Dear San Diego,
It was like the night had hands.
The first night I slept on Parker's couch it felt like I was being strangled.
I'd wake up, head a mess. Spent most of a month sitting there. Drink coffee till the day quit, switch to Bourbon. Three packs of cigarettes a day.
Parker just kept her distance. Someone vacuuming around your feet that doesn't ask you to move. A slight figure in baggy pants, a visage of the Inquisition. Electroconvulsive therapy, hung up on a wrung, shaved head cut and bleeding.
I was a fool by comparison. Sent ten grand or more a month back home so the ex could skip out on work and spend her days in Del Mar with the work associate she'd been having an affair with.
No big surprise. Wasn't even angry. He left his wife too. The secrets of timing.
You put shit in perspective about people.
When your ex comes home and tells you about a friend that's fucking a client in the washroom of a house he's showing her - after a while you don't blink.
It's not shocking. Just another hilarious acquisition of a day filled with frat house drollery.
You sit there. Say nothing. Fake a smile.
If there's one thing she did masterfully, like Tết in '68, tracers zipping from the near grounds around Khe Sanh, was her post-divorce public relations campaign. Elegant in its execution, it was something that the CIA's Political Actions Group might have conjured. She'd left to assert her independence, find herself, embrace the great unknowns the universe had waiting for her. Singular, empowered, alone in strength.
United Fruit, Guatemala, the Dulles brothers, bank of Boston. The press, cameras all at a distance to undercover the cover of freedom.
I suppose it's an easy thing to do when someone paralyzed on a couch is sending you money every month, still paying the mortgage, still paying the bills. Run around with the new guy, carefully vetted, slow and easily manipulated. Put together like a dummy corporation in the Caymans.
Things right themselves I reckon. In the end Parker left me an entire building in her Will. When I think back on it now, and those months vacuuming around me feet, I guess I know why.
Read a book the other day about the heyday of the US space program. Truth? It's actually what got me thinking about all this.
Wernher von Braun.
Born March 23rd, 1912, in Wyrzysk. Then Prussia, now Poland.
Attended the Technical University of Berlin.
A member of the Nazi Party. Was a major in the SS.
Did a lot of his work at Peenemünde, conveniently located near a labour camp, so slave labour was easy to come by.
Was responsible for, among other things, the creation of the V1 and V2 rockets. Thousands were killed in the UK by the V2's alone.
War ends. Enter Operation Paperclip run by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency.
Von Braun, his V2 team, and 1,600 former Nazi scientists are covertly brought to the US.
Among them individuals identified as war criminals and tried at Nuremberg but were "acquired" by the JIOA.
Included scientists responsible for experiments to test the effectiveness of interrogation techniques, physical limitations in extreme conditions, you name it. They'd eventually become part of Project Bluebird, the first hop in the skip and jump to MKULTRA.
For von Braun and his guys, the US put them to work. But first they needed a delousing. So the JIOA created false employment histories and fully expunged all records of their involvement with the Nazis.
They went to it. Military rocket projects at Fort Bliss and then White Sands. When Walther Reide opened his trap in an interview, Einstein was so pissed they were on US soil he nearly shit himself.
He did the Redstones, used in the first five US nuclear ballistic missile tests. The Mercury-Redstones and the Saturns. He was perhaps the leading reason the Americans went to the moon, held some of the highest positions at NASA, and was even responsible for the invention of NASA's space camp.
Just goes to show I guess. The right PR, support, and assets that contribute to your worth - having been in the SS doesn't really matter.