Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mike's Story Part 29: Anxiety

By Jenna Orkin  
   "The two people whose pictures I had on the wall in Ashland were suicides: Jack Gubanc and Gary Webb. And Jack was bi-polar [as Mike had been told by a psychiatrist might be his diagnosis as well.]"
   Jack, I believe, was the guy who had paid for FTW's Washington Post ad years ago.  The headline was an allusion to the Wizard of Oz: "Who is the man behind the curtain?"


December 26

  "You know what keeps churning in my mind now?"
  I named the triumvirate of villains who Mike believed had precipitated the downfall of FTW.
  "The [newspaper] article will come out in February and it'll be based on an indictment of fraud."
  "Wouldn't you get a sense of this beforehand, if that was the agenda? Wouldn't [the journalist] have to ask you for a statement?"

  "If the indictment doesn't come down until February, that's when they'd ask for a statement."
  "But I don't think they'd be talking in terms of a cover story if this was their plan."  They might if Mike were already famous but it's not interesting if someone whom most people haven't heard of gets indicted for fraud. The whole point of the newspaper article was that Mike had been unjustly overlooked.

 "Neither do I."

 So who, we wondered, was more likely to get indicted in February, Mike or Rumsfeld?

 "If I had a panic attack like the one that just happened at breakfast, they'd put me in a straitjacket for 72 hours. I have a horror of being confined."
 "I know. You feel confined here...  That's why you love the wide open spaces, BLM land."
 "Yes."  He returned to a subject we'd discussed earlier. "You're right that I live in the moment.  It becomes the whole world, forever. Do you promise me there's hope?"


 "This won't go on forever?"

 "No."  I thought, "But there are times when it'll seem like forever."

 "I feel so powerless."


   We were talking about The Novel, "the monolith," as Mike called it.

   "With FTW you worked one step at a time," I began.  "The articles were a helluva lot shorter than a novel, you knew where you were going, what you wanted to say, and how to get from here to there. With a novel, no one's crying for you to write it.  You have to make the whole thing up out of nothing."

   He nodded, his eyes, widened. Boy, was he aware of that.

   I had written one novel which has not yet sought publication.  Like most first novels, it was based on my life and was born of a need to tell a story.

   Mike's novel, on the other hand, was not driven from within; it was yet another obligation and one that was oppressive not because it represented a volume of work but for the opposite reason: because it was so amorphous. 

   "Apart from that goal, you need something more mundane to do with your time," I observed.
   The previous night, I had cc'ed an ally on an email to Ray about the lies in Mike's biography on Wikipedia.  The ally emailed back that the Subscription link on the FTW website was still up.

   Mike and I tested it. I subscribed yet again to FTW and got two confirmations, one from the bookkeeper, the other from "Administrator."

   "I gotta send an email to Ray," Mike said, shifting into efficient mode. As long as the tasks were specific and of manageable size, he thrived.

   He showed me how to log into his computer files.  I didn’t want to know.  If something got lost, I didn’t want to be blamed.  But Mike was probably thinking that if he was hospitalized, he might want to ask me to go rummaging in his files for him.

   “See?  I have files on everybody,” he said.

   I did see.  They were alphabetized by first name but they were formidable.

   “You’re in here.”
   ”You said you had several files on me, one professional, one personal.  Then the T 17’s [the news articles I found and forwarded to FTW] went into their own file.”
   He looked for the personal file but couldn't find it.
   "I probably destroyed it in Venezuela when they were after me.”
   "You thought they might go after me too?”
   "Me!  Psy-Ops!  If they knew I had a vulnerability!”  He calmed down.  “That’s how it works, Sweetheart.”


 "When I was 27 and had just left LAPD, I said, 'I'm putting my life on hold 'til I figure this CIA thing out.

 ‘After I wrote Rubicon, I wanted to pick up where I'd left off and be 27 again...  When am I going to stop these thoughts of [the three possible perpetrators of the burglary?]"
 "When you stop feeling so powerless."

No comments: