Chapter Forty Five III
More than any other time in history,
mankind faces a crossroads.
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.
The other, to total extinction.
Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
Nikko doesn’t remain disappointed for long, a job is waiting as soon as we return. E train to 51st street and walk up Park Avenue to the Epsteins, we sit drinking tea and coffee in Dr. Epstein’s office. He’s already been filled in on the San Francisco trip.
Dr. Epstein, “This one is, well, let’s say if I didn’t have the documentation, I’d think someone was jerking my chain. These gentlemen, there are five of them, have a Nazi Aryan thing going on. It appears, from only a cursory background investigation, that as teenagers they simply sort of played it as a game. Started out as skinny high school kids with no particular athletic or intellectual skills, harassed by the jocks, snubbed by girls, minor trouble. It didn’t escalate to Columbine. Actually, they started out kind of doing the right thing. They went to a martial arts school, standard karate I think, got into it and became hard core. If they had a Master Kim, he could have pointed them to a better way to live, along with increasing their confidence and developing their bodies.”
Janah, “I presume it didn’t work out that way.”
Dr. Epstein, “Unfortunately, no. The sensei they latched on to has his own agenda, tough guy, full of himself. He collected the first two, then two more acolytes along the way. Now he has idolizers, sensei worshippers. He’s obviously a sensei in only the most vulgar sense of the word, the boss. This guy steroided them up and between the gym and his training has created quite a nasty little group of brown shirt wannabees. Seems sensei got a bug up his butt about race and ethnicity. We only have suggestions as to why, whatever it was, he got his ego fractured and he’s managed to convince the four kids, not kids anymore, that Asians and Jews are conspiring to push “white” people out and put themselves in. His drumbeat takes a different approach, that only whites are capable of challenging them intellectually. According to him, Hispanics and Africans don’t have the energy or brainpower to do anything but labor.”
“Strange, him being a martial artist, carrying around this Asian thing.
Dr. Epstein, “We don’t know if it’s all Asians, he tends to go after Indians more than east Asians.”
“What have they been up to?”
“Nothing the legal system can pin on them. We know they’ve mugged a couple of Jewish men, vandalized a jewelry store, left the usual swastikas and graffiti, robbed an Indian owned grocery. There are a fair number of reports of robberies and muggings, particularly of non-whites. We’re certain this crew has its hand in more than a few of them. We think it’s not just for the damage. They don’t play well with others for obvious reasons, and they prefer to spend their time in the gym or dojo. Steroids are reasonably expensive. There are a couple of new trucks, decent apartments and no visible means of support. Parents were done with all of them long ago. We believe it’s actually a parent or close relative that tipped us off. Our link was told that the police have been asked to look into things, the answer comes back that there’s lack of evidence and plenty of alibis. The alibis come from you know where.”
Janah, “They alibi each other.”
Dr. Epstein, “Big surprise. An Indian ER doc got wind of the story from whoever the relative talked to, it came through the network and here we are.”
“So they supplement their income and do their white supremacy thing all in one trip. Nice to combine work and play, and it justifies their stealing.”
Dr. Epstein, “There’s so much faulty psychology, not to mention damaged chemistry here, it would take your dad to sort it out.”
Janah, “They’re homosexual, although they wouldn’t call it that.”
Dr. Epstein, “How did you know? That isn’t in the files you read. We only gave you a summary in case you decided not to go on one job right after another.”
Janah, “The pictures, they’re all bulked up, either shirtless or muscle shirts, two of them even have very light eyeliner Two have earrings more feminine than masculine and lots of long flowing hair. He’s got it all wrapped up in a sort of Greek God mythology. They can’t be touched by mortals, too powerful and perfect for regular humans. I’m thinking he’s convinced them it’s a special warrior bond, proving their loyalty to each other, their love, willingness to serve, minor Gods surrounding the major God, himself.”
Dr. Epstein grins, “Remarkable. Surveillance found literature in his apartment and on his computer. It’s loaded with nude bodybuilders. He’s got at least a dozen muscle worship DVD’s. We bugged the place, got a video of the action. Dressed up like Greek statues, or a toga party in a really bad porn video.”
“Janah likes it when Nikko and I play feed grapes to the Goddess.”
“Do you beat up store owners afterwards?”
“Only when we run out of grapes.”
He laughs, “How do you put up with her?”
Janah, “When she gets too bad, Nikko plays a game she calls slave girl in chains. For a week or so after that, Daphne’s pretty good.”
“So, do you guys want to help our Aryan-Greek Gods come back to earth?”
“I know Daphne’s answer, Nikko?”
“As a power hungry Asian, I look forward to humiliating inferior gaijin twinks.”
Dr. Epstein thinks to himself, ‘If those little clay gods had a clue about the Sapphic justice about to descend on their fantasy world....’
Nikko, “How long has the Society been on this, I mean, you have a lot of information.”
“A fair amount from the original source. Not how a lot of the cases come to us. We know it’s likely not just someone lying for a vendetta. In this case, Surveillance actually witnessed a mugging. We raised the surveillance level, broke into the apartment and bugged it for a week. Bugging was merely icing on the cake. The stuff in plain sight at the apartment was enough to put together a story.”
Nikko, “Why not just send the tapes and junk to the police?”
Dr. Epstein, “Dressing up and playing God isn’t illegal, nor is muscle worship, nor is self worship. Even though we witnessed the mugging and a steroid buy, pressing charges is dicey, we’d have to out our Surveillance team to do it. Even sending videos of the mugging is no guarantee without real witnesses. The guys are concealed, masked, they wear gloves. Any first year public defender would have them out before breakfast.”
Nikko, “So we make sure they have much more to fear than jail time. Works for Japanese girl, the true master race. Society will be much more orderly when we are in control. Everyone will obey schoolgirls in knee socks.”
Janah starts giggling, Dr. E laughing, he says, “You are adopting Daphne’s sense of humor, Nishiko.”
Nikko deadpans, “Go Go Murakami does not have sense of humor.”
Janah starts up again, I smile at my sister, catch the sparkle in her eye.
Dr. Epstein wonders about our incredible bond. We aren’t merely calm, we’re having fun with the idea of facing down five well trained martial artists. Our casual attitude isn’t arrogance, we’re making fun of ourselves in the process. There is no tension or stress, nor is it overconfidence.
He hits on it. It’s trust, absolute trust in each other. He realizes we stay prepared physically and mentally. Then he hits on part two. Fear would open the door to indecision. Safety is in trusting our preparation, and each other.
He marvels at how we expand the boundaries of human capacity. No Fear isn’t a slogan on a t-shirt, it is how we live. He discovers, by a different path, what the Shaolin had seen a few years earlier; that a united human consciousness is more than a possibility, it is reality. And from that flows the insight, freedom is letting go of the known. With that release, fear disappears. He’s silent, his one thought, ‘how exquisitely perfect.’
Dr. Epstein, “Mind opening insight is not a common commodity, it is a rarity that can’t be purchased at any price. You have brought it to me tonight, a gift in the form of Nishiko’s play. Thank you.”
Time to go, hugs all around, we reverse our E train journey and head for the dojang.
Chapter Forty Six III
The first act of a teacher is to introduce the idea
that the world we think we see is only a view,
a description of the world,
and the teacher aims to stop that view.
Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda
Nikko is sitting on the couch, I’m cross legged on the floor putting polish on her toes. Janah’s at the computer reading scientific research reports or Feynman lectures, or some arcane MIT course, I stay out of her head when she gets in the deep, I could drown in that much minutiae.
Nikko, “Mistress, may I ask about something?’
“This morning I saw the two as one while you were eating with Master J. It is overpowering, and I am still in its grip.”
“You seemed quiet, even for you.”
“I can describe what I see, I can’t explain it. When you share with Master J, I see only one, you are her and she you. I see my mistress, then Master J, then you again. Not both at the same time, sometimes a blend of the two. It happens as well when you make love, and often at night, while you sleep. My mind freezes, I can hardly breathe, I was instantly aware of the two as one. Until that first time, it had been only like a description in a book. Then there it is. Tears come, I cannot stop. Is what I see real, an illusion?”
“You saw what you saw, all is real, all is illusion, all is neither real nor illusion.”
Nikko, “It is beautiful, powerful, I want to hold on to it, though you have taught me otherwise. What should I do?”
“Was the moon in the sky last night?”
“Yes, it’s in the sky every night.”
“Then why hold on to it?”
She’s silent for a time. I slide the towel from under her foot, take the polish, and put it away.
Nikko asks, “May we meditate for a time?”
It is still in the apartment, total silence for an hour, then most of another. At first, the images of two as one pass through Nikko’s mind. After a time, gone.
Chapter Forty Seven III
The world is gorged with people who think
that people with a different ethnicity,
culture or religion
are nothing more than ATM’s to be exploited
or punching bags to be abused.
We have a different perspective,
which we will happily explain;
directly, so there is no misunderstanding.
“Nikko and I going to abuse the current targets into disabusing themselves of the notion that they can abuse anyone they don’t like. I like the symmetry of that.”
Janah, “I wonder if there’s an algorithm for that logic?”
“If Daphne, then truth. You can skip all the complicated stuff in between because the premise is the conclusion.”
Nikko, “If you’re done Aristotle, maybe you can hand me our gloves, over there, next to the chain belts. Are you wearing your boots or packing them?”
“Packing, too clunky for a long drive. Can you drive first? I want to make some notes for my book. I’m calling it Freedom From Logic.”
Nikko, “The Bible and Koran have already been published.”
Janah laughs, “Maybe Daphinity, Eternal Wisdom of the Self Absorbed.”
“Good. Now I have a title. All I have to do is flesh out a couple of chapters and Oprah, here I come.”
Janah, "There's no network Oprah anymore, only a third rate happy time channel."
"More's the pity for Oprah. There'll be another, and one after that."
We leave in a rental sedan on Tuesday, a little after nine in the morning. Traffic, at least for Manhattan, died down and getting out of the city is fairly smooth, through the Lincoln Tunnel to I-95 and south to Roanoke. Cover half of the seven hundred plus miles from Manhattan to Knoxville. The body builder bigots are over the line of incorporated Knoxville in the sub-suburbs.
We stop on the southwest side of Roanoke, reliable faceless Hampton, take in minimal baggage, packed for this overnight in one suitcase. We aren’t going anywhere except the room, hang out, get up early and split for Knoxville.
Nikko uses the side entrance, Janah the front, while I park the car. Tomorrow there will be a different rental from a state we hadn’t been in, parked in the same spot, luggage transferred, keys under the mat, this car evaporated. We stay in the room, I work with Nikko on qi, Janah thinks about the project, we watch a movie on HBO and eat. I’m sleepy and tucked in. Last thing I hear is Nikko's soft pre-orgasmic moan, Janah feeding her need.
We get up at four thirty and are history before daybreak.
What had the Tennessee bigots done exactly? The Society knew a fair amount of the story from a friend of a relative. The group had come together in pieces, two by two, a pair of unfortunate coincidences.
Polk and Jackson didn’t start out to be trouble, they got drawn into it by a couple of kids who had a somewhat more malevolent outlook on life. Timmons and Watson had been friends since grade school. Neither was big, neither fat nor skinny, just off the rack boys. During high school, they tried out for the junior varsity football team, with the not unrealistic goal of gaining some status in school, and it worked out okay. They weren’t hotshots, they made the team and served as second string tackling dummies for the bigger, faster kids. That painful experience led them to try and get stronger. After the first season, they started hitting the weight room, eating everything in sight and splitting the costs of a couple of supplements, Creatine and andro, which was still for sale then. In 6 months, they had gained 25 pounds each, some of which was the natural growth spurt of adolescence. In their case, it came with a lot more muscle. In a health food store the summer before their sophomore year, they met the person they wanted to be. He was muscular, chiseled, showing it off in a tight wife beater. He knew a lot about supplements, the two boys figured he must, he had the body to prove it. They were young, still naïve, thought you could get that big just by working out and downing some over the counter chemicals.
His name is Heath, like the candy bar, and they found out he taught karate at a place on the edge of town. He has a small membership, a few older guys, a couple of women who like flirting with the muscular instructor and a dozen kids. He makes enough to keep the lights on, it isn’t his primary source of income. He deals steroids, a fair amount to boys on high school football teams, other muscle heads around gyms in town, and a fair number of sad oldsters vainly chasing the fountain of their lost youth.
Heath isn’t about to get caught selling steroids. He has a cutout, a guy in his 60’s who deals with the old guys and sells the to one of the kids, who sells it to whoever. He’s one of his own best customers, thus the hard body, the admiring glances of his female students and a few of the male ones.
Heath isn’t into relationship, male or female. Heath is into Heath. He likes to photograph himself and his screensaver at home is him, nude, in various poses. These are interspersed with downloaded pictures of other muscle guys, nude, manscaped. That’s how Heath’s pictures look, muscular, chiseled and pretty. He could have done internet porn in a heartbeat and he considered it. It isn’t happening where he lives and he isn’t secure enough to set sail for California. He’s thirty three, lots of years left to keep his body in tune, with a proper mix of steroids and workouts, he could keep in shape to his fifties easily. In Heath’s metaphysics, being big and beautiful now, trumps the risk of liver, kidney, prostate and heart problems associated with long term steroid use. If he decided to do the internet thing, he had time. He didn’t understand the business, it didn’t occur to him to try and find out if there was enough money in it to make it worth the trouble. If he had, he might have found that he would need a fairly decent sized stable of attractive men willing and able to pose nude and erect, and to engage in sex with other men. There is zero money in men doing women on the net. There’s a line at the door of guys who are willing to get their cock sucked by an eighteen year old cutie.
Heath also makes a few hundred a month giving three or four married guys around town a chance to fulfill their muscle fantasies, worship his body and suck him off. He isn’t going to blackmail anyone, he enjoys being the fantasy and might have done it for nothing. The first time he was approached, the guy offered him $100 and he took it. Now he gets two hundred a session from one dentist, a lawyer, the high school principal and freebies a sergeant on the town’s police force. He doesn’t charge the cop because he comes in handy as an additional source for his steroid business. It’s low key and discreet. The men come around maybe once a month, He won’t have them around more than that. He’s learned the principle of scarcity. Less is more. The scarcity of his body makes them want it more. Once a month keeps it enticing for his admirers. By the time he allows them enjoy him again, they’re drooling for it.
It’s a fairly sweet deal. He makes between two and three thousand a month from steroids, six to eight hundred from his gay entertainment, and maybe a grand from students. The dojo gives him a patina of respectability; he doesn’t have to explain not having a job and he has a place to work out and practice. Three or four thousand tax free a month in his little corner of the universe is decent money, no boss and plenty of time to pump iron and play.
Life could have been nice and smooth. It isn’t risk free, which keeps it interesting. Frequently though, something else in our nature just won’t leave well enough alone and along come complications; Achilles heel, Akrasia, greed or stupidity, label it as you wish. Heath’s complication is an unfortunate personality defect beyond his narcissistic ego. He’s a bigot. A dyed in the wool fascist. His mind is stuck in a tight mental loop about Jews and Asians, blacks and Hispanics he considers too stupid to worry about. Why he feels this way is vague. He has the whole Aryan purity thing he’d picked up someplace, then endless television and radio babble about immigration, Asian kids getting scholarships to elite universities, all became ‘injustices’ to white people in his brain. He grew up in a less than liberal environment, on the dirt road side of the tracks. Maybe it was the steroids, maybe it was because his sister decided to go to college with her new Jewish boyfriend. Maybe he’s simply an insecure jack off who uses muscles, karate and hatred to prop up his ego.
Then the two boys show up, eyes wide, taking in Heath’s size and asking about karate lessons and would he help them with their weight workouts? They practically kissed his feet, something his dentist customer is particularly fond of. Heath got warm watching the two teenagers run admiring eyes over him.
They were just over 15. After six months of more intense workouts and karate, they were bugging Heath about how to ‘get big,’ like him. Heath said he knew a guy who sold steroids, he wasn’t telling them they should take them, just that they were available....if they wanted to get serious. He may as well have shot the boys up himself. It was all the encouragement they needed.
Chapter Forty Eight III
There is no simplistic ‘why’ to anything we do.
Neurons connect, fire across synapses, we do things.
As Heath slowly molded his first converts, two boys in another Knoxville high school had become friends. They attended one of the Christian academies, poisonous mushrooms that sprung up everywhere after school bussing for integration began. These two, Polk and Jackson, met Heath’s boys at a local fair. They started asking about working out. After some adolescent posturing, the two new kids pestered Timmons and Watson into an introduction to Heath. He soon had two more disciples.
Polk and Jackson came from a different angle, they weren’t even second string jocks, they were, in their words, school nobodies. They weren’t into the whole Christian thing at school, they weren’t tall, dark or handsome, they were small, white and moody. They had no power, no friends, girls blew them off as losers.
Occasionally, one of the proselytizing types would pretend interest, only to get them to church. Polk even fell for it until he realized he was being used to rack up Jesus points. They learned to keep a low profile, and seethed inside. They weren’t so much bigoted at first, simply angry at being dismissed, thrown in the forgettable pile. Heath would work on that, give them a focus for their anger.
Polk and Jackson learned about the joys of steroids from Timmons. A few months from thin to thick. To pay for the steroids, the four teens did quick and dirty theft, from purses, parked cars, or their parents. Occasionally they busted a window in some quiet neighborhood, took a few easy to sell electronics and sold them. Timmons and Watson got good at it and passed along what they picked up to the other two.
A year went by. The kids, sixteen and seventeen, were marvels of modern chemistry. That’s not to say they did no work. Steroids made them abnormally aggressive, karate was a controlled outlet for their hostility.
Heath made sure they took it out on each other. He began to take control, subtly, carefully, no speeches about Aryan privilege, not yet. He warned that steroids might make them aggressive, to avoid becoming school bullies which would only draw attention and they had more important things to do. He talked about focusing. He talked about gladiators. To show their respect for each other by training hard, learning how to accept pain. He said that dishing out pain to their fellow gladiators was a sign of friendship, honor between strong fearless men. Heath gave them examples of legends and true stories of past warriors, some of whom were homosexual. He said strong men didn’t care what a weakling society thought, they took what they wanted, they conquered and ruled as they pleased. He didn’t encourage homosexuality, not directly. It was another form of control over the boys. He used pictures of himself and the other nudes on his computer to talk about body types as if it were no more than an instructional session. He said nothing about sex. He simply let nature take its course.
Many more men than admit it find muscle guys attractive, and quietly have their fantasies. A fair number of loving husbands and boyfriends take long looks through muscle magazines, the internet and elsewhere at the hard body guys then posture about “fags, queers and homos” to their wives and girlfriends.
After the nude photos, tanning, shaving their bodies, workouts and checking out themselves and each other in the mirror, showering together in the dojo and the contact, often brutal, of karate, moving into sex play was a walk in the park. The four started with mutual stimulation, touching, getting each other off. It was a short hop to oral sex. Timmons was the first to hit eighteen. His gift was being allowed to go down on Heath.
Heath doesn’t participate in the boys’ sex play, for all his faults, her isn’t a pedophile, and he doesn’t engage in homosexuality in any reciprocal sense. Heath doesn’t give, Heath gets. In other words he lets his customers worship, play with him, give him head, he doesn’t do anything for them except talk, ‘you like the dick don’t you, suck me slow, you want the load in your mouth or all over your face?’ Heath loves Heath, he isn’t going to stoop to pleasing some mortal, that’s not what Gods do. It’s why he doesn’t date women. They have this ridiculous notion they are supposed to receive affection, be given attention, even be the focus of attention. Some of them apparently have the delusion they’re as beautiful as he is.
Life rolled along almost dreamily for our self anointed God. He likes watching the boys, now almost men, have sex with each other. As they turn 18 they’re each allowed to show their respect to him, on their knees. He rewarded his ‘men’ by letting them very occasionally give him head whenever they do something special, a particularly good sparring match is a favorite. Sometimes the winner got the goods, sometimes the loser, the bloodiest, for showing courage. When you have guys beating each other up for the right to blow you, you have about all the control you need.
Over time, Heath drips his bigotry on them. He used ‘facts’ concocted by racists, fascists and bigots on the internet, under the guise of helping the boys understand what was ‘really going on’ in the world.
The four, now all over 18, start doing more elaborate robberies in surrounding suburbs, branching out to the fringes of nearby cities. Often the target is an Indian grocery, or pick up an illegal and beat him, take what few dollars he might have. It looked like robbery, but it isn’t for money. It’s to prove they are in control, subject to no authority, they are the elite and the elite don’t explain, apologize or feel sympathy.
They expand Heath’s steroid business and deal small amounts of ecstasy, pot and cocaine. It adds up to significant money. Apartments improve, new trucks and cars, no plush pimp pads or expensive wheels.
Heath taught them well, “Don’t get greedy or showy. You have a good life, you don’t answer to anyone and you have each other. If you start getting pimpified, you attract attention. In your line of work, you don’t want attention. Get what you need from your tribe. Letting some outsider in lowers you, they will drag you down, make you weak.”