My Life of Crime as a Shaolin Priest III

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Janah and I found each other when we were about nine. It was confusing at first, who is thinking what, but we eventually learned how to separate. We also see through each others eyes, hear what the other hears. That was bizarre too until we figured out who was actually seeing what. I used to try and pick up a glass that Janah was looking at in her room across town.
We met in person at twelve, her parents moved to the condo above ours in Greenwich Village. Janah’s dad, James Svensson, is a diagnostic psychiatrist, her mom, Kara, an artist. I have two moms, Susan Sylk, my bio mom, and Chris Fischer, my mom's partner. Janah and I became everyone’s daughter, so we share three moms and a dad.
Janah is a bit of a freak. She has natural snow white hair, and she’s an eidetiker, what people call a photographic memory.
I’m another kind of freak. I have unusually quick reflexes, and heightened senses. I can smell sickness like a dog, hear a whisper in another room, see like a telescope or a microscope, which pays off considering my fascination with martial arts.

Table of Contents


In the fifth full year at the temple, approaching the sixth, I’m still in the kitchen every day. Master Sung calls me, ‘undisputed ... Read Chapter


Most people are limited by their own lack of persistence, because they are lazy, or too easily satisfied, and also because they are afr... Read Chapter


You Can’t Go Home Again is a novel by Thomas Wolfe. Obviously, he never knew the moms or the title would have been, You Better Go Hom... Read Chapter


'I couldn’t find the way.' He says, 'You don’t need to find a way now.' He speaks the truth. The way, or whatever it might be,&nb... Read Chapter


We dress in street clothes, not robes. We discussed what to do, clothes-wise. Shaolin in America have largely adopted western dress, to... Read Chapter


Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces- to what is possible.   It nee... Read Chapter


In the present moment, when your mind remains in its own condition  without constructing anything, Awareness at that moment is its... Read Chapter


Our second target runs a pool hall edging the ghetto on south side Chicago. A dozen tables, a bar, filled all afternoon and night with ... Read Chapter


Chaos breeds life, order breeds habit. Henry Adams   We lounge like lizards for most of the next day, then go to the dojang ea... Read Chapter


Sonja: Judgment of any system, or a priori relationship or phenomenon exists in an irrational, or metaphysical, or at least epistemolog... Read Chapter


If one is truly to succeed in leading a person to a specific place, one must first and foremost take care to find him where he is and b... Read Chapter


One has to be indifferent-to health, to loneliness, to what people say or do not say, indifferent to success or no success, indifferent... Read Chapter


When the student is ready, the master appears, and vice versa. Tuesday afternoon, we visit Chapmans. School is out, although a fair n... Read Chapter


If the chemistry is there, go with it. Janah Svensson We are at Chapmans, I’m teaching today, going to practice forms and hang ou... Read Chapter


An ant goes round and round without rest Like all beings in the six realms of existence, Born here and dying there without release, Now... Read Chapter


Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it? Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious. Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shir... Read Chapter


One should absorb the color of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar. Oscar Wilde Today, it... Read Chapter


If you don’t like who you are, then quit being that person. 'My mother was inattentive, or over attentive, my father was gone, I’m ... Read Chapter


How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? It’s summer, we have more time during the day. Janah is on a progressive workout schedule, light t... Read Chapter


Life is what comes along, get on with it. Daphne Sylk   'Janah, Nikko’s left Paladin, I want her to hang with us, what do yo... Read Chapter

Twenty One

You are allowed to think that adult life consists of a constant exercise of personal will but it wasn’t really like that Jean thought... Read Chapter

Twenty Two

A lone hawk a second a third riding air for play or prey Nishiko Murakami   Janah comes in from the shower, Nikko an... Read Chapter

Twenty Three

…the individuals tell their stories to themselves, to each his own, they are the ones who peer in and look at and notice things on a ... Read Chapter

Twenty Four

To be that which you are is the bath of rebirth. In the depths, living is not an unconditional persistence but an endlessly slow growth... Read Chapter

Twenty Five

In the end, it’s the animal, always the animal. Daphne Sylk Janah did her magic, my limp is gone. The swelling on Nikko’s e... Read Chapter

Twenty Six

'I love great food. That’s why I don’t cook.' Susan Sylk   Susan, 'I’m glad Nikko called, I would have pouted if my new ... Read Chapter

Twenty Seven

You can see a lot just by looking. Yogi Berra   A doubly massaged Janah is liquid as clear spring water. She’s bubbling in t... Read Chapter

Twenty Eight

I make a good girl bad and bad girls worse Hinder, All American Nightmare   By the afternoon we’re in a standard rental, and... Read Chapter

Twenty Nine

It takes a lot of intellect and confidence to accept that what makes sense doesn’t really make sense. Nassim Taleb, The Bed of Procru... Read Chapter


Like Indian underwear, I'm creepin’ up on you Daphne Sylk   We are parked behind an abandoned house, a short block from th... Read Chapter

Thirty One

My idea of camping out is slow room service Nikko Murakami   It’s time to scope out the house. We take the van to a trail he... Read Chapter

Thirty Two

We have time, the others won’t be back for a few hours. We search around for keys to the van, find them hanging on a board by the bac... Read Chapter

Thirty Three

When push comes to shove, shove hardest. Chris Fischer, C-mom   We mill around in the bathroom, wash up and pile into bed. Jan... Read Chapter

Thirty Four

There is no adequate way of describing the beauty of such an object. One can only look at it in wonder. Daphne Sylk   Mr. Mura... Read Chapter

Thirty Five

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. Ambrose Bierce   'Precious angel, you come to see old lady?... Read Chapter

Thirty Six

Ch’an is really the method of no method. There is no bridge provided, because there is no river. If you let go of your attaching mind... Read Chapter

Thirty Seven

If you can describe it, it isn’t God Janah Svensson   We are watching the Sunday morning news programs, cold in New York, we... Read Chapter

Thirty Eight

No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. Lily Tomlin   Later that night, back at the apartment, I’m prepa... Read Chapter

Thirty Nine

The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come not on the last d... Read Chapter


It takes extraordinary wisdom and self control to accept that many things have a logic we do not understand that is smarter than our... Read Chapter

Forty One

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Various attributions   Janah is in the dojang with Nikko and me whe... Read Chapter

Forty Two

Technology is a tool. You can build a house with a hammer, or you can destroy one. There will be unintended consequences either way. ... Read Chapter

Forty Three

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to tota... Read Chapter

Forty Four

The world is gorged with people who think that people with a different ethnicity, culture or religion are nothing more than ATM’s to ... Read Chapter

Forty Five

There is no simplistic ‘why’ to anything we do. Neurons connect, fire across synapses, we do things. Janah Svensson   As... Read Chapter

Forty Six

A bad attitude gets you in trouble. Nikko has no attitude, she is trouble. Daphne Sylk   We are walking into the wonderful w... Read Chapter

Forty Seven

Much talk, much worry And you’re less than ever able to face things Be done with talk, be done with worry And there’s no place ... Read Chapter

Forty Eight

I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco…. it was someone else’s heart. Nikko Murakami   The phone rings, Janah gets it,... Read Chapter

Forty Nine

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:8... Read Chapter


Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whe... Read Chapter

Fifty One

How would you like your toast…black, or ashes? Susan Sylk   Now it’s later, our pack heads to the condo for Sis’ eclecti... Read Chapter

Fifty Two

My idea of suburbs is Queens Daphne Sylk   I’m driving, 'Man, I hope I never have to get used to this.' Nikko, 'What?' '... Read Chapter

Fifty Three

An intercom, 'What is it?' Janah starts talking, not vocalizing, just moving her lips. She’s hoping to make him open the door by assu... Read Chapter

Fifty Four

George Costanza: Kramer goes to a fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for... Read Chapter

Fifty Five

Pain in training is nature’s way of telling you you’re making progress. Suffering over it is voluntary. Daphne Sylk   It... Read Chapter

Fifty Six

You can be an agreeable landlord, just don’t be a schmuck. Mrs. Epstein, advising Nishiko   Mrs. Fong has been long consider... Read Chapter

Fifty Seven

If you go to thinking, take your heart with you. If you go to love, take your head with you. Love is empty without thinking, thinking... Read Chapter

Fifty Eight

It’s Buddhist. The process tedious, the outcome glorious. Mrs. Fong.   Chan accompanies Janah and me on a short refocusing i... Read Chapter

Fifty Nine

I don’t want to get married, I don’t see the point. But I loved going to Chan and Ning’s wedding. Particularly the bit about dres... Read Chapter


One day I’m celebrating birth, the next I’m contemplating death. Good thing I’m organized. Even better that I ignore dissonance. ... Read Chapter

Sixty One

Please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste I've been around for a long, long year Stole many a man's soul an... Read Chapter

Sixty Two

Mrs. Big Nose: Oh, it's blessed are the MEEK! Oh, I'm glad they're getting something, they have a hell of a time. Reg: What Jesus fai... Read Chapter

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