THE AMERICAN EXECUTIVE ON THE HOLOCAUST
PART THREE (AN
OR THE HORROR MAN IN THE
2013 PATRICIA L. MCGURK
That train horn sounded like someone I knew once, a man years ago
lost in my childhood. Did I ever know a woman who
wasn't a loving person when I was a child? An
isolated terrifying sound like a demented church organ blasting,
the sound is angry and big at night in Texas, big and hollow
Sforzando with force,
and pushed into my sleeping consciousness - waking me, the
American Executive with a start in Arlington, Texas, the United
States (once of America).
The angry train locomotive horn sometimes blasts repeatedly like
a man's horn, at least - a horror horn blowing in the Hollow
Land, the Hololand as it is called now, not the Legend of Sleepy
Hollow, a Virginia folk tale once written down. It
must be the sound of the State here, the Unseen State visible
through disturbing sound only at night, late at night almost
daylight but still dark - when you have your potentially
satisfying REM sleep - rapid eye movement sleep and are
concluding some dreams of yours, or dreaming of concluding your
She had spoken in a pretend fashion just that day to the TV
screen in the public fast food restaurant in Central Texas, "Go
ahead and look at me. Look at me because here I am
- waiting for you to confront me" she spoke to The Editor, the
authority, to herself accusing the unseen, invisible but very
real critic of her literary life, the unseen critic or critics
that she assumed existed somewhere on the television screen in TV
land, called "La La Land"
by the American people.
That must have been it, what was "termed" as the newer
administration's employees, probably government workers, spoke in
slang in the nation's outlying capital areas now (apparently
decentralized with more emphasis on "State's Rights").
They named the term a "residue of fear" only - something
left over from previous, unsettled feelings - causing her to
worry about the train horn as being a source of her personal fear
here in Arlington, Texas, and waking her up from sleep.
In her brief stay here in this Texas region, no one had ever
mentioned to her, none of the local residents or the police or
even the librarians at the library, mentioned that anything was
wrong here in Arlington or nearby, so maybe she was worrying for
no reason. Her heart raced fast as she sat in her
motel bed in the darkness, the bathed darkness from the bathroom
light bulb or white globe-shaped fixture in the small room with
the biggest light in her dark, dingy motel room (all she could
afford), but still the only warm light available.
She had just eliminated all the odd trash-like objects on the
floor under the bed inside an open wooden platform frame on the
floor under the box springs - picking up black lint, small weird
white plastic shape like a hanger and other items, throwing them
away as they made her think of the occult which she heard is
occasionally active in the United States, but not her point of
view. As she cleaned the motel room to her
satisfaction, though not a maid, she felt like an exorcist and
wished she were paid for eliminating the terror around her
through her principles (anywhere) and cleanliness.
Her house cleaning (or motel) is not really Puritan but contains
an underlying foundation of rational order, with some comfort for
her as a person.
Even so, she could hear (really feel) that plane overhead someone
told her is a surveillance plane, breathing over her and making
her heart race again. She had always had a steady
heart and people commented for years how steady her heart
She rose early but went back to her bed, still tired from packing
her clothes again as a traveler without a home - or any anchors
at all in the forbidding land that had been once familiar to
her. Did she ever know a man in the United States
of America, the country it once was? She knew no
one in Central Texas. Not ever did she live here
and the vegetation was foreign, not the familiar desert of
Western Texas. A hostage in the darkness, she
remembered that "Group Think" will never happen again to the
American Writer, someone had told her.
Separated from her home by half a continent geographically,
several days' journey in a bus and on foot for the lack of public
transportation with no buses at all in Arlington, Texas, she had
walked a long distance from Fort Worth.
The whole country felt like a jail now, and she can't shake the
feeling anymore as she watches people hide as soon as they smile
at her, nice people who disappear. She plans to
leave, the American Executive with little money, for somewhere to
hide, as well herself - somewhere as her Virginia robin sings
outside in the darkness what she had once called an American
Carol, singing in a shaky young or old voice in the near-light of
This must be what happened to the real American people with a
conscience. Local police had made her feel just
that day that her nakenedness is vulnerable because she still
feels, as an older woman, beautiful and confident.
Car jails seemed to surround her like a lariat of cars, and her
dollar store Sharpie pens ran out of ink.