Schlomotion sits at the radio console and stares at the soft amber glow of the instrumentation his thick brow is furrowed in concentration and the anger is welling inside.
The song, She brings the Rain by Can is quickly coming to an end, it ends and yet he stares emptily into the dead air as if the aether was somehow speaking to him in a soundless language that only he could understand. The silence drives a painful stake into the dark studio.
The mic is live and through the crackling silence you can hear Schlomotion lick his cracked, bloody dry lips.
Finally, “I can see you.”
Then again, a stunning silence with the occasional pop and crack of the signal as it bounces from one solid structure to another.
“You think I can’t see you but I can see you, you and your lover, you are both lying side by side, naked, panting. I can see your breath, you bitch, you fucking bitch.”
Schlomotion’s heavy Israeli accent, grated to shreds by nicotine and crystal meth bites off the i-n-g and the t-c-h as if it was cut from his tongue, he goes on, “You will pay, yes you both will pay. I will teach you, you fucking cunt, I will teach you, you will pay.”
Presently my pager massages my thigh with my invariable conscientiousness. I lamely excuse myself from the table, drop the quarter with a sigh and a slight “g-by” dial, wait.
“Yeah, are you listening?”
“No, I’m eating, what’s up?”
“Snatch and I are at Mini’s why?”
“Belltown, why, what’s up?”
“Dude, Schlomotion has totally lost his shit and he’s airing his dirty laundry, you better get to a radio quick!”
“Who gives a fuck? If the dude wants to bitch about his fucked up life I know very few people more qualified then Schlomotion.”
“Phelch listen to me, this is different, just do me a favor and get to a radio and tune it in!” Click, silence.
I made my way back to my cold food and cooling girlfriend. “Hospital Dave.”
“Of course, what’s up?” Snatch said not looking up from her pasta.
“He said Schlomotion was freaking out on the air.” I said and yelled over to my friend Don behind the bar. “Hey Don, can we listen to FUCC for a few minutes, I just heard we’re in for quite a show.”
“Sure thing Phelch.” Don said and went over to the radio receiver under the bar. The sound of tuning down to the left side of an F.M. dial runs the gauntlet of frequencies and monosyllabic expletives, stops on…
“… I will cut your dripping cunt out of your body and feed it to your skinless lover before your dying eyes!” Click, and Don says, “Whoa Phelch, I’m a big fan and all but I think that’s a bit much for dinner time!” A shocked staring silence directed at me comes from the packed restaurant around me.
“Yeah umm, I’m sorry about that Don.” I said getting up wiping my face and reaching for my wallet.
“I’ll pay when I’m done; you go get that asshole off the air if you can, I’ll run over to their flat and check on Deloris, call me.” Snatch said toasting me with a glass of water and a blown kiss good-by.
I first met Schlomo Rabinowitz the II and his beautiful wife Deloris after the second Tchkung show at the Weathered Wall’s Tuesday night “Surrealists Magic Theatre”. The two of them approached me after the show and asked me and Snatch if we’d like to come over to their place for some after show refreshments. Snatch and I both fell instantly in love with these two shockingly beautiful people, Schlomo with his black un-wavering stare and thick long multi colored hair and Deloris with her easy touch, ample smile and striking white/blue eyes it seemed as though they were made for each other or as if they were each other.
We told them up front that we had at least an hours worth of unloading to do and they just looked at each other, smiled and said, “Great, the later the better maybe we’ll catch the sunrise through the clouds on our rooftop!” and at that point I just knew that this would be a truly profound friendship.
They lived in a 2,600 square foot studio located at the corner of 1st and Bell streets in the very heart of Belltown, a place that not only would I come to love but would ultimately become my home after Tchkung’s second tour of the Americas later in that same decade. That night after a particularly grueling un-loading session Snatch and I finally went back down to 1st and Bell to Schlomo and Deloris’ place for the most beautifully laid out snack tray that either one of us had ever seen. Deloris had prepared a silver Moroccan platter about the size of a turkey tray with an incredible array of fruits and vegetables, lemon tahini, Hummus and a cucumber raita that was to die for along with four different kinds of bread and crackers. None of us had eaten in many hours so it took no time at all to turn Deloris’s hard work into minute particles of detritus. Shortly there after Schlomo had painstakingly prepared some Turkish coffee that lit us all up like the fourth of July. After about an hour of non-stop jabbering Deloris set to combing Snatches long pink locks () so Schlomo and I climbed the fire escape on the side of their building and went up to their roof to smoke a splif that he had been saving all night. As we smoked he told me how he and Deloris had been watching Snatch and I all night and that they had come to the conclusion that two of us were the heart and sole of that band and that he knew after the first few minutes of watching our performance that him and I would become brothers. I was deeply moved by his openness and fucked up off my ass on caffeine, marijuana and a post-performance-rush that is truly impossible to explain so the only response I could muster was a permanently Jamaican grin and a few monosyllabic grunts. After a very long thoughtful silence between us as we looked out over our dark wet city the clouds became that predawn deep purple and Schlomo told me a story that would haunt me to this day, a story that he swore that he’d never told anyone but his trusted partner Deloris and for reasons that he hoped I’d understand must remain between the two of us.
…It went something like this:
Schlomo Rabinowitz II started his military career as a private, sign painter in the Israeli infantry for his compulsory 2 years service to his country after high school. Even though his lines were straight and his calligraphy was perfect he was quickly moved through the ranks for two very important reasons 1) he was an extraordinary shot with a rifle and 2) his father Schlomo Rabinowitz Sr. was one of the helicopter pilots at the famed “Raid on Antebbi”, where the Israeli army freed 22 Jewish hostages and killed 19 Lebanese Freedom Fighters without one fatality on their side. That was the military maneuver that put the Israeli armed forces on the “world power” map. Two years after the Raid on Antebbi Schlomo the first was killed in a fire fight on the Gaza Strip when an RPG struck his aircraft killing him and the 25 innocent bystanders standing directly under his helicopter instantly. He was the first of the Antebbi Raiders to die in action so the Israeli government made a big stink out of his death proclaiming him a national hero with his own day named after him and all that crap. The 25 innocent bystanders got jack-shit.
Schlomo Jr. was 6 years old when Schlomo 1 died and had long since forgotten every single detail of the man so by the time he was 19 when he himself entered the Israeli Black Force an elite unit of hand-to-hand assassins that was a “governmentally deniable” off-shoot of the Israeli special forces known as Hamas. The Black Force worked predominantly under cover of night, hence the name and had some of the most extensive hand-to-hand combat training known to man. By the time he was 21 Schlomo II had killed 16 men with his bare hands and 10 more from incredible distances with a rifle. Much to the delight of his superiors Schlomo Jr. was proving to be a natural born killer just like dear ‘ol dad but on a much more intimate level. Just after his 22 birthday and his 26th murder Schlomo the II signed up for two more years in the Black Force and took a well deserved month long liberty leave to the Island of Isola Asinara. Soon thereafter Schlomotion would discover two very important things about himself; two things that would in fact define the rest of his natural life. 1) He truly loved LSD and 2) he was an incredible artist with a paint brush. For four long weeks Schlomo tripped acid, swam naked in the warm Mediterranean Sea, painted on canvas and fell deeply, madly in love with a beautiful young woman from a little town on the west coast of the Americas called Belltown, her name was Deloris.
Deloris was undeniably the most beautiful thing that Schlomo had ever put his eyes on. After so many years of hatred and death Deloris’ powerfully hypnotizing eyes, gracious easy-going smile, long flowing golden hair and perfectly proportioned, drop-dead 17 year old body was in direct contrast to the grisly ghosts stacking up around his conscience. Deloris was not only breathtakingly beautiful she was also highly intelligent with a keen sense of abstract mathematics and longed to travel the world so by the time she’d laid eyes on Schlomo’s militarily sculpted body and hard good looks she was well past ready to leave Isola Asinara.
Although Deloris was born in Belltown she was raised on a very strange international proto-hippy commune on that tiny Island just North of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. The commune was called Creation and Deloris’ grandparents and their siblings were the original founders of Creation. They had claimed the land for the commune on Isola Asinara (Italian for Donkey Inhabited Island) just after WWII in 1946’s zoning of Italy and never paid for it, not one single lira, ever. To this day the residents of Creation hold true to their original philosophy that procreation was their god’s gift to all of them and it was the responsibility of the entire community to raise and teach the offspring of the community. They made all of their own electricity using as many alternative means as possible, composted all of their waste, grew and raised all of their own food which was all very cool but according to Deloris, they were also hyper-conservative patriarchal religious fuck-heads and that ultimately drove Deloris into running away to London with an angry young man by the name of Schlomo Rabinowitz II and opening up a highly successful Falafel stand in Piccadilly Circus.
Schlomo viewed the acid that he took every three days or so on his holiday on Isola Asinara as a beautiful doorway leading directly into Deloris’ arms and a powerful connection to the canvases now piling up around his physical self. When Schlomotion told me that the first time he’d dropped he actually felt as though they had made that drug just for him I couldn’t help but smile. So after so many years of causing so much pain to so many people Schlomo had truly discovered himself as a prolific artist and an illicit drug user of the highest order. His work in oil on canvas was beautiful on so many painful levels that it was almost impossible to look at any one of his Isola Asinara paintings for more a few seconds. His use of deep swirling blood reds and its ultimate contrast, black, was as startling as the tragic subject matter that was dimly alluded to with his choice of colors. Schlomotion was the quintessential artist; born of the pain and suffering of the lives that he had taken with his own bloodied hands and the acid was the secondary medium for his confessions. Before he left Isola Asinara Schlomotion had completed 26 works of art, one for each mother he had saddened.
The one thing in Schlomo’s new art driven life that had carried over from his past was the music that deeply moved and inspired him. When Schlomo Sr. died the only thing that Schlomo II received from Schlomo 1’s sprawling estate was a vinyl collection that would shock even the most hard core of FUCC’s DJ’s. 8,000 12 inch, 10 inch and 7 inch vinyl discs spanning the years and genres of the medium from an original thick wax pressing of Orson Wells’ War of the Worlds to every single note that Charley Parker ever blew for Blue Note, from Harpo Marxs’ Rac-6 to Spike Jones’ Dance with der Furor, from Charlton Heston’s 1962 (abridged) reading of Genesis and Exodus to Abby Hoffman’s (un-abridged) diatribe against the Vietnam war at the Lincoln Memorial in 1969. Schlomo loved each and every one of the records in his fathers collection but the music that truly stirred him were the works of the ambiguous psychedelic masters of the early ‘60’s to the late ‘70’s. Bands spanning that influential genre from its primordial beginnings with The Deep, Hawkwind, Moby Grape and Radio Luxembourg through the more abstract and musically profound projects such as Art Lab, Country Joe and the Fish and yes, even Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd. He wasn’t only into the Americans and Europeans though, he also loved the early Australians and Kiwi’s such as the Easy Beats, the Nuggets and Lenny Key. The bands that stimulated and truly inspired Schlomotion’s artwork though were all the incredible musicians that came out of the Canterbury Tour Scene of England’s early to late ‘70’s. Prominent musicians such as Arthur Brown, Robert Wyatt and Schlomo’s good friend Kevin Ayers as well as all the different bands that also came out of that little known (in the U.S. but huge in England) scene such as Arzachel, Egg, Hatfield and the North, Kahn, National Health, Matching Mole, Soft Machine and of course Schlomotion’s all time favorites Gong and Can. Schlomotion was another man that knew the most essential thing in the world; you keep your vinyl in alphabetical order, by genre and protected from the elements, always! By the time I met him Schlomotion had paintings of themes taken from almost every single song by Gong and Can and the over 400 vivid canvases were all over his giant Belltown flat ranging in size from 2 inches by 2 inches to 6 feet by 8 feet.
By the end of his month in paradise Schlomo had devised a brilliant plan for escaping the new two year contract that he had signed with the Black Force just before his life changing liberty leave to Isola Asinara, a plan that would in fact seal his fate and ultimately alienate him from his family as well as his country.
As the sun came up on that rainy Belltown morning Schlomotion continued his story by telling me about his first contract upon his return to Israel and I couldn’t help but listen in rapt silence.
The contract was a highly elusive Jordanian bomb maker/Palestinian sympathizer that was making allot of sad mothers himself near the border of the Gaza Strip. Schlomo was contracted to make this man disappear, which was the only contract he ever received. He was to find him, kill him, dismember his body and dispose of the pieces where no one would ever find them with the exception of the left pinky, that was usually sent to either the Mother of, or the Commanding officer (if he or she was military) of the victim to confirm the kill.
Schlomo told me that his all time favorite method of taking a life was a single long-knife insertion at a downward angle at the top of the left pectoral muscle severing the aorta from the heart of his victim, that way most of the bleeding was internal within the chest cavity and the job was completed in about 6 seconds. He showed me where the insertion was made with his thumb on my chest and a cold chill went up my spine.
Schlomo had a few favorite places of disposal but his usual was a high volume plastics incinerator located by a kibbutz just outside of the town of Tiberius, the city of his birth.
The contract, popularly known as The Cap was in every sense a despicable man. He was the son of a rich oil magnate and studied chemistry at Cornell University in the U.S. before his career as an anonymous killer. The Cap seemed to make his designer-bombs for fun rather than for money or politics and to the few people that knew him he seemed to take a lot of pride in the stylish way he built his explosives. Also, with his decadent life style of fancy chauffeured cars and expensive meals Schlomo knew that this was not going to be hard man to find. The limited dossier that Schlomo had received on The Cap prior to his return to Israel had only one bit of information of interest to the Black Force assassin and that was; The Cap was the exact same height and weight as Schlomo, down to the gram.
In fact, The Cap turned out to be an extremely easy man to find. Like the arrogant dumb-shit that he was he ate dinner every night at the same place, an elite little restaurant by the name of Café Zatar right on the beach in the Gaza Strip and he was always surrounded by a group of 6 very large well trained body guards.
Using the name of a local caterer known as Mohamed Salim Schlomo crossed the border into Gaza in a small delivery van and broke in to Café Zatar at 5am on the second day after his arrival in Israel and just 26 hours after his briefing on The Cap. He hid himself over the tiles in the ceiling of the men’s restroom just over the main entrance and waited there until The Cap came in to take his nightly dump at about 8:00pm, 13 painfully still hours after Schlomo’s arrival at the café. When he needed to shit The Cap would come in to the restroom after the room was secured by one body guard and was followed in by a second, the two body guards would stoically wait shoulder-to-shoulder about 3 feet in from of the door on the inside of the restroom while the The Cap was stinking up the place.
As The Cap shuffled into his stall Schlomo slipped from the ceiling behind the two body guards, broke the neck of one and severed the aorta of the other with his trusty long-knife in one smooth, completely silent movement. After silently arranging the bodies of his two new victims Schlomo set up a plastique charge under the body of the body guard with the severed aorta to go off when the restroom door was opened next. When The Cap exited the toilet stall 2 minutes and 45 seconds later his own aorta was severed and the wound covered and sealed before he could call out or even drip one drop of blood on the restroom tiles, dead in about 6 seconds flat. His body was hauled up into the ceiling, out the back of the café, into the delivery van and driving away 4 minutes before the next body guard entered the restroom blowing up the back half of Café Zatar killing that body guard and 4 innocent coffee drinkers that were passionately engaged in a very disturbing conversation about the current state of affairs between Israel and Palestine. By that time Schlomo was well on his way back to Black Force headquarters.
Before reaching headquarters Schlomo stopped his little van, pulled out his victims’ body, undressed the cadaver and proceeded to beat the shit out of it. He beat the corpse’s head so badly that 3 of the teeth came out, the jaw was broken in 2 places, the cheek bones crushed and the skull was shattered. He whacked off the left pinky finger just below the first knuckle of the beaten corpse. In the pockets of The dead Cap he put a razor sharp switch blade, a small sewing kit, a tiny flash light, an English Passport belonging to one Hiram Levi, a box of matches, a roll of duct tape and a remote control for the 4 pounds of C-4 explosives lining the interior of his delivery van. To the chest of his victim he taped 12,000 British Pounds-Sterling and a Glock 40mm semi-automatic pistol, the weapon of choice for the PLO. And finally up the freshly evacuated ass of the dead man Schlomotion shoved a two liter plastic bottle full of petrol. Schlomo put the teeth and the chunk of pinky from The Cap in a small plastic zip-lock baggie, put the baggie in the right breast pocket of The Cap’s shirt, redressed the freshly beaten dead man and continued his journey back to headquarters.
“Whoa, slow down there brush fire!” I said standing in the cold rain shivering my ass off that morning on the roof of Schlomotions building, “Dude, how in the hell do you get a full two liter bottle of anything up a man’s ass?!”
“My friend, this is not a problem when the man is dead and he just took a shit, remember his sphincters are no longer working, no.” Schlomo replied and busted up laughing. He suddenly stopped his hysterical laughter, reached over to my face and closed my gaping jaw and stoically continued his tale.
Once he was back at Black Force headquarters Schlomo parked the van directly against the back of the building on the van’s right side and entered the headquarters offices from the roof access fire escape with the dead body of The Cap draped over his shoulders like a cape with the dead mans wrists and elbows duct taped together in the front, he stashed the body in a rubbish container located on the top floor of the headquarters building just above the brig in the stairwell. He put a lock-pick set between his cheek and gum and went in to his commanding officer’s office.
The conversation between Schlomo and his commanding officer went something like this:
“What happened? Why are you here?”
“They made me and the contract escaped, I had to blow the building just to get away!”
“What!? You fucking asshole, why did come back here? This is a secure facility and you most likely just blew that as well!”
“I didn’t know what else to do; you have to get me out of the country, I am certain they will be coming for me!”
“What, I don’t have to do anything, this is your fuck up, and now you have to deal with it!”
“You will arrange for my safe passage out of this country or you will not leave this office alive.”
“Fuck you, you sniveling little insubordinate shit, you dug this hole now you have to lie in it!”
“I’m afraid that is not an option.” Schlomotion very calmly replied and proceeded to beat the living shit out of his commanding officer right there in the mans own office but not before letting him trip his personal alarm system.
Schlomo allowed 6 MP’s (not enough really) to subdue him, beat him up a little bit, strip him down to his underwear and throw him into the on site brig.
Once in his cell Schlomo, the assassin, the son of Schlomo the hero pilot went to work. He silently picked the lock of the cell, snapped the neck of the guard in front of the door dragging him inside of the cell. He went to the end of the hall picked another lock and killed another guard stashing that body under a desk at the end of the hall. Schlomo made his way up the stairwell to the dustbin at the top of the stairs. He pulled the dead body of The Cap out of the rubbish bin draped it over his shoulders again and made his way back to his cell. Once inside the cell Schlomo pulled all of the dead mans clothes off and put them on the cot along with the 12,000 British Pounds-Sterling and the Glock 40. He pulled out the switch blade, dug out 3 of his own teeth, the same three that had been broken out of The Caps dead face and lopped off the tip of his left pinky just below the first knuckle and placed his pinky tip in its own zip-lock baggie.
On the roof of his Belltown flat Schlomotion opened his mouth showing me his three missing teeth and held up his left hand exhibiting his distinct lack of pinky tip, smiled and continued.
Schlomo spread a generous amount of his own blood around the cell, put his boxer shorts on the dead body of The Cap, threw his three teeth on the floor, pulled the bottle of petrol out of the dead man’s ass and doused the body with it. Schlomo washed his face in the tiny sink and carefully duct-tapped his severed pinky. He dressed in The dead Caps clothing putting the baggie with his pinky tip in the left breast pocket of the shirt. He then took the switch blade and cut the seam at the top of the feather pillow, emptied the contents of the pillow on to the dead man’s body and stuffed the empty pillow full of the cash. After he was cleaned and dressed in The Caps very nice shirt, pants and shoes he took the remote control out of his pocket and blew up the entire first floor of the Black Force headquarters. After the building stopped shaking Schlomo II lit the body of The Cap on fire, slung the pillowcase full of money over his shoulder and escaped a second time from the building leaving all the doors open and dropping the Glock-40 on his way out.
Because of the fact that Schlomo’s commanding officer was taken away in an ambulance Schlomo felt compelled to hot wire the man’s beautiful new BMW 323-I Bavaria. He drove to a little place he knew just outside of a Kibbutz by the little town of Tiberius, the city of his birth.
Illuminated by the hellish light of a high powered plastics incinerator Schlomo’s goateed ashen face took on the distant appearance of a long forgotten Pan. The bloody sewing kit was in pieces strewn around him. He reached into the right breast pocket of his new shirt, took out the zip-lock baggie that had three teeth and the tip of a pinky finger in it and threw it into the pyre. He reached into his left breast pocket took out the zip-lock baggie that had his own finger tip in it, put the baggie in an envelope that was addressed to his mother and sealed the envelope. He took four capsules of high powered, militarized meth-amphetamine and drove off into the night stopping only at a mailbox along the way.
Two years after his escape from Israel Schlomotion and Deloris took the proceeds from the sale of their highly successful restaurant in London to move back to her home town of Belltown on the North West coast of North America, soon there after Schlomotion had his first art show at the Weathered Wall where he managed to sell all 26 of his original Isola Asinara collection but for some reason the only piece that he didn’t sell at that show was a tiny 2 in by 2 inch painting of the severed bloody tip of a finger, the name of that piece was simply, The Cap.
“… I will eat his tongue in front of him but I will not kill him, I want him to live as long as possible.”
“Schlomotion you fucking asshole, what makes you think that anyone listing to the radio right now gives a shit about your completely insubstantial suspicions about your wife?”
Without turning off the mic Schlomotion turned to look at me standing in the door of studio 1 and said, “Get out of here Phelch Dunderhead, you have no right to censor my radio program.”
“Censor you? I’m not trying to censor you my friend, I’m simply trying to save you from the inevitable embarrassment that you will suffer when you find out that not only is your wife not cheating on you but for reasons I will never understand she desperately wants you to come home to her loving arms when you’re finished making a fool out of yourself on the radio! Censor you, what the fuck is wrong with you? On the contrary, turn that fucking mic up I want everyone to hear this, there is no one at your flat right now with the exception of Deloris who loves you more than I thought was humanly possible and Snatch, who doesn’t like you very much at all right now! Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” I said, full-on screaming into his deathly calm face. “I can’t believe you would have the audacity to turn this incredible outlet for free speech, this radio station, the one that you even helped build, into an outlet for your unsubstantiated hatred! After all that we’ve been through, how can you trivialize all of that work with your hateful language, fuck you, you inconsiderate asshole!”
“I saw his car parked in front of my house.” Schlomotion replied in a tired, subdued voice with his head hung looking at the floor.
“No, you’re wrong, it must’ve been somebody else’s car! Listen to me, she loves you my friend and she’s going to have your son so you need to stop trying to kill yourself for the sins of your past and move on to a beautiful future with your family. Please, just go home to Deloris, she’s waiting for you.”
Schlomotion stood up and dropped the live microphone in the DJ chair and leaned into me whispering with an icy smile, “My friend, you are a very brave man.” And he left the studio picking up his records on his way out, never to return.
“…You’re listening to 89.1fm FUCC.”