I’m renting a room that’s big enough for my bed, books, desk and and a music studio. The house sits on a hill with a view of the Pacific. There’s a swimming pool and a neurotic husky. The are four other men here, whose lives are shaped by modest ambition, if any, besides Norma, the landlady, a Wagnerian soprano in her 60s who used to be hot and acts like she’d still like to be but is too resigned to put any work in being attractive.
I’m moving from here as soon as I finish writing this fucking novel because I want to live where I feel inspired about life. Panama, maybe, Thailand or Brazil, someplace warm where I can afford the women and I don’t have to deal with white people. I returned to this city from a hermitage in the Northwest with reluctance. I’m sensitive to the constant presence of the military here. A third of the people here are living on money from military budgets, not including the university grants, cops, hookers, post office and other civil service employees.
I’m doing brain research, trying to understand how it is that the pianist that lives next door can’t recall his own name, but sight reads Beethoven sonatas with perfectly nuanced interpretation. Understanding this may reveal how the idiots in uniform running around the bay keep from blowing everything up with their nuclear toys that they guard like jealous marmosets, while their wives spend their time fucking the civilians or sublimating by shopping, doing yoga and driving silver SUVs.
Music and writing is my way of sublimating sexual energy. I didn’t intend to abstain; I’m 20 to 50 years older than subjects of my limbic responses and living on Social Security. Panama is the answer. In the meantime, I’m kayaking 50 miles a week to stay in shape. Besides this motivation to keep my blood pressure in a livable range, I enjoy an experience of freedom, as soon as I go past Pt. Zuniga, beyond the guns and dogs of war in their aquatic stables.
People here call San Diego paradise because of its mild climate and comparatively (to LA) clean air. Native Americans had another name for the place; the cunt. Off La Jolla shores, you can see what they meant, the hills either side of a steep canyon stretch out toward you like spread open legs inviting you into the cove in the middle. Kayaking soothes my soul and, now that Orgasmic Meditation has put me in touch with the infinite feminine, I can’t avoid noticing the lack of intimacy in my life that compels me to push past my antipathy for humanity in general and produce something for paid publication.
That’s not why I’m writing about the murders in the town where I lived before I left to become a hermit in Mendocino. I didn’t know about the murders until a year after I returned. They happened while I was gone. I knew both victims; a vet I’d brought my cat to and a radiologist and exotic car collector. I traded my Alfa Spider for his pristine 325is that my ex-girlfiend used for dogging. I found it interesting about these murders was that they were killed in the same way, bludgeoned; they lived and were found dead within a mile of each other several months apart and yet the murders weren’t connected in press reports and police reports, which seemed even more strange because the radiologist was found at his home on Squaw Valley Road and the vet’s body was found on the Luna de Miel about a half mile away, while he lived in 6 miles away.
I happened upon the reports of their deaths, while researching the more recent demise of a woman I dislike that owed me money. It upset me that she died before I could collect, especially since she was the mother of the previously mentioned promiscuous ex. It felt like double jeopardy. Is fate entitled to two cuts? I came across the notices of the vet and the radiologist in an obit list and a list of unsolved murders the Tribune published when my former lawyer was killed coincident with an election in which the paper was pushing their stable of Republican candidates. You know their names, slimeballs to whom nothing seems to stick. (I know this is ax- grinding but at least I’m not naming names this time, Hershell.)
With the money gone, as if in the wind with the ashes of the dead bitch, I began looking into these deaths out of curiosity, to see what connection they might have, aside from their connection with me.
The radiologist was unmarried, a sexually active bachelor. In my experience, his interest in human relationship was purely transactional. But he was interesting. His family were white collar New England Jews. He was small and athletic and training for the Olympics, a gymnast, and he left school and joined the circus. I knew this about him from our conversations, when trading cars, and also that his only family was a sister in New Hampshire and a housecat named, Tom, that he’d trained to jump through hoops of fire like a circus act. The odds are good my ex had fucked him, too.
The vet on the other hand had a reputation for extreme misanthropy but despite his manner, he was well respected for his expertise by clients who brought their dogs, cats, birds and reptiles to his clinic, and loved by none. My own experience of him convinced me that an ounce of prevention was well worth more than any cure he provided but I commiserated with him for his general attitude, especially given the quality of his clientele, the residents of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe, upscale communities that had initially coalesced around people with liberal environmental values escaping from Los Angeles and gradually decaying into a stagnant pond of bloated Republicans jealous of each other and paranoid about the possibility of losing privilege, money or status.
I had a little access to learn what happened to the the dead woman, however, since she was the mother of a woman I once dated, and I had hired her in a civil litigation. I could begin by contacting the dead lawyer’s daughter. We hadn’t parted on the best of terms. When I saw her previously, she practically ran, when she saw me. I felt there was some undelivered communication.