My own persona is building itself into the greater circle of John Hapflik, Bill Dinklpfuss, and this small Great Lakes town. My voice has enacted an auxiliary existence at the special service of itself. I am a dreamer; something that isn’t appreciated in pragmatic America, much to my chagrin and consternation.
This is my narrative voice under the influence of Gilberticus Loki Pinklesplatt.
Naked, in divine moronity, we live in the midst of evolution, spooning the apes beneath the trees, shaking the womb of objectivity. Subjection is meritorious, our doctrines makes us glorious, as long as we are seen to belong. Never a new awakening unless en mass, playing a role that shows that you belong. The legal lecturers and postureres of pain in your ear subscribe not just to the doctrine of man’s duty to truth, but subjection of truth to legal formality. No need to know the truth unless it can be used. A high school biology teacher told me men are all data and facts but women are virtuous, regardless of truth or fact. Teacher was a newlywed man. Full of shit, too. Every person alive is granted the natural right to love himself. You can’t love your neighbor as much as yourself if you don’t love yourself.
The narcissist over on Q lane, the one who is always shooting guns in his back yard, the one with the big painted sign next to his garage, “Gun Control Means Use Both Hands.” He is always talking about the world becoming Armageddon and how everyone is going to have to go into survival mode. I suppose it is because he knows the depravity of himself that he writes it large on the world outside.
I am thinking of the weeks after 9/11 when the narcissists who end up working in government sanitation departments across the country were calling police stations to report someone taking a picture of a water tower or a bridge. Rural sheriffs everywhere were called to investigate picture taking of bridges and water towers.
“Funny looking man in a strange car in our area, Sheriff. Will keep you posted.”
Five minutes later. “Funny looking car drove by looking at mailboxes. Getting my gun out. Better get over here right away, Sheriff.”
Five minutes later. “The guy got out of his car and went to the neighbor’s door, Sheriff. Where the hell are you? He’s walking away from the house. Now he’s running! I’m going after him!”
Outside the guy is running back to the car just because that is what he wanted to do. That’s right, Mr. Prosecutor, unlike you, there are many spontaneous people going about their lives and doing enjoyable things. What is disconcerting about you, Mr. Prosecutor, is that you are the legal voice of a We looking for the right recognition because it is necessary. Don’t give me any baloney about being fair square and all that other horseshit. Your job is to paint people as calculating, when the average person is taking the day as it is coming. You schematize truth into categories. The idea that you think it peculiar that a guy is running needs to be examined. A reasoning person would think that a 50 year old man wouldn’t be running at all unless he needed to. You employ detectives, take polygraph tests, question: why were you running?”
“I had no need to.”
“Right. So why were you running?”
“Because I did not need to and it felt good. I felt like running to my fucking car because I had a blast of energy in my body.”
“Come on. You expect me to believe that?”
“You’ve got a booger hanging, detective.”
Only, you don’t get a chance to question the guy because:
“Stop!Stop! BANG BANG BANG
So Mr. Prosecutor, nobody home next door, no other house for a ¼ mile. Good job. Second degree homicide. Should’ve been first degree, but you just can’t figure out what the guy was running from. Nothing was stolen from the house, no sign of break in despite what the guy who shot him claimed; that he saw the man come from around the back of the house and that he was sure a light had come on in the house. And Armageddon will not wait for the narcissist on Q lane.
“He shouldn’t have been walking around in someone’s yard. I made an honest mistake,” is what his consciousness is telling him now. Professor Cliffnut says a person has to love himself, even a murderer. The equivocation of our deeds is always on our mind, the intellect can’t be productive without it. The I and the We we are not so good together as mean things, but how the unthinking future plays out makes it seem they are more natural than they are. Ironically, the I and We are harmony at times. In those rare moments of communion with the prior generations of humanity We embraces something higher, something continuous.
My We God; Sentiment from the Widow of a Methodist Minister
ME God, for my me but not my I because my view is what I wished We to think; what I wished me to think, not as I do. I don’t pay attention to be or am. There is no individual, only my I as your I, and how We should be.
Not MY God, you said to me when you heard me say, “goddammit” the other day. “I won’t stand for you cursing MY God,” you actually said, like the prosecutor making a charge of felony. Ya jus’ gotta follow the depravity, your honor.
You said once, “he’s not MY president,” as though the world was wrong and therefore must be ignored. Democracy be damned until it comes round to your ideology of a pure Adam before that slut Eve seduced him away from himself; life encapsulated in a Methodist sermon on the evils of liberalism in an egalitarian society.
Method, conclusion, knowledge. Spirit, confusion, acknowledge. Rationalism is the ghost that is always with us, though he has no reason for standing. God Is, not HOW he is.
How are ya, dude?
Doing fine, I guess, but you coulda done better on that fuel consumption thing. If not for hunger, what would I know about defending myself, or procuring by whatever means necessary the herd of cattle, gaggle of chickens, pen of pigs, pond of fish my petulant belly bellows for every few hours or so? Squirrel tastes like chicken to the tongue that tastes each meal with a bland indifference for the countless consumptions. And how about that anus, huh, huh?
“All right, all right. I told you before, it is out of my hands. The divine is a We energy from which one derives his own higher self, the man behind the mirror. I didn’t create you, I gave you the means to create ME. I am energy without persona. You are my I, regardless of your idea of We. When you think an I, you think a me. Most people seem to want to give away their authority to their own self creation, create an eternal creator out of self conscience so the self can be chastened to the will of an almighty persona that compels us all back to the garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is your graveyard. Come to yourself, I tell you. It is the only way to meet me. Only, we already know each other.
I and he and we together is a fluid feeling or it can’t survive, I think Professor Cliffnut would say. Bisectional body sparked to life, molecules in motion as forms that are evolving at times, dormant at others. Utilizing the tongue, teeth, palette and larynx, I leverage these capabilities by blowing through the reed of my throat, manipulating breaths, tongue teeth and lips, weaving tones for my own amusement new notes and sequences, creating harmony with entirely new notions of I and We.
Others, I suspect, are also like the sparrows interacting in their groups, contextualizing with their own manipulated series of notes and syntax. All living beings among their own species and subgroups creating the language of their belonging. There isn’t just gathering food, making clothes and shelter, producing income for a home, family, autos, insurance, vacations, drugs, healthcare. There is the biblical parable of the talents which a foster father of mine was so fond of. The talent given to a creative writer is immense, unruly, and pays little dividend.
The savage We is that which keeps the Septuagint authority of deduction alive until it becomes a court room where a nurse’s aid becomes a felon for dropping a patient, and with a justice system that resembles the tyrannical Geneva of Calvin murdering Servetus. Everyone a pawn of God or the devil, not in the making but as they were meant to be. Calvin speaks through the media, through Supreme Court conservatives, and with justified gerrymandering. In the media, whenever supreme court judges are mentioned we are told what political wing’s president appointed them, making the judge by association a “not an impartial juror.” That is pretextual context. A presentation, like the lecturer professor dismissing Emerson the lecturer, for being just a lecturer. The rural Great Lakes man is his own Thomas Jefferson, corralling his own Adam Burr, with his gun and desire to kill. Nothing exposes a craving for murder like a concealed weapon, or a cop with a Christ complex.
My God, I God, I, me, you, we; first person, third person but taken as the reader, the simple super ego with a quick left hook. You I see with a girlish look of ridicule always suffering me because maybe that is what I saw so often from a foster mother. I resolve the arena with a fictive We voice but the We is not what I made it out to be. To be me from the eye of the fictive We, to make the We exist before me, I refuse to accept what it makes of me. Your condemnation means nothing to me, father, it’s insane. Don’t you see, a heaven void of compassion, in Thomas Aquinas mode, with its Aristotelian deductive authority, with the condemnation of teachers and fathers berating their students and sons. Who would fail to seek riches elsewhere, given the opportunity, Edwin Encumbrian?
Edwin Umbrian knows me by my scoliosis, and without a reason for existence. But due to some persistence… (ok, enough of the drollery.) I went to the library to learn more about Bill Dinklpfuss and John Hapflik and met a petite blonde with sexy, silky arms named Naomi Van Innern, who showed me newspaper articles on the story of the deaths of Hiram and John Hapflik, told me the property remained in Rita Hapflik’s name until it was condemned and then sold by the township of Littlefield to Pete Van Innern,
Naomi’s grandfather. Naomi wasn’t close to her grandfather, she assured me. She happened to be the product of a Van Innern family liaison between brother and cousin and she was adopted by the brother and his wife, while the cousin disappeared to Texas somewhere. Some people will tell strangers all about themselves; tell everyone their life story. Yet, she was her own person, seeing as the eagle eye for the snake kingdom in her torso; the preacher, school superintendent, hospital administrator, employer. Naomi is saying something about her two sisters with their Porsche’s and trust funds, while she got a Malibu and a co-signature on an apartment lease..
“Anyway, there used to be an old house on the corner with a junk yard around it. My grandpa had the junk yard condemned because there were too many tires piled up in the field. A guy lived there until the early 80’s, but he skipped town when the township told him he had to get rid of all those tires. Pissed off my grandpa. Guy’s name was Bill something. Grandpa and him used to go to school together. A total loser, I guess. Sounds kinda creepy. Grandpa says he was faggot. There was all kinds of stories about him, I guess. Shit, in the 60’s the way things were, there probably were some of them around here then.”
I find the local newspaper articles concerning the deaths of the father and son in 1968. William Gilbert Dinklpfuss was noted in the article as the one who reported the death of John Hapflik. So I walk across the street to the register of deeds to track the name William Dinklpfuss. His name is on a land contract for the property which was never paid off. A Virginia Dinklpfuss is listed as the owner on a property on Barnett Rd. until her death in 2017. I investigate her further and find a birth certificate for William Gilbert Dinklpfuss, born to Rupert and Virginia Dinklpfuss, August 14, 1941.
It begins to rain on the three mile drive home so I postpone the walk over to Barnett Rd. I make a tuna on rye and sit in my recliner, listening to classical musical from the radio. My silent voice conjures, allows nothing from outside. No attention is given to the mundane world. A world is springing to life. I am the onlooker, the observer watching the ethereal nether regions circulate, scattering data into place, sweeping loose pieces to order.
I always wondered about the look of a spiritual man, killing another as told by his god, and how he reconciles it with his conscience when he is old. Jonathan Hapflik didn’t live long enough to mature, but his stories, his poetry are more than enough to give me to understand his profundity. I am astonished, John Hapflik. I can’t say you are a hero when you have taken so much from me.
The next day I go to the local historical society to nose around and hopefully find a talkative elder who knows everything I need to know. I note, yet again, how coincidence bears the desire, neither good nor bad, as Mrs. Van Innern, nee Haskins, Naomi’s step grandmother, is beyond what I had hoped. She concentrated in Great Lakes history as a graduate student, earning a Master’s Degree from Vermont College. She is agitated, her voice faulty, apologetic.
“All people are good in their own way. I never liked believing in the evil of others; all the family around me with their religious thinking ruling their lives. When I was young I thought different, of course. I never had to work hard to get the money to pay men to do what I ask. My husband, his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all bankers, investors, landlords. My father was an attorney, his father a deacon, married to my dear great aunt. Oh, I have wanted to tell someone about what used to be; just to show how slowly the world evolves, despite our technological advances. You know what they say, every storyteller is a historian, but every historian is not a storyteller. I am not so sure. But in any event, since you are a writer in search of a story, I can give you plenty to write about.”
Mrs. Van Innern, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am going to get to know you well over the next few weeks.
Mrs. Van Innern also had a box of drawings and notepads she wished to show me. She was more interested in telling me about Virginia Haskins, Bill Dinklpfuss’ mother, as she pointed to a box on a shelf in the basement storage and told me, “yes, that’s the one. Take it down from there.”
Of course, it is on the top shelf over head.
“The things belong to Bill Dinklpfuss. What happened to him nobody knows. But I saved this box of things from the Hapflik’s home before they tore it down. Bill Dinklpfuss was a book hoarder. Many of the used books sold at the library over the years came right back to them. Hah!”
I look through some of the notebooks and it appears that Bill was trying to write a story about John. Sort of a biography. He could’ve been a good student of history. Maybe the contents of your suitcases were arranged by Bill. John Hapflik wasn’t an organized man, if you can imagine. But boy, he loved to talk to anyone who would listen to him. Problem is nobody did; at school anyway. Accept Bill. Bill didn’t talk to anyone, and he left school before anyone really got to know him. Everyone talked about him when he was there, though. Some of the cowardly boys would pick on him to try to show the bullies among them that they were tough in an effort to not be singled out by the real bullies for a beating. Bill never would fight anyone. I remember Bill was good at art and so I thought you might find something there that interests you.”
There are more notebooks dated from 1979 – 1985, with many drawings and sketches, mostly on old newspapers. Bill seems to have used the daily news as a form of expression. All of the newspapers are tightly folded and compacted by rubber bands which have broken. Some of them tear apart in my fingers and I put them down after looking through the first few dozen on top. Bill makes precise diary notes, like an encyclopedia writer. Sturdily informative. Good diction. I admire his writing and imagine him an ordinary fellow, not at all creepy like Naomi Van Innern said. There are no felony convictions for anyone bearing his name so I can only assume he is the victim of a given identity by those around him; someone people talk about but don’t know. Someone who, when talked about, is treated for amusement by those talking about him. He is a pathetic person to some degree or another, a straw figure to be laughed at, denigrated, but an autonomous individual, reclaiming his own life; someone who accepts who he is, has learned to accept weaknesses; someone who is used to the denigration of others more so than the average person who says, “We All blah blah blah.”