High and Low





                                        The Great Novel


                              by  Thurston DeMille


         Pale, thin, shriveled in pain- walking hunched over, down dark filthy streets. Snorting and harking up something brown from the depths of those tired fragile lungs which don't seem to accomplish their goal anymore. Martha was bitter and it was because of Hitler. She claimed she was a lover of his at one time and regrets not selling her story to the local tabloid.

         The fog had built up an alien blanket over the cobblestone streets, the gas lights of the rural alleyways flickering in the autumn breeze. The moon hid behind the clouds of mud entwined in mystic rapture. Martha began coughing again only this time as if the devil himself had awakened inside her body- The destructive forces of nature began to take force. Martha pulled out her German brand cigarettes and stuffed one in-between her blistered lips.

         Silence consumed the streets of Prague. The stroke of her match echoed throughout the town square. The winds pushed the dirt and stench in the



         I can't come up with shit.


                                                      - June 4, 1995










         Living conditions are ugly old women starring at me, through the peephole windows of my apartment. The ugly, old women are Hissing-Pissing at me. I look into the eyes of the outside world- A pimp pushing love for a price. Beat up 69' Chevrolets, clinking and clanking and mixing with exhausts stench- My blood boils thicker- Morning sun dances with this blood.  The heat pulsing through my veins.

         I shut the curtains, but still the sun pours in. The bastard sun- It gives everything life but it annoys me. I'm hot and sweating. Haven't showered in days. Maybe a week. I pick around with a can of cambells-Empty-Lonely can. I've tried writing the book, but nothing comes out. I sit down on a splintered chair that I got for three bucks. It squeaks when I slump into it's arms.

         I love to feel it rub against my skin. It's so real- So alive.

         Tequila stains shower the paper white walls. Pauly was over last night. I got fired from projectionist heaven yesterday afternoon only to come home and find Pauly and three dames sprawled out on the floor- Having fun and giggling like children. We even played Hide and Seek.

          I'd been employed at the theater for over a year when they finally found me shooting up in the projection room, in between reels. No good byes, no nothing- just get the fuck out. However this has to be a blessing. The theater was eating up the spirit within me The driving ambition- I saw this same thing eating away at the other personnel at the theater. Daily daydreamers wishing their lives away. But who can blame them- They only want what we all essentially want; a better life. Everyone's afraid of becoming a prisoner.

         I had already become a prisoner- But I've been unchained. I want to stop wasting my time. I want to stop starring at the tequila stains on these walls. The more I stare at them, the more these walls will need padding. 

         I want to see more eyes then those of only the old women. I want to live like a scavenger- experience everything I can.


                                                      - June 24,  1995


         I'm watching the sun set behind the Chicago skyline; This dawns the beginning of a great adventure. I've been sitting on a bench at the Howard El-station-It's been six hours since my drop off on Howard and Clark. It's Sunday- So far so good. I've been watching the people pour in and out of the train-So many faces doing so many things. Like ants mindlessly moving- Tinkerers- little catastrophes ready to collide with one another.

         It was time to leave the apartment. Time to leave the cell- Leave Pauly and the dames and everything behind, just so I can sit here. Just so I can watch the faces entwine with the sun, which hides behind all those other faces and names, out there in the city- In my future. I've started alone. In seven days, it will be proven whether or not I shall stay alone. One week- On the street.

         I spent the last week planning my journey through Chicago. Pauly couldn't figure out why I was doing this. He said I was a maniac -That all those drugs had finally eaten away at my brains. He didn't understand why I wanted to do this. I don't honestly know. However, I do know that it must be done.

         Although Pauly took the liberty of voicing his opposition to all of this, I ended up convincing him to drive me to my starting point. From Howard and Clark I'm going to make my way down from the northside, following Clark all the way through downtown and eventually make my way to the southside. I'm hungry.


                                                               July 1, 1995



         It's Tuesday night- Feel alright. Been crazy jane all the way down Clark. Last night was filled with just what I wanted from this-No fear in the tracks. Just cool neon breezing off the glass walls like a maze. No one gets out alive so no one tries. I've tried to just settle with life but out here, every other second is another chance to change it. For yourself or for someone else. For good or bad. Some times you never even find out.

         'Round six last night I made it over to Dos Hermonos for dinner. Nothing happened in the afternoon but I managed to utilize my stash. I hid in some alley way and did my thing- No trouble. I was kind of hunched over while I stuck it in, and a rat ran across my field of vision. The needle almost ripped out of my arm as I fell back- scared me to death. I'd never seen a real rat. It was so large. it was so fat and quick and wild- Wild as everything else on the street.

         I finished up and spent the afternoon watching some Mexican guy smacking around his young but overweight wife.  I could hear them out their window. I didn't understand the words but I knew what was going on. She would yell and throw their things at him. I could see that she wasn't scared of his physical superiority.

         She wasn't even angry at him. She was angry that the only other place for her is the streets. Where I want to be- and am. She's angry that he is her only alternative. I kept opening and closing my eyes. With my eyes closed, the darkness rejected their screams and pain but once open my eyes could not escape. My eyes are naked now and they must stay that way forever.

         The Mexican husband eventually left, out with the amigos no less, and then I saw this beautiful brunette in her late thirties drift into Sanglos bar and grill across the street. I got up off the concrete and followed her inside. She sat, smoking and examining a menu. She looked anxious to get going on something. She wore her shades inside. I sat at the counter and ordered coffee.

         I'd come down quite a bit but was not so sure if approaching her was the right idea. I just wanted to watch her. The streets outside got darker. Lizards began to slither by the windows. The woman ordered a chicken sandwich. Then, a young guy in a white t-shirt and torn jeans came over and asked if he could join her. She refused.

         " The price for one such as I, is high in the sky cause I got the ticket to one damn fiiiiine ride and you would be foolish to miss this kiss of bliss in this moment of time and you will be mine and you will be mine and you will be mine." The young mans voice pounded into my head.

         " I said go away or I call the manager fuck face. Why don't you go hang yourself in a cafe' Dante- Just away from me. Okay? Mr. Talent." She splashed him in the face and continued eating.

         He then proceeded to sit down next to me in a seemingly disappointed demeanor. 

         " Some women just don't get it. You try and offer them something of trust and affection and they just want to play games. I've recited that line maybe a hundred times and I always get a different reaction but never like that. Never like that. That's one cold bitch over there. Jimmy Blofeld, good to meet you." He put out his hand. I shook it, and told him he was lucky that wasn't coffee she threw on him.

         We both ordered whiskey. He told me he knew a better place where women resided and we ended up sprinting out of Sanglos without paying. It was the third time that day, IĠd done that. We had a good laugh about how childish it was but it was okay because life was too short to waste. We walked over to the Buffalo bar and ordered some Rolling Rocks.

         Jimmy told me heĠd just had an affair with a forty seven year- old, wealthy broad, who he met a month ago in the very same seats we were sitting in. He told me that he managed to scam two thousand dollars from her. I told him I was shocked it wasn't more.

         " I do have something inside my chest- I don't know if it's a heart or what but I got something."

         He was in school and the best way to support himself was to go on the grift. He even had some dough left over. He ordered us five shots of Jack Daniel's, each. I told him about my week in progress. He told me I was living life for the sake of figuring out how to live life. Not living it at all in other words.

         I, of coarse disagreed, explaining that I am doing all this to figure out how everyone else lives life. Perhaps then, I would have a better understanding of how to live my own. I wasn't ashamed of being dissatisfied with my life- Wanting to change.

         He ordered us three more shots. Soon it was midnight and the bar began to clear out. Monday was slow for us all, so far. Then, Jimmy saw the woman he scammed, miraculously walk through the doors of the Buffalo bar.

         Jimmy burst out into hysteria, laughing and screaming. The woman looked like one of those typically Jewish, New York housewives- Creamed with makeup and full of mindless chatter. She wore a mink that looked like it was just killed prior to her entrance. It is beyond me how Jimmy could've possibly slept with this woman.

         She was with an older man. The guy had on what looked to be one sharp suit. His hair-what remained of it- was pulled back into a greasy ponytail. He looked pissed. Then the woman spoke.

         " Well, I see you aren't afraid to hide from me, Bobby Joe . But, anymatter, I don't really have much to say to you now that I've found you. I had such high hopes- For you. For me. I really thought you could love me- And maybe a child. "

         " I'm a kid, stinking kid. Don't you see that? I can't--"

         " Can't have the decency to say good-bye, or was that not even a factor? Was everything really so meaningless?"

         " Wow ho-ho," Jimmy slurred. " Don't interfere with my evening, Helen. You'll kill my buzz. You know Thurston, nothing's like a soothing whisky right before my health class- seven in the morning and if I were dead I would feel a whole lot better then this!" Jimmy rose up from his stool and bellowed out a thunderous scream.

         " Man. No sleep, man. Man, Nam in the mirror, try to glorify-horrify-Let it fly into the wind, man and never stop it. Never stop- Not even for that health nut shit we call sleep. Keep on drinking and maybe we'll start a revolution! Drink to the harbor un-reepable of all it's glorious nectars! Because sex, gas, death-machine clinics, for the amphibious  have poisoned our grandchildren forever and now!"

         Suddenly, the older guy grabbed Jimmy by the neck and threw him outside. All the while, the bar tender was screaming at us to shut up. I ran out to see what was going to happen.

         " Helen, I told you not to trust this trench digging, coward bum. 'Youngen' s gone completely dead of fruitful thought- Make shit up now." The man began kicking Jimmy's body.

         " But he's so young. How could anyone so young be so vile and wicked? My Tommy isn't like that. He'll grow up to be a fire man. My boy has courage and strength." The woman began crying.

         " No can do-ee, Helen. All these teenage Homo piggies need to be put to sleep. Even our own son. I could spit on this- My own flesh. Where did I go wrong? I wished I'd become sterile before we had the little bastard. Firefighter in hell. And this little piggy--" The man grabbed Jimmy's face and pushed it into the dirt.

         " Geewhizzer and hop-didley dog do they frustrate me- Bend me like a fucking straw- Suck out everything inside me. Make me feel used and uncleansed of all fear and jealousy's hot sultry haven in Harlem- Gone hazy and-huh-huh-crazy!!! Child in love of money. Or that's me when I'm down. Hold back Bobby Joe or what ever his goddamn name is, before he gets really out of line. And then Helen, I'll have to kill the sonovabitch." The man spit on Jimmy.

         " He's just so hot." The woman said. " Not to rob any cradles or nothing. But all I want is a child with a handsome father- To look up at those beautiful blue eyes and that smooth stern jaw- Strong yet sensitive. I'm sorry Harvey. Don't kill him. He probably didn't know what he was doing when he took that money. Probably as drunk as he is right now. Look at him. "

         Jimmy stood up and tucked his shirt in.

         " Helen," He said. " Jack straw made of clay, kill you both some other day. I don't give a damn about you Helen. I don't like to hear about life and loss and feeling and hope. I want to show that avenue just whose the star!! The man-- Who that man is. Goddamn it it's me. Me- crying in darkness naked with only a coat of blood to cover my tracks. Head for the ocean. Life's hell and death ain't too much more appealing. And sex is heaven in an oven. But with you Helen, it's pain in Spain." Jimmy then threw up all over himself.

         Harvey punched Jimmy in the face several times. The couple then left. I picked Jimmy up off the floor. He was lucky they didn't kill him. I told him he played the idiot drunk exquisitely- The Billy Joe was a nice touch. He laughed and spewed up some more blood. He asked me to walk him home.

         We got to his apartment near Ashland and Foster. His room mate Charlie, was still up. Jimmy put some ice on his face as me and his roommate started talking. Charlie was a big guy. He was pale and had rough scarred facial tissues.

         He told me he was a touch-up artist for an art gallery by day- but poet by night. Most of his poetry revolved around his dissatisfaction with fixing other peoples mistakes being a touch up artist.

          While we were talking, I realized my dope was gone. I must have dropped it somewhere at the bar or restaurant. I started to freak out Charlie who went back to his type writer and lit up a bole of opium. He offered me a hit.

         Strange how well life's timing can be. We began talking again only this time Charlie just ranted on and on.

         " You know, I am unable to love and I live in a fantasy world. I am unable to love because when I do love, it is too intense for me to cope with because I live in a fantasy world. Not to say that these are bad qualities. I get laid and have very close friends.  I am also an artist which enables me to take advantage of this fantasy world. Not loving is a choice. It saves me the aggravation. Relationships can only end in two ways: You break up or you get married. Breaking off relationships has been my track record because staying in relationships is too, 'real life' for me. You know what I mean?

         How can I go about changing these things, you might ask? Well, I don't know. Since not loving is a choice I don't really want change. Maybe, because I also live in a constant state of denial, it is impossible for me to revert out of this way of life. Another problem is that I'm insensitive to peoples needs and desires. I also miss opportunities in the present because I'm to wrapped up in worrying about the future. I'm also a compulsive liar. I'm a crafty liar. I might be lying about being such a good liar. But that would be lying. You never now." He took another hit.

         Charlie then asked me if I wanted to go with him to the bar across the street. How could I refuse. We went over to the bar. Charlie spotted a buddy of his and we sat at his table. Mick was his name. We seemed to immediately get on the subject of drugs. Mick was a dealer and explained to us that he had no qualms with killing a man.

         I don't really remember why he told us this but I was a little taken by it.

         " Everyone is craving for the chemistry of power in the nineties -oh hip nineties- Kill me for my cigarettes. I don't like the republicans or the democrats and I don't like the fist fuck because I don't like cleansing my sins away. My sins make me stronger." He told me if I ever needed anything done, he'd do it for the right price.          I asked him if he could hook me up with some dope. He told me it was no problem. I had a couple of more beers and decided to go back to Jimmy's apartment- Say good-bye.

         I entered the apartment. As I approached the apartment, I  heard voices shouting inside. It sounded like the couple had come back for more. Suddenly I heard a loud thud and then a muffled gun shot. I froze dead in my tracks with fear. The woman began to shout at her man. I then snapped out of the fear and ran.

         I'd gotten about two blocks away from the apartment when I finally collapsed on a bench stop. I awoke this morning with horrible, relentless fear. Jimmy was killed and I probably seem like the prime suspect. This was exactly what I wanted- An adventure. Now I am homeless, dopeless and on the run.


-----------                                                                            ------------


         A street lamp flickers old style. Closed face- Empty is the street dark is the soul that breathes in the damp air, filtering out- Crying out from clasp metallic hunger. The cobblestone pavement looked like black, glass-like beetles all in sickening formation. Injecting this urban hell into my shifting eyes. Smoke seemed to rise up from the core of the earth. The radiating egg- An umbilical chord stretching from the very essence of life itself. Boiling below my very feet.

         Boiling and pumping and throbbing like the thing that beats inside every creatures chest especially my own right now. Every footstep. Every footstep-every whisper-every scream I can hear vibrating through the city with dull vigilance.

          My own breath pounds my head with pressure  so strong I could kill myself with a single hiss. But I don't, and my heart doesn't know what to do with itself and my mind can't focus-focus on the cops that are trailing me. My nerves are shot to hell.

         A car drives by and my leg begins to shake, sweat crawling down the side of my cold cheek. So cold- yet the first national bank's digital displays reads eighty eight degrees. I spot the albino cop chasing down the alley ahead of me.

         I began to run again, praying my years of smoking don't catch up with me. Run-run-run-run-run-


----------                                                                     ----------------

         I'd been running ever since Micks place. Before I went over there I had no problem with the cops. I thought that I would be on the run but everything was quiet. Then I decided I was sick of walking the streets aimlessly. The city wore out it's novelty. I decided to score from Mick. He gave me his number and I went over to his house. This was Wednesday, July 4th.

         I came to his door and a girl about the age of twelve opened the door. She let me in and explained that Mick was not home yet. He  was out on some run somewhere. She told me that if I needed to be set up with some shit, she'd do it for me.

         I agreed, but the more the little girl spoke, the more I became reluctant.

         " What's so bloody tasteless about incest? It's a sure cure for the blues, or at least that's what daddy used to say. Back when I was still a little girl. He'd come on up my room and-- Well, you know? I liked it when he touched me there. I felt warm and loved. Not like when I was with the punks from the state. No, it was like his finger was the spirit of god. I remember when it was over- He'd run out into the backyard and pee for a really long time. I loved it. Especially when he'd call me Marlyn Monroe. So, uh what kind of shit you want?"

         I told her to get the good stuff- H. I also told her no more stories. Mick finally returned and asked if everything was to my liking. I told him everything was just---

         --- And the cops busted in. Mick and I put up our hands as the little girl took out a .45 and blew away one of the cops. The other cop tried subduing her but ended up letting me to escape.

         I don't know if it was a set up but three blocks of running and one of their bullets made it into my shoulder. I fell into a sewage duct. I managed to make my way into the street of Haines where I passed the Ovelby bakery. The rain seemed most florid that night. Kindered touch fluid against my skin. In the sewar I managed to try out my new purchase. I shot myself up.

         My toes felt cold inside my wet sock- The stench penetrating the old leather that had lasted me three long years. I saw a beautiful blonde woman infiltrate Little Louie's restaurant. I followed her in and asked if she would be my bride. That's when I passed out and got picked up.

         I wasn't even able to fulfill my goal. I'm now laying in a hospital awaiting my next interrogation for the murder of Jimmy Blofeld. The guy laying next to me was rambling all night long.

         " Do I really need to be fed through a straw, with monitors in my nose and mouth and anus? But I've been crying like a baby- Talking like a monkey. Watching game shows all day. Smelling these medicines of god. To me they've become the servants of the devil. When I first awoke to this place, I had a hog of a woman stuffing wire in my ear while singing Witchcraft. Snot had run down from my nose and into my mouth. I was, am and always will be immobilized. My brow itched for three hours and I had nothing to scratch it with.         All the while, the hog kept muttering under her breath to her little nurse friend. Talking about me. Looking at me. Starring. Laughing at the helpless animal. The helpless rodent I'd become. The hog eventually got transferred to another post and Lilly, the angel, took her place. Beautiful blue spheres swimming in her loveliness- Her gentleness. Then she bathed me and saw what an invalid I am. I never wanted to see her again. I sometimes look out the window and I see children playing in the park. Then I look down at the stump that is now my body. I can't even masturbate. I can't even masturbate." He screamed.

         All this time with the invalid, the only thoughts that flood my head are of what the detectives kept asking me. Why didn't you do something when Jimmy was killed? I repeat in my mind constantly. I don't know. I just don't know.


                                                                        July 7, 1995




                                         The Great Novel


                              by  Thurston DeMille


         Pale, thin, shriveled in pain- walking hunched over, down dark filthy streets. Snorting and harking up something brown from the depths of those tired fragile lungs which don't seem to accomplish their goal anymore. Martha was bitter and it was because of Hitler. She claimed she was a lover of his at one time and regrets not selling her story to the local tabloid.

         The fog had built up an alien blanket over the cobblestone streets, the gas lights of the rural alleyways flickering in the autumn breeze. The moon hid behind the clouds of mud entwined in mystic rapture. Martha began coughing again only this time as if the devil himself had awakened inside her body- The destructive forces of nature began to take force. Martha pulled out her German brand cigarettes and stuffed one in-between her blistered lips.

         Silence consumed the streets of Prague. The stroke of her match echoed throughout the town square. The winds pushed the dirt and stench in the--