The Amnesia Memoirs and Diaries
May 1994 - 2/2

Late last saturday night, that is on sunday at 3.10 am, I called Bonarti's and left a message complaining about the loud music. I held the phone without speaking for a while to let him hear the music I could hear in my room and said "Something has to be done. I'll talk to you about it next week."

Today I saw one of his cars parked in front of my window. I prepared to tape my inteview with him and went out with my rent check and first went to the bodega with my big bag. Upon returning I opended Bonarti's office door and went in. I started to tape after he had humg up. I asked if he remembered my message and he said he didn't. I said I had called at 3am the previous sunday and he said again that he didn't remember my message. I said the club downstairs was too loud too late and right away Bonarti mentioned the noise pollution complaint board. About two weeks earlier the woman next door, the mother of a litle girl, asked what I thought about the club downstairs, saying that she was upset particularly since she has a baby. I said that the zoning law forbid the commercial use of this space and that the owner of the club said it was non-profit only to escape the zoning law. So maybe that was why Bonarti pointed my attention away from himself by saying he would call the noise pollution complaint office.

Then he said that I was not the first one to complain. "In this building?" I asked. "No, somewhere else." Then he asked me when the problem occurred and I said during the week end, that is from Friday to Sunday night. He said that the club owner was an asshole. But if I complain with the Noise Pollution I'll need you as a witness. Would you be a witness?" I hesitated slightly. It had not completely sunk in that he was asking me to testify for something I didn't know about and I said sure no problem. But now that I think about it, all I can testify to is that I live in a building owned by him and that there are noise problems, but I can't testify regarding the other woman's noise problem, even though the building where she lives is owned by Bonarti. Is he trying to trick me into committing perjury like the Slavits did in an attempt to destroy my moral standards and make me amenable to "going ahead with my story" regarding my knee injury?

I also mentioned the rat problem, saying that I heard rats in the kitchen every night and that it was because the garbage pail was too small and garbage was strewn on the floor. I said we needed a garbage pail twice as big because at 3pm it was already full. Bonarti asked about the pail convers. I said if the pail was too small the cover couldn't be used, it was not a matter of people not covering the garbage pail. Bonarti said the reason he didn't put bigger garbage pails was to avoid the bags being too heavy to carry. Then he suggested putting a second garbage pail. There was some talk about asking Glenn to collect garbage after three pm, as if it was only a trifle when it was hard enough to have Glenn doing the minimum. "Glenn always has a back pain or a leg pain and it's hard to ask him to do anything more" I said.

During the time our conversation lasted his eyes darted in all directions except mine. The batteries were low when I taped so that when I played the cassette at normal speed the voices were accelerated but there must be a way (outside help!) to fix that. The essential is that it's all there on the tape.

Sun. 5. 22: If a child is taught by his mother on the one hand that he is insignificant and guilty, and on the other hand that he has to give of himself to others, there is a basic flaw because if the child is of zero value, nothing he gives is of value either. This contradiction in terms forces the child to split reality in two, it is an assault to his mental integrity. The state of shock and the mental disorientation that result from the assault can be exploited. All he wants is to be loved and made to feel valuable and he is going to do everything in hiw power to ignite the spark and scrutinize his mother's behavior and moods for a clue. Does she like it when I do this or this or that? Does she smile or does she frown? It's a trial and error process. Little by little the child gets the picture and to be acceptable he is going to give his mother what she wants of him and become sensitive to the subtlest clues of approval and disregard his own interest in the process. If his mother seems to approve of certain behaviors just because she doesn't punish or if she remonstrates she doesn't really sound like she means it, it means she approves, as simple as that. Thus if the mother's life-promoting instinct has been perverted, she is going to give the child approval only if he allows himself to be exploited and only if he engages in behavior that will get him into trouble with society later on. But ignorant of the long-term consequences, the child is going to seek love and approval no matter where it takes him and with a sick mother, it will be on the dysfunctional, anti-social side of life.

As far as I'm concerned, the reason I felt so physically exhausted in my late twenties was because I was endlessly engaging in behavior that I hoped would gain me my parents'approval, and it had been so far an elusive carrot. What I did was never enough. As soon as I accomplished something to draw at least a smile from them, there inevitably followed an attack of blame and thereafter I tried to find out what I could do for them to make them forgive me. I ended up drained dry of my life energy because they approved none of my life promoting endeavors. To the contrary, they impeded my attempts at bettering myself, educating myself, aiming higher than where I was. I had the potential to be successful but they used their immense power to channel my energies into illegality. The only activites they didn't disapprove of were harmful to me. Secretary, that is low status, submision to authority, brain- rotting, prostitute, the ultimate degradation, the vulnerability to men's acting out their hatred of women, the submission to a pimp. Prostitution is called a victimless crime but according to crime statistics, many prostitutes are victims. Drugs. What prostitute doesn't use drugs?

My parents suffer from a pathological lack of pride (I just learned that it has been recognized as a sign of mental disease to have no pride in Patways to Madness by Jules Henry) that I felt acutely because having no pride at all, they were infuriated that I had any. In fact what they took as an exaggerated pride in myself and sense of entitlement was just the manifestation of a healthy ego and love of life. I wanted to learn and create and felt entitled to the means of learning and the tools of creation. "Who does she think she is?" they must have wondered indignantly. And with self-righteous zele they undertook to cut me down to size. In fact they were only looking for an excuse to indulge their sadism.

If I had not escaped to save my ego I would be dead already. If I had followed the only paths that they didn't obstruct, I'd be dead from drug overdose, sex-murder, or I'd be in the back-ward in a mental institution. There would be somebody who would have power of attorney regarding all the legal and financial aspects of my life.

It seems to me that the plan had been hatched when I was very young because my mother tried to create a special sexual bond between me and her brother Michel when I was around five years old. I was taking a bath at my grandparents home and there was my uncle Michel in the house. I didn't expect anybody to enter the bathroom except my mother and suddenly my uncle appeared at the door. I was standing in the shallow water facing him and his presence felt very inappropriate because first I knew he was a man and second the fabrics he was dressed with felt out of place. I only expected to see towels and pastel colors and I saw his thick dark wool sweater and his wool trousers close to me, he was dressed warm and I was naked and it felt wrong. He came smiling with his eyes wide open behind his thick glasses and asked "Show me your flower!" I immediately understood what he meant although I had never heard little girls' genitals being called this way and I said no and sat in the water. He left the bathroom immediately. Now I am sure that my mother asked him to do this for her.

Several years later when my interest in natural science had been recognized in the family, I learned that my uncle Michel worked in a laboraty, that is he was involved in Science. And when I was around ten or a little older, my mother told me that my uncle Michel had "helped prostitutes" before he married, during the war.

My mother continued to try to foster a special bond between me and my uncle but I never was attracted to him any more than to any other uncle of aunt. In my late twenties she told me that he had become a "Charismatic Christian". I never knew what that meant, but she spoke about it with an enthusiasm that she tried to communicate to me, thereby creating a bridge for communication between me and my uncle. At some point when I was rue Sourbelle in Evreux I said that I wanted to go away somewhere to rest and she tried to impose me to go to my uncle. Without saying anything special about him she spoke of him as if he was great to be with but the prospect didn't appeal to me. I wanted to get away from her and she wanted to chose for me where I would go, and it would be at her brother's. I believe that she expected that this special bond between me and my uncle would have made me receptive to his advice, and he certainly had the mission to communicate a message in the same vein as my parents. My mother knew that I was angry at her for telling me what to do with my life and that I would not always follow her advice so she paid people who were in a position of trust and authority (doctors, teachers, professionals) to give me the advice instead of her. If a drama teacher told me that I had the physical type of a "soubrette", that is a servant in MoliŠre's plays, it must be true. If a voice teacher said that singers who played the guitar did it to hide behind their instrument, out of cowardice, it must be true. If the voice-guru M. L. Aucher said that to be in musicals you must be gifted for singing acting and dancing (implying that I was not) it must be true. If psychotherapist Kagan told me that "If your mother hadn't loved you, you'd be in the backward of a mental hospital" thereby negating my tremendous achievment to stay out of trouble at least with the law, it must be true. Although I told her innumerable incidents where my mother had acted in a way that traumatized me, she insisted that my mother loved me. So if I believed her, it would mean that my mother had been right to do to me what she had done, which instead of mending my ego would destroy it. This made me angry with Kogan. When I spoke about the problems with my father's estate, she advised me to drop the matter, not to fight. I disagreed with her. I justice had been denied me by my family, what good would it do me to let them screw me out of my father's estate? When I told her I was proud of my accomplishment regarding my playing the guitar and returning from the edge of annihilation, and that I gave myself a pat on the back for it, instead of acquiescing she remained silent and looked vaguely annoyed.

Since it can be safely assumed that my telephone has been tapped as a matter of course ever since I had one, I am not being paranoid in thinking that all my contacts have been turned against me, and this assumption explains why people-in-authority along the years have given me advice that was the opposite of what I expected, against my interest and that I disapproved of.

Mon. 5.23: Today is the anniversary of my "accident". I woke up and before I got up I remembered something Veronique said that hurt me profoundly and now I was angry as hell. She said something to the effect that they decide my fate. They decide to give me or not to give me. She also said that they could borrow money (to pay me my share) without needing my signature. I have to finish the transcription of the tape, a very grim task.

I have been pushing off calling my mother but I'm going to run out of money and I'll have to do it soon.

Meykuchel, the head of the Legal Aid in Evreux wrote a letter dated April twelve, mailed May 10th, saying that he is going to contact Me. Laurent before submitting my request to the committee. In other words I ask him for emergency help and four months later he still hasn't submitted my request to the committee. It is obvious that he is in bad faith, and he can be so only because my mother has bribed him.

Saturday I picked up Me. Laurent's fax. He says that I haven't answered his proposal for a 7-way split, which is totally unsatisfactory to me as they want me to own one apartment in the building ave. de Choisy. The reason I don't want to own any real estate is that I am certain, given the family history, that as soon as I own anything tangible it is going to be vandalized, and the apartment would become a source of endless trouble instead of a source of income.

I return to April 24th to finish transcribing my phone conversation with Vero. The sounds carrying the words are the only source of information about my sister to know the truth. I am blind to her and don't have the ressource of facial expression. Like music ensembles families have a definite sound, and I'll have to play by ear.

After finishing the job it appears that Vero was reading what she was saying, particularly when she made non-sequiturs. It was as if she had a message to slip in, the party line so to speak, and that she was looking for an opening to insert the propaganda or convey some important disinformation. Because she changed the subject and the conversation was getting off track. She went to great length to explain that she had not spoken with Mom to the point of getting entangled in her explanation. At one point she said that she wasn't advocating a collective wish but only speaking in her own name, but at another she said that she promoted the opinion that she had, the political leaning so to speak, and it was of course in favor of Mom. She was embarrasses when I asked her to read the grand total at the end of the declaration de succession, which she said she was reading from. But she was mostly embarrassed when I said I hadn't signed any of the two conventions and insisted that I had when in fact I knew I hadn't. I had read over the years several times this documents that said I was here and that didn't bear my signature. She cut off to change the subject and I didn't pursue it.

I have to infer the truth from the lies she says, and particularly the ones she volunteers.

5.31: During the past three days I have realized the following: the Snow White episode when I was three years old. Mme Feminier who was babysitting me showing me the pop up fairy tale and mom coming to fetch me and apologized profusely for the inconvenience, against the lady's protest, and my feelings hurt, unable to speak about what had just happened to my mom and me realizing that mom was like the evil queen in the fairy tale I had just learned. Maybe from then on I distrusted my mother and was afraid of her and that was what gave her the idea of the dentist sessions.

1967-68 Also realized that when I was in St Ambroise boarding school in Chambery Sophie was a double agent. She was the one who engineered the betrayal of my comrad Chantal (who initiated me to tampax and inhaling cigarette smoke) and the betrayal of my first love Fran‡ois-Xavier. It was in 67-68. So Sophie engineered these deceptions and corrupted my first essential social contacts, my friend and my lover: the girl in my class who also spent some week- ends and played the piano, and the first boy I was in love with, Fran‡ois-Xavier.

This month was not loaded with events, thank God. Staying home reading and writing is the surest way to avoid trouble and that's what I did, writing the year 1990, an excruciating experience and reading law books.

Still, two mini-events: I went to the City Bookstore at the 23rd floor of the Municipal building. On the way down, three women entered the elevator. I was looking down thinking my thoughts but noticed that the woman near me was looking at me intensely. I found it was rude so finally I looked up at the woman and she asked "Aren't you the wife of... euh....what's his name, you know this guy.." and I wondered what man she thought was my husband. Because I was wearing my Camouflage de Luxe beret, I thought maybe she meant the Guardian Angels founder Sliwa because they all wear berets and he's got his turn in the media. "Sliwa?" I said. She said yes, I looked like his wife. I said maybe it was because I was wearing a beret and she said she could have sworn that I was she. We arrived downstairs and I said proudly that I was nobody's wife.

Last saturday returning home from Upper Broadway shopping a guy was selling books and trinkets. Most of the books were about philosophy or religion and I bought the Dalai Lama's autobiography and a book about the "Personality" from a Sufi point of view. There was a book about "Suffering" from a Christian point of view. I read the back cover and it was enticing, but when I saw the woman writer's mug I put the book down.

After I had said I would buy the two books the guy said that he would give me a better discount if I bought a third book but I had already looked them all up, there were not that many, and I knew I didn't want anything else and his insistence irked me. Then he picked up a new looking cotton cap, the kind that's made in India and has a flap on one side. He took it in his hand and showed it to me as if it were something exceptional and asked me if I liked it. I said no. He insisted. "But it's pretty, don't you think?" "No" I said and then I felt he was trying to bait me into a hat discussion so I conceded.

This incident reminded me of last summer when I bought some philosophy books under similar circumstances in the same area. In both cases the guys were selling exclusively books dealing with religion, philosophy and borderline occult. I remember books that I didn't buy about St. Therese d'Avila and a book about the Kabbala. I had bought the last Castaneda but after a fifteen year lapse I couldn't get into it any more. The Kabbala book and the St. Therese book had family connections. My father's decoration store in Annecy was named "La Cabale" and there was a thick book of that name in the display window.

Now the incident with the hat confirmed my impression that there was a tie. Maybe the guy wanted me to buy the book about Christian suffering because it advocated an attitude of resignation that would favor my family. And knowing my philosophical leanings from the books I bought, it could give them an edge.

Finally it has sunk in that what made me leave France was that my family wouldn't let me live. The precisely calculated chain of events that followed my letter to Agnes where I told her that I was little by little managing to put the pieces of mosaic into a coherent whole, ended up by my being without a job, without a home, with only plastic bags for luggage, hardly a change of cloths and with an addiction to cocain, hashisch, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. When I asked my parents to help me out of this bad situation they said they would help me.

I begged them, I besought them to let me study music. I said I wanted to be able to read and write music fluently and that I could always find work if I could sight-read and they did the same thing they had done when I earned my Bac diploma: instead of helping me do what I wanted to do, they would help me only to do what they wanted me to do. And what they wanted me do to was follow a course of vocational training, offered free of charge to women who wanted to re-enter the work force. The only activity I was interested in was couture (dressmaking) but when my father saw what I had chosen he exclaimed that there was no money in dressmaking and that I should chose something else. On my application form I said that what I really wanted to learn was music and before the first interview I returned to Paris and to the Latin nightlife and nightmare.

By refusing twice, ten years apart, to spend money on my education they were giving the message that I wasn't worth spending money on and I was profoundly hurt to be so devalued by my parents. They knew I was in a desperate situation. What did they expect? Did they really expect me to become a salesclerk or any other subaltern position when I was out of my mind with pain, anguish, frustration and drugs? But that was the only way they would have me. Submissive, obedient, unquestioning. But I knew from ten years experience as a temp secretary that even if I sacrificed my true self in the hope of gaining their approval and love, I would still en up rejected. It was like I couldn't do enough for them, short of killing myself. THAT's the reason I left my country. Because they wanted me dead. I have never met anybody who left his country under similar circumstances. It's what Veronique said that brought this to mind. She said that when my parents visited me in New York, my father should have treated me "like a princess" but later on I thought that if I was in New York in the first place it was because they had treated me like shit in France, so it was disingenuous of my sister to suggest that my father had made one relatively small mistake.

When I think about it, their trip here in 1986 (just two months before the purse-snatching) was a total deception. First their plane was not listed on the arrival board, and it is only recently that I believe it meant that they had arrived before, maybe several days, and that they had gone to the airport to make believe that they had just arrived. Maybe in the meantime they had arranged some business with Harry and with Jessie. I was shocked when my father gave me a big bottle of vodka for Harry. And the week "vacation" I spent with them was on the very cheap and now I think that they played poor to deceive me. They wanted out of the hotel (that cost maybe $120 a day) and wanted to rent a mobile home and I had to do a lot of telephone work for them and I even went in the vicinity of the Verrazano bridge with them, by public transportation, to pick up the thing. I think they played poor the whole time to give me an image of lower-middle class, if not outright white trash, to impress in me that there was not much to be expected in the way of money. Maybe that was the only reason they played poor, because they could have afforded the best accomodation. But instead they [said that] slept in the van in the city and said they enjoyed it. Even the toilet business. Even the plastic salad bowls and plates.


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