I have experienced that behind a table selling merchandise, you're like a sitting duck for anybody intent on harming you. So this alone will take an enormous toll on my nerves, because generally, a paid harasser reveals his malicious intent only in a very subtle way or only as a parting shot. So this leaves me wondering for a while whether the person said innocuously or to let me know that I am being interfered with, which can produce terror.
The Amnesia Memoirs and Diaries
September 1994 - 3/4
Besides I haven't had time to take care of making a new price list and getting anything printed for a mail order organization, what with my legal troubles. It could be a very successful venture but what can I do if my mail and my telephone are intercepted? I can just run into labyrinth after labyrinth of trouble. I just want to save my mental energy for my lawsuit and my music, although it costs me a lot of money in terms of what I could make at the fair and what I could make by mail order. It costs me a lot emotionally too because I have an excellent product, the fruit of my own invention from concept to finished product, and I can't give it out to the world. My mother tries to make me feel guilty of laziness because I don't "work" and although she knows that I worked more than 12 hours a day two winters ago on Spring Street. First she prevents me from working, violating my right to chose, my freedom of choice, trying to impose upon me either unskilled labor, crime or death. And after she has succeeded immobilizing me by cutting off all my professional outlets music included, she calls me lazy! She wants me to submit to a harsh, sadistic boss who'll treat me like shit and play out my mother's evil imagination just to avoid the guilt feeling of being lazy but I've wizened up.
If you prevent somebody from making a living, isn't it a form of murder?
So my mother instead of appropriating my inheritance by right, and not only the visible part of the iceberg which is written in the declaration of succession, but also my share of the unreported millions I don't know about, instead of coming into a lot of additional money she is spending it to corrupt my lawyers, then the defendant, nothing less than the TA and its army of legal bats, the judge. I have finally realized, after my motion argument of the 1st, that since it is illegal and court-ordered, it could be issued only with the complicity of the judge. So Judge Toker whom I had assumed was clean was in fact corrupt when I told him that I couldn't go to trial because I didn't have a lawyer.
I realize this is the way it has always be in my family with the truth. I understood that they wanted us to lie to protect them. I remembered how my mother cut me when I started to tell the truth and how she finished the sentence for me, leaving me mute and violated. How she punished me for telling the truth, how she encouraged me to be devious and untruthful while sending me to a catholic school where christian values were taught. How she beat me up into silence one way or another, because the truth made her ashamed. How she tried to rid herself by any means of a cumbersome witness. Because after all she hadn't managed to re-write history as far as I was concerned, and alive, I was like a time-bomb for her.
But eh, it didn't turn out that way. My life insurance policy states the following: "Whosoever diggeth a pit shall fall therein". (Proverbs 26.)
Sun. 09.11: I didn't go to the WBGO fair. Instead I took a walk and did some shopping in the neighborhood. There was a street fair on B'way, and there I found a stall that was selling South-American artifacts, sweaters etc. I saw among the textiles this fascinating appliqué work done by some Panamanian Indian tribe. A tall, fiftyish woman is looking at the pile voraciously. When I approach the table she takes more than half of the pile, goes further down the table and leaves me the rest to look at. She looks greedily. I vaguely sense that she would like me to ask her to let me look at "her" pile, and maybe if I see something I like say that I want it but then she would say that she wanted it too, that she was there first. I already have had encounters with Panama related matters. So I exclaim with enthusiasm: "Don't you wonder how they do it?" She gives me a discontented look and says nothing. I don't pick anything until she has left and then I select three pieces in geometric patterns. I ask the vendor where these are made, I say I know they are made by an Indian tribe in Panama but which? And he says the Cuna Indians. They live on an island close to the border with Colombia.
I enjoy every minute of the day, thinking that I could be at the crafts fair selling my berets instead, and I'm sure I made the right decision not to go. To begin with, there was a fire this morning at Penn Station and the traffic was disrupted all morning, so how would I have gone to Newark? I saved my nerves incredible aggravation.
Wed. 09.14: Around 10 am I return to the Columbia U. bookstore to exchange three books about constitutional and judicial law, which don't answer my questions. I went yesterday but there was a block long line for the exchange desk. Students were patiently waiting their turn, and they were none too friendly when I asked a few questions. I was amazed at their passivity and grimness.
I was told that my books were not returnable but I insisted, my ticket said I could exchange until september 29. Ah but it said "textbooks". I didn't know what textbooks were. After asking two persons I was sent to the manager downstairs and after I insisted, saying I was not a student and I didn't know what textbooks were,
he signed my sales ticket for refund. I leave the store with my $50 refund and just outside the bookstore on the sidewalk is a table with used books. I start to look although I had meant to go right away to the Barnard bookstore across B'way. I see a book names "The ideology of violence", another "Europe's Inner Demons." One of them has no price. "How much is this one?" I ask. The old man says "same price as the other one." Three bucks. I look more. There's a pretty book about the Borgias. While I have that book in my hands, the old man says to me: "I see that you're interested in literature. And since you're French... "How do you know I'm French?" I ask. "Oh, I could tell from your accent right away." he says. Strange because I don't have a marked French accent. He has two books of the fine French collection "La Pléïade", one of Verlaine, one of Montherlant. I don't care for Montherlant. He's a misogyne. "Oh! Verlaine!" I say. "He's my favorite poet. I almost had a heart-attack when I saw Verlaine!" "I'm sorry about that." he says. I showed interest in the book. It was priced at $75. Then he started to talk about himself, saying that he llived in East Berlin most of the time but was spending a little time in the US to make "a coussin" of money he said. He was a theater teacher. He said Western buyers were trying to snatch up the real estate while prices were low, and that the natives were protesting and trying to keep it to themselves. I said that the Mafia also was involved in this real-estate gold mine. He said "No, not the Mafia!" and he looked a bit embarrassed. He said there were some Neo-Nazis roaming the streets asking people if they were Yuppies because they didn't want their city to be invaded by greedy Americans. He said he had lived there for several years, that the rents were low and life had a European charm. He had a job at the city theater teaching the craft. "What do you teach exactly?" I asked, because he had used a German word that started with "Theater" but it was not any word that meant either dramaturgy, direction, or acting. He looked flustered at my question and slipped out of the subject. Then he asked what I was doing and I said I was a musician, that I sung and accompanied myself on the guitar, and played Jazz. He started about Jazz and the music scene in East Berlin and all the cafés and night life and about ... at some point I interrupted him and said that the type of Jazz I played was Classical Jazz, not the free-style he seemed to speak about. He was startled. Then he started about a radio station hat he intended to start in East Berlin. He seemed expectant. He offered to exchange phone numbers. I said that I could let him have a tape of my work. But I had not intended to speak and here I was engaged in a conversation that I didn't really want to participate in, this man was bringing up a new subject every time my attention failed, and to put an end to it we bargained a little about the Verlaine and the two other books. He wrote down which books I bought and wrote me his phone number and handed me pen and paper to do the same. I wrote him my home number. I was already convinced that he had been placed there purposely, what he had said and how he behaved tipping me off. So there was no need to give him any other number. I felt like he had tried to make himself attractive to me, and when I looked at him after he had started his lengthy speech, I saw he was old and ugly with a kind of mole on his lower lip, he had bags under his eyes and looked not only poor but not clean. Hair disheveled. Was he trying to seduce me with this shabby look? I had overcome my fatal attraction for creeps of all ages, and my fatal attraction to old men, thank God. All this time I had only been looking for a mentor who would teach me wisdom, not an elderly sex partner.
I felt he expected me to follow him to East Berlin to learn the Theater with him, and by doing so run away from my troubles in New York. I really felt that it was precisely this that I was expected to feel. After so many incidents, the last one being the fashion-shoot at Central Park and 103rd street a week ago, I decided to heed the faint warning voice that alerted me to a scripted situation. But sooner or later, I always fall into one because I can't resist a bit of chat once in a while.
I put the slip of paper with his name and number into the plastic bag with the books in a negligent demeanor as if I didn't really care much about being in touch with him. He was a real pain in the ass. So my refund hadn't gone ten paces out the door and it was gone already.
I crossed to Barnard's looking for a book about the Jesuits. I had seen several copies of that book on sale in the past and now I was sorry I hadn't bought it, it was sold out. I had learned that Stalin went to a Jesuit seminary before he was a politician and after finding so many common points between Stalin and my mother, I found that religion was a strong one between them. Religion doesn't exist without ethics, and ethics are the foundation of government and individual behavior. After all wasn't it the Jesuits who invented the concept of "Direction of intention" to justify one's action, and wasn't that a different way of saying that the means justified the ends? Certainly Stalin had used this argument to make his people accept the hardship. They took it, as much as they could, with the hope that some day things would be better, and with the belief that it was worth to sacrifice today for tomorrow. It was just like with my inheritance. They would give me everything in the end, but first I had to sign my rights away.
I don't find anything about Jesuits and I buy a book on "Advanced Numerology".
Sun. 09.18: I haven't written for a few days and although I'm trying hard not to berate myself too readily for not doing what I think I should do, because I know it's a conditioned reflex, I get the computer fired up early, step by step without any rush while doing my bed and the directory displayed before coffee's ready. It will be easier to start writing when everything is ready. When I don't feel like writing any new stuff, I don't always remember that I could make some progress just by copying some letters written by or to me. But lately my psychological and legal and emotional strings have been plucked and pulled to death and just thinking rationally of all this was so close to being unbearable that I occupied my mind with the biography of Stalin by Ronald Hingley and avoided any written expression of what's going on because it's so terrible.
However when I keep this rationalization, I know perfectly that after the initial reluctance is overcome, I get a sense of relief that nothing else can provide. Writing and playing music are the only outlets for my pent-up feelings. Anything else is self destructive. I still have on my right cheek a sore that has been there for over a month and it keeps spewing hard matter, it never heals because there is always some hard stuff that comes up from the depth of my dermis, and there is a sore feeling and the need to expel that thing inside my skin, and while reading I keep picking at that sore. So that's the self destructive reaction. But when I know what contempt my mother showed towards my physical being, I'm not surprised that I attack myself. She actually approved of any self destructive acting-out. I know I'm sick, I know why I'm sick, therefore I'm not sick. Also some days I feel so down that instead of drinking two beers, which is my maximum self-imposed RDA, I drink three or even four or five and early in the evening I lay down on my bed and fall asleep or half asleep, and wake up late, sometimes after midnight, just to clean up my face, undress and get under the covers after my cat has been calling me to it for a long time. But that's about it as far as deviation is concerned, besides my ten-dollar-a-week marijuana habit. So I think I have it pretty much under control, as far as substance abuse is concerned. I only hope I'll stop disfiguring myself soon.
Yesterday was an up-down-up day. I woke up with a love of life and energy, I got some hand-laundry done, which is always something that makes me feel good, I got my computer fired up early but couldn't bring myself to write and I got depressed. It was because of the Numerology book. The book explains how to analyze the effects of a change of name. I realize it takes a lot of studying to perform the task. It's not something I feel like getting deep into, but what I see is that, besides the name change, it is possible to get a very fine perception of a person's psychological make-up, and I become more and more certain that my mother has used the services of a numerologist (Mme Staubli when we lived in Annecy) to change my name in a way that benefited her, to manipulate me and the other people around her. Numerology never speaks of the phenomenon of depersonalization that occurs when a person changes names. What if the name is changed against that person's will as was the case for me and a few other persons in my family? How about if the persons feels like a liar every time he's asked to give his name? I have read that several violent killers shared the same problem: Gary Gilmore, and Mickey Featherstone among others. I could have become a violent criminal too.
Fortunately, the author always emphasizes that a person's free will is a factor that can affect a person's destiny in an unpredictable way. That's what make people human: the exercise of their free will.
Also there's this awful thing that I should write about. I'll have to go back to the first of this month and relate how the oral argument went. And that's because of that, that I can't bring myself to sit down and start writing about it. Because it's so gigantic, so monstrous. But there's no way I can gloss over it, it's a crucial element of the story, but I don't feel ready to deal with it in words just yet. So I got depressed. It got worse, like a wave of terror that threatened to sweep my mind away and made my heart pound. I took three drops of Rescue Remedy and started to put some order around me.
There was this pile of clippings from the Law Journal or the New York Times that I had to file and I started doing just that with the wide green accordion file in font of me and it gave me a sense of order, a comforting sense of control because I already have created files and I create a few more. Little by little I accumulate case references for citation and the more I learn the more I understand all the things that were done wrong with my legal case. My clippings file contains the following entries:
- Emotional Distress
- Punitive Damages
- Sex Harassment
- Personal Injury
- Status of limitations
Outside the green file I have others with the names of
- CPLR misc.
- disclosure, subpoena etc.
- international law
- First Amendment (protected speech. Is testimony protected speech?)
I've created my own legal research system. Unlike what books about legal research or pro-se self help books recommend, I first subscribed to the Law Journal, I clipped any relevant text, I traced the reference, bought the books, I refined my basic concepts through the fine comb of the law, I intensified my focus on the most crucial issues and didn't waste energy on the peripheral ones, and so far I haven't regretted my exclusion from the law libraries in New York. Maybe I'll buy myself access to the Columbia Law Library, which is within walking distance, at the rate I believe of $50 per month, once I am more advanced in the process of translating intensely emotional issues into legal concepts.
I don't think I've mentioned it but in May and June of this year I've tried to gain access to law libraries in the city and was very disappointed, even incensed, that so little was available to the public at large, and that access to the law was made so difficult as if on purpose. Some state or city universities had a law library that was accessible if you had a library card. I asked to consult the constitution.
Now I really think it's hard to believe that a person who has studied library science could be so inept but she did just that: She typed the word "constitution" for a search in her data base, and after a time that was incredibly long, there appeared on her screen the list of all the documents in the library system that contained the word "constituion". Every state worldwide was listed in alphabetical order, and before she scrolled down to New York, a lot of the countries in the world had appeared on her screen. Just how stupid, how close-minded can a librarian be before you start to think he did it on purpose?
I remember chiding the Big Names in the Research Library to some employees addicted to their computer screen, cynically invoking to the law-librarian I was referred to by the research librarian, the cadaver or equal access to justice if there was no law books in the public libraries. I expressed utter contempt about the founders who made sure that with their money the law in writing would be safely kept out of the public eye. I realized they had my request in the computer already at the time I made these statements and all of a sudden I thought that maybe I was expressing some anti-American thoughts that could be used to brand me down the road as "un-American". I felt the silence of my interlocutor was saying just this. "She spoke against American democracy." But she wasn't wrong because my feeling was, to put it on a banner, "Democracy, My Ass!" If this country was truly democratic, how came I couldn't play music in public, or make a business of my berets, or express myself, how came I didn't have any privacy, not even sexul privacy? How came I couldn't tell the truth in court, how came the bad ones got away with murder?
Inside the Research Library, this monument to knowledge, in these impressive surroundings, in this building in front of which I almost lost my life four years ago, I was seeking the path to justice and it seemed that all the marble and grandiosity were only a labyrinth that went nowhere on the subject matter of the Law. I felt utterly, deeply, from the core of my being, betrayed and outraged one more time.
But adaptation is the key to survival so I found a way around these hurdles and I arranged, for the price of two consultations with a New York lawyer (a six months subscription costs $250) to receive the law every day right, and instead of getting the runaround from library to library, I just make sure which book I need and then I buy it, and consult it at my leasure in the comfort of my home. And considering the bribing and violation of privacy of which I suffer, this is the only way out. I don't have to make any phone calls or write any letter to discuss this or that point of law. It happens within the confines of my brain and thank God I have freed my head of Big Brother. Saves time too.
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