vr

a novel

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

May 1999

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 May 1999
Subject: RL MOOicide

Soft you; a word or two before you goe:
I haue done the State some seruice, and they know't:
No more of that. I pray you in your Letters,
When you shall these vnluckie deeds relate,
Speake of me, as I am. Nothing extenuate,
Nor set downe ought in malice.
Then must you speake,
Of one that lou'd not wisely, but too well:
Of one, not easily Iealious, but being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreame: Of one, whose hand
(Like the base Iudean) threw a Pearle away
Richer then all his Tribe: Of one, whose subdu'd Eyes,
Albeit vn-vsed to the melting moode,
Drops teares as fast as the Arabian Trees
Their Medicinable gumme. Set you downe this:
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant, and a Turbond-Turke
Beate a Venetian, and traduc'd the State,
I tooke by th' throat the circumcised Dogge,
And smoate him, thus.

"Don't worry," said Nichelle. "We'll never see any of them ever again." Was she talking about the waiters or me? I don't know. Except that she is gone. It was painless enough. Everything was tidy and clean and in boxes when I arrived. Not like here, a dreadful mess, food stains in the kitchen, slime and scum in the bathroom, some shit-rain that has oozed through a wall in the bedroom. I'm trying not to think about it. I was nervous about seeing her parents again. I had no idea what she had told them about herself or me. Do they know what happened at amazon.com? Do they know that I don't? Do they know what happened at the Rainier Club? Are they going to ask me questions? I tried to keep busy. I'm good at carrying things, stronger than I look on paper. "Avoid eye contact," as that Slavic whore of Babylon Svetlana used to say. "Are you going to Israel or back to the Tennis Club?" I thought I knew the answer to that one: "I don't know." It seemed clear. She must have told them I was no longer working. "So you're still working at the Rainier Club?" "Um, no. I'm collecting unemployment." What fucking difference does it make? Nichelle asked me to haul boxes because none of her real friends would do it, or she didn't want to expose them to her shame or introduce them to her parents or whatever. Maybe it's just a job for ex-bfs. I was glad to do it, happy to see my sweethearts leave forever. Yes, Matilda. I'm not forgetting you. I'm not very good at the ex-bf thing. I haven't had much practice. My break-ups have always been wild 'n' fierce, full of psychiatric emergencies and vehement tirades in Pindaric ode form and hendiadys, which is supposed to be Shakespeare's favorite figure of speech as in "pateris libamus et auro" or "we drink from cups and gold" instead of the more prosaic "we drink from cups of gold", and which one editor mistakenly uses to describe the phrase above "a malignant, and a Turbond-Turke" but which is properly defined by the P'tit Bob as "figure of rhetoric which separates one individual phrase (adjective and noun or noun and complement) into two coordinated nouns". What a disaster. What carnage. Broken tears. Flesh and bones strewn across the brainscape. And I'm next, moving back into my father's house after an absence of twenty years. By the way, don't believe Othello, too easily jealous, too easily wrought, too easily perplexed, loved not wisely nor well enough. Good-bye. Good-bye. So long. Now I do fear it's gone.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 May 1999
Subject: Alone

page mrq Elle est partie.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis. le_marquis seems to be daydreaming, though.
page mrq Elle est partie. Merde.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis. le_marquis seems to be daydreaming, though.
page mrq Elle est partie.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis. le_marquis seems to be daydreaming, though.
le_marquis pages, "hmm"
page mrq Merde.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis.
le_marquis pages, "desole vieux..tu vas partir aussi, non?"
page mrq Je crois, oui.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis.
page mrq J'en ai marre. Putain, merde.
Your message has been sent to le_marquis. le_marquis seems to be daydreaming, though.
@w nichelle
Player Disconn Last G Location M Age *
------------------------- -------- ---- - ------------------------ ----- -
Nichelle (#100011) 35h ago 2h f Alibi 4y
0 connected players and 1 disconnected player displayed.
@p nichelle
------------------------------ Nichelle (female) ------------------------------
Take four times daily.
-------------------------- Sick's Sick Player Class ---------------------------
Aliases for #100011: Nichelle, nch, niche, dodo
---------------------------- Player (4 years old) -----------------------------
In "Alibi" (#33732) with no one.
---- Last connected: Fri Apr 30 00:43:40 1999 for 2:28:05 (1:11:08:39 ago) ----
@fbi nichelle
____________ Fast and Dangerous @FBI report on Nichelle (#100011) ____________
Last login: 1999 Apr. 29, Thu. 22:15:35
Logged in for: 2 hours, 28 minutes, and 5 seconds.
Last logout: 1999 Apr. 30, Fri. 00:43:40
Logged out for: 1 day, 11 hours, 9 minutes, and 10 seconds.
Time now: 1999 May. 1, Sat. 11:52:50
Moo-age: 49 months (1995 March 21, Tuesday)
Seniority: 1834/5400, (34%)
Timezone: Time zone not set (clear property).
Gender: female
Parent: Sick's Sick Player Class (#49900)
Status: Builder/15/34%Fogy/SSPC
# of FOs: 11
Home: Alibi(#33732)
Location: Alibi(#33732)
With: nobody
Aliases (Shortest: nch ):
=======
1 SSPC morph found: Nichelle.
Also know as: niche and dodo
Appearance
==========
Take four times daily.
Enemies (maybe):
=======
Inverness (#87929), Zyre (#59560), and love (#54690)
Quota
=====
Nichelle has a total building quota of 15,100 bytes.
Her total usage was 7,463 as of Wed Apr 28 02:29:15 1999 PDT.
Nichelle may create up to 7,637 more bytes of objects, properties, or verbs.
________ End of Fast and Dangerous @FBI report on Nichelle (#100011) _________
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
page nichelle I love you.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.
Nichelle is not currently logged in.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Solaris
Date: 1 May 1999
Subject: Re: Alone

Well, you all remember my "bitch" problems. Dorothy, that is. She finally pulled my last straw on Wednesday night. I called Lisa, her girlfriend, on Tuesday to tell her that Leona (who we both used to work with) was in labor. I left a simple message that said: "Lisa, I just thought I'd let you know Leona is in labor. I'll talk to you later." I then tried to call her on Wednesday evening to let her know that Leona had basically gone into remission and was not going to have the child just yet. She was in labor for 3 hours and then came right back out again. When I called, her girlfriend picked up the phone. Lisa wasn't home, she was working 2nd shift that day (and I thought it was her last day of vacation, but it wasn't...it was her first day OFF vacation). I told her girlfriend that I wanted to talk to Lisa if she was in, and her girlfriend asked who I was. So, I answered. Dorothy became the bitch again and rudely asked what I wanted. I told her I wanted to talk to Lisa. She asked, yet again, what I wanted. I told her that I thought it was pretty obvious, I wanted to talk to Lisa. Dorothy then got a clue, but not a good one, and asked Why I wanted to talk to Lisa. That broke the last string of patience i had with this woman and I told her that it was "none of her damned business". She proceeded to bitch at me, swearing that she'd file harassment charges against me, to which I replied that she could do taht but the phone call was clearly /not/ for her so technically it wasn't harassment. I then hung up on her in the middle of her bitching because I couldn't stand teh lack of irrational thought, bitchiness, and unwarranted jealousy. So, I've decided I'll have my revenge upon her for aggravating me, and Lisa, so. A dear friend of mine, a male, has sent her a half dozen red roses thanking her for a "wonderfully romantic evening". It will be nice to see her on the other end of accusations, only with rather solid evidence against her. I hope she learns a lesson, but she might be too dumb. If she's too dumb, then I just wish to torment her a bit. I could have had the flowers sent by a woman...but a man was much more suiting, since Lisa doubts that she's truly lesbian. (Dorothy was previously married and has 2 children...the thought is that she was seeking security after her husband left her, etc.) So, we'll see... :)

-Lauren (Cyanne)

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 May 1999
Subject: Confess and be hanged

Lye with her? lye on her? We say lye on her, when they be-lye-her. Lye with her: that's fullsome: Handkerchiefe: Confessions: Handkerchiefe. To confesse, and be hang'd for his labour. First, to be hang'd, and then to confesse: I tremble at it. Nature would not inuest her selfe in such shadowing passion, without some Instruction. It is not words that shakes me thus, (pish) Noses, Eares, and Lippes: is't possible. Confesse? Handkerchiefe? O diuell.

page negatron That's it, bro. She's gone. Far away.
page negatron My own fucking fault, I guess.
negatron pages, "where's she gone?"
page negatron Joy says she misses you, by the way.
page negatron To Spokane.
page negatron It's horrid to be alone. I don't know how you haven't cracked up. I can't believe I'm alone again.
negatron pages, "i don't even like having people around. for every hour I spend in the company of other humans i need three to recover."
negatron pages, "what happened at amazon.com?"
page negatron I have no fucking idea. She wouldn't tell me.
page negatron I guess we could say she pulled a Gabe.
negatron pages, "i'm bored out of my fucking head. i'm trying to convince myself i don't need to go out and buy another computer i can't afford."
page negatron Maybe we could hack someone's web site, or build a virus, or play, what is it those boyz in Colorado played?
page negatron If that slut moves a little on her web cam site, you can catch a little tit.
negatron pages, "the whole world seems to be going to hell lately. some kid in a tiny corn growing town in southern alberta went to school and killed the son of a local preacher and wounded another kid."
negatron pages, "i've been meaning to ask about that. what's the URL?"
page negatron I'm not that fond of the destiny of man. I don't really care who dies. It's http://www.idiosyncratic.com/cam.html. Of course with your chickenshit rig, it'll probably just crash your Netscape.
negatron pages, "too bad the picture's so fucking small."
page negatron That was a slick move, though. She turned over in her sleep without showing us a tit.
negatron pages, "what the fuck is she doing sleeping at this time of day?"
page negatron She sleeps all day and hangs out in the Living Room with Joy all night.
negatron pages, "that sounds even more boring than my life. "
page negatron She had a bigger pic up there before, but the reload kept timing out.
negatron pages, "she could slow down the refresh to make up for it."
page negatron My life is seriously boring. I think you're right. I haven't got the proper attitude for a life of impovrishment. I've made a resolution.
negatron pages, "what is that?"
page negatron So join her fan club and explain it to her. Tell her you’re a talent scout for the motion picture industry from Lichtenstein. She won't even know where it is. I'm sure she'll believe you. You can probably get some phone sex out of the deal.
page negatron I've decided never to let money get in the way of my priorities. I've got almost five hundred dollars a month in disposable income. I will never again be forced by economic hardship to fuck up my lifestyle. From now on I'm going to live on home made bread and cheap wine and roll my own cigarettes. I bet I could afford to get drunk two or three times a day, if I eliminate food from my diet.
page negatron The cunt's wearing an undershirt and what looks like long johns. I feel cheated. And why has she got her hand on her snatch anyway?
negatron pages, "she has a fan club?"
page negatron Of course. Everyone's got a fan club. Even you and me. Joy and Goldie ask me about you.
negatron pages, "two weird young women don't make a fan club."
page negatron Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. Tell that to Abu-Jamal.
negatron pages, "who the fuck is that?"
page negatron A nigger in Piladelphia who got into this really weird hassle wherein, by a series of oddly inexplicable series of coincidences, a cop got snuffed. He wound up on death row. For all I know he's dead by now. No, I doubt it. I'd have heard of the riots.
page negatron I can't stop crying. I'm going to go buy a pack of smokes to relieve the pain. Tell Goldie to stop having cybersex if she wants to talk to you.
page negatron Rockin' MOObash at SAGReiss' place. I spent my last twenty bucks on a newspaper, a jug o' bad Chianti, and two packs of Camels with a FREE Zippo lighter. Now I'll just weep and wait for the cops to come.
page negatron My first glass of wine in three months. Why would anyone ever quit drinking?
Your message has been sent. negatron seems to be dozing, though.

Today's mail:

"The employer reports that the Clmt was discharged for violation of the company non-harassment policy. The Clmt sexually confronted a waitress both on and off work and through numerous explicit E-mails. The waitress could not persuade him to stop and complained to the employer, presenting copies of the E-mail she had received. The Clmt's response was to say he was sorry she didn't like it, and filed [sic] a grievance with the union."

I think I've got a chance, if the union lawyers represent me. The "on and off work" is untrue. The e-mail begins on 20 December, her last day of work before she went on holiday, which supports my contention that she gave it to me on that day. All of the evidence upholds this. She would have to lie to deny it. The forwarded e-mail of 11 December is strong evidence that she did not object to my attentions, and obviously gave me her e-mail address afterwards. The whole thing could have been a fiction, but that's neither here nor there. The "could not persuade him to stop" also looks bad in light of the fact that I stopped as soon as she asked me to. Obviously I did not say: "I'm sorry she didn't like it." I said: "I'm sorry." It's a detail, but there is a difference, not that I've got a witness. I did not in fact file a grievance, not for lack of trying but for lack of cooperation on the union's part. I don't think I want to emphasize that fact, since it makes the union look bad, and it implies that I might not have felt the proper righteous indignation.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Colin
Date: 2 May 1999
Subject: Re: Confess and be hanged

> "The employer reports that the Clmt was discharged for violation of the
> company non-harassment policy. The Clmt sexually confronted a waitress both
> on and off work and through numerous explicit E-mails. The waitress could
> not persuade him to stop and complained to the employer, presenting copies
> of the E-mail she had received. The Clmt's response was to say he was sorry
> she didn't like it, and filed [sic] a grievance with the union."

Ok, this is no good. It's why they didn't give you a termination notice (mind you, they'll claim they did, and it'd be most unusual if they didn't - so your defense of never having received one looks weak) ... so they could change the reason later, if the waitress decided to make a stink.

> I think I've got a chance, if the union lawyers represent me. The "on and
> off work" is untrue.

But the fact that the employer reports it is not untrue. Use vs. Mention. The original form asked why you were discharged, and the employer has given the reason they discharged you. They may claim that they dismissed you for being a communist, which is not true, but the fact they claim it is.

The bit about grievance shows that you didn't pursue the proof of your innocence (which shouldn't be necessary, I know, and which can't be taken as evidence of guilt, I know, but still doesn't look good on the face of it.)

Isn't the problem that you said you were dismissed for one reason, originally, and he employer has later said you were dismissed for another? I'm not clear on what the unemployment people are claiming - but be very careful, lest they try to hit you up with a charge of fraud. Be very careful.

Your position could be that it's untrue, and you believed you had persuaded the employer that it was untrue, but you decided it was the better part of valour not to expect re-employment, and that they would use the excuse of seasonal variation to get rid of you, since they could not possibly believe the waitress' complaint against you (which was untested in any form of court.)

A suit for wrongful dismissal might be worth contemplating.

> The e-mail begins on 20 December, her last day of work
> before she went on holiday, which supports my contention that she gave it to
> me on that day. All of the evidence upholds this.

That is your testimony, and there's no evidence to the contrary.

> She would have to lie to deny it.

Mate, she will lie if she has to. The employer has already lied.

> The forwarded e-mail of 11 December is strong evidence that she did
> not object to my attentions, and obviously gave me her e-mail address
> afterwards.

You have an email from her which would support that contention, that's good.

The reason they're emphasising the `waitress could not persuade him to stop' is that harassment is defined as `persistent annoying behavior to no legitimate purpose.' The little made-up detail about her persuasion is them establishing that you were persistent.

> The whole thing could have been a fiction, but that's neither
> here nor there. The "could not persuade him to stop" also looks bad in light
> of the fact that I stopped as soon as she asked me to.

Yes. Perhaps they're claiming you harassed her *after* you'd stopped the emails, when at work. I presume you had a conversation with her at work after she'd asked you to stop. They could construe that as `persistence', with a little distortion.

> Obviously I did not
> say: "I'm sorry she didn't like it." I said: "I'm sorry." It's a detail, but
> there is a difference, not that I've got a witness.

It is a significant difference, because it established the `annoyance' part of the `harassment' - as if you confessed to knowing she did not like it. Just deny you ever said the last bit, and suggest you meant you were sorry she hadn't told you she didn't like it, or you were sorry her boyfriend read it, or something (talk to lawyer.)

> I did not in fact file a
> grievance, not for lack of trying but for lack of cooperation on the union's
> part. I don't think I want to emphasize that fact, since it makes the union
> look bad, and it implies that I might not have felt the proper righteous
> indignation.

It suggests you may have felt guilty about the events, I guess.

Mate, this whole thing reeks. Too little attention paid to important details at the beginning, when they were small and a little pressure could have squelched the whole matter. Imagine if, as soon as you'd left, you sent them a letter asking where your termination notice was, they'd have had to come clean.

The problem is, you've been giving them evidence against you without them having to pay for it, and they've been giving you no opportunity to defend yourself, merely to incriminate yourself.

It's very Kafkaesque, really.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 5 May 1999
Subject: Contact

I'm in trouble with the unemployment people. I think I may just skip town. I don't know your address and phone number. I'm not even sure you're still using this e-mail account. I have no idea how to get in touch with you. We'll see, I guess.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 May 1999
Subject: I fought the law

It is the Cause, it is the Cause (my Soule)
Let me not name it to you, you chaste Starres,
It is the Cause. Yet Ile not shed her blood,
Nor scarre that whiter skin of hers, then Snow,
And smooth as Monumentall Alablaster:
Yet she must dye, else shee'l betray more men:
Put out the Light, and then put out the Light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming Minister,
I can againe thy former light restore,
Should I repent me. But once put out thy Light,
Thou cunning'st Patterne of excelling Nature,
I know not where is that Promethaean heate
That can thy Light re-Lume.
When I haue pluck'd thy Rose,
I cannot giue it vitall growth againe,
It needs must wither. Ile smell thee on the Tree.
Oh Balmy breath, that dost almost perswade
Iustice to breake her Sword. One more, one more:
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And loue thee after. One more, and that's the last.
So sweet, was ne're so fatall. I must weepe,
But they are cruell Teares: This sorrow's heauenly,
It strikes, where it doth loue. She wakes.

Until the age of thirty I was a law-abiding citizen, confident in the knowledge that the government was no great cause for hope or fear. I might pay taxes, the police and firemen might protect me from unforseen disaster and random violence. Ever since I ran into the Gendarmes, I've had a never-ending streak of mishaps and weird confrontations with the Man. I had to flee France. I'm on the brink of fleeing Washington State. I guess it could be worse. Though the government wants me to pay them back four thousand dollars, they haven't accused me of fraud, and I am appealing the decision. Tomorrow I get to meet the union lawyer and see if he'll agree to represent me. It's small consolation, but it could have been worse. Of course I'm living out of my pocket now, with no hope of gainful employment. I've got to get out of here. Please be aware that this e-mail address may disappear without much notice to be replaced by a hotmail account. I haven't opened it yet because of generalized fear and uncertainty, but it should be sagreiss@hotmail.com. I'll open it as soon as I've got a plane ticket. I think I'm flying my sorry ass out of this hemisphere towards the end of the month. I've begun making arrangements for storage. It's amazing that anyone can hold on to his sanity. Joy went through this weird 'n' crazy shit for a couple of years. This is my second bout of unpersonhood. I almost can't remember what it's like to work and be a productive member of society. I guess I won't have a hard time once I get to Israel. I would be very happy to put on my tuxedo, go to a hotel, lift one of those big-ass sixty-pound trays on my left shoulder and strut towards the dining room: "Let's kick ass."

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 May 1999
Subject: The Intern

"I'm just an intern." "What are you doing after work?" Did I say that? The law is a strange place, where a grizzled thug like myself tries to explain the subtleties of sexual harassment to a dainty little twenty-year-old Pakistani co-ed. "What's in the e-mail?" "Here. You can read it yourself, if you want to know the sordid details of my life." I've got a powerful lust for whisky and madness. (The fucking Shakes editor would probably call that hendiadys. By the way, Todd, "I" and "we" are both first person pronouns. The difference is one of number. Emile Benveniste said that there are only two persons, first and second, no plural. The third person doesn't exist. By definition he is not there in the enunciation. He is neither the "I" who speaks nor the "you" who is spoken to. Ego is who ego says. The plural is simply combinations of "I", "you" and "he". "We" is either "I" plus "you", which is a separate inclusive form in some languages, or "I" plus "he", exclusive.) As negatron said: "i find i've got a lot of resentment built up." So do we all, my friend. I've now seen Joy's little friend showing off her ass and tits. negatron was complaining about the lack of a beaver shot. Now I'm all in favor of the odd beaver shot, but frankly I find the sight of her sleeping more arousing and more disturbing. When she's showing off she just looks like a cheap whore looking for a safe place to indulge her bourgeois-neurotic exhibitionism. I assume the detached viewpoint of the professional, look, scorn, but keep looking. It's a social contract based on the coin of sex and the cult of sin. I don't want to hear this shit about the guiltless freedom from inhibitions. People in psych wards smear shit on themselves. I suppose they are striking a blow against the olifactory tyrants? There is no freedom in prison. Not even for the Marquis, and that's why I'm fighting the law. The oldest of man's texts, Genesis, Gilgamesh, are all stories of paradise lost. There is always a forsaken golden age, before Homer, before Hesiod, in the days of Orpheus. We have always felt the pangs of nostalgia for the bygone era, where man was not corrupt. The corruption is always sexual. Incest taboos are universal. They have nothing to do with biology. Man, since he became man, has always regretted his days as a beast. By yoking our brutal urges in the interest of some more social existence, we give up something precious, and on occasion unleash the pent-up forces of violence and rage in ways far worse than mere beasts could ever dream of. "In pious times ere priestcraft did begin, before polygamy became a sin." Ay, John. It's always been the same, ever since Achilles strapped Hector's corpse to his charriot and dragged it thrice around the walls of Illium. You take Cassandra, I'll take Andromache. Steal what you can carry, burn the rest. This way, Helen.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 11 May 1999
Subject: Last call

fiesty says, "Gorgeous negatron is gone."
SAGReiss [to fiesty]: Have you ever seen him?
fiesty [to SAGReiss]: I've seen his picture. He knows I think he's a babe.
. o O (Lost somewhere on my hard drive are three sexually explicit cartoon pics of him.)
fiesty [to SAGReiss]: I saw those. He was very upset about it.

Let's go back, my friends, to that weird and odd summer of 1996. This is probably my last e-mail from the United States, so I'm feeling sad and nostalgic. Nichelle and I haven't yet found a new vocabulary to use in our post-ex life. Those who haven't been here long, even E. if he is looking over Venus' shoulder, can look at our site for an artifact of this episode. For the record I have never seen the famous log of John and Joy, nor did I even want to. I guess it too is lost somewhere on my hard drive. I'm not sure how to explain it to you, but I am interested in what people wish to tell me, not what I can find out for myself. I found it fascinating to learn about the summertime handjobs of Mellifluous. I hope my lack of comment was not mistaken for disinterest. I seldom or never interpret other people's e-mail. Why should I? I do not think of myself as an arbitre of taste, even though I sometimes fulfill that role. I am very happy with this list as it stands now, though I would like to add another woman to make it five and five, or four, one plant, and five. I love Lauren and Hillary's letters. Well, not all of them are great, but not all of mine are either. It isn't exactly greatness that I'm searching for. It's intermittent greatness. I want boredom and meaninglessness too. I digress. I feel as if I knew you, some of you, to different degrees. I almost logged a conversation in SR a while ago, but it seemed too long and too arduous to edit. Cyanne snapped all of a sudden for no reason and lashed out at some girl. Perhaps they had already had a row. Who cares? I felt privileged to witness her anger. I enjoyed it. Joy provided counterpoint by spontaneously getting into an argument with herself, a beautiful little improvisation: killjoy [to Sofa]: "Are you never going to graduate, get a job?" I wasn't sure if I was watching a tragedy or a comedy. Both Nichelle and I feel close to Joy. I think of things she has told me about her life irl, movements she makes to and fro' between intimacy and detachment, veils that she dons and doffs at will or as circumstances determine. Murder seldom writes, but when he writes it's usually quite good, and he wrote when I was trying to check myself into a psych ward. laurent had the guts to try to seduce Nichelle, openly and without shame, while she and I were living under the same roof, and I respect him for that. When she left, I paged him. Who else could have understood? Did he? I don't know, but I felt that he might. I think that Miel is probably a very talented writer. I think she should write more, and better, and worse. Columbine lied to me, braved my wrath. He neither apologized nor fought back. Perhaps he didn't think he had done anything wrong, and perhaps he hadn't. Who am I to say? We are grateful for his contributions. I remember all of this, and more. Which brings me back to my subject for today, the last day I will write e-mail from this address. I'm going to set up my hotmail account. Please update your address book. I leave for Israel on Friday. I don't know what to expect. negatron is my friend, or so I think. What strikes me about fiesty's comments (which are not logged but remembered) is not the accuracy of her recollections. She said that she had seen the doctored ("SUK MI DIK") pics, but there was no link on our site. We put them up, but only told the list about them. I don't think she ever saw them. I distinctly recall Nichelle turning to me, before she had completed the ftp, suggesting that this might be cause of some unrest. I'm not sure what she was thinking, but I thought that maybe Joy would be unhappy about our pasting of her pic next to negatron's with some tasteless remark ("WAK ME OFF") in a speech bubble. I hardly knew Joy at the time. How much I know her now is open to question. What strikes me about fiesty's comments is their precision. Even if what she remembered is false, her memory is true. Most people do not remember the past as I do, though I'm just as happy to make it up to suit my needs. That she remembered this must mean something. Maybe John was angry. If so, he never told me. Maybe he told Nichelle. Maybe he told Joy. Maybe he raged in silence. I'm sorry, bro. I'm sorry, Nichelle. I'm sorry, sis. It's last call, brothers and sisters. I don't know what the future holds.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Solaris
Date: 12 May 1999
Subject: Re: Last call

Well, I do tend to snap at people, and it's for my lack of patience with stupid and immature idiots..living in the south tends to augment that impatience. I usually just use the excuse of "sexual frustration" though. That may in part be true...I might get laid once or twice a year (about as often as I date). Even then, I am not able to achieve orgasm with another individual....now granted, I've learned that there isn't shit I can do about it, so it's best just to enjoy the sex anyway, but still. It is a bit frustrating. I know that the few lovers I've had always feel badly because they can't make me achieve orgasm, and I'd bet they know when one "fakes" cause hell..I know when someone does.... Hrm, maybe there's something to that "sexual frustration" argument, eh?

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 May 1999
Subject: Hot Web Sex URL enclosed

User-friendly.
Non-profit.
Sex.
Tits.
Ass.
Big cocks.
Live.
Erotic.

http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/l/o/longlife/Camofus.htm

From: Solaris
Date: 13 May 1999
Subject: Re: Hot Web Sex URL enclosed

I tend to prefer thumb gallery posts. My favourites are:

www.wildgirlz.com
www.aa11cc.com
www.picpost.com

Yes, in that particular order. There's a lot of variety in those and /usually/ the pictures are fairly god..picpost has the best pictures, but they're all single pictures at a time (rather than getting like 20-30 at a time).

Enjoy!
-Cyane

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 May 1999
Subject: Now boarding

Voices screaming: "Mr Reiss? Mr Reiss!" I strolled up to the gate. "Mr Reiss, we need to have you on the plane." "Thank you." There were five stewardesses waiting for me as I walked on to the plane. "Mr Reiss?" "Good morning, ladies." I got to the airport in plenty of time. I had a plan. I'd carry the 'puter. The printer and the 17" monitor were each in a 20" cubic box bundled with books and clothes. The two large boxes weighed 75lbs each, only slightly over the limit. That wasn't a problem. The check-in clerk, Michiko, was having a bad day. It started as soon as she met me. "Mr Reiss, where is your visa?" I reached for my wallet and took out my VISA card. "No, your visa, Mr Reiss. You need a visa to travel for more than three months." "That's fine. I'm only planning to stay for two months." "But your ticket says return on 13 March 2000." "That's OK. It can be changed." "You don't seem to understand, Mr Reiss. I can't let you on the plane." Tense negotiations ensued. It was now 8:15, 25 minutes to departure. She called the embassy. No answer. She called the travel agent. No answer. She called Air Canada. No help. I was trying to charm my way on to the plane. "Can I at least go to Toronto and change the ticket there?" "I called them. They said they can't change it." I could see she was getting emotional. She berated me for my lack of a visa or proper return ticket. She let off some steam. It's a shame to get so excited early in the morning. Finally she saw reason and simply sold me a $2500 fully-refundable one-way return ticket. I complimented her on her quick thinking and ruthless efficiency, and gave her my e-mail address in case she needed help with her emotional problem. She said something pro forma about the extra weight, but clearly we were in no mood to argue with one another anymore. There was still ten minutes to catch the plane, plenty of time. I walked to security carrying the 'puter. It wouldn't fit through the metal detector. "You can't take it on the plane, sir." "I can't leave it here either." "You'll have to check it in. I'll call the gate." Michiko was not happy to see me again, despite how much I'd already helped her overcome her anger and frustration. I calmly explained the problem. My carry-on was within official size and weightlimitations, but they wouldn't let me take it on the plane. I was in a strong moral position, but pressed for time. I offered her my VISA card to pay for the extra baggage. She waived me away. She knew that I was right. Or maybe she just wanted to think about SAGReiss for no longer than absolutely necessary. If she changes her mind, she's got my e-mail address. It was no big deal. I only delayed the plane for ten minutes. It wasn't even my fault. The pilot was probably still in the bar or buying lottery tickets. It wasn't me. I tried not to laugh or gloat as I walked on to the plane, smiling, empty-handed, relaxed, comfortable, my head shaved and my beard a week old. I didn't want to piss off the stewardesses and get shut off. I'm waiting tor them to come around with the scotch now. They serve an aperitif after breakfast to satisfy the hardcore quebecois drinkers.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 16 May 1999
Subject: Family

Suffering the indignities of family life is the birth-right of the loser graduate student. When I arrived in Tel Aviv I recognized an uncle, the least objectionable of the three on my father's side, after twenty years. In the next few hours I would meet a cousin whom I had never seen, an aunt whom I wish I had never seen, my father's wife, an inoffensive fiftyish-type bitch whom my father still calls by my mother's name when he's speaking to me. Family is evil. I hadn't been in the country for a day before I brought abreast of all of the nastiest gossip, stuff that no one in the Living Room of Lambda would ever even say about me. I've heard the horrible rumors and backstabbing, all the more unseemly because these people know one another well, so it's all probably true, or close enough. I am now involved in not one but two feuds about my name. There is some new contraversy about whether it should be Gabriel or Gadalya, which scaredycat said sounded like a fruit vendor's name. There is apparently a rift in my family about how to spell our last name, some controversy dating back to my great grandfather's time. I don't even know the fucking alphabet yet and I'm expected to take a position on this key socio-political matter. The house is beautiful, a three- or four-bedroom duplex with two balconies. I've got my own floor with a bath and kitchen, not yet in working order. I haven't got the 'puter up and running yet. There's the problem of current, and my father's stupid-ass Compuserve account. One of my first priorities is to get my own ISP, possibly the university, and a phone line. My father is not wired at all. I totally misunderstood this. I'm just now showing him how to surf for porn. He didn't know he had Netscape. I've explained that I couldn't really get along sharing with phone wire with them and their infernal call waiting. I'm typing on some dumb-ass laptop with no telnet connection and using this shitty hotmail. This will have to stop. It's nice here. The air is clear and dry. The sky is cloudless and blue. I'm going to begin government-sponsored Hebrew lessons on the first of the month. School doesn't begin until some time in October, but I've got a meeting with the department chair on Monday. There's still a lot of paperwork to do, so that my father can get the housing subsidies he's planning to steal. ("We'll make you a lease." "OK, I suspected you had some such plan to rob the government-subsidy piggy bank."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 17 May 1999
Subject: Land of Milk and Honey

The important thing to understand about Israel is that a million Russians have recently immigrated. The first thing I noticed on Sunday morning at the supermarket was a shelf teeming with red bottles of Stolichnya. The government, in its infinite wisdom, has to help the newbies adjust, so the litre of vodka is priced at ten shekels or $2.50. I've come to the land of the cheap drunk. As soon as I can rid myself of my family, who fortunately won't be living with me most of the time, I'll go on a bender to celebrate the elections and to relieve my frustrations with this silly e-mail, hotmail, Compuserve madness. As soon as humanly possible, I'm getting my own account, my own phone line. They are all neurotic here. My father's future-ex gf's son wants to kill himself. He's in the army. I thought that was odd. My father said that he's not suicidal, just thinks so. It must be nice to believe such blithe certitudes on the basis of no evidence. The boy wants to go to the Lebanon to kill and be killed. This makes his mother upset. She needs to realize that that's what war is for, young men go on killing sprees and suicidal rampages. In the States that's what crime and drugs and sports are for. Here it's war.

From: Solaris
Date: 18 May 1999
Subject: Re: Land of Milk and Honey

Well Scott, it certainly sounds interesting where you are... Stolichnaya isn't even GOOD alcohol, even by Russian standards... It is best drunk over a few ice cubes, nothing added. If you need any help with Russian, I'd be happy to help you out, that's one language I'm fairly good at, as I'm a lisenced interpretor. (I wish there was a need for a Russian-English interpretor wehre I a now because it pays close to $40/hr in some places.) Anyway, good luck to you in Israel. May patience save you from the graces of your family (or lack of grace, as the case may be).

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 18 May 1999
Subject: Marmelade and Ding

The dog is a German shepherd named Ding, though I don't think the etymology relates to the German word meaning "thing". His gf is a cat called Marmelade, who lives next door. She is, naturally, of orange-yellow, thick-cut hue. Ding takes Marmelade's neck and shoulders in his snout and feigns to bite. Marmelade swats him in the nose with her paw. She climbs on top of him to claw or nuzzle or sleep. These letters run short by necessity and for technical reasons. For the moment I'm using a tiny laptop keyboard, hotmail on Netscape 2.0, a per-minute Compuserve account, and a shared phone line with call waiting. I'm working furiously to attain my human rights to full internet access. There are many problems to solve, electric current hardware, ISP account, my own phone line. I'm working on it. I should solve these problems by next week some time. What's wrong with Stolichnya vodka? I normally prefer scotch, but they're selling this shit for the price of bottled water. I've been shut off for too long.

From: Solaris
Date: 19 May 1999
Subject: Re: Marmelade and Ding

Well yeah, Stolichnzyz is worth about the price of bottled watter...it's piss poor stuff. You /are/ close to Russia though and can get Smirnoff (which has a MUCH higher alcohol content coming frmo Russia than anything you'll get in the states). Although Smirnoff isn't that great for Vodka either... Just tatse teh Stolichnaya and you'll know what I mean. Sorry I can't type cause my console is lagging 14 seconds behind what I'm typing...so I'll cut this short. Just try the stuff and you'll see that it's about worth $2.50/bottle.

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 May 1999
Subject: Scoping the babes

scaredycat had told me that the Russians were deemed the sluttiest girls. I can see what she means. The Arab wenches are dark and mysterious. negatron has told me to beware of them and their sword-wielding brothers. The Israelis, whatever that means, look good and healthy by and large, with a mediteranean fashion that sometimes seems odd to American eyes, skin-tight, read-my-lips trousers, for instance. They look hot in their army uniforms. Perhaps I have some weird, repressed militaristic fantasy. The Russian girls are clearly the most beautiful and have the keenest fashion sense, though again a little off-kilter by American standards. At the university of Haifa yesterday I saw a gorgeous girl with clear brown skin, toasted almond hair and eyes that made me want to weep. I could tell right away she was from Odessa or someplace like that. She was wearing a yellow linen pants suit with a black bra and panties. I thought it looked pretty nice on her, though just about anything would have looked nice on her sculpted figure. I still think you're full of shit, Lauren, but you're missing the point. The question is not what's the best vodka. The best vodka is scotch whisky. The question is what I can afford. The answer is that $2.50-a-litre vodka and $2.00-a-pack cigarettes are well within the range of the poor working man.

From: Solaris
Date: 21 May 1999
Subject: Re: Scoping the babes

You may think I'm full of shit but you're wrong. And frankly I just don't understand you at all. Why spend good money on shitty vodka and awful cigarettes? If you're not going to enjoy them, why bother? I guess taht's why I'm not a regular smoker...I won't put out good money for something that isn't good quality and I won't enjoy. Shitty vodka, is jsut that...shitty. So you get drunk, so what? It's still not worth it. Why /do/ you put out money for crappy things? Why not just quit drinking and smoking until you can afford better? It would certainly help your financial situation overall, don't you think?

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 May 1999
Subject: Hell is other people

The oracle at Saskatoon spoke to me in a riddle: "I need three hours alone to recover from one hour spent with other people." I understand what he meant. Fortunately the house at Bet Shemesh is more or less deserted. I'll be alone there all week, except for two days. I'm planning to be deathly ill on those days. I feel like I've fallen off of the end of the Earth. I still haven't solved my hardware electricity problem. I'm working on a phone line (ISDN) and ISP. Obviously Lauren is my only friend, since she is the only one who bothers writing, if only to criticize my bad taste in liquor. In a week, at worst two, I'll be fully wired again. I'm already dreaming of the horrible vengeance I'll take upon all of you for forsaking me in my lonesome need. I've got plans, terrible machinations. I've been reduced to the lowest of pass-times, reading and watching television. I'm re-reading Les Trois Mousquetaires which is good though not so good as the foul necrophilia in La Dame au Camelias, which was made into a famous opera whose title escapes me, Madame Butterfly or La Traviata or something like that. There are three English-language channels, CNN, which is a madhouse for inbreds and Elvis impersonators of indeterminate gender, the BBC, home to British pooftas and cricket matches, and SKY, a weird combination of English sports and news with lower-class accents. You will be punished for this.

From: Joy
Date: 22 May 1999
Subject: Re: Hell is other people

the reason why he drinks shitty alcohol: he's an alcoholic.

for those of you that needed some clarification.

im not doing well. but "i'm safe beneath my blanket"

i can't seem to get into the most recent Scientific American. definitely not a good sign.

-joy

From: Solaris
Date: 23 May 1999
Subject: Re: Hell is other people

Well, I spent the morning in the hospital...as is always the case at 'that time of the month" Now granted, my last period was in mid-March...as is usual for me... But I"m a little tired of the crap. I don't like being in the hospital on a morphine drip every time I start on the rag.... It's a bit annoying and VERy painful. I wish I could get a historectomy, but /no/ that's only reserved for "life threatening" cases...which is bullshit. I can't have kids anyway, so why tyhe fuck not give me one? I am told 'because you might want to have kids some day"...Uhm, what part of /STERILE? do'nt the doctors seem to understand?> Sorry, I"m typing on a shitty keyboard and half the keys donw't work..I"m at a friend's place for the night so that I can get assistance (and another trip to the ER) if I need it. Anwyay g'night ya'll. I"ll talk to you later.

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 May 1999
Subject: White Russians and black

The social hierarchy here is pretty clear. This is a racially polarized society. At the very bottom are the Arabs, who build houses and fill potholes. I doubt they're much fooled by the bones that are thrown to them, official language status, segregated and no doubt inferior neighborhood schools. Next come the Sephardim, which means Spanish but refers to the Jews who migrated from Mauritania to Iberia and back, basically any immigrant of non-Northern European (Ashkenazi) origin, some of whom are dark enough to be called black, whatever that means. Next come the Russians who are clearly hated by all for their high level of culture, knowledge and worldly wisdom. These are the people I'm most likely to get along with. I'm not sure where, if anywhere, the Americans fit in. They seem to live in enclaves, non-Hebrew speaking, often collecting $US pensions. I'll avoid them as much as possible, though this includes much of my family. In one generation, however, the children of American immigrants become Israelis. Not so fast does one shed the stigma of Sephardi. I'm not sure how this works, except that the political parties are explicitly aligned with these pseudo-racial factions. I just want to get my 'puter working, go to school and learn Hebrew. I'm sure the social structure will become clearer once I begin at the university, which opens in mid-October.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 25 May 1999
Subject: The Name Game

You grrls are a barrel of laughs, limping towards the emergency room for a menstrual-bloody hysterectomy with a copy of the Scientific American in one hand and a bottle of top-shelf vodka in the other: "Isn't there a fucking ice machine in this hospital?" Tomorrow I'll find out what my name is. Some of the family writes RIS, others RIIZ, but my documents say RIIS. It's all transliterated and fucked up. Because the written language has such an old tradition of writing consonants and no vowels, Hebrew speakers have bizarre ideas about the distinction between the two. Some of the so-called written consonants are in fact obviously vowels, such as aleph and yod, the middle letter or two of my name. It's stupid to talk of vowels and consonants in writing anyway. It's a spoken-language distinction. Vowels are a vibration of the vocal cords as one breathes out. Consonants are an obstruction of the breath by the speech organs. I've decided not to mention this to anyone yet. I think it would be polite to learn the alphabet first.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 May 1999
Subject: Mr Clean

The houses where my father and his wife live (her house and a rented one) are a feminist paradise, in other words a fucking pig sty. Nichelle can tell you (if she ever wrote) that I am not a hygiene fanatic. I like a little order and a little cleanliness, but I've worked in restaurants too long to bother much about what's sanitary. I don't really care if the flat is dirty or a mess. I had never seen something like this. My father got used to a bachelor kind of life when he was divorced, and his wife is a sow. I have never seen such disgusting kitchens. The plates in the cupboards have visible food stains and grease spots. The silverware is filthy. The pots and pans are caked with crud all over the bottom, as if they'd been rinsed, but never washed. I guess my father's wife noticed me scrubbing the dishes both before and after use. She has asked me to clean the place up for cash. How degrading. Why put things on a power-and-money basis? If they're swine, and I can't live like that, I'll clean up. But I certainly won't accept payment. This leaves me where I belong, on the moral high ground. Or it makes me an amateur maid, depending on how you look at it. I can't call myself a student yet. I went to the university today, and talked to the French department head. I had sent her an example of my written work, so she knew I can write French. She was awfully confused about my rent-a-diploma. I was not inclined to explain. One answers a question, which leads to another, and another, and pretty soon one slips into a bottomless pit of contradiction and madness. I held my own, answering questions she hadn't asked, changing the subject, pointing out irrelevent facts. She finally threw up her hands and said my application was accepted so long as I could get an equivalence from the administration, which of course I can, since that is a real diploma, a five-hundred-dollar diploma, but real nonetheless, given to me by the State of Connecticut Board of Education in one of their shining and transcendent moments of wisdom.

From: Murder
Date: 30 May 1999
Subject: New life

The act of submitting my final paper, Mahler's Ninth Symphony: Musical and Philosophical Issues, seemed anti-climactic after a grueling two years of rehearsals, concerts, lectures, teaching, and writing. A federal loan exit interview is now the only obstacle blocking me from receiving my diploma. I have enough student loan money left over so that I don't need to work this summer, aside from the usual weddings and Summerfest orchestra concerts. Ironically, now that I am out of school I can begin the process of learning, of educating myself. My so-called liberal arts education from Central didn't do shit for me, partially because I wasn't interested in and had no time for any subjects outside my degree program. Gabe, I am sorry if my silence seems like lack of interest. Quite the contrary. I have enjoyed reading your recent letters as you embark upon a new life in a new hemisphere. Maybe someday I will become knowledgeable enough to hold my own in a literary conversation with you. I am working on it. For now I am content to learn at my own pace, to practice flute when I feel like it, and to play tennis whenever the sun shines. Erin has commissioned me to compose a piece for one of her degree recitals. I am using her 'puter for the summer until I buy a new one. My little 386 laptop just doesn't do it for me anymore. Now that I am seriously considering working from my own apartment as a music transcriptionist, I need a 'puter that will manipulate large graphics files quickly. This rutgers.eden account won't last long once they realize I've graduated, so this address may change soon.

Murder

From: Solaris
Date: 30 May 1999
Subject: Re: New life

Alright, I have to write a short paper (5 pages - very short) as a literary analysis of Homer's Odyssey. That would take me over 100 pages to complete, so I have to refine my paper to a very specific subject. My question is, what? I don't want something totally unoriginal, like the role of Athena and why Odysseus can be portrayed as "godlike" where others who claim such (as he frequently does) get killed quickly, etc. Do any of you have any ideas? Perhaps something about the role of storytelling at the many many many feasts taht take place in teh Odyssey (which actually is significant, but there are no contradictions so it's boring). Please, let me know if you can think of anything. I need to turn this in by next Wednesday at teh lastest, though it's preferred on Friday.

-Cyanne

From: Nichelle
Date: 30 May 1999
Subject: Re: New life

It seems that many of us are starting new lives. I'm starting mine from my mother's basement. I've cut my work hours down to just 40 per week, so I have lots of extra time for reading and playing the clarinet, and a place where I can really practice without offending the neighbors. I'm sorry it took me so long to write to you- my dear Rocinante has been broken for the last month or so. I still haven't loaded all the stuff back onto it since Jen reformatted my hard drive. It's been a busy weekend for me.. I'm beginning to understand why Gaby hates company. Dawn and I just had a tiny dinner... that is, a dinner of tiny things... little mini artichokes, tiny bottles of wine, little loaves of bread, little tiny cheeses. I never understood why Gaby didn't like her. I've also been going for a walk or hike once a week.. today it was to the Bowl & Pitcher.. a humbling walk, a reminder of how out of shape I really am.

As for a university education- it doesn't do shit for anybody, at least not anybody I knew. It taught me:

1) I don't know everything.
2) Nobody else does either.
3) I'm going to have to learn this shit on my own.

Things have been going much better for me since I realized that, although nobody believes it because I'm a dropout. I may actually get my degree as long as I'm in town. It'll kind of be like dropping by unexpectedly, popping over for a cup of tea. While I'm in the neighborhood... a degree? Why thank you, don't mind if I do.

As for learning enough to have a literary discussion with Gabriel.. well, see the above rules. I remember feeling inferior when I first moved to Syracuse because I had never read anything. I guess it never occurred to me that he had never heard any music... You're a badass, Murder, and you can hold your own in a discussion with anyone.

As for your paper, Cyanne... write about something that interests you. There must be something... it doesn't work to write about, think about, talk about, wonder about other people's ideas. I'll go for now- I'm grouchy. I'll send my official "I've moved" letter soon...

Until then-

Nichelle

April 1999

June 1999

vr: 1999

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