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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