The Amnesia Memoirs and Diaries
JULY 1994 - 1/2
Sat.07.02: Call my mother. Here's the transcript:
So the fisc at last is getting into the picture! But this is wonderful news! I'm saved!
Tues. 07.05: Meet Ann Bailiff on 104th street. When I met her in early 1991 as I was just beginning to make leather berets, she had tried to make me believe that I was crazy and while acting as if she liked me she also disrespected me, one of my mother's signatures, and when I had understood what she was doing I stopped returning her calls. And now as we walked towards each other on the sidewalk, she stopped dead and exclaimed "Brigitte!" as if she was so happy to see me. I recognized her instantly although she had cut her hair and looked no longer like the proper young lady. As a matter of fact I was on the lookout for anybody whom I used to know who would pop up in my life again. Recently Outerbridge, a black married man, would-be saxophone player, whom I met early in my stay in the Upper West Side, after moving here and staying for a few months, saying he lad left his wife and family, and after he had moved out several months ago, called out my window "Axelle!" and I didn't answer. There had also been this Japanese woman, Toshiko, whom I met at the Gelabert dance class, who acted happy to see me in the street. Now that I know the trick it's easy to avoid getting caught.
I looked at Ann in friendly surprise and said "Hi" and closed my mouth and looked at her smiling and kept walking. She wasn't going to run after me. It is no wonder that at this point my mother would be very eager to obtain information about what I'm doing, what my plans are, and since it has been established to me that she's paying people to pretend they're my friends, to pretend they like me, and in this way obtain information from me, I rather expect "old friends" to show up.
In the same vein, I have received a phone call from a "market research" company. There had been the same thing two years ago and I had answered a lot of questions. This time I said that I had already participated in such research and that I didn't want to do it again. The woman on the other end spoke like an automaton. After I hung up I thought that maybe this was another ploy to obtain information from me. And the more I think about it the more I think that's exactly what it was.
When I realized about a year ago that all my contacts were infiltrated, I shut down communication with the outer world and became a recluse, keeping my own counsel. I didn't care what people thought about me. That I didn't have a boyfriend or that I never went out. My life was like a boat on a long journey, and while I was looking at the horizon ahead my boat was taking in water everywhere. Everybody leaked. So the first thing to do was to calk and while doing that I became empowered with all the trust I wanted to bestow upon somebody. Instead of turning my anger and my outrage against myself in a self-destructive act, I endowed myself with all the helpfulness, all the attention, all the benevolence, all the trustworthiness that I needed from somebody else. All the qualities which I thought a human being should manifest to a fellow human being, I turned upon myself.
I told myself that if this ordeal was what I had to go through by God's will, God who is fair must have given me the means to win. And instead of looking around to unburden myself of my problems and of my grief, I became my own shrink, my own good mother, my own lawyer, my own doctor, my own music teacher, my own voice coach, my own producer, my own labor in the beret making. I knew this was the only way to make it. Because trusting somebody and being betrayed was exhausting my "ki", in other words it was killing me, the only way to survive was to trust only myself.
The good part was that I saved a lot of time because I knew what I knew and everything was so intricately woven with something else in a totally different specialty that only I was able to make all the right connections. Thought is as fast as lightning, but communication takes a lot of time. And then some.
The lock on the door to the west wing has been broken. But it is worse than that. It looks like the entire frame of the door has been warped off the wall because the bottom corner of the door rubs against the floor, leaving dark marks and preventing the door from closing. I tell Jose the super about the lock. Now I feel very unsafe since anybody can come in. I suspect this is my mother's reaction to my "betrayal" of her two days after my phone call. And while I'm working at my computer on my accident case, with my back to the door, I am terrified that some hired killer would shoot through the door with a machine gun. Jose says that somebody who lives in the west wing didn't have his key and kicked the door but it is obvious that some greater force was used and the evil intention is what frightens me. It's like Evil Anonymous. Didn't my mother say that "she couldn't guarantee me how she was going to react" to my betrayal? And now, two days later the lock is busted and anybody can come in. I tell Jose that if anything happens he'll be responsible. I also tell him that this lock is much too small for a door that is opened and slammed shut so many times every day, this lock is fit at best for a bathroom door. He says that next week he's going to put a strong lock like there was before . It's as if he had put this flimsy lock because he knew in advance that it would soon break.
I receive a message that there's a fax for me. The fax is from Me. Laurent saying that there's FF 600,000 waiting for me, that in Paris I could sign the "partage", that I should come to Paris and take the opportunity to visit a nice appartment ave. de Choisy, and that my mother is ready to send me a round trip ticket. I am incensed that Me. Laurent lay certain conditions that had never been mentioned with my mother, and that she offers to pay for my trip. Incensed, incensed.
There has been no hot water for one week and I enter Bonarti's office after turning on my tape recorder. I complain about it and he explains that the boiler had to be cleaned and that since it was too hot it had to cool for several days before the servicemen could work on it. Why don't they put a sign that everybody can read? Jose says that he's going to fix the lock today and that next week he'll put a big lock like there was before. Maybe he was impressed when I told him that the management and himself would be responsible if anything happened. He must have made the connection with my mother's threat and thought that I assumed he/they were au courant, which isn't good for them.
I'm wearing this T-shirt which I bought shortly after my release from hospital in June 1990. It's a crude drawing of a Freddy Kruger-like cat, with long claws, two vampire teeth, and dead rats around him, one of them cut in two with blood around. The T-shirt says: "Kitty on Elm Street" in reference I believe to "Nightmare on Elm Street". While I'm speaking to Bonarti who is sitting, he has this drawing at eye level in front of him. He avoids looking at me. He is tanned. I remember telling him, when I was in love, that his tan was very becoming. Surely he didn't forget. But now there is this huge betrayal between us. He knows that I know. When I get home I realize that buying this T-shirt was another way my subconscious expressed itself. Although so many people around me approached me to talk about their broken leg story, deep inside I knew that in my case there was an element of violence and the T- shirt expressed this violence. And I realized all of a sudden that I was the kitty on the T-shirt, and that the dead rats were all these people, doctors, lawyers and landlord. They were true rats as far as betrayal is concerned. And they were dead already. Although I couldn't face the truth at the time, my subconscious knew what it did. This T-shirt had appealed to me not because I just had gotten a cat, but for the other reason.
I know some part of my mind is working on the different ways I was subconsciously accusing and once in a while an occurrence pops up in my memory. For instance I told Ann Bailiff that my father had told me that my mother had tried to kill him. This made my mother a killer but I didn't draw the conclusion as far as I was concerned. It took time for me to accept that the one who had given me life had also tried to take it back.
Everything that is angry and vengeful in me, I do my best to channel into my legal case, in writing motions and affidavits. This is an excruciating work and I wouldn't be able to do it if my sense of outrage were not so strong, because sometimes it is sheer torture to attempt to defend myself.
After trying to kill me physically, they tried to kill me legally, and both times I avoided death by a hair's breadth. So this should give them something to think about. They should know by now that they're wrong to mess with me. If my mother told them that I was a wreck, a pushover, and that it would be easy to eliminate me, she lied to them from wishful thinking.
I got two issues of the Law Journal because yesterday I didn't pick it up and nobody brought it to me. I read on the front page of yesterday's issue that charges of first degree murder were dropped against a defendant and that he was charged only with reckless homicide because intent couldn't be proven. No wonder Bonarti looked ill at ease.
Thur. 07.07: From a pay phone I try to call the French IRS. I'm using, without knowing it, one of these pay phone from one of those companies that charge more than AT&T and while I enter my personal code the call is switched to the customer service and it takes six or seven tries, with me yelling (but not insulting) at the poor operator. I ask to speak to the supervisor who accepts to send me a refund for my $50 card. I tell him I have to enter 32 digits to get my correspondent overseas, that I have to make an emergency call and I tell him how irritating it is to be interrupted and switched to the customer service in the middle of entering the personal code. Finally an operator dials the number for me and I get a busy signal. I walk to another phone. This time I have no problem, it's an AT&T phone. I ask to speak to the person in charge of the Picart file. The woman sounds incredibly calm and meek, in contrast to my state of frenzy. She asks me to wait. I tell her I'm calling from the United States and she suggests that I call back in fifteen minutes, which I do. I have Mademoiselle Danger on the phone right away. I am surprised to speak with her because the last time I had talked to her in December she had been kind of cold and dismissive, she had said that she didn't have the time to talk much because she was going to a meeting, and she had told me that she had passed my letter to somebody else. Now she explains that she's in charge of the real estate and another person is in charge of the income. I say "I've learned that you have contacted my mother." "Yes she says but we keep the source of the information absolutely confidential." "Oh, that's not a problem I say, I have admitted that I was the one who contacted you." She sounds relieved. She says that they are understaffed, maybe to explain the seven months that elapsed since I wrote to her. "So what's the situation?" I ask. She explains to me that my mother has requested not to be taxed the I.S.F. (Imp“t sur la Fortune a.k.a. Imp“t de Solidarit‚) like my father used to be and that she, Ms. Danger, has requested information about certain bank accounts, among which the one at BNP that Mr. Guignard was in charge of. Mr. Guignard has been indicted for conversion and a string of other white collar crimes. So my mother really tries to keep the money by all means possible. Then I start to explain to Miss Danger that the reason I contacted her last december was not because I am jealous or resentful or vengeful, and the quality of her silence tells me that she likes what she hears, but because my mother uses that untaxed money to hurt me in all the aspects of my life. "She infiltrates all my contacts to make me fail in whatever I do." and as an example of what she does with the money I tell her about the accident that happened four months before my father's death, and I tell her that I have realized that it was an attempted murder that was commissionned by my family." "But didn't you file a complaint?" she asks. "Yes but the lawyers whom I retained covered up that it was an attempted murder and filed a negligence claim." I didn't give any more details. "Oh but this is very serious what you're telling me! she exclaims "And I'm going to speak about this to one of my colleagues right away. "And I live in a slum with rats and drug traffickers, the locks are broken and anybody can come in, (I'm hysterical as I say this) so if you learn that I'm dead I want you to know that it wasn't an accident." and I break into tears after the anguish in my voice has risen to high pitch and the knot in my solar plexus forced me to bend forward. Meanwhile I look around to make sure nobody is eavesdropping on what I say but I think I speak so loud that anybody could eavesdrop twenty feet away. "That's the reason I'm calling you Madam, this is what I had to tell you, that if you learn that I died, to consider it was not by accident!" "But why don't you come back to France?" "Because I'm afraid!" "But you should write to somebody." "Whom?" "The Procureur de la R‚publique." "I have tried so many people." She insists that I should write to the Procureur de la R‚publique and I say that I'm going to.
I ask what the penalties are for tax evasion and she says it goes from fines to imprisonment. I say "Ah!" and it is obviously with relief at the thought that my family could go to jail. She says that the law enforcement for tax evasion is pretty strict and well staffed and that she doesn't know if I've heard about it but even a minister in the government has been sent to jail for tax evasion. "So you see, regardless of a person's position, the law enforcement is efficient." Now this is good news. This gives me a lot of hope, but I realize how crazy it is that a woman could look forward to her family going to jail and rejoice that they might soon get caught. I feel exhausted and my tears die down as soon as I hang up.
Once home I realize that I have buckled the circle around my family. Whether I die or survive, they're done in. Before I made first contact with Ms. Danger, I had learned that Al Capone had gone to jail not because of all the crimes he had committed, but because he had defrauded the IRS. So if my family behaved like a crime family, the way to stop them was the same as had stopped Al Capone.
They even behaved worse than a crime family. I have read some books about organized crime and never have I read about a family murdering one member. The problem is I don't want to be a criminal and that's why they reject me and treat me like an enemy, and that's why they tried to eliminate me.
I feel a sense of peace. I had lost hope that the fisc (French IRS) would ever help me and at a critical time, all of a sudden my mother came under their scrutiny. This would prevent her from running wild with all this money. The fisc and I are after the same thing, even though not for the same reason, and they have the resources that I lack, so they're going to do the job for me. I think I've been very smart. I have cast a net behind my family while they encircled me on all sides, believing that I would commit suicide when I realized there was no way out. While they watched me writhe in pain they didn't watch their back.
I think I've been very smart and after the terror I am elated. "That'll teach them to treat me like I'm stupid." I chuckle to myself. It was my loyalty to these criminals that brought me to the brink of death, so why should I feel bad for ratting them to the authorities?
But then I think about my legal case, the ordeal to suppress my statements, the ordeal to turn the thing around from a negligence into an attempted murder, to know all the lawyers and doctors around me were accomplices in the cover up and terror is upon me again. But if I don't die before, how else could the story end, except with all the bad guys behind bars and me the survivor, free at last to pursue my life as I intend to? Oh! But I want to live!
Sun. 07.10 and 16: Call Mother. Here are the transcripts.
Wed. 07.20: Message from mom on answering machine:
"Je t'appelle pour te dire que l'‚tude a re‡u confirmation que la CIC avait la somme et l'a (inspire) transf‚r‚e imm‚diatement … ton compte (voix trŠs enrou‚e) et sur le plan du fax il passait pas hier et ils s'en sont occup‚s l…, tu dois le recevoir ce matin, ce matin pour toi. Au revoir Brigitte."
I receive a fax from Me. Laurent's office with copy of the confirmation letter from CIC dated July 19, but I'm not convinced. The letter only says "We confirm that we have received your order of transfer of FF350,000 to the account of Brigitte Picart at Chemical Bank, Nr XXX, and that this transfer will be made on July 20." I am so suspicious of everybody that I think it is possible that someone at the CIC could be bribed to write such a letter when in reality there was no transfer of funds.
Thurs. 07.21: I send fax to CIC asking for copy of electronic transaction. Go to Supreme Court to view my file. A lot of bickering over a supplemental bill of particulars asking for additional damages due to the progressive degenerescence of my joint. It makes me see myself as a cripple within ten years and I hate the idea. This supplemental bill of particulars prompted the defense to ask for another medical exam, and to counter it I had another for my side. All this bickering is only a red herring when the real issue is totally obscured: the defense will deny any liability on the basis of the inherent flaw in my "testimony". Eh eh.
Fri. 07.22: Go to TA new headquarters with my notice of appearance and motion to quash and ask a few people walking or resting on he TA plaza if they will serve the papers for me, unsuccessfully. I go to a diner and have a coke. A black woman in suit is eating next to me and when she's finished I ask her if she will serve the papers for me. She says she's an attorney, she can't do it, and suggests that I go to the basement of the courthouse at 140 Livingston street. I go there. Behind a thick plexiglass wall, a thirtyish hispanic woman with short hair in the front and long in the back. Price lists are posted for dispossession and court appearance and other niceties, all in a neat flat-rate package. I ask if she can serve some papers to the Transit Authority across the street. She asks to see the papers, saying she has to make a call and ask her boss and tell him exactly what it is and she disappears behind a partition in the back and remains silent for quite a while. I can't believe she's reading the papers. The nerve. I had been right to test the waters with the motion to quash the subpoena, and besides logically it was the first thing to do, instead of the motion to suppress the transcripts of my statements, which is where I drop the bombshell of the attempted murder and the cover up. I expected that my move would be anticipated and the terrain prepared with as many obstacles as possible to trip me, make me stumble, make it as difficult as possible. So I was only half surprised. As a matter of fact I quite anticipated something of the sort. I called her and said I wanted it done now and could she return me my papers. She reappeared from behind the partition and said that she had been waiting for her boss to call back, she had beeped him. I said I didn't have the time to wait. I returned to the TA plaza and looked carefully at the people who were walking or resting around. I approached a meek looking man and then another one. They were all TA employees. I shoud have known, it was lunch hour. As different as they looked, men and women, because of the racial diversity, they all had this unmistakable atmosphere about them of the employee of a big public agency. Maybe that was the same difference that I felt about the dog and the wolf of the fable, where the dog promotes his domestic way of life, with guaranteed meals to the starving wolf and almost convinces the wolf to go for it, when the wolf notices the collar mark on the dog's neck and the dog explains that it might be the mark of the collar with which he is tied down and the wolf doesn't want to pay the price. While I was hanging around the plaza two black women approached me from the direction opposite where I was looking with a piercing "Excuse me!..." and asked me where such and such street was. Since it was the street that connected the subway station to Livingston street I knew the answer, but it was quite special, wasn't it, that it was the only street in Brooklyn that I could give a direction for? Then a man to whom I had asked earlier came to me and explained that the reason he couldn't serve the papers for me was that he had friends at the TA and he visited them too often and he had been accompanied out several times in the past by security, therefore he wasn't the right person to help me. It was odd that he approached me again and went into this detailed explanation. It only made me say: "Then you're really not the right person for me." But why did he need to belabor the point so heavily? Then I went to 123 Livingston, which is smack in front of the TA, where there was a sign that said "Disposess - process server" and such. Midway to the right in the staircaise that went up two floors, was a small door with a sign that said "Property Management". I kept walking upstairs when a guy who was painting the staircase in dark brown with yellow accents told me it was just nthere and I went back a few steps down. Beyond the empty reception area to the left was a door ajar, with a tall mirror so that sitting at the desk inside, the entrance door and whoever came in were visible. I walked towards the office while saying hello. A man with white hair, seemingly in his late fifties was sitting at the desk and behind him on an armchair a Hispanic looking man in his thirties, rather fat and dressed in long shorts. I asked what would be the price to serve two papers to the TA across the street. I expected that by coming myself to the site I would save myself the cost of time and transportation that goes into the cost of a service of legal papers. The man said $50 and I said it was just across the street but he didn't lower his price. I said that I couldn't afford that money and left after saying good bye. I was home around 2 or 2:30 pm. After 4:00 pm, 123 Photo, the fax service I'm using, called that a fax had arrived for me. I understood that was the answer to my request for the electronic transaction record. But it was an unusual time for me to receive a fax from France. Me. Laurent's faxes had always arrived around ten am, which is 4pm in France, the end of the afternoon. Now at 4pm New York time, that made it 10 pm in France. How could a bank send me a document by fax on a Friday night after 10? That was very suspect.
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