By KAMAL P. JEAN ‘PANTHERE’ (as told to Steve Silkin)
NOV. 8 2016: ELECTION DAY. Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. I signed up to be a poll clerk and was sent to the voting place in an apartment across the street from my childhood haunt, Topanga Plaza. On my lunch break, I walked around the corner to a Starbucks and sat down to relax. A Middle Eastern gentleman soon took the table next to me and began loading his laptop with downloaded music. We chatted about this and that, and he told me he was a deejay who had just arrived from a long residence at clubs in New York. Kamal P. Jean “Panthere” was his name, French for panther, as he’d first gigged in Belgium. I told him I’d just finished editing the memoirs of a World War II Latino fighter pilot who had been there during the Battle of the Bulge. He was excited when he found out that I was a writer, because he had met some quite interesting characters during his stay in New York and told me about some of them. Of course, it’s possible that I actually fell asleep in the Starbucks and dreamed this. But I seem to remember that this is what he said:
Is story of boy name Omar. They give him little job keep busy tell him bring goats to field in morning, let them eating grass, then bringing them back goat pen in one hour or when they stop eat, but they never stop eat, so he just bring them back when he feel tiredness.
So Omar do this each day. Omar parents happy, Omar happy, goats happy. Everybody happy. All good.
But one day Omar go pee on fence. Is that day story become terrible story not happy.
Electric fence so nobody steal goats which was problem before Omar born so Omar father Ali-Hooli put electric fence keep goats for milk and make more goats.
Tell Omar never touch on electric fence. But he did not telling Omar explain why, and why no pee near electric fence.
So one day Omar have to make big pee and so big stream hit fence but make no zapping because of science molecule, but while this science happen goat comes smell Omar butt and pushes him into fence and ZAP electrocute shocking on Omar wang and Omar fall over.
So goats making MEHHH MEHHHH noise like dog Lassie calling help. Omar father Ali-Hooli and wife Shohreh run to field see Omar on ground and smoke come from fence. Ali-Hooli feel very guilt because he tell Omar never touch electric fence but not tell Omar never pee near electric fence.
Ali-Hooli and Shohreh bring Omar to car Renault, is miracle car is still work, but is like fate because they driving Omar to hospital in city and then Renault dies like maybe is waiting just to save Omar life and then die.
So at hospital doctors bringing Omar in for make surgery. They make very sad face and even sometime close eyes during surgery because they feel so bad for Omar and even feel like it is happen for them.
They make best possible surgery for Omar injure and then Ali-Hooli and Shohreh sleep on floor and Omar recover next day with just minimum drug they have because of embargo.
So next day Ali-Hooli try make Renault work but car is dead. So they taking wheelchair from hospital and pushing Omar home eight miles.
Omar make recover but having psychosis they calling PTSD. But he go back to goats and try make happy. Very difficult make pee with very little wiener.
Then next year Americans came with big bombs and big tanks and make big disaster.
Ali-Hooli and Shohreh who is now big belly with Omar first baby sister Waollah go Syria to get away from Americans, but then to America where is Ali-Hooli’s brother. Then Shohreh makes second baby sister Qu’eenee (in school they call her Queenie is very much like American name!) and all grow up in America.
Then Omar travel world and because PTSD he making big trouble where he go and tell everyone he have big wang even though he have no wang. But big wang of interest for homosexuals. So is happen what must happen Omar was probable not homosexual at begin but because of injure and PTSD he is now homosexual but there is nothing wrong with that.
Everybody feel very sad for Omar and maybe one day hope Omar finding peace with very bad accident and just sit quiet and not talk so much with hate.
But he go from town to next town tell story of Mesopotamia and his life and try make troubles with all peoples.
Soon they take him to hospital for mentals patient where he tell Doctor Lumer story of goat and electric fencing.
Dr. Lumer make big research on Omar brain.
He use big machine call Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Most people saying MRI but for peoples not speak English sound like Omar Eye, so Omar very confuse, think doctor take picture of brain with Omar Eye. But all good.
Until doctor see picture of Omar brain. Most Omar Eye brain pictures in yellow, red, green but Omar brain is blue and brown like big turd.
Doctor write study of Omar brain for Brain Study Magazine and get much research dollars for more study. He take some dollars to Las Vegas and buy night with girl name Brandini but then next day win car with slot machine progressive. They take his picture and make him sign papers and he gets new car.
Lumer return to psychiatric hospital and first thing happen is Omar steal new car, beautiful new red Mercedes.
Drive to New York City where he park in garage and leave and so Mafia peoples who own garage steal car but all good because Omar never come back for car so police no find him.
Omar go from bar to bar tells all people he have big wang but is very funny because he have almost no wang cannot even make pee stand up must sit down. Every time sit down on toilet he remember goat and electric fence.
People most interest in giant wang is homosexuals. Is true you ask anybody in Kasbah. So more and more Omar talk about giant dong he having but no having more and more homosexuals want meeting Omar. Soon Omar is like queen of New York homos.
When they find out he have very little wang instead of big giant wang they say is all good and make the butt sex with him. So now all Omar talk is making pretend he have giant wang and he getting blow jobbings from transex peoples but really all day he doing butt sex with New York homosexuals.
So when you hearing Omar say blow job or big wang now you know true story that everyone know in Kasbah.
This explaining why Omar always angry.
When you hearing Omar talking about big wang and getting blow job it is normal because of accident and injury at electric fence that burn off Omar peepee. He can no use wang like normal for pee and he can no get blow job so he making butt sex with homosexuals and can never accepting what happen.
Dr. Lumer is man who is known in world not just for brain study but also for make political contribution and is very angry about car get steal.
He call friends in very powerful positionings and asking them for helpings. They getting all information and making use of much new surveillance device like camera at bridge and on highway they find new red Mercedes going to New York with Omar drive.
So they find car going to garage and the politics peoples knowing Mafia peoples they make talking and is big trouble with Mafia people VERY angry at Omar for bring them car that they did not knowing he stole from politics connect doctor.
But now they have already selling Mercedes to Russian mafia peoples and it is already on boat to Leningrad (is now St. Petersburg again, city Peter building on swamp and making kill 200,000 peoples for building beautiful city but there are millions of peoples and only one city, no?) so they must finding new red Mercedes with money they getting from Russians and then pay rest from pocket all time saying: Where is son of bitch who bringing us this car and making all this shit and now even making expensive for us?
So they searching for Omar but no finding. They having picture from secret camera in garage and going all bars and finally finding one gay bar is call Fun Goal like soccer but not really and bartender tell them yes this is man who says huge dong but has no dong.
This make Mafia people very nervous because no man like thinking about man with no dong is make pain down there for mens.
Also one Mafia man joke to other Mafia man say: “So if we finding him what we doing, we cannot make threatening cutting off dong is already cutted off!” And other Mafia man laughing but holding dong at same time.
Two Mafia guys were name Joe the Pillow and Sid the Chair. Is call Joe the Pillow because that his specialty use of tool for killings people by make smother. Is very funny because pillow thing is soft and warm and Joe is person who is very cold and hard. Sid is not making kill with chair, but at card game one time Sid sat chair and chair broke so from that day friends is call him Chair. Is funny because Sid not very fat, just normal fat for Mafia guy eating the lasagna all time.
Joe the Pillow and Sid the Chair now have to finding Omar. So making all gay bar places after Fun Goal, then Ram Rod, then White Swallow and that is where Joe and Sid getting information from bartender Maxie Minnie, name real be Lisa Kronenwalt before surgery change sex man make fake wang implant. Maxie tellings for 30 dollar from Joe and Sid everything she know Omar.
They not very interest in story of goat put nose in Omar butt while he make pee on electric fence so big disaster with wang, more interest in where find Omar for making give money for steal Lumer car that causing them trouble.
So Maxie tell them Omar on couch of famous performer who find out Omar have no wang and is try make help for Omar like Maxie got because they now all friends. Maxie see Joe and Sid make very interested faces when tell this story so Maxie smelling money and stop tell story.
Joe the Pillow and Sid the Chair then ask very casual, like they no care maybe, where finding Omar and new friend. Maxie make eye contact with both Pillow and Chair letting them knowing she or he is know they want very much finding Omar and new friend but no talking.
Is very funny moment in White Swallow. Pillow and Chair look each other in eyes and make communication with no word too just like Maxie did. Here is what Pillow and Chair say to each other with just eyes. “We will giving this freak person 100 more dollar and then if no tell we will beating to almost nothing left and then make tell before kill.”
So Pillow take 100 bill from wallet and handing it to Maxie and Maxie had looking at Pillow and Chair and is understand too eyes with no words so she telling them very fast before they get chance start beat him or her – because is very not clear if Maxie even though have fake wong like be man or woman – that Omar stay with person name Marco Svolo—yes, Steve, is sound like Marco Polo—on 468 Avenue A in Apartment 6F.
Maxie make big deep breathing when Pillow and Chair leave because for one second Maxie realize how close is coming get beat almost death.
Pillow and Chair then leaving bar White Swallow knowing where find Omar. Is maybe they excited or maybe nervous because they know they go find Omar at apartment of Marco and it will be time for working.
Is not they like working in fact they much rather betting horses but this is now job they must doing and sometimes is like any other job you having bad days and good days never know what expect.
Pillow and Chair take taxi to apartment of Marco Svolo. It sounding like Marco Polo, Pillow telling Chair. Taxi drive man tells Pillow and Chair that he knowing a man name Marco Polo, very funny man, that was real name, father like very much famous explorer so name boy Marco Polo. Was he Italian, Chair asking. Which Marco Polo, the taxi drive man asks, the explorer or man I knowing? Chair getting maybe not happy, saying everyone know explorer man is Italian, what about your man you knowing who has name Marco Polo? The taxi driver say “I don’t know.”
Maybe he was Chinese man, Pillow says, because Marco Polo was Italian who made Silk Road for going China? Is possible. Three men agree is possible. But then Chair says if man Chinese, he look Chinese. Pillow telling him never mind. Taxi brings them in front of Marco’s house where they will finding Omar and making refund for trouble of Lumer red Mercedes.
When Pillow and Chair knock on Marco door they are very surprise when door open.
Is very, very beautiful woman with most amazing hair and makeup, pretty face, red and green kimono, fingernail and toenail match pink. Is like vision of ideally woman on cover magazine only even more pretty and better body. Pillow and Chair making look at her then look at each other maybe they have wrong apartment but wanting talk to woman because so beautiful. But then woman ask them like make flirt. “What can I do for you big bad boys?” Except is man voice, so Pillow and Chair are understand very quick because they knowing Maxie is friend and Omar is now making know by everybody in En Why See gay life that he have no wang.
We are look for Marco and Omar, Pillow saying. Come in, come in, is Marco saying, I am just get ready for show tonight. Sit, Marco saying and point pink tip finger to black leather couch thing in messy living room. Would like drinking? Pillow and Chair looking at each other very surprise but sit on couch and ask for what Marco will giving them for drinking and Marco asks what wanting. Pillow asking scotch and Chair asking same.
So Marco pour drink and serve and sit down on chair and make cross leg so Mafia guys can see pretty leg on man. “I just getting ready for show tonight and I still have some making up must doing,” Marco says. “Is very labor intense get ready for show.”
Where is show, Chair is wanting know. Oh you not knowing? Marco seem surprise. At club own by your boss Santino, Mary Contrary.
HOLY SHIT is Chair and Pillow say both at same time almost spit drink. It’s YOU, Chair say, we have seeing you on staging there, is amazing, is you, FunnyBunny MoneyHoney!
Is big coincidence, yes and no. Because Pillow and Chair enforcing for Santino and Santino is own nightclubs include Mary Contrary where Marco Svolo is star act once every week with stage name FunnyBunny MoneyHoney.
But if you did not knowing who I am then why you coming visit, Marco telling Pillow and Chair. Then realizing maybe trouble and saying uh oh is problem …?
Yes, so sorry to telling you FunnyMoney, or should I calling you Marco is what you preferring? Is OK, you can using stage name for me, Marco saying. But then Chair not use any name because too difficult for wrap around Chair brain which is not very advance brain anyway.
Yes, is problem with friend Omar, Chair saying Marco with some maybe you say discomfort because Chair very much liking Marco as FunnyMoney, so very how you say, conflicted about this job and very much hope that no trouble with FunnyMoney.
Omar? FunnyMoney is making big surprise because not can imagining dickless Omar have trouble with Pillow, Chair or Santino because Marco is very close with Pillow and Chair boss Santino and is knowing everything and when I saying everything I meaning everything. And Santino knowing everything too, even knowing Omar story and even know who is Omar father Ali-Hooli. But very quick Marco realize if Omar in trouble must get rid of trouble or get rid of Omar because knowing what it is Pillow and Chair do Marco not wanting get between Pillow and Chair if they need making business with Omar. “Omar!” Marco call for Omar to come out of bedroom where he hide shame most often. When Omar come out Marco telling him: “Omar these two men need talking with you, make talking with them and telling them everything they needing know.”
“They can sucking my big dick,” Omar saying.
Pillow and Chair looking at each other not knowing get angry or feeling sad for man who has no wang but pretend he have big one and tell two very intimidate-looking men to sucking it. Marco telling Omar sitting down on chair near her, also face couch and seeing Pillow and Chair look at Omar crotch and making faces of almost pain and much pitying.
Omar sit down and Marco telling him now Omar must saying to gentlemen all things gentlemen want knowing right now with no messing up and no lie so no problem. Pillow and Chair liking hear that and now liking Marco even more than before because they seeing she helping them, and that was her goal of instruct Omar make very cooperation with two gentlemen.
Omar looking at Pillow and Chair and maybe like death-wishing saying them “sucking my big dick” again and Pillow and Chair thinking this person is wanting us killing him because even though not advanced in normal brain thinking they very smart in lizard-brain type way.
But before Pillow and Chair have to make decide what do about Omar and self-destruct, Marco say:
“OMAR YOU BLOODY ARAB IDIOT. You will treat these gentlemen with respect. They work for my boss and they must be treated with respect.” Marco monitoring Omar react to her commanding, not satisfy so continue. “Omar, if you DO NOT START TREATING THESE GENTLEMEN WITH RESPECT YOU WILL NOT GET THE SURGERY THAT MAXIE AND I ARE ARRANGING FOR YOU AND YOU WILL ALSO BE KILLED.” She had seen that Pillow had already notice prevalence of his items where he got name in messy living room and she knowing what probably about to happening. But Omar still not giving Marco and look reassuring that he will cooperating. So Marco continuing more. “Let me spell it out for you dickboy, this man is named Pillow and he is here to kill you if you don’t talk, and this man is named Chair and he is here to prevent me from intervening while Pillow is making sure you breathe two or three more times and then breathe no more.” Marco turned to Pillow and Chair and saying: “Am I right boys?”
Pillow and Chair taking sipping from scotch drinks and making nod yes both saying mixture of words, “Pretty much, yes, Marco, pretty much that is what happening here, is very much like you say.”
Omar then make calm face a little close eyes for one moment and make master of self-destruct impulsing. This giving Marco what is desiring. So Marco gives signal to Pillow and Chair for asking questions. Is can see that Chair is talking person and Pillow will be action person if business is coming to that.
“You stealing car of friend,” Chair telling Omar. “No is not true.” “Yes, you stealing car of doctor friend, is red Mercedes, you parking in our garage, you not come back so we make sell car to Russians very cheap, car gone, must buy new car for doctor friend.”
Marco very relieve because simple story and Omar no kill anyone is just car thieving. She saying: “Oh, is that all? Thank you for explain, Chair. This will be easy problem solving.”
Chair is not so relieve because he say “How Omar will pay? Is lot of money for Arab with no dick.” Marco tries how you say de-escalating any tensioning and say quietly and respectful to Chair, “please stop with no-dick talk, you just provoking bad reaction from him and we are here for business not making trouble, yes?” And Pillow making signal Chair too, to make de-escalating of tension. So Marco say “how much you lose between Russian buy and new car and making inconvenience? Chair saying 20 grand.
Marco saying they selling Mercedes to Russians for too low price so they must accepting lower than 20. Very smart, Marco brings bottle to coffee table and make new pouring of Chair and Pillow drink. She wait for their responding to her criticizing of their business. Chair saying 18. Marco say 15. Chair say 16 and Marco say OK. Marco bring two glasses to coffee table and pour for Marco and Omar and they make click with glasses for deal.
When we get money, Chair ask. Santino knows I good for it, Marco says. I call you every two weeks for next two months, four-thousand from each show, you come pick up and make earning goal, is all OK. Good? Good, is saying very relieve Pillow, no must work today.
While Marco going back to room make transforming into FunnyMoney HoneyBunny, Omar, Pillow and Chair sat in messy living room some awkward time touching fingers on glass of drinks and not look at each other. Chair want to try make conversation without make reference to Omar not have wang. “So Omar,” he say, and Pillow already ready for Chair saying something stupid making Omar angry and ruin deal, make wince, but instead Chair smart and say: “One thing I am not understand about car. You make car put in garage and leaving never coming back. Is very expensive car. Why you no try sell? I would buying red Mercedes from you brand new lot of cash you then go somewhere disappear never in New York again, no one ever finding you.” Pillow make shrug and Chair and Pillow looking at Omar wait for answer maybe. Omar speak:
“I am how you say fucking goat boy from spot on map in Mesopotamia,” is what Omar saying. “I am not very know well things of cars and bars. This all very new for me.”
“You have been all over world, I think you very smart man, you even finding apartment with big star.”
Omar is skeptic now.
“Marco is not big star, just freak like me.”
Pillow and Omar looking at each other.
“You have not seeing show?” Pillow asks.
“Why I see freak show?”
Chair says “Omar you must come to show with us tonight. Is fantastical show.”
FunnyMoney comes out room and hears this and saying, “Yes Omar that is very good idea. We all go. Chair, Pillow, you will be making like my bodyguard when I greeting crowd before show, that will be very perfect.”
So Pillow call for limo and four new friends going Mary Contrary. At club there is line around block wait for show FunnyMoney. “See Omar, Marco so famous people lining up for hour before door open make sure see show.”
It was truth. Open two months before, was most popular show in New York, even man Teflon Tom, is In Why See nightlife expert, say best show ever. Every gay biker, every gay guy likes to dress up as biker, every gay thug, every gay guy likes to dress up like thug in big line and cheer when FunnyMoney gets out of limo, with two bodyguards on her sides, and Omar behind. FunnyMoney goes to red rope and greeting fans letting them taking selfies and shaking hands and even signing a belly of one fat gay biker.
So they all going back stage and FunnyMoney telling Chair and Pillow what to do and Pillow so happy he not work that day no killing Omar he even smiling at direction. Doors open and crowd pours in some shouting already because that is why they coming to show for shouting is participatory spectacle, the audience is part of show and that is why is most popular show In Why See. Oh, sorry, you no understand yes, in NYC.
While crowd settle, men dress as waitress make serve drinks because is good show for drinking because of all shouting drinking making peoples more enthusiastic participatings. Everyone seating soon and bringing drinks and getting drunk and band coming on stage, funny band, just trombone, trumpet, clarinet and drums but funniest is tuba, big gold horn on small fat man. Peoples in audience whistle and then drummer comes out to sit and plays three beats and peoples start stomp and make demanding “Bring her out! Bring her out!”
Then drummer making eight beats for audience saying “Fun-ny Mon-ey Hon-ey Bun-ny” and that goes on for long time long enough for more drinking and drink order and even until audience peoples start saying OK OK OK OK NOW BRING HER OUT and that is when Chair comes to microphone to announce entrance of star so crowd start making wild howling and whistling.
“DO YOU WANT FUNNYMONEY HONEYBUNNY?” Chair shouts at crowd with some level of even aggression but that is good for him he make enjoying self. Crowd is crazy with wanting see FunnyMoney and Chair does what FunnyMoney told him and saying. “Then YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT RAAAAAAAAIN. YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT RAAAAAAAIN MONEY! ONLY WHEN THIS FLOOR IS COVERED WITH DOLLARS IS SHE COMING OUT!” And the peoples in the front are yelling YEOOOOOOH while they throwing dollar bills on stage and the people in the back are passing dollar bills to the peoples in the front for making cover stage with dollar bills and frenzy in nightclub is building and Pillow and Chair are now on either side of stage pretend bodyguard having biggest smiles because they have seen show from back and now they are seeing show from stage is even better and they even see boss Santino in back booth with hat and sunglasses and he giving them thumb up and that making them even more happy that boss is happy and the screaming gets louder and the stage is cover with dollar bills and the lights go down and out coming FunnyMoney and …
Crowd exploding like wolves in cartoon with pretty woman and making whistles cat calls say ooh baby ooh baby baby you da hottest mama in all NYC and jump up and down and stomping and one man with doo-rag on head like biker he get up on table and fall backward like he fainting and friends catching him and people wearing glasses with eyes popping out on springs just like in cartoons and still money is thrown on stage and then the horns start playing so loud you cannot even believe they play song LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU and you may not believing this but it is true that Marco/FunnyMoney is singer as excellent as Sinatra with Sinatra voice in costume of woman more beautiful than Marilyn and voice is not low is not ridiculous is just great voice and whole nightclub of gay men is make pretend they fall in love with FunnyMoney the way French Foreign Legion men fall in love with Garbo as soon as they seeing her in nightclub and they make pretend whistle and even make pretend fighting over her and there is more drinking and more drink ordering and FunnyMoney waving to Santino and he waving back and she pointing to Pillow and Chair and he making big smile and then she pointing to Omar in back booth and Santino give him thumb up too and Omar give thumb up back and he knowing Marco not just another freak and he sudden realize he is not freak either he is in nightclub full of freak so freak is normal he finally finding his world. If only father Ali-Hooli could seeing him now.
Closing song is theme from Sound of Music, so FunnyBunny singing “Climb Every Mountain / Swim Every Stream / Climb Every Mountain …. TIL YOU FIND YOUR DREAM” and then machine on ceiling making golden confetti falling from ceiling, so much confetti it filling air and falling falling falling over everything in nightclub and waitress giving black things plastic to Pillow and Chair and they scooping up money from stage in big garbage bags and they give high five and run backstage to drinking champagne with FunnyMoney, Santino and new friend Omar that Pillow did not have to kill and Pillow so happy seeing Omar that he kissing him on cheek. “Suck my dick, you faggot,” Omar say to Pillow after he kissing him and Pillow say, “Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever,” and they all laughing and laughing.
Kamal gave me his card but I can’t find it. I tend to lose business cards. I put them in my pocket and next thing you know they’re gone. I left Starbucks and went back to my voting clerk duties in the community room of an apartment complex, where I helped people cast their ballots through the rest of the day, then sorted and counted ballots and took them to a parking lot in the darkness of the autumn night, where all the precincts in the area loaded their results onto large trucks that drove them to the county registrar’s office in Norwalk. By then Donald Trump had been elected president.
But all good. Right?