Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mayhem and Meeting David Orlando

At sixteen I was going to start this journey, by traveling to California in 1963, or perhaps it was the summer of ’64.  When I met, Dave Orlando, who was thinking of going to California, thus we had something in common. And this my fair reader is where the escapade starts and ends. But as I try to write this account out, believe me, for me it’s a big undertaking. As the old saying goes, ‘He who grasps at too much grips almost nothing.’ Therefore, this emulation of the past account of David O., belongs with the Saracens and barbarians of old, we can call them deeds of prowess, robbery and wickedness. David would have done better to have stayed in the boy’s reformatory.
       David was three years older than I at the time, he being nineteen at the time I met him.  If only he could have ruled his temperament wisely. It was strange, he showed up one day in the neighborhood, I was introduced to him by a girlfriend I was admired, whom was going with a fellow I knew, and David didn’t belong to Donkeyland, but she did at one time, until her parents moved out, and she with them.  Good willed, and well mannered, was such the proper conduct he portrayed, but it was only skin-deep, it was not from the heart.
       I would find out he had very little honor. I kind of let a number of incidents pass, save, it would have turned into a quarrelsome event had I not: especially when he ordered food in a restaurant and he said “Let beat it out of here before the waitress comes back to be paid.”     
       I asked him, “You don’t have the money to pay?” And he said, “No,” and added, “If you do, stay and pay,” and I didn’t so I ran out with him. Later on redressing some fault I felt, as if I was not the sinner, but I ate the several hamburgers and fries and all he stole. He said to me, “It’s both yours and ours.” With a chuckle. I figured God will be the just assessor of our differences, and I pray Him, have pity on me.
       I stayed away from him for a few weeks, then he came to my house honking the horn, I really didn’t want to go with him, he had borrowed his brother’s car, but swore he’d not steal anything with me again, so I went. He drove around St. Paul, as if he was king of the road, which reminds me of Roger Miller’s song with the same title, which was perhaps out at the time. Roger Miller was a favorite of many of the boys in the Cayuga Street Gang, such as “Dang Me,” and “Chug-A-Lug” and  “England Swings” and so forth and so on. But back to Dave O., he drove into a dead end street, at the end of it was a white fence, “I bet I can go 60-miles an hour, stop before I hit the white fence.” He said. Nothing I said, nothing at all interested him, not in the least as far as having him postpone this event. One way or another he was going to prove his point to me.  I held on for dear life. And I thank God was with me that day. David O., he looked at me, as if he expected me to decorate him with some beautiful scroll or golden star, for or because he had done what he forecasted. I just wanted him to drive me safely to my home, if need be, I’d walk.
       When he had departed my premises, I swore I’d not go with him again in a car. Just staying away from him would be for me a sufficient reward, but he called me up, wanted to introduce his brothers to me, saying he wanted to prove to them he had a friend. Had I know in those days, something was going to happen that would stick in my memory for fifty years—in such an adverse way, I’d not have went! I pity the family who is served by men like him, men so easily corrupt. When I arrived at his apartment, he introduced me to his brothers, drunk, forcefully obnoxious.  I left the room, told Dave I was leaving, there was trouble brewing.  His sister was there, and she was introduced to me before I left, as was two daughters, one six the other three. She said to David, “Now you promised to babysit tonight, I hope you still can, my husband and I haven’t had one night out together in over a year!”
       “No problem,” David said, but at her words, reconfirming it, he had appeared to have lost a little patience with her, acting as if he wanted to draw a sword in defense—figuratively speaking, then catching sight of his temper, richly put on a smile.
       I questioned, was his whole family a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?  I held a strong posture with him and his brothers, but they gave me a terrifying feeling. In half courage I left the house and walked home, realizing in that apartment I felt besieged on every side, and that it was just a matter before the elder brother who was twenty-five or more, would seize me, and I think Dave felt it coming too, and he told me point blank, if a fight starts Chick, I can’t help. With that statement all was lost, thus as I said, I took flight, for I felt I had to escape out of the forthcoming mayhem, sensing a great danger.


Thinking over this misfortune which I’m about to tell you now, David’s sister, she felt quite consoled and cheerful about leaving her children with David—or she pretended to, far more so than she should have, in other words, she wanted so much to have a night out, she didn’t judge with her own eyes and mind, David’s words and world and psychological background, which evidently she knew better than I. She, in essence was too eager to accept him as a babysitter.  I myself at this young age, was being warned of my visit, which at first I was received politely, with a cheerful visage, and then the brother’s language and conversations and gaze, and near threats.  I questioned them, all of them, and I do now as I write this out: did she not know his past, his low tolerance, did she not reflect at his moods and agitations, his dishonesty, his withdrawal, this false felicity he portrayed?  She put aside all reason and justice, and devotion, attention to no detail, no deceit, just a night out with the hubby.
       The night was long for David when he babysat the two kids, the two girls, one six the other three. They cried, the little one cried, and cried and cried, and he tried to calm her down, in aggressive ways, and in the process of trying to quiet her, it made him into a treacherous servant, that is the kindest word I can use, other than madman.
       “Shut up, shut up,” he repeatedly told the three year old, with dagger language. Next, he threw her off the couch, onto the floor. Overlooked the six year old for a moment, but she too was stultified on what was happening, and he threw the three year old again from a greater height and a stronger thrust, higher than his chest level.  Then he noticed the child was dead. And he silenced the six year old, with blow after blow, as to hide the fact she could testify to his disorder, his madness. And hid in the garage, with the two corpses, until the police came.
       The following morning I would glance at the newspaper left on the living room courter, David O., had made the front page, between the blows and being strangled, and the tossing about, it was to me all beyond expression, but strangely enough, I was not surprised.  His face, heated with desire and caring nothing for the crime he had just committed, two walking alongside two police officers hand in hand, with handcuffs, and leg chains, as shown on the television news.  Thereafter, there was no gathering forces for his defense, he acknowledged his guilt, basically saying: hour by hour the child would never stop crying to his satisfaction, he bade her to be of good cheer, to no avail, and that the circumstances drove him to act the way he did. Of course a poor excuse, but it was his only defense, besides having a momentary blackout, which caused or activated a neuroses problem, or a phobic and overaggressive reaction, falling into an abyss of lunacy; who’s to say but the mind specialists.  

Revised and Reedited, 6-2015.