May 06, 2009

Ogden Kronengekel: A Wanted Murderer

OGDEN KRONENGEKEL---such is the name of the main protagonists inside my dream, other than myself of course. Have you had yourself a vivid dream? In my childhood days, I had numerous dreams of these sorts, the kind that are so crystalline in clarity that some of them I could still recall until now. I usually dream about angels in the past, flying with them into tree-lined outfields, and falling off from cliffs if I lose some footings while in the act of flying. Every time I fall from the air in those dreams, as I lose control of my body movements, I also fall from my beds that the falling sensation felt so real and everyone in the house could hear me scream.

My dream about Ms. Kronengekel (yes, she was a woman sporting jet-black hair falling down towards her knees) about three nights ago wasn’t purely about angels although some parts of it were about them cherubim. Unlike my other dreams, this one involves a narrator who whispers to me some facts that I need to know as the story progresses within that dream.

The visions in my sleep started as the narrator introduces me to the beginning scenarios (the narrator’s face does not appear throughout the dream and whispers only to my right ear as if he was afloat above ground just behind me and moves accordingly as I moved forward or backward or to any direction. He also has no name but in my mind he wears a huge black hood, just like the one wore by Death.). He introduced to me the people in the story. There was H. a friend who I knew in real life and the narrator also informed me that H.’s father was Mr. P. Mr. P. is a bailer of those arrested for crimes.
And then there was Ms. Ogden Kronengekel, a beautiful lad who always wears white t-shirts and fading jeans. When I was in Silliman University for about a year nearly two decades ago, I could recall that most students there wear this kind of generic outfit---white shirt on the top and faded or tattered jeans down below. It was known to be hip to dress so casually, a coy on pretending like a poor man when one looks so rich. I didn’t dress the same when I was in Dumaguete City because that kind of outfit needed a bunch of Levi’s 501’s which I only have one at that time. So I just was hip in few instances. The white shirt and jeans needed another garment and that was the bandana. In those years (somewhere between 1989 and 1991), to wear a bandana is to bring tribute to rock music, especially glam-rock music and since Axl Rose of the band Guns and Roses wear them always, a hip rocker ain’t hip at all without the head accessory. In those years, riffing guitars and bamboozling drumbeats emanates from every nook and corner of Dumaguete City and as freshmen students, we became so involved in the glam rock movement that spurned notable bands like Bon Jovi and Poison. In those pre-grunge days, new wave bands still had major clamp on the radio listeners and it was the times when the great Irish band U2 reached its artistic peak with a couple of great albums titled “The Joshua Tree” and “Rattle and Hum”. Making the “Joshua Tree” album for them was such an achievement already and yet within a year, they were able to released “Rattle and Hum”—how good can they get?”So the dream was centered on a murder that I have got to know for reason that I was acting as an investigating officer in it and my work companion was H. All along H. wore a casual striped t-shirt, walking short and sporty beach sandals that I wasn’t really certain if he was toddling along with me in the investigation as a police officer himself, like I was, or just an ordinary companion. We went on scurrying up the whole facts of the case and proceeded on unraveling the mysterious death of a certain C., a fairly known rice trader in the city. If he was fairly known in the town despite his being merely a businessman (you know, as differentiated from high profile professionals like doctors and lawyers), it only means that he wasn’t just an ordinary businessman but a very successful one.

The main scene that really stuck vividly in my mind was the one in a downtown store that the victim Mr. C. owned. Me and H. went there to question some people about the murder. In actual times, the store really existed somewhere in San Jose Road within the city limits and it really sells rice, lots of them. When we got there, we saw Ms. Ogden Kronengekel walk by us and entered a small doorway just beside the rice store of Mr. C. and proceeded to the second level of the building. Throughout the story, I never really seen her face yet I knew she had a foreign-looking countenance. She was pretty, so pretty that she was familiar almost to every one we knew.
H. remarked to me: “ That’s Ms. Ogden Kronengekel. Ain’t she pretty?” I said,
“ Yeah, I am familiar with her. You know, from school.” I then asked: “What she’s doing here?” To this question, H. just smiled and shrugged off his shoulders meaning that he does not have an idea. The way he smiled was a little insidious as if he knew something interesting that I do not know.

Then the scenes went into a cornucopia of various images. Just like any dream, the scenes in my mind change without lead ups or preludes and images and happenstances there intertwine like a spider web or a twirling spiral, at times without rhyme and reason, and they interlope upon each other like layers upon layers of sand.
The next memorable scene was the narrator telling me all the bits of information about the mysterious persona of Mr. Ogden Kronengekel. I bet I must have all the information I needed in order to solve the crime inside that dream—and Mr. Narrator helped a lot on this. Mr. Narrator said that Ms. Kronengekel grew up in Norway until the age of 5, and came to Zamboanga in the year 1986, the year when millions of Filipinos marched into the main highways of Metro Manila to overthrow The Strongman former President Mr. Marcos. Her father was of course Norwegian who married a ZamboangueƱa nurse then working in one of the big hospitals in Oslo, the most popular city in Norway. On the first time that Mr. Kronengekel went to visit the city, when he and Mrs. Kronengekel was still planning to tie their marital knot, he immediately fell in love with the local weather and particularly the beaches in the islands farther up north, and one just nearby town which is known as Sta. Cruz Islands. He decided then that he would not spend the rest of his life freezing among frozen lakes and icy boulevards in the Baltic Region and planned a scheme on how to make Zamboanga as the Kronengekel’s domicile. After five years of saving every penny they gained in Norway, they packed all their worthwhile things and settled here in 1986. It was rough times in the Philippines at that particular time yet Mr. Kronengekel did not allow any political disturbances to stifle his long-awaited journey to a land which according to him where the sun always smiled.
For quite sometime since they came here, the Kronengekel’s enjoyed a buoyant life full of travels around the country. You could really see for yourself how a man craves for seawater and sunshine in the way Mr. Kronengekel would stay in the water for hours and hours without getting ashore, snorkeling even in places when corrals where not all abound. In most of the beaches of Zamboanga, there are exactly no corrals or sea life to snorkel about except if one gets too deep into ten feet high seawater which would be a little risky with the sea currents so strong around here. There was even a story of some amateur boaters who went toddling in the night water in one of the resorts here while being a little drunk from alcohol. They paddled too far into the sea and apparently lost control of their boat due to the swirling currents that twirls and swirls like giant spirals in the span of both the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea. They found themselves in Indonesia a day after.Mr. Kronengekel applied as an English Instructor in a nearby college and was hired initially as a part-timer. Yes, he had professional trainings in the languages, especially in English from a fairly known American University and worked before as a professor in the English Department of a known university in Norway. He became an instant celebrity in the local college and became instantly popular with the students. A blond-haired lean man nearly six foot tall walking along the walkways of a school in Zamboanga was not exactly an everyday occurrence but with Mr. Kronengekel around, it was a daily sight for the students who could not help snickering and making some hush-hush and whispers, every time he passes by.

One day, Mr. Kronengekel caused a minor rumpus inside the campus when he just walked away one afternoon from a class he was tutoring and shouted along the hallways, “I can’t take it anymore!!!” Apparently, he was having a nervous breakdown and never entered the campus again, not even once. The talk about him in school did not die down as easily and went own like a legend being told and retold.The day that he found a certain man was the day that started his slide into the downward spiral of a doggoned life. This certain man was a student he befriended in school for reason mainly because this certain man had easy access to a drug seller in one of the mean streets of this town. Everyday, he would take in some puff of marijuana like it was his staple food---morning, noon and night. He was introduced to this illicit item in one of their travels to the islands farther up north in Visayas by a German tourist who took him for a couple of drink one cold night in the beach. He knew it was improper to take the item but he was too pretentious to let the German guy know that he is such a snob. In person, he is naturally a shy and introspective person but he was always inclined to hide this shyness when among a crowd, which he considered as his major weakness, and tend to overdo his show of coy extroversion by a mile.

So he smoked that illicit item just to do away with the German but it instead became the moment of his future desperation. At first, the stuff made him extraordinarily full of jest, snickered with the German to no end and laugh so hard even at the most humorless joke. His appetite for food became gregarious but what finally made him got hooked was the fact that the grass gave him a feeling of lightness that he never had before.
As his new habit progresses, Mr. Kronengekel had developed a general indolence that made him lose more focus in his daily tasks especially in his vocation as a teacher and soon started to miss on his own classes. He had been called twice to the Dean’s office until that one fateful day when he just stepped out of the classroom and never to return.

Mr. Kronengekel regressed so steeply into a man of unkempt behavior and soon Mrs. Kronengekel left home and went abroad again to earn when the finances of the family dwindled. Ogden Kronengekel became a “motherless” child at the age 9 and lived with aunts and cousins except when Mrs. Kronengekel was here for very brief annual or bi-annual visits. Mr. Kronengekel just wandered around the city drinking with by-standers from every mean streets there is in the city and huffed the prohibited item almost always until one day his body was found lifeless and stiffed as a rock near a city creek; probably by self-infliction as no contusion or bruises were marked on the corpse, and every possession in his body was intact, including a very expensive wristwatch. He just perhaps jumped into the shallow river and drowned himself by having so much alcohol to drink.
At the age of 12, Ogden Kronengekel goes home to a parentless shelter except for aunts and cousins she could bully around and whom she does not solicit for advises. The lack of sufficient moral guidance and the tragedy in her lives had affected Ogden so much that she became a wanderer herself, nearly like her father, taking drugs and alcohol in the night streets often than we breathe, never finishing college and running around with a lot of different men, even in illicit affairs. She became a creature of the night, as we know the term, hanging among many groupies in the city and creating troubles in the night streets as well as the streets of their own lives and of other lives.I asked my friend H. about the person of Ms. Ogden Kronengekel for I could not forget his strange smirk the last time we saw her within the vicinity of the murder scene of Mr. C. At this moment of questioning, we were in the office of Mr. P., H.’s father and the owner of the bail company.
My friend H. told me: “ There is no more need to ask questions. The murderer of Mr. C. has been arrested and he is out on bail, care of our bailing company.”
He handed me the folder of the murder suspect and saw for myself the front-view, left-view, and right-view pictures of some youth with browning hair and dark oily skin, with eyes protruding from perhaps lack of sleep or extreme tiredness. It seems all petty criminals looked like the guy on the folder in my hands, except the case in hand was not petty at all.

I asked in my mind why H. remarked immediately that the murderer was already apprehended when I only asked him about Ms. Ogden Kronengekel’s person. I smelled something fishy and wanted to create a line of thought from this unusual answer of H.. I wondered of course, since I was the investigating officer in the case, how come I didn’t know the arrest of some suspect on the case I am handling myself. In the Philippines maybe, this sort of things happens and since we were inside a dream, everything could happen indeed without explanation. The narrator made the story short and since Mr. Narrator seems to know everything, he saved me a lot of police work.
It turned out that Mr. P., the owner of the bail company, with connections in the police and in the Hall of Justice nearby, created a scenario where the murder has already been solved by the arrest of a pretending murder suspect, the skinny guy on the folder. Mr. P. was able to convince some fish vendor from Rio Hondo to pose as the murderer on the agreement that he would be bailed out after a couple of days of detention and then he could disappear to wherever he wants to go. The guy needed the money so much and the offer was hard to refuse.We asked perhaps why Mr. P. was interested in undermining the truth behind the murder Mr. C.. It turned out that the real murderer was none other than Ms. Ogden Kronengekel, the half-Norwegian wanderer and spoiled brat and Mr. P. was Ogden’s new paramour. Ogden Kronengekel was still then involved with Mr. C. and Mr. P. wanted her to get rid of him. Ogden got rid of Mr. C. in the cruelest of manner, the details of which could not even be spoken here for decency measures. You say, Ogden Kronengekel developed psychotic tendencies as she progressed through a life full of desperate measures.

It was H. unusual answers that gave me the lead to the final resolution of the case and at the end of the dream, the murder of Mr. C, the well-known rice trader in the city, was finally a case resolved.Now, I have said earlier that this dream of mine, which happened about two or three nights ago, was in some part about angels. Where are the angels? This is where the angels come in.

When Mr. Narrator elucidated to me on the true persona of Ogden Kronengekel, I forgot to mention to you that she was also a singer with a local rock band and that explains her rock-and-roll attitude. While telling me this particular fact, Mr. Narrator gave me a view of one of her performances (the narrator seem to have the power to go back and forth in time and view some happenstances in a three dimensional screen where the viewers are in it although unseen by the people inside the screen, like in Hollywood movies where there are repetitions of past events, like for example Bill and Ted’s adventures of years ago.)

So Ogden sang a song that was unlike any other song. In fact, despite the catchiness of the song, it was not a song that exists in real time. It was a song I have heard only in that dream. As she sang the song, heavenly choruses were backing her up. As the song progresses, I was taken through a time warp to a place where there was a low hill with trees lined up together like they were planted with great planning in mind and the air was so breezy and the sun was so radiant. It gave me a feeling of great joy like it was Paradise. And the place just faded after the song.

Ogden Kronengekel’s voice reminded me so much of Tori Amos. In fact, her voice was a beautiful combination of Tori Amos’s and of Fiona Apple’s. In real time, I doubt it if there is a woman living with this kind of vocal prowess. But the choral backing in the song of Ogden Kronengekel lifted me above air and gave me a gladness of powerful elation. Cherubim (with trumpets in each hand) sang the choral rendition behind Ogden Kronengekel’s main vocalization. What beautiful angels they were and what beautiful voices. At the end of this post, we can now ask what did the dream meant to me and what message it tried to invoke? I do not know. Some dreams of mine, even as vivid as they were, just do not mean anything except that they were about angels and the angels remind me always of places and times that gives me fond memories and great joy. In my childhood, my dreams of angels were just about flying and nothing much else. No message. No declarations. Their declarations came not by dreams but through other manners instead, which of course if you are a constant reader of my works, you should already know by now.

Some characters in the dream above narrated may resemble some people I know in actual time but the resemblance was unintentional and does not portray their true persons’ character. Dreams are just dreams.