Friday, May 16, 2008

The Whine; Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Being alone was a fine gift. I know for many, loneliness is a terrible state. Some fear it all their life. I have never understood this, because we are alone and one day, for all we know, we shall be alone forever. When I think of being alone I think of the stars twinkling in the sky. They are each of them alone, yet shining forth with a self-contained magnificence. It‘s what’s inside us that counts, just as it is in the stars. Those who seek fulfillment or completion in what is outside of them are lost and have missed the point of the whole affair.

I felt singularly blessed that early on I was left so often to myself. I won’t say that I didn’t like my parents. We just had nothing in common. I doubt that I was intended. I think I happened and only after I happened did it occur to my parents that they had neither the skills nor the vocation to raise a child. I suspect that my father took surgical steps following my birth to make sure that such a thing never occurred again. For the most part I was raised by my Japanese nurse, Honey. I expect that her real name sounded similar and it anglicized into Honey. When I was thirteen, Honey went back to Japan and she was replaced by a bonded weekly cleaning service. By this time my ability to take care of myself had surfaced and I was remanded into my own custody, so to speak. I missed Honey but like so many things I lost or never had, the feeling passed.

I imagine my parents said something like this, “Well, let’s just see how he goes. If there’s no problem, then there’s no problem and if there’s a problem we’ll deal with it then.” It’s how both of them talked. And I never did get into any trouble that got connected to me. My idea of a good time was to go to the library and travel in books. I also enjoyed sitting in public places and watching people or watching movies on TV. The human condition fascinated me. I’d always known that I was different and so I watched others to learn methods of conforming behavior. What I saw and what I wanted were seldom reflected in the perceptions and appetites of my associates. As time passed, I seldom watched movies; the observation of real life became more and more interesting.

There is a phenomenon that attends my work. It is something I do without planning or intention. It just happens. Once I have isolated the client in a secure environment, whether this involves physical transport or the certain knowledge that we will be undisturbed, there is a conversational exchange that takes place. This could be brief or it might occupy a significant length of time. Unfortunately, probably because of my demeanor, the client often assumes that there is a different conclusion in the offing than what is actually going to take place. Hope springs eternal...

Because I am more concentrated at the time on the exchange itself, I do not disabuse the client in respect of his wishful anticipation. Perhaps I think I will learn more from them if I allow for the clutching of straws. I admit to a certain curiosity in the information received but all the while, I am aware of something apart that is watchful and attentive to every word and gesture. Whatever it is, it is analyzing the process. It is prodding and probing to an end. It knows the subject with an intimacy beyond the subject’s capacity. Gradually it loosens and shifts, measures and weighs. I am reminded of a pathologist recording his findings and cataloguing the evidence. In some instances the work is remarkably similar, though in my case the subject is still alive.

Another interesting aspect is that during the exchange there will be noticeable variations in the pitch and volume of The Whine. Sometimes I feel as if I am about to grasp something, something very elusive. Then it slips from my mind like a wriggling fish. I can touch it, hold it for a moment and then it is gone. My personal relationship to all of this seems to be that of an uninformed medium. I wonder at this fact that I seem to play the priest before I am transformed into the executioner. After all of this time, my greatest sense is that someone other than me is listening in, that someone else is acting through. It is as if the entire drama were being staged for some unseen intelligence. It feels like I am like one of those court reporters who stare off into some personal distance while their hands are busy at the recording device. At times it seems that I am on television, performing for an audience that I will never see.

There are some small peculiarities to my physical form. I don’t know what, if anything, they have to do with my unusual state. There is a marked depression in the top center of my head. It is like something a thumb might make if pressed into a ripe piece of fruit. It is a very shallow indentation but palpable nonetheless. At about C-4 in the cervical area of my spinal column is a ridge of bone that sticks out from my neck for approximately half an inch. It is a half circle, about the same size as a quarter coin might be if it were buried in my spinal column. I can just feel a tough membrane of flesh in the center portion of it. I’ve never heard or read of anything like this and I’ve no clue at to what it means. The doctor said it was a harmless peculiarity which did not warrant removal. It’s never bothered me so I ignore it. Otherwise I’m pretty much like everyone else; in physical appearance that it.

Once Mr. Trent had departed on that day; the day of Mr. Trent’s permanent departure, I was in a state of extreme agitation. I thought that I might be going mad. I had taken two of my mother’s morphine tablets and eventually they served to partially detach me from the turbulence. It felt as if I was sitting on a cliff above a large waterfall. There was a constant surge of power and noise. At one point I could feel my mother inside me, more strongly that I ever had. It was uncanny. I was in the direct experience of her feminine nature. I could distinctly feel one of her many hats sitting atop my head. My mother was very fond of hats. And in that moment I could clearly hear her say, “That’s fine darling, I’m sure you look very nice.”

After the initial turmoil in my being there was a period of calm. I went to my fathers Rolodex where he kept the business cards. There I found Mr. Trent’s address. I wanted to arrange our meeting with a convenience for both of us. I knew that we would meet but not yet under what circumstances. All I knew was that ‘something must be done’. I knew too that the something was for me as well as for Mr. Trent. I had come of age and my work was to begin.

Having found the address, I sat again for a time at the kitchen table staring out at the gardens that stretched away toward the wood line. I knew that this was a major defining moment in my life. I had not yet consciously decided on a course of action. As I have said, much happens without thought on my part.

I sat at the table, drumming my fingers on the table top. Occasionally I would sigh as if releasing, by degrees, some long held attachment. As the minutes passed, my eyes moved over the familiar landscape. While this occurred, I had the sensation that there was no relationship between myself and anything objectively perceived. I felt altered within. It was as if the cognitive ‘I’ within me had been displaced by another mind, yet it was not uncomfortable.

While I was sitting there, I felt a hum begin in my balls. There was a crawling chicken-skin sensation as if low voltage electricity were moving over their surface. I could feel them contract and expand. They seemed like living things apart from me. Shortly the hum moved up into my navel area and then very slowly from there it moved to the center point at the top of my head. It felt like honey poured from a jar as it spilled back over me. The pitch and volume increased and I began to feel powerful contractions in my body. It reminded me of waking in the morning and the involuntary stretching that occurs as consciousness expands into the physical environment. I felt like a cat awakening from a nap. I rose to my feet. My biceps swelled. They felt pumped as they did after I had had a session with the weights. It would have been a supremely pleasant experience except for the constant presence of The Whine. At this time, in the initial experience, The Whine was a compelling, pressing force. Even with the morphine distance it was intense.

In times to follow, when I became more familiar with the process and The Whine had transformed more into an irresistible urge, rather than an insistent violation of space, I occasionally orgasmed in my pants due to the vibration passing through my scrotum. This passed too when I became more accustomed to the experience. I compare the vibration that attends the early onset of The Whine to that of a turbine operating at low RPM’s. I imagine a woman sitting on a washing machine during the spin cycle or with the handle of a vacuum cleaner pressed against her groin would have similar sensations.

My parents had given me a Jeep for my sixteenth birthday. Twenty minutes later I was at a payphone near a large reservoir, half a mile from Mr. Trent’s home. My every activity and accoutrement occurred and materialized by themselves. Everything manifested in spontaneity and in sequence. I did not know when I drove off in the Jeep where I would wind up. I did not know I was driving to call Mr. Trent. Prior to leaving my house I did not think about putting on the gardener’s rain gear and rubber boots. I did not anticipate taking the garbage bags and the dishwashing gloves. I did not comprehend the use to which I would put the chainsaw that went into a leather carryall. Something, someone, knew everything that would happen. I was nothing more than a manifest catalyst.

Let me paraphrase the conversation as best I remember it;

“Mr. Trent, it’s William. I have a problem that’s come up and I thought maybe you could help me with it.”

“Hiya Willie. What kind of a problem?” (Calling me Willie would have been reason enough for an ‘event’ were it not already out of my hands) Trent’s voice had a lubricious resonance due, no doubt, to the greater ration of post-work Trent’s Blend.

“This girl came over to my house. She seemed high on something. We came over here to the reservoir. She wanted to go. I guess she took some kind of drug or something. By the time we got here she was really high. She took off all of her clothes and is running around in there. I can’t get her to leave. She keeps screaming ‘fuck me’, I don’t know what to do.”

“Maybe you should fuck her, Willie.” Trent laughed at this and then had a spate of coughing.

“I’d rather do that at my house. She’s a nympho anyway.”

“A nympho huh?” I could feel the increase of interest and thoughts of possibility as they moved through Mr. Trent’s mind. “How old is this...girl?”

“I think she’s fifteen. I’ll pay you a hundred dollars if you help me catch her.”

“Hmmm, that sounds good Willie” Here Trent paused and I could hear him taking a sip from his drink. “Where you at?”

I gave Mr. Trent my location and told him I would be up the path maintaining contact with the girl. Once he saw the Jeep he’d know where I was. He agreed to come right out. I hung up and went to the location.

It was a crisp autumn day. The path was littered with falling leaves and the white skin of the birches danced with reflected sunlight and flitting shadows. It was coming on to dusk. I have always loved the forests. I love every aspect of nature, especially when revealed in an encompassing totality. There are mysteries there that forever elude the empty, incurious minds of the hoi polloi. The seashore and the desert, the mountains and brilliant wet jungles, all give me something I can get nowhere else except in dreams.

The reservoir area is occasionally frequented by fishermen and reservoir employees. Without a permit there is no access allowed and certainly no hunting. Still, I knew, as I always know, that I would not be disturbed.

I walked some distance into the woods and stopped near a broken bluestone wall through which the path continued. I took the saw from the carryall and laid it against the far side of the wall, along with the garbage bags. I felt no need to test it. It would start. The contraction of my muscles continued as I studied the landscape. I did not think of Trent or his pending arrival. I was hot in the rain suit. A thin sheen of moisture lay upon my forehead and drops of sweat ran down my ribcage. Several flies buzzed in a holding pattern around my head. I pulled on the gloves.

Trent arrived ten minutes after the call. He must have made haste. I was a couple hundred yards into the woods but I could clearly hear his truck as it pulled into the parking area below. I heard the door open and then the thunk of it closing. Mr. Trent was now on his way. In the few minutes that it took him to arrive not a single thought passed through my head. Finally, Trent came around a close stand of trees with his thermos in his hand. In the other hand was a coil of rope and an old blanket lay folded over the forearm. Perhaps he imagined that he might fuck her on it there in the woods? Who knows? Was the rope to compel her to come with us, or was it part of some other scenario?

If I had asked Trent, I expect he would have said the blanket was to cover the girl and the rope was in case she caused a struggle. I imagine Trent had no clear idea of what events might follow but only hoped for what opportunity might provide.

I will present the dialogue and action as I remember it. I realize that earlier I said something similar, using the word ‘paraphrase’ to describe my recounting of the phone call. In fact my memory is near eidetic. I can remember intricate detail from years past as if it had happened but a moment ago. I do not want to give the impression that I consider myself someone superior to the mass of general humanity. This is not because I give a damn what you may think of me personally but because it would not be accurate. I’m just different. The facts show this. I have never attributed my special abilities to myself. I truly believe some other intelligence comes alive in my consciousness in particular moments and that it is this consciousness that possesses the supernormal abilities that I seem to exercise. As I’ve said, it is in the hope that I might learn something more of the truth that I am writing this all down.

I waved to Mr. Trent and he lifted his thermos to me in a gesture of response. Soon he was before me.

“So Willie, where’s the girl, you lose her already?” Then he noticed the rain gear. “You expect rain?” Trent looked up at a patch of sky as if some clue might await him there. His face was flushed from the whiskey and the activity of his climb. The path upon which I stood runs steadily up hill to the stone wall where it evens out for a time before it gradually inclines down to the water.

“There is no girl Mr. Trent.” This comment did not compute for him. His brow furrowed as he attempted to get his mind around the possible implications of my statement. To Mr. Trent I was nothing more than a callow, over-privileged youth.

Trent squinted at me and took a sip from his thermos. “Whaddya mean there’s no girl? Where’s the girl?”

I replied, “There is no girl Mr. Trent, there is only me and you.”

Trent’s eyes grew sly. He had no clue really. I can imagine some of what he must have thought at this time. There were never more than a few avenues along which Trent’s mind might travel. “Well now, if there’s no girl then why did you get me up here?”

I nodded again as if it were a reasonable question and looked directly into Trent’s eyes. “I can’t tell you exactly why. I’m not sure myself. I know what is going to happen but I don’t know the actual reasons.

Trent’s self interest began to flower. I can imagine that he saw money, the opportunity to expand his circle of abuse, the potential for control. His face began to take on that aspect that I envision the traders had when they brought the Indians blankets; disease, whiskey and death. Now it was Trent’s turn to nod his head. “You want to tell me then what it is that you need and how come you’re dressed up in that outfit?”

No way was Trent going to say anything provocative until he had a clear handle on the situation. He took another long sip from his thermos and stood there, licking the moisture from his lips.

“I don’t know why it is me that has to do it. I can see that it has to be done and I know that I am going to have to do it even if I don’t understand it.” The Whine had climbed to a terrific pitch now and I could feel my body trembling under the vibration. “I feel like there should be something more before it happens but I don’t know what that is right now. You are going to have to die Mr. Trent. If there is anything you want to say or do you should do it now.”

Well...this is surely not what Trent expected to hear. First his mouth made an O of surprise. He started to speak and then could not think of a fitting reply. The confusion on his face slowly turned to anger. He walked closer to me and glared at me from his pig eyes. “Let’s see if I have this right. You are going to kill me? Some little faggot in a rain suit is going to kill ME?” This last was punctuated with a short jab of his index finger into my chest.

Trent continued to poke my chest with his finger, working himself up into a state of wrath. I could imagine this was a common sight for his wife and children. Mr. Trent, though he outweighed me by twenty pounds came up only to my chin and for a moment I was struck by the ludicrous image of someone staring upward at the person they were seeking to intimidate. However, Mr. Trent was a powerfully built man and I am sure that in his mind I could be dispatched with very little difficulty.

I grasped the offending finger and snapped it. This turnabout surprised Mr. Trent perhaps more than anything else in his life until now. Once again there was this mute O that his mouth made. This time though, sound very quickly followed after as Mr. Trent howled at what was apparently a very painful experience. He hopped away from me, holding his injured hand in the air with his other hand and cursing me with a great intensity.

“Well.” I said, “Let’s get on with it then.” I walked toward the wall and picked up the chainsaw. Despite his pain this got Trent’s attention.

“What are you crazy?” He screamed. “Why are you doing this?” Trent began to back up significantly, as I suspect so would anyone in his position. His eyes were darting to all sides. It was apparent that he would soon begin to run.

I pointed the saw blade to the sky and pulled the cord. The chainsaw leapt instantly into life and the sound of it melted into harmony with the whine in my head. The smell of fired gas pushed the sweetness of the forest air into retreat. It was then I felt that concentrated, focused anger that became a trademark of all the events to come. Although I was not myself angry, I could feel that ‘someone’ most certainly was. I closed my eyes to a red pulsing darkness. I opened them and there was a shimmering red haze in the air. It was as if the anger were both inside and outside me at the same time. The anger found Mr. Trent and he turned and ran down the path as if his life depended on it, which it surely did.

I went after him then, the chainsaw at port arms, its pitch rising and falling as my finger reflexively pulled at the trigger. Soon, without a great deal of effort, I was directly behind Trent. I waited until he turned his head and then dropped the saw end and neatly clipped the Achilles tendon on his left leg. Trent tumbled to the ground and rolled to a stop, his hands clutching at his wound.

Terror, confusion and pain warred upon his features as he sought to staunch the flow of blood from his leg. “Please! Please! Why?” he screamed.

I looked down at Trent and said “I told you, I don’t know why exactly, I expect it has to do with the suffering you cause and the noise in my head.”

“What noise?” Trent cried. Tears flowed freely down his face, his features contorted in agony. I did not know how to respond further in conversation. The chainsaw revved and I set about doing what I was meant to do...a thorough job.

It proved to be a very good thing, wearing the raingear and the gloves. It became a very messy business. I now understood the purpose of the garbage bags that I had brought. I stood there for a few moments and studied this newly arranged Mr. Trent and had my first premonition of a coming intrusion.

Quickly I placed the raingear, the gloves and rubber boots into one garbage bag and the chainsaw into another. Then I placed both bags into the carryall. I returned to the Jeep, tossed the bag into the back seat and drove away. A quarter of a mile down the road I passed a speeding reservoir patrol car headed in the direction I had come. I expect you cannot operate a chainsaw for very long on reservoir property. The sound does carry. The whine in my head was gone.

On my return home I meticulously cleaned everything and returned them to their places. Shortly afterwards I was once again sitting at the kitchen table. I gave a long sigh and then noticed my fingers tapping once again upon the table. It was just as it had been before the event. It was almost as if the event had never taken place.




Joseph Brenner

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