The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

slipping and stumbling

with 3 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The letter arrived just the other day, a demand from certain agencies of the government, demanding a tithe be paid to them. The billing they submitted was accurate and fair, as the error in calculation and omission of a particular document to the bureaucratic process was the fault of my own sloth and sloppy record keeping, and perhaps treasonous given the foreign wars being fought by our nation.

This debt and obligation was not what unbalanced my thoughts, as “into each life a little rain must fall” and your humble narrator is no stranger to poverty and privation. No, it was the hand written note that was attached to the official missive that set my mind ablaze, and torments me when I think about it.

I found myself wandering about the Newtown Pentacle, and was soon in a place of titan architecture defined by those sky flung monuments and cyclopean aspirations called Tower Town.

from wikipedia

Humans attempt to consciously conceal aspects of themselves from others due to shame, or from fear of violence, rejection, harrassment, loss of acceptance, or loss of employment. On a deeper level, humans attempt to conceal aspects of their own self which they are not capable of incorporating psychologically into their conscious being. Families sometimes maintain “family secrets”, obliging family members never discuss disagreeable issues concerning the family, either with those outside the family and sometimes even within the family. Many “family secrets” are maintained by using a mutually agreed-upon construct (an official family story) when speaking with outside members. Agreement to maintain the secret is often coerced through “shaming” and reference to family honor. The information may even be something as trivial as a recipe.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Vast and sterile, Tower Town is erected along the so called Center Blvd. in Long Island City, and houses thousands of nervous but otherwise wholesome citizens. Their community treasure is the great littoral parkland that surround their homes, a former industrialized rail terminal on the East River called Gantry Plaza State Park.

A tenuous sense of change and dangerous possibility hangs about, but this clear eyed population of homesteaders remain steadfast in their commitment to this place, and desire a flowering of urban community to arrive. For many years, this has been described as the “next big thing” by Real Estate interests, a sound investment and ground floor investment in New York’s newest residential neighborhood. With the arrival of the second phase of Tower Town and its attendant industry of noisome construction, a disquieting ripple of apprehension affects the lucky few whose economic might has enabled the first wave.

LeCorbusier’s United Nations building now faces out on the grandest realization of his vision” was what I was thinking when I heard that horrible croaking voice again, the hallucination that something was calling my name… Addled by my paranoid fantasies about the enigmatic notation on that official post I received and the imaginings they had spawned, I became light headed, and found myself staggering away from their facade.

from wikipedia

Once the psychopath has identified a victim, the manipulation phase begins. During the manipulation phase, a psychopath may create a persona or mask, specifically designed to ‘work’ for his or her target. A psychopath will lie to gain the trust of their victim. Psychopaths’ lack of empathy and guilt allows them to lie with impunity; they don’t see the value of telling the truth unless it will help get them what they want.

As interaction with the victim proceeds, the psychopath carefully assesses the victim’s persona. The victim’s persona gives the psychopath a picture of the traits and characteristics valued in the victim. The victim’s persona may also reveal, to an astute observer, insecurities or weaknesses the victim wishes to minimize or hide from view. As an ardent student of human behavior, the psychopath will then gently test the inner strengths and needs that are part of the victim’s private self and eventually build a personal relationship with the victim.

The persona of the psychopath – the “personality” the victim is bonding with – does not really exist. It is built on lies, carefully woven together to entrap the victim. It is a mask, one of many, custom-made by the psychopath to fit the victim’s particular psychological needs and expectations. The victimization is predatory in nature; it often leads to severe financial, physical or emotional harm for the individual. Healthy, real relationships are built on mutual respect and trust; they are based on sharing honest thoughts and feelings. The victim’s mistaken belief that the psychopathic bond has any of these characteristics is the reason it is so successful.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dragging my feet, I adjusted the iPhone playlist that I was listening to at the beginning of this shambling pedestrian journey, and chose a more upbeat soundtrack. Triggering a live recording of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane from Carnegie Hall, but it just made me slip further away. Instead, the option for a playlist heavy on metal was called on. In that withered bladder which beats within my chest, something akin to a fluttering spark was felt, an unfamiliar emotional thing called a feeling.

Often, the music of one’s youth fills the mind of old men with memories. In my case, I was always a miserable cur and socially backward miscreant, a sweat slicked and corpulent pariah convinced that the world had given him a raw deal. From an adult perspective and what I now know of the world, that child should have dropped to the ground and thanked heaven that he was born an American in the 20th century. Nevertheless, the powerful narrative of the songs in this playlist awaken a part of your humble narrator that is not lukewarm and which has been long thought dead.

Violent fantasies and elaborate lists of prior enemies began to manifest, and I day dreamed the destruction of my pursuers as I lead a Napoleonic army of American Peasantry toward capturing some modern bastille, ignoring the fact that sometimes I can’t even convince my dog to follow me.

from wikipedia

Grandiose delusions or delusions of grandeur are principally a subtype of delusional disorder but could possibly feature as a symptom of schizophrenia and manic episodes of bipolar disorder. Grandiose delusions are characterized by fantastical beliefs that one is famous, omnipotent, or otherwise very powerful. The delusions are generally fantastic, often with a supernatural, science-fictional, or religious bent (for example, belief that one is an incarnation of Jesus Christ).

Grandiose delusions are distinct from grandiosity, in that the sufferer does not have insight into his loss of touch with reality.

In colloquial usage, one who is said to have ‘delusions of grandeur’ is considered to be one who overestimates one’s own abilities, talents or situation. This is generally due to excessive pride, rather than any actual delusions.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Along Borden Avenue, I retreated from the Newtown Creek and Tower town, back past the Pulaski Bridge and LIRR tracks, stumbling a few times on the shattered cement of these industrial streets. Unfamiliar sensations were brought forward by the litany of defiance and anger I was utilizing to deafen myself to that insistent gurgling voice which always sounded as if it was just over my shoulder. No matter how loud I set the volume, however, I still perceived its presence.

from wikipedia

Anger is an emotion. The physical effects of anger include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.[1] Some view anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of harm. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force. The English term originally comes from the term anger of Old Norse language. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences.

The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times in public acts of aggression. Humans and non-human animals for example make loud sounds, attempt to look physically larger, bare their teeth, and stare. Anger is a behavioral pattern designed to warn aggressors to stop their threatening behavior. Rarely does a physical altercation occur without the prior expression of anger by at least one of the participants. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of “what has happened to them,” psychologists point out that an angry person can be very well mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The note on the letter, you see, warned me about particular investigations in the neighborhoods surrounding the Newtown Creek, and that I not delve too deeply into certain things, lest I attract more unwanted attention upon myself and draw the ire of that which might exist down here.

It’s receipt made me first believe it to be a prank or mistake, but investigation revealed it to be legitimate. In typical fashion, I retreated into denial and isolation- as detailed here, and here. Several hours on, all I knew was rage and a helpless resignation was setting in, and I would need to strike a bargain with it if ever solace would find a home in my thoughts again.

Perhaps there was something I could have done to avert this, been more careful, or just never noticed the thrice damned Newtown Creek.


Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this?

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] Slipping and stumbling, my denial and self imposed hermitage blossomed into anger and rage, surely- the note signed by Gilman was nothing of the sort. The same agencies which have directed their gaze upon me are attempting to rub my nose in their power and my inability to react. […]

  2. […] extant allies of the dead man whose influence and reach extend into the federal government and modernity itself who wish me to remain silent on the […]

  3. […] extant allies of the dead man whose influence and reach extend into the federal government and modernity itself who wish me to remain silent on the […]

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