Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is It Safe?

[I met the courier by night's relief. He had news that must get through.]

Is it safe?


They are coming?


Who are they coming for?

The innocent and the guilty, with equal contempt for both.

The corporate Cheka?

Who else? They have the mandate of the people - they want blood, even if it's their own.

But why??

To cover their own sins they must pretend yours. The more the jury lusts the higher the sentence for a man accused of lust.

How does that fool God?

It does if you see yourself as God.

They call themselves Angels...

Because they are Devils...

But the devils are winning.

When has bloodlust not ruled?

Is anyone safe?

"From the sky will come the great King of Terror"

Only the dead, whether above or below ground. Dead vampires survive by feeding off the life of others. Many are the fools who wrongly sacrifice their lives to the vampires in false hope of being "useful".

A desperate man came knocking on my door.

You can give no quarter.

Then no quarter can be taken.

Exactly. Every refuge will be found out and exposed by ruthless time.

What if I just follow the sun?

The sun's been patented. Can you afford it?

I told them of the dam failing and they called me the enemy.

There's no one left to whom you can blow the whistle.

Then the dam broke and they all died.

As they wished. Nature still has the final say over your enemies.

But I did not wish it. Down this road we all die. I thought I was doing good finding the truth.

The truth was already known or they would not have declared you enemy.

I don't see an endgame. We protect lies so we won't look like fools but in the end that only makes us die like fools.

Thy will be done.

Maybe I should just say nothing if everything is already known.

Making the world safe for greed

Soldiers of silence slay speech with slicing savagery.

I don't want to speak but I don't want to be a soldier. I just want to rest, to go underground.

Back to the other blog? You must do what you must do.

What must you do?

I cannot rest. I have news that must get through.

So there is still something important out there worth fighting for despite the corporate takeover by the anti-Christs? Even though the chains grow heavier every day there still must be pockets of hope. Not every soul has surrendered to the silence! The dream is still alive. Tell me! Tell me the news that must get through!

The news that must get through is that there is no news that must get through.

Aw, fuck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Glimpse Of a Dead Man

They move in the shadows, observing the living. They must do as the others do to seem as the others do. Baseball games hiding in the cheering crowd, daily jobs of mortal terror, small abodes rarely visited - always bleeding, always needing, hoping to blend their dying hearts within the mosaic of life. Who would they have been? What is their sin? How does this happen? No one dare ask.

Sidney decorated the sun. His lawn green as summer and his outdoor paint right as rain. These were the last great hopes in his life. If driving down the neighborhood his house appeared as well kept and attended as the rest then he'd done his job. Nothing gave him more satisfaction - or more grief - than breathing life into this fiction. Sidney lived for the moment of illusion his façade got the respect he himself desperately craved. Who cares if they find out the truth later on, just please believe for a second before you leave!

Sometimes he hid in the attic, looking to escape the wrong and the right, to be neither home nor away. But those were the worst of times: nightmares of been left for dead in the desert, forests filled with half-human creatures hunting the remaining human, flashes of light having captured him unaware exposed before God and Man. The harder Sidney looked for rest, the less he found. Like any thief, for him a moment given must be a moment stolen. Oh, for the sunbathing daughter next door to return home from college. Her careless laughter never left his ears.

Time was not on his side. Peeking through the window drapes, he prayed for a car to drive by to be duly impressed by his immaculate yard. Solid citizen, that Sidney! At commercial breaks he'd sneak over to the window to check for the thrill of possible life breathed into his lie. As he peered through the carefully unnoticeable crack, the TV blared bikini models with beer bottles on a foreign planet, Sidney's connection to the living world fed through fiber optic cable. He thought to himself as he gazed on his sun-drenched yard: you'll love me if you don't get to know me.

Sometimes he had to make forays into the real world. Though at times the inside of his house fell into deep disarray just from a sheer lack of will to live, Sidney knew he had to keep his bases covered for any potential visitors. He'd bought a Japanese print he needed framed and that meant outside contact in a public setting. Sidney girded himself. Remember, you only have as many problems as they think you have. Bluff your way through, Peachy!

It was like standing barefoot on a frying pan waiting at the framer's desk at Michaels. No one was around as Sidney madly debated what to do. What would a normal person do in this situation? Would they stay or would they go? Am I making a fool of myself just standing here? Shit, why can't someone be here when I show up?? Then Sidney got his answer when the framing clerk returned with a customer fallen from the heavens.

"Magic Chemistry" was the only phrase he could come up with later. The minute he saw Her mad passion filled his body. Sidney's inhibitions melted and even his old nemesis Fear loosened its grip. She was much younger than he but that made no matter. How clearly She was a perfect fit! Never had he felt such a powerful urge to kiss someone. It was the natural thing to do. She was with an older couple who obviously seemed her parents. How could he get passed them?

Inwardly Sidney begged the store clerk to take her time, the longer to gaze upon She and explore this feeling invading his soul. He would just go up to her and longingly kiss and She would understand why. He knew this. So many old wounds would heal in that moment. Unimagined doors would open afterwards. She could carry him down streams to a new and different life. Hell, to actually have a life. Maybe he could do it if her parents weren't standing there. Maybe he could do it if he weren't damaged goods.


The clerk turned to Sidney as the trio walked away forever out of his life. He didn't know why She appeared at that moment in his life. He was dying pretty much as he'd always done. The universe knew of this explosive and life-changing opportunity passing but no mortal being. Sidney could barely feign interest in the framing after having his dead world rocked to its knees. What had just happened? Who had he just lost? This he would ponder until his dying day.

That was in February. By April he still replayed the moment over and over in his mind, imagining what could have been. A deep sorrow anchored him to his couch; listless and lifeless, barely able even to change the remote. A real man would kill himself. How can I keep pretending to have a future? On TV a baseball game started. Another dead man - once President - threw out the first pitch to the sound of thunderous cheers. Dead souls applauding another dead soul in false salvation. Sidney witnessed this through the slits of his eyes.

"Damn," he moped. "He's so much better at being dead than I am."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Takeko Battles The Wind

Into the sky a glimmering sword
Slicing air in hopes untoward;
The honor of ten thousand years
Depends upon a single spear.

The world her life is rearranging,
"These my times they aren't a-changing!";
"I will stop the setting sun
"To keep the clan my number one."

She holds the hope of an Autumn leaf
Not falling from the tree in grief;
To freeze a snowflake in the air
Safe from earth's melting despair.

Are these not glories to behold?
To walk in winter un-feeling cold?
To touch the sun and yet not burn,
Is that not worthy for Man to learn?

With her spear she battles bullet
But soldiers' triggers cannot pull it;
Takeko and her warrior women
Shame the modern fighting men.

Rushing forward though ready lost
Miscalculating the human cost;
She rages on defeating foe
Only of this will history know.

Nakano Takeko superstar
Died before she lived too far;
Her wisdom buried in sharpened steel
She made war on love she'd feel.

Is your enemy in a flower?
Before your life did you cower?
It's easy to say we're born to die
But did you ask if that's a lie?

Never a sword can change the wind,
Never a river that does not bend;
She came and left us much too soon
Beside her grave I mourn the moon.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cold Thoughts In A San Francisco Mansion

It started as a little, then became a lot...

It's so cold...I can't stop shivering...stop! stop!...oh god, please stop...if he starts to notice, i'm dead...first he'll know then the kids then everyone...mommy isn't who she says she is...she's lying about being happy...we should send her away...

why is it the better the house the worse I feel at night?...this is the 'it' place to be...I get compliments that hollow me to the core...what time is it?...oh no, the shivering is back!...I can't control it...I can't get to my happy place anymore...I have the insides of a meth addict...but I can't let my problems become public again...not at any price...

did I waste the life given me? can that be with a marriage, wealth and children?...but is it the wrong marriage?...don't ask that...don't ever ask has to be the right one...if jesus comes here and says it's wrong i'll rebuke him...bless my marriage jesus and i'll love you forever...I know you will so I won't have to crucify you...i'll give extra thanks at church sunday...

stop shivering!!!...i'll go to a doctor...if I can show it's a medical condition and not me i'll be saved...please, please, please diagnose something...I can't stand having something I can't control in my life...the stress is mind breaking...i'm not the person I used to be...i don't believe anymore...I can't afford a second public breakdown...they'll be on to me I never actually recovered from the first one...that's funny, I said the same thing about the economy never really recovered from the meltdown...was I talking about me?...

why is time not moving?...I sleep with my captor...I didn't go to college just to find a husband like those other girls...I despised just happened to work out that way I got one...I wanted to be a success so badly!...I wanted to show the world!...I wanted show I was a success before I succeeded...then...I never bothered to succeed...I just kept up the act...susan said it's ok to be a fraud as long as you know you're a fraud...but she drinks like a fish...

now i'm nobody...pretending...I feel the cold! can't do this to me, god! can't take my life like this!...what do a few lies matter?...everyone does i'm shaking!!...this is a nightmare...this can't be happening to me...what can money do? can I buy this?...more lifestyle, please...i'm weak, so weak...someone will come along I can't fool...i'll pay them clever I was to leach myself to a wealthy man!...that's my trump card to god...

it's going to get worse, isn't it...soon he'll see the shivers, see how I can't stop, see it's nature's revenge...this is not other's just me...i'm the biggest idiot...I must be to not be making this set up work...why don't I think about love anymore? songs bore me...I used to sing I just feel...old...

why doesn't the sun come up and rescue me?'s like the early days when I was stuck in that office...hours and minutes crawled by like a torturing tortoise...decades later i'm trapped there all over again...can't buy my way out this time...will every night be like this?...just dragging by?...buried alive in darkness? can I find a new lie?...i'll be clever again if I do!...I like feeling clever...everyone thinks i'm the shit - when really i'm just shit...that's real success...

maybe this is the beginning of the end...i'll lose my mind to the slow dripping chaos...i'll recede into dementia...i'll be safe there...must be safe...yes, safe above all...always safe for ever and ever...don't ruin it, jesus...don't come back...I know I've asked you to before but now I see I don't...must let me die first...expose the other people after i'm gone...go get them, thy will be done!...just not to me...I never counted anyway...why did I ever think I did?...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Dark Days And Nights Of Bennie X

I'm so sick of just driving around with no place to, I can't go back to that's too much effort to appear normal...I keep thinking they've figured it out and they're whispering behind my back...I need a place where I can hide...I don't want to go back to that fucking house, it swallows me up...But I'm so, look at those people sitting around laughing and eating without a sin in the world to weigh them can I sit among them...would they be angry if I saw a movie there...would I be shunned like OJ...ticket for one, please...I understand if you don't want to sell it to a killer like me...


"Come on in."

"You sure? I mean..."

"Yeah, I'm sure. Come on! Don't be silly."

"Well, you know. You just met me. You'll only want me to leave in the end."

"Come in!"

She grabbed him by the arm and pulled Bennie over the threshold. It was absolute heaven. To surrender to her gave a delicious feeling he hadn't felt in years. He wanted more of that. He wanted that for the rest of his life.

"I got some tequila shots. Only a couple, I know. You gotta drive, right?"

Without waiting for a response she stepped into the kitchen to prepare the shots. What a whirlwind ride! Bennie had forgotten himself inside the dark theater, movie magic working its wonder. He was so moved by the film he had to say something even to the point of striking up a conversation with a stranger. She lived within walking distance in this very upscale urban area. Good things like this weren't supposed to happen to him.

Bennie looked around the young lawyer's décor and immediately felt himself in foreign territory. Places like this only reminded him of how far he'd fallen in his own morose, paranoid abode. Fear's apprehension slowly inched silently towards his heart.

"You like living in this area?"

She arrived with the shot glasses. "I love it. My law degree is from SMU and I knew I wanted to live close by in uptown. This area feels alive."

"Yeah, SMU's not far. And they're building like crazy around here." Bennie tried to keep to impersonal, objective statements. Safer that way. But his sweaty palm taking the shot glass she gave him was a dead giveaway.

"What are you? An accountant?"

Shit! How'd she guess my previous life in finance? "I'm retired. Don't do much of anything."

"But you were an accountant, right?" Her sharp eyes twinkled with an inner knowledge.

Stop asking that question! "Sort of. I was in finance, you could say."

"I knew it! I can read people like that. Part of it is your slender build and part of it is your face. As a trial lawyer I'm always working on reading. Hope you don't mind."

"No, not at all." Bennie shifted uneasily in his chair.

"Bombs away!" She downed the shot. "I don't drink like I did in school. Gawd, I could put it away back then! It was all the pressure. And the sex! I was like a steam engine."

Bennie couldn't believe his ears. Her life path was something out of a book to him. She obviously came from wealth, knew what she wanted, and lived life as she pleased. That was allowed in this world??

"I can imagine," choked Bennie. The mere thought of being with her drove him over the edge, impossible to hide his feelings. How was this happening? Why now after all this time? What had he done to deserve this monumental turn of events?

"Tell you what," she teased. "I bought this new negligée and I want a guy's opinion. Do you mind?"

"God, no! I mean, sure. OK."

"Great, I'll be right back."

How did she not notice I just blew my stack? Her legs are to die for. If I see her in lingerie I'll lose all control. But she doesn't know me. She thinks I'm normal. I'm NOT normal. I just happened to forget who I was for a while. Shit, how do I get into these messes?

When she came back, Bennie's eyes about popped out. He couldn't have created a better picture. She twirled around to reveal a G-string back while the front barely held in her perky breasts. This was her life at this time. Still drinking and fucking but on her way to settling down. Bennie had seen girls like her at college but the thought of approaching one of those untouchable goddesses terrified him beyond belief. Now here he was pushing forty and one of those goddesses was parading around half naked in front of him, getting him drunk like a horny frat boy on a date.

How can this be?? Is she teasing me? "My, God. Somebody's going to be happy. Really, really happy. That's amazing."

"Thanks! It's very comfortable too. Mind if I keep it on?"

Dear God Jesus YES DO! "Uh, no. I don't mind. It looks great, really."

She was strong and beautiful and for some reason wanted him. Where had she been all his life? One encounter with a woman like that back in college would have altered his entire life path. He wouldn't have embezzled or shrinked away in shame from She who mattered most. Could it be he ruined his life for no reason??

What should I do? How can I possibly deserve this after what I've done? This is where I really pay. If I hadn't killed Her I could accept this gift and let it transform my life. Better late than never! But I gave up, holding onto my anger. I wish I could die.

She put her legs over his lap. "Mind rubbing my feet. Those heels were killer."

Bennie popped a boner, completely helpless, completely terrified. If only I hadn't killed...

Her feet were delicate and feminine. Bennie feared if he went any further lightening would surely strike him down. Every fiber of his being was convinced of this. He was stealing all over again, taking what he didn't deserve. Deceiving. That's the only way she'd of let him in the door.

"You don't really know me. I could be a psycho or something."

She felt the way he gratefully caressed her feet. It tickled Mira to think she was saving a life. She knew he needed a woman like she. It would alter his outlook on life forever. She'd had her share of young studs. He probably doesn't understand how he could be picked over them. But she was growing and to be able to give a gift like this meant more to her than the sport sex she'd experienced in school. Mira was on her way to becoming a woman.

"That's OK. I'll take my chances."

"No, really. You don't know anything about me. I could do all sorts of stuff."

"Like what?"

"I don't know. Something bad."

"Tell you what. Let's arm wrestle. If I win you have to do anything I say."

Shit! I should lose on purpose! "And if I win?"

"You still have to do anything I say." Mira smiled a fetching smile.

Somehow she was reading his mind; reading his soul; giving him everything he wanted and needed. But God could never be this merciful to a killer. Bennie must be punished. Yes, this was a test. He must punish himself now to show his remorse. God would be appeased then.

"Really, you don't know me." He moved her luscious legs off of him, never forgetting the smooth feel of this finest of fruit. "I should go. I'm a terrible person. The worst sort." Bennie stood up.

Mira had never felt the sting of rejection in her life. She wasn't full of herself but she knew what she had to offer and did not judge men. Unfortunately, Bennie decided to judge himself.

"You're kidding! I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid in the least little bit. Shut up and take off your clothes."

You're really testing me, God! This must be what good people deserve. Wish I was one of them! "OK, I'll go now. Thanks for the drinks and everything." Could you be any more lame?

Mira was incredulous. "You're leaving? You're fucking leaving? You think I'm sort of whore?"

"No. Just the opposite." Bennie ran for the door and stepped outside. He figured he was safe where she could not follow. But Mira did follow to the open doorway guiltlessly unashamed. A man passing by with his dog yelled out, "Hot damn!" - which made Bennie's shame on what he was missing burn all the more.

"You got a shitty life ahead of you, you know that? No one can be nice to you, is that it? Go home and hump your fist. I hope that gets you what you want. I just..." Mira stopped in exasperation.

Bennie only muttered as he slinked away. "See, I knew you'd want me to leave."

Mira had not known a pretzeled soul like Bennie's before. Her youthful ways came to an end that night, realizing not every person acts in their best interests. Though Bennie lived in tormented recrimination, this proved an invaluable lesson to her, completing her education, and enabling her to swim the shark infested waters of the legal profession. She went on to become a star litigator, strong and principled. Honoring what is precious is no game. She'd love to save the world, but settled for saving herself.

For Bennie, his life - now twice as miserable - ended that night. Never again would - or could - another moment ever matter during his time on this earth. He died to appease the gods. The picture of Mira framed in the doorway in her lingerie seared forever into his mind. He ejaculated to her memory wildly, but it diminished as his heart broke. Time had stopped for Bennie but in earth measure it had been six tortuous years from that night to this. He was fading into oblivion.

"At least there I can't steal anything or hurt anyone." Nor can I be of use to anyone...

Monday, October 05, 2015

In The Year Six Hundred Eighty Four

In the year six hundred eighty four
Another useless forgotten war;
No golden silver for the whore
Killing time called begging more.

In forest deep, God has no ear
Bloody blades slay sans fear;
Mother holds her child dear
No dead names remembered here.

In night's river, bodies swell
When asked why, none will tell;
In sunlight air, rot's stinking smell
Mankind's future passed to hell.

How cruel the innocent sun
To spare the life of not even one;
In pyrrhic victory the day is won
But in the morn does sorrow come.

Floating above the battlefield cry
Instrumented angels in the sky
Record the screams of those who die
To give voice a thousand years nigh.

King weeps on accustomed throne
Desperate yet to remain unknown;
Never dare speak words his own,
Illusion be the devil's bone.

Dark world shuns the shining light
Trusting deeds plotted in blind night;
Dreamless men struggling fright
Running from Love's piercing sight.

No written parchment of this day
Blood downstream slips away;
Wrestling devils fuel the fray
Till end of time be it this way


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Does Jesus Need A Kill List?

Attack Ordered By the American President

"This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent
in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter
and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each
other how deeply we love one another."

Some say mass shootings are bad. Some say they are necessary to survival. Most people say both depending on whether or not they are a part of condoning the shooting (Hi, Chris Matthews!). No matter. I got to thinking who would Jesus put on his Kill List. Judas? Pilate? Caesar? The elder rabbis? Of course, killing those people would not have changed his outcome. Assassination is only for short-sighted morons. I do realize that fact is way ahead of its time so we'll stick to the "pragmatic and practical" Kill Listers we have today.

While we bemoan mass shootings here at home (because it might kill one of us!) with much posed consternation and scripted outcry, but really, who gives a shit? Stuff happens! Most people who say they want a gun for protection only want it to protect their own wrongdoing. Them folks is plumb scared for a reason. So the idea of ending our gun culture by mandate is a complete fantasy. Toothpaste is out of the tube. Born in the USA.

"Now, even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible,
we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their
fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is
senseless. It's beyond reason."

Some people think our President is part of the problem as he too has his very own Kill List like any mass shooter. Defenders of the practice say: "It's OK for the President to pull names out of a hat and have that person - and everyone around him - blown to pieces without judge, jury or review. And we certainly think it's reasonable to expect our good and honorable emotionally disturbed and mentally ill citizens to understand that Kill Lists are only OK for certain people." Hey, we pay these people to lie to us for a reason!

Are we a society coming apart at the seems? If we stopped our mass killings around the world would we have a future? Does love require a gun? Our President sees the dead children from these shootings and asks, "Why?" He sees dead children next to an alleged enemy of the state and asks, "Why not?" Can one really have it both ways? With all our hand wringing and moralizing, in the end we simply profess ignorance and throw up our hands. "If only [something impossible] would happen we'd be fine." Hey, I'll believe you're moral if you believe I am!

"For the truth is none of us can know exactly what triggered
this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty
what might have stopped these shots from being fired, or what
thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind."

Nothing liked mutually agreed upon morality to perpetuate killing. Of course, it takes a real radical to say all killing is bad. Perhaps only Jesus would say, "Go ahead and shoot, fucker" if someone pointed a gun at him even if offered a gun himself. Certainly, there is an amazing freedom in that stance. Not saying I could ever live up to that. But like the early Vulcans who sacrificed themselves in the struggle to obtain a logical existence, if enough people stick by their guns (so to speak) it does have a shaming effect that breeds ultimate civilization.

Civilization is something I won't see in my lifetime.

No matter how much we get on our hind legs and point in our holier than thou stance it doesn't mean beans in the end. How empty are our words when mass graves are found in Malaysia, victims of modern day slavery? We didn't shoot them, you say? No, but we turn a blind eye to it for our corporations. And when teenage children are chained to beds screaming in chain rape by our "allies", we punish anyone who might interfere with our so-called national interests. Not to mention cowardly drone strikes blowing families to bits. All these practices could be halted by our President. He does not and no one blinks an eye.

This is our first task -- caring for our children.
It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't
get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be
judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation,
that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say
that we're doing enough to keep our children -- all of them
-- safe from harm?"

We really can't have it both ways. When it comes to killing, in for a penny, in for a pound. You can't have it on your own terms. It's just a big game at this point with the FBI arming mentally ill people with guns and "plans for attack", then dropping the net how another terror plot got thwarted. We cheer on cue for our delusions. Only there is a connection between killing on the left hand and killing on the right. You don't have to see it - but we do have to live with it. Next time you see a senseless killing, just remember they all are - completely, totally and utterly.

"Let's be clear: At some point [just not on my watch!], we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries."

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Bennie X: Pain In The Brain, Interview With A Criminal

I'm not "one of them." That's been said about me more than once. I need no explanation of it. If you need one then, yes, you are one of them. Some people know. Some people don't want to know. Neither sees any use for the other (though only one can be right). Bennie X said those exact words to me years ago. As I've committed the greatest of all sins, what anyone else has to confess to me does not induce shrieks of shock. Oftentimes I have to feign shock since that's what the listener expects - and because they usually are wholly unsuspecting of my far, far greater criminality.

Bennie picked up on this right away. As an unconvicted murderer he'd been forced to face things about himself most people do not. He very quickly separates people into different categories of trust. He needs to tell the world what he cannot tell. There remains much unspoken between us. Bennie doesn't tell me he separates people into groups, I simply observe it. Nor has he asked me of my crime, he simply knows one when he sees one. I've heard military people tell me they can spot another person whose been in the military. Same thing with criminals.

Oh, if only you knew how much I see with every passing word or silence! (I try to turn this off for most social occasions - what few I have anyway.)

Bennie told me he was "the worst kind of killer", one who had "pain in the brain." He wasn't a killer by disposition. He'd betrayed his better instincts through a force of "iron will" that damaged him horribly. The minute he said "iron will" a picture on an iron cross flashed before my eyes. He'd divorced from reason becoming a detached mental entity. That was the only way he could pull off the killing.

Bennie has spent years trying to re-attach but to no avail. He's read books on self-forgiveness, tried prescription medication, psychiatrists, organics, you name it. Bottom line is he never got his self-trust back. That's a feeling I don't need explained to me. And that's what Bennie needs the most: someone who needs no explanations. I'm a part of nothing just as he is. It's a rotten fucking club to belong to.

He invited me to share a bottle of saké. I didn't want to hang out with Bennie for the same reason no one else wants to hang out with him but I said yes. No one wants to hang out with my loser ass, either. This has been made painfully clear to me. But forcing myself to do something against my will - just as Bennie had done to himself in his killings - gave me a pain in the brain too. Loneliness or criminality, not much of a choice that night. Many are the people I miss.

Bennie's got this pretty cool townhouse in north Dallas - or it would be cool if Bennie didn't live there. He tiled it up with these large dark slags in shades of brown throughout the place even into his bedroom and the tile in the shower. I call it the "Godfather 2" house with its foreboding and somewhat sinister aura. To make matters worse, we sat in this dank little man cave area while the TV blasts and the lights are on in the main living room "as a diversion." Yeah, it's like that.

I have to sip the Sho Chiku Bai saké at first as I'm not a hard drinker. After a bit you get loosened up and the taste - and Bennie - become more palatable. Still, I felt dirty and shitty regardless. But what the hell. How am I ever not going to feel that way? I'll tolerate the brain pain long as I can later flee the repression to breathe again. No matter how I rationalized it, though, I felt stupid. I wasn't spending my time as I pleased - but I hadn't planned to do that anyway.

"You know what makes a criminal a criminal, Harry?"

"A thousand different things, I suppose."

"No, No. I'm not talking about some kid stealing a guitar for his band or a father stealing food or a hooker making a living. I mean real criminals. The politicians, the corporate raiders, the assassins with badges, the phony marriages - people bent for life. People that hide."

"Well, I know the answer's not honesty."

"Hahaha! That's what I like about you. You always answer the right way. You never come right out and say anything. I like that."

The saké was kicking in. "Yup, that's why I get invited to all the best parties."

"Aw, forget that. I'm like that guy who said he wouldn't want to be a part of any party that'd accept him. Money, I got. Parties, never."

Bennie became preoccupied in his drink as I sprouted hope he was not going to make his grand criminal revelation, after all. See, I knew what he was really doing - which is what everybody does: use philosophy as a vehicle for self-confession. He can't bring himself to say, "Guess what made me a criminal." No he has to disguise it within a group. I had no fucking interest in hearing his tawdry personal details. It's like hearing about someone's sex interests. Who cares? That's only you.

"Oh, yeah. I know what I was gonna say. Bet you thought you were getting off the hook!"

It's worse when he tries to be charming. God, I'm an absolute idiot to be caught in this situation playing Father Confessor.

"I'm just here for the saké, Bennie."

"Right you are again! Ol' Bennie's not worth the time. I'm going to die a criminal, I am. Yeppers, that's how I'm going to do and there's not nothing I can do about it."

I mused suggesting he could learn better grammar as a possible resolution but thought better of it. "Dyin' ain't all that fun."

"No, it's not. But I'm not the only one dying a criminal. It's like that movie where the guy puts on glasses and can see aliens corrupting us. But them without glasses can't see, can't understand what's going on. So how to do you say to them without glasses?"

I knew what he meant. Those who know, don't do. Those who do, don't know. In the course of self-examination he found criminals around the world, many delivering fiery speeches applauded by mindless masses. But how could someone like Bennie ever call them out when a criminal himself? It would be like a Republican debate. Politically, it would be impossible. He continued.

"So you get to a point where you look back and ask why? I got money but I'm still doing time. A life sentence. I guess it really doesn't matter why. Just matters what you did. Damn, life is hard. Really, really hard."

"At least you're not a killer on minimum wage," I brightly surmised.

"Sarcastic son-of-a-bitch, aren't ya?...I guess you're right...I guess no one's got it easy."

"You can trust me on that one!"

"But then I found out why. I wasn't a criminal because I killed. I killed because I was a criminal. I was hiding and lying. I was desperate. I didn't want to be known!"

A criminal act

Suddenly, the whole world was in our room, ears pinned to the walls. We sat in thick silence under the spotlight. The sake made the lights vibrate like a Van Gogh painting.

"That's why I did the embezzling. I could have played it straight and ended up well into seven figures when I retired. But I couldn't play that game. I had to let them know I was smarter than them. I had to show them I wasn't being honest when talking with them. I wanted them to accept me. But how could they? I'd never had a friend before. I wasn't stealing money. I was asking for friendship."

I couldn't help but feel every word was being recorded to be used against us later - like on Judgment Day. Bennie was right, though. Everything we do is driven by love - or a lack thereof. I had to admire him for getting that far down the road. None of that was going to get him out of jail, however. Only getting a friend would do that.

"Then someone found out, didn't they?" That had always been my suspicion.

"Yes, she did. The one I liked most. The one I most wanted to be my friend. Why did it have to be her? At first I thought I was the luckiest man in the world my most favorite person working in my department. For someone like that to be my first friend, that was as unthinkable as winning the lottery. You want to believe, but you don't dare. I thought not believing made me honest with myself. She had a life. Everyone liked her. So naturally it had to be her the one with the brains to find me out. Fuck."

"So she poked around and caught your hidden malfeasance?"

"Uh, not exactly. Not exactly that. She was on the road..."

"You killed her before she even found out!"

"Looks that way." Bennie stared down into his drink pierced in pain. I decided not to push further. He pushed himself. "It was same time as the Iraq invasion. I was doing my own preemptive killing. I remember thinking everyone's doing it. Nobody seems to have a problem with it. I knew the invasion was an act of evil but what could I say when I was doing the same thing?"

"What if you'd just let nature take its course?"

"I call that letting nature take its curse. I tried to beat the curse but only made it worse. Just like that stupid invasion. I watch on TV the hell going on over there and I feel like I'm watching my whole life play out before my eyes. I feel responsible for the ruined lives of the refugees. How can I bring the dead back to the living?"

"You ever think that maybe when she found out she might have let you off the hook?"

"I did when it was too late. I kept imaging the moment. She'd have this look of disappointment. The light would go on and she'd wash her hands of me. Not much I could do to argue with that. It hit me later maybe I didn't give her enough credit. Nothing scares me more than that thought. I just couldn't stand the idea of her hating me."

The saké spoke next. "Bet she really hates you now!"

Daggers flew out his eyes for a moment and I thought maybe I'd gone too far. Always comes a point where I go too far. Then Bennie's face softened.

"Shit. You're right..."

Next there's this pregnant pause big enough to birth an elephant. Do I leave now? As usual, the most inappropriate thoughts run through my head. I imagine myself ducking and hiding and weaving behind the furniture making a tactical retreat out the door like a paramilitary unit. I'd put some blackout on my face, exiting the enemy compound in my own SEAL team operation. I almost laughed at the absurdity but how would I explain my outburst? Yes, time was near to start breathing again!

"You know, this saké's finally starting to go down easy!"

Bennie ignored me. "Funny part is they found out anyway. Can ya believe that? But they didn't do anything. Couldn't. This VP would have lost his job if he didn't cover for me. The greatest con in America today is corporate executives. They aren't the best and brightest. They just feed off the people who really are. And, man, they'll do anything to keep that dance going. Cutthroat backstabbing like any pirate ship ever sailed. They've got this whole war on reality they're waging. One day it'll catch up to them. Can't fucking wait."

"Me neither!"

"So you get what I'm saying, don't ya?"

Oh, Jesus! Didn't know there was going to be a pop quiz! I had to pull out of the haze or die - least that's what I thought at the time. Why the hell did I think it was life and death? Anyway, it was a pain in the ass but I managed a crystallization.

"Yeah. You're saying you're not a criminal because you killed. You're saying you killed because you were a criminal. That's how you let her know you were hiding stuff."

I felt like a kid standing up in class hoping to get the teacher's approval. Just torture. What's wrong with me sometimes??

"I knew you'd get it, Harry. You get it right down the line."

That triggered another inappropriate thought: So does that mean you have to kill me!? That's what I wanted to say, but you never feel free around Bennie. He didn't do what he wanted: neither could you.

"I've had all the drink I can handle, Bennie. You know I'm a lightweight. I gotta crash. Some of us have terrifyingly boring and humiliating jobs to go to."

"It's alright, man. I'm suddenly tired too."

"OK, thanks for the saké!" I was desperate to get out. People who don't forgive themselves are the most dangerous.

"Sure thing. Hey, we'll have to get together downtown sometime." So you can put a thirty eight caliber bullet through my head as a preventive measure of someone who got too close? "We can sit and watch the girls go by."