Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Break (Part 13)

(In No Particular Order....)

     Ivanka achieved part of the American Dream in record time, by becoming a property owner.  She ended up with her own one-bedroom, plus the two-bedroom at the back, which sat higher and held a better view.  The manager at the Hungry I, concerned about being sued by Ivanka --- 'Customer Rapes Dancer at Hungry I, Film At Eleven' --- became unbelievably helpful to Ivanka, mostly by giving her unfettered access to his venal, ball-chewing, shark-like lawyer and pointing him at the property management company.  The lawyer made it clear just how much cheaper buying the property, then transferring it to Ivanka, would be as compared to taking it in front of a jury.  The portrait of a doe-eyed 22-year-old, regardless of her career, facing down against a mask-wearing sadistic monster in the home she'd just rented that day from the man.... It was a no-go.  With the manager's statements part of public record, the property management company may as well have admitted to kicking kittens in court.
     With Ivanka now being the owner of a duplex, the first thing she did was go to talk about the other tenants about rent.  She felt it was too high.  She understood about keeping a repair fund, plus property taxes.... But she had a good income and wasn't greedy, and saw no reason why Tommy and Rick, the two men in the two bedroom, should be paying her non-building-related bills.  She did the math and told them that rent would be going to.... $1100, $650 less than they had been paying, and how did they feel about a nice rooftop deck?  A couple tables with umbrellas, deck chairs, a Weber grill, a wet bar, hot tub, some potted plants.... The sort of place to spend the day during clement weather.  Tan lines would be eliminated, if one wished.  Tommy and Rick were both gay, so mixed-sex nude sunbathing  was a non-issue.
    And Ivanka was on her way to making new friends.  Tommy and Rick took her out to the EndUp, where she had a crowd of gay men cheering and hooting as she went through her routine.  Ta-da, she had people to hang around with and smile and have fun with.
     She provided a highly appreciated service from her house.  She bought a second refrigerator and kept it stocked with bottles of ice water.  Any bicycle messenger finding him or herself on the hill and feeling parched could knock on her door and get a couple bottles of ice water, gratis.  That and the offering of herb on non-work nights endeared the tiny foreign girl to every messenger in the city.  She could jay-walk in every street in The City and would have had a phalanx  of bikes guarding her way as she crossed.
     Her largesse was repaid in two slightly unusual ways: fresh produce and artwork.  Messengers would bring bags of fresh fruit from the farmer's market, and their own artwork for display on her walls.  She appreciated the fruit and adored the artwork.  These would show up on non-work nights, when there could be a dozen bicycles chained to her steps.  Inside would be messengers eating fruit salad, smoking weed, chatting, laughing, and having a mellow time: the messengers would usually be gone by 10:30 (a couple staying late to help wash up), since they did have to work the next day.  They all just had a heavy platonic crush, like a sweet little sister.... In the case of some of the female messengers, not so platonic.  While Bekka and Ivanka did fool around, it was more of a companionship thing than full-blown lust.  The lesbian messengers reportedly wanted her bad, with her big eyes and big boobs and muscular dancer's body.
     So Ivanka went, in the space of several months, from being an abused white slave to the owner of a comfortable property with a rather wide selection of friends, a veritable cross-section of San Francisco "types."  And she began dating.... a girl, one of the lesbian messengers who wasn't bugged by Ivanka's bisexuality.
     Given how things started for her in this country, Ivanka was getting everything she deserved.  Her next stop: becoming a citizen.  Her swearing-in would have the wildest, most boisterous collection of characters ever: punks, messengers, strippers, butch dykes, night club queens.... All there to cheer on a little Romanian girl with great dance moves.  You couldn't ask for a more San Francisco crowd to welcome a new citizen.

     "Mr. Schneider, I would if I could.  I'm sorry, but the legal system does not work that way.  You must make your testimony in person.  Since you're a testifying witness, your job can't fire you.... In fact, if they attempt to do so, you call me and I'll explain the law to them.  The court will be providing your air fare and a motel room, plus a stipend for meals.  And we promise we'll be doing this as quickly as possible."
     We were in the district attorney's office, and he was explaining how the testimony part of the trial would go.  He had already informed me I was not allowed to just bring another bat and finish the job, saving everyone a lot of time and money.  In fact, he wanted me to use my cane as a bit of a prop, demonstrating how badly I'd been injured.
     In The People vs. Lewis Thorson, the defendant (L. Thorson) had been injured again.  He had ignored advice about using solitary, and had gotten the shit kicked out of him his second day in.  He just hadn't learned about mouthing off to deputies, trustys, and other inmates.  They found him in the shower room, bruised and unconscious.  Gosh, what a shame.
     The Director was momentarily confused about my needing to be in court: he thought it was my rape trial.  I reminded him that those accused of violent sex crimes aren't let go after promising to show up on the right days.  He was unhappy about my eight day absence, but said he'd get The People In L.A. to fill in for me.  (I felt guilty about it later: the film all sucked.)  I promised The Director that I'd rather be taking pictures of naked people fucking than hanging around the Superior Courthouse in San Francisco.
     The testimony was a walk-through.  The defense lawyer (a family friend who didn't practice criminal law)  may as well have been wearing clown make-up.  He tried to pass it off as an act of impulse.  The DA pointed out that thousands of men visit strip clubs in San Francisco every day, and none are driven to rape.  They also aren't conveniently carrying ski masks, know where the stripper lives, and have master keys to the strippers' homes.  Game set match.
     So far as I went, we left the precognitive elements out, simply saying I didn't trust Defendant Thorson's demeanor and behavior around Ms. Kovnik and went to check on her to make sure she got home okay.  Assessing the situation, Mr. Schneider used wit and bravery to disable the defendant, even though it meant taking a bullet to the ribs in the process.  Despite being shot --- as you can see, he still is suffering from his injuries --- Mr. Schneider restrained the defendant, contacted the police, and checked on the well-being of Ms. Kovnik.  The officer testifying, the one who wanted to work on my ribs with his night stick, told the court, "I've heard the sort of pain gunshot wounds to the ribs can cause.  This kid is brave, tough as nails."  I couldn't help it, I blushed.

     It took four hours for the jury to reach verdicts: guilty, one count attempted rape; guilty, one count sexual assault; guilty, one count breaking and entering; guilty, one count each of possession and use of a firearm within city limits.  Given the degree of the convictions, he was looking at twelve years.  Also, thanks to California's new sex offender registry, L. Thorson would be on a very short leash.  He wouldn't be able to take a piss without the cops up his snorkel.

      On the next to last day, I stepped outside for a cigarette and saw the cop tossing something in the air: the baseball.  He greeted me, then said, " Okay if I keep this?"
I told him sure, it's yours.... But why?
     "A reminder.  Just when you think shit can't get any weirder, well... You know.  Besides, I just found out I'm getting promoted.  They're making me a sargeant."  He shook my hand, told me, "Stay loose," and walked down the block, still tossing the ball.  He had a busy night ahead, sewing on those brand new stripes.

     I'll simply say our goodbye with Ivanka was long, drawn-out, tear-soaked, and heartfelt.  The most difficult and tough goodbye any of us had been through.... And we'd been through a hell of a lot together.
     Her phone would be installed in two days.  She had various numbers to try us at, and to just keep dialing until we picked up at one of them.  Goodbye, our doe-eyed beauty.

     "Okay, how are the pillows feeling?"
     "They push.  Look, I'm pretty sure I can do it."
     "We tried.  You were wincing and pouring sweat every time you shifted."
     "Maybe I just need more soft serve."
     "No.  You're my navigator, where am I going?"
     "Across the Bay Bridge, onto I-580 East, 580 East extension, on to the Five, then open it up.  Depending on how I feel, maybe spend the night at the foot of the Grapevine.  And you and I can both figure it out from there.."
      "Okay, simple enough."
     "It's gonna hurt like hell, but will you give me a hug?"
     She hugged me, I grunted in pain, and we were off.  It was a rather memorable vacation.


  1. Good shit. Read it all on another "pleasant valley sunday". Drinking PBR and watching the carcass chunks on the grill.
    Write about...I don't want to say homeless, so I'll say when you were living rough.
    Looking forward to more.

    1. Thanks for the good word! Believe it or not, I'm writing a semi-romance at the moment --- a challenge from my wife to not write something soaked in drugs and wild behavior. A girl who wants to be a sideshow performer becomes involved in a cowboy in the Wyoming badlands. Fairly soft stuff, but ya gotta keep it mixed up. Being wrote on sort of a dare. Don't worry, your request is coming. I've gotta finish this soft story first story first, just to prove I can do it./

      Thank you,