The Amnesia Memoirs and Diaries
Sat. 10.01: Now it's not only me who's scared to death, it's all the people around who have participated in the cover-up without really covering their tracks so we.. because they were so sure that I wouldn't live to find out. And now they know that I know. So they're afraid too. They're afraid of me. I realize the power I have. It's an awful power. I can torture them just by filing my appeal the day before deadline if I want to. If I call my mother she's going to urge me not to appeal, and reveal her interest in the matter. I have this awful power. I realized I always let my opponent save face when he lost, and he used that slight chance to stab me in the back. But sometimes you couldn't help being chivalrous even if you were a woman, and that was how they did me in. I granted them a graceful exit and ... no more nice girl.
Tues. 10.04: I read in the LJ that a bus dirver sued New York Newsday for defamation over an article of April 93 about the Transit authority's worst bus drivers. I decide to go to the Midtown library to check out the article and to walk up on 5th to the Aquascutum shop to see their raincoats.
In the subway a woman enters at 96th street with an 18 month boy in a stroller and sits next to me. The child is holding something in his right hand and is alert and quiet. The woman takes the thing from the boy's hand and she starts what in the end looks like a live Tupperware demonstration because between 96th and 59th, she will have offered the child three different kinds of food in three different containers.
First she takes out of her bag a liquid container with apple juice inside. There's a built-in, retractable straw that plunges to the bottom corner when the container is incliined to drink. But the child is not thirsty and declines to drink. I observe that he is chubby, he certainly doesn't look like he needs anything to eat or drink. Then the woman pulls the straw in, replaces the container in her bag and pulls out a small container the size of a cup of ice cream at the store, and hse opens-up the thing and inside are some of those colorful, hyper-processed cereals that Americans can't live without. She holds the open container to the child. He isn't interested and keeps loking ahead instead of looking at the cereals, but he slowly, delicately picks one piece between two fingers, and since the woman keeps the container in the same place he picks another treat in the same fashion. I observe to the mother how cute her child is and how graceful but after speaking I understand that the child took the food only to please his mother and hopefully get her off his back, not because he needs any food. So she is already perverting his feeding instinct, subverting the meaning of food. And judging from his chubbyness, she must be acting like this a lot. "This is oral rape" I think as I exit the train at 59th street. Knowing the consequences in adult age of a disturbance in the oral phase, I am profoundly sorry for the little boy. He is guaranteed to become severely neurotic.
I get in line at the periodicals desk in the Midtown library. A man gets in line behind me and tries to make small talk. He asks me if he doesn't know me from 96th street. I do not respond and then he starts to make small talk obnoxiously with the women behind him. The librarian tells me they keep Newsday only six months and that I'll find the issue I'm looking for at the Research Library across the street.
Instead of going there I return to the scene of the crime. It's just there since the crime happened in front of the Research Library. I stand at the South West corner of 42nd anf 5th, looking north, looking for bicyclists or buses. I see an Asian man waiting for the green light and I time his progress uphill to the point where I believe the contact between me an the bus occurred and it amounts to 10 seonds, less than the 30 I had estimated. I see the effort of the man up the 10 to 15% incline. I see other professional messengers who climb it easily without slowing down, unlike me. I see that the hill tops at 41st to the left. Now I remember that towards the end of the bus, while I was leaning against it and it was passing me, there was a sudden acceleration because when I fell I was going real fast. That is what explains the comminuted nature of the fracture. So it is possible that I fell between 41st and 40th, instead of between 42nd and 41st as I had said on my statements (hearing and EBT). But I. Slavit never disabused me. When he asked me between which streets I had fallen, I had said betwen 42nd and 41st, and then he said "41st is a street that goes only East from 5th ave." But since that street had been hidden from my sight by the bus, I assumed that the next street was 41st but it was 40th. So I.Slavit's statement made me feel foolish, because the tone he said it contained an assumption that I was trying to hide something or that I was stupid. He never showed any empathy for my physical impairment. Instead he treated me as if he mistrusted me! While building up a case whereby he was only obeying my orders and couldn't help it if I refused a medical exam, and making absurd discovery requests implying that I had requested them, submitting a second supplemental bill of particulars alleging "Progressive degenerative condition" requiring knee replacement surgery down the road, but not requesting any additional sum for the cost of the procedure.
My attorneys'conduct implied the following statement: "We know she's lying but we can't help it, we only do what she's asking us to do to cover-up her "culpable conduct" even though we know her case is full of holes." They did this by not protesting the defendants'accusations of "disingenuousness" and "willful failure (to undergo medical exam) on my part. They made full use of their immunity, as public officers, from prosecution for defamation. By allowing this character assassination, they prepared the terrain for the ultimate trap, the perjury. So the defendants could say "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, plaintiff has willfully failed to submit to medical exam, made foolish discovery requests, disingenuously submitted a second supplemental bill of particulars and now she has lied on the stand, which is a felony." And there goes my credibility. In fact they manufactured evidence of unreliability because there was nothing in my life they could pick on to make me look bad, since I lived as a hermit. There was no skeleton in my closet so they had to make up a few.
Then I walk up to Aquascutum. The saleswoman who helped me last time is off today I learn. I explain to the manager that I would like the sales commission to be paid to her because she's the one who helped me last time and all I'm doing now is buy what I chose last time. The pushy saleswoman who's on today is pissed when she learns of my request. The transaction is fast and I leave the store wearing my new coat because it's getitng chilly outside so I'm not wearing any shopping bag.
Next I enter Henry Bendel. At the sweater section I look at the wide array of styles and colors of the house's merino sweaters. My attention is drawn to a woman who speaks louder than anybody among the few browsers. The woman is not pretty but she has a perfect skin and is wearing a matte foundation on her skin. No other make up. He long hair is very disheveled and not clean looking, a comb in the back is all askew. She wears navy sweat pants and sneakers, a sleeveless shearling jacket and underneath a Nile green wool sweater. But the first thing I notice is her perfect skin. This sets off my internal alarm system because I know it's a signal. It's the signal of a set-up. But I'm not quite sure yet, it just could be. After all many women have a better skin than me. I return to my contemplation of the different shades of red and I like them all. The woman asks me if I like the color of her sweater. I say it's nice but I prefer red. She stands facing me with a kind of defiant and intense look on her face, pulling at the bottom edge of her sweater as if to focus my attention on it. Why is she insisting so much on her sweater? Who cares? Why does she ask my opinion and not anybody else's? I look at her a bit puzzled and return to the other sweaters. Again she addresses me, asking what I think about the color of her sweater. I'm starting to think she's a bit nuts. She's still pulling lightly at her sweater to make me look at it, with those eyes that tell a message more important than her words. I know I have a sweater the same color. Is it the point she wants to make? Does she want me to know that she knows that I own a sweater the same color? And the sweater was her own, it was not a sweater from the store that she was wearing, because after looking at me again with those intense eyes, she turned around and left. A saleswoman looked at me with an expression of astonishment. The woman looked almost like a homeless, with her uncombed, dirty hair. How could she have entered this pricey store? With all the security people, how did she have the nerve? How did she know I would go to HB and look at the sweaters that day? This is a big mystery.
Downstairs I decided to look at the make-up, a rare occurrence. I went to the Lancome area. The woman behind the counter asked if I needed any help and I said I was just looking. But then I saw some brown eye shadow that I wanted to buy to replace my worn set, and when I wanted to talk to the woman she was nowhere to be found. I asked another sales woman where was the Lancome woman and she said that she was on the phone on a long distance call. I waited around some more and the woman not returning I should have left but instead I looked around at other stands, most of them unattended, and finally found the Clarins stand with a saleslady behind it. An older woman was at the counter, looking at eye shadows. I said I was looking for a shade of brown that had some grey in it and no red at all. She said that there were so many different values of brown it was fascinating, and agreed with me that the shade I needed was "taupey" and she showed me what she had. The woman next to me, who was in her sixties but whose skin was flawless, took an interest in my case and looked at me, approached my imperfect skin so that I was embarrassed,then backed up and said that she saw some green in my skin tone and that a greenish shade would fit my complexion. I said I had some green in my eyes but I didn't think there was any green in my skin tone. "Are you an artist?" I asked. I thought only an artist would discern green in the complexion of a living white person. "Yes, she said, and she is too, indicating the saleswoman. "Oh! I thought, some make-up salespeople are artists, some artists sell make up to make ends meet." The old woman showed a shade of color in the blue-green area and said that this color would be perfect for me. "I'm not looking for color I said, I only want neutral tones." But she insisted that this blue- green would be great for me, then she left. I kept looking at the browns. There was one shade in a trio that was close to what I was looking for. I asked to see the compact. There was one glued to the display but when I tried to open it up I couldn't. I should have taken this as a warning sign of some trick but instead it had become a fixed idea for me to buy brown eye shadow that very day. The saleswoman said that maybe at another counter I would find a shade closer to what I was looking for. I commented on how disinterested she sounded, to send me to the competition. She smiled modestly. There was a brand of make up where you could mix and match your own palette and that was what I was looking for instead of buying a ready-made trio. But I felt tired and weak and somehow obligated to the woman who had so generously offered that I look elsewhere. Finally I decided to buy the brown trio. After she had packed it in a tiny HB bag, she pulled from a drawer some samples of skin cream. "This is a sample of Fresh Eye cream, a moisturizer" she said benevolently, putting two samples in the bag, "and this is a cream to wear under eye make up". It cost me close to forty bucks but what the heck, those things last forever. I felt silly with my puny HB bag and after putting the contents in my shoulder bag threw it in the first trash bag I found outside. I felt good with my new coat on and walked to the Coliseum bookstore where I bought "Great American Trials" "Killer Women" and two courtroom dramas and took a cab home.
Once home I saw that the cardboard box containing the eye- shadows said "sable inside" and the applicators were not made of sable hair but of plastic foam. So that was why the display compact was glued shut. So that you couldn't tell the applicators were made of cheap stuff, belying the statement "sable inside". And the sample creams now. I had only seen the backs of the cardboard covers when the clerk put them in the bag. On the front was the photograph of a woman dressed in white on a white background, crossing her fingers behind her back. In gold lettering I could read: "the question: Why do you look so well rested? The response: I just spent a week in the islands. The little white lie: Luckily, I found Fresh Eye Cream." On another sample: "The question: Why do your eyes always look so great? The response: It's genetic, my dear. The little white lie: I use Disguise for Eyes." So that's why the woman gave me those samples. For the little white lie. Alexandra de Markoff, you're a fraud. First you say "sable inside" when it's not sable but plastic, and then you encourage a little white lie. Well maybe your lies are white, but perjury and concealing an attempted murder are not.
Sat. 10.08. - 2.45 AM, no sleep from club's loud music.
Call Mother. No answer. Call Veronique. She says that Mother is at a seminar on sacred music in Morocco or Tunisia.
Sun. 10.09: As I go out to get the New York Times around 10 AM, a black tenant who has always been acting "friendly" with me for no apparent reason, asks me if I'm going to get the New York Times. I say yes and then he asks me if I could give him the helps wanted ads. He says he's so broke he can't afford to buy the paper. I say i've been there, remembering that I fetched some sections of it in the trash bins. We walk together to the newsstore. It feels good to have somebody walking by my side and to have a conversation for a change. He says that he has applied to the post office. He speaks about a probation period. I say "probation"? He explains it's the period during which the employment is not final. "Oh! I thought you were on probation..." (meaning for a criminal case) "Me? Ha ha ha! I've never been arrested." Then he said that he had applied to several jobs but that he couldn't get the money he wanted. The potential employers always said to him that they could hire illegal aliens at half (or less) the going wages.
I'm thinking about this notice of appeal that I have to file and I need a process server. I tell him that I have a little job for him that I would pay him $25 for, and that it involves going to Brooklyn and give some papers in an office. He says he would do anything. So we speak about when. I say I'm not sure if the office will be open on monday because it's Columbus day and maybe the office will be closed. I say I'll have to check first and ask me to call me from the street at 10AM tomorrow, and if the office is closed then we'll do it on tuesday. He says he has something to do on tuesday.
I bought rolling tobacco with the newspaper. He said he rolled his own too but that he was out of rolling paper and asked if I could give him a few leaves. I say I'd give him the packet that comes with the tobacco when we get home because I have extra rolling paper. He opens the two doors in a great display of courtesy. I give him the help wanteds, open up the wrapping of the tobacco and give him the rolling-paper packet. He says "You're sweet." That's exactly what I said to Bonarti about something he did for me during the period I was in love with him. I remind him to call me at 10AM tomorrow and ask his name. "David" he says. I say my name is Brigitte. "Oh I knew that."
I don't get any sleep all night because of the loud music.
Mon. 10.10: David calls at 9:30AM and I don't answer. I call Joey at the management office and complain about the music. I tell him that depriving people of sleep is a kind of torture "I don't know if it's nazi torture or chinese torture but it's torture." I say.
Tues. 10.11: I cry deeply as soon as I get up, contemplating the ruin of my social life. As a result I have no employment history, no credit history and I can't rent an apartment. I'm an outcast.
I decide to serve the notice of appeal and notice of motion by mail (besides, it's cheaper) and I find the two necessary people in a notary public's office. To my dismay, the young man signs both the affidavit and the notarization, with two different signatures. He says it doesn't matter.
I ask Bonarti to move me to a one-bedroom apartment. He says I'm asking too late, people generally move in September and anyway he doesn't rent anything smaller than four-bedroom apartments. I say I have no employment history, no credit history, I live on my inheritance. This brings a worried look on his face. Before asking him for a new place, I had pondered the problem, but since my privacy is going to be violated no matter where I live, I would have a better case if it happened in a property that he owns.
Wed. 10.12: I read in the news that criminals intimidate witnesses by calling their beepers and leaving the number of a funeral parlor. So now I understand why my beeper went off one day and the number I called was a hospital in the Bronx. I had given my number to only one person, a lawyer, who called me back the same day, but my beeper went off several times and I didn't call the numbers. Of course I should never have left my beeper at home with the number written on a sticker in the back of it.
Thurs. 10.13: I return to the notary public's office and ask them to re-do the affidavit of service. I say these are papers that go to court and I cannot accept the notary's signature to be forged under my very eyes. The woman looks at me suspiciously. She says it doesn't matter but she accepts to re-do the affidavits with the young man who is her son. Then I go to file the papers in the Supreme Court and go to the Federal Library.
Sat. 10.14: My door is ajar when I return from eating out. I understand this is meant to drive me frantic and check what might have been stolen and I suppose nothing has been and I don't worry about it. No sleep because of loud music.
It was not possible to know, to
aknowledge the fact that someone had tried to kill me while I was physically disabled.
How my mother pushed me to act self-destructively by always saying "c4est rien." when I injured nyself. What would it take for her to consider my injury worth her attention? And I rode my bike very recklessly.
It's always the same story: if I don't let them eat me alive, they terrorize me. Every time I stand up for my rights, I expect severe reprisals.
Sun. 10.16 - 4PM, call mother. Here's the
Mon. 10.17: All my life I was in a state of emergency. Something always happened that upset my plans. I never could plant roots and build upon something. Everything was cut down before it could bear fruit.
Tues. 10.18: "Arrest" of tall black kid in entrance of building. Then cops and kid remain in front of building (I can see them from my window). Knife is seized and held for a long time in plain view by cop. They remain for a long time without doing anything, with the black kind handcuffed standing outside the car with the cops.
Wed. 10.19: Ater I passed the southern crossing at 42nd and 5th, I was wondering why the bus hadn't passed me yet. When I was about twenty feet from the 1st parked car, I turned around and saw the bus coming straight at me without making any noise. I couldn't escape to the right because of the parked cars, and I knew a contact was unavoidable so I stuck my elbows out and braced my back and just before the bus came in contact with me I threw myself against it to deflect the shock that would otherwise have thrown me to the ground.
Thurs. 10.20: Go to Federal library. Some practice manuals of particular interest to me are missing, particularly the one with the pleadings for assault.
Check status of my case in computer at Supreme Court. Ask about the meaning of the 11.13.95 "deadline". The clerk says it doesn't mean anything. 11.13 is my father's birthday.
Receive from Mom photos of me in baptismal garb being carried by my godmother Alice, my mother triumplantly walking next to her, while I seem to be uncomfortable and kicking, being held horizontally. Another photo is of me around one, my hand holding to the garden armchair where an adult is sitting. What is most obvious in this photo is the panties that hang below a very short skirt that I'm wearing because the photo is taken at that level. Seeing this reminded me of the mockeries of my sisters "la culotte qui pend! La culotte qui pend!" They would make fun of me when they could see my panties hanging below my skirt, which must have been often. What can you do about it when you're two years old? Another thing that Mom sends me is a leaflet about a conference about "Crisis as a tool of progress". The fact that she sends me this is a denial of my own crises an implied statement that I do not grow from my crises. I am familiar by now with this kind of put-down.
Sat. 10.22: Guy with unsheathed knife in lobby of building. When I get to the door of the wing, the black guy who always hangs around blocks me access then he enters with me.
Sun. 10.23: Call police AM re loud argument in lobby.
Mon. 10.24: Return date of notice of motion. Complain to S.B. about drug dealing in lobby.
Return adjourned to nov. 7.
Thurs. 10.27: Federal library.
Fri. 10.28: Paint sculpture with 1/3 turpentine 2/3 linseed oil. Makes it look much darker and better.
Take cab to 59th and 5th. Buy watch at Tourneau. Woman says it has been mislabeled then discounted. Says original price is 1,600, discount is 900 and mislabeled price is $700. I tell her I'll buy it and go get the cash. She fills out a sales slip, asks for my name address and phone number. I ask why all these questions. She says to put me on the mailing list! After I have signed the sales slip she goes away and returns with a box for the watch, the warranty papers etc and puts also her card in an envelope that contains everything. I take a cab back home. I ask the black driver to go through Central Park. He protests, says that he would prefer to make small trips instead of a long trip, that he makes more money on short distances at this time, and after I insist then back and tell him it's ok to leave me at Columbus Circle (Then I can take the subway uptown) he takes Central Park anyway but instead of getting off in time he takes me all the way up and after reaching the north-east corner of the park he keeps going and finally it's already dark when we emerge. By then I'm completely disoriented and realize to my horror that we are on Central Park North. The driver re-enters Central Park and goes south and when I see the pond I feel relieved and at the red light I tell the guy to let me off right there because I feel so claustrophobic in this car after this ride that took so long. But he says that it is dangerous for me to get out there. True it's night already and there have been rapes recently in the park. So he acts like he has my wlefare in mind after giving me a ride! I sit back until he comes out of the park at 100th street, at which point I tell him to leave me there, that I'll walk the three blocks. And I give him a $1 tip and the trip costs me $9! And as I move to get out, the loop that holds my belt on the right side gets caught in the safety belf buckle, and not knowing what is happening, in my impatience to get out I pull and the loop breaks and once on the sidewalk I realize that my belt hangs down to the sidewalk on my left side.
Once home I read the papers the watch saleswoman put in the envelope. After I signed the sales slip she stamped it "Final Sale"!
Sat. 10.29: I enter a optical store and try three of the wrap- around kind. There's not exactly what I'm looking for. As I get ready to leave, a sales woman with frosted orange lipstick (same shade as the one I use in the summer) asks me if there's anything else I'd like to try, and since she offers it I show her another model in a glass case and she takes it out for me. I tell her I think I have conjonctivitis because my eyes are burning and the daylight brings tears. She acts shocked and scandalized. "What?" she says, "You try glasses when you have an eye discharge!" I protest that it's an irritation, not an infection, conjonctivitis is not an infection. I would never try on glasses if I had an eye infection. But her bad faith is so obvious that I don't press the point. I am shocked that she is accusing me of deliberately spreading contagion and of implying that I have a repulsive disease. Is this the way she treats everyone in her store who has an eye problem? I should have known, when I saw this lipstick color, that something was up. Funny because I had absolutely not planned to shop for glasses. It's only when I saw that store that I thought about glasses. It's as if every time I do something on impulse, there's a trap laid out for me. Just like when I bought the watch, it was on impulse, and then the woman pressed me into buying by saying the watch was mislabeled $700 instead of $990, making me a beneficiary of this error nd inducing in a devious way a sense of guilt, and then stamping the sales slip "final sale" after I had signed it.
No sleep because of club.
Sun. 10.30: I go out at 8 AM to do my laundry and escape the music that's still playing.
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