Tim Leary’s Cat

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The infamous comic panel from the Abyss

As I continue to transcribe my novel from handwritten form, I discovered a chapter I had forgotten. As a recap, this novel is about the adventures of Kenneth Collins, an older man in San Francisco, who had an unusual vision which leads him to become involved with a magickal order known as the Order of the Invisible Star, based in Berkeley. He becomes involved with Diana, the High Priestess of this Order, and her old boyfriend. Japeth is insanely jealous and comes to kill Kenneth. In this chapter of “Our Day Is Done”  Kenneth  kills Japeth in self-defense. This was based on an actual event in my life. It did not involve a jealous lover, and no one died, thankfully. I was babysitting my nephew, and had been teasing him pretty relentlessly, when suddenly I see my nephew coming at me with a butcher knife in his hand. Before I even knew what had happened, I see that my nephew is standing there open mouthed, and the knife is lying on the floor quite some distance away. Apparently, according to my nephew, I kicked the knife out of his hands. I did this entirely unconsciously, to save myself. The same thing happens here, except Japeth isn’t so lucky. The knife ends up in his skull.

I have tried to include a lot of actual events in my novel, because that makes it come alive. The other strange thing I had forgotten I wrote concerned a curious synchronicity. As I was writing the chapters I am including here, I came across an old Batman comic from 1966, a special issue sponsored by Kellogg’s cereal. The story was Catwoman’s Catnapping Capers. It concerned Catwoman stealing a Manx cat from a boy named (get this!) Tim Leary! This story came out when Timothy Leary was at the height of his LSD experimentation. Kenneth Collins has a Manx cat in my novel, and he has some very LSD-like experiences which you find in these chapters. So Tim Leary and his cat, Tag (which is also curious, considering today’s meaning for tag, as a way of directing traffic to your site on the internet.) mirror my primary character and his cat. I found the comic between Chapters 28 and 29, and included the discovery of the comic in Chapter 29, and how it related to Kenneth’s experiences. I had even mentioned Catwoman in an earlier chapter!, as the comic book equivalent of Lilith. So as my imagination runs away with me, I imagine my novel being directed by forces beyond my control. In these chapters, Kenneth has visions of Daath, a Kabbalistic realm, or sephiroth, which isn’t really a sephiroth, but a ruin of the world that existed before the Fall. It is all very esoteric. I am including below a passage from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da%27at which covers Daath. It may just confuse you further, if so that is fine because Daath is a realm of confusion. But the Daath I am writing about in Our Day Is Done is more like the Daath which lies over the Abyss (you know! the one that looks into you as you look into it), described by good ol Aleister Crowley, everybody’s favorite punching bag when it comes to esoteric matters. Below is an excerpt from that Wikipedia article about Da’at (which is another name for Daath)

In some occult methods of thought, Daat is a gateway which, upon passing through, inverts the qualities of the sephirothic spheres. The idea most likely derives from Daat being situated upon The Abyss. Aleister Crowley described the abyss as such:

“This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions… Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions.”

Non-Jewish Kabbalah

Daat is considered the point of creation, when the active principle of Chokmah, ‘wisdom’, ( knowledge which comes from without ), meets with the passive principle of Binah, ‘understanding’, and creates the archetypal idea of ‘knowledge’. These three are sometimes referred to as the “superconscious”.

However, this sephirot is often not shown on the tree of life, and instead there is an empty space, straddling The Abyss. In fact, there are often two trees depicted, one which shows Daat but not Malkuth (the kingdom), and the other which shows Malkuth but not Daat. These are considered as being before The Fall of Man, and after The Fall, in which the fruit of knowledge is taken from the tree, humanity loses paradise, and falls into the earthly state of suffering represented by Malkuth.

Ok, now it’s me again!!! Just wanted to give a little background. Below are the aforementioned Chapters of Our Day Is Done, and above is the comic panel which sailed straight out of the Abyss! Actually it sailed straight from this website http://www.mediafire.com/?0m4mzzy2znw to my computer, and I enlarged it using Gimp. So much for documentation.

OUR DAY IS DONE CHAPTER 28

As it happened, Janet McFarland had not been asleep the night Kenneth Collins spent with Diana Blanchard. She worried about Kenneth because she knew Japeth, the Invisible Star Magus-in-training had long been the primary candidate  to play Osiris in their Supreme Operation. Japeth was black, and because of this, there were those who felt he should portray Set instead, because, they said, Set was black. But Japeth adamantly insisted that the traditional description of Set as black referred to his spiritual condition and not the color of his skin. But, Diana, while not disputing what Japeth believed, was still dubious about his portraying, or more accurately, embodying Osiris. This really pissed Japeth off. He thought it was good, old-fashioned racism, and referred to Diana as that Nazi bitch or KKK whore, depending on his mood. So far he hadn’t said these things to her face, because he and Diana had also been lovers. Janet was brooding over these facts that night, knowing that Japeth was a very sore loser. If he was pissed about being replaced as Osiris, he’ll really hate being replaced as Diana’s lover. She knew Japeth had spent a few years dealing crack and cocaine, occasionally even heroin with his white biker buddy, Jeff Buck. She was pretty sure Japeth or Jeff, or both, had committed some murders during those years in Oakland. While Japeth no longer lived at the Berkeley lodge, he was a frequent unannounced visitor. Fortunately, he didn’t come by that night.
Kenneth had refused to move into the lodge, which Diana totally couldn’t understand. They argued about it as Kenneth was returning with her to the lodge, for training, instruction, and, Kenneth hoped, more sex, although Diana’s mood made that prospect a dim one. Kenneth and Diana had arrived at the lodge, and ascended the stairs to Diana’s (and Japeth’s room, thought Kenneth), when, as Diana dug in her purse for her key, Janet burst out of her room saying, “Kenneth! Diana! Japeth’s here! He’s out of his mind!” Before either of them could react, Japeth screamed “You cracker son of a bitch! Nobody gets into her pussy but me! Nobody!” Kenneth saw a flash of metal in Japeth’s hand, and kicked. The impact caused Japeth to lose his footing on the stairs, and he fell back, legs and arms flailing. The knife sailed straight into Japeth’s forehead. Kenneth heard screaming. He stared at Japeth, lying motionless, the knife sticking out, the blood running out in a thin, bright red stream. He managed to say “We’ve got to call an ambulance. Where’s the telephone?” Diana said “I’ll call!” pulling out her cell phone, and stepping into her room. “Don’t touch him! Don’t touch anything” she said. Kenneth stood dumbfounded, and heard Janet sobbing beside him. He took her in his arms. “I didn’t mean to do it. He came at me! I don’t know how it happened. I just reacted.” It felt odd to be standing there in shock, holding Janet, who obviously was also in deep shock, while Diana took charge of the situation, not seeming to be in shock at all. He could hear her talking on the phone. “He attacked my friend with a knife. My friend defended himself. He fell down the stairs, the knife hit his….is stuck inside his head. It was a horrible accident! Nothing has been touched. No, I haven’t yet called an ambulance, I’m doing that as soon as I hang up!” Then she hung up.  Kenneth heard her calling an ambulance, and a chill went through his body. She called the police first. She wanted to give Japeth time to die. He worried about what the police would make of that.
They could hear voices downstairs. Other members of the Invisible Star were arriving home. Diana ushered Kenneth and Janet into her room, saying “I’ll deal with them! Stay in here!” “But what about the body?” Kenneth said. “What about it? I’ll step over it! I’ll be careful. Stay in here until the police arrive, ok?” “Right” said Kenneth. “Let Diana do this, Kenneth. She knows her way around the police. She’s dealt with them before, regarding Japeth. He has quite a record. All of that helps you, Kenneth. It’ll be ok.” Janet said. “Why did she…?” Kenneth decided to let it drop. He hoped Diana would be ok. Hell, he wished he’d be ok. Kenneth and Janet were silent as they sat on Diana’s bed listening to the loud voices downstairs.  As the voices grew fainter, Kenneth vaguely remembered he and Janet lying down on the bed, because sitting up seemed to take a lot of effort. He remembered wanting to sleep. To sleep, and not wake up. He wondered if Janet felt the same. Suddenly Kenneth discovered himself in an almost featureless desert. He could see Japeth lying in the sand, with his knife protruding from his forehead. The blood was no longer red, but dark, a pool had formed beside his head, and a crow was there, picking at it. Kenneth wanted to look away, but could not. The light was very bright, the sky a brilliant blue, and he saw that Japeth was dressed entirely in black, except for a red bandanna. He even had a black leather holster around his waist, holding an old Colt 45 revolver. Japeth was a gunslinger. The crow looked up at Kenneth, and he felt a sharp pain in his left eye, the blind one. Now Kenneth felt himself stumble, his hand held to his eye. When he raised his head, and opened his good, right, eye he saw a set of stone columns supporting an arch, the ruins of what appeared to be an enormous entrance, a gate. He could see inscribed across the arch the letters D.A.A.T.H. Although the light was bright (he couldn’t see a Sun anywhere) and it was obviously a desert, Kenneth felt cold. A crudely drawn wooden sign, painted white with black letters said ‘No Trespassing’. It was propped against a column. There were a lot of crows gathered around, cawing. He noticed a bright red and green lizard. Behind the arch he saw an enormous spider, mostly buried in the sand, moving it’s legs rapidly in order to burrow deeper and out of his sight. In the distance he could see a huge mound of sand or stone. It looked sort of like a crude rendering of a head with large bulging eyes. He felt colder, all the light was suddenly extinguished. He could barely make out the columns and arch, the sign. They glowed in a pink and green neon. He couldn’t see Japeth, any of the crows, the spider, or the mound. The sky was slowly turning a bright, Halloween orange.
In that sky appeared a black hole, perfectly round, and totally black. There was a flash of light like lightning, and everything stood out in stark relief, like in a strobe light. He briefly saw that Japeth’s body was still there, but it had rotted. It was ghastly, and Kenneth was shaking when the darkness returned. He realised he had closed his eyes. When he opened his eyes the desert was dark violet, the sky was a light orange. The hole in the sky was still there. He could smell something burning. He saw Japeth’s body, a dim skeleton by this time, with a jack o’lantern burning where his head ought to have been. He could see other jack o’lanterns around the arched gateway, each with different expressions of terror. “Kenneth! Wake up! Kenneth!” he heard, and the scene faded abruptly. He saw Diana’s face, looking distraught. Two policemen stood beside her. He could feel Janet’s arm around his shoulder, her hair against his face. “Kenneth, what…how could you fall asleep?” Diana said. “It’s not unusual for a person in shock to fall asleep. Take your time, Mr. Collins, to get your bearings. A man has died here, Mr. Collins. We believe you may have witnessed his death. If you take the time to recover yourself and recall for us what happened tonight, we would greatly appreciate it. We know it has been a shock.” Officer Patterson said, almost as if he were speaking to a child.
Kenneth recounted once again, how he had reacted without thinking, apparently kicking the knife out of Japeth’s hand. Japeth fell back and the knife landed in his head. Officer Patterson surprised Kenneth when he didn’t seem to think his story was preposterous. What were the odds that his knife would fly up in the air like that, and land right in Japeth’s skull?  “We will check the knife for prints, but I doubt we will find anyone’s prints besides Japeth’s.” Patterson said. “You were defending yourself, and a tragic accident ensued. That’s what my report will say, Mr. Collins. I have two witnesses who can corroborate your story.” and with that, he and the other officer left. Just like that! The ambulance had arrived before the interview, and taken the body away. There was no trace of blood on the stairs. Kenneth guessed the paramedics cleaned it up. It almost felt as if it hadn’t happened. Almost. Kenneth felt a tremendous rush of relief and said “ok, I just want to go home now.” to Diana.

OUR DAY IS DONE CHAPTER 29

As Officer Patterson arrived at the station to submit his report, he ran into another policeman, Sgt. Jackson. Sgt. Jackson worked vice, and had tried to set Japeth and Jeff Buck up in a sting two years ago, and had heard the 911 call regarding Japeth’s death. He was excited. “So what happened with Japeth? Was it murder, or what? I hope it was a working girl. It’s about fucking time he bought  it!” he said. “Not murder. It looks like an accident, a freak accident. He got in the way of a knife. His own knife.” Patterson said. “So just how…you gotta explain that one to me, Patterson.”
“He attacked some old guy with a knife. The guy freaked and knocked it out of his hands. He happened to be standing at the top of a flight of stairs. Real smart, right? The old guy didn’t need a weapon. He had a nice steep flight of stairs right in front of him. But he was in shock, I don’t think he really knew what he’d done. He passed out on us for a while.” Patterson said.
“Passed out?”
“Yeah.”
“Was he on drugs?”
“Shit! I didn’t check for that. But, look, we both knew Japeth, The guy’s a fuckup. I can believe he would charge some old guy with a knife. There were two witnesses who vouched for the old man’s story. If he was high at the time, I really don’t care. Japeth was a fuckup and a killer. He deserved what he got.” Patterson explained.
“Still, I think there’s probably…but,hey it’s not my case. I’m not your boss. If you say, that’s it, then that’s it.”
But, nevertheless, Sgt. Jackson decided to pay Jason Blackguard a visit. He thought Jason might find Japeth’s attack, and his death, very interesting.

Kenneth couldn’t sleep after Diana dropped him off at his hotel. They kissed several times, and hugged. Part of him wished he could stay with her, but  he really just wanted to be alone. Alone with his kitty. It felt pathetic, but he didn’t care. He would lay there and think about how he killed a man, and didn’t even hesitate. He was as though he were trained. It worried him. It was as though another person he didn’t know lived inside him. He suspected that if he went to sleep, he’d go back to that desert, and the gate of Daath. And what would he find then? Gradually Kenneth’s mind stopped buzzing, and as he expected, he found himself back in the desert, near the gate of Daath. It was daylight. No sign of Japeth. Oddly, the No Trespassing sign was gone, and he didn’t see any crows, just a single owl, staring placidly, atop the arch. But behind the gate sat an enormous cat. It was Bugbutt, his Manx cat. The cat had his paws atop the spider, that had tried to burrow into the sand. As the spider struggled, Bugbutt grabbed at it, lifting it between his paws, and tearing off legs with his teeth. Then Bugbutt spotted Kenneth and came towards him, holding the spider in his mouth, like an offering, to Kenneth. At that point Kenneth woke up and felt a wonderful sense of relief. He looked atop the cat cozy and saw Bugbutt curled up there, fast asleep. He gazed at his cat and thought, ‘I’ve got to give Bugbutt a better name. He deserves it.’ Giganta? Moloch? maybe even Merlin? But, no. He was Bugbutt. No other name would do. He loved Bugbutt. ‘He’s my cat, and perhaps my protector as well.’ He felt comforted by that.
Oddly, the next morning, as Kenneth was browsing through a collection of old Batman comics from the 1960’s, he came across this panel. A boy named Tim Leary had had a tail-less cat, a Manx, stolen by Catwoman. In the panel, the cat was being returned to the boy. He couldn’t understand why Catwoman would want a tail-less alley cat. Batman explained that it was a Manx cat, naturally tail-less, from the Isle of Man. What Batman neglected to say was that the Isle of Man was traditionally the island of witchcraft, and that the Manx cat may have been a witch’s familiar. He also didn’t let little Tim Leary know about his famous namesake, Timothy Leary, the psychedelic pioneer, who explored many strange areas of consciousness. This cartoon panel seemed very significant to Kenneth, especially after his dream. He must learn more about Daath, about spiders, and about Manx cats. He doubted that the name ‘Bugbutt’ had any magical significance. Kenneth smiled. He couldn’t let all of this get to him. ‘Keep both feet on the ground’ he said to himself. Bugbutt glanced up at him. As always, Kenneth had no idea what was on his cat’s mind.

At some point soon, like sometime in January or Feb. this novel will appear on Amazon.kindle so you can read the whole thing. The first Chapter was posted here a few days ago. I may post more chapters if I see something as cool as this. But for now, Merry Christmas!!, Cool Yule!!, Namaste!!, Chao!! (Ha! bet you didn’t know I was Chinese! Chow? Get It? Ok it isn’t that funny, I admit it.)

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