(This installment is a continuation of #14. I broke them up to keep to the roughly 2000 word post. I, as author, try to give Adam’s voice more of a transparency to resolve the personal recapitulation of his own identity in order to bring his story close to its end and to finally present the actual story of The Confessor of Littlefield.
It’s important to remember that Adam is a middle age man going through an identity crisis. His persona solidifies more with his conviction of transcendence. With the idea of transcendence, he resolves his struggle with the idea of god alive in him, giving him the authority to do what he should will. The psycho-sexual identity that’s been troubling him is no longer a matter of sin. Transcendence gives him self justification.
A recapitulation of self is what he has been doing with his characters, trying to understand himself through the contradictions he displays through them. I, as author, am trying to sculpt the development of a character and a community, by entering the mind of someone who is obviously angered by the way he is perceived and personified, and to show the mind at work to resolve identity and come to terms with community. Remember, he is a 5’7″ Chinese/Puerto Rican who grew up in foster homes in an overwhelmingly Dutch and German community.
The story he conceives for the authors of the three suitcases of poetry and journals has its foreshadowing in the narrative that has brought the novel to this point. The authorial tone changes to the first person taking control of the recapitulation. The novel, the story Adam wants to tell of Bill Dinklpfus and John Hapflik lacked character resolution. What was to become of them if Adam didn’t know what was to become of himself?
I got the idea to do this after hearing for the past 30 years the same question, “who are you writing about?” Or, “why do you let these things bother you?” I am a fiction writer, I say. It’s not “what” people say, but “why” that makes them unique. “Whatever,” is the type of answer I usually get. I have never been quite so confident I really know another person as so many others seem to. Either that or I simply refuse to stop learning.
Henry James is an influence on this particular novel and its psychological narrative. The persona, the style and structure of stream of thought of Adam’s narrative tone is taken from Henry Miller and Norman Mailer. The style of these two authors, and some of Bukowski, lend themselves to a self possessing persona in my writing. Bukowski influences me with his simplicity, mainly, though his work doesn’t have the vocabulary of Henry Miller. Norman Mailer’s descriptive and bellowing tone is a tool in my drawer, as is Henry Miller’s narrative voice that speaks directly and develops a reader’s vocabulary with an entertaining persona.
“What is, is natural?” asked Edwin Umbrian. “What’s today; that’s so all important?”
“But Edwin, there is all that brought today, this moment to what it is,” the voice must’ve said.
Edwin’s words echo the talkative clerk in accounts payable who wants to slice unnecessary university subjects like Latin. “English is the only language we speak now. We don’t need to know what was “knowed” before.”
Sure. New laws, iron laws; every generation dismissing the generations that came before and coming to the same conclusions. To keep building our great Walls; that’s what’s necessary. That’s what we need; yours to you, mine to me. And our inalienable right to the pursuit happiness as long as it is Supreme Court acceptable. Btw, are you this or that? You can tell us, we don’t care what you do.
Why do you need to know, again?
“Just need to label a chicken a chicken.”
Corroboration; collaboration for your bullshit to you.
Edwin says, “you need to tell the weeple what happened to you.”
“Fuck you, bitch. Don’t you have a passing lane to get into so you can slow down traffic behind you? Suzy Pusscrotch – on your way home to your boyfriend, the domestic abuser with a big dick and little tolerance for wage earning?”
Shouldn’t have said that to her. A bundle of bony knuckles behind the ear; blackness. I am gone.
I never quite lose consciousness but I am unable to move, lying in a pool of blood, which is coming from my nose. I can’t move and my nose is pressed into the field of vision in my left eye. There is a teeming numbness from a billion furious molecules screaming themselves into a throbbing throng of pain. I have to tell my body it can move. It has to. Come on, goddammit! Because this is a goddamned moment if there ever was one. I watch from beyond the sky as I get to my feet and begin to move. I am staggering forward, weightlessly buzzing, straining against gravity. I strain with all my might to move forward. When I give myself to floating, the tightness in my stomach abates. When I no longer care if I fall down or not, the blood flow returns full throttle over my traps and up both sides of my neck. Orange and yellow flames shriek upwards out of the sharp points of my gargoyle ears.
I should’ve known better than to answer that bitch; just some punk woman yelling her provocative, snotty bullshit. I smelled cologne, body odor, tobacco and whiskey when I was hit; the collection of smells together a unique identifier. I have sampled this identifier while walking to my porch. I know before I feel nothing in my back pocket that my wallet is gone. I picture hyena like grins if I make eye contact with any of the Latino males who live in the two rooms in back of me.
“Jesus, what happened to you,” asks Jimmy as I go to the cooler for a bottle of malt liquor. I never talk from a distance. I get the bottle and bring it to the cash register.
“Got mugged, man.”
“No shit; where at?”
“Out back. In the parking lot.”
“What? No way!” Jimmy looks at me and shakes his head. Jimmy looks kinda like the dude who was gonna shoot Ethan Hawke in the movie Training Day but doesn’t because Ethan Hawke saved the guy’s cousin from being raped. “What were you doing back there anyway?”
“Some wench was yelling at me from back there after I came out of the store last night. I walked back there to see what her problem was and got jacked from behind.”
“Hate to say it, but you should’ve known better, man.”
“I fucking know it. That’s why I didn’t call the cops. I couldn’t identify the bitch or the guy who hit me. Could tell the officer what the guy smelled like but not what he looked like.”
“Oh yeah, what did he smell like?” Jimmy now looks kinda like the old TV actor, Ed Marinaro.
“I dunno, how I imagine clean ape hair would smell, perhaps with a shake of piss on it.”
“Hah hah, okay!”
“Mmm hmm. Well, oh, a couple packs of smokes.”
“You got it.” Jimmy gets the smokes, his boots don’t scuff the worn wooden plank floor; they are sturdy Buddha steps. He looks at me with soft, drooping ears and lucid blue eyes. “Hey man, don’t worry about it,” he says and leans forward with a hand on my shoulder across the counter. “You’re safe. All right?”
I am not in the mood for the silly togetherness talk of WE telling each other that there is an unseen agent watching over us. But Jimmy stops me a second longer, and just like the guy in the Training Day, repeats “right?” with an upward turn of an eyebrow.
“Ok, Jimmy. Take care, man.”
Every middle-aged man faces the youthful, unknowing knower who is positive that you are a relic from ancient days. And but for the advanced something or other of his generation you would surely collapse and expire from ineptitude. The youthful eye is mesmerized by the We to escape the gloom of rules.
Where one church once said, “immoral,”a thousand churches have sprouted up to say, “we alone are the true voice of morality. We know what is right and we will do evil to make you do good if it is justified. God will judge us, not you. It is not completely wrong to inflict punishment if the end justifies the means. We are not a lynch mob. No, really. We just believe in taking care of things for ourselves.” (as in the Ox Bow Incident) “The country belongs to criminals serving themselves and not God,” they say, and point their guns at you .
One puts his conscience on lay away for a lifetime of moral equivocation; it is easier to side step all the suffering. But when the father set up a body cam on everyone, being omniscient and all, he gave them good ones, not like the ones the cops have that malfunction and turn off by themselves all the time. He’s heard all the baloney-assed double talk which the self uses to justify, equivocate and exonerate itself.
“I just want to go to heaven,” were Edwin’s parting words to the world of his existence, as if he finally told me what it was that he wanted to tell me all those times he tried to pull me into some bullet point dialogue where words and lines were aligned to meet all the answers. Edwin needed that manipulation of his mind because he truly couldn’t stand himself. He didn’t need to be coerced into finding disgust with himself and then be given redemption. He was grandiose beyond the forgiveness received nonetheless. Oh, glory be to God, I am saved! “You can hate me now for all I care because it’s God yer hatin’,” Edwin once said, completely puzzling the young college student stopping by to talk to Connie Cliffnut. Poor kid was just hating a jakwad narcissist who looked him straight in the eye and addressed a straw man.
Before you get the idea I am a goody two shoes, Edwin, I, too, can be a cynical, peptic faced jackwad. We both see ourselves in the mirror and are horrified. I too, personify and unfairly associate others with some supposition or another. I am aware that I, too, am Jim VanOvershittz leaving his motor home parked at the gas pump of the Hudsonville Dining Room/Gas station while he takes the family inside for some supper. He gives his son a nasty snarl after the kid tells him he should move the motor home.
“Public property. I got a right to do anything I want. Don’t they teach ya about yer rights in public school?”
“In school I got rights. And this isn’t public property.”
“Shut up and hold the door for your mother.”
At times, I am also the person on the freeway stepping on the gas when he sees a semi ahead. I drive 25,000 miles every year. Everyone does it from time to time. It is a fact that more than 50% of the time that the person at the front of a pack slows 3-5 mph after transferring from the right lane and in front of a line of cars. 98% probably would deny doing it as often as they really do. But the fact is, if everyone uses speed control nobody is fluctuating speed, nobody is racing, nobody is passively aggressively bitch slapping others for imagined intent or lack of attention, or imposing themselves on others. Most bottle necked traffic would move more efficiently, save lives, prevent a lot of time consuming passive aggressiveness. America does not want to give this up. America will not allow this daily arena of passive aggression towards one another to be taken from it. It is hard to conceive of society allowing fleets of trucks among the traffic without human drivers to give a finger to on occasion. That’s a point in support of religion, Edwin Umbrian, it allows us to make war on each other; with passive aggression; with the notion of our own grandiose delusions of being paid attention to by an adoring God.
To be cynical means to not expect any more than this; that everyone is sort of an asswipe, or whatever social media vomit talk says you are. Because I don’t use the language of the We and accept the drama of “collective” narcissism, the context of the day, the sink hole of categories superimposed by the suppositions of others which define you to you, it is “I” who is viewed, categorically, as the narcissist. But I AM that selfish narcissist who psychotically thinks that every living organism should be privy to his wishes. Still, I see in this insufferable, idiotic trying-to-deny-I’m-a-We person a far superior derivative of reality than the religious tragedian, real life hero that the TV network creates and makes you believe is a panacea.
The real organism has infinite possibilities. It is matter and energy, electro-chemico stimulated, lives in an enclosed environment of a finite number of minerals defined by chemistry. It has the ability to adapt and to regenerate cells, regulate itself, heal itself in ways beyond the imagination once it develops the technology to do so and the business assholes have figured out who will be allowed to profit and how much. “Give us time,” they say. “We’re working on it.
It’s just that most are bent on suicide it seems, each generation with its hands behind its head and taking a roughly 90 year walk to the great feast of crows. When the chemical and mineral elements have been conquered, we shall have achieved immortality. We will have met the grade of creator. We will have met the ultimate challenge of existence and no longer be a generational animal with a finite constitution and ninety years of equivocation.
The superstitious don’t want to play God and will murder you for such a thought. They don’t know that if it is indeed an outside force they are talking to when praying but they could give a convincing argument they are talking to themselves as IF they were talking to an ethereal being. Every person is in solitude with himself at all times while its body other performs the drama. When the knower and the doer are one and the same it is the difference between waiter and playing-waiter. God isn’t a Being but a force that we generate with intention, a will to power. With this power I create an infinity of selves, all embodied in the end in a way that couldn’t have quite been calculated while performing. With positive illusion, the self adapts and keeps alive an energy of positive illusion despite the illusion of a straw man he imagines that others see when they see him.
Behold, the man has split himself into two strands of DNA. We have let him understand this much about himself but we cannot let him go much further until we get another liberal on the supreme court who will let a Republican with money buy and patent the process toward immortality.