Click HERE to read everything from the beginning.

28. I Was A Jailhouse Cyrano

I apologize for the breath, gang.  I had to get some shit together in my head and clean some filth up for storage.  I've kept my deviancy to a minimum but old habits die hard.  Really hard.  Maybe it's a commitment issue, I'm sure some of you would agree with this but I don't know.  It's hard to fight your nature.  The thing is, you don't hear much complaining when it's in your nature to strive for medical school credits or perfecting that note that you can't quite seem to grasp.  It's in my nature to be cynical and teeter on the edge of what most people would consider ugly.  I've been trying to change it.  I really have.  That's why I've decided to write about my latest prison hustle.

I have, for a price, been writing love / freak letters for some of my fellow convicts.  As of this writing I've been quasi- love birding most of Southeast Michigan.  It started with my bunky who can't read or write.  He got some young guy in here to convince his mother to write him.  As much as I'd like to, we won't go into the general fucked-up-edness of this situation.  Every two seconds, he was asking me how to spell, "where," and asking advice on how to woo this mother with the written word.

I finally told him to hand the pad of paper over and I wrote a short letter pontificating on the carnalities of level one prison life.  Some real tier-one shit.  I tickled her chin and stirred her martini.  Here, dip your whiskers in this, kitten.  I guess it worked as I began to, annoyingly enough to me, help him keep up the charade by answering her lonely letters.  Here's the rub - my bunky's a couple months from the door.  He's going to get out there and this woman's going to be in love with an illiterate hillbilly.  Don't get me wrong; my bunky is a great guy.  This woman has been reading a language that  isn't his.  The only poems he knows are dirty limericks.  I'm not overly conflicted about this, but it always sets up about an hours worth of musing about human nature.

Through conversation, my bunky told a couple of other guys about our deal and now I have a steady job wooing about 10 guys' women.  There's demand for more if I could handle the extra work.  I didn't think that I had a hand for the night breath, but they keep writing.  I get a new kind of dirty now.  Not a sexual dirty.  I've never been into that kind of dirty.  I have the secret pleasure of peeking into windows that aren't mine.  I get to look through all these lonely women's dressers - I know Kathy makes shitty tips and isn't getting by, Stacy's son is shooting dope and she just doesn't know what she'd do if she came home and he was dead.  I know Nancy is so goddamn scared and lonely that killing herself has become an option, sometimes.

The letters don't start that way, of course.  It always starts with shiny costume jewelry words, shitty poems, and pseudo-proclamations of love that sometimes raises bile to the back of my tongue.  I have run out of adjectives to describe penetration.  Ugh, that's the worst.  Their association of sex with love is appalling.

I have a guy who wants me to write nothing but freak letters.  I wrote the opening letter for him to a potential pen pal.  He gives me his information- name, age, likes, dislikes, some random thoughts or ideology and I write them into a semi-coherent letter.  Simple enough until she wrote back.  The very next letter he wants me to write is a freak letter.  Who am I to say?  The most that I can ask for is that this woman acknowledges how creepy that is a discontinues writing.  She didn't.  I now write these laughably horrible Harlequin sex scenarios to a 300-plus pound black woman.  I never look him in the eye when I hand him the letter and he hands me five dollars in commissary.

Is it weird that I listen to The Hold Steady exclusively when I write these letters?  Freaky or otherwise?  I hope I don't accrue some horrible association every time I listen to them in the future.

So, now I feel like weird imaginary prostitute.  I technically don't exist.  I didn't plan on having to continue these letters.  I could just stop.  I don't need the money.  There would be a good number of women out there that believe the convict they are were writing had some Sybil-like personality shift and stopped writing them, that would probably be best.  Those are some terribly broken women.  These are some enormously predatory men.  I just get to be a mediator of filth.  It's good work if you can get it.

Send Ryan Some Mail!

Ryan passed word to me that he'd appreciate some questions coming to him.  He's at a loss as to what you'd all like to see on his blog.  Send him anything - questions about life in prison, life in general, thoughts on pop culture and current events, anything.

Send correspondence to:

Ryan Martin 370865
Detroit Re-Entry Center
17600 Ryan Rd.
Detroit, Michigan 48212

OR post a comment here and I'll get it to him.

27. Retaliation

I'm anxious all the time, now.  This isn't much of a change except for the constant persistence of it.  The prying, holding weight that's constantly pressing into my chest.  A sense of foreboding that's relentless.  I create my own nervousness, my own delusions and realities.  It's been less than a week since I pounced on a man in his cell and beat him until he whimpered and bled onto the fire-resistant mattress.  A mattress that doesn't allow blood to soak into it.  The fluid just puddles and holds in the indentations my knees make as I straddle his chest.  Both of us breathing heavy, my arms splattered to the elbows.  I am not proud.  I'm shaken and upset.  I'm shaken because my brain is working overtime, a million scenarios at once; how do I leave this man's cell unnoticed, is he going to lay in and take this like a man or tell, did I really beat this man like this over $5 street money or was it the $100 prison money it was worth?  How do I proceed from this spot?  I get off of him like a spent lover dismounting.  Maybe it's more like rape judging from the look I'm getting from this man's one open eye, his breathing heavy and sort of mewing.

How did I get to here? I thought that this would turn out to be a blog about the actions of others, a reflection on a prison life I witness while I wait out this bit.  Things haven't turned out like I hoped.  I can't beat my nature, I can't out-maneuver it.  I feel like a monster and I can't deny the power of that feeling. It's exhilarating.  I imagine it's how a lion must feel strolling the veldt.

I was never like this.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a stranger to violence and I'm handy in a fist fight, but I never felt like I was an instigator.  I never felt like I was a predator.  I never felt boss.  Situations were always dealt to me as a matter of fact, things fell my way and I dealt with them as I felt appropriate.  I have never been directly confrontational.

I feel like this place may be changing me fundamentally.  It isn't good and I'm in a sort of confused state of remorse and excitement.  I've got to decide that this animalistic behavior is a barrier to my return to civilization.  If I keep at this I'm afraid that it might be too hard to return to normal operations once I'm released or a non-issue if I'm fucking killed.  I'm not exaggerating.  I'm going too far.  I won't explain about what's going on in depth, but most of you know already.

As to that, from here on out I'm shutting it down.  What I though was easy money was anything but.  Ain't shit free on Planet E.  I thought I was providing for my family, but at what cost?  A few dollars for my soul?

I can't piss in peace.  I shower ready for anything.  My enemies have become numerous.  These things aren't what scare me, though.  If you can believe it, it's the thought of never seeing my children again.  OR if I do, I'm afraid I'll be caught in the perpetual motion machine of the Michigan Prison system.  I don't want that for them.

I push through the week just to see them on visit.  To hear their stories and 5-year old perceptions.  It just isn't an option to fail them any more than I already have.

So I've decided to tighten it up and get my shit together.  There might be some backlash but I don't foresee much aside from maybe some revenge, maybe not even that.  With my confession and plan for change out of the way I'll discuss some nasty little particulars.

If you've been owed money or whatever for a sufficient length of time and when talking isn't getting it done, it is recommended that you use violence.  Unless of course you decide to cur up and get out of whatever hustle you've just gotten beat at.  Anyways, if violence is in order you have got to prove a point, if not to the surrounding inmates then to the person of interest and to yourself.  If you don't plan on stabbing the person you had better make him wish you had.  What I'm saying is that you  have to make this person scared to retaliate.  You have to have him so scared of another beating that he either pays or keeps it moving.  This is sometimes hard to come to terms with because it's so personal.  The person in question is somebody you obviously thought was cool and probably kicked it with often.  For whatever reason he's decided that paying you wasn't going to happen so you have to make a move.  You can not let this go.  It's impossible to stay in operation if you do, at any rate.  The best way to go about this is to play it cool.  You have to be a good actor.  You pretend to be friends, reassure him you believe he's going to pay you, continue to play cards or dominoes or what have you.  This can be referred to as, "rocking him to sleep."

If the guy is bigger and stronger, my advice is to catch him at his most vulnerable, preferably while he's showering or taking a shit.  You can also use your ID as a key, break into his cell, shake him and ask him if he's woke, and then beat the living shit out of him.  This is one of the better ways.  You've got a lot more time to commence to ass kicking and there's little chance of getting caught.  Keeping risk to a minimum should be of utmost concern.  You have to understand that you can't just give the guy a couple of jabs and walk away.  You have got to make the man scared.  This part is hard because the guy in question is not going to want you punching away at him.

If he's laying in his bunk, straddle him and try to hold his power arm at the shoulder.  Most likely, this will be his right arm.  Holding the wrist isn't as effective as the shoulder, as this is where the power of a punch is generated.

NOTE: When in a bar fight, wrap the shirt up at the right shoulder of your opponent with your fist and swing and continue to advance with your right.  Remember to focus on his shoulders while punching at the sides and lower jaw and neck.  If you try to look right at what you're trying to punch, you'll miss it more times than not.  My dad can probably fill in the mechanics of this to anyone interested as he boxed.  I only try to go with what works best for me.

Anyways, with your opponent's power controlled and using the leverage you have by sitting at his waist, start punching.  Hit all the soft delicate spots.  Nose, eyes, temple, chin, and lower back half of the jaw.  You need to do this even after he's begged you to stop.  It's probably safe to quit once he starts crying; you've got to use your judgement here.  The point is this guy has to fear  you.  He has to be so upset by this ass-whipping that he second guesses retaliation.

Retaliation by his friends is a non-issue if you don't fuck with gang bangers which, as a general rule of thumb, is a good idea.

So much for my third party testimonies.  I have sent myself  the cease and desist order and hopefully I can do it.  I've always lived reckless but this is becoming something that is actually making me stop and consider or weigh the amount of Monster to Man ratio that wasn't there before.  It all seems so easy until there's a knock on my cell with the offer of a $100 Western Union.  I try to trick myself into thinking things will be different this time.  It's like a fucking battered woman movie on Lifetime.  The underlying theme there is always the same.  He's going to continue beating you.  He won't change.  He can't.

I've been on a huge Bruce Springsteen kick lately thanks to John.  I've especially been into the Greetings From Asbury Park album.  There's a line that's been stuck in my head since I heard it a couple of weeks ago.  I've been moving it around in my mouth and it tastes fine.  It has nothing to do with anything I've written here, I guess I just feel like sharing it.

"You're not man enough to hate, you're not woman enough for kissing."

After writing it, maybe it does pertain to me.  I might be that middle of the road ambiguous not much.  This isn't a self-deprecating statement as much as on of fact.  I don't feel like I'm that bad but I'm really not that good.  Being in the middle is probably worst of all.  Who knows, thanks for all the confusion, Bruce.  I'll be thinking on it some more.

PS - I received a really great letter from my dad recently and I'm wanting to share it (with some things omitted i.e. Lauren stuff) but I'd better ask permission, so with getting two birds stoned in mind (a Trailer Park Boys reference John should enjoy) I'm asking for it here.  I've only got four stamps till the next store.  It's a very enjoyable piece of writing.  It should also show where I get my unique sense of humor and cynicism from.

Night.  XOXO,


26. Part Five - How A Resurrection Really Feels

Catch up with PART FOUR before you read PART FIVE.

I got to the city and headed to Thompson Square Park where Sada had been spending her days.  I wont go into any diatribes about this city because there's nothing interesting there.  It's all too impersonal and big.  I guess I like my filth and degeneracy condensed, I don't know.  New York didn't impress me.  I met up with Sada and I knew right away that everything was different.  Sometimes it's just that simple.  There just wasn't anything there and it was okay.  We wandered the city for awhile and she told me she was staying across the river with some nice cocaine dealers who offered her a place to stay.  Good for her.  We wandered and saw colorfully interesting people, all oblivious to everything around them.  We broke into a door in an alley that we thought might make a good squat and it happened to be the downstairs to a bar.  All this liquor was just there behind a chicken wire cage.  I emptied my pack of the unimportant stuff like clothes and food and loaded it with whiskey.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm being intentionally vague about New York, but to be totally honest I only remember it in fractured segments.  I either died or came close to it that night and everything directly before it is pretty fuzzy.

I drank, I got drunk.  I was a stumbling mess.  Sada told me nobody was allowed to stay with her on account of the cocaine dealing.  She told me I could stay in the East River Park and that she'd see me the next day.  I recall walking around the park and running into some other travelling kids.  It turns out they were a train gang out of West Virginia called Back Alley Ruckus.  Fucking brutes.  They guy who seemed to be the leader talked with me for a while and I became drunk sober.  A state you can come to while drunk when a situation becomes incredibly tense.  He asked if I'd ever been to prison.  I told him I'd been locked up a good deal.  He asked if I ran with the Aryan Nation.  I told him that I look out for myself.  He asked if I was a good boxer.  I told him, 'fair.'  He asked if I could take 'him', and pointed to a blonde-haired hulk and I didn't say anything.  Before I knew it, I was in a fight.

We had each other by the throat and we were both punching, hammering, the other's face.  It went on for what seemed like forever, just punching away at each other with little scuffle or movement.  If left alone he would have surely won.  He outweighed me and stood taller, his pain tolerance the same as mine.  It wasn't left that way, though.  They descended on me like a pack of feral dogs kicking and punching.  It was like being tossed around in an ocean wave - moments of clarity only to be pushed back under where everything gets hazy.  Then there was nothing.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I usually refer to this as 'going to my happy place' or being knocked out, but it wasn't a sleep.  It was a nothing.  Just no goddamn way to explain it.  Nothing.  I probably was just knocked out, who knows?  I couldn't have been all the way dead because I'm writing about this but it wasn't anything I'd experienced.  Not the unrememberance of overdose or the hazy in-out of unconsciousness.  No floating, no sense of weightlessness.  There was no color, no emotion, no wonder, but I remember it.  Does that make sense?  I didn't find gods or demons, nor answers to questions.  I just all of a sudden heard a girls voice say, "Leave him alone, he's dead already."

I heard that and all the devils inside me responded.  Not me, not here, not at the hands of monsters like me, made like me, smelling like me.  No fucking way.  I was awake and with it and got up.  I got to the big fence separating the park and the freeway when they noticed me and returned, beating me into unconsciousness vicious knees an kicks.  I woke up again sitting on the sidewalk with blood pouring between my feet in a river.  It was like a never-ending faucet and a kid sat my pack next to me and told me that someone called an ambulance.

I don't remember anything until the next day.  I woke up in Bellevue feeling like I'd been hit by a train.  When I did move, it was in a sort of dried blood everywhere crackling sort of way that busy doctors leave you in when they believe it's your own fault.  Medical tape plastered everywhere ripping my hair out wherever it was stuck.  The nurse came in and told me that six of my ribs were broken, as was my nose and cheeks.  My ear was ripped along with my scalp.

Nobody offered me a mirror, but I could feel every place on my face distended and swollen.  I could see my cheeks and lips from the swelling.  I was, as they say, a fucking mess.  I was informed that they didn't have enough bed space to keep me, but I could stay until I felt that I could walk without falling.  They had cut off my clothes and offered me donated clothes that were too big even for my swollen body.  There's no revelation here, it's a clear case of you win some, you lose some.  Who could I even be mad at?  I'd left people in the same condition.  Sometimes dogs bite each others' faces.

The pain wasn't the worst but I was far from okay.  I was given a prescription of Ibuprofen to be picked up for free from the hospital's pharmacy.  After looking for what seemed like forever I gave up.  My chest felt like fire and I had to drag my pack.  I walked outside and rolled a cigarette and gently sat down.  People walked around me like I was the elephant man.  I had to have looked like him, all lumpy but with dried and caked blood to boot.  Fuck'em.  I just sat and smoked.  I made the 15 blocks back to Thompkins Square Park.  I met up with a cold and distant Sada.

I tried to see it out, sleeping on the park bench trying to heal.  I couldn't do it.  After the third day I called my grandparents.  I just couldn't move.  It took me 20 minutes to sit up.  Walking was almost impossible, the pain had quadrupled now that it had all set in.  I couldn't tough it out and it made me angry.  I called my grandfather and he just said, "Where are you?"  I told him and he didn't sound exasperated.  He just said, "I'm coming to get you."  He and my grandmother drove to New York City, came through the traffic and the picked me up.  No questions.  He just came and got me and didn't question it.  I'm crying right now and I can't explain the enormity of that action.  His saving me.  His unwavering love for me.  I crawled in to the van and I slept all the way back to Michigan.  My uncle has never forgiven me for having my grandfather come get me in that city.  I don't blame him.

My grandfather is the bravest man I know.

25. Part Four - Back To Howell and Off To Jail

Catch up by reading PART THREE before reading PART FOUR.

Okay, I have to close this because I keep forgetting where I am and because of my hate for writing long hand.  I can't bring myself to write as long or as detailed as I'd like to, anyhow.

Sada and I crossed back over the desert the same way I'd come.  Because of the "puppy" and the violin, things went much more smoothly.  There is something to say about the persuasions of women.  It's easy, too.  A set of tits will get you money for gas long before a set of testicles.  Even if you can do cooler shit and pick up heavier stuff.  It's a fact and it's never been overlooked, we get it.  You can stop bitching about the raw deals you get and ease the lighter away from the lace.

The trip home was much loftier but nothing close to love or lust.  It;s difficult to explain the way that this woman was, maybe because she was much like me.  We found the same things irreverent and sometimes that can be much better than having too much in common.  It definitely make for easier lengths of time staring out into the desert, tossing around the same doubt.  Dear God, do you remember the Doors?  What was up with them?

We discussed going to New York to meet up with her friend, Neva.  We made a plan too tentative, everything was all very nihilistic.  She didn't drink.  I did -- to excess.  The ride through the desert was very Raoul Duke in my mind.  In her's it was most likely very annoying and boring.  A Lumina is no shiny convertible, but it will still shudder at speed, threatening to turn you ass over tea kettle into the cold desert where the scorpions with sting you just to sting you, like a woman bored with the years and indifference.

We made it back to The Mitten with some gas to spare and I was in a hurry to show her my beloved Detroit.  I was home in these neighborhoods.  I pointed out my favorite spots and houses and buildings.  She mostly just looked sad and far away and lost.  The city can turn you off of humanity or turn you on to it's ugly truth.  There was a famous smart man who said, "Nothing human ever surprises me."  He'd never been to Detroit I'd wager, never been offered a blow job by a 70-year old black lady in a BP gas station parking lot.  Never been nervous at a stop light.  The rob children and rape reverends and vice versa.  It is din.  Everyone wants and nothing gives, they are ankle to eyebrow deep in the boiling Grand River of blood.  An old black man at a liquor store told me something I'll never forget.  His mouth stank and his teeth hung by threads.  "That woman," he chuckled, "crossed me like Mack crosses Woodward."  (for the uninformed, Mack crosses Woodward twice.)  Pointing at a thick-thighed, stretchpants-bound woman wiggling across the street.  I don't know what she did, but ain't that the truth of it?  Detroit in a nutshell and woman to boot.  The old man downed his beer and threw it at her overhand, showering the avenue in ghetto diamonds.  I left before she could stab us both.

Sada was unimpressed and uninspired, and it was the sort of let down you feel when a small child opens a present he doesn't like.  A half-assed almost appeasement  and then discarded in retrospect.  You can't make somebody lick a urinal and expect them to tell you that it tasted good.  On the other hand, you can make them lick it, and you can make them tell you it's not so bad, but there's no hiding the bad taste that's left in their mouth.  That, my friends, is an analogy of my relationship history.

We got to Howell and I dropped the car off behind Mancino's and let my aunt know where my mother could pick it up.  I couldn't deal with her yet, I still had some shit to do.  I hadn't finished whatever it was that was pushing me over these brinks.  I couldn't see the end yet, but I think I knew what was there.

We spent a few nights at a friend's house where I overheard an acquaintance in another room ask why there was a nigger sleeping on the floor.  We settled it outside but the fight I wanted didn't happen.  I didn't want to be back in that town.  Too much about Howell has turned me against her but I can't leave.  I'm weak.

We had no money and little direction and slept outside waiting for the train.  Hour after hour can pass waiting for those fuckers and I waited an hour too long.  While we slid in and out of sleep, police approached us and I had a warrant.  They took me to jail and I told Sada to go ahead, I'd catch up to her in New York.

I'm sitting here thinking about what it was that I went to jail for, what I had done to accrue a warrant, and for the life of me I can't remember.  I went and spent about a month though.  During this stay my mother forgave me like mothers do and I got out and kept it moving.  I got a job with my friend Chris doing some tree work to earn a few dollars to get me to New York.  I talked to Sada on the phone and she told me she'd found Neva and that they were on the Lower East Side.  Fair enough.  I put a pack together and I went.

24. Prison Glossary pt. 2

The Thriller; That Situation; The Stunner; Banger: n. 

Slang for a shank or a peeko (I guess a peeko is slang for a shank, also.).  If a convict is wearing a winter coat in the yard in July, he's probably got 'that situation.'

Honeybun Hit: phrase

If you pay somebody in store items to take care of business for you, it could be called a honeybun hit.  I love this one because of the absurdity of beating or stabbing somebody for 10 or 20 dollars worth of commissary items.  Awesome.

White Meat: n.

This is what is referred to when someone is cut to the bone or the bright fat under the skin.  "Dude got at him with the the thriller and cut him to the white meat.

Sweet As Bear Meat; Wouldn't Bust A Grape If His Middle Name Was Welches; Soft As Charmin (sometimes with 'twice as absorbent' if you want to throw in a gay 'slip'): phrases.

Used in reference to how soft or weak a guy is.  Not really effective, but really funny.

Slip: v.

This is the act of sliding in a gay innuendo on a guy during conversation.  If you pull it off, you've effectively 'slipped' him.  Men tend to have an inherent ability to act gay or accuse each other of being gay, so the act of 'slipping' shouldn't be foreign to many of you.  EX - "Dude talked slick to me, but I handled that shit." "I bet you handled it, probably two-handed with a masterful stroke."

Predadactyl 3000s: n.

I came up with this one myself.  It's a reference to the glasses that the State Of Michigan will issue you if you have no money.  No matter how cool you are, once you have these on you automatically look like a predator / cho-mo (Cho-Mo: n. Child molester.) ready to swoop down on somebody.  They're better than those Groucho Marx glasses.

Punt Faked or Pump Faked: v.

To trick somebody into acting a certain way by deliberate deception.  Lets say that the guard announces to the unit that there's going to be a shakedown (cell search) and you dispose of all your contraband.  If the guard never shakes down, you've been successfully 'pump faked.'  "That bitch pump faked the shit outta me."  "Yeah, it's going to take forever to collect all those dick pictures and ass lube again."

That was a pump fake into a slip demonstration.  Later.

"Sleepy Tobias" for Georgia Scout

Editor's note:  The following is a story written by the Jailbird for his cousin's daughter, Georgia.  He expressed interest in sharing it with the readers of Enjoy.

I knew about a mouse once, Georgia.  A little grey mouse with a black spot around his eye.  His name was Tobias.  He knew about you too, you know?  He used to tell me about you in this very cell.  Tobias was a special sort of mouse.  He could move about from place to place as he pleased but never forward or backward in time.  Maybe he was a magical mouse, then again maybe he wasn't.  Who am I to say?

Tobias lived here in this prison and he got along pretty well.  To Tobias, this place wasn't any worse or better than another, but then again Tobias could leave whenever he pleased.  He would travel to the most nonsensical of places.  Sometimes he would pop up at the animal shelter to rile up the cats.  Other times he would pop up amongst the un-knockoverable bottles at a field fair in some forgettable town.  He would wiggle into the weighted bottles and make them tumble onto the floor - before any ball were even thrown!  Often times, he would pop up right in your very room so he could report to me all the fun things that you get up to.  Maybe you saw him in your shelves when you played in your room on rainy days.  You would have had to look close, he was a slippery, shimmering thing.

Tobias had a great sense of humor.  After he had gone cell to cell getting little bits of bread or cheese he would come to mine and cheat at cards or dice.  He had some funny jokes, too, but they were a little blue so I'll save those for another time.  Tobias would tell me about all of the places he went and what he did.  "The greatest part," Tobias would tell me, is that the never had to be a reason for him to be where he was at any time.  "Nobody ever notices me," he would say, "and I dig that just fine."  He thought there was a sense of being bigger than all of it.  Nobody acted different because to them he was never there.  He saw the good side of people but also the natural ugly side.  He saw the side that picks their nose and wipes it on the couch.  He saw the side that pulled on a puppies ear to hear it whine.

Tobias told me he saw these things and it was so human that it was animal and that in it's self made it less of an atrocity.  He liked to taunt cats, remember?  He said these people's mean streaks usually never outweighed the niceness that they showed.  "Usually," he said.

Tobias had a pretty good grip on it.  He would sometimes go and comfort other convicts when it got to the heavy places.  He could sit with them and speak softly into their ears, sometimes tickling them with his jittery whiskers.  He once told me when I was in a particularly narrow place that as long as you still experience the stars as something "above you" you lack the eye of knowledge.  Tobias knew that I knew it was a quote from Nietzsche.  He also knew that I would get through that narrow place deciphering it.

Like I said, he really had a hold on it, man.

You know, I wasn't even sad when Tobias stopped coming to see me.  I'm not sure where he ended up, maybe you still see the old boy.  He's sometimes known to whisper in the ears of sleepers tugging at the dream until it's a thing of bright tiger's eye.  I'm not saying he's a magical mouse, but I ain't saying he isn't.  You just keep watch for him, George.  Keep a sharp eye.