The Red Spiral – by X.F. Pine

These are the lost notebooks of a secret performance artist, whose 1990s New York reality is a maze of chance meetings, observations, and obsessions. He is an island without an ocean and psycho pomp on the fringes of his own sensitive mortality. He needs to understand why the universe is trying to kill him.

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From the Introduction…

I first met the author of these journals when we were in school together. Oddly, he was one of the first people I met when I arrived in New York.

To say that he had an acidic personality would be an understatement. He was a certified and isolated member of the lunatic fringe. I have been told that his attitude became worse as he got into his late twenties. Old friends told me that he became unbearable at times, and they all decided that he wasn’t worth enduring in the end. Some people went so far as to say that he was the most disrespectful and pitiful of creatures. I will let you cast that final judgment.

In about 1998 the author gave me these four notebooks before he left New York forever. They were his only secret copies, and he seemed strangely indifferent to their final resting place. I was told that he spread his belongings across many associates and friends before he left because he trusted no single person.

Some associates of mine say that he went back to Europe for unknown reasons. Others say he was killed in a car accident in Vermont on an icy road. He had a estranged relationship with his family who I’ve tried to contact, but either do not want to make themselves available, or are offended or embarrassed by anything their son had to say. I have decided to publish these journals myself without his family’s permission, as I find them to be a curious record of complete personal detachment. For these various reasons I have kept him anonymous.

The words are entertaining record of deranged implications. They do follow a fragmentary logic. All the notebooks were written in red ink, not unlike blood and neat, as though the author worked from notes or some other organizational method.

It is ironic to me how obsessed with the family he is if you look at the subtext of these pages. He is clearly an outsider to the whole institution for whatever reason. He is an island without an ocean. He seems to value the behavior of ghosts more than living humans.

What is strange, in reading these notebooks and meticulously typing them up for all, was that he referred to a visit to my own home, and wasn’t all that respectful. What did he expect me to do with these personal snapshots he gave me after he insulted me but for me to hand them over to a publisher and share them with strangers.

Perhaps the reason he gave me the notebooks in the end was so he could jettison them, and this part of his life. He needed to let go of the past the best way he could, by making someone else responsible. I half expect him to suddenly appear and demand the notebooks back. Another part of me believes he’s forgotten all about their welfare. So be it.

X.F. Pine


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