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Drug Crazed Chimpanzee

 Preface

The following material was part of my personal journal, but I took it out because I reached the point where I considered it unworthy of inclusion. It made me frown every time I came upon one of the entries. Unexpectedly it turns out to have been enjoyable weeding all this stuff out. Although much of it describes the very sick behavior of an individual which will be here designated as Zippy (1), a lot of it seems funny now when I see it all together in one place. What is remarkable here is not the chimp behavior, fairly common today, but my own, in putting up with it for so long. What follows is offered as a splendid object lesson in the value of letting go and moving on quickly when a friendship begins to lose viability. This material will not be released or published with name tags under any circumstances. Everybody, including old friends, deserve privacy..

 

Long ago...

 

Zippy, and I were friends from age seven to age twenty seven. I ended my friendship with him in 1974. On that occasion I used no harsh words. I mentioned nothing in particular, but simply told him that I felt we had reached a parting of the ways, having grown in very different directions as people. What follows here is a simple chronology of the monkey shines of this individual. For every event listed herein there were at least fifty other tricky little insults, condescending put downs, or left handed compliments, often quite elaborately conceived.

 

Since writing all this down and seeing the sheer amount of problematical behavior, I now count it a failing in myself to have to have had anything to do with this individual after 1963. I can only say that, within the total context of going to college, dating, and everything else that I was doing and thinking about from 1963 to 1974, all of this seemed very insignificant. Even in terms of the total of Zippy's behavior, I thought of it only as a Jekyll and Hyde problem to do with drugs, which I hoped he would eventually outgrow, rather than as the true person himself. This was very innocent of me and I now believe that Zippy's weekly visits to the psychiatrist were nothing more than a token gesture to keep his parents off his back about not having a job.

I have a very good memory for conversations. The wording of quotations is extremely precise. Dates are as close as I can render them. I should mention that on three separate occasions I spoke in earnest to Zippy about the non-viability of most of the behavior mentioned herein. This, however, produced no positive effect. If anything, it only caused him to regroup and escalate. In deadly seriousness, but with loving good humor, I now proudly present:

Observations upon Certain Behavioral
Inadequacies in the Male Chimpanzee

or

The Low Down Adventures

of Doped Up Zippy

 

September 1953 At age seven, I first become friends with Zippy, but remember thinking when I first see him that he looks a little sly.

November 1957 My parents tell me that they consider Zippy to be a peculiar, negative little boy, and they don't think that I should spend any time with him outside of school. Zippy makes a big, angry, insulting fuss about this, but I see much less of Zippy from this point on, especially during high school. 

Spring 1960 During Zippy's puberty he is embarrassed to have an undescended testicle. This leads to the locker room name "Uni-ball" and even the occasional "Mono-nut". On one occasion I even see him chased out of the locker room. He runs up the stairs to the second floor crying. Surgery corrects this problem physically, but a residual and profound psychological mono-ballism haunts him thenceforward. Read on and weep...

January 1964 Zippy tells me that he has no plans for college or anything else. He remains unemployed for years because of what his psychiatrist calls a "phobia about work". His sustenance comes from his parents, who he calls "the rents”, erom the sale of marijuana, plus ancestral trust funds representing, among other things, oil interests in Oklahoma. With the clarity of hindsight, I now feel that I should have jettisoned this good-for-nothing loafer at this particular juncture.

September 1964 Our mutual interest in music gets Zippy and I back together. I am learning guitar, and he is learning drums. Zippy is hanging around with a guitar player from Cambridge who he apparently emulates very much. Zippy apes this fellow completely. He adopts all of his opinions, his mode of dress and speech, hairstyle, even his mannerisms, facial expressions, and way of laughing. Essentially Zippy makes himself into a grotesque, cut-rate, bargain-basement copy of someone else. The one difference is that Zippy's boots are black velvet instead of leather. Later in 1965, this role model chap goes through cold turkey to kick his heroin addiction and moves in with a woman and three kids. Zippy stops hanging around with him at this time.

October 1964 Zippy has a second nervous breakdown and quits high school after being held back from promotion for three consecutive years because of "immaturity" according to one of his teachers. During the next few years he suffers frequent debilitating migraine headaches.

All this begins a period of confiding many deeply personal things to me, the kind of things that any normal man works out for himself. As a psychology student I am at first flattered by his desire for my council. Later, when studying Freud, I learn about transference. I tell Zippy about this principle and that I think it would be better for him to confide personal things only to his psychiatrist.

December 1964 One night at a party, a friend and I restrain Zippy on the floor in the living room, and must threaten him with hospitalization to calm him down. Having had a fair amount of rum upon that occasion, the fine particulars of this occasion now allude me.

September 1965 Under the eaves at my house, Zippy notices a tiny artificial Christmas tree and tells me how crummy he thinks it is. I explain that the tree was something my father bought for his mother to put on her bedside table when she was dying in the hospital. Zippy seems very embarrassed and is properly apologetic, but does he learn anything from this? Does this modify his future behavior? Not in the least.

November 1965 I tell Zippy about a stalwart friend with good study habits at Northeastern University. He says, "Yah, he's probably a transvestite". We both laugh heartily at this surprising unlikelihood.

December 1965 When Zippy sees my superb, fresh, excellently decorated balsam Yule Tree he says, "You should see our tree. My family has a real Christmas Tree". On another occasion, as Zippy enters a young woman's house, he arrogantly remarks about their tree, "What a crummy little Christmas Tree. I can see that it's going to be a real peasant's Christmas for you this year". Later, when I actually see Zippy's Christmas Tree, I feel even more sorry for him – silver plastic.

March 1966 A girlfriend of mine at age fifteen displays great maturity and wisdom by predicting what much later turns out to be the actual future for three people known well to me. She does this, not with precognition, but through a profound understanding of human nature. One of the people foreshadowed is Zippy. She says rightly that he is insane and belongs in a mental hospital (see ahead).

September 1966 Get onto the MTA Train at Woodland Station, commuting to school. At the next stop, a person gets on who looks exactly like Zippy, but dressed as a woman. This individual seems nervous and scarcely takes her, or his, eyes off me. I even try looking away for a while to allow for the natural tendency of any person to stare back at someone who looks at them first. She, or he, gets out at the next stop. I have never been 100% sure that this was Zippy, just 99%.

November 1966 While watching an episode of one of Zippy's favorite TV shows, "My Three Sons", Zippy says "Wouldn't it be funny if they all turned out to be a bunch of homosexuals?" (see ahead).

July 1967 While eating breakfast aboard a yacht in Falmouth Harbor, a children's actor is on the TV. Zippy says that he is a "raging fag". I say "Really, I never had that impression of him". Zippy flies into a rage, angrier than I have ever seen him, yelling, "I know that he is! Do you hear me? I know that he is! I know that he spends every weekend at Fire Island! I know!" This outburst embarrasses me deeply, so I let it pass. He is quiet for quite a while and then we resume talking just as though nothing had happened. It now amazes me that I didn't end the friendship at a point like this.

September 1967 a friend stops by on his way to college for the Fall semester. He tells me "I just came from visiting zippy and his family. You know I like Zippy, but I feel so sorry for him." I ask why. He says, "He spoke to me with such enthusiasm about all the things he is going to do this Fall: growing his hair, getting a new pair of boots, etc. Everything he has planned for this entire season, you or I would do in two hours, except the growing of the hair which is a passive process."

March 1968 a guy who Zippy scarcely knew in grammar school, but who I knew somewhat in high school, stops to talk, upon seeing me out front at my house. He claims that he recently had a pleasant talk with Zippy at a bar called Jacque's in Cambridge, and could we all get together soon? I tell him I'll speak to Zippy about it. Later I mention this to Zippy and he denies ever talking with the fellow. I never could understand the reason for this discrepancy. Around 1975, I read about dating bars in the "Boston Phoenix" and it mentions that Jacque's was originally a heterosexual bar, but slowly throughout the sixties, became a homosexual bar, although still patronized by both sexes and seeming quite normal to anyone who might walk in. During the period in question it seems possible that two different men might have gone to this bar for two very different reasons. In any case, Zippy and I get together with the fellow and they become friends. Because of the age/maturity difference it takes me until 1970 before I really except the fellow as a friend.

August 1968 At Zippy's house on Cape Cod, as I get out of my car, Zippy, who is facing away from me peeing into the bushes, turns around suddenly, and disgracefully twangs his flaccid pecker at me, while making a face like a crazed chimpanzee. Hence the later nickname, Zippy.

September 1968 Zippy tells me he is a "grass-a-holic", and will be for the rest of his life. What a funny little pact to make with oneself. When I ask about his therapist, he concedes that his "shrink" has stressed that he should stop using marijuana. His drug use during these early years also involves some LSD.

October 1968 Admiring the mansion of the president of Wellesley College as we drive by in my gray 356 Porsche, Zippy daydreams out loud about how he would like to live in that house with me and ten super-nice looking girls. This shocks and embarrasses me, because living with Zippy is nothing even close to what I want. The house and the girls, yes, but no chimpanzees, thank you.

November 1968 While watching a rerun of the same episode of "My Three Sons" as before, Zippy again says "Wouldn't it be funny if they all turned out to be a bunch of raging homosexuals?" I point out that he had said the exact same thing at the exact same point in this same episode two years earlier. Zippy acts so ashamed and embarrassed by this, that if I had known in advance, I would not have mentioned it.

February 1969 Upon bragging to Zippy about shushing the steep face of Black Mountain in 1964, he claims that he read an article saying that psychological tests show that ninety percent of skiers who like steep terrain are latent homosexuals. I reply that I am certainly pleased to be in the normal ten percent in this regard and ask where and when he read this, but he cannot recall. I am embarrassed for Zippy by this fabrication on his part.

April 1969 a friend says to me " I saw Zippy the other day. Did he look sick! I suppose he'll be getting himself a boyfriend pretty soon". I naively explain to him that the reason Zippy wears an 1890s drum major coat with gold trim is because he is trying to look like the Beetles on the Sergeant Pepper album cover". He isn't queer, just "musically hip". Back in those days I believed that the two things were by nature mutually exclusive.

November 1969 As we sit in the living room at my house, Zippy, with the excited enthusiasm of a little boy, says, "Just think of what it will be like when my parents die and I inherit all that money. Think of the things I will be able to do." I suggest that if he were to show some interest in business that maybe his parents would help him get started and he wouldn't have to wait to have money. He says that he thinks they should simply "share the wealth a bit" with him without his having to work.

February 1970 During one of my girlfriend’s hypoglycemic period of severely schizoid behavior, she and a girlfriend,  drive by. Her friend toots the horn to tease me a bit. I had hoped to marry the girlfriend (2) and am hurting very badly about the entire business, and don't want to talk about it to anyone. Zippy asks me cheaply, "What, are you seeing some guy you don't want me to know about?" I restrain myself from beating him up, and tell him that I am not, and have no such tendency. I explain nothing more about my feelings, because I will not allow myself to be bullied into discussing my love life with anyone, especially one like Zippy.

March 1970 Zippy's psychiatrist recommends that Zippy commit himself voluntarily to a mental hospital. At this point Zippy stops seeing the doctor and decides to marry a grl from from Cape Cod. At this time Zippy asks me if he should get married and I say that I don't think that he should. He asks why, and I tell him that if he were ready for marriage, he wouldn't have to ask me or anybody else. Once married, the frequency with which Zippy attributes homosexuality to other people increases markedly.

May 1970 Zippy's father buys him a business. This fizzles and the business is sold within a year or two.

July 1970 Zippy asks me if I want to go halves with him on a book filled with photographs of large erect deformed penises. This book is advertised in some crazy magazine of his. He suggests that we could look at the book together. I decline. His poor wife is present and looks bewildered.

August 1970 As we drive down a street, Zippy absent-mindedly sings a popular song in a falsetto voice, "Well, I am a Woo-oo-oo-oo-man. W-O-M-A N. Let me say it again!"

September 1970 Zippy and his wife move into a small house. Soon after this, Zippy tells me that he is impotent with her, and on a later occasion that he would probably be impotent with all other women.

October 1970 Visit Zippy and wife. As I enter, Zippy is sucking on a huge red penis-shaped lollipop. Attempting to play the card, he tries to induce me to suck on it also, but I decline. He tells me he will gladly wash it off under the tap in the kitchen, but still I demure. He then tries to put me on the defensive for not wanting to do this, as though to imply that I am somehow being terribly inhibited and prudish. Zippy again asks me if I will go halves with him on the book of photos showing penises. Again I will not. Suddenly a friend and his girlfriend pull into the driveway. Zippy jumps up, grabs the lollipop from the coffee table, and quickly hides it in the cupboard. I protest that he should leave it out so that the girlfiend, who I think is really sexy, can see it. It would be fun to see her petite feminine reaction to such a phallus as this. Zippy nervously declines. This episode of immature behavior has convinced me that Zippy's marriage is, at least in part, a diversion, probably to please his parents.

December 1970 At one point, having searched my kitchen cupboards, Zippy asks if he can have a serving of a certain liquor. I tell him that I wanted to save this as my private stock, which I had put away out of sight, not for guests, but for myself and my girlfriends. Zippy starts yelling, "Do you hear what you are saying to me? Will you never cease finding new ways to insult me?" Here Zippy has demonstrated a greatly inflated idea of his relative importance in my life.

January 1971 With his wife present, Zippy puts his hand on my knee and says, "Thay, tell me thomething". It being almost time to leave anyway, on this particularly sour note, I bid them both goodnight, and as I leave, she says jokingly, "Better git while the gittin's good, eh?"

April 1971 Zippy recently has said "I'm tired of swimming upstream against the current all the time". At the time I think that he is talking about social attitudes, but later reconsider the lack of context for this, and on a subsequent occasion ask him to clarify, "How do you mean that you have been swimming upstream?" Zippy says "Well, you know sometimes a person has to fight to keep from becoming a homosexual".

June 1971 After showing Zippy and wife the Bellingham house, Zippy and I disagree over some unimportant detail in a recent conversation. I stand my ground and Zippy flies into a rage, shouting "Do you hear what you are saying to me - that I don't know what I say?" It never occurs to Zippy that he is telling me the exact same thing - that I don't know what I hear, but I compromise "Well, obviously one of us misunderstood the other". His wife seems pleased with my diplomacy. Zippy, however, remains in a blind rage, not speaking to either of us for an hour and a half, and driving his car like a maniac as though he wants to kill all of us.

July 1971 Zippy and wife move to Cape Cod where she supports them both by working as a waitress. This is around the time Zippy begins wearing a close fitting choker made of strange beads.

August 1971 Zippy has begun to yell at, and strike, their loving dog because the dog cowers when Zippy enters the room. I have to explain to him why the dog does this.

September 1971 Zippy is arrested for possession of marijuana, and must enter an encounter group therapy program, which of course, simply acquaints him with new sources from whom he continues to buy grass.

November 1971 After taking stock of how many of my finest things Zippy has damaged or mauled in some way, I have recently begun to insist that he simply look at my things rather than touch them (3). He has great trouble accepting this, and one evening becomes very bitter and sarcastic about it as though he were the injured party. Although I have only contemplated this recently, there is also the problem of certain small items in my house that have simply disappeared. What now makes me wonder especially about this, is that Zippy has occasionally asked me if I have stolen certain small items from him. This makes me think that he must consider this to be normal behavior, because I have never stolen anything from him or anyone else.

December 1971 Zippy comes into my livingroom with his wife and goes into a long intricate descriptive spiel about the sensual joys involved in sucking an uncleanly penis as this could pertain to the hypothetical razzing of an alleged fairy we knew in junior high school.

April 1972 Zippy and I stop at Mac Donald's so I can eat. He kids me about this all through the meal. As we leave, down the center strip of concrete with people eating in cars on both sides, Zippy runs along with arms spread wide apart crazily singing at the top of his lungs, "You deserve a break today!" to all the people. I, of course, try to look at this point as though I don't know him very well.

September 1972 Zippy becomes very annoyed trying to talk me into giving him my source of supply for reproduction toll-ware and Paul Revere lanterns. He doesn't seem to understand the need of a middle-class person who works for a living to protect his own interests by not sacrificing himself for an idler who lives only upon what others have earned.

December 1972 One night Zippy sits in my living room with his wife and hatefully tells me that he would like to kill me and take all my wealth.

February 1973 In the kitchen, I begin to tell a friend about seeing naked people at windows when riding the MBTA in Boston at night. As Zippy gets up to head into the living room, I absent-mindedly use the term "transvestites" when meaning to say "exhibitionists". Zippy's head snaps down, as though in shame. This seems odd. Then I remember...September 1966, the girl on the train.

June 1973 Zippy begins making silver jewelry and opens a gift shop. This fizzles out and he closes the shop eventually.

August 1973 Visit Zippy and wife on Cape Cod. Zippy calls me upstairs to view what seems a rather contrived situation where he is lying on his belly with his wife rubbing alcohol on his ass. He tries to act very naturalistic about this. To me this sort of activity seems more properly a private thing between husband and wife. One of Zippy's New York friends is also present sitting there talking with them.

October 1973 Zippy puts hashish into my drink when I leave the room. When I discover it and ask why he has done this, he will not answer, and again I get to see him make that frightful chimpanzee face.

November 1973 Set up my booth at a busy Flee Market in Attleboro, MA. Get talking with a chap about Indian stuff. Mentions that he is from the town where Zippy lives. I ask if he knows a friend of mine, Zippy. He says with disgust, "Oh. you mean doped-up Zippy?" I say, "Is that what you call him?" He says, "Ya, we also call him the Town Queer!" I ask with a chuckle, "Really?" He then raises his voice as though to signify belief that I am wrongfully disagreeing with his assessment, and says loudly with a very fierce solemn face, "Hey, I mark him the Town Queer down there" gesturing with his thumb in the direction of lower Cape Cod. Then he says "He goes to pantywaist bars in Provincetown. Rumor has it that he was seen dancing cheek to cheek with some shoe salesman from Montreal down there". I feign astonishment for a second, and then we both burst out laughing.

December 1973 Zippy scrapes resins out of his marijuana pipe using one of my Sterling silver crab forks. I tell not to use this, and give him a stainless steel substitute. Later he cleans the resins off the silver fork scratching it deeply with an SOS pad. When I protest this, he starts shouting at me, "What difference does it make? They don't bear your family crest, do they?" If I had this moment to live over again, I would stun-gun Zippy to the floor, bind him, and call the police.

March 1974 Speak to Zippy about much of his behavior. He makes the very interesting comment that he thinks I have been very gullible about the homosexual motivations of othersl. I of course, feel that he underestimates me in this, mistaking maturity and patience for credulity or non-recognition. Apparently Zippy has convinced himself that I don't understand people simply because I feel no compulsion to discuss my lady friends with him.

May 1974 At last I end this tedious adversarial relationship. Zippy has degenerated into a cheap, dirty-mouth marijuana drunkard; a wearisome, tricky-talking Servant of Shamefulness; a parasite living in a narrow drug induced fantasy world, seeking only to uplift his low self-esteem by unnatural means. No decent man wants a loud-mouth joker with dead, glazed eyes coming into his home swaggering around insulting him while mauling his personal things. Although I do not say so at the time, I now deem him to be member in good standing of what I currently think of as IBUDVP - The International Brotherhood of the Unmanly, Dishonorable, and Very Peculiar. Eleven years pass and then...

August 1985 Zippy’s wife hangs herself in their cellar. I know nothing of the details, but am told at this time by a friend that she was in a hospital for a while after a nervous breakdown, that they had been separated, that Zippy had abused their five year old son by striking him in the head, and that Zippy makes quite a point of mentioning that nobody thinks that he is to blame for her death.

Epilogue

In 1985, when the friend tells me about the suicide, he says, "Think for a minute. Women never hang themselves!" I reply "Why, do you think that Zippy murdered her?" He says nothing. Knowing him as I do, I take his silence to mean that he considers this to be at least a moral possibility. I personally don't think that Zippy would have the balls, or perhaps I should say ball, to murder anyone physically. Such an act would require far more visceral courage, integrity, and self-knowledge than Zippy has heretofore displayed. Limp-wristed cowards like Zippy kill spiritually with words, by insidiously robbing others of their self-esteem and simple joy in living. They do much of this under the guise of "kidding". This is the essence of what I call a "psychic vampire".

In either case, I believe Zippy to be a dangerous, severely deranged constitutional psychopath and consider him to be every bit as responsible for his wife’s death as if he had put the rope around her neck himself. He is a vile, unclean spirit who will be cast out by all decent people. The moral of this story is: Even if friends during childhood, it is not possible to have a normal relationship with a truly abnormal individual, especially one who is very clever and deeply disturbed. 

The misfortune of having known this peculiar, velvet-booted,
lollipop-sucking, bead wearing weirdo has inspired a saying:

"When they're all doped up,

they get way low down."

 

 

Roy C. Peterson 

September 6, 1996. 4:56 PM

Lake Wildwood, California

 

 Footnotes:

 

1. Zippy was a famous chimpanzee in the 1950s. Species dealt with herein is homo chimpanzeeus.

2. I had even contemplated selling the Porsche and buying two used VWs.

3. We are not talking trivialities here, but considerable damage to items such as  a Simon Willard tall clock and a William and Mary Block-Front desk.