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a l a ddin mcin t y r e

wa s l y i n i n b e d ,

had my headphones on. I may have been asleep, I dont know. But I
dont really sleep. I was listenin to my Creedence. You know, Break On Through to the Other
Side. I know it for a fact. I looked at the clock. It was 3 a.m. and my Creedence was playing and there was no other noise.

My mom used to say I did everything out of spite. All she did was bitch. But she was right I
even used to start telling her that she was right, just out of spite. Listen, I used to make these
tapes when I was little. I always liked Break On Through to the Other Side. But I saw this movie Big
Lebowski, and I loved that movie, and he liked Creedence. Somehow I must have gotten my
wires crossed cause I decided that Creedence had done Break On Through. Some fucking faggot
told me the one day that it wasnt Creedence. But I kept on callin it Creedence and still do,
just out of spite.
Doors is bullshit. What the fuck is that for a name for a band? I give no credence to that Doors
bullshit. Call it The Windows. The Fucking Tables. What the fuck is a door? You got some
asshole who wants to go from Point A to Point B. But he cant. Theres something in the way.
Whats in the way? Is it a mountain or a river? No, its a piece of paper stood up between him
and his route. Goddamn thing made specifically, the size of a man, to keep him out. But its
got a handle on it, that you can turn, and he gets in. What the hell is the point of putting up
a thing to keep a man out with a handle on it he can turn to get in? This sort of thing galls me.
Eats at me. Space is space, man. If you can walk around in it, nothing is meant to be kept out.
All these barriers is all bullshit.
Same thing when I was lyin there. I knew somebody was at the door. Let me tell you what I
knew in a flash: it was dead quiet and I had heard nothin. There was just the headphones in
my ears, nothing to wake me up. Something was coming out of that door, though, down the
hall telling me not to open it. Something was there. Your body goes like oh, shit and your
mind doesnt know what to think of it. So what do you do? You sit there on your mattress and
wonder why your body wants to start trembling.
Not what I do. Soon as I saw that, I got up off the mattress out of spite. Some motherfucker
wants to stand at my door in the middle of the night, Ill go see who it is. If hes some evil
motherfucker from another world with the shit just rolling off him, and makes my body panic
even better.
I will tell you though: it is some heavy shit when these fuckers roll up on you in the middle of
the night. I know how those people who get hit with the aliens feel. I go to the door and I want
to look through the peephole first, you know, but I said fuck that. Im not even gonna look.

But it was hard. Standin at that door, it was heavy like my legs might break. I dont know why.
I opened up the door just to break that feeling.
It looked like a dummy standing there, thats how it looked, like from a kids store. Ill never
forget how it looked. I couldnt figure him out. He had on a big black hat that was way too big.
Not like a top hat is too big cause its high, but this motherfucker had a hat on that went out
at the sides like two or three feet all the way around. And his head was like tilted back. And he
was staring at me with these round fish eyes. He had this dumb look on his face. Like he was
staring right at me, right into my eyes when I opened the door. And his mouth was puckered
like an o. That face looked like it was wax or like hed been starved for a couple months.
I wanted to slam that door like a motherfucker cause his eyes it was like they were pointed
right where my eyes would be before I even opened the door. They hadnt moved. They were
staring right at mine, and that demented crazy-as-a-motherfucker look on his face. But then
I thought to myself: he is staring at me? And all I want to do is slam the door and run inside?
Fuck that: Im gonna stare at him.
Just like that, bam! Im clearing some shit off this chair I got next to the bed, magazines and
shit. And hes gettin ready to sit down. I almost jumped. Couldnt figure out how hed gotten
in or why he was getting ready to sit. Something told me though to keep my shit fluid, I just
kept moving. Something about this little motherfucker was like a predator. And he was little.
When I got the chair clean, he comes around and hikes himself up on it. And I see hes got
this big black trenchcoat on that is way too big, and through it I see his ankles: his ankles are
like sticks, like two inches thick, tops. Hes got these white fuckin tube socks on, too, stuffed
into these black shoes. His feet dont even touch the ground when hes finally up in the chair.
Next thing that happened is this. The thing you got to understand is this little motherfucker
acts like a magician. It feels like hes always laughin, but his face never moves. You just get
that feeling, hes laughing the whole time. And every time he moves, its like a little theatrical
thing. Hes looking at me one second with his bug eyes, next thing he pulls his hand out of
his pocket and sticks it up in the air in front of it like hes holding a bunch of flowers in it or a
rabbit. But theres nothing in it. Then I realize all of the sudden that Ive got this thing in my
hand, that I just know to open up and show the both of us. Its this thing you stick in your eye
like them pawn shop motherfuckers have. Little mini-telescope to stare at the diamonds with.
So Im staring at this thing thats in my hand somehow, I dont know, and hes still got his
hand open and up like with the palm facing upstairs and hes looking at me like hes laughing,
and then next thing the room gets like it goes dark. I know it didnt go dark, but its like it just
disappeared, fell away. And this bubble opens up over his hand, it looked just like the universe,
man, right over his hand. I know cause I seen it in a magazine. Its a bubble and you can see
into it. And I am leaning over and put the eyepiece into my eye cause I know I am supposed
to look.
Bam! There I am bringing a chair down from over my head. Then Im bent over wailing on

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a bitch. I didnt expect to see me! I wanted to laugh. There was bitches running past the
doorway, like out of sight, you couldnt see. Im grabbing a bitch by the hair and dragging
her. I stomp on that one a few times, then run out into the hallway. I gotta go back down the
stairs, though I just came up em, to keep bitches from running out onto the street. Phones
unplugged and on the floor at the entrance cause I had pulled it out of the wall. I race around
another corner, and start corralling more bitches, wailing on em.
Then I remember where I was! I lean back from this thing, and its fading to black. Whats this
crazy motherfucker got on me, I am wondering, and I glance at him but cant see him cause
this thing is in the way. Hes got nothin on me, I figure, cause I didnt kill any of those bitches.
I look back at the bubble and theres a new picture and I see its me again! Its got me sitting
on the damn bench outside this coffee shop. I like benches and I like to sit on em, I admit it.
Theyre restful. It shows me reach over and grab this dirty newspaper thats sitting there, and
I start looking through it. Its crazy watching this because its like I remember this shit from the
inside, and its showing every detail of how it looked from the outside. I remember picking up
that newspaper. And this thing, it like zooms in real close right over my shoulder.
This shit Im reading, its about this battered womens home thats about to lose funding. Its
like a safehouse for all these women that get beat down by their husbands, and they hide
out there so their husbands dont come find em. And there are these beat-up women giving
quotes up for the article. They are all desperate and say how they have nowhere else to go.
And its from the heart, you know, because some of them have kids. They are afraid for their
lives. And I know where this house is, Ive been past it a hundred times. Cause it looks just
like a safehouse from the front, all the walls and shit, no windows, and there are always these
women milling around. But its different women like every month.
This bubble thing goes in for the close up of me like way more than HD, like so close
up of my face I never seen anything like it. And holy shit, I didnt know I looked like that. I
got this look on my face, and I know what the face meant on other people, but I never thought
my face ever did that. I wanted to fuck, man. It was the face like somebody wanted to fuck.
Real bad.
All right, whatever. I didnt fuck those bitches. But going in there where those bitches were
hiding out cause they didnt want to get beat and beating those bitches was like fucking
for me. I never thought of it like that. But I guess it was so. Still, I didnt kill any of em and I
had been pounding liquor that night anyway, so I was just playing around.
This demented clown in the hat was still lookin at me. I dont think he ever blinked once.
Next thing, Im looking at a TV screen. Now here I almost shit and I start thinking how I can
kill this fuck. Ill tell you why.
I recognize that TV screen. Its the one at the bar where I was sitting watching the news. They
got up on the screen this family, and the moms crying and the dads standing there behind
the microphone. Cameras are flashing as usual. I guess I was just watching before I heard

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anything. There was this girl standing up there, too. Pretty blonde girl, probably fourteen.
You know, the type that tries to look older than she is, like they all do. And the news, theyre
showing this picture of this other girl, she looks like the one standing up there, but younger.
I start to hear then what theyre saying, and this younger girl is the one that got kidnapped.
Carrie-Lynn Hart, 10 years old. Disappeared. Shes the younger sister of this one thats standing up there. And these parents, theyre just begging, and Im like, how can you let yourselves
beg like that? Kids already dead or gonna be ransomed. People just like to fucking beg. Same
if somebodys got a gun on you: what you gonna beg for? Hes either gonna shoot or not shoot.
That shit irritates me. And the TV shows Roderick Middle School where the kid was last at,
and I know that place, its another of these big sprawling schools out in a field. And then the
TV says that the sisters go to the same school.
Im watching whats inside the bubble, and it changes up. Sure enough, its got me in my old
car parked along that road outside the middle school. Fuck, I thought. Its showing me from
the back and Im looking down the line of parked cars waiting for the kids. And I know just
what I was thinking cause I was there. Im parked between the door where all the kids come
spilling out and the car down there waiting for this 14-year-old sister. Just like always, everything for me breaks right.
Kids all maudlin and shit because her little sister got snatched. I can see just from one look
at her that shes more broke up from all the attention. Its that teenage awkward shit. Dont
matter that her sisters probably been fucked by some dudes out in the sticks till she burst and
her pussy bled out. But I still like this girl: shes pretty.
Dont take much cause she walks out alone. Its been a week since the sister got snatched, I
decided to wait that long. Shes back at school, and the irons hot. I can see straight up that
shes pushin away all her friends, making her mom wait probably twenty cars down. Schools
been out, most of the kids gone. Soon as she comes on up by the car, though, I sweep on
out, smooth-like, come around the front. I get right on up behind her, put my hand over her
mouth, and bark in her ear: you want to see your sister or not? I open up the back door and
push her in. She dont fight. But then I get right in behind her, twisty-tie her wrists and ankles. Had the duct tape hanging off the backseat already: dropped that right over her mouth.
Crawled back out the same door, crossed around front, climbed in the drivers seat and pulled
on out. Girl on the backseat floor when I drove right by her mom. I almost waved.
Now, next thing this goddamn bubble shows is me at the bar again. Im watching the TV and
they got that headline across the bottom: Crushing Blow as Second Hart Sister Taken. Theres
that microphone again, and podium, and the dad looks bad and the mom falls over. And all
the cameras keep flashing! But then this damn bubble is on me again like before, you know,
all HD and shit and showing my thoughts. And my eyes are almost glowing, man, you know
practically crying. Like Im proud. Like Im giving away my daughter at the altar.
All of the sudden Im at home. I got my two drink glasses out. This bugs the hell out of me

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that this is what I am seeing, because you mean I dont even have any privacy? Shits at home,
man. Its got me celebrating, just like I always do. I pour into the first one, and toast the second, you know, clink it. Its empty. Its on the stand next to the bed and that empty chair. I
dont know, its just always how I have done it. I get a little good shit my way, you know, a
little triumph, I celebrate with somebody. I dont know who, never have. Just my thing.
The girls tied up and taped down at the foot of the mattress, half on the floor. I got that big
cargo duffel bag standing by. She fits in it if you fold her. I got to keep the needle away from
her, though, the one I shot her up with heroin with, cause if she rolls around when she sleeps,
she might roll on it. Finish my drink, my little celebration, put my feet up on her and fall
Getting tired of this bubble now and this fucking eyepiece in my eye. Cause its got me two
nights later putting the chains around the duffel bag and through the cinder block. Im down
by the river. Girls alive inside the bag. But shes so high she doesnt know shes in a bag. She
probably thinks shes inside somebodys pocket. Shes getting dumped. I got no more use for
her. I saw all the headlines I wanted family devastated, neighbors in tears, police baffled,
all that shit. Fucking family had got the ransom request. But when the second girl up and went
missing, kidnappers cut contact with em. Still give me a chuckle.
And there she goes: out in the water, bag burps and bubbles. She goes down quick, but its
a strong current cause it rained the night before. Takes her out in the middle far enough
anyway. I dont care if they find her. I know they will. They wont make any sense of it. Girl
hadnt been raped, not beaten. Apart from being shot up with heroin, she wasnt even harmed.
Captors didnt even kill her before dumping her in the water. And if they find those fuckers
that took the first one, theyll pin the big sister on them, too.
I get back into the car. Man, I liked that car. It was an old car. I had to junk it right after cause
of the descriptions from the school snatch, you know. But I liked it. For a second, I was glad
just watching this shit in this crazy assholes magic bubble cause I got to see my old car.
Then theres no more bubble, no more nothing. Im in bed staring up at the ceiling. Theres
light coming through the window but its nice, you know, I like it peaceful. Clock says 7 a.m.
I hump it and get up because theres somewhere I need to be.

I been down the public library a couple times but didnt like it. You know, the books they
got there is all greasy. They got these plastic covers on them you can see through. But every
motherfucker for a thousand years has got his greasy fingerprints up on em. I cant even stand
to hold those books. Magazines I might read, though, newspapers.
I knew I had to get down there, though. Man, it was like I was compulsed. I had to get down
there like there was going to be this event. Thats what I knew.

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I was smarter than that, though. Last thing I was going to do was something I had to. Especially if that motherfucker from last night was there. I still wasnt even sure if that was real.
But it had to be. Because it was showin me shit that even though I knew about, I hadnt seen
before. Aint no way I had seen myself from the back of the head through the back car window
My whole body was telling me not to go, like it just wanted to stay put. And my brain said:
pack up your shit and get out of there. New apartment, new town. But when I see this, I said:
I might just go down there anyway, you know what Im sayin?
So I roll on up in there. That library is like a temple. You got them high stone ceilings and all
them big metal shelves like from the fifties and shit. You walk in there and you know theres
all sorts of room and nooks and crannies cause they got like stairways and shit shootin up in
I knew where I was going. Dont know how. Took a while. But I took my time and just walked
on up in there.
And there they all was. So the room they got there is like this study. It says r e a di ng ro om
on that little sign they got outside. And they leave the door open. But that aint what it is.
Cause you go in there, and with all these leather chairs they got facing one another in there
and the books up on the walls and them tall windows you start to see double. You start to
freak the fuck out.
I come through the door. First thing I see is that crazy motherfucker from the night before. Hes sitting up on a high stool next to the first tall window. Hes got that hat on and
the trenchcoat. But he looks like hes dead. The second I think that, this fuckers head turns
around and he points that face at me. But then like a flash, up out of the chair there, one of
them, I didnt even see him get up, is on the way to greet me.
Hes got his hand out and this open-mouth smile, and he looks like a damn professor. Ah,
Kevin, he says. Splendid he says. His head leans back a little and he closes his eyes while
hes shaking my hand. Looks like some chick is blowing him.
He opens his eyes again like hes real happy to see me and were just shaking hands. It seems to
me everybody in the room is watching. But I cant see them clearly. I know their heads arent
turned, but I just get this sense. And then this dude in the professor jacket is coming in closer,
you know, still shaking my hand. Hes moving inside my personal space, you know. And then
I can taste his breath.
Kevin, he says. Did you know that spirit originally meant breath?
And its like this big laugh went up around the room. Like it was the funniest thing they ever
heard. Only I didnt hear more than a chuckle and some of the newspapers shiftin around. I

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dont know how they did this.

I am looking around, doin a sweep when they do this, and I nearly stumble. Things arent
right. Not how they should be. Im seeing a big room in a public library with the light coming
in. But Im also seeing some sort of old study with crazy shit on the walls like pennants or
banners or shit. Instead of fucking greasy hardcovers and fucking National Geographic titty-rags, theres big-ass leather-bound shit. Volumes. Tomes. Theres a fucking fireplace. And
that fucker off in the corner from last night up on the stool, hes got like some weird reverse
glow going on.
Kevin, this guy says. Its wonderful that you found us. And that we found you, he says.
And that you found us.
He takes me by the back of the arm, almost like hes holding me up, and he walks me in.
What you are encountering now at this very moment is something extraordinary, he says. Extraordinary. Your encounter today is simply an introduction. But an introduction to something, as I say, which is extraordinary.
The way the fool kept using that word was givin me chills. He throws a glance up on the dude
on the wall. Last night, you met Mr. Selby, he said. He found you, and you found him. It
is in the nature of things to meet. That is because they are meant to. Things shouldnt be divided, he says like hes trying to convince me of something.
But more on that later. First in this introduction must come the introductions. Were standing next to this dude in one of them big leather padded chairs all relaxing and reading the
This is Mr. Bates. He is our sociologist, a most accomplished one, indeed, he says. And
Bates is like looking up at me with these eyes wide with fear. But hes also staring right into
that damn newspaper at the same time like its both at once. Its creeping me out. Hes just a
normal dude sitting there, but hes also got on this crazy jacket that I cant see and this big
fucking mustache.
Mr. Bates, the guy holding my arm says, Would you care to relate to Kevin what it is you
All the sudden Im staring at this street. Its as if from high up, like maybe Im looking out an
apartment window but theres no glass in the way. Now Bates is the one holding my arm, and
its like the bubble all over again. Except theres no damn eyepiece. And I start to hear this
Bates voice.
Kevin, what I do is study the sociology of small clusters. The street you are looking at is the
center of a neighborhood I have been working on for about two years. I live on this street, you
see. And Ive been managing the people there. Bates voice was calm, smooth. I liked the way

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he laid out his shit.

What I do is work up human relationships in such a way that they can take a hit. So look at
this house, Bates says. Do you know what happens to be inside?
I shake my head no, but I dont suppose I said anything. I happen to know what is inside
because I put them there. It is an old couple, Bates said. Before we go inside and look, you
need to know a few things so you can understand what we are going to see.
I moved onto this street two years ago, and like any other street, it was then just a bunch of
people living alongside one another without knowing one another. Its how human beings
usually are, he said. But thats not conducive to achieving the sorts of things we want to
achieve. You need to set up a domino in order for it to fall.
All of the sudden I saw a different house down the street a little ways. This house is where
Mr. and Mrs. Perlgart were living two years ago. Their profile was about what you would
expect from an old couple. Mr. Perlgart had been a manual laborer for many years. He wasnt
that bright, but really didnt mistreat Mrs. Perlgart. They had one grown child who lives far
away. Mr. Perlgart was more like furniture. Whereas Mrs. Perlgart, she was the prize of the
relationship. Shed been pretty when they married. And she was talented. She had played the
piano and had a little more class. A tender-hearted woman, always faithful, outgoing in that
old-fashioned way. But she was a woman, you see, who suffered quietly, very quietly. She had
been cut out for love, you see. Better things.
Now I see Mr. Perlgart in his bed and Im staring right up his nose. I almost sort of like the
guy, but I know hes dead. Next thing, Im seeing some other house with an old guy outside.
Its the first house. This guy is trimming some sad looking flowers in a tray. Then hes on the
sidewalk talking to Mrs. Perlgart.
This is Mr. Bohannon, Bates tells me. Mr. Perlgart had to go, of course, so I could set up
this pair of lovebirds. So a most fulsome tragedy could occur. Now I am seeing Mrs. Perlgart
and Bohannon standing together like posing for a picture. Shes wearing a little dress, got her
hair done up, the old gal. Bohannon is standing there smiling in his suit, the old rogue. What
I see most though is his gnarled old hands. And what little family they have is there. That
grown-up kid of the Perlgarts has come out, a daughter, and a couple grandkids. Bohannons
wifes been dead for hell of a long time, way it looks. Everybody in the neighborhood is there.
Bates is there!
So you have to picture it: this old couple, he says, finds love late in life. She finds something
she didnt even know that she had been without. Bohannon, he had long given up on love. But
getting a wife for him is like a boost, a shot in the arm of youth. He had been alone for so
long, he had given up on the better part of life.
The thing to understand is that in a deep sense that they hardly realized, Mrs. Perlgart and

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Mr. Bohannon regarded their finding each other, and here he paused, as a reward at the end
of a long life. What a blessing, what a boon to find someone to be with as life is about to close.
Both Mrs. Perlgart and Mr. Bohannon, without ever saying so, shared a deep feeling, even a
conviction, that here was what life was really about. The blessed discovery in each other of
love, a home, was for them the final meaning life could give.
I asked him like I already knew. Whatd you do?
Bates gives out a chuckle. Home invasion, he says as the picture changes up. Theres the two
elderly lovebirds in bed together, holding hands. Bohannon has got knocked around a bit,
bruised and bleeding from out his head. Mrs. Perlgart is sniffing back tears and both are real,
real worried. I see at the edges of the frame here two dudes in black rooting through the room,
but not much. Doesnt look to me like theyre taking anything.
Next thing, one of them comes up and puts bullets right into their both their heads. Cap, cap.
And theres their hands, in the middle of the bed, Bohannons gnarly hand wrapped around
Mrs. Perlgarts. The picture fades out and Im back to seeing the street.
The beauty of this one, Bates says, is in the climax. Bohannon, as I mentioned, for him the
newly-formed union was like a rejuvenation, a rediscovery of youth. So by making it a home
invasion one which he could not defend either himself or his new wife against, the wife
whom hed pledged to protect it was a double-death. As for Mrs. Perlgart, lying in that
bed, the regret that was there in her heart formed a perfect unbroken thread all the way back
to her girlhood, if you could see it. These last quiet years which to her were to have been all
afterglow, well Bates squeezes out a laugh. It was like a quiet verdict on life itself for her.
Thank you, Mr. Bates. It was the main dude again, and he was back on my arm. Im getting
led over now to this other chair. Wait a minute, I said. Who are you?
Who am I? he said. Why, I am Mr. Gaines. We are at pains to make gains around here,
which is why you are here. But we will speak to that shortly.
Now Im looking at a guy who looks like a teenager. And hes looking at me like theres nothing going on. This, Kevin, is Mr. Ben. Mr. Ben will now tell you what he does.
Mr. Ben seems to get up out of his chair like some old-time gentleman with the whole coat
on, you know, like with the flower on the front and all. But the teenager just stays in the chair.
And next thing, Im seeing something again.
Crazy fucking shapes, all sorts of lines. Its like a black screen with all these different color
lines and shit. Hello, Im Mr. Ben, and this is what I do. What you are looking at are network
diagrams. I use a technical apparatus known as a computer to model in real-time human interactions in order to pinpoint dependencies. Do you know what a computer is?

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I say, You fucking crazy? I dont think he was sure what I meant, but he says, Okay, good.
So what do you see here? And in this crazy space his finger jabs at this thing on the screen,
like one point with all these other points connected to it.
I dont know, I say. And Ben says, Thats all right. Ill tell you. This is a nodal point. Its
a person on whom there a lot of dependencies. This dot represents Ronald Jeffries, aged 57,
and hes a handyman for a tenement building. The landlords a real bastard and never does
anything, but Ronald here, and now I see this black guy walking down the hall with a satchel
and a mess of tools. Ronald doesnt get paid shit by our landlord. But he goes around fixing
things anyway. Often he dips into his own pocket to pay for it.
Im seeing the outside of the building. Im not sure I recognize it. Dont worry, Ben says.
Its not in this city. This building is in a poor neighborhood and its surrounded by a lot of
crime. This building stays afloat though, really just because of Ronald. All of the points you
saw were residents who depend on him, and whose basic attitude is kept a certain way because
they know Ronald, at least, fixes thing when they need fixing.
Now Im looking right at Ben again. Computers gone. We laid a drug charge on Ronald,
Ben says. So hes out of the picture. On the computer, I can isolate a hundred thousand other
nodal points like Ronald, points holding up this world in a lot of ways, and then we take them
out. Like I always say: pay it forward. He laughed.
Thank you, Mr. Ben. Now Im over at chair number three. This guy is a nut. Hes got both
hands over one edge like hes a dog ready to jump. I almost see a tongue hanging out.
Ah, Mr. Berry, Gaines says. This is Mr. Berry. You must forgive his enthusiasm, but it is his
trademark. This crazy fuck, its like hes panting.
Mr. Berry does not speak, Gaines says to me, but you are now witnessing him at his work.
Mr. Berry, you see, is a world-class rapist. And now Im lookin at Berry running through the
park at night. Fuckers got his dick out.
Mr. Berry does untargeted field work sometimes, which works up a certain effervescence.
Here in the park on this particular night, a number of women, some in small groups of friends,
all found themselves in the dark and with no male protectors, the police being far away.
This crazy Berry fuck has got on a black sweatshirt and black sweats in what Im lookin at
and you couldnt look more like a rapist if you were trying. But his dicks out through the front
hole. He runs under a street light and I see its more like black-colored long johns.
A series of rapes in the same place on the same night is a bit like a swelling orchestra when it
comes to our work, Gaines says. It raises the background static, it creates a certain potential.


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Now all I see is some chick in a bathtub. Theres no water in it. Shes cuffed and all teary.
Mr. Berry sometimes abducts women, and they are subjected to ordeals of rape. However,
after forty-eight hours, most DNA evidence from rapes is lost. Which is why Mr. Berry often
cleans his women up before returning them into the wild. In some cases, when they have not
been badly hurt, their complaints are not even believed.
Now its the back of a fucking van. Berrys got himself on top some professional woman. I see
him rare up though, and I almost shit.
That a strap-on? I asked Mr. Gaines.
It is, Gaines says. What you are seeing, in fact, is rather droll. This particular recipient of
Mr. Berrys attention is a prominent feminist professor. Mr. Berry sequestered her as she was
leaving a dinner engagement with a few fellow academics and friends. As she struggles, the
feminist professor is making a certain calculation that she only half-admits to herself. Her
two very unworthy thoughts are as follows: first, any injuries she sustains while resisting her
rapist will become badges of honor upon her return, if she survives. Second, she is thinking
that the rape itself will confer upon her professional riches in the form of enhanced credibility.
Victimhood, in her line of work, opens up innumerable doors. She will have, how do you say,
street cred.
Then that disappeared. The strap-on is to ensure that no DNA is recoverable. Mr. Berry
releases his victim immediately, whereupon she rushes to the police who administer a rape kit.
And having discovered no semen, no DNA of any kind she is immediately doubted, and it
is suspected she faked the whole thing.
I see dude in chair number four get up and walks off. Hes in a business suit, real slick. But I
almost fall back because hes also like seven feet tall. Hes in real red robes, you know, scarlet
and some big gold bling around his neck. Looks like it weighs ten pounds or somethin.
Thats Mr. Carlyle, Gaines says. You wont be meeting him today. But he is the High Priest
of Alchemy. He is, in other words, our money man. Mr. Carlyle is involved in the financialization of society. His business is to transmute the substance of every human interaction into
something financial, calculable, thus undermining it. When every human interaction obeys
financial rules and is subject to some profit-oriented calculation, it all becomes terribly precarious.
Gaines comes in close in front of me. In a sense, therefore, his business is all our business.
I said to him, What do you do?
I am the groups philosopher. The mind. I submit the work of this group to quiet contemplation. I observe the big picture. Kevin, would it surprise you to learn that there is not only

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a god, but gods?

Didnt know what the fuck he was talking about, didnt say so.
These gods have nothing to do with creation. In fact, I have never seen any proof that what
surrounds us and passes for the everyday world even exists. In fact, now the dude gets real
Only two things exist: death and madness. Not taxes at all! He laughed.
His voice got quiet. Think on this. Everything that you are, everything with which you identify, why, everything that you have ever known can be snuffed out. And is. And will be.
This heaven passes away, and the heaven above it passes away. Everything becomes nothing,
Kevin. Everything.
What is the proper response to this? Gaines asks. There is none. Or rather, there is one.
But you see, the response is not one subject to reason. There is no thinking reaction to this, no
response derivable from any principle or system of ideas. Tell me, when you encountered Mr.
Selby last night, what was your reaction?
I didnt say nothin.
You dont have to worry because your reaction was a good one. You have that special sensibility which lends itself to our work. But your body was prepared to disintegrate in a panic, was
it not?
He smiled. This is the reaction of all life to death: its gives way to madness. If in the course
of contemplating your own demise you do not disappear into a world-ending terror and total
madness, why, then, Kevin you are not contemplating it.
Now hes walking me over toward the windows, and Im getting more double-vision like its
really some high as shit dark corners in some castle Im seeing.
The gods are ancient. Incomparably ancient. The Great Old Ones. They are out there in the
universe, and they are under the sea. And they can be found! Like all things, they both find
and are found. They are finding us now, as we find them.
Do you know what it means to find the true gods, though, Kevin? Madness. Our total destruction and obliteration in the face of pure madness. There is nothing else. It was written into the nature
of this universe which was itself never created. You see, where you are not, it is not as if there
is something else. Rather, where you are not, there is your destruction. In your past memories,
for example, which for being memories represent a domain into which you cannot enter as if
some present there in this other domain, you are not. You are dead to it, therefore you are

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Outside this room where patrons wander about, you are not known, you do not exist. For
every point in this world on which you wish to base your existence, there are an infinite other
points in relation to which you do not exist. You are compassed round by madness and annihilation, Kevin. Death and madness, madness and death!
Still, the little ants on this world try to fool themselves, reaching out, every human relationship a tiny tunnel in the dirt. They think that in total they can bring themselves into existence.
The old couple who came to exist in each others eyes for a short while they believed this.
The woman professor with plans to become a heroine after her rape she thought this. They
all do.
Our work here is to sweep all that away. Our work is to clear the way so that the Old Ones
both here beneath and out there above can walk freely here again. Because things should find
one another, Kevin. Things should not be kept out. All things are one. Death and madness,
madness and death.
We are the Bodhisattvas of the age, working in quiet to bring all of mankind into one great
chorus of madness. When mothers devour their babies on the streets, we will celebrate. When
fathers run their families through with spears and whole villages run riot with slaughter and
fanatics wild with holiness rampage through the forest at night, all night, howling at the
moon we will celebrate. We are midwives to the birth of man into the new age of madness.
To do this we are applying pressure. We are challenging Mankinds sanity at key points by
increasing its suffering beyond all measure. From suffering through to madness, Kevin, and
from madness to the gods. At the moment foretold, the whole of Man will collapse as if a
table whose legs have been kicked out. Man will fall into an unending, limitless insanity, a
horrible howl and death-rage. And we shall be exalted.
There is work for you, Kevin. With us. You know that things should not be kept separate. Man
must finally become the nothing that he always was. We must not keep the Old Ones out any
longer, he said.
I guess I was like crying or something. I was nodding, you know, nodding my head. The shit
he said, you know, it like really tore me up. And at the same time, like, I really wanted to fuck.
So like hell yeah, I was in.
Hell, yeah.


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w o r d c o u n t:

~ 7150