Tuesday, the 21st: Hi Mom! Hi Sy! Isn't technology just great? I can talk to you without spending a cent on long distance telephone, without even opening my mouth. You get the message straight from my finger tips. So the virus last november was just a way to make me bring my computer to the repair shop, and while it was in custody of the technicians you had a radio transmitter installed inside or something, didn't you? And you expect that a Federal crime is going to conceal another? How many of them have you perpetrated against me since the 23rd of May 1990?
Hey killer-Mom, how much did the whole thing cost? I mean the May 23rd 1990 incident, the preparation of it, the aftermath, a woman so cost-conscious as you are, you must be mad at yourself (but of course you always turn the blame on me) because it would certainly have been a thousand times cheaper just to give me my inheritance than buy the services of all the people involved before, during and after my murder. Booooooooooooo. I'm going to haunt you for the rest of your days until you fess up. No, "fess" is not a dirty word, (in French it means "butt") it's short for "confess". AVOUE! AVOUE! AVOUE! Since everything boils down to money for you, even your daughter's life, then you must admit that the most economical solution is to admit that you engineered a murder to make it look like "un regrettable accident". Think of all the legal expenses you'll save if you confess! I'm sure that soon you're going to ask yourself "Why didn't I think of that earlier?" It will impose itself like the only reasonable thing to do. I mean the only thing you can do, because reason is not something you value, to the contrary. As a matter of fact, there will be no alternative. When you run out of money to corrupt judges, lawyers etc. etc., and the Pr‚-St-Gervais impossible to sell because I won't sign, you'll get red in the face, sure, because if you didn't know the difference between right and wrong, you wouldn't have been so careful hiding your hand, you'll get red in the face but think how relieved you'll feel! Of course you'll take down everybody with you, but what do you care? What do people mean to you, even your children, unless you can use them?
I know the only other way for you (and all the people involved) is to kill me again. But make sure you don't miss me. Please bear in mind that all the traps you have set up for me have failed to terminate me. This should have made you reconsider the wisdom of tweeping your daughter but no! You just thought that you had to be more clever. Think again.
I remember when I told you about some narrow escapes in the past when I lived in France, when I was an adolescent or a young adult, and instead of rejoicing with me you said "You're protected!" in a voice full of rage. I never understood until now that I had escaped one of your traps. You see, ma p'tite mŠre, there is something that makes me invulnerable, and it is my good faith and my good will. I never did anything to harm people, I only wanted to obey my calling, that voice inside me that told me to be an artist, in spite of all the obstacles you put in my way. The tragedy is that you took my actions as personal affronts. You mistakenly believed, or you deceived yourself into believing that as my mother you had a right to decide for me what to do with my life, and if I didn't do as you wished, you had a right to discard me like a piece of refuse. Children are not property, don't you know that?
Even if you or your accomplices succeed at last in icing me, don't you think that sooner or later the bill will have to be paid? Even if you successfully suicide me and nobody bothers you, do you think that the rest of your life will all be happy and carefree? I believe that all the trouble you've had during my lifetime will seem like child play in comparison to what will happen after you have buried me. There is no way you can escape forever the consequences of your actions. You can twist your children's mind and make compulsive liars out of them, and even your grandchildren's mind, so that they will lie to protect you (that is after all the whole point), you can destroy their lives by making criminals out of them, and you think that you'll never have to account for that? There's no free lunch. There's no free lynch either mama. Even if you erase my case from the court records, and the people you try to impress call you Madame Picart with reverence, you will never have any rest until you give yourself up. I promise you. So whether I live or not is almost beside the point. Although personally I want to live, it's all in God's hands, and if he wants me to go, I'll go. But mom, you can't play God, you understand. You chose to give me life but that doesn't give you the right to take it back. I know you and dad believe otherwise but you are badly mistaken. How can you be against abortion and kill your child after she's lived for years? Does that make sense?
And don't you realize how wrong it is to take advantage of your influence as mother and grandmother to force your progeny to sacrifice their reason and their future for you? By bringing us into the world, you had a moral obligation to us and to the world, to do everything in your power so that we would become healthy in mind and body, able to fulfill our destiny and contribute our positive part to society. Instead, you diverted our energies to your own benefit, without a thought to the harm you were doing us, and demanded that we give up our destiny for your own benefit.
Is it this priest who molested you when you were six years old, who turned you into a menace to siciety? Is it the guilt and the rage he made you feel that made you swear to exact revenge on your own children? You said you enjoyed it. Does that make all children little perverts? And if so, does that give you the right to punish relentlessly? Isn't it you, isn't it the six year old in you whom you're trying to punish by punishing other children?
Sometimes it looks like your sexuality is all mixed up. It looks like you don't know where children come out of, and no matter how many times you gave birth, you still don't know, or you don't want to know. Like a little girl, you believe that children come out of the anus, and that's why you despise them and treat them like shit. That's why you are obsessed by shit. By focusing on the anal functions, including sodomy, you attempt to deny your own sexuality.
Because your bishop didn't condemn homosexuality, (he was sorry for them and said that Christ came for them too) you took it as a license to commit anal rape against me through male accomplices. You also enlisted homosexual men, certified woman-haters, to commit crimes against me. The bottom line is not to get caught.
Thursday the 23rd: OK now let's see what happened this month so far:
Wednesday the 1st: 2PM appointment with Dr. Herbin. When scheduling the appt. I had asked him how long he would keep me and he had said one hour to one hour and a half. He had said he would need to make a two-teeh prosthesis. I don't think it's a good idea for front teeth and if he wants to go ahead I'll tell him I don't want him to do it.
Once I'm seated he says that he used a short post on the tooth that fell out because of the very hard cement used by the French dentists that he couldn't drill through. I feel like asking him "What is your drill bit made of? Marshmallow?" but I don't say it. He says also that it's because of a broken post that's stuck in the root canal that he couldn't dislodge. Then he pulls out my X-ray chart and where the X-ray of my tooth should be, the spot is empty. He says that it must have slipped, although the cardboard support is contructed to prevent such occurrence, and he doesn't even look inside my file to search for it. I ask him if the root is healthy because I saw it was grey and I'm concerned that it would decay further. He says the color doesn't mean that the root is decaying and I shouldn't be concerned about it. I ask him where does he think that the broken piece of post comes from, because the crown he put on my tooth was the first and only crown ever made for that tooth. He says he doesn't know and he sounds very tired. He removes some excess cement that is sticking to the top of my tooth. I ask what he intends to do now. He says "Nothing, I cemented your tooth with durable cement. You didn't have a problem for five years, so you shouldn't have a problem for another five years." I say I thought he had put temporary cement so that he could work again on my tooth today. He says I must have been mistaken. I say I had refrained from using that tooth because I thought the cement was temporary, I didn't even dare to brush it as vigorously as the other teeth because I feared it would fall off again, and I had chewed on the other side of my mouth. I say I don't want him to work on my tooth if it's not necessary and I'd rather not have to see him. "I don't take it personally" he says "So I can use this tooth normally then?" I ask. "Well, noooo...." Go figure.
I'm relieved that there is nothing to do and jump up from the torture chair in good spirits. As I put my coat back on, I ask him what is the problem with the gum inflammation where my tooth is and he says "Just brush it" and he sounds totally exhausted. So the inflammation was due to bacteria proliferation because I had refrained from brushing that tooth hard enough.
Back at 19W103, I complain to SB that the nonstop music is completely upsetting my schedule. He says it upsets his schedule too but I don't see how. Obviously it doesn't keep him awake, and since he has the power to make the club people downstairs change, or at least remove the extra loudspeakers that make my floor vibrate, why doesn't he do anything? He acts the victim as if there were nothing he could do. He puts himself in the same category as I am, but he's the landlord and I'm a tenant. He seems to be saying "We're in this together." but we are not.
Wednesday the 8th: On my rent check I write "Five days nonstop music". SB says that if he sues the club, he may win if they don't show up in court.
Friday the 10th: TA has sent me a notice of hearing and a notice of adjournment. After adjourning the hearing to March 31st at 3PM I send out the notice.
Saturday the 11th: I call mom. I tell her I received the announcement of her brother Bernard's death. She says that what had first been diagnosed as anemia was in fact leukemia and that he received chemotherapy and that in the end, his bladder and intestines were all blocked up.
I ask her to come over to help me move to a decent place because the situation here is unbearable. She tries again to convince me to move back to France or to another state. I say for the umptheenth time that I don't have the references necessary to rent an apartment with a lease and I need her to rent the place for me. After a while she agrees to come but not without dropping in a poison pill: she says that if she comes, she will come with Fran‡ois. She knows I was terrified of him when he visited me in December 93. I say it's nto necessary for my brother to come. She says that she needs him to accompany her. So now she's certain that it's not going to work out and that I'll remain in this hell-hole. And once again, her needs prevail over mine, and her need to come with her son is more important than my need to live in a decent place. She says that he's sleeping now and that she has to speak with him tomorrow so we agree that she will call me at 4PM New York time after speaking with him. Once again she skirts responsibility. When my father was alive she always complained that her hands were tied. You'd think that after his death she would finally be her own woman and do what she liked, but now she needs her son's approval. So that she doesn't take responsibility.
But if she truly deplored the injustices of my father towards me, how come she didn't do anything to make up for them after his death? Instead she continued the injustices against me. So after all, my father had been unjust because she wanted him to be so.
Sunday the 12th: Having not slept a wink, I go to the Indian restaurant on B'way and 105th. After I have started eating, the waiter turns on the music suddenly, very loud. The loudspeaker is just above me. I protest that it's too loud. He walks to the office and I see him smile before he turns it down. God, is there a restaurant in New York where they don't play music, where you can eat in silence? After I have asked for the check the waiter bring me a doggie bag with the check. I had left only very little food on my plate and never asked to take the rest out.
Mom calls shortly before 4PM. As could be expected, my brother doesn't want to come to New York. Mom says that I had treated him very badly last year. I say "Here is your sense of justice. You only listen to one side of the story." And I tell her (knowing that she already knows) how our meeting went. First my brother showed up at 9AM when we had made an appointment for 5PM, which is very impolite. And he threatened me. "How did he threaten you? "He said that if I didn't sign the procuration for the sale of the Pr‚-St Gervais building, "‡a allait barder" and the only reason he came to New York was to obtain my signature. So I cancelled our meeting for the night." "But he cooled his heels waiting for you." Then she says that she has read about the risks attached to giving surety for somebody else's rent payment. She implies that I might try to rip her off. I'm "somebody". I tell her that what I'm asking her to do is the same things parents do when they rent an apartment for a child who is a student, nothing more, is that so complicated? But she wiggles out.
So the reason why I'm forced to stay in this hell hole is because my brother had to cool his heels until our 7PM appointment, which I cancelled because I was afraid of him? First he called at 7PM to see me the next day, then he showed up at 9AM instead of 5PM, I spent the whole morning with him instead of working, he threatened me, he pulled the "stolen bag" bit with the cops pretending to believe that I was a tourist like him, so he was on his own in the afternoon, poor darling, and he got bored waiting for the time of our appointment and HE DIDN'T LIKE THE WAY I TREATED HIM! Hadn't he said that he had some shopping to do for his trip to Belize? I should have dropped everything to keep him company, when I was in a state of panic because I didn't see how I could make a living, and I had several berets I had to finish. That's why I am being subjected to the sound torture, right? Right mama?
Now let me remind you something about DUTY. I know you just hate to be reminded of it, it makes you squirm and cringe but as my mother, you have more duties than rights towards me. Motherhood is not what you think, it's not about lining one's pockets at the child's expense. So here goes:
FAILURE TO ACT: Can a person be liable in tort solely on the grounds that he has failed to act? The general answer to this question given by the common law, an answer which continues today, is NO. But here's the bad news:
Duty to protect or give aid: Most nonfeasance cases arise when the defendant sees that the plaintiff is in danger, and fails to render assistance even though he could do so easily and safely. The rule is that unless there is some special relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff, the former is not liable for his refusal to assist.
Defendant-plaintiff relationship: Such special defendant- plaintiff relationships include common carrier-passenger, innkeeper-guest, hospital-patient, school-pupil and parent-child.
And how long have I been telling you that the situation here is horrible? And that I can't get out of this place without your help? For more than a year. And what have you done? Nothing.
The reasons why you haven't done anything to help me are as follows:
1. Your system of surveillance is working just fine here. I have no privacy because my mail passes in the hands of the staff, my phone is tapped and my computer is bugged and there is always someone who follows me wherever I go. So that you can be sure that whatever I do to help myself, you have the means to counteract. That's the ideal situation for you. Why should you help me if that would upset your surveillance?
2. But the other reason you don't want to come here and help me find an apartment is because you can't face me, because you know that I know that YOU PAID THE BUS DRIVER TO RUN ME OVER. So there.
Twice she attacked me, trying to make me feel guilty.
1. She asked me in a reproacheful tone why I had left my job at Kleefield, as if my leaving was the cause of all my troubles. What does this have to do with anything? And don't I have the right to leave a job? I said that he exploited me shamelessly, paying me $7 per hour for a job that worth twice as much, and that his excuse was that I didn't have to pay taxes because he paid me in cash. But I didn't have any benefits. And I'm not out to screw the IRS like she is.
2. She asked me "Mais tu t'aŠres?" implying that the answer was no, and that I never open my window and that the air in my place is stuffy and malodorous. You know, my stinking body odor. As a matter of fact I was just back from eating out and the temperature was around minus 15 degrees Celcius, which I told her. Besides, what does she expect me to do outside after I have told her that I am followed everywhere I go?
Our conversation ended with her in a quiet voice telling me to try by myself, and that the money she has sent me in july should be enough guarantee, and to be more valiant under sound torture. After all, even if I can't sleep and the music makes me nauseous and I go for days without eating and suffer from hunger, considering it's me, it can't be that bad! But why should I try when I know that the first move I make to get out of here, she's going to make a counter-move to keep me stuck here?
Her tone of voice was motherly, comforting, encouraging, while the contents of her words was that she left me to my fate.
Monday the 13th: The music stops at noon. Has played almost without interruption since Wednesday 10PM. I go out shortly after noon and SB says to me "Have a good day."
Tuesday the 14th: Order General Municipal Law from West Publishing to be shipped by UPS.
I call the Liquor Authority and ask what are the conditions to obtain a license. "You must have a business." A social club is not a business. I ask what are the penalties for selling liquor without a license. They close the place immediately and impose a steep fine. A bond of $20,000 has to be paid before the issuance of a license.
I call the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, License division, and ask if they issue a billiard license to social clubs. NO.
I call the Environment Protection Agency and ask the status of my complaint. I thought I had made the complaint last fall but in fact it was in january 94. The woman says that the place has been issued a violation. I say that the situation has gotten worse instead of better, that the club now plays music almost nonstop from Wednesday night to Monday noon. She gives me a number to check the status of the violation. (212) 971-3600. I call the number several times but nobody picks up.
Wednesday the 15th: I call again the EPA. This time another woman tells me that the status of my complaint is "incomplete". It means that nothing has been done. I say that yesterday I was told that a violation had been issued but now there is no trace of it. I ask if it is possible to erase information from the records and she says no. She says I should have written down the name of the person I talked to yesterday. I ask her to register a new complaint. She asks when is the noise the most bothersome. I say between midnight and noon. I tell her I wonder what it takes for people to change their ways. She says if nothing helps, I should talk to my politician.
I call the office of the boro president at 669-8300 and say that I have complained to the EPA a year ago to no avail about a place that's underneath my apartment, that sells liquor and operates a billiard parlor under the non-profit status of a social club. She says I should complain to the Community Board. I say I already have, but I have been given the run around and been referred to the police, and that it seems that the police is protecting the place because I have complained countless times to the police, to no avail.
She asks for my name and address but I decline to answer these questions. I say I'm concerned about retaliation, and that what bothers me is not that they don't have the proper licenses, but that they play their music too loud.
She says if I want to give her a fictitious name, Miss Wendy Brennan will get back to me. I say "OK, let's say my name is Miss KAMO" and I give her my phone number.
[Kamo was one of the first Bolsheviks and a close companion of Stalin. But when he had a disagreement with him over politics, they separated and not long thereafter, Kamo was run over and killed by a truck while he was riding his bicycle home at night.]Around 4PM the phone rings and I pick up thinking Miss Brennan is calling. It's my mother.
M: Allô Brigitte c'est moi.
B: Bonjour Maman.
M: Bonjour ma chérie, comment vas-tu?
B: Mal comme d'habitude.
M: Ecoute j'ai réfléchi à ton problème et j'en ai parlé à un agent immobilier qui a des contacts aux Etats-Unis.
M: Et la première question qu'il m'a posée, c'est (voix d'Inquisiteur) "Quel est son titre de séjour?" Dis-moi ma chérie, tu t'occupes bien de faire renouveler ton visa hein? Tu ne négliges pas ça au moins?
B: Maman, pourquoi est-ce que tu me poses cette question … chaque fois qu'on se parle? Je t'ai dit je ne sais pas combien de fois que je suis en situation irrégulière. Comment faut-il que je te le dise pour que tu arrêtes de me poser cette question? Tu veux que je te le brode sur un coussin?
M: Mais qu'est-ce que je dois dire à l'agent immobilier?
B: Tu lui diras qu'ici, les agents immobiliers ou les propriétaires d'immeubles n'ont pas le droit de poser cette question. La seule question qu'ils ont le droit de poser, c'est si je suis citoyenne des Etats-Unis ou non.
M: Ah bon. Alors je lui dirai. Bon, j'ai aussi réfléchi, j'ai déjà vécu les six septièmes de ma vie sur terre et je me suis dit qu'il fallait en finir avec le partage, on a déjà dépassé les délais depuis longtemps, on peut être pénalisés pour ça, et finalement j'ai décidé qu'on allait faire le partage en sept...
B: Ben oui puisqu'on est sept enfants...
M: ...et qu'on allait te donner un septième de chaque part des six autres enfants.
M: Qu'on allait te donner un septième de chaque sixième attribué aux autres enfants.
B: Mais Maman, ce n'est pas légal, c'est contraire aux lois du Code Civil.
M: Eh bien c'est comme ça qu'on va faire quand même.
B: Mais Maman, pourquoi veux-tu faire quelque chose qui va à l'encontre des lois?
M: Parce que je veux.
B: Mais ce n'est pas légal!
M: Tu m'emMERDEs!
Elle me raccroche au nez. She hangs up on me.
END OF THE AMNESIA DIARIES
[March 1995 Diary]