Вильям Берроуз. Голый завтрак (engl)
© Copyright William S.Burroughs
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-
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,
"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-
"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
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
"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
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
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-
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
B E N W A Y
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
"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
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
"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
William S.Burroughs. Naked lunch