David Swartz "RELIGION WITH AN EDGE"
biblicalfictions.com
Poetry for the Curious across the Religious Spectrum
Voyage to Ernie

 {a fictive memoir}

 

              for Joel

 

 

 

 

                 HOW I ESCAPED THE CLUTCHES

             OF THE TRANSCENDENTAL SOCIETY

                 FOR  ALTERNATE PROPOSALS

                    TO MODERN DECADENCE

                      AND FOUND TRUE LOVE

 

 

We are not accustomed to love stories in this era.  Fulfillment is a word rarely heard among the jaundiced purveyors of modern parlance.  A young lad reaching for ultimate growth can grasp no further than a PLAYBOY centerfold.  Without the standard attributes of popular manhood, a callow youth is condemned to abuse himself horribly, to wed his libidinous ambitions with Madame Palm, the five fingered wonder.  We are moved toward realms of sickness and cynicism unparalleled in the decadence of pervious eras.  It is time to clear the air.

     Yes readers, I propose to render an unbiased account of the stirrings of such a youth toward gently harmonic unity, toward blissful serenity with a most accommodating, most loving partner, a love object unequaled, a sensitive comely recipient of the love energy, a perfect peach of a human being, a model of virtue and candor, of good living and fair play, of gentleness and magnanimity, of nobility and sincerity, a perfectly inimitable, utterly unmitigated charmer, a saint, a joy, a paragon, a wholesome loving benevolent sexy old man.

     I was born Garvey Simpson, Jr., son of Wilhemenia and Garvey Simpson of 216 E. Bilgar Street, Nullyburg, New Jersey.  My infancy was unremarkable, my childhood certainly pleasant.  My parents were incapable of great emotions, and my budding years were spent in the relative serenity of a seeming crypt.  Discerning visitors often noted that our home was rather somber, dark, musty, illumined fitfully by stabs of smoky light through drawn blinds and Rembrandt bargain prints over an ochre divan.  I was happy.

     My only sibling, Janice Simpson, was 12 years my senior and married into a wealthy Portuguese family shortly after her tenure there as an exchange student in the summer of 1966.  I never spoke to my sister after she once told me that little girls were lucky not to have things dangling between their legs that might get chopped off.  That was in 1965, when I was 9.  My sister committed suicide in the fall of 1970 after an overdose of lysergic acid at a rock concert in Lisbon.

     It must be stated here with absolute honesty that even into my late teens I had no experience with non-prescription drugs, including grain alcohol.  I did have the cigarette habit since the age of 14, preferring the mentholated low tar variety.  My primary concern after the age of 12 was the budding pustules that finally led to an angry mass of welts and suppurations which exist to this day.  My secondary concern was my sexual appetite, frustrated by the primary concern so profoundly that I was utterly chaste, utterly a virgin, readied yet yearning for sudden total fulfillment, as this narrative will demonstrate.

     I will state at this time that I have never felt the need or compulsion to abuse myself, and while my fantasies were alarmingly tenacious from the age of 13, I was never focused on  the genital act itself and bided my time for another sort of copulation with manifest dignity and patience before the occasion came as it surely must in the affairs of lonely loving people everywhere on the threshold of adult life and provided me with a suitable receptacle for the seed, a warm and pulsing organ upon which to bestow my humble attentions and gratitude.  Is this sickness?

     The sickness at the roots of our society is a cancer of pulsing maggot greed and not in the sexual appetite itself.  I myself have, decking the suppurations with a chalky facial mask, a comely visage.  Prominent moist lips, deep set dark eyes, a shock of wiry stiff black hair, a furrowed brow.  My hands are handsome.  My feet are taut and elegant.  My buttocks are ample and firm.  I am in fact a specimen of utter lissome virility with the supple grace of a great cat of the jungle.  Garvey Simpson, Jr. is in no way ashamed of his physical attributes.  The welts, the suppurations and pustules, are accident and not essence.  They are the products of forces beyond the nature of the anatomy itself and can never wholly alter or demean my personal appearance.  My lover came to know this.  But I precede myself.

      Perhaps what distinguished me as a youngster was not the acne nor the appetite, common to many harried youths, nor was it in fact my intellectual attainments, which I might add were considerable, accepted into such a world renowned and prestigious institution as Rutgers at the age of 18, but rather it was most assuredly a certain malaise or discontent far more deep-seated than the usual adolescent unrest.  I began in fact in the early teens to suspect that there were forces afoot in my narrow universe to deprive me of total and unrelenting satisfaction with the merest rudiments of comfortable living—a sound bath, clean teeth, well groomed hair, a prime rib of beef with my parents at Lauberdorf's Pit in Montvale.  I knew in time that there were agents or beings sucking in some remote and obscure fashion upon my vital juices, perhaps indeed inundating my manly visage with the horrible cankers that voided my attempts at sexual conquest.  And indeed, if I may speculate, this malaise in itself was the principle bond which united me to all youths in my particular situation, all harried innocence.

     At Rutgers I became even more convinced of the presence of these malign forces or powers quite simply from a fairly grim turn of events that plunged me into a difficult depression from which I have never wholly recovered.  I was black-balled at 13 fraternities after the usual round of dinners and parties.  I developed jock itch.  I became enamored of a particular rock tune, the title of which I cannot reveal at this time.  This tune gripped me for 3 years.  I had never a minute's peace in fact, and the lyrics resound in my brain to this day.  As a result of this disturbing presence, it was impossible for me to concentrate upon my studies, and I failed my examinations at the conclusion of the first semester.  I lay in bed plagued by that simple invidious tune.  I couldn't sleep.  My appetite was crippled.  I was placed upon probation.  My father died in the month of February from complications following a prostate operation.  I was forced to drop out of Rutgers and return to Nullyburg to console my widowed mother.  I was unhappy.  I was broken.

     The coming wretched months I lay in bed for hours listening to my tapes.  I was inconsolable.  For days on end my depression would hit a bottomless pit from which I gave up hopes ever for recovery.  It would lift for a spell of bearable despair, and downward I would plunge again into that irrevocable darkness, soothed only by the music short circuiting the intruding lyric, intermittingly calming my brain.  Upon scraps of tissue paper I began at last to compose poems, rude ill-formed rhymes that perhaps might offer some solace if not deliverance.  I am by nature modest, but I must admit that some of these verses were more moving than any I had encountered in freshman literature classes.  One in particular, simple and rudimentary to all but the most judicious reader, distills within itself the pinnacle of achievement with rhetoric, as even the lofty Pringle himself hastened to admit.  This short composition I present here as testimonial to the inner essence of my literary endeavors, a haughty monument to affirmation in the midst of darkest agony.  With this poem alone one can enter into the inner workings of my psychology and chart the hidden recesses of a troubled but triumphant creature.  I quote in full from the holograph copy:

          "We've been together a long time,

           And parting ain't sweet,

           So one last time before I go,

           Won't you suck my meat?"

 

 

 

In the fall of 1975 I was moved from my lethargy by an analyst in New York City to apply for a position with Cosmo Enterprises.  It was felt at the time by Dr. Rance Fervod, Jr. and by my long-suffering mother that gainful employment might be "the ticket."  Of course a young man with my considerable gift and personal charm would have been insulted at the type of vocational slot which the forces invidiously thrust my way, that of hanger in second floor receiving at the Cosmo Department Emporium, grievously irritated by the audacity of that young prim angelic blond personnel officer in presenting someone with my attributes this lowliest of menial pursuits.  However, I had been urged to take anything offered, and it was for my mother and for Dr. Fervod himself that I conquered my pride and began that very day the most wrenching tedium ever encountered by someone of my capacity, the most repulsive meaningless series of apelike tasks, the most putrid annoying menacing bestial idiocy yet devised for the humiliation and abuse of true greatness and sensitivity, of gift.

     While I'm certain that some of the details of this account can only arouse animosity or fatigue, I do find it necessary from time to time to intrude upon the narrative.  I must, for example, provide some small description, however abbreviated, of my workday, from 12 noon to 4 PM, at the Cosmo Department Emporium.  That is, opening large cardboard cartons, copying the apron number, the number of pieces, the department, my initials, on a tag, appending the tag to the first hanger upon which the first article of clothing was hung, facing my left on a rolling rack, and all subsequent garments, all counted, on their hangers, on the rack, until, filled with clothing and tags and hangers and the sweat of my grimy abraded hands, the rack was pushed to a network of overhead pipes and the contents transferred to the proper pipe.  Enough.

     My first acquaintance in the Emporium was a young man known also as Garvey, Garvey P. Mittag, an obnoxious, brain-damaged lout of a Mormon, whom I managed to continually astound.  Garvey P. Mittag was easily astounded.  He abounded with tales of one Seabury Pringle III, who worked as a merchandise handler in the sportswear department, and, as I later discovered, abounded with tales to Pringle himself of my diversionary activities; and our mutual curiosity precipitated a meeting.  But that must be postponed to give the proper background, some detail about my activities, which were ever a source of wonder to Garvey P. Mittag, an ingrate gossip and purveyor of misinformation and malice masquerading as a member of what many prejudge a fanatical sect of semi-literate religious zealots who refuse to drink Coca-Cola or indulge in oral copulation.

     In a hopelessly tedious string of repetitive tasks, there is no outlet for the sluggard.  For Garvey Simpson, Jr. there were his own native resources.  Yes, I performed in those days the activities of diversion which prevented my being ground into paste and oblivion.  For example:  I would slap the side of my face, propelling my skull into the cinderblock wall loud abrasive bonks, emit painful shrieks and gurgles and scream, "I can't work here no more."  Pandemonium.  I would weave about drunkenly on rubber legs and bellow,"The floor is sinking."  Incredulity.  I would shriek in absolute terror and clutch my throat with feigned anxiety and shout,"The girl scouts.  They're coming out of the walls."  Outrage.

     All these activities were relayed in full detail, as I later discovered, to Seabury Pringle III, relayed by the number one pariah of all eternity, Garvey P. Mittag.  Of course, Pringle was amused, titillated, touched—yes, touched.  Perhaps he knew I was reaching out.  The Mormon I soon began to address as Richard M. Nixon.  I would bellow commandingly, "This is it.  This is it.  I'll bet my whole wallet he looks like Nixon."  Astonishment.  Yes, and eventually I became enamored of the idea that this slender imbecile with the tidy black moustache and the habit of focusing his eyes ever upward with his mouth agape to a pink tongue—much like a human Shell No-Pest Strip—that this lout was in fact my savior, that he was in fact a messiah.  And little was I to know that indeed through his agency I was to be thrust into the presence of my near nemesis, Seabury Pringle III.

     Indeed if there was anything I needed in that slimy pit it was a messiah, and how I knew it.  I became obsessed.  I would follow that Mormon filth, that reptile with his open mucid mouth and up-cast eyes, back the columns of garments.  I would beg, implore, humiliate myself.  I would shriek, "You're the savior of the future.  The Mormons are the saviors of the future.  Save me.  For God's sake, save me."  Garvey P. Mittag's cruelty was overwhelming.  He would back off disdainfully and peruse the ceiling.  He would chortle and mutter and pick his nose.  One moment in abject misery I pleaded for him to intercede on my behalf.  I said the following: "Save me.  Save me.  I'll do anything.  I swear it."  And Garvey P. Mittag drew down his zipper and smiled knowingly, and I opened my mouth and lolled my tongue and made loud abrasive slurping sounds, and Garvey P. Mittag turned and walked away in utter contempt.  Needless to say, I was utterly broken.

     I had not been at the Cosmo Department Emporium for more than 3 days when the Mormon began to glow with accounts of a merchandize handler who had performed innumerable feats of valor and creativity, who in fact had written 12 full length novels in his spare time, who had tried to impregnate thousands of harried housewives by ejaculating upon the image of a soap opera flickering on a portable Sony.  This same Seabury Pringle III had in fact written the most perverse and repulsive manuscript probably in the entirety of the galaxy.  It was entitled THE ORIGIN OF WOCL and included mass orgies among a rapidly spreading company of zealots who rubbed themselves down with their own excrement prior to oral copulation.  This same organization eventually overthrew the known universe, led by a slender young bisexual by the name of Morris Codish.  Garvey Mittag insisted that this utter perversity was conceived and executed during a long period of Pringle despondency and prompted by Pringle's conviction that in our civilization it was possible to find a market for the most abominable commodities and that if the book caught on he, Pringle himself, could package his own leavings for sale on the mass market at a considerable profit.

     In fact Pringle was accustomed to read passages from this manuscript to his fellow merchandize handlers in the employee's lounge together with outrageous segments from other products of his steaming fantasy.  A large coterie had assembled, according to the Mormon, and special favors were accorded to Pringle in what seemed to be in fact no less than rapt admiration.  In one particular piece an elderly school superintendent became enamored of the idea that he was in fact turning into the Virgin Mary, being feminized, so to speak, in order that he might become impregnated and give birth to a messiah who might lead our decadent culture to redemption and salvation.  In this same work the superintendent during a prostate operation dreamt he copulated with a Harley Davidson motorcycle, swam through the entrails of a huge duck, was ejected through the rear aperture, climbed the duck's genitals, and was ejaculated to fall through all eternity.

     This same Pringle was formerly a college professor at an obscure mid-western university where he seduced thousands of innocent minds with massive doses of lysergic acid and led them on forced marches out through a wasteland of arid countryside, looking for an imagined pot of euphoria.  After several mental collapses, he settled down to collect Social Security disability and write these interminable novels, which had been summarily dismissed and rejected by countless agents and editors in the established marketplace.  Pringle, finally compromised by the government, pronounced fit, was forced to seek employment with Cosmo Enterprises, whose present place in his steaming fantasy could only be wildly speculated.

     Perhaps the pinnacle of my efforts at that time requires some circumspection in the account.  It was customary for me at the time to creep back the columns of garments, following Mittag, and to turn him about and kneel and open my mouth and loll my tongue with loud abrasive slurps and utter, "I want oral sex."  Mittag's reply was invariably, "If you want that why don't you ask your mother to provide you with a cup of her urine to drink?  It comes from the same place."  Humiliation.  However, a plan soon evolved in which I would demonstrate to that wretch that there were pleasures undreamed of in the oral copulation I pined for, languished over, since my first pulsings of lust.  I knew that there was a way to demonstrate the utter refinement and nobility of the oral act and that the more graphic the demonstration the more radical would be his conversion, for Garvey P. Mittag at 24 was ALSO a virgin.  One afternoon the display people left a female manikin out in the hallway by the entrance to second floor receiving.  I bided my time to catch the Mormon zealot unawares.  I was nearly faint with anticipation and the numbing fear that someone would remove the manikin, slender and graceful with protuberant nipples, before the objective was reached.  And then in a moment of absolute cunning and insight, I collared Mittag just as he exited with a rolling rack upon which were literally hundreds of one piece bathing suits of garish design, and I ran forward lovingly, raptly, and knelt at the manikin as Garvey P. Mittag stared incredulously; and I licked the crotch of the manikin with loud slurping sounds and hollered beatifically, "Garvey.  This is how you do it."

 

 

 

My plans were brilliant in their execution, but I seriously doubt whether Garvey P. Mittag was moved toward the secret sweet palpitations of either oral or anal copulation.  In fact his only response was to dart out of view onto the Cosmo carpet, a hideous orange pile, to snick left beyond view, and leave me with the damp crotch of the manikin and my own abject misery.  It had in fact been so close to the real thing that my most private parts were strained and throbbing, the gonads like tiny knots of tempered steel.  I went back to the tedium, the repetitive agony of counting and hanging those eyesores, tens of thousands upon the endless pipes to be fed to budget sportswear or juniors or any of the other pits or vortices which were sucking in addled females opting for a garish garment over a pulsing mucid tongue.  In all likelihood the Mormon was spreading the tale of my exploits, distorting, embellishing, twisting the utter purity and simplicity into some monstrous perversity to titillate those ruffians with the dark blue shirts, the merchandize handlers now for the most part menials in the service of Pringle.

     The following day I begged off for a trip to the nurse at 1 PM and complained of diarrhea and vomiting and a hernia and received permission to retire to the employee's lounge for a bit of rest to calm my ailing frame.  I entered the lounge at 1:15 PM, a Thursday, and caught my first view of Seabury Pringle III in his Cosmo blue shirt, reclining under an insipid water color on dark vinyl, with the soles of his boots, massive and crenulated, on a powder blue hassock.  A slender twit of a man with an Oriental moustache was just leaning down to light his cigarette.  A heavy set lout in a trench coat was gathering up the scraps of Pringle's lunch and toting them into the cafeteria.  Several others in the Fu Manchus were gathering about, addled and struck by Pringle's presence.  Garvey P. Mittag was standing on a table in the corner, telling a string of utterly tedious jokes from BOY'S LIFE, unnoticed except for Pringle, whose Oriental moustache was thick and ragged to 3 inches below his chin.  Pringle was rattling great booms of spasmodic laughter and interrupting to ask for greater detail, greater embellishment, an altered punch line, from Mittag, whose eyes perused the ceiling, mucid and glistening in the uncertain light.

     Naturally in such a situation I was not really confident of my own senses.  I entered to stand as if lost in a haze of preternatural vapor that emanated from the merchandize handlers and Pringle himself.  Utterly ignored in the strain and bustle, I cleared my throat and managed a very thin, "Hello, everybody.  I'm Garvey Simpson, Jr."  To which again no one paid the slightest attention.  Mittag himself was lost in a sort of trance, mumbling his interminable jokes.  The others were gathered about Pringle, raptly fixed, as if the slightest movement or expression emanating from that languid form were pregnant with meaning for their own weary lives, as if in fact the man were an oracle, a fount of medicinal balm and utterance.  I slumped into a rather repulsive chair and buried my face in my hands, prepared to encounter total discomfort and embarrassment for having intruded upon this circle.  I was ignored.

     Seabury Pringle III was an even 6 feet, quite lean, long comely legs in tight Jesus jeans.  His hands were uncommonly slender and unadorned.  His feet were massive.  His hair was a sort of homely brown and unkempt and disorderly, streaks of sediment and greasy effluvia and an alarming case of dandruff.   His eyes were deep-set and penetrating, much like the nozzles of vacuum cleaners that peered out from sunken depths and drew the juices from every living thing into the recesses of the canister, his brain, his being, and laid waste.  His voice when it came finally was even and flat, burned out so to speak, devoid of affect, human emotion.  Mittag droned on as I clutched my throat and wriggled and finally in the abject depths of my despair lolled my tongue and slurped and uttered the most pitiful whining plea possibly ever encountered by that personality.  I uttered, "I need pussy."

     I must apologize for the state of mind which produced such an outcry.  I am ever embittered when recounting the full details of this episode.  I was in a pitch of hysteria that would have transformed the simple expression "I eat turds" into a rogation of absolute cunning and insight.  When Pringle's brief address came like a torrent, I was swept away with the delusion that I was in the presence of elocutionary art, of verve and genius.  My senses were clouded, befogged.  In all honesty, while I remember his words in their entirety, I cannot presently for the life of me derive a shred of meaning from them: "What is pussy?  What is existence?  Moved by forces of decadence and cruelty toward the minimum operation, the spawn of lust.  Gimmickry.  I have seen it ever so often crowding that inner sphere with hopeless tedium, and what can be done?  Is the crisis real or imagined?  What forces are offended or even given the crux of the situation?  But agony.  Brief and tentative, it speaks of the uterine chambers.  Greed and iniquity.  Filth.  Teeth nipping the nub of genitalia.  Masturbation.  Disharmony.  And to what can we appeal?  There is no better force afloat upon the sea of deadness.  Christ's blood.  Thorns.  I'm appealing to you.  Be vigilant.  Hold the necessary distance for the communication that precedes our enslavement.  What no.  I mean rectitude.  Intelligence.  Here it is spoken plain and ungarnished.  The forces are afoot to deprive us of our sanity.  Our self-respect.  Decency.  I speak to the plot and the victim.  Enough."  With that he clapped and called for a cup of coffee, and a heavy ruffian bolted from absolute trance and clattered down the hall to the cafeteria.

     I went HOME that afternoon in a trance.  I climbed to the attic and rummaged in the cartons of old garments for a cast-off from my long dead sister, Janice.  I stroked the rayon over my genitals and forehead and lay full length on the cold hard floor and uttered a prayer of lamentation and despair, for I had seemingly found my intellectual master.  I knew that I would be drawn into his vortex like a chip of effluvia on turbulent water, would be drawn inexorably, for Pringle was a force much stronger than any I had ever encountered in my brief and harried life.  Seabury Pringle III seemed a giant, a force of massive intelligence and verve.  And Garvey Simpson, Jr. was hopelessly gripped with infatuation.

     His cohorts all loved the man, adored him in fact.  They longed to lie with him upon a bed of lilies and rhododendron, to copulate bliss on bliss.  And yet they were for the most part heterosexual.  Yes.  Pringle had an androgynous ambiance which captivated the miserable, the weak and tormented of all sexual persuasion.  Pringle was in fact bisexual, as I later discovered, but preferred to observe and nibble on small dried cakes of wheat germ, preferred to observe all varieties of sadism and perversity while imbibing frosty Dr. Peppers (he preferred the sugar free aluminum canisters with the blue tinted label) and nibbling on the cakes.  Which is not to say he abstained from participation, but that was indeed a rare moment and one they all pined for.  In fact, Walter Grubler, an early staunch member of his society, recounted to me that same winter of an early morning rerun of GUNSMOKE during which he, Walter (who had an affinity for patting merchandise handlers upon the buttocks) Grubler serviced Seabury Pringle III just as a commercial for Gribbet Hair Spray faded into an appearance of a minor character in the plot saddling up to head for Dodge City to rob the Long Branch saloon.  As Grubler put it, Pringle was sipping from a crenulated straw at the conclusion of the program.

     It seemed early in my relationship with the Transcendental Society for Alternate Proposals to Modern Decadence that the real tie was a universal attraction for the body of the founder and his genitals.  There was often much covert discussion of the actual configuration and disposition of the male organ, the length, the texture, the veins, the circumcision.  And yet I never heard any of the society speak disparagingly of Pringle or his manly equipment.  Let us say it was a morbid curiosity unparalleled, an unhealthy preoccupation.  It well might be understood in terms of the delusion shared by all members that the Pringle apparatus was the most vital segment of his anatomy beyond even the brain itself, an organ from which would spring supposedly the seed to conceive a whole generation of loving children to populate a transformed verdant landscape with the collapse of the Western industrial empire.

     That night in my fevered state I penned a small tribute to Seabury Pringle III and slipped the holograph copy under my pillow.  I offer the poem here as a curiosity, a testimony to the grip of Pringle, the beastly hold that sickly sentience had on my normally serene and composed intelligence.  One must rely on impartiality and utter objectivity in the poem's perusal, for it is a simple rudimentary document and not a work of art, an increment in the tightening screw that clamped my vital innards.  It is a rude thing, to be sure, but the utter complexity and sensitivity surrounding its creation transforms it into an utterance of strange mystery and verve:

          "Today we first met, my beloved,

            But over my body you hover,

            And poised above my open mouth

            Is any eloquence you care to udder.

            My name is Garvey, and I love you now."

 

 

 

In the coming weeks I was to beg off from work almost daily at 1 PM and return to the lounge at 4 for the afternoon break to be close to Pringle.  At first I sat at the edge of the circle, but soon I was requested to sit over on the table to his right hand to discuss the weight of earthly problems and my particular dilemma—approaching my 20th birthday and still a virgin.  I told Pringle of the suppurations so visible upon my face and of the tune which had interrupted my studies, of the jock itch and the rejections at 13 fraternities, of my analyst, Dr. Rance Fervod, Jr., who together with my mother had discouraged my return to Rutgers upon a probationary basis, of my father's death following the prostate operation, of lying on the bare attic floor the afternoon of our first meeting, of other incidents which to the casual observer might surely seem pathological.  I even told him of an increasing preoccupation to become a world-renowned brain surgeon or an author of the stature of Milton, and I quoted to him my first rude rhymes.

     Seabury Pringle III was always a sympathetic listener and an acute critic of the foibles of contemporary living.  He went immediately to the core of a problem and split it incisively to let in the balm of reason and human insight.  He urged me, for example, to enroll in the Bergen County Community College for the spring semester as a premedical student.  He urged me to turn homosexual.  He urged me to buy a padded steel jock strap to distend the crotch of my Jesus jeans and approach one of the hair dressers in the second floor parlor who was incidentally drawn to the society and its tenets, to flaunt my anatomy before that worthiest of zealots and to accept even the nuance of a proposition.  As it was, Walter Grubler was also there and willing, and I could always be accommodated by any of the female members of the society.  What I needed more than anything was faith in my own attributes and in the society itself, over which Pringle was lord and master.

     It was on one of these occasions that Pringle invited me to come in early of a morning and meet him at the employee's entrance.  His tone was particularly mysterious but compelling, and I could hardly refuse.  In fact I was there, of a Wednesday, at 9:30 AM, sitting on the concrete steps, when Pringle arrived in an old hunting jacket, and signed out the keys to the security stock room.  We climbed on the freight elevator, observing graffiti on the pale green paint ("Walter is a homo, Al drinks syphilis, Ritch eats nigger") and stepped onto the landing.  Pringle led me down a dim aisle past the shelves of repulsive bedspreads and hassocks to unlock a plywood door and enter.  He stepped in and closed it and retired to the end to lift out 3 large bottles of Chanel Number 5 perfume in the white glossy cartons.  He removed the bottles with a mysterious air and beckoned me to observe closely.  I was utterly inflamed by the sight.  He removed a comely penis from his jeans and wafted it in the air.  He emptied the bottles on the concrete and systematically with the precision of a surgeon, inserted his penis into each bottle, filling it in turn with urine.  He capped the bottles and set them back up on the shelf and grinned malevolently.  He bent over with spasms of uncontrolled rasping laughter, his shoulders quivering horribly.  He stuffed his organ back into his trousers and took me by the shoulders and looked straight into my eyes.  I was overwhelmed.  I sank to my knees and drew my arms about his thighs and thrust my head into his taut lean belly, sobbing and heaving with gratitude for the wonder he had so judiciously unfolded.

     That very weekend I paid my first visit to the Pringle establishment.  That is to say, to Pringle's apartment in Klurgelwood.  It was somewhat later that I spent my first evening in the fellowship of the inner sanctum, the small and rather bizarre chapel kept up with contributions from the society.  This first visit was to Pringle's residence, where to my profound shock and amazement, I found that Pringle indeed had a wife and daughter, a mousy wife, a comely pubescent daughter, perhaps 9, a lovely thing who inflamed my sexual ardor so greatly that immediately after taking my place on Pringle's black vinyl sofa and devouring a large pepperoni sausage, I lolled my tongue over my mouth and slurped and uttered, "I want you."  And Pringle leaned forward quietly and said, "I think you should keep this in mind but she knows what you're talking about."  And I leaned toward the daughter and slurped my mouth and said, "Oh.  Then you know what I want?" And I was immediately thrust from the premises by the wife, and it was the end of my first and only visit to the Pringle establishment.

     Standing below, I could hear Pringle's strained laughter, the yawps of resonant sound.  I could hear his wife's anguish and concern.  I closed the door on it.  I walked to my VW microbus, remembering a large painting on Pringle's wall of a psychedelic penis in flaming pink and orange radiating lines of color against a black background.  I remembered every other inch of all four walls papered with rejection slips.  I remembered a rather repulsive rug.  I remembered the terrible sway that mousy woman had over Pringle's sensibilities and the total certitude filling me that indeed his fervor had surely its origin in an attempt to smash the bonds of that marriage, that thralldom, as the painting (Pringle's himself) was indeed the same sort of utterance and rebellion, a lusty goat cry in the wilderness against the frozen structures of contemporary living.  Pringle would prevail.  In some distant realm, no one could determine the mode of behavior for his currently deepest fraternal associates.  Yes, in some remote reach of time, all the beautiful people of the earth would live with utter freedom to declare their inner needs in every circumstance, to shout them from the housetops.  And knowing that, I went back undaunted to my mother, who was eating a pastrami sandwich on my arrival.

     I must make it totally clear that until that moment I entered my household, I had never wholly understood what an abscess of seething greed the act of ingestion is now and forever will be, world without end.  The pincing lips into good rye, the mandibles clenching and masticating, the tongue lolling and working the sodden pastrami, the tendons distended over the jaws, the pitters and raps of the digestive apparatus, the eyes rolled back toward the ceiling in gustatory delight, the lips crenulated and metallic, a slash of pink glistening as if over a suppuration or lesion in the flesh, the Adam's apple bobbing like a rotting cabbage in a sea of urine, the cords and ligaments of the neck, the stringy spotted hands fluttering free of the crumbs, the juices sloshing, the saliva coated chin—all these sensory impressions mounted into rage and fury, nausea, disgust—and I lurched past that sac of pus and made the stairs to lie sobbing upon the good quilt.  Someday there would be retribution.

     That Monday I had a special prize prepared, a tribute to Pringle and the mysterious society and its membership.  I worked in a fever of anticipation those 4 hours (I could no longer beg sick at 1 PM; my job was in jeopardy) until at last the moment came and I ascended the freight elevator and traversed the concrete landing back shelves of potted plants, turning toward the lounge; and, finding it occupied with merchandize handlers, zealots one and all, I pulled my Jesus jeans and jock sock down to my knees and wiggled my buttocks provocatively and walked about with my ample hose wriggling freely.  I lolled my tongue and slurped and uttered, "I want sex.  I need sex." Uttered it over and again in an utterly anguished tone, and Seabury Pringle III was overcome with paroxysms of merriment, deep throaty bellows of unrestrained mirth that dislodged a repulsive yellow painting from the opposite wall and nearly brained a zealot (Burt Spew, Jr., a compulsive liar and pederast who once claimed to have owned 3 boutiques in Paterson, N. J. and to have been a rock star in a Paris based glitter group), precipitating more laughter, more gaiety, utter cacophonous goat cries and spasms, wondrous to behold.  Needless to say, I had given Pringle the worthiest token of my gratitude, and I slept that night in utter purity and innocence, gamboling on fleecy clouds of sylvan goo, knowing that I had not, so to say, cast my pearls before swine.

     In the morning my mother served me a hearty repast of sliced ham and broiled eggs with blueberry muffins and grapefruit juice and a piping pot of good coffee.  I lay in bed, listening to my tapes, and penned a commemorative verse that might cap my triumph.  To be certain, it was rude and perhaps insignificant in juxtaposition to my later efforts, but the sunlight through the blinds and the cars scuttling on the street and the hammering music all wove themselves into a work of some permanent literary merit, a gem, so to speak, which I offer to the discerning public glutted with the lesser slime of commercial cynicism.  There is nothing slick or premeditated in this rhyme, nothing crass or selfish.  I proffer it in utter modesty as a token of good natured fellowship, knowing that some might find it solace in a time of desperate need:

          "When I drew my drawers below my hairy legs,

            And my twinkling prodder bobbed and my hairy eggs,

            The master chortled like a mocking bird,

            And wisdom brooded like a solemn Kurd.

            My name is Garvey, and I love you unbearably."

 

 

 

I mentioned nothing of these new developments to Dr. Rance Fervod, Jr., whom I visited every Tuesday and Thursday in Manhattan.  I was much more concerned at the time with a summons from the authorities in that blighted city to appear in traffic court and make restitution for a series of parking tickets I had received while visiting the analyst himself.  In fact, as of December 9, I owed the city well over $3,000, and while previously imbued with a vague unrest, I had been practically shattered with this poisonous form that came one Wednesday in the mail.  I believed at the time it had been Fervod's machinations, and such a suspicion only added to the mistrust of that pretentious scum-bag who in collaboration with my mother had sought to prevent my return to Rutgers.

     I asked Pringle about the summons.  His advice was striking: "Wipe your ass on it and mail it back."  I proceeded to do just that.  At the same time I began to outline the procedure regarding Fervod.  I had wanted to discontinue our visits for weeks, but I didn't know how to accomplish that objective without going through the repugnancy of shaking his hand goodbye, and that very act instilled in me a vague sense of brooding dread and repulsion.  Pringle's advice was striking: "Send him a dismissal accompanied with a gift-wrapped box of shit."  Some might argue that either of these procedures is in fact repugnant and even perverse and bestial, but when you consider carefully they are direct and forthright, even sensitive.  I followed Pringle's advice with the Fervod matter.  I bided my time, hoping for THE invitation.  On December 15 I visited the chapel.

     That holy Saturday, filled with mystery, I arrived with Pringle himself.  In the foyer was a small locker room painted a pleasant lilac, carpeted and swank.  Seabury Pringle III instructed me to remove my clothes, all of them down to my virile pelt, and I complied immediately, excitedly, slipping my trousers down.  Pringle himself hung my garments in a locker—number 35—and stripped to a lavender pouch and G-string.  I was prevented a view of the Pringle genitals, yet hid my disappointment, entering through a bright curtain to the dim light of the chapel interior where about the dark floor were most of the zealots, bare and seated in the lotus upon velvet cushions.  There was a small receptacle at the entrance containing small tablets of an unknown substance.  Pringle handed me one with a small white paper cup of Great Bear spring water from a squat cooler, and we both imbibed.  In the background from concealed speakers a tune played just at the threshold of hearing.  Suddenly I recognized it as the song which had plagued me during my examinations at Rutgers, transformed suddenly from menace to lulling euphoria.  It was ANGRY EYES by Loggins and Messina, and I was enraptured.

     The altar was nearly bare of adornment, a crushed and mangled Sony color television prickled with shredded wires and electronic components beneath the society banner, striking there on a florid podium beneath which lay the hexagonal block of sturdy oak upon which certainly were to transpire the rites.  Everywhere above the rock melody were signs of delirium and ecstasy precipitated perhaps by the drug.  We sat together on the cushions and listened to the tune and the euphoric babble for the first 20 minutes or so it took for the drug to take effect.  Suddenly I was seized with absolute joy and frenzy, the certitude that oral copulation was the foundation of empirical reality.  I tried to approach Pringle.  I tried to give him the utmost of my starved admiration and consideration, but he denied me.  Seabury Pringle III advanced to the altar to hushed reverence and removed a Super Max hair dryer from a black receptacle and placed it on the hexagonal block.

     Suddenly I noticed that about me everyone was salivating with great zeal and intensity.  Those nubile young bodies bathed in ethereal light inflamed me.  Here and there a maiden I recognized from the stock pool, from shipping and receiving, all quivering with utter concentration and verve, eyeballs rolled back, mucid chins, cords protruding, quivering breasts and buttocks, taut abdominal muscles, while everywhere were the moans and spasms of sexual ardor.  I began chanting in utter delirium, frenzied ecstasy, while flogging my supple hose.  And then, just as our euphoria peaked, Seabury Pringle III, poised above the Super Max which he had placed on the hexagonal block, poised glistening and lean in the lavender pouch, with a great sledge hammer, swung that implement down upon the Super Max with utter gusto and vengeance, and the hair dryer burst into fragments, and dozens swooned.

     I must admit I was confused.  I failed to understand the deep and murky symbolism of Pringle's gesture.  My ardor was visibly cooled.  I did not share in the peak hysteria of the experience.  Pringle was suddenly chanting about an agrarian society among the ruins of the industrial complex, Super Max, Pro Max, Norelco Shape and Dry, all accruements and artifacts of contemporary technology laid waste by the one hammer blow.  He continued his discourse (frenzied, dancing about with mighty quivers of the pouch) that the hammer blow was only the antecedent of the coming new age, the destruction and obliteration of the terrible new greed for more and more instruments of plastic and steel, of Styrofoam and silica, the repulsive accumulation which had wasted our once happy land.  A messiah was needed, a leader to wrest us from the miasmic quagmire of our materialism.  I sat dazed as if in a world beyond the sensual bounds of limited sentience.  Tears formed in my eyes.

     Following the service we entered the annex for a light repast of bratwursts and potato salad.  There was a large keg of Shaeffer beer and some excellent pretzels on the big oak table.  The steins, the colorful paper plates, the jaunty effervescent mood of Pringle as we fell to it, yes, it melted my heart.  Here and there a zealot nipping a large steaming bratwurst, the sweat from the overheated room, Walter Grubler's jig on the massive table, the general gaiety and well-being below the party streamers, as I was kissed and embraced and welcomed into the society, an elite corps of supposedly superhuman deities who were to dance attendance upon some distant future Armageddon of undetermined nature.  There were speeches and toasts and at last a rap on the door, and Garvey P. Mittag entered with his mucid eyes rolled toward the ceiling and a weak smile and a battered blue copy of the Book of Mormon under his arm.  I was stunned.  I was about to raise an angry protest when Pringle himself took the young man's arm and assisted him to the top of the table, where he stood in his blue Cosmo shirt and matching limp Dacron trousers and told a series of execrable puny jokes from BOY'S LIFE to gales of laughter from Pringle and the others.  Obviously all was a token of good fellowship and harmony, and even I myself began to enter into the festivities, no longer sulking and brooding but rather addressing Garvey P. Mittag, the noxious Mormon intruder, as "Mr. President" and "Richard Milhous Nixon" and urging him to raise his arms and address us back as "My fellow Americans."

     Toward the end of the evening, Seabury Pringle recounted a curious tale of a certain merchandize handler who had been the secret inspiration for his founding of the society.  It so happened that after a short tenure at the Emporium, Pringle began to observe curiously a robot-like creature, who, refusing to adopt the traditional blue stock shirt, wore bright Hawaiian prints over pulsing tight gabardine trousers.  This handler, red haired, accustomed to an abnormally erect posture, was rumored at the time as having been throwing perfectly functional television consoles in the company compacter.  Assigned to major appliances, he had ample opportunity for certain.  Pringle watched him carefully over a period of weeks with some fascination.

     Then one day as Pringle was entering the swath of brown rug en route to the lower level employee's men's room, he saw this robot-like handler exit the lavatory with a certain unaccustomed smirk on his face.  Pringle entered a stall to have a cigarette and discovered much to his profound shock and infinite delight that someone, surely the red haired handler, had ejaculated on the blue stall door.  Pringle exited hastily and took another stall and there, smoking a Silva Thin, shuddered with deep and unrelenting mirth, a ripple of utter languor and delight.  Randy Morphew, the handler, had expressed his utter contempt for the whole Emporium way of life, that total mentality.  Pringle would take it further.  I asked Seabury Pringle III what happened to Randy Morphew.  It seems that he had been fired for exposing himself in the employee's cafeteria.  I asked Pringle if they had kept in touch.  Unfortunately Pringle had never secured the young martyr's address.  The crushing aftermath for the Emporium was a $10,000 shortage in major appliances at the June inventory.  Morphew had moved on to pastures new, having left his mark indelibly on Pringle and his associates.

     That night I went home and penned a small tribute to the Pringle apparatus and to Randy Morphew, the stalwart origin of his inspiration.  It must be taken into account that I was still in no small fever over the events of that day.  The poem is simple and unadorned, the product of a mind rapidly coming into the grips of a messianic personality.  I proffer it as a token of the sway of Pringle himself, an entity I would soon need to overcome to reach the gentle lulling balm of total immersion in the mind and body of my paramour, whose presence will soon be felt in this narrative:

          "When Randy Morphew shot his load

            Upon the glossy painted door,

            He little knew nor dared to judge

            How Pringle joyed in the deep heart's core.

            Lest you with cynicism judge

            The grandeur of that mighty spew,

            Decry the pulsing Pringle tool,

            Besmirch the coupling of those few,

            Repent your weary nihilism

            And sip a draught of Randy's jism.

            My name is Garvey, and I love the universe."

 

 

 

It must be stated at this point that the most disturbing presence for Pringle and his associates was Harry Ricci, the Operations Manager.  No one in the Emporium more clearly represented the slimy mass of insidious greed of that institution.  Ricci, a second generation American, ruled with an iron fist the crippled lives of those underpaid victimized men in the dark blue shirts.  His domain extended like a cancer over the glossy tile, the orange carpet, and infected even the purest with murderous poison.  Wielding the sharp saber of absolute judgment over the respective status and remuneration of those dull ape-like tasks each of us suffered under, a liar and a cheat, a self-serving bigot and glutton (at the annual pizza party he ate 31 slices), Harry Ricci was universally feared and despised.

     Yes, that winter Pringle and his associates, the society of which I write, attempted to undermine the health and sanity of Harry Ricci, to throw a bit of grit in the cogs of his well-oiled machinery.  A prime target was the freight elevators, the hub of the whole merchandise distribution apparatus.  It was simple enough to leave the doors open.  It was easy enough to sabotage the delicate mechanisms of the control panels by jamming screwdrivers into the circuitry.  By February the Universal Elevator people were constant visitors, clustered at the big steel doors like maggots on carrion in their gray shirts and American flag shoulder patches, coaxing the tortured apparatus into a tentative fitful health.

     Yes, and each day Ricci, the guinea fascist robot, the gaping voracious orifice, was faced with jammed landings, a sea of laden trucks, yelling handlers in dark blue shirts—pandemonium.  Entering to observe the repair work and being greeted with a host of new graffiti—"bury Harry, Harry sucks, Harry Ricci is a wop dictator, tricky Ricci eats it, down with Harry Ricci-wop."  In the first 2 weeks of March the elevators were repaired 39 times and repainted a baker's dozen.

     After it was discovered that huge quantities of crisp fresh merchandise were finding their way to the compacter to be chewed mercilessly and compressed into sodden blocks, Ricci ordered a permanent guard there to oversee the disposal of refuse.  The merchandise handlers trained their sights on customers, scattered pregnant mothers with the huge magnesium trucks, pulverizing arthritic spinsters with motorized dollies.  Cigarettes were ground into carpets, furniture slashed, whole racks of coats shredded and mutilated, television consoles smashed into useless rubble.  A crisis was at hand.

     They pushed it no further.  It was pointless to continue.  The entire work force would be summarily dismissed, and there would be no more opportunity to infect the Ricci apparatus with irritants, to consign it to its deserved purgatory.  Before the certain termination of the entire Pringle conspiracy, peace settled over the Ricci organization.  Ricci, seen often twitching horribly, rushing spasmodically amuck, was given sudden respite.  It was sufficient to observe the usual chaos and inefficiency latent in a store glutted to capacity with useless repulsive commodities and bide their time through that winter, knowing that the hated Operations Manager was undergoing utter trauma in the face of immanent suffering and collapse.  Every day was a blessing.

     I describe with certain misgivings the opening day of spring itself and the society picnic and celebratory rites held that March.  It illustrates only too well the depths of my involvement with that organization and makes for depressing reading.  I myself am overcome with fever and anxiety just broaching the account, dredging from the pit of darkest memory the coming sequence.  It was my first association with society fetes of that magnitude, and happily enough my last.  The joy I felt at that occasion, the zeal I displayed, are ever a source of deepest discomfort.  No matter.

     We repaired to Purdy Grove on the morning of the 21st with 17 kegs of Shaeffer beer and a baggie of LSD, with hams and a side of beef, a barrel of potato salad, provisions ample and fit for a great multitude of zealots far surpassing our modest crew.  It was a calm bright day, crisp but crackling with promise of new adventure.

     Pringle in Jesus jeans drove the new fire red Pinto in mint condition into the picnic grounds.  Zealots one and all littered the area with bright blankets and grills and pulsing motion.  Volley-ball nets were erected.  Frisbees snaked aloft in iridescent patterns.  The pitter of laughter and gustatory delight were everywhere.  Walter Grubler in a flaming jumpsuit called for group cheers and danced upon the thawing earth with uninhibited verve and glee.  It was paradise.

     Yes, late toward afternoon, sated with the comestibles, they lay on the earth and mingled their bodies in chaste embrace as I looked on, dazzled by the waning sun in rapturous innocence, energy made visible.  Grubler and Wilbert Nagey skinny-dipped in Purdy Brook.  Pringle displayed his genitals.  An ecstatic Garvey Simpson danced about with lusty goat cries reverberating among the budding trees and rhododendron.  Attention focused on the Pinto.

     The Pinto had been purchased for the occasion by contributions from the society and a loan from Petro's Finance.  It was a lovely little thing, there nestled among the throng of us cavorting in total pleasure.  And yet each and all of us knew its destiny, knew in our deepest hearts the necessity of its fate.

     Within on the driver's side was a manikin painted by Nagey to resemble the dreaded Ricci.  Yes, in tight Jesus jeans, Ricci's effigy glared impudent through impeccable glass (several mashed insect cadavers had been removed from the windshield with Handi-Wipes).  Yes, and as the light waned, the other vehicles were driven up in a semicircle to train their headlights on that virgin metal and silica, that smug little fire red Pinto.

     And then, precisely at 8:43 PM, Pringle advanced toward the flooded area and stood to remove his garments, to open the passenger side and smear the Ricci effigy with effluvium, to emerge and thump the door amidst "oohs" and "aahs" and proceed to the windshield.  Yes, Pringle himself glistening in the headlights fouled Ricci and the glossy windshield and leaped back to nudge a small drum of Barbolite from Grubler's twitching fingers, to spread that charcoal lighter over the steel and enamel, and then, as we ourselves palpitated with glee, toss a match; and the conceited little Pinto was engulfed in redeeming fire, a great whoosh, and Ricci and Pinto consigned to the heap, to the graveyard, their memory extinguished by that last massive flare which brightened the heavens, a final shriek of defiance into the maw of all-engulfing night.  As that torrent of heat and radiance erupted, yes, I am ashamed to admit, I swooned.  I awoke to utter serenity and bliss.  It had seemed to be the most sensitive and refined sequence in my whole life.  At last I was an achieved being.

     At 9:23 PM a muted splutter and metallic hiss was heard down the long lane from the entrance to the picnic grounds, and within a few moments a lilac Jeepster nosed into the flickering radiance from our campfire.  Pringle was ecstatic.  I soon knew the source of his euphoria.  Garvey P. Mittag emerged with the powder blue Book of Mormon under his arm and proceeded to climb up on the still smoldering remains of the Pinto and to a torrent of glee and hideous belly laughs begin a long series of tedious jokes from BOY'S LIFE.

     Everywhere was heaving euphoria and titillation as we interrupted often for greater embellishment, an altered punch line, calling frequently for the Mormon to spread his arms and address us as "my fellow Americans."  Yes, it was the capper for the evening, a heady draught of merriment and good fellowship that positively sent tingles of voluptuous languor through those zealots assembled, even Walter Grubler and Wilbert Nagey coupled under the naked stars in a secluded alcove.

     I drove home that night totally delirious, a victim of circumstance, a happy glow infusing my entire body with melting passivity, drove the corridors beneath the lid of night, the tidy nestled streets toward the Simpson residence, puffing on a Silva Thin and ruminating in my charged fantasy the entire sequence.  I climbed to my bedroom and covered the big poster bed with a large sheet of plastic film.  I poured a generous dollop of mineral oil over the crinkling translucence and lay chastely, as I then imagined, on the slick surface and squirmed about utterly pure and totally impregnated with the redeeming fluid as the gentle chords of Mantovani played upon my glossy flesh from the Panasonic receiver.

     As a final feverish capper, an ULTIMATE capper, I penned the following tribute to the society, a fitting example of the depths of my delusion, my zeal, the crippling influence of Pringle and his followers, their perverted ideals and warped vision, on a young impressionable mind.  To be certain it is distinguished as art and of no mean contribution to the small corpus of masterpieces in this genre which reside in the sacred resting place of immortality, but the anguish I experience reviewing it colors my true estimation of its worth.  No matter.  I offer it here for the delectation of the curious, for the connoisseur, for those who might pity me for my folly:

          "As Pringle's Pinto burst in flame

            That starry mystic perfumed night,

            The conflagration braised my face

            While wads of grandeur poised took flight

            To inundate a willing chin

            And dribble mucid thick and thin.

            Beware the mocking bird of scorn,

            That carping harpy yet reborn,

            For out the pulsing boundless deep

            Emerges Garvey Mittag's Jeep

            And Grubler later in the grass

            Will plow Wil Nagey's mucid ass.

            My name is Garvey, and I am overcome with gratitude."

 

 

 

By April I had been promoted to the full time position of merchandise handler in men's furnishings as a result of my dedication and subservience, an invaluable part of the Cosmo team.  In all honesty this new position was little suited to my haughty attributes, my intellectual verve and scintillation, but rather another increment in the tightening screw of oppression, of savage idiocy and enslavement to the Cosmo quagmire.  Garvey Simpson, Jr. was reduced to humiliation and abasement undreamed of in the wildest fantasies of oppressed people everywhere, thousands of putrid shop worn belts to be folded and sleeved, to be sized and ticketed, to be re-sleeved, resized and re-ticketed ad nauseam.  Mark downs, mark ups, measureless hours above the hideous pile, a broken innocent condemned to restoring order to the wasteland of garish pullovers and sodden dress shirts.  How I hated those eyesores, their unrestrained impudence, the tyranny of my department manager, Evelyn P. Lucas.  How I suffered.

     My sustenance in the abyss was Pringle himself.  There was considerable solace alone in viewing his consummate control, for Pringle had been consigned to an even greater purgatory, the cosmetic area and the insidious scrutiny of Martha D. Folger-Borgman, an Amazon and ingrate who drove him so hideously often to tears of desperation.  Yes, above the writhing bins, at work on the pullovers, I would view him among the Revlon and Rubinstein, the Matchabelli and Myrugia, that whole pit of dissimulation and greed, the wind-up glaring florescent robot manikin hussies, the demonstrators, the mincing representatives, that whole testimonial to the vanity of womanhood.  Even now I contemplate what I perceived then to constitute Pringle's supposed purity among the maggot-life, the wriggling automatons clutching for an increment of youth and beauty among the ravages of genetics and the tick of cells toward putrefaction and decay, yes death itself; for that whole area was hell bent on preservation, on a magic rejuvenation, on formaldehyde for the formless, for the total swinish multitude everywhere of misshapen superficial bestial strutting animated rubbish that called themselves descendents of Eve and original because of an anatomical resemblance.

     Martha D. Folger-Borgman was the distillation of all this ugliness.  Her treatment of Pringle had no parallel.  Yes, she periodically required of him subservience humiliating to his own free vision and dignity.  Trips to the snack shop, a grease pit frequented and inhabited by pubescent ruffians and prom queens, to retrieve hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard, large greasy tumblers of Tab to wash down that minced effluvia.  Trips to the adjacent ice cream parlor for large rancid double dippers.  Trips to the water fountain to fill a squat jug sequestered above the large filing cabinet behind her desk.

     Hardly a day would pass when Folger-Borgman's abrasive shriek could not be heard above the clamor of the cosmetics area.  Yes, "Pringle, Pringle" and "Seabury, Seabury" a dozen times into the fetid air, and the hapless fellow would pause in his feverish activity among the cartons of makeup to lumber forward like a trained bear to inquire her bidding.  Yes, and his name a thousand additional times over each working period as all those merciless hussies summoned him to gratify their vanity by a foul request for assistance in retrieving a packet of blusher from one of the upper shelves, in readjusting a display rack, in shifting a carton of abominations several inches to make room for their dainty feet.  Folger-Borgman reigning like a Gestapo agent, the dozen hussies, florescent glaring robots, battering his sensibilities with utter contempt and mockery—I shudder at Pringle's burden even to this day.

     I would not mean to imply by this that Pringle was utterly impotent under her calculated duress.  Yes, often on a trip from the snack shop he might be heard to cough up and administer a sound juicy hawker over the sauerkraut and mustard.  Or on a trip from the parlor to snatch a bit of pubic hair to pepper the texture of her butter pecan ice cream.  Or to return from the lavatory with a water jug brimming with effluvia from the toilet bowl.  Yes, Pringle had some recourse over those desperate months and operated often through the mediation of his underlings, the society zealots then glutting the ranks of shipping and receiving.  At every given occasion lascivious and foul remarks were passed within her hearing.  A large drawing in black felt pen by Wilbert Nagey, who had been a lay-out man in the division of children's literature at Random House before being terminated for indecent exposure, executed in the large freight elevator, portrayed a perfect likeness of Folger-Borgman with a large dripping organ in her open mouth. Several of the society saw fit to defile her vinyl desk surface and splatter (nearly) unmentionably a photograph of Manley D. Folger-Borgman, her oldest brother and a foul pervert.

     Her sense of decorum was attacked.  Folger-Borgman had always run a tight department.  She had a fetish for detail and order, and was ill prepared for their tactics.  Items were misplaced, improperly filed, re-shuttled toward remote areas of the Emporium.  Paperwork was destroyed, ledgers mutilated or merely disposed of in the Company compacter.  Martha D. Folger-Borgman went through 13 transfer books in the month of April, each finding its way to oblivion, to be compressed into sodden wads among other Cosmo refuse.  Her pride and joy, a detailed schemata of the third floor stockroom, was smeared with effluvium.

     While the detail of this account might prove tedious, it was necessary to provide the background for the coming event which led to my schism with the Transcendental Society.  By a curious twist of fate I came finally to my senses and sought joys elsewhere.  Yes, over that April I became suddenly enamored of the quite inexplicable notion that Martha D. Folger-Borgman was despite her tyranny over the revered Pringle the epitome of femininity, the source of the lascivious, the origin of carnal bliss.  Utterly without premeditation, a hapless creature in the palm of brute drives, I groveled at the feet of that empress, that Amazon, that 6 foot specimen of utter strutting felinity, groveled metaphorically for certain, and yet, and I am ashamed, in the end literally when the opportunity presented itself.

     Yes, one Thursday afternoon, threading my way up the shaft of gloomy space in the greater elevator with a blue magnesium hamper of repulsive eyesores, bound for the second floor stockroom, I stopped at mall level and Martha D. Folger-Borgman entered imperiously with a laden shelf truck, and the door clamped down to our isolation in the ascending conveyance.  Perhaps it was her pustules, concealed artfully under her medium blushers.  Perhaps it was her breasts hammered impudently like aluminum cones.  Or her buttocks massive and yet contained impeccably in chastest nylon.  I cannot be certain.  Suddenly my knees began to flutter.  My mouth filled with saliva.  I lurched about suddenly to her horror and slapped my forehead against the emergency stop.  With the siren wailing throughout the store, with her sudden shriek of discordance, I positively collapsed at her feet and went scrabbling after her like a rabid dog.  Yes, uttering, "I need you.  I need you" under the din of her vociferous anxiety, I lunged against her groin with my arms clutching at her taut thighs and commenced licking the abrasive cotton, biting and chewing the fabric, until at last a great piercing light entered my skull and I went twitching across the heavy heaving planks like an earth worm on a griddle, huge and ghastly bonks and thrashings, a cacophony of grisly agony under the wail of the emergency siren.

     I could have been outright canned.  But as fate would have it Martha D. Folger-Borgman in utter terror bolted astray to brain herself on the main support shaft, a massive I-beam of corroded steel and pitted abrasions, to lose consciousness immediately, to lose in fact total memory of the whole incident.  Yes, when they tunneled through at last with acetylene from the secondary shaft, we were 2 sodden heaps of senseless protoplasm, and tragedy was averted.  In fact, after a grilling of over 3 hours in Harry Ricci's oval office I was awarded the bronze pin of the Cosmo Department Emporium (presented for the most part to those among the clerks who had opened in excess of a thousand charge accounts over any calendar month and in my case an exception of notable magnitude) for exceptional heroism in the line of duty, not to mention a 3 dollar certificate toward the meal of my choice in the Emporium Velvet Blue Room and a holograph letter of commendation signed by Barkley Hayes Rice-Morgum, Jr., Divisional Manager of Cosmo Enterprises, Inc., to be held in perpetuity in my personal file.

     It was a grim turn of events with a happy ending far beyond the awards themselves.  I suddenly awakened to the conviction that my association with Pringle and the society had kindled within me an unquenchable sexual appetite which promised to undermine my total sanity.  In fact, I had no way of knowing when I might repeat my performance with any of the personnel of the Emporium, even Rice-Morgum himself.  My appetite knew no bounds.  My ardor was pathological, an omni-directional lust for communion with any gaping orifice, oral, anal, genital, within immediate reach.  I could no longer perform as a decent citizen of the community.  Pringle's preoccupations had transformed me into a sociological misfit, a cripple, a danger to myself and my surroundings.  I was a psychopath of boundless proportions.  I would rid myself of his damning influence by seeking solace in pastures new.  The experience in the elevator had given me true insight into my own psychology and motivations, and I was again the potential giant, the genius in genesis, who had begun this incredible journey through danger unparalleled toward true fulfillment.  I determined from that point, eating a salami sandwich in the Emporium Velvet Blue Room, to cast my nets again upon the turbulent sea of destiny.  No matter.

 

 

 

That night, a Thursday, I consulted the want ads in the local scandal sheet.  Moved nearly to despair I at last noticed a position which seemed to be perfectly suited to a man of my accomplishments.  The advertisement read, "COMPANION to elderly gentleman.  $120 per week.  Call between 8 and 9 PM."  I reasoned rapidly, brilliantly, that there was absolutely no threat in such a position.  A man possibly in his late sixties, seventies—how could I ever consider such a human being a sexual object?  I called the next morning.

     It was an employment service.  I was told to leave my number in order that as soon as the party could be contacted I might be reached at work.  I piled into the microbus heady with anticipation.  Shunning my friends I waited all morning and called again at noon.  Thus far there had been no results.  I called at 4:30 and was given the home number of the interested party.  The telephone at his place of employment had been listed improperly.  I should call that evening.

     At 8:03 PM the phone was answered by a seemingly corpse-like gentleman who listened intently (there was absolute silence) to my explanation that I was a former college student of good references.  I was told to report to his address in Clairmont the following morning.  I spent that night listening to my tapes, smoking to tiny roaches a series of Silva Thins.  I dressed impeccably in a coat and tie and entered my microbus, filled with expectations of a palatial estate, a wealthy gentleman who would will me a million dollars cold cash upon his hasty demise, a swimming pool, afternoons on a terrace sipping mint juleps in regal splendor.

     My disappointment was devastating when I pulled up before a broken down frame house with a listing porch and ragged yard, a chimney crumbling into powder, paint flaking off in scabrous chunks, a repulsive eyesore sagging into ruin and decay, an utterly putrid pile of distasteful architecture, a rancid smear beyond compare, a travesty, a monstrous sty steaming foully in the fetid air.  Yes, my first impulse was to turn around and get right out of there, but perhaps morbid curiosity took possession of me, for I advanced to the rotting steps past a 2 by 4 railing unpainted, crudely nailed to a greasy pillar, to open a torn screen door and knock rapidly, imperiously, commanding immediate recognition and attention, humble obeisance from the chattel that might inhabit such a noxious pit.

     The man who answered was dressed in bright plaid trousers over a monstrous swell of thighs and buttocks, a translucent rayon shirt through which could be observed the flabby protuberance of his breasts under a Western string tie.  He smiled vaguely and led me inward to a terrible clutter of newspapers, empty cookie cartons, discarded beer cans, clothes catalogues, a slush of bric-a-brac, fishing gear, garden implements, chains, plumbing equipment, wiring, hanks of hair, binder twine, electrical components, unfathomable assorted litter that transformed one's impression of the outer view of the establishment from one of unpremeditated neglect to willful malicious disaster.

     The father, known as Ernie, sat decrepit and addled in a ratty easy chair, his head imbedded among several springs and flecked with shreds of the stuffing.  He peered out behind pink- rimmed glasses the thickness of Coca-Cola bottles and blinked like a pregnant owl.  His spotted hands were like tree roots glistening in the light of a dozen small rusty lamps scattered throughout the room.  He was utterly slender like a bag of sticks, all but the lower legs, which were swollen outward to fill the trousers drum tight like sacs of leucorrhea.  His teeth, obviously false, grinned massively in the cadaverous leathered skull of his face.

     Phillip, the son, explained the terms of the agreement.  I would report at 10 AM and work till 6.  I would prepare lunch for his father and keep him company.  I would read to him.  The old man was 93.  His vision was impaired by cataracts.  He was partially deaf.  Perhaps this explained why the son, whose full name I then gathered was Phillip Ernest Oppenheimer, Jr., was shouting his whole explanation so brutally the windows were nearly rattling.  Perhaps it explained why the father, Ernie, was blinking myopically into the radiance within that littered room like a startled pigeon, until, settling back, he breathed heavily, asthmatically, stirring motes of dust into elaborately darting flecks about the heaving breath from his knotted bony chest.

     Where would the son be in these circumstances?  He would spend the weekdays in a New York setting.  His employer, a Public Relations firm in the City, afforded him this luxury and the capital to invest in companionship for his ailing father.  Under no circumstances was I to permit the old bugger to light the stove.  The last effort out he nearly cremated himself.  Again, I was not to permit him to descend the front porch steps.  His last attempt had been catastrophic, a flutter of bonks (I embellish) down the paint-flecked wood and near decapitation on a foot scraper.  Phillip had come home to find him unconscious in a rose bush.  He hoped I would work out.  There had been a previous attempt with a Puerto Rican lady in her 40's, who had left utterly without notice because of ill humor about the condition of the bathroom.  "As you see," Phillip said.  "I'm not a tidy housekeeper."

     I nodded to all remarks solemnly and was taken a TOUR of the house.  The son, known as P. to his father, explained every detail gravely as if charting the mechanisms for a proposed hydroelectric plant to a visiting congressman.  First of all, the dining room was not in top rate condition.  As I would notice, the table, a massive drop leaf, was lying in four sodden fragments and a hundred smaller shards on a great oil-stained carpet.  Over in the corner would be Ernie's camper stool in case he couldn't make the stairs.  I was to periodically ask him if he needed to go to the toilet and would gather up odd loads left about the premises as had indeed been the son's custom in such emergencies.  I nodded gravely.

     Phillip Ernest Oppenheimer, Jr. showed me the entire house with the exception of the attic, which he strongly insisted was off limits, and his bedroom, which he said was a bit too mussed for my inspection.  We climbed to the second story to peruse the excrement stains on the bathroom toilet seat, the rings of sediment on the antique tub, the encrusted shower curtain, the great raw plank platform beneath the sink which housed the toiletries in a greasy odoriferous state of confusion and neglect.  We visited Ernie's bedroom, a repulsive chaos of clothing (in various states of filth) that littered every surface, a caked and noxious bedpan steaming under the dresser, a hazy curdled tub of murky liquid where Phillip explained the old man soaked his legs every morning, a stew of bubbling repulsion infesting the blistered air like the noxious effusion from a cask of entrails.

     Suddenly, descending toward the lower pit, I realized that here indeed was my utopia, a place of solace and homage to the lost ideals of my childhood.  I could in no remote fashion ever be attracted to the denizens of such an environment.  In such an abysmal sty I could never feel the promptings of mature libido.  I would repair to this idyllic haven and rest myself for whatever monumental feats of heroism lay ahead.  I would chart my future here in peace and harmony with the forces of the universe and conquer at last my sexual appetite.  8 hours a day with the repulsive Ernie, I would dream vast visions beyond the scope of mortal intelligence.  I would prevail.  Just at that decisive moment Phillip turned and offered me the position.  I could have restrained my disgust and kissed him.  I accepted.

 

 

 

I started immediately, that very first Monday, consigning Cosmo Enterprises to abject misery at the loss of such a valued and esteemed associate.  Ernie was in the kitchen slugging down a cup of rancid coffee and a poached egg leaking into a chipped saucer, leaking down utterly his white goatee.  He grinned vaguely and muttered an invitation to join him.  I heated up a kettle and had a big greasy mug of instant Sanka.  I retired to the living room to examine the contents of an end table, a slush of brochures from a host of mail order houses.

     Ernie soon appeared with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk in his egg-stained fingers and ascended to the second story, muttering over his shoulder that he had to do his feet, arousing mildly my curiosity that he hadn't eaten his little snack in the kitchen.  I settled back and stilled my aching mind in the utter silence of the littered room.  I rested my legs on a grimy hassock and lighted up a Silva Thin.  It was paradise.

     We sat on the side porch that morning, reclined on summer lounge chairs and observed the late May sunlight through the evergreens.  Ernie wore a large tweed overcoat like a big rag on a skeleton, and a woolen cap pressed down over his thick glasses.  He peered out under the brim like an ancient wood nymph from beneath a large slick rock, his eyes small vague beads that perused the houseflies dizzy in the wind.  He told me in long deliberate mutters through a space of silence punctuated by traffic vague and distant on the street the following story:

     He had been born in 1886 the son of a stockbroker, Walter J. Oppenheimer III, a multimillionaire, had attended private schools, summered on the adjoining estates of oil magnates, senior executives, and bankers.  He had been rejected at Princeton and gone on to Cornell, where he was coxswain at the rowing club and a member of a prestigious fraternity.  He married at 30 to Prissy Gallup, a nurse in the Army Corps, and settled down to raise a family and work in his father's brokerage.

     Disaster struck.  His brother Frederick went down in the stock market crash with 10 million in South American securities.  Phillip Ernest Oppenheimer was relegated to a minor position at Curtis-Wright in Tenafly, to drudgery and despair as he watched his only offspring, Phillip, Jr. grow to maturity with blighted ambitions.  And so it went from tragedy to tragedy, Prissy succumbing to cancer in 1958, her ashes resting in a bureau drawer, all but a small portion scattered at the base of the rose bushes.

     Naturally, I was not enamored of Ernie's pathetic tale, resting my feet on the porch railing against the rose blossoms.  Nor was I prepared for his sudden stiffened bark that I was to get my "darned feet off his roses."  I found myself nodding asleep in the tedium and have only been able to reconstruct the essentials of the account, omitting his trip to Europe in his early youth, his early infatuation with a comely maid in his father's employment, an experience which was to remain indelibly etched in his blighted consciousness, near death by drowning in a drunken midnight caper at a Mexico City private pool, the butler, the chauffeur, the comforts of the first automobile in his neighborhood, the palatial estate in Bergenfield.  I listened let us say with half an ear, preferring to drowse off with the flicker of sunlight and the hum of carpenter bees and the scent of roses reaching for the light.

     That week I served him grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup on the side porch every one o'clock and listened with stifled indignation to his halting ingestion, the rasp of his breath, the clearing of his throat like the death tick of emphysema, the hacking cough that accompanied every small portion that he propelled to his ruined mouth.  The gurgling, the pitter of expelled gas, the raps of flatulence staining, likely, his cotton trousers, the snorting wheezing asthmatic cacophony of that ravaged figure, only served to convince me that I would never ever by the wildest fancy come to view this travesty of all that was comely and attractive, pubescent and vital, as an object of infatuation, a stimulus to erotic yearning, a goal for amorous conquest.  I was secure.

     There was plenty of reading material around for the old man, and I didn't have to rely on my own private library—a dog-eared copy of NAKED LUNCH, which might have been quite unsuitable.  Sitting close to him, by his head, I could observe the manifold wrinkles and creases on his leathered skin, the distended veins, the twitches and tremors, while I read in Delderfield, his favorite author.  Periodically, his head would nod down onto his bony chest, and I would holler, "Are you awake, Ernie?" or "Are you listening?" and the head would snap up like an ancient crocodile's startled in a murky bog.

     As I said, I was absolutely irrevocably secure until one afternoon fate decided that I would examine P.'s bedroom.  Chaste as a young maiden, I climbed the stairs en route to the bathroom while Ernie was snoozing on the porch when I noticed the door ajar.  Curiosity was my better, and I peeked in timidly, tentatively, to a hazy light upon the greatest heap of rubbish assembled in such a tiny enclosure yet reviewed on the face of the earth.  There was a bare mattress on the floor, variously stained, filthy and cluttered, the only open space aside from a narrow aisle between two massive heaps of wildly assorted trash—underwear, magazines, newspapers, garden hose, old bills, receipts from mail order houses, check stubs, automobile tires, coils of wire, flashlights, ledgers, maps, wigs, garters, nylon stockings, toilet seats, sport-coats, Western string ties, umbrellas, fountain pens, television consoles, headlights, cereal boxes—the list was endless.

     It was not the trash, however, which riveted my attention, for there on the mattress was my nemesis, several copies of PENTHOUSE in mint condition.  Yes, I was overcome with sweet languorous tingles of delight as I hauled my way through the disorder to squat by the mattress for a look.  Feverish with excitement, I turned to the centerfold and found a crisp and lascivious shot of a female groin so inflaming I barked with joy.  I perused the entire contents of both issues, drooling fine patters of saliva over the glossy surface of each page, sensing my erection through the tight harsh fabric of my Jesus jeans.  Ernie's footsteps on the porch, I darted into the bathroom and gripped my swollen hose.

    From that point on, for reasons I failed to fathom, Ernie assumed a wholly new aspect.  The wrinkles and crevices became charming, the protruding tendons a source of great endearment, his slouched shuffling walk an object of supreme sexual titillation.  I was totally overcome with lust for his aging body.  Each pustule, each wart, each crack and fissure, became invested with libidinous currents which overwhelmed the utter chastity of my heart.  I became a tool, yes, a servant to the awesome pulchritude of that withered form snaking its deliberate way, shuffling and scrabbling across the greasy carpets, the paint flecked floorboards of those premises.  Ernie was a lithe young maiden, a supple vital youth, a radiant image of languor and delight, of ripe and randy lust I pined for like a moon struck calf.  I was smitten.

     I found myself overcome with the need to touch him, to pat his hair, to arrange his pillows, grovel at his feet.  I followed him everywhere.  I peeked around the corner when he took to the camper stool and observed his withered shanks jutting from the splay of his buttocks, a generous lusty sight.  I lingered to peruse his genitals, fair and generous, a mouth-watering view, as he reached for his ancient long johns and pulled them up his thighs.  I observed the cleft of his comely rump as he doffed his greasy garments to take his weekly bath.  I patted and fussed unceasingly over his languid bones propped carefully on the lounge chair, consumed with desire, wrenched to my very core with palpitations of sweet lust and excitement.

     There was but one place on the premises I dared not follow him.  This was the attic itself.  Several times of a day he would disappear behind the scabrous door with a plate of cookies and a glass of whole milk to be gone for precious minutes while I riveted my ear to the wasted veneer for some small token of his activities so clothed in mystery.  I knew then sooner or later I would have to overcome my reluctance to climb those hidden stairs to investigate the particulars of this strange preoccupation with cookies and milk, a snack in the upper gloom.  I bided my time for the moment, content that nearly 8 hours of my waking period were passed unhampered in the august shining presence of my beloved, bewildered in my more reflective moments that the very view of the private places of some nubile ladies had made this transformation, so otherwise inexplicable.  I penned a commemorative verse to that effect which distills within itself some small measure of the verve and sheer mystery of that metamorphosis and my subsequent preoccupation, some small token of the utter pulchritude and desirability of Ernie himself, his nymph-like manliness, his eros, his agapi, his splendor.  Here is the very FEVER and glow of my fixation:

          "Ernie, lover, bark upon my dreams,

            Ancient stirring captive of my schemes,

            A noble sight, the texture of your skin,

            A pulchritude unmarred by thick and thin,

            I long so sweetly for your dappled body.

            I long to see us coupled by the potty.

            Some day remote the world will share our lust.

            Some day I'll court you sweetly, court we must.

            The morrow spreads its honeyed radiance fine,

            On lovers here beneath its radiant shrine.

            Tender me now a portion of your love.

            I coo and chortle like a mourning dove.

            Each waking hour brings us thoughts of mutual adoration.

            Each evening finds our members ripe with palpitation.

            Squat once again above your camper stool.

            I'll lie beneath and suckle on your tool.

            My name is Garvey, and I am overcome with sentiment."

 

 

 

The fateful day of days for which all my life was a meager preparation, the day in history which must in the affairs of all loving creatures everywhere be held in utter reverence, the monumental climactic sunrise of my brief and harried life, came on a Tuesday the first week of July.

     It started strangely to be certain with my perusal of the local RECORD of the previous evening, which lay in chaos over Ernie's greasy carpet, a slush of newsprint catching my eye as I tidied up a bit in preparation for my morning siesta.  There on the front page was the headline: FANATICAL SECT DESECRATES COSMO EMPORIUM.

     Beneath those blazing letters was a photograph of Seabury Pringle III, Burt Spew, Walter Grubler, Wilbert Nagey, and 7 others of the Transcendental Society handcuffed before the Emporium employee's exit.  Off to the left, cropped by the printer, was Garvey P. Mittag, his eyes upturned in the Shell No-Pest Strip attitude, clutching the Book of Mormon.  I was stunned.

     The story read as follows: "Today at 3:23 PM the Cosmo Department Emporium was deluged with sewage at a loss of 10 million dollars in damage to essential property and merchandise.  A fanatical band of zealots calling themselves the Transcendental Society for Alternate Proposals to Modern Decadence rerouted the main sewage line of the Freeport Mall to the Emporium sprinkler system and triggered it at the peak of the July Super Spree.  The suspects include Seabury Priingle III, a merchandise handler in the cosmetics area, who telephoned the RECORD shortly before the tragedy to inform, as he said, 'the entire cosmos' of the presence of his society, over which he claimed sole responsibility as 'supreme lord and master.'  Witnesses to the desecration claimed to have been overwhelmed with repugnance at the rain of undesirables from above.  It is reported that there were at least one miscarriage and an epileptic seizure at the height of the torrent.  Laurence P. Horsfield-Adams, company spokesman, insisted that Cosmo Enterprises will take full responsibility for the incident, which, as he stated, was 'beyond the wildest notion of deranged fancy, a phantasm, a hideous dream.'  The National Guard has been alerted for possible assistance in the mop-up."

     Reeling dizzily from this strange and insidious article, I took a seat by the television and calmed my breathing at an even ratio of 12 seconds-inhalation to one-exhalation.  My heart, which was tripping like a piston in the innards of my chest, settled down at last to a manageable tick and murmur.  My hands lighting a Silva Thin were tremulous to distraction.  I entered the kitchen to brew a cup of Sanka.  Ernie descended with a plate of cookie crumbs and a milk fogged empty glass, a vague glitter of humor in his hazy eyes.  I followed him to the porch and took up a lounge chair with my eyes riveted on his groin.  I knew beyond the nuance of a doubt that fate had played me falsely, had I not taken the position of companion to this elderly gentleman, this charmer.  I would otherwise have been lost, irrevocably chained to the perdition of abject servitude in a state penitentiary.

     What preoccupation molded Ernie himself to toil forever up those stairs with a plate of wretched cookies?  Why had he foresworn my company so frequently over the weeks to ascend to that dismal attic to nibble and munch in private?  Was I not fit companion?  Was he wearied of my company?  Was it in fact a realm of solitude to ease his fevered spirit?  Were there lascivious photographs sequestered there for his private delectation?  The article itself prompted this line of inquiry.  I could no longer rest with the status quo.  For the better of me, I could not fathom his strange behavior and was determined not to end up in a similar entrapment.  Peering intently at his groin, I was overcome with a deep and unrelenting tide of jealousy that chilled my marrow.  Somehow I was compelled to learn the secret on that very day, to probe the dark recesses of Ernie's soul.  I stole from the scene in an offhand fashion, tendering the excuse that I had a case of the trots, and needed to use the bathroom.

    I crept up the steps with utter deliberation, my breath catching in my throat in hysterical spasms, my heart throbbing, mounting in my chest, my hands a nervous flutter as I reached the attic door and turned the knob.  In all damnation it was locked.  I turned back in despair until my eyes lighted on Ernie's room, the big oak dresser from which protruded bundles of soiled garments.  Perhaps there.  Yes, it was an old skeleton key with a lilac ribbon long stained and shredded to brittle disrepair.  I clutched it in one scrabbling twitch of my fingers and crept back noiselessly to the attic door.  There was a small screed as I worked on the lock.  The door swung back to a faint and murky light coming somewhere indefinite above, a haze of cobwebs encroaching on the stairs through which ascended an open path as if through milky cotton.  Great spiders scuttled toward safety like twitching lizards.  Aloft was a frightening hiss.

     I was terrified.  Nevertheless I ascended.  I crept up the tunnel of cobwebs like the largest spider in twisted imagination, hugging the rail with my tremulous body.  With each small advance the hissing was more and more audible, more menacing, more fraught with immanent danger.  At last I peered over the edge of the attic floor, peered gingerly, fearful of attack by some unknown, vaster in malevolence than the very prince of darkness, Pringle himself.

    There, squatting in a leg chain, was a short fat hairy creature with a glossy florescent erection.  Ape-like and yet seemingly human, this Mongoloid dwarf was hissing horribly, a large rope of saliva dripping from the black wiry tuft at its chin.  Its simian fingers were gripping the blood red shaft of its sexuality, a brutal pulsing column, and rubbing furiously.  Its eyes were downcast like glittering orbs of fire.  Beneath on the floor was a copy of PENTHOUSE opened to the centerfold, a crotch shot glistening in the uncertain light.  The PENTHOUSE, surrounded with clumps of excrement, was sopping with viscous discharge from the monstrous penis over the creature's knuckles.

     It might well be argued that the typical reaction to such an apparition would be one of supreme disgust and loathing.  Such a bizarre and hideous sight by most standards of humanity would produce nausea, revulsion.  Not for Garvey Simpson.

     On the contrary, I bounded down those steps inflamed with supreme jealousy and sexual ardor.  Ernie had been harboring a paramour, a competitor in the soft sweet realm of erotic fulfillment.  Nothing could stop me.  I would consummate the rites.  Screaming, "Ernie, Ernie, my beloved Ernie," I catapulted down those stairs past his bedroom, on to the landing, beneath to the living room, and out onto the porch.  Ernie was nowhere in sight.  I shrieked defiantly and gripped my erection through the abrasive texture of my Jesus jeans.  I bolted back inside.  Scattering furniture like a pinwheel kaleidoscope, I found him buttocks bared reaching to cap the camper stool.  I ripped open my trousers and leaped in 3 bounds upon the hapless fellow.

     Yes, I back-scuttled him.  I gave him the full force of my wielded scepter, shoving and rooting furiously as he grunted and whined like a skewered pig.  It was the ultimate.  I had at last found sexual fulfillment.  I shoved and prodded mercilessly, battering him to his knees, bellowing like a wounded steer, great hoarse goat cries of deliverance till he took my seed, a great whoosh of my organ into his ruined sphincters, until I fell by his side, exhausted.  Ernie lay silent, a violated being on the floor.

 

 

 

When I came to my senses, I realized what I had done.  Ernie was quite unconscious, a nasty splay of flesh on the greasy rug.  I felt for his heart and found it ticking feebly.  I called, "Ernie, Ernie, speak to me," obtaining no answer.  I gathered up and looked about in confusion.  I wiped my penis off on his old tweed coat. I zippered up and sprang for the living room.  I darted toward the porch, down those sagging steps that crumbled with the pounding of each foot, out to the microbus.  Out to fire it up and burn rubber down the drive.  I wailed into the street and burst on homeward, filled with dread and repulsion for the absolute zeal and excess of my ministrations to that gentle loving creature perhaps ticking out his last seconds on this mortal coil, a heap of wasted misery on a grimy antique carpet.  My life was a bust.  I crept up to my room and listened to my tapes.  I cannot begin to describe my misery.

     Suddenly my confused senses lighted upon the prime mover of my martyrdom.  Who of us has not in fact intuited that the aberrations of our maturity are part and parcel of blatant perversities suffered in our infancy, that children twisted by early trauma and duress are most likely capable of infecting the otherwise innocent environment of their adult life with sickness and poison, with the noxious elements of cynicism and despair, an unbridled appetite, a lecherous eye?  The prime mover was my mother.

     Yes, waiting every moment with absolute anxiety for the telephone to ring, summoning me to account, for the paddy wagon to roll up to the front door, I decided to make amends for my considerable neglect of her state of being.  Almost in a condition of detachment, I began to consider methods for the absolute undermining of my mother's peace of mind.  I would attack her sense of order and decorum, deliberately sabotage the electronic implements, the medicaments and nostrums surrounding her, lulling her into a state of false security, of pampered luxury.  She would pay horribly for the distortion she had wrought in my otherwise noble aspect, she would pay, would pay.  That very afternoon I soaked her Supermax in the toilet bowl, dried it off, and returned it the third drawer of her dresser.

     That evening there was a horrendous shriek and splutter, a cacophony of electronic wheeze and rage.  I rushed to her bedroom and discovered her with a portion of her hair totally scorched and scrambled, while the Supermax lay smoking on the hardwood.  The cords of her throat like great ugly worms, her cheeks a glistening spotted wreckage, she whined piteously, babbled like a miscarried lobotomy, wrung her hands and quivered massively, utterly broken and defeated among her plush surroundings.

     That night she discovered the turd in her cold cream.  Screaming hysteria, utter bewilderment and outrage, she rushed at me, flailing her withered fists.  I blamed it on the cleaning lady, of course, was highly insulted, plotted the next increment in the tightening screw.  That night I heard her whimpering in her tight little room, her frequent trips to the bathroom, her gnarled feet on the staircase.  Peering down guardedly, I saw her sitting on the hardwood staring up at the 2 tinted smiling photographs of her children, Garvey, a college dropout, Janice, a suicide, saw her there with her repulsive cleavage and quilted morning coat, plaintive moist wretch and martyr experiencing the first symptoms of utter collapse.

     Thursday morning my mother was late for work.  I had sabotaged her alarm clock radio.  She was 2 hours late.  She hadn't slept much, she said, frantically trying to make the best of her ravaged hair.  As I drove her to the train, she muttered incoherently about forces of existence trying to deprive her of her senses, stated fears for her continued sanity.  I returned to my bedroom and sucked on a Sugar Daddy for 3 quarters of an hour.  I dreamt of something more substantial, pulsing flesh, slick mucid heat and the tick of cells.  I reached into the back of our color console and ripped out several transistors.  I laced her favorite chocolate cake with a purgative.  I descended to the recreation room and strung out an elaborate booby trap of clothes-line and water buckets.  I shorted the water heater.  I urinated on the floor.  I unscrewed the bulbs and hid myself in the attic.

     That evening, descending the stairs, I found her tangled below in a sodden viscous heap.  She had sat, nibbling, for the evening news to find a dead set.  She had climbed to the bathroom for her customary shower to find cold water.  She had descended to the darkened basement to investigate the water heater and had become enmeshed in a web of clothes-line and clattering buckets, urine and a slosh of water.  She had writhed about screaming to dead ears, only to become hopelessly entrapped in the stink of her own effluvia.  Yes, she had soiled herself miserably with her own wastes and was whimpering there in the darkness.  At last there was light, and I had her up and about, quivering with rage and humiliation under a cold shower.  We sat to packaged ravioli, and I packed HER off to bed.

     Friday the old girl woke at 5 AM.  It was a small adjustment on my part—again sabotage.  The opening details I can only reconstruct.  She entered the bathroom and took the pot.  Wiped thoroughly and flushed.  The contents overflowed on the utterly white nap of the terrycloth rug.  Of course, I heard her scream.  I remained mute.  I jammed a screwdriver in the wall socket and blew the upstairs circuit.  More screaming and agony.  Plunged into sudden darkness, wading in tissues and excrement, she made her way through the door to the corridor to the head of the stairs.  Wailing, "Garvey, Garvey," she took one step downward to hit the trip wire and plunged headlong down the glossy hardwood a horrible series of bonks and scrabbles, a piercing shriek that muted for an extended period into whimpers below on the landing.  I heard her then befuddled in the darkness, heard her scuttle the remaining steps into 3 inches of water, for the living room was flooded.  Utter pathos.  The slosh and gurgle.  I descended with my pocket flash and found her there soaked and bruised, a pitiful wad of pulsing incoherence.

     The following sequence was minimally pleasant.  My mother within seconds began writhing and scratching at herself horribly, foaming at the mouth, barking like a rabid dog.  It was necessary to wrap her in a large cotton blanket and tie her down with clothes-line to a plank from the basement.  In such a manner she could no longer hurt anyone.  I had nevertheless sustained numerous contusions and lacerations.  In fact, she had nearly severed my thumb.  I was not particularly distressed with her appearance—congealed and moldy hamburger, a raw ugly pit.  I packed her into the microbus and moved out for the county hospital with the lights flaring in neighboring houses to the maniacal shrieks and curdling screams, the throaty goat cries of lamentation vibrating the bed of the van.

     Toward dawn I pulled into Bergen Pines.  I parked inconspicuously and dragged my howling mother across the asphalt on the plank, down beaten earth toward the execrable pile of glass and stone and into the lobby.  Yes, there was a stir.  The curious flocked.  The methadone people paused from their cups of juice and their urine samples to gawk and titter.  The staff had her on a litter, and I filled out the forms, and finally she was being drawn off, a foaming heap of babbling insanity through a repulsive corridor toward a grisly appointment with electroshock and intravenous Mellaril.  And I danced out over the concrete, the earth, the asphalt, free as a bird, so to say, into the microbus, and roared out, trailing haze under my favorite bumper sticker that year—"Warning: I break for Everything."

     That evening I received the fated phone call.  I picked it up a quiver of my fingers despite my more recent activities and listened long and deep.  It was Phillip, Jr.  His voice was mucid, quivering with emotion, a sweet flutter of articulation.  He stated much to my amazement that, naturally, there were no hard feelings, that indeed Ernie, my beloved, was waiting for me in his private bedroom.  He urged me to come right over, to spare not a moment.  I would find the old man lusty with "sweet throbs of appetite."  All was forgiven, all was understood, all was peace and serenity.

     I piled in the microbus and wailed out toward Clairmont with heart-felt palpitations.  The streets were like tunnels under the lid of night.  Stars a twinkle invited me to sweet soft pitters of romantic longing as I snaked past cars and threaded my fateful course.  Yes, I pulled into Ernie's carport at 9:03 and ascended the porch steps.  Phillip, Jr.'s face loomed large through the musty glass.  He simpered and tittered, preened about like a cuddly hippo.  He fluttered his fingertips a fond greeting and jerked his head toward the stairs.  There was no time to lose.  Yes, I ascended.  It was utterly dark.  I found a flash on the landing and blundered ahead.  There was the faint tangy scent of excrement.  I could hear the hoarse spasms of his breathing.  In the darkness, I could see Ernie silhouetted over the bed against the drawn curtains.  I went down to my knees before his supple figure and trained my light on his groin.  My feelings were understandable, exquisite, a heady rapture beyond the scope of even the great Bard's Romeo toward his fairest Juliet.  I felt the sweet throb of yearning, the flutter and pulse of sugary melting languor, while below Phillip, Jr. was heard panting wildly, in heady imaginations.  The rush of libidinous currents bathed my altered form.  It was paradise, paradise on earth.  Yes, there by the light of the flash, Ernie's stiffened hose was like a sculpted bratwurst, succulent and tempting.

 

 

 

My beloved readers, I close this account of callow youth and indecision, of trial and exculpation, of fulfillment and gratification far beyond the remotest reaches of the speculative mind.  Here at the very summit of my bliss, I tender one last example of my creative vision that those who lie in darkness might quicken with the inexorable fire of hope and piety.  This world slumbers at the edge of a messianic era when simple love will blossom anew, when tender pit pats of redeeming virtue will sound their fragile triumph on the earth.  My tale has been of the precursor to a dawning age.  Such heroism as haltingly delineated in these brief pages will soon prevail.  Receive into your noble bosoms a token of my deepest humble affection.  Life marches on.  In some vast swell of redeeming time lies the utopia we, all of us, pine for.  Let these last rhymes give even our humble fallen world a subtle yet poignant taste:

          "When far beyond this twisted plain of doubt,

            I cast my nets to draw some snappers out,

            The first was Pringle and his wretched crew,

            Wil Nagey, Grubler, Garvey Mittag, Spew.

            The last and final catch was Oppenheimer,

            Ernie, my lover, with his wrinkled heiner.

            What force of fortune poised above this sphere

            Delivered to my arms this noble seer?

            A host of angels prompted this last song.

            Think once upon my flash on his fair dong.

            Take courage from these lines of solemn wit.

            The hour hastens, gird your loins and split.

            'Tis love, sweet love, my story chants aloud.

            We coupled hearty 'fore I faced his shroud.

            My name is Garvey, and I'm brimming with wholesome satisfaction."

 

                                             FINIS