MAY 1994

Mon. 5.02.94: Buy LEGAL ETHICS and INT'L HUMAN RIGHTS at Columbia U. bookstore.

Tues. 5.03: Write motion for protective order. Clerk has never seen an Affidavit of Service like the one I bought from Blumberg.

Call Police Complaint Review Board re: refusal by police at Midtown South to write down my complaint. Guy advises me to return and try again.

Wed. 5.04: Call Police Review Board re: same. Write to Aide Judiciaire, Meykuchel, requesting answer to my application for Aide Judiciaire.

Sat. 5.07: Mail out beret in SASE. Leave message to say I just mailed it. Guy calls back to thank me for the call. Says Willa will certainly call to aknowledge receipt and tell me that she likes the beret very much.

Tues. 5.10: Buy TORTS and PRE-TRIAL LITIGATION at Columbia bookstore. Go to Columbia Law Library. I need a pass or pay $55 per month.

A few days ago, the tall guy in the bodega asked me how my beret business is going. I told him that somebody killed it. He said "Hang in there". Then today he asked again. I said that when I showed my berets for the first time, people loved them, then at the second interview they treated me badly. I said this happened all the time and I could only conclude that someone was coming after my first interview and convinced the store people not to do business with me. "How else can you explain it?" I asked the tall guy.

He looked embarrassed. Then he said that he owns two beauty parlors and that he could sell my berets in them. "How much do they cost?" he asked. I had just sold one for $48 so I said "$48 for instance." "Wow, that's a lot of money!" "But they are worth it. I's speaking of the winter and mid-season berets, not the summer ones like I showed you last year. And I have improved my technique to make them. I'll have to show you. I'll bring you a few so you can see them." "Yes but for me, how much would you give me to sell your berets?" I said that I gave him my price and that he could easily sell my berets for twice my price. He looked embarrassed again. "But if I buy ten?" "Well, if you buy twelve, I give you a discount" I say. "How much?" "I don't know, I have to look at my price list, I don't have all the figures in mind. But next time I'll bring you a few hats to show you" I said before leaving the store.

Once home I realized that it was another trick. If the guy owned two beauty parlors, what was he doing as a clerk in a bodega all afternoon? He had only been trying to draw me into another bad trip and he looked embarrassed because he knew that I knew that somebody was ruining my business and that was just what he was doing himself. He was ashamed of what he was doing. He wanted to make me lower my prices as if I were desperate to sell but I had stood firm, not wanting to sell cheap what I believe are beautiful and excellent berets.

All I need is selling to the right store, but as long as "they" are destroying my work, I don't see why I should even try and compromise the best contacts. The problem with my family has to be dealt with first. But how? A lawsuit for conspiracy against my mother, my six siblings, the Slavits, the TA lawyers, the police detective?

Wed. 5.11: Go to Research Library, just the place in front of which I had my "accident". I inquire about the Law section. A librarian shows me the section. It is ridiculous. There are hardly one hundred books, most of which are related to a very narrow field, like the bankruptcy decisions. There is an old woman all dressed in pink including her shoes, who pores over one of these books. The librarian uses the computerized catalogue. I ask him to call Legal Ethics" and the result is "The book you requested should be here" but it is not. Then the librarian says he cannot stay with me too long and I keep trying with the computer and every time I get the same answer. "The book you requested should be here", meaning if we had it, but we don't. What baffles me is that the line appears between to items totally unrelated to the field, because everything is in alphabetical order.

I go to the place where I can obtain a pass to a Law Library. The woman asks what I want. I say the Penal Code. She taps it on her computer. For Penal Code, it appears that the Penal Code of all the countries in the world are available somewhere. I see California, India, Malaysia. I exclaim that I don't give a damn about the penal code in all those places. "But you didn't specify!" the librarian tells me. She suffers from librarian stupidity. Librarians are so accustomed to satisfy the most outlandish requests that when you ask them for something simple they can't figure it out.

Maybe she could have asked, and I would have told her what I thought went without saying, that I was interested in the current Penal Code of New York State. We'll have to go through all the screens before reaching New York State, and we find it is located at the Fordham University Library. It was such an ordeal that I don't ask about the other subjects I'm interested in. She writes me a pass so I can go to Fordham University Law Library. I look at it after I have left her and see that I can only look at New York State Penal Code in the Fordham library. I am pissed off. This gigantic library that receives donation from prominent families is a sham if it doesn't have the basic laws written black on white available to the public. All these billions, all this architecture, this solemnity, this reverence for knowledge, these treasures and not a fucking law book of any use for people to check their rights. New York, give me a break!

Around 5pm I go to the bodega get some beer, wearing proudly my usual beret, the one I call "camouflage de luxe" because it's made of olive green wool with luxurious embroidery, with a wine silk lining. I don't make any comment to the tall guy regarding our conversation of the day before.

Thurs. 5.12: I want to call Columbia Law Library and decide to use the CPW pay phone. I see Anibal is on the sidewalk, talking with Gabriel, the owner of the club below my room. For a few weeks now, Anibal has been calling "Miguel" just outside my window and I have decided to obtain from Anibal that he speak about his wrist injury. But I cannot ask him point blank about it. I need to establish a friendly basis and exchange innocuous talk before I get him there. So when I reach him on the sidewalk I ask, smiling "How is Miguel?" He starts to explain who Miguel is and I tell Anibal that I don't know who it is but that I hear him call Miguel outside my window. He asks if that bothers me and I say no, not at all and I laugh and go away. He says "Bye bye sweetheart". He used to call me "legs" from the day he came to me while I was waiting for a bus to take me to physical therapy, shortly after I returned home from the hospital in may 90, and started to talk to me about a wrist injury he had sustained and which had required surgery and hardware. Then one day last summer several days after I had asked him if he would consider marrying me for my papers and we never talked about it again, he had called me "Bridge". I had asked him how he knew that name, that I had never given it to him. The only people I had given that name were children, to make it easy for them to call me.

At Columbia I complain about the restrictions and the guy makes it clear that the only way for me to get to Columbia law library is to get a last resort pass, that is after I have exhausted all the other means available (going to Queens and New Jersey) if I haven't found what I'm looking for. He explains that Columbia is a private institution. Oh! That's the reason! Otherwise I would have to pay the $55 a month fee. But since I have never done any legal research I might waste a lot of time in the library. But since it is so close to where I live, maybe an intensive research conducted over a short period of time would be worth the expense.

I call the Research Library at the number the librarian wrote on my pass. Ms. Rice is not around and I talk with Ms. Smith. I tell her I don't understand why I got a pass to Fordham for only one book, since when one does research, one needs to consult a lot of different books, and one doesn't know in advance all the books one is going to need. She says "Dont' say that to me, say it to Fordham, because we follow their guidelines." She gives me the name and phone number of the Fordham law librarian. She tells me that there are two law libraries open to the public, one in Queens that is the CUNY's, and one at Rutgers university in New Jersey. Not a single one in Manhattan! I am angry and try to contain myself. I ask how come in a democracy people cannot have access to the knowledge of their rights, of the laws they live under unless they go through a lawyer? I answer the question myself and say that it is the lawyer's lobby that prevents public labraries from having law books. I ask about the freedom of information, what is it worth if people cannot have access to the knowledge of the law in a public library. What is the meaning of democracy without law books available in public libraries? We get disconnected although I don't hear a click or a dial tone. After waiting a few seconds I hang up and call back. Ms Smith is taking a break and is not available. I say I'd like to leave a message. The woman says she cannot take a complicated message. I say I just want to thank Ms. Smith for her information, because we got disconnected before I could say thank you and good bye. So the woman says she'll give her the message. She asks my name. I say I didn't tell my name to Ms. Smith, but that we were talking about law books.

I am sure now that she hung up on me. I realize that when people are confronted with something they have no defense against, they hang up. An FBI agent did it, an Internal Affairs cop cut the conversation short after putting me on hold, Sophie did it, and now this librarian did it.

Next I call Janice Greer, the Fordham law librarian but a recorded message tells me that she's not available right now. I return home with the New York Times and the Daily News, and my rent check in my pocket. Bonarti is here, standing in his office. Joey is at the desk and Richie is at the door, keeping the gate open. I have to pass by him to enter the office. While I fish for my check in my pocket, Richie who is behind me grabs the News from my arm. I turn around abruptly and snatch it away from him, telling him to mind his own business. At the same time Joey asks me "How are you, Bridge?" I never told him he could call me that. He learnt that name from the neighborhood. While I handed out my check to Bonarti and he handed me out the Law Journal, Richie andswered the question. Maybe Joey had said "Richie" and not "Bridge" as I had heard, unless Richie had heard wrong. Anyway Richie said he didn't know about everybody, but he was doing fine. I refrained from exploding and opened the door to the wing.

Fri. 5.13: It's Friday the Thirteenth. I'll stay indoors today. Not a big change because for me, every day (I go out to take care of myself) it's Friday the Thirteenth and not Valentine's day.

Garbage Glenn brings my Law Journal to my door and riffles through the mail although he certainly knows that I have nothing else. While riffling he complains about his leg and a pain that started low and spread up to his hip. He said he was going to go to the doctor. I said that pain, whether a tooth ache or a leg pain, was a warning sign that you should do something. He develops the subject, talks slowly and gets on my nerves. However I need to pretend that I am friendly and amenable so I endure it while he goes on and on about the pain in his leg, how he can't bend it at the knee.

Just like my siblings with their letter where they refer to a potential deadly car accident as an excuse to cut me out of the estate, Garbage Glenn makes a reference to my leg injury while pretending not to know or not to remember. I believe now that what I interpreted first as a covert death threat was in fact just a clumsy denial against the accusation I had not yet formulated, but of which they had heard through the grapevine. Shortly after I realized that my family had a motive to kill me and absolutely no moral constraints since they threatened me, lied to me and had extorted and kept trying to extort my signature, I had called the police in Evreux from my home phone to say that I had been the victim of an attempted murder.

I understand that Pat Myers, the ADA who prosecuted the purse snatcher had been paid off to dissimulate the existence of the accomplice who drove the car, because when she interviewed me she totally suppressed the episode of the pursuit from 96th to 135th street on the West Side Highway .

Now I understand that the painful feeling I had whenenver I thought about it was caused by the fact that my heroic deed had been kept unknown to the justice system. After all, it was not everyday that such things happened, that a purse-snatching incident developed into an adventure where the victim, instead of being planted on the sidewalk with her hands in her mouth and her purse going away, starts runs across the street after the robber, and finds an empty cab on Amsterdam avenue just seconds after the robber takes off in a getaway car. What saved her was her primary reaction of refusing to be victimized. She ran after the robber across 96th street towards the intersection with Amsterdam ave. not knowing what else she could do and her act of blind faith was rewarded by the empty cab reaching the intersection. If she had not ran after the purse snatcher, she would have missed it. But she ran after him, drunk from a good-bye party at Hanratty's in the honor of Toos ("Adios Toos" cake) where she had drunk three drinks for free. Toos was leaving the East Coast to marry the beautiful brother of Pacho's girlfriend. Toos was from the Netherlands and was blond with blue eyes but not what I would call very pretty. It was something with her mouth. But she befriended Pacho's girlfriend's brother who was into the movies I believe in Los Angeles.

And then after three drinks I left to go home and this blond guy appeared about 30 feet from me from between parked cars amnd walked toards me.

The ultimate authority that you could count on when you were victimized, justice was turning sour on me. Not to mention the way my small claims court suit against the locksmith had turned out. "Anyway you didn't tell us how many windows you have and on which floor you live" nd that was the reason why the judge said I had no case, noclaim, and advised me to settle out of court for half the amount in dispute.

All this frustrated some very fundamental assumptions about justice and caused intense mental and psychological turmoil. This feeling that overwhelmed me prevented me from looking at the situation from a dispassionate point of view. It was only when the purse-stealing incident of dec. 93 in the coffee shop, staged by my brother, brought to mind the purse snatching of 86 that I thought again about it, and seeing the discomfort of my brother when I mentioned it, I understood that he was somehow tied to it. Then that was the reason why there was no mention of the car driver in the court proceedings, and why Eddie Santos had been convicted only of attempted robbery although if he didn't succeed, it was only because I had taken my purse back after a car chase.

Then I realized that the pain I felt about the purse snatching and the pain I felt about the accident had the same cause: some high legal authority had betrayed me and induced me to hide the truth from the justice system. And why did they do this?

Now I understand that if the truth had to be hushed, there must be some very important reasons. A common thief would not go to the extent of bribing Pat Myers, the A.D.A. prosecutor, to hide the existence of a getaway car driver who had been apprehended by the police. A negligent bus driver would not go to the extent of paying off the accident victim's attorney to suborn perjury from her if he had been truly negligent.

Thur. 5.19: What has been dawning on me lately since I talked to Veronique is that I can measure my family's hatred towards me by the extent of their lies. While she lied to me through her teeth during our overseas conversation about such tremendously important matters as our father's estate, I could feel the hatred escaping from her mouth like a noxious fume that rode on the back of her words and poured from my ear-piece through my ear into my emotions and poisoned them, making them writhe in pain. There is no way you can legitimize deliberately misleading someone you pretend to love, when you know that you do it to cover-up your own shit. The fact that what Veronique said to me hurt my feelings was only a secondary benefit. Of course they benefited from hurting my feelings and said things to deliberately put me down (people working from home like the Turk tenants) but what really drives them is the need to cover-up, to avoid detection because they know that their intentions are unlawful, corrupt and indefensible.

So they victimize me eternally because their need to harm me to cover up the guilt they feel about a previous misdeed against me feed on each other like a snake choking on its tail. They try to convince their deep sense of ethics that all the harm they have done to me in the long past was for a greater good, and in an attempt to prove it they do something even worse to me when in fact they are only confirming the destructive nature of their feelings towards me.

There is maybe O.1 percent of them that they can't fool and they think that just because it's not obvious to the people outside the family that they are totally corrupt (because the family knows it already), it's not worth having this part of them in agreement with what they do. Yet this tiny spot is where the tree of guilt grows from, and they can't control the growth of that tree. It leads them to an escalation of violence that they have convened to direct against me long ago. Maybe that's the secret I knew they had and never let me on in. From anybody's point of view except the victim's it is obvious that conspirators wouldn't inform their intended victim of their intent, but when the victim doesn't know that the people the closest to her, her own parents and siblings, doesn't know that they have designated her as a scapegoat, how is she to reason that if they keep her out of their secret, it's because they intend to harm her?

So I was able to connect the emotional pain I felt hearing my little sister lie to me to the pain I felt when I was a child and my parents and older sisters lied to me. I was able to see myself as a little kid with my parents lying to me on matters that were important to me, and knowing that their answer was a lie and I knew it but I didn't dare to tell them I thought they were lying and acting under the pretense that I believed them and following their advice, and feeling that they wouldn't lie to me if they loved me, and feeling their hatred through their lie and becoming afraid of them though I loved them. I couldn't fathom the depth of psychological disturbance that would make anybody do this so I had to integrate hatred with love because my parents were the only people I knew and I depended entirely on them for my survival. I couldn't afford to disagree and they had lied to me from the beginning.

I shall never forget my mother saying that she "had raised seven children" but it sounded that the children were cattle. It was like the quantity of children that she had raised was a proof of her good character. She said this to people from whom she expected a mission of trust. Several times I had wanted to add "Et faut voir comme!" (But you have to see how she raised them) but I had remained silent instead, when I was one of those children she had raised. She was showing the edge that she had over me because she had a lot of children and not me.

And now I understood that it had been the way she saw her children in the first place. Children as cattle. She had raised children because children were more profitable than mink or pork. You didn't get goverment money for three heads of cattle but with children you did, and the percentages increased according to certain scales. She had pocketed the government allowances to mothers of large families instead of spending it on her children. And she had deprived her children of some essentials to save more money. And she was with love like she was with money. I am sure that she had the number of children that would allow the greatest government allowance, and if she had my brother Norbert when I was eighteen it was not to deprive me of her attention at this crucial point of my life as I had thought at some point, but because when I reached majority within three years she would lose some government allowance because only Veronique and Francois would be left as minors in the household.

Only under this light did it made sense that she would deprive me of my human rights and it explained why my wanting to exercise them offended her. She really wanted to convince me that I wasn't worth much the better to exploit me. She tried to convince me that I had less rights than other human beings and paid people to mistreat me in all aspects of my life to make me believe that nobody could love me and that what was wrong was with me and not with them. For her I had never been anything other than a source of revenue and if I asserted my human rights it threw her plans askew. Now she's in a pickle. She knows that I know that she tried to kill me for my inheritance.

As I walked around 10am on 105th street towards Columbus, a black cat came out straight at me from under a car and gave a sweet meow. I recognized this small voice and I recognized the cat. At least it looked exactly like the cat that belongs to the bodega owner next door. The cat was very friendly and I started to caress his head, saying "But I know you, I know you, what are you doing around here?" meanwhile he was purring and I picked him up and he was still very friendly. I wondered what he was doing there I started to walk towards home and he leapt down. And it's only at the end of the day that I realize that, although I went out for only a few minutes, something happened on Friday the thirteenth: a black cat.

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