Epilogue

When Gregson got back to the future, it felt like his body bounced back. He felt fat again, and it felt good.

“Here’s Dorian’s watch, sir—and the almanac.”

“Sweet Jesus, son—is that all you have for me?”

“And Hitler’s balls in Stanley’s vomit bag. He didn’t make it back.”

“Who’s Hitler?”

“You mean—you don’t know?”

“Tell me…”

“He almost became world dictator during World War II.”

“World War II?”

“This is a bit much for me, sir” Gregson said.

“Well—your psych profile told us you can handle the hurdles of time travel. By the way, what happened to Stanley’s watch?”

“I must’ve left it in the past, sir.”

“Nobody will know what it can do. Suite up, Gregson! You need to rejoin those women in the river! You’ve only been gone for 25 minutes.”

There was a POP, and a beautiful woman materialized.

“Who’s this?” Weathers asked.

“This is Hitler’s Pussy. Let me introduce you.”

“Pleased to meet you, mam. I’m Cornel Weathers.”

“How high of a ranking officer are you?” Pussy asked.

“High,” Weathers said. His shoulders snapped to attention.

“Well—I think time has stuck me to this one.”

“Do you know how to swim?”

“Sure, I do,” Pussy said. I even have a suit on, underneath my silks.”

“It doesn’t look like you have one on,” Gregson said.

“My birthday suit, silly.”

“Let’s go to the river, and I’ll drive.”

“So, do you have a girlfriend yet?” Pussy asked.

“Not exactly.”

When they got there, they swam upstream to the campsite.

“Look what I caught!” Gregson said.

“Where have you been?” Murphy asked. “And who is that woman?”

“I prevented World War II, delivered Hitler’s balls in a to-go bag, and this is my Pussy.”

Murphy’s jaw dropped, and the girls were offended.

The End

Chapter 12 Hitler’s Golf Game Goes to Hell

Pussy and Stanley watched the two golfing gods waging war on the golf course—dueling with their philosophies of power. On the fourth hole, Hitler hooked his ball into the woods.

Gregson swung easy, and put his ball into the short grass.

Hitler was mumbling to himself about Jews, while he looked for his ball. Pussy went to help him.

“This is our chance,” Stanley said. “We can run for it!”

“I don’t think so—We have to beat Hitler at his own game.”

“But he’ll kill us, no matter what we do—He’ll probably torcher us, if he loses.”

“Something Hitler said, stood out to me—He has balls! What if he didn’t?”

“Are you saying, what I think you’re saying?”

“We castrate the Fuhrer, and he won’t have the power to dominate! Do you still carry a pocketknife, Stanley?”

“I do—it’s a Swiss Army Knife—But why not kill him?”

“Because, it will be like toppling the Empire State Building, and the Past won’t like that—it’ll push back—but if we just cut the power…”

“We take away his potency.”

“Exactly.”

Then Hitler bounced back. His golf ball flew out of the trees like a rocket, and landed on the green. It was a miracle shot! Again, he holed-out for birdie. On hole 5, Hitler hooked it, again.

“Damn!”

This time, he was on the beach! But Hitler loved the beach. He played from the sand, the way he played from the short grass. He wore sunglasses, just to show off—and Gregson thought it was over—all he could do was make par, but then, divine intervention, or bad luck, or black magic intervened. Hitler got the shanks!

Hitler swung. “Damn!”

Again. Hitler swung. “Damn!”

His ball kept going right. It wouldn’t go straight—until it looked like Hitler had lost his mind. No matter what he did, his ball didn’t go where he wanted it to go. Then he picked it up, and the game was over.

“Pussy, give me a par on this hole,” Hitler said. She wrote it down on his score card.

“That’s cheating!” Stanley complained. Hitler leveled his Luger at Stanley’s heart and pulled the trigger. The scientist dropped like a bag of potatoes.

“Cadies are consumed with the rules!” Hitler said. “There are no rules—only what I make them to be. Now, tell me Gregson—what are my future flaws?”

“You should’ve never picked a fight with the Russians, sir. And rather than hesitating at Dunkirk—you might’ve gone all the way.”

“You say I hesitated? That’s not like me.” Hitler took studious notes on the back of the red almanac, and while he was writing, Gregson swung for the fences, knocking the Fuhrer flat on his ass.

“I hate to do this, sir” Gregson said. But he quickly removed the World Almanac and Hitler’s watch. Then he grabbed Stanley’s Swiss Army Knife, and opened Hitler’s pants.

“Pussy—you’d better look away,” Gregson warned. He quickly cut, and then reached into Stanley’s pocket for his vomit bag. Gregson dropped the oysters in—to go.

“Would you drive me back to Hitler’s house?” Gregson asked Pussy.

Pussy didn’t dare refuse the Fat PI. When they got back, there was a package waiting on Hitler’s doorstep, marked FRAGILE. Gregson was too curious not to look inside. It was an ancient cup, made for a carpenter.

“Is this what I think it is?” Gregson asked.

“Let me get you some wine,” Pussy offered. She poured, and Gregson drank. He felt invigorated. He felt like he would never die.

“Well—I guess this is where I leave you, Pussy.”

“Take me with you?”

“Sorry—but my friend is trying to hook me up on a blind date, and I can’t leave him hanging with two females. Perhaps, in a different time.” Then Gregson twisted his watch, and was history.

Chapter 11 Hitler’s Destiny

On the third hole, Hitler launched his drive 50 yards farther. His power was coming from somewhere. Gregson noticed it, like the sun going behind cold mountains—magical and mighty, transcending humanity—ever more dangerous, because it only cared about power.

“Fuck society,” Hitler said. “A society at peace, is a society not worth having.”

“Everybody is trying for the quiet life,” Gregson said. “It’s a life I can’t stomach.”

“Why?” Hitler asked, intrigued.

“People are trying to be the same. Their houses are the same—their clothes are the same—their mannerisms, and tastes are wholesale. They go to university, and they golf like they have arrived, but they don’t dominate anything. They don’t explore what they don’t know. They are afraid of being different.”

“You sound like me,” Hitler said. “A society at war, is a society where great men can salute each other.”

Gregson knew he was going to lose against Hitler. The man had strength. They got onto the green in regulation, and Hitler sunk his 30-foot putt.

“How do you do that?” Gregson asked. He two-putted for par.

“I have the power of hermits and priests, running through my blood,” Hitler said. “You know, Gregson—you remind me of me. I can’t kill myself. We think the same. I am three-strokes in the lead, so you will have to tell me my mistakes in history—otherwise, I won’t be able to conquer the world.”

“Your problem is, you want to make the whole world the same—you want to make people the same—you will do it through war—and you will bring about what you hate.”

“I’ve never thought about it that way,” Hitler said. “But we all have a destiny, whether or not we recognize it. Our lives are written in stone, and I have a need for power.”

“Do you believe the past can be changed, if time-travel is possible?”

“That would be my present,” Hitler said. “And nobody is going to change my destiny, but me.”

Chapter 10 Inside Hitler’s Head

“Damn—I killed the head pro, before he could pack my beer. Where’s the ice?” While Hitler was looking for the beer, Stanley’s trigger-finger began to itch.

“Not yet, Stanley,” Gregson said.

They walked to the first hole with their clubs. “These babies better get the job done.” Gregson pulled the driver from his bag, and swung it like a sword. “I’ve got to get inside Hitler’s head—it’s the only way to win.”

The PI teed-up, and launched his ball down the fairway. Hitler was right behind them, smoking a long cigarette. He plugged his tee into the ground and flicked his smoke into Gregson’s face.

CLICK. Hitler’s ball was short, but in-play. “I’ve got to increase my drive!” He lamented.

Both of them got onto the green in regulation, but it was Hitler who sunk his putt from 20 feet away, making birdie. It broke right, then left, and right again. Only someone possessed by magic could’ve made that putt. Gregson made par. It was the putter, stolen from a Scotsman, that gave Hitler the confidence to pull-off the impossible.

“Why do you want to conquer the world?” Gregson asked.

“Whatever we do in this life, is an expression of who we are. Most people don’t do shit—and guess what?”

“Okay—so, you need to prove your manhood?”

“Why is that a question?”

“But doesn’t a man press-up against the world, and discover his limitations? To not recognize his defeat, is to be defeated in a larger arena. Why compete, when he knows he will lose?”

“Because, he always believes he will win. He always plays to win. He does not look to the past to confirm his future—he looks to the future to confirm his past. He is limitless—he won’t accept any other truth but that.”

“That’s bordering on hybris.”

“To be humble—is to know your place. People with propriety don’t get very far.”

They played the next hole—a short par 3, and Hitler holed-out his putt. “Birdie again,” Hitler said.  He was indeed, a superman, consumed with Nietzschean belief. Gregson only got par.

“The reason you keep coming-up average, is because you think average,” Hitler said.

“Don’t you think that your thinking, is a bit beyond your doing?”

“It should always be that way. You will be criticized and laughed at, and called arrogant, but your dreams should always exceed your drive. Nobody will believe in you, until you do it. And then, everybody will say, ‘We always knew he could do it.'”

“But what if you don’t do it?” Gregson asked.

“The only difference between insanity and genius, is success,” Hitler said. “And I am willing to play the game.”

Chapter 9 Gambling with Hitler

“That’s the first hole,” Hitler said. “We tee-off a mesa, into a valley of death, but you will fear my evil. Let’s check-in to the pro shop.” They got out of the Alpha Romeo next to a building that looked like a bus station. When they opened the front door, the bell jangled.

“Can I help you, gentlemen?” The head pro asked. He was bald, wearing black sunglasses. Obviously, an Englishman.

“18 holes—for two.” Hitler said.

“Will you be walking or riding?”

“I’ll be riding. Pack a cooler with your best beer.”

“How about your friend?”

“He can walk.”

“Are you sure? It’ll be a scorcher.”

“I’m sure—as sure as my name is Adolf Hitler!”

“German—eh? We beat you boys in The Great War!”

“It’s not over—till it’s over!”

“Come on, man. Of course, it is! Do you need any balls or tees?”

“I’ve got plenty of balls,” Hitler said. “I could use a few tees.”

“Okay. Give me your money.”

Hitler pulled his Luger, and painted the pro shop with his brains. “Intelligent,” he said. “Very intelligent. You see how the grey matter, mingles with the red.” After admiring his art, Hitler left the pro shop. “If only I could put some money on this game.”

“Why don’t we gamble for life and death?” Gregson suggested.

“You don’t have any leverage. You are going to die, regardless.”

“But what if I did?”

“Go on…”

“I know you stole the World Almanac—and it works. Not a bad way to make a few bucks, am I right?”

“Go on…”

“Well, money isn’t everything. It can buy power, but not all the way.”

“What are you driving at?”

“You almost become world chancellor, but you make several blunders, that force you to swallow a lead pill.”

“What kind of expert are you?”

“From the future.”

“The possibility of traveling into the past…” Hitler said in a far-off voice. “I could steal rare antiquities, that would enhance my power—recover the Cup of Christ, and melt my enemies with the ark of the covenant! What year did you come from?”

“Only if you win, will you find out!”

Chapter 8 Negotiating with Hitler

“What’s your handicap?” Gregson asked.

“My handicap? How dare you—you mixed blood—I am an Arian, with perfect control of my abilities!”

“No—I mean, what do you normally shoot?”

“Gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, and anybody I disagree with.”

“What’s your golf score?” Gregson asked, a bit exasperated.

“Oh—I normally play in the low 70s. Although, the putter I found in a Scotsman’s grave has improved my short game immensely. Also, my dabbling in the occult has given me demonic powers. I can direct the ball with my mind. I can psychologically screw with my opponents. I can’t be defeated!”

“I say, you can!”

“Cannot.”

“Can too.”

Cannot.”

Rather than arguing, why don’t we play to see who is the king of the greatest game?” Gregson suggested.

“Okay—but you die, afterward—win or lose.”

“Sounds good to me! Dr. Stanley will be my caddie. He knows how to stand still and keep his mouth shut. And if I pass-out from heat stroke, he can play-out my holes.”

“Pussy will be mine!” Hitler said. “She has always carried my clubs. Let me change into my golfing gear, and I’ll be ready.”

When Hitler left, it was a bit awkward. Gregson thought about running, but Adolf would’ve thought of that. No—the only way to save their lives was to beat him at his own game.

“Would the condemned care for any refreshments?” Pussy asked.

“Can you make a martini?” Gregson suggested. “Shaken, not stirred?”

“I’ll shake you up some drinks—although, it’s going to be hot out there. Dehydration will kill you, before my boyfriend does.”

“Alcohol loosens up my mind.”

“You’d better be on your game, today,” Pussy said. “Let me change, and I’ll bring you drinks.” She left the room, and the cats, hanging on the walls took-on more sinister shapes—like tigers of the night.

“Gregson, did you see his watch?” Dr. Stanley asked.

“Yeah! And we know he has the red almanac. If we’re going to escape with our lives, we need some leverage.”

“That almanac is only good, until 1930. If we tell Hitler about WWII, and his many blunders, perhaps he will let us go.”

“That is out-of-the-question. You know the future would be forever changed! I’ll kill you, before you try to save our lives!” Gregson promised.

“Why don’t I kill him, when we have the opportunity?” Dr. Stanley suggested.

“How?”

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” He revealed the gold gun in his pocket.

“A pen gun?”

“.22 caliber. Many people have thought about going back in time to kill Hitler—in fact, that’s why we’re here,” Dr. Stanley said.

“So, this whole business of King Tut and artifacts was a cover-up. This is an assassination mission?”

“Yes—and we suspect that Hitler killed Dr. Dorian—or the past did.”

Pussy walked back into the living room, showing everything but her pussy. She was wearing a see-through silk blouse, and satin shorts.

“Drink up, gentlemen—it may be your last.”

“What do you see in him, anyway, Pussy?”

“Hitler is such a powerful man,” Pussy said.

“But he’s a failed artist—a vagabond—a nobody,” Dr. Stanley complained.

“You can tell things about a man. He will be great one day. It is not his political position, but his personal power—his indomitable will—his sexual…”

“Don’t tell me anymore—don’t you care about his character?”

“What about it?” Pussy asked

“Do you think he’s a good man?”

“No—but we will have the highest social status in the world one day.”

Hitler walked into the room with his golf clubs on his shoulder, looking like a Scotsman. “Ready golf—better get into my car.” He motioned with his German Luger.

Gregson sipped his alcohol, to get loose. He was about to play golf with a madman. The future, was in jeopardy. He had to steal that almanac. Gregson wondered why he always had to save the world.

Chapter 7 Playing Golf with Hitler

It felt like prying, to ask Pussy about murder, but Gregson knew it was necessary to look into her dark psyche, to find skeletons hidden there. He put his hand on her shoulder, and she flushed.

“Don’t touch my Pussy!” A voice shouted out of the shadows. Gregson wasn’t sure what to expect—a lesbian lover? The tenor was tiny, and full of steel. A little man walked out, from behind a statue of a cat licking her paws. He had a Charlie Chaplin mustache and an arrogant gate.

Gregson immediately noticed his Luger, staring him down, like death.

“Now—I might be a failed artist at painting, but I can paint your brains on the wall like a genius.”

Gregson didn’t doubt his genius. Stanley was standing next to him, trying to be an invisible coat-hanger, but it wasn’t working.

“What’s the matter? You don’t say anything?”

“I’ve already met your Pussy. My name’s Gregson.”

“Adolf. Forgive me, but I don’t shake hands. I don’t know what to do with you.”

“You could let us go?” Stanley suggested.

“That’s out of the question. Both of you need to die—I just don’t know where to sort you—garbage or recycling?”

Gregson glanced around the room like a mouse, cornered by dozens of cats—desperate to find a way out. There it was. Adolf, in Scottish golfing gear, wearing a checked cap and knickerbockers, resting his putter on his shoulder, like the emperor of the world.

“You play the greatest game?” Gregson asked.

“If you mean, politics, I am creating my own party. It will be a third reign of power, like the romans, with the blood of gypsies running in the streets. The world will die to hear the sound of my name.”

“Actually, I was thinking about the game of golf. Do you play?”

“I don’t play. I win,” Hitler said.

a lost city found on a hill inside my heart

In the deep dark winter

frozen, and full of ice

In the streets,

packed with snow

In the stores,

where families go

during the cold season

I won’t go.

I lay in bed, and hibernate

like a beast, that needs to be left alone

there will be

warm wistful days,

that finally set me free

like the Great Gatsby on the Golf Course

and me,

lighting his cigar

where city lights, blink

under a summer sunset

pink, green, and cloudy dreams

hundreds of days, before I go underground

again

to contemplate this question

“What do I want to do next summer?”

I’m reborn, in the warm light

with dreams, that won’t die

under a blue sky

possibilities…

and me,

an old man

looking at possibilities

floating by

Who am I?

The winds have blown me here, and there

I’ve rested on the deep blue lake

and seen the sky, reflected there

I’ve found the roots of ancient trees

and listened to their wisdom

I’ve been to city libraries

as a boy, checking-out

my first library card

pages, and patrons, and librarians

knowing me for 30 years

they’re still the same–with long careers

my career, is to walk through the city, that I know

and tell the stories

like falling leaves

Places

that have shaped my past

cruel and beautiful places

cast on the burn-pile of time

We

will all go-up in smoke

but not before I type

and listen to these lines

cut

cold paper

We have a destiny

it’s not money

it’s not the obvious path, where we should go

it’s the beautiful one

orange, yellow, and red

that we float across

and blow across

and ask the wind, “Please, set me down there.”

it’s the path we would like to walk down, even if it doesn’t go anywhere

it’s the books that rest

unopened

waiting to be read

it’s the girl, sitting

on a park bench

it’s the boy, climbing oak trees

it’s the city saying, “You found it.”

Mail carriers, sort and smile

street lights, blink

on and off

traffic, is the blood of the city

horns honking, but not too terribly loud

signaling, green lights, at the end of the pier

a yellow sun burning, 93 million miles away

a red rover, stopping you, in your tracks

licking your hands

watered green lawns, stretching-out in front of homes, like heaven

inflation, and foreign wars, and crumbling governments

don’t know the city

it is a poem

waiting to be written

a story

to be told

a past-time

spoken

It is my destiny

a lost city

found on a hill

inside my heart.

Playing with Pete

Pete told me, “You aren’t ready yet, but you might be.”

“How do you know?”

“You’re still listening, and you have fire in your eyes.”

I looked him in the face—I could see, flaming black holes, there.

“What’s this—some kind of magic?”

“You could say that, but it’s available to us all, if we would just tap into it.” He knocked his ball six inches from the hole.

“Why don’t we?”

“People are not paying attention to the way of all things. They want to conquer, what can’t be conquered.”

“I see.”

“The way won’t give us what we want—it exists to instruct us in the way. By following it, we will have all we need.”

“But don’t you own four companies and millions in real-estate?”

“Yes—by society’s standards, I am successful, but only by living according to the way, have I been able to enjoy my success.”

“That’s easy for you to say, when you have it all.”

“Perhaps—but what really counts, is the fire in your eyes. Most people lose that. It’s the belief, in better things to come. It’s the limitless universe, waiting to be explored.”

Just then, the cart girl pulled up. “Do you boys want any snacks or beer?”

“We’re fine,” Pete said.

Jenny drove off. She was looking good—curves and blonde hair.

“Women are closer to the way, than men. Nature selects. But remember, nature can’t see potential, and it doesn’t care about that.”

“Where does belief come from?”

“Belief is a seed that grows, and it does so, effortlessly. It cannot be modified, or controlled—otherwise, it ceases to be belief. Most men lose their belief, because they need their control.” This time, Pete knocked his ball into the hole with his 60-degree wedge.

“That was one heck of a shot!”

“Thanks—now you try. Close your eyes and swing.”

I knocked my ball into the woods. “What went wrong?”

“If you worship the result, you won’t understand it.”

Playing with Pete was a revelation. I wasn’t sure that I believed him, but I was sure that he believed his own bullshit. I guess, if you’re successful, it doesn’t matter. Pete was interesting—and there weren’t many golfers like that.

The Man Who Would Be King

They tell us to win friends and influence people

and to do this, we must not criticize

Watch what happens when you do

People, who were pleasant—no longer are

Their character depends on the situation, which really isn’t character, at all

it’s revealed

when someone is squeezed

what they have inside, comes out

and they might say, “I’ve never acted that way before!” or “I didn’t mean to!”

Don’t believe them

Pressure

is the medieval method

to know, whether or not

someone is in league with the devil

the inquisitors used stones.

We are afraid to make enemies because we aren’t strong

We are afraid of being disliked or socially shunned

and mark my words, if a polite person feels slighted

they will murder you, behind your back

At times, a brazen bully will point out your error

like they have never made one

It’s best to use this unexpected attack

to test yourself

Did I feel a sliver of fear?

Enemies are a way to test our strength

Insecurities, must be examined

Fear constricts us, and chokes us—it makes us unnecessarily conservative

Watch what happens when you master the bold move

When you say, “No.”

When you cast-out fear

then, you are limitless

Anger is unnecessary—it betrays our lack of control

As we cultivate enemies, we will be tested

We might not get ahead, but we will grow

Strength is worth more to us than our relative position

because we must endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—

as we ascend

Only then,

will we be

invincible.