Battle without Honor or Humanity #6


A: And the reason for your sudden “appearance”?

Angeklagter: I wouldn’t call it sudden. I was standing there for, like, a long time. Mostly I just stand around and wait for people to fuck with me. This usually takes time, assuming I don’t resort to dickless provocation. I possess a vast and formidable stature. I’ve never met anyone who isn’t scared of me. But that doesn’t mean nobody picks a fight. Fear is the engine of masculinity. Without fear—and insecurity, and idiocy—the male subject wouldn’t do anything. He wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

B: This is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Angeklagter: I don’t take anything lightly. Everything I choose to endure is a cosmic elephant. Frivolity nauseates me. I mean, I’m not a homunculi, for Chrissakes. I was born for the screen. Look at my face. Look at my eyes. Just one eye. Can you honestly say that my countenance indicates anything other than a healthy entitlement to shit on the entire universe at my leisure? It’s not as if I lack a traumatic kernel. No. My selfhood is empowered by the repressed memories of thousands of pulsing horrors. Yes. Invariably I experience a tension between a feeling of genuine happiness and the desire to destroy myself. I’ll tell you how it happens. I get to feeling really goddamn happy—and then I recognize it. What I’m feeling, I mean. Interpellation is the problem. My happiness calls out to me: “Hey, shiteater, you’re happy!” And I realize that I’m susceptible to much grander and more devious machinery. Or I simply realize that I’m happy, too happy, and this sort of happiness doesn’t last, so I might as well put an end to the fucker now. Depression sets in. I don’t want to kill myself. I’ve never wanted that. I just want to be tolerated. I just want to exist. Somehow existence must be enough.”

X: I have a document that proves you are the owner of the helicopter in question. Is this your signature?

Angeklagter: Document? What document? I don’t know what that is. You can’t prove my signature is my signature. It is the nature of signatures to evolve with the flows of identity. What looks like my name today could look entirely different tomorrow, or yesterday. I’ll tell you something. I am the reincarnation of television’s Platonic Form. That cocaine high you get from watching music videos, Stallone movies, Schwarzenegger movies, Van Damme movies—that’s me. I may be an electromagnetic earthfucker, but I don’t do drugs. Never have. Van Damme had a problem for awhile, I understand. The point is, I am not a man—I am dynamite. I am the Wallace Stegner of the literary world; my Angle of Repose swings between my legs like a Third World. You may be wondering what I’ve done to overcome myself today. Nothing. Let me assure you that, in the interests of everyone inscribed by the powers that beleaguer and unman us, the gas tanks of obscurity cry out to the void like infants who have suddenly realized that alienation is the heartbeat of the human condition. Do you know when the heart is ripped out of the chest you can go on living for up to thirty seconds? It must be ripped out quickly, of course, and certain valves must be prepared beforehand for terminal severance. My aorta lies in wait. Dotted lines encircle the fat tentacles in all the right places. You gentlemen are barking up the wrong killing spree. I didn’t do anything. You don’t have anything on me. Am I under arrest? I’m lawyering up. Now. I plan to represent myself. I’m D Harlan Wilson, esquire. The D stands for DDT, Jake the Snake Roberts’ signature move. To enact the move, one applies a reverse headlock and destabilizes one’s knees, ramming the face of one’s opponent into the mat. I have enacted the move on countless occasions and thus weaved it into the fabric of my primary signifier. I don’t know what esquire means, other than it is a title of respect and adulation typically appropriated by human beings with law degrees who want to sound fancy because they can’t call themselves Doctor and they don’t have a Ph.D. I possess a Ph.D. and a law degree. Ergo: Doctor DDT Harlan Wilson, esquire. I advise my client not to answer any more questions. Let me see that document again. That’s not even my client’s name. That says Stanley Ashenbach. I don’t know that asshole. That’s not my client, in any case. Good lord. Can we go now? Are you holding my client here indefinitely? We’ve answered all your questions. I demand that you arrest my client immediately. Or set him free. The choice is yours. Choice is an illusion, like sky monkeys, but you realize this. Ultimately we don’t choose anything. We are chosen. Often against our will. But that is the nature of the cultural maelstrom. We produce culture, extending it from our literal and figurative bodies, and the resultant firmament in turn reproduces us, hurling bolts of mediatized lightning at our souls, imploding the souls. I couldn’t tell you what was real and what was fantasy if you had a gun in my mouth. But I’m not trying to run the world, am I. I’m just a cunt on the street. But no, that helicopter doesn’t belong to me. I’ve never seen it before I had this dream. Darla was my wife, though, and I loved her. I was sorry to see her killed.