JUNE 24 , 2018




So anyway. Once Denby got out of the San Rafael jail where he had been sent on account of taking part in Javier's birthday once again, he rested a while and then travelled by bus and ferry over to the Island to visit his old friend Edwin who had taken ill. Edwin had been one to contend with the Angry Elf some time ago, as Edwin had felt, perhaps foolishly, that the Island should not harbor drug dealers and thugs as a matter of course.

The Angry Elf had tried to enlist Edwin in his gang of thieves so as to take advantage of his computer expertise, but Edwin had recoiled with revulsion when he had learned of the Elf's true objectives.

As a result of Edwin's rejection, the Angry Elf had responded according to his character and absence of humanity. He had sworn that he would "make Edwin sorry," and had stomped off to make his plans.

The Angry Elf is a name that developed out of a movie starring Will Farrell, featuring a cameo performance by Richard Dinklater, an Oscar winner for his performance in The Station Agent.

In that movie with Will Farrell, Richard Dinklater had performed as an abusive children's book author who beats up the sweetly innocent character presented by Farrell.

The man called The Angry Elf, although not a true dwarf, is a man of diminiture stature and nasty disposition who freely confessed to running drugs for the Mob in Brooklyn and informing on a number of former friends whom he considered extremely stupid. He is subject to rages similar to that portrayed by Dinklater in the movie, hence his nickname.

His real name is Neal and he operates a loose affiliation of thugs, shoplifters, racketeers, arsonists, drug runners, and ID theft processors in the East Bay where he wound up after the Mob made it hot for him in Brooklyn.

He still owns a three story brownstone in Brooklyn, purchased with drug money.

When Denby arrived at Edwin's new apartment on the Island he found a place that was scattered with the signs of someone dealing with injury and ill health. An ice machine for bathing wounds was on the counter. Bottles of Percocet and Morphone littered the banquet.

Edwin was laid up with his leg in an immobilizer brace. He had gained by the look of him some 80 pounds.

The Angry Elf gang had made good on the promise to hurt him by breaking into his old apartment every single day for about nine months. They had ransacked his carefully tended file cabinets, run through all his personal dresser drawers, raided the refridgerator, and thoroughly upended every privat space, cabinet, drawer and cabinet they could find.

During this process, Edwin began gaining weight, his blood pressure went to 160/110 on a permanent basis, he began having spells of violent vomiting and extreme agitation, and his physician scratched his head as his CBC test results indicated wild blood abnormalities.

Because of extreme mood swings his 20 year relationship with a woman came to an end. He could not stand to hurt her any more, so he told her he was sleeping with someone else even though he wasn't.

People around him thought he was going crazy, but no.

When the Building Manager did an inspection of the Angry Elf's apartment while looking for the cause of leak that turned out to be coming from the unit next door on the third floor, he noticed large mason jars of powder and pills that turned out to be prednisone.

He had been healthy as a horse until after the Angry Elf swore he would make Edwin sorry.

The Angry Elf had wanted Edwin to be part of his gang on account of Edwin's skillset.

Gonna move into the numbers business, personal numbers like social security and credit cards. Nobody can trace where they go. No goods to be found on you if you get searched. I need a guy who knows computers. Capeche?

Edwin had told Neal in no uncertain terms to go eff himself.

You better not say that again, Neal had said.

Eff off. And eff off some more, Edwin said.

All right I know some nasty, cruel people. I am gonna make you sorry, Neal said, sounding more and more like James Cagney in the movie Public Enemy Number One.

Edwin started getting sick, vomiting, sweating

Thats when the mysterious break-ins started occurring, day after day, going on for months. All of his filing cabinets and drawers were repeatedly ransacked. The bank started calling about strange charges in other states and he noticed wierd charges on the credit cards. Edwin started getting sick, vomiting, sweating, unable to sleep and then getting alternatively excessively drowsy, listless. His emotions roller-coastered to extreme highs followed by radical depression. He figured there was something wrong with the food in the fridge so he threw it all out, but still kept milk and some condiments in the trays.

He started eating only stuff out of cans and ramen noodles, and started gaining weight even though he was eating less. Sometimes he did not finish the canned stew and put the leftovers in the fridge, but this did not seem to work and he got sick again. His doc at Kaiser put him through a number of blood tests and found liver function abnormalities as well as kidney problems. His doc wanted to know if he was drinking hard liquor but he wasn't.

All this time he was getting wierd hang-up phone calls night and day so he turned off the ringer and stopped answering the phone, letting the machine take the calls.

That is when the door started opening around the corner as he sat in the reading chair. He would stand up and shout, "who is there!" and the door would slam shut.

Basically, the Angry Evil was systematically terrorizing and poisoning Edwin to death; drugs remained Neal's final recourse to revenge. Terror was his main weapon in all dealings with all people.

Edwin did go to the police, but each time he called and each time he visited, cops on the Angry Elf's payroll intercepted the contacts.

"I thought he hated you because you are German," said Denby.

"I am not German," said Edwin. "Exclusively."

"Everybody thought you were," said Denby.

"Because I spoke Deutsch? Wo schua putong whya," said Edwin. "Je parle aussi Francaise. Does this make me Chinese? Or Canadian? Just because I speak a language? People are stupid and looking for another Guy Falkes effigy to burn all the time. They are just looking for demons on which to offload their own guilt instead of looking into a mirror at their own culpability. Just look at the current rage against refugees."

"So what are you?"

"I am hyphenated like the majority of America. My grandmother came out of Germany as a sole survivor Jew."

"You are Jewish?!"

"A genuine German-Jew. One whose family fought against Hitler from the beginning until only my Oma was left alive."

"Neal does not know this. . . ".

Criminals like Meyer Lansky always feel personally victimized

"Of course not. He is a sociopath filled with rage against all of humanity and is looking to blame any convenient article in his path for his own failures as a human being. And he has many failures, I can say that. Criminals like Meyer Lansky always feel personally victimized by society at large for some vague affront. And so Lansky and John Wayne Gacy go about taking "revenge" on the rest of us. And all the while people say "what a nice guy he is! He donates to the charity!"."

"What about that Japanese woman to whom Neal gave your apartment keys?"

"She was just a distraction looking for personal info they could sell on the Dark Web. Its his style to get a flunky to do the obvious work so that if ever there was an investigation, she would be the one to take the hit. "

"So are you sorry about saying "eff you" to this scumbag?"."

"Not a bit. So many people came up to me afterwards to say thank you. They said T------f needs to be told 'eff you' more often."

"So why don't they do it? Did you not ask them?"

"Of course. They said they are afraid of T------f."

he has committed murder

"I am surprised to hear you mention his name. Usually we just call him the Angry Elf."

"I am a dead man. The poison he has given me will kill me. He has broken the one promise he made to everybody -- he has committed murder. There is nothing else he can do to me. Soon I will be dead and this curse will fall upon his family: may nothing they plant ever flower. May all his family's seeds wither and his line pass into oblivion with only the soiled family name to echo after him."

"You know in this industry of Art we do not mention names. Ever. That is a crime with us. We do not do that."

"I hear so much about law and crime and nothing about the crimes done to me. Fuck T------f's name. He soiled his family's name when he first went into dealing drugs in Brooklyn and he destroyed it by way of murder. Murder is supposed to be the Capital crime, never mind the crimes of which I supposedly was accused by nameless accusers, vague accusations that had no basis. This man has committed murder many times over. I die pronouncing it."

The Island had become dangerous, reptilian

Denby left his friend's apartment in the East End, knowing that he would not come back again to this haunted place. The Island had become dangerous, reptilian. An overpopulated place fraught with danger. It had ceased being a refuge long ago and he looked back at the Golden City from the windows of the ferry, longing for a home that was long lost, not so much different from any refugee fleeing destruction in the land that had once been his home.

He was returned to the new place that was now home

Once he descended from the bus in Silvan Acres, he saw fawns bounding off into the murky shadows, jackrabbits and scurrying things that harbored no evil. He was returned to the new place that was now home. The old one had been destroyed by an angry spirit and there is no going home again. Home is a river, always flowing, changing, undergoing mutations. You can look through the windows, but there is no egress or ingress. Home is a place enclosed by the spherical prison of Time.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the fog-shrouded Northbay's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, as it also traversed the estuary to cross the Island and the old Beltline property that is now a park, and die between the Edwardian house-rows while the living locomotive click-clacked in front of the shadow-shuttered Jack London Waterfront, trundling past the Ohlone burial mounds to an unknown destination.