TELEPHONE INTERVIEW — TAPE #45, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell BellE: Ellen Russell (my mother in California)
Q: How are you?
E: Fine. I went to my first meeting today.
Q: What meeting?
E: (sighs) With Allene. I’m not going back.
Q: That’s nice.
E: Do you know how many people were there? I thought we would go in and kind of cluster around and discuss the Bible. There were around 500 people.
Q: Oh my God.
E: And if you have kids up to three they can — oh, well, I just don’t want to —
Q: You know, I have to be honest with you.
Q: I was very upset that last time you called and you said you were going to show up here some time.
E: Why? (“OH”) Well, don’t worry. I’m sorry I did that. (“M”)
Q: I mean you’ve done that once in a while. Like the time you told Michael that you were going to go to Orion and start blasting. I mean once in a while you —
E: Well, did I go to Orion? I was mad. You know why I said I would do that?
Q: Why? (“BECAUSE I”)
E: He owed me money. Remember?
Q: Well, I don’t owe you money.
E: I know, honey, you’ve been very good. I’m sorry. Forget it. (“SIGN IT”)
Q: And the other time when Michael first told you —
Q: — he was gay and you said that he had unleashed something within you — I mean these are all things that you can’t forget about.
E: I know. (“SO”)
Q: They play upon (“GET”) your imagination.
E: Forget about it. (“THIS”) People say things and they mean them.
Q: But you would never hurt Michael or me? (“WOODY” “HOW”)
E: Are you frightened?
Q: Well, you just said — (“SO”) let’s just say that after you told me that, I had a nightmare.
E: Well, you’re always having nightmares about something. Mark, if I ever came — no, Mark, I don’t — you’re my son and I —
Q: You don’t ever consider suicide, yourself, do you?
E: No. (small laugh) (“AS LONG”) Not as long as I —
Q: I have a wonderful suggestion to make.
E: Let’s not talk about these things.
Q: No, I have a wonderful suggestion to make. (“OKAY”) I will pay for you to have cable so you can watch “Court TV” Because I know how fascinated you are in that. (“I DON’T”)
E: Honey, I’m only fascinated in things that —
Q: You loved the O. J. trial.
E: It was real.
Q: Right. That’s what I’m saying.
E: Honey, they have “Court TV” on channel nine. You can see it now. I mean it’s nothing. I mean — (“HOW”)
Q: How many hours a day?
E: I don’t know. (“I”)
Q: But they have “Court TV” — it’s on all day long.
E: I don’t want — Mark, please. (“YOU”)
Q: I think you’d enjoy it. (“I’D RATHER”)
E: I’d rather go down and stare at (sighs) six pairs of green eyes. I’m not into television. No, I enjoy it and I’d have to have it. I’d want it there and it’s company. It’s company.
Q: Okay, fine.
E: (little girl voice) Well —
Q: Just remember that everything (“YOU”) everyone (“THAT EVERY”) says — once you say it —
E: It’s there. (“YOU”) It’s —
Q: It’s there.
E: — never gone.
E: It’s never forgotten. And many things —
Q: You know, that’s a form of abuse. (“TOO”) I have to be honest with you.
E: Well, I know. Tell me about it. You think that I’m the only abuser? Ohhh. How would you like to be called a slobbering drunk? And tell your friends your mother —
Q: Are you saying that I called you a slobbering drunk?
E: No, Michael did. He told James. (small laugh) Well, who brought Vanessa over so we could go? Who wrote the letter? (small laugh) Mark, please.
Q: I do think at one point in your life you did have an alcohol problem.
E: Mark, I never had an alcohol problem. I liked to come home where the one thing I could do — I could come home and have a little glass. I carried a little glass of beer around. For God’s sake. (sighs)
Q: Some people would say that’s an alcoholic.
E: Well, some people would say anything but to have your son say that. (“THEN DON’T”)
Q: That’s because — (“FRIEND”)
E: And to have them go around and say — ooo!
Q: Because they loved you and wanted to help you.
E: Ohhh. Well, — (“BUT I DIDN’T”)
Q: I never staged an intervention because I felt that would be taking away your liberty and your dignity.
E: Well, you did take me to that.
Q: No, I didn’t. I went with you to an A.A. meeting. (“YES”)
Q: That’s not an intervention.
E: Did you think, Mark, when I was there — (“DO YOU”)
Q: An intervention is like what happened to me at Alhambra. (“YOU’VE BEEN”)
E: Do you think that I — do you really think (“HHH”) that I’m an alcoholic? Do you really think that?
Q: I don’t know. That one conversation we had that night you seemed drunk and I could hear you drinking. Something. I don’t know what it was. (“AA”)
Q: I mean actually it would be better if you were drunk because you said some very hurtful things.
E: Which night was that? Recently or —
Q: No, it was that night that I talked about interviewing you for my book and you didn’t seem to mind and you just were very abusive that night. So if ever there was a night when you were drunk I would say that was the night.
E: Well, you’ve told me that many nights. You didn’t want to talk with me because I was drunk. Every time I say it — (“NO IT”) Mark, it doesn’t matter. You can think anything you want. Goodness. (“FI”) Find an excuse for whatever. Goodness. It doesn’t matter. (sighs)
Q: Okay, what if somebody told you, “I’m coming over there and I’m going to have you institutionalized. And I’m going to take all your money.”
E: I never said that. Mark.
Q: In so many words you did.
E: Mark, there’s one thing I never want. First of all, I would never want ever even — there’s not a penny that I want.
Q: You told me that once. I remember. (“I”)
E: For you to take your money and put it away for you because you’re squandering it. And when you get older, Mark, (“WELL”) you’re going to —
Q: It’s my money. I can do with it what I want.
E: Well, exactly. (“BUT”) You say that now. In ten years time when you don’t have a dime in your pocket and you’re put away not in a nice place like CPC but when you’re put in a state institute — (“THAT YOU”)
Q: That was not a nice place.
E: It was — compared to what — I would rather be able to give you — or at least your brother — put it in trust so that you could at least go out and buy a book for $5. (“PLEASE”)
Q: Don’t worry about me.
E: Well, I’m not any more. It’s your life. (“YOU”) Do what you want with it.
Q: Okay, fine. Well, then, I guess I don’t have to get (“MM”) a restraining order or anything because they only give you them if somebody threatens your life I found out.
E: Mark — oh, you’ve already called? (“PLEASE”) So you want to get a restraining order? (small laugh) You want to get a restraining order against your mother?! (“NO”)
Q: Well, I thought it might be good because then —
Q: — you could stop obsessing about Michael and me.
E: Honey, I don’t — I call you because you’re my son.
Q: I know.
E: You can get any restraining order you wanted, Mark. (“NO YOU”)
Q: Someone has to make death threats before you can. (“WELL”)
E: You mean so you already told them I made a death threat?
Q: No, I didn’t say that you made a death threat.
E: Well even if you told them —
Q: You’ve never made a death threat to me. (“YOU SAID”) You did to Michael but you didn’t to me.
E: Mark, (small laugh) if you said I made a death threat —
Q: To Michael that time.
E: I don’t remember. I mean I was mad. I was pissed-off, rip-roaring mad. He’d been lying to me all these years and I was caught up because I was stupid. And I was mad. As hell. (“OKAY”) I mean there’s one thing — I’m honest. I’m sorry. Period. Ask me anything and I tell it. I don’t like — why do I waste my life and time? (“APPROVAL”) Goodness, Mark.
Q: Well, get a hobby.
E: (sighs) Mark — (“YOU JUST”)
Q: You know, you can’t live your life through your kids.
E: I’m not. All I do is call. (“ONE”)
Q: No, that’s fine (“YOU LIAR”) but you have to remember to be nice when you call. Right? I always try to be nice when I call you. Right?
E: Yes, if you say so. (“SO ANY”) Well, I guess I won’t bother you any more about — (small laugh)
Q: About what?
E: Well, I guess anything.
Q: Okay, well let me know if you want cable TV. (“CAUSE”) They have some really good shows on “Court TV.”
E: Mark, I don’t want cable TV.
Q: I don’t think they have the Menendez trial on. I bet you’d love to watch the Menendez trial.
E: I don’t want to watch TV. It’s not the goal of my life.
Q: No, I know.
E: Or the movies — watch TV, read books. (“THAT”)
Q: I still think you could gain something out of volunteer work. I mean it is a lot of fun.
E: Well, fun for you. What’s fun for you isn’t fun for me.
Q: Instead of that prayer group.
E: I’m not going back. I told you what it was like.
Q: What was it like?
E: Well, I’ve done — (“WITH LIFE”) so I called to tell you.
Q: I know there’s a lot of people there but what do they talk about? (“WELL”)
E: Well, I was a visitor. Then, you have to sign up. It’s like a nine-month course. And I —
Q: Does it cost any money?
E: Well, no. You can give a donation — all they ask is, you know, if you want to give a donation. No, it’s entirely free.
Q: Did you give a donation?
E: No. (“I”) They’re all rich people. I mean this was filled with —
Q: Money that could be better spent elsewhere.
E: No. No. Mark, if they enjoy it, it’s wonderful. I mean there were so many — there were 400 women. I never saw a man there. At all. And then they have a separate men’s group. (“I MEAN”) I like to sit around a little table and discuss things. When I read the chapter — (“WHAT” “THING”) you have all these women (“WHO”) — and now they’re up there. It’s like a church service. You go in. You sit down. (“AND THERE”) Oh, and she goes into this (“BLAH”) — well, blah blah blah blah blah. And then — when you have to stand up and sing these (“SO”) songs. And then there’s a prayer. And then, because you’re a visitor, the other people who’ve been there before divide into their own group so the new people go up and sit in the front — (“AND WHEN YOU’RE”) given indoctrination. And (“DDD”) then you fill out these cards and — (small scream) —
Q: Did you ever mention to Allene that I might be, like, sort of the New Age Jesus?
E: Now what do you think?
Q: I mean not the reincarnation of Jesus. (“BUT” “JUST SORT OF”)
E: Mark —
Q: God’s chosen one.
E: — Allene is not — of course not.
Q: But she’d like that. I mean she’d be impressed.
E: Mark, please. You must be joking.
Q: No, I mean look at —
E: All I know is I saw a nice picture of her family taken at Christmas time and it was lovely. Lovely. (“N”)
Q: Pictures usually are. (“WELL YEAH” “THERE WAS”)
E: And guess what Paul — and he’s got his hair short now. Guess what he has? He has a moustache. He’s very handsome. (“AND THEN HE HAD”) His wife was there, Cathy, and their little girl in the picture. And John and his twin boy. (“TWIN DAUGHTER”) They were so cute.
Q: You know, it’s so funny. I remember once when I was working at Ruth Webb Enterprises. I was talking to my friend Barbara who was working there at the time. She was an actress from New York who became an agent for a little while after having chin cancer. I don’t know what she’s doing now. But I remembered something funny that another friend of mine, Leslie, who I met at USC, told me once. She said that men and women weren’t supposed to be together. (“THAT”) Basically, men should be with men and women should be with women and when they were together God punished them by giving them babies.
E: Well, I’m not (“A H”) — talking sexually?
E: Well, all I know is I saw 300 women over there today and I didn’t want to be there. I mean I didn’t think —
Q: Were there any kids there?
E: Yes. The kids go into their own little room. They take them up to three years old while —
Q: Well, that’s a wonderful (“I[NCENTIVE]”) incentive to go to church study to get rid of the kids for a couple hours.
E: It’s a church. It’s a church. (“IT’S YEAH”) Well, there are a lot of people that didn’t have kids. In fact, the — (“GIRL”)
Q: Well, of course.
E: — Asian girl that sat next to me was very young. She was (“LIKELY”) twenty-three. (small laugh) And she was putting her eye make-up on. And I loved that. But these cards you fill out — I mean I don’t want to be with 63-year-old people. I want to be with young people but they segregate them and oh, God, it’s not for me. (“YEAH”)
Q: Did you hear how much the stock market went down today?
E: No, I haven’t.
Q: I think it was around 97 points.
E: I didn’t even get home until 12-something. (“THE”)
Q: After yesterday and today it’s gone down a pretty big jump. I think at one point it was even down 150 at one point today. (“NO”) Did you know that Mighael told me to sell my stocks over the weekend. (“UH-HUH”) So that’s something very nice that He did for me. (“ME”)
E: Well, that’s good. (“WONDERFUL”)
Q: So I sold all my stocks before this started happening. (“WE KNOW”) I also told (“I ASKED HER” “TO”) Mike, my brother, to sell his stocks but I don’t think he did. No one ever listens to me.
E: Well, not anymore.
Q: Well, if he had listened to me this time he would have saved some money.
E: Well, maybe he doesn’t have any stocks.
Q: He does. (“WELL”) So — (“I’M”)
E: Bad if you don’t have Humana.
Q: What’s that?
E: Humana. It’s a big health care organization that has hospitals. Going to — when it — (“A I” “THEY”) they gave that on the — when I was watching “The Wall Street Journal” (“YEAR”) a year ago. When they critiqued it on Sunday, they said that the biggest winner was probably Humana and the other one was — oh, God, I can’t remember. But anyway —
Q: Well, okay. (“UH-UH” “OKAY”) Well, okay, thank you for calling. I like getting nice calls like this. It’s much better than getting the other kind.
E: Well, Mark, the only thing is I just, you know, worry about you and —
Q: Well, don’t worry — worry about your own life.
E: Well, my life is over, practically. (“NOT AT — NOT AT”)
Q: See, that’s not (“THE”) the right attitude to have.
E: Well, Mark, come on. At 63 you’re not going to go out there and set the world on fire.
Q: No, but you can find interesting things to do with your time.
E: I do. I find interesting things.
Q: Like going to church groups?
E: Well, I tried it for once. I told Allene I would.
Q: Try volunteer work. I think you’d enjoy it.
E: I’ll never do volunteer work. Ever.
Q: Why are you so closed-minded about that?
E: Because I know what volunteer work is. I worked at a hospital. They had all these volunteers running around and I mean it was —
Q: It’s fun and stimulating.
E: Well, to you. I mean it’s stimulating to you. And writing books is stimulating to you. (“RIGHT”)
Q: What is stimulating to you?
E: The general picture of life. What’s stimulating to me is — it used to be going to work and getting a paycheck. And it used to be raising — for 30 years I had you there. Good grief. How did you save your money? I mean my mind was put — for thirty years —
Q: Again, you can’t live your life through your kids.
E: I know, Mark, but kids don’t always have to tell you, “You can’t live your life through your kids.” You — first of all, Mark — I’m not going to get mean. No. (“K”) I’m not going to say it. (“HOW TO BLAME YOU”) Maybe I’ll just say one little thing — then we’ll go.
E: (sighs) Now, remember, I don’t have a life, right? (“I THE”) Right?
Q: What are you talking about? You have a life. It’s just not a very good one or useful one.
E: Okay. All I can say is — useful? What are you doing that’s so useful? (“YOU’RE GIVING”) You’re doing volunteer work. Right?
Q: Right. (“SPELL” “FOUR”) Four hours a week.
E: What else?
Q: I’m working on my book. (“UH-HUH”)
E: Oh, who cares about that? (“THAT”) That doesn’t do anything for mankind. Are you a Big Brother?
Q: No, I think —
E: Ohhh —
Q: — that’s enough for right now. (“I SAW THIS”) It’s sort of taking up all my time — (“THERE”) and I go to the gym. That’s what I do for myself. I go to the gym.
E: Well, that’s nice. (“WHY DON’T”) You can run up and down the stairs a few times a day and —
Q: I’d rather go to the gym. (“WELL OF COURSE” “GOD” “NO” “BAY”) It’s good to be out among people. (“WHEN YOU SAY”)
E: Exactly. (small laugh) (groan) Keep putting me down. I love it.
Q: I’m not putting you down. I just said (“I”) it’s good for me. Sometimes I think that I would just like to be alone with the Entity somewhere in heaven. (“YEAH”)
E: Fine. Go. (“UH-HUH” “HUH”)
Q: No. I mean, you know, I’m fine. (“I LI[KE]”) I enjoy this. It’s very stimulating work.
Q: Okay, well, thank you. (“WELL”)
E: Just remember, Mark, to have stimulating work and to have a reasonably stimulating life you must have one thing.
Q: You’re not going to say money, I hope.
E: Yes. You have to. You know that. Don’t you?
Q: God will provide. I’ve surrendered my life and will to Him. He had told me when to sell my stocks and that tip turned out right.
E: You don’t even know what God says. You know when I went over there today I took that little Bible with me. You have your Bible right?
Q: Right. (“IT”)
E: So I took — which I didn’t even need to because they have Bibles over there — but I took Michael’s, which is still here. (“AND”) The blue one?
Q: I got the red one. (“AND HE”) His was the blue one.
E: That’s right. It’s blue and it says from Grandma and blah blah blah and so forth. Aunt Dorothy. (“N”) But, Mark, guess what?
Q: What? (“THE BI”)
E: The Bible is extinct.
Q: That’s for sure.
E: Because the chapters I read were different and — (“EVERY SINGLE IN”)
Q: Every single translation is different.
E: Well, that’s okay.
Q: I have a problem with that. (“MY WHOLE TEXT” “CALL CHECK”)
E: Well, you had a problem? The moment that this (“WO”) — that this leader — (“LUCKY”) the big leader says, “Some people are chosen for illness. God chooses them.” And I said, “What? Why? Why would God choose someone for this? I mean to me that’s when I really lost connection. And I wanted to get up and scream, “God doesn’t choose people to be ill. It’s people like you who read the Bible — (“WHO” ) well, anyway. (sighs)
E: So, anyway, it was fun.
Q: Well, that’s something to think about, anyway.
Q: About God choosing people to be ill.
E: God doesn’t choose people to be ill.
Q: Who does?
E: The person, probably. You choose (“WAIT”) to be ill: you smoke and you drink.
Q: Well, today, (“LEE”) I had an appointment with a dermatologist because I have an infected cyst on my neck.
E: Well, that’s from picking.
Q: No, it isn’t.
E: Yes, it is. You always pick. (“BUT I”)
Q: No way. I haven’t even touched it.
E: Okay okay okay okay. I don’t care. Okay. What? (“TOE”)
Q: Anyway, there was a guy there, though, (“IN”) in the waiting room who I spoke to and he said he had an (“LEG”) infection in his leg and, basically, he has HIV —
Q: — from a blood transfusion. (“SO”)
E: Of course. Sure. Of course.
Q: I can’t remember what I was going to say. I totally lost my train of thought which is what usually happens when I talk to you sometime but, anyway —
E: Because I have a sore on my foot.
Q: What else is new? But it doesn’t bother me. (“IT”) Just hard to heal. (“IT”)
E: And, then, you know what it’s caused by? Old age. It’s caused from bad circulation. You don’t run down to the doctor and say, “Oo hoo hoo hoo hoo.” It’s natural. It’s nothing. Good grief. (sighs) HIV, please! Everybody’s got HIV. I mean —
Q: They do?
E: That you know.
E: That you associate with — Mark, I — (“IT”) you should have got — (“ALL I”) all I can say about all those people there in Arcadia — boy, talk about class. (“EVERY”) I mean I didn’t see one that didn’t have class.
Q: You mean today?
E: Yes. Every single one of them.
Q: What do you consider class?
E: I can’t describe it, Mark. You know it when you see it. Saw. In my —
Q: But you aren’t going back.
E: I’m not going back. (“SO YOU — YOU”) I think they’re wonderful people. It’s just not my forte. (“IN”)
Q: You think these people are sophisticated and intelligent?
E: Yeah. Most of the ones I saw seem to be.
Q: Well, then why (“THEY”) aren’t you going back?
E: You see, I was in a group — we were called guests . . . (“YOU KNOW”) . . . I mean you don’t want to hear this but (sighs) the leader at this one group said, “In nine months we want you to come out with lots of things.” And she said, “Some of you might even come out with a baby.” And the lady next to me said, “And, boy, I better not” to herself. (small laugh) Oh, it was fun.
Q: Exactly. You know how (“IT”) — what (“FUN”) — do you know how difficult it is raising children? Do you know what monsters they are for the first few years?
E: Yes. I had two. You were not monsters. (“AA SEE”) In fact, Allene and I today were talking about how wonderful our kids were. And I know that John was not a perfect picture. Believe me. But in her mind you boys were wonderful. Even the neighbors used to say, “How wonderful.” And I remember when Mrs. Deisenroth, the little old lady next door, said, “If you ever move — if you ever need a recommendation” — because it was hard in those days to find places where kids were allowed. You don’t remember that probably.
Q: No, I don’t.
E: No, of course you don’t.
Q: Deisenroth. Is that spelled D — I — E or D — E — I?
E: D — I — E. Who cares? You’re not going to put that in your book. She was a little old lady. Remember the little old — well, you won’t because you were young. Ooohhh. (“WELL”)
Q: Okay, well thank —
E: It doesn’t matter, Mark, but it is hard to raise kids. It was hard to raise kids.
Q: They’re monsters. (“THE”) That little girl in Oklahoma — Megan was just like Regan in “The Exorcist.” I mean she was howling and screaming and crying non-stop.
E: Well, you never did that.
Q: In transcribing the tapes I just wanted to ring her little neck.
E: She’s a brat. You just don’t realize that there are people and then there are people. There are children and then there are children.
Q: I know you once said that I never used to cry when I was born or anything.
E: When you were born? You were wonderful — well, first of all, all babies cry but I mean you were not a screaming, squalling, walling brat. (“B”) Well, why would you be?
Q: Well, that’s an interesting concept.
E: You were loved. You were taken care of — your little ‘didy’ was changed. Your little bath for your —
Q: No, but I mean do you remember at the hospital? (“DID D”) Did both Michael and I cry? I know Michael had a harder time being delivered.
E: Yes, he did. He did. Uh-huh.
Q: And I cried too when they slapped me? (“WELL”)
E: Well, obviously (small laugh) you did or you’d be dead. I mean — you were sweet and wonderful babies. And when I used to take you outside, everybody said, “Look.” (“IN”)
Q: I remember all the girls on the block would always kiss me.
E: They did.
Q: Why did they do that?
E: Because you were so cute.
Q: That’s kind of sexual abuse.
E: Mark. They didn’t mean it. They — you were — (“LL”) this one girl, when we lived on Slauson, just thought you were the cutest little three-year-old boy. I mean you — (“WELL”) I don’t know. You were. You and your brother were sweet.
Q: She was probably channeling Mighael.
E: She was twelve years old or eleven. (“DIE”) I don’t know where you got all this where you think —
Q: Well, you should have watched that special that I told you to watch.
E: Oh, bull. It’s just another —
Q: You could have seen for yourself that it was true.
E: (sighs) Mark. It’s not true. It wouldn’t — Mark, if I had seen it — if the chairs jump up and down in the room, which they won’t, of course, I would tell them, “Stop it.” (“I”)
Q: Well, thank you for calling. I better get back to transcribing. So, anyway, I’m sure glad I sold my stocks when I did.
E: Well, I’m glad you did too if — did you make any money? You didn’t lose —
Q: Well, I didn’t lose any money, let’s just say.
E: Well, so? What’s the difference?
Q: I even wrote in my Christmas card to Grandpa in Florida — I told him as a joke, “Now is a good time to sell Microsoft.” (laughs)
E: Not back in December.
Q: Yes, it was. There were some bad days for technology. Right after that, there was a fall. The week after I sent the card.
E: Well, see, I don’t keep up on the stock market. I mean I have no money in the stock market and they’re not going to get a dime from me. And it’s going to get worse and worse. I see nothing but problems.
Q: I guess that (“I”) Mighael says so too.
E: It’s going to get worse and worse.
Q: Well, there’s no budget. (“UH-HUH”) I mean what do you say about a country that doesn’t even have a budget?
E: Frankly, I would just as soon have the Democrats. I would just as soon let them give all the money away because I won’t be here when — so let us default. Let us go into bankruptcy. Who cares? I’m sick of giving all of our money — (“HM HM”) oooohhh, well, I don’t want to go into that. I don’t really care. I mean it’s not going to be a problem for me. I foresee nothing but darkness for America.
Q: Oh, I have a better idea — the next time you see Allene, tell her that I’m the Antichrist and see what she says.
E: Mark, I would never tell Allene.
E: Allene is — ohhhhhh, Mark. See you —
Q: No, but I’m a nice one.
E: You don’t go out and say, “I have a son that’s —” (sighs)
Q: The Antichrist.
Q: No, but the reason why I mentioned that is because Nostradamus —
Q: — talked about —
Q: — Mabus.
E: Mark, (“EVERY CALL” “MM”) can I tell you something?
E: This is not in meanness. Or it’s not in control or it’s not in anything. But when you talk like that and when you talk about getting a restraining order for your mother. (“BECA[USE]”) Even if you said that I wanted to come over and murder you. And I showed up there and the police came. And you opened your mouth. You know what would happen?
E: If I said, “I’m here to help him. I’m his mother. I’m here to just help him to get over what it is. He’s going to a psychiatrist.”
Q: Not anymore.
E: Well, you aren’t anymore?
E: Well, you’re going to a hypnotherapist now.
E: I said, “You’ve been locked up and you —”
Q: I went away for the weekend.
E: Mark, the records are there to prove it. You are certifiably insane.
Q: See, I want you to stop thinking about this.
E: Mark. (“I WANT”)
Q: That’s why I think “Court TV” would be so good.
E: Mark, I think you should start thinking — Mark, it doesn’t matter to me anymore. You do what you want.
Q: Okay, fine. That’s fair. (“IT IT DOESN’T”)
E: I mean I’ve tried. I admit —
Q: Well, you can stop trying.
E: — I got a — (“NO”)
Q: No, I just say that because (“THERE’S A”) Nostradamus predicted the coming of Mabus. That’s an anagram in Mark Russell Bell, my pseudonym.
E: Mark, don’t you care about anybody caring about you?
Q: Of course, people care about me. (“I”) I have lots of friends.
Q: Thank you for calling.
E: Good-bye, sweetie.
Q: Okay, bye.
( . . . )
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) Do you think she figured out I was taping the call? I doubt it. It’s 7:42. Right now, I’m thinking about what the purpose my book really has. I mean if you don’t appreciate God how can I make you appreciate Him? If you don’t appreciate life how can I make you appreciate life? Personally, I don’t care. Personally. I just think that this maybe is my job. I personally love the simple experience of living, which is my blessing because I’ve always had enough money to do what I want, (“TTT”) which is not to live lavishly or with great comfort but to take weekend trips, to go to Europe in the summer, to buy the books I want, to buy the CDs I want, to go to the play, to go to the movie. There are a lot of people who can’t afford this. The people who find themselves at Alhambra — I mean you should have seen the books that they had in the pathetic bookshelf. Reader’s Digest Condensed Books of books no one would ever want to read in the first place. And I looked. I couldn’t find anything to read. It really wakes you up. Do you appreciate going to lunch? Being able to choose which church you go to? Watching television? Having sex? Having pets? Expressing your talent? Having friends? Celebrating holidays? Flowers? Nature? Animals? Looking up at the stars? Seeing politicians humiliated when people find out what they’ve done? And that goes also for other celebrities who we think have such a wonderful life when actually there are so many different ways that people can create their own hell. I’m sure my brother is working late or going to some business dinner or some movie he has to see for work tonight instead of just enjoying life. Personal liberty. Once in a while I think about therapy. Does she really think I invented an invisible being because I have trouble expressing intimacy? My problem was that — well, it’s too hard for me to really comprehend but I can definitely say the intimacy I have in my life by far goes beyond any intimacy imaginable. And guess what? We each have that intimacy with God our Creator even though why He’s an Us is something I don’t even want to understand. I think it’s the all-time biggest cop-out but, anyway, we won’t go into that either. (sighs) I keep forgetting that only I truly love and appreciate Him because for some reason not everyone can be the center of the synchronicity. Or can they? Maybe in an alternate reality they can be. There’s just too many questions. And I get to ask these questions. (“NO”) It’s hard to be loving all the time. It’s impossible. I get so frustrated transcribing. I don’t even know if I always correctly hear what the voices are saying. But yet I have to try to do my best. (sighs) I don’t know if He could make it easier or if He isn’t quite decided He wants to go with this. I mean what on Earth is the truth? Does He love me? More than anyone else? Well, I would think that if that were true He would also hate me more than everybody else because we’re all a projection of Him and if He’s not happy with Himself you better believe He’s not happy with ourselves. And if you’re not happy with yourself there’s no way you can be happy with anyone else. Now I’m talking psychobabble. But He doesn’t make things real clear. I don’t think He knows — I don’t think there’s any great clarity in His consciousness. I think He is growing along with us. Seeking redemption along with us. I remember when my screenplays didn’t sell. Or my books. Or my short stories. (“NO”) I just tried harder and harder and made them — (“TO”) make them better. And I researched more and more, trying to come to some really profound work of art and truth and beauty. And the more work I did and the better my screenplays became the less commercial they were. And I found myself one afternoon in bed thinking about all the miracles happening in the world: “And it would have been nice if I could have witnessed one but at least I know that they’re out there happening.” I did take a vacation to Loch Ness. You know that there’s a Loch Ness monster. You know about all the other — at least now you should have an idea that all these things that have happened — (“NO”) that can’t be true — they are. Like once when I was watching “Unsolved Mysteries” and they found a little mummified skeleton in a mountain. But now it’s disappeared. They only have photos of it. It looked like a little elf. Fairy folk. Alien? Who knows, but it was obvious proof that more goes on in the world than we can understand. (“DDD”) It’s easy to say, “I love God.” But, of course, love is very mundane. It’s very silly. The other words we can use are — “I admire God.” “I pay homage to God.” “He’s the Great Creator.” They all ring hollow somehow. There really is no word to express what we each should feel for having the gift of life endowed upon us even if we suffer because if we accept God and understand that with God all things truly are possible, all of our suffering will disappear in a moment. Whatever is best for us will be. Whatever is best for God will be. Whatever is best for me will be. Even though I shudder at the thought. I mean there are people in history that He’s chosen to separate from the rest of humanity. People like Sitting Bull. People like Rasputin. Well, I can name a long list of diverse names but I just wonder — can you imagine being God? Having an intimate control and relationship with every iota of existence on our world in our universe and in many worlds in many universes and with many dimensions in those universes? Having that kind of mentality to be orchestrating this at every second of every moment throughout eternity? I can’t — I mean it’s incomprehensible to us. It’s very worrisome. It’s very problematic. I mean He must be a basket-case. Oh, but I still love Him. Do you love Him? Do you appreciate your life? How do we each express love? (“EEE”) Sincerity is important. Definitely, sincerity is important. Would you be someone that God wants to spend eternity with? That’s one of the things I considered when He revealed what I’ve just told you to me in His own inimitable way.
( . . . )
Q: I think that since once human appreciates Him truly without any qualification or — I’m not — I don’t want anything for myself. It’s hard to explain. I think that since this experiment has gone on so well with me He sees this potential with each other human entity and it’s just something so wonderful and so chancy. He doesn’t want to get His hopes up because it’s so hard to express what I’m trying to express. To make people feel what I wish they would feel. (sighs) The people who have lost their loved ones and blame God — they have to remember that they were able to experience this love in the first place. And sometimes in the big scheme of things the right question is not how much love there was but that the miracle of love happened at all. And, remember, with God all things are possible so you never know. True love can be eternal. In my case, the only one that I have truly loved—and I think He’s manipulated that to a certain extent—is Mighael or God/Whoever. I don’t know — see, that’s the one question I keep having is if — I mean everyone knows there is one God. There is one Creator. One God. But there are a lot of, obviously, secondary Gods. Like in Egypt. Like in all the mythologies of the world besides Christianity. Ohhh, it’s too hard to fathom. I just want to spend eternity with the God who loves me in a special way. I would like it to be the Great Creator because it would be far less confusing in terms of hierarchy and you know how political things can become in royal families. But I would be happy with a God that really isn’t high on the celestial totem pole but One who has genuine love for me. That’s all I ask. When we project our own feelings into God we create our own God and I’m just trying to come to some understanding of what this all means. What will heaven be like? I mean it has to be comparable to our experience on Earth. What is heaven? It has to be similar to our own Earth at this point in God’s evolution. (pause) (“NO”) I hope I get to eat out more often in heaven because recently I’ve been so busy on my book that I’ve been having these really bad frozen dinners. (“SSS”) You get to know the brands real quick when you’re a workaholic. Stouffer’s. Marie Callender’s. I mean I really would like to eat out more often. God — my God — please, in heaven let’s eat out more often.
( . . . )
Q: I just put the gravy package in the boiling water like it says to do on the Marie Callender’s box. You have to put it in rapidly boiling water for five minutes for those of you who never eat frozen dinners. But I’m beginning to understand God has to articulate this experience through one of us. I mean I have to suffer so that you can all know Him the way I know Him. I mean my social life has literally gone — well, I won’t say “hell.” That’s a little much. And, really, how bad can it be when you walk around my museum? Even though I know I can’t keep the money but, anyway, (“MMM”) you would be surprised how closely (“WE ARE”) our life is together. (“I MEAN”) I mean I’ll hear an advertisement on the radio that’s very effective for whatever reasons and I’ll go to that store. For example — Ikea. I heard a very compelling Ikea radio blurb and I went there and I bought a cushion for my reclining black leather chair because the bottom had worn out. (“AND IT” “I FO[UND]”) I just happened to find one on sale that was an exact match for only $50 when they’re usually at least $100. (“AND”) In fact, I showed it to Jonathan when he came by — (“NIGHT”) Mark Kostabi and I went to dinner and he thought it looked like it was part of the original chair. And the flowers that I purchased there that were on sale are beautiful. They were like $7 and they’re beautiful red/white roses. (“THAT”) Of course, there are no such roses that look like that but my brother still thought they were real. That’s how beautiful they are. (“I MEAN AND HE AND”) And not only that — I couldn’t decide what plant to get at the store. I kept thinking do I want dried flowers or fake plants. (“NO”) I didn’t really want fake flowers but then I went over to another table and I found the roses. They were left there out of place. So I knew that Mighael wanted me to have them. (“AND”) When I got home, they were right. Like when I got that chest of drawers. I really was unsatisfied by them but I didn’t have time to go shopping anywhere else. And I knew I wanted something white and something small. And something that I could carry home. But, then, when I got it home I started looking at it and I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful in the way of a chest of drawers. So the more I look at it the more truly beautiful this piece is. (“I KNOW”) I know Jonathan (“LIKE”) recently sold his dining room table that some famous artist did or something. It was all beaten up and chipped and everything. And it still sold for around $1,200. So I can imagine what this one would be worth. And it doesn’t even have to be by a famous artist. I mean there are people out there with really good taste. I mean (“YEAH”) I just happen to be one of them. Of course, I cheat. But maybe we all cheat. If you know what I’m talking about, which by this time you should be if you’ve read this far. Umm. (“MMM”) I really have to find a good transcribing service. (“CCE”) A psychic transcribing service or something. I don’t know. It’s like I really need to do more with my life than just sit home all day and night transcribing conversations that I’ve already had. (“BUT I CAN’T”) For the life of me, I can’t think of anyone who could or would or should. (“AND I”) You know, I guess it keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground. No ego trips. No taking myself seriously. (“EHH”) The only thing joyful remains in my life — my God, my living companion. And that’s the way He wants it. But I really would like to go out to the movies once in a while. I really would appreciate a phone call now and them from somebody I used to know. I was going to wait until I spoke to my brother to work some points into the conversation but I’ll just go ahead and say them now. (“WWW”) When I was downtown in room 245 on the second floor, I spoke to one of the other ladies who was there to get a restraining order or something. And she had arrived there at 7:30 in the morning and was still waiting at 11:42. I was telling her maybe she should try praying and she said, “I’ve been praying. I got shit to do.” So I thought, “Boy, that’s a good new prayer for me to add to my list of prayers at night; you know, about Adam and Eve and surrendering. And “I got shit to do” would be a good way to conclude it. I mean it’s a universal expression. That was very well said. And then it was funny because — well, I better say the important things first. I was going to ask Michael what did he think of the stock market because “I told him so.” Or Mighael told me to tell him so. And if he got those “Martha” Fassbinder film tickets for the weekend. I’m sure he didn’t. I know him so well. I also want to tell him that I get sick of people saying embarrassing things to me when I just happen to be taping them like what Ellen said to me about my skin problem. About “picking.” I mean excuse me but when you have these boils and things you’re supposed to lance them. That’s why I stopped going to my last dermatologist because they don’t understand — they don’t know when they see an exception to — oh, I don’t even know if there — I don’t know if there are any exceptions to any of these rules. I mean it’s just too weird. I mean I think people who have obsessive compulsive disorder really do have — want to take long showers. (“ADMIT THE”) Because I read that book where it talked about a young boy who said that he had to get the stickies off and that’s how I feel because of my skin condition. So, again, modern medicine is very limited and they try to — (“THEY DON’T”) everyone’s got a different health system going for whatever reasons and it’s very hard to look at things objectively. (“YEAH”) So, anyway, — and by the way when I called (“TO”) Schwab to check my account balance after selling my stocks the representative who answered was named Michael. In all fairness, I could have done better in the market if I had been taking time to follow it so don’t think I made any money on this deal really. Not yet, anyway. There’s little evidence He’s playing favorites with me so far because He knows I can never keep the money for myself from those treasures that I plan to auction. In fact, this is one of the things I worry about occasionally. I really hate or I should say distrust being a symbol because when you’re a symbol you have to represent all of humanity. And if he’s pissed-off at humanity — oh, God — “Saturn Eating His Children”? Also, by the way, it was funny. I left the court building during the hour and a half lunch break and I thought I’d go ahead and go to the gym because it’s called using the system or trying to use the system. So when I got back I was able to be seen right away because of my placement on the waiting list despite the fact that I wasn’t present when they had previously called my name.