Unreliable Witness

Chris Kraus

There is a recurring belief that certain decisions were made for us while we were still lost in the womb of our childhoods. Transactions were brokered in windowless rooms. Armies of people speaking in bland west coast American accents. Audiotapes washed up at a yard sale. Always, the real story was elsewhere. Las Vegas, Nevada. Phoenix and Tempe. What were the voices describing? A carton of water-stained books found in an old man’s garage. Proliferation of data surpassed proliferation of nuclear warheads. Old metal, junked electronics. Dictation equipment. Deposing as testament. The sloppiness of all this. Political porn.

Two years ago when my hearing dropped off I met someone who wanted to kill me. Death had drawn me a few times before but I always invented something to do. Running and stumbling. Hitchhiking on the Post Road outside Bridgeport, Connecticut to New Haven to hear the Black Panthers speaking at Yale, a man with a gun picked me up. I was 12 or 13 and school bored me immeasurably. I had the sense there was some other game to be entered at a very high level. Traffic was glinting around us, it was still May but already hot. He said Open the glove-box, I have something to show you. I asked him a question, he said, Just do as I say. The gun was still in its box. He said, I want you to touch it. Slowly getting the point, I opened the box and ran my fingers along the aluminum barrel down to the handle. Ohhh, I said, It’s so shiny and big. Now can we put it away?

Pussy smokes a cigarette, pussy blows smoke – penis exfoliation shaved pussy stories Michael Alexander penis extraction Michael Alexander litigation mediacom pretty women with cocks worldcast net Albany sex protein diets property management lingerie sale … The search-engine log of a website based in Romania. When I researched the killer online I had the sense something was looking over my shoulder, a primitive counting machine buried inside the circuit board. This turned out to be true.

There is a recurring belief that to locate this, this margin of error, would be to trace a historiography of one’s present amnesia. Can no longer remember a time before the person stopped being part of the process. There were hallways leading to multiple doors. Behind them: a basketball court, loudspeakers, coaxial wires. Instruments used for conversion. Set theories in which the system eventually takes over. Behind the doors there is only one room.

The killer needed my money. Since others were already taking my money and not giving much in return, this seemed like a sublime and radical move. He had a highly developed imagination … a background in neuromedical research combined with the creation of Music and a strong interest in visual arts … a life balance achieved from a multitude of creative pursuits, verifiably accomplished … He used that word, ‘verifiable,’ the first time we spoke. Later, I’d learn more about the verification of lies, the way a set of fundamentally false assertions could mestatasize across the web. The mirror effect of simulation: websites and vanity posts in trade publications, patents with long numbers pending but never approved, blog entries, infomercials broadcast on space-rental domains, fabulations that check out against themselves.

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We met at the Chateau Marmont – this was real. We ordered glasses of wine. We were both overdressed. We discovered we both liked the word delirum. He was empathetic to the particular challenge to submissive women trapped in their rational head about the recurring enlarging need for surrender and loss of control. I saw him see my unhappiness. I felt it lift out of my body and enter his eyes. He had this capability. He had interests in media properties he had acquisitions he had patents for the remote keyless entry device he was launching research initiatives in conjunction with doctors he was helping humanity he was opening residential facilities for clinical trials he was releasing a 3-disc CD of original electronic piano performed and mastered himself.

Minutes after my unhappiness entered his head, I noticed his right eye started to twitch. When we left the Chateau I got my car from the valet garage. His – a black BMW – was parked up the hill on the road. Truth is an experiment we are always conducting. He said he did not want it scratched. Pushed to extremes, the machines become each other’s prostheses. Which one was generative, which one receives? Changes in language both reflect and enforce a reduction in consciousness. Collateral damage, prisoner abuse. Compound nouns twice removed.

He asked if I’d like to surrender control of my assets to him. When I played the CDs his piano performance – flawless technique used to hold back an imminent chaos – evoked someone I knew.

Together, we drew up a table of contents:


He suggested we travel to Acapulco together. He was planning to open a clinic on the grounds of a former resort. I’d sign some papers. The list ended with ‘W,’ ‘Worry.’ I told myself, Don’t.

Later on – thanks to a journalist friend who does espionage work for corporate America – I learned that he’d sold a house in Benedict Canyon six months before for $1.8 million but there was no money left. Lawsuits pending against him included two by his former attorneys … Spousal battery charges filed, then abruptly dropped, 2004 … linked by various filings to a group of companies using the name Parasol … Parasol Group Parasol Media Parasol Entertainment … Parasol being a kind of umbrella used in hot climates … Pre-internet background in cable, production of porn … Unfulfilled notes against assets disposed of held by individuals linked to the Armenian mob … Legal address (200 square foot linoleum-floored commercial space) on 9000 block of Wilshire Boulevard shared by five unregistered companies to which he has ties … Possibly living out of his car … By this time, his twitch had entered my left eye.

Debriefing of subject proceeded as follows:
When I met him it was as if he could see straight through me, beyond things that happened, back to my childhood. In his presence I could look through the past to a better more probable life. I saw what could have been.

He said: “Answer me. Answer me truthfully”. But I couldn’t do this. Pieces, excuses, falling away. He said: “You see? The truth is so very simple. Why do you have to give false answers to get to the true?”

He told me to follow, and I wanted this very badly. To be blasted. He spoke to the evidence: the variable nature of my present truth. When he noted the fragility of my current life-form, I felt his intelligence as something painful. To me and to him.

He promised to speak to the areas of puzzlement, protocol, ambiguity of thought beyond what was said. When you obscure the truth about your actual needs so do you intervene in your own progression. He said. He offered to teach me progressive devotion. The transformative nature of this can be trusted through each stage of the process.

He said.

Since I wasn’t going to give my money away, I decided to move it around and make more.

Another room remembered from childhood:

When I ran into Melanie’s attic to hide from the boys I crouched behind magazines stacked up in boxes – Reader’s Digest, Scientific American, Playboy, Popular Mechanics, True Crime, and Tease. Later I realized the magazines made up some kind of template or diagram of a future still being imagined. A future already part of the past. The magazines made up a code if you knew how to read. I think they belonged to her Dad. Outside Kenny was burning Nancy’s hand with a cigarette. We were smoking Kool Menthols, she was tied to a tree, on some level this was ok. The radio played Born To Be Wild, all the girls wanted to do it. A red Pontiac Sunfire, a McDonalds. I was being poisoned by the culture then but I didn’t know it. They were building the town’s second mall.

Running away, 12 hours south to Bahia de los Angeles – a long dusty street – end of the road – 2.18.05 – slept 10 hours last night – panic about calling the broker – finally Lourdes lets me use the hotel phone for a long distance call – will net maybe 1.5 million – my left eye still has the twitch.