The Freedman Archives: Part II

The following is a collection of letters written by Gary Freedman to his imagined friend.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Cicada Syndrome

The Cicada Syndrome Brian--
May 27, 2004
Hey, buddy. I'm feeling a bit low. I'm careful not to say I'm in a dark place. I know how that gets you upset. And we don't want to upset you, do we?
This muggy, rainy weather has me down. Besides I've kind of figured out that we probably won't be getting together on Memorial Day. Bugger!
I've been thinking about the French writer Marcel Proust. In the final volume of Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past," the Narrator, sitting in a little library waiting to go in to a recital, is flooded with illumination after illumination about love, art, memory and time. All the pieces of the puzzle of his experience suddenly come together for him, and he emerges from his reverie ready to undertake the task of writing the magical book that the reader holds in his hand and will soon have to part from.
I've been thinking of my experiences, and, as it happened in the case of Proust, the pieces of the puzzle fit together for me. It's unbelievable. It couldn't be more obvious. There's a pattern. It happens every 17 years. Can you believe it? It happens, like clockwork, every seventeen years. Like some bizarre insect that emerges from the earth, from its chrysalis, according to some exact internal biological clock.
I suppose the fiction writer might say something along the lines of "Once upon a time, in Washington, DC, there lived a human monster unlike anything mankind has ever known. Enter the world of an evil genius, a miscreant so depraved that only the most hideous of crimes could satisfy his lust, a depraved monster who lives to possess the essence of young organizational managers, a vampire of the unfulfilled underachiever, whose bloodless, inane quest takes him beyond the boundaries of unconscious wishes, and culminates in job termination, in some cases, or suspension of library privileges, in others."
So much for the fiction writer. I deal in facts.
I am a threat. Yes! My potential victims fear me. There is so much I could do, if only I wanted to -- at least according to the belief systems of my individual victims. I hold the power in my hand. A power stronger than the power of money or the power of terror or the power of death: the invincible power to command the fear of the paranoid!
I can't believe I never saw the ineluctable schema before. But there is a pattern to my victimization. As Dr. Eissler pointed out "Victimology, that newly-founded brand of criminology, has found that the personality of the victim is the cause of his becoming a victim and this is also true of persons who suffer from the so-called "Cicada Syndrome."
What is the "Cicada Syndrome," you ask? In this heretofore unrecognized syndrome the aggressor seeks out another individual, who, because he possesses certain personality qualities, is considered by Freedman a prime candidate for an unusual fate, a fate destined to be repeated every seventeen years. The victim is sought out and terrorized in a ruthless, but insidious, attack on the victim's inner sense of well-being and narcissistic integrity. Freedman places the victim's very masculinity at risk!
These are the facts.
In the year 2004 I preyed on you, Brian. You know about that, of course. I sought you out and terrorized you. Inside I laughed in scornful mockery at your fears, while you cringed lest I strike out at you from the dark places of my soul.
Little did you know that you were only the latest victim of my serial perversity.
Seventeen years ago, in 1987, I preyed on another innocent victim, Craig Wallace Dye. He feared my attack, and responded in self-defense, or should I say he responded defensively.
Then, in early 1988, as part of the same 17-year cycle (1987-1988) I began my ruthless attack on another hapless victim, John David Neary, at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.
Oddly enough, my victims have several things in common. All three were managers, with serious dissatisfactions in their private lives, who had unrealized aims in their professional work. Yes! Let the word go forth! I am a maniacal manager-victimizer. I victimize innocent organizational managers, who are underemployed and who are dissatisfied in life. I force them to love me, and they respond with reversal and projection. In the end, I am destroyed. I return to the bowels of the Earth from whence I came, and emerge from the Earth seventeen years hence to strike again.
In the event you remain unconvinced, let me elaborate.
The year was 1987. Craig the Embalmer had started working at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in October 1986, at age 27. He was a brilliant young man with a genius-level IQ. He was later accepted to Harvard Law School and other law schools of high repute. But that would be years in the future.
As of 1986, Craig had a master's degree in international relations awarded by Johns Hopkins University. And what occupation did he assume at Hogan? An elevated position of responsibility and authority, you say? No! A resounding no! He worked on the firm's furniture inventory, when he wasn't involved in the lofty vocation of coding documents. He had spent the earlier years of his life in dissipation -- traveling the world, waiting tables, and getting due mileage out of young lassies. Yes. Craig was handsome, intelligent, manipulative and a professional womanizer. But career-wise he was less than successful.
In mid-year 1987, the love of his life, Amanda, dumped Craig. Yes, dear, sweet, clinging, 20-telephone-calls-per-day Amanda left Craig's life for good (or ill) while the assassination heiress had yet to make her appearance. As of 1987 Craig was, as they say, going nowhere fast: romantically and professionally.
In August 1987 the Embalmer took on a male roommate, Daniel Cutler, who also worked at Hogan -- Craig and Daniel had adjoining desks at work, in fact. It was "mostly Daniel, most of the time."
Craig assumed responsibilities in the Computer Applications Department, and of critical importance for our tale, ultimately became Manager of the Computer Applications Department.
The picture is complete. Romantic dissatisfaction, professional underachievement, and a crappy manager's job. The perfect victim for me! I took advantage of Craig's situation and ruthlessly exploited the poor, hapless Embalmer. He responded with reversal and projection, as the analysts say, and the rest is history. Or at least my job was history. Craig and his comrades concocted a story that I was out to get poor Craig, poor helpless Craig. Yes, I was a manager victimizer! I had to go. In late February 1988, I was terminated by my supervisor at Hogan after the effective machinations of the Embalmer sealed my coffin.
Thus ended Phase I of my seventeen year cycle.
The cycle picked up again a few days later, in early March 1988, at Akin Gump, with my second victim, John David Neary.
John David Neary was the perfect victim for me. He was a 1985 graduate of William and Mary College and had high hopes for a brilliant career in the law - as a lawyer, that is. Unfortunately, for John David, law schools didn't quite have a corresponding confidence in John David's potential.
In 1989 he attended the wedding of a friend and complained that he was the last in his crowd of friends who remained unmarried. Romantic dissatisfaction.
John David had a crappy manager's job, supervising other paralegals. My depraved and insatiable urge to gratify my vile proclivities could not be staunched. I would once again follow the dictates of my biological destiny. I would once again be a manager victimizer!
I know this will weary you, buddy. It wearies me. But I have to say it.
Once again, John David -- as with Craig before him -- presented an image of alluring potential victimization that I could not resist. Romantic dissatisfaction, professional underachievement, and a crappy manager's job. The perfect victim for me! I took advantage and ruthlessly exploited poor, helpless John David. He responded with reversal and projection, as the analysts say, and the rest is history. Or at least my job was history. John David and his comrades concocted a story that I was out to get poor John David. Yes, I was a manager victimizer! I had to go. In late October 1991, I was terminated by Akin Gump after the effective machinations of John David convinced senior managers that I was frightening, Yes!, a frightening paralegal with whom John David could not work. I was determined to be potentially violent -- more, in fact -- I was determined to be a manager killer. Not just a manager victimizer, but a potential manager killer. See Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals, No. 96-CV-961 (Record on Appeal at 349, stating that J.D. Neary was afraid of me and that he could not work with me).
Thus ends the first seventeen-year cycle. I returned to the bowels of the Earth, not to be seen for the better part of a generation.
Years would pass. Seventeen years to be exact. But no fear, I would return to wreak havoc once again. I would arise from the Earth, as part of my seventeen-year cycle and start all over again. Not to another life, a better life, but to the self-same life of manager victimization.
That brings us to the year 2004. That brings us to you, buddy. You, like your predecessors, were the perfect victim.
You were male. You had a crappy manager's job, running a local branch library, despite your obvious intelligence and underutilized abilities. You had worked your entire adult life in a field traditionally dominated by women (and a fair quota of homosexuals). Your only male colleague, William -- a unique individual -- is a bi-polar psychotic whose wife's first husband was a homosexual. Indeed, there's an "incestuous" quality to William, who married the lovely Debra, also a librarian -- the children's librarian at The Chevy Chase Branch of The DC Library.
Though married, you have no children -- at an age when most married men enjoy paternal fulfillment. Yes, you are unfulfilled in your private life. You were the perfect victim for my ruthless exploitation. Ironically, or uncannily, John David was active in the Big Brother's of America, an organization whose members mentor fatherless boys. Odd, don't you think? My victims are always unfulfilled males.
Yes, Brian. I victimized you, and you were sore afraid. I terrorized you with talk of dark spaces, references to compensatory damages (frightening!), and my open confession that I was failing to do what I had no legal duty to do. Yes, what a bastard I am, preying as I do on hapless managers such as yourself.
Again, I know this will weary you, buddy. Oh, how it wearies me! But I have to say it.
Once again, as with Craig and John David, you possessed a host of alluring qualities that proved irresistible for me. Your lack of paternal fulfillment, your professional underachievement, and your crappy manager's job. The perfect victim for me! I took advantage and ruthlessly exploited poor, helpless Brian Patrick. He responded with reversal and projection, as the analysts say, and the rest is history. Or at least my library privileges were history. Brian Patrick and his comrade, William, concocted a story that I was out to get poor Brian Patrick. Yes, I was a manager victimizer! I had to go. And so, on April 21, 2004, my library privileges at the Cleveland Park Branch of the DC Library were suspended after the effective machinations of Brian Patrick and William convinced the Metro DC Police that I was frightening, Yes!, a frightening library patron whom Brian Patrick could not abide. Brian Patrick determined that I was a vengeful icon manipulator who resided in dark places and who -- bastard that I am -- perversely refused to do what I had no legal duty to do.
Thus ends my second seventeen year cycle. And thus, buddy, ends my "Notes from Underground." And thus, to paraphrase Nietzsche, ends Freedman's Going Under.
Check you out later, buddy.
P.S. Hey, Brian. A bit of Army humor. What would you call it if Dr. Brad Dolinsky (Captain Vagina) were booted out of the army? -- A Vaginal Discharge!! Get it?


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