the man with the white hair

sunday 26 june 2011…     (new post)

This post is a companion to another one called testosterone town. That one was written in 2008. Today I’m going to say more than I said then.

There were reasons that I thought were good ones for not writing all of it three years ago. The biggest of those reasons was that in July of 2008, I was still very sappy about Matthew and the others said to be protecting me. I didn’t want any of them to be hurt protecting me, and I certainly didn’t want it to be because I gave too many details in my blogs.

I’ve long since lost my sappiness about these people, and the straight, unpretty truth is that I don’t give a flying banana what happens to any of them. So why haven’t I given the details before now. Well, first because it’s hard now to write about these things. In 2008 I had to sit down and vent every day in order to just keep going. But now… now I know that my contempt for Matthew and his colleagues is so huge that nothing will ever vent it; and I will never, unlike the people in the Whitey Bulger case who sued the feds and won, get any justice. Another reason… I’m sick to death of being called delusional. It’s insulting and it isn’t the truth. I’ve known delusional people and I’ve read books about them. They have a certain way of talking and emoting, a certain affect, that I don’t have. And the delusions multiply, in the cases I know about. It may start with a belief that there’s a plot to kill the mayor, and then another plot to kill someone else evolves, and so on. The tree of imagination is always growing new leaves, and sometimes those leaves are very different from one another — whole new stories appear. A few so-called therapists have even said to me that I’m not the way delusionals usually are, but they write delusional on their pieces of paper anyway. What I tell has always been the same at its core. Sometimes new elements have appeared, and that has always been the result of what some other living person said to me, not inventions in my own head. I have always told the truth as far as I know it, and owing to Matthew’s refusal to answer most of my questions, I know very little.

So I know that in writing anything at all about the crime-chick and her connections, Matthew and his colleagues, bizarre things that have gone on around me since 2008, puts me again in the witness box where I will be judged a loon. I am no loon. Whatever other insults people can justifiably throw at me, I am rational and sane and suffer no delusions. On with it, then.

day one

It was a Wednesday, 9 July 2008, hot and humid, early afternoon. I was living in the rented bedroom where I had no kitchen privileges, and so had to get all my meals out somewhere. I didn’t spend too much time in the room, because it hurt too much not to have my animals there all around me. I had only been told seven days before, by Matthew, that people wanted to hurt me. I hadn’t had much time to adjust to this news.

I had taken my lunch, book, notebook and drawing pens to the only picnic table that exists on Bank Row in Greenfield. This was one of my frequent sitting spots. It’s a very small, grassy area with one side edged in trees. I get up from the table to stretch a little and try to relieve the pain in my joints. I have my back to Bank Row and its intersector, Deerfield Street. Because I’m facing the wrong way, I can’t see the man coming at me on the bicycle. I’m lost in my own thoughts and don’t hear him either, not until he’s nearly on top of me.

I turn quickly and there he is, looking as though he’s going to run me down. He squeals on the breaks about three inches in front of me. I have known about certain things for only seven days, and so I memorize him as much as I can for a later grilling of Matthew. His eyes are very blue, like Matthew’s, but not as big. The most identifying feature about him is his absolutely white, shoulder-length hair. He can only be in his early forties, but he’s gone snow-white. When he stops, he says to me that he’s new in town (I already know this — I’m familiar with all of the scruffs in Greenfield by now, and he’s decked out like a scruff), and he wants to know where all the drunks hang out. He’s smiling, but the smile is mean. Despite his every-day words, I can feel the hostility coming from him, can feel that he despises me, even though I don’t know him, even though he’s new in town.

I tell him in a snotty way that I wouldn’t know where they hang out because I’m not a drunk. I tell him to go up to Main Street and ask somebody there. Lots of drunks are on Main Street. He says, still smiling that leering smile, that he can see that I’m in a bad mood so he’ll leave me alone. Thanks for the information.

I go back to the table and start to cry. Not about the man, but about my animals. I sit there crying, smoking, and a car comes down Bank Row and stops straight across from me, right in the middle of the street. For five or so minutes no traffic comes down Bank Row, so the car is able to remain stopped dead in the road. The windows are so darkly tinted on this car that you can’t see the driver, or anyone else who might be in it. It looks like the car has driven itself to the middle of the street. It looks very new, is thickly layered with black paint, and shiny as a mirror. In these ways it’s like the mob cars, but I don’t think it’s one of them. It’s not from Connecticut, for one thing. And for another, it has several thick antennae sticking up from it, which I hadn’t seen on any of the mob cars. I hardly ever see them on any cars. Only when traffic comes down the Row behind it does the car drive off.

I’ve had two very weird occurrences in the space of ten or so minutes, added to those seven days of knowledge given me by Matthew. I’ve done all I can: I’ve memorized the man and his words, and then the car. I’m powerless. I can do nothing to send that man back where he came from, and I can do nothing to find out who was in that car. I continue my thoughts on my animals and my tears a couple minutes more, and then I leave.

I’m thirsty again, so I decide to go to the health food store for something. That is Matthew’s base, that store, and his cousin is one of the big shots who runs it. I’m still crying about my animals, I’m not in the mood for Matthew’s undercover shtik at the moment, so I go down the alley to enter the store from the back. And there he is. Matthew. Coming at me from under the awning over the back door. Using his phony whine-voice and his phony I’m-just-a-nut grin. How are you he says, as usual. I play along. Oh not so good today, Matty, how about you. Are you having a happy day? Somewhat, he says. And then his eyes bore into mine very sanely, very intelligently, full of concern, despite the phony idiot grin on his face. Still cryin’? he asks me. I say yeah. He has his right hand wrapped around a cup of coffee, but he stretches out the middle finger and presses it against my upper arm. Says very quietly, so no one around us will hear, Hang in.

I have questions I can’t ask because we’re in public. I can’t ask: why did you say still crying, as if you knew I’ve been crying for a good while? Were you in that car? Who was in that car? Who was that man with the white hair? What am I supposed to hang in against, and for how long? I wait to see if he’ll invite me to his hovel so I can ask these things, but he doesn’t. I get something to drink and leave.

day two

10 july and a Thursday. Three, four times I see the man with the white hair. Every time he gives that same smile and says Hi there. I don’t answer. Matthew I see not at all, all day long, and that’s very, very strange. I return to my room for the last time that day after I’ve had my supper somewhere.

At 7:30 I go outside to have a cigarette. As soon as I do, a state cop car drives past me down the street. I smoke and go back in. At 8:00 I go out to smoke another. There’s a state cop helicopter flying fairly low over my street, away from town. And here’s the man with the white hair, pedaling furiously in the same direction, chuckling, as if he’s trying to outrun the helicopter. When he gets even with me, he looks over at me with that same grin, but says nothing this time. Up the street they go, helicopter and bicycle.

Now I’m more nervous. This man who clearly has contempt for me has seen where I live. Matthew has asked me to hang in. I don’t like this stuff. It’s hokey and over-dramatic and cloak-and-dagger. It’s Hollywood. And most importantly: it does not belong in my life. I’m not a criminal, and never have been. I don’t have criminals as friends or as family (Matthew hasn’t yet told me about my grandfather). This stupid, sociopathic drama that goes on between mobs and the people who hunt them is NOT MINE. I don’t deserve it, I don’t want it, and I hate it.

I can’t sleep. I just keep listening to the radio and going outside to smoke. At two in the morning, I start hearing sounds outside my windows. It sounds like people punching each other, but there are no voices. First the sounds are at one window on one wall, then they’re at the others on the other wall. I sit on the floor, listening. When it stops, I finally go to bed, but I’m a long time falling asleep.

day three

friday 11 july…  In the morning I look at the bark mulch under my windows. There are large footprints in it. They weren’t there yesterday. I know this because of one of my personal quirks. When someone lays down new mulch, as my landlady had just done, or new sand or new soil, I like to look at it every day while it’s still untouched, before anyone steps in it. I like the unspoiled look of it. So I knew with no doubts or delusions or paranoia that those large footprints were brand new.

I walk all the same streets and go to all the same places that I did yesterday, but there’s no sign of the white-haired man. Early afternoon Matthew comes along and invites me over. I ask some of my questions, but I’m so tired that I forget to ask all of them. And this is what I get:  All you need to know is that he won’t be bothering you anymore. The line I quoted in the other post. He said it with pride, on the edge of arrogance, as if the big strong boys had done their macho thing and they were proud. And I — the little lady, the little victim, the little piece of bait?  —  mustn’t go on asking questions. I did go on asking questions, but he gave me nothing else.

These things really happened. These words were really said. I’ve never seen that white-haired man again, in either Greenfield or Turners. He was in Greenfield for less than three days. Dear Matthew said that he’d never bother me again, and he never has. 

Ten days later, on july 21, a man called Jim said something to someone (in my hearing) that made me wonder if this white-haired man was someone named Greif. Vittorio or Luigi Greif. But that’s only a maybe, only another unanswered question.


read…  Mugsy’s book…   Lucked out

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