tedium

tuesday 26 january 2016

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I’ve just been sifting through older posts in this blog, as I sometimes do to find information and find where I’ve put it. it’s tedious — I have little patience for such tasks, but it’s the only way to find out what I’ve already written about, and where it is.

this blog, more than any of my others, has always been a struggle. I began it in april 2008, nearly eight years ago, on soulcast rather than wordpress. when later I moved a lot of the original posts to this website, I didn’t get them all. never finished the job.

the struggle has always been the how. how do I write about the department of mental health, the landlady, the mafia-chick, matthew and his colleagues in a way that will be credible? knowing that I was not then nor have ever been delusional, I wanted to figure out a way to make the bizarre and sick story that I’d got stuck in believable. I don’t think delusionals worry about that sort of thing, if they bother to write things down. don’t think they worry about how to write their story, what moods to use, what words. don’t think they go over their writing again and again to change some words, change some emphasis, in the constant desire to get the bizarre and sick story believed.

it started with a lot of anger and sarcasm in 2008. at that time I thought that if my outrage was crystal clear, some of that same outrage at the way I was being treated by both the people chasing me and the people protecting me would rise up in a reader. later I changed my thinking, reasoning that my fierce anger at the federal people would probably only be construed as nutty. anger in general is usually seen as nutty. we live in a politically correct world of vanilla sensibilities in which anger is not welcome. so I went through many, many of the earliest sehnen posts and toned down my fury quite a bit. I didn’t want to eliminate it totally, because then, as now, I felt my anger was absolutely justified.

over the years I’ve added details I originally didn’t want to use: place names, street names, the undercover names of matthew and some of his pals, and so on. there was a certain amount of fear in the early months of writing these things. fear that some of the agents might get hurt if anyone read what I was saying (I was still quite sappy and stupid about my protectors back then), and fear of the feds themselves. if I said the wrong things, would they shut down my blog? a number of people were telling me this: that if the fbi didn’t like what I was saying, they would simply blotto my blog. they haven’t done so thus far. over time, a year or two, I realized that my blog is no threat to their protection operation: they know that very few people believe me, ipso facto, their doings are not threatened.

I have no clue how many of them even look at this blog, but I know of one. one who, I’m nearly certain, reads every word I ever write online, has been doing so since I began. after all, I was already in protection for about nine months when I began blogging, and didn’t know it yet. that one reads, and that one knows, and maybe it’s even because of that one that my blogs are for the most part left alone.

by 2011 I was trying hard to include ever more specifics in my posts, to the extent that I have them. telling myself to be very clear about what I know for certain, as opposed to what someone else told me, as opposed to what I have had an educated guess at. another tweaking designed, as always, to create as credible a narrative as I could.

nothing seems to help. if any readers do believe me, they certainly don’t leave comments saying so. they don’t share my outrage at this immorality, they don’t offer any kind of support. I think it’s possible that of the readers who do in fact believe me, many of them do what people I know personally have done: they decide that matthew lied to me. that way they don’t have to call me a delusional, but neither do they have to get up the courage to accept what I say as truth. they can skirt around all of that by saying that matthew lied, and I, poor sap, believed him. I’m not delusional, I’m just gullible and stupid. my own friend in eastern mass believes this. how can she tell me every now and then how sharp I am, how correctly I have assessed the human race, and then strongly imply at other times that I am ditzy enough to believe a whopper matthew told me long ago? I don’t understand how she can think me astute about people most of the time, but as concerns matthew’s words to me, I am a putz.

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I fought believing it myself early on. or part of me did. one part of me had no doubt at all that matthew was telling me the truth, but another part did not want to accept it: this cannot be true in my life. I’m not a criminal, and mostly it is traitorous criminals who end up in protection. the others are hapless witnesses, who saw or heard something that turned out to be dangerous for them. I’m not one of those either. so I have ended up in illegal, immoral protection that uses me as bait without my consent, and I’ve done so through a means I’ve never heard of before. I was lied about, and then my life was in danger. the fact that I’ve never heard of this particular road to federal protection before doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to someone else somewhere; it only means I haven’t heard of it.

but it was all too bizarre, all too melodramatic and hollywood, all too restricted to the world of deranged thugs to be happening in my life. I kept trying to tell myself it wasn’t true. and then I’d go out my door. I’d see the various dirtbags and protectors around me, watch them do the code that was becoming ever easier for me to spot. to translate? no, I repeat that do not know what any of the code means (a delusional would. a delusional would have all the answers because they make them up). I only know when I’m hearing or seeing code. I’d go out my door — any door I was behind anywhere — and immediately the show would begin. my heart would sink, my brain would say jesus, it is true, and every day it became less and less possible to deny it.

when I was still naive, I thought I could run away from it. telling myself that it was probably just a small mob that was chasing me, completely disregarding the fact that they had come across a state line from connecticut to find me, I decided to leave. I started with the county. out of franklin county I went, into the county called hampshire. I was crushed when I arrived there and saw the circus waiting for me. crushed, but not yet deterred. I decided to leave the state. surely that would do the trick.

I went to new hampshire, to keene. if the circus was there waiting, as I now know it had to be, it was not obvious to me right away. it grew up around me as I hung out there on the main street, bloomed and grew larger like some macabre garden of fertile sociopaths. I sat there on that main street, hot and tired and homeless, and was crushed yet again: there was no running away from it; it would be waiting wherever I chose to go.

the plan was to sit there till night, then find some cops and ask if there was a shelter. I didn’t have to go looking for cops, by the way. they were cruising all around me for hours in their cop cars, back and forth, back and forth. anyway, the plan was altered when I became sick. apparently from something I’d eaten earlier in the day, food allergies rearing up in their distressing way. I got very sick. and when I was so sick I couldn’t stand up anymore for the weakness, when I sat down on cement and collapsed against the brick wall of a cumberland farms, the police came to me. three agents got there first, quietly guarding me out there, very close, parking their motorcycles in a row in front of me, creating a sort of wall between me and the street. the store manager had called the cops. he thought I either had alcohol poisoning or was repeatedly shooting drugs in his bathroom.

the moral: there was no running away. it was most likely not a tiny mob. I could not get away from it, not in the living state, anyway. I entered a deeper level of despair that night. the feeling of being trapped magnified remarkably. the feelings of being powerless to do myself any good. without a badge number, without a document or two, I could never sue the feds and get them to stop this undercover torture, to talk to me openly and keep me informed of what was happening in my now very insane life.

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sehnen means longing. when I chose that blog name I was longing for news of my animals, for a home, for the department of mental health to do right by me. only three months into the writing, matthew told me about the other business going on in my life, and more longings were born. the longing for people to believe me, the longing to find some lawyer or journalist who would try to help me confront my protectors, the longing for these mob people to be given the message that I’d never done anything to them. the longing for matthew to stop participating in this scheme — a scheme that maybe he himself had designed, for all I know — to protect me and use me as juicy bait at the same time.

what does longing become when it lasts, unsatisfied, for years? I ask myself that periodically. does the longing for fulfillment of a need become a great hard scab after years of denial? does it become a malignant tumor? in my case, it has certainly become an ever-growing contempt for the human race. but what else has it become? it doesn’t feel the yearning way it did when it was young. it’s much different.

but it is still there in some metamorphosed shape. the longing for belief, the longing for proof, the longing for a way to get the feds to stop all the cloak-and-dagger theatricals and treat me like a person.

and I sort of lied. there was one indeed one smidgen of code that I translated: when a male agent takes off a grey shirt right in front of me, it means I’m leaving town. I did a lot of town-leaving back when I was homeless. anyway, this bit of code was by far the easiest, and the only one I ever thought I’d figured out.

lontano dagli occhi d’amore

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the man with the white hair

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2016 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

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smile

friday 22 january 2016

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smile for the camera, matthew. smile that enormous, engaging smile that I know you can do. or smile one of your many other smiles. smile and I’ll take your picture.

 

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that was yesterday. but he did not smile. nor did he look sullen, or put on the idiot face, or look away. he just sat there on the sidewalk looking straight at my phone while I took his picture.

I didn’t get close, due to my aversion to being close to him at all, and so in order to discern his face I have to edit. but even the edit doesn’t show his face well, because I wouldn’t go very near. now that I’ve done it, it astounds me that I’ve never done it before. years ago I took photos of a couple of my other protectors, but never him.

and this all came about because my friend wanted to go agent-watching. we’ve done it a couple of times in recent weeks. we park on main street in front of the health food store, sit there with our coffee and cigarettes, waiting for undercover goons to show up and do code. my friend likes me to point out the goons and show her when they’re doing code. I state as I have stated before in this blog, I do not know what the code means. I only know when I’m seeing code. I have, after all, had it shoved down my throat for seven and a half years.

my friend was well rewarded yesterday, as matthew was already on the scene when we arrived. we got to see him do antics with other protectors, and perhaps with one thug too. I saw him twice do a hand-signal I’ve never seen until yesterday. and so, sitting there with the boss-protector already ensconced on the sidewalk, I suddenly got the idea to take a picture of the man himself.

my friend questions me a great deal about everything that has transpired between me and the protectors, and me and the thugs. in the course of her interrogation yesterday, an event came to mind that I haven’t thought about in several years. my friend found this vignette so entertaining that she was laughing and smiling. matthew over on the sidewalk could hear, I think, just about every word. so the story goes as follows:

in july of 2008, the busiest month ever for my protectors, I think, greenfield was having some kind of a two or three-day sidewalk festival going on. mob people from connecticut came to scope me out, and scope they did. unabashedly in their very shiny black cars. it was a very draining couple of days. on one of the days, matthew apparently wanted me to stay at the health food store for a while so goons could do their business without me trotting off, and to achieve this he put upon the sidewalk a very cute, very young man who was playing the guitar and singing beatles songs. knowing that I am old and like beatles songs, matthew had chosen his material well. the young man said his name was tucker. I stayed there with tucker and his friend for over an hour, chatting between songs, playing the comic to make tucker laugh, and occasionally dropping money into his guitar case. a jovial time was had by all. or at least that was what the three of us pretended.

the next time I went to matthew’s, I was pleasant. well I don’t know why you wanted me to stay at green fields market (and he did not tell me why), but you chose tucker well. music I like being played and sung by a very cute, personable young man. tucker was adorable, I say. absolutely adorable. I could just eat him up. I would love to have a life-size, wind-up tucker in my livingroom so that I could flick the switch and listen to him whenever I wanted. can you get me one of those, matthew, a fake tucker? he’s so adorable.

matthew, who had been beaming while I praised him for his cleverness, is by the end of my shtik looking down into his lap most sullenly, saying in a pout-voice: he’s not that cute.

my friend got a real laugh out of this story. I’m sure you will not, as it’s probably one of those you-had-to-be-there kind of things. I wonder what matthew thought of it, sitting there on the sidewalk listening. matthew lacoy, the second half of which name is phony. another that could perhaps be put in its place is miller.

matthew miller?

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read:  who was that guy

 

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2016 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

calabrese

wednesday 3 april 2013

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operation family secrets…  by frank calabrese, jr., and co-authors

this is both the title of frank’s book and the name the fbi gave to the operation that brought down both frank’s father, and a big chunk of the chicago outfit.

because of the things that happened to me in 2008 and 2009, I have a fierce interest in true stories about mobs, their victims, and the sociopathic fbi. but I don’t want fiction. the true stories have so far been hard for me to locate, so, in my mob-story isolation, I devoured this book. after all, unlike the author, I did not have my family behind me when I was going through my own mob story, not even one lousy member. I don’t have them now. and while the people who have believed me over the years are some comfort, it isn’t the same as having someone in my family on my side, someone who is related to the family gangster just as I am. but no, I am a fruit-loop. despite the fact that it was a relative who confirmed part of matthew’s story for me, saying that family research had revealed that my grandfather was most likely a criminal and that in 1943 he suddenly disappeared, I am still a fruit-loop. no moral support for me, no nothing.

unlike me, frank knew of his father’s type of business from early in life. at age eighteen, he joined his father in such business. it makes me ask questions, this story of frank’s, questions shooting off in my mind all through the reading of the book like little fireworks, questions that no one will ever answer. for instance: my father had his mafia father for fifteen years, then my grandparents split up. by the age of fifteen, did my father know his father was a mobster? as the oldest child and a son, had he even been told by his father in a sort of macho, father-son talk? did my father know about grampa’s first family that he’d produced on the island of crete before ever coming to the u.s., the family to whom any mob earnings must have been sent, since my father and his siblings grew up in poverty? the few in my family who remain alive and might have some answers do not talk (denial and under-the-rug-sweeping are two of my family’s favorite psychological tricks). and matthew, who has the answers, will not talk either.

frank calabrese jr. finds himself of two minds in the early part of his life, and I very much understand this split. he both loves his father deeply, and is horrified by him. he follows him into organized crime, but it isn’t exactly clear to me from the book whether he does this out of fear of his father, or out of the same kind of rapacious greed that his father suffers from. or both. since I never knew my crime grandfather, since he betrayed his organization (how? matthew won’t tell) and was killed by them ten years before I was born, I have many questions about him. the stories told about him as I was growing up, few as they were, were not of a mobster. those stories were apparently mostly lies. I want to know exactly what he did for this mob of his, and who of his loved ones, both in greece and in the u.s., he put in danger with his way of life. I spent fifty-five years loving this man I never saw, loving him because he was my dad’s father and he meant something to him; loving him because he was absent, and therefore a magnetic mystery; loving him because he gave us our greek blood, of which I used to be proud. since 2008, I’m of two minds: the old me who loved this family ghost, and the newer part of me that is disgusted and ashamed.

eventually, frank, his father, his uncle, his brother, are all arrested and sent to prison on racketeering charges. while they are serving their sentences, frank decides to betray his father and get into bed with the fbi. this is not an easy choice for him, and I’ve heard him with his own voice on a radio show talking about the two separate sets of feelings he has for his father, and how very hard these things were for him. I hope that in his situation I would have done what he did, but I can’t know that for certain. he wears a wire in the prison yard and gets his father to talk about murders and all kinds of other illegal past behavior. he hands it all over to the feds. he takes their instructions. even the feds are shocked by the large role frank’s father had in the outfit, because they hadn’t known. what they had thought was going to be a relatively small mob case, taking a small but important bite out of the outfit, turned out to be, according to frank, the biggest bite out of a mob since the days of capone.

frank expresses respect for the agents he dealt with. my own attitude towards them is quite different. succinctly put, I detest them. but frank was treated one way by them, and I was treated quite another way. yet another question that popped up more than once while reading: why did frank, a criminal who was betraying his father, deserve to be treated like a human being by the feds, and I, a non-criminal, did not? why did he deserve that, and I didn’t? many criminals in the annals of the fbi have been treated with kid gloves compared to the way they treated me. I have always only been able to conclude that I was bait. matthew spoke once of big fish, when I was asking him why some of the minnows who had got me into this horror show hadn’t been arrested. big fish. and they came to greenfield in 2008, some of those big connecticut fish, believe me they did. and made themselves very obvious to me, no attempts to be clandestine. what became of them once they had been lured in? no idea. when asked, matthew wouldn’t tell. so frank respects the federal cops, and I do not.

a couple of things come up in the story that bring about a dark shiver, one of them being a method of murder favored by frank’s father and uncle. things involving strangulation and a knife. long ago when I was in college, my little cousin was murdered. the act involved strangulation and a knife, or so I was told by my aunt, the child’s mother. naturally I asked matthew about this cousin, after sitting there telling him yet another story that he already knew. the whole time I talked, he wouldn’t look at me. he stared out the window crying quietly, and only looked at me when I was finished narrating and asked my questions. he answered them in his undercover act, his pseudo-schizophrenic gibberish, and so I still do not know if the murder of my cousin came about in the way that we were told, for the reasons we were told, or if it was something completely different, and uglier, and more sinister. mobs have codes, many people have told me, and I know this. they don’t whack women and children, these people have said. and it seems that that’s true, that most of the time they leave women and children alone. but I’m a woman, and, according to matthew, they came after me because of some lies told to them by one of their lackeys (the one I call the mafia-chick). so if they would make a rare exception and come after me, why could they not also have made one forty years ago and got my cousin, a mere child? I think they could have. but I also think the killing could have been exactly what we were told it was. ad nauseam: matthew wouldn’t tell.

to me, frank jr. is a mostly brave and mostly selfless man. he does not see himself this way. he was afraid of his father, and this fear led to the betrayal. he emphasizes his fear. he betrayed him in order to be free of him. but in getting himself free of the old coot, he got many others free of him too. he did things along the way in the building of the case that were indeed courageous and selfless. he asked for no reduction of sentence, no immunity, and refused the witness protection program. in 2011, when this book came out and the radio interview was done, he said that he was not one to hide. and also, that he needed to give his father the opening for revenge. it was part of the code that his father, if released from prison, deserved to murder him, and frank felt he had to give his father that chance (part of the code is still in frank jr.). that’s brave in my book, to sit and wait for the day your father could come to kill you.

early this year (2013), frank calabrese, sr. died in federal prison. in honor of this death (or so it felt to me), that 2011 radio interview was re-aired.  hooray, the old murderer is dead. hooray, he never got released on parole to go and kill his brave son. hooray, frank never has to fear his father again. and yet I know there must be great grief for frank too, because, like me, frank continued to hope till the bitter end that his father would one day love him, one day ask forgiveness, and that even if for only a few years, if only on prison visits, they could have a somewhat normal father-son bond. he has hungered for this all his life, and I understand such hunger very, very well.

if I had a hat on, frank, I’d tip it to you many times over. all the cheap male cowards I have known. and then there’s you out there in the world. thank you for being out there in the world. a brave man. a mostly unselfish man. a man who hungers for normality and love.

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read…   why did I go…   the matthew… 

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

soulcast redux, and sehnen

sunday 21 august 2011….    turners toils

Well, it’s another strange feeling of traveling back in time. Though this particular bit of time travel doesn’t bring the pleasure that others do. To be journaling on SoulCast again feels weird indeed.

My first online journal ever, in april of 2008, was this one, Sehnen, but it wasn’t here then. I started writing it less than a month after the absolute worst and most damaging events of my life. I was naïvely hoping very hard for several things to result from that first journal, things which never happened. I was unloading every day on public computers, into my journal pages, small pieces of the anger and pain and resentment… small pieces offloaded so that I could just have enough release of steam to carry on with each foreign, ugly, unwanted day.

Then a couple of things happened in january of 2010. One was that SoulCast’s owners had decided they didn’t want the site anymore, and so they didn’t maintain things, and so it developed huge spam problems and huge loading problems, and became a monumental mess. The other was that someone told me they could help me make a website on WordPress, and I wanted a website. I hadn’t originally planned to move the Sehnen blog here, but the SoulCast problems just got worse and worse.

I copied every single one of the many, many posts I’d written there from april 2008 to january 2010. Stored them in a folder, and deleted nearly all of them from SoulCast. These are the posts I label as “copies,” and I’m nowhere near finished getting them all into this WordPress version of Sehnen.

So it was a year and a half ago that I pretty much abandoned SoulCast. I’d stop by once in a while to write something short, see how many bloggers were left, how many new spammers had come, etc. By june of this year, there were almost no bloggers from the old days still hanging around. And the spam was phenomenal. This got me mad. Even though my website is here, and the bulk of my work is here, and my art and photos, I hated the idea of SoulCast being what it was when I went back to check in a few months ago. I decided that I would write there regularly again, no matter how many spam comments I had to delete and how many spam blogs appeared on the homepage. I was fired up to be there again, even if the ship had sunk.

I found out the site was up for auction on Flippa. Those few of us real bloggers who were left waited to see what would happen. One of them even suggested that we bloggers get together and buy the site, but I have no disposable income, so I stayed on the edges of that brief discussion. And then, a week ago, I went to write my usual stuff, and lo and behold, editing had gone berserk, comments too, and techno-glitches were everywhere. But this time the mess had been created by a new owner. This new owner was changing the server, implementing spam blockers, fixing bugs, and so on. The mess was because everything was in transition and there was a new owner who cares about SoulCast being a viable blogging site again.

And so I’m there as a regular again, something I never expected. I thought the days of me writing daily on SoulCast were long gone, and lo, here they are back again. But the original SoulCast Sehnen is here now, or some of it is, and eventually all of it will be here. So the journal on SoulCast that I call Sehnen is both the same one I started out on, and not the same. It’s here where I come to read those posts I originally wrote there. An odd feeling, really odd, to read in either one of my Sehnen blogs.

I want to support the new owner as much as I can, because they really seem to want to make SoulCast a good place. I want to support new bloggers who are slowly showing up (there must be an ad about SoulCast somewhere). And I want not to forget how I felt in those earliest weeks and months after my life was decimated, my animals vanished. I want not to forget the state of psychological shock  I was in. Writing on SoulCast, just being there, takes me back to that time that I don’t want to forget, but it’s eery to go there, to be sure.

Post number one hundred on this WordPress version of Sehnen. And the writing goes on, because the damage goes on.

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read…   Sehnen at www.soulcast.com …    and this Sehnen…

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why did I go

tuesday 5 july 2011…        (new post)

If anyone’s been keeping up with the last seven or so posts, anyone might be wondering why I even kept accepting Matthew’s invitations. All this wrangling, all this refusal to answer my questions, the cloak-and-dagger baloney, the tears and anger, both his and mine. There isn’t one pat answer. Layers of answers, because I’m a multi-layered, deep-feeling and deep-thinking person. Everything in life, absolutely everything, has facets and nuances.

Here are the answers, plural, to the question of why I went:

1. Matthew was the one who’d told me about this ugly, criminal situation in my life. He was the bearer of the bad news. Because he was the one who told me, I wanted to stay in his sphere.

2. I wanted information, and he was the one who had it. If all he would give me were crumbs, then I wanted those crumbs. And I stupidly kept hoping for more than that.

3. I was extremely alone. Animals gone, my way of life torn to shreds, only one friend who lived some distance away and didn’t come to greenfield very often. Matthew was the only company at my disposal. And with him, I didn’t have to keep all of the same secrets I had to keep with other people. With him I could at least talk about the landlady and the mafia chick and the protection. And as weird things happened out on the streets, Matthew was the only person on the planet with whom I could talk about them and not be treated like a nut.

4. I was in love with him, after all. And as totally abnormal and twisted as this relationship and this crime situation were, it was the one and only place in my existence where love made an appearance, however mangled and distorted that appearance might have been.

Not every single moment with Matthew was a moment of tears or anger or refusal to answer questions or cloak-and-dagger tricks. Most of them were, but not all. There were moments of laughter and mutual teasing. And others when we talked about books or music or our pasts. Once I brought bubble-soap and blew bubbles over to his chair for him to catch. He didn’t want to at first. I suppose it struck a macho crime-fighter like him as too childish. But after he’d grudgingly caught a few, he started smiling and getting into it. Then I blew the bubbles over his head so he’d have to reach for them. There were the rare times when we’d talk about the things we would do together after this was over. There was the time he had bought tea for me, and even made it for me, and served it to me in a little white china cup. He had some too, in an identical cup, even though he is a coffee person. It was the one and only time he ever behaved as if I were a special guest. Never happened again, at least not to that degree. Sometimes he would find me on the street sick from the humidity and my attacking immune system. Often at those times he’d take me back to his hovel, turn on the air conditioner, and make us rice for supper. He’d watch me very intently when I was sick. No matter what idiot face or idiot voice he might be using, his eyes were always real, and on many occasions I saw the unmitigated concern there in those large blue eyes that bored into mine. Once I’d fallen out of bed right onto a wooden captain’s chair and had got a huge hematoma on my right leg. When he saw the thing, he lost a great deal of his facade. Worry, worry, that’s all he was. How did you get that? he wanted to know. I told him, and he didn’t believe me, evidenced by the fact that he continued to ask me throughout the afternoon. He asked me if I didn’t think I should have a doctor look at it, and would it go away, and did it hurt. About the fifth time he asked me how I got it, I got exasperated. I told you how I got it, and I told you the truth. You know I’d tell you if anyone hurt me. Then he looked at me with puppy-longing eyes and said: You promise? I promised.

That was some of the good stuff that passed between Matthew and me. There’s more, but I’ve made my point. And though there wasn’t nearly enough of it, and though all the dark stuff outweighed it by far, it was the only good stuff available to me in the world. In every empty, ugly minute of every empty, ugly day, it was the only good stuff I could lay my hands on.

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read…    Poison and snowflake trees…   Mental hell

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who was that guy

tuesday 5  july 2011              (new post)

a little preamble…    Just heard a story on the radio, another interview with another soldier in afghanistan. He says he’s not re-upping anymore after this tour. Doesn’t want to “get to the point where I have no respect for humanity anymore.”  And he says he’s close. I understand this man completely, and anyone like him. A soldier has one kind of trauma and emotional strain. I’ve had different kinds, far removed from battle and war. Others I’ve known have had different kinds yet again.  It doesn’t matter what the traumas are, what the overwhelming emotional strains are … there are hundreds of different kinds, I’m sure. What matters is that there are people, and I’m in that group, who break under this weight, and break for good. This soldier is aware that this could happen to him. I’m aware that it has happened to me. No respect for humanity as a species left. Not since 2008. None. And I’m fine with that. I wouldn’t have been fine with it in 2007, to despise the human race to the degree that I do now, but as of 2008, my conscience regarding humans gets shut off whenever I choose to flip the switch. My life brought this about. The ice-cold actions and words of other people brought this about.

This particular guy was my own age, or maybe slightly older, and I’m going to be blunt and say that his face was rather ugly. I didn’t like to look at his face. I never saw this guy until the very end of June in 2008. It’s certainly possible that he was in greenfield before that time, but if he was, he never ended up near enough for me to notice him until that time. I thought he was one of the many older, low-income alcoholics that live in greenfield and turners. His clothes were old and often not very clean, hair always just slightly greasy. At the end of June, he took to sitting on the bench in front of the health of food store and saying hello to me, though he never asked me for any cigarettes or money, as certain others did. By the end of June I was extremely sensitive to faces and bodies on this particular bench, because it’s the place where Matthew and some of his pals so often sat. When a new face appeared there, I noticed. The first day this guy was sitting there and said Hi to me, I noticed everything about him, and that he was new to me.

I didn’t think he had anything to do with my situation. Most people didn’t — it was only certain ones. I thought he was just a drinker who had perhaps lived in greenfield for a long time and only recently taken a liking to that bench. I tried to be pleasant to him, because I felt sad, not about his presumed drinking problem, but about the ugliness of his face. It both repelled and saddened me. A couple of times I sat down beside him if there was room, smoked a cigarette with him, and talked about innocuous things like the weather or the mayor or whatever. He was just this ugly, down-and-out man that I tried to be nice to, though I certainly never sought him out. If he was around, I was nice.

All of that changes on Sunday 13 July. I go to the health food store shortly before ten to wait for them to open so I can have breakfast. This is a routine for me on most Sundays, since the health food store is the only place in the center of greenfield where I can pay for my meals with food stamps. Lots of other low-income people go there for the same reason. Well he’s there too, and another guy, on the bench, waiting for ten o’clock. I begin the usual empty, meaningless social chit-chat. And then he jolts me. I happen to be looking right at his face, sitting right beside him, when he says, in a slightly taunting tone: You have a daughter, don’t you? I’m completely upset by this question, try to hide it, and pretend I didn’t hear. I return to whatever subject it was we were on before he shot that question out of nowhere. But he won’t let me ignore it. He asks the question again, the nastiness in his tone having increased. I’m angry. I say a very terse Ya and look away from him. I’m about to get up off the bench, but he has more to say: Well you can be my mother now. I don’t look at him when he says this, and I do get up. He’s not finished. Did you hear me, he asks, I said you can be my mother now. Whatever, I say to him. Someone unlocks the door of the store and I go in, making sure I don’t go anywhere near this ghoul while I’m in there.

Please bear in mind that at this point in time it’s only been eleven days since Matthew said the kill-word to me. Not enough time for me to process this stuff. It’s only been three days since the white-haired man. And while I’m still trying to process comes this stranger saying these things. He is a stranger. I buy my food with the question repeating in my mind: How does he know I have a daughter? This question is both valid and sane. I’ve only been living in greenfield for four months. Most of the people I’ve met there know almost nothing about my life before the eviction, including that I have a daughter. She lives in another state, we haven’t spoken in two years, and I just don’t tell most people that she even exists. Nor do I tell them much of anything that doesn’t directly bear on the landlady, the eviction, the animals, and the DMH. So how in the hell does he know, and why does he put that emphasis on the word daughter? Why does he say I can be his mother now, again with the emphasis on a certain word?

I ponder this during my breakfast. I ponder some more after I leave and go walking, for the sake of the blood sugar. I can perceive this man’s remarks, in light of what Matthew has told me, in only one way: this is some kind of threat against my daughter. This is my intellectual conclusion, but my psyche certainly doesn’t want to accept it, and so I push it away by thinking about other things. Denial. I cannot always defeat denial.

Later in the day I leave my rented room a second time to get lunch, and Matthew shows up and invites me over. I’m well steeped in my denial now, and have not thought about this stranger and his words for hours. I go to Matthew’s and am there two hours before this man comes to the surface again, and it only happens because Matthew and I have got back onto the subject of people wanting to hurt me. I’m asking him more questions, trying, and not succeeding, to get more information out of him. Then I remember the ugly guy and the things he said. Denial is, for the moment, overcome.

And what about this ugly coot this morning, I ask my Matthew. I’ve only been seeing him for a couple of weeks. What’s he all about? Why did he say those things about my daughter? How does he even know I have one? Then Matthew asks some questions of his own. When did this happen, and where. What does this guy look like, and exactly what did he say. After we go all through it, I take another of my infrequent stands: I want to know if she’s all right, I say. And I know you can find that out for me. Find out. I want to know. As I recall, I didn’t have to do too much demanding before he said Okay. Then he said, let’s go outside. I’m already used to the stupid cloak-and-dagger way Matthew does things. I’ve met the weird radio. Before I stop talking to him later that summer, I will meet the weird VCR, which eventually replaces the radio. I watch the posing in front of the window every bloody time I go there. When he says Let’s go outside, I don’t even bother to ask why.

There’s a square table in the backyard with two chairs. He says we sit there, and so we do. We sit for what seems ages in the heat, and in my restlessness to know about my daughter. At last a young guy comes out of Matthew’s building from the front door, carrying a big circle of garden hose around his shoulder. He watches Matthew as he walks from the front of the house to the back. Matthew makes a hand signal at him, and the guy goes back inside through the back door. I hate this stuff. I say Now that you’ve made your little signal to your little pal, can we go back in to the air conditioning? Not yet. So we sit some more. Finally he says we can go in.

When we get there, I ask him if my daughter’s okay. He says we have to wait a bit. He lies down on the floor and I park on the futon. We talk, and sounds are coming from upstairs. This doesn’t throw me. I’ve heard footsteps in the upstairs of Matthew’s apartment before. This time it’s a squeaking chair. Someone is sitting in it, making little movements that cause the chair to squeak. After about seven noises, Matthew comes out with a question, a disingenuous, phony question: What is that creaking noise? I bite, as always. It’s a butt sitting in a squeaky chair. I better go see who it is, he says. He goes upstairs and stays there a little while, then comes back down with a red face, sniffles, and wet eyes. He dashes right into the bathroom. When he comes out, he says the noise was a door blowing in the breeze. There is no breeze today. And in August, when that room has been emptied and I’m allowed to go into it, I will learn that there is no door. The upstairs of Matthew’s apartment turns out to be an attic that has been loosely made into a couple of rooms. The one above Matthew’s livingroom not only has no doors, it doesn’t even have a frame for one. The second room is further back and has a door. To this day I’m willing to bet my last nickle that whenever I was around, at least, that door was locked.

After the bathroom, he parks himself in his favorite chair and starts talking about something or other. Is my daughter all right, I bark at him. Yeah, she’s okay, he says with impatience. Are you telling me the truth? Yeah, I wouldn’t lie to you about that. But this time I don’t entirely believe him. I didn’t like the way his face was, and the sniffling and wet eyes, when he came down the stairs. I get angry. I take another stand, one he completely ignores. I want you to tell me yourself or send me one of your monkeys every day to let me know she’s all right. I’m speaking very angrily when I say this, and he gets annoyed at my anger. He has absolutely no justifiable reason to resent my anger. He’s the one who told me about this situation in the first place, and he is not stupid, not by a long way. Surely he has no right nor reason to expect me not to get angry at these things. He’s angry that I’m angry, and once again I just want to slap him, and so I leave.

I go to my room and start trying, without success, to reach my daughter. The sheriff’s department in her town goes to the address I give them, but she doesn’t live there anymore. They say that on Monday they’ll call her office and try to reach her there. Monday comes and goes with nothing, and I figure they forgot. But they didn’t. They’d called her and talked to her, and had only forgotten to call me. In any case, I don’t hear from her until Tuesday. All those hours of waiting since the drama at Matthew’s Sunday afternoon. Many things happened in those waiting hours that I’m not going to write about here because I’ve had enough right now of walking down these dark roads. Maybe another time.

That July, by the time I heard from the daughter on the 15th, had already seen Matthew introducing the k-word on the 2nd, the white-haired man on the 9th and 10th, and was about to produce the man in the white bandana on the 18th. It was quite literally one bizarre, hollywood insanity after another that July. There was never time to recoup, time to absorb. It just kept coming.

And from that Sundaythe 13th on, the man with the ugly face is my enemy. I see him in future almost everywhere I go, often sitting down on the sidewalk. He makes occasional nasty remarks to me over the rest of the summer, and then I leave greenfield. When I return to greenfield for a long-term stay in June of 2009 (it’s been nearly a year since I lived there), he pops up all the time again, and makes his periodic nasty remarks. Sometime in late 2009, he disappears. If he’s still in greenfield at that time, I certainly never see him again.

And also from that Sunday on, I refer to Matthew and his pals as monkeys. I do this for over a year. I even buy stuffed monkeys and carry them around with me, another one of my quirky ways of showing them, in public, how much I detest them.

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read…     Mishibone…    Neverending solitaire

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why are you still alive?

friday 1 july 2011….        (new post)

That’s another question that a collection of very lousy therapists, plus a whole gaggle of regular people, have asked me: Why are you still alive? If there are these nasty types who are so bad that you have to have this undercover protection, why haven’t they got you? It seems to me, so many of them have said, that if they wanted you this badly, they’d get you. No protection would stop it.

Most of the people who have put forth this argument have done so in a very superior and arrogant manner, whipping out their trump card and pronouncing judgment on my sanity with gloriously smug, self-satisfied smiles. Slap, slap. That’s what I want to do, but of course I don’t. There are a great many people in this world who need a good slap or two. It is this attitude I despise, this smugness. The unspoken words: The very fact that you’re not dead means you’re nuts. Well, that is indeed one thing that my continued existence could mean. But there’s one more thing it could mean, and it’s a thing no backwater greenfield graduated-at-the-bottom-of-my-class therapist would even allow as possible: I’m still alive because the protection is very efficient. I despise the attitude, but not the question. The question is one of the many that I have myself.

I’ve gone through my blog pages from the very beginning and mostly sanitized the anger I was pouring out in 2008 and 2009. There are equations in people’s heads that have been put there via trickle-down from the psychiatric community over the last twenty-five years: Emotional = nuts. Angry = nuts. Washing your hands too many times = nuts, and so on. I thought that some readers might reconsider the whole sanity issue if I took out my angriest words and sentences, or if I toned them down, and so for the most part I’ve done this. Another word I extracted almost every time I found it was the word kill. I’ve replaced it with harm, hurt, things like that. Saying that someone wants to kill you = nuts.

But that was the word in the room, and if I’m to hold to the truth as I’ve heard and seen it, I have to use that word in this post, because that was the word. On Wednesday 2 July of 2008, that was the word. Matthew and I were in the room, and we were there with the word kill. It wasn’t that people wanted to hurt me or harm or get me. It was the k-word.

Can you imagine what a shock that was to me, can you empathize with that? I’d only known for ten days that I was being protected from criminal stuff. And in those ten days, this is what I had envisioned someone possibly doing to me: a beating; broken teeth; broken bones;a stay in the hospital; maybe even as far as rape, but that was it. The idea that Judith’s pals would actually go all the way to the k-word was so ridiculous to my own mind that it never even entered my head in those ten days. That’s what I was nagging Matthew about on that July second: you’ve got too many people in the library with me all the time. I don’t like it. Nobody’s gonna beat me up in the library, for christ’s sake. And that’s when the k-word entered the room, and that’s when I kept saying You’re kidding, right? I couldn’t take it in. It took me days to take it in.

So why am I still alive? I don’t know. Matthew never told me how the protection works, how many people are involved in it, and why it is that someone doesn’t just shoot me while I’m walking along the street. No answers, no answers. The word kill was the one that Matthew used, and I have a sense that fed types from Burlington, Vermont would only get involved in the first place if it was a potential k-word situation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t believe such mucky-mucks in the cop world would have protected a nobody like me unless the k-word was in the picture.

Another question never answered? How long is this going to go on? Little crumbs that told me almost nothing were all I got. On 13 July, a very bad day (this day has to be a page of its own), I got a crumb. We were sitting across from each other at a table in his backyard, waiting for his pal to do something I wasn’t supposed to see. We were both grim. I said: This has gone on longer than you people thought it would, hasn’t it? He says Yes in one of his idiot-voices, but there is no idiot in his eyes. His eyes are intelligent and sane and serious, as they always are, and they are full of regret. There is never an alcholic, idiotic loon in his eyes, no matter what ludicrous things he is wearing or saying or doing. Matthew’s eyes are always sane, and always contain the evidence of an extremely keen mind.

Another couple of crumbs: during the first two weeks of August there was all the talk about driver’s licenses and cars and maybe going to a new apartment. Around the twelfth there was a request that I should buy him a present. I argued, but my arguing was mostly just teasing. And he says: After all this, you can’t buy me a present? And I asked if “all this” was going to be over soon, and he said, of course, Maybe. And then, during the wee hours between August 17th and August 18th, just once: it’s almost over.

I don’t know why I’m still alive. I asked him more than once, no response. How am I still alive, also unanswered. When do they get tired of me and move on to other business? Unanswered. When do you people go on to other business and stop following me around? No answer. The fact that I cannot describe the process that has resulted in me still being alive doesn’t mean I’m nuts. It means I’ve asked for the knowledge, the description of this process that kept me alive, and have been denied this information. The fact that I can’t answer these things doesn’t mean the k-word was not in that room on that day in July of 2008. The fact that these protectors chose to protect me in this hellish undercover manner, never to show me an ID, never to knock on my door and tell truth to me, does not make me nuts. It makes me their property, perhaps. Their bait, perhaps. But it doesn’t make me nuts.

In this very town, turners falls, two people over the years have mentioned the word mafia to me in relation to their own lives. Two women. In 1993, one of these women told me she and her family believed that one of her sisters had been murdered by her mafia boyfriend. In 2009, the other one told me that her former husband had been a mafia man. And my mind, my intelligent, educated mind, did not jump up inside me and say: Nuts! Inside me my mind allowed for both possibilities: the possbility of ordinary people stumbling into mob people, and the possibility that these women were very angry and hurt and wanted to find the cause of their suffering. But never nuts. I’ve thought these two trolls unstable over other things, but not over using the m-word, and not over believing that they or their relatives had unwittingly brought mob people into their lives. Why can’t that same objective, critical thinking be afforded to me.

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read…   Stolen stars…   Mishibone

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who, why

thursday 30 june 2011              (new post)

I’ve written just in the last several days about the who. The name or names that Matthew would never give, still won’t give me. He told me that people wanted to hurt me, he told me I was being protected and by whom, but he never said any names of any family or families who are the ones from whom I need this so-called protection. This lack of names is a thing that, to my own mind, speaks to my sanity, to the fact that I’m not delusional. I do believe that if I were nutty, I would simply supply the names. I’d take them out of my memory of old news stories, or whatever, but as a delusional, I would have names. It would be the names that would be a salient feature of the delusion as a story, a story that included all the necessary names needed to complete the scenario. I’m sane, and so I have no names, except that one possible Greif. But that one didn’t come from Matthew. If it had, I would be certain of that name. No other name, except my own, oddly enough, has ever come up. The grandfather that Matthew told me was a mob man had the same last name that I do, so there’s that. I would have more details if this were a delusion.

Just as important to me, the purported object of a hunt, as the who, is the why. Why? Many bad therapists and many regular people have asked me this question over the last three years. Some psychiatrists too. Why do they want you? The response I have is flimsy: because I lived in a building with a very insane and substance-addicted woman who loathes me, and she’s connected to these people by marriage, and she asked them to hurt me. My answer doesn’t live up to the drama of the situation — other people’s drama, not mine. I didn’t ask to be told by a man that I was in this kind of trouble and this kind of protection. It happened to me. The drama of crime mobs and protectors and undercover crap belongs to the mobs and to the protectors, not to me. I didn’t dream it up, and I didn’t choose it. But when I talk to others about all of this, all the drama doesn’t, of course, escape them. And rather than allowing for the possibility that this has happened to me, they prefer to stay in their denial and decide that I either invented this drama because I love drama, or I imagined it.

I want the answer that isn’t flimsy, and have always wanted it. I’ve paced around Matthew’s livingroom floor, smoking, stepping around the day’s pile of clothes-code, with tears in my eyes and with my volume escalating: But what do they care about me? I’ve never witnessed any of their big crime-doings, I never stole any of the money or the drugs. I’m nothing to their world. I pause in my pacing and crying and near-yelling to look at him and see if he will speak. Sometimes he does, and spouts some of his idiot-shtik. Nothing real. Other times he just keeps quiet. I go on: So what if their little Judith hates me and asked them to hurt me. So what! Do these gangster types go around bumping off everyone little Judith hates? Do they really spend their time and their resources that way? Don’t they have better things to do, more important things to do? I hurl these questions at Matthew repeatedly over two months, and I never get the answer. On July 26 of 2008, when he tells me about my grandfather, I ask again: So what? Is this because of Judith and my grandfather? So what? Whatever my grandfather did that made them kill him, it was over sixty years ago. If they want to bump off people in my family as some kind of a vendetta, why haven’t they been doing it for the last sixty years? Why now? Why me?

I get no logical response. I get shtik. But while I am railing about sixty years ago and vendetta and all that, I suddenly remember the murder of my cousin, and a whole new area of question and of pain floods through me: my cousin. All those years ago. I’m sitting now. The pacing is fairly rare. I usually plant my butt on the futon and do my railing in minimal comfort. So I start telling Matthew all about cousin Billy, and I can see in his eyes that he already knows, but he chooses not to say so and lets me keep talking. This has happened before when I’ve told him certain things about myself or Judith or the landlady: he already knows. It’s there in his eyes. But he’s not going to admit that to me. So, as always, I pretend I don’t see what’s in his eyes, and I don’t say You already know, and I just keep telling my facts.

When I get only a few sentences into my facts about Billy, Matthew turns his face towards the window and keeps it there. Stares out the window while I talk. Will not look at me, not even once. As I go on, as I start to cry, the side of his face that I can see, the right side, gets red. His right eye gets red. Little slow tears begin falling from his right eye, but he won’t look at me, and he won’t speak. When I finish the facts about Billy, the facts as they were told to my family long ago, I start it up again: Did they kill Billy? Did they? I want to slap his face over and over until he answers me Yes or No, but I don’t. I just get louder, I cry more. I ask the questions again. And then this, not for the first time and not for the last: You’re not gonna tell me. Same old story, you’re not gonna tell me. I have a right to know. I’m the one in this situation and I have a right to know. But who the fuck cares about my rights. Not that psycho-landlady and not the DMH and not you and your people. And then I shut up and start smoking again.

This is yet another fact that I believe speaks to my sanity: If I were delusional or lying, I would have a Why. It would be there as part of the structure of the delusion, or it would be there as a fabrication. I don’t have, and have never had, a Why of substance.

I’ve waited a long time to be able to write the things I’ve been writing for the last week, the things I deliberately left out in 2008. And when I now write them, three years later, I am there in the room again with Matthew. I’m crying and pacing and smoking and questioning. Or planted on the futon, smoking, firing questions at him. I’m there in a room with a man who says that he and others are protecting me from me from some very nasty people. In the room with a protector who says he’s fallen in love with me. I’m there, thrown out into the streets and my animals disappeared, talking to a man who says he’s in love about criminals he says want to hurt me, and every single moment of my hours and days is that much-abused word, surreal. This is not MY life as I knew it for 55 years. These things should not have happened to me. I paid my rent. My eviction was illegal. The DMH was supposed to HELP me. I’m not in a crime mob, and never was. I never did anything to this crime mob. I should not be homeless at this moment. My animals should not be hidden from me, waiting for the lethal injection. I should not be in this room with this agent-type man hearing about these bizarre things, talking about these bizarre things. He shouldn’t be in love with me, nor I with him. We should never have met. None of this is MINE.

In retrospect, I see Matthew as my handler. No, it’s not just in retrospect. I did feel that three years ago, too, but would never allow myself to use that word, even in my thoughts. I have only ever heard of the criminals getting federal handlers, but just as my protection is not the normal kind, my role as target seems to have warranted other exceptions, too. I got a handler for a while. I’ve been hearing a lot about federal handlers lately, in the news stories about Whitey Bulger, and on radio shows that just happen to be interviewing retired agents who were undercover and were, at times, handlers.

Matthew my protector. My handler. My love. My rage and torment. All in the summer of 2008. But when I write it now with no holds barred, I’m there in that room again, wanting to slap him and slap him again, until he tells me what I deserve to know. I’m there in that room crying about one painful element of all that surreality, while layers and layers of other painful elements sit just beneath the surface that I give to Matthew and to the world. I’m trying to hold, always, the tsunami of grief and anger at bay. It escapes in spurts. In my tantrums that I throw on my blogs in 2008. In my occasional outbursts to Matthew. In the tantrums that I throw all alone in my rented bedroom. And in my many bouts of grief-tears for my animals, sometimes being spilled in the libraries unabashedly, while I sit and write about these souls who were the center of my world.

I want the Who. I want the Why of substance. I deserve them. I have paid in pain, and still pay, for the right to this Who and this Why. And I will never, ever get them.

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read…  Don’t ask Mugsy’s book

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shut up; the hook doesn’t hurt

wednesday 29 june 2011                 (copying originals again)

sehnen posted on Aug 16, 2008/views 71/Tags: taim inis

saturday 16 aug 2008   greenfield

so here I am in this surreal, filthy situation that Matthew has informed me of. because of the behavior and insanity of the mob-chick herself, my fellow-tenant at my last home, I believe what Matthew has said. because of the mob cars that came to that house where we lived, I believe him. because of many bizarre things I’ve seen and heard since coming to greenfield, I believe him. because of the very serious energy coming from him — called vibes back in the seventies — when he told me these things, I believe him. because of some strange things in my own family, I believe what he has said about my grandfather.

so I believe him, whether you do or not. but I’ve asked him, and received no answers, why I’m being protected in this particular way. I only know about witness protection. the protection is arranged with the protectee. the protectors show the protectee some federal identification. the protectee is re-located by the fed types to a new home, and in very extreme cases, is given a new identity. I have never heard of the scenario being foisted on me, and when I ask Matthew questions about why I haven’t been located somewhere and given back my animals, I get nothing. when I ask him why Judith the crime-chick is not in jail, he says “Did you ever hear of big fish?” So I say yes. And then I say, So that’s what you people want, the big fish? he doesn’t answer. I nag him repeatedly: I don’t want to be protected this way anymore. I never agreed to this. I’m innocent, and I’m being treated like a criminal. I want to be protected in a home. I want to be located somewhere. tell your people that.

yeah, so he’s been talking about driver’s licenses and cars and new apartments for a couple of weeks. ain’t nuthin’ happened yet. a few days after his “big fish” remark, I came to the only conclusion I could on the skimpy facts that I have:  if the big fish want me, and if I’m not being protected in an above-board, humane way, then maybe I’m the bait for the fish. and if I am, then isn’t it just ducky for the protectors to leave me homeless, traipsing in the streets where I can attract fish. am I just supposed to be the worm dangling on the hook with no home, my animals where?, as if I were not a human being with needs and desires and a soul (not to mention rights), but only a convenient piece of federal meat? Matthew never, ever disputes the bait theory when I bring it up. is this silence an admission in itself?

well I will tell you, my slimy “protectors,” that the hook does hurt. it hurts a whole hell of a lot. it’s cruel, it’s degrading, it’s dehumanizing. lonely and ugly and insane. it deprives me of many rights as an amerikan citizen and as a human being, which I am, whether you choose to see me as that or not. if I am bait, you own the hook. you devised it and ran it through me, and I had, and have, no say. I will not shut up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   from where I sit, and with what I’ve been told by Matthew, and what I haven’t been told by him, I see that all pain is acceptable if it’s being created by the one holding the fishing rod. all rights are disposable for the dangling worm. all systems are corrupt, my fifty-five years have taught me. political systems, social systems, social service systems, cop systems, and so on. all systems are corruptible and have in fact been corrupted. it grieves me, on top of all my other grief, that Matthew and some of his colleagues, the ones who are out in the field rather than sitting in the offices, did not, do not go to bat for me and protest to the office bosses about the way my “protection” is being handled; that I’m not a criminal myself and deserve a location and deserve to see ID’s and to be told exactly what’s going on, and who’s doing it, and how long they expect it to last. and if going to bat didn’t work, there’s always whistle-blowing. as far as I know, federal employees are all protected by a whistle-blower’s law, and they can’t be fired or otherwise punished for going over the heads of their superiors to report illegal/immoral conduct. wouldn’t it be great if Matthew, who professes to love me, would do that. it would cost him nothing but some courage and some conviction and some moral outrage on behalf of the woman he loves. but Matthew is as hollow as the rest of them, it seems. the mob-chasers are as morally bankrupt as the mob. and the hook hurts only me.

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read…   Stolen stars…   Mishibone…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Share    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    website 

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the man in the white bandana

tuesday 28 June 2011             (new post)

This is a companion post to the man with the white hair. This is what happened next.

Before July 21, the day when the guy called Jim said the names Luigi and Vittorio Greif in my hearing, there was a little more excitement in store for me, and I say that both sardonically and with bitterness.

The man with the white hair disappeared from Greenfield very early on Friday 11 July in 2008. A mere one week later, on Friday 18 July, there came the man with the white bandana.

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Early on that morning, I’m having my breakfast at the health food store, sitting right beside the very large window. I can see everything on sidewalks and a good chunk of Main Street. And what I see, before I’m even finished eating, is a man riding toward the store on a bike. What takes me aback for a moment is that the man’s head is white. As he gets closer, I see that the white isn’t hair, but a bandana tied over the top of his head. When he’s even closer, I see that the bandana has a small black print on it. But I’ve been noticing other things too. His skin tone is very familiar. His body type is too. The shape of his muscles and bones, the way he holds himself on his bike, are all very like white-hair’s. This man’s facial expression is serious and grim. When he gets level with me, he turns his head and looks right at me, and it isn’t a happy look. I can see that his eyes are blue. There are a few others sitting beside the window, but he doesn’t look at them. He turns his head to the right only long enough to fix me with that not-happy look. I get up and go onto the sidewalk to keep watching him, his movements, the size and shape of his limbs, etc. When I can’t see him anymore, I finish eating and go back to my room.

I’ve been keeping spoken journals on audiotape since 2000. Back in my room, I talk into the microphone about this latest man. I say that there’s a physicality and a skin-tone that are very like the man from last week. I wonder aloud if this is a younger brother, or a cousin. There are these similarities. I also say in my journal that I’m going to the library about noon to reserve time on a computer.

This I do. All the computers are taken, and I make a reservation for one hour later. Going back out, standing at the top of the library steps, I see Matthew down on the sidewalk. Just standing there watching me. When I go down to him, he asks me to come over. I tell him I’ve just made a reservation and he asks me if I can go in and cancel it. No idiot shtik today. He’s acting like his genuine self. I get short periods of this, usually at least once while we’re together, sometimes for as long as an hour. This is the Matthew, the one not acting, that I want to be with, to talk to. The man behind the performance.

I cancel my reservation and go with him. In those days, I would go anywhere with the real Matthew. As soon as we’re in his hovel, I start grilling him about this new man. He wants to know why I think this man is related to the other one, and I list my reasons. I’ve never, thus far, seen him look depressed, until I finish my list. He does indeed look depressed. And then I do something that I didn’t do with Matthew nearly often enough: I take a stand.

I tell him I’m not going back to my room, that I’m staying with him tonight. I tell him that just in case that man is going to come riding up my street tonight with a helicopter flying over him, I don’t want to see it. And just in case there might be more people outside my windows at 2 a.m., I don’t want to be there. Once was more than enough. At first he says okay, and we talk of other things. He goes out to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and when he comes back, he starts nagging me to sleep in my room tonight, and I refuse. He tries to cajole me: Come on, it’s okay. You won’t get hurt, I promise. I tell him I know bloody well I won’t get hurt, but that if any weird things are going to happen on my street and outside my room again, I do NOT want to deal with it. This is your world, I tell him, not mine.

He’s not pleased, but he finally stops nagging and says okay. We’re both hungry, so we head up to the health food store to get supper. One or two houses up from Matthew’s there’s a very small plaza on Main Street with a laundromat and a couple of other stores. This plaza has a short driveway that goes to the street. When we reach this driveway, there’s a cop parked in it, blocking anyone else from using it. Engine shut off. The cop watches Matthew very intently as we walk by, and I watch the cop. Matthew stares straight ahead, but he’s very grim.

The health food store is a bit of a trek from that driveway, at least for my short legs, and I’d say it takes about ten minutes. We go into the store, spend some time picking out what we want, spend some more time paying and bagging, and then head back to eat in the hovel. By the time we reach that driveway again, we’ve been gone at least twenty-five minutes. And that stinking cop is still sitting there in that driveway, and still he watches Matthew intently. This time Matthew doesn’t ignore him. When we reach the passenger side window, the young cop’s face eagerly gazing at Matthew, Matthew shakes his head no. This isn’t meant for me, because we are not speaking at the moment. He just shakes his head no. The cop sees this and suddenly springs into life. Starts the cruiser and revs it loudly. Backs out of the short driveway like a bat out of hell and heads up main street at a speed that I’m sure was over the limit.

During the rest of the evening Matthew tries a couple more times to get me back to my room, without success. I stay in my stand.

Early in the morning we go out for coffee and Matthew acts bitchy and I go back to my room. I never see the man with the white bandana again. When I later grill Matthew about this, I get nothing. A few weeks later, an identical bandana will appear on the head of yet another new man in Greenfield, but that’s another post. The July 18th man is never seen again by me, to this day.

And on July 21st, Jim — another of those who is always in my face wherever I go — asks someone to “pray for the repose of the souls of Vittorio and Luigi Greif.” After he says this, he turns around and gives me a nasty look.

I have a great deal of wondering….  were they brothers, these two men, or at least cousins? why did they disappear? were they called Vittorio and Luigi? were they dead? how many of these things and people connected to each other, and how many didn’t? why did that cop sit there and apparently wait for me and Matthew to come back? why did Matthew shake his head at the cop? and so on, ad nauseam. And it all remains wondering, three years later, because Matthew would answer not one of these questions when I asked them.

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Greif, Gambino, what the hell difference does it make. The people from whom I’ve presumably been protected can be called Wienerschnitzel or Nakis or Jones, because gangsters are gangsters are gangsters, no matter what their names. The only reason I’d like to know the names is because this has happened to me. All of this sordid cloak-and-dagger, this cruel bait-on-hook, has damaged me, has hurt me. Not you. Not Matthew Lacoy. Not any of the people who have chosen not to believe me. Not Judith the crime-chick. Me. Anne Nakis. Who had a right to be treated like a human being by the psychotic landlady. Who had a right to be treated like a human being by the Department of Mental Health. Who had a right to be treated like a human being by the frigging feds. Me.

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read…    Mental hell…   Kaikenlainen

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