Snoring off my Aprés LIVES

Hold on! I MEAN…

STORY OF MY AFTERLIFE

 

Starting HERE

 

Total blackness.

I awoke in a closet. Or what I thought might be a closet. And I thought that I was awake… but I wasn’t too sure.

Somewhat gingerly, I felt my face. It was still there. This was good.

Hmm.

I ran my hands over my body. There were some radical puncture wounds and more than a few incisions in my chest and abdomen (not that I knew what CHEST and ABDOMEN were. Just guessing, really), some more under my arms, and one or two in my neck. These places were tender- some agonizingly so- as I, very tentatively probed them. But… after I did so? I guessed that I was still me. Sort of. I mean, whoever I was.

I felt my head (still attached- this was also good). Then I felt my arms, my groin (ooh! wait now! that felt nice!) and on to my legs and feet. I felt my groin again just for fun, but thought I should probably stop doing so. For now, at least.

Then I began to feel around my environment. I was covered with a blanket and beyond that I didn’t know what to think. Hmm.

I wrapped the blanket tighter around my apparent nakedness, and reached out. Here was a carfboarg-a CARDBOARD- box. And another. There a stack of papers, and further away what felt to be a muff. No. Not a muff. I mean MOP.  Yeah. A mop, alright. And a BROOM. A dustbin too. Some lightbulbs still in their boxes. Some bottles of, I don’t know. Maybe… cleaning fluid? Wax? Probably not water. I resolved not to drink any.

I raised myself up until my knees were beneath me, marvelling at the stabbing pains and aching which thankfully subsided after a minute or two.

Now that I was done feeling ME (I’d definitely return to my groin region later. I made a note of this) I felt around further. There was- lo! and behold!- the back of the closet. Or maybe the back of a small store room. (What’s the difference, I thought, between a closet and… Never mind that now, you twip. I mean twit. Jesus.)

And before me, there was a door. With a doorknob.

I grabbed the doorknob and very slowly pulled myself into sort of a half-standing, half-crouching position. My knees wobbled a bit for a few seconds, then I continued my search, feeling this bucket and that waste bin and shelves, until I croaked- or somehow vocalized…

“Yeth. A croset. I mean,” here I cleared my throat a bit, “a CLOSET. Dephinably- scratch that- DEFINITELY this is… A CLOSET!”

Proud of myself, although I had the only the slightest inkling of who, or what I might be really, and what I was here for, I stood fully. My knees shook, but was I most definitely now, standing eblect. ERECT, meantt. I like that word. It made me think of my groin again. Hmm.

“I now STAB. No.. I now STAND! before you, and slalomly- solemnly- attune, no! Not attune. I soddenly (SOLEMNLY) ATTEST! That I am stamping- dammit!- STANDING, in a Croset. I mean… a CLOSET!”

A thought struck me and I began to feel more and more frantically around the walls until I found- Lo! Behold! A LIGHT SWITCH.

Dare I switch this light switch ON? I wondered to myself. I mean, whoever- WHOMEVER- has placed me in this croset- goddamit! CLOSET! might well want me to not turn it on.

Hmm.

And then I remembered- Steph. Oh my God, STEPF, I mean STEPH! And Max. And I grew very, very sad.

“I wubber- WONDER- where they are. Wie… WHY… did they go to the trouser- TROUBLE- of placing me hear… I mean HERE?”

I began to weep. But only for a minute. Then I began to… giggle. First a little bit, then I broke into uproarish laughter (which sounded like a cross between snuffling, croaking and barking. With a bit of wheezing thrown in… but hey! It got the job done!)

Steph and Max ruled! They HAD to be okay. Simply must. Be okay.

I hoped.

My laughter subsided and I reached again for the doornut- DOORKNOB, goddamit. I was suddenly very worried for Steph. And Max.

I turned it slowly til I heard it click. I very cautiously, and very circumspectly (how did I know this word, CIRCUMSPECTLY? This warranted a moment’s contemplation, which I finally ended with another “Hmm”), I pushed the door open a crack. (I like that. “Crack”. Another very good word to remember. I reached down to my groin to cop a celebratory feel. Nice.)

And as I pushed the door open a crack, I immediately heard, coming from out there, and all around me

AUTO-FUCKING-MATIC WEAPONS FIRE

A LOT of AUTOGNOMIC WEAPONS FIRE. I mean AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE! and it was coming from fucking everywhere!  The World was Endive! I mean, ENDING! Jesus. Everyplace  Out There, that wasn’t In Here, in this crozet- CLOSET, goddamit! was absolute toast.

Everyplace outside of this closet was replete with, completely filled with, Endtime Insanity!

Punctuated by….? The distinct detonations of grenades, C-4, I.E.D.s. Grenade launchers! Maybe even Bazoukis. I mean… BAZOOKAS!

Hoary ship!!!

Something hit the ground outside, rattled up to the door, and stopped. It… it was a… GRENADE.

A roar. Jesus, I thought as I flew backwards from the inward exploding door, will I have to learn everything all over again?

Then darkness was back.

One more time with feeling, Maestro.

 …

Mary Gregory got out of her Prius. She had had enough coke- My God- she had fucking snorted enough to kill a small horse! But she did chew a few more Oxy’s to ripen her mood, and maybe settle her down a bit- as she marched through the front doors of Very Advanced Cryogenics.

A woman at the front desk looked up, startled by Detective Mary Gregory as she walked past the front desk, following Dr. Avery Clarke III down the corridor as he walked on oblivious that he was being followed, and ready now for one monstrous confrontation with this whoring Oncologist jerk. Onward they went,  towards the office of the director, The ReAnimater himself. Whom Mary had never heard of.. .but she was also willing to take down his sorry ass too.

“I’m with Doctor Asshole,” she called over her shoulder to the receptionist, who blinked for a minute, then scrambled to place a frantic call to her supreme Boss of Bosses. And also to Dr. Dierdre, the bitch of all holy bitches.

A Very Big Night was Now Taking Shape.

Somehow those fuckers had found the garage.

Had they fixed a beacon on Max’s van? She hoped not, because that would have lead The ReAnimator’s Attack Force to County/U.S.C., where Jacek had been hospitalized and, one hopes, lay in Intensive Care recovering from a very intense abdominal wound, caused by gun-happy security types back at the ol’ ReAnimation Complex.

Jesus.

As Max detonated the first of many front line defenses, in this case a set of very nasty Binary Explosives, and they retreated back to next corridor, it struck her. They had placed a tracker inside of ME (Yes. I am still telling this story, goddamit. I’m the fucking Omniscient Narrator, okay? I may be stuck in a broom closet figuring out Who or What and Where I am, and what I’m doing here, I will continue to INFORM you. So deal with it.)

“So that was what the little module I removed from behind his ear! The one she had, with bright hindsight, stuck in a petri dish and shoved in the Refrigeration Unit for inspection later, instead of crushing pronto under her Doc. Marten goddamit. Oh, well. Live and learn.”

But she was still pissed at herself as she covered Max with well-placed bursts of withering return fire, as he bolted over a set of garbage cans that had been packed to the gills with gelignite.

“Time to move into the tunnel. Make it snappy, okay girl?”

She accommodated him, sliding down the escape hatch.  Max dove right behind her, into the pipe leading down to the Sub-basement. They barely had time to cover their ears. when…

THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD EXPLODED

Anya and Radya, ready for lunch at Burger King

Story of My Afterlife

Chapter 7. Or Maybe 8. But Then… Who’s Counting?

Continued From HERE

But Starting HERE

Max drove the van down a series of side streets and alleys near the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. He finally arrived in front of a large garage door in front of the totally trashed remains of a warehouse off of St. Julian in the dark, bleeding heart of the Tenderloin. There were a several tents, lean-to’s of cardboard, and sleeping bags strewn up and down the alley, but he ignored these. He pushed a garage door opener beneath the dashboard. The metal door of the warehouse slowly cranked open and he drove the van into an empty, cavernous storeroom, one which had seen better days. He got out then closed the gate from the inside and triple-locked it with monster case-hardened steel Schlages.

I was in the back of the van with Steph, who was nuzzling and fondling me. Wow. And just Fucking Wow.

She kissed me one more time, tongue probing my tonsils, then climbed off of my lap. She began pushing my wheelchair out of the van then said,

“Come now. Enough noodling me, you depraved and damaged beast! We have more work to do on you.” She stopped the wheelchair and she kissed me again.

“You know I fucking adore you, right?”

“Glrrft,” I replied. “I mean… yes. I am aware. Of both things. That you like me. That there is more work to be done on me. Yes, I am aware.”

She stared deep into my eyes, blinked twice, smiled, then began pushing me through halls of filing cabinets and storage bins, one room after another filled with detritus and discarded equipment and into a large and open, central warehouse.

This was equipped, it seemed,  with every imaginable kind of medical device. The tanks, tubing and all conceivable medicines known, and unknown, to modern man were here, in droves. Central to this cavernous amphitheater was a kind of operating room. She wheeled me to its center and she helped me onto the table, then turned on the massive surgical lamp.

She came around to face me.

“I’m so sorry, but the last few procedures I need to perform on you, in a word, are quite painful. Actually kinda beyond words, really. Morphine will help some. Lots of it. Mixed with Fentanyl.” She pushed the hair out of my eyes tenderly. “But it will be agonizing. There’s no way around it. I’m so, so sorry.  But when it’s over? Well, you will be finished. A newer, better you.”

She thought for a moment, then asked,

“Are you prepared for this? Do you want to go through with it? Not that you have a choice. I mean, if we don’t continue these procedures on you?” There were tears in her eyes. “We… we’ll have to… dispose of you. To put you down.  Oh God, I am so, so sorry. Tell you me what you want me to do, my love, my very reason for living and breathing. Tell me now.”

She straightened up and looked at me.

“Uhm,” I considered for a second. “Well, I say ‘fuck it’. Do your absolute, goddamned worse. And I adore you more. So… there.”

She considered this, considered me, saw her own life flashing around her. Her own death too. And her resurrection. And pain, agonies she too had endured. And the affection that ensued. The Rebirth… Adoration. Worship. Wanting.

She prepared the needle, her hand shaking, and leant over and kissed me again. She stated in no uncertain terms,

“I fucking love you,” she sighed. Then she injected the admixture of painkillers and anaesthetics into my neck.

Max had finished putting the van away, securing the warehouse, and had come in to inspect me and to assist Steph. He began scrubbing me down and prepping the theater.

“Good luck, buddy. Be strong.” He said, bending over and holding my hand my as I slipped away and under. Steph kissed my eyes and I drifted into a warm, opiated coma replete with dreams of angels, of bathing in pond surrounded by many Stephs, and soaring into the sun while…

HOLY FUCK! OH MY GOD THE AGONY. SEARING, INIMICAL TORTURE AND PAIN.

UNREMITTING.

I strained like a beast against the leather straps that secured me to the table.

HOT-GUSHING-VOLCANIC SPASMS OF UNMITIGATED WRETCHEDNESS, TRAUMA… IN MY GROIN, HEAD, ARMS, LEGS, CHEST, FEET AND… AND…

Hours Of It. Days. Weeks. Years. Decades. Millenia. An Eternity of Forevers. A Split-Second and a Week. It continued on and on with a fucking vengeance. The Four Horsemen of a Dire and Prolonged Apocalypse. The Rages of Arjuna against his foes. Mohammed stepping from the Mount and into the Heavens with Blazing Affliction, Wraiths and Phantoms.  The Whole Range of Norse Gods cursing my very  name. Goethe and Faust awaiting me in their descent to Hell. Choking, spitting spasmodic gargoyles. Total eclipses of both Sun and Moon. Asteroids plummeting to earth and exploding in a vast, full scale nuclear holocaust. Shingles. Massive, splitting head trauma. And.. and…

And then?

Blackness.

Sheer, Total Nothingness. Wretchéd and profound, comatose Non-Existence. An End. A Finality beyond All Possible Finalities. An epilogue written in sand that slowly washed away with dawn’s early tide. Then…

I. Slept.

Forgetting all. Forgetting all and Disremembering. ‘Round the drain and down, down, down into the swirling maelstrom that waited at the end of forever. And very little beyond that. Bone tired, I slipped into a profound unconsciousness, black and dreary and prolonged, beyond imagining. Beyond, beneath anything I could possibly ever know.

Detective Mary Gregory screeched into the parking lot of St. John’s Hospital and slammed on her brakes, then backed violently into a spot reserved for one Doctor James Elias. Fuck him.

She rammed the car into park, then turned the engine off in her Prius; she checked her messages and lit another American Spirit (Yellow Pack). There were too many messages to respond to and she said to no one in particular and everyone in general,

“Fuck it.”

She did some more coke- a lot more, took a few Oxys and stared up at window of Dr. Avery Clarke III.

“That asshole has a whole lot to answer for,” she said aloud. Her phone rang but she ignored it, continuing to watch the fourth floor window.

Doctor Avery Clarke III had his two Ukrainian nurses splayed across his desk with their underwear pulled down to their ankles. He fondled them absently, his hands fluttering over their delectable bottoms, but he was utterly unable to concentrate. The nurses looked at each other, their eyebrows raised.

“Що нового? (What is up?)” Anya, the first one whispered.

“Не знаю. Може бути, він стає гомосексуалістом? (I don’t know. Maybe he is turning homosexual?)” Radya, her friend, whispered back in reply.

“Штраф мною. (Fine by me.)” Anya answered, stifling a yawn.

The phone on the desktop rang. Dr. Clarke answered it on the first ring.

“Now what is it???” He shouted into the phone.

The O.R. Nurse at the other end, cleared her throat.

“Your patient is prepped and ready Doctor Clarke. Might you be joining us soon.”

“What? What do you mean?” he snarled.

“Your patient- uh… the 36 year old female? She’s ready for her new kidney?” She was tired of this. Doctor Clarke grew more irascible with every surgery he performed. “The kidney has  just arrived. It needs to go in like now?”

“Oh.” Doctor Clarke thought about it for a minute. He had scheduled a kidney transplant for today? Where did he get the kidney, he wondered. Then he remembered. Oh. The ReAnimator had supplied it, for a rather steep price, and promises that Doctor Clarke III would assist him soon on a ReAnimation. He felt queasy. What had he gotten himself into? What did they want from him. Oh God.

“Doctor?” The O.R. Nurse was getting impatient. “Can you come downstairs to Operating Room 6? Now, please?”

“Yes. Yes, of course. I’ll be right down.”

He hung up the phone and looked at the two nurses he had bent over his desk.

“Jesus. I can’t deal with you guys right now. Go on. Get out.”

Anya and Radya knew enough english to get up quickly, retrieving their panties from under the desk and slinking into a corner where they put their underwear back on and neatened their uniforms. They were really hoping for green cards so they didn’t want to piss off the Doctor who had brought them over from Kiev, having discovered them on a Ukrainian website offering up young women for assholes just like him.

Dr.  Avery Clarke III pulled up his own pants, zippered them, then straightened his hair and put on his glasses.

The phone rang again.

He grabbed it and shouted “Goddamit. I’m coming. I’ll be there in a fucking…’

The voice on the other line was not that of the O.R. Nurse.

“Dr. Clarke. This is Doctor Dierdre ______ From the ReAnimation Center. The Director would like to see you as soon as you have finished with your surgery. That is all.” And she rang off.

Doctor Avery Clarke III was sweating now. These guys meant business. He ignored the two nurses as he left his office, in somewhat of a daze, and went to down to O.R. 6

Anya looked at Radya with raised eyebrows.

“Ми ледве уникла порушуються” (We have very nearly avoided being violated!) Anya said, with a deep sense of gratitude.

“Ходімо до Burger King, щоб відсвяткувати!” (Let us go to Burger King to celebrate!) Radya replied.

Anya grinned and they put their panties back on, smoothed their uniforms and left the office- to indulge in Whoppers, Fries and Cokes.

Anya and Radya, ready for lunch at Burger King

Anya and Radya, ready for lunch at Burger King

Detective Mary Gregory was on her tenth or eleventh American Spirit. She had been packing her nose with cocaine throughout the morning, and washing down Oxy’s with Stoli while ignoring her ringing phone and incoming texts.

She had seen the Anya and Radya pass by, arm in arm, headed for the culinary delights of Burger King, and had seen them return, arm in arm, sometime later. Finally she was rewarded by what she had come here for.

Dr. Avery Clarke III had finished with the kidney transplant and he emerged into the parking lot, putting on his coat tie and getting somewhat wearily into a brand new Audi S8 Plus. He looked in the mirror before he took off out of the parking lot and headed out to the 10 Freeway going east.

Cigarette in mouth, and snorting coke from the back of her hand, she stuck with him. Like glue.

He was far too oblivious to notice. He kept running his hand thru his hair and adjusting his glasses, turning the radio on, then off, and occasionally pounding the ceiling of his car.

He drove through downtown and into the San Gabriel Valley, finally exiting at Gary Blvd. headed North. She almost lost him for a minute as he wove through traffic towards an industrial park on the outskirts of Montebello. Finally, he pulled into the parking lot that faced a large building. A sign over the entrance of the building read Very Advanced Cryogenics. He pulled in front, parking in two spots, got out of his car, straightened his tie and went into the building.

“Now we’re getting somewhere.” Mary Gregory remarked. She took another rather huge snort of coke. Then phoned the Detective Division back at S.M.P.D. Her supervisor, Lieutenant Daniels came on the line.

“You are in deep shit Detective Gregory. Very deep shit. What do you mean by abandoning a fucking crime scene. You had better…”

“Shut up and listen, Daniels. I’m about to go into a very dubious enterprise. Get the locals over here, I guess that would be the Montebello Police Department. Or maybe call in the fucking Bureau. I don’t care.”

She gave him the name and address, then hung up before he could ask more questions.

She did another enormous blast of coke, then got out of her Prius, and headed into the building.

Days, it seemed, drifted into weeks. In turn I sweated, had chills, twitched and vomited. I drifted in and out of consciousness, unaware of my surroundings, laying on the table, feeling much, much worse than mere death. Steph, then Max took turns monitoring me, adjusting my medication and oxygen. I had like million tubes and catheters running to and from my body and there was a constant susurrus of suctioning and breathing devices about me. Of tubes carrying my waste.

And completely unaware of the battle that Steph and Max were carrying out on my behalf.

Story of My Afterlife

Continued from HERE

But Beginning HERE

 

Steph was crouched over Jacek inspecting his wounds and trying to control the bleeding as Max wended his way down side streets and talked frantically in Russian on the phone. He was attempting to get Jacek’s sons back, safe under the care of his associates in Moscow.

Stephanie was calm but she called out to Max. “Jacek is bleeding out. We’ve got to get him to a hospital. Stat.”

Max glanced in the rear view at Steph and nodded, finishing up on the phone. “Okay. We’re heading there now.”

Me? I was staring at Jacek’s writhing body as Steph held him down.

Suddenly I uttered,”Jacek!” and then to the amazement of Steph-and me as well…. I stood up.

“Jacek. Come back. Now,” I blurted as I walked forward and bent over him.

“Don’t leave us!”

Steph stared at me for a minute, then continued her ministrations. She had strewn cotton padding around him and was trying to inserting a needle and tubing into his arm, which she did on her second attempt. I reached out and held him down long enough for Steph to intubate him.

Jacek looked at me. “Hey, Buddy. You are with us again!” Then he shut his eyes and grew very still.

Max was pulling into the Emergency entrance to County/U.S.C. He ran inside then reappeared with a two medics who pulled Jacek out of the van and loaded him on a waiting gurney. One turned to tell us to follow, but we were already in the van and leaving. I guess we couldn’t wait.

“I think he’ll be fine. But he’s going to need a new spleen and many liters of blood. The bullet missed his spine” she said. And she turned to me. “You. Just look at you now!”

And she kissed me deeply, as she removed her bloody togs. She rummaged around to find new ones, then kissed me again.

“I’ve missed you. A lot.” I was sitting down again, played out from my exertion. But happy. Very. For Jacek. For ME.

Max smiled in the rear view, as Steph drew me close and almost hugged the life out me. But not quite. She had her tongue in my ear and clutched at my garments. Wow. This was bringing me back from the brink faster than anything else I could imagine.

Max's Black Van.

Max’s Black Van.

Mary Gregory got to the Detective’s Offices very quickly. She took another snort of coke then was out the car and heading upstairs, ignoring the greetings of other policemen.

She strode to her office, sat at her desk, thumbed through the appointments and saw that Dr. Armen Ghookasian  was now a half an hour late. (The Pathologist who had performed such a perfect autopsy on me. Yes me. I’m still narrating this.  It is, after all, my story)  She picked up the phone and lit a new cigarette.

The other detectives started to tell her there was no smoking allowed but she glared at them so witheringly that they just shrugged and continued with whatever they were working on.

The machine picked up at Ghookasian’s office, with it’s usual prescription to leave a message.

“Well fuck that,” she muttered and gathered her things and left again, the other detectives fanning her smoke away after she’d gone.

Ghookasian’s office was a few blocks away on Colorado and Detective Mary Gregory drove with the red light flashing through a series of red lights and the angry drivers who had to slam on their brakes at the intersections she flew through. She arrived at his his office in two minutes fourteen seconds. But then, who’s counting?

She ran up the stairs, found Ghookasian’s office and banged on the door.

“Doctor Ghookasian! Open up. It’s Detective Mary Gregory.”

Getting no answer, she pounded on the door again.

“Dr. Ghookasian? Open the fucking door!!!”

Getting no answer, she finally exclaimed, “Well, screw this!”

She moved a couple of feet back, the kicked the door, once, twice. Third try was a charm. The door flew open and she entered.

It was dark inside, the curtains drawn and the lights turned off. She tried the light switch, but it didn’t work. But she could see that the office had been turned upside down. Papers were scattered all over, phials and slides smashed to pieces.

And slumped over the desk, with his head definitely caved in, lay Doctor Armen Ghookasian.

Detective Gregory drew her gun and looked around backing into a corner. After a moment she realized there was no one else there. The perps were long gone.

She reached out and with two fingers felt for a pulse in Ghookasian’s neck. No go. He had been dead for a couple of hours maybe.

“Shit. Shit, shit, shit,” she muttered. She looked around for a few minutes, and then she saw- poking out from under the desk, the Autopsy Report on.. well ME. She grabbed it, then closed the door behind her.

Down in her car she radioed in that the Forensics and Police should come. She sat in the car for a few minutes reading the report. She paused for a minute then said, “Fuck it” again. She pulled out onto Colorado as the first of the Santa Monica Police squad cars were arriving.

She took off into the traffic, making cars slam on their brakes once again, and headed to St. John’s Hospital.

And Don’t Forget To Breathe

 

An Autobiography

 

 With Thematic Variation, Reinvention and (A Few) Fabrications.

But only in tiny amounts.

 

 

Part 1.

 

Reno, CA

I was, and will continue to be (along the time-space continuum), born in St. Mary’s Hospital, Reno. June 6, 1949 at 1:30 pm.

Reno? Seriously? Why there? We lived in Burbank!

Hmm.

Awe. Pretty cute, no?

Awe. Pretty cute, no?

 

Well… because my mother, (Helen) Elouise, my father, Frank (Arnold) and my five year old bro, Douglas Michael Young (who later takes the name Mike- NOT Michael- and it sticks), had been living with our Grandfather, Clifford Lee Newton and his common law, full blooded Paiute wife, Ethyl, in Greenville, Ca. My family had moved there so my Dad could find work. Only problem being is that it snows in Greenville. A lot. And my dad is a bricklayer. So in the winter, he was shit out of luck.

He is 26. My mom is 21.

Greenville was about 60 miles up very windy roads and well into the mountains, but Reno provided the only real hospital in the area. And that’s where my family headed when it was nearing time for ME! to arrive. I was born and two days later we trudged back to Greenville.

Now Greenville was, and is,  a lovely little town. I think we went back and forth from Burbank to Greenville several times over the years, until I was four or five, because I remember it very clearly.  There was an old hotel, a saloon and a couple of cafés. I remember Round Valley Reservoir, as well as the the Masonic lodge, built in 1883. I remember my Grandpa Clifford picking us up, my mother, Mike and new baby sister- my Dad was noticeably absent from these later trips- from the Greyhound Station in Chester; Grandpa Clifford stopped his pick-up truck on the way back to Greenville to back to shine a floodlight on his truck at some deer, later a mountain lion. On the 14 hour bus drive up from Los Angeles on Highway 395, I ended up vomiting my guts out and in a chain reaction my sister, then my brother joining in. And my mother giggling like crazy; she went into hysterics every time a situation got too stressful. I guess that’s an okay trait to have.

My mother was extremely cute. A doll. And oh! so young. My Dad was a handsome man, but oh! so very insecure.

I remember the house we lived in. No indoor plumbing, old rambling. With a creek running under it. It was heated by an iron stove.

I went through Greenville on the way back from delivering my younger son, Michael, to Grad School in Seattle two years ago. I decided to drive back inland through the mountains through Greenville. It hasn’t changed one bit. Not one franchise store, all the old edifices including the miniscule Sheriff’s Office/Jail and Masonic Lodge remain standing. It’s astounding really, that time passed this town by.

Grandpa Clifford in the Mason's, 1950

Grandpa Clifford in the Mason’s, 1950

 

 

Grandpa Clifford's Grave. I was the only person in my family who has visited his gravesite.

Grandpa Clifford’s Grave.
I was the only person in my family who has visited his gravesite.

 

 

I have happy memories in Greenville. We were so incredibly poor, but it didn’t matter. We got by somehow. Eventually, when my Dad and Grandpa Clifford had some kind of falling out, we headed back to Burbank, where my mom and dad had met in high school. These are splendid years, or they appeared to me as such. Kind of an underwater dream.

My little sister was born when I was three. Robin was a cutie, but I was a bit of the attention hog; I suffered her presence, jealous. I was sometimes mean to her, cruel actually. And very jealous of the attention she received. Damn my eyes. But hey! I was a little kid. And I love her now, all these years later.

 

Note: I directed a commercial for St. Mary’s, some 55 years later. Of all the hospitals in the U.S., for this project to have landed in my lap?  Bizarre, to say the least. During the shoot we ate lunch in the photocopy room which had been the Obstetrics Delivery Room until fairly recently. I was looking out the same windows my mother probably all but ignored in her throes of labor. 

Here is the Saint Mary’s Hospital commercial.

 

 

 

 

 

Burbank, CA

My Dad left the family when I was five years old.  He left us for Another Woman,  a barroom skank who knew that Dad had a Wife and Kids but still wanted him- in the worst way. Her name was Betty and she was a full blooded Native American. Or Indian- that’s what we called them then. Cherokee, actually. A real Cherokee, not just “we have Cherokee blood in us”. She was an alcoholic, but then, so was Dad.

Betty lived in a trailer park. She saw my Dad in the bar where she prowled and my where my Dad drank beer every night after night after work. He was a Masonry Contractor- a bricklayer actually. Who always called himself a Masonry Contractor. Later, he actually became a Masonry Contractor. Non-Union, but still.

Betty took him home to her trailer and?

Wouldn’t. Let. Him. Leave.

I wanted him back so badly that it caused an ache in my chest, a spasm- a total disassociation from reality. I took it very, very personally, his leaving.  I mean… if I loved and needed someone so much, identified with him so strongly, and he wouldn’t come back? Well, then? I was just… unlovable.

This set up a pattern in my life that I have been unable to break.

His  departure really devastated my big brother, Mike. He was 10 and my Dad’s abandonment pretty much knocked his stuffing out. My little sister was just a baby, so, as she grew older, was kind of ‘fuck him. I don’t even know the guy’.

And my poor, belovéd Mom.

Jesus.

My mother had to take a job (ending up at the Burbank Police Department where she was secretary), leaving us in the care of my grandmother, whom we were never, ever allowed to call Grandmother; she was always Mother Gladys. I guess  ’Grandmother’ made her feel old. She was only 39.

Mother Gladys. What a piece of work. She would drive my sister and me around in her pale green ’52 Chevrolet DeLuxe which had no seat belts, just a strap you grasped onto in the back seat. Front seat? You were on your own. And God was she mean. Head ringing slaps to the face were her specialty, although… I don’t remember my bro or sis getting them. Was it just because I a problem child? A behavioral mess?

I mean, I was just a little kid. But I became hyperactive, daydreamy… a little squirrely. I couldn’t sit still in school, frequently peed my pants and acted out in the way that drives Nuns crazy. Behavior that they had no concept of, that made them frantic.

Oh yeah. Catholic School. Oy. We went there, St. Robert Bellarmine in Burbank,  because my ‘Aunt’ Joan was Catholic. She had been inherited from Mother Gladys’ 3rd and final husband, Edward McSweeney.

I used to accompany my Grandmother to San Francisco to visit Grandpa Ed, whom I adored. He lived in the Irish Community in North Beach and his daughter Joan attended Mission Dolores Catholic School. His other daughter, Peggy, was an on again, off again junky. She came and went.

I loved the coffee houses and bars and the little Italian groceries Grandpa Ed took me to. He and friends were fucking hilarious, sly, underspoken and pretty much drunk all the time.

This was the same North Beach that gave birth to City Lights Bookstore and Espresso vendors.

San Francisco got into my blood at an early age. I loved the architecture and gestalt of the City. It was, it seemed, always foggy. We went to the City of Paris Department Store (torn down tragically in the 60s) and wandered Union Square, Market Street, Powell- taking the Cable Cars (“halfway to the stars”). And i loved Mission Dolores Schools. The nuns wearing full habits with wimple and rosaries, and I found them hilarious. Most were Irish and let you know it. They smelt good- clean, fresh, starched- devout.

Grandpa Ed and Mother Gladys bought a grocery store on Schrader Street in the Haight Ashbury. We lived in an apartment above and sent Joan off each day to school. I tagged along in the Grocery.

Alas- Grandpa Ed was diagnosed with lung cancer and I was sent back on the train to Burbank. He died very quickly and Mother Gladys and Joan followed us back. She moved into an apartment on Palms Avenue a few blocks from where my Mother lived on Cypress with Robin and Michael.

We left Burbank, and Catholic School, for San Mateo in 1956, renting a house at 356 42nd Avenue. Somehow I have managed to remember all the addresses where I have lived. They’re imprinted in my memory.

Hmm.

All the women in my family were divorced but they kept the last names of their former husbands as a kind of Sacred Trust. The surname was something bestowed on them and they cherished being Mrs. McSweeney, Mrs. Young and Mrs. Murchison. I remember them in the morning getting ready for work, all spraying hair spray on their hair. And smoking. A toxic cloud engulfed them and my little sister and we got lungs full of it. But we didn’t mind. It was a joy listening then complain about men.

 

 

Til the day she died she remained Mother Gladys.

And beyond. We still talk about Mother Gladys- she sort of mellowed out towards the end. At one point, maybe during the Lawrence Welk Show, she turned to me and said,

“You had a real hard childhood. We put a lot of shame on you.”

Wow.

 

To be continued.

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Which I haven’t done yet.

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100th Anniversary of Birth of Seamus Ryan O’Flaherty

Ireland’s Forgotten Bard

 

On March 2nd, 1912, Mary Rose O’Flaherty gave birth to an illegitimate baby boy- Seamus Ryan O’Flaherty- in County Kerry, Ireland.

The father was rumored by many to have been Liam Ryan- an inveterate womanizer and bog farmer- hence the speculative ‘Ryan’ in the poet’s hallowed name.

 

 

Only existing photo of Seamus from his time in prison.

Only existing photo of Seamus from his time in prison.

During his lifetime, Seamus wrote seven books of verse, three published by Dregs & Sons Press of Dublin; the rest were self-published and were thought to be the source, along with his alcoholism, of O’Flaherty’s financial ruin.

 

His most famous collection is, of course, Halycyon Pig, 1937. It contains the timeless poem (see below) that brought O’Flaherty to the attention of not only poetry-lovers on three continents, but also to the to the Constabulary of County Wicklow, where he was wanted for for kiting checks and dealing in tainted pork (hence the ‘Pig’ in the collection’s title).

 

 

He spent the next three years drying out in Portlaoise Prison (IrishPríosún Phort Laoise). After his release in 1941, Seamus disappeared from public view. There has been much specuation as to what happened to him; there are those who say he never died and is in fact still alive in an old person’s home in Galloway.

 

O'Flaherty's Most Celebrated Book of Verse

O’Flaherty’s Most Celebrated Book of Verse

 

 

Be that as it may, his official biography claims he died of acute alcohol poisoning and/or repeated kicks to the groin (by a jealous and jilted husband) in Limerick on June 13, 1969. He is reportedly buried in a small plot in Inniskerry.

Here is the least forgettable verse from that collection.

 

 

 

Like a Trout Upstream I Swim

 

like a trout upstream i swim

thru tepid waters murky black

‘neath the smarmy widget bridge

leading out of high-bottomed Snarf

the village of my regretted birth

here and there in the glaucous pools

flit mungous kilpish woggies, all a-char

and flanged with grommets not unlike

uncle Lucius long dead now from

poorly blended fermentations.

his elegy, only half remembered,

did in earnest laud his easy manner

with bottom-feeding fish and crispy

bog infesting newts named Gerald,

Maud or some other Celtic nomenclature

‘FUCK all and be damned!’ shriek the

dyspeptic mandrills,  lining up on

mossy banks to jeer the passing

school of fingerlings in whose

midst have i my rightful stature found.

and now my dorsal fin quivers

dullish with rage

that has scarce recourse

save its will to empower

my angry migration home.

and farther.

i am told by carp drifting in the languid

current that Burnhole Willie has been found

face-down,

skin a-leathery and nutshell brown

in a gutter in Blather Town, with fearless pigs

snuffling thru his pockets for bread crusts

and mildewed memories of more joyful days.

do not not say he is dead!  only comatose-

with plans on rising come this year’s

Paschal Feast. as for Coleen and Rose

the tempestuous barmaids at

the Foal and Gosling,

i cannot say. they have

lost their teeth but still leer at those

imbibing arf and arfs on dwindling credit.

i have minded my own P’s and Q’s

to no avail. my tab will go unpaid.

and so?

like a Fungous Bat emerging from its

cave I flutter-fly, twist and turn in humid air

still seeking glimpses of immortality or

insects fat enough to warrant effort.

from one distraction

to the next I meander

becoming an annoyance to all others.

there are those who bought my sausage

but they are dead now. there is no salmon

in salmonella- only sad regrets and meat

from unknown sources.

i curse them all.

like a trout upstream I swim

in rivers gurgling mud brown.

i should have learned to swim

for alas- i now flounder like a scrod…

then drown.

 

 

Critics have said that O’Flaherty’s verse made it retroactively possible for  Tennyson, Ovid and even Shakespeare to find the courage to explore their own mode of versifying; but critics have said a lot of things. O’Flaherty hated them all.

Here is a short film on the quest of ladder day scholars seeking answers about O’Flaherty- that no one has had the courage to ask.

Story of My Afterlife

(My Latest Yelp Review Morphs Into a Cyber Punk Serial)

Continued from HERE Goddamit!

 

We marched the across lawn the lawn, then the parking lot, Steph and Max keeping their heads low. Me? I was just a rolling target covered in a sheet. As we approached a black van which was our getaway vehicle someone stepped out from behind it leveling a mean-looking Glock at our various centers of gravity.

Jacek!

“I can’t let you take him.” He was worried as hell. ”They will kill my sons. Then make borscht out of me. You must give him back to me.”

We slowed to a halt.

“We understand, Jacek.” Steph was being very sincere but was also determined on getting me into the van.

“How…. how you know my name?” Jacek looked from Steph to Max, then stepped forward and peered under the sheet covering me.

“Hey, buddy. You okay. These guys making trouble for you?”

I mumbled “Hello!” as best I could. Stress was setting my recovery back. It came out somewhere between a croak and bark.

“Brrft.”

He nodded, then addressed Steph.

“Sorry, I tasered you. Was necessary at the time.”

“Understood. Look, Jacek… we haven’t time to explain. But we’re working on setting your sons free and getting them out of the country. Max has major contacts in Moscow. And in Eastern Europe. We’re on it.”

Jacek looked perplexed staring at the two morgue techs and patting my head.

Max nodded. “But we have to go, Jacek. Like right this minute.”

He pondered for a minute, keeping the gun on us. A very tense moment- a Moldavian, stand-off as it were.

Then the real shooting began. Whether the guards Max had subdued had come to, or other Security personnel had been summoned by someone, made little difference. We ran behind the van, bullets flying, leaving Jacek staring, very dumbfounded.

They were loading me in the van as shots pinged and slugged into the van and every which way.

“Whee”, I thought.

Jacek was trying to figure out whose side he was on.

“Jacek. Come on. Now! We will explain everything to you.” Steph was climbing into the back seat, Max already at the wheel cranking the engine into a roar.

When Jacek went down, an expression of amazement on his face.

“Shit,” Steph screamed. “Shit, shit, shit!”

Max had turned the van into a tight curve, shielding Jacek from any further injury. Steph reached out of the doors and grabbed Jacek by his pants yanking him inside the van.

“Got him. Let’s go.”

We shot out of the parking lot, Max glancing in his rear view mirror. He drove to where they had cut the fence earlier and on through.

And out we went drove out into the night.

Mary Gregory thought she had better shower; it wasn’t worth going to bed now. She felt like shit but something kept driving her on; the morgue attendants gone missing, the falsely filed autopsy report, one corpse absconded with. And that asshole, Dr. Avery Clarke III.

As she climbed into bath stall and turned the water she realized she was still smoking.

“Fuck it.” And she had her shower with a cigarette in her mouth. Which somehow stayed lit.

She got out to see that there were like a zillion phone messages and equal number of frantic texts.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

She’d get to them. But first? A few Bloody Mary’s and a stop at her dealer’s. She drove recklessly to his apartment in Venice. And who she had to wake up which she did by pounding on his door repeatedly.

Her dealer, Ramon, flung open the door, wanting to give some junky “what’s for”. But he saw it was her. Detective Mary Whatsername. The cop who had so much on him. So much. She had managed to keep his Case Files- which were like extensive- out of the system.  And give him relative freedom.

So?

So he let her in, checking up and down the street as he did so.

Mary was terse.

“Fix me up. I’m on a big case.”

He knew better than argue with her, and Detective Mary Gregory left with a couple ounces of coke and a baggy full of Oxycontin. Or maybe it was Fentanyl. Who cared?

“I’ll pay you later,” she said as flew out the door.

He didn’t have time to protest. The fucking nerve of this woman!

Downstairs, Mary got into police sedan, packed her nose with a gobbet of toot, and headed for work, ready for the day ahead.

It would be a long day, full of compounding mysteries and vexations. But that was just how it went.

Mary's Dealer. Very Pissed Off. But What Can You Do?

Mary’s Dealer. Very Pissed Off. But What Can You Do?

 

 

 

Dr. Avery Clarke, III had the two Ukrainian nurses straddled on his desk, naked and terrified, but… he couldn’t concentrate.

There had to be a way to find Steph. He wanted ever so much to bring her into submission, to find out what was going on.

Where had she gone? Why was she pursuing that loathsome cadaver? How did her ministrations on him play into what she was doing? And where she had gone?

The phone rang and he answered it very distractedly.

A nurse on the other line informed him that his current patient was prepped and ready in Operating Room 6.

“My what?” he asked.

“Um, your patient?”

He thought for a minute.

“Yes. Keep him there. I need a minute.”

The nurse asked, with much restraint, if the Doctor remembered that the patient needed a new liver, which was standing by and ready to implant. That it was a matter of some… urgency?

“Oh, okay. Jesus. I’m coming.”

He zipped up his pants and slid into his lab coat when the lab coat when the phone rang again. He grabbed the receiver and shouted,

“I said I’m on my way, Goddammit.”

The Ukranian nurses looked at each other,  puzzled… but very grateful.

He started to zip his pants muttering furiously when the phone rang again.

“I told you I’m on my way!” Dr. Avery Clarke, III screamed into phone.

“Doctor? It’s Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey, Chief Medical Examiner, from the Re-Animation Clinic. The Re-Animator needs to talk with. Be here after your surgery.”

She hung up and Dr. Avery Clarke, III stared at the phone for a minute, then walked out of his office in a daze.

Ivana stared at Ruscha.

“Wow. We dodged another bullet, don’t you think?”

Ruscha nodded yes, and began to get dressed, as did Ivana.

“Let’s go to Jack in the Box to celebrate.” And they, too, left the office.

How To Win Fame, Money, Women Playing “Squalo”

Simple Card Game For Everyone!

Requiring only Luck and My Strategy.

IT CANNOT FAIL!

 

Hello!

I Am The One You Can Trust!

I Am The One You Can Trust!

 

It is ME! Brno Jerevani ! International SEX MACHINE and Most Famous Squalo! Player in all Carpathian Gambling Meccas!  (But not Serfjü! Brno is banned from this asstight casino for stupid misunderstanding. All who live in Serfjü are born of goat fathers)

I am here to teach you my incredulous secrets to win easy everybody’s money that isn’t learning…

 

Patent Pending Amazing Brno Method to Win at Squalo!!!™

 

In easy only ONE LESSON only! And then 10 lessons more! Only!

 

Okay. Shut up.

Listen.

Squalo! is excitement to every one at all fine gambling casino resorts from Sevastopol to Krakow! It is More Popular Than Vlinka, Chukchi Poker, Soviet Roulette and Four Card Stiletto Combined!

Holy Mother of Baby Jesus!!!! Now you will play Squalo! and Win! Every Time! Brno Style©!

 

PAY ATTENTION!!!

LEARN NOW!!!

Billionaires with movie star girlfriends in Moldava are playing big stakes. NOW. Belarus, Minsk, Chernobyl, Irkutsk too!

But they all lose to me, Brno Jerevani son of Vasili! They weep and offer first born male children to know my Secret Technicality. In Bulgaria too! And very soon? New Jersey and Canadian cities of Toronto and Brooklyn.

Why does Brno have to brag? I am the Kruschev of Squalo!

Soon it’s Vegas Baby for Brno! And Arizona, Texas!

 

Hey! I teach already the Barno Secret Method® to also Tom Cruise, President Arnold Schwarzeneger, Pamela Anderson and James Bond. All now rich. Not bankrupt like Bosnian shit-eater Kranov Limsk who lies to world to say HE is world greatest expert of Squalo! ??? This is same one who wears fake Rolex??? Brno swears on mother’s grave he will make this criminal barbecue his own heart and feed to me like crispy Caucausus Rodent!

Ha!

(See signed testamentals from famous and rich below pages!)

So time for beginning is now. Not even in ten minutes.

 

LESSON ONE

How to play Squalo!

 

It is easy. Squalo! is simple game even Slovak can learn. Rules easy to remember… but sometimes change depending whether Serbian is dealer or is drinking too much (rare). Or by angry, losing players when they withdraw MaK 9 mm from groin holster. Brno preferring Czech Mauser 7.62 mm. which is NATO round and cheap and concierge can get this for easy for you.

 

SO…

 

Rule number one: have powerful friends before you are coming in Squalo! Pit. Brno has former Stasi/KGB close behind himself breathing heavy to kill everyone. But not ME!!!  Now YOU soon are also Oligarch using Brno Method* (* Patented!).

Squalo! is played with usual cards, but all “4” cards are removed. Also adding one extra “8” card which must be Spade or Red Card. Kings have no value. Except King of Diamonds which is same as Jack of Diamonds unless it is dealt before a “7” card or a “3” of Spades only. Then it is more value than Face Card. Until it is placed on top of first card not discarded by player to left of dealer. Then it is Purge Card.

Each person now not having Purge Card is “LEPER” and this person can only bet on own cards until he receives a “Dissident Card” (9 of Spades) never revealed to himself or other players. It is always clever to keep card like this as “Internal Passport” in secret pocket of Brno’s Almost-Armani!® suit jacket. MUST contain proper visa stamp!!!

Blood Oath card in Squalo! is any hidden card  dealt to immediate left and is “Lubyanka Trump“. Or right of dealer. You never know when you are dealt this card until it is too late! DO NOT LET DEALER DEAL YOU THIS CARD!!!!

 

Strategy of Squalo! is make non-linear straight of no sequence and no Two Cards can have Same Suit. Therefore is most random hand always wins.

Best Hand in game is a 5, 7, Jack all from different suits. Like Croation Family. Ha Ha. Only making fun! Brno fucking love Croats like they are my brothers! Even the women!

 

Worst Hand, of course is 3, 6, Queen. all Hearts. However, 3, 6, King All Suits is  ‘Troika’ and value can be added to points in player’s current hand on rounds following.

Okay.

In Squalo! Nobody Can Leave Table. Even after last hand is played. Ever. Is why Squalo! also called  “Gulag Pinochle”. And invented in Black Dolphin prison. Players bring Peroshki in their pockets.  And piss in empty vodka bottle. Casino sends Chechen teens to fetch bread for those who pay.

 

After you wake up other players are gone. This it is why is very important to always win.

 

Woman are not allowed to play Squalo because they are weak and stupid.

 

Remember every card dealt to all players for entire evening- so you predict which cards will be best to receive in each deal. My secret technique is to bring young womens wearing sexy clothes to count cards for you. I call these girls ‘apparatchiks’ and I give to them generous percentage of winnings. If there is no winnings they make no money and must return to their villages in shame.

 

So…

 

Dealer gives all players 6 cards. But not you. You get only five and must bet only not on your own hand. All cards are dealing face down. Except for player to Dealer’s Right. His cards are face up, but he may not look at them until game is over. This player must be very lucky or bring enough money to buy the favor of other players.

 

First person to play most random hand takes 50% of pot. Dealer takes rest, but must pay off players who let him be Dealer. This is one way Squalo! also is interesting; Side-Deals are constant like oil drilling rights in Caucusus. Or catching fish in Lake Bakal. Sometimes you hook Carp, sometimes you catch Sturgeon.

Wait here. Brno must make phone call.

….

Okay. I am back. Did you send transfer moneys yet? No time like present! Hold all questions until moneys are transferred!!!!

 

Betting in Game of Squalo!.

 

Player bets on three cards. He must NOT say which three card he bets on. Others make wager on bettor’s cards unless they think they are superior persons than bettor. If money is given in envelope to Dealer before beginning it is assuring better cards when next hand is dealt.

It is like everything in life!

When betting stops, dealer puts on blindfold and deals each player additional card.  He does not “see” his own card but can feel what card is by pin pricks in corner- that he is making himself before game.

Betting in Squalo! is like cross-eyed Magyar from provinces who comes to capitol with holes in his underwear to sell Volga Beets. He must listen to breathing of other players to see if they are excited or have terror in their hearts. If he hears someone sneeze, then this player is one he bets against.

Will he return home with barley and yams to feed children? Or will be having to mine Uranium sludge in Turkjestan for five years? This is what makes Squalo! exciting- much is at stake! There will be great suffering and despair? (Odds go 79% this direction) or Abnormal Triumph and Ascent to Heaven???

Sometimes if he hears other player crying, he will remember his own village and feel sadness for them and give them one more card. This is risky however because  he does not see dealer’s card (of course) and might bet against himself. But such is sad plight of all Slavic Peoples.

 

Betting in Squalo! continues until dealer decides it is enough. He then says,

 ”Enough!”

Betting stops and Tatar players with handguns turn off “Safety” switch. Exciting??? FUCK YES!!! The Cossacks are Here! Raping! Pillaging! Betrayal! Execution! Despair!

Brno is HARD as ROCK thinking about joy of game!!!

 

TWO important New Words for playing Squalo!:

 

1: Fondling

2: Kerbjlecj

 

You do not KNOW these essential words for playing Squalo! ???

You are fucking stupid! You are Peasants.  Only Brno can save you. If Brno decides to teach you Secret Method? Then you must go on knees to Saint Stanislav and thank HIM that Brno has taken you under his protection!!!!

 

 

Wait! You are even so lucky more than you are knowing. You are Rare Opportunities! Now you are able NOW to purchase Barno’s Dictionary of “Squalo! Words to KNOW and Also Phrases of Squalo!” Low price today only! With 50% discount if you are at same paying hard currency.

I fucking LOVE you peoples! Brno is ALL HEART. And you are like goddamned Cossack family! Brno gives everything Brno fucking has to help you one last time!!! Because you are Fucking Prince!!!

ON MY GRAVE I SWEAR THIS SOLEMNITY!!!!

 

Now give me fucking money. Brno is weary. He has given you fucking everything and he asks nothing in return. You are Brno’s fucking eternal friends! Brno is here with you for fucking ever. You can ALWAYS count on Brno.

 

REMAINING Lesson Books For Brno’s Classified Squalo! Secret Technique with Color Illustrations in Full Detail…  ONLY 690 EUROS!!!

 

 

 TRUE WORDS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE TO HONOR

BRNO SECRET METHOD™®©

 ”I am Tom Cruise famous star of IMPOSSIBLE MISSION. Before learning Brno Secret Method® I lose every night to depraved homosexual Jon Travolga at Scientology Celebrity Centre. Now every night I win everything he has. He must live in alley eating rotten fish and will freeze in wintertime to death. Thank you, Brno. What is mine is yours forever.”

“I am President Arnold Schwarzenegger. I earn impossible wealth from learning Brno Secret Method®. Enough to buy presidency over inferior American peoples. Brno sleeps at my dacha when he is coming and we fuck so many tall women together! All blonds! Brno is fucking Prince”

“I am Pamela Anderson, amazing star of Watch the Bay. After Brno teaches me also amazing method I take all of my criminal ex-husband’s money from him Malibu Casino. Then we make love 2 weeks without stopping to eat or drink. He is man of longevity and big heart. He can be trusted with everything I own. And you too!”

 

“I am James Bond, most famous spy. Ever. State Secrets permit James to only be saying Brno Method® is true effective way to take fortune from enemy. Vladimir P. uses Brno Method® to win back Crimea but I cannot say this. Please forget NOW or I am Licensed to Kill you. I owe Brno everything. He is my brother with heart as big as  Ural Mountains”

 

If you would like to be a member of the studio audience at barrylyoung.com just telex our Guest Relations department and you will be contacted VERY Discretely. To attend a taping you must sign notarized affidavit declaring that you will never reveal studio location. Ever.

My Latest Yelp Review….

Part Something or Other

(Continued from HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

 

We left Prep Room C and went quietly- but very quickly- down the corridor. I could feel the movement and, of course, utter joy of it all. We turned right, then left, heading towards the reception desk.

Where we ran into… Doctor Dierdre Allison McCaffrey! Medical Examiner and Chief Pathologist! who was in the middle of haranguing the receptionist. We slowed down as she turned to face us.

“What the fuck is this?”

She looked duly askance at us. And- putting two and two together- began to seethe. Keeping her eyes on us, she instructed the receptionist.

“Dorothy- ring Security now!” She was totally beside herself. Outraged.

Steph barely slowed down as she removed a canister from within the folds of her gown. Dorothy the receptionist was reaching for the phone as Doctor McCaffrey turned to face us squarely. Steph sprayed the hapless Dorothy first, who froze mid-dial, then… down she went. Steph gave a big spray to Doctor Deirdre Allison McCaffrey- right in the kisser; she likewise went down too- before she going totally apoplectic.

Steph didn’t pause, wheeling me around the corridor, turning one corner, then another, and again, heading for the door in the distance.

Whee. Quel Frolic!

Where waited two Security men, converging, gripping AR-17s and looking none too pleased. They were positioning themselves in front of the doors. So… as Steph and I approached, she began talking in a loud voice.

“This patient is hyperemiating and needs a glucosal infusion stat! Before he infarcts!!!”

The security guards weren’t giving much countenance to what Steph said. One chewed a matchstick in a kind of the studied nonchalance. The other addressed us.

“You have three seconds to turn around and head back to Prep Room C”

Both of them raised their weapons

Steph and I slowed down.

“You don’t understand! We’re taking him to the rehabitory! For reticulative coronary aspiration!”

They both took their safeties off.

“One….”

“But this is hypercritical,” Steph added, “There are indications of severe phlebotic necrosis,” speeding up again. We were about 20 feet from the guards.

“Two…” They sighted us in their scopes.

“We have clearance from Pathology!” added Steph. But… the obfuscation didn’t appear to have an effect on either of guards. Oi.

“Three.” The guards zeroed in. We were in a bit of a bind, as far as I could tell, peering from beneath the sheet. And getting ready for God knows what.

When suddenly…

A human form emerged in kind of dream behind the guards- from seemingly nowhere-  and bashed first one, then the other, right on the ol’ noggins. Whoa! They froze for a moment, looking bewildered. Then?  Down they went too! Kinda dropping like flies around here, I thought. Left, Right… and Center. Kerpow.

This mysterious man was, as it turned out…

MAX.

Fucking MAX. My man! The other morgue attendant. The one who had been on a cappuccino run when Steph had gotten tazered and I had been, to my chagrin, absconded with.

MAX!

“Hello, Pinnochio,” he said, grinning.

He removed the sheet I had been peering out from under and patted me on the head affectionately.

“I… (garble).”

He smiled at me, looked down at the two guards, shook his head, then gestured us out the door.

“Not a great place to be hanging around, eh? Let’s get out of here, okay?”

Steph had gotten out (another) iPhone from her pocket. She looked at the message, then smiled at Max.

“Good idea, Maxim.”

And we exited the Re-Animation Center, together, one big very happy family.

Detective Mary Gregory couldn’t sleep.

She’d knocked back a few at The Basement Tavern on Main then drove home in a dire funk. She now sat in her living room, full of conjecture and growing doubt, going through her notes. No one at the SMPD gave a shit about a stolen cadaver and a couple of missing morgue attendants- but she did. With growing intensity.

In fact, she was pretty goddamned obsessed.

Even though it was the middle of the night, she picked up the phone and connected to forensics.

An attendant picked up saying, “Hold on a minute… I’m eating pistachios.”

Mary Gregory waited, counting her breaths.

The attendant was going through her notes. She replied,

“Yeah. Pretty weird…”

Detective Mary Gregory tapped her foot maniacally.

“Yeah,” spitting out bits of pistachio shells… “We have an i.d. on one of the attendants.”

Mary Gregory sat up, reaching for another gulp of Scotch, beyond impatience now.

“Fucking tell me!”

The attendant wouldn’t be hurried.

“Hmm. Interesting.”

Detective Mary Gregory waiting, nearly apoplectic. She rolled her head around to clear out the cobwebs.

“Well, it would seem that one of the cadaver prints is that of an Anatomy School specimen. Which is pretty fucking bizarre.  We were able to trace the prints back and… and we got a ‘limited’ identification.” Detective Mary remained very still. “… and a preliminary I.D. comes back as… you know the Anatomy School isn’t allowed to release her particulars, but we persisted…”

Detective Mary Gregory counted to ten under her breath. She had to be patient- the ability to circumvent Lab School data was pretty difficult going.

“… as a one Susan Ryan. But we backtracked a bit- quite a bit actually- and got finally got her pegged- from an Incidental Diener’s Report- as Stephanie Roberts. Born in 1990. Died four years ago. Her body was donated to U.S.C. And now… Wow! Her thumbprint turns up in the St. John’s morgue. Which is wiped down every few minutes as they scrub all the surfaces- gotta keep a clean morgue, no? All in all, I’d say this is pretty weird.”

Yes. Pretty weird.

“The other print we haven’t been able to I.D. We’re still working on it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

Detective Mary could hear her crunching away on the other end of the line.

“What’s your name,” she asked.

“Me? Melanie. Melanie Goldfish. I’m the night attendant here.”

“Well, Melanie Goldfish. Really good work. But I need you to keep looking into the second print, really deep. Go beyond the normative data bases. And…. are there any conclusions about the traces of… goo we found around the lockers? And in any more on  the stolen… (she was somehow adverse to calling it- him- a cadaver, but she did for lack of a better term) cadaver?”

The crunch of pistachios abated for a moment.

“Well. No. And no.” She hesitated for a moment, then…. “Wait (rifling through lab reports). Yeah… the one substrate we found from the residue is… let me see… Oh yeah. HGH. It’s a human growth hormone.”

“Yeah. I know what it is. Odd, that.” She made a note on her pad.

“I know, right?” (spitting out of more pistachio parts). “It was very, very subtle, but we found by it by a running second and third screen.”

“Okay. Keep at it. I think there is something extremely untoward going on here. Thank you.”

She hung up and thought for a minute. Wow. She had a name- Stephanie Roberts. The morgue attendant. And a hit on the substance found near the freezer. It didn’t make any sense; how could a dead woman 1) get a job in the mortuary and lab and 2)…

No. 2) brought her back back to 1). She was sobering up a little too fast. So….

She decided to dial the Santa Monica Detective’s Division. She leaned back on the sofa rubbing her neck.

“Jorgen, here.”

She racked her brain.

“Jorgen? Are you new?”

Jorgen was probably smoking an e-cig.

“Not by a long shot. And this is the troublemaker Detective Mary Gregory? Who kinda blew it on the murdered twins case?” he exhaled.

“Careful what you fucking say, you little snot.” Jesus. The night detectives and their assistants were really a bit too much. Not that the case involving the murdered twins was her finest hour- hence the month off in the Barbados where she had been bored to fucking tears. And more than a little remorseful. Damn it! She had been taken down a long, twisting alley on that one.

“Look here, dickbreath,” she had lit two American Spirits by mistake… shit.

“I need to find out if there’s an update on the missing cadaver.”

Jorgen had her wait a couple of minutes. She put out one of The American Spirits (Yellow package) back into place.

He came back on the line and started reading from the notes.

“Sixty year old male. Autopsy reads it was an accidental overdose.” Jorgen shuffled through the paperwork.

“Let me stop you right there. I talked with Armen Ghookasian, the pathologist who did the autopsy. He claims it was murder- an injection of three Anti-Psychotics. Through a microscopic site.  He’s pretty pissed that the Autopsy Report was messed with”

“Well, that’s news to us. Why would someone change the report?” He was drawing on his e-cig and flipping pages. “That kinda changes things.”

“I’ll say. I’m meeting with him in the morning.” Which was three hours form now. “In the meantime…?”

“Yes?” More attentive now.

“I want you to find out every you can on a Doctor Avery Clarke. The Third. He works at the hospital (flipping through  her notes)  ”…as an Oncologist. But there’s something very weird about this guy. Find out his relationship with Stephanie Roberts. And our missing corpse. And… our missing Morgue Attendant, Maxim Jourdine. Who doesn’t appear to exist. But he does. Or did.”

“Okay. Done. Call back in a few hours.” Jorgen drew on his e-cig. “And Detective?”

“Yes?” Impatient now to get to bed.

“Sorry about my comment. Regarding the murdered twins. Uncalled for.”

Mary  pondered a moment.

“Asshole. You’re forgiven.” And hung up.

NEXT: A WHOLE BUNCHA STUFF HAPPENS!

My Latest Yelp Review…

Yada Yada Yada

(Continued from HERE)

 

I dreamt.

And in my dreams? I was aware of words unformed, whispered through gauzy nothingness- not so much as heard,  but felt, willing me along, propelling me further, further, down, down. I was primordial, unicellular, evolving into something of a slug or anemone. I slithered in the mud- following the words- through vast primordial seas and into the muck, and down, down, down through murkiness, through long tunnels of waste and nothingness, and into a clearing of dim, vague pulsing light. My eyes began to focus on a focal point of … something; something strange and dark and born of night. Something to focus on, that would transform me- if I only knew how to formulate words… I swam/paddled/oozed towards it, hoping to reach it, make contact, apprehend it. If only I had a voice, it would hear me! Other organisms evolved past me and I followed. I was pursuing a beast or being or godhead that was willing to talk to me, to instruct me, to explain where from I came, what I was, where Iwas going. What was wanted of me…. If only, if only… 

I awoke.

I was under the the klieg light. And sitting next to me and waiting for me to hearken forth,  to come to- to emerge- sat a strange little man of indistinguishable age. He was wearing a somber, well-cut suit, somewhat antiquated, but natty and very dapper. He leaned closer to me, resting one hand upon my forehead. With the other he probed me, lifting my face towards him. Then he let go and sat back.

“Hello, then,” he said. “You are somewhat awake. And maybe you can speak?”

I tried to mutter something but in my perplexity- my utter dumbfoundedness- I merely opened and closed my mouth, vaguely trying to communicate, but not having any luck whatsoever.

“Well, we appear to be making great progress with you.” He consulted notes on a clipboard for a minute before setting them aside. Then he stood, staring down at me, crossing his arms in front of him.

“You have been under deep sedation- as profound as we could have you be- but…we had to be careful. (This explained the pain, the intense, all-consuming agony. Jesus!) For about thirty hours, actually. But, (he clapped his hands together) you are well on your way to metamorphosing into something very unique. And marvelous. Certainly, we found it necessary to replace a few organs, damaged tissues, a bone graft or two. (He glanced again at my Prognostic Report, and raised his eyebrows) Well, seven bone grafts, actually. But… we even repaired your heart! Now?  It’s up to you to begin healing.”

He bent down close to look at me.

“Do you understand?”

I thought for minute, then I got it.

“You… you are…” My voice was a raspy, unsure thing. I swallowed (I could swallow!) and tried again. But was still having trouble saying it. But he understood.

“Yes. I am He. I am the Re-Animator. And this is my clinic. My facility.”

I stared at him, although it caused me intense pain to move my head to where I could look at him.  There was something I needed desperately to tell him, but the words just wouldn’t come.

He was at the sink washing his hands. He turned to face me.

“It’s time now. Time for you to get with the program. To learn what is expected of you. Time for you to deliver.”

He came up close again, drying his hands.

“If you do not understand? Well then… we will have just have to explain in depth. But, a little later, I think. For now, you must recover.”

And with that he smiled, switched off the monstrous surgical light turned, and left, dimming the overheads as he exited.

 

The Re-Animator. Himself.

The Re-Animator. Himself.

 

Oy vey.

I lay in the surreal glow of the ambient lighting, thinking.

What did they possibly want from me?

And how far down the scale would I have to go? What would they have me doing? Murder?  Smuggling drugs? Arms dealing?

Jesus.

I could move my head from side to side now. I could flex my legs. I could… breathe! And…?

My. Heart. Was. Beating.

Tentatively, to be sure, but still; my heart was beating and I could breathe. My God.

I lay there pondering in the gloom when I became aware of somebody, with a surgical mask on, stealing silently into the room. He/she was wearing scrubs.

He/she paused to study me, then walked over and casually covered up a camera with a pair of scrubs, then went across the room to cover up a second camera. He/she held up a finger in front of his/her mouth; a gesture that meant,

“Shut up- Don’t say anything.”

I was a little too mystified to respond.

He/she bent over me, shaking his/her head. Then she- definitely a she- pulled down her mask.

And smiled at me.

It was Steph!

Stephanie “Steph” Roberts! My savior! My reason for wanting to live, to recover! Joyousness!

“Oh… My…. God…,” I murmured. Then, with as much clarity as I could summon, “You. You came… back! For… for me?”

I couldn’t fucking believe it. I felt like crying and laughing simultaneously.

She lay her hand on my chest, feeling my sluggish and tentative heartbeat, and smiled.

“Yes. I did. Anywhere. Anytime. Really. And (placing her hand on my thorax), you’ve got a heartbeat! Wow!”

She stared at me for a moment longer then began looking around the room; she saw a wheelchair in the corner, went and grabbed it.

“Now, then, sailor! Let’s get you the fuck out of here.”

She struggled for a moment getting me off the table- I almost ended up on the floor in a tumble of limbs- and into the waiting wheelchair. She then covered me with a sheet found on a shelf. She also selected a few salves and tinctures- a few hormones-, and pills (and suppositories) that she studied for a minute before slipping them into the pockets of her lab coat

She pulled the mask over her face, and…

We left.

Wow.

 

NEXT…

Max Meets Jacek Under Somewhat Dire Circumstances