Tracey’s Yoga – Oprah Interviews Krishna

Krishna and Radha
Krishna and Radha






The evidence of birth is made more public than that of death; we see many more babies than we do corpses during our lifetimes. Medieval people made no bones about the public display of bones, for instance celebrating All Saints Day in ossuaries, but we moderns manage to keep the most obvious fact of death more or less private, hidden away in hospitals, morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries. Although I was not familiar with my neighbor Stacey Flagler, when I discovered her beautiful body decaying on her bed on Thanksgiving Day, lying there as if it were an offering to the gods of this world, I was profoundly affected.

I worked as an hospital orderly in my late teens, and I saw and handled several dead bodies during the course of my duties – I noticed that deaths came in bunches, shifting from one wing to another. Making money seemed to be the purpose of human life, so when I counted the pittance I received as pay, which was less than a dollar an hour, I told myself that I had better hurry up and become a millionaire before it was too late. But I was really in no hurry, and I soon forgot the corpses I had seen, for I believed in my heart that my own life would go on forever one way or another, that I had all the time in the world to do anything I wanted to. Now that I am well over the hill, so to speak, and feel myself slowing down and going to pot; now that my contemporaries, friends, and family members are dying off; now that my bank account is short by nearly a million dollars; – I confess that I have serious doubts about my perpetuity.

Indeed, I am moved to admit that my body will undoubtedly perish. As for my soul, I do not know what that might be other than the “I” that I refer to as mine, the elusive unity or apperception and phantom pilot of the ghost within my machine, a selfish mental field that will most likely perish along with its platform. The thought that my self is merely software, the notion that I am an epiphenomenal ghost that did not exist in the first place, is comforting when not appalling. If I were never born, then how could I ever die? Still the machine does not want to run down, wherefore I cling to this self-conscious life in between nothing and nothing.

Stacey Flagler let go of hers. She had a terrifying craving she could not satisfy, an inability to relax due to an insufferable energy impelling her frantically forward at all costs. Witness this small portion of her handwritten confession to Abraham, the psychic entity that she adopted from Esther Hicks and then channeled for her own consumption:

“I feel like I have never translated my desires into a recognizable life that others could identify with. And why do I want that? So I can relax. Then I would feel like I had succeeded. Success would make me relax, because that would be my joy, and I want to be an example of joy, to teach joy. If only I could relax and let joy and passion and well-being in. But if I relax and find relief, then I don’t believe anything will have meaning! I might as well not have a body. I want to have a specific meaning in this minute, and what I want that specific meaning to be something I asked for and created. I want to know that I am powerful and can create security while I’m here, security for me, Tracey, the human being. As I look back I have always been looking for security even though it doesn’t seem like it, the security of easy joy and of more and more joy. It has all been about finding and keeping joy, choosing love, and love choosing me. Nothing is wrong with me – I’ve actually been attempting for seven or eight years to create my own reality and to accomplish that on a certain scale would be the ultimate security. At the same time, I’ve always wondered if something was wrong with me, if I should abandon my search for joy, to give up my commitment to stability in a physical sense. I think that creating my own reality puts me at a disadvantage. I believe I am unsure of it because just being happy, focused on love, having fun, and feeling contented will not inspire me to be that productive. I work harder discontented. So what does security feel like? It feels like I have to change external things to be secure, so to be secure I have to be insecure, to move from insecurity to security. To be secure I have to focus on my personal preferences, focus on things that matter to me. What do I want security to feel like? What matters to me? Non-resistance, keeping my body and mind clear of resistance, being in a state of joyful grace. Having physical things to focus on here can bring me joy. But then I will transform into something non-physical, and so why do any of this at all? Why does any of this matter? I am to fulfill my reason for being by just being here and being on the leading edge and having my personal preferences, but how do I get in on it? What is it that I wish to experience in the meantime, until I am fulfilled? I want the relaxation and joy that allows me to focus. Why? What is the point of anything? Do I really believe the point of life is to focus on and obtain my personal preferences? Yes, I do, but I just don’t know what they are anymore, or if I can even handle what I’ve asked for, or why they continue to included alcohol and drugs when that is clearly self-destructive! I just want to connect, but then you say that I need to be so connected that they are irrelevant to my connection, and then I can feel the greatest joy. You say I can find that connection on my own. But I think I need a partner to relax. I feel I must have a reason to love, someone else to love besides myself, and then my problems would be solved. But I know from what you say, Abraham, that what I am really longing for is the connection to Source, to my inner being. But if I am looking for my source, which I had in the first place, then why did I come here to look for it? Why have these circumstances with all of the fear and worry and insecurity that goes along with them? What is the point, then? It just doesn’t make sense! “I want to love someone who loves me back in the same way and it is mutual and they see that potential too and they hold onto that potential.”

She had turned to the popular postmodern culture for advice, to the splendiferous effusions of Oprah Winfrey; to the contradictory conversations of Neale Donald Walsch with his super-egotistical god; to the pronouncements of Abraham channeled by Esther Hicks; to the big Secret that must be kept in order to be believed in instead of laughed at – small secrets are leaked from time to time to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. She was told that the purpose of life is to have joy, that death is just a myth, that everyone can create their own planets in a universe that loves them. Since she did not feel the joy and love, since the reality she wanted to create was not obtained at will, and since life had no specific meaning for her, she chose the myth, perchance to be incarnated on another planet if not reincarnated on this one.

The risks attending such a fatal leap are mortal indeed, and I was duly mortified by Stacey’s premature departure. She took too big of a chance, I thought; that is, I thought so until she contacted me from the so-called “Beyond” the other day, from that place referred to at funerals as the Better Place – more on that later. I thought she might not have taken her last life if she had fallen into the right hands. Not that I blamed Oprah, the new high priestess of the New Age, or the postmodern gurus she or her guest celebrities endorse, nor did I blame their crowd of sympathetic sycophants, for elevating Stacey’s expectations and then letting her down when she reached out to them and discovered they were too busy creating their own realities to attend to her desperate needs.

We like to believe that our social icons are really special, but we should realize that, in order to attract the average person and be orthodox and politically correct enough to be popular, one has to specialize in mediocrity to a certain extent. Attractive models are not famous for their brains but for the looks or power or money we would like to have. That is not to say that every model is superficial, or that the spiritual world is really deeper than the supposedly shallow material world. Stacey was confused by the supposed relationship of the spiritual and material; she thought she needed stuff or the million dollars to buy it in order to make matter and spirit one and the same; then she would supposedly be completely relaxed, well loved and joyful, but she preferred the spiritual over the material, and to that extent she was not on the wrong track, she just needed a better model to keep her train on the right track to joyful love and eternal bliss.

To that end, I mused after Stacey’s early end, Bhakti Yoga would have been a much better vehicle for her than the claptrap jalopies haphazardly slapped together from Sixties’ New Age leftovers. She was right: There was nothing wrong with her, at least not for wanting the security and joy of loving and being loved. Untold millions of people are spiritually dissatisfied: there is nothing abnormal about that. Stacey might have been able to tolerate and even love the world with her self in it this world if only Krishna had appeared on the Oprah show, as in the unauthorized depiction below, and Oprah had plugged the Bhagavad-Gita. The wheel has been turning for eons; it is a terrible waste of time trying to reinvent it.

Stacey would have loved Krishna, I opined, so much so that she might have blissfully devoted her every action to the Supreme Personality without consideration of worldly reward. Chanting Hare Krishna, singing praises, dancing and cooking delicious food would be fun. Krishna is playful, by the way, so she would have had some of the fun she yearned for. And she would not have to worry about piling up a bunch of stuff to be happy. On the other hand, loving obedience to authority might not be her cup of tea, although some of that would be useful on a part-time basis. She loved and hated the same men, was conflicted over her objective relationships: she wanted but at the same time rejected love objects. She had to continually tell herself how much she appreciated the little things of life, and I doubted if the big things she thought would gain her respect from others would be good enough for her. In fact, no particular thing or person seemed to be good enough for her. She wanted to be connected to the source of everything, to be at-one with the infinite, yet it is extremely difficult to love an abstraction. Wherefore I imagined a synthesis of Bhakti Yoga, or love yoga, and Raja Yoga, or mystical yoga, would have suited her best; she might do both at the same time. Karma Yoga, or productive work yoga, was out of the question, for she really did not want to work for things, and Jnana Yoga, or philosophical yoga, would probably have flown over her head, for she wanted to get to the point.


OPRAH: Glad to have you on the show, Krishna.

KRISHNA: The pleasure is all mine, Oprah.

OPRAH: I have been reading about your pastimes. I see you made the National Inquirer again, just last week.

KRISHNA: Don’t believe every scandal you read. I like to have good, clean fun.

OPRAH: Clean fun? What do you mean?

KRISHNA: I always take plenty of soap with me.

OPRAH WINFREY: I understand that you like diary maids.

KRISHNA: I love them with my flute.

OPRAH: And you slay demons.

KRISHNA: That’s what they say.

OPRAH: How many lovers do you have?

KRISHNA: Billions if you count my many forms.

OPRAH: Wow! And you love them all back? How can you serve and be faithful to them all?

KRISNA: I can be everywhere at the same time.

OPRAH: It’s like television broadcasting?

KRISHNA: Sort of.

OPRAH: I feel blessed and graced with so many eyes on me, so many people adoring me. How do you feel?

KRISHNA: Transcendental.

OPRAH: Is that a feeling?

KRISHNA: It is your bliss if you are my devotee.

OPRAH: Bliss? Do people love you for the joy of it?

KRISHNA: Many of them do, especially my bhakti people.

OPRAH: And what is bhakti?

KRISHNA: Loving devotional service.

OPRAH: Why bhakti?

KRISHNA: Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance. It infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge. All cares, worries and anxieties, fears, mental torments and tribulations entirely vanish. The devotee is freed from the grinding wheel, the cycle of births and deaths. He attains the immortal abode of everlasting peace, bliss and knowledge. The ultimate goal of bhakti yoga is to obtain a feeling of pure bliss.

OPRAH: Oh, yeah. Joy is the key word, right? People devoted to you feel splendiferous, feel blessed and graced all the time, true ? I mean they feel really good about themselves, experience a lot of joy.

KRISHNA: Well, yes, all of that and more, but that kind of joy is just the beginning. Bliss is the ultimate state, and is far better than what you call joy.

OPRAH: But isn’t bliss joy?

KRISHNA: By bliss I mean something similar to what some of your Stoic gurus called apathy.

OPRAH: Oh, no, that doesn’t sound good. It sounds depressing.

KRISHNA: Bliss is actually an indifferent feeling. It transcends good and evil feelings. My devotee is ultimately free from joy and depression and the dread of harm. She expects nothing. She is pure, just, impartial, devoid of fear, and could care less about profiting from the results of her action. She is most dear to me and to others, for she is not afraid of them nor are they afraid of her. She who does not rejoice, find fault, complain, or covet stuff, who is not interested in good and evil results, is most worthy of my love.

OPRAH: OK. I guess. Is there equality?

KRISNA: My beloved servant is equal-minded to friend or foe, the same in honor and dishonor, in cold and heat, in pain and pleasure. She is satisfied with whatever happens: she not anxious about what might or might not happen in future. Praise and blame are the same as far as she is concerned. She pretty much keeps her mouth shut because she is content and therefore does not have to talk much. She is blissful everywhere, and may be what you call homeless, for she does not need to live in the same place all the time. I am her home. Her heart, full of devotion to me, is secured by me.

OPRAH: But she must get mad sometimes.

KRISHNA: Of course. But again, my devotee who is free from enmity, well-disposed towards all creatures, merciful, wholly exempt from pride and selfishness, the same in pain and pleasure, patient of wrongs, contented, constantly devout, self-governed, firm in resolves, and whose mind and heart are fixed on me alone, is dearest to me.

OPRAH: Okay, but is she immortal?

KRISHNA: This religion as I explain it is the sacred ambrosia, the very religion of immortality. Those who come to me full of faith, intent on me above all others, and united to me by devotion, are my most beloved.

OPRAH: But what about people who don’t want to bow down to a personal god, don’t believe in things they can see, and think stuff is vulgar. What about those who can’t stand the thought of a definite god and want to love the unbounded and infinite being, the unseen?

KRISHNA: There are many ways to skin a cat.

OPRAH: Please. I love cats.

KRISHNA: I spoke figuratively so that your audience might better understand me. There are several ways to the same goal. Those who worship me as a person, with constant zeal, with the highest faith and minds placed on me as a person, are held in high esteem by me. But those who, with minds equal toward everything, with senses and organs restrained, and rejoicing in the good of all creatures, meditate on the inexhaustible, immovable, highest, incorruptible, difficult to contemplate, invisible, omnipresent, unthinkable, the witness, indemonstrable, shall also come unto me. Yet mind you that for those whose hearts are fixed on the unmanifested, the labor is greater because the path which is not manifest is with difficulty attained by corporeal beings. But for those who worship me, renouncing in me all their actions, regarding me as the supreme goal and meditating on me alone, if their thoughts are turned to me, O Oprah, I presently become the savior from this ocean of incarnations and death. Place, then, your heart on me, penetrate me with thy understanding, and you will undoubtedly dwell hereafter in me. But if you should be unable at once steadfastly to fix your heart and mind on me, strive then, O Oprah, to find me by constant practice in devotion. If after constant practice, you are still unable, follow me by actions performed for me; for by doing works for me you will attain perfection. But if you are unequal even to this, then, being self-restrained, place all thy works, failures and successes alike, on me, abandoning in me the fruit of every action.

OPRAH: That is a mouthful. Can you sum it up for us?

KRISHNA: Sure. There is something for everyone or nothing if they prefer. There are four ways to supreme unity. The ways of knowledge, practice, meditation; and renunciation. Knowledge is better than constant practice, meditation is superior to knowledge, loving renunciation of the fruit of action to meditation; final emancipation immediately results from such renunciation.

OPRAH: You mean to have stuff is bad? Can you have sex? What about drugs?

KRISHNA: You can have nothing but the clothes on your back, a bowl of rice and a flower, and you may also have scrumptious vegetarian feasts for me, but take no drugs, and you can study and dance and chant all day, and have sex at night, but only for procreation of more devotees, and you can do lots of other devotional acts as well. On the other hand, you can meditate a lot, be driven around your ashram every day by a different beautiful woman or handsome man in a different Rolls Royce, and you can have a little laughing gas during your dental appointments, if you like. Just say no to drug use in general, including alcohol and tobacco and marijuana, without a special prescription from me, and don’t allow your disciples to traffic in drugs even if they don’t use them. Worshipping me is the greatest natural high of all.

OPRAH: So I can keep my $2.5 billion?

KRISHNA: As long as you devote yourself to my service, you will be immortal and blissful regardless of your wealth – remember, the Lord Himself is Opulent, and he loves the poor. Whatever is rendered to me is returned with compound interest, or, if you want less, then you will get less, and if you have faith in nothing because nothing is perfect and permanent, then nothing shall be yours for the asking, but it’s best to ask for nothing at all because nothing is infinite and nothing really works. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you have or do in my favor, for all things are mine and should be devoted to me anyway. When you are mine, when you love me, the universe loves you back and is yours no matter what you have on hand at the time of devotion.

OPRAH: I think I like the loving yoga you mentioned best. How do you do that?

KRISHNA: Here, I brought you some anklets. Please put them on. And here’s a bracelet with some bangles.

OPRAH: Oh, thank you! They’re beautiful. Listen to the little bells tinkle when I shake a leg! And the bangles, here, how they jangle so wonderfully. Very exotic!

KRISHNA: Yes, please stand up and shake a leg with me. Take this tambourine and jiggle it in the air. Good. Now take my hand. Let’s do some hip hop dancing and chanting. Repeat after me, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Got it?

OPRAH: I wish Ellen were here. Okay, here we go…Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…. I feel blessed and graced. I think I love you Krishna.

KRISHNA: The feeling is mutual. Here’s a pouch full of my books, and you will find some flowers on top. You can carry it over your shoulder. My favorite book is the Bhagavad Gita.

OPRAH: Then I shall recommend it to everyone! Oh, this is fun! Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna….. We’ll be right back after this commercial….

I Think I’ve Gone Plumb Mad!

Me bandana at desk





I think this story is fictitious. If not, I may qualify for disability benefits.


Excuse me, I think I’ve gone plumb mad. Not that that’s such a bad thing, not if I can find a conscientious lawyer to prove that I qualify for disability benefits. Allow me to explain if I can.

In October of the year 2002 of the Common Era, I received Your Social Security Statement, Prepared especially for Walter Q. Davidson, signed by Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of the United States of America Social Security Administration. I am duly informed that, if I become disabled now, I have already earned enough credits to qualify for $1,111 per month in disability payments.

The way I see it, that figure in itself is a rather occult number, something more than a “mere coincidence.” On the other hand, if I want until I am sixty-two, my monthly payment would be about $739, or, at seventy, $980, with two big IFs: IF I continue working, and, IF my earnings continue at the present rate. The Two IFs are problematic: first of all, I am not working; secondly, I have been unemployed, meaning that I have been looking for work, since 1997. My dear reader can well imagine why the disability “if” would be more appealing to me even IF I were working, and even more so after considering that the official worker’s benefit figures will fall drastically after the Bush Administration reforms the social security system. But I did not apply for disability because I did not believe I was disabled at the time.

But I began to have my doubts after it dawned on me that I lived in apartment number 1908. Furthermore, despite my excellent references, I have only obtained two job interviews out of 2,467 applications in the past five years.

Perhaps I have been mentally disabled for some time now. Therefore I figure it is a good idea to write out this confession in order to pull my thoughts together into some kind of whole that might be certifiably sane or insane enough to qualify for some income. The only reservation I have at this point is that a semblance of sanity might disqualify me for disability benefits before I find a job, and that would leave me sleeping in the park of a paradise notorious for its meanness to homeless people.

Where was I? Oh, you see, one day I had a big fit and threw away my perfect part-time job in Manhattan. I was mad because I wanted to be somebody. But I was somebody, and now I know I just didn’t know it at the time. I had then everything I want back now. But it doesn’t do me any good to know all this now. What’s the difference? History is always a mistake! It always could have been better, so why rub salt in the wound? Quitting that job was virtual suicide and I knew it when I did it, and I probably would do it all over again in accordance with the Groundhog Day Doctrine, knowing fully well it would be a great mistake.

“Don’t do this! It’s suicide!” I yelled at myself. The president came up to me at the fax machine the next morning. He figured I had acted hastilly due to pressures around the office, and that I and would take my resignation back. I should have done just that, and I wanted to. Instead, I disobeyed myself and shoved several more pages of embittered resignation in his face, then I insulted his main man, a very nice guy except that he was a corporate type who looked like our current vice-president, Cheney. Nothing is good enough for me, I guess, especially success.

I’m getting off the track again. Maybe the track is the problem. Try wait! Something hit me, about quitting my job. I used to be a nicotine fiend a few years before I quit that job, and I also guzzled beer every evening. I quit smoking. What a drag quitting was! But I’m glad I did; I don’t want a drag now; the very idea of smoking is repulsive in its absurdity – smokers are fools! Then I quit drinking beers. I’ve been years without beers. I have no physical craving, but I still feel like I’ve lost man’s best friend – I watch Leaving Las Vegas at least four times a year. After I quit my cushy day job – a job that had allowed me to dabble in several arts before heading to the nightclubs and to still save something for retirement – I was offered a tax-avoiders dream-job in a banana republic. My stuff was already shipped out. I quit that job before I started it, then I quit Manhattan and flew to Paradise. Why? To take up writing, my first and foremost love.

When I arrived in Paradise, the subtropical clime smelled like death. “This is suicide!” I exclaimed at the airport. I panicked, and almost bought a ticket back. Rick and Lynn picked me up. Rick talked real estate, and pointed out a condiminium complex next to a golf course. “Tombstones!” I thought, “Oh my God! What a great place to die! This is the living end!” My apartment building, by the way, is across the street from a cemetery.

I almost headed back to the City, the only city worthy of the noun, but I figured Leaving New York is like quitting smoking: one has to stick with it, practice it like a piano until the quitting is perfected. But there is something I wanted to say here – I should have made a note of it …. Yes, quitting may be the key verb that could unlock my social security benefits, so I’ll make a note of it here… but no, then I’ll forget it again… oh, never mind that. What was I thinking? Paradise is pretty parochial, not the best place for an outsider to get a perfect part-time job or even a full-time job, but it is a great place to practice quitting in excellent weather. Good grief, that’s it! I’ve become a quitter! I wonder if that’s a mental disability that would qualify me for $1,111 per month?

Now that I think of it, there’s is something else I quit. I quit the world! I’m not really here, or not that often anyway. If I am a quitter, all quitters are not lazy. I am a busy quitter, busy escaping the so-called real world in order to work in the mental field. Studying and writing, that’s about all I do, and I do it a dozen hours a day, so I am not so lazy, except for marketing, a place where I fall down. I can often be found devising, revising and mailing out peculiar resumes and unique job-query letters, but I seldom try to market my profuse mental effusions as such because that would defeat my purpose!

I am laughing now: maybe sanity is being restored? No, that’s not it: I always laugh at my own jokes and seldom get the other jokes, the ones people like, the ethnic ones, the vulgar ones, about some color or sex organ or orifice….

Excuse me, is any one reading this? Maybe my double or a social security official or a psychiatrist? Does my dear reader see how easily I am distracted by free association? Where is the thread out of this confounding labyrinth?

Here’s something. I live in the mental field, mostly, in an infinite and timeless sphere, sort of. I regret to confess that I missed both job interviews because I got my days mixed up. I often do not know the the correct name or date of the present day, and when I think I do, I am often proven wrong. Further, on some day last week, I don’t remember which, I automatically went to the cafeteria for lunch. I was thinking about 1908 as I ate my usual meal. I went to the bathroom, and when I returned I could not remember where I had been sitting, where I had left my valuable things, so I had to ask people if they had seen me. How embarassing that was! It happened again in the library: I came out of the stacks and could not remember where I had been sitting. I determined that would never happen again: I keep my notebook and pen with me now at all times. And I made a note that, when I become successful again, to hire a secretary to tell me what day it is, where I am, and where I am going.

The library reminds me of what led me to believe I might be plumb mad. I was browsing the reference section last year, and Longmans, Green, and Company’s The Annual Register, A Review of Public Events at Home and Abroad for the Year 1908 caught my eye. I delved into the volumn and was compelled to write my own book about the major events of 1908. Of course the problem with the major events of 1908 is that they cannot be understood unless the major events of the years before 1908 are examined. And all the events about the globe are related, or must be related if one is to make a coherent statement about them. To further complicate matters, the salient events protrude from a background of a virtually infinite number of minor events, insignificant in themselves, but often by chance necessary for such things as a successful coup d’etat. For instance, if a bug had not bitten Napolean’s face, causing him to scratch it and to inadvertently draw blood, his soldiers would not have been incensed, thinking he had been assaulted, and would not have rushed into the assembly to defend his honor. And that bug had a prodigious impact on the events of 1908.

The more I studied the chronicles, the more obsessed I became with 1908. I proceeded to write furiously about each major event as if there were no tomorrow. Before I knew it, I had already written a book without a plan to it, so I decided to entitle my book 1908. But I could not stop there. No matter which subject I took up, whether it be the Lisbon Assassination, the Kaiser’s Daily Telegraph Interview, the London Suffragettes, and what not, I did not foresee the complexity of the task before me, and the chapters grew into books – yes, at least one book would be required for each major event, and that just to scratch the surface. It was not that I was like the novice historian who preoccupies himself with writing down what every historian before him had written down. No, I was convinced that I saw everything in a different light altogether, and from a unique universal perspective, a grand point of view that illuminated everything including the political policies of the Bush Administration. Who says past history is irrelevant to today? Numbskulls, that’s who.

Now I must confess that I began to suspect that my addictive personality was misleading me again, and that I should quit writing about 1908 if I wanted to really be somebody. Maybe a millionaire novelist – hell, I could write a couple of best-sellers every year if I got addicted to writing so-called fiction. Anyhow, I paused one day in 1908, in the middle of a Berlin beer hall, and said to myself, “Damn, I could write one of the best short stories ever written in the time it takes me to get a few historical facts straight!” Yet, like Frederick the Great, I persisted with my Prussian agenda.

After that sojourn in historicism, where each moment is equally near the divine plan, I took up in earnest one of the greatest gaffes of the twentieth century, the Kaiser’s 1908 Daily Telegraph Interview. Someone back then called it an “incredible mistake”, so I decided to entitle my chapter on the subject ‘The Incredible Mistake.’ My psychoanalytical readers may already know what was to come: I plunged into my subject and was submerged by ‘The Incredible Mistake.’ Before I knew it, I had traced it back to Hermann’s defeat of Varus after Varus crossed the Rhine in the year 9 of our Common Era.

Again I am getting off track. I am about to lose myself in My Incredible Mistake. Yes, mine. Somehow, perhaps by the power of suggestion, the German Emperor’s Incredible Mistake had transmogrified itself into My Incredible Mistake. And what a discombobulated mess I had on my hands! A ream of my own indiscreet ramblings interspersed with lengthy quotes from memorable memoirs – and I do not even speak German.

Something within me shouted, “Quit! Throw away that trash, write a novel, better yet, get a billboard and a tin can full of rolled up resumes, go downtown, beg for a job, get a life!”

Well, I was once advised by a professional writer that being a good writer is knowing what to throw away, and that is half of everything. I threw away the best half of my life, but I did not know that it was the best, so I try to forgive myself. So now I never throw away anything I write: I just put the clippings in another file for future reference and for amusing stories and brilliant essays. I began to trim ‘The Incredible Mistake’ and managed to fashion something coherent out of it, but then I got sidetracked by the Pan-German League, and off I went into a 14,000-word paragraph!

But enough about the writing process, as I don’t want to be one of those writers who have nothing better to talk about than writing. There is only one how to write as far as I am concerned, and that is with love. Now the point was, the point is….

Excuse me, I think I’ve gone plumb mad trying to plumb the depth of things. ‘The Incredible Mistake’ and its interminable continuation has taken up a couple of months of precious time. Precious because I am almost flat broke. If I want to survive I suppose I must leave Paradise, a great place to escape in order to write, and return to the rat race. I’m talented and skilled, I have been and I could still be a great ass to money-mongering people – but here in Paradise they throw they throw away my resumes. I think if I return to Manhattan the Jews will save me again – they understand what I am going through.

Me taking a full-time, multi-task-position in a fast-paced company would be a great loss to un-hyphenated literature, I’m sure, but what else can a self-motivated, goal-oriented, computer-friendly man do? Maybe I am disabled. $1,111 per month in disability benefits would get me to my goal, to be one of the best writers the world has ever known by 2008. Then I would gratefully pay plenty of taxes. Yes, 2008.

2008! What a coincidence! Eight plus Two equals Ten! Then ONE. That reminds me of what I wanted to say, how my apartment number 1908 led me to think I had gone plumb mad. Although I had had a few doubts about 1908, I still could not quit writing about 1908. Yesterday, while walking home, I asked myself, “What is it about 1908? Why 1908?” Then, on the elevator to the nineteenth floor, I experienced some anxiety over the rent. “If I cannot pay rent, it will be difficult if not impossible to continue writing. Maybe I should just jump out the window if the sheriff comes to evict me,” I reasoned. But not to worry, I am a melodramatic thinker, it’s not going to happen, because I already wrote about it.

I got off the elevator and put my key in the door. As I opened it, I noticed the number attached thereto:


“Holy Smokes! I’ve never noticed that before! I am writing about the year 1908, and I live in apartment number 1908. Wow, that’s heavy. There is something mystical going on. Add the digits, add again, get 10, the perfect Ten! Add again, get 1, the ONE. Awesome.” [Hairs on end. Goosebumps. Flashbacks!]

A few minutes later, the magic was gone. “I must be plumb mad,” I speculated. “Why didn’t I notice that the number of my favorite year was also my apartment number? I think I’ve lost it. My writings are probably ravings and people do not let me know because they know that’s all I have, all that I am. Maybe I qualify for that $1,111 per month after all.”


2003 Kansas City, Missouri

Hey, Cops, What you going to do about us?

Hey Cops PIC

Mark Causey (L), South District Station, Raymond Martinez (R)


An Illegal Immigrant asked the black South Beach Cops

By David Arthur Walters


In May 2015, City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine used his faux reform regime’s propaganda organ, the Miami Herald and its affiliate television station, to insinuate and imply that former Police Chief Raymond Martinez condoned racism, misogyny, and anti-illegal-immigrant prejudice in the Miami Beach Police Department, expressed in the form of ‘locker room’ emails and texts, and to credit Daniel Oates, the imported police chief, celebrated for his handling of the Colorado Movie Theatre Shootings, for cleaning up the department. Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle deserves credit for at least asking why Chief Oates did not fire a black police officer in plain clothes for beating up a white Good Samaritan who came to the assistance of an white inebriated woman whose purse the cop was rifling through in the lobby of a building, and for then punching and kicking her in the head after she was handcuffed behind her back. I have updated my editorial, ‘The Miami Herald Plays Racist Card for Mayor Philip Levine,’ to include the allegation that the battered woman had addressed the officer with a racist slur, with no such allegation being made against the Good Samaritan, a courageous but wimpy businessman who was no match for the brute. That would not be surprising if true, as can be seen from my firsthand account (below) of what was going on in my predominantly Hispanic Miami Beach hood just five years ago. Cops, regardless of their color, are despised by Hispanic immigrants in that erstwhile crackhood. Thanks to Raymond Martinez and his fine officers, the very neighborhood that police officers used to apologize for was cleaned up after he became chief. Captain Mark Causey, who survived the political reform of the department and is now a major, led the crackdown on criminals there and in the adjacent Entertainment District of South Beach. The policing tactic included the utilization of crime suppression units, a strategy now criticized as racist because it was used in predominantly black neighborhoods in the City of Miami. It appears to me that mainstream media loves trouble and hates cops, and plays politics and fans racism to sell the bad “news” about human nature, which is nothing new.


November 2010

Miami Beach, Florida

“What you going to do about us, niggers, arrest us?” the more belligerent of the two Honduran illegals asked the two black cops who responded to my call about drunken and disorderly conduct and child abuse at a little apartment complex of three small buildings on Euclid Avenue in “chic” South Beach, which is on the southern reach of Miami Beach.

I had called the police, in the wee hours of Monday morning just two weeks before Christmas, because of the screaming and loud music downstairs. When I came outside and looked down, I saw Juan, one of the tenants, unconscious on his back on the sidewalk in front of the downstairs apartment. A terrified little boy was running around in the dark, screaming. Another tenant, leaning against the wall of the building next door, looked up at me with arms crossed and a menacing grimace. The gentuza look, I noted.

Each of the three buildings in my complex has four studio apartments; rent: $800 month or more. The studios are sizeable. This particular apartment below me, occupied by Honduran immigrants, had been previously occupied by a Puerto Rican couple, two babies, a dog, and sometimes a mother-in-law; they had finally managed to get a two bedroom apartment on North Beach with Section 8 assistance.

As Homeland Security’s I.C.E. knows very well, South Beach is densely packed with illegal immigrants who generally serve the expensive hotels and restaurants that illegally hire them and pay them low wages. “The Italians” are said to run the trafficking operation. The paperless workers live two or more to a small room. Many of them occupy their off hours drinking beer, and smoking pot and crack when they have the cash. If they do not have the cash, they may deal drugs to get it. Do not be surprised if a couple of them rape and knife a woman or two in the alley, or if one of them knifes a wife in front of his friend, who does nothing to prevent it. That has happened recently, and far more frequently in their crime ridden countries of origin. Of course anyone who points out this phenomena will be called a racist.

I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep. It was after two in the morning. I had to be on the way to work by six. The acoustics of the premises are such that the usually loud conversations between the buildings carry to every apartment nearby. The bass thumping of Latino and Hip Hop music disrupts the peace, vibrating an entire building from within. To make matters worse, some residents love to slam their metal doors, which creates a very loud boom, as if their apartments were big drums.

I had become sick and tired of being awakened so often in the middle of the night by noisy neighbors and their visitors, and by vagrants, drug users, and strangers from the clubs who use the premises as a toilet and as a place to fornicate. The generally absent landlord refused to fix the locks on the gates. He rents to anyone who has some money, preferably cash, no questions asked.

Yes, one can always move, and maybe buy some peace and quiet elsewhere, say, for $1,000 a month, if you are lucky. But then you may move and wind up having the same or worse experience elsewhere, so sometimes you figure it is best to take a stand. When I signed the lease, I thought the place was a move up for me, from previous prostitute-ridden, crack-head and drug-dealer infested quarters owned by prominent developer Russell Galbut and operated by his relative David Muhlrad, directly across from the Delano Hotel on Collins Avenue [now the upscale Gale Regent Hotel]. The landlord assured me that the premises were a quiet place to live. Little did I know that the apartment complex had been a public nuisance for over a decade.

Now it so happened that Juan, who spoke no English at all, had managed to get to his feet from the sidewalk below my apartment after he had passed out. The cops had arrived. He was swaying back and forth outside the apartment door, leering at them in a drunken stupor. The two-year old boy in the two immigrants’ care was inside the downstairs apartment now, still screaming bloody murder.

“Where’s the mother of the baby?” one cop asked.

“What? You going to arrest us, nigger?”

“Hey, listen up. I asked you, where is the mother of the baby?”

“You gonna arrest us nigger? What you going to do? Fuck you, nigger. You going to arrest us, huh?” the belligerent man rambled on, and then began to walk away.

“Come back here!” one cop ordered. He sat the man down on the sidewalk and cuffed him, where the man continued to insult him.

“Shut the fuck up!” the cop commanded. “Where is the mother of the baby?”

The other officer had gone into the apartment through the open door, where the little boy was crying hysterically. I could hear every word. He spoke in Spanish with Juan, who identified himself as the father of the boy.

“The mother is working at a laundry over on Alton Road,” the officer soon informed his partner outside. “I’ll get someone to go over there,” he said, and communicated the address to the dispatcher. Some time passed, and he said, “A car went over there. There is no laundry.”

One cop came upstairs and knocked on my door. “Well,” I said to myself, “now I am identified. But so what, people should come forward instead of hiding like cowards.”

The officer asked me what I knew. I complimented him on his restraint, and told him what I had observed. And I told him I had seen the landlord rent the apartment to Juan, give him mailbox keys, and that I had told Juan in terrible Spanish that I did not care what my neighbors did as long as they did not disturb the peace, and if they did that I would call the police.

The officer informed me that there were drugs and beer in the downstairs apartment, and no food at all for the baby. The poor child was plainly terrified. The mother could not be found. The brass had been called, and the two men would probably be arrested. They appeared to be illegal immigrants, and might be deported, but that was up to the judge. It was not long before the brass showed up; the two men and child were taken away.

It was after 4 am by then, and I laid down hoping to get an hour’s sleep before getting ready for work. I heard some shouting ten minutes later. A half dozen men and women from the illegal immigrant apartment hotel next door had showed up downstairs. They were evidently family and friends of the arrestees. I told them the two had been arrested, and asked them to please quiet down.

Two residents of the front building, Guillermo and his consort, Uhma, came out. Uhma, an immigrant from Pakistan, had gotten stoned on crack and wine one recent night, and announced that every man had a penis, but she only cared about the ones who had “bump” i.e. crack, and she laid out how she sold drugs for Guillermo at the hotel where she worked.

“Look!” said Guillermo, pointing me out to the relatives. “He called the police, got them arrested!”

“He is evil!” screeched Uhma, pointing at me.

“And what are you?” I thought, “but a coke whore!” I felt like saying but did not, as I do my best to refrain from insulting women with vile language.

“You called the cops! The cop came to see you! I saw the whole thing,” Guillermo declared.

“If you care about them so much, why did you hide in your apartment and look out the window at it instead of coming to their aid?”

He did not respond, but he got the relatives in his car and drove them to the police station.

I did have some remorse about the arrests. After all, it was nearly Christmas, and it appeared that I had broken up a family.

“Don’t feel bad,” my neighbor, Danny, said. “You probably saved that child’s life. He was born in this country and is a citizen, so he will be put in a home somewhere and be better off in the United States.

I found a subpoena from the State Attorney’s office tacked on my door. I showed up for the pre-trial interview, where I related what happened. The interviewer informed me that several felony charges had been made. Juan, the father, had violated an injunction to stay away from the mother and child. Apparently the mother was working and giving money to him to watch the kid, which he spent on beer and drugs. Other charges were felony drug possession, and felony child abuse. Juan’s cohort was on felony bond for burglarizing apartments, she said.

“They both might be deported, but that is up to the judge,” she said, looking over the papers in front of her. “They’re both in jail now. No, wait a minute, only Juan is in jail, the other guy, the one who was out on felony bond, he got another bond and is out of jail now. It looks like this one fellow, the father, was hanging out with the wrong company, and got himself into trouble.”

“That was my impression too,” I said. “His friend was very hostile, looked like trouble when I first laid eyes on him.

Child Services called me on my cell phone a few days later, wanting to know where the mother and child were.

“They are back in the apartment, and the boy seems just fine now, happy now that he is away from the out-of-control drunks. He is very endearing. Sometimes I worry about him because he plays in the yard where the landlord allows a lot of dog waste to pile up, and the other day I had to keep him from putting his fingers into the air conditioning fans outside.”

“But where is the child right now? We went by the apartment and they were not there.”

“She leaves the child with Uhma in the front building when she goes to work. Uhma was a crack whore but she got off drugs and booze because she is pregnant by somebody, and she treats the boy well. Uhma’s friend Guillermo speaks Spanish so he is trying to help the mother get the kid’s father out of jail.”

Child Services personnel came around several times after that, until the landlord ordered the mother out – apparently the men had taken all her money so she could not pay rent. The landlord, a tolerant Cuban Hebrew immigrant, made one of his rare appearances a few days later.

“You called the police. You should not discriminate against illegals,” he told me.

“What? Hey, I called the police not because they were immigrants but because they were disturbing the peace and a child was terrified in the middle of the night. Now they are charged with several felonies.”

“Don’t tell me that. That is just what someone says, what you say. I don’t believe it.”

“That is what the State Attorney says. Really, you should check these people out before you rent to them. You must have lost plenty of rent when the drug dealers in two of the back apartments were arrested. You should get background and credit checks before renting to guys like Juan.”

“I didn’t rent the apartment to him.”

“Oh? I saw you negotiating with him and then giving him the keys.”

“Let me tell you something. I came to this country with nothing, and rental signs said ‘No Spics’ back then.”

“You were Cuban. You got special treatment.”

“Look, if it were not for these people, oranges would cost $2 each.”

“If oranges were selling for $2 each, I would be picking and selling them. I don’t give a damn what illegals do as long as they do not disturb the peace and wake me up in the middle of the night.”

After the landlord departed, my neighbor Mike appeared.

“I was sleeping, but I woke up and heard you talking to the landlord. You should have told him that if he loves illegals so much then he should come and live with them.”

“Really. But you know most illegals are respectful, and for obvious reasons. I don’t know what is up with these Hondurans. Maybe it’s a gang. Right after this guy moved in with the woman, there were dozens of them hanging out at all hours around the apartment, drinking and smoking marijuana.”

“I see them when I come home late,” Mike said.

“It’s scary when all this is going on right outside your door. The property is a damn nuisance. I think it should be seized. All the landlord cares about is money, the cash he gets off them. I saw rolls of it handed over when the Bloods gang was living in back.”

“He will lose all his tenants.”

“What gets me is how these idiots can be so disrespectful to the police. I hear Honduras is very violent and cops are despised there, so I guess it’s the culture.”

The very next week, after the two Hondurans were arrested, a Cuban woman who lives in the back building told me she had overheard The landlord telling the mother to vacate the apartment, and when she asked for the deposit, he told her she could not have it, and said that if she complained about it, he would call Immigration and have her deported. The last I heard, the mother had been deported. I don’t know what happened to the child.

Other Hondurans have taken over the apartment. That is another story, involving a great deal of traffic, gay hustlers, orgies, visiting families “from Texas,” a rotating extended family from Michigan Avenue and so on. For the life of me, I do not understand how so many people stay up all night partying and make a living too. Maybe they are receiving public assistance or dealing drugs, maybe both.

The new crowd of Hondurans in the apartment are somewhat quieter despite lots of traffic all night long, except when one portly woman stays over with several men. Her English includes many foul words to be heard a half block away when the windows are open. Rather than calling the cops, I asked her to please keep the noise down last week.

“Fucking Americanos! Fucking Americanos!” she shouted over and over. The men laughed, and turned up the stereo.



Stoned Man Taken to Mental Hospital for Failing Metaphor Test


An anti-war demonstrator got stoned on horse tranquilizer and walked over to the White House to wish President Nixon a happy birthday and to warn him, citing Herman Melville’s Manichean Moby Dick, that the world was literally engaged in a war between Good and Evil. Wherefore the man was asked what it means when someone says that a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. When he gave the concrete reason, that the glass would break, it was determined that he was incapable of abstract thinking and must therefore be demented; he was taken into custody and whisked off to St. Elizabeth’s hospital for examination. But he escaped, and threw his identification into the Potomac because he had found out who he really was when a patient at the hospital referred to him as the son of god. He was arrested in Maryland for nonpayment of a bill for breakfast after taking a sign in a motel dining room (‘Please Help Yourself to the Food’) literally, having no money on him at all. His father paid the fine and sent him funds to venture to Manhattan, where he rented a room in a Masonic lodge converted to a hotel. He took the mirror off the wall, put a chair on it and sat on the chair because the sheriff in the Maryland jail had told him he had better reflect on what he was doing. When the Secret Service called on his family in the Midwest to inquire into his conduct, the agents discovered that he was writing a children’s book about whales.

The Strange Case of the Hole!

by David Arthur Walters

I encounter many people of diverse origins while taking my Sunday walks along the shore in South Miami Beach. Some time ago, during the annual wine festival, I espied a buxom beauty standing at the water’s edge with a plastic tumbler in her hand.

I struck up a conversation. She had come over from the other side of Florida with some friends. No, she was not in town for the festival – by the way, she was drinking a plain soda. Her name is Karen, but I sometimes I call her Senorita Cia because of her story about a misinterpretation of a spy game she had played at the Bush Inaugural – one of her messages during the game had been intercepted by the federales, which resulted in the appearance of a special investigator at her office.

Karen was almost as verbose as yours truly, hence we hit it off famously, doing our best to out-talk each other as we strolled southwards in the wet sand. I took a responsible, fatherly interest in her. She is twenty something, faithful, fearless, fateful – providential is the better term. She said she liked Florida, had a great job and fine friends, but was thinking of removing to some better place. I said a good job is something to stay put in for awhile, maybe climb up the ladder a few rungs. Besides, there is always a Better Place, even when you’re ready to drop dead. No doubt she’ll do what she’s inclined to do, I supposed, but what I said did seem to give her pause for a moment.

She said she was to meet her friends at Nikki Beach. She did not know about the tragic fate of young Nikki Penrod, so I filled her in on the accident. She was moved by the story. To deepen the Nikki Culture even further, I made sure she was given a copy of Nikki’s delightful magazine when I dropped her off later.

As we splashed along in the surf, I offered to take her for a little tour of the south end of the beach. She accepted after a couple of sidelong glances – No, he is not a dirty old man. I showed her the pier, then promenaded her alongside the canal: we watched cruise ships and freighters glide by Fisher Island.

Ring! Karen’s dad called her on her cell. Oh, I hope she doesn’t tell him some old guy is taking her into the park, I thought. No problem. After their chat, Karen and I turned towards Nikki’s, walking across the stretch of lawn behind the Continuum condominium tower.

“Ohhh!” Karen gasped and suddenly got shorter – she had stepped knee-deep into an obscure hole.

“Oh, my god!” I exclaimed, and I am not even religious. “Are you okay?”

I envisioned her in the hospital, explaining to her dad, “Dave took me to the park and broke my leg, and then…. ”

“I’m all right,” she said, extracting her shapely leg – her ankle was scratched up some by the rocks in the hole. I fretted and fretted while examining the damage.

“You’re more worried than I am, and it happened to me,” she observed.

“To take you for a little walk and break your leg is not my cup of tea. And what the hell is this hole doing here? By gum, nobody can see it. It’s hidden by leaves and grass. Someone could badly hurt themselves. Maybe we should report it.”

“I think so,” Karen agreed.

“There’s a cop over there.” I nodded at a squad car in the parking lot. “We should report it, just in case your cut gets infected or you get tetanus or something, then get you cleaned up.”

“I think you’re right. Let’s report it.”

We approached the squad car, and I told the policewoman what happened. In Manhattan, I said, if someone reports a dangerous situation, the city is no longer immune, so the next person can sue for damages sustained. She said that was interesting, and she dug in her portable file box for a special form to fill out and forward to the relevant agency.

Karen made an innocent but terrible mistake at that juncture: she leaned into the car window and stretched over the officer to look at the form.

“Get back!” the officer commanded. Startled, we stepped back – she got out of the car with one hand on her weapon.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I got excited and wanted to help.”

“She’s in government relations,” I explained.

“She should know not to relate to government that way.”

“I’m sure she will never do it again,” I assured the cop. Please accept our apologies.”

“I’ll need you to put your name down on the form,” the officer said to Karen – she laid the form down on the hood of the car and started to smooth it out.

“Oh, no, I don’t want my name down on forms,” Karen whispered to me. “You’re a man. Do something.”

“Officer, never mind. My friend isn’t hurt. Maybe you can just let the Parks people know about the hole over there before someone gets badly hurt.”

“I’d rather not say what my name is,” Karen chimed in.

“She’s related to the governor,” I blurted out – what a stupid thing to say!

“Why are you bothering me with this hole, then?” said the cop.

“Good question,” I responded. “Officer, we thank you very much, and apologize for the trouble. I hope that hole gets fixed soon.”

I whisked Karen away before either one of us could say or do something stupid.

“Damn, I can’t believe I said that. I was thinking of you in government relations, and said you were related to the governor. She looked suspicious.”

“Ha, ha,” Karen laughed.

“She probably thinks you’re the governor Bush’s daughter, down here fooling around.”

“Ha, ha, ha! I don’t want my name on forms down here.”

I walked Karen over to Nikki’s so she could clean up her scratches and meet her friends. I didn’t blame her for having second thoughts about having her name down on a police department form which might be posted onto the police database, not after what had happened to her after the inauguration.

Karen and I exchanged numbers at Nikki’s. She reunited with her friends and they went on their way. I returned to the park the next day, found a Parks Department employee raking leaves, and pointed out the hole to him. He said he would mention it to his supervisor. Every Sunday thereafter, I checked to see if the hole was still there. It always was, and I faithfully reported that fact via etext to Karen. We exchanged little notes via our cells, such as:

“The Hole exists!”

“Let’s sell the Hole to a gypsy for ten percent of the take. He’d make a fortune breaking his leg!

“Praise be to Nothing, the Hole is here!”

“I’m going skiing. How’s the Hole?”

“Break a leg. The Hole is fine!”

“A Hole is a Hole is a Hole.”

Not only did our wee exchanges go on for weeks and weeks, the matter of the Hole in itself was actually discussed on a philosophy blog. And while hanging out in the park, I pointed out the Hole to many residents and tourists as a precaution. The Hole prompted a number of amusing remarks from them. I also reported the Hole to another grounds man. As far as I know, nobody was hurt.

And then, on June 12, 2005, during the course of my usual walk through the park, I saw a Parks Department truck traversing the parking lot. I ran in front of the truck, waved it down and reported the Hole to the driver.

“What are you talking about? What hole? I don’t know about any hole,” the man said gruffly.

“The Hole!” I explained what had happened. “Lots of people know about the Hole. It’s been discussed on the Internet.”

“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. What do you mean, on the Internet?”

“There’s a blog about the Hole.”


“Like a journal.”

“Where is this hole of yours? Show it to me,” he demanded.

I took him to the Hole.

“Why, there is nothing in this hole, no sprinkler down there,” he observed as he cleared the Hole of leaves with his trash-picking tool.

“What do you think?” I asked.

“Think? You say people are writing about this hole?”

“Yes, and I am thinking of doing a full report on it myself, as I’m a journalist.”

“Well, this is unbelievable. You tell them that Jimmie Newton saw this hole at eleven o’clock on June twelve,” he said, glancing at his watch, “and that he said he’d fill it up as soon as he found some dirt.”

Sure enough. I inspected the exact spot a short time later, and have this report to file:



And what is the point to all this? Must there always be a point to everything? Is not the Case of the Hole enough to think about?

First Sequel

Visitation to the Hole became part of my Sunday ritual after I wrote ‘The Case of the Hole.’ The sight of the well-filled hole made me feel that I had finally accomplished something, that perhaps my faith in Nothing was not for naught, that Nothing is potentially pregnant with everything, that Nothing is a reliable source of progress after all.

And then something very strange happened on the fourth Sunday: three tunnels of about five inches in diameter and seven inches apart had been bored deeply into the dirt filling the hole. One could see by their irregular, natural twisting that some sort of critters had been at work.

So that’s the cause of the hole, I thought. Critters must live down there. I felt sorry for them, but figured they should relocate so someone doesn’t break her leg in a public park. What kind of critters? For some reason, baby Puerto Rican chupacabras came to mind first of all. On second thought, rats were the most likely candidate.

I spotted a patrol car and decided to report the dangerous situation.

“Officer, do you know about the hole?”

“Hole? What hole?”

“The hole the Parks Department filled up. Some kind of critters have bored holes in it, and if it gets completed dug out again, someone might step in it and break their leg.”

“Where is this hole?” the officer asked.

“Over there, over the bridge, between the palm trees,” I pointed. “I’m thinking rats might live down there.”

“It could be crabs,” he said.

“The hole is famous, you know. People all over the world are reading and talking about it. Have you read my story about the hole?”

I started to tell him the story, but he interrupted me.

“You don’t sound credible,” he said with a frown.

“It’s on the Internet,” I responded, as if that were a font of truth.

“Oh?” He reached for his computer, and I gave him the Internet address of my story. He started to smile as he read, shaking his head a little, at which point I bid him good bye and left him to his duties.

Second Sequel

Needless to say, I let Karen know right away that the story of the hole had been continued by some sort of creatures:


Despite this development, the press still would not run my original story nor send a reporter and photographer out to the scene of the hole. Even the counter-cultural Miami New Times and the frustrated establishment weekly, the SunPost, remained silent after my submissions.

I have often supposed editors cover up reality with fair and unbiased reporting of carefully selected facts instead of digging up the truth of the dirty details. But after I yelled bloody murder in the case of the drowning that the media had ignored, the editor of the SunPost took interest in my article, THE BLIND SPOT. Of course he did not publish it, but laid out some of his own facts in his column one week; and two weeks later he ran a letter of mine in response to his exposition.

Perhaps the expose on THE BLIND SPOT influenced developments at THE HOLE, which I continue to visit religiously.


Yes, the hole has been refilled, and this time it is doubtful whether any natural critter will work its restoration to nothing, as some sort of black, tarry gravel has been packed down very tightly into the hole, making its excavation highly improbable. Of course an aardvark could do the trick faster than three men with shovels, but aardvarks are not found in South Beach yet. Chupacabras are something else again.

Suicide by Writing – The Man Who Wrote Himself to Death


by David Arthur Walters

Once upon a time there lived an unknown author with a bad case of writer’s block who suddenly realized that writing is indeed futile, so he wrote himself to death.

His name was George Harvey. He was often seen walking around the neighborhood with a silly smile on his face and with a blood-red covered book in his hand entitled SUICIDE, authored by one Emile Durkheim. That very book was found on his desk after his death, opened to a well-worn page wherein he had underlined a few sentences as follows:

“One does not advance when one walks toward no goal, or, which is the same thing, when his goal is infinity…. To pursue a goal which is by definition unattainable is to condemn oneself to a state of perpetual unhappiness. Of course, men may hope contrary to all reason, and hope has its pleasures even when unreasonable. It may sustain him for a time but it cannot survive the repeated disappointments of experience indefinitely….Shall action as such be considered agreeable? First, only on condition of blindness to its uselessness….”

On that page’s margin George had scrawled in red, “So much for God! So much the search for Wisdom! Well, then, I shall proceed because of my spite for futility!”

Since George lived alone, his death was discovered though the sense of smell. His decaying body was found slumped over his desk with a cheap ballpoint pen in the hand that had apparently written these words just before its master’s demise:

“Because of your rejection I die triumphant by my own hand, writing myself to death for the sheer hell of it. You will find my manuscript ‘The Wonderful Futility of a Meaningless Life’ in the refrigerator. It is with the greatest pride in my contempt for the futility inspired by my fellow man that I present proof….” the note trailed off.

After his body was found, the police were obliged to make a few cursory inquires even though George had apparently died of natural causes – notwithstanding the suicide note which was obviously the work of, as the police psychologist said, “a nutcase.” And indeed he had died of natural causes: overwork, junk-food and heartbreak are natural to modern man. When the police inquired, George’s next door neighbors knew next to nothing about him or for that matter about each other. They lived in a building where it was considered either an imposition or downright dangerous to say anything to a resident let alone look one in the eye.

Nevertheless Sally, who lived across the hall from George, said she had actually spoken to him on at least two occasions. Once, upon being asked by him what she had done on New Year’s Eve, when she replied ‘nothing’, he had said that was a shame as he was doing nothing too, so they should have gotten together. She said she cut the conversation short there as she thought he was being too forward. She said it occurred to her that a loner like George might fit the profile of a serial killer.

Sally reported that George approached her on another occasion at a magazine rack in the Seven-Eleven store across the street, whereupon she averted her eyes and gave every sign she was too occupied to be engaged. But George persisted, so she asked him how he was. He said that he was very angry because an editor had sent him several letters rejecting his articles, and that the editor had said nothing further about George’s work but had instead quoted at length someone named Chesterton. George told Sally he had a laundry bag full of rejection slips, everyone of them being the standard unsigned form, but this particular editor had taken it upon himself to quote some other author’s snide remarks that had no relevance to the work he had submitted.

Sally extended the courtesy of asking who the said Chesterton was. George said Chesterton was a pompous ass who wanted to fill up the world with facetious remarks. He then said that he, George, wanted to bomb the editor’s offices. At that point Sally broke off the encounter and never spoke to George again. In fact, she carefully avoided him thereafter, always looking for him through her door’s peephole into the hall before leaving her apartment, crossing the street whenever she saw him coming, and other such precautionary tactics.

That was all the information that could be gleaned from the neighbors. No friends or relatives could be located, if there were any. George’s body was unclaimed and quickly disposed of given its decomposed state. His manuscript, which had filled his entire refrigerator with shelves removed, was burned along with the rest of his personal effects. Surely he would have been pleased by that, for he knew all along that his writing and his life were futile. That is why he wrote, why he overcame his writer’s block, why he wrote himself to death.

All that remains of George Harvey is a few memories – of his silly smile as he strolled along clutching his blood-red book on suicide, of his dislike for Chesterton and his hatred for the editor who quoted Chesterton, and the stink of his carcass. Even those memorable remnants of George shall soon vanish from the face of the Earth. That is, unless this tale survives. And I believe it should survive, for it is the only account of the first known case of suicide by writing.

# # #

Note: This short-short story has caused a few readers to publicly express concerns about my sanity. During my historical research into the culture of suicide, I encountered a true account of artistic nihilists who were painting their masterpieces and destroying them before anyone could see them, then destroying themselves as well

Underground Man Confesses Another Dirty Secret

by Sebastian Ferreira



Fiction by David Arthur Walters

The Underground Man is back with a vengeance

Considering the circumstances, I must exist, therefore I exist. I am as I am circumscribed, and shall always be known as such, duly noted by my own hand, the only history I have. Few people know me because few have read me. I am in effect an editorial reject; to wit, a dejected nobody, a man without a country, so to speak, conscientiously omitted as a matter of course from all speeches about this great nation of ours.

Of course I love America, but how I despise Americans, and for all the good reasons decent Americans are well aware of, including their rattling of plastic bags and eating of popcorn with their mouths open during movies. I gladly confess a manslaughter I committed over popcorn. Popcorn is, by the way, my favorite food providing that I am the one eating it, and I for one always eat it with my mouth closed, as I was trained to do by my grandmother in Moscow – we emigrated to Brooklyn when I was ten-years old.

Grandma also taught me not to touch myself when I pee, because “your thingie is dirty,” she said. That lesson caused me to hate her for the public embarrassment I so often suffered after I came out of the bathroom, until the wet spots on my pants dried. I was relieved in more ways than one when she landed in front of the train in Brighton Beach and was killed before my eyes. Soon thereafter, while shaking and squeezing the last drops out of my thingie, I ejaculated in a flash, and, wanting that feeling repeated, I acquired the habit of masturbating once or twice a day. Somehow people know, as if your dirty secrets were written all over your pimpled face: Women who glance at me do so with utter contempt, obviously loathing me for wasting myself on myself.

Grandma had always taken me to the movies, which helped me with my English. I avoid movies that show sex as I wind up missing much of the action because I have to go to the bathroom frequently – I am usually a coward in action, so I dare not expose myself in the theatre. I prefer violent movies, the more violent the better, and it was during a prolonged scene of a brutal massacre that I made another exception to my cowardice and accidentally killed another little old lady.

I like to take my seat early at the movies so I can be sure to get the best one, preferably in the top row so as not to have anyone sitting behind me kicking my seat, chatting, rattling plastic bags and chewing popcorn with their mouth wide open. If you think a seat elsewhere would do nicely, nine out of ten times some rude person will sit right down behind you just after the movie starts, even when the theatre is half empty. Therefore the top row is ideal, especially for nobodies like me who like to enjoy the grandeur of their insignificance from on high, where they can look down on everyone else created equal. Furthermore, old folks, who are hard of hearing, tend to talk loudly, and who tend to bring in food in plastic bags because Social Security does not cover concession-stand junk food, never climb to the top row of theatres given their infirmities.

Never say “never”: There must be exceptions. I arrived early as usual, and secured a seat in the top row. There were only a dozen people in the audience by the time the previews were over, and not one person in the top five rows. So far so good! No sooner had the feature begun than an old lady carrying a large plastic bag entered and started climbing the stairs ever so slowly. Sure enough, she blocked my view for what seemed like an eternity when she reached the top of the flight right in front of me, and then she stepped up to my row and sat down right beside me.

I almost jumped up then and there to crawl over her and take a seat elsewhere, but the protagonist with the chain saw had just cut a man’s arm off and was about to decapitate him, so I stayed put and tried to focus on the movie, whereupon the old lady started rattling the plastic bag, which she had filled with homemade popcorn, retrieving one small quantity after another and chewing it with mouth wide open – crunch, crunch, crunch!

I stood up, grabbed the old lady from her seat and hurled her down the stairs. She couldn’t have weighed ninety pounds. It was amazing how she virtually flew down the flight and landed with a thud. Two men besides my good self ran to her aid – I didn’t mean to hurt her, at least not with malice aforethought. She was out cold, her mouth stuffed with popcorn. A denture had come loose and stuck out of her mouth – the scene would not make a good commercial for denture adhesive cream, I thought.

In fact, as I found out later, she was dead. She was a famous writer of horror stories. Her obituary said she had fallen down the stairs at a showing of a motion picture adaptation of one of her stories. She had no surviving family. I think of myself as her grandson now. I didn’t like my own grandmother that much.