday reminded him of faded photograph, attempting to escape it's placement in time and motion. Place to place his memories returned and block to block the memories warmed him. The warmth flowed from odd places in the Big Apple. The action of putting the Backstage under his armpit warmed him. The climbing of a subway station staircase warmed him. A hot tea at a corner muffin store, warmed him. From a smile. From a small Kodack moment of a old lady being helped out of a cab. Warmth flowed from all this. Heat in many forms, many angles and many scenes. EMC2 can not be understood without understanding the levels of light. See, light does not exist on one plain. It is in all energy. Everyhting admits light. People can only see one level of it's frequency. The optical. But light is admitted in invisible ranges. This story contains light, invisible and visible. It contains sound. It contains action. Just as Jay possesses all these factors.
Heat blew up from the side walk grills as Subways steamed past. Shaking, rumbling and hissing away the city began it's jazz hum. Far from what he saw in the now, and even in the snow, below him, his trampling feet, waited unknown measures and levels.
The sky line zinged and swaged an outline of man's melting pot dream. A city of man. Peoplemade mountains. Of all kinds moving, coming together and pulling apart. People flocked from every nation. The city was like rubber, it bounced back and the talk was like glue, it stuck. It had the power to sling shot. Sling others too far distances and sucking in foreigners from over there. Pumping in and out, in and out over and over. Tapping a beat of stop and go.
Tall, powerful and intelligently emotional, humorous and knowledgable, all working together. "This better be indivisible now. We need it to be." A man with tan skin wearing a funny white cap and thick beads. He was dressed in a type of flowing robe and had a peace sign ear ring. Had to be from one of the middle eastern countries. He jumped in a yellow cab and through the New Years New York Times on the dash board.
The home inside Jay had left. Hell, the home of inside had left. Many things in us had left after Setpember. At least for awhile he'd be on his feet. On his feet, loosened, looking for a way back. The smell of Campbell soup and baked chicken enchilada pies were covered with the polluted scent of urine and gasoline fumes. This putrid drift hung under a sign that roughly screamed Urintown. The world was spinning in and out like the fiery speed of an attacking Komodo dragon and Jay had to figure out who he was and where he was going. And fast. Before it attacked again.
Jay heard an alarm beeping as he climbed a stair case. He needed a new white oxford and he had found a thrift store that sold cheap. THe alarm clock was beeping in short taps, and no one was pushing snooze. It was a small apartment, he thought. Room 2B. Hm. 2B. What is that mean?
They didn't have his type of shirt, but he settle with second best. He paid for it on credit and soared down the walk up. Bam, sunlight in his eyes. He was back on the side walk headed toward Union Square.
They were the tallest sky scrappers in any land. Scrapping the great wide blue with out a doubt or excuse. Man chose, pointed, planned and wrote and the city rose. The tallest glass men, of labor and steel bones, stood in front of the rising sun. He had just stepped off the Subway. Up the stairs grinning.
The warmth took it's time to come down. It mostly warmed through a filter of lined rows of massive concrete bricks and blocks of business towers. Nevertheless, it arose in long timing lines of yellows, whites and grays, heating the streets, hot dog and peanut vendors and soda fountain stands.
Jay soared back uptown. The subway clicked back and forth as his hand gripped the overhead handle. No one was really around. He counted five people on his Subway car. Old man reading Hemingway. A young kid thumping away to his CD headset. A old drunk balancing in shaky boots. Last, an old Chinese man, dressed in a torn work shirt, tie and beat up slacks, screaming and rubbing the bottom of his soles. Past Central park. One street was aligned with horse carriages. One street aligned with vendors selling paintings, photos of John Lennon and I Love New York T-shirts. Red lips. Red hearts. And red faces. The horses stomped at the ground in sudden beats and pounds. Jay noticed one still horse. He was dark skinned and appeared to be a Stallion. His eyes hid behind a pair of blinders. The horses eye snapped shot and a thick, oily, tear rolled slowly. Jay could feel him hurting inside. Grunting, and tugging. Stomping and twitching from the cold. The tear hung on the end of the horses nose in a wet, gluey gob. Jay approached. The horse, (Steve later named him Demetrias), shuffled to and fro and snorted, lifting his head toward the sun beams. Urine dripped down below his saddle in a streaming steamy drizzle. Jay reached out and scratched his chin. The horse, Demetrias, slightly jolted in a miniature fright and then remained perfectly calm. Calm as zen.
Jay moved on. He figured it was no place to watch a hurtful horse. At least not today. In this cold weather. Forget it.
Snow crinkled down. Wildly, small angels, in icey dessents, curled, oscillated and swiveled toward the icy ground. Snow flurries roared high above the city sky line. Snow was on its way.
Snow made you plan. It made you think faster and move quicker.
He knew the top ten underground rules of New York. First, there are no rules. Second, time is money. Third, money is time. Fourthly, anything can happen in a New York minute. Fifth rule, rat spelled backwards is STAR. Sixth, never give up. Seventh, eighth, and ninth is moderation and tenth is self control. Stay moderate and don't go too far overboard. Especially near bridges or tall sky scrapers observation decks. And never put too much trust in people on the street who have a long excuse and story concerning the lending or burrowing or I'll pay you back later, pal or I need six bucks to get into my mother's house in order to retrieve a bag of costumes for a national commercial shoot for AT&T and I'll get you read for the film crew and it's more of a Karma thing, help me out, it might make ya famous, don't trust these lies. Don't you want to be famous, kid? Oh, come on. Don't trust these people, their hustlers. Don't you want fame? Even if your in show business and need a read, still don't trust them. Come on it's only a little pain.
Ninjinksi thought he was a horse.
January 11, 2001.
Jay returns to Broadway and Park.
Jay's hiding spot was not too shabby, but it would not hold him from the public eye. He remembered in fourth grade his favorite teacher asking an important question. She was tall, long, athletic, with a bright responsive body. "Mrs. Cullum why do animals hide?" He remembered always raising his hands so she'd come over and he could whiff her Calvin Klien perfume. That ol' teacher with the narrow waist, bright blue eyes, and tight, frim boobies, and loose earthy tone blouses, that tall lady teacher. How wonderful a thing. That was the teacher he used to sneek peaks of cleavage and shots of her ass when she bend over to pick up the chalk. He remembered she'd ask the little kids in the science period, "Why do animals hide?"
Jay made his way down the stair unit and out of the hallyway and he spat out onto the trashy sidewalk, turned the corner and nearly fumbled head on into a large glass casing. He wasn't hiding anymore. He ran into the casing with a thump. It was the old fashion type of film poster stand, with the glass skin, inner neon lights; the kind that could fold over and collapse internally shut. The kind that sold faces and it's childish beautiful stories.
Another attempt to advertise Hollywood in the old city of New York. What was an old fashion movie poster doing on this side walk down Broadway.
The story of the child is what people wanted to hear and see and eventually emotionally engulf. Hope was the blood of the story. Faith was the breath. People wanted to feel young again, they wanted a innocent story, not just understand it on an intellectual spectrum, but to feel it on the inside. Blood it's cost and blood was warmed by the flicker of the projector. Besides the point on stories, the poster stand was not the greatest shielding ground but it would do for Jay at the present moment. Jay's was seconds away from trailing one of the wealthiest men in Hollywood. And Mr. Hollywood was walking the streets of New York City popping in and out of movie trailors and expensive lofty entrence ways. It was the big man's escape from the West, a place to seed a bit of sin, and Jay's current intention was to observe, study and take note of his every move and pattern. Mr. Hollywood, Tommy Marcel, had a green footprints of pyramids and Georges. This is why he moved so quickly. Money equaled movement in big time city.
Fear gave him no other choice but to hide away.
The television glared blue all over the room. Jay watched intently.
A rusty voice leaked from the speaker,
"So we don't know his name but we do know when he strikes. It's usually women. Women with a reputation in Hollywood. It usually happens near Beverly Hills or Down Town Los Angeles. Usually there is an event. Premier, or film festival and for some reason its common for the victims to have identical markings on their skins."
"Markings like in that film ah. . . "
"Oh, yes like the killer in the film, Silence of the Lambs.
Similar but these markings are scratches in the skin. Numbers.
And the numbers are always the same. The FBI thinks the
killer maybe leaving us a message.
Can you reveal the numbers?
Absolutely. The numbers left behind are eight what looks like an h
or it could be a small letter n. Thirty eight M. and then, Twenty, or a two and a zero, after the zero it looks like a single decimal and the last number is one. There is always the word North. It is clearly carved.
That's horrible. Could you tell us where on the body it is carved?
We are not allowed to reveal that due to the privacy of the victim
and their families.
Jay switched off the Tv set and quietly fell asleep.
Some one was after him. Some one real. A fast, fierce and powerful star from Hollywood. He knew it was him. Tommy Marcel. He saw his gesturing on the silver screen. He saw the hidden singles in his auster actions and even from the movie house isle, he noticed the way he glared into the close ups with power and greed. Tommy had eyes which could make any hardened man's skin crawl. Jay clicked his head to the side to become overwhelmed by two dark green eyes. The eyes of the cinema poster. The seller of the story. It was the Brat. He stuck out like some hellhound imposing prettily flipping by as the reel unloading past the hot light. The brat was currently spending screen time and the public watched. Tommy was letting him support the heroine role of the film. Tommy pulled all the strings in hurrah town.
What could eight h (or n) thirty eight m twenty zero point one. North mean?
Jay thought it over in bed for over two hours. Nothing came to mind. He had no clue.
Jay left the film for a cigarette and reconciliation. He stared at the film trailer poster. The habiliments of the star's advertisement, and the movies thematic designed and the décor of the poster resembled the typical Hollywood paraphernalia. It was flashy, ostentatious, overly colored, digitized, lazer printed and neon. The poster housed a shielded figure, a lost man, known to Jay as the Brat, wearing a dark trench coat walking within a mysterious wisp, drifting from a foggy, endless alleyway. He was simply mocking Tommy's first Detective role in major motion B films. It fit the mysterious mood of 2001. A pre-apocalyptic mood set by the expectation of the end of the world and a year after its un-arrival. The movie poster next to it was of a vast deserted regions somewhere near the jungles of South America. It had a bright red sun hanging over a infinity of beach sand. It all made sense, now. An alleyway, a deserted jungle and infinity of tiny crystalline dusty pebbles. It was long shore with out a sea The sand. The hot sun. A long desert of nothing, or perhaps not nothing, a few cactuses and lizard prints. It would be a place he would travel one day. He saw the signs. The moments. The timing. The city spoke to him in this type of tongue. A tongue foretelling, a tongue pointing a way, a tongue backed by thousands on thousand of passing souls, drifting voices in and out of Jay's mind. Millions moved the city every day. The millions were not cars, they were not buildings. They millions are made of human flesh, and spirit, and this vast mass of personage in one accumulated some, changed people. Words replaced by images. Images in which struck, and stuck and caught his attention. They were all arrows pointing the way.
The radioed in. The radio said Bananas would go up in price. A banana is a sterile fruit. This means when the trees are cut down, they can't reproduce other fruit from the downed trees. So, by your bananas. Tommy hasn't come out for the past two days. Words out he'll be at Time Square for the dropping of the ball. Shooting a film scene of with New Years day in it. Tommy's supporting. Only a hundred or so extras. Probably do segmented footage of the same people in different places, old Hollywood crowd scene secret trick. Its to make crowd appear larger after FX editing. Going to block of Time Square. Big money shot. Must get into the party scene on Time Square. I'll have to forge an ID and a pass. It will probably by like a VIP. I'll take some high definition shots of the crew members pass, and reproduce them at Kinkos or with some art equipment at home. Art supply store is a few blocks over. They are opened until nine pm during week. I read over my entry. Misspelled places with plaeces. Hm. Pretty cold out. Five degrees or so. Snowed up to two inches.
Journal entrey. Jay. 1/30/01. Cold day.
Jay had cut off his regular path on the sidewalk and covered his face with the yellowed news of the printed old world. Tommy was around every corner it seemed. But he could not be found.
No one could see him like this. No one. Not a soul.
The journey began.
Jay lowered the yellowy newspaper, as a healthy mist of rain walled behind him in a watery net, dropping in thick patches, and long thin segmented lines, like the dislointed lines one would notice separating two sections, between two chapters in a Fiction Magazine, or small novella. He caught glimpse of his own reflection in the staged window off of Broadway. A yellow flash zipped by roaring wheels, cap on the driver, a black and white sign that read Yellow Checker. New York was sprinting past him as he gazed into his eyes. He was a tall man, but nowhere over six feet. Thick eyebrows, green dark eyes, dark brown hair. He had not shaven that morning, and this signified his out-of-work state. He didn't feel unemployed, but he was not working. His prickely black dotting skin ran along his chin line, like dots in a maze. The stub moved from his bushy side burns to his goatee, back up to his earlobs. His hair was not as kept as he imagined. He needed a cut. His hair was pointy on the ends, flipping at the sides, and dead ends here and there. He looked like he belonged in a seventies film. A character after a high. His cheek bones where similar to those in a greek statue, hard, pointed, and stern. He was most proud of his cheek bones. A lady in Hollywood noticed his Native American heritage in his face. Other ladies from his past have commented on his broad powerful shouders. Shoulders that have had work, shipping, loading on airport docs, wharehouses and factories. Loading many packages and sending them to the world. His cheeks where as cavernous and hollow, as if two beach caves existed in the sides of his face. He didn't have breakfast, and had a very light dinner. Rice and spinach with a touch of tuna and sprinkled black pepper vinaigrette. His own concoction. His ears were standard, along with his English-Irish nose, with the slight bump, that Brando once housed on his face, and a pair of lips, bloomed, healthy. A large part of him, his heart, Irish made. His skin was pale and the sun had not seen his face in some time. He had spent at least a solid week, twenty four seven, with three to four hours a night, over the holiday from school, reading Auster, Hemingway, Strasberg, Peter Manso, Adlers, Brecht, Landford Wilson, studying Mamet, Shepard and other modern fictional writers, theorist, biographers, playwrights, writing and doing sense memory exercises. His eyes had grown heavy, almost dark, and wise from picking up literature at the various libraries in NYU and bookstores off of 23rd and down by Soho. Jay's eyes seem to tell his story as he side glanced at a thinly, feminine figure, in a black tight dress zipping by clicking her high heels, leaving an echo of her character and swoshing the strange sexy fabric that matched the beat of her odd ryhtmic heart. She was speaking with that walk. The whole of her. Moving, like a dance, across the sidewalk, like women do. Compared to Hollywood, the women were no less unattractive, but harder to touch. Money was the key to a women's heart in the big city. The fatter the wallet the more night on the town one recieved. Fame was the key in Hollywood. "Watcha need lady." No answer. She darted to the cat. "Whataday. Gray like yesterday." He mumbled at his reflection. She empty out his wallet, leave him good as dead, and with out a tear of guilt or grief. He fastened his Windsor knot to his gold and blue checkered tie. Today he was wearing his usually. Armani pea coat, black side pocket velcro polyestery slacks (modern kind from the Gap), black cotton down from Structure, Dr. Martin originals, hard toe, scrapped and characterized along with light blue argyles. His belt scared his fashion. It was purchased at the Army and Navy store years back, near the Bowery and Fisrt street. It was the type of belt, with diamon notches, linking everywhere, easy for the hook to fashion, it had no standards on how small the waist was or how round. The belt was the type of belt a herion addict would purchase to cut of circulation to find a vein. That is what stroke fear into him. Why am I wearing this belt. He figured it would match the punkish style of the Docs and give a flar of rebel, and revel to his gait and appearance.
At times he felt he was in Seize the Day by Bellows. Once, like many strangers have felt, hanging here and there, around pay phones, peering in cafes, book stores, watching successful business men lace their dress shoes, jump in Taxi's, adjust their bowties, prepare the next move, the next executed part of their complex, well made plan.
The taxi cabs screamed and squalled like odd beast at war. A voice rang in the back of Jay's head, "You should stay home Jay. Finish up your teaching certification. Teach for awhile. Save up. Your financially in a mess." And like Seize the Day he answered with, "Let me try out acting. If I fall on my face, I'll come back home, enroll in school, finish what I started. But I'm young now, twenty seven. Its time to go now. I'm not getting any younger sitting around here. I HAVE TO ADMIT MOM. I don't necessarily want to be a teacher. It wasn't the dream I started off with. Let me give L.A. a try. Let me try out New York. Let me try." Try became a repetive word. What about do? Why don't you do. Doing, would take time. And doing was the center of his problem. Before Jay would act, he would have to master doing. How, now, stuck in Denton, would he learn to do. He was receiving his B.A. next week in Theatre Arts. How would he apply the degree to the world. He couldn't the degree was simply a piece of paper, it was nice paper, but nevertheless, it was simply paper. He would have to put it behind him. Take the degree, run to L.A. fly to New York, and hope to land a successful acting job. If not, he would have to return. And start over.
A war created from made man textures and man made dimensions. A fleet of yellow checkers whipped around the corner casting red break lights in Jay's eyes. He was not out for a ride. He was out to walk his own steps. He'd have to carry himself this time. All the way home, he'd have to carry all his thoughts like a baggage of unneeded materials. No need for one thought. Now, only foot steps ahead. Ahead on his path.
Tomorrow I'll check the phone book. Look for names. Gonna check the net. See if it talks about his appearance in town.
Journal entry. 1/31/01
It was cold evening. Bitter cold. Alaskan cold. Drizzling tiny crystalline drops fell from the gray sky that hung over the busy Big Apple. They fell in sharp slow thumping explosions, and their watery blue bodies cried in helping splashes, and broke apart into smaller pieces and flipped into smaller, smaller pieces, landing on the thickened dirt creamed city concrete sidewalks. Small shadowy dampening marks cooled in the freeze. It created a mystical godly designed pattern of the mystery of the darkening skies.
Again the city.
Everything crawled to a slow pace. Jay seemed to be more aware. The now had falling upon him The uptown and downtown people, mixed, and floating out of subway entrances, had set up a charming theatrical entertainment before his awaiting eyes. These fashionable and rough walkers, seem to talk and talk, dance and dance, rub coat tails, elbow ribs, step backwards, skin the edge of the binding of a back of a shoe, all of it slowing to a observable motion, taking more and more pedestrian time than pedestrian usual.
Again the streets spoke.
Man took a biting chomp into a runny chilly dogs laced with thick cheese. Another man bit into a overly sized mustered pretzel. A cab driver helped an old lady load her luggage into an opened trunk. Then, everything seemed far away. His perception was like looking through the opposite end of microscope. Tunnel vision had kicked in far from it's normal warning.
Again the city.
The city's rush hushed a bit tilting like a warship out at battle. Jay was looking from far above onto himself. It was a bird's view. Jay's body keeled into a form of slow motion. Far too slow for a place named the Big Apple. Then, with out noticed, it sped up faster than before.
Again the mind.
He begin to fall into the labyrinth in his mind. A maze of thoughts, moments of what to do next and what did I do. What to do next, what did I do? This became a linking chain that restrained his natural will.
Again the lie.
Jay was covering his persona with lies. Lies created by lies. The lie sunken in his brain. It was piling up inside and in the pages of his black journal book. He logged entries to rid the voices and dissolve a bit of the delusion.
Again to the park.
Sun. Laughter. Dogs. Bark. Leaves. Floating. Floating. A fading photo of an old man. A bench. An empty play ground. Pebbles in the toe's of your shoe. A squawking balloon slowly deflating. A cherry apple pie. Nibbles from loose crust. Flaking tree branches. Gray cloud. Then, sun. A kid wiping the cookie crumbs from his sisters mouth. A kiss. A kiss. Another kiss from the park.
Going to the dog park tomorrow. Rumor has it Tommy has a golden retriever. His lady has a small red Dotson.Journal entry. 1/31/01. 22:03
Jay tucked the corner of his umbrella over part of his eyes and the upper section of his face. Slowly it lowered finally overtaking his nose and cheekbones. Pulled his collar up and fastened his wintry scarf. He tried to sink inside his own clothes. Hide away into the privacy of his own state. Away from their eyes. He headed down Broadway and cut off on 23rd street. Park avenue was approaching. He lowered the umbrella pretending to shield the wind. A familiar face was approaching. He had to mask them fully. See, he did not want anyone to know him at his moment. Ruff, arf, bark, bark, "Excuse me." The lady in the light blue trench coat announced while unfolding her umbrella and jerking her neatly slobbering golden retriever back with a flick of a wrist. She walked on toward Broadway's finest delicatessen. It was a place that sold French coffee bean, candy cappuccino, frosty cakes, and fifty dollar entrees. It had to be her. The blue scarf, the light pale blue eyes, the long hair. He had seen her in Shield from Danger. Tommy's companion. She would meet him there.
The wine was rated four star and they even had the richest, oak tasting cellars. Her dog yanked its head toward him and let out a growling mess as she chained him to a nearby tree. The base of the tree was surrounded by side walk brick and a little, tiny arched white garden fence. The dog slopped it's tongue out happily and began it's rhythmic breathing.
Not even the dogs. Not even while they were pulled by their leashes and chains and walked two steps in front of their owners, could be solely trusted. Walked to their dog parks to show off their ultimate cuteness. Even the dogs were liars. Oh, how happy they all were. How evil happy. Jay saw everyone as a suspect, even the animals. They couldn't know him. Not even the poor pigeons that swooped down to feed on crusty bagels and rotten dinner rolls. The Big Apple was changing nowadays. The days of Neon lights, Marlon Brando and Golden Boy had long past. Cliffard Odets would probably suit to Chicago to do his study of mankind. New York had become a war zone. No place for delicate playwrights. No place for Jeweled boys. Now, two beams of shattering bright light stood upwards, lifting toward the heavens. Beams of light that reminded us of the fallen ones of September. This was a true man's town now. No turning back for the yellow ones. Foot steps pattered toward him. It sounded like tiny nails dropping on a hard steel surface. He tried to stay focused on the headlines. It read, New Year's Eve in Time Square-A year never to forget-2001. He quickly trotted away from an approaching pedestrian and ran into a nearby dark alley. His head was spinning like a out of control theme park ride. He leaped upward and flipped his hands around the edge of low, hanging fire escape, tugging downward with all his might. Dragon fog floated and hovered out his nostrils. Freezing spit froze over his ascending and descending hands as they gripped the last step on the stair rung. He was puffing like a wild horse fleeing thunder. He made his way up the rusty steel staircase seven flights. The stairs lead to an opened window. Everyone was a suspect. Everyone had a dark past. They all had fangs awaiting to sprout. They couldn't reach Jay from this far up. He crawled into the apartment room and peaked down into the misty alleyway. It was his place. His roommate wasn't home so he took the back entrance. Plus, he had to forge his adventure every other night. He did that by taking the fire escape. It was an out of sight thing to do since the attack. Jay was beyond paranoid at this moment. This answered his reasoning for his perfect disguise. His large veil of delusions blanketed his every move. He needed his fantasies. He desired them like a lover. Just like a cub needed milk. His every moment past, present and future, was perfectly organized and perfectly prepared. It was all set in place, like a spring awaiting to unleash it's potential energy. He was on the verge of a final snap. A volcano awaiting to rumble. Then, out of nowhere, CLINK. He roared toward the falling red sun. Howled like a demon on fire. The sky smeared into a pinkish hue. His cry soared as high as a the moon. Jay had become completely opaque. Invisible to mankind's torture. That's what screams can do in a dark city as this. He put one had up and denied the grind of reality. It was over for him. You pay for what you get Jay. The voice cried. You pay. You pay. Pay, pay, pay and pay some more. Pay. The whispering voice would not leave his ear. Jay had to find a new path. That's why he stared down at the passing cars and occasionally ducked behind the curtains. Pay and pay and pay some more. He became hidden from the world. A BIRD IN HAND. The whispered hushed into his ear. A BIRD IN HAND. PAY, PAY, PAY. Wind rushed over his head combing his stout and well kept ego. It made Jona feel just and powerful to be this high up from the treaded, and labored concrete ground. The fear made his chest rise and his blood boil. People looked smaller from where he stood. The world became vibrant while standing against the sporadic wind current. He was in a natural, perfect placement with in himself. He truly felt the world spin. The whispered fainted away in the dieing wind. Who was whispering. Was it a spirit? Some lost from the accident. Perhaps it was the whispering voice of Gotham. Jay stood staring out the misty window. Night crept into day. The sun flared it's red morning face into his lonely room. Jack hammers and taxi cabs cried in a eccentric symphonic builds. The city was on the verge. Then, the window slammed shut. Silence fell over the noisy pollution outside. Jay was alone.
I chased Tommy to a subway station near Union Square Park. Tommy got on the uptown train and lost me. Figured he was going to the Neighborhood Playhouse again. He goes there and then shops in the expensive stores nearby. Stores with the stage windows of expensive jewelry, fine leather coats and Diamond laced watches. He always buys top brand collogn on sale, at Maceys and other places around the playhouse. Thought I'd go in to see a play, just to tell the Brat, for proof of my occupation. Chased Tommy from Maceys to the artsy movie house by NYU. Afterwards, he gave a speech for the drama department at NYU. It took an hour. I waited at Washington square park, I was offered two dime bags, a quarter bag and some X in about an hour. Tommy came out with the tall Blond. I chased them back up to twenty third, they walked and picked up bagels at a café. They went home to their studio. I got hungry chasing them all day. I didn't have time to pick up lunch and I snuck off to a nearby delicatessen and picked up four poppy seed muffins, donut, two energy bars, a water and a loaf of French bread. Went home to the flat and stuffed my belly soar. I was so stuffed I couldn't even cry, more or less breath. Loneliness is a hard curse to live with.
Journal Entry. 1/31/01. Jay. FBI.
Jay's story is about another man's tale, in which, he forgot who he was. When a man does not know himself he ends up chipping away at his cell block wall. In this case, he ends up scrapping and scraping the mortar away from a glass block window.
Jona knew what made up his character and his personage. It was specific combination between Reason and Temptation. It was a choice. The philosopher Russell housed kind and wise words in the library at this very moment. Words he could not reach. Perhaps due to their forbidden nature. Perhaps due to the words worth, or even, in this case, it's cost. He could imagine the bumpy textures of the library books. He could almost taste their pasty, flowery pages. He pictured his favorite titles, and title covers. Their smells, their essence and their unique shape. He remember all the poetic words and the beautiful defined and divined verse. Books written by Hemingway and Joyce. Verse composed by the Bard and Marlow. Stories which ended in . . .Tales of lost sailors at troubled vast seas. Stories of shipwreck, the future and time travel. Stories about murders and mysteries. The ones he valued the most were the passionate stories with meaty words, philosophy and a thinking man's rhythm. The call number R236. It was housed on the third floor of the New York Library at the very top of a shelf, hidden way in the back. He placed it there so no one would find the book, but his truly. Jay didn't even want me to tell you the title. No one knew about the power of this very book. Its meaning was almost omniscient. He watched the other students pick and choose books on math, science, art, dance, humanity and even, love. Jay watched the students prance around with their expensive book bags and designer clothes, as he checked out books of his personal décor in word. He chose the philosophy and science route. Later, he plunged into Art and theatre. He loved to check out his ostentatious and pretensions selections from the young hot librarian studying at NYU. She had slender waist and pointed eyebrows. A very Romanesque face with the breast of a demigodddes. He chose a few books of that covered history and a few on the meaning of Time. The others were laid back. Books of fiction that uncovered the fumbling steps of the dark fool. The multiple patterns of Arlleccino and his brothers. He liked the character of the servant graced by Pan. The joker was three. The fox, monkey and the cat.
This case is a bitch. Its like I stepped on a claymore of a subject to follow. Tommy can move quick with all his power. One minute his is on foot, the next a limo has him uptown. Next, he is at NYU and next minute he is in Harlam or in the business district on location. Rumors out he will be doing some helicopter shoots. This film is inane.
Journal entry. 1/31/01. Jay Grisham. Agent FBI.
The voices returned like an army of demons. Constantly reminded, multiplying and exploding in a domino effect of lies and hurtful tricks. He began to fib to himself and the veil grew tighter. The spies new about his library card. The acted smoothly at the counter. "Thanks have a nice day. You need a bookmark with your books." Those liars. They knew what his library card really meant. They knew his intentions as he checked out thirty books at once, carrying them away in plastic bags. The card had power. It made electronic sounds. It had a bar code. It was part of the modern world. It was more than a simple card. It was the essence of magic. The card was part of the big power, the force, the current of mystery and variation. The card was linked to millions of connections with the black holes far, far out in the milky way. All he had to do was point it at the flaring red laser beam and WAM, it warped him into other dimensions. But those delusions weren't always with him. Kind words to his inner self, actualizing his worth. He could fall or deny the temptation and figure the right and wise path. Either way was his journey. Either path his choice.
If he were to do it all, he would have to fall.
A year past. Jay got treatment at a nearby MHMR, and flew off from the big city. Thank goodness his Dean, and other peers, at his New York College had noticed the warning signs, and helped him find the right psychological help. He was feeling clear headed now. It was time to give his acting career one more shot. He landed in Los Angeles, LAX in 2001. A bright July summer day. It wasn't long until he landed a job at a corner bakery as Assistant manager. It wasn't long until the tiny voice whispered once more.
Applied at a nearby donut shop off of Wilshire. They hired me on as assistant to the manager and night crew. Stock donuts and so on. Good cover work until I get back on Tommy's case.
Journal entry. February 1st, 2001. 23:33.
Jay tugged at his nametag securing its position on his left side of his wrinkle free, starched bright work uniform. That early morning was cold and windy. Not typical for L.A. weather. Not a cloud oozed over the city. Not one. It warmed up as sunset arrived. Shadows diminished and the wind died a little. Jay pumped away on his peddle machine. Breath after breath, kick after kick. Peddling and peddling over a vast ocean of concrete side walk. The sun spilled it's golden rays over the distant Los Angeles smoggy horizon as Jay reached the top of the first hill. He fastened his hair with his skinny, flickering fingers. He had piano fingers. They always embarrassed him, especially when out on a romantic date in high school. He loved winter. Winter meant gloves.
Jay loved golf style clothing. The type you see Nicholson wearing in championship golf meets. He decided to pick up a Mexican wedding shirt at a nearby thrift store off of Santa Monica. It wasn't golf but it was kindred to that style. The cloth was brown sued with bright flowery Hispanic logos. Why not a jacket while at it. And colorful matching jeans. He dressed like a California skate boarder trying to be ostentatiously suave.
Unfortunately summer was at its highest peak in LA. It was a year and half after the incident at Ground Zero. The dog star was shining bright during the late nights and the smog was not improving. The sun slowly inched its away over the pink horizon. A scum of clouds drifted over the far away mountains and haunted everyone from above. Mountains like Bears. Mountains of pure snow and whizzing ski paths. No ski paths on Jay's path. He wasn't here for vacation. It was all sidewalk. It was all investigations. It was a long walk to the answer. He was on his way home from work in the heart of Hollywood. The wind voiced a hush across his cheeks as he approached the top of the hill. A car zoomed nearby in small, short echoing honks. A wonderer wondering to distant lands. Never watching for the bikers. Strangers out for strange places. Jay thought as he increased his pedaling speed. He wasn't worried. Jay was well guarded by many. The whispers had returned, but only in a quiet kind breezed voices. It had not overpowered him as of yet. The volume of the words and meanings were far too low in power to be comprehensible. It was like listening to a small alarm radio, (mixed with radio and buzzing) from your neighbors pad. Plus, Jay burned his library card months before. They could only communicate through the card. The card was cursed, but nevertheless, it was gone. Thanks to the FBI. They helped him destroy it for good.
Jay had an army of ideas on his side. A maze of stories to shield behind. Stories
to protect him from the harmful ones. The liars. The killers. His goal was to search for truth. On the other hand, it was more than that. He knew most of the head shrinks were a bunch of liars. There wasn't no such thing as mental sickness. He didn't believe in such disorder. He wasn't taught to. Some looked as him as crazy for denying all diseases and all forms of mental disorders. Jay had to. It was a search for truth within truth. No one would discover him or find him out anytime soon. How could they in a town like Los Angeles?
Paranoid type: Dominated by delusions of persecution, along with delusions of grandeur.
"Take your meds. Take em Jay." The doctor Rouch coldly commanded on the other side of the receiver. "But they make me feel dizzy. They make me puke." He returned and hung up the phone. Rouch checked his name off his patient list. It was time to move on. Hope was lost.
Jay wasn't completely responsible for mastering his disguise. And this mastered facade was executed with a bit of wit. Most disguises have wit as a component in which aids the illusion. It takes controlled commitment and a masterful zen like state to pull off the lie of persona. Many psychologist, and even the modern mental health field, believe in a false self. This is a natural second persona that is embedded before the initial personage one is born with in order to shadow it's natural humane innocent side. The dark side of man takes time to unfold. It is pieced together by all the evil that is engaged with in the process of life. The older the person becomes the more well rounded the false self matures. The false self lies, damages and even self destructs it's own entity. The false self is the demonic critic and the evil necessity all conscious life hides with in self-actualization. Some call this proposition on humanity 'the shadow of man.' Jay used the false self as the mask of his disguise. The false self became the main source and the outfit on which he could dress his growing new persona. It was the normal kind of get up. No one would peek him out of the crowd. This way the killer would never know. He went out and purchased a simple means of transportation. A mountain bike. No one suspected bikers to be FBI agents. Also, he went out and landed an fake occupation. No one expected donut shop employees to exist in the underworld of the secrete service. They are part of the community. A healthy part, nevertheless. They served the workers before they spent out all their needless calories on tearing up the world, polluting it's skin and soil. He bunny hopped a pot hole and hit the handle breaks. He did not fell. Not quite yet. A valid trickster, Jay was. He had them all fooled. Just as the jester fooled in the Renaissance;. with economical, political grace and wisdom. Jay peddled to a piece by Hydn: symphony No. 78 in C minor. It was all in his head. Every note and every odd numbered chord and unlacing rhythmic beat.
Jay wasn't out to do any harm. He was really out for justice. He was for the good of the world. Kind of like a super hero. Honestly.
See, Jay was out to catch a killer. A murderer of innocence.
God hates a coward.
Jay. Journal entry. February, 10th. 2001.
Agent Jay Grisham clocked out of his shift early at the Donut Shop on Wilshire Boulevard. He jumped on his Diamond back mountain bike and headed home near Hollywood Boulevard. It was far from a brand new Boxter Porsche, but he figured a Porsche would come later. He carried a small bulging trash bag stuffed full of toasty bare claws, cinnamon bow ties, chocolate éclairs, glazed donut holes, apple fritters, macadamia nut, mini-oatmeal disks thingies, chocolate chip cookies, figure eight cheesecake Danish lattices, sweet cake, herb muffins, lemon glazed muffins, muffins with poppy seeds, muffins with chocolate chip and a one, lonely, regular single–straight up plain Danish. And all for the purpose to scarf down for a midnight snack.
"Jay I don't know if you know this." The DR. Rouch said adjusted his white lab coat. He stroke a thick match and re-lit his Freudian, French petite stylish pipe, "Jay, Psychology is the science that studies behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underline it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems." "So your saying I have a problem." Jay questioned. "I'm saying we have to study you." Rouch thumped the cherry in his pipe. The clocked ticked loudly on the wall catching Jay's eyes. Time was running far too fast, Jay thought. Far too fast.
Jay began his ritualistic midnight gorging. He sat the trash bag of donuts down on top of his kitchen sink. His room mate was out partying so it was all clear.
In hope, he was full of expectations of conniving his gluttonous feast before the viewing eyes of the nightlife of Los Angeles. He never do such a thing at a normal bakery or at an all-you-can-eat café. To surfeit sweetness was one of the downfalls of Jay's character. This was like his drug. The drug of sugar and sweats was thrust into the depth of his physical being. Later, five to six minutes top, it would put him in an almost shocking languor parley with his laziest of bones. The bed became his refuge and forgetfulness. The sugar rushed over his head like cool, flowing river water of suffureing surfeit. Some saw it as pleasure but too much pleasure ends in pain. To starve would be to suffer, but to overindulge would be to complicate the sufferind and once more end in soreness.
His goal was to deceive self control. This was not a wise man at the present moment. Far from wise. Contradictory to this darkly action, his lies and devious ways grew back by fallen and wondering angles of the donut's cut and skin folding look. All of this, the gluttony and the hellish sneaking on his bike, had somewhat good intentions. He knew he was honest. Jay was the honest type. Jay was a man of his country. Patriotic indications for the purpose of total chaos and complete and utter perfect bodily revilement. His mouth watered at the crusty flakes on the muffins, the glazed shine on the donuts, the nutty flavor hidden in the cream and the sinful crunch of the cinnamon bagels. He wanted to veil himself in a pitiful disguise of complete hunger and starvation. He wanted to heal himself with it's sweet heaven. To start over after a long deserted empty walk.
Jay even changed his work clothes. He didn't simply just arrive at home and begin feasting. He went into his closet and removed a pare of pants and unzipped his work outfit. He got undressed, dressed and headed to the trash bag in the kitchen. He returned to the other side of the apartment to complete his ritual cleaning in the bathroom. Jay had to wash his hands four times over. Once with normal Irish spring soap and two times with Lava red and once with a natural beauty bar called, Infinity. It was hard to find. Two parts oat mill one part anti bacteria. He washed mostly with natural soaps. Non of the bars bothered him but the Lava. It was his roommates. He got in a bad habit using it. But it cleaned the work off his hands fastest. The lava was a bad habit but he knew it killed every germ. The oat mil kind was the safest. Infinity was a new brand that had natural scents and a natural bar body. He was trying to just use that one, but he had to have the ritual with the other two. He returned to the kitchen with fresh hands ready for pigging. He wore the mixed clothing of a genius and the hairstyle of a late rebellious riser, or tardy punk. His clothes were purposely planed for stains and slob marks.
One donut went into his mouth at a time. Then, a tornado of hands worked the sweat tastes onto his dry but now orgasmic tongue. His pupils dilated and his belly swelled. It was far from romantic. It wasn't his ideal of a Saturday night.
"Who are you Jay?" The nurse asked.
A complex character working for the Government and biking home from a hard day of stocking sweet doughy nonsense peddled sneakily and smoothly from a Donut bar on Wilshire, crossing Avenue of Stars. Boy, ain't that Hollywood for ya, if nothing else is. Ironic an agent would stuff himself with Donuts in a place of vanity and stardom obsession.
But what Los Angeles didn't know was that Jay was undercover and hiding away from all suspensions of evil. And what Jay didn't know was he was existing, or even truly living, in a insane veil of denial and pain. But he ignored this pain with a numbing anesthetic of delusional fantasy.
An undercover agent out to uncover a murderous slayer of talent and potential stardom isn't exactly the norm for Hollywood. To be honest, norm didn't exist in Hollywood. Jay Grisham was hoping mischief with a pull from his wrist and a hope on his bike. He had the trickiest tongue in a five mile radius and his moves were far from unplanned. To be honest, they were snaky and exact. Tricky as can be in a town of devils. Most would think he was one of those special people. The kind that, in youth, woke three hours before the faint honking of a small yellow school bus to pack his turkey Lunchables; rather than the normal kid; who sprinted after, due to waking late, hailing its long, and normal, standard school sized bus. To be honest, Jay didn't know if he was normal, slow, fast or genius. He just didn't know. He figured that would make a great cover. A special actor struggling in L.A., that fell to the temptation to the gluttonous aspects of the yummy corner bakery. He tightened the knot on the trash bag loaded with breakfast treats. He had no milk to await him at his small shared condo room. Just tea. Earl gray tea and a half empty cartridge of ginger bulk. He had hooked up one of those small boxy refrigerator's in the corner of his small room next to his wooden futon. He needed something to accompany the feast. Why not try a healthy tea with a tenacious sugary, morning junk treat. Maybe tea with non-sugar pink sweetener would help, if not kill him. What an inducement to feel good. Non-sweetener was one of those odd oxy morons that he accepted proudly and never failed to use in a cup or two. Food additives can kill just as cigarettes and other drugs, they say. Jay had to keep up on appearances. Plus, non-sweeteners does not explain, or end, or forgive, his extreme craving for the donut. So, why the donuts in the first place? The shift manager had written them off and was about to toss every sugary object out of the store and into the stinky green dumpster in the back. It was incoming stocking day tomorrow. That meant all goodies said goodbye to the market. He had to dispose of any food over its expiration date. All the donuts in the casings had gone over the date. Jay figured he play the role of starving artist and ask for dinner. Jay hated donuts, and for many reasons. "Do you mind if I take one or two home." The manager could care less. Jay told him he was an artist and he was painting there corrosion states. Also, he hated having only sweats for dinner. He needed substance. How is a man to live on sinful deserts and pastries alone? So, he began to come up with a rationalization for his actions. Bertrand Russel's philosophy on character helped him. Russel claimed that man's character is based on two products of human nature. The two are Reason and Temptation. Reason was survival and physical necessity. Second, was hunger and pleasure. It was the super ego, ego and id at war. Who would when? Well, Jay hadn't eaten in, what it felt like, days. So he rationalized it and over analyzed his resistance toward gluttony (pig out). One, he had to keep up on appearances. He hated all high sugary foods that swelled his looks. Second, he didn't like unnatural foods. Hell, he hated most refined sugar products. Jay didn't want to stuff his face full of dough. But hunger can tempt us to fall into stupidity. Hollywood had a tight influence on some of his eating habits. To him anything refined was unnatural and rude. He got all his sugar from the tree, or vine. Naturalahhhh. Donuts to him were white trash hick food. It was sugary high that brought you down. Jay pictured himself as a fit man. Donuts cheated him of the physical fittest that was required in his life as a government official and lawman. All FBI agents had to be fit. He stopped near a dumpster near his trashy apartment complex. He bit into a juicy bare claw and stuffed a mouthful of muffin in his face. That was it. The glazed sparkling crumbs stuck to his chin and shimmered in the moonlight. A few mouthful of donuts. And aaahhhh. Just to get him to sleep and carry him into the morning. Ahhhh. RELIEF at last. He dumped the trash bag into the dumpster and peddled into side parking lot to the Los Angeles brown stone complex. FBI agents always fell into the eating and running syndrome. Eat and run. Run and eat. The story of Jay's training career with the FBI in D.C. It made them strong and quick on the toes. They had to uphold the law in order to succeed and of coarse, they had to obey orders. "It takes good food to be an agent." His sergeant whispered at him over lunch in the mess hall at boot camp. He remembered how his eyebrow's twitched as he smelled in the fried calmeretti and Focaccia. What you consumed orally was part of obeying the orders. Order of nature. Order of gravity. And order of the hunter. And the hunter was ordered by hunger. It was a law. Moderation was the key. He couldn't be an unhealthy FBI agent. Couldn't be the heavy slow type either. So, donuts became an issue and a warning in Jay's life and career. He believed they were designed for the ignorant and sweet tasting obsessive. He believed donuts were made for the type of people that made down payments on RVs and would set camp near a lake or camping ground in Oklahoma. Plus, the sweet morning unnecessary snack, made him sweat a liquid that smelled similar to urine. Believe it or not it does that. Once four or five donuts or glazed muffins consumed equaled a body perspiration with the odor of fox pee. The body begins to reek of the yellow flow. Boy, Jay hated anything trailer park. Anything that didn't spark of charm, panache and ostentatious flare, was useless in his life, now. On the other hand, he had to play the role of a destitute actor in the fastest and richest city in the states. He had to think, behave and look like A ACTOR. That's why he was in L.A. L.A. had class. LA was like America's Paris, France. There were even mimes in Santa Monica. Seven. That's a lot of mimes for one town. He counted seven. One mim' received a national commercial just for walking with his hands and in place, with out moving through time or motion.
Always moving through time or motion. And then, no movement. Stay still on your bed with your invisible handful of sense memories of cherries, oranges and lemon wedges. And he knew, all motion had real meaning. The great blue. The inside of inside. He knew the mime was paid by a corporation. They laid that baby out. He knew things like that. He was hardcore undercover, inside the truth. An agent with methods of finding the meat of the answers. An actor at his worst. An foxy-monk ape cat that had the privilege to kill for the protection of his land and while stroking his long trimmed Super cut whiskers, he observed with fighting stares. His hardest trick was coming up with the passionate outburst and emotional jangle of the Arrlichino type, to get him a free appointment, trim and light perm and highlights with the haircutter on fire at Tony and Guy. He was a peacock.
Training camp taught him to control any irrational explosion or crouching fear awaiting exit. Fear was the key. Fear was to be overcome. But actors were seem so neurotic and doubtful. He had much faking to do. He knew that actors were craftsman at hiding fear and doubt. Or did they not doubt as well. Maybe they faked the neurotic behavior. He hear stories of Stars jumping out of the stubbed cars in traffic jams in beating civilian cars with golf clubs. He hear of actors kicking side rearview mirrors off with their boot hells. Was this out of fear or show? Jay had to guess show. But fear was a component of show. It had to be. Unless, you were psychotic. Jay was beyond insanity. He had to be. It was his job.
The rest of the street performers were starving on 3rd street and Promenade, near Ocean 1 and the beach front of Santa Monica. All performing for chump change and smiles, and candy handouts from nice Disney rich kids, visiting the Santa Monica shore line. "Life's a beach." A Gap sign and an expensive bookstore hung outside in front of their destitute fatalities. "Beach is life." A seven year old said as he tossed a handful of change into an old mime's cigar box. The kid took his mom's hand and went into the nearby bakery to pick up a sweet snack. He covered the clear sunshine from his precious new eyes. Jay recalled this solemn shoreline memory like the first time one would receive a keen and exact photographic picture in the photography library of California developing labs. Jay judged the kid for having no heart and slurping down his sugary snack in front of the struggling street performers and wondering artist. Jay began to resolve and conclude the true reality of hell. People punished to repeat the same thing over and over again to purge their sins to their initial purity. The mime was trapped in an invisible box imagined and deluded to go through the same routine of trying to escape or find solace within the box. The kid barely watched them. He had his eyes fixated on the dripping wet treat that leaked onto his fingers and knuckles. Jay gave the kid an influential wince and clicked open his cell phone to call into head quarters. It was check in time. He made a single call to Washington D.C. The kid smiled back at him and hunkered out a larger bite from the bakery snack his Daddy credited for him at Sweat Treats. But, nevertheless, Jay despised the kid's sugary snack. To be honest he hated anything with dough in it, or on it. Jay hated the word dough. Actual pronunciation of the word Dough made him nausea. He even hated all things with the word dough in it. Doe—the deer. Dough the bread. And doi the Asain Philosophy. Many could call Jay a bigot toward the word Dough. He was supposed to hate it. It made you fat. Others would call him a nice guy. The government loved him for his dedication and bravery on the force. That made him feel somewhat good while he struggled against the insanity of L.A and other big cities. Joe smiled for a second as he kicked back his spring fed kickstand on his diamond back mountain bike. Maybe he was too old for biking but he didn't care. Hell, Jay worked for the FBI. But nevertheless, he wasn't exactly happy. The fumes from the trash bag lifted in the air. The child in him, the small creature that once irresponsibly use to eat chocolate bars one by one, and down entire boxes of cracker jacks, ice cream bars and caramel apples lifted his tempting soul toward his head---his taste buds tingled making his tongue salivate. His stomach growled as an old fashion Porsche from the 1950—zipped past him. The highway was close. He licked his lips and thought about the exterior coating of each donut and sweat snack from his temporary and fake work place. He was hungry, thirsty and desired to consume some type of sustenance. But he still hated Donuts and sugary fast foods…So he peddled hungry.
He gave the bag of treats the nickname of "Sugar dough." Jay was an absolute health nut. One of his favorite books was about a California healer and health shaman by the name of R. T. Haas. He used to cook only Vegan foods in junior college and had once loved to take his hot dates out to restaurants that served Tofu and Seaweed salads. His fav was Indian cafes. Best dipping sauce you can get. Of coarse Jay had to use a small tea spoon. Remember he hated Dough. Dust blew in Jay's eyes as a small sporty BMW whoosshed not but three feet from his handlebars. "Lucky bastard. Almost killed himself an Agent…He would gained a few points for that strike…" Some rich kid was hauling ass and wasting unnecessary gas coming back from a foreign film or Sushi café. Agent Grisham rode a Diamond Back Mountain bike. A FBI agent on a bicycle. Boy, that sounds adventurous, Jay thought. 007 would look down in shame at his measly peddling near a town of hotties and long legged, tall blond, faceless beauts, almost famous, movie star wannabees, 30 30 chest, round ass play boy bunny type---men killer bitches in heat. Jay looked down at his bike frame. He didn't have it that bad. He remembered seeing tons of people riding around on cheap ass bicycles in Hong Kong, not but five years ago. He went there on a million dollar cocaine bust—Sellers were actually stashing black tar, and coke in sea bass and other Asian fish. The dealers were actually creative enough to stash it mixed with coffee grounds, ice and snow peas. Snow peas. Who would of thought of that. The class. It took two years to stop them. Over two million confiscated. What a journey. He had to learn an once or two of the Jape ness gangster lingo. Five years ago he was in Japan. Now, LA. Boy the government had him on his toes. He suddenly and unnoticed became proud of his shitty mountain bike. The old school kind with the back shocks. It wasn't his choice of coarse. He would of went with Schwinn---and a god forsaken ten speed for god sakes. Headquarters assigned it to him. Jay took in deep breaths as he hit the hills, "Jesus Christ. Another freakin mountain to climb." It was a small lift to his roommate's apartment. The FBI assigned him a back up helper…but he would only come in on routine visits. They wanted Jay alone. It was harder to discover him that way. His fake roommate, Chuck Carrilton, was out of town for six months. Wow, the adventure, he thought, FBI even found him a mock roommate. And his name
was Chuck. Out of all names. 007 would of jumped a plain with out a parachute, in shame. Of coarse, Chuck, was merely a mock name. He was also assigned a mock apartment, a mock name and a mock birthday. The birthday was the closest thing that was true. It was only two months off. It kind of bothered him. He had a thing for astrology. So, his age, his name, his friends and his life was all synthetically programmed by the government. Nothing was real for Jay anymore. Not even the land he rode his bike in. Everything had become pretend. Fake. Bunk. Everything was designed for the capture of a killer. A serial killer. His life started off rough as a kid. He was severely abused by his foster parents and was known as a trash bag boy. That was the type of kid that was always on the go. So, started at an early age he was handed over to the State of Texas. People he shared no blood with governed his life. That is his main reason for joining the FBI. He had to learn at an early age that good prospers and evil eats itself away. Evil never triumphs over good. Jay peddled faster. It seemed like up hills both ways. His case and the lifestyle in LA. Jay Grisham was with the FBI. He was assigned one of the most hush, hush cases every sent to Hollywood. Wilshire didn't have many inclines on its path. Jay thought the peddling would never end. Why couldn't his team assign him a car? Maybe an unmarked plain old Oldsmobile was the answer. Something for Gods sake. The team didn't want him to look too conspicuous. See, the FBI have to blend in with the crowd. So, they made him work for his first car in L.A. That way he couldn't be traced. People are smart there. Highly intelligent. They say, the fastest and most honest live in the east. The brightest live in the West. This assignment was like Method acting, Jay thought. "Too damn real is what it is." He mumbled as a Mercedes sports car zoomed by. "Up hill both ways," God forsaken, Jay thought. God forsaken criminals. If it wasn't' for crime he'd be back in Texas enjoying BBQ and watching the Cowboys. There were maybe two or three dips in the road. A few hills. Jay complain far too much. He bitched and grown after every downward compression on his safe guard bike peddles . They fit right over the front of your toe. So you can get peddle motion and power when the foot lefts upward. The road had many swerves. So, the swerves counted for more peddling. It wasn't all the peddling that hurt as much as it was watching the movie star blonds zoom by in BMW, Porches, and old model high priced Jaguars. Jay actually hated donuts. He solemnly glanced down at the trash bag full "sugar dough." He knew he would gain from eating all this shit. Gain spiritually as well as physically. He had to watch out for one thing in L.A. IMAGE. The image was the key in this town. Spiritual image as well as self-image. Every type of image played in the game of Hollywood. The trash bag grinded up against the front wheel, letting out a small fart noise. The rip exposed a couple of Apple fritter skins. It was all it was to him. Sugar and dough. It did nothing but blow you up. He couldn't afford that in his certain predicament. He must have carried over thirty donuts in his store trash bag. He was on his mountain bike. A small trash bag entitled The Donut Shop hung from his left handle bar. He used the stores trash bags—it made him seem like he was either taken out the trash or taken something home from the store. Nothing could be conspicuous. Rather than just carrying a trash bag on his mountain bike. He thought carrying a plain Glad trash bag, or something similar to it, would look odd. He didn't want to stick out. Especially in LA. So he carried the stores brand and wore the stores Donut Shop T-shirt. The bag was light, yellow. Not a large one but fair in size. Thin kind. It had a yellow translucent skin.
Chapter 1: The agent with the famous writer's name. City of Angeles.
A limo passed him on the shoulder. Some one rolled down the window and screamed, "Hey, what you got in the bag." Jay just kept peddling and ignored them. Probably rich kids on their happy, trivial way toward their Hollywood cameo moment, which, in waist and not, will lend them no true art or nobility. The stretched Mercedez---limousine peeled its back tires out and hit the highway. He figured it wasn't a limo service. Someone had bought it. No limo service would skin out the back tires, not like that, for Godsakes.
Jay was undercover and starving in L.A. Most saw him as a mad artist out for fortune and fame. This wasn't the case. He was hiding his identity. His assignment was to blend end with the new hot actors of L.A. to break into the business in order to find a serial killer. Jay was a real FBI agent. Not posing as one for some TV show called X-files. Jay was deadly and trained to kill. He figured taking home a heap of out dated, expired donuts would look starving artist enough. Plus, he was trying to fit in as a mad actor. He saw that some of the actors at the donut shop took the sweats home. Jay hated foods like donuts and such. He hated them with a passion. But he had to be camouflaged in his behavior. Acting like an actor and doing, eating their foods (or what he thought was their foods) would help hide his true identity. The killer was underground. Hard to find. Had no face. No photos of him. No one knew his name, identity, gender or life style. FBI knew what he left behind. J. Grisham goal was to meet up with an old friend. His highschool buddy William Bratt. Bratt was on the verge of stardom. He was just about to be discovered on the streets of Ventura. Jay and Bratt were close buddies in Highschool. Jay headed east to college while Bratt left to Hollywood on graduation day. His old buddy was no living in West Hollywood and worked as a waiter off of Sunset Blvd. Agent Grisham found a small job at a Donut Shop called the Donut Shop. He figured it would be a good cover job. Most actors worked at food services establishment. Plus, it was a popular place for the industry. It was more than a donut shop. It also served coffee, lunches, and it cattered to sets and location shots within LA. It was located on Wilshire near the big studios. Bratt acted slow and dim witted. He missed counted changed, missed up orders and everything most actors do because they could care less working anywhere but in the industry. And some don't even care for working in the industry. Actors and work don't mix. Bratt knew this. Actors love to play. And the love to get there way. Most will do anything simply to get there way. Jay had to do something about his image. He was fresh out of FBI training camp. He was ripped and his muscles were on fire. His legs were tight and his body was in hard core shape. Over the past weeks he had to let go. The character he was playing needed to be a slob actor. He needed to tone down his muscle but keep enough tone to be able to still maintain hand to hand combat. He just needed to look like a loser. He didn't want to make it in the business. He simply just wanted to spy. He wanted to hand out with a winner and let his friend Bratt go far. The further Bratt went the more access he would get into Hollywood. The FBI suspected that the killer was someone in the business. Someone with power. Most that were killed, most of the victims, were high up in the business. They were well guarded and no regular man could touch them. They figured it was a male killer. Also, they figured he hated beautiful women and gay men. "The victims are the following." Sergent Herit said addressing Grisham's team. "Ok, Grisham. I swear everytime I say that name." Grisham rolled his eyes. He knew that Herit would mention the famous writer John Grisham." I know I know I know…How's the new book." Jay smiled at the Sergent. "Ok. Mr. Grisham. The killer always kills in triplets. First, the facelss beut. Usually is a women who is just about to see her first Premier, or she is on the verge of stardom. And she is always beautiful. Very glamorous. Next, and this is odd, but the lady is always found with two dead homosexual men. The men are usually her friends are her party buddies. Drugs are involved and there is always residue from a flash bulb." Jay took out his memo pad. "Flashbulb?" Jay made a note. "What type of flashbulb." "The old kind. 1940's 1937 to be exact. Kodak flashbulb. 1937. The old kind." "The kind that ignite" Jay jotted it down. "Yes. It leaves a residue behind. On the carpet, sometimes on the wall…but nevertheless a residue…" "What kind?" "Forensics will explain that to you in detail. Just know that all the female victims were photographed with a 1937 Kodak still camera. Also, we believe that homosexuals were sliced up with a letter opener. Their genitals were cut open. And photographed. WE also are lead to believe that the killer has an obsessions with the year of 1937. " "That's odd." Jay Grisham announced as he lit up a filterless Pall Mall. "What else?" "We are lead to believe that he wears a old trench coat. The kind those detectives wear in those…" "Pulp films." Jay Grisham announced. "Yeah." "I like those old films." Jay relit his Pall Mall. He looked down at the box cover. It read Pall Mall's famous cigarettes. The FBI sergant continued, "Head quarters once you to go undercover. We are lead to believe it is someone high up in the Hollywood scene. I don't have any more clues. Just the camera, letter opening incensions, the type he kills and how he kills." "By the way how does he kill the ladies?" "Silencer." The forensic captain announced. She was Doctor Foediger. Older lady. 40's. Graying. Heavy set. But pretty. "He kills with a 45 automatic with silencer." "No shit." Jay knew that 45's were hard to silence. It can be done. "45 caliber is a hard gun to silence. I wonder why he choses that gun." "We don't know yet" Doctor Foediger answered. "That is the bullet we found. It had the a silencer marking traced behind.Will discuss that tomorrow at the forensic lab. Nine Am sharp." Jay walked the Sergant back to his car. "Is this case for real." "Why?" Sergent lit up his old fashion pipe. He took to small puffs and the smoke leaked out of his nose like dragon breath. "Yes. Its for real. It's a serious case. 7 ladies have been found. 14 men. All gay. And all in Hollywood. Its been happening for seven years. He kills once a year."
"Has he killed this year?" Jay grinded his Pall Mall into the concrete with his dress. English dress shoes. "Not yet. He usually kill in October." "Why October?" "Its around the thirtieth and we all know that day." "What is this Holloween part six." Jay replied. "No. This is reality. And I expect you to treat it as such. It's a real case and your assigned to it." Herit jumped in his brand new Honda Accord. He winked at Herit, "Good luck, Son. You'll do fine." Jay blushed as the car backed up. He couldn't believe some one called him son. Jay didn't really have a father. His father was a speed addict and never called him son. He was always called by his first or last name. It was either Jay or Grisham. Or even the famous writer which he was not. No one ever called him son. The Honda pulled off toward the security gate. Jay headed off down the parking lot. The distant yellow flame in the sky was falling slowly behind a trim of trees. A thunder cloud was approaching over the track coarse near the athletic department of the FBI agent training coarse. A shadow fell over the parking lot. The sun disappeared behind the cloud. Looked like rain.
Jay entered the forensic lab. It was 9 AM. He backed down a small cup of joe and finished his cream cheese bagel. He was losing faith in this gig. He thought it lacked dignity.
Jay started to become paranoid. He couldn't tell if the weirdos' off of Ventura boulevard wore real people anymore. He'd pass many punk rockers and goth heads on his mountain bike. He was only twenty eight. He'd figure a mountain bike would make him look younger. The kids would stare at him as he'd stop in at a Conoco to by bread and refreshments. He couldn't tell if he looked younger or older. He couldn't tell if he stuck out like s soar thumb. How do you blend into a Hollywood crowd? How do you not stick out in Hollywood? The movie stars blend in here. He thought that he might could fit in if he figured he stuck out. Everyone kind of stuck out in this place. If you were not a movie star than you were someone that was trying to be famous. Jay was simply after a serial killer? The FBI can't just stick you in the business of Hollywood movie making just like that. It takes skill to get in. Head quarter told him it may take him over a year to sneak in, or break in, as you call it. He was the best looking agent and one of the youngest. They figured he'd make it.
Jay skipped finding an acting coach. He'd trust the words of Marlon Brando, "Acting can't be taught." He just faked it if they'd didn't believe him. Plus, there were bad actors in Hollywood anyway. Hell, we all had to do it as kid. We couldn't work at the age of five or six, so what the hell did we do, but pretend to work. That is what an actor did. Pretend to work. If you look up Actor in the dictionary it means, "To betray an occupation." Its that with a lot of sweat, heart, hell, emotion and luck. Hell of a lot of luck. Lots of emotion and luck mixed together. That's acting. Jay would eventually have to learn the skill of luck. If there was such a skill. The skill of luck? And if the luck went bad, the emotion came naturally….the trick was mixing the two in one instant…one moment….one passionate brief second in time…Yeah right. That's what it takes to become famous. Jay had a friend that ran off to Hollywood after highschool graduation. His name was William Burnett Bratt. Will is what everyone called him. Some called him Bill—but most Will. Will was bright, blond, tall and muscular. He had spunk. Quick on his feet and loved to dance. Jay and Will did the play Mozart in High School. Will played Mozart and Jay played Salieri. They won many drama prizes together. Jay decided to quit and join the FDA. Will ventured onward toward L.A. in hopes of fortune and fame. Jay Girsham dropped the FDA dream and joined the Navy instead. He drove Nuclear subs for two years. After two years with the Navy he applied for the Navy Seals. He failed the training coarse. It was too nerve breaking. He had a slight break down during the training. They released him on honorable discharge. After a year of working for a packaging company he began doing private detective work. That got old and his only cases were paranoid husbands out to catch there cheating wives. He dropped that and began working for the FBI. After three months out of FBI training he was transferred to forensics and then to FBI most wanted lists. This lead him into hunting serial killer. He was assigned his first special case not more than a year after receiving his badge. Serial killer catching became his new job. How could you go bored with this one. Jay figured he'd keep this one. His first case was the Movie Star Killer (or The Rising Star Slasher.)
The Movie Star killer, or Rising Star Slasher, was suppose to be a male. In his forties. Someone high up in the movie industry. They are not sure if it was female but they figure male due to the slashing and the depth of the cuts. The killer killed homosexuals with a letter opener and faceless beauty queens with a silencer pistol. The cuts are so deep that they figure only a male would have enough strength to produce them. The killer always kills in three. There has been ten cases of pattern killings in the West Hollywood and Beverly Hills area in the year of 2001-2002. The killings are always in October and always the week of Halloween. Always, two males: gay and one female. The female is a beauty queen on the verge of stardom. Usually she has done a lot of work for Hollywood pictures. The killer kills the women with a silencer 45. colt and lames the homosexuals with the same gun. Next, he cuts the gay men with an old antique letter opener and lets them slowly bleed to death as he takes their photographs. Two of the survivors have said that he says, "Say Cheese" and whispers, "SHHHH" as he murders. He has many names, "The Movie Star killer" "The Pulp fiction murderer " "Flashbulb assassin" and the "Rising star slasher." The FBI knows that he kills in a trench coat because two of the victims, both male, lived long enough to describe a tall man, dark hair, in a trench coat and large 1937 detective style hat. Some believe he liked to dress like Sherlock Holms before, during and after the actual slaughtering. They believe the serial killer has a thing for the 1930's and detective stories. Another nick name for the killer is "The Pulp Fiction Killer." Two of the victim have said he quotes lines from the movie as he watches the gay men bleed. Particular biblical lines from the film. Also, he takes photos of the victims with an old 1937 Kodak still camera. The FBI found residue of the flashbulb of that year. And it's a Kodak brand. Another name for this mysterious predator is "The Flash Bulb killer."
Jay was picked up at 2AM on the night of October 12ths 2002. His friend Will Bratt just bought a brand new Porche Boxter. He had a Stone Temple Pilots CD blasting on the wolfers. Bratt knocked on Jay's apartment door. Jay was sitting behind the lab top communicating with Head Quarters when Bratt knocked harder. "Be right there." Agent Grisham packed up his gear. One shoulder bag and a blazer sports jacket. "Your looking most Maimi Vice this evening." Bratt said with a devilish grin. Bratt had a spark of red in his eye. Most likely due to herb. They pulled into IHOP. Bratt had a tooth for pancakes. Jay was a little puckish. Bratt ordered a heap load of pancakes, sausage and drained it down with syrup. "You eat like a producer more than an actor." Jay had just read THe Player by Tolkin. He remembered that the producer in the story act heavily. Buttered his bread infront of clients to show off his power. Bratt told him that he had connections high up in Hollywood and that he could gain a few pounds with out getting in too much trouble with his agents. "I have to admit I do have to watch my weight. My resume does say 156 pounds" Bratt was six foot and all muscle. He could eat that much because his body would just burn it away due to the amount of muscle. He was like a hot oven. Food going in and burning away. Bratt and Jay took off toward Sunset Boulvard. They were headed to a club called The Standard. Bratt pulled up in the Boxter. Now Moby was blaring away. He parked at the Valet parking area. Some one came up and parked his car. Jay followed him in. They were both high on grass and wearing dark shades. The Club was live. A seductive women dressed up in mermaid outfit was laying in a empty fish tank. She was smoking a long cigarette and holding her hand back like Betty Davis.
William Burnett Bratt was one of the lead character's of Hollywood. His name was based on William after his father, who was a jeweler and gold seeker. Burnett after the street William senior and Will's mother met on. They met at a small café near down town Fort Worth. That is were William was originally from. Also, that is where he met Jay Grisham. Will had much trouble in Hollywood over the first six months. He got thrown in jail, almost killed a biker who ran into him at high speeds with his biker girly and almost lost his apartment. He was just about to lose his apartment until he took off to Brooklyn and Manhatten to seek an acting coach. He lived in Manhatten for one year and then returned back to L.A. to get work in the film industry. It took him five long years and he landed a role on a soap opera called, "Sunset strip." It was a pilot episode but it paid one thousand bucks a week. After getting hooked up with many bad girls, young good ladies, and some hotties he decided to buy an apartment in Santa Monica. Near the beach. He'd wake up every morning swim one mile in the ocean and run for twenty minutes along the beach front. The sun would shine down on his face and body and he'd thank the theatre Gods (Dionysus) for helping him savor life. After three more years he landed his first indie-film. It went to Sundance and he won best actor there. That is where he met Tommy Marcell. Marcell was a famouse comedian (Known for the same last name as the famous French Mime.) Tommy was similar in status to Tom Hanks. He was tall, funny, dark hair, and had the same nose. Tommy started off at the Comedy Store off Sunset blvd. He had a long joke about underwear and fired apples that killed the audiences. After two years in stand up Tommy decided to seek out acting gigs in the industry. He toured for two years around the nation—doing stand up at places like Hyenna in Fort Worth, Caroline Comedy hour in New York, Gotham comedy club of off Broadway and so on. He was getting famous quick. He landed his first movie with the one and only Tom Hanks. It was a futuristic film about aliens. He ended up becoming well known in Hollywood for working opposite of Hanks. After two years Tommy Marcell was a comic icon. He was asked to write a speech for the president concerning homelessness. He was asked to help out the medical field and donate money to cancer patience. Tommy was the model comedian for Hollywood. No one would ever think he could kill. And not with laughter. But with hate and anger.
Will arrived at Jay's apartment in West Hollywood right on time. Not a second passed the momentary dot previously assigned days ago. Will has never late. That was one of the major reasons he succeeded in the business. He abided by the rule's of the schedule book, even if toasted, drunk or stoned.
That night Will got real hungry. He decided to spy on Jay at work. He was preparing for a role were the story consisted of espionage. This time the places reversed. The roles interchanged. He wanted to try out his new binoculars. That night Jay had to empty out the trash. He had to throw away six bow ties, five apple fritters, three cheese cake lattices, eight caramel donut fillings, two bagels, five croissants, three glazed, three chocolate glazes, two jelly donuts, four pecan nutty cakes, two bare claws, and six chocolate Éclairs. Will waited for Jay to get off work. He had the type of trash bag marked in his memory. When no one was around he decided to hunt it out the trash. He opened the trash canister and dug through a few of the trash bags. He found the motherload. It was the bag of donuts. He ripped open the top. They were all hot and steamy from being in the trash bin all night. He downed almost every donut---almost every one. He stood next to the bin with a paper towel in his hand to wipe his chin and lips and stickey fingers. It was hell---but Will hadn't eaten in days…and he was half stoned. Munchies attacked his soul. He reached in the black bag and clawed a handful of nutty mush. It was the pecan pies. Next, a whopping fist full of soft Bowtie—sugar dough… He stuffed it in his mouth. Those were his favorites. Then, he went for the bow ties. He downed a couple, but they didn't have enough juice in the center. Next, he found the Eclairs. They were heaven. Creamy filling and full of sugary vanilla taste. He slurped it down in big large chunky bites. It was heaven mixed with hell. He kept gorging himself and occasionally scoped out the area with his night goggles. He was mad. Mad for dough. He stuck two large cheese cake lattices in his jaw and swallowed them down in one bite…he was hopping he wouldn't choke…and part of him wished he did choke…he kept on…like a mad eating donut machine…one after the other…he was full and continued to chomped. What a failure he was, he thought. A complete and utter failure…here I am, at a trash bin, stuffing old donuts in my mouth, soggy ones too. He continued under the miserable situation. He'd reach in and scope out a hand full of dough—shove it in his trap. Nutty. Ahh. More and more. Doughy. Ahh..more and more…his stomach bulged with pain…but his mind wouldn't quit…it wanted more…He begged it to stop but his tongue needed the sting of the sweet dough of pleasure. He crunched down on his some hidden oatmeal cookies. They were under the chocolate Eclairs. They were even softer than the bow ties…Last was the apple fritters…they tasted the best. Crunchy skin, with a glazed topping….he ate four of those and then fell to the concrete and nearly vomited. He decided he'd be ok and headed back to his car. Then he noticed there were a tail gate party happening at the nearby bar---next door. They'd had been spying on him. Shit, those faggots. Will thought. They laughed at him and he ran to his car….hopefully they didn't see his face.
They were going ot seek a new film with JC Cole. JC Cole was on his way to becoming the next Jim Carrey. He had just wrote a film about a mental patient he lived on beans and rice for two years in a small pad in Hollywood. The film was similar to Howard Stern's Private Parts. It was about JC Cole's struggle to stardom. They were late to the flick so they skipped it and decided to see it at midnight the next night. It was around 2 AM when they landed at IHOP. Will had a thing for loading up on pancakes and sausage in the middle of the night.
"What brings you to Hollywood, Jay dog." Will nicked name Jay, Jay Dog, in highschool because Jay snored like a dog when they slept over together.
"Fame." Jay said snarling like the dog he was.
"That's one hell of a commodity."
"Something useful that can be turned into commercial advantage."
"Yes. That is what I seek to good ol bud." Will said slurping on his sausage and syrup. They talked for about half an hour on how to become famous. Will believed that there was no one way to do it. Belief in yourself was the major strength. Jay believed the opposite. "Many that have made it in Hollywood had no belief in themselves. Other's believed in them. It was other's believes that made them famous." Will agreed that belief period was a major issue in the ingredients to fame. Belief was the fuel.
They jumped in Will's Porsche Boxter. It was brand new. The leather seats smelled of new car and loan payments. Will didn't have enough yet for the Boxter but he lived dangerously—even economically.
"I fell into a lot of debt being out here." Will said.
"The dollar is a tricky beast." Jay said whispering up a cigarette. Jay smoked Camel Lights and would not smoke if he didn't have his brand. His roommate in training camp got him hooked. "So what have you been doing over the last ten years."
Jay thought he would try to cover up his military back ground. "I join the Navy in 97. I was there for three years. I help guide a Nuclear Sub. Then I quit and joined a packaging company. After doing a few plays on base I decided to move off to seek Hollywood." Will said lighting up his Camel with a Kenvelo Village match. "You've been to Czech." "Prague. Yeah the matches." Jay said. "Went there with a friend write after a quit the navy. We saved up. Toured Europe for a year." Will investigated the matches. It read Koruna Palace. Vaclavke Nam. 1, 110 00 Prague 1 tel: 02-2447-4044/. "These are cool. What was it like in Prague." "Busy." Jay said inhaling his Camel. "Old buildings. Bullet holes in em. From World War II. All the building in town have been sprayed here and there. Went by the Charles bridge. You know, the one were Tom Cruise did that opening scene in Mission Impossible." Will slowed down for the red light and then plowed through it. They hit the highway. 405. "You like the Smith's" Will said. "There is a mock Smith's band off the strip. They are called, 'Holligans' or 'Gone again' or something like that…their pretty good. Playing at the Roxie…. For a Smith's mock band…They do the entire Queen is Dead album." "I'm game." Jay floored it and maxed out the Porsche at around 127 MPH. That is as fast he could get it on 405. He was too busy dodging old chevy trucks, motor bikes, Honda and other cheap acotry cars. There were many cars out there designed for the actor. Actually there were more actors in L.A. then New York. They say their are over 700,000 working actors in LA. Only one percent can afford a European car. The rest lease.
Will knew he had more power than ninety percent of all actors in L.A. His connections were deadly. Hell, after all—he was the nephew of the one and only Tommy Marcell. Jay had a niche that he could never be famous. Even if he tried. He knew that no one knew really why he was out here. But he loved the west. It attracted him. He remembered a saying by Arthur Chapman, "Out where the handclasp's a little stronger, Out where the smile dwells a little longer, That's where the West begins." Out where the west begins. Jay only wanted to capture a killer. End a disease in society. A disease that shouldn't be high up in any district. Not even Hollywood. He would use Will not to seek out fame and glory but to establish a moral code in L.A. To withhold justice and peace. He wouldn't really take any big gigs. Even if they were offered to him. He felt like Christ. He knew the devil might temp him to give up his governmental job with the FBI and turn into a nut case in Hollywood. But he needed to overcome all that. He was more useful than they were. Jay had the opportunity not to land a job on TV but to rather prevent the death of innocent crazy star dreamers and faceless beauts running hay wire in the hollow world of LA.
Many in L.A. were not out for a gig in a Hollywood film. Many didn't care about fame. They just wanted to hang out near Beverly Hills, drive a leased Mercedes and listen to The Eagles. They loved to dream and sing about dreaming. They loved to pretend they were a movie star rather than struggle to be one. They did odd jobs like PA, Standing in as a body double, rushing errons for producers, production designer, set coordinator, extra choraghraper, accountant for SAG and stupid jobs that lead them to a small indie film that barely got a cent of recognition at Sundane. Many just pretended to make an old lover jealous or to seek out a fat pocket book. The ones that made it suffered. And suffering can not be faked. It is something the sufferer understands on a soulful level. They go with out. They go with out cars. They go with out food. They go with out Deodrant. They are not brats that get everything they want. They don't go around driving 2002 model Porsches and wearing expensive Armanie suites. Unless they are Will Bratt. Will Bratt knew Tommy Marcell. And Tommy Marcell made everyone famous. Everyone that occupied the same room with him for more than five minutes. The fame just leaked off of him. And what comes with fame only the devil can reward. Will Bratt was definitely closer to the Devil than to God. He was a man that awaited eternal damnation and perdition. He was up at bat with Satan hell den fire balls. It was not hard to image flames rising from his fallen wings. Will, even though he had all the riches in the world, was about to reach stardom. And he was about to buy an apartment complex in West Hollywood. He hadn't decided if he wanted to live in any of them or just purchase it for commodity purposes.
Jay was somewhat wiser than the rest. He knew that the clubs in Dallas were just as cheesy as the clubs in New York. He knew that everyone was showy in both. He knew that ostentatious behavior survived in L.A. Sunset strip as it did in Fort Worth TCU alternative band crowd. He knew the House of Pizza off of Berry Street in Fort Worth was just as fake as the Standard in Hollywood. Its all just a state of mind. It seems more glamorous but the same people that fart in LA are the same people that fart in Manhattan. One just likes to believe their closer to hell because they live in a high class suburbs in the Hamptons or because they club out in hard core districts of the West Village. Its all the same here and there. Its all bunk. The heart is were its golden. The heart is were the truth lies. Not in upper X clubs in upper West side of whatever town wherever.
Will knew his belly was growing due to all the pancakes but he didn't care. He knew he was going to make it. It was only three, maybe four films away, then he it all the pancakes and sausage he could hold. No one would stop him then. Jay was still starving. He knew that he had to hold the image of struggling actor. He didn't have to starve. The FBI supplied him with enough money and all the free credit cards he could handle. But he couldn't be found out. He had to find the killer. Thus, he had to starve to find him. Will was introducing him to many knew faces in Hollywood. They went to a party in Beverly Hills that had the theme of 1930's Charles Chaplin. There were many Tramps walking around, many Buster Keaton look a likes, old movie stars from the black white area. Women held long filtered cigarettes and wore long off white night gowns. There eyes were darkened with eye liner and heavy mascara. The DJ played 1930 rock a belly music and 1930 Charlston tunes. It was all a joyful ride. They even had a disco ball which gleamed out of fashion for the times. Jay feared consuming too much of it. It may make him chaotic. He could turn to the dark side. The greedy side. The side that consumes far too much. He began of fantasizing of eating chocolate Eclairs on top of the breast of a 1930's movie star. He couldn't recall the stars name—but she had long hair, high heels and thick red lipstick. He began dreaming of doing a film with Jim Carrey---a film set in the 1930's. He began fantasizing riding around in an old 1930's singer model car. The old kind with the convertible top and the wavy body. He sat at the party all night long watching everyone dancing to the Charleston. Jay felt as if he was in a Scott Fitzgerald novel and at any moment Robert Redford would walk out as the Great Gatsby and offer him a cigar. Would he find the killer here? Among a bunch of wild and star crazed wannabees. Is the killer one of the dancers. Is the killer Will? Is it some one Will knows. Has Will already introduced him to the one? He fell asleep on a an old antique sofa in the corner of the room? When he woke up, hours later, Jeff Goldbloom was playing key board to a jazz band in the corner of the room. He couldn't find Will anywhere. He began searching the back rooms. Traveling down long halls. Up spiral stair cases. The entire house was decorated like the Over Look from the Shinning. It was huge. One of the biggest houses in Beverly Hills. The chandeliers were golden and the floors marble, gray. It was ub-believably filthy rich. The kind of rich that makes your jaw drop and your heart skip a beat. He ended up in the garage. There were over ten sports cars adjacent to one another.
Jay started to doubt the concrete existence of a movie star. What if they weren't real? What if Movie Star's were a figment of our imagination. I ploy by Satan to lure the sinners into a grave. What is Stardom was a demonic possession? What if stars were demons from hell that rose up to trick man and women alike. What if it was a trick. A trap set by the devil to kill the weak? Jay began to doubt Jeff Goldbloom's true existence. He was just light graced through a colloid film. He wasn't real. There wasn't a real Jeff Goldbloom. And why did stars have funny last names? John Candy. Steve Martin. Richard Gear. Marlon Brando. James Dean. Madonna. Marlon Manson. He looked down at his mixed drink. It was dark blue with a little surfer on a stick coming out of the ice. He figured it was laced. It had a micky in it. Sons of bitches have poisoned me. The room began to shake. The walls began to melt and transform into one another. The ceiling became liquid. The carpet began to grow. He believed the could hear the grass grow in New Mexico. Things were getting a little lop sided. He was definitely tripping. Some one had dropped a hit of acid in his drink. Shit. Now what? Jay didn't know what to do. He couldn't find Will. He couldn't find Gall and Rain. The two chick Will picked up before headed to Beverly Hills. He couldn't find anyone he knew. He couldn't even find Jay. There were no mirrors. None in the bathroom. None in the hall ways. No TV screens to look at his own eyes in. He had no one of knowing that he really existed. Was he too a figment of his own imagination. And how could that be possible. How could Jay imagine himself and himself not really exist. The fans began to sound like Helicopter blades and his knees felt like they were having small multiple orgasms…and it was all far too un-real. It was L.A. And L.A. is a state of mind. Jay looked down at his watch. He had two hours before four AM. He had to begin making Donuts at that time or he'd be terminated. What the hell am I going to do? Jay thought. I' am going to lose my job? There going to wonder why I didn't show. They'll look me up on the internet perhaps. Find my name somewhere….figure out I had joined the Navy. Figure out I had joined the FBI. The donut shop would tell everyone. They'd tell the world that I was out in Hollywood seeking a serial killer who killed young almost famous ladies. Jay began to sweat. His heart rate increased. Charles Chaplin walked up to him twirling a small black plastic cane. "You'd like another." Chaplin said in a thick cockney accent. "No." He knew that the real Chaplin talked in a proper cockney accent. Not a thick lazy one. Chaplin was proper. He had class. "No more drinks. Do you know who Will Bratt is?" Chaplin shaked his head and put a marijuana joint in his mouth. "No man. I'm just a surfer by day." Chaplin wasn't Chaplin. He was a surfer from Santa Cruz or something. What the hell happened to the Tramp. Why was everyone dressed up like they were Charles Chaplin. Where they hell is Brat? Jay stood up on the antique sofa and screamed at the top of his lung, "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAT." "Brat WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE." Then Jay passed out cold. Cold and hard—like his mind had gone.
Jay's eyes widened. Everything was black. As black as mid night. He couldn't even see his palm in front of his face. He could here the highway. Beneath him.In a grave. Killing her. A family of concrete vibrants spitting up sruhing singles. All created by the madman with steel hands. Something pushed up against his back. It was cold. Hard. Iron. Person, place or thing. Cold. Iron.
Moving. Soft somewhat. Not soft like a feather but soft like a kiss. It didn't tickle but merely lightly scrapped. It was the shape of an L. He couldn't tell at first what it was. What it could be. What it might be. What was it? What is iron and shaped like an L. Oh, a tire iron. He was in a trunk. A trunk of a car. The high was speeding underneath him. He could see through a small hole on the trunk floor board. The yellow lines from the road spilled by at ultra speed. He couldn't believe he was in a trunk. And How long? Who's trunk? Whose car. He could smell the new car smell so he figured it was Will Porsche. The trunk was ultra small. It couldn't be Will's Porcshe. Aren't Porsche engines in the back.. He couldn't remember. He knew certain Porsche's kept their engines in the back. Could I be in some one else's car, he thought, he tried to open the trunk door. What kind of strange automobile am I in? The trunk was far too small. Only one tire iron, a spare and a odd shaped gas can. He pounded on the trunk door. No success. Locked. The highway buzzed. Other cars were passing them like they didn't exist. The driver was going the speed limit. There is something wrong with this picture. No one goes the speed limit in L.A. Shit. He or she, the driver, is trying not to be pulled over. There is trouble. I've been kidnapped. I wonder why. Do they know I'm the FBI. Can that be possible? Who would know. Could It be the KGB. The clowns at the party. Maybe someone I've never met before? Maybe it was a hottie. I hot babe out for a rape. What if it wasn't. What if it was a weirdo. A homosexual out for a lube job. What if he wanted me as the lube job. What if it was the serial killer. Could it be the flashbulb killer? He is own to me. All of are on to me. When they, or he, or she, or who ever the drive is, when they pull over it's going to open the trunk door. Flash. And then a silencer and maybe a letter opener to my throat. Oh, God. Help me. Can this be possible?
The car pulled over slowly. Jay could feel the tires hit the reflectors that woke up sleepy truckers who didn't get their early morning Conoco coffee. They always kept reflectors on the shoulder to wake up dozing drivers. This was it. Seconds till my death. Jay said a quick pray and searched for his cell phone. Maybe its still own me. Damn it. They took it. No chance of calling headquarter or 9-11. I'm screwed. This is it.
The trunk opened. A flash light hit Jay's face. He took in a deep, deep breath. As if it was his last one. Then he heard Will's voice, "Jay. Wake up sleepy head. There was no room. Sorry. You passed out. Were out in the middle of the desert. Were going to do some hallucinogenic drugs. You want some?" Will held out his hand. He had five pieces of tiny white squares and a two sugar cubes."
Jay set up. His head bumped on the trunk door. "Damn it. Your kidding me. Where are we? I'm pissed drunk." Will let up a cigarette. Took a drag and tossed a square tab of acid onto his tongue. "Fry time." Jay heard giggles come from the front of the car. "Who are they." Will replied, "Oh, that is Rainy, Ashly, Gall, and Oh, I forget her name. Whats your name doll." A deep women's voice cried, "Just call me Doll." Will stuck a cig in Jay's mouth. "The lady's whats to be called Doll." If she was a lady. She did have a deep voice for a female. "OK, whats going on and why did you put me in the back of the truck and what desert are we in?" "The Sara desert my friend. And we're all in a dream. Take a hit." Will opened his hand. "Your choice." There was four hits left in his open palm. One with a dancing test tube on it. One was plain white. And the other two had small dragons on them. Jay scratched his head. He had never done LSD. There was no way out of it. If he denied it, Will would think something was funny. Something conniving. "Ok, I'll take." Jay hesitated. He didn't want to be experienced quite yet. The FBI warned him he may have to experiment to cover his identity. He figured what the hell. You only live once anyways. "I'll take the one with the dragon on it." "The dragons my good pal." He placed the hit of LSD on Jay's tongue. "No stick it under your tongue and let it melt there." Jay felt like Will was giving him instruction on how to take communion or something. "Ok, fine." Jay did as he was told and placed the hit under his tongue. He swooshed it around in his mouth, nibbled it into a spit wad, squashed between his front choppers and finally, after sucking it dry, swallowed it whole. He tripped for over fourteen hours. He wanted to sleep with one of the whores but he was warned of having un-safe sex by head quarters. Aids was one of the various form of land mines in L.A. He didn't want to step on the wrong segment of the path. So, he just kissed and felt ass. As the trip wore off he fell asleep across the laps of the hotties. Will drove him home and dumped him on his front step. He woke up to the morning rays hitting his closed eye lids. He just stood up. Yawned. Went to his fridge. Opened up a twelve once small tub of fat free, low cal frozen yogurt—it was almost empty—just a few spoon fulls left…he scarf'ed it down…it didn't cover the alcohol and acid stomach he had from tripping and drinking…he swallowed the frozen treat and searched for more food. All he had left was vegetarian hamburger meat and tofu hot dogs. He couldn't cook now. He couldn't even make out the ingredients. More or less the true value of food. He didn't even know what Tofu really was at the moment anyway. Was it bean curd or some kind of dish extra terrestrials left behind after breading with the apes to form mankind? Then. he started thinking about Rosswell and the saucer sights spotted in New Mexico when his father was young…then he got sleepy…and took two Excedrin PM and hit the covers and pillows…
That night Jay went to bed hungry as hell. He would of drove to the 24 hour health food store—picked up a veggie dish.. Maybe a local gas station, to pocket some frozen snicker bars and some vegetarian beef jerky. How could he? He wasn't assigned a car yet. Not even a Chevy. Nothing but his gym shoes and a pat on the back. Wait, he didn't even get a pat. No vehicle. A taxi? Too much money for food this late? A taxi for a food run---he'd go broke…he was living on a strict diet of food and money…the government wanted him to be petty. No midnight snacks. No twenty four hour stops at health food joints… Also, Jay didn't have that big of a bank account. His account was shrunken by the government special forces so his identity wouldn't stick out. He had to look like a struggling actor. He had to eat like a suffering mad artist…out for fame and fortune…So, Jay had no choice but to suffer. Ordered to suffer. And that he did. He went to bed with not enough. Jay Grisham, FBI agent and world adventure slept with an empty belly. He felt like the government not only controlled his wallet but, also, his soul…And all for what….in turn, a small financial reward…God gave him a body for others to use…God gave him his mind for others to program…Now his hunger (hypothermia), sex life and identity---were stolen and used for the sake of justice…Why did Jay have to become an Agent for the USA. Why was he in charged of finding bad guys and locking them up…He fell half asleep pondering over this ethical and worthy dilemma…His last thought before entering dream land was about his bunk roommate. He hadn't shown his face in the past two weeks. He wanted to go to his calendar on his laptop to check to see when he arrived…Bam Lights out, and exhaustion overcame him. . .the lab top lid slowly closed, and then he was dreaming…that night Jay dreamt of a dark movie theatre. Everyone was sitting and watching a blank white screen eating popcorn and waiting for Jerry Lewis to walk in from the back. He was in a Jerry Lewis film….cigar smoke filled the theatre…Jerry walked in carrying a large coke and a extra large popcorn. He did a crazy bit wear he stuffed the popcorn in his mouth a super fast rate, then the film changed to real life…Jay was really on a movie set…he was really acting with a movie star…only it wasn't Jerry Lewis, instead it was Tommy Marcell. The new Comic genius of Hollywood and the world…Jay transformed to a real extra on a movie set…It was real life…the dream had warped him to reality….it was like a flash and he woke up in a theatre seat on Hollywood boulevard. The film crew were in the process of shooting a film in the Mannes Chinese theatre. There he was, lonely but not alone, staring at a blank, flickering silver screen…the film crew was stalking the 35 mm film camera behind him…lights were being set up…and hung…He was dressed in an old 1930's swinger outfit….real gangster…real underground…The film was about McCarthism and the Red Scare. Tommy was playing a leftist out to strike against the paranoid Washington…The work day was fifeteen hours long…Jay had three lines. "Hey. Mr. Auto. Where are the tickets?The guys are waiting."
Jay figured the dream transference (the constant jumping from a nightmarish fantasy to real life had something to do with the white blotter, dancing test tube and dragon LSD hits he took weeks ago. Lately, he had been having horrible nightmares about being on a set in MGM---doing modern Frank Capre films. Jay would toss and turn in his bed---with anxiety and sweaty vigor…then BOOM he been in real life…just like that. TO dream—to life…and with out notice. How could this be? How could I fall asleep, dream and then never remember waking up, showering, putting my clothes on, getting into the car, driving…all that was skipped…it was like one long black out…he'd fall asleep, dream and then, out of nowhere, be making a living for the FBI. At times, he began to doubt if he was really working for the government. Sometimes Jay believed it was all one long hallucination…one acid trip gone hay wire…Sometimes he forgot his own name…He turn the corner on Ventura Boulevard and forget he was in L.A. He just forget. They say that Los Angeles is a state of mind. Maybe this was part of being near the movies. Maybe your life began to become more and more like a cartoon in one of the Donald Duck Disney animation films. IT was as if his life started to become a movie. He turn up the stereo in his rental car. He had to rent one to get from studio to studio. He was working as a PA for WB. It was hell. He just woke up and he was a PA for a large studio in Hollywood…Jay doesn't even remember how he got the job. He went from Donut Shop to PA…in a blink of an eye. BAM out of now where….things like that had been happening ever since Will took him to the desert with the Gall and Rain. The acid had made time disproportioned. Everything had become warped and instantaneous. It was as if he lived in and out of a worm hole. The kind Stephen Hawkin's use to mumble about. What was time? Time meant nothing to Jay anymore. Then, after dropping off a daily routine of twelve cups of coffee, twenty three donuts, and forty seven bagels to producers and studio executives he began to remember the Movie Star Killer's intentions. He began to remember what the FBI needed him to do. How long had it been sense he called into headquarters. Years it seemed. He longed for a process to resume in the case.
A investigation was at hand.
That night a tap lightly danced at Jay's door. It was Will. He was pissed drunk and ready to blow up. The brat had been bitching and moaning this and that, a problem with his car, a problem with buying a new car and mostly he was mad at Tommy Marcel for not inviting him to the knew and groovy Hollywood party on the Sunset strip. His people were loading up and renting out limos, girls and heading off to some beach concert. Brat was rating and raving about how he suffered long enough to be a star. "I walked the streets of New York for nine months. I lived in a Brooklyn shit hole for a total of two weeks. Almost got shot. Got robbed…I left the wallet on the counter…there was a deal on Apricots…I don't even like apricots…" Will was ranting and raving about non-sense. He was clinically insane at this point. Probably, on shrooms', maybe Acid. He only knew his hallucinogenic drug he stuffed down his trap. "I got up everymorning---quickly walked to dance class….the hardest modern Dance class in New York. Hour long class three days a week. They stretched our muscles like rubber bands…and we jumped for hours in place. I didn't know shit of dance…but I went everyday…cause my acting teacher made me…and plus, James Dean and Christopher Walking both studied dance and were ok dancers…Walkin was better than Dean" Jay cut in. "What the hell are you talking about?" He took a deeper breath, then, went to his bedroom and pulled a pack of American Spirit—yellow pack—regulars—out of his wrinkled overall hip pockets. "You still smoke Will?" Jay asked doubting that he wanted any type of smoke near him. "Smoke. Whats Smoke. Oh, you mean the movie with Harvy Keitell and Will Hurt…great film…love Paul Auster's shit." Jay scratched his head and handed him an American spirit anyways. Who cares if he still smoked or not—he needed to take something up quick…Jay thought, but anyway, a drunk, a high man is still high with or with out coffee, cold showers and cigarettes didn't make him less a drunkard, or even a slight bit sober. Even if they are a alternative brand like American Spirits…he figured it might of helped him think 1/9th clearer…If he did this very process of clearing his head with coffee and cigs, nine days in a row, he'd be fully whole. "What the hell are you talking bout Will….Get to the point." Will began to sink in the corner of Jay's bedroom. I poster of Buster Keaton rest above his head. The sinking of will, the sliding of his back against the back wall—reminded him of Buster Keaton in his low B&W moment. A slow stunt---a balletic grace---all for the sake of humor. But Jay, or Will, didn't laugh. Will had really lost it. "I walked up and down from 60th street to 21st street….than to 12th back to 21st…I worked at three Aztec restaurants…Patira, Irving on Irving, shit that was French . . .Do you know what Selenso is, what about calantriiii" Jay knew that was no real herb or Aztec seasoning—Will had clearly mixed up the Aztec title of spice. Now wait, Cilantro may have been an Aztec herb. By they way what was Selenso anyway. I wonder if it got you high. Maybe a sweat. Hmm. "What?" Will said. "It's an herb grown in South America…I had to learn a hundred different fish dishes, squid dishes, herbs, spices I've never, ever heard of…I had to memorize a ten page wine list…Spainish wines impossible to pronounce…I worked at a French breakfast café….I could never say fishy, I had to make up classy ways to say fishy like Fisha. . .Fishy was too close to smelly. Heeee wouldn't let usss say Fiiiiiisheeeeyeyyeyye. Damn it. I worked at a French BREAKKFEST CAAAAFEEE. Where I served coffee or what those rich French pigs from Gramercy park call Café; why couldn't they have called it coffee…like Americans do…Café ha ha café ha ha he po po co do. I got so mixed up in the big apple…Money can make us lose our heads. I almost forgot my own name….WHATS MY NAME. WHATS MY NAME WILL. HELP ME REMEMBER. I WANT TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING. Did you know I took enough acid to kill a horse in high school, no wait, in high school I killed a horse. I mean, in high school I did enough acid to. . .You know what I mean. . ., you know what I MEAN. I didn't kill a horse. I killed a dear at fourteen with a 247 high power rifle gun near the county of Woodson Texas. I did enough X to kill a bunny rabbit. Two bunny rabbits. Small ones. It was hell…pure hell…One morning I woke up to witness the two tallest sky scrapper in the North East fall to their deaths…taken thousands of innocent lives…" The brat had lost it completely . I felt for him. Felt sorry for him. Pure pity in his direction. He continued with, ". . .do you know what the sound of an airplane does to me now." Jay covered wills mouth and stuck the cigarette in his lips. "Inhale. I'm going to get a bottle of Foppiano…it's a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Russian River Valley. Strong, dry and shit face worthy…Will drink a bottle each. And forget…you can start over Will…Ok…Tommy's giving you the cold shoulder…So, that one burnt your bridge…" "Who said it was a burnt bridge..Oh, God now I'm burning bridges with my family…and my only connection with Hollywood. Their going to cut the chord man….the chord will cut." What chord?" Jay screamed. Will whipered in a raspy voice, "The chord..you know that thingy that connects from the mothers stomach to the baby's belly button..the mother of Hollywood is abandoning me? I'm going to have to get a job at a clothes store…maybe even sell dirty magazines" Jay replied, " A job at where?" Will had apparently began to fall asleep. He down the wine far too fast. Before he twisted off to dream land, he started to mumble, different dialogues from his newly received sides and scripts Will received sides and scripts on a daily bases---he'd memorize and memorize for hours and hours…and then smoke a joint…and forget everything….his memory was becoming a tight rope act in his auditions; it was mostly due to his drug use…Jay began to contemplate what to do with the brat Will. What to say to him in the morning. He looked down. He looked out. Was he going to give up on his momentum to stardom. Was he going to give up on his Hollywood dream? Jay took of Will's black suede, fuzzy blazer. In the coat pocket was a paper roll shaped like a runner's baton. Jay, took it from his secrete pocket. It jabbed up into the shoulder of the coat. He had a time wedging it out. He unrolled as if he was unrolling one of Will's carefully rolled joints…Jay didn't know why the script reminded him of a joint…but he lifted his eye brows and shrugged…he didn't care about his imaginations at the very moment…he wanted to see what Will had been hiding through out the agruement. It was an older faxed script entitled, "Untitled." It was a cheesy pulp fiction story about a serial murderer who killed young ladies on the verge of stardom. This was it. This was the clue. Will was involved in some way. Oh, my dear lord. Could Will be the killer. He had the script after all. It was a perfect layout for a serial killers deranged mind. It was dated seven years back. It had a New York phone fax number. Will was part of this caper. He was in on it somehow---maybe he was the killer. This made sense. For some reason it all made sense. Jay realized the lucky roll of the dice---he had stepped on the right man---and it was his first shot…he hit the bulls eyes with one try…this was it…Jay phoned headquarters…and reported the script and its scenario…He gave all the information on his old highschool buddy…all he could remember about him. His temper with women. His drinking problems…and how he use to light of smoke bombs and stinkers at foot ball games in Senior year…He even remembered his girlfriend and him getting into a slight physical alteration during prom…He shoved his in his GM---with a drunken rage…The FBI put a second man on the case…A full and strict surveillance team on Will Burnett----He would be followed now---and if he stroke again..he would be caught…
After he hauled Will back to Tommy's house and then to Will's studio Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all Apartment in North Hollywood off of Molholland Drive, he decided to not call him for a few days. Will was dangerous now. Jay's mind began to think and program like a struggling artist…he was struggling…living on donuts, beans and low fat, non fat skim milk…it was hell. At times he forgot the force, he forgot the FBI and he forgot why he existed. It was all like one long nightmare. When would it end? Would he stop waking up in sweats at night when he found the Movie Star killer. Would he stop smoking so many American Spirits---cigarettes when he discovered the identity of the killer. At times, when shaving, he suspected he was the murderer…why not…known of this case made sense…
His life began to become routine. Back and forth from the donut shop. Back and forth from the hills of Hollywood to the sharp turns of downtown LA. Trash bags full of trashy white trash food….cheap jelly donuts oozing with fillings of toxic sugars and meaningless does…His car was wearing….He used the mountain bike more and more…He never stopped peddling…At times he felt Virgil above him…allowing him to witness the hell of LA and Hollywood, but never touch, never break the protective bubble…Dante's Inferno was always on his mind as he returned from Work. The tall apartment building…the heavy breathing of the mad traffic from 405 and other highways…the low flying choppers…the speeding limos, sport cars and rich and famous….it was all Cantes of hell…all designed by Dante in his masterpiece the Divine Comedy…his mind was jumbled…he began to audition for soaps…he'd just be sleeping and then wake up in the couch room, the green room or the bathroom, with the white fancy embroidered towels and the posters of Al Picino next to the mirror…all kinds of Soaps…One Life To Live, Loving, Sunset something or the other….beach something or rather….all names he had heard…and remembered when he use to watch soap operas with his highschool lover…He told her, "I should do that one day…that would be ideal for me huh." She laughed and pinched his thick cheeks… "HE HE" She smiled, "How would you do that?" The memory was so real. He could see her brown eyes, smell her thick, sweet perfume, feel her frail body against his, her long legs, her jagged pubic bone, her breast…oh God her breast. How he missed holding her and dipping his cheeks close to her belly…listening to the wonderful rhythm and the unique patter of her heart….
Agent Jay Grisham had trouble sleeping that night. He began to think about all the horror in life. The horror that sparks horror films, the horror trapped in scenes for the screen, the horror trapped in words, in peoples lives…the inspiration given to killers…He began to ponder on the dirt in Hollywood. All the deaths that have taken place due to freak accidents, over doses and starvation---unhealthy lives trapped on celluloid. All the lives wasted trying to get on the celluloid. All the thousands, and thousands of struggling actors who never amounted to jack squat. What would happen to all those lost souls. What would become of all the rejects. All the background artist who got addicted to diet pills, liquor and coke. What would happen to all the young kids lost in look a like Jame Dean cars…unintelligent fools---waiting for the tide to drift in. What would happen to them all. To the ones murdered by some high power serial killer—with tons of money, fame and protection. How could anyone have that type of power. That type of freedom. How could anyone have that much bliss and misuse it. Abuse it. And kill the lost. The untitled. Those that have no title in a place like this are in danger. Their titles are the health to their wings. If no one knows them---then they can not take flight. Jay began to think how lucky he was. He had the team. The FBI. He had headquarters to call into. Some of these kids have lost everything to be out here. Last month, Jay was onset for a Major Motion picture with a Clive Barker film. It was a film about the dark side of psychics. Jay was cast as a mere extra. Just a blurred background—awaiting the next cross across screen. He began to wake up a night sweating. The shoot was three days. It was at a nearby studio—not a mile from his apartment. He didn't know why he was assigned to this inane case. He didn't know how Will got caught up in murder. He hadn't told headquarter that Will may be the killer. He hadn't told anyone. Headquarter had left a message on one of his pagers in a PO Box in town. When Jay first arrived he placed four pagers in four different Postal offices. He was only to check to Post office by his house. The other three pagers were back ups. The message on the tiny pager screen said—don't call in…don't keep in touch…will reach you. It was in a special number code. It took an hour to de-code the numbers and letters into a language. It was based on three things. A time. The time of day the message was sent. When the message was sent…and where it was sent to. The code book was a fake telephone book. The actual book was written in code. It took Jay six months to learn how to read and decode the secrete code. He opened the PO BOX. He drew out the pager and press the message button. The numbers 8477584773666377jhjk8373hs/kjfh9. Came up on the screen. All that said, "Don't call in…don't keep in touch…will reach you." How long would this last. He was stuck out there. He didn't have any money. He was suppose to look as if he was one of those starving actors. What would he do. Another message came in—it landed after the last day of shooting the Barker film. It was the following, "93933pokhkhkhjk4498kgkgkg99.xbbd0090903237xxmnm38837373934'''09qqqa/xxmna/a'" This decoded as, " Some one is catching on. You are in danger. We will contact you personally. Audition for the indie film, Untitled. You must audition and you will be given the part of Seal. Check backstage West." Jay was never to write down the code—but to keep it in his head.
Jay showed up early for the audition. That night—the night he received the code—he went out and bought a Back Stage West. In it was the indie film Untitled by Unititled producition. The audition was at a small one story house not far from Santa Monica boulevard. He called in early that afternoon and set up an audition for the following day. He talked to a man named Ticky. Ticky told him, " Go down Santa Monica until you get to North Labrea. Turn right on Labrea—you'll see a street called, Rosewood. Turn right on Rosewood. We will be the third house down. We are actually a half address. It is 5401 ½. Look for us in the back. There will be a garage apartment. We are on the top. The actors will be in the back yard. Refreshments provided. It will be an all day audition. Good luck."
Jay thought it was weird that he said good luck rather than break a leg. Break a leg is an old stage saying that meant, "good luck." This guy must be part of the team, he thought. I'm safe now. These production company is probably a mock one. It is a way to receive more information about the case.
Jay arrived at 5401 ½ Rosewood at exactly 11 AM October 2001. It was a little early for a audition. Jay looked a little blotted. He had downed three bowties at a near by Conoco. He was starving. It felt like he hadn't eaten in weeks. He probably hadn't. Not a real meal.
Jay began to contemplate. Am I cursed or saved. Am I in danger or just think I am. He began to wonder in his minds. Thoughts poped in and out of his head. Voices from long ago arrived. Friends from High school. Those they wanted him to go to New York to model. Go to L.A. to be in soaps. He began to think about writing. Maybe he could try his hand at poetry. Maybe novellas. Maybe screenplays. Etc…maybe he could match the great John Grisham. Hell, he nearly had the same name. It would never work. He could never get publish. He had three reasons why. First, it would be dangerous. He could get caught. Found out. His identity spoiled. Second, it would take too much time. How would he stay on the case. Third, his name sounded too much like an already famous writer. I got it. Jay began to think up pen names. Jay Bird. No. Too ringy. Jay Smith. No too common. Jay Hanson. Just doesn't work. Maybe he could write up a screenplay and try to sell it. He could pitch it to Will. It would be a good way to dig around the business for the killer. He found the name. It was in his fruit basket. Jay Dole. Like the sticker put on bananas. He would now write under Jay Dole. Now, for the screen play idea.
What could I write? I know. What sells. He had to sell the screen play in order to get into Hollywood. So, he kicked back his kick stand and jumped on his Diamond Back and zipped down the side walk, passing fire hydrates and pedestrians and hailing Marry's left and right. He peddled for thirty minutes to the nearby Barnes and Noble. He checked out three books. How to Sell Your screen play to Hollywood by Haritage Brown, Screen Play Format by Cole and Haag. And The screen play by MD. Richardson. He read all of them in two weeks. Mostly on movie sets as a background artist. He did five films during his reading mode. The first film was a space journey with Leonard Nemoy. It was about some rock free flying in Outerspace. It was similar to Armageddon but with out the budget. The second film was a love story about a singer and his muse. It was called Windows. The third film was when he finished How to Sell Your Screenplay to Hollywood by Haritage Brown. He was assigned to play a drunk guy at a convention center. THe film was with Dustin Hoffman. It was called, Oldies in White. Something about drunks going to heaven. He didn't believe the scenario or the structure. Of the screen play book or the film. He got mad at Heritage Brown and this made him hungry. So, Jay pigged out on bagels and jelly as he finished the Final chapter. The screenplay book suggested that he sell his story by word of mouth. Why write it then? They suggested to make up a treatment, or plan for the script. The book called it a thesis. This was a brief synopsis, one page or so, that described the characters, the outline of the story, the plot and the necessity of the entire film….This made Jay furious. First, he had to write a screen play. Second, he had to make up a treatment. Most suggested to make the treatment first. Then he kept hearing the words, "ITS OVER WITH ITS OVER WITH." In his head. He was going nuts. "Get to a mental hospital freak." He was going insane. How would he cook all this up in time. How would it work. He couldn't figure it all out. So he chomped down a bare claw and had some raw ass coffee. The set manager guy was about to call in the extra team he was on. He just felt it. He thought about having a cigarette—he had just picked up a package of honey flavored cigarettes with little bee symbol on them. They had a sweet taste, despite the fact it was chemical taste. They made Jay happy. How could this thing that kills you, this cigarette; how could they make you happy. He started to philosophy about killing. And things that kill you only make you better, or is it that which doesn't kill ya makes you better. He remembered a Smashing Pumpkin song with the words, "The killer in me is the killer in you…" and what was odd was that the end of the lyric is, "And I send this smile over to you." What was killing? Then, he began to look at the catering table. Everything became energy to him. Food wasn't food, it was energy. People weren't walking flesh but they were energy. Killing had to do with energy. But what? What kind of energy? And you could kill some one just having bad energy? Or perhaps he was taking this energy concept too far. Their were grapes, tomatoes, ketchup, sandwiches, Tuna, Buffalo Ranchero, Ham and Cheese, and Grilled Cheese. Jay didn't touch any of the meat. He didn't need to kill now; at least not a cow. He needed to contemplate. He needed to figure it all out. Now a sandwich---just snack bites…maybe an apple for later. He picked up a green granny smith and chomped it down in small intricate bites. He began to come up with a story about a killer in Hollywood. One that went around murdering almost famous ladies and there gay male friends. Would it work? Could he take something from life and turn it into a moving picture. That's it. He'd write about what was going on around him. What was happening at this instant. He sat down and wrote: FADE IN.
INTERIOR. MOVIE SET. DUSTIN HOFFMAN FILM. DAY.
First, he'd come up with the ideas. Then, the characters. Next, the plot. Last, the resolution….HE WAS SAVED. IF THE MOVIE WORKED HE MAKE TRILLIONS. HE BE ONTOP OF THE WORLD WOOPEE. Ok. Break it down. He needed to analyze ever new arriving idea, every new arriving image. The concept was about killing. What was the definition of killing. He looked in his nearby Webster Dictionary. He had one in his black bag he'd take to the movie set. It was good to increase one vocabulary, especially awaiting your Hollywood movie cross in the background. Dictionary Dictionary. Where is the Dictionary? Jay thought. It was the book bag kind. He dug down deep. Through all the one page notices, and junk mail. His phone bill was lost somewhere in there. He found it. A small 1,000 word Webster Dictionary. He looked up the meaning of killing: "1. To put to death." Hmm. To put to death. He thought about what PUT TO meant. Than he read on, 2. To put an end to, to distinguish. B. To veto." To veto what did that mean---exactly… Did killing have to do with politics. What does veto have to do with killing? Jay looked up Veto and read it out loud—then he skipped back to the definition of Kill, and pursued an answer. 3. To cause to cease operating…Like in a motor. 4.To use up. " Now that interest him. He met an acting teacher on some beach somewhere in California…No it wasn't a beach. It was by a air port. Well, no t an airport but near an airport. There was a palm tree near the scene. Near the acting teacher's studio. Now, he remembered. It was a palm tree near a hanger. He kept his acting class in a small hanger at the end of a tiny air strip. It was near the beach, maybe ten miles, but still near it. He could still smell the ocean from the hanger, maybe it was the sand by the nearby volley ball court. The actor teacher had worked with Meisner in his old days. The acting coach told him, an actor is someone who isn't used up yet. ISN'T USED UP YET. ISN'T USED UP YET. His soul is not eating away yet. It isn't used up yet. What did he mean by this? What did that acting teacher mean? He remembered that the teacher had studied with the great Sandy Meisner. Sandy was an acting teacher in New York that new everything about the word Kill. 5. To cause extreme discomfort to. 6. To delete. This word scared the hell out of him. To delete in today's society scared the hell out of a lot of writer/actors. Another really got his attention, It was 7. "To overwhelm with esp. with hilarity." TO OVERWHELM WITH HALARIETY. What did that mean exactly—to overwhelm with hilarity….did that mean to make some one die of laughter…how could you kill someone by making them laugh…The other definitions of kill were in phrasal verb form…like:1. To destroy in such large numbers as to render as instinct. N. Also, The act of killing. 2. One that is killed, as an animal in hunting. 3. An enemy aircraft, vessel, or missile that has been destroyed." This summed up the definitions pretty much. He had covered it….He had a pretty good concept of what Kill meant. Now he could write his first scene. He got up and went out to the convention center area. They could action over a 100 times and had the extras move around in figure eights and so on…some extras, or background artist, pretended to read material; others; just stood...drunk; drugged; lazy; talking….the main actors…Dustin Hoffman…and his boy…talked and walked in front of the god damn camera….happy as lilly's….That is when the ideas…the scenes and the pictures arose in Jay's head…
Jay suddenly had a flash of Tommy Marcel's image. His eyes came into focus. There was something peculiarly odd about them. He decided that Tommy's eyes were fake. Contacts perhaps. It would have to be. God doesn't give a man fake eyes. But Tommy's eyes were green. Too green. An aqua green, like Tom Hanks. Almost like an algae green, to be honest, but nevertheless, they were mischievous. Jay wondered if he could of replaced his natural eye color with contacts. And why anyone would he do this? Did it make him more profitable. Did people want to work with him because he had fake eyes. Jay wondered if his hair was real too. Was it really brown. Was Tommy the real thing. Or was Tommy a fake, pretending to be beautiful, pretending to be mysterious and pretending to be a star. Then, Jay wondered if Tommy could be the killer. After all, he knew Will. But was a fact that Tommy was a movie star. Everyone knew what he looked like. But wait. Could this Tommy be a impersonator and if so, how would anyone be for sure, but Tommy himself. He hung out with Will, the brat. Will was actually refered to as the brat. He was one of the lost brat Packs of the late 1980's. It was Rob Low, Jud Nelson, Emilio and the Corey bros. They went to all the night clubs, dance halls and whisky hang outs. And word around the city was that they each abused drugs. X was a fav. They had there hands on every human form that supplied the drug. The suppliers of exkstacy became their second best friend. That means, this could be drug related. Maybe he was a dealer. Will or Tommy. Maybe Tommy and Will were both drug dealers. Selling and killing off they debtors. Maybe the nearly famous ladies and homos that were slaughtered were executed due to not paying their drug money. Or maybe not. Possibly not. Nay. It wasn't like that. He wasn't killing for drugs. He had a higher reason. Something holy. Something biblical. Something that reached the heavens, or even hell. Tommy, Will or whoever the Movie Star killer was was killing for different causes. This guy was making a point.
But the killer could be anyone. Jay was certain that he, or she, or it, was in Hollywood; and was even part of the industry. The odd thing about the people out here. The actors were recognized by Jay. Jay knew they had all been bit. They call it the actors bug, don't' they. Bit by the bug of business is to be bit to be hooked. Its like an addiction. It's a hook. Here they are; running around the city in cheap cars, smoking cheap cigarettes, doing cheap drugs—and barely making rehearsals on time—due to hangovers, overdoses and attempts at suicide…but nevertheless, the actors out here were infected with the addiction of the actors bug. They had to get the next role. Had to, had to and had to some more. Rather it been community theatre, non-profit organization or big time. They had to land something….or they'd go dry…Many song writers and poets have compared these thespian blood suckers as vampires. That is not far off from the real description. Actors sponge off others—burrow, manipulate to get their way. There's hundreds of accounts of Ellenora Duse using other people to find her stairway to stardom. Actors use. Just like people use. There fantasy is their life blood---with out it—they may die….and their imaginative life, or delusions is their main excuse, their license to kill or that is what Jay came to conclusion. There must be something about the actor culture that needs to use- burrow, steal, manipulate—hurt, break---foil and cause a slight spicy scent of anarchy….They all are talking poets moving around with the grace of the beast of the night…
Jay showed up to one of his last background work jobs for a large budget Hollywood film. It was about a crazy air conditioning repairman that murders his two wives. Each wife didn't know he was married to the other-it was a half comedy. Jay flipped through a Premier and read articles about newly found moive stars. He was in a large waiting room the size of a gymnasium. He sat at one of the hundred of tables set up there. The SAG extras stretched out on cots and read popular fiction and smoked. A fat man, in his 30s, sat down next to him. He hadn't nothing in his hands. Round belly, slight red hair—big breath. Behind the fat man, was a round table of card players. They were the convention goers. Each were playing a game of five card stud. Next to the card game was a skinny, movie star looking, long hair chowing on a collection of glazed donuts. Jay worked at a cross word puzzle and then went back to his Premier. The fat man began to talk, "What you doing in town sir." Jay lifted his head, "Oh, just doing some extra work. Nothing big." Jay remembered he had a CBEST practice test in his book bag. "Oh, I'm just doing this for fun." The fat man lit up a cigarette. "I've been doing background work for years. I went to a special school designed in background work." "Really" Jay said sniffing the air at his cigarette smoke, "Yeah. Is that what you want to do?" Jay lifted his head from the Premier, "I don't think so. Its tough work for no pay. Hundred dollars for fifteen hours of work---is that even minimum." "Well, you got to work every day. And if you work five times a week that's roughly 500 a week. But I went to a special school in background work…I know all about it. They teach you how to catch more background shit…" Jay set the magazine down, "Really, was it fun." The fat man looked over at the card game and held his head above the level of the cards…to get a better glimpse at the hand at play. "Well, no. and yes. But mostly no…Overall Its hard…like life…but if you make it SAG, you get a cot." He looked over at one of the SAG actors relaxing and drinking hot tea. "Damn. Do they get more dough?" Jay asked as if he'd care. "Well, sure. Hundred a day more. And that's a thousand a week—if they're working around the clock." "Thousand a week." Jay said smiling. "What kind of school you went to again." The fat man answered all his questions in a polite manner. Their conversation ended with a naaa…The fat guy got tired of talking…He ended up having a discussion with a skinny man from South Carolina, who lifted a half eaten dozen glazed box of donuts from catering refreshments. We found out he was from North Carolina and had been driving over the edge. The vibe ringing the air said he was going a little batty. He had this odd twitch in his eye…and hands…it was as if he was kicking some expensive glamour drug out of his system…He was reading for a short film about Indians, or some type of science fiction rebel. Jay recalled it as having the title of Thunder lords, thunder cats, thunder something. It definitely had something with the word thunder in it, as Jay recalled. Jay pretended that he was interested in the background school and watched the card game come to an end and then begin again.
Paranoids hung out near the Donut Shop. He wasn't for sure if they were true paranoids, but they were always looking over shoulders, twisting heads side to side like deranged ponies before a hard core electrical storm. Each kid had a sexual static zapping through their veins. It was as if their present state matched the approaching rain from above. Flashing pitchforks raced above and thunder clapped like baby titan's starved of motherly attention, and each young delusional body wondering up and down, served to the hot scene by a legion birthed by a mythical hoofed sinner who plays fiddle alone in the moonlight; the side walks and neon signs from the 1950's décor and vintage red pink furniture, each rebel, alone, smoking, looking for stardom and squinting their eyes like a James Dean child with his JD cigarette blues; taking the environment in like a wine tasting event, and all in one devilish heart beating wince, with blame or guilt, not a doubt in the eyelash, and all denying their credit card debt or family assistant, they'd creepily and proudly judged others. Judged like a fool trying to serve the ends to a quantum physics riddle, and all in a universal, parallel whirl, starving themselves and denying the wishes of Buddha. Jay didn't know for sure if they were delusional or off the wall, weird, or hinged and wired. Hell, even thinking they were delusional was an uncommon delusion. Maybe just wired wasn't a bad guess. Jay wasn't paranoid or scared at this very moment. Paranoia was frowned upon in training camp. FBI didn't take scared yyyy cats. Jay was taught never to be to weary of others. Things like, "Hurry don't worry and look out but don't accuse. BE ASSERTIVE." Blaming others was not the key. He saw it as a form of weakness and so did his training sergeants. When two cats fought they exhibited a lesson for every man. The winning cat wasn't the one who attacked. The winning cat was the one who calmly watched the other cat, studied perhaps, stared him down, loosened up and had the strength to simply and justly walk off. The walk off was an offensive move. It could hurt worse. Doing nothing to someone is the worst thing you could do. It is a two thousand year old technique. The losing cat attacked out of fear. The winner turned it's whiskers and with control. Fear equaled weakness. Fear destroyed the inner mechanism, and sent control into the paper feeder. And once the inner side of man was lamed, he could walk, truly, no more. This was taught in his FBI school. If you got too weary, you lost control. If you lost control your life was in danger.
Trigger happy has a fear among captains and teachers in FBI land. But nevertheless, be that as it may, Jay had an eye. A human eye. Human eyes. Watchful human eyes. Eagle eyes. His dad would call him, "Eagle eyes. Keep an eye out on those Deer. Jay. I'll back the pick up. Here hold this colt forty five." His Dad's voice rang far below all the other hissing and confusion. He could see the deer lease his father purchased and he could see his father loading his new high power 702. He remembered his father sketching the name, "Heart breaker" over a camouflage coating of camo paint on the front hand grip of the rifle. It was musty in the utility room. Screws, hammers, blow dusters, wheel barrels and empty shot gun shells were gathered in small groups on the floor. "Why are you doing that?" Little Jay asked his Father, "I'm naming the rifle. Yours is named Heart breaker. Mine is named Dr. Death." The voices bounced in his head like microscopic atoms whirling around the nucleus. It wasn't the eye, his eyes, or others, that was taught, or given to him by the government. It was his own eye that he had to looked through. He had no other choice. It was his choosing view finder. The eyes we see with and the eyes that lay in our heart are the very same eyes we come into this confusion with.
The eye he beheld. The beholder was forfeited in fate. The beholder was unavoidable. Once a man made a decision, believed in it, not even a A-bomb could stop him. The military does not claim the bomb as the most dangerous weapon. The most dangerous weapon is a marine with his gun. It is a soldier in action. With out this soldier, there is no danger. It is only a oiled machine awaiting firing.
Steve knew it was in his eyes. His eyes, his eyes. The voice kept cheering, his eyes. The eyes God gave him. These eyes were Jays. He looked through truth. Confidence held his head up. He was ready. The voices gathered and gambled a reckoning hellish gallop in his head, it was all he could take. No matter the noise, no matter the lying voices, the eyes lifted toward the blue sky. Strength arrived in magnificent breaths. The eyes he always knew could never change. Nature did not permit it.
William called him in tears the next night. Jay couldn't even remember the day. He was coming off a heavy hangover. Cast party for a low budget indie had just occurred. Jay was offered two individual, star struck, gigs outside the states. He had to turn each one down due to the case. Hell, jay was coming off more than overcast of too much liquor. Jay was suffering from the "Almost famous-disease." He was on the verge of becoming the next Jimmy Dean. Shit, maybe even bigger. Everyone was calling him that had to do with everything in the independent film industry market. It was not long until he'd be in the sky---beaming down on the world.
Will was upset, "Tommy ran off. Went to Czeck. Prague or brno. Some high paying theatre gig. Five thousand dollars a day—to rehearse…a million a night…for performances…can you believe it…he left me at the house…So, I have the mansion to myself…come over…I'm a wreck…I think Tommy's pissed at me…he left me over three thousand in cash…come over." Will hung up. He'd been drinking. And throwing up. Jay could tell by the rasp in his voice. Jay jumped on his Diamond back and headed to the bus station…He'd have to take public transportation in order to reach him. Will was staying in the North Hills of Hollywood. Very close to Beverly hills. He heard Tommy lived near Tom Cruises old house. He wasn't for sure…Tome locked his bike up and headed to the nearest Conoco. He needed a pack of Camel Lights and maybe a few wine coolers—to calm down.
The phone rang again. It woke Jay up from his regular afternoon nap. It was Will. He was upset about the industry and why he was lacking film work. He was having a dry spell. He considered a new agent, a new manager and a whole new team. Will whined and whined about how everyone was turning on him. He complained about how WB was a sell out and how Hollywood only cared about money and looks. He saw this as a form of paranoia of his own self image. He was afraid of himself and of others looking at him. Will had a disease as he called it, "The movie star disease." Jay didn't think it was that far fetched to feel they way Jay felt. He didn't think a rising star like Will should feel normal feelings. Will was full of angst and on the verge of fame. Tommy was Will's launching pad to the great vast and white peppered sky of stars. As Will explained his trouble with living in Tommy's attic and using Tommy's money—will began to cook up a better screenplay idea. He'd use Tommy as the central character and serial murder as a background theme. "Lets make a movie." Jay said. When he explained, or pitched, his movie idea about the strange murderers in Hollywood—Will began to laugh at him. He used the old cliché word associations, "Fade in. Long shot. Link this with The Player mixed with a couple of Robert Altman films and a some Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver, Age of Innocence and a few other Kubric shots in The Shining and Eyes Wide and a few of Bernardo Berty stills." There was a lull on the receiver. Why was he referring to Bertolucci as Berty. He never was messy like that. He could here small tiny breaths suck in and puff out. Something was wrong with Will. He was in trouble. "That's absurd. It'll never work. Plus, Jay Grisham sounds too much like John Grisham—the writer. Its too contrived…its not from the heart enough." Jay hung up a little over twenty minutes later. That night he hauled ass to the Donut shop. The whole way he had a few uncommon delusions. He could hear the killer's voice in Tommy. It said, "If you try to make this movie. If you use me or Will---I KILL YOU. You hear…you're a dead man." Jay arrived way too early at the shop. He expected the donuts and made a roll count of all the bow ties and apple fritters. They had a new arrival of coconut dates. Jay's favorites. He was hungry but that damn voice permitted him from eating. Plus, he always looked down on middle eastern deserts, ever since the little cute monkey dies from eating the poisoned dates Indiana was supposed to eat in Raiders of the Lost Arch. Indiana Jones was one of Jay's role models. Deserts were not on his mind at this moment. The killer motive was at hand. He was beginning to think he could hear Tommy's inner voice….the one that told him to murder the ladies and homosexuals. He didn't know if it was real or not…was it his own voice---his own imagination?…or was his instincts so heightened that he could really hear the killer think.
That Night the donut shop was hell. Jay had to gather the degreasers and fill them up into one large degreaser can. Then, he had to spray down the front sidewalks and parking lot with a hose. Next, he was commanded to scrub the oil stains and black spots, with a hard bristle broom. Beads of sweat formed on his tired face. He felt greasy and swampy. His hands were aching from the push mopping and his back was killing him. He had to go through out the neighbors and the Donut Shops parking lot—and remove every grease stain. It was hell. He scrubbed and scrubbed. Every little spot. Every brown stain—had to be removed. His head ached. His shoulder blades stung—the center of his back rang like bee stings…
That night he had a dream about Skinheads in North Richland Hills---back home in Texas. He was asked by one intimidating Skin to jump this red head mick. The mick was selling bunk pills at a club in Dallas. Unfortunately the mick sold to the Skin's girl. "Lets fuck him up." The skin asked. He was with one of his punk friends Sphynx. Sphynx was tall, with bleached hair—very Suburbain punk. They met up at an apartment. The Skin had the plan, "This is what we do. We got into the room. I'll have a blank cassette tape. I put it in the stereo—when the lyrics, 'biting my nails' come up…start punching." The song was from some tecno craze at the time. The lyrics accompanied the words Biting My Nails with in the tune. It was popular among club kids and other cliques in the techno scene. When, Jay was a teenager there were 12 or so factions and sub-cliques that hung in or outside the warehouse raves adn techno clubs. Club kids, punks, goth heads, dead heads, post modern hippies, skaters, ropers, transvestites, preps, jocks (very few), neo nazi skin heads and anti-nazi skins; both skins paid a half or full tribute to Oi; oh yes and never forget; the vampires. The vampires were very few and hardly noticed. The skin, Jay and Sphynx all entered the apartment. The Mick was in the back talking to his clients on a phone. They walked in, greeting the owner of the apartment and headed into the back room. The skin put on the tape…he set in the first round of punches, sending the Irish decent red head into the water bed behind him. His face immediately rose into a hard red; his cheeks turned rosy rusty….and his head flopped back into the water mattress…Sphynx jumped on top of him and laid a couple of hard knuckle sandwiches into his cheekbones Water bed waves rumbled from head to foot of the bed and side to side of the facing of the bed's mantle. It wasn't long until the water bed was mimicking the motion of roaring rapids…It was hard for the small clan to hold stable as the pounded away at his flapping and squinted face …Jay was present in the room. Completely present. Aware. Highly aware. He wasn't just present but he was also preparing to participate in the barbaric act. He clinched his fist and held his ego back. The two bodies hovered over the red head like wolves on its prey. He could see the specks and cracks in the cheap white walls…and the fuzzy picture of Elvis glow out of the walls. There was a Cure poster above the telephones answer machine, every ordinary object stuck out like a cartoon…Jay was high on the popular glamour drug Ecstasy…he began to sweat….his hands shook…his forehead beaded up with tiny drops….then he couldn't take it any longer…it was either run from the skins and get caught and beat later, or lay it in and on the Mick. Jay jumped on top…What the fuck, you live once right? Sphynx scooted over…"Fucker." Sphynx hollered. "Do it for your brothers." Jay laid in three or four godlike fisted punches…two of them hit Sphynxs wrist and hands…Sphynx and Jay were punching simultaneously…and at the same spot on the reds head. There was a punching frenzy at hand. Biting my nails on the tape cassette radio kept blasting like a demonic screams from newly released demons from the depths of hell's Archan river. Jay was on fire. Fired up, they'd say. He kept hitting the red headed Mick square center in the mouth. The lead Skin backed off and left the room. Sphynx got up. Jay was the last to stop hitting and pounding on his ass. The Mick leaned over an spat out a wad of red ooze. After it was over Jay felt like a new man. He had conquered some one. Possibly some one inside. Some one that like to hide. He had over powered another man---and he was still just a boy. He had overtaken with the help of the Skin and the punk Sphynx. Blood ran down the Mick's nose and he whimpered in fear. Red stains spotted along the corner of his mouth. He sniffed up his emotion and took to a phone call. Most likely to someone close. Parts of him was crying out but he did a wonderful job hiding it all down inside him. His face went series, still like stone. Jay was more angry than ever. Jay huffed in the air. He had to think about this twisted form justification. Weigh the worth of the attack. It was childish. Shameful. Wrong. He remembered at one of the clubs the Mick touched his girl while selling her the bunk X (ecstasy.). He slapped the Mick and shouted, "Don't ever touch my girl again—motherfucker." That was Jay's motive for jumping in on the jump. It wasn't about the drug. It was about his girl. Protection. He didn't want that red headed fuck even looking at her. Jay's intention were do to a single touch of his girl's hand. No one touched his girl. Not even her hand. No one. Jay slowly walked out of the room to sit and watch Twenty One Jump street with Sphynx who was popping a pill and smoking a freshly lit Marlboro red. The cherry glowed red. Jay was a little shaky but in the long run he handled the jump almost like a professional.
Later, the Micks friend would come into the kitchen. He confronted Jay and asked to fight. Jay had a long explanation for his fist throwing. "Your just talking to stay alive." The Mick's friend spewed. The head skin confronted the Mick's friend and hauled his as out into the ground level balcony. Jay didn't hear what the skin told him. It was something strong. When the red's friend came back he was quite pissed. He glowered at Jay but that was all. Later, Sphynx said, "Dude. He jumped in because he was one of us. A brother. He jumped in for the good of the brotherhood, man." Later, there would be another fight in front of the apartment. It would concern the bunk ecstasy and the recent jumping of the red head. The lead skin would win this fight as well, he always won, even if he had to cheat. The lead skin was known to scratch eyes out with his finger nails. After the mick's friend was beat the skins and Jay watched the lead skin wipe the blood of his nails.
That night they drove home in Jay's red Cavelier. He stared into space as the over head highway signs traced by. The head skin kept telling Jay, "Ash Jay. Ash." Jay would look down and discover that there was a long cigarette ash hanging on by threads. He put the cig down near the ashtray. It must of happened a hundred times that entire night. He just wasn't taken in things the same way. His cigarette he'd forget, people's names, the aspect of philosophy, happiness and even sometimes the sky. The world began to float away and Jay fell inward into his thoughts. Voices arose.
A moment passed as Will snapped to reality. Will called in from his Cell phone. Jay had just woken up in a cold sweat. He couldn't tell if his dream was a nightmare or a bad memory. Headquarters hadn't rang in over two weeks. Headquarters did exactly call him in one phone call. It was more complex than a simple phone call. They call in secret codes and rings. First they'd ring and hang up on him. The first with a silent prank call. He'd answer and no one would be on the other line. He would say in the phone, "Ass fucks." That was a secrete code. This pushed him into the next step. They'd ring back –two rings and then hang up. Then the third time was a three ring succession. He answer and say, "Shabang" and then hang up and call back a 1-800 number. Then he hang up on them…and finally they'd call his cell. He was really far in it. Far as he could be.
Will didn't have much to say. He thought it was headquarters when the phone rang. He picked up and listened for nothing. Will began to blabber about Tommy and the Industry. Will had this new street drug. It was called Zenmedi. "Zenmedi's great man. It makes you see shit that ain't there….its not too bad…like I haven't gone nuts yet." Will explained the drug to Jay. "It's a cross between LSD, X, POT and Peyote." Will said it made him believe he was a real vampire. Will hand recently landed a small role in some odd theatre off of Beverly. He was playing a vampire and he wanted to experience a demonic high. That's what he called it, "A demonic high." "Is it illegal." "Illegal. Shit the pigs don't even know what it is. Some people think its made up. Its fucked up man. I mean I feel too good. Way too good." Will ended up wrecking his car into a ditch. He didn't total it. Just fucked up the front fender. A tow trucked towed him out at around 4am. Will ended up at Jay's apartment at around six in the morning. Knock, knock. Jay's eyes opened. Someone was howling out in the front patio. "LET ME IN. Or may I please come in. Vampires can't force entry. You have to invite them in." Jay walked over to the front door and peeked into the peep hole. "What the.." Will was dressed up like the Count. "You look like Gary Oldman in Darcula." Jay whispered. He opened the door and will flew in. "Dude, I'm high. High. High. High. You've got to try it man." "I got to be at the Donut Shop in two hours." Will opened his palm. There were three pink square pills. "They taste like Heaven man. Try em." Jay picked one up. Something in the back of his mind said to trash them. "I got to be at work." Will laughed wildly. " I jumped off a bridge two hours ago. You couldn't believe it man. I jumped. I thought I could fly. It was over twenty feet. SPLASH. Right in a rolling river." "Was there water at the bottom." Will scratched his head and shivered. "Good I feel gooooood." "Was there water? It was a river man. Whatcha been trippen dude." Jay began to squint his eyes at Will. Wills pupils were very much, ultimately, intensely dilated. He was really high. "I thought I was a real vampire man. I splashed in…my feet touched the gooey bottom to….look at my slacks." Will's black LA style slacks---very modern…very ex-punker/slash business man…"Look at me." Will was covered in mud. Spots of goo and such were splattered over his Gary Oldman'ish Dracula outfit. "You look fucked up man." Jay began to doubt the reality of Zenmedi. He took the pink pills anyway. Will fell asleep in the back room. Jay figured he shouldn't of past the drug up. Two reasons. First, he couldn't blow his cover being too far into the case. Second, he needed to escape all this shit. It was driving him nuts. He saw it as a quick sedative or relaxer
It did the opposite. By the time he reached the donut shop—he had convinced himself that his Diamondback mountain bike was the Enterprise space craft from Star Trek. He didn't understand a single customer at work. Everyone seemed to speak Ewoke…and they looked like Aliens in the movie Aliens III. Jay believed he was being filmed by filmmakers from outer space—and this gave him right and just reasons to be slightly paranoid. Also, at times, and, in other special and exciting moments, he believed he was trapped in parallel universe invented by the three great writers: Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kessy and Frank Zappa. Jay was beyond stoned. He was flat out hallucinating and by the time he finished stalking donuts ---he didn't even know what a donut was. Luckily, his shift manager was not on duty. He had to run the shop with a fat ugly chick named the Barb. She reminded him of the skanky chick from a nightmare he once had concerning a date gone haywire. He takes a young lady to a Science fiction film about lost and unfriendly extra terrestrial worms in deserted regions of a distant spinning moon in far away galaxy known as Flappidyfattyfowlmouthiladyforshitibitchicuntbag. In the nightmare Jay consumes an entire box of nutty and buttery popcorn which later he vomits up on his date. In the nightmare, Jay gets slapped by his date and she goes down on him. Weird erotic dream. It all happens when the Barb makes her initial appearance on the silver screen. Jay made it back to his apartment. Will was missing. He checked under his bed…sometimes, in moments of party and drug taking, Will would end up under Jay's bed. "Damn his gone." On the way home, Jay thought he was a Rock Star and was being followed by thousands of young girlish groupies. It was only a bad high. His hallucinations kept changing and changing. He kept switching uncommon delusions…He kept thinking he was other people…in other lands…in other times. His life became like shopping for a movie at Block Buster. It was not constant. He fell asleep listening to Laid by the post modern, alternative band James. Will never felt when he felt that good. He felt so good it scared him. His skin felt as if it was a shaved Turkey and tiny pleasurable bumps sprouted up everywhere. He tinkled like diet Sprite from head to toe. The sound of ice hitting soda water is all he could hear. He was the first bite from a donut---savored by a two week dieter…he was steam from a hot towel, condensation on iced tea in summer, he was ice cream licked by a black girl after a summer walk on the beach, he was the kicking leg of a southern mutt (Cross between Beagle and Pointer) dog being scratched in the center of its back, he was feeling good…. He was golden.
The Donut Shop was visited more and more by Will. Will would come up on afternoons to smoke outside and wait on me for breaks. He had a new part. The Vampire film was a short shoot. "Got this new part Jay." Jay wiped the Bow Tie grease of his thumbs. Jay was thinking how gushy and sugary the damn treat was—and who or what evil being invented. Jay had a theory that all donuts were a communist plot designed to blow Americans up to unnatural sizes. "Whats the part." Will took a large drag off his Camel filter—he was trying to resist buying an upside down pinapple cake or a apple fritter. "I am playing a serial killer." "A killer?" Jay whispered. "What film." "IT MGM…believe it or not. I playing a serial killer…from the thirties." "1930's" I said almost reaching for my memo pad in my back pocket Dickies. "No shit. Who else is in it." "Maybe Tommy. He wants the role of the head detective.The scripts still in working."
"So your sure you're the killer." Will took another drag and spied on the new collection of Empanada's in the glass case. "Well, I don't know for sure If I am the killer. I just know that the detective thinks I am. The full script isn't in my hands." Jay lowered his voice. He looked around before speaking, "Do you kill in the script." Will stopped looking at the donuts, "No. I just stalk women." "What kind of women." Jay lit up a cigarette with a little bee above the filter. "What do you mean what kind. I stalk women. Women are women." Jay took in the smoke, "Women aren't just women. There are all type of women." Will threw his cig down and crushed. Licking his lips, "All types?"
"Yeah. There's business types, tall blonds, short petite, Hispanic type, Japanese, Hairy Russians, Lesbos, Butchs, Ultra feminine, Whores, Classy, French Ballet types…"
"Hang on" Will interrupted. "Just slow down. I am still doing research. I'm still figuring it all out. I just got the script faxed in today." "Well, tell me more about it when you figure it all out." Jay had to go back in the shop to finish up stalking the sweats. The shop consisted of two rooms. One room for coffee and the other was four walls lined with glass shelves of every type of Donut known to man. The shelves wore encased with glass and lit. They even had mirrors on the back wall—to make it look larger and more plentiful. Jay would take a steel tray of donuts, check off their identity and quantity on a large computer sheet and then close and clean all glass doors. The entire joint was lowered in temperature. They kept the room at exactly 71 degrees. He wore a little orange suite---like a mechanic suite—with the words Donut Shop with a little donut logo over the left breast. Will stood outside and investigated the female employee…Barb. She was a heavy set lady with grassy hair. She had wild green eyes and more fat than a overweight dolphin. She was far from sexy. Jay figured that Will's character's victims were obese and skanky. Jay got off at around the normal time. Day light was approaching and a few hours. Will wasn't around. He had vanished in the L.A. night like some supernatural goul or vampire. Jay unlocked his Shimano lock from his bike and hightailed it home to call in Will's new role. He had to inform Headquarters on any roles involving murders and serial murder. Ultimately, the case was coming together. Jay saw this as a sign. Will had something to do with the Movie Star Killings. Jay sent a message saying that he was going in deep. After this cell call Jay would have to remain in contact by letter or fax. He have to write or fax in the special code. Jay may be moving around the chase the killer. This means that he would not be able to keep one address in Hollywood. Not until he needed one place in one location. Jay had dispose of all materials that linked him to the FBI. So, he threw his cell phone in the freezer---he'd figure that was a good way to break it. No that wouldn't work. Jay retrieved the cell phone and packed it in a duffle bag along with paper documents, the code book, all ID badges, weapons, hand cuffs and anything that looked like it belong to a government agent. He decided to burn the bag and dump the ashes in the ocean. He go to some beach nearby his place. He'd wait until dawn and take a cab to the beach---then he'd burn all his FBI belongings. It was time to go solo. It was the only way he was sure he could not be caught by Hollywood and the killer. It was also time to change his identity. He get a new hair color, new hair cut and change his clothing. He'd even change his style.
Jay showed up at the Vampire club in L.A. It was a brand new hang out for the admissions of the alter ego types. You know, the type that think their some one else. He moved around the dance floor. Looked at the vampirism types. Listen to the music thump away and just gazed into nothing. He didn't think about his job anymore. He was losing it. His mind was overlapping in thoughts and voices. One voice after the other piled up onto of one another until a symphonic of demons whirled a dust devil of confusion in his brain. He couldn't deny the pain he would face. Everything fell to a sudden stop and flew off in a speedy soar and all in the same instance. The base speakers resonated inside his chest and caused his face to go flush. The contacts were so gapped and prolonged his was starting to forget he was an secrete agent. To be honest, he couldn't even remember his own name anymore. Was even human? Even part of this race, this world? The drugs, the long nights, the fantasy of making it…all of it had gone to his head. He was going to give up on the government job and throw himself in the L.A. night life. He was going to forget his past. Maybe he'd change his name. But what name? He'd have to move. Move to Beverly Hills maybe…maybe north Hollywood. He'd do it too. Get back at the routine of taking notes on others life---taking other privacy away. What made him a judge? Christ sakes, what made him any better? What made the government better than a killer? There be no more laws. No more rules. He was going over to the other side. And maybe, just to get back at his wicked side and legal nature…he'd free himself—turn against his authority…against his all mighty master; throw himself into freedom. Headquarters didn't pay enough anyway…they had him starving here…and all so he could capture some one that exist all over the world. And this evil one, this serial killer of famouse ones…they'd exist everywhere…there always be a stalker behind some shadow, behind some one way glass---behind some car dashboard…awaiting with a gun, a knife, a pill, a weapon of somekind and awaiting to kill…Why should he be the one to stop all evil. He began to doubt his profession…he was a spy for godsake…a lowest form..a trader…a secrete agent…for a lost cause…now he'd change for good…never turn back. But he wouldn't tell headquarter…he'd take there small handouts…continue to make the believe he was really on their side…He'd use them to make it big…he'd have to…he could die out here. It was a type of war…a psychological war. It wasn't a war fought with ammo or guns…but it was fought with success…with popularity…with faces…with money and with vanity. He would never let them know. Both sides would be tricked…he'd have them both on his side…He would be a double agent…working for good and evil. And he'd change his name for the evil side…constantly becoming other people…changing his face, identity and name. The good side would know him as Jay Grisham. The bad side would never know him. He had it figured out. Bad is chaotic. Zanny. Unkown. The good side was stable, straight and orderly. He'd jump back and forth---and he'd keep this way…he'd stay in this sporadic state—until freedom reached his heart. He'd jump back and forth until his heart danced in his chest…and he could feel his blood rushing ---like when he was a child. He'd beat the system…and dance again….dance to be free….
The music pounded. He thought he heard some one call his name. His head snapped to his left…he focused through the zapping club lights…they spun around and made him dizzy for a second. Was it Will? Was it some one on the other side? Was it Tommy? Who called out his name. Who was it? He figured he was hearing things. Then he heard it again. "Will. Will. Can you hear me?" He spun his head around. He decided to buy a drink and dance it off. He was hearing things. Voices. Who was it? "Will. Do it." Who the hell could that be. What the hell, more like it? He turned and faced the dancing youth. Most were in their early twenties, a few teens. All in black, vampirish Goth clothes, eyeliner, caps, dark leather boots, jet black hair—black was a common clothing color…studs, silver chains, crucifixes. Skinny bodies bouncing and throughing themselves in the misty, white fog…Who was it? "Your name is no longer Will?" It was the voice again. "Your name is Jona. You are now Jona."
Chapter 2: The Jona Identity
Darkness awaits for your doubting veil. So thicken the eyes with opaque and bring out the truth in sorrow.
I couldn't really change my job quite yet. I wanted to. I needed to. Hell, I was changing my own identity. I was becoming a struggling actor in L.A. From observing actors when I was an agent, I noticed they starved a lot. That meant---they had no food…and if they did have it they only snacked on stuff. They weren't large eaters. Not most of them. On the other hand, there were other types of actors. There's the A type of actor—the lean mean fighting machine—Sylvester Stalone, Arnold, Younger Marlon, Toby Maguire, and Brad Pit—cut, all muscles…those types…And we can't neglect noticing the B type. Skinny, starveling, sufferers…Like, early Chris Walken, Richard Pryer, Jim Carrey and others…They had heart—thin—but big nice warm hearts…inhibition, and emotion on their sides. Then there was the C's….in between guys…New Yorkers….People that could hack it out in big cities…Richard Gear, Ed Norton and some parts of Brad guys….Early days of Robert Deniro…muscles…but some heft…enough to look sexy…Tom Cruise types….Now where would I fit in….Did I need to be skinny, medium or heavy….I forgot the D Type….John Goodman,.John Candy…Jolly, funny---warm, round bodes…Anyway---I had to decide which to choice from. Would I go with A type and beef up at the gym or pig out at the Bakery and go for the extreme end….I couldn't tell. Brad Pit sounded ideal…the ideal form…the mask to hide behind. But how? He figured he'd get a manager…and ask her/his opinions. First, I had to get head shots…Where? Next, I had to get new body. Where? How? Next, I had to get my hair done---what color this time…and last I had to legally change my name…So my FED friends wouldn't find me…I was losing contact with the team….I had to go deep undercover…So deep—I didn't think I was undercover any longer….I didn't even believe I was a FED anymore…I needed to believe I was an actor…and when the time came I could wake up to reality…One common trait I found among actors in L.A. was credit cards…It most were linked to a scame. Lots of credit card spending…illegel spending. I have to get myself into debt…Lots of debt—and then find the illegal path. That would set me on the right track.
Once I switched over to the struggling actor world things began to look different. Unique. I noticed objects I've never noticed before. I became observant as hell. More observant than I was as a FED. First, I began to notice bills blowing in the road on the way home from the Donut shop. I began to pickup any coins on the floor. I could see them easier. I could find them quicker. I began to believe in Luck. Every time I found a penny—the world meant something new for me. It had more meaning. I was learning what hope was all about. The Donut shop became my day job. I would have to dress back up as the old me. As—Jay Grisham. I would wear a hat to cover up my bleached hair. I would put on my old style clothing…and talk like I'd use to. I use to do this in a gas station bathroom before entering work. I'd talk and act like Jay use to…I wasn't Jay anylonger…I was pretending to be him. Now, I was Jona---dressed up as Jay. My identity was two fold…one false—the other true. I only acted as Jona to work at the Donut Shop. I wore a bandana to cover up the new blond hair. I decided a bandana wouldn't work—so I started to wear a wig that looked like my old hair. It was perfect. I was learning the trade of acting every time I went to work. I had to play the old me. I had to learn who Jay was…and what he was about. I had to figure my old self out…Now, it was time to develop Jona. For some odd, unexplained reason, Jona came to me naturally. I knew exactly who he was. Wear he was born. He wasn't really me—part of me deep in my soul knew that…but I knew him once before…in my dreams. Jona was everything I wanted to be. He was what I strived for. He was tall, blond, muscular, lean and sexy. Jona would take time to develop perfectly. These are the new things I'd have to learn. Like the impossible life style. The things Jona always did in L.A. as an actor. I'd go to the gym three times a week. Work out for three hours. I'd work at a restaurant. That meant I had to double up on the jobs. I'd show up at the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3pm. Tuesday and Thursday---I'd have tea and shuffle board---or cricket. Work out till 5pm. Show up for waiting tables at 6pm and work until 9:30 pm. Rush home on the bike—change into night life clothes. Black leather pants, tight muscle shirt, loose summer button up suade blue jacket or blouse…Italian leather shoes…platform or regular…depending on how much spice I needed for the night…Finish dressing and preparing for the "lucky" by 11pm…Go to the clubs till 3am…rush home at 4am… sleep for a one and half hour stretch…Fall into R.E.M (Music or the active mental state—Rapid Eye Movement.) dream of being in a movie or snow skying..… Wake up…shower for five seconds or so….change into work clothes…and then I'd take the bus to the Donut shop and start the sunrise shift—barely rushing in at around 5:30am. Non stop, non stop for the sake of a non stop life….MIND completely activated…Up at 4:30 AM and sleep by 3am…Seems impossible…Not if you taking low grad speed (Moungh Hou or Ephedrin—with shots of Espresso at the restaurant) and skip a few nights for sleep in or what is known as Sick days… That was my Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday consist of auditions, clubbing, bar drinking and socializing with rich business types—and catch up sleep.
My bike was making weird sounds. The back wheel was sick. It was shaking and flipping side to side…the rim or the wheel was screwed. Couldn't tell which. How would I fix it. I didn't have extra cash.
That night Jona went to the Vampire club of Santa Monica Blvd. It wasn't too far from the Viper room on Sunset. The Vampire club was a brand knew cult sensation. Jona wore a black leather jumpsuit, silver studs, fake tiny ivy nose ring, bunk tattoo of Charles Chaplin on his neck, with one single white faint rose around his neck (The necklace was a dog chain)---Platform shoes and he decided to shave his head---skin bald…Something inside himself said he would not meet a woman that night. He walked in. Smashing Pumpkins was blaring the song, "By Starlight". He walked around and pretended not to fit in. He did fit in. At least by the dress code. There was none. Everyone stood around, under the neon lights, smoking, lip synching and socializing. Most of the skinny men wore black leather pants and they had chains hanging from nipples, necks and noses. He began to feel left out. There was one women dressed as a fairy. She looked like the fairy in the movie Legend. . . only she was wearing thick glasses. I heard some one say she should of decorated the glasses with a small pieces of wood, leaves or some type of tiny garden plant.. That would have been creative. Very creative. Uniquely creative. He didn't know a soul there. It felt like October 31st---only it was late Summer. Scary breezes filled the air and the season was far too warm for such fright. Too early for Halloween. Jona was the loner type in LA. He liked it that way. It made him feel safe. He kept to himself. Didn't try to pick any chicks up; not one gal up. Not even the hot Vampire queen with the full on Victorian dress, white powder make up, studded heels and real fangs was attractive to him. She even had sharp bunk fangs implanted in her front canine teeth. I heard a black vampire dude talking about her. He wore a black tuxedo with a cape and hood. He talked like he was from Brooklyn. Jona decided to leave early. The Vampire scene was looking mild tonight. It wasn't a full moon and it was a boring Tuesday. Dead night. Plus, the DJ was only spinning Smashing Pumpkin tunes. It was like one Smashing Pumpkin song after the other. One after the other—one after the other, and the gothic humdrum annoyed him. He decided it was more like a concert of dead head Billy followers. He needed mixed tunes rather than a goth-pumpkin club. He wasn't getting fully burned out or anything. Its hard to get completely burned out to the Pumpkins. The hold that mysterious devil charm in every electric chord and machine handed beat. But he wanted something different. He decided to find an old coffee shop near Nemo street and Santa Monica Boulevard. He'd come back later when he wanted to have fun. He was in the mood to meet someone new. Have an intellectual conversation. Try out boredom for awhile. A little boredom makes life's spice taste better. He figured he'd wait it out till 3 Am, later back track, seek out the Queen Vampire chick and get a deeper taste of the Pumpkins melodic brilliance. Tonight he wanted to walk the talk and later do a little walking the walking. Meet a new face. Come up with five new philosophies. It was a nice little joint. They played classical music and English tutor folk songs. A little different from Billy Corgan. They served scones, herb teas and sorted sweets. He decided to buy one plain coffee, two scones and one piece of yogurt coated cherry something. It was gushy and he had slight buzz. He ordered those small round, package jar jellies and honey for dabbing and a quick sugar high. He sat down outside. The wind was picking up small little gales. The wind gather interest to his philosophy. It something that shows up, whispers at you and has no real meaning. But for some reason its voice is of pure beauty. He felt like some one would just fly down from the sky, fro the wind, maybe fall, and land at his table and hang out. Would it be a human? Not even the whether man could reveal this mysterious wish. An Alien. Who cared. As long as it was someone real. Someone with an original message. The cafe was decorated like a small Greek/Asian garden. There was one Greek statue with water coming out of it and some ceramic Budha sitting in the lotus all up right with his belly hanging over. Cupid…or some lover god of some kind was flying in stop motion over some red mood light. There was a wooden deck patio with ivy, shrubbery and occasional lilies here and there. The place had charm for a joint off of Nemo street.
A women walked up. She was at least thirty. French. Petite. Thin. Round eyes. Light small, dark hairs crawling down her spin. So light you could barely noticed them. I noticed them. I could smell them. She dipped down to retrieve her purse pulling off a perfect plea. They way her body addressed the purse over her shoulder exhibited her nine years in the top ballet school in America. I could feel her heart pound. She was carrying a small black French style purse. Whatever French style purses looked like—this was one of them. Not one false move or slight shine of inhibition her gait or her stance. She had a loose black summer dress on with a green ivory thin necklace. Not one once of gold was on her. That meant she was the gold. And to top it off she smelt like an exotic flower. She wasn't too tall to be purely Hollywood. She had more background to her. Tall people were usually worldly and had a thick past. She was about five feet and ten inches… could of been five eight or so….around there…between five eight and five ten, just right. The body of a petite ballet dancer. Long arms. Long neck. A hard working dancer. Perfect breasts. The eyes of an artist. A kind artist. The soul of a Greek lover. A lady with everything in her. A lady of the world. The most passionate hands ever. Tight ass. Cute round nose. And a healthy toothbrush add smile. She was beyond pretty. No pretty was under her. She was like the night on a Spring evening in Palm Springs. If I could name her—I'd name her Rain. For Rain is soothing in most cases…even in sad times. Rain always heals. We didn't get to her name until much later.
As she approached me I noticed her eyes were yellowish green…almost a aqua green…like the kind you see in far away islands and distant shores. She was the beginning of my end. Or possibly the end of my beginning. She broke the rules of resisting. I couldn't resist. I knew I had to. She had me fully, eyes like that had anyone, even a star. I had to keep alone---I was undercover. But I couldn't. Her body and her moves—which I forgot to mention how she moved…it was like a angel but with the grace of the wind…she was more graceful than the average angel…she was very close to the pure state of grace…a natural at everything she did. Dancer ladies are like that. A complete true person. I bet she was kind too…I hope to God she didn't have that stuck up Beverly Hills attitude…I was wishing she was a traveler…a person who had seen many parts of the world…like Italy, France, Normandy, Asia…parts of the world that open your eyes and mind…I was hoping she was into literature…like Poe, Ken Kessey, Jack London, Morrissey, Wolfe…I was hoping she had read Bertrand Russel. . .books on Buddha…Poetry of Emily, Burnette, and Ginsberg…maybe a travel guide to New York---visited places like Praha, Brno and Prague…Places where you can't put your shoe on the bus seat..where old ladies hollered at you for being crude or impolite….places that still had the scent of War Worlds and French Cigarette poet pantomimes….I wanted to take her to a cliff…wait with her, kiss her neck…whisper in her ear and hold her close until the sun rose…name the twilight stars with her…make all the names up.
Who would help me escape. Escape not into debt. But escape into freedom. Escape into myself…into the feel good….into what I need it to be….
No one showed that evening, but some old writer. He had white hair and dressed like Samual Becket. He use to work as a PA in Hollywood—he delivered cinnamon rolls and opium to the old crowd movie scene….1940's and 50's. "Hey kid, you look lonely." He said in a sophisticated and charming manner. He had a slight British accent. Lower class Brit more than upper. "You want to get a sandwich?" Suddenly, Jona got nauseated. Sick in the low part of his stomach. The thought of having a sandwich with this old geazer made his tummy swirl and bubble in putrid-agony. "No thank you, sir." Jona said. The old man took out a pipe and stuffed some black looking tobacco in it. It looked like tobacco at least. He lit up and smiled at the stars. Somewhere far off Galapogos was fired up full blast and thumping in some club…Probably the vampires.
I found a new drug. Surprisedly it was at the Donut Shop. It took me a full hour to get back into Jay's gear. FBI and LA struggling actor dress completely and utterly different. They even talk different. Actually, to be honest, they have not one common trait. So, the hour was worthy in its ever pulsating passing moment. I began to hate Jay. Especially after judging his dress and mannerism. Jona would never hang with a loser like J. Grisham. I despised him head to toe. Everything he was about was artificial and pre planned to the tiniest ironed sleeve. His governmental rules. His need to find the Movie Star killer and to handcuff Tommy Marcell—even hog tie his ass…How did he know who the hell the Movie Star Killer was in the first place. He didn't really know him….and why should he judge a killer, when his government slaughter thousands and thousands of innocent soul in bombing raids and special op attacks.
A suspicious looking man came in the Donut Shop. It was almost dark out. I had lost the exact time. I just knew it was approaching evening by the creeping blue lingering outside. He ordered a half dozen of Apple Fritters and a couple of upside down Pineapple cakes. His eyes were blood shot and he was humming a Red Hot Chilli pepper song. It was time to do what she said. Stuff it. Go home and stuff it all down and make the pain go away. He was becoming hooked on shit like Metrx and it was killing his digestive system and fucking up his regular shits. The smell of the cooking dough followed him out. Any food but donuts. No more donuts. No more glazed sticky hell. Anything but sweetness. I can't have her if I touch it. I'll starve for her. That's it. Starve until death whispers behind me and when she sees my darkly condition, she'll save me. Yes, she'll save me.
It was my break. He hung out infront of his spotless, silver and gold trim BMW and lit up a cigar. He chunked the order of donuts in the trunk. "Birthday Party?" I said, staring down his wheels. "No. Meeting." "What type of meeting." I lit up an American Spirit. I wasn't sure if Jay smoked them or not. I was sure Jona liked them. Jona liked all natural blend cigarettes. Mostly European stuff. Stuff with funny brown filters…or unique paper. "Oh, the bad type." I scratched my head and through down my smoke. "What type of bad stuff." He began to tell me about his life. I don't know why. I was his temporary bar tender I guess. If a bar tender can work at a sugar dough factory. He told me he was tired of counting money. He sold drugs. All kinds. Even Zenmedi. It was the new drug—a cross between Acid, X and peyote. He was tired of the life. Tired of almost getting busted…tired of worrying his friends would execute him for skimming….tired of getting hooked on Coke or speed or doing too much and saying good by to the faults of the overdose…he was just plain tired. "I have a drug for you." The man said. He was a fat man. Long Chinese beard. He looked slightly Hispanic. Over weight in the face and waist. Way overweight. He walked funny…with a limp. His feet pointed outward…the opposite of pigeon toed…I figured his feet wore flat….maybe that's why he never exercised…maybe that's why he was too heavy…maybe that's why he quit the football team at fifteen and started to listen to Slayer, Metallica and do crack rock in the boy's bathroom. Maybe that's why he was a loser…here infront of the Donut Shop of off Wilshire…about to got to some Hollywood hill meeting…and shot up with friends…maybe take down an Apple fritter and a bow tie…and then barf. "The drug is called Myosyn-R" He really stretched out the myyy in myo…and syyyyyyn….in syn." " Step back." I said with Jona's grin. "What is it." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small packaged—tan brownie..it was a whitish tan. "Well, its pure. It's a mixture of prescription drugs…doctor order…and some herbs…and some illegal shit. Dangerous drug. Real popular right now." I took in a deep breath. I was in contempt. "What does it do to you?" I was fearful of it for some reason. "Well, it fucks you up. Makes you warm though. Real warm." I turned to the window. Checked out the counter. Made sure the manager was still on break. "How fucked up." He held it up to his chin and smelled it. "It makes you dizzy with orgasm…tired kind of…many compare it to Herion." I reached out and he handed it to me. "Black tar. Heroin." It was tan. Pre-packeged…like one of those cookies at Conoco or some old snack shop gas station. It didn't look like a drug. "It doesn't look like a drug." He smiled a yellow grin, "I know. That's whats great about it. She don't look like nothing but a cookie…but she fuck your balls…trust me…you'll feel good for a long time." I turned and checked the counter. Then turned back, " How good and how long?" "Real good and real long." He said with a chuckle. "How long is real long?" He lit up the cigar again and thought. "I'd say it fucks you for about two hours…but the after feel is the best." "After feel." I've never hear of an after feel. "Whats an after feel." I thought about it intently. "Well, its when your coming down off it…have you ever had that euphoric sensation you get on LSD. Well, that last for about ten hours." I sucked in a short breath, "Your saying that you get off for one hour and then have a euphoric sensation for ten." He giggled, "Your orgasm-ing for about an hour…and then the rest of the day you smile." Wow. One hour orgasm…and then pleasure for the whole day. "How much?" He put the cookie shaped drug back in his pocket. "HMMM. How much? I see. Well, your looking at about sixty dollars. No more and no less." I stepped back. "A sixty dollar high…fuck that…I got to pay rent." He huffed on the cigar. Smoked blinded his snake eyes…His eyes were deadly….deep brown with a hint of green envy. " Ok. Uhhh. For you…for the first time…Just cuz I know you'll be begin next time…Ten bucks." I thought about it a long time. I had to get back to work in a manner of seconds. I looked down at my mashed American Spirit. I thought about how dull I felt…just dull every day…I couldn't stand another motherfucking donut….and we were out of caramel filling donut cluster….and the Cheese Cake Lattices…were not on order anymore. It might kill me I thought. I looked up at the Donut Shop sign. It kind of shook as a gust of wind snuck in. "What the fuck." I pulled out my change holder…took out two fives and planted it in his hands. He handed me the cookie drug and jumped in his car. His window buzzed down as I headed inside and into the break room. "Oh, Kid. Here's my card." I walked back to his BMW. Took a black business card that had his initials on it. It read ":JD. 972-558-3999. The FeelGoooood man." I smiled at the car. "Call me. When you need another cookie, bro." He pilled out….and like a flash…his BMW was mixed into the Wilshire afternoon traffic. "Fucking thing better be real." I whispered and skipped back to the shop. I didn't want to try the drug at work. After all, if I lost the job—headquarters would find out. They kept in touch with me occasionally by sending an agent in for a snack. I wasn't suppose to know what the agent looked like—I'd never know. They'd come in , buy a snack and they know what I looked like, then they report back to the headquarters---saying I was in at work. If I lost the job I'd have to report to headquarter the time and day they dropped me. Then, headquarter would assigned a new place for me to go in and fill out applications. The job wasn't ran by headquarters. Meaning the manager or owner wasn't government owned. It was a privately owned Donut shop. So, my next job would have to be something similar. I was probably going to shoot for a coffee shot, or a major hotel. Headquarter didn't want me working for the studios. I wasn't suppose to take money from the people I was investigating. Part of me knew I would fall back into the case. I couldn't help it. I could only be bad for while. I had to convince myself that I hated the government. That I hated the FBI. I needed to go into this thing for real. Method like. I needed to trick myself into believing that I was a real struggling actor.
It was easier to do when I was starving. Delusions come naturally when your underfed. Its like what happen to the Vietnam vets—when they were captured by the northern Viet Cong. They starved them, fed them spoons full of rice a day and made them work for hours on end in the patty fields. The VC began to convince some of the POW that they were VC. Some of the men found or rescued during the late 1970's were no longer speaking English. Some of them thought they were Viet Cong. The Americans had to put them through therapy---just so they'd remember who they use to be. I noticed I could put myself through this same type of suffering. I'd starve myself and work long hours…and then I'd start to believe I was Jona.
It was weird becoming Jona. I checked out some books on Making it as an Actor in LA—the guides to stardom. It was all the same shit. Get an agent, beware of phonies trying to steal your buck—most claimed to make you a star but really wanted your two hundred a month. The same shit. Get a job where your around other studio people. Get a job where you can meet the right person—and find the right time. It was buy this type of photographer for a headshot—got to this certain acting school….they make you billions. …it was all the same stuff…never amounting to diddly squat…I was becoming Jona never the less. I bleached my hair, find an expensive Gym near Beverly Hills---got an extra job at a small café---were they served pastries and herbal tea…They fired me with in two weeks…boy, I was really afford all the groceries I wanted. Had to start eating beans out of a slow cooking pot. Have you ever heard of the saying, "that won't amount to a hill of beans." Well, Jona's life was hill of beans. I had to make Jona famous. Famous. If he'd become well known in the Hollywood scene—I could get a better glimpse at what was going on…maybe footsteps to the killer would show up…First, I had to land something big…something National…something were people would know me by name..h strangers would walk up to me and say "Hey are you Jona?" And I'd say, "Yeah. What can I get ya." "I'll have two eggs, some toast and your best pastry…you decide." I was at the Café. Standing. I was Jona now. I had been working the lunch shift for two hours now. "What type of pastry sir?" The man, with a big belly and large bifocals wiped with moustache and hummed, "Well, how about the Cheese Danish, No wait…what about the Cheese cake Lattice." I started to feel like I was Jay at the Donut shop. "Cheese cake Lattice. Toast, Eggs…coming up…" The man grunted and winked at his female companion—who was so classy, tall and thin she could have been a star. "Don't forget…I like them sunny side up." He hummed at his girl and she giggled and petted his hand. I ran back to the kitchen to place an order and fetch the next tables desert.
And with out notice I was fired from the Donut Shop. I started to keep a journal after that. They never told me why I was fired… I had taken that new Drug. Myosyn-R. It fucked my world. I felt so good I couldn't even see the colors anymore…Just heaven. So, the manager said I was acting funny—rude kind of…He just up'd and terminated my ass. It wasn't long till the café fired me as well. There I was stuck; sinking with a low account in the bank. Rent was due soon. I had to find a job that would accompany me and my new drug. A job where I could be rude and funny in the same work day.
Jona was relieved the Donut Shop let him go. The manager had spelled his name with an h. It was not how he signed the W2 forms or the pre work forms. He singed with out the h. Jona stared down at the five letters of Jonah and realized what a stranger he was, no just to the manager of the shop but to the world. He was tired of dressing up like his old self, Jay. He hated Jay's old life. Plus, he knew eventually the Donut Shop would find away to blow him up to a fatty size. Jona liked being free. He was going to move soon. To an artist district of town. Live with others who ate, slept, played and lived like he did. Jona had the same memories as Jay—only he looked at his past, his memories, his friendships in a different way. He judged them like an artist rather than an FBI agent. He judged them in a critical way. He began to loath his mother—he didn't understand why she had locked him up at twenty one—She and his Father put him in a mental health clinic for two weeks. His mom and his dad were divorced. They divorced when he was only nine years old. It kind of caused him to split in personality. He had to live the way his father lived and on the other hand, he hand to adapt to his mother and the new arrival of his step father. It was not just that. Also, he had to learn to live with his step mother. He had to go through joint custody at a young age. That meant he spent the summer's with his mother and the fall with Dad and his step mom. He didn't like his step mom when he was younger. She smoked, listened to country and Western music—came from a poor white trash background, and cooked cole slaw with mayo in it. He hated mayo and buttery foods. His step father was more fun. He was a foot ball coach for a middle school. He coached all the sports and acted like an English teacher. Coaches can be fun—but they have extreme tempers. At times the police were called because of disputes over laundry, cooking, tv channels and political domestic bullshit. He began to hate his step dad too. His sister, older, now a nurse, got in many fights with him. She use to sing the dick head song to him.
It went, "dick head, you're a dick, a dick head. Dick head. You're a little dick head." The man was built like Arnold Swatzernagger in Comando. He use to bench of 300 pounds. THe guy was tough. One time he lost his head, on the way to his dad's house. My sister was singing the dick head song to him and he pulled the car over and swatted her in the nose. My sister, myself and two other friends witnessed the event. When my mother and step dad dropped us off at my fathers place, my sister had my dad call the police. The next morning the Coach was arrested for child abuse. It wasn't long—couple years later—my father was arrested too. He lost his temper at me for not doing my homework. I had left the books in a laundry basket. He shoved my head in the basket. My right facial cheek hit the my math book. He had me in a grip like you'd pick up a cat—to paralyse it. By the back of the neck. He through me up against a refrigerator door and kicked after my shins. They use to do the same to him in the Army. The letters, magnetized letter, fell from the fridge door and spilled on the kitchen floor. "Pick em up—you low life." He screamed at me. Then he through me up the stairs and a ran to my room to hide. He leaned over me as I did my math homework and hit me with the back of his hand. My sister ran to the neighbors to tell. I ended up with a bloody nose and red drop filled note book paper—the homework was covered in blood. It was useless. Seconds later I could hear him screaming from the neighbors house. They held him gunpoint while the neighbors teenage boy begged their father to pull the trigger. They let him live. The next day my sister and I were giving a formal apology from my father. He lost control.
Jona set up. He was in some ones car. He didn't know whose. It was an old Limo. Not the new kind. He was in the back seat. They were busy snorting coke on a mirror and sucking smoke from crack pipe. They offered a t hit to Jona. He was too out of his mind to stick the tube to his lips. He didn't know where he was—and who he was parting with. All he knew was that he was no longer, Jay Grisham. He was now, Jona Harman. I knew person. He even felt like he had a different body. It was all unreal. Hard to believe. The limo pulled over. One of the punkish ladies in fish stockings and a tuxedo-with pink hair, barfed out the door. The rest of the men looked business like—very confident, properly dressed, formal wear, bow ties, black tuxes. Everyone was high class. Jona looked out and saw a sign that read North Hollywood. He was far from the Donut Shop. He hadn't called to headquarters in over two weeks. He was living Jay's life behind him. It was time to figure out who Jona was.
He hadn't thought about calling Will or Tommy. He still knew Tommy was out stalking young gals and homosexual men—and planning to make his next strike. He didn't know when he'd strike next. Jona didn't care much about killers. He was concerned with one thing—MAKING IT BIG. He needed to find out who was the one who would save him—take care of him—nurture his skills as an artisan. How would he do it? How would he become discovered? Jona leaned over to the older man in the back of the limo. "Excuse me, sir. Uhm. Who are you?" Everyone in the limo laughed in a charming, pristine chuckle. "WHO ARE WE!" The older man in the tux exclaimed. "Who are we?" He asked the other men and the one punk lady in the back seat. "Who are you?" He asked back.
They say evil arises when darkness falls. The night would become a new tribulation in the story of Jona. The belly of the well was a place called Shy town.
The next thing Jona knew he was awake. Somewhere else. He jumped up and looked out the bay window. He was high up. Real high up. Sixty floors, high up. Maybe more. There was a lake below. He had no idea where he was, but what he was was far, far above sea level. Not far from the clouds he could see. Nothing was really below him but a small parking lot leading to a field of wavy blue. "Just a giant lake below me." Steve whispered, "Maybe I should jump." The place had to be a pent house. Tall, high rise, edifice built near a profoundly vast lake. Ice chunks slowly floated on the lake like tiny islands uprooted and free. The apartment was very large. Very expensive. High class. The bed was located on a upper level platform that overlooked the suite. There was a sunken living room, with a round bar as a semi love seat. Half bar, half love seat. There was an opposite bed on the other side of the suite. It too, was on a platform. Glass stairs lead up to the top. Jona walked down from the bed and approached the sunken living room. His mouth salivated from exhaustion. He decided to get a drink. First, he checked all the rooms. There were two giant bathrooms. One of them had a square whirlpool. If there was such. The pool was bubbling and fool of puffy soap suds. He went into a bedroom. It was decorated like a middle age queens castle. In the back bathroom there was a champagne bottle resting in an iced sink. He picked it up. Admired its green glass skin. Touched it. Fantasized swimming in it. He daydreamed about shrinking and falling into the bubbles—overwhelmed with the drunken high. Next, he popped the cork. He opened a small pill case next to the electric toothbrush. Pearls and gold rings laid to the left and right of the sinks. Magazines entitled, "Business Today" and "Millioniar" rest left and right. He picked up a few of the magazines, "vogue" "USA today" and "People." He flipped through them. Looking for his image. Or even someone he knew. It was a awhile since he had seen such magazines. Next, he decided to take the pills. Two of em. He didn't know what they did or what they were—he just knew he needed them. He popped them in his mouth and took a long swig from the bottle. He held the bottle until he passed out.
Jona slept in the pent house for days and days. Sometimes he'd wake up at night. Sometimes day. One time he woke up and he couldn't tell if it was twilight, dusk, starlight or dawn. He was simply lost in sleepiness. Sometimes when the drowsyness would awake he go back to the bottle and the pill case. He'd swig the champagne, wish he was tiny man—swimming alone in the cozy warm cadescent ripples. Heaven. But it was only the drugs. He fall into a deep sleep and sleep for it seem like years. His head hurt, his back ached…but he slept on. He became a sloth. He grew weak. But he slept on. Then it all changed. He found a new room. A walk in closet. In the shoe rack was a small black satin bag. He opened it. There, warmly housed, and sleepily resting in a translucent pinkish clear glass pill case, where two tppered end, cylindar shapped pills of bright blood red. What could they do? Hm. He icked one up and made it back to the fridge by the opposing bed platform. He opened it up—grabbed a grape soda and downed three of the red pills. His life began to hit an opposite effect. He began to see everything in fast motion. The sun would set and rise in a wink of an eye. The world spun like a wild top out of control. Day night. Night day. They pass so fast he couldn't count them. Day night, night day. Over and over. Faster and faster. Spinning like a fiery fire work—and exploding into a smeared flash.
Jona begin to deeply think about his odd and unknown situation:
I woke up. It felt like I had slept for a thousand years. Perhaps I have. It was snowing outside. The lake was icy and had a bluish skin. No ducks. No birds. No people. Nothing. Just wind tapping against my window and the echoing of the icy lake. I didn't know what pent house I was in. It was fancy. Very classy. I noticed the kitchen had wood floors—a tan wood. The living room was carpeted with black bear fur. The lights above me were white, candescent—dim—milky—beautiful. I could hear Jane's Addiction playing above me. I noticed the place head ceiling speakers all around. Three Days was playing. The base thumped and entered my heart. My head got light. My eyes went dim. I got on my knees and began to pray. I wanted to be free. Why not leave? All I had to do was make it through the door they brought me in. I ran passed the bed platforms—away from the giant bay windows. I came to a hall. It lead to another hall—which zig zagged. I kept running down this hall. I never even considered to go through it beforehand. After those millions of hours of sleep, I never once considered the hallway. There were pictures hanging from the wall. Pictures that looked like Find the Waldo cartoon. Next, to some of the pictures were small display cases that displayed Brancusi sculptures and odd Weldings. It was a surprise. Pleasant. I stopped and admired the Waldo paintings—I even removed the glass from a few of the displays and touched the Brancusi sculptures. I ran on. Zig zagging down the hall. Looking for the end. I kept running, faster and faster and faster. The music changed. Their were over head speakers all around—like some expensive high class haunted house. I covered my ears. The music faded up. Then I caught a mini-security camera—staring in my face. It was just hanging there by this funky aluminum spring. Silver, bright. Bouncing. It reminded me of something out of the movie Brazil. I touched it and it beeped at me. It kept honking and beeping, flipping around and investigating every inch of me. It even peeped at my crouch. Running into it. A silver shiny tongue came out and tried to unzip my zipper. I noticed I was wearing Black Neon pants---leather of some sort—I had a black suede, suave light summer jacket on—with silvery sharp buckles. I was styling high. Things were making more sense to me. I was on display for some one. I was like the art stuck in the hall. I was like a Brancusi sculpture. It was all too unreal. Then the door flew to me. I hear a loud honking noise, but not like a car, more like honking geese. It was all too loud. Then, Morrissey began to blast away. The door opened. And there he was. Steven Patrick Morrissey. In flesh. He wore gold, torn netted V-neck. His hair was sticking up like an exaggerated James Dean style, lots of gel. He had tan work boots on—covered to the heel by dark brown Levis. Red hippie beads dangled to his belly button. He had a devilish grin on his face—and a snaky, geeky posture. He adjusted his horn-rib glasses and hissed at me like I was a rat running from a cat. Boy, I was rockstar struck. There he was. He began to sing, "The Charming Man." I feared it all. It was far too real. There was no going back. I couldn't take the zig zagging anylonger. So I tackled Morrissey. We began to tumble and gracefully roll down a stairway. He changed his song to, "Girl Friend in a coma." I held on too his slightly muscular frame—and we flipped on top of eachother. Finally, the stairs clinked to a flat surface—making it a slid. Morrissey and I slid down the slid into a pile of hay. I was now in a barn. I couldn't tell where. Why was I in a barn? What happened to the pent House. Morrissey stood up and shook the hay off his stylish garb. Out of nowhere he transformed into a rumbling, foaming saytre. Horns crept out his forehead and a tail shot out of his ass. I looked down and saw his legs transforms into goat legs. He was half man half goat. This had to be sometype of nightmare. Here I am. Standing in a barn and in the middle of some unknown country—and Steven Patric Morrissey-ex lead singer of the Smiths---had mutated into a mythic Greek creature. Morrissey had become a product of Dionysus. It must have been his early Albums that caused this phenomenon. Perhaps it was Strange Ways Here They come, or is We come. I can't remember now. Morrissey flipped his head back and hit a high C note—and galloped off and out of the open barn doors. He rushed through a nearby field. I watched him haul his newly formed goat ass and goat legs up a nearby oak; topping and spreading, overlooking a hilltop. It was amazing. The most amazing thing I've ever seen since Exorcist part three. He vanished. Just like that. I looked through the barn doors. There was a small hill in the distant. The oak stood and blew in the wind like an old fisherman casting away at the sailing waves.
He fell asleep near the oak tree awaiting the lead singers return. No one came back. Not even Johnny Marr. He fell asleep humming and mumbling the half lyrics to Cemetary Gates, Meat is Murder and Girlfriend in A Coma. When Jona awoke he was back in the pent house. It was cold outside. Bits of snow flakes clung to the window, as if they were suicidal jumpers in mid contemplation. He jumped up. Ran to the kitchen area. He was starving. It felt as if he hadn't eating in years. He checked the kitchen cabinets for food. Nothing but beans. Every type of bean known to man. Red beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, Gabbo beans, yellow split pea beans, green split pea beans. Everytype of beans he ever knew existed. He grabbed a bag and split the package. Next, he found a small iron soup pan. He spilled the beans into the soup pan and turn the electric heater on high. He watched the water. It was still for a very long time. Then, it turned a little white. Then, the bubbles began to hiccup to the top, in small bubbly short bursts. Then the entir top surface turned into the roaring rapids. He investigated the boiling for about two minutes and then decided to check the bean. He had mixed to types of beans: Navy and Red beans. He crunched on the Red bean. IT was far too hard. Damn it. So, he through in a different type. Green split pea. He watched the spit pea boil for over two minutes. He was so hunger he didn't even know his own name. He didn't even know the type of pea he was boiling. He was so hungry he was forgotten everything. He head to eat quick—so he wouldn't lose sight of his past. What day was it? What time was it? Where was I? Perhaps the beans would help.
Jona began to hurry. He felt time was running low. How long had he been in this sky scraper pent house. He looked out the window. He must've of been seventy floors up. Was the building growing? The beans were running low. He'd been eating half a bag a day. He'd better slow down. He couldn't believe how hungry he was. He craved sea food and all the foods he loved. Bass, cat fish, trout. He began to thirst for a hamburger-even though he had giving up meat for years. He had been a vegetarian for some time. Ever since he became Jona he stopped taken in meat. But for some odd reason he craved it. But just because he thirst for blood doesn't mean he had to take it hand to mouth. He decided to look for a way out other than the door. He ran to the bathroom to look for an attic door. Maybe it was in the hallway. Nothing. He stayed away from the hall leading to the exit. He never try that zigzag mess again. He was stuck. Stuck in this nowhere place 150 feet in the air. He figured each room was about twenty feet tall. At least twenty feet give or take a foot. He times that with about seventy and got 140—he added ten feet for eyeballing it. That couldn't be right. Ok, if each room was twenty feet tall from floor to ceiling than that meant two rooms would be forty feet and three rooms would be sixty and four rooms would be eighty feet. That would only be hundred feet from the first floor to the tenth. How many for seventy. He went though it again. Could it be 1,400 feet. That was it. Seventy floor times twenty. AHHH. I see. Plus a few---for eyeballing it. Jona was over 1400 feet in the air—and growing. When he awoke the initial time he only seemed about 800 or so feet in the air. He remembered. It was only a short brief awakening and then he hit the covers again. The room looked exactly the same. It smelled different. He smelt marijuana leaf. Perhaps it could have been incense. But what incense could smell like weed. He walked around to see if anyone was in any of the other rooms. There was one kitchen area adjacent left to the platform bed. He walked down the stairs from the bed and scrimmaged around, looking through drawers and under the sink Next, he went to the bathroom connected to the kitchen. He looked under the toilette bowel, in the bathtub, in the stand in shower. Nothing. No one. Not a soul. Next, he ran toward the opposite side of the room. There was another bed—on a platform. Circular platform. Mirrors on the ceiling in a circumferential manner. It was all so Play boy bunny-ish. The floors were still intertwined with furry carpet, bear skins and wood. Was the bear skin there before. On his initial awakening. Could this be a new room. He decided to escape. He take the hall. It was a new room. He take the front hall—the one that lead out of the last joint. He ran. And ran. And ran. Zig zaging. To the left. Nothing but modern art paintings. Brancusi sculptures. There was a Buster Keaton antique doll handing in a museum like casing. It was dimly lit. Then he came to the end. The door. The camera zoomed down from the wall on its mechanical arm. The silver tongue flopped out and licked his face. A red light on the top head of the lens popped on. He guessed it was filming. Not for sure. Then, it vanished. Upwards into the ceilings, or heavens, or dark space. Whatever the hell was above him. He tugged on the door. He would be behind the door. Would it be Morrissey like last time. Perhaps Jonny Mar his dedicated guitarist. Would it be Elvis, Alana Morisette, Joey Romoan. Maybe Michael Jackson for god sake. Who knew. Only God. He yanked on the door. It was no one. No one was there. There was a hallway. Hay straw was scattered here and there. The hallway looked like a hotel hallway. Every door was numbered. His number was #7077. Was he in a hotel. He scratched his head and reached in his side shirt pocket. His cigarettes were gone. He remembered he had put them there the night before. His jeans. He checked them. Nothing. No cigarette. Damn it. He checked his sock. Some times he kept them in there. Nothing. No socks. He was wearing his shoes with out socks. He checked to see if he had underwear on. He didn't. He was going free for all. He had his leather jeans on. His old, black cotton button up Italian made dress shirt. His hair still had a touch of grease in it. He couldn't of been in the pent house for more than a night. It was all some type of dream. Maybe a drug induced dream. Perhaps it was all a trip. Someone had slipped a hit in a mixed drink at the club. He had imagined the thousand years passing. The penthouse, or hotel, growing. He had imagined Morrissey and the haybarn. Then his eye caught the strings of hay scattered down the hall. It looked as if some one had taken Elsey the cow for a walk down the 70th floor of the hotel. One thing he was for sure. He was in a fancy hotel. And on the top floors. He had to be at least 70 floors in the air.
Jona found his way to the elevator. Zap—the doors opened. Click. He walked in to be greeting by a awfully thin elevator operator. He called him self, "Down." "Down. Your name is Down?" The operator turned, his eyes with tiny skulls on the pupils, "Yes. Down." Ok. Jona thought. I guess down. "Yes. Down. Take me down." So Down hit the lever. Pulling it back, swift and tight. The elevator began to descend to the lower depths. Jona stood exhausted. Barely fighting gravity. He could smell the oil and grease grinding against the cables of the elevator. Soon he'd be at the bottom floor. He run up to the front desk and ask the front clerk what city he was in. Down stood perfectly still as the elevator hit a few bumps. "Sorry for the turbulence." Down said wiping his mouth. He stood perfectly silent—not a movement. Spine erect, neck stretched out…like a new born lilly—he rode the cables all the way from the seventieth floor to the ground floor. The elevator came to a slow and smooth halt. "The other elevator operator turned on me." THe operated went silent again. "So, he isn't around no more." He straighten his collar like elevator operators and bellmen do. The elevator was on the 40th floor. "Almost there." Jona said smiling. "Not quiet." The elevator hit another bump. "Music." Down said as he pulled out a pack of cloves. "Smoke?" "No thank you." Jona said leaning against the wall. Things were starting to go foggy. Too hungry, again. "Music, friend?" Jona nodded his head. "That means yes, right?" Jona nodded again. Down opened a small door next to the control box. It looked similar to the control box. Dark, gray with a metal finish. The hinges shrieked like a starving door mouse. The Doors slowly faded up. It was a soft, tingling instrumental version. Mosaic they call it. The kind they play in piggly wiggly. You know. No vocal---just something on a sony keyboard. "Who is this?" Jona asked. "Oh, I believe the doors. But it doesn't sound like them." Because it wasn't. It was one of those cute, imitations pre recorded and distributed through out a string of hotel elevators through out the West, South and Northern states. "Wish they had the real band on." Jona said. "Me too." Down said. They were on the 33th floor. "33. Not much more." Down took a long toke off his clove. It crackled and the maroon smell hit the walls. Jona breathed in. It was the only thing keeping him from dropping. He was drained and out of gas. "Energy getting low. You mind?" Down looked at his cigarette. "Sorry last one." He was lying. He hogged his cloves---never gave one out. Not even to closest elevator operating friends. "Can I have a drag?" Jona said taking in the crazy instrumental version of Break on Through. "Sorry." Down began to feel guilty. He decided he'd be giving for once. He reached in his bright red bell hop suit jacket. "I guess you can bum one." He handed Jona a clove. "You in town for long." Jona took the cigarette with out even listening. He reached for his matches. Gone. "You got a light." Time slowed down. He could begin to hear Morrison's voice singing along to the cheap mosaic. "Ahh." Everything went black and white. Jona began to see small pigeons flying out of the elevator and into the shaft. I hole hovered above his head. "Jezz." Jona took a deep breath and clonked down to one knee. "Head spinning." Down stared oddly at his weakness. Then, Jona spilled over to his side. "Damn. Really light headed tonight." "Its morning." Down said smiling. "What city are we in?" Jona said with a light rusty voice. He couldn't hear Down's response. Slowly everything faded out. The last blurry image was the faint tan lit number 29. He had dropped to floor twenty nine. He was slowly faded. Down was wearing a gas mask. The elevator doors slowly creaked open. Everything dissolved to blackness.
Jona woke up in a cold sweat. Some one chattering away. Two ladies talked like dumb sheep nearby. His eyes were crusty and sticky as he open the lids. The room seemed blurry. He couldn't really make it out exactly well. There was one kitchen, Plain white—a living room area-sunken---with a giant round fire place---a black chain guard rest in front of the panel. There were long, lion claw log pokers---and a small brick sidewalk that traced the fireplace. The man was an old spice canister. That is what he looked like---exactly. He was wearing a Old Spice colagn bottle. It was a made up costume---maybe its Halloween. Jona couldn't tell. He didn't even know if it was morning, more or less, evening, or the season—or the temperature outside. It felt as if he hadn't grazed the outdoors in years. The man was muttering in a cell phone. His vision kicked in, "What do you mean? Bullshit. I ain't going as that. Look I stay with Old Spice for a while. For another week. My agent wants me to pose as a Cheer Box. Whats wrong with cheer. Its over 500 bucks a week." The ladies giggled at him. The set up—the studio. Was exactly set up the same way the other place was. Platform bed. A low to ground, nearly like a cot, platform, inches off the ground, almost like a futon bed on the opposite end of the studio. Large—plain kitchen….only this one was white. He found the place in a classy joint off the side of Broadway. A place where they had a spa inside for me to get facial and steam clean their flabby bodies. The place had a dress code, it seemed, even though none was required. The ladies (middle age and approaching menopause) dressed in black tight dinner dresses. Their asses hung out like a overfilled water balloon. The older ladies, with the bubble butts, and breast silicon implants wanting to bust, held champagne bottles under their hanging armpit. Tucked under their fatty forearms. Fat seemed to drip of their bodies. It was obviously they ate at the finer restaurants on Park Ave.
Lady one, " No shit Sherlock. Come on. Make your business deals later. Get your boy and lets go." I guess I am the boy. Jona lifted his head, "What is this. Who are You?" THe man dropped his cell to his side. "Never mind that. Who are you?" THe ladies laughed and laughed—gufawing under the blue moon lit condo. "Is this a hotel?" Jona screamed. "No. Its both. It's a hotel and a condo---Pent house." The man jumped the phone back to his mouth and chattered about some acting gig as an Cheer detergent box. "I'll take it. No I will. 500 a week. Sounds great. Ok. Hang on. Hey I'll call you some other time. Suzy and Shay are with me. Ok. Ok. Allright. Bye bye." He hit the cell reset button and walked down the platform on the opposite side of the room. He pre-dailed some number and mashed SEND. Jona just stared with amazement. "Where the hell am I?" He asked nervously. "Don't worry about it." The ladies followed the Old Spice costume into the front hall. The man wearing the outfit wobbled like some odd machine creature on the Deathstar or the planet Dagobah in the Star Wars Triology. The ladies spoke up, "He Mr. Cologne---stop slowing down the race." They disappeared into the front hall. The shorter lady stuck her head back into the living room space. Her head seemed much larger and her eyes were brighter, "See ya later Alligator."
Jona got straight up. No one was around. Not a sound. He walked to the front hall. He didn't want to approach it. Too scarr. Way too long and zig zaggy. He avoided that trap. So, he went to the plain white Kitchen. He rummaged through this and that. Pulling out high cabinet drawers. Small bread boxes. Jona hated bread with a passion. Nothing sugary or with dough in it. He was looking for a fat free snack. Something like a low carb chocolate bar---or perhaps a protein cookie. If he got lucky maybe some Molasis. Perhaps some nuts---maybe some raw nuts---found in India. Jona finally scored a treat. He found it under the silverware drawer. It was box of Fat Free healthy cookies. They were entitled Oatmeal for Health Nuts. They even had objects in the cookie's skin that looked like nuts. He ripped open the box with rage. Stuffed six in his mouth at once and pulled open the fridge. Inside was a tall class of chocolate milk. Jona picked it up. Investigated it. Nothing else was in the fridge. Just the milk. He drank down the glass and teased the left over healthy oatmeal crumbs with his fingernails. Boy that was a treat. He was starving. He hadn't eating and it seemed like decades. Jona searched for more food. He looked under all the cabinet—cookie jars---flour jars---and small boxes hanging out on the cabinets here and there. Nothing. He couldn't jind jack. He put his knee up on the cabinet skin and searched on top of the fridge. Still nothing. Wait. The freezer. He hadn't thought of that. He ripped open the freezer door with passion and theatrical charm. Yes. OH, God. Thank heaven. And 7-11. YEEEEEESSSS. FROZEN YOGURT. Strawberry vanilla doubled layer cheese cake with a hidden cherry. He scored hard core. He ripped open the top and plunged in with his hands. Shoving handfuls in his mouth. He was in a fit. A hunger pang had tackled his soul. He had never been this famished. Ever. He use to starve himself in College. He'd go days on a fast. He was dating this Hippie chick which was named after his favorite Fleet Wood Mac song. She smoked pot and every once and while snorted. She was ten years younger. He was twenty seven. She was nineteen. Boy he loved her like an addiction. She was slightly fattier than he. But he still kept up his appearances for her. He was a theatre major. She was a tech, theatre major. She helped out in the costume room---sewing, gossiping---talking about her life in California. Jona was going to North Texas at the time. He was on his last two years—and then he had off to Long Beach to seek stardom. She talked and gossiped about their rock star relationship. She would take cigarette breaks with her buds and lesbian companions. "I don't know what Jona will do. No one does. He talks about LA left and right. Why don't he just leave." Rhiannon said inhaling from her American Spirit. "Who knows. Maybe he is all bullshit." Her lesbo-chunky blond female companion said—lighting up a jay. They smoked out and gossiped. Jona and Rhiannon were broken up at the time. Jona starved himself. Three days at a time. Then he bike up to the Albertson grocery store and load up on Frozen Yogurt, Caramel topping, chocolate candies and Nutty crunchy stuff. He go home and cure his broken heart with a silent, enraging gorge. It was hell—but it slightly sewed his heart back to reality. She had him so blue—he could barely move. Food became a drug. Later, he take up ultra light cigarettes and loades of coffee and creamer. It was hell kicking that lady.
Jona looked at the empty carton of Frozen yogurt. The AC unit rumbled. Cool air drifted into the studio. He spun his head toward the window. The moon was rising on a yellow path. Snow flakes soared down like angel winged paratroupers from a distant war. It spewed light onto his bed. He scratched his head and sensed a small tad of yogurt landing on his head. He ran to the bathroom and wiped his mouth and hair clean of stickiness. He had gorged himself. He was full. Satisfied. He thought about the word full. He compared it to fool. Full and fool. They sound the same. He wondered if the etymology of the word was linked. Full and fool. He rubbed his belly and smiled at himself in the mirror. Then he thought of his ex. He wished he could kick her. But he kept hearing that song by Fleetwood on the damn radio—once a day it seemed---as he auditioned around LA. Once a day. He wiped the last speck of yogurt clean from his lips and blew kiss goodbye to her. He never completely kick her. How can you kick love.
Jona side began to hurt. He felt a thorn in it. What could this be? It was a small pain the size of a fist. It had a small shaft of ache going from under the left rib cage toward his bladder. It was extreme hunger. Jona had to find food soon. He was growing weak. Once in Undergrad—before a production of Waiting For Godot—he played Lucky—he starved himself for the role---to find the hunger of the character. He remember this shaft of pain----that ran along his ribs and under his belly. Damn. I'm dieing. Jona contemplated jumping out of the condo. He ran over to the window, unlocked the latch and scooped in the glass. It was those office type of windows. The type that open in or out of the room. He pulled the window in the room and stuck his head out for air. The wind was bitterly cold---the lake below was still frozen solid. As solid as a one large silver dollar. He decided he try the hall. I can't try the front hall—too dangerous. I could lose it all that way---get lost in its insane zig zaging—and museum art. He decided to find an attic—maybe a closet door had one of those trap doors that lead into a wall. This wall possibly could take Jona out. Jona scratched his head in contemplation and remained still. He didn't even look around to search for this hidden, secrete door---or panel. He did think about history. A long time ago in the medieval days the kings planted panic rooms for the princes and loved ones---under stress during battle. They hide away in these room. Many times they were connected---for transferring food. But why would a condo—pent house—hotel---whatever have secrete rooms for battle. Would there be a battle soon? He scratched his head some more---looked around for a cigarette butt---in one of the scattered ash trays here or there. He walked to the kitchen and searched for crumbs. Nothing. Not even a speck of food. His stomach rumbled. He didn't realize he was completely naked. He ran back up the platform and removed the large maroon fur comforter. He raped it around him like King Lear must have once and scooted his feet back to the kitchen. There was a hallway that lead to the right of the eating area. Possibly, the one to the rest room. His mind was growing weak. If he could make it to some type of food supply—than he would live. He thought the best place to look for a panic room would be this hallway. He drug the blanket and himself down the hall. It didn't zigzag like the front hall. All this hall did was go straight and plumage to a hard right. There were picture frames on the wall of the man and the two gals. Laughing on a yacht. Laughing on top of the Eifel tower. Smoking at some five star Aztec café off of Park Avenue. The place was called Patria. Hm. Maybe if he made it up North he try it out. His stomach grumbled like some odd monster in that child's story Where the Wild Things Are. He was famished. He decided to bang on the walls in the bathroom. Maybe, a panel would break loose. He found the shower room. It was stand up shower with a giant water head. He got in. Looked up. The AC unit kicked on. Cool air breezed over his shoulder and backside. He looked down at his frail body and scratched his head. He was losing a lot of weight. Too much. He decided to push up over the shower head. Jona got on his tippy toes and felt the top of the ceiling. It was far too dim in the shower---it had some type of Hollywood dressing room lighting, round large bulbs over the mirror…and that's when he spotted an indention in the ceiling. It rest above the vanity. The ceiling door was body size. Enough for him to fit through. It looked like the attic of the joint. THANK GOD. I'm saved. This will lead me out. Jona pushed on the attic door---opening it into a dark room. Wam. It clicked to a open stop. The door just hung in space—must have been spring activated. He crawled in like a careful Ninja. He kept low. The attic room was dark as hell. Nothing in sight. He felt wood rafters and metal pipes against his ribs and feet. He crawled like an injured cave bat on his elbows. He imagined himself lost in some distant cave on some faraway island. It seemed the room wasn't that large. No longer than a gymnasium. He tested out the echo response—by yelping some odd tongue twister he picked up back stage. "TO sit in solemn silence on a dull dark dock. In a pestilential prison with a life long lock. Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock—from cheap and chipy chooper on big black block." THe voice echoed back from afar. The ceilings were no higher than twenty four inches or so. On accident, his head kept scraping against the top. He cursed in the black air and concentrated on not standing too tall. His plans were to make it to a shaft---crawl down into the main hall—possibly a vent---take the elevator to the basement---where the main Hotel kitchen lied. Jona scratched his head in search of thought. Where could a shaft of light spurt in? A vent? I need a vent? He spun his head in search of a beam, or ray. The place was no wider than the condo below him. On the other hand, it was much, much longer than the condo. It was as long as a foot ball field.
Jona woke up behind the front desk. It was freezing cold. The front doors to the hotel-condos was wide open. Snow floated and stuck down on the red carpet leading to the valette parking sign. Jona laid back down on his back. He had nothing left to give the world. All his energy was drained. He decided to lay there. Do nothing. Look up at the fire sprinklers. He noticed that his legs and torso was extremely cold. Dead perhaps. Then he looked down. He realized he was bare naked, besides his satin dark boxer shorts. He was only in his boxers. He jumped up with a sudden burst of energy. No one came around. Not a soul anywhere. It was like the end of the world out side. Jona began to ponder on his teenage years. All the fights with his Step dad. All the wrestling—yelling matches with his mother. All his fist fights with his real dad—and arguments over spilt milk with his step mom. It all nagged at the ears on his soul. He thought about all the debt due. . .credit card hell---he had to pay back. His mind began to wonder through all his sins---from the time he thought about naked women in 4th grade to his first encounter with fornication, marijuana and heroin based Xtacy glamour drug.—dancing away at the Starch club near a haunted bridge in downtown Dallas (not far from the JFK assination.) He thought all the times he was lost in Hollywood—consuming strange foods---European cigarettes and planning and haunting on the next hottie…Whatever that be and whatever moment to gain---to suck in---to accept and breath---the moments are Jona's savior---or a form of his savior. His heart felt with sadness. He decided to walk out toward the snow. Out of the hotel-condo. The thundered rattled in the sky. Jona looked on the horizon like a still dear awaiting a high power gun shot---IT WAS A CAB. Civilization at last. A yellow checker was speeding away toward the hotel. Smoke lifting from his tail pipe and into the red sun—arising. Morning was breaking. The cab driver was a black man. I learned later he was from Ethiopia and had sucked milk blood from a hidden tribe in the jungle. He tells me this later on. The cab ride had no destination. I still didn't know where I was. I didn't know the city or anything. It turned out I was on the outside of Chicago. I decided to head south—maybe head back to LA. I wasn't sure. I didn't know how I arrived in Illinois. I just simply woke up there—in this unique---lucid high story condo building. Snow was kicking in. I told the Ethiopian driver to head to the city. "Kind of cold out." I looked down at my red chapped legs—I was still half nude. "I guess I'll need some clothing. Is there a thrift store around here." The driver turned down his CB. "There's an Army and Navy store not far from here. You want me to head there." Jona shook his head. THe driver hit the gas and turned on the heater. Snow began to pick up. "You must be cold." The driver said solemnly. "Yep." He checked him over. "How did you end up in your boxer shorts." Jona looked up with tired eyes, "Too much partying my friend. To much party." Jona noticed small insect bits under his armpit and rib cage. There were three small red hills under his arm pit. Where the hair meets the rib cage. There was one small bite four inches from his wrist. It looked like a mosquito left overs—maybe an ant bite---possibly a spider –he couldn't tell—but it was certainly some type of parasite. He checked out his bicep. There was a larger bite---it looked similar to a bruise---right on the middle top part of the bicep muscle— five inches or so under the shoulder. He itched them now and then. "I wonder if we could get some lotion for the bites." The cab driver looked at him. "Lotion?" Jona sat up. "I got bit. By something." The cabbie looked down. "Hmm. Spider—maybe mosquito" Jona shook his head. He turned down the CB lower. The PA blasted men slinging out numbers as conversation. "29 O f. This is 103—at 559---over. 10 four over… this is 703 at forty---headed north 103 you read over." The PA intercom on the CB let off voices here and there. Voices of men driving CABS from distant cities to different neighborhoods---to other suburbs all over Illinois. They talked in numbers. Jona remembered that. "You think we could find a place for the bites." The driver leaned forward—hunched over like fruit bite. "Will find you a place. Don't worry sir." Jona worried anyway. He was in his boxer's for crying out loud and he itched all over It felt like ant bites. Where the hell did ants bite him. When? He couldn't recall. They drove on down past some corn fields. Corn as far as the sun. Left and right. Jona had never been in Illinois. The city of Chicago was lifting on the horizon---the sun slowly mixed from light red to a hazy yellow. The sky was muzy gray—and the snow slowly gliding down.
The Ethiopian cab driver was pretty thin. His face had deep hollows under both raised cheekbones and his eyes were sunken in the sockets. They talked about a secretive tribe in the jungles of West Africa and Kenya. Jona remembered the story as the milk and blood vampire tale. The tribe were not really vampires. No vampirism happen whatsoever. Not in an orthodox way. The driver pasted the Army and Navy store as he plunged deep into the tale of the tribe that drank milk and blood in the depths of the jungle. They did not drink from human's blood—they sacrificed cows---Cattle would arrive and usually with a priest—on a missionary. One father arrived to the village and the Ethiopian was his driver. The tribe forced all of them to eat the freshly killed cow with a light mixture of cow milk. The driver remembered vomiting it up as soon as the warm blood hit the back of his tongue. "We had to drink the mixture of blood and milk. It was from Cows milk—goats blood---we arrived at the tribe with the Father. We drank up. I vomited everywhere. We had to do it. The tribe would of pissed us if we did not." Jona stared at himself in the side view mirror. He asked the driver if he turn up the AC unit. Why was this man getting so personal with me. Was it my eye make up residue? Was it that I looked Gothic? Why the story of blood and milk? The driver didn't mind too much. He drove on toward the Chicago motoring his mouth a mile a minute. The edifices arose before the horizon like marching titans in children's book. Jona stared into his hollow eyes. They weren't his eyes any longer. Just hollow black spots with eyelashes. The cabbie was different type of man. He had seem his face before. Whose eyes are these? He thought and scratched behind his ear. Then he figured it out. They were past friends. And this one had not been forgotten. Long time no see, old buddy. A long ago companion. His name; Jay. It was Jay Grisham staring back at him. Jona had a flash go off in his mind. A memory arose in his thinking process like some old sunken pirate ship from his boy hood dreams. Shit, the movie star killer. He must be on a spree today. It was a moment in time he had blocked out. He remembered spying on someone. He couldn't tell how old he was---or how recent the incident took place. He remembered being in a attic—looking down into a small room. It was green for some reason. The air was green. The floor was green. The windows were green. The backyard out the window—was green. He was green. Everything green.. The young green man at the work desk was pecking away at a typewriter. It was a Royal typewriter. The young man wore a small green sweater and green slacks. He looked like a golf player. The man thumped at the keys on the large Royal. It clanked away like some old monster, angry at its monstrous fate. Then the man looked back at him in intense interest. His eyes glowed green—bright green---like a dragons skin. He was hypnotized by this green eyed young man. A writer composing fueled by the fire of envy. He was lured into his actions by this chaotic state. Back in his mind he heard a scream. A scream louder than Naimi Waites in that remake of the Ring. Jona had saw it daze before he visited the huge condo/hotel. Hypnotized by an unknown force, a hidden voice with in—a dark windless feeling, Jona search for a new plan to overcome his fear of the city, fear of himself and fear of possible failure. Chicago was one of the toughest towns next to the Big Apple. The winds blew hard of the Michigan, causing a cold, that most likely existed in the lower cantos of hell. His hands danced on the keys like a mad spider crawling after its dinner. That's when Jona knew who he was looking at. He knew all right. But he wouldn't tell a soul. The driver hooked a hard right into the parking lot of a thrift store. "Cloths sir." The driver pumped the peddle with his big toe and threw the cab into park. "You need cloths right?" Jona corrected him, "You mean clothes don't you." The Ethopian hick up'ed and guffawed, "Oh, yes Clothes. That's how you say it. You need em right?" Jona looked up. "Oh, yeah. I, uh, forgot. On my way." A breeze ran up Jonas ass as he laughed at his inside sarcasm. He jumped out of the cab and headed into the thrift store. It was a two store joint with a spiral stair case. He would purchase a pair of pants, cheap sweater and a large coat with the last of his money. Winter was coming some time.
I walked into the thrift store. I caught a glimpse of myself in the front mirrored door window. It was one of those door windows that look like the exterior of a motor cycle policeman's sunglasses. Like C.H.I.P.S. sunglasses. Mirror shaded doors were fun to make faces in. Jona stuck out his tongue and tongued at his reflection. Anyway, I strutted in. My eyes had dark circles under them. It looked like I hadn't slept in years---and I had taken a few too many feel good pills. I never realized I had the looks of a vampire. I pranced in and dug through the cloths, as the cabbie called them. The clothes there were charming but they didn't have any heavy coats. I found a really stylish pink fuzzy sweater. I passed it up. I didn't want to freak out the cabbie. So, I bought this old light green tuxedo shirt, ultra light polyester gray-ish baggy pants, and some beads for the peacy side of approaching Chicago. Who knew, I could run into Billy Corgan or some one famous. I had a thing for Smashing Pumpkins. I walked over to the changing booth and dressed myself. No one really cared that I was wearing boxers. I guess they figured it was a normal joke. I saw a small girl leaving the uni-sex changing room. She was singing the following song,
If you spin your love around
The secretes of you dream
You may find your love is gone
And is not quite what it seemed
To appear to disappear
Beneath your darkest fears.
The little girl was wearing a pinkish and light white summer dress. She had brown hair. Green eyes and was holding a little gray purse. I could smell her breath. It smelt like cherries. Fresh cherries from the orchard. Maybe cherry pie. Or cherry chocolate candy. I couldn't really tell what she had been eating. Not exactly the material---the structure of food---but merely the smell---the scent. I figured it was a cherry soda or a cherry drop of sweetness somewhere on sale for 50 cents at a gas station between here and Chicago. She skipped to her mother and her mother asked her to sing a gospel song and not those hard rock ones. She smiled and continued singing. Then I disappeared behind the changing room and dressed myself back into civilization (or civil state or whatever we mean by that.)
I got back in the cab. The Ethiopian cabbie took off. He rolled down all the windows. Cool air from Lake Michigan rushed in. It was chilly. I got goose bumps all over—as my Hispanic writer/actor -- wannabe filmmaker, playwright friend Skez, back ol Tex, says, "Chicken Skin." I had the chicken skin. Its when your entire body escapes its innocence and it becomes ultimately overwrought and whelmed with a complete and utter frenzy of feel-good-bubbles. I was headed toward Chicago and I believed in Never and I believed in All the way. I sang Thru the Eyes of Ruby as it arose in my mind's ear. And with this ring I play so dead…I contemplated the lyrics in my head over and over and then forgot my contemplation and sang on,
"Why we're forever frozen, forever beautiful, forever lost inside ourselves."
I knew one day I would be commanded the power to spend the tale—and speak from a child's genius mind—innocent and true—a complete lie---like it was all foretold before. Jona knew all is…the world. And in everything God existed. There was no real lie. You know the answer already, you just don't think you know. I was told to tell the story to someone. Maybe its you. I knew the angel would beckon me—just for you. All for you. Who are you? Who cares now… Chicago arose and the cabbie began talking Jona's ear off. Ass want shut up. Jona thought. I hummed the part of 'thru the eyes of ruby': "night has come to hold us young, the night has come to hold us young." I realized I was slowly turning into some type of vampire. Not the true essence of a vampire—but similar to one—I had the tuxedo by the way. I hummed and hummed and watch the corn shot by my window and flicker through the Illinois fields like laser from some odd, futuristic space craft in Star Wars part nine or something. It was all overwhelming and rhythmic. I never once thought about the case of Jay. Jona never thought back on Grishams life. Fuck that wannabe. I hated my old life. I freed myself from the government—and the deficit of USA. The spiritual and financial debt. Freed it all. I never once considered the Movie star killer, or Tommy Marcell and his little wicked brat nephew--- Jona never once thought back in time---I never looked back. Just hummed and shouted in my mind and let the cool air release me.
The Ethopian cabbie pulled into a parking lot with a giant sign that lit up in bright blue neon, letters of: ECKARDS. I strutted in with my new thrifty garb and walked back near the diet sodas and slim fast shakes. I decided to pick up a can of slim fast and go for the bite medications. Those diet drinks are packed with vitamins and that's all I needed now. I had to get rid of these damn insect attacks. Jona took note of all his actions as he weaved in and out of the isles. He found some outdoor bite insect meds—pills and cream. He decided to go for the non-outdoor itch tablets. Jona never tried insect medication in pill form. Maybe it would change the dullness of the cab ride and being lost somewhere near Chicago. Jona had these small little red bumbs under his armpits, on the inside of his forearm and under his ribcage. He was getting a little bored with the itching. Hell, he was getting dulled with all of the cab ride and the adventure in between. Then, something new happened to him. Something made him twist his head to the right. A man with a ski mask on had a gun stuck to the nose of the cashier. It was right out of a corner store scene from Scorsese's Taxi Driver. The young high school blond teenage girl shook in her fuzzy gab jeans and thick black sweater. She was exhibiting a horrid and expressionistic case of hejeebeejees and out the gazooo. I walked over by the Frito lay case and hid my body behind the a collapsible chip stand and my face behind a bag of sour cream barbeque. He snatched the cash and dashed straight out of the drug store. The electric bell sounded as the robber mad assed hauled ass away, flailing the small black bag full of the cash register's green dough. Behind his cheap motorcycle jacket the bag jumbled up and down. Jona had goose bumps all over his entire body. The rush was magnificent. He had experienced one of his first robberies. And the whole time he never let the peg head of Jay Grisham enter his mind. He remained Jona's persona through out the frightening illegal intrusion of the crazy motorcycle jacket robber. Jona walked up to the young teenager and said, "I'll take this insect bite medication and this here slimfast." Jona calmly read through a Time magazine—and sifted through an American Film magazine—as if nothing even happened. "Did you see that mad man?" The teenager girl said bounces her boobs at Jona. "Oh, him. Problems." Jona lit up a cigarette—as a hint to hurry up the transaction, "Good salesmanship" Jona said taking his change. "Saleswomanship to you ass wipe." She manly grinned. Jona strutted out laughing. The cabbie was waiting with the AC on full blast. He figured that today wouldn't have been that bad of a day to die. Gloomy, gray and looked like rain. It fit the picture. Those were Jona's favorite days. The days of gray.
Jona smiled at the passing corn fields, and the red exit ramps leading off 57—unknown passage roads and dirt trials leading to small towns with names like Springfield, Winnetka, Wateseka, Rensselaer, Kankakee, Joliet and Gary. Weird and odd titles. Something that would be found in a Novel concerning American Gothic. Nothing like L.A. or Dallas, Texas. Places Jona once lived. He was hauling toward Chicaco—it seemed like at the speed of sound. He begged the Cabbie to turn on the radio. The Ethopian dude twisted up the volume and cranked to an alternative rock station. R.E.M. blasted "It's the End of The World As We know it." Jona hummed along and listen to the drummer beat to the melodically patter of Mike Stype. Lost bugs flipped and splattered on the windshield. Jona thought of that old joke about the last thing that went through a bugs mind after hitting the windshield. Cool air blew inside the cab and the driver picked up speed. Soon they'd be there.
Jona thought about his adventurous from Texas, to FBI training camp—to LA and beyond. He forgot about some of his past precious moments. But nevertheless, he headed on with his life. What the fuck? Your dead anyway, right. He thought over all his close calls with death and life as the car zoomed down the lost highway. The wind spilled into the cab. Chicago was very close. He was having a great time. Like Steppenwolf. Taken one clunkering paw in front of the other. After arriving he would purchase a travel guide to shy town. He would eat at the best restaurants, see the best operas and sleep with a few red headed skinny jazz dancer. He do all the drugs. All of em but the killers. No main vein types. No injections. Just stuff to go down the throat, up the nose or in the lungs. He was prepped. Ready to believe in his faith of fun and excitement. Take on the world. He thought about all the small towns that past the car and his periphery vision—he thought about all the stories that existed out of Illinoise, the plays of Sam Shepard, the tales of the devil, the weeds between the corn husk rows, the rain, the cold wind skipping like an aurora spirit off the skin of Michigan lake. He was about to reach one of the oddest, and shyest cities in the world. Become a big spender. A shy man for a shy town. Chicago was what the called it.
He thought about his moments as a child. Swinging like a monkey on the back of a pick up truck. Climbing high trees with his big tom boy sister. How he fell that one time. Breaking his arm under the shaggy pine tree in the backyard. His mother screamed like a siren. She rushed him to the hospital where they set it and when he awoke it was in a huge cast. All his friends treated him special and gave their best wishes and signatures on the white hard skin.
He thought about the Irish and all their bag pipe playing. He thought about the great work there. The great rock bands thriving in their muses wishes and desires. He thought about the damned laws they had in town. The laws that once prevented people with a handicap to speak in front of large crowds. He loved the fact that some of those god damn laws have been burned. He thought of the theatre, the mimes, the dancers, the musicians, the jazz and all the fun. And last he thought of the road. The road leading ahead of him. The road to Chicago.
Jona pondered in a pensive state, The world you can't live with out. Maybe this world isn't for me. Maybe, and even perhaps, the next world will be for my pleasure. Maybe I'll find fame in the afterlife. Jona sucked in a gob of air and let the cabbie take him to the big city. He could see the tall buildings, the Sears towers, arches here and there. It was all unreal. Chicago was really growing. It was really becoming the next New York.
Piano music began to sound deep with the hollows of Jona's ear. Time had forgotten the lives and adventures of good ol' Jay Grisham. Borin old Jay. Sleepy ol' jay. Work filled Jay. Where not to be found idle hands of Jay. Jay was out. Jona saw many films in LA when he searched for the Movie Star Killer and hung with Tommy Marcel and the brat. Films were his favorite past time by far. He loved to see them in L.A.—so close to Hollywood and all the magic. It was all been made in tiny factories, various rooms in studios and segmented zones in the heart of West, east or Central Los Angeles. The city of lost Angels. He remembered one fancy film called, Love and Death on Long Island. It was about a writer who falls in love with a young, energetic actor of TV and cheesy teenage heartthrob films. Prestley played the heartthrob day time actor and John Hurt wonderfully executed the role of the English writer. The film was about the muse. What drives the writer or actor. The actor and writer are like brothers. They can never really get along and they can never stop loving one another. Their family. The actor-writer—is kind of an oxymoron. He is a A-sexual beast. A flower. A lilly. A rose.
The actor writer is what Jona was pondering over. What made such a beast. Where did music come in this picture. Can music be created by an actor writer---what type of music? The piano music drifted around the cab like smoke from a rich man's pipe. It hovered above his head---the cabbie picked up the speed. A green road sign said Chicago 3 miles. The buildings soared above and ahead.
It was super odd being locked up in the condo high above the ground. It was unexplained. Jona sat pensive again. The AC was on full blast even though the air. The sky was sunny and the air warm—it blended a weird effect in the temperature inside the cab—it was hot-cool. Jona thought in deepness, I couldn't believe it, all this laying in on those soft sheets, satin I believe, staring over the icy lake and wondering where the hell I was. I still didn't ask the town, or city or village or whatever, wherever it lied, I had no desire to know—who gave a shit now—I was free from those years---those years of living like a live in whore---a beckon slave to whomever decided to linger into the expensive suite. It was hell. Pure hell. I know that put me on drugs—threatening with the needle. For trapping me—forcing drugs upon mysoul (which is a form of rape) I decided to get my vengence. WILL GET ME VENGENCE ON THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS AND SOUL ROBBERS.
Chicago was before me. Jona set up in the Taxi seat. The cabbie had pulled into China town. He was headed toward Pilsen. We were on 90/94 and headed toward 290. The sky was gray. He dropped me off on Warren. I was near West Side. Not far from University of Illionois. Chicago Campus wasn't too large. Jona walked near the Pavilion. He was contemplating on getting a cup of joe and sitting down by a window and watching the night lights. He began to contemplate over the fact if Dracula, Vampires, or people like Reinfield really existed---who were these mystical fellows---why where they created—who thought them up—who left dinner on the table for those folks. He figured that they were like a magic wondering mist, a fairytell mist, a myth from the bottom of the lake. They were not real. Other creations, like Sayters—were probably once present on this earth---in some form or fashion. He started to wonder where he was going to go—what about money---the cabbie felt sorry for him and let him go with out calling any authority---he figured he needed to be giving for awhile. Jona just sat---he found a quarter on the street---and later a dime in the Pavelion—he bought a cup of tea—green tea---with the found money. They played a mosaic version of Bullets with Butterfly wings on the speakers in the ceiling. He just sat and stared at the cooling vent to the café. He wondered how it all was born—who thought it all up. Later he'd march into Chicago and find himself---or at least find what side of art could make him cash. Was it mime-painting, dancing, photography or was it embarrassment. What was it? What was it that was going to help him live—or die—or whatever---what will bring in the green.
As Jona stepped off the curb outside of the Pavilion he thought about all his loses in the world. All the loss beneath the sound of hope. All the hell within his spirit. All the freaky moments that brought him down to his knees in his hot shower—covering his mammal hell and his holy contradictions. His natural man was looking back at him the the mirrored Pavilion glass on the entrance door. Night was falling quickly and no one was around. The hatchet memory was approaching. He hated the hatchet memory more than winces his ankle to a point of cracking. He cracked his ankle on a mini-ramp back in the late 1980's, when skateboarding was fashionable. He could feel it throb. Jona was on his feet for over ten hours that day, walking from café door to café door---up and down the stairs in vintage libraries and old movie theatres. He was running low on cash. He had not enough for a hotel but enough to maybe dig up a good gal—to keep him warm. He heard the horror stories of writers like Landford Wilson, who had to prostitute themselves for their drugs and inspiration, or muse blood. He thought of the hell of ballerinas who starved doing high kicks in cheap clubs—for heavy drinkers, womanizers and rich pill poppers. He was hungry for those strange pills he found in the condo. The ones that would make him sleep and go numb. He had no more. It was growing cooler. It must have been October. The winds were skimming of the Michigan---and he could here a jazz piano in the far distance. It was leaking melodic pounce from a underground pup called The Ring. It floated and misted in the air---he could almost see the blue, bright orange and black notes. It was all surreal. He was hungry for a 30 dollar steak. Prime ribbed with a small green garnish. He was dedicated vegetarian for over ten years. It was unexplainable why he wanted the juicy steak. Nor could he explain his carnivor-ish cravings. He could explain the hunger pang for the garnish. He still craved what his conservative parents served him. The amount they use to make him eat was unreal. His father would slap them on the head, if they didn't slurp up every bite on there plate. Sometimes he make them have seconds, even thirds. His father, back in Texas, was a huge meat and pig eater. The main dish for every holiday was pig ham and crunchy fried chicken. The average dish every night was fried chicken backed with cereal flakes, French fries and plenty of vegetables, or it was ham, pork chops with some type of pork bean soup---planty of French fires and starches. His father favorite thing to do was to take his children—Jona and Sis—to Furs café.They get all you can eat---over everything. Everything from mash potatoes, country fried steak—to pumpkin and pecan pie. Every soda fountain drink, ice cream and pudding you could take down. He remembered all the Christmases. All the ham, turkey rolls, gravy, mash potatoes, candy carrots, pork balls, cream sauce, cheese casseroles, fried cat fish---a hearty Texas Christmas dinner—back in the early 1980's—when Van Halen still Rocked and people believed in Surfers and Movie Star presidents. Back when boredom was in—and John Hughes rocked the young crowds at movie theatre—Films like Breakfast Club, Lost Boys, Flat Liners and Indian Jones part one and two. River Phoenix was the girl's heartthrob and Bruce Willis could Die Hard. And Die Hard again. It was all like a movie going back in time in his mind's eye. Seeing all the girls he'd hold hands at the fair's cheap roller coasters. He remembered getting a season pass at Six Flag and being dropped off like it was some giant day care center. And he rode the Cave Ride—where he'd sneak a feel—in the tunnel of love; before it went into the air conditioning segment of the theme park cave; where the elves mechanically dance and sang. Then, he remembered, coming out of the cave ride—and into the bright sunshine—and that's when he'd get the wet kisser on his cheek, in front of everyone---red lipstick hanging on his dibble. And all the people, families and laughing little girls; covering the mouths from a guffaw. That's when he was young. Young and embarrassed. The giant Christmas dinners, the cave ride, the young girls—and all the 1980's John Hughes films---it was all over; that would never happen again. The cold wind picked up and shook him back. He tried to stand erect against it. Jona couldn't believe a cold wind like that could physically move him. The wind actually forced his body backwards. He caught the breaking fall with stepping backwards and reforming in a karate stance. It was as if a man's hand reached out and touched him on the chest; clicking his wrist forward and tossing his balance off. He took a step into the wind and fought it. Rode it out to its dieing breath. He could still stand. He was so tired and hungry he didn't even know his own name. It was time to call home. If there was a home.
He ran over to a nearby payphone. He jumped in a few quarters and let it ring. His grandma picked up. "Jona is that you." Her mousy voice announced. "Yes Memaw its me. Is Papa there?" She put the grandfather on the phone. "Hey Papa. Its been a long time. I am in Chicago. Shy town?" The grandfather took a deep breath. "Hang on." He put the grandmother back on. "Son. Don't you think you should come home. We got word you ran off. Everyone was wondering about you. Why'd you leave? Don't you think you should come home." Jona took a quick breath. The wind picked up—and sailed him a foot from the booth. "Its getting chilly. It must be October. Why should I go home?" The grandma sighed. "You sick. You need help." She put the grandfather back on the phone. "Sonny. You need to find a red headed whore to help you out of this one." He sounded piss. The grandfather put the grandmother back on the phone. "Papa. Memaw. Whose there." The grandmother told him he better sell something fast and get into a motel. Jona talked with her for a few minutes and decided going home was a worse idea. He hung up. It was time to call headquarter. He could talk like Grisham. Then he realized he wasn't Jay. He really wasn't Jay Grisham. He was Jona. Who ever Jona was. He was him. He was younger. He was twenty three or twenty two—he wasn't ol—reserved or authority figure—Jay Grisham. Jay was gone. IF he was going to catch the Movie Star killer he'd have to do it as Jona. But Jona didn't care about killers. Who was Jona. He stood there with the empty—mechanical chirping pay phone receiver end in his hand—staring at himself in a coffee bar window. A red blinking light beat across his face like some odd break light from a space craft in 3050. It was time to figure this Jay guy out. He must know some one in Chicago. How did he get here. Why am I here. He had no idea. He was lone in Chicago—near some university he'd never heard of—and at some Coffee Bar called Lilly Café.
A black limo pulled up. It had dark blue neon lighting lining the upper limo exterior. It just stopped at his feet, near the curb. I pure memory arose in Jona's heart. It was at church camp when he was nine years old. The pastor had brought everyone in to the church hall after a soft ball game. There were hundred of kids. They had all finished playing nine endings and were sweaty and ready for more—of young play. The pastor gave a long sermon about faith, love and hope. He spoke about Peter, Paul and the last days of Christ. He talked about the apostle who denied his name and he mention the last supper. After he finished he told the group of kids it was time to be saved. He requested that all should go to separate rooms to be saved with a church group leader, or minister. Jona remembered the girls started to cry. He didn't know why. He separated from his best friend, who was the son of the preacher. He walked down the isle. It was red, like the kind you see in wedding ceremonies. He mosey on down the pus and walked into a faint green room. Three girls were kneeling before youth pastor minister, tears in eyes, the girls had been crying for few minutes. Thier faces red and pink, almost tired, almost older. Jona walked up to the man and three girls. He sat down on a chair. His heart raced. He was sweating under his armpits. Jona said, "Sir, can I talk with you." The minister replied, "Yes son. Feel free." Jona could hear music far off. He didn't know what type of music, but nevertheless, it was music. "When I was in first grade---I remember I asked Jesus to come in my heart, I was under my bunk bed." The minister looked at him and smiled a huge grin. "Good for you. Hang on. Be patient now." The girls whispered silent prayers to themselves. The minister touched one of the girls on the head. She looked up. "I asked him to come in my heart. Did he?" She pondered. He reassured her that Christ has saved her and she would be with him in heaven. She smiled and thanked him. Jona waited as the minister thumbed three a big black book. He turns to a verse near the end of the New Testament. "Here it says, 'No stone, no fire, nor sword' can remove Christ from your heart.' Once Christ has entered your heart, and you have accepted his faith you are saved forever." A tear hovered up in Jona's eye." He held back his emotion, but some of it escaped in his shaky and fearful voice, "Does that mean he is still in me." The minister smiled, "Yes. He is. And will always be." The minister put his large hand on Jona's shoulder and squeezed. Jona felt warm in side and a lump arrived in his throat. He never felt so close God.
The wind blew on Jona's cheek. The limo window curled down. "Hey. Whats up." The man had bright green eyes. Hypnotizing eyes. Jona stomached screamed with hunger pangs. He had nothing and the man in the back of the limo seem to have it all. "You need a ride." The man had a balled head. He must have been in his mid-thirties. His front teeth curved in and the front fang teeth flipped outward. "Ride, sir?" The man was wearing all black. Black vest, black leather and when he approached to look in---black leather pants with silver studs. "A ride?" Jona shuttered back in the cold wind. "Yes, a ride. You look cold!" Classical music, Bethoven or Back—he couldn't tell for sure cause of the slurring and rushing wind. He listened hard. He wanted to figure out what was playing on the stereo speakers. "A ride where?" Jona answered. "A ride. To my place." The rich man said with a devil's charm. "To my hotel room. We could party?" He noticed there was another passenger. The other rider was a thin Oriental younger man sitting in the back. He held a needle known as a Yen Tsiang. In his other hand was a Yen Shee gow knife. The Asian man wore an all green outfit that matched in every hue and textural pattern. His apparel fashioned; a look alike fake fur green jacket and a beaded glow in the dark necklace, impressed the hell out of me. He was smoking a small, black, pinkish glowing tube-filter stretched in a spiral from the body of the opium hookah. Another pipe laid on the side table. It had a lion head bowl. The bubbled area of the pipe had three character painted delicately with purple and red flower ink. It translated to "lion heeds cock." The hookah made a bubbling noises as he inhaled. It was either marijuana or opium. Jona sniffed the air. He scented out herbals, maybe weed but he wasn't for sure if it was laced or not. "Are you smoking pot. I am not much of a smoker." Jona announced. "Oh, no. You don't have to smoke. That's just opium for the masses." The vampire-ish man applied with a chuckled and a healthy white grin. He couldn't decide rather or not to get in with the odd freaks ride. The limo car was running, the back trailed white fog, and heat floated from the warm interior onto Jona's cold brow. "ITS WARM, in here." The thin oriental man said with a cattish flare. He noticed he had long bangs mixed with blond and black streaks. "Get in already—you making are cabin catch a chill." Jona decided he take the risk. Hell, why not, nothing to lose. He was getting cold, he was running low on cash. He might as well stay another night—he could save money staying with this weirdo. Plus, he remember his jujitsu. What the hell he was dead anyway. They could be nice guys. They look like musicians, or rock band types, or even rich groupies. He couldn't decide if they were really evil or just vampire wannabes. They were probably trying to help, or looking for a temporary live-in whore. The limo took off into the night and down the blank streets of Chicago. "No one is out tonight." Jona smiled. "No one is out this late." The bald man said reaching over for the tube filter. Jona saw that the tube was connected to a round glass vase. Smoke hovered in circle as the man breathed in the bubbling water. "Want some." Jonas stared. The Oriental whispered, "You like hash, mixed with heaven." Jona smiled. "Whats heaven." The bald man guffawed and threw his head back. "Whats heave. Well, heaven is heaven my friendly stranger." Jona looked at his hypnotic green eyes. "We're going to the ninth cloud now." The man leaned backwards in an orgasmic motion. The thin Oriental sucked on the tube with a snaky mouth. He lips curled in over the tubular mouth pieced. "It makes it all go away and come back. The old heaven you use to know—will visit you, again. . ." He leaned back and blew out. Smoke leaked from his mouth and nose like an old, ancient dragon, or some Asian Chester cat. The oriental man slumped in a dreamy position. The driver turned up the piano music. It was a fast piece by Bach. The limo hit a passage rode and speed up on to the highway. He noticed they were speeding in the fast zone. "Will be there soon." The bald man whispered. They both closed their eyes. It must have been opium, Jona thought. Yes. Opium. Everything seem to slip and roll of their tongues as the set back and let the chilly air flip through the small cracks of the limo sun roof. Jona sat back and pondered,
I didn't think to ask their names. I wonder if they have Irish names or English. I wonder their breed, their nationality, the religion they were raised on—if they had a religion I say. Jona set up straight. He stared at the bong and the glowing texture. It had some type of glowing essence, in casing around the tubular texture---it was all so modern and complex. He had never scene a smoking pipe like this one. He picked it up. It was slick, cool and flossy. He smell the bowl of the pipe. It didn't quite smell like marijuana or even other herbals—he figured it was hash with opium blended. He wasn't completely sure. Jona thought the two snoozing men were crazy for dozing on him, he being a complete stranger and all. Then, he kept replacing the word crazy with great. Perhaps they where nuts. Perhaps insane. But for some reason he kept replacing the word crazy with great. He'd say the word crazy and the word Great sprang off his lip. They weren't so crazy ---not with the limo, the colorful bong and the charming attitude. So, he replaced crazy with Great. He was riding with great men. They rode on the highway for what it seemed like forever, finally, the limo driver pulled over to a passage road and then to some exit ramp. The ramp lead to a somewhat narrow driveway. The driveway was well lit with high, towering lamp post. The lamp post shined down a brilliant fluorescent beam that ultraviolated everything around. The driver turned down Bach and Jona listened to the cricket sounds of the lamp post—zipping and zapping the tones of electricity. It was all one long electronic hum. Anyways, Jona set up erect again and gleamed at the sleeping weirdo, vampire types. The oriental had curled up with the glowing bong and Jona could spot a few fumes of white mist leak out of his nostrils as he slurred out his snoring and triumphant sleep raspberries. The driver pulled up to the gate. The bald headed pale faced vampire woke up. He immediately began to describe a mixed drink. "The Citron Lemon Drop is an absolute citron Vodka, sweetn'sour. . .Where the fuck are we." Jona set up. "At a gate." The gate was tall cast iron fence. It had sharp gothic spires that whirled to the dark heavenly rain cloud above. Thundered crashed and lightning roared and sliced the sky like the long lady fingers of the great and deathly witch devils of some parts of the eastern black forest. "A cosmopolitan is a grey goose L'Orange Vodka, Grand Marnier, splash of cranberry juice, squeeze of fresh lime, and garnish with a lime peel." He grinned a devilish flash toward the Oriental. "Time to re load." The Oriental said. He opened up a small brown oak box. It was full of black tarish type of texture. He loaded the bowl to the bong and pulled out a grayish green polished zippo. He lit the bong's mouth and blew on it---removing all dust and particulates. Then he lit up the bong's pipe end---he puffed up a small white mist storm and passed it to the bald man. "You like a hit." The bald man asked Jona. "No thanks." Jona stared at the gothic gate as it hovered over the limo. "Oh, my house." The bald vampire said. "Would you like to come in" Jona nodded. The driver hit a small button on a white garage door opener. It was near the ash tray. The one with the thick brown Cuban cigar smoking away in the front cabin. The cabin was sealed off clear glass. The bald man tapped on the window. The driver pressed a button near the glove box and the drivers window tinted to dark black. "He likes to look at us smoke." The bald man smiled. "You live here." The limo started up a fairly steep hill. It lead to a Tudor style castle mansion. It had tall torrents, a water fountain with a mermaid and a dragon fighting in a combat fashion. The statues hadh spears and fangs. The mansion was surrounded with dark ivy, and lots of brick arch ways. The vampire man was loaded. They smoked the bong and had a word fight exchanging definition of alcoholic mixed drinks, "The Classic Martini is a gery good Vodka, the Melon Mandrin Martini is a grey goose L'orange Vodka, Midori, sweetn sour with OJ and the Classic Jack is?" The Oriental answered, "Jack Daniels and coke." The bald vampire replied, "Or straight up." He sucked on the filter of the water bong. It looked as if it was laced. "Whats in the water?" Jona asked. "Its not water. Its YEGEEMIESTER….HAHAHAHAAAA." The limo pulled up to the main entrance to the mansion. A large Torrent climbed the static sky.
The car halted with a superb delicacy. Jona stepped out looked over the towering castle. Wow. A real castle, he thought. He followed the two men, the vampire and the Oriental opium addict, into the front hall. It was long and had three chandeliers hanging with style and grace. Jona begin to fall into his mind. Nerves. He walked up to the front room and sat down on a huge leather sofa. The room was chilled and wine sat on the dark mahagony coffee table. Piano music played softly through out the room. The front room had large glass windows, bay windows, with thick red robbed curtains, with fuzz and a touch of cob web. There was a large grand piano, a older gentlemen, with a thick mustache and wrinkled face played a charming tune. "It's the Four Seasons." Jona remembered the classical piece named after the four seasons. He listened and thumped his toe to the beat. The room has wide and large. A huge chandelier hung from the the upper center indention in the ceiling. Ceiling fans slowly spun a stream of cool air over everyone. The Oriental man set down with a tranquil land and pounce of his upper torso and rear-end. He set motionless. This time when he offered Jona the pipe. Jona accepted. The bald man set next to him, "Its opium. And not always for the masses." Jona looked at the snak-ish mouthpiece and contemplated. "It's a opiate eh. That's like heroin in a smoky form." The bald man added, "MMMM. Well. I never heard it described in that fashion. Try some. Do you want to feel like a god." A pause filled the room. The he spoke softly but with order in his voice. "Albert. The wine. I'll have Maestro Merlot and my friend will have. . ." Jona stared at the tube mouth piece. "Ahhh. Oh. Yeah." He came out of his trance. "The wine? Which kind." Jona looked up with a new type of grin—still hanging on to his once of innocence and boy hood. "The wine? Oh. Do you have Chardonay." Albert was tall. Brown hair. Big black eyes. "Yes. Would you like one. WE have the best." Jona looked up quickly, "Yeah. I'll take the best wine you have in White." Albert dashed off with a unusually speed. "White wine eh, Are best would be Sauvignon Blanc retrieved from the Titanic. Its very old." Jona scratched his chin. "Come on. Get real." The oriental man reached for the pipe. "You going to hit. If not I will." He tossed the Zippo lighter in his lap. "I guess so." Jona scratched his chin once more. This time leaving his thumb and index finger on his dibble simply. "Hmmmmm. Titanic eh. What year would that be." Bald man laughed. "Year it went down sunny. Hit or no hit." Jona looked at the odd mouth piece to the bong. "Its really opium. Gish. . .Hm. Why did you tell me that the blanc was from the Titanic. How did you receive it." The bald man cracked his head to the side popping a lose joint in his neck. "It was stolen." Jona opened his mouth to a small o shape. "Stolen. The wine was stolen." The Oreintal man reached for the bong. "This is better than a Siamese dream. Don't feel Mellon boy." The vampire batted his hand away. "Pay no attention to the fool. He his higher than the ozone." Then, the bald man continued. . ."Yes. It was stolen. By me and him. At a museum." Jona smiled. "What like the Met in a New York minute." Jona smiled. The bald man reaffirmed his tale. "That one indeed. " The Oriental man added, "Indeed. Hit or not hit. Last call." Jona put his mouth to the bong's black long, ceramic end. He thought about an old high school girl friend named Jen Q. Squirrels. He inhaled the smoke and kept it in his lungs for an endless amount of time, time that never seemed to end, until his next breath which was filled with powdery pale puffs of gray smoke. It seemed time stood still, so still time itself had never even began or ended. Time was no longer a factor in this scene. The grandfather clock appeared to him in the corner of the room by the thick red and roughly textured curtains. IT called to him, but with no chime. It merely gazed at him with its hands, numbers, pendulums and coils and cranks. Yes Time did stop. It all stopped. This may kill me, he thought. He closed his eyes like fallen leaves, as if that would be the last to reopen them. To fall them shut forever and to sleep the sleep. Spring my never arrive now. Suddenly, he was no longer in the room. Jona passed to another place far, far, away. Then a hissing sound arose and then the airy breath turned to words: RESCUE ME FROM ME AND ALL THAT I SEE. RESCUE ME FROM ME AND ALL THAT I DON'T SEE OR FEEL, OR BREATH, OR BELIEVE. THE DEVIL MAY DO WHAT THE DEVIL MAY CARE.
So far he never could return back, not in a billion decades.. He was drifting, like a silver surfer, in a dinning room of, what looked like, a cruise ship. He figured it was the Titanic, due to the sign on the wall that read The Unsinkable Ship.. It was days before it would sink. He could simply sense that they had days. But not a lot of time. Time was running out. The wind was batting at a set of French door's that lead to one of the decks. He was in a black Tuxedo and felt very thin and gaunt. The other members at the large, oak horizontal dinning room table, were Irish. Men and Women. Great wealth. Everyone was dressed formally. Just to the tea, Jona thought. To the tea. The corner of the napkins were perfectly folded, everyone had a set of expensive silver ware and handsome cufflings, a wine glasses, a soup spoons, and large tall champagne bottles in ice buckets. It lightning and thundered out side. The rain tapped on the silvered lining French doors leading to a shuffle board deck. He was in a smaller dinning room—but definitely in with the rich. He stood up and walked over to the waiter. "Where am I." Jona asked the young artsy waiter, wearing a black top and bottom. "You are in the game dinning room. Would you like a wine or something sir." Jona wondered. "How did I get here?" The question was unanswerable by everyone in the room. He asked the hip waiter. "How did you what sir?" The waiter handed him a tropical cocktail. Jona sipped on a it and set down. He looked at all the handsome men and women talking and chatting about English war problems and poverty and richness in America. Some believed New York might become a good town one day. They all seemed so ghostly and out of place. Long white faces, with wedding ceremony smiles, and musical hands. He thought about how warm and fuzzy he felt—a coolness rain down his spine. He sat up erect but seem to fall nicely back into his cozy oak dinning room chair. It had padded arm rests. Wow. I am on the Titanic. The piano notes floated through out the room like odd angels at war with themselves. Jona picked out his shrimp scampi dinner salad. He had the waiter take it back to the kitchen. Instead, he ordered an anti pasta with real Italian sausage. It was out quick. Along its silver plate lied five spices: Oregona, lemon pepper, salt, garlic and a spice he never seen before, Bravery. He never touched meat—but for some odd reason he had an uncontrollable urge for it, fried. He snatched the Bravery spice and sprinkled it on his shrimp and parsley. Then, everyone vanished. Time jumped ahead. Everything on the dinning room table was consumed. Empty lobster claws, empty clam shells, oyster shells and a plenty of empty oiled fishy plates. He sat alone with a near empty bowl of spinach and seafood soup with a few left over white table crackers. He munched on his meal and then set it aside. He looked up and saw a blond, tall lady standing with a long cigarette holder outside an ostentatious set of tall brown French doors. She talked to an empty chubby fellow—Jona remembered him. It was Faris. He used to play base ball together in the states. It was Faris something. What was his name? He couldn't think of the name, not exactly the full name. Then it hit him like a liters of freezing seawater released by some odd floodgate in the Antartic. It was the one and only Faris Cedar. He was a professional ball player. Now he was playing on a pro team that toured international for mere show. Faris Cedar once hit a ball out of the parking lot at where the Monster stadium was located, It was in the good ol' town of Boston back when the had little electric lights for the stadium. Back when it was still in construction. It was ten years ago from this day on the Titanic. But what was Faris doing on the boat. Faris shouldn't of been there. He wasn't born quiet yet. As well as I. I wasn't born neither. Not to cruise on the Titanic in the middle of the cold ocean near Europe. Faris mimed a practice swing in the air, showing off for the lady. The French doors were slightly ajar. Jona could smell her perfume. He breathed her in like a rose. She was it. She was the one. I mean superb. I fresh lilly or rose or some type of tropical flower, or plant or something. He didn't care. He had to have her. But how. What would he say to her. He didn't know her. He didn't even know what body he was in. The last thing he remembered was sitting on a leather sofa in some Mansion in the rich neighborhood of Chicago. Faris drifted off to the shuffle board game on a upper deck. She leaned on the railing and looked over at the splashing water below. Jona decided to try and pick her up. He knew not to try a pick up line. But he knew this great one about, well, it went like this, "I have a dilemma. I will turn into a frog if I am not kissed by midnight." It was the best pick up line. The best. It had a dash of innocence with a little truth. Ok, it was far from true, but Jona used it on her. And then the next thing you know. . .He was laying in bed with a seducting catish charming stretch. It was smaller cabin. She was an actress from Ireland headed to Broadway. She never gave him his name. The cabin room suddenly shook. It was a disastrous jolt. It happen in a few short burst. A series of sporadic jiggles. The ladies dirty clothes back, wrapped in linen, spilled over them. Lady underwear garments landed on Jona's face. He breathed in her rosey smell and smiled. The cabin wall began to rip open. Moonlight flipped into the room. Jona opened his eyes real wide. Bam. He was back sitting on the leather sofa. Morning was lifting like a huge stage curtain. It sifted through the French doors adjacent to the piano. The piano player, nor the two druggies, were in sight. Not soul around. He felt like a sloshy crushed Apricot that had been spit out on the floor by a freakish enraged circus perfomer.
Before him, laid a message. It was written on a yellowed, aged piece of paper. He picked it up and read the letters and words messily typed in Couries black font, "Thus says the Lord, Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come." Jona looked around. He searched desperately for the man who looked like a vampire and the Oriental man with the colorful pipe. He wanted to escape what he was being served—Jona was being tested. He couldn't tell or not if he had passed or failed. Or if that was the point. He read on despite his contemplation and doubt, "He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhibited salt land." Jona dropped the message. He shouted out for some one to come. The French doors rattled. He walked to the front hall to find the outside door wide open. Freezing wind blew on his face and rattled the chandeliers above. The crystal tail endings and the candle holders tail endings sea sawed back and forth like some set of school children on a swing set, laughing and giggling to the heavens above. Jona ran back into the front room. He noticed a stair cased that climbed behind the piano near the red velvety curtains. It spiraled upward and then reversed it's direction. His eye caught a single off shaded sheet of blank paper. His initial instinct was to pass it up and explore the stair case. He became worried and over excited. And for no reason he began to panic. He hurried to the coffee table and embraced the yellowed paper with a closed fist. His heart reconciled in it's mystery and he decided to open the paper and straightened it out. He pressed and hand ironed the message flat free of wrinkles, by patting it with his palms and knuckles. He held in front of his body and read on, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remains green, and its not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." Then in scribbled curses was two dashes and the name Jeremiah with numbers by it. (--Jeremiah 17:5-10.)
Jona put down the yellowed paper. He looked over and saw the bong sitting by itself on the opposite love seat. That's when an elderly couple walked in from the stairs behind the piano, and asked who he was. . .Jona didn't think about who they were. He didn't care. He was alone in a big city and it was time to run. He jumped up and jetted out of the front door. The front door had no door knob on it. He kicked at the hard wood. The older couple slowly walked toward him. The lady wore a pink morning robe and the older man wore a black bed gown---their faces were pale and the lady had red, dark ruby red lipstick. With out a thought, he kicked in the front door glass pain. The glass shattered into a million shiny pieces and landed in small, scattered and frenzied formations on the front door Welcome mat. He darted out like a scared and heated cat on a hallucinogenic and low grad speed. Jona hit a knee and rolled on the front lawn near the fountain. He was giddy. He was free. He didn't know why the older couple was chasing him and he didn't' know exactly where he was. No one did. He was free. Alone in the world. Not a trace. No one could find him because he couldn't even find himself. He had no clue about anything and this made him fly. He sprinted like a mad beast toward the front gate. It rose above him like steel water fall. Maybe something a mountain climber would snicker at. But Jona took in a deep breath and scaled its skeleton spiny iron cast spines. He hit a face full of pine brush and he felt thorns bite under his palms as he gripped the iron cast spires and flipped his thinly torso over the guarding sharp and annoying obstacle. He landed firmly on his feet like a happy cat on his third life. The driveway stretched before him like some type of track runners hundred yard dash lane. He hit the dust. Bam. Feet pattered and flew under the full moon light. He must of kicked it for about two miles or so until getting fully winded and over heated. He never slowed down for no more than two seconds the entire two miles. He ran until he was out of breath and kept on after that. He side hurt, his chest hurt and his calves ached. Jona kept tugging at his ribs; poking he fingers into his side as if he was trying to remove a sharp thorn. He figured he go into Chicago and get lost. So the couple, and the vampires and their opium smoking buds, wouldn't find him. That's when he saw the spotlights circling in the sky. It reminded him of Hollywood and of Tommy Marcel. He figured he'd follow the lights. Safety lied there, perhaps. Suddenly, Jona had a vision. He was sitting in front of a word processor with an expensive laser printer. He was overlooking an eastern shore. He could not tell what country, city or town he was in. Perhaps a small town or village. The oceans crashed and spit whiteness into the air in short sporadic hops. The water splintered down and made a thousand dibbles onto the face of the vast ocean below. It was all unreal. He could see his finger typing away. Paper was spitting out of the laser printer. He was truly spending his karma, spinning his web—telling his tale. He was hungry. He had nothing but sweat rolls and chocolate bars surrounding him on small trays. He had full malt shake. He was consuming life—praying to Dionysus and creating at the same time. It was all happening. The whole story of Tommy Marcel, Jay Grisham (The agent with the famous writers title.), the brat, Hollywood, the adventures in Chicago with the vampires, the old couple, the piano, the opiate induced dream on the Titanic, and the delusions that were to approach him. He was some what lost. Lost somewhere in nowhere—and he was about to lose his second innocence to a no good girl. He was going to give it all back. He didn't know exactly how but he would give it all back---perhaps through telling a story---in some form or fashion. Some form or fashion others would feel good too. Others would feel. A red Camaro pulled up to a red light. Jona stopped running. He looked over at the group of punks banging their heads into the oblivious air. The song Once Bitten Twice Shy glared in sharp screams and rusty drummings. He walked on and watched the red lamp post light flip to green. He was in the heart of Chicago far from the university. The buildings roared above him. They were so closed to each other. A starving man with one leg begged for money and food. The thick, gray bearded man mumbled a freezing chant at Jona. Jona avoided him. His heart filled with fear. Jona walked on toward a parking lot. There were lots that looked exactly the same. All aligned in perfect adjacent rows. He was low on cash. He figured he go up one the lots, the kind with a roof , the four story car garage type. These lots where well secured—he pretend to be a owner of car and he checked all the expensive car doors and car trunks—find one that was unlock—see what valuable hid away inside. He hated to do such. It was theft. Jona tried never to steal. But he was so hungry and cold that his rational mind was being overcome by his tempting id. So, the ego and super ego where in trouble. But the mind needed rest. Rational needed a break. It was time to let the wolf growl.
Winter must be arriving soon. He must of slept in the mansion longer than a day. He was known to play the role of Rip Van Winkle very well. A sidewalk lead to a theatre house. It had a huge proscenium wall—you could tell where the fly lofts and the curtains raised into the tall, rectangular shaped brick extroversion sticking out of the top of the square gray building. Most refered to this section as the fly loft, or proscenium. He walked in and saw a pretty young gal at the ticket booth. She had curly bushy hair. "Whats your name, madam?" He asked with a devilishly innocent grin. She gave him the name of one of his favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, "Rhiannon." She had green dragonish eyes. Dangerous but beautiful. "You like vegetarian Tacos." She smiled. They were off hours later when she clocked out of work. They walked up to a near Hindu restaurant that sold Veggie Tacos—It was one of their American Vegetarian specials. She ordered two soft taco with curd bean and brown rice. He had two hard shell tacos with extra taco cheese and sour cream. He was starved. Rhiannon talked about working at the booth. The theatre was called Steppen Wolf. "Steppen Wolf. Like the Hesse novel." Jona asked. "Yes. Its famous. John Malkovich and Garry Sinese do work here. They direct Sam Shepard plays. Have you heard of Sam." Jona turned red. "He was my favorite read in College. I love Action. It's a great story." They talked, and chatted about the cold Chicago and how all the theatres were good and artsy. "What are you doing on this side of town. You an actor, writer, dancer, mime—what?" Jona looked down, "I don't know really. I guess all of em. Can I be all of em." "Sure. That be time consuming." Jona asked for a cigarette. She had an extra. "Here." She gave it to him and caressed the top of his knuckle when he retrieved the smoke. He turned red once more. "You like your Tacos." She nodded and took at a cig for herself. "I don't know. I haven't mimed that much. I've written a lot. I've acted here and there—mostly non-profit---did some extra work for Hollywood but I haven't landed anything magnificent yet. You know worth Billions." She laughed at him. The ceiling speakers played Porcelina by the Pumpkins. "You into this town." He asked. "I don't know. I like it ok. I thought about acting. I like costumes though. And history. And stuff like that. I like performer but you know. Have you directed." Jona yawned. "Lets go do something crazy. You into drugs." Jona smiled real big. "What kind of drugs." He grinned. "Lets get some weed and go to the movies. We could sneak a toke and watch Star Wars part whatever." She agreed. Their first date, they'd have veggie tacos, Marijuana and George Lucas's latest.
They decided to go see a play called Bat Boy instead of the movies. They'd smoke out in some cheap motel afterwards. She had enough money in her ATM account to help both of them out. Jona talked all night long. He told her his most treasured secrets. "Did you know when I was twelve I wanted to be a pilot for the Air Force. I did LSD instead and got caught up in a New Wave-goth punk, skin head crowd. Also, my father once swung my sis and I over the edge of a in-mid-constructed house with his new business partner and old best friend." "Why did your dad do that" "It was our house—being built." She smiled again. "But why did he do that to you and your sis." She asked wiping the popcorn stain off my face. "He was tested or more like earning the trust of his new business partner by swinging us like a swing set off the roof of our house—it was being built at the time. I remember all the tan wood, two by fours sticking up here and there. And how it was long and flat and the day was ending and turning gray and the woods next door looked like a realistic painting of a forest and I was always trying to spot a owl or wolf or some kind of forest animal---he just swing us far over—and our stomachs would feel like they do on a them park ride---all warm and your air would escape you and your face turned all red—and your arm pits and palms went clammy." Giggling, "So he used you two to gain trust from his new partner by swinging you guys over the edge of a constructed house." "Yeah. He loved his business." He inhaled. "But it was fun. We got high off of it. Did that all the time. We were always an object of his business affairs."
They tood a cab to another late night Film. They thought it would be a good idea to see a Midnight showing of Lost Boys by Shumacher. They snuck in late. It was right at the part were the Corey brothers talk bout the oddity of Santa Carla, California and its mysteries setting of Vampires. Corey Feldman skimmed through a comic book and enlightened his friend about the real cause behind the missing persons case. "Vampires." Jona creeped his hand around Rhiannon's petite shoulders. He handed her the sneakatoke pipe and they shared a couple of bowls. They had smoked four bowls of red hair indigo before Keipher Sutherland bared his shiny fangs and sported off his new bleached blond surfer vampire hair dew. Jona could feel a strange presence in the movie theatre. It was weird. The kind of feeling you get when your being watch. He couldn't tell if he was paranoid or just frightened by the 1980 goth flick. He decided to mention is to Rhiannon. She felt it too.
(Thanks to Melancholy and the infinite sadness and Billy and the band for their heartfelt inspiration.)