Vol. I, Clip 3: The Vampyres Of New York

December 28, 2015

 

 

Book I, Clip 3

The Vampyres Of New York

A Novel

by

R.E. Prindle

 

If you haven’t experienced that kind of mental agony you don’t know. I tossed and turned all afternoon and into the night. My brain was racked but not with pain. It was like all the connections had come loose and I had no control of my mental processes. There was no way to concentrate, to organize my thoughts to possibly think or be rational. It was like three fevers without temperature racking around in my brain.

I was exhausted and then possibly at one in the morning I heard a knocking. I sat up in bed wondering who in the world it could be. Then I heard Gaines again: Hello, I’m back. Let’s talk.

Well, Gaines! Of course I knew what was happening then. I was at that level of experience and conditioning between the birth process and more conscious experience. I had already cleared out the most compelling of my childhood fixations at forty-two when I integrated my personality. That freed me from compulsions and inhibitions but I gradually learned that there was another layer of control or influence yet beyond my reach. Gaines had now shown up so it was possible to free myself from that psychological layer. Small comfort at eighty but then few if any become so clear. Freud and Jung certainly never attained it. I flattered myself that I could be unique. The first of the New Men. Don’t smile, it was a pleasant thought.

This wasn’t the first incident of interior dialogue my mind had spoken to itself. I heard what they call voices back in my early teens. Of course like St. Augustine I had been convinced that one could talk to God. Unlike Augustine I wasn’t crazy enough to persist when God couldn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know when I asked.

And then back then I heard voices telling me to do inappropriate things like Kill your mother and Chuckles but I shut them up; I wasn’t to going to jail for any reason. And now, here was Gaines a more or less rational entity who would try to convince me to do evil I was certain. As in primeval days I was attached to the God Principle while Gaines was representing the Satanic Principle.

He seemed to be lodged in the right hemisphere just behind and above that ear. This puzzled me somewhat as I would have thought he would have been part of my Animus or Ego that being the male side of the brain; instead he was on my female side.

Then I realized that when Gaines had taken up a primal position in my consciousness I was sitting on the back steps of the Orphanage. When my mother had put me in the Orphanage and had walked away she had created this space in my mind, this psychological layer. Gaines and his evil comic books was therefore associated with my mother. Oh yes, my mother. Sometimes I wish I had heeded those early voices and offed both her and Chuckles. Chuckles, that mean assed bastard, was her second husband. They married when I was ten and I then came out of the Orphanage.

Well, you know, as I always told myself, you have to play the hand you’re dealt. I think I can say without comment that I played that lousy hand well. Here I was in New York City, the capital of the world, in a thirty million dollar apartment. Gaines wasn’t going to be a problem, after all, he was me and I was him. I had the upper hand with the God Principle on my side while Gaines might as well have been Abe Goldbladder of the Satanic Principle. I will discuss that more in my presentation to the New Serapion Brethren.

I was inside my skull with Gaines but my mind had cleared up, I might as well get started.

‘So, Gaines, what brings you here?’ A silly question because I already knew the answer. Still, in order to extinguish him I had to play along. However I did think it necessary to call in my old psycho-analyst Dr. Anton Polarion as an assist.

Who is Dr. Anton? I’m embarrassed to say this because then you might think I really am crazy. But that’s alright, I may be.

Dr. Anton Polarion came around several years ago when I was deep in my psychological studies. I was working a number of fields of study and I needed someone to handle the psychology for me when I was working another field. It was then I thought up Dr. Anton giving him the responsibility for memorizing and developing psychology.

I know it sounds kind of crazy but it’s not. Dr. Anton was and is a memory aide. If you read up on the art of memory you will learn that in Greek and Roman times people constructed memory palaces of many rooms extensively furnished and then assigned memories to various rooms and objects in order to more conveniently record them, prodigious feats of memory are recorded. Oh alright, but I wasn’t going to wander around a Memory Palace trying to find various rooms and objects with their assigned memories so I just handed the job to an imagined Dr. Anton rather than a Memory Palace. You can understand that can’t you? Seems reasonable enough to me but you never know what other people will think. Anyway Dr. Anton knows whereof he speaks. So when it comes to hearing voices it was now two to one against Gaines and I had another Ace or two up my sleeve.

I was loaded for bear and I was sure I could kick Gaines’ ass. Still, I had to hear Gaines out.

‘So Gaines, as I said, what brings you here?’

‘I’ve got some good advice for you,’ said Gaines.

‘Knowing who you are Gaines I doubt it could be good.’

‘Oh ho, you think you know who I am do you? Who am I?’

‘This will take some time Gaines but you’ve got as much as I do. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. Your showing up here, now, puts things in place.   I’m going to call in Dr. Anton for support. You know who he is don’t you Gaines?’

‘Of course, of course. I know as well as you know me. Hello Anton, welcome to the conversation.’

Anton: Hello Gaines. Well, let’s get started.

Partly: The key here is the Orphanage and me sitting on the back step reading Tales From The Crypt. That was one sado-masochistic piece Gaines with a certain portrayal of women. Strangely that portrayal was reminiscent of my mother. It is between you and my mother that this psychology revolves around.

Anton: Yes, your mother transferred her hatred of your father to you after she had put him away and tried to destroy any happiness for you. It is no coincidence that after she had your father committed to the asylum she committed you to the Orphanage. Of course, she had ‘good reasons’ for doing so but they weren’t the real reasons. When you turned eighteen she thought she had you again, enlisting you in the Navy and having you shipped off somewhere where she would never have to see you to remind her of her crime against your father. Thus the association of your mother, sado-masochism and Gaines.

Gaines also provides your connection to the Jews although that application came later in life. The content of Gaines’ comics, the sado-masochism, is part of the Jewish Weltanschauung that Freud expressed so well and it is that that Judaicized you, making the Jewish culture part of your own. It is that part, this Satanic consciousness that drags your spirit down causing your chronic low depression. We’ll try to shake it here but it may now be integral to your mentality.

Leaving Gaines for a moment the pre-Gaines component was your mother’s extreme selfishness. Of course your mother was three months gone when she married your father. This didn’t create so much guilt as anger. She held your father responsible preventing her from doing whatever she thought she would be doing later. You were born in 1938 in the depths of the Great Depression.

Jobs were not easy to come by and although your father was a good provider, that is you had a roof over your head and a shack to live in, even so your father ran out of jobs so he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and went to work planting forests. He was a good man; he sent most of his money to your mother. She unfortunately as you would learn was not a good woman.

It is difficult at this point to retrieve her motivation but she got laid in the back of a Chevrolet in the parking lot of a grocery store as you know well, Perry. She became pregnant with the little bastard palmed off to you as your brother. A child of sin he has always remained so. A point came where the pregnancy could no longer be concealed.

Needless to say the realization made your father angry. In an attempt to learn the culprit he began to punch her out. In the way of women she was stout refusing to give up his name. Your father said things like ‘I am out working CCC to provide for you and you’re out, words that were unintelligible to you. Do you remember that Partly?

Partly: Yes I do.

Anton: Less than two and half and you remember! What a memory Perry. The bastard was born, your father left and you saw him only once more several months later. Do you know what happened to him?

Me: No. Never saw him again after that last time.

Dr. Anton: Your mother had him committed to the insane asylum and he lived there all his life and died there.

Gaines: Wait a minute, wait a minute. You can’t know anything he doesn’t Anton. Where’s this coming from?

Dr. Anton: Just as you have been suppressed until now Gaines so has the knowledge I’m now revealing. It came in bits and pieces and I have put it all together. Partly is just now realizing it.

Where was I? Yes, committing him was a sadistic act on the part of a guilty woman. But it didn’t stop there Partly. To assuage her guilt while indulging her sadism she had removed her husband but you, a reminder of her crime, remained. She transferred her affection to her bastard and set out to torture and frustrate you. You remember the nightmares you had in high school where your mother was constantly betraying you? That was a subconscious recognition of what you wouldn’t allow yourself to acknowledge but still you knew.

The Orphanage was just four blocks from your grandparents house where you were living. She had to know the effect it would have on your mentality, you certainly did, but just as she had put her husband away in an asylum she put his memory away in another institution, the Orphanage.

Do you remember this Partly?

Me: Sure Anton, I remember but not as clearly and well organized as you do.

Dr. Anton: You’d be a better man for learning it although at eighty who gives a shit. You’ll take it to your grave soon enough.

Me: That’s alright Anton, I’ll die, as you say, a better man.

Anton: So your mother dropped you off and you were led away just like in prison or the asylum but with slightly better conditions. And thus you began to become who you used to be before your personality integration that introduced this current phase of your life at forty-two.

You became quite independent in that harrowing situation of the Orphanage. Fate left that copy of Tales From The Crypt lying on that little porch and a pain equal to your being abandoned seared your soul again striking through your subconscious to the structural level here. You were no longer a free man but controlled from, for lack of a better term, your subconscious. I don’t know how you made it through but here you are.

Your mother’s remarriage to the maniac Chuckles who was a match for your mother’s sadism nearly destroyed you during those eight long years until graduation. Enough of that for now. Let’s deal with Gaines here.

Me: Can we get rid of him?

Gaines: Hell no!

Dr. Anton: He is unfortunately part of the warp and woof of your personality but I’m pretty certain we can modify it and reduce his Satanic level considerably.

Gaines: Over my dead body.

Dr. Anton: Preferably Gaines, that is what we’re shooting for.

With that I collapsed back into my pillow exhausted but calmer with less of a feverish feeling. I was breathing somewhat heavily. I knew that this was a significant psychological event that had not yet achieved resolution and I was afraid to lose the thread. After about an hour Dr. Polarion returned. Anton was not an alter ego as Gaines but functioned more as a guardian angel, a good spirit so I welcomed him.

‘We’ve got to handle Gaines Partly.’

‘Yes. What is your suggestion Anton?’

‘This. It seems that Gaines is functioning as a node for a constellation of similar events. The two obvious strands of the constellation are he, that is your Jewish experience, and your mother. The first step must be to disentangle your mother and put her into her own constellation to be dealt with later. You already have a decent handle on her.

That leaves Gaines and your Jewish experience which is a distinct constellation which when knowledgeable about it you’ve done a lot a preparatory groundwork but certain resolutions are still necessary. That constellation has to be distended into its planetary elements so that each can be identified and dispensed with.

In addition there may be other elements concealed within or behind the constellation of which we have yet no knowledge. Time will tell.

And then there is what Gaines wants you to do which is why he’s made his appearance now. We’ll have to listen and go from there. You and I do understand that what he wants is going to be ridiculous and dangerous.

Me: OK Anton, your analysis is good and I do have a good idea what Gaines wants; I’ve also got my arguments ready and can direct him. But, God, this is painful.

Anton: Yes Partly, self-realization can be trying and I’m sure you’re in agony. You remember Hubert Selby the fellow who wrote his novel Last Exit To Brooklyn?

Me: Oh sure, Anton. Very interesting story. He was probing his mind to write his story. That once when he came up against a particularly painful remembrance it shattered him so that he had to take to his bed for a week writhing in agony. I can’t afford the time for that now. I have things to do and fields to plow.

Anton: You may have more than you think Partly. Get some rest and I’ll get Gaines back here in an hour or so. Control your feelings.

With images of Jekyll and Hyde in my fitful dreams was the titanic struggle of the Shadow with evil and the images of Superman and Clark Kent. Good must triumph over evil although it might not be as clear cut a victory as one might hope.

Just before dawn Dr. Polarion returned and shortly thereafter I heard Gaines’ Hello, I’m here.

Me: Alright Gaines. I’m ready.

Anton had already disentangled my mother from the constellational complex so he and I were dealing with just the Gaines/Jewish constellation. In that obscured constellation other traumas wouldn’t be clear at this time.

‘What’s up Gaines?’ Anton asked quietly with an implied menace that he wasn’t going to listen to nonsense.

Gaines: Why so hostile Doctor Polarion.

Anton: We know what you’re up to Gaines. I have to tell you that we know who you are and where you’ve come from so your Satanic power is negated.

Gaines: Oh, aren’t we clever. What is my pedigree Dr. Polarion?

Anton: Simply this: You infected Partly’s mind on that stoop of the Orphanage with your sado-masochistic claptrap. Partly only semi-consciously took in the sado-masochistic sexuality without knowledge of sex, he had to repress your Satanic influence and with some few exceptions he did. As he knew nothing of Jews and your own Jewishness that puzzling aspect of your Satanity was filed away for future reference. In the meantime following Jewish propaganda he was conditioned to revere Jews and did so.

Then in winter of nineteen fifty-eight in a fit of sado-masochistic lunacy the Jews pre-empted all TV channels at the same time on Saturday prime time and broadcast the most incredible pornographic sado-masochistic program imaginable. An hour of graphic snuff films depicting naked dead bodies being pushed about by bulldozers. The sexual implications were horrendous. While secretly fascinated Partly was resentful of the Jews for pushing this atrocity on him. Without articulating it to himself he was fatally disgusted. Also without noticing it he associated the ‘entertainment’ with you Gaines.

Gaines: I’m disgusting?

Anton: Eminently. Now, there comes an incident that was let slip by almost without recognition. Partly’s wife, now deceased, came from a Jewish background on her mother’s side; the father was nominally Catholic. The mother wanted a Jewish wedding while fearing that Partly would object. The venue was unimportant to Partly, in fact, with his Jewish conditioning he got a little thrill from it.

However to the Jews the notion that a Jewish girl would marry a, what they considered Christian boy, was anathema to them. Her parents approached all the synagogues in the East Bay but there was only one Rabbi in the East Bay that would consent to marry the couple. This was brought about by the intervention of his wife’s mother’s sister whose family was a prominent supporter of the synagogue. Even so the rabbi insisted on an interview with Partly.

As I say, Gaines, Partly had no religious scruples to marrying into a religious family, not quite true, he would never have married Catholic, and thought to be amiable with the rabbi. Both Partly and his wife were above religion despising them as relics from a primitive age. While Partly tried to be amiable the rabbi didn’t. Partly talked to the rabbi man to man while the rabbi as all rabbis do exalted his position believing as a Talmudic scholar that that worthless information placed him not only above Partly or his fellow Jews but all humanity and most of the angels. Resenting Partly’s familiarity he insulted Partly grievously as not worthy of a Jewish girl while being a Christian dog or words to that effect. At that point his respect for the Jews, intense conditioning or no, vanished.

This event was constellated with you Gaines and the TV atrocity to negate any positive feeling he had for the Jews. A couple decades of propaganda was wiped out in an instant. Partly’s future unpleasant relations with Jews will appear subsequently.

So that’s who you are Gaines. Satan on a stick.

Gaines: Yeah, well Dr. Polarion I know where Partly lives. I know he has suffered insults, injuries and indignities from many quarters including the ones you mentioned and I know this: He wants revenge. Who do you go to when you want revenge? Satan, baby, Satan. And here I am.

Anton: True, Partly?

Me: No. It’s true I have a lot of resentments but they’re from assholes and assholes can’t help being assholes; if they could they wouldn’t be assholes so one has to ignore them. It’s their cross to bear and I enjoy watching them be assholes. If Gaines thinks he’s going to lure me into criminal activity he’s not here.

Gaines: Kiss my ass Partly. Social unrest is developing rapidly, exponentially day to day. There are hundreds of racial and religious, what the authorities are pleased to call murders rather than the acts of war they are happening every week.

I know Partly that you were trained by your experiences to be a serial killer. You know it. I don’t know how you’ve resisted up to this time but now is the time to indulge those resentments. Not only are the cops overburdened trying to deal with all the killing and raping going on but they’re afraid to leave the station. Whole cities are no go zones for them. They’ll never identify you, never track you down. Come on buddy, let your inner Mr. Hyde see some light. Now’s the time for your revenge.

Me: I think you’re right about the time being the right time Gaines but remember that Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. I’ve learned that it is true.

Gaines: Vengeance is mine saith the Lord? Listen to this guy. Are you putting me on Partly?

Me: Certainly not Gaines, certainly not. Remember you were kicked out of heaven for the religious offence of chutzpah. God stuck his boot up your ass and down you came. You always tempt men to their destruction by exploiting their own weaknesses. If I were to act in revenge I would surely be caught. Even at eighty I don’t want to be thought of as a criminal.

Gaines: No, you don’t want to be thought of as a criminal. Here’s a tip for you Partly…

Anton: I…

Gaines: You stay out of this Anton, this is between Partly and me.

As above, so below, right Partly? God’s will is supposed to prevail on earth as in heaven, right?

Me: I’m not religious but the Bible does say so. What’s your point?

Gaines: As a lawbreaker I was kicked out of heaven, right. If so, then it is God’s will that I be persecuted on earth also, isn’t it?

Me: Well, you have to believe the Bible.

Gaines: No, you don’t. Freud replaced the Bible but as a Jew he follows the Bible’s rhetoric. Freud and I are one and not only am I part of your mind but Freud is too. That’s one of my attributes that Anton the so-called psychologist forgot to mention. So, if it is God’s will that it is to be on earth as it is in heaven then it is permissible to punish Satanic practices as he punished me isn’t it? As a God fearing person it is imperative that you do so.

Well, there was a thought. The Jews consider themselves God’s viceroys on Earth and that they are doing God’s will by forcing his, or theirs really on the rest of mankind, punishing those who resist, that is anti-Semites. It was a tough argument to counter while Gaines had cleverly appealed to my suppressed desires. Anton was no help at this point.

Me: To punish is vengeance Gaines and as I say Vengeance is the Lord’s. Therefore I cannot punish Gaines, however there is the question of justice, lawbreakers should not be allowed the fruit of their crimes with impunity.

As we know God has no temporal means to effect his will on earth so he must use intermediaries as his chosen vessels hence the Jews claim to be that vessel. However if God spoke to the Jews then he can speak to me. Thus if like Saint Augustine I were to hear his voice enjoining me to administer His justice on earth as he does in heaven, that is kicking Satan off the earth then I could obey his will and be judge, jury and executioner here on earth as the Jews consider themselves. Well, Gaines, that is a thought I will have to give consideration.

Gaines: Yes it is. Further…

Anton: Hold, hold it, stop Gaines. Be gone. Hold up Partly, we have to think about this. Later Gaines, later. Go.

And with a sly wink at me Gaines wandered away. He would be back, of course. But he had given me something to think about. I knew I was going to think about it too and as Gaines knew I would rationalize his suggestion into reality but only in a ‘legal’ manner.

Anton just looked at me and shook his head. He knew what was coming. So did I but neither of us could as yet admit it.

-IV-

 

Once again I lay back exhausted. Still I had to get to work. In an agitated state of mind I reviewed the correcting of my piece for the New Serapion Brethren that I was titling The Vampyres Of New York. I had put some preliminary thoughts up on the internet so I was searching Vampyres Of New York when I was startled to find that there was an actual group called The Vampyres Of New York that claimed to be a worldwide organization. Its spokesman was some guy calling himself Father Sebastian. He was a young guy who would have been further ahead claiming to be Brother Sebastian; in another thirty years he might pass for a father.

Anything associating itself with vampirism had to be Satanic while the guy was absolutely touting himself as a religion. The crude Satanism of the nineteen sixties was obviously morphing into an attempt at a universal religion. This was a far cry from the historian Arnold Toynbee’s cry for a new universal religion to replace Christianity. Gaines was obviously right about the Satanism in Freud being a part of me but apparently the drive was to make Freudianism the basis of a new religion. Thus as Christianity as a Jewish based religion had represented the Godly Principle so Freud as a Jewish based religion would represent the Satanic Principle.

This was a revelation to me that while new I would have to try to work into my essay. I had to think about it a little so while I was thinking I tinkered around working out disguises. Having seen street activity for a couple weeks now I was uneasy walking around in my own skin; I didn’t want to become that well known.

So, as I thought I tried out mustaches, wigs, glasses, different outfits, so I could walk the streets so as not to become obvious. But, time was passing and I was driven back to my writing desk. I wanted to avoid Gaines as long as possible so I put in some long sessions hoping I would be so tired when I went to sleep that that bastard Gaines wouldn’t be called up. I was successful for the week left before going to Farquhar’s.

I was a day ahead of the deadline so I went out to get a couple two or three bottles of wine to take along. Wanted to show I was a regular guy. I am a regular guy but usually not that regular. Boy, NYC is an alkie’s paradise. What a fabulous selection of spirits. I don’t drink much but in my earlier days I could do a limited justice to the bottle. In those days I favored brandy. Really good stuff if you’re going to drink. Oh lord, if I had known then what New York showed my now I might have been the man who never returned.

I wasn’t after liquor though I wanted wine so I asked for and got bottles of Ramey’s Claret. Ramey is a good Napa Valley vintner while his claret is moderately priced and more than good enough, excellent in fact. The vintage was 2014 that particularly dry year and of small berries. Excellent, I thought it should go over. I’d had it before and it really is a great vintage.

For dress I wore a 1960 vintage sport coat I bought at a second hand store. Nothing was ready at James Carter and I had tried Lord and Taylor and other stores but none was showing other than those idiotic short jackets cut small and I thought I looked a heck of a lot better. Charles Tyrwhitt shirt, one of their higher priced dark blue and white mini stripes, black in a low light. So what’s a boy to do? Ralph Lauren had turned ludicrous after he left.

Ragnar drove me and my bottles of wine up to fifty-second street off Madison to Farquhar’s condo, very good, twelfth floor. As I entered the building an explosion went off maybe three blocks away in some direction I couldn’t determine. Somebody was acting up, hard to tell who. It was beginning to happen fairly regularly. Cops weren’t catching anybody. So many people and organizations were claiming credit for these things it must have been a nightmare investigating these things using only electronics.

As these things were getting more frequent they didn’t even make the headlines in New York while except for certain sites on the internet the rest of the country was totally ignorant of them. The permanent Obama administration was still trying to explain them away as the work of domestic terrorists, actually by now the terrorists were domestic although not so-called White Supremacists. If by Global terrorists it was only just that we should be bombed as was said and that brought the thought of Gaines back as Lessing was rattling the locks on the other side of the door.

Once that ritual was completed I was admitted into a small foyer with a second door and a number of locks which were only locked at night or when Lessing was away. The door was now open for which I was grateful.

Through the second door one entered directly into a large living room, perhaps eight hundred square feet cutting straight through the apartment to the floor to ceiling windows that looked into the windows across the street unfortunately.

The room was comfortably decorated with expensive furniture but not the costliest. The usual New York abstracts, tasteful, were on the wall facing lovely floor to ceiling bookshelves admirably stocked. Books do furnish a room, don’t they?

I was the last to arrive. Seated, looking at me with expectant bemused expressions were Max Savings, Mark Giusty and Baron Cammell the other members of the New Serapion Brethren. Lessing was apparently a bachelor or, as I was to find, a widower.

As I could see I was the oldest of the four. Lessing was seventy-two but still in his prime. How well I remember being fourteen and finding the age of seventy incomprehensible as young people still do. While even people in their thirties and forties expect people of seventy or eighty to be decrepit. Most of us aren’t. Certainly Lessing and I were in full vigor. Diet helps, three or four years earlier I had been compelled to give up my sugar diet, and I mean I love sugar, and that and an improved diet recharged me considerably.

Lessing was more robust than I being taller, probably six-two and bigger boned. He was filled out but not fat or even heavy looking, his face like mine was unlined while he had a full head of white hair as did I although mine was removable and his wasn’t. He showed a little surprise as I was nearly bald at our two previous encounters.

Lessing introduced me to Max Savings who was small, perhaps five-six, and slight. Max was the youngest at sixty-two. He was dressed like an undertaker, had a slightly weasely face with a pointed nose. He had a sharp intelligence.

Marc Giusty was Italian standing a half inch or so below me, seventy years old, still athletic looking, spent a couple hours a day in the gym as I was to learn, lean and long headed in the Italian manner, thin mustache and good features.

Last to be introduced was Baron Cammell. Baron was his first name and not a title. He would prove to be the most difficult member of the group for me.

By the time I was finished with the introductions Max had a bottle of claret open and the glasses filled. Well, you know, two fingers. One sips, this was a cultured group no full water glasses at one gulp. We accepted our glasses and looking at each other took a sip.

Lessing: Oh, very nice.

Marc: Yes. Haven’t seen the label before.

Baron: (Sniffing slightly.) Yes, quite distinctive.

Max: (Smiling.) Enough said.

Me: Yes, well, Ramey apprenticed for many years in France before setting up in Napa. I like Bordeaux style blend and claret hits the spot for me after reading all those old English novels where claret and wine were synonymous. I like this one. So, we’re all ETA Hoffmann admirers, um?

Lessing: Yes, we are that. By way of curiosity Perry, how did you come to Hoffmann.

Me: Oh, you want my origin story as the comic books say? OK Lessing, I’ve got one. I’ll do this in the best comic book style. It was a dark and stormy day back in the middle of the last century when a thirty-six year man shoulders hunched against the cold and rain looked into a shop window. Perceiving it was a book store he being a bibliophile pushed the door open. A blast of warm air hit him as heads turned to look at the stranger.   The man glanced casually about at the few inside, mostly help, with no particular object in mind. His attention was caught by a slip cased set of two. Always a sucker for so-called special editions he picked it up to examine it. ‘Hmm…’ he mused to himself, ‘Selected Writings Of Hoffmann? Hoffmann who?’ Extracted, Vol. I read from the title page, E.T.A. Hoffmann The Tales. The man had heard of ETA Hoffmann spoken of most highly and of course he knew of Offenbach’s opera Tales Of Hoffmann. Twelve dollars and fifty cents. OK.

Tucking the parcel under his arm under his coat and lowering his head against the blast he proceeded down the street. I was that man.

Me: There you go Lessing and an identical copy can be found on your bookshelf right over there.

Ha, ha, ha came as a chorus from the four men: Nicely done, Perry, nicely done.

‘The lad shows promise, doesn’t he?’ said Lessing.

Max Savings: This could prove interesting.

Me: And since then then I’ve added a dozen volumes filling out, I think, what’s available in English except for that magnificent nineteenth century volume you have on your shelf.’

Lessing: That one. I’m quite proud of that find. I tramped London looking for that one. But you have never reviewed Hoffmann on your site Perry, how come?

Me. I don’t feel adequately prepared Lessing. I have added a number of Romantic writers to my library in the last four years, Kleist, Tieck and like that but nothing in the way of critical reviews so I don’t think I’m prepared to speak authoritatively. And I still have to read Goethe, the key Romantic. If you’ve read my stuff you probably are aware that I speak without concern of contradiction. I can’t do that with Hoffmann yet. So, if I may ask, give me a thumbnail of yourselves.

Lessing: I’m host so I might as well go first. The salient point is that I spent my career practicing law, mainly real estate and financial issues. That is an area where much of the money sticks to the lawyer and I am in a comfortable situation as you can see having made my share or more of the money stick to me. Although remunerative I found the law and its cases fairly loathsome so as soon as I felt financially independent I left all that behind and turned my attention to what I loved much as you have Perry. Much more rewarding.

Max Savings: I’m not quite so financially independent as Lessing and still at my desk at Chase. I certainly am not so accomplished literarily as you and Lessing but I squeeze in time in an effort to keep up.

Marc Giusty: I was a university prof all my working life, loved it at Columbia uptown here. History was my subject. Unfortunately I was just a yeoman and not a star. I wrote a few papers for academic publications and a couple slim volumes that disappeared down the memory hole but allowed me to keep my position. By the way, this is a nice wine.

Me: Glad I chose to your taste. And you Baron.

Baron: I’m somewhat of a polymath, expert in several fields. I’m working on a unified field theory to arrange the liberal arts in a chronology with commentary. That’s all you need know of me.

Me: Quite so, quite so. Now that we’ve been introduced and had a little wine what say I begin my presentation? I’m anxious for your opinion and hope to please.

Lessing: That sounds right. What is the title of your presentation Perry?

Me: I call it The Vampyres Of New York.

I noticed a little uneasiness in the Brethren at the title. Lessing spoke:

Is this a vampire story, Perry? I thought the understanding was that we present historical essays.

Me: Exactly Lessing. But lesser known aspects, other sides so to speak and that is what mine is. Don’t let the title throw you. By the way as you’re not looking at the paper I spell vampire v-a-m-p-y-r-e. I chose the spelling to indicate a difference from a Dracula type blood vampire. My essay will concern what is known as psychic vampires. When I was searching Vampyres Of New York on the internet to see if my first couple of posts had registered yet I was surprised to find that there is actually an organization called The Vampyres Of New York, spelled with a Y.

I was further astonished that it claims to be worldwide although the claim seems a little dubious. At any rate the possible leader is a guy calling himself Father Sebastian who divides his time between New York and Paris.

As you know since the first Disney version of Star Wars a recent religion has sprung up based on the concept of the Force and whatever. It seems probable that the Vampyre organization is a type of Satanic religion too. This brings to mind that after the challenge to the Jewish religion in the West after the Scientific Revolution following the Enlightenment the Western Jewish religion under the Scientific challenge dissolved into a number of splinter religions seeking a center. The center of course came from the East and was called Zionism so that Judaism with some atavism and Zion are one.

Christianity has taken longer to find a new center but under the influence of nineteenth and twentieth century Satanism we may be seeing a jelling into some form of a universal Satanic religion. It is something to bear in mind. So my historical investigation is concerned with the Jewish and Christian religious disintegration of the previous two centuries under some sort of vampiric influence. Is that alright? It won’t offend any sensibilities?

Lessing: If it is historical we have no objections.

Me: Alright. I’m pretty sure this will be a different approach to what you’re used to so I have a prologue explaining the difference between a Dracula type Vampirism and psychic Vampyrism which will concern us. This is longish but not hugely long so fill your glasses and sit back. It is written out so feel free to interrupt at any time for explanations or comments, discussions or whatever.

OK? I begin: The Vampyres Of New York.

 

Clip 4 following contains the text of Vampyres Of New York.

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