The Amnesia Memoirs and diaries
February 1994 - 2/3
If she was transferring the money to my Chemical bank account, there was no point in her making the transfer from the BNP. So while I was calling the BNP in New York asking if they had received a transfer for me, the money was in my bank account and I didn't know it. Could this be accidental? I doubted it.
When I wrote a check to Bonarti for $1,359.60 covering my past due rent, he seemed surprised, as if he expected that I would show him the fax instead of paying him. He asked me if I was sure he could deposit the check and if I wanted him to wait a few days.
Fri. 2. 18: I rented a safe at Chemical bank. The contract states explicitly that the bank is not responsible in case of mysterious disappearance. What if someone bribed the safe guy and stole the documents I intended to keep there? But it seems that to a lot of people, even crooks, a safe in a bank vault is a good way to keep things. But is is good enough for me? What if I put there some documents and diskettes and they disappear?
Next I went to one of those long-distance calling shops. The woman at the desk was Hispanic and spoke little English. I took the phone booth right in front of the desk. The boothes were not sound proof. The doors kept the caller out of sight but not out of earshot. I assumed that nobody around would understand me since I was going to speak French, but I believe that someone speaking Spanish could understand the words "tentative d'assassinat". Considering the importance of the call I made, it must have been a self-defeating state of mind that made me take the booth in front of the desk, as if I still wanted to protect my mother somehow. But I had not seen that there was a mezzanine with more telephones.
I called the police in Evreux and told my story to the officer who picked up the phone. I told him that I had been the victim of an attempted murder and that I knew that my family was behind it because the motive was my inheritance. I also told him that my mother knew that I suspected her and that I was afraid. The policeman asked me if I had a husband or a boyfriend and I said I was alone. He said I should get a bodyguard. I said I couldn't afford one. He said he wished he could come over to New York to protect me. He asked what I was doing for a living. I said I was a musician. I told him I would write him a letter explaining the circumstances of my case and asked his name. Kunz. When I came out of the phone booth, there was a man in his thirties just outside, between the booth I had used and the wall. I had not seen him when I came to the shop and I hadn't seen him pass in front of the glass door of my booth. He could have been hiding in the booth against the wall, eavesdropping on me.
While I was paying, I noticed that there was a printer that kept records of each call. After I had paid, he started talking to me and the first thing he asked was "Are you a musician?" I said yes and from then on we spoke in Spanish. How did he know that I was a musician? I should have asked him. He would have been forced to admit either that he understood French and had been eavesdropping, or that someone had told him and that he had a hidden agenda. This was a power play, I realized at the end of the day. People letting me know that they knew things about me that they weren't supposed to know. If I didn't confront them right them, asking how they got that information, I was accepting to be the underdog in the relationship, and the need to be consistent would make me accept the other party's increasingly outrageous behavior until the end of the episode when I felt emotionally and mentally beaten-up and raped.
With my die-hard conditioning to be polite and friendly, instead of cutting short and telling him to mind his own business, I listened to him but I was on guard. He introduced himself as the artist who made the paintings that were hanging on the walls. Most of them showed a woman in profile, her skin totally white with no detailing and her big mass of hair blended into a colorful background. It was the same profile, the same white skin in all the paintings. The only difference was in the color of the hair and background. The paintings that didn't show the woman in profile were abstract and more interesting. I didn't make any comment.
He told me that he had more upstairs and we went to the mezzanine. There was a man in the front booth, visible through the glass panel. He didn't move and I didn't hear him say a word during all the time I was in the mezzanine.
The painter looked South-American Indian. He had straight black hair in a long braid. I asked him what country he came from and he said Panama. Oh! I said. You have the singer Ruben Blades running for president. He didn't answer, as if my comment took him off guard, as if he had expected me to say something else. But if he was a bona-fides painter, why would he expect me to say one thing and not another? I completely ignored the woman in profile and took a look at one of the abstract paintings. "My wife painted this" he said. "She's a painter and a sculptor like me. She's in Panama." Then I took a look at the name tag he had taped next to the painting. It bore his name. I must have given him an odd look. I didn't understand why he put his name next to his wife's painting. He took off the name tag and made a gesture that indicated that it was a stupid mistake.
Then he took a small and thick photo album and showed me some sculptures. I saw some that had a truly Indian inspiration. I thought it was wonderful that modern American-Indian sculptors would reflect their pre-Columbian ancestors'vision. There were some photos of his wife at work. "She's a beautiful woman" I said. This comment also seemed to surprise him, yet the woman was really beautiful. We talked a little more then I understood that what I had believed were modern original sculpture that had a pre-Columbian flair were in fact synthethic resin reproductions of original pre-Columbian stone sculptures. I asked why they made these reproductions. He explained that he and his wife had been commissioned by their government to reproduce these sculptures for the World-Fair in Barcelona a few years ago. The reason was that the government didn't want to take the chance to send the originals overseas. I was a bit disappointed that they were only copying instead of creating original work. I saw a sculpture of a man sitting on another man's shoulders with his legs dangling in front. The sitting man seemed to be wearing a modern hat and modern clothing so I thought with some relief that this was an original sculpture, but the man told me that it was also a copy of a pre-Columbian sculpture.
The next photo showed his wife standing in front of the sculpture and the same sculpture a few feet away, as if to show how good she was at copying. Then he picked up another photo album but I told him I didn't have the time to look. He said that he was going to exhibit at Jacob Javits Center and that if I wanted he would send me an invitation. I wrote him my address. He also wrote his on a postcard, with his phone number. It started with 666.
He asked me about my music. I said that I was a jazz singer-guitarist. He said that he knew some musicians who were playing in the crypt of St. John the Divine. Among these musicians, he said, was a drummer who played all kinds of drums and played -he seemed to look for the correct word- "meditative music" (musica meditativa). The way he spoke about these musicians made me long for the joy of playing with a group. My imagination was racing in Happy Land while he was talking about the fruitful interaction that could result from my meeting them. He must have seen the stars in my eyes. If I'd like it, he could introduce me to them he said. It just happened that he had to go to the church next sunday. How about next sunday? I said that was fine with me and that I would call him around ten in the morning. But I had caught myself dreaming and knew it was a danger signal. Maybe this man had a hidden agenda and was baiting me with the prospect of introducing me to other musicians. But his offer was making me angry. After all I was big enough to meet any musician without a middle-man.
Back home, I was perplexed by this encounter. I'd like to meet musicians but... I looked at the name, address and phone number the painter had written. His last name was Robleto. It was written in capitals but the T plunged by two thirds below the alignment of the other letters. And there was this 666. Buildings have no thirteenth floors in America, but obviously people have no qualms with the number 666 for their street address or their phone exchange number. I looked at the postcard. It was from a gallery in Florida. It showed copies of works by great painters, of Van Gogh's Irises among others. It said something like "A masterwork on the wall is better than money in the bank".
What stood out was the fakery that pervaded the whole thing with Robleto: the die-cut profile of the white woman, the synthetic resin copies of pre-columbian stone sculptures, the painter's name in place of his wife's and then the postcard of the gallery offering copies of masterpieces. I had the choice either to take these indications into account and avoid any further involvement, or to disregard them, explain them away. If I were dying to meet these musicians that the painter had proposed to introduce me to, I would have disregarded the warning signals. Then who knows what would have happened. But I would have been asking for troube. How could I expect that anything positive would result of an involvement with a guy who gave out so many signs of artistic fakery? I would have to delude myself. Plus there was the number 666 and the T of Robleto's handwritten name that plunged like a dagger. I decided not to phone and not to go and stayed home instead, enjoying my calm routine of reading, writing, playing the guitar, while the guy was expecting me to fall into his trap.
After mulling over this event for a few days, I established the connection with Joey's visit two months ago. Now I knew why he had asked me all these questions about the sculpted animals. He was collecting information to set up a trap for me with the help of Robleto. There was an astonishing number of coincidences between what I had said to Joey and the situation with Robleto.
While I lived at Harry's, before moving to Jessie's, I had gone one sunday to a Latin-American fair that is held every year at Jacob Javits Center. At this fair I bought the animal sculptures, representing two strange birds, a lizard, an anteater and the biggest rodent whose name I've forgotten, with its round instead of pointy face. The vendor had explained to me that they were made from the root of a tree by Indian tribes. I also bought, from a Panamanian vendor, a bolero whose front is decorated with the abstract, intriguing appliqué work of Panamenian Indians.
Now not last summer but during the two previous ones, Bonarti had showed interest in the bolero when I was wearing it and had approached and touched it and asked me what it was, and I had told him that it was made by Panamenian Indians. Then Joey learns that I bought the animal sculptures at a Hispanic fair and that they're made by Venezuelan Indians. Maybe he mentioned my computer only to disguise his interest in the animals. Joey tells Bonarti and Bonarti makes the connection between the bolero and the animals, and knows that I bought them at the annual Hispanic Fair at Javits Center. So he puts all the elements together and recombines them into a situation that for me will have some familiarity since the elements are taken from my experience. So a-priori it would favor my willingness to participate in an experience with which I would have some degree of familiarity.
So what's Panamenian now is Robleto, although he didn't seem to have heard of Ruben Blades. He is a sculptor so we have the sculpture reference. He says he's going to exhibit at Javits center, which is where I bought the bolero and the animals.
In his paintings he represents a caucasian looking woman in profile with very pale skin, although he is of Indian blood. So we have a reference to painting, and the caucasian woman could be a reference to me, to make me believe that Robleto is attracted by the type of woman I belong to physically. Maybe, who knows, it was expected that I would volunteer to model for him or just that I would feel accepted?
I suspect that he made several almost identical paintings in very little time and exhibited them to bait me. This would explain why he had put his name next to both abstract paintings and the woman paintings. To explain the difference in style, he said that the abstract paintings were his wife's, because if I had known that he had painted them all himself, it would have made me suspicious. It was not conceivable that the same painter would be able to paint honestly in both styles, so one of them was fake and it was the caucasian woman's die-cut profiles. But he didn't expect me to read the name tags and I caught him in his lie. I was astounded that a painter would put his name on hiw wife's painting. It couldn't be a mistake, although that's how he explained it.
Then there's the bait in the music trip: the word meditative. The meditative trip goes back since after I returned from France in the fall of 90. I was coming back on 57th street from Carnegie Hall where I had inquired about music classes at the French School. There was a guy sitting on a tripod stool showing a palm-reading map that looked exotic. I stopped and asked the guy who explained that he had studied palm-reading for several years in India. He offered a brief session on the sidewalk for five dollars and I accepted. He said things that were accurate and that convinced me that he was good. He said that he made house calls and I agreed to have him do a $50 in-depth reading at my home in the coming days. He came and gave me a reading which I taped. He advised me to meditate and gave me visualizations which I didn't find enticing. He spoke of a flow of dark green coming up from my left leg, a flow of dark blue color coming up from my right, and the two merging in the torso in a brown color. Anyway, he went to some length to encourage meditation. He said he didn't see any talent for music nor for writing, except, after I insisted, maybe for songwriting. This made me doubt the value of his reading. He also said that I should move out, that it wasn't good for me to stay in this neighborhood in this building with bars on my windows, I suggested that I move to Amsterdam in the Netherlands if I didn't want to live too close to my family. Amsterdam is another subliminal message. I'll have to get back to it but when I try to lay flat all the references and coincidences, it turns out at there are references within references, stories within stories like in the Arabian Nights except it's me telling them and not Sheherazade. An infinity of mirrors.
and he said that I'd be better off not fighting for my inheritance.
Fortunately dare I say, I am not a psychic consumer and I realize that it's very easy to bribe a fortuneteller to tell one's enemy what one wants him to believe. I have turned down a lot of them who offered me their services and I have good reason to believe that many if not all of them were paid by my enemy to discourage me from my enterprises, way-lay me from my strong points and my destiny as a social human being, mislead me with false prediction or psych me out one way or another. Besides even if they're honest, how can you explain that you entrust your and other people's lives to a human being who may make a mistake? This fat lady with outrageous make up and dirty fingernails, you're giving her too much power. Do you really believe that you don't know better?
How can you allow someone else to make the decision for you? Well they don't exactly tell you what to do but you draw the conclusions that they may want you to draw, and take the action that they want you to take. If someone pays them to say whatever to an advice-seeker, why shouldn't the fortunetellers take the money if policemen, doctors, lawyers and judges take it?
On a december afternoon while I was selling my hats on Prince street there was this guy who approached me saying that he was a card-reader, as if he had assumed that I would jump at the occasion. When I told him with a smile that I wasn't interested he was pissed of and said "Well, fuck you." Last summer there also was this woman on Prince street who came to me while I was selling my summer berets, sid she was a psychic, started to ask me a lot of questions, and finally asked if she could set up next to me. I finally told her off. Then later or maybe one or two days later, a woman asked me if I knew where she could find a psychic. I had answered I knew about a psychiatrist but not a psychic. Then there were other women who seemed to have encouraged me to consult with their own crystal-gazer. And long long ago, in or around 75 when I had this doomed affair with JC Roche, he had taken me during a car outing to a palm-reader in a little village in Provence. He had had a reading first while I waited in the car, and then he paid for my own reading, the only thing he really bought for me and that I hadn't asked for. This woman had said to me things that I remembered for a long time and which have influenced my future at that time. If you trust a FT, then you fulfill the FT's prophecy, not even your own.
So the likelihood that my mother would use FT's as indirect subliminal messengers is nothing farfetched considering that she was a connoisseurs in the occult sciences like astrology, numerology, that she was always up to date with out-of-the-way therapies and fantastic philosophies like the Kabbalah (she even had my father's store named "La Cabale"). She had a friend numerologist and I believe she consulted with her quite a bit. She held her in great esteem and the lady actually looked wise and gentle. It is for reasons of numerology that my mother changed my name from Brigitte to Axelle when I was 14.
Now in my work of cataloguing the events of past and present, I have to separate the messenger from the message and indicate the context.
So from the general outlook, a FT is the kind of person that my enemy would chose to be a messenger for me. Other people have been professionals like lawyers and doctors including psychotherapists, others have been teachers, others have been supposedly experts, still others were men or women I was attached to. Anyway, people who carried some authority and whose words I would take into account.
So this palm-reader was the first injection (like of a vaccine) of the meditative concept. Personally until then I had never been attracted by any new age or meditation techniques, the people you meet in these spheres being a bit too much for me. There is just too much room for blind faith and charlatanism. I cannot help thinking that all these charismatic leaders and thinkers are just manipulating people who cannot leave without a leader to tell them what to do. Then there was this street vendor whom I met on Prince Street last november.NDA (note de l'Auteur)
I realize that I haven't related all the events that happened since I started to write this diary last July. I filtered out some events because at the time they occurred, they didn't seem to pertain closely to the major problems I was dealing with. My hat business was not as important as the goings-on in my family with the estate and the personal injury lawsuit, and I neglected to write about the developments of Voilà. Another reason I didn't write about them is that there was something I didn't quite buy about them, and they went into the "small unsolved mysteries" file, along with innumerable others on which my subconscious mind had been relentlessly working all these years.
So I omitted to mention them and all of a sudden, months after the event, it emerges from my memory by association with a new event, in a context that gives it meaning as being one of the components of a pattern. So it is only after the second element of the pattern appears that I can know there IS a pattern. And knowing that it has taken a THIRD element of the pattern to make me aware of it, I am going to attempt from now on to structure this pattern search by theme more than by daily entry, although I have to keep up with the daily events too. But having realized that if I stay home nobody can bother me and that I need time to make sense of what's going on, the best choice is to stay home and write and make the past catch up with the present. 40 years old or thereabouts is a good time to achieve a vision of one's past that makes sense with the present, and the only ways I can join both is by pursuing the interests I had as a child, before my psyche became marred and warped, and by suffering that my family members give free rein against me to their primitive hatred. It seems that there are new little insults almost daily, like the bathroom being un-painted after a plaster job, or it's something else, and it's just like back home when I was a kid, there was always an unpleasantness that was foul play and ruined a day or two of my life.
I might list all the ways I feel I have been manipulated starting in childhood to illustrate my point. Isn't this after all the essence of investigation? Once you've found a pattern you can stop being victimized and you can predict the future, more or less, but hopefully enough to limit the damage and, even more hopefully, return to the sender unexploded the charge of hatred and malice.
During that month, I had been trying to find street vendors for my hats and had gone to several places in the city. This gave me the opportunity to experience and pinpoint a modus operandi I had not been aware of so far. One day at Columbus Circle, I saw a man who was selling hats, scarves and other winter stuff. He looked nice. By this I mean he looked like an honest dude. I had looked at him talking with a passer-by and found him sympathethic. So I thought he was worth talking to and I approached him. First I asked him if he was a veteran. He said yes and I explained that I was a designer and that I was looking for vendors. I said I couldn't get a vendor's license myself since I wasn't a veteran. I told him about my berets and asked him if he would be interested in trying to sell them. He told me to come back to show him a few. I said I would return the same day in the afternoon. When I left him there was a tall white man in business attire who seemed to be observing the scene but I didn't look at his face. When I returned later that afternoon the vendor had left. It's true it had been raining but there were other vendors selling books. A normal reaction to the rain would have been to wait it out. I asked the vendor next to his spot where he was and he told me the guy had left because of the rain. I returned the next morning and although I was ready to make it easy for him to sell my hats, he said that "people around here don't buy stuff that costs more than fifteen dollars." He was setting up at this time and I noticed that his stand was unusually long, with three or four tables in a line. I asked him if he didn't have problems with the police about the length of his stand and he said that if the police gave him a summons for it, he would lie to the judge (and he insisted on it, saying it at least twice) and say that he hadn't exceeded the regulations. I felt immediately that this thing about lying to the judge was a reference to my personal injury problem. Was he telling me that it was OK to lie to a judge?
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