Sunday, November 6, 2016

novel bits 2016 (very rough)

A Discourse of the Most Famous Doctor...


“OF HIS PARENTAGE AND BIRTH" Chap. 1

I was born in the town of Redlands, in the state of California, in the U.S.A. fathered by an itinerant mentalist, who kept wandering, and so my Mother married and airforceman, who treated me as his own; but the marriage did not last but 2 years, and when my Mother remarried, to a businessman, he adopted me, as yet having no children of his own. When of age I was sent to a Catholic school, where I was deemed a dreamer, and slow, and pointed out to the other children for their abuse. Being a believer, I took it in as my unworthiness. The second marriage, which produced a sister adn brother for me, also did not last; there was a 3rd marriage, more passionate, but also doomed. We moved to an Alpine style mountain resort to get away from the smog and other detrimental city problems (the 1960's being a very turbulent time). In the Catholic Church there I became an altar boy; my Priest often talked to my about joining the cloth, but I wanted to be an actor, as I performed at every opportunity, also with puppetry, ventriloquism, music, magic, and clowning.
In a lit class in high school with one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Hammersmith, I was introduced to Goethe's FAUST, Part One, which the class did a round-table reading of; I "played" Mephistopheles. I noted the similarity to my biological father's stage name, Doctor Faustus, and wondered if there was some connection (I had heard vaguely of the story before, via my readings about movies, as there had been some made of it). Next vacation, staying with my (adopted) Dad, I spent much time, as I was wont whenever there, downtown at the big library. This time I began to research the legend of Faust, which was originally Faustus, and found the story went back to the 16th Century. Not only that, but that there was an historical personage who used that name, a practitioner of the Black Arts, and believed by many to be in league with the Devil (main sources being E.M. Butler's THE FORTUNES OF FAUST, and THE SOURCES OF THE FAUST TRADITION by Philip Mason Palmer and Robert Pattison). Another past-time I had downtown was to go to one of the string of run down movie theatres which showed four movies, usually exploitation, for a buck; one day I was drawn to the one frequented by gang members, who smoked pot inside, which is how I first experienced it, prompted by the horror film amongst the foursome, which was DOCTOR FAUSTUS ('67), starring Richard Burton, who also co- directed, based on Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan tragedy. First up was one of Pam Grier's action films (I had such a crush on her), then one of Sonny Chiba's, so I was rightly stoned from the "cloud" by the time of DOCTOR FAUSTUS; which was a great way to see it. I didn't stay for the 4th movie (probably some T&A, as was the usual).
This, then, created a quandary. I was fascinated with the story, the historicity, and curious as to my father's choice of moniker. I was, after all, a devout Catholic (tho' not of the condemning all "heretics" and "apostates" variety). Through my interest in horror films I had read up much on the various superstitions of the Christian world. But what could lead my father to connect himself with a man who made a pact with the Devil?
Back in school, taking another creative writing course from Mr. Hammersmith (we were only supposed to be able to take it twice, but he always let me in), I wrote a story of a modern Faust who tries his hand at conjuring a devil, with the result that the demon takes possession of his wife (I was a fan of THE EXORCIST, one of the few films that managed to scare me).
I also took the television class for a second time (my best friend Nicholas and I had been writing sketch comedy since 6th grade, first performing live for class, then at assemblies, and finally utilizing the high school television capabilities) - there was a local station, which generally had various weather monitors, but we got to broadcast various class productions for a couple of hours on Tuesday evenings. I proposed an adaptation of the Faustbuch (as found in Palmer & Pattison's book), to done as a mini-series; but due to my poor grades overall (I was generally inattentive in subjects I found boring, which were mostly required) was not allowed to fulfill it. So I wrote several short stories based on it instead; and made plans for taking the characters thro' more, passing thro' the centuries.
At a birthday party I threw for Nicholas came my unrequited love Meg, head flautist in the high school band, and her twin sister, Peg. I had been friendly with Peg, but this time we ended up making out. We started dating. And fell in love. We talked of marriage, and children, and a life together (tho' she showed signs of not being keen on my dream to be an actor).
And then she got pregnant. Which sped up our plans. Except she then decided not to marry me, but stay with her parents. Then she dumped me. I spiraled down into a deep depression, an abyss of the soul. I dropped out of school; I became a pothead, and tho' didn't drink every day, when I did, it was to excess; I lost my faith; I lost my dreams. I did also finally put a stop to my molester, pressing him to deal with his sexuality in an adult way (which he did, sort of, still being clandestine, but consensually). After a fight with my Mom, I moved out; was going to live with my Dad, but he was not keen, so moved in with Nicholas and his family; but as I had no money, not being able to keep a job, I ended up moving in with my maternal grandmother, which was good. She and I would spend hours talking, after she'd had a few drinks, and I was stoned.
Then my Mom arranged a tour of Europe for me.
It changed my life.
[more on the tour - or reminisce on it later]


“HOW DOCTOR FAUSTUS BEGAN TO PRACTISE IN HIS DIUELISH ARTE, AND HOW HE CONIURED THE DIUEL, MAKING HIM TO APPEARE AND MEETE HIM ON THE MORROW AT HIS OWNE HOUSE.” Chap. 2

I first dropped acid in the Summer of 1982. My friend Kester and I had each scored a tab, and we headed into a large wooded park, with my roommate Harry, who had done acid before, as our "baby sitter". It was an amazing experience. The colours, textures, odors, all was fresh, as if I was seeing all anew. We had gone out as the Sun was setting, and so wandered the woods in the semi-darkness - the sky was clear, the Moon shown bright, and the occasional incandescent lamp lent extra illumination. I had always been fascinated looking at the stars (my step-father had bought me a telescope for my 10th birthday), and this night was especially grand. At one point we sat on a hill, and I lay back and contemplated the spread of the Universe before me. I wondered how much life was out there, as surely there must be. What forms did it take? Were there any like us? I had been into UFO phenomena as a teen, and believed we had been visited, having followed a U.F.O. with my telescope when I was 12, tho' I'd grown skeptical of the so-called encounters; I wanted to believe that advanced alien beings would visit us, but knowing humanity's long history of nightly visitations by this, that, or the other, usually representing current fears, I ended up doubtful. (As Carl Sagan eloquently pointed out in his "COSMOS" it was highly unlikely due to our placement in the galaxy). I then started envisioning myself as Faust, who instead of conjuring a devil, makes contact with an alien being (thinking back, too, to an excellent episode of "THE OUTER LIMITS" in which a scientist makes contact across the galaxy via a suped-up television he's invented, which accidentally brings the alien to Earth).
The next day I wrote out a stage scenario using the same female Faust I'd had my former love, Lily (who also co-wrote), play the year before (in a production which unfortunately fell thro'), this time as a journalist who goes to interview a rock band whose image is that they're extra-terrestrials; which they turn out to be, the trio of "Aelita", "Klaatu", and "Gort" physically being life-like humanoid robots inside which the aliens - small, multi-armed, slug-like creatures - are housed with their atmosphere and controls; their mission to see if their kind, and other visitors they communicate with, need to leave the Earth due to the possibility of nuclear war. Harry read it, liked it, and decided he wanted to produce it. I worked on it more, coming up with a one-act play, set in the green room of a music venue.
We, Harry and Kester and I, went to Smitty, whom Kester had introduced me to the year before, owner of the Deja Vu Coffeehouse, which also did live theatre. Smitty read the piece, liked it, but said it needed work. Harry suggested we do an in-house performance - that is, in our apt. So I set to casting; I first asked Marta, despite our difficult history (we had immediately connected, but she got engaged to a "safe", and I was still tenderized by the heartbreak over Lily) to play Faust; tho' we tried her out for it, she decided to back out (for fear of risking her marriage?). I had further difficulties with casting, as all the actors I knew were at the school, and they preferred to try out for the plays there (at least they got credits there, and I did not have a good rep, tho' most liked me). Also, Harry was not able to raise the money he'd hoped to, so everything fell thro'. I became frustrated, not wanting to only do college plays (especially as one of the teachers, a complete pompous ass, had taken some unexplained dislike to me, and tried blocking me at every opportunity). So I decided to move North, where I found another college which had an excellent film program.
While performing in a couple of friends' plays as part of a one-act festival hosted by the school, I made my plans of escape. The festival ended 11 days before my move. My cousin had already moved into Harry and my apartment to take my place.
At the after party I met The One. She was the older sister of one of my directors, and we immediately connected. The following night Ralph invited me to join he, his sister Ilona, and their mother to go see a film. For the next several days I spent time with her, going to films, hanging out in her house (shared with her mother), going to dinner.
I agonized over whether to stick to the plan to move, or stay, to see what would come of our burgeoning relationship.
The momentum was for the move, the need to leave for the sake of my Art. And so I left.


"THE CONFERENCE OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS WITH THE SPIRIT MEPHOSTOPHILES THE MORNING FOLLOWING AT HIS OWNE HOUSE.” Chap. 3

After returning from Europe I spent some time wandering through several cities checking out colleges to attend. I finally settled in Van Nuys, CA, as I was able to stay with one of my Mom's ex-beau's, with whom I'd remained friends. G___ was an interesting man. In his early 50's at this point, he was a successful corporate headhunter, chain smoker, smart, funny, and also extremely cynical, if not a bit misanthropic. We often went to dinner, on his tab; he turned me on to B&B (brandy & benedictine), and we tended to get rather drunk. I liked him very much, and he liked me as well; but what I also got from him was a view of my future self if I did not lighten up on the cynicism.
I got a job; then another; then another (focusing on bland routine mundanity always made my brain itch).
I also enrolled in a college there, for Theatre Arts, and Psychology. I was determined to, tho' ill-equipped for, exorcise my demons, and pursue acting.
Getting a bit part (because I could sort of play piano) in one of the college plays, directed by one of the teachers, with a large cast, really opened up my socializing; tho' I really needed to develop social skills; especially with women. I did meet a girl, from the television department, who at first mistook me for a Spanish exchange student, which I thought was funny, and we dated for a few months. She was sweet, but very dumb. Through her I met a lesbian couple who were amateur filmmakers, and I acted in a film with them, based on my scenario, taken from Poe.
A number of us from the T.A. dept. were also recruited as extras for a big budget movie, THOSE LIPS, THOSE EYES, starring Frank Langella, Tom Hulce, Glynnis O'Conner, and Joseph Maher, which was fun.
I spent much time in the dept., making friends, but also running afoul (tho' never explained how) of one of the teachers, who was not very good at his job, being a frustrated actor, anyway (I got on well with the others). Briefly dated another girl, from the T.A., but her religious beliefs broke it off.
In Psych, I ended up diagnosing myself with Simple Schizophrenia (which I found out later was the diagnosis Dr. Heiden had given me). I also became disillusioned with the subject, feeling it was more about labeling than getting in deep (ah, the impatience of youth - or was this just an internal excuse to focus more on theatre?).
I worked on other shows put on, the main stage ones being directed by teachers, and student plays in the lab theatre, as actor, but mostly in stagecraft (wisely it was emphasized that acting students learn how it all worked).
Then I was struck by the directing bug. Not only had I been seeing as many of the school plays as possible, but also going to major plays, and started frequenting the art film theatres around the city, where I was introduced to masters like Bergman, Kurosawa, Herzog, Fassbinder, Ichikawa, Mizoguchi, which ignited the notion of being the auteur of a production (tho' I first intended to do this with the stage). So I shifted focus more towards directing, also, to this end, putting more time into all aspects of stagecraft (feeling a director needs to know more than an actor). I also tried a couple of film classes there, but the main teacher was a sexist jerk I felt I could not really learn from.
Unfortunately, the pompous ass of a failed actor was the directing "teacher" (not only the worst teacher in the dept., but not a good director to boot); and he jerked me around at times.
I was not to be deterred.


”THE SECOND TIME OF THE SPIRIT APPEARING TO FAUSTUS IN HIS HOUSE, AND OF THEIR PARLEY.” Chap. 4

My Dad's family, very working class in their worldview, harped on me about giving up "this dreamy shit" as my grandfather called it. It became especially noisome when my Dad convinced me (along with Mom - tho' as G___'s son had also moved into his apt. it did seem like the right thing to do) to move in to my widowered grandfather's house. Grandfather would be annoyed with my late to bed, late to rise routine, my watching the TV news in the morning (not that he even realized what I was watching), my only having a part-time job (as security around this time); my oldest uncle, whom I'd mistakenly worked for one Summer, would come over, drink a bottle of wine, and plug in his useless two cents.
The bed I had to sleep on, a couch bed, was truly horrid, so sleep was minimal anyway.
And yet my intense insecurities, which had developed into an Inferiority Complex (another bit I learned in Psych.), kept me from lashing back at their ignorance. It also fed into my cynicism regarding humanity, and my increased doubt in some divine being.
After some time with too much of this nonsense I managed through my close friend Janice's cousin to move into an apartment closer to school; and I cut ties to most of Dad's side of the family.
...


"THE THIRD PARLEY BETWEEN DOCTOR FAUSTUS AND MEPHOSTOPHILES ABOUT A CONCLUSION." Chap. 5
I continued to drink far too much, and smoke a lot of pot, and experiment with other drugs. I would go to any T.A. party I could, as I was still rather neurotic in my loneliness, but, also, I would get totally hammered, as it was the only way for me to be able to socialize.
The Devil of Doubt was constantly whispering in my mind's ear.
Sex was another problem. After the heartbreak over Peg and her pregnancy, I had been somewhat afraid to have sex again, and tho' I tried dating a few times, it was about a year before I did, while in Europe. Part of the struggle was that I did not want to fall in love again, but was not carnal enough to be satisfied with merely fucking. Even with someone who (apparently) was interested in sex with me, I held back from "going all the way." Of course, part of this was uncertainty, as I quite often didn't even realize till later what could have happened. And then those few times I would have sex, I found myself unsatisfied and depressed afterwards.
I did also begin writing again, after having not for some time (other than jotting down ideas); including a one-act play in which a modern female Faust having been disappointed in love, had a breakdown, confined to a mental hospital, dream-hallucinates Don Juan as her lover, who comes in the form of a fellow inmate, for a playwriting class, taught by Paul Perkins, mostly known as our tech teacher, but also a good playwright and director in his own right.
Mind you, the writing was not very good. It would be years before I got better at playwriting.


“HOW DOCTOR FAUSTUS SET HIS BLOOD IN A SAUCER ON WARME ASHES, AND WRIT AS FOLLOWETH” Chap. 6
[the playlet?]


"HOW MEPHOSTOPHILES CAME FOR HIS WRITING, AND IN WHAT MANER HEE APPEARED, AND HIS SIGHTS HE SHEWED HIM: AND HOW HE CAUSED HIM TO KEEP A COPIE OF HIS OWNE WRITING." Chap. 7
For my directing class, which was helmed by a pompous failed actor, who was no better at teaching, I did a bit of the "DON JUAN IN HELL" from Shaw's MAN AND SUPERMAN. Mr. Rawley had taken a dislike to me in my first semester, tho' I never knew why; and since he was an idiot, I really didn't care, tho' he did keep interfering with my studies.
So, of course, he hated my piece. My friend Kester squirmed beside me as Rawley belittled all my choices, except for the actors, headed by Lily as Lucifer, Arle as Don Juan, and ____ as Donna Anna. I sat silently through this, trying to glean any useful information I could; it was in short supply. Rawley also directed 1 or 2 main stage plays a year, and he was equally incompetent at that (in fact, during one of his rehearsal periods I ended up secretly directing several of his performers who came to me for help); eventually my mind just wandered away.
After class, Kester took me out to our regular bar, the Dug Out, and we got drunk.
The following weekend Kester scored magic mushrooms, which neither of us had done, and we made a night of it, even stopping by ____'s birthday party, small, but attended by more of the interesting classmates. We didn't tell anyone there that we were on 'shrooms, and no one seemed to notice, since they were all high and/or drunk.
Later, Kester and I went back to his house. He passed out, and I spent the next 3-4 hours walking in a circle, examining my life, realizing I needed to hunker down more.
“THE MANNER HOW FAUSTUS PROCEEDED WITH HIS DAMNABLE LIFE, AND OF THE DILIGENT SERUICE THAT MEPHOSTOPHILES USED TOWARDS HIM.” Chap. 8
One of my first friends at the college was Sean Hand, a bright, energetically creative youth who started there at age 16. His father had bought a house for him to live in, with extra rooms he could rent out, and this became one of the gathering places; another was Paul Perkins' house, as he was a heavy partier as well. But we not only partied at these houses, there was also a lot of creative brainstorming that went on.
Part of that was working out my first one-act play, "FOUR WALLS", which I was writing for Perkins' playwriting class; and making plans for directing one of the lab theatre one-acts. Kester, who was to stage manage for me, helped out, as did Lily, whom I'd recently befriended, helping with the set design, the play I finally chose being a Sherlock Holmes piece.
Another brainstorming session resulted in the founding of a theatre group, as ____ had a connection to the Deja Vu Coffeehouse in _____, which put on plays. We planned to do one of Lily's plays, a romantic comedy, but we soon lost momentum, as most preferred the safety of the school environment (those who did break out, which many did, did so through other avenues completely separate).


“HOW DOCTOR FAUSTUS WOULD HAVE MARRIED, AND HOW THE DIUELL HAD ALMOST KILLED HIM FOR IT.” Chap. 9
The play I directed for advanced directing class did not go over well, mostly due to my over extending myself. Not only that, but I didn't get a grade from Rawley, as he'd dropped me from the class over some convoluted excuse, tho' it was partly my own fault.
Lily and I had grown close throughout, and we started seeing each other. We both agreed that we did not want to fall in love - I had fairly recently not pursued another fabulous woman, Eleanor, an actress who had been a student earlier, whose brother was a current student and friend, and who'd been lovers with Paul, whom I'd met at the school one afternoon, showed some interest in me, but whom I was afraid to date as I knew I'd fall hard for her.
Lily, for her part, was still heartbroken over a messy breakup, which involved a love triangle, her being in love with two boys.
We had a lot of fun. And the sex was great (I believe she found it so also).
But I did fall in love, tho' I did not realize till she decided to platonicize (no, that's not a real word, but it works) our friendship again, and moved on to another lover, whom I actually helped out with. I, too, got another lover, but that did not go well. I try not to be a dick, and am successful most of the time, however I failed this time, both with my new lover, and in my friendship with Lily; which the latter soon broke off as well, as she felt put upon by me (it may have been the poem I wrote about her, which I foolishly gave her - or maybe it was because at a closing night party she threw I got stupid drunk and ended up entangled in her Mother's rose bushes).
After that I had a number of one-night stands, even once with a guy (a real sweetheart, an opera singer from New Orleans, who was quite gentle - I did not feel it, but it was somewhat cathartic in regards to the earlier molestation), a menage-a-trois, a couple of group sex sessions, and, on a trip to Hawaii, a prostitute (a Black goddess who charged low due to being in the wrong location). I also dated one underage girl; and joined the "mile high club" with another (tho' I generally found teenage girls just annoying, they were 2 exceptions).
To work this out (ha! ha!) I made a Super 8mm film in which my female Faust found love, then loss.
The failure of my play directing had convinced me I had no talent for directing. However, it was not long before the bug bit again.


“QUESTIONS PUT FOORTH BY DOCTOR FAUSTUS UNTO HIS SPIRITE MEPHOSTOPHILES.” Chap. 10
Since I'd technically been dropped from Advanced Directing, I took it again (much to Rawley's chagrin), and this time knocked it out, albeit mostly with the casting. Unfortunately, almost none of my friends even saw it.
About the same time I met Harry Connor, who came to work at the 7-11 I did. A shielded character (having had similar humiliations growing up), and rather muscular, he let people assume he was dim, unless they, as I did, looked past the facade. We talked about film, theatre, and literature. We had very similar tastes.
Within a few months Harry became my new roommate; bringing along excellent music and book collections - he turned me on to Philip K. Dick and Michael Moorcock, and I got to hear more of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Black Sabbath than I'd heard before, as well as being introduced to Wall of Voodoo and The Residents.
He also taught me D&D, which we played one week of my xmas vacation with another friend of his, smoking copious amounts of pot, eating cross-tops, and not sleeping (or answering the door or phone).
.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the "salon" fragments ('08)

FRAGMENT A

Prologue

[2 part poem]

Chapter 1

September 9th, 1998: Finally left Maggie last night. My friends Kit and Robin have let me move into their TV room, the smallest of a 3 room/kitchen/bathroom basement apt. in a private house in [Rego Park]. I have only brought essentials with me. (Meph. has a number of other important items that I've shipped to him, clandestinely, in [Buffalo] over the past few years).
I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The last 12 years with Maggie, which seemed so full of promise in the beginning, had become an absurdity.
For the past 3 1/2 years we lived more as roommates, though she refused to accept the fact that the marriage had died. Although my creativity has been happily prolific over this period, the undo stress of living with Maggie and her demons, letting her drain my
energy, was hazardous to my well-being.
I wonder if she will ever grasp the truth.

Sept. 10th: E-mailed “Columbine” today, letting her know that I’ve left Maggie. She answered back, letting me know that she's started seeing a mutual friend, whom I shall call "Harlequin".
I felt as if I’d been hit in the chest with a
sledgehammer.

Sept. 13th: Drove up to Mass. with Kit and Ralph, to visit friends. Spent the weekend smoking and drinking; only sobriety was upon waking.
On the drive back to the City, being rather stoned, I contemplated the situation with “Columbine”. She did give me the impetus I needed to do what was necessary, such as the bankruptcy, to finally separate from Maggie.

[Storyboard for “JE SUIS PIERROT...“]


I never knew my real father. He was a travelling mentalist, who used the stage name of "Dr. Faustus", from no one knew where (his accent indistinct), who seduced my teenage mother, a typist and aspiring singer, and moved on, leaving only his seed behind.
My Mom married and airforceman, who too us with him to Hawaii.
Mom took me to my first movie, Hammer's HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, when I was 6 months old. I was hooked. She took to the movies, mostly Japanese family pictures, all the time.
My first theatrical experience was playing Baby New Year shortly before my second birthday. This too set "the stage" for future developments.
We stayed there for a couple of years, until divorce. Later, Mom married a musician-turned-businessman, who adopted me as his own, and we moved into suburban Los Angeles.
This marriage produced a sister, then a brother. As I love them, and other members of my family, I will leave them out of my historia.
Another divorce, another marriage, which did not last long, then we moved to a ski and lake resort, with pseudo-Alpine decor, in the mountains.

When I was a junior in high school, I took a literature class from my favorite teacher, [Mr. Hammersmith]. In it we did a staged reading of Goethe's FAUST, Part One, with myself as Mephistopheles.
Now, because of my long love of horror movies, I had come across references to the story through reading about a few film adaptations, and had noted the name of Faust's similarity to my father's stage name, but didn't know, till this class, of their actual connection.
That Summer vacation, staying with Dad, I spent a good deal of time, as I enjoyed doing whenever I was in L.A., at the downtown branch of the Public Library, which I loved.
And I researched the 16th Century legend of Dr. Faustus, who had supposedly made a pact with the Devil. Two excellent books were E.M. Butler's THE FORTUNES OF FAUST, and THE SOURCES OF THE FAUST TRADITION by Philip Mason Palmer & Robert Pattison More, the latter one having both the original English translation of the so-called Faustbuch (the translator did take some liberties) and historical documents showing that there was an actual personage, rather ill-famed, from whom the legend sprang (along with borrowings from older legends).
This now became an obsession. As a devout Catholic I did believe in the possibility of dealing with the Devil (although the Church had modernized with Vatican II, and the Bible was accepted as Allegorical, rather than straight up history, I had a mix of old fashioned notions, with way ahead of time ones - I was a feminist since age 5, I accepted homosexuality as just a fact of life, and I did not for a moment believe that a good person who did not believe in God was going to Hell). Not to mention demonic possession - THE EXORCIST had scared the hell out of me, and I'd even written stories on the subject.
One day, heading downtown, I went along Broadway, as I often did, to check out the new selections at several grindhouses which featured 4 movies for a buck (there was also one that showed 3 for 3 bucks, a former "movie palace"). I stopped dumbfounded in front of one of them - of the 4 movies, this week's Euro-Horror choice (a regular feather - the other 3 being a "Blaxploitation", an Asian martial arts, and an English language T & A) was entitled THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS (this title was taken from the American release of Georges Franju's LE YEUX AUX VISAGE, but just the title, being spliced into this movie, made about the same time).
I had to see it. So in I went.
As it happened, this was the one theatre which had an armed guard, as there were always various gang members in the audience smoking shit loads of pot. Hence my first experiences with pot were contact highs.
So, while slowly getting high (stupidly I never even realized it till years later), I sat through an action film with the wonderful screen Goddess Pamela Grier, then another from Japan starring my second favorite martial arts star (after Bruce Lee), Sonny Chiba. Then the main attraction I'd come for.
The credits listed lots of names I didn't recognize, many of them German, the others probably just Angloized names for the American market (a common practice), the actor playing the lead, a modernized Faust as mad doctor, also directed and wrote the weird, confusing script.










FRAGMENT B

Chapter 1
I never knew my real father. He was a travelling mentalist, using the stage name of "Dr. Faustus", from Europe, who met and seduced my young mother, a waitress and aspiring singer, at the club where she worked in her hometown. When he moved on, he left only his seed behind.
Mom married an airforceman before my birth and we moved to ____. The marriage only lasted a couple of years. After the divorce we moved to Williamsburg, __, where she met and married a musician turned businessman. Together they brought me a sister and brother.

As it has been said that writing about family is a bad idea (though often done), I shall leave them, for the most part, out of this narrative. Suffice it to say that I wsa close with them, and a few other family members.
And I shouldn't want them to be held accountable for the Path I have taken, nor the mistakes and blunders I have made.

Now, my Mom had taken me to my first movie when I was 6 months old. I've been hooked ever since.
My first performance experience was playing Baby New Year shortly before my 2nd Birthday, in a community theatre production.
I've been performing ever since, whether it's acting, music, clowning, puppetry, ventriloquism, magic, or storytelling.

I was a melancholic child. When I was 5 I bonded with an 18 year old cousin who'd come to visit, then he was killed on his motorcycle 2 weeks later. I realized my own mortality. There were other untimely deaths to follow over the years.
This also got me into horror movies, especially vampires, primarily Dracula, specifically Bela Lugosi's, whom I could do a mean impression of.
Then there was Catholic school. It destroyed my self esteem. I had been labelled early on as a Dreamer and slow to learn and I was too sensitive, and my classmates were mostly horrid beasts, who tormented my mercilessly. It was 4 years of that Hell, until we moved, because of the pollution to the mountain resort of ____. Things were better there, till puberty.

I had always liked girls. Mom tells the story of how at 3 years old I told an 18 year old, in the most masculine voice I could muster, that she was very pretty. She screamed, not seeing me.
My first crush was in nursery school; my first girlfriend in kindergarten; my first sexual exploration when I was 9, with the the 1st girl who stunned me on 1st sight.
When I was 13, and in full on puberty (I had to shave frequently), I hooked up with a friend of mine, and we started experimenting sexually. We didn't get all the way because, besides sex, I was pretty much a goody-goody (I was an altar boy!), and she started smoking and drinking, which I frowned on.
So she dumped me in favor of a "bad boy". I really hate those types. They're such posers.
[A couple of years later, just after her 15th B'day, she was killed in a boating accident.]

My 1st true love came along when I was 16. Her name was Meg, and she had a twin sister named Peg. Meg was a floutist in the high school band, where I played trumpet or clarinet. We became friends, dated a couple of times, but I wasn't cool enough, and put her off with my dorkiness.
I wrote her terrible poetry. And gave them to her! She liked the attention, so we remained friends for some time.

When I was 17 I took a literature class from my favortie teacher, Mr. Hammersmith, where I read thepart of Mephistopheles in Goethe's FAUST, Part One, which we did a staged reading of. I had heard of the character through my studies of horror movies, but didn't know of the full legend, or that my biological father's stage name was related. I delved further into the legend, finding various materials at the library whenever I was in the city.
Inspired, I started writing a series of short horror stories, based on the original English version of the Faustbuch.

When I was 18 I threw a party for my best friend's birthday. Meg and Peg came to it. At some point, Peg and I started making out.
We started dating. And fell in love. Talked about marriage and children.
The she got pregnant.
Scared, we decided to get married right away. I determined it could work.
Then she dumped me. Refused to talk to me. I knew her father probably had something to do with it. He was an asshole, and didn't like me.
I sank into a deep pit of despair. I smoked pot constantly, and drank too much frequently.
I lost my faith. I lost my dreams. I didn't have sex, as I was too nervous about the consequences.
This went on till a couple of months after the birth of my daughter - which I only got details by eavesdropping.
Then Mom put me on a plane for Europe.
That jump started me.

[more on trip]

Back in the U.S., I checked out a few colleges, here and there, before settling in ____, where I began my studies in Theatre and Psychology.





Chapter 2

The first time I dropped acid was a lovely Summer's eve, in the woods above ____.
My friend, and roommate, John ____, and I had taken some actors up there along with a Super 8mm movie camera, to shoot some scenes for a no-budget film I wrote and was directing, and John was producing.
It was called ALIEN REPORT, and was about a reporter who follows an enigmatic rock band who are actually extraterrestrials (
...
Anyways, the scenes shot, the actors gone, John pulled out a couple of tabs of ___, and we dropped.










FRAGMENT C

My friends, I am making this testimonial for you, in hopes that it will answer any questions you have. My time here is short. Soon the Devil and I will engage in yet another battle, and one of us must be vanquished this time.
It has been a life-long war. And I weary of it.
I have lead an interesting life. I can't say I regret anything I've done, no matter how stupid. I've managed to gain more experience than most. This is not idle bragging. I have always thirsted for knowledge, a thirst which cannot be quenched.
And so I have experimented a great deal, had different life-styles, done even dangerous things. All for the pursuit of knowledge.
I would like, if you will be patient, to share my life with you.
I never knew my real father...
...
It was in my junior year of high school that I was actually introduced to the legend of Faust. It was in a lit. class with my favorite teacher, Mr. Hammersmith. I noticed the similarity of name to my father's stage-name, which piqued my curiousity.
During Summer vacation I spent some time with my adopted father in the City, where I spent many hours at the main library downtown.
I learnt that the legend was based on an obscure 16th Century scholar, possibly a charletan, who called himself Dr. Faustus.
This interested me even more.
The first version of the story was a sensational little book, printed in Germany, as a warning to all good christians, against wanting to know too much, by an obviously Lutheran writer.
One of the books in the library, which had a history of Faust stories, from his precursors, to 20th Century interpretations, had not only the English version of the German Faustbuch (which apparently differed slightly in tone and style from the German), from which Marlowe based his play, but also various historical records written by contemporaries.
As what had been once called a Catholic Diabolist (a Catholic who studies the Occult), I had read before on various dealings with Satan, and, in fact, was a believer in such things. (Yes, this is why THE EXORCIST scared the crap out of me).
So it was not farfetched to me to believe that a misguided scholar could sell his soul to the Devil.
As it happened, also, another thing I liked to do in the City was hit the grindhouse movie theatres [that lined Broadway]. For a buck one could usually get 3 or 4 movies, usually exploitation, or older.
Now one day I headed to one of these, to find that one of the films was called THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS. I was astounded. As a horror fim buff I had read up on horror films, in books and magazines (such as "Famous Monsters of Filmland"), but had never heard of this one, which appeared to be Eurpean. (I knew, of course, that I might have read about it, under another title altogether).
I had to see it.
As would happen, too, this was the one theatre where many gang members liked to hang out, self-segregated, and there was always a cloud of pot smoke (I didn't smoke at the time, and didn't even know about contact high).
So there I sat, in this grimey old theatre, breathing in lungfulls of marijuana, watching first the featured "Chop-Socky" movie, then the featured "Blaxploitation" (one of the beautiful Pam Grier action films - I had such a crush on her at this time).
Finally, the movie I'd really been waiting for: THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS (the title quite obviously being just spliced into the print).

[review of this film - which later I search for info, but can find none, since the title was from the U.S. version of EYES WITHOUT A FACE - but also very stoned! is Russian or German B&W, mid to late '50's, re-cut with colour film shot c. '70 {a la Corman, Adamson, etc.]

[in studies to find the film, end up writing essay "A History of Faust in the Movies" for high school class]

Back at school, I began writing a series of horror stories, based on the English Faustbook, each in different centuries.
First was "___", taken from the English book, but with a more Catholic bent.
Then for the 17th, entitled "BLOOD FOR BATHORY", he and company (Mephistophiles, Wagner, and Helen) end up at Castle Cachtice, where crazed Countess Elisabeth Bathory wants his magical help to regain her youth; the result is she becomes a vampire, ending walled up in her castle.
The 18th C. was set in Castle Frankenstein, where the young Baron Ernst enlists Faustus' help to use his late brother Victor's science to bring him back from the dead, [or might use Konrad Dippel]
In the 19th C., borrowing from Poe for "THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF FAUST" ...
And the last one, set in the 20th Century, "THE DEMONS WITHIN", was a reworking of the sequel I'd written to THE EXORCIST (in which I saw myself playing Linda Blair's possessed boyfriend), and mixed in some bizarre dreams I'd had.

[the stories here]

It was at this time, too, that I had a series of very intense dreams
[re-write "DEATH ON A DOORSTEP", "BLACK CATS", "CAT & MOUSE" to be loosely connected, maybe "DIARY OF DANA ROWE"]
I also started adapting these {the Faust stories} into teleplays for the high school broadcasting, as we had a time slot on the local station (which generally just showed weather stuff) one evening a week.
We shot and presented the first one. But the following day word came from the principal, a Lutheran minister, that we were not to do more, or show that one again. The TV teacher was severly reprimanded. And I was sent to a psychiatrist, Dr. John Heiden, fo ra psych evaluation.
[the psych report: schizophrenia]
All this shit was very frustrating.
Meanwhile, I had started dating one of my "actors", Peg, who also happened to be the twin sister of my long unrequited love, Meg.
We fell in love. Or so I thought. We talked about marriage and children. But she was not keen on my becoming an actor.
The she got pregnant. Panic set in. But I decided we could make it work. Only she decided she no longer had any use for me, and told me to fuck off.
I sank into deep despair. I started smoking pot, eventually daily, and drinking a lot; not every day, but when I did, I over did it. I dropped our of school. My priest talked to me, spewing much nonsense. I lost my faith. I lost my dreams.
This went on for almost a year.
Then Mom through me on a plane for Europe.

[journal? entries of the trip, which goes on for months, finally becoming a tour guide, but get in trouble for fucking young {underage?} tourist]

Back in the U.S., I continued wandering, but with the purpose of finding a college to go to.
Stayed in Santa Cruz for a while.
I finally settled in _____ [L.A.], where I enrolled in ____, with a Theatre Major, Psych Minor.
I quickly grew weary of psychology, and it's dogma, especially as I was drawn to certain "heretics", such as Dr. Timothy Leary.
[short bio of Leary]
So I focused on Theatre.
At first my intention was to become an actor. Though I had had fantasies in the past of becoming a movie star, now I just wanted to lose myself in acting, something I truly enjoyed.
To be a better actor, I took all kinds of classes, even ones not required (actors had to take some of the tech classes in order to know their way around a theatre). One of these was directing.
I got bit by the "bug". I decided that I would be a Director. For the class I directed a scene from Marlowe's DOCTOR FAUSTUS, but being an atheist at this point I avoided anything supernatural. I used the scene of Faustus conferring with Cornelius and Valdez, turning the latter 2 into a couple of hucksters, taking a note from Dee & Kelley, and Jonson, but also including the first Helen scene.
One of the actresses from this and I got involved. Lily. (She played, in drag, Valdes). We agreed we did not want to fall in love, as we both had been burned by it.
It was the best sex I'd had since Peg.
For my first school play, I found a really good Sherlock Holmes adaptation. She helped me with the stage design.
With others, such as friend, actor/stage manager Kester, we formed our own theatre group.
For our first piece, Lily and I took the historical records about Faustus, and turned them into a pantomime, narrated by "Dr. Klinge", who is reporting to the council of Erfurt (the audience). I directed, and, for practical purposes, played Klinge. We performed at a small theatre/coffeehouse in ____.
I directed 2 other plays she wrote; and Tom Eyen's "THE WHITE WHORE AND THE BIT PLAYER".
I was also, from time to time, experimenting with film. I shot several short, silent Super 8mm films, with her starring.
And I fell in love with Lily. She, I suppose sensed this, for she broke off the sex, saying she just wanted to be friends.
Much as I tried, I could not be terribly cool. Partly due to my not being at all cool in the first place. And she wasn't all that cool either. I did help her hook up with her next lover, and got myself one to boot. But she eventually decided to end our friendship. Which made it harder, and the heartache more so.
All this time I also drank heavily, not quite becoming an alcoholic, and experimented with various drugs. Theatre people love to party, and so we all often did. I also started having varioius flings and one-night stands. These tended to deepen my depression.
I also through myself into work. I started writing an original play, acted or teched for friends or other school plays, experimented with film, and made various plans for directing several project ideas.
In the Fall Semester I took the directing class again, in order to direct another play. The teacher, using that term lightly - he was a failed actor, full of pomposity, who had (for reasons unknown) taken an intense dislike towards me, and tried often to stifle me (I did meet 2 or 3 others he took this odd stance with, and they, like me, could not figure out the why).
Anyway, he gave me the worst directing slot - 2 weeks to cast and rehearse.
Which I, and two actresses (playing Mother & Daughter [in "TELL ME ANOTHER STORY, SING ME A SONG"], pulled off remarkably well.

I also worked on every other student production that semester, and overloaded my class schedule.
Plus, over xmas vacation, I went with a group from our school on a theatre tour of New York City.
Wow. I was totally smitten with NYC. It had a rythm all it's own. We saw Broadway and Off-Broadway; and a few of us more "adventurous" ones went to see some Off-Off Broadway to boot.
On this tour were also a few groups of high schoolers. I ended up sharing a room with 2 h.s. boys. While I'd never liked teens much, they and 2 of the 4 girls in the connecting room, and a few of their friends seemed to look to me for some guidance.
Which is an odd thing which has happened all my life. I've never understood why.
Anyway, saw so very, very much in just a week. [list of plays?]
On the flight home joined the "Mile High Club" with one of the above mentioned high school girls, a fiesty red-head.

Back in L.A., still on vacation, I went to Harry's apt., where we holed ourselves up for the entire week, smoking pot, dropped Whites and played D & D. We didn't answer the phone, and only opened the door to his friend ____, who tried unsuccessfully to keep up. We didn't sleep.

When the semester restarted, I jumped right back in, full throttle. Some of my friends asked where I'd been, and I gave vague answers (if not outright joking).
I also started taking film classes at another college (on the quarter system).
Again I was burning the candle at both ends, and it started to catch up with me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

DAMNATION...fragment for Part V ('05)

Did film a few bits for this, but didn't finish.


DAMNATION
Part V: Theatre of Illusions





Act 1: TO HELL WE GO, DR. FAUSTUS or FAUST IN HELL

Margaret hovers over the coffin, containing Faust.

FAUST
In affliction, timeless, toneless,
And in unimagined loneness,
Nothing left to fear or brave,
Erebus’ waters round me lave.
Oh bitter waters, had you loved me,
Into your bosom downward sinking,
I might have died, oblivion drinking,
But out, alas, you hated me!
You recked not of the balm you gave me
Because your flaming flood did lave me,
Nor how it cooled my agony
When, torn away from all around me,
I felt that something did surround me,
And thought that something still loved me.
Befooled, befooled, alas untrue!
You cruel waves, you hate me too.
Could I but one sole creature find,
Neither compassion nor love to give,
But to suffer me near it, that I may live,
I, the most wretched of mankind!

… She then leaves the room.
Enter 3 friends, cautiously. When they see the coast is clear, they grab the
coffin and drag it out.

Faust in a straitjacket, looking about to burst. He starts babbling gibberish,
becoming more and more agitated. On a couch sits Meph passively watching. When
Faust stops for a moment,

MEPH
You do go on, don’t you?

FAUST
(glaring at him)
Ich bin nichts! Ich bin nichts!

MEPH
Na und?

The television flickers. On it comes Faust’s Devil, laughing.

DEVIL


The screen changes to show the video shot with Johanna:


Entering the 5-Point.

Faust and Johanna sit across from each other, talking.

JOHANNA
I’m feeling stressed, ‘cause I’m not used to not being monogamous.

FAUST
So are you dating?

JOHANNA
That’s kind of complicated. I have some friends who are attracted
to me and I’m attracted to them. There’s one who’s being celibate for another
3 months, till his divorce.

FAUST
I don’t want to stress you more, but I am attracted to you.

JOHANNA
I’m not a good person to be attracted to.

FAUST
I’m not sorry for it. You’ve inspired me.

JOHANNA
I kind of stopped hanging out with you, because I was becoming
attracted to you, but I was in a relationship.

FAUST
That’s why I never mentioned it before.

JOHANNA
But the age difference bothers me.

FAUST
It would be an experience. I have been with older women.

The image fades.

The letter:



.”

The Devil on screen.

DEVIL
Sucker! She really played you, dumb ass! Haven’t you figured out yet, “Nice
guys finish last” ‘cause pricks get all the chicks!







Act 2: DEATH DREAMS OF DR. FAUSTUS or THE DEATH OF FAUST


C.U. of the chorus.

CHORUS
There was, or is, this man whom we call Faust
Into deepest despair he became doused
From which he could not by good friends be roused
Even with a good shaking

C.U. of the Sleeping God.

CHORUS
Within him, as in all, a God asleep
A loss of potential that makes him weep
The shadows that haunt him he should not keep
For his soul is a quaking

Zoom out to reveal Fear the Devil beside the S.G.

CHORUS
And, too, that Devil whose real name is Fear
Is constantly whispering in his ear
So as to continuously keep steer
The Sleeping God from waking

Using hubris to drive to distraction
Reminding him of ev’ry infraction
Gib-jabbering without relaxation
Which keeps him on mistaking

Pan to screen, on which play out various scenes from the past.

CHORUS
His failures always play out in his mind
Ridiculous old movies of a kind
Searching for the alternatives to find
The memories are raking

How easily he can lift the veil
If only he accepted without fail
Instead, against the heavens does he rail
His life mis’rable making

He circumnavigates this endless loop
Of his Devil be he the supreme dupe
His God never be able to recoup
From his own mind’s forsaking

The apex of his True Self justly knows
All this absolute nonsense really blows
But not stopping it, on and on he goes
Trusting the liar’s faking

Far too often he fails this or that test
On his interminable hero’s quest
If only he would truly do his best
He could mend his heart’s aching

But he insistently breaks his own heart
Pretending it’s supposed to feed his art
Playing over and over silly part
From life’s pleasure’s not taking

He’s gone and thrown himself into a hole
Letting himself be cast into a role
Which cannot, and does not, fulfill his soul
That so much needs a slaking

As with all he is the one who holds the key
If he would now open his eyes to see
He could find the true meaning of To Be
Instead of a half baking





ANNOUNCER
And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the fight of the ages.

Title card: “HEAD VS. HEART”

A boxing ring. Pan to puppet-Faust.

ANNOUNCER
In this corner, representing the Head, is the intellect.

Fast pan to puppet-Pierrot.

ANNOUNCER
And in this corner, representing the Heart, is the emotions.
They’re here to do battle over the question of love.

The ring. Faust and Pierrot approach each other. The bell rings. Pierrot starts
dancing about, punching towards Faust, who puts his hands up in a reasoning
manner.

ANNOUNCER
And so the battle begins. The Heart is all raring to go, but
the Head is trying to reason with him.

Pierrot moves in and punches Faust, knocking him back against the ropes.

ANNOUNCER
Oh, Heart is not being reasonable, but comes out
swinging.

Faust gets up, still trying to be reasonable. Pierrot still dances about,
jabbing the air.

ANNOUNCER
Head is still trying to reason with Heart. He’s definitely
got his work cut out for him.

Pierrot moves in, punching Faust in the stomach, Faust bends over, and Pierrot
punches him in the head, and Faust falls to the floor.

ANNOUNCER
Ooh, a one-two punch, knocking Head on his ass.

Faust gets up, leans against the ropes.

ANNOUNCER
Head is contemplating his next move.

Pierrot jumps in, punches Faust to the floor.

ANNOUNCER
Ow! He should’ve seen that coming.

Pierrot pounces on Faust, picking him up and slamming him against the floor.

ANNOUNCER
Oh, no, Heart is slaughtering Head.

Pierrot throws Faust out of the ring.

ANNOUNCER
I think it’s all over, ladies and gentlemen. Head
never stood a chance. Heart will always have
it’s way.


HS. Faust

FAUST
And now for something completely different…


Title card: “THE ADVENTURES OF [NIMROD] WOLF AND [SEAMUS] COYOTE”

DAMNATION...fragment from '05

DAMNATION
Part Four:
The Hysteria of the Demented Life and Desperate Dreams of
Dr. Faustus




Prologue:

1.
Among the ethers did I roam
With my fellow beings of light
The firmament was our home
The beauty of eternal night
We were blessed, lacking for naught
We tripped the light fantastic
Playing as all beings aught
Our imaginations elastic
All life was a story told
We watched with such glee
Till humans did I behold
Their stories fascinating to see
I wandered over the Earth
Viewing their creative madness
Rising to the heights of mirth
Then sinking into such sadness
I spent much time with these creatures
With those on high, and born low
With poets, soldiers, teachers,
Monks, beggars, those in the know
Then from the heavens was I cast
For overreaching curiosity
Into human flesh recast
Which taught me their true ferocity

2.
I never knew my real father.
He was a traveling mentalist,
Using the stage name of Doctor Faustus,
Who seduced my Mother,
An aspiring singer,
Then moved on.
Mom married an airforceman,
Who gave me his surname,
Till they divorced a coupla years later.
I was born via cesarean
With a stillborn brother.
When I was 3 she married an
Ex-musician turned businessman.
He adopted me; and along came a
Sister, then a brother.
At age 6 I was labeled a
Dreamer, and slow to learn.
The other kids, at Catholic school,
Tormented me mercilessly.
And so my life as an outsider
Began.
By the time I entered puberty
I suffered from Melancholia,
And had an Inferiority Complex,
Which interfered with my
Interest in girls.
I wrote compulsively
Stories, skits, poems, puppet plays.
I performed whenever possible,
Puppets, ventriloquism, acting
Magic, clowning, story-telling.
At age 12 or 13 I was
Put on Ritalin
And some other
Narcotic
Which caused intense
Conceptual hallucinations.
I was afraid, for instance, that God
Would accidentally step on us.
I was diagnosed with
Simple Schizophrenia at 17.
That year, too, I was introduced
To the Faust story
Via Goethe in a lit class.
We read it aloud.
I played Mephistopheles.
When I was 18 I was seduced
By a Succubus, who took my seed
Then cast me aside,
And kept our daughter to herself,
Which put me into deep despair,
Losing my Christian faith.
I smoked pot daily, and
Drank heavily, for a year,
Until Mom through me on a
Plane for Europe
Which changed my life.

OR

II.
I never knew my real father.
He was a traveling mentalist,
Using the stage name of Dr. Faustus,
Who seduced my Mother,
An aspiring singer,
Then moved on.
[Mom married an airforceman,
Who gave me his surname,
Till they divorced a coupla years later.]
I was born via cesarean, prematurely,
With a stillborn brother.
Mom took me to my first movie,
HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES,
When I was 6 months old.
I was entranced.
She took me all the time,
As I would never make a fuss,
But watch the entire movie.
I was also a beach baby,
Learning to swim,
Long before I could walk.
My first theatre experience was
When I played Baby New Year
A couple of months before my 2nd Birthday.
When I was 3 she married an
Ex-musician turned businessman.
He adopted me; and along came a
Sister, then a brother.
One Summer a cousin
Came to visit.
He was 18, I was 5.
We bonded.
Two weeks later he was
Killed
In a motorcycle accident.
I realized my mortality.
At age 6, I was labeled a
Dreamer, and slow to learn.
The other kids, at Catholic school,
Tormented me mercilessly.
And so my life as an outsider
Began.
Occasionally I met others like me.
With whom I had many adventures.
When I was 7.
I had my first Lucid Dream
I floated up out of my body,
Out my 2nd story window,
Into the overgrown garden next door,
Where I met various creatures,
With whom I felt at home.
As I returned to my body,
I met my dead twin brother,
Who said he'd be with me
Always.
In the summer
Between 2nd and 3rd grades
One of my classmates
Along with her little sister
Were raped and strangled
A few blocks from their home.
Mom and Dad
Divorced
When I was 9.
Dad played the
Sympathy game.
But I did see a lot
More of him.
[He moved in with
His parents.
I spent time there
Hanging with the local
Pre-teen gang
Known as the 43rd Avenue Gang
(Pee-wee gangs in that 'hood
Were named for freeway off-ramps).]
[One time, he took
Me to the desert
To visit a client
Who had a daughter.
I was 9, she was 10
And oh so cute.
We skinny-dipped,
Slept in the same bed,
Explored each other.]
Meanwhile, this was the 60's
And while my little world
Kept being shattered
By circumstances beyond my control
There was upheaval throughout the land.
People were fed up with hierarchical
Bullshit.
It was time for a change;
People took to the streets
For equality, environment, peace,
Freedom!
The high school up the street
Had riots in the playground
And teachers’ cars were torched.
There's always a dark side to
Revolution.
The power elite has been trying
To take back lost ground
Ever since.
When I was 10
We moved to a
Mountain resort
So I could breathe.
The smog in L.A. was that bad.
By the time I was a teenager
I suffered from Melancholia,
And had an Inferiority Complex,
Which interfered with my
Interest in girls.
I wrote compulsively
Stories, skits, poems, puppet plays.
I performed whenever possible,
Puppets, ventriloquism, acting,
Magic, clowning, story-telling,
The high school band, and a local ice show.
At age 12 or 13 I was
Put on Ritalin
And some other
Amphetamine.
These caused intense
Conceptual hallucinations.
I was afraid God
Would accidentally step on us.
When I was 14, time with a
Trusted elder
Turned ugly
As he lusted after me
Becoming all hands
When he'd had a few.
[2 deaths when I was 15;
An ex-girlfriend
In a small boat
Hit direct on by a speedboat
Dead before she hit the water;
My favorite uncle finished
His yearlong descent
Through Hepatitis.]
One fine day
I hiked deep
Into the woods
I had only a piece of
Rope with me
Once I was far, far away
I found a tree
With a sturdy branch
I could climb up to
Which I did.
I tied one end of the
Rope
Round the branch
The other end round
My neck
Then jumped down.
There was the sound
Of a raging sea.
The trees rushed about
Frantically.
Then the Earth reached up
And smacked me hard.
When I opened my eyes again
I lay on the ground.
I looked up
Saw broken rope
Hanging from the branch.
I buried the noose end.
I couldn't move my neck for a week.
I said I fell out of bed.
[My first real love
Was at 16, she 1 year
And 1 day younger.
I wasn't cool enough for
Her, but she liked the
Attention, including the
Bad poetry I wrote.
She even disrupted my
Involvement with her twin sister,
Out of petty jealousy.]
I was diagnosed with
Simple Schizophrenia at 17.
That year, too, I was introduced
To the Faust story
Via Goethe in a lit class
We did a staged reading.
I played Mephistopheles.
Then, during the assembly
Where we were performing
While I tried to relax
Outside the auditorium
A classmate, some 8 feet away
Blew off his hands
Set himself on fire
With a homemade bomb.
I frantically searched for
Something to put out the fire
But there was nothing
And I got lost in the smoke.
[Later, I made one of my
Super 8mm movies
About a young, modern
Faust,
In which I played the lead,
And Mephistopheles, in a Bela Lugosi mask.]
[The same year
A usually benevolent ghost in our house
Was scaring my sister
So I performed an
Exorcism.
(Years later we found out the Ghost
Had moved into the house next door).]
When I was 18 I was seduced
By a Succubus, who took my virginity and my seed
Then cast me aside,
And kept our daughter to herself,
Which put me into deep despair,
Losing my Christian faith,
I smoked pot daily, and
Drank heavily, for almost year,
Until Mom threw me on a
Plane for Europe
Which changed my life.
BOOK I: THE SON OF DR. FAUSTUS


Chapter 1

Sept. 9th: I finally left Maggie last night. My friends Kit and Robin have let
me move into the den of their 3-room basement apt. in _______. I feel as if a
huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
The last 12 years with Maggie, which seemed so promising in the beginning, had
become an absurdity. For more than 3 years we have lived more as roommates,
though she refused to accept this.
Although my creativity has been prolific in this last period, the undo stress of
living with her and her demons, letting her drain my energies, was hazardous to
my well-being.
I wonder if she will ever grasp the truth.

Sept. 10th: E-mailed “Columbine” today, letting her know that I’ve left Maggie.
She owned up to the fact that she has been seeing a mutual friend, whom I shall
call “Harlequin”.
I felt as if I’d been hit in the chest with a sledgehammer.

Sept. 13th: Having spent the weekend with Kit, friend Ralph, and others in
Mass., drinking and smoking pot, I have mellowed over my heartache. “Columbine”
was the impetus I needed to do what was necessary, such as declaring bankruptcy,
to finally separate from Maggie.

Sept. 16th: Drinking night with co-workers, “Columbine” and “Harlequin” among
them. I could see how happy she was – she’d been miserable after the breakup
with her long time boyfriend last year (at about the same time “H.” also had a
bad breakup). I could not help but be happy for her. At one point “H.” and I
talked. They both had talked about my attraction to “C.”, not wanting to hurt my
feelings; their getting together just happened without any intention. I told him
I was happy for both of them, that I could see how right it was, that he was
“just what the doctor ordered.”
The night was actually rather cathartic.


Chapter 2

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book IV - from the Brasillian fragments

Book IV

...
To simplify, I made a pact with the Devil. Anway, that’s what they say about me. I was born in a small village, Roda, in what is now Germany, at the end of the 15th Century. In other words, if you had any imagination, you were bored out of your mind. I learned to read early, but books were scarce then; mostly you had the Bible, which was written in Latin. The European printing press had only recently been invented - by the
Devil, many believed - and a real revolution started when Gutenberg developed movable type (400 years after the Chinese). For you readers of today and tomorrow, movable type was along the lines of the steam engine and the personal computer in regards to important shifts in civilisation.
So, I had this Uncle, a wealthy merchant from Wittenberg, with no children of his own, who gave me a copy of the Bible, which I read voraciously (I grasped Latin quickly). After all, it had high adventure, drama, lots of sex and violence; what more could a young boy want from stories?
As my drive to read interfered with my learning to farm, and having gotten the eldest daughter of a itinerant ragpicker pregnant, I was sent to live with my Uncle, who
liked having a "son”, and he sent me to the University at Wittenberg, where I studied Theology and Philosophy.

But soon I was bored. I had a huge appetite for knowledge, and my stuffy professors were a
bunch of bean counters. I tried expanding my studies to Medicine and Law. Even more boring!
So, what does an imaginative young man do with himself when he’s bored. That’s right, drink.
Unfortunately, Uncle was not keen on supporting my growing drinking habit. So I had to get others to buy me drinks. Since these others wanted something in return for buying me drinks, I started telling them stories. I found that I had an amazing facility for making shit up.
Early on I discovered that people were more drawn into the story if I told it as if it had happened to me, rather than relating someone else’s adventure. So I told wild tales I had “experienced” out in my wanderings - they all rightly knew that I liked to go for long walks in the woods, sometimes spending the night under the stars. On these walks I started magining the stories I would later tell my drinking patrons.
My most popular tales, this being a superstitious time (as moderns put it - since they, of course, have no such foolishness - ha!), involved run-ins with the supernatural.
One night as I headed to my favorite inn outside the town walls, one of my professors, Georg Helmstetter, who was only about 10 years older (but seemed an old man already), approached me, and pulled me into the shadows.
After looking about to make sure no one was there to listen, he said “I have heard about some of your adventures with spirits.”
Feigning some modesty, I replied, “Oh, it’s nothing really, it’s just...”
He cut me off. "The spirit world is nothing to trifle with, my boy. It can be dangerous. How do you protect yourseif?”
“Protect myself?” I asked. I knew, as anyone did, that there were all sorts of protective talismans, some legal and christian, some not. But it had not even occured to me to procur one; at that moment I realized my oversight. It would add so much spice to my stories.
“Yes, my boy, protect yourself. With the proper protection one can gain a lot of knowledge from the spirit world.”
I was intrigued. “Tell me more.”
He checked the street again, and once satisfied, whispered, “Come with me. I have things to show you."
He lead me through various backstreets of the town, in a zig-zagging way, always careful to keep unobserved. We finally came to an old wooden door in an expansive wall, on a sidestreet I did not recognize.
After again making sure no one was watching, he rapped on the door three times, took a beat, then knocked two more times.
A moment passed, then the heavy door opened a crack. It was dark inside, so I could not make out who was looking out but I could feel them. Then the door opened wide enough for Helmstetter to lead me inside, and the door was shut behind us. A lantern was uncovered, illuminating the alcove we stood in.
The man who let us in was a big burly fellow that I did not recognize.
“Good evening, professor,” the big fella intoned.
“Good evening, Hans,” said the professor, as he lead me through a doorway, and up some slippery stairs.
At the top of the stairs, we came into a small turret room. There was a fire in the grate, and a couple of candles burning on a large desk, which was the center of the room. Also on the desk were many scrolls, manuscripts, papers, and books. Helmstetter bid me to sit, and he produced a cup for me, which he filled with wine from a flask, which had also been on the desk. He filled another cup for himself.
I looked around the room. Besides the desk and several chairs, there were bookshelves with more books and manuscripts, several parchments with symbols on them tacked to the walls, and a cot in the corner.
...
We spent many evenings going over various magical studies. Helmstetter was quite
knowledgable...
...[a precusor of the secret socletles?]...where he was known under the magical name of “Doctor Faustus”...

[something about Trithemius, who sought out D.F. in Gelnhausen, in 1506, after having demo’d some magic, but D.F. avoided him...]

My Uncle, growing impatient with my, as he saw it, debauched lifestyle, procurred for me the position of schoolmaster in Bad Kreuznach, through his friend the humanist knight, Franz von Sickingen, a rather energetic fellow, who later joined with Ulrich von Hutten to use military might to bring on the Reformation.
Life in this village was rather boring. I didn’t even spend much time drinking, as the locals were far too dull to spend that much time with. On occasion I was invited to dine
at von Sickingen’s castle, which was usually an enjoyable affair, with good food, good wine, and good conversation. Von Sickengen had studied under the great philosopher-teacher Johannes Reuchlin, so while being typical of knighthood in many ways, he wasn’t a complete dolt, and though many of his guests were of the “righteous” variety, there was plenty of learned topics.
Mostly I studied. One of my students, Kristoff Wagner, a clever lad, at my behest pilfered some manuscripts from the local monastary [?], where he...
I became Wagner’s mentor, in the old Greek tradition. This lead to trouble.
The local priest, jealous of my popularity with the boys, accused
me of sodomizing them. The irony of this was that he constanly lusted after them himself, as many of them had told me of their close encounters with him when serving as altar boys. The only boy I had touched was Wagner.
It was a Greek thing. In ancient Greece a promising youth was mentored by an older, more experienced man. And this included sex.
Anyway, when a priest makes an accusation in a small town, the local authorities doggedly jump to, and so I had to flee, Wagner in tow (I couldn’t very well leave him behind to languish, and his family never bothered to come looking for him).

We ended up in Heidelberg, where I managed to worm my way into the University, though there were problems, as one professor of mathematics and astrology, Johannes Virdung of Hasfurt, had written to Johannes Trithemlus, who spewed vituperations about me. I had quite a time talking my way around the learned man’s denouncement.
Once ensconced, I befriended one Johannes Faust, as we were very like-minded. Though he was top of our class in Theology, he had a truly wicked streak. At night we would study various magical texts which he somehow managed to acquire in great numbers. He considered most people rather cloddish, and felt no need to be honest with them, saying they really didn’t want the truth, anyway. He encouraged my use of the magic lantern (it was called something different at the time, but can’t remember what), which I’d learned from some notes made by Leonardo da Vinci, even setting up demonstrations for wealthy patrons.
He also had a sister, Greta, to whom I taught various subjects, as she was not satisfied with the usual fair delegated to women. I, being more patient than Johannes, took
up the tutoring for a while. She had been married, but the husband had gotten a divorce on grounds of infidelity. We ended up having a passionate affair, which resulted in my falling in love with her, and her deciding to marry one of the University professors.
I was broken-hearted.
in 1509 Johannes and I gained our Doctor Theoiogiae. One of the new students was one Philipp Schwarzerd, then only 13, a dwarfish, misshapen, temperate character, later known under the Greek version of his surname, Melanchthon, who went on to become partnered with the hereticai ex-Dominican monk Martin Luther, counterbalancing the latter’s fiercely passionate energies. The Pope excommunicated Luther after his famous “95 Theses” against the Church hierarchy’s abuses (e.g., the selling of indulgences) - though only after four years of trying to get him to recant at least part of it - which he nailed to the door of the church in Wittenberg. This was the beginning of the Reformation. I was later to get to know
Melanchthon better, when we both taught at the University of Wittenberg (Luther was also there, but I avoided the blowhard like the plague). He was always trying to convert me
then.
I decided to go to Krakow. I had heard that alchemy was taught openly there. Virdung, for instance, had taught astrology there earlier In his career. I wanted to find out for myself. Wagner tagged along.
I learned many new things.

Krakow. Krakow was a new experience. It was exciting, It was one of the most important cities In Europe at that time. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Poland, which had formed
a commonwealth with Lithuania, headed by the Jagilion dynasty, a very capitalist society where most of the power was in the hands of the “landed aristocracy”, who supplied most of Europe with grain, and a flourishing center of the sciences and the arts. The University, founded in 1364, was the second largest (after Prague) at that time.
As an already old city it was well established. And well placed, being on the Vistula River, at the foot of Wawel Hill.
And I met up with Helmstetter, who was teaching Greek at the Sodalitas Litterarum Vistulana, a learned society based on the Roman Academies, founded by Poet Laureate and humanist Conrad Celtes in 1488. He invited me to stay with him in a little house he kept on the edge of the city, away from prying eyes.
...
...

Then I met a dragon. He said his name was Beelzebub. I had no reason to doubt him. And I wasn’t about to question anything he said. (I was like a small country in the late 20th,
early 21st Century facing the Pax Americana. You just don’t want to make it flex).
He offered me a ride. How could I refuse? (No, really, how could I)?
I hopped on his back, and off we went.
...

On one of my solo wanderings through the woods one evening I stumbled upon a woman gathering herbs. I was curious, so I stopped and asked her what she was doing. She fixed me with a penetrating stare, and sniffed at me.
“You have the sight,” she said matter-of-factly.
I ventured, “Do you make protective talismans?”
She smiled, and cocked her head. “Perhaps,” was all she replied. She turned and headed off into the forest, looking back at one point to see if I was following. So follow I did.
She lead me to a small hut stuck in the trunk of a huge tree, the front covered over with foliage. Had you not known it was there, you probably wouldn’t even notice it.
Inside was larger than one would suspect, and littered with a plethora of items. And there were innumerable cats. One, who seemed to be king of the roost, fixed me with a steely gaze.
She went to a work bench against one wall and rummaged about the mishmash of odds and ends - cloth, bones, plants, crystals, rocks, tools - until she turned around holding up a large, round, very clear crystal, which she handed me.
“Use this,” she said. Before I could say anything, she had turned me around and marched me out the door, closing It firmly behind me.
I stood for a minute weighing the crystal in my hand. It had been cool to the touch when she handed it to me, but now it seemed to be gradually getting warmer.
I decided to head back to the house, and see what Helmstetter made of it.


[will start scrying, a la Dee & Kelley]
[later visit the witch again w/Helmstetter; during a conjuration
the witch becomes possessed by Astraroth or Leviathan,
who then kills Helmstetter - later I use necromancy to bring H. back
{via crystal or magic mirror or reanimating the corpse, which cont’s
to rot) - this is when he renames himself “Me Fausto philes’, which
becomes Mephostophiles, and I drop the “junior”]
(also use Leviathan or Satan as personal devil, & the doppelganger
in Part II, the subconclous “evil twin” in Part III]
(more in-depth historical notes on important figures, like Luther &
Melanchthon]

Book III - from the Brasillian fragments

Book III

I awoke suddenly, although I had not been sleeping. I was looking in a mirror by candle
light, when I recognized my face. Not the one I was wearing now, but the one I’d had back in the 16th Century. I, or he, smiled at me, the me that I apparentiy was now.
Things had not gone according to plan. Again.
And now here I was, twenty-something, in the hyperreality of a psychotropic drug (turned out to be LSD), the Other having relenquished control enough for me to come to our senses.
Where the hell was I?!
A flood of memories overwelmed me, mostly his (the Other’s, that is), some of mine.
I pulled us away from the mirror, and looked around. By the dim light I saw I was in a bathroom, the style of which was new to me. I could just make out what I thought was the light switch, so I fiddled with it, and the bright incandescent overhead came on, causing me to close my eyes for a moment.
I opened my eyes again, and examined the bathroom. It was small and sparse. There was a small, oblong cabinet of very shiny metal just under the mirror, with sliding doors in front. So I slid one to the side. Inside were various toiletries, some with writing on it. I read toothpaste, aspirin, razors, etc.
I could read these things, but that didn’t tell me in what language. It was the
language of this body I was in, so I naturally could read it. But I’d learned from last time that it might take some time till I could differentiate between this language I could read, and my mother tongue - if different - which I might not even be able to understand any longer.
This body snatching stuff is a bitch, sometimes.
I decided to venture out of the bathroom.
I found that I was in a rather bland apartment, with ratty furniture, a mishmash of stuff on the walls, numerous books and papers strewn about. Fortunately, no one else was there. I entered the main room, where a light was already on, and saw two ____ doors opposite me. I crossed the room to the one closest, hesitated a moment as I listened at it for any sound within, and knocked gently.
No answer.
I slowly and carefully swung the door open. I reached in, searched for the light switch, and flipped it on. The room was not too small, not too big; there was a mattress on the floor with rumpled bedclothes, a ____ folding chair, and a pile of clothes. There were also many pictures on the walls. Pictures from movies (some I recognized), theatre posters, some black and white paper pictures that looked sort of, but not quite, like from newspapers.
It seemed familiar.
I decided to look in the other room, just in case I was wrong. I did so, but the second room seemed “off” in a way I can’t describe.
So I went back to what I believed to be my room, closed the door, and sat down
on the mattress, with my back against the wall. It took a minute to realize I had disrupted some picture a behind me. I turned to look at them. They were simple paper prints, a mix of photography and drawing, black and white, obviously cheaply done. And they all seemed, in this spot above the head of the bed, to be following a theme.
I realized it was my story. The original story, that is, of my life as Faustus.
More memories overwhelmed me, of that time. As I let my gaze wander away from the wall, I saw a small beaten-up black book beside the bed. I picked it up and opened it. It was a journal. “My” journal. I opened it. On the inside of the front cover was written ” —, 198_ -“.
Weii, I now knew when I was. I read on.
[a few entries from a journal from ‘85 or ‘86]
This helped me to recall a few memories of my host body, though they were a bit
sporadic. And I now knew what year I was in.
Damn, my plan had really gone awry.
The plan: since the last time I had managed to enter the body of an already living being, who was already 14, and my hopes had all ended in failure, I had decided to start from scratch. So, I had managed to find another descendent, pregnant with unborn twins, one of whom had no spirit, and aimed to enter that one. Apparently, I’d missed slightly. I had entered the twin with a spirit, somehow causing me to forget myself, and so now here I was - in New York City if gleaned correctly - writing poetry, making an Underground film (whatever that was), drinking excessively (often in Downtown Beirut - which really through
me at first, till I realised it had to be the name of a pub), taking drugs (pot, which
was something you smoked, H, which I suspected was heroin, “acid”, which was something you “dropped”, and opium), and going to movies, plays, and some new kind of music, called Punk, shows.
I had a lot of catching up to do with myself.

In the closet I found more journals, dating back to 1978. I stacked them in order, and
began pouring through them.
[few entries from European journey, then the story]
He, or I, as I now started to feel more “at home” with this self, returned to the small town of ________,where I grew up; but not for long, as the trip had stirred up the need to move on.

I wandered cross country.
I stopped for a bit in San Francisco, which I very much liked, but it was very
expensive, and I couldn’t find a job.
I travelled down to Santa Cruz, which was kind of cool, too, staying with a favorite Aunt. For a about a month I stayed in a family house, which she cared for (but liked people too much to live In) isolated in a canyon up in the mountains. I took this time to consider my options.
I wanted to be an actor. That was my dream.
So I headed to LA. (some may question the wisdom of going to LA. to become an
actual actor, but, hey, I was 20, what the fuck did I know). I met up with a [former high school teacher, Mr. Hammersmith (only if going to do something with this),] who lent me a room. I got a job at Burger King. I enrolled at a small college with a Theatre Major, and Psychology Minor.
Things changed rapidly.
[a few entries from journals ‘79-81?]
I quickly became disillusioned with Psych. Although I diagnosed myself successfully - later finding out from my Mom that a pychiatrist had given the same diagnosis - it seemed too much about labelling, and not enough about the deeper why's.
There were exceptions, of course. I started reading the work of Dr. Timothy Leary, who was something of a modern day heretic (the mainstream denounced him outright, often with witless mockery), and found myself very drawn to his thinking.
[a bit here from/about Leary]
So theatre, which was the more important subject anyway, became my main focus.

I also obsessively went to films. Mostly “Art Films”. Alone. And stoned.
This must've been my influence. The obsession with films, that is.
I wrote rave reviews of quite a few. i especially followed certain directors: my old friend Jean Cocteau, F.W. Murnau, Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Aklra Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, Jean-Luc Godard, Orson Welles, Kon Ichikawa, John Cassavetes, John Waters. And certain films, most of them wIth “cult” status, made a lasting impression: ERASERHEAD by David Lynch, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (I’d also seen the stage play in London In ‘78), BLADE RUNNER, ROAD WARRIOR, REPO MAN, THE SHOUT, LIQUID SKY, . And there was one actor I wanted to be as good as: Klaus Kinski.
[may Include some reviews here]
Apparently my Other was embarrassed by the fact that we’d spent our childhood &
teen years watching lots of crap, such as big Hollywood mindnumbing entertainment, but mostly horror movies. The previous actor I emulated was Vincent Price (whom I still admired, thinking he was underappreciated for his excellent comic acting - I’d even met him in an airport on the way to the same place - he to act, me to see, in DIVERSIONS AND DELIGHTS, where he was marvelous as Oscar Wilde).
We had become a “Serious Artiste”. And so if the horror movie was made by a Serious Artiste, it was acceptible (e.g., Murnau’s NOSFERATU... and Herzog’s remake). I seemed to feel guilty over going to, and really enjoying, the big budget remake of DRACULA, starring Frank Langelia and Laurence Olivier! I’d even written a treatment for a sequel, called DRACULA II: The Countess, based on the old classic DRACULA’S DAUGHTER (which I’d seen In my last body when it was released, and enjoyed very much) and Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s novella ‘CARMILLA’, and one for a remake of the classic FRANKENSTEIN (another favorite from the “old days”) - both of which I never showed anyone (I even put non-de-plumes on them).
Mind you, I had no “connections”, anyway, so no one to show them to would even care.
(Much later I was to realize that I had “lost” the little movies I made as a teenager, because I was embarrassed by their amateurishness and light-weight subject matter).
This was taking things too far. I was to discover that this was common, however, in the late 20th Century. As art was very underappreciated in the United States, the peasantry having risen to prominence, but keeping their superstitious mistrust of learning, so the majority of the population considered artists to be a bunch of layabouts, artists became defensive, especially young struggling ones, and so they denegrated pop culture (except those, such as Andy Warhol, who manipulated it to effect), as it was mostly aimed at keeping the “groundlings” amused. But some of it was fun.

I had difficulty getting parts in the college plays. And I was drawn more and more to directing. I took a couple of directing classes with a burnt-out failed actor for a teacher, whose intelligence stagnated in alcoholic bitterness. We clashed. He labelled me a flake, which was ironic when held up to his own “achievements”.
My first experience directing was okay - a scene from Marlowe’s DOCTOR FAUSTUS
(which I found amusing - it’s funny how some things come through). For my Lab Theatre production I directed a Sherlock Holmes one-act (there were several well-written ones by Michael & Mollie Hardwicke). The teacher’s only positive comment was that I cast well (missing the fact that this is an important part of directing - he himself was a terrible director - I ended up ghost-directing several of his actors in one of his productIons, at
their behest).
There was also a “store front” theatre, called The Shoebox Theatre, not far from the college, which had aspiratIons of doing New York style theatre. I directed a sequel to Marlowe’s play, “TO HELL WE GO, DOCTOR FAUSTUS”, for which I borrowed dialogue from Marlowe, George Bernard Shaw and I.A.L. Diamond (the latter being illegal, as his play, TOMORROW MORNING, FAUSTUS, was very much still copyrighted).
In my 2nd year I changed my Minor to Film Production. I was living in LA., and
had a better chance of making a living in film than theatre. I also studied Television Production, despite not much caring for TV, and almost never watched it (the one exception was “DOCTOR WHO”, a rather clever British children’s sci-fi series, which had gained a cult following in the U.S.). But I ended up studying more and more in film, even
learning animation.
At The Shoebox Theatre I directed two one-acts, “THE MAN WITH ThE FLOWER IN HIS
MOUTh” and “THE VICE”, both by the brilliant Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello. Audiences were small (the theatre never really caught on, and soon closed). One of my actors, whom I’d been friends with for a while, was Lily Valdez.
We ended up having an affair.
When we got together, we had agreed to not fall in love - we had both been broken-hearted, and wanted to avoid falling in love again.
Oh, what foolishness.
I broke the promise.
Together with several others from the college we formed a theatre troupe, Renegade Players. Lily was also a writer, and for our first production we planned to do, with me directing, a romantic comedy, [SURPRISE!], at a coffeebar/theatre in Hollywood, the Deja-Vu Coffeehouse.
But things quickly fell apart. Besides the ending of the affair, which I tried
to handle well (I even helped her hook up with her next beau), there was too much apathy among other members of the troupe (they preferred the relative safety of the college milieu).

At this time I also gained a new roommate. I was living in a house, owned by a friend [
or Hammersmlth?], with he and a several others from the Theatre Dept. We needed a new roommate, and at my job, at 7-11, I met an interesting character, Harry Fist (when he’d introduce himself, he’d judge you by how long it took you to get the name), who was in need of a new place to live. So, he moved In.
We became immediate friends. Though he was in the Computer Dept., and studying Business, he had studied some theatre, and his taste in films was like my own.
He not only produced two one-acts for me (one of which I wrote, the other an adaptation of a short story, both of science fiction themes), but got some seed money together to produce an ultra low-budget feature film.

[the film is the ALIEN REPORT piece; problems casting the female lead, end
up very attracted to singer cast at last - then run out of money, can’t
get the film from the lab, I.R.S. takes the house, so flee to NYC with
new friend, Granger Hammersmlth - who turns out to be Meph. again]
[at LaMama meet ex-dancer, Maggie, who turns out to be a vampire,
and is the same reincarnation of the witch, a.k.a. “Mephistophela” - or she
becomes possessed by the spirit of the witch at Harmonic Convergence]

Book II - from the Brasillian fragments

Book II

I awoke. It took some time to realize what I was looking at. Or, rather, that what I was looking at was some kind of man-made illusion. And there was music. Sweet music, made by some instrument I had never heard before.
The view before me was of a man, dressed as a devil, dragging another man down
into Hell, passing through different levels, coming across various spirits on the way.
I was mesmerized. This all was seen through a square window. After a short time the images ended, and the “window” became just a blank, white piece of stretched fabric.
I thought of the magic lantern. Had time advanced that magic this much?
I then noticed the source of the music, an odd little man off to the side, who
was playing a stringed instrument which he held under his chin and strummed with a long stick.
The square lit up again, showing another drama. In this one... [DER STUDENT VON
PRAG or DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE or ...DR. TUBE]
After this one ended - and it was longer than the last - I turned to my neighbor and asked what this was. He said it was called [title of film]. I was confused for a moment, till I realized he was giving me the title of the piece, rather than what the medium was called. So I clarified my meaning. He looked at me funny for a moment, asked where I’d been since the turn of the Century, and told me it was a moving picture. I asked what the one before was called. He said he didn’t remember, he really preferred moving pictures
about cow boys (whatever they were!), and told me I should ask the musician, as he would probably know.
When the showing was over, and the lanterns - which were also quite different from what I was used to - were relit, I rose from my seat, which elicited quite a reaction from several people, men and women, dressed In white, who had been standing or sitting to the side of the main seating area.
It seems that since I’d been here, a hospital as they called it, I had been blind and deaf. They called for a doctor, two of whom came over to me. They had me sit back down, and started asking me questions. As I couldn’t remember a thIng before becomIng conscious of the moving picture - I certainly wasn’t going to tell them the truth - they declared that I had amnesia. I was told to rest, they would give me some medicine, and hopefully over time I would recover my memory. They also told me my name was Robert Beck.
When they were finished with me, I looked around to see if the musician was still there. He was. He sat near the wall, watching me with what I perceived to be some amusement. I went up to him.
“Good afternoon, Faustus,” he said casually.
I was taken aback.
He laughed, leaned in close, and said In a hushed voice, “It’s me, Mephostophiles.” Then he winked. “Though you can call me Igor.”
“Ah,” was all I said.
He told me that after I had left “Hell” he had decided to join me, but ended up
here earlier. So he took advantage of the time, not sure exactly when he would find me (time travel is not an exact science, as depictions of it would have you believe), though confident he would, and so he studied music, something he’d always wanted to do.
He went on to explain that the instrument he was playing was called a violin. Moving pictures had been invented, or rather, derived from other inventions, about 20 years ago. The one I had awakened to was “FAUST AUX ENFERS” - a fact he found very amusing - by a French magician named Georges Melies. This hospital where we were was in ____; there was a major war going on, involving many countries, centered in Europe, and as warfare had progressed a great deal of late, this being the 20th Century it was a very, very
ugly war.

[the doppelganger in the mirror, which is the dark side {Leviathan?}
- or the host’s psyche, which is full of primal rage -
takes over the body, a la Jekyll/Hyde & DER JANUSKOPF]
[involvement in cabaret in Berlin, b.o. Ghelderode’s play & BLAU ENGEL]
[meet dancer “Mephistophela”, reincarnation of the witch, and/or
a vampire, and she’s pissed]
[In Paris, get involved with Grand Guignol as an actor - villains, because
of German accent]