We all go a little mad sometimes, says Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Mad the way I am feeling after writing and instead of taking my usual walk afterward I went back to bed even after drinking three cups of coffee.
Norman Bates: "We all go a little mad sometimes."
That day of fatigue had returned. Back in the bed, I fell asleep to the sound of Vertigo playing quietly on DVD...
Awake again at 8:30 a.m. I shut off Vertigo at the point where Stewart is dragging Novak up the stairs and he’s not afraid...of heights anymore. Somewhat refreshed, but not completely, I went back to the office and re-read what I had written at 4 a.m. Made edits (yet again!) and discovered for a change I liked what had been written.
One very long, useless passage was subsequently cut where Travis remembers going into Compton Cafeteria on the night queens and queers fought SFPD after police raided the cafeteria because the owners hated gays. All that removed because it made Travis a lot older than he’s supposed to be in the novel. So ends the name of peculiar towns where queenish boys arrive to San Francisco from Hatchachubbee, Sugar Tit, Possum Trot and Dicks Peak to fight that bloody night in the Tenderloin 3 years before Stonewall takes place in New York...
Afterward and on the internet, I came across a name, Michael Ryan, on Danfling’s canceled soap message board. Ryan played a day role in EDGE OF NIGHT. Since I was so fond of that show for 1/3 of my life I wanted to know what Michael looked like and the storyline Michael had played.
I googled Michael Ryan and got another Michael W. Ryan... a religious cult leader and convicted murderer and white supremacist. Hmmm...after reading a tiny bit I was hooked. I went first to Wikipedia for a quick summary but, of course, wanted more detail. According to Wikipedia, “Ryan was the leader of a small, anti-government group that occupied a compound near Rulo, Nebraska, in the early 1980s. He and his group of followers had loose ties to Posse Comitatus and links to the Christian Identity movement. His teachings included the supremacy of the white race, the inherent evil of Jews, and a distrust of all established earthly authority, including governments. He and his followers carried out months of burglary under the cover of night. Reselling the items obtained by theft supported the activities of the group financially and built up weapons and supplies they believed would be needed for the imminent battle of Armageddon, which they assumed would occur in the form of a race war.”
But it was the murder of twenty-six-year-old James Thimm (who was eventually stomped to death by Ryan after three days of torture), not that the murder of 5-year-old Luke Stice didn’t disturb me as well (Luke was considered a mongrel and Ryan ordered his death), that took my breath away. On the www, I read every article I could find detailing Thimm’s torturous murder. A most chilling death that makes you want to cry and I did so⎯silently:
“Defendant (Michael Ryan) instructed Thimm to disrobe and to bend over a farrowing crate. Defendant then told Thimm that he was going to be sexually assaulted with a shovel handle. Defendant then inserted a shovel handle into a grease cartridge and told the men that Thimm had not done a good enough job with the goat and that Yahweh wanted Thimm probed. Defendant then inserted the shovel handle about 5 or 6 inches into Thimm's rectum and probed Thimm for about 30 seconds. When Thimm would not stop fidgeting, defendant tied Thimm's arms to the farrowing crate with baling wire.
Defendant then informed the men that Yahweh had said that he wanted the handle inserted between 8 and 10 inches and had given defendant the order in which each man was to probe Thimm. A tape measure was then used, and the shovel handle was marked. While defendant had the handle inserted in Thimm's rectum, he told Thimm, I ought to shove this thing up to your heart...”
When you can't do anything else...paint. It doesn't matter what it is or any good. The result is calming and madness goes away.