Synopsis of Hero Apomixis by C.A. Seller
Hero Apomixis is a work of stream of consciousness written over 22 months while the author was incarcerated in Attica Correctional Facility in 2000/01. A story of tortuous experience at the hands of a broken social services system, bad parenting, and the Prison Industrial Complex, Hero begins to lose his mind as evidenced by fantacide and dreamories only interrupted by prison feedings. Hero is either a victim or a sociopath. The book challenges us to ask, “What would you do?”
“If you like Dante, if you like Bosch, if you like Burroughs, you’ll dig the brutally dark brilliance of C.A. Seller’s HERO APOMIXIS. A rare stroke of ever darkening courage. Welcome to hell.” Ron Whitehead
And the dreamories continued. Hero always said that he didn’t think GG Allen’s last gig really qualified as a “gig.” His old friend, Johnny One Eye, had asked him to help out with the equipment and sound over at The Gas Station on 2nd street and Avenue B, a performance space littered with cut and welded metal art, cannibalized motorcycles, washing machines, restaurant fixtures, broken toys, hair dryers, you name it. It was a literal sculpture garden full of junk and works of art if you
could tell them apart. Hero found most of it grotesque and
quite good – he admired any artist’s use of garbage. Truly
recycling if ever there was.
They unloaded Johnny’s truck for the late afternoon show,
set up the equipment and covered the cabinets with heavy
pieces of plastic drop cloth and cut plastic bags. Johnny was hooking up the P.A. off to the left of the band area
inside a small room with a metal roll down gate when GG
arrived wearing a German World War I helmet with a huge
spike on top of it, a three-quarter length tweed over coat,
frayed long-johns, a torn tee-shirt, and a pair of beat
to shit paratrooper jump boots. Oh, and a very cheap pair
of dark sunglasses. Hero introduced himself and told GG
that he used to play bass with Missing Foundation, a band
not too far behind The Murder Junkies in the strange and
disgusting behavior category, although MF’s rep was no wheres
near what theirs was. He said that, “We understand what
you do and respect it, we just ask that you don’t fuck-up
any of our equipment…”
GG listened out of one ear with his head tilted slightly
down. Hero hadn’t been aware of how physically big he was
and felt good when the man barely tipped his head.
Hero said, “Cool,” and quickly found something to do running
cords and setting up glad to get away from him. The
Murder Junkies were trying to do a sound check and GG yelled
through his mic but there was no P.A. yet. He looked back
at the Junkies and, when Johnny yelled, “Hero! Everything
connected?! Check the kick drum – there’s a cinder block
and some blankets in the truck.” Hero shook his head and
ran for the items he’d requested. He could hear the Junkies
warming up from Johnny’s truck parked just outside in the
sculpture garden and he speed walked back inside with everything – wanting to secure the bass drum and mic before the
band really got going. Hero set up the mic and then the
cinder block to keep the kick-drum from moving forward with the blanket between the drum and the block. GG’s brother, Merle, said, “Well alright!” and his long Hitler stache moved forward with the wind he made shouting his approval. Hero ran around checking everything one last time and then he headed over to join Johnny at the P.A. The band was ready – they’d been
ready. About a dozen people were already hanging around
and more came in as GG Allin and The Murder Junkies did
a sound check that Hero thought was surprisingly tight –
he hadn’t known them primarily for their music. A group of
half drunk art punks crowded into the old garage; it was
built just big enough to fit two cars and maybe a rollaway
tool chest. The latest lease holder had constructed a really
cheesy bar on the 2nd street end of the building where the
service department had once been. Hero was checking out
the girls and decided to get himself some free beer; perks.
He was still big from all the body building he’d done up
north and he liked how the girls were watching him and trying
not to get caught. He was shy.
One chick with wavy brown shoulder length hair
was built like a shit brick house in tight, dark denim blue jeans and matching jacket wearing expensive cowboy boots looked as if she’d come alone. Hero wanted this big voluptuous girl but she didn’t pay any attention to him whatsoever instead standing at the very front of the crowd
only a few feet from GG who was belting out the 2nd
of his sound checks. She was wearing a big glass eyeball
held in a silver eagle’s talon on a long leather thong that
hung around her neck. Her tits were huge and healthy and
the eyeball was hanging right in between them just above
the last closed button of her shirt. This girl was something
right off the farm – at least if looks counted for anything.
She was really healthy, not overly attractive, but plenty
sexy and clean was all Hero could think of although
there was definitely more going on here than met the eye.
Yeah, really healthy and really odd.
When the band finished, GG put his mic back on the stand
and disappeared out the garage’s entrance. The Murder Junkies
were still fucking around with their instruments while the
little crowd of drunk punks milled around them. The blond
chick was taking pictures of the Junkies with a very expensive
35MM. camera. A humongous, sly, rotund Puerto Rican dude – an outlaw for sure – with clean mc boots and new jeans sporting
a club patch on the back of his vest walked over to talk
to Merle. He gave Hero the willies. He imagined this
dude, and his somewhat noticeably thinner and dirtier flunky
behind him off to the left, hanging out with GG and the
MJ’s, chopping up the bodies of crack heads they’d killed
for rec somewhere deep inside the South Bronx; drinking
cheap beer out of gallon bottles shaped like jugs, maybe
out of someone’s boots – who the fuck knew what might happen?
They all appeared to know each other pretty well, and, had
Hero the presence of mind, he’d have realized a lot sooner
that nothing of the sort was going on – no matter how grungy
The Murder Junkies might look.
Johnny called over and asked him, “Well, what’a ya think?
Where’d GG go?”
Hero knew John was nervous about his equipment.
“He went outside – he’s cool,” he said, but wasn’t sure
of anything and could hear it in the second half of his
answer. Some more free beer and then Hero headed outside
carrying a big, red, plastic to-go cup. Slack humid summer’s heat
and only the very poor or the very unlucky are still in
town. Muggy with a capitol “e”.
He checked on John’s truck where Louie the pit bull
was taking a nap in the cab. The dog looked up at him when
he got close and then, disinterestedly, let his muzzle settle
back down on top of his paws. Hero and Louie had known each
other a long time – in doggy years anyway – so he went and
got the keys from John and set him up in the bed of the
small pick-up with his leash looped through a cinder block
and then folded some blankets for him to lay on. Johnny
came outside and got his keys. Flies buzzed fast on the
warm gentle breezes of wafting domestic garbage odors. Hero
wanted to go cop. He was starting to feel, “a little hinky
around the edges,” as he would often say when he was just
beginning to get dope sick. He told John that he had to
go somewhere – maybe a phone call – or something. John
asked him, “Where?” He didn’t want to lose Hero before the
gig was over.
“I gotta go make a phone call,” but Johnny knew by the
way he’d said it looking out towards Houston Street exactly
what he had to go do.
“You’re gonna go cop,” said John in between sips on his
trademark cup of coffee: always blue and white, always paper,
and they always said “Thank You – Come Again” on the side.
It was as if he took NA with him everywhere he went right
inside that coffee cup – which was pretty good considering
the fact that he was dealing enough herb to keep half of
the Lower East Side stoned for a fortnight and maybe then some.
“I hope so, Hero, I can’t deal with all this shit by myself,
right Lou? “ and Louie squinted back at him in full agreement
bribed with nothing more than a scratch behind the ears.
“I’ll be right back,” Hero called to them over his shoulder.
Louie stood up to watch him leave .
Hero headed downtown by only blocks to Clinton and Rivington
where he copped a bag from a Dominican guy he’d done time
with, sniffed it on his way back to The Gas Station.
The summer sun would stay out late. The blond chick,
he kept thinking just to tease himself with a little mental
mind fucking; she was different and not in any good way
either. Anyone who wanted to stand in front of GG Allin when
he was on stage, or even on cement – like today, was guaranteed
to get shitted down, pissed down, and, most probably knocked
down by a naked and hysterical GG Allen covered in, D. all
of the above mixed with blood. All of it real, too.
Hero played a lot of games but not any involving those particular
body fluids. GG had been put in jail more than a few
times and the only song that Hero had ever heard by him
went something like this: “Hey, New Hampshire! Stick that
warrant up your ass!” and so on and so forth, an inventory
of all the states where he was no longer appreciated for
his imaginative style of Punk Rock performance “art.”
The crowd was getting thick outside the tiny space and
had begun spilling out into the side of the yard full of
arc welded sculpture and 20th century fossils. The
organizers had put up a few stolen NYPD crowd control barricades and some clothes line to try and corral the fans into an
orderly queue before coming into The Gas Station without having to worry that the drunk and rowdy punks would run amok in the art garden or crash the show.
Suddenly, Hero’s lights and radio went off. They stayed
off for a little less than a minute and then came back on
again. Two minutes later – they went off and stayed off.
“Why are you turning my lights off?” he whined, knowing
full well that whoever had done this most foul of evil deeds
had done so from the beginning of the catwalk behind the
cells way up at the front of the company.
The cops would turn a guy’s lights off for:
- playing his radio too loud.
- playing his TV too loud.
- fat mouthing on the gate.
- arguing with the C.O.
- to put him on the burn for any real or imagined offence.
It was a punishment the C.O.s had been using ever since
the jail opened 70 years ago and was never a part of any
official punishments that could be imposed after a Misbehavior
Report and Tier Hearing like keep lock, box time, loss of
phone, commissary, recreation or personal property, and reduced
rations which consisted of a mouth watering vitamin enriched
“cabbage loaf” 3 times a day for as long as the hearing
officer thought you needed it. The cops also burned guys
for chow by not letting them out of their cells to go eat
one, two, and sometimes all three meals in a day. Hero hadn’t
done anything wrong and thought that it must have been a
mistake – which in the larger scheme of things actually
aggravated the whole situation since he didn’t have a clue
what it was he was being punished for. That is, until
Jughead and the kid in the cell next him, Mike, came back
from the commissary and found out that not only were their
lights off too. When Jughead ran an extension cord
from Matt’s cell to his he discovered that the cops had also disconnected the antenna hook-up for his precious TV – one of the $75, 12”, no-name B&W pieces of shit that someone working in Attica was collecting a very healthy kickback on.
“Something must’ve happened while I was at the store,”
said Jughead conspiratorially and knowing. Intimating that
Hero had done “something” since he was the only one who hadn’t gone to the commissary for 10 cells in either
direction and had been spacing out silently for the past
48+ hours. He stayed shut and prayed for Jughead’s early
death. Anytime that evening would have been just fine. He
was an arrogant idiot and arguing with him was about as
rewarding as hitting yourself in the face with a shovel,
although it could have been worse. This was only Hero’s opinion.
The Murder Junkies had just returned with slices of pizza.
Johnny One Eye was drinking yet another cup of coffee from
the bodega on the corner, his disfigured ring finger (the
result of a childhood accident), permanently bent at the
last joint before its nail, hung over the lid’s edge at
an eerie 45 degree angle while the rest of his digits removed
the white plastic cover so he could drain the last warm
dregs of the only drug Johnny did now. Caffeine
Right away Hero missed his radio with the cheapo commissary
headphones that he’d repaired 4x’s with a couple of plastic
wire-ties a few rubber bands and some scotch tape. He’d
had them for over a year and was very accustomed to their
crappy sound. Jughead proceeded to conduct an investigation
that got him less than nowhere and plenty pissed-off. Mike,
kind’a slow, kind’a dopey, kind’a got his ass kicked by
George the Aryan in the A-block yard for, “just being dorky,
why? Do I need a reason?!” George had said and no he
didn’t. He was watching Matt’s TV with a plastic mirror
hung on the end of a cell broom ( a short itty bitty version of
a regular straw broom – about one third scale) in what
was known as a “satellite hook-up.” Hero’d never liked it:
too hard to hear anything and the image was always distorted
but some people, he knew, just had to watch television no
matter what. Hero paced his cell (2 paces front and then
2 paces back) trying to come up with a reason for the fucked
up shit the police had done to all of them. He laid down
on his rack fully clothed and sat up on one elbow with his
hands folded over his mid section to watch the C.O.s pass
during the ten o’clock count. Jughead asked them why his
electricity was off and some young cop with a jock’s build
from playing high school football said, “I don’t know why
there’s no power. I’ll let them know,” without breaking
his stride and he was gone.
“What’d he say?” whined Hero not too loudly.
“I don’t know, he said he’ll let them know,” Jughead answered. The man was retarded and there was the last
proof of it that Hero would ever need.
“’Let them know?’“ repeated Hero, “he is them!” And under
his breath he added, “fuckin’ clowns,” secretly lumping
the retard in with “them.”
Hero paced some more trying to adjust to his “return”
to the 18th century and then he went to bed.
During the morning count, first Jughead, then Mike and
finally Hero, all asked the cops what was up with the electricity?
The same jerk-off from the night before was working
And told all of them, “I don’t know, all white guys, huh?
Must be a racist thing,” and then he smirked and marched
his little bitch-jock-ass back up the gallery.
“Fuckin’ bitch,” Hero hissed through his teeth. A few
minutes later his cell was cracked for A.M. meds – Jughead
told him, “Tell him to put my cable on.” Hero didn’t even
bother to answer him. The cable connection was behind
the cells on the catwalk and as such would be the hardest
thing to get turned back on. Not only that but why should
he break his head getting anything of Jughead’s turned back
on? Hero was going to work on his own shit .
“Fuckin’ scumbag,” he said to himself and the words echoed
inside his head the way a basketball does in an empty gymnasium.
He walked up front where the psych nurse was giving
out the meds, took the little paper cup she’d set out
for water and saw that when the gate was open the kiddykop
was standing just out of view – hiding – no doubt.
“Can you tell me why my electricity off?” Hero asked jr.,
looking him dead between the eyes.
“I don’t know. I can put a work order in,” he answered.
Hero felt that somehow he’d ruffled baby’s feathers ever
so subtly. His answer was total bullshit and before he
could get the 2nd half of this waste of breath over his lips
to go on fouling up the air, Hero had turned into the slop sink
to fill the medication cup. He turned right around
with the full cup and as the nurse was giving him his
lithium tablet asked puppy, “You said earlier that it must have been a racist thing – are you saying my lights were turned off because I’m Jewish?” this time with a little
more octane in his voice than before, and again he dead eyed
the bully-bitch loser.
“No, I said that because it must have been a black officer
who turned off all of your power,” obviously referring to
Jughead and Mike and, just as before, Hero turned around
and started walking away while jr. was still trying to finish
his sentence; in essence – and fact – giving the asshole
That son-of-a – bitch had some fucking nerve – black officer
– there were 2 in all of Attica and one of them
swore he was an Indian! That was alright though because
Hero’s strategy was 2 fold and guaranteed effective to accomplish nothing more than piss this asshole off: the cop had
used the word “racist …” Hero had used the word “Jewish.”
That right there was enough to be entirely misconstrued
so that he might start all sorts of shit for jr. – who didn’t
look too bright to begin with and the nurse had heard
all of it, too. Hero had been rude on purpose so as to catch
the cop’s vein, and he had. That way his guard was down.
Later when Jughead came back from breakfast he told Hero
how jr. had said that he was an asshole. He smiled and
then a mildly annoying JugFacts discussion began about how
he’ d handled the situation that Hero promised himself he would
not allow to evolve into an argument. Jughead was his usually
rude and patronizing self in an effort to, “impart some
of the knowledge I’ve learned in these places,” and the
old JugFacts standby, “I can see you ain’t done a lot’a
Max time,” which is where Hero stopped the expert witness
from Hell because he was becoming condescending and told
him so. Silently, Hero believed Jughead was beginning to resemble a television show re-run, more and more, over and over and over again. In other words he was shot-to-the-socks. The guy was such a predictable fucking creep mouthed know-it-all and you couldn’t tell him shit. It was upsetting to watch how he spoke one way to one person – and another way to the next – and didn’t exhibit one iota of shame or maybe he just didn’t think
anyone was paying attention or maybe he just didn’t care
and thought that it was his prerogative to do so – either
way he was a piece of shit for it. His philosophies and
his motives were pure, wet, runny, sme1ly bullshit. Hero had seen his two faced behavior and noted right away that he
was a lousy liar an idiot and a loser. It was the subjects
he lied about that made him dangerous until you knew what
you were dealing with. After that he was just an idiot.
Jughead had practically gotten his head kicked in on one
side by the C.O.s in some Medium over a fucking Scrabble
game. That was about a year earlier. Hero didn’t bring it
up, the man was too much of an idiot, an annoying idiot,
a fucking idiot, to even entertain the thought of an argument
with. Hero wished his health were better because with another
20 lbs. on his frame he thought he could’ve stood an even
chance of busting Jughead’s ass with nothing but his hands
and then he would have told him all about himself. That was another “funny” thing about Jug, he won a lot of fights;
thing is though that he never fought anybody who might give
him a hard time. Hero’d heard him cop a plea with General, what more did he need to see?
Of course the cop was trying to flip Jughead on Hero
for nothing but saying something that had really got under
the prick’s skin. Jughead told Hero that jr. said, “Well,
the electric, that’s easy – but the TV? I gotta walk all
the way down there – that’s gonna cost you.”
Yes, “all the way down,” the catwalk – the exact same
distance as it was on the gallery side of the cells, “all
the way.” Yeah, sure you’re right. Extortion was not at
all uncommon between prisoners and police alike. To send
food to another company usually cost a pack of Flavors,
or the cop might tax the bag instead, go shopping so to
speak. And why not? He might take the whole fucking thing
if he felt like and often without any worry of retribution.
The right cop could fix a dirty urine for anywhere from
5 to 25 packs of cigarettes – depending on who was collecting
your piss. The entire prison was corrupt as all get out.
The Superintendent and his Deputy’s had mess hall inmates
forever loading up their car trunks with meats and cheese
and cereal by the crate. It was as good as it was bad. Everyone
was stealing – the only real crime was if you got caught;
then the politics were cutthroat. Now that, thought Hero,
was a Catch-22!
A little later the C.O. made his rounds and Mike asked
him very politely if he and his neighbors could get their
lights turned back on, he said he had legal work to do.
Smart, Hero thought or at least worth a try. The cop, not
jr., he was off somewhere probably still attempting to make
sense out of what Hero had done to him earlier that morning,
said he’d get the keys from the lobby where they were kept
for security reasons. That was the only part of his statement
that was true; the keys kept in the lobby – ran back
and forth as movement necessitated. They would never lose
control of that jail ever again. Ever. Ever. When 2 bells
sound’ed over a fight, the entire jail locked in – if you
were stuck in the corridor you played the wall. Maintenance
and porters were locked in either the shower or the slop-sink.
“Hey, Mike,” Jughead called out of his gate, “you think
you could could’ve blown’im any harder?”
Hero couldn’t get over the nastiness of this fucking idiot scumbag.
Bravo, Mike, Hero wanted to yell but thought it
better to just stay shut and avoid any unnecessary bullshit.
And besides, things were uncomfortable enough as the hard
reality of having no power was fast making itself more and
more apparent. For instance: to shit, you always tied your
blanket to the bars for privacy (and out of respect), and
took care of your business; but in the dim light of the
gallery or with an overcast sky, Hero was afraid he might
miss a dinkleberry or a klingon, you know? Shaving was difficult, too and would now have to be done facing the bars
with a bucket of water on the floor according to the sun’s
schedule. He missed his NPR and hoped he’d be able to hear
“Science Friday” at 2P.M., and “Whatta’ Ya’ Know?” on Saturday night; the radio that had become his lifeline to sanity
but it didn’t look very promising. He wondered, what
of George C. Scott’s aneurysm? Hero had overheard some tabloid TV. show that one of the brain surgeons had been watching say that it was alleged to have been caused by a bad jalapeno pepper in his salsa. Enquiring minds wanted to know. Scott was a great actor and tough for real, he was a 4 year Marine Corps veteran. He’d called the Academy Awards,” a self-serving meat parade,” in what was one profoundly accurate
observation that expressed what he saw as the foster promotion
of competition in what was originally an art form. Scott
refused his Oscar for Patton but Hero always liked him
best in Airport with, what was her name? Helen Hayes as
the old lady? He couldn’t remember and thought that she
should have at least been nominated. It was rumored that
Scott had once left his phone off the hook for an entire
year. Cool. Very, cool. Hero, truly the news junkie, waited
in his silent cell for sick call. Maybe jr. would burn him.
Maybe he’d search Hero’s cell while he was out and “find”
a razor or a shank. Maybe Hero didn’t care. [see absentee
question marks. id.] Too sick, too tired, and too miserably
annoyed at being punished in such an unorthodox and unlawful
manner – for nothing. Nothing. No-thing. “In-mate. What
the fuck is an in-mate?” he spat. “I’m no fuck-ing ‘mate’
to this – or any other system of waste and lies and pain
– I’m not a ‘mate’ to any motherfucking system, period.
In-mate, like a willing participant or something. Fuck no,
not me, Jack.”
Art Dan Reece