AUGUST 1994 - 1/4
Mon. 08.01: It starts bad with the woman neighbor. She's trying to enter the bathroom in front of my door but I pulled the door shut (and she didn't have the key) after she spent almost an hour there last night, and after she left there were 8 cigarette butts in the toilet and seven burnt matches in the bathtub. Not to mention the torn shower curtains which I suspect her of having vandalized.
I open my door and tell her that I closed the door because she made a mess in the bathroom last night. She starts shouting at me like a pit bull and I just can't compete with her at the decibel level and I refuse to get into a shouting match and ask her why she has to yell all the time. She answers yelling and finally retreats to her room and her husband appears but she keeps yelling from her door. He asks why I closed the door and I said it was because of the mess and the destruction. He said I should put signs in the bathroom asking people to be neat and I ask "Why? Do you need to be told? Should I post signs asking people not to walk in the bathtub, not to rip the shower curtains, not to take a shit on the floor?" He said he didn't have to be told. He said it was not my bathroom and everybody had a right to use it. I said I was the only one to clean it and I resented the vandalism. I said "I am not saying that it's your wife that tore the shower curtains but it is she who left the cigarette butts in the toilet and the burnt matches in the tub." The woman admitted that she had emptied her ash tray into the toilet but admitted nothing about the matches. When I said I was not accusing her about the shower curtain, his and her reaction told me that it was she indeed who had destroyed them, because when I absolved her they both looked so uneasy!....
Then the man repeated that I had no exclusive use of the bathroom and he changed the subject. "So it's true what people say about you!" I felt he was trying to manipulate me into feeling uncertain and anxious about what people said about me but I knew they had betrayed me so much, even the guys in the bodegas and other neighbors that I didn't care about their opinion of me. I no longer respected their opinion. "Oh, I see, you're fighting dirty now! I said. "I don't give a shit what people say about me." A few times he had mentioned the landlord as if to make me say something about Bonarti but I ignored the reference and didn't say a word about the landlord. With his shoulder he opened the bathroom door. I knew it was a very easy door to open with a slight shoulder blow but he didn't know it and he overestimated the force necessary. I saw his violence in the energy he put into it, his determination to force open something I wanted to protect, but his blow was much too hard, and he started to fall backwards when the door gave in and he held an arm out to me and avoided falling by holding on to me and restored himself to a standing position while looking at me intensely in the eyes but I acted as if nothing at all had just happened and kept saying that all I asked for was for people who use the bathroom to behave decently. I let him save face.
Fri. 08.05: Receive cross-motion requesting the court to compel me to pay sanctions for frivolous motion practice.
Sat. 08.13: Buy African sculpture at street fair. Among the smaller artifacts are beaded wide belts and the merchant shows me the symbol of Chango, a double axe. But I have fallen in love at first sight with this big piece and pay only peripheral attention to the other artifacts. However I notice a black wooden dildo, which I find odd among the rest.
First I leave a deposit and then I prepare my room to accomodate my new acquisition. The sculpture is, according to the merchant, a structure that peasants place in the doorway of their hut at harvest time. It is actually seven feet tall and 35 inches wide, flat, and a lot of different animals, birds, alligators, gazelles, mules fill out the surface, with the space between them cut out, reminding me of the Max Escher drawings. At the base of the sculpture is a pregnant seated woman, with her arms extended, and the whole sculpture rises above her head and her arms like a dream. I buy a bookshelf, cleant out the space at the head of my bed and return to the merchant with the rest of the cash. He explains to the young black man who helps him how to carry the sculpture. He tells him to be careful and then he opens the young man's shirt and I can see a vertical scar running down from the base of his neck. "He has to be careful because he has a pace- maker" the merchant tells me. I am delighted by the sculpture and before we leave the merchant holds his hand out to me across the sculpture for a handshake. For chrissake men are not supposed to initiate a handshake with a woman, it's the woman's prerogative, and I'm so surprised that I have to step back to shake his hand. This reminds me of all the creeps who shook my hand to make believe they liked me. The merchant tells me that this sculpture will bring me good luck and adds: "Stay in touch!"
Is it possible that this merchant with his handshake and his assistant with his scar, are somehow part of the conspiracy or am I being paranoid? But why did he have to open the guy's shirt and show me his scar?
Tues. 08.16: Deadline to serve affidavit in opposition to cross motion.
To notarize the affidavit I go to Chemical bank at 96th and Columbus but the notary public isn't there. The receptionist tells me to go the the branch at 86th street and I start walking. At 86th I see a Chase branch and I enter and ask the receptionist if a notary public is around. She says "No, but there is a Law Office around the corner." Then she adds "But I think there is a fee" as if I went to a bank to save the two dollar notarization fee. The word "fee" sounds like a hiss because her two front teeth are very far apart. I ring the bell and it takes a long time before I'm buzzed in. The attorney notarizes my affidavit then I ask him what areas of law does he work in and it sounds pretty general. I ask him if he would be willing to consult with me over some points of procedure and he asks what my case is about. I say it's about an injury. He declines because he doesn't want to give me advice without knowing the whole case, and he says personal injury cases are very technical and he adds and there are specialized attorneys for that. "This is a negligence case." he adds with finality. I'm not going to argue with him. I have the feeling that like in so many cases before, I have been sent by apparent strangers to someone who apparently doesn't know me and gives me disinterested advice that I should follow just because the person seems unrelated.
I'm back at 123 Livingston in Brooklyn. There is a sign on the door "Back in 15 minutes" and as soon as I'm back downstairs the white haired man arrives. I say Hello and tell him I need to serve a paper to the TA. I say I'm gonna have to serve a lot of papers because the TA is giving me a hard time. When we're back at his office door for him to fill out the affidavit of service, two guys appear out of nowhere. "Oh, you're here!" the white haired man says. I have no idea how they got there. They didn't go upstairs with us. Maybe they were inside the office when we left and the man locked them in? The tall fat man I first believe is the man's son but later I realize he's not. The two men sit silently in the reception area while the process server fills out the affidavit. I ask how much and the man says $35. "35 dollars!" I exclaim. "Are you going to charge me 35 dollars every time?" "No, the next time I'll charge you less." I feel I have no power to prevent him from gouging me. I ask him for a receipt. While I open the door to go out I say good bye to the two guys with a quick glance at them but they don't answer, they look very stern, almost menacing. It's only in the evening that I realize that the two guys who were sitting silently were there to intimidate me. The fact that they remained silent all the time and that they didn't even respond when I said good bye indicates their bad intention. They are here to discourage me from coming back. Because supposing they wanted to overpower me and assault me physically in this little office, while nobody is waiting for me on the outside, what could I do? It is obvious that preventing me from serving papers is an effective means to prevent the truth from coming out. I have to find another way to serve my papers next time.
Here's the text of my answering affidavit:
New York City Transit Authority
and Anthony Pizzimenti
Index Number 21980/90
AFFIDAVIT IN REPLY TO CROSS MOTION
Re: the subpoena duces tecum served on plaintiff by defendants on August 18, 1993.
The plaintiff Brigitte Picart being duly sworn deposes and says:
1. Pursuant to CPLR 3120 (a), the proper method to obtain documents from a party is a request to produce on notice to the party.
2. Plaintiff's motion to quash is not frivolous because defendants have shown no evidence in their cross motion that they complied with the above rule, therefore they violated plaintiff's right of due process by serving her with a subpoena duces tecum. The Fourteenth Amendment right of due process is hardly a frivolous issue, neither is the threat of fine and jail contained in a subpoena, and by making a motion to quash this subpoena, plaintiff seeks to protect her right of due process.
3. Plaintiff's motion to quash is not untimely because she dismissed her attorneys two days after receiving the subpoena and she served the motion to quash on the same day she entered her appearance as a pro-se plaintiff, which is the earliest possible time to serve. All proceedings being stayed in the interval, the duration of the interval is irrelevant as long as it does not exceed one year.
4. The filing of a Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness dated December 12, 1991 indicates that discovery was completed by the end of 1991. It is unlikely that defendants would have agreed to this filing if they had not received plaintiff's employment records for 1989 and 1990 and in any event, plaintiff is not responsible for her attorneys's lack of diligence if, as alleged by defendants, plaintiff's attorneys failed to transmit her employment records to defendants. Therefore this subpoena served one year and eight and a half months after completion of discovery is frivolous and untimely, and it constitutes an abuse of process that violates plaintiff's right of due process.
5. Plaintiff is not responsible for her employers' violation of labor and tax laws. Had plaintiff been given a W-2 form, she would have filed an income tax return. To accuse plaintiff of tax evasion reveals an alarming lack of sense of proportion considering that plaintiff was earning starvation wages. How much tax do defendants believe plaintiff "evaded" on a gross annual income of $11,232?
By making these accusations, defendants are blaming the victim and are trying to confuse the issues.
6. Defendants' cross motion of August 4, 1994 confirms plaintiff's belief that the subpoena she received just before the trial was intended not to obtain relevant information but to intimidate and embarrass plaintiff and to prejudice the court against plaintiff by portraying her as a tax cheat with a guilty conscience, who is uncooperative in the discovery process and needs to be dragged to court to document her income, which is preposterous given plaintiff's occupation and earnings.
7. Besides it is to defendants' advantage that plaintiff can document so little earnings, therefore defendants' motive in issuing this subpoena is all the more questionable.
Because this subpoena violates plaintiff's right of due process and because this subpoena is frivolous and untimely, plaintiff maintains her motion to quash. To: Wallace D. Gossett Attorney for defendants NYC Transit Authority 130 Livingston Street Room 521 Brooklyn N.Y. 11201 (718) 694-3826
Sworn to before me this 16th day of August 1994
TA file #90-05-23-13-001
Then I go to the Transit Museum which is just across the headquarters of the TA. I think I might find a toy bus and sure enough, at the gift shop they sell piggy banks in the form of a bus, ten inches long. I buy it and place it atop a bookshelf like a trophy.
Recently I looked at a bus when the thought hit me: I clearly remembered that when the bus made contact with me, the front wheel was behind me. And it was only now that I realized that, contrary to what I had said in my statements to the TA (fake hearing and fake EBT) the part of the bus that came into contact with me was not behind the front door, since the front wheel is just behind the front door, it could only be the top of the right side, the right side of the door, therefore the very front of the bus, and since there are glass windows on the door, how could the driver not see me? What took me so long to realize was that I escaped death twice, first by the front wheel and next by the second wheel. So that's two counts of first degree attempted murder for you mom.
For the past year I have been reading books about Nazism, some of which I get at the library, some of which I buy new or used. What I notice is that the atmosphere of fear secrecy and terror is the same atmosphere as the one that pervaded my family. There are a lot of similarities between the way our parents raised us and the way Hitler and his cohort ruled Germany. I could almost say that it seems that our parents educated us by copying the Third Reich's political stance and policies. But no horror that I read about comes close to the horrors described in the books of Christian Bernadac where he described the medical experiments made on children an women.
THE GENESIS OF GUILT
Those books were passed to me during music class. A girl sitting near the door passed the book along below the desks. When the book reached me I read a few lines of the open book. Yes, it was open when I received it. And it spoke about the abominations done to these people. I remember that I was both horror struck and fascinated and wanted to read the whole book and I kept it. I was about ten years old. So I kept the book and read it at home secretly.
I knew that if I talked to my mother about these books she would scold me for knowing what I wasn't supposed to know. She always was furious when I raised a subject that she didn't want to talk about and the contents of these books was so horrible that she would certainly have become dangerously enraged had she known that these books were in my hands. Knowledge was sin, and punishable. This knowledge particularly, was certainly a horrible crime. So I felt guilty about knowing but that's not where the guilt ended: the reading of the atrocities committed against helpless people made me aware of my sadistic tendancies because at a certain level, I enjoyed the reading and felt terribly ashamed to enjoy it.
There were three or four books in all, that were passed to me in the same manner, and I returned them in the same manner too, during music class. I remember that once I passed one of the books to the girl next to me but she refused it and said it was for me. I never asked any questions to the girls who passed it along like where the books came from, or who wanted me to read them because I was terribly ashamed of my interest in them.
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