Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chapter 5: Beyond the Pale

"We will become sillhouettes when our bodies finally go." — The Postal Service

Uncle Lee took a long draw from his pipe then looked back towards the window. The old man held his breath then unleashed a torrent of thick pipe smoke. He spoke suddenly, life coming into his voice like a rising ember, and it was quite some time before he paused again.

Lorelei wandered into town in the summer of 1814, a child of no more than 12. Where she came from or how she got here was anyone’s guess. But she didn’t seem tired or unhappy. At least, no more unhappy than any other kid her age. She just waltzed in wearing a raggedy dress, stitched together with burlap, and no shoes on her feet.

She came to rest by the fountain in town square, the fountain you’ve stopped by so many times before, and she sat on a post, looking around with a gaze that belied her youth. It seemed as though Lorelei had seen small towns like this before, and in all likelihood, she had.

Her hair was black, the color of a moonless sky, and smooth, unaffected by the journey that had turned the rest of her appearance to that of a wandering peasant girl. A blue ribbon, partially ripped, adorned her head, and it flowed in the afternoon breeze. Her face was no more or less striking than any young girl her age, save her eyes, dark eyes that stared like unblinking coals from her pale face, an animal’s eyes.

Still a young man myself, I had been working across the street, helping my father rebuild a stable wall, when I saw her looking in our direction. I got the attention of my father, the town’s champion lawman, and together we walked into the street to speak to her.

“Are you lost?” my father asked, brawny arms crossed over his chest, badge deliberately protruding.

“I think I saw you in a dream once,” she said.

“Do you know me?” he inquired.

“I can see that you are some kind of sheriff, but I don’t think we’ve met.” She spoke to him as an equal, something many a hood and highwayman were scarce to attempt.

“Young lady, are your mother and father around?”

“I don’t know my parents. I just want some water, if you would be so kind,” she said. Her eyes looked up at us, and I could see years of stories in them. She frightened me, this precocious child, with her fearless looks and quick tongue, and I wanted to turn away and avoid seeing the pain in her face.

“Are you here by yourself?” My father was as incredulous as I, but his sense of obligation was unwavering.

“Just water, that’s all.” She looked away, disinterested in anything more we could offer.

I ran to grab water without looking for approval. Upon my return minutes later, I could see that nothing had changed. She sat, unspeaking, digging her feet in the dirt and occasionally looking around. My father’s questioning had ceased, and he rubbed his chin in thought, perturbed by the child’s mystery and likely cooking up a “stately” solution for this wayward orphan. I handed her the water and asked her name.

“Lorelei,” she said. “Thanks.” With that, she ambled off, ignoring my father’s shouts and demands to return. We shared a glance after a moment passed, and he raised his brows. When we looked back up, she was gone. My father and I said nothing more about it and wrote her off as the daughter of a migrant worker, perhaps a miner, as many indeed traversed our roads in those days.

A week later, Lorelei reappeared, in the same place, around the same time. The day was again beautiful and sunny, and we were once again at work in the center of town, where my father spent most of his time engaged in city business. I went into the street to meet her.

She looked sad, with her head down, scratching her throat. “Hello Lorelei,” I greeted her.

“The season is changing,” she said. “It’s going to get cold soon. And then what will I do?” She looked up at me and our eyes met for an instant. In that brief glance, I saw something flash in the darks of her pupils, an electric blue streak and then a shimmer of gold. Its majesty forced me to look away. “You know, you have a great spirit, one of silence. It’s like you have so much to say, but you just haven’t figured out how to say it yet,” she said in almost a whisper.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Right now, it’s still. Everything is still. And that is a good thing. It won’t be like this forever.” She continued to scratch her throat. I tried to say something just then, but couldn’t find the words. We both just stood in the afternoon sunlight for a few awkward minutes, glancing around. I felt lightheaded and, for a moment, thought I might be in another place. It’s difficult enough to explain being in one place at one time, but the creeping suspicion of being in between two places at once. After all these years, I still can’t understand that feeling, unmistakable though it is. “I’ll see you around Lee,” she said and then trotted away.

The next time I saw her was when I first experienced the power of the alm. It was dusk, and the summer was waning. Cool winds from the north quickened the steps of everyone in town. I had been running around all day, making pickups and drop-offs according to my father’s demand. I decided to close out the afternoon reading a book by a lake outside of town. It was a place of profound solace, and the sunsets over the elms and poplars in the west never failed to tweak my lonely young man’s heart.

I had with me a sack containing all the fruits of the day’s errands, some of the items quite important for reasons I did not know. It also held more than a small sum of money from my father’s purse.

In the fading sunlight, I fell asleep. How long I was out, I do not know, but I was wakened by the vicious cracking of wood to my scalp. Sprawling in the grass, I opened my eyes to see a man wrapped in a surcoat, with a tri-corn hat tilted over his dark face, revealing only a grizzled beard. He held a crooked staff, and stood unmoving, a few feet before me. His coat whipped in the breeze, and he held his offhand in the air, as though ready to strike with it.

“What do you want?” I shrieked, rolling to the side and angling myself to make a run for it. He hit me again with his staff, this time in the neck below my chin, and I saw a flash of purple sparks flare into the night air. I spit some blood.

“It’s reckoned simple, simple boy. Hand over the gunny and be on with ye. Away from me lake, and the cursed ground that’s not for simple boys.” He stretched out a pale sinewy hand and flickered long fingers, grimy nails begging for my sack. I faltered, running my hands frantically in the grass around wear I lay. The bag was nowhere in sight. “Here be trouble, goodly simp. This here’s wizard’s silage, not for ye trespassing simple boys.”

“I don’t have it. I’ve lost it,” I said. He dropped to a crouch and exploded into a blinding pounce, swinging the staff across his body. I had barely time to move, but had I not, the chair in front of you would likely be empty now. The blow caught me on the chest and arm, paralyzing me with white-hot pain, again sending sparks into the air, chasing each other like demon flies, fizzling into nothingness.

“Ye’ve one more chance to hand over me gunny rightful, or beyond the pale ye go. Yer brood here before ye is watchful. These here eyes have seen more’n worms, simp. There be darker serpents within the wizard’s gash, waiting for freshness, skin and blood of wee boys and girls. Yer brood here doing one last favor as ye please. Me next hew will cleave yer thick simple skull, boy.” He bobbed up and down slowly, poised to provide what I can only guess as the end of the line for me. Then something unexpected happened.

Fine white streams of light curled down from the limbs of an overhanging tree. The old man saw them and pulled his staff to him in guarded anticipation. He steepled his hands in the center of the staff and looked upwards. I caught a glance of his bearded visage and nearly screamed when I saw that he had no face above his vacant, lipless hole of a mouth. A voice from behind me spoke up.

“Leave him be, spawnling of black. Find your way back through your hole, away from our peaceful ways.” It was the voice of a girl.

“What trespass, what folly. Ye’ve stumbled upon death, simple child.” His voice betrayed fear.

Lorelei appeared behind me, filthy and tattered as always. Her eyes gleamed in the darkness, and the curve of a smile awakened on her small face. “I will not warn you again. Take your maggots’ bones away from us. There are those who are not afraid of your kind, you know.” She glowed, her voice a thin wave of innocence and hope, as she scratched her throat.

“Languoring sleepwalker, ye. Yer brood here deals in deaths deeper than holy rot.” He spat the words and leapt at her, his body contorting into a fluid shadow, his staff blazing violet. It all happened very fast, but what I remember is the old man’s form going limp in mid-air. Lorelei laughed, a full laugh that rang across the sky. Clutching her throat, her mouth opened into light. From it a burst of pure flame lit the air, it’s curls forming spiraling hands, dancing to the notes of her laughter. They grasped and smothered the dark, suspended figure, wrangling the life out of it as they stopped and then reanimated. Hacking screams and the slosh of mucous came forth from the writhing creature, as he diminished into a minute flicker that shot into the sky. The whole struggle lasted less than ten seconds. Then all was quiet.

Lorelei fell to her knees and began to recite something to herself, softly. It sounded like a prayer, but I couldn’t make out the words. I was hurting and exhausted, shocked and confused. Lorelei ceased her prayer and collapsed in a heap, looking more like a 12-year-old than I had previously seen. I tried to stand up and noticed something odd. Lying on my lap was my father’s sack.

I went to Lorelei’s crippled form and took her hand. “Come with me. We have an extra bed. You need to rest.” With that, she rose and we walked home together in silence.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Underrated Bad Asses Volume 1

I'd like to fire off a list of people and/or creatures who are total fucking bad asses but have never received much credit, and still don’t today. These people and/or creatures have had a profound influence on your ol pal for multiple reasons, some of which I will describe. In general, I’m handing out props to:

  • Solomon Grundy
    Solomon Grundy is an evil juggernaut of a man. More like a walking, muscle-bound corpse, this nasty son of a bitch was one of the few characters in the Super Friends cartoons, and all of DC comic lore in general, to be able to go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel and hold his own. A limping numbskull with a 3-year-old’s reasoning skills, Grundy is a fair mixture of a Romero zombie and Frankenstein’s monster, and he kicks a lot of ass. Plus, his powers are supernatural.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr.
    Mysterio combines the old-school, acro-psychotic tradition of Jimmy Superfly Snuka with today’s hip-hop, gang-sign throwing street mentality. (Whatever happened to the purity of pro wrestling?) He is also the undisputed ironman of his vocation. He looks to be about 20 but he’s been around at least 15 years, and he manages to be on every major wrestling circuit at once. Don’t ask how I know this, I just do. Oh yeah, and Rey Mysterio Jr. is the only legit wrestler who still wears the Mexican mask. He looks like a complete stud out there, taking on cats twice, three times his size. I always emulate this guy during wrestling matches in the pool. In fact, I called out his name at the Flamingo Hilton pool last week before doing a preacher’s seat and nearly putting a woman in intensive care.

  • Witch Hazel
    This is the only cartoon character in history who not only kept pace with Bugs Bunny, but managed to dish out wry, witty comments almost faster than he did. Consider this exchange:

    Bugs: "Shame on you, Granny, Roastin' children when they should be in school...!"

    Witch Hazel: "Everyone should have a hobby."

    That is pretty solid. Witch Hazel also manages to still scare the johosephat out of me. Imagine that, from a witch, no less.

  • Lenn Sakata
    Before there was Hideo Nomo or Ichiro Suzuki, only one man carried the flag for Japanese baseball in the U.S. His name was Lenn Sakata. He had some notoriously ridiculous hairstyles on his baseball cards, and he was ridiculously lousy as a major leaguer, prompting my brother Poochie to nickname him Lenn Sakat'a'shit, which still qualifies as an all-time classic, right up there with Danny Heep'a'shit. The point is that Sakata was the original Asian forbear in the big leagues, and the last guy to play shortstop for the Orioles before Cal Ripken Jr. In his own right, he's an underrated bad ass. Look at him kick game to this chick on the left.
  • Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Low on Inspiration, but... honor of my newest catch phrase, I'll post this. You see, when you are floating through life in a cytoreality, and you're quick to get caught up in lowly, subversive forms of temptation (let's see, new age animal orgies, grim reveries of demon dancers, summertime Halloween parties on mushrooms, paranoid terrors of poisoned beer, elephant hunting, Argentine Tango, radical tantric accounting, and arson, to name a few) it's difficult to sleep, much less concentrate on the mundane responsibilities that separate you from a life on the street. So you need an exercise to keep your mind rooted in reality, the mainstream, if you will. No matter how fucking lost you are, you are still here, wherever that is, and you must succumb, to a certain degree, to contemporary custom. I used to think of sports or pop music, lying on my back reciting the Atlanta Braves lineup, bench and pitching staff, or thinking of the biggest billboard hits of the 80s. But now I utilize a simpler ritual. I chant. No, not in a Gregorian folk lament or Tibetan hymn. I just take something that I've been saying a lot to myself recently, and I repeat it, over and over. Eventually my mind feels light and breezy. I masturbate. I rest. MONDO BIZARRO! MONDO BIZARRO! MONDO BIZARRO! I am ready for my bath now. Shakes.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    I'm back

    Marty is back after a disgusting weekend in Vegas. Some of the highlights include:

  • Going to a Russian stripper's house at 8:00 am on Friday morning and finding out that it's a $50, thirty minute cab ride from the strip. Plus, she is twice my age and looking every day of it.

  • Getting kicked out of the Barbary Coast and escorted by six cops. They didn't want any of this shit. I told them, "I'll take all of you on!"

  • Doing handstands at a tuxedo shop and receiving raucous applause from both the staff and clientele. I told them they were getting what was normally a $60 show.

  • Returning to the news that Bogans is still kicking and the vets say he's improved.


  • Tuesday, August 09, 2005


    A dog has the soul of a philosopher.
    - Plato

    This is my dog, Bogans AKA "the boy." He has come down with AIHA — Auto-Immune Hemolytic Anemia. Don't ask me what the fuck that means. All I know is that his red blood cell count is rapidly diminishing, beset by his own immune system, which has turned on itself and is waging a war inside his bloodstream. He is exhausted and in a great deal of pain, most likely living out his final hours as I type this.

    I've invoked whatever magic I know, and turned my thoughts to him and his salvation. The boy is a great friend and as unique a dog as anyone is ever likely to come across. He's a purebred from a championship bloodline of English Labradors and only 6 years old, far too young to die, even for his kind. The boy has been friendly and peaceful to all who have crossed his path, human and otherwise. He's unnaturally large, about 110 pounds, but spry as a dog half his size. He doesn't wag his tail, he shakes his entire rear carriage. He sits, speaks, rolls over, shakes and follows on command. He's smart and obedient, fast and strong, always in the middle of everything. Bogans is genuinely receptive of the moods of anyone around him, the ideal companion in every way. Sometimes he sprawls flat on his stomach, extending all five limbs outwards, coming to rest in complete contentment, head on the floor, body shaped like a star.

    When he was no more than 5 weeks old, his paws were already roughly the size of my palms. My brother and I were worried about what kind of monster we might have on our hands. We should have known better, that it would be the size of his heart that would eclipse his big frame. He's as innocent and peaceful as any creature I have ever seen and, unequivocally, the best dog I have ever known. I'm no animal rights activist, or PETA freak, but this furry guy does have a soul, one that is graceful and potent. I would be proud and exceedingly fortunate to reincarnate into such a beautiful entity. Tonight I turn my normally dimmer energy to hope, and I wait in desperation for the boy to pull through. And if he should pass, I ask that any force on the other side see to it that he transcends into a place fit for his purity.

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    Why I love craigslist

    There are a lot of things to do with idle time. I engage in several pastimes including but not limited to porn, in my leisure hours. One of the many is fucking with people on Craigslist. Tonight, in my boredom, I posted the following (don't pass judgment, dude):

    Beaten and humiliated — 25 — Marina del Rey

    I was beaten and humiliated tonight at a bar in West LA. The guy said his name was Larry Stricko. I'm looking for a tough fucker to help me seek him out and make him pay. Your reward could be worthwhile. I'm a beautiful tall blonde, modest and intelligent. I have a good sense of humor and a classical education. I don't deserve fucksters like this Stricko character. I have a few leads on where to find him. He is no threat to anyone strong and brave. No weapons necessary. It's a cut and dry bounty hunter job. The payment, based on a job well done, is sexual plus whatever cash and leftover coke I got in my pocket. I promise if you are any good it won't take long. Anyone out there to be my knight in shining armor?

    The following exchange was the e-mail discussion I had with one of about 25 respondents. Though many were entertaining (fuck, they kept me up this late at least), I think this one is supreme among all others.

    Well it just so happens, I am the half-demon in a white man's body. I don't need a weapon when my foot's in his ass. Stricko ain't nothing but toilet scum living in my city. My reward will be when he squeals like a pig when he is sodomized my shoe. I don't like coke, I just like the way it smells. But I am stoned as shit. What I lack in education I make up for in pure unadulterated character. Let's go get this guy. Rather B Fishin.

    Have you ever wanted the demon to descend into you, skid across your soul and make you feel like you thought you were always meant to feel, alive and thriving, kicking and mimicking the times of a child? Newborn, infantile and full of lather, your life still innocent and not corrupted, skinny in spirit, demonstrative in social presence only because nothing made more sense than the naked, earnest heart, exposed and exhausted, only wanting for love and the nurture of a supple person, a supple breast, the breast of josephine? That is me, slick, something that will enter you like a poison, but unknowing, unacknowledged, bereft of typical human warning, just a little tingle down your back. A reminder that the earth holds something, but not something greater than the deepest corner of where we come from. The obscure place in the back of your mind. Haunting you, stoned or not. You know it's there. You know he's there. Larry Stricko. Lucifer. Beezelbub. Many names. The same result. Bone stripped of feeling. Life stripped of living. Only chains and eternity. Steel hurt. Name it. Name me. Josephine, an angel of your only reckoning. Don't worry, it's coming soon.

    I am the darkness that brings dread to darkness, the pain that brings agony to suffering, and the torment that cause anguish in hell. You cannott know the demon until you call me forth. Believe what you are taught, think what you have learned, but KNOW that I am he that is unamed, that which is unseen, the one that is beyond redemption, judgement, definition, or understanding. I am the apocolypse, Shiva, Kali, I am Armageddon. You have called, I have responded, you are now touched by my hand. What say you, seeker of vengence? The dance has begun. Rather B Fishin.

    You have passed level 1. It now escalates. Whether the reward is worth it, that is something you will have to ask yourself. The truth is that men walk, upright and oblivious, unaware of the haunting that pleases itself on our decay. We can see through the shrill blade of light that is our carriage, our sinew. Can you truly let it go, unleash it to the simple kind. I do not speak idly. I do not speak of death. I speak of happiness, that which can only be wrought with the earthly pleasure of coming to physical orgasm on the skulls of the forgotten. A human life, pleading for its salvation, is an easy one to take. But to rejoice in its remains. To feel the souls that once embodied it. The Japanese call it the Kami, the shinto animism. That is the true transcendence. Our friend Larry Stricko is a gateway into reaching this next plane. The plane of the invisible, the truly powerful. The capability to act with impunity. It starts with a simple procedure. 500 S. Gramercy Place. #202, Los Angeles, CA 90020. There dwells a agent of sublime brightness. He is that which should be extinguished. He is that which our fuel of greed and pettiness feeds. His end is a start. Stricko. A time has come to us. Are you with me? If not, waste no more of my time.

    YOUR TIME!!@!
    Time is a chain I am free of.
    You give me An address and an admonition, from a
    Child, nothing is that easy.
    Come ye first unto me, and be tested and proven
    Your Time?
    Child I AM TIME.
    What say you. Rather B Fishin.

    Dude, I think we got him.

    OK. Well, hope you are ok... If you need some pain killlers let me know! Rather B Fishin.

    By the way, all apologies for taking advantage of the sincere utility and genius of craigslist. Sweet dreams and, of course, shakes.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Hold it now, Hit it

    Just wanted to pimp another blog for a second. Check out this dude's latest post. Cult Goes Pop. He poses the question, based on that jacktard who writes for Spin Chuck Klosterman, about who you would choose in your own personal all-star band if you could take a singer, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a wild card. I posted my own in the comments section, but since I think it was a nice idea, I'm pimping his blog out in the hopes that more people will post their own selections, and then I can read it for my own pleasure. Seriously, I don't just get off on death all the time. I like hypothetical discussions about meaningless Americana with other Fucksters like myself, it sometimes helps me to escape this evil, evil, evil world. Just joshing, the evil isn't that bad, but this article is certainly outrageous.

    Man holding daughter shot in apparent road rage

    BROCKTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A man lifting his infant daughter out of his car was killed in an apparent case of road rage by a motorist "who obviously exploded" and shot him four times at close range in front of dozens of witnesses, authorities said.

    The victim's 10-month-old girl was covered with blood but uninjured when police found her in a car seat on the floor of the vehicle.

    Walter R. Bishop, 60, who was taking medication for depression, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Sandro Andrade. He pleaded innocent and was ordered held without bail; a hearing was scheduled for August 26.

    Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said Bishop had made a calculated decision to "shoot a man in cold blood in broad daylight on the streets of Brockton."

    Police Chief Paul Studenski described it as a case of road rage.

    Bishop's attorney, Kevin Reddington, said Andrade had provoked his client during a traffic altercation.

    "We have a homicide that resulted from a circumstance where somebody picked a fight with an individual who obviously exploded," Reddington said. Bishop, a former soldier and security guard, had recently begun taking two medications for depression, he said.

    Bishop told investigators he was driving his wife to the train station when Andrade's vehicle backed toward him on Main Street, Cruz said. The two exchanged heated words.

    "He said his wife was scared, and he said he was angry at that encounter," Cruz said of Bishop. "He said he made up his mind right there that he had to do something."

    After dropping his wife off, he allegedly returned to the scene of the confrontation, pointed a handgun through an open window and fired, police said.

    "Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Four shots. It sounded like a cap gun," Louis McPhee, the manager of a car wash across the street, told The Boston Globe. "The guy was lying there in his own blood with a hole in his head and his arm still on the baby."

    Bishop left before police arrived, but witnesses gave investigators his license plate number and police found him at his home.

    Police said Bishop has a valid handgun license.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Eccentric film king does transcendental meditation

    David Lynch is a genius and a groundbreaking filmmaker. Though I admit not being intimate with his entire movie canon, it's tough to deny the quirky brilliance and haunting reflections contained within Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Dune (also one of my favorite novels), Mulholland Drive and a number of other critically lauded and fan-adored cult favorites. It's also easy to imagine David Lynch the man as a real fucking weirdo (the type of person I like a lot but tend to avoid for fear of causing an interdimensional, paranormal rift, but I digress.)

    So I went to get something to eat at this vegetarian place down the street the other day — as Satisfied75 describes it, "a breeding ground for eco-terrorists" — and I was pleasantly surprised by the panoply of books, business cards, bulletins and newsletters in the back dedicated to new age mysticism, spiritual healing and other fanatical, hippie mumbo jumbo. Needless to say, your ol opportunistic pal Marty viewed some of this info as an excellent resource for blog fodder, story topics and new adventures in which to immerse myself for the good of magic. More on this in a moment.

    So I picked up and read the inimitable Whole Life Times, LA's so-called magazine of the conscious community. Surprisingly, there are some interesting tidbits in it with a few good contributors. The cover story, as a matter of fact, is a piece on David Lynch's 30-year history of involvement with the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) and its effects on his art, health, etc. I've included a link to the article below.

    Whole Living Motherfucker

    It's nothing earth-shattering, but I thought the following snippet was worth reproducing, for its empowering and optimistic implications on any artist:

    With a knowing grin, Lynch shrugs off the idea that artists must suffer in order to create.

    “Maharashi laughs at it,” he says. “It’s so absurd. Yes, you’ve got to understand suffering, but if you’re really miserable you can’t create, and it’s like, what’s the point? When I think about van Gogh, I feel that he was really happy when he was painting… All negativity does is cripple you.”

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with a life of joy after all. I think it's also worth noting that Lynch is involved in what seems like a semi-serious effort to get TM accepted by the mainstream as a valuable exercise for spiritual awareness, mental health and creativity. He's taking it as far as trying to get this pastime of the monkish accepted into the curriculum of our nation's fine public schools. Zodspeed, David.

    Nevertheless, I also found some information at the granola parlor on a new religion that could open some new fortean astral portals for me. ECKANKAR, the practice of soul traveling, has a depot in my neighborhood. They have an open house this week, which will undoubtedly be attended by an incognito Mr. McFriend. Look for a review later this week.

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