Hey, maestro, you didn’t respond to that last e-mail of mine. I bet you’re still thinking to yourself, “What the fuck did he just say?” Yeah, sorry, it was so long, complicated, probably boring, and not connected to anything else I have been saying. But it has a fundamental point: will creates reality. The legend I wrote about in my last e-mail gives a reasonable basis for this claim. Some believe that reality is the product of our consciousness. Others believe that we are instruments of infinity – “God,” as it were.
In our world, most believe that we can only affect reality with our hands, although witches and wizards abound who claim to be able to affect the world using the power of their minds. However, they always seem to only be able to cast their spells around people who believe in what they say they can do.
Now the servants of God have their claims as well. Even Jesus said:
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”Matthew 17:20
With this letter to you, I don’t want to write any more legends or grand essays on theology. I just don’t want you to forget one thing: it is reasonable to believe that reality can be altered by the will. Remember that. It’s important.
Anyway, So there I was in a video cabin at a sex shop watching porn. I was angry. I had no hope. I was taking a kind of revenge on the teenager and her dad who accused me of being a pervert by behaving like a pervert. There are lyrics to an Eminem Song that describe my attitude: “I am what you say I am.”
Just when I was about to jack off, a dude just walked straight into my cabin. This in itself wasn’t entirely too weird, however. Sometimes gay guys would come in to places like this looking for sex. Yes, maestro, you’d be surprised at the kinds of things I have knowledge of. But the weird thing here was that this guy wasn’t looking for sex. He asked me: “You want to get high?”
“Why not?” I said. “Show me your dick,” I told him. The guy just unzipped his fly right there and took his penis out of his pants.
“Wow. A big one. Congratulations,” I said.
“Thanks, but I’m not gay. I’m not looking for sex,” he said in response.
“I’m not either,” I told him. I was being a bit cheeky. On the one hand, I was playfully referencing the high number of dudes who do very obviously gay things, and who obviously are as gay as they come, but who insist that they aren’t gay. I’ve never been able to figure out if they really delude themselves to such an extent, or if they are just playing some kind of game. But here my comical request and remark actually had a very practical purpose. A police officer in a vice unit isn’t going to be allowed to show anyone his dick. I learned this from watching some TV show. Cops, I think. It was a tactic of prostitutes. When a man approaches a street hooker for sex, she should make him pull his dick out before there is any talk of exchanging money for sex. That way she can be sure he isn’t a cop. I took this to heart. Any time anyone needs to do anything criminal with a complete stranger in a public space, everybody needs to have seen everybody’s dick. Period. That way we know everybody isn’t undercover police.
Satisfied, I asked him, “What have you got on you?”
“Meth,” he replied.
“All right. By the way, I’m Jonathan. What’s your name?
“Chaz. Chaz Christianson. And by the way, how did you get here?
“By car,” I said.
“All right. We can smoke in your car. Crystal is better if we smoke it. Have you tried crystal?” he asked me as we left the sex shop and walked to my car.
“Over two decades ago. I took drugs for a bit between high school and the Army. Mostly crystal, but also some cocaine. I experimented a little bit with heroin a few times. Then quit everything for the twenty years I was in the army. I’m retired now. In fact, I’m a solitary Anglican monk. I took vows under a bishop. Poverty, chastity, obedience. My bishop was to me like a boss in a company, but I lived in my own apartment and led a typical life. Now I’m considering quitting my vows, though. I’m sick of Christianity.
“Wow. You’re not a typical guy. Why are you thinking of leaving your vows?” he asked me. Meanwhile, we drove to find a dark parking lot.
“A girl, of course. There are many reasons, I suppose, but at the moment the main one is a girl,” I said as we started smoking.
“You’re retired. You have a pension and a car. Where do you live?
“In Israel, I’m here on vacation. I’m staying with my parents. I am supposed to return to Israel in October, but I do not know if I will return.
“Well, what do you do in life?
“Several things,” I answered. “I’m a philosopher.”
“Interesting. So tell me, what is the meaning of life?” he asked me.
“There are two answers to your question. Logically, our world can only be a part of a greater and more perfect reality. So the purpose of this life is to make it through it, to learn from it, and to enter into that great reality. But that begs the question: what is the meaning of that great perfect reality? My answer to that part is: to be is better than not to be.
“Okay. I think the meaning of life is to react to experience,” Chaz told me.
“That’s a little too general for me,” I said. At that point I should have paid attention, because if a person just wants to react to experiences, just do do new things, they would potentially look for bad experiences in addition to good ones. This would turn out to be the case with Chaz. But the prospect of having a conversation about morality with a drug dealer I just met in a dark parking lot while smoking crystal was something I found potentially stressful at the time.
Wishing to change the subject, I told him, “Lately I also write poetry.” I took my phone and showed him a poem about Noah that I had written in September when I was listening to her songs and contemplating the hypocrisy of the van Ouwerkerks and the churches in Israel. I’ll copy it below for you, maestro. It is entitled “The Captain of the Ark.”
In the grey and smoky fog of the dark and rainy street
Where youthful souls of corpses meet
A kindred spirit, so they don’t feel so alone,
A wild-eyed misfit prophet watches them run
Occasionally glancing at some banality on his smartphone
No one knew he was there
Despite, or perhaps because of, the electric horror of what remained of his hair
He didn’t want their friendship
He told himself, as his heart sank like a scuttled ship
Into a dank abyss
Of diaphanous purposelessness
All the dreams had already been had
But none of them came true
His cynicism would not survive the irony that the dream that wasn’t bad
He would have while awake, while wondering what to do
He knew how he would be crucified
Ever since the dust-covered and war-torn months of 2005
When his colleague trampled his nation’s honors
By the mouth of the enemy fellatiated
Our world-worn hero’s face was too ugly to be next to hers
So their answer was that he be castigated
The dream one achieves when they escape their life’s custom
Until they scroll through their rolodex to see that they’re lonesome
A curse one breaks with serendipity
And then she was there
The angel he longed to see
Her sinews wrapped in delicious sweet milk
Her shoulders glazed by a honey cascade of hair
What would she make of his ilk
What does she see in me
She didn’t reject his curious stare
If she were ugly, no one would care
Their murderous gaze wasn’t even skin deep
While he prayed the Lord her soul to keep
With their pitchforks and cocktails of turpentine
The infernal masses would no longer contain their attacks
In their campaign against our friendly neighborhood Frankenstein
In order to protect their normal from facts
A baby with harp and angel’s wings
Painted on vaulted ceilings among other things
In fever dreams above his head
He clutched the cold sheets beside him in bed
The mysterious writers called it a boat
In that confusing old book they wrote
Then they called it a gold-plated box
In those tales not too different from Goldilocks
What is this thing that the Philistines stole
It’s really just a human soul
It contains the law of God and lawgiver’s staff
But Leviathan has successfully split it in half
The ticking of seconds
The conformity of chromosomes
Endless discussions for psychic brigands
Covering their heads in tinfoil domes
For better or worse, the ark has been opened
And no one knows how this journey will end
How dare he make a friend
A happy finale makes the masses shudder
But in her hands is the rudder
There is no other
They don’t get to tell me who I enjoy
Or whether it’s a girl or boy
Or quibble about too old or young
My words and kisses come from MY tongue
“Is that the girl who drove you into the sex shop?” Chaz asked me.
“Yes. Well, her dad did that, truth be told, I think. I do not know if the horrible words that the girl told me were really hers,” I said.
“Was she young? Do you like little girls? Are you a pedophile? No problem if you are. I know people like that,” Chaz assured me.
“No. She’s 18. And there was no affair. In fact, I just asked her to practice Hebrew with me. I fell in love with her later, but I didn’t tell anyone this. At the heart of it, they were just religious conservatives who couldn’t understand how an old man could talk to a young woman.” That was my answer.
“Crazy. All in all, I think you could use some parties and whores.
“I did a lot of that when I was young. It’s boring to me now. At this point I want to try something really interesting, such as altering reality via my willpower. The girl blocked me. There’s no way I can get through to her. I need to use telepathy. And I need to be someone else. A young person. Possibly even a girl, if I could at least be her friend. I am sick of being the monstrous enemy of humanity,” I told him.
“Wow,” he said. “Transsexualism is a difficult life. I’m sorry. But what you want is impossible without surgery, buddy.
“Dude, no, I’m not a fucking woman in a man’s body. I’ve been celibate for eight years. It’s not about sex, and I don’t have the soul of a woman. I’m just Jonathan. I just want to become someone different, not the single old man I am. Not an object of hate or fear. Someone different. There’s nothing left for Jonathan Bailey in life,” I reported him.
“Okay, buddy. You sound pretty depressed. But now we’re looking for parties and whores, right?
“Alright. Why not? We can alter reality later.
We went to a Motel Six to stay there. On the way we had an interesting conversation about the things I would experience in the coming weeks. There is a category of people who live in hotels that usually have no identification, no permanent addresses, or important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, etc. Among these people, those who have this type of information have more freedom and power than others who do not. Chaz was very proud that he had a driver’s license because he was able to show it to the hotel employee.
At the hotel, Chaz talked to me about drugs, for example, which ones he wanted to take. As he spoke, he checked out the room and turned on the TV. Suddenly, he suggested I watch porn. I do not know why. I had not expressed interest in the subject. He suggested that I connect my phone to the TV, but I declined, explaining that I had no confidence in connecting my devices at a Motel Six to wi-fi there. I preferred to just use my data. Then he suggested I watch porn on my phone. I agreed, but I thought it was weird. I had been a monk for many years. A celibate. Of course I had a history with pornography. Nobody gets through the celibate life without going through that. And I tell you all the time, maestro, I am not a moralist despite my religious environment, and sometimes I looked at pornography, but I am of the opinion that pornography was not a healthy thing. I would usually stop doing that after getting into it a bit because of disappointment, guilt, etc. It was an occasional cycle for me. I hadn’t seen any porn recently, so I was surprised by his suggestion. Maybe he just wanted to get me horny to motivate me to look for girls. No idea, really. I was on drugs. Maybe I got a little paranoid because he suggested I connect my phone to a TV. Anyway, my phone didn’t work. I was able to use my browser for typical sites, but when I tried to access a porn site, I couldn’t. Then Chaz showed me on his phone a video of his girlfriend giving him a blowjob. Neither of us got terribly excited by it. He seemed disappointed. Why was it so important to use my phone to watch porn? Yeah, I was paranoid. This would be a problem during my encounters with Chaz, who finally suggested that we leave the room to look for women.
While driving in town, I talked to Chaz about his life. He had a college degree and had been the owner a restaurant in California, but experienced a terrible divorce, and moved to Phoenix where he found a girlfriend who was a drug dealer and an occasional prostitute. Evidently they lived the wild life together for a while, but she had recently been jailed and didn’t get out of prison for a year. Chaz had two phones: his and his girlfriend’s. His girlfriend’s arrest was recent, and she called him every day from prison, crying. It seemed that it was difficult for him to accept the situation and support his girlfriend. For me, as a soldier, the idea of a year apart from my wife was nothing, but from his perspective, the relationship with her was in jeopardy. However, he used her phone to connect clients to drug sources. Apparently he had just come up with the idea of looking for perverts in sex shops and offering them drugs. The goal was to win new customers. In either case, his primary motivation was excitement. He loved the life of sex, parties, and drugs. He romanticized the idea of this kind of life. But his girlfriend was now gone, he didn’t have his place to stay, and a strange and desperate retiree with a significant pension was a very good find for him.
However, going back to my topic of people without identification, the first woman I met in this new world didn’t have much. After we got the room, Chaz took me to one of his friends, Larry, who was sharing a room in another hotel with a woman named Melinda. She was blonde, not young, but not unattractive. She was also the personification of stress. In fact, she came off to me like a southern soccer mom, a member of a Parent Teacher Association of any given middle-class family of some city in the south of the United States, that by pure misfortunate chance of destiny wound up in this world of vagrants and criminals. Melinda was always frustrated and talked like she had a husband who never threw away the trash. She was especially angry at Larry, yelling at him saying things about her phone that she had “lost,” but suspected Larry had taken from her. Later I realized that a cell phone, for a person who doesn’t have any documents, may be the only thing they have in the world.
“You gave me a heroin dealer’s phone, Larry!?” she screeched many times. “I use my phone for everything!” I suspected the heroin dealer was Chaz, but I really didn’t know.
Chaz told me privately that Larry was mad at Melinda, and he wanted us to take Melinda with us for a night. Melinda spent tremendous amounts of time in front of the mirror putting makeup on. I was generally very quiet, because I was very, very high. We smoked more crystal with Larry, I assumed to prove that I wasn’t a police officer, like at the sex shop when Chaz showed me his penis. I think it was on of the various rituals people do to prove that nobody is a cop. Anyway, I probably seemed very weird, quiet, with a lost look, but hey, that’s drugs. Melinda wasn’t restraining herself at all, however.
“Stop looking at me! Are you a pervert? I’m not having sex with you! Larry! Larry! You stole my phone!” she shouted vehemently.
“Trust me, no one wants to have sex with you,” was my answer.
“I’m sorry, honey, I’m irritated because I don’t have my phone. I need my phone. I use it for everything,” she said in a nice voice. The moment of calm civility was truly a miracle. However, after a minute she shrieked:
“Get away from me! Why are you always getting so close to me!?! Are you a pervert???” there were four people in the little room. Apparently, I couldn’t stand in silence. And you know well, master, I can’t stand accusations of male monstrosity. Fortunately I was very high and the whole situation seemed quite comical to me.
Or maybe her behavior seemed so extreme to me that everything at the time was like a comedy. But, on second thought, the situation was not funny at all. I was learning about the way human trafficking works. Normally, the person being trafficked doesn’t know they are being trafficked, but apparently Melinda had that suspicion. All she had was her phone and her drug addiction. Apparently Larry took her phone and gave it to Chaz. Now Chaz could check everything Melinda was doing on the phone. He could take the device from her at any time. Basically, Larry controlled Melinda by controlling her phone, but now Chaz controlled her. It wasn’t funny at all.
So we got back into my car, now accompanied by Melinda, where we went looking for more drugs. Heroin and cocaine. In the car, Melinda wouldn’t stop talking. She was very loud and annoying. She told us she knew a lot of people, she had a lot of connections, and she knew where to get drugs. She was also constantly saying that she didn’t want to have sex with anyone. I’m serious. Constantly. At one point, after listening to her bragging about how she knew how to get drugs, Chaz asked Melinda:
“Do you know where we can get chloroform?
“What’s chloroform? she asked.
“It’s a drug that makes a person go unconscious so the people around them can do whatever they want with them,” Chaz said. Although in fact, chloroform is not just a drug that causes loss of consciousness, like Rohypnol, the most popular date rape drug in the 90s. Chloroform is very strong. In the movies, kidnappers, rapists, and murderers use it. Chloroform has an instant effect that leaves the victim in something like a coma. It wasn’t a comfortable image for me. At one point, I lost the ability to distinguish jokes from serious comments. Chaz’s jokes were at times violent and frightening. I was losing confidence in him.
“No, I do not know where to find that,” replied Melinda as she continued to speak in her stressful and annoying way, completely oblivious to Chaz’s “joke” and threat.
We finally arrived at another hotel, this time at the room of a man named Lee and his wife, whose name I don’t remember, supposedly to buy cocaine. There, of course, we smoked more crystal. Again, it seemed to me that this was for everybody to be confident that we weren’t the police. In retrospect I would have preferred that we all just pulled our dicks out. But I guess my ritual hadn’t quite caught on in this world of hotels and drugs. I was really, really high, with no shred of good judgment remaining. Soon after our arrival, Chaz announced to the couple:
“Jonathan here wants to be a woman. So, Lee and Jonathan, you can do what you do together.
I was stunned. Chaz offered me to Lee for homosexual sex? Why? He sold me to the couple like a whore for drugs? I was so confused. I couldn’t say anything except, “I don’t know… I don’t understand,” while I gave the couple some money for cocaine. When I was young, I would normally try a little drug to see if it was genuine, but this time I was afraid, possibly this was something like chloroform or Rohypnol. Melinda didn’t say anything. She just laid on the bed like everything was normal. Melinda never kept quiet. That in itself was weird.
“I want to go to our room,” I said. Everything after was fuzzy, but somehow we left Lee’s room and got back into the car. I don’t remember any sex acts or lapses of consciousness, so I’ll thank God that I wasn’t raped.
From that moment on Chaz drove my car because I was not able to drive. In the car I could think a little, but I could only say, “You didn’t tell me that any of that would happen.” He offered me an apology, obviously disappointed. “You have to tell me what’s going on,” I continued.
“You need alcohol. You’re too nervous,” Chaz said. I agreed.
Chaz parked the car in front of a bar to go in for drinks. When we walked in, I saw that Melinda had put band-aids all over her face. It seemed absolutely ridiculous. It appeared to me like a message, like she wanted to say she was a battered woman. Chaz also saw her and said in a dismissive tone, “Get that shit off your face, Melinda! Fucking hell!” She obeyed, taking the band-aids off, and we entered the bar.
The place was too stressful. There were a lot of people. I suggested Chaz better buy some whiskey at a liquor store to go and have a drink in the room. He agreed and we went back to the car.
On the way back to the car, Melinda talked about her life, explaining that she had been a bartender before. She picked up an empty bottle from the sidewalk and tried to juggle it. Like Tom Cruise’s “Cocktail ” movie, where the bartenders were experts in entertainment and could do amazing stunts with the bottles. I admit this was ridiculous, but I didn’t say anything. Chaz shouted very annoyed: “Melinda! Fucking hell! Enough of this stupid fucking shit!” She instantly dropped the bottle and moved to the car in silence and shame. On second thought, Chaz was upset because Melinda was definitely an upset person. And I couldn’t help but get the impression that Chaz, in addition to controlling Melinda with the phone, was trying to humiliate her at all times. I saw the pattern of a pimp and his whore. Obviously, she wanted to prove that she was a battered woman, not just a whore, in fact, a bartender. A real person with a life, talents, etcetera … not just an object. While Chaz seemed to want to destroy every trace of such a dream.
I was still very high. I wasn’t able to object when Chaz tried to turn me out as a prostitute, but I could observe very subtle patterns of behavior. However, the patterns were marked, almost archetypal. I had doubts that my perceptions were correct. Look maestro, a man, in a moment of despair, because he hated his life, says he can even be a woman. The next moment, someone’s selling him as a gay prostitute. Everything was starting to be like a dream for me. Everything was too weird to be real.
Besides, Chaz seemed like a demon of temptation to me:
- I know you watch porn. Let’s watch porn.
- A woman turned you down? I have women for you.
- Do you hate your life as a man? You can be my hooker.
- You can’t drive? I’m your driver. Your car is my car. I have a trip for you.
- You want to alter reality by your will? Drugs will help you.
I also felt like Chaz had a lot of control over me because of the drugs, like he had control over Melinda and her phone. I think Chaz was aware of this, but maybe he wasn’t aware of the extent of his control over me. At least at first. However, I could not avoid my perception of him as a force of evil, an employee of the devil. But was it all apophenia? Did I see more than others because of drugs, or was I just a madman? What do you think, maestro?
Anyway, we got to our room. We drank whiskey and smoked more crystal, this time mixed with heroin. Yes, master, on the way to Larry’s room, Chaz took me to buy heroin. I forgot to tell you. It was just a typical and boring errand, the only interesting thing was Chaz’s advice: not to tell anyone I had heroin unless it was necessary. People do everything to get heroin, and heroin could provide control and strength, but also unwanted attention.
However, while we were in the room talking, I remember asking Chaz how much a heroin habit cost. After some calculations, he told me that a basic level of consumption costs about a thousand dollars a month. My response to him was that a woman who respected me would cost a thousand dollars a month, plus other expenses. So to speak, a woman who does not constantly contradict me or try to control me, and who is literally addicted to me, or at least to the drugs that I contribute, would cost a thousand dollars a month. Chaz agreed. He added the concept that desperation can cause people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. I agreed.
Melinda was been listening to everything. She asked me about my desire to be a woman. I explained that I was only telling Chaz of my dissatisfaction with my life as a man. I wasn’t transsexual. The transsexualism shit was ridiculous. Besides, Noah didn’t want me to be a woman. I found it strange that everyone assumed I was transsexual because of that comment I made. Regardless, Melinda went on to say that it was not better to be a woman, because women cannot turn off the attraction men have for them, nor limit the degree of it. Then a conversation about gender began.
I’m not really sure I want to write much about my conversation with Melinda about gender. When you and I meet at Café Madoka, maestro, we usually make jokes about difficulties with women, and I don’t want to seem misogynistic. Needless to say, my impression is, despite the patriarchy of past centuries, that there was more gender equality in history than there is today. We read in history books tales of kings and generals, and we believe that women were irrelevant, imagining that they were mere slaves. But in Iraq I experienced a very ancient and patriarchal culture, so my impression is very different. First, not everybody is a king or general. If I had lived two thousand years ago, and had had to choose between staying in the kitchen with the children or going to fight the wolves to protect my flock, or trying to kill a mammoth with my friends with our spears to bring food to the tribe, I would definitely have preferred to stay in the kitchen.
Besides, I know the importance of women in life. Not many people know this, but the U.S. won the war in Iraq because of women. Al Qaeda terrorists were abducting the daughters of tribal chiefs in the Al Anbar and Salahadin provinces. They had already been killing the sons of the chiefs for many years, but that was not enough motivation for them to unite and wage war against the terrorists. However, when the terrorists started kidnapping their daughters, the chiefs were not going to take any more from Al Qaeda. The American soldiers did not win that war. It was angry Iraqi fathers saving their daughters. If you want to die, find a Bedouin and tell him his sister is a whore. You will end up being drawn and quartered by a thousand warriors who will come riding on camels from the depths of hell with swords drawn.
Moreover, we know from many writings, including the Bible, that even in the world of kings and generals, women were very important. For example, the queen of Persia saved the Jews. John the Baptist lost his head because the king wanted to impress a princess. That lousy idea that women were petty slaves is a total illusion.
But unlike the ancient world, where man received a certain amount of honor as recognition that no one protected him, and for his obligation to care for women, in our present world, the slightest recognition of honor for a man is seen as “sexism.” It is not allowed to prevent women from doing anything, but they still receive protection and support from society. To me, this is sexism against the man. When I have problems no one helps me, and if I can’t solve them, I look weak. But if I solve my problems and succeed, then I am the villain who has a treasure that others must take from me.
Of course Melinda’s perspective was very different. Her main complaint was that a woman cannot turn off men’s attention. I intend to write an e-mail later about a day I spent with Melinda where I learned a lot about her. Therefore, in this mail I do not want to explain at length her difficulties in life as a woman. Suffice it to point out that during that conversation, her perspective that “men love us too much” was not satisfactory to me. In fact, if I were a woman who got undesirable attention from a man, I could have another man destroy the offender, right? Do not forget, master, that those were the days of Harold van Ouwerkerk, the holy white knight.
Meanwhile, Chaz continued to behave like a demon of temptation. He told me, “If there’s anything you want, just let me know.
From that time on I was convinced that Chaz was indeed an servant of Satan, so my answer was, “can you get me Noah?
Melinda added, “You mentioned this Noah before. Who is she?
Chaz told Melinda, “She’s the girl he loves.” He turned to me. “She’s in Israel … but we can see about that later.” I’m sure the evil driving Chaz would be happy to unite me with Noah, just after he had killed me or driven me insane or had me giving blowjobs on street corners.
Maestro, what kind of answer was the one he gave me? If Chaz had been just a drug dealer, a friend of strippers, prostitutes and desperate women, wouldn’t it be better to say, “I know prettier women”? I understand, he probably didn’t want to disappoint me. But at the time, His saying these things piqued my attention. Apophenia? Just madness? Or was I noticing relevant patterns? If yes, what was I seeing? Was there a secret plan here? Was Chaz an agent of a group who had a special interest in my temptation? Or was Chaz really a demon? Or maybe a demon controlled and manipulated Chaz to be an instrument that would cause me to fall into temptation?
Moreover, such patterns are not necessarily supernatural. The event of a drug trafficker trying to attract a new client is not atypical. But according to my world view, I was in a world of demons and angels. It was the basis of my personality. In my drugged state, the patterns I was seeing in my interactions were clearer, but also more connected to my personality. The fundamental question was: were these occurrences illumination? Or … madness?
Maestro, this is the longest e-mail I’ve written in many years. I don’t want to lose it because of a computer problem. I’m just going to send it to you and write a new one continuing the story tomorrow. This drug thing is by no means over, but now I just want to go to bed. I’m so tired. I promise I’ll write to you very soon.