part 31

Subject: the miracle of acclimation

To: BoPeep

From: MackAttack

Date: 11/21       9:46p.m.

Dear Aimee,

The deal with Larry Jerger: the rule for when he acts like a beast: we’re all supposed to forget it happened because he does. Just take it like a storm. Do you remember last night’s storm? Or last week’s? Does it make a difference if you do?

I can understand that because I have temper tantrums of my own I wish others would simply forget. Mine haven’t required handcuffs and rides in squad cars off to psychiatric examinations. But it’s a matter of degree.

And about the fortune that freed him from having to work. I’ve always had to work, as you have, too, Aimee. Morgan-Hughes has to work, and I saw her at her job with the group last night. She prepared me in advanced. “You know this is part of what I do,” she said. “Only now you’re going to see it, okay?” Maybe I have grown somewhat territorial about her. I didn’t have to like it. But she said something that made me think. “You’d feel worse if I was climbing out of a trench to charge into bullets, wouldn’t you?” She gave me a “It’s show time!” wink and broke the ice in the salon by stripping to her make-up and jewels.

I could think of arguments (drafted vs. volunteer, blah blah), but I don’t want to argue here. Not now. I’m curious, I’m seduced, and I’m a volunteer, too, in a fortune of death. My sense of humor seems to have taken a vacation. Yet I played the preludes well — focused and loose. And the women, the mistresses, the professionals — very glamorous. Work well as a team. How come I don’t want to celebrate having played my first orgy? The nature of celebration, perhaps. There was something almost sacred about how rich and luxurious it felt.

I’m overcoming that dark feeling here, a heaviness you feel outside it, watchful … then it starts to float … it’s power, it’s people pulling toward things they want to do, pulling against what they should do. Catches up in the aftermath of sex, delirious sex, “Oh-oh. I’m in trouble now.” Strange for me to just know it; it’s as if I can hear these people thinking. Yes, right through the beauty of the parties as the women avail themselves to the men. I think I’m becoming rather psychic, and I think it’s from getting adjusted to all the hidden cameras and microphones: they can see and hear everything like a psychic.

But you’re not in trouble, Mack. Yet you say I could be, Aimee. The impression may come from others who feel they are in trouble for doing this, the trouble of jealous others, the trouble of having secrets to keep in their private lives — secrets archived on video, documented to every naked embrace and moan of pleasure.

I experienced them feeling damned. And damned feels in trouble. Then argues, “Why?” just like your mother would. “Why should I be in trouble for this? It just feels good!”

It is interesting here, Aimee, way more interesting than the retail store.

I’m using a sick day. Who’s minding the store? Well, not me today. It’s starting to show I am more distracted than ever, less there when I am there than ever. And the store and hours have never seemed more bland and flat. For years. I hate to say I was adjusted, but it is slipping to past tense. But what can I do? I’m getting spoiled here on the Persephone but I’m not getting rich and spoiled.

Franklin Jerger is living like a Renaissance king, but Morgan-Hughes says he doesn’t know it. It’s pure instinct to employ a troupe of servants and entertainers for his personal use. He can’t place a name or associate history to what he likes. He simply knows he likes it. The kind of snide jokes Diana makes about him remind me of my “snarky” comments to you. I asked if she has any qualms about how the money is made.

“I’m in my element, Mack,” she said. “The whole world hates me just as it hates him. Only he doesn’t know it. He really doesn’t.”

She never was rich, Aimee, you’re right about that. But don’t you remember how everyone thought she was and hated her? She was pushed into that elite clique in school and simply hated there as if in a kind of rich prison. Just being herself day to day, she came across as a rich bitch who was also very good-looking and hot. She didn’t fight it by trying to change, or by crying and pleading.

She said, “I asked Jerger if he was ever bugged by the opinion about men like him, and he acted like he didn’t even know the meaning of the word. I wish I didn’t know the meaning of it, either. Some people are just hated, and later they give the haters a reason for it.”

She gives me gifts and I accept them. I’ve got some amazing cash tips from the men, and the mistresses give me symbolic tokens of their acceptance of me. Tokens to my weak side, or to what I still consider weak, anyway. The ornamental sisterhood of very expensive whores. I’m one of the girls.



Subject: the miracle of acclimation

From: BoPeep

To: MackAttack

Date: 11/22       11:46p.m.

But, Macky-boy, you never do listen to anyone who cares about you. You always think you are so special and so right and so above it all. Really pisses me off. You can be such an asshole, you know that? Your last letter just let me know how full of yourself you are. I know that DMH is telling you sweet things to keep you around, but aren’t you smart enough to look around with your own big brown eyes?

We’re living parallel lives. We’re equal, sweetie. I have my mother, Gil and that mess of a family to make me question what is good and what is not. I have never known what is real and what is not. You’ve always been my mirror, my anchor. But, you’re adrift. Too bad you cannot hear me, anymore. Your world is the illusions that DMH is putting in your head.

YOU are taking it oh so serious. Toodle-oo. I’ll try to pick you up when you fall from the clouds.

love you. Aimee.


Subject: You’re still trying to confuse me

From: MackAttack

To: BoPeep

Date: 11/23       1:28a.m.

Dear Aimee,

Trouble? Here’s the formula for making me feel in trouble: Say and do things to piss me off so that I will retaliate. Then I will feel in trouble. Does every man feel in trouble after he has retaliated? I need my father to answer that. And he never could because he’s dead. So what’s the next best answer? “I don’t know.” I know the guy who retaliates on the football field always gets the flag thrown at him. He gets in trouble.

Morgan-Hughes said to me:”Look, you come here and have a really good time. You’re making money through tips. You have plenty of free time to work out as a musician on your own compositions. All you have to put up with are a few clumsy put-downs by rich people. And you’re still listening to that little twit who writes e-mail to you?” Your letters, of late, have upset me greately.

Diana re-read your letter, Aimee, and said it is you who are wrong. I am safe here and can do basically what I want as long as I don’t bore people or make them think I’m an idiot, which is the same as boring them. But I can’t blame you for not understanding the system, Aimee. It’s taken a while for me to learn it.

Mr. Jerger is coming to town soon and Diana has an idea for getting him to retain me on a permanent paid basis. She thinks he will go for my idea that he is a Renaissance king and should have a court musician while also being a kind of patron of the arts. It’s a chance for me to get out of the store and devote myself fulltime to my art. As a full-fledged toy of his father, I won’t get messed with by Larry. Maybe I’m a monster, too, but I just don’t have the inclination to feel sorry for the way he was raised or what he was exposed to. I’m not curious about his mother, and it’s better that all I can see is opportunity for me right now.

I still have an ethical tug about Mr. Jerger’s fortune and how I benefit from it — but screw it. This is my chance. Bloody mayhem and oppression paid for Mozart’s stipend and just about all the others, too. I could make a case that Honus Wagner got to play baseball on the ruins of the Spanish Empire. As I told you, I used to be a liberal Democrat. So the art shift comes from left to right through men like me? Let it.

Next weekend, I’m going to try out some short pieces from my Inquisition Suite at a party on the Persephone and see what happens. We’ll see what Mr. Jerger thinks as the patron of new compositions.

The ones who really don’t like me here are the crew. It’s as if they can tell that one of their own, a working stiff, is rising above it. But they never had that impression about Morgan-Hughes. Of course, the crew are all men and get off on her cocktease. Seems to help keep her juicy, too. We’ll be on a cruise for the party next weekend, so they’re here right now getting ready. The skipper was here earlier, a retired Navy officer. I didn’t realized how complicated it is to pilot this thing. We’ll be out there all night and the rest of the following day. I’ve never been to sea before and it’s making me a little nervous. Diana says I’m really more nervous about having to socialize with the bigshots and their mistresses for an extended period. She may be right. Vince Denny may be on-board. I’ve never met a real Hollywood star before.

Remember, Aimee, the night you and I were walking past the Benedict hotel and we saw Linda Palidin getting out of her limo? Funny, huh? Big event. Both star struck. Yeah, I was psyched, too. I know you’ll remember that I hated it about myself, but I don’t anymore. I am changing and only the future can tell if for the better or worse.

Keep writing. You’re lighter in tone these days (though I can see you flipping out the ends of your hair with your fingers as you glow in your own sarcasm). I appreciate your concern for me, but consider the source.

Love, Mack


Subject: You Prick!

From: MackAttack

To: BoPeep

Date: 11/23        7:28a.m.


How could you let Diane read my letter! You prick! You bastard. What I write to you is between me and you, not me and you and her. Fuck you.

Yeah, jerk, you ARE “in trouble”.   But, you are too stupid and pussy whipped to know it. But, you are just as stupid as you are egotistical. You are a short sighted pig and can’t see beyond your own snout and the slop it’s in. Mack, you only READ what you want to see in the letters and don’t even pay attention. I can’t believe you!. I’m getting on a plane in three hours, and all I want to say to you is: I hate you. I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU.


p.s. Never write me again.

(And, if that bitch is reading this letter….I hate her and her phony tits, too.)


Subject: Oh, YEAH??

From: MackAttack

To: BoPeep

Date: 11/23        9:10a.m.


How can you turn like this? It’s a good thing I did show your letter to Diana (two a’s). Don’t write to you anymore? Okay! No problem there, you overbearing, know-it-all little twat.



Subject: I think there is confusion here

From: MackAttack

To: BoPeep

Date: 11/23        9:19a.m.

Dear Aimee,

I’m shell-shocked you don’t want to write anymore. She’s my main friend here, and we share everything. I didn’t see the harm to just let her read your letter for herself. Anyway, she already knew you still had (have?) strong feelings for me. That wasn’t news to her. We’re still concerned for each other, you and me. I’m sorry this upset you. The problem is your brother. V is telling different people different things, and it’s important for you to know that. I have questions about his motives myself. He tells DMH things about you, and I’m certain he tells you things about her and life here. It’s a messy situation.

I’m sorry again. I’ll keep writing even if you don’t. But I wish you would reconsider.

Love, Mack


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