The story of a lonely guy who manages an overlooked motel. Hobbies include: taxidermy, murdering recently shampooed women, and obsessing about his mom.
A Brief Explanation of Why We’re Here
Searching for Suzi author Nancy Stohlman recently suggested via a modern form of telegraph correspondence that perhaps I might possibly be out of my mind and that, like the deranged relationship between Norman Bates and his dead mother in Psycho, maybe Helen isn’t the flesh and walking-on-blood real life creature that I portray her to be. Have I considered the fact that I might in fact be batshit crazy? What if Helen’s not real? What if she’s just a taxidermed nightmare that I keep propped up in the one lightbulbed cellar in my head?
Yikes! I immediately cried “bullshit”. Of course Helen is real! We were married for six years. I’ve got the divorce papers to prove it, along with her name tattooed on my arm and around $2,000 in credit card debt from charging those foot long salami and Italian cheese sandwiches that she used to like so much. But then again, all that credit card interest only proves that the sandwiches were purchased. Who’s to say that Helen actually ate them? I am! But then, my hands shake in direct sunlight and I haven’t been sleeping so well. Norman was convinced his mom was alive and waiting at home for him to walk through the door so she could start yelling at him for thinking about having a boner. So who’s to say? What if Nancy’s right? Impossible. I know Helen’s real. But I ended up watching Psycho again anyway. And with Nancy’s insinuation in my head, here’s what I figured out. . . .
What I Found Out
1. Norman Bates runs through the rain like a lanky pigeon. I run through the rain like a chunk of rejected cement. Ergo: Zero similarity. I can’t be mad.
2. In no way do I physically resemble the movie character version of Norman Bates. But, I did recently read the Robert Bloch novel in one sitting the other day and was horrified to find that the print version of Norman is described as a middle aged man who doesn’t exercise all that much anymore and reads poetry. So maybe I am insane.
3. Norman likes sandwiches and milk. I bought Helen a lot of sandwiches. But then again, the thought of milk makes her hate things. So let’s just call this one a draw.
4. Helen liked to shut herself in the bedroom and refuse to come out when friends would come over, and I’d make excuses for her like, “Mother’s not herself.” Only instead of saying “Mother” I’d say “Helen.” Call her moody, but a girl’s gotta have some time to herself to write in her journal about how much she’s grown to resent me, and “gosh isn’t the short little rich boy I went to school with cute!”
5. Norman’s problems with his mother started when she met another man. My problems with Helen started when she met another man too.
6. After a thorough strip search of the apartment, I’m happy to report that there is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that I’ve ever thrown on Helen’s old clothes and hung out in the back yard stabbing people. That would be impossible anyway, because Helen’s clothes wouldn’t fit me and besides that she took everything with her when she left except for a black bra that was left hanging in the closet—a black bra with a big tag on the inside that said “Stuffed In China”. Helen’s boobs were like two Communists who fancied themselves synchronized swimmers but held an irrational grudge against the pool.
7. Besides that, if I was really going to go around pretending to be Helen I don’t think I’d be stabbing people. Blatant confrontation was never her style. If I was truly Norman-Bates-Crazy, you’d find me stumbling around Louisville with a pair of Helen’s pants pulled up just past my ankles as far as they’d go, banging Benicio Del Toro wannabes with the lights out, subconsciously mumbling negative things about the size of my ass into a mirror and lying on the phone to my mom.
8. If I was really doing this, instead of snapping out of my Helen trance to find myself covered in someone else’s blood, I’d end up waking up in the morning post being violently Del Toro’d with my asshole Vertigo‘d and blazing on fire, screaming, “What have you done, Helen?! What have you done?!” Then I’d have to hobble over to the tool shed to get the old mop and rolling bucket and clean myself up.
9. Fuck it. From this point on when people ask me a question, I’m gonna walk around saying shit like “Are you not satisfied with your cabin?” for the hell of it.
10. Is Nancy suggesting that I’m some sort of mental transvestite? Sure, sometimes when I’m typing my mind might slip on the occasional purple angora sweater, but that’s because Ed Wood happens to be one of my favorite writers. That doesn’t make Helen any less real or prove in some way that I’m insane.
11. Norman Bate’s mother has a sink in her bedroom. Just like Nancy! So maybe Nancy’s the crazy one. Maybe Suzi’s the made up one here! How come nobody’s ever thought about that?!
12. Norman talking about his mother: “I don’t hate her. I hate what she’s become. I hate the illness.” OK. Touché. But just because I’ve thought this about Helen doesn’t mean I’m insane.
13. How to get a guaranteed reaction from Norman Bates: start telling him jokes that start with “Your mom . . .”
You’re mom’s so crazy Minnesota elected her to Congress so she can accuse everyone that uses words longer than three letters of being homosexual Muslims.
You’re mom’s so crazy every time she sees a camera she whips a corndog out of her pocket and screams “Cheese!”
14. A conversation between me and a taxidermed corpse of Helen would go something like this:
Helen: I don’t love you anymore!
Me: I know, Helen.
Helen: I’ve never worked for anything in my entire life but I deserve better than this!
Me: Of course you do, Helen.
Helen: Don’t look at me like that! My mother agrees with me!
Me: Sure she does. How about you go hang out in the cellar for awhile. Would you like that?
Helen: Don’t you dare put me in that cellar again! Put me down you sappy-assed loser!”
Me: Watch your head, Helen. There we go. . . .
15. After the movie was over, in a big “That’s it!” attempt to prove the existence of Helen, I dug through the old boxes looking for pictures, having forgotten that the pictures where too painful so I’d gotten rid of them. I realized I was wasting my time anyway. If I want to prove to the outside world that Helen exists, I needed to be looking for proof of her existence in the outside world. It’s easy for other people to write off my own memories of Helen as insufficient evidence, but it will be a lot harder for them to ignore a big cloth sack of evidence gathered from Helen’s interaction with others, as they now exist in her brand new world without me. So I headed to the internet and, after finding what I ended up finding, tried my best not to throw up.
16. Helen being Helen, as well as the goddamned Hadron Collider for everything everywhere that breaks our hearts, it wasn’t difficult to track her. She’s left an internet news path full of loneliness and destruction wider than Mathew Broderick’s failed attempt to be an action star . . . appearing in that bullshit American remake of Godzilla. According to the headlines, she appeared to be heading west. . . .
17. Gay Couple Refused Wedding Cake . . . Man Who Lost Hand to Gator Charged with Illegal Feeding . . . Kristen Stewart Apologizes for Cheating on Rob Pattinson . . . Aquaman Voice Actor Dies without Saying Goodbye . . . Screams Heard from Storm Drain . . . Love Found Mangled and Left to Die In an Unfurnished Sewer Alone . . .
18. Armed now as I am with indisputable proof that Helen’s still out there, I attempted to pinpoint her exact current location. And this is, unfortunately, as close as I got. Unfortunate in the sense that I wish I’d never have gotten this close in the first place. There’s a video posted on YouTube in which a man who we’ll call Shitty Guitar Playing Jesus is sitting on a bed without his shirt on, performing a fuck-awful rendition of an Elton John song, staring into the camera like a miscellaneous short person holding grand delusions of being Verne Troyer. And if all this wasn’t bad enough, the dumb fuck has purposely styled himself so that he looks a lot like Jesus.
19. What does this have to do with Helen? In the background, hanging on the wall behind him is Helen’s quilt. The one that her Aunt had made her, or something like that. The same quilt that hung in our apartment together. The same quilt I hadn’t seen for three years, until now. The poor goddamned quilt that now sits hanging beside their bed, forced to watch the biblically defiling acts that take place there. I mean . . . isn’t it against the law, God’s Law maybe if not Man’s, to go down on a shitty guitar player who also happens to be impersonating Jesus? If it’s not, it should be, goddamn it. It should be. . . .
20. Helen does not appear in the video per say, but she does autograph said production in the comment section. The only comment posted at this point. Three words that she throws out into the world as if they were jelly beans . . . her park grass littered with gullible jelly bean addicted squirrels. “I love you,” she says.
21. Of course you do, Helen. Of course you do.
22. So there you have it, proof of Helen’s existence. Shitty Guitar Playing Jesus = Proof that Helen Is Real. And alive and well and fucking around with somebody else’s life right now. Like the real life Boogyman. A story people tell their grandkids to scare them into not trusting people and maybe con them into eating their vegetables. This jackass playing guitar with his shirt off and the quilt that used to hang in our living room hanging behind him on the wall. That’s proof. Not proof like a full on shot of the Loch Ness Monster in broad daylight holding a sign that says “You got me. I’m the Loch Ness Monster. I do exist.” But close enough. More like getting a semi-focused picture of half of a footprint and a verifiable stool sample . . . my memories remain taxidermed . . . the entire thing smells like Loch Ness Monster shit . . . but there it is, fuckers . . . there’s no such thing as Santa Clause, but Helen is real . . . how the fuck is that fair? It isn’t . . . but we learn to live with it and move on. . . .
23. “We all go a little mad sometimes.”
24. Amen, Norman. Goddamn it.
Since being ubiquitously dumped by Helen, GITCH has been watching a lot of movies. While watching these movies, he writes many things down, in a mad tentacled world attempt to make sense of the heart breaking events that take place both on and outside the screen. His second book, The Aftermath, etc., is now available from Monkey Puzzle Press.