© Copyright William S.Burroughs
   Origin: http://www.bigtable.com/

  I can  feel  the  heat  closing  in,  feel them  out there
making  their  moves,  setting  up  their  devil  doll stool
pigeons,  crooning  over  my  spoon  and  dropper   I  throw
away  at  Washington  Square  Station,  vault   a  turnstile
and  two  flights  down  the  iron  stairs,  catch  an uptown
A  train...  Young,  good  looking,  crew  cut,  Ivy League,
advertising  exec  type fruit  holds the  door back  for me.
I  am  evidently  his  idea  of  a  character. You  know the
type  comes  on  with  bartenders  and cab  drivers, talking
about  right  hooks  and  the  Dodgers, call  the counterman
in Nedick's by  his first  name. A  real asshole.  And right
on  time this  narcotics dick  in a  white trench  coat (im-
agine  tailing  somebody  in  a white  trench coat  -- trying
to pass as a fag I guess ) hit the platform. I can  hear the
way  he  would say  it holding  my outfit  in his  left hand,
right  hand  on  his  piece:  "I  think  you  dropped  some-
thing, fella"
  But the subway is moving.
  "So long flatfoot!" I yell, giving the  fruit his  B produc-
tion. I look into the fruit's eyes, take in the  white teeth,
the  Florida  tan,  the  two  hundred dollar  sharkskin suit,
the   button-down   Brooks   Brothers   shirt   and  carrying
The News as a prop. "Only thing I read is Little Abner."
  A  square  wants  to  come  on  hip.... Talks  about "pod,"
and  smoke  it  now  and  then,  and  keeps  some  around  to
offer the fast Hollywood types.
  "Thanks, kid," I say, "I can  see you're  one of  our own."
His  face  lights  up  like a  pinball machine,  with stupid,
pink effect.
  "Grassed  on  me  he  did,"  I   said  morosely.   (  Note:
Grass  is  English  thief  slang for  inform.) I  drew closer
and  laid  my dirty  junky fingers  on his  sharkskin sleeve.
"And  us  blood  brothers  in  the same  dirty needle,  I can
tell you  in confidence  he is  due for  a hot  shot." ( Note:
This is  a cap  of poison  junk sold  to addict  for liquida-
tion  purposes.  Often  given to  informers. Usually  the hot
shot is strychnine since it tastes and looks like junk. )
  "Ever  see  a  hot  shot  hit,  kid? I  saw the  Gimp catch
one  in   Philly.  We   rigged  his   room  with   a  one-way
whorehouse  mirror  and  charged  a   sawski  to   watch  it.
He  never  got  the  needle  out  of his  arm. They  don't if
the shot is  right. That's  the way  they find  them, dropper
full  of  clotted  blood  hanging  out  of  a  blue  arm. The
look in his eyes when it hit -- Kid, it was tasty....
  "Recollect  when  I  am   traveling  with   the  Vigilante,
best  Shake  Man  in  the  industry.  Out  in  Chi...  We  is
working  the fags  in Lincoln  Park. So  one night  the Vigi-
lante  turns  up  for  work  in  cowboy  boots  and  a  black
vest with a hunka tin on it and a lariat slung over his
  "So I says: 'What's with you? You wig already?'
  "He just looks at me and says: 'Fill your hand stran-
ger' and hauls out an old rusty six shooter and I take off
across Lincoln Park, bullets cutting all around me. And
he hangs three fags before the fuzz nail him. I mean
the Vigilante earned his moniker....
  "Ever notice how many expressions carry over from
queers to con men? Like 'raise,' letting someone know
you are in the same line?
  " 'Get her!'
  " 'Get the Paregoric Kid giving that mark the build
  " 'Eager Beaver wooing him much too fast.'
  "The Shoe Store Kid (he got that moniker shaking
down fetishists in shoe stores) say: 'Give it to a mark
with K.Y. and he will come back moaning for more.'
And when the Kid spots a mark he begin to breathe
heavy. His face swells and his lips turn purple like an
Eskimo in heat. Then slow, slow he comes on the mark,
feeling for him, palpating him with fingers of rotten

  "The Rube  has a  sincere little  boy look,  burns through
him  like  blue  neon. That  one stepped  right off  a Sator-
day  Evening  Post  cover  with a  string of  bullheads, and
preserved  himself  in junk.  His marks  never beef  and the
Bunko  people  are really  carrying a  needle for  the Rube.
One  day Little  Boy Blue  starts to  slip, and  what crawls
out   would   make   an   ambulance   attendant   puke.  The
Rube  8flips  in  the  end,   running  through   empty  automats
and   subway   stations,   screaming:   'Come    back,   kid!!
Come  back!l'  and  follows  his  boy  right  into   the  East
River,  down   through  condoms   and  orange   peels,  mosaic
of  floating  newspapers,  down  into  the  silent  black  ooze
with  gangsters  in  concrete,  and  pistols  pounded  Hat  to
avoid the probing finger of prurient ballistic experts."
  And  the  fruit  is  thinking:  "What  a   character!!  Wait
till I tell the boys in Clark's about this one." He's  a char-
acter  collector, would  stand still  for Joe  Gould's seagull
act.  So I  put it  on him  for a  sawski and  make a  meet to
sell him some  "pod" as  he calls  it, thinking,  "I'll catnip
the  jerk."  ( Note:  Catnip  smells  like  marijuana  when it
burns.   Frequently   passed  on   the  incautious   or  unin-
structed. )
  "Well,"  I  said,  tapping  my  arm,  "duty  calls.  As  one
judge said  to another:  'Be just  and if  you can't  be just,
be arbitrary.' "
  I  cut  into  the automat  and there  is Bill  Gains huddled
in  someone  else's  overcoat  looking  like  a   1910  banker
with  paresis,  and  Old   Bart,  shabby   and  inconspicuous,
dunking  pound  cake  with  his   dirty  fingers,   shiny  over
the dirt.
  I  had  some  uptown  customers  Bill  took  care   of,  and
Bart  knew  a  few   old  relics   from  hop   smoking  times,
spectral  janitors,  grey  as  ashes,  phantom  porters sweep-
ing  out  dusty  halls  with  a  slow  old man's  hand, cough-
ing  and  spitting  in the  junk-sick dawn,  retired asthmatic
fences   in   theatrical   hotels,   Pantopon  Rose   the  old
madam  from  Peoria,  stoical   Chinese  waiters   never  show
sickness.  Bart  sought  them  out  with  his old  junky walk,
patient and cautious and slow, dropped into  their blood-
less hands a few hours of warmth.
  I  made the  round with  him once  for kicks.  You know
how  old  people  lose  all  shame  about eating,  and it
makes  you  puke  to  watch  them?  Old  junkies  are the
same about junk. They gibber and squeal  at sight  of it.
The spit hangs off their chin, and their  stomach rumbles
and all their guts grind in  peristalsis while  they cook
up,  dissolving the  body's decent  skin, you  expect any
moment  a  great blob  of protoplasm  will Hop  right out
and surround the junk. Really disgust you to see it.
  "Well, my boys will be  like that  one day,"  I thought
philosophically. "Isn't life peculiar?"
  So  back  downtown  by  the  Sheridan   Square  Station
in case the dick is lurking in a broom closet.
  Like I say it couldn't last. I knew they were out there
powowing  and  making  their  evil  fuzz  magic,  putting
dolls of me in Leavenworth. "No  use sticking  needles in
that one, Mike."
  I hear they  got Chapin  with a  doll. This  old eunuch
dick just sat in the precinct basement hanging a  doll of
him  day and  night, year  in year  out. And  when Chapin
hanged in Connecticut, they find this old creep  with his
neck broken.
  "He fell downstairs," they  say. You  know the  old cop
  Junk  is  surrounded  by magic  and taboos,  curses and
amulets.  I  could  find  my  Mexico  City  connection  by
radar. "Not this street, the next, right... now left. Now
right again," and there he is,  toothless old  woman face
and cancelled eyes.
  I   know  this   one  pusher   walks  around   humming  a
tune and everybody he  passes takes  it up.  He is  so grey
and  spectral  and  anonymous  they   don't  see   him  and
think  it  is  their  own  mind  humming  the tune.  So the
customers  come  in  on Smiles,  or I'm  in the  1Mood for
Love,  or  They  Say  We're  Too  Young  to  Go  Steady, or
whatever the song  is for  that day.  Sometime you  can see
maybe  fifty ratty-looking  junkies squealing  sick, running
along  behind  a  boy with  a harmonica,  and there  is The
Man  on  a cane  seat throwing  bread to  the swans,  a fat
queen  drag  walking  his  Afghan  hound  through  the East
Fifties, an old wino pissing against an El post,  a radical
Jewish student  giving out  leaflets in  Washington Square,
a tree surgeon,  an exterminator,  an advertising  fruit in
Nedick's  where  he  calls  the  counterman  by  his  first
name.  The  world  network  of  junkies,  tuned  on  a cord
of rancid jissom,  tying up  in furnished  rooms, shivering
in  the  junk-sick morning.  (Old Pete  men suck  the black
smoke  in  the  Chink  laundry  back  room  and  Melancholy
Baby dies from  an overdose  of time  or cold  turkey with-
drawal  of  breath.)  In  Yemen,  Paris, New  Orleans, Mex-
ico City  and Istanbul  -- shivering  under the  air hammers
and  the  steam  shovels,  shrieked  junky  curses  at  one
another  neither  of  us  heard,  and  The  Man  leaned out
of a passing steam roller and I coped in  a bucket  of tar.
(Note:  Istanbul  is  being  torn  down and  rebuilt, espe-
cially  shabby  junk  quarters.  Istanbul  has  more heroin
junkies  than  NYC.  ) The  living and  the dead,  in sick-
ness  or  on  the nod,  hooked or  kicked or  hooked again,
come  in  on  the junk  beam and  the Connection  is eating
Chop  Suey   on  Dolores   Street,  Mexico   D.F.,  dunking
pound  cake  in  the  automat,  chased  up  Exchange  Place
by  a  baying  pack  of  People.  (  Note:  People  is  New
Orleans slang for narcotic fuzz. )
  The  old  Chinaman  dips  river  water  into a  rusty tin
can, washes  down a  yen pox  hard and  black as  a cinder.
( Note: Yen pox is the ash of smoked opium. )
  Well,  the  fuzz  has my  spoon and  dropper, and  I know
they  are  coming  in  on  my frequency  led by  this blind
pigeon  known  as  Willy  the  Disk.  Willy  has  a  round,
disk mouth lined with sensitive,  erectile black  hairs. He
is blind from shooting in the eyeball, his nose  and palate
eaten  away  sniffing  H,  his  body a  mass of  scar tissue
hard  and  dry  as  wood.  He  can  only  eat the  shit now
with  that  mouth,  sometimes  sways  out  on  a  long tube
of  ectoplasm, feeling  for the  silent frequency  of junk.
He follows my trail  all over  the city  into rooms  I move
out  already,  and  the  fuzz   walks  in   some  newlyweds
from Sioux Falls.
  "All right, Lee! I  Come out  from behind  that strap-on!
We  know  you"  and  pull  the  man's  prick  off straight-
  Now  Willy is  getting hot  and you  can hear  him always
out  there  in  darkness  (he  only  functions   at  night)
whimpering, and feel  the terrible  urgency of  that blind,
seeking  mouth.  When  they  move  in  for the  bust, Willy
goes all out of control, and  his mouth  eats a  hole right
through the  door. If  the cops  weren't there  to restrain
him  with  a  stock probe,  he would  suck the  juice right
out of every junky he ran down.
  I  knew,  and  everybody  else  knew  they  had  the Disk
on me.  And if  my kid  customers ever  hit the  stand: "He
force me to commit all kinda awful sex  acts in  return for
junk" I could kiss the street good-bye.
  So  we  stock  up  on H,  buy a  second-hand Studebaker,
and start West.

  The Vigilante copped out as a schizo possession case:
  "I  was  standing  outside myself  trying to  stop those
hangings  with  ghost  fingers....  I  am  a  ghost wanting
what every  ghost wants  -- a  body --  after the  Long Time
moving  through  odorless  alleys of  space where  no life
is only  the colorless  no smell  of death....  Nobody can
breathe and smell it through pink convolutions  of gristle
laced with crystal snot, time shit and black blood filters
of flesh."
  He  stood  there  in  elongated  court room  shadow, his
face  torn  like  a broken  film by  lusts and  hungers of
larval organs stirring in the tentative  ectoplasmic flesh
of junk kick ( ten days on ice at time of the  First Hear-
ing) flesh that fades at the first silent touch of junk.
  I saw it happen. Ten pounds lost  in ten  minutes stand-
ing  with the  syringe in  one hand  holding his  pants up
with  the  other,  his  abdicated flesh  burning in  a cold
yellow  halo,  there  in  the   New  York   hotel  room...
night table litter of candy  boxes, cigarette  butts cas-
cading out of three ashtrays,  mosaic of  sleepless nights
and sudden food needs  of the  kicking addict  nursing his
baby flesh....
  The  Vigilante  is  prosecuted  in  Federal  Court under
a lynch  bill and  winds up  in a  Federal Nut  House spe-
cially designed  for the  containment of  ghosts: precise,
prosaic   impact   of   objects...   washstand...  door...
toilet...  bars...  there  they are...  this is  it... all
lines  cut...  nothing  beyond...  Dead  End...   And  the
Dead End in every face....
  The  physical  changes  were slow  at first,  then jumped
forward in black chunks, falling  through his  slack tissue,
washing  away  the human  lines.... In  his place  of total
darkness  mouth  and  eyes  are one  organ that  leaps for-
ward  to  snap  with  transparent  teeth...  but  no  organ
is constant as regards either  function or  position... sex
organs  sprout  anywhere...  rectums  open,   defecate  and
close...  the  entire  organism  changes  color   and  con-
sistency in split-second adjustments....

  The Rube is  a social  liability with  his attacks  as he
calls  them.  The  Mark  Inside  was   coming  up   on  him
and  that's  a rumble  nobody can  cool; outside  Philly he
jumps  out  to  con  a  prowl  car and  the fuzz  takes one
look at his face and bust all of us.
  Seventy-two  hours  and  five  sick  junkies in  the cell
with us. Now not  wishing to  break out  my stash  in front
of these hungry  coolies, it  takes maneuvering  and laying
of gold on the turnkey before we are in a separate cell.
  Provident  junkies,  known  as  squirrels,  keep  stashes
against a bust. Every time I take a shot I let a  few drops
fall into my vest pocket, the lining is stiff with stuff. I
had a plastic  dropper in  my shoe  and a  safety-pin stuck
in  my  belt.  You know  how this  pin and  dropper routine
is  put down:  "She seized  a safety  pin caked  with blood
and  rust,  gouged  a great  hole in  her leg  which seemed
to  hang  open  like  an  obscene, festering  mouth waiting
for  unspeakable  congress  with  the  dropper   which  she
now  plunged  out  of  sight  into  the  gaping  wound. But
her  hideous  galvanized  need  (hunger  of insects  in dry
places)  has broken  the dropper  off deep  in the  flesh of
her ravaged  thigh (looking  rather like  a poster  on soil
erosion).  But  what  does  she  care?  She does  not even
bother  to remove  the splintered  glass, looking  down at
her  bloody  haunch  with the  cold blank  eyes of  a meat
trader.  What does  she care  for the  atom bomb,  the bed
bugs,  the cancer  rent, Friendly  Finance waiting  to re-
possess  her  delinquent  flesh....  Sweet  dreams,  Panto-
pon Rose."
  The  real scene  you pinch  up some  leg flesh  and make
a quick stab hole with a pin. Then  fit the  dropper over,
not in the  hole and  feed the  solution slow  and careful
so  it  doesn't squirt  out the  sides.... When  I grabbed
the  Rube's thigh  the flesh  came up  like wax  and stayed
there, and  a slow  drop of  pus oozed  out the  hole. And
I never touched a living body  cold as  the Rube  there in
  I decided to lop him off  if it  meant a  smother party.
(This  is  a  rural English  custom designed  to eliminate
aged  and  bedfast  dependents.   A  family   so  afflicted
throws  a  "smother  party"  where  the  guests  pile mat-
tresses on the old liability, climb up on top of  the mat-
resses and lush themselves out. )  The Rube  is a  drag on
the industry and should be led out into  the skid  rows of
the world. (This  is an  African practice.  Official known
as  the  "Leader  Out"  has  the  function  of  taking old
characters out into the jungle and leaving them there. )
  The  Rube's  attacks   become  an   habitual  condition.
Cops, doormen,  dogs, secretaries  snarl at  his approach.
The  blond  God  has fallen  to untouchable  vileness. Con
men  don't  change,  they break,  shatter --  explosions of
matter in cold  interstellar space,  drift away  in cosmic
dust,  leave  the  empty  body  behind.  Hustlers  of  the
world,  there  is  one  Mark  you  cannot  beat:   The  Mark
  I  left the  Rube standing  on a  corner, red  brick slums
to the sky, under a steady rain of soot. "Going to  hit this
croaker  I  know.  Right  back  with  that  good  pure drug-
store  M....  No,  you  wait  here  --  don't  want   him  to
rumble  you."  No  matter  how  long,  Rube,  wait   for  me
right  on  that  corner.  Goodbye,  Rube,   goodbye  kid....
Where  do  they  go  when  they  walk  out  and   leave  the
body behind?
  Chicago:   invisible   hierarchy  of   decorated  wops,
smell   of  atrophied   gangsters,  earthbound   ghost  hits
you  at  North  and  Halstead,  Cicero,  Lincoln  Park, pan-
handler  of  dreams,  past  invading  the   present,  rancid
magic of slot machines and roadhouses.
  Into the Interior: a vast  subdivision, antennae  of tele-
vision  to  the  meaningless sky.  In lifeproof  houses they
hover over  the young,  sop up  a little  of what  they shut
out.  Only the  young bring  anything in,  and they  are not
young  very  long.  (Through  the  bars  of  East  St. Louis
lies the dead frontier, riverboat  days.) Illinois  and Mis-
souri,   miasma   of   mound-building   peoples,   groveling
worship  of  the  Food  Source,  cruel  and  ugly festivals,
dead-end   horror   of  the   Centipede  God   reaches  from
Moundville to the lunar deserts of coastal Peru.
  America  is  not a  young land:  it is  old and  dirty and
evil before the settlers,  before the  Indians. The  evil is
there waiting.
  And  always  cops:  smooth  college-trained   state  cops,
practiced,  apologetic  patter,  electronic eyes  weigh your
car  and  luggage,  clothes  and  face;  snarling  big  city
dicks,  soft-spoken  country  sheriffs with  something black
and  menacing  in  old  eyes  color of  a faded  grey flannel
  And  always  car  trouble:  in St.  Louis traded  the 1942
Studebaker  in  (it  has  a  built-in  engineering  Haw like
the  Rube)  on  an  old  Packard  limousine  heated  up  and
barely  made  Kansas   City,  and   bought  a   Ford  turned
out to be an  oil burner,  packed it  in on  a jeep  we push
too  hard  (they  are  no  good for  highway driving)  -- and
burn  something  out  inside,  rattling  around,  went  back
to  the old  Ford V-8.  Can't beat  that engine  for getting
there, oil burner or no.
  And  the U.S.  drag closes  around us  like no  other drag
in  the  world,   worse  than   the  Andes,   high  mountain
towns,  cold  wind  down   from  postcard   mountains,  thin
air like death in the  throat, river  towns of  Ecuador, ma-
laria  grey  as  junk  under  black Stetson,  muzzle loading
shotguns,  vultures  pecking  through  the  mud   streets  --
and  what  hits  you  when you  get off  the Malmo  Ferry in
(no  juice  tax  on  the  ferry)  Sweden  knocks   all  that
cheap, tax free juice right out  of you  and brings  you all
the  way  down:  averted  eyes  and  the  cemetery   in  the
middle  of  town  (every   town  in   Sweden  seems   to  be
built  around  a  cemetery),  and  nothing  to  do   in  the
afternoon,  not  a bar  not a  movie and  I blasted  my last
stick of Tangier tea and I said, "K.E. let's get  right back
on that ferry."
  But there is no  drag like  U.S. drag.  You can't  see it,
you  don't  know  where  it  comes from.  Take one  of those
cocktail  lounges  at  the  end  of  a subdivision  street --
every  block  of  houses  has  its  own  bar  and  drugstore
and market and liquorstore. You walk in and it hits you.
But where does it come from?
  Not the bartender, not the  customers, nor  the cream-
colored  plastic rounding  the bar  stools, nor  the dim
neon. Not even the TV.
  And our habits build  up with  the drag,  like cocaine
will build  you up  staying ahead  of the  C bring-down.
And the junk was running low.  So there  we are  in this
no-horse  town  strictly from  cough syrup.  And vomited
up  the  syrup  and drove  on and  on, cold  spring wind
whistling  through  that old  heap around  our shivering
sick sweating bodies and the cold  you always  come down
with when the junk runs  out of  you.... On  through the
peeled landscape, dead armadillos in  the road  and vul-
tures  over the  swamp and  cypress stumps.  Motels with
beaverboard walls, gas heater, thin pink blankets.
  Itinerant  short  con  and carny  hyp men  have burned
down the croakers of Texas....
  And no one  in his  right mind  would hit  a Louisiana
croaker. State Junk Law.
  Came at last  to Houston  where I  know a  druggist. I
haven't been there  in five  years but  he looks  up and
makes me with  one quick  look and  just nods  and says:
"Wait over at the counter...."
  So I sit down and drink a  cup of  coffee and  after a
while he comes  and sits  beside me  and says,  "What do
you want?"
  "A quart of PG and a hundred nembies."
  He nods, "Come back in half an hour."
  So  when  I  come  back  he  hands  me  a  package and
says, "That's fifteen dollars.... Be careful."
  Shooting  PG  is  a  terrible hassle,  you have  to burn
out the  alcohol first,  then freeze  out the  camphor and
draw  this  brown  liquid  off  with a  dropper --  have to
shoot it in the vein or  you get  an abscess,  and usually
end  up  with  an abscess  no matter  where you  shoot it.
Best deal is to drink it  with goof  balls.... So  we pour
it  in  a  Pernod bottle  and start  for New  Orleans past
iridescent  lakes and  orange gas  flares, and  swamps and
garbage  heaps,  alligators  crawling  around   in  broken
bottles  and  tin  cans,  neon  arabesques of  motels, ma-
rooned  pimps  scream  obscenities  at  passing  cars from
islands of rubbish....
  New   Orleans  is   a  dead   museum.  We   walk  around
Exchange  Place  breathing  PG  and  find  The  Man  right
away. It's a  small place  and the  fuzz always  knows who
is pushing so he figures what the hell does it  matter and
sells  to  anybody.  We stock  up on  H and  backtrack for
  Back  through  Lake  Charles  and the  dead slot-machine
country, south end of Texas, nigger-killing  sheriffs look
us  over  and check  the car  papers. Something  falls off
you  when  you  cross  the  border  into Mexico,  and sud-
denly  the landscape  hits you  straight with  nothing be-
tween  you  and  it,  desert  and mountains  and vultures;
little wheeling specks and  others so  close you  can hear
wings  cut  the  air  (a  dry  husking  sound),  and  when
they spot something they pour  out of  the blue  sky, that
shattering  bloody  blue sky  of Mexico,  down in  a black
funnel....  Drove  all  night,  came  at  dawn  to  a warm
misty  place,  barking  dogs  and  the  sound  of  running
  "Thomas and Charlie," I said.
  "That's  the  name of  this town.  Sea level.  %We climb
straight up from  here ten  thousand feet."  I took  a fix
and  went  to  sleep  in  the  back seat.  She was  a good
driver.  You  can  tell  as  soon  as someone  touches the
  Mexico  City  where  Lupita  sits  like  an  Aztec Earth
Goddess doling out her little papers of lousy shit.
"Selling  is  more of  a habit  than using,"  Lupita says.
Nonusing  pushers  have  a contact  habit, and  that's one
you  can't  kick.  Agents  get  it  too. Take  Bradley the
Buyer.  Best  narcotics  agent  in  the  industry.  Anyone
would  make  him  for junk.  (Note: Make  in the  sense of
dig or size up. ) I mean he can  walk up  to a  pusher and
score direct. He is  so anonymous,  grey and  spectral the
pusher  don't  remember  him  afterwards.  So   he  twists
one after the other....
  Well  the  Buyer  comes  to  look  more  and  more  like
a junky. He can't  drink. He  can't get  it up.  His teeth
fall out. (Like  pregnant women  lose their  teeth feeding
the stranger, junkies lose their yellow fangs  feeding the
monkey.  )  He is  all the  time sucking  on a  candy bar.
Baby Ruths he digs special. "It really disgust you  to see
the  Buyer sucking  on them  candy bars  so nasty,"  a cop
  The  Buyer  takes  on   an  ominous   grey-green  color.
Fact is his  body is  making its  own junk  or equivalent.
The  Buyer  has  a  steady  connection.  A Man  Within you
might say, Or so he thinks. "I'll just set in my room," he
says. "Fuck 'em all. Squares on both sides. I am  the only
complete man in the industry."
  But  a  yen  comes  on  him  like  a  great  black  wind
through  the   bones.  So   the  Buyer   hunts  up   a  young
junky and gives him a paper to make it.
  "Oh  all  right,"  the  boy  says.  "So  what  you  want to
  "I just want to rub up against you and get fixed."
  "Ugh...  Well  all  right....  But  why  cancha   just  get
physical like a human?"
  Later  the  boy  is  sitting  in  a  Waldorf with  two col-
leagues  dunking  pound  cake.  "Most  distasteful   thing  I
ever  stand  still  for,"  he  says. "Some  way he  make him-
self all soft like a blob of jelly and surround me  so nasty.
Then  he  gets  wet  all  over  like with  green slime.  So I
guess  he  come  to  some  kinda  awful  climax....   I  come
near  wigging  with  that  green  stuff all  over me,  and he
stink like a old rotten cantaloupe."
  "Well it's still an easy score."
  The  boy  sighed  resignedly;  "Yes,   I  guess   you  can
get  used  to  anything.  I've  got  a  meet  with  him again
  The  Buyer's   habit  keeps   getting  heavier.   He  needs
a  recharged  every  half  hour.  Sometimes  he   cruises  the
precincts  and  bribes  the  turnkey  to  let  him in  with a
cell  of  junkies.  It  get  to  where  no amount  of contact
will  fix  him.  At  this  point  he  receives a  summons from
the District Supervisor:
  "Bradley,  your  conduct  has  given rise  to rumors  -- and
I  hope  for  your  sake  they  are  no more  than that  -- so
unspeakably   distasteful  that...   I  mean   Caesar's  wife
...hrump...   that   is,   the   Department  must   be  above
suspicion...   certainly   above   such  suspicions   as  you
have  seemingly   aroused.  You   are  lowering   the  entire
tone  of  the  industry.  We are  prepared to  accept your
immediate resignation."
  The  Buyer  throws  himself  on  the  ground  and crawls
over  to  the  D.S.  "No, Boss  Man, no...  The Department
is my very lifeline."
  He kisses the D.S.'s hand thrusting his fingers into his
mouth  (the  D.S.  must  feel  his  toothless  gums)  com-
plaining he has  lost his  teeth "inna  thervith." "Please
Boss Man. I'll  wipe your  ass, I'll  wash out  your dirty
condoms,  I'll  polish  your  shoes  with  the  oil  on my
  "Really, this is  most distasteful11  Have you  no pride?
I must tell you I feel a distinct revulsion. I  mean there
is something, well, rotten about you,  and you  smell like
a  compost  heap."  He  put  a  scented   handkerchief  in
front of his face. "I must ask you to leave this  office at
  "I'll do  anything, Boss,  anything." His  ravaged green
face splits in a horrible smile.  "I'm still  young, Boss,
and I'm pretty strong when I get my blood up."
  The  D.S. retches  into his  handkerchief and  points to
the door with  a limp  hand. The  Buyer stands  up looking
at  the  D.S.  dreamily.  His  body begins  to dip  like a
dowser's wand. He Bows forward....
  "No! No!" screams the D.S.
  "Schlup...  schlup  schlup."  An  hour  later  they find
the Buyer on the  nod in  the D.S.'s  chair. The  D.S. has
disappeared without a trace.
  The  Judge:  "Everything  indicates  that  you  have, in
some  unspeakable  manner   uh...  assimilated   the  Dis-
trict Supervisor. Unfortunately there is no proof. I would
recommend  that   you  be   confined  or   more  accurately
contained  in  some  institution,  but I  know of  no place
suitable  for  a man  of your  caliber. I  must reluctantly
order your release."
  "That  one  should  stand  in  an  aquarium,"   says  the
arresting officer.
  The  Buyer  spreads   terror  throughout   the  industry.
Junkies  and  agents  disappear.  Like  a  vampire  bat  he
gives  off  a  narcotic  effluvium, a  dank green  mist that
anesthetizes his victims and renders  them helpless  in his
enveloping  presence.  And  once  he  has  scored  he holes
up for several days like a gorged boa  constrictor. Finally
he is caught  in the  act of  digesting the  Narcotics Com-
missioner and destroyed with  a flame  thrower --  the court
of inquiry ruling that  such means  were justified  in that
the  Buyer  had  lost  his  human  citizenship and  was, in
consequence,  a  creature  without  species  and  a  menace
to the narcotics industry on all levels.

  In  Mexico  the  gimmick is  to find  a local  junky with
a  government  script  whereby they  are allowed  a certain
quantity  every  month.  Our  Man  was  Old  Ike   who  had
spent most of his life in the States.
  "I was traveling with Irene Kelly and  her was  a sport-
ing  woman.  In  Butte,  state  of  Montana,  she  gets the
coke  horrors  and  run  through  the  hotel  screaming Chi-
nese  coppers  chase her  with meat  cleavers. I  knew this
cop in  Chicago sniff  coke used  to come  in form  of cry-
stals, blue  crystals. So  he go  nuts and  start screaming
the  Federals  is  after him  and run  down this  alley and
stick his head in the garbage  can. And  I said,  'What you
think you are doing?' and he  say, 'Get  away or  I shoot
you. I got myself hid good.'"
  We are  getting some  C on  RX at  this time.  Shoot it
in the mainline, son. You  can smell  it going  in, clean
and cold  in your  nose and  throat then  a rush  of pure
pleasure  right  through  the brain  lighting up  those C
connections. Your head shatters in white  explosions. Ten
minutes  later  you  want another  shot... you  will walk
across town for another shot. But if you can't  score for
C you eat, sleep and forget about it.
  This is a yen of the brain alone, a need  without feel-
ing  and  without  body,  earthbound  ghost  need, rancid
ectoplasm swept out by  an old  junky coughing  and spit-
ting in the sick morning.
  One  morning you  wake up  and take  a speed  ball, and
feel  bugs  under your  skin. 1890  cops with  black mus-
taches block the doors  and lean  in through  the windows
snarling  their  lips  back from  blue and  bold embossed
badges.  Junkies  march  through  the  room  singing  the
Moslem  Funeral  Song,  bear  the  body  of  Bill  Gains,
stigmata  of  his  needle  wounds glow  with a  soft blue
flame.  Purposeful schizophrenic  detectives sniff  at your
chamber pot.
  It's the coke horrors.... Sit back and play it cool and
shoot in plenty of that GI M.
  Day of the Dead:  I got  the chucks  and ate  my little
Willy's sugar skull. He  cried and  I had  to go  out for
another.  Walked  past  the  cocktail  lounge  where they
blasted the Jai Lai bookie.

  In  Cuernavaca  or  was  it  Taxco?  Jane meets  a pimp
trombone player and disappears in a  cloud of  tea smoke.
The pimp  is one  of these  vibration and  dietary artists
--  which  is  a  means  he  degrades  the  female  sex  by
forcing his chicks to swallow all this  shit. He  was con-
tinually enlarging his theories... he  would quiz  a chick
and threaten  to walk  out if  she hadn't  memorized every
nuance  of  his  latest  assault  on  logic and  the human
  "Now, baby.  I got  it here  to give.  But if  you won't
receive it there's just nothing I can do."
  He was a ritual  tea smoker  and very  puritanical about
junk  the  way  some  teaheads  are.  He  claimed  tea put
him  in  touch  with supra  blue gravitational  fields. He
had  ideas  on  every  subject:  what  kind  of  underwear
was  healthy,  when  to  drink  water,  and  how  to  wipe
your  ass. He  had a  shiny red  face and  great spreading
smooth nose, little red eyes  that lit  up when  he looked
at  a  chick  and  went  out  when  he looked  at anything
else.  His  shoulders  were   very  broad   and  suggested
deformity. He acted as if  other men  did not  exist, con-
veying his restaurant and store  orders to  male personnel
through  a  female  intermediary.  And  no  Man  ever  in-
vaded his blighted, secret place.
  So  he  is  putting down  junk and  coming on  with tea.
I  take  three  drags,  Jane  looked at  him and  her flesh
crystallized. I leaped up screaming "I got the  fear" and
ran out of the house. Drank a beer in a  little restaurant
-- mosaic  bar and  soccer scores  and bullfight  posters --
and waited for the bus to town.
  A year later in Tangier I heard she was dead.

So  I  am  assigned  to  engage  the  services  of Doctor
Benway for Islam Inc.
Dr.  Benway  had  been  called  in  as  advisor   to  the
Freeland Republic, a place  given over  to free  love and
continual bathing.  The citizens  are well  adjusted, co-
operatives, honest, tolerant and above all clean. But the
invoking  of  Benway  indicates  all  is not  well behind
that  hygienic  facade:  Benway  is  a   manipulator  and
coordinator of symbol  systems, an  expert on  all phases
of interrogation,  brainwashing and  control. I  have not
seen  Benway  since  his  precipitate departure  from An-
nexia,  where  his  assignment   had  been   T.D.--  Total
Demoralization. Benway's  first act  was to  abolish con-
centration camps, mass arrest  and, except  under certain
limited and special circumstances, the use of torture.
"I  deplore brutality,"  he said.  "It's not  efficient. On
the other hand, prolonged  mistreatment, short  of physi-
cal  violence,  gives rise,  when skillfully  applied, to
anxiety and a feeling of  special guilt.  A few  rules or
rather guiding principles are  to be  borne in  mind. The
subject must not realize that the  mistreatment is  a de-
liberate attack of  an anti-human  enemy on  his personal
identity. He must be made  to feel  that he  deserves any
treatment he receives because  there is  something (never
specified)  horribly wrong  with him.  The naked  need of
the  control  addicts  must  be  decently  covered  by an
arbitrary and intricate bureaucracy  so that  the subject
cannot contact his enemy direct."
Every  citizen  of  Annexia  was  required  to  apply for
and carry on his person  at all  times a  whole portfolio
of  documents.  Citizens  were  subject  to  be   stopped  in
the  street  at  any  time;  and the  Examiner, who  might be
in plain  clothes, in  various uniforms,  often in  a bathing
suit  or  pyjamas,  sometimes  stark   naked  except   for  a
badge  pinned  to  his  left  nipple,  after   checking  each
paper,  would   stamp  it.   On  subsequent   inspection  the
citizen   was   required   to   show  the   properly  entered
stamps  of  the  last  inspection.  The  Examiner,   when  he
stopped  a  large  group,  would   only  examine   and  stamp
the  cards  of  a  few.  The  others  were  then  subject  to
arrest  because  their  cards  were  not   properly  stamped.
Arrest  meant  "provisional  detention";  that is,  the pris-
oner  would  be  released  if  and  when  his   Affidavit  of
Explanation,   properly   signed   and   stamped,   was   ap-
proved  by  the  Assistant  Arbiter  of  Explanations.  Since
this  official  hardly  ever  came  to   his  o%office,   and  the
A%fidavit  of  Explanation  had  to  be  presented  in  person,
the  explainers  spent  weeks   and  months   waiting  around
in unheated offices with no chairs and no toilet facilities.
    Documents  issued  in  vanishing   ink  faded   into  old
pawn  tickets.  New   documents  were   constantly  required.
The  citizens  rushed  from  one  bureau  to  another   in  a
frenzied attempt to meet impossible deadlines.
    All  benches were  removed from  the city,  all fountains
turned  off, all  flowers and  trees destroyed.  Huge electric
buzzers  on  the  top  of   every  apartment   house  (every-
one  lived  in  apartments)  rang  the  quarter  hour.  Often
the  vibrations  would  throw  people  out  of  bed.  Search-
lights  played  over  the   town  all   night  (no   one  was
permitted to use shades, curtains, shutters or blinds).
    No  one  ever  looked  at  anyone  else  because  of  the
strict  law  against  importuning,  with  or  without  verbal
approach,  anyone  for any  purpose, sexual  or otherwise.
All  cafes  and  bars  were closed.  Liquor could  only be
obtained  with  a special  permit, and  the liquor  so ob-
tained could not be  sold or  given or  in any  way trans-
ferred to  anyone else,  and the  presence of  anyone else
in  the  room  was  considered  prima  facie  evidence  of
conspiracy to transfer liquor.
  No one was permitted to  bolt his  door, and  the police
had  pass  keys  to  every room  in the  city. Accompanied
by  a  mentalist  they  rush  into someone's  quarters and
start "looking for it."
  The   mentalist   guides  them   to  whatever   the  man
wishes  to hide:  a tube  of vaseline,  an enema,  a hand-
kerchief with come  on it,  a weapon,  unlicensed alcohol.
And  they  always  submitted  the  suspect  to   the  most
humiliating  search  of  his  naked  person on  which they
make  sneering  and  derogatory  comments.  Many  a latent
homosexual  was  carried  out   in  a   straitjacket  when
they planted vaseline in his  ass. Or  they pounce  on any
object. A pen wiper or a shoe tree.
  "And what is this supposed to be for?"
  "It's a pen wiper."
  "A pen wiper, he says."
  "I've heard everything now."
  "I guess this is all we need. Come on, you."
  After  a  few  months  of this  the citizens  cowered in
corners like neurotic cats.
  Of  course  the   Annexia  police   processed  suspected
agents, saboteurs  and political  deviants on  an assembly
line basis. As regards the interrogation of suspects, Ben-
way has this to say:
  "While  in general  I avoid  the use  of torture-torture
locates   the   opponent   and   mobilizes  resistance-the
threat of torture is useful to induce  in the  subject the
appropriate feeling of helplessness  and gratitude  to the
interrogator for withholding  it. And  torture can  be em-
ployed  to  advantage  as  a penalty  when the  subject is
far  enough  along  with the  treatment to  accept punish-
ment  as  deserved. To  this end  I devised  several forms
of   disciplinary   procedure.  One   was  known   as  The
Switchboard.  Electric  drills  that can  be turned  on at
any  time  are  clamped against  the subject's  teeth; and
he is instructed to operate  an arbitrary  switchboard, to
put certain connections in certain sockets in  response to
bells  and  lights.  Every  time  he  makes a  mistake the
drills are turned on for twenty  seconds. The  signals are
gradually  speeded up  beyond his  reaction time.  Half an
hour  on  the  switchboard  and  the  subject  breaks down
like an overloaded thinking machine.
  "The  study  of  thinking   machines  teaches   us  more
about  the  brain  than  we  can  learn  by  introspective
methods.  Western  man  is  externalizing  himself  in the
form of gadgets. Ever pop  coke in  the mainline?  It hits
you  right in  the brain,  activating connections  of pure
pleasure.  The  pleasure  of morphine  is in  the viscera.
You  listen  down  into yourself  after a  shot. But  C is
electricity through the  brain, and  the C  yen is  of the
brain  alone,  a  need without  body and  without feeling.
The C-charged brain is a  berserk pinball  machine, flash-
ing blue and pink  lights in  electric orgasm.  C pleasure
could be felt by a thinking  machine, the  first stirrings
of hideous insect  life. The  craving for  C lasts  only a
few hours, as long as  the C  channels are  stimulated. Of
course  the effect  of C  could be  produced by  an electric
current activating the C channels....
 "So  after a  bit the  channels wear  out like  veins, and
the addict  has to  find new  ones. A  vein will  come back
in  time, and  by adroit  vein rotation  a junky  can piece
out the odds if he don't  become an  oil burner.  But brain
cells  don't  come  back  once they're  gone, and  when the
addict runs out of brain cells he is in a  terrible fucking
 "Squatting   on   old  bones   and  excrement   and  rusty
iron,  in  a  white  blaze  of  heat,  a panorama  of naked
idiots stretches to the horizon.  Complete silence  -- their
speech centers are destroyed  -- except  for the  crackle of
sparks  and  the  popping  of  singed  flesh  as  they apply
electrodes  up  and   down  the   spine.  White   smoke  of
burning  Flesh  hangs  in  the  motionless  air. A  group of
children  have tied  an idiot  to a  post with  barbed wire
and  built  a  fire  between  his  legs  and  stand watching
with bestial curiosity as  the Flames  lick his  thighs. His
flesh jerks in the fire with insect agony.
 "I  digress  as  usual.  Pending  more  precise  knowledge
of  brain electronics,  drugs remain  an essential  tool of
the interrogator in his assault  on the  subject's personal
identity. The barbiturates are,  of course,  virtually use-
less.  That  is,  anyone  who  can be  broken down  by such
means  would  succumb  to  the  puerile  methods   used  in
an  American  precinct.  Scopolamine  is often  effective in
dissolving  resistance,  but  it  impairs  the  memory:  an
agent might  be prepared  to reveal  his secrets  but quite
unable to  remember them,  or cover  story and  secret life
info  might  be  inextricably  garbled.  Mescaline,  harma-
line,  LSD6,  bufotenine,  muscarine  successful   in  many
cases.   Bulbocapnine   induces   a   state   approximating
schizophrenic  catatonia...  instances  of  automatic  obe-
dience  have  been  observed.   Bulbocapnine  is   a  back-
brain  depressant  probably  putting  out  of   action  the
centers  of motion  in the  hypothalamus. Other  drugs that
have  produced  experimental  schizophrenia   --  mescaline,
harmaline,  LSD6  --  are  backbrain stimulants.  In schizo-
phrenia  the  backbrain   is  alternately   stimulated  and
depressed.  Catatonia  is  often  followed  by a  period of
excitement  and  motor  activity   during  which   the  nut
rushes  through  the  wards  giving  everyone  a  bad time.
Deteriorated  schizos  sometimes  refuse  to  move  at  all
and spend their lives in  bed. A  disturbance of  the regu-
latory  function of  the hypothalamus  is indicated  as the
'cause' (causal thinking never yields  accurate description
of metabolic  process --  limitations of  existing language)
of  schizophrenia.  Alternate  doses  of  LSD6  and  bulbo-
capnine  --  the  bulbocapnine  potientiated  with  curare --
give the highest yield of automatic obedience.
  "There  are  other  procedures.  The  subject can  be re-
duced  to  deep  depression  by  administering  large doses
of benzedrine for  several days.  Psychosis can  be induced
by continual large doses of  cocaine or  demerol or  by the
abrupt  withdrawal  of  barbiturates  after  prolonged  ad-
ministration.  He  can  be  addicted  by dihydro-oxy-heroin
and  subjected  to  withdrawal  (this  compound  should  be
five  times  as  addicting  as  heroin,  and  the withdrawal
proportionately severe ).
  "There  are  various  'psychological   methods,'  compul-
sory  psychoanalysis,  for  example.  The  subject  is  re-
quested  to  free-associate  for  one  hour  every  day (in
cases where time is not of the essence). 'Now, now. Let's
not be  negative, boy.  Poppa call  nasty man.  Take baby
walkabout switchboard.'
  "The case of a female agent who  forgot her  real iden-
tity and merged with  her cover  story --  she is  still a
fricoteuse in Annexia -- put me  onto another  gimmick. An
agent is trained to deny his agent identity  by asserting
his cover story. So why not use psychic jiu-jitsu  and go
along with him? Suggest that his cover story is his iden-
tity and that he has no other. His agent identity becomes
unconscious, that is, out of his control; and you can dig
it  with  drugs  and  hypnosis.  You  can  make  a square
heterosexual citizen queer with this angle... that is, rein-
force and second his rejection  of normally  latent homo-
sexual trends -- at the  same time  depriving him  of cunt
and subjecting  him to  homosexual stimulation.  Then drugs,
hypnosis, and --" Benway flipped a limp wrist.
  "Many  subjects are  vulnerable to  sexual humiliation.
Nakedness,  stimulation  with aphrodisiacs,  constant su-
pervision to embarrass subject and prevent relief of mas-
turbation (erections during  sleep automatically  turn on
an  enormous  vibrating electric  buzzer that  throws the
subject out  of bed  into cold  water, thus  reducing the
incidence  of  wet dreams  to a  minimum). Kicks  to hyp-
notize a priest and tell  him he  is about  to consummate
a hypostatic union  with the  Lamb --  then steer  a randy
old sheep  up his  ass. After  that the  Interrogator can
gain complete hypnotic  control --  the subject  will come
at  his  whistle, shit  on the  floor if  he but  say Open
Sesame.  Needless to  say, the  sex humiliation  angle is
contraindicated  for  overt  homosexuals. ( I  mean let's
keep  our  eye  on  the  ball here  and remember  the old
party  line... never  know who's  listening in.)  I recall
this one kid, I condition to shit at sight  of me.  Then I
wash his  ass and  screw him.  It was  real tasty.  And he
was a lovely  fellah too.  And some  times a  subject will
burst  into  boyish  tears  because  he  can't  keep  from
ejaculate when  you screw  him. Well,  as you  can plainly
see, the possibilities are  endless like  meandering paths
in a  great big  beautiful garden.  I was  just scratching
that  lovely  surface  when  I am  purged by  Party Poops.
...Well, 'son cosas de la vida.' "

  I  reach  Freeland,  which  is  clean  and dull]1  my God.
Benway  is  directing  the  R.C.,  Reconditioning  Center.
I drop around,  and "What  happened to  so and  so'?" sets
in like: "Sidi Idriss 'The Nark'  Smithers crooned  to the
Senders for a longevity serum. No fool like an old queen."
"Lester  Stroganoff Smuunn  -- 'El  Hassein' --  turned him-
self  into  a  Latah trying  to perfect  A.O.P., Automatic
Obedience  Processing.  A   martyr  to   the  industry..."
(  Latah  is  a  condition occurring  in South  East Asia.
Otherwise  sane,  Latahs  compulsively  imitate  every mo-
tion  once their  attention is  attracted by  snapping the
fingers  or  calling  sharply.  A  form of  compulsive in-
voluntary  hypnosis.  They  sometimes   injure  themselves
trying to imitate the motions of several people at once. )
  "Stop me if you've heard this atomic secret...."
  Benway's  face  retains its  form in  the flash  bulb of
urgency,  subject  at  any  moment  to  unspeakable cleav-
age or metamorphosis.  It flickers  like a  picture moving
in and out of focus.
  "Come  on,"  says  Benway,  "and  I'll  show  you around
the R.C."
  We  are  walking  down  a   long  white   hall.  Benway's
voice  drifts  into  my  consciousness  from  no particular
place...  a  disembodied  voice  that  is   sometimes  loud
and  clear,  sometimes  barely  audible  like music  down a
windy street.
  "Isolated  groups  like  natives  of the  Bismarck Archi-
pelago.   No   overt   homosexuality   among    them.   God
damned   matriarchy.   All   matriarchies  anti-homosexual,
conformist  and  prosaic.  Find  yourself  in  a matriarchy
walk don't run to the  nearest frontier.  If you  run, some
frustrate latent queer cop will likely shoot you.  So some-
body  wants  to establish  a beach  head of  homogeneity in
a  shambles  of  potentials  like  West Europe  and