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.

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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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robin hood, riding through the glen

friday 24 june 2011…           (back to copying originals)

sehnen posted on Aug 12, 2008/views 71/Tags: waiting for friar tuck, no singing

~~~  I know someone who is 54 today. I’m neither celebrating this person nor cursing them. Simply noncommittal.

~~~  Tonight I’m wearing plaid. Plaid has been sickeningly prominent lately in the clothing of Matthew Lacoy and his pals. Occasionally Matthew will leave a great pile of a certain type of clothing in the middle of the livingroom of his two-story apartment. He leaves them in the only room of his two-story apartment where I ever sit. He could leave them upstairs. I’ve come to feel that these piles are meant to be seen by me, but what they mean is anyone’s guess. You won’t believe this, of course, because it’s more fun just to call me nuts, but I have seen many other oddities in the behavior of Matthew and his pals that you don’t even know about yet, and I have learned by observation (not imagined via insanity), that these oddities have a meaning to Matthew and his gang. It’s a language I can’t understand because no one has taught me the vocabulary. And they never will. These piled clothes —- sometimes they aren’t even dirty, haven’t even been worn. Clean and creased from the package. So it was with the great pile of plaid shirts. Clean and creased from package. A line from a Scottish folk-song sings in my brain every time I see him or one of his pals in plaid (which is many times a day):

         They’ve but hired young brigands with belted-up plaids.

The brigands of my days. The landlady; the crime-chick; the goons at the Department of Mental Hell; Matthew and his pals; and the crime-chick’s pals too, if Matthew’s words are true. Since I have my reasons for believing his words are true, exactly what am I supposed to do in a moment-to-moment stress that is impossible to describe? What the landlady and the DMH did, and the resulting loss of home, way of life, and everyone I love. What Matthew and his pals and their opponents do every single day. What am I supposed to do with a load of stress and anger, grief and emptiness, that is larger and heavier than I can describe? I don’t know what you would do, but these are some of the things I do… I come and dump my emotions into these blogs. I suppose the emotionality is one of the things that leads people to decide I’m delusional. Emotional = nuts. But I have to sit at a computer and dump some of the load before I can proceed with the day… Sometimes I walk the streets with little stuffed birds that sing their song when you squeeze them. Every time I see one of Matthew’s pals, or one of the crime-chick’s, I squeeze the little bird and make it sing. My own quirky way of saying to them in a public forum that I see them and that I despise them…  Sometimes I sing right in a store or restaurant, or as I walk the street. Just at a normal volume, but people hear. I do this because I want to scream very loudly. At Matthew and his pals, at crime-chick’s pals, at case managers from the DMH. But screaming is not socially permitted, so I sing to release some pent-up anger instead. This public singing is also not terribly socially acceptable, but nobody throws me out or puts me in jail for it.

~~~  Lately Matthew has been saying that maybe I’ll be getting a new apartment very soon, and he’s said it more than once. On a Sunday nine days ago he made sit with him in his backyard for close to an hour in the heat. I kept asking him what or who we were waiting for, and all I got was:  Well you might be in a car driving to a new apartment.  And about every other day for two weeks he’s been asking if I have my driver’s license, and saying that he’ll be getting his new one very soon. On Saturday one of his pals said to me, in a ridiculous manner that I don’t even have the energy to describe, that a town called Nottingham (in New england, not Old england) may figure in my life soon. So I’m thinking of getting more deeply into the Robin Hood legend. It’s one I love anyway. How could a marxist-leaning person like myself not love it? Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor? It’s right up my street. So, when I get finished with my plaids, I’m thinking of buying earthy greens and browns, and maybe tights, though it’s too hot to wear them right now. I have a robin-hoody hat in my storage unit, but who knows which box or bag to look in to find it. That hat is dear, dear to me. I found it one morning when I was walking my dogs at the river in turners falls. Just sitting there all alone on a picnic table at 5 a.m. I kept it. For a short time I used to let the dogs take turns wearing the hat, but as they were not terribly fond of this sport, I gave it up and kept the hat for myself. And the last two of those four dogs were stolen from me five months ago. Five months ago exactly, on the 12th of March.

~~~  dona mihi pacem…  peace is not happiness. peace isn’t the restoration of things stolen. there is no moment coming in which broken things can be made whole, or impossible things made possible. but peace at the age of fifty-five, would be, at least, peace.

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read…    Lifelines Scealta liatha

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thursday 18 february 2010

 

Page Ten       (new post)

turners fails

If you’ve read any of the previous posts, you can see that I’m copying the original Sehnen posts from Soulcast into this new Sehnen blog. It’s a time-consuming project, but I can’t deal with the slowness on Soulcast anymore.

It was my first blog, and I’ve probably said that already. I chose the site because the name of it precisley fit what I was going to do: cast my grieving, outraged, frightened soul onto the internet. And I still  like the name Soulcast, but I can’t deal with the site’s problems. And I’m still casting my soul — in sorrow and despair and anger and in truth — onto the internet. My way of life was stolen. Consequently I don’t have a hell of a lot to do besides write.

I’ll say some things here that I didn’t say in 2008, as well as some things that I did say, but not thoroughly. I had waited from March 12th until June 6th of that year for the DMH to come up with an apartment and give me back at least some of my animals. Things that were said to me by my mailman, one of my bank managers, one of my doctors, and an ordinary Turners citizen had led me to believe that everything was going to be okay, that I would get my animals back (those who hadn’t yet been killed). As it turns out, I was absolutely right and not delusional to have believed this, but I had to wait a long time to hear it said. Late in 2009, my then therapist told me he had asked some questions and found out that there had indeed been a plan to get me an apartment and give me back some animals, and that I had been “screwed by the system.” The plan had fallen through. He didn’t say what the plan had been or why it hadn’t happened. I am sick to bloody death of people keeping from me, as if I were not an adult with rights, information about my animals and my life. But it’s still going on, three years later. And wasn’t it nice that a mailman and a doctor and a banker and a citizen got to know there was this plan, but anne nakis didn’t get to know.

So I was waiting. I said in my blogs and to other people that my animals and I were finished, but in my heart I didn’t fully believe it. I believed there was a plan. And I kept that as my secret, in a superstitious belief that if I talked about this plan I believed in, I’d somehow jinx it. Shut up about it and wait was my strategy.

But while I was waiting, there were these folks who were in my face all the time, Matthew among them. They had started doing this on March 13, my first day out on the Greenfield streets, and it continued every single day. As time went on, it became more egregious. Already in April I was complaining to my friend about these people. I had lived in the Greenfield-Turners community for over twenty years, and I’d never had such a thing occur. It exceeded by far the dictates of coincidence. The only explanation I could find for these people swarming around me like flies on poop was a weak one, but it was all I had. Over the months from January to April, I had made many complaints about the lack of service I’d received from the DMH. I complained to the Northampton and Boston DMH offices. I complained more than once to the governor’s satellite office in Springfield. I complained to Health and Human Services. My case manager at DMH made a special point of whining to me how much trouble I’d caused them.

I’d complained so much to people higher up than the Greenfield DMH, and I’d said so often that if I lost the animals, I’d die of grief (and I absolutely believed this. It baffles me as I sit here, on a couple of levels, that I’m still alive), that I began to wonder if these people who were always dogging me were some kind of watch-dogs the DMH had hired to make sure I didn’t commit suicide before they implemented their plan. And I knew it was stupid, this theory, but when my brain is presented with a puzzle, it’s compelled to solve it. If one solution turns out to be incorrect, then brain will start over to find another one, but there must be a solution. My brain can’t exist in a daily state of unsolved puzzle, and neither can my psyche. My solution was stupid because I had never said I would kill myself. I’d said I would die of the grief. It was stupid because these watch-dogs wouldn’t be able to stop me doing suicide, if that’s what I wanted to do. It was stupid because the DMH has many depressed clients, and why would they put watch-dogs on just one? But here was the puzzle of these people literally stalking me, and all the trouble I’d supposedly made for the DMH was the only solution I could, at that time, come up with.

I grew so sick of these people, Matthew and the rest. I tell you it was so bad that many times I would come out of a public restroom to find one of them standing right there, so close that I almost hit them with assorted bathroom doors. And no, they did not want the bathrooms. As soon as I came out, they went away, or they would follow me. I would rage inside that I couldn’t even bloody pee without these people hovering around me. They would sit at tables next to mine and watch me eat. On and on. It was real, it was extremely obvious, and it was extremely upsetting. Around the fifth of June I decided I would no longer be a client of the DMH, and then this would all stop. I wrote them a letter saying I no longer wished to be their client. When you do this, there’s a thirty-day waiting period in which you can change your mind, if you like. This meant that about July 7th, I would be officially quit of the Department of Mental Hell. Yes, I thought about my animals and the plan. I thought my letter of termination would spur my case manager into finally telling me about this plan, so that I would remain a client, get an apartment, and get animals back. But the letter spurred nothing, and over the thirty days of waiting I decided that the plan had already been ditched.

The thirty days would pass. I would no longer be their client. I did yet more waiting. Waiting to watch the stalkers not stalk me anymore. Waiting to see them just go about their own business in the shops and on the streets, like everybody else, and leave me alone. But by mid-June, it hadn’t stopped. It had got worse. So brain-that-hates-puzzles goes back to the drawing board in late June. Solution one was not correct. These colossal pains in my bum have nothing at all to do with the DMH. Now what?

On 23 June, a Monday, I’m walking Main Street between one hanging place and another, and suddenly my crime-chick neighbor comes back to mind. The mob cars that had come to the house to visit her in August and September of 2007 came back to mind. Every single thing she had done to torment me for seventeen months came back to mind. Her dealing drugs in the backyard came back to mind. It was the lightbulb going on in the head; it was the proverbial epiphany: this all has something to do with her. And why didn’t I think of this sooner, because if I had, I wouldn’t have terminated with the DMH just yet.

A day or two later, I found Matthew doing his vigil again beside the health food store. I’ve written this part before, and to me it’s worth writing again. I say to him: You people following me and watching me all the time. You’ve got nothing to do with the DMH, do you? He shakes his head and says in one of his idiot voices: No. Then I say: this is something criminal, isn’t it. And he nods and says in the same voice: Yes. And for the second time since March 12 — only three and half months — the fabric of my days was torn to threads. Still ahead of me on that day: On 2 July, a week away, Matthew Lacoy would pick up those unraveled threads that were my hours and days, and he would cut them up into even more pathetic little pieces with his own special pair of scissors. Those scissors were the one word kill.

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read…    All my stars…   Stolen stars

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 all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.