This Blogbook entry is long overdue. The reasons for this are many, varied, complicated, and mostly personal. Nevertheless, during this period of seemingly little activity, by intention, I have been toiling away in near obscurity completely reimagining and re-working our February 4th homage to David Lynch. Most of you will no longer recognize this piece because it has changed so drastically. What started out as a minor short story has now been rebirthed as a full-on novella of experimental fiction for your exploration, dissection, and analysis. Whether this new version provides the same level of absurdity, perversion, and menace as the original will be up to our readers to decide. Thus, whenever you have some spare time on your hands, and you will need plenty of it, please revisit our modest ode to Mr. Lynch and let us know what you think.
So, with that bit of news now out of the way, let’s get down to today’s weighty business. The dawning of a new age of femininity, open-mindedness, creativity, sentimentality, vulnerability, and wisdom is upon us. In rightful anticipation of this momentous occasion, all of humanity must kneel and humbly bow its collective heads so that we may bring you the moment the entire world has eagerly been looking forward to for many generations, the unveiling of Raven Vanguard’s newest top-secret prodigy and superwoman. Hers is an epic saga, one which rightly deserves to be richly told in its entirety without censorship or decontextualization.
Now, without further adieu, introducing our unrivaled whiz kid, creative savant, certifiable Luna-chick, and all-around designing woman of action, the poetic, multi-lingual, imaginative, and clairvoyant risk-taker, and boundary-pusher extraordinaire, the sensational Dame Dakota Lyn (with only one “n” and no “e” at the end) Nesselbush.
Yes, our She happens to be an honorary Knight, a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. What’s that? BS you say? I must admit that I would have called bullshit on this one myself had it not been for a photograph now sitting on Dakota’s desk here in the office of Dakota having dinner with Kate and Bill at Annabel’s in London sometime last summer.
Dakota first appeared to us (well, to Brooke anyway) in a psychedelically-enhanced, between-worlds' dream state during the prior year’s Harvest Moon. For those of you who remain mentally shaken and stupefied following your harrowing journey through our Lynchian opus, we are referring to the Harvest Moon of 2017, that full moon which was last seen rising high in the sky on October 5th. Months later (earlier this month to be exact), She physically materialized before us, descending gently from the heavens above veiled by mystery and enshrouded in a blinding aura of shimmering, crystalline gold, proclaiming the beginning of her bodily existence with Raven Vanguard. She, now standing gorgeously before us, disguised as an indecently beautiful Black Forest nymph (Vanessa Ives is that you?), arrives like an all-important breath of fresh air out of the mysterious mountains, restless woodlands, and sun-drenched valleys of those infamous Southlands found nestled within New York’s western-most borders.
Dakota recently completed a grueling and interminably long course of academic, philosophical, and spiritual studies and tribulations in a remote subtropical land, an otherworldly oasis of sorts, in the City once thought to be too beautiful to be burned. She, our heroine, receiving the highest of accolades from that venerable, but shadowy, institution of enlightenment stationed in the deep-south, occupied by a den of rebellious creatives, the Savannah College of Art and Design, a University of the highest order, known the world over for populating this planet with artistic visionaries of the best sort.
Is She more Raven or Vanguard? The passage of time will most certainly tell us. But, until her incalculable grandeur is fully realized, expressed, and revealed to all of humanity, here are a few more classified tidbits of the Dakota legend, in other words, her origin myth. However, before venturing any further, a few words of advice, please do not confuse our She with Ursula or Olinka, although, like them, our She is someone who must be obeyed at all costs. Also, do not draw any connections whatsoever between our She and the one imagined by 19th Century novelist, H. Rider Haggard. You see, Rider's She was a figment, whereas ours is as real and undeniable as the Devil herself. Being candid, our She is incarnate, She is the authentic OG.
Same as Brooke, Dakota is both Alpha and Omega, part virtuoso, part tattooed voodoo-priestess, part conjuring-mystic, part Valkyrie maiden, and part artistic enchantress. Also, like Brooke, Dakota is a nomadic world traveler, but, unlike Brooke, Dakota is also an international soccer star of some vague and dubious notoriety. Moreover, unlike Brooke, Dakota has not yet fully mastered the culinary arts. However, in October of 2015, Dakota did take the 1st Prize of 100,000,000 yen at the Japanese Culinary Competition at New York’s prestigious International Culinary Institute for her transcendent take on a traditional miso soup by reexamining the ingredients in the usual dashi stock and by floating a piece of marinated black cod in the center of the bowl. Lastly, unlike Brooke, thankfully, Dakota does not have a professional stage name; in case you missed it, Brooke’s nom de guerre, curiously enough, is Peep.
Dakota has left her indelible mark in exotic, and far away locales such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Bagamoyo. She has traveled extensively throughout parts of England, France, China, Japan, Tanzania, Italy, Africa, Spain, Wales, Monaco, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. No doubt, our She has been running from something. And judging by the occasional look of terminal shock in her eyes, this thing, that She is perpetually attempting to outrun and steer clear of, must be utterly cataclysmic in its very essence.
Credible rumor has it that while in Tokyo, Dakota single-handedly reinvented and altered the future course of street culture and couture fashion in Harajuku and Shibuya with a retro-styled return to gothic, Lolita, Angura Kei, cyberpunk, Dolly Kei, and Dakota-DIY. However, Dakota’s time in Tokyo was not entirely without mishap and global controversy. All of it beginning with the bizarre discovery of a dead body hung upside down in the Sea of Trees. Indeed, believable rumor has it, that She immediately left town in the wake of its discovery. Although not until after leading police on a high-speed chase through the crowded streets of Tokyo on a fully restored 1948 Vincent Black Shadow during the hallowed second day of Sanja Matsuri or Three Shrine Festival causing the crowds to disperse wildly in all directions during the marching of the Mikoshi shrines. According to our investigative team, satellite footage, which they have examined, confirms all of this, even the existence of the upside down corpse hanging conspicuously like a work of art from the most ancient cedar tree in the malevolent tangle of moss-covered woods known as Aokigahara.
As we dug deeper into Dakota’s background, Brooke and I went from moments of spiritual rapture to mere elation to puzzlement to mind-boggling bafflement, but yet there was something terrifyingly original about her. On top of that, She scares the living shit out of me.
As best we were able to piece together during Dakota’s intensive pre-employment screening (this included an exhausting three-day extended polygraph examination, during which Dakota manifested a life-sized holographic image of Christ, complete with the telltale wounds of his crucifixion) was that her troubles began in the tiny, dimly-lit alleys of the Golden Gai. Supposedly, Dakota found herself cloistered in the magical land of Shinjuku in the company of other artistic types enjoying a rambunctious karaoke pastiche of Chicago blues, Parisienne jazz vocal standards, early UK punk, Eastern European pagan folk balladry, and speedball flamenco (according to Dakota, a more refined cross between speed and death metal).
We suspect sobriety or the lack thereof, and social intemperance played a part here, although Dakota denies it, and the Tokyo police investigation was inconclusive on this point. Here, She allegedly encountered a madcap, androgynous extraterrestrial being in a kawaii-styled hostess club (Iggy the Eskimo is that you?) who led her and a quintet of scantily clad Japanese salarymen in all manner of karaoke-styled debauchery, the likes of which had never been seen before or since anywhere on the Isles of Japan. Scuttlebutt on the dark web and the deep web proclaims that their half-naked encore, featuring something akin to the unholy swagger of James Brown shouting swampy Delta blues during the middle of a 1970s Bobby Akers Pentecostal revival, specifically, one of his eccentric Holy Ghost indulgences (think the Black Keys channeling the spirit of Junior Kimbrough during an orgy taking place in the middle of a backwoods Appalachian family reunion), has suddenly erupted into the stuff of urban legend.
There is undoubtedly a much more troubling and profoundly layered story in there somewhere. Our private investigator, who continues fact-checking against creditable sources and interviewing surviving witnesses, endlessly reassures us of this point and foretells of salacious escapades and freakishness without precedent in modern times. To this day, Dakota will only speak of her travels throughout the Orient in tight-lipped metaphors while continually and furtively looking back over her shoulders for someone, something, or, perhaps, even a supernatural phenomenon, none of which are ever, ever there.
Wes Anderson recently paid a visit to our Raven Vanguard Studios wishing to discuss his interest in making Dakota’s exploits in Japan the subject of a future underground stop-motion animation film (Wes’ current working title for his new photoplay is Tokyo Drifter (although I wonder now that Wes has had time to think this through if he wouldn’t be more inclined to change the film’s title to Tokyo Grifter)). To boot, I must confess to having no idea whatsoever to the veracity of Wes’ claim that Dakota successfully performed an exorcism ritual on a suspicious-looking goat while She was traveling through Kitale, Kenya on a UNICEF mission in 2014.
According to Wes, who did not actually witness the excruciating nine-day purification ceremony, Dakota miraculously expelled a three-headed rainbow-colored demon from the bedeviled hollow-horned mammal. What ultimately peaked Wes’ interest in Dakota was not just her adventures in Japan, but her magnificent ego and the mystifying manner in which She finally bested the Old Testament beast. In shockingly obsessive and deviant detail, Wes was effusive in describing our Dakota as the quintessential example of the new generation of Mean Girl; they, in particular, her, being inhospitable and pompously self-absorbed by nature, keep on keeping on, coming back again and again like some wildly possessed boomerang, or more like a gigantic, unstoppable avalanche of narcissistic snootiness. Wes’ overwrought tirade seemed endless, and all the while he blathered on and on about Dakota he seemingly took an almost fetishistic solace in the voodooistic talisman he was furiously rubbing between his two uncontrollably shaking hands.
However, at this point in our conversation, Wes became implacably spooked by something, someone, or perhaps some disorienting transmission from beyond and abruptly bolted from our Studios with nary an explanation. That evening Wes disappeared without a trace only to be found weeks later mostly naked, bug-eyed, and strung out holed up inside an abandoned Catholic church in Vaduz, Liechtenstein clutching a badly worn polaroid photograph of Dakota and with no memory whatever of the preceding month or the present-day whereabouts of his circumspect talisman.
We have since learned so many other heartwarming, disarming, and disturbing things about Dakota’s life here on planet Earth, many of which cannot be published on a family-oriented blog like this one. Still, we have developed a profound respect for her versatility, artistry, and generosity. For instance, her time spent as a teenager in the Austrailian outback going walkabout undertaking the six-month-long aboriginal rite-of-passage in the Simpson Desert surviving on a diet consisting of nothing more than bush tomatoes, bunya nuts, wattle seeds, Kakadu and Illawarra plums, Muntari berries, quandongs (native peaches), and lilly pillies. As Dakota fondly recalls her time spent in the Desert, She explains how it was there that She first learned about the benefits of hallucinogenic horticulture and ethnobotanicals, which She has now turned into a flourishing side-career as an author of world-wide renown teaching others about the healing attributes of psychedelic botany.
Not surprisingly, Dakota is a lover and connoisseur of many of life’s finest things. Dakota loves music, mysterious and quarrelsome gunslingers, cutting-edge fashion, darkening skies, moral conundrums, bustling cities, the SHE films of Ursula Andress and Olinka Berova, winter white truffles from Piedmont or Alba, Electrik Alice memorabilia, vintage café racers, black patent leather ballet boots with 8-inch heels, architectural history, amateur Icelandic 8mm snuff films, graffiti and street art, communicating with the dead, large gatherings of gearheads, premeditated and deliberate acts of vengeance, Yubari King Melons, circus clowns, organic donuts, kabuki theater, occult art, slow-roasted Pileated Woodpecker smothered in infused white truffle oil, black shoes, combat boots, and Magick, 1930s French fetish photography, black market coffee, Chinese acrobats, craft beer, medieval restraint devices, Japanese modern art, tools of the devil and other devilish things, chai lattes, Bedouin sword dancing, Spring fava beans in their pods, Russian avant-garde film posters (pre-Stalin), 1950s mail-order pornography, inflatable pool toys, and some guy known to both INTERPOL and the Swedish Authorities by his alias, Domenic. My contacts at the Vatican tell me that because of Domenic’s prior association with Electrik Alice, and his extreme distaste for no less than seven of the Ten Commandments, his dossier is classified as top-secret and is encyclopedic in its length and detail. It seems that he has made a career out of being a naughty, naughty boy.
Most of you may be wondering, and rightfully so, how someone like myself, a defrocked altar boy (my childhood symbol of shame), could develop such high-ranking contacts at Saint Peter’s Basilica. At this point in the Dakota tale, we should probably come clean and confess that Dakota’s polygraph examiner also happens to be an ayahuasca medicine woman from the deepest parts of the Rainforest who has perfected an entheogenic truth serum. This bewildering brew is the current rage among Hollywood celebrities, religious folk, carnies, and marauding Eastern-European time bandits. You see, ever since Dakota manifested the image of Christ, Dakota has developed quite a devout following among the Sunday morning mass crowd, and along with it, Raven Vanguard’s popularity with Pope Francis has soared to the heavens. And Dakota’s most recent and oft-repeated manifestation of Christ walking alongside Charlie the Unicorn and the Sister Witches from Oz while on their way to a magical resurrection high atop Candy Mountain has only served to increase Raven Vanguard's pharmacological cachet in Rome.
It should probably come as no shock to those practitioners of 19th Century Spiritualism among us, that Dakota is also a skillful table-tipper and talking board enthusiast; otherwise known as Quija Boards by those who don’t know any better. And, by the way, the name of this particular goddamn board is pronounced wid-juh (wiːdʒə), not fucking WEE-jee, you posers with Hasbro planchettes. Sorry, a pet peeve of mine. Enough said, moving on. Please pardon the intrusion.
Back to the point of the preceding paragraph. Ever since Dakota manifested her presence at Raven Vanguard, there has been a dramatic uptick in strange unexplainable happenings inside our pre-Civil War era Studios. Some might even consider these peculiar goings-on to be occurrences of paranormal activity. Now that I have given this more thought, I believe this most likely explains why Mr. Anderson took flight from our Studios so suddenly.
Getting back to the crux of this anecdote; a long fucking complicated mess of a story short, on Friday, April 13th, I returned to the Studios after meeting with a Client on a significant hospitality project and walked into the area of our Studios we affectionately refer to as the Ravens’ Nest. Here, I found Dakota in Lotus Pose sitting inside a circle of animal skulls, surrounded by a collection of concave and funhouse mirrors and dressed like she had just come from a shopping spree at San Francisco's Dolls Kill boutique, swaying to and fro in prayerful meditation pounding out the devil’s sermon at light speed in the code of Morse on a medieval-looking contraption, clearly transmitting a message to an out of this world dimension. Unexpectedly, the sky darkened, golf ball sized hail started to rain down from the heavenly province above hammering our windows and breaking glass with shards of it flying in all directions, but mostly in mine. Then Dakota began doing this Linda Blair type twisty thing with her neck and I, like Wes, tore ass out of our Studios not to return for almost a week. And, also like Wes, afflicted with amnesia and no recall at all of where I had been or what I had done.
So take this additional bit of meaningless information with a grain of salt, because we have been unable to either verify or dispute Dakota’s claim in this regard. Dakota is close with Eva Green of Penny Dreadful fame. Eva knows Tim Burton; whether Eva and Burton are dating or not is unimportant. What is important here is the fact that Dakota and Eva may be co-starring in Burton’s upcoming black and white zombie film. However, Dakota’s lawyers just confirmed that contract talks with Tim Burton Productions have died down recently as the result of an ongoing squabble relating to the adequacy of Dakota’s compensation in light of what Dakota’s lawyers have characterized as excessive amounts of onscreen nudity.
STOP EVERYTHING! We just received a mostly indecipherable telegram from our private investigator having something to do with Dakota’s recent travels through Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. Apparently, but please keep in mind that we have yet to hear Dakota’s version of what transpired there, a skirmish of sorts, in reality, as described by our investigator, a knock-down-drag-out melee took place involving Dakota, her friend Domenic, poison-tipped darts, and a quartet of Katoeys, aka Thai Ladyboys, inside a Bangkok after-hours nightclub. Allegedly, what started out like some bizarre reenactment of American Astronaut’s hey boy, hey boy dance sequence (as seen here)
quickly escalated, without warning of any kind, into something much darker, more primitive, hedonistic, and feral, feeling quite like the Dance to the Death sequence in Le Brasier Ardent when all pandemonium started breaking loose (as seen here).
Beyond this, the facts are sketchy, as are Dakota's reasons for even being in the area of the Golden Triangle. Especially since we had been led to believe that She was, at that time, on vacation in the Swiss Alps with her Family with plans to ascend the Matterhorn’s Lion ridge without making use of any form of climbing ropes or devices. According to our investigator, photographs, and articles appearing in various Thai newspapers verify that an incident of some consequence did take place involving considerable property damage and injuries to non-participating bystanders. More to follow on this sordid affair after we do some additional fact checking with Bangkok police.
Dakota’s many creative talents include photography, graphic design, painting, illustration, pen and ink, spray painting (which reminds me to follow up on what appears to be a still open warrant for Dakota’s arrest after she purportedly spray painted an iconic pornographic symbol on an unnamed public building in Moscow). Dakota is also an ardent practitioner of various extreme forms of ancient and aboriginal body art, modification, and mutilation, such as tattooing, piercing, tongue splitting, mummification, hair dyeing, neck stretching, ritual scarification, and Chinese foot binding.
She now walks among us. In fact, without a fraction of doubt, She is indeed the one. Praise be. As further validation of the importance of our discovery to the betterment of humankind, Dakota has recently promised to reveal to us the precise location of Christ’s tomb. Praise be, under her eye. This sounds like the beginning of another fantastic adventure, a carnival freak show, the magical mystery tour, the journey to the center of the mind, a magic carpet ride until we’re knockin’ on heaven’s door. Yet, one question still lingers, her fatal flaws and what to do about them? Our She is deeply disturbed and, for no apparent physiological reason, she is also hungry and sleepy all of the time, but exercising our better judgment, we will leave these unsavory topics for another day.
A final few words, and all kidding aside, Dakota is truly emblematic of the bewitching and provocative female badass that we embrace with open arms here at Raven Vanguard. One who lives her life entirely unburdened by her past while adventurously creating art in the present without fear of the future or whatever the future might bring. Please join us in welcoming Dakota to our Raven Vanguard family. Brooke and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with someone of Dakota’s character and talents. We can assure you that it will not take long for Dakota to positively make her presence felt in the global arts and design community. In fact, so many good things are immediately in store. But, since nothing is ever as it seems in her world, stay tuned.
Let’s get right into our Raven’s Mind-Bending Jukebox for April 2018, Dakota Edition. Which means, at least for today anyway, that the commonplace rules of polite society do not apply; you see, our She is a rulemaker and a rulebreaker but what She most certainly is not is a rule follower. So with that in mind, please remember that our Jukebox loosely adheres to the rhyme, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe. However, the structure of this unique Dakota edition is more freeform with very little, if any, structure.
Track No.1, something old, Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, released in 1963 on the album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-up Hearts
Track No. 2, another old one, The Lady Barber by Lynn Castle, released as a single in 1967 b/w Rose-Colored Corner
Track No. 3, another old one, from 1961, Ann Margret’s Bill Bailey screen test (why this, you ask? One word – PERSONALITY!)
Track No. 4, something new (relatively speaking), the Lounge Lizards’ The First and Royal Queen, from their album Queen of All Ears, released in 1998. John Lurie actually wrote this song to celebrate Dakota’s then-upcoming 2nd Birthday. According to Dakota, her Father plays bass clarinet on this track, he is close with Lurie and was one of the founding members of the illustrious Lizards
Track No. 5, another new one, a live version of Sevdaliza’s track Human off of her album Ison released in 2017
Track No. 6, another new one, Matangi, the title track of M.I.A.’s 2013 album
Track No. 7, another new one, Haley Heynderickx’s Untitled God Song from her 2018 album I Need to Start a Garden (Dakota’s Sister plays bass on this track)
Here’s another live track of Haley and Dakota’s Sister.
Track No. 8, the song is Sonny Lester’s Daughter of the Nile from 1963, but strangely enough, the video that we are linking you to comes directly out of our private investigator’s file on Dakota.
Track No. 9, another new one, The Focus Group’s Kinky Korner Club off of their album released in May 2013 titled The Elektrik Karousel
So, here’s the thing, the video for this track also comes out of our private investigator’s file on Dakota. However, I found this frightening video inside an old rusting film canister that had Brooke’s name written on the yellowing label affixed to the film reel. Very little in life shocks me, but I was utterly taken aback after watching this video, so much so that I just told Brooke our wedding is off. I can rightly guess that this how and when Brooke acquired her nickname, Peep. Too vile to contemplate!
Track No. 10, Dju Ya Feza, initially released in 1983 on the album titled Noir et Blanc by Zazou, Bikaye, and CY1. There is another Dakota connection to this particular track. Remember the goat that Dakota exorcised while in Kenya? Well, that goat belonged to one of the percussionists that played on this track. It indeed is a small world.
And closing out this Dakota edition of Raven’s Mind-Bending Jukebox is Track No. 11 by The Clash, Guns of Brixton, off of their album London Calling released in December 1979. You guessed it, another Dakota connection. Dakota’s Mother’s long lost Brother is Clash drummer Topper Headon.
Admittedly, over the past couple of months, we have been slackers with our Vanguardist of the Month acknowledgment. In the next few weeks, we hope to return with another Blogbook entry identifying our Vanguardists for February, March, April, and May.
Signing out on behalf of Brooke, Dakota, and myself, until next time, hallelujah.
Postscript April 30th
The events of this morning probably shouldn’t have come as much of a shock to me, but I readily admit that my soul has been shaken to its very core. Brooke merely shrugs it off as just another "I told you so Pookah Bear" moment (please don't ask, the moniker alone is humiliation enough). You see, Brooke now holds me entirely responsible for the decision to welcome Dakota into our life and business. That is easy for Brooke to say now that she permanently adorns her neckline with a holy crucifix, one that was anointed with sacramental oils sometime in the Middle Ages, and she literally covers her throat every day with pungent necklaces made of fermented Allium sativum. Being totally honest, not to be outdone in the self-preservation department, I confess to having an application pending for a New York Full Conceal Carry Permit (although I hesitate to admit to being more than a little nervous about the ongoing background checks into my past by the FBI, NYS Police, and Buffalo Police as part of the pistol permitting process).
So, getting back to this morning’s bombshell – just past dawn, Dakota bursts into our Studios with a head full of newly dyed blue hair (looks fantastic by the way - see photo below), a very nasty attitude, a loaded 9mm pistol, and a three pages long out-of-the-question list of demands. The reason I shouldn’t be surprised by this outbreak of aggression – early last week, Dakota insisted that Brooke and I address her as the Golden Child whenever we speak with her. Insufferable as this particular demand was, and putting her hubris aside, Brooke and I nevertheless decided to appease the Golden Child because her command was seemingly limited to conversations taking place within the walls of our Studios. How very wrong we were.
So instead of recounting each and every single one of Dakota’s latest bizarre and ludicrous demands, I will simply highlight those demands that we conceded to in an attempt to make the Golden One happy. First, we agreed to erect a jeweled shrine in her honor, to adorn it with freakish and unsettling things, and to make cash offerings and stuffed animal sacrifices to her every day, even when She is taking the day off. For the curious among you, her shrine looks like some mutant mishmash of Santeria, Bayou Voodoo, and Pagan Witchcraft. Second, each morning we are to place a crown of fresh-cut flowers upon her head while the song JB Witchdance tracks during the fifteen-minute-long ceremony our She scripted all by herself. This particular concession was an easy one for me to give into because the band Masters of Reality, initially formed three decades ago in Syracuse, New York, is a long time favorite of mine-
Third, from now on, whenever we introduce Dakota in a public setting or any manner of communal ritual, She is to be hand-carried in a climate-controlled sedan chair to and from the event (apparently Uber, and other forms of ridesharing are beneath her lofty social status), we are to refer to her adoringly as the blessed Golden Child, and we must publicly announce her arrival and mere presence amidst a jubilant fanfare of idolatrous salutes, hand gestures, and trumpet blasts.
Lastly, me being a lawyer, I am now reluctantly on permanent retainer to be Dakota’s fixer and eternal sanctuary provider wherever, and whenever, She travels throughout the globe. (Curiously enough, had I wanted a lifelong career filled with ethical ambiguity and treachery, I would never have left the full-time practice of law to start Raven Vanguard with Brooke. I am suddenly beginning to feel a lot like Michael Corleone in Godfather Part III ).
A few minutes ago, after enduring another of Dakota’s Svengali-like daily lessons in obsequious obedience, She impolitely directed me to head to Bangkok immediately to meet with an unnamed associate of hers regarding some unfinished business with the Thai Ladyboys and, as if I am some warped modern-day reincarnation of Sisyphus, to then travel on to Tokyo to drag a dead body while walking backwards up a steep, windswept hill. The only thing I know about Dakota’s associate is that she is a high-minded intellectual and a former CIA operative who ran a “black site” prison somewhere in Thailand at the turn of the Century where waterboarding was the enhanced interrogation technique of choice (OMG; Gina Haspel, is that you?). WTF? Why me? Because you now lead a life fraught with sinfulness and secrecy you dumb-ass, where daily anonymity is a regrettable necessity of every living breath you take from this point forward.
In retrospect, I think taking talismans to the Banana King at Brooke’s behest was more my thing, and indeed far less dangerous. But what else could I do? Ever since Dakota’s earthly manifestation, I have found myself lacking moral stamina and a sturdy backbone, and overcome by reverential dread. And I now find myself on my way traveling all alone to Thailand, a place I have never been, feeling quite brainwashed and broken, knowing, full well, that I am now committed to a life of silence and violence in villainous service to the Golden Child. Lucky me, I am one of the fortunate sons, just living the dream.
The mere thought of going to Thailand unarmed to meet with these ferocious, man-eating Ladyboys in person unnerves me to no end; the horror, the horror. Psychological projection? Me? I have long wondered about the appropriateness of my psychosocial development during early childhood.
Potential crisis averted – today’s mail just arrived, and in it, my Full Conceal Carry Permit. Now I head to Thailand, both armed and dangerous, accompanied by my US Army variant of Sig Sauer’s full-size XM17 MHS handgun that is tucked neatly away in my stealthy, but stylish VanGuard inside-the-waistband holster. I’m feeling positively Badass. Nevertheless, risky business, all of this. If I ever make it back alive, I will tell of my time in Asia right here.