Monday, October 31, 2011

Chapter One of More All The Patriot Terrorist by S S_____


Here is the first chapter and I will let it speak for itself. A few generations overdue, in my opinion. Comments or criticisms are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks, Stanley

THE PATRIOT

If all hearts were open and all desires known--as they would be if people showed their souls--how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, suicide vests, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!

Entry in Thomas Hardy's journal, 18 August 1908, with addition by Warren LaG.


Never take on more than you can bury.
     Quietly.
     Here we go.
     I took it upon myself to kill.  It is my burden.
     Alone.
     Beware!  You too shall know the ground.
     Change, I wanted . . . I wanted to be a poet.
     Tell me, what is beauty?
     The other day I sent a piece of lead through the head of a congressman.
     Judge and jury, an introduction. . . .
     What comes after this life?  Ask the congressman.
     And what was going through my head as I pulled the trigger?  Not a thing.  Zip.  At that moment I was a Zen master.  Thoughts came later.
     Painful thoughts.
     He was father to a little girl and two young boys.  He was still called son.  He was husband, uncle, nephew and cousin and friend and acquaintance.  He was loved and gave love.
     It is difficult to justify taking love from the present and hurling it into cold past.
     Never again, no more.
     It is difficult to justify.  But it is possible.
     A conviction can move a mountain, can lead to the death penalty, and principles outweighed him.
     His actions, the votes he cast and the words he spoke in speeches and in sessions of Congress, tipped the scales in my favor.  He went up in the air.
     I can look at myself in the mirror.
     Perhaps I am mistaken.  Perhaps.  Perhaps it's all a dream.
     There is the tired argument that violence begets violence and fails to bring about lasting political change.  Such an argument discounts history, our history.
     No other alternative but violence is left us if we wish to stop our government from becoming a. . . .
     Throw the word democracy at me and I'll throw it back at you.  We have a representational democracy.  I thought that would get a smile out of you.
     The congressman was my second assassination.  Two shots, two kills.  I'm batting a thousand.
     I sound like a pompous punk.
     Maybe I am.  Maybe killing causes a man to become grandiloquent.
     Pompous punk.
     It amazes me that it's been so simple.  No matter the technological advances, human beings remain simple creatures.
     What's known as the so-called free press says I am a terrorist.  I'm actually a group of highly trained professionals with likely ties to Al Q.  That's what the experts say, and of course experts know what's going on--look at their diagrams of the trajectory, 283 yards!  An impossible shot, a first-rate sniper, and any grandmother could do it with a little practice at the range.  Yep, I'm a pro, trained in some miserable desert hole by Al Q.
     For the record--and who knows where this record will be?--I am a mostly white male, openly agnostic, and I'm not a member of any group or organization or party except for the obligatory memberships of my profession.  I'm a lawyer.  Criminal defense mostly, an occasional divorce, now and again a slip and fall: a Renaissance attorney in Destino, California, population 86,327 as of the last census.  Oh, and mostly white because a lot of Sicilian blood flows through my veins, and yes, when the family was in Chicago there was a tenuous bathtub link to Capone, but the interesting and inspiring (at least to me) ornament on the family tree is Nicola Sacco of Sacco and Vanzetti fame.
     Nicola was my great grandmother's second or third cousin.  Nicola Sacco is family, though we're unsure where to place him, and I guess one of us would have to go back to Torremaggiore or Palermo or both to hang him on the correct branch.  My great grandmother was born in Palermo and took a ship to New York in 1920 or '23, either before or after Sacco's trial started on 21 May 1923.  Some dates stick and some don't.  None of that matters because she never met him, but he was family, that gallant and saintly anarchist of the wop variety.
     Nana, my mother's mother, says only that Sacco was a bad man.  I suppose she got the bad label from my great grandmother.
     There is debate concerning Sacco's guilt, but my gut tells me the man was innocent and there's no doubt that the trial was a joke and the Lady dropped her scales and walked away.
     Handsome Sacco sat down in the electric chair and was fried like a strip of bacon.  The state served him up crispy, and all he wanted was a better life for himself and the others in the same boat as he.  Fry that poor, uneducated man for wanting a better life for all at a nominal expense to those pulling the strings and the state.
     His last words were supposedly, "Long live anarchy!" and, "Ciao, my mother."  It's said he walked peacefully to the electric chair.
     Sacco the oppressed.
     Uncle Nicola, I'm walking in your footsteps.  I understand how you were able to walk peacefully to the chair and calmly take a seat.  I will do the same when my time comes.
     I know that at some point I'm going to get caught.  Caught or shot, and they're one and the same.  If I am led to a chair, to be given electricity or poison, or led to a rope, I will walk as if led by Peter to the gates.  I'd be mesmerized by the beauty of it all, the beauty of this world, the beauty of living, of the people I've known and those I saw but never met, and I'd bless the men leading me for they would not know what they were doing, and I'd have a smile for those in the gallery who came to view my death.
     Death is a heavy word, the caw of nevermore, and I'd have to smile and probably I'd laugh at the spectators who came to watch me die.
     I'd offer joy for their misery.
     The smell of the coming fall is in the air.  Can a man feel autumnal?  I feel autumnal.
     I won't go to my death like a saint.  I'm not a good guy, and I can imagine there are people who would characterize me as a bad man, even a few family members maybe.  Unlike Uncle Sacco, I'm guilty.
     But but but.  Someone had to do it.  Someone had to get off their couch and put up a fight before the ship ran aground on Oblivion.  Someone had to at least try to grab the wheel or shout mutiny and hope a few other hands on deck had the same idea.
     For Uncle Sacco it was a class struggle, the oppressed versus the rich, and it still is, to an extent, though today most men are hatless and hordes of citizens are obese and dumb and growing dumber, and not just the fat ones enjoy slack-jawed dumbness, but we've become a land of dummies with big TVs, our lives entwined in celebrity sex and meaningless serials and game shows and sports 24/7 and historical reenactments set to music and smiling faces with painted white teeth telling us about massacres half a world away, scenes of gore, and then on to the next story, a red-faced republican and a blue-faced democrat arguing about a policy, one screaming it's a rock and the other yelling it's a stone.  Then the painted white-toothed mouth tells us about a scandal involving one or more of the seven deadly sins, and cut for a break and more painted teeth selling happiness, new bodies, and products with symbolic power.
     When I smile at the gallery while sitting in the chair they'll see me as someone on television.  My teeth are as white as can be.  They'll be waiting for me to say which stocks jumped ten percent and which got pushed off a cliff.  One of the stoic faces in the gallery will ask his neighbor if I said anything about tech stocks, and she'll cross her legs on the aluminum folding chair and give him a look of disdain, but she'll only pretend to be above it: she'll be waiting for me to say who's humping who.
     The war of the classes is over and it ended before it got started.  Uncle Sacco's broken English wouldn't be able to express how far we've strayed from reality and decency and freedoms.  Our land of the free has been stolen from us and we don't even notice that it's no longer there.  Or if we do notice, we don't care.
     There's not poverty in America, or rather not undeserved poverty, and we still build the best prisons in the world and make the best weapons and we've done away with classes and made it a television-internet-entertainment society with everyone plugged into the current.
     Plugged into the here and now.
     Everything new and forget about thinking.  Let it all absorb you until you die in a hospital bed at the age of 106, kept alive for the last twenty by expensive drugs and procedures that cost more than a house.  But what am I writing about?  And the reason I'm writing is probably because no one ever writes anymore, and I'm using a typewriter because I like the sound and because I know it's private.  I'd add that it's romantic writing on a typewriter but the days of romance are dust, and bygone are the days of letters when words actually had worth.
     If you're reading this it means I'm likely dead, broken in a billion pieces and no one's going to be able to put me back together again.  No more and hah!
     Never again.
     So long to the world I love.
     Peacefully I'll walk to the chair.
     Don't get me wrong, I want life.  If some fella in a white robe and flip-flops offered me eternity, I'd take it.
     I'm writing to let you know why I did what I did, and why I will continue to do it, continue assassinating politicians and other madmen and hypocrites.  This is for your files if you happen to be a member of our security blanket, a strand of the net that's got us tied up like a roast, and into the oven with us.  Us meaning sane citizens like me, and I know there are others.  Use this to build your profile of us assassins.
     Highlight this: The death of humanity frightens me more than my own death.
     I am not a tree hugger nor am I a vegetarian, and I am proud to be apolitical.  Unlike Uncle Sacco, I do not sit on the left.  I do not sit on the right or in the center.  It has nothing to do with the classes, the paradigm of rich and poor, the struggle, leave it be for it will always be . . . down the hall, first door on your left, or take the one on your right, Philosophy 101.
     Uncle Sacco was a poor, shoe-making fool.  No one even remembers him.  How many appreciate his humanity?  The simple fool kept his faith in humanity until the end.  He offered his life so we could better understand ourselves.  So we could peer inside and bring light to the dark, dank corners where our monkey makes poop, where he pee-pees and masturbates and hordes bananas--to be fair to monkeys, I'm not sure they horde bananas.
     Uncle Sacco gave his life to enlighten us.  We turned him into bacon and not even the wonderful smell lingers.  We opened the windows and put on a fresh coat of paint and nothing's left of Uncle Sacco.
     Sum a bitch!
     I didn't go down the hall.  I walked back out the front door and stepped into Poetics 101.  It's all about poetry for me.
     It's blowing the whistle in the schoolyard.
     Of course Uncle Sacco was a poet as well, that goes without saying, but he was bound by the class struggle, whereas I have become unbound by the constraints of political language.  Class and republican and democrat and anarchist and green and libertarian and independent and fascist and communist and et cetera et al for pages, all just incorporated by the machine.
     Take a smart man like Noam Chomsky, a man who possesses a brain that makes what I got between my ears seem like a hunk of moldy cheese.  It's amazing how he picks apart US policy and connects the dots.  Wow, Mr. Chompsky, you sure are smart, and thank you for pointing that out about the Contras in Nicaragua.  I didn't know that.  Wow.  But Mr. Chompsky, you've been babbling for decades now and you haven't even put a dent in the machine.  You haven't even scratched it.  The machine has only grown sleeker and is becoming more refined everyday.
     It's humming along.
     Humming along and out of control and no one's at the controls.  You're bound, Mr. Chompsky, as bound as Uncle Sacco, and not so many years after your death, your ideas and warnings will be as your body.  Dust to dust, and we've all lost, Mr. Chompsky.
     Mankind is going to kiss its ass goodbye.
     We're beyond the point of talking and writing reports on global warming and the feasibility of dropping tactical nuclear bombs.  We're past words and theories framed by ideology and power and the time between commercials, the space on the millions of channels on the internet, in newspapers and magazines, those great wasters of trees.  Books too.
     Dust is a beautiful word, and it amazes me that so many people still vote, and yes, why are intellectuals such eunuchs?
     Can't people be honest and admit that they're all fucked up?  The president should stand at the podium, throw up his hands and say, "My fellow Americans, I feel compelled by my heart to tell you that I'm all fucked up and I don't know what I'm doing."  Then other notables, other men and women pretending to work the controls, pretending to know what they're doing, could come forward and confess to being fucked up too.  And scientists and doctors and judges and lawyers and PETA leaders and priests and writers and newspaper editors and CEOs and cashiers and Mormons and Catholics and Jews and Muslims and janitors and celebrities and directors, everyone on the planet including the present-day Messiah, could come forward and say in Greek chorus fashion, "We are fucked up too.  We pretend that we are not because we are fearful and weak.  Humanity must unlearn if it is to survive."
     Drop bombs.  Throw bodies into meat grinders.
     We passively kill millions of human beings every year while watching what the market does and giving our all to make our own stock climb, and that's not fucked up?
     Slink away to the desert for forty days, bury the baggage and return as a prophet.
     Actively killing a human being changes you.  Ask an ex-soldier.
     I've taken two lives.  I enjoyed what surrounded the killings, i.e., the practice at the gun range, the planning and the road trips, the reconnaissance, the calmness before pulling the trigger, the getaway and the return to the safety of my home.  It was a high, was adventurous, and is better than anything on television or at the cinema.
     High entertainment value.
     I put a lot of time and effort, money too, into becoming an assassin.  A lot of training the body and mind, the slow, steady beat of the heart.
     A patriot.
     Spilling blood for the tree of Liberty to drink.
     Another revolution for the Rights of Man, Woman, and mongrel, and the whisper of truth and majesty through the dizzy avenues from whence we came, back to the fish who became a landlubber.  A patriot for you and me and those who came and those who will follow.
     An end will surely follow, my end, and I sit here typing like a man with a terminal illness, a man whose future is measured in days and weeks and months.  Like Uncle Sacco after he was sentenced to death, except I'm not in a prison cell.  My cell is my castle and the world.  Therein lies the poetry.  True, it is bound to philosophy, but it reaches deeper into the dream, into our conception of the dream, the images you can feel behind the eyes of people passing on the street, the men, women, and children, the fragile shards of vessels dropped and dropped again.  Nervous fingers and languid digits atop a table, laughter and living death and I've known so many good people and everyday I see good people I do not know, and I see the misunderstood and the cocksure.
     I see the faces of the two men I killed and killing is so easy.
     The smell of my great grandmother's house, the explosion of dust when you punched a throw pillow on the couch.
     Black-winged death flying off with a loved one and open blue sky.
     No equation or logic and not even barren reason carries me to the end and gently lowers my body into the ground for eternity.
     I've got a rock that I just tossed and caught.  A few months ago I picked it up from the sidewalk downtown, near my office.  I kept it and I don't know why.
     The poetry of life and death, the endless cycle that dawns and sets aside all fears, and we say hello and goodbye and the flowers bloom and go.
     I don't expect everyone to understand, but I know everybody understands, even the people who fail to see the symmetry of chaos, who deny we are all brothers and sisters.
     I'd weep until I drowned.  If I could.  Instead, I sit here wide-eyed and calm.  I'd drown the world.  I sit here in my comfortable house, my cell, typing my confession as my thoughts swim in the liquid around me.
     I toss the stone and catch it again.
     The Muses moved me to compose with a gun.
     Did something happen to us or has it always been this way?  That's the question I keep asking myself.  Did everyone stop caring, or have they ever cared?  Have we never cared?  I'm in the same boat as everyone and the Captain's dead, thrown overboard or shot or both.
     I don't remember.
     I see myself digging in dark earth with bare hands, careful with the fat worms, and I dig the same hole that I've always dug.  The same hole I always come back to . . . you know, back to the same ground I knew as a child.  The little boy I once was, he felt at times the burden of sorrow, witnessed wrongs, and tried as best he could to be a good boy, and he was, for the most part, a good boy.  Life was a wonder for the boy, and yes, he dug now and then to escape what he could not understand, but as the years went by he fell in line and dug less and less.  The hole was big enough for his personal setbacks and losses.  He ignored or stopped himself from seeing the ills of the world unless the sickness infected his sphere.  Some digging in high school and university, but again it orbited his person, waves that crashed against his island.  He was an individual.  And let us not discount that it was fashionable to take notice before you really joined ranks and marched in the glamorous parade of earning your death.
     All that about digging a hole is figurative, of course, exaggerated, but not untrue.  It's about learning to turn a blind eye and centering the universe on Number One.  Everything and everyone were satellites orbiting me, elliptical paths crisscrossing my sky.  I was not an angel.  I'm still far from being an angel.  I'm simply a man seeking to make amends, and even that stinks of egocentricity.
     I've killed two men.  Who do I think I am?  Am I standing atop Mount Sinai holding a tablet of stone with an inscription to murder government officials and set my people free?  There aren't any mountains in Destino.  This is the Central Valley, smack in the middle, and there are only a few mounds to climb at the golf course.  I could climb up on my roof and rip off a shingle and make an inscription with a penknife and be a suburban Moses.  God talking to me through the cowlick on the crown of my head.  And it's the old God talking to me and we all know He's an angry and jealous God.
     No, none of that.  I'm no Chosen One, nobody special, and all that circles me are my own thoughts, and most of my thoughts these days are directed at helping others.
     Helping, resurrecting, defending, pulling heads up and polishing eyes, bracing backs and pouring songs of Freedom into ears that were hitherto deaf.  An army of millions stands behind me.
     The only sound is me banging on the keys of my typewriter.
     Nobody's around.  There is no standing army of citizenry ready to take back their country.  No eyes or ears to open save my own.  There's only the incessant and lazy babble of pundits and those who already have a slice of pie and those standing in line waiting for their slice.  Those waiting for the next meaningless election.  Doesn't it make you want to scream, to take to the streets and vent and rage like a mad dog?  Or are you waiting for your slice of pie?
     It's enough to make me cheer for Al Q.  At least Al Q is fighting the system that will be doom for all of us.  That is, if Al Q really exists or. . . .
     I've been wondering if government is a reflection of the people or if the people are a reflection of the government.  I've been pondering that question the last few days.  It came into my head as I was taking a bath, and I think it's pretty clear that us people are chasing after the bones tossed us by the government.  That ain't right?  So many bones to throw us.  And how we love chasing them bones!  We're rewarded with a pat on the head, a designer collar, and a comfortable place to sleep.  We jump at the word fetch.  How we wag our tails!  Woof!
     I'm a dog too, and how silly I've been for most of my life; how silly I still am.  I want to be concrete and lay down in smooth slabs so you can walk from one to the next and understand what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
     Sending pieces of lead through the heads of congressmen requires an explanation that's more than these paltry words.  I offer a bar of soap to a filthy man dying of hunger.  Clean yourself up and maybe I'll give you a nickel.
     It's like trying to read Ezra Pound without the footnotes.  You can appreciate the sound, but what's he going on about?
     I should compose a musical score for the background, and there must be a marching drum and a few hymns from a boys' choir, exploding bombs and machine-gun fire, a sad viola and vitriolic cheers from a stadium, the crash of a tidal wave, and at the end the song of a nightingale.  I'll mumble, and we can let my mumbling be the fore.
     I'm going to kill again and I don't see anything, definitely not my conscience, getting in the way and making me give up.  Never.  I'll never give it up.  I stepped over the line and have tasted the dream of Freedom.  She was ice cold, quiet, trapped in marble, frozen repose, and the scent of gunpowder hung from her aura like a veil of mist and her hands were covered in blood.  Her body was wrapped in verse, and I'll explain it all as best I can, but it will take time and many pages and I'll have to dive deeper into my red ocean of rage.  I'm not an angry man and I'm not insane or troubled with a malignant neurosis.  As I've said, I wanted to be a poet, and each politician that drops dead from my hand is a stanza in the one poem I was born to write.
     How final it is.  This poem, birth and instant deaths and there won't be a goodbye: it will close open.
     A patriot without a country, as countries are no more.  Patriotism has been replaced with corporatism and the tree of Liberty is a stump.  It fell to the bottom line, part of a cost-savings program.
     The manufacturing of wet dreams and Weltanschauung from a screen in the living room.
     Yesterday afternoon I took a walk in Dry Creek Park.  It was Saturday, 103 degrees, no humidity, just baking as it does in Destino.  The park hugs the creek for a few miles, rich grass covering the floor of the ravine and a paved walking path bends with the creek.
     Dry Creek is never dry, and in some spots it's twenty, thirty feet across, but there's no more swimming in the little river that probably begins somewhere in the Sierra Nevada.  It is poison.  Signs posted along the bank have a symbol of a swimmer circled in red with a line through it.  No swimming, lead, chemicals, etc.  My friends and I swam in Dry Creek when we were kids.  I don't know what happened to those friends and I don't know where the source of Dry Creek is.
     I walked the path mimicking the creek wearing a pair of shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops.  The sun felt good on my brown shoulders.  Owing to the heat not so many people were around.  A group of teens were playing basketball and I stopped and watched them for a bit.  One skinny kid had a great crossover that left whoever was guarding him flat-footed and grabbing air.  I almost asked them if I could join, but it had been so long since I had played hoops that I knew I'd just mess up the rhythm of their game.
     I walked on and passed an elderly man and his wife walking hand in hand with contentment smoothing the wrinkles on their faces.  It was Mr. Cartizano and his wife Mary.  I said hello and they answered with smiles.  They must not have recognized me.  They hadn't seen me since I left for college over twenty years ago.  They almost looked the same.
     I'm doing what I'm doing for them and for all the good people.  They've never had a voice and never will.
     I chatted with a few people on my walk and it struck me how much of a grown-up I am, or at least that's how people see me.  The successful lawyer returning to his hometown from the big city.  I'm seen as a big fish in the small pond of Destino.  A catch, a made man, got it all, not even forty yet, in excellent shape, and so much time to enjoy life.
     Walking beside the creek, walking down the hall to the electric chair, crumpling instantly from a bullet to the head.  The time to enjoy is now.
     A voice for the millions, the billions, of men and women without a voice.  They take the punches again and again and never strike back.  They give their lives to those who pummel them into the ground and they give their all to ideas that serve masters; ideas that make existence nothing more than a casual accident.
     A beautiful afternoon walking in the sun and it's the Central Valley, so nothing out of the ordinary to come upon a large group of Mexicans having a picnic, kicking around a soccer ball, and showing their prowess at procreation and fulfilling the stereotype when you try to see it.  The Mexicans and many peoples from south of the border have taken it on the chin.  All of them really, except for a few that are very privileged, mucho gracias.
     Hate and insults for Mexicans have become part of California's soul.  Better to be called a dog than a Mexican.  So progressive here in Cali, so laidback, people flashing the peace sign and protesting against societal wrongs, speaking out about obvious no-no's, but Mexicans aren't really human.  They're a subspecies that were created to do the shit work.  Whatever happened to aa lucha sigue?
     It almost makes me flip my lid when I think about all the good people.  There are so many good people in this world.
     Adios, amigos!
     It was a fine day for strolling in the park.
     It's deep in the night now and the air conditioner is blowing.  Summertime in the desert of Destino.  Just me and the typewriter keeping each other company.  Two dinosaurs, and neither of us will stop as long as no one steals one of us away.
     I'll never stop what I've begun.  I'm a voice for the anonymous billions.  I found my voice.  A poet?  What!
     It was not easy to start with the first sounds, the inarticulate grunts, syllables coughed one by one, a mouth too dry to work.  It went slowly, in the beginning, a dribble here, a dribble there, and after a while I was able to get out a few words in succession, and then lines, and then it burst forth and my tongue couldn't keep up.
     Out it flew faster than a bullet.
     And the mute, that dumb oaf who before couldn't even say his name, he screamed: ecce homo!
     Doubt and fear, two inner devices that frame inner laws and regulations.  I police myself.  Doubt and fear still tug my strings, but then the reverberation of "ecce homo" hits my ears and doubt and fear let go.
     It's crazy.  I'm crazy.  I know it.  What I'm doing doesn't fit in the tiny box we help to build to imprison ourselves.  How we love to belittle mankind.  To weep or to scream, to be or not to be for what we do, that's the question.  Milton: "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n," and yes, I understand the pain in that line.  Like a deep wound I feel it.
     A voice singing in the middle of a forest with no one around to hear.  Does the voice make a sound?
     This is not a confession nor is it a last will and testament.  It's the song I'm singing.  It's a sheet of music.  It's the sublime raised from the madness.  Cast away to the pit of hell, and it's lonely and cold down here, let me tell you.  I can't tell a soul what I've done and what I'm going to do.  It's back and forth between the song and reality.
     The sublime and madness.
     I feel like a cigarette now, but I had to quit before I undertook this journey.  Not a one in the house.
     You might be confused about what I've been saying.  I totally understand and apologize, but I hope you've been able to glean from my words that even I myself am unable to put my finger on the heart of my actions.  I want you to keep in mind though, that I am no different than you.  I'm just a normal guy.  Same wants, same fears.  I think it's important to impress this upon you.
     It's not simple and no one is simple, and there's no one I can talk to about it, no one to try to work it over with, and that makes it less simple.
     I can't talk with anyone about my poem, can't let anyone hear my song, so to speak, and how I wish I could talk to my brother about it, or my friend Keith.  I know they'd understand, at least in a sense, at least as well as I do.  They wouldn't swiftly pass judgment on me and my actions.  They wouldn't be dismissive of my reasons, my childish bleeding heart and my stumbling in the dark without the flashlight of reason to help me along.
     I wanted to construct a philosophical argument that made the killing of politicians morally correct, made it a moral imperative.  If I were dealing with "evil" men and women, then yes, grab the gun and off them.  Again, no one is that simple, is simply evil or good, especially when viewed from within the system in which we all live.  I'm no philosopher either.  I'm a lawyer in the small town of Destino.  Once a corporate lawyer in San Francisco, but I reformed and now defend criminals.  A poet too?  You can be the judge of that.
     I had to go to poetry, or perhaps it came to me.  And of course it did.  It's always been there, and maybe that's why philosophy and reason fail me.
     I'm feeling good at the moment, and whoever you are, I hope you're feeling dandy too.  It's so good getting it out.  I really needed to let it out.  And it's funny imagining who you'll turn out to be.  A G-man, a profiler, or who knows, maybe I'll toss it all in the trash and you're a scavenger, a nobody with no idea of what's going on, just like me.  Yippee, cowboy!
     Tell me, am I much different than you?
     As I type this you're likely sleeping: it's almost four in the morning.  You're in dreamland somewhere, your head resting on a pillow, and you don't know who I am, haven't a clue about who the sniper is, but now you know, or at least you have a sense of who I am, having read up to here.
     I see you shaking your head and smiling, that is, if you're alone.  You undoubtedly understand somewhat from where I'm coming and to where I'm going, and it's good to see you've retained a sense of humor in these troubled times.
     If you were here now, sitting beside me at the bar built off the kitchen island and topped with Italian granite (yes), I'd tell you a joke, the Penis von Lesbian one that my father told me many years ago.  That'd be sure to get a laugh out of you if you're not too young.
     I hope you're awake now and not presently daydreaming about your wife or some dark-haired woman who unleashed your animal when your eyes caught her waiting on the corner.
     I need your attention.  You've got to figure me out.  You should know why I'm laughing as I type this, and damn it, unless I've carried a false attitude through these pages, you should have a little sympathy even if you could not admit to it publicly.
     I suppose that's why I brought up my walk yesterday down by Dry Creek: to show you that I haven't lost the connection to the normal, to the everyday, to the enjoyment of a walk in the park on a sunny day, and if I would have been wearing a baseball cap I would have tipped it to all the common people I saw in the park.
     The everyman, that's me, as common as you can get.
     If there's a heaven and if souls up there can look down, I'm sure Thomas J. is applauding me from his balcony seat.  I'm sure he's giving me a standing ovation.
     Let it never end.