Thursday, December 31, 2009


The Boy in the High Castle--Chapter Seven
The Grasshopper is Heavy

“The image of this hexagram
is the mountain, the youngest
son of heaven and earth.”
—Hexagram 52—Kên / Keeping
Still, Mountain, I Ching

Tagomi drove fast and smooth on the two-lane, two tiered new Embarcadero Freeway into SF. The City beneath him lit up like a Xmas tree—driving on it late at night when the traffic was light in his fast Jaguar, the feeling of gliding fast on the elevated expressway over the streets and precincts of the immense city could be almost transcendental. Like mainlining it in an artery—pumping through the heart of the universe.

Tagomi was wooing Tsukamato Kunio—about the 100 million yen being over budget. The Grasshopper Is Hung had turned out to be rather expensive. Philip K. Dick’s royalties had added a million yen—the whole film was getting costly.

“Even with CGI special effects, The Grasshopper’s ending up more than Blade Runner and Minority Report. Look at Scanner Darkly—it almost bankrupted me. We’re in a depression, you know, Tagomi,” the producer pointed out, “don’t forget.”

“Please, Tsukamato,” Tagomi crooned, “The Grasshopper is Hung isn’t a major sci-fi flick—it’s a skin flick, that’s all. We don’t need any major stars—that’s why we chose Abendsen. He’s not a major actor—we’re saving plenty. What’s a couple of million yen for a potential “Big Tuna” getting his rocks off?”

“Japanese male porno stars,” Tsukamato pointed out, “have more drawing power than female starlets—but American ones?”

“He’s the biggest young male American star in our movie—The Grasshopper Is Hung. More endowed than Nureyev.”

“Still,” Tsukamato sighed into his cellphone, “This is it. No more.”

Tagomi smiled to himself. Tsukamato was in his frugal mode, but they’d be able to recoup their losses easily. The movie would be the biggest porno flick since Godzilla Deep Throat.

Exported to Japan and Germany—that’s where all the size queens were. France, Hong Kong, Thailand—especially Argentina and Paraguay. This would be a breakthrough video—the next erotic New Moon. It would make Togami Inc rich—a real money-maker. And Spencer Abendsen—a new star in the video firmament.

All the way to Japantown, Togami had worried about Spencer. He was worried about the kid—he’d been having more and more blackouts. They weren’t really blackouts—they were more like sudden voluptuous daylight wetdreams. Embarrassing yet seductive wide-awake nocturnal emissions—involuntary orgasms in front of the cameras. They’d kept filming anyway—it added just the right shocking Buñuel-esque surrealistic touch to the script.

Spencer Abendsen couldn’t help it—he was Kên the youngest son of heaven and earth. He tried being a decent boyish Buddhist—letting the young male principle ebb away slowly through him in a calm steady movement into nirvana. But more often than not, it wasn’t a gentle sluggish flow of male energy—it was more like a sudden gushing fire-hydrant spurting uncontrollably along some street in New York City with everybody playing and cooling off in the gushing fountain during a hot summer day.

But still, Tagomi felt more and more estranged from The Grasshopper film. As if he weren’t the director anymore—somebody or something else was directing the shots. Maybe the shooting schedule and whole AV film business had been too much for the kid. He didn’t seem to understand who he was sometimes.

Hexagram 52—Keeping Still wasn’t easy for a young eighteen-year-old man in a city like San Francisco—a Baghdad by the Bay, a Sodom and Gomorrah City of Forbidden Pleasures. Spencer didn’t seem to understand the script—it was like somebody else was reading and playing the lines instead.

Spencer seemed ready, willing and able to be a decent actor—and Tagomi’s crack film crew knew what they were doing. Tagomi certainly knew his own business. But The Grasshopper didn’t seem to be a typical American teenager—nor was the flick turning out to be a Utamaro Kitagawa satire like Togami had intended.

Something else was going on—it was as if Spencer had a double somewhere else. A doppelganger actor who was somehow turning into Spencer—bleeding into the other kid’s body and mind. Who was this other—was he from some other world? Was he coming from the Nebenwelt—the other world on the other side? The one that The Grasshopper Is Heavy—was slowly but surely oozing into? Was it an erotic video instead of a novel—morphing and mind-melding with the PSA and Fourth Reich?

Tagomi shook his head—buried in thought walking back to his office. If Hexagram 52 signified the end and the beginning of all movement—then surely it was like yoga or bodybuilding. Spencer’s body, his back, his toes—his calves, his stomach, his hips, his jaws, his heart. All of these things that made up young Spencer Abendsen in the here & now—surely the kid had to be still like a mountain. And let the other world flow into him—and him into it?

Tagomi heard Tsukamato kvetching on & on in the background—but he was thinking about what his nephew had said about Spencer lately. He was smoking too many Rising Sun cigarettes and taking too many happy pills. He was spending all his time making love to Juliana Frink—or playing with himself in bed looking up at the ceiling. He was awake—but he was dreaming. He was asleep—but his eyes were open. Neat trick.

Monday, December 28, 2009


The Boy in the High Castle—Chapter Six
Japantown (2010)

“[The evil days of old age come]
and one fears heights, and perils
in the street; when the almond
tree blooms, and the grasshopper
grows sluggish and the caper berry
is destroyed, because man goes to
his lasting home; and mourners go
about the streets…” Ecclesiastes 12:5

It didn’t happen all at once—it wasn’t sudden like some kind of déjà vu flashback. It was more like Spencer felt himself sliding down into it—as he strolled down the hill from Pacific Heights, down Laguna from his apartment on Sacramento across from Lafayette Park, down to Japantown.

Down Laguna—past California, Pine, Bush, Sutton and then across busy Geary Boulevard. Spencer Abendsen could smell the eucalyptus in bloom even though it was January. The old Victorian mansions once dilapidated and dreary-looking along the street had all been gentrified and remodeled into apartments with bay windows jutting into the fog.

It was a strange feeling—like he was somebody else. Somebody else looking out his eyes into the hazy fog drifting along Geary Boulevard—creeping through the City on delicate cat’s feet. It was like being himself—but slowly remembering somebody else. Who it was he didn’t know—but he had the feeling he’d soon find out. He’d have to consult the book when he got home—he said to himself. The Oracle knows all, he smiled to himself. Maybe too much.

Down in the Japantown complex, past the bowling alley where Japanese high school boys once spent their time bowling after school—that’s where Spencer had enjoyed relaxing and schmoozing with friends. The sound of bowling pins smashing against each other and the sound of bowling balls rolling down the alleys—even the gutter balls—for some reason Spencer found relaxing. Like background music as he sat there long afternoons after work reading or writing in his notebook.

He liked the way Japanese guys relaxed and enjoyed themselves—the way they got along together. A couple of them became his friends—the beefy goodlooking one who looked like a jock but could play the cello. Spencer had fallen in love with him—the young Japanese cellist Yokichi Ozaki. After making love, Yokichi would play the cello in the nude on the balcony late at night. Spencer on the sofa—smoking a Rising Sun cigarette.

Japanese guys weren’t as fucked-up as American young men—maybe it was the way things worked out after years of samurai traditional male love back in Japan. Maybe it was because Spencer could speak some Japanese and was interested in kabuki. They’d seen him a lot the past year at the bowling alley. Whatever it was—it was no big deal. Older Japanese men at the baths were the same way—the grasshopper was heavy in San Francisco.

Yokichi’s uncle Mr. Nobusuke Tagomi worked in his office in the Nippon Times Building—a rather mysterious gentleman. Very nervous and fastidious—nibbling on chocolate-covered cherry bonbons with chopsticks to avoid smudging his laptop keys.

Mr. Tagomi auditioned girls for Captive Productions who made erotic videos—such as Speisu Garus (Space Girls) and Sexual Ecstasy Three. His protégé Choco Bon-Bon’s acting skills and his nationally renowned huge testicles were put to good use in various films. Tagomi sat in his office with the framed posters of his films on the wall and the crystal Best AV Director Award plaques hanging around him. He felt more like a doctor or lawyer than a pornographic filmmaker. He also worked for the Foreign Office in Tokyo…

Once he got across Geary Boulevard, Spencer strolled over to the Kinokuniya Bookstore. Another foreign edition of The Man in the High Castle had come out recently and he hadn’t seen it yet. He had a collection of them—a dozen or so from Europe, Japan and South America. He was curious about the cover and what it looked like. Supposedly a Chilean artist had done a very unique artistic cover—with a lethargic locust resting in a courtyard while a man with sunglasses looked on?

For some reason, Spencer kept thinking of Paraguay instead of Chile—what in the world did Paraguay have to do with anything? There’s been a brief blackout last weekend—supposedly a storm or something. He stopped in front of the Kinokuniya Bookstore—staring at himself in the wide picture window. All sorts of interesting books were on display—but that’s not what Spencer was looking at. He was looking at his own reflection in the mirror-smooth evening—it was going fuzzy-wuzzy on him.

He’d read about the Nebenwelt—and the mysterious book called The Grasshopper Grows Heavy. He’d read a couple of other early Ace paperback novels by Philip K. Dick—but Dick seemed to be, well, one of those old hippie amphetamine-addled hacks who died of paranoia way back when—just as his prose was about to decay into 100% psychotic drivel. A Marin County mystic—with no where else to go.

Spencer closed his eyes—feeling more and more dizzy and disoriented. He put on his glasses focused on the copy of The Man in the High Castle in the Kinokuniya display window. There was Dick’s book in the window—looking back at him. There was a man in sunglasses staring off to the right on the cover—and there sluggishly poised in a surreal almost de Chirico-esque courtyard moment was none other than a big fat grasshopper!

Spencer stared at it. But he didn’t go in and buy it. For some strange reason, he felt like he was having a panic attack—his gaze began to swim. Maybe it was an attack of vertigo—maybe he needed some sake and sushi for dinner instead of a book? Something in his stomach? he said to himself.

But he went into the bookstore anyway and bought a copy of The Man in the High Castle. He started thumbing through it right away—at a nearby sushi joint. He couldn’t read Spanish—but the more he glanced through the novel the more the hair on the back of his neck got erect. The whole story of the Nebenwelt seemed uncanny and yet familiar—the idea of an ongoing alternate history taking place made him feel the nervous frisson from another world. Why were so many readers into reading the book—from here to Timbuktu?

Spencer sensed he needed to get back to his apartment—and check out the advice of the I Ching. He needed some advice about what was going on in the book—why was he so drawn to it? Why had he collected all the various editions of it—that he could get his hands on? He wasn’t feeling himself—maybe it had something to do with The Man in the High Castle. He tossed the coins and came up with Hexagram 60: Chieh—“Limitation.”

“Water over lake: the image of limitation
Thus the superior man
Creates number and measure
And examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct”

He read down through the lines to the commentary:
“A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits.”

Spencer closed the book and thought about it—contemplating what it said. He’d never particularly envisioned any novel as an alternate history—especially science fiction. Juvie sci-fi had always been more like a short period in his life back when he was an impressionable adolescent. Heinlein and those other writers were good—but reading them had been more like some sort of fairy tale fantasy he dreamed up while being a kid back then.

Anything to do with a hypothetical future or hypothetical past—that was way off in left field. It was more a matter of Meng—“Youthful Folly.” That’s all—just a somewhat imaginative way of reliving his boyhood. A minor juvie reminiscence—all those Heinlein sci-fi novels he used to read. The Winston series—just a bunch of boyhood romances. Like comic books or Saturday matinees at the Bijoux.

But taking it seriously? You’ve got to be kidding—he said to himself. He wasn’t interested in mainstream fiction—or even pulp fiction paperback Ace novels anymore. The last thing he wanted to do was spending his time adumbrating the limits of fiction— circumscribing the dystopian possibilities of some alternate history in the past or future. Or even now.

Spencer was happy just being who he was—living in San Francisco and working for the hospital across the street. He had a decent job as a file clerk in the hospital library next to his apartment. The California Pacific Medical Center was one of the largest medical centers in SF. He had a girlfriend and a couple of boyfriends too. That was all he really needed—he liked living close to Japantown. SF was cool.

But still his fascination with Dick’s book grew. And it was sort of odd as he later found out—his girlfriend’s name being Juliana Frink with her running a jewelry store on Fillmore. She and Frank, her brother, working in the mail order antique business too—specializing in fake Civil War memorabilia. They were good at it—and made a living out of it. He looked at the ring that Juliana had made for him—a topaz set in a triangle of onyx with wings wrapping down around his middle finger. He rubbed it—it made him feel better for some reason.

Just then the doorbell rang—Spencer answered it and let Yokichi come up. As Yokichi put down his cello and began slipping off his clothes, he said—“Oh, by the way, Spencer. Uncle Tagomi wants to see you tomorrow. It’s important. First thing in the morning, kido.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009


The Boy in the High Castle—Chapter Five
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

“The wind blows over the lake and
stirs the surface of the water. Thus
visible effects of the invisible manifest
themselves.”—Hexagram 61: Chung Fu—
Inner Truth I Ching

Why did the Oracle choose to write a novel through the intermediary of Spencer Abendsen? And why this novel? Why this subject rather than some other?

Spencer had no answer to that question. Nor, for that matter, did his father or Philip K. Dick.

Knock, knock—who’s there? Juliana Frick hadn’t driven all the way from San Francisco and Denver—just to find out that it had actually been Hawthorne Abendsen who’d collaborated with the Oracle on the novel. She knew that already—the Oracle had told her.

She’d been driving her sleek but retro-looking 1950 Studebaker—the one with the pointy front and pointy back—through the Rocky Mountains. Suddenly she’d pulled over to the side of the deserted road. She reached into the glove compartment and pulled out the two worn black volumes of the Wilhelm/Baynes edition. Then and there, with the car engine running, she’d tossed the three ancient coins.

“What does it mean? Why am I doing here? Tell me what to do—or should I do nothing?”

She got Hexagram 42—“Increase”—with moving lines that transformed it into Hexagram 43—“Breakthrough.”

“One must resolutely make the matter known
At the court of the king.
It must be answered truthfully. Danger.”

It frightened her—it’s easy to imagine her biting her lips, knowing it was one of those usefully equivocal replies the I Ching sometimes makes. The kind that can go either way—except in this case there was only one way or the highway.

Juliana put the Studebaker in gear—and took off. She drove on to Cheyenne—knowing that Abendsen the reclusive author to The Grasshopper Lies Heavy was there. Supposedly known by the sobriquet of “The Man in the High Castle.”

She ended up, though, in a Cheyenne suburb—surrounded by bourgeois ticky-tacky look-alike suburban development homes. In front a single-story stucco bungalow with a nice lawn and a Suzuki motorcycle parked in the long driveway.

She’d been shadowed by a dark black Mercedes since reaching Cheyenne—she knew she was being followed. She tried to mind-meld with the driver and his companion—something was there but yet nothing was there. It was as if they weren’t human—but how could that be possible? Even Nazi thugs are flesh and blood—just like everybody else. She shrugged—heading to the door.

Up the flagstone path to the front steps, Julia could hear a party on the patio going on. Not a big one—but there was one going on. Hawthorne and his wife didn’t seem any different than the guests—typical weekend chit-chat cocktails and entertainment.

Juliana was determined to find out what the story was behind the novel—what was going on in The Grasshopper and why. As soon as she met Hawthorne—she realized he wasn’t the author of the text. Nor was he the one who’d collaborated with the Oracle—resulting in the published book.

But this was awhile after she met Spencer at the door—it was then she realized the kid had written the novel. Surely not—just a boy? She thought at first she’d somehow read his mind wrong. It stunned her at first—then came introductions at the party, schmoozing with Hawthorne’s wife and the guests. Most of them were writers too—some of them journalists and others college professors. All of them had read The Grasshopper—thinking Hawthorne had written the alternate history novel.

But how could a 16-year-old adolescent youth write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? It kept running through her mind—making her want to leave the guests and get back to Spencer. How could the Oracle have used the boy to write such a book—the setting, the characters, the plot, all those thousands of choices that went into authoring a novel, telling such a mind-boggling story?

Had Spencer done it all on his own—or did he consult the I Ching with each chapter as he went along? And how did he move along with the storyline—not knowing where it was taking him? Like a mystery writer who waits until the last chapter before figuring out who the murderer is? Who’s it going to be and dealing with questions about characters and motives?

How did a naïve high school kid even know about the I Ching—getting three Chinese coins together, a piece of paper and a ballpoint to draw the hexagram? How did Spencer end up with the two black volumes from the Bollingen Foundation and the Princeton Press? How did he learn how to do it—clear his mind, toss the coins and run with it? Most adults weren’t into that sort of thing—consulting with a 5,000 year old muse?

Germany and Japan had won the war—in this world. But Germany and Japan had lost the war—in the novel’s troubling other timeline world. The so-called mysterious Nebenwelt. It was disconcerting to even think about it—time being out of joint that way. Who would’ve ever thought of writing a novel about it—two alternate WWII worlds existing simultaneously?

Where did Spencer come up with such a weird idea? What had he been smoking? What justified the ending of his fantasy novel—the way it did. The Grasshopper Lies Heavy—without any decent closure or happy ending? Didn’t he accidentally leave out a chapter—novels are supposed to have endings, climaxes, resolutions to problems aren’t they?

It dawned on Juliana that Spencer didn’t seem to be worried about any of that. If he was writing anything—it was just a lark, a fabrication of some retro world without a hero. Unless he thought he was the hero—but he didn’t act like one. It was more like a game he was playing—waiting until the end of the game to see who’d win.

But then everybody knew that already—Germany and Japan had won the war. Right? Hmm? Juliana had been counting on finding something out—that’s why she’d driven all the way to Cheyenne. But what had she find out? That there was no Man in the High Castle—Hawthorne Abendsen hadn’t written the book. Spencer Abendsen had written it—and his father had hidden that fact from everybody. At least from the Nazis—while the Japanese seemed to be in on the façade. The Japanese even published it.

The I Ching had left Juliana with an exasperating problem—the more she thought about it the more perplexed and confused she got. “Danger” had come up on her radar-screen—just like it did in the Studebaker when she consulted the Book. Had she stumbled onto something—some kind of hidden groundwork she’d been made privy to. Who was this tall goodlooking adolescent in front of her—who was this Spencer Abendsen?

For one thing he was a latent telepath—something she expected Hawthorne to be. The Zen koan about wind blowing over the lake had been true—the visible effects of the invisible were manifesting themselves all around Spencer. It didn’t seem to bother him that Miami was discorporating and diffuse—phasing in & out of existence. Did he know it was happening?

Surely, he had to know—if he’d written The Grasshopper he’d have to know. Wasn’t he the Little Grasshopper? Wasn’t the novel just a fairy tale he’d written about himself? And yet, there was some kind of “Babel-17” meta-language happening. It was like an English-German-Japanese black hole—they were literally translating and invading each other at the same time.

Spencer wasn’t authoring the Miami force-field zoid effect—anymore than he’d authored The Grasshopper. The Grasshopper had writing itself through the I Ching—like a self-contained schizoid personality reinforced by some kind of self-hypnosis. Most people were so enthralled by it—they were blinded by it. Both in the Lebenswelt and in the real world—language had a way of piggybacking the real and the reverse-real simultaneously.

Schiz-configurations were constantly struggling to force their dominance over the Other—semantically imprinting the minds of the mutual invaders with the inconceivable, i.e., that sooner or later one world would win over the other—and one world would collapse like a death star supernova into the other.

It was like The Grasshopper was tuning inside-out—oscillating, pre-capturing and experiencing itself in two worlds. “Babel-17” had been analyzed earlier—as a language without the “I” making its technical mastery an exact duplicate of looking the other way. Schizy espionage agents—that’s how languages sometimes interacted. Like automatic writing from the land of the dead—cryptography compensating for various ambiguities.

Both the Nebenwelt and this world were totalitarian states—parallel universes that seemed like chimeras to each other. Totalitarian states were good at it—rewriting history, foisting their own apocryphal versions on the world. In this case, two totalitarian worlds were doing the same thing—exercising what Saint Thomas Aquinas denied was possible. The ability to alter the past—and influence the future.

It was a privilege all victors enjoyed—the Nazis and Japanese in one world and the Neo-cons and Bolsheviks in the other. Trotsky who? The Russian Revolution never happened—according to the Nazi history books. Nor was Stalin or Sputnik ever a part of the Space Encyclopedia—mapping out the interstellar domain of Fourth Reich astronautic history. Nothing was left on either side of the Zeitvernichtung divide—to compromise those in power. The Gulag Archipelago was cancelled out on one side—by the concentration camps on the other side.

It was like having Hanna Arendt—on both sides of the River Styx. In Origins of Totalitarianism, she describes how the czarist secret police reportedly mapped out intricate circles within circles—of political dissidents, their friends & families, their political allies and enemies. Keeping track of them—the criss-cross relationships in ever-widening charts of contamination. The same with the Gestapo—spying on everybody based on the principle of universal contamination. Only to be erased and disappeared—silently and anonymously in Nacht und Nebel.

Crematoria smokestacks on one side of the Zeitvernichtung—Communist witch-hunts and blacklists on the other. Control on either side of the time-curtain—covered-up by man’s instinctual not wanting to know.

But what about The Grasshopper is heavy—how many people had read it? Even if it were banned—at the Dalton, Borders, Barnes & Noble bookstores? Who was pushing the outlawed samizdat editions of The Grasshopper—was this young kid Spencer Abendsen actually the specular author?

Spencer relaxed in the den with Juliana—they were leisurely mind-reading each other. He was smoking a Rising Sun cigarette—surely that isn’t what gave him his psi-abilities? Maybe it eroticized his adolescent hormones a little bit—making him want her.

But wait a second—she had to pull herself away. She could feel herself being pulled in his direction—the kid had a heart free of prejudice and was completely open to the truth. Whatever that was—was it the allure and charms of Hexagram Meng “Youthful Folly”?

“It is not I who seek the young fool;
the young fool seeks me.
At the first oracle, I inform him.
If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.
If he importunes, I give him no information.
Perseverance furthers.”

Okay, okay, she thought to herself. I get it.

So Juliana had seen and heard everything there was to be said. She typed “The End” on her version of the storyline—there wasn’t anything else for her to do. She’d answered her question about The Grasshopper Lies Heavy—by talking with the real author of the text. It wasn’t a mystery anymore—there wasn’t anything else she could do.

Danger was beginning to synch around the kid—there wasn’t anything Juliana could do about that either. Sooner or later the Miami news would hit FOX-News and the major newspapers. The total blackout of Paraguay would have to come out too—airline traffic and business channels could only be neutralized and faked for so long. Juliana wanted to be back in San Francisco if she could—when all that happened though. How soon would the news break?

Juliana didn’t know what to expect from Spencer or The Grasshopper or the I Ching anymore—who knows what he was planning or what was being planned for him. There was nothing she could do anyway—Spencer didn’t seem to be worried. He enjoyed the Rising Sun—sprawled out in the couch with his eyes closed. He wanted to make love with her—but something told her she had to go. The thugs in the Mercedes were waiting outside—something was coming down. She couldn’t protect Spencer—he’d have to protect himself.

If it was true that he indeed was the author of The Grasshopper, then surely he was in the flow of things. It was a surprise to find it out—but in a way it pleased her. He was indeed full of Meng—youthful folly. Perhaps that’s why TPTB weren’t worried about the novel—it was just the figment of a stupid kid’s imagination. Nothing more—nothing less.

But it took more than youthful folly—to author The Grasshopper. There was something else about Spencer too—the novel wasn’t finished. It was that open-endedness—that seemed to keep everybody on their toes. It was like he was still writing it—that it had been published too soon, too prematurely. But somehow she knew the Abendsen family would be able to handle themselves. After all they’d got themselves into this predicament—by the father lying about his son. Surely he did it for a reason. Hawthorne hadn’t done it for a Hugo—that’s for sure.

Juliana saw an eleventh printing July 1974 edition of the smaller tighter yellow-cloth I Ching edition reset in new format with a preface by Hellmut Wilhelm—sitting there on the coffee table next the wall of Big Screens as she left. It reassured her—for some reason.

Friday, December 25, 2009


The Boy in the High Castle—Chapter Four
The Kommandos

“He knows,” the Kommando said.

The other Kommando nodded.

Both Kommandos were outside waiting in their car—as Julia drove away who knows where. Who knows what she told him—he probably knew it all already anyway. It was midnight—the neighborhood was quiet. They were on a mission—for the Nebenwelt.

“I know too much,” said Spencer Abendsen.

The night suddenly grew darker—as the Kommandos and Spencer Abendsen drew nearer & nearer to each other. All three of them were aware—of each other.

“It’s absurd—I don’t know what’s going on,” said Hawthorne Abendsen. But Hawthorne Abendsen didn’t know what else to say—other than shrug his shoulders and hug his son goodbye.

He knew it was going to happen sooner or later—now the time had come. Only Julia could have saved his son now—but where did she go? To leave Spencer—at the mercy of the Kommandos? In between here and now—and the nebulous Nebenwelt…

They were both young Kommandos—the worst. They were trained killers—genetically engineered by Dr. Seyss-Inquart with only one purpose. To be the ultimate Nazi Praetorian guards.

Seyss-Inquart designed them to guard and protect Heydrich blindly and fanatically at all costs—they were highly superior to Sepp Dietrich’s Lunar Leibstandarte Division. More than just Old Guard fanatic loyalty was needed now though.

Two of them he gave to Canaris—as a gift to the admiral.

These were the two crack Kommandos who survived the Nebenwelt jump—they were the ones who were now telepathic. The standard story was true—there was Nebenwelt. It was a parallel world—yet they needed to see the Man in the High Castle. They commandeered the fastest Messerschmitt jet to Cheyenne—the security shields let them through. Just to see Spencer—to kidnap him.

“Goodbye Spencer,” Abendsen said. He knew he would never see his son again. Caroline was sleeping—she didn’t need to know now. Later—after the Kommandos left. He’d tell her about him going—that he said goodbye for her…

It was the last thing Hawthorne Abendsen wanted to say—but he said it anyway. Sooner or later the Nebenwelt was going to tilt into their lives—he knew that. That’s what the Oracle said—that’s what the Oracle was doing. It predicted it would probably come in—sideways out of left field in Fenway Park. It did didn’t it? Over that Green Monster they called it in Boston? Except it was a reverse homerun.

Spencer was already mind-melding with the Kommandos. Without looking back at his father—he led them into the study. The automatic doors hissed open and then closed behind them. They locked. That was the last time Hawthorne saw Spencer—he dimmed the lights and sat down on the couch. It molded itself around him—trying to make him forget. It purred and vibrated—uselessly.

The Kommandos were like Heydrich’s android Waffen-SS troops—they were smart but they had one key defect. They had been genetically programmed to be both SS-Supermen—and SS-Superwomen. What made them vulnerable—was their inbuilt Nexus-pride. Spencer knew this—he smiled.

Spencer waved the screen on—there was a blackout over Miami. The orbiting spy-bots were clustering over the new anti-matter void—zeroing in on the seething zoid interference. It was like a pulse shield—phasing in and out of Nebenwelt. Miami was still there—but it was somewhere else too.

“It figures,” Spencer said, nodding at the screen.

Luftwaffe chatter was dominating the airways—without Der Dicke the chain-of-command was falling apart. Already Berlin had called Rommel out of seclusion—he was on his way to a situation conference in the Berlin bunker.

The Kommandos looked at each other surprised—Spencer obviously knew how to lock onto spy-bots and coded channels. Flat-screen Japanese tech wasn’t supposed to pick-up SS signals—somehow he’d breached the firewalls.

One could see the outlines of another city—fading in and out of the picture. Was it New Miami—or Old Miami? Probes could get in—but nothing came out. It had been that way for 24 hours—the media was reporting a minor power-failure.

Spencer slipped out of his kimono—into a jumpsuit. He was tall and wiry like his father—he had his mother’s red hair. He kept it short in a buzz-cut—like the Imperial Marines. He’d been doing weights—listening to a beautiful Brian Eno version of Yamada's Kurofune. He sat down and did some thinking—watching the screens overhead.

The Kommandos relaxed a little—they’d expected something more intense. The kid’s mind was a blank—either that or he was shielding everything. There was nothing extraordinary about Spencer Abendsen—just another teenage suburban brat.

So what if he was a talented idiot savant—there were plenty of them hanging around. Did his talents extend to the Nebenwelt?—that was the question.

Spencer concentrated on Miami—pumping up his forearms and flexing them. Usually he finished working-out—by doing laps in the pool. But there was no time for that—not now.

“No more mind-chat,” Spencer said. “Talk to me.”

The two Kommandos looked at Spencer.

“You know?” the one Kommando asked.

“Yes, what do you know?” the other Kommando chimed in.

“I know—that’s why you’ve come to see me.”

Spencer turned the channels—to Asunción. It looked like Miami—a zooidal zoid in the zeitgeist.

“Yeah sure,” the head Kommando said.

Both Kommandos nodded mock-seriously.

They were waiting for him to come with them.

“I know,” he said. “Maybe you two know too much.”

Both Kommandos smirked knowingly.

The flat-screens—they were turning Matisse.

“You know about Nebenwelt—at least you think so.”

The two Kommandos saw it—the identity shift.

It was very quick—it was like a wave-interference pattern. It had blue-green sheen to it—like the moiré shield shimmering & arching over Miami and Asunción.

Then suddenly Spencer wasn’t there.

“What the fuck!!!!” the Kommandos shouted.

One of the thugs was reaching for his Luger when the other Kommando caught his wrist and held it tight. They struggled some—the cool-headed one won.

The cool-headed one was unflappable—his training was more sophisticated than his companion. They weren’t true twin clones like the rest of the Seyss-Inquart shock-trooper design. He and his companion were creative design units meant to intrigue Canaris—whose mind was like a 3-D chess game.

Marlene was the hot-blooded one—she immediately wanted to get rid of the Earth Boy. Evita was the cool-headed one—she nodded to Marlene. They dropped their identity-shields—they were two young women. Their jumpsuits slipped away—they were nude Nebenwelt identical twins.

Spencer smiled. He stretched out on the couch—showing off his invisible manly physique. He knew how to shape-shift better than them—but not all the way yet. He could only hold it for an hour or so—just enough to let them see through him for awhile. He studied them—knowing they were Nebenwelt clones. The real Kommandos were still back in the Nebenwelt Zone—being studied by the scientists.

When he shifted—he knew it was only temporary. But he wanted to know—more about these Nebenwelt clones and how they got into his presence without being detected by anybody. Apparently they’d even fooled Canaris—making it look like they were actually Kommandos. There was no way out of it. He sized up the two twin “androids”—they were his age. They looked female—they seemed real.

He knew they were fake Kommandos—he could tell the minute he opened the door. He opened the door quickly—catching them by surprise. He saw into their minds—before they could stop him. It was so quick—they didn’t even know it happened. What he saw—wasn’t what he expected.

They weren’t Kommandos—they were androids. They weren’t even human—they were some kind of shape-shift design he’d never seen before. It didn’t make any difference to him—he’d never tried doppelganger pussy anyway. But they weren’t here to fuck him to death—obviously. It had nothing to do with sex—not even the most advanced androids could experience orgasm. That he knew of. It didn’t make any difference to him—but they wanted him anyway. He needed to relax—before they kidnapped him.

He let himself go—he felt himself coming back into view. Knowing it was his last night on Earth—before the jump. No humans had ever come back—only these two fake Nexus androids. Did they still have human beings left on the other side—is that why they sent androids from the Nebenwelt?

Only androids seemed to make it through—what happened to the other Kommandos? The human ones—were they still there? Somewhere—in the Nebenwelt interzone?

Spencer timed it—he waited until he felt ready to make the big jump. He wanted to do it at just the right moment—phasing in & out with the Miami moiré patterns on the screen.

As he began phasing in & out—the fake Kommando entities disappeared.

“It figures,” Spencer said to himself.

Just as he phased out—he closed his eyes.

That’s when it happened…

Spencer Abendsen started disappearing.

The Matisse screens brightened momentarily.

For just a second—Spencer saw his Double.

The other one—on the Nebenwelt side…

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The Boy in the High Castle—Chapter Three
Spencer Abendsen

Captain Wegner looked at the surveillance screen—the woman Juliana Frink was already knocking at Abendsen’s door.

Spencer Abendsen opened the door—it was Juliana Frink. She stood there on the porch—looking at him through the screen-door. She was a beautiful dark-haired young woman—Spencer immediately felt attracted to her. She saw a boy, tousled, about sixteen—wearing a T-shirt with a Sony logo and jeans.

“I’m Juliana Frink,” she said.

“I know,” said Spencer.

He looked at Juliana’s face and saw the worried look. He could read her mind—she was on the run from Denver. She’d cut the throat of a hired Nazi thug—she’d driven all the way fast to Cheyenne. She’d stayed that night in a motel—she was in contact with the Oracle.

He nodded to Juliana to come in the house—closing the door behind them. Spencer was already six-feet tall—gangly and awkward. Juliana wasn’t like the other guests—none of them were killers. None of them thought hexagramically—like she did. The little cocktail party was going on nicely—he wanted her for himself. He motioned for her to follow him—to his father’s den. He locked the door behind them—that’s where Caroline found them later making love. On the leather sofa—with the patio doors open. Juliana was a killer—she was killing Spencer slowly. But all that was later on…

“Tell me something,” said Juliana.

Her voice suddenly startled Spencer out of his sex-fantasy. His eidetic imagination was extremely strong—that’s how he did his mind-meld overlay. Usually it worked every time—but Juliana was a telepath too. She interrupted his adolescent fantasy-rape scenario—sensing fairly quickly the kid’s problem right away.

A typical young sociopathic sex-maniac—like many typical teenage boys. Extremely confident for a sixteen-year-old—parts of his body much more mature than the rest. Gangly yet already knowing too much—awkward in a way that made him the ultimate high-maintenance bitch. His lovers had always been older men or women—seduced by his seemingly innocent young male virginity. They fell for his big innocent bedroom eyes—and shyness once they got into bed. They always ended up mothering him—like those Mary K stories about bored school teachers falling in love with their young Polynesian male students.

Spencer stood in the den in the dark—leaning close to her and smelling her black hair. He imagined her pubes—how black and shiny her bush would be in the pool with the underwater lights on. They’d take a swim before sex—before the guests had gone. But he didn’t have time to mind-meld with her—Juliana’s mind was like a Chinese puzzle-box. He kept getting lost inside her weird labyrinthine mind—she was leading him on a wild goose-chase.

Even as she slipped his shirt off and then his jeans—he couldn’t get a decent hold on her mind. She was too quick for him. She slipped her hands down his waist—sliding her hands back to grab his tight flexing ass. He got weak in the knees—as she felt him up. She liked his nice ass—squeezing each smooth lean lamp-chop like she was starved for it. She was the kind of woman who liked chicken—cute hung lawn boys to mow her lawn. Spencer was right up her alley—he could clean her gutters too. She wasn’t shy—she could be a Desperate Housewife too.

Another minute or two she would have been his. The fantasy would have clicked into place—Tailspin Tommy taking a nose dive. Or rather he would have been hers—that’s how he preferred sex. Oral sex with older women—his arms and legs handcuffed to the bed. Smoking a Rising Sun cigarette—watching porno on the flat-screen. Listening to some music on his earphones—letting Juliana do him. He tried again to project his Nebenwelt powers over her—Juliana’s will was more elusive than his and full of Yin.

Spencer fucked her slowly—between her tight lips. Guiding her mouth—holding her ears tight like the pair of handlebars on his Suzuki bike. She liked giving head—Tailspin Tommy did somersaults overhead in the robin-blue sky. He kept thinking about the Denver Autobahn—riding fast at night on his other motorbike. A sleek fast BMW—a gift from Göring. Not a bad deal at all—a test-tube of sperm for the fastest motorcycle in existence. The Suzuki was different—they hadn’t asked for anything yet.

Der Dicke (the Fat One) was into genetic engineering—he needed Luftwaffe supermen for his new Air Force. Dr. Seyss-Inquart and Fritz Sacher were giving him what he wanted—young supermen with super-sex-drives was what was needed. It was the only way to keep them alive—through light-years of tube-time and dream-sleep deep into the Nebenwelt.

The Nebenwelt star-drive depended on interstellar masturbation and simulate-blowjobs—delicate robotic lips doing their thing in the cockpit. The android masseurs were programmed for pleasure—with access to a vast starship library of 3-D tape-loops and other subliminal deep-space pornographic entertainments. Homoerotics was programmed for special Nazi star troopers—they were Heydrich’s commandos of the future.

Like Seyss-Inquart and Sacher—Heydrich had his own twisted version of the Master Race. Himmler was totally mad and impossibly elitist—his postwar SS knights in armor mythology were now outdated. His renovated 17th century Wewelsburg Castle in Westphalia was funded and tolerated by the Fourth Reich. Bormann indulged Himmler in his gothic fantasy—successfully keeping him out of Berlin and out of his hair.

The Fourth Reich needed strong bureaucrats like Bormann—not Nazi mystics like Himmler or Hess. Running a Nazi Planet took time and organization—the rest of the planet would be theirs soon enough. Operation Dandelion—along with the Bomb—would see to that. The anti-missile shield of the Inner Islands—along with the mighty Sony Corporation protecting the Rising Sun for now.

But sooner or later—the computer hackers in Berlin would crack the Japanese code. And then the sky would rain with V-4 missiles—and the Luftwaffe in orbit would unleash their beam-weapons vaporizing the Trans-Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere to nothingness.

In the meantime Himmler played his beloved little Wewelsburg Project game—disguised on the surface as the Reich School for SS Leaders. It had an officer’s college for ideological education—managed by the Race and Settlement Office. SS-Brigadeführer Schellenberg helped with the curriculum of Nazi spiritual training and meditation exercises. The goal of Himmler’s grandiose plans was to absorb the nearby village of Wewelsburg and create essentially an SS City—lorded over by his looming modern Fortress of Fear.

Heydrich was more practical—shedding Himmler’s superstitious stage-setting and archaic play-acting. Heydrich had his personal SD Genetic Engineering Laboratory in Marseilles busy creating his own version of the Future Klone Reich. Not satisfied with Hitlerjungend results from the SS Fuck Farms—Heydrich wanted a brand new Master Race program. His genetic engineers were far ahead of Himmler—the race to control the chromosome power of the race was Heydrich’s obsession. He was interested in stem-cell genetic engineering—modeling the future Master Race in his Laboratory of Fear. Heydrich skipped the racial mythology—his dream was mastering the Master Race by fondling and playing with the Germanic family jewels.

Reichsführer Himmler’s outdated version called for twelve young Nazi male superman—resurrected Nazi knights from the ruins there at the Saxon stronghold of his Weser Renaissance-style castle. Himmler had queenly Mary Wollenscraft Shelley pretensions of grandeur—he wanted to create the Master Race out of some outdated Victorian fantasy.

Himmler as a Nazi Hollywood version of Herr Doktor Praetorius—creating a Master Race by joining the Bride of Frankenstein with Blond Goons and Monstrous Nazi Youth in unholy matrimony. The spawn of such obscene intercourse—would continue the Lebenswelt Push for more living-space for the Reich all the way to the Rings of Saturn and beyond.

It was all so bourgeois and schmaltzy—once the Nazi Knights settled down they became couch-potatoes and landed fascist gentry. It was hard to control genetics in the Reich Provinces—racial purity devolved quickly within the blink of an eye. So much for the Master Race—so much for Hitler’s dream of The Thousand Year Reich. Only a pure race born of genetic steel could survive that long—lording over the solar system from the Great Fortress of Fear on the Planet of Death.

The Fortress of Fear was a castle built in 1603-1609 as a second residence for the Bishop of Paderborn. Neo-Nazi archeologists had discovered a Stone Age burial pit containing dozens of sacrificed human remains in the foundations of the castle. It was an ancient burial pit—with nearby digs uncovering even more frightening things like primitive animal-like Neanderthal skulls. Strange Bronze Age jewellery with swastika crosses were found amidst the ruins. Records kept by monks annotated strange midnight encounters with futurist-looking solders with death-head insignia and Luger-like ray-guns. A recurring image in many of the illustrated manuscripts was a nude youth with a winged helmet and winged sandals—holding what looked like a shield of steel-blue invisibility.

Spencer was always playing Superboy—it came easily to him with his huge Superman penis. The local Wyoming women—especially the lonely rancher wives—had been Spencer Abendsen’s favorites. They needed it even worse than he did. Mr. Tagomi didn’t hide his affection for young hung Spencer either—nor did the SS sex-doctors always looking for young virile sexual abnormalities.

The more blonde, primitive and hung you were—the more they wanted to experiment and play doctor. A kid like Spencer—had lots of Equus Energy. That’s what one SS scientist from Berlin called it—he was a queer German endocrinologist who looked like Ernest Thesiger. Spencer had a tremendous sex-drive—for some reason he was genetically endowed with it. So was his father Hawthorne—it seemed to run in the family. An inherited genetic trait—a throwback to something rural and primitive. Or was it futuristic?

The Abendsen Family Tree had big thick roots—they sank deep into the Gaia Zeitgeist. Gaia women turned him on—he liked the young Earth Mother types. Was it a Freudian slip when he came down Juliana’s throat—burying his face sideways in the pillow? “Oh Mother fucker—take it baby, take my baby all the way.”

Leni Riefensthal got some exquisite footage out of him—all twelve inches of him. She was really into Triumph of the Will—soon she’d be in forbidden Cheyenne filming for the New Olympics. Already they’d cloned a dozen doubles of Spencer Abendsen—all the Nazi warlords were acquiring Nexus 9 models for bodyguards. Especially in the wilder realms of Argentina and Paraguay—to help suppress the troublesome native revolts against crypto-nazi mining demagoguery.

But there was also a long waiting list—of aging gay Nazi party-members. Waiting for professional Master Race escort services and even rejuvenation surgery with new penis-transplantation technology—based on Spencer Abendsen’s fine avatar tool. It was like robbing the cradle blind—cloning so many fine virgin thuggish tools for the Fourth Reich from Spencer’s young tender manhood.

That was Spencer’s big secret—although there were other secrets more important and much more secret than erotic ones. Spencer was much more endowed than his father Hawthorne—Spencer’s moody manhood was a precocious twelve inches. It was flat, thick and uncut—like a water moccasin coiled up in a swamp of dark curly pubes. Wild West domestic Americana was highly prized by the Nazi elite—the Abendsen T-bone was a rare delicacy in the jaded Reich.

A part of the PSA settlement agreement with the Nazi powers—permitted an occasional medical checkup for blood tests and sperm samples. Fresh sperm was needed for Heydrich’s Race Lab in Marseilles—the pale lily-white fingers of matronly Munich nurses had been milking Spencer since pube-less puberty. Hawthorne and Caroline didn’t know about it—they didn’t want to know. They knew Spencer was a growing boy—who had special abilities and intuitions advanced for his years. But beyond that they were in denial—they just wanted to be normal Cheyenne suburbanites.

That’s when the precognition started—that’s when Spencer’s adolescent Nebenwelt sexuality began flowing through him. There were already a dozen doubles of him cloned out there in the world—most of them still in deep-sleep limbo ready for transplant surgery. Hearts, lungs, kidneys—but especially sex organs. That’s what Trans-Organ Inc was all about—the Joy of New Nazi Meat!!!

As the aging postwar Nazi potentates gradually began fading out—they began trying desperately to continue their run of good luck. Göring was cynical—he already was a barrel of transplanted vital organs. His face-lift was smooth as a baby’s ass—that’s exactly what it was.

Herr Doktor Goebbels was no saint—he quickly replaced his gimpy leg with a young healthy one. He liked it so well—he ordered a much needed new phallus-transplant with the much talked-about Abendsen clone. Within weeks the Little Doktor was back in circulation—driving his favorite secretaries up to the Eagle’s Nest in his sleek Mercedes. Letting them admire his new Luger love-tool in the backseat—almost popping his stitches with too many premature ejaculations near the summit.

One could conquer half a planet—but what good would it be without a strong healthy sex-drive? Unknown to Hawthorne and Caroline—their son’s precocious endowment was already copyrighted and highly prized by the Japanese as primitive P. T. Barnum & Bailey Gent Americana at its best. The authentic thing—like Billy the Kid’s or Jesse James’s unfortunately weren’t available anymore. Germans paid for Spencer’s daily services video updates hwith an umbrella of electronic protection—while the Nazi Knights negotiated the new PSA contract.

But Spencer could sense more—more than just sex stuff telepathically. After all there was such a thing as transplant clone-memory—and Spencer’s organ gift was out there creating all sorts of young manly memoirs. He could feel it when it happened—like the needle on an earthquake meter jiggling back & forth. He was in touch with the dozen or so transplants out there—especially during those intimate moments. For some strange reason Spencer was telepathically wired to them—it made him weak in the knees when they shot their brains out.

At first he thought he was going crazy—caught up in some kind of vortex of phantom pleasure and pain. Phantom orgasms were happening to him—when he least expected it. He’d get big boners suddenly out of the blue—his penis was always oozing with baby-paste running down his leg. Both the Japanese and German doctors just shrugged—telling him it was just growing pains. But pretty soon he figured it out—the Oracle called it Hexagram Lust. The Creative—the Male.

The ancient adolescent primeval male—was there such a thing? An otherworldly juvenile delinquent sexuality—bleeding into the usual somewhat boring bourgeois weltanschauung. Where was it coming from—the Nebenwelt? It took more than just JD mythology to create the ridiculously alpha-male Nazi façade that the Germans were pushing. Just like it took more than an abnormally narcissistic skin-head teenage psychosexuality to keep the Japanese thug façade going. Spencer was confused…

Whether Spencer was hardwired telepathically with Nebenwelt or not didn’t matter to Nazi potentates—it was the sheer unadulterated size and energy of his succulent sausage that counted for those creeps. Sometimes Spencer floated in the backyard pool—feeling his twelve other doppelgangers with two legs walking around out there around the world. Six of them in Berlin—the others enjoying themselves in Paris, Poughkeepsie, Pleasantville, St. Petersburg and Petaluma.

The guests left early and Hawthorne retreated to his bedroom. He closed the door and stood there—taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes. The guests had all gone home early—sensing Hawthorne and Caroline needed to be alone. How long could he keep up the façade—that he was the author of the book? The book they were all interested in—TPTB in Berlin and Tokyo?

The news about Miami had been heavy news to take—the Grasshopper text had given no warning. Or if it did—he’d missed it. Hawthorne wasn’t telepathic like his son—but he could sense attention turning toward them from TPTB. It was exhausting—all the scrutiny. Then new worries about the book—The Grasshopper Is Heavy. But it wasn’t “his” book—that was the biggest secret worry of all.

Then Caroline was by Hawthorne’s side in their bedroom.

“Hawthorne—you did the right thing. It wasn’t any of her business—knowing about The Grasshopper. Why should Juliana Frink have to know anything?”

“It doesn’t make any difference,” Hawthorne said. “She already knew everything anyway.”

Caroline shook her head. “That’s ridiculous, honey—how could she know everything. Anymore than our guests—or the neighbors?”

“She’s psychic—she would have found out sooner or later.”

“No, Hawthorne. She isn’t psychic—she’s just an impetuous young woman. Juliana Frink only knows what she reads in The Grasshopper. That’s all—nothing more or nothing less.”

But Caroline knew Hawthorne didn’t believe her.

“She’s found out,” Hawthorne finally said. “What now?”

Hawthorne Abendsen looked at his wife. Then he shrugged—the worst had happened. Caroline could sense the inevitableness in him again—the disconcertingly superstitious side of him that always scared her. It used to be that way when they were young and made love—she was so scared all she could do was hold on tight to him. Then when he lost it—all that scary energy was hers. His long lanky cowboy legs were all hers—along with the family jewels and everything else.

But usually Hawthorne concealed it—behind the calm facade of being a writer. But he wasn’t a writer—that was just a Lie. He hadn’t written The Grasshopper Is Heavy—not a word of it. Each line of the novel—there were thousands of them. None of them were his. The parallel world thing—the Nebenwelt. Along with the characters—the incredible parallel-world Plot. It all took a year to write—but Hawthorne Abendsen wasn’t the author.

“Where is Spencer?” Abendsen nonchalantly asked.

“In the library as usual,” Caroline said. “Playing video games.”

Hawthorne nodded—knowing she was lying. He kept sitting on the bed thinking about what to do next. They’d have to move—the High Castle was no longer safe. It wasn’t just the SD thugs he was worried about though—or the Japanese tutors tuning in.

He was worried about the Oracle now. The Oracle had written The Grasshopper for a reason—it was coming back to haunt him. He was never good with things like the so-called “Inner Truth”—especially when it came to his own. The Book of Changes didn’t care about authors—it was more concerned with authorcraft. And the authorcraft of hexagrams was hundred times more dangerous—than the Ministry of Fear or the Fortress of Tokyo could ever be.

The Oracle had entered his life again—despite his desperate attempts at hiding it behind a Chinese folding-screen. The Oracle had its own fictive elegance in China—it was much more ancient than the finest Nazi Orientalists in Berlin thought. The divinatory bones, the pottery patterns, the eidetic imagery—it was all Nebenwelt. It had always been that way—beyond the bamboo mat and curtains in the evening. The monsoon rain—the palace beneath the sea. The drunken ship—the color of vowels.

Suddenly nothing seemed authentic anymore—Hawthorne and Caroline sensed it. They found themselves in their bedroom—but it wasn’t a bedroom anymore. It had never really been a bedroom. It had always been something else—a suburban shield for protection. A moat deep with time—a perimeter of fear.

It was the only thing Hawthorne could do—to protect Caroline and Spencer. But now what could he do—the Oracle had come knocking at his door. A strange young woman had saved his life in a motel room ahead of time—he even felt attracted to Juliana Frink himself. He felt confused and out of touch with himself—Caroline felt jealous. Who knows how Spencer felt—Spencer was always living in his own world. Ahead of them—ahead of time.

The Man in the High Castle didn’t exist—Hawthorne didn’t write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Nothing had been written by Hawthorne—not a single fucking word. Not by this aloof resigned reclusive writer—sitting next to his wife. Caroline knew it—she broke down crying.

“It had to happen,” Hawthorne said gently. “Sooner than later.” He held Caroline closer than he’d held her in a long time. He felt closer to her now than he’d felt toward his wife in years—as if some kind of burden had been lifted from them. A hidden burden they had both carried for a long time—it had been lifted off their shoulders in the mere blink of an eye. All it took was a doorbell—why did Tagomi and Tedeki allow it to happen? They controlled the streets, the gated community, the tunnels underground and the flyby-zone over their neighborhood.

They both looked at each other and smiled. A bit of satori—but still there wasn’t much time to waste. There was usually a scheme—they’d been through it before. Each scheme a game of illusion—giving them a little more time. Time to be with each other—time to skate some more over thin ice. Giving the boy—some more time.

Time for what? Another Grasshopper novel? No way Jose—Hawthorne said to himself. That’s what got them in trouble in the first place—Spencer’s Grasshopper novel on the Internet. First half-a-dozen blogs—then The LA Times. The New Swastika Night—wrestling with the Rising Sun. In between Nazi Night and Midnight Sun—Black Leather, Pink Lips, Teenage Tattoos & His Pierced Erect Nipples.

“There—that’s better,” she said brushing back his hair out of his eyes. After all things had worked pretty well so far—long enough to give them some breathing room inside the glass, chrome and steel study. Here in Cheyenne—between PSA and New Berlin.

Time slowed down to an inch at a time—especially for Spencer. Juliana got him off twice—his lizard reminding her of The Monster from the Black Lagoon. How could a dumb little white kid—own something so thick and Jurassic? How could anything so primitive-looking—ever have been a virgin piece of white trash? Whatever it was—she wanted to get pregnant with it. A step ahead of the mob—moiling around him.

Spencer was sleeping in the den—curled up in one of the huge overstuffed antique leather chairs. He had a black silk kimono on—the gift of kind Mr. Tagomi. Mr. Tagomi was a rather generous but mysterious businessman who worked in the Nippon Times Building in San Francisco. Obviously a man connected with the Home Islands—somebody to both fear and appreciate. Tagomi had taken the Abendsen family under his wing—protecting them from Nazi intrusion and SD threats.

Without Tagomi—and General Tedeki in the dark wings—Hawthorne, Caroline and Spencer would have been dead by now. The malignant ones—the Sicherheitsdienst—would have had them a long time ago. The Cheyenne Kempetai guarded them now—the Imperial marines surrounding them for blocks in the underground complex beneath them. That much was true—it was a High Castle protected by PSA and the Nippon Times.

Tagomi insisted on the best distance-learning electronics—and made sure Spencer got the latest Sony computers. After all, it was Japanese computer technology—that countered the Nazi bomb. Delivery systems were constantly being improved—yet Japanese technology was the only source for reliable Sony deadly expertise.

Operation Dandelion was actually just another arms race—similar to the one on the Nebenwelt side. It seems to happen on every planet sooner or later—they call it the Krell Effect. It’s an Exo-Politics Thing—sooner or later the Monsters of the Id come out of hiding in every species. Once the typical alpha-male genetically-engineered sequence begins—then the Krell Effect clicks into place. Nothing can stop it—it’s an Altair-4 nova-express.

Reichsführer SS Reinhardt Heydrich already had android Waffen-SS troops guarding him around the clock—especially now that the Little Doktor was in power. Baldur von Scherach, the head of the Hitler Youth, had been arrested on Goebbels’ order. Heydrich knew he was next—even Canaris wasn’t safe in New York either. The Little Doktor was vindictive—he was making up for lost time.

Heydrich’s android Waffen-SS troops had been genetically engineered by Dr. Seyss-Inquart with only one purpose in mind—to be the ultimate Nazi Praetorian guard. To guard and protect Heydrich blindly and fanatically at all costs—to do it even better than Sepp Dietrich and the Leibstandarte Division.

Heydrich’s clone bodyguards were all incredibly handsome blonde blue-eyed young Supermen—they were the prototypes of the feared Nexus 6 warrior class that revolted on Mars and took over the gold-mining operations on Saturn’s rings. Strangely enough Heinlein already foreseen this neo-noir action—in mid-twentieth century pulp fiction sci-fi magazines & Ace Double novels. The Clone wars.

Seyss-Inquart foresaw clearly the future of stem-cell research and genetic engineering—the implications for racial theories and ethics. They had plenty of racial theories—but had no ethics. But then Nazis never do—the means justify the ends. They think they do—but they are blinded by the Krell Effect. They inevitably fall in love with their own monsters of the Id technology—or somebody else’s. Genetic engineering requires computer modeling—Nazi spyware technology was constantly trying to penetrate and catch up with the Japanese companies on the coast.

Mr. Tagomi and the Nippon Times Building were at the center of the computer espionage network—SD agents were always skulking around San Francisco looking for trade and pirated code. Distance learning was for the Abendsen boy’s safety—Spencer had never gone to a public school. The laptops and huge flat-screen on the wall—electronic gifts of Mr. Tagomi for Hawthorne’s precocious son. And all the exquisite electronic accoutrement—a young writer could need. A young reclusive writer—who could be had.

It was all fugitive and fake now—the Oracle had found him out. No matter how perfectly they’d hid him—the Oracle had found out where the kid was. It had walked right through his front door in their Cheyenne suburban home—posing as Juliana Frink after preempt-saving Hawthorne’s life in Denver. It had finally happened—somebody had penetrated Hawthorne’s High Castle. Somebody who sensed the “Inner Truth”—it was bound to happen sooner or later.

If it wasn’t Juliana Frink—it would have been somebody else. The brass coins Juliana tossed—those Chinese coins had told the truth. The Book of Changes spoke through her—the answer had been Chung Fu. The Book had actually spoken through Juliana—when she asked the questions: “Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?”

The minute Juliana asked the question—Hawthorne knew the game was up. The Oracle had written The Grasshopper—no mere human could have done it and it certainly wasn’t Hawthorne Abendsen who wrote it. The Inner Truth of the moment had become known then—it was only a matter of time before Juliana sensed the complete truth. She already was terribly close—when she asked the question. The truth was out of the closet—the Oracle had come home to roost. It drove from Denver—to rendezvous with Spencer Abendsen in the den. But how did Spencer know ahead of time—that this was going to happen?


The Boy in the High Castle—Chapter Two
The Divine Invasion

“Where are they heading?”

“To Cheyenne, Wyoming,” Canaris said.

Captain Rudolf Wegener was discussing business with Canaris in New York—the Lufthansa ME9-E rocket ship from Berlin had crash-landed in the East River. A submarine had picked up the pilot and passengers—nothing short of a miracle.

“Cheyenne Wyoming? There’s nothing there!!!”

“Oh yes there is.”

“What? No airbases or…”

“Not what—who.”

“It must be somebody fairly important?”

“Yes—the author of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.”

“Hawthorne Abendsen?”

“No—not him. His son Spencer.”

“Spencer Abendsen?”

Wegner rubbed his eyes squinting into the darkness. Sometimes the Admiral could be more inscrutable than the Imperial Japanese Emperor himself. Inscrutable was the wrong word—he somehow wasn’t always politically correct. Poker-faced—would that be a better word for the Admiral?

“It’s Spencer they want to kidnap.”

“Who wants to kidnap him?”

“The two Kommandos—they hijacked a jet to Cheyenne.”

Wegner scanned the file on the screen. That was the good news—the bad news was that the two Kommandos were the ones who survived the Nebenwelt jump. They’d done it on their own. Without orders or permission—they’d commandeered a small Messerschmitt fighter. They were flying under the radar—soon they’d be knocking at Abendsen’s door.

Far away on the Atlantic coast—Miami and Reichs Marshal Göring didn’t exist anymore. Neither did the underground Luftwaffe base—and the huge fleet of Messerschmitt rocket ships at Cape Göring. It was like a bloodless Night of the Long Knives—even the rats in the Führer bunker beneath the Reichskanzlei were nervous. There’s nothing more mean and nasty—than Nazi internecine warfare.

“But why Admiral? A mere 16-year-old boy? According to our records, he’s just a normal American kid. Tagomi has taken him under his wing—the Imperial tutors have educated him. But surely the Kommandos don’t want to kidnap Spencer Abendsen—they’re after the boy’s father. Isn’t he the mysterious Man in the High Castle?”

The screen dimmed and there was a rush of static. The lights in the submarine went red—then back to normal.

“Besides Admiral—Abendsen is the mystery man. He’s the one who wrote The Grasshopper. He’s the Man in the High Castle—supposedly the one who knows Nebenwelt better than anybody. Yet he’s just a writer—he’s never made the jump. How could he know more about it than the Kommandos—they were the ones actually there?”

“Are you sure, Captain Wegner?”

“If the Kommandos are flying to Cheyenne—there’s a reason for it. If the Kommandos knew everything they needed to know about Nebenwelt—they wouldn’t be doing this. Any medical reports on Herr Kohler and Herr Seligsohn?”

Canaris shrugged. “Nothing abnormal or out of the ordinary. A few headaches—short-term memory intact again.”

Wegner hit the search button—scanning the de-brief files. Nothing came up about Cheyenne or Spencer Abendsen—other than data maps pinpointing the underground network beneath the suburban home. What did the Kommandos want—why didn’t they go through channels?

“Messerschmitt autopilot—it does everything,” Canaris said.

Wegner nodded—looking at his watch. They’d be in Cheyenne in an hour—secretly he admired the boldness of the two men. They were skilled and trained Kommandos—but somehow Nebenwelt had changed them. They were more aggressive—they obviously had an agenda. But whose agenda—the Fourth Reich’s or some other world? The Abwehr—or the SS? The Luftwaffe was out of the picture—it would be a much smaller world now without Der Dicke.

“There’s a young woman on the way to Abendsen’s home too—her name is Juliana Frink. She neutralized a Nazi hired killer—posing as her lover. He was assigned to kill Hawthorne Abendsen—the thug was using Frink as a foil.”

“What about the Kommandos?”

“Tedeki has permitted Frink to enter the gated community where the Abendsen family lives. Supposedly she’s a telepath—in contact with the Oracle.”

“But what about the Kommandos?”

“We’ve got the okay from Denver Control and Tedeki—to let them land and see what they do. Tedeki is as curious as we are—the same with Frau Frink. It’s wait-and-see—after all she neutralized the hired gun. There’s nothing more we can do.”

Wegner was impressed—usually the Admiral’s thinking was much more convoluted than military intelligence. But he was being much more straight-forward than usual—something else was bothering him.

“There’s a little cocktail party going on—the usual guests and acquaintances. Nothing out of the ordinary—except one thing.”

“Admiral—surely you jest. Just one thing out of the ordinary? I’m not sure of anything right now. Miami is gone—so is Paraguay. Vaporized—off the face of the earth. Some kind of multiple-theater conflict is opening up—I just don’t know enough about this Nebenwelt thing. I’m for the Kommando unit doing their thing—anything more they find out can only help us with intelligence. ”

Canaris studied Wegner’s expression—Wegner was no flat-faced steely-eyed black-shirt thug with shiny jackboots and a Waffen-SS metal or two. Wegner was Canaris’s protégé—his right-hand man and partner in crime.

“You’re right Wegner—we really don’t know anything about Nebenwelt yet. That’s why we’re letting the Kommandos fly undercover to Cheyenne—they want to meet the author of The Grasshopper.”

“You mean, of course, Hawthorne Abendsen.”

“No, Wegner—they want to meet Abendsen’s son. They want to meet Spencer Abendsen.”

“But why Admiral?”

“Because Spencer Abendsen is the true author of The Grasshopper—not his father Hawthorne.”

So it was all just a ruse—to protect the boy. The father was willing to take the heat for the book—in order to hide his son from the SD. But why publish The Grasshopper in the first place—why endanger his family for a book of fiction?

Parallel worlds were beginning to open up fairly quickly—alternate realities were synchronizing on different levels. It was an unfolding process—surely Tedeki and the Abwehr had insider knowledge if anybody did.

Especially Canaris. Surely if anybody knew who was the Man in the High Castle—it was him. Seemingly always thinking ahead of events—the ultimate master spy and clever multi-tasker.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009



(Chapter One of a Proposed Sequel to The Man in the High Castle)

“We have entered
a moment when
we are alone…”
—Philip K. Dick,
The Man in the High Castle

“Too bad I don’t have a copy of the oracle here,” Canaris said to himself. “I could consult it—take this issue to it for its 5000 years of wisdom…”

Der Dicke had taken off quickly in his Messerschmitt—back to the safety of his Luftwaffe base in Miami. As Canaris expected, Der Dicke had sent an urgent coded message to Miami for an emergency staff meeting. The subject—Hawthorne Abendsen.

There was more to the message—Berlin had been contacted. The three best Nazi Orientalist scholars from the Reich University were to be immediately flown to Miami—for their expert advice on the Book of Changes and other important matters of state.

Canaris smiled to himself—despite Göring’s skepticism at the situation conference with the Kommandos, the news had been taken seriously by Der Dicke. Things were now moving according to plan—let Luftwaffe counterintelligence try the impossible now. Where the Army and SS had failed—perhaps the Luftwaffe could succeed. And with their success—doom themselves to oblivion.

Then Admiral Canaris recalled—there was a copy of the I Ching in the Book Lounge in the Bunker. So he made his way from the conference room, down the elevator—to the deep sprawling bunker that was his underground Navy base beneath New York City.

The Book Lounge was actually a huge electronic library—with access to the complete Fourth Reich database. There was a small lounge for the more senior intelligence staff—the old naval counterintelligence class from WWII. Canaris had seen to that—the lounge was all chrome-steel & glass furnished in elegant art deco design. A period Canaris appreciated—Egyptian moderne he called it. A sense of power—yet respect for history.

The doors hissed open—admitting him into the main level of the lounge. He was a mile beneath Manhattan—inside the heart of the beast. He took a right to another room—his personal office. There it was—inside a battered battleship-gray metal filing cabinet he kept around for nostalgic purposes. It was wrapped in a black silk scarf—along with three ancient coins.

Sitting at his desk—he began the consultation. The moment was right now—it was time to consult the oracle. It would only be a matter of time now—before both Der Dicke and Reinhardt Heydrich the SS Reichsführer were doing the same thing. It was like a Domino Effect—snaking its way slowly through the haughty hierarchy of Supermen.

Canaris opened the silk scarf and took out the three brass coins. Then he wrote the question on the back of an envelope—“How should I approach the Nebenwelt?”

The Nebenwelt Project was moving right along—now that Kohler and Seligsohn were recuperating from their memory loss. The shift from Nebenwelt had temporarily paralyzed their short-term memory—but after several weeks it returned. Yet they were changed—somehow.

Canaris cleared his mind—then he began throwing the coins. The bottom line was Six, and so was the second and then the third. The bottom trigram in K’un—the Earth. That pleased Canaris—three changing receptive lines. As deeply receptive—as the North Atlantic. His home—away from home.

Then line Four and Five—both Eights. All yin lines so far. Good lord, he thought excitedly; one more yin line and I’ve got Hexagram Two, K’un, The Receptive. The dark, yielding, receptive power of yin. The other half of Hexagram One, Ch’ien, the Creative. The four fundamental aspects of both the Creative and the Receptive—“sublime success, furthering through perseverance.”

Canaris threw the set of coins one last time—but it was a Seven. A yang at the top of the hexagram—the roof of a crumbling house. Po / Splitting Apart. A sense of deep despair came over him—he breathed deeply until he was centered again.

Opening the book, Canaris read the judgment.

SPLITTING APART. It does not further one
To go anywhere.

Canaris studied the hexagram—then he looked at the chart at the end of the book and came up with what Po / Splitting Apart was turning into. It was becoming Hexagram 26—The Taming Power of the Great.

How could two hexagrams be so different? The roof collapsing—yet the power of staying still? He’d never got two hexagrams like this before—defeat yet victory.

Canaris read the judgment.

Perseverance furthers.
Not eating at home brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

Canaris narrowed down to a single line under the Image: The way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history, but application of this knowledge, to give actuality to the past.

Canaris closed the book and thought about it. No action was necessary—it was best to do nothing. Trying to aggressively approach Nebenwelt was not the proper thing to do—not at least now. Nebenelt was coming to him—letting Nebenwelt approach was better.

Being aggressive would only yield doom and destruction—let both Göring and Heydrich tread where angels fear to tread. Knowing them, Canaris said to himself, they will try to control Nebenwelt like everything else in Reich politics—by sheer naked power.

Two things had already happened—the Little Doktor’s appointment as chancellor of Germany and all German-occupied territory and the sudden cancellation of Operation Dandelion. Now the news about Nebenwelt—a parallel world to the Nazi Planet.

Canaris was skeptical. Meaningful coincidence was just not how the Reich was run—synchronicity had nothing to do with Berlin or Berchtesgarden. The astrologers were, of course, still consulted—they were the ones who lobbied the most against the Book of Changes as nothing but degenerate oriental mysticism. The astrologers were politicians—like everybody else.

Canaris shrugged his shoulders. Astrologers? Necromancers? Dreamy Orientalists? Who or what was next? The entrails of an owl? The flight of egrets across an evening sky? What was happening to the world? Their former allies the Japanese were now the enemy—Operation Dandelion would surely become a long extended Cold War now. Apparently the alternate world was similarly cursed—was the roof falling in on them too?

Canaris returned the book to the filing cabinet—somehow the Nebenwelt was connected with the oracle. The Orientalists said the book was alive—it was 5000 years old. It was aware of the Nebenwelt—it was trying to tell us something. Abendsen used the oracle for his book—The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Canaris rubbed his eyes—he had an uneasy feeling about all this.

Next to the oracle was Abendsen’s book—Canaris kept both of them together. They had similar invisible contours—they described parallel worlds in conflict. Canaris often wondered—did he have a Double in the Nebenwelt? The Kommandos had reported his Double had been hanged—after the conspiracy against Hitler had failed. How would this effect his intelligence egress between the Führerwelt and the Nebenwelt? What had happened to Naval counterintelligence after the war in the alternate world—had it been absorbed into the Nebenwelt power elite structure?

They’d known about Nebenwelt for 18 months now—two Kommandos were back. They’d been debriefed—their short-term memories had returned. They were smart—Canaris trusted them. Professor Wolfgang Pauli had been summoned from Norway—to explain the physical phenomenon of synchronicity to the Naval staff.

But how does one explain something like synchronicity to a young submarine commander—or to one of the crack Luftwaffe Mars Expedition rocket pilots? Yet to get to Nebenwelt—required aleatoric acausal expertise. It was an ancient technique—it was 5000 years old.

No one knew where Abendsen was—but they had his book. A tight group of neo-nazi literary scholars had been assembled—to map out on a point-by-point comparison the differences between Abednsen’s imaginary alternate world and the actual Nebenwelt. Germanics departments around the world had been alerted—graduate students were scrambling.

Canaris was interested in having undivided control over egress—so both worlds wouldn’t bleed into each other. There were enough problems in the Führerwelt—without adding Nebenwelt Cold War politics to his list of Mission Impossible projects. Nor did he want Heydrich causing problems—nor Der Dicke. These were ambitious men—there was no Leader to hold them in check anymore. The Little Doktor was Paper Tiger—where was Speer? That suave sophisticated Architect—Hitler’s pet and his biggest disappointment. Had he defected to Nebenwelt—like Rudolf Hess?

The oracle’s advice on Po / Splitting Apart was apropos—the collapse of the Reich in one world and its victory in another was mind-boggling enough. But to contemplate a peaceful non-military enantiodromia between two such opposing worlds was almost unthinkable—how could two such diametrically-opposed worlds co-exist once they became aware of each other? How had they been split-apart in the first place—how long had they been Twin Planets spinning around the same sun?

But Canaris had other things to worry about—within his own world. The powerful Nazi factions were again reorganizing themselves—the Nazi knights reorganized the order constantly. But something was going on in the Nebenwelt—something in both worlds. Canaris was fearful—such developments only spelled trouble. Such an unfortunate encounter—would be a War of the Worlds.

It was unthinkable—yet unthinkableness was his job. Canaris had been trained to think the unthinkable—after all he was the head of Naval counterintelligence. He still believed in the Führer-Principle—but the idea of Führer-Control over another world was sheer madness.

The Nazi Mars and Moon colonies were barely functional even now—despite all the best German science and technology available. How could his world hope to prevail over a parallel world—another aggressive alternate world already hopelessly bent away from the Axis?

Captain Wegener was back at Tempelhof Airfield after his meeting with Heydrich on Prinz-Albrechstrasse. He smiled and nodded to the young lieutenant driver—so proud of his mirror-polished Daimler phaeton sedan. Just another kid from Munich—who loved driving fast on the Autobahn. The whole world opening up to him—proud of his shiny chrome Luger too.

The new R-15 Messerschmitt rocket was in the air—soon Wegener would be back in New York. Canaris came on the emergency channel—there was a tremendous amount of static.

The image of Canaris jiggled on the screen—like a nervous water-spider. Moiré patterns dimpled the bunker background image—Canaris looked grim.

The admiral chose his words carefully. “Miami has been vaporized. The whole Luftwaffe complex is gone—along with Göring and his staff. It wasn’t Heydrich or the Little Doktor. It wasn’t the Japanese either.”

Wegener leaned toward the screen. “Who did it then, Admiral?”

The image faded—then it popped back on the screen. Wegener felt himself listing eccentrically—all sense of balance gone…”

“The Nebenwelt,” Canaris said. “The Invasion has begun.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time for the Stars

Telepathic Twins

“Maudie began to wonder if a girl had any privacy? She had, of course; I could not have read her mind with a search warrant, nor could Pat. We had threesome dates with Maudie until Pat was sent away.”—Robert Heinlein, Time Between the Stars

Most people are as self-centered as oysters. But long before Pat got interested in girls like Maudie, both Pat and I could telepath as easily as we could talk and just as smoothly, without special voice-coaching at any distance. We must have been doing it for years without knowing it…

When we talked with each other it went this way:

I said to Pat privately, (“What’s the silly idea? You’ve made her say ‘no’ and now she can’t back down.”)

(“Not yet she hasn’t,”) Pat answered on our private circuit. (“Don’t joggle my elbow.”)

We always pretty much thought that we were doing the “prison-yard” whisper-game to each other—whispering to each other so that nobody else could hear us. But when they taped us—our so-called “prison-yard” whisper-game turned out to be unintelligible gibberish.

We were talking to each other telepathically—that’s the kind of dialog that made sense even though we didn’t know that’s what we were doing. The LRF psychologists played it back for us—both Pat and I couldn’t believe it. We’d thought for all that time that we were just being secretive and sort of snarky about everything. We didn’t know what telepathy was back then—I still don’t really know what it is.

It was faster than the speed of light—that’s why the LRF wanted all of us identical twin telepaths for the torchships. But as far as Pat and I were concerned—our psi-abilities were just as much a surprise to us as our newfound three-way sexuality with Maudie.

I mention this because those early days in the LRF psych-labs changed our lives in more ways than one. Pat and I started “talking” telepathically with each other even more than before—not bothering to whisper since they had proved to us that we weren’t hearing the whispers. We were hearing telepathic dialog—we just didn’t know it that’s all. Only we could hear it.

But we both kept subvocalizing the words silently—since it helped us understand each other better. Early that summer, we’d both tried to do without words and read minds directly—but it didn’t work that way. We learned to not listen to each other unless the other had “spoken” to us—I did it that way and so did Pat.

When we talked we used words and sentences like anybody else—there wasn’t any of that fantastic, impossible nonsense about instantly grasping the contents of another person’s mind; we simply talked. One thing that bothered me though—was why Pat’s telepathic “voice” sounded like his real voice. It hadn’t worried me much when I didn’t know what we were doing—but once I realized that “words” were different than the other things I heard, well, it bothered me.

I began listening to Pat—when we weren’t talking or when we weren’t around each other. Sometimes I’d listen to him in the shower—when he’d be thinking about Maudie. Other times I’d be a voyeur and listen to him—when he dated her at the movies or necked with her at Lover’s Lane. Sometimes I even got more perverted and got inside his head—listening to the young animal noises he made when he was making it with Maude in the backseat.

Pat was a show-off though. He knew I was listening—he was an incorrigible alpha-male vain exhibitionist. He let me listen in on the action—I couldn’t help myself. Maudie was originally my girlfriend—but he took her away from me. He and I were identical twins—but he had more male hormones than me. Either that or he was just more selfish and self-centered than me. He laughed at my obsession with his sex-life—he called it having a “three-way” romance.

The LRF psychologists called it psychosomatic telepathic-deafness—the way I’d tuned out most of Pat’s rampant sexuality. When we were both just entering adolescence—I kept hearing erotic static inside my head. It really wasn’t static—it was more like silly, incoherent rumblings and squishings and finding myself inside somebody else’s incoherent wet-dream. It was awfully touchy-feely…

I somehow must have unconsciously learned how to block out all of Pat’s subvocalized obnoxious libido stuff—his crummy nocturnal emissions, his petty premature ejaculations and those maddening leisurely blowjobs by Maudie in the backseat of Pat’s car. That’s what the LRF psychologist meant when he said it was PSTD—psychosomatic telepathic-deafness.

They straightened me out by explaining what telepathic orgasms were. You don’t hear with your ears—you hear with your brain. You don’t see with your eyes—you see with your brain. When you touch something—the sensation isn’t in your fingers, it’s inside your brain. The ears and eyes and fingers are just data collectors—it’s the brain that abstracts order out of the chaos of data and gives it meaning.

So that when Pat had an orgasm—it wasn’t me having the orgasm. I wasn’t watching through his eyes or feeling her up or making love to Maudie like he was—it was my twin saying to me telepathically the words running through his brain that he knew how to use to describe what he was feeling. Words were handles for his feelings like—(“Ugh!!!”) and (“Oh, baby!!!”) and (“Take it, Maudie… I’m coming!!!”) There wasn’t any privacy—between telepathic identical twins.

So I no longer worried about it—I got into it. Pat didn’t seem to mind—he liked the idea of doing a telepathic three-way. I could hear Pat’s voice get clearer and clearer—I could hear the edge of his voice when he was getting ready to shoot his brains out. Maudie got self-conscious thinking that both of us could read her mind—especially when she lost it or got into doing what she did so well orally. Pat was oblivious to all that—it was obvious I was the only telepath tuned into his sex-life and he liked to dominate things with both him and Maudie. Her body—and my mind.

Pat was a telepathic fascist pig—and just because he was cute and twice as endowed as me wasn’t any excuse for torturing both Maudie and me that way. (“What did I tell you?”) Pat would say afterwards. (“She likes my bod—that’s all that matters to her.”) (“Shut up,”) I told him. (“I don’t wanna listen.”) And then he’d say things like—(“Aw, c’mon Tommy, you know you like it too—you only wish you had 12 inches to play around with, hmm kido?”)

Which really got me mad. Why did Pat always think that he was more important than me—that he was supremely important for some reason. He always had this grand purpose for himself—subverting me to groveling at his feet. Just because he had a bigger penis than me—that didn’t mean anything. We were both telepathic identical twins—exactly the same in every which way. Except that one thing—his big telepathic cock. (“It’s the one doing all the talking,”) he’d say. (“It wasn’t me doing all the bragging—it was Bozo.”)

Which really wasn’t very funny—even though both Maudie and I somehow were caught up with that perverse possibility. If she got married to Pat like he said he wanted to—and if she became pregnant and had kids like most newly-wed couples do, then whatever genetic trait that made identical twins telepathic would probably be passed to their kids. In Pat’s case it was the completely probable DNA possibility that his sons would be just as well-endowed as him—both telepathically and sexually. That’s why the LRF encouraged them to get married and have kids—to continue whatever Mother Nature had already endowed Pat with so generously.

Me too, I suppose, although the LRF people probably figured like I figured—that the dominate male for their long range Project Lebesraum would be the chosen one for the torchship voyage to find living breathing viable planets for the anticipated population explosion moving into the twenty-first century. All of which turned out to be pure baloney—with the more modern terra-forming technologies later adapted for Luna, Mars and the mining operations on the rings of Saturn.

There was plenty of “time” and “space” within our very own solar system—without sending a dozen sub-light spaceships out to explore the closest star systems. That was one of the great misconceptions of the whole LRF dreamboat fantasy project—but nevertheless guys like Pat were preferable to do the otherworld exploratory work rather than me.

I’d stay Earthside—and handle the inbound telepathic messages that came in as the torchships boosted from Earth-zero up to light-speed then coasted back down to normal for the pin-prick on the starmaps chosen for the moiling earthy masses. But not before Pat had a chance to leave behind a pregnant Maudie to populate the next generation of telepathic offspring for whatever was going to happen next—and for however long it was going to take to get there. Which he did getting Maudie pregnant—giving me a telepathic nephew and then a telepathic grand-nephew down the line.

There were even other eugenic hush-hush rendezvous love-affairs planned for Pat—with some of the other female telepathic twins to cross-breed the genetic chances of Pat leaving behind some more clairvoyant offspring to take up the slack of Earthside telepaths who’d naturally supposedly age faster than those going the speed of light.

At least that was the theory behind the Twin Paradox—a special relativity thought experiment by the French scientist Paul Langevin in which a twin who makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket will return home to find he has aged less than his identical twin who stayed on Earth.

All of which sounds pseudo-avantgarde and fuzzy-brained now—but the idea was you can send radio messages back from a ship light-years away traveling just under the speed of light. But even if you assumed that a ship could carry a power plant big enough to punch radio messages across light-years (which was pretty much impossible in terms of modern engineering at the time)—even so, what use were messages which travel just barely faster than the ship that sends them? The ship would be home almost as quickly—as any report she could send, even by radio.

So the LRF proposed sending out a dozen starships in all directions to explore Earth-type planets—and sending back messages with telepathic twins. The messages would be instantaneous—faster than the speed of light. And that way there could be communications between starships themselves as well as with the earth—doing the utterly impossible contrary to the known laws of physics. Whatever telepathy was—it had something to do with how consciousness was more than just physical.

(“Yeah, man,”) as Pat would say to me—“It’s metaphysical!!!”) as he was making love to Maudie.

All this was going on while he was nailing Maudie every night before the launch of the torchship Lewis and Clark. To tell you the truth, I was glad Pat was chosen for the trip and not me. I was glad that all the telepathic masturbatory and autoerotic texts running through my head would stop—and I could get going with my own life. They’d keep him busy onboard the torchship—and his messages to me would be strictly business that’s all.

The LRF project was beginning to bore me—all that juvie jouissance and re-eroticization of the body was getting to be a drag. The polymorphous pleasures of telepathic texting might have been good for Freud—but it wasn’t that hot for me. It was beginning to veer off into homoerotic stuff and kinky perversity—I was beginning to feel like my life was taking on the marks of a self-sufficient pulp fiction porno novel.

I was beginning to feel continually in motion—perpetually turning back in on myself and yet swinging out into Zambinella Land. This whole LRF thing was rendering any dualistic distinction between Pat and me unnecessary—I was neither Sarrasine nor Zambinella but rather some kind of false distinction and both were reading out in all directions neither heads nor tails.

Telepathy implies a radical textual politics—a different kind of representation. I was becoming an intransitive verb—not texting something but rather simply texting. I was becoming marginalized by Pat—a pluralized text of telepathic messages. His sexuality was taking a central role in my life—anybody doing a biography or critique of our dialog would surely end up thinking I no longer existed.

The LRF psychologists called it—telepathic twin psychosomatic dialogic eccentricity. But to me it was like becoming just another footnote to Pat’s marvelously fascinating S/Z moviestar life as a LRP lovechild. I felt like just a mere footnote in the margin of Pat’s life—rapidly devolving into a bunch of subsections, quotations, prefaces, marginailia and other pluralized pusilanimous pomposities.

I repeated this to Maudie—with Pat interjecting. But it was too late—all she did was get mad at me for being a Peeping Tom with all those threesome dates we’d had together. I got jettisoned by her for being a telepathic pervert—while Pat laughed in the background, knowing she was pregnant with his cognitively-superior child who later turned out to be a pair of identical male twins just like Pat and me. There was nothing any of us could do—the countdown for the Lewis and Clark torchship was coming up for next week.