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CHAPTER ONE

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  
                

                                      



High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
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(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScW9r0y3c4

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
Julian Nov 2018
The padlock on the continuous barnstorm of a transcendent time whose bunkum is transmuted consciousness aligning with parallax to a congruent worldview is not axiomatic but certainly a veridical property of reality. The universe is as much concept as percept and both properties of consciousness that lead to adaptive behavior are tethered to the eccentricity of the observer rather than the oblong nature of the observed where errors in prima facie judgments delineate the saplings of humanity to beaze under the proctored sunlight of an eternal sunshine that withers seldom to the whims of capricious arbitrage of those whose hubris exceeds the limits of the intellectual frontier because they are gilded with bricolage mentalities that scaffold the skeletonized worldview rather than apprehending the concretism and synthetic arraignment of interrogable reality in a manner that acknowledges the factitious intersection of pioneering understanding and the corporeal existence of realities both transcendent in spatiotemporal mapping and reversible propinquity to the sensible acquisition of tangible knowledge. I contest the worldview of many philosophers as a callow retread of basic logic whose ambition is underserved by a desire for prolix pellucidity rather than cogent succinct promethean formulations that dare to muster the herculean task of demystification even if the entropy of formulation is always flawed by the jaundice of the observers rather than the disdain of the observable consensus. We swing by a filipendulous thread that dangles speculation and reifies the blinkered piebald world of spotty concatenations among neurons recognizing that incomplete associations become the staples of philosophies that are precarious in some logical foundation but sturdy enough to weather the vagaries of the bluster of mendicants who verge on comprehension but pale in comparison to the monolithic edifice of so-called truth when the defalcation of figureheads supplants the clerisy as the new proctor of knowledgeable assertion. I contend that foofaraw is a primeval instinct of community ecology that expedites the balkanization of otherwise unitive properties of society and ravages them with bickering based on clashing predilections that are bellicose and combative rather than irenic and balmy. The acerbic fates of many leads to a rudimentary pessimism or a chary optimism that chides against the fortified exegesis of divinity that can be both proclaimed and stultified for its latticework properties of buttressing society in a permutation that is nimble in some respects but too turgid and rigid in others. The goal of humanity is to become a pliable instrument of a pliable universe that does not rely on buzzword dogmatism or the masquerade of hollow punditry but that relies on self-reliant principles for ascertaining veracity and impugning mendaciloquence with vigilant alacrity rather than casual sportsmanship that reaches finality only upon the handshakes of a battle waged that concedes the impotence of gladiatorial spectatorship as just a gambit of the half-witted cockney witticisms and shibboleths of sportive diversion rather than consequential and decisive reckonings with the subaudition that undergirds all events of any consequence with either a clinched victory or a callow defeatism of a futilitarian worldview that stoops to reconciliation only to propitiate antagonism and buffer against the truculent brunt of weaponized coercion to checkered flags that arbitrate the outcome of a binary polarity of humanized affairs. The majesty of creation is that reversible boundaries can be permeated in a bi-directional manner through the artifice of concerted thought rather than the orchestration of a linear traipse through the deserts of an inclement fate won immediately when projected upon the tangent of any given velocity at any point of acceleration away from the targeted impetus that grants only a partial vantage, a cantle of reality that is fragmented and piecemeal rather than circular and emergent. The most dire battle that humanity faces is the attrition of circumstance by the purposive declarations of imperious authority that seeks to muzzle the ingenuity of many for the deliciation of the few creating an accidia among the clerical institute of thinkers that imposes hogra that few people can grapple with that they are marooned into a cloister that reaps fewer rewards for an ascendant intellect than a virulent libido can clutch with predatory gallops against the also-rans that fight for carnality rather than the ethereal principles lingering within the grasp of many if it became a cynosure of worthy heralded acclaim. We witness the mass fecklessness of giftedness as a shackle of those whose plaudits come intrinsically fortified but sustain none of the abuses that the pedestrians would like to obtrude upon enlightenment to curtail and abridge the art of invention like the coagulation of blood to rob the vitality of throbbing pulse of importunate self-discovery of its macroscopic vista and its telescopic foresight about the future hodgepodge of a recursive fractalized reality besieged by the enemy of linear logical formulations implemented by ivory tower psychologists to muzzle the empowerment of abstruse language in order to make savory the nostrum of the apothecaries of delegated truth bereaved of recourse beyond certain leaps they cannot fathom well enough to flicker with even a faint transient wisdom that is designed to be amenable only to the supernal nature of ideation rather than the caprice of bedazzled humanitarianism. We need to forswear the -isms that flicker with doctrinaire dogmatism and flirt with forceful harangues that exhort a codified message and launch veridical properties of recondite etherealism into an immovable orbit whose inertia can broadcast a singular message of recoil against puritanism in science or skepticism in faith. The bedrock of this message is the deployment of useful extravagance without inordinate delay, the drivel of malcontent transmogrified into the prattle of estimable giants that have stature among the leviathan enough to recriminate against the autarky of self-smug simpletons that infest the world with barbarous indecencies and crude prepossessions that abortively crumple when met with the acerbic teleological gravity of ulterior consequence rather than blossom under the siroccos of manufactured wind designed for windfalls that always create a crestfallen aftermath from the anticlimax of understanding leading to the desiccation of consequence and the engorgement of precedence. These frangible realities become buoyant because the physics of the public dialectic insulates the creaky rickety vestiges of canonical knowledge as a sworn precedent inviolable and immune as a building block of all scholasticism, a retread of parchment recycled over and over again to entrench the past as the titanic vehicle that dictates the future of thought even though the porous inconsistencies of the vagrants of crude formulation make such a vessel less seaworthy than scientism and dogmatism of the monolith would have you believe to be true. The querulous quips of the uninformed predominate with such clutter that the armamentarium against useful idiocy is stagnated into a resigned accord with infernal subjugation of the public volition to insubordinate against a system of parochial enslavement rather than a catholic enlightenment whose universalism of principle ensures a steadfast society guided by scruples rather than undermined by the prickly thorns of abrasive contrition and the magnetism of empathic concern that sabotages the clarity of intelligence and provides a welter in the place of a well-arrayed code of peculiar but defiant distinctiveness that acts as the splinter that cracked the intangible but refractory borders of human inclination and demonstrated the sheer force of golden consistency rather than fickle withering resolve. I exhort and implore the world to heed the best minds that realize the syncretism is answerable to contradiction rather than scuttled from beneath by the impudence of its assertions against the common propriety when it stakes controversy as a gamble to aver the veracity of worldviews that violate orthpraxy with gusto as a brazen gallantry to rescue a foundering planet that seeks disequilibrium in harmony rather than an equilibrated sensibility that is proud to discriminate properly and honestly to clinch fact rather than kowtow to factitious slumber of somniferous kumbaya that is too deferent to maxims that are unduly polite only because charisma supersedes genius in its efficacy to mobilize people to fulfill their roles. With the miscegenation of justice that occurs because of expedience we find holes in many legalistic precedents because they anoint pettifoggery over sensible jurisdiction and face a leaky and ramshackle fate to foment paternalism and divide the clerisy among certain key considerations in order to save face rather than to impose a clarity of orderly supervision that seeks to dissipate the embroiled spiderwebs of dodgy prevarication and quacksalver logic to once and for all ascertain the truth that lurks beyond the primal jaundice of Kafkaesque confusion.